A U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons decision to change Jonathan Pollard’s official status on the bureau’s website has given Pollard and his wife Esther renewed hope for his release.
The Bureau of Prisons changed his projected release date on its website from November 21, 2015 to LIFE.
The Pollards believe that the website before it was changed had given people false hope that he would automatically be released next year on the 30th anniversary of his November 21, 1985 arrest. But now that it has become clear that no such release date pertains, they are hopeful that it will reinvigorate the campaign to secure his freedom through presidential commutation of his sentence.
“Now it is clear that the 2015 release date was a pernicious lie — as Jonathan and I have been saying all along,” Esther Pollard told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.
“We expect this to be a wake-up call to our leaders in Israel and the American Jewish community to finally step up and do whatever is necessary to rescue Jonathan. He remains hopeful but he isin extremely poor health. Serious, determined intervention to end his unjust, grossly disproportionate sentence cannot wait.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asked President Obama to commute Pollard’s sentence when they met at the White House last week, but no response from Obama was reported.
Earlier in the year, former president Shimon Peres asked the American president to release him, and Obama said he would refer the matter to the Attorney General.
American presidents traditionally grant commutations and pardons during the Thanksgiving legal holiday, which falls this year on November 27.