The Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, met on Wednesday with the U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro. They held a lengthy conversation regarding ties between American Jews and Israel as well as other subjects. During the meeting, the chief rabbi asked the ambassador to use his connections and all possible diplomatic channels to secure the release of Jonathan Pollard. "I will not go into the legal aspects, but we need to treat this as a form of mercy, especially for a person who paid his dues and is now in very serious medical condition," Rabbi Lau stated, referring to Pollard's ill health in prison.
Jonathan Pollard was convicted of passing classified information to a foreign country in the mid 1980s. He was sentenced to life in prison, originally in solitary confinement. His supporters say that Pollard's acts were intended to give Israel information regarding Arab chemical and biological weapons capabilities.
"This is one of the most painful issues for us, and Pollard's release will only strengthen the trust and relationship between the U.S. and Israel" Rabbi Lau said.