(Dr. Medoff is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, www.WymanInstitute.org and author of 15 books about the Holocaust and Jewish history.)

After President Franklin D. Roosevelt learned that Hitler was slaughtering the Jews, he created a government agency to try to rescue them–so said the new Ken Burns documentary, “The Roosevelts,” which aired on PBS earlier this month.

Burns’s depiction of FDR’s response to the Holocaust is an excellent example of something that is technically true–yet is, in fact, utterly misleading.

“When news began to reach [Roosevelt] at the end of 1942 that the Germans had moved on from mistreatment to mass murder,” the narrator of ‘The Roosevelts’ recounted in episode #6, “he joined Churchill and Stalin and ten Allied governments in exile in promising to prosecute and publish those responsible for what they called ‘this bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination.’ ”

Technically true, but profoundly misleading.

The president did not exactly rush to acknowledge and condemn the mass murders. In fact, when information about the killings began reaching Washington in mid-1942, Roosevelt administration officials suppressed it. When that information reached American Jewish leaders from another source, U.S. officials pressed them to hold back the news until it could be investigated further. Finally, three months later, the administration grudgingly conceded that the information was correct.

Even at that point, the White House was in no hurry to speak out. It was the British government that suggested issuing a joint Allied statement about the killings. Roosevelt’s State Department at first resisted the proposal, fearing–as one official put it–that “the various Governments of the United Nations [as the Allies were informally known] would expose themselves to increased pressure from all sides to do something more specific in order to aid these people.”

The Roosevelt administration eventually went along with the joint Allied statement, but only after watering down some of the language. For example, the proposed phrase “reports from Europe which leave no doubt” (that mass murder was underway) was whittled down to just “numerous reports from Europe.”


(Dr. Medoff is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, www.WymanInstitute.org and author of 15 books about the Holocaust and Jewish history.)

According to the recent Ken Burns documentary, “The Roosevelts,” President Franklin D. Roosevelt responded to the 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom more forcefully than any other world leader. But the truth is that FDR responded with superficial gestures rather than meaningful action.

On the night of November 9-10, 1938, mobs of Nazi stormtroopers unleashed a hurricane of violence and destruction upon the Jews of Germany. Hundreds of Jews were beaten in the streets, and more than 90 were murdered. About 30,000 more were dragged off to concentration camps. Several hundred synagogues were burned to the ground, while fire fighters stood by, under orders from the Hitler government to act only to keep fires from spreading to property owned by non-Jews. An estimated 7,000 Jewish business were ransacked. The violence became known as Kristallnacht, the “Night of the Glass,” a reference to the widespread smashing of windows of Jewish homes and shops.

Ken Burns’ “The Roosevelts” emphasized that FDR was “the only leader of a democratic nation to dare denounce” the pogrom. Six days after the violence ended, Roosevelt told a press conference that he “could scarcely believe such things could occur” in the 20th century.

FDR also took two steps. He extended the visas of the approximately 15,000 German Jewish refugees who were then in the United States as tourists–but he also announced that liberalization of America’s immigration policy was “not in contemplation.” Roosevelt alsorecalled the U.S. ambassador from Germany for “consultations”

–but he rejected suggestions by some members of Congress to break diplomatic ties with the Hitler regime.

The narrator on “The Roosevelts” pointed out that Roosevelt’s temporary recall of the ambassador was “something neither Britain nor France dared do.”


(Dr. Medoff is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, www.WymanInstitute.org and author of 15 books about the Holocaust and Jewish history.)

For seven consecutive nights in September, PBS aired the latest Ken Burns documentary, “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.” Millions of Americans watched the latest compelling Burns production, which masterfully interspersed old film footage with the actual words of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt, spoken, in character, by Edward Herrmann, Meryl Streep, and other outstanding actors. It was great entertainment. But when it came to the topic of FDR’s response to the Nazi persecution of Europe’s Jews, “The Roosevelts” was fatally flawed.

The fifth and sixth episodes, covering the 1930s, briefly referred to the question of German Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler and seeking to immigrate to the United States. A Gallup poll found more than 80% of Americans “opposed offering sanctuary to European refugees,” the narrator reported.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt “battled on behalf of admitting Jewish refugees to the United States for as long as the Nazis were willing to grant them exit visas,” the narrator asserted. “Restrictive immigration laws frustrated her.”

Missing from this discussion of America’s immigration policy was any mention of the man who was actually responsible for America’s immigration policy–the president.

Hamas Was ISIS before There Was an ISIS By Steve Feldman

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told those assembled in the United Nations General Assembly that Hamas and ISIS “are branches of the same poisonous tree,” he had it right – almost. (Despite contradiction from State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki – more on her below.)

