MK Michael Oren (Kulanu) blamed festering agnosticism towards Jonathan Pollard within the US intelligence community for the Department of Justice's refusal to allow the convicted spy to immigrate to Israel.
"As the last official Israeli representative to visit Jonathan Pollard in prison, I kept working for his release from prison. The State of Israel has not forgotten him and is obligated to bring him to Israel," said Oren.
Oren said that the Pollard is still viewed as a "red flag" by parts of the US intelligence agencies despite three decades having passed since he was convicted for espionage. Oren added that President Trump is legally unable to permit Pollard to move to Israel.
"The president of the United States can pardon a prisoner but the restrictions that imposed on Pollard, such as the ban from free movement and from using a computer and his inability to leave the US for five years, those he has no authority remove," Oren said.
"The prime minister and the State of Israel are familiar with the size of the contribution of President Trump, who protects the State of Israel every day at the UN."
Hadashot reported on Wednesday that Israel officially asked the US to allow Pollard to immigrate to Israel three years after his release from prison, but the United States Department of Justice refused.
Pollard served as an analyst for the US Navy in the 1980s, during which time he was recruited by Israeli intelligence to collect information on Israel’s behalf regarding regional threats.
In 1985, Pollard was discovered by US law enforcement officials, and after seeking asylum at the Israeli embassy in Washington, was turned over to the FBI.
Given a life sentence in November 1985, Pollard was paroled 30 years later in November 2015 under severely restrictive conditions.