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How important is it to the Times (and us) that Greg Smith is Jewish?

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Everyone is talking about Greg Smith’s smashing explanation of his resignation from Goldman, Sachs, as well they should be. A great moral document, it might actually change the “toxic and destructive” Wall Street environment that so nauseated the 12-year Goldman veteran. (Yes I’m a dreamer).

The Greg Smith statement was Made by the New York Times. If the Times hadn’t published it on the Op-Ed page, it wouldn’t have had near the impact it did. And who knows what the negotiations were like– but maybe Greg Smith wouldn’t have resigned in that fashion if the Times hadn’t published his piece. And to the Times’ credit, it followed up the initial op-ed with a top-of-the-front-page two-column story on Smith.

Back to my headline. The end of Smith’s letter includes this paragraph:

My proudest moments in life — getting a full scholarship to go from South Africa to Stanford University, being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist, winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics — have all come through hard work, with no shortcuts. Goldman Sachs today has become too much about shortcuts and not enough about achievement. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.

This paragraph recalls one of the greatest moral stands that the late Tony Judt took in his life– also on the Times Op-Ed page, when he stood up for Walt and Mearsheimer in April 2006 a few weeks after they had published The Israel Lobby in the London Review of Books. Remember, it was a time when people were smearing Walt and Mearsheimer as anti-Semites and saying they were crazy. And Judt thundered, They are right, the paper is “a wake-up call, a reminder of the damage the Israel lobby is doing.”

That Op-Ed included the fact that Judt was Jewish. In a parentheses:

(I know something about [anti-Semitism] , growing up Jewish in 1950’s Britain)

Judt later said that the editors had asked him to insert that phrase. Their logic ws obvious: it gave the piece greater traction inside a dubious Jewish establishment.

How large is the Jewish portion of the establishment? How central is Jewish opinion to the ideas and reforms that can produce social change– in the Middle East or on Wall Street? My own sense is that We make up the bulk of the east coast establishment today. Witness the Daily Beast’s decision to start a blog on Israel/Palestine at which 7 of the 10 writers are Jewish. “It is time for a Jewish conversation that faces—rather than evades—the realities of our time,” Peter Beinart wrote in kicking off that blog. And one of those realities is that a Jewish voice is more powerful than a non-Jewish one in establishment circles.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-06.

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97 Responses

  1. pabelmont on March 17, 2012, 12:14 pm

    “Judt later said that the editors had asked him to insert that phrase. Their logic ws obvious: it gave the piece greater traction inside a dubious Jewish establishment”

    Right, and twice: ONCE a Jew is talking, listen up; TWICE: I am not an anti-Semite.

    Establishment seems full of people who do not want to offend their Jewish friends — including — of course — many Jews.

    • Krauss on March 17, 2012, 1:56 pm

      Post by post, Phil, you’re getting to a point when you’re saying outright that ‘Jews control America'(or more nuanced; We have a decisive impact on the media which in a free society is what sets the parameters of discussions on any given topic.). And if America is (still) the superpower of the world and we have a decisive impact…

      I’m telling you that this road is right down the alley of classic anti-Semitism. But the ‘myth’ of Jewish power has become a reality. So the boundaries of discourse on anti-Semitism has not yet kept apace with the reality of modern Jewish life in Western societies. So maybe you should wrote a book on this topic, ‘Jews and Power’.

      I think it would relevant and nuanced coming from a guy like you, a comfortable Jew with self-distance. Beinart’s onto something and if Tony Judt was alive I bet this would be his next topic since the discussion on Israel has been opened up and nuanced and he was constantly pushing the boundaries of the discussion to get to the truth, not necessarily what fits a certain ideology.

      But yeah, there is reclusiveness on these topics. And I’m somewhat sympathetic to that view. Anyone with even a scintilla of knowledge of Jewish history should be.

      • Thomson Rutherford on March 17, 2012, 3:46 pm

        Krauss says,

        I’m telling you that this road is right down the alley of classic anti-Semitism. … But yeah, there is reclusiveness on these topics. And I’m somewhat sympathetic to that view. Anyone with even a scintilla of knowledge of Jewish history should be.

        Krauss, the time when that defense of disproportionate Jewish power could be effective is rapidly passing. The conversation will pass to non-Jews and not be limited to licensed Jews.

        We are talking about America’s future here, not Jewish tribal self-interest. I asked you on another thread to explain why you seem to think Jewish power is good for us, the American people.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/03/wall-street-firm-slammed-the-door-on-young-warren-buffett-for-religious-reasons.html/comment-page-1#comment-434498

        The question is not ‘Is it good for the Jews?’ because 98% of us are not members of the tribe. Why is such predominant Jewish power good for America and our democracy? Why is it good for our foreign policy and relations with other countries? Why is it good for Israel/Palestine?

      • Citizen on March 17, 2012, 5:25 pm

        Rutherford, you are talking to a Jewish stump. The Jewish stump is: In no way has “Is it good for the Jew?”” been replaced anywhere in Western European countries’ Establishment, including UK’s, USA’s, Canada’s, Australia’s, by “Is it good for my country, the one I was born, bred in, and protected by my whole life?” And I won’t even mention the pure humanist POV, which the USA once had a considerable claim too, comparatively speaking in context of the rest of the world.

      • Krauss on March 17, 2012, 5:37 pm

        Thomas,

        Your reply says more about your own personal prejudices and preferences than what I wrote. Your reply is making it sound as if I want to forbid this topic.

        What I wrote was that I understand those who are uncomfortable with this topic, not that I advocate censorship. This is also why I think Phil would probably write a good book on this topic, because he would be able to balance honest debate and keeping a historical perspective.

        Your angry and, frankly, slightly bitter outbursts demanding that I stand responsible for how ‘Jewish power’ should or should not be used has a nasty undercurrent to it. And it’s precisely for this undercurrent that some Jews are put off on this topic, and as I wrote, I understand them even though I may not always agree with them. Because to some people Jews are a collective hive mind working in concert with each other. I don’t think I need to point out that the leap to outright conspiracies are not far behind once you’ve crossed that threshold. That is neither an indictment of this topic nor a defence. Just a statement of fact.

      • annie on March 17, 2012, 6:20 pm

        Your angry and, frankly, slightly bitter outbursts

        huh? he doesn’t sound angry. what part sounded angry? this:

        We are talking about America’s future here, not Jewish tribal self-interest. I asked you on another thread to explain why you seem to think Jewish power is good for us, the American people.

        it sounded like a reasonable question to me. i was just commenting on another thread about the ‘hate’ crutch. frankly, ascribing emotion to ones ideological adversary is not a winning formula for argument imho. just weakens your argument.

      • Thomson Rutherford on March 17, 2012, 6:59 pm

        Krauss, in my reply above I referred to one of your previous comments in which you did attempt a rather awkward defense of Jewish power. In expressing my own views I did not mean to imply disrespect for yours, for I have read many interesting and informative comments from you here.

        I did not “demand” anything of you or hold you “responsible” for anything. I asked you to elaborate here, if you wished, on the question of whether Jewish power, as it now stands, is a good thing for us all, or at least most of us. I think it’s a normative question worth discussing, beyond the mere fact of Jewish power, because in my mind the answer is complex. I would like to hear the honest opinion of Jews about it.

        A central element of your initial comment above was this statement,

        I’m telling you that this road is right down the alley of classic anti-Semitism.

        And your reply to me carried on in this vein. I would hope that we could avoid that line of discourse. If I were an anti-Semite, I would be expressing my opinions somewhere other than Mondoweiss.

