FDR, the Nazis, and the Jews of Morocco: A Troubling Episode

The normalization of relations between Israel and Morocco and the  U.S. recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara have stirred interest in the history of Morocco’s Jews, including during the Holocaust years.

Unfortunately, some pundits, in their enthusiasm over these developments, have misleadingly portrayed the Allied liberation of North Africa in 1942 as the simultaneous liberation of the region’s Jews from their Nazi and Vichyite persecutors. That narrative papers over the harsh reality of what happened after the Allies’ victory. The full story of how President Franklin D. Roosevelt treated the Jews in Morocco and elsewhere in North Africa is a deeply troubling chapter in his administration’s history.

On November 8, 1942, American and British forces launched “Operation Torch,” the invasion of German-occupied Algeria and Morocco. In just eight days, the Allies defeated the Nazis and their Vichy French partners in the region. American Jews expected that the liberation of North Africa would also mean liberation for the 330,000 Jews there.

In 1870, the French colonial authorities in Algeria had issued the Cremieux Decree, which granted equal rights to that country’s Jews after centuries of mistreatment by Arab rulers  (although it did not affect the Jews in neighboring Morocco). When the Vichyites took over North Africa in 1940, they abolished Cremieux and subjected all of the region’s Jews to a range of abuses, including restrictions on admission of Jews to many schools and professions, seizures of Jewish property and occasional pogroms by local Muslims that were tolerated by the government.

In 1941–1942, American Jewish newspapers carried disturbing reports that the Vichyites had built “huge concentration camps” in Morocco and Algeria to house thousands of Jewish slave laborers. The prisoners endured backbreaking work, random beatings by the guards, extreme overcrowding, poor sanitation, near-starvation and little or no medical care. According to one report, 150 Jews scheduled to be taken to the camps were so fearful of the conditions there that they resisted arrest and were executed en masse.

With the Allied victory, North African Jews — and their American coreligionists —expected the prisoners to be released and the Cremieux Decree reinstated for Jews living throughout the region. The American Jewish Congress optimistically predicted that the repeal of the Vichy-era anti-Jewish laws would follow the Allied occupation of North Africa “as the day follows the night.” But President Roosevelt had other plans.


At the beginning of “Operation Torch,” the Allies captured Admiral François Darlan, a senior Vichyite leader. FDR decided to leave Darlan in charge of the Allied-occupied North African territories in exchange for Darlan ordering his forces in Algiers to cease fire.

Many prominent liberals in the United States were appalled by this decision. “[It] sticks in the craw of majorities of the British and French, and of democrats everywhere, [that] we are employing a French Quisling as our deputy in the government of the first territory to be reoccupied,” an editorial in The New Republic protested.

The war was supposed to bring enlightened democracy to areas that had been under the boot of fascism — not keep the old tyrants in power.

Not only was Darlan still in power, but he also retained nearly all of the original senior officials of the local Vichy regime. Darlan did dismiss one Vichyite of note, Yves Chatel, the governor of Algeria — but promptly replaced him with Maurice Peyrouton, the very Vichy official who had signed the anti-Jewish laws of 1940. Together, Darlin and Peyrouton deep-sixed the Cremieux Decree and kept thousands of Jews in the slave labor camps.

Rumblings of concern began to surface in the American press. A December 17 editorial in the New York Timesexpressed doubt that Darlan really intended to bring about “the abrogation of anti-Jewish laws [and] release of prisoners and internees.” The editors of The New Republic asked on December 28, “Who controls French Africa, Darlan or the [Allies]? And if the latter, isn’t it high time we cleaned up the remnants of fascism that obviously still exist there?” An investigative report in the New York City newspaper PM on January 1 asserted that the Darlan regime was actively discriminating against Jews, and “thousands” remained “in concentration camps.”

President Roosevelt publicly claimed that he had already “asked for the abrogation of all laws and decrees inspired by Nazi governments or Nazi ideologists.” But he hadn’t. When reporters questioned him at a January 1, 1943 press conference, FDR replied, “I think most of the political prisoners are — have been released.” But they hadn’t.


The official transcript of FDR’s meeting with Major-General Charles Nogues, a leader of the post-Vichy regime, in Casablanca on January 17, 1943, provides some insight into the president’s thinking.

Nogues asked President Roosevelt about demands by North African Jews for voting rights. According to the stenographer, Roosevelt replied, “The answer to that was very simple, namely, that there just weren’t going to be any elections, so the Jews need not worry about the privilege of voting.”

The transcript continues, “The President stated that he felt the whole Jewish problem should be studied very carefully and that progress should be definitely planned. In other words, the number of Jews should be definitely limited to the percentage that the Jewish population in North Africa bears to the whole of the North African population.”

FDR explained that he wanted to make sure the Jews would not “overcrowd the professions.” He pointed to what he called “the specific and understandable complaints which the Germans bore towards the Jews in Germany, namely, that while they represented a small part of the population, over fifty percent of the lawyers, doctors, school teachers, college professors, etc. in Germany were Jews.”

In reality, Jews comprised about 16% of the lawyers, 11% of the doctors, 3% of the college professors and less than 1% of the schoolteachers in Germany. It’s striking that the president of the United States was so quick to believe the wildly exaggerated numbers — and to conclude that German hatred of Jews therefore was justified.


As the weeks turned into months and as the fascists remained in power in North Africa, public criticism of the Roosevelt administration intensified.

Near-daily reports by I. F. Stone in PM featured headlines such as “U.S. Policy in North Africa: Why State Dept. Holds Up Repeal of Nuremberg Laws,” and “Hull Admits Anti-Fascist Prisoners Still Being Held in North Africa.”

Reports in the New York Times and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s Daily News Bulletin began citing, by name, the camps where North African Jews and political refugees were being enslaved — including one that was just five miles from where “American troops, dedicated to end government by concentration camp, live.”

American Jewish leaders were strongly supportive of President Roosevelt — and some 90% of Jews voted for him repeatedly — but his perpetuation of the persecution of North African Jews was just too much. On February 14, 1943, the American Jewish Congress and World Jewish Congress took the unprecedented step of publicly denouncing the president’s North Africa policy.

In a joint public statement, the two groups charged that “the anti-Jewish legacy of the Nazis remains intact in North Africa.” Despite three months having passed since the Allied liberation, only a few “grudging concessions have been made” to aid the Jews, while no changes “of an important character have been made in the[ir] political and economic situation.”

The statement reminded the president that he had pledged “action to insure that the four freedoms shall without further delay be declared as valid for all the peoples in North Africa, which means the total abrogation of all anti-Semitic laws and decrees and … the release of those of whatever race or nationality who are being detained because of their support of democracy and opposition to Nazi ideology.”

The remarkable statement from those two mainstream Jewish organizations was only slightly milder than the charge by Benzion Netanyahu, executive director of the militant U.S. Revisionist Zionists (and father of the current prime minister of Israel), that “the spirit of the Swastika hovers over the Stars and Stripes” in the administration of North Africa.

Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, the founder and longtime leader of the American Jewish Congress, then led a delegation to Washington to personally make their case directly to U.S. officials, and Wise’s co-chair, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, organized a group of prominent French exiles in the United States to present the State Department with a petition of their own.

The Union of American Hebrew Congregations (Reform) also called on the administration to intervene against the Vichyites. These protests induced a number of other prominent individuals to speak up, among them Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, the exiled French Jewish leader Baron Edouard de Rothschild and leaders of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.


In March 1943 — more than four months after the Allies liberated Morocco and the rest of North Africa — the Roosevelt administration finally instructed the local authorities to repeal the anti-Jewish measures.

The implementation process, however, was agonizingly slow. In April, the forced labor camps in North Africa were officially shut down — yet, in reality, some of them continued operating well into the summer.

The Jewish quotas in schools and professions were only gradually phased out. It was not until October 20, 1943, that the Cremieux Decree was at last reinstated. After ten long months of presidential stalling and stonewalling, this disturbing chapter in American foreign policy finally came to a close.

The increased public interest in the history of North African Jewry is a welcome byproduct of Israeli-Moroccan normalization. But discussions of that history should include its less pleasant side; that part, too, has important lessons to offer.

Whitewashing FDR’s Abandonment of the Jews

by Rafael Medoff and Stephen H. Norwood

Franklin D. Roosevelt is widely remembered as a strong leader who boldly led America out of the Great Depression and to the brink of victory in World War II. Yet when it comes to the Holocaust, some defenders of FDR’s record want us to believe he was not responsible for keeping Jewish refugees out of America—as if that was all the handiwork of the State Department, which supposedly ran U.S. immigration policy and foreign policy independently of the president’s wishes.
Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways.

Prof. Daniel Greene, speaking recently at the University of Oklahoma, continued to perpetuate the implausible notion that President Roosevelt was too hapless to make his own foreign policy. Remarkably, Greene spoke for nearly an hour about America’s response to Nazism and the Holocaust, yet barely mentioned the president.

This tendentious approach is consistent with the theme of the controversial exhibit on “Americans and the Holocaust” at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, for which Greene was senior curator. The exhibit has been criticized by many scholars for downplaying President Roosevelt’s abandonment of European Jewry.

Greene told his Oklahoma audience that the reason so few German Jews were admitted to the U.S. in the 1930s was because of “bureaucratic walls put in place by the State Department” —as if the White House had no occupant. 

What actually happened is that the State Department implemented Roosevelt’s policy of restricting immigration far below what the existing law allowed. The annual quota of German immigrants—about 26,000—was filled only once in FDR’s twelve years in office; in most of those years, it was less than 25% filled.

There are letters from the president himself at the time in which he acknowledged and defended the fact that visas were, as he put it, “considerably under-issued.” There are documents showing that State Department officials briefed the president on their efforts to keep refugees out.

Equally troubling was Greene’s deeply flawed description of the American response to the Nazis’ Kristallnacht pogrom in 1938. Greene simply omitted any mention of the offer by the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands to open his territory to Jewish refugees, and FDR’s rejection of the offer. The exhibit at the museum likewise fails to mention the Virgin Islands as a possible haven for refugees.

The sad truth about President Roosevelt and Nazi Germany in the 1930s—never acknowledged by Greene or the U.S. Holocaust Museum—is that FDR consistently sought to maintain good relations with the Hitler regime prior to the war.

