Lieberman and Pollard

Arutz7 - August 21, 2000

Despite - or because of - Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Lieberman's outspoken objections to calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard, the Forward reports that Jewish leaders across the religious spectrum are renewing calls to commute Pollard's sentence.

Pollard is serving an unprecedented life term for transferring American military secrets to Israel. Lieberman led a group of 61 senators who signed a letter last year urging President Clinton to resist "political intervention" in the case.

"Nevertheless, Mr. Lieberman is in an enviable position now to end this," said the Executive Vice President of the National Council of the Young Israel, Rabbi Pesach Lerner. "He can solve the problem."

One of his counterparts in the Reform movement, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, was more pessimistic. "I don't think we will see any flexibility," he said. "[Lieberman's position] lets Gore off the hook... If an observant religious candidate is against Pollard's release, why shouldn't Gore be?"

Yoffie added an extra consideration: "You have to assume that part of [Lieberman's] thinking on this matter is that he doesn't want to be accused of dual loyalty."

It has in fact been widely reported that in a private conversation with Jonathan Pollard's father, Senator Lieberman indicated that a primary concern of his with the case was the issue of dual loyalty.

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