Melvin Salberg, National Chairman 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 Mel Salberg:

Melvin Salberg

Anderson Kill Olick & Oshinsky
666 Third Avenue
New York NY 10017

September 15, 1993

The President
The White House
Washington DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

On the eve of Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, the holiest days in the Jewish Calendar, I write to you as a private citizen with regard to Jonathan Pollard.

As you may know, the Anti-Defamation League, which I serve as National Chairman, determined some time ago, as an institutional matter, not to involve itself in Pollard's case because it found no probative evidence of anti-Semitism in his sentencing. It is now my personal view that as serious as his crime was, Jonathan Pollard has paid his debt to society.

To say the world has changed in the years since Jonathan Pollard's arrest is an understatement. The Soviet Union no longer exists, the United States and Russia are working together, the Israelis and the PLO are now talking to each other and are committed to reconciliation. At this season of new beginnings and forgiveness for past transgressions and in your words on Monday of this week, "...let us go from this place to celebrate the dawn of a new era...", let Pollard's appeal for clemency receive your favorable consideration.


Melvin Salberg

See Also: