A spokesman for Israeli chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger says President Barack Obama's half brother has vowed to press for the release of an American convicted of spying for Israel more than two decades ago.
Spokesman Avi Blumenthal said Wednesday that Metzger met with Mark Ndesandjo last week during a hushed visit to Israel.
Blumenthal said Ndesandjo, who was born to a Jewish mother, was visiting Israel to "discover his roots."
He said Ndesandjo promised to ask Obama to free Jonathan Pollard, in prison since 1985 serving a life sentence for passing secrets to Israel as a civilian analyst for the U.S. Navy.
Pollard's supporters believe the punishment was too harsh, as the U.S. and Israel share information, and more serious offenders have received lighter sentences.