Carson Supports Pollard Moving to Israel With Conditions
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Sunday expressed vague support for Jonathan Pollard’s desire to seek asylum in Israel, only if he comes to conclusion that the Israeli spy no more represents any danger to the security of the United States.
During a wide-ranging interview on C-Span Sunday evening, Carson was asked whether he supports Pollard’s request to move to Israel after being released from jail on Friday.
“I really would have to have all the details of the information he gave to Israel and whether he still represents a danger with more information that he has,” Carson said. “If after doing that analysis it does not appear that he can do more damage, then I, certainly, wouldn’t have any problem with it.”
On Friday, upon his release, Pollard filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York seeking to end what his attorneys called the “unreasonable and unlawful’’ parole conditions imposed on him. Pollard is required to check in every month with the parole board and restrictions have been imposed on his daily life activities for the next 5 years. As of now, to leave the country he has to rely on President Barack Obama’s generosity.
“The notion that, having fought for and finally obtained his release after serving 30 years in prison, Mr. Pollard will now disclose stale 30-year-old information to anyone is preposterous. Apart from the fact that the information is useless, disclosing it will result in Mr. Pollard’s swift return to prison to serve out his life sentence,’’ his lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, said in a joint statement.
Last week, Congressmen Jerry Nadler and Eliot Engel, both Democrats from New York, sent a letter directed to Attorney General Loretta Lynch urging her to give “fair consideration” to Pollard’s expressed desire to reunite with his wife, Esther, in Israel following his release. “In its discussions of Mr. Pollard mandatory parole, DOJ has already acknowledged that there is no reasonable probability that he will commit any future crimes after his release. If DOJ allows him to leave the United States permanently, this would become a near-certainty,” the two Jewish Reps. wrote in the letter.
Pollard offered to renounce his American citizenship as a condition of being permitted to move to Israel.
A senior State Department official said on Sunday that “we have heard of no request directed at us to let him leave the United States.”