Obama's Rabbi Cousin Asks President to Release Pollard


As the effort to gain clemency for Jonathan Pollard continues to grow, the Chicago-based Rabbi Capers C. Funnye, Jr. wrote to President Obama and called upon him to free Pollard (the full text of the letter appears below and is attached). What makes Rabbi Funnye’s call for clemency so unique is that Funnye is related to the President. Rabbi Funnye’s mother, Verdelle Robinson Funnye, and First Lady Michelle Obama’s paternal grandfather, Frasier Robinson, Jr., were brother and sister, which makes Funnye and Michelle Obama first cousins, once removed.
Rabbi Funnye is a Jewish African American who serves as the chief rabbi of the Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in Chicago, which is one of the largest black synagogues in America. He is a co-founder of the Alliance of Black Jews and a Senior Research Associate for the Institute of Jewish and Community Research, located in San Francisco, California. Rabbi Funnye is the first African-American member of the Chicago Board of Rabbis.

“Jonathan Pollard has served over 25 years in prison for a crime that he has expressed great remorse publicly and privately for committing against our country,” wrote Rabbi Funnye in his letter to the President. “I write to add my voice to the many voices that have appealed to you for clemency by commuting Jonathan Pollard’s sentence to time served.”

Rabbi Funnye’s letter to the President comes amidst a groundswell of support for clemency for Pollard among prominent government officials, high-ranking individuals in the national intelligence arena, leading professionals in the legal world, and renowned religious and communal leaders. Pollard has spent the past 25 years in a federal prison for passing classified information to Israel.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey, former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum, former Deputy Attorney General and Harvard Law Professor Philip Heymann, former Senator and Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dennis DeConcini, and Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York, each of whom had the opportunity to thoroughly review Pollard’s classified file and is fully familiar with the circumstances of his case, have called for Pollard’s release.

In addition, a wide array of American leaders have called for a commutation of Pollard’s grossly disproportionate sentence, including former Vice President Dan Quayle, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former Arkansas governor and former Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, former Senator and Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Arlen Specter, Senator Charles Schumer of New York, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb, former New York City Mayor and former Republican Presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, well-known conservative leader Gary Bauer, Rev. Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame, Pastor John Hagee, and Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree, who was President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama’s law professor at Harvard and remains friends with them
today.

The following is the text of Rabbi Funnye’s letter to President Obama:

January 25, 2011

The Honorable Barack Hussein Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I write to add my voice to the many voices that have appealed to you for clemency by commuting Jonathan Pollard’s sentence to time served.

Jonathan Pollard has served over 25 years in prison for a crime that he has expressed great remorse publicly and privately for committing against our country. Mr. Pollard pled guilty under a plea agreement with which he fully complied but the sentencing judge ignored the normal course of action in these matters.

It is with great humility and knowing your sense of fairness, that I ask you to give the matter of commuting the sentence of Jonathan Pollard every consideration.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Capers C. Funnye, Jr.
__________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Aaron Troodler
(888) 897-7450



Copyright © Jewish Internet Defense Force
All Rights Reserved

LEGAL:
The views expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the JIDF. The content is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company or individual. This site's intention is to do no harm, to not injure others, defame, or libel. All data and information provided on this site is for informational, educational, and/or entertainment purposes only. The Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF) makes no representations as to accuracy, currentness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use, or access to this site. We are not responsible for translation or interpretation of content. We are not responsible for defamatory statements bound to government, religious or other laws from the reader’s country of origin. All information is provided on an as-is basis with no warranties, and confers no rights. We are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, opinions expressed, privacy policies, products or services or for any damages or losses, directly or indirectly, caused or alleged to have been caused as a result of your use or reliance on such information on the Jewish Internet Defense Force site. This site includes links to other sites and blogs operated by third parties. These links are provided as a convenience to you and as an additional avenue of access to the information contained therein. We have not reviewed all of the information on other sites and are not responsible for the content of any other sites or any products or services that may be offered through other sites. The inclusion of these links in no way indicates their endorsement, support or approval of the contents of this site or the policies or positions of the JIDF. We have the right to edit, remove or deny access to content that is determined to be, in our sole discretion, unacceptable. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use this blog and the Website. The JIDF is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Related Posts with Thumbnails