Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Hitler Was A Jew

Hitler was a Jew. That’s it. Now we’ve heard everything. According to the Israel’s daily Yideot Achranot Newspapers this outrageous statement was made by a top advisor to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The advisor, Mohammad-Ali Ramin, a chief aide to Ahmadinejad, told the Iranian webzine Baztab that Hitler's paternal grandmother was a Jewish prostitute and his father even kept his Jewish name until finally changing it to Hitler when he was 40. Ramin also claimed in that Nazi leader Adolph Hitler's parents were both Jewish and that Hitler himself was one of the founders of the State of Israel.

Can you believe this stuff? Where do these people come up with these outlandish statements? Answer: from old Holocaust deniers. Reportedly, according to Ynet, the Yideot webzine, “Ramin cites a 1974 book by Hennecke Kardel titled 'Adolph Hitler: Founder of Israel', which alleges that Hitler strived to create a Jewish state as a result of being influenced by his Jewish relatives and his cooperation with Britain – which also wanted to drive the Jews out of Europe.”

Once years ago a Palestinian worker explained that the Shin Bet, Israel’s FBI, was so all pervasive that anyone anywhere could be working for them. Paranoia rules the Arab world. Just trying to get one’s mind around this ridiculous statement requires tremendous effort. Worse than anything, though, is that apparently guys like Ramin believe it, and probably so does his boss Ahmadinejad. One wonders if they really believe if Elvis is dead? Maybe he’s hiding out somewhere in Tehran after all.

But legendary former Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek did die, of a “difficult illness,’ which in Israeli newspeak means Cancer. Kollek was 95 years old, overweight his entire life, had a penchant for good food and fine cigars, and eschewed exercise; the most he got was commandeering a cab from people about to get in the vehicle when he thought he needed it at that moment.

Kollek was a secretary to Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, was an active member of the Haganah, whose assignment was as head of procurements, and establishing ties with the US intelligence services. Repotedly, among his other duties Kollek served as a bag man between the American gangsters like Bugsy Seigel and Meyer Lansky, and the pre-State government.

Kollek reportedly raised the funds for the purchase of the first ships Israel bought for the illegal immigration of refugees into pre-state Israel, (then called Palestine, a name thought up by the British a few decades earlier. Actually the word first appears when the Romans briefly named the Holy Land Palestina, but the name disappeared until some British scholar dug it up and remodeled it in the 20th Century.)

Ralph Goldman, another legendary figure in modern Jewish history, former head of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, told an interviewer that he was involved in carrying money for the ships purchase; meeting Teddy when he was sitting with the gangsters in a New York City nightclub, and transporting the cash in a suitcase to the hands that would pay for the boats.

Teddy was asked by Ben Gurion to take the Jerusalem Portfolio in 1965, which he did. Kollek was elected Mayor and served for 28-years. Following the 67-Six Day War Kollek convinced David Ben Gurion not to tear down the old city’s walls. Ben Gurion didn’t want the city divided after 67, even by those 500 year old walls. Teddy found other ways to unify the city.

A life-long dove, Kolleck never-the-less went along with right-wing Premier Menachem Begin in the late 1970’s and helped implement the government’s decision to build a ring of new neighborhoods around Jerusalem; including Pisgat Zev, Ramot, French Hill, East Talpiot,and Gilo, even though Kollek reportedly objected on political grounds to those neighborhoods being built.

A life-long Zionist, Kollek was born in Vienna, Austria in 1911, served as an usher to the Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland in 1923, immigrated to Israel in 1934, where he was one of the founders of Kibbutz Ein Gev. He served as Director-General of Ben-Gurion’s office from 1952 until 1964.

Kollek made Jerusalem his cause, helped reopen the Hebrew University on Mt. Scopus, helped build the Hebrew University’s Givat Ram Campus, the Israel Museum, Hadassah Hospital, and the Teddy Stadium, used by Jerusalem’s soccer teams.

Teddy was charismatic, charming, brash, energetic, famous for falling asleep even at the feet of sultry movie star Marlena Dietrich. Once as Mayor he fell asleep during a TV interview, and the crew was asked to wait until he woke up to continue to interview. His press spokesman explained that Teddy had just over-indulged in a big lunch.

Teddy kept the various ethnic groups in a semblance of harmony. He was proud of the fact that more Yeshivot, rabbincal seminars, existed in Jerusalem than even in the history of the Jewish people, including the golden age of Eastern European Jewry.

The religious, however, frequently found themselves at odds with Teddy; they grew angry when he refused to close a road on the Sabbath, or some other infraction of ultra-Orthodox law. Once Teddy was set upon and beaten by ultra-Orthodox men while touring the open-air market in the ultra-Orthodox Bucharin quarter. He spent several days in the hospital.

Teddy was finally defeated in his bid for mayor at the age of 83. He spent the rest of his life continuing to raise money for Jerusalem. There is no way to detail all of the contributions he arranged for Jerusalem. He managed to entice money through his Jerusalem Foundation from the stars of Hollywood, like Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand and Gregory Peck. Hollywood star Kirk Douglas personally dedicated parks and other buildings in Jerusalem. The Hollywood elite helped build the Jerusalem Cinematheque. There is hardly a modern structure in Jerusalem’s civic or social life that wasn’t one of Teddy’s projects.

In many ways he was the modern King of Jerusalem. After him, every other mayor seemed only to be a manager.

Teddy Kollek is survived by his wife of over 70 years Tamar, and his son Amos, a well-known film maker.

If Teddy was around to hear the Iranians say that Hitler was a Jew, one can only suspect he’d growl like a big bear, and utter a one-word epithet that would sum up the situation with wisdom and wit.