Jonathan Pollard was not allowed to attend his father’s funeral in Indiana today, despite requests from numerous Israeli officials. The White House also had spurned Israeli appeals to let Pollard visit his father before he died on Shabbos at the age of 95.
About 100 people attended the levaya for Morris Pollard, who was a prominent researcher on viral diseases and a retired biology professor at the University of Notre Dame. He was buried at the Hebrew Orthodox Cemetery in South Bend.
The only mention of Jonathan Pollard during the ceremony came when his sister, Carol Pollard-Levy of Hamden, Conn., said one of her father’s few regrets was “not being able to help his son achieve freedom.”
Jonathan was a civilian intelligence analyst for the Navy when he copied and gave to his Israeli handlers classified documents.
Arrested in 1985 after unsuccessfully seeking refuge at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, Pollard was convicted and sentenced to life in prison two years later. He is scheduled for release in 2015, according to a U.S. Justice Department website.
Nearly two-thirds of the members of Israel’s parliament signed the call asking that Pollard be allowed to attend his father’s funeral, and dozens rallied for Pollard in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv on Sunday.
U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said today that an inmate’s request to attend a funeral would typically be considered by the prison warden, and that information on that decision wouldn’t be released until after the event.
Before he died, Morris Pollard said he couldn’t sleep at night because of his son’s incarceration. He called it “an overwhelming miscarriage of justice.”