Forward Magazine - - News - Con­tact Nathan Guttman at guttman@ for­ or on Twit­ter, @nathanguttman

who had first­hand in­for­ma­tion about some of these cases.

The in­creased scru­tiny fac­ing Amer­i­can Jews, es­pe­cially those with ties to Is­rael, was not only Pol­lard’s fault, a Jewish for­mer se­nior mil­i­tary of­fi­cer said, “it was also be­cause of the large num­ber of peo­ple in the Jewish com­mu­nity who seemed to say he was right in terms of what he did.” And the tighter the com­mu­nity’s em­brace of Pol­lard grew, the more Pol­lard was per­ceived as rep­re­sent­ing a cer­tain mind­set within the com­mu­nity.

In a re­cent case, heard in Fe­bru­ary by the De­fense Depart­ment’s ap­peals board, a long­time de­fense con­trac­tor was stripped of his se­cu­rity clear­ance for rea­sons of “for­eign in­flu­ence,” which were based on his ties to Is­rael: a brother liv­ing in Is­rael, a niece who used to work for an in­tel­li­gence unit there and a neigh­bor sus­pected of be­ing a courier for an Is­raeli in­tel­li­gence agency. In fil­ings to the panel, De­fense Depart­ment of­fi­cials men­tioned Pol­lard’s ac­tions, nearly three decades ear­lier, as ev­i­dence of the threat posed by close ties with Is­rael. The depart­ment also showed an email that the con­trac­tor for­warded, which con­tained an open ap­peal to the pres­i­dent to com­mute Pol­lard’s sen­tence.

“It’s not as if there is a com­plete bar pre­vent­ing Jews from get­ting clear­ance,” said Shapiro, who rep­re­sented the con­trac­tor, “but there is def­i­nitely an im­ped­i­ment.”

Dov Zakheim served as the De­fense Depart­ment’s deputy un­der­sec­re­tary when the Pol­lard case broke. In his lead­er­ship Pen­tagon po­si­tion, Zakheim did not per­son­ally feel the heat from the Pol­lard af­fair, though he said it was clear to him that peo­ple in the “con­tract­ing com­mu­nity” were un­der pres­sure.

Pol­lard’s acts, he said, made him “very, very an­gry,” but he also found the Jewish com­mu­nity’s re­ac­tion trou­bling. “Pol­lard seems to have in­fat­u­ated the Jewish com­mu­nity, and es­pe­cially the Ortho­dox com­mu­nity, that he is some­how a pris­oner of Zion,” Zakheim said.

He noted that there are many Amer­i­can Jews in high-level gov­ern­ment de­fense po­si­tions. “Ob­vi­ously Pol­lard made it more dif­fi­cult for Jews,” he said, “but clearly there is no wide­spread de­nial of clear­ance.”

If any­thing, Zakheim be­lieves the Jewish com­mu­nity should be ap­pre­cia­tive of the way the U. S. gov­ern­ment re­sponded to Pol­lard’s spy­ing. “If it was in Europe, they’d kick out all the Jews,” he said. “The point is that this coun­try did not take it out on the Jews, and that shows what Amer­ica is about.”

The July 31 let­ter to the editor “Sup­ply Kurds and Pro­tect Is­raeli Druze” char­ac­ter­ized the Kurds in­cor­rectly. They are non-Arabs, not non-Mus­lims.

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