WASHINGTON (JTA) – Jonathan Pollard was turned down for his first application for parole.
“The breadth and scope of the classified information that you sold to the Israelis was the greatest compromise of U.S. security to that date,” the parole commission said in an August letter to the Israeli spy, according to the Jerusalem Post, which obtained the letter and first broke the news in a cover story in its Friday magazine. “You passed thousands of Top Secret documents to Israeli agents, threatening U.S. relations in the Middle East among the Arab countries,” the parole commission letter said. “Given all this information, paroling you at this time would depreciate the seriousness of the offense and promote disrespect for the law.”
Pollard, a former Navy analyst arrested in 1985 and sentenced to life in 1987, had not until now applied for parole, the Post said, in part because he favored a presidential commutation, which would release him unconditionally. He has been eligible to apply for parole for the last 19 years. Parole likely would require a period of remaining in the United States. Pollard, 60, was made an Israeli citizen in the 1990s and wants to move to Israel.
Part of what changed Pollard’s mind was an Israeli television interview with President Obama in March 2013, in which Obama said that he would make sure that Pollard “is accorded the same kinds of review and same examination of the equities that any other individual would be provided.”
Pollard, the Post said, understood that to mean that Obama would ensure that any parole process would be fair.
The parole commission said it would review Pollard’s case again next year.
CAP: Jonathan Pollard