B'nai Brith President: "Pollard Potential Dreyfus II"
March 6, 1998 - News Release
Jerusalem - Kol Yisroel Israel Radio today reported that
following his March 5, 1998 prison visit with Jonathan Pollard, B'nai
Brith International President Tommy Baer spoke to Kol Yisroel Washington
Reporter Chaim Zissovitch. According to Kol Yisroel radio reports today,
Mr. Baer declared that it is time for the US to release Pollard and
return him to Israel. Mr. Baer indicated that Pollard's life sentence is
unprecedented and that failure on the part of the US to release him now
would turn this case into another Dreyfus Case.
The Alfred Dreyfus Case represents the historical epitome of the
perversion of the law for anti-semitic purposes. Dreyfus spent 12 years
incarcerated on Devil's Island until Emile Zola's famous treatise
"J'accuse" ("I accuse") galvanized the support necessary to bring about
Dreyfus' release. 1997 was the 100th anniversary of the Dreyfus case.
B'nai Brith's American Press Release on the Visit follows:
B'nai Brith Press Release
For Immediate Release - March 6, 1998
B'NAI B'RITH PRESIDENT MEETS WITH JONATHAN JAY POLLARD FOR FIRST TIME
AND PLEDGES TO RALLY SUPPORT FOR HIS RELEASE ON HUMANITARIAN GROUNDS
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- March 6, 1998 -- B'nai B'rith International
President Tommy P. Baer met for the first time yesterday with Jonathan
Jay Pollard who is serving a life sentence for spying on behalf of
Israel. Baer said that B'nai B'rith "absolutely does not condone what
Pollard did, but he has served longer than any individual convicted of
the same crime. He has paid his debt to society."
"Mr. Pollard has made a clear statement of remorse for his misdeeds,"
said Baer who met with the former U.S. Naval intelligence analyst for
more than 1 1/2 hours yesterday at the federal correction facility in
Butner, North Carolina.
Baer pledged to rally support among American Jewish organizations on
Pollard's behalf. "It is time," said Baer, "for the organized Jewish
community in the United States to speak out on the basis of humanitarian
concern and compassion for Mr. Pollard."
Pollard, who is serving a life sentence and has been incarcerated for 13
years, told Baer: "I am not a hero or a martyr and I object to any such
B'nai B'rith has several times repeated its call for Pollard's sentence
to be commuted to time already served, while consistently expressing its
strong disapproval of his betrayal the trust placed in him. Most
recently in 1996 B'nai B'rith delegates voted at its biennial convention
to call upon President Clinton to commute the sentence on humanitarian
"I am not seeking exoneration and I do not claim my acts to have been
justified," Pollard said.
It was Baer's observation that "Pollard's mental state is good, but that
he suffers from several health problems."
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT BNAI BRITH INTERNATIONAL
RUTH SCHWARTZ KREGER 202-857-6536.
See Also: Pollard: the US's Dreyfus