Please Do Not Associate George Floyd with the Holocaust!

There is a myriad of events that punctuate our daily lives and end-up finding their place in the history of human tragedies. These events are remembered by subsequent generations in the hope that people will not repeat their mistakes. These are very good intentions, but they don't always work, especially when you link historical tragedies that have nothing in common. Enter George Floyd and the Holocaust!

Recently, the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center based in Florida opened a new exhibition called " Uprooting Prejudice: Faces of Change." The exhibit displays a series of photographs by John Noltner from Minneapolis. The site goes on to explain, "When someone faces an act of antisemitism, racism, or any form of identity-based hate, whether it results in death or not, there is an uprising of many emotions. We felt it was important to bring the human experience of the aftermath to our museum. " The exhibit is made of 45 different faces from strangers on the scene of George Floyd's death, accompanied by a brief message. I command John Noltner for his initiative and creativity in shooting the portraits of those around the tragedy. Events like these must be documented from as many angles as we possibly can. My concern is not with the contents of the exhibit, but with the choice of location to display it.

In a recent interview, John Noltner shared that when he arrived on the site of George Floyd's death, there was pain, frustration and mourning. I couldn't agree more with him. We cannot dismiss the tragedy of Mr. Floyd's death and the wrongful action of some of the local police force. Justice must be served for those who broke the law and as a country, we remember Mr. Floyd and mourn with his loved ones. Additionally, without rehashing the obvious, all lives matter and will always matter.  As a reminder, our behavior should be guided by biblical principles such as:

• Humans are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) - God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
• Human life is precious to the Lord (Jeremiah 1:5) - “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
• Human life is to be respected (Leviticus 19:32) - You shall rise up before the gray-headed and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God; I am the LORD.
• We are to love our neighbors as ourselves (Leviticus 19:18) -  You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.
• God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34-35) - And Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.
• All of us are in need of the same Redeemer (John 3:16) - “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

This being said, the new exhibit on display at the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center is simply out of line and offensive. There are plenty of ways to put on an exhibit about racism and social injustice, and this at many venues, but not at a Holocaust memorial facility. Now we are simply comparing apples to oranges. I am not implying that the Holocaust is more important than any other genocides–although it could be argued since it is the only attempt at completely destroying a people group where the perpetrators went out of their ways to bring the victims back to their deaths. Yet, my focus is not on the importance or priority of the Final Solution, but rather on the difference between it and the wrongful death of George Floyd.

Nobody in their right mind will argue with the fact that George Floyd was a victim of racism, abuse of power, violence and wrongful death. I am not taking any of this away, but please, let's not compare the fate of Mr. Floyd with the fate of six million Jews during the Holocaust. Allow me to remind all of us about what the Holocaust brought onto European Jewry:

• Jews were packed in Ghettos • Jews were identified with a yellow star badge • Forced Labor • Starvation • Lethal Hygiene Conditions • Diseases (Typhus and Dysentery) • Sleep Deprivation • Experiments on Humans including pregnant women and babies • Extreme Violence • Gasing live people • Burning people in ovens • Mass shootings • Death Marches

None of those applied to George Floyd. Again, I am not implying that his wrongful death should be minimized, but simply that it should not be compared to the Holocaust. Having an exhibit about racism and social justice in the middle of a Holocaust Memorial makes no sense at all. Are the curators implying that the police officers abusing Mr. Floyd were like Nazis? Or are we so indoctrinated with the virus of political correctness that we will do and say anything to repair the damages? It ends up being an insult to Holocaust survivors and those they lost. It minimizes an event that has earned its place in the very center of the pantheon of human atrocities.

There are a place and a time for such an exhibit, and people should view it seriously so that they can process, mourn and heal, but not in the context of the Holocaust. How would the African American community feel if, in the middle of a museum dedicated to the memory and teaching of slavery in America, someone would set up an exhibit with portraits of rape victims and their testimonies? The lack of connection would be obvious and potentially offensive to either or both sides.

