Orthodox Jew Denied Federal Security Clearance Because Of Relatives In Israel

Dr. Gershon Pincus practices dentistry in Brooklyn and Manhattan. After many years in private practice he decided that he wanted to give something back to his country so he found an opportunity for part time work at a Naval Clinic in Saratoga Springs NY about 200 miles north of NYC.

Working at a government pay scale was far lower than his usual fee nevertheless it was the opportunity he was looking for.

As part of obtaining government clearance he underwent an interview which is standard operating procedure for government employment. During his initial interview he disclosed that he had family living in Israel, regardless he received security clearance. Apparently a review of his investigation set off some red flags and raised “security concerns”.

He was called back for a second interview by a contract investigator from the Office of Personnel Management, an independent agency of the United States government.

During the interview Dr. Pincus was asked to explain amongst other questions why his mother, sister and brother moved to Israel.Why his sister claimed dual citizenship. Why his son served in the IDF.

Has he ever provided financial support to the State of Israel or does he receive any benefits from the government of Israel. And, what would he do if any of his family were captured or kidnapped for ransom or of any group coercing him to provide U.S. government information.

Following his second interview Dr. Pincus’ security clearance was denied.

In a Statement of Reasons for the declination the Office of Personnel Management cited ” weekly telephone calls with his mother and brother in Israel (his mother has dementia) and that his brother and sister may have contact with neighbors in Israel”. “Foreign contacts and interests may be a security concern due to “divided loyalties”.

The term “divided or dual loyalties” has historically been used as a racial and ethnic slur directed against Jews all the way back to the Romans accusing Diaspora Jews of dual loyalty.

The term was used in the infamous Dreyfus Affair in France in the 19th century and in Stalin era Soviet Union. As recently as the 1990’s and 2000’s the term was applied to a group of Jewish neo-conservatives or “Neo-Cons” also called “Israel-firsters” who were accused of seeking to undermine Arab nations hostile to Israel.

According to Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal and former editor of the Jerusalem Post since the Obama Administration took office there have been a total of 58 cases in which Israeli ties were a factor in the decision of which 36 had their appeals denied.

This past June the Office of Personnel Management announced that it had been the target of a data breach of as many as 18 million people, according to FBI Director James Comey, later increased to 21.5 million.

This included records of people who underwent background checks. One wonders if Major Nadal Hassan, the convicted Fort Hood shooter who killed 13 American soldiers in 2009 received such scrutiny.

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