Martin Luther, Kanye West and the Jews...It's Complicated!

When Martin Luther broke away from the Roman Catholic Church, little did he know that he would be the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. Nobody can deny that Luther was powerfully utilized by God to start a movement that would forever alter the course of Christianity. In his effort to break away from the human control of the Roman Catholic Church, Luther also reached out to the Jewish people hoping that they too, would see the benefits of a personal relationship with the God of the universe through the death and resurrection of His Son Yeshua of Nazareth. At first, Luther wrote some very powerful and biblically accurate sermons to explain the importance of the Jewish people in God's plan, but it all changed.

In 1543, when the Jewish community didn’t meet his expectations, Luther published the book On the Jews and Their Lies, where his description of the Jewish people is so venomous that Hitler and his regime felt they were just finishing up what Luther started. In that book, Luther used language that, at the very least equaled the past and future diatribes against the Jewish people: "What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct now that we are aware of their lying and reviling and blaspheming. … I shall give you my sincere advice:
First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians.

Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them the fact that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God.
Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them.
Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb.
Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside, since they are not lords, officials, tradesmen, or the like. Let them stay at home.
Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. The reason for such a measure is that, as said above, they have no other means of earning a livelihood than usury, and by it they have stolen and robbed from us….
Seventh, I recommend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen. 3:19). ….For, as we have heard, God's anger with them is so intense that gentle mercy will only tend to make them worse and worse, while sharp mercy will reform them but little. Therefore, in any case, away with them!"

While Luther never acted on his own words, he encouraged the destruction of property, expulsion, censorship, ghettoization, financial constraints and forced labor. In her book, The War Against the Jews, Lucy Dawidowicz wrote “The line of anti-Semitic descent from Luther to Hitler is easy to draw.” 

Author Daphne Olsen wrote, " Hitler refers to Martin Luther as one of the great reformers of history, and as such, one of the 'great warriors of this World.' It cannot be mere coincidence that Hitler’s anti-Jewish sentiment of the 1930s and 1940s mirrors that of Luther’s anti-Semitism of the 1500s. In fact, the Nazis themselves acknowledged Martin Luther as their spiritual leader. "

At the Nuremberg Trials, the antisemitic editor of Der Stürmer, Julius Streicher claimed that "he had invented nothing not previously asserted by the German founder of  the Protestant Reformation."

It is obvious from history that writings that might appear as harmless words can do a lot of damage. Luther never acted on his antisemitic words, but Hitler and the Nazis sure did, and it ended tragically for 6,000.000 Jews (out of the 12,000.000 people they murdered.)

In the Bible, James 3:5-7 tells us, "So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell." Words can be extremely lethal. Words matter! Sadly, people still don't seem to have learned that lesson!

The Rap singer and influencer billionaire Kanye West recently went on a rant against Jewish people on social networks. In their defense, he was immediately blocked/restricted by Twitter and Instagram. His tweet said, "I'm a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up, I'm going Death Con 3 on Jewish people. The funny thing is I actually cannot be anti semitic because black people are actually Jew also. You guys have toyed with me and try to blackball anyone whoever opposes your agenda." He also went on an interview with Tucker Carlson where he made some serious allegations against the Jews not being Jews, insisting that blacks were the real Jews (known as black Israelites).

Kanye West used the age-old tropes about Jewish people, claiming they control the world and love money. This was bad enough in and of itself, but when people start coming to his defense, it gets so much worse. Conservative commentator Candace Owens–whom I respected and appreciated very much until now–defended West when she stated, "If you are an honest person, you did not think this tweet was antisemitic, you didn't think that he wrote this tweet because he hates or wants to genocide the Jewish people. This does not represent the beginning of a Holocaust."

Somebody needs to remind Miss Owens that Luther was not planning a Holocaust when he made his discourse against the Jews. He let someone else take care of that from 1939-1945. His words became actions and those actions took the lives of 6,000.000 Jews.

The words of Mr. West were abrasive and cannot be taken as not antisemitic no matter what context. What about his recent comment about his "unshakable" relationship with Adidas when he said he can say “antisemitic s*** and they cannot drop me.” This has been drawing attention to Adidas’ old Nazi history, but they did the right thing and on October 25, 2022, they severed their business partnership with Mr. West. Adidas has dropped Kanye's brand even though it will cost them about $250 MM for the rest of 2022.  The company made a statement affirming that Adidas “does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech” and said that his recent comments were "unacceptable, hateful and dangerous.” Bravo Adidas, you have integrity! Additionally, West's talent agency CAA also dropped him, and so did Balenciaga.

I am not in a position to judge him, but West claims that he is now a Christian. This is not helping to rebuild the bridge between Christians and Jews that has been burned over the centuries. There is nothing Christian in Kanye West's words as there was nothing Christian in Luther's diatribe against the Jews.

His [Kanye] words have already been picked up and promoted by the antisemitic organization Goyim Defense League which also prints and distributes antisemitic flyers throughout the United States. It is a matter of time before these words become actions, and American Jews fear for their safety again. What world do we live in when respectable people come to the defense of antisemites? Luther didn't look forward to Hitler, but Hitler looked back at Luther. Kanye West is probably not looking forward to the next Hitler, but whoever that person turns out to be, they will justify their actions by looking back at people who made comments like Kanye West!

Watch my Commentary on YouTube:

Joseph Goebbels Would be so Proud!