Today, more than ever in the history of mankind, our world is divided religiously, politically, economically and racially. We need to recognize each other's worth regardless of our background and origins. We do not have to blur the lines of culture and religion, but simply recognize our differences while appreciating them as we thrive to move forward in the best unity possible. It is not as easy as it sounds. It requires effort, commitment, patience and some level of positive compromise. Erasing the line between racism and violence against the black community and the brutal death of six million Jews is not the way to go about it.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s words still resonate today as a guide for all of our communities to join hands and let God guide us: "I wonder what kind of conversion each of us need and our communities need after witnessing the senseless death of many of our Black brothers and sisters. What kind of conversation do we need to face the hatred and division in our communities and institutions? And what kind of strength and vision can we gather from those who are raising their voices to demand a better world for everyone. A world where one’s worth is not defined by their color of their skin, their legal or economic status but rather by a collective recognition and affirmation that we are all children of the same God, that each of us carry within the divine spark of Life."

The Danger of Antisemitism by Omission!

Too often, people have a propensity to ignore issues if they feel that they are not directly concerned or if the issues are far enough from them geographically or otherwise. People might think, " the riots and protests are not my neighborhood, so I am ok!" or " the fires are not putting my house in danger, they are too far, we are safe." Unfortunately, apathy can be part of human nature to the point where we ignore the obvious if the obvious doesn't affect us at a critical level.  At least critical to us.

So, many people will reason with themselves and think, "I am NOT antisemitic, but  I am also NOT Jewish!" People will quickly claim that they don't hate the Jews, that they don't wish them any harm at all. They will also agree that antisemitism is wrong, and yet they will not hesitate to look the other way when acts of antisemitism are committed. Hurting Jewish people directly, verbally, or physically is antisemitism by commission while ignoring their troubles is antisemitism by omission. They are both wrong!

In the early 1940s, Maurice Weinzveig, my Russian maternal grandfather was hiding in the cellar of our Paris residence. He knew that Paris had become very dangerous for a Jew without naturalization papers. He had to keep quiet and hidden for a while to protect his life and that of his wife and daughter (my mother.) Unbeknownst to Maurice, a gentile neighbor who worked for the French police and who was secretly in love with my grandmother, wanted to get rid of her husband, "the Jew." He called the Gestapo and let them know that there was a Jew hiding in his building. They came, they took him, they sent him to Auschwitz, and he perished in the smokestacks of the Nazi factory of death.

When the Gestapo showed up at our residence, the guilty neighbor stayed home behind closed doors. Incidentally, he lived long enough so that I would meet him as a young kid. Nobody could prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that he had called the Gestapo, but the whole building knew that it was him, so he never paid for his crimes. He even had me sit on his lap a few times as a little boy. I get chills down my spine when I recall those moments. He was guilty of antisemitism by commission.

But what about the numerous neighbors in the same building who witnessed all the raucous movement up and down their building? They chose to remain silent, discreetly observing behind the privacy of their window blinders, as if they couldn't do one thing to prevent the two Gestapo officers from apprehending my grandfather. Some feared for their lives and that of their own families; others felt powerless against the Nazi regime. How many were thinking, "I am not Jewish; this is none of my business?" Hard to say.  The truth is that they became apathetic bystanders, and a bystander who does nothing only facilitates the crimes of the perpetrator. See something and say or do nothing... and that my friend, is antisemitism by omission.

So, how does that concept translate to 2020 and the current multifaceted crisis that we are all in? In other words, what does this have to do with the virus, the riots, the economy, or any other crises we are dealing with as a society?  Once again, and very sadly, the thread is Israel and the Jews:

Covid-19: The Jewish people have been accused of creating, causing and even spreading the virus to the world for two reasons: To "take over the world' and to "monetize" the vaccine/cure that they have developed. This hardly explains how Israel is currently suffering from a huge spike of new cases of Covid-19. One response from antisemites has been to encourage people to infect Jewish people by coughing on them. As early as last Spring, coining the new word "Holocough" made of the two words "Holocaust" and "cough," antisemites flooded the social networks with the idea. People might say: "But I am not Jewish, so how does that concern me?"

The Protests/Riots: The tragic death of George Floyd precipitated America into regional protests that quickly became uncontrollable riots like those seen in Portland, Oregon for the last three months. Some people found it interesting to spread the rumor that American police officers were being trained by IDF officers in using methods that include the way George Floyd was chocked to death. The group known as US Campaign for Palestinian Rights came up with that unfounded accusation. Additionally, the DOJ is investigating the possibility of ties between the BLM movement and terrorist organizations. Terminology like "intifada" or "from Minneapolis to Palestine, Racism is a crime" are showing up on street signs, graffiti and social networks. Once again, the Jews and Israel are being blamed for the racial unrest, either directly or indirectly. People might say: "Black lives matter, and I am not Jewish, so how does the other stuff concern me?"

QAnon: The strange attraction that people have for the mysterious group known as QAnon is also leading people to blame the Jews. QAnon is some sort of conspiracy theory from an alt-right ideology. It is supposed to ANONymously expose the international Jewish cabal to destroy Donald Trump and take over the world. The fact that it is based on a hoax from 1904–The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion- that has been debunked over and over, doesn't seem to stop QAnon adherents. They claim that the Rothschilds are behind the whole agenda of controlling the USA behind the scenes. Sadly, they haven't been denounced more forcefully by the current administration. People might say: "QAnon is just a conspiracy theory and I am not Jewish, so how does that concern me?"

The easiest scapegoat for humanity has been the Jews for the last 2,000 years. Irrational behavior against the chosen people of God has gone uninterrupted for a very long time. The enemy of God and the Jewish people, Satan himself, is turning the irrational into the rational, acceptable and even the expected. But we do not have to accept the irrational blindly. Rabbi, philosopher and activist Abraham Joshua Heschel who marched with Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights Movement said: “Few are guilty, but all are responsible.” I would like to add to that that we can become guilty because of apathy. Jews and Blacks marching together against racism...Those days are gone!

Antisemitism by omission is still antisemitism. It might be watered down because people do not carry the guilt of being the main players in the longest hatred, but it is still dangerous, nonetheless. We cannot afford to remain silent about any form of injustice, period! For some reason, people will fight for various causes when they can be convinced that their voices and actions count for something. When people don't feel concerned or in danger for their safety or even just for their comfort, they become apathetic. They feel like it is not their fight. But sitting on the fence of Jew-hatred is not an option. Indifference becomes our guilt.

Everything seems to indicate that the biblical predictions about the world going against Israel and the Jews are coming to fruition in our lifetime and rapidly (Zechariah 12:1-8; Daniel 9:27; Revelation 12.) Soon, we will all answer to a higher authority, and the God of Israel who calls the Jewish people the "Apple of my Eye" will not say to us, "don't worry, you were not Jewish, so, this didn't concern you!" While salvation cannot be lost, heavenly rewards can. We have a choice!

“If I were to remain silent, I'd be guilty of complicity.”  Albert Einstein

If You Don't Like History, Don't Erase it, Teach it!

History has always been written with blood, sweat and tears, but never with disappearing ink. Unless you are H. G. Wells, armed with a pen, you cannot erase, ignore or alter the past. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be stopping a wave of people across our nation, advancing a politically motivated cultural revolution. This American cultural tsunami has taken our country by surprise, but it didn't happen in a vacuum. While I recognize that the protests are justified and that our system needs reform, I cannot understand or condone the riots, violence, looting or the accusation of "systemic racism." Additionally, the bringing down of statues, paintings and other artifacts seems very far removed from the tragic murder of George Floyd.

There is a great danger in rewriting history, because it eradicates key events that future generations would end-up knowing nothing about. A powerful and sad example of that is what has happened with the Holocaust. A survey was taken in 2018 yielding terrifying results. Two-thirds of millennials in America do not know what Auschwitz was, and 25% do not know that six-million Jews died in the Holocaust. So, when historical revisionists creep in with their altered narrative, much of our young population doesn't have the know-how or even the motivation to check the stories' accuracy. Add to that the dwindling down of Holocaust survivors and pretty soon nobody will remember the Jewish catastrophe.

In a letter to General Dwight Eisenhower dated April 15, 1945, General George Marshall reported what he saw when he visited the concentration camp at Ohrdruf: "But the most interesting – although horrible – sight that I encountered during the trip was a visit to a German internment camp near Gotha. The things I saw beggar description. While I was touring the camp I encountered three men who had been inmates and by one ruse or another had made their escape. I interviewed them through an interpreter. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as ·to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to propaganda."

General George Marshall's discernment was very sobering. It is mind boggling that after witnessing such horrors in the camps, anybody would entertain the idea that one day, people would deny it or change the narrative to serve their own agenda. But almost prophetically, General Marshall saw the horrors of the Holocaust as potentially being denied, minimized and forgotten. It has only been seventy years, and a large percentage of our current youth doesn't know what took place during the years of Nazi Germany. This is a chilling reality!

