Jeff Greene is a self-made businessman with a yacht, a Jewish guy who grew up poor, now running for Senate in Florida, and his intolerance re the mosque shows to me how privilege and power have transformed Jewish identity.
“President Obama has this all wrong,” said Jeff Greene, who is running for U.S. Senate. “Freedom of religion might provide the right to build the mosque in the shadow of ground zero, but common sense and respect for those who lost their lives and loved ones gives sensible reason to build the mosque someplace else.”
The only tolerant person in that article is Charlie Crist. Jews used to be outsiders in American politics, liberals. But privilege changes things. I believe that Milton Himmelfarb’s old formulation, that Jews live like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans, is changing; a lot of them vote like Episcopalians now. I saw this during the Julian Assange wikileaks story. The Assange role used to be a Jewish role. It was played by Daniel Ellsberg during the last big disastrous war, and Ellsberg was a Jewish hero for taking on the establishment. This time around you have insiders like Richard Holbrooke trashing Assange and access journalists like Andrea Mitchell reporting on him. And the Curtis LeMay role, it’s now played by Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer.