Jonathan Pollard and the GOP - Editorial

The JEWISH PRESS, N.Y. - November 13, 1998

It sounds spooky but in a recent letter that 13 senior Republican United States Senators (whose names were not published) sent to President Clinton they urged him not to release Jonathan Pollard - and 13 is the number of years Pollard has spent in federal prison!

In addition, House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich most recently led the charge at the close of the Wye Summit against President Clinton's plan to release Pollard in an effort to facilitate the reaching of a peace agreement, threatening to make that issue central to the November 3 elections. And as a result of the Republican debacle in the elections for the House - not only did they not gain the 40 odd seats as he had been predicting for months, but they lost 5! - Newt is now in his final days as Speaker and has even announced his retirement from the House itself.

The GOP has been trying for years to woo the Jewish community and never seemed to miss an opportunity to proclaim support for the Jewish community and for Israel. Someone ought to tell them that there is nothing that unites us as much as seeking the release of Jonathan Pollard; right, left, and center - the editorial policies of the Anglo-Jewish media. Everyone advocates his release.

We have long been critical of President Clinton's Mideast policy, not only because it undercut the legitimate interests of Israel, but also because in doing so, it ultimately made peace in the Middle East - certainly an important American Interest - more difficult to achieve. Arafat's continuing duplicity has changed things these last few days, but at Wye, Mr. Clinton's instincts were correct. Freeing Jonathan Pollard at Prime Minister Netanyahu's request would have tended to strengthen his hand in securing support for the Wye Agreement at home, and most importantly, would have renewed confidence in American commitments.

Yet the President was scuttled by Gingrich and company. And it is not as if it is a secret that Pollard spied for an ally of the United States, the government reneged on a plea-bargain deal after he confessed, and the court which rejected his appeal did so not on the merits, but on the ground that it was not timely brought. And most shameful of all is the unusually long sentence Pollard has been forced to serve.

The Jewish community will not forget.

See Also:
  • The Pollard Debacle: The Unseemly Role of Newt Gingrich
  • An Open Letter to Newt Gingrich