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October 2012


Publ. Chicago Jewish Star October 17, 2012.

Herbert Hoover and the Jews: The Origins of the “Jewish Vote” and Bipartisan Support for Israel, by Sonja Schoepf Wentling and Rafael Medoff (Washington: Wyman Institute, 2012).Millions of Jews to Rescue, by Samuel Merlin (Washington: Wyman Institute, 2012).

One of my earliest childhood memories is politically tainted. In November 1944, when I was not yet eight, my father assigned me to distribute “Vote for FDR” leaflets near (probably illegally near) a Brooklyn polling station. It was not a task that required courage. In my Brownsville neighborhood, it would have been easier to find a Jew who ate pork than one who would begrudge Roosevelt a fourth term as president in favor of Republican Thomas Dewey. Every segment of American Jewry embraced Roosevelt. From right to left, east European to German, working class to middle class, Jews adored the Commander in Chief of the war against Hitler. Rabbi Stephen Wise, the most important American Jewish leader of the time, said that American Jews “rightly look up to [FDR], revere him, and love him…No one would more deeply sorrow than I…if this feeling of Jewish homage…should be changed.” Wise sycophantically (Jeremiah might have said, idolatrously) referred to FDR as “the All Highest.”

Yet the record of his administration with regard to the plight of European Jews being hunted and murdered by Nazism was shameful. Wise himself wrote to a colleague in 1933 that “FDR has not lifted a finger on behalf of the Jews of Germany.” Indeed, ever since the publication of David Wyman’s Paper Walls and Henry Feingold’s The Politics of Rescue, it has been common knowledge that although the U.S. under FDR admitted more Jewish refugees than other Western nations between 1933 and 1945 its record was actually worse than theirs. “American ability to absorb immigration,” Wyman wrote, “was vastly greater than that of the small European countries …Viewed in relation to capacity, the English, Dutch, French and others …were more generous than the United States.”

The whole tangled question of the abandonment of European Jewry by Roosevelt’s administration and American Jewish leadership is the subject of two new books by the founding director of the David Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, Rafael Medoff, one of the most meticulous and imaginative historians of his generation. In Herbert Hoover and the Jews, Medoff and co-author Sonja Wentling demonstrate that it was Hoover (as little liked by Jews as Dewey) who “urged opening America’s doors to Jewish refugee children, and Roosevelt who kept those doors closed “; it was Hoover who during the Holocaust years “repeatedly spoke out for the Jews, while Roosevelt repeatedly turned away.” Among Hoover’s efforts on behalf of the hunted European Jews was his public support (as honorary chairman) of the Bergson Group’s Emergency Conference to Save the Jewish People of Europe in July 1943. Millions of Jews to Rescue is the detailed story (edited, annotated, and illustrated by Medoff) of the desperate Bergson campaign, as told by Samuel Merlin, one of its leaders.

Taken together, the two books require crucial revisions of the accepted view of Roosevelt’s culpability for the Jewish catastrophe, of the internecine warfare between rival American-Jewish organizations, of the limits and still unrealized possibilities of Jews’ relationship to the Republican Party

The usual rationalization offered by FDR’s apologists for his unwillingness to admit Jewish refugees to this country, or to bomb the rail lines leading to Auschwitz has been that, in the first instance, he was stymied by antisemites entrenched in the State Department, or that, in the second, winning the war against Nazism was the best way to rescue European Jewry. It was not, they claim, FDR’s fault that by the time the war was won, there were relatively few Jews left to be rescued. But the documentary evidence adduced by Medoff suggests darker explanations.

Two examples should suffice. In the Roosevelt Papers one finds the following “Memorandum for the President’s Files” on The Casablanca Conference of January 1943:

“The President stated that … the whole Jewish problem should be studied very carefully and that progress should be definitely planned … the number of Jews engaged in the practice of the professions…should be definitely limited to the percentage that the Jewish population in North Africa bears to the whole of the North African population….The President stated that his plan would further eliminate the specific and understandable complaints which the Germans bore towards the Jews in Germany, namely, that while they represented a small part of the population, over fifty percent of the lawyers, doctors, school teachers, college professors, etc., in Germany, were Jews.” Or this, from the Diaries of Henry Morgenthau , Jan. 27, 1942: “Then Leo [Crowley] said that for no apparent reason whatsoever the President proceeded to give him the following lecture. ‘Leo, you know this is a Protestant country, and the Catholics and the Jews are here on sufferance…It is up to both of you [Crowley and Morgenthau] to go along with anything that I want at this time.’”


Jewish-Arab Demography Defies Conventional “Wisdom” Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought” “Israel Hayom”, October 19, 2012, http://bit.ly/TBkiJH Jewish majority west of the Jordan River is secure, benefitting from a tailwind in defiance of conventional “wisdom,” which once again is detached from reality. In 2012, Israel’s Jewish demography continues the robust surge of the last 17 […]


http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=288452 Israel aside, the unquestioning, almost Pavlovian, support US Jews give Obama is inconsistent with their values and incompatible with their welfare. What liberals believe needs to be changed or discarded — and apologized for to other nations — is precisely what conservatives are dedicated to preserving, reinvigorating and proudly defending against attack. American Jewry […]


Jan Poller: Why did Candy Crowley have the transcript of a President Obama speech? How did Obama know that she had it?  Video of President Obama asking Crowley to look at the transcript Collusion! Collusion is the only explanation even though Ms. Crowley said she had the transcript in anticipation of the question. That doesn’t […]

SEE THIS VIDEO: Navy Seals Explain How Obama Has Jeopardized Their Safety

This 20 minute video produced by the Seals explains the serious consequences of Obama’s public disclosures of tactics, his exposure of personnel, his politicizing of operations and his use of the OBL kill for self aggrandizement and personal gain.

