Despite a questionable choice in headlines, The Jerusalem Post has a comprehensive run-down of Jonathan Pollard’s failed bid for parole this year and his case in general. In July, for the first time since receiving a life sentence in 1987, Pollard went before a parole board. The results were not encouraging.
Pollard’s lawyer believed that a successful parole attempt was possible because of statements President Obama made during his 2013 visit to Israel. They also enlisted the help of former Israel president Shimon Peres who reached out to Obama himself and encouraged Pollard’s parole as a largely hands-off way for Obama to release him.
Despite that, witnesses described the hearing as a “lynching” according to the Jerusalem Post.
“Given all this information, paroling you at this time would depreciate the seriousness of the offense and promote disrespect for the law,” stated the rejection letter that the Jerusalem Post obtained.
Pollard will be up for parole again in 2015, but given the ferocity with which this attempt was fought, a different outcome seems unlikely. The general outtake of the article is how important Pollard is to America as a bargaining chip in the Middle East peace process, a process that, as tensions mount after the massacre in a Har Nof shul this week, seems even more improbable. Pollard, 60 and currently suffering from various health issues, will be eligible for release in 2030 after serving 45 years of his sentence.
His future, unfortunately, seems as grim as prospects for peace.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.