Response to Hillary Clinton's remarks on Pollard

J4JP & The Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home

For Immediate Release: July 17, 2012


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's remarks in Jerusalem yesterday, indicating that there is no expectation that the U.S. will release Jonathan Pollard after an unprecedented 27 years in prison, stunned her Israeli hosts and marred the warm reception she received from the Israeli public.

Incredibly, the U.S. Secretary of State did not offer any explanation as to why the U.S. wants to keep the aging and very ill Pollard in prison forever. She simply replied that Pollard was

"sentenced to life in prison" and is "serving that sentence."

In what can only be regarded as unmitigated gall, while deflecting Israel's requests for the release of Pollard, Mrs. Clinton pressed Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres to release a number of convicted murderers and terrorists to the Palestinian Authority, who she also said were

"sentenced to life in prison " and are "serving that sentence."


As official US policy, Clinton's remarks represent a resounding slap in the face, to President Peres, to Prime Minister Netanyahu, and to the People of Israel.

Her remarks are also an affront to the American people, to the numerous Senior American officials and U.S. elected representatives who are calling for Pollard's release; to the American Jewish community and its leaders; and to honest people around the world who care about justice for Pollard.

However, Clinton is not the decision maker. President Obama is, and he still owes an official response to the numerous formal requests for Jonathan Pollard's release which he has received over the last 2 years.

As long as no response is forthcoming from the president, there is a disturbing sense that the U.S. is simply ignoring the compelling and urgent issues of this case.


Extrapolating what appears to be the current U.S. position on the Pollard case from Clinton's remarks, it seems that the values of justice and compassion are of absolutely no concern to the Obama Administration.

Issues that the Obama Administration continues to ignore include:

  • Pollard's grossly disproportionate sentence
  • Pollard's failing health
  • Calls by former CIA Director for Pollard's release
  • Calls by former Secretaries of State Kissinger and Shultz for Pollard's release
  • Calls by Heads of Senate Intelligence Committee for Pollard's release
  • Anti-Semitism as a factor in sentencing (revealed by McFarlane, Korb etc)
  • Anti-Semitism as a factor in keeping Pollard in prison (revealed by Woolsey etc)
  • Calls by U.S. senior judicial officials to right the Pollard "travesty of justice"
  • Bipartisan calls by members of the House and Senate for Pollard's release
  • President Peres repeated formal appeals to President Obama
  • Prime Minister Netanyahu's repeated formal appeals to President Obama
  • Appeals to Obama by senior American security officials
  • Appeals to Obama by leaders of all the Jewish religious streams
  • Interfaith appeals by Clergy and Religious Leaders of all denominations
  • Private appeals to Pres. Obama by donors, supporters, seekers of justice
  • Urgency: all of Pollard's legal avenues of relief have been exhausted

It should be noted that in 2000 while campaigning for the US Senate, Hillary Clinton stated said she had concerns about "due process issues regarding Jonathan Pollard's sentence." What happened to those concerns? Surely the passage of another 12 years in prison since 2000 have done nothing to allay concerns that there is something radically wrong with Pollard's sentence.

Clinton's public rebuff of Israel's urgent humanitarian appeal to the U.S. to save Pollard's life flies in the face of the public statements she made on this trip, reaffirming the unbreakable ties and strong friendship between the two countries.

It is incumbent upon President Obama, in support of the US- Israel special relationship and in support of our shared values of justice and compassion to respond favorably and expeditiously to the numerous requests for Jonathan Pollard's immediate release.

  • See also: Clinton: I do not expect Pollard to be released: Herb Keinon & Khaled Abu Toameh, The Jerusalem Post