European Jewish leader calls to free Pollard

EJC president Moshe Kantor adds his name to list of international figures calling on Barack Obama to grant Israeli agent clemency.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
September 17, 2011 21:43
1 minute read.
EJC President Moshe Kantor

EJC President Moshe Kantor 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor added his name over the weekend to the long list of international figures calling upon US President Barack Obama to commute the sentence of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard to the nearly 26 years he has served.

The list includes many prominent current and former Israeli and American influential figures. The addition of a senior European-Jewish leader is expected to give the effort a boost.

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The leaders of the effort to bring about Pollard’s release said Kantor’s letter sent a clear message to Obama that European Jewry joins with Jews in the United States and Israel in their quest to see Pollard released from prison.

“Jonathan Pollard’s continued imprisonment is an injustice,” Kantor wrote. “Only you, Mr. President, can put an end to this injustice by commuting Pollard’s sentence to time served.

“As we approach the Jewish New Year, a time considered an opportune moment for confession, forgiveness and new beginnings, I humbly ask you, Mr. President, to show mercy for a fellow human being and to serve the cause of justice,” he added.

Kantor is an international philanthropist, entrepreneur and investor who is well-known for his extensive involvement in Jewish communal life in Europe and beyond. Since 2007, he has served as president of the European Jewish Congress, a leading Jewish secular umbrella organization that coordinates 40 national Jewish communities in Europe, encompassing approximately 2.5 million Jews.

Last week’s surprising win by Republican Bob Turner in a special election in New York’s Ninth Congressional District was seen by pro-Pollard activists as a victory, because Turner had come out publicly for Pollard’s release during the course of the campaign.

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“The idea that the Jewish community overwhelmingly supports clemency for Jonathan Pollard is something that the president should be cognizant of as he gears up for his reelection campaign,” the leaders of the effort to bring about Pollard’s release said.

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