‘Wolf of Wall St’ reflects Jewish rise (though Scorsese leaves that out)

Israel/Palestine
on 134 Comments

hr_The_Wolf_of_Wall_Street_13Maybe it’s a sign of the end of the Jewish establishment: here are two recent mainstream pieces that frankly address the role of Jews in transforming the culture of Wall Street. The pieces are most remarkable because they express a frank recognition of the rise of Jews into the establishment beginning in the 70s, something the second author, Rob Eshman of the Jewish Journal, says we haven’t been allowed to talk about.

First at the PBS News Hour, of all places, economics correspondent Paul Solman highlights a portion of a book by John Weir Close on the mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) trend on Wall Street in the ’70s. The PBS piece is titled, “The Lucky Sperm Club: Jews, M&A and the Unlocking of Corporate America.” Close writes that Joseph Flom called his associates “the Lucky Sperm Club”:

[I]n the late 20th century, M&A was driven by two Jews, Marty Lipton and Joe Flom, who had simultaneous epiphanies about how to take advantage of new government regulation — in other words, how to turn the rules into an instruction manual for transforming the buying and selling of companies into a profession in itself. But rather than seek to buy, sell or keep companies themselves, they became the Sherpas, interpreting regulatory maps and making up new law as they went along.

As recently as the 1970s, Jews and all others not of the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant ascendancy were still excluded from any position of real power at the bar, on the bench, at banks and in boardrooms. America was still an agglomeration of ghettos: Italians knew Italians, Jews knew Jews, Poles knew Poles, Irish knew Irish, WASPs barely knew any of them existed and the Cabots spoke only to God.

“When I came to New York in the ’70s, the WASP aristocracy still reigned,” the Lucky Sperm Club’s Shapiro recalls. “You didn’t see an Asian face above Canal Street. You didn’t see a black face in a law firm unless it was the mailroom. You certainly didn’t see an Hispanic face. Swarthy Italians and Jews? They were not people you dealt with.”

Yet again, as happened so often in their history, the Jews somehow found their own methods to carry them past such barriers, and once those blockades were destroyed, other demographics followed.

But it was primarily Jews who first became expert in taking over companies against the will of their existing executives. The white-shoe law firms and elite investment banks found this simultaneously distasteful and tantalizing in the same way medieval merchants viewed the lending of money at interest. Both groups were discouraged from joining in one of the most profitable enterprises of their day: the old merchants by, among other things, an ecclesiastical ban on the practice of usury; the new lawyers, by the establishment’s social codes of behavior. Again, the Jews found themselves in control of an industry that then perpetuated the stereotype: the omnipotent, venal Machiavellian, hands sullied by the unsavory. But the business of takeovers paid the rent. And then some…

“There was this sense that we are the nobility. And who is this — you should excuse the expression — Jew from Philadelphia …Who is he to interrupt our garden party in our Fourth-Floor-of-Abercrombie-&-Fitch-decorated headquarters in the city’s fanciest building with the best views of Central Park in New York?” says Stu Shapiro about the predominant attitude within the Revlon kingdom they were trying to acquire.

“This Jew” — Shapiro’s client — was Ronald Owen Perelman, salivating on his cigar, blurting out his ungrammatical fragments, daring to attack august Revlon,

Then there’s this excellent piece by Rob Eshman at the Jewish Journal on the film, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and the fact that Scorsese leaves out the fact that the mad trader at the center of the story is Jewish, but Eshman can’t.

Scorsese chose not to deal with the fact that Jordan Belfort is Jewish. Although some of the characters in “Wolf,” like Jonah Hill’s Donnie Azoff, are clearly portrayed as Jews, even to the point of wearing chai necklaces around their coke-frosted necks, Belfort, with his Anglo looks and Frenchy name, is left to be simply American. I get it: To do otherwise might give the movie a whiff of anti-Semitic caricature. Scorsese feels much safer depicting the Italian-ness of his violent mobsters than the Jewishness of his greedy con men.

But, just between us, let’s talk about Belfort-the-Jew — let’s go there. In the movie, you never really understand how someone so gifted can be so morally unmoored. But in his memoir, upon which the movie is based, whenever Belfort refers to his Jewish roots, the diagnosis becomes more apparent.

He is a kid from Long Island. His dad, Max, grew up “in the old Jewish Bronx, in the smoldering economic ashes of the Great Depression.” Belfort didn’t grow up poor by any means, he just wasn’t rich enough. The hole in him wasn’t from poverty, but from desire for acceptance. The “blue-blooded WASPs,” Belfort writes, “viewed me as a young Jewish circus attraction.”

Belfort had a chip on his shoulder the size of a polo pony, and so did everyone he recruited. They were, he writes, “the most savage young Jews anywhere on Long Island: the towns of Jericho and Syosset. It was from out of the very marrow of these two upper-middle-class Jewish ghettos that the bulk of my first hundred Strattonites had come….”

It’s not complicated, really. Poor little Jordan wanted to show those WASPs whose country clubs he couldn’t join that he was smarter, richer, better. What he failed to understand is that just about every Jew, every minority, shares the same impulses. But only a select few decide the only way to help themselves is to hurt others.

Belfort, like Bernie Madoff, is an extreme example. These are guys who feel they have nothing, they are nothing, so they will do anything to acquire everything. They cross a pretty clear line and just keep going.

The question that gnaws at me is whether there’s something amiss in the vast gray area that leads right up to that line. Are the Belforts and Madoffs unnatural mutations, or are they inevitable outgrowths of attitudes that have taken root in our communities? We don’t, as a community, like to talk about money and wealth and how to acquire it and how to spend it. A Madoff affair happens — a crime that devastates thousands of people, businesses and philanthropies, many of them in the heart of the Jewish community — and we hardly speak about it anymore….

What’s the right way to make money? How much is enough? How much must we share, and with whom? We are blessed to be living at a time of unparalleled Jewish power and wealth, and it makes us so uneasy, we prefer to talk about everything but.

Hat’s off to Eshman for saying what so many in the Jewish community know about and are afraid to broach, the ways that wealth has transformed American Jewish culture, and cheapened it. As Dershowitz wrote in The Vanishing American Jew, success has presented a deep challenge to Jewish identity. And as Nick Saban said last night after the college football championship game, success breeds complacency (referring to his team Alabama’s fall).

Talking about “unparalleled Jewish power and wealth” is safe territory now because the Jewish establishment is coming to an end, and without pogroms. The Jewish century is over; it is fizzling out because young Jews lack the outsider energy both these pieces say motivated their parents. Item: Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner both destroyed promising careers for lack of discipline. Item: Opposition to Edward Snowden (you’re no Ellsberg) comes from establishment stalwarts, many of whom are Jewish, many of whom supported the Iraq war. We’re a lot like the WASPs after the Vietnam War destroyed their cultural authority. And of course the nature of the establishment is changing: de Blasio and Obama represent a new multicultural establishment that must be more responsive to diverse constituencies.

About Philip Weiss

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

Other posts by .


Posted In:

134 Responses

  1. Citizen
    January 7, 2014, 1:50 pm

    “And of course the nature of the establishment is changing: de Blasio and Obama represent a new multicultural establishment that must be more responsive to diverse constituencies.”

    I see no evidence at all that the Jewish Establishment (and its values) is faced with an antagonist in Obama or de Blasio. Attacking WASPS was a cultural pastime when I was growing up; Hollywood movies brimmed with it. How is that happening when, e.g., the lead in subject movie is played by a super-gentile? What’s next, a movie based on Madoff where the lead character is played by the aged Pat Boone? How was G. Gecko character played in that movie? And by whom? It’s so acute, if Hollywood made a movie about Pollard, he’d be played by who–Justin Bieber?

    • LanceThruster
      January 7, 2014, 2:06 pm

      And having Paul Newman cast in “Exodus” certainly didn’t hurt the perception desired.

      • Ron Edwards
        January 7, 2014, 4:56 pm

        Well, sort of – Newman identified as Jewish in some kind of hard-to-parse way. But your point regarding imagery and stereotyping is well-taken.

      • yonah fredman
        January 7, 2014, 5:45 pm

        Newman’s father was Jewish. What is hard to parse about that?

      • Ron Edwards
        January 7, 2014, 7:33 pm

        Take it to three different Israeli self-designated authorities on such matters, write down their answers, and bring them back here.

        Something about this topic get up your nose? You can’t seem to keep picking at it.

      • Citizen
        January 7, 2014, 6:19 pm

        @ LanceThruster
        Not to mention, inter alia, Charleton Heston as Moses.

      • Yserbius
        January 9, 2014, 8:35 am

        Moe Green from The Godfather Part II

        Ron Perlmans’ character from Drive

        Bugsy Seagal from Bugsy

        Sean Penns’ character from The Gangster Squad

        The diamond dealers from Snatch

        I could keep going but I’m not a cinephile. These are just a few that popped off the top of my head.

    • Scott
      January 7, 2014, 2:43 pm

      I believe the only movie in the modern era with a Jewish villian identified as such is “An Education.” Peter Saarsgard plays the dodgy, but not completely unappealing, character.

      • yonah fredman
        January 7, 2014, 3:05 pm

        Dickens I take it is pre modern. And the stereotypes of the Flatbush Brothers in Spike Lee’s “Mo’ Better Blues” don’t count because the movie is hardly remembered? And Arnold Rothstein on Boardwalk Empire doesn’t count because everyone in the series is guilty and Rothstein drinks milk?

      • lysias
        January 7, 2014, 5:02 pm

        One of the many praiseworthy characteristics of David Simon’s TV series The Wire is that Simon made one of his worst villains the crooked Jewish lawyer Maurice Levy.

        David Simon explains:

        Why did we make this guy Jewish? Because when I was covering the drug trade for 13 years for the Sun, most of the major drug lawyers were Jewish. Some of them are now disbarred and others are not but came pretty close. Anyone who is anyone in law enforcement in Baltimore knows the three or four guys Maury Levy is patterned on.

