For Immediate Release:
The Jewish Community Federation of Richmond (JCFR) and its Jewish Community Relations Committee (JCRC) is heartened to learn that Jonathan Pollard will be paroled on November 20, 2015, after serving 30 years of a life sentence in a US prison.
Pollard, a Jew who has served a sentence three times longer than any other person convicted of passing classified information to a friendly or neutral country, has been refused clemency by US administrations from President Ronald Reagan through that of President Barak Obama.
According to the Times of Israel under the terms of his parole, Pollard will not be allowed to leave the US for five years unless that condition is waived by the President.
The article goes on to quote Pollard’s wife, Anne Pollard, who said, “She was ‘100 percent’ certain he would want to be on a plane to Israel ‘within hours’ if released, she said.”
The Wall Street Journal reported, on Friday (7/24/2015) that, “according to some administration officials,” the Obama administration was preparing to release Pollard in hopes doing so, “will smooth relations with Israel in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal.”
It remains to be seen how US/Israeli relations will develop moving forward in light the recent UN Security Council adoption of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Nevertheless, the JCFR/JCRC believes firmly that justice should be done and that neither the JCPOA should stand in the way of our justice system’s impartiality. Having waited 30 years, Pollard has finally been paroled. According to the US justice system, he’s done his time. He’s paid his debt to society.
At this point, the JCFR and its JCRC urge the President of the United States to not force Pollard to wait until November 20 for his release to then spend five more years in the United States.
We call on the President to grant Pollard an immediate release and free passage out of the country.
Frances F. Goldman