How Walt Disney, the German Nazis and the Arabs Exploited my Good Friend, Mickey Mouse

Walt Disney, Mickey Mouse, And The Nazis

Walter Disney (1901-66), a worldwide cultural icon, was an animator, film producer, and entrepreneur credited with pioneering the American animation industry. His films, which are beloved worldwide, include “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937), “Pinocchio” (1940), “Fantasia” (1940), “Dumbo” (1941), “Bambi” (1942), “Cinderella” (1950), and “Mary Poppins” (1964). He was nominated for 59 Academy Awards, winning 29 – both enduring records.

Even half a century after his death, Walt Disney’s iconic images, stories, and characters continue to leave an indelible mark on culture, and the multimedia conglomerate he built remains a formidable giant in the entertainment industry. His amusement parks, which began with Disneyland in 1955 and now include Disney World, EPCOT, and many others overseas, draw millions of visitors each year. Disney’s TV shows – including “The Wonderful World of Color” and “The Mickey Mouse Club” – are still favorites amongst children around the world.

Considerable evidence exists to support the proposition that Walt Disney was an anti-Semite, although, as we shall see, the record is decidedly muddled and, Neal Gabler, Walt Disney’s personal biographer, vehemently denies the charge. It is sometimes difficult to isolate fact from fiction; for example, the allegation that Walt had a private meeting with Hitler and developed a relationship with him is sheer nonsense, but it is true that he went out of his way to meet Mussolini.

Even Gabler concedes that Walt “willingly, even enthusiastically, embraced [anti-Semites] and cast his fate with them,” and The Walt Disney Family Museum acknowledges, as it must, that Disney included ethnic stereotypes in some of his early cartoons.

When Walt visited Munich in 1935, Nazi newspapers warmly welcomed him as a hero who stood up to the Jews of Hollywood. (Interestingly, the Sleeping Beauty Castle that Walt later built at Disneyland closely resembles the Neuschwanstein Castle he saw in Bavaria during his trip.)

Walt never met with Hitler, but it is beyond dispute that the Fuhrer adored Disney’s work. Goebbels is said to have presented 12 Disney short films to Hitler as a Christmas present in 1937, which the latter treasured. Hitler was determined – and ordered Goebbels – to create a Nazi animation studio and production company that would rival Disney, but the result was Deutsche Zeichenfilm GmbH, which ultimately produced only a few Nazi propaganda cartoons.

In 1938, just a few weeks after Kristallnacht, Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler’s personal filmmaker and propagandist, came to the United States seeking an American studio to work with her. Famous – or infamous – for glorifying the Nazis, and best known for “Triumph of the Will” (1935), a revolting propaganda film that chronicled the 1934 Nazi Party Congress at Nuremberg, she was boycotted by all Hollywood studio leaders, except one – Walt – who expressed admiration for her work and gave her a personal tour of his studio.

According to Riefenstahl, Walt ultimately turned down her offer to work with him because he was afraid that doing so would tarnish his reputation. Returning to Germany, she publicly thanked Walt for having received her, declaring that it was “gratifying” to “learn how thoroughly proper Americans distance themselves from the smear campaigns of the Jews.”

In an infamous “Three Little Pigs” cartoon (1933), part of Disney’s “Silly Symphonies” series, the Big Bad Wolf is drawn with a Der Sturmer-like exaggerated depiction of a Jewish nose, a long scraggly black beard, and a Jewish hat. Dressed like a Jewish peddler, the Wolf speaks with a thick Yiddish accent as he tries to cheat the homeowner pig. (Pigs, of course, metaphorically represent everything repulsive to Jews, although it’s unclear if the producers specifically intended viewers to make this association.)

In “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937), the evil witch’s hooked nose, hunched bearing, and general demeanor of seduction are wholly evocative of the anti-Semite stereotype prevalent at the time. In “Pinocchio” (1940), the cunning puppet-master who manifests a total lack of any moral imperative and is interested only in amassing great wealth is the unambiguous incarnation of the Jewish skinflint.

In “The Opry House,” Mickey Mouse dresses up and performs a caricature of a dancing chassidic Jew, comparable to a blackface portrayal of African Americans. And, in “The Wayward Canary” (1932), Minnie Mouse, for some inexplicable reason, owns a cigarette lighter bearing a swastika.

