A World War II Veteran
I am 90 years old. I have lived through much. My parents were immigrants from post-World War I Europe. Following the Crash of 1929 we were very poor. Our country was awash in poverty, and anti-Semitism was widespread. When I was about ten years old, my father, who had been a front line combat infantry officer in the Austro-Hungarian army told me, “If anyone asks, you tell them you are a Jew, and you are proud of it.”
In 1943 I volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Corps and was accepted as an air cadet. Only 18 years old, I understood what war meant and felt I might not survive.
Today I live and welcome each day but today I am not proud to be a Jew. I also am not proud to be an American. I see our country and the Jewish state of Israel, whom we blindly support, murdering women and children as remorselessly as the Germans did in the war I served in. They had their rationale, and we and Israel have ours. The two are not entirely dissimilar. We are supplying the munitions and equipment and the Israelis are supplying the propaganda and the delivery systems.
The average age in Gaza is 17. Over three quarters of the population in Gaza is under the age of 23. Eighty (80%) percent of the 2000+ deaths in the latest “war” are young women and children. I have seen pictures of what the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, describes as “telegenic victims,” little girls and boys without legs, arms, or with terrible wounds in the face and body that they will carry through life. I have seen the films of bombed-out Gaza in 2014 that look shockingly similar to the Warsaw Ghetto after the Germans destroyed it in 1943. (Of course, the Nazi genocidal intent to destroy all Jews everywhere was far worse, and I lost family members in that Holocaust.)
I was once proud to be a Jew and an American. Being Jewish meant that our history of oppression made us understand and feel sympathy for all of humanity. Today I see Jewish Americans who have never suffered themselves, except for minor problems, blindly believing US-Israeli propaganda that makes Israel with the seventh largest military capability in the world the victim while Hamas in Gaza is pictured as the aggressor.
I have always felt that the three years of my youth in World War II were spent in a necessary cause. In three years we changed the world for the better. Not perfect but certainly better. And at home it was a great time for our country and for our citizens. Progressive ideas and legislation flourished in both political parties that enhanced the common good of the citizens. Now we live in a country that is not only dedicated to perpetual war with the world but in contravention to the good of its own people. It is a country that suppresses public protests with militarized police forces that look like the German SS when in their military gear.
I feel I am one of the last Jews standing and the others who blindly rationalize and support our perpetual wars and the atrocities of Israel are the “self-hating” Jews who Anna Freud described as “identifying with the aggressor.”