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July 11, 1986 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-07-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

n June 6, Jonathan Jay Pollard
confessed that he had sold.U.S.
espionage secrets to the Israeli
government. It is too early to
gauge the damage that admission will have
on the relationship between the U.S. and
Israel, one that is virtually unparalled in
global politics. Things have already reached
the level .of a first-class flap. Israelis are
fuming that they are being discriminated
against by certain elements in the U.S.
State and Justice Departments. And some
Americans are grumbling that the Israelis
have not been completely forthcoming
about their espionage activities against
their best ally.
That there is some damage is clear. That
it will get worse is probable. But what is
most certain at this point is that the
Pollard case has helped revive an issue
that has been hounding Jews for years:
The question of dual loyalty, of American
Jews being more loyal to Israel than to the
United States, of Jews struggling in a
state of schizoid allegiance between the
country of their birth and the country of
their spiritual birthright.
The notion of dual loyalty has been de-
nounced — mostly by Jews — as a "ca-
nard," an "insult" and a "smear." It is
perceived as an attack on Jews' patriotism
and Americanism, a return to the days
when a Jew was commonly perceived as
the eternal outsider, as an internationalist,
as someone who should never could
never — be trusted because his fidelities
lay elsewhere.
The Pollard case has made a cloudy
situation' murkier. It comes at a time when
some Jews in Washington are reassessing
their relatively high profile, high caliber,
highly successful presence in• American
politics. AIPAC, the capital's very effec-
tive pro-Israel lobbying group, is thinking
about toning down its image. To counter
perceptions that the "Jewish lobby" gets
everything it wants, AIPAC seems willing
to endure a setback or two, such as not

contesting President Reagan's recent re-
quest for an arms sale to Saudi Arabia.
Additionally worrisome is the prolifera-
tion of single-issue, pro-Israel PACs
(political action committees). In some
quarters, this has raised the fear that
Israel is the only factor in American Jews'
political equation; that, for them, all else
pales beside the Jewish State.
Jonathan Jay Pollard — braggart,
Zionist and spy — has not helped. His at-
torneys have asserted that Pollard did not
grasp the seriousness of his actions
becalse of the close alliance between the
U.S. and Israel — and because of his firm
beliefs in the State of Israel.
Pollard, said his attorney, Richard
Hibey of Washington, is "totally commit-
ted to America and also believes in the
Israeli State."
To try to defuse charges of "dual issue,"
Kenneth Bialkin wrote in an article that
appeared on the New York Times' op-ed
page that "Jews are second to none in
their commitment to American society.
"American Jews do not believe that
their support for Israel and Zionism is in
any way inconsistent with their commit-
ment to America — and it is not," wrote
Bialkin, chairman of the Conference of
Presidents of Major American Jewish
Organizations.
"Only the mischievous or the anti-
Semitic," said Bialkin, "would doubt that
the loyalty and dedication of American
Jews matches that of other Americans."
But some do doubt, and they are not
necessarily anti-Semitic or mischievous.
"The political environment in Washing-
ton," said a leading Jewish lobbyist in the
capital, "is being clouded by the Pollard
case and Gramm-Rudman. We work under
those dark skies."
As the skies grow darker, some Jews in
sensitive government positions are look-
ing over their shoulders, according to one
Washington insider.
"There won't be anything as dramatic

.

The Pollard spy case has
brought the question of
divided allegiance up again,
and this time the answers
seem to be more crucial
than they have been
in the past.

ARTHUR J. MAGIDA

Special to The Jewish. News

Dual Loyalty:

Myth Or Menace For American Jews?

14

Friday, July 11, 1986

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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