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Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard (born August 7, 1954) is a former United States government employee who in 1987 pleaded guilty to spying for – and providing above top-secret classified information to Israel. The former intelligence analyst was then sentenced to life in prison.[1]

Pollard is the only American ever to receive a life sentence for passing classified information to an ally of the U.S.[2] Israeli officials, American-Israeli activist groups, and some American politicians who see his punishment as unfair have lobbied continuously for reduction or commutation of his sentence.[3] The Israeli government issued a formal apology to the U.S. for part of its role in Pollard’s espionage in 1987,[4] but did not admit to paying him until 1998. Netanyahu argued that he did not work for anyone but Israel.[5] Since the arrest, Israel has made repeated attempts through both official and unofficial channels to secure Pollard’s release, but without success. Israel granted Pollard Israeli citizenship in 1995.[5] Pollard will be paroled on November 20, 2015.[6]

Numerous past and present US officials oppose any form of clemency, including Donald Rumsfeld,[7] Dick Cheney,[7] former CIA director George Tenet, multiple former U.S. Secretaries of Defense, a bipartisan group of U.S. congressional leaders, and members of the American intelligence community.[8][9] These opponents maintain that the damage to American national security as a result of Pollard’s activities was far more severe and enduring than publicly acknowledged.[8] Intelligence officials contend that at least some of the information given to Israel ended up in the Soviet Union.[8]

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Jonathan Pollard

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Jonathan Pollard old photo

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