Not surprisingly, Walt respected auto-industry tycoon Henry Ford, a notorious anti-Semite and union-buster who reciprocated his esteem and said he admired him for being “a successful self-made protestant in a field dominated by Jews.” Peter Bart, the editor of Variety, reported that when he once asked Walt a question, he responded, “Let me check that with my Jew.”

Walt was known to have actively supported many Jewish charities, including the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of the City of New York, Yeshiva College, the Jewish Home for the Aged, and even the American League for a Free Palestine (the “Bergson Group”). The Beverly Hills Chapter of B’nai B’rith also named him its Man of the Year in 1955.

However, this argument is weakened by reports that Walt is reputed to have claimed that he had been forced by “that Jew” – i.e., Henry Morgenthau, FDR’s Secretary of the Treasury – to use Mickey Mouse to support the American war effort. Other commentators note that “Der Fuehrer’s Face” may address the topic of a “Master Race” but conspicuously fails to mention Germany’s systemic anti-Semitism.

When Jewish animator Dave Swift announced that he had accepted a new position at Columbia Pictures, Walt responded in a fake Yiddish accent: “Okay, Davy Boy, go work for those Jews. It’s where you belong.” Moreover, when Disney artists tried to unionize in 1941 (they were ultimately successful after a brutal and prolonged battle), Walt tried to ruin the careers of the union organizers, most of whom were Jewish; he often insisted that the unions, which he despised, were run and controlled by “the Jews.”

Even the earliest Nazi propaganda depicted Jews as vermin and parasites. The narrator in the infamous anti-Semitic propaganda film “The Eternal Jew,” explains, “Just as the rat is the lowest of animals, the Jew is the lowest of human beings.” A German newspaper article from the 1930s establishing a link between Jewish vermin and Mickey Mouse could not be clearer.

That the Nazis viewed Mickey Mouse as Jewish is also evident in their banning of “The Barnyard Battle” (1929), a cartoon in which Mickey and his fellow mice defend their farm against German cats. The Germans considered the cartoon “offensive to national dignity” because Jewish vermin, unambiguously represented by Mickey and his fellow mice, had dared defend themselves against the German military, represented by cats wearing German military helmets.

Palestinian children also grow up watching Mickey Mouse, but on PA national television, a Mickey Mouse clone may wear an explosive belt, encourage children to become suicide bombers, and sing “Death to America and death to the Jews.” While carrying grenades and an AK-47, “Farfur” has urged children to return the Islamic community to greatness by liberating Jerusalem with the blood of Jews (who, in one episode, are shown beating Farfur to death to silence him).

Saul Jay Singer serves as senior legal ethics counsel with the District of Columbia Bar and is a collector of extraordinary original Judaica documents and letters. He welcomes comments at saul.singer@verizon.net.

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Newt Gingrich sums up the Mueller Report

WHO WROTE THE MUELLER REPORT?

By Newt Gingrich

The biggest conclusion I reached after watching Robert Mueller in front of Congress was that he clearly did not have a detailed knowledge of the report issued in his name.

He failed to answer nearly 200 questions.

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He frequently was not familiar with citations from his own report.

On several key points, he contradicted his own report and his own letters to Attorney General Barr.

When he said he never asked his team their political views I believe him.

It also signals that the most charitable conclusion you could reach was that Mueller had come of age in an era of professional responsibility and did not realize he now lived in an era of harsh, even vicious, partisanship.

My first reaction to his assertion that he did not ask the political opinions of his staff was that it was laughable that he could randomly assemble a hard line anti-Trump group of Democratic prosecutors without a single pro-Trump Republican lawyer in the room.

However, the more I watched him, the more I came to the conclusion that he had been a figure head. The tough, younger Trump-hating Democrats had networked with each other and assembled a legal team dedicated to destroying Trump and protecting the Clintons.

Seen from this perspective, it is a tribute to President Trump that despite their best efforts these deeply hostile prosecutors simply could not find any evidence of serious wrongdoing. 

They could write innuendo — and huff and puff — but in the end the Trump wall of obeying the law withstood the best these smart, tough, widely-experienced Democratic prosecutors could do.

Wednesday’s stunningly inadequate performance by a widely respected career civil servant (my own tweet on his appointment had been entirely positive and it was only while watching the team he assembled that I grew hostile to his project) raises its own new questions.

