As a Jew, I’m interested in objectively knowing whether there are valid reasons for anti-Semitism, and what motivates it in general. I remember reading of a young German student who was being taught about anti-Semitism, and he asked (I paraphrase) “if so many people didn’t like the Jews, maybe they deserved it?”
Some accuse our media of being dominated by Jews, some say Hollywood is, some say our financial system is, and some say our foreign policy is. For instance, “neocons” (often Jewish) supposedly got us into the war with Iraq. Some hint that this was because Iraq is an enemy of Israel. But Dick Cheney, who was our vice president at the time of the war, and very involved in policy, implies in his autobiography that this was crazy, and he gives his reasons for the war, which had nothing to do with protecting Israel. In fact, most Jews in America were against that particular involvement.
Some say American Jewish groups were responsible for pushing for non-European immigration into the U.S. I have read (in a book by an Indian author) that the non-white part of the U.S. population has made the difference in several presidential elections, and always in a leftward direction, so immigration does have effects that I, being right of center, do not like. On the other hand, whether immigration is good or bad somewhat depends on the immigrant. Many of our entrepreneurs are immigrants, and they have created jobs and progress. Unfortunately, many of our gang members are also immigrants. And the more Muslim immigrants we have, the more Jihadists we will have too.
However, I would point out the following quote (about Britain)
The huge increases in migrants over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by [Labour] ministers to radically change the country and “rub the Right’s nose in diversity”, according to Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.
So not all conspiracies are Jewish.
It is true that many Jews are on the left side of the political spectrum. David Gelernter, a Jewish Yale Professor, recently completed a book: America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture (and Ushered In the Obamacrats) where he mentions Jewish contributions to the leftward drift of Academia. Norman Podhoretz, also Jewish, puzzles over Jewish political inclinations in his book Why are Jews Liberals?
The Jews certainly have been prominent in the early communist regimes that oppressed Russia and Hungary, to give two examples. If you were a Hungarian farmer whose land has been collectivized by a Jewish official (which happened quite often), you might well believe all Jews are your enemy. It should be remembered though that the majority of Jews were not Communists. The great author and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn said this: “I have never made general conclusions about a people. I will always differentiate between layers of Jews. One layer rushed headfirst to the revolution. Another, to the contrary, was trying to stand back.” A good explanation of why some Jews were attracted to Communism is in the book by Jerry Muller “Capitalism and the Jews”. He says that Marxism promised to end all distinctions base upon ethnic and religious origin, so Jews (and other minorities) found at least democratic versions of Socialism attractive. A sizable minority of young Jews was attracted to the more radical alternative, Communism, in a remarkable range of settings. This proved to be a fatal attraction, not just for the radicals, but for Jews in general. In Russia under the Czar, Jews had been denied rights anyway, such as the right for most to reside outside the Pale of Settlement, for instance. But even in Czarist Russia, according to Muller, most politically active Jews were not socialists. However:
Once the civil war was under way, the Jews began to swing to the Bolsheviks, and then not out of intrinsic attraction to the Reds but rather out of an instinct of self-preservation against the massive pogroms that accompanied the fighting.
I once read of a clergyman who experienced the Nazi period in Europe and said that his lesson was that “evil breeds evil.”. That may apply here – when radicals among the Jewish community chose Communism and became salient in the movement, there wasn’t a cool rational discussion of the subject among anti-Communists. Many did not make distinctions. So in their fight against the Bolsheviks, they murdered many Jews, and the remaining Jews then supported the Red Army. But that’s not the whole story either, some commanders who originally fought the Red Army then joined the Red Army (since it was winning) and continued killing Jews.
Of extreme left-wing radicals in the U.S. there have been many prominent Jews, including Saul Alinsky, an influencer of President Obama, according to one biographer (of Alinsky). There even have been two or three traitors (for instance Julius Rosenberg, who gave secrets of the Atomic Bomb to the Soviet Union).
On the other hand some of the most prominent conservative thinkers in the United States have been Jewish, for instance, the economist Milton Freedman.
In general though, conservative Jews are outnumbered by about 3 to 2 by a mixture of mild liberals and wild leftists.
