Tag Archives: Holocaust

Get her the hell out of there!

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

MTG is certifiably NUTS.

That would be Marjorie Taylor Greene, the QAnon queen who masquerades as a member of Congress representing a district in northern Georgia.

Now this nut case Republican lawmaker is comparing Democrats in Congress to Nazis. She already has said that COVID-19 mask mandates compares to the Holocaust, which killed more than 6 million Jews before and during World War II.

Now she is doubling down on her loony bin rhetoric by comparing Democratic lawmakers to the demons who initiated the Holocaust.

Get this woman the hell out of my House of Representatives!

QAnon queen steps in it again

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Is it possible that Congress’s QAnon queen, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, has finally crossed a line that her Republican protectors cannot cross with her?

Greene has compared the mask-wearing mandates issued by governments at all levels to the treatment that European Jews endured during the Holocaust.

Yes, she says the mask order compares to human history’s worst case of genocide! What the hell?

Leading congressional Republicans have condemned this nitwit’s latest bloviating rhetoric. House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, his deputy Steve Scalise and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell all have blasted Greene to smithereens. Congressional Democrats want her thrown out of office.

It’s not at all clear, of course, if Republicans will join their Democratic colleagues in ridding the People’s House of this idiot’s poison. I hope they do, however, I am not holding my breath.

No desire to ‘salute’ such horror

Yes, by all means look at this picture.

The message was posted on Facebook I presume by someone who opposes the takedown of Confederate memorials. The text is spot on … until we get to the last line.

Auschwitz stands as a grim reminder of humankind’s cruelty. It doesn’t glorify anything or anyone. Nor do any of the other memorials scattered throughout Europe that take note of the Holocaust and the evil that produced it.

Therefore, I still stand with those who oppose the glorification of the American Civil War and the Confederate States of America’s secession from the Union to fight to preserve slavery.

Those who fly the Confederate flag do so by and large to celebrate what the CSA did, which was to commit treason against the federal government and to bring on the bloodiest conflict in American history.

My wife and I went to Germany in 2016. We stayed with friends in Nuremberg. I had the chance to tour the Documentation Center in the city where Nazi and Japanese leaders were put on trial for crimes against humanity. Our friend in Nuremberg told us that Germans do not fly the swastika to celebrate what the Nazis did; nor do they salute picture of Adolf Hitler. They have erected or preserved these structures to remind the world — and themselves — of the horror that humanity is capable of bringing to itself.

I never will accept the notion that the Confederacy, the Civil War and the reason for fighting it should stand as proud symbol of our nation’s “heritage” and “history.” Sure, keep the statues — but place them in museums and tell the world about the evil they represent.

MSNBC host needs to issue a full-throated apology

Chris Matthews has stepped in it. Big time.

The MSNBC “Hardball” host is taking intense social media fire over a remark he made over the weekend in which he likened Sen. Bernie Sanders’ big win in the Nevada caucus to the Nazi invasion and conquest of France during World War II.

One serious problem has emerged immediately after Matthews shot off his loud and boisterous mouth. Sanders, who is Jewish, lost many of his family members during the Holocaust.

Social media have gone berserk. Viewers are calling for Matthews, a veteran newspaper columnist, a former congressional aide and a longtime cable TV broadcast personality, to resign. Short of resignation, social media critics are calling on MSBNC to fire Matthews for his display of extreme insensitivity.

Here’s what I think ought to happen.

Chris Matthews needs to go on the air and issue an apology. And I don’t mean one of those phony “If I offended anyone” non-apologies. He needs to say something like this: “I made a terrible mistake. I am sorry for what I said. I engaged my motor mouth without turning on my sensitivity filter. I blew it and I apologize to everyone who heard me make that hideous comparison on the air.”

If the apology doesn’t stem the criticism, then he should quit. My hope would be that a full-throated, sincere apology might do the job.

What’s more, Matthews — who is known for his machine-gun delivery — needs to re-calibrate the manner in which he delivers his commentary.

Fate delivers tragic blow to congregants … and the nation

I saw this list online and decided to post it here.

All the names tell a story. All the victims who died in the Tree of Life synagogue massacre this weekend leave behind those who loved them deeply and who cherished their relationship with God.

One of the names jumped out at me: Rose Mallinger.

Ms. Mallinger was 97 years of age when the gunman murdered her. I was struck as well by what I read about her. She attended temple without fail for many decades. She is being remembered by her friends and family members as a spry, lively, and lovely virtual centenarian.

Her daughter was among those wounded by the gunman. Ms. Mallinger’s daughter said her mother didn’t live like a 97-year-old.

Her fellow congregants called her “vivacious” and “vital.”

I am struck, too, by the fact that at 97 years of age, she was old enough to remember what happened in Europe to other Jews, who were rounded up and sent by the millions to concentration camps.

The Holocaust has to be considered the 20th century’s most horrific crime against humanity, one that took 6 million to 7 million lives. Why? Because the victims were Jewish and the Nazi tyrants who killed them considered them to be subhuman, not worthy of living, not worthy of rearing their families or of seeking a better life themselves and their loved ones.

The 11 victims of the hideous monster who killed them also have been denied their rights — as prescribed by their government — of “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

They have become martyrs. I am positive they wouldn’t want to be remembered for what happened to them while they worshiped. But they are. Forever.

My heart breaks for them all, but there’s something tragically poignant in knowing the age of a victim who died with memories of just how horrifying religious hatred can become.

And my heart breaks for our nation … where this horror originated.

Nazi Holocaust denier becomes GOP nominee … wow!

I don’t know who coined the phrase, although I heard the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards say it once or twice.

“You dance with them that brung ya.”

So it is that Illinois Republican voters are facing a strange election season this fall. The GOP primary in a Chicago-area congressional district has nominated an avowed Nazi and a Holocaust denier. His name is Arthur Jones. None other than the Cruz Missile himself, Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has urged voters in that congressional district to vote for the Democrat rather than the Republican nominee.

Cruz tweeted: “To the good people of Illinois, you have two reasonable choices: write in another candidate, or vote for the Democrat. This bigoted fool should receive ZERO votes.”

The state GOP is trying to find a way to run an alternative candidate against incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski. I’d say Lipinski will win in the heavily Democratic district, but then again, I thought Hillary Rodham Clinton would be elected president of the United States in 2016.

Here is how Politico reported the story.

Well, I am afraid the Republican Party primary has produced a winner. Art Jones is the man slated to run for Congress. The GOP sought to get Jones pushed off the ballot; it tried to find someone to challenge him in the primary. They failed. Jones was nominated.

Should the GOP succeed in finding an “alternative” candidate? We’ll see about that. It looks to me as though Republicans will have to “dance” with the guy they nominated.

Or … they can vote for the Democratic incumbent.

Abbas utters shameful anti-Semitic rant

The long-sought “two-state solution” to a lasting peace agreement in the Middle East might have been given a critical punch in the gut because of hideous remarks from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Holocaust, Abbas said, was partly caused by the behavior of Jews. According to The Hill: Abbas pointed to the Jews’ “social behavior” and “their social function related to banks and interest” in a speech on Monday to the Palestinian National Council.

“From the 11th century until the Holocaust that took place in Germany, those Jews — who moved to western and eastern Europe — were subjected to a massacre every 10 to 15 years. But why did this happen? They say: ‘It is because we are Jews,’ ” Abbas said.

Abbas’s remarks have drawn worldwide condemnation. This came from former Secretary of State John Kerry, who said, via Twitter: These comments are wrong, ugly, and unacceptable – anywhere from anyone – but particularly from anyone who says he wants to be a peacemaker. No excuses for antisemitism: words to be condemned, not explained away. 

And this came from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, gave another anti-Semitic speech. With utmost ignorance and brazen gall, he claimed that European Jews were persecuted and murdered not because they were Jews but because they gave loans with interest.

Indeed, the Abbas’s comments disgrace the cause of the search for peace.

The Holocaust was caused solely by the evil intent of a regime that took control of a sovereign country, Germany, and sought to eradicate Europe of citizens merely because of their religious faith.

For Mahmoud Abbas to somehow lay part of the blame on Jews because of their “social behavior” is like blaming a child for the beating he gets from an adult because he cries too much.

Disgraceful.

We must never forget those victims

Humankind can be generous, gentle and loving.

We humans, though, also are capable of extreme hatred.

Today isn’t the day to remember the good side of humanity, but to remember its cruelest behavior. International Holocaust Remembrance Day reminds us of just how dastardly we humans can behave.

There have been remembrances in Europe, where millions of Jews died at the hands of Nazi butchers prior to and during World War II.

***

I want to share a point of personal privilege. I’ve had the honor of seeing up close the monuments to man’s monstrous acts.

Yad Vashem is a museum located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in Israel. It tells the story of what the Nazis did to European Jews. They killed an estimated 6 million human beings, consigning them to starvation, assorted forms of physical torture and then sent to gas chambers in death camps scattered throughout central and eastern Europe.

The Israelis certainly remember the Holocaust. Indeed, their country was founded in 1948 by Europeans who fled to the Middle East to establish a homeland.

I had the honor — I won’t call it a “pleasure” — of touring Yad Vashem in June 2009. I will never forget the emotional impact of that museum and the history told by people whose ancestors suffered so grievously.

Germans also recall their shame in what Adolf Hitler brought to their nation. The Nazi tyrants — along with their Japanese allies — stood trial in Nuremberg after World War II; they were charged with crimes against humanity.

Nuremberg has erected what is called a Documentation Center. My wife and I visited Nuremberg in September 2016 and I got to see how Germany has confronted its shame. The Documentation Center tells the story in graphic language and images.

Germans won’t forget, either.

***

But such acts of genocide aren’t restricted to Europe or are committed only by Europeans.

In 1989 and again in 2004, I was able to tour killing fields in Cambodia, on the other side of the planet. They remain as a silent testimony to Pol Pot’s murderous regime, which was exposed to the world when Vietnamese troops routed Pol Pot from power in 1978.

I remember talking in 1989 to a young woman, who told me if Pol Pot — who was still living at the time — were to return, “We all will become soldiers” who would fight him to the death.

There are many other examples of humanity’s capacity for unspeakable horror. They have occurred in places such as Uganda, in Armenia, the Balkans, China and, oh yes, in the United States of America — where Native Americans were routed from their own homeland by settlers who moved from east to west in the 18th and 19th centuries.

We mustn’t forget these lessons of history.

As Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel has said, “The opposite of love isn’t hate. It is indifference.”

One final thought about POTUS and Yad Vashem

I had not planned to say anything else about Donald Trump’s visit to Yad Vashem, but I cannot resist one final thought.

Here is what the president wrote in the book at one of the world’s most solemn and gripping monuments to the depths of humankind’s cruelty:

“It is a great honor to be here with all of my friends – so amazing + will never forget!”

That’s it. That was the commentary and remembrance offered by the president of the United States of America at a museum dedicated to remembering the Holocaust committed against Jews in Europe prior to and during World War II. Yad Vashem is as grim an exhibit as there is; it is just outside of Jerusalem.

To be candid, the notation from the president might as well have been doodled in a high school yearbook.

Anyone who goes there should be moved to commit something from deep within his or her gut to memorialize that visit.

I get that the president isn’t known for expressing himself in that fashion. He speaks in shallow platitudes. He attaches adjectives such as “amazing,” or “fantastic” to experiences that ought to elicit some expressions that are a bit more profound.

I came away from Yad Vashem in June 2009 barely able to control my emotions after seeing how the Israelis have remembered the unspeakable pain inflicted by the monstrous Nazi regime during the Holocaust.

Is it possible that Donald Trump will be able to grow into the job to which he was elected? I am increasingly certain that it won’t happen. Not … ever!

That is my final word on this particular matter.

Trump visits Yad Vashem, and then …

I cannot shake this feeling that the president of the United States cannot be moved by artifacts intended to stir the human soul.

Donald Trump has departed Israel. He made the usual stops at the Western Wall, called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then visited Yad Vashem, the Israelis’ memorial to the Holocaust.

He left a short note in the remembrance book at the museum on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/05/23/israels-holocaust-memorial-comparing-donald-trump-obama-and-bush-notes/102053636/

It was brief. He wrote of being there among “friends” and finished with “never forget.”

Yad Vashem is a stirring reminder of just how cruel human beings can be toward one another. I wrote about my own visit there in June 2009 and about the visit that the president’s immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, made there in 2013.

Yad Vashem stands as testament to human cruelty

I don’t know what strikes Donald Trump’s heart, what makes it beat a little more quickly. I cannot pretend to understand this billionaire’s thinking and what moves him deeply. He once said famously that he’s never asked for God’s forgiveness. Goodness, gracious.

That is what sticks my craw today as I watch the president travel through and then exit the Holy Land en route to his next stop: a visit in the Vatican with the head of the Catholic Church.

I concluded my own blog post about President Obama’s visit to Yad Vashem this way: “Indeed, a tour of Yad Vashem ought to be required of every head of state who takes an oath to preserve the peace.”

At least Donald Trump went there. I hope — I pray — it moved him.