Under President Roosevelt, the U.S. government warmly welcomed the swastika-bedecked German warships Karlsruhe and Emden, which Hitler sent to American ports in 1934-1936 to promote good will between the Third Reich and the United States. The warships visited American Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf Coast ports at a critical time, when Nazi Germany was emerging as a major military power. High-level U.S. military officials openly fraternized with the Nazi warships’ officers, helping to legitimize Hitler’s rearmament program, which put all of European Jewry in extreme danger. With the assistance of Roosevelt’s State Department, the U.S. Navy even helped the Nazi warships improve their combat readiness.  In numerous speeches to American business and civic groups, the German warships’ officers aggressively promoted Nazism and Hitler’s expansionist policies.

The Roosevelt administration ignored  fierce protests by American Jews and trade unionists against the Nazi warships’ visits. The administration’s policy helped enable Nazi Germany to present itself as a respectable member of the community of nations, with many legitimate grievances. Greene mentioned none of this, nor can it be found in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s exhibit. 

The hosting of the Nazi warships was consistent with President Roosevelt’s policy of maintaining cordial, sometimes even friendly, relations with the Nazi regime. From 1933 until the end of 1938, FDR never publicly criticized Hitler’s persecution of German Jews. He never suspended diplomatic or trade relations with Nazi Germany before World War II. And even as many Americans were boycotting German goods in the 1930s, the Roosevelt administration was helping the Hitler regime evade the boycott by allowing it to use deceptive labeling on their goods so that American consumers would not recognize their country of origin.

Toward the end of his talk in Oklahoma, Greene described how the Holocaust Museum’s exhibit was intended especially for younger audiences, so he and his colleagues polled high school students in advance. He said he was surprised when “high school students didn’t do well on the question of who was president in World War 2.” 

Sadly, neither the exhibit nor its roving spokesman is doing much to improve the situation. So long as they depict Roosevelt as the amazing vanishing president—who suddenly goes missing when the embarrassing abandonment of the Jews is discussed—how could high schoolers be expected to know any better?

(Dr. Rafael Medoff is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies; his most recent book is The Jews Should Keep Quiet: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and the Holocaust. Dr. Stephen Norwood is Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Oklahoma; his latest book, which is in press, is Prologue to Annihilation: Ordinary American and British Jews Challenge the Third Reich.)

Israel’s media problem

Published in Abu Yehuda

If endemic irrational hatred of Israel is viewed as a disease, then its primary vector is the Western mainstream media. Although social media have been gaining in importance recently, the traditional media organizations are still the Xenopsylla cheopis spreading this plague.

They had begun to become less and less sympathetic to Israel after the oil shock of the mid-1970s. I started noticing it in 1982, during the First Lebanon War. Never mind that we went into Lebanon because our people in northern Israel were being pounded by rockets, katyushot, fired from Lebanese territory by Yasser Arafat’s PLO. We were blamed for starting the war and sharply criticized for every civilian casualty. And then we were vilified because we didn’t prevent our Christian Phalangist allies from taking (well-deserved, in my opinion) murderous revenge on the PLO.

In 2000, we saw one of the most damaging incidents of fraudulent atrocity reporting, one which was used as an excuse for countless terror attacks, the al-Durrah affair. 12-year old Mohammed al-Durrah was not shot and killed by Israeli soldiers, and probably was not shot at all by anyone, but a Palestinian-produced “news” event, recorded by a Palestinian cameraman, legitimized and transmitted around the world by a (Jewish) French reporter and TV network, ignited a worldwide conflagration of hatred. It was one of the sparks for the Second Intifada, and al-Durrah’s “death” remains a staple of anti-Israel discourse today, despite the ample evidence that it was faked.

In 2002, Israeli forces fought Palestinian terrorists in the Jenin refugee camp, a battle in which 23 IDF soldiers and 53 Arabs, only five of whom were noncombatants, died. The media again – in this case the BBC was the prime villain – accepted fabricated Palestinian accounts as the truth, reporting 500 to 1000 deaths, the deliberate massacre of hundreds of civilians and their burial in mass graves, the destruction of part of a hospital, and more. None of it happened, but that didn’t stop the media from reporting it as if it had. And like al-Durrah, it is still an article of faith in much of the world that there was a massacre in Jenin.

It continued in 2006, during the Second Lebanon War. Social media was in its infancy – Twitter had been around for only a few months and Facebook was two years old and limited to colleges and a few corporations – but already there was communication and coordinated incitement via email, newsgroups, and blogs. Still, the mainstream media outdid itself, sucking up and spewing out Hezbollah propaganda, like the famous “Red Cross ambulance incident,” dissected by the intrepid blogger called “Zombie.”

The phenomenon has only increased since then, through our various Gaza conflicts. The media repeatedly ignored the provocations, the thousands of rockets fired into Israeli communities and the kidnappings and murders carried out by terrorists associated with Hamas; and they consistently accepted Hamas’ atrocity stories and casualty figures.

Most recently, Hamas’ attempted invasion at the Gaza fence has been presented as a “peaceful demonstration” at which Israel’s shooting terrorist operatives (53 out of the 62 dead have been identified as members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad) is described in the media as an “indiscriminate massacre of unarmed protestors.” Today, social media has come into its own, creating multiple echo chambers for anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish expression; but the “real” media continues to legitimize some of the worst narratives.

Naturally there is a close relationship between hating Israel and hating Jews, because Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people. It’s instructive to recall the “3-D” criteria for determining when criticism of Israel crosses over into antisemitism – I prefer the expression “Jew hatred” – suggested in 2004 by Natan Sharansky: Demonization, Double standards, and Delegitimization.

The mainstream media, with a few exceptions (e.g., the Wall St. Journal and Fox News) is regularly guilty of at least the first two “D’s.” They are notorious for their double standards, especially including a double standard for credulity: almost any claims of Israeli misbehavior, cruelty, or criminality are repeated with little attempt at verification, even when the claim is made by a terrorist organization like Hamas or its sympathizers.

These claims – such as that Israel steals organs from dead Palestinians, a story first promulgated by Aftonbladet, a very “mainstream” Swedish newspaper – are often so outrageous as to be comparable to medieval blood libels, and clearly constitute demonization.

Prime examples of anti-Israel media somewhat more sophisticated than Aftonbladet are the New York Times and – what else? – the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. Day in and day out they provide “coverage” of Israel and her conflicts according to the principle that “for Palestinians everything is permitted; while for Israel nothing is excused.” (I apologize for not remembering who said this first).

The New York Times has a history of hostility to Jewish concerns, which according to one book on the subject are a result of the assimilationist ideology of its Jewish publisher. Just as it minimized the Jewish dimension of the Holocaust, today it minimizes the anti-Jewish roots of irrational hatred of Israel.

Ha’aretz is interesting in that it isn’t really a newspaper for Israelis. Its Hebrew print edition and website have a negligible circulation in Israel, while its English-language website ranks about 2,300th among all websites in the US – not up with the Times, whose rank is about 30 (for comparison, Abuyehuda’s rank is about 4.9 million), but not bad at all.

Ha’aretz is the home of Gideon Levy, who writes a column almost every day viciously attacking the Netanyahu government, the IDF, or the 90% or more of Jewish Israeli society that does not live in North Tel Aviv and belong to the academic, media, or “creative” Left. Levy has enormous sympathy for Palestinians and illegal migrants, but none for IDF soldiers, Mizrachi Jews who still remember who their enemies are, or residents of South Tel Aviv whose neighborhoods have been destroyed by said migrants.

Can the mainstream media be fixed? I doubt it. Reporters and editors come from universities where anti-Israel activities are prominent, and tend to study liberal arts, “communications,” or journalism rather than history. Then they join a pool of like-minded individuals who encourage each other to engage in activist journalism. Correspondents in the field are manipulated by very media-savvy operatives from Hamas, Hezbollah, and the PLO who use a combination of threats and inducements to turn coverage in their direction. By contrast, Israel’s efforts are sporadic, poorly funded, and often poorly conceived. The major news organizations use Arab stringers in places like Gaza and southern Lebanon, who are ideologically anti-Israel, susceptible to threats, or both.

Could social media replace it as a reliable source for news? This is even less likely. Social media does have a role to play in keeping the mainstream honest, as illustrated by the Red Cross ambulance incident mentioned above. But if mainstream standards are eroding, social media has no standards at all. It is very subject to manipulation, as was demonstrated during the last election in the US. And efforts to clean it up, such as Facebook’s proposal to measure “trust” in various news sources are likely to make things worse.

There is no overall solution to her media problem, but there are things that Israel could do. One is to increase the available resources and professionalism of her various spokespersons, such as those of the Foreign Ministry and the IDF. Another is to establish worldwide satellite news channels – like Al-Jazeera – broadcasting in multiple languages, which would present accurate news together with entertaining content. This would be extremely expensive, but a drop in the bucket compared with the military budget.

Although Israel’s commitment to free expression prevents us from silencing our “Gideon Levites,” we can at least speak louder and more clearly, in order to ensure that the real story is accessible to anyone who cares to listen.


Hamas, Hezbollah and BDS in a Jewish organization.

The American Jewish Historical Society was founded to study and preserve Jewish history. These days it’s instead partnering with Jewish Voice for Peace: an anti-Israel BDS hate group that defends anti-Semitism and which sponsored talks by an anti-Semite who accused Jews of drinking blood.

The fruits of the AJHS and JVP partnership have been a series of events attacking Israel.

Coming up in late October is “The Balfour Declaration: Support for a Jewish Homeland or Jewish State?”

The two speakers are Robert Herbst, the coordinator of the Westchester chapter of JVP, and Jonathan Kuttab, who advocates a one-state solution for eliminating Israel. He had tweeted, “EU no longer considers #Hamas a terrorist group. Time for US to do same.”

Kuttab has defended Islamic anti-Semitism by claiming that the “distrust Moslems feel towards Jews” is due to “two acts of betrayal by Jewish tribes against the Prophet.” And that Jews suffer from a “Holocaust Syndrome” of entitlement. He justified hijacking planes, described suicide bombers as “taking the supreme sacrifice” and defended Hezbollah as “an armed-resistance movement”

He has claimed that the “Jewish community gradually consolidated its power, wealth, and influence in all sectors of society” especially in “crucial sectors like banking, finance, media” where “their influence both as individuals and an organized community far exceeded their numbers” and that their power strengthens “conspiracy theories about ‘Jewish control’ that are reminiscent of the infamous “’Protocols of the Elders of Zion.’”