I like to remember Joseph Goebbels as the short-lived Chancellor of Germany in 1945. He inherited the title the day that Hitler committed suicide, on April 30, 1945. He held that title for one day until he poisoned his six children and committed suicide with his wife on May 1, 1945. So, he was Chancellor for a day, but the real damage that he inflicted on European Jews was in the years leading up to that day.

Joseph Goebbels was Hitler's Reich Minister of public enlightenment and propaganda from 1933 to 1945. He had belonged to the Nazi party since 1924. As Minister of propaganda, Goebbels was responsible for the brainwashing of German citizens through the dissemination of antisemitic literature, painting the Jewish people as subhuman and vermin needing destruction. His role for the Third Reich was to convince the German people that the Jews had to be eradicated. He was rather successful. He was also an accomplished orator who practiced his speeches ahead of time with precision and attention to body language. He wanted to convey authority. Not long after his 1933 official appointment, he organized a Nazi book burning. Books considered subversive or promoting any ideology contrary to Nazism were destroyed. It was "Cancel Culture" before its time.

When German diplomat Ernst Vom Rath was assassinated in Paris in November 1938, Goebbels orchestrated the production and distribution of antisemitic materials to be released by the press. The German people had been indoctrinated for a few years already against the Jews and Goebbels gave an inflammatory speech on November 8, 1938, at a meeting of the Nazi Party, and incited the people, something he was very good at. It didn't take long for the situation to grow into a full-blown pogrom and boycott of Jewish businesses. It became known as Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) and it is recognized by historians as the starting date for the Holocaust. According to the dictionary, propaganda is "the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person." The German people would not have bought the Nazi agenda if it was not for Goebbels' well-oiled propaganda machine.

Goebbels knew that in order to indoctrinate a large number of people into believing in the validity of a cause he had to work tirelessly at spreading lies and rumors. He did it through speeches, rallies, book burnings and literature distribution. He also helped to write the now-famous Reichtag's speech of 1939 when Hitler announced that if a war would take place, all Jews would be annihilated. Eventually, the propaganda ministry took over the radio industry and the film industry, leaving the German people very little chance of hearing and viewing anything other than Nazi propaganda. Goebbels didn't come in one day and decide to take over communication and change it all to antisemitic propaganda. He moved slowly and strategically, and so are the anti-Semites of today.

In the last few weeks, there has been a seemingly well-orchestrated distribution of antisemitic flyers in the United States in North CarolinaFlorida, Colorado, California and Texas. Some of these awful flyers were just found in neighborhoods of Colleyville, Texas, where a synagogue was attacked, and a rabbi and congregants were taken hostage a month prior. What are we to make of these flyers?

Some people are trying to brush off the incidents as stupidity while others are simply picking up the flyers and throwing them away, not giving them any attention. In some cases, this would be the appropriate response; but considering the increased hatred for Jewish people recently demonstrated all over the world, these flyers cannot be ignored. They are definitely a symptom of something much more sinister. I believe that they are part of a greater propaganda campaign to demonize the Jews. Even if many people shared their outrage at the flyers, many more will accept their lies as truth and further denigrate the Jewish people. Propaganda usually holds just enough -  albeit twisted - truth to be believable.

As to the current flyers, several things need to be brought up. They either list all the people involved in handling Covid as Jews, or they show a list of Biden's administration staff who are Jewish. The goal is to make people believe that the Jews control everything for their own benefit. This takes us back to the 1903 hoax written by Sergei Nilus "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" claiming to be the minutes of a Jewish cabal meeting organized to take over the whole world.

Also on the flyer, is a quote from Revelation 2:9, "I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan." It seems to indicate that the Jews are from the synagogue of Satan, in other words, demon-possessed. It certainly doesn’t help when early theologians like John Chrysostom used those words with authority to denigrate the Jews. Contextually, the Synagogue of Satan is most likely describing gentiles acting like Jews and corrupting Jewish customs. When kept in the proper context, these accusations cannot be antisemitic as they were not directed towards Jews. It does give a very negative reputation to Christians, as well as, give fuel to the Jewish community for claiming that the New Testament is antisemitic. The quote of Revelation 2:9 gives the creators of the flyer some false cred, painting them as Christians, while they are most certainly not.

Possibly the most ironic statement made on the flyer is, "These flyers were distributed randomly without malicious intent." Seriously? The flyer claims that the Jews control everything and that they are from the synagogue of Satan, not to mention the link to the virulently antisemitic site www.goyimtv.tv, and there is no malice? What about the fact that they were all distributed in states that have large Jewish demographics?

The flyers are a sign of the times. They tell us that it continues to be very dangerous for Jewish people around the world. They are part of the propaganda to turn the world against the Jews. We do know that the whole world will eventually turn against the Jews from Zechariah 12:3, "On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it." This is not an invitation to do nothing. On the contrary, it is a call to action. The bullies against Israel and the Jews will always exist and will even increase in numbers, but they must be fought, exposed and punished by law. We also know that at the end of the story, Satan is defeated, and Yeshua prevails. Israel will never be forsaken by God no matter how hard bullies and anti-Semites come at her (Jeremiah 31:35-37).

We will not be able to completely eradicate antisemitism until Yeshua Ha Mashiach, the Prince of Peace is back on earth, and we enter the Messianic Kingdom in His presence. Until then, we cannot end it, but we certainly can fight it and show the Jewish people who their friends truly are.

The flyers are to be taken very seriously. They are proof that the Jewish people continue to be the victims of propaganda. Propaganda is very pernicious. It patiently infiltrates all levels of society to brainwash people into believing lies as the truth. It worked for Hitler and Goebbels, and if we remain silent, it will work for the new anti-Semites of the twenty-first century. What's next, the burning of Jewish books again? Goebbels would be so proud!

The 1919 Hitler Letter We Should All Read!

The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, California, is in possession of an original letter written and signed by Adolf Hitler in September of 1919, just days after he had joined the German Worker's Party. This was 14 years before he would become Chancellor and take over Germany as a dictator. This letter was authenticated in 2011. In and of itself, a letter from a world leader of the past is a valuable piece of history, even if it doesn't contain any important information, because it validates the very period it refers to. This letter is quite different. It is quite possibly the very first recorded use of the word "antisemitism" by Hitler. At least, it is the only one on hand. It is also a rare letter because Hitler and his core group of evil co-perpetrators went out of their way to communicate without leaving much in writing so that they couldn't be accused of their crimes. There are several reasons why everybody should know about this letter.

The letter militates against Holocaust denial and revisionism: In the body of the letter, several references are made about the need to eliminate the Jews. Hitler doesn't beat around the bush, even as early as 1919. He wrote "Its final aim, however, must be the uncompromising removal of the Jews altogether. “There is no way to look at such a statement and spin it in a way that would mean anything else but the desire to completely annihilate the Jews. Yet, many people around the world continue to claim that the Holocaust never happened, was grossly exaggerated or was simply some propaganda for Jews to steal and colonize "Palestine".

The letter proves that Hitler had a desire to eliminate the Jews as early as 1919: While historians and scholars alike will continue to speculate on why Hitler was so possessed with killing all the Jews as fast as he could, nobody really doubts that he did. His goal would only exponentially increase over the next two decades as he continued to gain more power, even in the wake of the failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923. Hitler then spent some time in prison where he would gather, structure and put down his genocidal agenda in "Mein Kampf".

The letter proves that Hitler was not insane: We have to be very careful not to label Hitler and his lieutenants as insane. Insanity leaves the door open for people's actions to be exonerated. It can be claimed that because of insanity, the party who acted was not really responsible. Hitler was NOT insane; he was evil and quite possibly demon-possessed; between which there is a big difference. The letter shows him being very coherent and methodical in his thinking, which is something insane people don't usually have.  However, he doesn't base his assessment of the Jewish people on facts.

The letter ignores that antisemitism is always wrong regardless of how it is justified: Antisemitism is the irrational hatred of the Jewish people characterized by thoughts, words and/or deeds against them. There is absolutely no justification for antisemitism. Hitler wrote, "Antisemitism as a political movement must not be, cannot be, determined by emotional criteria, but only through the recognition of facts." First, he tries to peg antisemitism as a political movement, probably in an effort to distance himself and those who would follow his advice from being accused of xenophobia. Then, he insists that antisemitism cannot be an emotional reaction;  but should only be based on facts, setting the stage for his legalization of the destruction of all Jews - but are they real facts?

The letter is written on a foundation of lies called "facts": It was fake news before fake news was even popular. He claimed that antisemitism was justified against the Jews, as long as it was not emotional but based on facts. The problem is that what he described as facts were misunderstandings at best and fabricated lies at worst. Hitler claims that "First, the Jews are definitely a race and not a religious community." He failed to understand the difference between Judaism and Jewishness. Judaism is a religion based on the Old Testament and later the Talmud. It is followed more or less closely by Jews around the world depending on their level of orthodoxy, from secular/agnostic to ultra-orthodox. So, Judaism is something people follow, adhere to and practice out of their own volition. Jewishness, on the other hand, is something that one is born into. One or two Jewish parents will guarantee that you have Jewish lineage regardless of your adherence to Judaism. Jewishness is something that one is born with and can never lose. Judaism is a choice. They are two different sides of the coin of Jewish identity and cannot be mixed or blurred.

The letter includes the age-old lie about "the greedy Jew": Expecting his audience not to know much about European history, Hitler accuses the Jews of being greedy and centering everything about wealth and monetary gain when he writes "The value of the individual is no longer determined by his character, by the importance of his achievements for all, but solely by the amount of his possessions, by his money." Hitler possibly didn't even know about the origins of this lie that goes back to the Middle Ages when Christians couldn't borrow money from Christians and Jews couldn't own property. Jews became money lenders, but as they charged interest, the rulers of Europe taxed them increasingly more and forced them to raise their interest rates to survive. The myth of the "Greedy Jew" was born and it lived through the ages and is alive and well today. Hitler insists that Jews do everything for money, "Everything which makes men strive for higher things, whether religion, socialism or democracy, is for him only a means to an end, to the satisfaction of a lust for money and domination. "

The letter sets the stage for the Nuremberg Laws of 1935: The Nuremberg Laws also known as the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor were passed by Hitler and his government at the Nazi party meeting on September 15, 1935. When Hitler wrote "But antisemitism based on reason must lead to the systematic legal combating and removal of the rights of the Jew, which he alone of the foreigners living among us possesses (legislation to make them aliens), he declared that Jews had to be made aliens or foreigners in the midst of the German people. This was achieved after the Nuremberg Laws were passed and it greatly facilitated and justified the "Final Solution"

When one looks at how Adolf Hitler came to power, some call it "the perfect storm". A weak post-war economy, a people desperate for recovery at any cost, even their own freedom, and a scapegoat. This letter clearly validates that the horrors of the Holocaust happened, and that Hitler was unashamedly behind it all. People's rights and freedom are also at risk today. Such a letter goes beyond exposing Hitler's intention as it serves to warn us that all that happened against the Jews could happen again, and not just against the Jews.

