God Bless the Jews!
March 8, 2011
Anyone who has listened to the Bob Grant Show since I began my show in New York over 40 years ago, knows how I feel about virtually every subject on earth. I really don’t have an unexpressed thought in my head.
Therefore, they would have to know that I have been an outspoken supporter of Israel and have been the recipient of many awards from various Jewish groups. I really resent somewhat even feeling the need to write this editorial, but after the blistering I have taken from the various e-mails after last Sunday’s show, I am mad enough to do this.
First of all, I doubt there is a gentile anywhere that has a greater appreciation and understanding of the Jewish people than I do. If that sounds like I am bragging, so be it, but I have a right to do so. I have been to Israel five times and even did a documentary on the survival of the Jewish state while there on one of my visits.
I am told many trees have been planted there by the Jewish National Fund which I help support. Unlike some of my epigones, my interest and support is not assumed for the benefit of my radio show and to build my ratings. You see, my father was a violinist and a music teacher in the city of Chicago. He was a teacher at an institution not known here in the east. However, just ask anybody familiar with the Jewish community in Chicago if they ever heard of the JPI, the Jewish People’s Institute.
I myself played Grandpa Jacob in Clifford Odets’ play, “Awake and Sing.” Yes, I confess, I originally wanted to be an actor and did perform in many plays. And, as I write this, I think, “What would have happened if CBS didn’t hire me in 1949 to be on the radio? Maybe I wouldn’t have become the Bob Grant we all have come to know and love!
But to return to the point of my message today . . . God bless the Jewish people! I think I know why and how they survived all these centuries in spite of the fact that they, more than any other people, have suffered more attempts to destroy them than have been visited on any group. They have the tenacity and the strength of character to stand together and never surrender. That admirable quality becomes even more vigorous when they perceive a threat even if the threat is only verbal and tangential.
I know whereof I speak because no matter how many times I have defended Jews or Israel, if there is ever a perception that I might be evenhanded when it comes to the Palestinian issue, most of my callers who are Jewish attack me.
But, enough already! I would like to share with you an e-mail I received from a Jewish man who calls from White Plains, New York. I will let him speak for himself. He does not mind my sharing his message.
You are the quintessential righteous gentile. In the decades I have been listening and calling, I have never ever heard you utter an anti-Semitic statement — or a racist statement for that matter. Those who are e-mailing you simply don’t get that Bob Grant is first, last and always an American first.
And for that you should be justifiably proud. On the other hand, you always give Israel and the Jews a fair shake. You may not agree with a specific policy, but you understand and support the rights of Jews and a Jewish state. We Jews are, after all, just people. We have our own nuts and dunces like everybody else.
Bob, your record speaks for itself. You are the greatest! You can use this note any way you like. I am honored to call you my friend.
White Plains, New York