INVITE RABBIS TO FILL THE EMPTY SEATS IN CONGRESS
The date was October 6, 1943, and more than four hundred rabbis came to plead for U.S. government to save Jews from Hitler. They hoped to alert the American public about the Nazi massacres.
Some Jewish leaders trembled that such outspokenness could provoke antiSemitism or threaten their prominent positions in the Jewish community. The idea of Jews marching on the capitol made many nervous. Some Jewish Congressmen “did all they could to dissuade the Rabbis from making their bearded appearances in Washington” and some Jewish leaders worked feverishly against the march.
Yet the rabbis marched through Washington D.C. to the gates of the White House, where they had expected a small delegation would be granted a meeting with President Roosevelt. The president was unavailable even though his schedule that day was open.His calendar listed nothing between a 1:00 lunch with the Secretary of State and a 4:00 ceremony.
Why did the president sneak out the back door of the White House rather than hear the rabbis’ urgent request? The rabbis’ pleas conflicted with his policy towards European Jewry. President Roosevelt had been almost silent about the s laughter of Jews in Europe. His policy even shunned any diplomatic or economic pressures against the Nazi regime. This policy of official silence and inaction remained unaltered even after there was absolute evidence of the Genocide presented to Under Secretary of State Wells in late 1942.
From that date in 1943 until the end of the war, 182 of my family members were murdered by the Nazis.
The date is March 3, 2015. The Prime Minister of the Jewish State is scheduled to address Congress on another existential threat to the Jewish people: Iran and its efforts to develop nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them. Iran is a threat to anywhere in the world its missiles can land, and that includes U.S. shores. The Israeli prime minister is sounding the alarm about a nuclear Iran, which would transform the Middle East and the world.
Once again, it is a message that some may not want to hear because it conflicts with a goal of making a deal, any deal, with Iran. As those rabbis were reprimanded, Netanyahu is being chided for not following protocol or diplomatic niceties, in spite of the harsh realities of the fallout of Iran’s radical regime in possession of the Bomb. The argument that Iran can be contained is as invalid as the argument that Hitler could be appeased. Iran is terror central and hell bent on domination. They say it clearly, but many are not willing to listen.
Some senators and representatives are finding their schedules “too booked” to attend and promise to slip out “the back door” when Netanyahu walks in.
In memory of those 400 rabbis and the six million innocent victims they were not able to save, I ask our bipartisan members of Congress to invite rabbis to occupy all the vacant seats on March 3, 2015.