Dr. Irving Kett
One of the significant milestones in Jewish history has recently taken place. The largest Jewish community in the world today lives in Israel. Within about ten years, it is anticipated, that in Israel will live the majority of World Jewry for the first time in 2,000 years. There are two reasons for this development. First the Jewish population in Israel is growing and that of diaspora Jewry is declining all over, including in the United States.
About 20 years ago I read a book by Rabbi Meir Kahane, Z’L’, who was assasinated in New York City. The approximate title of the book was, Uncomfortable Questions for too Comfortable American Jews, that deeply impressed me. It describes how we Jews have a predilection for avoiding looking at our own situation and the world that we live in realistically. It is for that reason that Jews are continuously searching for other people to help, such as those in Darfur and all the other unfortunate Hopttentots of the world, while purposely avoiding to examine the dangers and challenges confronting their own existence. We today face a serious worldwide recrudescence of anti-Semitism, the likes of which has not existed since the 1940,s. I firmly believe that we, our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren are confronted with a repeat of the tremulous year of 1938 and the subsequent tragedies that befell the Jewish people. In my opinion our only possible salvation is to strengthen the State of Israel demographically, physically, militarily, and spiritually. The Nazi Holcaust, which came almost a half century after the establishment of the modern Zionist movement, compelled the Jews to fulfill its destiny to return and found the new Jewish State. After twenty years of independence, the Jewish People, meaning principally American Jews again went to sleep. Just as Jews did not prepare to confront the enemy planning the first Holocaust, Jews are again in deep slumber as 1.5 billion Moslems are committed to carry the second Holocaust of the remaining Jews.
My friend Elyakim Haetzni, a former member of the Knesset recently wrote bemoaning the desertion of Israel on the part of many if not most American Jews. He said this, "Where are you in our hour of need? Don’t you know that if we sink, the ground beneath your feet will quake? Have you not yet learned that the very fact that Jews have their own country has buttressed your status in the Diaspora?"
Psychologists claim that between 1/4 to 1/3 of Jews are so emotionally traumatized by centuries of persecution and discrimination that they reject their own heritage and immerse themselves instead in the culture and problems of other people, even when the latter groups vehemently reject them and pour scorn and abject hatred upon them.
The huge sums being spent on Arab oil-funded propaganda, combined with the ever present indigenous latent anti-Semitism, along with the large scale immigration of fanatic Jew-hating Moslems, has turned Europe once again into a threat to Jewish existence. Hitler 85 years ago proclaimed his aim to achieve a Judenrein Europe. By all indications Europe, both West and East will be substantially cleansed of any significant Jewish presence within 25 years. Currently the most anti-Semitic country in Western Europe is reputed to be Great Britain, with significant numbers starting to come to Israel. Melanie Phillips, an English Jew, is the author of the best selling book, LONDONSTAN. It describes London having become the prime focus if the Islamo-Fascist objective to take over all of Europe.
Melanie Phillips recently wrote a shocking article, "The Jewish Enemy Within". She describes the particularly grotesque aspect of the self-hatred displayed by an increasing number of Jewish academics and so-called intellectuals Jewish leftists, spewing their hatred of Judaism and of Israel. They redefine virtue as excluding every characteristic other than those displayed by the red-fascist leftists who proudly refer to themselves as Liberals and Progressives@ They seek to redefine Jewish moral values to exclude Zionism and any manifestation of the historical heritage of the Jewish People to Eretz Yisroel. They claim to represent authentic Jewish values by saving Jews from embracing the reprehensible non-Jewish patrimony of Zionism and devotion to Israel. Fundamentally these red-fascist Jewish self-haters reveal an abysmal ignorance of Judaism, of Jewish history, and of Jewish ethics. One of the profoundest of our internal scourges is the catastrophe of the hundreds of Israeli academics who are in the forefront of international anti-Zionist, anti-Israel propaganda.
To these so-called liberal Israel haters, Jewish victimhood is the only authentic moral Jewish existence. To them the most spiritually elevated virtuous Jew is the dead Jew. The fundamental crime of Israel in their eyes is that Israel represents Jewish power. The real vendetta of these red-fascist Jews of the left, who in reality besmirch the term "liberal", is against their Jewish heritage. I strongly recommend that you read a book published in 2007 by Ruth R. Wisse, of Harvard University, "JEWS and POWER".
