April 16, 2013 |
It wasn't surprising that Rafael Medoff's April 7 Op-Ed article about President Franklin D. Roosevelt's private comments on Jews facing persecution in Europe drew spirited responses (though I do admit that I was a little rattled that most of the letters defended Roosevelt). We published several letters Friday -- one from an American Jew who favorably compared the 32nd president's record on genocide to his successors. In response to that letter, in Saturday's Postscript , Medoff listed several instances in which the Roosevelt administration neglected to do anything meaningful to interrupt the Holocaust -- and in ways that would not have undermined the war effort against Hitler.
April 13, 2013
Responding to Rafael Medoff's Op-Ed article Sunday detailing FDR's reaction to Jews facing persecution in Nazi Germany, reader Robert Ouriel wrote in a letter published Friday that "as an American and a Jew, I found [Medoff's] criticism of Franklin D. Roosevelt for his private comments about Jews most unfair. " He continued: "In singling out FDR, Medoff also ignores the squeamishness of America's modern presidents in dealing with genocide. Jimmy Carter, a human rights crusader, did nothing to prevent Pol Pot from exterminating as much as 20% of Cambodia's population.
April 12, 2013
Re "What FDR said in private," Opinion, April 7 As an American and a Jew, I found Rafael Medoff's criticism of Franklin D. Roosevelt for his private comments about Jews most unfair. FDR understood that the best way to end the Holocaust was to defeat Hitler, which he did at the cost of hundreds of thousands of American lives. In singling out FDR, Medoff also ignores the squeamishness of America's modern presidents in dealing with genocide. Jimmy Carter, a human rights crusader, did nothing to prevent Pol Pot from exterminating as much as 20% of Cambodia's population.
April 7, 2013 |
In May 1943, President Franklin Roosevelt met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the White House. It was 17 months after Pearl Harbor and a little more than a year before D-Day. The two Allied leaders reviewed the war effort to date and exchanged thoughts on their plans for the postwar era. At one point in the discussion, FDR offered what he called "the best way to settle the Jewish question. " Vice President Henry Wallace, who noted the conversation in his diary, said Roosevelt spoke approvingly of a plan (recommended by geographer and Johns Hopkins University President Isaiah Bowman)
March 22, 2013 |
CAIRO - The battle between censors and filmmakers over "Jews of Egypt" ended this week when authorities granted permission for the documentary to be shown despite fears it may agitate Egypt's anti-Israeli hatred amid months of political unrest and nationwide protests. The film by director Amir Ramses raised a dilemma over security versus artistic freedom at a time when the rise of conservative Islamist voices has sharpened religious and cultural differences. The documentary explores the life of Egypt's Jewish community before the second Arab-Israeli war in 1956.
March 8, 2013 |
Later this month, President Obama will visit Israel, a country intended by an act of international law to be the reconstituted Jewish national home. The visit will be highly charged, but at the same time, many Israelis have low expectations for what could come of it. The president's protracted but unsuccessful attempts to stifle Iran's nuclear weapons program, his insistence on zealously challenging Israel's right to a united Jerusalem and his inability to pressure the Palestinian Authority to fulfill its obligations are among the chief reasons for the lack of excitement in Israel.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2013 |
A federal appeals court revived a lawsuit Tuesday by female prisoners who contend that the California prison system is violating their rights by refusing to hire a full-time Wiccan chaplain. A district court rejected the inmates' suit, but a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the inmates may have a valid claim. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation hires chaplains for five faiths: Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Native American.
January 10, 2013
Re "Holocaust's children," Column One, Jan. 4 Doris Small's story, in which she escaped Nazi Germany before World War II thanks to the rescue mission Kindertransport, is indeed very moving and poignant. But let's not forget that there was an effort by a few Americans to actually try to do the same thing the British government was doing then. It was Eleanor Roosevelt who in 1939 urged her husband to support a bill in Congress to allow 20,000 Jewish children to come to America and be temporarily adopted by American parents for the duration of the hostility.
January 8, 2013 |
Jews worry for a living. Their dark history and, in the case of American Jews, their legitimate concerns about the security of the state of Israel impel them to do so. But sometimes those concerns are overblown and reflect a kind of collective cosmic oy vey that gets in the way of sound and rational judgment. Such is the case in the matter of Chuck Hagel's nomination to be President Obama's next secretary of Defense. Some of the comments attributed to Hagel about lobbies, Israel and the like come from an interview he gave me for my last book about American Middle East policy, particularly his use of the term "Jewish lobby.
January 7, 2013 |
Most postmortems of the 2012 elections have focused on its implications for the future of the Republican Party, the rise of the Latino vote or the continued polarization of the country by party and region. But here's a takeaway you probably haven't encountered: Catholics are coming on strong. This is from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: “Catholics have seen the biggest gains among the 533 members [of Congress] who are scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 3. Catholics picked up seven seats, for a total of 163, raising their share to just over 30%. Protestants and Jews experienced the biggest declines in numerical terms.