PURIM: God Is Sovereign Even Behind-the-Scenes

Thursday, February 25, 2021, marks the celebration of the Jewish festival of Purim. Jewish people around the world will gather to recall God’s protection in days of old. This is a time when people eat special foods, dress up and read the Megillat Ester or scroll of Esther in the synagogue, where a lot of noise is made at the calling of the names of the three main protagonists: Mordechai, Esther and Haman. Gifts are often exchanged as well as donations made to charity.

• PURIM IN THE BIBLE: The first time we read about Purim, is at the end of the book of Esther–a book about God’s miraculous preservation of the Jewish people–even though this is the only book of the Bible where God is never mentioned by name. This doesn’t prevent God from orchestrating an incredible story of survival, redemption and blessing, albeit behind-the-scenes. The story of Purim is also a very strong post-Genesis example of God’s promise to Abraham to bless those who bless him and curse him who curses Abraham (Genesis 12:3). Haman, the archenemy of the Jews built gallows to hang Mordechai, and at the end, he and all of his sons were hanging on these very gallows…A curse for a curse! People ought to take the promise made by God to Abraham in Genesis 12:3 very seriously. In a sense, it is God’s foreign policy when it comes to Israel, and it has proven absolutely true all throughout history (biblical and post-biblical).

Haman’s approach to the “Jewish problem” is worth looking at from the perspective of Satan, the ultimate enemy of the Jews. Early in the scriptures, in Genesis 3, Satan came up with a master plan:  Use people – even Eve – to destroy the Jews on a global scale – and antisemitism was born! The reason?  Satan is very familiar with the message of the Bible and with God’s master plan for the world in general and for Israel and the Jewish people in particular.

Satan knows that the day that the Jewish people recognize Yeshua as their long-awaited Messiah as told in Zechariah 12:10, will usher in His return, but that will also mark the beginning of the end of Satan’s career of hatred and destruction. In an attempt at postponing it all–since he cannot prevent it, Satan is the mastermind behind the longest hatred. He is the creator of antisemitism and he continually subcontracts his hatred against the Jews to various groups through the ages, making the most irrational thoughts, words and deeds appear very rational to those who listen to him. The book of Esther tells us the story of how Satan used Haman to go after the Jews. He could have succeeded, but God is greater, even behind-the-scenes.

In Esther chapter 3, Haman puts his curse against the Jews in motion, and because of one Jew, namely Mordecai, Haman seeks to destroy all of them. We start seeing the irrational behaviors promoted by an antisemitic heart. Haman seeks to destroy ALL THE JEWS of the Persian Empire where many of them lived at the time.

In a sense, Haman tried to make antisemitism a government-sanctioned policy, something that will be picked up again much later in history by Nazi Germany. We read in Esther 3:1-2, 5-6 “After these events, King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and established his authority over all the princes who were with him. And all the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman; for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage…. When Haman saw that Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage to him, Haman was filled with rage. But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him who the people of Mordecai were; therefore, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.

Furthermore, in verse 8, Haman proceeds to give the reason why the Jews are not wanted in Ahasuerus’ kingdom, and that is simply because THEY ARE DIFFERENT. “Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from those of all other people, and they do not observe the king’s laws, so it is not in the king’s interest to let them remain.
Because of his hatred for one man who happened to be Jewish, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews of the kingdom. This was a very extreme decision, driven by an irrational desire to hold all people of the same ethnic group responsible because of one of theirs who actually wasn’t guilty of anything but faithfulness to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Haman was on a mission to destroy all the Jews.

However, he also realized that his endeavor would require some logistical finesse, so in Esther 3:9-13, we read that he asked the king to issue a decree for the destruction of the Jewish people, knowing that a royal decree cannot be canceled or ignored. Not only did he ask for the decree, but he also committed to financing the whole project out of his own wealth. “If it is pleasing to the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who carry on the king’s business,…And letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to seize their possessions as plunder.

While it might not be obvious at first glance, the process by which Haman sought to annihilate all the Jews within his reach and the one used by Hitler and the Nazi regime have many similarities. Consider the parallels between Haman and Hitler in these five points:
• One Man’s jealousy led to uncontrolled hatred (3:5)
• Targeted hatred became global hatred (3:6, 13)
• Hatred was apparently caused because of non-conformity (3:8)
• Attempted annihilation of the Jews was structured and organized (3:9-13)
• Funds were spent and financial wealth was provided for the perpetrators (3:9, 4:7)

Fast forward to the 1930s and 1940s, and we see how Hitler developed his well-organized “factory of death” against the Jewish people.

