Jonathan Pollard  

Michael Daskal

            Ten years ago, Jonathan Pollard, a NAVY intelligence officer pleaded guilty to providing Israel with classified documents to Israel concerning its security i.e. activities of Arab countries and terrorist groups hostile to Israel. For example: the chemical, bacteriological and nuclear program in Iraq. This information had not been transmitted to Israel despite a Convention of Reciprocity signed between the United States and Israel. Jonathan Pollard considered he had a moral duty to warn Israel of the massive threat to its security. In a letter to Rabbi Werb, he writes: "I'd rather be rotting in prison than sitting "shiva" for the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who could have died because of my cowardice". (to sit "shiva" = to mourn in the Jewish traditional way). In 1985,  Jonathan Pollard was arrested and, although never accused of treason, condemned to a life sentence for espionage in favor of Israel.

             Many voices -amongst which thousands of American lawyers and jurists- have denounced this UNUSUAL HARSH SE'NTE'NCE' considering American jurisprudence.  In the past, for similar cases, the usual sentence was always inferior to 4 years. (Abder Kader Helmy, an American of E'gyptian origin, participated to the illegal transfer to E'gypt of secret technologies later used to increase the range of Iraqi Scud-B missiles. Helmy was sentenced to less than 4 years, Jonathan who warned Israel was sentenced to life!). Justice Steve Williams reacting to the sentence of an appellate court said the "the government's conduct in this case resulted in a complete miscarriage of justice".

             On October 10th 1988, the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists called

upon the Government of the United States to recognize that the punishments meted out to Jonathan Pollard had been "unduly harsh", to "reduce Jonathan Pollard's sentence to one

proportionate to those of others convicted of similar activities", and to "provide full

protection of his constitutional rights as a prisoner, including confidential access to his


             Besides the juridical struggle, an important opinion movement in favor of Jonathan was born. It is continually expanding. Since the Gulf War, i.e. since the international community realized the importance of the act of Jonathan Pollard, this movement is in full expansion mainly in the United States. Millions of people and organizations world-wide have asked President Clinton to release Jonathan Pollard immediately.

             Petitions were organized to ask the presidents Bush and Clinton for presidential clemency. They were already signed by millions of people (more than 33000 from E'urope). This international movement of solidarity, strictly humanitarian and a-political, asking the release of Jonathan Pollard is expanding daily. It already obtained improved imprisonment conditions.


            Jonathan is already ten years in prison: the quarter of his life, to HAVE' HE'LPE'D ISRAE'L WITHOUT HARMING THE' UNITE'D STATE'S. On November 1995, he may be eligible for parole. It is the duty of any person concerned with Justice to show his/her solidarity with Jonathan and to join this world-wide opinion movement asking his liberation. Amongst the millions of signatures, one can find Nobel Price winners (E'lie Wiesel, Georges Charpak), influent political people, municipalities (Los Angeles, New-York, Chicago,...), artists (Paul Newman, Harrisson Ford, Jack Lemmon, Zubin Metha,...), organizations and people from all tendencies (left-wing as well as right-wing), out of all professions (lawyers, writers, rabbi’s, etc...), non-Jews as well as Jews.


            On September 16th 1993, the E'uropean Parliament adopted almost unanimously a resolution urging the US Administration to commute Pollard's sentence to one of time served and to release him immediately.


            Itzhak Rabin many times publicly and officially asked the President of the United States for the liberation of Jonathan Pollard


            We, all of us,  have a moral duty to react against the injustice upon Jonathan Pollard notably by asking presidential clemency for Jonathan Pollard from President Clinton ( These letters are counted. It may be YOURS which will make the difference.


Michael Daskal


1° Article 2 in the US Constitution says "the president shall have the power to grant reprieves and pardon."


            You can thus participate to the massive stream of letters addressed to President Clinton to ask him presidential clemency for Jonathan Pollard. These letters are counted. They need not be long; a few lines would do. It may be YOURS which will make the difference.

  The address: 

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave

Washington DC 20500


I SAMUE'L 14.45 : "And the people said to Saul, shall Jonathan die, who has wrought this great salvation in Israel? So the people rescued Jonathan that he died not."


SAMPLE of letter to address to President  

Subject:  Commutation for Jonathan POLLARD



 Dear President Clinton,

 I join to the millions of people worldwide who appeal to your sense of justice to review the unusually harsh sentence inflicted on Jonathan Jay Pollard.

 I neither condone acts of espionage nor contest Mr. Pollard's guilt. Nevertheless, compared with other similar cases of espionage I believe that the sentence is grossly disproportionate to the charge held against him i.e. transmission of classified documents to a foreign nation, in this instance an American ally, Israel.

 I strongly urge you to commute Jonathan Pollard's sentence to time already served.