Alan Gross Biopsy, Hopeful but Not Definitive


By JTA

Published November 30, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The results of a biopsy released by the Cuban government raises hopes that Jewish American contractor Alan Gross does not have cancer, his lawyer said, but his family still wants his own physician to examine him.

“While we very much hope that these test results are accurate and do not doubt the Cuban government’s belief that Mr. Gross is healthy, the only way he will feel confident in them is for the Cuban government to allow an independent medical examination by a doctor of his choosing,” said a statement by Gross’ attorney, Jared Genser, on Wednesday, after the Cuban government released data from an examination by Rabbi Elie Abadie, a U.S. physician whom the Cubans allowed to examine Gross.

Gross’ radiologist, Dr. Alan Cohen of Maryland, said in an accompanying statement that the result is “hopeful but not definitive” because of the small sample size obtained by Abadie.

Gross has an unidentified mass behind his right shoulder, according to reports, and has lost more than 100 pounds since his arrest in December 2009. His family says he is suffering from degenerative arthritis.

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.

The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations said the Cuban news conference announcing the medical results underscored the need to release him.

“It is time for the Cuban government to demonstrate compassion and release Mr. Gross so that he can receive a complete medical examination by American doctors with the proper expertise,” the Presidents Conference said in a statement.

U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) expressed their disappointment that the news conference, which the Cuban government had touted to reporters on Tuesday, was not to announce his release.

“Though we are deeply disappointed by Cuba’s failure to make such an indication today, our commitment to Alan’s cause is undiminished and we will continue to work to ensure his immediate and unconditional release,” they said in a joint statement.

Last week, Gross’ wife, Judith, sued the U.S. government and the company that contracted his work in Cuba, saying their training was inadequate and a factor in his imprisonment.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.