Stuart Kaufman: At the Boiling Point with Anti-Semitism

I am sick to my stomach, at the boiling point with anger. The swamp gases of Jew hatred are seeping through the surface of civilization so rapidly that I cannot see how they can be contained, especially given the tepid response of so many, including my Jewish brothers and sisters. Jew hatred is a disease that corrodes the soul. It erupts periodically into epidemic proportions and we appear to be at the inception of just such an eruption. It unfortunately is to be expected in Europe, where it has festered for centuries, but it has now broken into a fever here in the United States and it is spreading like wildfire.

The Congress is infested with Jew haters. They didn’t spring full blown from nowhere — they were elected! The recent unmitigated manifestation of pure Jew hatred by Rep. Ihlan Omar (D-MN) is merely the tip of the iceberg. Rep Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) calls herself a “second generation Palestinian” and carries with her all of the Jew hatred that is imbibed with mother’s milk by those who claim to be Palestinian (a “nation” that doesn’t exist, never existed and was invented out of whole cloth in the 1960s by an arch terrorist and murderer). Omar and Tlaib are neophytes and nobodies of whom nothing can or should be expected, but what about the leaders of the Democratic Party — falling all over themselves to find excuses for the garbage spewing unchecked from the lips of Omar and Tlaib? It is reprehensible that Nancy Pelosi was unable to secure a simple resolution from her party condemning anti-Semitism.

The number three Democrat in the House of Representatives, James Clyburn of South Carolina, soiled himself with his comments excusing Omar. According to an account in the Washington Post, Clyburn stated:  “the experience of Rep. Ilhan Omar is ‘more personal’ than that of the children of people who have survived the Holocaust and other atrocities.” The Post asserted that Clyburn said that Omar “is living through a lot of pain” and drew a contrast between Omar’s firsthand experience and the perspectives of those whose parents or grandparents survived the Holocaust. He is quoted as having said “there are people who tell me, ‘Well, my parents are Holocaust survivors.’ ‘My parents did this.’ It’s more personal with her. I’ve talked to her and I can tell you she is living through a lot of pain.”

Really? So I guess Clyburn believes Omar’s “personal pain” must be much more searing and overrides that of the great-grandchildren of slaves who are his constituents, since slavery ended 157 years ago (159 in his home state of South Carolina). My response to that crock of manure is to Hell with Omar’s “pain,” and to Hell with Clyburn who stated that Omar’s “intersectional experiences” are simply too important to criticize her for Jew hatred. Whatever Omar went through and despite Clyburn’s arrant stupidity, nothing entitles anyone to negate the suffering of those who went through the Holocaust.

I personally know many Jews who survived the Holocaust. They suffered being penned up in ghettos and/or being sent to concentration camps where they watched their parents, brothers and sisters go to their deaths, or had their children wrenched from their arms and shot before their eyes. I know survivors who were partisans during the war, who lived and hid for years in holes dug in the ground in the depths of the forests, without protection from the freezing Polish winters, constantly being hunted by not only the Nazis but by their former friends and neighbors.

I know Jews who survived the Holocaust hidden, some for years, in dark basements or cramped attics in the homes of “Righteous Gentiles” who risked their own lives to protect them. I personally know their children and grandchildren, who also bear the scars of what their parents endured:  from earliest childhood, they were awakened by the shrieks and screams of their parents or grandparents, who relived their hellish experiences in their nightmares almost every night until their deaths, 40 and 50 years after the war ended. And from the survivors directly, I heard horrific stories of what they had been forced to endure. (For one such account, I refer you to my article entitled “Shifra’s Story” in the May 2015 edition of the Charleston Mercury.)

My dear friend, Joe Engel, who is well known in Charleston, spent three years in the depths of Hell, most of that time in Auschwitz and thereafter on the Death March. When Joe heard Rep. Omar’s filthy remarks and Rep. Clyburn’s callous attempt to dismiss them, he wrote a public letter to Rep. Clyburn. Here is what Joe Engel, Auschwitz survivor, wrote:

“Your statement in defense of the anti-Semitic slurs of Rep. Ilhan Omar was disappointing. The Nazis systematically exterminated six million innocent Jews in the most brutal and horrific way. They killed my family. I was there. No one deserves to be tortured or killed because of their religion or race and no one deserves to live in a ghetto or refugee camp. But you trample on the memory of my parents and my own survival by judging and measuring the pain of the Jewish community. Are you unable to condemn bigotry and anti-Semitism?”

Those are the words of someone whose life was inexorably, painfully and permanently altered by Jew haters almost 75 years ago. Joe Engel does not spend his life playing “victim” or asking anyone to feel sorry for him. He spends his life screaming out a warning:  What happened there can happen here!

And now, the Jew haters are slithering out from under their rocks once again. I am beginning to fear the coming onslaught. Do you think that it can’t happen here in America? Did the Jews of Spain foresee the disaster that overtook them in the 15th century when the Inquisition gave them the choice of conversion, death or expulsion? Did the Jews of Germany, Poland or Lithuania, or those in Holland, France or Italy, foresee the catastrophe that overtook them in the 20th century and would result in the murder of six million Jews, a million and a half of whom were children? As a Jew, I refuse to hide my head in the sand, ignore reality and accept that such will be my fate, or the fate of my grandsons.

Here is a question for the Jew haters:  What are you afraid of? Are you jealous of the fact that the average verbal IQ score among Jews is 120? Are you envious of the fact that Jews, at only 1.4 percent of the American population, make up 22 percent of Ivy League students and 20 percent of America’s chief executives and have earned 25 percent of the Nobel Prizes awarded to American scientists (not including Jews born outside the U.S., such as Albert Einstein) since 1950 — 32 percent worldwide in the 21st century—and 52 percent (!) of Pulitzer Prizes for nonfiction? Does it bother you that Jews give far more to charity than others in the same income bracket and make up a greatly disproportionate number of America’s leading philanthropists (19 out of the top 53 and five out of the top six in 2015 according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy)?

If you believe in G-d, then you should understand that the Jews are a gift to mankind from a beneficent Almighty. In Genesis 12:3, G-d says to the Jews:  “I will bless them that bless thee and curse those that curse thee and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Historically, where the Jews have been permitted to prosper, the society in which they thrived also prospered. Where the Jews were persecuted, expelled or murdered, the society that tormented them ended up far worse. You might not like that historical fact, but fact it is and right now I am angry enough to blurt it out. If you excuse the Jew haters — if you enable them to spew their filth and do their vilest (BDS comes to mind) — then America will pay the sad price. Statistics indicate that since 2017, there has been a 70 percent increase in anti-Semitism in America. Regardless of the lies spread by Omar and Tlaib, no other minority group has endured the growth in hate crimes that have been committed against Jews.

For as long as we permit the Ihlan Omars and the Rashida Tliabs to go unchecked, for as long as we elect their like to local, state and federal office, the evil will continue to grow and the epidemic will spread until it consumes what has been the greatest nation known to mankind. For as long as we permit the James Clyburns, the Nancy Pelosis and the rest of their rotten camarilla to temporize and find excuses for the Jew haters like Omar and Tlaib and their sycophants like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes, or the detestable Louis Farrakhan and his “admirers,” America’s downward spiral will accelerate.

Which brings me to my fellow Jews. Following Clyburn’s disgusting remarks I happened to be in a discussion with a friend of mine, a Jew, who remarked that Clyburn was a “friend” of his. He expressed surprise that Clyburn had made such “unfortunate” remarks. He said that he still considered Clyburn a “friend” of his and that he would “discuss” it with him. If Clyburn had been my “friend” before, he would be my “friend” no more. I would “discuss” nothing with him. I would let him know, on no uncertain terms, that he had earned my undying contempt. Anything less is playing footsie with the enemy. There should be no more Jewish support for Clyburn and his temporizing buddies.

So here is my manifesto:

  • I refuse to quietly accept the spreading sewage of Jew hatred;

  • I refuse to quietly accept the purveyors of the sewage of Jew hatred;

  • I refuse to quietly accept the temporizers for those who purvey Jew hatred; and

  • I refuse to accept anyone, Jew or gentile, who finds a way through a moral maze to continue a friendly relationship with any of the above.

And if the Jew haters come after me — or my family or friends or neighbors — I will be ready.

This article was originally published in the Charleston Mercury.

Stuart Kaufman

Stuart Kaufman is a retired lawyer, investment banker and businessman. He relocated from New York to Mount Pleasant in 2012. A friend recently told him that he has been a South Carolinian all of his life ... but he just didn’t know it.

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