Skip to comments.Letter From America
Posted on 10/17/2002 9:45:50 AM PDT by 1bigdictator
Letter From America Walter Bingham 17 October 2002 Email this story Print this story
In the United States, a country with a Jewish population the size of Israels, nothing surprises me. Recent years have produced a culture of extremes, in which it has become as fashionable for non-Jews to claim to be Jewish or at least of Jewish descent, as it is for Jews to intermarry and assimilate. Even the most tentative Jewish connections are unearthed to make a story fit the authors intentions. Finding just one Jewish grandfather of Dylan Kleebold, albeit a philanthropic one, was enough to put a covert anti-Semitic slant on the horrific shooting at the Colombine High School in Colorado some years ago.
On the other hand, many celebrities have always sought to exploit the Jewish angle to their advantage. One needs only to think of Sammy Davis Jr. And there are many more.
A recent revelation came from the man who commanded the NATO forces in Serbia and was Supreme commander in Europe, General Wesley Clark. Addressing a group of Russian Yeshiva students in Brooklyn some time ago, he proudly disclosed that he is the oldest son of the oldest son of more than five generations of Rabbis from Minsk. He was raised as a Southern Baptist and converted to Roman Catholicism in adulthood, and during an interview he claimed that according to his grandmother he is a Cohen, a member of the priestly class. Obviously, he has not learned that this privilege is derived from the paternal line. Clark, who grew up in Little Rock Arkansas, said he is proud of his family, his cultural heritage and has always found kinship with the Jewish community. Who knows, he may be preparing early to enter the next presidential race where the sizable Jewish vote is much sought after. If so, he would do well to befriend one of the syndicated newspaper columnists who are sympathetic to the Jewish cause. One much respected such journalist, - Ann Landers, - reminded her readers that its a free world, and you dont have to like Jews if you dont want to, but if you are going to be an anti-Semite, you should be consistent and turn your back on the medical advances that Jews have made possible.
She listed the vaccine for hepatitis discovered by Baruch Blumberg, the Wasserman test for Syphilis developed by August von Wasserman and the first effective drug to fight syphilis developed by Paul Ehrlich. Bela Schick developed the first diagnostic skin test for diphtheria. Insulin would not have been discovered, if Oskar Minkowski had not demonstrated the link between diabetes and the pancreas. It was Burril Crohn who identified the disease that bears his name. Alfred Hess discovered that vitamin C could cure scurvy. Casimir Funk was the first to use vitamin B to treat beriberi, an inflammation of the nerves that can cause heart failure. Jonas Salk developed the first Polio vaccine, and later Albert Sabin perfected the oral version.
Ann Landers writes that Humanitarianism requires us to offer these gifts to all the peoples of the world, regardless of race, colour or creed. So the anti-Semites who dont want to accept these gifts can go ahead and turn them down, but Im warning you, she said, you arent going to feel so good.
On the other hand, there is the widely syndicated Arianna Huffington, according to whom the spiritual patron of the disaster in Kosovo as she calls her, is none other than Madeleine Albright, who insisted on dragging the US into the Balkans, because of her experiences in World War II. She quotes The Cyprus Mail, who published a picture of a little boy and girl. The girl grew up to become Secretary of State and Lutko Popitch (the boy) told the paper that when Madeleines Jewish family fled from the Nazis in Czechoslovakia, they found refuge in his home in a Serbian village. The Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported, according to Ms. Huffington, that an unexploded NATO bomb in that village now carries the graffiti message written by local residents: Thank you Mrs.Albright for the gift sent to us in exchange for our hospitality. Ms. Huffingtons venomous article implies that Madeleine Albright was obsessed with her memories of Munich. She quotes her as having said: I saw what happened when a dictator is allowed to take over a piece of a country, and the country went down the tubes. I ask you, what is wrong with THAT observation?
There are some observations, however, that are like a mirage in the desert, an illusion, and I now have to eat my words which I wrote in an edition of Shalom in 1994, the forerunner of The London Jewish News. It was soon after the death of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe zl, when I predicted that without a new Rebbe, the organisation would find it difficult to continue.
Instead, the outreach programme has since then expanded at an even faster rate to the furthest outposts of civilisation where Jews can be found, and in the United States, there is hardly a City without a Chabad House from where the rabbi reaches into the darkest corners. Having seen at first hand and written about how uninterested the British Jewish establishment is in our prisoners, it was refreshing to see the Lubavitch shaliach, the emissary in the University City of Princeton NJ, where I spent some time this year, taking a great interest. He went into the New Jersey State Prison, where, with the help of a few of his congregants he performed Bar Mitzvah rites for six 35 to 55 year old men. Four are convicted of first degree murder, one of first degree kidnapping, all lifers and one serving 20 years for sexual assault. Oh yes, we are a society like any other, but Rabbi Dubov said: I look at their potential, not at their past, and with more spiritual direction, it helps them to be more spiritual and moral. I hope he is right; but Kol Hakavod, all my respect goes to him anyway.
