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J’Accuse…!

Alfred Dreyfus stripped of rank, 'The traitor: Degradation of Alfred Dreyfus, in the Morland Court of the military school in Paris,' January 13, 1895 by Henri Meyer, Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

On January 9, 2023, I scrolled down FaceBook and read the following headline:

“House Republicans Voted Against Fighting Nazis in the U.S. Military and in Law Enforcement.”

I snapped my head back and shrieked, “What the f___! I don’t remember reading about that in the Jerusalem Post or in the Times of Israel. I’ve got to do a Google search.”

So I did.

And it was true.

And to my shock, there was no article in the Times of Israel or the Jerusalem Post.

But I read three articles on the subject, one in Newsweek, one in the Washington Informer and one in Vice.com.

Here’s part of Jamia Bey’s Washington Informer post:

Dateline: July 14, 2022

“As part of the annual defense spending bill, the House approved an amendment requiring government officials to report instances of white supremacy and neo-Nazi activity in uniformed services and federal law enforcement. The amendment was approved in a party-line 218-208 vote. (Emphasis added)

The measure calls for the FBI director, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the secretary of Defense to publish a report detailing white supremacist and neo-Nazi activity within their ranks. The report must disclose the number of people who were discharged from uniformed services or law enforcement because of situations involving white supremacy and neo-Nazi activity. They’re also required to present ways to combat such ideologies.”

Of course, I read reports on how white supremacists were infiltrating and making inroads into the US military by recruiting new members;

Of course, some members of the Army failed to respond to these red flags;

Of course, I remembered how slowly the Army reacted on January 6th;

Of course, those neo-Nazis, Proud Boys and White nationalists wanted to murder democracy, to burn the Bill of Rights and take away my freedom;

Of course, those neo-Nazis American soldiers wanted to make our country a military dictatorship.

But what surprised me the most about what I read, was that not one Republican member of the House voted to keep fascists out of our military.

Not one.

“That’s appalling, disconcerting and downright repugnant,” I yelled.

And then I scratched my head and asked, “What would Émile Zola do?

To properly answer my question, I needed to refresh my memory and do some research. So, I read  Zola’s open letter “J’Accuse…!

And I learned, that it was published on January 13, 1898, in response to the Dreyfus affair. Zola accused the French military of anti-Semitism and the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus, a French Army General Staff officer, who was sentenced for life to Devil’s Island, for the crime of espionage. Zola pointed out judicial errors and lack of  evidence. Dreyfus was eventually exonerated. He returned to France, rejoined the army and received honors.

I remembered watching Paul Muni play Zola in “The Life of Emile Zola” (1937).Who can forget the scene where Dreyfus is striped of his rank and his sword snapped into two pieces.

I also recalled the effect the Dreyfus affair had on Theodor Herzl. (The birth of Zionism).

With my memory refreshed, here are my thoughts on what Émile Zola would have written about Republican members in the House voting against preventing neo-Nazis from making inroads in the US military:

J’accuse House Republicans of not giving a crap about democracy in America;

J’accuse some filthy rich, neo-Nazi lover of having infiltrated the minds and wallets of all Republicans in the House of Representative;

J’accuse House Republicans of protecting neo-Nazis in our military;

J’accuse House Republicans of enabling fascism to take hold in America;

J’accuse House Republicans of failing to protect Jews, Blacks and other minorities from the rising wave of hatred cresting in the States;

J’accuse House Republicans of telling future insurrectionists, “We’re in your corner. Have no fear, we’ve filled the ranks of our military forces with your buddies. Next time, they’ll march, with their weapons, up the steps of the Capitol Building by your side.”;

J’accuse House Republicans of giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the greatest nation in the world;

J’accuse and declare that every single House Republican who voted for Nazism to be a national security threat and that they be probed and held accountable for their treason.

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. Mort was a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal. He has recently taken on the post of president of the South Florida Writers Association.
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