Jonathan Pollard is a cause célèbre as the American who is in jail for spying for Israel. Lots of folks lobby American Presidents to get this traitor released. Now, the Israeli Prime Minister is leaning on Obama. Pleading health concerns and remorse, Netanyahu is asking for Obama to release Pollard. I don't feel much desire to release Pollard--I don't think those who spy for friends are less guilty of treason than those who spy for enemies. I don't have much trouble keeping guilty traitors in jail until they die. Isn't that what a life sentence means?
Moreover, the timing is horrible. If I were Obama and just spent the past couple of years being screwed over by Netanhayu, my simple response would be: when Israel starts to mitigate the damage it does to American national security via its settlements and other behavior, then Pollard can be released. Seriously, how can Netanyahu demand/ask for anything given the stances he has taken since Obama has been President?