Pressing for Pollard

The Jewish Press - December 3, 1999

G-d is watching.
The media is watching.
Washington is watching.
The world 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.

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.

See Also:

  • Hikind Prods Hillary on Pollard
  • Pollard Press Conference
  • Return to Senate Race page