Seth Gitell - The Forward (NY) - September 24, 1999
Jonathan Pollard is asking Hillary Rodham Clinton for her help in
getting him clemency. Pollard, convicted of spying on behalf of Israel,
spoke to the Forward last week through the executive vice president of
the National Council of Young Israel, Rabbi Pesach Lerner. Pollard is
only permitted to telephone a limited number of approved phone numbers.
Pollard provided answers to the Forward's questions via Rabbi Lerner who
relayed them back to the Forward.
"Mrs. Clinton's position would be of significant concern to all New York
State voters," Pollard said. "How she feels on things like the use of
secret evidence and broken plea agreements and using a case like mine to
inflict collective punishment on the entire Jewish community would be of
concern to a lot of people," Pollard said. Pollard acknowledged
wrongdoing. "I broke the law," Pollard said. He praised Rep. Robert
Wexler, a Democrat from Florida, for speaking in favor of his clemency
to the President.
Mr. Wexler likened Pollard's punishment to the Clinton
impeachment, arguing that in both cases the punishments did not fit the
crime. Said Pollard: "This is a very important question because during
the attempted impeachment process all the President kept saying is 'show
me the evidence, let me see the evidence that you have against me so I
can mount a defense.' That is all I have asked for 15 years, and they
have repeatedly turned me down."
Pollard also criticized Prime Minister Barak for not pressing his case.
"Netanyahu has confirmed that there was a post-Wye agreement for my
release, which was to occur parallel to the release of the Palestinian
prisoners. Barak was informed of this linkage but when he came to
Washington he detached my case. He told Clinton that this was not a
concern of ours," Pollard said.
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