Categorized | Lighter Side, Zimmerman_Mark

Jewish trivia quiz: Anti-Semitic generals

By Mark D. Zimmerman

Mark D. Zimmerman

MELVILLE, New York — There are reports that General Michael Flynn may be negotiating a deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller as Mueller continues to investigate Russian interference in the United States election. During the campaign, Flynn received criticism when he retweeted an anti-Semitic tweet which read, “The corrupt Democratic machine will do and say anything to get #NeverHillary into power. This is a new low. >Cnn implicated. ‘The USSR is to blame!’ Not anymore, Jews. Not anymore.” What other general has offered anti-Semitic comments about Jews?

A. At the end of World War II, General George Patton said, in reference to an inspection of displaced persons camps by Earl Harrison, that “Harrison and his ilk believe that the Displaced Person is a human being, which he is not, and this applies particularly to Jews who are lower than animals.”

B. After the surprise attack on Israel by Egypt and Syria in the Yom Kippur War, there was great disagreement as to what role the United States should play. President Richard Nixon proposed an emergency shipment of arms to help Israel. This action was opposed by, among others, National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger and General Alexander Haig, who was then the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. According to the Nixon White House tapes, Haig said, “Mr. President, we all know you are no fan of the Jews. You may think that helping Israel at this time will win you their support, but no matter what you do, those people will continue to be in the pocket of the Democratic Party. And you will bear the brunt of the Arab oil boycott, which I truly believe they will implement the minute the first military plane takes off for Israel.”

C. In 1860, General Ulysses S. Grant issued an order expelling Jews from the United States military, stating “At a time when we must question the loyalty of any soldier from below the Mason-Dixon line, does it make any less sense to be concerned about the loyalty of the Israelite, whose ancestors found no discomfort in betraying our Lord as he ate with his disciples?”

D. In the summer of 1863, General Robert E. Lee proposed an assault on Union troops at Gettysburg. Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin objected to this plan and argued that it was destined to fail. General Lee is reputed to have said to Confederate cavalry commander general J. E. B. Stuart that “that little Jew is not going to tell us how to win this war.” Lee and Stuart proceeded to lead their troops towards Gettysburg. After initial success on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Confederate armies were ultimately pushed back and retreated to Virginia in defeat.

E. Jews have historically been fond of Chinese food, in part because the absence of dairy products made Chinese meals more acceptable to “kosher-style” Jews. Of course, there were many Chinese dishes made with seafood or pork products which Jews shied away from (except for wontons). One popular Chinese restaurant dish in the mid-20th century in was a sweet, deep-fried pork dish called General Tso’s Pork. A Chinese restaurant on the lower East Side of New York began offering the dish using chicken instead of pork, in order to make the dish acceptable to its Jewish customers. This dish, General Tso’s Chicken, became so popular that it eventually replaced General Tso’s Pork on Chinese restaurant menus throughout the city. When General Tso learned of this, he was outraged and issued a fortune cookie reading “The best way to get rid of an enemy is to make a friend. Except for the Jews.”

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Zimmerman is the author of the Rashi, Rambam and Ramalamadingdong series of Jewish trivia e-books. Learn more at
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