But spirituality sometimes takes strange turns. Take for instance the case of an unusual Jewish Holocaust survivor, whose home is in Philadelphia. Lena Allen-Shore survived by posing as a Roman Catholic. Nothing unusual about that, you might say; Is that not saving a life - Pikuach Nefesh? But for the past 22 years she has kept up a correspondence with Pope Paul II and has had audiences with him. If I survive the war she vowed, I will try to promote understanding among people. Born in Krakow, she came to Philadelphia in 1971 and today teaches art history, philosophy and Holocaust studies at Gratz College. She said: There is hope for everyone on earth if the leader of 900 million Catholics promotes understanding. But does He? Personally, I, am still waiting to see that happen, but Ms. Allen-Shore, who is writing a biography of the Pope said: He gives me hope. Would that it were, that her hope is not misplaced. ---------------------------------------------------------
Walter Bingham lives in London.
If you ignore these folks, you're hateful because you're marginalizing them. If you marry them, you're helping to bring about "another Holocaust".
No pleasing them, I think.
The relationship w/ the Vatican has always been somewhat touchy, particularly since WWII. Bottom line the Vatican is not relevant to American Catholics these days, however the Vatican could help temper a lot of the anti-Jewish sentiment that is pervasive in South American countries.
I know that some of my co-religionists (I am Jewish) siasgree with me --- those who unrealistically want all the wrongs of the world righted in one sitting --- but I think this Pope has done more than most poniffs in promoting peace and understanding -- and not Just with the Jewish commuity: witness his dialog with the Eastern Orthodox, for instance. The number of steps he has taken in this direction is truly remarkable and a great achivement in one's lifetime. May G-d bless him and give him health and long life.
Disregard the article: it is vitriol of a mediocre mind and a shallow soul.
A very valid conclusion --- if one manages not to hear a word of what "they" say.
I find it interesting that the author capitalizes the "H" in "He", referring to the pope.
Total nonsense. The Jews never think of themselves, nor say to others, that "they are the only people who have ever suffered." To the contrary, one of the frequently repeated directives is to take care of "the stranger, widow and orphan in your midst," that is to be sensitive to suffering of others. And their suffering does not count more than that of others: pain is pain.
It appears, therefore, that you litened a great deal and managed not to hear a word.
What is said somethimes, that the Jews have been persecuted fior two millennia. No, not the only ones, but this is the most relentless persecution of any serviving people. The Roma people (Gypsies) are the only ones with comparably terrible history (not that it matters much, but theirs started 1500 later). Again, the death of a Roma child is as painful to his mother as the loss of a child to a Jewish mother: pain is pain. And they were exterminated by the Nazis with the same viciousness as the Jews. If one makes a remark along the lines of what you said, it is only that, indeed, Jews suffered greater losses, which were inflicted with greater frequency, than any other existing people. The Holocaust is also unprecendented in history, and here, unfortunately, the Jews are not unique: as I already mentioned, Roma were exterminated as well. These are two things that make Jewish suffering from a historical (not personal) perspective different.
You do not have to feel empathy if you so choose; that is between you and G-d. But to deny facts is somthing else altogether. In most people it is merely a convenient explanation for their prejudice towards the Jews, which usually comes first.
I hope you'll indulge my question:
Would you say that I've "heard" the message of the article when I adopt the positions of the author?
Hey chief, your in good company, you sound just like the militant Muslims that are trying to destroy civilized culture around the globe. Your monolithic generalization about "Jews" seeks to undermine the credible claims of disparate treatment that this group faces in the international community.
The EU levies trade sanctions against Israel for trying to protect its citizens from Pali savages... the EU didn't have much to say when Muslims in Sudan slaughtered 3 million black Christians in Sudan during the 1990s-- explain the double standard NBf40? Moreover, in response to Arabs murdering three thousand ppl at the WTC Europeans weren't burning Mosques, rather they were resorting to that old tradition of scapegoating Jews by burning Synagogues and beating Jews in the street (See Belgium and France).
The UN, which is controlled by and acts as a mouth piece for its majority Muslim states, it constantly manufactures bogus resolutions condemning Israel for defending itself-- the UN acts as if Israel was not a sovereign nation w/ a duty to protect its citizens from Arab-backed terror. The UN never focused on all the Palis murdered and displaced by Jordan and Lebanon, even though this figure, since Israels creation, is over 100,000. Explain this double standard NBF40.
Moreover, in contravention of international law, the UN refers to the West Bank as "occupied territory" even though Israel lawfully and properly annexed this territory after having been attacked four times by a cabal of aggressive Arab state between 1948 and 1967. Under international law, among neighboring states, the aggressor nation who invades or attempts to invade its neighbor incurs certain risks for this unlawful action; primarily, should the aggressor lose the conflict that it started its neighbor (here Israel) may keep certain territories as both a buffer zone and as a deterrent from future attack.
Perhaps you wish to revise history to suit your preconceived biases against Israel because she is a predominantly Jewish state-- that makes you no better than the Islamic savages who have declared war against America.
I'll be that attitude gets you lots of dates. :)