US president Barack Obama received repeated reminders about imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard during his visit to Israel on Wednesday.
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Obama might have hoped to avoid the issue by empathizing with the Israeli public on the issue in an interview with Channel 2 last week. He said in the interview that he did not intend to release Pollard immediately and that the Israeli agent would have to go through normal legal processes.
But at least two ministers mentioned Pollard to Obama when they greeted him at Ben-Gurion Airport: Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel and Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat. "Please free Pollard," Ariel managed to say.
"Please don't forget our brother Jonathan Pollard," Livnat told Obama.
There were signs saying "Yes you can free Pollard" on the way from Obama's hotel to his meetings with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.