American Jews, by and large, smugly and erroneously have themselves convinced that somehow they are different. That unlike the deluded Jews of the past who lived in Spain, or Poland, or Hungary, or Austria, or France, or Great Britain, or Germany, in America they have found the authentic "New Jerusalem". Unfortunately history has shown that wherever Jews have enjoyed freedom and a high level of success, there are forces working to undermine that favorable environment. The Jews of the United States have experienced periods of intense anti-Semitism. Remember that the Holocaust could never have taken place without the overt complicity of the United States and Great Britain. The latent anti-Semitism that has turned Europe into that simmering cauldron of Jew-hatred may very well be revisiting the United States. A recent ADL study concluded that 15% of Americans or about 35 million adults harbor strong anti-Semitic views. The survey found that 29% of foreign-born Hispanics harbor hard-core anti-Semitic beliefs, as do 1/3 of all Blacks, 31% of Americans believe that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the U.S. and 1/4 still blame Jews for the death of Jesus. All of these figures indicate a latent upward trend in animosity toward Jews.
Jonathan Pollard would not be imprisoned for the past 23 years if he were not a Jew nor would the 2 AIPAC officials be under indictment today. 20 years ago Scribners would not have published the blatantly fraudulent book by Professors Meirsheimer and Walt accusing the Jews of controlling U.S. foreign policy for the benefit of Israel. Nor would former president, Jimmy Carter, been able to spew his anti-Zionist venom. The latter is a more presently acceptable term for anti-Semitism propaganda that will soon appear as a popular motion picture. Today we are witnessing an ever growing hostility toward Israel in the Democratic Party, despite the 80% Jewish support that they receive at the polls and are a leading source of their financial support.
Let us briefly peruse the more recent history of anti-Semitism in the United States. Social discrimination against Jews became the norm in American society soon after the Civil War in 1865. When my grandparents landed in the U.S. from Europe in the 1880’s, they were confronted with signs at hotels and restaurants, NO JEWS AND DOGS ALLOWED. By 1900 Jewish university students were barred from membership in fraternities and sororities. Jews found it increasingly difficult to obtain faculty positions. Certain professions such as engineering, medicine and the teaching of English literature were especially hostile to Jews.
By the 1920’s quotas on Jewish students were commonplace in most of the prestigious colleges and universities. In Europe it was called NUMERUS CLAUSUS. In the 1920’s the immensely wealthy automobile manufacturer, Henry Ford, spent many millions of dollars popularizing the fraudulent anti-Semitic tract, THE PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION, is a perennial best seller in the Arab world today. In 1924 the U.S. Congress passed the JOHNSON-REED IMMIGRATION ACT in order to restrict the number of Jews entering the United States, with disastrous consequences for the Jews trapped in Europe during the Nazi era.
American anti-Semitism climbed to even higher levels in the 1930’s, in response to Hitler, and continued to do so during the period of 1940 to 1944. In the decade before Pearl Harbor, there were reputed to be over 100 active organizations spewing anti-Semitic hate propaganda throughout the U.S. As a teenager I remember listening to one of the leading purveyors of Jew-hatred on nationwide radio each week, a Catholic priest named Charles E. Coughlin from Royal Oak, MI. He had a following of many millions. I recall attacks on Jews in the Yorkville section of Manhattan in New York City by gangs from Fritz Kuhn’s German-American Bund. Some of these organizations were disbanded when the U.S. entered WWII after the attack on Pearl Harbor but other took their place under different guises.
The hatred of Jews in this country promoted and nurtured during many years had devastating results at the time of the Holocaust. One of the reasons why American Jews maintained such a low profile during WWII, even when reports of mass extermination of their European brethren could no longer be doubted, was the actual fear of pogroms in the U.S. and of officially inspired anti-Semitism. Peter Bergson, a member of the Irgun and a nephew of the legendary Rav Kook, tried to arouse U.S. Jewry on behalf of European Jewry. I suggest you get hold of and read a fascinating book on this subject by the Hollywood playwright Ben Hecht called, PERFIDY. The Jewish establishment as exemplified by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise were bitterly hostile to the Bergson effort.
