National Council Of Young Israel Echoes President Peres' Call For Pollard's Release

April 10, 2012



Aaron Troodler
(888) 897-7450


Cites Pollard's Ailing Health And Disproportionate Sentence In Renewing Call For Clemency

The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) today renewed its call for clemency for Jonathan Pollard and urged the White House to immediately release him in light of his deteriorating medical condition and the disproportionate nature of his sentence. Pollard was rushed to the hospital several days ago after he became seriously ill. He has a history of medical ailments, which have become exacerbated after spending more than 26 years in prison.

Yesterday, Israeli President Shimon Peres issued a formal request to President Obama to free Pollard as a humanitarian gesture, given Pollard's most recent illness.

"After more than a quarter of a century languishing in a federal prison, it is time for the United States to allow Jonathan Pollard to go home," said NCYI Executive Vice President Rabbi Pesach Lerner. "We sincerely hope that President Obama will promptly heed President Peres' call for Jonathan's immediate release and do the right thing before it is too late. Jonathan's medical condition has worsened considerably, and absent White House intervention on humanitarian grounds, he faces a frightening and uncertain future."

"When one considers the disproportionate nature of Jonathan Pollard's sentence, his continued expressions of remorse, and the multiple calls for his release from respected members of the national intelligence community, his ongoing incarceration defies logic and is a glaring miscarriage of justice," continued Rabbi Lerner. "Every day that passes that Jonathan Pollard remains in prison is a terrible injustice and an absolute tragedy."

The National Council of Young Israel has been intimately and actively involved with Jonathan Pollard's plight for approximately 20 years, and has been one of the vocal and most ardent supporters of the movement to free Pollard. NCYI Executive Vice President Rabbi Pesach Lerner communicates regularly with Jonathan Pollard and his wife Esther, and is considered by Jonathan to be his clergy.

Numerous American leaders have called for a commutation of Pollard's sentence, including former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State George Shultz, former CIA Director James Woolsey, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb, former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Senator Dennis DeConcini, and Senators John McCain and Charles Schumer.

Jonathan Pollard has spent more than 26 years of an unprecedented life sentence in a federal prison for passing classified information to Israel, an ally of the United States. The median sentence for this offense is 2 to 4 years. No one else in the history of the United States has ever received a life sentence for this offense.

Aaron Troodler
Communications Director and Public Relations Coordinator
National Council of Young Israel
(888) 897-7450 (phone & fax)