Actually, Hamas was ISIS before there was an ISIS.

Hamas declared war on the West in the name of Islam with its Covenant in 1988. Since then, it has put its threats into violent action.

While the brunt of their covenant focuses on the Jewish People (not merely those in Israel), Hamas makes clear that it is an “Islamic Resistance Movement,” motivated by the Koran and the will of Allah to carry out murder, terrorize, and seize territory. Further, according to the covenant, its agenda goes well beyond “Palestine,” extending to the entire Middle East and beyond.

So we have two violent, extremist Muslim organizations bent on conquering territory, imposing sharia on the populace, and with global ambitions.

As for its intended victims, in addition to Jews and “Zionists,” others Hamas wants “obliterated” are the men and women who belong to the Rotary Clubs, the Lions Clubs, and the Masonic organizations – millions of good men and women affiliated with noble and charitable organizations in more than 100 countries.

According to Hamas (Covenant Article 17): “These organizations operate in the absence of Islam and its estrangement among its people. The Islamic peoples should perform their role in confronting the conspiracies of these saboteurs. The day Islam is in control of guiding the affairs of life, these organizations, hostile to humanity and Islam, will be obliterated.”

Not only will these individuals face slaughter. What about the “collateral damage”: their relatives, neighbors, and co-workers? All must perish, according to Hamas, in the name of Islam.

Be it by bullet, bomb, or beheading, murder is murder. The only real difference between Hamas and ISIS appears to be the preferred method of killing.


In this most evil world it must be understood that the meek shall indeed inherit the earth; but sadly six feet under. Until the world is truly made up of a perfect United Nations and not the sham U.N. Temple of Hypocrisy that exists in all its malevolence in New York City, men and women of good will must look to their own safety.

The same applies to nation states and, in today’s frightening world, it applies in particular to the embattled and increasingly besieged and friendless State of Israel. In the vortex of evil that exists in the Middle East, Muslims are busy killing Christians, Yazidis, and when they can, Jews. The very angels in heaven must weep at what mankind has wrought in what once was considered the cradle of civilization.

The towering calamity and cause for so much misery and growing violence, not only in the Middle East but in many parts of the world, must be laid at the feet of the present incumbent in the White House.

President Obama’s highly suspect foreign policy, in which he turned a blind eye to the millions of Iranians pleading in the streets of Tehran for U.S. support against the toxic power of the irrational mullahs, condemned the world to the growing nightmare of an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Similarly, Obama’s fury at Egypt’s overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood was indicative of where this president’s sympathies seem to lie; not with a pro-democratic rule of law but with the practitioners of Islamic supremacy and hatred of non-Muslims.

The rise of ISIS, replete with the ghastly videos of beheaded Americans, Brits and others, would not have occurred if Obama had not refused to require a U.S. military presence in Iraq. Even during the presidential debate in 2012 with Mitt Romney, Obama specifically said that he would not enter into any agreement with the Iraqi government to station a residual American military force. Thus ISIS and the horrors we now witness can be laid at this president’s feet.

Of course, many will object to what I write. But rank appeasement is in the air and it is Munich all over again. Despite the clearest of all warnings, there still will be those calling for “peace now” even with an implacable and demonic Islamic enemy from whom the only peace will be that of the grave. How witheringly tragic for all humanity.


They’re tasked with protecting the United States from terrorists and keeping America’s biggest cities safe, but Homeland Security’s brief appears to be widening to include more global issues like climate change.

The department that was created by President Bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks says that the role of the organization is ‘to assist in the wake of disasters, whether they be man-made or natural’.

However, claims of ‘mission-creep’ are now being hurled at the department which is attempting to redefine its role as one of emergency management than of protection and security against enemies of the state.

Throughout it’s 13 year existence, there has been persistent criticisms the department is wasteful, ineffective and has been far from transparent in how the agency is run, and how money is spent on a day-to-day basis.

In fact, claims of bureaucracy seems well-founded as the departments expanded role verges onto that of its partner agency, FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

It is exceptionally murky how the tasks of ‘emergency management’ are to be divided between the two government departments.


Thomas Eric Duncan has the distinction of being America’s Patient Zero – the first but not the last person to develop Ebola symptoms in the United States.

Is he a US citizen? No, he’s Liberian.

Is he a resident of the United States? No, he landed at Washington’s Dulles Airport on September 20th, in order to visit his sister and having quit his job in Monrovia a few weeks earlier.

So he’s a single unemployed man with relatives in the US and no compelling reason to return to his native land. That alone is supposed to be cause for immigration scrutiny.