Robert Herbst and Jonathan Kuttab are both supporters of a one-state plan for eliminating Israel.

The American Jewish Historical Society is co-sponsoring a JVP anti-Israel event by two opponents of Israel, one of whom has defended Hamas. An organization that hands out the Emma Lazarus Award, named after a passionate Zionist, at its posh dinners is hosting attacks on the existence of Israel.

The “Jewish Homeland” or “Jewish State” argument is a hook for contending that the Balfour Declaration didn’t endorse Israel, but some sort of Jewish Bantustan within a Muslim country.

That worked so well for the Christians and Jews of the Middle East.

The American Jewish Historical Society is not only co-sponsoring a one-state event by an anti-Israel hate group. But it’s also hosting it at the Center for Jewish History’s headquarters. AJHS is a component of the Center for Jewish History. And the partnership between AJHS and JVP sheds light on the controversy over the appointment of David N. Myers, an anti-Israel activist, to head the Center for Jewish History.

During the Myers controversy, the Center took pains to disassociate Myers and themselves from JVP because a JVP handout had listed him as a “JVP Academic Advisory Board Member.” But in reality the Center, through AJHS, has an ongoing relationship with JVP.

The Balfour event was not AJHS’ only partnership with JVP. In December, the AJHS will feature “Rubble Rubble”, a play by Dan Fishback based on his trip to Israel. Fishback is a BDS supporter and a member of the JVP Artists Council. His goal is to “normalize Jewish anti-Zionism”. AJHS and JVP members get discounted admission. The venue is once again the Center for Jewish History. Specifically the Leo and Julia Forchheimer Auditorium at CJH. Leo Forchheimer’s philanthropy had left its mark on Israel. What would he think if he knew the anti-Israel purposes that CJH is putting his gift to?

A third AJHS-JVP event featured Efrat Yerday, an anti-Israel activist, accusing Israel of racism.

Efrat has claimed that, “Zionism does not only dispossess Palestinians, but it also dispossesses in a very sophisticated way, non-white Jews. Being Jewish is highly identified with being white because of Zionism.”

AJHS will claim that it is only offering different perspectives. But when it comes to Israel, there’s only one perspective.

“Balfour” and “Rubble Rubble” are to be part of AJHS’ “1917: How One Year Changed the World”. The exhibition is supposed to cover WWI, the Bolshevik Revolution, and the Balfour Declaration. But the only Balfour program on the list questions whether Israel should even exist. The exhibition closes with Fishback’s anti-Israel agenda. And these are the only listed AJHS programs that focus on Israel.

JVP is also the only organization that AJHS chooses to partner with on political events.

The American Jewish Historical Society appears to be uninterested in holding any pro-Israel events. It’s uninterested in partnering with pro-Israel groups. Instead it’s providing a forum for a BDS hate group.

And it’s no mystery why.

The AJHS Academic Council is packed with anti-Israel activists. Lila Corwin-Berman, the chair of the AJHS Academic Council who also serves on its board of trustees, is a member of the Open Hillel Academic Council. Open Hillel seeks to “open” the campus group to BDS and other anti-Israel views.

Berman has defended the anti-Israel hate group IfNotNow, which employs JVP tactics, and condemned efforts to fight BDS. She signed a petition in support of BDS activists being allowed to enter Israel.

Other AJHS Academic Council members who signed the pro-BDS activist petition include Ari Kelman, Riv-Ellen Prell, Deborah Dash Moore, Rachel Kranson, Libby Garland and Kirsten Fermaglich.

When we look at what is going on in CJH’s components like the AJHS, the elevation of David N. Myers to head CJH is unsurprising. Myers is a symptom of the problem. As is AJHS’s partnership with JVP. A great deal of shocking behavior is taking place inside Jewish organizations whose inner workings most people in the Jewish community generally pay very little attention to.

Unlike CJH, the American Jewish Historical Society is an organization that dates back to the 19th century. Its perversion by the radical anti-Jewish and anti-Israel left to serve anti-Semitic narratives is tragic.

And yet it’s inescapable.

Even as the Myers scandal continues to simmer, the AJHS partnership with JVP is making the choice painfully clear. The radical anti-Israel left will not be satisfied with embedding “moderate” opposing voices into Jewish organizations. Instead it seeks to normalize the furthest extremes of anti-Israel hatred.

And it will not be satisfied with anything less.

During the Myers controversy, defenders of his appointment, including some figures named here, claimed that it was an issue of apolitical scholarship. Is co-sponsoring events with a hate group that has sponsored talks by a woman who accused Jews of drinking blood also apolitical scholarship?

The anti-Israel leftists at the AJHS are clearly not leaving their politics at home. And support for them and for Myers cannot be distinguished from support for their views. Not when JVP is at AJHS.

We all have choices to make. Sometimes the choices are murky. Other times they are simple and easy.

When the American Jewish Historical Society hosts and co-sponsors an event by a BDS hate group attacking the existence of Israel and featuring a speaker who had defended terrorism and anti-Semitism, the choice becomes easy. Either you stand with BDS, Hamas, blood libels and those who want to destroy Israel or with Jews.

As the anti-Israel radicalism of the left grows, such choices will become even more obscenely simple. But they will not be any less difficult.

