Netanyahu looking menacing 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Is anyone surprised that – with his back against the wall – Bashar Assad and his
Iranian and Hezbollah allies would threaten “retaliation” against Israel if
President Barack Obama goes through with his threatened strike against the
Syrian regime? The Jewish state has played the role of Middle East bogeyman for
distressed Arab dictators for so long no one even bothers to ask: how dare you
threaten “retaliation” against a nation that has no involvement in your civil
war? More shocking, however, are the Israel-haters and Syria apologists in
Europe and the US who’ve launched their own preemptive strike accusing American
Jews as well as the Jewish state of fomenting yet another US war in the Middle
Of course, that charge is bunk. Israelis don’t need the threat of
US intervention to deter Assad. Bashar knows that the first chemicaltipped
missile he tries to launch at Israel will guarantee his demise. It is true that
some, but far from all, American Jews support limited military action to punish
the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons use, but – as the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s
Rabbi Marvin Hier told The Washington Post – this is not “a Jewish issue,” but a
We believe that an appropriate response to such
brazen “crimes against humanity” is called for because, left unchallenged, Assad
will continue to deploy chemical weapons which could help set the stage in the
near future for WMDs to be delivered to a zip code near you.
The “Jews as
warmongers” canard is not new. Back in the 1920s, you could purchase a Model T
at a Ford dealership for $250 and for a quarter more a copy of the four-volume
The International Jew, an American knockoff of the notorious Russian forgery,
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Readers of The International Jew learned
that “the Jewish Liquor Trust” monopolized bootleg beer and that jazz was
“Yiddish moron music.” But those charges were tame compared to Ford’s post-World
War I embrace of “the ancient saying” that “Wars are the Jews’
Echoing the libel that all wars were manufactured on a Jewish
assembly line, Henry Ford’s admirer, Adolf Hitler, warned “World Jewry” on
January 30, 1939, that: “If the international Jewish financiers in and outside
Europe should succeed in plunging nations once more into a world war, then the
result will not be the bolshevization of the earth and thus the victory of
Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!” By 1945, six million
“warmongering” European Jews, who controlled no territory and had no armies to
threaten anyone, had been murdered by Hitler’s henchmen and his eager
In our time, the toxic libel of Ford and the fuhrer that “wars
are the Jews’ harvest” is being repackaged and applied to the Middle East: • A
motley crew of conspiracy theorists, ranging from Lyndon LaRouche to Pat
Buchanan to Louis Farrakhan to Mel Gibson, blamed America’s toppling of Saddam
Hussein in 2003 on Israelis and American “Jewish neo-cons” despite the fact that
the Israeli government had doubts about the wisdom of focusing primarily on Iraq
rather than Iran and that George W.
Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld
have yet to be accused of being Jews.
• During the UK debate about
punishing the Syrian regime, British MP George Galloway, a long-time supporter
of Saddam, Hezbollah and Hamas, posed the question: “Who’s responsible for the
most recent chemical weapons attack in Syria? ...If there has been use of
chemical weapons, it wasn’t al- Qaida.... Here’s my theory.
them the chemical weapons.”
• William Polk, an old State Department
Middle East hand and seasoned Israel basher, writing in The Atlantic, charged
Israel’s Mossad of falsifying taped transcripts of Syrian officials discussing
WMDs. Polk also blames the Jewish state – without a scintilla of evidence – of
using chemical weapons in Lebanon and Gaza.
• Bob Dreyfus in The Nation
magazine – which in the 1930s and 1940s supported Stalinist totalitarianism
before, during and after the Hitler-Stalin Pact – reveals the “dirty little
notso- secret behind President Obama’s much-lobbied-for, illegal and
strategically incompetent war against Syria is that it’s not about Syria at
all,” but rather about an implied Israeli conspiracy to draw the naïve Obama
into a war against Islamist Iran.
• Blogger Andrew Sullivan accuses the
American Israel Public Affairs Committee of “storming... [Capitol]
for yet another major war in the Middle East.”
1980s, Saddam Hussein used poison gas to murder thousands of Iraqi
Simon Wiesenthal warned then that we would all pay a price for our
silence in face of the tyrant’s crime against humanity. Imagine what the world
would be like today if a coalition of the willing had punished Saddam, then and
there for verified WMDs, but we didn’t. Now Assad has taken a page from Saddam’s
Many of us believe that failure to act now could
bring a wider and deadlier wider war later. But whatever the outcome – one thing
is certain – they’ve already blamed the Jews.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper is
associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Dr. Harold Brackman, a
historian, is a consultant to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.