Washington – White House Closes Door On Pollard Aliya

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    FILE - Esther Pollard, wife of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, walks past a poster of her husband prior to speaking to press outside her home in Jerusalem on July 29, 2015.  Flash90Washington – US president Barack Obama will not take action to enable Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard to move to Israel following his expected parole in less than two weeks, Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communication Ben Rhodes told Israeli reporters in a briefing late Thursday night.

    Pollard is set to be released from prison after serving 30 years of a life sentence for passing classified information to an American ally on November 20, the US Parole Commission announced July 28. The conditions of Pollard’s parole have not yet been released but they are expected to include a ban on him leaving the US for five years and he is to be forbidden from giving interviews.

    It was still unclear Saturday whether Pollard’s release will take place on Friday November 20 or on Saturday November 21, 30 years since his arrest. Pollard keeps Shabbat but it was unclear whether he will be released Friday to enable him to spend Shabbat outside of prison.

    When Pollard’s parole was announced, his lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, wrote that Obama has the constitutional power of executive clemency, which grants him the authority to commute Pollard’s sentence to time served and allow him to leave the United States and move to Israel immediately. They urged the president to exercise that power.

    But Rhodes made clear when asked by reporters that Obama would not take such action on Pollard’s behalf, saying that the president does not interfere in American legal procedures.

    “President Obama has not intervened in the judicial process here in the United States, and that’s been his consistent approach,” Rhodes said. “With respect to the case of Jonathan Pollard, he’s made clear that he wants there to be fair treatment under the law, as there should be with any individual. But he as President has not intervened in that process. He respects how important this issue is to many Israelis. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Prime Minister raised this. That’s obviously his determination. But again, that’s been the approach that the President has taken.”

    Obama has commuted sentences of 89 people during his presidency, more than any American president since Lyndon B. Johnson. He has granted full pardons to another 64 people.

    Most of the convicts who received clemency from Obama were drug dealers and thieves. When he has announced commutations, he has said that the sentence of the convicts did not fit their crime. Obama is expected to announce more commutations later this month in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday.

    The official Pollard campaign and the caucus for Pollard in the Knesset declined to respond to Rhodes’ comments, saying that they were not new.

    “We have made a strategic decision not to intervene at this stage,” said the head of the caucus, MK Nachman Shai. “After he’s out of prison, we can struggle for him to be able to move here.”

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    33 COMMENTS

      • And the idiot libs on this site still claim that anyone who labels him an anti Semite is merely a racist with no basis for the claim!!!!! If this alone isn’t proof, I don’t know what is.,,,

    1. While I strongly disagree with granting clemency for a convicted traitor who violated his oath to his country and has left a cloud of suspicion over all yidden with security clearances why should they give this guy any further special treatment??

      • Guess what? This man gave information to an ALLY, not to an enemy, and it was information to which the ally was ENTITLED by TREATY, and was essential to Israel’s survival. This information was unlawfully withheld by our wonderful Arab-loving State Department, and Pollard’s complaint about this was dismissed with, “You Jews worry too much!”
        True trators, like John Walker or Aldrich Ames, who sold information to the SOVIET UNION for MONEY, got sentences of three or four years. Why the disproportionate sentence? Why did the government abrogate Pollard’s plea agreement, and not allow his lawyers to see Weinberger’s secret memo to the sentencing judge? This was “special treatment” all right. You, Anonymous, obviously know NOTHING about the case or you could not have written what you wrote.

        • Gimme a break. The guy was/is a scumbag. When he is let out they should confine him to New Square – they’ll know how to deal with him there. If he is permitted to leave the USA under no circumstances should he be able to come to Eretz Yisroel. He (and Estie) will only add to the air pollution. I suggest sending him to Zanzibar. And all the Stenomans can go there on pilgramages – instead of to Uman.

          • You sound like the most vicious, nasty, hateful and disgusting individual…I pity your family and anyone who has to be around you. Your hate will end up eating you up alive from the inside out. Count on it. Get help now b4 it’s too late for you.

