Monday, June 25, 2018

Anti-Semitism Is a Mental Disease

Anti-Semitism Is a Mental Disease

By Shoula Romano Horing

As a Jew and an Israeli, every time I write an online article about Israel and the Middle East, Jew-haters come out of the woodwork or the sewer like cockroaches, with a barrage of comments full of hatred, prejudice, bigotry, fake news, and fake history against Jews in general and the Jewish state in particular.

For me as an Israeli, the world's sick obsession with the world's only Jewish state, which constitutes a tiny area of around ten thousand square miles, including the disputed territory of the West Bank, compared to the 13 million square miles of the Arab world, 3.79 million square miles of the U.S., and the 3.931 million square miles of Europe, is bewildering, irrational, and outrageous.  

For me as a Jew, the world's repeated attempts to scapegoat and blame the Jewish people for many of world's ills have been sad and revolting, knowing that the Jewish population worldwide totals just 14.5 million, including the 6.5 million in Israel and the 5.7 million in the U.S., who make up only less than 2% of the country's population of approximately 325 million.  In contrast, the population of the Muslim world totals 1.3 billion, which includes 423 million Arabs, and the world's Christian population numbers 2.1 billion.  

Obviously, anti-Semitism is not a new phenomenon for Jews.  It has been called history's oldest hatred and mental disease, and it has shown itself to be remarkably adaptable, stretching back thousands of years.  But what is worrisome to me now is that it seems that 73 years after the Holocaust, Jew-hatred is re-emerging in Europe and the Western world as the barbarous events of World War II recede from collective memory and the cultural and political taboo of being an anti-Semite has disappeared.

Moreover, it includes anti-Semites from the far right and the far left, Christians and Muslims, including those in private and public life, many in the political establishment and leadership positions and many individuals in academia.  It manifests itself in physical attacks on synagogues in Sweden; arson attacks on Jewish institutions in France; and a spike in hate crimes against Jews in the U.K., France, Germany, and the U.S.

At its base, Jew-hatred is a neurotic condition based on irrational fear of the Jews and a lack of personal responsibility for one's failure to achieve success and happiness.  Anti-Semites fear Jews because they perceive them as all-powerful individuals who control the U.S. government and the world as well as the banks and economic systems.  This neurotic worldview makes rational analysis impossible for anti-Semites.  Everything is a Jewish plot and conspiracy for them in business and politics.  Through circular reasoning, anti-Semites see Jewish fingers in everything bad that happens to them.

Historically, anti-Semitism has taken the form of a double standard of labeling certain characteristics as specifically Jewish when they are in fact common to all of humanity: Jews are greedy, tricky, ambitious, rich, and clannish, as though Jews were uniquely or disproportionately guilty of all these.  Since Israel was established, in 1948, Jews and the Jewish state have been condemned whenever they claim or exercise the right to do things that all other people are accorded without question, like having a state and defending its security and borders.

Today, similar double standards are evident in the fact that 86 percent of U.N. resolutions single out Israel while ignoring human rights abuses in countries such as Syria, North Korea, and Iran. 

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said in a new report in February 2018 that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. is nearly 60 percent higher in 2017 than 2016, the largest single-year increase on record and the second highest number reported since the ADL started tracking incident data in the 1970s.  There were 1,986 anti-Semitic incidents reported across the United States in 2017, including physical assaults, vandalism, and attacks on Jewish institutions.  Every part of the country was affected, with an incident reported in all 50 states for the first time in at least a decade. 

One of Britain's most senior Jewish leaders alleged last week that Jeremy Corbyn, the head of the Labor Party, the main opposition party, has anti-Semitic views and associates himself with anti-Semites delegitimizing Israel's existence, and that he is causing British Jews to question their future in the country.

Last week, Turkish state-controlled media blamed the "Jewish lobby" for the sudden drop of the value of the country's currency.

In a recent May 2018 survey conducted by Ifop polling company in France, some 53 percent of the French respondents agreed with the statement that "Zionism is an international organization that seeks to influence the world and societies to the Jews' benefit."  Furthermore, in the poll, Israel was described as a "threat to regional stability" by 57 percent of respondents, while in reality, all the wars Israel was involved in were due to Arab, Palestinian, and Muslim attacks and threats.  In the same poll, Israel was described as a "theocracy" by 51 percent, even though in reality it is the only vibrant democracy in the Middle East.

In Germany, there were 1,453 anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2017, including 947 in Berlin, and these came at a time when Germany is grappling with an influx of more than one million mostly Muslim migrants, along with the rise of a right-wing nationalistic parties.

Concerning European Jewry, I believe that there is no solution for European Jews other than to come and live in Israel.  Anti-Semitism has never gone from the hearts of the Europeans for over 2,000 years, and now it has evolved into anti-Israel hatred.  Jew-hatred is here to stay and has even worsened as Europe continues to decline economically and morally.

In the U.S., anti-Semitism is mostly limited to universities and the liberal media on the far left, and to Nazi groups on the far right, but it has never been embraced by a majority of the American people and has never evolved into anti-Israeli hatred.  On the contrary, Israel's favorability score is the highest in the country since 1991.  According to a 2018 Gallop Poll, over 74 percent of Americans view Israel favorably versus the Palestinians.

