Islamic State: Jewish Holocaust surviror saves the Christians who saved him
In 1938 George Weidenfeld arrived in the UK from Austria. 1938. The Times says the young Jew had “only a few shillings in his pocket”. But now he has grown rich from a publishing business, the former BBC man is repaying a debt:
Now aged 95, he is funding an organisation to rescue up to 2,000 Christian families from Syria and Iraq and resettle them elsewhere. In the first phase of Operation Safe Havens, one group of 150 Syrian Christians was flown to Warsaw on Friday to seek refuge in Poland.
Christians are being persecuted in the Middle East. In areas controlled by Islamic State they are being slaughtered.
Weidenfeld, a committed Zionist, is repaying those who showed him kindness:
He credits his survival to the generosity of members of the Plymouth Brethren, a Christian group, which took him in, fed and clothed him.
“I had a debt to repay,” said Lord Weidenfeld. “It applies to so many of the young people who were on the Kindertransports. It was Quakers and other Christian denominations who brought those children to England. It was a very high-minded operation and we Jews should also be thankful and do something for the endangered Christians.”
“Isis is unprecedented in its primitive savagery compared with the more sophisticated Nazis,” he said. “When it comes to pure lust for horror and sadism, they are unprecedented. There never was such scum as these people. My main concern is — and this is terribly important for me as a member of the generation that can look back to the time before World War Two — the lack of will to defend oneself; to get boots on the ground and to get rid of these people. The lack of desire to fight the enemy, to slay the dragon in his lair.
“I am appalled by the lack of action. The brave Kurds have shown in the battle for Kobani that you can defeat them. In a disunited world, the road is wide open for the terrorists.”
“I can’t save the world, but there is a very specific possibility on the Jewish and Christian side,” he said. “Let others do what they like for the Muslims.”
Everyone can do their bit for humanity.
“An SS man or a Gulag attendant justified their cruelty in the name of Hitler or Stalin. A jihadist thinks he has Allah in his pocket. It is very difficult to fight. It is cruel and international. It does not only affect the so called Arab Spring countries, but also Africa, Boston Massachusetts, the suburbs of London. It has to be fought very systematically. It must not be the subject of attenuating circumstances. They have to be seen as enemies of mankind and punished accordingly.”
You beat them by defeating their culture and championing your own.