Friday, March 30, 2007

If You Pay Attention

Two weeks ago, a friend showed me a magazine article she thought, correctly so, that I might appreciate.

The first mentioned a new spin on the Jonathan Pollard case. Pollard, an American Jew, served as a civilian American Naval intelligence analyst who passed intelligence to Israel in the mid-1980s. Pollard was indicted on one count of passing classified information to an ally, without intent to harm the United States, and he has been in prison ever since.

The big question that swirls around the case is, “Why has his punishment been so harsh and unrelenting?” Other convicted American spies have served far less time for much more egregious crimes.

The article, which appeared in Mishpacha Magazine, suggests that the reason for such a harsh punishment is that Jonathan Pollard is serving as an example to the rest of American Jews.

The fundamental message is this: “You Jews are welcome guests in our country. But you must never take advantage of our kind hospitality by spying against our interests. If you forget that you are guests and begin to act like you belong here, your punishment will be swift and harsh.”

While most American Jews will miss the point, it is a powerful one, not so different from the message sent by Germany to its Jews in the 1930s. If you forget that you are different from the other citizens of your host country, WE WILL REMIND YOU!

And it won’t be pleasant.

What is it going to take to get American Jews to start paying attention?

No comments: