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Israel - In A Letter To President Obama, Rabbi Lau Warns Not To Let Pollard Die

Published on: February 24, 2013 10:12 AM
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Israel - Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau wrote US President Barack Obama on Friday, urging him to commute the sentence of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard to the more than 27 years he has served.

Lau asked for Pollard’s freedom in a letter full of biblical quotations and references to former US president Abraham Lincoln, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and the Statue of Liberty. The rabbi warned of Pollard’s deteriorating health and pleaded with Obama to release the Israeli agent before he died in prison.

“Despite his admission and his regret, Jonathan continues to serve a sentence unprecedented in American history [for the crime he committed],” Lau wrote. “His health is fleeting and the remainder of his life is diminishing.”

In the letter, Lau quoted a verse in the Book of Samuel that warns that Jonathan could die. He notes that the Jonathan in the book is the son of King Saul but that it also applies to Pollard.

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Lau asked Obama to permit Pollard to move to Israel and become a father.

He noted that Pollard would soon mark the unfortunate milestone of 10,000 days in prison.

“Let him live the rest of his life with his wife, Esther, in the State of Israel that granted him citizenship,” Lau wrote. “This action would be seen as a humanitarian gesture by the seekers of freedom in the world.”

Lau will have an opportunity to raise Pollard’s fate directly with Obama, because he will be with him when Obama visits Yad Vashem, of which Lau heads the board of directors, next month.

Meanwhile, Likud MK Moshe Feiglin wrote on Facebook that if Obama comes to Israel without releasing Pollard, he will boycott his visit and other legislators should as well.

“I call on MKs to join me in leaving the Knesset empty during the speech of the president of the country that continues to hold our brother in captivity,” Feiglin wrote.


Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post


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1

 Feb 24, 2013 at 10:24 AM Brooklynhocker Says:

Mr. Feiglin, you and your other small minded MKs are more then welcome to not show up for President Obama's speech, but don't go crying when US support slowly gets cut. If there is one lesson from Purim it's that you aren't in control. Bitchu B'Hashem Adei Ad. Rabbi Lau understands that, he's just doing his (and Klal Yisroel's) Hishtadlus.

2

 Feb 24, 2013 at 10:39 AM abc Says:

his long term sentence is un precedented but so is Americas support for Israel!

3

 Feb 24, 2013 at 11:14 AM hock-nit-kien-chnik Says:

rabbi lau tell ur gov't to stop pursuing chridim that will merit for others to stop pursuing Israelis maybe.

4

 Feb 24, 2013 at 11:18 AM Anonymous Says:

Boycotting the President of American People because he did not release a skeptical asset is like asking the world to pardon you for your own ingenuity.

5

 Feb 24, 2013 at 12:16 PM Aron1 Says:

Reply to #2  
abc Says:

his long term sentence is un precedented but so is Americas support for Israel!

What's your point? That Pollard should just "suck it up"?

6

 Feb 24, 2013 at 12:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Brooklynhocker Says:

Mr. Feiglin, you and your other small minded MKs are more then welcome to not show up for President Obama's speech, but don't go crying when US support slowly gets cut. If there is one lesson from Purim it's that you aren't in control. Bitchu B'Hashem Adei Ad. Rabbi Lau understands that, he's just doing his (and Klal Yisroel's) Hishtadlus.

you are so right that one will result in the other, possibly even as it happens, because they are so related.

7

 Feb 24, 2013 at 12:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
abc Says:

his long term sentence is un precedented but so is Americas support for Israel!

current global warming is also unprecedented, as are gold values, gasoline, use of the internet and cellular phones.

What do any of these and your examples have to do with each other? what was the point of your comment? your two examples were as unrelated as my examples were.

8

 Feb 24, 2013 at 01:31 PM InsideOne Says:

Pollard's regret? What regret? He has been obnoxious and unrepentant, which is what earned him his sentence in the first place. It's embarrassing that our leadership continues to take up the cause of this self-centered and destructive individual.

And now it's going to be Obama's fault if he dies? He's going to die one way or the other (that's Hashem's doing, not Obama's) and due to Pollard's own actions, and the united position of many administrations both Democratic and Republican, it's almost certainly going to happen in prison.

Move on and focus on some real issues.

9

 Feb 24, 2013 at 01:43 PM Buchwalter Says:

Rabbi Lau means well. Republican Presidents and Democratic presidents were asked to pardon Pollard and refused. Pollard did not understand the implications and ramification of the information he divulged from Suitland Maryland. He spoke openly about his connection with the Mossad and the FBI arrested him on the steps of the Israeli Embassy on Van Ness Avenue. The statement by Mr. Feiglin is very foolish. Israel still receives a sizable amount or quite a sizable amount of military aid from the U.S. while domestic programs are curtailed. Such statement could backfire and have serious consequences for American Jews. Eyze chochom haroye eyz haneuled which is missing.

17

 Feb 24, 2013 at 02:49 PM Norden Says:

" In A Letter To President Obama, Rabbi Lau Warns Not To Let Pollard Die"

I do not know where Rabbi Lau shlita gets the idea that the President of the United States of America has control of life and death. One of the most fundamental tenets of Judaism (and many other religions) is that life and death are G-d's monopoly.

18

 Feb 24, 2013 at 02:52 PM Penge Says:

Reply to #8  
InsideOne Says:

Pollard's regret? What regret? He has been obnoxious and unrepentant, which is what earned him his sentence in the first place. It's embarrassing that our leadership continues to take up the cause of this self-centered and destructive individual.

And now it's going to be Obama's fault if he dies? He's going to die one way or the other (that's Hashem's doing, not Obama's) and due to Pollard's own actions, and the united position of many administrations both Democratic and Republican, it's almost certainly going to happen in prison.

Move on and focus on some real issues.

"Pollard's regret? What regret? He has been obnoxious and unrepentant, which is what earned him his sentence in the first place. It's embarrassing that our leadership continues to take up the cause of this self-centered and destructive individual."

Plus one!

19

 Feb 24, 2013 at 02:54 PM Pure Move Says:

Reply to #5  
Aron1 Says:

What's your point? That Pollard should just "suck it up"?

He did the crime, he took the money. Now let him do the time, traitorous tinofet that he is.

20

 Feb 24, 2013 at 02:59 PM Robertsdab Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Boycotting the President of American People because he did not release a skeptical asset is like asking the world to pardon you for your own ingenuity.

Perhaps you meant "disingenuousness"? It certainly makes much more sense. Perhaps you would explain what "skeptical asset" means in the context of your comment, please?

Best wishes.

21

 Feb 24, 2013 at 03:04 PM abc Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

current global warming is also unprecedented, as are gold values, gasoline, use of the internet and cellular phones.

What do any of these and your examples have to do with each other? what was the point of your comment? your two examples were as unrelated as my examples were.

the point is if u spy on friends it hurts more than when u spy on enemies and the punishment should be greater

22

 Feb 24, 2013 at 03:16 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
InsideOne Says:

Pollard's regret? What regret? He has been obnoxious and unrepentant, which is what earned him his sentence in the first place. It's embarrassing that our leadership continues to take up the cause of this self-centered and destructive individual.

And now it's going to be Obama's fault if he dies? He's going to die one way or the other (that's Hashem's doing, not Obama's) and due to Pollard's own actions, and the united position of many administrations both Democratic and Republican, it's almost certainly going to happen in prison.

Move on and focus on some real issues.

i agree its his action, but isn't Israels action too, why aren't they humbled.. why are they so arrogant ?

23

 Feb 24, 2013 at 05:52 PM Wondering Says:

I'm wondering when the Israeli government, is going to return the sensitive documents, which they have refused to return for 27 years, which Pollard sent them? Also, when are they going to produce Aviem Sella, and extradite him to the USA for trial. Sella was Pollard's handler in this matter, and has been under indictment since 1985. However, he fled the country, as he knew that he was guilty. If those documents had been returned in their entirety (and not just a minimal amount of documents), and if Sella had been sent to the USA to face the music, Pollard would have been released a long time ago. Also, if Pollard had not consented to be interviewed by Wolf Blitzer, and had not appeared on 60 minutes (along with Anne Henderson Pollard), he might now have received a life sentence, as contacts with the media were prohibited, as part of his plea bargain agreement. Incidentally, Ann Henderson Pollard and her Father, were recently brought to EY, to live.

24

 Feb 24, 2013 at 07:56 PM Anonymous Says:

"Lau asked Obama to permit Pollard to move to Israel and become a father.."
Huhh....the guy is 60 years old and supposedly suffering from life-threatening illnesses. He is not going to start a family even if he was released, unless he plans on dumping his second wife (who he married after dumping his first wife Anna after she was released from prison) and finding some younger woman who wants her 15 minutes of fame for bearing the child of an infamous spy. Why do we keep making these guys heros when there are so many legitimate heroes who didn't break the law.

25

 Feb 24, 2013 at 08:03 PM Norden Says:

Reply to #23  
Wondering Says:

I'm wondering when the Israeli government, is going to return the sensitive documents, which they have refused to return for 27 years, which Pollard sent them? Also, when are they going to produce Aviem Sella, and extradite him to the USA for trial. Sella was Pollard's handler in this matter, and has been under indictment since 1985. However, he fled the country, as he knew that he was guilty. If those documents had been returned in their entirety (and not just a minimal amount of documents), and if Sella had been sent to the USA to face the music, Pollard would have been released a long time ago. Also, if Pollard had not consented to be interviewed by Wolf Blitzer, and had not appeared on 60 minutes (along with Anne Henderson Pollard), he might now have received a life sentence, as contacts with the media were prohibited, as part of his plea bargain agreement. Incidentally, Ann Henderson Pollard and her Father, were recently brought to EY, to live.

All good and valid points. Yeyashar koach, Wondering #23, you have summed up the matter very well indeed!

26

 Feb 24, 2013 at 08:33 PM Sarak Says:

Reply to #1  
Brooklynhocker Says:

Mr. Feiglin, you and your other small minded MKs are more then welcome to not show up for President Obama's speech, but don't go crying when US support slowly gets cut. If there is one lesson from Purim it's that you aren't in control. Bitchu B'Hashem Adei Ad. Rabbi Lau understands that, he's just doing his (and Klal Yisroel's) Hishtadlus.

us support is getting cut regardless of what, the usa people noticed that cutting the deficit is important and that means cutting money for all types of programs.

israel needs to stop relying on usa and do whats good for them and god will help, jews always fail when they rely on others forgetting god

27

 Feb 24, 2013 at 08:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
Norden Says:

" In A Letter To President Obama, Rabbi Lau Warns Not To Let Pollard Die"

I do not know where Rabbi Lau shlita gets the idea that the President of the United States of America has control of life and death. One of the most fundamental tenets of Judaism (and many other religions) is that life and death are G-d's monopoly.

maybe you have a better idea if you read the article before you commented.

28

 Feb 24, 2013 at 08:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
Robertsdab Says:

Perhaps you meant "disingenuousness"? It certainly makes much more sense. Perhaps you would explain what "skeptical asset" means in the context of your comment, please?

Best wishes.

Seriously? Is this really the first time you read a comment by on VIN in which the writer used words he did not know the meaning of?

29

 Feb 24, 2013 at 08:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
abc Says:

the point is if u spy on friends it hurts more than when u spy on enemies and the punishment should be greater

are you a little girl testing to your friends? Or do you just not know English well enough to spell "you"?

Your new comment is even more ignorant and makes even less sense than your first one.

30

 Feb 24, 2013 at 08:53 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

Rabbi Lau is "warning" the US President? Well I am sure Mr. Obama is shaking in his boots.

31

 Feb 24, 2013 at 09:23 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #22  
Anonymous Says:

i agree its his action, but isn't Israels action too, why aren't they humbled.. why are they so arrogant ?

Galut Jews who get involved with the Mossad for whatever reason must understand that they are involved in a Faustian pact. The Mossad as well the CIA or the BND use people as assets which can be deposed at their will and expidiency. Pollard not only did he furnish Suitland papers to others but also received monetary remuneration. We have a tendency to assign antisemitism to every rogue endavour

32

 Feb 24, 2013 at 09:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
Robertsdab Says:

Perhaps you meant "disingenuousness"? It certainly makes much more sense. Perhaps you would explain what "skeptical asset" means in the context of your comment, please?

