Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin has no immediate plans to ask President Bush to show clemency toward Jonathan Jay Pollard, now that the convicted American spy for Israel has apparently exhausted his possible legal recourses.
According to sources in Jerusalem, Rabin does not want to make a request now, in advance of the U.S. presidential election, for fear of appearing to interfere in the internal politics of the United States.
But once the Nov. 3 election is over, an Israeli appeal for mercy can be expected, the sources said.
Several American Jewish organizations have urged President Bush to commute Pollard’s life sentence, most recently the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, which adopted a resolution to that effect Tuesday night.
The appeals for clemency have taken on a new sense of urgency since the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to review a lower court decision rejecting Pollard’s appeal of his sentence.
Following the decision Tuesday, Pollard’s attorney, Theodore Olson, said he would file a written request for clemency with the Bush administration before the Nov. 3 election.