Alta Fixler has been sentenced to die in Britain. She is not a terrorist. She is not a criminal. She is not even an Israeli soldier accused of killing Palestinians.
Alta is two-years-old. Her crime is being Jewish and Israeli.
In May, a British court ruled that Alta be taken off life support. Diagnosed as brain-injured, Alta has been connected to a ventilator in a Manchester hospital.
The case is unprecedented because Alta is an Israeli citizen and her parents want to take her to Israel for treatment. Two hospitals in Jerusalem have agreed to treat her. But a British High Court judge said no. Alta’s transfer from Manchester to Israel, he said, would cause her further pain. Death would be a better solution.
There has been little dissent. Britain and other European Union countries with socialized medicine have adopted a policy of euthanasia. The policy began with abortion on demand, followed by the right of a patient to end life-support. Then, parents and children were given the same right to kill their loved ones. Over the last few years, the policy has allowed hospitals to remove patients from life support against the wishes of the family.
The process of official murder is not difficult. The hospital submits the opinion of physicians that the doomed patient will never recover and that death would end his suffering. In 2017, Britain, supported by the European Court of Human Rights, refused to allow Charlie Gard, less than a year old, to be taken to a US hospital for experimental treatment. Against the wishes of her parents, a British hospital removed life support from Charlie, who died a day later.
Charlie was not a foreign national. Alta is, and the refusal by the British government and legal system to allow her parents to fight for her life in a different country raises questions regarding the fate of the Jews in Britain and other EU countries. It also marks a trend that echoes Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
In 1935, Hitler began a secret program of euthanasia. His justification was racial and economic. Aktion T4 started slowly, first with forced sterilization of people deemed as having hereditary diseases or social deviance. Ironically, Aktion T4 could have included numerous Nazi officials, including Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels, whose right leg was deformed.
The killings, under the supervision of Hitler’s physicians, began in late 1939 in newly-constructed gas chambers headed by the new Reich Committee for the Scientific Registering of Hereditary and Congenital Illnesses. The first victims were gentiles. By 1941, Germany had constructed a death network for Jews.
The British as well as American elite were enthusiastic over Hitler’s policies. Britain has been regarded as the home of the eugenics movement. Between 1907 and 1912, eight US states required sterilization of what they termed “defectives and degenerates.”
Not surprisingly, eugenics went hand in hand with anti-Semitism. In June 1933, Britain’s National Labor Party, which included Malcolm MacDonald, published an article titled “The Constructive Side of National Socialism,” which portrayed the Jews as “parasites sucking a decaying organism.” MacDonald, son of Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, would later be appointed secretary of state for the colonies and introduce the White Paper, which, on the eve of World War II, effectively ended legal immigration to Palestine.
MacDonald was joined by Foreign Minister Lord Halifax, an admirer of Hitler who would urge reconciliation with the Reich even after the fall of France in May 1940. Back in 1937, Halifax had signaled to Hitler that Britain would not object to Germany’s entry into Austria, Czechoslovakia and even Poland as long as it was done without war.
The British encouraged Hitler’s theories on race and eugenics throughout the Jewish community in Palestine. And some in the Yishuv elite were glad to follow. In 1934, Joseph Meyer, director-general of Kupat Holim, asserted that eugenics answered the question “Who has the right to give birth to children?” In Meyer’s words, “For us, eugenics, and especially the prevention of transfer of hereditary diseases, is of even greater importance than it is for other nations… Doctors, sportsmen and national public figures must carry on with effective propaganda for the idea: Do not procreate children if you are not sure that they will be healthy in body and mind.”
Israel has issued puny appeals for Britain to release Alta. Both President Reuven Rivlin and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein have pointed out that Alta’s parents are Orthodox Jews who live “their lives according to Hebrew law.” The presumption is that had the parents been enlightened secular Jews, they would allow their child to die. Nearly 35,000 people disagree and have signed a petition [http://chng.it/64VVMVd6] for Alta’s release.
Alta represents a test of Israel’s willingness to protect its nationals abroad amid rampant anti-Jewish violence. Is Israel willing to demand rather than whimper for the safe return of its citizens? Or, like Alta, will they be held hostage to a Western policy that is becoming increasingly reminiscent of the Reich?
Today, Britain has justified its policy in the name of science. It was what Israelis had heard for the last 16 months as an entire population was locked down and masked up, the elderly left to die and an experimental injection forced on children.
In 1939, US Vice President Henry Wallace saw the manipulation of science by Hitler and his followers. Wallace, one of the few friends of the Jews in the American elite, challenged those who called themselves men of science. His words are a chilling reminder that even democratic regimes could justify brutality in the name of humanity.
“Under what conditions will the scientist deny the truth and pervert his science to serve the slogans of tyranny?” Wallace asked. “Under what conditions are great numbers of men willing to surrender all hope of individual freedom and become ciphers of the State? How can these conditions be prevented from occurring in our country?”