      • Sand on March 17, 2012, 7:04 pm

        Krauss: “…Because to some people Jews are a collective hive mind working in concert with each other. I don’t think I need to point out that the leap to outright conspiracies are not far behind once you’ve crossed that threshold…”

        Interesting you said that because that is precisely what I see as the Jewish elites’ goal, collaborating with the far too numerous to mention Jewish and Israeli organizations tethered to those elites. You don’t think it’s their goal to create a Jewish hive mind > that all Jews must worship and/or at least support Israel — If not, then what do you think their plan is?

        Case in point: (sorry MJ!). I mean look at MJ having to finally climb down in shame(?) from his Israel-Firster expose? Noting he was not only assaulted from the right, but also the left!!! It’s like he’s being assimilated back into the Borg.

        MJ: “…I shall always choose the Jewish cause. Not blindly, not arbitrarily, but with full knowledge of who I am and where I must be…”

        http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=0e7994932b5c293ad6e9e40d8&id=3e7ca79b1d

      • Sand on March 17, 2012, 7:15 pm

        important note — ‘Jewish left’

      • Sand on March 17, 2012, 7:27 pm

        “…I’m telling you that this road is right down the alley of classic anti-Semitism…

        OK, so after reading a number of Krauss’ posts — what’s with the game of smoke and mirrors? Me thinks he doesn’t like non-Jews talking about the elephant in the room i.e. ‘Jewish Power’ — and so by each post he nudges the idea we should be seen as anti-semitic? That card has been played too many times — it doesn’t work.

      • sydnestel on March 18, 2012, 12:12 am

        What do you mean by “a Jewish stump”?

      • annie on March 18, 2012, 12:23 am

        i thought it referenced stump as in stump speech/ politcal promotion.

      • yourstruly on March 18, 2012, 9:37 am

        what’s happening in the mideast tells us that disproportionate jewish power has not been good for america, israel nor the world. what to do about it? well, for starters, bring down the israel lobby by exposing its members for the traitors they are. will this bring on a tital wave of antisemitism? perhaps not if there’s a significant jewish presence in the ranks of those who are leading the charge.

      • Citizen on March 19, 2012, 4:09 pm

        Look at “stump” both in all the ways literally and all the way poetically, sydnestel.

      • Pixel on March 18, 2012, 12:47 am

        “Tony Judt… was constantly pushing the boundaries.”

        Perhaps the reason Atzmon is such a lighting rod is because he jumps right over the boundaries.

      • Danaa on March 18, 2012, 2:34 pm

        Perhaps the reason Atzmon is such a lighting rod is because he jumps right over the boundaries.

        Right on, Pixel.

        Note how quickly those boundaries were re-fortified (proof – that other thread was shut down just it was getting really interesting).

      • Citizen on March 19, 2012, 4:11 pm

        Good one, Pixel.

      • Mooser on March 19, 2012, 2:09 pm

        “Anyone with even a scintilla of knowledge of Jewish history should be.”

        Gosh, Krauss, is there anything you don’t know? You’ve even got a “historical memory”, and know exactly what Jewish history adds up to. What a freakin’ genius!

  2. dahoit on March 17, 2012, 12:56 pm

    Doesn’t the prevalence of Jews all over our media invite discussion of bias?I mean even the sites like here and Salon(GG)and DNow are Jews.What kind of healthy discourse is there when ethnic and religious conformity are necessary credentials for bloviation or even sane discussion?(Free will,of course,we don’t have to come here,and we can shove our alleged bias up our ass,I know,but where else is there to go?Freakin Joan Walsh and the rest of the liberal hypocrites?Crooks and Liars?They just about all suck,outside of Moon of Ala,Infowars(with their strange fixation on dead Communism,)and very few others.The Guardian has gone neolibcon also.a veritable wasteland of biased fraud info,along with AJ which committed harikari over Libya and Syria. )
    I blame the governments devaluation of alleged agencies like the FCC,which have destroyed our conversation by allowing Zionist media conglomeration,as every MSM network is Zionist leaning or controlled,and our nation serially lied to,as we descend into the cellar of the tower of Babel,as divide and conquer is the new civilized playbook by the uncivilized.
    I see the bane of European Jewry Demanjuk died today,with all the sins of Adolf Hitler buried with the Ukrainian fall guy for German consumption,and another Maus gone to his demise.(As a former German soldier coworker who emigrated after the war told me,”you do what they said,or you were one dead Maus”.)

    • Citizen on March 17, 2012, 5:30 pm

      Oh come on, dahoit, that former German soldier Maus was morally and ethically corrupt, he had no soul, unlike us real human being in America and EU & UK & Israel. And we all know his off spring now dwell in Iran.

    • Winnica on March 18, 2012, 9:22 am

      In thousands of court cases in West Germany during the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s, there was not a single case in which any court accepted this line of defense for criminal behavior during the Nazi era. The reason is simple: there are no recorded cases in which German soldiers or SS men were killed for refusing to participate in the murder of Jews.

      • Citizen on March 19, 2012, 4:15 pm

        Winnica, of course not. I guess from your comment you’ve never been in the Army as a grunt, let alone a grunt in anything like Hitler’s army. Your comment shows not the slightest insight into military administration or the reality of being a grunt in any army, ever.

  3. Justice Please on March 17, 2012, 1:20 pm

    “And one of those realities is that a Jewish voice is more powerful than a non-Jewish one in establishment circles.”

    Phil, you are a sharp observer. That distinguishes you from many other sites. Quality gets rewarded, so I predict your readership will grow in quantity and quality, while the readership of people who shut their eyes on something as obvious as the Jewish share of the establishment will decline.

    • Citizen on March 17, 2012, 5:36 pm

      I’d say, Justice Please, Phil is more courageous than the other Jews with sites who are part of the Establishment. The post-modern pattern seems to be that some very brave Gentiles with the most to lose took all the big initial risk career-wise & then a few Jews catched on, and now take on the risk too, mostly by publicly backing the brave few Gentiles, and still doing that. Mearsheimer, Walt, Allison, Baird, Carter, etc? Of course, maybe the courage is equal ultimately since Gentiles must get over anti-semitic guilt and Jews must get over conflict in their own family, but truth is, due to over a century of mass media/ entertainment imbibed hasbara, both have to do that.

  4. Abu Malia on March 17, 2012, 2:02 pm

    “It is time for a Jewish conversation that faces—rather than evades—the realities of our time,” ” Peter Beinart wrote in kicking off that blog. And one of those realities is that a Jewish voice is more powerful than a non-Jewish one in establishment circles.”

    Yes Phil, y’all run this – for now, and i sincerely hope it doesn’t end in a tragedy for your tribe! It is as if the dominant Jewish establishment is trying its’ darnest to validate the fake and libelous Protocols of Zion and the classic anti semitism of yore; the Jewish courtier who poisons the Kings ear.

  5. Thomson Rutherford on March 17, 2012, 2:56 pm

    How large is the Jewish portion of the establishment? How central is Jewish opinion to the ideas and reforms that can produce social change– in the Middle East or on Wall Street? My own sense is that We make up the bulk of the east coast establishment today.

    Funny thing, that’s my sense. too. And thank Goodness there is a Philip Weiss who is willing to say such erstwhile-taboo things in public so that the matter can be discussed.

    Yes, it is clear to all sentient beings that Jews “make up the bulk of the east coast establishment today.” No need to argue about that if you are aware of the facts in our society. The question, as I have put it on a recent thread, should be, “Is Jewish power good for us?”

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/03/beinart-time-for-a-jewish-conversation-about-jewish-power-and-responsibility.html#comment-432842

    I think that Phil and I would probably answer that question differently. His view would be that of a concerned Jew having pride in the tribe. Mine would be that of a simmering goy wondering, ‘WTF is going on here?’ How did American society get to this point in the last half-century, and why?

    Yes, prior to this time our nation’s Establishment had been peopled primarily by the infamous ‘wasps’. ‘White’ American Protestants were the demographic majority, and in a democracy it is natural that they would have been predominant in the Establishment. Unfortunately, most other religious/ethnic groups were under-represented in the centers of power – such as Catholics, Blacks, Hispanics, etc.

    Jews, then as now, constituted 2% or less of the nation’s population. They were generally not under-represented in America’s power sources, such as universities, national media, high finance, commerce. Likewise, they were generally not under-represented, during, say, the half-century from 1880-1930, in countries like Germany, Poland, Hungary, Britain where Jews had a small but significant numerical presence.

    But now, in America, Jews’ place in the American power structure has become so large and overwhelming that Philip Weiss can say matter-of-factly that Jews make up the bulk of the East Coast [our most significant] establishment, and that a Jewish voice is more powerful than a non-Jewish one. I might add that a Jewish voice not only carries more weight within the power centers, but they (the 2 per cent!) are heard most frequently in representations of the power centers to the general public.

    It is now quite appropriate to speak of a Jewish power structure, and to ask how it arose. As before, I tender this caveat civis:

    America for a half-century or more represented the zenith of ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people.’ Under the Constitution, ‘the people’ means all the people, not one or more ethnic groups.

    Whatever the realities on the ground, democracy has always been a defining ideal of the American republic. The ethos of democracy is egalitarianism, not elitism – especially not elitism based on ethnicity or religion.

    Revulsion against ethnic elitism runs deep in the historical American psyche. American Jews flaunt contempt for this natural antipathy at their own collective peril.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/03/beinart-time-for-a-jewish-conversation-about-jewish-power-and-responsibility.html#comment-433189

    • sydnestel on March 17, 2012, 4:18 pm

      1) “American Jews flaunt contempt for this natural antipathy at their own collective peril.” – is that a threat, wishful thinking, or just a dispassionate opinion?

      2) What would you suggest? Ethnic/religious quotas (upper limits) in government, in the media, in the universities? Would it apply to Christians or just Jews?

      • Thomson Rutherford on March 17, 2012, 7:51 pm

        Quoting me, sydnestel asks,

        “American Jews flaunt contempt for this natural antipathy at their own collective peril.” – is that a threat, wishful thinking, or just a dispassionate opinion?

        It’s neither a threat nor wishful thinking. Of course, you would need to ask. It’s my opinion, but is it dispassionate? Lacking passion? – Yes. Lacking pathos or feeling? – No. It’s about as objective as I’m able to get in my opinions. But to get to the intent of your question, in wishing for greater equality of economic outcomes and political power in American society, I am not wishing that harm come to Jews.

        What would you suggest? Ethnic/religious quotas (upper limits) in government, in the media, in the universities?

        In a constitutional democracy like America’s, there is always an inherent tension between the competing ideals of individual freedom and equality of opportunity. Jews, more than any other ethnic group (protected both as a religion and as a small, mostly-invisible ethnicity), have been able to use that tension to their advantage, playing either the equality or the freedom card as convenient – a sort of situational political morality. The result of this and other forces has been highly disproportionate representation of Jews in government, in the media, and in the universities.

        I asked the normative question, ‘Are such manifestations of Jewish power good for us?’ – not what should be done about it. Is that a subversive question?

      • sydnestel on March 17, 2012, 11:56 pm

        First the very phrase “Jewish power” implies that Jews act and think monolithicly. Second, it assumes that Jews have significantly different interests and/or ideals than other people.

        Would you ask if “Christian power” is good for us?

        And who is “us” in your question. It seems to imply a them. Do you see this as an us vs them issue?

        Finally, you are not asking an innocent question. You clearly believe that “Jewish power” is a significant problem. So asking you what you have in mind as a cure seems reasonable.

      • tree on March 18, 2012, 1:08 am

        I’m sure Thomson will answer these questions with a more eloquent reply than I can, but I can’t help but notice your bias, and your quest here, sydnestel.

        First the very phrase “Jewish power” implies that Jews act and think monolithicly.

        No, it doesn’t, anymore than uttering the phrase “white power”, “Catholic power”, “black power” or “male power” implies that white, Catholics, blacks or males act and think monolithically. It sounds like you are looking for “buzz words” on which to hang the label ‘anti-semitic’. All you are doing is attempting to cut off discussion because the topic feels taboo to you. Some Jews have power, and are part of the power establishment. To say so is no different than to say that some white males have power, and are part of the power establishment. It does not imply that every Jew has this power, any more than every white male has this power. But the power does exist and insisting it can’t be talked about is counterproductive to understanding.

        Second, it assumes that Jews have significantly different interests and/or ideals than other people.

        No, it doesn’t do that either, although to assume that all people act and think monolithically is, as you point out, incorrect. Here you seem to be attempting to say that people’s interests are not influenced by their religion or ethnicity when clearly for some people they are so influenced. Clearly there are some Jews that see at least some of their interests as differing from those of non-Jews. Just as there are some Christians that see their interests as differing from those of non-Christians. To claim that no Jew feels that way is as idiotic as it is to claim that all Jews feel that way.

        Would you ask if “Christian power” is good for us?

        Why not? I think it gets asked repeatedly when discussing the influence of Christian evangelicals in politics. And Christians, even evangelicals, don’t act monolithically either.

        And who is “us” in your question. It seems to imply a them. Do you see this as an us vs them issue?

        I think it was clear that Thomson was referring to all Americans when he referred to “us”. Us doesn’t have to imply a “them”. It simply refers to more that one. Why not answer the question instead of inferring or implying some hidden agenda on Thomson’s part? Why not contribute to the discussion something more than, “I’ve got your number, buddy.”

        Finally, you are not asking an innocent question. You clearly believe that “Jewish power” is a significant problem. So asking you what you have in mind as a cure seems reasonable.

        Again, you are assuming and labeling here. Shouldn’t every source of power have to account for whether and why such power is a good thing for society at large? Why should Jewish power be an exception to the rule? Thomson’s asking for a discussion which you seem hell bent on shutting down. You don’t want to hear a “cure”. You simply want to label Thomson as beyond the pale for even bringing up the question, although Phil’s post was really the source of the question.

      • American on March 18, 2012, 1:13 am

        I asked the normative question, ‘Are such manifestations of Jewish power good for us?’”..Thomson

        “If” the Jews are, as Phil says “in charge”, then I would say no they aren’t good for us. Considering the rampant lack of ethics, economic failures, wars of choice, income inequality and general sleeziness of what pasts for society, the industrial decline of the US, the lose of US influence and respect in the world, not to mention our ruined reputation, our media and press being organs of special interest, and every major area of the US from WS to Government being totally corrupt. I’d give them an F for failure.
        But I am glad to know it’s the Jews fault this time and can’t be blamed on the WASP. LOL

      • Shingo on March 18, 2012, 5:24 am

        First the very phrase “Jewish power” implies that Jews act and think monolithicly.

        “Jewish power” was a term Ben Gurion himself used, so lose the faux indignation.

        ‘Would you ask if “Christian power” is good for us?

        So you’re back to the position that Judausmn is only a religion? BTW. The answer would be yes.

      • sydnestel on March 18, 2012, 9:53 am

        Re Tree’s comment above.

