web analytics
March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 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
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addresses a joint session of the US Congress on March 3, 2015.
‘Alliance Between Israel & US Must Always Remain Above Politics’
Latest Indepth Stories
Red Line Obama

UN inspectors were flabbergasted when Iran allowed them full unfettered access to All nuclear sites

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressing Congress.

Obama’s real problem is that he knows Netanyahu has more credibility on the Iran issue than he does.

Silwan, in the eastern part of Jerusalem, founded by Yemenite Jews in 1881

Kristof’s op-ed “The Human Stain” was flawed and wrong; more than anti-Israel, it was anti-Semitic.

Hur and Aharon holding up Moshe's hands as Joshua battled Amalek.

“Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey after you left Egypt-how undeterred by fear of G-d”

Stalin’s plan for the Soviet’s “final solution of the Jewish question” was totally assimilating them

Many Jews oppose the speech fearing it will further erode relations between Israel & US. I disagree.

The University of Georgia Student Government Association called for more investment in Israel.

Without an alliance comparable to ISIS, Al Qaida & Iran, militant Islam will conquer the Middle East

Ultimately, Esther, Netanyahu, and we, the Jewish people, must and will rely on the true King, God, for our salvation from this genocidal threat.

Netanyahu addresses a clear, present & lethal threat to the US/Israel/WORLD; NOT political bickering

Buried in the tax-returns of the JCF is millions of dollars funneled to NIF in the last few years.

Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world

Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life

It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident

“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.

If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism

More Articles from Elliot Resnick

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.

A school voucher means the state is giving you a voucher to send your kid to whatever school you want. That might be problematic as far church-state issues are concerned.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

To many Orthodox Jews the issue is “Permitted & Prohibited;” “Right & Wrong” barely considered,

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: