Parole ended for Jonathan Pollard, who spied for Israel, freeing him to leave the United States

Parole ended for Jonathan Pollard, who spied for Israel, freeing him to leave the United States

11/21/2020 9:57:00 PM

Parole ended for Jonathan Pollard, who spied for Israel, freeing him to leave the United States

The former Navy analyst who passed U.S. secrets to Israel spent 30 years in prison before his release in 2015.

November 20, 2020 at 6:53 PM ESTJonathan Pollard, a former Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel in the 1980s in one of the most controversial espionage cases in modern U.S. history, had his parole ended Friday, freeing him to move to Israel.arrow-right

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Pollard, who spent 30 years in prison before being released in 2015, became a cause celebre for Israel, which granted him citizenship in 1995. His case was a source of friction between the two allies for decades.The Justice Department announced Friday that the U.S. Parole Commission had ended his parole, finding after a review of his case that “there is no evidence to conclude that he is likely to violate the law,” department spokeswoman Nicole Navas said in a statement.

ADPollard was arrested in 1985 and accused of passing secret documents to the Israeli intelligence service, including satellite photos of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s headquarters in Tunis, which Israel later used to guide airstrikes on the Tunisian capital. He pleaded guilty in 1987 to one count of providing classified information to a foreign government and was sentenced to life in prison.

Jonathan Pollard, spy for Israel, released from prison after 30 yearsIsraeli governments and sympathizers in the United States lobbied successive U.S. administrations for his release, arguing that his sentence was excessive compared with penalties for others convicted of spying for friendly countries. Israeli leaders sought to make his freedom a negotiating point in Middle East peace talks as early as the 1990s.

ADThe CIA, the FBI and other national security agencies resisted for years. The full scope of his activities has never been disclosed, but a damage assessment by the CIA described his spying career as “short but intensive,” consisting of “biweekly deliveries of classified material,” including suitcases full of sensitive files on Arab, Pakistani and Soviet military capabilities. In the 1990s, then-CIA Director George J. Tenet threatened to resign if President Bill Clinton agreed to such a request.

ADBut the intensity of that opposition waned with time.“It would be surprising if the current intelligence community leaders expressed any strong view about Pollard’s fate,” said Stephen Slick, a former CIA station chief in Tel Aviv who now directs the intelligence studies project at the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs.

AD“His crimes were serious, the harm he inflicted was real, and Israel’s poor judgment in pursuing the operation unquestionably damaged our bilateral relationship, but this case and controversy belong to an earlier generation,” Slick said. “Pollard was appropriately punished for his crimes, and his case serves as a useful deterrent to allies that may be tempted to take advantage of bilateral security relationships with the U.S.”

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Jonathan Pollard will be placed on paroleNow 66, Pollard has medical problems, as does his wife, and he would like to live out his life in Israel, said Alan Dershowitz, who defended him during his prosecution and was among those pressing for his release. “He’s no danger to anybody,” Dershowitz said. “He’s served his sentence and parole honorably. This is long overdue. I’m thrilled for him.”

ADThe news will be welcomed in Israel, where government leaders in recent weeks have cheered steps taken by the outgoing Trump administration.Pollard was born in Texas to a Jewish American family strongly devoted to the cause of Israel. He was arrested in 1985 along with his then-wife, Anne, whom he divorced shortly after she was released from prison in 1990. He married his second wife, Esther, in 1993 while he was in prison. The couple have been living in New York, Dershowitz said.

Read more: The Washington Post »

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I hope he leaves. He should not be allowed to live here ✌️🌏🌎🌍✌️👍😉 Israel would disappear OVERNIGHT if it weren't for US support. Good riddance Israel is a parasite upon the USA. Yummy fish fritters Watch now for recipe