Jerusalem square to be named after Pollard

A Jerusalem square will be symbolically dedicated to Jonathan Pollard ahead of President Bush’s visit to Israel.

Mina Fenton, a Jerusalem city councilwoman, announced this week that the capital’s Paris Square will be symbolically renamed “Pollard Square” in a ceremony on Jan. 7, two days before George W. Bush begins his first visit as U.S. president to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The move is meant to help lobby Bush to pardon Pollard, a former U.S. Navy analyst who is serving a life prison sentence for spying for Israel. Bush leaves office in 2009.

Paris Square is located between the U.S. Consulate in west Jerusalem and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s official residence. Fenton said there are no plans to formally change the square’s name.

On Monday, the Knesset State Control Committee decided to ask State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to prepare a confidential special report on Israeli government efforts to secure the release of Johnathon Pollard.

Successive U.S. administrations have refused to grant clemency to Pollard, who is considered a Jewish hero by many Israelis.

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