In my last visit to Israel in 2018, my brother and sister-in-law took me sight-seeing to the northern parts of Israel near the Sea of Galilee. On our first night, we stayed at the home of one of their older friends, a man in his seventies.
That night we sat around their kitchen table so that they could catch up on family matters. At one point in the conversation our host reminisced about an older woman, now gone, who he had known in his childhood in the 1950s who had lived in Germany before and during World War II and had survived a concentration camp.
To paraphrase the story he told us, what this woman always remembered most starkly about that time, especially in the 1930s, was how difficult it was to get German friends who were not Jewish to believe the horrors she and other Jews were going through. To her, their calm nonchalant dismissal of the Nazi bigotry and oppression of Jews — too unbelievable to take seriously — was what had horrified her the most. Even twenty years later, it was this dismissal that appalled her the most, despite her time in a concentration camp and the death she had seen around her.
As he told us this story, what struck me was how similar my own experience has been. Time after time for the past four decades my liberal friends and relatives have refused to believe anything I say to them — always based on actual events — about politics and the growing corruption and bigotry within the Democratic Party. Like those decent Germans in the 1930s, these decent Americans find reasons to quickly dismiss what I say, without making any effort to find out if there is any merit to it.
In fact, less than two days after this very conversation it happened again. » Read more