Fighting Jews– then and now

Authors father Bernard Wolman
The author’s late father, Bernard Wolman, in uniform, WWII

Last Thursday was Holocaust Remembrance Day. For the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, it was an opportunity to compare the Nazi genocide of the Jews with their perception of Iranian intentions. The Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, went to Capitol Hill to deliver an opportunistic propaganda speech with that very theme.

While warning against trivialization of the Holocaust, Oren proceeded to do just that:

Comparing the conditions of pre-war Germany with the situation in Iran today, Oren described both as “economies in crisis, following a war,” and likened the “supreme leaders” of each regime to one another. Mentioning Iran directly, Oren said, “It denies the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis while pledging to murder another six million—in Israel.”

Oren should know better. Iranian President Ahmadinejad has certainly danced around Holocaust denial, winked to the Germans that they have been maligned, and has eagerly sponsored several conferences which attracted an auditorium full of the world’s most dedicated deniers. But Iran has never officially denied the Holocaust. In a week when Dan Meridor, Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister, admitted that Iran’s leaders never said as often claimed, “we’ll wipe it out,” Oren went even farther than the usual Israeli hasbara, proclaiming Iran’s leaders were pledged to murdering another 6 million Jews.

But then Oren did something else in his speech: the US-born ambassador touchingly addressed the American military veterans of World War II in attendance:

“My father was one of those GIs. He battled from Normandy to the Bulge to the final victory, winning two bronze stars for valor.”

Oren thanked the veterans by saying “Not only as your son, but as Israel’s ambassador to this great nation, I want to say thank you, Dad, and thank you to all the brave Americans who fought alongside you.”

My father was another of those brave Americans, fighting from North Africa to Germany itself.

And here is where I ask the question: if “Ahmadinejad = Hitler”, “Iran = Nazi Germany” and “Iran’s Nuclear Program = The Holocaust,” where are today’s Jewish GIs?

My father and his older brother eagerly joined the Army to fight against the Nazis. They didn’t wait to be drafted. Their younger brother ran away from home and disobeyed his parents to enlist in the Navy. Failing the physical, he entered the Merchant Marines. My step-father enrolled to be an officer in the Navy. Like Oren’s father, they and the great majority of Jewish boys of that generation saw the war as a necessity and participation as their duty.

The facts back this up:

During World War II, American Jews comprised approximately 3.3% of the population, while 4.23% of the U.S. Military service members were of Jewish faith, showing clear overrepresentation of Jews in the military.

Today, the situation is quite different:

According to Department of Defense statistics, Jews, who make up about 2 percent of the overall population of this country, make up less than a third of a percent of the total number of those serving in the armed forces. There are many reasons commonly given for this, including the fact that Jews, with a median age of 41, tend to be older than Americans as a whole, who have a median age of 35.

Age differences alone cannot explain this phenomenon.

[Rear Admiral Harold L. Robinson, a Reform rabbi and longtime chaplain in the Navy] believes that the true number of Jews in the military is more than 10,000, which is twice the number published by the Defense Department.

That would still have Jews making up only two-thirds of a percent of the military. So: more Jews attended the last AIPAC convention than serve in the US armed forces.

If Oren and Israeli leaders are correct, that Islamic extremists and the Iranian government are committed to a new Holocaust of the Jews, that Ahmadinejad is another Hitler, why are young American Jews not following in the footsteps of their grandfathers and enlisting in the military to be part of the actions that the organized American Jewish community and Israel are demanding?

Is it expected that the current US military — exhausted from a decade of war in the Middle East — should be called upon to fight on yet another major front while the rest of the America population goes on with their lives as usual?

When I ask Jewish relatives and acquaintances who support the military option against Iran, “Are your children and grandchildren going to fight?” They stare at me incredulously.

When I press further, “are you planning to see Joe [pseudonym for a gentile relative of mine by marriage who is in the Special Forces] go back to the Mideast for another tour? Didn’t Joe suffer enough injuries the last time around?” There is only silence.

If the main American Jewish organizations — such as AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, CoP, JFNA, JCPA, ADL, etc., etc. — all support military action against the Iranian nuclear program, then they should be recruiting for the US military within the Jewish community.

Standing besides the “We Support Israel” banners outside the synagogues should be an even larger banner, “We Support Our Troops. Join Today.”

About Bruce Wolman

Bruce Wolman is a citizen journalist who has lived in Norway and the Washington area.
Posted in American Jewish Community, Iran, Israel Lobby, US Politics

{ 111 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Dan Crowther says:

    I’m sure this will surprise the author – but I have no criticism’s of this piece. Very well said, Bruce – and from the heart. You should be as proud of your father as he clearly is to wear the uniform in the picture above.
    (For the record, I couldnt care less about jewish enlistment rates etc – it only becomes an issue when war advocacy becomes a “group” endeavor(in this case jewish), and at that point it is both appropriate and even necessary to make mention of the facts Bruce makes plain in this piece).

    Semper Fidelis,

    Dan

    • Dan Crowther says:

      I think I should make something a bit more clear here — the Military denotes religion for “what kind of prayers do we say over this dead body?” purposes, so guys like me for example were considered Roman Catholic – even though I hadnt been near a church in years, and I think much the same is true for our jewish brothers and sisters. So the breakdown in the numbers is indeed a bit misleading – they are all inflated, across the board.

      Its better to look at the officer corps, in my opinion to get a sense of “representation.” I would be absolutely shocked if 2% or more of the US military’s officer corps was jewish. Again, for as much as I enjoyed reading’s Wolman’s latest, these kinds of discussions(threads) can wonder into the realm of the distasteful pretty easily. I think conversations about under-representation ( and I have definitely pointed it out before) are more about over-representation elsewhere. I mean, what do we want jewish parents to do, demand that their kids play football, go to a trade school and then enlist in the Marines? Also, and this is just from observation – jewish guys aren’t exactly “physically gifted” in a “big/strong/broad shouldered kind of way on the whole, and the US military pretty much promotes itself as “the thing to do” after your high school football/wrestling days are over(read: we want big muscle men). So I think there is a legitimate physical element to any under representation.

      Wolman’s point of “if you find yourself an able bodied young man, cheering for war, then sign your punk ass up” holds regardless of “identity” – I know a TON of regular ol’ white guys who fit into the same category. To me, this is more of a “you see where this leads – the non stop war mongering from self described jewish quarters?” And in that sense, its an effective shot across the bow.

      • Dan Crowther says:

        One last thing — WWII was really the last time any american could -if he was really being honest- be proud to have served his country in war. im not talking about the feelings of fraternity etc among the ranks. whatever else is true about the politics behind the war etc. the fight to beat nazism was both necessary and moral. And so, I think the over representation should be a point of pride – but as to any under representation post WWII – who gives a shit?

        Its not as if there was any real “defense” going on. You certainly don’t qualify as unpatriotic or cowardly for not signing up after WWII to the present, in my opinion. And as for the Iraq war(s) – by this time the military was pretty much what you would call the Armed Trade Labor Association, it was a state subsidized, and armed non degree technical institute, like the ones you see on tv commericals. in other words, it became, and is now, a pure class military. If the majority of american jews dont find themselves among the classes of americans who enlist – mazel tov. I dont see how thats a bad thing.

