New revelations into Pollard's 'open-air prison'

New details of Jonathan Pollard's release conditions show he is banned from approaching certain embassies and certain airports.

Ido Ben-Porat ,

Jonathan and Esther Pollard
Jonathan and Esther Pollard
Reuters

Jonathan Pollard may have been released on November 20 after spending 30 years - half his life - in US jails on charges of spying for Israel, but newly revealed details of his parole conditions show just how draconian the unprecedented limitations on his freedoms are.

Pollard has been banned from leaving the US, or in fact leaving the small area of New York where he now lives with his wife Esther.

Out of an apparent concern that he might flee America, the authorities decided to ban him from entering several international airports, including John F. Kennedy Airport, La Guardia Airport, and Newark Airport in New Jersey, reports Channel 10.

He is also banned from an airport in New Jersey that private jets take off from.

In addition, Pollard is banned from approaching the embassies of Israel, China, Russia or South Africa.

However, it was revealed that one of the strict conditions against Pollard has been lifted. He had been on a curfew ordering him to be home by 7 p.m. every day.

Pollard complained that the draconian move prevented him from taking part in Shabbat and holiday meals outside his home, or in evening prayers at the synagogue.

In response, it was decided to allow him to be home by 11 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Jewish holidays.

Pollard is also being forced to wear an electronic tag and suffers 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.

Israeli 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.

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 ends in return for surrendering their citizenship.



top