On Media / Pop Culcha

Jewish World Review Dec. 11, 2002/ 6 Teves, 5763

Mark A. Kellner

Searching for Mr. Good Nazi

http://www.jewishworldreview.com | As I was born a scant 12 years after Hiroshima and V-E Day, I can't claim the direct experience of World War II that my elders have. So I turn to them, via these words, and ask a question: Can you help me find the "Good" Nazis with whom Churchill and FDR chatted while they waited for Hitler to fall?

I ask this question not out of disrespect, but perhaps from disbelief. As the U.S., Britain and any countries smart enough to be allied with the cause of freedom (I guess that leaves France out) prepare to strike at another homicidal dictator, pundits on the left are thinking that Sadam Hussein, Usama Bin Laden and millions of their acolytes are just having a hissy fit and need to be placated.

But whatever we in the West do, we can't dare question whether or not Islam, that famous "Religion of Peace," is anti-Western, anti-Christian or certainly anti-Jew. I know this because Richard Cohen of The Washington Post tells me so.

In a Dec. 3 column, Mr. Cohen bashes three clerics for criticizing a religion's murderous doctrines. Were the clerics dissenting Muslim imams rebelling against Wahhabism? Nah, they were (and are) the Revs. Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham and Pat Robertson. All three have said less-than-complimentary things about Islam, ergo, all three, Mr. Cohen declares, are "inane." Mr. Robertson, he adds, is an "idiot."

"Falwell, Robertson and Graham are among the most famous ministers of our time, replacing the learned and, yes, liberal ones who offered the nation moral instruction during the civil rights era and the Vietnam War," Mr. Cohen declared.

Mr. Cohen is upset because these Christian clerics dare to challenge the "conventional wisdom" about Islam. Pointing to text after text in the Koran, as well as sermon after sermon from leading Islamic clerics, Messers. Falwell, Graham and Robertson state what is obvious to many: a religion formed to replace both Christianity and Judaism is, actually, hostile to other faiths.

While rhapsodizing about the "tolerance" Jews found under Muslim caliphs in Spain and elsewhere during the Middle Ages, Mr. Cohen recalls past Christian anti-Semitism as a contrast. It's true, there are some things Christians have to live down from the actions of some forebears. But, today - the present age in which we live and the only time over which we have any control - it is Christians, largely of the evangelical Protestant stripe, who are coming to the defense of Jews and of Israel. No caliph or mullah comes close, let alone Yassir Arafat, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr. Cohen also takes exception to Mr. Robertson's assertion that radical Islam is the moral equivalent of Nazism in its attitude towards Jews. "How can anyone be worse than Hitler?" is the question. The answer, of course, is too often seen on our television screens and in our newspapers: radical Islamists who oppose the right of Jews to draw breath upon this earth send "homicide bombers" to kill, maim and harm innocent Israelis at home and abroad. That these bombers kill themselves and often kill total innocents - nine of the dead at the Paradise Hotel were non-Jewish, non-Muslim Kenyans - is an afterthought, if it is thought about at all.

It's not the same as a railroad to Bergen-Belsen, but the effect is the same: kill Jews, destroy their sense of security, harm them as much as possible.

In the middle of the last century, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt knew how to handle such antagonists of freedom. When Rudolf Hess landed in Scotland, the Nazi official wasn't treated to tea and crumpets at No. 10 Downing Street; he ended up the lone prisoner of Spandau. Nazism wasn't regarded as a "religion of peace," but as an evil that had to be eradicated, and was.

That Richard Cohen - best remembered by some as the butt of a throwaway line in Don Imus' infamous White House press corps dinner monologue - can't see the perfidy of such actions, and instead attacks those who question the "religion of peace" that spawns such deeds is a profound indicator of his irrelevance.

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© 2002 Mark A. Kellner