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Clinton: I Don't Expect Pollard to be Freed

Clinton to reporters after meeting with Netanyahu: Pollard was convicted of espionage and sentenced to life imprisonment. That won't change.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 7/17/2012, 12:06 AM

Netanyahu and Clinton
Netanyahu and Clinton
Flash 90

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday that she does not expect Jonathan Pollard to be released.

Clinton, who spoke to reporters following her meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, said, “Jonathan Pollard was convicted of espionage, sentenced to life imprisonment and is serving the sentence. I do not have any expectation that this will change.”

Joseph de Genova, who served as the prosecutor in the case of Jonathan Pollard, said on Sunday that President Barack Obama’s animosity towards Israel means there is no chance he will pardon Pollard. Pollard has spent 26 years in prison while others convicted of similar crimes - and worse - have been set free, leading many to blame his continued incarceration on anti-Semitism.

Referring to her visit to Egypt, where her motorcade was pelted with tomatoes on Sunday, Clinton said she was not offended but said jokingly that she felt bad so many tomatoes were wasted.

“Seeing people express their opinion is a sign of the free environment which Egypt enjoys, but it is also evidence that Egyptians are still concerned about their future,” she said, adding, “They have an elected president but not a parliament, they do not have a constitution or a government, so it's understandable.”

Clinton said that Israel and the United States are on the “same page” with regard to Iran. “It's absolutely fair to say that we are on the same page at this moment trying to figure our way forward to have the maximum impact on affecting the decisions that Iran makes,” she said.

She added that everyone prefers a diplomatic resolution and said that “Iran's leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision. The choice is ultimately Iran's.”

Earlier on Monday, Clinton met with President Shimon Peres, but most of her public remarks were gracefully dedicated to praising the aging and ageless president. President Peres did the talking for Clinton, stating:

“Even if you’ve got your baby, you cannot make him run when he is one year old, even when he’s ten years old – it takes time but we should not stop. The Palestinians don’t have a better alternative, and we don’t have a better alternative. We agreed on most of the issues, we made most of the road, and now we have to try and conclude it for the benefit of all peoples.”

During her whirlwind trip to Israel, Clinton also met with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.