David Luchins and Jonathan Pollard - Editorial
January 7, 2000 - The Jewish Press
This past Monday we received a call from a reporter at The Forward asking for a comment on a new accusation David Luchins has levelled against The Jewish Press. According to the reporter, Luchins claims that The Jewish Press has been focusing on his record in the Pollard matter because a granddaughter of the Publisher of The Jewish Press was unable to secure a position as an intern in Senator Moynihan's office and because Luchins had at one time introduced a resolution at the Orthodox Union calling for a boycott on advertising in The Jewish Press.
The call was disappointing. From Luchins we could have expected as much, but, given the force of what we have been saying, it is rather sad that some seem prepared to indulge his fantasies and urgent efforts to avoid addressing our editorial comments on the merits. As we have shown these past weeks, time after time, with his typical silly little clever by half word games, Luchins has responded to what we have said with obfuscation and attempts at diversion.
Actually, we are happy that The Forward gave us the courtesy of responding to Luchins' latest nonsense. It will be recalled that several weeks ago The Forward printed the outrageous charge by Luchins, without any support or attempt to elicit comment from us, that The Jewish Press "wished for and welcomed the assassination ofYitzhak Rabin." Of course, Luchins' latest charges are baseless. The sole motivation for our editorials about Luchins and Jonathan Pollard was to comment on an important public issue at the top of the Jewish community's agenda. Indeed, Luchins' claim that a granddaughter of the Publisher of The Jewish Press unsuccessfully sought a job with Senator Moynihan is just factually incorrect the person involved was a friend with the same last name as the publisher's granddaughter on whose behalf a simple phone call was made and we so informed the plainly flabbergasted Forward reporter.
In one of his recent letters to The Jewish Press, Luchins has said that he has "strongly advocated either [Pollard's) parole or release on humanitarian grounds for many years ..." and that he has "advised Senator Moynihan for 19 years and Senator Moynihan was the very first senator to try to help Jonathan Pollard, arranging for Rabbi Aaron Soloveichik's historic visit to Mr. Pollard's prison cell in 1993 and commending to President Clinton the letter of remorse that Mr. Pollard signed at that time." Yet here is an illuminating 1993 exchange between Luchins and Pollard's lawyer at the time:
Mr. David Luchins
Special Assistant to Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan
405 Lexington Avenue, 41st Floor
New York, NY 10174
Re: Jonathan J. Pollard
Dear Mr. Luchins:
We are the attorneys for Jonathan J. Pollard. We are writing to you because we have been informed through several sources that you have repeatedly made statements to the effect that Mr. Pollard's espionage activities resulted in the loss of the lives of United States intelligence agents. Any such statement would be false and utterly without foundation in fact. Making any such assertion would therefore be reckless and irresponsible, would cause irreparable injury to Mr. Pollard, and would not be protected by the Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution. Such statements would be particularly irresponsible if made by someone presumed to have access to sensitive national security information.
We insist that you provide us with immediate and adequate assurances that any such statements by you concerning Mr. Pollard will cease. We reserve the right to pursue all available legal remedies on behalf of Mr. Pollard to redress any harm caused by the above-described conduct.
Very truly yours,
Mr. Theodore Olson
1050 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 200036-5306
Dear Mr. Olson,
I write in response to your letter of February 4 addressing my alleged remarks concerning your client. Allow me to assure you that I have never suggested that I am in possession of any information concerning the scope and character of Jonathan Pollard's crimes. Quite the contrary I have been very careful to avoid taking sides in the controversy surrounding Jonathan Pollard and believe the report you allude to emanates from individuals who are frustrated by my refusal to lend my name and Senator Moynihan's name to partisan efforts on either side of this painful matter.
Senior Assistant to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
So, according to Pollard's attorney, Luchins was making unsupportable and damaging charges against Pollard. But equally as important, this self-styled champion of Jonathan Pollard tells Pollard's lawyer, "I have avoided taking sides in the controversy surrounding Jonathan Pollard..." and will not lend his name "to partisan efforts on either side of this painful matter."
And as for Luchins' assertions about the great things Senator Moynihan has done for Pollard, here is part of what Rabbi Raphael Butler, the National Director of the Orthodox Union, where Luchins serves as a Vice-President, wrote in November of 1993 to a newspaper in response to a Moynihan Letter to the Editor:
... Your recent Letter to the Editor from Senator Daniel
Moynihan clearly defines for us certain government leaders'
misunderstanding of our central issue. While U.S. Senator
Braun and other legislators urge the President to commute Jonathan's
sentence to time served, Senator Moynihan consistently repeats
litany of charges that are not in dispute. Our issue and concern
lack of compassion and the severe harshness of the sentence....
Senator Moynihan's letter should encourage us to appropriately
our views as we redouble our efforts to encourage him and
address our concern....
I encourage your newspaper not to accept the Senator's mere
for sharing your views," but demand that our voices, which
among his constituency, be heard in the halls of power."
Senator Moynihan's letter should encourage us to appropriately present our views as we redouble our efforts to encourage him and others to address our concern....
I encourage your newspaper not to accept the Senator's mere "thank you for sharing your views," but demand that our voices, which are included among his constituency, be heard in the halls of power."
Finally, here is what the Pollards believe about Luchins.
Next week we plan to print and comment on two letters that we have received in support of David Luchins. One of the letters is from Rabbi Irwin Katsof, the Executive Vice President of the Jerusalem Fund of Aish Hatorah. The other is from Yosef Orlow of Wheaton Maryland.