Opposing the anti-Israel left makes many important enemies and wins few friends. The anti-Israel left has built networks that can blacklist, smear and silence almost anyone in an academic field.

Speaking out against hate is easiest when it’s weakest. It’s hardest when it’s strongest.

When we think about Nazi Germany, we remember those who spoke out. We don’t remember those who were too intimidated and uncertain to rise against anti-Semitism when they saw it and heard it.

History tells us why so many people are afraid to do the right thing when it counts. It also tells us how irrelevant history makes them.

There are lessons here for the Center for Jewish History and the American Jewish Historical Society, for those on the inside who see the corruption of their organizations every day and for those on the outside who are worried about speaking up. There are lessons here for all of us.

If you can’t speak out against the American Jewish Historical Society’s partnership with a hate group linked to a literal blood libels and a speaker who defends Hamas, when will your voice be heard?

Originally Published in FrontPageMag.


What’s the real reason Linda Sarsour was invited to be a commencement speaker at CUNY?

In US academic tradition, university administrators choose commencement speakers they believe embody the zeitgeist of their institutions and as such, will be able to inspire graduating students to take that zeitgeist with them into the world outside.

In this context, it makes perfect sense that Ayman El-Mohandes, dean of the Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy at City University of New York (CUNY), invited Linda Sarsour to serve as commencement speaker at his faculty’s graduation ceremony.

Sarsour embodies Mohandes’s values.

Mohandes’s Twitter feed makes his values clear. His Twitter feed is filled with attacks against Israel.

Mohandes indirectly accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of wishing to commit genocide. Netanyahu, he intimated, wishes to “throw the Arabs in the sea.”

He has repeatedly libeled Israel as a repressive, racist, corrupt state.

Mohandes has effectively justified and legitimized Islamic terrorism and the Hamas terrorist regime in Gaza. The Islamic terrorist assault against Israel, led by Hamas from Gaza, is simply an act of “desperation,” he insists.

By Mohandes’s lights, Hamas terrorists are desperate not because they uphold values and beliefs that reject freedom, oppress women and aspire to the genocide of Jewry and the destruction of the West. No, they are desperate because Israel is evil and oppressive.

Who could Mohandes have chosen to serve as his commencement speaker other than Sarsour, given his positions? Sarsour, the rising star of the Democratic Party, not only shares Mohandes’s values and positions, she has taken those common values and positions and amplified them on the national stage.

Sarsour has taken support for Islamic terrorism and Jew hatred – positions that not long ago were considered beyond the pale in the Democratic Party – and moved them into the mainstream of the Democratic Party.

In fact, Sarsour has gone far beyond Mohandes. She has left him in the dust with her willingness to shill for radical Islam and its oppression of women and express openly her desire to see Israel destroyed while embracing Islamic terrorists and murderers.

Whereas Mohandes generally has shielded himself from accusations of bigotry, support for Hamas, and misogyny by basing his Twitter posts on statements by non-Muslim opponents of Israel like Kenneth Roth from Human Rights Watch, Sarsour has publicly embraced Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists.

She unapologetically justifies Islamic misogyny, attacks opponents of Islamic misogyny and terrorism and whitewashes Islamic violence against women.

Indeed, Sarsour has mainstreamed all of these things by fusing support for Islamic terrorism, misogyny and antisemitism with black anti-white racism and leftist hatred for police and law enforcement agencies more generally.

So in light of Sarsour’s trailblazing role in advancing Mohandes’s apparent values as signaled through his Twitter feed, his decision to have her speak to his graduating class this Thursday is entirely understandable.

The only truly challenging aspect of Mohandes’s invitation is that he didn’t tell the truth about why he chose to honor her. He didn’t say he invited her for her pioneering work in mainstreaming antisemitism, anti-Americanism, anti-white bigotry, Islamic misogyny and terrorism in the Democratic Party.

To the contrary, he hid those things.

Mohandes wrote that he invited Sarsour to speak at commencement because her work “has emphasized women’s health issues in the New York area.”

No it hasn’t.

At least, not unless you consider calling for women to have their vaginas carved out “emphasizing women’s health issues.”

In 2011, Sarsour used her Twitter feed to call for precisely that in a shocking verbal assault against two female icons – Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has dedicated much of her career to protecting Muslim girls from female genital mutilation and was herself victimized by the barbaric practice, and Brigitte Gabriel, who as a Lebanese Christian suffered firsthand the wrath of Islamic supremacism during the Lebanese Civil War.

In Sarsour’s words, “Brigitte Gabriel= Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She’s asking 4 an a$$ whippin’. I wish I could take their vaginas away – they don’t deserve to be women.”

Earlier this month, during a speech at Dartmouth College, Sarsour was asked by a student how her professed feminism could be squared with her expressed support for genital mutilation of her ideological opponents.

Sarsour’s response was telling.

First, she delegitimized the student, insisting that since he is “a young white man” he had no right to ask her such a question.

Then, she intimated that she never wrote the offensive post.

Then, she insisted that her words are unimportant because she wrote them when she was in her 20s. (She was 31 in 2011).

In her uplifting words, “People say stupid sh*t sometimes, right?” Finally, Sarsour insisted that what she said is irrelevant.

“I will be judged by my impeccable record for standing for black lives and immigrant rights, and women’s rights and LGBT rights. You judge me by my record and not by some tweet you think I did nor did not tweet 10 years ago or seven years ago, or whenever it was.”

But if we judge her by her record, we see the only thing that is impeccable about it is her consistent, unapologetic defense of Islamic misogyny, terrorism and Jew hatred.

Sarsour has been extolled for her championing of women’s rights by former president Barack Obama, and New York Senator Kristin Gillibrand. But it is not clear when she has ever done so in her own community.

For instance, as Ian Tuttle reported in National Review, in 2014 Sarsour (who was then leading efforts to fuse the Black Lives Matter movement with anti-Zionism) published an article on CNN.com titled, “My hijab is my hoodie.”

There Sarsour conflated the death of Trayvon Martin with the 2012 murder of Shaima Alawadi.

Alawadi was a Muslim woman who was beaten to death in her California home.

Sarsour alleged that Alawadi was murdered because of Islamophobia. But this was a lie. And it would be bizarre if Sarsour didn’t realize it was a lie when she wrote the article.

If Islam had anything to do with Alawadi’s murder, it may have served as a justification for her Muslim husband’s decision to beat her to death. Her husband was arrested for her murder in 2012. He was convicted and sentenced to 26 years to life in prison in 2014.

That wasn’t the only time that Sarsour used false allegations of American anti-Muslim bigotry to whitewash Islamic misogyny.

In 2014 she took to her Twitter feed to defend Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women while belittling Saudi gender apartheid that among other things, bars women from driving cars.

In her words, “10 weeks of PAID maternity leave in Saudi Arabia. Yes PAID. And ur worrying about women driving. Puts us to shame.”

In 2015, she extolled Sharia law, which among other things allows men to marry four women and sanctions wife beating and child brides.

As she did in her defense of Saudi misogyny, Sarsour defended Sharia by ignoring its hatred of women and pretending it is no different from progressive socialism.

Again turning to Twitter, she wrote, “You’ll know when you’re living under Sharia law if suddenly all your loans and credit cards become interest free. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?” As for LGBT rights, Sarsour pretends to support them. But she is silent about the systematic oppression of homosexuals in Muslim society.

With everything related to Jews and Israel, Sarsour has been outspoken in her bigotry, support for terrorism and anti-Jewish supremacism. Sarsour is a leader of the antisemitic boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that seeks to bar pro-Israel voices from college campuses and wider American society.

Sarsour was one of the organizers of the anti-President Donald Trump woman’s marches in January. Yet, Sarsour insists Zionist women cannot be feminists.

She recently publicly embraced a Hamas terrorist. She rejects any cooperation with Jewish groups that support Israel. Her relatives have been served time in Israeli prisons for terrorist activities on behalf of Hamas. Hamas of course, calls for the genocide of world Jewry in its charter.

Sarsour supports the Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh who murdered two Israeli students in a bombing in a Jerusalem supermarket in 1970.

The most notable aspect of Sarsour’s “impeccable record” is that it is all in the public square. She has hidden nothing.

This tells us the most distressing thing about the Left’s decision to promote her. The Left is empowering Sarsour not despite her views, but because of them.

She is being elevated by CUNY, by the Democratic Party and by major American media outlets because she mainstreams Jew hatred, anti-Zionism and Islamic misogyny, not despite the fact that she does those things.

Sarsour has been rightly condemned by opponents of Islamic misogyny, supremacism and terrorism and by supporters of Israel.

But the truth is she’s not the real problem.

The real problem is that Mohandes was right to invite her. Not only does she share his values, she embodies the zeitgeist of the American Left today.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Toxic Relationship: Nazis and Islamists Are United in Their Hate for Jews

A few weeks ago there was a report that the video game Steam platform was being used by neo-Nazis and Islamists to link up with each other and express anti-Semitism. According to the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, over 11,000 Steam users have the account name Adolf Hitler, while a further 3,000 go by the name Osama Bin Laden. There are many thousands of other accounts which are “brazenly anti-Semitic,” the CAA added. The CAA found that “Islamists and neo-Nazis [are] even discussing what it might be like to kill Jews in real life.”

This type of collusion between the two groups seems strange as one would expect the neo-Nazis to hate anyone not like them, especially non-whites, but many have actually found a common cause with the Islamists, especially with regards to hating Jews.

This has been going on since shortly after 9/11 and was seen when white supremacist web sites like National Front, Combat 18 and White Nationalist Party were reproducing articles from the Islamist group Hizb-ut-Tahir.

The anti-Semitic cartoons and caricatures printed in the Arab world have been reproduced by these white supremacists.

When the Malaysian President, Mahathir Mohamad, announced in 2003 to a summit of Islamic leaders that “Jews rule the world through proxy” and “have others fight and die for them,” the White Nationalist Party urged members to phone the Malaysian embassy in London to express their support for him.

On the website of the white supremacist Aryan Nations, August Kreis posted a letter to offer his thanks to Islamic terrorists:

“We as an organisation will also endeavour to aid all those who subvert, disrupt and are malignant in nature to our enemies. Therefore I offer my most sincere best wishes to those who wage holy Jihad against the infrastructure of the decadent, weak and Judaic-influenced societal infrastructure of the West. I send a message of thanks and well-wishes to the methods and works of groups on the Islamic front against the Jew such as Al-Qaeda and Sheik Usama Bin Ladin, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and to all Jihadis worldwide who fight for the glory of the Khilafah and the downfall of the anti-life and anti-freedom system prevalent on this earth today.”

