Weizman Dodges; Clinton Ducks on Pollard

October 7, 1997 - News Release
Office of the Press Secretary

October 7, 1997


The Oval Office

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Good morning, everyone. I'm delighted to have President Weizman here, we had a nice dinner last evening, and we're going to have further talks today about what we can do in the United States to further the peace process. And certainly we are grateful for all that he has done as President and throughout his entire career. It's a great honor to have you here.

PRESIDENT WEIZMAN: Thank you very much.


Q: Mr. President, thank you. In light of the recent swap between Israel and Jordan, there has also been talk raised again about Jonathan Pollard. I was wondering if you believe justice was served when he received his life sentence. And do you believe he will spend his life sentence in prison?

And to President Weizman, will you be raising this issue today with the President?

PRESIDENT WEIZMAN: You were talking too fast. What did you say?

Q: The question of Jonathan Pollard -- will you be raising it with President Clinton today?

PRESIDENT WEIZMAN: It's always in our minds.

Q: Mr. President?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, I receive -- when Mr. Pollard applies for clemency, I receive recommendations from both my Justice and National Security Advisers, and I take into account what they recommend, and then I take action. And that's what I'll do if it comes up again.

Justice For Jonathan Pollard Notes:

For 13 years Jonathan Pollard may have been on the minds of the Government of Israel, so to speak; but he has never been a priority on their agenda. President Weizman's attitude reflects this indifference and confirms the government's continued unwillingness to accept responsibility for their agent. Until they do, President Clinton will simply turn a blind eye to Israel's perfunctory "humanitarian" appeals for Pollard's release.

Perhaps more troubling, though, is the fact that President Clinton's remarks show a total lack of concern for the American Jewish community's call for EQUAL JUSTICE for Jonathan Pollard. The fault here clearly lies with our so-called "leadership" which has completely failed to communicate to the president the grass-roots' sentiment on this matter. Until they do, President Clinton will simply continue to evade his constitutional prerogative to act independently of those executive agencies which have been responsible for the miscarriage of justice in this case.