        And again, the numbers for the other religions are also waaaaaaaay inflated. I was never confirmed as a catholic, but the Marine Corps considered me one, because thats what I wanted on my dog tags. And that probably holds for the vast majority of people who dont consider themselves religious, and wouldnt identify as catholic etc – but would have it on their identification for burial purposes if they ever found themselves in the military.

        And lastly, abstaining is allowed. a kid in my bootcamp platoon was ethnically jewish, but didnt decide to add that to his dog tag information, and I know there were other jewish Marines that did the same.

    • OlegR says:

      Well it is funny but me neither.From my Zionist perspective
      I really don’t like arm chair patriots especially ones living in foreign countries.
      You want strong measures against (Iran,Hamas,Hizbollah) whatever
      you better be ready to either enlist yourself or send your kids.
      Otherwise better be quiet.

      Today is remembrance day for the fallen.
      יהי זיכרם ברוך

  2. more Jews attended the last AIPAC convention than serve in the US armed forces.

    wow, that is just staggering.

    • seafoid says:

      Is it really, Annie ?

      We are constantly told here how wealthy and smart US Jews are. Most grunts come from poor backgrounds. How many soldiers doing their fourth tour in Afghanistan are middle class or upper class ?

      Native Americans are less than 1% of the population but something like 3% of combat deaths in the last 2 lost wars. Those who do the dying are disproportionally from the bottom quartile of income distribution.

      AIPAC is full of armchair warriors who know very little of the real world.

      • it is to me. the idea one could attract more american jews to a conference than serve in the US military, especially considering the attention demanded of our foreign policy, hence our armed forces, directed toward protecting the interests of a state so many allegedly consider their homeland, not to mention the obvious reason most americans join the military (caveat: i would not consider it), it just seems odd. it makes me wonder what percentage of american jews are serving in the idf. i wonder if they might fill the conference room.

        • seafoid says:

          Zionism = hypocrisy
          Zionism= mendacity

          They are beyond shameless, Annie. All that loyalty to America support our troops is crap.

          They are exactly the same in Israel
          “President consoles bereaved Israeli families at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, says no words could heal their sorrow.”

          It costs nothing to mouth meaningless platitudes on prime time TV. Just don’t get in the way of the plutocracy creaming money off the citizenry.

          Here’s a very interesting Guardian article about Apple- the company could make iphones in the USA and pay workers $21 per hour and still make a whopping profit margin of 42% .

          link to guardian.co.uk

          That would mean plutocrats losing cashflow. and that is simply unacceptable. Don’t even think about going there, America.

          Eventually everyone gets shafted. But the soldiers are always shafted. And then patronised. And who gives a sh%t if they get PTSD ?

      • marc b. says:

        that’s it in spades, seafoid. war has become one facet of the class war. was it max blumenthal who did a piece from the young republicans convention or some such gathering of future used car salesmen and other psychopathic personalities? if i remember, none of the 20-somethings interviewed had enlisted, due to . . . medical problems. yes, trick knees, deviated septums, receding hairlines and the like kept these brave lads from joining up. well, to be fair, according to them their bit parts consisted of bleating for war while looking for a job as a congressional aide or sales person for a defense contractor. everyone has a role to play.

        and that’s why, i assume, that there is an underrepresentation of ‘jews’ in the military, doing so well as a group economically. let’s see goldman sachs or traumatic brain injury? hmm.

        • “and that’s why, i assume, that there is an underrepresentation of ‘jews’ in the military, doing so well as a group economically.”

          So you are really OK admitting here, in front of everyone, that to explain the cause of a stat, you automatically rely on anti-semitic bigotry to be the basis for your assumption?

          While I do appreciate your candor I don’t think I really agree with your methodology.

    • Chu says:

      They’re soldiers of the information war. Bloody wars, not their style.

  3. bruce, i love this photo of your dad. thanks for sharing something so personal.

    speaking of the holocaust commemoration i read this article yesterday and was struck by how off topic it seemed. mindbogglingly so. titled “Obama seeks to stop Syria, Iran tech assault on activists” covered obama’s address at the memorial.

    link to reuters.com

    President Barack Obama imposed U.S. sanctions on Monday on those who help Syria and Iran track dissidents through cell phones and computers, serving notice on technology providers that they could be held responsible for those governments’ human rights abuses.

    Obama’s announcement underscored how democracy activists have used social media tools in protest movements across the Middle East, but also the extent to which authoritarian governments have used cutting-edge technologies to crack down on dissent.

    “These technologies should be in place to empower citizens, not to repress them,” Obama said in a somber speech at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

    Obama rolled out new asset freezes and visa restrictions against Syrian and Iranian security agencies, telecommunications companies and individuals accused of helping security forces conduct surveillance to target the opposition for attack.

    what.ever.

  4. eljay says:

    Good article, great questions posed, solid points made. Nicely done!

  5. seafoid says:

    “Oren went even farther than the usual Israeli hasbara, proclaiming Iran’s leaders were pledged to murdering another 6 million Jews.”

    Shameless.
    Are the Ziobots really going to bet the house on war with Iran ?

    • Dan Crowther says:

      Nah — they dont have the stones to do it. its all riding on barry and the o’s — that sick fuck is the one who might bet the house on war with iran. theres a good chance he loses if the vote was today – no better way to increase his standing with white men than to kill some brown men, ya know? I’d vote for Ahmadinejad before I voted for Barry again – F that guy.

      • marc b. says:

        he is a lying sack of crap. i will likely sit this one out. cast my first vote for carter in 1980, and haven’t missed one – yet.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          i think your sentiments are widely shared — on another thread woody t. was saying the same thing. my thing is, i remember romney as governor here in mass – and heres a little secret: He was pretty good. Barry is gonna have a hard time with the Northeast “liberals” who are far from scared of Romney….

        • seafoid says:

          It is famine or the plague, Dan. 2 sociopaths who do whatever the plutocrats say. Obama is like one of those shop fronts in the old hollywood westerns that opens with a door onto the desert instead of a room inside. And Romney will say anything to get elected. He would deny he was Governor of Mass if it got him votes down South.

        • Charon says:

          Same here, marc b. Not just because of the candidates, but because it really is meaningless. 2000 made me realize that the popular vote is a worthless statistic. That people vote for voters and not actual candidates. Since then I’m fairly certain the voting is rigged and there are obvious cases of fraud that nobody ever does anything about. Besides that, the actual candidates presented in front of the voting masses have been pre-selected by the financial class. They make it expensive to run so nobody has a chance, then donate money to the people they approve of. Their media would never give any unapproved (by the financial class) candidates exposure.

          It’s a financial oligarchy. A plutocracy. There is no point wasting time. The “You have to vote” folks just don’t understand it. I even bought a sheet of “I didn’t vote” stickers so I can be a jerk come November.

      • Pixel says:

        It’s all political theatre.

  6. hophmi says:

    “where are today’s Jewish GIs?”

    Now we’re going to play this game?

    The numbers are very much in dispute.

