Former CIA Director James Woolsey said Saturday that anti-Semitism could be a factor in the US refusal to release a Jewish American jailed for spying for Israel.

Woolsey’s told Israeli Channel 10 TV Saturday that Americans who spied for other countries including South Korea, the Philippines, and Greece were freed after short sentences, while Jonathan Pollard is still jailed after 25 years.

Pollard was a civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy when he gave thousands of classified documents to his Israeli handlers. He was arrested in 1985 and later sentenced to life in prison.

“I certainly don’t think that it is universally true, but in the case of some American individuals, I think there is anti-Semitism at work here,” Woolsey said.

He said others who did the same as Pollard were freed quickly.

Woolsey, who served as head of the CIA during the Clinton administration, said that virtually everybody in the American intelligence community considers the Pollard case “ancient history, which is one reason that Pollard ought to be released.”

He called the insistence by some members of the intelligence community to keep Pollard behind bars “ridiculous.”

(Interview below is partly in English)