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Judgment Day: Let Pollard Move to Israel

(Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2019) – B’nai B’rith International President
Charles O. Kaufman has issued the following statement:

The heavenly gates are closed; the book of life is inscribed. Another
judgment day has passed. And Jonathan Pollard, a convict who spent 30 years
in prison for spying on behalf of Israel, remains prohibited from returning
to his adopted country – the Jewish state.

Sure, he’s been released from prison since 2015. His parole requires him to
stay in his New York home from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., to submit any computer he
uses for inspection, and to wear a GPS device at all times; and to live in
the United States for five years. Thirteen months away from a possible
release, the excessive sentence is more than a year from being met. Well, it’s

Jonathan Pollard has done his penance, served his time. It’s time for the
U.S. Justice Department to allow him to leave the United States. He’s lived
under restrictive conditions. Even in Israel he would remain under the same
restrictive conditions. Pollard is 65 years old and reportedly lives in
deteriorating health. He pleaded guilty 33 years ago to committing espionage
in connection with providing Israeli contacts with hundreds of classified
documents that he had obtained as a civilian intelligence specialist for the
U.S. Navy.

Since 1986, when Pollard was convicted, the world has undergone a
technological revolution. Relative to commonplace hacking today and
undetected cyber violations, one thing is clear – Jonathan Pollard has spent
half his life in captivity and, by all accounts, he no longer presents a
danger to U.S. intelligence. An ailing, all- but-spent convict just wants to
live out his days.

Just five years ago, Americans felt the sting of releasing three Cuban spies
for American Alan Gross. The memory of swapping five still dangerous Taliban
prisoners – terrorists – for a disgraced American soldier burns brightly in
the American psyche. What further debt can be extracted from a figure like
Jonathan Pollard?

The book of life has just closed on the Jewish people. It’s time to close
the book on Pollard and lift his parole. Immediately, let him live out the
final chapter of his life in Israel.

B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the
cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital
voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the
State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a
leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the
Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit


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