    At West Point, Jews are approximately 2 percent of each class, commensurate with percentage of population.

    link to blogs.jta.org

    • west point is the elite, that doesn’t address participation in the entirety of armed forces. but thanks for pointing out the west pt percentages.

    • marc b. says:

      so you don’t want to play the game, hophmi, but then step up to the table to lay down some numbers that ostensibly support your argument. except that they don’t, as annie points out. in fact, west point graduates don’t even represent a majority of newly commissioned junior officers entering the army each year, hopmhi, not to mention officers in the other services, or enlisted personnel.

      • hophmi says:

        “but then step up to the table to lay down some numbers that ostensibly support your argument.”

        There don’t seem to be reliable numbers; that’s part of the point. The percentage of self-identifying Jews is about 1/3 of 1 percent. Most estimates seem to suggest that the real number is one or two times that.

        I think this is an irrelevant discussion. I can think of all kind of ways Jews contribute to the defense of this country and all kind of ways Jews serve this country besides Army service. Why is this question important to you? Are you asserting that Jews owe a quota to the armed forces that others don’t?

        • Most estimates seem to suggest that the real number is one or two times that.

          why? where?

        • Why is this question important to you? Are you asserting that Jews owe a quota to the armed forces that others don’t?

          from my perspective it has to do with bruce’s question if “Ahmadinejad = Hitler”, “Iran = Nazi Germany” and “Iran’s Nuclear Program = The Holocaust,” where are today’s Jewish GIs?

          but since i don’t think iran is a threat to israel it would make sense lots of american jews don’t really believe it either.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “The percentage of self-identifying Jews is about 1/3 of 1 percent. Most estimates seem to suggest that the real number is one or two times that. ”

          You DO realize that “one… times” 1/3 of 1 percent is 1/3 of 1 percent, right?

          “I can think of all kind of ways Jews contribute to the defense of this country and all kind of ways Jews serve this country besides Army service. ”

          BFD. The thread is about military service.

        • hophmi says:

          That would 2 or 3 times, not 1 time. According to the Jewish Week article, it may be double. According to the JTA article, it may be as much as 30K, or triple the reported number.

        • Bruce says:

          @hophmi

          Don’t know about Annie, but that is what I am saying.

          If American Jewish organizations are lobbying and pressuring for war, then they should recruit for that war among their own. Pretty simple.

          Would it have been right for Jewish organizations to argue for war against Germany, but done nothing to see that Jewish boys joined that fight? If you are going to employ the analogy of Iran with the Nazis, then you should make the same moral choices in both situations. That is not happening today. I defy you to show me that it is.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “According to the Jewish Week article, it may be double. According to the JTA article, it may be as much as 30K”

          Yeah, but they are Jewish news sources, so it’s okay to dismiss them as biased, as you yourself held (albeit regarding a different ethnicity. But you wouldn’t find it okay to dismiss Arab news sources as biased, but not Jewish ones, right? All or none, right? Or are you going to do a little “justification two-step” whereby you argue that it is okay to do it to the Arabs, but wrong, wrong, wrong to do it to the Jews…)

        • Bruce says:

          @hophmi

          I usually avoid writing off the top-of-my-head. If you want to throw some light on the number of Jews in the military, the least you should do is make yourself aware of the reports already out there and handle them in an honest manner, not just cherry pick the result you preferred. It is not that hard, just requires some time Googling.

          The 30K quoted in the Jewish Week was based on speculative projections that seemed dubious to me. I settled on the analysis of Rabbi Robinson not because he provided the lowest figure, but because he seemed to have the best insight. Obviously, Robinson must know – or at least have a good idea – of the Department of Defense’s own internal numbers. Plus his correction based on his knowledge of funeral arrangements appears logical. His analysis was taken from the Jewish Week of New York if you followed the link I provided.

          I did my own sample surveys over the last two years, checking the individuals killed-in-action as reported by the Washington Post. Starting with the names, I would check the funeral announcements to see if the soldier had a Jewish funeral or not. The results never exceeded 1%. One might say, dying in a war is the ultimate commitment.

          Anecdotal data is never sufficient, but in my families two Jewish cousins served the last decade. One was a doctor who spent a good amount of time treating severely wounded soldiers transported to Germany. That was a demanding job. The other is still serving, as a dentist. He has yet to be in a combat zone so far.

        • hophmi says:

          “Yeah, but they are Jewish news sources, so it’s okay to dismiss them as biased, as you yourself held (albeit regarding a different ethnicity. But you wouldn’t find it okay to dismiss Arab news sources as biased, but not Jewish ones, right?”

          Eh? I’m not sure what you have in mind, but I’m almost sure that is not what I said. I believe there was a discussion about what I consider a Jewish news source, and several of you attempted to argue that CNN, ABC, and NBC were Jewish news sources because Jews were the chairmen of their parent companies. Then I was asked what I consider a Jewish news source, and I named some Jewish newspapers. It was something like that.

        • hophmi says:

          “The 30K quoted in the Jewish Week ”

          I believe it was quoted in the JTA. It’s a liberal estimate, not established fact, as I made clear.

          “Starting with the names, I would check the funeral announcements to see if the soldier had a Jewish funeral or not. The results never exceeded 1%.”

          Nor did I suggest that the numbers were more than 1%. Again, the most liberal estimate I saw was about 30K, which would work out to a little under 1%.

          In general, I don’t think this type of discussion is relevant or necessary. I grew up with someone who served in Iraq. Jews do serve; there is no campaign in the Jewish community to encourage people NOT to serve.

        • dahoit says:

          He’s pointing fingers at the Amish,Mennonites and Quakers?Sheesh.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “I’m not sure what you have in mind, but I’m almost sure that is not what I said.”

          You’re right, hoppy. When eljay said mentioned “Zio-supremacists hav[ing] no problem claiming that Arab media sources are biased because of some tribal ‘Arab nation’ thing,” you didn’t explicitly say this is okay, nor did you take issue with it actually occurring, you merely made the distinction between “arguing a source that is an Arab news source is biased” which, from context, you appeared to find okay, and “arguing that a source run by a parent company whose CEO is a Jew is biased,” which you claimed is bad.

          I am sorry for wrongly saying that you held that it was okay to dismiss Arab news sources as biased. I should have said you implied, or permitted the implication, that it is okay to dismiss Arab news sources as biased.

        • Bruce says:

          @hophmi

          No “there is no campaign in the Jewish community to encourage people NOT to serve,” just a very active campaign to get the USA to engage in military action at the insistence of the Government of Israel.

  7. Fredblogs says:

    ROFLMAO Iran “never _officially_ denied the Holocaust” Oh, well, that’s OK, cause Israel never _officially_ admitted having nukes.

    • Charon says:

      Khamenei did not approve of Ahmadinejad’s remarks. Khamenei’s primary foreign policy provider Velayati even said “the Holocaust was a genocide and a historical reality”

      So no it’s not an official Iranian position and comparing it to nukes is an odd choice of analogy. Ahmadinejad is the president of Iran, but he holds no power. He cannot even make military decisions.

  8. Fredblogs says:

    As for Jews not being in the military, note that the U.S. is not at war with Iran, like we were with the Nazis, so your analogy fails.

