MK Danny Danon (Likud) and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee met last week to plan a new petition calling on US President Barack Obama to pardon convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. The two intend the petition to be signed by members of the US Congress and the Knesset and submitted to Obama ahead of his visit to Israel next month.

Huckabee was recently in the country for a three-day visit, leading a group of some 200 Christian pilgrims.

“I hope the signatures of Knesset members and members of Congress side by side will help President Obama make a courageous decision… [to] free Pollard once and for all,” Danon said.

Pollard, a dual American-Israeli citizen, was convicted of spying for Israel while working for US naval intelligence and was given a life sentence in 1987. The release of Pollard, who confessed to the espionage, subsequently became a political cause in Israel and among some in the US.

On Sunday morning, a group of dozens of protesters gathered outside the official residence of President Shimon Peres in support of Pollard’s release.