Best wishes.

A skeptical asset is a person who is being bartered who has no true purpose in the democracy of Israel's think tanks for tomorrow. Thanks.

33

 Feb 24, 2013 at 10:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #24  
Anonymous Says:

"Lau asked Obama to permit Pollard to move to Israel and become a father.."
Huhh....the guy is 60 years old and supposedly suffering from life-threatening illnesses. He is not going to start a family even if he was released, unless he plans on dumping his second wife (who he married after dumping his first wife Anna after she was released from prison) and finding some younger woman who wants her 15 minutes of fame for bearing the child of an infamous spy. Why do we keep making these guys heros when there are so many legitimate heroes who didn't break the law.

you have no idea what he will or will not do, and even if you did, it's none of your business.

34

 Feb 24, 2013 at 10:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23  
Wondering Says:

I'm wondering when the Israeli government, is going to return the sensitive documents, which they have refused to return for 27 years, which Pollard sent them? Also, when are they going to produce Aviem Sella, and extradite him to the USA for trial. Sella was Pollard's handler in this matter, and has been under indictment since 1985. However, he fled the country, as he knew that he was guilty. If those documents had been returned in their entirety (and not just a minimal amount of documents), and if Sella had been sent to the USA to face the music, Pollard would have been released a long time ago. Also, if Pollard had not consented to be interviewed by Wolf Blitzer, and had not appeared on 60 minutes (along with Anne Henderson Pollard), he might now have received a life sentence, as contacts with the media were prohibited, as part of his plea bargain agreement. Incidentally, Ann Henderson Pollard and her Father, were recently brought to EY, to live.

thank you for your insightful political analysis. As you appear to be more than willing to answer your own questions, why are you bothering us here with your screed?

Your comment has nothing to do with Rabbi Lau's stated intention, and none of us are interested in your reports of who did what when, or in your ignorant opinions.

35

 Feb 24, 2013 at 10:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #24  
Anonymous Says:

"Lau asked Obama to permit Pollard to move to Israel and become a father.."
Huhh....the guy is 60 years old and supposedly suffering from life-threatening illnesses. He is not going to start a family even if he was released, unless he plans on dumping his second wife (who he married after dumping his first wife Anna after she was released from prison) and finding some younger woman who wants her 15 minutes of fame for bearing the child of an infamous spy. Why do we keep making these guys heros when there are so many legitimate heroes who didn't break the law.

if you have such a problem with this, why don't you ask Obama to ignore Rabbi Lau? I'm sure Obama will value your opinion as much as I do!

And it's Rabbi Lau to you, not Lau, regardless of what the newspaper wrote. Have a little respect for your betters.

36

 Feb 24, 2013 at 11:31 PM charliehall Says:

Reply to #2  
abc Says:

his long term sentence is un precedented but so is Americas support for Israel!

Not true. John Walker, Aldrich Ames, and Robert Hanssen also got life sentences for espionage; Jerry Whitworth got 365 years, and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg got the death penalty. Espionage is a very serious crime and Pollard got easy by getting a sentence that made him eligible for parole after ten years. However, he has been in prison 27 years and has never applied for parole.

37

 Feb 25, 2013 at 12:42 AM Greener Says:

“Let him live the rest of his life with his wife, Esther . . . "
Shouldn't the word "wife" in the letter have been in quotation marks? Who exactly was the mesader kedushin?

38

 Feb 25, 2013 at 12:52 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #33  
Anonymous Says:

you have no idea what he will or will not do, and even if you did, it's none of your business.

I suspect that they are really excited over at the WH about the idea of releasing a 60+year old convicted spy so he can run off to EY to "start a family".....Perhaps if he had shown some contrition a decade ago, that might have been possible. Now, he would be lucky to if he ever leaves prison in his liftetime.

39

 Feb 25, 2013 at 03:33 AM Chatham House Says:

Reply to #34  
Anonymous Says:

thank you for your insightful political analysis. As you appear to be more than willing to answer your own questions, why are you bothering us here with your screed?

Your comment has nothing to do with Rabbi Lau's stated intention, and none of us are interested in your reports of who did what when, or in your ignorant opinions.

