Netanyahu Supports American Spy

December 14, 1997 - The Washington Post

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office released a letter of support Sunday for Jonathan Pollard, an American convicted of spying for Israel. Communications Minister Limor Livnat will give Pollard the letter when he visits the spy on Tuesday as part of a new bid to win his release.

"The entire nation is concerned by your continued imprisonment," Netanyahu wrote. "I hope that our efforts on your behalf will help and that you will be a free man soon."

Pollard, a former U.S. naval analyst, is serving a life sentence in Butner, N.C., for passing U.S. military secrets to Israel in the mid-1980s.

In October, Pollard asked Israel's Supreme Court to force the government to take responsibility for his espionage and recognize him as an agent of the state. The court has not yet ruled.

Pollard has complained that Israel abandoned him and that Israeli leaders have not honored promises to push for his release. Israeli leaders have maintained that Pollard passed secret U.S. military documents to Israel without official Israeli approval.

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