Rep. Robert Wexler Pressing Clinton to Release Pollard

Welcome to Washington Column by Seth Gitell
The Forward (NY) September 10, 1999

Rep. Robert Wexler, a Democrat from Florida, is pressing President Clinton to free convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. Mr. Wexler met this week with leaders of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. Mr. Wexler recounted how, following the impeachment vote he made a pitch on Pollard's freedom to Mr. Clinton. Mr. Wexler told Mr. Clinton that although he personally believed the president's conduct during the Monica Lewinsky affair was abominable, he thought it was not cause for impeachment. "You should treat Pollard the way you wanted to be treated," Mr. Wexler recalled telling Clinton. Mr. Wexler also made the case for the Israeli peace accord with the Palestinian Arabs, but he said he opposed concessions to Syria. "Israel has no moral obligation to Syria," Mr. Wexler said.

The comments on Pollard come as Pollard lodged an appeal with the Israeli Supreme Court, and his wife Esther told the public of her battle with breast cancer.