Dentist may lose Navy job in Saratoga due to Israel ties


Albany Times Union:

Dentist may lose Navy job in Saratoga due to Israel ties

Gershon M. Pincus, a dentist from Queens, wanted to give back to his country at the end of a successful career, so he found a part-time job with the Navy in Saratoga County and purchased a second home in Ballston Spa.A dentist in private practice since 1978, Pincus works 20 hours a week at a naval health clinic on West Avenue, checking the teeth of sailors who support the United States’ nuclear submarine propulsion program at the Kenneth A. Kesselring Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in West Milton.
But Pincus, 62, may not have the job long. The government the dentist wishes to serve considers him a security threat.

After he took part in a required background check and interview, the Department of Defense in September denied the civilian doctor a security clearance on the grounds that he could harbor divided loyalties because he has relatives in Israel, according to documents from the security clearance file.
“You have weekly telephone contact with your mother and brother in Israel,” the Pentagon told Pincus in its decision. “You added your mother, sister and brother may have contact with neighbors in Israel. Foreign contacts and interests may be a security concern due to divided loyalties or foreign financial interests, may be manipulated or induced to help a foreign person, group, organization or government in a way that is not in U.S. interests.”

This just seems weird to me.
I get that there is history with American Jews spying for Israel, but weekly phone calls from a dentist to family hardly seems like a huge security risk. Is he going to get classified material from sailor and Marines while they’re under anesthesia?


Given the current administrations antipathy to Israel, it doesn’t seem weird at all. If the dentist was contacting family in Iran, there wouldn’t be a problem to this administration.



I’ve noticed this tendency lately on this board to say horsedroppings like this. “Oh, you can slander Christians all you want, but you can never say anything bad about a Muslim!”

“Obama won’t help Christians, but he’ll do anything for Muslims!”



Or, you know, just shut up.


Yes, I’d like to see a cite.



The present American administration appears more concerned with its allies then it enemies. I know many Australians who are concerned with the long working history of our alliance with America. Many consider there may be need to develop nuclear capacity ourselves in the light of our ambiguous and multi-sided relations as major trading partners to China and the luke warm attitude that America now shows to long term allies.
I hope that the next administration will reconfirm American ties with long standing allies, and the next administration does not slip into Alzheimer’s as presently appears to be occurring.
I hope all patriotic Americans are not personally affected by the dry rot, that normally starts from the bottom, but in this tipsy turvey world, seems to be starting from the top.


I would like to see a plausible explanation of why having family in Israel is grounds for being denied a security clearance.



The “Foreign Influence” criterion under the “Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information” affects many security clearance applicants, particularly those who are naturalized U.S. citizens or whose parents immigrated to the U.S. Others who marry (or reside with) a foreign national, who have foreign financial/business interests, or who maintain close and continuing contact with foreigners are also affected. There are two other related criteria—Foreign Preference and Outside Activities—that sometimes affect these same applicants.*


Foreign Influence has been a significant concern when considering people for security clearances. This has been due in part to changes in motivation of those who have chosen to spy against the U.S. A government study issued in March 2008 reported that since 1990 offenders who are naturalized citizens rose to 35%, those with relatives or close friends overseas increased to 58%, and those with foreign business or professional connections increased to 50%.

The Adjudicative Guidelines specify that “foreign contacts and interests may be a security concern if the individual has divided loyalties or foreign financial interests; may be manipulated or induced to help a foreign person, group, organization, or government in a way that is not in U.S. interests; or is vulnerable to pressure or coercion by any foreign interest.” The Adjudicative Guidelines further specify that “Adjudication . . . should consider the identity of the foreign country in which the foreign contact or financial interest is located, including but not limited to, such considerations as whether the foreign country is known to target United States citizens to obtain protected information and/or is associated with a risk of terrorism.” However the location of a person’s contacts or interest is not by itself a disqualifying condition.


The location, relationship, occupation, activities, and interests of the foreign person, as well as the recency, frequency and nature of the contact are all relevant. The security significance of these foreign contacts can be measure by the extent to which an applicant:

• Maintains contact with foreign friends, family members, or professional associates.

• Provides or receives material support to/from contacts outside the U.S.

• Returns to native country.

• Maintains property or financial interests (including inheritance rights) outside the U.S.

• Fails to report association with foreigners when required.

Foreign connections that “create a potential conflict of interest between the individual’s obligation to protect sensitive information and the individual’s desire to help a foreign person, group, government, or country by providing that information” are security concerns. Absent a potential for a conflict of interest, foreign connections must present a “heightened” risk of foreign influence to be a security concern. A heightened risk can be created either by the nature of the foreign contact and/or by the applicant’s perceived ability to resist foreign influence. In assessing an applicant’s ability to resist foreign influence adjudicators may consider the degree to which an applicant has assimilated American culture and displayed undivided loyalty to the United States by:

• Applying for U.S. citizenship as soon as they are eligible.

• Expressing their intention to live permanently in the U.S. even after retirement.

• Observing American holidays.

• Participating in local non-ethnic social, community, political, or charitable groups.

• Socializing with people outside their ethnic group.

Additionally, circumstances or behavior that could attract the attention of foreign intelligence are also potentially disqualifying factors.


This seems a little odd. My 33-year career required security clearances at a lot higher level than what would be required for a civilian dentist, and I worked side by side with people who had foreign ties that would have raised a lot more questions than relatives in Israel.


I owe you an apology. I wrote this at a bad time, and I just shot from the hip. It was uncalled for and rude. I am truly sorry.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit