Jonathan Pollard Released
|Reports last summer indicated Pollard would be released within months
as a sop to Israel. An earlier article called it perhaps a teaspoon of
sugar to help the Iran nuclear deal go down.
Thirty years ago, he was arrested, pled guilty to spying for Israel, and was sentenced to life imprisonment - the only case of its kind imposing punishment this harsh for passing classified information to an ally.
On Friday without fanfare, he was released from a North Carolina prison at 4:15AM, his wife Esther and others there to greet him. The New York Times said “the Obama administration had no plans to let him leave the country and move to Israel as he requested.”
His “long imprisonment (was) a constant irritant in relations between” Washington and Israel. Netanyahu “welcome(d) the release.” He “had long hoped this day would come.”
“After three long and difficult decades, Jonathan has been reunited with his family.” Netanyahu “raised (his) case for years” with several US presidents. “May this Sabbath bring him much joy and peace that will continue in the years and decades ahead.”
It brings none to the Palestinians he keeps murdering, seriously injuring and mass imprisoning daily, nor their families and friends - for wanting fundamental freedoms everyone deserves, ones fascists running Israel ruthlessly deny them.
Pollard was released on parole with strict conditions. An unnamed Israeli-based Free Pollard spokesman issued a statement, saying:
“We know that he is out of jail. We can’t give more details. He met his wife. It was a really, very, very moving moment, as you can imagine - the first time that they have been together as a couple out of jail, something that is really, really hard to imagine.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Defense Secretary Moshe Ya’alon and other regime officials welcomed his release. Israeli media reported Netanyahu instructing ministers to avoid discussing him publicly, calling his case a “very sensitive issue.”
Terms of his parole require him remaining close to his New York residence for up to five years. Any movements beyond his immediate area require permission. Foreign travel, including to Israel, is prohibited. So is giving interviews and having Internet access.
His lawyers said they arranged housing and employment for him in the New York area with no further elaboration. Details of when and by what means he’ll travel to New York are unrevealed.
The Israel Hayom publication close to Netanyahu said he asked US officials to let him emigrate immediately to Israel on release, indicating his willingness to renounce his US citizenship.
He was granted Israeli citizenship 20 years ago. Two strongly pro-Israel congressmen, Jerrold Nadler and Eliot Engel wrote Attorney General Loretta Lynch, requesting permission to let him “move to Israel with his family so he can resume his life there” - even at the risk of “being permanently barred from returning to the United States” if he renounces his citizenship.
After earlier parole requests were denied, the Justice Department voiced no opposition to conditionally releasing him last July.
In New York, a parole officer will be assigned to his case - to assure he abides by conditions of his release. Israeli media said he suffered from various health issues during his time in prison, requiring surgery to correct kidney, gall bladder and other ailments.
He was quoted describing his health as “wretched.” His wife earlier told the Jerusalem Post “he was very weak…totally drained and worn out.”
“The worst place to be sick, and the worst place to recover is in prison. The environment and severe conditions are simply not conducive to recovery,” she said.
Medical care afforded US prisoners is deplorable at best, maintaining reasonable health a major challenge.
In July, the US Bureau of Prisons agreed to free Pollard after a parole commission supported his early release based on good behavior and the unlikely possibility of his committing new crimes if freed.
He agreed to serve out his parole period in New York where he’ll be restricted to his immediate area.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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