        • Either you are a liar or extremely ignorant. John Walker died in prison last year. Aldrich Ames is still in prison. Where do you get off making the statement that they got “three or four years”? Becasue it sounds good? Because someone in shul thinks he once heard the gabbai say it to a guy sitting in the back row? And please point to the precise treaty whereby Israel was “entitled” to the kind of information Pollard stole and how tthat information was “essential to Israel’s survival.”

        • I quote Wikipedia: “Aldrich Hazen Ames is an American who was convicted of espionage against his country in 1994. He is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole in the high-security Allenwood U.S. Penitentiary.”

      • Ill tell you why, you Jew-hating lowlife….because no one in American history who committed what Pollard did, and moreover who co matted much worse than Pollard did, has ever gotten such a severe sentence! And this is based only on anti semitism!

      • Further special treatment?! What special treatment has he gotten thus far (other than being singled out for a harsher punishment than anyone else has gotten for more serious crimes?!) are u out of your mind? Or just filled with baseless hate?

      • What makes you so sure? You have no clue as to what you’re talking about. I have had to go through more polygraphs and questions about my religious practices, down to why I was listening to hebrew “discussions” on my iPod during lunch (it was a yiddish daf yomi shiur) which is generally off limits. I even had my re-certification of my clearance put on hold, due to the claim that I did not declare an alias, (hebrew name) until they questioned one of the Rabbanim here in Baltimore to verify that Isaak(my middle name) was an english translation of Yitzchock and it is actually the same name and not actually an alias.

        This scrutiny is something us fumma oilam in the intelligence/defense go through every day because of this tziyoni mamzer who was also revealed secrets it took the US over 20 years to develop. He sold secrets for $$$$ not lishem shamayim and not only to Israel. though he was only charged with selling to Israel.

    2. Hello???? Isn’t there FREEDOM OF SPEECH in this country? Why can’t he give interviews after he leaves prison? All other prisoners can speak without restrictions during and after their incarcerations. Why should he not allowed to leave the country. Isn’t it a standard practice to send criminals after their incarceration to their home country….? Anyone recall the case of Theresa and Joe Guiddice, (Reality show actors who were convicted of tax fraud)? The husband is expected to be deported to Italy after he finishes his sentence after his wife emerges from her jail cell. You’d think the prosecution and parole board would say goodbye and good riddance…. do they need to pay more money to babysit and track him for another 5 years here in the US. He should be allowed to fly to Jerusalem to his wife and new life directly from the jail exit. Take the Motsei Shabbos EL AL flight!

    3. What’s to stop him from leaving? There’s nothing a fake passport, cooperative ElAl gate agent, or pleasure boat making a rendezvous in international waters can’t take care of.

      • I suspect he will be monitored 24×7 and a pleasure boat with Pollard on it will be blown out of the water before reaching international waters so it might not be so “pleasureable” either for Pollard or his crew.

    4. The Israelis want the president to pardon someone. They do this by asking for more aid, calling him an antisemite and insulting his secretary of state. Seems an odd policy.

    5. There is still supposedly “freedom of the press”….. Perhaps he can publish his memoir that he likely already started to keep himself sane during his horrific incarceration.

    6. As the Israeli government is doing, it’s best that we leaving everything alone until Jonathan is out of prison. When he is with his wife, comfortably outside the prison gates, that’s the time for all efforts to be unleashed to get him to Israel. No matter your feelings, Jonathan has served a disproportionate 30 years. Plainly, he served his time and does not owe anything more to the country that dismissed his complaints and violated treaties with Native American Indians, the State of Israel, and with the Pollard plea agreement.

    7. Pollard’s sentence should have been commuted after 13-15 years, maximum. He was double crossed by Bill Clinton in 1998, when Clinton originally promised Netanyahu that he would commute his sentence, and then reneged on the agreement. Essentially, he was a political pawn for the last fifteen years, during the Bush and Obama Administrations. He was dangled in front of the Israelis for more and more concessions.

    8. There is good news here- Mr. Pollard is getting out of jail. After an insane 30 year cruel and unusual punushment. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and thank HaShem he survived and is out.

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