How the Bush family made
its fortune from the Nazis
Note: This article's author, John Loftus, is a former U.S.Department of
Justice Nazi War Crimes prosecutor, the President of the Florida Holocaust
Museum and the highly respected author of numerous books on the CIA-Nazi
connection including The Belarus Secret and The SecSecret War Against the Jews,
both of which have extensive material on the Bush-Rockefeller-Nazi
Copyright September 27, 2000
by Attorney John Loftus
The Dutch Connection
How a famous American family
made its fortune from the Nazis
For the Bush family, it is a lingering nightmare. For their Nazi clients,
the Dutch connection was the mother of all money laundering schemes. From
1945 until 1949, one of the lengthiest and, it now appears, most futile
interrogations of a Nazi war crimes suspect began in the American Zone of
Occupied Germany. Multibillionaire steel magnate Fritz Thyssen-the man whose
steel combine was the cold heart of the Nazi war machine-talked and talked
and talked to a joint US-UK interrogation team. For four long years,
successive teams of inquisitors tried to break Thyssen's simple claim to
possess neither foreign bank accounts nor interests in foreign corporations,
no assets that might lead to the missing billions in assets of the Third
Reich. The inquisitors failed utterly.
Why? Because what the wily Thyssen deposed was, in a sense, true. What the
Allied investigators never understood was that they were not asking Thyssen
the right question. Thyssen did not need any foreign bank accounts because
his family secretly owned an entire chain of banks. He did not have to
transfer his Nazi assets at the end of World War II, all he had to do was
transfer the ownership documents - stocks, bonds, deeds and trusts--from his
bank in Berlin through his bank in Holland to his American friends in New
York City: Prescott Bush and Herbert Walker. Thyssen's partners in crime
were the father and father-in-law of a future President of the United
The allied investigators underestimated Thyssen's reach, his connections,
his motives, and his means. The web of financial entities Thyssen helped
create in the 1920's remained a mystery for the rest of the twentieth
century, an almost perfectly hidden underground sewer pipeline for moving
dirty money, money that bankrolled the post-war fortunes not only of the
Thyssen industrial empire...but the Bush family as well. It was a secret
Fritz Thyssen would take to his grave.
It was a secret that would lead former US intelligence agent William Gowen,
now pushing 80, to the very doorstep of the Dutch royal family. The Gowens
are no strangers to controversy or nobility. His father was one of President
Roosevelt's diplomatic emissaries to Pope Pius XII, leading a futile attempt
to persuade the Vatican to denounce Hitler's treatment of Jews. It was his
son, William Gowen, who served in Rome after World War II as a Nazi hunter
and investigator with the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps. It was Agent
Gowen who first discovered the secret Vatican Ratline for smuggling Nazis in
1949. It was also the same William Gowen who began to uncover the secret
Dutch pipeline for smuggling Nazi money in 1999.
A half-century earlier, Fritz Thyssen was telling the allied investigators
that he had no interest in foreign companies, that Hitler had turned on him
and seized most of his property. His remaining assets were mostly in the
Russian Occupied Zone of Germany (which he knew were a write-off anyway).
His distant (and disliked) relatives in neutral nations like Holland were
the actual owners of a substantial percentage of the remaining German
industrial base. As innocent victims of the Third Reich, they were lobbying
the allied occupation governments in Germany, demanding restitution of the
property that had been seized from them by the Nazis.
Under the rules of the Allied occupation of Germany, all property owned by
citizens of a neutral nation which had been seized by the Nazis had to be
returned to the neutral citizens upon proper presentation of documents
showing proof of ownership. Suddenly, all sorts of neutral parties,
particularly in Holland, were claiming ownership of various pieces of the
Thyssen empire. In his cell, Fritz Thyssen just smiled and waited to be
released from prison while members of the Dutch royal family and the Dutch
intelligence service reassembled his pre-war holdings for him.
The British and American interrogators may have gravely underestimated
Thyssen but they nonetheless knew they were being lied to. Their suspicions
focused on one Dutch Bank in particular, the Bank voor Handel en
Scheepvaart, in Rotterdam. This bank did a lot of business with the Thyssens
over the years. In 1923, as a favor to him, the Rotterdam bank loaned the
money to build the very first Nazi party headquarters in Munich. But somehow
the allied investigations kept going nowhere, the intelligence leads all
seemed to dry up.
If the investigators realized that the US intelligence chief in postwar
Germany, Allen Dulles, was also the Rotterdam bank's lawyer, they might have
asked some very interesting questions. They did not know that Thyssen was
Dulles' client as well. Nor did they ever realize that it was Allen Dulles's
other client, Baron Kurt Von Schroeder who was the Nazi trustee for the
Thyssen companies which now claimed to be owned by the Dutch. The Rotterdam
Bank was at the heart of Dulles' cloaking scheme, and he guarded its secrets
Several decades after the war, investigative reporter Paul Manning, Edward
R. Murrow's colleague, stumbled across the Thyssen interrogations in the US
National Archives. Manning intended to write a book about Nazi money
laundering. Manning's manuscript was a dagger at Allen Dulles' throat: his
book specifically mentioned the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart by name,
albeit in passing. Dulles volunteered to help the unsuspecting Manning with
his manuscript, and sent him on a wild goose chase, searching for Martin
Bormann in South America.
Without knowing that he had been deliberately sidetracked, Manning wrote a
forward to his book personally thanking Allen Dulles for his "assurance that
I was "on the right track, and should keep going.'"Dulles sent Manning and
his manuscript off into the swamps of obscurity. The same "search for Martin
Bormann"scam was also used to successfully discredit Ladislas Farago,
another American journalist probing too far into the laundering of Nazi
money. American investigators had to be sent anywhere but Holland.
And so the Dutch connection remained unexplored until 1994 when I published
the book "The Secret War Against the Jews."As a matter of historical
curiosity, I mentioned that Fritz Thyssen (and indirectly, the Nazi Party)
had obtained their early financing from Brown Brothers Harriman, and its
affiliate, the Union Banking Corporation. Union Bank, in turn, was the Bush
family's holding company for a number of other entities, including the
"Holland American Trading Company."
It was a matter of public record that the Bush holdings were seized by the
US government after the Nazis overran Holland. In 1951, the Bush's reclaimed
Union Bank from the US Alien Property Custodian, along with their "neutral"
Dutch assets. I did not realize it, but I had stumbled across a very large
piece of the missing Dutch connection. Bush's ownership of the
Holland-American investment company was the missing link to Manning's
earlier research in the Thyssen investigative files. In 1981, Manning had
"Thyssen's first step in a long dance of tax and currency frauds began [in
the late 1930's] when he disposed of his shares in the Dutch
Hollandische-Amerikanische Investment Corporation to be credited to the Bank
voor Handel en Scheepvaart, N.V., Rotterdam, the bank founded in 1916 by
August Thyssen Senior."
In this one obscure paragraph, in a little known book, Manning had
unwittingly documented two intriguing points: 1) The Bush's Union Bank had
apparently bought the same corporate stock that the Thyssens were selling as
part of their Nazi money laundering, and 2) the Rotterdam Bank, far from
being a neutral Dutch institution, was founded by Fritz Thyssen's father. In
hindsight, Manning and I had uncovered different ends of the Dutch
After reading the excerpt in my book about the Bush's ownership of the
Holland-American trading Company, retired US intelligence agent William
Gowen began to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Mr. Gowen knew every c
orner of Europe from his days as a diplomat's son, an American intelligence
agent, and a newspaperman. William Gowen deserves sole credit for uncovering
the mystery of how the Nazi industrialists hid their money from the Allies
at the end of World War II.