        Well if it is OK to ask about Christian power, why is that the Christian half of the Israel lobby so little discussed on this list. I bet there are more Christian Zionists in congress then Jewish ones.

        And I haven’t read anyone on this list citing “Jewish power” re Jon Stewart’s sometimes scathing critiques of Israel or American foreign policy re the ME.

        George Soros and Sheldon Adelson are both rich powerful Jews, but they don’t conspire together to achieve joint policy goals. To speak about “Jewish power” (as if it were a coherent thing) influencing American policy is precisely the type of thinking that underlies much racism and certainly historic anti-semitism.

        So yes, I do think, that talking about the negative influence of “Jewish power” is antisemitic. Talking about the negative influence of “the Israel lobby” or of Zionism is not. And it dismays (and worries me) that Mondoweiss – which in many ways is so good – seems to be an incubator of an antisemitic trope.

      • annie on March 18, 2012, 11:31 am

        the lobby is an example of jewish power. why is it not anti semitic to talk about the power of the lobby but jewish power is off limits? christian support for the lobby is christian support for jewish power, and yes..it has been discussed here. you have not been around very long so perhaps you just missed it.

      • sydnestel on March 18, 2012, 1:11 pm

        Not all Jews support the Israel lobby and not all (or eve most) of those that support the Israel lobby are Jews. So how is it accurate to call it “Jewish power”. Its Israeli and/or Zionist power.

      • MHughes976 on March 18, 2012, 1:39 pm

        I think some people would regard all complaints against the Lobby as anti-Semitic because the leading figures of the L are or are taken to be Jewish.
        For me, anti-Semitism is unjustified suspicion directed against Jewish people. Others may use the term differently. But I’d say that to claim that some bad thing is being done does not qualify as a-S just because the people doing that thing are Jewish, only if there is no good reason for the claim and so the possibility that an unjustified suspicion is lurking in the words.
        No one should be able to say ‘no one is allowed to complain of me’ – that would set me above the moral law.

      • tree on March 18, 2012, 2:48 pm

        sydnestel,

        Not all Jews support the Israel lobby and not all (or eve most) of those that support the Israel lobby are Jews. So how is it accurate to call it “Jewish power”. Its Israeli and/or Zionist power.

        and no one here has said that all Jews support the Israel Lobby. You yourself referred to Christian power, and then referred to Christian Zionists. I’ve referred to Christian power when discussing the influence of Christian evangelicals. Clearly neither one of us was assuming that all Christians support Christian Zionists, or follow the major Christian evangelical leaders and movements. You can clearly understand that referring to “Christian power’ does not necessarily presume a monolithic thinking on the part of all Christians. Why is it so difficult for you to understand that the same rules apply when the term Jewish power is used? To think otherwise is to engage in Jewish exceptionalism. If you think that an exception applies to Jews, then I think it is incumbent upon you to explain why Jews should be treated differently than any other religious or ethnic group.

        And as Sand noted above, the ones I see most strongly enforcing the idea that all Jews think monolithically are Israel, the Israel Lobby and numerous Jewish elite organizations that tell American Jews that they must naturally support and love Israel, simply because it is Jewish. You might be able to criticize it, within limits, but you must always profess your love and concern for it first. This is NOT an essential or existential condition of being Jewish, tied to genetics. If it was there would be no need to ride roughshod over those Jews who disagree, threatening them with excommunication, so to speak, (or herem, if you will) if they choose to question the presume monolithic love for Israel and Israeli Jews. This is much more the problem than any discussion here of Jewish power.

      • Thomson Rutherford on March 18, 2012, 6:09 pm

        Sydnestel says,

        To speak about “Jewish power” (as if it were a coherent thing) influencing American policy is precisely the type of thinking that underlies much racism and certainly historic anti-semitism. So yes, I do think, that talking about the negative influence of “Jewish power” is antisemitic.

        Philip Weiss, Peter Beinart, Jeffrey Goldberg, Gilad Atzmon, Mearsheimer and Walt, the late and missed Tony Judt, Yuri Slezkine, Andrew Sullivan (even Charles Krauthammer, at times) and numerous other (mainly Jewish) commentators have opened discussions about Jewish power in the U.S. That horse is already out of the barn. The fig leaf can’t hide the elephant in the room any longer.

        In proposing the question, “Is Jewish power good for society?”, I meant to invite positive as well as negative answers. As I said above, I see the proper answer as being complex and not trivial. I am interested in others’ answers to the question, on the premise that a significant level of organized Jewish power does influence political and cultural matters within the U.S. I gave links to previous comments on another thread that provided the core of my initial thoughts on the question, based on my understanding of the American democratic ideal – the links being shown in this comment above:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/03/how-important-is-it-to-the-times-and-us-that-greg-smith-is-jewish.html/comment-page-1#comment-434684

        Is it true, as you say, that talking about the negative influence of “Jewish power” is antisemitic? Well, no. But your statement in interesting. Do you say it as a rhetorical ploy to shut down discussion of a topic you find objectionable, or have you been conditioned by your particular cultural milieu to see such discussion beyond the confines of your tribe as being intrinsically ‘anti-Semitic’? Do you have trouble with concepts such as ‘the good of society’ (Jews included, BTW), or ‘the general welfare’ (Jews included, BTW)? In your mind, can ‘us’ include you as a Jewish person, without your specific permission, while ‘we’ talk about a ‘Jewish’ role in ‘our’ society and whether it is, on balance with all things considered, good for ‘us’?

        I would like to see you contribute some constructive comments expressing your own opinions about the substance of the question, rather than simply claiming that the question is illegitimate. My own mind is far from being completely made up about it, particularly looking forward into the future when possibly political Zionism may be a less crucial aspect of the dominant American Jewish identity.

        P.S. – I strongly believe that questions like this one are highly germane to the problems of justice for the Palestinians and America’s foreign wars of choice.

      • Cliff on March 18, 2012, 7:08 pm

        syndestel,

        Zionism is not a non-Jewish movement. It is a Jewish movement. It has non-Jewish supporters.

        The intellectual artifice of the lobby is powered and spear-headed by mainstream Jewish intellectuals, professionals, etc.

        So it’s very accurate. You can muddy the water all you like but no one has patience for that bullshit (which you masquerade as ‘lefty hippy’ whatever).

      • yourstruly on March 18, 2012, 9:28 pm

        cliff, might not a discussion on whether zionist influence on the our government’s mideast policies is good for america accomplish the goal of involving the public in efforts to reign in the israel lobby? that’s not to say that zionists wouldn’t shout antisemitic, but by pointing out that zionism is not judaism but a form of colonialism, participants could keep the discussion on the high road.

      • sydnestel on March 19, 2012, 10:59 am

        yourstruly – yes the high road would be nice.

        Cliff – Zionism is a Jewish movement, yes – but not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists understand the word as it is used by the mainstream (see e.g. http://www.jeremiahhaber.com/ ) It seem that both the Zionist establishment and the anti-semitic anti-Zionists have an interest in conflating the two. And in America it is Christian-Zionists (and they are NOT merely Christian supporters of Zionism. They have their own reasons and agenda, not always so Jew friendly) that have as much, or more, power than Jewish Zionists

        Tom – Mearsheimer and Walt, as far as I can recall, were careful to critique”The Israel Lobby” and not “Jewish Power”. The distinction is crucial in a discussion of American foreign policy (and that is what this is about isn’t it?) As for Atzmon – you discredit yourself and your argument by quoting him. (see http://jfjfp.com/?tag=gilad-atzmon).