    • fred, the lobby is actively pushing the US to war with iran and using their influence to advocate this foreign policy and bombard the US media with fear iran narrative.

      and i agree with your caveat of “like we were with the Nazis” but i suggest if you have a bone to pick about that you should nag on president obama and weisel wrt their addresses to holocaust remembrance day addresses because they were both channeling iran, as was netanyahu all day long.

      so which specific analogy of bruce’s were you criticizing?

      • Fredblogs says:

        I’m criticizing the comparison of Jewish presence in the military during WWII and now. The whole basis of his complaint. The U.S. isn’t at war with Iran and isn’t going to war with Iran. All bluster aside, there is no way Obama is going to bomb Iran, or really do anything effective to stop them from getting nukes. If God forbid Romney wins, he’ll be faced with the same reality that Obama is. The country is tired of being at war.

        • iow you think agree all this demonizing of iran from netanyahu and the emergency committee for israel and their ilk is just distracting bluster? most american jews do not consider iran a threat? the lobby either?

          so what do you think about netanyahu’s statements (elie wiesel too) about iran on holocaust remembrance day? just cheapening the memory of those who perished for political points?

        • hophmi says:

          “so what do you think about netanyahu’s statements (elie wiesel too) about iran on holocaust remembrance day? just cheapening the memory of those who perished for political points?”

          No Annie. I think he genuinely believes that Iran is a major threat. He may be wrong, but he’s been pretty consistent in making the argument.

        • i was asking fred. he said I’m criticizing the comparison of Jewish presence in the military during WWII and now. The whole basis of his complaint.

          that would, in effect, mean fred would equally be critical of netanyahu’s comparison. and by implication if “american jews genuinely believe that Iran is a major threat”, like netanyahu does, the chances are a certain percentage of them would enlist? well, a certain portion do enlist but less that the average american. does this indicate more americna jews think like fred than not?

        • thetumta says:

          Of course he thinks Iran and Hezbollah are a major threat. But not a nuclear one. He knows that in the last 100 yards, the Israeli financial/technological military advantage on the ground evaporates and it’s Masada time if Iran can respond sufficiently to the threat of a final genocidal nuclear attack of the Iranian civilian population(MAD). Unlike South Lebanon, cluster bombs won’t cut it the next time the Golani Brigrade is trapped. An Iranian weapon means these Israelis will have to fight in the last 100 yards on the ground without their usual advantages for the 2nd time and last time(2006). Not a place they want to go again, hence the new wall.
          Hej!

        • Fredblogs says:

          I don’t know what most Jews think about Iran, just me. I do know that any course of action has potentially devastating consequences.

          If Israel or the U.S. attacks Iran, it would start a conventional war with Hezbollah and Hamas aligned with Iran. Hezbollah has what, 50,000 missiles ready to fire at Israel? Not to mention that Iran supports other terrorist groups who would attack the U.S. and Israel and our allies, as well as Iran’s conventional forces. It also might not stop them from getting the bomb since their nuclear facilities are well dug in and shielded. Even the best case on this one is a really nasty war.

          The alternative, do nothing and hope Iran’s leaders are rational people who realize that Israel and the U.S. would retaliate against any nuclear attack with nuclear weapons of their own. That one has the advantage that the upside if all goes well is better than the other one. If all goes well on this one, Iran grows up and realizes that escalating tensions could lead to nuclear war. Though that hasn’t stopped Pakistan and India from fighting over Kashmir. Worst case scenario on this one is that Iran nukes Israel or the U.S. and gets reduced to radioactive rubble in return, which won’t bring back New York or Tel Aviv. Most likely scenario on this one is Iran increases support of terrorism, counting on the threat of nuclear war to keep anyone from retaliating.

        • Bruce says:

          @Fredblogs

          The whole basis of my complaint is that the major Jewish organizations are out there doing everything they can to coerce the Obama Administration and the United States into military action against Iran (sanctions are not enough) while making no effort to organize American Jews for the fight. You are more likely to see recruiting for the IDF than the US military at Jewish institutions.

          Whether the United States is going to war with Iran or not is not the point. The major Jewish organizations are lobbying for war. Do you deny this?

          The United States military is exhausted and wants to stay home for some years. Soldiers have done multiple tours in the Middle East the last decade. Even if all this bluster is just a show-of-force, troops have to be moved. The need for fresh recruits is now, not after a war has already broken out.

          I don’t believe you should advocate for war to be fought with other people’s children. At least the Israelis know they will have to fight if they go to war. It probably explains the greater reluctance of Israelis for military action against Iran than that of American Jews (according to the polling out there).

        • Izik says:

          Iran has been making direct threats against Israel and the west. I regard their threats very seriously.

        • eljay says:

          >> Iran has been making direct threats against Israel and the west. I regard their threats very seriously.

          Nuclear-armed aggressor states like Israel and the U.S. – along with other Western nations – have been making direct threats against Iran, in addition to imposing harsh and punitive sanctions against it. Iran regards those threats very seriously, and rightly so.

        • Are you of the mindset that a US citizen can’t support a particular policy unless he/she (or enough members of their “group”) personally participate in its execution?

          How many Americans who supported UN troop deployment into So Lebanon ran out to join the force.

          Why any soldiers must do multiple tours is beyond me. If we are unable to recruit enough soldiers then we should either increase compensation or reinstate a draft… not force a few individuals to serve over and over again. The fact that our system is broken has nothing to do with the wisdom behind deciding to take any given military action.

      • marc b. says:

        that is a bizarre comment, annie, even for fredrick. so american jews enthusiastically volunteered for the war against hitler, but won’t volunteer in similar numbers unless ‘we’re’ officially at war with iran? whah?

        • eljay says:

          >> that is a bizarre comment, annie, even for fredrick. so american jews enthusiastically volunteered for the war against hitler, but won’t volunteer in similar numbers unless ‘we’re’ officially at war with iran? whah?

          I think his point is: If Jews didn’t volunteer to fight Hitler until the U.S. was actually at war with Hitler, why expect them to volunteer to fight “the new Hitler” until the U.S. is actually at war with him? Kinda makes sense.

          However, the U.S. currently is – and has been for some time – at war with “terrrrrrrrr” and “Islamofascism” and “insurgents”, so why aren’t Jews volunteering in droves to fight them?

          Are they siding with the enemy? Do Jews hate America’s freedoms, too?

          ;-)

        • Fredblogs says:

          I didn’t say anything about officially. How about “at war with Iran at all, whether officially or not”.

    • yourstruly says:

      not yet at war with iran but mobilizing its armed forces and arming israel for that eventuality, such that, if it happens there’ll be no doubt as to u.s. involvement. but with or without direct u.s. involvement initially, subsequently one can count on the u.s. government’s dragging us into the conflict. history will record an israeli attack on iran to have been the equivalent of nazi germany’s invasion of poland, the move credited for having started wwii, except this time israel’s move will bring on ww iii. will israel survive such a conflagration? will life on earth?

      • hophmi says:

        It’s OK to say the Netanyahu cheapens the Holocaust by mentioning Iran, but apparently saying this: “history will record an israeli attack on iran to have been the equivalent of nazi germany’s invasion of poland” is not cheapening the Holocaust. Hmm.

