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!
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • 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.