CONFERENCE OF PRESIDENTS OF
MAJOR AMERICAN JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS

PRESS RELEASE

DENIAL OF PRESIDENTIAL CLEMENCY FOR POLLARD
CALLED "DISAPPOINTING" BY AMERICAN JEWISH LEADERS

NEW YORK, January. 23, 2001....Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations expressed disappointment that President Clinton did not grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard before leaving office. Mr. Pollard has been incarcerated for more than 15 years.

In a statement signed by Phil Baum and Seymour Reich, co-chairmen of the Conference of Presidents Pollard Committee, and Ronald Lauder and Malcolm Hoenlein, Chairman and Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference, the leaders said they had hoped Pollard would be released on humanitarian grounds.

"It is particularly difficult in view of some of the pardons and acts of clemency which President Clinton did issue to understand why he could not include Pollard," they said. "We wrote to the President as recently as last month urging him to act. In subsequent discussions with White House officials we were told that the review initiated a year ago was completed at the end of December. Officials in various agencies indicated that while they opposed it they would not object if the President decided to grant clemency. The President, however, never formally responded to our letter."

"We believe that Mr. Pollard has paid his debt after more than fifteen years of incarceration. He has expressed remorse for his actions both publicly and privately. Our feelings are shared by many outstanding Americans of every religion and walk of life.. Numerous members of both Houses of Congress, religious leaders, Nobel laureates and legal personalities have added their voices in support of Mr. Pollard."

"We will continue our efforts with the Bush administration and hope that the new President will take this under serious consideration."

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The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 53 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern.