Status Update: Pollard

Jonathan Pollard Wins Meeting With Jewish Leaders — Gets Shabbat-Friendly Monitoring Bracelet” reads the headline in The Forward”.

PollardPollard, you’ll remember, was the former Navy intelligence analyst arrested in 1985 and found guilty of spying for Israel. He was sentenced to life in prison, but after serving 30 years, was released on parole in 2015.

Freed Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard will be making his debut performance in front of major Jewish leaders next week — and has already won a fight to get a more Shabbat-friendly electronic monitoring bracelet, the Forward has learned.

Pollard, who was released from prison in November after serving 30 years of his life sentence, will speak to members of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations in New York. One purpose of the meeting, according to two sources informed about the event, is to discuss the status of Pollard’s legal battle to further ease his parole conditions.

Also participating in the meeting will be Reps. Jerry Nadler and Eliot Engel, both Jewish New York Democrats who have been involved in efforts to secure Pollard’s release and to improve his terms of parole. Nadler and Engel wrote a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch last November asking her to intervene to ensure Pollard receives fair and equal treatment once released on parole.

It’s funny how even elected U.S. congressman, individuals sworn to uphold the laws of the U.S., are right up front in the “Be Easy on Jonathan” get togethers.

You can also read in the Forward about “How Jonathan Pollard Freedom Crusade United American Jews“:

The organized Jewish community celebrated as one the news July 28 that Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard will be released from prison in November, after completing 30 years of his life sentence.

“We have long sought this decision and we believe this action is long overdue, with Pollard serving a longer sentence than anyone charged with a comparable crime,” read a statement by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the communal policy umbrella organization.

The unified response to Pollard’s release might lead one to believe that the community had pushed together for three decades to win Pollard’s freedom. But in fact, the American Jewish community was pointedly slow to take on his case as its own — and only the past decade had it began to lobby for his release in earnest.

The November 1985 arrest of Pollard, a Navy intelligence officer, sent shock waves throughout the community. The idea that a Jewish government official would betray his country and provide top-secret documents to Israel was a realization of the Jewish community’s worst nightmare. And American Jews responded accordingly.

“There was a reluctance on the part of the Jewish organized world to stand up on behalf of Pollard,” recalled Seymour Reich, former chairman of the Presidents Conference. Reich was also president of B’nai B’rith International. “There were concerns of anti-Semitism and of dual loyalty, so most groups refrained from getting involved,” he said.

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