The Leftist American Rabbinate’s 70-Year War on Anti-Totalitarian Rabbis
The modern doyen of Islamic studies, Bernard Lewis, wrote his most unapologetic analysis of Islam’s quintessential totalitarianism in 1954, entitled Communism and Islam. Redolent with insight, and published as the totalitarian Communist menace ravaged the globe, Lewis encapsulated these twin totalitarianisms by repeating a witty aphorism from that era describing the creed of atheistic Communism in Islamic parlance:
There is no God, and Karl Marx is his prophet.
Acknowledging the “uncomfortable resemblances” of Communism and Islam, Lewis characterized the “political history of Islam” as “one of almost unrelieved autocracy.” He added:
[I]t was authoritarian, often arbitrary, sometimes tyrannical. There are no parliaments or representative assemblies of any kind … in the history of Islam; nothing but the sovereign power, to which the subject owed complete and unwavering obedience as a religious duty imposed by the Holy Law.
Directly comparing Islam and Communism, Lewis observed:
Both offer an exhilarating feeling of mission, of purpose, of being engaged in a collective adventure to accelerate the historically inevitable victory of the true faith over the infidel evil-doers.
The traditional Islamic division of the world into the House of Islam and the House of War, two necessarily opposed groups, of which-the first has the collective obligation of perpetual struggle against the second, also has obvious parallels in the Communist view of world affairs.
There again, the content of belief is utterly different, but the aggressive fanaticism of the believer is the same … The call to a Communist Jihad, a Holy War for the faith -- a new faith, but against the self-same Western Christian enemy -- might well strike a responsive note.
Seven decades apart, two American rabbis, Benjamin Schultz and Jon Hausman (whose careers overlapped Lewis’ Methuselah-like reign as a public intellectual), grasped and articulated the existential threats posed by Communist or Islamic totalitarianism.
For their informed efforts, each rabbi in turn, across 70 years, was subjected to vitriolic attacks by their “peers” from the enduringly Leftist, craven, and witless American rabbinate.
Stoughton, Massachusetts Rabbi Jon Hausman -- fluent in written and oral Arabic -- is the sole U.S. rabbi willing to openly discuss the living legacies of Islamic jihadism and anti-Semitism. Their rootedness, as he has noted, is “in Islam’s sacralized texts dealing with Jews” specifically, and non-Muslim infidels more broadly.
Contra Rabbi Hausman’s intrepid public discourse, not a single major figure from the American Jewish rabbinate has ever similarly identified -- let alone challenged -- mainstream Islam’s relentless propagation of canonical Islamic jihad and Jew-/non-Muslim infidel-hatred. Such cowardly, willfully blind silence is conjoined to Rabbi Hausman’s vilification. He was condemned and made an outcast in November 2016 by the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, none of whom share Hausman’s scholarly understandings of Islam or his valor.
Despite these ill-informed and unfair attacks by his fellow rabbis (see Hausman’s rebuttal, here), until now Hausman has been able to maintain his position as Ahavath Torah synagogue’s rabbi, where he has served with distinction since 1996. In 1947, Benjamin Schultz’s tenure as a Yonkers, New York rabbi was cut short at 12-years of noble service due to the vituperative machinations of the NY Board of Rabbis.
Rabbi Schultz (d. Saturday, April 22, 1978) received his rabbinical degree from the Jewish Institute of Religion in 1931. His career as an uncompromising foe of both Nazi and Communist liberty-crushing totalitarianism and Jew-hatred demonstrated how he took to heart the wisdom imparted by Judge Benjamin Cardozo at his 1931 commencement.
As reported by the New York Herald Tribune (May 25, 1931, p. 13: “Judge Cardozo Terms Religion Pursuit of Ideal”), Judge Cardozo told Schultz and his fellow graduates that understood properly, religion was:
… submergence of self in the pursuit of an ideal, the readiness to spend oneself, without measure … almost ecstatically for something intuitively apprehended as best and noble.
Judge Cardozo added:
I am sure that values such as these will be found to have survived when creeds are shattered … and sects forgotten, and things of brass and stone are one with Nineveh and Tyre.
Reminding the graduates that all their study will have been squandered unless it prepared them to choose wisely between competing and conflicting values, Judge Cardozo concluded:
Then will be the time when you will need to bethink yourselves of the values that were chosen by the prophets and saints of Israel, and by the goodly and noble of every race and clime.
Rabbi Schultz’s fearless commitment to these values was unbroken over his remaining 47 years of life despite being made a pariah through the sad, if predictable, efforts of the craven and intolerant Left-dominated American rabbinate.
During 1947 -- after his three-part series documenting Communist infiltration of religious (in particular, Christian) institutions, “Communists Invade The Churches,” was published in the New York World‐Telegram -- Schultz was condemned by the New York Board of Rabbis for alleged “fear mongering.” He was forced to resign as spiritual leader of Yonkers Temple Emanu-El, where he had served for 12 years (“Rabbi, Foe of Reds Is Asked to Resign,” New York Herald Tribune, Oct. 22, 1947; p. 13.)