  9. Terryscott says:

    It’s like you guys have been operating from a rubric of anti-Jewish stereotypes. So yes, people who self identify as Jews are represented in proportionate numbers among the officer classes and disproportionatly small numbers among the enlisted. The same is true for white people in general, and wealthier whites in particular. I wonder how many of Annie’s East Bay pottery friends are combat veterans? You guys have got a Jewish problem.

    • hophmi says:

      “You guys have got a Jewish problem.”

      Clearly.

    • It’s like you guys have been operating from a rubric of anti-Jewish stereotypes. So yes, people who self identify as Jews are represented in proportionate numbers among the officer classes and disproportionatly small numbers among the enlisted.

      “have been operating”? the thread just went up today ts, it’s not as tho people have been giving this a lot of thought. i didn’t even know about west pt til fred made that point. framing fail.

      i do not have any East Bay pottery friends and i already stated i would not enlist or recommend it for others. i am not a fan of killing arabs or muslims not do i think our ventures in the ME should be classified as ‘defensive’ in nature.

      frankly, i think it is likely most american jews are not even interested in invading iran. but clearly we’ve got the hung ho contingency, the ones who are joined at the hip w/congress. i will speculate they are a minority within the jewish community, but heck….are they sending their sons and daughters to go fight israels wars? and if they are such a minority why is it they have so much pull with both congress and within the media?

    • edwin says:

      There are a lot of Jews around here, now that you mention it.

    • The same is true for white people in general, and wealthier whites in particular.

      maybe it isn’t quite so glaringly obvious “wealthier whites” are not represented in congress by a lobby representing a foreign country pushing us into war with iran.

      • Fredblogs says:

        ROFL. Wealthier whites _are_ most of congress. The House is mostly rich white guys, most of the Senate too. How many poor senators are there? How many black senators?

        • fred, do you really want to go there w/congress? both house and senate? by ethnicity? do you think this argument will work in your favor?

        • Fredblogs says:

          Disproportionately Jewish too would be my guess. So’s the Supreme Court (well, maybe not if you look at percentage of Lawyers, I don’t know that one), also disproportionately Catholic, and disproportionately Harvard alums. And no Protestants for the first time in its history. What’s your point?

        • my point?

          “The same is true for white people in general, and wealthier whites in particular.”

          maybe it isn’t quite so glaringly obvious “wealthier whites” are not represented in congress by a lobby representing a foreign country pushing us into war with iran.

          try reading the thread and keeping up instead of diverting.

        • Fredblogs says:

          Yeah, except there is no point in your statement. Just a diversion from the point of the previous poster.

    • Dan Crowther says:

      I think I somewhat agree with TerryScott and Hophmi here – as much as it kills me to say it

      • dan, you shouldn’t be intimidated from expressing yourself if you agree with ts and hops. if you think we have a ‘jewish problem’, please elaborate. here’s what i said about that:

        i think it is likely most american jews are not even interested in invading iran. but clearly we’ve got the hung ho contingency, the ones who are joined at the hip w/congress. i will speculate they are a minority within the jewish community, but heck….are they sending their sons and daughters to go fight israels wars? and if they are such a minority why is it they have so much pull with both congress and within the media?

        if you disagree i’d like to hear why, i would appreciate hearing your views.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          Annie — Oh, I certainly wasnt responding to anything you said here in your quotes, and I certainly don’t think you have a jewish problem; I myself have remarked on low enlistment rates etc and my own experience in the military, where I had one jewish kid in my bootcamp platoon and served with only one other jewish guy in the Fleet ( as we call it in the Marines). I guess what I am saying is, when non-jewish keyboard warriors cheerlead for war, we don’t even mention religion. And in the military, religious affiliations are very misleading, they would lead you to believe that everyone is religious, when in fact, aside from the Air Force, most people’s religious beliefs are confined to what prayers I want the chaplain to say over my dead body.

          In other words, there numbers for Catholics and Protestants are meaningless, as I say in my posts above – in the Marines, I was considered a Catholic, but was never confirmed as a Catholic, and according to the Church, wasn’t a Catholic. So the percentages are skewed for non-jews, whereas for Jews, because the jewish community is obsessed with tracking birth etc- if a jewish guy doesn’t denote “jewish” for ID purposes, the numbers take a hit.

          The other thing, as I mentioned in my posts above is the fact that the US military is basically a class military, and if Jews were to be fully represented in the enlisted ranks, that would mean that Jews are in the position to “better” their lives by signing up, the fact that American Jews on the whole are not in this position should be a point of pride, in my opinion, and there is nothing to apologize for.

          When it comes to the “Israel and the US have the same interests, and they lie in bombing people half a world away from the US” crowd – I think it’s fine to mention the lack of representation, if one is responding to blatant tribalism, but in my opinion, mentioning the lack of representation among the enlisted anytime a jewish person cheerleads for war is bordering on the distasteful – again, just my opinion- only because I believe that cheerleading is state sanctioned, welcomed and encouraged by the Offical Organs of the US government.

        • Bruce says:

          @Dan Crowther

          As I stated in another comment, I settled on Rabbi Robinson’s numbers as it seems to me if you are buried as a Jew that is a good marker as to what your family considered you.

          I would have preferred to have written this posting without even mentioning the numbers, but didn’t believe I would get away with it without heavy criticism.

          My motivation was not to question why individual Jews decide whether to join the US military or not. It was to criticize American Jewish organizations for actively lobbying and pressuring for military action with Iran, while at the same time avoiding any effort to raise badly-needed recruits from their constituencies. For me it is a moral question. One should not be calling for war, if you are not prepared to see your loved ones fight in it.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          Oh, I totally agree with you Bruce, I thought your piece was well done – my remarks were more in reference to the thread.

        • thanks dan. i mentioned yesterday the thread just went up today ts, it’s not as tho people have been giving this a lot of thought, but if we had and if people on these threads mentioned the lack of representation among the enlisted anytime a jewish person cheerleads for war then i would agree with you it would be distasteful.

          also, i agree with you about the religious affiliation and i think that’s something people should be allowed to hold private. but neither bruce or myself was addressing the religious affiliation, instead the ethnic designation.

          i agree with you about the military class system. but here is what i find extraordinary and where a particular nuance wrt understanding ethnicities coupled with what we hear vs what’s real comes into play. your statement (“if Jews were to be fully represented in the enlisted ranks, that would mean that Jews are in the position to “better” their lives by signing up, the fact that American Jews on the whole are not in this position”) if i am hearing you correctly, because they are not,in general, in a position to better their lives proportionately as the average american their numbers are reduced accordingly, which would be normal.

          however, an exception to this might be if what we keep hearing from that group of american jews who have what i consider a very disproportionate representation within the US jewish community, who speak for (or try to speak for) all the jews, were true. that being the whole second holocaust meme re the threat of iran. if (big if, and as i mentioned earlier i do not believe american jews really think iran is the threat they pump it up to be any more than the rest of us believe it) american jews really believed this, wouldn’t they serve in bigger numbers regardless of any need, or lack thereof, to ‘better’ their lives?

