McCain, Pollard and the Confederate Flag - Editorial
New Jersey Jewish News - February 4, 2000
You can't blame American politicians for noting the lack of resolve in
Jewish community regarding efforts to secure Jonathan Pollard's release
federal prison. A couple of weeks ago, "straight-talking" John McCain
man courageous enough to tell Republican Jewish activists and donors why
backs campaign finance reform told the Conference of Presidents that
he thought Pollard should never get out because "he betrayed our nation
obligations to our government."
There is also abundantly clear evidence that when it suits his purposes,
McCain knows how to dissemble. While Pollard's "betrayal" merits prison
death, South Carolinians' desire to fly the Confederate flag above their
statehouse is a local matter, not grist for the mill of the national
political discourse. Of course, the fate of McCain's run for the
presidential nomination will be sealed, or given new life, not by this
week's New Hampshire primary but in the Feb. 19 South Carolina primary.
explains why his early denunciation of the Confederate flag as a symbol
racism mellowed into a more accommodating view of the flag as a symbol
The Confederate flag not only represents a racist heritage of
slavery, and denial of basic rights to blacks, it also celebrates the
greatest act of treason an armed uprising against the United States of
Now, we're all for flexibility. After all, if we insist that the
flag be hauled down on the above-cited grounds, we weaken our argument
granting Pollard clemency. But let it be said while McCain is still in
race that we appreciated neither his hard line on Pollard nor his waffle
the South Carolina flag issue.
Justice4JP Note: Jewish "leaders" have yet to publicly challenge
McCain's position on Pollard. Privately however, a number of Jewish
"leaders" have correctly noted that McCain accuses Pollard of crimes
for which Pollard was never accused or indicted. McCain's failure to
relate to the grossly disproportionate sentence Pollard received is
another issue Jewish "leaders" grumble about - to themselves.