What sort of TRUTH is it that crushes the freedom to seek the truth?
Nov 17, 2010
Jewish intelligence, Jewish genes, and Jewish values. Are Jews a race? Is Jewish intelligence genetic?
By William SaletanPosted Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007, at 7:54 AM ET
If these notions make you cringe, you're not alone. Many non-Jews find them offensive. Actually, scratch that. I have no idea whether non-Jews find them offensive. But I imagine that they do, which is why Jews like me wince at any suggestion of Jewish genetic superiority. We don't even want to talk about it.
Actually, a bunch of us did talk about it, three days ago at a forum at the American Enterprise Institute. The main speaker was Jon Entine, an AEI fellow and author of a new book, Abraham's Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People. He was joined by fellow AEI scholar Charles Murray and by Laurie Zoloth, a bioethicist at Northwestern University. Entine and Zoloth are Jewish. Murray isn't but talks as though he wishes he were. "One of my thesis advisers at MIT was a Sephardic Jew," he announced proudly, turning the old "some of my best friends" cliché upside down.
Entine laid out the data. The average IQ of Ashkenazi Jews is 107 to 115, well above the human average of 100. This gap and the genetic theories surrounding it stirred discomfort in the room. Zoloth, speaking for many liberals, recalled a family member's revulsion at the idea of a Jewish race. Judaism is about faith and values, she argued. To reduce it to biology is to make it exclusive, denying its openness to all. Worse, to suggest that Jews are genetically smart is to imply that non-Jews are inherently inferior, in violation of Jewish commitments to equality and compassion. My friend Dana Milbank, who's a better (if I may use that word) Jew than I am, watched the discussion, went back to his office, and wrote a column in the Washington Post poking fun at all the talk of superior Jewish intellect. The column, as usual, was really smart.
But what if Judaism as a genetic inheritance is compatible with Judaism as a cultural inheritance? And what if the genes that make Jews smart also make them sick? If one kind of superiority comes at the price of another kind of inferiority, and if the transmission of Jewish values drives the transmission of Jewish genes, does that make the genetics and the superiority easier to swallow?
According to Entine, the rate of Jewish "outbreeding"—procreating with non-Jews—is half a percent. That's the lowest rate of any population in the world today. What drives this phenomenon? Culture. Ten years ago, my childless Orthodox uncle came up to me and said, "I hear you're dating a Jewish girl." When I replied in the affirmative, he added, "If you marry her, I'll come to the wedding." That was pretty much the whole conversation. A year and a half later, he was at my wedding. Today, he's got a grandniece and grandnephew living in my house. I'd like to think he had no influence, but maybe I'm kidding myself. Explicitly and implicitly, Jews have been getting this message for millennia. As Murray pointed out, the Bible is full of instructions to marry within the faith.
A culture that trains its young people to procreate only with one another becomes, over time, a genetically distinct population. And if that culture glorifies intelligence to such a degree that it drives less intelligent people out of the community—or prevents them from attracting mates—it becomes an IQ machine. Cultural selection replaces natural selection. For example, Jews have long emphasized male literacy. For this reason, Murray argued, anyone who was Jewish and stupid 2,000 years ago found "it was a lot easier to be a Christian." Entine called this kind of process a "bio-cultural feedback loop."
The theory still sounds arrogant, until you hear the IQ machine's possible costs. Some scholars now hypothesize that the genes that make Jews smart also give some of them nasty diseases such as Tay-Sachs. Entine finds this plausible. He pointed out that some genes associated with brain growth are also associated with breast cancer, including in his own family. During the question-and-answer session, someone brought up another tradeoff: Supposedly, Jews are deficient in visio-spatial skills, possibly because their brains allot extra space for verbal intelligence. That might explain the average Ashkenazi Jewish score of 122 on verbal IQ tests.
Pondering these nuances and tradeoffs, Zoloth reconsidered her aversion to the idea of Jewish genes and Jewish intelligence. What should we do, she wondered, if we find genes that predispose children both to genius and to early death? And should Jewish biological differences be minimized if they're expressions of—and vehicles for—Judaism as a value system?