          that’s what i find odd, if they really did think israel was needed for their own survival and the survival of jews and they really believed israel was threatened wouldn’t it be instinctual to sign up for their defense in higher numbers?

          so what i take away from this is the ‘destruction of israel’ hasbara, the ‘wipe off the map’ hasbara, is not really believed by the majority of the american jewish community. and that’s why we’re seeing such low numbers, because only the military class system you reference is in full effect which would explain the low percentage. unless there were thousands of american jewish youth signing up for the idf instead, enough to make up the difference, not sure if that’s happening.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          so what i take away from this is the ‘destruction of israel’ hasbara, the ‘wipe off the map’ hasbara, is not really believed by the majority of the american jewish community.
          ———————————

          This is not the only part of your comment I agree with, but I think it hits at the central point – in my opinion, that is the point the numbers make. And to me, the counter argument (to the “representatives” of the american jewish community) should be: Well guys and gals, you don’t even convince American Jews of the necessity to “defend” America(and with it, Israel), so instead of trying to convince the rest of us why the US military is central to your agenda – take it up with the members of “your” community, who obviously havent gotten the memo.

          I just thought it was important to make the distinction between “on the whole american jews dont enlist” and “on the whole jews WON’T enlist” – because I think, and as Bruce shows, when it comes down to real defense of the country, american jews are right there with everyone else, even more so. Not that you were saying “won’t” — I know that you weren’t.

        • hophmi says:

          I intimidated somebody? OK Annie, you tell us. Why do you think it’s important so us to have a conversation about how many Jews there are in the Army? Jews serve. There’s certainly no campaign to discourage them from serving.

          “but heck….are they sending their sons and daughters to go fight israels wars?

          Do people who advocate hawkish foreign policies have an obligation to send their children in the army?

          “and if they are such a minority why is it they have so much pull with both congress and within the media?”

          Do you ever get tired of asking yourself questions like this? We’ve established that there is a well-organized pressure group that lobbies on behalf of a strong US-Israel relationship. They are well-organized, well-financed, and their ideas have wide support in America, and so they get things done, just like any other lobby. It’s not a great mystery. It’s not a secret cabal. If you disagree with them, the answer is to organize your own group around your cause, rather than to spend your time making up conspiracy theories about them or asking rhetorical questions about why more members of some ethnic group don’t join the army, or why members of the same ethnic group join the Supreme Court too frequently, or whatever the complaint of the week is in order to make up for why your point of view is not as dominant.

        • ahh, hophmi..i think sean might have a point when he says “His pattern is to try to say something — anything — about as many points as possible without making any effort to check his statements for factual grounding or logic.”

          so, wrt I intimidated somebody? ..try reading for context instead air boxing. dan said I think I somewhat agree with TerryScott and Hophmi here – as much as it kills me to say it. my response did not indicate you were intimidating him. it meant, explain why you agree with them and let’s see where we can understand eachother.

          why don’t you try reading the entire exchange and then ask your questions instead of making a bunch of assumptions and shooting from the hip. about that well-organized pressure group..i don’t believe they have wide support in america , i don’t even believe they represent most american jews. i think they are bullies and that’s why they have so much influence and people are afraid to stand up to them for fear of loosing their careers and other kinds of intimidation.

          i also think they lie a lot, and don’t really believe lots of the stuff they say because if they did believe it, they would be sending their own kids off to war in greater numbers. but you would already know that if you had bothered following the thread.

        • i think we’re on the same page dan. and i really agree with bruce here:

          It was to criticize American Jewish organizations for actively lobbying and pressuring for military action with Iran, while at the same time avoiding any effort to raise badly-needed recruits from their constituencies. For me it is a moral question. One should not be calling for war, if you are not prepared to see your loved ones fight in it.

        • hophmi says:

          “about that well-organized pressure group..i don’t believe they have wide support in america ”

          They do. Polling shows that most Americans support Israel’s right to exist and a strong US-Israel relationship.

          “i don’t even believe they represent most american jews”

          It depends on what aspect of the policy you’re talking about. Most American Jews do not support settlements. But they do support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

          “i think they are bullies and that’s why they have so much influence and people are afraid to stand up to them for fear of loosing their careers and other kinds of intimidation. ”

          They are a lobby. They’re no different from any other lobby; if you don’t support their agenda, they will not give you money. That’s not bullying. That’s American politics. If you’re from certain parts of the South, you’re not going to win an election if you don’t support gun rights. That doesn’t make the NRA a bully. If you’re from certain parts of Florida, you’re not going to win an election if you don’t support Medicare. That doesn’t make the AARP a bully.

          “i also think they lie a lot, and don’t really believe lots of the stuff they say because if they did believe it, they would be sending their own kids off to war in greater numbers. ”

          Most the hawks say that the US should let Israel take care of Iran, not that the US should get involved.

          Even if they did believe that the US should get involved, why, in your estimation does a person who favors military action, have an obligation to send his child into harms way? Isn’t that first of all up to the child, and second of all, beside the point?

          Do we now have a civic obligation to encourage our children to fulfill our foreign policy objectives?

        • hophmi says:

          “For me it is a moral question. One should not be calling for war, if you are not prepared to see your loved ones fight in it.”

          The premise is first of all wrong; American Jewish organizations are not calling for war. They are calling for strong sanctions.

          I know of no such moral obligation, and moreover, I certainly do not see how that carries over to the question of how many Jews serve in the Army. As you say, Annie, most American Jews do not favor military action in Iran. So it should not be suprising that Jews don’t serve in the military in proportion to their population. Have you done a survey of Jews who favor military action in Iran and how many of their children serve?

          This entire discussion is fraught with moral problems, but not the kind you’re talking about. It’s immoral to expect of the Jewish community something you don’t seem to require of any other community in America.

        • this entire discussion is fraught with your misconceptions and accusations. i don’t expect from the Jewish community something i don’t require of any other community in America, so take your beef up with someone else.

        • They’re no different from any other lobby; if you don’t support their agenda, they will not give you money.

          is this a joke? hophmi, i’m done engaging with you on this thread. see ya.

        • American says:

          I think, and as Bruce shows, when it comes down to real defense of the country, american jews are right there with everyone else, even more so”…Dan

          I don’t think that is the case today. US Jews have become “Israelized” since the 40′s.

        • Bruce says:

          @hophmi

          The premise is first of all wrong; American Jewish organizations are not calling for war. They are calling for strong sanctions.

          American Jewish organizations are calling for military action if Israel (and hence their parrots among the American Jewish organizations) do not believe the sanctions are working sufficiently and in time. Netanyahu has already implied at times that it is already too late for sanctions. The pro-Israeli lobby even demands that the President of the United States not be given discretion in the use of military force. It wants military action written into legislation. Just look at the AIPAC written bills in the Congress. And so the premise is not at all wrong.

          My posting resulted from talking with a number of Jews about their views on Iran. And not one who supported military action against Iran were encouraging or even in favor of their children or grandchildren serving. Are you arguing that this is not a typical reaction?

