(April 30, 2018 / JNS) U.S. President Donald Trump is weighing the possibility of changing the parole conditions of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard to allow him to come to Israel, according to Israeli officials at The Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on Sunday.
Pollard served 30 years of a life sentence for spying in America for Israel, receiving parole in November 2015. He was granted Israeli citizenship in 1995.
Though Pollard has no access to sensitive information in the United States, he is under rigid parole conditions, including a prohibition to leave New York State or to move to or even visit Israel.
Pollard has stated that he and his wife, Esther, suffer from poor health, and that he is “praying for a miracle” to have his sentence commuted so he can move to Israel. He is forced to wear an ankle bracelet that monitors his every movement, and is only allowed to be outside his home during a limited time period daily. All of his home and work computers are strictly monitored.
Intelligence Services Minister Israel Katz expressed his hope that Trump would pardon Pollard as a grand gesture tied to the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem in May, coinciding with Israel’s 70th anniversary of independence.
“In order to make the celebration even happier, I would like to ask our great friend President Trump to give the Israeli public one more present and to allow Jonathan Pollard to come to Israel and celebrate with us in Jerusalem,” Katz said at the conference.
Reports indicate that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has personally raised the issue of Pollard in his meetings with Trump.