If Mueller has been as out of touch with his report over the last two years as he was yesterday, then who was driving the team and who was writing the report?

It is clear Mueller does not know the details of his own report or of the two years of investigations behind the report.

Who then does know all those details?

Who masterminded putting Paul Manafort in solitary confinement for months?

Who made the decision to not look into the Steele Dossier, the company that paid for it, or the links to the Clinton campaign?

After yesterday’s disastrous performance by the so-called leader of the Mueller investigation and report, the attorney general should ask for a thorough internal review of how that system worked, who made the decisions, and how internally hostile to the president they were.

There was no Mueller Report. There was a report signed by Mueller, but it was really someone else’s work. This was the biggest lesson from Wednesday’s hearings.

The author: Newton Leroy Gingrich is an American politician, author, and historian who served as the 50th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. A member of the Republican Party, he was the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 6th congressional district from 1979 until his resignation in 1999.

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US Congresswoman Ilhan Abdullahi Omar — A Suggested Itinerary for Her Trip to Israel

Redacted from an article by Elaine Rosenberg Miller
Times of Israel, JUL 19, 2019

Here are some suggestions for her itinerary:

 

Perhaps she can visit a Gaza school and check out the marching five years olds with mock knives and guns. Or,  maybe not. Terrorists hide their rockets and ammunition within  schools and hospitals.

 

 

A day trip to Ramallah is a good idea. She might find out that residents there don’t actually want the Israelis to withdraw and leave them to fall under the control of despots, both domestic and foreign.

 

A tour of Islamic archaeological sites is in order.  Huh!  What archeology of what? What history?

 

And in the afternoon she can go to the 120 member  Israeli legislative body, the Knesset,  where 12 Arabs and 3 Druze are full  members representing their constituency.

 

She could visit the Israeli Supreme Court and see the Arab legislators and jurists.

 

(PS  How many Jews are found in the Legislative body and Supreme Court of the 21 Arab nations surrounding Israel? What Jews? What Legislative body? What Supreme Court? The Jews were all driven out upon the re-birth of the State of Israel in 1948,  penniless, all their wealth and possessions seized after centuries of living there as second class citizens (dhimmi). jsk 

 

Not too far away are the Israeli medical centers where medical personnel of all backgrounds work side by side treating patient of all backgrounds and she will find most of the people waiting in the queue for treatment are Arabs paid for by the Israeli government 

 

Moving on … visit:

 

Tel Aviv! New high rises, Israel as global leader of start-ups. She just missed Tel Aviv Pride Day where 250,000 participants marched down the avenues celebrating their human rights for which death is ordered by Muhammed.

 

What is a trip to the Israel if incomplete without a stop at the Western Wall, the remaining remnant of the ancient Hebrew Temple dating back 3000 years

 

She will incidentally  run into Nigerians, Koreans, Russians reverently praying at that Wall.

 

A call at an African embassy is in order. There she might learn about how Israel is the leader in smart water management including advanced water technology and desalination and how it exports the technology to developing nations, especially in Africa.

 

When she leaves Israel she will be flying near the Leviathan natural gas fields and may learn that by “conservative estimates  the fields contain enough natural gas to meet Israel’s domestic needs for 40 years”.

 

Luckily, she will not fly over war-devastated Syria or Lebanon.

 

It would be a buzz-kill.

 

(You don’t really expect her to report her trip with the facts above. Israel is, at the moment,  in a bind feeling obligated to allow an elected American Congressperson to visit, despite her declared enmity.  And… there is no question she will return to the US loaded with malicious lies and propaganda right out of the mouth of her hero, Mahmoud Abbas.)  jsk

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Elaine Rosenberg Miller writes fiction and non-fiction. Her work has appeared in numerous print publications and online sites, domestically and abroad, including JUDISCHE RUNDSCHAU, THE BANGALORE REVIEW, THE FORWARD, THE HUFFINGTON POST and THE JEWISH PRESS. Her book. FISHING IN THE INTERCOASTAL AND OTHER SHORT STORIES will be published by Adelaide Books in 2019.

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P.S. Netanyahu could block visit by anti-Israel lawmakers Omar and Tlaib

Do you know what “dark money” is.  This article should help

By:  Adam Shaw 

FOX NEWS                                                                                        

An expansive network of “shadowy” dark money donors has grown to rival the influence of the conservative  Koch brothers — pumping millions into left-wing causes ranging from health care to climate change to abortion — aIl while flying weIl under the radar of public scrutiny,  according to an explosive new report obtained by Fox News.

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The report, by conservative watchdog Capital Research Center, describes a band of nonprofits operating under the banner of Washington based philanthropy company Arabella Advisors. Those pop up groups are   housed in four Arabella controlled  “sister”  nonprofits, according to the report: the New Venture Fund, Sixteen Thirty Fund, Hopewell Fund and Windward Fund.        

“Together, these groups form an interlocking network of dark money pop-up groups and other fiscally sponsored projects “all afloat in a half-billion-dollar ocean of cash,” the report says. “The real puppeteer, though, is Arabella Advisors, which has managed to conceal largely its role in coordinating so much of the professional Left’s  infrastructure under a mask of  ‘philanthropy’.    

The report says the “hydra-like” network brought in $l.6 billion between 20l3 and 20l7 “to advance the political policies desired by wealthy left-wing interests,” as the network’s revenues grew by 392 percent. The four Arabella-Controlled  “sister”  groups brought in $582 million in 2017 alone, according to the report. If the four groups were a single entity, it would make them the 22nd largest pubIic charity in America, with higher revenues than the American Civil Liberties Union, (ACLU),  Planned Parenthood or the Clinton Foundation. 

Arabella’s website says the company was founded to  “provide strategic guidance for effective philanthropy”  and is “dedicated to helping clients make a difference on the issues that matter to them – from climate to women and girls, education, good food and more.” All told, the company represents clients with collective assets totaling more than $100 billion dollars.

The report claims the group runs a network of “astroturf’  activities including as many as 340 “pop up”  groups — which the report says are often little more than websites created to give the appearance of grassroots  campaigns. It cites the organization’s activities pushing  back against Republican efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare as an example of its political activism.     

At a glance, these groups — such as Save My Care  and Protect Our Care — appeared to be impassioned examples of citizen activists defending ObamaCare,” the  report says ” in reality neither ‘not-for-profit’ advocacy group appears to have paid staff, held board meetings, or  even owned so much as a pen.”

 Consequently, the report says, the groups can be used to run “short-term, high intensity media campaigns  targeting the news cycle” such as the Kavanaugh during  confirmation hearing. The report gave the example of  activists, led by Demand Justice, waving glossy “Stop  Kavanaugh” signs in protest of the conservative nominee’s  confirmation.                                                 

Demand Justice, led by former Hillary Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon, is very active on judicial  issues — and is more than just a website. But the report  described the organization as part of the broader network, specifically “a front for the Sixteen Thirty Fund.”         

The Sixteen Thirty Fund, according to a July 20l8 Politico report, was described as “among the most prolific  political advertisers of 20l8 and aired 6,88f broadcast TV ads between January and July while $4.6 spending millions on TV alone,”  Politico cited the group as an example of the Left embracing the “dark money” tactics it long accused the right of weaponizing. 

Politico identified 12 groups set up through the  Sixteen Thirty Fund on health care alone. By serving  as those groups’ “fiscal sponsor,” Sixteen Thirty Fund  manages the money and aggregates their financial activities in its tax filings — making it hard to work out how much money was spent by the different groups and where.

The new report says liberal mega-donor George Soros’ Democracy Alliance, for instance, used the Sixteen Thirty Fund and New Venture Fund to host several projects ‘that didn’t disclose their original funders.”     

The Capital Research Center report says that Atabella’s nonprofit network allows  it to mask the “pop up” groups nature, making them seem like the work of “grassroots” activists rather than what it calls “front groups for million-dollar non-profits.”          

Democrats and left-wing activists — including   Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. — have been  increasingly vocal in their calls to clamp down and  regulate “‘dark money” in U.S. political activities. But dark money has had bipartisan beneficiaries    

A January report from Issue One, a bipartisan advocacy group, shows that liberal groups spent over 1/2 million of dark money in the latest election.    Conservative groups spent a third of the figure, while nonpartisan groups spent just 15 percent percent.

The CapitaI Research Center report warns: “Before left-of-center activists and politicians demand Iaws to  increase transparency in the funding of campaigns and  public policy advocacy, they may first wish to consider  voluntarily disclosing their own funding sources.”   

