The ‘Jewbags’ photo

US Politics
on 46 Comments
Jewbags on Facebook
Jewbags on Facebook

You may have heard about the “Jewbags” scandal– the title of a caption on facebook posted by a young woman who is now the “Jewish outreach liaison” for the Democratic Party.

The Free Beacon reported that Dani Gilbert, the former staffer to Debbie Wasserman Schultz, used the term “Jewbags” in a caption and a friend of hers added the caption “Jew cash money team” under a photo of partying women in 2006– one of them Gilbert kissing a dollar bill. Adam Kredo:

The Democratic Party’s newly appointed Jewish outreach liaison is pictured on Facebook in a series of provocative photos with her friends holding dollar bills and referring to themselves as “Jewbags” and the “Jew cash money team!” Dani Gilbert, who has been a staffer in the office of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), was recently appointed as the Democratic National Committee’s Jewish outreach liaison, according to her Twitter feed.

Photos [formerly] publicly available on her Facebook page depict her engaged in the kind of youthful displays that social media like Facebook and Twitter have made increasingly common and problematic for young Washington staffers. In one photo, Gilbert is seen kissing paper currency of undetermined denomination. The caption at the bottom of the photo reads “JEWBAGS.” A comment left on the posting refers to Gilbert and a coterie of female companions as the “Jew cash money team.”

I think this is an important cultural moment. It reminds us of one reason that non-Jews want to marry Jews (marrying up is a great American tradition); and it reminds us why Wasserman Schultz is chair of the Democratic National Committee and why Gilbert is working for the Democratic Party. Our importance derives not from “Jewish voters” (as Terry Gross said yesterday)– but from how much money we put into the political process.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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46 Responses

  1. upsidedownism
    April 4, 2012, 11:00 am

    Phil is right.
    Anybody who wants to understand how money controls politicians in the US should read Robert A. Caro’s biographical series on President Lyndon Johnson. It is one of the best biographies of an american politician ever written. Caro explains in detail how the really big contributors can completely control government policy in certain areas.

  2. Bill in Maryland
    April 4, 2012, 11:07 am

    This very recent poll among American Jews supports your point that it’s not about the votes- the Dems have the Jewish vote.

  3. eljay
    April 4, 2012, 11:15 am

    Here’s a good saying: “Money talks!” I’m surprised no-one’s ever come up with that one before… ;-)

  4. Dan Crowther
    April 4, 2012, 11:23 am

    Shit, Phil my brother, your a good looking guy, give yourself some credit man.

    I didnt know “so many non-jews want to marry jews” (especially for money) — truth be told, I thought it was the other way around. Most of my friends who are jewish refused to date jewish girls in high school and in college, knowing that eventually, “they would have to marry” a jewish girl; and from my own experience, I can say alot of jewish girls are/were thinking the same thing. (wink wink nod nod)

  5. pabelmont
    April 4, 2012, 11:36 am

    Money in politics has its own “pornographic” side. (Adelson, anybody?) This picture-cum-caption attempts to use a more traditional vision of prostitution with pictures of women who might not usually be referred to (especially by themselves) as “bags.”

  6. Krauss
    April 4, 2012, 11:42 am

    It reminds us why so many non-Jews want to marry Jews (because of our wealth)

    Sounds like a mini-smear to me. From my experiences, there is now such intermingling at colleges that gentile boyfriends/girlfriends tend to become wives/husbands. I doubt it’s about money for a lot of people, except perhaps for a few (mostly female) golddiggers who buy all the stereotypes(with some good reason!) for all the wrong reasons.

  7. seafoid
    April 4, 2012, 11:51 am

    I assumed Jewbags were bodily parts. Especially on Facebook

    • Daniel Rich
      April 4, 2012, 8:16 pm

      @ seafoid,

      Q: I assumed Jewbags were bodily parts…

      R: You can find them under my eyes, after foreplay [4 hours begging]…

  8. David Samel
    April 4, 2012, 12:03 pm

    Phil, I don’t know if a gag photo on facebook should be described as an “important cultural moment.” When my parents finally got on facebook, they left desperate phone messages that they feared my daughter had gotten married and no one told them – they didn’t understand her status was a joke.

    The Jewbags affair is embarrassing for Gilbert and a lesson on being careful with facebook, but nothing more. I don’t think these college kids had anything profound to say about Jewish money in politics. Picture is damn funny, though.

  9. MHughes976
    April 4, 2012, 12:11 pm

    The picture dates to 06, apparently. Those concerned might be less indiscreet now. We see a rather sad appropriation of anti-Semitic stereotypes by Jewish people. Perhaps this is the real face of self-hatred, outwardly full of big self-congratulating smiles.
    There is a deeper problem, I think. We in the West have rejected every form of government except capitalist democracy – maybe the Roman Republic got there before us to some degree. This option has many merits. The old rivals, absolutism, theocracy etc., may never have been very nice. However the fact about capitalist democracy is that everything but everything about it, political office included, is in some way for sale.

  10. Annie Robbins
    April 4, 2012, 12:22 pm

    there’s nothing really unusual with the photo per say, nothing particularly jewish about it. even kissing the money. it’s the self identification as a jewbag that’s amusing. if she wasn’t jewish everyone would scream anti semitism, there’s the jewish privilege.

    • maggielorraine
      April 4, 2012, 4:22 pm

      If you mean “privilege” in the sense that people who have negative epithets strewn at them have the “privilege” of using those epithets ironically then I suppose you’re right. It’s just like black people claiming the word “nigga,” feminists starting Bitch Magazine, or us queers calling each other fags and dykes. I really don’t see the big deal here…at all.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 4, 2012, 5:44 pm

        maggie, i don’t think she was making a derogatory statement about herself and her friends. i think the reference was to moneybags. if your raising money that’s a good thing i suppose. they look like they are celebrating. they are going after jewish money. that’s her word for it so who am i to judge her. we’re obviously conditioned not to reference jews and money, she doesn’t seem to have those constrictions. and no i do not believe it is like nigga or bitch. the privilege is saying what you’re thinking and not being ashamed. do you think she should be?

      • Western Sky
        April 4, 2012, 5:52 pm

        They’re going out on the town, to party, I assume. I don’t know where you get the idea that they’re raising money from Jews. One was a Jewish outreach liaison for the DNC, but that’s not necessarily a fundraising position.

        Anyways, look at the picture. One girl is pointing to her nose, one is making horns with her hands, one is kissing a piece of paper money. All Jewish stereotypes, not just something about Jewish money.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 4, 2012, 6:10 pm

        oh, maybe i didn’t do a proper analysis. what do you think ‘jew cash money team’ means then? do you think she’s a novice at raising money and that’s how she got the jewish outreach liason position? fresh off the boat huh? hmm

      • Western Sky
        April 4, 2012, 6:24 pm

        “Cash money” is a term from rap music, as a simple Google search shows. Fits in perfectly with going out to nightclubs, doesn’t it?

        And I’m not sure how she got the job, perhaps a good resume, cover letter, and references? I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think Jewish Outreach means necessarily fundraising.

      • Bing Bong
        April 4, 2012, 6:53 pm

        Maggie said ironic not derogatory. And don’t you mean conditioned not to reference “the Jews” and money, rather than individuals who are Jews?

        If you want to comment on an individual who is a Jew making some vulgar display of wealth then fine, you’re not constricted as long as you don’t sail into the stereotype of “the Jews” and their vulgar wealth.

        What about the the other stereotypes they are parodying in the picture? Do you feel hard done by that you’re constricted in calling them devils or hook nose yet “the Jews” get away with parodying such behaviour?

      • Bing Bong
        April 4, 2012, 8:34 pm

        And isn’t the assumption that she’s ‘going after jewish money’ as only a jew can (is my assumption to your meaning) sailing pretty close to the wind since there is nothing to suggest she is raising money either by using her innate jewish money sense/jewish network/jewish privilege or not?

    • ToivoS
      April 4, 2012, 7:33 pm

      annie says if she wasn’t jewish everyone would scream anti semitism, there’s the jewish privilege.

      Not at all. If a black uses the n-word in a self parodying sketch no one would accuse them of racism. Phil missed the mark big time on this story. It is a nothing burger.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 4, 2012, 8:40 pm

        If a black uses the n-word in a self parodying sketch no one would accuse them of racism.

        right, and i am not accusing anyone of racism. as i said earlier the privilege is saying what you’re thinking and not being ashamed. in this regard the same way a black person is afforded to speak about his own race the way a white person wouldn’t be so easily afforded.

        i think that is all i have to say on the topic. bowing out now.

      • Bing Bong
        April 5, 2012, 5:33 am

        You seem to be seeing and alluding to a blatant example of common Jewish stereotypes (money, politics, privilege) but because you claim you are not allowed to point such things out when Jews (as in individual Jews no less) live up to the stereotype you believe you are seeing, you claim it is unfair.

        Nobody claimed that Madoff was being tarred with a stereotype brush over his financial crooked dealings and it was therefore unfair to jail him. I wonder if you actually think it unfair when “the Jews” are stereotyped in such a way also, or is it just unfair that you can’t uphold the stereotype because of Jewish privilege?

        It’s a parody, and even if kissing the money wasn’t it doesn’t make it a validation of a hateful stereotype just because she is a Jew.

  11. DICKERSON3870
    April 4, 2012, 12:33 pm

    RE: “and it reminds us why Wasserman Schultz is chair of the Democratic National Committee” ~ Weiss

    ALSO SEE: Peter Beinart’s Book Explains Why Democrats Gave ‘Thundering Ovations’ At Bibi’s Speech To U.S. Joint Session Of Congress, By Stan, AlterPolitics.com, 3/27/12

    (excerpt) …From Scott McConnell’s review of Peter Beinart’s new book, The Crisis of Zionism (emphasis is mine):
    A year later, when Obama stated that the 1967 borders should be the starting point for renewed two-state negotiations—an American position for more than a generation—Netanyahu delivered what Beinart describes as “one of the most extraordinary humiliations of a president by a foreign leader in American history.” Fresh from speaking at AIPAC’s annual conference, Netanyahu replied that there was no chance of Israel withdrawing to “indefensible lines.”
    Then Netanyahu went before a joint session of Congress. Each member of Congress had a single gallery pass to give out, and most gave theirs to their largest AIPAC donor. With the hall packed with supporters, Netanyahu received one thundering ovation after another. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who as head of the Democratic National Committee plays a key role in party fundraising, used arm motions to signal to her colleagues when to stand and applaud, and they rose and clapped at Netanyahu’s most controversial statements.
    Concluding from this that America was unlikely to help, the Palestinian Authority tried to secure United Nations backing for a state within the 1967 borders. [...]

    Wonder if the President, whom the Israeli Prime Minister humiliated that afternoon, ever called Wasserman-Schultz to ask her whose side she is on? SOURCE – link to alterpolitics.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 4, 2012, 12:45 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Bibi and the Yo-Yos”, by Uri Avnery, Antiwar.com, 05/26/11:

      (excerpt) It was all rather disgusting.
      There they were, the members of the highest legislative bodies of the world’s only superpower, flying up and down like so many yo-yos, applauding wildly, every few minutes or seconds, the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu.
      It was worse than the Syrian parliament during a speech by Bashar Assad, where anyone not applauding could find himself in prison. Or Stalin’s Supreme Soviet, when showing less than sufficient respect could have meant death.
      What the American Senators and Congressmen feared was a fate worse than death. Anyone remaining seated or not applauding wildly enough could have been caught on camera – and that amounts to political suicide. It was enough for one single congressman to rise and applaud, and all the others had to follow suit. Who would dare not to?
      The sight of these hundreds of parliamentarians jumping up and clapping their hands, again and again and again and again, with the Leader graciously acknowledging with a movement of his hand, was reminiscent of other regimes. Only this time it was not the local dictator who compelled this adulation, but a foreign one.
      The most depressing part of it was that there was not a single lawmaker – Republican or Democrat – who dared to resist. When I was a 9 year old boy in Germany, I dared to leave my right arm hanging by my side when all my schoolmates raised theirs in the Nazi salute and sang Hitler’s anthem. Is there no one in Washington DC who has that simple courage? Is it really Washington IOT – Israel Occupied Territory – as the anti-Semites assert? . . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to original.antiwar.com

  12. Western Sky
    April 4, 2012, 12:36 pm

    Isn’t this just like African-Americans reclaiming the N-word from their oppressors to now use as a term of endearment for one another? Or gay people reclaiming f*ggot?

    Jews for centuries (to this very day, even) have been scapegoated as money-changers, a secret cabal of bankers, etc. This is a form of reclaiming the slur.

    • kalithea
      April 4, 2012, 2:14 pm

      Reclaiming a slur, my ass. It isn’t just like reclaiming the N-word or f-word! Using money to gain influence and enable Zionist crimes has nothing to do with being any kind of victim! Who’re you kidding? Linking victimhood to what they’re doing merely enables the depraved power-play.

      • Western Sky
        April 4, 2012, 3:22 pm

        What evidence do you have that these young women are using money to “enable Zionist crimes” other than that they’re Jewish?

      • maggielorraine
        April 4, 2012, 4:22 pm

        Exactly, Western Sky. Exactly.

      • MHughes976
        April 4, 2012, 5:42 pm

        The N-word is merely a word for ‘black’, traditionally used with contempt. I suppose it can be reclaimed. But I don’t think you can reclaim a stereotype that implies bad behaviour on your part. You surely have to disclaim it. The stereotype isn’t a confession to particular crimes but it is – that’s the whole point – a sardonic reference to being up to no good.

      • Western Sky
        April 4, 2012, 5:54 pm

        After Trayvon Martin was slain, there was a million hoodie march, partly because of some crazy racist comments about how if he hadn’t been dressed like a thug in a hoodie, he wouldn’t have gotten shot.

        So people put on hoodies, playing into that stereotype and reclaiming it from the idiots like Geraldo who blamed Trayvon’s dress for his murder.

  13. Les
    April 4, 2012, 12:39 pm

    These are definitely not Schwartze Jews!

  14. Fredblogs
    April 4, 2012, 1:32 pm

    The photo is crass, but pointless. Why even bring it up? It serves no purpose other than to make a few random Jewish people look bad. Oh, answered my own question there.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 4, 2012, 1:51 pm

      how does it make her look bad fred? girls just want to have fun. phil didn’t knock her.

      It reminds us of one reason that non-Jews want to marry Jews (marrying up is a great American tradition); and it reminds us why Wasserman Schultz is chair of the Democratic National Committee and why Gilbert is working for the Democratic Party. Our importance derives not from “Jewish voters” (as Terry Gross said yesterday)– but from how much money we put into the political process.

      what’s so wrong with that? you don’t like her referencing herself as a jewbag? that’s your hang up. lighten up, i could care less. in fact i like it when people are honest about their agenda. i agree with phil, an important cultural moment. shwang.

      • Fredblogs
        April 4, 2012, 3:00 pm

        As I said, it is crass. Conforming to negative stereotypes about Jews loving money.

  15. kalithea
    April 4, 2012, 1:33 pm

    Ahhh, depravity is so impudent, so mindless and reckless, that’s why it always leads to its own demise. But I thank them for confirming what we already know; it saves the rest of us having to do the dirty work of exposing it and getting flack for it.

    • maggielorraine
      April 4, 2012, 4:25 pm

      Confirming what, exactly? I’m a little befuddled by this whole thing. Confirming that a bunch of drunk Jewish girls think its funny to play with stereotypes? Why is this news?

      • atime forpeace
        April 4, 2012, 5:27 pm

        yeah, they ought to at the very least get tasered for daring to play with stereotypes, or maybe we can put them all on medication to correct that malfunctioning part of the brain.

        its criminal i tell ya.

      • kalithea
        April 4, 2012, 6:52 pm

        Oh, excuse meeee, if I don’t find their attitude amusing considering what Jewish cash is buying these days: political influence to push a Zionist agenda, tax-free funding of settlement expansion, and even a small condo built on stolen land in old Jerusalem or a stolen beachy town next door to the Gaza gulag. Some real “nice philanthropy”… *eye roll*. So excuse me, if the joke’s lost on me; I’m not in a laughing mood when it comes to Jews bragging about the clout they have with politicians.

      • kalithea
        April 4, 2012, 7:05 pm

        Confirming the depth of their character for one, or rather shallowness. And to think that Jewish cash is the one that politicians shamelessly chase the most and compromise their dignity for…nauseating.

  16. Eva Smagacz
    April 4, 2012, 3:48 pm

    Oy, on Facebook of all places! A shande far di goyim!

  17. dbroncos
    April 4, 2012, 9:38 pm

    “Our importance derives not from “Jewish voters” (as Terry Gross said yesterday)– but from how much money we put into the political process.”

    Terry Gross’ program isn’t the first place I’ve heard reference to the pivotal “Jewish vote.” I hear the decisive “Jewish vote” mentioned so often that I could expect to find as many as 100 million American Jews who are registered voters. Sillyness! The notion that Presidential elections or critical law-making decisions are decided by the tally of Jewish votes is absurd. You’re right, Phil, Jewish money is behind Jewish influence and “Jewish voters” are its subterfuge.

    Being liberal minded, I’m grateful that Jews give as much as they do to liberal causes. In America’s support for Israel, however, Jewish money becomes a real problem.

    • jonrich111
      April 25, 2012, 1:23 pm

      “You’re right, Phil, Jewish money is behind Jewish influence and “Jewish voters” are its subterfuge.”

      If Jewish money is behind Jewish influence (and I’m not sure how true that is for Jews compared to other social groups), it is because we do not have much influence over America in other ways (e.g. cultural, social, religious, etc.) The only reason Jews in America have been able to prosper is because of a century of assimilation. Cut our beards, take off the yarmulke, cosmetic surgeries, abandon religious practice, change our names, stop speaking Yiddish, etc. I know from personal experience of growing up in the deep South. You were taught never to tell anyone you were Jewish. It was something you always had to hide.

      So discard the old Marxist notion that all power/oppression falls on economic lines. We need to expand our consciousness to social/cultural/religious dynamics that figure into identity and influence.

  18. Palmyra
    April 5, 2012, 12:10 am

    Am I teh only one who gets this? “Jew-bags” of course is the affluent college girl version of a “ho-bag”. These are girls who haven’t a care in the world and are as free to mock tired strereotypes as any class in the history of man. Actually it is sweet, and self-deprecating, if anything. Not that the issues above aren’t important to discuss…but…what do you people think college kids do these days for fun? Meet for milkshakes and discuss football? These girls are obviously destined for elite, calm lives, not because they are Jewish, but they at least realize that it has helped lol.

    “White” college girls on the same trajectory, for instance, would hold a “white-trash” costume party …. or whatever. Like, you know? And post it on Facebook the next day – tube tops, PBR, and all.

    Things like this read as slightly hysteric, I’m sorry to say.

    • Palmyra
      April 5, 2012, 12:14 am

      I mean – I get the whole “Jewish political money” issue on this site, and the discussion is invaluable. This just doesn’t qualify, it only reads as a communique of someone who found evidence of a Jewish staffer being gauche in college. It reads as….no I won’t say it.

  19. Justice Please
    April 5, 2012, 5:14 am

    Has the pictured event anything to do with politics? Was it connected to a fundraising activity?

    If not, it only shows some people who decide to define themselves partly through money, as expressed in the “cash money team” comment.
    Which would only prove one thing, that the people in question are vain, shallow excuses of a human being.

  20. marc b.
    April 7, 2012, 9:16 am

    It reminds us of one reason that non-Jews want to marry Jews (marrying up is a great American tradition)

    ick. sorry i went back and clicked on the thread. really, phil, try to be a bit more objective, or else you might strain your pencil neck with this obsessive, incessant navel-gazing. there is no ‘marrying up’ in these circles, because the people who perform this cynical relationship calculus would never get caught ‘marrying down’. each party to the transaction believes s/he is getting something of equal or greater value in return. and aside from the relatively few ‘power couples’ who do consider the social/political/financial consequences of a union, until proven otherwise i’ll assume that most mixed marriages are the result of a slowly, haphazardly accumulated set of squishy emotional elements that aren’t analyzed all that closely.

  21. jonrich111
    April 25, 2012, 1:13 pm

    “Jewbags” and “Jew cash money team” seems like nothing more than drunken ironic hipster humor. One girl is kissing money, another is putting horns over her head, and another is pointing at her nose. They are ironically mocking Jewish stereotypes. It is a parody. When a member of a minority group self-consciously mocks their own stereotypes, it is different than when outsiders do so. For example, I don’t think it would have been the same if men had started “Bitch Magazine” instead of feminist women.

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