Spike in Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia Revealed: Solutions Are Needed

Steven Mnuchin

Why did the Holocaust take place?  According to Peter Hayes in his book Explaining the Holocaust, Hitler caused the Holocaust.  Acts of anti-Semitism are everywhere.  In France during the 1890s, there was a major scandal called the Panama Canal Scandal and today the major scandal is that of the Trump Administration.  Jews getting blamed is a scenario of hate and prejudice that keeps repeating itself.  The acts of one or a few Jews turn huge populations against all Jews instead of containing the problem among those who should be blamed for something.

I have written about the Jews connected with the Panama Canal Scandal.  See the article here.  Now we have Jared Kushner, Steven Mnuchin, and others who will probably be blamed and Mnuchin deserves more blame right now than anyone.  He is clearly performing the reprehensible duty of being “loyal” to Donald Trump and not to our nation and its democracy (Trump’s Teflon is quickly wearing out).  There are others around Trump including William Barr who is not Jewish (but his father was Jewish), but the blame usually finds itself on the Jewish people.  Jews blamed for capitalism and communism is just one example.  What spin the anti-Semites are going to concoct who knows.  We can only speculate.  Trump is the candidate who turned out to be farthest on the right and what even appears to be a liberal tinge, criminal justice reform for example, actually benefits White people more since that reform is limited to federal prisons where more Whites dominate.  Replacing the worst form of corruption of the French military in the 1890s are those Trump appointees today (some Jewish others not) that allow injustices to take place.  And there are lots of members of Congress who are going along with this.  This is not a clean government and the swamp has to be cleaned up now.

Trump did not release his taxes and he is to blame for what is taking place right now after the Mueller Report was finalized.  Republicans still back him instead of repudiating him.  Some Jews clearly back him even after he made it known just how deep his belief in FREEDOM is, defending the free speech of the people who might kill more Jews and others.  He could have remained quiet on this issue or decided to tweet more about Tiger Woods. 

Here is something that caught my attention and I asked myself why ZOA (Zionist Organization of America) was not invited after trying for two weeks. 

The panelists were: Jeremy Ben-Ami, national president of J Street; Matan Arad-Neeman, listed as a “Haverford College sophomore and member of the J Street National Student Board”; Amanda Berman, co-founder and president of Zioness Movement; and Sophia Kruger, former head of PIPAC, AIPAC’s on-campus presence at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • While J Street describes itself as “pro-Israel,” its actions and activities are anything but. Notorious Israel critics such as George Soros, Bill Benter, Mehmet Celebi and the Foundation for Middle East Peace, the Ploughshares Fund and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund have been among J Street’s donors. J Street has collaborated with other anti-Israel groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace and it opposed the Anti-Israel Boycott Act.
  • Arad-Neeman’s Facebook timeline includes a post opp-osing Birthright and another in support of the radical anti-Israel group IfNotNow.
  • Berman’s Zioness Movement is a self-described “progressive” organization.
  • Kruger made it clear that she no longer had a connection to AIPAC and was representing herself and not that organization. Some of her remarks included, “People can and should be critical of Israel,” “Being pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian — for me — very much go together” and an admission that she would not have voted for Benjamin Netanyahu in the Israeli election.

Does the panel seem balanced to you?

I ended up speaking to someone from ZOA who was a great listener and story teller.  I really appreciated the conversation.  Then I decided to speak to staff at the Jewish Museum where the panelists spoke.  I tried to get to the bottom of this, especially since I do not think that Jewish leadership is doing a great job.  This is what I learned.  The nice man that I spoke with was critical of former Governor Rendell, calling him an anti-Semite for calling in Minister Louis Farrakhan to help reduce the violence in Philadelphia.  It made me recall how Mayor John Lindsay called in the Mafia to quell the riots in the 1960s in New York City.  That was an act of last resort, but it seemed to work.  Farrakhan does have a strong connection with communities due to their presence in communities in major cities and Muslim growth in prison is a well-known phenomenon.  All of this might have been considered in seeking his help at a time of crisis and danger.  I imagine that this is what the ZOA representative was referring toFarrakhan appeared in Philadelphia in 1997 to attend a rally with then-Mayor Ed Rendell to help quell racial tension after an incident in the Grays Ferry neighborhood (But, he said, the incidents that prompted the rally — the attack on a black woman, her son and nephew by a group of white men in February, and the fatal shooting of a white teen-ager by two black men in a robbery in the same neighborhood a month later — had taken a toll on the city).  Things are still pretty bad in Philadelphia.

I read that Jewish and Roman Catholic leaders did not come out for the rally and the mayor was upset.  In looking back at 1997, I would not have known what to do to help.  But we do have to balance all the facts, including Minister Farrakhan’s hateful public comments about Jews.  Also in looking back, I know that very depressed areas of Philadelphia and other major cities never got the help that it badly needed from anyone.  If Jews were blamed by Mayor Rendell, he was largely to blame for making mistakes.

That man also presented his views on why the Japanese made peace with the United States at the end of World War II and did not resort to violence or revenge and he chose to look back at what happened leading up to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, atomic bombing.  His point was that the Japanese had learned their lesson.  My study of history and facts revealed something different.  The Japanese were controlled by General Douglas Mac Arthur at the end of the war and for years after that.  President Truman extended extraordinary powers to the general.  What Mac Artur did at a critical moment for Japanese was to bring in food so they would not starve to death and the Japanese were grateful, extremely grateful.  The Europeans dealing with the same situation minus the atomic bombings did not get the food and shelter that was needed and they took another path.  There was tremendous resentment there as the allies tried to teach the Germans to accept blame.  I guess in a way it was like dealing with millions of Trumps.  History matters and learning it matters to me.  Ideology that is just composed of opinions that do not fit the facts is harmful, particularly to Jews at this moment of crisis.  And there was no discussion of Minister Farrakhan being called into Philadelphia to attack the Jewish people.  Projecting anti-Semitism onto Governor Rendell was unfair.   It became apparent to me just how problematic ZOA representatives can be even though ZOA does promote some good things.  I consider much of what was spoken about to be disruptive to the process of educating people.