A moderate reading this blog might argue with me at this point. He might say that in a democracy, there will be a spectrum of opinions, and nobody has a monopoly on the truth, and maybe all this liberalism is a good thing. Obviously I can’t argue the issues in a paragraph here, but I can say that leftists and fools elected Hugo Chavez to power in Venezuela, and he proceeded to destroy much of the economy and install Iranian missiles pointed at various United States cities. He also posted dozens of (Communist) Cuban ‘advisors’ to his intelligence services and key ministries. Russia delivered him a new batch of Suhkoi fighters, and Chavez said that with their help “Any gringo ship that sails into brown waters (river waters) will itself turn brown and go to the bottom, because they’ll not get through.”
Like most dictators, Chavez controls the Venezuelan media. He does have elections, but they are of questionable integrity. Chavez does redistribute wealth to the poor in various ways, actions that would appeal to liberals. Like them, he didn’t like President Bush, or (the conservative TV news channel) Fox News. Like them, he was against the war in Iraq. He’s against American racism. He says that if he lived in the U.S. he would vote for Obama, and he is sure that if Obama was a Venezuelan citizen, Obama would vote for him. No wonder a leftist Hollywood actor like Sean Penn swoons over Chavez. Though maybe one day, when Iran gets enough enriched uranium, it will equip those missiles in Venezuela with the bomb, and possibly obliterate Sean Penn and a lot of other people.
Some Jewish liberals let politics trump everything else, like the bunch who walked out of their synagogue when they heard that Michele Bachmann, a conservative and a stalwart supporter of Israel, who had worked on a kibbutz in her youth, was in the audience. She was trying to be supportive. The leader of the walkout then referred to her as an “evil woman”. Presumably this is because she doesn’t support gay marriage or other fashionable issues. This “gay marriage” issue strikes me as just crazy, for instance, Sarah Silverman, a Jewish Comedienne who is not gay, says she will never get married (to her boyfriend) until the day that gay marriage is the law of the land. She probably thinks she is a noble woman of principle standing up for civil rights.
But says Daniel Greenfield in his column The Jewish and Post-Jewish vote:
The third wave [of Jewish immigrants] is innately conservative. Orthodox Jews from Eastern Europe and Syria are as reliably conservative, as second wave Jewish college educated suburbanites were liberal, and Russian refugees from Communism are as conservative as Cubans refugees from Communism. All three groups have an instinctive distaste and distrust for the rhetoric of progressivism. They have lost too much not to be traditionalists. Their identity is all that they have.
In the U.S. the left can also be anti-Semitic. Consider the “Occupy Wall Street” movement: In Los Angeles, California, protester Patricia McAllister, who identified herself as an employee of the Los Angeles Unified School District had this to say:
I think that the Zionist Jews, who are running these big banks and our Federal Reserve, which is not run by the federal government… they need to be run out of this country.
(Its because of statements like these that some American Nazis, as well as Iranian leaders, voiced support for “Occupy Wall Street.”)
I don’t know what the politics of the following people were, but their behavior was shocking:
In town for the United Nations General Assembly and between a whirlwind of media interviews, [Iranian President] Ahmadinejad hosted a private dinner and briefing session Monday night at the Warwick Hotel with more than 150 students and professors from Harvard, New York University, Rutgers, the University of Pennsylvania, Penn State, Columbia and Stony Brook University, as well as some 50 U.N. interns.
As a journalist and student, I was eager for my firsthand encounter with one of the world’s most polarizing figures. As a Jew and the grandson of Holocaust survivors, I worried how I would get through the night without shouting, “You’re a damn liar!”
…Ahmadinejad was greeted with a standing ovation by these “future leaders” when he entered the room. Likewise, I cringed when students later addressed him as “Your Excellency” during the question-and-answer session. One even prefaced her remarks by saying it was “a pleasure” to be in his presence. That’s when I felt my dinner beginning to come back up.
Now these students can’t be total fools. They must know Ahmadinejad wants to destroy Israel. They probably do not know that his country has many rallies shouting “death to America” too. They probably don’t know that his country puts brave Iranians, some younger than these students, in jails where they get tortured, and sometimes killed.
But maybe they should make it their business to know. And my guess is they like the guy because he wants to annihilate Israel.
But back to our scrutiny of Jewish faults that might cause anti-Semitism. What about morals?
Prostitution is legal in Israel, with the consequences that foreign women are sometimes enslaved in brothels by organized crime. In the book McMafia, Misha Glenny tells one horrendous story of a woman from Moldova, who got a phone call from a friend in Israel. She was told there was employment by her friend, but she did not know that her friend had a gun to her head. So this lady, with other women were shipped from Russia to the Sinai, where they were handed over to some Bedouin crooks. By this time they realized what was going on, and one woman tried to run away. She did not succeed: the Bedouin shot her and left her to die in the sand. The others were smuggled into Israel. The woman from Moldova eventually escaped from a brothel in Israel, and the Israeli police sent her back to Moldova, but she had AIDS at that point. She’s probably already dead, since she didn’t have much money, and its hard to get anti-AIDS drugs in Moldova.
In my view, Israel should make prostitution illegal, which would give their legal system a better shot at fighting sex-slavery.
A reader might argue with me again, here, saying why am I bringing this up, when sleaze and mafiosi are a world-wide phenomenon. And yes, in Putin’s Russia, young girls are kidnapped off the street in large numbers by well-connected criminal businesses and sold into slavery. And yes, we have slavery in the United States too, including sex-slavery, and the U.S. has the world’s largest porn industry. We all should clean up our act. However, I think it’s better to hang out the dirty laundry, so that it has a chance to get cleaned. If this blog post contributed a tiny bit to ending prostitution in Israel, it would be doing a good thing.
There have been high-profile sex scandals involving Jews in politics in the last few years. I will not list them, but they are painful to think about.
People vary tremendously, however. I was reading the book “Quantum” (by Manjit Kumar), and was struck by how many of the pioneers in this field were Jewish – Einstein, Pauli, Shrodinger, Max Born – even Neils Bohr had a Jewish mother. These people were posessed by the great detective story they had embarked on, and led decent and inspiring lives (except for Shrodinger, who, though a nice person, was a sex maniac).
But now lets consider the anti-Semites.
Some of them believe that Jews are behind everything bad. It becomes a mystical belief.
Henry Ford, the father of the American car, blamed Jewish financiers for fomenting WWI, and later he blamed them for fomenting WWII.
We find an echo of this in today’s Hamas charter, which maintains that Jews “stood behind the French and Communist Revolutions and behind most all revolutions…. [the Jews] “stood behind WWI, so as to wipe out the Islamic Caliphate… and established the League of Nations in order to rule the world by means of that organization. They also stood behind WWII….They inspired the establishment of the UN and the Security Council to replace the League of Nations, in order to rule the world by their intermediary.”
We also see today a widespread belief in Europe that Israel is the greatest danger to world peace. Not Russia, not Iran, not China, not North Korea etc. (It is true that a huge population of Moslems would like Israel to disappear, and are willing to fight to achieve this, but maybe that is the fault of Jihadist ideology.) If you really believe that a small country, slightly larger than New Jersey, wants to make war on a vast sea of angry neighbors, you are irrational, and subscribe to the mystical idea that the Jews are bound to be the source of all trouble.
Lets look at the past:
Jews have been burned to death for supposedly being responsible for plagues that affected early Europe. Of course they were not responsible at all. (Neither were the large number of Christian women, who were burned as witches by their fellow Christians, responsible for witchcraft.)
Jews were investigated by the Spanish Inquisition and then handed over to the Spanish government, often for burning to death: basically for not believing in Christianity.
Jews are hated by many devout Moslems, because Mohammed said some very nasty things about them. Mohammad was no angel himself, he massacred people, he had a nine-year old wife, etc.
After World War I, there was a belief among some in Germany that they lost because the Jews stabbed them in the back. And German General Erich Ludendorff said the Jews were shirkers. In reality Jews were over-represented at the front, perhaps because they wanted to prove their patriotism, which maybe shows the Jews are not all that smart. My own grandfather led his son to the Rhine, when anti-Semitism was rising, and he threw in his medals. (He also threw in his gun, because the Nazi regime did not want the wrong people to have guns).
Since so many of the reasons for persecuting Jews were obviously ridiculous, it makes you wonder about any reasons given by anti-Semites.
Now another point:
Some charming members of the “religion of peace (Islam) in France grabbed a Jewish cell phone salesman named Ilan Halimi, and this is what they did to him:
More than 20 people tortured him in an apartment building where other tenants knew what was happening, but did nothing. I quote from Pamela Geller’s site:
The screams must have been loud because the torture was especially atrocious: the thugs cut bits off the flesh of the young man, they cut his fingers and ears, they burned him with acid, and in the end poured flammable liquid on him and set him on fire.
Horrible tortures. Horrible torturers. One of the torturers would go to work at a TV station everyday and come back and partake in the torture. The girls who lured young men. They knew he had been kidnapped. They knew Yosef (the leader of the Barbarians) was extremely violent. They knew Ilan was still in his hands three weeks later. All they had to do was make an anonymous phone call to the police. No one would have known. They did not do it.
Think about the people who did this. They all felt superior to Jews. But they were the dregs of humanity.
And also, if you concentrate on listing the faults of any nation, you can come up with a big list. You can pick your favorite nation, and try it as an exercise.
The Jews I’ve known have varied tremendously. Some were admirable, some were not.
Anti-Semites vary. For instance, some are on the left, so much so that they call themselves communists, and others are on the right. Some American anti-Semites are black, some are white, some are mestizo. Even Japan has anti-Semites. Some of the original Nazi anti-Semites were “gay”. Some anti-Semites want to kill all Jews, some just want to stay away from them. Some are jealous of Jewish achievement. Some have an intolerant, totalitarian mindset. They don’t believe in free speech, for example. Some are basically good people, some are sadists.
I became a target of anti-Semitism. It’s painful to talk about, but its instructive. The reason I attracted attention was that I was a narcissistic slob who could not control his urges. Some of my behavior became caught on video. It did not help that this behavior involved drooling over the prospect of getting hold of a Christian woman. Or at least, that is what it looked like. In my life prior to this behavior, I generally did not run into anti-Semitism.
Some Jews who knew about my behavior were shocked and thought the implications for the Jews were very, very bad, and one was humorously tolerant.
As a result of the video, I was called all sorts of names, including “Jew” and “Hebe” and even once “subhuman!”. It was not always with great emotion. I once had a woman ask a man how bad my behavior was, and he thought a little, and said simply “he’s a Jew.”
So I do see that a lot of people came to anti-Semitic conclusions based on just one person’s egregious behavior – namely me. That is irrational. I noticed a small news item about a Jewish commander of American troops in Afghanistan who got killed in action – and he made much less of a positive impression on local anti-Semites than the negative impression I made. The Afghanistan war is likely to end with the Americans leaving and the Taliban quickly taking charge again, but remember, we went there because it harbored terrorists such as the one responsible for sending airplanes into our skyscrapers, and it takes brave, idealistic men to go and fight in places like that. As far as anti-Semitism goes, comparing me with this commander, its something about the way people think that leads to disproportionate conclusions where I loom much larger than he does.
Also, my guess is that some people are full of hatreds and resentments, and anything weak and prominent that can be targeted by these people will be. Its a chicken vs egg question – which comes first, the hatred, or the ideology that causes hatred.
McMafia by Misha Glenny (describes the Moldavian sex-slave incident)
Capitalism and the Jews by Jerry Z. Muller – (describes the Jewish contribution to implementing Communism in Hungary)
America-Lite by David Gelernter
In My Time by Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney (vice president memoirs)
http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2012/10/american-jewrys-cherished-valu.php – for the walkout on Michele Bachmann
ACT for America – 10/15/2012 – for American students who cheer Ahmadinejad
“Russia’s shot across the bow” by Admiral James A. Lyons (the item about Iranian missiles in Venezuela comes from here) James A. Lyons was Commander 2nd Fleet, Atlantic, Commander Striking Fleet Atlantic (NATO), and commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
http://times247.com/articles/obama-receives-endorsements-from-three-dictators – for Chavez’s recommendation of President Obama.
(For the source on girls being abducted off the Russian street by Russian organized crime, see: Putin’s ‘Russian Spring’ The West’s Betrayal of Ukraine is Playing into his Fascist Game Plan. By Robert Zubrin (ruthfullyyours.com – on April 14th, 2014)
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1033.htm (Trotsky remark)