Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Petition to Free Pollard on Whitehouse Site: Please Sign

VP Biden with Rabbi Levi & Nechama Shemtov
Vice President Joe Biden held a Rosh Hashanah reception Wednesday, October 5, for a group of American Jewish leaders at his US Naval Observatory residence in Washington, DC.

The annual reception made headlines after it was reported that several attendees pressed Biden to meet with them to discuss the case of Jonathan Pollard, a former civilian intelligence analyst who was convicted of spying for Israel.

The New York Times earlier reported that during a meeting in Florida, Biden told a group of rabbis that "President Obama was considering clemency, but I told him, 'Over my dead body are we going to let him out before his time.'"

Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and many others have called on successive American presidents to grant clemency to Pollard, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1987.

In recent months, Obama received a flood of clemency appeals on behalf of Pollard from members of Congress, former U.S. government officials and Israeli officials, according to JTA.

Pollard recently underwent kidney-related surgery that was deemed successful.

Hoenlein said the vice president apparently agreed to hold a small meeting in order to have an "open and frank discussion" about the issue, JTA reported.

Present at the reception were Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Director of American Friends of Lubavitch in Washington, DC, and his wife Nechama.

Biden warmly greeted Rabbi and Mrs. Shemtov and after chatting briefly, asked him to convey to Rabbi Avraham Shemtov his wish for a "happy new year."

The senior Rabbi Shemtov, Chairman of the international umbrella organization, Agudas Chassidei Chabad and Head Shliach in Philadelphia, has a long standing friendship with Biden going back to when when he was a US Senator from the neighboring state of Delaware, which was obvious at the Living Legacy Conference in Washington in honor of Gimmel Tammuz 5770 attended by hundreds of shluchim and supporters, whom the Vice President hosted at the White House as part of the tribute to the Rebbe.

Source and photos: COLLive

Click here to sign the petition: Whitehouse

1 comment:

Dov Bar-Leib said...

To be honest with you, I davened over Yom Kippur that Joe Biden should receive a positive answer to his pre-Rosh HaShanah prayer that Yehonatan Pollard will be released under the condition that Biden himself specified. The man starts a diplomatic catastrophe when the Jerusalem City Concil announced a certain stage in the process of building of af few thousand necessary apartments in Ramat Shlomo. He then genuflects behind Netanyahu to protect himself from the spirit of the Jew as Netanyahu turned his head to speak before the US Congress. Frankly, it would not necessarily be a bad thing if G-d would grant this Rasha his deepest desire about Pollard's imminent release. Amen.