Gary Epstein
And now for something completely different . . .

Max, Peter, and Tom

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Where is Max Naumann when the enlightened Jewish community and, more specifically, The New York Times, most needs him? In these dire times, when Jew hatred has achieved such currency and popularity in the city square and on the campus that modern-day pogroms are explained away as inevitable consequences of Jewish behavior or existence, why must we be satisfied with pale imitations like Peter Beinart and Thomas Friedman? Right-thinking Jews deserve spokesmen who are even more craven and more obsequious than those who blame the Jews for their own slaughter in order to curry favor with their wealthy benefactors.  

They deserve a Max Naumann.

What? Just because he has been relegated to the dustbins of history, you don’t know who Max Naumann was?  Regrettable.  We (especially Messrs. Friedman and Beinart) have much to learn from him and his experience.  History should never forget the Jewish German patriot who founded Verband nationaldeutscher Juden (The Association of German National Jews, sometimes derisively known as “Jews for Hitler”).  Founded in 1921, the association espoused the total eradication of Jewish identity, leading to total assimilation of Jews into what Naumann perceived as a superior German society. Naumann detested Eastern European Jews, whom he held to be inferior, but he reserved special contempt and animus for Zionism, which he thought would inhibit Jewish assimilation. Sound familiar?

Contrary to popular belief, Naumann did not write for the New York Times (though it has recently rehired its own Hitler admirer).  His official organ was the monthly Der nationaldeutsche Jude, but one can be forgiven for confusing the two, since they both were so completely engaged in using Jews to defame the Jewish people, culture and enterprise, and The Grey Lady has been so successful in channeling its doppelganger’s weltanschauung. As Walter Duranty and the Times shilled for Stalin, and as the Times buried reports of the Holocaust, Naumann “greeted the results of January 1933” bringing Hitler to power because he placed the needs of the fatherland above any parochial interests.  God forbid that the Times ever be associated with parochial interests.

Beinart wrote that “the denial of Palestinian freedom sits at the heart of this conflict.”  Friedman said that the carnage was inevitable once Israeli Jews brought a Torah scroll to Saudi Arabia and engaged in Jewish prayer there. Pale imitations of their spiritual forebear. They need to try harder.

Naumann wanted to be loved by the Nazis and Hitler. Friedman and Beinart just want to be loved by their fellow progressives, not to mention the people who pay their lecture fees and buy their books. It never occurred to Naumann that the Jews were relatively blameless in the German context, certainly more sinned against than sinning.  It never occurs to Beinart that the heart of the conflict is not the denial of Palestinian freedom, but the hatred of the Palestinians for the Jews, and the absolute refusal of Palestinians to accept Jews or a Jewish State in the Umma. Were that not the case, Hamas would have seized the opportunity 18 years ago, when Sharon evacuated every Jew from Gaza, to build a stable polity instead of a war machine. Arafat and Abbas would have accepted successive offers to establish a Palestinian State. Any denial of Palestinian freedom is self-inflicted. It never occurred to Friedman that Israel (unlike India, which he so admires) cannot afford the luxury of permitting a massacre of its people without waging total war against the perpetrators.

The Palestinians look at Friedman and Beinart as useful idiots and can plan their strategy, knowing that Israel’s military response to their depravity will be confronted by the fanatic opposition of Friedman and Beinart, not to mention the benighted university faculties and ignorant politicians, and the contemptible If Not Now and Jewish Voice for Palestine organizations. Hitler’s Nazi party would never accept Naumann, and he was eventually sent to a concentration camp, undoubtedly wondering what more he could have done to sell out his people and endear himself to those who attacked it. Undoubtedly, no matter how many times reality mugs them, Beinart and Friedman will continue to malign Jews and Israelis as long as it is popular and profitable. Naumann would be shaking his head in admiration at their success. The secret is finding the right audience.

We now know that Hamas planned the Simchat Torah attack for years. The rapes and kidnapping, and murder of children were part of the plan. The focus on civilians–not “settlers” by any definition–was clearly described. Hamas tortured children, beheaded innocents, and raped women. No one is responsible for rape other than the rapist. No one is responsible for a kidnapping other than the kidnapper. Only savages and barbarians torture, maim, and murder children.  To blame these actions on Israel, or anything that Israel might have done, is intellectually bankrupt, morally perverse, and downright disgusting.  For Jews to blame the victims is nothing short of reprehensible. Have I mentioned Peter Beinart and Tom Friedman?

In the 1930s, people would joke that Naumann’s meetings ended with chants of “Down with us.” It is interesting that the Nazis themselves knew what a sad joke Naumann was. The Association of German National Jews was declared illegal and dissolved on the same day in 1935 that Naumann was arrested by the Gestapo.  One hopes that no evil will befall Friedman and Beinart for their perfidy.

It is enough that their contemptible betrayal of their own people will be their legacies.

About the Author
Gary Epstein is a retired teacher and lawyer residing in Modi'in, Israel. He was formerly the Head of the Global Corporate and Securities Department of Greenberg Traurig, a global law firm with an office in Tel Aviv, which he founded and of which he was the first Managing Partner. He and his wife Ahuva are blessed with18 grandchildren, ka"h, all of whom he believes are well above average. He currently does nothing. He believes he does it well.