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Oren says Pollard ‘sacrificed himself for the Jewish people’

Israel/Palestine
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Oren, right

Oren, right

The New York Times has published an article quoting several right-wing American Jews (and Aaron David Miller and Michael Lerner) on the Jonathan Pollard issue. “Talk of Freeing a Spy for Israel Stirs Old Unease for U.S. Jews.” The piece repeatedly cites the unfair suspicion of Jews having dual loyalty for Israel before it ends with this quote from a non-American:

“He is the embodiment of a national narrative of the Jew who sacrificed himself for his people,” said Michael B. Oren, an American-born historian who renounced his American citizenship in 2009 to become Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

The most important thing about Oren’s statement is that it demonstrates in case you had any illusions about it, that Israel and the U.S. have very different interests. Pollard gave a container-full of secrets to the Israelis, who then reportedly traded them to the Soviet Union when the U.S. was in a cold war with the Soviet Union. People may have died because of that betrayal; the Israelis have never accounted to their closest ally the U.S. for everything they stole from us and where it went.

The next time someone says there should be no daylight between the US and Israel, reflect that Israel’s former ambassador regarded an American traitor as a hero. By the way, Oren also said that Israel prefers al Qaeda in Syria to Assad with his Iran allegiance.

Then there’s the dual loyalty piece. Oren– who grew up in New Jersey with the name Borenstein and experienced anti-Semitism in a largely-Catholic town and emigrated to Israel in his 20s and then came back here to pursue his career before giving up his citizenship in 2009– has placed a question mark after the patriotism of all American Jews. His understanding of modern Jewish identity angers me. My people are Americans. Pollard didn’t sacrifice himself for my people but for a militant religious state that has depended for the 66 years of its existence on support from the U.S.

One good thing about late Zionism is that it is removing the mask from this issue. Zionists used to cover it up: a Hadassah leader said it was “suicidal” for American Jewish organizations to call on Jews to vote based on Israel and the banker Jacob Schiff warned Jews that Zionism would “place a lien upon citizenship,” creating “a separateness which is fatal” (according to John Judis’s new book on Truman). Now Israel is at once so dependent on the U.S. and so far from American values that desperate Zionists are openly invoking that loyalty on the part of American Jews to try and hold the Israel lobby together. It won’t work. MJ Rosenberg did as much as anyone to stop the push for war with Iran by making the accusation “Israel-Firsters.” American Jews don’t want that suspicion.

Oren doesn’t care, but then he’s not American. He and I grew up in the same world and took different paths. When the synagogue committee gave my brother a record of Abba Eban at the U.N. in 1967 after his bar mitzvah, we never got through it, but listened to John Wesley Harding instead.

P.S. Ali Gharib insists that it’s single loyalty:

 

(Thanks to James North for the second and third full paragraphs of this post.)

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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91 Responses

  1. Don
    April 4, 2014, 10:37 am

    More importantly…from Mathew Lee…

    Kerry: US reconsiders role in Mideast peace talks
    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2014-04-04/kerry-peace-talks-not-open-ended

    • CloakAndDagger
      April 4, 2014, 11:24 am

      Kerry: This is not an open-ended effort. It’s reality check time.

      Awesome! This may be the excuse that the administration has been waiting for to withdraw as Israel’s lawyer and hand over the IP issue for resolution by something akin to the P5+1 for Iran. This could be the signal for BDS to pick up more steam.

      • Kay24
        April 5, 2014, 7:04 am

        I agree. However, the administration has had many opportunities to withdraw completely from not only being Israel’s lawyer, but also as sugar daddy, and big mommy that protects it from world condemnation, and it seems until the occupation of the US by Israel ceases, the US will always be the aider and protector, of this rogue state. The mere fact that Israel kept announcing more and more illegal settlements, during peace talks alone, shows the US ignored these violations and pretended they were not detrimental to those peace talks.

    • Justpassingby
      April 4, 2014, 11:41 am

      Its bs just like when abbas bs or when netanyahu bs on this issue. US will keep on.

  2. Krauss
    April 4, 2014, 10:44 am

    This is notable for two reasons.

    1) Pollard was not an ideological person, i.e. he wasn’t doing it out of Zionism. He was doing it for the money. The Israelis found him first in large part due to proximity, his Jewish roots, but if someone else would have found him before them, they would have gotten the intel for the same reason the Israelis got the intel: money.

    Secondly, the kind of stuff he was selling to Israel wasn’t really related to Israel’s security, it was intel that is valuable on the black market to a range of actors, because the secrets were general, i.e. how the U.S. conducts its spying in general terms, applicable to all nations. This is how every former intelligence and defence official who has spoken about Pollard has said and this was the case in his own words, too.

    2) The more disturbing implication here isn’t really about Pollard but about Oren, and Zionism. In Oren’s eyes, spying against the U.S. and leaking secrets that aren’t even that specific to Israel’s security needs is apparently something to be expected of every Jew.

    He justifies almost any action, including treason(and I mean genuine treason, for cynical gains like Pollard’s, not idealistic action á la Snowden or Ellsberg, which is a different story entirely), as long as the beneficiary of that treason or other action is Israel.

    To put it bluntly: what this tells us about Oren is that in the choice of democracy and Jewishness, he will always choose Jewishness over democracy.

    And the great modern Jewish tragedy is that all too many in the upper echelons of our ethnic establishment would willingly do the same, all the while justifying it while crying crocodile tears.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 4, 2014, 10:55 am

      He is the embodiment of a national narrative of the Jew who sacrificed himself for his people

      gag me, just gag me.

      The more disturbing implication here isn’t really about Pollard but about Oren

      it’s all about oren and people who think like him. more and more i’m thinking the nyt will publish anything for the cause of zionism. what garbage.

      • just
        April 4, 2014, 11:16 am

        Too funny, Annie! I was gonna write yech, but ‘gag me’ works better.

        This article is very good. I especially appreciated this:

        “My people are Americans. Pollard didn’t sacrifice himself for my people but for a militant religious state that has depended for the 66 years of its existence on support from the U.S.”

        Krauss– great comment.

      • Walid
        April 5, 2014, 10:08 am

        “Oren says Pollard ‘sacrificed himself for the Jewish people’”

        Sounds like a line borrowed from the story of Jesus; Good Friday is less than 2 weeks away.

      • CloakAndDagger
        April 4, 2014, 11:46 am

        From the NYT article:

        If Mr. Pollard, once freed, is given a hero’s welcome in Israel — a likely outcome, given the Israeli government’s long campaign on his behalf — there is worry that it will cause a backlash in the United States, where Mr. Pollard is still viewed by many, especially in the national security establishment, as a traitor who sold his country’s secrets for cash.

        This is exactly the reason that I want him freed. The potential benefit to us from his release far outweighs that of leaving him incarcerated for a few more days. Time for us to play chess instead of checkers.

      • pabelmont
        April 4, 2014, 2:35 pm

        C&D — great idea! Let it look like Israel begged for the return of their hero.

      • Chu
        April 4, 2014, 11:49 am

        Zionism really needs a hero at this point in time. So this traitor is the best thing they can scrounge up. Desperate times? I think so.

      • Kay24
        April 4, 2014, 10:01 pm

        It is disgusting that someone of stature, like Oren, openly shows reverence for a scumbag like Pollard. It seems when it comes to the minions who do zionist bidding, no crime is deplorable and condemned. It is ALL for the good of the mothership. I also note there is no shred of remorse or regret, that they paid this despicable man, to spy on his country.

    • bilal a
      April 4, 2014, 4:35 pm

      Michael Scott Bornstein’s idealization of treason, this damned infamy, threatens all dual citizens of every ethnicity with loss of any security clearance or government position

      The USA should refuse to deal with any American born Israelis as a matter of strict policy.

    • puppies
      April 5, 2014, 11:27 pm

      @Krauss – Take it to the obvious logical conclusion: the newly-minted Oren is the former Ambassador of Azrael, still residing in the States, i.e. as official a representative of Zionism as one may wish.
      This representative of Zionism proposes that Pollard’s treason is the duty of all Jews.
      Logical conclusion: all Zionist should be under tight surveillance as potential traitors. No more free passes.
      I propose to print 300 million copies of H.E. the former Ambassador’s statement.

  3. pabelmont
    April 4, 2014, 11:13 am

    Krauss — Well said. And since Pollard gave stuff to Israel which [1] damaged USA security and [2] did not help Israel’s security and [3] supported Israel’s non-security goals (getting cooperation from USSR on Jewish emigration) — well, hrumpfff, Oren values it because it helped Israel, doesn’t care that it hurt USA, and cares not a whit for the “traitor” aspect (compare to the Mordechai Vanunu matter, where Israel cared a real LOT).

    • CloakAndDagger
      April 4, 2014, 11:29 am

      @ pablemont

      [2] did not help Israel’s security and …

      Frankly, even if it had helped Israel’s security, it hurt ours. In a tradeoff between Israel’s security and ours, Phil is right – our interests prevail.

    • marc b.
      April 4, 2014, 3:30 pm

      pabelmont, I have been doing some ‘definitional’ research (trying to come up with clear definitions for ‘torture’, ‘terrorism’, etc.) to facilitate conversations about these topics, and you raise a good point here. what does ‘national security’ mean? the definition has certainly expanded greatly during the progression of the cold war and now the war on terror, and Israel has had a heavy hand influencing the evolution of this term. exchanging US intelligence for exit visas from the USSR would likely fall into its vision of what satisfies national security. and, of course, under this regime setting import levels for oregano to Gaza also serves national security interests. in other words, I’d guess that there isn’t an issue, ideology or physical material that isn’t subject to national security scrutiny in the maximalist state: sexual relations, sun tan oil production, consumption of Iranian pistachios, publication of potentially embarrassing materials involving public officials, printer cartridge technology.

      • MHughes976
        April 4, 2014, 4:26 pm

        We have to accept, I think, that people use words differently. No one has authority concerning words. We just have to ask people who use controversial words what they mean by them and be ready to say what we mean.

      • marc b.
        April 4, 2014, 5:54 pm

        I agree, to a degree, but it also depends on context. If we are involved in a decades long ‘war on terror’, shouldn’t there be some consensus on what constitutes ‘terrorism’? I don’t know of a satisfactory definition.

        And I like this bit from a dicaprio movie after he witnesses the caning of an informant or agent operating in Jordan under the supervision of the head of intelligence:

        Roger Ferris: I thought you didn’t believe in torture, Hani Pasha.
        Hani: This is punishment, my dear. It’s a very different thing.

        So it makes me wonder if the exact same physical act could possibly be ‘torture’ or ‘punishment’. And surely the qualification matters. (Doing this on iPad mini so don’t mind the clunky response.)

      • JeffB
        April 4, 2014, 10:27 pm

        @marc b

        I agree, to a degree, but it also depends on context. If we are involved in a decades long ‘war on terror’, shouldn’t there be some consensus on what constitutes ‘terrorism’? I don’t know of a satisfactory definition.

        Bush’s definition was violence by non-state actors for the purpose of achieving political aims. Chomsky made an interesting point about this definition that the first use of “terrorism” was by the revolutionary french state to describe their own policy and Bush’s definition explicitly excludes state terror. But if you want the definition Bush was using….

      • MHughes976
        April 5, 2014, 12:46 pm

        There is a dependency on context, I agree, in the sense that the words used in the definition may be loaded in various ways. If terrorism is ‘violence of lethal and undiscriminating character used for political purposes’ then ‘undiscriminating’ brings in an element of condemnation, but does not exclude terrorism on the part of governments; if it’s ‘violence originating within a country and used for regime change’ then the possibility of justification is not foreclosed, if the regime is very bad, but only anti-government forces can be terrorists.
        If someone says ‘I don’t call anything torture if it’s punishment’ then we know something of how that person uses words, but we aren’t prohibited, even if we use words that person’s way, from saying ‘That form of punishment shares the evil of torture’.

  4. Woody Tanaka
    April 4, 2014, 11:58 am

    And frankly, if Oren feels this way about someone spying on the US, then he has no business being in the US. Oren’s visa should be immediately revoked and he should be escorted by Federal Marshalls to the airport and expelled as a clear security risk.

    • Little_Shih_Tzu
      April 4, 2014, 1:30 pm

      Not only that, but Oren will undoubtedly at some time in the future quietly attempt to reclaim his US citizenship. Let’s hope when that day comes, it’s well-publicized and totally shot down.

      For now, persona non grata, or the equivalent status for someone no longer acting in a diplomatic role on behalf of the Israeli gov’t sounds like a heck of a good idea to me.

    • JeffB
      April 4, 2014, 2:26 pm

      @Woody

      Every single ambassador from every single country with an embassy in the United States if approached by a CIA official who wanted to hand over valuable information would bend over backwards and crawl over glass to get it. They all are a security risk in that sense. Their job is to get USA secrets if they can.

      • marc b.
        April 4, 2014, 3:45 pm

        sorry, jeff, that’s just not the case. Israel has the 3rd most active intelligence gathering operation in the US, only being beat out by our other ‘friends’, Russia and Cuba. so, no, there is no equivalence between Israel and ‘every single [other] country with an embassy in the United States.’

      • JeffB
        April 4, 2014, 9:02 pm

        @Marc b.

        I said would take it if it fell out of the sky. That’s different than whose investing in the footwork.

        I have some question about your list. China is far more active than Israel could hope to be, and I suspect that Cuba is far less. During the 1970s the relationship was deteriorating so I suspect espionage was running much heavier than today, no reason for Israel to spy given the close relationship. There have been lots of issues with Germany. The CIA has been reporting heavy al Qaeda intelligence gathering domestically. FWIW I’d say something like: Russia, China, Al Qaeda, Germany, UK, France then maybe Israel.

      • marc b.
        April 5, 2014, 1:28 pm

        I said would take it if it fell out of the sky. That’s different than whose investing in the footwork.

        And that’s just one error in your analysis. Nothing ‘falls out of the sky’. Even if a traitor like Jonathan Pollard showed up on the door step of the Israel embassy unsolicited, years of work would go into intelligence collection if its in depth vetting process determined he was a potentially productive source. There are always 1000s of deceptions, thefts, and on after opportunity knocks.

      • pjdude
        April 5, 2014, 2:14 pm

        And as usual your wrong israel is third behind china and russia

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 4, 2014, 3:52 pm

        JeffB, I told you unless you retract your lies about Tutu and beg our forgivness, that you are to stfu and not communicate with me.

      • American
        April 4, 2014, 4:16 pm

        BDS jeff!!!!…lol

      • lonely rico
        April 5, 2014, 8:21 pm

        BDSjeff!!!!
        I’m in/out, but one last word –
        you lose all credibility JeffB, unless you retract your lies,
        and beg forgiveness from Desmond Tutu for slander.

      • Hostage
        April 4, 2014, 4:18 pm

        Every single ambassador from every single country with an embassy in the United States if approached by a CIA official who wanted to hand over valuable information would bend over backwards and crawl over glass to get it.

        And that would still be illegal under the terms applicable US law and a gross violation of the Vienna Conventions on diplomatic and consular relations.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 4, 2014, 4:52 pm

        “And that would still be illegal under the terms applicable US law and a gross violation of the Vienna Conventions on diplomatic and consular relations.”

        And beside the point. Jeff’s dopey comment was really irrelevant to my statement. Oren should be kicked out of the US because he insults his host by praising a traitor who spied on us. That shouldn’t go unpunished, but as long as the Lobby has an Alien-facehugger grip on the American government, the US politicians will accept the insult and then demean themselves in front of filth like Sheldon Addelson.

      • NickJOCW
        April 5, 2014, 5:19 am

        Woody, Talking of Sheldon Adelson, I came upon a lovely piece of vitriol in my y’night’s insomnia http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/04/05/357241/the-gambling-boss-that-runs-america/

      • JeffB
        April 4, 2014, 9:04 pm

        @Hostage

        OK great well when the rest of the world stops doing it I’ll be sure to condemn Israel if they keep it up. In the meanwhile the USA spends more than the rest of the world combined and most certainly runs it through embassies so any American has a true hypocrisy problem on this issue.

      • Hostage
        April 5, 2014, 9:09 am

        OK great well when the rest of the world stops doing it I’ll be sure to condemn Israel if they keep it up.

        The rest of the world expels ambassadors when they are caught violating the law and detain or sentence others prison. If they are lucky, they get exchanged in a swap.

        In the meanwhile the USA spends more than the rest of the world combined and most certainly runs it through embassies so any American has a true hypocrisy problem on this issue.

        People identified as CIA personnel working in US embassies have been abducted and killed. So, there’s no room for complaints about the treatment that Pollard has received.

      • pjdude
        April 4, 2014, 9:33 pm

        I think your confusing ambassador and spy

      • JeffB
        April 5, 2014, 9:41 am

        @Hostage

        People identified as CIA personnel working in US embassies have been abducted and killed. So, there’s no room for complaints about the treatment that Pollard has received.

        I’m not complaining about the treatment Pollard has received. I was saying that Israel’s use of a people like Pollard was normative nothing unusual on Israel’s part.

      • Hostage
        April 5, 2014, 10:44 pm

        I’m not complaining about the treatment Pollard has received. I was saying that Israel’s use of a people like Pollard was normative nothing unusual on Israel’s part.

        You are losing the narrative when you argue that crimes, like espionage, which still carry the risk of capital punishment are normative.

      • JeffB
        April 6, 2014, 2:18 pm

        @Hostage

        You are losing the narrative when you argue that crimes, like espionage, which still carry the risk of capital punishment are normative.

        Murder has a capital punishment in the US but all states and for that matters countries have murders. Having a big penalty if caught means the state wants to discourage the activity strongly. Frequency is a different question entirely.

      • Hostage
        April 6, 2014, 10:04 pm

        Murder has a capital punishment in the US but all states and for that matters countries have murders. Having a big penalty if caught means the state wants to discourage the activity strongly. Frequency is a different question entirely.

        Attempts to rationalize your illogical (and irrational) propositions are underwhelming as usual. Other than a handful of states which either want to remain or become one of the so-called “great powers”, most countries do not engage in illegal espionage.

  5. Balfour
    April 4, 2014, 12:36 pm

    Should the Americans free Mr. Pollard perhaps he could take over Mr. Oren’s recently vacated role as Israeli Ambassador to the United States- after all, both men renounced their American citizenship and they both share an intimate knowledge of America…

  6. ThorsteinVeblen2012
    April 4, 2014, 12:54 pm

    What imminent threat to Israel or Jewish people did Pollard expose?

    How can this administration entertain releasing Pollard who personally benefited from his actions and still pursue Edward Snowden who received no money and acted out of his sense of conscience for the principles codified in the Constitution?

    • Citizen
      April 4, 2014, 7:15 pm

      @ Thorstein VEblen2012

      Disgusting, eh? They say he should have gone up the chain-of-command with his complaint. Clapper’s one hand clapping to Congress.

  7. American
    April 4, 2014, 1:41 pm

    ” The piece repeatedly cites the unfair suspicion of Jews having dual loyalty for Israel before it ends with this quote from a non-American:

    “He is the embodiment of a national narrative of the Jew who sacrificed himself for his people,” said Michael B. Oren, an American-born historian who renounced his American citizenship in 2009 ….”>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Oh my aching head!….here we go again!
    I wish I had a dollar for every time ‘they’ have decried the unfair suspicions of Jews disloyalty….while’ they’ feature and quote prime examples of it.
    Does being in a cult destroy your brain to this extent, where you cant even compare what you said to what you are saying?…..it must.

    • NickJOCW
      April 5, 2014, 5:48 am

      American, Cultists divide into two groups, those who can’t see what’s before their nose, and those who can’t see anything else.

  8. American
    April 4, 2014, 2:05 pm

    ‘ Now Israel is at once so dependent on the U.S. and so far from American values that desperate Zionists are openly invoking that loyalty on the part of American Jews to try and hold the Israel lobby together. It won’t work. ‘>>>>

    Well lets hope.
    However there is one thing liberal Zionist and any one who advocates for US ‘support’ of Israel needs to understand—–and that is they do not have a ‘right’, and are not entitled on any grounds to make the US and all Americans responsible for a Jewish State.
    Yes I am well aware of the meme ….make that the myth…that the whole world is responsible for the Nazi holocaust…sorry, but that’s a lie.
    While I don’t ‘hate’ the MJ’s, who I think are screwed up mentally and emotionally, like I do hate the Uber Zionist Mafia, they are also responsible for involving the US with Israel.
    The US has no obligation or duty to the Jews….except to ensure US Jews the exact same rights any citizen has…nothing more.
    They will have to accept that or the problem will continue.

  9. radii
    April 4, 2014, 2:08 pm

    now that’s chutzpah !

    my sides hurt I’m laughing so hard …

    yes, Mr. Oren, the goy are just supposed to be slavish Hosts to their parasite masters and then thank them for the privilege of being used and abused

  10. JeffB
    April 4, 2014, 2:24 pm

    @Phil

    The next time someone says there should be no daylight between the US and Israel, reflect that Israel’s former ambassador regarded an American traitor as a hero.

    Pollard is a traitor to America and a hero to Israel. Same as when Kanatjan Alibekov defected to the United States and gave us the details of the USSR’s bioweapons program he was a traitor to the USSR and a hero to Americans. Or when Stanislav Levchenko defected he told the Japanese all about the KGB’s network in Japan making him a hero to them and a traitor to the USSR.

    Oren also said that Israel prefers al Qaeda in Syria to Assad with his Iran allegiance.

    So do lots of Americans. Including many BDSers. Michael Neumann (Canadian admittedly ) has been a prominent BDSer for a long time and one of his primary focuses lately has been supporting the FSA. Heck at the end of the day I think Assad is probably better for the USA, but it wouldn’t shock me if I were wrong and the FSA turned out much . I’m certainly no traitor its a tough call. There are people in the CIA who agree the FSA is better.

