Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Congressmen Back Pollard’s Freedom

Thirty-nine Democratic reps. urge Obama

Print Email
Jonathan Pollard in 1998.(AP/Haaretz)

In the most high-profile effort yet to free the American convicted in 1987 of spying for Israel, 39 congressmen asked President Obama to grant Jonathan Pollard clemency on the grounds that his life sentence (for a crime, the letter admits, that he did commit) is overly harsh compared to similar cases, and that, as Rep. Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, put it, “If the president were to do this it [might] … enhance the peace process.” In addition to Frank, Democratic Reps. Bill Pascrell, of New Jersey, and Anthony Weiner and Ed Townes, both of New York, initiated the letter, which is supported by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organzations, B’nai B’rith, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Agudath Israel, and several other Jewish groups.

Lawrence Korb, an assistant defense secretary in the Reagan administration, also recently asked Obama to release Pollard, alleging that former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger’s “almost visceral dislike of Israel and the special place it occupies in our foreign policy” helped secure the harsh sentence. If you want the most persuasive case for why Pollard should be freed, read Gil Troy’s essay in Tablet Magazine from earlier this week.

Question: What did all 39 signatories have in common?

Answer: They are all Democrats. Reports JTA:

Frank said he tried hard to solicit Republican signatories, but was turned down even by the most sympathetic GOP lawmakers for fear of political blowback from the Republican base.

“The current nature of the Republican party is that this is not the thing to do,” he said.

Frank did not elaborate but Jewish officials speaking off the record confirmed his efforts and said that national security senisibilities among some Republican officials have hindered efforts to garner support.

39 Dems Urge Pollard Release [JTA]
Related: National Insecurity [Tablet Magazine]
Former U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary: Pollard Must Be Freed Now [Haaretz]

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Michael S. says:

Years ago I started informing solicitors for political donations that I would not contribute a penny until Mr. Pollard was released. If all American Jews, plus other sympathetic persons, did this, Mr. Pollard would be released within the fortnight.

Jonathan Silverman says:

I don’t believe that republicans refused to get on board. I do believe this letter is a scheme by democrats to save their jewish base which is now more inclined to vote republican now that a vote for democrats is a vote for hamas, so they appeal to a classic right wing issue free jonathan pollard. The democrats and the conf of major jewish organizations are not friends of the jewish ppl, the latter supported the disengagement. They are still trying angling for something awful.

Towns, not Townes.

for crying out loud! free this man before he dies in prison! what in the world could be keeping Obama from letting him go? oh, that’s right… I almost forgot that … that might make him look like he is a friend of Israel.

As much as Zionist’s would like to convince the American people yp nr;orbr that Israel’s and U.S. interests are one and the same. Their claim, however, is contradicted by the recent statement of General David Petreaus and VP Joe Biden (among others) that Israel’s intransigence vis a vis negotiations to end the Mideast conflict endangers U.S. troops in Afghanistan and our national security. So there are no special circumstance\s for which Jonathon Pollare should be pardoned. He’s a traitor and should serve his full sentence.

Hester says:

I will be informing the Democratic National Committee that I will not vote for or donate to any Democrat who supports the release of the traitor, Pollard.

and all of these AIPAC/Israel first congressmen scumbags should be shot for treason


fuck israel

Oh gosh yes! So what if Pollard only committed treason & all congressmen who now support this pardon/clemency R accessories 2 the same treason- He still has more in his head. Overtly harsh compared to similar cases?- We executed Julius & Ethel Rosenberg in ’53 4 passing secrets to the USSR- Oh that’s right- passing nuclear secrets to USSR & passing nuclear secrets to Israel is a different crime. Heck- not even a crime really. Lavon Affair 1954- USS Liberty 1967- they R our ally- NOT! What the heck- ALL- just about every TV Judeo/Christian televangelists insists that USA would/will be sooo blessed from God if USA would/will blessed, aid & forgive crimes of the Jews. Why look at history since 1948- Korean War- Viet Nam War- JFK assassination- from largest creditor nation 2 largest debtor nation- more drug addiction- more bankruptcy- more crime- more divorce- more disease- lower SAT scores- jobs & industry outsourced overseas- record foreclosures. Definition of a sound mind is to do the same thing over & over & expect different results. Wasn’t that what Sigmund Freud said? Wasn’t he another Zionist? Real Zionist 9/11 just as former director of US Army war college Dr. Alan Sabrosky said was the work of our so called ally Israel- (911 Missing so what- all just blessings from God according John Hagee & company. Israel of the Bible was to be multitude of nations & be huge # of people too. 2nd Samuel 7:10 says God would move His people Israel to a new & safer place. Genesis 21:12 says Israel was to be named through Isaac. Like sons of Isaac? Or Saxons? Or like Anglo-Saxons perhaps? Good web site Anglo Saxon Israel. So is Ugly Truth podbean of Mark Glenn. 2nd Chronicles 19:2 says wrath of God comes to those who help the ones who hate the Lord. So who hates the Lord? Muslims? No, they do not, but someone else certainly does.

Excellent tips you could have right here. Wish to check out far more of this sometime soon. In the meantime I will check a different webpage within the subject.

With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation? My site has a lot of exclusive content Ie either created myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any solutions to help protect against content from being ripped off? I certainly appreciate it.

Thank you for the good writeupIt in fact was a amusement account itLook advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Congressmen Back Pollard’s Freedom

Thirty-nine Democratic reps. urge Obama

More on Tablet:

A Grandfather’s Hidden Love Letters From Nazi Germany Reveal a Buried Past

By Vox Tablet — Reporter Sarah Wildman’s grandfather escaped Vienna in 1938. Long after he died, she discovered the life—and lover—he left behind.