Please donate to the Capital Research Center Online below or call directly 1-202-483-6900

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How does Ehud Barak, who should be in jail, have the chutzpa to aspire to be Prime Minister of Israel?

Below  is an article to which I contributed May 12, 2012

Jerome S. Kaufman   

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Why is Ehud Barak still Defense Minister of Israel?

Redacted from article in Israel Matzav

May 30, 2012

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=3697

Recently I received an email from Zechariah Baumol’s yeshiva announcing an event marking 30 years since his ‘disappearance’ in the battle of Sultan Yaqub. That battle was commanded by none other than the current Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, who is rumored to have gone to sleep while the battle was raging. Baumol is one of five soldiers from that battle whose fate was unknown for many years. He is one of three from that battle who are still missing.

Barak – along with Shimon Peres – is a politician about whom it can be said that he has been through everything and learned nothing. It was Barak who fled a training accident at Tzehilim, leaving IDF soldiers to die as he left in his helicopter. 

It was Barak that tried unsuccessfully to reach a deal with Yasser Arafat at Camp David twelve summers ago and got a violent intifada in return for his flexibility (i.e. giving away virtually all of Judea and Samaria and at least 1/2 of Jerusalem and Arafat turned him down). 

It was Barak who left an IDF soldier to die while he sought ‘permission’ from Yasser Arafat to rescue the soldier on Rosh HaShanna twelve years ago. 

It was Barak who continued to try to give away the store to Arafat, while that intifada raged, in a bid to save his seat as Prime Minister. 

And, it was Barak who, as Defense Minister, passed on the opportunity to finish off Hamas during Operation Cast Lead.

(In addition, it was Barak who unilaterally withdrew from the Lebanese Security Zone in the dead of night surrendering territory essential to Israel’s defense and abandoning our loyal Lebanese Christian allies to their fate. Some of these Lebanese were granted asylum in Israel but were, in the end, so poorly treated that they rather return to Lebanon to face dire consequences as “traitors” to the Hezbullah regime in the South. 

Now the consequences of Barak’s cowardly withdrawal are complete. There has been a complete take over of Lebanon by Hizbullah and hundreds of thousands of missiles are aimed directly at Israel from the exact area abandoned by Barak.

It is also Ehud Barak who has promoted the dubious defensive weapon, Iron Dome. At the time the program was initiated I wrote that somehow it reminded me of the shtetl Jews of Russia that had no choice but to hide in their secret cellars beneath the kitchen floor of their shabby dwellings in the hope that the Cossacks did not find them, rape their women and kill any males and children found.

So, once again, due much to Barak, Israelis are hiding in their cellars waiting for the enemy to strike and hoping somehow the thousands of missiles directed at them will all be intercepted by Barak’s magic Iron Dome weapon, which, of course, test after test have proven they will not the 100% that is essential. 

But, this time inexcusably, the Jews with a far superior military force, instead of taking the offensive against a pitifully weak enemy and wiping off the face of the earth their capabilities to hurt Jews, the Jews are once again hiding in their cellars.) 

I suppose we should not therefore, be surprised that Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, “If it turns out that it is not possible to reach an agreement, (which, of course, it is dead certain it is not) we need to consider an interim arrangement or alternatively a unilateral step,” Barak said at the conference. “Israel cannot permit this to remain in deadlock.”

(Obviously Barak has not learned anything from his previous withdrawal from the Lebanese Security Zone and Ariel Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza that has simply created huge terrorist strongholds whose only goal is the destruction of the Jewish state.) 

Jerome S. Kaufman   May 12, 2012

But, here’s where it gets rich: The ‘Palestinians’ are unwilling to ‘accept’ a unilateral withdrawal. Presidential spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh already told WAFA that any Israeli unilateral measure leading to the establishment of a state with temporary borders is unacceptable. This Israeli policy leads to the continuation of the conflict; it does not lead to a solution, rather it ends the concept of the two-state solution, added Abu Rudeineh. 

He emphasized that the Palestinians are “committed to a just and comprehensive solution of a state within 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and without Jerusalem nothing will be accepted.”

