When President Lincoln fought for the Jews

Abraham Lincoln’s influence extends far beyond specific events for which he is most well-known.
Commentary

Steven J. Kessler – JTA, 12/02/19 19:25
Lincoln

Lincoln

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During Black History Month, we recognize the historical importance of President Abraham Lincoln as the foremost figure in the battle to abolish slavery. But even as Lincoln, whose 210th birthday we mark on Feb. 12, is widely known for his role fighting for equality, he may still be underappreciated. In fact, as a moral compass and a role model for liberty, his influence extends far beyond the specific events for which he is most well-known.

In Lincoln’s time, like today, the issue of equality was relevant to many minority groups. While Jews had been living in America for centuries by the time of Lincoln’s presidency, anti-Semitism was widespread, even among the abolitionists.

While the Civil War raged in late 1862, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant wanted to stop the trade of Southern cotton. A number of Jews were involved in the cotton trade, including some in black market activity, and on Dec. 17, Grant issued a shocking order calling for the expulsion of all Jews from a wide swath of the South.

Fortunately the order had little impact because of faulty army communications – and to President Lincoln. When Lincoln heard that Grant was attempting to banish Jews, he quickly reversed the order.

“To condemn a class is, to say the least, to wrong the good with the bad,” Lincoln said. “I do not like to hear a class or nationality condemned on account of a few sinners.”

To Lincoln, prejudice was abhorrent, and expelling one minority while fighting for the rights of another was unthinkable. It’s noteworthy that Grant, who made the order banishing Jews from the area he commanded, regretted his actions later in life. In fact, when he served as president, Grant actively worked to promote Jewish interests in the United States and abroad, bringing Jews into the federal government at an unprecedented rate. Grant later indicated that he had issued the order without fully thinking it through, but his pro-Jewish actions later in life can perhaps be attributed in part to the moral leadership Lincoln displayed in rejecting the order.

On a deeper level, Lincoln can also be seen as the man who truly deserves credit for upholding the idea that “all men are created equal.” While Thomas Jefferson first expressed the sentiment in the Declaration of Independence in 1776, for some 90 years the principle was selectively applied at best. But Lincoln didn’t just speak this value, he practiced it.

In the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, Lincoln emphasized how applying exceptions to the phrase “all men are created equal” is a logical fallacy.

“If one man says it does not mean a negro, why not another say it does not mean some other man? If that declaration is not the truth, let us get the Statute book in which we find it and tear it out!” he said.

The notion of limiting equality was, to Lincoln, a clear rejection of the phrase’s keyword: “all.”

The message of equality that Lincoln fought for was instrumental in abolishing slavery. But it was also a major factor in shaping America into a country that held freedom as a value worth fighting for.

And over the following decades, generations of Americans absorbed the values that Lincoln championed and Grant came to appreciate: That oppression against minorities was intolerable, regardless of the minority.

The fight to defeat the Axis powers in World War II is often called “The Good War” because of the atrocities committed by the Nazis and the widespread understanding that the war was a battle for justice. While it’s true that the America of the 1940s was far from reaching true equality, the underlying values Lincoln stood for were embedded in the hearts of American soldiers.

Take the story of Leon Bass, an African-American native of Philadelphia, who served in a segregated unit during World War II. He was conflicted about being asked to risk his life for a country where he only held second-class status. But when Bass liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp with the American troops, he felt compassion for the prisoners he encountered.

“I began to realize,” Bass later said, “that human suffering is not relegated just to me and mine. Human suffering touches everybody.”

Meeting victims of Nazism transformed Leon Bass from a man who was understandably conflicted about his situation to a leader who advocated for social justice for all oppressed people. After the war, Bass spent decades lecturing to audiences about his experiences in the war and the importance of defeating tyranny and hatred.

When the Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza – a new public plaza devoted to Holocaust remembrance – opened in Philadelphia several months ago, Bass’ story was included on its Six Pillars, which contrast themes of the Holocaust with American constitutional protections and values.

Just one foot away from the pillar devoted to Leon Bass and “Liberation” stands another pillar, which is inscribed with the Declaration of Independence’s powerful statement that “all men are created equal.” In the 1850s and 1860s, President Lincoln served as a bridge between the Declaration and Americans who fought the Nazis in the 1940s. In the 19th century, Lincoln underscored the 18th-century Declaration’s call for equality, giving 20th-century American soldiers the passion to fight to liberate the oppressed.

While many Holocaust survivors may not have heard of President Lincoln when the war ended in 1945, there is no doubt that they benefited from the great strides he took in the cause for liberty.

Lincoln may already have his place on Mount Rushmore, but we should also be sure to include him in the pantheon of global leaders who persisted in the cause of freedom. Because if we embrace the spirit of Lincoln, we can hold out hope that government of the people, by the people, for all people, will not perish from the earth.

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His leadership and television interviews have gone trough out the world, Luden Centeno Perez of Spanish Converso Marano Jewish background who's ancestors came from Spain during the Inquisition .Uriel speaks on terror related issues concerning Israel resides permanently in Jerusalem. His analysis of Middle Eastern events as they relate to Israel is regularly broadcast through internet radio and television through out the world. Luden has given close to 500 television interviews in Israel Jerusalem and broadcasts live from Jerusalem Israel on the radio.And once a month speaks to 147 nations via the USA radio. On his last 8 radio programs he has had over 500,00 listeners listening live from Jerusalem On one of our last video we had over 40,000 who watched live our video from Jerusalem. Our main goal is totell the world that Israel has the right to defend herself from any form of agression and terrorism that comes out of Ramallah and the occupied territories that belong to Israel. Israel faces many difficult challenges and dangers in the days and weeks and months to come mark my words see Psalms 83' . There is an unprecedented propaganda campaign initiated by the Arab League and many others to demonize, discredit and delegitimize the Jewish people and their state, within their own land! The efforts of the Arab League were recently seen in the UN Resolution 2334 text as follows, adopted by the UN Security Council at its 7853rd meeting, on 23 December 2016. Reaffirming its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 446 (1979), 452 (1979), 465 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), and 1850 (2008), guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice, condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions. In order to achieve their goals, the Arabs and many other countries have for more than 30 years resorted to a deliberate misinformation campaign. This propaganda campaign by the Arab League and many other nations – both in their own countries and for the last four decades exported to Europe and North America has caused Israel what would seem irreparable damage and indeed, it was the main culprit in the reawakening of dormant European anti-Semitism. Israel continues to suffer many attacks from terrorists within and should give in to any presure imposed by the USA, the EU. the Quartet, nor the UN. The former Obama administration and others have been working behind the scenes to get many UN Resolution passed against Israel as we see here on Un resolution 2334 to pass. even while allowing Iran to continue to develop their nuclear facilities by using John Kerry and others to fulfill their hidden agenda. On December 23rd 2016 the US abstained from exercising its veto to UN resolution 2334 which allowed it to pass. Then John Kerry immediately blasted Israel over the presence of Israeli settlements within Israel's own land. The Obama Administration's hidden agenda came to light. The former Obama administration was trying to force Israel to give up more land for false peace as we have seen in the past. Judea and Samaria and possibly the Jordan Valley were on the negotiating table. For perspective, if the so-called fake Palestinians obtained Judea and Samaria and possibly the Jordan Valley, Givat HaRoe’eh in the Samaria community of Eli, Ramat Gilad and Giv’at Assaf (also in Samaria), and Mitzpeh Lachish, near Nehogot outside Hebron. they could easily rain down rockets towards any city within Israel, leaving without defensible borders. We say NO to land for false peace as we have seen in Gush Katiff offered in the past. US President Barrack Hussein Obama had a hidden agenda against Israel and many other nations Israel will face many difficult days and months ahead (see Tehillim / Psalms 83) As we have seen what happened with Gush Katif where over 18,000 rockets have been fired towards Israel.Many Jews were forced out of their own Jewish land due to US pressure, now Bet El Almuna and Migron and Judea and Samaria face the same threat. More than 24,000 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel since Israel uprootedmore than 10,000 Jewish families. Over 24.000 rockets have been fired from Gaza towards the southern Israeli city of Sderot Ashkelon Tel Aviv by Islamist extremist whose end-game is the total destruction of my people Israel. Hamas terrorists are supported by Iran and now Hamas has joined hands with Fatah. The Iranian Lebanese proxy Hezbollah who also operate in Syria are committed to the total destruction of Israel. Now Al Qaeda and ISIS who are operating in Syria Egypt and the Sinai Desert will do anything in their power to destroy my people Israel and all Jews. Judea and Samaria (the heartland of Israel also known as the West Bank) face many challenges in the days to come as Abu Mazen will try to pressure the entire world and former US President Barrack Hussein Obama the EU and the Quartet into giving more land for false peace. We saw what happened after the Oslo Accords were signed, dramatically increasing Islamic terror against Israel. Abu Mazen the Palestinian Authority leader approached the United Nations in November 2012 and petitioned to be declared as a recognized nation within Israel's known borders. The time has come to tell the entire world the real truth about the enemies of Israel. We speak on the Quran using a Power Point video