In 1999, Mr. Gowen traveled to Europe, at his own expense, to meet a former
member of Dutch intelligence who had detailed inside information about the
Rotterdam bank. The scrupulous Gowen took a written statement and then had
his source read and correct it for error. Here, in summary form, is how the
Nazis hid their money in America.
After World War I, August Thyssen had been badly burned by the loss of
assets under the harsh terms of the Versailles treaty. He was determined
that it would never happen again. One of his sons would join the Nazis; the
other would be neutral. No matter who won the next war, the Thyssen family
would survive with their industrial empire intact. Fritz Thyssen joined the
Nazis in 1923; his younger brother married into Hungarian nobility and
changed his name to Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza. The Baron later claimed
Hungarian as well as Dutch citizenship. In public, he pretended to detest
his Nazi brother, but in private they met at secret board meetings in
Germany to coordinate their operations. If one brother were threatened with
loss of property, he would transfer his holdings to the other.
To aid his sons in their shell game, August Thyssen had established three
different banks during the 1920's -- The August Thyssen Bank in Berlin, the
Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart in Rotterdam, and the Union Banking
Corporation in New York City. To protect their corporate holdings, all the
brothers had to do was move the corporate paperwork from one bank to the
other. This they did with some regularity. When Fritz Thyssen "sold"the
Holland-American Trading Company for a tax loss, the Union Banking
Corporation in New York bought the stock. Similarly, the Bush family
invested the disguised Nazi profits in American steel and manufacturing
corporations that became part of the secret Thyssen empire.
When the Nazis invaded Holland in May 1940, they investigated the Bank voor
Handel en Scheepvaart in Rotterdam. Fritz Thyssen was suspected by Hitler's
auditors of being a tax fraud and of illegally transferring his wealth
outside the Third Reich. The Nazi auditors were right: Thyssen felt that
Hitler's economic policies would dilute his wealth through ruinous war
inflation. He had been smuggling his war profits out through Holland. But
the Rotterdam vaults were empty of clues to where the money had gone. The
Nazis did not know that all of the documents evidencing secret Thyssen
ownership had been quietly shipped back to the August Thyssen Bank in
Berlin, under the friendly supervision of Baron Kurt Von Schroeder. Thyssen
spent the rest of the war under VIP house arrest. He had fooled Hitler,
hidden his immense profits, and now it was time to fool the Americans with
same shell game.
As soon as Berlin fell to the allies, it was time to ship the documents back
to Rotterdam so that the "neutral"bank could claim ownership under the
friendly supervision of Allen Dulles, who, as the OSS intelligence chief in
1945 Berlin, was well placed to handle any troublesome investigations.
Unfortunately, the August Thyssen Bank had been bombed during the war, and
the documents were buried in the underground vaults beneath the rubble.
Worse, the vaults lay in the Soviet Zone of Berlin.
According to Gowen's source, Prince Bernhard commanded a unit of Dutch
intelligence, which dug up the incriminating corporate papers in 1945 and
brought them back to the "neutral"bank in Rotterdam. The pretext was that
the Nazis had stolen the crown jewels of his wife, Princess Juliana, and the
Russians gave the Dutch permission to dig up the vault and retrieve them.
Operation Juliana was a Dutch fraud on the Allies who searched high and low
for the missing pieces of the Thyssen fortune.
In 1945, the former Dutch manager of the Rotterdam bank resumed control only
to discover that he was sitting on a huge pile of hidden Nazi assets. In
1947, the manager threatened to inform Dutch authorities, and was
immediately fired by the Thyssens. The somewhat naive bank manager then fled
to New York City where he intended to talk to Union Bank director Prescott
Bush. As Gowen's Dutch source recalled, the manager intended "to reveal [to
Prescott Bush] the truth about Baron Heinrich and the Rotterdam Bank, [in
order that] some or all of the Thyssen interests in the Thyssen Group might
be seized and confiscated as German enemy property."The manager's body was
found in New York two weeks later.
