On October 27, 2018, Robert Bowers killed 11 Jewish worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, including a 97 year-old woman, and wounded 6 others, in what the Anti-Defamation League calls the deadliest attack targeting Jews in U.S. history.
On October 29, 1942, almost exactly 76 years earlier, a public meeting was held in London. In The Second World War, author Martin Gilbert’s encyclopedic history of the war, Gilbert describes this meeting of leading British churchmen and public figures. The purpose was to protest against the Nazis’ persecution of Jews.
Gilbert adds that Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivered this message to the meeting:
“The systematic cruelties to which the Jewish people—men, women and children—have been exposed under the Nazi regime are amongst the most terrible events of history; and place an indelible stain upon all who perpetrate and instigate them. Free men and women denounce these vile crimes and when this world struggle ends with the enthronement of human rights, racial persecution will be ended.” (my emphasis)
Have we learned nothing in the intervening 76 years?
Dr. Jeffrey K. Cohen is President of Allegheny General Hospital, the facility that treated Bowers following the attack. Dr. Cohen, as well as the attending emergency room physician, and an emergency room nurse, are all Jewish. Dr. Cohen has been quoted as saying: “It’s time for leaders to lead. And the words mean things. And the words are leading to people doing things like this, and I find it appalling.”
Why is Antisemitism suddenly since 2017 on the rise here in America, a country that defeated the Nazis 73 years ago?
Where are our national leaders?
Where is our Churchill?