Bergdahl Spectacle Wouldn't Have Happened Under Roosevelt in 1944

Rabbi Aryeh Spero
By Rabbi Aryeh Spero | June 5, 2014 | 9:10 AM EDT

We are all aware of what Mr. Bob Bergdahl has tweeted, what he has said, and what he proclaimed in front of the White House while standing next to President Obama.

Let's suppose it was 1944.  Could the following scenario have happened in America?

Mr. Bergdahl does not thank his nation or the Biblical God, but instead says, "Heil Hitler, Deutschland Uber Alles."

And he makes that proclamation, the war cry of our enemy, in German.

In empathy with the captors of his son, he grows a short, square moustache reminiscent of the leader of the enemy.    In previous public communications, the father states, "I would like to thank the members of the Gestapo who have taken care of my son over the last five years. I am working on freeing all Nazis still being held in American prisons. We wait for the time when retribution will be waged against those who during this war killed young Germans."

Dateline: June 2014. White House Rose Garden:  Upon hearing Arabic and the call and thanks to Allah so familiar and comforting to him from his youth, Mr. Obama smiled and did so warmly, and put his arm soon after on the man's shoulder.  The father's gratitude seemed directed towards Islam, and not America.

This would not have happened with President Roosevelt, or any other American president.  This scenario would not have been acceptable in the America of my youth.

The son was a deserter; the father, unpatriotic.   We have a Yiddish expression: "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree..."

There is another apt expression: "Birds of a feather flock together."