Similarly, in 1996 a Dutch journalist Eddy Roever went to London to
interview the Baron, who was neighbors with Margaret Thatcher. Roever's body
was discovered two days later. Perhaps, Gowen remarked dryly, it was only a
coincidence that both healthy men had died of heart attacks immediately
after trying to uncover the truth about the Thyssens.
Neither Gowen nor his Dutch source knew about the corroborating evidence in
the Alien Property Custodian archives or in the OMGUS archives. Together,
the two separate sets of US files overlap each other and directly
corroborate Gowen's source. The first set of archives confirms absolutely
that the Union Banking Corporation in New York was owned by the Rotterdam
Bank. The second set (quoted by Manning) confirms that the Rotterdam Bank in
turn was owned by the Thyssens.
It is not surprising that these two American agencies never shared their
Thyssen files. As the noted historian Burton Hersh documented:
"The Alien Property Custodian, Leo Crowley, was on the payroll of the New
York J. Henry Schroeder Bank where Foster and Allen Dulles both sat as board
members. Foster arranged an appointment for himself as special legal counsel
for the Alien Property Custodian while simultaneously representing [German]
interests against the custodian."
No wonder Allen Dulles had sent Paul Manning on a wild goose chase to South
America. He was very close to uncovering the fact that the Bush's bank in
New York City was secretly owned by the Nazis, before during and after WWII.
Once Thyssen ownership of the Union Banking Corporation is proven, it makes
out a prima facie case of treason against the Dulles and Bush families for
giving aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war.
The first key fact to be proven in any criminal case is that the Thyssen
family secretly owned the Bush's Bank. Apart from Gowen's source, and the
twin American files, a third set of corroboration comes from the Thyssen
family themselves. In 1979, the present Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza (Fritz
Thyssen's nephew) prepared a written family history to be shared with his
top management. A copy of this thirty-page tome entitled "The History of the
Thyssen Family and Their Activities"was provided by Gowen's source. It
contains the following Thyssen admissions:
"Thus, at the beginning of World War II the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart
had become the holding of my father's companies - a Dutch firm whose only
shareholder was a Hungarian citizen..Prior to 1929, it held the shares
of .the August Thyssen Bank, and also American subsidiaries and the Union
Banking Corporation, New York.The shares of all the affiliates were [in
1945] with the August Thyssen Bank in the East Sector of Berlin, from where
I was able to have them transferred into the West at the last moment"
"After the war the Dutch government ordered an investigation into the status
of the holding company and, pending the result, appointed a Dutch.former
general manager of my father who turned against our family.. In that same
year, 1947, I returned to Germany for the first time after the war,
disguised as a Dutch driver in military uniform, to establish contact with
our German directors"
"The situation of the Group gradually began to be resolved but it was not
until 1955 that the German companies were freed from Allied control and
subsequently disentangled. Fortunately, the companies in the group suffered
little from dismantling. At last we were in a position to concentrate on
purely economic problems -- the reconstruction and extension of the
companies and the expansion of the organization."
"The banking department of the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, which also
functioned as the Group's holding company, merged in 1970 with Nederlandse
Credietbank N.V. which increased its capital. The Group received 25
percent.The Chase Manhattan Bank holds 31%. The name Thyssen-Bornemisza
Group was selected for the new holding company."
Thus the twin US Archives, Gowen's Dutch source, and the Thyssen family
history all independently confirm that President Bush's father and
grandfather served on the board of a bank that was secretly owned by the
leading Nazi industrialists. The Bush connection to these American
institutions is a matter of public record. What no one knew, until Gowen's
brilliant research opened the door, was that the Thyssens were the secret
employers of the Bush family.
But what did the Bush family know about their Nazi connection and when did
they know it? As senior managers of Brown Brothers Harriman, they had to
have known that their American clients, such as the Rockefellers, were
investing heavily in German corporations, including Thyssen's giant
Vereinigte Stahlwerke. As noted historian Christopher Simpson repeatedly
documents, it is a matter of public record that Brown Brother's investments
in Nazi Germany took place under the Bush family stewardship.
When war broke out was Prescott Bush stricken with a case of Waldheimers
disease, a sudden amnesia about his Nazi past? Or did he really believe that
our friendly Dutch allies owned the Union Banking Corporation and its parent
bank in Rotterdam? It should be recalled that in January 1937, he hired
Allen Dulles to "cloak"his accounts. But cloak from whom? Did he expect
that happy little Holland was going to declare war on America? The cloaking
operation only makes sense in anticipation of a possible war with Nazi
Germany. If Union Bank was not the conduit for laundering the Rockefeller's
Nazi investments back to America, then how could the Rockefeller-controlled
Chase Manhattan Bank end up owning 31% of the Thyssen group after the war?
It should be noted that the Thyssen group (TBG) is now the largest
industrial conglomerate in Germany, and with a net worth of more than $50
billion dollars, one of the wealthiest corporations in the world. TBG is so
rich it even bought out the Krupp family, famous arms makers for Hitler,
leaving the Thyssens as the undisputed champion survivors of the Third
Reich. Where did the Thyssens get the start-up money to rebuild their empire
with such speed after World War II?
The enormous sums of money deposited into the Union Bank prior to 1942 is
the best evidence that Prescott Bush knowingly served as a money launderer
for the Nazis. Remember that Union Banks' books and accounts were frozen by
the U.S. Alien Property Custodian in 1942 and not released back to the Bush
family until 1951. At that time, Union Bank shares representing hundreds of
millions of dollars worth of industrial stocks and bonds were unblocked for
distribution. Did the Bush family really believe that such enormous sums
came from Dutch enterprises? One could sell tulip bulbs and wooden shoes for
centuries and not achieve those sums. A fortune this size could only have
come from the Thyssen profits made from rearming the Third Reich, and then
hidden, first from the Nazi tax auditors, and then from the Allies.
The Bushes knew perfectly well that Brown Brothers was the American money
channel into Nazi Germany, and that Union Bank was the secret pipeline to
bring the Nazi money back to America from Holland. The Bushes had to have
known how the secret money circuit worked because they were on the board of
directors in both directions: Brown Brothers out, Union Bank in.
Moreover, the size of their compensation is commensurate with their risk as
Nazi money launderers. In 1951, Prescott Bush and his father in law each
received one share of Union Bank stock, worth $750,000 each. One and a half
million dollars was a lot of money in 1951. But then, from the Thyssen point
of view, buying the Bushes was the best bargain of the war.
The bottom line is harsh: It is bad enough that the Bush family helped raise
the money for Thyssen to give Hitler his start in the 1920's, but giving aid
and comfort to the enemy in time of war is treason. The Bush's bank helped
the Thyssens make the Nazi steel that killed allied soldiers. As bad as
financing the Nazi war machine may seem, aiding and abetting the Holocaust
was worse. Thyssen's coal mines used Jewish slaves as if they were
disposable chemicals. There are six million skeletons in the Thyssen family
closet, and a myriad of criminal and historical questions to be answered
about the Bush family's complicity.
SLATE.COM - April 17, 2002
By Anne E. Kornblut
The Bush family and the Jews
Unlike his father and grandfather, George W. has crafted a pro-Jewish image.
Flanked by Jewish leaders, President George W. Bush signed a proclamation March 25 recognizing the commitment to education demonstrated by the late leader of the Jewish Lubavitcher movement, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
In 1998, George W. Bush took his first and only trip to the Holy Land. During a helicopter tour - guided by none other than Ariel Sharon - Bush was astonished to discover how tiny Israel is compared to its Arab neighbors. He later described the visit as one of the most meaningful experiences of his life.