And then I mentioned the author of the book 1949 and the ZOA spokesperson knew his work since he is a known anti-Israel author, but the man did not know the content of the book.  Tom Segev, the author, is an Israeli whose parents fled Nazi Germany in 1933.  I pointed out that there are things in Segev’s book that I have read in another book by Daniel Gordis.  I wonder how many Jews know about the things that I have read.  I, too, detected something in talking to an Israeli almost forty years ago that was a supporting detail for the discrimination that was in those books.

Here is a quotation from the Jewish Museum side which says that in addition to the audience the panel discussion was live streamed on FACEBOOK.  The ZOA statement called the audience participation “paltry” and the people watching may have been huge (I dunno).  I would suggest that both sides try to be “fair and accurate” and provide specific data and not just provide generalizations in their comments.  For example, the Museum letter states that there were things that people in the audience disagreed with.  What did they disagree with?  Here are the statements provided to the Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia

I reached out to the National American Jewish Museum in Philadelphia and it led to great conversations.  I was also led to the video of the event that I just wrote about.  I noticed that there was support early on for the ZOA point of view that anti-Semitic tropes have been committed by people in Congress that have made the news.  Please watch the video.  At this point I would suggest that ZOA issue another statement, but only after it has watched the entire video.  Maybe an apology is needed?  Maybe some of my own views will soon be known and discussed by Jewish organizations in the United States (and around the world).

The bottom line is that the Jewish world needs more help than these organizations can provide.  The F.B.I is now investigating almost 900 people who could act out against Jews, African-Americans, Muslims, and Christians right now and that number seems to be growing exponentially.  The divisions in the Jewish community are obvious, but who can declare with truth and honesty that a great job is being done by Jewish leadership?  In the last week I revealed that the threat of White Supremacists has to be watched and now we find out that there is a spike in the growth of White Supremacists on that F.B.I. list.

In addition now we learn that Republicans have an aversion to people speaking a second language in public (47 percent for Republicans 18 percent for Democrats).  Donald Trump contributed to this sentiment in the 2016 Campaign as he spoke about Jeb Bush’s use of Spanish in rallies (but outside the country Trump accepted praise for his grandchild’s singing in Mandarin).  It would be an awesome solution for the Jewish Republican organization to sponsor a foreign language program with Fox News so that Hebrew, Yiddish, and other foreign languages will finally become acceptable in America.  South Carolina in particular has English only for programs where a diploma is granted (NYC helps people in at least six languages).  Legislation is needed to correct this.  A call to former Governor Haley would be helpful in addressing this prejudice as it’s her state.  There should also be a poll taken of the attitudes of those parties about people speaking with a Jackie Mason accent, Spanglish, and Ebonics.  Let’s Make America Great by giving people the right to complete education programs in all languages.  Trump University could provide free language courses in every state of our Union (did I write union?) as retirement nears for him.  And some of those branches could be held in offices of ZOA throughout the United States.  Arabic could be one of the languages offered there (al-salam).  Shalom!  Paz!  Paix!  Peace!  Pax! Pokoju!  Pace!

And isn’t it great to know that if all things remain equal the Republican Party is 2.6 times more likely to harbor anti-Semites (based on that report).  Israelis will have to beware of speaking Hebrew in public.  Orthodox Jews will have to beware of speaking Yiddish in public.  And around thirty percent of Jews are supporting Donald Trump.  There are other reasons why Republicans obtain the support of Jewish voters and it is understandable to me, but will those people (friends, family) comprehend what has been written in this article?

Before Trump took office, he did an interview with Leslie Stahl where Stahl asked Trump to speak to his base to stop the violence.  He said “Stop It” in a way that indicated to me that he really had very little to say about the matter.  And now confronted with a spectator at his rally who shouted out in favor of killing the immigrants trying to come here, Trump laughed.  He’s still not prepared.  The F.B.I. may be prepared in a limited way, but Trump is the same old Trump.

Louis Farrakhan 2018.jpg

And today some Jews are upset that Father Michael Pfleger of the St. Sabina’s Roman Catholic Church invited Minister Louis Farrakhan to speak after he was kicked off FACEBOOK along with White Supremacists.  You can ascertain the depth of Father Pfleger’s comments which point out to his superficiality.  Father Pfleger’s office is an office that I reached out to in my journey to help Chicago.  I spoke to Barack Obama on the phone in 2004 and to other powerful people from Chicago that day in Boston.  Here Pfleger has made the same kind of mistake that Rendell made in Philadelphia.  The Catholic Church takes no responsibility at this time for what happened.  Read about the event here.  And I have done much more to try to help.  I would not dare to call the power of those men “satanic” at all, but the thought just entered my brain to write about it.  Those men and thousands of others are the powerful force that do some good and hold back progress as well.  You could take all that “satanic” power and shove it up Trump’s toches.  Pfleger’s friend Arne Duncan (watch the video about 16,000 children killed on Duncan’s watch) never should have been secretary of education of the United States and Betsy DeVos is worse.

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