Young Israel: End Jonathan Pollard’s Unjust Parole Conditions

November 11, 2019

The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI), which for many years has been deeply involved in the effort to free Jonathan Pollard, today released a letter it wrote on behalf of Pollard, in which it called on President Trump and Attorney General Barr to end his unjust parole conditions.

The NCYI wrote that Pollard, who was released from prison in November 2015 following a disproportionate thirty-year sentence for passing classified information to an ally of the United States, has been subjected to outrageous parole conditions since that time, due largely in part to an affidavit filed by former Director of Intelligence James Clapper, which falsely claimed that Pollard remains a security threat.

Clapper’s claims have been resoundingly refuted by former National Security Advisor Bud McFarlane and former head of Senate Intelligence Dennis DeConcini, each of whom submitted affidavits on Pollard’s behalf which unequivocally stated that he was by no means a security threat. It should be noted that McFarlane, who was National Security Advisor when Pollard was arrested and therefore uniquely qualified to understand the ramifications of Pollard’s actions, called Pollard’s life sentence a “great injustice.” DeConcini, who was on the Intelligence Committee when Pollard was arrested and later became head of Senate Intelligence, publicly called for Pollard’s release in 1998. It should also be noted that Republican David Durenberger and Democrat Lee Hamilton, who served as the heads of Senate and House Intelligence when Pollard was arrested, also called for his release and criticized his life sentence.

In addition, the NCYI cited the declining health of Pollard’s wife, Esther, who is suffering from breast cancer and needs significant medical help.

“The unjust parole conditions on Pollard are impairing his ability to properly care for his wife and her illness,” the NCYI wrote. “This situation could potentially be life threatening should she have a medical emergency during a time he is confined to his home or if she needs to travel outside his permitted area.”

“We call on the President and/or Attorney General to immediately end the unjust parole conditions of the curfew, the GPS bracelet and the travel restrictions,” added the NCYI. “We also request that the President and/or Attorney General end all additional parole conditions and give Pollard his full freedom after 30 years of imprisonment and an additional four years of outrageous parole conditions. We ask that action be taken immediately because of the injustice of the parole conditions and due to the urgent health needs of his wife.”

 

The following is the full text of the NCYI’s letter:

The National Council of Young Israel, representing over 100 United States Synagogues and approximately 100,000 American Jews, has been the leading Jewish organization calling for the end of the unjust life sentence to Jonathan Pollard. We are now calling for the end of the outrageous parole conditions imposed on Pollard since his release.

Jonathan Pollard was released from jail after serving 30 years for giving classified information to an ally, a crime in which the average sentence was less than 10 years. The onerous parole conditions barring Pollard from traveling outside a small area, requiring him to wear a GPS bracelet 24/7 and confining him to his apartment from 7pm – 7am every single day, are unjust and wrong. Former National Security Adviser, Bud McFarlane, and former head of Senate Intelligence, Dennis DeConcini, in a bipartisan fashion, signed an affidavit to the court stating that Pollard was no longer a threat and should have these parole conditions removed. Unfortunately, the court relied on a false affidavit signed by former Director of Intelligence, James Clapper, that absurdly claimed that Pollard still possessed important classified information even though it was over thirty years old. As a result of the Clapper affidavit needless government resources are continuously wasted monitoring Pollard’s every move.

Pollard’s wife Esther is now suffering from breast cancer and needs significant medical help. The unjust parole conditions on Pollard are impairing his ability to properly care for his wife and her illness. This situation could potentially be life threatening should she have a medical emergency during a time he is confined to his home or if she needs to travel outside his permitted area.

We call on the President and/or Attorney General to immediately end the unjust parole conditions of the curfew, the GPS bracelet and the travel restrictions. We also request that the President and/or Attorney General end all additional parole conditions and give Pollard his full freedom after 34 years of incarceration. We ask that action be taken immediately due to the urgent health needs of his wife.

Thank you for considering our request.

Farley Weiss, National President

Representing the NCYI Board of Directors

 

For the past 107 years, the National Council of Young Israel has ably served the broader Jewish community. With more than 25,000 member families and approximately 135 branch synagogues throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel, the National Council of Young Israel is a multi-faceted organization that embraces Jewish communal needs and often takes a leading role in tackling the important issues that face the Jewish community in North America and Israel.