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Thursday
Jun232011

Israel Continues to Press for US Release of Former Spy Jonathan Pollard

RONEN ZVULUN/AFP/Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- Israel has recently stepped up their efforts to secure the release of jailed American spy Jonathan Pollard.  Israel admits Pollard was paid by the Jewish state to pass along thousands of classified U.S. military documents.  

But most Israeli officials believe that after more than 25 years behind bars, Pollard has been sufficiently punished and should be released.  

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lobbied the Obama administration earlier this week to allow Pollard to leave jail to attend his father's funeral.  That didn't happen, but Netanyahu is continuing his campaign for Pollard with a message on his official YouTube channel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu's YouTube video, which is in Hebrew, reflects how important Jonathan Pollard's fate has become for the Israeli public who by and large want the American released. Netanyahu begins by acknowledging that Israel made a mistake in using Pollard as a spy. But he goes on to say Pollard has served over 25 years in jail, longer, he insists, than other spies with similar cases or even more severe cases.

In closing, Netanyahu said he hopes President Obama will grant his request to free Pollard on humanitarian grounds.

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