Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is recruiting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to work for the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, who is spending his 27th year in a North Carolina prison.
During a dinner following the Tisha B’Av fast July 29, Netanyahu handed Romney a letter signed by the heads of all parties in the Knesset (with the exception of Arab parties) calling for Pollard’s clemency, Israel Hayom reported.
Pollard’s advocates in the U.S. Congress and elsewhere say his life sentence resulting from a conviction of spying for Israel is disproportionate to his crime. The jailed spy last garnered headlines in June, when Israeli President Shimon Peres, upon visiting the U.S. to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, reportedly asked President Barack Obama to grant Pollard’s clemency. The White House, however, did not budge.
“Our position has not changed and will not change today…I would simply remind you that Mr. Pollard was convicted of very serious crimes,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at the time.