Nicholas Kristof is an Op Ed columnist for the New York Times. Although my weltanschauung is worlds away from his, I typically read his article along with other Op Ed columnists before I turn my attention to that newspaper’s version of the news.
Earlier this week, Mr. Kristof penned an article titled: Would You Hide a Jew from the Nazis?
I take issue with Mr. Kristof’s article for a number of reasons:
Not only is his question hypothetical, in that it should have been asked three quarters of a century ago, but it is an incorrectly phrased question. Rather than ask, would you hide a Jew from the Nazis, Mr. Kristof should have posed the following question: Would you have been bold enough and daring enough to reveal your mentschlechkeit to yourself and to G-d? When all is said and done however, even my suggested question is nothing short of ridiculous, because despite what we truly believe what we would do in a given situation, we have no way of knowing what stand we will take if any, when we are actually confronted with the situation. Recall if you will that the furthest thing from Moses’ mind when venturing from the royal palace to look in on his brethren was how he would react upon seeing an Egyptian taskmaster smiting a Hebrew slave.
Pathtic isn’t it, that the very same people who are revolted by what was done to the Jews by the enemy in say 1941, take an entirely different tack by what’s being done to the Jews by the enemy in 2016. Innocent Jewish children are slaughtered in their beds fast asleep by the most inhumane Palestinian murderers (far more barbaric acts not fit to print have been perpetrated against innocent Jews in Israel) yet, these same bleeding hearts have no problem whatsoever taking up the mantra of BDS! Given the amount of time and energy the United Nations spends castigating Israel, one would think that the vast majority of human injustice in this world emanates from the Jewish State. Please realize Mr. Kristof, that anti-Semitism is still very much alive and well. Unlike Nazi anti-Semitism, contemporary anti-Semitism is directed against Israel, sanctioned by many a loyal reader of your column! A far better question for you to ask, Mr. Kristof is: would you protect a Jew from a blood thirsty Palestinian?
Mr. Kristof has been with the New York Times for over three decades. Granted, he did not write Op Ed columns when he began writing for the newspaper. But given the likelihood that back in 1984 there were far more Holocaust survivors as well as Nazis alive than now, a far more poignant as well as soul searching question for Nicholas Kristof to have asked three and a half decades ago, would have been one directed to Holocaust survivors: Would you help save the life of a Nazi? If you were a survivor (or a Jew who was very much aware of Holocaust history) and had a very rare blood type, would you donate your blood to a Nazi or former Nazi requiring that very same blood type who was in critical condition? True, this would be at no risk to one’s own life, but one risks giving the gift of life to one, who through technicalities as well as other kinks in the legal system, was able to evade capture, prosecution and perhaps even execution for crimes against humanity.
Last year, I showed students a clip of “staged anti-Semitism” at a New Jersey bakery. The reactions of other customers witnessing an abusive as well anti-Semitic clerk behind the counter was truly a topic not only for discussion, but even for Mr. Kristof to write about in his column.