The lie about Jews that the power of the IDF never failed to shed was that we’re incapable of fighting, that we manipulate others into doing our fighting for us and that we’re constantly pretending to be victims in order to gain undeserved sympathy from those around us.
As if to prove that point the one time Labour Party political candidate for Witham in Essex in the 2015 general election spent a long time both attacking Jews for killing too many people once they had a state and for not killing enough people before Israel was founded;
It’s unfortunate that this was posted in 2012 and yet still Clarke was able to run as the Labour Party political candidate for his constituency but the way the Labour Party is today I’m not sure that holding such views didn’t actually help him. But his accusation about Jews fighting in World War II hits a particular nerve with me and should with Jews everywhere. From the USA to the former Soviet Union and all around the world Jews fought, shed blood and died in the name of freedom. Their children and grandchildren shouldn’t now, decades later, be forced into proving it. Yet here we are.
Apparently John Clarke has never heard of Major General Maurice Rose who was killed in Germany while leading his division from the front. Rose’s father and grandfather were rabbis but he was always determined to become a soldier. Major General Rose was the highest ranking US officer to be killed by enemy fire in the European theater of operations. He ran his division from the front line and he earned every promotion he got by advancing against the enemy.
I imagine that Clarke has never heard of Raymond Zussman, Isadore Jachman and Ben Salomon three Jewish boys who awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour, the highest decoration for bravery in the US military for their courage fighting in World War II. Jachman was awarded the medal for attacking two German tanks with a bazooka that he retrieved while under fire. Zussman, Jachman and Salomon account for just three of the 26,000 medals and citations awarded to Jews in the US Armed Forces during World War II. Another three Jewish soldiers were awarded the Victoria Cross, the UKs highest award for gallantry during the war while serving in the British armed forces.
Over 550,000 American Jews served in the US armed forces during world war II. An estimated 500,000 more Jews wore the uniform of the Red Army (including at least nine generals). One of whom was called Yakov Kreizer. He was awarded Russia’s highest award for bravery and promoted to the rank of Field Marshal in the Russian Army after war. 100,000 wore the uniform of the Polish Army and 30,000 the British, including privates Jack Goldberg and Jack Fisher, my grandfathers. One of whom lost his entire unit, killed by a bomb hitting their ship while it was docked in St Nazaire at the start of the war. From Arnhem to the Battle of Britain to the Deserts of North Africa Jews fought, killed and died during World War II. Even as far away as India and Burma where my Great Uncle served with the RAF. Many of them returned home only to have to carry on fighting against the same racism Clarke so stubbornly, so contemptibly perpetuates.
When I recently visited the Imperial War Museum at Duxford with my father I paused at a memorial for the American Airmen killed while flying missions over the Third Reich. I was looking for Jewish names in that memorial and I found them. When I found them I felt the pain caused by the accusation that we Jews don’t do our part slightly healed, though mixed with shame at feeling the need to look for Jews at all. Clarke’s accusation cuts deep. Even when we’re dead he’s judging our actions over those of others. Even when the war is long done and the battles won Clarke places the burden of proof on Jews to clear the reputation he has besmirched. When Clarke says;
As for WW2 I am unaware of any significant military action taken by Jews against Nazi Germany; ask older Jews why didn’t actually FIGHT the Nazis.
He separates the Jews who fought in every major campaign in World War II from all the other soldiers wearing the same uniform and shedding the same red blood in the same noble cause. Something antisemites consistently attempt to do. Jews fought the Nazis everywhere, except where they were fighting the Japanese or the Italians or some other Axis acolyte instead. If you want to know where Jews fought in World War II just ask yourself where there was fighting and you’ll find us. If he wants to know why “the Jews” weren’t fighting the Germans it’s because the Jewish state didn’t yet exist and there was no Jewish army to fight them. Now the state of Israel does exist and Clarke is busy attacking it for doing too much fighting.
Just yesterday another petty politician, this time in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament took it upon himself to lecture Jews saying that;
We have all had terrible sufferings in history – all of us. But we actually have to overcome that and start to live like human beings together. I believe it is perfectly possible. And I think there are many many Jewish people — Jews for Justice [for Palestine] for one — who know this perfectly well. To be a Jew is not to be a Zionist. That’s a different qualification.”
But Jews don’t need to “overcome” in 2017. We literally overcame our terrible suffering through our resistance to Hitler while he was still in power. Jewish warriors of the Holocaust rose up against their oppressors in feats of resistance unparalleled by any of the hundreds of thousands of combat trained allied prisoners of war who never rose up at all. The Warsaw Ghetto uprising was the first mass uprising of any people under Nazi occupation. The weak, starving, untrained Jewish fighters held out against the German army almost as long as Poland did. They only gave up when they were out of ammunition and German guns were systematically destroying every building in the ghetto.
From the French resistance to the Polish underground Jewish resistors to Hitler were the leading light in the battle against Nazism. From Abba Kovner and his band of partisans who broke out of the Vilnius Ghetto to resist the Nazis from the forests to the Bielski brothers. Even in the death camps Jews resisted against the certain death that stalked them. The revolt in the Treblinka death camp resulted in 300 prisoners escaping, 200 of them were later found and killed.
Those who died defending that which we love and hold so dear deserve better than to be erased from history by the ignorance and pettiness of these little men. Those who died in the Holocaust deserve better than to be ignored by those whose hatred of Israel sees them dismiss the Holocaust and remembrance of it. Both Clarke and Kent are by no means the only ones who believe the sentiment they express. But the onus should not be on Jews to clean up their mess but on the people they claim to be speaking for.
Where is the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament on this? Where is the Labour Party in this? Why has this been allowed to go on for so long?