Netanyahu letter to Clinton: All Israelis want Pollard freed

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

JERUSALEM — Likud leader and prime minister hopeful Benjamin Netanyahu told President Bill Clinton that all Israelis, regardless of their politics, want Jonathan Pollard freed.

Netanyahu handed U.S. Ambas-sador to Israel Martin Indyk a letter to Clinton Wednesday, urging that Pollard, jailed for spying for Israel, be pardoned.

Netanyahu notes that "Pollard has now served 10 years" of his life sentence for espionage, "and he has also become a citizen of the state of Israel."

"The Israeli press has reported that you have considered pardoning Mr. Pollard in recent years, but that you have reservations concerning the conduct of some of his relatives and supporters," Netanyahu continued. "If these reports are true, I urge you to put aside such considerations."

Netanyahu told Clinton he no doubt shared "the humanitarian desire to alleviate the suffering of Mr. Pollard, who has paid dearly for his past mistakes, a desire that is shared by many in the United States and by all the people of Israel, regardless of their political affiliation."