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Israeli lawmaker: ‘Jewish race is the greatest human capital, the smartest’

Israel/Palestine
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There are certain racist expressions that you’re not supposed to use, even in Israel. One of them is referring to Jews as a “race”. Even if you’re speaking favorably about Jews. But a rightwing lawmaker did that the other day.

“The whole Jewish race is the greatest human capital, and the smartest and the most understanding,” Miki Zohar said Wednesday. The member of Knesset for Likud was debating the Benjamin Netanyahu corruption scandals together with Haaretz journalist Dan Margalit, on the 103 FM radio station (owned by the centrist Maariv daily).

Here Miki Zohar went into unabashed race-supremacist talk about Jews. He literally referred to it as the Jewish race (not nation or people). The Hebrew term he used is “GEZA”. It’s the literal parallel of ‘race’ in English, no doubt there.  

The thing is, that there was hardly any interruption to it, nor any rebuttal or expression of shock or anything. Not even from Dan Margalit who was representing a ‘leftist’ point of view. Here is the section of the interview, which I have translated:

Miki Zohar: I’ll tell you one basic thing, so that maybe someone who’s sitting there at home would listen to me well, and maybe those who are sitting at the studios and at editorials would listen well to me:

The public in the state of Israel is a public which belongs to the Jewish race [sic], and the whole Jewish race is the greatest human capital [sic], and the smartest and the most understanding, and sometimes also the most educated…

(Host) Anat Davidov: No no, this is not serious…

Zohar: And that’s why you can’t fool us, the Jews, you can’t, and it doesn’t matter what you’ll write in the media, and it doesn’t matter what you’ll report all day. The public knows what the Prime Minister is doing for the state of Israel, how excellent a Prime Minister he is, and how this state is prospering and blooming…

(Host) Yinon Magal: Dan Margalit, a final statement.

(Dan Margalit talks about Netanyahu corruption scandals).

Dan Margalit

Dan Margalit

Now, you would think there would be a big storm about such unabashed racist talk. But there isn’t.

The settler outlet Israel National News (Hebrew) says in its headline that “Miki Zohar causes a storm” and quotes a small part of the above, but the article doesn’t say what the storm is, it’s focused on Netanyahu. Zohar’s quote is buried, and it’s just a line. Maariv did the same. No ‘storm’.

I asked journalist David Sheen if he saw a storm. “Barely a breeze”, Sheen tells me. He went on to tweet:

This same Israeli lawmaker from Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party states that Israel is not a democracy, and that democracy is in fact “an existential threat” to Jews. Combine that with his recent comments about race, and you can decide for yourself what his political ideology is.

The Radio 103 podcast page says journalist Anat Davidov was amazed by Zohar’s words. “It’s not true”’, is the subtitle.

Miki Zohar, with the leader of his party, Benjamin Netanyahu

But Anat Davidov actually said, “no no, that’s not serious”, and she didn’t sound particularly amazed. The racist words are a mere sentence in a long discussion.

So let’s face it: – this is not really a storm. And that’s the story. This was very clear from the interview itself. This talk does not cause any real stir. It’s like a bit of political incorrectness. There’s no shock-horror response really – and wouldn’t you expect something like that from a “leftist” journalist like Dan Margalit at least? But then again, Margalit is the one who recently opined that mass shooting of Palestinians is good for them.

What Zohar was really doing, was voicing a perception of Jewish racial supremacy in a way that you’re not supposed to, because it’s too overt. You’re not supposed to use the word “Jewish race”, it can be watered down to “Jewish nation” or “Jewish people”. But truth be told, the application of ‘Jewish’ in Israel is a racial one. The consideration of whether Jews should be called a “race” or a “people” was present already a century ago, as seen in the final draft of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 – the draft before the final version actually called Jews a “race” rather than a “people” (the wording was “His Majesty’s Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish race”…). But it was changed to “people”. Perhaps they thought it more politically correct already at that time.

Yet Zohar was saying race. And he was making it utterly clear that this is a superior race. And that perception, unfortunately, is one that is central in Zionism. It’s the one that allows the utter dehumanization of “others”, it’s the one that allows ‘liberals’ like Dan Margalit to say that shooting people is good for them – and to be silent when the most explicit racist bile is uttered. 

About Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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58 Responses

  1. Cliff
    June 16, 2018, 1:29 pm

    cultist freaks

    let them leave earth and colonize another planet, soon they’ll be hating one another to sate their insane narcissm

    • Mooser
      June 16, 2018, 1:53 pm

      All 180 million of us? We’ll have to charter multiple spacecraft.

      • Cliff
        June 17, 2018, 2:29 am

        huh

      • Mooser
        June 17, 2018, 11:18 am

        “Huh”

        Well, everybody talks about the Jewish demographic crisis, but nobody does anything about it.
        I just did.
        And it was a hell of a lot less complicated than serial monogamy.

      • Mooser
        June 18, 2018, 12:25 pm

        “I just did.”

        I increased our “human capital” by well over a factor of ten and made it stick. All while strictly keeping the Laws of Family Purity. They better not leave an “o” out of my name from now on!

    • JWalters
      June 16, 2018, 11:49 pm

      They definitely have the standard signs of a cult. They are told –

      – they are the most special people,

      – they must live in segregated communities,

      – they must not marry non-Jews,

      – they must send a tenth of their income to headquarters,

      – they must not question these laws,

      – and if they make even tiny transgressions they will suffer devastating curses.

      Controlled by fantasies and threats, they are perhaps the world’s longest running, duped cult.

      “And that’s why you can’t fool us, the Jews” -Miki Zohar

      On the other hand, Israeli-born Jewish therapist Avigail Abarbanel has written,
      “It’s time for American Jews to recognize they have been duped”
      http://mondoweiss.net/2015/07/american-recognize-duped

      • Marnie
        June 17, 2018, 8:36 am

        @ JWalters –

        Brilliant post.

    • Talkback
      June 17, 2018, 2:19 am

      I was told that they allready did in other parts of the milky way. They always tell the natives that god told them it was their planet and that they finally returned. And that the conquered planet would be Jewish and democratic after they achieved a Jewish majority by getting rid of the natives.

      • Mooser
        June 17, 2018, 12:18 pm

        “I was told…”

        Wasn’t that on the DVD “Star Schlep”, the banned episodes”?

    • Misterioso
      June 18, 2018, 11:34 am

      ““The whole Jewish race is the greatest human capital, and the smartest and the most understanding,” Miki Zohar said Wednesday.

      Sieg Heil Miki!! Yawn. Just more Zionist neo-Nazi “Jewish” supremacist BS.
      Nothing new. Indeed, the similarity between Nazism and Zionism has been screamingly obvious for over 70 years.

      Here’s an interesting and little known example:

      http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/israels-little-known-concentration-and-labor-camps-1948-1955)

      “On Israel’s little-known concentration and labor camps in 1948-1955,” Al-Akhbar English, by Yazan al-Saadi, September 29, 2014

      EXCERPT:
      “Much of the grim and murky circumstances of the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the late 1940s have gradually been exposed over time. One aspect – rarely researched or deeply discussed – is the internment of thousands of Palestinian civilians within at least 22 Zionist-run concentration and labor camps that existed from 1948 to 1955. Now more is known about the contours of this historical crime, due to the comprehensive research by renowned Palestinian historian Salman Abu Sitta and founding member of the Palestinian resource center BADIL, Terry Rempel.

      “The facts are these. The study – to be published in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Palestine Studies – relies on almost 500 pages of International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) reports written during the 1948 war, that were declassified and made available to the public in 1996, and accidentally discovered by one of the authors in 1999.

      “Furthermore, testimonies of 22 former Palestinian civilian detainees of these camps were collected by the authors, through interviews they conducted themselves in 2002, or documented by others during different moments of time.

      “With these sources of information, the authors, as they put it, pieced together a clearer story of how Israel captured and imprisoned ‘thousands of Palestinian civilians as forced laborers,’ and exploited them ‘to support its war-time economy.’”

      • Mooser
        June 18, 2018, 12:35 pm

        “Misterioso”, the first thing I would say to anybody who talks about our “greatest human capital” is simply: “If you’re so damn smart, why ain’t you rich?”

    • hank
      June 18, 2018, 5:21 pm

      Zohar should be commended for his relative restraint. He omitted the obvious and irrefutable “…and the most modest and self-critical.”

  2. Maghlawatan
    June 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    Not according to the PISA tests.
    Jews do well when they are educated. Israeli Jews are not educated. They are brainwashed. The most extreme case, the Ultra Orthodox , other than controlling the Shatnez market, are very weak in the labour market.

  3. Maghlawatan
    June 16, 2018, 4:03 pm

    The smartest race would not have occupied Gaza in 1967. Not by a long shot.
    If sheep had political power they wouldn’t go near Gaza
    Neither would goldfish.

    • Misterioso
      June 18, 2018, 2:36 pm

      @Maghlawatan

      Also, “the smartest race” would have seen through Zionism at the get go and rejected it without hesitation.

  4. Maghlawatan
    June 16, 2018, 4:07 pm

    Chomsky :

    “We live entangled in webs of endless deceit, often self-deceit”

    https://youtu.be/FpjVPLPAFzs

  5. Tom Suarez
    June 16, 2018, 4:10 pm

    Thank you, Jonathan, spot-on as always. “Race” was of course still used by Jewish Zionists and British officials post-Balfour — the transition from that to its being, well, racist might be another interesting topic.

  6. Yonah Fredman
    June 16, 2018, 4:31 pm

    In the Betar anthem: “b’dam uv’yeza, nakim lanu geza.”

    • Mooser
      June 16, 2018, 5:38 pm

      180 million Jewish people is enough for a race. Heck, it’s enough for an entire track-and-field day. And a soccer game.

  7. Annie Robbins
    June 16, 2018, 4:31 pm

    everyone knew what he meant. and by and large, many jewish people probably agree with him (not necessarily the “race” part, but the other part). fruitcakes.

    • CigarGod
      June 16, 2018, 7:44 pm

      Annie, many Christian group agree as well…and actually consider themselves as part of The House of Israel.
      Example: 13+ million Mormons.
      I hear it from them all the time.
      The blonder they are…the more proof it is.
      Mooser is closer to the number than he may know.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 16, 2018, 8:44 pm

        oh my. and everyone knows how smart the mormons are. wasn’t it romney who said 47% of Americans “pay no income tax…people who he could “never convince … to take personal responsibility and care for their lives” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/sep/18/romneys-47-percent-us-election
        so smart!

      • Mooser
        June 17, 2018, 11:49 am

        “I hear it from them all the time.”

        So did I, when I lived in SLC, many years ago. For some flushigginer reason, some Mormons consider that ” we’re just one of the Tribes” schtik a sure-fire method of ingratiating themselves.

  8. Annie Robbins
    June 16, 2018, 5:26 pm

    speaking of not so smart… this idea that you can cover up all your crimes til the end of time by conditioning everyone to believe it’s bigoted to criticize you? not so smart. thinking you can legislate criticism against your crimes, as a form of hate crime? not so smart. thinking you can pull the wool over everyones eyes long enough to annex the entire area or ethnically cleanse the entire area? not so smart. thinking you can kill unarmed civilians and convince everyone it’s the fault of the victims, not so smart. the list goes on and on and on.

    and what good are smarts if you lack basic common sense, like this: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”

    • Mooser
      June 16, 2018, 7:07 pm

      “Jewish race is the greatest human capital”

      You bet, our stock split more than ten-for-one, and is now at 180 million.

    • Rob Roy
      June 16, 2018, 10:57 pm

      Zohar reminds me of Trump who also ripped the cover off racism, white supremacy. Then all the people who believed that already felt free to show it just as he did. Zohar ripped the cover off what a majority of Jews believe…that they are superior, ‘god’s chosen’ and therefore smarter and should be listened to on all policies by all countries especially the US. The Knesset recently said that Jews are superior to the other citizens and have full rights unlike the other citizens. They call themselves a moral democracy. Garbage.
      Liked your comments, Annie.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2018, 10:04 am

        thanks rob, i like yours too.

    • peeesss
      June 24, 2018, 3:13 am

      Annie,: You say the norms that Israeli’s uses to escape accountability are no longer applicable, I.E. cover up, bigoted to criticize , hate legislate, annexation, killing unarmed civilians, fooling all the people all the time, because most people see through the Zionist Hasbara might be true. But the end result is the same. The “people” do not act upon their new found knowledge due to fear, financial interest, financial power, Zionist controlled MSM, and even today, much ignorance . Much due to the Hasbara MSM spews forth 24 hours a day. Case in point , the Gaza massacre’s. Our great “liberal” establishment media ignored this tragedy, the children, men, woman, elderly, young shot dead, disabled for life or , as usual, blamed the victims. To me, at least, it seems the Zionists control of US institutions, political, social , educational, media is stronger than ever.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 24, 2018, 4:22 am

        peeesss: the end result is the same. The “people” do not act upon their new found knowledge due to fear, financial interest, financial power, Zionist controlled MSM, and even today, much ignorance .

        can’t say i agree here. i think more often than we realize, they eventually do act. it just an oddity of time that looking back on history, what appears to be a relative blip of time actually took decades or centuries. so what happens over the course of one human lifetime may seem like things never change, but over the course of generations we see that they sometimes (often) do. keep the faith.

  9. CigarGod
    June 16, 2018, 7:34 pm

    Whew!
    Sure ain’t the purdiest.
    Has he played a zombie in the movies?

  10. LHunter
    June 16, 2018, 8:35 pm

    No one mentioned that the Israelis invented cherry tomatoes – that’s got to be a true tell of just how smart the Jewish race is compared to the Catholic race or Islamic race save and except the Mormon race – they invented the roadometer and the electric traffic light.

    I wonder how the sub-race of Zionist Jews fare in emotional intelligence testing?

    .

  11. eljay
    June 16, 2018, 8:58 pm

    … Miki Zohar: I’ll tell you one basic thing, so that maybe someone who’s sitting there at home would listen to me well, and maybe those who are sitting at the studios and at editorials would listen well to me:

    The public in the state of Israel is a public which belongs to the Jewish race [sic] …

    Finally, a Zionist who believes that the 20% of “Jewish State” citizens who are not Jews actually are – or should be – Jews.

  12. Stogumber
    June 17, 2018, 1:08 am

    Well, it’s like with “propaganda”. All Western countries did “propaganda” until the 1930s, when they decided that only Germans did propaganda, whereas what they did was “information”. Around the same time they decided that only Fascists used the “Roman salute” whereas what they used was – whatever. And around the same time they decided that only Nazis believed in “races”, whereas they believed in – whatever.

    This is what I call “dissimilation”, the urgent need to look, in times of conflict, as unsimilar as possible to your opponent. A kind of stupidization.

    Ashkenazi Jews are, for all we know, a distinct biological-genetical group. “Distinct” means that scientists can distinguish them. The genetical distinctness implies advantages, w.r.t. IQ, but even more w.r.t. verbal skills. But verbal skills are a problematic gift: they allow someone to deceive others, but to deceive himself as well. This affects social competence in a negative way.

    • Mooser
      June 17, 2018, 11:54 am

      “This is what I call “dissimilation”, the urgent need to look, in times of conflict, as unsimilar as possible to your opponent. A kind of stupidization.”

      And then you give us a perfect example of it. Well done, “for all we know”.

  13. Stogumber
    June 17, 2018, 1:20 am

    Cigar God got it wrong about the Mormons. Mormons of European stock don’t pretend that they are genetically connected to the Jewish people. They pretend that Native Americans are genetically connected to Jews, and that they themselves are in a way spiritually connected to this Native American tradition. (See Wikipedia “Ten Lost Tribes”)

    • CigarGod
      June 17, 2018, 10:43 am

      That too, Stogumber!
      I should have been more clear.
      Blondness is a “sign”, but until a holy elder pronounces the House of Israel connection, it isnt official.
      They annoint the members head with holy oil, say a prayer, and God tells the holy man which house the member is from.
      But, dark skinned people come from a lost tribe, as you say. But the dark skinned people were white…until God cursed them.

      • Mooser
        June 17, 2018, 11:26 am

        “They annoint the members head with holy oil”

        Saving a bit for the axles on the hand-carts.

      • Mooser
        June 18, 2018, 1:29 pm

        “They annoint the members head with holy oil”

        Why don’t they wash their blonde child’s hair in dead champagne to keep it gold, as they do in France?

  14. lenny
    June 17, 2018, 2:51 am

    I think he meant “jewish race” as a maccabi games athletics event.

  15. lonely rico
    June 17, 2018, 11:10 am

    Miki Zohar. –

    … [t]he whole Jewish race is the greatest human capital [sic], and the smartest and the most understanding

    Albert Einstein would not entirely agree with the clever MZ –

    Only direct cooperation with the Arabs can create a dignified and safe life … What saddens me is less the fact that the Jews are not smart enough to understand this, but rather they are not just enough to want it.
    From letter to Hugo Bergman, 1930.

    • Misterioso
      June 18, 2018, 3:02 pm

      @lonely rico

      In 1929, Albert Einstein responded prophetically as follows to his friend Chaim Weizmann (then president of the British Zionist Federation) who had written to him about the Jewish Zionist question:

      “Should we be unable to find a way to honest cooperation and honest pacts with the Arabs, then we have learned absolutely nothing during our 2,000 years of suffering and deserve all that will come to us,” he wrote, adding, “Should the Jews not learn to live in peace with the Arabs, the struggle against them will follow them for decades in the future.” (“When Albert Einstein was a Holy Land Ladies’ Man,” Haaretz, February 3, 2015, by Gili Izkovitch)

      In 1939, wrote: “There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people….we must strive for a just and lasting compromise with the Arab people…. Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.” (Einstein and Zionism by Banesh Hoffmann)

      To quote Einstein from his testimony before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in January 1946, when he was asked whether refugee settlement in Palestine demanded a Jewish state, he replied: “The State idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed. It is connected with narrow-mindedness and economic obstacles. I believe it is bad. I have always been against it.”

      In his What Price Israel?, Dr. Alfred M. Lilienthal recounts that on April 1, 1952, in a message to the Children of Palestine, Inc., Einstein “spoke of the necessity to curb ‘a kind of nationalism’ which has arisen in Israel ‘if only to permit a friendly and fruitful co-existence with the Arabs.'”

      Lilienthal also relates a personal conversation with Einstein: “Dr Einstein told me that, strangely enough, he had never been a Zionist and had never favored the creation of the State of Israel. Also, he told me of a significant conversation with [Chaim] Weizmann [then leader of the World Zionist Organization.] Einstein had asked him: ‘What about the Arabs if Palestine were given to the Jews?’ And Weizmann said: ‘What Arabs? They are hardly of any consequence.'” (What Price Israel? p. 131)

      In his Out of My Later Years, Einstein reiterated his views on the 1947 Partition Plan: “I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from the practical consideration, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain – especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state.” (Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years, Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1956; p. 263)

      “[Einstein] formulated his fascinating insights after he returned to his home in Berlin, and many years later, when he immigrated to the United States, and when he had to turn down Ben-Gurion’s offer to be the first president of Israel.

      “In a letter to his friend Ezriel Carlebach, he wrote that he would not be able to perform the duties of the office according to his conscience, and that he would have to tell the Israeli people things they ‘would not like to hear.’” (“When Albert Einstein was a Holy Land Ladies’ Man,” Haaretz, February 3, 2015, by Gili Izkovitch)

      • MHughes976
        June 18, 2018, 5:29 pm

        You could count on Einstein to make peace and goodwill remarks but he was full of ambivalence, perhaps of worse. His remark to Lilienthal has to be set beside his letter to Nehru in June 47 where he gives a very string impression of being a Zionist. This was a very high profile political intervention.

    • hank
      June 18, 2018, 6:28 pm

      This discussion raises engrossing questions about the celestial purpose – if any – in the continued existence of Judaism. Our remote ancestors sacrificed their lives – even when offered an escape hatch – to support their God – imposed creed until it became universal , or remaining skeptics were eliminated in various dramatic ways. Now, two millenia later, Israel has fair claim the be viewed as the gold standard of this belief, yet its barbaric and nakedly self-interested treatment of the prior occupants of its real estate has led the majority of the world to view it as an abomination. The enterprise does not appear to be thriving; what was the point of the sacrifices?

      • hank
        June 18, 2018, 6:50 pm

        Of course “…claim to be viewed… and “…millennia later…”
        ascribe it to a sleepless night and stressful hospital stay.

  16. MHughes976
    June 17, 2018, 11:52 am

    He wasn’t speaking with a wry, self-deprecating smile. I suppose?

    • Yitzchak Goodman
      June 17, 2018, 6:10 pm

      It could be he was speaking with a bit of literary flair also. “Geza” is an example of a Modern Hebrew word adapted or evolved from a familiar older one. It’s a tree word–trunk maybe. If I saw “geza Yisrael,” I would just think it was a poetic way of saying “Jewish people.” I wouldn’t start thinking about genes and chromosomes. I’m admittedly a bad source for how Hebrew sounds to modern speakers, but the older layers of a language never completely go away. They remain available for a certain archaic flair. You probably can think of something analogous in English.

      • Mooser
        June 17, 2018, 6:53 pm

        ” I wouldn’t start thinking about genes and chromosomes.” “Yitzchak Goodman”

        Neither would I. 180 million people is much to deep a gene-pool to worry about excessive consanguinity and its consequences.

