The enormous media flap over President Reagan's plan to lay a wreath in Germany's Bitburg military cemetery was entirely a Jewish creation. Jews raised the issue in the first place, and then they refused to let go of it. They wept, they made speeches, they demonstrated, they monopolized the media with the issue for weeks. They used it to bludgeon the Reagaan administration into going along with a huge new givaway of American tax dollars to Israel.
They tried to use it at the same time to milk a little more sympathy from the American public for the poor, persecuted Jews. And they were indignant when at least a few Americans -- and a few Germans as well -- displayed exasperation instead of sympathy or guilt.
First there was the story in the weekly German newsmagazine, Quick, about the Jewish pressure on Reagan to cancel his Bitburg visit. The German headline was "Macht und Stimme der Juden" ("Power and Voice of the Jews"), and the story went on to attribute the power of the "six million U.S. Jews" to their control of the news and entertainment media in the United States.
This straightforward statement of the facts brought a scream of outrage from the U.S. Jewish leadership. Rabbi Marc Tannenbaum of the American Jewish Committee characterized the Quick article as "classic anti-Semitism and classic scapegoating of the Jews."
Then there was the uproar when a Jewish news reporter peeped at Reagan speech writer Patrick Buchanan's note pad during a White House news conference about the Bitburg fuss and saw the words "[The President is] succumbing to Jewish pressure." More hysterical charges of "anti-Semitism" ensued. Actually, explained Buchanan, what he meant by his notes was that it was important to prevent the public from getting the idea that the President was succumbing to Jewish pressure, otherwise there might be a backlash against the Jews.
Now, where would the public ever get such an idea!
[T]he Bitburg affair was "leaving anti-Semites gloating and leaving Jews bruised and scared."
Miraculously, a fair number of Americans apparently did draw exactly the right conclusions from the Bitburg issue. One Jewish columnist for the Washington Post, Richard Cohen, lamented this fact after eavesdropping on a group of professors who were discussing the issue in the faculty dining room at Harvard University. Cohen was shocked, he wrote, to hear the words and phrases: "Jew," "Zionist," "Jewish lobby," "professional Zionist." The professors concluded that the "professional Zionists" had cooked up the whole controversy as a way of bringing pressure on the White House in order to win more concessions for Israel.
Cohen's bitter conclusion was that the Bitburg affair was "leaving anti-Semites gloating and leaving Jews bruised and scared. Bitburg excited the anti-Semitic imagination, and you don't have to go to Harvard to know it."