With anti-Semitism exploding across the globe, on our campuses and incredibly within the Democrat Party itself (once the bastion of pro-Israeli sentiment) at levels not seen perhaps since the 1930’s in Germany – and with the specter of an Iranian nuclear weapon and all that goes with it now virtually assured, a little light amidst the darkness might be just the tonic to give some hope. In that spirit, I want to recommend two films, now on Netflix, that are worthy of your time, whether you’re MOT (member-of-tribe) or not.
First up, “Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Homefront” follows the lives of five Israeli soldiers, all from different backgrounds, facing different personal challenges, as they enter military training on their way to becoming paratroopers in the IDF.
Next, we go back to 1948 with “Above and Beyond” as American Jews, all veteran combat pilots in World War 2, risk their lives and their futures to defend the nascent Jewish state from five Arab armies, intent on finishing what Hitler started. In the end, they lay the foundation for one of the leading air forces in the world – one that may very well be facing its greatest test in the months ahead.
On a sad note, Lou Lennart, one of the pilots profiled, passed away last month at the age of 94.
If you go by nothing more than the spirit of the people from both these films, then I think Israel is in the very best of hands. As Simon Weisenthal once said, “a Jew must believe in miracles if he wishes to be a realist.”
I found the “Above and Beyond” trailer particularly sad: how will American Jews react when Israel is threatened with extinction again? I suspect the answer will not be quite the same as it was in 1948.
Next time, the danger will not come just from Middle East forces; it will come from the U.S. as well, led by those whom U.S. Jews now support.
It will be — to use a phrase I detest — a “crisis of conscience” and may well not have a good outcome.
To say the men depicted in that film were heroes is an understatement. I’m not sure we’ll see their kind again.
Hence, my reference to Simon Wiesenthal. And where there’s life, there’s hope.
The “hope” being that Israel now has its own resources to deal with Iran and/or other enemies in the region…and, if necessary, Choom Boy or the president who succeeds him….
you do realize how small a percent of Jews those pilots were. most American Jews were deafeningly silent during the Shoah.
Wondering if you have read Steven Pressfield’s novel The Lion’s Gate?
I learned about Lou Lennart and the other heroes of that war in the authors interview describing how he came to write the book and do the research.
Really a fascinating story and “a close-run thing” as they say.
I don’t understand what point(s) you’re trying to make. The percentage of Jewish pilots in which air force; our’s or Israel’s?
And your second sentence is out of left field. Many Jews in this country didn’t necessarily know the extent of what was going on in Europe thanks to Jews like the Ochs’ and the Sulzbergers at the Times who buried the story.
You might consider using more words strung together to form complete thoughts to express yourself with clarity, m’kay?
The Roosevelt administration carefully minimized the ongoing slaughter, and while some very few American Jews knew the extent of it, most did not.
An old family friend was a physicist high up in the Manhattan Project. He was in contact with scientists and politicians both here and England, and he did not know the whole truth until after the war.