Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was greeted with a moment of silence when he appealed to President Clinton to pardon Jonathan Pollard.
Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst who has been in prison for 10 years, is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel.
Rabin said he asked the president during a meeting last week to consider the fact that Israel is releasing more than 2,000 Palestinian prisoners as part of its agreement with the Palestine Liberation Organization.
“I didn’t link” the two issues, Rabin told a group of editors of Jewish publications, saying that he merely asked the president “to bear it in mind.”
But the president “didn’t answer me,” he said. “I don’t know what will be his decision, but I felt that I had to do it.”