Jewish Leaders Meet With Pollard

Leaders from the Conference of Presidents met with Jonathan Pollard at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex on Friday.

A7 Staff ,

Jonathan Pollard
Jonathan Pollard

Leaders of the Conference of Presidents met with convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, JTA reported on Friday.

The delegation met with Pollard at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina, where Pollard has served 27 years of a life sentence for espionage.

“We returned with a renewed commitment to work for Mr. Pollard’s release from incarceration in accordance with longstanding Conference policy,"  Chairman Richard Stone and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein said in a statement Friday.

"We see this as a serious humanitarian issue as well as a legal matter," they explained.

On June 4, 1986, Pollard pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a foreign government. Others convicted of similar crimes under similar circumstances have generally received sentences of 2-7 years.

American Jewish groups seeking Pollard’s release argue his sentence was far harsher than others convicted of similar espionage crimes and represents a miscarriage of justice.

Pollard has expressed remorse and is said to be suffering from multiple medical ailments.

In recent years, a renewed push on his behalf has gained support from a number of US lawmakers, as well as former US government officials.

The Conference of Presidents, the main Jewish umbrella group on matters of foreign policy, called on its member organizations to work for Pollard's release.