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Wake up, Ruth Westheimer

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Last week Ruth Westheimer, the sex therapist, urged people to attend the Israel Day celebration in New York and support the country or she might shoot them. I was in the Haganah, I was sharpshooter. Watch out! Whoever is not going to give us support, watch out for me, I can still put five bullets into that little red circle.” Westheimer was born in Germany and narrowly escaped the Holocaust. Lillian Rosengarten, pictured below, author of the forthcoming book, “From The Shadows Of Nazi Germany To The Jewish Boat To Gaza: My Story,” offered this response. 

Dear Ruth Westheimer,

Are you blind or do you simply have your head in the sand, in complete denial of Zionist Israel’s racist crimes to rid Israel of Palestinians? Excuse me, but I am reminded of “Deutschland Uber Alles.” You see, I was born in Frankfurt, I too am a refugee from Nazi Germany and I am a Jew who must say NO to apartheid, occupation , check points, stolen land, racism and a desire for a Jewish State only obtained through the suffering and blood of Palestinians who are identified as “reviled Arabs” by Israelis who are taught from childhood to hate. Only today I was sickened to read on “Jerusalem Day” settlers shouted “Kahane was right.” Do you remember Kahane, the founder of the Jewish Defense league? A nationalist activist, he was both a “visionary hero of nationalist Israelis” or a criminal racist, dependent on whose side one was on. He founded the militant anti-Arab Kach party with a platform that called for the annexation of all conquered territories and the forcible removal of all Palestinians. Death to the Arabs is what was heard in the streets of Jerusalem as Palestinians were barricaded from leaving their homes by Israeli soldiers. What I hear is “Death to the Jews.” Why can’t you recognize the insanity of yet another ultra right wing Nationalistic country that sees itself as exceptional? Wake up, Ruth Westheimer. You should lead us in dissent not in a wishful fantasy.

Have you not heard of the Nakba? This is the Palestinian Holocaust, a catastrophe for the people who tragically are the last victims of the Holocaust. No there are no ovens, but there are open air prisons, closed prisons holding thousands of Palestinians including women and children who have not been charged and who remain indefinitely in sordid conditions. Stolen homes. stolen lives.

Lillian Rosengarten

Lillian Rosengarten

Do you not see a repeat of history? Yes it is in another form but similar in the violent , racist nationalistic fervor of Zionist Israelis who somehow have decided the land must belong to them only. How do you see the events? Do you label Palestinians as terrorists and Zionists as victims? This has been a carefully manipulated scenario, a “hasbara” that also uses the memory of the Nazi Holocaust to justify all means to secure a Jewish State only.

Do you not know about Operation Cast Lead, 3 weeks of constant bombings in Gaza, the grimmest of war stories? Daily bombings, infrastructure, schools, hospitals, destruction everywhere, chemicals in the missiles. I saw the effects of depleted uranium and white phosphorous on young children. It was horrible. Birth defects were monstrous, parents grieving, children depressed, unable to have a childhood. The refugee camps intolerable. Open fire, Mediterranean waters infested with raw sewage, fisherman shot , their once thriving fishing industry destroyed, locked gates and hospital without enough medicines, with not enough electricity, with broken generators.

Are you blind, Ruth Westheimer? How is it that you can tolerate such atrocities to occur without saying “No! Never again.” I beg you, educate yourself, read the story of the Palestinian “catastrophe.” Be humble and look to the truth and not a revisionist interpretation of history.

The hope for Israel as a beacon of light is non existent. I grieve to witness the path Zionist Israel has walked. Only for Jews. Now what kind of Democracy is that?

Lillian Rosengarten

Lillian Rosengarten is author of the book “Survival and Conscience: From The Shadow Of Nazi Germany To The Jewish Boat To Gaza."(October 2015, Just World Books) It has been published in German. (Zambon 7/14). She can be contacted through her website, lillianrosengarten.com

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25 Responses

  1. W.Jones on June 4, 2014, 10:05 am

    Thanks Lilian.

    “Whoever is not going to give us support, watch out for me” ~Dr. R. Westheimer

    “I too am a refugee from Nazi Germany and I am a Jew who must say NO to apartheid, occupation , check points, stolen land, racism and a desire for a Jewish State only obtained through the suffering and blood of Palestinians” ~Lilian Rosengarten

    I’m glad you lived and were inspired to write this letter, Lilian. May the Lord continue to bless you.

  2. just on June 4, 2014, 10:07 am

    My sincere thanks, Lillian Rosengarten.

    Evocative as your poem, here:

    “Rains White Phosphorous Here

    1/17/12

    Travel with me to the land of sad oranges.
    Here children play in refugee camps. Grey, grey the buildings along the narrowest streets.
    Stench of garbage, cesspools of sewage no sun, no trees.
    Rains white phosphorous here where missiles fall.
    White rain burns the skin and organs die.
    I am haunted by their faces, eyes speak the unspeakable.
    I have seen it all before.
    I want to tell them soon it will be over
    This tragedy for which there is no forgiveness.
    They wonder who I am and so
    I show a peace sign, as if to say I am a friend.
    “Viva Palestina” they echo after me.

    Imagine what it is like for me
    Refugee from nazi madness,
    To see AGAIN proud people
    Demonized as evil, driven from their land, ripped from their roots.
    Grimmest of war stories.
    Unimaginable horror, collective punishment, life unsustainable
    As if we did not know already, how nationalism in it’s cruelest form
    Is born of twisted hate and ideology
    To cloud all forms of reason.
    Sometimes I feel I have lost all reason,
    That I simply dream this nightmare of Israel, echo of “death to all Jews.”
    Now, “Palestinians don’t exist.””

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/rains-white-phosphorus-here.html

    • Susie Kneedler on June 4, 2014, 10:44 am

      Omygosh, just, thanks for giving us Lillian’s poem again: it means even more as she still sings of being “haunted by their faces, eyes speak the unspeakable.”

      Lillian, thanks for being there and here.

  3. Susie Kneedler on June 4, 2014, 10:32 am

    Lillian Rosengarten, Thanks for saying what used to be the unsayable comparison about the unspeakable: “the Palestinian Holocaust, a catastrophe for the people who tragically are the last victims of the Holocaust. No there are no ovens, but there are open air prisons…holding thousands….Operation Cast Lead, 3 weeks of constant bombings….infrastructure, schools, hospitals, destruction everywhere, chemicals in the missiles…..depleted uranium and white phosphorous on young children. It was horrible. Birth defects were monstrous, parents grieving, children depressed, unable to have a childhood….Open fire, Mediterranean waters infested with raw sewage, fisherman shot, their once thriving fishing industry destroyed, locked gates and hospital without enough medicines, with not enough electricity, with broken generators.” You tell us so much more that I want to quote every syl., so ‘ll just shut it + say that your conscience is as lovely as your beautiful photo, + Thanks for reminding me that I have to be “humble” to see.

  4. bintbiba on June 4, 2014, 10:36 am

    Lillian Rosengarten… Thank you , thank you , thank you .!!
    I am SO lost for words .

    You are so beautiful …inside and out !

  5. Zach S on June 4, 2014, 10:36 am

    Are you blind or do you simply have your head in the sand, in complete denial of Zionist Israel’s racist crimes to rid Israel of Palestinians? Excuse me, but I am reminded of “Deutschland Uber Alles.

    How to win friends and influence people, anti-Zionist edition.

    • just on June 4, 2014, 12:18 pm

      Why am I not surprised that you don’t/won’t GET IT?

    • Woody Tanaka on June 4, 2014, 12:44 pm

      “How to win friends and influence people, anti-Zionist edition.”

      Nope, just telling the truth. The problem is that you pro-Zionists don’t give a damn about the truth, just like you didn’t give a damn that those two boys were murdered in cold blood by your Zionist buddies.

    • Hostage on June 4, 2014, 1:43 pm

      Excuse me, but I am reminded of “Deutschland Uber Alles.

      How to win friends and influence people, anti-Zionist edition.

      I have a lot of Anti-Zionist friends who agree that Hatikvah and the methods employed to establish Jewish rule over Palestine and Palestinians were part and parcel of the immature, mythological, “blood and soil” claptrap espoused by various racist and fascist political movements that were popular in 19th and 20th century Europe. Let’s face it, Lillian Rosengarten exposes Dr. Ruth as a small-minded little troll with no sense of history or self-awareness on this particular subject. FYI, there’s very little chance that you will win friends, much less influence people, by engaging in Zionist agit-prop at Mondoweiss.

      • bintbiba on June 4, 2014, 2:01 pm

        Hostage, “Small-minded little troll” ….excellent epithet to fit this woman. I had to bite my hand (tongue) to avoid using really angry words…. better not said to tarnish this good site of ours.

      • DaBakr on June 4, 2014, 6:13 pm

        wow. you really are convinced this site is “good” as opposed to what? sites that you disagree with are “bad”. You do know the subtext to the Mondoweiss headline is “The War of Ideas…” Isn’t war always ‘bad’ and peace always ‘good’? Or do we now have an argument for ‘just wars’? *

        *careful, slippery slopes ahead….

      • Hostage on June 5, 2014, 1:06 am

        wow. you really are convinced this site is “good” as opposed to what?

        Yes, Mondoweiss is much more successful at providing honest criticism of Israel and surviving the war of ideas than the now-defunct Beinart/Daily Beast ‘Open Zion’ experiment, e.g. See “Why Open Zion is Closing” http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/05/why-open-zion-is-closing.html

        sites that you disagree with are “bad”. You do know the subtext to the Mondoweiss headline is “The War of Ideas…” Isn’t war always ‘bad’ and peace always ‘good’? Or do we now have an argument for ‘just wars’? * . . . *careful, slippery slopes ahead….

        Wow, what a crappy attempt at pilpul (reframing). If we are going to engage in a war of ideas, then you and Dr Ruth need to present something, besides marksmanship, that’s worth discussing. You obviously can’t respond to what Lillian Rosengarten had to say, so you are trolling the thread and trying to distract attention away from the subject.

  6. eljay on June 4, 2014, 10:38 am

    I continue to admire Ms. Rosengarten.

  7. Kay24 on June 4, 2014, 10:57 am

    If only more folk like Lillian Rosengarten spoke out against the madness, and denial, exhibited by zionists like Ruth Westheimer. Those who genuinely felt the horrors of the holocaust, will truly feel the suffering of those going through similar horrors, the inhumane treatment of unarmed civilians, living in horrendous conditions, and unable to control what is happening to them. Every Palestinian child killed is the same as the helpless Jewish kid who was killed during the holocaust. No life is superior, or less precious, compared to others. Westheimer, in her old age, is revealing her true self – a deep down violence, threats against those who do not do her bidding, and perhaps her inability to sympathize with human beings, suffering because of zionist policies she obviously admires and follows. Ruth Westheimer lacks the compassion and understanding that Lillian Rosengarten shows, and Westheimer needs a shrink badly to sort it out.

  8. wondering jew on June 4, 2014, 2:00 pm

    What a suprise? People who read MW prefer Lillian Rosengarten to Westheimer!

    The content of this letter added very little to the discussion. Westheimer’s “I’m good with a rifle” utterances are not worthy of better than this, but the level of the conversation is low all around here.

    • Citizen on June 5, 2014, 8:26 am

      @ yonah fredman

      The content of Lillian’s letter addressed to “Doctor Ruth” addressed the giant mote in the latter’s eye.

      Do you think your comment raised the level of conversation here?

    • tree on June 5, 2014, 5:28 pm

      …but the level of the conversation is low all around here.

      And the portions are so small.

  9. hellsbells on June 4, 2014, 5:49 pm

    Perhaps she uses carrying a gun as part of her sex therapy for males that fail?

  10. DaBakr on June 4, 2014, 6:08 pm

    whatever you thought of Kahane lady-and believe me-there are 1000s of Arab ‘kahane doppelgangers ‘ in Palestine and the larger Arab crescent. They preach every day to urge their fellow coereligionists and/or citizens to take back all of pre-mandate israel. BDS screams on American campus’s “From the river to the sea…” So you can save your pious lecture and indictment of the dotty old Dr. Ruth. As far as I rememebr Kahane never promoted harming or killing anybody but he did want to annex all the land and he did want to ‘move’ or fairly put: ethnically cleanse’ certain areas of this there is no denying. he wasn’t widely loved during his time but in light of the reality, as he saw it, he appealed to a certain religious sector along with a few hard right nationalist Jews.
    But he wasn’t blind and he sought political office to effect change and what is it that happened to him Ms? The Arabs (or Palestinians specifically) murdered him. So, he did not commit murder yet he paid with his life for the crime of being an extremist. It just annoys the sh out of me to hear people use Kahane as some kind of example. Maybe if he wasn’t murdered people who thought he was such a ‘visionary’ would have come around to seeing his flawed concepts. But now-just like the bomb-murderers of baby, old and adult jews and muslims are honored as martyrs in Palestinian squares-now this guy Kahane will forever be a touchstone for a certain type of religious Israeli extremist.
    Kahane reminded me of the old and dead US professional candidate Lyndon LaRouche -who always sounded so logical when he talked but you knew there was a screw loose somewhere and it was a matter of time before it shook itself loose. But the Arabs saw to it that never happened.

    • Hostage on June 5, 2014, 2:32 pm

      dotty old Dr. Ruth. As far as I rememebr Kahane never promoted harming or killing anybody

      If you don’t remember that he founded several organizations, including several that are still on the Treasury, Justice, and State Department terrorist lists, then you are more dotty than the “doctor”.

    • Woody Tanaka on June 5, 2014, 3:42 pm

      “As far as I rememebr Kahane never promoted harming or killing anybody ”

      Then you’re either ignorant or a liar.

      “he did want to annex all the land and he did want to ‘move’ or fairly put: ethnically cleanse’ certain areas of this there is no denying”

      So, it’s “liar” then.

      “The Arabs (or Palestinians specifically) murdered him.”

      No,we have one Egyptian, El Sayyid Nosair, to thank for making the world a better place.

    • tree on June 5, 2014, 5:16 pm

      As far as I rememebr Kahane never promoted harming or killing anybody but he did want to annex all the land and he did want to ‘move’ or fairly put: ethnically cleanse’ certain areas of this there is no denying.

      I find it very pathetic that you seem to think that calling for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is not promoting “harming anybody”. Nevertheless, Kahane went farther than calling for ethnic cleansing. From Robert Friedman’s book on Kahane, “False Prophet”, describing Kahane’s stint as a member of the Knesset:

      Kahane prepared several bills for the Knesset that were shockingly reminiscent of the Nuremberg Laws, which the Nazis had enacted against German Jews nearly five decades earlier. One called for the expulsion of Israel’s Arabs. Another would have made it a crime punishable by two years in jail for a Jewish woman to have sex with an Arab. A third would have made it illegal to insult Judaism and the Jewish people. “We state that anyone who declares that any verse or saying in the Bible, the Talmud, or the Commentary isn’t true is racist and should be subject to three years in prison,” Kahane told me. He also called for confining Israel’s non-Jews to ghettos less they pollute the “authentic Jewish” spirit. As he put it in a speech he delivered in New York in 1984: “The foreigners vomit their sickness onto us, and we swallow it eagerly…Let us vomit them out and purge the Holy Land of all vestige of impurity.”

      …..

      In a speech in Haifa on June 28, 1985, Kahane attacked Jews and Arabs equally: “No one can understand the soul of those (Arab) beasts, those roaches,” glowered Kahane.“We shall either cut their throats or throw them out. I only say what you think.” According to a report in Kolbo Haifa, a Hebrew-language weekly newspaper in Haifa, Khane then directed a stream of obsenities against the mayor of Haifa, Arieh Goral, and left-wing politicians Shulamit Aloni and Yossi Sarid, whom he called “scoundrel:, “dog”, “disgusting” and “Jewish prostitutes who employ Arab pimps.”

      Kahane concluded his harangue, which was meglomaniacal even by his standards, by promising the audience: “In two years time, they [the Arabs] will turn on the radio and hear that Kahane has been named minister of defense. Then they will come to me, bow to me, lick my feet, and I will be merciful and will allow them to leave. Whoever does not leave will be slaughtered”

      And he was a racist kook and an extremist for decades before he moved to Israel. His screws had all come flying loose years before he moved to Israel. Your excuses for him are pathetic in the extreme.

  11. jon s on June 5, 2014, 5:14 pm

    To better understand Dr. Ruth Westheimer I recommend episiode 12 of the “Extraordinary Women” documentary series:

    http://www.worldmediarights.com/index.php?hidAction=episode&eid=2625&name=Dr_Ruth_Westheimer

  12. jon s on June 5, 2014, 5:28 pm

    Kahane certainly did “promote harming and killing”. His followers in the US and in Israel were guilty of violent crimes, including murder (of Alex Odeh in the US, of Moslems praying at the Tomb of the Patriarchs – Barukh Goldstein’s massacre- in Hebron, for example). His movement was designated as a terrorist organization in Israel, and outlawed.

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