בנימין נתניהו וג'ונתן פולארד
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jonathan Pollard
Photo: Itay Beit On, Reuters
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jonathan Pollard

Netanyahu phones freed spy Pollard: 'we're waiting for you'

PM promises Jonathan Pollard, and wife Esther, comfortable life in Israel as a free man after 35 years; 'Your nightmare is over and you can come home to Israel'

Reuters |
Published: 11.24.20 , 21:07
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday phoned Jonathan Pollard, the former U.S. Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel in the 1980s, telling him: "We're waiting for you."
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  • The U.S. Justice Department announced last Friday that Pollard had completed his parole, clearing the way for him to move to Israel 35 years after he was arrested.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking on the phone to spy Jonathan Pollard and wife Esther
    (Video: Itay Beit On)
    "You should have now a comfortable life where you can pursue, both of you can pursue your interests," Netanyahu said in a conversation with Pollard and his wife Esther. Netanyahu's office released excerpts of the videotaped conversation.
    בנימין נתניהו וג'ונתן פולארדבנימין נתניהו וג'ונתן פולארד
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jonathan Pollard
    (Photo: Itay Beit On, Reuters)
    Esther Pollard is undergoing medical treatment in New York for cancer. It is not yet clear when the couple will be able to move to Israel.
    Netanyahu promised top-notch medical care for Esther Pollard, and speaking in Hebrew to her, said the country is ready to receive them with "open arms."
    "Your nightmare is over and you can come home to Israel," Netanyahu said.
    ג'ונתן פולארד חופשיג'ונתן פולארד חופשי
    Pollard removes his electronic monitor after finishing his parole period
    Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy, sold military secrets to Israel while working at the Pentagon in the 1980s. He was arrested in 1985 after trying unsuccessfully to gain asylum at the Israeli Embassy in Washington and pleaded guilty. The espionage affair embarrassed Israel and tarnished its relations with the United States for years.
    Pollard was given a life sentence and U.S. defense and intelligence officials consistently argued against releasing Pollard. But after serving 30 years in federal prison, he was released on Nov. 20, 2015, and placed on a five-year parole period that ended last week.
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