By: Ginette Weiner
This Memorial Day, we need to pay homage to a soldier who defined bravery for all of us. In ‘’We Are All Jews Here”, Lee Habeeb, writes, “Courage,” Aristotle wrote, “is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.” And courage is precisely what was on display in a German prison camp over seven decades ago, when one brave American soldier did the unthinkable: Staring down the barrel of his Nazi captor’s pistol, he refused to identify which of his fellow prisoners of war were Jewish. His act of defiance would save nearly 200 Jews and earn him, posthumously, the Righteous Among Nations Award. Only five Americans have earned the distinction. Only one was a soldier. His name was Master Sergeant Roderick “Roddie” Edmonds…”
Today, acts of courage are being replaced by the Brown Shirt thuggery of attacks on Jews in our streets. In Los Angeles: “several cars stopped, men got out, began running toward the tables and asking “Who’s Jewish?”; some people from the caravan threw bottles and chanted “death to Jews” and “free Palestine.”
NYC: “Pro-Palestinian Times Square Beating Sends Jewish Man to Hospital…United With Israel, “This Jewish man was attacked today in New York City. Tell me anti Zionism is not antisemitism. I dare you.” Lee Kern, “There is a pogrom against Jews taking place – perpetrated by a cult of antisemitism within Palestinian advocacy – and whose antisemitic narratives are being adopted by the media, celebrities, social justice movements & congressmen & women.”
We all recall with horror, Entebbe, 1976, “The flight was en route from Tel Aviv to Paris where four hijackers slipped on board, it was commandeered and diverted to Entebbe. The four hijackers were joined by several others there. Separating out Jewish passengers, both Israeli citizens and non-Israelis, after removing all passengers and crew from the plane, the hijackers freed 148 non-Jews over the course of several days and kept about 100 Jewish passengers and crew members, threatening to kill them if their demands were not met.”
It is time for everyone to stand up and say “We Are All Jews Here.” Every town hall, Congress, every place of government, every mayor, governor, President Biden, every place where people gather, every house of worship, every mosque, church, it is time for all to stand up and say “We are all Jews here.” This is not about Israel. How many dead Jews will it take for the world to stand up and say “We are all Jews here.”
Ginette Weiner holds an MSW and is a published commentator in Jewish and mainstream newspapers. She focuses on strategies for combating media bias, anti-Semitism and BDS.