JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hundreds of demonstrators calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard rallied outside the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.
The demonstration on Sunday night was led by Pollard’s wife, Esther.
“How is it that in spite of all the gestures that Israel is making at the request of the U.S., the Americans are not willing to make the smallest, most minimal gesture towards Israel, the release of one prisoner?” Esther Pollard said.
Teenagers from the national religious camp made up much of the rally’s crowd, according to The Jerusalem Post. Israeli lawmakers from the government coalition and the opposition also were in attendance.
Pollard is in the 29th year of a life sentence in a U.S. prison for spying for Israel while a civilian U.S. Navy analyst. He is up for parole in less than two years.
Earlier this month Elliott Abrams, a former U.S. deputy national security adviser, said in an interview that Pollard should be released. He is among an increasing number of figures involved in the U.S. government when Pollard was given his life sentence in 1987 who now say the sentence should be commuted.
The calls to release Pollard have intensified in the last year, with pleas from lawmakers and former top officials of both U.S. political parties.