Israel Features & Resources

Union for Reform Judaism Urges White House to Release Pollard

Annette Powers

New York, NY, April 10, 2012 - In response to reports of Jonathan Pollard's serious medical condition and recent hospitalization, Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) President Rabbi Rick Jacobs issued the following statement:

We respectfully request that the Obama Administration heed Israeli President Peres' request that President Obama grant Jonathan Pollard clemency on humanitarian grounds.

Under the U.S. criminal system, we think this is precisely the appropriate standard justifying clemency. First, Jonathan Pollard has been incarcerated for nearly 27 years, after pleading guilty to espionage to an ally. While we do not condone Mr. Pollard's actions, we believe he has served his time.

In studying precedents, no other individual convicted of similar crimes has served such a lengthy sentence. Further, the humanitarian justification is intensified by his deteriorating health condition.

We urge immediate clemency so that he may be surrounded by his loved ones while trying to recover from a grave illness that put him in the hospital over the Passover holiday. Clemency is both the just and compassionate response in this situation.