Hospitalized again this week following heart surgery and a series of intensive medical procedures, Jonathan Pollard's rabbi, the former Chief Rabbi of Israel, Ha Rav Mordechai Eliyahu nevertheless made a super-human effort to have a letter hand-delivered to President Bush today at the Knesset. Fortunately, the letter had been prepared prior to his hospitalization.
In his letter, the former Chief Rabbi of Israel offers to be Jonathan Pollard's guarantor, and to accept him into his custody. The Rabbi points out that Pollard has been punished very harshly and that his survival after 22 years in prison is a miracle. He urges Mr. Bush to release Jonathan for the good of America, for the good of Israel, and for the good of the entire world. He assures Mr. Bush that both he and America will be blessed for rectifying this travesty of justice. The text of Rabbi Eliyahu's letter to President Bush follows below.
RABBI MORDECHAI ELIYAHU
FORMER CHIEF RABBI OF ISRAEL AND RISCHON LEZION
April 17, 2008 B"H
The Honorable President George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
Dear Mr. President:
Peace and blessings upon you from Jerusalem!
I am turning to you both as a president as a man - as an honest man renown for helping and assisting others; and as a president who has virtually unlimited authority to act on behalf of the general public, and on behalf of the individual citizen.
My concern is Jonathan Pollard (May G-d protect him).
Jonathan Pollard has languished in American prisons for 22 years. He has been punished beyond measure and his survival is a miracle. His continued incarceration is a travesty of justice that is a blot upon America's reputation as a G-d-fearing nation. According to our sages, whoever shows mercy to G-d's creations, G-d shall be merciful to him. I urge you to release Jonathan Pollard and to send him home to Jerusalem. By correcting this long-standing injustice, you will bring blessing upon the American people and her armed troops which are fighting so valiantly under life-threatening circumstances.
I would like to point out that I am willing to act as Jonathan Pollard's guarantor, to take him into my custody and to accept full responsibility for him. I have visited Jonathan in prison on numerous occasions. He is a dignified man, a man of noble sensitivities who is deserving of special consideration.
Mr. President, do this good deed and I believe that in doing good for Jonathan Pollard, you will be doing good for the American nation, and good for the nation of Israel, as well as good for the entire world.
It is within the power of one who rules to raise himself up and transcend the common fray. It is written in Psalms 130:4, "Forgiveness belongs to you that you may be feared." Our sages interpret this verse to mean that The Holy One, Blessed be He, forgives, and He is feared all the more so. Mr. President, G-d raised you up and made you president of a great country. It is incumbent upon you to emulate what is pleasing to G-d, and to be as He is - forgiving and merciful; to do what is just and right. Please release Jonathan Pollard at once.
My blessing is that G-d should lead you on the right and good path that you should act righteously and succeed, both personally and publicly. G-d is with you. Do and succeed!
With blessings and affection
Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu
Former Chief Rabbi of Israel