37 World-Renowned Former Prisoners of Zion
Call For Jonathan Pollard's Release As A "Peace Dividend"
December 15, 1996 - The Jerusalem Post
Letter To The Editor
As fighters against Soviet tyranny who were incarcerated in Soviet prisons and labor camps, we appeal to President Bill Clinton to release Jonathan Pollard.
We are aware that Pollard committed a crime against his own country and betrayed its trust. We do not condone the crime, but we understand the motive. Pollard did not believe his that his action would adversely affect the interests of the United States. All he wanted was to help a small and isolated Israel in its survival. In the early Seventies, a Swiss engineer, out of moral convictions, transferred to Israel classified blueprints of a French jet fighter. His motive was similar.
The last thing we want is to create the impression that we are solely concerned with the fate of our fellow Jew. We would not have pleaded for mercy for the sake of the Rosenbergs.
What moves us is concern for the future of Israel, and we feel all those who share this concern, and suffer for it.
In our heart of hearts, we believe that the president will understand us. Mr. Pollard is currently serving his 12th year in prison. The political situation in the world has changed. The Middle East has changed and all that remains of the legacy of Pollard's crime is his cruel fate.
Many people find Pollard's verdict astonishingly severe, but we are not asking for justice. Its last word is in God's hands. We ask instead for what is within the president's power to grant. We ask for mercy. We know that American society is magnanimous. In its everyday life, it pays an enormous price for its inexhaustible sense of compassion. The pardon for Jonathan Pollard should be a "peace dividend" for which, we modestly presume, we have a right to ask.
Lev Agmon (Yagman)
and 34 other former Prisoners of Zion.