On Sunday, Israeli public radio said that the chief Rabbi, Yona Metzger, had urged US president, Barak Obama, to pardon the Jewish American spy, Jonathan Pollard, in order to win re-election to the White House for a second term in office.
The radio station quoted Rabbi Metzger's Friday address at the Yosharon Synagogue in which he said that "Obama needs to prove his friendship to Israel and to immediately release Jonathan Pollard before pressing for diplomatic initiatives toward settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict."
He also said that Pollard's pardon would go a long way in helping Obama to secure a new term in the White House adding that, "I do not mean to speculate, but I am expressing the feelings of many American Jews who voted for Obama and feel disappointed by his procrastination despite the numerous appeals on Pollard's behalf."
In a speech to the Knesset on the 4th of January, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, announced that he had sent a letter to Obama officially requesting amnesty for Jonathan Pollard. The White House later confirmed receipt of the letter and that the request would be 'looked into'.
56 year old Jonathan Pollard, a former analyst with the US Navy, was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for handing over thousands of 'secret defence' files relating to US espionage activities, particularly in Arab states, to Israel. In 1998, the Zionist state officially recognised Pollard as an Israeli spy and he was given Israeli nationality in 1995.
Source: Jerusalem – AFP