The only way to fight those outlier groups is by confronting them head-on with facts and true history, in every public stage, forum, newspaper, magazine, school, and university.  There must be zero tolerance for any fake news provided by the leftist media, as well as legislation sidelining those groups calling for boycotting or divesting from Israel.  

Increased education in high schools and colleges telling the truth about Jewish history and the evil of anti-Semitism will hopefully guarantee that being an anti-Semite remains a taboo in the United States.   

Shoula Romano Horing is an Israeli-born and raised attorney.  Her blog:

Sunday, June 10, 2018

How to defeat Hamas without firing a shot

How to defeat Hamas without firing a shot

The people who organize and participate in current riots on the Gaza fences, are UNRWA employees.

By David Bedein

How to defeat Hamas? Deprive Hamas members of their prime source of income, which is UNRWA, the largest employer of Hamas in Gaza.  

The people who organize and participate in current riots on the Gaza fences, are UNRWA employees - 20,000 proud members of Hamas who control the UNRWA workers association and the UNRWA teachers association since 1999, all of whom incite for a mass invasion of Israel under the slogan of the "right of return by force of arms"

The "return" they refer to is to villages that Arabs left  three generations ago, most expecting to return after the Arab armies destroyed the fledgling Jewish state, between 1948 and 1953, in the wake of the Israel War of Independence - in which the Arabs attacked Israel. 

UNRWA has kept 5 million descendants of Arab refugees in "temporary" conditions, while Hamas ads fuel to the fire.. 

What can be done to douse the flames of Hamas?

Donor nations to UNRWA can demand the cut off of their paying UNRWA salaries, which would transform Hamas into beggars who would starve for lack of cash.

US, Canada, the UK and Australia all have tough laws on the books which clearly state that  their respective nations must condition aid to UNRWA with a strict requirement that, in order to receive aid, no member of an FTO, a  Foreign Terrorist Organization, can receive a salary.

Indeed, Canada cut off its aid to the general fund of UNRWA in 2009 after Hamas gained control of the UNRWA workers union and UNRWA teachers association, as documented in a study that our agency  published that was commissioned by the European Parliament.

Canada renewed funding of the UNRWA general fund in 2016, after UNRWA lied to Ottawa that it no longer employs members of Hamas..

Since no Hamas members  were removed from the staff of UNRWA, this would be an  opportune time for donor nations to demand  that UNRWA conduct a review of its employees for terror connections.

The next logical step is to demand that UNRWA indeed dismiss any and all Hamas members on staff. 

At an UNRWA policy symposium held in Geneva in 2004, I asked Peter Hansen, then head of UNRWA, how he could justify Hamas members on his staff. His answer was that UNRWA does not look at the religious affiliation of its staff members and he went on to say that he had no problem employing Hamas members on the UNRWA  payroll.  

As a result of that answer, donor nations forced UNRWA to fire Hansen. 

Hansen's dismissal provides a precedent that UNRWA donor nations could easily invoke.

Monday, June 4, 2018



The U.S. Holocaust Museum's new exhibit on America and the Shoah tries to show that FDR did the best he could to help Jews during the Holocaust. Part 3 of a special 3 part series.

By Dr. Rafael Medoff

Did President Franklin D. Roosevelt do the best he could to help Jews during the Holocaust? That’s the surprising made claim made in a controversial new exhibit at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Mainstream historians are calling the exhibit misleading and biased.

Below is the final installment of our 3-part series, adapted from the essay “Walls of Paper,” by Dr. Rafael Medoff, which was published in the spring 2018 issue of PRISM: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Holocaust Educators, published by the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education, at Yeshiva University. It is reprinted here by permission of the journal and the author. (For a full list of the footnotes from the essay, write to:

Dr. Medoff is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, and author or editor of 19 books about Jewish history and the Holocaust. His latest book is Too Little, and Almost Too Late: The War Refugee Board and America’s Response to the Holocaust.


Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge Long, a personal friend of President Roosevelt, was in charge of 23 of the State Department’s 42 divisions, including the visa section. In a June 26, 1940 memo, Long advised his colleagues: 

“We can delay and effectively stop for a temporary period of indefinite length the number of immigrants into the United States…by simply advising our consuls to put every obstacle in the way and to require additional evidence and to resort to various administrative devices, which would postpone and postpone and postpone the granting of the visas.” 

The German invasion of Poland the previous September, followed by the rapid conquest of Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland, and France in the spring of 1940, provoked a wave of fear—among the general public and within the administration—of Nazi spies reaching the United States. Newspapers frequently published wild stories about Hitler planning to send “slave spies” to the United States. Attorney General Robert Jackson complained to the cabinet that “hysteria is sweeping the country against aliens and fifth columnists.”  

The president’s rhetoric fanned the flames. FDR warned about “the treacherous use of the ‘fifth column’ by persons supposed to be peaceful visitors [but] actually a part of an enemy unit of occupation.” In fact, there was only one instance in which a Nazi disguised as a Jewish refugee reached the Western hemisphere; he was captured in Cuba and executed. 

Three days after Long’s June 1940 memo, the State Department ordered consuls abroad to reject applications from anyone about whom they had “any doubt whatsoever.” The new instruction specifically noted that this policy would result in “a drastic reduction in the number of quota and nonquota immigration visas issued.” It worked as intended: In the following year, immigration from Germany and Austria was kept to just 48% of the quota.


In the spring of 1941, with Roosevelt’s approval, Long devised what has come to be known as the Close Relatives Edict. On June 5, 1941, he instructed all US consuls abroad to reject visa applicants who had a “parent, brother, sister, spouse, or child” in any territory occupied by Germany, Italy, or the Soviet Union. The rationale was that the relatives might be taken hostage in order to force the immigrant to become a Nazi or Soviet spy. 

Refugee advocates were horrified. The political weekly The Nation (July 19, 1941) denounced the new regulation as “brutal and unjust.” The October 1941 issue of Workmen’s Circle Call, a Jewish immigrant laborers’ publication, described it as “cruel and unimaginative.” B’nai B’rith’s National Jewish Monthly (December 1941) asserted that the new policy could be called “Keep Your Tired, Your Poor”—a reversal of the famous poem inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. 

Protests were to no avail: The administration refused to budge. Actualization of the quota from Germany fell to less than 18% in 1942; only 14% of the quota for immigrants from German-occupied Poland was filled that year. In 1943, less than 5% of the German quota was used, as was only 16% of that for German-occupied France. A total of almost 190,000 quota places from Axis-controlled European countries were left unused during the Hitler years. 


What motivated senior State Department officials to take such positions regarding Jewish immigration? Anti-Semitism certainly played a role. Wilbur Carr, an assistant secretary of state in the Roosevelt administration, wrote in a 1934 diary entry that he preferred a particular summer resort because it was so “different from the Jewish atmosphere of the Claridge.” Assistant Secretary of State Adolf Berle confided to his diary in 1940, “The Jewish group, wherever you find it, is not only pro-English, but will sacrifice American interests to English interests…It is horrible to see one phase of the Nazi propaganda justifying itself a little.” Undersecretary of State William Phillips, in his diary (on May 18, 1923), once described a Soviet official as “a perfect little rat of a Jew.” It is no exaggeration to say that anti-Semitism was rife in Roosevelt’s State Department. 

Such sentiments also were common among the consular officials in Europe who directly decided the fate of visa applicants. Prof. Bat-Ami Zucker, in her book In Search of Refuge, the definitive study of US consular officials in Nazi Germany, found that the consuls “often commented on the danger of permitting a flood of Jewish immigration into the US,” warned of “its potentially dangerous impact on American society,” and suspected “a Jewish conspiracy in the United States to pressure the administration into facilitating immigration.”

In a similar spirit, William Peck, at the US consulate in Marseilles, wrote to a colleague that he “deplore[d] as much as anyone the influx into the United States of certain refugee elements.” He was open to immigration by “aged people,” because they “will not reproduce and can do our country no harm.” On the other hand, “the young ones may be suffering, but the history of their race shows that suffering does not kill many of them.”  

However, anti-Semitism within the State Department alone does not suffice to explain US immigration policy, because it was President Roosevelt, not Breckinridge Long, who was the final authority. Ignorance was not the issue: President Roosevelt’s correspondence makes clear that he was aware the quotas were underfilled. Many references in the correspondence and diaries of Breckinridge Long allude to his regular briefings of the president on immigration policy, to which FDR responded positively. 

Some historians have explained Roosevelt’s strict policy as anticipating the likely electoral consequences (that is, the strong public opposition to immigration) and congressional opposition to liberalizing the immigration quotas, but those factors do not reflect that what is under discussion here is immigration within the existing quotas, not any effort to change the immigration system. An unpublicized instruction from the White House to the State Department to permit the existing German quota to be filled would have saved numerous lives while likely causing only the tiniest of political ripples. 


A more plausible explanation is Roosevelt’s attitude toward minority groups that he regarded as unassimilable. FDR in general exhibited little sympathy for immigration, expressed concern about what he saw as immigrants’ resistance to assimilation, and harbored racist sentiments about the dangers of “mingling Asiatic blood with American blood.” His conviction that the Japanese were biologically different, undesirable, and untrustworthy made Roosevelt was receptive to the proposal by some of his military advisers, after Pearl Harbor, to incarcerate Japanese Americans lest their “undiluted racial strains” inspire them to secretly assist the Japanese war effort. By order of the president, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans were rounded up throughout California and shipped to internment camps in Arizona, Wyoming, Arkansas, and elsewhere in 1942, even though there was not a single documented case of a Japanese American spying for Japan in World War II 

Roosevelt’s private remarks about Jews in many ways echoed what he wrote and said about Asians. Jews, he believed, tended to overcrowd specific geographical locations, dominate certain professions, and exercise undue influence. At a White House luncheon in May 1943, FDR told British Prime Minister Winston Churchill that “the best way to settle the Jewish question” would be “to spread the Jews thin all over the world.” According to Vice President Henry Wallace’s account of the conversation, Roosevelt said he had “tried this out in Marietta [Meriwether] County, Georgia, and at Hyde Park…adding four or five Jewish families at each place. He claimed that the local population would have no objection if there were no more than that.” 

Roosevelt resented what he perceived as excessive Jewish representation in a variety of institutions. As a member of Harvard’s Board of Overseers in 1923, he helped institute a quota to limit the number of Jews admitted to 15% of each class, and still boasted about doing so two decades later. In 1941, FDR remarked at a cabinet meeting that there were too many Jews among federal employees in Oregon. 

The president was concerned about Jewish influence abroad, too. In 1938, FDR privately suggested to Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, the era’s most prominent American Jewish leader, that Jews in Poland were dominating the economy and were to blame for provoking antisemitism there. 

In the same spirit, President Roosevelt remarked at the 1943 Casablanca Conference that in governing the 330,000 Jews in North Africa, “the number of Jews [allowed to enter various professions] should be definitely limited to the percentage that the Jewish population in North Africa bears to the whole of the North African population,” which “would not permit them to overcrowd the professions.” He said this “would further eliminate the specific and understandable complaints which the Germans bore towards the Jews in Germany, namely, that while they represented a small part of the population, over fifty percent of the lawyers, doctors, school teachers, college professors, etc., in Germany were Jews.”

Certain individual, assimilated Jews could be useful to FDR as political allies or advisers, but the presence of a substantial number of Jews, especially the less assimilated kind, was, in his view, undesirable. Roosevelt’s private views help explain the otherwise inexplicable policy of suppressing refugee immigration far below the legal limits. His vision of America was of a nation that would be overwhelmingly white, Anglo-Saxon, and Protestant, with no room for any substantial number of others. 


Realistically, what options existed for President Roosevelt to assist Jewish refugees without endangering his political position or risking a difficult, and probably unsuccessful, clash with Congress? 

First, filling the existing quotas. The policy of almost never allowing the quotas to be filled “cost Jewish lives directly,” and “the restrictionist policy also played a crucial role in Nazi Germany’s decision to solve its ‘Jewish problem’ by more radical means,” Prof. Henry Feingold has argued; “The visa system became literally an adjunct to Berlin’s murderous plan for the Jews.”

Next, permitting more non-quota immigration. The existing law permitted professors, college students, and members of the clergy and their families to enter the United States outside the quotas. Yet from 1933 to 1941, the US admitted only 698 students identified as “Hebrews,” 944 professors (not all of them Jews), and 2,184 “ministers” (not all of them rabbis). With a more humane attitude, the administration could have taken advantage of this legal loophole and granted haven to many more endangered Jews. 

Finally, offering temporary admission to US territories. The determination as to whether an applicant for a tourist visa had a valid return address was strictly arbitrary; a more generous approach would have looked past that technicality and granted Jewish refugees temporary haven in an American territory, such as the Virgin Islands, whose governor offered to take them in, a move that would likely not have provoked any substantial domestic opposition. 

Tragically, the Roosevelt administration opted to turn its back on traditional American attitudes toward the downtrodden and chose instead, as Albert Einstein wrote to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, “to make immigration impossible by erecting a wall of bureaucratic measures.”

Friday, June 1, 2018



Part 2 of a special 3-part series: It is inconvenient to rescue Jews.

By Dr. Rafael Medoff

Controversy continues to grow over the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s new exhibit, which claims that President Franklin D. Roosevelt did the best he could to help Jews during the Holocaust. 

Mainstream historians say that the exhibit’s claims fly in the face of decades of historical research. 

Below is part 2 of our 3-part series adapted from the essay “Walls of Paper,” by Dr. Rafael Medoff, which was published in the spring 2018 issue of PRISM: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Holocaust Educators, published by the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education, at Yeshiva University. It is reprinted here by permission of the journal and the writer. (For a full list of the footnotes from the essay, write to:

Dr. Medoff is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, and author or editor of 19 books about Jewish history and the Holocaust. His latest book is Too Little, and Almost Too Late: The War Refugee Board and America’s Response to the Holocaust.


When the world-famous German Jewish chemist Fritz Haber approached US Ambassador to Germany William Dodd in July 1933 to ask about “the possibilities in America for emigrants with distinguished records here in science,” Dodd told him (according to Dodd’s diary) “that the law allowed none now, the quota being filled.” In fact, the German quota was 95% unfilled that year. 

Ten-year-old Herbert Friedman was denied permission to accompany his mother and brother to the United States in 1936 after an examining physician at the Stuttgart consulate claimed he had tuberculosis. Tests all proved negative, and an array of German and American specialists who reviewed his X-rays likewise concluded that he did not have the disease. Yet the consulate would not budge. The family eventually managed to enlist the help of Albert Einstein, who, in a letter to the surgeon general about the case, reported: 

“I have spoken to a reliable young man who recently emigrated from Germany; when I told him about the Stuttgart Consulate’s refusal to issue the visa for the child, without giving the young man the reason for the refusal [that is, Einstein did not tell him about the claim of tuberculosis—RM], he immediately said, ‘That is an old story. Tuberculosis!’ This shows clearly that this case is not an isolated case but that it is becoming a dangerous practice. “


Some applicants in Germany ran into trouble when they presented a ketubah, the traditional Jewish religious wedding certificate, as evidence of their marital status. Some of these Jews had been married in a religious ceremony only, and not according to civil law, while others simply found it impossible to obtain evidence of their marital status from a Nazi government office, or else had been married in Russia before the Soviet takeover and could not enter the USSR to retrieve documentation. 

US consular officials refused to recognize a ketubah as proof of marriage and therefore deemed the applicants’ children “illegitimate” and rejected the family on the grounds of low moral character. In these cases and many others, consular officials used their discretionary abilities to achieve what one consul characterized as “the Department’s desire to keep immigration to a minimum.”  

In late 1936, there was a modest increase in the number of German Jews admitted to the United States. By the end of 1937, a total of 11,127 immigrants from Germany had arrived, representing 42.1% of the available spaces.

Consuls in Germany had complained that they were short-staffed, so Foreign Service Inspector Jerome Klahr Huddle was sent to Germany to assess the situation. In his report, Huddle recommended that more-distant relatives could be relied upon to provide support because they undoubtedly felt genuine sympathy for their persecuted family members. Eliot Coulter of the Visa Division agreed, in an internal memorandum, that “the Jewish people often have a high sense of responsibility toward their relatives, including distant relatives whom they may not have seen.” 

Yet the majority of the German quota remained unfilled. John Farr Simmons, chief of the State Department’s Visa Division in the 1930s, was proud to note, in 1937, “the drastic reduction in immigration” that “was merely an obvious and predictable result of administrative practices.” 


Germany’s annexation of Austria in 1938 (the Anschluss) marked a significant intensification of the Jewish refugee crisis. Now a second major European Jewish community was in need of a haven. The well-publicized scenes of anti-Jewish brutality accompanying the German army’s entrance into Austria, including Jews being forced to scrub the streets with toothbrushes, showed that the problem was reaching crisis proportions. 

Although polls showed most Americans still opposed relaxing immigration restrictions, a handful of members of Congress and journalists began urging US intervention. Senior State Department officials decided to—in the words of the department’s internal year-end review—“get out in front and attempt to guide” the pressure before it got out of hand. They conceived the idea of an international conference on the refugee problem, to create an impression of US concern while coaxing other countries to assume responsibility for the bulk of the refugees. 

On March 24, 1938, President Roosevelt announced he was inviting 32 countries to send representatives to a conference in the French resort town of Évian-les-Bains. FDR emphasized in his announcement that “no nation would be expected or asked to receive a greater number of emigrants than is permitted by its existing legislation.” He did permit the German and Austrian quotas, now combined, to be filled that year, the only year that happened. 

With one exception, the delegates at Évian proclaimed their countries’ unwillingness to accept more Jews. Typical was the Australian delegate, who bluntly asserted that “as we have no real racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one.” The only exception was the tiny Dominican Republic, which declared it would accept as many as 100,000 Jewish refugees. 

Scholars have chronicled the sad fate of that offer. After the first several hundred refugees were settled in the Dominican region of Sosua, the “biggest problem” the project encountered—according to historian Marion A. Kaplan—was the “unrelenting US opposition” to bringing in more refugees and “the State Department’s hostility and obstructionism.” Prof. Allen Wells found that Roosevelt administration officials harbored paranoid fears that some German Jewish refugees entering Sosua would serve as spies for the Nazis and pressured the Dominican haven organizers to refrain from bringing in more Jews. 

Several additional opportunities to assist Jewish refugees in 1938 and 1939 likewise were spurned by the Roosevelt administration. The president refused to support the Wagner–Rogers bill of 1939, which would have admitted 20,000 German children outside the quota. The legislation went nowhere, thanks to the sentiments of nativists such as Laura Delano Houghteling, a cousin of FDR and wife of the US commissioner of immigration, who complained that “20,000 charming children would all too soon grow up into 20,000 ugly adults.” 

In the spring of the same year, 930 German Jewish refugees aboard the MS St. Louis was turned away from Cuba and the United States. The German–Austrian quota was already filled, and any proposal to Congress to admit them likely would have been defeated. However, they could have been admitted as tourists to the US Virgin Islands, as Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr., proposed at the time. Secretary of State Cordell Hull, after conferring with the president, rejected Morgenthau’s proposal on the grounds that the passengers could not demonstrate they had permanent residences in Nazi Germany to which they would return after their visas expired. 


In the aftermath of the German conquest of France in June 1940, thousands of refugees, including many exiled German Jews, fled to southern France to avoid capture by the Nazis. Many refugee families included members who were prominent artists, scientists, and intellectuals. On June 22, Marshal Petain’s Vichy regime, the ruling authority in the southern part of the country, signed an agreement with the Nazis agreeing to “surrender on demand” anyone sought by the Germans. 

In the days to follow, American friends and colleagues of the refugees established the Emergency Rescue Committee, hoping to bring renowned cultural figures to the United States. With help from the First Lady, the committee secured President Roosevelt’s authorization of emergency visas for several hundred artists and intellectuals and their families. The president was receptive to the proposal precisely because it was not a typical request to admit ordinary Jewish refugees. The world-famous exiles in France were the cream of European civilization; the fact that most of them were Jewish was incidental. 

American journalist Varian Fry volunteered to lead the mission. He arrived in Marseille in August 1940 with a list of 200 endangered individuals and $3,000 taped to his leg to hide it from the Gestapo. During the months to follow, Fry’s network—which included a dissident US consul, Hiram Bingham IV—rescued an estimated 2,000 refugees, in many cases by smuggling them over the Pyrenees into Spain disguised as field workers. 

Catching wind of the Fry operation, furious German and French officials complained to the State Department. Secretary of State Cordell Hull responded with a telegram, in September 1940, to the American ambassador in Paris, instructing him to inform Fry that “THIS GOVERNMENT DOES NOT REPEAT NOT COUNTENANCE ANY ACTIVITIES BY AMERICAN CITIZENS DESIRING TO EVADE THE LAWS OF THE GOVERNMENTS WITH WHICH THIS COUNTRY MAINTAINS FRIENDLY RELATIONS.”

Hull also sent a telegram to Fry, pressing him to “return immediately” to the United States in view of “local developments,” meaning in opposition of the Germans and French. When Fry failed to heed that demand, the Roosevelt administration refused to renew his passport, thus forcing him to leave France. It also transferred Bingham to Portugal, then to Argentina.



Part 1 of a 3 part series on the U.S. and the Holocaust, currently the subject of an exhibition at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. in which the facts brought here are obscured.

By Dr. Rafael Medoff

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, in Washington, D.C, recently opened a controversial new exhibit which claims that President Franklin D. Roosevelt did his best to help Jews during the Holocaust. The Washington Post described it as “a posthumous makeover for FDR at the museum.” 

Mainstream historians are challenging the museum’s revisionist approach. To explore these issues further, we present a three-part series adapted from the essay “Walls of Paper,” by Dr. Rafael Medoff, which was published in the Spring 2018 issue of PRISM: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Holocaust Educators, published by the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education, at Yeshiva University. It is reprinted here by permission of the journal and the author. (For a full list of the footnotes from the essay, write to:

Dr. Medoff is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, and author or editor of 19 books about Jewish history and the Holocaust. His latest book is Too Little, and Almost Too Late: The War Refugee Board and America’s Response to the Holocaust.


“It is a fantastic commentary on the inhumanity of our times,” wrote journalist Dorothy Thompson in 1938, “that for thousands and thousands of people, a piece of paper with a stamp on it is the difference between life and death.” 

For over a century, the United States had an open-door immigration policy, welcoming newcomers from around the world in almost unlimited numbers. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, however, a number of prominent American anthropologists and eugenicists began promoting the idea that Anglo-Saxons were biologically superior to other peoples. This racialist view of society reshaped the public’s view of immigration in the years following World War I. 

The shift in attitudes took place at the same time that Americans were becoming increasingly anxious about Communism, as a result of the establishment of the Soviet Union. The combination of racism, fear of Communism, and general resentment of foreigners created strong public pressure to restrict immigration. 


In 1921, Congress passed—and President Warren Harding signed into law—the Immigration Restriction Act. This legislation stipulated that the number of immigrants admitted annually from any single country could not exceed 3% of the number of immigrants from that country who had been living in the US at the time of the 1910 national census. If, for example, there were 100,000 individuals of Danish origin living in the United States in 1910, the maximum number of immigrants permitted from Denmark in any future year would be 3,000. 

The Johnson Immigration Act of 1924 tightened these regulations in two important ways. The percentage for calculating the quotas was reduced from 3% to 2%, and instead of the 1910 census, the quota numbers would be based on an earlier census, the one taken in 1890. The restrictions were intensified in order to reduce the number of Jewish and Italian immigrants, since the bulk of Jews and Italians in the US had arrived after 1890. 

The sponsors of the legislation made no secret of their motives. The Johnson Act was submitted to Congress with a report by the chief of the United States Consular Service, Wilbur Carr, that characterized would-be Jewish immigrants from Poland as “filthy, un-American, and often dangerous in their habits…lacking any conception of patriotism or national spirit.”


In the public debates over immigration that took place in the 1920s, Franklin D. Roosevelt came down squarely on the side of the restrictionists. As the Democratic nominee for vice president in 1920, Roosevelt gave an interview to the Brooklyn Eagle in which he expressed concern that immigrants tended to concentrate in urban areas and retain their ethnic heritage: “The foreign elements…do not easily conform to the manners and the customs and the requirements of their new home.” 

The solution he proposed was dispersal and rapid assimilation: “The remedy for this should be the distribution of aliens in various parts of the country.” Writing in the Macon Daily Telegraph in 1925, FDR said he favored the admission of some Europeans, so long as they had “blood of the right sort.” He urged restricting immigration for “a good many years to come” so the United States would have time to “digest” those already admitted. 

The immigration system that was adopted in the 1920s was made even more restrictive by President Herbert Hoover in 1930. Responding to the onset of the Great Depression, Hoover instructed consular officials to reject all applicants who were “likely to become a public charge,” that is, dependent on government assistance. It was left to the consuls to make that determination on a case-by-case basis.

The Roosevelt administration inherited this harsh system and made it worse. When Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany in 1933, large numbers of German Jews urgently began looking for countries that would shelter them from the Nazis —and US consular officials in Germany urgently looked for ways to reject their applications. By crafting a maze of bureaucracy and unreasonably rigorous requirements, these officials ensured that most Jewish refugees would never reach America’s shores. Prof. David S. Wyman characterized those restrictions s “paper walls” in his 1968 book of that name. 

Those walls ensured that the quotas would almost never be filled. The German quota was 25,957. Just 5.3%, or 1,375, of the quota places were used in 1933, Hitler’s first year in power. Of the next 12 years, the German quota was filled in only one. Places that were unused at the end of the year did not spill over into the next year; they simply expired. In 1934, a total of 3,515 immigrants filled 13.7% of the quota; the next year, 20.2% of the quota was filled (4,891 immigrants); and in 1936, the total was 24.3% (or 6,073 immigrants). 

In most of those 12 years, less than 25% of the quota was filled. As the Nazi persecution of Jews intensified, the US quota system functioned precisely as its creators had intended: It kept out all but a relative handful of Jews. 


The visa application form, which had to be filled out in triplicate, was more than four feet long. Its length, however, was the least of the difficulties applicants faced. To begin with, the “likely to become a public charge” clause posed a kind of Catch-22. The applicant had to prove he would have a means of support in the US—but foreigners were not permitted to secure employment while they still lived abroad. 

Typically, the way to satisfy this requirement was to provide an affidavit from an American citizen guaranteeing financial support until the immigrant found work. Obviously, many German Jews did not have American relatives or friends. Even for those who did, however, not just any relative would do. When New York Governor Herbert Lehman asked FDR in 1935 about the seemingly extraneous visa requirements, the president replied that guarantees offered by anyone other than a parent or child would be treated skeptically, because “a distant relative” might not feel any “legal or moral obligation toward the applicant,” as closer relatives presumably would. 

In the case of 19-year-old Hermann Kilsheimer, for instance, three relatives did not suffice. He presented the American consulate in Stuttgart with affidavits from his brother-in-law and two cousins, all gainfully employed American citizens, pledging to support him. The cousins’ affidavits were rejected on the grounds that they were not close enough relatives, and the consul decided that Hermann’s brother-in-law earned too little to both support his own family and pay for Hermann’s tuition if he chose to attend college. 

The reasoning behind other rejections of visa applications ranged from absurd to maddening. Numerous German Jewish refugee students, for example, were admitted to American universities but were prevented from entering the United States. As Raymond Geist of the US consulate in Berlin explained in turning down a student who had been accepted by Dropsie College (Philadelphia), “He is a potential refugee from Germany and hence is unable to submit proof that he will be in a position to leave the United States upon the completion of his schooling.”

Faculty members at accredited European universities who were offered positions at American universities were eligible for non-quota visas. However, when the Hebrew Union College established a college-in-exile and began inviting European Jewish scholars to its faculty, the Roosevelt administration threw up an array of roadblocks. One distinguished German Jewish scholar was disqualified on the grounds that he was primarily a librarian rather than a full-time professor. 

The State Department also accepted the Nazi regime’s downgrading of the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies, the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums, from Hochshule (an institute of higher learning, or college) to Lehranstalt (a lower-level institution of learning; an academy), which made its faculty members ineligible for non-quota visas because their home institution no longer was considered to be at the level of a university.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