• PURIM in the 1940s: Soon after coming to power, Hitler quickly banned the celebration of Jewish festivals including Purim. In a speech delivered the day after Kristallnacht, in November 1938, Julius Streicher (1885-1946), Hitler’s“Director of the Central Committee for the Defense against Jewish Atrocity and Boycott Propaganda” declared that since the Jews killed 75,000 Persians in the days of Esther, the same fate could befall the German people and so the Jews had to be stopped. Streicher was also the publisher of the virulently antisemitic newspaper Der Stürmer. After the war, he was never accused of any actions or orders against the Jews but for thoughts and words published in his newspaper and as a result, he was convicted of “crimes against humanity” and sentenced to death. The Nuremberg military tribunal declared, “Streicher’s incitement of murder and extermination at the time when Jews in the East were being killed under the most horrible conditions clearly constitutes persecution on political and racial grounds in connection with war crimes as defined by the Charter, and constitutes a crime against humanity.”

Again, the “curse-for-a-curse” biblical principle was applied to Streicher, who, on October 16, 1946, was executed on the gallows at the end of the Nuremberg Trials. Streicher’s final words before he was let down into the gallows trap door was “Purim Fest 1946”, as his final claim that the Jews were out to get him. It would have required a certain knowledge of the Jewish lifestyle and festivals for Streicher to even make that parallel.

As to Hitler’s obsession with the destruction of all European Jews, history is our witness that all methods used by Haman­–as irrational as they might have been– were also used by Hitler.

Hitler’s jealousy led to uncontrolled hatred. It is hard to pinpoint why Hitler was so against the Jews. There have been rumors that he had some distant Jewish ancestry, and also that he was mad at the Jewish doctor who unsuccessfully treated his mother who died of cancer in 1908. There is also the possibility that Hitler took his lead from the Muslim Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (1921-1937) Amin al-Husseini. All these are nearly impossible to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt, but the fact that almost a whole country of Germans was ready to follow one man into his evil agenda of destruction says a lot about our sinful nature.

• Targeted hatred became global hatred. Whatever hatred Hitler had against one Jew or a few of them, it should have never led to his desire to kill all of us. Yet, the ghetto that separated and ostracized the Jews eventually led to the Einsatzgruppen (death squads responsible for mass shootings of Jews after they were forced to dig their own graves). When shooting people was deemed inefficient and psychologically damaging for the SS officers (you read it right!), large trucks and vans were outfitted with engines that pumped carbon monoxide into the sealed compartment filled with Jewish people. Even that method proved to be too slow for Hitler who developed the concentration camps that became the death camps. The rest is history. That is of course if you don’t buy into the ludicrous Holocaust Denial theory.

• Hatred was apparently caused because of non-conformity
The fact that the Jewish people had survived so much hardship and violence against them for centuries was probably a mystery to Hitler, but possibly a reason why he loathed the Jews so much.
The Jewish people have survived through the ages and continue to hold many of the ancient customs and traditions. To Jewish people, identity is often synonymous with survival, so Jewish rituals and customs are critical. This would appear as non-conformity, but while they might be strictly religious at home and in their own community, Jewish people have always been willing to contribute to society wherever God placed them in the diaspora. Jewish ingenuity has proven that beyond the shadow of a doubt over the years.

• Attempted annihilation of the Jews was structured and organized
Hitler’s “Final solution to the Jewish question” was further organized at the time of the Wannsee Conference in Berlin in 1942 when Reinhard Heydrich took leadership of it to make sure that various government ministries all complied and worked together. The meeting itself only lasted 90 minutes, but it further sealed the fate of European Jewry

• Funds were spent, and financial wealth was provided for the perpetrators

Much money was needed for war and to maintain the infrastructure of the death camps into which Hitler fed the Jewish people. Forced Jewish labor, taxes on Jews and confiscated Jewish wealth were factors in how Hitler financed the war and the Holocaust. Eventually, even those resources ran dry. Hitler was not a very good military commander, but he was very stubborn with his destructive obsession with the Jews. Towards the end of the war, this might have cost him more than he wished, when resources used for the transport of Jews were not available to fight at the Russian front.

PURIM IN 2021: Satan knows that he cannot succeed, but he tries without ceasing. He has indoctrinated much of the world against the Jewish people, creating antisemitism and making it the oldest and most enduring form of hatred against a people group. While he keeps sub-contracting his hatred to different groups of people, the danger remains the same and the Jewish people continue to be the “scapegoats of humanity”. The same approach used in biblical days and during Hitler’s reign is used today by historical revisionists, BDS promoters, Christian Palestinianism proponents and all other enemies of Israel and the Jewish people. If they had their way, Israel would be erased from the map and the Jewish people completely eradicated from existence and from history. But in a very “Purimesque” ending, the Jewish people will continue to flourish as promised by God Himself in Jeremiah 31:35-37 and Israel will prevail because of God.

Be it during biblical times, during the 1930s and 1940s, or even today, through thick and thin, God has always had Israel in the palm of His hand. Even though He was absent by name in the book of Esther and it felt more like “the eclipse of God” during the Holocaust, He never reneged on His promises. So, we can celebrate Purim with confidence and with joy because the same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob Who was behind-the-scenes in the days of Esther, has our back and still keeps His word today.

Chag Purim Sameach! Happy Purim!

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!

Hitler would be very proud of the Aalst Carnival in Belgium!

The city of Aalst, Belgium has officially held its carnival since 1923. Parades of that sort actually go back to the Middle Ages. Aalst almost always makes the news for its 3-Day carnival taking place yearly at the end of February. The organizers repeatedly claim that the satirical tone of the carnival is to be remembered when one considers any of its floats. They claim to poke fun at people indiscriminately. Freedom of press and freedom of expression are at the core of the Aalst Carnival, and within reason, in a world where these two are quickly being squeezed out, if not disappearing altogether, this is a breath of fresh air that we must respect. Unless it is taken too far!