In 2009, we were told that Prime Minister Netanyahu ‘needed’ Ehud Barak to show that his was not ‘just’ a rightist government. But, Barak now controls only five Knesset seats, and is the leader of a party that is unlikely to pass the threshold in the next Knesset election. And, unless he is taken into the Likud, he will not even be an MK after November 2013. 

In light of Barak’s continued argument for Leftist positions that most of the current government opposes, and in light of the presence in Netanyahu’s own party of Moshe ‘Boogie’ Yaalon, who is also a former IDF chief of staff and would be a far superior appointment, one has to wonder why Barak remains Defense Minister.

Unless, of course, Netanyahu himself is a closet Leftist.

PS –  Moshe Yaalon also turned out to be a useless Left wing dud, as unfortunately so many Israeli Generals seem to become?  jsk

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Hurray! Someone explained to me how Kamela Harris, by taking a desegregation bus to school, qualifies her to be President of the US!

The Bus Back to the Future

Democrats debate a discarded desegregation scheme decades later.

Redacted from a smashing article by Lance Morrow

Wall Street Journal July 8, 2019

In the second Democratic presidential debate, hosted by NBC News, Kamala Harris made judgments over the former Vice-President’s stance on busing. Biden called it a “mischaracterization of my position across the board.”

On a sunny day in May 1954 the Warren court handed down its 9-0 decision in the case of Brown v. Topeka Board of Education. The 58-year-old Plessy doctrine of “separate but equal” was dead—though only on paper.

A lifetime later. Sixty-five years have elapsed. We are well into the never land of the 21st century. A black president has come and gone. On my flat-screen TV, I watch as a female U.S. senator of Jamaican and Indian descent stands and berates a white-haired white man—the black president’s former vice president—on the matter of his record concerning something that happened 40 or 50 years earlier. That something was busing, a policy that was designed to accomplish what the Warren court intended: to abolish racial segregation from the country’s public schools.

It seemed a little odd that Kamala Harris brought up the long-ago subject of busing during a 2019 Democratic debate. Presidential candidates usually wish to deal in new ideas. Busing is a period piece.

Ms. Harris spoke of it as having been an unambiguous good. It was not. Older Americans recall the busing days as contentious, complicated and divisive.

The idea was to try to solve the problem of de facto segregation by busing black children to public schools in white parts of town while transporting white children in the opposite direction. Almost no one was satisfied with the scheme, although it did succeed in some places, such as Charlotte, N.C.

Some blacks who rode the buses as children say now that they benefited from it. But in the worst light, it seemed a piece of brutalist social engineering that placed hard burdens on the kids (long rides twice a day to strange neighborhoods, away from friends and community). The policy offended many blacks with its implication that a black child cannot learn without sitting next to a white child.

No matter. Ms. Harris’s mind wasn’t on justice anyway. Busing was the McGuffin. She invoked it as a way of proving that she could take down the powerful white male front-runner, Joe Biden. She staged the scene in order to establish, early in the first round, that she was capable of ruthless and creative effrontery. She sucker-punched Mr. Biden. Next morning, she was the coming thing—the psychological front-runner. As she intended, people began to imagine her in the ring with President Trump, toe to toe.

One of the interesting things about Ms. Harris is her swagger—the sly and private half-smile, the dare in her eye, a hint of the reckless. On the night of the debate she showed off an instinct for the cynical uses of sentimentality. “That little girl was me,” she said, her body torqued poignantly toward Mr. Biden.

She conjured herself as a heroic but vulnerable child on her way to future glory despite the efforts of then-Sen. Biden and his Southern segregationist pals to stop her—a prequel glimpse of predestined greatness. She was Moses in the bulrushes.

Her childhood occurred, mind you, not in Mississippi or the Chicago projects but in Berkeley, Calif., where her father was a professor of economics. The Harris household was intellectual, accomplished and, at the very least, solidly middle-class.

There was so little spontaneity in her stunt that, just afterward, her campaign offered commemorative merchandise—T-shirts showing the image of “that little girl.” All this was unfair to Mr. Biden, but his complacency no doubt needed a jolt.

Besides that, the dangerous thing now is hate’s half-brother, sentimentality—and the cynicism with which it is manipulated for purposes of gaining or keeping power. Everything in the politics and policy-making of 2019 is processed (by both the woke and the Trumpists) in those idioms: raw emotions cynically manipulated, especially on social media. It is true on the issue of immigration, for example, and especially true on the related issue of race.

