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Should Jonathan Pollard be freed?
April 1st, 2014
03:08 PM ET

Should Jonathan Pollard be freed?

Jonathan Pollard, the former U.S. intelligence agent who was convicted of spying for Israel, could be released before the Jewish holiday of Passover as part of efforts to save Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, an Israeli official involved in the talks told CNN.

Suggestions for deals for Pollard's release have been floated over the years but have not materialized. Passover starts on April 14.

Talk of Pollard's possible release came as Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Israel on Monday to try to mediate a dispute between Israel and the Palestinians over the release of Palestinian prisoners. Kerry was in Belgium on Tuesday but will go back to Israel on Wednesday and also visit Ramallah, West Bank, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that President Barack Obama hasn't decided whether to release Pollard at Israel's request.

"The Israelis frequently raise this issue, and they have raised this issue in our discussions," Carney said. "Beyond that, I'm not going to get ahead of the work that Secretary Kerry is doing and the conversations that he's having."

Pollard's possible release was being discussed as part of a broader agreement that has not been finalized, according to sources familiar with the talks. FULL STORY

We want you to weigh in on today's Fireback question: Do you think Jonathan Pollard should be freed?

Vote by tweeting Yes or No using #Crossfire or by commenting on our Facebook post. View results below or through our Poptip results page.


UPDATE:  Thank you to everyone who joined the conversation! Here are some highlights from both sides of the debate.

Those who voted "Yes"

pro 4.1

Those who voted "No"

con 4.1


Posted by
Filed under: Israel • John Kerry • Jonathan Pollard
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. icreepin

    he is a traitor he should have been put to death now to talk about his release is against what the USA was founded on. he betrayed everyone in the USA and the military troops who went and died for the USA will have died for nothing if they release him.

    April 2, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Reply
    • glennrobert

      An American citizen. Traitor. Needs to stay in prison, if only to aggravate Israel who should butt out!

      April 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • TJ Termeister

      Should Jonathan Pollard be freed? Yes. Then shot.

      April 5, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  2. icreepin

    no he should not be released. he is a traitor when the ruling of guilt came down he should have been killed as a traitor. what he did is no better then anyone else in the prison system actually he did far worse.

    April 2, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  3. james

    He must be freed for Obama to save face in Israel.

    April 2, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  4. Bill

    Judge gave him life and that is what he should do, or at least another 10 years past the minimum.

    April 2, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  5. kurt

    The issue here is that Pollard was a us citizen spying for a foriegn power. He's not a foriegn spy, he's technically a US traitor. (though while in jail he became an israeli citizen)

    But to be honest, at this point if Israel wants him I don't see the problem. His 30 years is up in 2015 anyway. If letting him out a year early somehow builds some goodwill, then why not? I think we can all be satisfied with 29 years rather then 30.

    April 2, 2014 at 9:10 am | Reply

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