Why Senator Moynihan Must Become Actively Involved In Freeing Jonathan Pollard

March 9, 1997 - Esther Pollard

A letter written by Senator Moynihan and published March 7, 1997 in The Jewish Press, in response to an editorial call for the active involvement of the senator in securing the release of Jonathan Pollard was disappointing.

Unfortunately, Senator Moynihan seems to have missed the point that

equal justice for all American citizens lies at the heart of my husband's case

. Jonathan Pollard is in his twelfth year of incarceration that usually carries a median sentence of two to four years.

The case against my husband is built on lies, slander and unfounded allegations. There is a wide breach between the offense Jonathan committed and the many crimes he has been falsely accused of through the press.

The life sentence that Jonathan received is totally disproportionate to the one count of passing classified information to an ally - the only offense with he was charged.

If Senator Moynihan believes that the crime that Jonathan committed is so serious that it merits a life sentence,

why then is the Senator not equally troubled by the recent case of Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Schwartz, a non-Jew who committed a remarkably similar crime and yet went completely free.

Schwartz confessed to spying for Saudi Arabia and was indicted. As punishment, Schwartz received a "less-than-honorable" discharge from the navy for

the same offense that brought Jonathan Pollard a life sentence. Schwartz will not serve a single day in prison.

Senator Moynihan must understand that Jonathan Pollard has never sought exoneration, only equal justice under the law, as is the constitutional right of every American citizen.

If equal justice does not exist for Jonathan Pollard, then it exists for no American citizen.

Senator Moynihan's suggestion that Jonathan apply for parole is dangerously misguided. America's top legal authorities have strongly advised against this. They say it would be "suicidal" and only make it more difficult for the President to intervene once parole is denied.

And parole would certainly be denied.

No parole board in America has the authority to mitigate the sheaf of negative recommendations from senior American officials that make up Jonathan's parole file. No parole board is in the position to override the combined weight of the Justice, Intelligence and Defense Departments.

Only the President of the United States has the constitutional right and the constitutional responsibility to arrive at an independent decision, without relying on the recommendations of those persons or agencies who may have vested interests in keeping Jonathan in prison.

Senator Moynihan's suggestion of parole is not appropriate

but it is indicative of his recognition that this case needs to be brought to an end.

That being the case, the senator must know that there are many effective and constructive steps that he personally could take that would hasten a speedy resolution of the Pollard case once and for all. My husband would welcome a visit from Senator Moynihan to discuss these steps with him. Again, as a senator, a prison visit could be arranged literally overnight.

It is up to powerful voices like that of Senator Moynihan to draw the President's attention to the call of the American Jewish community for equal justice for Jonathan Pollard.

If Senator Moynihan, who represents 90% of New York's Jewish vote, fails to become actively involved in a case that cries out for equal justice, his failure hurts not only the American Jewish community; his failure hurts all Americans equally.


Esther Pollard
Mrs. Jonathan Pollard

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