Jews and Muslims – Part 1

TimeWatch Editorial
February 06, 2017

The Global News Service of the Jewish People, the JTA website, published an article on January 29, 2017 entitled, “With History in Mind, Jews Across US Join Airport Protests of Trump Refugee Ban.” The article was authored by Ron Kampeas. The article begins this way.

“The Israeli-born high-tech millionaire gathered his family after turning on CNN. The rabbi who leads an interfaith group got a text from a Muslim friend. The corporate lawyer was tracking a pro-bono email list she’s on. Within a few hours, all of them had descended on Dulles Airport, about 25 miles outside of the nation’s capital. They were among the thousands of Americans who met at major international airports across the country Saturday to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order barring entry to citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries. In the plight of those refused entry, many Jews saw something akin to what their forebearers endured as they attempted to flee Nazi-occupied Europe. Some noted cruel irony in the president’s order coming down on Friday, which was International Holocaust Remembrance Day.” Ron Kampeas, “With History in Mind, Jews Across US Join Airport Protests of Trump Refugee Ban.” The Global News Service of the Jewish People Website, January 29, 2017

The fact that the Executive Order was delivered on Holocaust Remembrance Day was indeed a major affront to the Jews who had suffered through the indignity of Hitler’s Final Solution. What made the Executive Order even more insulting is that it was accompanied by The President’s statement on the matter of the holocaust. The VOX website explains the controversial statement sent from the White House. In an article written by Libby Nelson on January 30, 2017 entitled “The Controversy Over the Holocaust Whitehouse Statement explained,” is stated the following.

“President Donald Trump released a brief statement to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a small, symbolic step taken by past presidents to mark one of the world’s greatest tragedies. It didn’t take long for many people to notice that a key word was missing: Jews. “It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust,” Trump’s statement began. “It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.” As critics quickly noted, there was no mention that 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust, or an acknowledgment of the virulent, state-sponsored anti-Semitism that led to their deaths — details that are crucial and commonplace in most discussions of the Holocaust.” Libby Nelson, “The Controversy Over the Holocaust Whitehouse Statement explained,” The VOX website, January 30, 2017

The statement itself was controversial enough. But it was ultimately followed by an explanation as to why there was no specific reference to Jews in the statement. Listen to the explanation;

“Then, on Saturday, the White House said that Jews had been omitted from the statement on purpose because other victims also suffered and died in the Holocaust, an explanation that seemed to minimize the effects of a genocide that killed two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe. Sen. Tim Kaine called it Holocaust denial.” The context here matters. Trump’s most fervent supporters included outspoken anti-Semites, online trolls on the alt-right who delighted at tormenting Jewish journalists and public figures. His campaign flirted with anti-Semitic tropes , including tweeting an image of a star of David with Hillary Clinton’s face superimposed on a pile of money. His closing ad warned of a shadowy cabal of bankers and international elites. His son casually used the phrase “warming up the gas chambers” to refer to vociferous criticism. In each case, Trump and his inner circle refused to back down or apologize, and his anti-Semitic fans interpreted those controversies as coded signals in their favor. Now that he’s president, the same dynamic is playing out around his statement on the Holocaust.” Libby Nelson, “The Controversy Over the Holocaust Whitehouse Statement explained,” The VOX website, January 30, 2017

Clearly then, the specific omission of any reference to Jews was not by any means accidental, but intentional. Anyone who was a descendant of a Jewish victim of the Holocaust, or for that matter, a victim of the continued and aggressive anti-Semite persecution that continues in this country and in the world, could not possibly avoid reacting to such a flagrant demonstration of insensitivity. Those of us who are not Jews, but who understand the powerful hatred that motivated the Nazis to attempt the “Final Solution” must also recognize the danger that lurks behind the curtain. The concern that exists in the Jewish community is based, not upon imagined paranoia, but rather disturbing confirmation that their hesitancy should truly exist. The Media Matters website has published an article entitled “Donald Trump Junior has become a Hero to Neo-Nazi Websites.” The article was published September 20, 2016, and written by Eric Hananoki . He says the following.

“In recent weeks, Donald Trump Jr. has made a “gas chamber” reference, retweeted an anti-Semitic author, and compared Syrian refugees to Skittles. Talking Points Memo’s Allegra Kirkland noted that “Trump Jr. borrowed an analogy popular among anti-immigrant activists and white nationalists for his meme likening Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles.” The Intercept and The Independent pointed out that the symbolism in Trump Mr.’s tweet is a dog whistle that dates back to the Nazis. Trump Mr.’s actions have endeared him to neo-Nazi websites, which have celebrated the Republican nominee’s son for having “hit a nerve” with the “Jew Media” and for indicating that “a part of him has been with us since day one.” Members of the “alt-right” and white nationalist movement have been heavily supporting Trump’s campaign. Meanwhile, the candidate and his team have been courting members of the movement, appearing in white nationalist media, refusing to denounce them, and retweeting their messages.” Eric Hananoki , “Donald Trump Junior has become a Hero to Neo-Nazi Websites.” The Media Matters website, September 20, 2016

Even though the above was disturbing enough, the ultimate driving force behind the coming together of the Jews with Muslims at the airport demonstrations is by far more directly connected to the history of the United States, we will look at this in our next Editorial.

Cameron A. Bowen

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