Counterproductive To Snub Obama


As a longtime advocate on behalf of Jonathan Pollard — and one of the first — I find the efforts now underway to try to convince Israel President Shimon Peres to decline the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in June unless President Barack Obama grants clemency to Pollard to be foolish and, in fact, counterproductive (“Pollard Supporters To Lean On Peres,” April 20).

Obama has accorded the Israeli president — and the state of Israel, for that matter — a rare high honor. He personally and publicly invited Peres to Washington to accept it. The Israeli president should not snub the American president. Peres should go to the White House and accept the Medal of Freedom. This will afford him the opportunity to raise the issue of Pollard with Obama quietly, behind closed doors. That would be much more effective than a public protest.


The author is a former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.