Pollard Thanks American Jewry

The Jewish Press (NY) - July 29, 1994

Lester Pollack, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization, and Malcolm Hoenlein, the umbrella group's executive vice chairman, met with Jonathan Pollard last week at his request at the Federal Prison in Butner, North Carolina, where he has been held for most of the past year. During a two-hour meeting, Mr. Pollard made the following points:

  • He expressed his appreciation to the American Jewish community and to those working in his behalf for their efforts.
  • The motivation for his action was not born of self-interest but of a desire to protect the safety and security of Israel. He said he "did the wrong thing for the right reason."
  • He does not consider himself a martyr and does not seek to be portrayed as such. His remorse about his actions is best expressed in the letter he wrote to his parents in which he expressed contrition, and said he failed to appreciate the fact that his concern for Israel did not justify his indifference to the law.
  • He strongly believes that he was unjustly sentenced--his life term is far freater than the sentence imposed on anyone else convicted of espionage, including those who spied for unfriendly countries--and believes there are additional facts and new information that warrant a new hearing of his case. He is hopeful that the President will reverse his refusal to commute his sentence.
  • He was particularly upset when he learned from the Presidents Conference officials that the sentence of U.S. Marine Sgt. Lonetree, who was convicted of passing secrets to the Soviet Union that compromised U.S. agents and may have resulted in their deaths, was reduced, making him eligible for parole after serving only eight years of his original 30-year sentence.
  • He described his working and living conditions.
  • His hope and desire for the future is to build a Jewish home and raise a Jewish family.
Mr. Pollard expressed deep concern at what he saw as using his case to encourage "Israel-bashing" abd attempts to discredit Israel as an ally and asset of the united States.

Mr. Pollock and Mr. Hoenleing told Mr. Pollard that they would report to the Presidents Conference on the details of their discussion.

See Also:
  • Pollard Owes No Thanks to Jewish Leaders
  • Unequal Justice
  • The Remorse Page
  • The Facts Page
  • The Lonetree Case