    For Israel though I can see even more advantages for the FSA. On the downside Al Qaeda are truly excellent terrorists, very good at their job. On the upside though the fact that they are excellent terrorists scares the bejesus out of Europe and America. Petty issues like the Palestinians might get pushed to the side if Europe and America need Israel on the frontline against FSA Syria. Problems with Turkey could disappear
    instantly. Iran having watched their Basij volunteers their Hezbollah allies their Syrian allies… being brutally slaughtered by Al Qaeda might not have as many objections to the Zionist Entity under the old “enemy of my enemy”. Conversely if Iran didn’t become more accommodating Israel’s access to MEK and kurdish areas in Iran becomes much more valuable if they can sponsor Al Qaeda. etc…

    Why would it be shocking that Oren says the obvious?

    ___

    As for USA Jews. USA Jews understand that Israel is a foreign country not part of America. Israel is a USA vassal so it sublimates its interests in exchange for USA assistance. The pressure on USA Jews only exists if relations between Israel and America deteriorate and the distance in their respective active interests increase. The whole point of BDS is to increase the distance in interests. So I don’t see how you aren’t making the problem you are complaining about worse in advocating for the USA to become hostile to Israel over the Palestinian issue.

    • thankgodimatheist
      April 4, 2014, 10:26 pm

      “Pollard is a traitor to America and a hero to Israel. ”
      What did he do for Israel? His “services ” were for the benefit of the Soviet Union!

      • JeffB
        April 6, 2014, 9:22 am

        @thankgodimatheist

        He gave Israel information about how to penetrate Soviet air defenses.

        @libra

        Neither really. I see both positions.

      • libra
        April 6, 2014, 10:08 am

        JB: Neither really. I see both positions.

        So you’re posting these long screeds from a position of complete indifference. My goodness, that job of yours must be really boring.

        He gave Israel information about how to penetrate Soviet air defenses.

        Perhaps in the next long, boring stretch you can make up some details to embellish this fantasy.

    • libra
      April 6, 2014, 8:03 am

      JeffB: Pollard is a traitor to America and a hero to Israel.

      So which one is he for you, Jeff?

  11. piotr
    April 4, 2014, 2:34 pm

    A traitor of X is also a hero of Y. Pollard’s problem is that the country where he is a hero does not want to offer anything of value to get him out of the slammer.

  12. lobewyper
    April 4, 2014, 3:16 pm

    Nobody seems to make much of the fact that one of our so-called allies bought top-secret information about its chief ally and benefactor. (And did whatever it pleased with that information.) Apparently Israel doesn’t much care about the likely views of all this likely held by the average American [were (s)he ever to find out], who for years has been paying out of his/her own pocket more than $500 per year to the average Israeli…

    • libra
      April 4, 2014, 4:56 pm

      lobewyper: Apparently Israel doesn’t much care about the likely views of all this likely held by the average American…

      I can’t imagine Israel thinks any differently about the average American than biorabbi (see below).

  13. doug
    April 4, 2014, 3:18 pm

    Well, Oren is certainly a great example of single loyalty or an Israel Firster in MJR’s parlance.

    OTOH, MJR is also but in a different way. He sees the two state solution as the only viable one and sees BDS and the current Israeli govt. as driving away from this. Hence his attacks on both BDS and that (very large and well connected) part of the Pro Israel lobby that supports the Israeli govt. Still, MJR sees the damage to his liberal Zionist dream of a Jewish state imperiled by the unwillingness of Israel to consider even a minimalist Palestinian state. He knows the current path has dire consequences. What’s a liberal Zionist to do? At least MJR doesn’t have his head in the sand over the implications of the almost certain Israeli direction.

  14. biorabbi
    April 4, 2014, 3:46 pm

    I hope Jonathan Pollard is freed soon. Remember, Pollard should be treated just the same as any other ethnicity, spy for any other foreign power. No better–28 years and counting–and no worse. He is certainly not an innocent lamb, but I fail to see why spying for Israel should be treated differently at sentencing or in terms of potential clemency.

    There is an awesome huge added gain for releasing Pollard: imagine all the anti-semites faces redden and their blood pressure’s go up. Free Mr. Pollard now and watch the internet explode! But wait, it’s all about zionism, not Judaism, right =)

    • Shingo
      April 4, 2014, 4:18 pm

      He is certainly not an innocent lamb, but I fail to see why spying for Israel should be treated differently at sentencing or in terms of potential clemency.

      Many Hasbarats are suggesting that he has refused to apply for parole or agreed to an early release out of principal. But the reason he has dine so is because he wants clemency so he can move to Israel.

      imagine all the anti-semites faces redden and their blood pressure’s go up.

      So I take it that all those opposed to freeing Pollard are either anti Semites or would become anti Semites were pollard to be freed early?

      • Citizen
        April 4, 2014, 7:06 pm

        I think he wants a pardon like Bill Clinton gave Marc Rich just before leaving the oval office. Parol would leave him i the USA, as I understand it; I don’t think he wants that–would you, if you did what he did and everybody knows your face?

      • tree
        April 4, 2014, 7:12 pm

        He is certainly not an innocent lamb, but I fail to see why spying for Israel should be treated differently at sentencing or in terms of potential clemency.

        But the difference seems to be in the calls for clemency or early release for Pollard only. IF you can find me news stories of repeated calls for clemency, including calls from US Congresspeople, for Robert Hanssen, Aldritch Ames, or John Anthony Walker, similar to the decades long pleas for Pollard, then you might have a case for Pollard being treated no differently than those other spies, who are all serving life sentences. (Whitworth, Walker’s compatriot, is serving a 365 year sentence.) But you certainly DON’T have a rational case that Pollard was or is treated more harshly than they were or are. Its just another case of a belief in Jewish exceptionalism on your part. Or are you calling for clemency for those other spies as well?

    • libra
      April 4, 2014, 4:49 pm

      biorabbi: There is an awesome huge added gain for releasing Pollard: imagine all the anti-semites faces redden and their blood pressure’s go up.

      Good grief, let’s hope Dr. biorabbi isn’t on call if Pollard ever gets released – the death rate in Arkansas would go off the charts.

    • CloakAndDagger
      April 4, 2014, 4:59 pm

      @ biorabbi

      There is an awesome huge added gain for releasing Pollard: imagine all the anti-semites faces redden and their blood pressure’s go up. Free Mr. Pollard now and watch the internet explode!

      Be careful what you ask for, you may get it. Disregarding your painting Americans as anti semites, if American faces do, in fact, radden and our blood pressures go up en masse and the Internet explodes, the consequence to Israel will not be pretty. You, for one, will be out of a job at Hasbara Central and will have to earn an honest living without being a parasite on American pockets, and your beloved Israel will be a distant memory.

    • Kay24
      April 5, 2014, 3:23 am

      There is an awesome huge added gain for NOT releasing Pollard: imagine all the zionists faces remaining red, their blood pressure still up, and even the great Bibi eating crow and begging for his release. The internet has been exploding with these pathetic pleas for traitor Pollard’s release, and lame justifications for his crime.
      It is about espionage and turning traitor, for a devious nation, that pretends to be an ally of the US – not at all about Judaism.

  15. Shingo
    April 4, 2014, 4:13 pm

    This is baloney.

    Pollard was not loyal to anyone but himself. He did it for they money, pure and simple . Before selling secrets to Israel he tried to find interested buyers from other states like Pakistan and other states.

    He was drives by greed alone.

  16. Hostage
    April 4, 2014, 4:24 pm

    “He is the embodiment of a national narrative of the Jew who sacrificed himself for his people,” said Michael B. Oren

    The guy is the embodiment of the greedy, disloyal Jewish sayanim who are paid handsomely by the Israeli government. Oren is a paid professional propagandist who would lie about that situation, even if the truth would serve him better, just to stay in practice. Was Pollard also serving his Jewish “nation” when he offered to sell US secrets to countries other than Israel?

  17. Les
    April 4, 2014, 4:52 pm

    Oren would have a better argument if Pollard had accepted Israel’s $50,000 for his “sacrifice” in shekels instead of dollars.

  18. Walid
    April 4, 2014, 5:19 pm

    Meanwhile Israel has formally cancelled the release of the last batch of 30 prisoners, and word came out of the jail where they were held that they were happy with Abbas having signed the apps and asked him to not make any concessions on their behalf. Since some of those prisoners are Israeli citizens, Israel had proposed to denaturalize them and expel them to another country as a condition of their release but Abbas had categorically refused.

    From IMEC:

    “Veteran Prisoners Voice Support for Abbas’ UN Move
    Wednesday April 02, 2014 by Chris Carlson –

    Thirty veteran Palestinian prisoners who were eligible to be freed on March 29 applauded President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to apply for membership in international agencies, a statement said Wednesday.

    “President Abu Mazen (Abbas) stood up for our dignity and our freedom,” the statement said. “We support his efforts and his decision — we refuse to be used as a bargaining chip.”

    “Our fate and destiny are not separate from that of our people. Israel must pay a toll for the crimes committed against Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinian people.”

    Ma’an News Agency reports that, as a stipulation for relaunching peace negotiations in July, Israel agreed to release 104 Palestinian veteran prisoners — jailed before the 1993 Oslo accords — in exchange for the PLO’s pledge not to apply to international bodies.

    Seventy-eight prisoners have been freed so far in three separate tranches.

    Israel was scheduled to release the final group of prisoners on Saturday, but did not. In response, Abbas said on Tuesday that he had begun steps to join several UN agencies.

    Furthermore, according to an AFP report, an Israeli minister on Wednesday has warned of punitive action if the PLO pursued efforts to join the agencies, as hopes of a breakthrough in negotiations faded rapidly.

    “If they are now threatening (to go to UN institutions), they must know something simple — they will pay a heavy price,” Tourism Minster Uzi Landau told public radio.”

    http://www.imemc.org/article/67437

    • seafoid
      April 4, 2014, 9:57 pm

      Walid
      Those prisoners were supposed to have been released 20 years ago under Oslo. They are the ultimate symbol of Zionist bad faith.

      I wonder what Kerry means when he says the US doesn’t have time for the kabuki process. In the normal case 2 warring protragonists would read this as a message to get real and hammer out a solution but Israel is not capable of overriding its sense of entitlement. Might Israel become the wedge issue that separates dems and the gop in 2016 or 2020? The ultimate Zionist nightmare.

      • Walid
        April 5, 2014, 12:42 am

        Abbas Zaki, a Fatah senior blamed the US for the failure saying the US has been covering Israel’s war crimes all along and that the last time the US was serious on Palestine was with Bush I and Baker. He asked how could the US be serious when it appoints a rabid pro-Israel Zionist like Indyk to the negotiating team and put the blame for Israel’s intransigence squarely on the shoulders of the US. He claimed that Indyk was not allowed in the room during the last meeting between the 2 parties.

        Looks like the Palestinians are finally waking up.

      • Kay24
        April 5, 2014, 3:28 am

        The Palestinians had their hands tied, by promises of peace, their rights recognized, and working with their occupier. The US most probably warned them that if they went to the UN and applied for recognition, they would have their aid stopped (as they were threatened the last time they bid for statehood at the UN), time the Arab nations stepped in and supported them, giving them aid, so that they will be able to survive without being blackmailed, by Israel and the US. The Palestinians are in such a vulnerable position, we cannot fault them for trusting the US, but the rest of the world already knew that the US was not going to be an honest broker. It never is, when it comes to Israel.

      • NickJOCW
        April 5, 2014, 6:15 am

        Kay24, DOS briefing yesterday:

        QUESTION: Has there been any call from members on the Hill to suspend the aid, to follow the law?
        MS. HARF: Well, I know there’s been calls from Hill members on quite a few things. In terms of the 15 conventions the Palestinians signed, it’s our understanding that they don’t – they wouldn’t trigger the cutoffs because they’re not agencies. But again, we’re talking to the folks on the Hill.
        QUESTION: On that (inaudible), I think I had asked you about that yesterday…
        MS. HARF: Uh-huh.
        QUESTION: — and you had said that the lawyers were reviewing it. They have now reviewed it, and that is indeed the answer?
        MS. HARF: Uh-huh.
        QUESTION: Good. Thank you.

        http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2014/04/224425.htm

      • Kay24
        April 5, 2014, 7:33 am

        NickJOCW thanks for that link. It was very interesting, and perhaps a sign of things to come. Israel is steamed that the Palestinians are going to the UN, in fact has threatened sanctions agains them (for legally going to the UN)and will make it’s servants in congress make the Palestinians suffer even more, with aid being cut off.

      • NickJOCW
        April 5, 2014, 11:01 am

        Kay24. I think it’s less what the Palestinians did than where it could lead that unnerves them. I am inclined to wonder if the Obama people are not in on this. The NYT said ‘US and Israeli officials appear to have been taken by surprise’, but that may simply point to their source. And Abbas could not have selected a better group of UN outfits to rock the boat while not overturning it.

      • Hostage
        April 5, 2014, 9:12 pm

        And Abbas could not have selected a better group of UN Agencies to rock the boat while not overturning it.

        Israel is simply trying to eat its cake and still have it too. It’s also violating its legal obligations, by adopting punitive sanctions against Palestine for the exercise of functions it had transferred to the PA. The ICJ advised that it is NOT allowed to do that (more below).

        The four resolutions adopted by the UNHRC during the recent session referred to “the occupied State of Palestine”. All that Abbas did was sign-on to accessions to the UN Human Rights and ICRC International Humanitarian Law Conventions.

        Israel has reported for years that Palestine, not Israel, has legal responsibility for the human rights of the population, whether or not it is a state. It claims that the occupied Palestinian territories are NOT part of Israel’s sovereign territory or jurisdiction.

        That’s a nonsensical proposition, since only states are bound by the terms of some of the applicable conventions that simply do not apply to non-state actors. The International Law Commission has noted that the only tangible manifestation of sovereignty is the exercise of territorial jurisdiction, as Israel itself has asserted in its reports. It claims that it is NOT responsible for the human rights of the inhabitants and that the PA has the jurisdiction and responsibilities. Its own Oslo Accords explicitly stipulated that the Palestinian Council exercises territorial jurisdiction. In addition, there is no longer any doubt that the PA represented a State. The majority of UN member states and the General Assembly have long-since recognized Palestine’s 1988 Declaration of Independence. Here is how Israel described the situation:

        Applicability of the ICCPR to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

        8. In its Concluding Observations on Israel’s Initial Report, the Committee questioned Israel’s position regarding the applicability of the Covenant to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israel has consistently maintained that the Covenant does not apply to areas that are not subject to its sovereign territory and jurisdiction. This position is based on the well-established distinction between human rights and humanitarian law under international law. Accordingly, in Israel’s view, the Committee’s mandate cannot relate to events in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, inasmuch as they are part and parcel of the context of armed conflict as distinct from a relationship of human rights.

        Furthermore, pursuant to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement of 1995, and the consequent documentation and undertakings of the Palestine Liberation Organization (P.L.O), the overwhelming majority of powers and responsibilities in all civil spheres (including civil and political rights, as well as a variety of security issues, have been transferred to the Palestinian Council, which in any event is directly responsible and accountable vis-a-vis the entire Palestinian population of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with regard to such issues. In light of this changing reality, and the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Council in these areas, Israel cannot be internationally responsible for ensuring the rights under the ICCPR in these areas.

        The fact that the Palestinian Council does not represent a State, does not, in itself, preclude its responsibility in the sphere of human rights protection. In fact, this is also evident under Article XIX of the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, according to which the Palestinians have taken it upon themselves to exercise their powers and responsibilities “with due regard to internationally accepted norms and principles of human rights and the rule of law”. Similarly, under Article II(C)(4) of the Wye River Memorandum, the Palestinian Police is obliged “to exercise its powers and responsibilities with due regard to internationally accepted norms of human rights and the rule of law, and be guided by the need to protect the public, respect human dignity and avoid harassment”.

        — CCPR/C/ISR/2001/2, 4 December 2001 http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/44CF316E24ACCD8B85256C4F00502FD3

        The ICJ advised that the ICCPR, ICESCR, UNCRC do apply to armed conflicts and occupying powers, and that:

        Furthermore, it [Israel] is under an obligation not to raise any obstacle to the exercise of such rights in those fields where competence has been transferred to Palestinian authorities.

