Daily Israel Report

Chief Rabbi Warns Obama Re-Election May Hinge on Freeing Pollard

Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger warns President Obama that he may lose a bid for re-election if he does not free Jonathan Pollard.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 4/17/2011, 9:03 AM / Last Update: 4/17/2011, 9:14 AM

Flash 90

Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger warned U.S. President Barack Obama in a pre-Passover sermon that he may lose a bid for re-election if he does not free Jonathan Pollard.

Speaking at the Yeshurun Synagogue in Jerusalem, Rabbi Metzger stated, "This is not a prophecy,” but added his feeling is that many Jews who voted for President Obama in 2008 are disappointed by his “apathetic” response to numerous calls to free Pollard.

Pollard is serving a life term in an American prison for passing on to Israel classified information, an offense that usually is met with a prison sentence of two to four years.

Rabbi Metzger added, “Before President Obama forces on us policies [concerning the Palestinian Authority], he should prove his mutual friendliness with the People of Israel by freeing Pollard." The Chief Rabbi visited Pollard in his prison cell three years ago.

Numerous American officials lately have called for the ailing Pollard to be freed and have admitted that the sentencing was unfair.