Zoloth didn't have answers to those questions. Neither do I. Part of being Jewish, after all, is talking in questions more than answers. Whether that habit is cultural or biological, I don't know. But this much I can tell you: I walked out of the AEI conference room that day with a cut on my nose because, in an attempt to pick something up off the floor, I whacked my face on the chair in front of me. Probably I'm just a moron. But maybe visio-spatial deficiency really is a sign of intelligence, in which case, I'd like to thank my ancestors for making the trade. Including my uncle, who, come to think of it, may not be childless after all.
The Occidental Observer Newsletter - Michael Colhaze: To Feel Or Not to Feel PLUS Kevin MacDonald blog: Eric Cantor's loyalty
From: Paul..... <paul.....
Date: November 17, 2010 9:01:09 PM EST
In going through an old file recently I discovered a reference in a clipping from 1986 that jumped out at me. I wouldn't have reacted to the names at the time (although I would have a year or so later), because they didn't mean anything to me. However, it appears that I filed the article for reference without reading it, because it wasn't marked with underlinings and notes (an annoying habit I have).
Benjamin H. Freedman (1890-1984) was an anti-Communist, anti-Zionist Jew and convert to Roman Catholicism. He funded Conde McGinley's "notoriously anti-Semitic" magazine Common Sense and was otherwise active in righteous causes. Late J&E member Robert John included an acknowledgement of Freedman's assistance in providing material for his book Behind the Balfour Declaration (IHR, 1988). Jews routinely refer to Freedman as a "self-hating Jew."
Issa Nakhleh is (or was--I don't know if he's still alive) a longtime champion of the Palestinian cause, a Barnes Review board member, and author of Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem.
So the two names jumped out at me. Here's the passage:
"If you are dealing in such intangibles as consulting and brokerage services, the courts argue, you must protect yourself with a written agreement. For industrial consultant Benjamin Freedman, that turned out to be a $2.05-million lesson.
Freedman had pitched David Fulton, an officer of Chemical Construction Corp., in New York City, on the idea of building a plant in Saudi Arabia to convert flared-off natural gas to fertilizer. The deal would be worth $41 million to Chemical, and, for acting as broker, Freedman would be entitled to a 5% fee. The two men met several times; Freedman brought his Syrian associate, Issa Nakhleh, into the deal, and Nakhleh negotiated directly with the Saudi government at Chemical's request. Chemical won the contract, and finished construction of the plant four years later, but refused to pay Freedman's fee. Despite interoffice memos signed by Fulton acknowledging that Freedman was involved in the transaction, Freedman lost his lawsuit to force Fulton to pay. There was no written agreement."
-"Let's Shake on That," INC. magazine, June 1986, 131.
Now, the question that immediately jumps into one's mind is whether organized Jewry (and Jews and Gentiles they'd have enlisted, including, probably, officers at Chemical, which saved a bundle by not paying) illegally stuck their nose into this private transaction in order to prevent $2 million from falling into Freedman's hands. That possibility strikes me as being enormous.
For sure it was Jewish judges who ruled against Freedman. It also turns out that Nakleh had to sue separately in an attempt to obtain his own 5% fee. Whether he was successful or not I don't know, but Jews would have had the same incentive to interfere in his case.
(Kevin, I'm cc'ing you because I know you are interested in and knowledgeable about Freedman, have written about him, reprinted some of his work, and posted an audio speech by him.)
National InsecurityAmerican Jews haven't stood up for Jonathan Pollard. That might finally be changing.
BY GIL TROY | Nov 16, 2010 7:00 AM
CREDIT: Photoillustration: Tablet Magazine; photo: Wikimedia Commons
Jonathan Pollard, who is now marking his 24th year in prison, has earned the dubious record of serving the longest prison term in American history for spying for an ally. Convicted of espionage in 1987, Pollard was the suburban American Jewish dream turned nightmare: a good, middle-class, high-achieving boy turned traitor. The son of a college professor, smart enough to graduate from Stanford, patriotic enough to be hired to work in naval intelligence, he made a criminal decision to betray his country to help Israel.
And yet new petitions on his behalf have recently begun to circulate, and gain momentum, both in the U.S. Congress and the Israeli Knesset. This is, in large measure, because Pollard's situation rests on a contradiction: He was guilty of a reprehensible crime, and yet he has been treated abominably. One of the most infamous Jewish criminals in modern times, he is also the victim of the worst act of official American anti-Semitism in our lifetimes. With his round face and shoulder-length hair, Pollard today still looks more like a perpetual grad student than an arch criminal, but he has suffered severely. He has served hard time, mostly in maximum-security prisons, spending years in lockdown 23 hours a day. Websites pleading his case detail his medical ailments, noting  that he has "developed diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-glaucoma, and arthritis while in prison."
From the moment he was sentenced, there were people in the Jewish community—and beyond—who believed Pollard had been unjustly punished and who fought for his release. But they were few and far between, and they often made the wrong case for him. This newest round of argument on Pollard's behalf is different. For starters, many of his champions have been careful not to lionize him. Rather, they focus on correcting what Judge Stephen Williams, who filed a dissent in one of Pollard's failed appeals, deemed "a fundamental miscarriage of justice." Most surprisingly, on September 27, 2010, a former assistant secretary of Defense confirmed many people's decades-long fears that, at some point, the case had turned personal—and poisonous. Without explaining what prompted him to break his silence, Lawrence Korb, who served in the Pentagon in Reagan's first term, wrote  President Barack Obama: "Based on my first-hand knowledge, I can say with confidence that the severity of Pollard's sentence is a result of an almost visceral dislike of Israel and the special place it occupies in our foreign policy on the part of my boss at the time, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger."
Decades into this tragic and pathetic tale, American Jewry's continuing allergy to defending Pollard says more about our communal fears and the price we are willing to pay for social and political acceptance than it does about Pollard and his crimes.
On November 21, 1985, FBI agents arrested Pollard, 31 at the time, just outside Israel's embassy in Washington. Since June 1984, Pollard had been routinely removing sensitive documents from the Naval Intelligence Support Center on Friday afternoons, passing them to his Israeli handlers for Xeroxing, and blithely returning them on Monday mornings. When first interrogated by the FBI, Pollard called his wife. After he worked the word "cactus" into the conversation, their designated SOS code word, Anne Henderson-Pollard scurried about their house—with a neighbor's help—sanitizing it. The neighbor subsequently gave the FBI a 70-pound suitcase filled with secret documents, reflecting the volume of Pollard's activities and sloppiness.
Despite transferring thousands of documents to his Israeli handlers, Pollard failed to gain asylum at the embassy on that day in 1985. Backpedaling furiously, Israel first labeled Pollard a rogue agent, as his handlers worked out of a shadowy organization called Lekem, the Defense Ministry's Bureau for Scientific Relations. The department, headed by the legendary Mossad man Rafi Eitan , was disbanded shortly after Pollard's arrest. Israel granted Pollard citizenship in 1995—long after such a move could have done him any good. And it wasn't until 1998 that Israel finally acknowledged what everyone knew: Pollard had been an authorized agent spying for Israel.
An American Jew's arrest as an Israeli spy was upsetting enough for American Jews. But Pollard's defense made the affair excruciating. Minimizing the thousands of dollars he earned, the diamond-and-sapphire ring the Israelis gave him, and his efforts to shop American secrets to South Africa and possibly Pakistan, too, Pollard portrayed himself as a Zionist idealist. Anti-Semites bullied him as a child, he recalled. He claimed that the documents he smuggled out, so crucial to Israeli security, should have been shared freely. And, using a most obnoxious and threatening term, he said a "racial obligation" compelled him, as a Jew, to defend the Jewish state.
Suddenly, amid Ronald Reagan's resurgence of hard-bodied patriotic machismo, in the age of Sylvester Stallone's Rambo and Clint Eastwood's tough-guy "make my day" taunt, a balding, mustachioed, jowly-faced American Jewish nerd in glasses was betraying the red, white, and blue for the blue and white. Pollard's crimes epitomized Zionism-run-amok, with the ideological implications of Jewish tribal solidarity pushed to its extreme.
