Feb 10, 2019

Pollard feels abandoned by Netanyahu

in 2017 or 2018 it was reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested from the Americans that they ease the parole restrictions on Jonathan Pollard and allow him to make aliya and emigrate to Israel. In 2018 it was reported that the USA had rejected the Israeli formal request.

That really should be the end of the story. Pollard's parole terms require him to remain in the USA, though after 5 years he should be able to travel abroad and emigrate to Israel, though it is possible he will not be allowed to then either - but he has a minimum wait of 5 years. So, being that he was released from prison into parole in November 2015, that leaves him as likely being allowed to travel to Israel in late 2020.

Being that a formal request was made by the Israelis, I do not get what Pollard's problem is. According to the report in JPost, Pollard is upset and feels abandoned by Israel. The seemingly close relationship between Trump and Netanyahu, accentuated by recent election posters in Israel depicting Trump with Netanyahu, has made Pollard feel as if Netanyahu has such a close relationship with Trump that if he really wanted to he could obtain permission for Pollard to leave for Israel even earlier than the initial parole terms allow.

The problem is that he already made the request and it was denied. Of course Pollard is frustrated, but he should be happy he is out of jail and much free-er than he was previously, even if it is not yet the optimal situation. He just has less than another 2 years to wait out and he should be fine. Netanyahu might have abandoned him - many  Israeli politicians and handlers surely have over the years, but there really is almost nothing that can be done at this point. Pollard should just wait out his final period quietly. He should be happy if Israel will still let him immigrate when the Americans let him out - it is not a slam dunk that Israel will want him then either - Pollard is a problematic individual and the situation will not present Israel with the easiest of decisions...

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