web analytics
April 28, 2015 / 9 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


‘As A Boy, Eisenhower Thought All Jews Were Angels In Heaven’: An Interview with Author Denis Brian

Denis Brian

Denis Brian

What’s astonishing to me is how little people who have studied Jewish and American history know about the close and important relationships American presidents have had with Jews. The presidents were also all fervently for a Jewish homeland. John Adams, for example, said that no nation throughout history had done more for civilization than the Jews. He wrote in a letter that he wanted an army of Jewish soldiers to invade Palestine, take it from the Turks, and make it a Jewish homeland again.

Judging from your book’s footnotes, it seems that almost all the information in your book has already appeared in other works. What’s new about your book?

Take the autobiography of Abba Eban, for example, in which he writes that Eisenhower told him that as a boy he didn’t think there were any Jews on earth. He thought they were all in heaven as angels. He lived in Kansas where there were no Jews – he was brought up by a very religious mother who read the Old Testament at least twice – and so he thought they were all angels. Now, although that’s in another book, many historians and biographers don’t read these sorts of books.

I also got a lot of stuff from the presidential libraries and diaries that people hadn’t referred to before.

Who were the most pro-Jewish and pro-Israel presidents, in your estimation?

Lyndon Johnson, no question, and Obama alongside him. Also Teddy Roosevelt, who got Jews into the New York Police Department, among other things; the department had been almost all Irish. I would also put Kennedy on the list, and I think, despite everything, you can say FDR.

Those are some surprising choices. Let’s start with Johnson. Why him?

Because almost everything he did was very pro-Jewish. There was a very controversial bombing of an American ship, the USS Liberty, by Israeli planes during the Six-Day War. Literally everyone in his cabinet told him that the Israelis had done it deliberately. In spite of that, he sided with the Israeli report that it had been an accident. That was an extraordinary thing to do.

A Russian diplomat once asked him, “Why do you support the Israelis when there are 500 million Arabs and only six million Jews?” Johnson answered, “Because it’s the right thing to do.”

He was upset, though, when Israel launched its surprise attack on Egypt in 1967.

Yes, because he said they hadn’t warned him. He was furious because he was kept out of the loop.

How do you defend placing Obama on your list?

People say he was apologizing to the Arabs in his Cairo speech, but very early on in that speech he said that our relationship with Israel is absolutely solid. Also, Robert Gates, former secretary of defense, said he worked for five presidents and not one of them had done more for Israel than Obama had.

How, then, do you explain the cold shoulder Obama has given Israel on a number of occasions? Take his personal snubs of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for example.

I think it’s entirely because Obama is a liberal while Netanyahu is right wing. The personalities of the two men don’t gel.

How about FDR? How does he gain a spot on your list considering his apparent neglect to save Jews during the Holocaust?

You know what’s ironic? He got advice from Jewish advisers telling him not to let more refugees in – that it would increase anti-Semitism in America.

But that was before the war started.

No, I think that was in the early part of the war.

And his failure to bomb Auschwitz or the railroads leading to it?

Let me give you one answer why that might be so. The British bombed an SS building in Denmark which contained British prisoners whom they believed were being tortured. They bombed it successfully, but there was a children’s school next door, and they killed a lot of children too.

So the fear would be if they bombed the gas chambers they’d also kill quite a large number of Jews. And [besides], what were Jews going to do in the middle of the war in Poland, free, surrounded by the enemy?

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “‘As A Boy, Eisenhower Thought All Jews Were Angels In Heaven’: An Interview with Author Denis Brian”

  1. Heshy R says:

    I suggest the author read "The Deafening Silence" by Dr. Rafael Medoff before writing his book about FDR. Because everything I read about him in this article is a whitewash.

  2. I also am suspect about his agenda when he puts Pres Obama right up there with LBJ. Of course this is based on the testimony of Arabist extraordinaire Robert Gates.

  3. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Now all the anti-Semites have to throw out the teddy bears in their homes!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
UNRWA Rocket Logo
UNRWA Chutzpa
Latest Indepth Stories
Those who need care can least afford it: African refugees.

We could establish cities of refuge for the refugees; they’d become citizens of these new places.

The International Criminal Court building in the Hague, the Netherlands.

There is cause to believe the ICC is an improper venue for sorting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

.The real BDS.

Congress described it as “economic warfare against Israel” yet US Jewish leaders proudly finance it!

World Zionist Congress elections end April 30.

Groups promoting anti-Israel/anti-Jewish BDS right on their websites are running in the WZC election

Pataki is the last Republican Governor to win a majority of Jewish votes.

Obama’s desire to be “fair” enables Iran to get nuclear weapons which will threaten global security

All GOP candidates will continue seeking – and praying – for Jewish money with greater success.

The one reason to make Aliyah outweighs all the arguments not to move to Israel.

“We returned to this Land not in order to be murdered, or uprooted. We came here to be replanted!”

I don’t fear for the future of our people because I believe Yeshiva University has created an “Iron Dome” of Jewish leadership

Poland’s great Jewish cities where Jewish life had once flourished and thrived, were now desolate

Chief rabbi, Rav Dovid Lau, stated that the Torah community’s turnout in the WZO election is vital.

Iran has at its core the same ideology as that of ISIS but, inaccurately, is thought a lesser threat

An early Yom Ha’atzmaut gathering for Israel’s 67th birthday with Pres. Rivlin of Israel and guests

Israel’s Memorial Day shouldn’t be a day of mourning, it’s a day to honor, not another Holocaust Day

God’s 3 part promise for Israel: to the Avot; a plentiful land; the eventual return home by all Jews

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Dr. Mitchell Bard

Mitchell Bard is nothing if not prolific. He has written and edited 23 books, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East” and “The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East.” Bard, who has a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA, is also the executive director of both the […]

Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich

You have to understand that Ukraine was really a very, very Jewish place for many years.

What I think is going on here is the Midrash is making a comment about Rut’s love for Naomi being some sort of reflection of how we have to love God.

HarperCollins’s omission was especially egregious because it is a major general and educational publisher.

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Nouril concluded he had no choice: He had to become more observant.

I was very pro-Israel, I was very proud of being Jewish, and I was living in New York at the time as a single man in my 20s and I was just looking for a little bit more.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/as-a-boy-eisenhower-thought-all-jews-were-angels-in-heaven-an-interview-with-author-denis-brian/2012/12/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: