Clinton Rejects Chief Rabbis' Offer To Act As Guarantors for Jonathan Pollard
October 8, 1995 - Davaar
American President Bill Clinton has rejected the offer of the chief Rabbi of Haifa, Ha'Rav Shear Yishuv Cohen and of the former chief Rabbi of Israel, Ha'Rav Mordechai Eliahu, that Jonathan Pollard be released into their custody.
In a letter sent in response to Ha'Rav Shear Yishuv Cohen, Clinton said that he had concluded that "... the extraordinary remedy of executive clemency was not justified in this case."
In the letter that he sent to Clinton, Ha'Rav Cohen joined Ha'Rav Eliahu in a similar request that he had sent to the President. "We appeal to you as a President and a great humanitarian to ask for clemency and pardon for Mr. Jonathan Pollard...We know that you have the courage, vision and kindness of heart to act in a merciful way even against the advice of professionals and narrow-minded officials that do not have the same sensitivity to human suffering that you are known to possess," wrote Ha'Rav Cohen in his letter.
Ha'Rav Cohen explained in his letter that he believes Pollard is no threat to American interests if he is released, and committed himself to assuming responsibility for him. "Chief Rabbi Eliahu and myself are ready to take him (Jonathan Pollard) into our custody and to vouch for his silence and legal behavior after he is freed from prison," wrote Ha'Rav Cohen.
Pollard is currently completing his tenth year of incarceration for his activities on behalf of Israel.
Note: It has since been ascertained that the letter that the eminent chief Rabbis received from President Clinton was a
form letter. Neither chief Rabbi was accorded the courtesy of a personal reply to their serious offer.