        If I have people from every other tribe in Baltimore portrayed negatively, everyone is maligned in some way, how can I not do that to the Jewish guy? How can I pull that punch? At that point I’m just being hypercritical. Here are good people from my own tribe who say how can you do that, and my answer is how can I not?

      • hophmi
        January 7, 2014, 6:11 pm

        How about “The Price of Rubies?” How about Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled”? How about “The Passion of the Christ”?

      • Scott
        January 7, 2014, 6:56 pm

        I guess you can also say I left out the Judah Rosenthal character in Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors”!

    • Daniel Rich
      January 7, 2014, 4:08 pm

      @ Citizen,

      Madoff = Robert de Niro

    • marc b.
      January 7, 2014, 4:35 pm

      Precisely citizen.

      Weiss is like the proverbial million monkey typing pool: one day the clacking simians will produce all the great literature, and if Weiss keeps writing about 20th Jewish WASP relations long enough, he will eventually get something right. The ‘august Revson’ the MA scumbags were trying to take down was Jewish himself, having built something of value from scratch rather than engineering a shakedown of someone else’s business. So how does Revson’s Jewishness square with the rest of this nonsense narrative about the impenetrable WASP hold on boardrooms, country clubs, etc. into the 70s? We’ll, it doesn’t, at least not historically.

      • Citizen
        January 8, 2014, 6:54 am

        @ marc b

        Weiss was quoting from John Weir’s book. I never worked on Wall St, but I worked on LaSalle St in Chicago as an attorney in the early 1970’s, and it was very clear to me that any past discrimination against Jewish Americans in my profession was just that. My roommate in law school, and my best friend, was Jewish, and there was a high percentage of Jews there. Also, my marriage to a Jew gave me an inside view from her large extended family in the Chicago area. There were many professionals in her family. Stories about discrimination came only from the older generation.

      • marc b.
        January 8, 2014, 9:56 am

        Yes, quoting approvingly. (And it seems an odd omission, Revson’s Jewishness, given the topic). My father’s business partner of 30-plus years was Jewish, having started their business in the early 60s. Didn’t influence their relationship or the relationship with their clients so far as I know. Great guy by the way: funny, intelligent, affable, he would always take time to talk with me and my siblings when we visited my dad at work. A real class act.

        Ps haven’t been there for years, but one of my siblings went to school at UChicago. Loved to eat there. And Powell’s.

    • hophmi
      January 7, 2014, 6:18 pm

      “I see no evidence at all that the Jewish Establishment (and its values)”

      What are the “Jewish Establishment (and its values)”, Citizen?

      “Attacking WASPS was a cultural pastime when I was growing up; Hollywood movies brimmed with it.”

      Hmm. And who do you blame for that?

      ” How is that happening when, e.g., the lead in subject movie is played by a super-gentile? . . . It’s so acute, if Hollywood made a movie about Pollard, he’d be played by who–Justin Bieber?”

      Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. You’re not paranoid at all. Hollywood never depicts Jews as Jews, no way. How should they be depicted, Citizen? With a hat and peyos, a la Woody Allen in Annie Hall? Please, enlighten us on what a correct Jew is supposed to look like. Perhaps we should designate Kevin Pollak to play all Jewish characters. Is he stereotypical enough?

      By the way, here are some pictures of the real Jordan Belfort. Does he look stereotypically Jewish to you? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2309269/How-Wolves-Wall-Street-world-jailed-200million-fraud.html

      Hmm.

      It’s funny when bigots are this transparent.

  2. Citizen
    January 7, 2014, 2:02 pm

    De Caprio says the move does not condone his character’s conduct, it condemns it. So why didn’t they show a few scenes depicting the victims of his foray? Getting to hear a little of this from a film phone voice or two is not enough in the face of the seductive life style depicted constantly on the screen. Oh what webs we spin when we deceive even ourselves.

  3. traintosiberia
    January 7, 2014, 2:12 pm

    Not so sure that all these are good for the Jewish or for the Gentiles. The backdrop of these colossal events once understood and spread across both by the media and by the whispering sounds in the churches , over the dinner table ,at social gatherings ,or at the teacher -parent meetings in middle school of Maine or Arkansas -this may give rise the the petty mindedness,hatred,anger,and a smoldering low intensity tendency to blame the Jews in times of adversities that have already started visiting the “WASPS”- look at the rise of the far right in Greeks and tendency to blame the colored and the Jews people alike .
    People look for simple solution and end up making it complex beyond recognition. Disappearing democratic checks and balances will mutate to tyrannical imposition of mob revenge .
    If Iraq war turned out to be a success as the previous one,no one would have bothered to write about AIPAC or Israeli lobbies or about the wisdom of attacking Syria or Iran.Deep down Americans know that they have been short changed and sold a lemon car that spends all its energy in sounding the horn.They want to blame somebody.When the crowd slowly wake up to the possibility that an escape hatch exist to release guilt, to wash the shame of failures,and mourn the loss of dreams on conspiratorial ethnic activities ,they would snag that opportunity like the Germans did.
    This may not be good.

    • Daniel Rich
      January 7, 2014, 4:13 pm

      @ traintosiberia,

      Q: …they would snag that opportunity like the Germans did.

      R: You were in Berlin during the early ’20’s?

    • Citizen
      January 7, 2014, 6:33 pm

      “You see this napkin?” he said. “In twenty-four hours, we could have the signatures of seventy senators on this napkin.” David Steiner, past president of AIPAC. Nothing at root has changed since that New Yorker article, IMO.

      • James Canning
        January 8, 2014, 6:45 pm

        Your comment should be placed on the front page of The New York Times. Should. But won’t.

  4. Donald
    January 7, 2014, 2:22 pm

    A link from 20 years back–

    link

    I can’t remember if I read “Den of Thieves”, which was about Wall Street chicanery back in the 80’s but apparently Dershowitz accused the author James Stewart of writing an anti-semitic book. As you’ll see if you click on the link, the author of the piece (only summarized at the link) thought Dersh was wrong. I did remember vaguely the anti-semitism accusation and was able to find the above–sometimes I think this whole Internet thing might really catch on and be useful from time to time.

    Incidentally, the summary is wrong in calling “Den” a novel. It was non-fiction. And here’s another link from 1991, an article from Business Week

    business week

    • Citizen
      January 7, 2014, 6:45 pm

      RE: “As recently as the 1970s, Jews and all others not of the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant ascendancy were still excluded from any position of real power at the bar, on the bench, at banks and in boardrooms. ”

      Really? Seems to me it, by 1970, it wasn’t matter of Jews being excluded from such power, but rather that they had separate but equal power–in short, they just hadn’t yet come to dominate the Wall St playground that uses other people’s money to gamble legally (and then gets bailed out by Dick and Jane):

      Excerpt from Den Of Thieves, Chapter 1:
      Though the winds of change were apparent in 1971, Wall Street was still split between the “Jewish” and the “WASP” firms. At an earlier time, when major corporations and banks had discriminated overtly against Jews, Wall Street had rewarded merit and enterprise. Firms like Goldman, Sachs, Lehman Brothers, and Kuhn Loeb (made up historically of aristocratic Jews of German descent) had joined the ranks of the most prestigious WASP firms: Morgan Stanley — an outgrowth of J. P. Morgan’s financial empire — First Boston, Dillon, Read, and Brown Brothers Harriman. Giant Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith, something of an anomaly, had once been considered the “Catholic” firm. Kidder, Peabody remained firmly in the WASP camp. Siegel was the first Jew it hired in corporate finance.

  5. chet
    January 7, 2014, 2:41 pm

    Discussion concerning the means of acquisition of money by Jews and for the maintenance of the wealth are forbidden topics for non-Jews — if discussed, one thereby becomes a proponent of the Protocols or a promoter of the the trope of “Jewish greedy acquisitiveness” and accordingly an Anti-Semite.

    OTOH, when the amassed wealth is used to corrupt politicians to pursue Likudist goals without question, criticism is perfectly acceptable.

  6. doug
    January 7, 2014, 2:44 pm

    I’m nostalgic for “Other People’s Money,” about the elites, manager/owners of old family businesses that had, at some point, gone public but continued to operate as personal fiefdoms against the upstart corporate takeover specialists,

    Personally, I rooted for “Larry the Liquidator.”

    Actually a pretty nuanced portrait of the conflicts between unions, execs, and owners. However, I don’t recall a Jewish theme in the play.

    These days Jews certainly seem more common in law and banking but Jewish lawyers and bankers are on all sides of this.

  7. seafoid
    January 7, 2014, 2:54 pm

    If Jews are responsible for the current state of the culture on Wall St I wouldn’t advise them to crow about it.

    • American
      January 7, 2014, 4:34 pm

      Neither would I.

    • lysias
      January 7, 2014, 5:03 pm

      Or the state of culture in Hollywood either.

    • Krauss
      January 7, 2014, 6:21 pm

      Brooks wrote an Op-Ed about this. He essentially wrote about what Beinart’s been writing about – the failures of the Jewish establishment.

      Beinart did it from a Zionist angle but Brooks talked about the media and Wall Street. He never explicitly mentioned Jews, but he talked about the “old WASP guard” and “the arriviste class” (a.k.a Jews) and he essentially said we never want to go back but we have to deal with the failures.

      He then went on that for all the bad stuff the WASPs did, they were not responsible for the culture of Wall Street that took shape after the 1970s and which Jews in large part were.

      I personally believe a lot of that is an oversimplification. I’ll write about it in a new comment below.

  8. Jeff Klein
    January 7, 2014, 3:10 pm

    Brilliant, Phil! I can recount a personal story which illustrates the “prehistory” of this Wall Street era.

    When I was in High School at Brooklyn Tech around 1960 I got a part-time after school job at the Ormont Machine Company on Broadway, just north of Houston St. Ormont – long gone from Lower Manhattan but apparently still operating out of Paramus, NJ –built die-cutting presses and machines to stuff pillows and toy animals. Difficult as it is to imagine now, all those trendy boutiques and lofts were then still the home to a thriving small manufacturing industry.

