web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



‘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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh would replace Abbas chairman of the Palestinian Authority if elections were held today.
Poll: Hamas Would Rule Judea and Samaria in New Elections
Latest Indepth Stories
Hamas Quote on Death

However, 40+ countries still use capital punishment for a variety of offenses.

0.5-Shekel-hatasham-RJP

The War projects to lower Israel’s 2014 GDP 0.5% but will have little influence on foreign investors

The_United_Nations_Building

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

champions

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are actually fighting to “liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine.”

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Ben Cohen

If you remember, in 2006, a Jewish kid in Paris, Ilan Halimi, was abducted, beaten, and held hostage for three weeks… These are the kinds of people attending these Gaza solidarity rallies.

Rabbi Berel Wein

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

Formerly an attorney at the prestigious law firm Proskauer Rose for 40 years – six of those years as its chairman – Fagin holds degrees from both Columbia and Harvard Universities. He retired in 2013 to devote more time to the Jewish community.

The message is that Zionism, which used to be great, is today very institutionalized and [consists of a] bunch of people who are just squabbling over titles and budgets.

For Steinsaltz, the Rebbe was no less than “the greatest man I have ever met,” as he writes in the preface to his book.

If a child is seldom required to yield his desires and needs to those of others, surely doing so as an adult will not come naturally to him.

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: