Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday took a reprieve from his Iran-heavy discussions during his trip to Washington this week to raise another key issue with U.S. President Barack Obama: the release of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.
During his highly-anticipated meeting with Obama early Monday in Washington, whose focus was nearly entirely devoted to the issue of Iran and the bomb, Netanyahu took time to reiterate Israel’s demand that Pollard, who has been imprisoned in the U.S. for 26 years on charges of spying for Israel, be released, telling the U.S. president, “It is important that [Pollard] comes home.”
However, no progress was made during the meeting. The organization working on behalf of Pollard’s release expressed regret at Washington’s refusal to free the Israeli agent despite similar calls for his release made by President Shimon Peres during his own meeting with Obama this week.
Following his meeting with the U.S. president, Peres on Monday sent a message to Pollard’s wife, Esther, in which he said, “I appealed to Obama about [the release] of your husband. I hope he will be released.”