    The elderly founder of the company was a Mr. Goldberg, known as “Mr. G” to all of us, and his wife Mrs. G. ran the office. Their son was strangely known as Mr. Garwin. It wasn’t until years later that I figured out that the name Ormont was made-up French for “Gold Mountain” or Goldberg, meant to camouflage the Jewish ownership of the firm.

    A very different time.

    • Donald
      January 7, 2014, 3:57 pm

      I never watch “Madmen”, but I gather that’s an accurate depiction of WASP hegemony in those days and it wasn’t pretty. The ethnic composition of the 1 percent may change, but the behavior probably doesn’t.

      • Krauss
        January 7, 2014, 6:54 pm

        I never watch “Madmen”, but I gather that’s an accurate depiction of WASP hegemony in those days and it wasn’t pretty. The ethnic composition of the 1 percent may change, but the behavior probably doesn’t.

        You’re right about the last part.

        As for the behaviour of the WASP elite, I have noticed that we never hear from them. Everytime we talk about the old WASP elite we hear from their rivals(invariably Jewish) talking to (Jewish) journalists.

        I guess the WASPs who were displaced are not interesting, and also there’s a perception that any of their bitterness must necessarily be anti-Semitism. Maybe. On the other hand, being demonized constantly does make people hostile. I believe this is what happened to Mearsheimer who didn’t start as an anti-Semite(and I still don’t think he is one at heart) but who more than dabbled in it when he endorsed Gilad Atzmon’s book in 2011. If you constantly get told you’re a racist by Jews for doing what you believe in, I think you will get anti-Semitic feelings.

        Naturally, Mearsheimer’s goal and mission was far more noble than the genteel elite of the WASPy 1%. But, getting into their shoes, I’d imagine they saw themselves as guardians of a more humane and cohesive system which isn’t as obsessed with money as they saw the Perelman’s and the Icahn’s. But even if that was the case, their monopoly still had to be blown up, because they weren’t a meritocratic elite, they were bound by blood and that’s never a good qualifier for anything if that’s the only qualifier.

    • Bumblebye
      January 7, 2014, 4:35 pm

      By contrast, my first job in the City of London was in the office of a fur importer. Owned by two semi-retired East European ultra-orthodox, run by the sons of one of them. So I got to feel as if I had entered a time warp, as many of the businesses on that small street were owned by other such people, and if I went out for lunch I’d see people clad in the way of previous centuries, some with a yoke across their shoulders carrying raw furs up and down the street!

      The next time I heard of the family (who had previously lived in the same northern town, attended the same primary as my siblings had before moving south, and I’m back here now) was when I still watched tv. The program (somewhen around 05 or 06) was called something like “The Criminal Rich List” and one of the sons had made it into the top ten. I think I was gobsmacked!

  9. tombishop
    January 7, 2014, 3:35 pm

    and then there is Milton Friedman……http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_friedman

    • tombishop
      January 8, 2014, 1:07 pm

      For anyone that doesn’t understand what I am talking about, Milton
      Friedman was the godfather of the free marketers wanting to end all government oversight of corporations and banks. A central tenant of his philosophy is that natural disasters and economic crisis should be exploited to privatize public services.

      His economic theories are behind many of the destructive economic polices globally for the last forty years. See Naomi Klein’s book “The Shock Doctrine” for details. http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine

      • hophmi
        January 9, 2014, 5:40 pm

        So if a WASP economist has a theory that you don’t like, do you refer to him as a bad economist or a bad WASP?

  10. Walker
    January 7, 2014, 4:07 pm

    As recently as the 1970s . . . America was still an agglomeration of ghettos: Italians knew Italians, Jews knew Jews, Poles knew Poles, Irish knew Irish, WASPs barely knew any of them existed.

    This is ridiculous. I hope that anyone under the age of 40 reading this isn’t misled. As a kid growing up in the 1960s I went to school with Italians, Poles, Jews, Irish and WASPS, plus others. In the 1970s as a corporate programmer I worked with Italians, Poles, Jews, Irish and WASPS, plus others.

    • hophmi
      January 8, 2014, 6:44 am

      Completely ridiculous, because not only there was plenty of multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism before that, but because there is still plenty of ghettoization today.

    • Citizen
      January 8, 2014, 8:23 am

      @Walker
      Same here re school in the 1960’s. In the early 1970’s I graduated law school with lots of Jews, and then worked on LaSalle St as a lawyer–with tons of Jews.

    • James Canning
      January 8, 2014, 7:23 pm

      Many Irish were Wasps. Protestant Irish. Andrew Mellon, for example.

  11. Donald
    January 7, 2014, 4:16 pm

    “And of course the nature of the establishment is changing: de Blasio and Obama represent a new multicultural establishment that must be more responsive to diverse constituencies.”

    That seems a little optimistic. What happens is that you no longer have to be a WASP to make it to the top–there’s now a wider ethnic range of assholes who can become Herman Cains, Donald Trumps, Michael Milkens, etc… They can all stand up there and spit on the rest of us.

    As for Obama, he spent his first term trying his best to toss his left flank overboard and make deals with imaginary center-right Republicans of the sort he might have seen on the TV show “West Wing”. He picked Wall Street types to run the financial recovery. He’s making egalitarian noises now, but it’s been late in coming and I’ll be pleasantly surprised if it actually means anything.

    • Citizen
      January 7, 2014, 7:31 pm

      @ Donald
      Yep. Equal opportunity exploitation, although some might say the Jewish network has the advantage these days. And yes, looks like the next round of fighting campaigns will headline with main bout: Income Gap (D) v. Obamacare (R).

  12. David Doppler
    January 7, 2014, 4:18 pm

    A lot flows from how you define your community.

  13. hophmi
    January 7, 2014, 4:20 pm

    It’s just amazing how much of what you say boils down to an anti-semitic caricature that you deem acceptable because you believe Jews have accumulated wealth and power in American society.

    “Hat’s off to Eshman for saying what so many in the Jewish community know about and are afraid to broach”

    Which is what, exactly? That there are crooked Jews just as there are crooked Catholics, crooked Asians, crooked WASPs, crooked leftists, crooked rightist, and crooked African-Americans? This is something that Jews are afraid to discuss? Based on what? I have never, once, heard any Jew suggest that Jews are not capable of doing bad things. In fact, I would say that Jews are FAR, FAR MORE LIKELY to be self-critical than just about any other successful ethnic group that I know of.

    “Item: Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner both destroyed promising careers for lack of discipline.”

    Item: There are ten Jewish Senators and 23 Jewish members of Congress. None of them have displayed any “lack of discipline.” For the last 12 years, New York City has had a Jewish mayor; he was not known for being undisciplined. You picked the only two guys you could think of. You’re like any anti-semite – find a bad Jew, amplify him, and by extension, make it look like typical Jewish behavior.

    “Item: Opposition to Edward Snowden (you’re no Ellsberg) comes from establishment stalwarts”

    Item: The New York Times, which you think is some kind of typical Zionist establishment newspaper, favored giving him clemency. Item: There are plenty of Jews who favor Snowden’s position. Item: Counterpunch is not a reliable source on this question.

    This is one of your most antisemitic posts ever. You can’t hide behind your commentators when you post drivel like this.

    • Keith
      January 7, 2014, 5:31 pm

      HOPHMI- “It’s just amazing how much of what you say boils down to an anti-semitic caricature….”

      It is amazing how much of what you say boils down to Jewish chauvinism.

      Hophmi say: “In fact, I would say that Jews are FAR, FAR MORE LIKELY to be self-critical than just about any other successful ethnic group that I know of.”

      An almost perfect example of self-parody. Mr. Meritocracy!

      • hophmi
        January 8, 2014, 6:46 am

        “It is amazing how much of what you say boils down to Jewish chauvinism.”

        What. in my argument, is chauvinistic? Nothing.

        “An almost perfect example of self-parody. ”

        No, it happens to be true. There’s a reason Jews are about the only financially secure group in this country to vote Democratic, and in overwhelming numbers.

      • Chu
        January 8, 2014, 10:53 am

        “There’s a reason Jews are about the only financially secure group in this country to vote Democratic, and in overwhelming numbers.”

        -What the hell does this mean??? Please enlighten us, although I am already cringing at what the answer will be.

      • Keith
        January 8, 2014, 3:09 pm

        HOPHMI- “What. in my argument, is chauvinistic?”

        That you can even make that statement says volumes. This is yet another of your chauvinistic attacks on any and all criticisms of anything or anyone Jewish. You are incapable of even acknowledging that the media downplays negative news about Jews while simultaneously radically overemphasizing Jewish victim hood. And when Phil tries to provide some small amount of balancing information, you go on the attack like an angry wasp (no pun intended) defending your nest. You are a loyal Zionist cadre to the core, totally lacking in insight yet claiming to be far, far more self-critical than others.

      • Citizen
        January 8, 2014, 6:07 pm

        @ hophmi
        Yes, the reason is the American campaign finance system. Follow the (Zionist) money.

      • Citizen
        January 8, 2014, 6:18 pm

        @ hophmi
        You are confusing calculated long term self-interest with virtue. What the record shows is that, in USA jews are for the underdog as they could be next, while the same US jews as to Israel are for the overdog over there. These majority of American Jews, by allowing rule of AIPAC in their name, by not protesting AIPAC rule of US foreign policy, simply reveal what they think is good for the Jews, in one case in USA, in another, in Israel. What bothers me is the 98% Gentile Americans go along with this tribal stance, against their own best values, and against their pocket book.

      • hophmi
        January 9, 2014, 5:44 pm

        ” These majority of American Jews, by allowing rule of AIPAC in their name, by not protesting AIPAC rule of US foreign policy, simply reveal what they think is good for the Jews, in one case in USA, in another, in Israel. ”

        Well, it’s true that many people believe in the stereotype that Jews care more about themselves than about others. Of course, when you make dumb arguments like this, you inevitably fall into one of those traps this site creates for you – arguing out of one side of your mouth that most Jews are comfortable here, and arguing out of the other that, unlike just about every other financially successful demographic, Jews vote Democratic because they’re looking out for themselves.

        Oh well. I can’t be bothered to further untangle your psychosis. Obviously, Jews will never do right in your eyes.

      • marc b.
        January 8, 2014, 8:31 am

        I think hophmi should honor us with a review of Ben Urwand’s “the collaboration”. As an example of his superlative talent for self criticism.

      • hophmi
        January 8, 2014, 11:13 am

        Feel free to read pieces praising the book on Tablet.

        http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/158007/hollywood-and-the-nazis-revisited

        The question is whether you’ll quote what the book actually says, which is that some studio heads pulled their punches to protect the German market, or whether you’ll misuse the book, as you did Edwin Black’s book, to make some antisemitic Holocaust denial argument about how Jews were responsible for their own slaughter.

      • Citizen
        January 8, 2014, 6:03 pm

        @ hophmi
        Edwin Black’s book simply documented that Zionist Jewish leaders worked with Nazi leaders to get the Jews to Israel, away from Gentile lands. They had a common purpose.

      • marc b.
        January 8, 2014, 8:12 pm

        I’ve never said any such thing about ‘Jews and the Holocaust’ you loon. (And how does one deny the holocaust and place blame on the victims?)

        That’s hardly all the book says. Urwand also reports that studio heads were reinvesting profits in nazi Germany and had already planned for their continued business relations with the nazis after they had successfully conquered Europe.

      • marc b.
        January 9, 2014, 7:11 pm

        BEN URWAND: In 1933, the Germans passed a law that prevented all foreign businesses operating in Germany from withdrawing their Reich marks and turning them into foreign currency. What Paramount of 20th Century Fox did was they took the money from the proceeds from their films, they invested those Reich marks in German cameramen and they bought German film stock, and they shot images of the nationalistic events in Germany, and they made these newsreels, which were screened in Germany. The newsreels were essentially pro-Nazi in content. They then sent that footage back to Hollywood. And that footage was reshaped so that newsreels were made, not pro-Nazi in tone but neutral in tone, which showed what was happening in Germany. And those newsreels were then sold all around the world. I mean, this way Paramount and 20th Century Fox recouped their profits through the sale of these newsreels.

        But MGM didn’t make newsreels in Germany. And, as the decade progressed, the studio was unable to export its money and was steadily accruing a German bank account, full of Reich marks. And in December 1938, one month after Kristallnacht, MGM comes to an arrangement with the German government, whereby it can export its money only if it invests in German firms that are producing German armaments. And that is how MGM exported its profits from December 1938 onwards, by investing in the production of German armaments.

    • Krauss
      January 7, 2014, 6:22 pm

      The same logic underlining your comment can be seen in the many attacks against Beinart. For some Jews, even talking about Jewish power – and the misuse of it – is an anti-Semitic crime to begin with. For these Jews – and you are one of them – it is 1938, constantly. Deny it all you want.

      • hophmi
        January 8, 2014, 7:24 am

        Oh please. Phil’s argument is the same old anti-semitic nonsense about Jews being too financial powerful and stealing from everyone else because they’re Jews. Look at the comments here. They’re truly inane. You have one guy trying to argue that Leonardo DiCaprio was too gentile-looking to play Jordan Belfort.

        Phil is interested in one thing only: amplifying as much negativity about American Jews as possible.

      • James Canning
        January 8, 2014, 3:20 pm

        Phil often draws attention to good things about American Jews. Their success, high rate of intermarriage with non-Jews, etc etc.

    • Citizen
      January 7, 2014, 7:40 pm

      Interesting take, and you add: ” In fact, I would say that Jews are FAR, FAR MORE LIKELY to be self-critical than just about any other successful ethnic group that I know of.” Isn’t that a pro-Jewish caricature? I mean, it’s even in caps and redundant at that! I don’t recall anyone taking umbrage against the negative portraits of WASPs in the pop culture, do you? You know, back when there were so many in positions of power? Hollywood sure beat that drum to death, still does but it’s hard put nowadays, left to teen movies, the last gasp of putting the WASPYs male and female in the black hat in an increasingly more colorful high school.

      • hophmi
        January 8, 2014, 8:13 am

        “I don’t recall anyone taking umbrage against the negative portraits of WASPs in the pop culture, do you?”

        Define taking umbrage. Do you watch Fox? What do you think the whole War on Christmas nonsense is about?

        In any event, it’s apples and oranges. Jews are a small minority here. WASPs are not.

      • Cliff
        January 8, 2014, 9:05 am

        In any event, it’s apples and oranges. Jews are a small minority here. WASPs are not.

        Which means nothing. Establishment American Jews have beaten the WASPs.

      • hophmi
        January 8, 2014, 11:05 am

        “Establishment American Jews have beaten the WASPs.”

        I have no idea what on earth that means. I was not aware that we were in competition with one another.

      • James Canning
        January 8, 2014, 2:05 pm

        Fairly high rate of intermarriage between “Establishment Wasps” and Jews.

      • James Canning
        January 8, 2014, 3:15 pm

        Jews obviously have taken over positions in US Government formerly occupied by Protestants, especially in areas of foreign policy, defence and treasury.

      • Citizen
        January 8, 2014, 5:42 pm

        @ hophmi
        “Jews are a small minority here. WASPs are not.”

        Yeah, sure, that’s why WASPs make up such a large segment of SCOTUS and Wall Street, and The Fed.

      • hophmi
        January 9, 2014, 6:55 am

        Are you asserting that Jews are more than 2% of the population?

        There are plenty of WASPs on Wall Street and at the Fed, and the fact that SCOTUS happens not to have any WASPs on it at this point in history has nothing to do with anything. It’s a body of nine people, SIX OF WHICH ARE CATHOLIC, IN CASE YOU FORGOT. Did the Catholics “beat” the WASPs too?

        We don’t compete like that here. Maybe you should find another country to live in.

      • Citizen
        January 9, 2014, 11:24 pm

        @ hophmi
        I served in the US military, as a combat engineer. Did you serve in the US military, or the IDF? Neither? I was born and raised in the USA. Were you? I was pointing out that WASPs have little influence on politics today, especially when compared to the influence they once had. Everybody knows this, so why don’t you? When’s the last time a WASP, or any gentile for that matter, was the head of the Fed? Anybody who wants to know the ethnic makeup of the big players on Wall St can use google; the list comes right up. I never implied clerks on Wall St were disproportionately Jewish. And Yes, just 9 at SCOTUS and so look who they are. How many Catholics are in the USA? How many Jews? How many WASPS? Do the math for probability.

      • James Canning
        January 11, 2014, 3:30 pm

        And speaking of “doing the math”: one must consider how remarkable, that 2% of the American population spends more that the remaining 98% of the American population, on Democratic candidates for US Senate or the Hoiuse of Reps.

      • Citizen
        January 8, 2014, 6:34 pm

        @ hophmi
        Exactly the point. Jews are a small minority compared to WASPs in USA, yet, the pop culture is rabidly anti-WASP.

      • hophmi
        January 9, 2014, 11:23 am

        “the pop culture is rabidly anti-WASP.”

        How so? And what is WASP culture, anyway? And how do you connect anti-WASP culture with Jews? Are they the only non-WASPs in this country?

      • James Canning
        January 10, 2014, 6:05 pm

        “Wasp” has patrician connotations, and Jews readily blend into this culture.

      • hophmi
        January 9, 2014, 5:45 pm

        “Exactly the point. Jews are a small minority compared to WASPs in USA, yet, the pop culture is rabidly anti-WASP.”

        I think the only people who agree with you on that are the people at Fox News.

    • Stogumber
      January 7, 2014, 8:48 pm

      We needn’t debate here about generalities, like, there are some crooked Jews anywhere. Phil Weiss quotes two concrete critiques:

      First Close: WASPs had a “social code” which forbade them “taking over companies against the will of their existing executives”. And these Jews were successful because they didn’t respect such a social code or restraint.

      Secondly Eshman: These Jews did so because they had a “chip on their shoulder like a polo pony” – grounded not in real poverty, but in the fact that it’s true they were already upper middle class, but there were still some people above them which didn’t treat them as equals. (Which from my point of view is completely crazy; I’m not even upper middle class, but I wouldn’t obsessively care about people being above me and cold-shouldering me.)

      Now it’s your turn – please show us when and where these things have been part of Jewish self-criticism before.

      • hophmi
        January 8, 2014, 8:16 am

        “Now it’s your turn – please show us when and where these things have been part of Jewish self-criticism before.”

        I have no idea what you’re talking about. Can you not see the difference between a WASP culture of exclusion and a member of a persecuted minority group trying to be successful?

      • Citizen
        January 8, 2014, 5:39 pm

        @ hophmi
        Yes, I can, the difference is who gets to play golf at the most prestigious clubs in America. Please tell us how Jews are currently persecuted in America. Are they persecuted on Wall Street? In SCOTUS? In Congress? Where?

      • Citizen
        January 8, 2014, 6:29 pm

        @
        Stogumber
        Never underestimate the power of rebellion against an exclusive Gentile-only golf club.

    • goldmarx
      January 7, 2014, 10:35 pm

      Hophmi: I disagree a lot with you (since I support BDS) but when you score a direct hit, I’ll say it. Phil has been increasingly disappointing, starting with his rationalizing about intermarriage, his sucking up to intermarried Hollywood celebrities, etc. He seems to think that intermarriage should be encouraged since it dilutes the Hasbarah recruitment pool.

      The atmosphere here can often be toxic, and I have started to discuss this with Larry Derfner on ‘972’, since several of my posts that document the poison are not allowed here.

      Phil also has talked about his own yearning for acceptance. He wants to be part of a wider Jewish tent, or something. But, the line between him and Gilad Atzmon is becoming increasingly blurry, and when Omar Barghouti kicks him out of the Palestine solidarity circle, getting into a Jewish tent will be the least of his problems.

      • Donald
        January 8, 2014, 12:21 pm

        ” But, the line between him and Gilad Atzmon is becoming increasingly blurry, ”

        Okay, that’s just nasty. When Phil starts implying that Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves then the Atzmon comparison will be valid. I see people from other backgrounds who really rip into their “own people”, so to speak. I do that myself sometimes. There’s a large gray area between self-criticism and self-hatred, but I don’t think Phil is anywhere close to the self-hatred line.

        I don’t get the comment on intermarriage. Possibly it’s because I don’t care one way or the other. It’s fine if religious people want to marry others who share the same beliefs–it’s similar to wanting to make sure your spouse’s political beliefs won’t drive you nuts. It’s fine if people want to marry outside their group. It’s none of my business unless people start telling me who I can or cannot marry.

        Phil is a little too interested in celebrities for my taste. If he wants to go down the popular culture route, I’d rather he focus on how the I/P conflict or Arabs or Muslims or Israelis are portrayed in TV shows and movies. That’d be interesting to me at least, and it might even be relevant to the main topic here, since ordinary people who don’t follow the I/P issue obsessively might be picking up some of their beliefs from such sources. I used to have a love/hate thing going for the TV show “West Wing”, but that show was full of sometimes nasty propaganda on the Middle East and yet it was perceived as a kind of escapist show for liberals day-dreaming about a liberal President during the Bush Presidency. Anyway, without going further, if we’re going to discuss popular culture then that’s the sort of thing I’d like to see.

      • Citizen
        January 8, 2014, 5:33 pm

        @ goldmarx

        Are you an American? Since when does any American, with American values, have to rationalize intermarriage? Under such values, anyone who rails against individual choice in this private matter is the one who must defend their discriminatory ideology, which is un-American.

      • James Canning
        January 8, 2014, 6:03 pm

        Bravo, Citizen. Five or six decades ago, Roman Catholic nuns in the US often tried to discourage your Catholics from playing with young Protestants.

    • Citizen
      January 8, 2014, 6:26 pm

      @ hophmi
      NYT is not a reliable source on this question. The only reason NYT is favoring Snowden is that it’s so clear Snowden is an American patriot, and the whole world thinks he did it a favor. The choice was favoring Clapper.

      • hophmi
        January 9, 2014, 5:54 pm

        “First Close: WASPs had a ‘social code’ which forbade them ‘taking over companies against the will of their existing executives’. And these Jews were successful because they didn’t respect such a social code or restraint.”

        LOL. I don’t know how much more Stormfront I can take today.

        “Secondly Eshman: These Jews did so because they had a ‘chip on their shoulder like a polo pony’ – grounded not in real poverty, but in the fact that it’s true they were already upper middle class, but there were still some people above them which didn’t treat them as equals. (Which from my point of view is completely crazy; I’m not even upper middle class, but I wouldn’t obsessively care about people being above me and cold-shouldering me.)”

        You, predictably, can’t read straight. Eshman quotes a portion of Belfort’s memoir. He asks (doesn’t say it’s true, but asks) whether there are attitudes within our community that create “extreme examples” like Belfort and Madoff. I think Rob is way off and way out of line; there is absolutely no question that greed on Wall Street transcends religion; you can find Jordan Belforts of every race, religion, and creed. The fact that you, and others here, are suggesting that there’s something innately Jewish, whether cultural or otherwise, about financial crookedness, is the most transparent form of bigotry.

  14. dbroncos
    January 7, 2014, 4:53 pm

    The international money laundering, check kiting, human kidney trafficking, public official bribing, tax evasion scam that resulted in the arrest of 44 people, including 3 New Jersey mayors and 5 rabbis, is another story that’s ripe for the silver screen. The black market human kidney scam was the first of its kind uncovered in the US. The HMFC of the kidney scam was a rabbi who got just two years jail time for his bloody trade (marijuana growers get stiffer sentences!). Prosecutor Chris Christie had big political ambitions so perhaps he had to tread lightly.

    Where are the screen plays for this outrageous web of crime and corruption? I seriously doubt that this story of greed and corruption will be coming to a theatre near you.

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/07/nj_corruption_probe_includes_f.html

    • James Canning
      January 8, 2014, 2:09 pm

      “American Greed” TV programme covered this story well (large-scale tax-fraud, money laundering etc etc), among the Orthodox Syrian Jewish community of northern New Jersey.

  15. American
    January 7, 2014, 5:03 pm

    I read the PBS article on the Lucky Sperm Club the other day but havent read the book. However the author John Weir Close sums up what he thinks these M&A Jews did as:

    “”And that’s just what they did. The control of corporate America was arguably democratized in the process. And shareholders, regardless of identity or motives, gained an upper hand they have yet to relinquish, almost three decades later.””

    Which tells me Close is totally delusional about the effects of the M&A piracy on major US business and the economic ramifications that ensued from it. It was anything but ‘democratized’ by hostile takovers and M&A—–the stupidy of describing it as democratizing’ is mind boggling. …..unless he thinks the Jewish part in it somehow represented democracy in action.

    His tale of the Jewish A&M doesnt do the Jews any favors….unless he somehow thinks what he describes is admirable:

    “But it was primarily Jews who first became expert in taking over companies against the will of their existing executives. The white-shoe law firms and elite investment banks found this simultaneously distasteful and tantalizing in the same way medieval merchants viewed the lending of money at interest. Both groups were discouraged from joining in one of the most profitable enterprises of their day: the old merchants by, among other things, an ecclesiastical ban on the practice of usury; the new lawyers, by the establishment’s social codes of behavior. Again, the Jews found themselves in control of an industry that then perpetuated the stereotype: the omnipotent, venal Machiavellian, hands sullied by the unsavory. But the business of takeovers paid the rent. And then some”

  16. Keith
    January 7, 2014, 5:15 pm

    “To do otherwise might give the movie a whiff of anti-Semitic caricature. Scorsese feels much safer depicting the Italian-ness of his violent mobsters than the Jewishness of his greedy con men.”

    Had Martin Scorsese treated Jordan Belfort’s ethnicity the way he handled Vito Corleone’s ethnicity, he would surely have been pilloried as an anti-Semite and run out of Hollywood. Please note that the referenced article appeared in the “Jewish Journal,” not in any publication widely read by Gentiles. Even Phil’s referencing the article is provoking the usual defensive hysteria by the usual suspects.

    Furthermore, speaking of Mafioso, movies about organized crime usually focus on the Italians, not on the Jews such as Sidney Korshak or Meyer Lansky who played pivotal roles. How many are aware that the Bronfmans and the Pritzkers had (have?) links to organized crime? Plus, remember that Penny Pritzker had a questionable career involving sub-prime mortgages, yet is now the US Secretary of Commerce thanks to her fundraising for our beloved President.

    • hophmi
      January 8, 2014, 6:58 am

      “Had Martin Scorsese treated Jordan Belfort’s ethnicity the way he handled Vito Corleone’s ethnicity”

      You mean Francis Ford Coppola?

      “he would surely have been pilloried as an anti-Semite and run out of Hollywood.”

      LOL. You just can’t get it straight. The mafia was a organization that was not only dominated by Italians. It was an organization that originated in Italy, and was closed to non-Italians. Jews do not “dominate” Wall Street. There are prominent Jews on Wall Street, but there is no bar to non-Jews on Wall Street, most people on Wall Street are not Jewish, and finance is not something Jews made up by themselves. Your analogy is just ridiculous on its face.

      “Please note that the referenced article appeared in the “Jewish Journal,” not in any publication widely read by Gentiles.”

      Why don’t you write to Rob Eshman and ask him if he approves of his article being used the way Phil is using it here? Please, make an argument that the conversations that take place within a community are the same as those that take place outside of it. I mean, that’s why white people go around using the N-word, right?

      “movies about organized crime usually focus on the Italians, not on the Jews such as Sidney Korshak or Meyer Lansky who played pivotal roles.”

      Nonsense. Bugsy. Lansky. Once Upon a Time in America. Billy Bathgate. And of course, the Hyman Roth character in Godfather Part II, which is based on Lansky, for which Lee Strasberg won an Academy Award.

      You’re just an ill-informed bigot.

      • Keith
        January 8, 2014, 2:40 pm

        HOPHMI- “You mean Francis Ford Coppola?”

        Oops! I should have referenced “Goodfellas” not “The Godfather.” A minor point and your only valid criticism.

        Hophmi: “…the Hyman Roth character in Godfather Part II, which is based on Lansky….”

        A relatively minor role in the series, hardly proportionate to this criminal legend. Here is but one example from among many. “According to confidential sources, the prequel to the new scheme occurred when Meyer Lansky helped elect Aleman the president of Mexico in 1947 by advising him and paying for his campaign. Lansky’s quid pro quo was essentially ‘You become president of Mexico and the first thing you do is make sure that they do not try legalizing gambling in Mexico.’ Lansky was merely trying to assure the success of the nascent Las Vegas, where he was bankrolling Bugsy Siegal, among others.” (p338, “Supermob: How Sidney Korshak and His Criminal Associates Became America’s Hidden Power Brokers,” Gus Russo)

        Hophmi: “The mafia was a organization that was not only dominated by Italians. It was an organization that originated in Italy, and was closed to non-Italians.”

        From the book: “These members of the future Supermob concluded that there was no future without some accomodation and/or alliance with the post-Capone outfit, which seemed to hold a vice grip over Chicago and a powerful influence in many cities to the west, all the way to Los Angeles. Soon, associations would also be forged with East Coast boss Lucky Luciano and his ‘shadow Jew,’ Meyer Lansky. Noted New York Police organized crime expert Ralph Salerno wrote, ‘There is a happy marriage of convenience between Jewish and Italian gangsters. It represents the three M’s: Money, Moxie, and Muscle. The Jews supply the moxie, the Italians take care of the muscle. And they split the money between them.” (p25, “Supermob…”)

        Hophmi: “Jews do not “dominate” Wall Street.”

        That isn’t part of my comment, however, I find it interesting that you continue to downplay Jewish power and influence on Wall Street, and their leading role in the financialization of the political economy.

        As a Zionist, I am sure you will be pleased to know that “Sidney (Korshak) was a very strong supporter of Israel- he contributed a lot of money. Sidney never hid his Jewishness, never tried to assimilate.” (p264, “Supermob…”)

        Hophmi: “You’re just an ill-informed bigot.”

        Ah, name calling. The reflexive response of a Zionist scoundrel.

      • hophmi
        January 9, 2014, 5:32 pm

        “Oops! I should have referenced “Goodfellas” not “The Godfather.” A minor point and your only valid criticism.”

        For what purpose? I gave you a list of movies about Jewish mobsters. In any event, Goodfellas was quite upfront about the fact that Henry Hill’s wife, Karen, was a “Jewbroad” (to use Joe Pesci’s line) from the “Five Towns,” (read, wealthy JAP), and the character of Marty, the wig maker, is a pretty broad Jewish stereotype.

        “A relatively minor role in the series, hardly proportionate to this criminal legend.”

        Are you kidding? You think the role of Hyman Roth in the Godfather is minor? The role is clearly based on Meyer Lansky, and the character is probably the most important in the movie after Michael. The movie pulls no punches about depicting Roth as a deceitful killer.

        “Here is but one example from among many. ‘According to confidential sources, the prequel to the new scheme occurred when Meyer Lansky helped elect Aleman the president of Mexico in 1947 by advising him and paying for his campaign.'”

        Yeah, Keith, that’s sort of what that scene in the movie where Roth and others meet with the President of Cuba (based on Batista) is all about, as well as that line, about having a man in power that will let the mob do what they want, and one that follow about looking for a similar man to elect in the United States.

        ” Lansky was merely trying to assure the success of the nascent Las Vegas, where he was bankrolling Bugsy Siegal, among others.”

        Uh-huh. That’s why Moe Greene (based on Siegel) is in Godfather I, and why Roth references him as the kid he grew up with in Godfather II. It’s all in there, I promise, and no one makes any attempt to depict Greene/Siegel or Roth/Lansky as anything but Jewish.

        The same is true (even more so) in Once Upon a Time in America, maybe an even greater movie than Godfather I and II, where Sergio Leone spends an hour of the movie depicting the Lower East Side Jewish upbringing of the protagonists.

        “That isn’t part of my comment, however, I find it interesting that you continue to downplay Jewish power and influence on Wall Street, and their leading role in the financialization of the political economy.”

        I’m not downplaying anything. I object to the characterization of Jews on Wall Street as “dominating,” which is a bigot word which posits that Jews, acting as Jews, endeavor to disadvantage non-Jews with money. That’s a very old anti-semitic trope.

        “Ah, name calling. The reflexive response of a Zionist scoundrel.”

        Well Keith, just about everything you said about the Godfather is inaccurate, so I’m forced to conclude that you’re just not well-informed about this subject.

      • Keith
        January 10, 2014, 11:18 am

        HOPHMI- “Well Keith, just about everything you said about the Godfather is inaccurate, so I’m forced to conclude that you’re just not well-informed about this subject.”

        Really? Why don’t you take a stopwatch and review all three movies then inform us all about how much time is devoted to the Italian Mafia versus how much time is devoted to the Jewish Mafia. Are you seriously claiming that the Godfather series emphasized Jewish organized crime? One of the things which characterizes your comments is the complete lack of objectivity. You are a Zionist cadre to the core, yet another defense lawyer for Israel who shrieks “anti-Semitism!” at any and all criticism.

      • Keith
        January 10, 2014, 3:32 pm

        HOPHMI- Let me add a few things to my 1/10 @ 11:18 comment.

        First of all, how many non-Jewish moviegoers were aware, based upon the Godfather movies, that Mr. Roth (as he is addressed in the film) is based upon Meyer Lansky? Or that Mr. Roth is even Jewish? Or even that his first name is Hyman? Or that Moe Greene represents Bugsy Siegel? Or that Moe Greene is supposed to be Jewish? The names Roth and Greene are definitive indicators of Jewishness? Get real. The Jewish connection was downplayed to the point of being mere occasional hints. Compare that with the rest of the series. The Corleone family background, including their Sicilian roots, is emphasized.

        An interesting and related story concerning the role of Michael Corleone is that Coppola’s first choice for the role, Al Pacino, was initially unavailable for the role per MGM. Sidney Korshak was brought in and one phone call later MGM released Pacino to do the film. The actual phone exchanges are fascinating, but a little to long and colorful to quote, but you can check it out. (p385-6, Supermob)

        So much for ‘The Godfather.” I will make a later comment concerning Korshak and his influence, including the Pritzkers and others with early mob connections, but that will take a little time to compile.

      • James Canning
        January 11, 2014, 3:17 pm

        Great points, Keith (re: Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel and “The Godfather”).

      • Keith
        January 10, 2014, 4:49 pm

        HOPHMI- It is unlikely that Hollywood will ever do an honest picture on the career of Sidney Korshak. He was a fixer who worked in the shadows. A Jewish lawyer who operated in the no man’s between organized crime and “respectable” society. A mob lawyer and then some.

        I was going to elaborate on the Pritzgers, however, I didn’t already have notes and the reference to the Pritzger family is too extensive for me to review. Suffice it to say that they had intimate involvement with Sidney Korshak and other Mafioso, including loans from the mob and the Teamsters in acquiring properties. One quote to make the point:

        “One IRS informant who was quoted as saying that ‘the Pritzger family of Chicago through their Hyatt Corp. initially received their backing from organized crime” was later identified as F. Eugene Poe, the late president of a bank in Perrine, Florida, and vice president of the offshore tax haven where the Pritzgers hid their wealth known as Castle Bank….” (p138, Supermob)

        A final point I would like to make is the ubiquitous presence of organized crime in our society, the extent to which it is an integral part of the political economy. For example, illegal narcotic trafficking is a major source profit which relies upon the collusion of the financial system to launder the money from drug sales. This is major source of profit for the big US banks as well as liquidity for the system. During the financial collapse, drug money was the primary source of liquidity.

        “Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations’ drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer.”
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2009/dec/13/drug-money-banks-saved-un-cfief-claims

      • James Canning
        January 8, 2014, 3:19 pm

        You are forgetting that some top Mafia were Jews.

      • Citizen
        January 8, 2014, 5:05 pm

        @ hophmi

        From The Jewish Journal:

        “A major character in the movie [The Godfather] was Hyman Roth, portrayed loosely to be Meyer Lansky.

        The Reader’s Digest, an American magazine of condensations of popular culture journalism, published a major piece about Lansky. May, 1970, the monthly magazine, with a circulation estimated at 30,000,000 ran, The Shocking Success of “Public Enemy No. 1,” based on Lansky’s life, his reported $300,000,000 and his criminal background. A few weeks later, the Atlantic Monthly carried an article, written by Nicolas Gage. The article was titled “the Little Big Man Who Laughs at the Law,” alleged that “Lansky is the main architect of the giant conglomerate that is organized crime in the United States.”

        Yet when most Americans think of organized crime, they think of Italians, not Jews.Why is that?

      • James Canning
        January 9, 2014, 2:31 pm

        Bravo. Meyer Lansky helped to create the modern Mafia. His operations in Cuba are fascinating to read about.

      • Citizen
        January 8, 2014, 5:25 pm

        Let’s take this example, both Robert Rubin and Stephen Friedman were guaranteed upwardly mobile careers via Jewish networking.

        Soon Rubin and Friedman shared the chairmanships of Goldman followed by stints as directors of the National Economic Council — with Rubin under Clinton and Friedman under Bush.

        Their parallel paths would take them into the upper realms of national politics – demonstrating the fundamental power that Jewish banksters enjoy in America’s political life.

        In January 2008, Friedman became chairman of the New York Fed, the branch with a close relationship with Wall Street, deciding to whom tax-payers’ money goes.

        While Friedman chaired the New York Fed 2008-2009, he was at the same time on the board of directors at Goldman Sachs.

        When finally exposed as a “dual citizen” after being caught buying 50,000 shares of Goldman stock via inside information, Friedman quit the Fed under accusation of “conflict of interests.”

        But in 2009, ostensibly immune to any legal ramifications, while serving as chairman of the New York Fed, Friedman also chaired Obama’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

        Jewish stereotypes notwithstanding, must we buy into Jewish whitewashing as Abe Foxman and the hasbara bots here would have us do?

  17. Keith
    January 7, 2014, 6:00 pm

    PHIL- “Item: Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner both destroyed promising careers for lack of discipline.”

    Weiner may be a jerk but Spitzer was destroyed after he took on Wall Street.

    “While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an ‘escort’ $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush’s new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators…..Up until Wednesday, there was one single, lonely politician who stood in the way of this creepy little assignation at the bankers’ bordello: Eliot Spitzer.”
    (Greg Palast)
    http://www.gregpalast.com/elliot-spitzer-gets-nailed/

  18. Krauss
    January 7, 2014, 6:42 pm

    Where do I begin?

    The whole WASP/Jewish thing has become one of my favourite topics, and mostly by reading this site. Some background: I am in my lower 20s, a student and at least half of all Jews I encounter on campus come from interfaith marriages, mostly from a WASP/Jewish intermarriage so all these things are really a relic of the past for my generation. But I still think there are some points to raise precisely because I am not burdened by the stereotypes of that era.

    1. The term “WASP” has become almost useless. It has becomed defined by Jews like the one Solomon of PBS quoted, basically rich Jews going at it vs rich WASPs.
    The problem is that the vast majority of Jews are not interested nor have the means, the wealth or the interest(or even capability) to do multi-million or even billion dollar M&A takeovers.

    As such, “WASP” has come to define the tiny elite of white WASP America, which never really made any sense. This is why you often see the attempt to intertwine “WASP culture” with rich, preppy and snobby culture where you have people owning horses, multiple houses and the like(basically the Romney lifestyle) except that Romney is a multi-million dollar man and hardly representative of WASP America any less that a gilded douchebag like Perelman is of Jewish America.

    2. The changing culture of Wall Street would become inevitable anyway, Jews or no Jews. What happened in the 1960s was a meritocratic revolution(which has since been scaled back as affirmative action has expanded over the decades).

    The WASP elite growing up then were not defined by their money; they were defined by their brains. Bill Clinton is perhaps a better example than any I can think of. He grew up with many other high-achieving WASPs and Jews of his era, which is why his administration was probably the most philo-Semitic in the history of America(and there are plenty of contenders for that role).

    The Bill Clintons of the world were mostly coming from the working and lower-middle classes. They had no manners, no money and were incredibly hungry. They wanted it all; power, women and money and they wanted it yesterday. So their hunger were shared by the Jews they grew up with. It’s not a conincidence that many of these Jewish hedge fund managers have since cultivated WASPs of their own generation or younger. Julian Robertson of Tiger Management is a good example but there are many others.

    3. Finally, I think a lot of the hatred for these WASPs was just jealousy. Sure, there was anti-Semitism but there was plenty of bigotry returned. The top comment from the readers in the PBS article more or less nailed it.

    But more broadly I would say that the vast majority of Jews do not care. And I have noticed that among the Jews who do care it is usually middle-aged men. And often men who didn’t have the skills to do what the Perelman’s did but wish they did have it. Kind of like fantasy football, but Wall Street edition.

    It’s like the Rothchilds during 19th century Britain. Is an average Jew supposed to celebrate that the Rothschilds are outwitting their gentile bankster rivals? Oh great, joy! Now we can be scammed by a 100% Jewish banking family instead of the WASPs! My life is complete! Is it any wonder most Jews are voting liberal/socialist? The 1% among us makes all of us look really bad.

    (I’m also not surprised that Solmon is drawn to this story. He’s male, Jewish, upper-middle class and of a certain age. He has written a lot about economics, he doesn’t have the personal skills but dreams he did. He fits the demographic perfectly).

    As for the decline of the Jewish establishment? It’s already happening. Jewish achievement at the Ivies have dropped like a rock but the same percentage(20-25%) is kept up, partly because of rich Jewish people sending their kids and donating to get them a place via donations and partly out of affirmative actions. A lot of Asian kids today are being frozen out of Ivies because of this. Their percentage of the Ivy League student body has been frozen the last 20 years despite a population doubling and increasing scholastic achievement. Of course there’s a quota.

    The last time you had one, it was WASPs who were taking up the space. This time it’s a lot of rich Jews. So the demographic may change in ethnicity but it does not change in terms of socio-economic status. And these are the reasons why Jews in my generation are not outsiders but deeply imbedded insiders. It’s why young Jews are doing a lot worse in university, because they have so much already and university is seen as a rite, not a privilege. But will the NYT write about this new quota? Will Paul Solmon?

    Ron Unz, a Jewish conversative, did.
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-myth-of-american-meritocracy/

    • Citizen
      January 8, 2014, 8:18 am

      @Krauss
      I agree with all you say, with one minor quibble. Bill Clinton isn’t a true WASP. He’s English, Northern Irish (Scots-Irish), and Irish.

      • Krauss
        January 8, 2014, 1:22 pm

        His entire ancestry comes from the British Isles.
        Okay, so quite a bit of Irish mixed in. But his household was poor working-class WASP. Also, if Clinton is not a WASP then neither is the Queen of England who has significant German ancestry.

      • James Canning
        January 8, 2014, 6:19 pm

        Bill Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe IV. But he was raised in modest circumstances (father died young). Not a Wasp grandee by birth, but most defintely he rose to join that group.

  19. Whizdom
    January 7, 2014, 7:04 pm

    I agree with Scorsese, that any exegetical discursions into ethnic heritage as determinitave, even informative to plot, would be a distraction to the story, and would have made a very long movie to get it right. Like “Dirty Dancing”, which was set in the “Borscht belt”, emphasizing the facts that the resort was both a manifestation of Jewish ingathering, or/and also a manifestation of the fact that Jews of NYC postwar were unwelcome in WASP resorts, was not the point of the story.

    Jericho, and Syosset are towns in Long Island, and to ethno-historians, and people who grew up there, would tell of a post WW11 migration from the city to the then farmland suburbs of all sorts of ethnic groups, and veterans, seeking fresh air and a ranch house. The Jews of the garment and diamond districts, along with Poles, Italians, Slavs and Irish, moved from the crowded city, some of the Jews became Reform and Conservative Jews, named their children Mindy and Lance and Brooke, and went to temple on the holidays, and joined PTAs, became cub scout leaders, joined library boards, and built communities.
    Near Syosset is the former Estate of Otto Kahn, a WW1 era New York financier who was shunned by the rich WASPS, Otto was Henry Ford’s Archetypical Jewish Financier, so he built the biggest pile of castle (Think Downton Abbey-Chelsea Clinton got married there) on the highest hill on Long Island-now a upscale resort. He built a golf course which, after a while became the Country Club of the NY Jewish elite, as they couldn’t gain admission to the WASP clubs.
    The WASP/prosperous non WASP tension persisted, until the WASPS faded through inbreeding and changing times.
    After 1967-8 everything changed.
    So, I don’t blame Scorsese for not going there. But I also agree that there is a marvelous story to be told.

    • Citizen
      January 8, 2014, 8:07 am

      I’d bet the only reason Scorsese did not stick to the true story his movie is based in terms of the main character’s ethnicity was a career-maintence decision, not one concerned about diverting the artistic story line. He’s not been concerned as you say in any other movies he’s made, say those with main Italian gangster types–his mob movies like Goodfellas.

      And, since you brought it up, what do you think was the point of Dirty Dancing? Another Romeo and Juliet remake?

    • James Canning
      January 8, 2014, 7:19 pm

      Otto Herman Kahn was originally German, but became British, and later, American. His father was German, then American, then German again. O H Kahn worked closely with the father of Averell Harriman.

  20. James Canning
    January 7, 2014, 7:48 pm

    One remembers August Belmont. And his son, Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont.

  21. James Canning
    January 7, 2014, 7:50 pm

    Those interested in upper-class American Jews, a century or more ago, should read “Our Crowd” by Stephen Birmingham.

  22. Djinn
    January 7, 2014, 10:26 pm

    This may be the only time I will ever agree with Hophmi. With qualifications.

    I suspect he doesn’t object when Jewish organisations & individuals brag about the power/wealth of Jewish people in America given he is comfortable claiming with zero evidence that Jewish people have some inherent tendency/capacity, over and above the rest of the community for self reflection.

    Hophmi you can’t have it both ways, you can’t object to the description of negative Jewish stereotypes (which I agree with you on) and in the same breath throw around your own stereotypes.

    • hophmi
      January 8, 2014, 11:08 am

      “I suspect he doesn’t object when Jewish organisations & individuals brag about the power/wealth of Jewish people in America ”

      Which Jewish organizations are bragging about the power and wealth or Jews in America?

      It so happens that I do object when people say stupid things like this. In the first place, it’s not accurate; in the second, there are plenty of poor Jews in America.

      “he is comfortable claiming with zero evidence that Jewish people have some inherent tendency/capacity, over and above the rest of the community for self reflection.”

      Yes, I am, and so is Phil, on occasion.

      • James Canning
        January 8, 2014, 2:06 pm

        Hophmi – – Jews are indeed the richest group in the US now.

      • Djinn
        January 8, 2014, 7:15 pm

        So in other words ridiculous, unprovable, sweeping generalisations about Jews are OK sometimes? Right gotcha, I expect we won’t see you bleating about the stereotypes you just happen to disagree with then?

      • Citizen
        January 8, 2014, 9:06 pm

        @ Hophmi
        “…there are plenty of poor Jews in America.”

        Source? Plenty, compared to whom?

      • hophmi
        January 9, 2014, 5:38 pm

        “Source? Plenty, compared to whom?”

        http://www.metcouncil.org/site/PageServer?pagename=About_Jewish_Poverty_FAQs

        The rate of Jewish poverty in New York City is about 15%. That’s higher than the non-white Hispanic population.

      • Citizen
        January 10, 2014, 4:35 am

        @ hophmi
        Across the USA as a whole, relative to their percentage of the entire US population (2%), the Jewish ethnicity/religion is the richest group by far, and very well represented in the key sectors of politics,education, medicine, law, culture, finance, entertainment, etc :http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4099803,00.html

      • James Canning
        January 10, 2014, 6:00 pm

        Half of funding for Democrats in national races in the US comes from Jews. Crucial fact.

      • Cliff
        January 10, 2014, 6:48 am

        So what! There are tons more Hispanics in general than Jews.

        Jews are no doubt the most successful minority in this country.

        It’s so ridiculous of you to characterize American Jews as an impoverished, underrepresented, disenfranchised minority.

        How DARE you compare them to Hispanics. You are psychotic.

        As an Indian American, I’ll be the first to say that I do not consider myself a ‘minority’. I do not consider myself oppressed in America and I would not compare my minority status to that of Africa-Americans or Hispanics.

        But of course YOU do because you have no non-Jewish friends. You have no life experiences beyond your bubble, sheltered yuppie life.

      • Keith
        January 10, 2014, 7:08 pm

        HOPHMI- “The rate of Jewish poverty in New York City is about 15%. That’s higher than the non-white Hispanic population.”

        From your link: “Although the Jewish population has substantially lower levels of poverty than black and Hispanic populations….”

        You say Jewish poverty is higher than non-white Hispanic, but your link says it is substantially lower. Why is that?

        And let me be clear, Jews are not immune to the consequences of neoliberalism which Wall Street is imposing on the world. All poverty is a disgrace which would not be tolerated in a just society. And the reality is that Jewish elites (not all Jews) are generously represented in the institutions of power which are driving the new global neoliberal imperium which is screwing the 99%. These are the people you provide aid and comfort to when you try to squelch discussion about power relationships. Zionist hasbra has a lot in common with Stalinist apologetics.

  23. biorabbi
    January 7, 2014, 11:27 pm

    This is one of the most interesting posts I’ve ever read on Mondoweiss. It seemed to me the material itself was disgusting in terms of human value, but the over-the-top humor/banter of the interactions between the Jonah Hill character and Jordan Belfort character saved it.

    Leonardo is a great actor but I did feel the ethnic/NYC/Jewish vibe in his acting.

    Christian Bale was also fantastic in American Hustle(complete with oversized star of David), but maybe it’s just me, but I also didn’t buy his Jewishness. This may also be because there appears to be nothing especially Jewish-focused on their characters… they married out(and our their mistresses were also non-Jewish), their children weren’t especially Jewish, nor were their religious activities(they appeared to have no overt religious beliefs). Their sole Jewish attachment was an intense hatred for the blue-blooded, WASP, old money, republican, boarding school elite that ran the show. But I think this hatred was also shared by non-Jews such as the FBI agent who is disgusted by Jordan Belfort but admires the fact Belfort’s father wasn’t “an asshole” which is code for the WASP elite.

  24. doug
    January 8, 2014, 12:09 am

    As I said earlier, Jews were on both sides of the corporate M&A game and frankly, I relished the general defeat of the Marty Liptons. They were the lawyers that came up with a panoply of anti-takeover defenses to preserve Management’s control of these corporations. At the time most, though not all, corporate management were Wasps. They had entrenched themselves with really odd mixes of poison pills, super voting shares the founding families owned, and other anti-takeover defenses. This protection allowed senior management to essentially loot their businesses and ignore the tiny detail that they were supposed to be running the biz for the benefit of their owners, not themselves. It became nearly impossible for owners to get together and replace management. CEO’s treated their positions as jobs for life. Needless to say they didn’t hold the same idea re their employee subordinates. An entrenched, stagnant management doesn’t create the conditions that facilitate a healthy environment for workers either. It was a lose – lose – win situation where the only winners were the CEO and top executives.

    The “Lucky Sperm Club” broke down many of those barriers erected by the Marty Lipton’s. As the PBS article put it in closing:

    And that’s just what they did. The control of corporate America was arguably democratized in the process. And shareholders, regardless of identity or motives, gained an upper hand they have yet to relinquish, almost three decades later

  25. yonah fredman
    January 8, 2014, 6:49 pm

    This column has nothing to do with the Middle East, it is purely against Jews. Granted, it is worthy to oppose the excesses of all those on Wall Street who act like these wolves (apologies to the wolves) and if they are Jews, they should be opposed as well. But clarify: why does this belong on Mondoweiss, why do Spitzer and Weiner’s excesses belong on Mondoweiss? The answer is: They are Jews and opposing Jews is part of Mondoweiss’s credo. Is this called anti semitism? The word has become too toxic. But it is an attack on Jews qua Jews.

    • James Canning
      January 8, 2014, 7:12 pm

      Yonah, isn’t one theme of this site the great rise in wealth and power of Jews in the US? Whcih inevitably affects US policies in the Middle East.

      • yonah fredman
        January 9, 2014, 4:40 pm

        James- So anything about any rich American Jew is automatically fodder for Mondoweiss? So then how do we tell the difference between this and a person who obsesses with Jews out of hatred? Do we need to trust Phil’s heart that he is merely interested in helping out US foreign policy every time he points out a sleazy rich Jew? I don’t think it’s meshuga (a la the cartoon of Marvin Hier) or paranoid to point out that this web site attacks rich sleazy Jews and seems to savor the experience.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 9, 2014, 4:59 pm

        Good lord, yonah. How many times do you and those like you have to be told to go read the “about” page for you to understand that the aims of the website is not limited to the Middle East. It seems not a week goes by without you or someone else claiming that some article about the American Jewish community, American Jews or Jews in general doesn’t belong on Mondoweiss because it doesn’t have any thing to do with the Middle East. Guess what? The web site is not limited to things that directly have to do with the Middle East, and has not been so limited in the years that I’ve been a regular visitor.

        Frankly, I wish it weren’t, because the ethno-religious demographics of the oppressors of the Palestinians is utterly and completely irrelevant to their legal, moral, political, hitorical and human rights and interests at stake. All of the time wasted on discussing Jews and Judaism takes away from what should be the central concern: the Palestinian victims. If I had my way, the discussion of the fact that they’re Jews would be limited to the minimum necessary to address the tactical and strategic implications of that fact. But guess what? It’s not my website; it’s Phil’s and Adam’s and they want to include these issue in the larger issue addressing the Jewish community, especially in the US.

        If you don’t like that, then feel free to go start Mondoyonah and do whatever you wish. But don’t for a minute pretend that this article is out of place on this site, as it is entirely in keeping with the aims of this site.

      • Keith
        January 9, 2014, 5:29 pm

        YONAH- “They are Jews and opposing Jews is part of Mondoweiss’s credo.”

        No offense, but you seem paranoid. And your reaction represents a defensive reaction which has been cultivated by Zionist ideology. When you see that people identified as Jews are criticized you take it personally and rush to the defense of the tribe. When the movies and TV portray gangsters as Italian, do you feel similarly threatened? Your perceived threat of anti-Semitism reflects more on your perception of what gentiles are like than on current minimal threats of anti-Semitism. It is not rational, however, it is effective in promoting Jewish/Zionist solidarity. This solidarity is important to American Jewish Zionist elites in achieving their objectives.

        A critically important part in the manufacture of consent in the governed is how they perceive reality which, in turn, is overwhelmingly influenced by how the doctrinal system represents reality. With this in mind, we should be aware that the media, news and entertainment, present a highly skewed depiction both of Israel/Palestine and of American Jewish power and influence in shaping perceptions and policy. Continually minimizing Jewish power and influence in shaping events and imperial policy, and of continually reinforcing the image of Jewish victim-hood while downplaying other victims, particularly victims of Jews, creates an enormous bias which acts to inhibit essential change in US Middle East policy, a worthy goal of Mondoweiss. Additionally, the breakdown of Jewish tribalism is important in its own right. It is clearly dysfunctional to have the most successful ethnic group in the world consider themselves victims, and the rest of humanity their enemies. From my perspective, Jewish anti-Gentile chauvinism greatly exceeds anti-Semitism.

      • James Canning
        January 11, 2014, 3:27 pm

        I think that those who draw attention to idiotic US Congress and its support for Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, do Israel a service.

      • James Canning
        January 9, 2014, 7:06 pm

        Yonah – – I think the story of the rise to wealth and power of the Jewish “community” in America is fascinating. I think this is Phil’s take too.

    • American
      January 8, 2014, 7:19 pm

      ”The answer is: They are Jews and opposing Jews is part of Mondoweiss’s credo. Is this called anti semitism? The word has become too toxic. But it is an attack on Jews qua Jews.”……yonah

      Maybe its an attack on those ‘specific’ Jews, not “Jews”—–maybe Phil featured them because Jewish values are often a topic of his—-maybe he thinks they dont have any—-they are bad Jews.
      Phil is Jewish hence his preoccupation with Jews, the good and the bad.

      Problem is you cant be satisfied that when ‘some sleezy Jews are pointed out its about them and not about ‘all Jews being sleezy…and isnt leading to a holocaust.

    • Citizen
      January 9, 2014, 1:11 am

      The first of four principal aims of Mondoweiss is “To publish important developments touching on Israel/Palestine, the American Jewish community and the shifting debate over US foreign policy in a timely fashion.”

      US foreign policy in the MIddle East is a matter of domestic politics in the USA, including coverage of the heavily influential umbrella organization AIPAC and all its myriad of supporting Jewish Establishment organizations, which does not exclude Hollywood’s and the mainstream media products and services since they both heavily influence American culture and awareness. Have you seen a Hollywood movie about the attack on the USS Liberty? Where’s the movie on the Nakba, starring somebody like Paul Newman in Exodus? Where’s the movie about the Jewish mob, starring Barbara Streisand’s old boyfriend? The movie about Truman and his Jewish pal and the birth of Israel? The movie about the neocons, their birth and takeover of US foreign policy? Why did Oliver Stone exclude the Israeli connections in his JFK murder movie? How about a 60 Minutes show on any of these subjects? Where’s the reality show about Brooklyn’s orthodox Jewish community akin to those about the Amish, the Mormons, Gypsies? Do we have to settle for Iranian-Jewish immigrants talking about being “Persian,” and “Russian” Dolls? Where’s our famous Jewish Snookie?

      • James Canning
        January 9, 2014, 2:26 pm

        Bravo, Citizen. Jewish campaign finance is essential to the Democrats. Full stop. And many Republicans have come to rely on Jewish campaign finance. (US Congress) This situation inevitably distorts American policies in the Middle East.

    • doug
      January 9, 2014, 1:57 am

      Yonah,

      I don’t have the same take. The two articles Phil posted excerpts from are about the rise of Jews into the corridors of power and breaking through the barriers that were, at one time, present. The first article is largely about the way Jewish lawyers broke the old boys club that isolated shareholders (owners) from corporations that were largely run by management for management. They were, in a sense, good guys and had a lot of support by the people that were trying to maximize the value of public pensions. For instance CalPers was a major supporter of this effort. The PBS article celebrated the role of Jews in effecting this change.

      The second article was the reverse and Phil’s point was that there, the rise of Jews, like other groups, comes with warts but in that case the role of Jews was downplayed. Phil is simply pointing out the asymmetry. Why would that be anti-Jew?

Leave a Reply