Jonathan Pollard denied parole request, group advocating his release says

A Hebrew sign in Israel reading "We want Pollard home." Credit: Tamar Hayardeni via Wikimedia Commons.

( Jonathan Pollard, a U.S. citizen convicted of spying for Israel in 1985, was denied a parole request, according to an activist group working for Pollard’s release.

The Campaign for the Release of Jonathan Pollard said a U.S. Justice Department parole board rejected a request to have Pollard released.

The statement quoted U.S. officials as saying that releasing Pollard would “constitute contempt for the severity of the offense and promote a lack of respect for the law.”

While the group did not release any further details on the hearing, it suggested that it would soon release evidence highlighting the White House’s attempts to prevent Pollard from being released. 

In a March 2013 interview with Israel’s Channel 2, President Barack Obama said he had no immediate plans to released Pollard. Earlier this year, reports surfaced that Pollard might be freed as part of a three-way deal between the U.S., Israel, and the Palestinian Authority to restart peace talks. But no such deal materialized.

Prominent officials in the intelligence community and elsewhere who have called for Pollard’s release include former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz; William Webster, head of the FBI at the time of Pollard’s arrest; former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, who served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee at the time of Pollard’s sentencing; former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb; former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, who served under President Ronald Reagan when Pollard was investigated; former CIA Director James Woolsey; and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, among others.

Posted on November 19, 2014 .