Actually, Wondering #23 knows exactly what he is talking about. He has done marvels by summarizing the entire Pollard case in

40

 Feb 25, 2013 at 09:02 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #37  
Greener Says:

“Let him live the rest of his life with his wife, Esther . . . "
Shouldn't the word "wife" in the letter have been in quotation marks? Who exactly was the mesader kedushin?

why should it be in quotes? And what business is it of yours who his mesader kedushin was?

I'll also point out that if you needed a valid mesader kedushin for every marriage probably 99% of the world would have to put "wife" in your quotation marks.

41

 Feb 25, 2013 at 09:04 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #39  
Chatham House Says:

Actually, Wondering #23 knows exactly what he is talking about. He has done marvels by summarizing the entire Pollard case in

you are as big a fool as he is. And he didn't "summarize" the Pollard case; he gave his opinions, and one "if" after another as to what would have happened had he done this, that and the other.

He doesn't know what would have happened, and neither do you. and in any event, that is not a recap of the case in any way shape or form.

42

 Feb 25, 2013 at 10:17 AM YYYguy Says:

Reply to #30  
PaulinSaudi Says:

Rabbi Lau is "warning" the US President? Well I am sure Mr. Obama is shaking in his boots.

That was my first reaction as well. Then I read the article again. I believe it is the VIN staff who has interpreted Rabbi Lau's "urging" to a "warning". Rabbi Lau would never "warn" the president. he is too wise to do that.

43

 Feb 25, 2013 at 10:44 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Brooklynhocker Says:

Mr. Feiglin, you and your other small minded MKs are more then welcome to not show up for President Obama's speech, but don't go crying when US support slowly gets cut. If there is one lesson from Purim it's that you aren't in control. Bitchu B'Hashem Adei Ad. Rabbi Lau understands that, he's just doing his (and Klal Yisroel's) Hishtadlus.

Remember, the USA needs Israel more than Israel needs the USA.

44

 Feb 25, 2013 at 10:50 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Brooklynhocker Says:

Mr. Feiglin, you and your other small minded MKs are more then welcome to not show up for President Obama's speech, but don't go crying when US support slowly gets cut. If there is one lesson from Purim it's that you aren't in control. Bitchu B'Hashem Adei Ad. Rabbi Lau understands that, he's just doing his (and Klal Yisroel's) Hishtadlus.

So hearbreaking to read these cruel and vindictive comments. - Do you people not understand that these sites are monitored and the disunity that Jews display are noted and thus, we ourselves help to keep Pollard in jail.
For shame.

45

 Feb 26, 2013 at 01:22 AM I_Am_Me Says:

Reply to #17  
Norden Says:

" In A Letter To President Obama, Rabbi Lau Warns Not To Let Pollard Die"

I do not know where Rabbi Lau shlita gets the idea that the President of the United States of America has control of life and death. One of the most fundamental tenets of Judaism (and many other religions) is that life and death are G-d's monopoly.

Come on, he's a rabbi don't you think he of all people would know that God is the controller of life & death? And Moshe was sent to Paroh to tell him not to let anymore yiden die in captivity, to set them free. Are you saying the God, the Torah & Moshe were wrong & that Moshe should have just looked to Shamaim & told God to free the yiden? Rabbi Lau is simply asking the Paroh of today's generation (look at how America thinks it rules the wirld & so did Egypt) to let the yid go.

As for this wonderful MK, may Hashem bless him for his courage to stand up for this one yid!

46

 Feb 26, 2013 at 01:32 AM I_Am_Me Says:

Reply to #18  
Penge Says:

"Pollard's regret? What regret? He has been obnoxious and unrepentant, which is what earned him his sentence in the first place. It's embarrassing that our leadership continues to take up the cause of this self-centered and destructive individual."

Plus one!

Are you guys actually saying he should repent being a Jew?! Any & every Jew should want to be proud of being a Jew & do everything they can for Israel & Judaism. What he has done is made a kiddush Hashem & for that you are saying he should repent?! In the Torah it says we should make a kiddush Hashem, not a chilul Hashem which is what you're doing. Anyone who stands against Pollard is doing a chilul Hashem. Not to mention the way the rabbis say God fells about leaving a Jew to suffer by himself.

47

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