Jonathan Pollard 311 (R).
(photo credit: Courtesy of Justice for Jonathan Pollard)
Former Florida congressman Robert Wexler, who has been the closest adviser to US
President Barack Obama on Middle East issues for several years, wrote to him on
Friday asking him to commute the life sentence of Israeli agent Jonathan
Wexler joined a long list of senior current and former American
and Israeli officials who have written Obama asking him to release Pollard, but
he is arguably the closest among them to the US president.
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“I write to
you in order to join the long list of members of Congress, former administration
officials, Nobel laureates, diplomats and religious leaders asking you to grant
clemency for Jonathan Pollard,” Wexler wrote. “This letter does not seek to
diminish the significance of his crime, nor does it wish to dispute the
conditions under which the sentence was originally passed. The purpose of this
letter is to advocate that Mr.
Pollard be held to the same standards of
punishment for his actions as others convicted of similar crimes.”
wrote that Pollard is the only person in US history to receive a life sentence
for disclosing classified information to an American ally. He added that Pollard
is the only American citizen convicted of such a crime to be sentenced to more
than 14 years in prison, and the punishment for such a crime is now set at a
maximum of 10 years.
“Having spent over 25 years in incarceration, seven
of which were spent in solitary confinement, and having expressed remorse for
his crimes, it is my humble opinion that Mr. Pollard has served sufficient time
– both in terms of punishment for his crimes and in terms of deterrence to
would-be perpetrators,” Wexler wrote. “I therefore ask that you consider
asserting your constitutional authority to grant clemency for Mr.
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Wexler is currently the president of the Washington- based S.
Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, which works with leaders and
policymakers in the United States and the Middle East, including the Obama
administration, to help reach a just and comprehensive peace that will bring an
end to the Arab- Israeli conflict.
Then-congressman Wexler served as an
adviser to Obama on issues relating to Israel and the Middle East during his
2008 presidential campaign. He continues to work with the president through his
work at the Abraham Center. In addition, it has been reported that Wexler is a
member of a team of high-profile individuals in the American Jewish community
who have been tapped by the president’s campaign advisers to assist him in
responding to criticism of his stance on Israel during his upcoming reelection
During his tenure in Congress, Wexler was an outspoken advocate
for the strong bond between the United States and Israel, and a leading
proponent of Israel’s right to self-defense and the need for a just and
comprehensive resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Pollard, who turns
57 on Sunday, August 7, underwent an urgent surgical procedure on Tuesday after
suffering from intense pain caused by problems with his kidneys, gall bladder,
and high blood pressure.
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