        — See paragraphs 77 and 112. http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1671.pdf

      • Kay24
        April 5, 2014, 11:37 pm

        Nick, it seems that Mahmoud Abbas, checkmated them. :))

      • seafoid
        April 5, 2014, 4:25 am

        Walid
        I wonder if the other Arabs haven’t been relaying signals about American pullback in the global sphere. It’s not just Syria or the Crimea. Kerry can threaten but in the wider picture the US is no longer the only power. Very interesting.

  19. chuckcarlos
    April 4, 2014, 5:30 pm

    now just who in the hell are these “jewish people?”…”his people?”

    does this include the self hating anti-semite jews like Finkelstein and Hajo Meyer?

    or maybe the guys who said to hell with jews…do not include me, like Richard Feynman?

    hell even the Sioux, Crow and Blackfeet and many others have both the insiders, outsiders and inbetweeners…their human beings include a mighty wide lot….

    I can never figure any of this out…

    It’s like Mexican “people”…well you got your, more or less full blooded folks in Michoacan…and then you got your sort of full blooded folks in Sonora, like the Apache…and then you gots yours Hernan Cortez relatives by Malinche…and all them other hot blooded Spaniards…

    and then you gots your blacks and whites…although that ain’t so certain eithers…since you can get operated on by a black surgeon in LA whose Grandpa might be Strom Thurmond…or hell you might even marry Thomas Jefferson’s grandkid through his daughter Harriet Jefferson/Hemmings/Wayles…

    I get some confused about all these “peoples”…

    by the way, what in the hell is the difference between all these Aryan SS Troopers and all these Jews who will only marry Jews?

    personally I like Gitanos…

    “you don’t like jews, do you?”…”well, depends on what she looks like”…

    never met Pollard but if Weinberg and Biden thinks he stinks…then he is un hombre muy malo

  20. John Douglas
    April 4, 2014, 5:38 pm

    Oren is a mirror of Netanyahu. Raised in the U.S., slick, well-spoken, handsome, rejects his Western name the way Malcolm X rejected his slave name and in his racist heart derides the U.S. as a nation of easy marks.

  21. Citizen
    April 4, 2014, 6:55 pm

    Seems it’s the dawn of the dead, I mean of the lively fierce former Israeli ambassadors to the USA. Here’s another one, dissing & hissing the hell out of naive, ignorant Obama-Kerry’s push to make peace–doesn’t seem he likes anything about the US except Texans, whom he says are like Israelis, long star flags n’ all: http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/04/04/former-israeli-ambassador-pins-dead-peace-process-on-american-wishful-thinking-says-kerry-smothered-in-a-middle-east-sandstorm-interview/

    Let’s play spot the ironies in his piece.

    • Boomer
      April 5, 2014, 7:37 am

      That is amazing. It offers real insight into the mentality at work here. The Obama administration is a bunch of “Palestinian Firsters.” News to me. The comments section is replete as well. I haven’t the heart, or the patience, to play “spot the ironies” as you suggest. It would be such a long list. More of an article really, but who would publish it? Not the New York Times, I think, nor WaPo.

  22. thankgodimatheist
    April 4, 2014, 9:41 pm

    Spying is akin to treason. Is Oren saying than a traitor to the US is a hero for the Jewish people?
    Nice!

    • Kay24
      April 5, 2014, 1:17 am

      As long as the crime is against goyim, he will be a hero.

      If it is a crime of murder in a Mosque while innocent civilians are praying, they will name a park after the murderer. Oren forgot all about diplomacy, and revealed his true, zionist thinking.

  23. crypticvalentin
    April 4, 2014, 11:08 pm

    I seem to remember that Pollard was very interested in $$$ for his info..that is not in Oren’s story..

  24. Taxi
    April 5, 2014, 12:39 am

    What Oren is really saying is that jewish martyrdom is noble but Palestinian martyrdom is terrorism.

    • Kay24
      April 5, 2014, 9:07 am

      Very well stated. I agree about the double standards, and how they venerate their criminals.

    • Woody Tanaka
      April 5, 2014, 9:43 am

      Of course. Standard Zionist thinking. Along the line of “firing missiles incapable of being aimed that fall in an empty field near an occupied town and harms no one” = awful terrorism and war crime (when a Palestinian does it) but “dropping laser guided munitions on an apartment building with knowledge that the explosion will kill scores of innocents” = acceptable killing and “regretful” collateral damage (which a Jew does it.)

  25. Boomer
    April 5, 2014, 7:29 am

    Well said. Thanks for saying it.

  26. Accentitude
    April 6, 2014, 2:20 am

    Oren who represented the Israeli government said that Pollard sacrificed himself for the Jewish people and that he’s a hero. That’s interesting. This is the same Israeli government that refused to allow him to enter the Israeli embassy. Oh but then they later gave him an honorary Israeli citizenship so I guess all is well between them, huh? Let’s not kid ourselves. Pollard is no hero. He was a drug addict and a drunkard who sacrificed himself for the almighty Dollar hoping that he could get away free on account of his Jewish identity. That didn’t work but if Oren thinks of him as a hero, what does he think of Yossi Yagur, Irit Erb and Aviem Sella?

    • Walid
      April 6, 2014, 5:01 am

      “Pollard is no hero. He was a drug addict and a drunkard who sacrificed himself for the almighty Dollar hoping that he could get away free on account of his Jewish identity. ”

      But he appears to have developed some self-respect. Now he’s saying he refuses to have his freedom traded for that of Palestinian prisoners. What a man.

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