Going back to the French Revolution of 1789, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen said in its article 11, "The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law. Furthermore, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights added in its article 19, "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." Important boundaries for all of mankind were put in place to protect our freedoms on just about every level. The laws are in place to protect us, but keep in mind, that even if something is not illegal, it does not mean it is appropriate. We should never allow ourselves to abuse the power of free speech, even in a satire!

Belgium also has some very specific boundaries regarding freedom of speech, like most countries in the West. Through an organization known as UNIA, Belgium monitors and defends people who have been victims of discrimination. They are very helpful in determining when freedom of speech crosses the line and becomes racism and/or incitement.

The 2019 Aalst Carnival featured some giant orthodox Jews with grotesque facial features, wearing pink outfits with oversized shtreimels (Jewish fur hats) with rats on their shoulders and money bursting out of their pockets. The depiction was so despicably antisemitic that even UNESCO–not Israel's strongest supporter over the years–decided to remove the Aalst Carnival from its list of "cultural heritage of Humanity."

The embarrassment created by the UNESCO removal in 2019 should have taught the organizers a lesson and should have given them a serious incentive to put an end to the antisemitic elements of the carnival. Instead, it appears that it emboldened them to go further. This would be outrage at any time of history, but in 2020, it is oil thrown onto the fire of global antisemitism. This will inevitably provide justification to those who want to kill Jews, as we are starting to witness that again.

The "Aalst Jews of 2020" were again wearing oversized shtreimels, dressed in black this year, but the bottom half of their bodies were that of insects or vermin; ants to be exact.

A small replica of the Western Wall was also paraded with words "complain ant" (words that apparently look like the words Western Wall in dutch.) Joining the crowds were dozens of people wearing caricatural orthodox Jewish garb and large fake crooked noses, not to mention the many flyers with stereotypical renditions of Jews with side curls, crooked noses and curly hair.

The 1940 Nazi propaganda film "The Wandering Jew" depicted Jewish people as rats coming out of sewers to invade the world. Jews were compared to parasites and vermin. In other Nazi works, they were compared to insects like lice that must be exterminated. You know the rest of the story. Antisemites currently do not need any incentive to hate the Jews, so why go there?

Without the help of Aalst Carnival, global Jews are again at risk for their lives. Comparing them to insects or rats is giving antisemites justification for their actions, When the mayor of Aalst was asked, he responded that there was no antisemitism in his city. Seriously? Even Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes ONLY stated that the carnival “was causing damage to our values and the reputation of our country.” Unfortunately, words never condemn actions unless they are followed by consequences for those actions.

The Aalst Carnival MUST stop its antisemitism and all other kinds of xenophobic displays or it should not be allowed to continue. I don't care how funny people think it was–as all watchers were smiling or laughing as the floats passed by them–it continues to fuel the unnecessary and irrational global tsunami of antisemitism that is now claiming Jewish lives again!

In 2013, they chose to wear Gestapo uniforms, walked around wearing cans labeled “Zyklon B” — the poison that the Nazis used to kill Jews in gas chambers, and paraded a cattle car similar to those used to transport Jews during the Holocaust. At this rate, it won't be long before the floats look like crematoria or gas chambers!

Well, actually, it was only a day later that the city of Campo de Criptana, Spain featured such a float in their parade. Nazi uniforms, train car and crematoria along with prisoners in striped outfits. Some say that the village is a great friend of Israel. Even if they are, what a poor way to commemorate the Holocaust!

Is it time for all the Jews of Belgium to make aliyah to Israel?

Aaslt you would make Hitler very proud!

Haman, Hitler and BDS: We should know better!

What do the book of Esther, the Nuremberg Laws of 1933 and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement have in common? A lot more than meets the eye! There is a theme found in Esther about Haman's disdain for the Jewish people that is quite unique in the biblical record. We find the first step in Chapter 3 where Haman puts his curse against the Jews in motion, and because of one Jew, namely Mordecai, Haman seeks to destroy all of them. We start seeing the irrational behaviors promoted by an anti-Semitic heart. Haman seeks to destroy all the Jews of the Persian Empire (at that time the vast majority of the Jews lived in the Persian empire, thus Haman sought to kill ALL THE JEWS). In a sense, Haman tries to make anti-Semitism a government-sanctioned policy

After these events, King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and established his authority over all the princes who were with him. And all the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman; for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage. When Haman saw that Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage to him, Haman was filled with rage. But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him who the people of Mordecai were; therefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus. (Esther 3:1-2, 6-5)

Furthermore, he proceeds to give the reason why the Jews are not wanted in Ahasuerus’ kingdom, and that is simply because they are different from everybody else and Haman feels that they just don't fit.

Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from those of all other people, and they do not observe the king’s laws, so it is not in the king’s interest to let them remain. (Esther 3:8)

Haman realizes that his endeavor will require some logistical finesse, so he asks the king to issue a decree for the destruction of the Jewish people. He even offers to finance the carnage.

