White House: No Shift on Jonathan Pollard


pollardIsraeli President Shimon Peres will depart the U.S. with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. But it looks like he won’t succeed in a persuading the U.S. to release Jonathan Pollard, now serving a life term in prison for spying for Israel.

Mr. Peres has said he would ask President Barack Obama to grant clemency for an ailing Mr. Pollard on humanitarian grounds. Mr. Pollard has been in prison for some 27 years after being convicted of passing classified information to Israel. Israeli media reported that Mr. Peres brought with him a petition signed by some 70,000 Israelis seeking early release.

But White House spokesman Jay Carney said the request would not be granted.

“Our position has not changed and will not change today,” he said. “I would simply remind you that Mr. Pollard was convicted of extremely serious crimes.”

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu made the same request last year. After his arrest in 1985, Mr. Pollard agreed to a plea bargain, pleading guilty to one count of espionage. Despite the deal, he was sentenced in 1987 to life in jail. Israel belatedly acknowledged that Mr. Pollard passed information to its intelligence services.

Messrs. Obama and Peres, along with Vice President Joe Biden, are meeting Wednesday afternoon in the Oval Office, where a range of international issues may come up. In the evening, Mr. Obama will present the medal and then host a reception for the Israeli leader.

{Wall Street Journal/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. If Shimon Peres really cares and means what he promised, he would refuse this Medal of Freedom.
    What is the definition of Freedom, anyway, if someone can be put behind bars and the keys thrown away.

  2. #1 You are forgetting that this is the Peres who started the ‘peace’ process with Yasser Arafat who was irrelevant, and he made him a player, subsequently killing well over a thousand Jews and putting Israel in terrible danger. He shared the Nobel Peace price with his partner and still feels he did a good thing.

  3. How would it look if the President of the United states would cave in just because a bunch of people signed a petition? Or worse, because a foreign head of state demanded it?

    Polard will only be freed when the White House can pardon him and look like humanitarians. They will not free him under circumstances that make them look like wimps.

    Rabbosai: Daven for Pollard….Q U I E T L Y!

    THAT has always been our way of shtadlanus.

    Don’t get confused by the new wave of frum politicians / officeholders and campaign managers so prominent in the news. Their way is NOT the way of our Mesorah.

  4. shimon, you put him in jail now you get him out! your medal is worth nothing and if u dont get your man out you will have to answer to the one above one day.

  5. Anonymouse I like your idea. Israel is a sovereign country and should never cave in to foreign pressure, be it petitions, demonstrations, or foreign heads of state, with respect to internal and foreign policy: it should have in mind its own interests only.

    Where do you suggest we start from?