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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Better Late Than Never, The United Rabbis To Free Pollard Letter

Hat tip IMRA for text of letter to Obama to free Jonathan Pollard. 

We must look at the fact that finally, the cause to free Jonathan Pollard is becoming mainstream in America.  For an entire generation, twenty-five years, American Jewish leadership has ignored the injustice, embarassed that "one of theirs" broke the law because he thought Israel was being cheated by the American Government.

Here's the letter, and click here to get into the IMRA site to see the list of the hundreds of people who signed it.

January 3, 2011

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We, the undersigned over five hundred religious and communal leaders representative of the broad spectrum of the American faith community - wish to add our voices in support of clemency for Jonathan Pollard. We are united in the fundamental belief that "Justice, only justice, shall you pursue" (Deuteronomy 16:20), which rests at the core of our moral principles and system of justice.

Mr. Pollard is currently serving his 26th year of a life sentence, having been indicted on one count of passing classified information to an ally without intent to harm the United States. We certainly do not condone his crime, nor do we underestimate the gravity of the offense. But it is patently clear that the sentence was and remains terribly disproportionate - the average punishment is a 2-4 year prison term - and (as several federal judges have noted) constitutes a gross miscarriage of justice.

As you know, prominent figures from across the spectrum have publicly stated their support for Mr. Pollard's release. They include Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, Senators Charles Schumer and Arlen Specter, Harvard Law Professors Charles Ogletree and Alan Dershowitz, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb, Rev. Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame, Benjamin Hooks of the NAACP, former federal Judge George Leighton, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olsen, Pastor John Hagee, and Gary Bauer. Furthermore, thirty-nine members of Congress have recently submitted to you a "Dear Colleague" letter led by Congressman Barney Frank in support of commuting Mr. Pollard's sentence. Perhaps most noteworthy, similar support has come from those who have seen the classified information of the actual
damage caused including former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, Congressman Anthony Weiner, and former Senator and Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dennis DeConcini.

After more than two and a half decades in prison, Mr. Pollard's health is declining. He has repeatedly expressed remorse for his actions, and by all accounts has served as a model inmate.

Commuting his sentence to time served would be a wholly appropriate exercise of your power of clemency - as well as a matter of basic fairness and American justice. It would also represent a clear sense of compassion and reconciliation - a sign of hope much needed in today's world of tension and
turmoil.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Respectfully,

4 comments:

Leah said...

It would have been better to include those rabbanim who have tried to help Pollard for 25 years and have been helping his family rather than to make a statement that allows others to assume that no rabbanim have been helping. Young Israel has been on this for decades. Is it true that more can be done by more rabbanim. Sure!

Batya said...

Over the twenty-five years there have been quite a few helping. I do know that Geula Cohen was one of the very first Israeli public figures to help him and his first wife.

Shy Guy said...

Historical list of calls for Pollard's release

Batya said...

Shy, do you think he'll get out this time?