The same website has a quote on its main page from SS-Obergruppenführer (Lieutenant General) Gottlob Berger, “a link is created between Islam and National-Socialism on an open, honest basis. It will be directed in terms of blood and race from the North, and in the ideological-spiritual sphere from the East.”

A neo-Nazi group in America, the National Alliance, published an essay written by William Pierce who claimed that the 9/11 attacks in New York had forced the whole subject of US policy in the Middle East into the open. He writes about the subject of American interests versus Jewish interests, of Jewish media control and its influence on governmental policy. He claims that Osama bin-Laden broke the “taboo” about questioning Jewish interests, which “in the long run may more than compensate for the 3000 American lives that were lost.”

In addition, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, in 2005, from Defence for Democracies has brought to light several attempts by neo-Nazis to reach out to Islamists. His findings include people like William Pierce, James Wickstrom, Ahmed Huber and William W. Baker. An American neo-Nazi website ADLUSA says that the attempts by the ADL to have the Hezbollah official TV channel banned for being part of a terrorist organisation is a campaign of “smear, corruption and harassment”. On this website, there was also a plea directed towards Islamists: “Moslems, lay down your guns and join our mission to remove Jews from positions of power from which they persecute one people after another; killing Americans misled by Jews only incites endless wars.”

In 2006 it was reported that one of the former leaders of the neo-Nazi group Combat 18 and the founder of the British National Socialist Movement, who had been jailed for racist attacks, had converted to Islam. He seemed to have jumped from a lunatic anti-Semitic fringe group to the more popular band wagon of anti-Semitism and had declared that:

“The pure authentic Islam of the revival, which recognizes practical jihad as a duty, is the only force that is capable of fighting and destroying the dishonour, the arrogance, the materialism of the West . . . For the West, nothing is sacred, except perhaps Zionists, Zionism, the hoax of the so-called Holocaust, and the idols which the West and its lackeys worship, or pretend to worship, such as democracy. They want, and demand, that we abandon the purity of authentic Islam and either bow down before them and their idols, or accept the tame, secularized, so-called Islam which they and their apostate lackeys have created. This may well be a long war, of decades or more — and we Muslims have to plan accordingly. We must affirm practical jihad — to take part in the fight to free our lands from the kuffar [unbelievers]. Jihad is our duty.”

David Myatt is a classic example of the crossover from neo-Nazi to Islamist. Although he subsequently changed his tune, and in 2012 left Islam, announcing that he now viewed Hitler as a man who “caused great suffering and whose actions and policies where dishonorable and immoral.” He has also denounced Holocaust denial and praised the victory of the Allies over Nazi Germany as a “moral necessity”. Nevertheless, the gateway transition that the far-right provided for him to convert to extremist Islam through common interests, is worthy of note and should be used as a warning of how others can and have done the same.

The neo-Nazi political party Jobbik in Hungary found common cause with the Iranian regime in 2013 based on their hatred of Jews and Israel.

The white supremacist Glen Miller who killed three Jews in Kansas expressed admiration for Louis Farrakhan, the extremist Nation of Islam and said he had “a great deal of respect for Muslims.”

This admiration is not just a one way street. There seems to be a reciprocation of support and understanding from some Islamists, this is not a new phenomena. As is well known, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, during World War 2, went to visit Hitler and pledged to work with him to destroy the Jews and established Bosnian Muslim Wafen-SS units to fight for the Nazis. He wasn’t the only one to make use of fascism for the Muslims. Muhammad Navvab Safavi’s manifesto that foreshadowed the Iranian revolution was a stark resemblance to Nazi propaganda and others have also made use of fascism for bloody nihilism.

The Arab Nationalists in the 1930’s modeled themselves on German fascism, as seen with the Ba’sthist movements in Syria and Iraq, in the way that the Arab world was to become one nation bound by military discipline and heroic individual sacrifice, a very fascist belief.

In more recent years, in 2010 the American Muslim Association of North America featured on its website a video by David Duke, the former KKK leader and now white supremacist. Another David Duke video, a conspiracy theory about “Zionist running dogs”, was found on the website belonging to Canadian Shia Muslims Organisation. An organisation that supposedly “supported multiculturalism” and “interfaith dialogue.”

One of the founders of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, Asghar Bukhari, from the United Kingdom, supported the infamous Holocaust denier David Irving and raised funds from Islamists for him to defend himself.

The neo-Nazi William Baker has been invited by several Muslim groups in both America and Canada to talk to large crowds of Muslims. This includes groups such as Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim Student Association of Western Michigan University, the Muslim Student Association at the University of Pennsylvania and several others.

This alliance is a seemingly strange one but when the principle of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is applied, their hatred for Jews binds them together. Not only that, but both wish to see the destruction of the current liberal democratic system in the West replaced with one of their utopia. The Nazis believe they can rid the world of corruption whilst the Islamists believe they can bring the Kingdom of Allah to the world. With these two fanatical groups finding common ground, can there be a more toxic combination?


Hijacking the memory of a murdered Jewish girl to aid the murder of more Jewish girls.