Pressing for Pollard
The Jewish Press - December 3, 1999
G-d is watching.
On December 5th at 11 a.m., time will stand still for Jonathan Pollard
as it has for the more than 15 years that he has served his life
sentence. His pain and frustration are articulated in his voice when we
speak. Jonathan is embarking on his sixteenth year of confinement in a
world in which justice and due process are charming catch- phrases that
never caught on in Jonathan's case.
The media is watching.
Washington is watching.
The world is watching.
It's not a sigh that will set him free, or an empathetic conversation
about his predicament, or even reading this column. The world is
watching. The media is watching. But what matters most is that G-d is
watching. It's about how much this really means to us, how much of a
priority status we assign to it. None of us would be so callous as to
dismiss his suffering. That's not who we are as a people. We're "bnei
rachmonim" - our lives are underscored with compassion. We are a people
of compassion. That's why we can't stay home on December 5th.
This press conference must convey unequivocally not just the sentiment
but the intensity of conviction that we attach to the release of
Jonathan Pollard. How can we in good conscience turn the page on
Jonathan - as if his situation carried with it as much weight as a sale on
detergent? This December 5th, at 11:00 am at 450 7th Avenue, between
34th and 35th Streets, we will have the opportunity to create a momentum
that could prospectively secure freedom for Jonathan.
His plight is our plight. We are related not by blood but by conscience.
He has served his time. He has shown remorse. And he deserves our mercy
- Jewish mercy and presidential mercy.
We are presented, occasionally if we are fortunate, with the opportunity
to participate in a course that has us rise to the challenge of our
potential. What better lesson can we impart to our children, the
inheritors of our tradition, that we will not stand by as another
suffers, that we will add our voices so that Jonathan Pollard's can be
heard by Hillary Clinton and echoed in the corridors of the White House.
Unless you are engaged in the diligent study of Torah, or the
fulfillment of another significant mitzvah, it is incumbent upon all of
us as part of the greater Jewish community to secure justice for
Jonathan Pollard by joining with us. How will our children feel if they
know that they were actively involved in the mitzvah of "Pidyon
shevuyim" - liberating someone who has been imprisoned? What will they learn about being Jewish if we don't? G-d is watching.
Hikind Prods Hillary on Pollard
Pollard Press Conference
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