In addition, visitors from Liberia have the fifth highest “visa overstay rate” in the United States. That’s to say, they understand very clearly that all that matters is getting in. Once you’re in, they’ll never get you out.

And, of course, Liberia is one of the hottest spots of Ebola’s West African “hot zone”. It’s been all over the front pages, except apparently in The US Customs & Border Protection Staff Newsletter, where it rated a solitary “News In Brief” item at the foot of page 37.


Does global warming cause everything?

With the Earth’s temperature failing to rise as computer models project, climate campaigners are desperate.

They’ll attribute any strange phenomenon to “climate change.”

They actually want us to believe that global warming is responsible for the Ebola virus, the rise of ISIS, and for tens of thousands of walruses getting together for a “haul out” on a beach in Alaska.

Attributing such things to global warming is among the most shameless tactics in the warming campaign’s playbook.

Watch CFACT’s Marc Morano take down two of the latest of these absurd claims about global warming on Fox Business’ Varney and Company.

If the media was doing its job, it would not present these kind of blatant propaganda scare stories as news.

People deserve to know the real facts about global warming.

CFACT’s on the job.


Both the rule of law and democratic governance in Israel are being jeopardized by the very body purported to be its most committed guardian: the judiciary.

In Israel, the negative impact of the judicialization of politics on the Supreme Court’s legitimacy is already beginning to show its mark. Over the past decade, the public image of the Supreme Court as an autonomous and impartial arbiter has been increasingly eroded… the court and its judges are increasingly viewed by a considerable portion of the Israeli public as pushing forward their own political agenda… – Prof. Ran Hirschl, Towards Juristocracy: The Origins and Consequences of the New Constitutionalism, Harvard University Press, 2004.

The public is further losing its faith in… the legal system, with only 36 percent of the Jewish public expressing confidence in the courts…– “Public’s faith in Israel’s justice system continues to plummet,” Haaretz, August 15, 2013.

The Haifa District Court on Sunday blocked the state from setting a precedent that would help it deter flotillas by legalizing confiscating captured flotilla vessels and their cargo under international law never before used in Israel. – “Court blocks major state initiative to deter blockade-busting flotillas,” Jerusalem Post, September 7, 2014

A recent Post editorial (September 27) was right on the money when it asserted that “The High Court of Justice dealt Israeli democracy a grievous blow last week.” It was a sentiment echoed by the Post’s veteran columnist Michael Freund, who wrote: “High Court of Justice struck a decisive blow to Israel’s democracy last week, one that should send a shudder down the spine of anyone who cherishes basic principles such as the separation of powers….”

Fostering lawlessness?

US Jewish Leaders Slam Obama Administration’s Attack on Israeli Residency in Eastern Jerusalem: Ben Cohen….see note please


Leading Jewish personalities in the United States have reacted angrily to the Obama Administration’s blistering attack upon Israel’s announcement – based on a plan already approved by the Jerusalem Municipality two years ago – that it will construct 2,500 residential units in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Givat Hamatos. The administration also expressed displeasure at the news that a group of Jewish residents had moved into property purchased from Arabs in the Silwan neighborhood.

“Anyone who thinks that Jews buying a few handfuls of homes in areas of Jerusalem in any way contributes to the problems in the Middle East just doesn’t understand the reality of how deep the antagonism is to the nation state of the Jewish people,” said the former Harvard University scholar and influential political commentator, Professor Alan Dershowitz.

Dershowitz, who has been generally critical of Israeli settlement policies in the West Bank, was responding to White House spokesman Josh Earnest’s comment about the “occupation of residential buildings in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in east Jerusalem – this is near the Old City – by individuals who are associated with an organization whose agenda, by definition, stokes tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Earnest was referring to the Jewish nationalist Elad organization. On Tuesday, the Jerusalem Post reported that an official of the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah party had declared that the Palestinian broker who made the sale to Elad deserved the death sentence.

“To focus on these events at a time when ISIS is beheading, when Iran is developing nuclear weapons, and when Hamas is preparing rocket attacks, is such a perversion of reality and such a false prioritization,” Dershowitz said in an interview with The Algemeiner.

Asked whether the White House’s criticism implicitly discriminated against Jewish residency rights on the basis of ethnicity, Dershowitz responded: “I see a failure to point the finger where it belongs, at Palestinian leaders who say, ‘no Jew will ever live on the West Bank.’ For the White House to object to Jews purchasing property, it reminds me of those who protested when Jews bought property in pre-Israel Palestine. This isn’t the old days when Jews have to live behind a ghetto wall.”