‘Commentary’ slams me for struggling with the elite issue

on 123 Comments

Last week in an attack on online critics of Israel, Commentary slammed me for what it suggested was anti-Semitic ideas, including this one: “Weiss reflected that Jewish identity imparts ‘a sense of difference, yes, inevitably of elite identity, that’s part of Jewish history and one I struggle with.’”

Well I do struggle with it; and I think it’s anti-intellectual of any supposed magazine of ideas to suggest that the American Jewish experience is not an elite one. Privilege is a reality of American Jewish identity, and denial doesn’t help. Two recent examples from public radio bear me out.

This morning, Krista Tippett whose spiritual show “On Being” I listen to regularly, did an hour with celebrity chef Dan Barber from a synagogue. I could not believe Barber was Tippett’s guest, because he serves the court at his lavish expensive restaurant, on a Rockefeller estate in Westchester County. But that’s the point: in his charming presentation, Barber effortlessly melds Rockefellers, his own privileged background, and service to the court; and when an audience member in the Indianapolis synagogue suggested that his approach to cuisine is “elitist,” Barber said that elites often drive progressive trends and cited the writer Michael Pollan.

I think Barber and Pollan are plainly right on this point, but it also suggests the ways in which Jewish identity is invested in privileged cultural politics.  When a Harvard student was told about the wonders of “the Jewish mind” on her recent trip to Israel, she was only getting the indoctrination that I have received all my life– and a sense of cultural difference that in some ways I accept.

The other NPR report that bears out this point was Susan Stamberg’s piece a couple weeks back on an exhibit at the Jewish Museum in New York on the painter Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940) and his Jewish patrons in Paris. The piece was quite frank about a Jewish elite (a word I am pretty sure NPR used in promoting the piece the night before). Wealthy Jews with great taste sustained Vuillard’s career — “very intellectual and very artistic in… manner and… interests,” as Stamberg described them.

Or as Alma Mahler wrote in her Viennese diary in 1899, “[T]he opera public is mostly Jewish anyway.” This is also the scene of Maugham’s story about Jewish musical patronage in London, The Alien Corn. And, going back to Vienna, of the famous case of the Klimt paintings stolen by the Nazis from the Block-Bauer family.

No one who opens this door can deny the anti-Semitic uses of such observations. The Maugham story has an anti-Semitic flavor. And in the LRB, Adam Shatz lately quoted De Gaulle, after the ’67 war, describing Jews as “an élite people, sure of themselves and domineering”. There have to be ways to understand our presence without that bigotry; but understanding that presence is simply too important a task to me to avoid that mental struggle.

About Philip Weiss

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

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123 Responses

  1. Klaus Bloemker
    July 8, 2012, 2:18 pm

    How about Jewish loosers? There has always been ‘the rich Jew’ and ‘the poor Jew’.
    During most of Europe’s history probably more of the latter. – But, here comes catch: Even the poor Eastern European Jew in his squalor had an ‘elite identity’.

    I think the Commentary people are insinuating that you mean “Jewish identity imparts ‘a sense of difference, yes, inevitably of elite identity” no matter what.

    • Mooser
      July 9, 2012, 2:03 pm

      There should be some kind of notification service on the web so we can all keep up with the ever changing language. Apparently “loser” is now spelled “looser”. I thought “looser” is what your pants get when you lose weight. Or do we know “loose” weight?

      • Klaus Bloemker
        July 9, 2012, 2:45 pm

        I got the spelling wrong because “Mooser” was on my mind. Sorry for that.

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 9:24 pm

        Ah, a simple bit of mis-typing. But spelling the word “loser” (what I am) as “looser” (what my pants are now that I lost weight) is becoming so common I was afraid you might have picked it up. I’m glad you haven’t and I hope you don’t

  2. lyn117
    July 8, 2012, 3:03 pm

    In general I try to avoid commenting on other religious beliefs/cultures, regardless of what I think privately. Oh well. Here goes.

    A good education really can improve thinking and intelligence, and I’ve observed, education is a Jewish cultural value. Anyway, I doubt there’s anything innate about the “Jewish mind,” it’s a cultural pro-education trait.

    Unluckily, the dominant pop culture is anti-elite, anti-intellectual. At one of my friend’s grade schools, for example, you would get beat up if people thought you were “smart,” showing off in class or something. Right-wing radio and republican politicians especially are always playing to people’s inferiority complexes about their intelligence, remember Spiro Agnew and his effete intellectual comment? Well that’s just my observation. Maybe it’s less true today then when I was in grade school.

    On top of that, anyone with an “I’m better than you” attitude is sure to cause offense (unless it’s clear they aren’t).

    So, if Jews think of themselves as elite, then it’s understandable they don’t want the general population to think they think they’re elite, because people are offended by the elitist attitude and because intellectuals are the target of populism. Certain other elites, e.g. movie stars and royalty, spend considerable time meeting the public and presenting themselves as “one of the people.” I.e., their elite status is usually unaccompanied by an (apparent) elite attitude.

    In fact, elites such as royalty are members of the same society, sharing the religion and so forth, while historically, Jews were outsiders. Calling themselves exclusive elites in this case, is continuing that division. In times of shortages, famine or economic stress, any elite and any outsider is more likely to come under attack. This is just what happens, groups form (or are already formed) and fight over resources. Any fear of being thought of as an elite or outside group is well founded. Luckily we are currently living in a time of plenty.

    Well, anyway, more than struggled with, I think the elite attitudes should be confronted as well as the anti-elite (read anti-intellectual) attitudes. Meaning, they should be understood first. Why do certain Jews think the “Jewish mind” is superior? Why are populist radio hosts able to play to anti-intellectualism?

    Anyway, as the pro-Israel hasbarists have discovered, a little humility framed as “Yes, Israel has some flaws…” works better at promoting Israel’s image than proclaiming Israel’s superiority. Which is why I never take anything coming out of the pro-Israel crowd as anything other than calculated, whenever it’s not straight out misinformation.

    • Philip Weiss
      July 8, 2012, 4:42 pm

      your observation about education is one i share. my people deeply valued education and literacy. in my experience, nonjews who also valued education gravitated toward jewish life to share in that value. but today that value is widely shared in the american privileged set. among many groups and the jewish cultural difference there is disappearing, imho. also zionism has produced a giant block on education/literacy/learning in jewish life. the children are told to believe black is white.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        July 8, 2012, 5:47 pm

        The whole debate on ‘Jewish elite’ is missing the point.
        – There is achieved elite status – and there is ascribed elite status.

        Don’t you get the point that people are resentful of someone who conveys the message that he/she ‘is something better’ not because of achievement but because of an ascribed/inherited property, being of Jewish or being of aristrocratic descent.
        ———————————————————————–
        The Jews are ‘the people of the book’. Nothing wrong with that. But being ‘the chosen people’ is a status ascribed by God, it’s not an achieved status.

      • marc b.
        July 9, 2012, 10:17 am

        but klaus, you’re missing your own important point. ‘the people of the book’ nonsense is the pseudo-scientific equivalent of the ‘chosen people’ argument. secular jews, like freud, had to come up with an ‘historical’ rationale for their unparalleled brilliance (‘moses and monotheism’ being to history as phrenology was to psychology).

      • hophmi
        July 9, 2012, 2:12 pm

        I disagree. It’s really not hard to understand why Jews as a group score higher on things like IQ tests and, as a group, do better in school. There is a two-thousand year old history of elevating the most academically accomplished in our community. Our rabbis, historically, were those most accomplished in Jewish textual study. They are the ones we elevated to positions of power and influence. They are the models. The dialectic process in the Talmud, and of rabbinical thinking in general, has been the basis of Jewish learning for many generations, and has had an effect on secular learning as well; if you can master a page of Talmud, you can probably master most anything intellectually. These things do tend to influence the development of a people over time.

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 9:31 pm

        “Its really not hard to understand why…/…development of a people over time.”

        Wow, Hophmi, I’ve never seen a more crushing criticism of the Jewish intellectual tradition in my life. Is this really what you want to say, that Jews chose those who have the greatest knowledge of obscurantist mumbo-jumbo?

        You know, if you substituted Moslem and Inmans in that paragraph, you would be claiming it makes them insane and violent.

        And that little bit of Le Marque (if your Dad reads and makes himself smart, you will inherit his knowledge) always helps.

      • marc b.
        July 10, 2012, 8:47 am

        Is this really what you want to say, that Jews chose those who have the greatest knowledge of obscurantist mumbo-jumbo?

        precisely, mooser. but you have to admit, no one tells ‘the tale of the one-sided coin’ with greater conviction than hopee. it never would occur to him that, as he argues, 2,000 years of the ‘best and brightest’, hunched over a tract which consistently refers to non-jews as inhuman and to be exploited for jewish benefit, muttering and rocking themselves into a trance, might have an effect on emotional, ideological or intellectual development.

      • MRW
        July 8, 2012, 6:17 pm

        “nonjews who also valued education gravitated toward jewish life to share in that value”

        Then you know nothing about the Irish. In Ireland. Except that they wore their learning lightly. It was like donning a coat, not plowing a field and barking about it. Name one American you know who uses literary references as a matter of course, without affectation. Canadians were always better educated than the average American kid. Still are. They soar above American levels in the global indexes.

        The Norwegians, Finns, and Swedes sweep everyone. Norwegians kids can’t graduate from high school without speaking, reading and writing four languages, including their own; that requires knowing the other language’s literature. American kids who compete with them in the annual (or is it biannual) tests are around #50, now in the 21st C, in the 110-country list.

        Americans have become a nation of near-idiots in my opinion. Dull. Reactionary. Incapable of original thought and even less of a captivating curiosity. The media is a mirror of our ability as a society to deal with complex thought. We’ve had no significant world-important inventions in the last 30 years since science became a money track (google the NYT April 2012 article about the rise in academic paper/journal retraction because of fraud and data falsification from people who attended the Ivy Leagues, including your and my alma maters). I was having a conversation about it with someone the other day who screamed that I didn’t know what I was talking about. What about the internet?! I said that was govt R&D developed by DARPA in another time. And that was over 30 years ago.

        The latest US census says that the most educated people in the country right now are over 50. Frightening. Baby Boomers ruined their kids.

      • MRW
        July 8, 2012, 6:34 pm

        “Americans have become a nation of near-idiots in my opinion.” Present company excepted.

      • marc b.
        July 9, 2012, 10:27 am

        Americans have become a nation of near-idiots in my opinion. Dull. Reactionary. Incapable of original thought and even less of a captivating curiosity. The media is a mirror of our ability as a society to deal with complex thought.

        ah, my pet complaint. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve ‘insulted’ some hockey parent when they explain their child’s 12-month-a-year dedication to the sport, an athletic scholarship certainly at the end of the rainbow. ‘why don’t you spend half that time/money on academics or a tutor?’ you’d think i was talking in latin. the serious end of amateur sports should be the gift of self-discipline, team work and the willingness to push physical and mental boundaries, not a scholarship to play more games in college.

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 9:32 pm

        “Present company excepted.”

        Why would you deny me a big step up in mental capacity like that?

      • AllenBee
        July 8, 2012, 6:50 pm

        “Or as Alma Mahler wrote in her Viennese diary in 1899, “[T]he opera public is mostly Jewish anyway.”

        MY people wrote those operas.
        Glad y’all like ‘em.

      • ColinWright
        July 9, 2012, 2:24 pm

        Now that’s the trouble with pseudonyms.

        It’s impossible to tell from ‘Allenbee’ whether you are German or Italian.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        July 8, 2012, 7:16 pm

        I would like to add a question – and an answer:

        If there is resentment of Jewish achieved elite status in the US, why is that?
        Is there the same resentment toward say German or any other ethnic group’s achievement in the US?

        If not, where does the difference in resentment come from? – Of course, it must stem from the ascribed Jewish elite status of ‘the chosen people’.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        July 8, 2012, 9:32 pm

        The sociological Thomas Theorem: ‘If a situation is believed to be real – it’s real in its consequences’ – that theorem applies to Jews very well.

        They believe their status as ‘God’s chosen people’ to be real – and indeed, that belief is real in its consequences. – That’s it.

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 9:35 pm

        Klaus, the fact is, as long as there are darker-skinned people on which Americans can focus their resentment, us Jews will be safe. Sorry Klaus, I said “us” meaning “me”. I have no desire to insult you that way.

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 2:07 pm

        “your observation about education is one i share. my people deeply valued education and literacy.”

        And correct capitalisation? BTW, who are you comparing them to? All the Gentiles who told their kids not to learn to read, or get good grades, or move up from blue-collar to white-collar and professioinal jobs?

  3. radii
    July 8, 2012, 3:08 pm

    No one likes to be made to feel uncomfortable, but any good journalist’s job is exactly that … and Phil has taken on the lightning-rod issue of our time so it is a joy to see when establishment figures and institutions Phil is showcasing are made uncomfortable

    There is nothing wrong with elites, per se, rather it is how they behave which can provoke enmity – pretentiousness is always abhorrent and worthy of contempt (usually it is “new money” which is the most vulgar and pretentious) … arrogance and disregard for those less fortunate are behaviors that provoke hostility and at times hatred

    Nothing wrong at all with Jews, and a subset of them who are in the super-elite, having elite status in terms of education and social position and wealth – what do they do with that? – That is the question being discussed

  4. Klaus Bloemker
    July 8, 2012, 3:17 pm

    One doesn’t have to look back at the poor European Jew and his ‘elite identity’. Here is what ‘poor’ Krauss wrote about growing up:

    – “I was growing up with very dark descriptions of my neighbours. We were not just smarter. We were more pure. Morally superior and culturally sophisticated. They wallowed in material wealth, but they were simpletons, brutes and worse.”

    The gift of the Jews | Mondoweiss – Dec. 26, 2011

    • Mooser
      July 9, 2012, 2:11 pm

      “I was growing up with very dark descriptions of my neighbours. We were not just smarter. We were more pure. Morally superior and culturally sophisticated. They wallowed in material wealth, but they were simpletons, brutes and worse.”

      Yes, my wife still complains about the anxiety she felt when her Mother talked about other people in the community that way.
      Of course, as is easily seen, in Krauss’ case, it was true, he is smarter and better than almost anyone else.

  5. traintosiberia
    July 8, 2012, 3:22 pm

    Aren’t all identities created to support a separatedness from other and always in the direction of being a better one ?

    Politics,ethics,legal ramifications come into play when those ideas are imposed on other within the country or on the international agreed upon system of checks and balances. At one time it was having the religious book or oral/written history, another time it was color of skin and now it is the wealth,excellence in science and arts as producers and consumers that confer this separatedness. Elitism assumes this ( at some point one society may prove to be superior to other )and also assumes the right to spread the values of these achivements/gains among the disadvantaged. This is the aristrocracy the founding fathers looked forward to and Aristotole advocated . But when the ideas of elitism/aristocracy become part of the DNA by claims as is the case with Zionist and also with other groups in histroy like Nazi or Wahabist or KKK ,the problem start with devastating impacts on the rest. in case of zionism and Nazism or KKK the door is open to thise connected by DNA and closed to evrybody else for good.

    • Klaus Bloemker
      July 9, 2012, 10:09 am

      -” [elite status] closed to everybody else.”

      That’s the crucial point. The access to the elite has to be closed or very restricted to stay an elite. If you said: ‘Everybody can embrace our principles and join us’, all of mankind could join. But all of mankind can’t be an elite.

      That’s why the access, conversion to Judaism is very restricted.
      1. A rabbi has to make three attemps to dissuade someone from converting.
      2. It takes a long time to convert.
      3. It’s expensive.

      • Citizen
        July 9, 2012, 1:10 pm

        Is there any other team that requires its leaders to bat up 3X to see if they can be on the team? Well, baseball is not religion, is it?

      • hophmi
        July 9, 2012, 2:16 pm

        It’s not restricted. If you want to convert, you’ll be able to convert. It’s not a matter of maintaining an elite. It’s simply of matter of making sure that those who convert can handle the significant burden of being Jewish, which requires adherence to the Mitzvot. Our religion is a legalistic one where rules govern almost everything we do. Over time, we have decided that it is best that people know what they are getting into. What is your problem with that?

        Conversion usually takes about a year. The expense varies.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        July 9, 2012, 4:20 pm

        -“Conversion usually takes about a year. The expense varies.”

        hophmi – what’s the price range?

      • hophmi
        July 9, 2012, 4:38 pm

        “hophmi – what’s the price range?”

        I’m honestly not sure. Reform conversions can be cheaper because the process is much less arduous; it could maybe mean buying a synagogue membership, maybe even less. Orthodox conversions usually require meeting with a rabbi on a regular basis and so on, but on the other hand, a rabbi will generally not turn someone away who wants to convert because they don’t have money.

        I think what you may have in mind is that with very orthodox rabbis, there are usually many collateral requirements, which includes sending a child to day school and so on. These are expensive, but only in America, because in most other places, Jewish schools receive government funding.

        I know on the net some people have talked about bet dins charging them for an interview; that is not the norm and certainly not necessary.

        In Israel, conversions are largely government funded; there are some nominal fees amount to a few hundred dollars:

        link to itim.org.il

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 9:38 pm

        ”Conversion usually takes about a year. The expense varies.”

        Well, one thing is for sure, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Not an arm, not a leg. Oh something else maybe, but it’s just a “scrap of skin”. But your arms and legs, those they’ll let you keep.
        Of course, if you are interested in losing arms, legs and genitals, there’s always the US Army, and service in Afghanistan.

    • Klaus Bloemker
      July 9, 2012, 10:42 am

      On Jewish exclusiveness and America

      I never understood the talk about ‘shared values’ of Jews/Israel and America.

      – America’s idea is inclusive: Everbody can be an American; the whole world could (and should) become ‘American’.
      – The Jewish/Israeli idea is exclusive.

      The two concepts are diametrically opposed – where is the ‘shared value’?

      • Citizen
        July 9, 2012, 1:15 pm

        Klaus, there are no ultimate shared values such as you discuss. The US is 98% gentile and most of those Americans have no clue at all that any universal religion is fundamentally different in practice than Judaism.

      • hophmi
        July 9, 2012, 1:45 pm

        Don’t know how you conclude that “the Jewish idea” or the “Israeli idea” is exclusive. Both statements are nonsense; they don’t mean anything.

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 2:13 pm

        “Both statements are nonsense; they don’t mean anything.”

        Sort of like all that “chosen” and “promised land” nonsense?

      • ColinWright
        July 9, 2012, 2:28 pm

        “I never understood the talk about ‘shared values’ of Jews/Israel and America.”

        Maybe the ‘shared value’ is that we all hate Muslims. At any rate, that is a subtext. Certainly it’s often the real meaning of anyone who makes such a reference these days.

  6. American
    July 8, 2012, 3:49 pm

    Ah the eliteness thing.
    People, Americans in particular, don’t resent eliteness, they worship success in almost anything, they’ll lift you up and applaud you —but the moment you become obnoxious in some way or any little way or they see your eliteness as some how rotten they will squash you.
    From zero to hero to zero again…. eliteness is constantly flitting about and changing.
    We’re so fickle.

    • Citizen
      July 9, 2012, 1:18 pm

      American, I think most Americans worship material success. Otherwise, they don’t even care. When’s the last time you heard Joe Blow go on about his pal who got his poems published over the transom in the local literary rag, and got paid by a few copies of that issue of the mag?

      • American
        July 9, 2012, 3:36 pm

        @ Citizen

        Agree, material success is most worshipped by the majority. But then ‘ideas’ are also worshipped…people who invent…maybe not as widely.
        Not many in the masses are going to be reading about Higgs because of his boson particle discovery…it’s a subject way over their heads.

  7. smd341
    July 8, 2012, 3:59 pm

    The commentary article is not a very good one at all, full of obfuscations and distraction. Yet I do have to sympathize with the writer when he mocks your many articles on “Jewish identity.” Often they are simply mushy, narcissistic ramblings that have absolutely nothing to do with the I/P issue and serve only to fuel anti-semites. Stick to your excellent reporting on the lobby.

    • Ranjit Suresh
      July 8, 2012, 6:09 pm

      Nonsense. The elite issue matters, because in the absence of this factor, the “I/P issue” as you put it, would not illicit such a one-sided policy from American political establishment.

      If an Afrikaner elite based out of New York City, the Northeast Corridor, D.C, and California were driving a U.S. foreign policy that sent billions of tax dollars the way of apartheid South Africa… guess what? It would be absolutely necessary to have a discussion about that elite.

    • Mooser
      July 9, 2012, 2:16 pm

      smd341, you took the words right out of my keyboard. But then, maybe Phil missed that period (hey, it only lasted fifty years or so) when American Jews discovered that all their self-proclaimed superiority was just cover for feelings of, of, well, let’s just call it, not-superiority.

  8. hophmi
    July 8, 2012, 5:54 pm

    It’s all very silly. Jews have long placed an emphasis on education. Cultures that do this tend to produce many achievements. It’s no different from the Asians, who have the same value. It’s a positive value to emulated. There is no need to endlessly, verbosely dissect it and turn it into something nefarious. We have nothing to apologize for.

    • Ranjit Suresh
      July 8, 2012, 6:12 pm

      It’s not the same. Asians do not practice relentless ethnic networking in academia, politics, finance, and the media. Nor do Asians benefit from blending in physically with the white majority. These two factors: ethnic networking and the fact that Jews benefit from white privilege, mean that these two groups are different in kind, not degree.

      • tokyobk
        July 9, 2012, 4:51 am

        I think you are right about white entitlement. You are definitely wrong about ethnic solidarity among Asian subgroups and all that implies from hiring friends kids to handshake loans. The pattern in business and academia is exactly like Jews from after WWII.

      • Ranjit Suresh
        July 9, 2012, 8:55 am

        It’s different. Imagine if most Washington think tanks, Ivy league political science, economics, and sociology departments, Wall Street financial firms, major media corporations, non-profit groups, and political action committees were led by prominent Asian Americans.

        Well, it’s plausible, but here’s the thing: everyone would know about it. It would be utterly transparent that some combination of merit and networking allowed such a distribution of power to occur.

        Thus, Asian networking, to the extent it exists in America, (and I would argue it mostly exists in ethnic enclaves, expressly ethnic organizations, and in a few industries like IT) is by its nature highly visible. And this in itself constrains it from ever becoming remotely comparable to Jewish networking. Notice here that even discussing the latter is the equivalent of opening a canister of radioactive waste.

      • hophmi
        July 9, 2012, 9:34 am

        Where is your evidence of this claim?

        See, it’s just garden variety antisemitism. It’s bigoted because you offer no proof of what you say, and you imply that Jews use their positions in nefarious ways because they’re Jews. This is age-old nonsense. Jews in these positions are not hiding their Jewishness. People don’t talk about it because they generally aren’t antisemites like you are.

      • Ranjit Suresh
        July 9, 2012, 11:35 am

        Yeah, you’re right hophmi. I’m now allowed to speak about Jewish power. Jews are allowed to inveigh upon white power, black nationalism, and Arab fanaticism, but your own elite is beyond reproach. I leave it to this writer from the Times of Israel to say what we’re not allowed to say:

        “We Jews are a funny breed. We love to brag about every Jewish actor. Sometimes we even pretend an actor is Jewish just because we like him enough that we think he deserves to be on our team. We brag about Jewish authors, Jewish politicians, Jewish directors. Every time someone mentions any movie or book or piece of art, we inevitably say something like, “Did you know that he was Jewish?” That’s just how we roll.

        We’re a driven group, and not just in regards to the art world. We have, for example, AIPAC, which was essentially constructed just to drive agenda in Washington DC. And it succeeds admirably. And we brag about it. Again, it’s just what we do.

        But the funny part is when any anti-Semite or anti-Israel person starts to spout stuff like, “The Jews control the media!” and “The Jews control Washington!”

        Suddenly we’re up in arms. We create huge campaigns to take these people down. We do what we can to put them out of work. We publish articles. We’ve created entire organizations that exist just to tell everyone that the Jews don’t control nothin’. No, we don’t control the media, we don’t have any more sway in DC than anyone else. No, no, no, we swear: We’re just like everybody else!

        Does anyone else (who’s not a bigot) see the irony of this?

        Let’s be honest with ourselves, here, fellow Jews. We do control the media. We’ve got so many dudes up in the executive offices in all the big movie production companies it’s almost obscene. Just about every movie or TV show, whether it be “Tropic Thunder” or “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” is rife with actors, directors, and writers who are Jewish. Did you know that all eight major film studios are run by Jews?

        We Jews are a funny breed. We love to brag about every Jewish actor. Sometimes we even pretend an actor is Jewish just because we like him enough that we think he deserves to be on our team. We brag about Jewish authors, Jewish politicians, Jewish directors. Every time someone mentions any movie or book or piece of art, we inevitably say something like, “Did you know that he was Jewish?” That’s just how we roll.

        We’re a driven group, and not just in regards to the art world. We have, for example, AIPAC, which was essentially constructed just to drive agenda in Washington DC. And it succeeds admirably. And we brag about it. Again, it’s just what we do.

        But the funny part is when any anti-Semite or anti-Israel person starts to spout stuff like, “The Jews control the media!” and “The Jews control Washington!”

        Suddenly we’re up in arms. We create huge campaigns to take these people down. We do what we can to put them out of work. We publish articles. We’ve created entire organizations that exist just to tell everyone that the Jews don’t control nothin’. No, we don’t control the media, we don’t have any more sway in DC than anyone else. No, no, no, we swear: We’re just like everybody else!

        Does anyone else (who’s not a bigot) see the irony of this?

        Let’s be honest with ourselves, here, fellow Jews. We do control the media. We’ve got so many dudes up in the executive offices in all the big movie production companies it’s almost obscene. Just about every movie or TV show, whether it be “Tropic Thunder” or “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” is rife with actors, directors, and writers who are Jewish. Did you know that all eight major film studios are run by Jews?

        Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good. (photo credit: CC BY-SA Angela George/Wikimedia Commons)

        But that’s not all. We also control the ads that go on those TV shows.

        And let’s not forget AIPAC, every anti-Semite’s favorite punching bag. We’re talking an organization that’s practically the equivalent of the Elders of Zion. I’ll never forget when I was involved in Israeli advocacy in college and being at one of the many AIPAC conventions. A man literally stood in front of us and told us that their whole goal was to only work with top-50 school graduate students because they would eventually be the people making changes in the government. Here I am, an idealistic little kid that goes to a bottom 50 school (ASU) who wants to do some grassroots advocacy, and these guys are literally talking about infiltrating the government. Intense.”

        Link:

        link to blogs.timesofisrael.com

      • Citizen
        July 9, 2012, 1:30 pm

        That article in the Times Of Israel is getting a lot of flack from commenters there because they say it echoes anti-semitic canards. Go read the comments.
        What’s hilarious about the article itself is that it assumes all big Jewish contributions to the world as a whole are positive, i.e., it does not acknowledge that “jewish geography” works both ways–when it’s positive for world society, it’s constantly thrust in the limelight, but when it its negative, nobody mentions it, and if they do, they are ASAP smeared as “anti-semites” who count Jews. The fact is many negative social activities are produced by a disproportionate amount of Jews. The writer of the article agreed with Mr Braveheart on Jewish power, but he ignored the negative aspects of it, which Mr Braveheart would be glad to tell you about.

      • hophmi
        July 9, 2012, 1:50 pm

        “I’m now allowed to speak about Jewish power. Jews are allowed to inveigh upon white power, black nationalism, and Arab fanaticism, but your own elite is beyond reproach. I leave it to this writer from the Times of Israel to say what we’re not allowed to say:”

        You’re not allowed to speak about ANYTHING when what you say amounts to unsupported nonsense based on your own bigotry. Well, you can speak about it, but it’s still nonsense.

        Jews and many others have opinions on other cultures. They have those opinions because they are people like anyone else, not necessarily because they are Jews.

        A blog from the Times of Israel from someone writing under an assumed name is proof of nothing.

      • hophmi
        July 9, 2012, 2:17 pm

        “The fact is many negative social activities are produced by a disproportionate amount of Jews.”

        Again, such as? You make these ridiculous claims and you support them with NOTHING.

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 2:19 pm

        “You’re not allowed to speak about ANYTHING when what you say amounts to unsupported nonsense based on your own bigotry. Well, you can speak about it, but it’s still nonsense.”

