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Heartbreaking Loss

It was heartbreaking to read about the death of Noah Pozner (front-page news story, Dec. 21), one of the twenty little children mercilessly slain in Newtown, Connecticut by a monster in human form. So many lives tragically cut so short.

Harriet Wachtel
(Via E-Mail)

Chaim Kaminetzky

Thank you for giving such prominence to Ira Heller’s loving tribute to Chaim Kaminetzky, z”l (front-page essay, Dec. 21). I was not at all surprised by the nice things Mr. Heller had to say about him.

I first met Chaim at a social gathering in the late 1990s and was immediately impressed by the way he greeted everyone. Though I would run into him on a couple of other occasions in later years, I did not know him well. I did, however, keep up with his important work in and for the community.

He was definitely one of those individuals who make a tremendous difference in the lives of others.

Lev Berger
(Via E-Mail)

CIA’s Pollard Assessment (I)

The information related in your December 21 page three news story on the recently revealed CIA assessment that Jonathan Pollard had cooperated with U.S. investigators in good faith, coupled with your excellent editorial on the subject, should help put to rest the canard that Pollard caused great security damage to our country.

Jonathan Pollard was, by means of innuendo, blamed for what Soviet spies Aldrich Ames and John Walker actually did. It was Ames and Walker who caused great security damage to the United States. But there was a lynch mob atmosphere created against Pollard.

It is imperative that Jewish Press readers write to their senators and congressional representatives, urging them to press President Obama to commute Pollard’s sentence to time served.

Reuven Solomon
(Via E-Mail)

CIA’s Pollard Assessment (II)

How is it that such revealing information, cutting right to the heart of the Pollard spying story, was kept secret for so long? Several elected officials have, over the years, claimed to have read the Pollard file. Is it possible that they would have kept quiet all these years if indeed Pollard was punished for something he didn’t do? Were those officials being less than truthful about what was in those documents or about having read them at all?

And what about a certain individual, still rather prominent in Orthodox circles, who years ago served as an aide to a U.S. senator and who claimed Pollard had done unspeakable damage to America? Will he now bother to explain just what he had in mind by making such a charge?

Paul Hoenig
(Via E-Mail)

CIA’s Pollard Assessment (III)

So Jonathan Pollard gave Israel information on its Arab enemies that the U.S. should have provided Israel in the first place. Yes he committed a crime, but a life sentence? Unbelievable.

Herbert Behrmann
New York, NY

CIA’s Pollard Assessment (IV)

Much is being made about how Jonathan Pollard did not directly give Israel classified information about the U.S. However, the mere fact that he turned over information gathered by U.S. intelligence operatives around the world indirectly disclosed a lot about U.S. espionage tactics.

As I recall, there was very real concern that the information stolen by Pollard might at some point reach the Soviets, as Israel at the time was known to have been severely infiltrated by Soviet agents.

Jacob Kind
(Via E-Mail)

Clarification On U.S. Presidents And Israel

In Elliot Resnick’s Dec. 21 interview with me about my about my book The Elected and The Chosen: Why American Presidents Have Supported Jews and Israel, I should have added Harry Truman to my list of the most pro-Jewish American presidents.

I was somewhat ambivalent in including him because, though he certainly helped in the creation of Israel, he immediately put a total ban on arms to the Middle East, which of course threatened the new nation’s existence. He had a good reason for doing so, however. He believed that if he armed the Israelis, the Soviet Union would arm the Arabs and it might be the start of World War III.

In response to Mr. Resnick’s question about my sources for the new information in the book, I should have mentioned the declassified once-secret documents in American, British and Israeli government archives. One of the most revealing is a previously secret account I found in the British Foreign Office of a rare conversation between a British army officer and Ibn Saud, the king of Saudi Arabia, shortly before World War II in which the Arabian monarch had stated, “For a Muslim to kill a Jew earn[s] him immediate entry into heaven and into the august presence of God Almighty.”

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