Pollard, now 59, was arrested in Washington on Nov. 21, 1985. He was later convicted of spying for Israel, and is the only person in U.S. history to receive a life sentence for spying for an American ally.
On Wednesday, Pollard’s wife Esther appealed to U.S. President Barack Obama to free her husband out of humanitarian considerations. Ahead of Obama’s visit to Israel in March, more than 200,000 Israelis signed a petition to the American leader calling for Pollard’s release.
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said Wednesday, “It is our collective failure that Pollard is still in prison. It is unprecedented in the history of the U.S. that someone who spied for a friendly country served even half the time [that Pollard has] in prison.”