During WWII I served as an ordinary infantry soldier in the U.S. Army. As a youngster born and raised in New York City, I was shocked at the extent and intensity of anti-Semitism that I was suddenly confronted with as a soldier. Surveys published in the NEW YORK TIMES, TIME and MERCURY magazines pointed out that during the period starting with the summer of 1940 until the end of WWII, 15 to 24% of respondents to polls considered the Jews to be a menace to America. These and many other publications reported that Jews were considered a greater threat to the security and welfare of the U.S. than the Japanese and the Germans with whom America was at war in a life and death struggle. In the halls of Congress attacks on Jews were so vicious that a Jewish congressman from New York, Michael Edelstein, in 1944, collapsed and died from a heart attack after hearing a Nazi-style diatribe from a Democratic Congressman named, John Rankin. Anti-Semitism climbed to a historic peak late in 1944 according to Elmo Roper, a leading pollster of that era. I call your attention to another important book, culled largely from U.S. State Department documents, THE ABANDONMENT OF THE JEWS, by an eminent historian, David S. Wyman, a scion of an old New England family.
Today there are at least 100 web sites on the internet devoted to hatred of Jews and of Israel. Now most of this hatred is emanating from the socalled liberal and Marxist left. At places like the huffington.com and other web sites where the red-fascist MoveOn.org crowd congregate, the comments range from the scatological to the blatantly anti-Semitic. We are entering a political environment in which hostility to Israel and the perceived Jewish influence on U.S. foreign policy is rampantly gaining widespread currency.
Even such a bastion of Jewish liberalism as the JEWISH FORWARD reluctantly had to conclude that the reaction to Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut constituted far more "than the familiar tinge of bigotry in the Democratic Party that Jews have long become accustomed to and ignore." The FORWARD pointed out in its editorial that such anti-Semitic conspiracy mongering was unfortunately indicative of an alarming shift in American political culture which Jews have grown unaccustomed to for the past 60 years.
This does not mean that the entire Democratic Party has become completely subservient to the Jimmy Carters, the George Soroses, and the Michael Moores. Though it is true that the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic forces are not an insignificant factor in one of our two leading political parties.
At a time that Europe has reverted to its historic anti-Semitic configuration, much of the international community, including the U.S., denounces Jews who possess the effrontery to attempt to defend themselves and applauds the killers. As a result of Oslo Accords in 1993 approximately 2,000 Jews were murdered, thousands more crippled for life, as well a huge number of wounded in Israel. 5 1/2 million Israeli Jews find themselves confronting a shockingly hostile world and yet perhaps a 1/4 of Israeli Jews are traitors to their own country. Except for a minority of Diaspora Jewry and our loyal supporters in the Christian Fundamentalist community, most of whom are in the United States, we Jews have few if any friends in the world. American Jews have every reason to be ashamed that the only organized community in this country that recognizes and vigorously supports the historic right of the Jewish People in all of the Land of Israel, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan Rift, which includes Gaza, Samaria, Judea, and the Golan Heights are the 60,000,000 Evangelical Christians. Only they support the Zionist destiny of the Jewish People. When they bring their followers to Israel, they go to Hebron, Kiryat Arba, Shilo and Beth El, places most American Jewish leaders shun from fear or political correctness.
An esteemed Evangelical Christian Zionist, Cal Thomas, recently wrote concerning Israel’s sequential appeasing concessions to its avowed mortal enemies, "It is particularly unpleasant when Jews are co-conspirators in their own destruction."
It seems to me that we are destined to relive the nightmare of 1938. We have seen the pattern before: a nation’s economy is in shambles, its people lacking food, shelter, and the other bare necessities of life cry out in desperation and quickly point the accusing finger at the Jews. Today it is not the Germans, it is not the Nazis. But it is happening throughout Europe, the Middle East, South America, and elsewhere around the world. It is fueled by Islamo-Fascists, Communists, other assorted leftists, extreme nationalists and diverse groups venting their hatred at Western civilization and particularly Israel and the Jews.
In the 1920’s and 30’s a great farsighted Jewish leader, Vladimir Jabotinsky was one of the few who foresaw the coming Holocaust. In vain he tried to warn European Jewry. Wide spectrums of Jewry shunned him. They denounced him as a fascist fear-monger and many congregations refused to even let him speak. He was actually expelled from the World Zionist Organization in 1933. In the summer of 1940 I attended Jabotinsky’s funeral in New York City.
In August 1942, at the start of the Nazis mass transport of Jews to the death camps, a young Warsaw Jew purposely went on one of the early transports. Remember the Jews were told that they were being relocated to work camps. When they arrived at their destination, he managed to furtively escape and witnessed what was happening. He risked his life once
again and made his way back to the Warsaw Ghetto, which at the beginning held perhaps a half million Jews. When this young man tried to warn the Jews of Warsaw, about the fate that awaited them at the transports, he was denounced as a fear monger and almost lynched. Like most human being, Jews are reluctant to face unpleasant truths.
As one who has been for many years and still is currently a university professor, I can tell you that the hatred and condemnation against Israel and Zionism being propagated on almost all leading American and Canadian universities as well as those in Europe should be of deep concern to every Jew. Please recall that at the time of the Weimar Republic, the Nazi Party in Germany was strong in the universities and indoctrinated their youth, before Hitler became a serious political factor in Germany. The same anti-Semitic syndrome has been taking place in western universities for the past 40 years and is intensifying. Remember that anti-Zionism is the post-Holocaust term for anti-Semitism.
I am not predicting that American Jewry is immanently in danger from the imposition of the Nurenberg Laws or that the U.S. foreign policy toward Israel is destined to become overtly hostile in the immediate future. We are, however, faced with foreboding portents of change. Let us not blind ourselves to that possible reality. In my opinion American Jewry may be living in a fools’ paradise, much like the German Jews before the rise of Hitler. One needs merely to analyze the dynamics of the current presidential campaign.
I do urgently believe that the Government of Israel should assiduously be investing great capital on planning the future of the Jewish State without U.S. military and diplomatic support. Do I believe that is possible? I absolutely do which is why my children and grandchildren are living in Israel. In fact severing the umbilical chord to the U.S. would result in a number of significant benefits for Israel as well as critical challenges. I am convinced, however, that Israel can exist without that special U.S. support which she has actually had only since the Six Day War.
The great Spanish philosopher, George Santayana once wrote that "those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it". A perusal of Jewish history confirms the truism of Santayana’s astute observation. I believe that had Jews been true to Judaism and cognizant of the foibles committed by the Jewish people in the past, the Nazi Holocaust of the 1940’s might have been prevented or at least attenuated. Our Islamo-Fascist enemies today are planning a second Holocaust against Israel and Jews everywhere to complete the Hitler’s ambition of a "Judenrein world". Once again the governments and peoples of the Western supposedly civilized world are actively abetting this genocidal plan through diplomatic and material support.
The first stage in the implementation of this nefarious plan is the so-called "peace process" to weaken and strip Israel of strategic territories which began with the Camp David Accords in 1978. It deprived Israel of the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for a worthless piece of paper from Egypt. As a result of that agreement, the latter has become, in my opinion, the most serious threat to Israel’s continued existence. Unfortunately, many Jewish leftists even in Israel have fallen prey to the seductive allure of "peace in our time". They actively advocate a policy of appeasing the Arab terrorists similar to that tried by the "peace people" of the 1930’s viz-a-viz Hitler. The results will certainly be the same and especially catastrophic for the Jews. Arab propaganda and the hatred of the so-called "liberals" of today, many of whom are really red-fascists, are intensively engaged in the process of delegitimizing Jewish history and the right of the Jewish people to have their own country. Israel is the only nation on the Earth whose very right to existence continues to be challenged. Many in the Jewish community are either apathetic or fail to recognize this existential threat. American-Jewish leaders once again justify their compliance to U.S. State Department policy possibly for fear once again of an anti-Semitic backlash in the United States. Yet that is no justification for a policy based on abject cowardice.
We all tend to hear and to repeat many negatives with regards to Israel and Israeli society: the shockingly incompetent governmental leadership; the corruption in high places; the frequent lack of public civility, etc. etc.. Yet as I look around Israel I see a booming economy; an energetic, enterprising people, with (for the most part) a clear-eyed approach to their national security; flourishing arts, sciences, universities, an ever strengthening of Jewish institutions; and even an astonishing advanced architecture and infrastructure. Israel is truly an outstanding success story in the annals of human history. What Israel and the Jewish People have accomplished there in the past 125 years should give enormous confidence and immense pride to every Jew and especially to every Jew living in Israel.
Dr. Irving Kett
Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired
Professor of Civil Engineering
California State University, L. A.