Sunday, September 01, 2013

Open letter to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Dear Rabbi Sacks, The British Campaign for the Release of Jonathan Pollard have over the last 22 years of your office appealed to you to make a formal public appeal to the USA President for clemency for our brother Jonathan Pollard, but such a statement has NEVER been forthcoming. Even when approached publically you maintained that you could not disclose what you were doing as you adhered to the principle of “quiet diplomacy”. This latter path achieved absolutely nothing. As you now approach the last few hours of your role as Chief Rabbi it would be appropriate for you to publically add your name and that of those you represent who accept your authority to the many tens of thousands of other Rabbonim, religious leaders, parliamentarians, politicians, academics, professionals and all those who cherish ethics and morals, to call for the immediate release of our brother Jonathan Pollard – this mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuim is regarded by some of our sages as the highest form of mitzvah. Even those of the US administration who at one time were against his release have now added their names to the petitions to President Obama for Pollard’s immediate release. You have been in office for 22 years, Mandela was in detention for less than 27 years, but Pollard has been in prison for over 28 years, more than 10, 140 days, in conditions that were more appropriate for barbaric murderers rather than for a white collar crime for which he publically expressed remorse. Yet all this time you have shirked your responsibility and publically ignored this issue. With all the books you have written, newspaper articles, radio and TV interviews, public lectures, you never ever mentioned the plight of our brother Jonathan who has suffered far more than the depression you experienced. You have achieved international fame and recognition as a leader of world morals, far more than you ever expected when you studied philosophy at Cambridge. You claim you were influenced by the Lubavitch Rabbi – one wonders what he would have said about how you never raised the plight of Jonathan in public. We at BCRJP demand that as you terminate your office as Chief Rabbi you provide the reasons why you have never made a public stand for Jonathan Pollard. You have an opportunity on this coming Motzei Shabbat when you deliver you valedictory sermon before the midnight Selichot prayers, to give a full explanation to us all.