Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union of Reform Judaism said that his group could not support moving the embassy without a comprehensive peace plan. I must remind the distinguished rabbi that there is a comprehensive peace plan, and he could find it buried at the bottom of the UN’s dustbin, covered with hundreds of anti-Israel and anti-Zionist resolutions. It was called the Partition Plan; which immediately set in motion the armies of four Arab UN member states and Jordan, hellbent to erase it and liquidate the Jews. This invasion failed to generate one word or act of censure by any UN body. Even the Secretary-General who actually at that time was not a former SS man was silent.
Please note that all the hullabaloo now concerning the status of Jerusalem has pushed the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims off the agenda. It’s quite obvious that socking it to the Jews is far more important to them than saving their own Moslem brothers. Could that possibly be called diplomatic “suicide bombing” or prioritizing their hate?
Unfortunately for the Reform movement Rabbi Jacobs’ connection with the lunatic fringe of the extreme left could only inspire Gazans digging tunnels than Jews at the other ends building a religious and national homeland.
So very many Holocaust museums later he reminds me of another Reform leader, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise. Rabbi Wise prided himself as being a confidant of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and to maintain this status worked tirelessly to derail efforts by independent Jewish or even Christian organizations to “make waves” and thus have the administration do exactly as it wants. His misguided trust in FDR and thus Cordell Hull (FDR’s anti-semitic Secretary of State whose father-in-law was Jewish, stymied the rescue effort and replaced it with infighting amongst the different Jewish organizations). If FDR was capable of selling a bill of goods to his wife Eleanor for so long, we can imagine how he manipulated his buddy, Stephen.
The bulk of this drama was played out from 1942 to 1944. Being taken over the coals by a shlemiel makes one a shlemazel. FDR was not a shlemiel, but he made a shelmazal out of Rabbi Wise. That distinguished Reform leader had thus to make himself impervious and ignore an event in 1939 to accommodate FDR. It was then that this very same administration turned back to Europe a Jewish refugee ship the St. Louis, with over 900 Jews on board.
Isn’t it interesting that the German captain of a ship flying the swastika was honored by so many countries and Jewish groups after the war for doing exactly what a prominent leader of the Reform movement was condemned for not doing. Captain Gustav Shroder not only “pampered” his Jewish passengers, but even made plans to run his ship aground on the Florida coast so his Jewish passengers could claim refugee status. Fearing that this would happen this Democratic administration used the US Coast Guard to prevent it. This righteous Gentile even had a bust of Hitler covered with a tablecloth so his passengers could have Sabbath services in the dining room.
It seems that while German naval officers cover up ugly reality with tablecloths some Reform rabbis do it with vanity. Turning a blind eye to history does not give license to screw up the future by repeating the same mistakes. Please note that Rabbi Wise did not have the historical precedent to guide him then as Rabbi Jacobs has now.
To my knowledge, the Reform movement has never issued such license. Reform Jews are very well aware that every time there is a census in Israel the count comes up over six million short because the remains of their families are also mingled in the countless mountains of ash and mass graves. They are well aware that Hitler may have lost the war against the Allies but he won the war against the Jews. That was because of those that divided us then like the Wise’s, and now like the Jacob’s.
To describe the dilemma facing the Reform movement I must use an old Yiddish proverb: “The Rabbi is big when his hassidim are small”.
A veteran of the US Navy and the Israeli Army. A soldier in the Yom Kippur War and a combatant in an Arab terrorist raid. Father of two high-ranking reserve officers in the IDF.