Netanyahu Demands Pollard's Release

Pollard released from hospital - and back into his jail cell, apparently needs surgery. PM to Kerry: 'Pollard's life is in danger.'

Uzi Baruch, Ari Yashar , | updated: 8:03 PM

Jonathan Pollard
Jonathan Pollard
Yehuda Glick

After losing consciousness and being hospitalized last Friday, 60-year-old Jonathan Pollard has emerged from the imminent danger posed to his health - and been returned to his jail cell, where he has been incarcerated for the past 30 years.

Pollard's wife Esther was informed of his release from the hospital. Apparently he will need to undergo surgery in the near future.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday night, and during the conversation said "Pollard's life is in danger, and after 30 years in jail the time has come for him to be released and live the rest of his years as a free man."

Pollard, who has been jailed on charges of passing classified information to Israel on regional threats to the country, has suffered multiple health problems over the years, for which he was finally hospitalized in March and underwent a surgery then.

At the time his wife Esther noted the conditions he is held in are not conducive for healing from his health problems. Those conditions are said to be dire, with his basic needs barely being met. 

Late last month, as Pollard started his 30th year in a US jail, the Parole Board of the US Justice Department rejected Pollard's parole, with senior US officials involved in the case writing to US President Barack Obama to complain that the decision was "deeply flawed."

They noted that the length of his sentence was unprecedented compared to others who were held on similar charges of spying for an ally nation, and that the legal justifications for the decision were based on clear mistakes.

Last Friday with Pollard's hospitalization the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Robert G. Sugarman, and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein, wrote of "the need for immediate action for his release."

"It is regrettable and inexplicable that the Parole Board denied his application after serving 30 years, much of it in solitary confinement, far beyond anyone accused of a comparable crime," wrote the two, backing the letter sent by senior officials to Obama.

The letter written by the two added that "underscoring the misguided decision regarding his parole was that he was given the highest score for suitability for release. There are many other factors that make clear that his unconditional release is long overdue."

“We urge President Obama, especially in this holiday season and given Mr. Pollard’s worsening health, to take steps immediately to expedite gain Mr. Pollard’s release and to commute his life sentence to the more than 29 years he has already served," concluded the two.

Many have argued that Pollard's ongoing incarceration is anti-Semitic, a charge made by Former CIA Director James Woolsey and Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) among others.