Dershowitz: Pollard Will Die In Prison

Marvin Greisman - The Jewish Press (NY) - November 8, 1991

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, the author of the best selling book Chutzpah, appearing here in dialogue with Rabbi William Berkowitz, insisted that unless leaders of the Jewish establishment come to the defense of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, he will unfortunately "die in prison."

While American Jewish leaders shamefully continue to run for cover on the Pollard matter, fearing questions of dual loyalty, Dershowitz, the outspoken lawyer for Pollard, painfully predicted that "the most likely outcome of the case will be that Jonathan Pollard will die in prison." Dershowitz suggested that even if Pollard comes up for parole U.S. Justice Department officials "will oppose his parole" as is the usual practice "in spy cases."

Dershowitz singled out Senator Daniel Moynihan for strongly opposing any move to free Pollard. He stressed that it would be an error to send Moynihan letters protesting his attitude on the Pollard matter when in fact it is the major Jewish establishment organizations who fear to come to Pollard's defense, thus causing Moynihan to adopt this negative position on Pollard. Dershowitz added that if grass-roots Jews pressure their leaders to speak up loudly for Pollard, Moynihan and a host of political leaders would quickly adopt a new attitude on the Pollard case.

Dershowitz noted that when the civil rights of African-Americans were violated, American Jewish leaders were rightly in the forefront in protesting these inequalities. "I am asking Jewish leaders to march for us" concerning Pollard, Dershowitz asserted.

Dershowitz rejected the often heard view that what happened in Crown Heights amounted to a pogrom. Dershowitz warned that we must "keep our context very clear" and suggested that a "pogrom is a state-instituted or state-rampage against Jews. "While not condoning the terrible events in Crown Heights, Dershowitz argued that "this was a rampage by small elements within one community."

Dershowitz attacked the obscene treatment received by Eliot Morgan, a black reporter for the Harvard Crimson who interviewed City College Professor Leonard Jeffries. Dershowitz stated that Jeffries' bodyguard identified the Harvard Crimson as a "Jew newspaper" and Jeffries himself told the black student bluntly, "If you publish what I told you, I'm going to kill you." Dershowitz urged Harvard University officials to take strong action against Jeffries and his cohorts since their actions violated Federal and State law.

Dershowitz expressed disappointment that young Jewish college students are not reading Chutzpah . Dershowitz maintained that Jewish college students face difficult times on American campuses for "it is not politically correct on college campuses today to be supportive of Israel, to be supportive of Soviet and Ethiopian Jewry and to be supportive of Jewish American values." Dershowitz stressed that his book can enlighten Jewish college students to have a much more positive approach to these very issues.

Dershowitz insisted it was not the purpose of his best-selling book to "disauthenticate Orthodox Jewry." In fact, Dershowitz predicted that "by the year 2025 the Jewish community in this country will be primarily the Orthodox community." He stressed that "unless something is done dramatically" the secular Jews will "disappear, assimilate and melt."

Dr. David Ebner, the author of the "Encyclopedia of American Spy films," in an interview with The Jewish Press, urged Dershowitz to finally create a new Jewish organization to reflect the views of grassroots Jews on such topics as Pollard, Catholic-Jewish relations, and Israel's relations with her Arab neighbors. Ebner predicted that if Dershowitz met this challenge "the offices of the Jewish establishment will be emptied out" and their membership would be lost.