Rudy Giuliani calls for Pollard's Release
Is Pollard Case The Next Minefield
for the First Lady?
Shaky road with Jewish voters calls for careful steps on Pollard ...
NY Jewish Week - Week of August 13-19, 1999
by Adam Dickter
After stumbling over the delicate issues of Palestinian Statehood and Jerusalem sovereignty, Hillary Rodham Clinton is facing two new dilemmas: what to do about the controversial Rev. Al Sharpton and what position to take on Jewish spy Jonathan Pollard.
According to one Democratic source knowledgeable of the First Lady's exploration of a Senate run, Clinton is being urged by Democratic Senator Charles Schumer to issue a statement in support of freedom for Pollard, convicted of giving U.S. military secrets (to Israel) and sentenced to life in prison in 1986. President Bill Clinton has repeatedly denied clemency to Pollard at the insistence of intelligence officials who claim he did irreparable damage to American security. A strong statement on behalf of Pollard would continue Hillary Clinton's trend towards distinguishing her views from those of her husband's administration, while perhaps quieting some of the criticism from Jewish voters who dislike her views on the Mideast peace process.
When asked for Clinton's position on Pollard's sentence, her spokesperson, Howard Wolfson, said the First Lady, who visited Brooklyn and Queens this week, had "no immediate comment." Schumer's office also did not respond to requests for comment.
Clinton may be prompted to take a position on Pollard, however, by a forthcoming memoir by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which he is expected to write that the President broke a promise to free Pollard in exchange for concessions at the 1988 Wye River Conference.
Clinton's likely opponent, Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, has come out in favor of clemency for Pollard, and this week, the director of his exploratory committee, Bruce Teitelbaum reiterated the mayor's position. "The mayor has been consistent," said Teitelbaum. Both in public and in private discussions [he] has stated his view that in terms of comparative sentences and length of time served, Jonathan Pollard is being treated differently than similarly situated offenders. He should be released."...
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