"I feel my husband and I did what we were expected to do, and what our moral obligation was as Jews, what our moral obligation was as human beings, and I have no regrets about that," Anne Pollard said  defiantly on 60 Minutes shortly before being sentenced, one of many arrogant, self-destructive moves the couple made back then. While stirring up the terrifying "dual loyalty" charge—far more terrifying to Jews than to Irish-Americans and other hyphenated Americans—the Pollards defined every Jew's ultimate loyalty as being to the Jewish state. Desperately repudiating the charge, the prominent academic Jacob Neusner would declare America to be the true "promised land."
This American Jewish skittishness regarding Pollard was particularly surprising because by the 1980s American Jews were thriving in America's suburban meritocracy. Some American Jewish superstars were accented immigrants like former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the winner of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize, Elie Wiesel. But most American Jewish success stories were 100 percent American. Speaking unaccented English, they were supposed to be unscarred psychologically, unapologetically American.
American Jews had been here before. Three decades before Pollard made headlines, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg's  arrest, trial, and conviction as Soviet spies for stealing atomic secrets rendered the American Jews' nightmare scenario in pinkish hues. But in the 1950s, American Jews were greener, more marginal. Julius Rosenberg represented the intellectual, foreign-born, New York Jew as Communist, at a time when Communism was disproportionately popular among Jews.
With the Rosenbergs—as with the Pollards—the rightness of finding them guilty was often confused with the wrongness of their punishment. The zeal with which they were prosecuted, the way Judge Irving Kaufman presided over their trial, and Ethel Rosenberg's unjust execution along with her husband, all suggested something deeper in both the American Jewish psyche and the larger American political culture. The American legal establishment particularly enjoyed prosecuting these treasonous Jews, while many American Jews leapt to prove their own loyalty—at the Rosenbergs' expense.
Just as in the Rosenberg case, the judge presiding over Pollard's sentencing was swayed to render too harsh a punishment—a decision that kicked up new waves of suspicion and anxiety.
In an effort to keep his wife out of prison, Pollard pleaded guilty to one count of espionage. His wife, Anne, then 26, pleaded guilty to the milder charge of illegally possessing classified documents. In return, the prosecutor asked the judge to punish Pollard with a "substantial number of years in prison." During the sentencing phase, one voice proved damningly influential. In a secret 46-page-pre-sentencing "damage-assessment memorandum" sent to the judge—and an additional four-page memo that was recently declassified —Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger made a fierce argument. "It is difficult … to conceive of a greater harm to national security than that caused by the defendant in view of the breadth, the critical importance to the U.S., and the high sensitivity of the information he sold to Israel," wrote  Weinberger, before adding—malevolently and unnecessarily—that Pollard's "loyalty to Israel transcends his loyalty to the United States."
Judge Aubrey Robinson Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, sentenced Jonathan Pollard to life in prison and his wife to five years. (After Anne Henderson-Pollard served three-and-a-half years, she was paroled. Jonathan Pollard divorced her so she could rebuild her life without him.) The sentence was surprisingly harsh. By comparison, in 1987 Sgt. Clayton Lonetree, who'd been seduced by a Soviet agent, became the first Marine ever convicted of espionage. His crimes compromised agents and the American embassy in Moscow. Yet a military court—under Weinberger's direct authority—sentenced Lonetree to 30 years in prison, and he eventually served nine years. Richard Miller, an FBI agent who spied for the Soviets in the 1980s, served 13 years. Spies for other allies, like Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Egypt, and the Philippines, served anywhere from two to four years, with maximum sentences of 10 years. Pollard's extreme sentence—along with the continuing refusal to free him–has raised questions about official American anti-Semitism and whether Pollard is enduring harsher punishment for the crime of being an American Jew spying for Israel.
