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500 Rabbis ask for the impossible

From Haaretz:

Rabbis urge Cuba to release Jewish prisoner, citing possible cancerous growth

More than 500 rabbis urged the release of Alan Gross, citing an assessment by a U.S. radiologist that the American contractor jailed in Cuba might have a cancerous growth.

The letter cites an assessment last month of Gross' Cuban medical records by Dr. Alan Cohen, a radiologist in Bethesda, Md., that said what Cuban doctors identified as a hematoma behind Gross' right shoulder is likely a tumor.

"A soft tissue mass in an adult who has lost considerable weight must be assumed to represent a malignant tumor unless proven to be benign," Cohen wrote.

In the letter, which was sent Sunday to Cuban President Raul Castro, the rabbis wrote: "We would urge your government to release Mr. Gross on humanitarian grounds. Alternatively, if despite his and his family’s suffering over the past three years in prison you remain determined to detain him, we would urge you to allow a doctor of his choosing to evaluate and treat him for whatever medical conditions that he may have."

Most of the rabbis signing the letter are American and represent all streams, including leaders of religious umbrella bodies. A number of the rabbis are from Israel and Canada.

Gross, 63, of Potomac, Md., was sentenced last year to 15 years in prison for "crimes against the state." He was arrested in 2009 for allegedly bringing satellite phones and computer equipment to members of Cuba’s Jewish community while working as a contractor for the U.S. Agency on International Development.

Gross' wife, Judy, was due Sunday to join a rally for his release to take place outside a performance in West Palm Beach, Fla., by the Cuban Symphony Orchestra.


2 comments to 500 Rabbis ask for the impossible

  • Rayarena

    Of course, no mainstream newspaper has reported this appeal, because quite naturally, the castro brothers are not Pinochet, or the Argentine Junta. Example, when Jacobo Timberman was arrested by the infinitely worst than castro Argentine Junta [triple-tongue-in-cheek] that did require countless editorials, opinion pieces and even a Hollywood movie.

  • asombra

    The more I look at Gross, the more I think: “Yes, you got screwed by the Castro regime, but it screws EVERYBODY, starting with Cubans themselves, and blaming it is like blaming a cobra for being poisonous. You also got screwed by Cuban Jews, at least the official ones, and you absolutely got screwed by Obama, whom you actively helped elect in 2008, and who COULD have gotten you released long ago if he’d put the screws to Castro, Inc. instead of making concessions to it even after you were jailed and generally pussyfooting around. Obama has miserably failed you, yet you’ve kept singing his praises, even if you didn’t mean it. And now, after all the misery and waste you and your family have gone through, which nothing can undo, the plan is apparently to make Cuban exiles the villains of the piece and promote a travesty of justice--exchanging convicted Cuban spies with blood on their hands for a naïve do-gooder unjustly imprisoned. Of course you’ll take such a deal, which nobody expects you to decline, but are you EVER going to put the blame for your prolonged ordeal where it belongs, on Obama, or just stick to the cheap expedient of Cuban exile-bashing? Yes, that's always safe and eminently PC, but it's not what an honorable and righteous man would do."