        1) ROTFLMSJAO!!!
        2) Put a sock in it, Hophmi.
        3) Hey Hophmi, ever hear about the lady who “doth protest too much”
        4) see points 1 and 2.

      • seanmcbride
        July 9, 2012, 2:23 pm

        hophmi,

        Is there anything antisemitic or factually inaccurate about this article?

        BEGIN ARTICLE
        TITLE How Jewish is Hollywood?
        AUTHOR Joel Stein
        PUBLICATION The Los Angeles Times
        DATE December 19, 2008
        URL link to latimes.com
        BEGIN QUOTE
        How deeply Jewish is Hollywood? When the studio chiefs took out a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times a few weeks ago to demand that the Screen Actors Guild settle its contract, the open letter was signed by: News Corp. President Peter Chernin (Jewish), Paramount Pictures Chairman Brad Grey (Jewish), Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger (Jewish), Sony Pictures Chairman Michael Lynton (surprise, Dutch Jew), Warner Bros. Chairman Barry Meyer (Jewish), CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves (so Jewish his great uncle was the first prime minister of Israel), MGM Chairman Harry Sloan (Jewish) and NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker (mega-Jewish). If either of the Weinstein brothers had signed, this group would have not only the power to shut down all film production but to form a minyan with enough Fiji water on hand to fill a mikvah….

        The Jews are so dominant, I had to scour the trades to come up with six Gentiles in high positions at entertainment companies. When I called them to talk about their incredible advancement, five of them refused to talk to me, apparently out of fear of insulting Jews. The sixth, AMC President Charlie Collier, turned out to be Jewish….

        As a proud Jew, I want America to know about our accomplishment. Yes, we control Hollywood….

        But I don’t care if Americans think we’re running the news media, Hollywood, Wall Street or the government. I just care that we get to keep running them.
        END QUOTE
        END ARTICLE

      • ColinWright
        July 9, 2012, 2:30 pm

        Pretty funny.

        Ranjit says: ‘Notice here that even discussing the latter is the equivalent of opening a canister of radioactive waste.’

        hophmi immediately responds: ‘Where is your evidence of this claim?

        See, it’s just garden variety antisemitism. It’s bigoted because you offer no proof of what you say, and you imply that Jews use their positions in nefarious ways because they’re Jews. This is age-old nonsense. Jews in these positions are not hiding their Jewishness. People don’t talk about it because they generally aren’t antisemites like you are.’

        Score one for Ranjit.

      • hophmi
        July 9, 2012, 4:24 pm

        Ah, another list from Sean McBride answering a question no one is asking. No one ever said that there weren’t a lot of Jewish people in positions of power in Hollywood. That is a far cry from saying “the Jews control Hollywood,” even if Joel Stein thinks of it that way. Again, this is the sinister aspect of this argument. Citing the fact that some people who occupy positions of influence happen to share a certain ethnic background is a far cry from attributing their decisions to that ethnic background. It’s simply nonsense. You’ve made no study of who these people actually are. You don’t know where they grew up, what their life experience is, and so on. You simply look at their religion, and you draw a nefarious conclusion. It’s just the same judging a book by its cover that animates all bigotry.

      • seanmcbride
        July 9, 2012, 7:57 pm

        hophmi,

        You wrote: “Ah, another list from Sean McBride…”

        You complain repeatedly about the supposed lack of facts and evidence in the posts of your opponents here, but when collections of well-documented facts are brought to the table you airily try to wave them away as mere “lists” — matters not worth your attention.

        You answered one of my questions — you can’t find any factual misstatements in Joel Stein’s article.

        You didn’t answer the other question — is Joel Stein’s claim that Jews “control Hollywood” an antisemitic statement? Is it? Is this a fair observation that can be openly expressed by anyone, Jew or non-Jew?

        You wrote: “You simply look at their religion, and you draw a nefarious conclusion.”

        That is a false statement — I drew no “nefarious conclusions” from Stein’s article nor do I ever judge people on the basis on their ethnicity or religion.

        I do think it is interesting that a minority group which comprises around 2% of the population “controls” — according to Joel Stein — Hollywood. Stein’s article also supports the remarks on this subject made by Elad Nehorai in the Times of Israel here:

        ARTICLE AUTHOR Elad Nehorai TITLE Jews DO control the media PUBLICATION The Times of Israel DATE July 1, 2012 URL link to blogs.timesofisrael.com

        The important political question here is whether many powerful members of the group which Stein and Nehorai mention coordinate their activities on behalf of policies which they think are good for Israel but which may be very bad for America. Are you up for a *factual* discussion on that issue?

      • seanmcbride
        July 9, 2012, 8:39 pm

        hophmi,

        Regarding Hollywood and Israel, a few data points of interest:

        BEGIN ARTICLE
        AUTHOR Yossi Melman
        TITLE ‘Hollywood producer was an Israeli nuclear agent’
        PUBLICATION Haaretz
        DATE July 18, 2011
        URL link to haaretz.com
        BEGIN QUOTE
        Lakam was in effect an intelligence unit dealing with technological and scientific espionage, and served as a kind of “theft contractor” for the Israeli security industry. Besides using businessmen, Lakam also appointed scientific attaches in Israeli embassies around the world. After he was fired, Blumberg was replaced by Rafi Eytan, who continued to use his services.

        For years, Milchan operated in secret, yet in the mid-1980’s U.S. customs uncovered an attempt to smuggle “switches” – equipment that can be used both for medical purposes and for nuclear weapons manufacture – by the California-based Milco company, owned by Milchan. The company’s CEO, Richard Kelly Smyth, was arrested and released on bail. He fled the country soon after.

        Smyth was declared a fugitive, and according to some reports found refuge in Israel. In 2001 he was captured in Spain and was brought back to the U.S., where he stood trial and was incarcerated. The FBI began an investigation into Milchan’s affairs, yet he has never been charged.

        According to the book, right after the “switches” fiasco Milchan called his friend Peres, then prime minister, and asked for his help in dealing with the Ronald Reagan administration. Milchan is quoted in the book as saying he never received money for his services, and that everything he did was for the state of Israel.
        END QUOTE
        END ARTICLE

      • seanmcbride
        July 9, 2012, 8:52 pm

        hophmi,

        Who precisely in Hollywood is promoting Islamophobia, do you think, and with what purpose? Any thoughts?

        ARTICLE AUTHOR Joshua Holland TITLE Don’t Forget Hollywood’s Role Stoking Fear and Loathing of Islam PUBLICATION AlterNet DATE August 14, 2010 URL link to blogs.alternet.org

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 9:42 pm

        And we’re so damned redundant!

      • seanmcbride
        July 10, 2012, 2:48 pm

        Wikipedia on Arnon Milchan:

        BEGIN QUOTE
        SOURCE Wikipedia
        URL link to en.wikipedia.org
        TOPIC Arnon Milchan
        TAGS Arnon Milchan, Israel, Lakam, nuclear weapons
        :BEGIN QUOTE
        Arnon Milchan (… December 6, 1944) is one of the most prolific independent film producers in Hollywood history, having produced over 120 full-length motion pictures. Mr. Milchan is also a former key Israeli intelligence operative from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s. Milchan produced many films such as The War of the Roses, Once Upon a Time in America, Pretty Woman, Natural Born Killers, Under Siege, The Devil’s Advocate, The Fountain, Unfaithful, L.A. Confidential and many others. He is an Israeli citizen, and a resident of Israel.”

        Milchan was born in Rehovot, British Mandate for Palestine, today’s Israel, in 1944, to a father who owned a fertilizer company, which Milchan turned into a successful chemical business. He also earned a degree from the London School of Economics, before being recruited to LAKAM, a top secret Israeli intelligence organization responsible for obtaining technology and material for Israel’s nuclear program, and other highly secretive programs.

        Milchan became involved in the American movie business in 1977, after an introduction to American producer Elliot Kastner. Most notable among Milchan’s film collaborations was his early work with Martin Scorsese. He developed close friendships with Robert De Niro, director Roman Polanski, and directors Sergio Leone, Terry Gilliam and Oliver Stone. Milchan started his own production company in 1991 called New Regency Productions. Through his company, in partnership with Warner Brothers, and later with Rupert Murdoch at 20th Century Fox, and other business ventures, such as Puma, Milchan has attained a net worth estimated at about $3.8 billion as of 2012, and is listed as the 290th richest person in the world by Forbes.

        Arnon Milchan has produced many films such as Once Upon a Time in America (1984) (in which he also makes a cameo appearance as the chauffeur), Brazil (1985), Pretty Woman (1990), Under Siege (1992), Natural Born Killers (1994), Boys on the Side (1995), L.A. Confidential (1997), Unfaithful (2002), and Knight and Day (2010), among others.

        Speculation about Milchan’s involvement in arms dealing and intelligence activities was sparked after “the indictment in 1985 of Richard Kelly Smyth, an aerospace executive who had made illegal shipments of Krytrons (nuclear triggers) through one of Milchan’s companies.” This remained hearsay until biographers Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman confirmed in a book published July 2011, that Milchan was indeed involved in espionage and arms-dealing. The research in Confidential – The Life Of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon established that “at least through the mid-1980s [Milchan] was a full-fledged operative for Israel’s top-secret intelligence agency, Lakam. His activities included “buying components to build and maintain Israel’s nuclear arsenal” and supervising “government-backed accounts and front companies that financed the special needs of the entirety of Israel’s intelligence operations outside the country.”. Interviewed regarding Milchan’s intelligence activities, Israeli President Shimon Peres stated:

        “Arnon is a special man. It was I who recruited him…. When I was at the Ministry of Defense, Arnon was involved in numerous defense-related procurement activities and intelligence operations. His strength is in making connections at the highest levels…. His activities gave us a huge advantage, strategically, diplomatically and technologically.” (interview dated February 8, 2010, documented in Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman’s “Confidential: Secret Agent turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan” p. xi)

        Milchan is also the owner of the WTA broadcasting rights and is married to former South African tennis professional Amanda Coetzer. He is also the owner of the Israeli network which transmits Israeli television programming to the United States and Canada. He is also a partner in Israel’s all-news cable Channel 10.
        :END QUOTE
        END QUOTE

        Hophmi requested some biographical background on Hollywood owners and leaders. Here is a small start.

