Central Conference of American Rabbis
December 7, 1995
President Bill Clinton
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20080
Dear Mr. President,
We are so grateful to you for your comforting words during a time of such grave tragedy for Israel. Your words at the funeral of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of blessed memory, were words which lifted the nation of Israel, Jews throughout the world and all Americans.
At this most difficult time, we rabbinic leaders of the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements write to ask you to heed one of the final requests made by Prime Minister Rabin to commute the sentence of Jonathan Pollard. This request expresses the will of the rabbinate across the spectrum of the Jewish community as may be seen from the letter attached which was signed by 1,000 rabbis, spiritual leaders of hundreds and synagogues and temples across the country.
While we in no way condone acts of espionage or any violation of our country's laws, we nonetheless call on you to recognize that the lifetime sentence imposed upon Jonathan is unduly harsh and grossly inconsistent with the punishment given to other Americans convicted of similar and even worse crimes.
We therefore call upon you to demonstrate your commitment to justice by commuting Jonathan Pollard's sentence to the time, ten years, he has already served. This would be consistent with - indeed, longer than - sentences typically imposed by American courts for similar offenses. Jonathan Pollard's sentence should appropriately reflect the punishment that is commensurate with his crime.
Rabbi Simeon J. Masilin
President, Central Conference of American Rabbis
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