Why the Jewish panic over Chuck Hagel

We fear anti-Semitism. We know it can happen any time, any place, because it has already happened every time, nearly every place.
Photo: Hagel and Obama in Jordan

WASHINGTON, DC, January 10, 2013 - Is Chuck Hagel an anti-Semite and is President Obama socking it to Jewish voters who gave him 70 percent of their love?

First let’s be clear that the crossfire against President Obama’s choice for Secretary of Defense comes from all sides, Republicans, Democrats, Jewish Americans and Christian Americans. Soft on Iran, hard on Israel, and that seems to be the gist of the opposition.

But the headlines and editorials seem to focus mainly on the Jewish disfavor toward Hagel. We’re talking fear, trembling, loathing and even panic.

To those who don’t understand the Jewish Mind, maybe I can help, and if I can’t help you, maybe I can help myself, for I am equally perplexed.

Jewish voters went big for Obama for the second straight time – so why the amazement? For secretary of defense you expected Herzl?

Jewish voters are still voting for FDR. We think Roosevelt is still in office. We loved FDR even though he kept the German trains to Auschwitz running and on time.

We produce scientific geniuses like Einstein and everyone listens to Einstein. Few listened to Ze’ev Jabotinsky when, in the 1930s, he implored his brethren to…

“Vacate Europe before Europe vacates you.”

Yes, the Jewish people are great in the arts, the technologies, the sciences, certainly medical science, but very dumb when it comes to their own safety and self-preservation. In Israel they keep giving up land for peace and never seem to learn that this provokes more hunger for land and produces no peace.

Back here we vote Democrat even as the PLO flag flies over Washington, D.C, thanks to the Obama administration.

The PLO are the same people who festively danced in the streets when our Twin Towers were brought down.

Hank Greenberg got himself to war before Ted Williams, which is to say that Jewish Americans are equal to Christian Americans in allegiance and sacrifice, BUT, let me allege this as gently as possible: Jewish men and women live with their bags packed, not physically but psychologically.

We remember Balaam’s prophecy about us in the Hebrew Bible, that we are “destined to dwell alone among the nations.”

We remember the ship St. Louis and how its refugees were turned back from port to port, as even FDR turned deaf to the desperate passengers.

When Canada was asked how many Holocaust refugees it would accept the Mackenzie King government responded, “None is too many.”

We remember this is our bones.

We fear anti-Semitism. We know it can happen any time, any place, because it has already happened every time, nearly every place.

This explains why we fear Chuck Hagel even though Chuck Hagel is no anti-Semite (as some have charged). I say this for the record, conditionally.  No one merits that label recklessly and I always favor benefit of the doubt. But I also need to explain why we fear his remark when he said, “The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people.”

We have heard this before and those who are too young to remember “those days” remember it in their genes, in their DNA.

We have heard this from Pharaoh to Hitler, that we are too powerful — and we know what comes next.

We know (somewhat) where anti-Semitism begins but we don’t know where it ends.

We know that hatred is an irrational power and that once it is let loose it cannot be contained. I see it in the letters-to-the-editor I get after simply mentioning Israel or the Jewish people, or even when I don’t. Who are these people and what evil inclination prompts them?

We all saw it most recently in Germany. We saw how swiftly, through the words and works of one man, hatred overwhelmed love…and deluged an entire continent. Jewish scientists throughout Europe had developed treatments and cures for any number of diseases, and, were said to be closing in on cancer, and all of it meant nothing to Hitler. Hatred uber alles. (Hatred above everything.)

In a snap, people can turn, and when my sister’s best friend Incarnation failed to show up at the door for their usual romp to school, Incarnation explained that it was because Sarah was (suddenly) “a dirty Jew.” Hitler had just arrived in Toulouse, France. That fast, and everyone changed colors.

Can it happen here? Of course not. This is America and we are blessed. The dismay and panic over Chuck Hagel’s nomination is irrational.

But so is anti-Semitism.


Jack Engelhard is a novelist for such moral dilemma bestsellers as The Bathsheba DeadlineThe Girls of Cincinnati, and the classic Indecent Proposal, his memoir Escape From Mount Moriah, and  Slot Attendant – A Novel About A Novelist is Engelhard’s partly autobiographical expose about the trials of making it as a writer, bring his words to the Communities page covering all topics, with special focus on the absurdity of human behavior, and reaches around the globe.

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Jack Engelhard

Jack Engelhard enjoys international fame as a novelist for such moral dilemma bestsellers as The Bathsheba Deadline, The Girls of Cincinnati, and the classic Indecent Proposal, which was turned into film starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. His memoir Escape From Mount Moriah has been acclaimed for excellence and a movie version was an official selection at CANNES. Slot Attendant – A Novel About A Novelist is Engelhard’s partly autobiographical expose about the trials of making it as a writer. Engelhard’s journalism covers all topics, with special focus on  the absurdity of human behavior, and reaches around the globe. He can be contacted at www.jackengelhard.com


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