WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League urged a federal appeals court to allow a Jewish U.S. Army employee to sue the government for discrimination.
In a friend-of-the-court brief filed Wednesday in the case of Tenenbaum v. Ashcroft, the ADL told the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati that Tenenbaum "deserves his day in court."
A 2008 Department of Defense investigation concluded that David Tenenbaum, now 51, a civilian Army employee, had his security clearance privileges revoked inappropriately more than a decade ago because of his Jewish faith and the perception of a dual loyalty to the United States and Israel.
Tenenbaum’s right to sue for discrimination was denied, however, because the Eastern District Federal Court of Michigan agreed with the government’s claim that “state secrets” prevented it from revealing key facts in the case.
During a 1997 polygraph test administered by the Army, Tenenbaum said anti-Jewish epithets were shouted at him. He said the next day his computer was gone and his name erased from the e-mail system at the Tank Automotive and Armaments Command, the military facility in Warren, Mich., where he worked.
After a yearlong FBI investigation, the U.S. Justice Department in 2008 determined that there was no basis to prosecute Tenenbaum.
“David Tenenbaum deserves to have his day in court,” Deborah Lauter, ADL’s civil rights director, said Wednesday. “Like a number of other Jews who have had security clearances denied or revoked, Mr. Tenenbaum was subjected to special scrutiny simply because he was Jewish and because he had ties to Israel. The charge that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to America is an insidious anti-Semitic canard that has no place in our society."