Reaction To The White House's Response

January 23, 1996

Ms. Susan Brophy,
Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs
The White House
Washington, DC

I am deeply distressed by your response to Congressman Ackerman (January 8, 1996) for the letters he transmitted regarding Jonathan Pollard.

The letters were signed by the national presidents of the four streams of Judaism. These rabbis are the spiritual leaders of thousands of congregations all across America.

Your response indicating that you "look forward to hearing from you on other matters" is frankly insulting. It is astonishing to me that President Clinton, whom I have always supported particularly because of his connectedness with people, is so out of touch on this issue.

Pollard was guilty, but now in his eleventh year of a life sentence -- even as Michael Schwartz, who confessed to spying for the Saudis goes free -- the excessiveness of sentence is a perversion of American justice.

I believe the time has come for President Clinton to meet with myself, as Jonathan's rabbi, and the four rabbinic leaders who wrote on Jonathan's behalf to discuss this pressing issue. I look forward to an appropriate response.


Rabbi Avi Weiss
National President, AMCHA

  • Return to Jewish Unity Page