    • flyod
      July 8, 2012, 10:02 pm

      indeed. a strong emphasis on education….and educating the rest of us;
      link to icsresources.org

    • Avi_G.
      July 9, 2012, 12:46 am

      What is silly is that many Jews on this very website extrapolate that their personal experiences are representative of other Jews’ experiences, especially since it appears that this discussion encompasses Jews around the world, and is not limited to the United States.

      There are negative stereotypes and then there are positive stereotypes. In either case, they are both stereotypes.

      Some Jews in American tend to generalize about other Jews and about Judaism. They would like to think that a Jew in India has the same practices and traditions as they do, whether in the holy biblical cities of San Diego or Boca Raton.

      But, go on, don’t let me stop you from making your beloved “We Jews are ____”, “or “Us Jews are traditionally more _____” arguments.

      In addition, I find the assertion that all Jews — from pole to pole — are all the same, whether they are privileged or not, part of the elite or not, or whether they place emphasis on education or not, to be quite racist.

      This criticism, by the way, is addressed to Phil, as well.

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 2:23 pm

        “What is silly is that many Jews on this very website extrapolate that their personal experiences are representative of other Jews’ experiences, especially since it appears that this discussion encompasses Jews around the world, and is not limited to the United States.”

        Exactly! About Harvard and Jews with money and education a rag-picker, pushcart-peddler, petty thief and small time pimp like me knows nothing. I’m just following in my family traditions.

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 2:26 pm

        Did I mention tax cheat and small time embezzlement? If so, I was just being modest. I never made it into the Bugsy Seigel -Madoff class, but maybe my son will rise to greater heights. If they don’t slip him a lethal injection before he dies of AIDS, that is.

        Okay, no Jewish person has ever died of AIDS. I made that up.

      • American
        July 9, 2012, 3:47 pm

        + 10 for Avi_G

    • MRW
      July 9, 2012, 9:25 am

      @Hops,

      Historically, the Islam emphasis on education predates Jewish emphasis on education, except within closed religious groups. There is no Jewish history whatsoever that rivals the early Islam universities, or the advancements in science, medicine, astronomy, mathematics, etc that the Islamists created across the arc of the East to the West. Except for a university created 2,000-3,000 years ago in India that fell to ruin, the oldest university in the world and still standing is Islamic and over 1,000 years old; it was the model for the great British universities. Jewish surgeons at Sloane-Kettering today use Islamic surgical tools designed over 1,000 years ago. Algebra, optics, navigation (Astrolabes/GPS), the steam engine (way before Faraday), these are a few of what that world wrought. The Muslim conqueror Genghis Khan introduced international paper currency, a system of laws, and conquered more in 25 years than Alexander the Great did.

      So don’t think education is some exclusive purview of Jews. I won’t even start in with what the Chinese gave us.

      • hophmi
        July 9, 2012, 1:52 pm

        “Historically, the Islam emphasis on education predates Jewish emphasis on education, except within closed religious groups. ”

        Perhaps it does. I never said only Jews emphasized education. The rigorous thinking that underlies Jewish rabbinical thought in texts like the Talmud, does however, predate Islam.

        “There is no Jewish history whatsoever that rivals the early Islam universities, or the advancements in science, medicine, astronomy, mathematics, etc that the Islamists created across the arc of the East to the West. ”

        You seem a little defensive here. No one asserted that emphasizing education was solely a Jewish value.

      • tree
        July 9, 2012, 3:32 pm

        You seem a little defensive here.

        Said the pot to the kettle. Isn’t defensiveness your distinguishing attribute here?

      • hophmi
        July 9, 2012, 4:25 pm

        Um no, tree. Most of you are far more defensive than I am.

      • ColinWright
        July 9, 2012, 2:34 pm

        “. The Muslim conqueror Genghis Khan introduced international paper currency, a system of laws, and conquered more in 25 years than Alexander the Great did.”

        ! Genghis Khan was not Muslim.

      • gamal
        July 9, 2012, 7:55 pm

        not only was the Khan not a muslim it was the mongols who conquered the central muslim lands who adopted islam in an such a nominal way that led that supposed progenitor of Islamic fundamentalism taqi-ad-din ibni taymiyyeh, 1263-1328, to dispute their legal status as rulers, under the shariah, his motives being political and ‘nationalistic’ rather than religious

        interestingly ibni taymiyyah, despite his reputation in the west, was among the many scholars who scoffed at the idea of apostacy being a crime and opined that it was a non issue, he also reiterated the rights of women to divorce and best of all he derided those scholars who believed that water existed in three ritual states while reason dictates that the diety knows of only two, actually his argument is very funny in an acerbic sort of a way. the errant scholars had added the category of adulterated to the obvious ones, pure and defiled, such as “perfumed” not pure but not defiled, he is unsparing in his ridicule, pure and perfumed are ritually equivalent, he argues sarcastically. but no the mongols even when they became muslims never really impressed their subjects, the sufi’s liked them though.

        Under Ghengis khan Rabbi’s unlike all other religious figures were taxed, because Rabbi’s engaged in trade unlike other religious functionaries recognized by the Mongol regimes, however the Khan is reputed to have adopted Islam as a state religion for his western realms having held a conference of the religions and selecting the pitch made by one Khawajagan sufi, a disciple of Gurdjieff, JG Benett, wrote of them.

        ” their main centres were in Bokhara, Samarkand, Balkh, Herat and the regions of the HinduKush.The Masters did not spring from nowhere. Before they appeared there was already a powerful stream of spirituality flowing in these regions. According to tradition, Selman the Persian, who was the first convert from the Magian religion to Islam and one of the close companions of the Prophet, belonged to the tradition which goes back at least as far as Zoroaster, who spent the latter part of his life at Balkh six hundred years before Christ. It is also certain that the arts and sciences were highly advanced. One of the greatest inventions of man is the so-called Arabic system of numerals with a sign for zero. The earliest reference to this comes from the same region in the writing of Elharzemi or Al Khwarizm (died A.D. 844). It is more than likely that the birth of our modern arithmetic occurred in this region. It is remarkable that the advances in algebra made by Harzemi ( Muhammad Jafar ibni Musa al-Khwarismi) were so radical that in many respects his methods continued to be used unchanged until the sixteenth century. Another great scientist, Abu Mashar of Balkh (died A.D. 866),influenced Western astronomy by translations of his works by scholars such as Adelard of Bath.These few examples should make it clear that there was a well-established tradition of science and learning in the lands of the Amu Darya before the Masters appeared. It is very probable that the published works represent only a small part of their tradition.The first great man to receive the title of Master was Khwaja Yusuf of Hamadan in North West Persia. He was born in A.D. 1048 in the village of Bozendjid near to Hamadan which was the capital of the first Seljuk Sultan Inghril Beg (died 1063). This was the beginning of the time of troubles though the Seljuk Turks wereby no means devastating conquerors in the style of Jenghis Khan. Their greatest king, Malik Shah, had a wise vizier, Nizam-ul-Mulk, who kept order throughout the region that interests us until he was murdered by the notorious Assassins (Hashashin) of Mt. Elburz whose peaks are visible from the mountains north of Hamadan.Yusuf of Hamadan ended his life at Bamyin at the age of 92, and is buried at Merv. He was the head of an inner circle of the Masters from which during the two following centuries came some of the most important Sufi orders such as the Yeseviyye and the Naqshibandis. He was referred to as the Kutb-ül Evliyya, or the Axis of the Saints, a title that suggests that he was the most exalted spiritual being of his time”

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 10:03 pm

        “! Genghis Khan was not Muslim.”

        Maybe so, but do you want to argue with him over it? Best course to take is bland agreements, lest you find yourself with a bunch of bannermans hording down on your butt.

    • Polly
      July 9, 2012, 5:23 pm

      “It’s all very silly. Jews have long placed an emphasis on education. Cultures that do this tend to produce many achievements. It’s no different from the Asians, who have the same value. It’s a positive value to emulated. There is no need to endlessly, verbosely dissect it and turn it into something nefarious. We have nothing to apologize for.”

      Is GENETIC the word you are looking for Hoppy?

  9. DICKERSON3870
    July 8, 2012, 6:41 pm

    RE: “Last week in an attack on online critics of Israel, Commentary slammed me for what it suggested was anti-Semitic ideas. . .” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: What does this make? Commentary’s eighteenth? It’s so difficult to keep track. I suppose that I should keep count like prisoners do by marking them on the wall.
    Oh, I just remembered one I had forgotten. That makes this Commentary’s 19th. I’m certain of it!
    They had better stop. [And] Look around. [Because] Here it comes. . .

    AN EARLY SUMMER AFTERNOON’S MUSICAL INTERLUDE, sponsored by the makers of new Ziocaine Über-Xtreme®:

    You’re the kind of person
    You meet at certain dismal dull affairs.
    Center of a crowd, talking much too loud
    Running up and down the stairs.
    Well, it seems to me that you have seen too much in too few years.
    And though you’ve tried you just can’t hide
    Your eyes are edged with tears.
    ~
    You better stop
    Look around
    Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes
    Here comes your nine-teenth nervous breakdown. . .
    ~
    . . . You were still in school
    When you had that fool
    Who really messed your mind.
    And after that you turned your back
    On treating people kind.
    On our first trip
    I tried so hard to rearrange your mind.
    But after while I realized you were disarranging mine.
    ~
    You better stop, look around
    Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes
    Here comes your nine-teenth nervous breakdown.
    Here comes your nine-teenth nervous breakdown
    Here comes your nine-teenth nervous breakdown. . .

    19th Nervous Breakdown, The Rolling Stones (HQ) [VIDEO, 03:55] – link to youtube.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      July 8, 2012, 7:01 pm

      P.S.
      Infiltrators!
      Infiltrators!
      All those damn Infiltrators!
      Infiltrators virtually everywhere!
      So many infiltrators infiltrating your mind(s)!

    • DICKERSON3870
      July 8, 2012, 7:12 pm

      P.P.S. A RELATED FILM:
      Requiem for a Dream, 2000, UR, 102 minutes
      A widow’s growing dependence on amphetamines and a self-help television show parallels the struggles of her heroin-addicted son and his girlfriend and friend in Darren Aronofsky’s bleak drama.
      Netflix Availability: DVD and Blu-ray
      NETFLIX LISTING – link to movies.netflix.com
      REQUIEM FOR A DREAM TRAILER HD HQ – best scenes of a movie (VIDEO, 03:32) – link to youtube.com

      P.S. Be certain to watch/listen to “The making of…” and the “Director’s Commentary” in the bonus/extra features. Aronofsky has some interesting things to say about addictions that I think might also apply to Zionism* (and many, many other things). Also, try to have Dolby/DTS 5.1 audio when watching the feature film. They make very good use of the side/rear channels. And Ellen Burstyn’s acting is absolutely brilliant!
      * I see some parallels between Zionism and Sara Goldfarb’s addiction to amphetamines and her obsession with the self-help television show – an infomercial hosted by self-help guru Tappy Tibbons (Christopher McDonald), based on the acronym JUICE (Join Us In Creating Excitement).
      BUT THEN, WHAT DO I KNOW? I’m certainly no Stuart Smalley!

      P.P.S. Requiem For A Dream Music composed by Clint Mansell, performed by the Kronos Quartet. / From the soundtrack for Darren Aronofsky’s second film. (VIDEO, 05:21) – link to youtube.com

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 2:28 pm

        “A widow’s growing dependence on amphetamines and a self-help television show parallels the struggles of her heroin-addicted son and his girlfriend and friend in Darren Aronofsky’s bleak drama.”

        Man, they spy on your family, make millions off your troubles, but do I get a residual? Nooooo….

      • marc b.
        July 9, 2012, 5:45 pm

        i usually like your taste in movies, d3870, but aronofsky’s work is just pseudo-intellectual racism and misanthropy. not a shred of humanity left in any of his characters as he grinds them all to dust. (the scene at the end of ‘requiem’ with the black pimp and jennifer connolly is revolting.)

      • DICKERSON3870
        July 16, 2012, 6:33 am

        RE: “aronofsky’s work is just pseudo-intellectual racism and misanthropy. not a shred of humanity left in any of his characters as he grinds them all to dust. (the scene at the end of ‘requiem’ with the black pimp and jennifer connolly is revolting.)” ~ marc b

        MY REPLY: Aronofsky sheds some light on these matters in “The making of…” and the “Director’s Commentary” in the bonus/extra features of the Requiem for a Dream DVD.
        I believe Aronofsky would say that addictions (particularly, but not exclusively, to drugs) often grind the addicts to dust leaving “not a shred of humanity left”. And that is precisely the point he was trying to make in Requiem for a Dream.
        But the film is very brutal, and when the Jennifer Connelly character is reduced to participating in a live sex show (for what looked like a roomful of Wall Street frat-boy yuppies) in return for the drugs she was so desperate for, I had to actually look away from the degradation on the screen for a short while.
        Nonetheless, I don’t think the brutality of the film is gratuitous.

        FROM WIKIPEDIA [Darren Aronofsky]:

        [EXCERPT] . . . During his youth he [Aronofsky] trained as a field biologist with The School for Field Studies in Kenya in 1985 and Alaska in 1986.[8][9] Upon graduating from Edward R. Murrow High School in 1987,[10][11] he entered Harvard University, where he took anthropology, live action film, and animation courses,[10] eventually majoring in social anthropology and graduated from Harvard in 1991 with honors.[12] . . .

        P.S. And the score is freakin’ awesome!

      • marc b.
        July 17, 2012, 3:44 pm

        i’ll have to give Pi a shot dickerson, which seems more psychological than physical. i’ve been suckered into watching other aronofsky productions, like black swan and the wrestler, and there are usually some excellent performances (to what extent those performances should be credited to aronofsky i don’t know) but i am ultimately repulsed by his treatment of the characters, the treatment completely lacking any sympathy.

  10. MRW
    July 8, 2012, 7:12 pm

    Phil,

    You and I had exactly the same reaction to Dan Barber, which I just listened to because of the time difference.

    About this:

    And in the LRB, Adam Shatz lately quoted De Gaulle, after the ’67 war, describing Jews as “an élite people, sure of themselves and domineering”

    So? You call this anti-semitic? It’s true. What would you prefer? Handwringing? I think you ought to write about the fact that elite Jews have a problem dealing with the truth at a certain level. Substitute WASPs in the description. Who gives a damn? If it’s true, it’s true.

  11. Scott
    July 8, 2012, 9:03 pm

    All societies need elites. It’s better if the elites identify with their own society, not another one.

    • MRW
      July 9, 2012, 9:26 am

      @Scott, it’s not the elites who are suffering.

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 10:07 pm

        “All societies need elites.”

        Sure, maybe, but how many? I’m pretty sure we could lay off almost 90% of elites with no harm whatsoever. What’s more, I’m willing to try, any old time. That’s it Mr. Elite, come take a nice ride in my tumbril…

  12. HRK
    July 9, 2012, 1:49 am

    Jews tend to be high achievers–in that sense they could be called elite. There’s nothing wrong with that and certainly they don’t have to apologize for it, although they shouldn’t flaunt their high achievements (–and typically I don’t think they do, by the way, which in my mind is very impressive).

    I’d like to see the day when we don’t freak out when someone merely notes (in a non-racist way) that, say, culture X is above or below the average.

    For example, when reports came out about students from some minority groups getting suspended in high school at higher rates than whites, someone just had to open his mouth and blame white prejudice. –As if the typical overweight, out of shape school disciplinarian is ready to lunge from his chair, spill his bag of goodies–jellybeans or perhaps a gooey maple bar–all over the dingy tiled hallway, and go hustling after underachieving minorities and then going through all the extra labor to write them up for misbehavior but then inexplicably let other, overachieving minority groups off the hook. (Picture our disciplinarian noting the misbehavior from overachieving minority but then shaking his head: Nah, I’ll let that one go. Cue the maple bar. Damn that’s good.)

    We don’t have to throw a group’s underachievements at its face–far from it. But neither do we have to blame a group which happens to do better at something–whether that group is comprised of Jews, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, whites, etc.

    Adults, rise up and take your places on planet earth. Kick the overgrown children running this insane asylum OUT!

    • ColinWright
      July 9, 2012, 2:46 pm

      “…There’s nothing wrong with that and certainly they don’t have to apologize for it, although they shouldn’t flaunt their high achievements (–and typically I don’t think they do, by the way, which in my mind is very impressive).

      They certainly do sometimes — and when they do, it’s extremely unattractive. Every year, I am told exactly how many of this year’s Nobel Prize winners are Jewish. I might be a little hazy on how many were Western European, or how many were Chinese, or how many were American — but I’ll certainly be informed on how many were Jewish.

      There was a book I made the mistake of picking up once. It was called ‘the Invention of the Middle Ages.’ Conceptually, kind of an interesting title. I immediately had visions of discussions of a renaissance consciousness of change, the evolution of nineteenth century historiography, whatever (well, some people like this sort of thing).

      Sadly, the book largely ignored the concept. It turned out to be all about great Medieval historians who were Jewish. It was tedious reading, without any coherent idea behind it at all except the author’s driving desire to enumerate all the great Jewish medievalists.

      There is a rather irritating and continual equivocation that goes on here. ‘Stop identifying everyone who is Jewish — look at all these great Jews.’

  13. American
    July 9, 2012, 2:54 am

    Do Jews value learning more than lesser mortals? I don’t think so.
    “If” Jews did always and do value it more than Gentiles where are all their Jewish created elite and renown Ivies?
    Why are they wanting to go our Ivies created by Gentiles who value learning less than Jews for educational creds?:….it’s a mystery.

    Harvard
    Harvard was established by the Unitarian clergy. Harvard’s curriculum and students became secular throughout the 18th century and by the 19th century had emerged as the central cultural establishment among Boston elites
    In 1945–1960 admissions policies were opened up to bring in students from a more diverse applicant pool. No longer drawing mostly from rich alumni of select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college was now open to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics or Asians

    Brown
    Brown owes its founding to the support of the Baptist Church association

    Yale
    Elija Yale who provided the original seed money for Yale was a Wlesh Anglican/Protestant with East India Company

    Columbia Univ.
    The university was founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of George II of Great Britain.

    Cornell
    Ezra Cornell was a birthright Quaker, but was later married a Methodist. White, his co-founder of Cornell was a Episcopaian.

    Dartmouth
    Dartmouth College was established in 1769 by Congregational minister Eleazar Wheelock. One of the nine Colonial colleges etablished before the Revolution.

    Princeton
    New Light Presbyterians founded the College of New Jersey, later Princeton University, in 1746 in order to train ministers. The college was the educational and religious capital of Scots-Irish America. In 1756, the college moved to Princeton, New Jersey. Its home in Princeton was Nassau Hall, named for the royal house of William III of England

    Univ of Pennsylvania
    Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder, advocated an educational program that focused as much on practical education for commerce and public service as on the classics and theology. Penn was one of the first academic institutions to follow a multidisciplinary model pioneered by several European universities.

    Why aren’t Jews like Phil going to their Jewish established colleges in the US if people who love learning gravitate to the Jewish because they value learning more than non Jews?:…it must be another one of those mysteries:

    Sperytus
    The Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies is a leading center for Jewish learning and culture in Chicago, Illinois

    Yeshiva
    Students at Yeshiva College pursue a dual educational program that combines liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional studies with the study of Torah and Jewish heritage

    The Karaite Jewish University
    Is a non-profit corporation incorporated in California, U.S.A., in November 2005 for the purposes of disseminating the study of Karaite Judaism. Karaite Jewish University is not accredited as an academic institution.

    The Jewish Theological Seminary of America
    JTS or JTSA) is one of the academic and spiritual centers of Conservative Judaism, and a major center for academic scholarship in Jewish studies. JTS operates five schools: Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies (which is affiliated with Columbia University and offers joint/double bachelors degree programs with both Columbia and Barnard College); The Graduate School; the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education; the H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music; and The Rabbinical School.

    The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
    The College-Institute) is the oldest extant Jewish seminary in the Americas[1] and the main seminary for training rabbis, cantors, educators and communal workers in Reform Judaism

    Hebrew College
    I1s an accredited college of Jewish studies in Newton Centre, near Boston, Massachusetts. Founded in 1921, Hebrew College is committed to Jewish scholarship in a transdenominational academic environment. The president of the college is Rabbi Daniel Lehmann.

    Gratz College
    Is a general college of Jewish studies founded in 1895 offering a broad array of credentials and programs in virtually every area of higher Judaic learning to aspiring Jewish educators/

    Baltimore Hebrew University
    Was founded as Baltimore Hebrew College and Teachers Training School in 1919 to promote Jewish scholarship and academic excellence, it continues to be the only institution of higher learning in Maryland devoted solely to all aspects of Judaic and Hebraic studies.

    The American Jewish University, formerly the separate institutions University of Judaism and Brandeis-Bardin Institute, is a Jewish, non-denominational educational institution in Los Angeles, California.

    Brandeis
    Founded in 1948 as a nonsectarian Jewish-sponsored coeducational institution on the site of the former Middlesex University. The university is named for Louis Brandeis (1856–1941), the first Jewish Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

    (Jewish college listings from Wiki)

    • tokyobk
      July 9, 2012, 4:58 am

      haha classic, American.

      I admire many aspects of WASP culture and am very grateful to have been able to grow up in a liberal Christian origin country and attend schools founded by open minded clergy.

      But what on earth do you mean “our” Ivies? The point is in the twentieth century immigrant vigor coupled with fairer admissions changed demographics. Jews were overrepresented in that shift.

      PS look at the buses visiting Ivy campuses. All chinese. It is an open secret that Asians are discriminated against to keep the numbers down to twenty percent.

      • traintosiberia
        July 9, 2012, 9:17 am

        tokyobk says:
        July 9, 2012 at 4:58 am

        American is pointing to the fact that the great institutions were not created by the Jewish minds.Not now not in the centuries of Jewish dominance as a country and as a civilization in 100 BCor 500 BC. There lies the differnces between the academic excellences obtained by the Chinese and Indians during the mediveal times and the Jewish people. Academic excellence for the sake of adavncing knowledge was not a feature of Jewish tradition.When Jewish people saw the advantages of persuing science in Mooris Spain, Muslim Baghdad,Christian Germnay and now in US they grabbed it.
        If Jewish culture was embracive of the braoder ideas of spreading education , they would not be targeting the Palestinian univerisities,students,and schools and would not have mindlessly destroyed the educational infrastructures in lebanon and Palestine and now would not have been targeting the scientist in Iran. Neither they would have been demanding an end to the affirmative action in US . Particulrly so when they themselves had benefitted from a common struggle of Civil Rights Movement unless one were to surmise that it was a nice political issue that was taken advantage by Jewish tribes to the hilt. Beyond that in todays interconnected realtions among money,private school,private tutors,and counsellors of schools to the moneyed alumni ,admission committee, leagcy system,and the faculties give undue insider adavntages to the Jewish students for admission to IVY league colleges

      • American
        July 10, 2012, 12:37 pm

        traintosiberia says:
        July 9, 2012 at 9:17 am

        American is pointing to the fact that the great institutions were not created by the Jewish minds.Not now not in the centuries of Jewish dominance as a country and as a civilization in 100 BCor 500 BC. ”

        Thanks for saying it better.
        In the bit of research I did on this what I saw was Jewish education in the Jewish past consisted of ”religious studies”.
        A far cry from what even then (centuries ago) was considered advanced learning or desire for knowledge.
        And why I think Phil has it exactly backwards. If the Jews had valued real ‘learning’ more so than others did they would have created the educational institutions and broadened their concept of education beyond the study of their religion, not gravitated to Gentile established halls of learning.

      • marc b.
        July 9, 2012, 10:00 am

        It is an open secret … etc. etc.

        yes, it is an open secret, which also applies, despite your comment to the contrary, to the business world as well. perhaps someone better ethnically qualified than me can explain the experience of their head hitting the ‘bamboo ceiling’. so since the secret is out in the open, why don’t you explain who is doing the discriminating? no one is the least shy about ascribing prejudicial tendencies to the WASPs running the ivies back in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. but who has an interest in keeping asian ‘numbers down to 20%’ now? who decided in the past few decades that SAT/ACT scores should be de-emphasized as asians ‘ace’ those tests in increasing numbers?

      • hophmi
        July 9, 2012, 2:07 pm

        I don’t know. Do you have any theories? The desire to de-emphasize standardized testing seems pretty broad, but it’s particularly strong in poorer communities, where parents don’t have the cash to pay for test prep.

        You guys continue to show how hateful you are by making nonsense claims for which you provide ZERO EVIDENCE. There is no evidence that Jews have any kind of special insider advantage at Ivy League schools because they are Jews. If there are Jews who pursue the advantages wealth provides, such as private tutors, and so on, that makes them no different from any other wealthy persons. As far as legacy admissions, there is no question that WASPs have had the time to establish much longer legacies at the Ivies than Jews have, but again, how is it any different when Jews are admitted to an Ivy under a legacy from when a WASP is?

        Anyone who suggests that Jews simply took advantage of the civil rights movement because it was a “nice political issue” should go to hell. The history of Jewish involvement in the civil rights movement is long and honorable, from the involvement of Jewish lawyers with the NAACP to the involvement of Jewish clergy like AJ Heschel who marched with Martin Luther King, to the massive overrepresentation of Jews in social justice organizations today. The alliance between Blacks and Jews frayed for many reasons, chief among them the rise of more militant voices in the Black community who took a more separatist line than integrationists like Dr. King did, obliging Jews to take more of a back seat.

      • tokyobk
        July 9, 2012, 4:20 pm

        Admissions in elite schools.

      • marc b.
        July 9, 2012, 5:17 pm

        Admissions in elite schools.

        what a profound, inciteful response. i’m sure that robert oppenheimer and others would have found it equally profound and inciteful as they struggled against the racism of the ivies at the time. ‘it’s the admissions department, bob, that’s artificially depressing the number of jewish candidates for admission.’ and it’s the ‘admissions department’ at harvard that’s gumming up the works of the meritocracy today, keeping out many of the best and brightest, who just happen to be asian?

        thanks, bk. if i happen to direct a question to you in the future, just assume it’s rhetorical and save yourself the bother of a crafting a smart ass tautological response.

        PS look at the buses visiting Ivy campuses. All chinese.

        and is this meant to be ironical, or is your comment really as racist as it sounds, the asian hordes descending on quaint ivy campuses like ants?

      • marc b.
        July 9, 2012, 5:31 pm

        I don’t know. Do you have any theories?

        yes, i have a very simple theory. people with authority and privilege tend to wish to protect that authority and privilege, and one way to do that is admit others into the club who are of similar backgrounds.

        The desire to de-emphasize standardized testing seems pretty broad, but it’s particularly strong in poorer communities, where parents don’t have the cash to pay for test prep.

        oh, i see. so those ‘in poorer communities’ are responsible for the evolution of admissions criteria at harvard and yale? brilliant, hophmi. except that recent admissions trends at the most selective (expensive) universities don’t seem to be benefiting those ‘in poorer communities’. probably just their bad luck after having invested so much energy convincing the ivy admissions departments to change their standards.

      • ColinWright
        July 9, 2012, 2:50 pm

        “PS look at the buses visiting Ivy campuses. All chinese. It is an open secret that Asians are discriminated against to keep the numbers down to twenty percent.”

        Nu? And Jews used to be discriminated against, and as far as I know, still are. So — for that matter — are poor people. I used to know a guy who worked in the Yale Admissions Office.

        The great thing about being a private university is that you can let in whoever you want to. That implies, of course, that others don’t get in.

      • American
        July 9, 2012, 3:01 pm

        @ tokyobk

        “But what on earth do you mean “our” Ivies? The point is in the twentieth century immigrant vigor coupled with fairer admissions changed demographics. Jews were overrepresented in that shift.”

        By ‘our’ Ivies I meant US Ivies created long, long, long ago by those non Jews that Phil says/implies didn ‘t and don’t value learning as much as Jews.
        The point really isn’t changing demographics or opening up those schools to Jews and others…the point was I was challenging Phil on his claim that non Jews gravitate to the Jewish because they value learning more.
        Obviously if non Jews didn’t value education these Ivies and thousands of other universities would never have been created to begin with and Jews wouldn’t be clamoring to go to them.
        Fine to say Jews value education but don’t imply more so than non Jews and get on a high horse to promote ‘your people’ by putting down others.

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 10:11 pm

        “I admire many aspects of WASP culture…”

        No wait, don’t tell me… some of your best friends are Wasps? And damn it you don’t care what anybody says about you, their just as good as a Jew? Well, all I can say is, that’s downright white of you, tokyobk.

    • aiman
      July 9, 2012, 10:46 am

      Well in about every society there is a class or rather classes of elites who value education and literacy. Nothing special here. They rarely do a whole lot of charity or pursue Humanities in its full breadth. No one cares. This has been the norm through history. So I don’t know why Commentary would be embarrassed about it. Good on Phil to struggle with this, it is no different from questioning male privilege or white privilege or any sort of privilege, but harder to do so it seems.

    • Mooser
      July 9, 2012, 2:31 pm

      “Karaite Judaism. “

      Whatever you do, don’t pick a fight with one of those guys! You end up with broken bones, and covered in spit!

  14. tokyobk
    July 9, 2012, 5:11 am

    …meaning if in your mind the Ivy’s are still “our” and not equally “their” meaning minorities of all kinds, then you are about a hundred years out of sync with reality.

    • ColinWright
      July 9, 2012, 3:02 pm

      You somewhat mistake things.

      On the one hand, the Ivies certainly aren’t ‘yours.’

      On the other hand, they’re not ‘mine,’ either. You’re allowing color lines to obscure all the other divisions out there. This is somewhat akin to my thought that in a lot of respects, I’m a lot ‘blacker’ than Obama ever was or ever will be.

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 10:13 pm

        I bet I’m blacker and bluer than Obama will ever be. And don’t start with that “Funny, you don’t look bluish” until you’ve heard me play.

    • American
      July 9, 2012, 3:17 pm

      @ tokyobk

      Oh, don’t start that crap. You know exactly what I meant and why I made the illustration.
      If you want to ‘distinguish’ Jews from Non Jews in their values in learning as some admirable trait in Jews more so than others then expect to have it deconstructed for you.
      There is this tendency for some to believe they can forever get away with left handedly insulting non Jews and non minorities without being called on it.
      Well as you can see …you can’t.

  15. tokyobk
    July 9, 2012, 6:02 am

    PPS

    The Ivies always conferred social status which is why upwardly mobile immigrants wanted to join them. Its only more recently (and related to the entrance of Catholic and Jewish immigrants) that those schools became associated as the brain trust of the meritocratic elite. In fact, being too brainy and aggressively academic at places like Yale and Princeton could get you queered for the societies and eating clubs. Students like Kerry and Bush were C students with robust social activities, much more the model for popularity even in their late time, the 60’s and 70’s.
    Penn, bless the Quakers who let in many more immigrant students, was considered a lesser Ivy because it was -too- academic and merit based, allowing open and test based competition between new Americans and the old elite.

    • Citizen
      July 9, 2012, 1:39 pm

      And what is Penn now, an enabler of sexual child abuse? There’s one guy high up in that scandal, and he’s not a goy, but rather a jew ranking high in the arena of Jewish Sports in USA.

      • hophmi
        July 9, 2012, 2:20 pm

        Why are blatantly antisemitic comments like this allowed here? What does it matter if Sandusky is Jewish? Are you going to claim that there’s a disproportionate number of Jewish football players too? And by the way, the scandal is at Penn State, not at UPenn.

      • ColinWright
        July 10, 2012, 1:45 am

        Sandusky was Jewish?

      • Mooser
        July 9, 2012, 2:35 pm

        “the arena of Jewish Sports in USA.”

        Thanks, so now I know why those guys at the Orthodox Schul say all those prayers with so darn fast. Obviously in training for the next Jewish Olympics.

      • tokyobk
        July 9, 2012, 4:23 pm

        That is Penn State not U of Penn. Quaker might have been the hint.

      • tokyobk
        July 9, 2012, 5:40 pm

        And btw, are you saying Sandusky is Jewish? It doesn’t matter to the case but he is in fact not.

  16. Leper Colonialist
    July 9, 2012, 8:03 am

    It is a badge of honor to be slammed by the Commentary crowd with it’s obvious confused and divided loyalties.

    Take heart, you are doing a good job! You must have drawn blood for them to single you out.

    • MRW
      July 9, 2012, 9:29 am

      Commentary is envious. It just gets the insular riffraff in its comments.

  17. Mooser
    July 9, 2012, 2:04 pm

    “Harvard student was told about the wonders of “the Jewish mind” on her recent trip to Israel, she was only getting the indoctrination that I have received all my life”

    Sure, me too, some, but all I had to do is look in the mirror, or listen to my own thoughts. I wonder why that didn’t work for you?

  18. ColinWright
    July 9, 2012, 2:58 pm

    Well, I tend to see Jewish academic and cultural success as a product of both cultural and genetic factors.

    On the one hand, Israel still produces Nobel prize winners way out of proportion to its population. On the other hand, the disproportion is far less impressive than it was among German Jews and still is among American Jews.

    Having gone to Israel, Jews have relaxed, intellectually. I suspect that if Jewish achievement is your sole interest, a climate of mild social insecurity and anti-semitism is the ideal spur. Probably Wilhelmine Germany formed the ideal medium for Jewish achievement. And indeed, the Jewish family of my childhood I have the clearest image of consisted of a paterfamilias who was a professor at Cal Berkeley and three little munchkins who were all doomed to go to the Ivy League, whether they wanted or not (actually, at least one got away with going to Reed).

    • Mooser
      July 9, 2012, 10:31 pm

      Gosh Colin, I could see your contention that American Jews need more anti-Semitism and social exclusion to regain their intellectual edge becoming very popular. Among anti-Semites, anyway.
      Listen I got a better idea. Hows about we try it first on you and your kids, and then, we we see what fantastic results you obtain, everybody will want to be discriminated against and excluded!

  19. tokyobk
    July 9, 2012, 4:24 pm

    Its timing. One generation or two of liberation will produce a boom. After that waning complacency.

    • Mooser
      July 9, 2012, 10:26 pm

      “waning complacency”

      Oxymoron alert! So you are saying the complacency is “waning” or getting less? I never have heard of anybody ‘waxing complacent’, but you learn something new every day. Well, some people do, others just sit around and wane.

    • ColinWright
      July 10, 2012, 1:51 am

      Maybe. I’m perfectly prepared to grant that Ashkenazi Jews are smarter as a group than other people as a group: that implies no more about me and some particular Jew than the average income of Americans and the average income of Mexicans implies about the relative wealth of me and some particular Mexican. It doesn’t matter that I am American and Carlos Slim is Mexican; he nevertheless has more money than me. He really does.

      However, I also readily see cultural factors at work — and that is the best explanation I see for really is the astonishing plunge in Nobels won by Jews once they moved to Israel.

  20. Mooser
    July 9, 2012, 10:18 pm

    Thank God I’m out of this! It was determined a long time ago that I am both dumber and more incorrigibly immoral than anybody else in the world. And once I knew my place (just peek below the bottom, and there I am) I could relax. After all, when you know you don’t know anything you don’t have to try and pretend you know everything.
    Anyway, I’m sure that with all those smart, good Jews, one dumb, bad one in the whole world won’t lower the average significantly.

  21. DICKERSON3870
    July 9, 2012, 11:56 pm

    RE: “Last week in an attack on online critics of Israel, Commentary slammed me for what it suggested was anti-Semitic ideas. . .” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Essentially, the neocons at Commentary are calling you a little “Jewboy”, Phil. Coming from the likes of them, I would consider it a badge of honor!

    EXCERPT FROM RICK PERLSTEIN, 05/02/12:

    (excerpt) . . . In the suburban Midwestern Reform Jewish world I was raised in, in the nineteen-seventies and eighties, grown men built plastic scale models of Israeli tanks and F-15 jets and displayed them throughout the house, dangling the warplanes from bedroom ceilings with fishing line. My dad, who had a replica Uzi sub-machine gun on his office wall, wore a tiepin that read, in Hebrew letters, Zachor, which means “remember.” What was meant to be remembered was the “six million,” the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust, a number seared into all of our souls – at home, in Sunday school, at religious services, and at the Jewish Community Center summer camp in the Wisconsin North Woods, where we began each morning by raising the Israeli and American flags side by side.
    This all felt right and proper. What didn’t sit so well (with me, at any rate) was the catechism that accompanied the injunction to remember. It held that the next six million, just like the poem says, were still getting ready to die, right here in River City – or in Australia, in Timbuktu, in our own Milwaukee, or anywhere else Jews were granted the privilege – the temporary, conditional privilege — to live. The one safe haven: Israel, whose formidable tanks and planes would hold the line against the eliminationist contempt in which most of the world held us. The message provided a kind of quasi-spiritual ballast to our acquisitive upper-middle-class lives; but as an morally precocious little dude I found it all so far from observable reality, it made me want to puke. . .

    SOURCE – link to m.rollingstone.com

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