Hillary Comes To The Aid Of Jonathan Pollard
The Jewish Press - Editorial - September 8, 2000
We welcome the news that Mrs. Hillary Clinton's timely intervention has
enabled Jonathan Pollard to avoid being transferred to a dangerous unit
in the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, where he is serving a
life sentence for spying for Israel. As we understand it, Pollard had been held in a relatively secure unit for his safety because of his high
profile as a Jew and agent of Israel, but was to be transferred in the
normal course because of budgetary reasons.
Apparently, the day after a meeting between Mrs. Clinton and Assemblyman
Dov Hikind, arranged by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, at which she
was importuned by both to call for clemency for Pollard, Mrs. Clinton
was notified by Assemblyman Hikind of the impending transfer. Mrs.
Clinton reportedly contacted federal prison officials and registered her
concern and, according to Mr. Hikind, the transfer order was rescinded.
It is interesting that some have suggested that this was mere campaign
grandstanding on Mrs. Clinton's part. One person even suggested to us
that this was nothing but a straw man charade orchestrated by the
Clinton campaign to allow her to appeal to the Jewish community. Given
the timing of her intervention, this latter observation is implausible.
But it, like the more general comment, reveals the depth of skepticism
surrounding Mrs. Clinton's candidacy a scant two months before the
In truth, had Mrs. Clinton ignored the request to intervene, we would
all have been on her case in a heartbeat. And we note that as far as we
can tell, the reports of her action did not emanate from her campaign,
but rather from those who had asked her to act.
So we take her gesture at face value and urge our readers to do the
same. At the same time we note that both Mrs. Clinton and her adversary,
Rick Lazio, have declined to take a public position on the broader
question of freedom for Pollard. Mrs. Clinton continues to state that
she has not yet come to a conclusion, while Mr. Lazio has said that
he believes that it is the President's call to make.
This continues to be a great disappointment to us. We do not see this
matter only as one of justice for an individual, as important as that
is. Indeed, as we have often said in the past, Jonathan Pollard sits in
federal prison under a life sentence - draconian under the circumstances
because he spied for the Jewish State. Nor have there ever been so many
glaring irregularities in the legal process as in Pollard's case. We
will be watching to see if the candidates revisit this issue, which is
of such concern to our community.
Hillary Was Not Alone
Where Does Rick Lazio Stand?
Hillary Pulls Strings for Pollard
The Senate Race page