          I left out the results of an American Jewish Committee survey from late last year, as I cannot verify how their sample was determined. But the Christian Science Monitor reported

          According to a September survey of American Jewish opinion conducted for the American Jewish Committee…. if sanctions and diplomacy – the preferred path so far for the Obama administration – fail, the survey found, some 56 percent said they supported military action against Iran to prevent it from developing a nuclear weapon; 68 percent supported Israel taking military action.

          I expect that any community in America calling for our troops to engage in a military action that could easily result in war would consider itself morally compelled to contribute family members to the conflict. I don’t understand why this is such a complex moral question.

        • hophmi says:

          “American Jewish organizations are calling for military action if Israel (and hence their parrots among the American Jewish organizations) do not believe the sanctions are working sufficiently and in time.”

          On that they’re not alone.

          “Netanyahu has already implied at times that it is already too late for sanctions.”

          True.

          “The pro-Israeli lobby even demands that the President of the United States not be given discretion in the use of military force. ”

          That is not true. The only thing I’ve heard is that the President shouldn’t take the military option off the table, which frankly, no President would.

          “It wants military action written into legislation. ”

          I’m not sure what you mean.

          “My posting resulted from talking with a number of Jews about their views on Iran. And not one who supported military action against Iran were encouraging or even in favor of their children or grandchildren serving. Are you arguing that this is not a typical reaction?”

          I’d say it’s pretty typical, but hardly confined to Jews who support military action. I think most people would say the same regardless of what religion they are.

          The latest polling I saw suggests that Americans do not favor military action now. They do favor it if Iran gets a nuke or sanctions do not work.

          There’s an awful lot of play in the question of Iran getting a nuke. Most favor sanctions. Most favor giving sanctions a chance (consistent with the American public). Most don’t believe sanctions will work. If they don’t work, most favor military action of some kind. Again, this is consistent with what the general public believes.

          “I expect that any community in America calling for our troops to engage in a military action that could easily result in war would consider itself morally compelled to contribute family members to the conflict.”

          I can see the point of view though I don’t agree with it because it suggests that family members are obliged to act on the opinions of others and also that one cannot hold an opinion unless one is ready to act on it and be personally affected by it. This kind of thinking would also suggest that no one has the right to an opinion on Israeli policy unless one lives in Israel.

        • Bruce says:

          @hophmi

          That is not true. The only thing I’ve heard is that the President shouldn’t take the military option off the table, which frankly, no President would.

          I would suggest you become aware of the analyses of Senate Resolution 380, the passage of which is AIPAC’s number one lobbying concern. The implications of this act go far beyond just keeping the military option on the table. (Supposedly the original draft had even more war mongering language, but some Democrats insisted it being taken out before they would endorse.)

          Combined with the position expressed in the Senators’ letter to the President, no possible diplomatic solution that Iran could accept would be acceptable to the United States, and hence the military option would be required.

          Check out Robert Wright’s analysis in the Atlantic, AIPAC and the Push to War.

        • this was the biggest legislation pushed leading up to the aipac conference. the cherry on top.

          link to huffingtonpost.com

          Unfortunately, despite 25 different peace groups imploring Senator Klobuchar not to sign the Graham-Lieberman-Casey “Anti-Containment” Senate Resolution (S.R. 380) that basically curtails diplomatic efforts and makes war the only option, Klobuchar went ahead and signed the pro-war resolution in the first week of April. Despite the continual actions of John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham (nicknamed the “three war-crazed amigos”) attempting to undercut Obama’s foreign policy and institute their own, she signed onto their pro-war resolution. 70 senators have signed S.R. 380 thus far and as Kate Gould of the Friends Committee on National Legislation explains in her excellent analysis below, the Senate was poised to even further undercut the recent promising talks with Iran (under last section “Will Congress Kill Talks?”).

          if this passes it won’t matter what iran does..it’s war. strips the executive branch of power and diplomatic options.

        • lysias says:

          A piece of legislation that strips the executive branch of diplomatic options is unconstitutional, isn’t it?

        • lysias, this isn’t my specialty. maybe i went overboard. i think it passed btw. here is more link to huffingtonpost.com

          So, if the reports are accurate, then what Lieberman and Graham seek to do is block the president from pursuing a goal that knowledgeable American and European officials say is the “most attainable outcome.”

          In other words, what Lieberman and Graham seek to do is block any kind of meaningful U.S. diplomatic engagement with Iran over the nuclear issue.

          here is the text: link to thomas.loc.gov:

          (6) rejects any United States policy that would rely on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons-capable Iran; and

          (7) urges the President to reaffirm the unacceptability of an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability and opposition to any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.

          iow, even if they have no nuclear weapons program if they have the capability it’s off to war. it’s a no containment (containment is diplomacy) policy wrt capability.

        • American says:

          “It wants military action written into legislation. Just look at the AIPAC written bills in the Congress. And so the premise is not at all wrong.”

          It’s already gotten legistation written..don’t have the bill number on hand, but it was the one passed last month saying…… ‘the US will take military action to prevent Iran from *even* obtaining the *means* to develop nukes. That basically means that any pretext could be used to attack Iran even if peaceful nuclear ‘energy” would give rise to materials for nuclear warheads.

        • “iow, even if they have no nuclear weapons program if they have the capability it’s off to war. it’s a no containment (containment is diplomacy) policy wrt capability.”

          No, it doesn’t necessarily imply war. All it says is that containment is not to be considered as a viable strategy. It wouldn’t matter if Iran was only ‘weapons capable’ (but still lacking actual weapons), because following a containment-based policy presupposes their inevitable development at some point.

          And to be ‘weapons-capable’ Iran WOULD have to already have an advanced program in place. (Without a nuclear arms program doing r&d they would not be very capable of building that nuke, would they?)

          Rejecting containment just reaffirms the key goal, preventing Iran from ever developing nukes. How this is achieved is not specified. War is only one option, and is the final one at that.

        • Bruce says:

          @playforpalestine

          The proposed bill implies a great deal more than “containment is not to be considered a viable strategy.”

          The bill rejects a containment policy for “a weapons capable” Iran, and as Wright points out the authors have an expansive view of what “weapons capable” means. It is clear the bill rejects any enrichment on Iranian soil, and it considers any enrichment to be part of an Iranian “weapons capability”. According to this bill, containing (i.e., restricting) enrichment is not acceptable. Enrichment must be completely stopped, by military action if necessary.

          Unlike you, the bill’s authors do not believe that “to be ‘weapons capable’ Iran WOULD have to already have an advanced program in place.” The author’s consider enrichment to be “an advanced program.”

          The Obama administration is hinting that an agreement which contains enrichment, but disallows Iran from developing nukes might be acceptable. The Senate rejects this and its bill implies war to stop enrichment if necessary. The original draft did more than imply war we are told.

          As I indicated above, there are “containment-based policies” which do not presuppose Iran’s inevitable development of a nuclear weapon and thus it does matter whether Iran is only ‘weapons capable’, depending on the meaning of ‘weapons capable’ of course.

          I also remind you that American intelligence does not believe Iran has made a decision to build a nuclear weapon.

    • Bruce says:

      @Terryscott

      I did not write this posting operating out of a rubric of anti-Jewish stereotypes. It was based on real-life Jews and one gentile married to a Jew.