Given that neither Weinberger nor Robinson ever explained their actions, the Pollard case remained shrouded in this noxious mystery. Years later, Weinberger would skip over the case in his memoirs and, when asked about the omission, would dismiss the Pollard case as a "very minor matter." But it's clear that his accusation that Pollard committed "treason"—and harmed the nation—had a devastating impact.
In his recent letter, Lawrence Korb suggested  that Weinberger, his former boss, had exaggerated the damage Pollard caused and that an anti-Semitic bias distorted the case. From the start, some speculated that Weinberger, who had Jewish grandparents but was a devout Episcopalian, sacrificed Pollard to exorcise his own ancestral demons. There was something about this pudgy, sloppy, unapologetic Jewish spy for Israel that repulsed Weinberger. Weinberger was also one of the Reagan Administration's leading Israel skeptics. Caught in a power struggle with the pro-Israel Secretary of State George Shultz, Weinberger usually viewed the Jewish state as more albatross than asset.
More benign observers guessed that the secrets Pollard spilled did more damage to U.S. interests than Pollard or the Israelis suggested. Perhaps, some argued, Russian spies secured key codes thanks to Israeli-based KGB agents. Others assumed Pollard received instructions from a higher-level mole who remains unexposed. After Aldrich Ames' arrest for spying  in 1994, some speculated that Weinberger and others may have blamed Pollard for the damage Ames had actually caused, including the deaths of as many as 10 CIA assets. The author John Loftus and others theorized that Ames, who was a top CIA counter-intelligence official, probably pinned his own crimes on Pollard. In 1995, Moment magazine editor Hershel Shanks would quote Loftus quoting naval intelligence "sources" who admitted that "90 percent of the things we accused [Pollard] of stealing, he didn't even have access to."
After Pollard's sentencing, New York Times columnist William Safire warned  that Pollard encouraged "anti-Semites who charge that Jews everywhere are at best afflicted with dual loyalty and at worst are agents of a vast fifth column." Issuing a personal declaration of independence from Israel, Safire proclaimed: "American supporters of Israel cannot support wrongdoing here or there. In matters of religion and culture, many of those supporters are American Jews, but in matters affecting national interest and ultimate loyalty, the stonewalling leaders of Israel will learn to think of us as Jewish Americans."
But one keen observer of American Jewry, the political scientist Daniel Elazar, noticed  that it was American Jews—and not their non-Jewish neighbors—who were actually raising the dual-loyalty specter, "apparently in the hope of preventing the issue from surfacing by raising the charge in order to deny it. Even more frequently, it was raised by Jews in the media, most of whom were highly assimilated but still apparently needed to demonstrate their 'bona fides' as Americans." Elazar concluded: "The level of American Jewish insecurity is astounding."
American Jews still viewed themselves and their community as on probation in the United States, with their ultimate acceptance conditional on good behavior. This pathology would be stated clearly, if unconsciously, years later, by one of the highest-ranking Jews in American history, who served his country nobly as director of naval intelligence from 1978 to 1982 and yanked Pollard's security clearance—temporarily—years before the spying began. Rear Admiral Sumner Shapiro sounded like a scared yid when discussing Pollard. Annoyed at fringe American Jewish groups that defended Pollard, Shapiro told  the Washington Post in 1998: "We work so hard to establish ourselves and to get where we are, and to have somebody screw it up … and then to have Jewish organizations line up behind this guy and try to make him out a hero of the Jewish people, it bothers the hell out of me."
All minorities want to celebrate their tribal successes as reflecting the best of their people without being tarred when one of their own acts poorly. And given the torturous history of anti-Semitism, American Jews feel this intensely. We circulate lists of Jewish Nobel prize winners, delighting in each American Jewish success, using Jewish achievements to validate our rich but complex Jewish baggage. And while we reserve the right to cringe when a Bernard Madoff becomes the modern face of the greedy Jew or a Jonathan Pollard becomes the modern face of the traitorous Jew, we also reserve the right to object when our neighbors make similar leaps from the one bad apple to the whole bunch.
Nearly two years after Pollard's arrest, with the sentencing returning the case to the headlines, the Israeli academic Shlomo Avineri zeroed in on this American Jewish insecurity—and inconsistency. Writing in the Jerusalem Post, first condemning Pollard as a traitor and his own government as clumsy, Avineri mocked  the "nervousness, insecurity, and even cringing" of American Jews. Playing the role of the abrasive Israeli—or biblical prophet—Avineri wrote: "Today, American Jewish leaders by their protestations of over-zealous loyalty to the United States at a moment when no one is really questioning it, are saying that America in the long run is no different from France and Germany. When you have to over-identify, there is no other proof needed that you think that your non-Jewish neighbors are looking askance at your Americanism. You are condemned by your own protestations of loyalty and flag-waving." At a time when Israel's actions made it unpopular with many American Jews, Avineri's aggressively Zionist analysis only exacerbated tensions.
The controversy–and speculation–peaked during the Wye River negotiations  between Israel and the Palestinians in October 1998. Benjamin Netanyahu, in his first round as Israel's prime minister, lobbied hard for Pollard's release. President Bill Clinton seemed set to free him as a sweetener to Israel until the CIA director, George Tenet, threatened to resign. Such power politicking against a spy who had been imprisoned for over a decade reinforced both camps' speculation. Those who fear anti-Semitism say this irrational move reflects a deep aversion in the WASP-iest bastions of the American government. Those who believe Pollard did more damage than we know insist that the usually mild-mannered Tenet had a good reason to be so rigid.
To Israeli settlers, Pollard's case symbolizes the anti-Semitism of even benign non-Jewish polities such as the United States and the weak-kneed appeasement policies of successive Israeli governments, which have failed to free Pollard. The most popular pro-Pollard bumper sticker in Israel simply appeals for Pollard to come home "haBaytah," but a few years ago one poster challenged: "BUSH: FREE YOUR CAPTIVE." This poster not only targeted a good friend of Israel's, George W. Bush, but it pictured Pollard with the young Israeli Hamas is holding, Gilad Shalit. The implicit comparisons, between the innocent Shalit and the guilty Pollard, as well as between the democratic United States and the terrorist-state Hamas, were offensive. While the right's support has sustained Pollard emotionally, it may have made his get-out-of-jail card even harder to get. The Israeli right is unpopular with both the American Jewish community and the American political establishment, making Pollard even more unappealing.
However unappealing he may be, the time has come to free Jonathan Pollard—not as some sop to Israelis but as a matter of justice. Holding an individual hostage to the vagaries of the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process is cruel and unusual punishment. The Pollard case has become a question of justice, American-style, unrelated to American-Israeli relations. And justice when applied too zealously becomes unjust. For decades, the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil-rights organizations have taught that we take up certain criminals' cases not because we like the criminals or excuse their crimes but because, at a certain point, it becomes the right thing to do.
Imagine another case in which an accused man served a disproportionately long sentence after being tried in a court where direct pressure was applied by the secretary of Defense for reasons that may well have been mistaken or personally motivated. If there was another such case, one imagines that it would attract lots of attention from the ACLU and other groups concerned with the civil liberties of Americans. So why are they silent? More to the point, why are we silent?
If the Pollard case represents the worst of American anti-Semitism, then, by historic standards, anti-Semitism American style is mild indeed. Still, that American Jews, despite their long record of defending the underdog, still hestitate to champion Pollard's release now, suggests that we—like Jonathan Pollard—remain victims of the "astounding" insecurity Elazar witnessed two decades ago.
Gil Troy, a professor of history at McGill University in Montreal and a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, is the author of six books on American history and Why I Am A Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity and the Challenges of Today.
Article printed from Tablet Magazine: http://www.tabletmag.com
URLs in this post:
 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg's: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/famous-cases/the-atom-spy-case/the-atom-spy-case
 suggested: http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=191208
 arrest for spying: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/april/28/newsid_2501000/2501007.stm
 noticed: http://www.jcpa.org/dje/articles2/pollard.htm
 Wye River negotiations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wye_River_Memorandum
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