ZOA Criticizes Clinton

August 30, 1999

NEW YORK - The Zionist Organization of America has criticized President Clinton for granting clemency to 16 members of the FALN, the Puerto Rican nationalist terrorist group, while refusing to grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: "The length of the sentence given to Pollard was extraordinarily unfair, and there is a broad consensus in Israel and among Diaspora Jewry and Jewish leaders that President Clinton should set Pollard free. It is ironic and troubling that President Clinton should now be offering clemency to members of the FALN, a terrorist group that has murdered and maimed innocent people--including New York City police officers--but refuses to offer it to Pollard, whose crime was to help America's ally defend itself from destruction."

A ZOA resolution urging clemency for Pollard was adopted by an overwhelming margin at the last World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem. It urged President Clinton to "commute Pollard's sentence to time served."

At its most recent session, the ZOA's National Executive Committee passed a resolution stating:

"Whereas Lieutenant-Commander Michael Schwartz [who is not Jewish] was arrested for providing classified U.S. intelligence data to Saudi Arabia, indicted by a U.S. Navy grand jury on the charge of espionage, and then released with an 'other than honorable discharge'; and whereas Jonathan Pollard is now in his 14th year of incarceration for illegally passing U.S. data to Israel, while no other individual who was convicted of passing such data to other allies of the U.S. has ever served more than 5 years in prison; therefore be it resolved that the ZOA respectfully calls upon President Clinton to review the Pollard case in light of the handling of the Schwartz case, and grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard."

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