White House Issues Negative Response to Request for Pollard Clemency


jonathan-pollardThe White House stressed today that Jonathan Pollard was guilty of “the most serious crimes” after a public Israeli request for clemency. Israeli Prime Minister Binyomin Netanyahu made the unusually public appeal to President Barack Obama on Tuesday, and the White House said Tuesday it was reviewing the issue.

But many observers feel it is unlikely that Obama would immediately grant the request, reasoning that the US intelligence community is opposed to such a step.

“I think it is important to underscore that Mr. Pollard was convicted of some of the most serious crimes that anybody can be charged (with),” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Gibbs would not be drawn on the manner of the request, which saw Netanyahu, who has had a sometimes rocky relationship with the Obama administration, read out a letter to the US president in the Israeli parliament.

“‘Honourable president, in the name of the Israeli people I am turning to you to request a pardon for Jonathan Pollard,'” Netanyahu said.

Pollard, a former US Navy analyst, is serving a life sentence for passing thousands of secret documents about American spy activities in the Arab world to Israel between May 1984 and his arrest in November 1985.

The issue of Pollard, a US-born Jew who was given Israeli citizenship while in prison, has been a thorn in the side of relations between Israel and its main ally Washington.

His arrest sparked a crisis in ties that only ended with Israel promising to end all espionage activities on US soil.

But Israelis say Pollard’s punishment and the longstanding US refusal to commute his sentence have been particularly harsh, given that he gave information to a friendly nation.

{AFP/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. It’s all about business. If the White House has what to gain from it they may consider it. Unfortunately they don’t have much to gain. On the contrary such an act would be widely reported and would bring much negative attitude amongs American people toward the administration. They’re not looking for more of that now. Obama has also put so much effort so as not to be seen as an Israeli ally in the Arab world. He will likely not issue clemency. However Hashem is Mattir Assurim so we have hope!

  2. Whoa! But the U.S. gladly made the swap with Russia!

    It’s one thing not to commute his sentence, but Obama is being a hypocrite.

  3. You expect Obama to do this.?..got to be kidden. If the others haven’t…it’ll take…I don’t know what, for him to consider something like this…..Wake up everyone….mir zenen yidden…men hut unz nisht lib….
    And to you Anon, go check the records, and see if anyone, with a lesser crime, especially an ally of the U.S. has been punished this harshly. Never has anyone, with much lesser crime received such a sentence. THAT’S WHY!!!!

  4. In the best traditions of the Jew haters Robert Gibbs is a liar. Pollard was convicted of passing classified material to a friendly country and not: “… of some of the most serious crimes that anybody can be charged (with),”. It is important to remember that both the post WWII State Department and the new CIA were built by the Nazi supporting Dulles brothers. So when we are told that: “… the US intelligence community is opposed to such a step,” we need to know who exactly is the US intelligence community.

  5. In addition to the accuracy of #8, the State Department is completely and unabashedly PRO-ARAB, anti-Israel and has little concern for a minority of the American population.

  6. There is no special “passing classified material to a friendly country” law.

    It’s espionage, and that is what he did. There is *no* distinction made in US Law.

    We trade spies to their countries when we get something for it that makes it worth it to us. That’s why we traded the Russian Keystone cops so quickly.

    So, what has Israel going to offer to make it worth our while?

  7. Ok the next time the obama administration pressures israel to release cold blooded murderes israel will know better how to respond