Sentimentality is the traditional style of American politics. At one time, it was endearing, in the antique Norman Rockwell way. But the dark side of sentimentality is shallow and thoughtless and volatile and dangerous. At its worst, it is the style of mobs and dictators.

Mr. Morrow is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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“If I Am Not for Myself . . .: The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews.” By the brilliant retired Harvard Professor Ruth R. Wisse

From  archives of brilliant retired Harvard Professor Ruth R. Wisse

And …. more pertinent than ever

October 18, 1992

The New York Times Archives Book Review

“If I Am Not for Myself . . .: The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews.”

By Ruth R. Wisse.  225 pp. New York: The Free Press. $22.95.

“WE fell victim to our faith in mankind, our belief that humanity had set limits to the degradation and persecution of one’s fellow men.” So wrote Alexander Donat, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and Treblinka and the author of “The Holocaust Kingdom,” a book about the Jews of Europe at the time when the Nazis and their collaborators began herding them into cattle cars.

Mr. Donat’s words capture the thrust of Ruth Wisse’s new book, “If I Am Not for Myself . . .: The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews.” It is her contention that liberalism, the very political ideology that would seem to provide shelter and promise for the Jews, was their undoing in the 1930’s and 40’s — and is in our day as well.

By liberalism, Ms. Wisse, who teaches English and Yiddish literature at McGill University in Montreal, means a belief in progress, rationality, freedom, cultural pluralism and the rule of law. “Liberals trust that all human problems are amenable to negotiated solutions, that all people are united in a spirit of brotherhood,” she writes.

“They detest the use of force, not only for the damage it causes but because in admitting the limits of reason it throws humankind back to a more primitive stage of civilization. The pure liberal spirit precludes the possibility of intractable hatred or intransigent political will.”

For this reason, she says, liberalism could not protect Jews from the Nazis. By necessity, she continues, liberals had to be unsympathetic to the fate of the Jews, “not because of any personal antipathy but because the national fate of the Jews contradicted their view of the world and called into question their deepest assumptions.” Because of the Jews’ political vulnerability, they had no allies in Europe, “not even in such opponents of anti-Semitism as the Marxists.”

In our day, Ms. Wisse writes, the Arabs, recognizing the remarkable political durability of repudiating the Jewish people and their religion, have joined the campaign. The Arab success in the world arena actually increased, she contends, when they “exchanged the language of the right for the language of the left, presenting Israel as the bloodthirsty exploiter of impoverished innocent Arab masses.”

“Since democratic society does not want to perceive itself as heartless or collaborationist,” she continues, “those who court favor with the Arabs have to deny the war against the Jewish state or else justify their betrayal of the Jews in a language of moral convenience. The tilt toward the Arabs has the code name of evenhandedness.”

According to Ms. Wisse, as long as Israel brought Jews outside Israel “the dowry of international good will,” the relationship was untroubled. But when those Jews were faced with Arab propaganda against Israel, they grew nervous, their insecurities blossomed and, as avowed liberals, they turned their backs on the Jewish homeland.

There are large holes in her argument. “In contending with so relentless an assault [ as the campaign mounted by the Arabs ] ,” she writes, “many Jews grow weary, and the very mention of anti-Semitism draws a yawn.”

This is an astonishing claim to make. The majority of Jewish institutions in America successfully continue to appeal to Jews for funds through no other issue than the threat of anti-Semitism.

Ms. Wisse also creates something of a straw man to bolster her thesis. She speaks of the nervous Jew “who feels his Jewishness to be a burden or knows very little about it, or who in marrying a non-Jewish wife and moving into higher business or banking circles gradually left his Jewishness behind, like an old skin.” 

 “It must be stressed that [ the ] split in the Israeli population is not between secular and religious Jews,” she writes, “since some of the most idealistic recruits for the defense forces come from the ranks of the modern Orthodox yeshivas.”

 “Despite the unparalleled success of anti-Semitism, few university departments of political science, sociology, history or philosophy bother to analyze the single European political ideal of the past century that nearly realized its ends.”

This book should be read not only for its potent indictment of liberalism’s failings. The work also stands as a warning to all Jews of a clear and ever-present danger.

