Wake up dear brothers and sisters! We Jews—or as Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, calls us “termites” —comprise such a small percentage of the U.S. population (about 2 percent) that it’s amazing how much vitriol is directed our way. Should American Jews ignore the dramatically increasing anti-Semitic rants as just annoying noise?
Ignoring the attacks didn’t work so well in the last century when civilized people discounted the raving tirades of a small group of Germans who excelled at gaining essential media attention by making outlandish comments quite often accompanied by expansive theatrics—their version of today’s social media.
In its first article about Adolf Hitler, published in 1922, The New York Times cited “several reliable, well-informed sources” who claimed Hitler’s “anti-Semitism was not so genuine.” The article went on to stress that Hitler was “merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch the masses.”
Today we know the liberal Jewish-owned New York Times did everything they could to bury the overwhelming evidence about what Hitler was doing to the Jews. As Max Frankel pointed out in “Turning Away From the Holocaust”:
AND then there was failure: none greater than the staggering, staining failure of The New York Times to depict Hitler’s methodical extermination of the Jews of Europe as a horror beyond all other horrors in World War II—a Nazi war within the war crying out for illumination.
Only six times in nearly six years (1939-1941) did The Times’s front page mention Jews as Hitler’s unique target for total annihilation. Only once was their fate the subject of a lead editorial. Only twice did their rescue inspire passionate cries in the Sunday magazine.
That early misguided reporting must have comforted the six million Jews forced to stand for several torturous days in overcrowded cattle cars on their one-way trip to Auschwitz.
Surprisingly, many German Jews did not take Hitler seriously during his early years. In 1925, only a few German Jewish newspapers even bothered to review Mein Kampf. As Raphael Ahren wrote in The Times of Israel article “Why Jews Didn’t Blink an Eye When Mein Kampf First Came Out”:
“…When Mein Kampf came out for the first time, German Jews hardly noticed it. They certainly did not view it as a threat to their existence, or even as a harbinger of a changing political climate in the Fatherland.”
Rahel Straus, a physician who grew up in Karlsruhe, Germany and emigrated to Palestine in 1933, wrote in her memoirs that:
“We passed by the boxes of the Volkisher Beobachter (the official organ of the Nazi Party), read the incendiary articles and indignantly continued working. We didn’t realize that this Volkisher Beobachter was one of the most read newspapers in Germany at the time. We saw Hitler’s Mein Kampf on display in every bookstore; none of us bought it, none of us read it.”
In “Hitler, an Ascent from Dunderhead to Demagogue,” Miohiko Kakutani focused on the numerous points in Hitler’s ascent where he might have been derailed—even as late as January 1933. Kakutani stated, “It would have been eminently possible to prevent his nomination as Reich Chancellor.”
One reason for not taking Hitler seriously during the 1930s was because the world media presented Hitler (and Mussolini) as caricatures to be laughed at more than feared. In “How Journalists Covered the Rise of Mussolini and Hitler,” Dr. John Broich wrote in the December 13, 2016 issue of Smithsonian magazine:
But the main way that the press defanged Hitler was by portraying him as something of a joke. He was a “nonsensical screecher” of “wild words” whose appearance, according to Newsweek magazine, “suggests Charlie Chaplin.” His “countenance is a caricature.” He was as “voluble” as he was “insecure” stated Cosmopolitan magazine.
Today some people use the same colorful adjectives to describe Democratic Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts (the four known as “The Squad”) and other Democrats, some of whom preach anti-Semitism.
Should American Jews be concerned?
The answer is a resounding yes—Jews should be very concerned about the growing chorus of anti-Semitic rage! Christians should be equally concerned because communist/socialist radicals go after Americans of all faith.
Some people wonder how anyone could compare Hitler, an unattractive man with odd mannerisms and a cartoonish mustache, to four lovely congresswomen who dress fashionably, speak with great enthusiasm, and have contagious smiles. In some ways, those smiles make the axis of anti-Semitism even more dangerous since they excel at garnering extraordinary media attention to sprout their ignorance, especially Omar and AOC.
