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The Jews who were murdered in Germany and Poland cannot speak out. The rest of us, however, have absolutely no excuse.
Helen Thomas’s stomach-turning comments about the Jews returning to Germany and Poland, where six million were killed, are striking for their racism and insensitivity. Whether she said them out of senility or anti-Semitism is beside the point. Either way she has no business working for any respectable media organization or sitting as the senior White House correspondent directly in front of the president of the United States. When Don Imus made racially charged statements against a woman’s basketball team, candidate Barack Obama demanded he be fired. It will be interesting to see how President Obama, who could not offer a single word of support for Israel since the flotilla affair, will react.
One can only imagine the uproar against Thomas had she said that all blacks should go home to Africa, or illegal immigrants to Tijuana. It seems that Jews are the only group that you can attack with impunity, because they are the only ones unwise enough to tolerate it. Better yet, we’re the only group often filled with so much self-loathing that we actually initiate many of the attacks.
FEW OF us are surprised that it is a coterie of Jewish advisers to Obama who have joined him in condemnations of Israel over Jews building in Jerusalem. This week The New York Times published an article by Michael Chabon arguing that many Jews are “blockheads” and notions of Jewish intelligence are highly overrated. He may be correct. But as I read this strange screed from one of America’s most celebrated Jewish novelists, I wondered if, say, Maya Angelou would ever pen an article about how many black dumbbells there are. Attacks on one’s own seems to be an art form perfected specifically by Jews.
Helene Cooper wrote a column in the Times asking whether Israel has become a strategic liability to the US. She quoted many senior Jewish political advisers to the Democratic Party who advised that if Israel continues to embarrass the US, it might be time for the superpower to distance itself from the little Jewish irritant.
The criticism made for interesting reading, implying as it did that while Israel is an embarrassment to the US, its relationship with such great human rights exemplars as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey ought to be sources of downright pride.
Turkey merits special mention because not only does its media accuse the American military of harvesting organs from helpless Iraqis, which they cite as one of the reasons for the American invasion, but because Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sees fit to call Israel barbarous, lecture Jews about not murdering and refers to Hamas as freedom fighters. Curiously, at the same time he was spewing his venom toward the Jewish state this past week, the pope was in Cyprus where he was being publicly begged by Archbishop Chrysostomos II, the leader of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus, to stop the illegal Turkish occupation of Cyprus, now in its 34th year, and protect Christians from growing attacks by Turks.
Just prior to the pope’s visit, a Christian bishop had been stabbed to death outside his home in the port of Iskenderun. The archbishop said that Turkey had “barbarously invaded” Cyprus and “continues to carry out its obscure plan, which includes the annexation of the lands now under military occupation and then conquest of the whole of Cyprus. They wish to make everything Greek and Christian disappear from occupied Cyprus.” Of course, Turkey won’t even acknowledge its genocide of the Armenians, a position that Obama has shamefully supported in order not to offend Turkey’s belligerent leader.
Of course, Cooper’s article quotes J Street head Jeremy Ben-Ami whom journalists have come to appreciate because of his consistency and reliability in always saying something disparaging about Israel. In this case he is quoted as saying “he represents Jews who... are raising the issue of Israeli government actions as a strategic liability for the United States.”
I LIVED in England for 11 years and was sickened by the regular abandonment of Israel by some of the most high-profile Anglo-Jews whenever Israel’s actions became controversial. For those wondering why a floodgate of anti-Semitism has opened in Britain over the last few years, look no further than the fact that Israel’s greatest haters can often point to Jewish critics as being much more strident than them. And still it continues, with even high profile Jewish leaders like Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks remaining mum on Israel even while it was assailed by countless countries for enforcing a blockade against a terror organization that has fired 10,000 rockets against it.
Still, I never believed that American Jewry would emulate this cowardice. But Obama’s public abandonment of Israel is directly traceable to the small price he pays among American Jews. On my radio show, many callers contend that Obama is an anti-Semite. I condemn such character assassination in the strongest possible terms. Obama has elevated Jews to some of the highest positions, including his most recent nominee for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan.
Rather, the president’s inability to condemn Hamas and support Israel, which is a stain on his presidency, results from his considerable moral confusion and a misguided sense of right and wrong. Under Obama, America has retreated substantially from president George W. Bush’s policies of promoting democracy and human rights and has reverted to Kissingerian realpolitik, ready to make deals with tyrants so long as it promotes an artificial sense of peace.
But Obama can get away with it because American Jewry has become so silent and so weak.
Whenever Israel undertakes controversial action, American Jews begin writing op-eds in The Atlantic and The New Yorker about how the oncemoral nation has lost its way. Funny how those same writers do not condemn Obama’s policy of Predator drone strikes against Taliban leaders that inevitably involve considerable civilian casualties.
Sorry guys. Israel is going to remain controversial, as one might expect from any country under a constant existential assault from nearly all its neighbors. When threatened by Hitler, Britain leveled whole German cities. The US did the same to the Japanese. Israel has never even pondered such actions, even as thousands of its citizens have been blown to smithereens.
The Jews who were murdered in Germany and Poland cannot speak out in support of a Jewish state.
The rest of us, however, have absolutely no excuse.
The writer is founder of This World: The Values Network
His new book, Renewal: A Guide to the Values-Filled Life, has just been published by Basic Books.
I never had any respect for American Jews as I dare say, if Moses would have died the day before, I bet they wouldn"t have wept as much as they did for FDR, which wasn"t precisely a Jew lover... If somebody still refutes it, it would have paid to ask Morgenthau"secretary... Which brings me to ask what makes American Jews such burned in the flesh Democrats, as attested by 80% of them voting for OBAMA, making Jewish Republicans as scare as hen"s teeth... But what I would like to remind all of them is that Jews were those that practically made the Russian revolution and that it was TROTSKY who saved the Bolsheviks bacon with his Red Army, as otherwise, KERENSKI would have had all of them for breakfast and to just keep in mind what happened to ALL of them at the hands of STALIN which most likely will happen to all of those around the demagogue of the White House, if not putting the blame of the whole debacle on who else but the Jews ?? But ISRAEL brought the whole thing upon itself because, would any country worth its salt in this rotten world put up with years of daily bonbardment of its territory with absolute disegard for human lives in gte pursjue of turning a city into a ghost town with pinpoint assassinations of terrorists en route to fire rockets and mortars by the use of aircraft, putting at risk pilot lives, costly aircraft and ordnance earning the condemnation of the UN & EU bacause of the use of "Disproportionate Means", when the absolute fair and right response should have been the repayment in kind, with the same disregard for human life shown by HAMAS in all those years ?? No wonder everybody picks on such a country and people, which doesn"t happen with Communist China, N. Korea, Iran, even Turkey and the Kurds... And who in his right mind would order the boarding of a enemy ship from an helicopter and armed with paint guns ?? Only Israeli supersages !!
Posted on 2010-06-11 19:19:00 GMT
Please do not lump together support for Israel with support for George Bush! That is very polarizing and we are looking for allies now. George Bush turned off many Americans with his economic deregulation policies and war in Iraq.
Posted on 2010-06-11 00:55:09 GMT
We must be proud Jews and stop apologising as it is a sign of real weakness. Read Jabotinsky
Posted by Fiona on 2010-06-10 23:12:45 GMT
In reference to the Nazis I would add how policies of appeasment towards the 3rd Reich when it was becomming powerfull aided their sinister intentions
Posted by Bunny on 2010-06-10 10:18:38 GMT
"When threatened by Hitler, Britain leveled whole German cities. The US did the same to the Japanese. Israel has never even pondered such actions, even as thousands of its citizens have been blown to smithereens" Well it"s about time they did or their enemies will correctly assume weakness. Any neighbouring State actively advocating the destruction of the State of Israel should expect annihilation. Why would it be otherwise?
by Malcolm S on 2010-06-10 08:42:49 GMT