Jonathan Pollard, of double nationality Israeli-US, was released on the 20th November 2015, and placed under « house arrest ». Caught in 1986 for espionnage for the profit of Israël, he had been sentenced to life imprisonment.

He is said to have transmitted to the Mossad an impressive quantity of US documents, sometimes concerning the Near East, but particularly concerning the surveillance methods used by the US to spy on the Soviet Union. Tel-Aviv later sold some of these documents to Moscow, particularly NSA codes, in exchange for the immigration of a million Soviet citizens who claimed to be Jewish.

In the space of 30 years, Jonathan Pollard has become a hero in Israël, and the major subject of contention between Tel-Aviv and Washington. US military directors were strongly opposed to his release.

Following the 5+1 agreement with Iran, President Obama had secretly accepted to release Pollard in exchange for Tel-Aviv’s acceptance of the reconciliation between Washington and Teheran. A legal commission had then declared that Pollard could be released for « good behaviour ».

Pete Kimberley