I do not like this part of history any more than an African American likes the horrible US legacy of slavery or a Native American likes the carnage that his ancestors endured when the first pioneers set foot on what became the USA. Likewise, I do not like the Holocaust years because of their bloody legacy in general, and because of the loss I experienced in my own family in particular. My maternal grandfather Maurice Weinzveig was taken during a round-up in Paris in the summer of 1942, sent to Auschwitz. He perished in the smokestacks, one of the six million Jewish Holocaust victims. I wish this never happened, but I cannot erase it from either my memory, my family's collective memory or history. You do not see me destroying German property, loathing anybody German or even boycotting companies that were instrumental in the development of the systematic attempt at the destruction of all European Jews. Allow me to elaborate.

What about IBM and the Holocaust? Most people are completely unaware of the fact that IBM, with the help of German inventor Herman Hollerith, was instrumental in tallying and identifying Jews all over Europe.  In 1933, computers didn't exist, but the IBM punch card system was developed and used by Nazis for "the Final Solution to the Jewish Question." This all happened with the full knowledge of the IBM New York headquarters. It is terrifying to think that the Nazis were that organized, but the fact remains that many concentration camps inmates were registered upon entry with punch cards compatible with the IBM system. It is another part of history that is despicable and that I wish I could erase, but I cannot. You also don't see me boycotting or destroying IBM property. By the current logic, I should go around and destroy any IBM computer I can get my hands on, just because IBM was instrumental in the killing of six million Jews and six million additional victims. This is absolutely ridiculous! Shame on IBM for their involvement in the Holocaust, but please, do not campaign for the destruction of all things IBM.

What about the Ford Motor Company, founded by Henri Ford, a proven antisemite who was admired by Adolph Hitler? In a previous article, I already made the point that the Ford Motors Company of 2020 is not that of 1920, but the founder's name "Ford" remains in the name of the corporation. By the current standards, should we ask that the company be renamed because of the ugly, xenophobic past of its founder? And if we were to be consistent, we should also tear down the statue of Henri Ford located in River Rouge Michigan. Then you have the case of Father Charles Coughlin, the antisemitic Catholic Priest of the 1930s who used his very popular weekly radio broadcast to spew his venom on the air waves. Should we ban Catholicism and destroy all Catholic Churches and statues? What about Charles Lindbergh involvement with Hitler, Göring and even his consulting for the Luftwaffe (German Air-force)? Should we take down his statues in Minnesota, California, Georgia and other locations? Do you see where this is going?

It is much more important to tell it like it is and warn people about the ugliness and danger of racism and antisemitism than to topple any statue. Bringing a statue down will not stop people from being racist. Educating people on how to fight racism will go a lot further. Granted it is painful to relive parts of history for the purpose of teaching it to the next generation, it is crucial to do so. Following the logic–if you can call it logic–used by protesters and rioters today, all that they deem offensive must be destroyed. But where does it end? It simply doesn't because various people will keep getting offended by all sorts of things that have taken place in history. Rewriting history is ignoring the problem and ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away. Teach history, teach the good the bad and the ugly history so that it can be identified, condemned and alleviated in the future. The alternative is an Orwellian universe that even those pushing statues off their pedestals today, do not wish for tomorrow. There is still time to stop the suicide of Western Civilization, but the clock is ticking!

Is Israel the "One-Size-Fits-All" Response to the Ills of the World?

Early in 2020, everybody was talking about impeachment, and just like that, by March COVID-19 became the sole topic in the News, and again, just like that, at the end of May, the virus took second fiddle to the George Floyd death/race riots. What a year this has been so far! For many people, these events are all related to a plan to stop President Trump from re-election at any cost. While the anti-Trump agenda could very well be a driving force in the current events, my desire is not to get political at this point.

The virus is very real and has tragically taken many lives, and the last thing I want to do is to appear as if I am trying to minimize its devastating effect on us all. As to the protests, they are justified from the standpoint of the frustration and reaction to injustice and the wrongful death of George Floyd. There is no way to look at what happened to him and not declare foul play. I am disgusted by the tragedy that took place against Mr. Floyd and my prayers go to his family. The protests are justified and something must be done in America to solve our racial inequality and police brutality.

A peaceful protest is one thing, but when it turns into violent riots coupled with uncontrolled looting, it affects many people and businesses that have no connections to the issue, and it will ruin them... some for good! we must stand against that. As a matter of fact, standing up against riots and looting as one American people regardless of color or creed might be a great starting point to initiate dialogue and hopefully, reconciliation.

