The ADL's Letters of "Support for Pollard"

Justice4JP Release - October 12, 2001

When recently asked about the ADL's strong support for Marc Rich versus the organization's abandonment of Jonathan Pollard, ADL National Director Abe Foxman protested and insisted that he had also written a letter in support of Pollard. Of course, he did not say that he had written the letter nearly a decade ago. Nor did he add that since the letter was not on ADL letterhead it did more harm than good. Here is the background:

In 1993 personal letters supporting the commutation of Jonathan Pollard's sentence were written to President Clinton by ADL National Director Abe Foxman, and National Chairman Mel Salberg. These letters purported to be letters of support, but were in fact damaging to the cause of Jonathan Pollard.

Both letters - deliberately written on personal stationery, not ADL letterhead - stressed that they were personal notes and not indicative of any position on the part of the ADL. This underscored the weakness of their support for Jonathan Pollard's release. It was a clear signal to the Administration that they could do as they pleased with Pollard and no offense would be taken by the ADL or its executive .

Although many years have passed and there is now a virtual consensus that Jonathan Pollard has been the victim of a travesty of justice, to this day the ADL has never taken a position on the case. Its implausible excuse remains that it cannot find any anti-Semitism to warrant its involvement.

The ADL supports numerous causes across a broad range of religious and political issues - many of them outside of the Jewish world. The claim that it can intercede only on the grounds of anti-Semitism is blatantly dishonest.

During the waning days of the Clinton Administration, led by Abe Foxman the ADL openly advocated for a pardon for Marc Rich, a billionaire criminal fugitive from justice, who never stood trial let alone spent a day in prison. In spite of the organization's profound embarrassment at being exposed for its involvement in this tainted pardon, neither the ADL nor Mr. Foxman has ever seen fit to explain the position they took on behalf of Rich - a man who was surely not suffering from anti-Semitism!

Next month, on November 21, 2001, Jonathan Pollard begins his 17th year of a life sentence with no end in sight. The Administration has not heard from Foxman or Salberg since 1993. The ADL still has no position on the Pollard Case.

Below is a copy of the text the letter of "support" that Mr. Foxman still points to as his "contribution" to the Pollard case. Mel Salberg's 1993 letter to the President follows as well:


Abraham Foxman's 1993 Letter of "Support for Pollard"


Abraham H. Foxman

United Nations Plaza
New York New York 10017

September 15, 1993

The President
The White House
Washington DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Although I have written to you before in my capacity as National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, in this letter I speak not for the ADL, but only for myself. I believe the time has come for you to grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard and commute his sentence to the time already served, and I urge you to do so.

This week, as you know, marks the beginning of the Jewish New year. As recent monumentous events demonstrated, it is a season of new beginnings around the world and an appropriate time to offer forgiveness to those who have transgressed.

There is no question that what Pollard did was wrong and cannot be justified. However, he has acknowledged his transgressions, and he has paid a steep price for them. Pollard, too, deserves forgiveness and a chance to turn the page and begin a new chapter in his life. I hope you will give him that chance.

Sincerely,

(signed)
Abraham H. Foxman


Melvin Salberg's 1993 Letter of "Support for Pollard"


Melvin Salberg

Anderson Kill Olick & Oshinsky
666 Third Avenue
New York NY 10017

September 15, 1993

The President
The White House
Washington DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

On the eve of Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, the holiest days in the Jewish Calendar, I write to you as a private citizen with regard to Jonathan Pollard.

As you may know, the Anti-Defamation League, which I serve as National Chairman, determined some time ago, as an institutional matter, not to involve itself in Pollard's case because it found no probative evidence of anti-Semitism in his sentencing. It is now my personal view that as serious as his crime was, Jonathan Pollard has paid his debt to society.

To say the world has changed in the years since Jonathan Pollard's arrest is an understatement. The Soviet Union no longer exists, the United States and Russia are working together, the Israelis and the PLO are now talking to each other and are committed to reconciliation. At this season of new beginnings and forgiveness for past transgressions and in your words on Monday of this week, "...let us go from this place to celebrate the dawn of a new era...", let Pollard's appeal for clemency receive your favorable consideration.

Sincerely,

(signed)
Melvin Salberg