Hikind: Bradley to Review Pollard

The Jewish Week (NY) February 18, 2000 - Eric J. Greenberg

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind said Tuesday he extracted a promise from Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley to review the case of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard and take a public position before the March 7 New York primary.

"He made a commitment. it was as clear as could be," Hikind said, following an hour-long visit by Bradley and Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) to the Orthodox Beth Jacob of Brooklyn, one of the largest girls' yeshivas in the nation.

"He did not say maybe, he did not say he would try," asserted Hikind, who confronted Bradley, after the ex-New Jersey Senator's short campaign speech in the school's cafeteria before hundreds of eighth-graders and community leaders. "I think this is something very, very new."

While the audience drifted out of the room Hikind told Bradley that by supporting a pardon for Pollard - a former Navy intelligence analyst who has served 15 years of a life sentence for spying on the United States on behalf of Israel - Bradley would separate himself from other presidential candidates.

But Bradley officials questioned the commitment to a decision by March 7. And in an interview with several reporters afterwards, Bradley did not mention it.

"I haven't taken a position on it, and I think that the issue has to be resolved when you can see the clemency report," which he said has not been available to him.

In October, Bradley previously told Jewish leaders the Pollard issue should not be addressed during the campaign.

Vice President Al Gore told a Borough Park group last month that Pollard should be granted clemency only if the Justice Department recommends it - an unlikely event.

GOP candidate John McCain firmly opposes granting Pollard clemency. A spokesman for the Republican Jewish Coalition said he did not know Texas Gov. George W. Bush's position.

See Also:
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  • Nice Try Mr. Gore, But Clintonisms Won't Work