By PNC Dr. Robert Pickard
Just before Rosh Hashanah this 5778 (2017) I was asked to be the representative of the Jewish War Veterans USA on a phone conference call from the White House. I accepted the honor. I was #23 of a small group of leaders of Jewish organizations from America.
I was instructed by the WH that we Jewish leaders were to list concerns of the Jews of America. I did my homework.
First Jared Kushner got on the line to introduce the President and to tell us how happy the President is to have a Jewish daughter. Mr. Trump then declared what a great asset the Jewish Community of America is and then wished us a “sweet year” (the traditional blessings said to one’s family and friends at Jewish New Year).
I thought I was going to be able to voice certain concerns, yea fears I have as a Jew in America today. This was not possible.
This was only a few short weeks ago soon after Charlottesville VA and the Nazi torch-lit march on that campus, al a 1930s Germany.
Here is what I wanted to convey to the President. I have not been able to connect with the aid at the WH ( Matthew Saunders ) who put that teleconference together. Perhaps your staff can connect with Matt Saunders for me. We were led to believe that this call would be about the concerns and fears we Jews have in America today. I offer the following:
In answer to the question of what are the over-riding concerns of the American Jewish Community today:
JWV (Jewish War Veterans USA) and all American veterans applaud President Trump’s stance in support of all veterans.
JWV applauds President Trump’s honoring all Medal of Honor recipients including our Tibor Rubin who was an unsung and discriminated against US veteran and Holocaust survivor who saved lives of US soldiers in a Korean POW camp when he could have been free himself.
JWV applauds President Trump’s appointment of Dr. Donald J. Sulkin M.D. a practicing physician to head and fix the broken VAH system.
JWV applauds President Trump’s new GI lifetime benefits to veterans and dependents.
JEWISH CONCERNS & FEARS NOW IN AMERICA:
I was chosen to be the official representative of the Jewish War Veterans USA to relate to you our very greatest concerns and fears for the greater American Jewish Community today. Concerns after the Hitler-like torch-lit march on the campus of a noted university in VA. FEAR is the emotion we feel after the word from the President that the violence in Charlottesville was “many sided” and that there were “good people on both sides” of that Nazi induced riot. We Jews and all Americans should be concerned and yes, fear, the threat of Neo-Nazism, White Power, KKK, etc in America. There are no “good” fascists nor Nazis, nor White Power, nor yet Black Power in America. Racial, ethnic, religious bias is an anathema here.
Mr. President, my father was a soldier during WWII. He was part of the GREATEST GENERATION which fought and died to free the world from Nazi tyranny. We Jews lost 6 million innocents at the hands of the Nazis. “Never again” is not just a slogan.
President Trump , you are said to be a master of PERCEPTION. The perception of the Jewish American Community today is that the Government has taken a step back from religious protections in America. Many of us believe that the White House is not doing enough nor saying enough to combat Nazism in any form or name in America.
No group which espouses racial or ethic superiority has a place in America. The First Amendment does not condone starting riots and the cause of the Charlottesville riot were the Nazis. These are they who are shouting “fire!” in a crowded theater.
That is not to excuse the violent nature of the Black Power, Weathermen, Farakahn people etc. who may be justly prone to violence when their freedoms and very lives are threatened, as they truly are by the White Power, KKK, segment of the Nazis.
We Jews are willing to fight against Nazis and I was one of those who flew to Chicago in 1978 to counter march against the Nazis who threatened to march in predominantly Jewish Skokie Illinois. We would prefer that the legitimate government and police organizations keep the peace. That government needs to stop these Nazis in their tracks, not offer aid and comfort.
President Trump, with all due respect Sir, we Jews of America need you to reassure us Jews that we are safe here. You might quote from George Washington’s letter to the congregation of Rhode Island in 1790 his famous “letter to the Jews of Rhode Island”. He said that the US “gives to bigotry no sanction, and to persecution no assistance”. He went on to say to those Jews to reassure them of their safety in America (Micah 4:4): “Each (Jew) man will sit under his vine and his fig tree, with no one to make him afraid”. Micah/Washington’s words led to the ratification of what is now our First Amendment to our Constitution. We Jews need your voice now and always.
President Trump, we need you to quote Washington “may the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants.”
NAZIS NOT WELCOME IN AMERICA!
Volume 71. Number 4. Winter 2017