Former Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter on Tuesday became the latest in a list
of high profile American and Israeli leaders to call for the release of Israeli
agent Jonathan Pollard.
Specter, who chaired the Senate’s intelligence
and judiciary committees during his 30 years in office, wrote US President
Barack Obama that Pollard had served more than long enough.
Noam Schalit calls on Obama to release Pollard
'Keeping Pollard in jail is a miscarriage of justice’
calling for Pollard’s release have cited his poor health or the injustice of his
life sentence, Specter downplayed the significance of Pollard’s crime of spying
for an ally.
“I think his spying was a very serious crime,” Specter
“Unfortunately, spying is not an uncommon practice even between
allies and friendly nations. Considering all the factors, in my judgment,
Pollard should not have a life sentence without parole or
Opponents of releasing Pollard have in the past portrayed
Pollard’s crime as a major anomaly and a total breach of the conduct of one ally
toward another that justified his life sentence.
Specter has a close
relationship with Obama, who has publicly expressed his appreciation and his
affection for Specter, who switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic
Party in 2009.
Other American politicians who have recently endorsed
Pollard’s release include former vice president Dan Quayle, former secretary of
staff George Shultz, and former senator Dennis DeConcini.