Shortly after AOC won her House primary, Democrat National Party Chairman Tom Perez proudly exclaimed, “She (AOC) represents the future of our party!”
Does that mean anti-Semitism is the future of the Democratic Party? James Woods, one of Hollywood’s most well-known conservatives, tweeted on January 17, 2019 about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:
“This is the most dangerous person in America right now. Ignore her at your own peril…”
On July 5, Former Vice President and supposedly “moderate” Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden referred to AOC as “a beautiful, bright woman.”
While Mr. Farrakhan’s insults come from his Nation of Islam perch, it would be a dire mistake to excuse the anti-Semitic rants of these communist/socialists Democratic representatives as nothing more than political posturing. Americans did that with Hitler and the result was World War II and the Holocaust. For example, in 1931, political writer Dorothy Thompson interviewed Hitler during the presidential campaign and asked what he would do if he won. Hitler responded:
“I will get into power legally. I will abolish this Parliament and Weimar constitution afterward. I will found an authority-state, from the lowest cell to the highest instance; everywhere there will be responsibility and authority above, discipline and obedience below.”
Following her interview with Hitler, Thompson concluded (emphasis mine): It is highly improbable that in this case he will succeed in putting through any of his more radical plans in respect to the Constitution.”
Thompson and others dismissed Hitler as a fringe politician making over-the-top radical statements just to get elected. When Hitler lost the 1932 presidential election to Paul von Hindenburg, there was a sense of vindication until the aging Hindenburg appointed Hitler as Chancellor in January 1933.
Let’s not repeat history!
Reporting inside Germany prior to Kristallnacht and secretly meeting with Jews until he was told to leave in 1933, Chicago Daily News correspondent Edgar Ansel Mowrer frantically warned the world— “What he’s (Hitler) saying about the Jews is serious. Don’t underestimate him.”
There are six million reasons why Jews should NOT repeat the mistakes of the last century. They must take these anti-Semitic comments very seriously when there is still time to do something about them. Yet many liberals insist the insults are directed at Israe and not toward Jewish people. On February 14, 2019, USA Today columnist James Robbins asked, “Will an Increasingly Progressive Democratic Party Become Steadily More Anti-Semitic?” closing his column with:
Before the Holocaust, Germany’s Jews were Europe’s most assimilated community, contributing greatly to German civic life. They thought of themselves as Germans first, Jews second.
If only more respectable Germans spoke up when there was a chance to stop Hitler, but many lacked courage.
Are there any courageous Democrats that believe in America’s Constitution and Bill of Rights—both founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs—that aren’t afraid to denounce their party’s growing anti-Semitic, anti-Christian propaganda?
As a former Democrat I am speaking out about the growing anti-Semitism of my father’s beloved Democratic Party; will you? Remember the sage and timeless advice of Rabbi Isaac Kook, first chief rabbi of the Holy Land:
“I don’t speak because I have the power to speak; I speak because I don’t have the power to remain silent.”
Jews in the Democratic Party should make their disappointment known by changing their party registration. If they don’t want to register as a Republican, where Jews have always been welcomed, at least switch to being an independent.
Some Jewish Democrats reading this column will disagree. That’s fine—let’s have this conversation now, not when we’re standing in a crowded cattle car!
This article is dedicated to 91-year-old Piri Katz who was born in Tibiva, Czechoslovakia. On Erev Pesach in 1944, Piri and her family were taken by the Nazis to the Munkács Ghetto. From there, they were shipped by cattle car to Auschwitz. Her parents, brothers and all but one sister were murdered in Auschwitz. She and her sister were marched to Geislingen and finally Dachau, where she was liberated by the American Army in April 1945.
ROBIN ITZLER IS A MEMBER OF OUR OC JEWISH COMMUNITY.