      • Yitzchak Goodman
        June 17, 2018, 7:54 pm

        Speaking of the word geza, see Isaiah 11:1 (5 verses before the wolf dwelling with the lamb): “Geza Yishai”

  17. Ossinev
    June 17, 2018, 12:51 pm

    For more insight into a possible source for this gruesome creature`s train of ” thought ” see:
    https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007457

  18. G. Seauton
    June 18, 2018, 1:57 pm

    “The whole Jewish race is the greatest human capital, and the smartest….”

    OK, then someone needs to answer this question for me:

    If the Jews are so much smarter than everyone else, how is it that they are so unwise?

    And Talmud me no Talmuds.

  19. amigo
    June 18, 2018, 5:20 pm

    I envy zionistas , they have much to learn.

    For their sake , I hope they don,t leave it too long.There will be no second chance.

    On mature reflection , stay as you are.

  20. Mooser
    June 19, 2018, 11:41 am

    There are, at this time, somewhere around, oh let’s be generous, around, maybe what, 15 million Jews in the world?

    If that’s the “greatest human capital”, it doesn’t seem to bear much interest, or pay dividends. And I’ve heard a lot of the stock is ‘watered’.

  21. MichaelSmith
    June 20, 2018, 5:17 pm

    Ironically, Miki is Maghrebi — father Moroccan, mother Tunisian — not Ashkenazi.

    But isn’t it the case that people who are the most fervent chauvinists are often only marginally a part of the group they glorify?

  22. Boomer
    June 22, 2018, 6:46 am

    re: “The thing is, that there was hardly any interruption to it, nor any rebuttal or expression of shock or anything.”

    I am surprised that you are surprised. I don’t know anything about the situation in Israel, but for many years I’ve seen open discussion here in the U.S. about the extent to which Jewish superiority is due to genetic vs. cultural factors. R. Cohen has dealt with it at least a couple of times in the Washington Post, for example. Of course, the word “race” has become problematic in some circles, so that other terms are more in vogue, but what matters (or so it seems to me) is the meaning, the idea, the belief, not the word used.

    • Mooser
      June 22, 2018, 12:13 pm

      “I’ve seen open discussion here in the U.S. about the extent to which Jewish superiority is due to genetic vs. cultural factors.”

      I could never, ever understand the pretensions to Jewish superiority. Right off the top:

      If we are so superior, why is there so few of us?

      • Boomer
        June 23, 2018, 3:34 pm

        Mooser, I recognize that a humorous response would be the appropriate one, but I’m not gifted with your wit and whimsy. I fear any efforts I might make along those lines on such a sensitive topic might go astray. Also, I have no special expertise on the substantive question. So I’ll just mention in passing that this article seems, to my layman’s judgment, to have aspired to be a balanced review of the question: http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/culture/features/1478/

        Personally, I’ve always assumed that social/cultural variables were at play, but that probably just reflects the fact that that view was the dominant one half a century ago, when I was in college. For example, my first course in psychology had us reading things by Muzafer Sharif, famous among us laymen for showing how boys at camp self-divide into hostile tribes, an aspect of human behavior more generally that seems depressingly common — in the Middle East — but also in the good old US of A. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muzafer_Sherif

        But over the past 50 years, we have learned a lot about genetics, and genetic explanations can’t easily be dismissed. I’m still surprised at times by how far this may go. Today, for example, I heard James Fallon (who does have relevant expertise), suggest on The Moth Radio Hour that both the amount and the direction of an individual’s capacity for empathy (directed inward to members of his group, or outward to others) may be influenced by genetics.

        He didn’t say so, but it would seem to follow, I thought, that both intra-group solidarity and intergroup hostility might be enhanced by genetic factors. That episode doesn’t seem to be up on the Web as yet (at least I didn’t find a link) but here is something about him:
        https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-neuroscientist-who-discovered-he-was-a-psychopath-180947814/

        My initial reaction to this idea was to be dismayed, because it seemed that genetic factors are less tractable than cultural. But then I realized that this may not be the case. Cultural patterns can persist for generations, while genetic differences can be reduced with a few generations of intermarriage. That’s an approach embraced by some of the esteemed writers here, I believe.

      • Mooser
        June 23, 2018, 6:23 pm

        If we are so superior, why are there so few of us?

        I don’t even think there’s enough of us to make a gene pool of our own. Let alone a country club.

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