To Know Muhammad Is to Know Islam

To Know Muhammad Is to Know Islam

Over fourteen centuries ago rose Muhammad, a supposedly illiterate hired hand of a rich widow, Khadija, claiming he was the bearer of a perfect life prescription from Allah: the Quran.  He claimed that humanity could do no better than to follow its precepts as well as to emulate Muhammad's own life example for a guarantee of bliss and salvation.  In exchange for this, people had to embrace Islam – surrender – by surrendering their liberty to Muhammad.  Up to this day, the Muslim world considers a perfect Muslim as someone who follows in the footsteps of Muhammad, by action and by deeds.
You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much. (Surat al-Ahzab 21)
To faithful Muslims, the Prophet Muhammad is a role model, and they must follow his Sunnah and learn how to implement its precepts and practices in their lives.  So to understand the Prophet Muhammad is to understand Islam.
Fortunately, for both Muslims and non-Muslims, Muhammad is not around so that we can personally observe his conduct and be tempted to emulate him.  What is possible, however, is to go to authentic Islamic records and discern what Muhammad did during his life and judge it for ourselves.
The absence of Muhammad is fortunate for the Muslims because it enables them to spin many yarns about how virtuous he was.  There are more stories about the kindness, his generosity, his forbearance, and whatnot than any dozen men could do in ten lifetimes.  Muslims, heads in the sand, keep reciting to each other all these made-up tales.
It is fortunate for non-Muslims that we won't be inclined to do some of the things Muhammad did.  Many accounts of his actions, as recorded and reported by reliable, authoritative Muslim sources, would be considered criminal in the civilized societies of today.
Special Hatred for the Jews
Muhammad, for one, was a model of spewing hateful speech, cursing all non-Muslims repeatedly, with special venom reserved for the Jews.  In the Islamic scripture, headed by the Quran, the Jews are cursed and called all kinds of names so many times.
Is it Allah who so despises the Jews, or is it Muhammad?  Either way, it doesn't make sense.  If it is Allah speaking these derogatory terms in the Quran, then I am shocked.  It is unbecoming of the creator of the universe, the source of all good, to devote so much of his book to cursing a few millions of his own creatures.  Recall that the Quran claims that not even a leaf falls without the permission and decree of Allah.  So why is it that he allows the Jews to behave in ways he condemns?
If it is Muhammad who is angry at the Jews, then it makes sense.  The Jews kept rejecting him and telling him to take his sale pitch somewhere else.  But what doesn't make sense here is that Muhammad claims that every word of the Quran is that of Allah.  So which is it?
Abusing Women
Islamic records report that Muhammad had numerous wives.  Some even admit that they can't provide an accurate count because he took wives so often and with great liberty.  A number of his wives were slave women – women taken as booty in battle.  Well, okay.  Maybe he was doing what the Arabs of his time did.  Make war; take everything, including women and children; and treat them exactly the way you would treat your own livestock.  If you found a woman you desired, she was yours.  That simple.
But he also married a child of one of his most senior followers, Ayesha.  The poor child was a nearly six-year-old little girl when he married her, and he consummated the marriage when she was barely nine and he was pushing sixty.  Now, Ayesha was not a slave girl with whom he could take that kind of liberty.  He could not treat her like a piece of property, rightfully his.  She was Abu Bakr's daughter.  Did Muhammad bamboozle the old Abu Bakr, or did the old Abu-Bakr's lust for power make him offer his little girl to Muhammad?
Either way, what Muhammad did establish was a shameful and criminal act of marrying little girls as a legitimate practice.  Not long ago, a member of the highest Islamic Council of Saudi Arabia issued a fatwa saying that in Islam, there is no age limit for marrying even infants.  Now, this is the kind of religious sanction that ought to make you cringe.
Other Practices
Just a couple more points here.  Muhammad also declared acceptable killing non-Muslims, plundering their possessions, and taking their women and children as slaves to be held or sold.  He legitimized slavery and even described how slaves should be treated as second- and even possibly third-class chattel.
Muhammad also established what amounts to a modern-day protection racket.  He actively encouraged his followers to attack non-Muslim caravans and habitats, get all the loot they could, give him his cut of 20%, and keep the rest.
But again, if you are the representative of the creator and owner of the universe Allah, everyone must give you a wide berth.  And people did.  It just so happened that men of Muhammad's time very much liked what he did and preached.  Never mind women.  Women did not count in much of Arabia's baby, Islam.
Muhammad's Praiseworthy Acts
Let us set aside these well documented unseemly and even criminal activities and look at some of the good things attributed to Muhammad.
One particular case relates to Muhammad's trying time in Mecca.  The story is that an old Meccan woman would throw tumbleweeds on Muhammad as he walked by.  In response, Muhammad would speak to her kindly and inquire about her well-being.  This is often cited as an example of how kind and forgiving he was.  Keep in mind that Muhammad was meek in Mecca and had lots of ill-wishers and few friends.  He was in no position to retaliate in kind to any abuse he was subjected to.
Once out of Mecca and in power in Medina, Muhammad hardly bothered inquiring about the well-being of old women.  He did treat his friends – his followers – kindly.  But he showed absolutely no mercy to his enemies.  He had his enemies – anyone and everyone who did not fall into his fold – treated by the sword.
A Muslim's surrender of liberty is not merely a matter of personal choice.  Muslims abandon their most precious rights and are out to make all non-Muslims do so, too, by hook or crook.
In short: I, for one, would hardly want to take Muhammad as my exemplar and emulate him.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018



The video dispels certain myths concerning the origin of the name 'Palestine' and of the 'Arab Palestinians.' It documents that the 'Arab Palestinians' are in fact mostly from other places, and migrated to what is now Israel at the same time as the Zionist Jews, many of them because of the economic boom that the Zionist Jews produced in what was then British Mandate Palestine. The Zionist Jews did not steal the "best" land from Arab landowners but in fact purchased abandoned desert and swamp land from absentee Arab landlords who were quite eager to sell. This was explained by Hajj Amin al Husseini himself. Husseini, father of the Palestinian movement, launched his fourth terrorist attack against the Jews of the Mandate in 1936-39. The violence was so great that the British sent a team to investigate. When questioned, Husseini admitted that the Zionist Jews had not stolen anybody's land but in fact had bought it. In fact, Husseini had been among the major consolidators and sellers of land, and growing tremendously rich by it.