False alarm on Netanyahu bringing Pollard home

Trump has the authority to commute Pollard's sentence to time served and allow him to move to Israel.

March 21, 2019 16:51
1 minute read.
False alarm on Netanyahu bringing Pollard home

Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence officer convicted of spying for Israel, exits following a hearing at the Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New York City, May 17, 2017. (photo credit: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)


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Channel 12 raised expectations on Wednesday that Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard could be brought home to Israel by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is meeting in Washington next week with US President Donald Trump.

The channel reported that Pollard and his wife Esther were seen in the same building as the Israeli consulate in New York that grants passports on Friday and on Monday.

But Pollard's rabbi, executive vice-president emeritus of the National Council of Young Israel Rabbi Pesach Lerner, said Pollard went to the building on Monday because his doctor has an office there and that he was not there on Friday.

Pollard needs special permission to go to the doctor, because the consulate is in the building. Lerner said that if Pollard would go to the floor of the consulate, the authorities would know because of the GPS he is forced to wear, and they would arrest him.

Despite serving 30 years in prison, Pollard's life sentence is not complete; while he is on parole, he is forced to remain in New York.

Trump has the authority to commute Pollard's sentence to time served and allow him to move to Israel.

Such a move could help the electoral prospects of Netanyahu, who is close to Trump.  

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