A photographer captured a striking image of Bush, in a yarmulke, standing reverently at the Wailing Wall.
THE PICTURE may be a symbol of Bush foreign policy these days, but it speaks to an even more startling truth: Bush is the first in his family of politicians to craft a pro-Jewish image.
Starting with accusations that Prescott Bush was a Nazi collaborator before Pearl Harbor, the Bush dynasty has generally been viewed with suspicion and at times outright hostility by Jewish Americans. The elder President Bush outraged the Jewish community with a series of perceived insults. Before he became president, the younger Bush, who once expressed doubt about whether non-Christians could get into heaven, seemed likely to follow in the family tradition.
THE FAMILY TREE
The charges against Sen. Prescott Bush, the grandfather of the current president, went beyond the disdain for Jews and discriminatory practices that were characteristic of New England WASP culture in his day. Prescott Bush was a director of a New York bank where rich Germans who supported the Nazis stashed millions in personal wealth. He was still a director at the bank, Union Banking Corp., when its assets were frozen under the Trading With the Enemy Act in 1941 - a fact that has provided endless fodder for leftists and conspiracy theorists since it came to light in the 1990s.
George Herbert Walker Bush shared the same exclusionary pedigree as his father, starting with Yale and the secret society Skull & Bones, and had extensive ties to Arabs though the oil industry as well. But most Jews did not consider him unfriendly to their interests so long as he served under Ronald Reagan. Reagan was the first Republican in 80 years to win a sizable share of the Jewish vote. There were a variety of reasons for this, but the key issue was Reagan's hard line on the defense of Israel, which he considered a crucial democratic outpost in the fight against Soviet communism. In the 1980 election, Jimmy Carter won 45 percent of the Jewish vote. Reagan won 39 percent.
HARD LINE ON ISRAEL
That remarkable shift, however, began to be undone almost as soon as George H.W. Bush took over in 1989. Bush was a self-described pragmatist in international affairs, and in the giddy early days after the end of the Cold War, it was no longer fashionable to view the world in binary terms. As a result, many conservative ideological causes - among them Israel - no longer found a champion in the White House. The point was made most clearly when Bush demanded, in 1991, that the Israelis stop building new settlements in Palestinian-controlled territories. Unlike previous presidents, Bush sounded serious, threatening to block millions in loan guarantees if Israel disobeyed. (Later, when his re-election was in doubt in 1992, Bush promised to press Congress for the loan guarantees unconditionally.)
Just as damaging was the elder Bush's knack for seeming as out of touch with Jewish voters as he did with everyone else. Once, during a 1991 White House press conference, Bush Sr. complained about the strength of the Jewish lobby on Capitol Hill - the implication being that "Jews work insidiously behind the scenes," as David J. Forman wrote in the Jerusalem Post. On another occasion, Bush reminded his critics that the United States gives "Israel the equivalent of $1,000 for every Israeli citizen," a remark that detractors took as an allusion to the stereotype of Jews as money-obsessed and greedy.
And then there was Secretary of State James Baker's infamous "f-- the Jews" remark. In a private conversation with a colleague about Israel, Baker reportedly uttered the vulgarity, noting that Jews "didn't vote for us anyway." This was more or less true - Bush got 27 percent of the Jewish vote, compared with 73 percent for Dukakis, in 1988. And thanks in part to Baker, it was even truer in 1992, when Bill Clinton got 78 percent of the Jewish vote and Bush got only 15 percent - the poorest showing by a Republican candidate since Barry Goldwater in 1964.
