Transcript of David Luchins' Remarks at the Israel Center
Jerusalem - February 13, 2000.
[See Justice4JP Note following the transcript.]
Transcribed from the original tape of the lecture. Copy obtained from the Israel Center.
*NBThe transcriber, a filmmaker with more than 20 years experience listening to sound bytes, noted that Luchins rattled off his remarks about Pollard so quickly that it was at times difficult to understand and required several replays. Editor's clarifications are italicized and in brackets.
In the question and answer section, responding to a question on the candidates' position on Jonathan Pollard, David Luchins said:
"I have given numerous speeches on the issue of Jonathan Pollard - it takes about an hour to (unintelligible) ..the subject...and every time I do it I get in trouble and people go crazy and the Jewish Press attacks me again. Jonathan Pollard has been in jail too long - I'd like to get him out of jail. The way to get him out of jail is not through a jail break, not through pressure on government, the way to get him out of jail is for Jonathan Pollard to apply for parole, which he refuses to do, to write a letter of remorse, which he refuses to do, he repudiated Rabbi Soloveichik's letter, Jonathan Pollard's case is very complex and very sad. He was put in jail, in some measure, by those who hated him in Israel, and he's been kept in jail, in some measure (unintelligible) .... the refusal of the little group around him to allow others to use other approaches to try to help him keeps him in jail....he is considered now to be a prisoner of war...the Geneva Convention...he must be part of a foreign policy trade...why in the world would you want to link poor Jonathan Pollard to Palestinian compliance? It's terribly unfair...someone at the State Department said you're right, they're saving him for Jerusalem, oh please, he's been in jail too long. You asked the candidates' positions - I'll tell you the candidates' positions:
Bill Bradleysays he will not confuse a national security issue with a campaign slogan - he will not discuss it, it's not appropriate in a political campaign - that a man who has committed a serious crime should not be held hostage to the vagaries of American politics, he has the right to apply for a humanitarian pardon or parole like any other American, and his case should get full consideration.
Al Goresays I rely on the Justice Department and
John McCainwas one of 62 Senators led by
Joseph Leiberman* of Connecticut, who asked a shailah, who changed his position, who signed a letter saying he should stay in jail forever, based upon the enormity of his crime and his total, what they perceive, as his total lack of remorse and
George W. Bushhas not taken a position but I can't believe it'll be any different from McCain's.
As far as the Senate race,
Rudy Guilianihas come out for releasing Jonathan Pollard,
Mrs. Clintonhas not made her position known yet, but I would predict that she would take a very strong position the other way. I would predict that she would challenge Rudy Guiliani and say, 'what do you know that Pat Moynihan and Joe Leiberman* don't know?' and 'why are you keeping this man in jail by insisting that the President release him, when he can apply for parole?' and why are you insisting...I think it's going to be an issue...I think there a lot of people in upstate New York that are not going to be happy about his position on that.
I didn't raise the Pollard issue for 2 reasons - one: because I've sat through thousands of meetings with Jewish leaders with my Senator and they never raised it, so I must tell you it is not an issue on the agenda of the organized Jewish community. There are only 2 groups that raise the Pollard issue - that's the Orthodox Union has raised it with politicians and the other group that raises it regularly is the National Council of Young Israel - the rest of the Jewish community does not raise the issue and even the Orthodox Union, truth be told, does not believe (Luchins does not complete this sentence) ...the Orthodox Union favors humanitarian release or parole - it does not favor the position that the Pollard camp has insisted on today (equal justice)- it's a painful difficult issue, and I gotta tell you - the faster we get Pollard out of electoral politics...he was eligible for parole...Eli Weisel was prepared to testify on his behalf...Coretta Scott King was prepared to testify on his behalf..he had Alan Dershowitz and Leonard Garment as his pro bono (not true)...he FIRED (emphasis his) his attorneys and refused to apply - what more do you want me to do? - it's very difficult - any other questions?"
*SEE Colman Open Letter to Lieberman: (After Hillary meeting, NY State Assemblyman Sam Colman calls CT Senator Lieberman to account on behalf of the Jewish Community.)
Justice4JP Note:The above transcript reveals all of Luchins' usual lies about Jonathan Pollard. Luchins prefaces by saying that Jonathan Pollard should be out of prison, but his ensuing remarks convey the opposite message.
Luchins' lies include:
- Jonathan has refused to express remorse.
- Jonathan has done damage to the US.
- Jonathan Pollard would be granted parole but refuses to apply for it.
- Jonathan is held hostage by a small group of his own people who do not allow him to seek parole.
- Jonathan will not avail himself of the help being offered by such notables as Eli Wiesel and Coretta Scott King who want to testify for him at a parole hearing.
- Jonathan had Alan Dershowitz and Leonard Garment as lawyers and he fired them.
Contrary to what Luchins claims, a parole hearing is not a court hearing. As a rule, the parole board examines the prisoner's file well in advance of the hearing, and their decision - based on the contents of the file - has already been made before the hearing begins. Jonathan Pollard's parole file contains nothing but negative recommendations from those government agencies with vested interests in keeping him in prison.
It should also be noted that Luchins represents the position of the Orthodox Union [OU] as being identical to his own. Namely, that judicially Pollard got what he deserved, and the only grounds on which he should seek release are humantiarian or via the parole process. According to this view, judicial equity is not something that Pollard has a right to, and is not something that he should be fighting for. The the OU has never publicly "corrected" Luchins, or stated its own postition as being anything but what he presents. This conflicts with the position that the OU represents to its members.
Luchins is correct in stating that "people go crazy" every time he opens his mouth on the Pollard case. Isn't it time for Luchins and the OU to relect on what it is that he is saying which causes such consternation?