If it is pleasing to the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who carry on the king’s business,…And letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to seize their possessions as plunder.
(Esther 3:9-13)

Fast forward to 1935, the Nuremberg Laws were introduced and Jewish people lost their citizenship. Marriage and/or sexual relations between Jews and Aryans were prohibited and severely punished. Additionally, guidelines were created to determine who in Germany would qualify as a “mischling” (half breed) and who wouldn’t. The Nuremberg Laws would set the stage for the final delegitimization of the Jewish people before the Final Solution could be implemented. By 1935, Hitler was solidly established in power. Few, if any, would dare to contradict him. His obsession with the “Jewish problem” would soon lead him to the next step in his attempt at the destruction of European Jewry. While the outcome was unfortunately different in each case, the process by which Haman sought to annihilate the Jews as seen in various verses of Esther 3 and the one used by Hitler have many similarities:

We can clearly see the correlation between Haman's attempt to annihilate the Jews and Hitler's evil agenda of death, but what about the current BDS movement? BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti doesn't even hide the fact that the ultimate goal of BDS is the eradicaton of Israel.  BDS is another way to delegitimize Israel in the eyes of the global community in the name of human rights and social justice. Yet, under this self-righteous veneer of human rights activism, is a new brand of antisemitism. Whole countries are now starting to follow suit. Ireland just passed a law to Boycott Israeli products from Israeli settlements.

Just like Haman and Hitler, BDS proponents are:

• Trying to make anti-Semitism a government-sanctioned policy

• Painting the Jewish people as misfits of society as Israel "occupies Palestine."

• Recruiting the help of willing promoters and seeking financial back-up anywhere they can find it.

Satan, the ultimate enemy of the Jews is constantly re-inventing himself to further demonize and ostracize Israel. Ideologically, BDS is an extension of Hitler's agenda which was parallel to Haman's agenda. BDS is a lot more than an economic, academic or entertainment boycott. People need to dig a bit deeper to see the real motives of that sick movement.
Incidentally, when we are told by BDS to stop buying Israeli products, we should do the exact opposite and support Israel's economy. How? It is quite simple. Go to a BDS website and buy the exact products they tell you to stay away from. They've done all the work for you!

 

Purim through the ages and the faithfulness of God!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018, marks the celebration of the Jewish festival of Purim. Jewish people around the world gather to recall God's protection in days of old. People eat special foods, dress up and read the Megillat Ester or scroll of Esther in the synagogue, where a lot of noise is made at the calling of the names of the three main protagonists: Mordechai, Esther and Haman. Gifts are often exchanged as well as donations made to charity.

• PURIM IN THE BIBLE: The first time we read about Purim, is at the end of the book of Esther–a book about God's miraculous preservation of the Jewish people–even though this is the only book of the Bible where God is never mentioned by name. The story of Purim is also a very strong post-Genesis example of God's promise to Abraham to bless those who bless him and curse him who curses Abraham (Genesis 12:3.) Haman, the archenemy of the Jews built gallows to hang Mordechai, and at the end, he and all of his sons were hanging on these very gallows...A curse for a curse!

Haman's approach to the "Jewish problem" is worth looking at from the perspective of Satan, the ultimate enemy of the Jews. Early on (Genesis 3:15), Satan had come up with a master plan: Use people to destroy the Jews on a global scale; thus anti-Semitism was born
In Esther chapter 3, Haman puts his curse against the Jews in motion, and because of one Jew, namely Mordecai, Haman seeks to destroy all of them. We start seeing the irrational behaviors promoted by an anti-Semitic heart. Haman seeks to destroy ALL THE JEWS of the Persian Empire where many of them lived at the time.

In a sense, Haman tried to make anti-Semitism a government-sanctioned policy, something that will be picked up again much later in history by Nazi German. We read in Esther 3:1-2, 6-5: "After these events, King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and established his authority over all the princes who were with him. And all the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman; for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage. When Haman saw that Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage to him, Haman was filled with rage. But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him who the people of Mordecai were; therefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.

Furthermore, he proceeds to give the reason why the Jews are not wanted in Ahasuerus’ kingdom, and that is simply because THEY ARE DIFFERENT. "Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from those of all other people, and they do not observe the king’s laws, so it is not in the king’s interest to let them remain. (Esther 3:8)

Haman realizes that his endeavor will require some logistical finesse, so he asks the king to issue a decree for the destruction of the Jewish people. “If it is pleasing to the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who carry on the king’s business,…And letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to seize their possessions as plunder. (Esther 3:9-13)

While the outcome was unfortunately different in both cases, the process by which Haman sought to annihilate the Jews and the one used by Hitler have many similarities.
• One Man’s jealousy led to uncontrolled hatred (3:5)
• Targeted hatred became global hatred (3:6, 13)
• Hatred was apparently caused because of non-conformity (3:8)
• Attempted annihilation of the Jews was structured and organized (3:9-13)
• Funds were spent and financial wealth was provided for the perpetrators (3:9, 4:7)

• PURIM in the 1940s:  Soon after coming to power, Hitler quickly banned the celebration of the Jewish festivals including Purim. In a speech delivered the day after Kristallnacht, in November 1938, Julius Streicher (1885-1946), Hitler’s “Director of the Central Committee for the Defense against Jewish Atrocity and Boycott Propaganda” declared that since the Jews killed 75,000 Persians in the days of Esther, the same fate could befall the German people and so the Jews had to be stopped. Again, the "curse-for-a-curse" biblical principle was applied to Streicher who eight years later was executed on the gallows at the end of the Nuremberg Trials. Streicher looked at the audience in the courtroom and yelled “Purim Fest 1946”, as his final claim that the Jews were out to get him. It would have required a certain knowledge of the Jewish lifestyle and festivals for Streicher to even make the parallel.

