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Why Trump and Giuliani May Truly Believe They're 'More Jewish' Than Soros or Sanders

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In the fall of 1933, on the front page of the New York Times Book Review, James W. Gerard went out on a limb for the Jews. Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf had just been published in English, and Gerard, America’s former ambassador to Germany, was taking a stand in print.

Surely, wrote Gerard, if Americans could condemn massacres in Armenia, or concentration camps in Cuba, "we have all of us a right to criticize, to boycott…to form a blockade of public opinion" against Germany’s mounting attacks on Jews.

Gerard’s gripe was not with Germany, nor even its leader. "Hitler is doing much for Germany," he wrote. "[H]is unification of the Germans, his destruction of communism…his curbing of parliamentary government, so unsuited to the German character; his protection of the right of private property are all good, and, after all, what the Germans do in their own territory is their own business, except for one thing – the persecution and practical expulsion of the Jews."

To Gerard, the Jews were "an intellectual and harmless race" – an ill-treated people who politely contributed to art and science; who had never been traitors, and had never complained.

Gerard’s good deeds might have ended there, if it weren’t for one day in New York’s Union Square in 1934 – when whom should he spy at a Communist rally, but a crowd of Jews. While urban Jews in the 1930s would hardly have raised eyebrows at the sight of Jewish socialists or Communists clustered in a public square, Gerard was aghast – so much so that he felt compelled to warn America’s Jews.

Adults and children from the Workmen's Circle at a May Day rally in New York City, Union Square, 1934 pic.twitter.com/9Ol3fODanS

That October, Gerard entered an elegant Reform temple in Northern New Jersey to deliver a speech: "As a friend of the Jewish peo­ple," he said, "I want to state that if the American nation ever gets the idea that the Jewish race and communism are synonymous there is a possibility of a pogrom in the United States that will make those of the Czar’s era in Russia look like a small parade." He urged "the responsible Jews of the country" to intervene against Jews who would embrace Communism.

Jewish leaders began frantic damage control. In editorials and speeches, they sought to correct Gerard’s impressions. Most Jews were not Communists; most Communists, not Jews. The reality, of course, was that American Jews were far from being a unitary group to be disciplined through a memo to their leaders (even if Jews had agreed on any).

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Real Jews, in real life, were not the "uncomplaining" type James Gerard thought they were – nor were they as homogeneous as America’s worried Jewish leaders declared. In the middle of the Depression, with........

© Haaretz