The late Mike Wallace was often called a “self-hating Jew,” and it seems clear from his obits that it didn’t really bother him. Community loyalty wasn’t big on his list.
In this book of Jewish proclamations inspired by the last words of Daniel Pearl, Wallace says he got along better with Gaddafi and Arafat than he did with Menachem Begin. It appears that at least three of his four wives were not Jewish, and in this obit at the Forward, Barry Lando shows how Mike Wallace seems to have agreed with anti-Zionist Rabbi Elmer Berger that Jewish nationalism imposed a dual loyalty claim on Jews. Lando excerpts a 1958 interview of Abba Eban:
Wallace: Now then, Mr. Eban, regarding the American Jew and the State of Israel, the anti-Zionist rabbi, Dr. Elmer Berger, has written, “The Zionist-Israeli axis imposes upon Jews outside of Israel, Americans of Jewish faith included, a status of double-nationality,” a status which he deplores…. Your own Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion wrote back in 1953, “When a Jew in America speaks of our government to his fellow Jews, he usually means the government of Israel, while the Jewish public in various countries view the Israeli ambassadors as their own representatives.”
Wallace: Would a Jew, in your estimation, be any less a Jew if he were opposed to Zionism and to Israel?
Eban: In my own personal interpretation, I would say that a man who opposed the State of Israel and the great movement which brought it about would be in revolt against the most constructive and creative events in the life of the Jewish people.
Wallace: But Judaism is a religion, sir.
I keep saying that I want to change American Jewish identity because we won’t change American policy without changing the Jews; Jews are just too powerful in American establishment. And my thesis is amply demonstrated by another anecdote in the Barry Lando obit, where he shows how prevalent Jews are in the media, emphasizing that CBS is owned by a Jew, that many of the network’s producers are Jewish, and that Wallace’s social circle was Jewish too.
Lando explores an episode Linda Lotz described the other day here: Mike Wallace’s role in exposing an Israeli massacre of Palestinians on the Haram al Sharif in 1990. Lando, himself Jewish, was a producer on the story:
But the one piece involving Mike that sparked the widest outrage involved the deaths of 17 Palestinians, shot down by Israeli police on Jerusalem’s ultra-sensitive Temple Mount (called Haram al Sharif in Arabic) on October 8, 1990.
The immediate version of the bloody incident, as proclaimed by the Israeli government and accepted by almost all major media, was that the police had gunned down the Palestinians only after the Palestinians, egged on by their imams, began heaving rocks at Jews praying at the Western Wall, which lay below the confines of the Temple Mount.
Yet, as our “60 Minutes” piece showed — using footage actually shot at the time — the Palestinian charges were accurate: There were no Jews praying at the Wall when the rocks started sailing over…
The tsunami of protest hit us immediately…
Larry Tisch, a major American backer of Israel who also happened to own CBS, summoned Mike and “60 Minutes” Executive Producer Don Hewitt (also Jewish) to a fraught breakfast meeting to defend our report, fact by fact.
Mike and Don wound up in a shouting match at an A-list dinner party with real estate and publishing mogul Mort Zuckerman, literary agent Morton Janklow and Barbara Walters …
Several other Jewish producers at “60 Minutes” made clear their displeasure; even a cousin of mine, a leading American backer of Israel’s Likud party, wrote CBS and demanded that I be fired.
I’ve always wondered why Walt and Mearsheimer’s book never appeared on “60 Minutes.”….