        Tree – it is not a critique of the Israel Lobby or Aipec or Zionism – or their influence in America – that I object to. That is fare game. It is the phrase “Jewish power”. It is not legitimate and it is dangerous. As for the argument that we have no problem using the phrase “Christian Power” – well that is just not true. The MSM rarely use that term – because they understand that Christians (even politically engaged Christians) involves everyone from Daniel Berrigan, Jeremiah White and Jimmy Carter to John Haggee, Pat Roberston and David Duke. They talk of Evangelicals or Born Again. (And perhaps that too is to much of a generalization.) On Monodoweiss the phrase “Jewish power”appears 99 times (if I counted correctly) while the phrase “Christian power” appears 7 times (3 of those in this thread). “Christian Zionist” appears here many dozens of times. So it appears that on Mondoweiss people are careful to be nuanced when it comes to Christians but show no nuance at all re Jews.

        The dangerous meme being promoted on this site is: Zionism is evil, all Jews are Zionists, therefore ….
        Or, Zionism has too much influence in America, therefore Jews have too much influence in America, therefore …

        If some people on Mondoweiss don’t get it, well I can only say its similar to many whites not getting it (or pretending to not get it) when white politicians talk of the problems of “black crime” and the danger that poses for “us”.

      • Cliff on March 19, 2012, 11:25 am

        Sydnestal said:

        The dangerous meme being promoted on this site is: Zionism is evil, all Jews are Zionists, therefore ….

        No one here has ever said or implied that. Phil’s articles about Jewish identity are very personal and the context for his usage of ‘Jewish’ this or that is always clear and reasonable.

        I suspect that talking about ‘Jewish’ this or that might offend childish people like yourself though.

        Zionism is a Jewish movement. That doesn’t mean all Jews are Zionists or that Zionism is inherent to Jewish identity.

        Talking about ‘Jewish’ this or that is within the context of the politically organized Jewish community. Not some random Jewish person you happen to know.

        Like I said – if you are so concerned with splitting atoms here, then do you think Seymour Hersh is antisemitic when he says ‘Jewish money’? Or the MSM is antisemitic for talking about ‘Jewish voters’ or some variation on that label?

        http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2011-11-17/jewish-vote-obama-gop/51324596/1

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904353504576568710341742174.html

        http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishFeatures/Article.aspx?id=259901

        http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/The-Vote/2011/1210/With-an-eye-toward-the-Jewish-vote-Newt-Gingrich-disses-Palestinians

        Oh no! Is the evil antisemitic MSM implying that ALL Jews vote a certain way and thus, Obama has to cater to that specific way? ALL Jews?! How dare they!!

        I don’t think this is an issue as long as the people debating it are honest and sincere. You are clearly neither.

        You’ve already conceded that the notion of ‘Israel firster’ should only be used when the question of dual loyalty concerns State interests.

        Well, that was always the point. It was always about the preference for one country over another when you reside in the ‘lesser’ country.

      • marc b. on March 19, 2012, 3:13 pm

        The dangerous meme being promoted on this site is: . . ..

        oh, syndey, but you are a hoot. yes, it’s us at mondoweiss who are responsible for the conflation of ‘the jews’ and zionism. no such argument goes on in the squishy parameters of the ‘jewish community’, where even lukewarm criticism of israel by the likes of beinart unleashes the inevitable self-policing holocaust comparisons. but it’s the obsessive concern of ‘some people on Mondoweiss’ that’s troubling. (and thanks for quickly pasting together an ‘us vs. them’ dichotomy amongst mondoweiss readers. not that you’d ever stoop to such divisive tactics.) and tell us, when people, jewish and gentile alike, praise the resilience and work ethic of american jews in the face of discrimination, citing such qualities as the foundation for their success, are ‘some people’ promoting a ‘dangerous meme’ about the homogeneity of ‘the jews’, or is such stereotyping permissible?

      • Citizen on March 19, 2012, 4:42 pm

        RE sydnestel: “First the very phrase “Jewish power” implies that Jews act and think monolithicly. Second, it assumes that Jews have significantly different interests and/or ideals than other people.”

        Does “American power,” or “White power” or “Black power” or “Money power” or “German Power” or “Corporate power” or “Union power” or “Woman power” or “Wall Street power” etc also imply that members of those groups act and think monolithically? These phrases are used all the time, and similar phrases, and always have been. They all are subject to your critique, which is that every class of especially vested interest abuses the fact that each class includes members who don’t agree, even if that conflict does not get out in the open. Greg Smith is a case where it got out in the open. Mondoweiss itself is another case. So what are you suggesting other than that political people often say they speak for the whole class or membership they say they represent? You know, like a Union leader, or any politician claiming to speak in behalf “the American people?” Everybody here knows that. So what’s your point? Mooser is always banging his antlers against the fence because he feels the Jewish Establishment here in USA does not speak for him. Many of us here on Mondoweiss are always complaining no US political leader or media pundit speaks for us, not just here, but on many other blogs, web sites, etc; and on a variety of issues not generally touched upon here. So what’s your major malfunction revealed by addressing us so here? You should read some of the Mondoweiss archives to get a clue as to who frequents this web site before you blare off.

        And RE “Would you ask if “Christian power” is good for us?”
        Sure, why not? I would especially ask, is Christian fundamentalism good for America? That includes Christian Zionism. My answer is sometimes generally and NO as to Christian fundies & Christian zionists. Not a net gain for the USA as to the latter two versions.

  6. Marcus Mohr on March 17, 2012, 4:36 pm

    I see the disproportionate power of Jewish voices on the I/P Conflict as having directly resulted from the silencing of everyone else with the Antisemitism card. I’m not sure it has much to do with the disproportionate power of the American Jewish community in general.

    • Citizen on March 17, 2012, 7:35 pm

      Marcus, I think such disproportionate Jewish influence on the whole of the 97 % non-Jewish USA results from the base of a “horse-trading” society, exemplified by our Congress most especially, where (1) money buys out everything, combined with (2) the fact that enhancing, maintaining Israel state power is the customary decisive Jewish insurance priority “if push comes to shove” with legislation trading priorities mundane or not, combined with (3) Gentile guilt over the Shoah, whether deserved or not (distantly akin to historical slavery in America; all whites must pay a price for what their ancestors did or did not do since they’ve used the (now mostly former) privilege “to get ahead.” (Bibi went for the Gentile American jugular with #3 & for the Jewish American jugular with # 2. AIPAC et al did not need to be stated to make his point since it’s now an organic part of the Hill.

      • Mooser on March 19, 2012, 4:12 pm

        “(distantly akin to historical slavery in America; all whites must pay a price for what their ancestors did or did not do since they’ve used the (now mostly former) privilege “to get ahead.” “

        Citizen, you might try educating yourself somewhere besides the “aren’t-us-white-guys-getting-screwed-by-the-blacks” websites. I suggest you start with Slavery by Another Name
        O BTW, even tho the author’s name is “Blackmon”, he is white, and works for the Wall Street Journal.

      • Dan Crowther on March 19, 2012, 4:18 pm

        White Privilege hasnt gone anywhere in the US, to imply that it has……..

      • Citizen on March 19, 2012, 4:53 pm

        Mooser, you might try educating yourself somewhere beyond the “nobody suffers like me because AIPAC/J-St do not speak for me & I’m so unique I call myself a Jewish moose” and I suggest also you watch the recent contrasting video clips made by Pelosi’s daughter regarding ” I want my Obama bucks” v “I don’t have teeth but I don’t want a handout & Obama’s a half-breed.” Also be sure to watch the interaction and dialogue betwen Alexandria P & Bill Maher–most recent episode of his show. And don’t worry, I don’t hold it against you that you are really not that funny most of the time, nor that you have no clue what’s it like to have served in the US military as a combat unit grunt along with the rest of the very diverse US cannonfodder.

