The American Civil Liberties Union
The Jews, the Communists and the Democratic Party
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I just began reading Blacklisted by History; The Untold Story of Joe McCarthy. It seeks to establish that many of the people that McCarthy targeted unsuccessfully, were later proven to be communists. It brought back many memories for me.
I grew up in the forties and fifties. My father’s family, like many other Polish Jewish families in Canada, were avowed Communists. They were dedicated to worker’s rights and marched in the streets. They even managed to get one of their own, J P Salsberg, elected to the Ontario legislature representing the Communist Party, then called the Labour-Progressive Party.
I was old enough to remember the heated discussions on the trial and execution of the Rosenbergs, the Doctor’s Plot as alleged by Stalin and the McCarthy hearings. I even watched the hearings on that new-fangled device called television. I read the Bintel Brief and The Rise and Fall of David Levinsky by the editor of the Forward, Abraham Cahan. I was an avid reader of IB Singer, Bernard Malamud, Phillip Roth (I married a Communist), Irving Howe, Chaim Grade, Sholem Asch, I J Singer and many others. I went beyond the tribe and read Theodore Dreiser, John dos Passos, Upton Sinclair and John Steinbeck. That was my generation. My Zionist readings had not yet begun.
Massive Jewish emigration from Russia to the US was caused by a wave of anti-Jewish pogroms sponsored by the Czarist Government after the assassination of Alexander II in 1881. Russia wanted to suppress those advocating reform. The Minister of the Interior gave a speech in 1903 in which he said,
“In Western Russia, some 90 per cent of the revolutionaries are Jews, and in Russia generally - some 40 per cent. I shall not conceal from you that the revolutionary movement in Russia worries us but you should know that if you do not deter your youth from the revolutionary movement, we shall make your position untenable to such an extent that you will have to leave Russia, to the very last man!”
And so they did.
“By 1924, two million Jews had arrived from Eastern Europe. Growing anti-immigration feelings in the United States at this time, resulted in the National Origins Quota of 1924 which severely restricted immigration from many regions including Eastern Europe. The Jewish community took the lead in opposing immigration restrictions, which remained in effect until 1965.”
Thereafter, Jews came to Canada as their second choice. These included my father’s family which was Communist and my mother’s family which was Zionists.
In the thirties, America was plagued by the Great Depression. I was proud of my father’s family because they fought for worker’s rights and a better world. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, on the promise of a New Deal, was elected president in 1932, an office he held until his death in 1945. The Jews, Communist or otherwise, worshipped Roosevelt. That worship was little diminished due to his failure to bomb the extermination camps or to allow Jews to enter the US even those fleeing the Holocaust. He would not allow the Jews on the St Louis to disembark leaving them to their fate which was a return to Europe and death. It was of no concern to US Jews that the New Deal was unconstitutional or ultimately was proven to have extended the Depression. And it was of no concern to the Jewish leadership that Jews were dying by the millions in the Holocaust..
The Jews remained loyal to the Democratic Party throughout. They also remained loyal to liberalism and secularism. Communism was embraced because it offered an antidote to discrimination and persecution as it existed in Russia and in America in the first half of the 20th Century; you know, “Workers of the World Unite”. Even though Communism proved to be a false God, duly noted by Koestler’s “The God That Failed”, the Jews continued their quest for equality and civil rights. They believe, as a result, in the separation of Church and state and the responsibility of the state to provide for those in need.
After 2000 years of Christian anti-Semitism and discrimination, is it any wonder. To them, the present was never worth preserving. To the contrary, it needed to be transformed. First, the Jews focused on worker’s rights and Union rights in America. Then they led the civil rights movement which resulted in the liberation of blacks. Not that the blacks appreciated it. In fact, black antisemitism is very high compared to other groups. They see the Jews as responsible for their exploitation rather than their liberation.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU} was formed in 1920 by a group of radicals, socialists and communists whose purpose was to defend their fellow radicals. The founders were not Jewish. Twenty years later it banned Communists from positions of leadership and from its staff. Over the years, Jews became very influential in this organization.
Its stated goals were “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.” It was prominent in the Scopes trial of 1925 which hoped to ban the teaching of evolution in the public schools, it stood alone in fighting the internment camps for the Japanese after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and it paired with the NAACP to challenge racial segregation in public schools. The resulting Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education that ended the era of “separate but equal” was a major victory for racial justice. The ACLU was also involved in the 1973 Supreme Court victories in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, which held that the right to privacy encompasses a woman’s right to decide whether she will terminate or continue a pregnancy. It even fought in defense of freedom of speech, for the rights of Nazis to march against Jews in Skokie Illinois. It lead the attack against the Patriot Act and so on.
Their activities have been characterized as anti-God, anti-American and anti-family, all notable communist goals. It did so in the name of individual rights. Although the ACLU lobbies Congress and state legislatures, its accomplishments derive chiefly from judges who share the ACLU’s view of the Constitution as a ‘living document’. There is little if any daylight between them and the Democratic Party and Barack Obama. And they are all pro-immigration.
A fellow traveler of the ACLU is the Anti Defamation League (ADL) which was formed in 1913 “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” It has served a useful purpose and has does good work but, according to Bill Levinson, has strayed from its charter. He charges that “The ADL has also become a facilitator and enabler of the very hate-mongers it claims to oppose.”, that it shilled for President Obama by proposing “National Pledge for Unity on Israel,” that it was and is an advocate against Second Amendment Rights to bear arms and is a defender of Sharia.
Rabbi Nachum Shifren is not so kind. He writes, “The ADL has nothing to do with Judaism, Jews, or Jewish Survival. It is a collection of communists, anarchists, Jewish 60’s drop-outs, bitter about their nothing status and eager to spread their venom about a socialist paradise at which they believe only they can succeed. (The earlier Bolsheviks and Trotskyite’s, they assure us, just didn’t get it right.!)”
Unfortunately liberal Jews don’t see it that way. They continue to worship the ACLU and the ADL.
Is it any wonder than that 78% of the Jews voted for Barack Obama in ‘08 and his goal of “transformation of America” notwithstanding his pro-Palestinian and anti-American running dogs. Most of them still support him, notwithstanding his very anti-Israel policies.
This is not to say that Jews or even many of them, are communist or anti-American. They aren’t. America has been good to them and they know it. Having been denied civil and human rights for at least a thousand years, they have become fierce defenders of such rights as they see them.
It has been said of the Jews that they earn like Episcopalians and vote like Hispanics. Obviously their economic success and connection to Israel are not enough to separate them from the Democratic Party. They are joined at the hip.