Shalit, Grapel – and Pollard?


jonathan-pollardRumors – or perhaps only hopes – flew today that Jonathan Pollard will follow Gilad Shalit and Ilan Grapel and be freed from his U.S. prison soon.

Previous reports of success in convincing President Barack Obama to pardon Pollard have met with disappointment, and the latest round of rumors is based more on “connecting dots” rather than firm evidence. One report, without sources, said that Pollard will be freed in two months.

Many people in the ‘Free Pollard” movement are basing their hopes on the releases of Shalit and Grapel, both of whom were freed in exchange for terrorists and prisoners. The case for Pollard has been based on increasing opinions from influential American officials that his trial and subsequent life sentence were unjust.

He was convicted of passing on to Israel classified information, an offense usually met with 2-4 years in jail. American and foreign media often incorrectly report that he was convicted for spying.

It is known that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met on Sunday with former Sephardi Chief Rabbi and Shas party spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. They reportedly discussed the case of Grapel, Pollard and security issue, including Iran.

The office of the Prime Minister commented that Netanyahu “is maintaining ongoing contact” for the release of Jonathan Pollard.

Officials in the Pollard camp recently have expressed hopes that President Barack Obama will free Pollard this summer soon, not coincidentally at a time when his popularity, in particular among Jews, is sinking.

President Obama’s Faith Advisor and Reform leader David Saperstein, recently stated, “Jonathan Pollard has been incarcerated for over 20 years, after he plead guilty to one count of delivering classified information to the Israeli government.

“As we have said many times, we neither condone breaking the law, nor do we support clemency for Mr. Pollard out of a belief that that he is innocent of the crime for which he was convicted.

“However, Mr. Pollard’s time spent in jail has been grossly disproportionate to sentences that others have received for comparable espionage offenses. Only those who spied for enemy nations have received life sentences. No other individual convicted of disclosing information to an ally has received such a sentence.”

Read more: Arutz Sheva

{Arutz Sheva/ Newscenter}