      Do you have any evidence that Jews are proportionally represented in the officer class besides the not representative West Point numbers? Any breakdown with respect to officers in combat as opposed to the medical and legal professions?

      Do you have numbers on whites? In my study of combat deaths, I did not find whites to be proportionally lower in number and blacks to be proportionally higher. And that was not what I expected.

      • American says:

        WJS had an article decrying the fact that Military officers were predominantly Southern…..for some reason the WJS didn’t like it…maybe they thought it was a Southern conspiracy to take over the military. More West Pointers and more recruits come from the Southern US than any other part of the country.

  10. RE: Oren thanked the veterans by saying “Not only as your son, but as Israel’s ambassador to this great nation, I want to say thank you, Dad, and thank you to all the brave Americans who fought alongside you.”

    BUT NOTE: Netanyahu evokes Holocaust in Aipac speech, by Reuters/AP, The Irish Times, 3/07/12

    (excerpts) ISRAELI PRIME minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered an uncompromising message about his country’s attitude towards Iran’s nuclear programme when he spoke to the US’s main pro-Israel lobby [AIPAC] in Washington late on Monday.
    Mr Netanyahu evoked the horrors of the Holocaust, quoting a 1944 letter in which the US rejected a request by Jewish leaders to bomb the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz in Poland. . .
    . . . Drawing a parallel with arguments against attacking Iran, he said the war department explained that such an operation at Auschwitz could provoke “even more vindictive action by the Germans”.
    “Think about that: ‘even more vindictive action’ than the Holocaust,” he said. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to irishtimes.com

    ALSO SEE: Israelis critical of Netanyahu Iran-Holocaust comparison, By Daniel Estrin, Associated Press, 3/07/12

    (excerpt) The Israeli prime minister’s linking of Iran to Nazi Germany evoked ringing applause this week at a gathering of a pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington. Back home, though, it drew some heavy criticism.
    The Nazi Holocaust of World War II is a delicate and charged topic in Israel, and many felt Benjamin Netanyahu’s repeated equating of the Nazis with the possible modern-day threat of a nuclear-armed Iran went too far.
    In his speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Monday, Netanyahu introduced a Holocaust survivor Israeli Cabinet minister who traveled with him to Washington. He also held up Holocaust-era documents that he said he keeps in his office desk: An 1944 exchange of letters between the World Jewish Congress, imploring the United States to bomb Auschwitz, the largest Nazi concentration camp, and the U.S. reply that it would not do so. . .

    ENTIRE ARTCLE – link to csmonitor.com

  11. Pretty amazing writing Bruce, you make a most compelling argument.

  12. Oren states:

    Comparing the conditions of pre-war Germany with the situation in Iran today, Oren described both as “economies in crisis, following a war,” and likened the “supreme leaders” of each regime to one another. Mentioning Iran directly, Oren said, “It denies the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis while pledging to murder another six million—in Israel.”

    And then Bruce writes:

    Oren should know better. Iranian President Ahmadinejad has certainly danced around Holocaust denial, winked to the Germans that they have been maligned, and has eagerly sponsored several conferences which attracted an auditorium full of the world’s most dedicated deniers.

    Nor is President Ahmadinejad “supreme leader. ” The Ayatollah Khamenei is, as he has been since June 4th, 1989. Ahmadinejad is President of Iran, with no military power. And he’s a lame duck who has become increasingly unpopular in his own country.

    • Bruce says:

      Of course I know that Ahmadinejad is not the “supreme leader” of Iran, only the President. Neither is Netanyahu the “supreme leader” of Israel. The imperfect analogy is Oren’s, not mine. That Ahmadinejad never had military power and that he is on the way out has made no difference in Israeli hasbara.

  13. Pixel says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Bruce. It is a nice photo of your dad. Thanks for including it.

    I’m not a fan of the slur “holocaust denier.”

    • Pixel says:

      It’s not about denial, it’s about facts.

      The term demeans everyone who lost their lives because their deaths were enmeshed with the facts on the ground.

      They died with the facts.

      We should be able to live them.

  14. Pixel says:

    A general aside to all:

    “..when British troops entered Lexington on the morning of April 19, [1775] they found 77 minutemen formed up on the village green. Shots were exchanged, killing several minutemen. The British moved on to Concord, where a detachment of three companies was engaged and routed at the North Bridge by a force of 500 minutemen. As the British retreated back to Boston, thousands of militiamen attacked them along the roads, inflicting great damage before timely British reinforcements prevented a total disaster. With the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the war had begun.” – wikipedia
    .

    On April 19, 2012, one would think the US should have been commemorating the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which marked the beginning of the American Revolution.

    • Pixel says:

      (Sorry, my last comment added to the wrong post.)

    • yourstruly says:

      comparing iran and the zionist entity, aside from a few iranian dissenters (discounting the iranian govt’s claim that they were traitors) who have received the death penalty, how many people has iran killed in wars? and even allowing for however many lives iran supported hamas and hezbullah militias have taken, how does this compare to the 18,000 lives u.s.-sponsored israel took in its summer’82 + its 2006 wars on lebanon, not to mention the nakba and operation cast lead? and the iran-iraq war of the 80s doesn’t count in this discussion because it was started by u.s.-backed iraq’s invasion of iran. and just last week how many palestinians were killed by idf/settler militia versus how many israelis did iran & its lebanese/palestinian allies murder? put it all together and who’s the real & consistant threat in the mideast?

    • chuckcarlos says:

      the soul of America can be found in Western Maryland near where the Potomac meets the Shenandoah along Sharps Creek…The start of the American Revolution…not far from Mount Vernon and Monticello…

      1862 the single most bloody day in American History….Antietam….

      After which Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in States then in rebellion against the Union and turning a miserable war into a struggle for FREEDOM for all peoples…and something in which all Americans can take pride…

      and something too great to dragged in the gutter by our support for the enslavement of another peoples by Israel…

  15. Brewer says:

    One third of one percent??
    That is fewer than served the Reich if my math serves me.

    link to h-net.org

    • hophmi says:

      Yes, it’s true, some soldiers with Jewish-Christian backgrounds served in the German army to protect their families from persecution.

      You unintentionally illustrate a point, though, because like many Jews in the US Army, the identity of those with a Jewish background in Wehrmacht was usually not clear, so the official numbers are probably not accurate.

  16. Woody Tanaka says:

    And, interestingly, one of the Jews living in America (albeit not an American citizen) who did not run out to fight the Nazis was Netayahu’s crazy bastard of a father. You see, he was too busy tramping about New York pushing Revisionist Zionism to fight the greatest force of antisemitism the world has ever known.

    I wonder whether, when Benji was preparing his AIPAC speech, and looking over the “bomb Auschwitz” letters between the World Jewish Congress and the US War Department in 1944, he ever considered calling the old crackpot to ask, “And what the hell were you up to that was so damned important when the Nazis were wiping out the Jews of Europe, that you couldn’t pick up a gun and join in the fight???”

  17. The photo is so universal. My dad is now of Homeric (Simpson) proportions but I remember his photo as a smiling skinny young man in khaki with the US Army Signal Corp (post Korean War era).