173. Clemency plea for Pollard is outrageous

Recently, Assemblyman Dov Hikind organized a demonstration in front of Hillary Clinton's Senate headquarters in Manhattan (news article Dec. 6).

Was he demonstrating against Hillary's position on issues that affect the lives of the people living in New York state? After all, Hillary is running for a New York Senate seat. Was he demonstrating about an issue that affects the security of the United States?

No. He was demonstrating because he wanted an American, Jonathan Pollard, who spied for Israel, set free. It is worth mentioning that Hillary is running for the U.S. Senate, not the Israeli Knesset, unless the U.S. Senate is an "Israeli occupied territory." Foreign policy and security matters should not be held hostage to domestic politics.

The excuse that Hikind and others are giving is that Pollard was spying for an ally. How lame this excuse is! The punishment for spying for an ally should be even more severe than the punishment given in the sake of spying for an enemy. The reason is that spying for an ally can easily be rationalized.

In 1994, Aldrich Ames was arrested on espionage charges and was sentenced to life in prison without the chance for parole. In 1997, Harold Nicholson was arrested for committing the same crime. As far as I know, nobody came forward asking clemency for them, and nobody should.

It is outrageous to demonstrate in order to free a spy. It is even more outrageous for the demonstrators to get away with it.

December 14, 1999