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US Has 24 Hours to Decide to Let Pollard Attend Father’s Funeral

President Obama has 24 hours to decide on a humanitarian appeal that Jonathan Pollard be freed from jail for a few hours to help bury his father.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 6/19/2011, 8:20 AM / Last Update: 6/19/2011, 8:23 AM

Notre Dame U.

President Obama has 24 hours to decide on a humanitarian appeal that Jonathan Pollard be freed from jail for a few hours to help bury his father, Prof. Morris Pollard, Monday morning.

“Funeral services will be held in the chapel at the Hebrew Orthodox Cemetery at 10 a.m. Monday,” according to South Bend, Indiana media, home of Notre Dame University, where the elder Pollard was an award-winning professor. Outside of the state, American media have largely ignored the death and the appeal to free Pollard for the funeral.

Morris Pollard, who died at the age of 95, was a longtime professor and award-winning microbiologist. His son Jonathan was convicted more than 26 years ago for passing on classified information to Israel, an American ally, while he was working at the Pentagon.

Several high-ranking American officials, including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, have told President Obama that Pollard should be released forever considering his deteriorating physical condition, a questionable trial and the extraordinary life sentence for an offense that usually carries a 2-4 year prison term.

The Obama administration last week ignored an appeal from a majority of Knesset Members, who asked that Pollard be freed to visit his father before his death on Saturday. American media reported the appeal in a three-sentence brief from the Associated Press.