Justice Rubinstein: U.S. Should Free Pollard

Yuval Yoaz - Haaretz Correspondent - November 10, 2005

High Court Justice Eliyakim Rubinstein on Thursday made a rare politically tainted comment when saying that the United States should release Jonathan Pollard, who has been jailed for almost 20 years following his conviction for spying for Israel.

"It is time the U.S. Administration free Jonathan Pollard," Rubinstein said. "20 years is more than enough time to serve in prison and I believe that the U.S. should pardon him."

Rubinstein was speaking during the opening panel of the annual conference of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists in Eilat. During a debate on the global struggle against anti-Semitism, Rubinstein was asked if he considered Pollard's imprisonment as an act of anti-Semitism.

In response, the justice urged the U.S. to free Pollard, saying that "he committed an error, Israel committed a grave error, but it's time for his release. I hope Israel continues appealing to the United States on the matter, but I don't think the High Court has anything to do in the matter. The bottom line is that he must be released."

Rubinstein's comment might prove to be problematic as the High Court is slated to hand rulings on two petitions by Pollard and his family over his imprisonment, including a request to recognize him as a Prisoner of Zion.