WATCH: The American Ban On Pollard’s Aliyah


The following English video is self-explanatory, by Rabbi Sholom Gold, who has been living in Yerushalayim for the past decades.

Rabbi Gold speaks of how Jonathan Pollard is the only Jew in the US banned from making aliyah. ” I call on President Trump in light of his forthcoming visit to Israel that he pardon Jonathan Pollard completely and bring him here to Israel with him” says Rabbi Gold.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Jonathan Pollard is not the only Jew in America who is not allowed to make aliya. Many Jews who have been convicted of crimes are limited to where they can live while they are incarcerated or out on parole.

  2. Pollard broke the law for money and is paying the price.
    He is no Jewish hero that people want to paint him as.
    Time to move on.
    There are many more urgent issues that need Rabbi Golds attention.

  3. Comments # 1 & 2, you’re both so wrong! You don’t know the history!
    Even if he did a crime, he paid his time. Rabbi Gold negated to say that too many of those years were in solitary confinement and all of them were in a high risk, hardened criminal facility in Colorado. Prior to sentencing he had agreed to a plea bargain that the prosecution offered and יש”ו Casper Weinberger got the judge to set it aside and accept his plea and withdraw the bargain! That in and of itself is unjust!
    But he paid his time. He sat for more years than Russian spies. They didn’t even let him attend his father’s לויה. Now that he’s out of the jail facility he’s still incarcerated, but at home without the free liberty to move about much. He can’t even go to shul on Shabbos!

  4. #4) Speak about knowing history. The judge never withdrew the plea bargain. The plea deal was that the prosecution would not ASK for a life sentence. There was nothing in the plea deal that would limit the judge’s ability to sentence as he saw fit. Pollard’s damage to the US is still classified so no one can know the true extent of it. Furthermore, his being interviewed in jail by Zev (Wolf) Blitzer and having his wife Anne give an interview to Mike Wallace on 60 minutes the night before the sentencing was not a very smart thing to do.

  5. crazykanoiy From where do you get your facts from? As I understand the decision of the appeals court, the two apparently Jewish judges denied the appeal based on the appeal being filed after the deadline, while the one apparently non-Jewish judge dissented in that breaking the plea-bargain is such an egregious act as to make the question of missing a deadline irrelevant.

  6. Git Meshige – > Who said going to Ertez Yisrael before Moshiach comes is a right?

    The Ramban counts it as a mitzvah (in the 4th positive mitzvah) relevant to all times and even to each individual person (not just a “communal” commandment). The only real source otherwise is an interpretation by a sefer (named Megilat Ester, and it is not the Biblical book) responding to the Ramban. As far as I know, the sefer Megilat Ester is theoretical pilpul and none of its ideas (meaning, not just the question of settling Israel but on any topic in the sefer) has ever been used in any accepted code of law such as Shulchan Aruch.

  7. crazykanoiy

    I neglected to address the last points. What either spouse does is not relevant to the other, as in case you did not notice, they were kept in different jails and had no control over each other. As far as the interview in jail is concerned, how do you think Blitzer was even allowed entry into the facility to carry out the interview? You mean the guards simply let him waltz in and never asked their superiors if the interview were authorized. Really?

    And the following is the real TRICKY part. If the plea bargain was broken, then there has to be a TRIAL. There was no TRIAL. Pollard was sentenced and incarcerated without TRIAL. The rule of a plea bargain is that if the plea bargain is broken, that means there will be a TRIAL. It is not logically possible to claim that there was no active plea bargain (having been allegedly broken) and then sentence and incarcerate without a TRIAL based on the self-same not-in-force plea-bargain. So the prosecution side-stepped this problem by constructively breaking the plea bargain in action, but without actually noting openly that the plea bargain was being revoked. Thus the plea being was being treated as if it both did and did not exist as the same time.

  8. Georgeg: The information on Pollard is readily available. See for example Washington Post Op Ed by four Admirals of the Navy penned in 1998. The fact is that the US government never requested a life sentence. Judge Robinson chose to give it to Pollard because of the enormity of his crimes. The judge has such discretion and it does not negate Pollard’s entering of a guilty plea. (Neither would Pollard’s breaking of the plea deal negate his guilty plea) The government did not break a plea deal and Judge Robinson’s decisiom was upheld by the appelate court.