The Jonathan Pollard spy case represents a "betrayal of trust" between Israel and the U.S. government that will have unpredictable effects on American Jews, the president of the Rabbinical Assembly said today.
The breach caused by Pollard's spying and the promotion of Israelis controlling his activities will be healed in time, said Rabbi Kassell Abelson, "because the alliance is based on mutual interest."
The Rabbinical Assembly represents 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States and Canada.
In remarks to the assembly, Abelson said the real concern about the Pollard affair "is the impact that the incident has on the image and self-image of American Jews."
Pollard, a 32-year-old former civilian analyst for the Navy, was sentenced to life in prison for selling Israel classified U.S. documents in 1984-85.
"Will American Jews begin to see Israel's leaders as indifferent to the position of American Jews? Will this begin to affect the quality of the relationship between Israel and American Jewry? And how will American Jews respond to the rash of cartoons and editorials appearing in the general press criticizing Israel and its trustworthiness?
"It is too early to supply answers to these questions, but not too soon to put these questions on the American Jewish agenda," Abelson said.