Obama needs a history lesson on Israel

Richard N. Weltz
My wife and I spent all afternoon yesterday visiting the Museum of Jewish Heritage , which is located at Battery Place and readily accessible by public transport and car.

The well-designed "core" exhibit traces Jewish history from the mid-1800s to the present and contains a great many unusual artifacts as well as numerous poignant videos playing as you walk your way through three floors of displays.

One of the most striking eras covered, of course, was that from the 1930s through the end of World War II. It was shown very clearly how the rest of the world did nothing -- even when it could -- to stop Hitler in his quest to annihilate the Jews. Perhaps most upsetting was the recounting of Roosevelt's failure to even attempt to lift a finger to save Jewish lives -- as particularly symbolized by his forcibly turning away some 900+ Jewish refugees who had escaped from Hamburg aboard the steamship St. Louis, refugees who had nowhere else to land and who would, as far as FDR knew, be forced to return to Germany.

Hitler hadn't yet started murdering Jews wholesale by then, but his intentions were abundantly clear. Ahmadinejad hasn't yet begun to try to "wipe Israel off the map" but his intentions are also abundantly clear.

What is this post-American president doing to protect the Jewish State from the existential dangers posed by Iran and other Muslim states such as Syria and Lebanon? Nothing -- just as FDR did nothing before or during the actual war. And just as the pre-War Chamberlain and the eventual Allies did, this president is appeasing the anti-Jewish axis at every turn.

It's a wonderful museum, and I urge all who are in New York City and have access to it to spend a few hours visiting. The admission fees are modest; there's a glatt kosher café for lunch; and the building offers some lovely views of the harbor and Statue of Liberty.

Most of all, though, perhaps the exhibits will drive home the danger of the present US administration's Middle East policies -- for America as well as for the Jews of Israel. As you enter the granite passageways leading to the exhibit areas, carved in the stone wall are the Hebrew words that mean, "Remember and Do Not Forget."

 

 

My wife and I spent all afternoon yesterday visiting the Museum of Jewish Heritage , which is located at Battery Place and readily accessible by public transport and car.

The well-designed "core" exhibit traces Jewish history from the mid-1800s to the present and contains a great many unusual artifacts as well as numerous poignant videos playing as you walk your way through three floors of displays.

One of the most striking eras covered, of course, was that from the 1930s through the end of World War II. It was shown very clearly how the rest of the world did nothing -- even when it could -- to stop Hitler in his quest to annihilate the Jews. Perhaps most upsetting was the recounting of Roosevelt's failure to even attempt to lift a finger to save Jewish lives -- as particularly symbolized by his forcibly turning away some 900+ Jewish refugees who had escaped from Hamburg aboard the steamship St. Louis, refugees who had nowhere else to land and who would, as far as FDR knew, be forced to return to Germany.

Hitler hadn't yet started murdering Jews wholesale by then, but his intentions were abundantly clear. Ahmadinejad hasn't yet begun to try to "wipe Israel off the map" but his intentions are also abundantly clear.

What is this post-American president doing to protect the Jewish State from the existential dangers posed by Iran and other Muslim states such as Syria and Lebanon? Nothing -- just as FDR did nothing before or during the actual war. And just as the pre-War Chamberlain and the eventual Allies did, this president is appeasing the anti-Jewish axis at every turn.

It's a wonderful museum, and I urge all who are in New York City and have access to it to spend a few hours visiting. The admission fees are modest; there's a glatt kosher café for lunch; and the building offers some lovely views of the harbor and Statue of Liberty.

Most of all, though, perhaps the exhibits will drive home the danger of the present US administration's Middle East policies -- for America as well as for the Jews of Israel. As you enter the granite passageways leading to the exhibit areas, carved in the stone wall are the Hebrew words that mean, "Remember and Do Not Forget."