For those who aren’t familiar with Joseph Goebbels, he was the Minister of Propaganda for Hitler. He wasn’t just another minister, but one of Hitler’s closest advisors. When Hitler committed suicide, his will named Goebbels the Chancellor of the Reich. On April 30, 1945, he denied justice by committing suicide with his wife after poisoning his children.
Prior to his death, his propaganda was used in Iraq to foment the seeds of anti-Semitism. The Jewish community had a presence in Iraq for over 2700 years and a long history of living peacefully alongside whoever their neighbors happened to be. There were tense times prior to the rise of National Socialism, but got far worse in a short period of time.
Berlin used Arabic broadcasts to influence Iraq at Goebbels behest. Mein Kampf was translated into Arabic and published in a local newspaper called Al Alam al Arabi, which translates to The Arab World between 1933 and 1934. Yunis al-Sab’awi was the one who translated Hitler’s book and headed the Futtuwa, which was Iraqi equivalent of the Hitler Youth.
On April 2, 1941, close to 10 years after Goebells’ propaganda started, a coup was carried out and Rashid al-Gailani took power with the support of high ranking officers, which included the former Mufti of Jerusalem and well-known Nazi supporter, Hajj Amin al-Husayni. It lasted less than two months and the leader fled to German occupied Europe via Iran. During that time, propaganda against the Jews increased to ensure it was all anyone in Iraq head or saw.
The leaders may have fled, but there were those who remained who were supportive of al-Gailani who remained, including soldiers and police officers. The Farhud, which means violent disposition, was carried out against the Jewish people of Baghdad on June 1 and 2, 1941. Officially, between 150 and 180 Jewish people were murdered, but does not count the mass grave of 600 who were not identified. The truth is the total number of dead, injured, raped and tortured will never be known.
Nazi propaganda that continued in Iraq after Goebbels’ death resulted in one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world to be driven out of their ancestral homes. Lives and fortunes were lost at the hands of those who no longer viewed Jews as good neighbors, but something less than human that needed to be exterminated. The Iraqi Jews lost everything as they were forced to flee for the safety of Israel.
Anti-Semitism existed long before the National Socialists came to power. It has been around so long that one has to wonder what came first. Was it the Jew or the anti-Semite?
What those of the past did were amateurs compared to Goebbels. He turned anti-Semitism into a sick art that continues to this day throughout the world. Wherever anti-Semitism can be found, Goebbels touch is always close.
The Islamic world uses his propaganda in all forms of media, including children’s programming. It can be found in the American press and politicians. Eastern Europe continues to soak it in on a daily basis, just as South America does. This is not an issue for one region, but the entire world.
Helen Thomas was a longtime White House correspondent who made remarks about the Jews of Israel that could have come out of Goebbels’ playbook, since talking about Jews as outsiders was something he excelled in doing. She was born in the United States in 1920 and knew exactly what she was saying. Her anti-Semitism did not come from some Islamic program or Eastern European book, but learned it in the country she was born.
American universities are a haven for anti-Semitic groups who spout similar phrases to what was heard in Berlin and Baghdad. BDS is an anti-Semitic organization whose sole purpose is to isolate the Jewish state and bring about a global hatred of the Jews. Members of the American press fail to report most of the hatred that is spoken on campuses about Jews and Israel.
Members of the United States Congress have used anti-Semitic statements without so much as the removal of a single committee. Rather than call out the lack of action against anti-Semites, the media shifted the blame to lay cover for anti-Semites. In what should have been a clear call against anti-Semitism, House Speaker Pelosi dealt with a split party and had to soften the language to include a host of other things. To not condemn blatant anti-Semitism due to lack of support leads one to wonder how many Democrats have been elected to Congress who are every bit as filled with hatred for Jews as those who have been more vocal.
Pointing to others to shift the blame does not change the origin of the hate, just as not reporting incidents of hatred does not mean it did not happen. Blatant lies about Jews and Israel serve the purpose of propaganda, which was envisioned by Goebbels, but it does not make statements truthful. Goebbels’ work may continue, but it can and should be challenged using every means to call out the hatred for what it is.