Former Jewish spy, Jonathan Pollard, lands in Israel 35 years after arrest

  • By Editor
  • 12 30
  • 2020

By Itzhak Rabihiya / SNN, Space Network News



Jonathan Pollard made aliyah early Tuesday morning, landing in Israel 35 years after he was arrested for passing classified information to an ally. Netanyahu presents Jonathan and Esther Pollard with Israeli identity cards; 'Now you can start life anew, with freedom and happiness. Now you are at home' he says ; couple kneel to kiss ground saying they are proud of country and its leader – Jerusalem post and Ynet news reports.


The former U.S. Navy analyst who served 30 years in prison for spying for Israel, arrived in the country after parole restrictions on his travel expired. 


Pollard and his wife kneeled to kiss the ground as they stepped off the private jet that brought them from New Jersey's Newark International Airport.


Jonathan Pollard made aliyah early Tuesday morning, landing in Israel 35 years after he was arrested for passing classified information to an ally.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeted the Pollards at Ben-Gurion Airport and said the shehehiyanu with them. Netanyahu said that he is glad that they are home. 


"Now you can begin your lives anew in freedom and happiness," Netanyahu said. "Now you are at home." 



Pollard responded that he is excited about living in Israel, and he is thankful to the people of Israel and to Netanyahu for helping him get home.


"There is no one more proud of this country or its leader than us," he said. "We hope to become productive citizens as soon as possible and continue our lives here. It is a terrific country with a bright future. It is the future of the Jewish people, and we are not going anywhere else." 


National Council of Young Israel executive director emeritus Rabbi Pesach Lerner, who has been close to the Pollards for many years, said they timed their arrival between medical treatments for Esther's cancer, so she can get her next one following their quarantine. 

''Their goal was always to come to Israel as soon as possible, once they were cleared to come,'' he said. 




The Pollards have a furnished apartment in Jerusalem, though Lerner would not reveal their neighborhood. Esther lived in the Holy City before she joined her husband in New York following his release from prison five years ago. 


"He will not live a boring life," Lerner said. "There are things he wants to do. There will be a time after the coronavirus that he will walk the streets, go to the Kotel, go shopping. He has plans." 


Asked what would happen if a political party tried to draft Pollard ahead of the March 23 election, Lerner said the answer would be no. 


''He is not going into politics,'' he said. ''He has been there, done that. He wants to contribute to society in a different way and I am sure he will do that.'' 


In late November, when the US Parole Commission formally lifted his parole restrictions, Pollard, 66, and his wife, Esther, said through their spokespeople that they wanted to move to Israel “as soon as possible and fulfill their dream of living together in Israel." 


Photo: GPO




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