Ironically, 14 years earlier, during a Manhattan town hall protest of the totalitarian Nazi regime in the spring of 1933 (“Hitler Policies Decried At Town Hall Meeting”, New York Herald Tribune, May 1, 1933; p. 4), he was then a callow young rabbi, clearly naïve to the same (or worse) mass murderous threat posed by totalitarian Communism. Benjamin Schultz opined in a manner which conformed “acceptably” to the Left orthodoxy of his rabbinical peers:
In time of stress, we should be liberals, Socialists -- yea even Communists, although I am not a Communist.
By dint, apparently, of honest, commonsense observation, and ongoing education for the remainder of the 1930s “Red Decade,” and the World War II, and post-World War II eras of aggressive, brutal Communist expansion, Schultz completely revised his treacly, superficial 1933 assessment of Communist totalitarianism. He helped found and became the executive director of the American Jewish League Against Communism in 1948. He described the organization thusly during his July 13, 1949 testimony before The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC):
The American Jewish League Against Communism represents the majority viewpoint of American Jews on this subject of communism. On our board of directors are such representative men as Brig. Gen. Julius Klein, a past national commander of the Jewish War Veterans; your own colleague, the Hon. Abraham J. Multer; Isaac Don Levine ; Eugene Lyons; Alfred Kohlberg; Morrie Ryskind, of Hollywood; Rabbi David S. Savitz; and Rabbi Ascher M. Yager, leading orthodox rabbis of New York.
Rabbi Schultz also made himself intimately and uniquely knowledgeable about Communist Jew-hatred, translating Gregor Aronson’s Soviet Russia and The Jews, published as a 51-page pamphlet by the American Jewish League Against Communism in 1949. This monograph references a 1913 “opus” by Stalin entitled “Marxism and the National Question,” in which the future Soviet dictator maintains, “Jewry is a mystical, incomprehensible, unrealistic phenomenon” so that “the Jews are not a people, but are destined for assimilation.”
The cruel logic of Stalin’s ideology was inescapable: destruction of Jewish “difference,” i.e., their religious practice, language (whether Yiddish or Hebrew), Jewish newspapers, books, and theaters, and charitable, social, and cultural societies. Indeed Aronson’s work documents that after he consolidated his power by 1928, from then through 1940 Stalin destroyed Jewish identity, albeit in somewhat piecemeal fashion.
Collectivized Jewish farm communities in the Ukraine and Crimea were liquidated -- notwithstanding $20 million of U.S. funds earmarked to provide “new opportunities” for “de-classed” bourgeois Jews pauperized by the violent Communist putsch of 1917. Stalin’s political and cultural terror purges, launched in earnest by 1934, included a litany of prominent Jews within the government and the arts and sciences. They culminated with the execution of Semyon Dimanstein and the closure of the last publication devoted to Jewish affairs, Emes.
After meticulous research, Aronson further concluded that -- contrary to a Soviet Communist “myth that Stalin saved millions of Jews” from the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, per “the Communist propaganda machine which has been extremely successful” in its propagation -- in fact “Stalin and his officials did not worry about the fate of the Jews.” As a consequence of Stalin’s policies toward the “unassimilable” Jews, Aronson demonstrated that greater than half of the Jews in Russia, the Baltic states, Eastern Poland, Moldova, and Western Ukraine, were either left to be slaughtered by the Nazis, or forced into Siberian slave camps by the Communists (from Soviet conquered territories) before the Nazi invasion.
Here were the remains of capitalism, of the bourgeois. Here were not only well-dressed people, but people who had the effrontery to be Zionists, to worship in synagogues, to be proud of being [non-Communist] Socialists. In short, here were people who were free and independent, and therefore “emenies of the people” in Soviet Russia.
Lists of “suspect Jews” were drawn up by the “tens of thousands” of Soviet NKVD secret police who flooded Poland and Lithuania. Polish government in exile figures Aronson cited estimate that 600,000 Polish Jews were deported to the Soviet Union and Siberia.
Rabbi Schultz’s July 13, 1949 HUAC testimony riveted upon the visceral totalitarian evil of Communism, “equivalent to Fascism and Nazism,” and antithetical to American freedom which was rooted in the Judeo-Christian ideal of individual liberty:
As a rabbi, a believer in God, a servant of mankind, I cry out against this black force of communism which is ushering a new dark age into much of our world, and which seems to be expanding. It brings nothing but chains and stultification of the soil to the individual. The individual is sacred. He is not a clod. He is formed in the image of God. Communism would make him a clod.
Moses commanded: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof." This is found on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. The real Jew cannot help being a good American. As a Jew, I consider Communism equivalent to Fascism and Nazism as a great historic evil.
