Every few years it seems the “get Jonathan Pollard out of jail” campaign moves into high gear, only to fizzle out in the home stretch. Sure, the campaign has loyal supporters who have worked decades to get Jonathan released, but still he languishes in prison.
What makes the renewed effort different? A list of notables — including former Vice President Dan Quayle, former Secretary of State George Schultz, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, NJ Rep. Bill Pascrell, Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, and 38 other lawmakers — have written a letter calling on President Barack Obama to release Pollard.
Virtually every Jewish Orthodox and Reform organization and Conservative rabbis across the country agree. Another prestigious individual who has offered his seismic game-changing testimony is Dr. Lawrence Korb, who was assistant secretary of defense at the time of Pollard’s arrest.
In a letter to the president in September, Korb wrote, “I can say with confidence that the severity of Pollard’s sentence is a result of the almost visceral dislike of Israel and the special place it occupies in our foreign policy on the part of my boss at the time, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.”
Unfortunately, our history is filled with individuals who hate the Jewish State of Israel viscerally. To be fair, there are claims that Pollard gave secret documents to other foreign countries or that he was working with others in the Navy and has knowledge that is still relevant and could hurt our national security. To them I say the last time Pollard worked at the Navy, his desk had a rotary phone and a typewriter. It is doubtful he knows anything relevant.
Our MetroWest community is filled with fine, just, and generous people. But too many of them prefer to be silent on important issues. Silence is the food that nourishes the enemies of Israel and the Jewish people. We must all become activists.
Please call our president and tell him that Jonathan Pollard has served enough time and ask him to please commute his sentence to time served. The White House opinion e-line is www.whitehouse.gov/contact; the phone numbers are 202-456-1111 and switchboard: 202-456-1414.
Cochair, Israel and world affairs committee
Community Relations Committee of MetroWest NJ
The views expressed herein are the writer’s own and not intended to represent the views of the CRC.