The Chicken And The Egg
NJJNews Editorial, April 15, 1999 - David Twersky, Editor
Hanging over the report that former intelligence official Adam Ciralsky
preparing to sue the Central Intelligence Agency over alleged
(see story by Matt Dorf, copy follows below) is the Jonathan Pollard
The Ciralsky attorney who leaked the CIA memos to the press last week is Neal Sher, the former Justice Department Nazi-hunter, former director of
American Israel Public Affairs Committee and a syndicated columnist.
When we asked Sher to speak about the Ciralsky case a few months ago, he
demurred, arguing that he was close to a deal with the CIA. Now the news
reports indicate that the deal Sher hoped to achieve for his client has
According to an April 9 report on National Public Radio, the CIA's
demonstrate CIA officials had been suspicious of Ciralsky since his
at the agency. The suspicions centered on his religious background,
questioning whether his family had donated to Israeli causes through
organizations like the United Jewish Appeal." In other words,
to the UJA, or sending your kid to Israel for the summer, can blow your
opportunity in United States intelligence.
"If contributing to the UJA and Israel Bonds made one suspicious, if it
questions your loyalty, then the vast majority of the Jewish community
the United States would be under suspicion," Sher told NPR. "If there's
evidence that he violated the laws, they ought to take action against
there's nothing here."
Under CIA interrogation, Ciralsky was asked "why he had failed to report
that when he had gone on a high school trip to Israel at age 15, the
chaperone was Israeli, and why he had failed to disclose that his
Hebrew teacher was Israeli." In other words, an Israeli counselor at
could also ruin the future of an American Jewish James Bond.
This is big stuff. If these reports are true, and if their meaning and
significance as reported on NPR stand up, it will mean that the U.S.
intelligence community is severely tainted when it comes to information
about American Jews and Israel. Whether the CIA has a real obsession
with American Jews and Israel read "dual loyalty" has profound
implications. Since the Wye Israeli-Palestinian peace conference, the
CIA is charged with monitoring Palestinian and Israeli compliance with
the peace accords. Also at Wye, CIA Director George Tenet successfully
used a resignation threat as a de facto veto of President Bill Clinton's
inclination to release Pollard.
But even if true, the question remains which came first, Pollard's
or the CIA's obsession with Jewish ties to Israel? NPR's Nina Totenberg,
broke the Ciralsky story, quotes an intelligence source saying, "You
idea what it was like in the wake of the Jonathan Pollard spy case.
Jew was looked at with suspicion, and still is." But was it only in the
also in the prelude?
There are a number of reasons to suspect the worst. Pollard tells us
following his arrest in the mid-'80s he was shown a list of American
and was asked to identify those who had helped him spy for Israel. As we
pointed out, U.S. intelligence continues to search for a "Mr. X" Israeli
super spy in Washington. And finally, the flurry of reports about
Americans spying for China has not produced a similar mind-set with
to that ethnic group. Instead, according to The Washington Post, the
committed to further recruitment among Chinese Americans.
American Jewish support for Israel cannot provide a pretext for a witch hunt.
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