Dermer passes Esther Pollard appeal to White House

Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer delivered note to senior US officials from Jonathan Pollard's wife, urging Obama to let him leave to Israel.

Ari Soffer ,

Esther Pollard
Esther Pollard
Flash 90

Israel's Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, recently passed a note from Esther Pollard to senior White House officials, in which she urges President Barack Obama to lift the ban on her husband from leaving the US, according to Haaretz.

There is no word on whether the letter made its way to the president.

Jonathan Pollard was released on November 20 after 30 years in prison, but is still subjected to a wide and unprecedented raft of restrictions, including being forced to wear an electronic tag and severe restrictions on his computer usage. His lawyers believe they have a good chance of challenging those restrictions - which they note are usually reserved for pedophiles and other criminals who could easily re-offend, and serve no purpose in Pollard's case other than to punish him.

Yesterday, a judge ordered a review of Pollard's parole terms, saying that the Parole Commission had provided little basis to justify why Pollard must wear an electronic bracelet and have his work computer monitored.

However, the ban on him leaving the US is a different matter, and would require Obama's intervention.

Obama has previously said he has no intention on waiving the ban, even if Pollard would agree to give up his US citizenship in return. Pollard for his part wishes to move to Israel, and his lawyers note there is precedent for allowing convicted spies to leave after their sentence in return for surrendering their citizenship.

In court, Pollard's attorney Eliot Lauer insisted any classified information his client obtained 30 years ago was now utterly obsolete, and he therefore poses no threat to the US.