Israeli Minister Kahlon in D.C., Pollard visit reportedly canceled

JTA - March 15, 2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israeli Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon arrived in the United States for a planned visit with Jonathan Pollard.

Kahlon's arrival Monday was announced by the Israeli embassy in Washington, saying only that he was on a work visit until Friday and would meet with "counterparts."

Later Monday, Pollard's family announced that Pollard was not well enough to receive visitors and canceled the meeting, according to Israeli media.

"Jonathan had hoped until the last minute that he would have the strength for the visit," his wife, Esther, said in a statement. "He really wanted to pass on a personal message through Kahlon to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and ask him to act as quickly as possible for his release."

Kahlon spokesman Nadav Sheinberg would not comment to JTA on Kahlon's plans, saying they were still under wraps.

Kahlon had said he was coming to the United States to meet with Pollard, who was sentenced to life in 1987 for spying for Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year formally requested clemency for Pollard from President Barack Obama. [J4JP: It was in January of this year that PM Netanyahu formally requested the release of Jonathan Pollard, not last year as reported by JTA].

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