But there is another common denominator to these events that I need to bring to your attention, and that is the fact that they have all been linked one way or another to Israel and/or the Jewish people. The proverbial "Scapegoat of Humanity" can be found as the responsible party–partially or fully– in any of these crises. Even though they might appear as childish, ludicrous and unsustainable theories to most people of goodwill, these are circulating in the news and are being believed by more people than you would expect.

President Trump's Impeachment: At the apex of the embarrassing impeachment scheme against President Trump, a Christian Pastor–and we should use the term very loosely regarding that particular individual– claimed that the impeachment was a "Jew Coup." Rick Wiles, who has been known to be a virulent antisemite, was blasting that conspiracy theory from his church pulpit, doing much damage to the real Bible-believing Christians who read their Bible properly and cannot help but love Israel and the Jewish people. Wiles has since been banned from YouTube, but his videos can still be found circulating on the web. Wiles was also described as a Trump supporter and his site had mistakenly and tragically been accredited by the White House. Rick Wiles is a shameful individual who does not represent biblical Christianity and is only helping to further the 2000-year old divide between Christians and Jews. Does he know that the Messiah he claims to believe in, follow and serve was a Jew, as well as all of His disciples and all the writers of the Bible (except for Luke)?

The Corona Virus: Posts have gone viral on the web regarding the fact that the virus was a hoax invented by Jews to profit from it, or worse, that it was created by Jews for profit as well. And then, there are those who call it "The Jew-flu", claiming that Jews spread it more than anybody else on the planet. This has contributed to a lot of antisemitic hate speech, not that we needed any more of that! Israeli politician and human rights activist Nathan Sharansky said “'They are blaming the Jews [for coronavirus], accusing us of trying to destroy the economy in order to make money.'...In Iran, the state-controlled media is blaming “Zionists” for the epidemic and warning people not to use a coronavirus vaccine if it is developed by Israeli scientists." The Website NGO Monitor, keeping NGOs accountable, listed a myriad of NGOs that posted antisemitic tropes linking Israel, global Jews and COVID-19. Unbelievably, 20% of Britons believe that Jews are behind COVID-19. They obviously completely ignore the massive numbers of deaths in various Jewish communities because of the virus, especially in orthodox/Hasidic circles. They also ignore the fact that these very same Jewish communities that were hit very hard are now turning around to donate plasma.

The George Floyd Death: While there is no way on earth that the death of Mr. Floyd could be seen as accidental, there is still a way for antisemites to profit from it and link it to their anti-Israel agenda. It didn't take very long for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) proponents to compare the method used by the police officer who murdered George Floyd to the methods used by the IDF on Palestinians. In reality, neither American cops nor the Israeli Defense Force use these methods.  Simon Wiesenthal Center Director, Abraham Cooper remarked very wisely, “We Jews know all about antisemites connecting non-existent dots to denigrate our people.” Additionally, rioters chose to vandalize a synagogue with graffiti saying, "F*** Israel, Free Palestine!" What does the death of George Floyd have to do with the Jewish people? Nothing at all, but don't let that fact stop the irrational hatred against my people! And then there are those who literally say that “The police violence happening tonight in Minneapolis is straight out of the IDF playbook,” claiming with zero evidence that US police officers train in Israel.

This Israel "One-Size-Fits-All" response to the ills of the world is dƒespicable. It continues to plague our Jewish people wherever they live. It is groundless and yet it feeds into the agenda of Jew-haters. I am not saying that there were no Jewish people supporting the impeachment proceedings. I am not saying that not one Jewish person profited from some business opportunity created by the pandemic, and I am not saying that Jewish people are always accused of ills they are not responsible for. What I am saying is that mankind can be found responsible for many things hurtful and destructive, but it is because as a human race we have rebelled against God and taken matters in our own hands. It is not because we are black, Jewish, white, or whatever else!

Like the Amalekites of old, the Pharaoh who enslaved our people, Haman who schemed to destroy all Jews and all the other people who made it their personal struggle to hurt Israel and the Jewish people, our enemies are influenced by a false narrative that Jews are evil, blood-sucking creatures hell-bent on taking over the world. This comes straight from Satan's playbook, and that playbook IS the "One-Size-Fits-All" for all the ills of the world. It is time to give credit to whom credit is due!