(JNS.org) Israel is working “all the time” to convince U.S. President Barack Obama to free imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
During his weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu rejected the connection of advocacy for Pollard’s potential release to new reports that U.S. intelligence has been intercepting correspondence between high-ranking Israel officials.
“We don’t need any special event to spur us to action to free Pollard,” said Netanyahu, Israel Hayom reported. “We are busy with this all the time. There is no connection between reports stating that the U.S. collected data in Israel and the potential release of Pollard.”
Officials to call for Pollard’s release this month include Bill Richardson, former New Mexico governor and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., and Angelo Codevilla, a senior staffer on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee at the time of Pollard’s 1985 arrest.
“You would hope that at this point and time, it would be enough people who know what went on [to call for Pollard’s release] that justice and humanitarian concerns for his health would dictate that he be free,” Rabbi Pesach Lerner, executive vice president emeritus of the National Council of Young Israel and a frequent visitor to Pollard in prison, told JNS.org.