Agudath Israel Rabbinic Bodies Issue Call On Behalf Of Jonathan Pollard
Agudath Israel Media Release - Feb. 5, 2007
NEWS FROM AGUDATH ISRAEL OF AMERICA
For Further Information please contact Rabbi Avi Shafran (212) 797-9000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 5, 2007
AGUDATH ISRAEL RABBINIC BODIES ISSUE CALL
ON BEHALF OF JONATHAN POLLARD
The distinguished senior rabbis who comprise Agudath Israel of America's Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah (Council of Torah Sages), as well as the members of Agudath Israel's Rabbinic Presidium and close to 100 signatories from its Conference of Synagogue Rabbis have issued a declaration calling on "all caring Jews" to deliver "a message to President Bush" that Jonathan Pollard, the convicted American Jewish spy who has languished in prison for twenty-two years, "has served long enough, and that the time has come to free him."
The rabbinical statement comes after the United States Supreme Court denied an appeal by Mr. Pollard of a 2006 lower court decision that cut off what would seem to be the final judicial avenue that could have led to a reconsideration of his life sentence. It notes that that Mr. Pollard's "health [is] deteriorating because of his incarceration," and that his life sentence was "a penalty far more severe than that imposed upon others who committed similar or even more serious crimes."
"Only the President of the United States," the declaration continues, "by granting Mr. Pollard executive clemency, can save him from spending the rest of his life behind bars."
The following is the full text of the Agudath Israel rabbis' statement:
DECLARATION REGARDING JONATHAN POLLARD
Shvat 5767 - January 2007
The heart-wrenching plight of Jonathan Pollard, an American Jew who is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel and is currently in his 22nd year of captivity, demands our urgent attention.
Mr. Pollard's life sentence - a penalty far more severe than that imposed upon others who committed similar or even more serious crimes - is difficult to comprehend. His lawyers have made various efforts through the courts to have his sentence reconsidered, all to no avail. At this time, it appears that all legal avenues through the judicial system have been shut off. Only the President of the United States, by granting Mr. Pollard executive clemency, can save him from spending the rest of his life behind bars.
Already years ago, Gedolei Yisroel called upon all Jews to do whatever they possibly can to try to help Mr. Pollard gain his freedom. Now that his legal appeals have been exhausted, and with his health deteriorating because of his incarceration, we reiterate that call with a renewed sense of urgency.
We call upon all caring Jews who understand the importance of being nosei b'ol im chaveiro and the imperative of pidyon shvuyim to convey the message to President Bush that Mr. Pollard has served long enough, and that the time has come to free him.
May Hashem Yisborach, the ultimate Matir asurim, look down with favor upon our efforts and place in the heart of the President the resolve at long last to grant Yehonoson ben Malka his freedom.
As a follow-up to the rabbinic declaration, Agudath Israel is joining a number of Jewish organizations asking Americans who support the cause of Mr. Pollard's freedom to telephone the White House daily between the hours of 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time until Passover with requests for the President's granting of clemency for the imprisoned Jew.