I sadly reflect over the last few days in the midst of our community’s divided response to the Iran deal crisis. When we view ourselves today in the light of our history as portrayed in the scriptures, how as a community can we American Jews be less shamed than American Jewry should have been over its poor and divided response to the Holocaust?
We recall The New York Times burial of Holocaust news when the Ochs-Sulzbergers published anything at all on the subject. We recall the strife between Rabbi Stephen Wise and the Bergson Group, with the former working mightily to distance the White House from the “infamous” march of the rabbis to save the small remnant of Jews still alive in Europe. We recall the false analyses of the War Department to suppress any thought of bombing Auschwitz rail lines.
For those who excused our collective behavior by arguing the tenor of the times, the unprecedented nature of the crisis and so forth — what do they say today, armed with that history, about a regime that seeks endless weaponry including nuclear capability? How can it be that there is a land governed by would-be exterminators of the Jewish people, and Jews in the U.S. actually have differences of opinion on a deal which lays the path for Iran better than it did for the strengthening and arming of Nazi Germany? We delude ourselves that somehow our Talmudic debating history encourages such division on the question of self-preservation.
We have leaders who make platitudinous pronouncements about pluralism, diversity of opinion and the like — because Jewish liberalism gives them overwhelming faith in one political party and president to remedy this crisis. I am ashamed of organizations that are there for everyone else — but unlike everyone else, are not there for their co-ethnics. Our umbrella organizations and federations, including our beloved UJA here in New York are more concerned about pluralism and differences of opinion, lest they tear our community asunder, as the clouds gather for the Jewish people once more.
Stop Iran Coalition