Photo Credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90
Protesters hold a poster of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former CIA director James Woolsey, demanding the release of longtime prisoner Jonathan Pollard.

Supporters of Jonathan Pollard called Hillary Clinton’s remarks rejecting his possible clemency “a resounding slap in the face” to Israel’s leaders and its people.

“With respect to Mr. Pollard, he was convicted of spying in 1987, he was sentenced to life in prison, he is serving that sentence, and I do not have any expectations that that is going to change,” Clinton, the U.S. secretary of state, said Monday night during a news conference in Jerusalem in answer to a reporter’s question about Pollard, a civilian U.S. Navy intelligence analyst who was convicted of spying for Israel.

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The Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home and Justice for Jonathan Pollard said in a statement issued Tuesday that Clinton’s remarks “stunned her Israeli hosts and marred the warm reception she received from the Israeli public.” The statement noted Pollard’s “unprecedented 27 years in prison.”

Pollard supporters expressed anger in the statement that Clinton offered no explanation “as to why the U.S. wants to keep the aging and very ill Pollard in prison forever” and called for an official response to numerous formal requests for clemency for Pollard from Clinton’s boss, President Obama.

Clinton, while campaigning for the U.S. Senate in 2000, said that she had concerns about “due process issues regarding Jonathan Pollard’s sentence.”

Pollard has been at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina since his arrest in 1986. A succession of presidents has refused to grant clemency to Pollard since he was sentenced to life in 1987.

The calls to release Pollard, who is said to be in ill health, have intensified in recent months, with pleas from lawmakers and former top officials of both parties.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. She stated the Administration’s position, that is all. Pollard did not become an Israeli citizen until after his trial and sentencing for treason – and without ever having been an Israeli resident. Illness in older age does not excuse treason, which is the offence of which he was and is undoubtedly guilty. I do not support his release just because he is a fellow Jew. I do note that the last two Republican Administrations did not intend his release, either.

  2. She was doing her job. She was asked a question and andwered it – that is hardly nasty just because it’s not the answer you wished to hear. If she had used ‘grace and charm’ to avoid answering the question, you would be complaining about obfuscation. And why should she have to explain it all again? Pollard was NOT an Israeli citizen at the time he committed the crimes (Plural) of Treason as a US citizen for which he was convicted. You cannot have it both ways.

  3. As far as the treason is concerned, it was a domestic US issue based on Pollard’s one nationality at the time. He only went for dual nationality after conviction and that is for obvious reasons, but the dual nationality (obtained with the intervention of the Israeli government outside of the normative application standards and waiving requirements to speed it up) does not change the issue – he was a US only citizen committing treason by spying for Israel.She could have said that – the truth is nasty – but shr did not.

  4. B"H
    It might help if a QUESTION is put straight to Obama: State your reasons for refusing to free Jonathan Pollard – or say "No comment." If he gives them it'll be easier to those who want Pollard free to go on – by disproving his arguments. "No comment" would mean that Obama is absolutely irresponsible in a matter so important to many Jews (and non-Jews too) in the US and Israel. Those who voted for him and are thinking of doing this again, BEWARE: a president avoiding his responsibility to answer REASONABLE questions might let you down in matters much more important to you.
    E. Maidanik 18.07.2012.
    PS. I would welcome comments. My phone Nos. are (972-2) 5956873 or (972-52) 304-8078 Not Shabat.
    EM

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