Pentagon: We Thought Engineer Was Israeli Spy Because He's a Jew

David Tenenbaum, an Orthodox Jew who is fluent in Hebrew, was falsely accused of spying for Israel.

The Pentagon has admitted in an internal report that it wrongly accused an army engineer from Michigan of spying for Israel because he was a Jew.

David Tenenbaum of Southfield is an Orthodox Jew and fluent in Hebrew. The Defense Department put him on paid leave in 1997 while it and the FBI investigated his ties to Israel.

He eventually was cleared of leaking military secrets, but says he has been vindicated by the report.

Tenenbaum was hired as an engineer by the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) in Warren, Michigan. The Pentagon report said Tenenbaum's knowledge of Hebrew made him a more attractive candidate, since it would facilitate working with Israel on various joint military projects, the Free Press reported.

"It was well known that Mr. Tenenbaum was Jewish, lived his religious beliefs and by his actions appeared to have a close affinity for Israel," the Pentagon report, which was released three weeks ago, said. "We believe that Mr. Tenenbaum was subjected to unusual and unwelcome scrutiny because of his faith and ethnic background, a practice that would undoubtedly fit a definition of discrimination."

In 2000, Tenenbaum filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, accusing it of employing "Naziesque" surveillance methods against Jews, according to the Detroit Free Press. Tenenbaum, who had sought more than $20 million in damages, said he was the subject of a federal investigation that "literally terrorized" him and his family, according to the Free Press.

Tenenbaum's lawyer told the Free Press that the investigation led the Army to shelve his client's Humvee armor project in 1995, a move that he said cost the lives of ill-equipped American soldiers deployed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tenenbaum still works at the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command in Warren. He told the Detroit Free Press he wants an apology from the Army and his accusers punished.

Pollard sues State for non-support

Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard filed a lawsuit on Monday in the Tel Aviv District Court against the State of Israel, asking the court to declare that he and his wife, Esther, have not received any financial aid from the state from the day he was arrested.

Pollard, who has been jailed in the United States since 1985 for spying on Israel's behalf, claims that Israel falsely maintains it has helped the couple financially from the day of Pollard's arrest until now.

Pollard stresses that he does not want financial support from Israel, but rather for the state to work for his release.