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Sunday, February 24, 2013
Rabbi Lau to Obama: Shall Jonathan die?

[For link to original Hebrew:
http://bit.ly/X50fIa ]

Rabbi Lau to Obama: 'Shall Jonathan die?’
By RABBI LAU The Jerusalem Post 02/24/2013 11:05
http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=304308

Tel Aviv's Chief Rabbi implores US president to commute Pollard’s sentence
and allow him to live out the remainder of his life with his wife Esther in
Israel.

Honored President,

Divine Providence, acting through the American People, has appointed you to
the most exalted office in the world: President of the United States. You
stand at the head of the most powerful nation in the world whose strength is
measured not only by its political, economic and military might, but also by
its spiritual power as the flag bearer of liberty and freedom. At the
eastern port of entry to the United States stands the Statue of Liberty
which symbolizes for all who enter her gates, the longed-for national
calling card, the yearning for freedom of all mankind. In the chronicles of
history, the brilliant personalities of George Washington, President Abraham
Lincoln and the visionary Martin Luther King, stand out. Their character and
their fight for independence, liberty, and equality, light the way for your
feet in forging another link in this illustrious chain.

My dear President, it is 28 years (nearly 10,000 days) that Jonathan Pollard
has been incarcerated in an American prison. He was sentenced for a serious
offense, passing classified information to a foreign country, albeit a
friendly nation, the State of Israel. Those who were responsible for this
affair have admitted their guilt and expressed honest and deep remorse for
this serious breech, even if it were done with the intention of protecting
the security of Israel.

Despite the admissions and the remorse, Jonathan continues to remain in jail
for a period of time unparalleled in its harshness and for which there has
been no precedent in all American history. In addition to the fact that the
man is serving a disproportionately severe sentence, it is well known that
his health is failing and his life expectancy is diminishing.

In the book of Samuel I in the Bible, Chapter 14, the People of Israel cry
out: “Shall Jonathan die?” This outcry which refers to Jonathan, the son of
King Saul, screams from the chambers of my own heart with regard to Jonathan
Pollard, that he should merit to leave prison alive, and perhaps even be
blessed with the most basic right which has been denied him up until now,
fatherhood.

Honored President, after the requests of the president of our country Mr.
Shimon Peres, and our prime minister Mr. Binyamin Netanyahu, and thousands
of Israelis, as well as those of exalted American leaders such as
Secretaries of State, Professor Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, I too add
my voice to the many who are calling on you to hear and to respond
positively to commute the sentence of Jonathan Pollard, who seeks only to
live out the remainder of his life with his wife Esther in the State of
Israel which has granted him citizenship. Your taking this action, Mr.
President, shall be engraved upon the hearts of freedom-seekers throughout
the world as a gesture worthy of being included in the chronicles of
humanity.

With blessing,

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau

Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv – Yaffo

Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council

Former Chief Rabbi of Israel

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