They Were an Item #78


Ethel and Julius Rosenberg

8 comments:

Fred said...

In the 50's, it was sufficient for the anti-Semites among us to scapegoat individual Jews. These days, they feel the need to target an entire nation of Jews in order to blame it for practically all of the world's problems.

Tom Sutpen said...

Leaving aside the qucksand of Israel and its relationship with the rest of the Middle East, I agree with you in principle . . . the Rosenberg's heritage did make it nauseatingly easy for the press to sell the idea of their guilt to the rest of freedom's land . . . but at this point I don't believe any question remains that they were guilty.

One can debate whether Ethel Rosenberg's role in it was sufficient to warrant her execution under the statute (it wasn't; and we have an already roasting-in-Hell Roy Cohn to thank for that chapter), but there's no evidence to suggest that their heritage was a factor in the Justice Department's handling of that case. If the so-called 'Atomic Spy Ring' had been one hundred percent Methodist, I believe they would have come down on them just as hard.

Fred said...

Tom, when you consider that the Rosenbergs were the only two atomic spies to be executed for their crimes, while dozens of others faced only jail time, it makes one wonder why Julius and Ethel got the chair. Useful idiots? Definitely. People deserving of capital punishment? Definitely not. I think a similar argument can be made for the Justice Department's handling of the Jonathan Pollard. There is no question that Pollard spied on the US for Israel, but he received a life sentence usually reserved for US intelligence agents who spied for enemy governments such as John Walker, Jr., Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames. In the case of Ames, his actions actually led to the executions of a number of valuable CIA sources. I don't think it is far fetched to claim that a special justice is reserved for Jewish spies.

Jack Pearblancher said...

Wait a minute, Fred:

>>while dozens of others faced only jail time....

You make it sound as if the Rosenbergs were executed *because* they were Jewish (the "anti-semitism") -- mentioned in your first post, then you go on to say that

>>while dozens of others faced only jail time

...as if somehow these others that got jail time were treated differently because they were not Jews.

That is not the case. Harry Gold, Morton Sobell, etc. were also of Jewish descent, and they "only faced jail time"....so your argument is falls flat.

I don't dispute that anti-semitism was a factor in the Rosenberg case, any more than anti-Muslim sentiments among Americans are a factor in any case involving accused Islamic individuals -- but claiming that we "feel the need to target an entire nation of Jews in order to blame it for all for all of the worlds problems" is just another pathetic attempt to paint the state of Israel as a "victim", not the perpetrator of crimes against Palestinians (i.e the "world's problems")

A nation that operates in complete violation of the numerous UN resolutions that have attempted to reign it in, is indeed a great factor in "all of the world's problems."

I find it interesting that you focus on the Rosenberg's Jewish heritage, and not on the vehement anti-communist paranoia that was prevalent in the 50's (and is still so today, as much so as anti-semitism), that was the driving factor behind their prosecution/persecution.

And Jonathon Pollard? Puhleeeese. Try taking off your blinders.

Kathleen Marie said...

There is not just cause for capital punishment, ever.

Marshall P. Smith said...

Timothy McVeigh was the only person to die for the OkC bombing, one got life(Terry Nichols), at least one got off turning "states evidence". At Nichols' trial, evidence was presented indicating that others may have been involved, so the 'Atomic Spy Ring' isn't unique in that respect.

I agree with Tom about Ethel's degree of guilt AND being sold out by Roy Cohn. Cohn was Jewish too wasn't he?

Hmm... go figure.

Gerard Saylor said...

Wasn't Cohn an equal opportunity scumbag anyway? He would have jumped the anti-Semite bandwagon just to cozy up the Methodists in charge.

alx said...

A famous photo, yet, seen here, on its own, selected out of the ether, ... well, it's pretty much impossible not to be profoundly affected by it.