Ruth R. Wisse is the retired Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. She is the sister of David Roskies, professor of Yiddish and Jewish literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

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A Kosher Fourth of July

The Fourth of July, American Independence and the Jews

Two hundred forty-three years ago, a new nation was inspired by the Old Testament.

By William McGurn

Wall Street Journal  July 1, 2019 

Rabbi Meir Soloveichik explains how Jonas Phillips was a religious Jew and an American patriot, and how his life is a testament to the Jewish significance of the uniquely American tradition of religious freedom. Image: The Tikvah Fund

Since that fateful July 4 when the Second Continental Congress invoked the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to declare independence from King George III, an argument has raged over the Christian roots of the American Founding. Now a group of scholars suggest that if we are looking only to the Gospels to understand the new American nation, we may be arguing over the wrong testament.

“The American Republic,” they write, “was born to the music of the Hebrew Bible.”

The book is called “Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land: The Hebrew Bible in the United States: A Sourcebook.

The title comes from Leviticus and is inscribed on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. The book comes courtesy of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University, where it was pulled together by Meir Soloveichik, Matthew Holbreich, Jonathan Silver and Stuart Halpern.

These men are not arguing that America was founded as a Jewish nation. Nor is their subject Jews in America, or the role of Jews in the American Founding. Their proposition is more supple and profound: that at key moments in the national story, Americans have looked to the ancient Israelites to understand themselves, their blessings and their challenges.

The evidence, they say, is all around us.

The American landscape is dotted with town names that reflect this understanding, from the Zions, Canaans and Shilohs to the Goshens, Salems and Rehoboths. And whether it is John Winthrop invoking a “covenant” to characterize the order the Puritans established with Massachusetts Bay Colony, or Martin Luther King more than three centuries later talking about having been to the mountaintop, Americans have long looked to the biblical Israelites for the “political and cultural vocabulary” to explain the American proposition.

Though this American affinity for the Israelites pre-dates the Revolution, the war for independence intensified the parallels. In their revolt against George III, the men of the 13 colonies saw themselves as modern Israelites escaping a latter-day Pharaoh. So when the Second Continental Congress created a committee to design a seal for the new United States, also on July 4, 1776, it was only natural that two of the committee members—Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin—turned to Exodus.

Jefferson proposed the seal feature the Israelites in the wilderness, led by a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire by night. Franklin suggested Moses extending his hand over the Red Sea, causing the waters to overwhelm Pharaoh in his chariot. These days, you could call these examples of cultural appropriation.

As the subtitle indicates, this is a sourcebook and not a sustained argument. But it is no less compelling. As the authors note, all these American allusions to the Israelites didn’t come from Jews. They came from Christians, low-church Protestants in particular.

With the possible exception of Martin Luther King, no American leader integrated the imagery and language of the Hebrew bible into his own speech as seamlessly as Abraham Lincoln, who as president-elect in 1861 spoke of his fellow Americans as the Almighty’s “almost chosen people.”

From the cadence of Psalm 90 in the opening of his Gettysburg Address (“four score and seven years ago”) to his letter telling the mayor of Philadelphia “may my right hand forget its cunning and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I ever prove false” to the principles of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, to his invocation of Psalm 19 in his Second Inaugural (e.g., “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous forever”), when Lincoln spoke the moral language of liberty, his words echoed the Hebrew Bible.

This was a double-edged sword when it came to slavery. Abolitionism found much to embrace: “I have heard their cry” (Exodus 3:7), “Let my people go” (Exodus 5:1), “Break every yoke” (Isaiah 58:6) and so forth.

But relying on Scripture for denunciations of slavery had its problems, beginning with Noah’s curse against the Canaanites in Genesis 9.

Jews describe Passover as zeman cheiruteinu, or “the time of our freedom.” Independence Day might thus be thought of as America’s Passover. And that magnificent second stanza of “America the Beautiful” ends with a line that could have been delivered by Moses: “Thy liberty in law.”

Across the land this July 4, American homes will play host to backyard barbecues, the company of family, friends and neighbors, maybe all topped off with fireworks. You might say it is the American version of what the Hebrew prophet Micah had in mind when he wrote that “they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid.”

Which also happens to have been George Washington’s favorite way to describe the blessings of liberty we celebrate this and every Independence Day.

Write to mcgurn@wsj.com.

Appeared in the July 2, 2019, print edition.

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