    • Danaa on March 18, 2012, 2:07 pm

      Marcus, now the anti-semitism card is turned against some Jewish people too, especially if they dare to point out the obvious reasons for the power concentration. We are way beyond arguing that there is a meritocracy at work, because of the lack of merit among so many of the plutocrats. So if merit isn’t it, what is it?

  7. Talkback on March 17, 2012, 6:14 pm

    The main question is: What does it mean to be “Jewish” or to identify with the Jewish collective?

    If it only means to eat kosher food I couldn’t care less, if someone is of Jewish heritage. But how can questions like “How large is the Jewish portion of the establishment?” can be important, if we don’t know or define what difference it makes to be Jewish?

    • Citizen on March 17, 2012, 7:44 pm

      Talkback, isn’t that where you pick up a copy of, e.g., Atzmon’s The Wandering Who? & maybe Lindemann’s Esau’s Tears and Solzinitzen’s 200 Years Together? Do you think it’s made any difference at all when or another any birth group had the most significant power over America at any time, over its nature domestically, and what it did abroad? Maybe I don’t understand your question. Difference in comfort food among ethnic groups is not what significantly distinguishes any ethnic group in terms of morals, ethics, ideology, etc.

      • Talkback on March 18, 2012, 5:28 am

        “Maybe I don’t understand your question. Difference in comfort food among ethnic groups is not what significantly distinguishes any ethnic group in terms of morals, ethics, ideology, etc.”

        I know. It was ironic. Still I don’t know what “morals, ethics, ideology, etc.” someone has who happens to be a Jew. The answer could only be a philo- or antisemitic generalisation.

      • yourstruly on March 18, 2012, 9:58 am

        white christian males for most of u.s. history?

      • yourstruly on March 18, 2012, 10:10 am

        and what are the morals, ethics and ideology that allegedly distinguish jews from nonjews? or is it these differences distinguish zionist jews from everyone else including non-zionist jews, &/or that these differences are situational and not innate?

    • RoHa on March 17, 2012, 11:52 pm

      “The main question is: What does it mean to be “Jewish” or to identify with the Jewish collective?”

      Another question is: What does “of Jewish heritage” mean? Does it mean “having Jewish ancestors” or “having some sort of Jewish gene” or “being brought up as a Jew”?

      • Mooser on March 19, 2012, 2:46 pm

        RoHa, as far as I can see, and as far as I have seen in my life, the entire “Jewish Power” and “Jewish” thing is mostly aimed towards enabling one set of Jews to gain power and get things from another set of Jews.
        Any discussion of how “Jewish Power” effects others (apart from the victims of Zionism and Israel) is simply a method of avoiding that subject.
        Can anybody give me an example of when “Jewish Leaders” (whoever the hell that is) have done anything but screw up the Jews for their own advantage?

        Good lord! To do anything but throw clods at anybody who calls themselves a “Jewish Leader” requires an amazing ignorance of Jewish history. Anybody wanna tell me when they’ve done a goddam thing except get us into trouble and enrich themselves at our expense, in one way or another?

        As a matter of fact, that is what engenders my almost overweening contempt for Mondo now. As Phil has openly stated, if not declared between the lines, he wants to become a Jewish Leader, a “redeemer”!
        Freakin’ nauseating!

      • Citizen on March 19, 2012, 3:14 pm

        Mooser, Re: “apart from the victims of Zionism and Israel.”
        Geez, antlered one, that might be not only the Palestinians people, but also every US taxpayer and, even more so, every US soldier family since 1967. Even more, it may be all Americans when you ad in the loss of US prestige in the world as a positive role model for other states. (I’m not saying all that US prestige has always been deserved; it’s a comparative thing relating to powerful states since 1945.)

        I empathize with your concern for the used little Jews, but it’s bigger that that; it’s all the used little American, folks, and their counterparts everywhere US government impacts.

      • RoHa on March 19, 2012, 8:27 pm

        “a “Jewish Leader”… Anybody wanna tell me when they’ve done a goddam thing except get us into trouble and enrich themselves at our expense, in one way or another?”

        So how are Jewish Leaders different from most other leaders?

  8. Citizen on March 17, 2012, 7:46 pm

    Greg Smith is only one of 122 reasonably high level investment bankers who have resigned recently. Should I try to find out how many of them were Jewish? Might be kinda hard–I mean, does “Greg Smith” sound Jewish?

    • Mooser on March 19, 2012, 2:54 pm

      “I mean, does “Greg Smith” sound Jewish?”

      Smith? Not a Jewish name? Are you kidding? No doubt it was shortened from the original “Smithstein” or possibly “Smithowitz” or even “Smithowitzstein”. Don’t let those brawny arms, with muscles like iron bands, the forge, bellows and the rest of those tchotchkes fool you. I’ve heard he was so insecure about it he demanded a spreading chestnut tree installed in his office.

    • Citizen on March 19, 2012, 3:18 pm

      At an unusual congressional hearing in Brooklyn on March 12, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) was interrupted by protesters who claimed he had favored banks over people. Greg Smith IMHO may be just beginning to see the full light.

  9. on March 17, 2012, 11:31 pm

    jewish power is never ever to be discussed..on the USA so says the ADL

    just o bey them

  10. optimax on March 17, 2012, 11:39 pm

    Sydnestel,

    Some Asians do believe they are unfairly excluded from universitys.

    “Applications by Asians and Asian-Americans to leading colleges have at least doubled in recent years. Asian applicants who have been turned down charge that members of other ethnic groups with lower grades or test scores are given preference.” Quote from NYT’s article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/1987/02/10/science/about-education-the-trouble-with-quotas.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

    • sydnestel on March 18, 2012, 12:24 am

      And this is as a result of “Jewish power”, in your opinion?

      • optimax on March 18, 2012, 11:50 am

        I don’t blame the Jews for a quota system that descriminates against Asians, in fact, I don’t think about Jews or WASPs or whatever as isolated powerbrokers that much. The ethnic groups work pretty much together in the halls of power. The point of Phil’s article is the Jews have taken over the position once held ber WASPs, while the point of the article I linked to is that Asians are the new Jews. Nobody else here, including yourself, asked or wondered who filled the Jews previous position of socially repressed minority. In other words, sydnestal, I’m trying to raise your consciousness and get you to think beyond your narcissistic ethnic world of all things Jewish.

        The problems of this world go way beyond the Jews or any one ethnic group, and I come here because Mondo is about a country that creates an inordinate, in relation to its size, amount of the worlds problems and, unfortunately, has an outsized influence on my countries foreign policy.

        Israel can do what it wants; I just want the US to stay out of the way. And I don’t think the future belongs to the Jews or any other western tribe but to the Asains.

  11. RoHa on March 17, 2012, 11:41 pm

    You are definitely falling back into bad habits with your headlines.

    Your headline isn’t about The Times, but about the New York Times.

    Remember, there is a world outside New York.

  12. dbroncos on March 18, 2012, 12:32 am

    Jon Stuart ran a great piece on UNESCO a couple nights ago. The US cut off $61m in funding for UNESCO because the UN organization recognized Palestine as a UN member state. John Oliver made Congressman Wexler from Florida look like a crass bureaucrat, smiling and making inane, arrogant comments about cutting funds for irrigation, water wells, literacy programs and about how it was all the fault of Palestinians and UNESCO. Almost the entire show was devoted to the subject which included an Oliver trip to Gabon, West Africa. This show was expensive to make and I’m sure there was/is much hand wringing about it in the accounting office at Comedy Central. Oliver is hilarious and devilishly good at his bait and switch routine. It was outstanding. Broadcast March, 16 (I think).

    Stuart is chewing the ancles of the high and mighty here, I think.

    Interestingly, Comcast’s “on demand” menu provides a one sentence synopsis of Daily show reruns. Not this one. Only a generic blurb about Stuart being Stuart.

    • Danaa on March 18, 2012, 2:19 pm

      Glad someone pointed out this show. It was most unusual in that Stuart did not even run the usual guest segment, just let Oliver run with the Unesco bit, which made Wexler look like an incomparable idiot.

      In one episode, Stuart did more than all the MSM combined in over 1 year.

      I’ve been saying for some time that Jon Stuart has been rattling his cage. His segment on Palestinian quest for self-determination aired last month and he had a couple of hard-hitting segments that were obvious push-back against the Iran war drums. Those were much quoted.

      Obviously, someones have taken the leash off a bit – carefully and gingerly. The news of UNESCO are old, yet the show has just aired (or did I miss it at the time?). I can’t help but wonder how many other skits Jon has in his vault waiting for the green light? I mean Yahoo’s periodic visits to the US to collect his dues are absolutely ripe for comedy.

      • Citizen on March 19, 2012, 3:53 pm

        RE: “Yahoo’s periodic visits to the US to collect his dues are absolutely ripe for comedy.”

        Yuk. Watch the news when Obama gives Bibi our best bunker bombs, air-refueling equipment aircraft, and much more, all really costly stuff to Dick and Jane when they are hurting badly. Obama has already promised this soon, on condition that Bib wait until Obama is reelected before he bombs Iran. Recall when Obama promised Bibi a bunch of the most expensive jet fighter-bombers ever, the F-35s, if only Bibi would suspend settlement expansion for a few months? Watch too when US troops (at least 9,000 initially) are deployed en masse to Israel, along with US latest missile defense systems, along with operating personnel, to Israel–the “common training exercise” originally set for Spring this year. Anyway I look at it, Bibi has Obama by the balls thanks to AIPAC & company, & GOP probables for POTUS actually just want to suck Bibi’s c…, so anxious are they to be POTUS. Those who say discussing “Jewish Power” is ipso facto anti-semitic? What are they smoking or drinking? That X once used a cowboy hat to screw over a bunch of Ys means nobody should ever rationally use a cowboy hat? Nothing at all functional about a cowboy hat, ever?

  13. Pixel on March 18, 2012, 12:34 am

    “My proudest moments in life — getting a full scholarship to go from South Africa to Stanford University, being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist, winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics — have all come through hard work, with no shortcuts.” (My emphasis)

    No shortcuts??

    My guess is that, while some of his life’s successes might have been achieved without “shortcuts,” others (some? much? most?) were the direct result of (achieved by? assisted by?) precisely that – quite possibly, also the specific examples he gave.

    Tribal connections are a “given,” to such an extent that they’re not even recognized as “shortcuts.”

    To be fair, the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” is a fairly common phenomenon, overall. But there’s a difference (an indifference?), here, that I’m not quite able to put my finger on.

    • Citizen on March 18, 2012, 10:58 am

      Pixel, I think you put your finger on reality quite well. Nevertheless, I admire Greg Smith (where did he get that name?) for what he did in resigning from G-S & making his reasons known. The little Jewish boy from S Africa has grown up–too bad he will be just a blip on the MSM map, & too bad the lives of so many human beings are in the hands of privileged and naive children

      • Bumblebye on March 18, 2012, 4:32 pm

        Now now. He, or one of his forefathers merely had to knock of the front bit and anglicize the rest! Casts a whole new light on a person, doesn’t it Zen?!

    • Mooser on March 19, 2012, 3:00 pm

      “the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics”

      Out of consideration for the other commenters, I am going to go and hit my right (typing) hand with a hammer. I am not, not, not going to get started on what might be in a “Jewish Olympics”.

      • Mooser on March 19, 2012, 3:12 pm

        I can’t type with my left hand. Way too much hair on my palm.

    • Mooser on March 19, 2012, 3:14 pm

      “have all come through hard work, with no shortcuts.”

      And one hell of a serve, along with a deadly overhead spin on vollies!

      • Citizen on March 19, 2012, 3:55 pm

        Aw, U against the Special Olympics too? Remember Rocket J Squirrel & his buddy!

      • Citizen on March 19, 2012, 6:23 pm

        Yeah, Mooser, and all those starving blacks looking at his fruit treat while he was knocking the ball back and forth.

  14. stevelaudig on March 18, 2012, 12:40 am

    “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.” Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow (New York: Penguin Books, 1973). 251.

    The question isn’t whether someone is/maybe/happens/wants to be to be “Jewish” but whether they have chosen to be a “Zionist”. Different universe. Venn diagram overlap but not identity.

  15. dbroncos on March 18, 2012, 9:22 am

    Well put, stevelaudig. The issue here, and it should be obvious, is the connection between Zionists and choke points of power. Not every Jew is a Zionist and not every Zionist is a Jew. Zionist power is something I’m concerned about because it’s the driving force behind a campaign to snuff out the Palestinian nation and an American foreign policy run amok. “Jewish power” on Wall Street is of concern to me only with respect to how its money and poweris used to further the cause of Zionism. As per the corruption of America’s banking sector I don’t see that Jews should be singled out. There’s plenty of greed and avarice among all the players on Wall Street, Jews and Gentiles, for which we all have paid an awful price.

  16. yourstruly on March 18, 2012, 12:58 pm

    the one about a land without a people for a people without a land

    the zionist settlers themselves

    their israel firster enablers in the u.s. of a.
    as the puppeteers that pull the strings on our puppet government

    the public awakening to the reality of zionist power

    see how jewish nationalism (zionism) is endangering the very people it supposedly intended to help?

    fight back, america

    it’s not too late

  17. optimax on March 18, 2012, 2:22 pm

    Greg Smith hung his hat on the bronze medal he won in table tennis in Israel. I know how important that is to his future accomplishments in life–I came in second in the sixth grade bike rodeo and it has been easy sailing since with that on my resume.

  18. Keith on March 18, 2012, 7:01 pm

    SPEAKING OF WALL STREET- How could I let this opportunity pass me by to discuss the global financial system? Interesting article on CounterPunch concerning a type of derivative known as interest rate swaps. Seems that state and local governments entered into these swaps to protect themselves from rising interest rates. Seems that with low interest rates, state and local governments are now obligated to PAY WALL STREET due to the low rates. Does the Fed take care of “the street,” or what? First a quote, then a final comment.

    “Today interest rate swaps make up 82% of the total market in derivatives, measured by total notional amounts. This is partly the result of governments all over the world entering into interest rate swaps, agreeing to tie cash flows to trillions of notional dollars. What’s key is that none of this has required duplicity or reckless greed on the part of bankers at Goldman Sachs or other firms. Let’s be clear; this is a structural transformation of capitalism on a global scale, and it has sucked up all corporate and government entities into the new logic of hedging and efficiency. That a few powerful financial corporations have placed themselves in strategic positions to benefit from this structural shift should come as no surprise.”
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/15/a-toxic-system/

    Notice the comment “…and it has sucked up all corporate and government entities into the new logic of hedging and efficiency.” What this refers to is that the global financial system is so inherently unstable that these inadequately funded “hedges” are necessary to assuage doubts about systemic risk. This risk is an inherent part of a privately controlled financial system run by profit seeking banksters. This private system has become increasingly disassociated from the real economy, profits accruing increasingly from speculation on financial instruments. Financialization. Things are bad and getting worse.

    • yourstruly on March 18, 2012, 8:52 pm

      also revealing is the success story of the bank of north carolina, owned and operated by the people of that state. as it should and must it serves the interest of north dakota’s people and businesses. keith, por favor, if every state had its own bank, whither private banks and the fed?

      • Keith on March 19, 2012, 1:23 am

        YOURSTRULY- “also revealing is the success story of the bank of north carolina, owned and operated by the people of that state. as it should and must it serves the interest of north dakota’s people and businesses.”

        Perhaps you inadvertently wrote “bank of north carolina” for bank of North Dakota? In any event, state banks are both good and obvious, however, the Bank of North Dakota provides funds for the local private banks and does not compete. As for other states, I seriously doubt that Wall Street will sit idly by as new state banks are created. Here in Washington, efforts to create a state bank are going nowhere fast, not surprising considering the power of the street. They don’t call Goldman-Sachs the Vampire Squid for nothing. I seriously doubt that any state has the power to break free any more than Greece does. As for private banks and the Fed, the Fed should be part of the government not private, and the whole financial system needs to be publicly controlled. No easy task considering that the financial sector effectively runs the empire.

  19. Xpat on March 18, 2012, 9:30 pm

    Apropos the debate about anti-Semitism, one of the pretenses of nationalism is that ethnic ties can trump class differences. The trade-off for the powerful is clear. They get to use their power with the legitimacy of speaking for all the people. But what’s in it for those of us who do not head “Jewish organizations” or speak with the confidence of having deep pockets? The answer is not simple but it does need to be asked.
    I’m thinking of this in terms of Jewish identity politics. The powerful “Jewish” organizations such as the ADL and Jewish Federations speak with an authority they have not earned. They try (successfully) to silence detractors with the charge of anti-Semitism. Nowhere is this more apparent than on Israel/Palestine (see Anna Baltzer).
    Rank and file Jews then line up to defend the powerful Jews by talking up anti-Semitism.
    I think the Jewish community has a big problem with censorship. There is a sad rehearsal of “Jewish powerlessness” in handing over power to the rich and already powerful Jews.
    I’d like to see more, regular Jews disowning the power Jews and also speaking out in their own name. Our agenda is set by our class differences. It is wishful thinking to believe that we have anything to gain from standing with our so-called leaders.

    P.S. This is an internal Jewish issue, but it might be of interest to non-Jews when they are hit with the accusation of anti-Semitism.

    • sydnestel on March 19, 2012, 12:26 pm

      I agree with Elliot.

      But it only pushes Jews into false solidarity with the undemocratic Jewish leadership when sweeping statements about the dangers of Jewish power are being made.

      • Xpat on March 19, 2012, 2:36 pm

        Sydnestel – I’d argue with that. Does Gilad Atzmon, or non-Jewish anti-Semitism, push you into the arms of our reactionary, so-called Jewish leaders? It certainly doesn’t do that for me. I doubt that you will become aligned with Abe Foxman because of this kind of talk.

        After all, its a chicken and egg question. And since I don’t want to be stuck in an unresolvable, fowl question, why not take the first step. I think I can get more bang for my buck by going after the Jewish fear-mongers.

        The job of taking down the anti-Semitism straw man is ours to do. To the extent that we identify as Jews and don’t speak out as Jews against our unelected leaders, we’re complicit in everything they do in the name of fighting anti-Semitism. And, as I know you agree, it’s a nasty agenda, both domestically and internationally.

      • Mooser on March 19, 2012, 3:08 pm

        “But it only pushes Jews into false solidarity with the undemocratic Jewish leadership when sweeping statements about the dangers of Jewish power are being made”

        Listen pal, you can’t be a ‘democratic’ Jewish leader until you get rid of the present “undemocratic Jewish leadership”

        You know, I think “Jewish Power” impresses gullible, frightened, or unbalanced Jews way more than it impresses anybody else (not counting the actual physical victims of Zionism, of course).
        If you are gullible and frightened, Jewish Power seems like a safe thing, a sure route to success and happiness, while avoiding all those nasty anti-Semites.
        And if you are unbalanced, you want to be one yourself, or even “redeem” the Jews.

      • Citizen on March 19, 2012, 5:21 pm

        Mooser, RE: “You know, I think “Jewish Power” impresses gullible, frightened, or unbalanced Jews way more than it impresses anybody else.”

        Really, Mooser? I think rather that Likud Zionist moneybags impress nearly all the US elected leaders who are supposed to represent the bulk of those who elected them. Hence the applause when Bibi comes to town and speaks, and the US government severe enmeshment with Israel at the expense of the bulk of Americans with only loss and no return. Get your antlers out of your rear.

      • Mooser on March 19, 2012, 3:11 pm

        Oh, Elliot won’t be happy until the last Rabbi is strangled with the guts of the last stockbroker. And I love him for it.

      • Xpat on March 19, 2012, 3:54 pm

        Mooser, Thanks…if Rabbis are relying on stockbrockers for guts, then we really are in shtokh.
        It’s not the Rabbis who call the shots, it’s the very-rich Jews, or those with access to their pockets. Many Rabbis would be more outspoken if not for fear of losing their jobs. Their class consciousness conflicts with their livelihood.

  20. Mooser on March 19, 2012, 2:32 pm

    “Jewish Power”? Hate to break it to you, but this “Jewish Power” mostly operates on gullible Jews. Or Jews who are subject to wishful thinking. Doesn’t have much effect on others (not talking about the Zionists victims here).

    Look, people, when you are a victimiser, you victimise the closest and most vulnerable people available. For Jews, that’s other Jews.
    At the end of WW2, after, oh, about a hundred and fifty years of travails, culminating in the Holacaust, Judaism and Jews were in a terrible state. And so the entire business of Judaism and Jewishness was given to, or taken by criminals to use for their own ends. And so here we are today, and these same criminals are exhorting us to defend them, to give our lives and fortunes for their criminal projects, the worst of which is, of course, Zionism.
    Of course, it’s hard to know if there is any turning back. Once they took the religion out of Judaism, and put the politics and tribal criminality back in, there isn’t much hope.

  21. Keith on March 19, 2012, 3:01 pm

    For those interested, a very interesting article about this by Pam Martens over at CounterPunch. Here are a couple of quotes followed by the link:

    “In the last decade, Wall Street has evolved from predator to organized crime with a speed dial to Washington. Instead of Washington reforming Wall Street, it has seduced and corrupted Washington. It didn’t have to come to this.”

    “On Wednesday, March 14, Greg Smith – following in the proud lineage of Micheal Lewis, Frank Partnoy and Nomi Prins – simply bypassed the tedious route of galleys and nit-picking editors and went straight to the OpEd page of the New York Times with his resignation letter decrying Goldman Sachs for abusing its clients.”
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/19/goldman-sachs-trader-finds-a-new-occupy-tactic/

    • Citizen on March 19, 2012, 6:44 pm

      Rothschild was first to take full advantage of anti-usury culture; now the elite all do–the bottom line is noted in the observation that a big lie is never found out in time to prevent great mass suffering because the average person cannot imagine the big lie, as he or she even struggles with little white lies at times. Wall Street is trained by our ivy league top schools to make profit off of big lies; they’ve even automate it.
      And remember, securities need some thin connection to actual labor products–well actually, to verbal connection in some way to actual labor products.

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