"Albright Demonstrated Contempt for Knesset"

September 12, 1997 - News Release

Jerusalem - U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright refused yesterday to accept a delegation of MKs that wished to present her with a petition, signed by 40 MKs, asking for clemency for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.

Labor MK Ophir Pines, who initiated the petition, said that the US had suggested, through the Foreign Ministry, that US Ambassador Martin Indyk would accept the petition, but Pines said this had been a stalling tactic and that Indyk never contacted the MKs.

Pines said that by refusing to receive them Albright had demonstrated contempt for the Knesset.

"It is time for the US government to stop making an example out of Pollard and allow him to immigrate here," Pines said.

Jerusalem Post - Source: Itim

Justice for Jonathan Pollard Notes:

The petition began to circulate a day after the arrival of the US Secretary of State and did not have time to reach all Mks before it was pulled from circulation the following day. Knesset sources have indicated to us that all of the 85 signees who previously sponsored a special bill in Israeli parliament for Jonathan Pollard expressed willingness to sign this petition as well, but the petition stopped circulating when MS Albright refused to meet the delegation.

Here is the text of the letter that Ms. Albright refused to receive:

Ms Madeline Albright
US Secretary of State

Re: Immediate Release of Jonathan Pollard

Dear Ms. Albright:

We the undersigned being duly elected members of the Israeli Knesset, hereby request that the Honorable Secretary intervene on behalf of Jonathan Pollard's release from prison in order for him to come and live in the State of Israel.

It is not our purpose to argue about his punishment, but rather to implore of the Honorable President Bill Clinton to consider Pollard's situation, imprisoned in an American Prison for 12 years and permit him to come and live in Israel.

Mr. Pollard, who has expressed remorse for his actions, requests to come to Israel in order to rebuild his life amongst his people and our request is that the United States consider his special situation and allow him to go free.