April 24, 2008


Editorial Of The NY Sun | April 23, 2008

It sounds like the plot of a Zev Chafets novel, or a
Purim spoof: An 84-year-old New Jersey man active in the Jewish
War Veterans and the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex
County is accused of being an atomic spy for Israel, run out of
an Israeli consulate in New York that is better known for the
hummus served at its annual Israel Independence Day party. The
feds say that the spy was compensated by being taken out to
dinner at a restaurant in Riverdale. What's next, the Israelis
recruiting Hadassah ladies as secret agents and paying them with

In all seriousness, Israel's friends in America have
long counseled her to look for spies elsewhere than in the
American Jewish community, which can be of most use to Israel if
its loyalty is not put in doubt. The details of the case have yet
to emerge fully, but it is easy to understand the exigencies
involved when the spying allegedly happened, in the early 1980s.
Israel, as it does to this day, faced an existential security
threat. Security cooperation between America and Israel was not
as well developed as it is today, and there was even personal
hostility to Israel among certain sectors of the Reagan
administration, even if the administration overall was

These are not excuses - there can be none for
breaking America's espionage laws - just context. America surely
faces graver threats in the current war than an 84-year-old
federation activist. But surely, too, the law needs to be
enforced impartially. The accused spy deserves due process of the
law, and he will have much to learn from the case of Jonathan
Pollard, who pleaded guilty to a single count in hopes of
leniency and landed instead a life sentence.

No comments:

Post a Comment