A missed opportunity for Jonathan Pollard?

Attorney says Israeli PM, president missed opportunity to ask US President Trump to nix restrictions on Pollard during his visit to Israel.

Benny Tocker ,

Jonathan Pollard
Jonathan Pollard

Attorney Larry Dove told Arutz Sheva that the decision of the federal court in Manhattan not to ease the parole conditions for Jonathan Pollard does not surprise him.

"In my opinion that was to be expected," Dove said. "What I did not expect was the speed with which the appeal was rejected. It usually takes months for a federal appeals court to even hear such a request. And hear - within two weeks of the hearing - they have already decided [to reject the appeal]...I am not surprised that [the decision] came on Jerusalem Day."

He said that Israel's leaders missed an opportunity to ask US President Donald Trump to free Pollard during his visit to Israel earlier this week. "It is a shame that the Prime Minister and the [Israeli] President did not take the opportunity to raise the issue with Trump, especially in light of the refusal to transfer the embassy to Jerusalem," he said. "We could have at least asked for the gesture of releasing Pollard to Israel."

"The Prime Minister may have been afraid to bring this up, but what about President Reuven Rivlin?" he asked. "He also sat on the lobby for Pollard, and then he told me that as an MK he did not have enough power. Today he has power. I wrote him a letter two weeks ago and did not receive an answer. Only Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein wrote to me that Trump's visit is not official but rather a short visit and he will not come to the Knesset."

He criticized the court's decision to deny Pollard's appeal. "Pollard is also an American citizen and has rights under the law ... One of the conditions of the constitution is that a prisoner has the right to go free, unless it can be proved that he is dangerous."

Dove notes that Pollard now lives in very poor conditions. "People do not know, but Pollard lives on the fifth floor without an elevator, in a thirty square-meter apartment. He can't leave the house from 7:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. He cannot work, he cannot support his family, or attend services [at a synagogue]. We have to wait until five years have passed - and then all the conditions for the parole will be removed."