… for purposes of their own, the Reds were encouraging the Arabs to kill the Jews in Palestine. Exhibit 24 shows two cartoons in the New York Morning Freiheit, I wish all the committee could see this at the moment. Here are two cartoons published in the Freiheit. It is printed in the Yiddish language. These Communists are not really Jews; they are just Communists.
One cartoon appeared September 4, 1929, and shows the Zionist as a pudgy monstrosity with a hooked nose using an old bearded Jew as a shield. This bearded Jew has an even bigger hooked nose. [Julius] Streicher, the Nazi, could do no better.
The other cartoon was published in the Freiheit of September 19, 1929, and is labeled “Zionist Charity Giver.” He is a gruesome Jew again with a hooked nose, and a shield of David on his stomach with the dollar sign over it. The other cartoon has the shield of David, or six-pointed Jewish star, on a big money bag. This was the Communist line in 1929.
Rabbi Schultz added these comments on the cartoons, reproduced below them in a HUAC Appendix (94413 O-49-pt.1, p. 440):
Not the Nazis but the Communists published and peddled these vicious and disgusting Anti-Semitic cartoons. They appeared in ‘Morning Freiheit’ official Communist party Jewish language newspaper after the 1929 [Aug. 28] Arab massacre of Jews in Palestine [i.e., a jihad fomented by the traditional Islamic Jew-hating jihadist, and later Nazi collaborator, Hajj Amin el-Husseini, leader of the Jew-annihilationist Palestinian Arab Muslim ‘movement’].
Object (of these cartoons): discredit Jewish aspiration for a homeland in Palestine and justify Stalin’s power bid to the Arabs against the British. Yiddish caption of ‘Freiheit’ cartoon at left (September 19, 1929) meant ‘The Zionist Charity Givers’; that over the cartoon at right (September 4, 1929) meant, ‘The Mask Behind Which He Shoots.’
Completely disregarding the unhinged, vicious calumnies of the Anti-Anti-Communists (which persist to this day, despite reams of countervailing evidence), and their abettors in the chattering classes, Schultz forged an open alliance with Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy.
Schultz’s American Jewish League Against Communism helped sponsor dinners and rallies in support of McCarthy and his chief counsel Roy Cohn [see: “McCarthy U. N. Probe Questions 2,” New York Herald Tribune, Sep 15, 1953, p. 1; “McCarthy Says He'll Keep Using Cohn as Adviser,” New York Herald Tribune, Jul 29, 1954, p. 3; “Pro-McCarthy March on Capital New York Herald Tribune, Oct 5, 1954, p. 16]. Rabbi Schultz was unequivocal in championing the struggle both men waged against Communist totalitarianism:
McCarthy has become the touchstone by which we test an American. Those against McCarthy, or indifferent, are serving the ends of the Kremlin -- unwittingly at best, and deliberately and treacherously at worst … Cohn is the symbol of the people’s revolt against politicians soft on treason, professors soft in the head, and writers talking softly about [Alger] Hiss and [Robert] Oppenheimer, but loudly against McCarthy and Cohn.
Senator McCarthy’s admiration for Rabbi Schultz was reciprocal. Keynote speaker at an April 1955 dinner in Schultz’s honor [“700 Honor Rabbi Schultz For Fight on Communism,” New York Herald Tribune, Apr 21, 1955, p.12], McCarthy averred that the rabbi was a living response to “the wicked falsehood ruthlessly exploited by the Communists,” which claimed the faith of Judaism and Communism “have something in common.” McCarthy decried the Communist attempt to sow this malign falsehood by deliberately emphasizing the religion of “traitors or security risks” who happen to be Jewish, and worse still, contending:
… that anti-Communism and antisemitism go hand in hand -- specifically that all hard anti-Communists, are ipso facto, anti-Semitic.
Rabbi Schultz concluded his 1949 HUAC testimony with a pellucid formulation of the ongoing threat posed by Communism to all Americans, including those feckless American Leftist “rabbinical elites” who aggressively calumniated him for exposing this shared peril:
This country is in greater danger -- because of the very subtlety of that danger -- than it ever has been in all its history. And persons of Jewish faith have found more peace and prosperity in America than they ever have in any corner of earth. Not only as Americans, but also as Jews, they must act against the enemy of America. But the Communists, unfortunately, will not desist from their efforts to capture us until either all the minorities are separately won over, or the Communist movement is destroyed.
Yet, having learned nothing and remembered nothing, seven decades after their forbears’ scurrilous attacks on Rabbi Schultz, the current generation of even more uninformed and doctrinaire Left American rabbinical leaders sprays charges of “Islamophobia” at Rabbi Jon Hausman for his yeoman efforts to expose the threat of Communism’s twin religio-political totalitarianism: traditional, Sharia-based Islam.