A President's Day Appeal to President William J. Clinton

"I believe that any person who asks for forgiveness, has to be prepared to give it."

(President William Jefferson Clinton, after being acquitted by the Senate of all charges, February 12, 1999.)

President's Day, February 15, 1999

Dear President Clinton,

Some months ago I wrote to you to implore you to grant clemency to my husband Jonathan Pollard. It appears that my letter to you, while still unanswered, may have touched your heart since your words today - after your own acquittal - so closely echo my own to you in October of 1998.

I am therefore taking this opportunity to resubmit my heartfelt appeal to you. It follows below. Now that your own redemption has been achieved, may you find the grace to extend forgiveness and clemency to my husband, Jonathan Pollard, and send him home to me. I thank you in advance for your kind consideration, and wait with renewed hopefulness for your reply.


Esther Pollard (Mrs. Jonathan Pollard)

Originally Written Erev Yom Kippur, October 4, 1998
Resubmitted President's Day, February 15, 1999

Dear President Clinton,

It is well known that at this time you yourself are seeking the forgiveness of G-d and of the American people. As you may be aware, Jewish tradition has it that he who wishes to receive forgiveness must show himself worthy of such grace by extending it to others.

With this in mind, I am writing to ask you, in the name of the G-d of Israel, to extend forgiveness to my husband, Jonathan Pollard. My husband has expressed remorse for his actions on many occasions, in the media and in various letters to you personally. He knows he was mistaken in acting above the law. He has paid a very heavy price for his mistake, 13 years in prison, under harsh and difficult circumstances.

Mr. President, you have it in your power to show mercy to my husband, to do a kindness for me, his wife, and at the same time to correct a terrible injustice that has been done, not only to my husband, but to Israel and the Jewish people as well. I am therefore writing to ask you, in the name of the G-d of Israel, to extend clemency to my husband Jonathan Pollard, by commuting his sentence to time served, effective immediately.

When considering my request please remember what our Rabbi, HaRav Mordecai Eliahu shlita, wrote to you, and I quote:

"..The Holy One, Blessed be He, raised you up and made you president of a great country. It is incumbent upon you to emulate what is pleasing to G-d, and to be as He is - forgiving and merciful...According to our sages, whoever shows mercy to G-d's creatures, G-d shall be merciful to him....Do this good deed, and I believe that in doing good for Jonathan Pollard, you will be doing good for the American nation, and good for the nation of Israel, as well as good for the entire world. Please release him at once....My blessing is that G-d should lead you on the right and good path, that you should act righteously and succeed, both personally and publicly, as it is written in the Book of Genesis, Verse 39:2, 'The Lord was with Joseph and he was successful.' G-d is with you. Do and succeed."
Esther Pollard
(Mrs. Jonathan Pollard)
*For the complete text of Ha Rav Eliahu's letter and other Rabbinical Appeals to President Clinton visit the Jewish Unity Page.