Pollard has surgery, condition not good

Jonathan Pollard, the American spy for Israel serving a life sentence in a North Carolina federal prison, was taken to a hospital and underwent surgery.

Effie Lahav, the head of the Committee to Free Pollard, said Pollard’s condition is “not good,” the Israeli daily Haaretz reported March 6.

Pollard, 59, suffers from kidney and liver problems. He has been hospitalized several times in recent years.

“We are very concerned about his situation,” Lahav said.

There has been increasing clamor in Israel to free Pollard, a former Defense Department employee convicted of spying for Israel in 1985. One hundred of Israel’s 120 Knesset members signed a letter calling on President Barack Obama to grant Pollard clemency, and in February, 1,000 people demonstrated in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv calling for his freedom.

The calls to release Pollard have intensified as well in the United States in the past year, with pleas from lawmakers and former top officials of both political parties. — jta