Democrat Fundraiser Reports Being Rebuffed by Obama on the Release of Pollard


pollardPresident Barack Obama, despite appeals from Israel and leading American Jews, has not demonstrated any willingness to release former U.S. Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard.

Lobbyists for the release of Pollard, sentenced to life on charges of relaying classified information to Israel, have reported a cold reception by Obama and his aides. They said Obama, despite numerous appeals by former senior defense and intelligence officials, has given no indication that he intends to release Pollard, imprisoned since 1985.

“The administration, especially Obama, sees Pollard as an Israeli issue and not a humanitarian issue,” a lobbyist involved in the campaign said.

Over the last year, the lobbyists have included major Jewish contributors to the Democratic Party and to Obama, who received 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008. The lobbyists said the White House as well as Obama himself have received direct appeals for Pollard’s release.

On July 13, an Israeli political analyst, Aaron Lerner, reported a brief conversation between an unnamed Jewish contributor to the Democrats and Obama. The exchange took place at a recent kosher fund-raising dinner for Obama’s re-election campaign, which required donations of at least $20,000.

Lerner said the Jewish contributor asked Obama whether he would release Pollard. The contributor said he solicited money from Jews for the dinner on condition that he raise Pollard’s case with the president.

“Are they bugging you, too?” Obama asked the Democratic activist.

“Yes, the Jewish community is bugging me,” the contributor replied.

“The Israelis are bugging me too,” Obama said.

The Democratic contributor told the president that Pollard marked “an important issue in the Jewish community today. We all feel it’s time for him to be released.”

Obama, Lerner reported, did not reply.

At that point, the Democratic contributor said that he donated and raised “a lot of money” for the president. He told Obama that “many of those who gave me money only gave it to me on the condition that I ask you the question about Pollard.”

“There was no response from the president,” Lerner reported. “The conversation was closed.”

Lerner said the exchange with Obama raised questions whether the White House was taking seriously the campaign for Pollard’s freedom.

{World Tribune/ Newscenter}


  1. “The administration, especially Obama, sees Pollard as an Israeli issue and not a humanitarian issue,” namely a Jew issue and in Jew issues the Prez has consistently been abominable. Therefore, we should also vote for Jew issues by voting ABO (Anyone But Obama).

  2. Between his stance on Israel and Pollard alone (forget his domestic and fiscal policies) – I cannot understand why any Jew would contribute to his reelection campain.

  3. This is unacceptable! How much more proof do you need, that Obama is not just Anti Israel but also a racist, bigotted, Anti Semite! The fact that these empty headed Jews paid $20,000 for a stupid “meal” just to be in the daled amos is tipshus of the highest degree!

  4. Let’s get one thing straight. Unfortunately, Obama is not intelligent enough to read up on the entire Pollard incident; he only knows what people tell him. He does not want to be bothered, simple as that.
    May Hashem help Jonathan Pollard.

  5. Wow: “Obama is not intelligent enough …”
    The problem with O. is not that he is dumb. Dumb he is not. He just ain’t like you and me. Let’s assure him now until the election day that the dislike is mutual.

  6. Why is it that no President of the last 25 years, considered releasing Pollard. Not one of them. You can’t convince me they were all anti-semites.
    There must be something here we don’t know.

  7. Now I get it. “Are THEY bugging you, too?” He seems to think that there are a few troublemakers that are driving everyone crazy and that the average Jew doesn’t really care about Pollard.

  8. “The administration, especially Obama, sees Pollard as an Israeli issue and not a humanitarian issue,” a lobbyist involved in the campaign said.
    As far as I am concerned this is an American issue.Pollard is in American Prison and costing US tax dollars. I don’t see how Obama can throw it as an Israeli issue. It is way too long for Pollard to be in prison. The only Israeli link I can think of is that if Pollard is released he will probably leave the US and move to Israel saving US tax dollars (by paying for his prison costs) and have Pollard start spending some money in Shekel!

  9. oy vai, there are greater minds than mine (should I say ours), rabbanim and askanim of the caliber whom we should daven for their good every week before Shabbos mussaf who have researched this thoroughly and maintain that he should be released and we should work and daven for his release. I’ll choose to side with them, and assume instead that lev melachim v’sarim beyad Hashem and for some reason He’s chosen to harden their hearts.

    And re Shmuel (2) perhaps you mean that a primary hope b’derech hateva. Then again, tefilla IS teva; Hashem created the world with a system wherein tefilla can and does have a powerful effect. So maybe that should be rephrased.