Whoopi Goldberg right on Jews not being a race, wrong on Holocaust - opinion

The Holocaust was all about deadly Race Theory, but Hitler, Germany and the Nazis do not define the Jewish people.

 WHOOPI GOLDBERG speaks during the WorldPride 2019 Opening Ceremony, a combined celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots and WorldPride 2019 in New York. (photo credit: LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS)
WHOOPI GOLDBERG speaks during the WorldPride 2019 Opening Ceremony, a combined celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots and WorldPride 2019 in New York.
(photo credit: LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS)

The great irony of the recent controversy surrounding Whoopi Goldberg was that she was dead wrong about the Holocaust, but absolutely right about the Jewish people.

The Nazis defined us as a race and annihilated us as a subhuman species, vermin to be exterminated. The Holocaust was all about deadly Race Theory, but Hitler, Germany and the Nazis do not define the Jewish people. We are not a race, but a family, nation and faith, comprised of every color, shade and ethnicity under the sun.

Jews are explicitly not a race. Indeed, race is a godless construct stemming from Darwinian and Evolutionary ideas about how one group of homo sapiens might evolve more quickly and more fully than others. However, the Torah utterly rejects such disgusting racial theory. Every human being is created equally in the image of God. There is only one race and that’s the human race.

If only antisemitic, flawed human rights organizations like Amnesty International would get the message. They repeatedly spread the disgusting lie that Israel – the freest most humane country in the entire Middle East – is guilty of apartheid, as if we Jews are a group of racist white supremacists persecuting colored communities.

It was the diabolical Nazis who, using their monstrous lie that Jews are a distinct and inferior race, annihilated six million Jews they determined were subhumans as part of their godless lie that there is anything other than one human family.

 SECRETARY-GENERAL OF Amnesty International Agnes Callamard issues its report on Israel during a press conference in east Jerusalem, on Tuesday. (credit: FLASH90) SECRETARY-GENERAL OF Amnesty International Agnes Callamard issues its report on Israel during a press conference in east Jerusalem, on Tuesday. (credit: FLASH90)

Now, Amnesty International continues this revolting libel about Jews by falsely accusing Israel, a nation comprised of Jews of color from every corner of the earth, of apartheid, as if Israel was predicated on a foundation of White Nationalism.

Last week, Amnesty International publicly called for the dismantling of Israel because it is a racist state and has been since its founding. As well, Amnesty called on the United Nations to sanction Israel and for the International Criminal Court to investigate and hold Israelis criminally responsible. Having no shame whatsoever, their defamatory, antisemitic report came just days after International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Our religion, history, holidays and, above all else, the Torah, the Ten Commandments, are all connected to the land that God gave the Jewish people, who are of every ethnicity, including whites, Blacks, Asians, Middle-eastern, and European. We are the children of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel and Leah. Millions more of every shade and color have joined the Jewish people through halachic conversion throughout the centuries and are now inextricable part of the eternal Jewish family. The Torah says that Tziporah, the wife of the greatest Jewish prophet Moses, was a Black woman.

The state of Israel is the only country in history to bring Africans and Black citizens into full and equal freedom with its Operations Moses and Solomon that electrified the world with saving Ethiopian Jewry from persecution, starvation, disease, and death.

However, Amnesty International seems hell-bent on defaming Jews and Israel as a white race who practice apartheid, even amid Israel being one of the most pluralistic, diverse, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and freest nations on earth.

IN AN unexpected way, Goldberg has initiated a conversation about Jewish identity that gives attention to the lie of those, like the Nazis, who say that Jews are a race.

The Holocaust was a state-sponsored genocide of the Jewish people whom the Nazis regarded as an inferior race of vermin who had to be eradicated. Last month at Carnegie Hall, our organization, the World Values Network, sponsored an unforgettable evening on the exact 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, which planned the Holocaust in a two-hour meeting presided over by Reinhardt Heydrich and Adolph Eichmann while enjoying cigars, caviar and cognac. It is clear from the notes of the meeting, the Wannsee Protocol, that the Jewish race in Europe they estimated at 11 million strong, would have to be dealt with by special treatment.

