You can count on the FOX channel — not news to me — and Lou Dobbs to push more anti-immigrant phobia, but now, they are sticking with their love of anti-semitism in the form of George Soros bashing. Nothing like having a guest like Chris Ferrell of Judicial Watch claim that “caravan” of Honduran refugees is paid for by the “Soros-occupied State Department.” And who cares if this is only hours after the murder of 11 people at a Synagogue.
First off, Trump is theoretically in charge of that U.S. State Department. Secretary of State Pompeo works for Trump. And Pompeo is a loyal Trumpster.
Next, the supposedly “Soros-occupied” State Department was once both anti-immigrant and anti-semitic, especially during the 1930’s and 1940’s. After Congress passed restrictions on immigration to the U.S., the U.S. State Department was under order to restrict visas to refugees.
American Restrictions on Immigration
America’s traditional policy of open immigration had ended when Congress enacted restrictive immigration quotas in 1921 and 1924. The quota system allowed only 25,957 Germans to enter the country every year. After the stock market crash of 1929, rising unemployment caused restrictionist sentiment to grow, and President Herbert Hoover ordered vigorous enforcement of visa regulations. The new policy significantly reduced immigration; in 1932 the United States issued only 35,576 immigration visas.
There were multiple incidents of Jewish refugees fleeing persecution from Nazi Germany being turned away. If I recall correctly, I believe that American historian Kennedy wrote about the open anti-semitism by some State Department officials — disparingly referring to the “Jew Deal.” This was certainly on display in 1942 during WWII.
First News of the Holocaust
The extermination of European Jewry began when the German army invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. The Nazis attempted to keep the Holocaust a secret, but in August 1942, Dr. Gerhart Riegner, the representative of the World Jewish Congress in Geneva, Switzerland, learned what was going on from a German source. Riegner asked American diplomats in Switzerland to inform Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, one of America’s most prominent Jewish leaders, of the mass murder plan. But the State Department, characteristically insensitive and influenced by anti-Semitism, decided not to inform Wise.
The rabbi nevertheless learned of Riegner’s terrible message from Jewish leaders in Great Britain. He immediately approached Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles, who asked Wise to keep the information confidential until the government had time to verify it. Wise agreed and it was not until November 1942 that Welles authorized the release of Riegner’s message.
Wise held a press conference on the evening of November 24, 1942. The next day’s New York Times reported his news on its tenth page. Throughout the rest of the war, the Times and most other newspapers failed to give prominent and extensive coverage to the Holocaust. During World War I, the American press had published reports of German atrocities that subsequently turned out to be false. As a result, journalists during World War II tended to approach atrocity reports with caution.
My how times have changed. We have gone from a department of the government that was influenced by anti-semitism to one now supposedly dominated by a Jewish billionaire. The only difference now is that most of the anti-semites are outside of the U.S. State Department.