Jonathan Pollard: Dual loyalty

IAllan Brownfield  has written a powerful indictment of both Jonathan Pollard but about American Jews whose faith has been suborned by Zionism

Jonathan Pollard, the U.S. Naval intelligence analyst who spied for Israel, was sentenced to life in prison.  He was released after serving 30 years, and last year emigrated to Israel, which he said was his real “home.”  He received a hero’s welcome and was met at the airport by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  He arrived on a private plane provided by the late casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.  Adelson once said that he regretted serving in the U.S. 

In 1929, Orthodox Rabbi Aaron David Tamares wrote that the very notion of a sovereign Jewish state as a spiritual center was “a contradiction to Judaism’s ultimate purpose.”  He noted that, “Judaism at root is not some religious concentration which may be localized or situated in a single territory.  ’  No, Judaism is Torah, ethics and exaltation of spirit.  If Judaism is truly Torah, then it cannot be reduced to the confines of any territory.  For as Scripture said of Torah, ‘Its measure is greater than the earth.”

One of the leading Jewish theologians and philosophers of the 20th century, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. for civil rights for all people, said, “Judaism is not a religion of space and does not worship the soil.  So, too, the State of Israel is not the climax of Jewish history, but a test of the integrity of the Jewish people and the competence of Israel.”

In his book “What Is Modern Israel,” professor Yakov Rabkin of the University of Montreal, an Orthodox Jew, shows that Zionism was conceived as a clear break with Judaism and the Jewish religious tradition.  .There was little room for Jewish tradition in the Zionist scheme…It is not the physical geography of the Biblical land of Israel which is essential for Jews but the obligation to follow the commandments of the Torah.”

The early Zionists not only turned away from the Jewish religious tradition but, in their disregard for the indigenous population of Palestine, Jewish moral and ethical values as well.  In his book “Israel: A Colonial-Settler State,” the French Jewish historian Maxime Rodinson writes that, “Wanting to create a purely Jewish or predominantly Jewish state in Arab Palestine in the 20th century could not help but lead to a colonial type situation and the development of a racist state of mind, and in the final analysis to a military confrontation.”

In reality, Judaism is a religion of universal values, not a nationality.  Israel claims to be the “homeland” of all Jews.  Jonathan Pollard believed this and refers to Israel as “home.”  Because he had been hearing the Zionist message all his life, and believed it, it caused him to engage in massive espionage.  But Israel’s claim to speak in behalf of all Jews is without any foundation.  American Jews are American by nationality and Jews by religion, just as other Americans are Protestant, Catholic or Muslim.  Their homeland is the United States.  Israel would do well to confine itself to speaking in behalf of its own citizens, as other countries have no difficulty doing. Pollard is, in many ways, a tragic victim of Zionism.  Sadly, he is now encouraging others to follow in his footsteps, something neither America nor genuine Judaism can properly accept.

Allan C. Brownfeld is a nationally syndicated columnist and is editor of ISSUES, the quarterly journal of the American Council for Judaism. (