Have Gallup and the Holocaust Museum Cherrypicked Data to Defend FDR?

Dec. 11 2018

In a recent talk at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Frank Newport, the editor-in-chief of Gallup, and Daniel Greene, the curator of a current exhibition on American public opinion and the Shoah, spoke about the popular hostility in the 1930s and 40s to the idea of allowing Jewish refugees into the country. Among other things, they called attention to the fact that, in November 1938, 72 percent of respondents objected to opening the gates of the U.S. to European Jews. In what he believes to be an effort to protect the legacy of President Roosevelt, Rafael Medoff notes some important statistics that were glossed over:

After discussing polls from the 1930s, 1940, and 1941, Greene suddenly leap-frogged over the rest of World War II and went straight to the postwar period. [He and Newport] claimed that American public opposition to admitting refugees continued throughout the war and afterward. But the truth is that there was a very significant shift—according to a poll that Gallup itself took in 1944, in the middle of the war and in the middle of the Holocaust.

What happened is that a small U.S. government agency, the War Refugee Board, proposed to President Roosevelt in early 1944 that he should grant temporary haven to hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees until the end of the war. To test the waters of public opinion on the proposal, the White House commissioned a Gallup poll in April of 1944. Gallup found that 70 percent of the public supported giving “temporary protection and refuge” in the United States to “those people in Europe who have been persecuted by the Nazis.” . . .

Gallup’s April 1944 poll was taken more than a year before the end of the war. It was late, but it was not too late, to rescue a significant number of Jewish refugees, if only President Roosevelt had shown an interest in doing so—and as the poll showed, he would have enjoyed ample public support for such action. Sadly, he agreed to grant temporary haven to just one token group of 982 refugees.

That crucial poll is omitted from the Holocaust Museum’s new exhibit, which is one of the reasons that many Holocaust scholars have criticized it. Acknowledging the wartime shift of public opinion would upset the exhibit’s underlying theme of minimizing President Roosevelt’s abandonment of the Jews. Visitors would realize that the president’s hands were not completely tied [by public opinion], after all.

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Read more at Weekly Standard

More about: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, History & Ideas, Holocaust, Holocaust Museums, Refugees

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism