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Friday, January 28, 2011

Netanyahu, Pollard Awaits Obama's Response

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an unprecedented move at the beginning of January 2011 finally ceded to requests from the Israeli public to write a letter to President Obama. In the letter, Netanyahu urged the President to commute Jonathan J. Pollard's life sentence.

Netanyahu stated in his letter, "since Jonathan Pollard has now spent 25 years in prison, I believe that a new request for clemency is highly appropriate."  Pollard's poor health was another major factor in Netanyahu's decision to write the letter. 

The White House has noted that they recieved the letter and are reviewing it.

Netanyahu's letter marked the first time that an Israeli Prime Minister formally called for Jonathan Pollard to be released. Many prominent U.S. officials have concurred with Netanyahu's sentiment, such as George Shultz, Michael Mukasey, and James Woolsey, and wrote similar letters to the President urging executive clemency.

Since acknowledging that they received Netanyahu's letter, the White House has been mum on the Pollard case and has not stated when the President intends to respond to Netanyahu.

Will President Obama formally respond to Netanyahu's letter or will he keep him hanging like he did the second time that the Israeli Prime Minister visited the White House? It is almost February and no response has been given by the White House. Time will tell.

In the meantime, Netanyahu will be sitting in the waiting room twiddling his thumbs. How is that for another snub.