Steve Kramer

Time for Reflection

If you ever wondered how the US would react should another Nazi Germany threaten the democratic world, stop wondering. You’re seeing it right now in the Middle East… Let’s jump back to 1932, when the US was in isolationist mode and in Germany, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (the Nazi Party) won a 33% plurality in the November 1932 elections. The charismatic leader of the party, Adolph Hitler, shrewdly maneuvered the president of the German republic, the iconic General Paul von Hindenburg, to name Hitler chancellor on January 30, 1933. From then on, Hitler built Europe’s largest army supplied with the appropriate armaments, a modern air force, concentration camps for political and “anti-social” criminals, and Jew-hating indoctrination to inflame the Germans against less than 1% of the population – the Jews. According to Hitler, it was the Jews who had sold Germany out during the Great War (later, WW1) and caused Germany’s rapid decline into a beggar state.

As Germany ramped up its economy, manufacturing, and military, it became indifferent to the remaining military and territorial restrictions of the Versailles Treaty, which followed Germany’s defeat in the Great War. The nascent German military machine proceeded to militarize the Rhineland in1936 in violation of the treaty. There was little reaction from the war’s “victors,” whose military readiness had by then greatly deteriorated. 

“In 1938, Hitler threatened to unleash a European war unless the Sudetenland,

a border area of Czechoslovakia containing an ethnic German majority, was surrendered to Germany. The leaders of Britain, France, Italy, and Germany held a conference in Munich, Germany, on September 29-30, 1938, in which they agreed to the German annexation of the Sudetenland in exchange for a pledge of peace from Hitler. Czechoslovakia, which was not a party to the Munich negotiations, agreed under significant pressure from Britain and France.

On March 15, 1939, Hitler violated the Munich agreement and moved against Czechoslovakia.”

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had visited Nazi Germany three times in an attempt to avert war with Germany before the Munich Conference. Returning from Munich at the end of September, Chamberlain optimistically brandished the peace agreement, which allowed Hitler to annex parts of Czechoslovakia, later saying that it promised “peace for our time.”


Who was one of the few dissenters against this policy of appeasement? Britain’s First Lord of the Admiralty, Sir Winston Churchill, who had ceaselessly warned against the growing aggression of Germany and who had done as much as he could to build up the British armed services. Chamberlain, who was not a leader bold enough to lead in a war, lost the support of his Conservative Party after Hitler invaded Britain and France’s peace partner, Poland, starting the war on September 3, 1939. After Hitler invaded the Low Countries in May 1940 (Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and France) Chamberlain formally lost the confidence of the House of Commons and Churchill was drafted into the position of Prime Minister to head a united party coalition in Britain’s defense. At that time, Britain was basically alone against the mighty German war machine.

I’m not comparing Israel to Britain in that period nor Benjamin Netanyahu to Winston Churchill, although some people do make that comparison (time will tell). One thing is sure: today, diplomacy for the Iranian regime is spelled: DUPLICITY. Iran’s statements and promises are worth about the same as Hitler’s were at the Munich Conference. That’s why it’s so frustrating to watch the current US administration stand by as Iran grows more and more powerful, even attacking US troops in Syria and building alliances with Russia, some Gulf states, and now China. 

“Connecting Tehran’s destabilizing activities to diplomacy is unreasonable, if not outright impossible, given that Iran has refused to discuss with world powers any issues that are not about its nuclear program.” ( 

President Biden says that all deterrent means are “on the table” against the Iranians, but he uses diplomatic means to deal with Iran’s threats. There is no deterrence in that stance. As anyone can see, Iran has shrugged off economic sanctions against it like Russia has, and continues to finance its terror proxies in the Middle East, Central America, South America, and Africa, while it prepares to annihilate Israel, its first target on the way to Europe and beyond.

At the same time, President Biden refuses to equip Israel with the means to destroy Iran’s nuclear project: the 30,000 lb bunker buster bomb (GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator) and two Boeing KC-46 refueling planes (which are already on order). Israel might also need a plane large enough to carry the MOP. These weapons may be indispensable in Israel’s effort to destroy the existential threat against it. Just equipping Israel with them could deter Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. Failing that, Israel would still have a much better chance to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, or perhaps provide the spark that powers a revolution to overthrow Iran’s hated Islamist terror regime.

Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) has just been memorialized. Next week is our somber Memorial Day for Israel’s soldiers who died protecting Israel. Immediately following that painful day, the Independence Day celebrations begin. This juxtaposition of sorrow and gladness is symbolic of the balance of life here. While Israel is ranked in the top 10 “happiest” states and 13th in per capita GDP, it’s currently mired in confusion and discord about proposed alterations to its judicial system. There have been huge demonstrations against altering the judiciary, despite the fact that nearly everyone knows that some changes are needed and negotiations are being held. The population is polarized to some extent, but the demonstrations and discussions over the matter are totally different than what is happening in France, for example, where much violence has occurred over the government’s decision to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

This Independence Day is the 75th anniversary of Israel’s rebirth after 2,000 years. Our country has amazing achievements unmatched by any other country in such a short period. Israelis come from nearly 100 countries, all united by our Judaism, which ranges from observant to secular. But last evening, as we celebrated the Sabbath with about ten others, we lit the candles, sang the songs, blessed the wine and the challah, and enjoyed a meal together. Friday night gatherings like that are common among most Israelis, whether blessings are said or not. It is a sign of our common heritage and our status as citizens of the one Jewish State. 

We will overcome this current difficulty over state governance and continue to enjoy life while the nation girds itself for a possible existential conflict with its primary enemy, Iran. We recognize that the majority of Iranians are not our enemies and we look forward to the collapse of the Islamist regime, whether it’s by peaceful or military means. Israel can’t afford to be like Britain and France who thought that words on paper would satisfy Hitler and the Nazis. Israel will never again allow our enemies to annihilate us. 

Am Yisrael Hai! The Jewish people/nation lives! 

About the Author
Steve Kramer grew up in Atlantic City, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1967, adopted the hippie lifestyle until 1973, then joined the family business for 15 years. Steve moved to Israel from Margate, NJ in 1991 with his family. He has written more than 1100 articles about Israel and Jews since making Aliyah. Steve and his wife Michal live in Kfar Saba.
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