Well worth the time.



http://sarahhonig.com/2012/10/19/another-tack-felicitations-for-banana-unbenders/ The European Union was never popular in Israel and with good reason. Its officious meddling has already well exceeded the bounds of commonplace harassment and has edged ever closer to an infringement on our sovereignty, a suborning of our democracy and the undermining of our vital self-preservation interests. So despite our government’s fawning felicitations […]


http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=2720 Palestinian ‘democracy’ in action As Americans begin the countdown to Nov. 6, and Israelis prepare to vote for the next Knesset on Jan. 22, the Palestinians are heading to the polls on Saturday to cast their ballots in the first municipal elections since 2005. These elections, for local leadership in Judea and Samaria (the […]


http://www.dianawest.net/Home/tabid/36/EntryId/2280/The-Jihad-and-Christopher-Stevens-Pt-2.aspx To attempt to understand Christopher Stevens’ long-standing interest in ben Qumu, the al Qaeda terrorist suspected of leading the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012 in which Stevens and three other Americans were murdered, we must seek context in more of Stevens’ cables. (Thanks be to Wikileaks.) On February 15, 2008, Stevens wrote a […]


http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2012/10/libya-jordan-and-obamas-guidin.php The operational, intelligence and political fiascos that led to and followed the September 11 jihadist assault on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, all derive from the same problem. That problem is the failure of US President Barack Obama’s conceptual framework for understanding the Middle East. The Islamic revolutionary wave sweeping across the Arab […]



In analyzing the Benghazi scandal, it is crucial to highlight not only the dangers of relying on jihadist armed gangs for American security in Benghazi, but also the betrayal of American principle undertaken by the Obama administration in setting such a policy in place. The fact is, relying on “local militias” was not some stop-gap practice; it was official US policy. This begins to tell us why “Benghazi-gate” is so much more than an inquiry into a calamitous security break-down, and the ghastly chain of lies the administration told thereafter.

On March 28, 2012, Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom sent a cable from Libya requesting more security. His request was denied. This cable, however, is evidence of more than State’s negligence in failing to address a dangerous security situation that would be exploited by al Qaeda affiliates on September 11, 2012. In the cable, Nordstrom makes note of the fact that “rebuilding and expanding post’s PSA Local Guard Force” was one of his “core objectives.” Further: “As recommended by the Department, post is developing plans to transition our security staffing … to [a model] that incorporates more locally-based and non-emergency assets.”

Naturally. these “plans” weren’t working. Hence, Nordstrom’s request for more American security. And hence the denial from State for reasons, Nordstrom recently told Congress, that came down to the fact “there was going to be too much political cost.” But what politics drove such a recommendation? Here is where the entire Libyan debacle, the debacle of “Arab Spring” — Arab Jihad — comes into play. It is time to reckon with the fact that despite the grand talk of democracy and human rights, President Obama ordered Uncle Sam to join that jihad in 2011, precipitously pulling support from a long-standing ally in Egypt and a post-9/11 ally in Libya to empower the vanguards of liberty-supressing Islam, extending the reach and dominion of a hostile, totalitarian system.

Obama was hardly alone, drawing support from left-wing Democrats, the UN crowd, media, the GOP establishment, George W. Bush, “neocons,” all of whom boosted this same “Arab Spring,” often for different reasons. One of the great champions of what we should start thinking of as the jihad outreach such a policy necessarily entails was the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and long before he arrived in Benghazi during “Arab Spring.”

Thanks to Wikileaks, we have a series of US Libyan embassy cables, starting in December 2007, which document what became rather an abiding interest in two repatriated ex-Guatanamo detainees, Ben Qumu Abu Sufian Ahmed Hamouda and Muhammad Abdallah Mansur al-Rimi — ben Qumu in particular.

For the next six months or so, cables, some by Stevens, some by other personnel, track embassy access to these detainees, their condition, and their welfare in their Libyan detention. One cable (not by Stevens) details an extended family visit to Qumu. His relatives, the cable reports, “were able to bring some food, clothes, personal hygiene items and reading materials to him. Tarnish [a security officer] described [Qumu’s] physical condition and spirits as `very good’ and indicated that security officials at the facility … had allowed the family to stay with him for a few extra hours in light of the impending New Year’s holiday.”

Why the solicitude for a high-ranking al Qaeda member with connections to a terror financier? Ben Qumu, a native of Derna in eastern Libya, rose in the al Qaeda ranks after training at an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan in the 1990s, reportedly serving under bin Laden in Sudan after which he fought with the Talban. He was captured in 2002 along the Af-Pak border and sent to Gitmo before being repatriated to Libyan custody in 2007. He would be released in a Libyan government reconciliation program in 2010.

Another cable, this one by Stevens on June 6, 12, 2008, assesses the attitudes of ben Qumu and al-Rimi toward their new prison, Abu Salim, compared to their old facility, known as ESO. They both “expressed a desire to return from Abu Salim prison to the ESO facility,” Stevens wrote.

Why did Stevens care? Why was the US Embassy so concerned? Something else I wonder is who among the diplomats who served with Stevens has made the connection between Stevens’ interest in ben Qumu in 2008 and news reports identifying ben Qumu as the leader of the terrorist attack in which Stevens and three other Americans were murdered.

This US government report on al Qaeda infiltration of Libyan militias further identifies Qumu as a leader of Ansar al Sharia, the group believed to have led the consulate assault.

It’s a stunning, sickening circle, but it is also the noxious metaphor for the deadly course of Uncle Sam’s outreach to jihad.

To be cont’d.