presentation. We have been aired on CNN, German TV, Finland TV, CCTV, China Al Jazera, Al Arabiya Turk TV and many radio stations on the current issues of Israel. Luden Centeno has a heart for his people Israel and will continue to inform the entire world the real truth as many News Media outlets throughout the world hold anti-Semitic views and won’t tell you the real truth. Centeno, a former police officer who studied Political Science at Temple University USA was born in the USA and currently lives in Jerusalem Israel, knowing karate and boxing having played semi-pro baseball. He has two children, a girl and a son, both born in Jerusalem. Centeno discovered in 2004 that there were possible Converso Marrano Jews from Spain whose ancestors were forced to convert to Catholicism during the time of the Inquisition in 1492. The family names Centeno and Perez are registered in El Libro Verde De Aragon in Spain. The Roman Catholic Inquisitors maintained all the names of all Jewish families who were forced to convert to Catholicism during that horrible time period in Spain. Since 2004 Centeno has been flying intercontinentally to the USA speaking to the nations on the current issues of the the state of Israel (see Psalms 83′ as the nations gather against Israel.) He has spoken on Al Arabiya TV Al Jazeera, Dubai TV, Holland TV, German TV Finland TV and also on American Family Radio which links up with 700 radio stations. His goal is to educate the entire world that Israel has the right to self-determination and the right to defend itself from terrorism. The Moslem Arabs in that area started calling themselves “Palestinians” merely only 40 years ago. “Palestinian” refers to people who live in Palestine: Arabs (“Arabic speaking peoples”), Bedouins, Druze, Christians, and Jews lived in then the British Mandate of Palestine. No people or nation called Palestine ever ruled as a sovereign national entity on this land. There is no Palestinian language or culture in past history. Palestine, as a country does not presently exist. No Arab nation has their historical roots on the land and no one had laid claim to this territory other than the Jews. The Jewish rule of this land extended over a period of over 2000 years. Israel became a nation in the land in 1312 BC. God gave them the land in a covenant (Deuteronomy 29:1-30:20) and they lived there. See the following Quote from the Quran, "Death to the enemies of Allah! Those that make war against Allah and His apostle and spread disorder in the land shall be slain or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or be banished from the land. They shall be held up to shame in this world and sternly punished in the hereafter: except those that repent before you reduce them. For you must know that Allah is..." This is what radical Islam says about us Jews’ “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Muslim) A letter from leading rabbis here in Israel ? 'You will be remembered in the history of the Jewish people' "We are privileged to be seeing the rebuilding of Jerusalem," wrote the rabbis. "'Children play in its streets' (Zechariah 8:4) and we are confident in the fulfillment of all the prophecies. The United States is privileged to be one of the first nations to support the establishment of the State of Israel. US presidents have had the privilege of being at Israel's side and being a partner in the fulfillment of the vision of the prophets regarding the return to Zion and the establishment of the State of Israel." They continued, "We are confident that you will be remembered in the history of the Jewish people as one who stood at the forefront fearlessly. May it be His will that God's promise to Joshua (1:9) should be fulfilled in you: 'Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go'—amen, amen." "With this recognition, we see the fulfillment of another step in the completion of the prophecy of Isaiah that the nations of the world will recognize the centrality of Jerusalem," said Rabbi Eliyahu. "'For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. The nations will see your vindication' (Isaiah 62:1). We hope that other enlightened and believing nations will follow in the footsteps of the United States." Psalms Chapter 83 תְּהִלִּים א שִׁיר מִזְמוֹר לְאָסָף. 1 A Song, a Psalm of Asaph. ב אֱלֹהִים אַל-דֳּמִי-לָךְ; אַל-תֶּחֱרַשׁ וְאַל-תִּשְׁקֹט אֵל. 2 O God, keep not Thou silence; hold not Thy peace, and be not still, O God. ג כִּי-הִנֵּה אוֹיְבֶיךָ, יֶהֱמָיוּן; וּמְשַׂנְאֶיךָ, נָשְׂאוּ רֹאשׁ. 3 For, lo, Thine enemies are in an uproar; and they that hate Thee have lifted up the head. ד עַל-עַמְּךָ, יַעֲרִימוּ סוֹד; וְיִתְיָעֲצוּ, עַל-צְפוּנֶיךָ. 4 They hold crafty converse against Thy people, and take counsel against Thy treasured ones. ה אָמְרוּ–לְכוּ, וְנַכְחִידֵם מִגּוֹי; וְלֹא-יִזָּכֵר שֵׁם-יִשְׂרָאֵל עוֹד. 5 They have said: ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.’ ו כִּי נוֹעֲצוּ לֵב יַחְדָּו; עָלֶיךָ, בְּרִית יִכְרֹתוּ. 6 For they have consulted together with one consent; against Thee do they make a covenant; God’s word says in Zechariah 8:23 "Thus saith the LORD of Hosts: In Those days it shall come to pass, That ten men shall take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, shall even take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying: We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you." 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