US frees former convicted spy Jonathan Pollard from parole

November 21, 2020 by JNS
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Jonathan Pollard, a former intelligence analyst who served three decades in prison for spying for and giving classified information to Israel, has been freed.

Convicted spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard was freed from his parole conditions by the United States on Nov. 20, 2020. Credit: Justice for Jonathan Pollard.

The U.S. Parole Commission declined to renew Pollard’s parole conditions and issued a certificate terminating parole and lifting all parole restrictions, according to a statement on Friday by Pollard’s lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman.

Pollard’s conditions under the Parole Commission, since being released in 2015, included remaining in New York City for at least five years unless granted permission to travel outside, having his computer use monitored by the U.S. government and wearing a wrist monitor.

U.S. President Donald Trump considered allowing Pollard to attend the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, but that did not materialize. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly raised Pollard’s case in his meetings with Trump.

In 2017, a U.S. federal circuit court denied a request to ease Pollard’s parole restrictions.

With his newfound freedom, Pollard will now be able to achieve his lifelong dream of moving to Israel, where he has citizenship.

His wife, Esther, has been fighting an aggressive form of cancer.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the lifting of the restrictions on Jonathan Pollard.

For many years the Prime Minister has been committed to, and consistently worked towards, securing Pollard’s release.

The Prime Minister thanked Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer for responsibly and sensitively leading the contacts with the administration.

A spokesman said: “The Prime Minister hopes to see Jonathan Pollard in Israel soon, and together with all Israelis, extends his best wishes to him and his wife Esther.”

President Reuven Rivlin added: “Over the years we have shared in Jonathan Pollard’s pain, and felt a responsibility and commitment to bring about his release. Now we will be able to welcome him and his family home, with the blessing ‘Blessed are You, who releases prisoners’ after many difficult years of imprisonment and restrictions, to a new life of health and peace.”

Yaakov Hagoel, Chairman of World Zionist Organization said: “After 30 years in prison and after five years with severe parole restrictions, I was happy to receive the news of the removal of these restrictions on our brother Jonathan Pollard.
Jonathan, the people of Israel are waiting for you with open arms, here in your home in Israel.”

JNS/J-Wire

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