Over the last year, the lobbyists have included major Jewish
contributors to the Democratic Party and to Obama, who received 78 percent of
the Jewish vote in 2008, Middle East Newsline reported. The lobbyists said the White House as well as Obama
himself have received direct appeals for Pollard's release.
On July 13, an Israeli political analyst, Aaron Lerner, reported a brief
conversation between an unnamed Jewish contributor to the Democrats and
Obama. The exchange took place at a recent kosher fund-raising dinner for
Obama's re-election campaign, which required donations of at least $20,000.
Lerner said the Jewish contributor asked Obama whether he would release
Pollard. The contributor said he solicited money from Jews for the dinner on
condition that he raise Pollard's case with the president.
"Are they bugging you, too?" Obama asked the Democratic activist.
"Yes, the Jewish community is bugging me," the contributor replied.
"The Israelis are bugging me too," Obama said.
The Democratic contributor told the president that Pollard marked "an
important issue in the Jewish community today. We all feel its time for him
to be released."
Obama, Lerner reported, did not reply.
At that point, the Democratic contributor said that he donated and
raised "a lot of money" for the president. He told Obama that "many of those
who gave me money only gave it to me on the condition that I ask you the
question about Pollard."
"There was no response from the president," Lerner reported. "The
conversation was closed."
Lerner said the exchange with Obama raised questions whether
the White House was taking seriously the campaign for Pollard's freedom.