WASHINGTON (JTA) — A major Jewish umbrella group asked President Bush to pardon Jonathan Pollard.
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the foreign policy umbrella body for U.S. Jewish groups, approved the plea in a conference call, its executive vice chairman, Malcolm Hoenlein, told JTA.
"It’s time that he be released," Hoenlein said of Pollard, a former U.S. navy analyst who was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for spying for Israel. "He has expressed remorse."
The plea, which will be sent Friday, is to release Pollard on humanitarian grounds. Hoenlein said other interventions are also planned.
Pollard’s pardon is opposed by the U.S. intelligence community; however, presidents on the brink of retirement often feel freer to take up controversial pardons.