The Pollard Scorecard

Jewish Press (NY) - Editorial - February 25, 2000

In the current Presidential sweepstakes it is a sad commentary on the Jewish community and its leadership that not one of the Presidential contenders even sees the need to pander on the release of Jonathan Pollard. As we noted several weeks ago, Republican Presidential aspirant, Senator John McCain unequivocally opposes his release. Governor George Bush has managed to avoid taking a position. On the Democratic side, Vice President Al Gore says he would follow the recommendation of the Justice Department, which is tantamount to opposition to release and which is also curious because President Clinton went against the recommendations of the Justice Department and other agencies and released the convicted FALN terrorists. And former Senator Bill Bradley, parroting Hillary Clinton says that he will take no position because he has not seen the file on Pollard.

In truth the only candidate for high office who has steadfastly - even before becoming a senatorial candidate - and strongly supported Pollard's release is New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. And it is ironic that he is the only one with the credentials to really know what he is talking about. The mayor was the number three official at the Justice Department under Ronald Reagan and was also the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, perhaps the most prestigious such office in the nation. And given his performance as Mayor, no one would accuse him of being "soft on crime."

Disappointingly, one major Orthodox organization [the OU] has taken to listing the 19 issues our community should keep in mind in the current primary season, and guess what appears dead last as number 19. Yes, seemingly almost as an afterthought, "Release of Jonathan Pollard." All the issues are important, but this is a decidedly wrong message to send.

This is the time to seek help for Jonathan Pollard from those who seek our support. Indeed, if not now, when?