Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Slanders Against Jews

It has been commonplace to blame Jews for the Wall Street crisis of 2008.

If Jews are to be blamed for it, then they also should be credited for the Wall Street growing 10 times in 1980s and 1990s.

There are Jewish people on Wall Street; there are also many White Anglo Saxon Protestant people on Wall Street. I don't personally know any Jewish stockbrokers, but I know stockbrokers of English and Middle Eastern descent. To claim that Jews caused that crisis is ridiculous. The Jews on Wall Street do not band together; they are competitors. “Jews” did not cause this crisis. Unscrupulous people of every ethnicity did.

Lie fabrication against the Jews has been commonplace in many countries for a very long time. I have known an otherwise intelligent, knowledgeable Italian man who told me that Jews practiced ritual sacrifice of babies. I have known an otherwise intelligent, knowledgeable Russian woman who told me that Jews financed Adolf Hitler. America was for a long time immune from these and similar slanders; but that is the case no more.

When I was in New York last year, a man was standing on Rockefeller Square with a sign that said, “Jews control everything.” Oh yeah, then why was he standing there with that sign? If Jews really did control everything, and if Jews were bad, then he would be facing a firing squad. That he is instead free to spread his propaganda, means either one of two things. Either the Jews do not control everything; or the Jews are so good that they would even let live the people who want them dead.

If there had been such a thing as a Jewish conspiracy – any kind of a Jewish conspiracy – then I, as an articulate and well-connected Jewish person, would have been invited to join it a long time ago. I haven't been. Jews mean anything from Barbra Streisand and Steven Spielberg to Donald Rumsfeld, Joe Lieberman and Benyamin Netanyahu. Koch brothers, who financed America's far-right “Tea Party,” are Jewish as well. There is no Jewish conspiracy. There are Jewish people who have done well in any number of fields and been major contributors to the fields in which they have found themselves. That is not a result of any kind of wickedness. It is a result of perhaps the only thing that liberal American Jews and conservative Israeli Jews have in common – a culture of education and hard work.

In 1930s and 1940s, the Jews who lived in Europe were seen as cowards because they were liberal pacifists. Now, the conservative Jews in Israel, who practice an over-reliance on military solutions, are seen as brutes. In many ways Jews and Europeans traded places as a result of a lesson learned too well from the Second World War. The Jews learned that they were not safe in the world and created a super-militaristic state. The Europeans learned that war and nationalism were evil and adopted a policy of non-violence, to the point of accommodating brutal regimes. In both cases an understandable sentiment was taken too far. There are many Jews in America and elsewhere who want Israel to adopt a less aggressive policy. Just as there are many people of European descent in America who think that the Europeans lack guts.

In America, the Jews and people of European descent have lived in relative peace for over a century. This is a great social accomplishment, and America benefits vastly and grows in glory from it being maintained. The people who spread anti-Jewish conspiracy theories are an embarrassment to America. They tarnish one of America's greatest achievements. And a true American patriot will stand up to the people who practice these and related slanders and tell them that they do not speak for America and profane American patriotism by using it to push their slanders against the Jews.


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