Jonathan Pollard Comments From Prison

November 22, 1996 - The Jewish Press

So far, the United States Government hasn't attempted to use the Kim case as an excuse to call into question the loyalty of the entire Korean American community. Indeed, not even those Korean Americans who hold security clearances appear to have been singled out for "special treatment" by our counter-intelligence agencies. This restraint stands in marked contrast to what the local Jewish community experience following my arrest.

Apart from a largely self-imposed sense of collective guilt which the Justice Department did everything it could to encourage, the worst hit were those Jews holding clearances, who were subjected to what can only be described as an organized witch-hunt designed to purge them from the Government. Although a number of apologists posturing as "leaders" tried to calm the Jewish community by pinning the blame for this momentary "aberration" exclusively on me, subsequent events tended to discredit their fear-laden reassurances.

First, there was the confirmation was that the U.S. Government did, indeed, maintain vast lists of American Jews who were considered to be "security risks" and who were under suspicion of aiding Israeli intelligence-gathering efforts in the United States. While many American Jews appreciated the fact that these lists had been drawn up long before I'd been arrested, our leadership, by and large, continued to cling to its self-serving claim that I was the sole cause of the community's loyalty problem. "Quit talking about Pollard," these leaders said, "and the dual allegiance issue will simply fade away." Well, as hard as the Federation, the Conference and the ADL tried to bury me under a mountain of indifference, the "problem" with our perceived reliability refused to fade away.

Things finally came to a head with the revelation earlier this year that the Pentagon had alerted industries engaged in classified work to the fact that their Jewish employees were security risks. Not surprisingly, our leaders reacted with a type of muted indignation that clearly signaled their wish to move on to other matters. Unfortunately for them, though, the Jewish community now knew that the so-called "aberration" which occurred 12 years ago was actually just the beginning of what was to become an undeclared campaign of ethnic cleansing within our national security establishment.

Sadly, it remains to be seen whether the leadership of the Jewish community, here in the United States, will be up to the task of mounting an effective response to this indirect assault on our standing as equal citizens. I am absolutely convinced, though, that had this same type of discriminatory action been directed at the Korean-American community in the wake of Robert Kim's arrest, the responsible parties in the Administration eventually would have been forced into an early retirement.

What a tragedy that our so-called Jewish "leaders" simply can't summon the courage to demand a comparable amount of respect from the American government.

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