Urgent Action Is Called For In New Pollard Effort
Avraham Weissman – Hamodia (front Page) – October 6, 2010
NEW YORK – A new initiative has been launched that is intended to try to
gain the release of Jonathan Pollard – who is now serving his 25th year of
an unprecedented and unparalleled life sentence for passing classified
intelligence to Israel, an American ally. Calls and letters by members of
the community are now crucial.
Congressmen Barney Frank, Bill Pascrell, Edolphus Towns and Anthony Weiner
have announced that they are circulating a letter in the House of
Representatives, seeking other Members to join them in asking President
Obama to extend clemency to Pollard.
According to Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Executive Vice President of National
Council of Young Israel, who for many years has been at the forefront of
efforts to help Pollard, this is the first time such a letter has been
circulated in Congress.
“The more members of congress who sign this letter, the stronger the message
will be to the president,” Lerner told Hamodia.
“We all need to call our members of Congress and request that they sign on,
and if not, ask why; then we need to educate them on the real story,” he
Rabbi Lerner expressed gratitude to David Nyer, a Monsey resident who
spearheaded this effort.
“He is a young man who cared and acted,” Rabbi Lerner says.
In another noteworthy development, Professor Lawrence J. Korb, who served as
Assistant Secretary of Defense when Pollard was arrested, has written to
Obama calling for clemency.
“Based on my first-hand knowledge, I can say with confidence that the
severity of Pollard’s sentence is a result of an almost visceral dislike of
Israel and the special place it occupies in our foreign policy on the part
of my boss at the time, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.
“Secretary Weinberger submitted two affidavits to the court in order to
convince the judge to give Pollard a harsher sentence than the one requested
by the government, despite Pollard admitting guilt, plea bargaining and
cooperating with the government,” Korb says.
“The government committed to not seeking a life sentence but due to the
Weinberger Affidavits, the redacted version of which I have read, Mr.
Pollard received a disproportionate life sentence,” he insists.
The appeal for clemency requested by the congressmen in their letter is
based on the vast disparity between Mr. Pollard’s sentence and the sentences
given to many others who have been convicted of similar activities, even
with countries that unlike Israel are or have been adversaries of the United
The letter also notes the positive impact that a grant of clemency would
have in Israel, as a strong indication of the goodwill of our nation towards
Israel and the Israeli people.
Time is of essence as the letter will be circulated in Congress for the next
few days, and then sent to President Obama, most likely by the middle of
Our hishtadlus will also be closely observed Above, Rabbi Lerner suggests.
“The more calls we make, the stronger message we send to the Ribbono Shel
Olam – that we ask of Him to send Pollard home,” he says.
J4JP adds: Emails are not recommended. Emails are not counted in the same
way that phone calls and letters are, so please phone or write.
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