U.S. Jewish leaders visit Pollard in prison, call for speedy release

Top officials from Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations express concern about convicted Israeli spy's deteriorating health condition.

Jonathan Lis - Ha'aretz - January 28, 2012

Richard Stone and Malcolm Hoenlein, the chairman and the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, recently visited convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard at Butner prison in North Carolina.

The two U.S. Jewish leaders talked with Pollard for two hours.

Following the meeting, the two expressed concern about Pollard's deteriorating health condition.

"We've returned with a renewed commitment to work for Pollard's release," the two wrote in a statement after the visit. "We see this as a serious humanitarian issue and as a matter of justice."

"Mr. Pollard suffers from multiple health challenges, which we believe add urgency for his release," the statement read.

Stone and Hoenlein noted that Pollard reiterated to them that he regretted his actions and that he expressed the desire to be released from prison, build a family and be an active citizen.

Activists for Pollard's release said that the visit was the first of a series of planned visits by American Jewish community leaders intended to express to importance and urgency they see in having Pollard released from incarceration by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Recently, calls for Pollard's release have increased amongst current and former U.S. officials as well as leaders of the American Jewish community.

Pollard was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1986 after being convicted of spying for Israel.

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