AMP urges supporters to take action and denounce latest Israel-first policies
(CHICAGO 11/22/2010) – Thirty-nine Democratic U.S. Representatives have signed a letter asking President Barak Obama to grant clemency to convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. The elected officials are working in tandem with several Zionist and religious Jewish organizations, including the Zionist Organization of America, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, B’nai B’rith International, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) urges its supporters to take action and call on the congressmen to uphold America’s interest and stop these Israel-first policies. Freeing Pollard is unpatriotic and harms America’s long-standing interests.
Pollard was sentenced to life in prison in 1986, after he confessed to spying for the state of Israel. Pollard, who was a civilian research analyst with high security clearance for the U.S. Navy, had agreed to spy for Israel for 10 years in exchange for more than $500,000. According to a January 1999 article in the New Yorker by Seymour Hersh, Pollard “betrayed elements of four major American intelligence systems.” Pollard caused extensive damage to U.S. intelligence and U.S. national security because of the nature of the highly sensitive documents he sold to Israel.
In many cases, Israel bartered top-secret U.S. intelligence documents it received from Pollard with the Soviet Union, in exchange for Soviet Jewish colonial emigration to historic Palestine, Hersh wrote.
Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has hinted at Israeli concessions in the stalled peace talks if Pollard is released, according to the Jerusalem Post. This is not the first time he has used the American Jewish traitor as a bargaining chip in Middle East peace negotiations. As prime minister in October 1998, Netanyahu also tried to gain Pollard’s release in exchange for concessions during the Wye River, Maryland, talks with then-President Bill Clinton.
The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) is outraged that 39 U.S. representatives care more about the state of Israel than they do for American security. It is time for our elected officials to put U.S. interests ahead of Israel’s.
Below is the letter, initiated by U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-MA, to President Barack Obama as well as the names of the 39 representatives who have put Israel’s interest ahead of America’s by signing the letter.
- AMP urges you to contact the signatories to say that their support of someone who has done incalculable damage to the security of the United States is reprehensible and unacceptable.
- If your representative did not sign the letter, please write and thank him or her. AMP also asks you to urge them to resist pressure from their Israel-first colleagues.
- Write a letter to President Obama to express your disapproval of this letter and to stress that Americans deserve and demand that U.S. policymakers put our interests ahead of a foreign country’s.
November 18, 2010
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
We write to urge you to use your constitutional power to extend clemency to Jonathan Pollard, thereby releasing him from prison after the time he has already served. Mr. Pollard committed serious crimes and he has expressed remorse. Such an exercise of the clemency power would not in any way imply doubt about his guilt, nor cast any aspersions on the process by which he was convicted. Those who have such views are of course entitled to continue to have them, but the clemency grant has nothing to do with that.
We believe that there has been a great disparity from the standpoint of justice between the amount of time Mr. Pollard has served and the time that has been served — or not served at all — by many others who were found guilty of similar activity on behalf of nations that, like Israel, are not adversarial to us. It is indisputable in our view that the nearly twenty-five years that Mr. Pollard has served stands as a sufficient time from the standpoint of either punishment or deterrence.
In summary, we see clemency for Mr. Pollard as an act of compassion justified by the way others have been treated by our justice system. We urge you to use the clemency power in this case.
Barney Frank (D-MA)
Gary L. Ackerman (D-NY)
Robert E. Andrews (D-NJ)
Shelley Berkley (D-NV)
Robert A. Brady (D-PA)
Danny Davis (D-IL)
Theodore E. Deutsch (D-FL)
Eliot L. Engel (D-NY)
John J. Hall (D-NY)
James A. Himes (D-CT)
Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY)
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI)
John Lewis (D-GA)
Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY)
Michael E. McMahon (D-NY)
Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY)
Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
John W. Olver (D-MA)
Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ)
Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ)
Donald M. Payne (D-NJ)
Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)
Laura Richardson (D-CA)
Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL)
Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA)
Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)
Edolphus Towns (D-NY)
Niki Tsongas (D-MA)
Henry A. Waxman (D-CA)
Anthony Weiner (D-NY)
To find the addresses and phone numbers of elected officials, click here.
To send an email to President Obama, click here.
For more background information on Jonathan Pollard, go to these resources:
Jerusalem Post, Nov. 19, 2010.
Seymour M. Hersh, Annals of Espionage, “The Traitor,” The New Yorker, January 18, 1999, p. 26 ($5.99 fee)
Ian Williams, “A Tale of Two Spies,” July/August 1993 Washington Report, p. 13.
The American Muslims for Palestine is a national, grassroots organization, whose mission is to educate the American public about issues relating to Palestine and its rich, cultural heritage. For more information, go to www.ampalestine.org, call 888.404.4AMP, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.