Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


All We Learn from History is That We Learn Nothing from History

Part 1

Recently President Donald Trump greeted the Jewish New Year by congratulating the American Jewish community, who are largely ungrateful for his efforts to reconcile the Muslim states with Israel  in order to support Israel’s security. Trump recalled that he moved the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move which several previous presidents promised to do as long as they were candidates for the position of president, but which they did not care to remember once elected. Trump also told the Jewish community that he induced several Arab states to recognize Israel’s right to exist and to establish diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. In addition, Trump persuaded the Saudi government to allow Israeli planes to fly over Saudi territory. 

Pew Research then found that Orthodox Jews who vote mainly Republican  were most positive in their reaction to Trump’s efforts in behalf of Israel, while the vast majority of American Jews who vote for Democrats gave Trump no credit for his support of Israel and even went so far as to call him an anti-Semite, a phrase associated with the son of Noah.  Evidently, most Jews do not care much for the survival of Israel and are willing to vote for politicians who have done nothing for the Jewish people as long as they are Democrats.

To those of us who are survivors of the mass murders of European Jews between 1933 and 1945, it appears horrible that American Jews have no sympathy for their brethren living under precarious conditions in Israel any more than American Jews had any interest in the slaughter of six million Jews by the European Christian community during the so-called Holocaust, a word which is indeed an opprobrium in America.

It has now been over ninety years since Hitler was appointed dictator of Germany, and therefore only a few Jewish Holocaust survivors  are still alive. Those of us who have been favored by nature and “Shem Yisborach” to live that long can assure all who were not there that we would have done anything if we could have had the good fortune of emigrating  to a Jewish state. Israel did not exist then, and therefore, to us, the last of the survivors, the existence of a Jewish country is a miracle of immense proportions. We view with amazement the willingness of American Jews to denounce our friends.

Obviously, no politician will find it expedient to support Israel in the future after noticing  the refusal of most American Jews to acknowledge all that Donald Trump has done for Israel.

Part 2

Many years ago I had the good fortune of being allowed to enter this country. For that I thank God each day. When old enough, I joined the U.S. Army, and having been discharged with a fifty percent disability, I took advantage of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, also known as the GI Bill of Rights. After earning two degrees at Western Reserve University, I succeeded in also gaining a doctor’s degree, leading to an academic career. In the course of time, I wrote thirty books and numerous journal articles and was rewarded with a number of academic distinctions. During all the years I spent in my profession, I had no choice but to see with sadness that today American universities are mainly infested with anti-Jewish hate. Now, Jewish students are excluded from student activities and professors rant anti-Jewish hate in their classrooms while Arab foreigners who study here are allowed to assault American Jewish students in a manner reminiscent of the Nazi assault on German Jews.

The American Jewish community could defend our Jewish students but hardly bother to do so. Once more we bow before our enemies on the campuses of our colleges and universities . Once more we fail to help ourselves by supporting those in the American political establishment willing and able to be on our side. Once more we act like the German Jews who, on the ascendancy of Hitler, congratulated "den Führer" on ordering the German army to invade the Saarland in France.  Indeed, we prove over and over again “that all we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.”

Shalom u'vracha.

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