Schlepping and Schmoozing along Interstate 5, Chapter 14 Exit 10 (Mile of Cars Way): Ford Motor Company
From the Mile of Cars Way exit, turn right on Mile of Cars Way, to National City Blvd, turn left to 2050 National City Boulevard, left.
NATIONAL CITY, Calif. – Among the car dealerships in National City’s Mile of Cars is Perry Ford, owned by the Perry Automotive Group, which has dealerships in various California cities, including Escondido, Poway, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. Not all of them are Ford dealerships; the Perry Automotive Group also sold Dodges, Infiniti, Jeeps, Lincolns, Mazdas and Volkswagens. The group is led by Perry Falk, who lives in La Jolla with his wife Deborah in a 4,608 square foot home he bought for $6 million. The house once belonged to famous mystery writer Raymond Chandler.
Our story is not about Perry, but rather about the Ford family, makers of the product sold by his agency and others in the county. We look at the Ford family’s turnaround, starting with automotive pioneer Henry Ford, who was a fierce anti-Semite, and continuing with his grandson Henry Ford II, known as “Hank the Deuce”. , who has become a big supporter of Jews and Zionist causes, and on Bill Ford, the current executive chairman of Ford Motor Co. who visited Tel Aviv in 2019 to inaugurate a new Ford research center there.
For many Jews, the anti-Semitism of the founder of the Ford Motor Company – Henry Ford – will always give them pause. In 1918, he bought a local newspaper in Michigan, The Dearborn Independentand used it to publish a series denouncing the Jews and accusing them of all kinds of conspiracies.
New York University professor Hasia Diner was interviewed in 2021 by The American Experience program of the public broadcasting service (PBS). She commented that Ford had taken to “referring to Jews in every possible context as the root of the evils of America and the world. Strikes: It was the Jews. Some sort of financial scandal? The Jews. Agricultural depression? The Jews. Thus, “the Jew” somehow became the symbol of a world that was manipulated and controlled. »
Diner noted that Ford reposted the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the infamous Tsarist conspiracy claiming “that a group of Jews got together and basically planned the fate of the world, be it financial disaster, be it war…. [The forgery] was printed in The Dearborn Independent as a factual exhibit. And so, anyone reading it would consider it news.
Ford has spread its hatred through Ford dealerships, according to Diner. stacks of The Dearborn Independent would be found at dealerships in the United States. “In some places, the dealer actually put copies of the newspaper in the car, so when you drove off with your Model T, you had in the seat next to you a copy of the Dearborn Independent.” Other Frequently Cited Journals The Dearborn Independentbecause it reflected Ford’s views.
Nazi Germany honored Ford in 1938 with its German Eagle Grand Cross. One of the reasons was that the production of the Volkswagen was strongly influenced by the mass production of the Ford Model T. Moreover, the German dictator Adolf Hitler was “very aware of Henry Ford, of the writings of Henry Ford, and rented them out,” Diner said. “He turned to the same document. There is a common thread. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a cherished text for both. And there was certainly a business relationship between Ford Motors and the Nazi regime.
Ford has collected 91 Weekly Attacks into a four-volume set titled The International Jew, which it distributed through its dealers and subscribers. A million-dollar libel lawsuit prompted Ford to end publication of the scandalous newspaper series.
Zack Rothbart, writer for The post of Jerusalemnoted in a 2019 article that Henry Ford had closed The Dearborn Independent after being sued for defamation.
The plaintiff was Aaron Sapiro, a lawyer whom Ford had accused of exploiting agricultural cooperatives. After meetings with the American Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Committee, Ford also agreed to a cash settlement with Sapiro and apologized to the Jewish community.
Ford’s grandson, Henry Ford II, who we’ll call by his nickname “Hank the Deuce” to avoid confusion, took over the Ford Motor Company in 1945, two years before his grandfather died. He became an early supporter of the Jewish state, presenting Israel’s first president Chaim Weizmann with a Ford Lincoln Cosmopolitan. He also donated $50,000 to the United Jewish Appeal in his first-ever Christian Committee for Israel campaign, according to Rothbart.
Other contributions followed, including a check for $100,000 for an emergency fund created during the Six Day War of 1967. Shortly after the war, Ford built an assembly plant in Nazareth, Israel , defying Arab calls for a global boycott of Israel. “No one will tell me what to do”, the Jerusalem Post the article quoted Hank the Deuce as saying.
“It was just a pragmatic business procedure,” the grandson explained. “I don’t mind saying that I was influenced in part by the fact that the company still suffers from a resentment against the anti-Semitism of the distant past. We want to overcome this. But the main thing is that here, we had a reseller who wanted to open an agency to sell our products, damn it, let him do that.
“Made in Israel” Ford Escorts were produced in 1968, initially at the rate of three a day. By October 1971, the factory had produced 15,000. In 1972, Hank the Deuce visited Israel, meeting then Prime Minister Golda Meir. Production at the Nazareth plant was expanded to include trucks and buses. In 1975, however, in a move to cut costs, the Israeli plant, operated by Automotive Industries Ltd. (AIL), was closed.
In June 2019, at the opening of the Ford Research Center, Bill Ford said his company wanted to become “the most trusted company in the world, designing smart vehicles for a smart world”, according to a Ford spokesperson. .
Udy Danino, Israeli technical director of the new center, commented: “Expanding Ford’s presence in Israel with the new research center will allow us to engage much more quickly with the best technology and leading companies, and continue Ford’s goals to bring together our vehicle and technology expertise to create new solutions to meet the mobility challenges of today and tomorrow.
Next Sunday, April 10, 2022: Exit 11A (Harbor Drive): USS Gabrielle Giffords
This story is copyright (c) 2022 by Donald H. Harrison, Editor Emeritus of San Diego Jewish World. This is a serialization of his book Schlepping and Schmoozing along Interstate 5, Volume 1, available on Amazon. Harrison can be contacted via [email protected]