Although I usually find myself in agreement with Norman Podhoretz, I was deeply disappointed with his article "Dual Loyalty, Issue Resurfaces in Spy Case" (Editorial Pages, Dec. 12). The recent arrest of Jonathan Jay Pollard, an American Jew, raises a number of serious questions. Instead of addressing them intelligently, Podhoretz merely evades and obscures the issue.
The most urgent and obvious question is the number of other American Jews whose loyalty to Israel might render them--wittingly or unwittingly--agents of a foreign government. Podhoretz distracts us from this issue by advancing an irrelevant argumentum ad populum , namely, that 75% of Americans have complete trust in their Jewish compatriots. The problem is that in Pollard's case, 75% of Americans were proven dead wrong.
As for the remaining 25% who harbor suspicion, Podhoretz claims that they are (a) outright anti-Semites; (b) die-hard opponents of U.S. support for Israel; or (c) innocent victims of misinformation. Presumably, we pro-Israel gentiles who view the Pollard affair with some alarm fall into the third group. It is not at all clear, however, that Podhoretz has provided an exhaustive list of possibilities.
Podhoretz dismisses the first two groups as "beyond the reach of argument." In the case of bigots, of course, he is unquestionably justified. Yet it is preposterous to assert that there is no basis for opposing U.S. support of Israel. In point of fact, there are several serious objections that all of us who defend Israel must honestly face.