Background: Why The Press For Pollard Right Now?

Dr. Aaron Lerner - February 13, 2001 - IMRA

  • A New Window of Opportunity

    During the "courtship" period between the new administrations in Israel and the US, there is a window of opportunity for both sides to make gestures that demonstrate a desire to improve relations and work in close cooperation.

    Freeing Pollard would demonstrate friendship towards Israel; as well, it would resolve both an old issue that has long marred joint relations and a debt undertaken by the previous administration at Wye to release Jonathan Pollard.

  • Establishing Israel's Priorities

    If Sharon makes Pollard's release his first order of business with the US, it will demonstrate that Israel places a priority on getting her men home. If Sharon delays, when he finally does raise the question of Pollard, the Americans will assume that he is simply going through the motions.

  • Strong Legal Grounds

    Pollard has already served 16 years of hard time in prison. His new legal case, which is currently before the American Courts, documents that his grossly disproportionate sentence was unfairly obtained in complete violation of his constitutional rights and in violation of the plea agreement he entered into with the American Government.

    By demonstrating that the US has the moral fortitude to correct a gross miscarriage of justice in the Pollard case, Bush will enable the US to continue to present itself as the standard of morality which other countries should aspire to.

  • Strong US Domestic and Foreign Policy Reasons

    The release of Jonathan Pollard will mark the end of the war-in-the-shadows against Israel. It would be President Bush's assurance to both Israel and the American Jewish community that the Intelligence and Defense communities will no longer use the Pollard case to undermine the perception of the American Jewish community as loyal citizens or Israel's reliability as an ally.

  • Strong Moral Grounds

    The Government of Israel and the American Jewish community have disgraced themselves with a full court press for the pardon of Marc Rich, while in 16 years no comparable effort was ever made for the release of an Israeli agent. This is the opportunity for the Government of Israel and the American Jewish community to redeem themselves by pressing for Pollard's release on legal and humanitarian grounds.

    Responding positively to Israel 's request for Pollard's release affords President Bush the opportunity to reassure both Israel and the American Jewish community of the integrity of the new Republican Administration, while at the same time demonstrating the difference between Bush's own morality and that of the former president who sold pardons to the highest bidder.

  • A Life And Death Urgency

    After 16 years in prison - 7 of them in solitary confinement - Jonathan Pollard's health is fragile and deteriorating with each passing day. His poor physical condition and the lack of adequate medical treatment in prison makes it dangerous for him to remain in prison as his legal case wends its way through the courts.

  • This Is A No-Cost, No-Time-Needed Initiative

    A serious initiative to secure the release of Jonathan Pollard would in no way interfere with Prime Minister Sharon's busy schedule. We are talking about a short telephone conversation with President Bush - a matter of minutes. Those few minutes at this critical time, while the window of opportunity is wide open, could possibly make all the difference in the world for Jonathan Pollard - and most certainly for Israel's national honor and self respect.

See Also:
  • Urgent Message to PM Sharon from Jonathan Pollard
  • Setting the The Standard for US-Israel Relations
  • Document: Letter from Jonathan Pollard to PM elect Sharon