November 21

This Day in History

General Interest

Nov 21, 1985:

Israeli spy arrested in United States

Jonathan Jay Pollard, a civilian U.S. Navy intelligence analyst and Jewish American, is arrested on charges of illegally passing classified U.S. security information about Arab nations to Israel.

Pollard, an employee at the navy intelligence center in Suitland, Maryland, was eventually convicted and sentenced to life in prison under the recommendation of Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. The Israeli government did not officially object to the sentencing and most of Israel regarded the incident as an unfortunate embarrassment. However, Israeli calls for Pollard's release mounted during the next decade, and top Israeli officials complained that Pollard received a far stiffer sentence than other individuals found in the past to have been passing information to "friendly" nations. In 1995, Israel awarded Pollard Israeli citizenship. He remains behind bars for his espionage.

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