Abe Foxman, National Director of ADL, Damaging Letter of Support for Pollard

September 15, 1993

Justice4JP Background Note

Personal letters supporting the commutation of Jonathan Pollard's sentence were written to President Clinton by ADL National Director Abe Foxman, and National Chairman Mel Salberg around the time of the Jewish New Year, September 1993. These letters purported to be letters of support, but were in fact damaging to the cause of Jonathan Pollard.

Both letters - deliberately written on personal stationery, not ADL letterhead - stressed that they were personal notes and not indicative of any position on the part of the ADL.This underscored the weakness of their support for Jonathan Pollard's release. It was a clear signal to the Administration that they could do as they pleased with Pollard and no offense would be taken by the ADL or its executive .

The ADL has never taken a position on the case. Its implausible excuse remains that it cannot find any anti-Semitism to warrant its involvement. Below is the text of the letter written by Abe Foxman:

Abraham H. Foxman

United Nations Plaza
New York New York 10017

September 15, 1993

The President
The White House
Washington DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Although I have written to you before in my capacity as National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, in this letter I speak not for the ADL, but only for myself. I believe the time has come for you to grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard and commute his sentence to the time already served, and I urge you to do so.

This week, as you know, marks the beginning of the Jewish New year. As recent monumentous events demonstrated, it is a season of new beginnings around the world and an appropriate time to offer forgiveness to those who have transgressed.

There is no question that what Pollard did was wrong and cannot be justified. However, he has acknowledged his transgressions, and he has paid a steep price for them. Pollard, too, deserves forgiveness and a chance to turn the page and begin a new chapter in his life. I hope you will give him that chance.


Abraham H. Foxman

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