Mr. Noah Feldman on Jonathan Pollard: on the limits of defensive anguish, a comment by Political Reporter

Mr. Feldman rehearses the defensiveness of American Jews not seen since the Rosenberg’s Show Trail. According to documents obtained under The Freedom Of Information Act Mr.Greenglass was suborned to perjury by the prosecution, even though the case against the Rosenbergs was ‘air tight’. For the particulars:

‘Early on in the federal investigation into the Rosenberg spy ring, Greenglass was trying to protect members of his family, including his sister; his betrayal of her was to come only later when, according to his own admission, he was pressured into lying by federal prosecutors.’

In this context how seriously should we take Mr. Greenglass’ eventual repudiation of his testimony?

As for Mr. Pollard, he seems to have been  an ardent Zionist whose loyalty to Israel was primary. Was he the embodiment of the Antisemitic trope of dual loyalty? Perhaps this will provide an answer, from the Wikipedia entry:

‘Prior to sentencing, Pollard and his wife Anne gave further defiant media interviews in which they defended their spying and attempted to rally Jewish Americans to their cause. In a 60 Minutes interview, Anne said, “I feel my husband and I did what we were expected to do, and what our moral obligation was as Jews, what our moral obligation was as human beings, and I have no regrets about that.”[36]

He may not be mentally ill, at the least he was an opportunist aided by his galloping narcissism, and the practice of lying as a habit of  being:

‘As of 2014 the full extent of the information Pollard passed to Israel has still not been officially revealed. Press reports cited a secret 46-page memorandum, which Pollard and his attorneys were allowed to view.[35] They were provided to the judge by Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, who described Pollard’s spying as including, among other things, obtaining and copying the latest version of Radio-Signal Notations (RASIN), a 10-volume manual comprehensively detailing America’s global electronic surveillance network.[8][36]

The pertinent question might be: why would our closest ally spy on the US? which Mr. Feldman scrupulously avoids asking. The Israelis only admitted culpability for this whole sordid affair in 1998. Mr. Feldman provides the reader with anguished defensive chatter, instead of anything resembling thoughtful analysis.

Political Reporter

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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