PURIM IN 2018: Satan knows that he cannot succeed but he tries without ceasing. He has indoctrinated much of the world against the Jewish people, creating anti-Semitism and making it the oldest and most enduring form of hatred against a people group. While he keeps sub-contracting his hatred to different groups of people, the danger remains the same and the Jewish people continue to be the “scapegoats of humanity”. The same approach used in biblical days and during Hitler's reign is used today by historical revisionists,  BDS promoters, Christian Palestinianism proponents and all other enemies of Israel and the Jewish people. If they had their way, Israel would be erased from the map and the Jewish people completely eradicated from existence and from history. But in a very "Purimesque" ending, Israel will prevail and the Jewish people will continue to flourish.

Be it during biblical times, during the 1930s and 1940s or even today, through thick and thin, God has always had Israel in the palm of His hand. Even though He was absent by name in the book of Esther and it felt more like "the eclipse of God" during the Holocaust,  He never reneged on His promises. So today, we can celebrate Purim with confidence and with joy because the same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has our back and keeps His word.

Chag Purim Sameach!

Marine Le Pen: A frenemy almost worth supporting!

Only days away from the first round of the French Presidential elections, the usual choice of candidates spreads across the political spectrum from extreme right to extreme left. France seems disillusioned with the last Hollande five-year term. The country is a very unique blend of cultures that have never integrated very well in the French republic. France is both the country with the most Jewish people after Israel and the USA (500,000), as well as the largest Muslim community of Europe(5 to 6,000.000.)

France is also not immune to the current refugee crisis that has plagued much of Eastern and Western Europe in the last two years. The open borders of Europe according to the Schengen Agreement are making things hard if not impossible to manage. The governments of Germany and Sweden are struggling to maintain order in the midst of a constant flow of un-vetted and unmanageable migrants. It is impossible to assess how many refugees come through these countries and even harder to keep track of those who just pass through to land into another European country, not to mention those who adhere to an agenda of terror.

Few are those in Europe who are bold enough to speak-up, as if The Old Europe was resigned to no longer fight for freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press. Cultural euthanasia seems to be looming over parts of Europe, so it is not unreasonable for people to look for candidates with an agenda focused on the national security of France. Enter Marine Le Pen!

The "Front National" party (FN) has been somewhat of a thorn in the flesh of France since its founding in 1972 by Marine's father, Jean-Marie Le Pen. It is a far-right populist party with anti-immigration, euro-sceptic and antisemitic views. Jean-Marie Le Pen was fined several times for saying that the Holocaust was a"detail of history." He also claimed that the Vichy government run by Maréchal Pétain during the Second World War was not inhumane in its help provided to round-up over 78,000 Jews out of France. In spite of all this, he actually made the elections run-off in 2002.

In 2011, After he had promised to retire, Jean-Marie was replaced by his daughter Marine at the head of the party. She immediately started to work on changing the xenophobic image of the FN in an effort to gain more popularity amidst the French voting bloc. Politically, France had always been characterized by a right/left polarization usually leading to alternating power every presidential election. Marine's desire to put the FN on the French political map was somewhat successful. In the 2012 presidential election, she garnered 18% of the French vote which was the most the FN ever got. Then in 2014, during the European Parliament elections, the FN got 22 of France's 74 seats at the European Parliament. Then, in August 2015, Marine Le Pen expelled her father from the FN altogether.

Many people in France are actually anxious about the outcome of the 2017 elections. The FN current agenda is attractive to many because of its push on ending immigration, fighting Radical Islam, and even pull France out of Europe in a Brexit style move. Marine Le Pen vows to reinstate and close French borders if elected. What 's wrong with such an idea? The last few years have seen France be the victim of several major terrorist attacks resulting in over 230 deaths. Promises were made by François Hollande to fight terrorism and antisemitism but in the end, very little was accomplished. Nobody knows where, when or even how the Islamic State will strike next.

Le Pen promises to keep France safe, keep it French and keep it going. She is currently neck-to-neck with Center-Left Emmanuel Macron. She insists that Jewish people should have nothing to fear if she is the next president. There are actually some Jewish people who believe that she would lead France in the right direction, and like them, I believe that she has something good to offer. Yet, the image that she has been working so hard at re-creating in the last decade might turn out to be a very thin veneer. Her true colors are not deep under that veneer.

She recently stated that France shouldn't be held responsible for the Vel d'Hiv roundup and the French Militia that fed Hitler and the Nazis almost 80,000 Jews. She tried to back pedal, but it was too late and the memories of Jean Marie Le Pen's antisemitic remarks of yesteryear were back haunting France and its Jewish community. How can one say that France was not involved in the Vel d'Hiv roundup? Saying that the French government was in exile in London is accurate, yet there were plenty of French officials and sympathizers who stayed behind and became some of Hitler's willing perpetrators at worst or detached bystanders at best. Even if most of France was made of bystanders during WWII, they greatly facilitated the work of Hitler's willing murderers.

Marine Le Pen might make it through the first round of the elections on April 23, and possibly with votes from French Jewry. If she wins–and it is unlikely– France might benefit from some of her policies. Then again, Donald Trump won against all odds. While I am not comparing his administration to that of a Front National government, Marine Le Pen could win in the biggest upset in French history. Unfortunately, I am not convinced that Jewish people would become safer in France under a Le Pen administration.