The Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday calling on US President Barack Obama to grant clemency to convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.
Calling Pollard’s 28-year incarceration an “overly harsh” sentence and citing his deteriorating health, the resolution called for “the release of Jonathan Pollard on humanitarian grounds and requests the president of the United States of America to grant [him] immediate clemency.”
Natan Sharansky, who was reelected Tuesday to a second term as the organization’s chairman, said there was near-unanimity among American and Israeli leaders that Pollard should be released.
“The time has come to vigorously and loudly demand his freedom; 28 years is more than enough,” he said.
Pollard worked as a civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy and was arrested in 1985 after unsuccessfully seeking refuge at the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
He was convicted and sentenced in 1987 to life in prison, and is serving out his sentence at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina.
Pollard has suffered many illnesses since his imprisonment and, over the past year, he has been hospitalized several times. He is believed to be suffering from kidney and gall bladder complications.