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Sen. McCain calls for release of Israeli spy

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The Associated Press
Thursday, March 10, 2011; 4:59 PM

JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Republican Sen. John McCain is joining his call urging the release of an American convicted of spying for Israel more than two decades ago.

Netanyahu said in a statement that McCain pledged his support in a phone conversation Thursday.

Jonathan Pollard was an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy when arrested in Washington in 1985. He pleaded guilty to passing secrets to Israel and received a life sentence.

McCain's voice joins those of other U.S. officials, including former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and ex-CIA Director R. James Woolsey.

Critics say Pollard has languished in jail far longer than others sentenced for lesser offenses and that he passed on secrets that were supposed to be shared with Israel anyway.

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