Henry Ford’s Zionist Grandson

Henry Ford II took over the automotive company of his grandfather and namesake company in 1945, but he did not inherit his grandfather’s vicious anti-Semitism. While the elder Ford notoriously used his wealth and influence to disseminate anti-Jewish propaganda, and collaborated with Nazi Germany, the younger Ford explicitly rejected those attitudes and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Jewish state. Zack Rothbart writes:

Shortly after Israeli independence, Hank the Deuce, [as Ford II was informally known], oversaw a trade deal that would see a major shipment of automotive parts to help alleviate the young state’s transportation crisis. The next year, he personally presented Israel’s first president with a Ford Lincoln Cosmopolitan. . . . A $50,000 contribution from Ford in 1950 made him the top donor to the United Jewish Appeal’s first ever Christian Committee Campaign for Israel.

Around the time of the Six-Day War in 1967, Hank the Deuce nonchalantly gave his good friend, the Jewish businessman and philanthropist Max Fisher, a warm personal note with a $100,000 check inside for the Israel Emergency Fund.

Not long after, he fulfilled his promise to have a Ford assembly plant in Israel and maintain business dealings with the Jewish state, refusing to give in to boycott threats despite extensive and lucrative interests across the Arab world. The Arab boycott took effect and cars began rolling out of the plant in Nazareth, at which point he reportedly said, “Nobody’s gonna tell me what to do.”

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Read more at The Librarians

More about: Christian Zionism, Israeli history

 

Why the Recent Uptick of Israeli Activity in Syria?

Sept. 23 2022

On September 16 and 17, the IDF carried out airstrikes in the vicinity of Damascus, reportedly aimed at Iranian logistical centers there. These follow on an increase in the frequency of such attacks in recent weeks, which have included strikes on the Aleppo airport on August 31 and September 6. Jonathan Spyer comments:

The specific targeting of the Aleppo airport is almost certainly related to recent indications that Iran is relying increasingly on its “air bridge” to Syria and Lebanon, because of Israel’s successful and systematic targeting of efforts to move weaponry and equipment by land [via Iraq]. But the increased tempo of activity is not solely related to the specific issue of greater use of air transport by Teheran. Rather, it is part of a broader picture of increasing regional tension. There are a number of factors that contribute to this emergent picture.

Firstly, Russia appears to be pulling back in Syria. . . . There are no prospects for a complete Russian withdrawal. The air base at Khmeimim and the naval facilities at Tartus and Latakia are hard strategic assets which will be maintained. The maintenance of Assad’s rule is also a clear objective for Moscow. But beyond this, the Russians are busy now with a flailing, faltering military campaign in Ukraine. Moscow lacks the capacity for two close strategic engagements at once.

Secondly, assuming that some last-minute twist does not occur, it now looks like a return to the [2015 nuclear deal] is not imminent. In the absence of any diplomatic process related to the Iranian nuclear program, and given Israeli determination to roll back Iran’s regional ambitions, confrontation becomes more likely.

Lastly, it is important to note that the uptick in Israeli activity is clearly not related to Syria alone. Rather, it is part of a more general broadening and deepening by Israel in recent months of its assertive posture toward the full gamut of Iranian activity in the region. . . . The increasing scope and boldness of Israeli air activity in Syria reflects this changing of the season.

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Read more at Jonathan Spyer

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria, War in Ukraine