Friday, December 31, 2010
Judaeophobia vs Islamophobia
Although he was loyal to a Middle Eastern country, the American military hired him as an intelligence officer and translator anyway—partly because he knew an important Middle East language. Nevertheless, he was a poor choice. This man passed classified documents to “insurgents” in Iraq who were battling American forces; he also had conversations with members of Al Qaeda and kept their documents on his computer. His name—one of five aliases—is Noureddine Malki. He pretended to be from Lebanon, the persecuted son of a Muslim father and a Christian mother, and on this basis allegedly sought and received asylum in America, naturalized citizenship, and a job as an Arabic translator for the Army. He received top secret clearance and was working in Iraq where he took bribes from various Sunni sheikhs and passed classified information on to them.
He was caught, tried and, in 2008, sentenced to—ten years. Currently, Noureddine Malki (if that is his real name) communicates with people from his jail cell. He claims that he was once held in solitary for six months and wants the ACLU to investigate.
Jonathan Pollard was held in solitary for seven years and has been held captive for twenty five years.
Pollard has absolutely no blood on his hands. He has been scapegoated for the considerable crimes of the non-Jewish American Soviet spy Aldrich Ames. Unlike Noureddine Malki and Ames, Pollard passed secrets to an American ally, not to a terrorist group with which America was or is now at war.
Since I published my first piece about Pollard, I have done some further research. The facts strongly suggest that Pollard is primarily guilty of being a Jew and a Zionist. The fact that he also behaved recklessly, criminally or, some might say, heroically on behalf of America’s ally, Israel, is almost beside the point.
Why was Pollard given so long a sentence? Why was Noureddine Malki given so short a sentence?
Is racial ( racist) profiling the issue? Is Judeophobia more of an issue than Islamophobia is?
Radio and television host Zev Brenner, who interviewed me recently about my previous Pollard piece, has been calling for congressional hearings on the “racial profiling of Jews in American military intelligence and in the CIA and FBI.” This is a hot issue and a hotly contested one. (I may return to this in another column.) Brenner called my attention to the cases of David Tenenbaum and Adam Ciralsky, both of whom were targeted as pro-Israel and/or as observant Jews.
In 1997, Tenenbaum was wrongfully accused of being an Israeli spy. According to the Defense Department’s own report, Tenenbaum was specifically targeted because he was an observant Orthodox Jew: “It was well known that Mr. Tenenbaum was Jewish, lived his religious beliefs and by his actions appeared to have a close affinity for Israel,” the report said. “We believe that Mr. Tenenbaum was subjected to unusual and unwelcome scrutiny because of his faith and ethnic background, a practice that would undoubtedly fit a definition of discrimination.” The 62-page report added: “Mr. Tenenbaum experienced religious discrimination when his Judaism was weighed as a significant factor in the decision to submit him for an increase in his security clearance.” The investigation failed to turn up any evidence against Tenenbaum.
The report also explains that one of the reasons Tenenbaum was hired in the first place was because he speaks Hebrew—obviously another Middle Eastern language.
Here’s another example of the kind of racial (and/or racist) profiling I’m talking about. In 1999, Adam Ciralsky was placed on unpaid leave because he had contacts with Israelis. His “ties” to Israel included supporting Jewish causes like the United Jewish Appeal and buying Israel bonds. Eleven years later, Ciralsky’s lawsuit still has not been resolved.
One of the CIA documents accusing Ciralsky said: “I think that it is important that he state openly [that] he and his family support…the Likud Party,” one document says. “He may simply be withholding on this issue, because it paints him and his family as extreme supporters of Israel’s hard-liners in the Likud Party, and he wishes to avoid being seen as such a lover of Israel.” Another accused him of having a “wealthy daddy” who supports Israeli causes.