Legally, American Jews are Americans first. Their belief and identity as Jews is a private matter, one of free choice and volunteerism. The word "Jew" is not stamped on my passport. I have no legal status in America as a Jew. I am an American. As long as I remain an American citizen, my legal identity is that of my nation. If, for some reason, there were to be a conflict between my legal status as an American and my private status as a Jew and a Zionist, my loyalty as an American would come first. If I did not believe this, I might fall into Pollard's trap. Jonathan Pollard should have realized that as much as Israel and the US have in common in terms of long-term goals, the first allegiance of an American Jew is to America - not to the Jewish state.The truth is that we are Jews before we are Americans. We are Jews before we are Israelis. We are Jews from the day we born until 120 years. We are Jews 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are Jews inside our homes and outside of them.
THE POLLARD AFFAIR should serve as a reminder to American Jews that, as Jews living in America, we are living lives not of dual loyalty but of dual identity. As far apart as is the chasm between Norman Podhoretz and Noam Chomsky in the realm of ideology, both men are legally Americans. The Satmar Hassid living in New Square and the Jewish atheist who eats bacon for breakfast on Yom Kippur in Los Angeles are each Americans. As an American, I have more in common with an American of African descent than I do with a Jew in Israel, even a Jew in Jerusalem who is from the same shtetl in Russia from whence my ancestors came.
By the way, the author of the article asks,
"Did not Jonathan Pollard realize this when he was committing acts of treason against America?"The answer is:
Jonathan Pollard was never charged with treason. [Legally, treason is a charge that is only applicable when one spies for an enemy state in time of war.]The exile is our enemy.
Jonathan Pollard was indicted on only one charge: one count of passing classified information to an ally, without intent to harm the United States.