by Rob Werner
There has been a resurgence of anti-Semitic rhetoric among progressives beyond the hate speech of Louis Farrakhan. We now have the rhetoric of U.S. Representatives, Omar, Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez.
There can’t be resurgence without a history. Progressives have a history of labeling those they differ with as racist. These claims against others are a smoke screen for progressive racism, anti-Semitism and suppression of liberties.
Woodrow Wilson was the first Presidential hero of the progressive movement. Our educational system teaches us that he was a great liberal president during WWI and the inspiration behind the League of Nations. He instituted the draft, income tax and raised death taxes. He was also a segregationist and member of the KKK. The KKK was against African Americans, Jews and Catholics. While his rhetoric against African Americans painted these people as a sub-species, his attitude toward Jews was more in conflict.
Anti-Semitism is different from other forms of racism. It often contains an odd mix of recognition, reliance and despise. An anti-Semite might recognize some “good” Jews – such as fellow progressives. They may think Jewish doctors and lawyers are more skilled. They may need the services of a Jewish money lender. Generally, they otherwise believe Jews are the scum of the earth and want to avoid and restrict them.
Major universities came up with the concept of racial or Jewish quotas. Colleges sought to limit admissions to reduce the Jewish enrollment based on the percentage of Jews in the population.
Franklin Roosevelt was the next progressive president. The Democrat party was still the party of discrimination and segregation. As a good politician, except for evil money lenders, this president presented himself as a hero to all people. He appointed progressive Jews to his government and the Supreme Court; nevertheless, he was still anti-Semitic.
William Shirer had been a reporter stationed in Berlin and other European cities. He witnessed Hitler’s rise to power and the actions of the Nazi government. In his book, “Berlin Diary,” published in 1941, he describes German oppression and extermination of Jews. Not to the extent of concentration camps, but enough to show that Jews could not survive.
Later, Shirer in “A Native Return, 1945-1988” describes a conversation he had with Supreme Court Justice Frankfurter, a close friend of the president. Frankfurter had emigrated from Austria and was concerned about what was happening. The Justice informed him that he had asked Roosevelt several times about the fate of the Jews. The president repeatedly told Frankfurter that the Jews were transported to the East to provide cheap labor for the Nazis, not for their extermination. Documents recently released by our government establish that the death camps were no surprise. The administration knew early on about death camps but kept it a secret.
Immigration laws severely restricted Jewish immigration. Thousands of Jews died because they could not immigrate. The public may have demanded a change to immigration policies had they known about the extermination.
Many displaced Jews migrated to what became Israel. Roosevelt’s successor, Truman was the first to recognize Israel. Truman enforced the Neutrality Act which prohibited the sale or transfer of military weapons to Israel. It was known that the Arab countries surrounding Israel would go to war. The Jews were expected to lose. This was Truman’s final solution to the Jewish problem. He could keep Jewish supporters by recognizing Israel and blame others for Jewish extermination. After Israel won the war, our government prosecuted some violators who assisted Israel.
The U.S. did not provide military aid to Israel until 1964.