Now Is The Time To Press For Pollard

Arutz 7 News - February 13, 2001

Jonathan Pollard, refusing to go under from the blow Bill Clinton dealt Him by not including him among the dozens of Americans he pardoned in his last hours in his office, has already begun to try his luck with George W. Bush - his fourth American President - and Ariel Sharon, his sixth Israeli Prime Minister.

In a letter to Prime Minister-elect Sharon the day after the election, Pollard urges him to place the issue high up in his dealings with the new President:

"The people of Israel were recently horrified to learn that former Prime Minister Barak and top Israeli officials threw their full weight into an intense lobbying effort to secure an American Presidential pardon for Marc Rich... but the fate of a long-abandoned Israeli agent was clearly of no concern. In the 16 years that I have been in prison for my activities on behalf of Israel, no comparable effort was ever made - publicly or privately - to secure my release, the release of an Israeli agent..."

Pollard noted that Sharon was he who stood most firmly on behalf of Pollard at Wye Plantation: "When the President [Clinton] publicly Reneged on his commitment to release me, you alone were prepared to leave Wye without signing the accords. Because of your tough position, a private deal was negotiated according to which, once Israel paid the price for my release, I would go free in a "parallel gesture" by the US. Israel kept its end of the bargain, but former Prime Minister Ehud Barak chose not to collect on my release. Now, it is up to you to keep faith with me and all those who serve the state by securing my release without further delay."

Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA notes several reasons why it would be most advantageous for Sharon to ask President Bush for a Pollard pardon at this time. These include the "window of opportunity" that presently exists while the new administrations in both Israel and the U.S. wish to show their desire to work in close cooperation. In addition, Lerner notes the strong legal grounds for such a pardon, the ongoing scandal regarding the pardon of Marc Rich - "the Israeli government and the American Jewish community can redeem themselves by pressing for Pollard's release" - as well as Pollard's fragile and constantly deteriorating health and lack of adequate medical treatment. "We are talking about a short telephone conversation with President Bush," concludes Lerner. "Those few minutes at this critical time could possibly make all the difference in the world for Jonathan Pollard - and most certainly for Israel's national honor and self respect."

In his letter to Sharon, Pollard wrote, "Put end to the lingering question that some of Israel's soldiers are more deserving of rescue than others. Only when there is no longer a Jonathan Pollard rotting in an American prison after 16 years will the Israeli people be assured that the State will rescue all of her soldiers if they are taken captive - even if they do not have millions of dollars for payoffs..."

See Also:
  • Letter from Jonathan Pollard to PM elect Sharon
  • Setting the The Standard for US-Israel Relations
  • Urgent Message to PM Sharon From Jonathan Pollard
  • Background: Why The Press For Pollard Right Now?