Contrary to how Goldberg initially expressed the Holocaust as a matter of whites needing to sort this out amongst themselves, the Jews were utterly defenseless against the most powerful military on earth who murdered  Jews almost daily for four years with poison gas, machine guns and burning them alive in Synagogues. While they annihilated Jews, the Nazis held back the combined armies of the United States, Britain and its empire, including mighty countries like Canada and India, not to mention France, Belgium, and Holland, which had already fallen. Obviously, Jews had no chance against such a blitzkrieg of death.

Still, Goldberg should be forgiven.

A performer who chose a Jewish stage name, she has no history of antisemitism and punitive measures against her are unhelpful. Goldberg’s mistake was not in saying Jews are not a race – which is accurate – but rather in not understanding and strongly condemning those, like the Nazis, who invent notions of a Jewish race in order to murder Jews, vilify Israel and seek its destruction.

Rather than suspending Goldberg, whom I have known warmly for 20 years since my Michael Jackson days and with whom I appeared on The View several times, I would have much preferred The View dedicate a week of segments to Holocaust education in a country where more than 60% of young Americans do not know that six million Jews were slaughtered in the Holocaust and most have not heard of Auschwitz.

Judaism believes in apologies and it emphasizes forgiveness. Goldberg apologized several times. Let’s practice Jewish values and embrace penance, contrition and education.

Some said that her apology was not sincere and that she doubled down in her interview on Stephen Colbert, rejecting any desire to offer a false apology. However, such arguments are spurious.

We mortals are incapable of entering the hearts and minds of others and when it comes to apologies, we can only go by the Torah’s prescription for penance. If someone apologizes and if the apology is accompanied by change, it should be accepted.

READERS OF THIS column will recall how a few years ago my close friend Roseanne Barr got fired after an ugly tweet about Valerie Jarrett amid the Iran deal.

In a podcast that Roseanne and I did just days after the tweet, she apologized profusely for the tweet and literally cried bitter tears for any pain she may have caused. Beyond sincere penance and pleading for forgiveness, Roseanne went further and donated to Black education as part of the Jewish penance process of action being accompanied by contrition. Not only did Roseanne have no history of racism whatsoever, but to the contrary, she pioneered one of TV’s first shows about a harmonious multi-racial family. Still, Roseanne was not suspended by fired from the show that bears her name.

Irony of all ironies, I was on The View about a week later defending Roseanne’s penance and attacking the idea of a one-strike-and-you’re-out cancel-culture in America, which discourages penance, and promotes division over discussion and combat over contrition.

I’m doing the same now with Goldberg, opposing punitive measures after her apology, even though she was not fired but suspended.

What Goldberg said about the Holocaust was ignorant, hurtful, and, as Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL said, dangerous as it engages in Holocaust revisionism. Still, I do not believe she said so out of any malice toward the Jewish people and she has no history whatsoever of animus toward our community.

She should be forgiven and also told that, given her words, an apology is only the beginning. She should seek to educate herself on the greatest genocide in the history of the world and leverage her platform to educate others as well.

But irony of ironies, what she said of the Jews not being a race is accurate. Let’s therefore repudiate those like Amnesty International who continue their campaign of hate by claiming that Israel and the Jewish people, a nation comprised of every color under the sun, are a group of white racists.

Antisemitism has existed for far too long. It’s time to finally make good on the pledge that Never Again means #NeverAgain. Any and all accusations of Israeli apartheid are nothing but the continuity of the disgusting and dangerous libel that Jews are a race.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, whom the Washington Post describes as “the most famous Rabbi in America,” has just published ‘Kosher Hate: How to Fight Antisemitism, Racism, and Bigotry.’ Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @RabbiShmuley.