By Michael Collins Piper
Before I tell you the news you need to know, let me tell you about my beloved grandmother. As you’ll see, her story relates directly to the controversial subject I’m about to discuss. “Nanny”—who died in 1987, at age 83—was a beautiful woman, who, by the way, looked like the famed Hollywood femme fatale Mary Astor. She and my grandfather were hardworking middle-class folks devoted to their family. But they faced much tragedy in life.
Their five-year-old boy was run over by a truck and killed at a time when my grandmother was pregnant. Their one-year-old son was quite sickly and eventually died, while shortly thereafter my grandmother suffered a miscarriage. Their surviving son soon developed juvenile diabetes that tormented him throughout his brief existence. He died young, but he gave my grandmother two grandsons. One of those cherished kids also developed diabetes, and he too died young, having gone blind and having had a leg amputated.
In the meantime, my grandfather was killed in a construction accident, his arm torn off by a falling girder. Not long after, my grandmother herself developed diabetes, and it plagued her for the rest of her life. She remarried, but her new husband was stricken with tuberculosis and was hospitalized for most of their three years together before he died.
Despite all this, my grandmother was not bitter. A joy to be around, she had a great sense of humor and sharp wit. I visited her regularly, took her out to lunch, and we watched her favorite soap opera at her small apartment in a low-income housing project. She finally had a debilitating stroke and—mercifully—died before she had to go to a nursing home, the one thing she didn’t want to do.
Now let me tell you the news that should astound you and every other American taxpayer.
Right now—when millions of Americans, young and old alike, have no healthcare insurance or otherwise have insurance that hardly pays their medical bills—two members of Congress from Florida, Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R), have introduced a bill that will provide privileged taxpayer-financed healthcare for Jewish “Holocaust survivors” living in America, who are estimated to be 127,000 in number.
Their legislation, H.R. 2786, titled the “Holocaust Survivors Assistance Act of 2011,” would “amend the Older Americans Act of 1965 to provide social service agencies with the resources to provide services to meet the unique needs of Holocaust survivors to age in place with dignity, comfort, security and quality of life.”
What this high-sounding rhetoric means is that, according to The Jerusalem Post of August 5, “Holocaust survivors in the U.S. will receive federal funds designed to help them age at home, rather than having to move to an institution.”
The Jewish Telegraph Agency stated on August 3, “The bill would give Holocaust survivors preference in obtaining aging services.” The Jewish Federations of North America said the bill “strengthens agencies that support Holocaust survivors who wish to age in place rather than move into institutionalized care, which can often lead to retraumatization for these victims of terror and torture.”
The bill asserts: “As victims of terror and torture, these survivors have special needs to age in place in their communities. Institutionalized settings have a disproportionate adverse effect on Holocaust survivors, as these environments reintroduce the sights, sounds and routines of institutionalization that are reminiscent of experiences during the Holocaust.”
In other words, alleged Holocaust survivors shouldn’t have to stay in hospitals or nursing homes because such places supposedly remind them of concentration camps.
Most Americans, if they learned of this legislation, would decry the special benefits being granted to these supposed Holocaust survivors. They might also raise the question as to why, in a nation where we are constantly told we have separation of church and state, a particular religious group is singled out for special treatment at American taxpayer expense. But don’t count on the mass media to report on this abuse of our system.
The two congresswomen who introduced the legislation— backed by a bevy of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans alike—are ethnically Jewish.
So now you see why I brought up my grandmother, who had many tragedies in her life, as have millions of other Americans, including perhaps your own relatives. But my grandmother wouldn’t be eligible for the special treatment available to Holocaust survivors—and she was even one-quarter American Indian.
Have we really come so far in “democratic” America that a particular ethnic community, which has a powerful lobby in Washington, is going to get special benefits for healthcare? Aren’t they content to dominate U.S. foreign policy, as they do today? Remember that American veterans, who are fighting the foreign wars demanded by the pro-Israeli lobby, are themselves battling to preserve their own healthcare benefits that faced cutbacks, even in the days of George “Support Our Troops” Bush, who launched those wars in the first place.
When your grandmother gets sick, just remember the answer to this question: “Who benefits?”
Michael Collins Piper is an author, journalist, lecturer and radio show host. He has spoken in Russia, Malaysia, Iran, Abu Dhabi, Japan, Canada and the U.S.