COURTING THE JEWISH VOTE
In 2000, as Al Gore hit the campaign trail with the first Jewish vice presidential running mate in U.S. history on his ticket, George W. Bush seemed to make only a half-hearted attempt to compete for Jewish votes. He paid the obligatory dues, speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and visiting the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles (where, after touring the sobering Holocaust exhibit, he incongruously signed the guest book, "God bless this world!"). But Bush reserved his real pitch for Arab-Americans, whom his strategists viewed as an increasingly powerful voting bloc. Repeated trips to Michigan, a swing state, gave Bush ample opportunity to meet with Arab-American leaders, heavily concentrated around Detroit. Ironically, he made a campaign pledge to examine "secret evidence" cases against foreign suspects, a matter of great concern among Arab-Americans (and one that fell by the wayside after Sept. 11).
Like his father, Bush failed during the campaign to win over neoconservative Jewish intellectuals - most notably William Kristol, who openly backed John McCain. The problem wasn't just the assumption that he shared his father's coolness toward Israel. It was also his perceived insensitivity toward Jews, as characterized by the only-Christians-in-heaven remark. Bush later joked about the uproar caused by the exchange. Asked by a reporter what he planned to tell the Israelis as he prepared to embark on his 1998 trip to the Middle East, Bush replied, obviously in jest, "Go to hell." Gore got 79 percent of the Jewish vote. Bush got only 19 percent.
BREAK FROM PAST
Unlike his father, George W. Bush has risen in the esteem of many prominent Jews since taking office.
But unlike his father, who never managed to repair his relationship with the Jewish community despite several attempts, Bush has only risen in the esteem of many prominent Jews since taking office. The biggest factor is probably the Sept. 11 attacks. After a brief flurry of activity to win Arab support for the war on Afghanistan, Bush began to connect America's struggle against terrorism with Israel's fight against Palestinian suicide bombers. Though he was criticized for sitting on the sidelines as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict worsened, Bush arguably took sides by dropping the standard call for the Israelis to "show restraint." After briefly responding to international pressure to demand an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, Bush quickly backed off.
Another factor is shrewd political judgment. At pains to avoid repeating political mistakes his father made, Bush has actively courted conservatives within the Republican coalition. That includes Jewish neoconservatives such as Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, who hopes to encourage Bush to avoid another mistake of his father's - failing to topple Saddam Hussein. It was Wolfowitz who Bush sent to address the big pro-Israel rally that took place at the Capitol on April 15.
But the biggest reason Bush has been able to win over Jews may be personal. Despite his own Skull & Bones pedigree, the president is far less WASP-ish in his tastes and manner than past generations of Bushes, making him less suspect in the eyes of some Jewish Americans. Moreover, he is openly religious in a way that conveys deep respect for religious believers of all kinds. He may even be influenced by the view of Gary Bauer and other fundamentalist Christians who believe that the Jews are biblically ordained to live in the Holy Land. And unlike his father's administration, George W. Bush's is prominently filled with members of the tribe. Most notably, the public face of the White House, spokesman Ari Fleischer, is a practicing Jew.
But whatever the impetus, Bush appears to be entirely sincere in his warmth toward the Jewish people. Since Sept. 11, he has resisted condemning his old tour guide, Ariel Sharon, as harshly as his father condemned former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. He has also applied the "Bush Doctrine" to Israel, saying in his April 4 Rose Garden address: "Terror must be stopped. No nation can negotiate with terrorists. For there is no way to make peace with those whose only goal is death." It's hard to imagine any Bush from a previous generation taking the side of the Jews so unequivocally.
Anne E. Kornblut
is White House correspondent
for the Boston Globe.
Robert Lederman is an artist, a regular columnist for the Greenwich Village Gazette [See: http://www.gvny.com/ for an extensive archive of Lederman columns] The Shadow, The African Sun Times, The Vigo-Examiner [see: http://www.vigo-examiner.com/archive.htm] and Street News, and is the author of hundreds of published essays concerning Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Lederman has been falsely arrested 41 times to date for his anti-Giuliani activities and has never been convicted of any of the charges. He is best known for creating hundreds of paintings of Mayor Giuliani as a Hitler like dictator.
President of A.R.T.I.S.T.
(Artists' Response To Illegal State Tactics)
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