Letter: Israel on Its Own
OpinionLetters to the Editor

Letter: Israel on Its Own

American Jews today and 75 years ago have too much in common in their lack of concern for their cousins.

People rally in Tel Aviv for the Jews of Europe on Dec. 2, 1942. (Photo by Zoltan Kluger, Israeli Government Press Office)
People rally in Tel Aviv for the Jews of Europe on Dec. 2, 1942. (Photo by Zoltan Kluger, Israeli Government Press Office)

Dave Schechter’s analogy of Israel as an “uncool cousin” to American Jews is fundamentally correct (“Black and White Then Give Way to Gray Now,” June 9). I wish to analyze the consequences of this analogy further, as it has implications for the future.

During World War II, the Jewish community of America had a lot of cousins living in Eastern Europe. They were not cool because they spoke Yiddish, Polish, Russian, Hungarian and a host of other non-English languages. The Germans tried to exterminate them, and these efforts were well known to the world.

The New York Times, under the leadership of German Jew Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, tried to cover up the Holocaust. This provided material help for the architects of the Holocaust, Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Eichmann.

Democratic Judge Samuel Rosenman, a Jewish adviser to president Franklin D. Roosevelt, urged FDR to ignore a march of rabbis on Washington protesting the Holocaust. I don’t believe that FDR was anti-Semitic, but a regular politician. If the Holocaust was not an issue for the Jews of America, why should FDR be more Jewish than the Jews?

On the other hand, the record of some non-Jewish legislators, such as Rep. Will Rogers of Oklahoma and Sen. Guy Mark Gillette of Iowa, was quite honorable. It is a statement of fact that the record of non-Jews in the House and Senate during World War II was better than that of Jewish legislators during the war.

Why am I dredging up ancient history? In the past administration, Democratic icon Barack Obama negotiated secret aspects of an agreement with Iran. The Iranian mullahs know more about the actual content of the deal than does the U.S. Congress.

What we do know is that the agreement is front-loaded, so it makes it very hard to reimpose sanctions if Iran cheats. In any case, the agreement grants a kosher certificate to Iran’s nuclear weapons program after 10 years.

This agreement is an incentive to cheat, and if I were the Iranian government, I certainly would cheat on it because there are no real consequences. This agreement was supported by a greater proportion of the American Jewish community than the non-Jewish community, even though not a single Israeli member of the current army or Knesset was supportive of it.

I travel to Israel frequently, and when Israelis ask me whether the Jewish community of America cares about Israel, I tell them that they care as much about Israel as their grandparents cared about the Jews of Europe during the Holocaust. They get it.

— Herbert Kaine, Berkeley, Calif.

read more: