Saturday, March 14, 2009

Economic Jealousy and Anti-Semitism

Cross-posted by Gary Fouse

Nazi caricature of Jews
(Borse-Stock Exchange. Geld-money)

I've been writing a lot lately about the the rise in anti-Semitism brought to the surface by the fighting in Gaza. I genuinely feel that we are seeing a rise in anti-Jewish feeling in North America and Canada-even in Venezuela, where Hugo Chavez has jumped into the Middle East mess and stirred up anti-Semitic feeling against his small Jewish community. It seems to me that people are starting to say things publicly that I hadn't heard for a long time-the idea that Jews are all-powerful and to blame for a myriad of problems in the world. Now it's the financial crisis.

Yes, according to some folks (largely in the Middle East), the financial crisis we are facing and the failure of the banks is all the fault of the Jews. Why? Simple. Look at the names: Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke-and don't forget Bernie Madoff! Why it seems that when you look at the big financiers, bank presidents etc, all you see is Jews-according to these voices.

What we are witnessing is the revival of the old canard that the wealth of the world is controlled by -----Jews.

And don't forget Hollywood. All those big producers and studio heads? They are mostly Jews (albeit liberal Jews). The names that immediately come to mind are Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffry Katzenberg.

And as would be chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Charles Freeman reminded us-there is a big pro-Israel lobby out there (Jews) that submarined his job (Actually, it was mostly Nancy Pelosi that did him in over controversial pro-China statements he had made.)

And what about those (pro-Israel) "Neo-Cons" who pushed for a strong, pro-Israel Middle East policy (Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and David Wurmser)?

Conservative radio-talk show host Michael Medved, himself a practicing Jew, was recently involved in a conversation over the air regarding the predominance of Jews in the high levels of Hollywood studios. Medved made the point that rather than be embarrassed or defensive about it, Jewish people should feel proud that so many Jews have reached the pinnacles of the motion picture industry. They did it by hard work and should not have to feel ashamed.

Similarly, why should Jews have to apologize for the fact that they have done so well in the banking industry? They did it the same way the Hollywood moguls did it-through hard work, ingenuity and talent. Just because a scoundrel named Madoff came along shouldn't cast a shadow on the others. (Madoff's victims were virtually all Jewish). People like Greenspan and Bernanke are honorable men.

The fact is that Jews have reached the high positions they hold because of their own hard work and talent. They are also successful in medicine and law. To me, it all boils down to the fact that Jewish people value education and hard work. As a result they rise into the best professions of our society.

Are we to resent the fact that American Jews do well in their lives? That is nothing more than simple jealousy. If they appear to be over-represented in a particular profession, I say, "so what?" It's not like the profession is closed to me.

Similarly, are we supposed to resent the fact that we see so many Asian-American students on our university campuses especially in the California state system? Why is this? It is because their culture insists on getting a good education. If they are running circles around the rest of us, maybe we (including us white folks) should look ourselves in the mirror and ask why we are not doing better. To me, the the fact that the majority of students at UC Irvine are Asian-American is great. They are serious students who don't join in the radical nonsense; they are too busy studying and enjoying their college experience.

You also hear a lot of voices complaining about the jobs that Mexican immigrants (legal or illegal) are taking away from Americans. There is a lot of validity in this, but let's acknowledge the fact that Mexicans (contrary to the old stereotype) are hard-working people who quickly learn a variety of manual skills. I marvel at their ability to work with their hands, something I never became any good at. Of course, since Mexicans tend to come to this country poor, they start out at the lower end of the economic scale. Assuming they remain (legally), the hope is that their children will go on to higher education and enter the other professions as well. That would be true assimilation.

But back to the Jews. I use the above examples to try and make my point. Let's don't be jealous of any group that attains success in America. As long as it is done legally, it should be respected and applauded. Nobody ever kept me out of law school because I wasn't Jewish. The reason I am not a banker has nothing to do with the fact that I am a Gentile. The reason I never became a studio head has nothing to do with the fact that I am a Gentile. (Actually, my father was a unit production manager at several famous studios. He got me a job as a grip one summer at Sam Goldwyn Studios. I hated it.)

Economic jealousy is a powerful and dangerous form of jealousy. (and don't overlook the class envy many of our leaders push even today.) It has haunted Jews in the past in places like tsarist Russia and Germany under Hitler. It is still present. The Israel-Palestinian conflict has unleashed some ugly sentiments against Jews far removed from the Middle East, first, over their perceived universal support for Israel, and now, once again, fingers at being pointed at Jews for other reasons.

Many of these old canards have been brought back to life in the Middle East (where Mein Kampf remains a best-seller to this day), and have spread back to Europe and America through their western-based spokespeople, many of whom are in our universities as students and professors, aided by the usual anti-American leftists who infest our institutions of higher learning. This new form of Jew hatred must be repudiated by all decent people in the West. We know all too well from history where this kind of talk leads to.

And as for who is to blame in this financial crisis, there are many places we can point the finger to in banking, politics and other institutions. However, it has nothing to do with religion, race or any other ethnic factor. We have all been losers, and we are all in this together. Any suggestion that The Jews are too blame for this mess is absurd on its face and should be repudiated.


  1. Well stated--I hope people are wise too see such scapegoating to be fruitless. Keep up the good fight.

  2. Gary, you are my hero! Everything you said is true. Thank G-d for you.

  3. Excellent commentary Gary (as usual)...

    As I read through this piece I began to think about your title "Economic Jealousy" (or at least that part of the title)...

    When all is said and done, isn't that the only kind of jealousy;economic?

    If you have what I want and I cannot afford it...makes 'cents' to me!