Donna Rachel Edmunds - Jerusalem Post - November 12, 2019
The appeal was made to President Trump on humanitarian grounds, as Pollard's wife is suffering from cancer
The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) has called for Jonathan Pollard's parole conditions to be dropped for humanitarian reasons, as Pollard's wife is suffering from cancer.
In 2015 Pollard was released from jail, having served 30 years for passing top-secret classified information to Israel. Since then he has been living under onerous conditions which bar Pollard from traveling outside a small area, in addition to requiring him to wear a GPS bracelet 24/7 and confining him to his apartment from 7pm - 7am daily.
In a letter to President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr, Farley Weiss, National President of the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) has called for the "outrageous" conditions to be dropped.
"Pollard's wife Esther is now suffering from breast cancer and needs significant medical help," Weiss wrote.
"The unjust parole conditions on Pollard are impairing his ability to properly care for his wife and her illness. This situation could potentially be life threatening should she have a medical emergency during a time he is confined to his home or if she needs to travel outside his permitted area."
Pollard's parole conditions were put in place in large part due to an affidavit filed by former Director of Intelligence James Clapper, claiming that Pollard remained a security threat.
Clapper's claims were refuted by former National Security Advisor Bud McFarlane and former head of Senate Intelligence Dennis DeConcini, each of whom submitted affidavits on Pollard's behalf. Republican David Durenberger and Democrat Lee Hamilton, who served as the heads of Senate and House Intelligence when Pollard was arrested, also called for his release and criticized his life sentence.
In his letter, Weiss added: "We call on the President and/or Attorney General to immediately end the unjust parole conditions of the curfew, the GPS bracelet and the travel restrictions. We also request that the President and/or Attorney General end all additional parole conditions and give Pollard his full freedom after 34 years of incarceration. We ask that action be taken immediately due to the urgent health needs of his wife."
The letter comes a week after three major Orthodox organizations also called for Trump to end the parole conditions, again on humanitarian grounds thanks to Pollard's wife's illness.
Pollard is the only American to have received a life sentence for passing information to an ally. The NCYI pointed out that the average sentence for such a crime is less than ten years.
Defending his actions, Pollard stated that he had handed over the classified information only because "the American intelligence establishment collectively endangered Israel's security by withholding crucial information." He was granted Israeli citizenship in 1995.
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