August 25, 2008
Jewish dual loyalty and anti-Semitic witch hunts
There has been much discussion this summer about claims of Jewish dual loyalty—whether diaspora Jews can be both loyal to their country of citizenship and concerned for Israel or if they are covert spies, as anti-Semites have alleged throughout history.
The persecution of David Tenenbaum, which GetReligion deems a “hunt for a spy in a yarmulke,” indicates just how damaging anti-Jewish suspicions can be.
Tenenbaum worked for the Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command when his Southfield, Mich., home was raided by FBI agents in 1997. They were looking for evidence that Tenenbaum was spying for Israel, and his reputation was tarnished in short order. But this summer, after 11 years, the Pentagon’s inspector general cleared Tenenbaum’s name and admitted he was targeted because he was a Sabbath-observing Jew.
“We believe that Mr. Tenenbaum was subjected to unusual and unwelcome scrutiny because of his faith and ethnic background, a practice that would undoubtedly fit a definition of discrimination whether actionable or not,” the inspector general’s report concluded.
What made Tenenbaum’s behavior suspect? Well, for one thing, he spoke Hebrew. Seriously.
More from The Washington Post after the jump: