This is a BIG book about jews and countless excerpts from books written by jews. This is a loooooong page, might take a while to download – close to 6MB. Probably the biggest book ever written about jews. Countless excerpts from books, papers, etc from jews about jews.

Spacebar = Page Down. Shift + Spacebar = Page Up. Ctrl + F = Search.

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When Victims Rule – chapter by chapter

When Victims Rule – the whole book in one page

When Victims Rule – Pdf

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  1. 30 chapters, not including subdivisions.



    The authors last words are:

    Who are the saints of history?

    No one.

  2. Spare

  3. (30 chapters, not including subdivisions)

    On today’s standard personal computers, these chapters download at about five kilobytes per second. The shorter chapters are fully available in a few seconds. Although some large chapters take a while to fully download, their first paragraphs should appear quickly.

    Sometimes, within the book text, there are links (colored, underlined text) which, if clicked, take the reader to other parts of this volume to further address the immediate subject at hand. Eventually, such links will also include comment and criticism (emailed in by Internet readers) about the selected passages.

    Each chapter may be searched for words and terms using your
    browser’s EDIT/FIND tools in the bar at the top of your screen.

    1. Introduction [25 Kilobytes][about 10 paper pages]

    2. The Causes of Hostility Toward Jews: A Historical Overview [419 kilobytes] [about 102 paper pages] The religious origins of Jewish identity; the Torah (Old Testament); the Chosen People concept; the Code of Jewish Law; Jewish self-conception as a “nation apart”; brief overview of Israelite Old Testament violence; the Talmud; Jewish apostates and medieval Christian investigation of the Talmud; traditional Jewish racism, elitism, ethnocentrism, tribalism, and exclusionism; modern Jewish apologetics for traditional beliefs; the importance of Maimonides; the Jacob-Esau tradition; Reform Judaism and the modern euphemism of Jewish “particularism” (versus pan-human universalism); traditional Jewish messianic chauvinism in left-wing secular political movements; and more.

    3. Jews and Christianity [31 Kilobytes] [about 6 paper pages]Brief history of Christian-Jewish relations; a contextual view of anti-Jewish religious persecution; Jewish-inspired atrocities against Christians in the early years of the Christ movement; traditional Jewish defamation of Christianity.

    4. Usury [110 Kilobytes] [about 21 paper pages] Domination of Jewish money lending for interest in the Middle Ages; Christian condemnation of usury; Jewish prohibitions of usury within intra-Jewish dealing; Jews popularly known as economic exploiters; uprisings against Jewish money lenders; Jewish double standards of morality; Jewish organized crime in the Middle Ages and later; Jewish “fencing” operations; medieval Christian investigations into Jewish double standards of morality, and identity.

    5. Yicchus (Status) [109 Kilobytes] [about 18 paper pages] Traditional Jewish concerns with social status; money and status; Jewish folklore about money; Reform Judaism’s changing of synagogue decorum; auctioning rights to read prayers in the synagogue; widespread Jewish celebration of ostentation; Jewish ostentation as a contribution to anti-Semitism; the opulent Jewish enclaves of Beverly Hills, CA and Palm Beach, FL

    6. Jewish Money and Economic Influence: the Historical Context [362 Kilobytes] [about 79 paper pages] The works by Max Weber and Werner Sombart about Jewish influence in the development of capitalism; the relationship between Jewish religious belief, ethics, and capitalism; the international folklore tradition that Jews are misers, cheats, deceivers, and frauds; Jewish international networking; the rise of the opulent Court Jews; centuries-old Jewish domination as war profiteers; the Rothschilds and the rise of other Jewish banking firms; medieval Jewish dominance of Spain by Jews who pretended to be Christians; Jewish economic and cultural pre-eminence in pre-World War II Germany, Austria, France, Italy, England, and Eastern Europe (including Poland, Hungary, Russia, and other countries); Jews as economic elites in South Africa, South America, Central America, Hong Kong, and Iran; Benjamin Disraeli, the Jews, and western imperialism; Jewish pre-eminence in the leadership of Soviet communism, including Jewish pre-eminence in the Soviet terrorist secret police

    7. A Closer Look at the Jews in Polish and Eastern European History [139 Kilobytes] [about 27 paper pages] Impoverishment and degradation of (non-Jewish) peasants throughout Eastern European history; Jews as a special caste in the feudal system; relative affluence of Jews in comparison to other peoples; the historical sufferings of the Poles; Jewish privilege in the Middle Ages; Jewish roles as tax collectors, monopolizers of the alcohol trade, and land lessees from nobles; Jewish exploitation of the peasants; peasant and Cossack revolts against feudal and Jewish oppression (“pogroms”); Jewish ethnocentrism in Russia; Riots/pogroms against Jews; the tens of millions of people killed in decades leading up to, and after, the Russian communist revolution; anti-Jewish violence contextualized within widespread social upheaval; Jewish economic pre-eminence in Eastern Europe

    8. Jews and Slavery [83 Kilobytes] [about 16 paper pages] Jewish religious concepts of slavery; Jewish domination of the slave traffic of Slavs, beginning in the 5th century; Prominent Jews in the early Ku Klux Klan, as defenders of slavery and the southern Confederacy; The Nation of Islam’s controversial book, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews; the Jewish role in the slave trading of Africans; Jewish apologetics and mainstream academic rejection of The Secret Relationship.

    9. Jewish Crime [121 Kilobytes] [about 15 paper pages] Jewish crime, focusing here in the late 1800s and early to mid-1900s; Jewish criminal networks in New York City and other major cities; the central Jewish influence in the birth of “organized” crime; prominent Jewish fraudsters and scam artists; Meyer Lansky and “the Syndicate”; Jewish pre-eminence in Las Vegas (and other international “Sin Cities”) and its criminal underworld; Jewish criminal contributions to the founding of modern Israel; modern Jewish myth of categorical historical innocence and nonviolence versus the facts of history; noteworthy Jewish criminals in more modern times.

    10. Jews and “White Slavery” (the International Prostitution Trade at the Turn of the 20th Century) [54 Kilobytes] [about 12 paper pages] Jewish domination of the early 20th century prostitution trade, including the United States, Argentina, Poland, Germany, South Africa, Russia, Austria, Brazil and other countries; Jewish control of three-quarters of the prostitution trade in New York City and Chicago; modern Jewish dismissal of such historical facts as Nazi-type hate propaganda; modern Israel’s importance in the international prostitution trade today.

    11. The Jewish Cosmology of Victimhood (Part 1) [101 Kilobytes] [about 21 paper pages] The Jewish self-conception and enforcement of collective categorical innocence through history; Jewish martyrology mythology; Jewish legend versus historical fact; Cecil Roth’s pre-Holocaust assessment of the collective Jewish innocence tradition; the post-Holocaust age of Jewish apologetics; political use of the Jewish “cult of the persecuted” for modern Israel.

    12. The Jewish Cosmology of Victimhood (Part 2) [130 Kilobytes] [about 25 paper pages] The Talmud as an ethnocentric, ahistorical compilation; traditional Jewish disinterest in non-Jewish history; Jewish celebration of its continuously proclaimed historical martyrdom; secular Jewish historical revisionism to fit religious “chosen sufferer” models; Jewry’s categorical and militant insistence upon its historical innocence; Jewish conviction that all non-Jews hate Jews; effects of the “persecution tradition” upon the psychology of Jewish children; Jewish insistence upon the martyrological role, even while functioning as economic oppressors.

    13. The Jewish Dictates of History [153 Kilobytes] [about 32 paper pages] Continued growth of “Jewish Studies” and the Jewish academic’s role in maintaining the martyrological legend; Gentile disdain for Jews across history, culture, language, and class; singular Jewish focus upon anti-Semitism as a “mystifying disease”; the ban on criticizing anything Jewish in western society; influence upon Jewish Studies programs by wealthy philanthropic propagandists; Jewish Studies centers as outposts for ethnocentrism and pro-Israel polemics; examples of Jewish historical revisionism and militant resistance to face the more unpleasant facts of Jewish history; Jewish narcissism; Jewish censorship of dissenting views; the growing intra-Jewish debate about alleged Jewish powerlessness through history.

    14.Who/What Is a Jew? [60 Kilobytes] [about 13 paper pages] Paradoxical lack of Jewish consensus about who exactly is a Jew; traditional racial definitions of Jewish identity; the enduring racial undercurrent definition today; popular Jewish identity as being “History’s Greatest Victims”; Jewish need for anti-Semitism as an identity anchor; Jewish self-conception of superior intelligence; Jewish arrogance; lack of Jewish humility as an anti-Gentile hostility; Jewish preoccupation with “materialism and superiority.”

    15. Assimilation/Intermarriage/Conversion to Judaism [89 Kilobytes] [about 15 paper pages] Traditional Jewish resistance to intermarriage (marriage to a non-Jew); recent Jewish alarm at high rates of intermarriage; Gentile spouses’ conversion to Judaism; Jewish spouses’ intense connection to Jewish identity; popular Jewish rejection of converts to Judaism; centrality of Jewish racial belief that real Jews are born that way.

    16. The Jewish Self-Conception of Intellectual, Moral, and Spiritual Superiority [85 Kilobytes] [about 11 paper pages] The Jewish celebration of Jewish Nobel prize winners; Jewish celebration of alleged Jewish superiority in intelligence over other peoples; racist arguments that Jews are genetically more intelligent than others; Jewish arrogance as a solicitation of non-Jewish hostility; Jewish chutzpah — pushiness, nerviness; Jewish claims to superiority as part of Chosen People ethnocentrism.

    17. Other Jewish Contributions to Modern Racist Currents [53 Kilobytes] [about 20 paper pages] Prominent Jewish racial theorists in the early 1900s; the Jew as “genius”; Jewish superiority claims based upon Ashkenazi (European Jewish) models — not the Sephardim (Jews from the Middle East); Jewish genetic diseases from centuries of interbreeding; genetic myths of Jewish identity.

    18 (In two parts)
    The Holocaust and Genocide (pt. 1) [501 Kilobytes] [about 93 paper pages] The Nazi persecutors’ inadvertent rejuvenation of Jewish identity; early Israeli shame of Holocaust survivors, and today’s heroizing of them; creation of the secular Holocaust theology in the 1960s; Israel’s “redemptive” 1967 victory over the Arabs as a milestone in Jewish Holocaust cosmology; the Holocaust and Israel as cores of modern Jewish identity; German fascism’s Master Race ideology as an echo of Jewry’s Chosen People claim; precedents for Nazi-inspired genocide (and other racist policies) in original Jewish teachings; the reification of such material in some Jewish quarters today; Holocaust-centeredness throughout the western mass media; Jewish religious tenets and anti-Black racism; the importance of the symbol of Amalek in Jewish tradition, the injunction that he should be eternally hated, and the continuous call for his extermination; the Holocaust in the forgotten context of World War II; Nazi intention to exterminate Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, and others; the undercurrent of Chosen People racism in the idea that murdered Jews are more important than anyone else murdered; modern Jewish defamation of Poles, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Russians and other Eastern Europeans; Jewish exclusionism and separatism in pre-World War II Eastern Europe; the lack of Jewish resistance to the Nazis; Jewish collaborators with German fascists; Jewish domination of postwar communist secret police organizations and concentration camps; Jewish double standards for World War II era history: one standard for Jews, and another for non-Jews; mainstream Jewry’s resistance to the facts of World War II-era history.

    18 (In two parts)
    The Holocaust and Genocide (pt. 2) [543 Kilobytes] [about 124 paper pages] Jewish and western world obsession with the Holocaust; Jewish insistence that the “Holocaust was unique”; Holocaust uniqueness as part of the traditional Chosen People concept; the importance of Jewish Old Testament-sanctioned genocide in understanding the Holocaust; the invention of the Jewish dead as heroes and martyrs for the Jewish cause; the proliferation of worldwide Holocaust museums as Judeo-centric and Israeli propaganda posts; the usurping of distinctly American patriotic sites beneath the Jewish martyrological flag; the Holocaust as Big Business; the proliferation of Judeocentric Holocaust classes in American schools; international Jewish aspects of the world Holocaust history scene; the Auschwitz convent controversy; popular mass media renditions of the Holocaust: Shoah, Maus, Schindler’s List; the trial of John Demjanjuk, accused mass murderer.

    19 (In two parts)
    The Accusation of Anti-Semitism (pt. 1) [387 Kilobytes] [about 121 paper pages] The necessity of the anti-Semite in Jewish identity; the insistence that anti-Semitism is an irrational, mystifying, psychological “disease” and that Jews are categorically innocent and blameless for the tragedies that have befallen them; Sigmund Freud and his theories of psychoanalysis; continued Jewish domination of the field of psychoanalysis; psychoanalysis as a “Jewish science”; “Being Jewish” as a psychological condition; Freudianism as a dictatorial and elitist enterprise; Freudianism and talmudism; Freudianism and money; psychoanalysis as a device to explain the categorical irrationality of anti-Semitism; post World War II Anti-Defamation League studies of anti-Semitism; the ADL studies as propaganda; Jewish obsession with anti-Semitism, even when it has become popularly negligible; the accusation of links between Christianity and Nazism; anti-Semitism as a Gentile reaction to Jewish racism, elitism, separatism, and chauvinism; Jewish efforts to defame as anti-Semites many of the great names of the western tradition and literature; the Anti-Defamation League’s campaigns of censorship; Jewish censorship of dissenting Jews; popular Jewish literature with racist, anti-Gentile themes; the Jewish anti-Gentile folk tradition.

    19 (In two parts)
    The Accusation of Anti-Semitism (pt. 2) [557 Kilobytes] [about 80 paper pages] Jewish “self-hate” as the Jewish version of anti-Semitism; Jewish historical revisionism even in dictionaries world wide; evidence that popular negative opinion about early Jewish Russian immigrants to America in the early 19th century was not unfairly biased; logical origins of Jewish self-hatred; Jewish neurosis, the myths of the Jewish family, Jewish mothers; the Jewish “cult of the shiksa”; the Jewish American Princess; traditional Jewish sexual mores; criticism of Jews by Karl Marx and Theodore Herzl; Jewish-Israeli identity and the creation of a macho Jewish male model; violent Jewish “revenge” novels; Jewish suspicion of non-Jews; further 1960s Anti Defamation League studies of anti-Semitism and the labeling of much of the U.S. population to be anti-Semites, despite the fact that much Gentile criticism of Jewry was based on verifiable evidence.

    20 (In two parts)
    Jewish Influence in Popular American Culture (part 1) [526 Kilobytes] [about 111 paper pages] Jewish tribal identity in modern America; Jewry’s “civil religion” and its inherent contradictions; Jewish and Zionist influence in the creation of “multiculturalism”; continued Jewish attack upon Christian identity and institutions; the Jewish deconstruction of the WASP and Christian-oriented status quo; the marginalization of Christian identity in American popular culture; Jewish assault upon the Pope; Jewish resistance to interfaith “dialogue” and its propensity to attack and complain; the double standard throughout American society that treats Judaism as a “most favored” religion; blatantly anti-Christian public policy in Israel; America’s abandonment of Christian self-sacrificing, “universalist” principles for Jewish aggrandizing, “particularist” ones; Israel as the focus of modern Jewish identity (both religiously and secularly); Jewish self-obsession and narcissism — allegiance to the international tribe; the traditional question of Jewish loyalty (to Israel or America?); Zionist domination of Jewish American life; Jewish spies and international Jewish networks to aid Israeli agents; Jewish/Israeli intrigue and the atom bomb; the traditional Jewish concept of “galut” — the feeling of exile, and estrangement from non-Jews; Jewish spy networks as communists; purges of Jews accused of disloyalty in Eastern Europe; Israeli spy systems throughout the world;

    20 (In two parts)
    Jewish Influence in Popular American Culture (pt. 2) [531 Kilobytes] [about 112 paper pages] Massive Jewish abandonment of left-wing movements and a retreat to traditional tribalism; renewed Jewish interest in religious Orthodoxy; Jewish domination, exploitation, and self-interest in the African-American civil rights movement; Jewish anti-Black racism; the proclivity of Jews towards servants and maids; Jewish paternalism over the African-American community; Jewish self-conceptions of being an oppressed minority group, even as it exists as a socioeconomic dominator; multicultural minority groups’ reluctance to accept Jews; Jewish influence in the creation of the “Victim is King” ideology throughout popular America; Jewish self-interest and predominance in lawsuits that killed affirmative action quotas; Jewish academic pre-eminence in dictating other ethnic realities; Jewish doctors and America’s circumcision popularity; Jews as an academic power elite; Jewish economic domination in African-American ghettos; Jewish slum lords; Jewish dominance of the New York City school system; the Jewish attack upon Afro-centrism; lifestyle hypocrisies of wealthy liberal Jews; the tradition of Jewish name-changing; Jewish tribalism in American politics; Jewish pre-eminence in “separation of Church and state” lawsuits; Jewish religious exploitation of legal channels to garner federal funds; the pro-Jewish legal double standard that effects Judaism and Christianity; public Jewish universalist facades over private chauvinist identities.

    21. Money, Class, Power [408 Kilobytes] [about 88 paper pages] Jews as the wealthiest ethnic group in America and as a key strata in western societies; Jewish pre-eminence in the fashion and clothing industry; Jewish monopolization of the diamond business; extinction of a Jewish proletariat; Jewish American billionaires; prominent Jewish entrepreneurs in Europe; Jewish international influence in real estate; Jewish-owned department stores, liquor conglomerates, and numerous other companies, from toy- to weapons-manufacturing; Jewish CEOs of giant American companies; growing Jewish dominance of the business side of the sports world, as team owners, agents, and professional league officials; Jewish money and entrepreneurial power in basketball, baseball, football, boxing, skiing, wrestling, body building; traditional Jewish tribalism in the marketplace.

    22. Wall Street/Jewish-Israeli Ethics, and the World of Fund Raising [299 Kilobytes] [about 64 paper pages] The Jewish “Old Crowd” and “New Crowd” on Wall Street; Jewish activism in corporate mergers and acquisitions; investment banking; Jewish corporate raiders; Michael Milken and the Jewish-centered Wall Street scandals of the 1980s; Jews and international white collar crime; financial and other scandals in Israel; protective flight to Israel for Jewish criminals throughout the world; Jewish professional scam artists; Jewish criminal contributions to the state of Israel and major Jewish organizations; sexual harassment and exploitation in the Jewish-dominated psychoanalytic field; Jewish organizations’ focus on raising money above all other considerations; the question of Jewish values and ethics.

    23. Drugs and Drug Money Laundering within Jewish Networks: the “Russian” Mafia, the “Ultra-Orthodox,” and Others [294 Kilobytes] [about 62 paper pages] Jewish historical influence in the criminal drug world; drug money laundering in New York City’s Jewish diamond world; the international cocaine triangle: Israelis, other Jewish couriers and launderers, and the Colombian drug cartel; drug money laundering through Jewish ultra-Orthodox religious networks; special privileges afforded Jews in prison; Jewish pre-eminence in the smuggling of marijuana and Ecstasy; Jewish pre-eminence in the “Russian” Mafia; Jewish Russian influence in the giant International Monetary Fund scandal; crime in the ultra-Orthodox community; criminals’ protection from being identified as Jewish in the mass media; the exploitation of the accusation of anti-Semitism by Jewish criminals; the Jewish ethnic media’s self-reflections about the crisis in Jewish ethics.

    24. (In three parts)
    Jewish Influence in the Mass Media (pt. 1) [362 Kilobytes] [about 76 paper pages] Jewish control of the mass media; Jewish filmmakers, comedians; the popularity of psychoanalysis in Hollywood; non-Jewish movie stars in the Jewish world; the Jewish “shiksa cult” and its role in institutionalized sexual predation in Hollywood; Jewish dominance of major Hollywood studios; Jewish screenwriters; Jewish nepotism; pre-eminence of Jewish women in the Hollywood power elite; Norman Lear, Aaron Spelling, and other powerful Jewish executives of note; the name-changing of Jewish celebrities; African-American resistance to Jewish Hollywood hegemony; the semantic issue of whether “Jews control Hollywood” or “Jewish individuals control Hollywood.”

    24 (In three parts)
    Jewish Influence in the Mass Media (pt. 2) [591 Kilobytes] [about 123 paper pages] Laurence Tisch’s pro-Israel CBS experiment; Time-Warner; erosion of family values at Jewish-dominated Disney-ABC; prevalence of drug glorification in Hollywood; Jewish pre-eminence in the strip tease and pornography worlds; the usual Hollywood double standard: a loving portrayal of Judaism and deconstructive attack upon Christianity; TV’s celebration of Jewish identity and mass media defamation of Italian Americans, Ukrainians, Muslims, Arabs, and others; Jews at the helm of sleazy entertainment; Jewish pre-eminence in the news world, the publishing trades, the talent agency scene, radio, music; international Jewish pre-eminence in the mass media from Brazil to Poland

    24 (In three parts)
    Jewish Influence in the Mass Media (pt. 3) [513 Kilobytes] [about 103 paper pages] The mass media’s censorship of critical stories about Jews or Israel; Jews and the “intellectual” and “radical” media; Jewish dominance in the music world; Dear Abby, Ann Landers, and Jewish domination of the “agony aunt” field.

    25. Literature – “Intellectuals” – “The Family” [274 Kilobytes] [about 59 paper pages] Jewish dominance of the “American intellectual elite”; the intellectual “Jewish Mafia”; seminal influence of the Partisan Review; the change from the Jewish intellectual base from the socialist camp to the affluent elite; the Jewish “explosion” of literary talent; “Being Jewish” as a marketable commodity; Jewish authors’ return to traditional Jewish identity and linkage to the Holocaust; Jewish pre-eminence in sociology, anthropology, and other academic fields; Jewish chauvinism and ethnocentrism in literature; Jews of the poetry world; Jewish pre-eminence in the intellectual elite of Europe.

    26. Modern Art [370 Kilobytes] [about 81 paper pages] Jewish pre-eminence in “high culture,” including classical music and the visual arts; Jewish talent agencies; Jewish dominance in the entrepreneurial realm of the visual arts; predominance of Jewish art dealers, critics, curators; Jewish philanthropy to art museums (“he that pays the piper calls the tune”); Jewish dominance of the photography field; defamation of Christianity in the art world.

    27 (In two parts)
    Government (pt. 1) [300 Kilobytes] [about 60 paper pages] Jewish pre-eminence in American government; Jewish economic influence, especially within the Democratic Party; money control by a special interest group as the destroyer of true democracy; the dominant Jewish-Israeli lobbying organization: the American Israel Public Action Committee (AIPAC); Jewish lobbying for Israel, Holocaust-related issues, Jewish immigration to America, and other ethnocentric concerns.

    27 (in two parts)
    Government (pt. 2)

    [420 Kilobytes]
    [about 83 paper

    domination of
    the Bill Clinton
    the Monica
    Lewinsky case;
    Israeli spies in
    the American
    influence in
    throughout the

    28. Israel and Zionism [566 Kilobytes] [about 144 paper pages] The myths about Israel; an overview of Zionism; Jewish American fantasies about the Jewish state; the American mass media as a tool for Israeli propaganda; Israel as a separatist, racist, and undemocratic country; the obnoxious “sabra”; the condition of Arabs under Israeli rule; institutionalized torture of arrested Palestinians; Israeli exploitation of internationally imported laborers; intra-Jewish racism; the Israeli weapons industry and Israeli support for worldwide dictatorships.

    29. Epilogue [31 Kilobytes] [about 6 paper pages]

    30. Bibliography (in four sections) [Total four sections equal about 117 paper pages] Books, magazines, journals, newspapers, and Internet sites from which the thousands of citations in this project are found.

    Bibliography A-D [210 Kilobytes]
    Bibliography E-I [190 Kilobytes]
    Bibliography J-P [230 Kilobytes]
    Bibliography Q-Z [230 Kilobytes]

  4. Spar


    A Critique of Jewish Pre-eminence in America


    “All critics of Jews should not be tagged as anti-Semites. We are not a nation of Christs, Spinozas, and Einsteins; that the Nazis are brutes does not make us angels … Criticism is not the same as hatred, and critics are not our enemies. The greatest friends of a people are not those who praise but those who honestly find fault. A people without criticism is either a dictatorship or a community so deeply embedded in smug self-satisfaction as to be on the road to decadence.”

    — William Zuckerman, Jewish author [written before World War II,
    in Goldstein, D., p. 119]

    “The far-reaching consequences of the [Jewish] martyr complex go beyond any effect of the individual Jew … and do not leave unmarked even the most sympathetically inclined Gentiles. Since the Jew is hypersensitive on the subject of his Judaism, Gentiles fear to offer constructive criticism lest they be accused of prejudices. Thus the Jew is denied the benefit of honest evaluation of the very real differences and prejudices existing … I believe we Jews will never be normal individuals so long as we foster our martyr complex, so long as we remain evasive of self-appraisal and self-improvement, and so long as it is easier to blame the other fellow for our own faults.”

    Maurice M. Feurlich, Jewish author
    — in “Children of the Martyr Race,” The Forum, NYC, September 1937; cited in Goldstein, D., p. 116

    “By accusing western democracies of anti-Semitism, the Jews put them on the defensive. As long as guilt feelings can be profitably mined, advantages can be gained. But the lode is not likely to last forever.”

    — Moshe Leshem, former Israeli diplomat, p. 253-254]

    “A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance and a people who mean to be their own government must arm themselves with the power which knowledge brings.” — James Madison

    It is a daunting task to write a book, knowing full well that it swims counter to one of the strongest contemporary currents, and that it will automatically and categorically be rejected without investigation by the cultural, educational, and political machinations of modern western society, not for failings in its intellectual, scholarly, or moral rigor, but because its subject matter is publicly configured (by militantly enforced convention tended to by a powerful “special interest” group) to be beyond the pale of criticism. The subject matter in this volume is individuals, by virtue of their identity within an extremely politically active group, who are rendered completely free from the responsibility of such group association. It is further daunting, and disturbing, that such a volume is — by blanket dictate — condemned, even in its mere conception, to be an immoral, innately prejudicial, and even evil, enterprise.

    We are all socialized in Western society to resist judging any individual by his or her ethnic/group association. It’s a noble ideal: Why prejudge anyone about anything? Let any individual be completely evaluated upon his or her respective merits. America is educationally, and legally, configured as a “tolerant” society, champion of a variety of multicultural perspectives. As reasonable as this may seem, however, there can be a profound double standard subliminally at work here. What about when the “individual we must not prejudge” is part of a subcommunity that itself prejudges all who are not part of that group’s boundaries of identity, a group that consistently acts by its self-protective, self-expansive biases? Is it “prejudicial” to criticize individuals who maintain — actively or passively — such group allegiance, within, and transcending, the American matrix? And is it not morally reasonable, and in fact morally necessary, to criticize any collectivity, to the degree it deviates, at core, from the inter-ethnic tolerant, and universalistic, ethic of the American sociopolitical framework? And what about when such a group can, alternately or collectively, self-configure as a racial, ethnic, religious, nationalist, and political organization? Does such a community merit categorical immunity from criticism?

    Herbert Spencer’s well-known quote about prejudicial intolerance seems especially written for this volume:

    “There is a principal which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principal is contempt prior to investigation.”

    Jewish scholar Samuel Dresnev, speaking about academia’s failings on another subject, wrote something which also has application here:

    “The hesitancy to speak out is understandable, but it is not pardonable. Safety is no substitute for honesty. History will ultimately judge those who failed their responsibilities as scholars and human beings.” [DRESNEV, p. 221]

    What you are about to read may be shaped by some to be another Satanic Verses, another forbidden topic, this one American-style — guaranteed magnet to those manning the censorial posts of free speech American democracy. But, unlike Salmon Rushdie’s work, this is not a fictionalized attack on Islam that is assailed by narrow-minded Ayatollahs; it is a real-life investigation of those of great strength, and thereby guaranteed to incur emphatic condemnation — not by dictatorial regimes across the world, but here at home.

    This book aims to methodically present a virtual encyclopedic collection of facts towards decontructing the many myths about Jewish history and identity, and to investigate the ways in which these myths are used towards enormous economic, cultural and political advantage, extremely detrimental to non-Jews. The book also deconstructs the artifice behind incessant Jewish accusations of the generic “anti-Semite,” accusations that are ceaselessly wielded as a political tool towards further Jewish empowerment. It also addresses Jewish pre-eminence in American (and, hence, world) popular culture, including the mass media (TV, film, radio, newspapers, book publishing, music, et al), academia, the international art world, and the profoundly disturbing hold of pro-Israel Zionism within the American government. It explores the reasons why who is identifiable as Jewish in the upper echelons of power is important, why it is necessary to have open public discussion about this subject, and why such an investigation is not an immoral and prejudicial enterprise, but rather its antithesis: an enterprise of solid moral and rational worth. Knowing full well that such assertions will be relentlessly assailed as recycled “anti-Semitic canards,” this work is meticulously footnoted every inch of the way, overwhelmingly citing Jewish scholarship itself as authoritative sources, as well as the popular mass media (of whom most authors on Jewish subjects are also Jewish). This book, representing over 2,000 book-form pages, gleans evidence using approximately 10,000 citations from about 4,000 bibliographic sources (books, magazines, newspapers, government documents, and scholarly journals), relying heavily upon what is commonly known in academic jargon as “secondary sources” (i.e., not “first source” archival documents and so forth). This is purposeful, for a crucial concern of this volume is what the Jewish community understands and says about itself, and how so much of these beliefs are spread as popular opinion for all others.

    The chapter about anti-Semitism in this volume was the original section which led me to dig yet deeper and deeper into all realms of Jewish identity, history, economics, politics, and power. The more I dug at a range of university libraries, the more disturbed, stunned, I became at what I was finding. And why was this not part of common public discourse? Again and again I shook my head at what I found: the systematic historical revisionism and successful Jewish lobbying efforts to canonize Jewish religious myth (rooted in its cosmology of consummate victimhood) in secular form, reshaping the complexion of everything from the history of the world to the very premises of American democracy itself.

    While Jewish censorial dictate decrees that no one should even begin to read such a volume as this, let alone expose the issues herein to public forum, this author suggests (however bizarre it may seem) an open, democratic approach to the issue. Choose any ten currently popular books about the Jewish community. Read them. And then read this one. Think for yourself. Look deeper into the differences between this volume and the others. What do these differences mean? Is this a work of irrational bigotry? Have Jews always been history’s pre-eminent, and saintly, victims? Is noting who is Jewish in the President Clinton administration a manifestation of “prejudice?” There are few books that can completely change a reader’s opinion about its subject. As I have been well advised, this is one of them.

    The immunity from questioning and debate that is afforded the modern Jewish community reflects a stupendously lofty position of influence and privilege; one might notice it holds a rank generally reserved for the likes of despotic potentates and censorial political regimes. And, of course, God. Who else is beyond criticism? Volumes weigh the shelves in the world’s libraries that impugn and defame beliefs that were formerly beyond questioning. In “free societies,” anyone who wants may write, and publish, works that attack Christianity; assail the “historical revisionism” of Afro-centrism; deconstruct the myths of Hinduism; defame the Pope; disdain Republican, Democratic, communist, or any other ideology; emblazon the whole of Islam as a hotbed for irrational mania and terrorism; write entire volumes about the alleged worldwide Japanese economic “conspiracy”; and vilify the entirety of the nebulous entity known as the “white establishment” and anyone dictated by skin color to be within it. But, curiously, in the vast expanse of deconstructive engines of all and everything, one cannot criticize the sacrosanct domain of Jewish history, politics, and identity, unless the critic is willing to be systematically marginalized in all walks of life, prepared to be tarnished and branded as a contemptible hate-filled “anti-Semite,” risk losing her or her job, and be categorically lumped into mainstream society’s moral and intellectual garbage dump reserved for the likes of the Nazis and Ku Klux Klan.

    “True opinion,” wrote prominent Jewish American journalist Walter Lippman (1889-1974), “can prevail only if the facts to which they refer are known; if they are not known, false ideas are just effective as true ones, if not a little more effective.” [LIPPMAN, W., LIBERTY AND THE NEWS, 1920] Enforced ignorance of the full Jewish story, mass censorship, and fear of reprisals for its telling, are among the reasons why no substantial scholarly volume critical of Jewry of this sort has ever been published in America. Never could it be published by an American mainstream publisher. Among many other things, this volume illustrates why. (Professors Albert Lindemann of the University of California and Kevin MacDonald of California State University, both publicly charged by Jewish reviewers as anti-Semites for recent scholarly volumes about Jewish history, have begun, however cautiously, in roundabout ways, to knock on the Iron Door).

    We live in a land where to state in summary overview, in public forum, the perameters of America’s “Jewish issue,” is to invite categorical dismissal as a prejudiced bigot. Without evidence and information, few have entre into the reasoned discussion that should be happening about this in a truly “free” society. Hence, anyone open to exploring the issue of Jewish-Zionist pre-eminence, even domination, in popular culture, must be prepared to expend enormous effort in examining the huge dimensions of the issue, breaking past knee-jerk platitudes. The acquistion of knowledge is no easy task. Nor is the search for truth. This giant book was created for free-thinkers who are so inclined, to honestly examine the facts of Jewish history, identity, and socio-political control. To understand, too, the continuous turmoil in modern Israel, one must start here, with the BIG picture.

    It is also the conviction of this author that there is a very small number of individuals in the Jewish community who, critical of their own community, recognize clearly the dimensions of the issues herein. These people are heroes in this story — the ones who know that, sooner or later, the injustices perpetrated in the collective name of the Jewish community must be frankly addressed. And changed. These injustices, in the long term, are good for no one. The author of this work argues that the issues in this work are better raised here, in an academic context, towards public discussion and debate, than any other. The increased Balkanization of American society, certainly the divisions in Israel, and the world at-large, are a danger to everybody. And Jewish ethnocentrism — coupled with an unusual transnational power to assert it — has few parallels.

    The author of this work is against stereotypes, prejudices, irrational biases, discrimination, racism, and all the other buzzwords that signify ignorance, intolerance, injustice and evil in our day. Yet when such buzzwords are used so loosely as political ramrods and shields to ward off legitimate criticism everywhere in the power struggles of “cultural pluralism,” they lose their moral and intellectual moorings. Such systematic screening from criticism grossly rewards — and institutionalizes — pure propaganda. The world’s Jews do not talk and act with one head. There are many expressions of international Jewry. Yet such diversity does not mean that their self-defining commonalities that impact non-Jewish others are beyond reproach, immune from critical commentary. Of course not all Blacks are stereotypically “the same,” but they are different, as a group — in character, history, and collective world view — from Hispanics. Of course not all Americans are equal, but they are certainly different as a people (in all their diversity) than, say, Indonesians. Likewise, there are many kinds of Muslims, but they definitely have more in common with each other than they do with Methodists. Not all Germans were Nazis, but few question the enforcement of a collective German responsibility for their Aryan fascist movement. (If more Germans had stood up and taken active stands against those that claimed to speak for them, history would have been different).

    As Rabbi Joseph Telushkin has observed about “political correctness” in the “Jewish joke” context:

    “People who oppose telling ethnic jokes would have us believe that
    the whole genre is nonsense, that alcoholics, neurotics, oversensitive
    people and shady characters are evenly distributed among all groups.
    However, tolerant as it sounds, this assumption makes no sense, for
    it implies that history and culture have no impact on human beings.
    But of course, they do. What makes Jews Jewish is a specific religious
    culture and historical experience that have shaped their values and
    strongly influenced how they view the world.” [SILBIGER, S., 2000, p. 10]

    Amitai Etzioni, a Jewish scholar and an escapee from Nazi Germany, in discussing the German peoples’ collective responsibility for Hitler’s fascism, has thoughts that also have important relevance here. In the following quote he is talking about Germans, but his argument can just as well be applied to Jews (or any other people):

    “Communal responsibility is based on the fact that each of us is born into a community and shares its history, memories, identities, achievements, and failures. We are not simply human beings who can retreat behind a Rawlsian ‘veil of ignorance,’ secure in our universal rights and historical innocence. We are also members of specific families and communities … We are all coresponsible for that which our community has perpetrated or condoned, for both sins of commission and omission.” [ETZIONI, p. 13-14]

    Fair enough. In this respect, the subject of this volume is not Germans, but Jews. They will be held here, of course, accountable to the same “communal responsibility” as any other people. This simple premise, however, (daring to hold Jews responsible for their collective actions and inactions now and across history) is, of course, in today’s world, an extremely radical — and even dangerous — position. Why this is so, and how it came to be that simply to ask questions (and even to state unpleasant facts) about the Jewish community — a special interest group in America of unparalleled power and influence — is considered a virtual crime today, is part of the forthcoming story.

    Let us proceed then.

  6. 2 THE CAUSES OF HOSTILITY TOWARDS JEWS: A HISTORICAL OVERVIEW “Reason and documentation … attest to the fact that anti-Jewish hostility has not been (and is not) constant and ubiquitous. If it had been, the conclusion is obvious: Jews could not have survived individually or collectively, religiously or ethnically.” Alan Edelstein “Medieval Jewry, much as it suffered from disabilities and contempt, still was a privileged minority in every country in which it was tolerated at all.” Salo Baron, p. 259, 1972 “If Judaism is fundamentally altruistic in an evolutionarily meaningful sense, it would be expected that Jews [through history] would characteristically engage in self-sacrificing behavior on behalf of gentiles — a thesis for which there is absolutely no evidence.” Kevin MacDonald, p. 64 “Indeed, the more religiously conservative a Jew is today, the less likely he or she is to identify with universalistic ideologies or with the non-Jewish ‘poor and downtrodden.\'” Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter, 1982, p. 112 “My God,” she gasped with grief. “Who died?” “Don’t worry for nothing,” Max assured her. “It’s nobody.They’re burying a man called Blenholt today. He’s not a Jew.” Daniel Fuchs, fiction, “Homage to Blenholt [in BERSHTEL, p.113] 2 THE CAUSES OF HOSTILITY TOWARDS JEWS : A HISTORICAL OVERVIEW In order to understand the present and prospects for the future, something must be understood about the past. Jews claim their origins to a seminal patriarch, Abraham, in the land of Ur (today part of Iraq) 4,000 years ago. Abraham was not a farmer or village member of a settled community. He was likely one of the “wandering” tribes of his time, a citizenship less, “outsider” social class known as the “Apiru,” or “Habiru” (Hebrews) who were scattered across a wide area of the Middle East, from Syria to Egypt. [ANDERSON, p. 33] According to traditional Jewish religious belief, God is reputed to have singled out 75-year old Abraham among all people on earth and struck an arrangement with him, providing his progeny the consummate family inheritance: “If Abraham will follow the commandments of God, then He, in His turn, will make the descendants of Abraham His Chosen People and place them under His protection … God at this time stipulates only one commandment, and makes only one promise.” [DIMONT, p. 29] The initial agreement, by modern standards, seems extraordinarily peculiar. God’s commandment was that all males by the eighth day of birth must have the foreskin of their penises cut off, a painfully literal branding of Jewish distinction around the male procreative organ: “God … said to Abraham … You shall circumcise the flesh of the foreskin and that shall be the Covenant between Me and you.” GENESIS: 17:9-13 With this physical marking, notes Barnet Litvinoff, “no male child born of Jewish parentage is ever allowed to forget he is a Jew … it reminds him of the doctrine of the chosen people.” [LITVINOFF, p. 5] “As a sign of this sacred bond, of being special seed, Chosen,” note Herbert Russcol and Margarlit Banai, “The Lord of the Universe commands Abraham” to circumcize “every man child among you.” And as the Torah states it: “I will establish my covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant.” [RUSSCOL/BANAI, 1970, p. 173] Is this alleged commandment by God to the Abrahamic “seed” in Jewish tradition not racial? “Circumcision,” says Lawrence Hoffman, “has thus remained the sine qua non of Jewish identity throughout time. Jews came to believe that it warded off danger, and even saved Jews from damnation, that the sign of circumcision was tantamount to carrying God’s ineffable name carved in the flesh, that it was a means of attaining mystical unity with the creator, and that it brought about visionary experience.” [HOFFMAN, p. 11] It also symbolized, on the male genitals, special attention to the genetic continuance of the progeny of Abraham, that — if they obeyed the laws and demands of God — they would someday be as “numerous as the stars.” “By the very sexual act itself,” says Philip Sigal, in explaining traditional thinking, “the circumcized mystically transmits the covenant to the foetus.” [SIGAL, p. 20] Until the 20th century, it was normal that during the mezizah phase of the circumcision ritual, the mohel (the expert who performed the circumcision) took the infant’s “circumcized member into his mouth and with two or three draughts sucks the blood out of the wounded part. He then takes a mouthful of wine from a goblet and spurts it, in two or three intervals, on the wound.” [ROMBERG, p. 45] Today, notes Rabbi Immanuel Jacobovits, “the original method of sucking by mouth tends to be increasingly confined to the most orthodox circles only.” [JACOBOVITS, p. 196] In exchange for circumcision and following God’s orders, the Jews were promised the land of Canaan (the land mass of today’s Israel, more or less), a place that was already inhabited. [DIMONT, p. 29] This land for circumcision exchange is the root of Jewish tradition, from which centuries of rules, regulations, dictates, interpretations and other additions have followed. God’s spiritual link to Jews is understood to have originated, of all things, around a piece of real estate commonly understood to be part of the “Covenant,” which, says Alfred Jospe, “is the agreement between God and Israel by which Israel accepts the Torah [Old Testament] …. The concept of covenant signifies the consciousness of what the truth is.” [JOSPE, p. 15] “The covenant,” adds Will Herberg, “is an objective supernatural fact; it is God’s act of creating and maintaining Israel for his purposes in history.” [EISENSTEIN, p. 274] “The covenant made for all time means that all future generations are included in the covenant,” notes Monford Harris, “Being born into this covenental people make one a member of the covenant. Berith is election. This is very difficult for moderns to understand, let alone accept. It is our modern orientation that sees every human being as an ‘accidental collocation of atoms,’ the birth of every person as purely adventitious. From the classical Jewish perspective, being born to a Jewish mother is a divine act of election.” [HARRIS, M., 1965, p. 90-91] “For Israel,” notes Edward Greenstein, “God’s immanence found expression in the perception of God as a superperson.” [GREENSTEIN, E., 1984, p. 89] The idea that God was some kind of tradesman, and that he was a distinctly dialectical Other to humanity, as a Lord, King, Patriarch, Commander, and even Warlord of a worldly provenance has — with the religious commentaries and meta-commentaries that evolved from His commands in Judaism — provided fuel for modern scholarly debate about Jewish (and linked strands of Christian) creations in the world of secular affairs, most particularly in their materialist, rationalist, and patriarchal flavors. The result, in today’s Orthodox Judaism, says Evelyn Kaye, is a “community [that] has developed an insular, single-minded approach which is completely intolerant of any views that differ from its own.” [KAYE, p. 23] Whatever else they believed, Jews have traditionally understood themselves to be — by hereditary line — special, intrinsically better than other people: they were divinely esteemed. The Old Testament stated it plainly: “For you are people consecrated to the Lord your God: of all the peoples on earth the Lord your God chose you to be His treasured people.” [DEUTERONOMY 7:6] The notion that Jews — originally defined racially as the Israelite progeny of Abraham (and a special lineage through his son Isaac, then Jacob, and so on) — are the “Chosen People” of God is the bedrock of Jewish self-conception and it resonates deeply in some form to Jewish self-identity to this day. What exactly such a mantle of greatness confers has, for most, changed drastically over (particularly recent) centuries, and is still a delicate source for self-reflection and debate, ranging from traditional racist theories against non-Jews (still entertained by many Orthodox Jews, and most of Zionism) to more modern, liberalizing, and even secular notions that Jews are destined to lead humankind to some kind of redemptive glory. The extraordinary self-perpetuating ethnocentric premises of traditional Judaism have been remarked upon by many modern scholars. Likewise, they have often addressed the drastically different ethical and spiritual views of Judaism and Oriental religious faiths (such as Hinduism and Buddism). Such a gap is poignantly illustrated in this story by the great popular folklorist, Joseph Campbell: “A young Hindu gentleman came to see me, and a very pious man he proved to be: a worshipper of Vishnu, employed as a clerk or secretary of one of the Indian delegations at the UN. He had been reading the works of Heinrich Zimmer on Indian art, philosophy and religion, works that I had edited many years before, and which he wanted to discuss. But there was something else he wanted to talk about too. “You know, ” he said after we had begun to feel at home with each other, “when I visit a foreign country I like to acquaint myself with its religion; so I have bought myself a Bible and for some months now have been reading it from the beginning; but you know” … and here he paused, to regard me uncertainly, then said, “I can’t find any religion in it!” … Now I had of course been brought up on the Bible and I had also studied Hinduism, so I thought I might be of some help. ” Well,” I said, “I can see how that might be, if you had not been given to know that a reading of the imagined history of the Jewish race is here regarded as a religious exercise. There would then, I can see, be very little for you of religion in the greater part of the Bible.” I thought that later I should perhaps have referred him to the Psalms; but when I then turned to a fresh reading of these with Hinduism in mind, I was glad that I had not done so; for almost invariably the leading theme is either the virtue of the singer, protected by his God, who will “smite his enemies on the cheek” and “break the teeth of the wicked;” or, on the other hand, of complaint that God has not yet given due aid to his righteous servant: all of which is just about diametrically opposed to what an instructed Hindu would have been taught to regard as religious sentiment. In the Orient the ultimate divine mystery is sought beyond all human categories of thought and feeling, beyond names and forms, and absolutely beyond any such concept as of a merciful or wrathful personality, chooser of one people over another, comforter of folk who pray, and destroyer of those who do not. Such anthropomorphic attributions of human sentiment is — from the point of view of Indian thought — a style of religion for children.” [CAMPBELL, Myths, pp. 93-94] “If you will obey my voice,” God tells Jews in their seminal religious text, the Torah, “and keep my Covenant, you shall become my own possession among all people, for all the earth is mine.” [EXODUS 19:5] This anthropomorphized model of the Israelite God is someone profoundly concerned with ownership, allegiance, and control — key values in the self-promotive tenets of classical Judaism and their practical application in history. After all, the seminal Jewish religious text — the Torah (in Christian tradition the first five books of the Old Testament) — was created as a kind of Jewish family album, an ancient listing of Israelite genealogies and pedigrees that codifies sacred recipes for group solidarity, self-aggrandizement (land conquest, et al), and self-preservation for those with direct ancestral linkage to Abraham. “The biblical faith [of the Old Testament],” writes scholar Bernhard Anderson, “to the bewilderment of many philosophers, is fundamentally historical in character. It is concerned with events and historical relationships, not abstract values and ideas existing in a timeless realm.” [ANDERSON, p. 12] “The halakah [Jewish religious law] does not aspire to a heavenly transcendence,” notes influential modern rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, “nor does it aspire to soar upon the wings of some abstract, mysterious spirituality. It fixes its gaze on the concrete, empirical reality and does not let its attention be diverted from it.” [SOLOVEITCHIK, p. 92] “There is no Valhalla [afterlife Paradise] in Judaism,” notes Chaim Bermant, “and no Garden of the Houris, and while there was paradise and hell, both were to be experienced mainly on earth … Neither heaven with all its joys, nor hell with all its torments (which, as described in the Talmud, are akin to those of Tantalus) have a central place in the Jewish faith, Judaism is of this world and in so far as it believes in the Kingdom of Heaven at all it is as somethng which will become manifest on earth.” [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 16] Beyond Israelite genealogies, the Torah (the Old Testament) includes an ancient compilation of rules and regulations, elaborated upon in metacommentaries by later Judaic religious texts, especially the Talmud, which codifies correct behavior for all the minutia of daily living. In Jewish tradition, “the whole keynote of being,” says sociologist Talcott Parsons, “starting with the creation, was action, the accomplishment of things.” [PARSONS, p. 103] (And one of the “keys to Jewish success,” says Jewish business author Steven Silbiger, is to “be psychologically drivent o prove something.”) [SILBIGER, S., 2000, p. 9] “Judaism is not a revealed religion,” wrote the great German-Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, “but revealed legislation. Its first precept is not ‘thou shalt believe’ or not believe, but thou shalt do or abstain from doing.” [GOLDSTEIN, D., p. 43, in Jerusalem] “A constant motif of post-Enlightenment ethics,” says rabbi Jonathan Sacks, “is the rejection of religious authority as an external command to which one submits. For this reason [philosopher] Hegel is sharply critical of the Jewish structure of law. ‘Of spirit,’ he writes of Judaism, ‘nothing remained save pride in slavish obedience.’ Much of Nietzsche’s work is a deepening set of variations on this theme. Judaism, he says, introduced ‘a God who demands.’ The autonomous self, central to modern ethics, is radically incompatible with the structures of Jewish spirituality, built as they are on the concept of mitzvah, command.” [SACKS, J., p. 100-101] The all-encompassing and dictatorial manner of Jewish Orthodoxy in the Talmudic (and other) interpretations of the Old Testament is reflected in this observation by Gerson Cohen: “The Torah encompasses and seeks to regulate every moment of life … Nothing human is beyond the scope of judgment and its program of prescription. It is for this reason that Torah is often called a way of life, for its purpose is to teach the Jew how to act, think, and even feel.” [COHEN, in KLEINE, p. 92] The obsessive nature of even modern Jewish Orthodoxy within a tight web of restrictive daily dictates, and the surrender to what Israeli scholar Israel Shahak calls its innate “totalitarianism,” [SHAHAK, p. 15] is reflected in this comment by Egon Mayer: “What are the first words that one should utter upon awakening? There is a rule. How many steps may one take from one’s bed before washing at least the tips of one’s fingers. There is a rule.” [MAYER, Suburb] Michael Govrin notes that “A Jew is born into an already articulated biography. In the traditional context of Halacha — the Jewish Law (which until two hundred years ago was the only way a Jews could define him or herself) — a Jew’s life is codified to a unique extent. From rising in the morning to the moment of falling asleep at night, from birth to death and burial, the myriad of gestures, thoughts, and intentions is pre-articulated, forming a specific mold into which the life is poured. The private life in a given historical moment is a personal variation on that generic mold; always seemingly only a re-enactment — not an ‘invention’ — of a preexisting role in an ongoing plot that started with the first Jews, and is still unfolding.” [GOVRIN, M., 2001] Charles Liebman and Steven Cohen note that the “halakaha [Jewish religious law] commands that before eating bread a Jew must recite a blessing, and before this blessing the hands must be washed and a blessing recited over the hand washing. Even the manner in which the hands are washed is prescribed: the kind of utensil used, the order in which the hands are washed, the number of times each hand is washed.” [LIEBMAN/COHEN, p. 125] “It is a commonplace,” adds Eunice Lipton, “that an abiding and secularized aspect of Jewish tradition is its valuing of sensual satisfaction. Jewish law acknowledges appetite; one is even is told how often one should make love … One might say that Jewish validation of the senses results from the emphasis on human life in the present as opposed to any interest in any afterlife.” [LIPTON, p. 289] Evelyn Kaye, who grew up in an Orthodox community, notes that “Orthodox Judaism plans to regulate every minute, every action and every thought of life … [KAYE, p. 126] … The code of Jewish law dictates a range of regulations for sexual intercourse, including when and where it may be experienced, as well as what to think about during the act.” [KAYE, p. 125] “It is forbidden,” says the Code of Jewish Law, “to discharge semen in vain. This is a graver sin than any other mentioned in the Torah … It is equivalent to killing a person … A man should be extremely careful to avoid an erection. Therefore, he should not sleep on his back with his face upward, or on his belly with his face downward, but sleep on his side, in order to avoid it.” [GANZFRIED, p.17] “There are even rules,” says Kaye, “about what you may think about while you sit on the toilet.” [KAYE, p. 17] Israel Shahak underscores Orthodox Judaism’s complex honing of regulations to the point of hairsplitting for even purely theoretical concerns that appear to be extraordinarily esoteric in a modern context: “During the existence of the Temple, the High Priest was only allowed to marry a virgin. Although during virtually the whole of the talmudic period there was no longer a Temple or High Priest, the Talmud devoted one of its more involved (and bizarre) discussions to the precise definition of the term ‘virgin’ fit to marry a High priest. What about a woman whose hymen had been broken by accident? Does it make any difference whether the accident occurred before or after the age of three? By the impact of metal or wood? Was she climbing a tree? And if so, was she climbing up or down?” [SHAHAK, p. 41] One of the most profoundly important dimensions of traditional Judaism (one that has had enormous repercussions for Jewish relations throughout history with their non-Jewish neighbors) is its injunction to fellow members that Jews must — conceptually, and through most of history, physically — live “apart,” “separate,” distinct from other human beings. Jewish self-conception, from its early days, was antithetical and antagonistic to other peoples. “Separation of Israel from the nations [non-Jews],” says Moshe Greenberg, “in order to be consecrated by God took the extreme form of condemning to death any who worshipped or tempted others to worship alien gods.” [GREENBERG, p. 28] In later years, throughout the Jewish diaspora, this developed into the Jewish self-conception as a “nation apart” — physically as well as conceptually distanced from all other peoples. “In their determined efforts to prevent assimilation and loss of identity as a small minority in the midst of a hostile majority,” notes the Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion, “the rabbis deliberately set up barriers for the explicit purpose of preventing social interaction with gentiles [non-Jews], and decrees were enacted to erect barriers against this danger. The partaking of meals with gentiles was forbidden … food cooked by gentiles was banned.” [WERBLOWSKY, p. 269] “The underside to this sense of chosenness [per the Chosen People idea],” says Rabbi Isar Schorsch, “is an inclination to dichotomize the world between ‘them’ and ‘us. Categories of people are set apart by the fact that God has assigned them far fewer mitzvot [commandemnts] to keep. Three of those 100 blessings [Orthodox Jews must recite each day] praise God for ‘not having made me a gentile,’ ‘for not having made me a woman,’ and ‘for not having made me a slave.\'” [SCHORSCH, I., 4-30-99] Even in a 1988 survey, “more than a third of Reform rabbis — traditionally the most ‘integrated’ and ‘outreaching’ of the major Jewish denominations — endosed the proposition that ‘ideally, one ought not to have any contact with non-Jews.\'” [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 181] Such a “nation apart” admonition is part of classical Jewish religious (and related to secular Zionist) belief to the present day. Jewish author Alfred Jospe notes that “when a male Jew is called to the Torah, he recites the traditional blessing, asher bahar banu mi’kol ha’amim, praising God ‘who has chosen us from among all other nations.’ When Jews recite their daily morning prayer they say the benediction, she’lo assani goy, thanking God ‘that he has not made [us] gentiles.’ When they pronounce the benediction over the Sabbath [Saturday] wine, they declare that God has chosen and sanctified Jews from all other peoples in the same way which he has distinguished between Sabbath and weekday. When Jews make Havdalah on Saturday night, they recite the traditional ha-mavdil, glorifying God for setting Jews apart from all other peoples just as He set apart the sacred from the profane and light from darkness.” [JOSPE, p. 10-11] “Unlike many religions,” notes Steven Silbiger, “Judaism is more than simply a belief system that anyone can adopt. To become Jewish means enlisting in a tribe. The relationship or covenant is between God and the Jewish people, rather than between God and individual Jews. Judaism is a religion with a strong ancestral component.” [SILBIGER, S., 2000, p. 11] In the ancient Greek and Roman worlds people were polytheists, and relatively tolerant of each other’s theology. Judaism, however, was expressed throughout their diaspora as an elitist, confrontational faith, engendering ill will everywhere. “It was not sensible,” says Jasper Griffin, “nor was it good manners [in the ancient world] to allege that other peoples’ gods did not exist. Only a madman makes fun of other peoples’ religious practices, says the historian Herodutus in the fifth century BCE … The response of the Jews [to other religions] was felt to be shocking and uncouth, as well as dangerous for everybody.” Jewish rejection of the religions and communities in which they lived “placed an inseparable barrier between them and full acceptance into the classical world; as later on, even more acutely, it did with Christians.” [GRIFFIN, p. 58] ***************** The seminal source of Jewish history and sacred law is recorded in the Torah (the Old Testament of the Bible in Christian tradition, consisting of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). Biblical scholars tend to believe that the Old Testament (which sometimes cites conflicting facts in various places) was essentially four different written narratives eventually combined together, each section originally written between 800 to 1600 years after the events described allegedly occurred. Within these texts we read that Abraham and the early Israelites settled tentatively in the land of the Canaanites, but that famine eventually drove them towards Egypt. The ancient Hebrews were reportedly enslaved in Egypt, (a period of momentous impact even in current Jewish collective memory), but were ultimately led back to Canaan — the Promised Land — by Moses in a 40-year trek across the desert in the thirteenth century BCE. Moses became instrumental in mediating God’s demands to the Hebrew people and instituting laws of behavior and belief for them, known today as the Mosaic code. Eventually the Israelites forcibly reestablished themselves in the land of Canaan and over the following centuries divided into sub-clans, fighting and warring among themselves, and against others. The most drastic intra-Jewish schism was the establishment of two conflicting monarchies — Israel, in the northern areas, and Judah, in the south. When ancient Israel joined a coalition of non-Jewish states in threatening the southern Jewish kingdom, Judah joined the powerful Assyrian kingdom which destroyed Israel in about 723 BCE. Judah was destroyed, in turn, in 586 BCE, by Babylonian invasion, concluding the first Jewish expulsion from their proclaimed homeland. Jews were allowed to return in 538 BCE under the sovereignty of the Persian monarch, Cyrus; the Romans wmastersere of the Palestine area by about 100 BCE. The Jews were ultimately expelled en masse again, this time by the Romans, when Israelites repeatedly revolted against Roman rule. By the third century CE most Jews were scattered all across the Roman Empire, from India to Spain. In Jewish lore, this is the solidification of the Jewish “galut” (a term meaning exile, with derogatory connotations) in non-Jewish lands, i.e., the Diaspora (dispersion). It is necessary to again underscore, against the grain of modern popular (and largely secular) Jewish opinion, that the Old Testament is a compilation of stories, genealogies, and Godly dictates that were intended by its Jewish authors to be purely intra-Jewish in scope. The ten commandments of Moses — “Love your neighbor, “Thou shalt not kill,” and all the rest of it — did not represent in origin for Jews a universalistic creed. “Love your neighbor” meant love your fellow Israelite. “Thou shalt not kill” meant don’t kill those of your own people. “[Jewish] tradition,” says Charles Liebman, “argued that the essence of Torah is the obligation to love one’s neighbor as oneself, with the term ‘neighbor’ implying only ‘Jew.\'” [LIEBMAN, Rel Tre, p. 313] John Hartung notes that careful inspection of the Torah/Old Testament “Love Thy Neighbor” commandment make this clear, for example, in Leviticus 19:18: “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” [Jewish Publication Society translation: other translations include the same qualifier; HARTUNG, 1995] As Louis Jacobs observes: “Among both Jews and Christians the injunction is read simply as ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’ … [but] in the original context the [Love Thy Neighbor] verse means: even when someone has behaved badly towards you, try to overcome your desires for revenge but rather behave lovingly towards him because, after all, he, too, is a human being and a member of the covenant people as you are and therefore entitled to be treated as you yourself wish to be treated … The golden rule to love the neighbour applies only to the neighbour who is a Jew.” [JACOBS, L., 1995, p. 323, 324] As Menachem Gerlitz explains the “neighbor” passage: ‘And you shall love your neighbor like your own self’ — this is an important rule of the Torah. Every Jew must love his fellow Jew with all his heart. The Baal Shem Tov [founder of the ultra-Othodox Hassidim] used to explain this as follows: Our Torah teaches us to ‘love Hashem your G-d with all your heart.’ How can we prove to ourselves that we are really fulfilling this commandment? Only through the commandment of loving our fellow Jew like our own selves. Only by truly loving each and every Jew, every son of the Chosen People which Hashem selected from all other nations to love, just like a person loves the son of a dear friend.” [GERLITZ, M., 1983, p. 195] Judeocentrism, not human universalism, is the core of traditional Jewish understanding of the Old Testament. The influential medieval Jewish theologian, Maimonides, advised that “It is incumbent on everyone to love each individual Israelite as himself as it is said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’” [MANKIN, p. 37] Although there were some Jewish apologetics with this notion as early as Philo, it was Christian and Enlightenment influences that universalized the Ten Commandments, and liberalizing Jews, mainly since the eighteenth century, began to follow suit, bending and broadening the tenets of Judaism (carefully selecting from contradictory religious references) to encompass a humanistic concern for non-Jews in step with modern universalist-oriented values. Mosaic law or not, the only time– till the modern state of Israel — that Jews have had the opportunity to practice Moses’ commandments and the rest of their beliefs (towards themselves or anybody) from a position of complete empowerment was, even by their own ancient religious standards, a disaster. The pinnacle of ancient Jewish history was a series of monarchial regimes that represented a turbulent time of failures in living up to Covenantal laws, incessant quarreling, fratricide, genocide, wars of conquest with non-Jewish neighbors, repeated intra-Jewish civil wars, and other struggles for power and control, rife with continuous bloodletting, as violent as any in human history. Most of this is codified as part of the Jewish religious faith/history in the Torah. The well-known historian, Will Durrant, describes the Israelites’ seizure (after the Mosaic moral code was accepted) of the Holy Land from the Canaanites who lived there, like this: “The conquest of Canaan was but one more instance of a hungry nomad horde falling upon a settled community. The conquerors killed as many as they could find, and married the rest. Slaughter was unconfined, and (to follow the text) was divinely ordained and enjoyed. Gideon, in capturing two cities, slew 120,000 men; only in the annals of the Assyrians do we meet again with such hearty killing. [DURRANT, p. 302] Even in the Book of Exodus, when Moses (deliverer of the admonition “Thou Shalt Not Kill” and all the rest of it) discovered his own people weakening, “out of control” with idolatrous dancing, naked, before a “Golden Calf,” he directed the Levites, the priest caste, to slay three thousand of them. [EXODUS 33:27-28] Considerable portions of the Bible revolve around violent struggles amongst Israelites for power. Both King David and Solomon — among the most beloved of the Israelite ancients in the myths of modern Jewry — had half-brothers with rival claims to the Israelite monarchy murdered. Solomon, for example, arranged for Adonijah to be slain as well as another threat to the throne, Joab, who was even murdered in the Holy Tabernacle. (Both David and Solomon even had forced labor gangs of their own Israelite people). Likewise, Ambimelich, the son of Gideon, (who like most powerful Israelite rulers had a harem of wives and concubines) murdered 70 of his brothers to guarantee the throne for himself. Jeru too, in a fit of ruthlessness, killed the King of Israel, Joram, and then murdered Ahaziah, of the Israelite kingdom of Judah, as well as his two brothers. Then he had all 70 sons of King Ahab decapitated, clearing the way for his own leadership. In King David’s family, notes Joel Rosenberg, “David’s adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah is balanced by the sexual violation of David’s daughter Tamar by David’s son Amnon, the murder of Amnon by his half-brother Absalom, the appropriation of David’s concubines and kingdom by Absalom, and the slaying of Absalom by David’s own servant Joab.” [ROSENBERG, J., 1984, p. 47] There is too the story of Gibeah (Judges 19:21). An Israelite, enraged by the rape-murder of his concubine by Jews of another tribe, hacked the corpse into pieces and sent a section to each of the twelve Israelite tribes to make an embittered point about solidarity. A confederation of tribes joined together to exact revenge on the perpetrators of the crime. The ensuing Israelite battle against each other took over 60,000 lives (Judges 20:21). The victorious confederation then marched on Jabesh-gilead, a group who had declined to join the coalition against the destroyed Benjaminites. 12,000 soldiers were sent to “smite the inhabitants of Jabed-gilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and children.” (Judges 21) Only female virgins were spared. Going further along in Jewish religious history, there is the murder of Simon by his son-in-law, Hyrcanus, in another bid for the monarchy, and his son, Aristobulus I, who killed his mother and brother, and imprisoned the rest of his family. After him came his brother, Alexander Jannaeus, to the throne, a “despotic, violent ruler” who reigned during the civil war between warring pro-Greek Israelites (Sadducees) and anti-Greek Israelites (Pharisees). Jannaeus’ bloody revenge upon the Pharisees was “as bloody as any in history.” [DIMONT, p.89, 90] There was Antipater, “one of history’s most unsavory characters,” whose family had been “forcibly converted to Judaism” [GOLDBERG, M., 1976, p. 32] and his son, Herod, who murdered a few sons, one of his wives, and range of others including 45 Israelite religious leaders. [DIMONT, p. 95-96] The Torah tells us that the Israelite prophet Elijah slew 450 prophets of the rival deity Baal (I Kings 18) and military commander Jeru killed “all the prophets of Baal, all his worshippers and priests.” (I Kings 10:18-27) [LANG, B., 1989, p. 120] Under the ruler Mannasseh there was the reintroduction of pagan cults, child sacrifices and “systematic murders” in the southern Israelite kingdom of Judah; this kingdom itself had a rivalry with the northern Israelite kingdom, Israel, and — as noted — it eventually aligned with Assyrian invaders against its Israelite brethren, ultimately to ancient Israel’s complete destruction. The chaos, internecine warring and corruption, the straying from the “Covenant,” the worship of idols and the fraying of the moral codes of Israelite solidarity resulted in a central Jewish belief that took form in later centuries, that Jews had been scattered in a Diaspora (dispersion) throughout the earth in galut (exile) from the land God gave them, Israel. But 2,000 years of exile experience, notes Alfred Jospe, “could not shatter the image Jews had of themselves. Destruction and exile were a national disaster but not completely unforeseen. They were part of the divine plan … The Jew was persecuted not because God had abandoned or rejected him; [The Jew] suffered because he was not equal to his moral task. In the words of the prayer book, ‘because of our sins, we were exiled from our land’ … Suffering was defined as punishment and punishment in turn was a call to duty. Exile was God’s call to return to the faithfulness inherent in Israel’s role as the ‘chosen people.’ The acceptance of punishment opened the gate to redemption and return to the land.” [JOSPE, p. 17] Such a view of human suffering by Judaism, argues Richard Rubenstein, was “a colossal, megalomaniacal and grandiose misreading of a pathetic and defeated community’s historical predicament. To this day Jews can be found who delude themselves with the notion that somehow Jewish suffering and powerlessness have redemptive significance for mankind.” [KREFETZ, p. 182] The key to the Israelite future of divine favoritism, and its special covenantal “mission,” was eventually linked to a Messiah who would triumphantly come to lead His people into a glorious future. Originally the Messiah was understood to be merely a nationalist savior, a great and literal king of the Israelite people; later He was reconfigured as an expression of the one God of the Universe who would lord — physically and spiritually — over the earth, not in an after-life, but in the here-and-now. [JOSPE, p. 22-23] “Judaism,” notes Stephen Whitfield, “in all its forms and manifestations, has always maintained a concept of redemption as an event which takes place on the stage of history and within the community. It is an occurrence which takes place in the visible world, unlike Christianity, which conceives of redemption as an event in the spiritual and unseen realm, an event which is reflected in the soul.” [WHITFIELD, American, p. 33] **************** Over the centuries the Messiah was not quick in coming, and not all answers to questions about changing times were clearly indicated in the seminal Torah, so a written tradition of commentary, argument, and interpretation by respected Jewish religious leaders evolved and became codified in a second religious text called the Talmud. Many argue that it is not the Torah but actually the Talmud — this later legalese and folklore about the seminal Torah — that is the crucial source for day-to-day Orthodox Jewish decision making about religious and secular issues. “The Talmud,” observes Jacob Neusner, “is the single most influential document in the history of Judaism.” [BORAZ, p. 5] “Historically speaking,” says Adin Steinsaltz, “the Talmud is the central pillar of Jewish culture.” [STEINSALTZ, 1976, p. 266] “The Talmud,” adds Robert Goldenberg, “provided the means of determining how God wants all Jews to live, in all places, at all times. Even if the details of the law had to be altered to suit newly arisen conditions, the proper way to perform such adaptation could itself be learned from the Talmud and its commentaries.” [GOLDENBERG, R., 1984, p. 166] This many volumed tome, consisting of Judaism’s “legal literature,” is really two distinct books merged together, the Mishna (the “oral law,” originally written in Hebrew — a language considerably different than modern Hebrew) and the Gemara (largely commentaries about the Mishna), written mostly in Aramaic three hundred years apart. The Talmud is so difficult to read and so unwieldly that only lifelong experts even think to tackle the original texts. Hence, the Talmud that explains and interprets the Torah has needed plenty of other vast textual explanations to deal with itself; such influential metacommentaries through history include those of Maimonides (including his Mishneh Torah), Joseph Caro (particularly his Shukan Arukh, which has never appeared unabridged in English), [GOLDENBERG, R, 1984, p. 174] and others. Many of such works, too, are so large that they are further distilled into more reasonably digestible abridgements. Rashi’s 39 volumes of explanation, for example, are much larger than the talmudic texts it addresses. (Rashi’s comments are usually printed as part of the text in Talmudic editions printed since the early Middle Ages). [GOLDENBERG, R., p. 139] It was not until 1920 that the Talmud was translated into another language (German) for the first time. In 1935 it first appeared in English. Edwin Boraz notes that “the study of the Talmud may be so formidable, challenging, and complex … [that] one may ask, for what purpose? … [BORAZ, p. 1] … [Aside from the ‘mishnaic’ Hebrew and Aramaic of the original texts] the classic commentaries to the Talmud are written in ‘medieval rabbinic Hebrew,’ which is a blend of both Hebrew and Arabic. The language barrier alone is arduous.” [BORAZ, p. 13] The Talmud also lacks “an inner order … [it] shift[s] from one subject to another in ways that are not readily apparent. Often, the pronominal references are unclear … In short, a talmudic passage seems scattered and diffused, rather than a well-reasoned dialectic inquiry.” [BORAZ, p. 13-14] To complicate matters even further, there are even two versions of the Talmud, of Babylonian and Palestinian origin. The latter (called the Yerushalmi), however, is rarely used, even in religious circles. Jacob Neusner notes that “it fills hundreds of pages with barely intelligible writing. [It is] famous for its incomprehensibility … The Yerushalmi has suffered an odious but deserved reputation for the difficulty in making sense of its discourse.” [NEUSNER, 1993, p. x] A fundamental current of Talmudic discourse, however, is noted by Herman Wouk: “Talmudic political judgment often shows the bitterness of a people trodden by wave after wave of oppressors.” [WOUK, p. 201] And what of its legal and moral direction which shifted in emphases so much over the centuries as was politically expedient? This from Wouk again, a devout Jew: “Since the Talmud reports the sayings of hundreds of savants over many centuries, it abounds in contradictory maxims, in conflicting metaphysical guesses, in baffling switches from cynicism to poetry, from misanthropy to charity, from dislike of women to praise for them …. In a word, one can say almost anything about this recording of the talk of wise men through seven centuries, and then find a passage to support it.” [WOUK, p. 201] “For any maxim of the haggada,” says Leon Poliakov, “one can be found that states precisely the contrary.” The haggada are “non-legal teachings, speculations, stories, legends, and prayers” in the Talmud. (The halakah is its “legal” contents.) “The ancient rabbinic sage used two kinds of speech,” says Rabbi Samuel Karff, “halacha and agada [i.e., haggada]. Halacha is the language of Jewish law. It asks and answers the question: ‘What must a Jew do to fulfill the covenant?’ Agada was the language of the Jewish faith. It tells the story of God’s relation to man through his relation to the people of Israel … Agada remains not only the language of worship, but the language of preaching.” [KARFF, S., 1979, p. 8, 11-12] “The Jewish tradition is so rich in the diversity of its sacred texts,” adds Alan Dershowitz, “that one can find an antidote to virtually any unacceptable statement.” [DERSHOWITZ, p. 132] The “antidotes” to every troubling statement in the Talmud suggest a chameleon-like capacity, a religious faith that has the ability to change colors in different milieu, and readily adapt to pressures around it. This capacity is based upon “pilpul” (pepper), a “dialectical technique of reconciling apparently contradictory concepts in the Talmud’s texts, often by straining original meanings through the needle’s eye … [It later] degenerated into little more than sophistry.” [SACHAR, p. 65] “Talmudic dialectics,” notes the Jewish Encyclopedia, “became developed and endowed the Jews who stood beneath the spell of the Talmud with peculiar characteristics, especially imbuing them with a love of hair-splitting which afterwards deteriorated into sophistic subtlety.” [GOLDSTEIN, D, p. 133, v. 5, p. 726] The Talmud, notes Robert Goldenberg, has a reputation for “overcomplicated, ‘hairsplitting’ dialectic.” [GOLDENBERG, R., 1984, p. 139] “One of the thirteen rules for interpreting the Torah,” says influential modern rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, “is the contradiction between two verses and their harmonization by a third verse.” [SOLOVEITCHIK, p. 143] In interpreting the seminal Torah, notes Mark Zborowski and Elizabeth Hertog, “each word in the Torah has, according to esoteric tradition, four kinds of meanings: the direct, the interpretive, the allusive, the secret.” [ZBOROWSKI/HERTOG, p. 119] Canadian Jewish theatre mogul Garth Drabinsky once noted this tradition’s influence upon his own personality: “Jewish scholars have their own version of the Socratic method: they disssect, analyse, interpret, and argue over everything. Today, partly as a result of this training, I refuse to take anything at face value, which makes me hard to please. No wonder I’ve been called one of Canada’s toughest bosses. What people don’t realize is that I have a problem pleasing myself. It wasn’t until I went to Jerusalem for the first time — and that wasn’t until I was thirty-seven — that I really understood my own background. Jerusalem was a buzz-saw of argument. You can’t survive in Israel unless you’re willing to argue — about everything. I felt absolutely at home.” [DRABINSKY, G., 1995, p. 26] Leon Poliakov uses the following story to explain the nature of Talmudic reasoning: “A goy [non-Jew] insisted that a Talmudist explain to him what the Talmud was. The sage finally consented and asked the goy the following question: – ‘Two men climb down a chimney. When they come to the bottom, one has his face covered with soot, the other is spotless. Which of the two will wash himself? – ‘The one who is dirty,’ answered the goy. – ‘No, for the one who’s dirty sees the others’ clean face and believes he is clean too. The one who’s clean sees a dirty face and believes his is dirty too.’ – ‘I understand!’ the goy exclaimed. ‘I’m beginning to understand what the Talmud is.’ – ‘No, you have understood nothing at all, the rabbi interrupted, for how could two men have come down the same chimney, one dirty and the other clean?’ [POLIAKOV, p. 253] Although Talmudic reasoning considers a variety of argument, Israeli lawyer Uri Huppert explains the fundamental underlining of its “intolerant” discourse: “It is beyond any doubt that the halachic-Talmudic reasoning is reached by considering a variety of opinions, hence the sophisticated rabbinical ‘responsa’ — questions and answers — are regarded as the very essence of halachic Judaism. But by the same token, this Judaism cruelly rejects, prohibits, and excommunicates any step or expression that collides with the legalistic-dogmatic concept of Orthodox Judaism, which is xenophobic and intolerant by definition, as expressed by the [modern] Orthodox rabbinical establishment.” [HUPPERT, U., 1988, p. 197] The Talmud is full of anecdotes, advice, folk wisdom, and material that, by modern standards, affects the non-Jew with feelings of incredulity (but sometimes insult and indignation as we will see later). It is not hard to imagine why so many Jews flocked from the rabbinically controlled ghettos in the European Enlightenment era. Many modern, secularized Jews have looked with dismay upon the wisdom of their ancient sages. We learn in the Talmud, for example, that: “One who eats an ant is flogged five times forty stripes save one.” [HARRIS, p. 71] “Demons … have wings like angels … [and] they know the future.” [HARRIS, p. 76] “A dog in a strange place does not bark for seven years.” [HARRIS, p. 84] “For night-blindedness, let a man take a hair-rope and bind one end of it to his own leg and the other to a dog’s, then let the children clatter a potsherd after him, and call out, “Old man! dog! fool! cock! … ” [HARRIS, p. 191] “The bald-headed, and dwarfed, and the blear-eyed are ineligible for the priesthood.” [HARRIS, p. 88] “Only kings … eat roast meat with mustard.” [HARRIS, p. 88] “The Rabbis have taught that a man should not drink water on Wednesdays and Saturdays after night fall … An evil spirit … on these evenings prowls around…” [HARRIS, p. 92] “These things cause hemorrhoids: — eating cane leaves, the foliage and tendrils of a vine, the palate of cattle, the backbones of fish, half-cooked salt fish, wine, lees, etc.” [HARRIS, p. 106] “These things are detrimental to study [including] walking between two camels…; to pass under a bridge beneath which no water has flowed forty days; to drink water that runs through a cemetery…” [HARRIS, p. 116] “It is not right for a man to sleep in the daytime any longer than a horse sleeps. And how long is the sleep of a horse? Sixty respirations.” [HARRIS, p. 157] “The daughters of Israel burn incense for [purposes of] sorcery.” [HARRIS, p. 188] Jewish apologists like Alan Dershowitz exclaim immediate indignation at anyone who dares to excerpt such material, despite the fact that they very much represent — in page after page — the “folk” flavor of the ancient Talmud. Cloaking himself as protective defender of both Judaism and Christianity, and going back one generation from the interpretive Talmud to the Torah itself, he argues that “A classic technique of both anti-Semitism and anti-Christianity has been to cull from Old and New Testament biblical prescriptions that when taken out of context seem bizarrely out of place in contemporary life.” [DERSHOWITZ, p. 332] What, one wonders, do Dershowitz-like commentators have in mind for the correct “context” for understanding Talmudic admonitions, from which anti-Semites have always found a treasure trove of disturbing material? They are just as bizarre when left in their original context, probably more so since hundreds, if not thousands, of the same sorts of archaic perspectives reinform each other, and those who are doing the “culling” are usually the religiously pious. Such “bizarre cullings” as above are not Talmudic aberrations but are part of a common tone of an interwoven multi-rabbinical catalogue, from the very particular perspective of “being Jewish” hundreds of years ago. Such expressions of “folk wisdom” are not just that, they are explication of a distinct religion, and are argued about over and over, debated to this very day in Orthodox circles not towards discard, but towards (in their essential meanings, however they are conjured) use. When confronted with the details of Talmudic guidance and logic, some liberal-minded Jews can’t actually stomach what they find. Jane Rachel Litman notes that, when faced with the teachings of the ancient rabbis, some Jews respond with abject denial: i.e., arguing, on modern terms, that the old rabbinical sages couldn’t have possibly meant what they wrote: “The background sound in the small library is muted but intense. Pairs of scholars lean over their talmudic texts whispering energetically, trying to puzzle out the meaning of the particular sugya, passage. The teacher directs them back toward the group and asks for questions. One student raises a hand: ‘I don’t understand verse 5:4 of the tractate Niddah. What does the phrase ‘it is like a finger in eye’ mean? The teacher responds, ‘This refers to the hymen of a girl younger than three years old. The Sages believed that in the case of toddler rape, the hymen would fully grow back by the time the girl reached adulthood and married. Therfore, though violated, she would still technically be counted as a virgin and could marry a priest. It’s an analogy: poling your finger in the eye is uncomortable, but causes no lasting harm. There is a collective gasp of breath among students. Their dismay is palpable. They do not like this particular talmudic text or the men behind it. But its authors, the talmudic rabbis, hardly wrote it with this particular group of students in mind — mostly thirty- and forty-year old women in suburban Philadelphia taking a four-week class titled ‘Women in Jewish Law’ at their Reform synagogue. The questioner perists. ‘I don’t understand. Are you saying this refers to the rape of a three year-old girl?’ “Or younger,’ the teacher responds dryly. ‘I don’t see how it says anything about rape and hymens. You must be mistaken. I don’t believe the rabbis are talking about rape at all. I think this statement has nothing to do with the rest of the passage.’ The teacher (I’ll admit now that it was me, a second-year rabbinic student) responds, ‘Well, that’s the common understanding. What do you think it means?’ The woman is clearly agitated, ‘I don’t know, but I do know that it couldn’t be about child rape.’ This is week three of the class. The woman does not return for week four. Denial.” [LITMAN, R., SEPT 2000] Litman, the rabbinic student, then confesses that “I find [Elizabeth Kubler] Ross’s model helpful when addressing sacred Jewish texts that are violent or xenophobic, that speak of child abuse, human slavery, or homophobia with gross insensitivity. Like so many of my colleagues and students, I often drift confusedly through denial, anger, grief, rationalization (a form of bargaining); sometimes reaching acceptance, sometimes not.” [LITMAN, R., SEPT 2000] Another Jewish religion teacher, Deena Copeland Klepper, notes that “there are many passages in the Bible that make us squirm.” She cites Pslam 137 from the Torah, where Israelites are enjoined to dash innocent Babylonian babies against the rocks. “I have read Pslam 137 with adults in Jewish history classes many times,” Klepper says, “it is the best way I know to communicate the anguish of the Israelites in exile from their homeland. And yet reading the text also elicits a horrified reaction in my students. Against the familiarity of the first part of the psalm, that final vengeful outburst against innocent children shocks; it violates my students’ modern sensibilities.” [KLEPPER, D., APRIL 2001] Despite such moral problems with ancient texts, says Edward Boaz, “To be sure, the Talmud was written in a historical context vastly different from the world we live in. Its solutions may not be entirely appropriate to ours. But to its credit, the Talmud is not an abstract religious work. It grows out of the needs of people in all walks of life. The authors have created for us a valuable paradigm that may be utilized for meeting the challenges that confront our children.” [BORAZ, p. 3] For all such Talmudic injunctions, the enduring capacity for the Talmud (and other Jewish religious metacommentaries) to be entirely malleable as an authoritative work to fit the occasion at hand is noted by Jacob Katz; of seven Talmudic commentators expressing an opinion about a seminal religious dictate concerning apostasy, “three succeeded in twisting the meaning of the sentence into the opposite of its obvious intention.” [KATZ, Ex, p. 81] To hold the Jewish community tightly together against other peoples, rabbinical arguments can even be consciously used to subvert the original meanings of the seminal Torah itself. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks notes that “One of the most famous passages in the entire rabbinical literature [is] the argument between Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus and [other rabbinical] sages [of his era] on the ritual cleanliness of a broken and reconstituted oven. Rabbi Eliezer declared it clean; the sages ruled against him. He ‘brought all the proofs in the world’ for his view but none was accepted. After invoking several miracles, he finally appealed to Heaven itself, ‘whereupon a Heavenly voice was heard saying: Why do you dispute with Rabbi Eliezer, seeing that in all matters the halakhah agrees with him?’ This proof too was rejected, on the grounds that ‘It [the Torah] is not in heaven.\'” [SACKS, J., p. 164] Here, even though Rabbi Eliezer was, according to Jewish law, clearly correct in his opinion about the broken oven, “the assertion of [communal rabbinical] authority [over God] is necessary ‘so that disputes should not multiply in Israel.\'”] [SACKS, J., p. 165] Lothar Kahn notes prominent secular Jewish author Arthur Koestler’s views about such Talmudic reasoning: “The survival of a brand of scholasticism in today’s Talmudic schools was an intellectual shock [to Koestler]. The acrobatics in logic in which it indulged appeared to aim at the same intellectual and moral evasions as the practices relating to Sabbath and Pesach. Interpretations of Mosaic Law, specifically devised to evade the original law, struck him as a form of mental corruption.” [KAHN, L., 1961, p. 151] The Talmud has always functioned as a flexible apparatus to shift and adapt the Jewish faith over the centuries to current needs and political expediencies. There is enough conflicting argument in the Talmud to prove or disprove virtually anything, resolve from the shelf any theological — or practical — emergency, depending on which way contemporary winds blow. In the Talmud, for example, (Sanhedrin 59a) one old sage, Johanan, opins that “A Gentile who takes up the Torah [Old Testament] is deserving of death.” This, to say the least, can be rather disconcerting to find, especially for all the millions of non-Jews who have dared to read the Old Testament, but the admonition to kill is there in seminal Jewish religious literature. Of course, on the same page another rabbi, Meir, takes an opposite stance and claims it is meritorious for anyone to absorb the Bible. (UNIV JEW EN, v. 3, p. 4] Both opinions are there, both are legitimate, both religiously sanctioning what a devout Jew essentially chooses to believe, based upon his or her evaluation — generally within current convention of a maze of interpretations and emphases — of conflicting rabbinical arguments. Despite the extremely malleable capacities intrinsic to the Talmud, one of its historical standards to our own day — in the Orthodox context (which is what all Jews were till the Enlightenment) — is religiously sanctioned racism, rooted in the Chosen People ethos and the notion that Jews were superior to all others and destined to remain “apart” from them. “The Talmudic mind,” says Norman Cantor, “is hostile to ethnic equality and to universalism. It is very anxious to enforce an ideal of communal purity. All possible contacts with Gentiles are to be avoided.” [CANTOR, p. 206] “It is the Talmudic mentality and customs,” wrote David Goldstein, a Jewish apostate, in 1940, “that are largely responsible for the enmity of non-Jews towards Jews. This enmity also exists among Jews themselves, for revolt is the keynote of modern Jews, revolt against Rabbinism, Orthodox Judaism, which is Talmudism.” [GOLDSTEIN, p. 130] “Learning the classic Jewish texts in the yeshivot (religious schools) of both western and eastern Europe,” notes Edwin Boraz, “involved generations of traditions. The Talmud became part of the genetic code of our people.” [BORAZ, p. 3] And what is included in this “genetic code?” “Sadly,” says Rabbi Isar Schorsch, “a low estimate of non-Jews pervades much of Talmudic liteature. The Mishna admonishes Jews not to leave their animals unattended at the inn of a gentile, because gentiles are suspected of engaging in beastiality. Gentiles are described also as liable to rape and murder, so that a lonely Jew should avoid their company … [T]reatment of the ‘other’ remains a problem for Judaism. In a divided world, we are entilted to take whatever measures will advance our narrow interests. And it is such a world, in which holiness and hatred are intertwined, that [jailed American fraudster] Rabbi Frankel inhabits.” [SCHORSCH, I., 4-30-99] Flagrant religious directives, in classical Judaism, for racist positions (and worse) against all non-Jews, however, are difficult for the non-Jew to research for many reasons. Relatively few Jews, for instance, are inclined to address such a subject in detail (for fear of fueling “anti-Semitism”) in English publications. (Non-Jews who address the Talmud critically are routinely dismissed as anti-Semitic). It is usually addressed more safely, “privately,” in Hebrew. An example of this may be gleaned from an English summary in Religious and Theological Abstracts of a 1994 article in Hebrew by Elliot Horowitz. His subject is Purim — the annual Jewish festival that celebrates the destruction of the Jews’ arch-enemy, Haman — usually by hanging him in effigy. Horowitz’s article “deals with the character of Purim over the centuries as a day combining ritual reversal, joys and hostility — especially towards Christians and its symbols, as well as with 19th and 20th century historiographical attempts to come to grips with the troubling evidence concerning the activities of the Jews as part of the holiday’s carnivalesque character. The problematic character of much historiography concerning Purim can be seen in the case of H. Graetz who wrote that it had been the custom to burn Haman upon a gallows which had the form of a cross. It was difficult for Jewish historians to speak their minds honestly about what Purim had been like in the past, for fear it would reflect upon European Jewry in the present. [The article] stresses the tenacity of anti-Christian Purim practices, especially among European Jewry, in medieval and modern times.” [REL&THEO, 1995, 38, p. 851] Meanwhile, for popular, public Gentile consumption in English, Hayyim Schuass’s book about Jewish festivals is typical in its reframing of historical fact into merely the fantasies of Christian anti-Semitic fanatics, i.e., the reconstruction of Jewish culpability into Jewish innocense, an attitude systematically manifest throughout Jewish polemic. Schauss writes that: “As far back as the fifth century the charge was made against Jews that they burned a cross and a figure of Jesus on Purim. This slander often led to attacks upon Jews by their Christian neighbors. In time, under pressure of the Christians, the custom [of burning an effigy of Haman] disappeared in Christian lands.” [SCHAUSS, p. 268] The Israeli social critic, Israel Shahak, addresses another example of this systematic deceit and dissimulation about Jewish history by noting the 1968 English-language volume, The Joys of Yiddish, by Leon Rosten. Shahak notes that the book “is a kind of glossary of Yiddish [the Jewish traditional language of central and eastern Europe] [with]…. an etymology stating … the language from which the word came into Yiddish and its meaning in that language … The entry shaygets – whose main meaning is ‘a Gentile boy or young man’ — is an exception: there the etymology cryptically states, ‘Hebrew origin,’ without giving the form or meaning of the original Hebrew word. H
  7. Hebrew origin,’ without giving the form or meaning of the original
    Hebrew word. However, under the entry shiksa — the feminine form of
    shaygets — the author does give the original Hebrew word, shegetz (or, in
    his transliteration, shegues) and defines its Hebrew meaning as ‘blemish.’
    This is a bold-faced lie as every speaker of Hebrew knows. The
    Megiddo Modern Hebrew-English Dictionary, published in Israel,
    correctly defines shegetz as follows: ‘unclean animal’: loathsome
    creature, abomination … wretch, unruly youngster; Gentile youngster.”
    [SHAHAK, p. 26]

    Edwin Freeland notes that:

    “The etymological history of the word shiksa itself is instructive … The
    Hebrew word shakaytz means to abominate, to utterly detest. In the
    Bible there are constant admonitions not to eat or take the shikutz
    (masculine noun form), literally, the abominated thing, into one’s
    house.” [FREEDLAND, E., 1982, p. 508]

    For popular consumption in English, however, the word shiksa is usually carefully censored. In A Dictionary of Yiddish Slang and Idioms, for example, “shikseh” is simply defined as “Non-Jewish girl (also used to imply an impious or wild Jewish girl).” [KOGOS, p. 70]

    But most Jews know better. Yossi Klein Halevi, who grew up in an American Orthodox community, notes that the word “shiksa” means “a gentile woman, that nasty Yiddish word implying ‘slut.'” [HALEVI, MEMOIRS, p. 224] When Israeli Ze’ev Chafets married a non-Jewish woman in 1997, he had to face more firmly the institutionalized Jewish racism (and moral double standards) against his new wife:

    “Jews who would rather cut off their tongue than say ‘nigger ‘ or ‘spic’
    and consider ‘kike’ and ‘Hymie’ fighting words talk about ‘goyim’ and
    ‘shiksas’ with blithe indifference. They assume that we can’t be guilty of
    prejudice because we are all victims … But terms like ‘shiksa’ … no
    longer sound like charming Yiddishisms to me; they seem like slurs.”
    [BROWNFELD, p. 85]

    A minority of non-Orthodox Jews who haven’t studied their own traditional literature, or Yiddish and Hebrew, in detail, may not even be aware of the range of such objectionable (by modern moral standards) material in seminal Jewish religious texts. Nor do informed Jews invite an examination of the full context of Jewish-Gentile relations through history. In the last few decades whenever such material is brought to public attention, however rarely, its exposure is attacked by Jewish organizations as “anti-Semitic canards,” distorted and misrepresented excerpts from their original contexts. Throughout history it has usually taken apostate Jews to reveal them to the non-Jewish community.

    “Among the first generation or two of Dominican friars [in the Middle Ages],” says Norman Cantor, “… were a remarkable number of Jewish converts. The reason that the friars … could engage in a lengthy debate with the rabbis in their public disputations in France and Spain was that these debating friars were almost invariably former rabbis or rabbinical students, or sons of rabbis.” [CANTOR, p. 179] “Most often,” notes Leon Poliakov, “by making the conversion of the Jews and the denunciation of Jews their chief vocation [Jewish apostates] constituted a true scourge for the Jewish communities…. [POLIAKOV, p. 167] … The role of the renegade Jew … has always been of prime importance during the persecutions of the Jews.” [POLIAKOV, p. 69]

    In the year 1236, for example, Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert to Christianity, “approached Pope Gregory IX with a list of charges against rabbinic Judaism.” [COHEN, J., 1982, p. 60] According to Donin, notes Jeremy Cohen, “the rabbis [of the Talmud] allegedly instructed the Jews to kill Christians and ruled that the Jew may blamelessly cheat and deceive Christians in any way possible … The Talmud, claimed Donin, licensed murder, theft, and religious intolerance, and it included strictures against trusting Gentiles, honoring them, or even returning a lost piece of property to them. The worst outrage for Donin was the prayers in the Jews’ daily liturgy uttered against Christians and apostates.” [COHEN, J., 1982, p. 68, 71] A compilation was also made, “probably in large part by converts from Judaism,” [COHEN, J., 1982, p. 65] which resulted in “a collection of objectionable excerpts from the Talmud and Jewish liturgy according to topic, over one hundred folios listing the passages in the order of their appearance in the Talmud.” [COHEN, J., 1982, p. 65] The result of a Papal investigation of the Talmud resulted in its public burning.

    Another such disputation in Barcelona, Spain, occurred in 1262 between Rabbi Moses ben Nahman and Friar Pablo Christiani. Christiani was born Jewish and “he had studied Jewish literature under the direction of Rabbi Eliezer ben Emmanuel of Tarascon and Jacob ben Elijah Lattes of Venice.” [COHEN, J., 1982, p. 108] Elsewhere, “Juan Perez de Montalvian, a Marrano [secret Jew],” notes M. H. Goldberg, “was a priest and notary of the Inquisition. The Society of Jesus founded by Saint Ignatius had numerous monks of Jewish descent. When Saint Ignatius chose a successor to lead the order, he appointed Diego Lainez, who had been born a Jew.” [GOLDBERG, M. H., 1976, p. 109-110]

    In the 15th century, notes Bernard Lazare,

    “Peter Schwartz and Hans Boyd, both converted Jews, instigated the
    inhabitants to sack the [Jewish] Ghetto; in Spain, Paul de Santa-Maria
    [formerly Solomon Levi] instigated Henry III of Castille to take
    measures against the Jews … [Santa-Maria] is generally found the
    instigator in all the persecutions which befell the Jews of his time, and
    he hunted the synagogue with a ferocious hatred … The Talmud
    was the great antagonist of the converts, and one that had to withstand
    most of their wrath. They constantly denounced it before the inquisitors,
    the king, the emperor, and the Pope … The theologians followed the
    example of the converts, most frequently they had about the Talmud no
    other notions beyond those given them by the converts.” [LAZARE, p.

    “In the sixteenth century,” adds M. Hirsch Goldberg, “a butcher named Pfefferkorn tried to have the German emperor destroy all rabbinic writings and Hebrew books except the Bible.” [GOLDBERG, M., 1976, p. 214] Pfefferkorn too was a Jewish convert to Christianity, as was, in the eighteenth century, Jacob Frank (1726-1791). “Frank and his closest followers adopted Catholicism,” notes Jewish apologist Milton Aron,

    “and, in vengeful activities against their opponents within Jewry, heaped
    various false accusations against the Jews and their teachings, leading
    to the burning of the Talmud.” [ARON, M., 1969, p. 30]

    Then there is the case of “Michael the Neophyte, an eighteenth century Jewish convert to Christianity, who not only swore that Judaism commanded the ritual killing of Gentile children, but provided gory details of his own participation in those murders.” [PIPES, D., 1997, p. 32]

    In Germany, notes Nachum Gidal, “one of the most influential opponents of political equality for the Jews was the baptised Jew Freidrich Julius Stahl (1802-1861) who was the founder of Prussian conservatism, leader of the Conservative Party, House of Lords, and member of the Upper House of Prussian Parliament.” [GIDAL, p. 17] In Russia, in 1869, “the infamous Book of the Kahal, … written by the Jewish apostate Jacob Brafman, made its appearance and seemed to document the already well-known accusation that the Jews constituted a ‘state within a state’ whose main aim was to subjugate and exploit the non-Jewish population.” [ARONSON, p. 42] (Louis Rapoport even argues that Jewish oppression of Jews was even pre-eminent in the Russian communist revolution: “The Jewish Bolsheviks were the most fanatical advocates of suppressing Jewish parties.”) [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 29] Even recently, in Croatia,

    “in July 1997, Mladen Schwartz, an individual of Jewish origin and an ultra-nationalist
    agitator, promoted his book ‘Protocols, Jews and Adolf Hitler’ in Zagreb’s main
    square. In the book Schwartz poses such questions as ‘Why should the Croatian
    state be in the service of Judeo-lobbyists?'” [INSTITUTE OF JEWISH POLICY
    RESEARCH, 2001]

    Over the centuries, inflammatory Talmudic passages were “exposed” to the Christian public more and more by non-Jewish authors; in 1700, for example, the German, Johann Eisenmenger, wrote Judaism Uncovered and August Rohling, a professor of Semitic languages in Prague, penned Talmud Jew in 1871. These two works were among the most sensational charges against Jewish tradition and belief; modern Jewish scholarship (and even more so, Jewish popular opinion) generally portrays such texts as fabrication or misinterpretation — in either case, “anti-Semitic.” “The Talmud,” says George Mosse, “was said to be full of exhortations to cheat, lustfulness, usury, and hatred of Christians … The Talmud had come to symbolize the secret of the ‘perverted’ religion of the Jews.” Rohling decided that it was a “program for domination of the world by the chosen people.” [MOSSE, p. 139]

    In Eisenmenger’s case, his “anti-Jewish sallies,” writes Jacob Katz, “were on the whole not his own inventions. He collected anti-Jewish ornaments from the Christian tradition, systematized them, and attempted to prove their truth by reading them into the Talmudic literature with which he was well acquainted.” [KATZ, Jew Dig, p. 6] Nazis and others have, of course, recognized such materials’ value in enflaming anti-Jewish hostility and appropriated them for presentation for their own purposes.

    Eisenmenger’s anti-Jewish work, the argumentative basis for many books critical of Jews that were written later, is particularly noteworthy and bears greater scrutiny. As a dedicated Christian, Eisenmenger’s writings were framed as a polemic that impugned Jewish belief and tradition. His opus, Judaism Uncovered (Endecktes Judenthum), was a two-volume set of over 2100 pages, quoting from 200 mostly Jewish sources and was the result of twenty years of research. The author was a respected scholar and well read in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic. “In short,” says Jacob Katz (a well-known Jewish scholar who Israeli critic Israel Shahak singles out as being particularly apologetic when it comes to Jewish religious texts), [SHAHAK, p. 114] “Eisenmenger was acquainted with all the literature a Jewish scholar of standing would have known … [He] surpassed his [non-Jewish] predecessors in his mastery of the sources and his ability to interpret them tendentiously. Contrary to accusations that have been made against him, he does not falsify his sources.” [KATZ, From, p. 14]

    Katz refers here to the likes of Bernard Lewis, another Jewish scholar, whose reaction to Eisenmenger’s work is much more typical:

    “Eisenmenger was a professor of Oriental languages … By careful
    selection, occasional invention, and sweeping misinterpretation, due
    sometimes to ignorance and sometimes to malice, he presents the
    Talmud as a corpus of anti-Christian and indeed anti-human doctrine…
    Eisenmenger’s book, though disproved again and again by both
    Christian and Jewish scholars, became a classic of anti-Semitic
    literature, and has remained a source book for anti-Semitic accusations
    to the present day.” [LEWIS, B., 1986, p. 105]

    Influential Jews of the Royal Court in Eisenmenger’s locale and era (Samson Wertheimer and Samuel Oppenheimer, among them) managed to have the book banned by the Hapsburg Emperor; Eisenmenger appealed, and “litigation continued for decades.” The author never lived to see the censorship of his book about Jews lifted. [KATZ, p. 14] “The powerful supplier of the Austrian armies, Samuel Oppenheimer,” notes Leon Poliakov, “actually succeeded, for a consideration, in having the work banned. Its 2,000 copies were confiscated as soon as they were printed, and the author died, apparently of grief.” [POLIAKOV, p. 243]

    Conceding that Eisenmenger’s voluminously footnoted citations from Jewish law and religious literature do indeed exist as he says, Jacob Katz argues (as do many Jewish apologists) that just because these citations are undeniably part of Judaism’s religious tradition doesn’t mean the rules and laws were actually practiced (or, at least, practiced any longer). Katz asserts that such odious directives from Jewish sages must be understood in terms of the climate of their creation. “Eisenmenger,” says Katz, “consciously ignored whatever later [Jewish] generations read into earlier sources … [he was] seeking only the original meaning intended by the writers.” [KATZ, p. 17]

    Katz proclaims what he calls the “historical approach” (i.e., trying to understand “the original meanings intended by the writers”) to be fallacious. The correct way to view Jewish seminal thinking, he argues, is by the “exegetical-homiletical method” (i.e., what Jews were supposed to believe and what they practiced were eventually two different things — they adjusted to changes around them). This, for Katz, negates the “original meanings.”

    One of Eisenmenger’s principal attacks was upon codified Jewish opinion for treatment of non-Jews and their religions. Eisenmenger cited textual evidence that Jewish religious tradition forbids robbery, deceit, and even murder only within their own community, non-Jews were categorically exempt from moral protection. If Jews were raised with such beliefs, argued Eisenmenger, it is not hard to believe that they would be inclined to defame Christianity at every chance, as well as rob, swindle, and even murder those not of their own community.

    “The nature of the Jewish tradition,” writes Katz of such Eisenmenger charges, “its earliest strata reflecting the conditions of the ancient world, enabled Eisenmenger to prove such theses. The legal and ethical systems of the ancient world were dualistic … In the period of the Mishnah and Talmud, the question of whether the property of non-Jews was protected by law was still under dispute. Certain individuals who were considered subversive — idol worshippers and the like — remained outside the absolute protection of the [Jewish] law even in matters of life and death.” [KATZ, From, p. 18]

    Katz goes on to argue that those rabbinical opinions that asserted, for instance, “that one should actively work towards [“sectarians’ and “infidels'”] deaths became merely “theoretical material.” [KATZ, p. 18] Or as another apologetic Jewish scholar, Louis Jacobs, puts the Eisenmenger issue:

    “There is no doubt that the Talmudic Rabbis, living among pagans,
    had a poor opinion of the Gentile world around them even while
    admiring some of its features. At times some of the Rabbis gave
    vent to the harshest feelings, as in the notorious statement ‘Kill
    the best of the goyyim.’ Johann Andreas Eisenmenger (1654-1704)
    in his Endecktes Judenthum (Judaism Unmasked) collected such
    adverse passages in order to prove to his satisfaction that the Jews
    hate all Gentiles. It became an important aspect of Jewish
    apologetic to demonstrate that Eisenmenger had either
    misunderstood many of the passages he quotes or had taken
    them out of context.” [JACOBS, L., 1995, p. 184-185]

    Ultimately, Eisenmenger aligned evidence from Jewish religious law to exhibit an alleged foundation which suggests that, when the Messiah comes, non-Jews would be destroyed. But not only that. Based on the citational evidence he could piece together, Eisenmenger thought “it stood to reason that [Jews] would carry out the commandment of destruction even in the present on those whom it was within their reach to injure and harm.” [KATZ, p. 19] In fact, this theme of vengeful Jewish destruction of non-Jews was addressed in a volume by professor Abraham Grossman in Hebrew, in 1994, specifically investigating Ashkenazi (European Jewish) religious society. A summary of his conclusions in Religious and Theological Abstracts states that

    “[The] Ashkenazi believed in the conversion of the Gentiles as part of
    the redemptive era, following the stage of vengeance … The idea that
    a link exists between vengeance to be carried out against the enemies
    of Israel and the redemption, and that vengeance is a forerunner to
    redemption, can be found in the Bible, the Talmud, and in
    apocalyptic literature, and should not be viewed as uniquely
    Ashkenazi.” [REL&THEO, 38:1, 859]

    As renowned sociologist Max Weber once noted:

    “In the mind of the pious Jew the moralism of the law was inevitably
    combined with the aforementioned hope for revenge, which suffused
    practically all the exile and post-exilic sacred scriptures. Moreover,
    through two and a half millennium this hope appeared in virtually every
    divine service of the Jewish people, characterized by a firm grip upon
    two indestructible claims — religiously sanctified segregation from the
    other peoples of the world, and divine promises relating to this world
    … When one compares Judaism with other salvation religions, one
    finds that in Judaism the doctrine of religious resentment has an
    idiosyncratic quality and plays a unique role not found among
    the disprivileged classes of any other religion.” [NEWMAN, A.,
    1998, p. 163])

    Yet, concludes professor Katz, “To anyone who is knowledgeable of Jewish literature, Eisenmenger’s interpretations [of central Jewish religious texts] read like a parody of both the legal and homiletic literature … It is otherwise, of course, for the reader who is unfamiliar with the literature: he may fall for Eisenmenger’s conclusions, not knowing that they are no more than the very assumptions that preceded the writer’s examination of the material [i.e., anti-Jewish Christian prejudice].” [KATZ, J, From, p. 20]

    Unfortunately, this “parody” reading of seminal Jewish religious literature, and its “theoretical theses,” as we will soon see, has many Jewish adherents even today, as it always has, and — with renewed interest in it in the Jewish world today — is causing moral consternation for the more universalistic, enlightened members of the Jewish politic.

    “Eisenmenger neither forged his sources nor pulled his accusations out of thin air,” says Katz, “There was a nucleus of truth in all of his claims: the Jews lived in a world of legendary or mythical concepts, of ethical duality — following different standards of morality in their internal and external relationships — and they dreamed with imaginative speculation of their future in the time of the Messiah.” [KATZ, p. 21] That admitted, Katz turns to debunk Eisenmenger’s volumes of evidence by claiming that the German scholar found only what he wished to find. In other words, the most relevant facts of Eisenmenger’s argument, to Katz, are not to be found in the evidence of Jewish religious law and literature, but, rather, in Eisenmenger’s underlying paradigm of anti-Semitism.

    Is Katz’s view true? Is all this anti-Gentile animosity irrefutably found in Jewish religious literature “obsolete,” and did Eisenmenger just piece various facts together to form a false whole? Or, rather, is it just that pious believers in talmudic Judaism have really never had the political empowerment — until the creation of modern Israel — to surface the most disturbing elements of the faith?

  8. Let’s turn to Moshe Greenberg for the beginning of an answer to all this, a scholar described by the periodical Conservative Judaism as “one of the leading scholars of Hebrew scripture in the world,” formerly the Chair of the Department of Bible Studies at Hebrew University in Israel. As a young man, Greenberg’s first introduction to the racist foundation of Jewish religious literature was in Sefer Hatanya, the central works of Habad hasidim [one of today’s ultra-Orthodox groups, also spelled “Chabad”]. Greenberg noted in 1996 that

    “What emerged for me, from the study of the first chapters of the book
    and their antecedents was the discovery that the main stream of Jewish
    thought is permeated by the genetic spiritual superiority of Jews over
    Gentiles, disconcertingly reminiscent of racist notions of our time.
    Living in Israel for the past twenty years in a Jewish majority that is no
    more sensitive to the feelings of minorities within it than Gentile
    majorities are…. [with] Jews in their midst, I have come to realize the
    vitality of Jewish racist notions, and I am more than ever convinced that
    the hold Judaism will have on this and future generations will be gravely
    impaired unless these notions are neutralized by an internal reordering of
    traditional values.” [GREENBERG, p. 33]

    Such traditional values may be found in the memoirs of Yossi Klein Halevi (an American Jew who eventually moved to Israel) and what he was taught as a youth at Brooklyn’s Talmudic Academy:

    “Jews and goyim [non-Jews] were locked in eternal struggle. For now the
    goyim prevailed. But when the Messiah came, we would triumph. Twenty
    goyim would cling to each thread of our prayer shawls, pleading to serve
    us as protection against divine judgment.” [HALEVI, p. 68]

    One Talmudic Academy teacher taught that “Jews were the center of the world … Anything extraneous to Jews was of no real interest to us, or, by implication, God himself.” [HALEVI, p. 68]

    Today’s Orthodox Lubavitcher movement (famous for its yearly Chabad telethon to raise money for its projects) also reflects the principles of Jewish racial uniqueness, for example, in its Sefer Hama’Amarim, by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn:

    “The Jewish people were granted the unique ability to draw down all
    Divine effluences through their performance of Torah and mitzvos
    [the fulfillment of religious commandments] … [Jews] become vessels for
    G-dliness … The reason why only Jews possess this unique quality
    is because of their power of mesirus nefsh, total self-sacrifice…
    [SCHNNERSOHN, Y., 1986, p. 2] … The Talmud comments that
    Jews possess three innate character traits: they are bashful, merciful
    and benevolent. These traits are not only meritorious in and of
    themselves, but also reveal the greatness of the Jewish people. Every
    Jew inherently possesses these beautiful traits. [SCHNEERSOHN, Y.,
    1986, p. 11] … G-d’s conduct with the Jewish people transcends the
    bounds of nature. When a Jew submits all his natural matters to G-d’s
    service, the Almighty then helps him in a supranatural manner.”
    [SCHNEERSOHN, Y., 1986, p. 199]

    [Click here for the courageous comments about Chabad by a concerned former professor of Jewish studies in Montreal, Michael Samuel, in a 1999 email to the Moslem Student Association] [Click here to note the public double standards applied to this group]

    Some in today’s Jewish community recognize a growing problem with what Jacob Katz disregarded as the “original meanings” of Jewish religious tenets, particularly when reinvigorated by Jewish Orthodoxy and fused to modern Zionism, wherein “theoretical” status is revived as practical actions in the real world. In a 1994 issue of Tradition magazine, published by the Rabbinical Council of America, four questions were posed to a panel of scholars, including this one:

    “Has Religious Zionism been guilty of cultivating a negative stance
    towards Gentiles? How can Israel’s chosenness (behirat Yisrael) be
    so formulated as to avoid its being misinterpreted as either another
    form of secular nationalism, or an endorsement of negative attitudes
    towards Gentiles? [FELDMAN, p. 5]

    The simple fact that such questions need to be asked, in-house, in a Jewish rabbinical magazine, is revealing. Of the various responses, Gerald Blidstein, Professor of Jewish Law at Ben Gurion University in Israel, had the most disturbing one:

    “Unfortunately — from my point of view and, it would seem, from
    the perspective from which this symposium is mounted — the number
    of followers of Meir Kahane [the profoundly racist and, some say, even
    fascist, American-Israeli leader] within the Orthodox movement is not
    tiny, nor has his militant doctrine found a positive response among
    small sections of our community. On the contrary: central aspects
    of his worldview, or at least his basic attitudes, are shared by large
    segments of observant Jewry in both Israel and America … Kahane
    is merely an unmasked version of what Zionism always was — racist,
    brutal, rapacious … The modern Orthodox community … exploits…
    democratic, humanistic modes of behavior … for its own benefit.
    Exploiting values cynically, benefiting from them but not committing
    oneself to them or internalizing them, ought to be unacceptable.”
    [BLIDSTEIN, p. 11, 14]

    (“A confidential [1970] survey by the American Jewish Congress, the most liberal of the leading Jewish organizations, revealed that more than a third of its members said they approved the tactics of the JDL” [the Jewish Defense League — the party Meir Kahane founded.]) [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 174]

    The 1995 assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzak Rabin by a zealous Orthodox student, Yigal Amir (whose yeshiva had military training as part of its curriculum), was an event of tragically profound importance to Jews; it brought into ominous focus a very real and very lethal expression of traditional talmudism, underscoring a widening gap between areligious Jews and growing numbers who have revived religious fundamentalism based upon ancient talmudic intolerance, and who now celebrate — thanks to the creation of the modern state of Israel — the power to express the angry dreams of their ancestors. Amir publicly professed his act of murder to be a religious deed (Rabin’s willingness to surrender occupied land in peace talks with Arabs was understood to be traitorous to Jewish messianism). Even in America, four months before Rabin was assassinated, a Brooklyn rabbi, Abraham Hecht, publicly called for the death of any Israeli public official who ceded land to Arabs in peace agreements with them. [JEWISH WEEK, 3-27-98, p. 20]

    A year before Rabin’s murder, the prime minister spoke to a Jewish audience about (American-born) Israeli doctor Baruch Goldstein, the man who had recently burst into a Hebron mosque with an automatic weapon and slaughtered nearly 30 Muslims at prayer until he himself was beaten to death:

    “The level of support for a murderous lunatic and the identification
    with [Goldstein] among some sectors of the public have been greater
    than I’d estimated at first. I see in this the danger of an Israeli racism,
    or to be more procise, a Jewish racism.” [DERFNER, L, 4-1-94,. 2]

    As the Jewish Bulletin noted in 1994, “since the Hebron murders, Israeli teachers have devoted lessons to explaining why Goldstein’s deed was an abomination. But at one highly rated Jerusalem school, the Hebrew Gymnasium, about half the students of an 11th grade class gathered off campus after one of the anti-Goldstein lessons, and chanted ‘Death to the Arabs,’ and ‘Goldstein tzaddik,’ or righteous man … Probably the most disturbing finding came from one of the largest high school in Beersheva. A teacher there polled the class and found that 60 percent of the students supported the massacre.” [DERFNER, L., 4-1-94, p. 2]

    Based upon literal interpretations of some parts of the Talmud, even Jewish religious opponents understood how religious texts could be interpreted to sanction Rabin’s murder. As a troubled Israeli rabbi, David Hartmann, observed:

    “The rabbis under radically different conditions prevailing during the
    third century AD … encouraged … hate and destruction. [Rabin’s
    assassin] was no aberration. He was wholly within the normative
    tradition that has survived frozen through the ages to our own time …
    There are sufficient other resources in the tradition — humane and
    pacifist ones — to counteract the dogmatism. The tragedy is that a
    group of fanatical and political rabbis has become dominant over all
    other voices in Israel.” [ELON, p. 42]

    Gershom Scholem, a professor at Hebrew University and an author on Jewish mysticism, was outraged when a dozen kabbalists (Jewish mystics) camped outside Prime Minister Rabin’s house a few weeks before his murder publicly calling upon “angels of destruction,” and prayed for Rabin to die. This occurred, notes Scholem, “in the heart of Jerusalem, in fairly normal times. No one in the religious world cried out to protest. Nobody said it’s all nonsense. In other words, they believe (these invocations to black magic) actually work.” [ELON, p. 46]

    In 1988 another Israeli rabbi, David Ben-Haim, this one a member of the “radical right” messianic religious movement in Israel, dipped into Talmudic texts and other seminal Judaic literature to evidence profoundly disturbing material. “In a thirty page study that examined all Halakhic authorities on the subject,” says professor Ehud Sprinzak of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “Ben-Haim proves that according to the vast majority, the Torah, when speaking about Adam (a human being), never includes Gentiles in this category. He points out that ten recognized Halakhic authorities repeatedly proposed that Gentiles are more beast than human and that they should be treated accordingly; only two authorities recognize non-Jews as full human beings created in the image of God.” [SPRINZAK, p. 273]

    “What comes of all this,” wrote Rabbi Ben-Haim, “is that according to the prophets, and also according to our sages, the Gentiles are seen as beasts … It is possible that one may see these injunctions as racism; another may call it hatred of Gentiles, whoever he is; but as far as the Jew who adheres to the statement of the Torah of Israel is concerned, this is reality and a way of life which were set for the people of Israel by G-d.” [SPRINZAK, p. 274]

    “Hardly anyone speaks of Jewish fundamentalism,” worries Israel Shahak, “which is growing in Israel and the United States even more.” [SHAHAK, Ideology, p. 80]

    Evelyn Kaye, a woman raised in an Orthodox Jewish community in New York, wrote in 1987 an indicting volume about her life within it and the religiously enforced racism of the ancient sages that still holds firm in Jewish communities to our present day. The foundation of “being Jewish” against the rest of humanity is manifest in the fundamentally hostile attitudes towards non-Jews. Kaye writes that

    “The mark of a truly devout Hasidic or Orthodox Jew, as well as
    many other Jews, is an unquestioned hatred of non-Jews. This is the
    foundation of ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic philosophy. It is as
    tenacious, unreasoned, and impossible as anti-Semitism, racism, and
    sexism. And as intractable…
    There is a complete litany of all the terrible things about non-Jews
    which apply to every single one and which are believed implicitly by
    the Orthodox.
    These include:
    — all Goyim drink alcohol and are always drunk;
    — all Goyim are on drugs;
    — all goyim hate Jews even when they seem friendly;
    — all Goyim are anti-semites, no matter what they say and do;
    — all goyim have a terrible family life and mistreat their wives
    and children’
    — all Goyim eat pork all the time;
    — Goyim are never as clever, as kind, as wise or as honest as
    — you can never ever trust Goyim.
    There’s much more. But the essence of anti-Goyimism is passed to
    Jewish children with their mother’s milk, and then nurtured, fed and
    watered carefully into a full-blown phobia throughout their lives.
    In order to avoid being contaminated by these terrible creatures,
    the Ultra-Orthodox go out of their way to avoid them … Children …
    manage to grow up without seeing one of these dangerous people
    close up. Their attitudes are then perfectly formed. They know
    whom to hate.” [KAYE, p. 113]

    In the 1980s, Samuel Heilman watched an ultra-Orthodox teacher lecture his young students, and noted that

    “Already at this age, these children knew that goyim represented the
    absolute other of Yidn [Jews] — the counterworld. The relation
    between the two was clear: ‘No ideas or institutions that held in the
    one were valid in the other.'” [HEILMAN, S., 1992, p. 192]

    Yossi Klein Halevi (whose grandfather was a millionaire in Europe) also grew up in a New York Hasidic neighborhood, in Borough Park. In 1995 he wrote that:

    “Aside from watching them on TV, goyim were alien to me as they were
    to the Hasidic children. Naturally, I had no non-Jewish friends. An Italian
    family lived on our block. If I saw one of the Italians at a distance, I’d
    cross the street to avoid the awkwardness of saying hello … I did master
    [my father’s] crucial lesson: to see myself as a stranger in a hostile world,
    a member of a people only formally to humanity — in effect, a separate
    species.” [HALEVI, p. 15]

    “Sadly,” noted Orthodox rabbi Mayer Schiller in 1996, “it is … the granting of humanity to the Gentile either as an individual or as a people … that is so often lacking in Orthodox circles. Suffering from a kind of moral blindness, we find it difficult to see the non-Jew as anything more than a bit player in our own drama.” [MACDONALD, p. 5]

    The origin for such beliefs are largely to be found in traditional Jewish religious literature, then secularly reinforced by a litany of Jewish complaints about alleged Gentile persecution throughout history. The ambivalent nature of some of today’s translated Jewish religious texts themselves (per their traditional intent) often reflects the fact that various offending words and passages attracted censorship thro

  9. passages attracted censorship throughout past centuries by offended Christian authorities (who were initially appraised of the remarks by Jewish apostates) and Jewish publishers (who feared dangerous consequences from Christian hostility). As Adin Steinsaltz notes, “When the Christian church adopted a more severe attitude toward enemies within its own ranks, it also began to examine Jewish literature and, to a large extent, the Talmud. Much of the responsibility for this attitude rests with various Jewish converts to Christianity … Several European rulers and Church dignitaries were convinced that the Talmud contained anti-Christian material and, on the basis of informers’ charges, they ordered that all anti-Christian statements and libel against Christ be erased from the books.” [STEINSALTZ, 1976, p. 81-82]

    Jewish publishers eventually became self-censors; offending passages were excised or spaces were left blank on pages for Jewish readers to fill in by oral tradition and memory. The word “Gentile,” or the pejorative “goy,” (both meaning any non-Jew), for example, was often replaced with the word “other,” “Egyptian,” “Kushite,” “stranger,” or other dissimulatives for non-Jewish consumption. In one case, for example, a Jewish scribe’s definition of “goyim” as “followers of Jesus Christ” became “those who do not believe in the law of Moses.” [POPPER, p. 28] As Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz notes, “most present day editions [of the Talmud] still contain a considerable number of changes and omissions introduced by censorship. Indeed, almost every passage dealing with non-Jews must be suspected of having undergone some change.” [STEINSALTZ, p. 50] “Much Talmudic discussion of early Christianity,” notes Robert Goldenberg, “was censored out in the course of the Middle Ages and must now be recovered from scattered manuscripts.” [GOLDENBERG, R., 1984, p. 170] Jewish religious leaders, scholars and general readers usually knew and understood the subterfuge through history, however, many knowing well the original meanings.

    The Encyclopedia Judaica notes that

    “In rabbinical literature the distinction between gentile (goy, akkum)
    and Christian (Nazeri) has frequently been obscured by textual
    alterations necessitated by the vigilance of censors. Thus ‘Egyptian,’
    ‘Amalekite,’ ‘Zadokite (Sadducee),’ and ‘Kuti’ (Samaritan) often
    stands in place of the original Nazeri, as well as goy, akkum, etc.
    Probably when Resh Lakish stated that a gentile (akkum, etc. in
    existing texts) who observed the Sabbath [Saturday rites] is punishable
    by death (Sanhedrin, 58b), he had in mind Christians … Numerous anti-
    Christian polemic passages only make real sense after Nazeri has been
    restored in place of the spurious Kuti or Zedokite.” [ENCY JUD, v. 7,
    p. 411]

    “Whole paragraphs have been deleted,” says Morris Goldstein, “words have been expunged or substituted, spellings have been changed, thoughts mutilated, and manuscripts seized and burned.” [GOLDSTEIN, p. 3]

    M. Herbert Danzger writes that “Jewish modernists” (seeking to reframe and redirect morally objectionable passages against non-Jews in Jewish religious literature), argue “that these laws referred not to Gentiles generally but to ‘star worshippers,’ a precise legal category meaning those who deny the existence of deity, who practice no law and no justice, whose ways are cruel and murderous.” [DANZGER, p. 295] Even if the ‘star worshippers’ interpretation had credence, who exactly in history ever believed in ‘no deity, no law, no justice,’ and wallowed in cruelty and murder? Certainly any society anywhere conceives of itself as framed within concepts of some kind of deity, law, and justice, and attributes their lack to its enemies, as does the rabbinical literature. According to the Encyclopedia Judaica, after the fall of the second Temple in 70 CE, the

    “world was regarded as divided, by rabbinical opinion … into the Jewish
    people and the ‘nations of the world,’ and insofar as individuals were
    concerned, into the ‘Jew’ and the ‘idolater,’ with the Hebrew equivalent
    of ‘idolater’ usually abbreviated to ‘akkum,’ literally a ‘worshipper of
    the stars and planets.” [EN JUD, p. 410]

    Michael Asheri, a Jewish American immigrant to Israel, notes modern Jewish apologetics and dissimulation about the subject of idolaters:

    “Once we get out of the area of friendship and business [with non-Jews],
    … it is obvious that to the Jewish way of thinking, many of today’s
    Gentiles are still worshippers of idols. The use of devotionals
    in Christian churches is ingeniously explained away by orthodox Jewish
    thinkers, but Jews are still stringently prohibited from entering churches
    in which such images are displayed. (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah
    142:14) Certainly the practices of present day Hindus and Buddhists
    must be considered idol worship or the term has no meaning at all.
    In addition, the prohibition of yayin nesech, wine made by Gentiles,
    is based entirely on avoidance of avoda zara [worship of strange Gods].
    If some of the Gentiles are not idol worshippers, why does this
    prohibition continue to be obligatory for all observant Jews?” [ASHERI,
    M., 1983, p. 332-333]

    Asheri next addresses the reason for Jewish secrecy about this delicate subject: the fear of anti-Jewish hostility as a response to the Jewish anti-Gentile tradition. There is, says Asheri,

    “an important reason for not making apparent our attitude in this
    respect and that is darchet shalom, keeping the peace, between
    the Jews and the peoples of the world, among whom they live.”
    [ASHERI, M., 1983, p. 333]

    There are other things about Jewish identity that are best not discussed too publicly. One of the principles of traditional Jewish law, notes the Israeli social critic Israel Shahak, is that a Gentile’s life must not be saved. He cites a line in the Talmud (Tractate Avodah Zarah, 26b): “Gentiles are neither to be lifted (out of a well) nor hauled down (into it),” i.e., if a non-Jew falls into a well a Jew is religiously forbidden from saving his/or her life. The highly respected Jewish theologian Maimonides takes this example to comment that “it is forbidden to save [non-Jews] if they are at the point of death; if, for example, one of them is seen falling into the sea, he should not be rescued.” [SHAHAK, p. 80] (In this context of Jewish religious tradition, Shahak sardonically notes the extremely uncompromising position many outraged Jews can find themselves in when they so vociferously complain that so many countries “stood by and did nothing” to help Jews during the Jewish Holocaust.)

    As far as Maimonides is concerned, we will refer to him heavily here. His opinions are highly relevant in our own day. Maimonides is neither obscure to modern Orthodox Judaism, nor obsolete. He is an integral part of modern Orthodox discourse; according to the New Encyclopedia Brittanica (1993), Maimonides is recognized “as a pillar of Orthodox faith — his creed became part of the Orthodox liturgy [and he is known] as the greatest of Jewish philosophers.” [NEW ENCY BRIT, 7, p. 708]

    Israeli professor Michael Harsegor explains another angle to Jewish self-absorption, in the tale of the “Good Samaritan” from the Christian New Testament tradition (Luke 10:33-34.) Two Jews, a Cohen and a Levite, pass a non-Jewish man who had been physically attacked and left behind for dead by robbers. Per traditional Jewish religious conviction, the passing Jews do not stop to aid the injured man. Eventually a Samaritan passes and stops to help the fellow in distress. As Harsegor notes, in explaining this parable of pan-human Christian teachings,

    “It is wrong to cling to the Torah, like the Cohen and Levite, and do
    nothing more. You have to be humane, like the Samaritan, who
    is not a religious Jew.” [COUSSIN, 1999]

    Conversely, rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh, an immigrant from the United States to Israel, has commented that

    “If you saw two people drowning, a Jew and a non-Jew, the Torah
    says you save the Jewish life first. If every simple cell in a Jewish
    body entails divinity, is a part of God, then every strand of DNA
    is part of God. Therefore, something is special about Jewish
    DNA … If a Jew needs a liver, can you take the liver of an innocent
    non-Jew passing by to save him? The Torah would probably
    permit that. Jewish life has infinite value.” [BROWNFELD, A.,
    MARCH 2000, p. 105-106]

  10. Spare4

  11. Jewish life has infinite value.” [BROWNFELD, A.,
    MARCH 2000, p. 105-106]

    It is critically important today, of course, for Jewish apologists to find more humane perspectives on the subject of non-Jews in traditional literature. “Moses Rivkes, a seventeenth century [Jewish] Lithuanian authority, “notes Jacob Katz, “drew the conclusion that, regarding the obligation to save life, no discrimination should be made between Jews and Christians; the same degree was attached to saving either.” Rivkes, of course, represents only one man’s view and reflects the views he sought to counter. His opinion, note Charles Liebman and Steven Cohen, “only demonstrates the depth of historic Jewish hostility toward the non-Jew and the legitimization that this hostility received within the religious tradition.” [LIEBMAN/COHEN, p. 38]

    Other disturbing views from Jewish religious literature and tradition include:

    “When we withhold mercy from others [it] is equal to that for doing
    (merciful deeds) to members of our own people.” [SHAHAK, p. 96]

    “If the ox of a Jew gores the ox of Gentile, the Jew is not required to pay
    damages, but if the ox of a Gentile … gores the ox of a Jew, the Gentile
    is required to pay full damages.” [MISHNAH, BABA KAMA 4:3]

    If after taking a purification bath, a Jewish woman sees a dog, pig, donkey, horse, leper, or a non-Jew (“heathen”) before she “meets a friend,” she has to take the bath over again. [GANZFRIED, p. 42] “One should not be alone with a heathen belonging to one of the seven peoples [the Biblical tribes of Canaan from which non-Jews are traditionally understood to have descended], because they are apt to commit homicide.” [GANZFIELD, p. 52] Likewise, “cattle should not be kept in the barns of heathen-owned inns, out of suspicion that they may practice sodomy with them.” [LIPMAN, E., 1974, p. 235]

    “The Talmud is in disagreement over whether Jews may rob Gentiles,” says Jewish scholar Gordon Lafar, “but even the liberal authority Rabbi Menachem HaMeiri agrees that a Jew who finds something that was inadvertently lost by a Gentile is not obliged to return it.” [LAFAR, p. 189-190] In this regard, for example, in 1980 Brooklyn rabbi Dovid Katz wrote a book about the 613 mitzvot (i.e., commandments; singular: mitvah) that a good Othodox Jew is expected to fulfill. (Katz notes them as “divine decrees”). [KATZ, D., 1980, untitled preface page] Among those is Mitzvah 69: “It is a positive commandment to return a lost object to a Jew, as the posuk says (Vayikra 22), ‘You should return to your brother.'” Of interesting note here are some of the detailed explanations of this: Katz highlights the Jewish religious “law” as stated by an old — and obviously still influential — Talmudic expert, Rambam [i.e., Maimonides]:

    “3. One is allowed to keep a lost object of a gentile and he who returns it commits
    a sin because he is supporting the wicked people of the world. But if he returns
    it to sanctify G-d’s name, by their saying that the Jews are honest people,
    it is allowed an praiseworthy to return it. Where there will be a profaning of
    G-d’s name one is forbidden to keep the lost object and must return it …
    4. In a city that has Jews and gentiles living together and half are Jews and
    half are gentiles, if one found a lost object he should take the lost object
    and announce it. If a Jew comes and gives a sign, that the object is his,
    he is obligated to return it to him.
    5. If the majority of the city are gentiles, and one finds it in a place where most
    people there are Jews, he must make an announcement. But if it is in a
    place that is mostly gentile, the lost article belongs to the finder and even
    if a Jews gives a sign we do not give it to him. We say he gave up since
    there are mostly gentiles and they would take it for themselves. Still
    the right way is to return it even then to the Jew who gave the sign.”
    [KATZ, D., 1980, p. 211-212]

    In traditional law, Jewish physicians may break the Sabbath (i.e., the rest day) and work in order to help seriously sick Jewish patients. But there are conflicting opinions in religious texts about helping non-Jews, and the allowance to aid ill Gentiles on the Sabbath is not as clear. Apologetic rabbi Immanuel Jacobovitz notes that

    “the special sanction to disregard religious laws in the face of
    danger to life originally operated only in regard to Jewish lives,
    an attitude still upheld, in theory at least, by the Shulkan ‘Arukh …
    Evidently the problem [of what to do about helping non-Jews]
    was not very acute until the 17th century, when many responsa
    [opinions] began to be devoted to it. In principle the more rigorous
    view of the Talmud and the codes was generally maintained, but in
    practice it was admitted that Jewish doctors and midwives — even
    the most religious among them — often violated the Sabbath in their
    attendance of non-Jews, however legally indefensible their action might
    be.” [JACOBOVITS, p. 63]

    An Israeli commentator, Uri Hupperet, is more blunt about the traditional reasons why Orthodox Jewish doctors might help Gentiles on the Sabbath:

    “Saving a Gentile’s life is also subject to pragmatic reasoning. A
    Gentile who is in immediate danger of losing his or her life can
    be saved even on the Sabbath; not based on the philosophy of
    ‘loving thy neighbor,’ but motivated by netivey shalom (preserving
    peace with neighboring Gentiles), or by darkey eivah (avoiding
    atrocities of Gentiles against Jews). It is not the human dimension
    that motivates the command to save a life in this respect, but a
    dimension beneficial to the ethnocentric community that will
    remove ammunition from antagonists of Orthodox Judaism.”
    [HUPPERT, U., 1988, p. 95]

    Peter Novick notes the “psychological and rhetorical” tensions, as he calls them, which traditional Jewish law provided for Jewish American soldiers in World War II:

    “Jewish American GIs were expected — always in principle and sometimes in
    practice — to crawl out under enemy fire to bring in wounded Irish Americans
    or Italian Americans, as the later were expected to do for them. Members of the
    older [Jewish] immigrant generation surely tested much higher for feelings of
    of international Jewish peoplehood. At the same time, and not unconnected with
    this, they were closer to a tradition that made it in principle impermissible to
    violate the laws of Sabbath observance to save the life of a gentile, let alone
    risk one’s own life.” [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 34]

    In the Middle Ages it became customary to spit (usually three times) at a Christian cross (one European king had the word “God” in Hebrew etched on the cross to alleviate the insult). Pious Jews are also traditionally enjoined to curse when passing a non-Jewish cemetery or building inhabited by Gentiles. [SHAHAK, p. 93] To this day, in some traditionally religious communities good Jew ritually curses if he passes a crowd of non-Jews, but utters a blessing when a group is Jewish. [SHAHAK, p. 93] “According to the Talmud,” confirms Reuven Kitelman, “a blessing is to be offered upon seeing a multitude of Jews.” [KITELMAN, p. 147]

    In 1996 Yossi Klein Halevi wrote that during his youth in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, “some Borough Park children said it was a mitzvah, a religious commandment, to spit when you passed a church. An alternative opinion held that it was forbidden to even walk within spitting distance of a church.” [HALEVI, p. 17] “An Orthodox Jew learns from his earliest youth, as part of his sacred studies,” says Israel Shahak, “that Gentiles are compared to dogs, that it is a sin to praise them.” [SHAHAK, p. 96] Institutionally, says Shahak, “The Book of Education, written in the 14th century, is currently a popular book for Israeli schoolchildren, its publication subsidized by the government. Its texts includes material such as ‘The Jewish people are the best of the human species … and worthy to have slaves to serve them. We are commanded to possess them for our service.'” [SHAHAK, p. 95]

    In our own time the occasional exhuming of such anti-Gentile passages from seminal Orthodox Jewish literature for public discourse has garnered storms of Jewish wrath and protest; apologists vehemently argue that such texts are obsolete, misunderstood, ambiguous, or representative of a minority rabbinical opinion among others who took opposing views.

    Those Jews who are familiar with such passages (particularly — but not only — the Orthodox) realize that such texts are guaranteed fuel for anti-Jewish hostility; hence, apologetic Jewish scholars inevitably step forward at the first inkling of these texts gaining any kind of non-Jewish audience, seeking — at all costs — damage control. The fact is that such material was, and is, often very much, part of Jewish Orthodoxy and is seminal to traditional Jewish thought about “others.” Such material is not what the apologetic Jewish community wants known and circulated about them beyond Jewish circles. Nor does it fit modern secular Jewry’s universalistic myths about themselves, that liberal universalism originated in the Jewish religion. “Jews would be pretty embarrassed if some of our own triumphalist literature were better known,” Leah Orlowick, a Conservative rabbi told a Jewish interviewer inquiring about Christianity, “I can show you texts where Jews declare themselves inherently on a higher spiritual level than all non-Jews. And if you’re willing to wade through all the apologetics, the hemming and hawing, I can bring you to Jews who still believe in natural superiority, so let’s not be hypocrites.” [HALBERSTAM, p. 221] One of the best ways of dissimulation by Jewish apologists is to turn the tables of complaint by indignantly arguing that the public examination of such racist Jewish doctrines is, in fact, unreasonable expressions of the investigators’ anti-Semitism.

    Morris Adler’s post-Holocaust (1958) comments, sponsored by the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation, are typical:

    “A distinguished group of Christian scholars have studied the
    Talmud and refuted the vile allegations about it. They have treated
    it as an important phase of historic Judaism and interpreted its
    true character. The most patent absurdities are no longer repeated
    except perhaps by some ranting bigot whose very extremism
    discredits him in the eyes of reasonable people.” [ADLER, M., 1958,
    1963, 1974, p. 12]

    One of the ways Jewish dissimulation works is also like this:

    “The Talmud is full of remarks against idolatry and idolaters; but the
    prevailing opinion of the rabbis is that by idolaters are meant only those
    in Palestine.” [UNIVERSAL JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA, v. 3, p. 4]

    “Idolaters” is traditionally known by Orthodox Jews to be one of the words that can signify, generically, non-Jews anywhere. “The term idolatry,” says E. E. Urbach, “was coined by our sages and included everything connected with a god other than the God of Israel … in practice the laws dealing with idolatry cover all relations between Jews and non-Jews.” [HALBERSTAM, p. 157]

    “The assumption that all Gentiles are by definition idolaters,” says David Novak, “led to a number of important halakhic norms. And although the concept of Noahide, that is, the non-idolatrous Gentile changed this assumption, many of the norms based upon it remained, albeit in modified form in most cases.” [NOVAK, Image, p. 115]

    “As far as Christians being idolaters,” says Ronald Modras, “the state of Jewish law on the matter was confused. Medieval Jews generally regarded Christianity as an idolatrous religion. But laws prohibiting interaction with idolaters were not applied to Christians with any uniformity … [Jews] often regarded themselves as a civilized people living among barbarians.” [MODRAS, p. 193]

    Jacob Minkin notes that “Maimonides classed the Christian in the category of idol worshippers.” [MINKIN, p. 318] And “an Israelite who worships an idol,” says Maimonides, “is regarded as an idolator in all respects … the penalty for which is death by stoning.” [MINKIN, p. 318] Maimonides also had this to say about “idolators”: “It is forbidden to show them mercy, as it was said, ‘nor show no mercy unto them (Deut. 7:2) … You [also] learn that it is forbidden to heal idolators even for a fee. But if one is afraid of them or apprehends that refusal might cause ill will, medical treatment may be given for a fee but not gratuitiously.” [HARKABI, p. 157] “Maimonides exempts the Muslims from the category of idolators,” says former Israeli army official Yehoshafat Harkabi, “but the Christians, by contrast, were explicitly included … [HARKABI, p. 157] … The classification of Christians as idolators has apparently become widespread and accepted in religious literature [today]. This is not merely a theoretical matter, since practical conclusions flow from it.” [HARKABI, p. 159]

    With the increasing rise of a “back to the roots” Jewish nationalist Orthodoxy in Israel (and in considerable degree in the United States), and irretrievably tainted by the influence of modern western pan-human moralities, some Jews are stirring with serious moral qualms about bygone eras’ interpretation of seminal Jewish religious literature returning to credibility. An Israeli rabbi, Tzvi Marx, for example, has lamented the dangers of traditionalist understanding of some talmudic, and even Torah, texts. These includes the likening of Arabs to dogs and the notion that Jews are human beings but “idolaters” are not. [from the Talmud, BT Yebamot 61a, also BT Baba Metzia 114b, MARX, p. 44] Elsewhere, Rabbi Marx bemoans talmudic rabbi Shimon bar Yohai’s “infamous teaching” and “dehumanizing depiction” of non-Jews, stemming from the Torah line that states: “And you [only you Jews] my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are men.” [EZEK. 34:21]

    “The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews,” said influential rabbi Yitzhak Hacohen Kook (spiritual leader of today’s Gush Emunim messianic movement) in the early 20th century, “– all of them in all different levels — is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle.” [BROWNFELD, A., MARCH 2000, p. 105-106]

    How popularly widespread are such brutal dehumanizations of non-Jews in traditional — even secular — Jewish culture? In a 1961 study of Jewish-Americans (not focusing solely on the Orthodox), Judith Kramer and Seymour Leventman noted that

    “Even in the Yiddish language [the common language of immigrant Jews
    from central and eastern Europe, where more Jews lived, til Hitler, than
    any other place in the world] … popular usage distinguished between
    Jews and non-Jews by employing different verbs to describe the
    behavior. Reserved for gentiles are words otherwise used in reference
    to animals: e.g., Jews eat (essen), but goyim eat like pigs (fressen);
    Jews die (starben), but goyim die like dogs (pagern); Jews take a drink
    (trinken), but goyim drink like sots (soifen).” [KRAMER, p. 107]

    (For the people and their language that is ever innocent, Jewish author Leo Wiener reflected a common Jewish perception in 1899: “There is probably no other language in existence on which so much opprobrium has been heaped as on Yiddish. Such a bias can be explained only as a manifestation of a general prejudice against everything Jewish.” [ HERZ, J., 1954, p. 82] In 1999, as part of widespread Jewish public relations efforts to veil the essences of traditional Jewish identity, unsuspecting non-Jews in Poland were invited to sit in on a brief “course” for them at the 9th Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow. It was entitled, however incongruously, Jezyk jidisz dla kazdego (“Yiddish for Everyone”). A Polish monthly tourist magazine noted that the festival “plays a not insignificant role in breaking down bad stereotypes in Polish-Jewish relations.” [MIESAC w KRAKOWIE, p. 3] )

    “Every Jew is familiar with the works of Hillel,” says Chaim Bermant,

    “and the precept of ‘love they neighbor as thyself’ is at the heart of Judaism, yet
    every student brought up on the Babylonian Talmud — and it must be remembered
    that for many centuries, especially in Poland, the Jews studied little else — is
    inculcated with a disdain for the gentile which has entered into Jewish lore and into
    the very expressions of the Yiddish language.” [BERMAN, C., 1977, p. 35]

    This human/non-human kind of Yiddish linguistic distinction between Jews and non-Jews has been transposed to Hebrew and Jewish culture in modern day Israel. “The immediate referent of the Israelis is a Jew,” says Charles Liebman and Steven Cohen, “Indeed the very term Jew is used colloquially as a synonym for person.” [LIEBMAN/COHEN, p. 166] This kind of degradation of the Gentile world is also reflected in the Hebrew words for Jewish immigrants who come to live in Israel from around the world, and, conversely, those who leave the Jewish state. Those who come to Israel are olim, which means to ascend. Those who leave Israel for non-Jewish lands are yordim, “from the root meaning to ‘descend,’ but also to ‘decline’ and to ‘deteriorate.'” [AVRUCH, K., 1981, p. 56]

    In a discussion concerning Jewish perspectives on slavery (about which there is “no negative attitude” in Biblical or rabbinical literature) Judah Rosenthal, Professor of Biblical Exegesis at the College of Jewish Studies in Chicago, also notes Rabbi Yohai’s weighty opinion on the biblical sheep reference and that, indeed, the old rabbi believed the “concept of man refers only to Israel.” A more tolerant opinion, in Rosenthal’s view, was that of another Talmudic contributor, Rabbi Akiba, who wrote that “Beloved is the man that he was created in the image of God.” However, adds Rosenthal, Rabbi Akiba also believed that a citation from Leviticus 25:46 (“You should keep them [non-Jews] in slavery forever”) was an “obligation.” [ROSENTHAL, p. 70-71] This echoes Maimonide’s belief that keeping a Gentile slave “forever” was a “normative commandment.” [ROSENTHAL, p. 71]

    Maimonides also said this:

    “A Gentile slave has to be enslaved forever … one of the main reasons
    being that since the Jewish nation is the elite of the human race …
    they deserve to have slaves serve them.” [ROSENTHAL, p. 71]


    “A man may give his bondswoman [female slave] to his [male] slave
    or to his neighbor’s slave … since they are regarded as cattle.”
    [ROSENTHAL, p. 71]

    (“The Torah hardly abolishes slavery,” notes Edward Greenstein, “The Bible assumed slavery as a given and gave it a role. A slave was an indentured servant who could repay his debts through labor.”) [GREENSTEIN, E., 1984, p. 96]

    Along the same lines, Isaac Abravenel (1437-1508), a prominent Jewish scholar of the Middle Ages, “considered Israel to be superior to other nations and therefore, he [Israel] is entitled to be their masters.” [ROSENTHAL, p. 73] There are also Jews who believe such things, quite literally, today. In a 1980 speech by Israeli rabbi Moshe Halevi Segal, he proclaimed that

    “All nations should surrender to us, to the King of Israel, to the Messiah
    of G-d of Jacob, and should be taught exclusively by us. They must
    desert their false beliefs and cultures, and the social system dangerous
    to us, to leave this treacherous democracy … Democracy … confuses
    the truth and justice.” [SPRINZAK, p. 273]

    The Orthodox “Chabad” movement is a very popular, and activist, movement in America and Israel today, seeking to pull wayward secular Jews back to the religious fold. For decades this organization was headed by Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, who died in the 1990s. “The difference between a Jewish and a non-Jewish person,” said Schneerson,

    “stems from the common expression: ‘Let us differentiate.’ Thus, we do
    not have a case of profound change in which a person is merely on a
    superior level. Rather, we have a case of ‘let us differentiate’ between
    totally different species. This is what needs to be said about the body:
    the body of a Jewish person is of a totally different quality from the
    body of [members] of all nations of the world … A non-Jew’s entire
    reality is only vanity. It is written, ‘And the strangers shall guard and
    feed your flocks’ (Isaiah 61:5). The entire creation [of a non-Jew] exists
    only for the sake of the Jews.” [BROWNFELD, A., MARCH 2000,
    p. 105-106]

    Some talmudic — and other — citations also dictate that only non-Jewish corpses are “unclean.” This, says Rabbi Tsvi Marx, has an “attitudinal impact [that] is far reaching … and ethically devastating when taken literally.” The idea, for instance, that only Jews can have ritually “unclean” corpses can be, and is, interpreted by many Orthodox Jews to mean that non-Jews are not technically of the same essential material as Jews, and, thus less — or not at all — human. “In the Talmudic tradition Jews are often depicted as reflecting “the image of God,” says Moshe Greenberg, “but not the non-Jews. R [abbi] Yohanon, for instance, says Jews ‘were purged of their pollution; the Gentiles … were not. R [abbi] Shmuel Edel is among those who collaborated this view.” [GREENBERG, p. 31-32]

    Rabbi Marx adds that in the English Soncino Talmud translation concerning tractate Yebamot (p. 405, footnote 2), readers are informed that Rabbi Simeon b. Yohait says that “only an Israelite … can be said to have been like Adam, created in the image of God. Idol worshippers [i.e., non-Jews] hav[e] marred the Divine image and forfeit all claim to this appellation.” [MARX, p. 44] Marx brings up the influential Maimonides again too, in another context. According to Maimonides’ interpretation of earlier rabbinical arguments, Marx worries that in Jewish religious law the “murder of a gentile seems not to be a punishable offense.” [MARX, p. 45]

    Again, Maimonides is no rabbinical slouch, and is not obscure. His opinion on all matters is respected by Orthodox Jews to this day. “Ignoring the weighty legal opinion of Maimonides,” says Eugene Korn, “is always a risky strategy.” [KORN, p. 271] Of the Jewish sages, Maimonides was also “the most consistent advocate of …. suzerainty over Gentiles.” [NOVAK, The Image, p. 114] In fact, Maimonides also wrote the following, referring to the biblical figure Noah, who was not Jewish:

    “Moses [commanded] on the authority of God to compel all human
    beings to accept the commandments that were commanded to Noah,
    and he who does not accept [them] is killed.” [KORN, p. 266]

    “The context of [this],” says Eugene Korn, “is [Maimonide’s] description of an ideal polity under Jewish sovereignty.” [KORN, p. 266] Such a world view in traditional Jewish thinking is usually swept under the rug in modern popular discourse. A case in point is the complete lack of historical context in which popular Jewish commentary condemns those non-Jews who readily accepted (and still accept) the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the best known anti-Jewish text in modern history. (Originating in Eastern Europe, the Protocols claimed to be an actual document from a secret Jewish cabal). “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” notes Richard Levy,

    “one of the most important forgeries of modern times, presents a
    Jewish plot to take over the world and to reduce non-Jews to slavery …
    The Protocols found a huge audience, especially following the
    turbulent times following World War I … Why has the Protocols
    of Elders of Zion, a shameless fraud, seized the imagination and
    informed the political judgment of [anti-Semitic] men and women
    throughout the twentieth century?” [SEGEL, p. 3]

    Like virtually all Jews who pose such a question, they do not actively seek an answer from within their own community — i.e., they are really not interested in an honest answer. Why would anyone fall for the idea of a Jewish plot to dominate the world aimed at holding all others in subjugation? Maimonides, above, in classical religious thinking, points to the beginning of an answer. Orthodox conviction that God will favor Jews at the “end of days” to, in some form, rule the world is yet another marker. The Torah/Old Testament states expected Jewish domination clearly in a number of places — for example:

    “The Gentile shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness
    of thy rising … the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee …
    Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be
    shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the
    Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom
    that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly
    wasted.” [ISAIAH 60, 1-12]

  12. [ISAIAH 60, 1-12]

    “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance,
    and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt
    break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a
    potter’s vessel.” [PSALMS 2: 8-9]

    “Thus saith the Lord, ‘The labor of Egypt, and merchandise of
    Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto
    thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee, in chains they
    shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make
    supplication unto thee, saying, ‘Surely God is in thee; and there is none
    else, there is no [other] God.'” [ISAIAH 46: 14]

    [See John Hartung’s article about the roots of the Israelites’ war-based ethnocentrism and how it has been popularly transformed in much of Christian tradition (and some reforming strands of Judaism) into a benevolent “light of nations” scenario; HARTUNG, 1995]

    As Old Testament scholar John Allegro has noted:

    “The history of the Jews as revealed in the Torah was thus in a sense
    coextensive with the story of mankind, and in Adam’s supremacy of
    the beasts of the field [GEN. 1:26] could be seen figured from the
    Creation the eventual dominion of the Jew of the whole world …
    [ALLEGRO, J., 1971, p. 61] … Yahweh [the Israelite God] is not
    just a tribal deity, but the God of the Universe. His Chosen People
    are not just another ethnos: they are the Sons of God, destined to rule
    the world.” [ALLEGRO, p. 162]

    “One of the basic tenets of the Lurianic Cabbala [a strain of Jewish mysticism],” note Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky, “is the absolute superiority of the Jewish soul and body over the non-Jewish soul and body. According to the Lurianic Cabbala, the world was created solely for the sake of the Jews; the existence of non-Jews was subsidiary.” [BROWNFELD, A., MARCH 2000, p. 105-106] A(n ultra-Orthodox) Chabad-sponsored Internet website, geared for non-Jews, frames this world view discretely:

    “What is the key to salvation? Those who return to the Law (the Seven
    Commandments for the Children of Noah, according to the eternal covenant
    made with Noah in Genesis 9) and who assist the Jewish people (Isaiah 60.
    61, 66) will be saved and will participate in the miracles and revelations,
    including worshipping in the Third Temple, under the kingship of the Messiah.
    As described in many places, including Jeremiah 16:19-21 and Zechariah 8:20-23,
    all the old gentile religions of the world will disappear, and their followers
    will turn to Jews for spiritual leadership.” [NOAH’S COVENANT WEBSITE,

    As prominent anti-Jewish critic Henry Ford once said about his own publishing of an edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

    “You will find we at no time guaranteed their authenticity. We have
    merely stated what they contain and have paralleled this with what
    actually took place and are leaving it to the mind of the public to
    judge.” [WARREN, D., 1996, p. 150-151]

    In 1920, the London Times reviewed the Protocols, not with condemnation, but with the uneasy sense that much of what the Protocols proclaimed, forgery or not, was coming to pass on the world scene:

    “What are these ‘Protocols?’ … Are they a forgery? If so, whence comes the
    uncanny note of prophecy, prophecy in parts fulfilled, in parts far gone in
    the way of fulfilment? Have we been struggling these tragic years to blow up
    and extirpate the secret organisation of German world dominion ony to find beneath
    it another, more dangerous because more secret? Have we been straining every
    fibre of our national body, escaped of a ‘Pax Germanica’ only to fall into a
    ‘Pax Judaica?’ The ‘Elders of Zion’ as represented in their ‘Protocols’ are by
    no means kinder taskmasters than William II and his henchmen would have
    been.” [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 33]

    We may seek further clues to Gentile receptivity to the fictitious Protocols due to Jewish identity itself and the inevitable expressions, in day-to-day life with the goyim through history, of Jewish supremacy and domination.

    “Throughout their history,” says Israeli Jay Gonen, “the Jews … entertained feelings of superiority over Gentiles … It therefore became a prevalent notion among Jews that they are supposed to use their heads while the Gentiles do the dirty work.” [GONEN, p. 137] “A Jewish servant or labourer is almost unknown in Egypt,” noted one “Mr. Samuel” in his late 19th century Jewish Life in the East, “our people here as elsewhere being infected with that dislike for manual labor and that preference for earning our living with our heads which is at once the strength of our upper and the destruction of our lower classes.” [SMITH, G., 1881/1959, p. 18]

    Israeli-born David Grossman notes the expression of this elitist Jewish attitude in modern Israel. Much of his 1988 volume, The Yellow Wind, explores Jewish exploitation of its Arab underclass for menial labor. The following is an interchange Grossman had with a small Arab child in a West Bank refugee camp. It is, as Grossman consistently notes, far from an isolated example of how young Palestinian experiences and world views about Jews are being shaped by their overseers.

    “[Grossman]: Do you know who the Jews are?
    [Boy:] The army.
    Are there other Jews?
    What does your father do?
    And your mother?
    She works in Jerusalem for the Jews. Cleans their houses.”
    [GROSSMAN, D., 1988, p. 24]

    In the same book, Grossman expands upon this theme of socialized Jewish racism and exploitation of a menial underclass, illustrated by an incident with one of his neighbors in Jerusalem:

    “An Arab woman cleans the stairwell at the [Jewish] housing project
    in which I live. Her name is Amuna, and she lives in Ramallah [an
    Arab town]. I talk to her from time to time. A three-year-old
    [Jewish] boy, the son of one of our neighbors, used to seeing her
    bent over a pail of water, heard us talking and was surprised — I
    saw it on his face. He asked her name and I told him. Afterwards,
    he asked what we had talked about in Arabic, and I explained. He
    thought a minute and said: ‘Amuna is a little bit a person and a little
    bit a dog, right?’ I asked him why he said that. He explained: ‘She
    is a little bit dog, because she always walks on all fours. And she
    is also a little bit of a person, because she knows how to talk.”
    End of story.” [GROSSMAN, D., 1988, p. 214-215]

    In 1911 the prominent Zionist A. D. Gordon (an early pioneer to Palestine/Israel) surveyed his Jewish people and culture — Orthodox or not — with concern, writing:

    “We [Jews] have developed an attitude of looking down on manual labor.
    We must not deceive ourselves in this regard, nor shut our eyes to our
    grave deficiencies, not merely as individuals but as a people. The well-
    known Talmudic saying, that when the Jews do God’s will their labor is
    done for them by others is characteristic of our attitudes. This saying is
    significant. It demonstrates how far this attitude has become an
    instinctive feeling within us, a second nature.” [GORDON, p. 679]

    The “Labor Zionism” political movement sought to readjust urban Jews to farm labor in the early years of Zionism in Palestine/Israel. But Rosemary Reuther even notes the same old Jewish propensity to function as overseers has come to the fore in modern Israel:

    “The sabra [native-born Jewish Israeli], redeemed from Diaspora
    weakness, with a gun in one hand and a plow in the other, has
    become a military-political-industrial ruling elite. Many Jews no
    longer work the land with their own hands or do any kind of
    manual labor. For many, such labor is now seen as ‘Arab work.'”
    [ELLIS, M., 1990, p. 150]

    Israeli Nimrod Tevlin recalled his youth in Russia:

    “After [the first year of college], we [members of a Zionist organization]
    decided to quit and spend full time preparing to emigrate to
    Palestine. Hardly any of us, however, had backgrounds as workers —
    heavy physical work like farming was considered work for the
    goyim.” [GORKIN, M., 1971, p. 56]

    The 1989 Russian census clearly evidences this traditional Jewish proclivity to avoid manual labor. And why have so few Jews ever worked in Russian factories? Jewish scholar Michael Paul Sacks, in a common Jewish apologetic theme to be elaborated upon in depth in this book later, has the stock answer: anti-Semitism among the working class. “There was little to attract Jews to work in the factory,” says Sacks, “Surveys have shown greater levels of anti-Semitism among blue-collar workers and those with lower levels of education … There can be no doubt that in comparison with professional or semi-professional employment, Jews in blue-collar jobs were an especially small minority.” [SACKS, M., 1998. [p. 265]

    Chone Shmeruk notes the practical implications of such feeling in pre-war World War II Warsaw: “As far as my district goes [where I lived in Warsaw] … it was exclusively Jewish. The only non-Jews there were the janitors, who usually had small apartments near the entrance.” [SHMERUK, p. 326] [See also later discussions of American Jewry’s propensity towards employing maids, especially African-Americans, for menial labor [in the POPULAR CULTURE chapter], as well as the traditional non-Jewish Saturday servant known as the shabbes goy].

    What are we to make of the disturbing implications of these words, in 2001, from Michael Finkel, in a New York Times article? :

    “Moshe lives in Israel, which happens to be one of the more active nations in the
    international organ-trafficking market. The market, which is completely illegal, is
    so complex and well organized that a single transaction often crosses three
    continents … Israel also does not contriute much to the supply side of the
    equation. Organ donation is extremely low; an estimated 3 percent of Israelis
    have signed donor cards … Paying for an organ has become so routine in Israel
    that there have been instances in which a patient has elected not to accept the
    offer of a kidney donation from a well-matched relative. ‘Why risk harm to
    a family member?’ one patient told me.” [FINKEL, M., 5-27-01]

    Early Zionist Arthur Ruppin notes an incident in which he found a Gentile cutting wood for a Jew in Eastern Europe. Ruppin suggested that there were Jews would might be able to use the work, but the employer noted that “a Jew does not undertake such work, even when he’s starving; it is not suitable for a Jew.” [MACDONALD, p. 23]

    During the California Gold Rush in the mid-19th century, many Jews hurried to the mining areas, but not to labor for gold. Their demeanor was noted by Hinton Rowan Helper, “whose tract, The Impending Crisis of the South, would soon crystallize opinions concerning slavery … [Helper] ws as vociferous in his claims of Jewish laziness in the gold rush as he was in condemnation of the southern slaveholder. With regards to the Jews he wrote: ‘Mining, the cultivation of the soil, in a word, any occupation that requires exposure to weather, is too fatiguing and intolerable for them. The law requiring man to get bread by the sweat of his brow is an injunction with which they refuse to comply.'” [LEVINSON, R., 1978, p. 13]

    Another contemporary of the Gold Rush, J. D. Bothwick observed that

    “In traveling through the mines from one end to the other, I never saw a Jew lift
    a pick or shovel to do a single stroke of work, or, in fact, occupy himself in any
    other way than in selling slops. while men of other classes and of every nation
    showed such versatility in betaking themselves to whatever business or occupation
    appeared at the time to be most advisable without reference to their antecedents,
    and, in a country where no man, to whatever class of society he belonged, was
    in the least degree ashamed to roll up his sleeves and dig in the mines for gold,
    or to engage in any other kind of manual labour, it was a remarkable fact that the
    Jews were the only people whom this was not observable.” [LEVINSON, R.,
    1978, p. 13]

    In his autobiography, well-known Yiddish author Sholem Aleichem watched a ferryman in Eastern Europe absorbed in the difficult physical task of pulling a boat across a river. “Only a Goy could do work like that, not a Jew,” he wrote, “The Bible says of Esau [non-Jews], ‘And thou shalt serve they brother.’ It is good that I am a descendant of Jacob [Jacob: Jews] and not of Esau.” [LINDEMANN, Esau’s, p. 5] Albert Lindemann also notes the case of “the eminent Jewish-American intellectual Sidney Hook [who] remembered how, as a boy, he had asked his religion teacher about the injustice of what Jacob did to Esau. The teacher responded, ‘What kind of question is that? Esau was an animal.'” [LINDEMANN, p. 5]

    This Jacob-Esau division is another deep source of enduring Jewish racism and elitism per their supposed genius in outwitting others. The story of Jacob and Esau is from the biblical Genesis. They were the two sons (twins) of Isaac (son of the seminal Jewish patriarch Abraham) and Rebecca. Jacob, however, is understood in Jewish lore as an early patriarch of the Jewish ancestral lineage, Esau is not. Esau is an ancestor of Gentiles. And as the Torah (Genesis 25.21-23) states it, God told the pregnant Rebecca that “two nations are in thy womb, two nationalities will emerge from inside of thee. And one people will be stronger than the other — the elder will serve the younger.” The “younger” of course was Jacob, ancestor of the Jews. “If you fail Jacob,” notes traditional Yiddish folklore, “you aid Esau.” [KUMOVE, S., 1985, p. 81]

    Albert Lindemann notes the later development of this brother tale:

    “In the biblical account, Jacob conspires with his mother, Rebecca,
    to trick Esau out of receiving the blessing of their aged and blind
    father, Isaac. Esau, the first-born, had already foolishly given over
    his birthright to Jacob in exchange for a bowl of lentils. But Esau
    remained Isaac’s favorite … Esau was outraged when he discovered
    that he and his father had been duped, that Jacob had posed as his
    older brother [to his blind father] and had gained Isaac’s blessing …
    Anti-Semites of various shapes have drawn upon the Jacob-Esau tale
    as proof of the incorrigible cunning and moral corruption of the Jews
    throughout history … Even in the 1990s, the notion of a somehow
    unbridgeable gap between Esau and Jacob, Gentile and Jew, remains
    central to traditional Jewish perspectives (‘Esau always hates Jacob,’
    ‘The Messiah will not come until the tears of Esau have been
    exhausted.’)” [LINDEMANN, Esau’s, p. 4-5]

    “[Jacob’s] deception,” says Shlomo Riskin, “was orchestrated by his mother, perhaps even ordained by God, but his feeling of guilt never leaves him.” [RISKIN, S., 1994, p. 5B] Esau, notes Nathan Ausubel, “surnamed ‘the wicked’ in Jewish folklore, is portrayed as a fierce warrior and hunter, preoccupied with fighting and the chase. Jacob, on the other hand, is depicted as a gentle scholar, always found in the House of Study in pursuit of divine instruction.” [AUSUBEL, p. 28] Jacob, however, in the original story, was the treacherous brother. One Jewish observer, Hugh Blumenfeld, has noted with consternation that the brother who was morally righteous, Esau, is so much condemned in Jewish lore. “It floors me,” Blumenfeld told a Jewish newspaper, “because he is the one who forgives his brother, who tries to do right by the end of the story.” [KATZ-STONE, 1999, p. 47]

    Rabbi Yisroel Yaaikov Klapholz notes the traditional Talmudic views of the Esau (Gentiles) – Jacob (Jews) dialectic:

    “Rebekah became pregnant with twins … Esau said to Jacob: ‘If
    you do not let me come out first, I will kill my mother as I leave her
    stomach.’ Jacob said: ‘That evildoer is a murderer even before his
    birth’ … One [son] will adorn himself with Torah, the other will boast
    of his sins. Both will be hated by other nations and both will rule
    the world. But in the end, the descendants of your righteous son
    shall reign supreme. After Esau’s rule, no other nation shall reign
    but Israel. G-d [God] also revealed to Rebekah that He loves Jacob
    and despises Esau … Rebekah called one son Jacob, the other Esau.
    Esau was born ruddy all over, like a hairy mantle, his redness
    indicating that he was of a murderous nature … Esau … refused to
    be circumcized for the rest of his life. Jacob, on the other hand, was
    born circumcized.” [KLAPHOLZ, p. 14-16]

    One of Rabbi Klapholz’s chapters in a book he authored is called “Jacob’s Innocence and Esau’s Cunning.” “People saw the deeds of the two youths,” says Klapholz, “and said: ‘Esau is a thorn-bush and Jacob a fragrant flower.’ The cunning Esau was always plotting to do evil.” [KLAPHOLZ, p. 17]

    Samuel Heilman, an anthropologist and an Orthodox Jew, notes, from the usual Jewish martyrological view, the Jacob-Esau subject in the Hasidic community:

    “‘Jacob and Esau are two opposites,’ as Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam
    (1848-1906) of Bobov, Poland, put it in commonly heard terms
    that saw Jews and Gentiles symbolized by the two Biblical brothers,
    ‘and it is unthinkable that there should be any connection between
    them in any way.’ If much of the two thousand years of the diaspora
    had led to Jewish persecution and degradation, these Jews responded
    by categorizing everyone who was not a Jew as some inferior being.”
    [HEILMAN, S., 1992, p. 19]

    Throughout Jewish tradition, the origin of hatred of Jewish arch-enemies is the most primitive sort: animosities are rooted in clan-based feuds. The despised are actually blood-related with common, not so terribly distant, ancestors. As noted, the Israelite patriarch Abraham had two sons: Isaac and Ishmael. Isaac is considered by modern day Jews to represent the Jewish lineage; Ishmael, even according to Islamic tradition, fathered the Arab line. In the Jewish family tree, Isaac’s sons were Jacob and Esau: Esau is a kind of symbolic patriarch of all Gentiles. Only the children of Jacob are considered to continue the Jewish line. Esau fathered Eliphaz, who in turn fathered Amalek, the most-hated enemy in Jewish tradition. [More, at length, about Amalek later. For purposes here, suffice it to note — as startling as it may sound — that the Old Testament commands Jews to “blot out the memory” of him by exterminating all his descendants. To read about Amalek now, click here] Amalek is, hence, actually not that terribly remote from the Jewish bloodline: he was the great-great grandson of Abraham.

    Joshua Cohen notes traditional Jewish perspective of the Amalek story:

    “The Talmudic sages tell us that the Jewish fathers — Abraham, Isaac
    and Jacob — rejected [Amalek’s mother’s] offer to convert and that her
    rejection resulted in Amalek’s hatred of Israel … In a way then, this
    [Talmudic] midrash tells the origin of the prejudice that western tradition
    would later call anti-Semitism … The Amalekites … were the first enemies
    of the Jews after their emergence from Egypt as a full-fledged nation …
    Not only do Jews and Amalekites share a common ancestry; Jewish
    humanity and Amalekite bigotry were encoded in the same seed.”
    [COHEN, J., p. 296-297]

    The Israelites/Jews continued on their separatist course thus conceptually armed, victims of senseless bigotry, as they saw it, through history.

    Before we move on, however, we must yet mention again the influential sage Maimonides, whose pronouncements still find widespread credibility in Jewish culture (particularly amidst the Orthodox in our own day). According to Maimonides, notes Eugene Korn:

    “Only with the commission of grievous sins do a small minority of Jews
    lose their share in the world to come. The reverse proposition appears
    to be true for Gentiles: Immortality for non-Jews would be the exception,
    open to a small minority. Thus we arrive at arbitrary inequality, the
    essence of injustice.” [KORN, p. 270]

    Some modern, and influential, rabbis like Rav Velvel Soloveitchik interpret such Maimonides opinions to their most ominous degree. “Not only is the rational and autonomous moral [non-Jewish] person denied wisdom and a share in the world to come,” says Eugene Korn, ” … it robs all non-believers and their cultures of any intellectual, religious, or even human value.” [KORN, p. 281] “By modern standards,” observes Lenni Brenner, “Judaism is jarring in its ethnic and religious chauvinism, and extreme and contradictory in its social ethics, real and ideal.” [BRENNER, p. 41]

    Israel Shahak, both an Israeli citizen and Holocaust survivor, underscores that racism, stemming from the Jewish Chosen People concept, is intrinsic to the Orthodox Jewish faith. “The rabbis,” he writes, “and, even worse, the apologetic ‘scholars of Judaism’ know this very well and for this reason they do not try to argue against such views inside the Jewish community; and of course they never mention them outside it. Inside, they vilify any Jew who raises such matters within earshot of Gentiles, and they issue deceitful denials in which the art of equivocation reaches its summit. For example, they state, using general terms, the importance which Judaism attaches to mercy; but what they forget to point out is that according to the Halakhah [Jewish religious law] ‘mercy’ means mercy towards Jews.” [SHAHAK, p. 96]

    Note, for example, the apologetics of professor Robert Pois, who, like many, turns the usual dissimulatives about a “selective interpretation” of the Talmud into the implication that only Nazis and their kindred would, in overview, entertain negative opinion about this important Jewish religious work:

    “The selective mining of Talmudic sources … has been a traditional
    approach of anti-Semites for some time. Yes, there are nasty anti-heathen
    (read anti-Christian) comments in the Talmud. But … the 63 sections of
    this compendium of Jewish oral law and folklore … was not informed by
    a systematic theology. Rather, it was, literally, commentary. In a word,
    it was a panoply of opinions of one or the other religious and social
    issues … Obviously, if one wants to depict the Talmud as being
    consistently anti-Goy, great selectivity is necessary. Such was revealed
    in that tradition which informed the writings of Houston Stewart
    Chamberlain and Alfred Rosenberg.” [ROIS, R., 1998]

    Chamberlain and Rosenberg, of course, were prominent Nazi ideologues. Pois here infers that to investigate assertions of Jewish racism in its sacred works can only be the interest of a Nazi.

    The origin of the chauvinist Jewish worldview, which will surface many times in this volume, is, again, the traditional Jewish notion of themselves as the “Chosen People” of God. This idea, wrote J. O. Hertzler, is “literally and vividly maintained … in a very decided Judeocentric view of history and the world.” [HERTZLER, p. 70] It is often referred to as “chosenness,” or “election,” as if there had been a divine vote cast somewhere to confirm their self-perceived specialness. “The Jews may stand astride time and eternity,” wrote Arthur A. Cohen, “… This is unavoidably an aristocratic mission.” [EISENSTEIN, I. p. 275] “Alas,” says Ze’ev Levy, “the concept of chosenness entails ethnocentrism, for the better (in the past) or the worse (today). Chosenness does not go with otherness, that is, with unconditional respect of others.” [LEVY, p. 104] This is an understatement. “The concept of an eternal selection,” says Moshe Greenberg, “eventually merges with a doctrine of spiritual-racial superiority, rooted, it seems, in the biblical term ‘holy seed’ … [According to the Old Testament/Torah, Ezra 9:2] holiness inheres in the seed and is hereditary.” [GREENBERG, p. 31]

    “The word ‘chosen’ [per ‘Chosen People’],” notes Arnold Eisen, “is used sparingly in the Bible, to convey the passion of choosing. Its antonym is not ‘considered impartially’ or ‘ignored,’ but ‘despised.'” [EISEN, p. RHETORIC, p. 66] “The Jewish religion,” wrote Arthur Koestler, “unlike any other, is racially discriminating, nationally segregative, and socially tension-creating.” [LINDEMANN, p. 20]

    The continuing debate about this within the Jewish community by liberal and secular thinkers is generally framed euphemistically in the contrasting terms of “particularism and universalism.” While most Jews tend to be apologetic for this term, particularism actually refers to the purely self-concern, self-aggrandizement, racism, and ethnocentrism of traditional Jewish thinking (to the systemic detriment of non-Jews) throughout the centuries. This was consistently manifest by a Jewish segregated lifestyle, tight knit community, different Jewish moral standards for behavior towards Jews and non-Jews, racial and hereditary obsessions, and condescending views of all non-Jews around them. Universalism, on the other hand, refers to a shift in Jewish moral thinking (like everyone else) beginning with the Enlightenment, exemplified in a liberalizing Germany with the universalizing ideas of philosophers like Immanuel Kant. Universalism embodies the notion that Jewish particularism (or any other) is morally incorrect and obsolete and that spiritual and secular laws should be the same for everyone, all-inclusive. (As Israel Shahak notes, the Jews of Europe did not fight for freedom and liberation from their own stagnant ghetto ideology of particularism; emancipation was a gift of universalistic benevolence from the surrounding non-Jewish community which opened the doors for Jews to leave their distinctive ideological ghetto.) [SHAHAK, p. 17]

    Monford Harris calls tradition Jewish conception of its collective self in our modern, post-Emancipation universalistic age “the scandal of particularity.” “The current definitions of Jewishness derive from emancipation-era expeiences,” he noted in 1965,

    “Until that time Jews knew very well what Jewishness was. Emancipation-era
    Jewishness was involved with understanding itself through universally valid
    categories, and in the process authentic Jewish understanding of Jewishness
    is rejected. The Jewish understanding of Jewishness had become too particular
    and parochial for modern premises.” [HARRIS, M., 1965, p. 85]

    Eventually recognizing that complete acceptance of a universalistic ethic towards their fellow human beings could only mean serious endangerment of the “particularist” Jewish identity, liberalizing elements of world Jewry over past decades have moved to proclaim two antithetical ideas as essential parts of Jewish identity: both an allegiance to “Chosen People” Judeo-centrism and pan-human universalism. This is managed by the enduring Judeo-centric notion that distinctly Jewish hands must cling to the steering wheel of humanity itself as some form of a Jewish leadership “mission”: in the pseudo-religious sphere, this is generally expressed as some version of “We Jews are fated to lead all of humanity to its destiny.” In this new Chosen People construct, Jews can thereby still take satisfaction in their presumed exceptionality, but it is now (supposedly) morally adjusted to do some good for others in their wake.

    “In the very emphasis upon the particular,” says Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin, “this singular family [Jews] reflected the noblest form of universalism.” [DONIN, p. 8] “We Jews are a narrow, nationalist, self-centered people, ” observes Samuel Dresner, “There is no point in denying it … [Yet] in all of Judaism … particularism and universalism go hand in hand … Particularism and universalism, both are essentials of Judaism.” [DRESNER, p. 50-51] “Jewish pride, Jewish chauvinism, Jewish particularism,” says Roger Kamenetz, “– the idea that we are a special chosen people — seems to contradict the very universalistic prophetic messages Judaism also teaches.” [KAMENETZ, R., 1994, p. 150]

    Knowing the foundation of Judeo-centric religious history, such Jewish proclamation is peculiar:

    “We [Jews] are under no obligation to forcefully convert non-Jews,”
    says Reuven Bulka, “On the contrary, we must carefully avoid any
    coercive conversion practices. However, it is another matter when the
    issue is enlightening the world with Judaic values.” [BULKA, p. 18]

    “Why did God choose Israel?” asks Alfred Jospe, “Because all other nations refused to accept Torah. Originally, God had offered it to all nations of the world. But the children of Esau [non-Jews] rejected it because they could not reconcile themselves to the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ The Moabites declined the offer because they felt they could not accept the commandment ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery.’ The Ishamaelites [traditional ancestors of today’s Arabs] refused it because they could not square their habits with the commandment, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’” [JOSPE, p. 14]

    This is of course yet another manifestation of classical Jewish ethnocentrism, often arrogance, and even today sometimes racism, false-fronted by an illusionary claim of Jewish service to humanity, a service conceived to be more special than any other. Jewish scholar Norman Cantor states the true essence of traditional Jewish identity succinctly:

    “The covenant idea is the polar opposite of democracy, multiculturalism,
    and ethnic equality.” [CANTOR, p. 21]

    “Jewish values,” adds Charles Liebman,

    “… are folk-oriented rather than universalist, ethnocentric rather than
    cosmopolitan, and at least one major strand in Jewish tradition expresses
    indifference, fear, and even hostility to the non-Jew.” [LIEBMAN, C., p.

    “In Borough Park’s language,” says Yossi Klein Halevi, referring to the Orthodox community where he was raised, “‘universalist’ was a synonym for traitor … Other people might take their humanity for granted; but Jews, at least in Borough Park, felt certain only of their Jewishness.” [HALEVI, p. 75] “Maintaining the bonds one Jew must feel with another Jew,” notes Susan Schneider, “is part of Judaism, along with the idea that being Jewish may require maintaining the purity and/or unity of the Jewish people.” [SCHNEIDER, p. 323]

    In an American context, Arnold Eisen notes the modern Jewish liberals’ resultant quandary in reframing the Jewish worldview for Gentile consumption:

    “The notion of the Jewish [special] mission to [other peoples] was
    problematic, because it presumed that one people had the truth, and
    all others could but wait patiently to receive it. Such hierarchical ideas
    did not seem to fit in a society which espoused egalitarianism; if all
    men were created equal, why did other people need the Jews in order
    to attain true knowledge of God? The search for ways of reconciling
    pluralism and election became a pressing task of Jewish apologetic.”
    [EISEN, p. 21]

    One of the ways convoluted apologetic seeks to distance itself from racism and inevitable Gentile hostility is to rhapsodize about special Jewish destiny, as does Reuven Bulka, who in this case also obfuscates it:

    “The notion of chosenness is … misleading and fraught with danger,
    as if to imply some inherent genetic or biological virtue that
    is merely an accident of fate. Being chosen is the end result of
    chosingness, much the same way that the bride’s choice to agree
    to the request of a groom to marry her is predicated on the
    presumption that she has already been chosen, an assumption
    inherent in the groom’s question-request entreaty.” [BULKA, p. 17]

    But as Jewish author Monford Harris notes about such notions of Jewry as a “choosing” people:

    “The idea of the Jews as ‘chosen people’ has been eclipsed. Yet it is so central
    to classical Jewish thought it could not be wholly surrendered. It was, consequently,
    reinterpreted … [One] way of reinterpreting the idea of the chosen people
    is to say that the Jews are the ‘choosing people.’ Since the day of the Nazi idea
    of the master race it has been said that the idea of the ‘chosen’ people is
    ethically untenable, and that it is better to understand the Jews as the choosing
    people; i.e., the Jews were the only people in antiquity to recognize the true God.
    Precisely that which it tries to avoid is what this notion falls prey to. To say the
    Jews are the choosing people is to assert a position of such arrogance as to
    violate the canons of good manners, let alone ethical coniderations. To assert
    that only our ancestors were wise enough, good enough, to make the right
    choice and that all other nations lacked either the wisdom or the sincerity to
    do so is on a par with Nazi racism.” [HARRIS, M., 1965, p. 89]

    In the apologetic realm, it is interesting to note the noble moral currency afforded modern Judaism in popular American culture by the presentation of the pan-human, universalistic excerpt from Jewish religious sources that supposedly says: “Whoever saves a single life, saves the world entire.” (This is the stated theme, for example, during a candle-lighting scene to begin the fabulously popular Stephen Spielberg movie about Jews under Nazi occupation, Schindler’s List). Even taking this “life-saving” statement at face value, however, it is subject to interpretive manipulation. Some Jewish observers have noted that “this Talmudic saying, taken literally, is the ideological basis for an amoral survivalism,” i.e., saving “a” life is merely self-survival. [CHEYETTE, p. 233]

    Yet this supposedly noble refrain is clouded even further. In the talmudic Mishna, Sanhedrin 4:5, the original really says this: “Whoever destroys a single Jewish life, Scripture accounts it to him as though he had destroyed a whole world.” It is quite particularist in its scope, i.e., it only cares about Jews, self-survival or not. Nonetheless, this literal fact does not hinder many Jewish non-Orthodox apologists from universalizing this chauvinist quote anyway. “Most Jews whose study of the Mishna,” says Jacob Petuchowski, “is confined to the standard edition continue to invest this statement with a particularist limitation, while the few scholars who deal with textual criticism are aware of the greater universalistic breath of the original statement.” [PETUCHOWKI, p. 8] When dropping the adverb “Jewish” from the seminal source, insists the likes of Petuchowski, one arrives at the “correct reading.”

    “The Talmudic epigraph of Stephen Spielberg’s Schindler’s List,” adds Jewish scholar Peter Novick, “‘Whoever saves one life saves the world entire,’ surely reflected the universalist values of liberal Judaism as it had evolved in recent centuries. The observant knew that the traditional version, the one taught in all Orthodox yeshivot [religious schools], speaks of ‘whoever saves the life of Israel.'” [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 182-183] Apologetic rabbi Isar Schorsch does a little verbal gymastics to rearrange the timeline sequence of this “regretful” Jewish racism:

    “[Jewish] xenophobia contaminates one of the finest expressions of
    universalism in the Mishna. Prior to testifying in a capital case, witnesses
    are warned of the consequences of their words. ‘Anyone who saves a single
    person is credited with having saved the entire human race.’ (Mishna Sanhedrin
    4:4) Regretfully, in some manuscripts and printed texts the word ‘person’
    is replaced by the word ‘Jew.'” [SCORSCH, I., 4-30-99]

    This kind of modern revisionism has set the stage for a bitter — and intensifying — struggle in international Jewry for the heart, and meaning, of Judaism between Orthodox followers of traditional belief and liberalizing revisionists, who largely suppress the historical facts of their own religious history. In recent years a number of Orthodox groups have even declared that their ideological rivals — those Jews who at least pay lip service to universalistic ideals — are not even Jewish. “In debates within the Jewish community,” says Gordon Lafar, “both universalists and chauvinists claim to be speaking in the name of traditional Jewish values.” [LAFAR, p. 180]

    “In my youth,” noted Meir Tamari in 1987, “Judaism was synonymous with socialism. There were religious Orthodox trade unions and religious Orthodox socialist parties. In Reform Judaism, this was a major issue. And we literally distorted Jewish sources — and I was guilty of that, misguiding many young people in explaining to them that the Torah and socialism were synonymous.” [JEWISH WEEK, 5-15-87, p. 28] “After fifty some years of conscious exploration,” wrote professor Paul Laute, a 1960s-era Civil Rights activist, “it has finally occurred to me that my identification of Jewishness with progressive social action is as much a historical construction as the messianic intolerance of [the racist Jewish messianic movement] Gush Emunim.” [LAUTER, p. 45]

    Amnon Rubenstein, an Israeli scholar, in noting the folly of claiming Judaism as a “universal” religion, cites the following crucial Torah (Old Testament) passages about God’s favoritism towards the Jews:

    “If ye will hearken unto My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then
    ye shall be Mine own treasure from among all peoples.”

    “Ye shall be holy unto Me, for I the Lord am holy and have severed
    you from other people that ye shall me mine.”

    “These well known passages,” he observes, “explain why it is impossible from the traditional viewpoint, to separate the idea of chosenness, of a ‘treasure nation,’ from the concept of the covenant and the observance of Jewish religious law and how false it is to relate these religious paradigms to secular values. It is futile to transplant the biblical injunctions into a secular context and support this by referring to the prophets’ ‘universal’ visions of social justice and peace among nations.” [RUBENSTEIN, A., p. 34-35]

    Rubenstein attributes the values of “human equality” to “Christian monotheism” and the French revolution. [RUBENSTEIN, A., p. 36]

    Another Israeli, Bernard Avishai, notes that left-wing Israelis “cringe when they hear the same people [“Jewish American intellectuals”] talk about ‘Jewish ethical vocation’ or, worse, lecture Israelis about how Judaism mandates a peculiarly open-spirited morality, a sense of history.” [AVISHAI, B., p. 350] As Stuart Svonkin notes:

  13. [AVISHAI, B., p. 350] As Stuart Svonkin notes: “The work of Jewish historians clearly demonstrates that there are few discernible connections between the premodern Jewish tradition and modern ideals of social justice. The liberal universal precepts that [the likes of former Anti-Defamation League head Benjamin] Epstein enumerated bear little relation to historical Judaism; their provenance is much more recent … These renovated, if mythic, ‘Jewish precepts’ — clearly dehistoricized and largely secularized — closely corresponded with the basic tenets of postwar American liberalism. The ADL’s intergroup relations program was thus predicated on the assertion — historically inaccurate but rhetorically powerful — that the same ‘concepts of dmocracy’ informed both Judaism and the ‘American creed’ of liberty and equality.” [SVONKIN, S., 1997, p. 20] In Israel, a society for Jews and controlled by Jews, there is no need for universalizing apologetics over the essence of traditional Judaism. Charles Liebman and Steven Cohen note that “Many leftist secularists see Judaism as so inimical to liberal values that they have severed their own ties with it. Whereas their predecessors held that one could be a humanist socialist and be Jewishly committed at the same time, intellectuals in this new circle are in effect walking away from the battle over the political meaning of Judaism. They view Judaism as so thoroughly conservative, nationalistic and particularistic that it cannot be reformed. In this view the only hope for the Israeli liberal is the disestablishment of Judaism.” [LIEBMAN/COHEN, p. 118] In 1996 American-born Israeli Ze’ev Chafets noted how troubled he was at what he discovered to be powerful expressions of traditional Judaism in the Jewish state: “Rabbi Meir Kahane began preaching that Arabs are dogs and the penalty for a Muslim man marrying a Jewish woman should be death,” Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz “said a schoolbus full of kids was hit by a train because God was angry that the movie theatre in their town was open on Friday nights,” the Lubavitcher Rebbe [rabbi] “allowed his followers to declare him the Messiah,” Rabbi Yitzhak Kadouri, “the world’s greatest kabbalist … put a hex on a Jerusalem office building that blocked his view,” Rabbi Dov Lior “declared it kosher to kill gentile women and children in wartime,” Rabbi Nahum Rabinovich “advocated scattering land mines to prevent Israeli soldiers from carrying out orders in the West Bank,” “20,000 yeshivah boys gathered to stone and threaten Israeli archeologists,” Rabbi Moshe Maya “arose in the Knesset and said that the halakhic penalty for homosexuality is death,” Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, “universally considered one of the great Torah sages of the age, was quoted as ruling that the faithful should refuse transfusions from gentiles and nonobservant Jews because they have dangerously treif blood which might cause all manner of un-Jewish behavior,” Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu believes that “Jewish blood is inherently pure and therefore incapable of defiling Jewish recipients.” [CHAFETS, Z., 1996, p. 18] “Real Torah Judaism,” concludes Chafets, with sarcasm for the Orthodox, “is a scientifically based doctrine of racial purity. Jews have one, superior, kind of blood, the rest of humanity has another … [My rabbi in Michigan] was probably ashamed to tell the truth.” [CHAFETS, Z., 1996, p. 18] The origin of this divide between “particularist” and “universalist” Jews is to be found in the 19th century, in the wake of the Enlightenment and the emergence of European Jews from their isolationist ghettos. “Rationalism, modernism, and emancipation,” notes R. J. Zwi Wroblowsky, “made the notion of a chosen people increasingly problematical.” [WERBLOWSKY, p. 158] Religious reformers in Germany sought to “redefine Judaism to fit Protestant categories.” This new Reform Judaism, says Charles Silberman, “expurgated … aspects of Judaism … to make worship in the synagogue resemble Protestant services as much as possible.” [SILBERMAN, p. 38] “In general, [Reform Judaism] gave Jewish religion a distinctly gentile tinge.” [PATAI, R., 1971, p. 304] “Orthodox Jews naturally expressed their horror at the progressive Christianization of the synagogue,” says Walter Laqueur, “for this, not to mince words, is what it amounted to.” [LAQUEUR, p. 17] In 1884, Orthodox Jews even sued a Reform temple in Charleston, South Carolina, for introducing an organ into the synagogue, “a desecration of the Jewish ritual.” [GOLDEN, H., 1973, p. 6] Theology shifted in “Reform Judaism” too. In 1869, for example, a Philadelphia conference of Reform-minded rabbis formally de-emphasized the more literal aspects of the old chosen people concept, refocusing on “the unity of all rational creatures.” [LIPSET/RAAB, p. 59] Even a strand of Orthodox Judaism in America — commonly termed “Modern Judaism” — in earlier years did play down some of its segregationist and anti-universalistic tenets. But, as Jack Wertheimer noted in 1993, “Few Orthodox spokesmen any longer articulate the undergirding assumptions of Modern Orthodoxy, namely, that a synthesis of traditional Judaism and modern Western culture is not only feasible but desirable. The thought of the leading ideologue of modern Orthodoxy in the nineteenth century, Rabbi Samson Hirsch, is now reinterpreted by his disciples as having urged Torah im Derekh Eretz, a synthesis of traditional Judaism and Western culture, as merely a temporary solution to the pressing needs of the day; now, it is argued, such a goal is no longer desirable …[WERTHEIMER, J., 1993, p. 127] Virtually all contemporary gedolim (recognized rabbinical authorities within the Orthodox world) identify with right-wing Orthodoxy, and their views are rarely challenged.” [WERTHEIMER, J., 1993, p. 128] Jewish thinkers, particularly in the Reform world, says Richard L. Rubenstein, sought “to assert the priority of those elements of the Torah which seemed to remain relevant and defensible in their own times. [T]hey tended to distinguish between the spirit of the Torah and its frequently embarrassing letter by emphasizing the abiding relevance of the moral elements of the Torah.” [RUBENSTEIN, p. 236] “The idea,” says Michael Meyer, “that pure religious faith is essentially moral rapidly became the theoretical basis and practical operative principle of the Reform movement.” [RUBENSTEIN, p. 337] With the Reform movement came Jewish efforts to distance enlightened, modern Jewry from their rabbinically archaic and cloistered pasts. Also came the appropriation of the universalistic themes of Christian-based culture to make them “Jewish.” “Attempts have been made to link the Jewish propensity to identify with political activism and social justice to Judaism,” note David Desser and Lester Friedman, “with specific exhortations in the Old Testament. Such attempts try to isolate precepts and commandments favoring social egalitarianism and universalism. This thesis … has at best a tenuous explanatory capacity. In fact, Christianity would more likely have greater ties to secular liberalism … Jewish cries for social justice did not arise until the 19th century, and there were precious few major political thinkers until this period.” [DESSER, p.] “Some commentators,” worry particularist Jewish scholars Seymour Lipset and Earl Raab, “want to believe that an intrinsic aspect of Jewish life consists of such universally benevolent ‘Jewish social values’ as equality, social justice, and world peace’ … By taking on a public orientation similar to Christian denominations, Judaism runs the danger of appearing more Americanized and less particularistic.” [LIPSET/RAAB, p. 54] One of the most influential propagators of the notion of a universalistic Judaism (the basis for the popular western strain of Judaism called Reform) was Abraham Geiger. Geiger, an early nineteenth century theologian, claimed that “Judaism has proved itself a force outliving its peculiar nationality, and therefore may lay claim to special consideration.” This “special consideration” is ultimately understood to be Jewish exceptionality in pan-human affairs, especially in — but not limited to — matters of morality and spirituality. But as modern scholar Joseph Blau observes about Geiger’s above proclamation, “let us reflect for a moment on the paradoxical quality of this assertion. Geiger was saying that because Judaism had eliminated its own claim to a special character, it was entitled to a special character. Because particularism had been excised from Jewish religion, Judaism had a right to special status. He seems to be on the verge of replacing particularist Jewish nationalism by particularist Jewish religion.” [BLAU, p. 49] In other words, Geiger, Reformed Judaism, and many of today’s Jews (especially in America where Reform is so popular) have been shamed by the democratic, egalitarian, and universalistic impact of the Enlightenment and pan-human ideals of Christianity to exchange Jewish chauvinism for … Jewish chauvinism! Modern Jewry simply lifts Christian universalistic tenets and incongruously tacks them onto Jewish particularism, the particularism that early Christians (rebelling Jews) left in the first place. “It is curious to sit in a Reform or so-called Conservative American [Jewish] congregation,” says Norman Cantor, “and listen to the rabbi sermonize about the equality between Jew and Christian, black and white. This is actually the universalizing message not of the talmudic rabbi, but of Rabbi Saul [St. Paul of New Testament fame] who was beaten up and driven from the diaspora synagogues when he preached this leveling message.” [CANTOR, p. 106] George L. Mosse notes the way particularist Judaism was contorted to be somehow universalized in turn-of-the-century Germany: “In 1910, Rabbi Cossman Werner of Munich castigated Jews who had been baptized into Christianity for committing a crime not merely against Judaism but above all against humanity itself. Such Jews opposed equal rights and hindered others in fighting for justice, for ‘to be a Jew means to be human,’ a statement which was greeted with thunderous applause. The argument against baptism was based not on Judaism as a revealed religion but on the religion of humanity.” [MOSSE, G., 1985, p. 19] This curious universalistic message, heralded today in some form by so many modern Jews, is rendered transparently hollow and fundamentally incongruous in a Jewish context. As Eric Kahler phrases it, in Orwellian double-think: “The substance of [Judaism’s] particularism is universality.” [KAHLER, E., 1967, p. 11] “True universalism, according to [one Jewish] school of thought,” wrote Lothar Kahn, “can’t occur without each human family contributing its individuality to the whole race of men. The Jew can best become a Frenchman or German — a citizen of the world — by perfecting the Jewishness in him.” [KAHN, L., 1961, p. 30] Or take Will Herberg’s typical Jewish view of it all: “Jewish particularism, because it transcends every national and cultural boundary, becomes, strangely enough a vehicle and witness to universalism. [HERBERG, p. 276] In other words, at root here, Herberg simply asserts that because Jews extend their allegiance to each other wherever they are in the world, this is “universalism.” E.L. Goldstein notes the Jewish reluctance to relinquish the racial foundation of Jewish identity, even in the invention of a “universalistic” Reform Judaism in the 19th century: “It was not uncommon for a rabbi to make bold pronouncements about his desire for a universalistic society and then, in moments of frustration or doubt, revert to a racial understanding of the Jews … While willing to stretch the definition of Judaism to its limits, it was clear that most Reformers were not willing to break the historical continuity of the Jewish ‘race.’ Even Solomon Schindler … one of the most radical of Reform rabbis, felt compelled to acknowledge the racial aspect of Jewish identity. Despite the high universal task of Judaism, wrote Schindler, ‘it remains a fact that we spring from a different branch of humanity, that different blood flows in our veins, that our temperament, our tastes, our humor is different from yours; that, in a word, we differ in our views and in our modes of thinking in many cases as much as we differ in our features.\'” [MACDONALD, 1998, p. 157] “The tension between the universal and particular in Jewish life,” observes Charles Liebman and Steven Cohen about much Jewish commentary today, “is a favorite theme of Jewish commentators, both scholarly and popular … They in effect lead their audiences in cheering the uniqueness of American Jewry, portraying it as the one American religious or ethnic group that combines a passionate concern for itself with an almost equally passionate concern for others.” [LIEBMAN/COHEN, p. 28] Louis Jacobs, in an apologetic, notes the endemic Jewish universalist/particularist identity incompatability: “The question of universalism in Judaism is, and is bound to be, an extremely complicated one. The God Jews worship is the Creator of the whole world and of all peoples yet Jews believe that they are the Chosen People, however the latter concept is understood. The balance between universalism and particularism has always been difficult for Jews to achieve … It is all really a matter of where the emphasis is to be placed and there have been varying emphases in this matter throughout the history of Judaism. Some Jews have spoken as if God’s chief, if not total, interest, so to speak, is with ‘His’ people. Others, especially in modern times, have gone to the opposite extreme, preferring to stress universalism to the extent of watering down the doctrine of particularism to render it a vague notion of loyalty to a tradition in which the universalism had first emerged. Few Jews will fail to admit that there are tensions between the two doctrines.” [JACOBS, L., 1995, p. 576-577] Popular Jewish author Cynthia Ozick can, on one hand, claim that “Jewish universalism emphasizes that the God of Israel is also the God of mankind-in-general” and yet conclude the same article with an appeal to fellow Jews to be more self-absorbed as Jews: “If we blow into the narrow end of the shofar [a ram horn, used as an instrument to herald traditional religious practice] we will be heard far. But if we choose to be Mankind rather than Jewish and blow into the wider part, we will not be heard at all; for us America will have been in vain.” [OZICK, C., p. 34] This implicit contradiction in a “universalist”-“particularist” Judaism is not lost to some young Jews who see through such illusory thinking. In a book about Jewish identity, one Jewish interviewee notes that “Judaism is very insular, it doesn’t happily bring people in, so if you’re supposed to be setting an example yet you keep everyone out, that’s contradictory.” [KLEIN, E. p. 191] And this thinly disguised attitude of enduring Jewish superiority always leaves the ideological door ajar for Jews to easily turn back to Jewish Orthodoxy and its seminal “particularism” of religious antiquity, or simply convert it in secular terms to modern Zionism. By the end of the twentieth century, with the modern state of Israel, we are seeing this happening. Most of those who call themselves Jews have a significant degree of loyalty to Israel. And Jewish Orthodoxy is in fact growing in America and often entwining with its secular Chosen People offshoot, Zionism. The idea of being divinely endowed is a powerful attraction. One study notes that about a quarter of all Orthodox Jews in America today were new (i.e., “returned”) to Orthodoxy. The current growth in Orthodox adherents is the first since the eighteenth century Enlightenment. “The Haredim [ultra-orthodox],” says Robert Wistrich, “are the fastest growing segment in contemporary Jewry.” [WISTRICH, TERMS, p. 5] “Institutionally and demographically,” noted Jonathan Sacks in 1993, “the strongest and most rapidly growing group in the contemporary Jewish world is Orthodox Jewry.” [SACKS, J., p. 138] How profoundly this paradoxical “particularism” (i.e., chauvinism) is ingrained in the Jewish consciousness is evidenced even in leftist political organizations that are supposed to be founded upon notions of universality, egalitarianism, and pan-human solidarity. In the years leading up to the Russian communist revolution in the early twentieth century, the undying obsession by most Russian Jews for themselves — distinct from many Russian leftists around them — often manifest itself in ethnocentric political expressions. Many Jews of Russia and Poland congregated towards their own socialist movement called the Bund. Much to the aggravation of communist party leader V. I. Lenin and his universalistic Bolshevik movement, the Bund’s version of leftism insisted upon — even within the context of the existing nation state of Russia — special Jewish national rights beyond those civil. [AGUS, p. 164] “It was not enough for the Bund,” says Heinz-Dietrich Lowe, “to shift … from Russian to Yiddish in its agitational programme, it had to develop a fully fledged national programme which demanded cultural autonomy for the Jews of the Russian empire.” [LOWE, p. 171] When non-Jews began rioting in Russia against Jewish exclusionism and commercial exploitation in the late 1800s, “the Bund … used these pogroms as an opportunity to intensify its economic activities and further its political aims.” [LOWE, p. 171] “[The Bund’s] leaders,” says Joseph Marcus, “consistently conducted a class-conscious policy, ostensibly in the interests of the whole working class, but actually confined to its Jewish members.” [MARCUS, p. 211] While the Bund had a large following in Eastern Europe, notes Shmuel Ettinger, “at the same time, the Zionist Federation, which was also being formed by Russian Jews, stimulated the [Jewish] nationalist trends … Among Jewish political subgroups the Socialist Zionist Party demanded that a Jewish society, socialist in principle, be established in a special territory to be set aside for the Jews; the Jewish Socialist Party, the ‘Seymists,’ demanded a superior leadership institution, ‘Sejm,’ for every one of the nations which belonged to the Federation of Russia; the ‘Peoples’ Party’ (Folkspartey), led by historian Simon Dubnov, demanded a large measure of autonomy for the Jews within the framework of the Russian state … Many Jews also played a part in organizing the general Russian political parties.” [ETTINGER, 1984, p. 9] Across time and culture, even in the context of the supposed multiculturalist and egalitarian American New Left movement of the 1960’s, Jews collectively tended to perceive themselves with special distinction. As Arthur Liebman noted: “[Gentile intellectuals] really are not totally accepted into even the secularist humanist liberal company of their quondam Jewish friends. Jews continue to insist in indirect and often inexplicable ways on their own uniqueness. Jewish universalism in relations between Jews and non-Jews has an empty ring … Still, we have the anomaly of Jewish secularists and atheists writing their own prayer books. We find Jewish political reformers … ostensibly pressing for universalist political goals — while organizing their own political clubs which are so Jewish in style and manner that non-Jews often feel unwelcome.” [LIEBMAN, in MACDONALD, p. 158] Jews have a long history of leftist political advocacy, agitation against any status quo of Christian empowerment, and profoundly disproportionate percentages of leadership roles in groups that ostensibly espouse pan-human, universalist themes. With massive Jewish escape from the working class in America, Nathan Glazer and Patrick Moynihan noted in 1963 that “the unions are increasingly less Jewish [but] Jewish labor leaders continue to dominate, even though they deal for the most part with non-Jewish workers.” [GLAZER/MOYNIHAN, p. 144-145] “In America and Europe,” says Barry Rubin, “the left was so heavily Jewish as to be virtually a communal activity in itself, especially in the 1930’s … Marxist intellectuals in those years were heavily Jewish in composition and profoundly Jewish in their thinking … [Its pre-eminent leaders] were all born into highly assimilated, wealthy families…” [RUBIN, B., p. 147] Reflecting on the collapse of the leftist movement in America, Harold Cruse, an African-American intellectual and former communist, complained that “The Jews could not [Americanize Marxism] with the nationalist- aggressiveness emerging out of East Side ghettoes to demonstrate through Marxism their intellectual superiority over the Anglo-Saxon goyim. The Jews failed to make Marxism applicable to anything in America but their own national-group ambition or individual self- election.” [LIEBMAN, A., p. 529] In 1982 a Jewish author noted a similar quote by a Gentile communist activist from Wisconsin: “It became increasingly apparent to most participants [at a communist youth conference] that virtually all the speakers were Jewish New Yorkers. Speakers with thick New York accents would identify themselves as ‘the delegate from the Lower East Side’ or ‘the comrade from Brownsville.’ Finally the national leadership called a recess to discuss what was becoming an embarassment. How could a supposedly national student organization be so totally dominated by New York Jews? … The convention was held in Wisconsin.” [in MACDONALD, 1998, p. 72] “The problem arose,” says Arthur Liebman, “to the means to accomplish the objective of Americanizing what was an essentially Jewish and European socialist movement … [LIEBMAN, A., 1986, p. 340] … The disproportionate presence of Jews and the foreign born generally in the socialist movement coupled with the relative absence of non-Jews and native Americans troubled many of its leaders, Jews and non-Jews alike. The Communist party, for example, in the 1920s was made up almost entirely of Jews and foreign born, most of whom were in foreign language federations. The Jews alone in the 1930s and 1940s accounted for approximately 40 to 50 percent of the membership of the Communist party.” [LIEBMAN, A.,| 1986, p. 339] Nathaniel Weyl notes that: “Although Communist leaders were normally taciturn about the extent to which Party membership was Jewish, Jack Stachel complained in The Communist for April 1929 that in Los Angeles ‘practically 90 per cent of the membership is Jewish.’ In 1945, John Williamson, another national leader of the American Communist Party, observed that, while a seventh of Party membership was concentrated in Brooklyn, it was not the working-class districts, but in Brownsville, Williamsburg, Coney Island and Bensonhurst, which he characterized ‘as primarily Jewish American communities.’ In 1951, the same complaint about Brooklyn was reiterated. A 1938 breakdown of Communist educational directors on a district level reported that 17 out of 34 were Jewish and only nine ‘American’ … Based on scrutiny of surnames, Glazer concluded that all of the ‘Rank and File’ (Communist) teachers placed on trial by the Teachers Union in 1932 were Jewish.” [WEYL, N., 1968, p. 118-119] “The popular association of Jews with Communism,” notes Peter Novick, “dated from the Bolshevik Revolution. Most of the ‘alien agitators’ deported from the United States during the Red Scare after World War I had been Jews.” [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 92] Major American twentieth century court trials included those of Charles Schenck, general secretary of the Socialist Party, who was arrested for sedition in 1919: “The case marked the first time the Supreme Court ruled on the extent to which the U.S. government may limit speech.” [KNAPPMAN, E., 1995, p. 61, 60] Likewise, in 1927 the Supreme Court “upheld the conviction of Socialist Benjamin Gitlow under a New York state law for advocating criminal anarchy.” [KNAPPMAN, E., 1995, p. 63] Peter Pulzer once noted that, in the German socialist ranks of the early 20th century, “Their [Jews’] disproportionately bourgeois origins and their tendency to derive their views from first principles rather than empirical experience, led them into a dominating position [in] the party’s debates.” [WEISBERGER, A., 1997, p. 93] Arthur Liebman notes the background to the Morris Hillquit’s election to the American Socialist party chairmanship in 1932: “Hilquit, in turn, brought the unmentionable to the center stage in an emotional speech, declaring, ‘I apologize for having been born abroad, for being a Jew, and living in New York City.’ Hilquit’s oblique reference to anti-Semitism assured him of victory. As Thomas [Hilquit’s opponent for the chairmanship] later commented, ‘Once the anti- Semitic issue was raised, even though unjustly, I was inclined to think it best that Hillquit won.’ The Socialist party did not want to risk being labeled anti-Semitic.” [LIEBMAN, A., 1986, p. 341] Some estimates suggest that 60% of the leadership for the 60s-era radical SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) were Jews (well-known radicals included Kathy Boudin, Bettina Aptheker, among many others). [PRAGER, p. 61] From 1960 to 1970, five of the nine changing presidents of the organization were Jewish males (Al Haber, Todd Gitlin, and the last three for the decade: Mike Spiegel, Mike Klonsky, and Mark Rudd). [SALE, K., 1973, p. 663] “Perhaps fully 50 percent of the revolutionary Students for a Democratic Society,” says Milton Plesur, “and as many as 50 to 75 percent of those in campus radical activities in the late 1960s were Jewish.” [PLESUR, M., 1982, p. 137] As Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter note: “The early SDS was heavily Jewish in both its leadership and its activist cadres. Key SDS leaders included Richard Flacks, who played an important role in its formation and growth, as well as Al Haber, Robb Ross, Steve Max, Mike Spiegel, Mike Klonsky, Todd Gitlin, Mark Rudd, and others. Indeed, for the first few years, SDS was largely funded by the League for Industrial Democracy, a heavily Jewish socialist (but anti-communist) organization. SDS’s early successes were at elite universities containing substantial numbers of Jewish students and sympathetic Jewish faculty, including the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Brandeis, Oberlin, and the University of California. At Berkeley SDS leaders were not unaware of their roots. As Robb Ross put it, describing the situation at the Unversity of Wisconsin in the early 1960s, ‘… my impression is that the left at Madison is not just a new left, but a revival of the old … with all the problems that entails. I am struck by the lack of Wisconsin-born people [in the Madison-area left] and the massive preponderance of New York Jews. The situation at the University of Minnesota is similar’ … [Researcher] Berns and his associates found that 83 percent of a small radical activist sample studied at the University of California in the early 1970s were of Jewish background.” [ROTHMAN/LICHTER, 1982, p. 61] Susan Stern was among those to turn to the violent Weatherman underground organization. Ted Gold, another Weatherman member, died when a bomb he was making exploded in his hands. [ROTHMAN/LICHTER, 1982, p. 61] In an iconic 1970 incident, three of the four students shot and killed by National Guardsmen at a famous Kent State University demonstration were Jewish. [BYARD, K., 5-5-00] A study by Joseph Adelson at the University of Michigan, one of the American hotbeds of 1960s-era activism, suggested that 90% of those defined as politically “radical students” at that school were Jews. [PRAGER, p. 61, 66] And, “when, for instance, the Queens College SDS held a sit-in at an induction center several years ago,” wrote Gabriel Ende, “they chose to sing Christmas carols to dramatize their activity, although the chairman and almost all of the members were Jewish.” [ENDE, G., 1971, p. 61] Ronald Radosh notes that “In elite institutions like the University of Chicago, a large 63 percent of student radicals were Jewish; Tom Hayden may have been the most famous name in the University of Michigan SDS, but ’90 percent of the student left [in that school] came from jewish backgrounds;’ and nationally, 60 percent of SDS members were Jewish. As my once-friend Paul Breines wrote about my own alma mater the University of Wisconsin, ‘the real yeast in the whole scene had been the New York Jewish students in Wisconsin’ … As late as 1946, one-third of America’s Jews held a favorable view of the Soviet Union.” [RADOSH, R., 6-5-01] Decades earlier, note Rothman and Lichter: “The American Student Union, the most prominent radical student group during the 1930s, was heavily concentrated in New York colleges and universities with large Jewish enrollments. And on other campuses, such as the University of Illinois, substantial portions of its limited membership were students of Jewish background from New York City.” [ROTHMAN/LICHTER, 1982, p. 101] In communist organizations that supposedly idealized a classless society for all people, it inevitably grated with enduring Jewish self-perception: Jews often tended to configure as a special caste of controllers of — not a religious, but now — a secular messianism. As Jeff Schatz notes about pre-World War II Poland: “Despite the fact that [communist] party authorities consciously strove to promote classically proletarian and ethnically Polish members to the cadres of leaders and functionaries, Jewish communists formed 54 percent of the field leadership of the KPP [Polish Communist Party] in 1935. Moreover, Jews constituted a total of 75 percent of the party’s technica, the apparatus for production and distribution of propaganda material. Finally, communists of Jewish origin occupied most of the seats of the Central Committee of the of the KPPP [Communists Workers Party of Poland] and the KPP.” [SCHATZ, p. 97] Jews were at this time 10% of the Polish population. In Russia, notes Shmuel Ettinger, “when the Russian Social Democratic Party split into two factions — Bolsheviks and Mensheviks — both factions had many Jews in their leaderships (such as Boris Axelrod, Yuly Martov, Lev Trotsky, Grigory Zinoviev, and Lev Kamenov) and among their most active party members. Many Jews also played a part in the foundations and leadership of the party … For example, Mikhail Gots was one of the party’s main thereoticians and Grigory Gershuni was the leader of its fighting organization, which carried out terrorist acts against the Tsarist regime.” [ETTINGER, p. 9] Earlier in Russia, notes Leon Schapiro, “a particularly important part was played by [Jewish revolutionary Aaron] Zundelovich, who in 1872 had formed a revolutionary circle mainly among students at the state-sponsored rabbinical school, at Vilna.” [SCHAPIRO, L., 1961, p. 153] Also, notes Albert Lindemann, “it seems beyond serious debate that in the first twenty years of the Bolshevik Party the top ten to twenty leaders included close to a majority of Jews. Of the seven ‘major figures’ listed in The Makers of the Russian Revolution, four are of Jewish origin.” [LINDEMANN, p. 429-430] Among the most important Jewish communists were the aforementioned Trotsky (originally Lev Davidovich Bronstein) and Grigori Yevseyevich Zinoviev (“Lenin’s closest associate in the war years”). Lev Borisovich Kamenev (Rosenfeld) headed the party newspaper, Pravda. Adolf Yoffe was head of the Revolutionary Military Committee of the Petrograd Bolshevik Party in 1917-18. Moisei Solomonovich, head of the secret police in Petrograd, was known by some as the epitome of “Jewish terror against the Russian people.” [LINDEMANN, p. 431] In Hungary, notes Jewish scholar Howard Sachar, “for 135 days [in 1919], Hungary was ruled by a Communist dictatorship. Its party boss, Bela Kun, was a Jew. So were 31 of the 49 commissars in Kun’s regime.” [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 339] During that time, note Jewish scholars Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter, Jews also represented “most managers of the forty-eight People’s Commissars in his revolutionary government. Most managers of the new state farms were Jewish, as were the bureau chiefs of the Central Administration and the leading olice officers. Overall, of 202 high officials in the Kun government, 161 were Jewish. Jews remained active in the Communist party during the Horthy regime of 1920-44, dominating its leadership. Again, most were from established, midle-class (or, at worst, lower-middle- class) backgrounds. Hardly any were proletarians or peasants. Most of the Hungarian Jewish community was massacred during World War II … Nonetheless, the leading cadres of the Communist party in the postwar period were Jews, who completely dominated the regime until 1952-53 … The wags of Budapest explained the presence of a lone gentile in the party leadership on the grounds that a ‘goy’ was needed to turn on the lights on Saturday.” [ROTHMAN/LICHTER, 1982, p. 89] “In Lithuania,” add Rothman and Lichter, “about 54 percent of the [Communist] party cadres were Jewish. Salonika Jewry played a major role in the foundation of Greek Communist party and remained prominent until the early 1940s. Similar patterns prevailed in Rumania and Czechoslovakia. Jews played quite prominent roles in the top and second echelon leadership of the communist regimes in all of these countries in the immediate postwar period. Theywere often associated with Stalinist policies and were strongly represented in the secret police. In Poland, for example, three of the five members of the original Politburo were Jewish. A fourth, Wladyslaw Gomulka, was married to a woman of Jewish background. In both Rumania and Czechoslovakia, at least two of the four key figures in the Communist party were of Jewish background.” [ROTHMAN/LICHTER, 1982, p. 90] In Canada, in the 1940s, the Jewish head of the Communist Party in Montreal, Harry Binder, estimated that 70% of the Communist Party membership in his city were Jewish. In Toronto, from a Jewish population of 50,000, about 30% of the formal members of the local Communist community were believed to be Jews, not including those who had looser ties to the organization. [PARIS, E., 1980, p. 145] David Biale notes Jewish pre-eminence among the communists of South Africa: “The fact that they were outsiders to the main elements of white South African society — British and Afrikaner — undoubtedly made them more likely to rebel against the existing order. It was the explosive combination of Communist ideology as a kind of substitute for religion and the Jews’ marginal status that probably turned these Jews into such a prevalent presence on the South African left.” [BIALE, D., MARCH/APRIL 2000, p. 63-64] “Jews of Polish background played an important role in the founding of the Cuban communist party,” note Rothman and Lichter, “and there are scattered indications of their significance in left-wing parties and groups in other Latin American countries. Jews were also prominent in the formation of Communist parties in various North African countries.” [ROTHMAN/LICHTER, 1982, p. 90-91] Even in 1930’s pre-Nazi Germany, the Communist Party’s top two leaders — Rosa Luxemberg and Paul Levi — were Jewish. (Hannah Arendt notes that Luxemberg was a member of a “Polish-Jewish ‘peer group,\'” which was a “carefully hidden attachment to the Polish party which sprang from it.”) [ARENDT, 1968, p. 40] Earlier, in the wake of World War I, another Jewish radical, Kurt Eisner, proclaimed a socialist republic in Bavaria. Upon his assassination, Eisner’s government was replaced by another socialist one — that of president Ernst Toller (also Jewish). Erich Muehsam and Gustav Landauer were other Jews in high positions in the government. [PAYNE, p. 124-125] Next came a Communist coup to oust the socialist regime. As John Cornwell describes it, “After a week or two of outlandish misrule, on April 12 [1919] a reign of terror ensued under the red revolutionary trio of Max Levien, Eugen Levine, and Tonja Axelrod [also all Jewish] to hasten the dictatorship of the proletariat. The new regime kidnapped ‘middle-class’ hostages, throwing them into Stadeheim Prison. They shut down schools, imposed censorship, and requisitioned peoples’ homes and possessions.” [CORNWELL, p. 74] In Austria, in 1920, repeating the theme, “the socialist government was led by Friedrich Adler, Otto Bauer, Karl Seitz, Julius Deutsch and Hugo Breitner.” [GROLLMAN, E., 1965, p. 117] “The Austrian Social Democrat party was founded by Victor Adler, a deracinated Jew from a well-known Prague Jewish family, and the party paper was edited by Friedrich Austerlitz, a Moravian Jew. Other prominent Jews in the party leadership included Wilhelm Ellenbogen, Otto Bauer, Robert Dannenberg, and Max Adler.” [ROTHMAN/LICHTER, 1982, p. 88] ‘The list of leading socialists [in Germany] of Jewish origin is long and illustrious,” adds Adam Weisberger, “– Eduard Bernstein, Rosa Luxemberg, Gustav Landauer, Kurt Eisner, Paul Singer, Hugo Haase — to mention some of the most prominent among them.” [WEISBERG, A., 1997, p. 2] As George Mosse notes: “Jews were highly visible in many of the postwar [World War I] revolutions, not only in Bolshevik Russia but also in Budapest, Munich, and Berlin. During the postwar crisis, belief in Jewish conspiracies and subversive activity was not just a curious notion held by professed haters of Jews; in 1918, even Winston Churchill associated Jews with the Bolshevik conspiracy.” [MOSSE, G., 1985, p. 68-69] [Other chapters will deal with the important role of Jews in the communist movement more extensively. If interested now, here are three links to excerpts about Jewish pre-eminence in Russian and other Eastern European communism, Jews in the Polish communist system, and Jewish communist spies in America] For those who even know about such a past, Jewish historiography these days tends to assert that communist and socialist Jews, in Russia and everywhere else, did not have any interest in a Jewish identity. This position asserts that such Jewish communist involvement was an investment in a secular universalism that leaves behind the traditional Jewish collectivist identity. In explaining away why so many Jews were secret police terrorists under the communist regime in Eastern Europe [see above links], Jewish author Michael Checinski writes that “They were, for better or worse, considered less susceptible to the lures of ‘Polish nationalism,’ to which even impeccable Polish Communists were not thought immune. It should be remembered that these Jews were of a particular type: there were few veteran Communists among them, as their victims would be former KPP members and other left-wingers, and Moscow was taking no chances with sentimental ties of comradeship cramping their style as guardians of political ‘purity.’ Many of them had not only sadistic inclinations but also various grudges against their future victims, both Polish and Jewish. Indeed, it is significant that there were no traces of ‘Jewish solidarity’ among the staff of the Tenth Department. On the contrary, they represented a distorted conception of ‘internationalism,’ which could be described as ‘Jewish anti-Semitism.\'” [CHECINSKI, M., 1982, p. 71-72] This is a common Jewish apologetic tact today, to explain away the Jewish identities of so many communist terrorists by proclaiming that they had no connective identity with others in their work circles. Even here, Jewish consensus proclaims, even as Jews murdered others, Jews remain victims of anti-Semitism. [Much more about this in future chapters] But as Kevin MacDonald suggests, “surface declarations of a lack of Jewish identity may be highly misleading … There is good evidence for widespread self-deception about Jewish identity among Jewish radicals … [Bolshevism] was a government that aggressively attempted to destroy all vestiges of Christianity as a socially unifying force within the Soviet Union while at the same time it established a secular Jewish subculture.” [MACDONALD, 1998, p. 60] Arthur Liebman notes this phenomenon in “the flood of Yiddish-speaking Jews” to America in the early years of the twentieth century: “These new Jews were too large a constituency to be kept separate from the Socialist party for the length of time ncessary to accept the arguments of the sophisticated Marxist cosmopolitan Jews. If these masses of Jews who valued their Jewish identity and language would come to socialism through a speical Jewish organization, then the Socialists decided they would have it. The Jewish Socialist Federation was officially recognized by the Socialist party in 1912.” [LIEBMAN, A., 1986, p. 339] As Jewish author John Sack notes about the many officials of Jewish origin in Poland after World War II who headed the repressive communist secret police system: “I’d interviewed twenty-three Jews who’d been in the Office [of State Security], and one, just one, had considered himself a communist in 1945. He and the others had gone to Jewish schools, studied the Torah, had been bar-mitzvahed, sometimes wore payes … By whose definition weren’t they Jews? Not by the Talmud’s, certainly not by the government of Israel’s or the government of Nazi Germany’s.” [PIOTROWSKI, p. 63] Melanie Kaye-Kantrowitz puts her Jewish identity in a socialist context this way: “Out of nowhere pops a question, ‘If you don’t care about being Jewish, how come all your friends are Jews?’ Vivian … thinks about being Jewish on the toilet and in her sleep, as well as every other moment of the day or night. ‘I live in New York,’ I snap, and we both burst out laughing. Mentally I flip through my friends for a non-Jew. Nothing. She shakes her head. ‘You’re such a Jew. How come you don’t know this about yourself?’ … My parents never thought about it either, it was who they were. In Vilna they were Jews and socialists, and when they came here they were still Jews and socialists. They lived among other Jews. Everyone spoke Jewish. What was there to think? It was like air, they breathed it. There was Jewish everything. My parents would argue who you could trust less, communists or Democrats, anarchists they never worried about. All Jewish. Orthodox, secular. Owners, bosses, workers. Doctors, teachers, salesclerks, writers, dancers, peddlers, you name it. All Jewish. Movies. Gossip columns. Like I said, you breathed it.” [KAYE-KANTROWITZ, 1990, p. 188] Jewish author Anne Roiphe, today an ardent supporter of Israel, addresses the same theme: “I can say I was a Marxist before I was old enough to know history, and afterward a liberal, a Leftist, a woman of the people with the people, but finally I must own to the hypocrisy. I see certain unwelcome contradictions.” [ROLPHE, 1981, p. 113] Rolphe’s first hypocrisy was that she was born to wealth: “I am the product of the [economic] wits of my grandfather.” [ROLPHE, 1981, p. 113] And despite an identity as a Marxist, Leftist, liberal, or whatever else she thought she was, Rolphe inevitably was drawn back to “this odd mystical connection to the Jewish peoplehood, ” [ROLPHE, 1981, p. 182] writing an entire volume about it (subtitled A Jewish Journey in Christian America). “I thought,” she wrote, “that … I had asserted my ego as separate from the forced march of Jewish history … I had thought I had cut out the roots of the tree that was causing too much shade in my garden … [but] the tree without roots had surprised me with its staying power.” [ROIPHE, 1981, p. 180] Jewish communist Sam Carr was released from a Canadian prison in 1951 for spying for Russia. “Ironically,” notes Erna Paris, “given the fact that he ‘wasn’t much of a Jew,’ he did become the leader of the Unified Jewish People’s Order after 1960.” [PARIS, E., p. 176] In Argentina, Jewish publisher Jacobo Timerman was imprisoned by the ruling military junta in 1977. It was pointed out to him by his right-wing interrogators that he was a member of a “registered affiliate organization of the Communist Party” in his youth. Timerman denied that he joined it because of any interest in communism, but, rather, for how it could serve his other ideological interests: “I belonged to it as an anti-Fascist, a Jew, and a Zionist.” [TIMERMAN, J., 1981, p. 116] “A number of Jewish socialists, particularly in the later stages of the [German] Wilhelhmine period,” notes Adam Weisberger, “exhibited the phenomenon of returning to Judaism … although admittedly often in secular or accentuated form. Joseph Bloch, for example, originally an ardent assimilationist and German nationalist, became perhaps the chief proponent of Zionism in the German socialist movement.” [WEISBERGER, A., 1997, p. 98] In 1961, Jewish author Daniel Aaron criticized the shallow attachment many in radical movements really had to their left-wing postures: “Some writers joined or broke from the [Communist] Movement because of their wives, or for careerist reasons, or because they read their own inner disturbances into the realities of social dislocation. To put it another way, the subject matter of politics … was often the vehicle for non-political emotions and compulsions.” [WALD, p. 14] Sigmund Freud (although not a Marxist, his areligious work is often joined to Marxist theory) insisted that his psychological speculations applied to all people and tried to dismiss any evidence of his own special Jewish particularism. But he was always conflicted about it. As he once wrote about his connection to Jewish identity, “When I felt an inclination to [Jewish] national enthusiasm I strove to suppress it as being harmful and wrong, alarmed by the warning examples of the people among whom we Jews live. But plenty of other things remained to make the attraction of Jewry and Jews irresistible — many obscure emotional forces, which were the more powerful the less they could be expressed in words, as well as a clear consciousness of inner identity, the safe privacy of a common mental connection.” [ROIPHE, 1981, p. 180] (The clique that runs, and enforces, the psychoanalytic world, as we shall see later, remains overwhelmingly Jewish). Jewish messianic elitism in leftist “universalist” circles endures to this day. In 1992, Michael Lerner, prominent editor of the left-wing Jewish journal Tikkun, suggested remedies for curing anti-Semitism in leftist organizations. The cure? “Put[ting] self-affirming Jews in positions of leadership in your organizations” [LERNER, Socialism, p. 115] and indoctrination sessions to sensitize non-Jews to Jewish needs (Lerner’s term is: “internal education programs.”) Erna Paris notes the history of Jewish communism in Canada: “Although the Jewish left claimed to be dedicated to perfect equality, it also gave full-blown expression to the strong velvet-gloved, ancient, patriarchal traditions of Judaism. If the ancestral prophets like Amos were the Fathers of Israel, so the men of UJPO [United Jewish People’s Order: a ‘Jewish’ branch of communism] and the school of the Jewish labour movement were the ‘Fathers’ of the women and children in the movement. Without question, they were the new Hebrew prophets of a better world.” [PARIS, E., p. 152] As Adam Weisberger notes this Jewish identity root in the profound historical influence of Jews in revolutionary communist and socialist movements that aimed to destroy the existing social order: “A messianic idea, derived from traditional Judaism, persisted through the process of secularization and entered into the groundwork of socialism … Jewish socialists, even when they were estranged from Judaism and possessed little or no formal Jewish education, remained an essential part of the mission of those Jews who believed they had broken with tradition.” [WEISBERGER, A., 1997, p. 112] “After being nurtured by a culture that saw itself superior by virtue of its special relationship with God,” note Jewish authors Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter, “many Jews must have experienced their contact with modern Europe [with the birth of the Enlightenment] as traumatic. It was difficult to think Jewish life superior to the achievements of European civilization once the protective mantle of the shtetl was no longer present. What better way to reestablish claims to superiority than by adopting the most ‘advanced’ social position of the larger society and viewing this adoption as a reflection of Jewish heritage? Thus many radical Jewish intellectuals were able to continue to assert Jewish superiority, even as they denied their Jewishness.” [ROTHMAN/ LICHTER, 1982, p. 121] Arnold Eisen, in a discussion of Leslie Fiedler (who started out as a socialist) and other well-known Jewish American “intellectuals,” notes the transformative essence of Jewish identity from traditional Judaism to modern political movements: “Here the entire language of chosenness — suffering, witness, mission, reciprocity, exclusivity, covenant, and even repudiation of Christianity and idol worship! — has been appropriated and hollowed out in order to endow the Jewish intellectual with the role of prophet to his own community and the world.” [EISEN, p. 136] Salo Baron goes back further in time, but underscores the same Jewish identity foundation, which can, however incongruously, simultaneously straddle both “universalistic” communist movements and “particularist” Zionism: “Under one guise or another, even the antireligious movements in 19th century Judaism were unable to cast off their messianic yearnings for an ultimate redemption of their people, or of mankind at large. The growing secularization of modern Jewry made the transition from religious messianism to political Zionism appear as but another link in that long chain of evolution.” [BARON, 1964, p. 172] David Horowitz recalls what it was like growing up in a New York City household with his communist parents, an environment still founded upon the Jewish religious myths of redemption: “In the radical romance of our political lives, the world was said to have begun in innocence, but to have fallen afterwards under an evil spell, afflicting the lives of all with great suffering and injustice. According to our myth, a happy ending beckoned, however. Through the efforts of progressives like us, the spell would one day be lifted, and mankind would be freed from its trials.” [HOROWITZ, D., 1999, p. 284] Even the founder of Hadassah (the women’s Zionist organization), Henrietta Szold, once wrote that “the world has not progressed beyond the need of Jewish instruction, but the Jew can be witness and a missionary only if he is permitted to interpret the lessons of Judaism as his peculiar nature and his peculiar discipline enable him to interpret them.” [GAL, A., 1986, p. 371] How Zionism, the modern secular expression of traditional Jewish ethnocentrism, is supposed to “instruct the world that has not progressed beyond the need of Jewish instruction” is never explained. [Note Zionism’s implicit racism and oppressive policies against non-Jews in the later chapter about Israel]. With the erosion of the New Left in America in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and Israel’s 1967 victory in its war with surrounding Arab states, distinctly Judeo-centric political configurations arose out of the Jewish universalistic left-wing community that, as Mordecai Chertoff notes, “affirm[ed] Zionism … and Judaism … as socialists and radicals.” [CHERTOFF, p. 192] Such organizations included the Jewish Student Movement, the Jewish Action Committee, Kadimah, the Jewish Student Union, the Maccabees, American Students for Israel, the World Union of Jewish Students, Na’aseh, Jews for Urban Justice, the New Jewish Committee, the Jewish Liberation Project, the Youth Commitee for Peace and Democracy in the Middle East, and the Committee for Social Justice in the Middle East. Such organizations produced between 20 and 40 periodicals with a combined circulation of over 300,000. [GLAZER, NEW p. 192-193] “The extreme radical groups of the New Left came out officially in favor of the Arabs,” notes James Yaffe, “but it generally conceded that there was much opposition from Jews in those groups. ‘Jewish kids in the Movement,’ one of them told me, ‘have a double standard on Israel. A non-Jewish leftist is much more likely to condemn Israel than a Jewish leftist.” [YAFFE, J., 1968, p. 193] “There are still those [Jews] who are impressed,” wrote Nathan Glazer in 1971, “by what seems to be the New Left concern for all of mankind, but more and more … are discovering … that there is a limit to the number of trumpets one can respond. [Jews] are responding, in greater numbers to their own.” [GLAZER, p. 196] “How many times,” complained anti-Vietnam War activist Gabriel Ende in the same year, “have committed Jews joined with others in Vietnam and student power rallies, only to have their erstwhile companions stab them in the back with boorish anti-Israel remarks on the morrow?” [ENDE, G., 1971, p. 59] Traditional Jewish tendency to cluster and control is likewise evidenced in the opposite political field — American conservatism. Pat Buchanan — the outspoken conservative newspaper columnist and former candidate for the President of the United States (widely despised in Jewish circles as an “anti-Semite”) — has attacked the ‘neo-conservative’ movement of Irving Kristol and others (many Jewish), who Buchanon likens to “fleas who conclude they are steering the dog, their relationship to the [conservative] movement has always been parasitical.” [SHAPIRO, Pat, p. 226] In more recent history, reflecting another popular angle of Jewish chauvinism under the guise of universalism (in a theme to be discussed at length later), Eli Weisel, the well-known semi-official spokesman for Jewish suffering in the Holocaust, wrote a formal report to the President of the United States about what the proposed $168 million United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC would be. While up to six million Jews were killed in the Nazi extermination programs (and over three times that number of non-Jews may have been killed, [MILLER, p. 253] depending upon how one defines “Holocaust,” Weisel, true to Jewish particularist/univeralist form, noted that the museum would focus mainly on Jewish victims: “The Holocaust was the systematic bureaucratic extermination of six million Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators as a central act of state during the Second World War; as night descended, millions of other peoples were swept into this net of death … The event is essentially Jewish, yet its interpretation is universal. The universality of the Holocaust lies in its [Jewish] uniqueness.” [MILLER, p. 255] A poignant — and current — example of this worldview is the aforementioned Michael Lerner, a man who has been provided precious moments in the national spotlight by an influential admirer, Hillary Clinton. Incredibly, Lerner frames American universalistic ideals themselves as oppressors of American Jewry. “Jews have been forced,” complains Lerner,” to choose between a loyalty to their own people and a loyalty to universal ideals.” [LERNER, p. 5] What moral person of any faith or ethnicity is not “forced to choose” — by his or her own conscience — between what Lerner cannot openly state: selfish, exclusionist self-interest club interests versus sacrifice for the common good? That Lerner imagines only Jews have faced such a dilemma in the American — or any — context is but evidence of the blind depth of Judeo-centrism. Lerner is enraptured, overwhelmed, by his own sense of Jewishness. True to form, “it is [a] hidden vulnerability,” insists Lerner, “that constitutes the uniqueness of Jewish oppression.” [LERNER, p. 65] Leftist, rightist, Orthodox, atheist, or anything else, the origins of Jewish incessant, undying obsession with their “uniqueness,” “exceptionality,” “difference,” “messianism,” et al is to be found in the Judaic religious record. As Adam Garfinkle sees it: “The mission of Israel, as the Prophets defined it, is to spread monotheism and the moral code that flows from it around the world, but not to make everyone part of a great Israelite tribe. …. The Jews do not merge with the nations or convert them. They are, said Balaam, in Numbers 23:9, a people destined to live alone. Although Jewish ideas are universalistic, [?] traditional Jews see themselves in exclusionist terms, a self-perception that has caused endless confusion and resentment among non-Jews. Jewish apologists like to emphasize the special burdens of this role and point to the costs it has extracted on the Jewish people in history — no doubt all true. But that does not change the basic fact, as even a casual reading of central Jewish texts show, that Jews have believed themselves special, closer to the Divine than other people.” [GARFINKLE, p. 10]
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    During the turbulent times of the Middle Ages and leading to our own era, there have been a number of wars with particularly religious emphasis. From 1208 to 1228, for instance, the Catholic Church led crusades against the Albigensions (a Christian “heretic” movement in Western Europe), which totally destroyed them. The Inquisition burned thousands of Christians at the stake and eliminated religious dissent in Southern Europe. For over a century, from 1559, much of Europe echoed a series of religious wars between Catholics and Protestants. One of the most famous atrocities of this period was the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, in which thousands of Huguenots were massacred in Paris, and thousands more in the countryside. In the seventeenth century, Protestant churches in Poland were destroyed by Catholics in anti-Protestant riots in towns like Poznan, Cracow, and Lublin. [HAGEN, p. 198]

    Within this context of intra-religious warring, in conjunction with famines, pestilence, and other wide-spread catastrophes, “what is astonishing,” writes Alan Edelstein, “given the situation of medieval European Jewry, and what bears examination, is not that many were attacked, expelled, or forcibly converted, but that more were not.” [EDELSTEIN]

    “Any judgment on the Christian treatment of Jews [across history],” agrees Nicholas de Lange, another Jewish scholar, “should also take account of the treatment of other religions, and indeed of dissident movements within Christianity. Against this background, the treatment of Jews can actually seem astonishingly humane and generous.” [DE LANGE, p. 35] “Christianity mercilessly persecuted paganism and heresies,” says Abram Leon,” [but] it tolerated the Jewish religion.” [LEON, p. 73] “We shall have to admit,” wrote famed Jewish historian Salo Baron, “that church censorship has rarely interfered with the autonomous development of Jewish culture.” [BARON, Ancient, p. 266]

    Yet modern Jewry’s deep animosity towards Christianity stems from the accusation that institutional Christianity (as distinct from riotous mobs and individuals) was seminal to anti-Semitism in the Middle Ages, and even earlier, laying a religious foundation for the hostility towards Jews in the Western world to our own time. It can easily be argued, however, (as did Benjamin Disraeli, and others) that official Christian protection of Jewry is as much responsible for Judaism’s survival as anything else. “It may be asserted,” wrote Salo Baron,” that had it not been for the Catholic Church, the Jews would have not survived the Middle Ages in Christian Europe.” [SCHORSCH, p. 38] Yet an important part of the Jewish victim tradition is the perceived monolithic oppression of Christianity, presumably emanating from the traditional Christian notion that “Jews killed Jesus,” and epitomized in attacks by medieval mobs and thugs against Jews, especially during the fervor of the Crusades in 1068. “Anyone who reads the Talmudic tractate Avodah Zara,” says Michael Lerner, “cannot escape the impression that Jews have come to believe that all non-Jews are so dangerous that they should be avoided.” [LERNER, Goyim, p. 434]

    Cecil Roth, a prominent Jewish historian in the first half of this century, argues that the Jewish persecution by Christianity throughout the ages — a staple of popular Jewish folklore — has been greatly exaggerated:

    “Jewish historiography towards Christianity, and especially Catholicism, is
    typical of the errors which a too slavish following of the German
    tradition has inspired … The same lack of understanding and the same
    violence of contrast have been carried into other aspects of Jewish
    history. No attempt whatsoever has been made to understand the
    psychology of persecution. Any Jew-baiter is necessarily represented
    as a bloodthirsty desperado … Any [Jewish] apostate as a mere self-
    seeking humbug. All persons who have favored the Jews inevitably
    figure as saints and heroes, while whoever opposes or oppressed them
    automatically become ruffians and hypocrites … Almost every Jew is
    made to figure as a peaceful, unoffending saint, with no blemish
    whatsoever to mar his character or to explain his mistreatment … [But]
    blood ran as quickly in the ghetto as outside … [Jewish] violence was
    not unknown in the synagogue itself. [Jewish] sordidness was present in
    plenty to enhance by contrast the glories of martyrdom.” [ROTH, p.

    Based upon the ancient Judaic mythos of eternal victimization, Jewish animosity — and often hatred — towards Christianity runs deep to this day. Yet, says Salo Baron, “It would be a mistake … to believe that hatred was the constant keynote of Judeo-Christian relations, even in [medieval] Germany or Italy. It is the nature of historical records to transmit to posterity the memory of extraordinary events, rather than of the ordinary flow of life.” [LIBERLES, p. 347]

    Judaism had, of course, antipathy for Christianity from the latter’s very inception. Christianity evolved out of Judaism; it was founded and propagated by Jews dissatisfied with the direction of the seminal faith as guided by its leaders. “Popular hatred of the Temple priest and the rich,” says Lenni Brenner, “became the basis of Christianity, and the New Testament must be seen as the last major production of the Jewish religious genre.” [BRENNER, p. 42] The new faith branched out of Judaism as a distinctly different — and to Jewish minds heretical — religious view. At this point in history, Judaism was the dominant religious force (vis a vis Christianity) in Jerusalem; Christianity was embryonic and Jews were the persecutors. Christians hoped that Jews would join their new, universalistic faith.

    Edward Flannery writes that

    “The synagogue resented Christianity’s claims and in the emerging
    conflict struck the first blow. Hellenist Jewish converts to the Church
    were driven from Jerusalem. [Saint] Stephen was killed, as were the two
    Jameses, though James the Less was killed through the action of the high
    priest, not the majority of Jews. Peter was forced out of Palestine by the
    persecution of Herod Agrippa I, and Paul endured flagellations,
    imprisonment, and complaints by Jews to Roman authorities, and threats
    of death at Jewish hands. Barnabas’ death (60 AD) at the hands of Jews in
    Cypress is unanimously reported by early hagiographers.” [FLANNERY,
    p. 27]

    By 80 AD Jewish ritual had incorporated a daily curse against Christians: “May the minim [heretics] perish in an instant; may they be effaced from the book of life and not be counted among the Just.” [FLANNERY, p. 28] In 117 CE Jews were involved in the death of St. Simeon, the bishop of Jerusalem, and unrepenting Christians were massacred by Jews in the Bar Kocha revolt (132-135 AD) against the Romans.

    Christians were severely persecuted under Roman rule, while Jews — after initial revolts against Rome — largely prospered. “Christians were subject to mounting and systematic persecution from the time of Emperor Trajan (98-117 CE) onwards,” notes Robin Spiro, “The Jews, by and large, fared better than the Christians at the hands of the Romans, and retained the majority of their special privileges.” [SPIRO, p. 17] As Christianity grew in later centuries, attacks, riots, pogroms, rebellions — or whatever else one chooses to polemically label them — were instigated by Jews against Christians in Palestine and other parts of the Old World. Simon Dubnov notes that “in 556, during bouts in the circus in Caesarea, the Samaritans, assisted by Jewish youths, attacked the Christians. The Christians were beaten soundly. Several churches were razed and Stephanus, the governor of Palestine, was killed … In Antiocha … in 608, the local Jews rebelled; since they predominated in numbers they killed many Christians, including the patriarch Anastasias, whose body they dragged through the city streets … In other localities (Scytopolis, for instance) the Jews were hostile toward the Christians. During commercial transactions, they would not even accept money directly from the hands of a Christian; they had to throw their coins into water, where the Jews would then retrieve them.” [DUBNOV, p. 24-25 v. 2]

    When the Persians invaded Palestine in 614, Jews joined as “auxiliaries” in slaughtering Christian neighbors. “Jewish warriors,” says Simon Dubnov, “along with Persians, now assaulted numerous Christian churches (a church legend exaggerates the number of dead to 90,000). Many churches, including the one of Christ’s grave, were razed to the ground … In hostile acts towards Christians the Jew did not lag behind the Persians. Bitter resentment … found an outlet in atrocities.” [DUBNOV, p. 216, v. 2] According to a Christian monk of the times, Strategius of Mar Saba, Jews bought “a large number” of Christian prisoners from the Persians, “who they then slaughtered just as one might buy cattle to slaughter.” [SCHAFER, p. 192] “Even as the Persians were approaching Palestine,” notes Peter Schafer, “the Jews appear to have risked an open revolt against the Christians and allied themselves with the Persians.” [SCHAFER, p. 140] The Persians were soon driven out, however, by Heraclius of Christian Byzantium. When a Jewish leader, Benjamin of Tiberias, was asked why he had previously justified the cruelties against Christians, the Jewish patriot is reported to have answered, “Because they were the enemies of my religion.” [DUBNOV, p. 218, v.2]

    For centuries a range of ridiculing and hostile defamatory material about Christ was popularly circulated in the Jewish communities, eventually written as Sefar Toledoth Yeshu. “It enjoyed wide circulation among the general Jewish population.” [JACOB, W., 1974, p. 11] The earliest known copy found in modern times was discovered in a synagogue built in the seventh century. Christ, it was said, practiced witchcraft and was the illegitimate son of a Roman soldier or, by other accounts, a “disreputable man of the tribe of Judah.” [SHAHAK, p. 98, FLANNERY, p. 34, GOLDSTEIN, p. 148] The book, “in Hebrew and Yiddish was, but is not now, in common circulation,” wrote Jewish scholar Joseph Klausner in 1926, “yet the book may still be found in (manuscript) and in print among many educated Jews. Our mothers knew its contents by hearsay — of course with all manner of corruptions, charges, omissions, and imaginative additions — and handed them on to their children.” [KLAUSNER, p. 48] In the early years of Christianity Rabbi Tarphon of Jerusalem declared that “Christians were worse than heathens and one Rabbi Meir proclaimed that the New Testament was “a revelation of sin.” [FLANNERY, p. 34]

    The Talmud also accused Jesus of a variety of sexual indiscretions and that he had been condemned by God to boil for eternity in “boiling excrement.” Jewish religious texts also enjoined pious Jews to burn whatever New Testament volumes they came across. (Israel Shahak notes that this was publicly performed in Israel in 1980 by a Jewish religious organization, Yad Le’alchim). [SHAHAK, p. 21]

    A Chabad-sponsored Internet web site notes that

    “The Talmud (Babylonian edition) records other sins of ‘Jesus of Nazarene’:
    1) He and his disciples practiced sorcery and black magic, led Jews astray
    into idolatry, and were sponsored by foreign, gentile powers for the
    purpose of subverting Jewish worship (Sanhedrin 43a).
    2) He was sexually immoral, worshipped statues of stone (a brick is mentioned),
    was cut off from the Jewish people for his wickedness, and refused to repent
    (Sanhedrin 107b, Sotah 47a).
    3) He learned witchcraft in Egypt and, to perform miracles, used procedures
    that involved cutting his flesh — which is also explicitly banned in the Bible
    (Shabbos 104b).
    The false, rebellious message of Jesus has been thoroughly rejected by the
    vast majority of the Jewish people, as G-d commanded. Unfortunately,
    however, this same message has brought a terrible darkness upon the
    world; today, over 1.5 billion gentiles believe in Jesus. Those lost souls
    mistakingly think they have found salvation in Jesus; tragically, they are
    in for a rude awakening.” [NOAH’S COVENANT WEB SITE, 2001]

    “The very name Jesus,” says Shahak, “was for Jews a symbol of all that is abominable, and this popular tradition still exists. The Gospels are equally detested, and they are not allowed to be quoted (let alone taught) even in modern Israel schools. … For theological reasons, mostly rooted in ignorance, Christianity as a religion is classed by rabbinical teaching as idolatry. All Christian emblems and pictorial representations are regarded as idols … ” [SHAHAK, p. 98]

    Another Israeli, Israel Shamir, notes that the Toledoth is being rejuvenated today in Israel:

    “Last year [2000], the biggest Israeli tabloid Yedioth Aharonoth reprinted in its
    library the Jewish anti-Gospel, Toledoth Yeshu, compiled in the Middle Ages.
    It is the third recent reprint, including one in a newspaper. If the Gospel is the
    book of love, Toledoth is the book of hate for Christ. The hero of the book
    is Judas. He captures Jesus by polluting his purity. According to Toledoth,
    the conception of Christ was in sin, the miracles of Christ were witchcraft,
    his resurrection but a trick.” [SHAMIR, I., 2001]

    In 1997, notes Yossi Halevi, “a group of pro-Israel Pentecostals from Oklahoma were gathered outside the room on Jerusalem’s Mt. Zion traditionally associated with Jesus’ Last Supper, when several Ultra-Orthodox men passing by ostentatiously covered their noses with their prayer shawls, to protect them from the ‘stench;’ one of them spat on the ground.” [HALEVI, Y., p. 16] In Jewish tradition, notes Leon Poliakov, “Christians, significantly, were feared as wild animals much more than hated as men.” [WOLFSON, p. 6]

    This age-old Jewish contempt is integral to the reciprocal Christian religious animosity towards Jews in the Middle Ages, especially after such material was revealed by Jewish apostates to the surrounding Christian populace. But it is not likely that most “Christian” hostility towards Jews through the ages was based solely upon religious beliefs, although their contesting world view certainly could inflame non-Jewish hostility. As even Mark Twain noted, “With most people, of a necessity, bread and meat take first rank, religion second. I am convinced that the persecution of the Jews is not due in any large degree to religious prejudice.” [TWAIN]

    At Hebrew classes,” says Evelyn Kaye, who was raised in an Orthodox community, “we learned only about the role of the Jews in Greek and Roman times. The other aspects of the world were dismissed completely … At Hebrew classes, we understood that no one ever mentioned the name of Jesus under any circumstances … Any discussion of Jesus was taboo … We learned nothing about the spread of Christianity, or its development. We heard nothing of Christian suffering in defense of faith … I absorbed the idea that as soon as Jesus had arrived and started Christianity, Jews were persecuted ever after.” [KAYE, p. 79]

    Secular Jewish author Earl Shorris recalled in 1982 the first time he bought a Christmas tree, and the emotions he had when he decided to throw the tree out after both he and his son cut their hands on Christmas ornaments (“one of the cruciform balls”):

    “I resolved to save the lives of the Shorris family by getting the Christmas tree
    out of my house. Like David approaching the giant of Gath in the valley of
    Elah, I advanced upon the Goliath of Christmas trees. For a moment I was
    afraid, but I knew that righteousness was on my side and I snatched the great
    tree from its moorings and bore it out to the trash bin. Disregarding the
    mystical signs that hung from its limbs, I broke it in half with my bare hands
    and cast it down into the dark barrel, the Sheol of Christmas trees. Then all
    the family — the mother, the wounded men,and even the babe — rejoiced.” [SHORRIS, E., 1982, p. 40]

    “A number of years ago,” notes Maurice Friedman about common Jewish perspective on Christianity,

    “one of my oldest friends, now a minister, told me of his hope of establishing
    a community church which would attract many of the Jews in New York City
    who no longer have any religious commitment. ‘Will you have a cross at the
    altar?’ I asked.
    ‘Of course,’ he replied. ‘It is a universal religious symbol.’
    ‘That is where you are wrong,’ I said. ‘Even to the non-religious Jews
    the cross is a symbol of anti-Semitism from which the Jew has had to suffer.'”
    [FRIEDMAN, M., 1965, p. 211]

    There are still excessive anti-Christian currents within much of Jewry today — even including among its educated leaders. Michael Wyschogrod, a Jewish philosophy professor, wrote in 1989:

    “For many Jews, the cross is a source of contamination. From time to
    time, I have helped organize Jewish-Christian meetings at Catholic
    locations. There will almost always be some invited Jewish participants
    who inquire whether there are any crucifixes in the meeting rooms or in
    the room in which the participants sleep. If so, some participants will
    refuse to attend or inquire whether the crucifixes can be covered over
    or removed. What is going on here?” [WYSCHOGROD, p. 146]

    Rabbi Daniel Lapin wrote an entire book in 1999 about Jewry’s defamation of Christianity. As he notes,

    “A scenario I have seen several times took place during a Rotary
    luncheon I once attended. The invocation was given as it always is,
    but on this occasion, unbeknownst to me, the presenter violated an
    unwritten rule by invoking the name of Jesus. One of the prominent
    members who is also a leader of the local Jewish community exploded
    in a paroxysm of rage … Why do Jews think it acceptable to decree
    how Christians may pray? Why do so many Jews feel that they must
    take offense and react angrily at the invoking of the name of Jesus?”
    [LAPIN, D., 1999, p. 300]

    [See Chapter 20 for more discussion of traditional — and current — Jewish anti-Christian bigotry]

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    From the beginning of their tenure in Europe (and elsewhere), many Jews were merchants. This provided a base as they began expanding into money lending activities, including usury. Usury is defined most simply as money lending for profit. In medieval times it was universally condemned as a heinous and immoral act by the Christian church. The act of usury was deemed a mortal sin, and its practitioner’s path of greed was understood to end in eternal damnation in Hell. The idea of profiteering from someone else’s’ need — possibly desperate — for money was believed by medieval Christianity to be the antithesis of compassion, generosity, and charity. Christ was upheld as an example of poverty, non-materialism, and abstinence. Common wisdom asserted that those who had surplus money to lend in the first place were obsessed with greed and avarice and needed no more — certainly by usury — for their coffers. And making money for doing absolutely nothing (except having the money available) went against Christian medieval understandings of decency, justice, honest work, and morality. In essence, usury was perceived as a crass system of exponential exploitation by which the already wealthy could get increasingly wealthier for little more than the fact of their wealth in the first place. (In the nineteenth century, notes Abram Leon, Karl Marx argued that “usury centralized money wealth, where the means of production are disjointed. It does not alter the modes of production but attaches itself to it as a parasite, and makes it miserable. It sucks blood, kills its nerve and compels production to proceed under even more disheartening conditions.” [LEON, p. 150]

    As George Eaton Simpson and J. Milton Yinger observed:

    “The church’s condemnation of usury made sense in the relatively
    self-sufficient, largely barter economy in which a large proportion
    of the population lived, even down to the eighteenth century. Under
    those circumstances, a person borrows money only when he has
    suffered some unusual loss — long illness of the breadwinner, loss
    of crops, a destructive fire. To charge interest in such a situation
    is to kick a man when he is down. To the great majority of people,
    this continued to be the perspective on interest-taking: it was robbery;
    money was unproductive and yet one had to pay for its use.”
    [SIMPSON/YINGER, p. 295]

    The vast gap between Christian and Jewish moral perspectives, per materialist self-aggrandizement, is evidenced everywhere in their respective traditions. In the Christian New Testament, for instance, Jesus enjoined values of humility and modesty to his followers, teaching that “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven.” [LUKE 18-25] Jewish religious tradition stands in drastic opposition. The [Talmudic] Mishnah, for instance, proclaims, “Who is rich? He who enjoys his wealth.” Likewise, there is no equivilant in Jewish mainstream tradition to Christian vows of poverty and material abstinence, [SHAPIRO, p. 12] as epitimized in recent times by Mother Teresa. As the Talmud says: “Poverty in the home is more painful than fifty lashes.” [KOTKIN, p. 46]

    “Judaism is a this-world religion,” says Joshua Halberstam, “and making money is considered a natural human endeavor. Unlike Christianity, Judaism never considered poverty a virtue; the idea that the meek shall inherit the earth is a New Testament doctrine, not a Jewish one.” [HALBERSTAM, p. 25] “Judaism does not consider poverty noble,” says Maurice Lamm, “… The Jew prays for parnassah, a respectable income.” [LAMM, p. 108] As famed sociologist Max Weber wrote, “Pharisaic [i.e., rabbinic] Judaism was also far from rejecting wealth or from thinking that it be dangerous, or that its unqualified enjoyment endangers salvation. Wealth was, indeed, considered prerequisite to certain priestly functions.” [POLL, S., 1969, p. vii]

    The Jews were not forbidden in medieval Europe to become usurers. Because they refused to convert en masse to the dominant religious faith and, to Christian belief, be spiritually saved, Jews were considered outsiders. Whatever its continuously decried immoral atmosphere, usury was an economic opportunity and the Jewish community gravitated to it. In historical perspective, this niche they were afforded was a great economic privilege and a springboard for Jewish economic expansion to our own day. (In the Islamic world too, where usury was religiously prohibited to Muslims, Jews again gravitated towards that generally regarded repugnant activity). Of course there were, religious and legal injunctions or not, small numbers of Christian usurers too. But Jews had a distinct advantage in that they could be completely open in their profit-making activities. “The picture of the Jew,” says Jacob Katz, “waiting at home for the Gentile to come to borrow money or pay a debt is a realistic one … [but] many Jews also had also to call at the house of the Gentile to offer their services as traders or money-lenders.” [KATZ, Ex, p. 38]

    Christian usurers, who were despised at least as much by their co-religionists as Jews, usually had to be more discrete in their dealings. The gravity in which all usurers were violently hated by the general European population may be measured in the following passage by Jacques Le Goff:

    “The persecution and slaughter of Italian usurers, in particular in
    France during the late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, were
    phenomena as frequent and widespread as pogroms against the Jews,
    with the one difference that the pogroms were prompted by religious
    motives as well as the hatred of wealthy moneylenders of a different
    faith.” [LEGOFF]

    “Italians and Hugenots,” adds Alan Edelstein, “were expelled from France for economic reasons, and the same factors caused Germans in Novgorod to wall themselves for protection from Russian mobs.” [EDELSTEIN, p. 23]

    The exploitive nature of Jewish usury invariably alienated the Christian populace. The Cortes of Portugal, for instance, complained in 1361 that Jewish usury was becoming “an unbearable yoke upon the population.” [LEON, p. 165] Guido Kisch, in a probable understatement, notes that “the continual complaints against Jewish moneylenders, coming from all classes of the medieval population, particularly in the 14th and 15th centuries, necessarily made the Jew an unpopular figure.” [KISCH, p. 328] Usurious Jews who did no physical labor, who were segregated in their own communities, who did not serve in the local military, and who were agents of the hated aristocracy, were commonly accused of parasitism by local non-Jewish populaces. “Jewish money lending,” says Salo Baron, “[was a] lucrative business … For the most part, the accepted rate ranged between 33 and 43 per cent, although sometimes they went up to double and treble those percentages, or more … When the European economy entered a period of deceleration in the late thirteenth century, further aggravated by recurrent famine and pestilence, such exorbitant charges, though economically doubly justified because of the increased risks, created widespread hostility.” [BARON, EHoJ, p. 45] Money lending was not usually for a borrower’s business expenses or expansion, but for subsistence survival. [MACDONALD, p. 263] We are talking about desperate people who often enough stood to perish from their web of increasing debt.

    “It was not luxury needs,” says Abram Leon, “but the direct distress which forced the peasant or the artisan to borrow from the Jewish usurer. They pawned their working tools which were often indispensable to assure their livelihood. It is easy to understand the hatred that the man of the people must have felt for the Jew in whom he saw the direct cause of his ruin … [LEON, p. 171] In this role as petty usurers exploiting the people, [Jews] were often victims of bloody uprisings…” [LEON, p. 83] [uprisings that were] “first and foremost efforts to destroy the letters of credit which were in [Jewish] possession.” [LEON, p. 171]

    In 1431, for instance, armed peasants demanded that the city of Worms surrender its Jews to them, “in view of the fact that they had ruined [the peasants] and taken away their last shirt.” [LEON, p. 172]

    Usury was in fact considered immoral by Jews too. The great Jewish theologian, Maimonides, wrote “why is [usury] called nesek [biting]? Because he who takes it bites his fellow, causes pain to him, and eats his flesh.” [MINKIN, p. 362] Usury was forbidden to Jews, as well as Christians, in the Old Testament. (The Islamic Quran also expressly states its prohibition of “interest.”) But there was a qualifier. Jews conjured a double moral standard; usury upon others in their own community was prohibited, but usury upon non-Jews was acceptable. The Torah states that one cannot practice usury upon a brother, but can to a stranger. [DEUTERONOMY, 23:20] Who is a brother and who is a stranger? “Brother,” in Jewish religious teachings means “Jew.” “Stranger” is anyone else.

    St. Ambrose (339-397), the bishop of Milan and writer whose works influenced later medieval Christian thinking, “considered lending to a stranger a legitimate hostile act against an enemy.” [BARON, p. 53] St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), a well-known Christian theologian of his time, sounded an idealized, universalized Christian ethic about the Deutoronomic double standard:

    “The Jews were forbidden to take usury from their brethren,
    i.e., from other Jews. By this we are given to understand
    that to take usury from another man is simply evil, because
    we ought to treat every man as our neighbor and brother…”
    [NELSON, p. 14]
    “All Jewish converts [to Christianity] of early sixteenth century Germany,” says R. Po-Chia Hsia, “attacked the practice of Jewish money lending.” One convert, Johannes Pffeferkorn, argued that profits from usury was the main reason that Jews remained Jews, that they were reluctant to become Christians and do “honest work.” Another, Anton Margaritha, argued that such “honest work by Jews would humble them.” [HSIA, p. 172] (Conversely, in England, the Jewish “monopoly of usury brought them such wealth that some Christians undoubtedly went over to Judaism in order to participate in the Jewish monopoly in lending.”) [LEON, p. 140, quoting BRENTANO]

    A double standard ethic was endemic to traditional Jewish teachings. The Old Testament laws were for the benefit of Jews, and it always aggravated relations with their non-Jewish neighbors. The medieval Christian world held open doors to Jewish converts to the purported universality of their own faith, but most Jews opted for their own perception of themselves as an elite group — God’s special Chosen People — despite the inevitable hazards that such a self-perception engendered from the surrounding non-Jewish communities. The old adage to avoid trouble, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” was studiously dismissed by Jews to the extreme. They were even permitted talmudic (religiously-founded) self-governance by Christian authorities and were only called to the greater laws of the state for extraordinary transgressions. This situation provided Jews the uninhibited capacity to act within favorable, double-standard, self-aggrandizing laws created for themselves against the wider society. As Jacob Katz notes:

    “The belief that Jewish law was of divine origin, whereas Gentile
    law was purely a human invention, linked any evaluation with
    with the most fundamental theological tenet of Judaism. The moral
    conduct of the Jew towards Gentiles, if it was not to be
    determined solely by expediency and prudence, could have been
    influenced only by principles derived exclusively from Jewish
    sources.” [KATZ, Ex, p. 59]

    Israeli professor Ehud Sprinzak notes traditional Jewish perspective on the surrounding Gentile “law of the land” in Eastern Europe:

    “Everyone knew everybody in the [Jewish community], and there was
    no need for official code or written law. The only formal law was the
    Torah and its halakhic interpretation as understood by the local rabbi
    … It was a basis communal conduct … (‘You help me, and I’ll
    you’) … The attitude towards the formal law of the land was suspicion
    … One has to survive it, not respect it. The art of Jewish survival within
    the ghetto included an elaborate system of using, avoiding, and
    sidestepping the [Gentile] law.” [SPRINZAK, Elite, p. 178]

    Or, as James Yaffe puts it:

    “The feeling of separation … leads to a special Orthodox morality.
    Ultimately because the moral value of every act is determined by
    halakhah, by Jewish law, they develop a rather cavalier attitude
    toward ‘gentile’ law. For example, a tiny minority of Hasidim [in
    America today] engage in jewelry smuggling. In the shtetl [Jewish
    Eastern European village] this was a traditional trade. Nobody looked
    upon it as a crime, because nobody recognized the existence of
    national borders; the only borders that mattered were those that
    divided the Jewish from the gentile world.” [YAFFE, J., 1968, p.

    The combination of insular self-governance, their languages of Hebrew and/or Yiddish, and self-imposed isolation, also inferred (and was in fact understood by Jews to be) a Jewish “sub-nationality” within the broader Christian state. This too was much resented by the indigenous European populace. It was a politically volatile situation. Each faith, the majority Christian and minority Judaic, was entrenched in its respective belief system, each implicitly hostile to the other, with the only significant intercourse between them being the world of commerce, a field in which Jews were rapidly building, despite their small numbers — through trade and the hated usury — a profound advantage.

    In this context of mutual hostility, Jacob Katz paraphrases the sociologist Max Weber with regards to the Jewish community’s “extreme” use of its moral double standard in its treatment of non-Jews, commercially or otherwise:

    “[While it is a] universal phenomena… [that] members of any
    cohesive social unit observe … different moral standards among
    themselves from those observed by it in relation to strangers,
    [the sociologist Max Weber] was right in depicting the medieval
    Jewish community as an extreme case in point…” [KATZ p. 56]

    Bearing in mind that the only interaction Jews really had with Christians in this era was in the realm of commerce, this double standard — ethically treating Jews one way, and Gentiles the other — is again highlighted by Katz:

    “No moral teaching could change the realities of religious rivalry,
    social segregation, and the plurality of legal systems. All these
    must have encouraged a double standard of behavior. Those who
    were reluctant to be guided by the higher morality had the letter of
    the law on their side.” [KATZ, p. 61]

    For the Jewish part, Katz’s referral to “the letter of the law” is their sacred Talmud, and other Jewish teachings which “are far from forming the elements of a universalistic ethic. They took social duality for granted,” [KATZ, Ex, p. 63] which is a delicate way of saying that Jewish religious teachings were commonly interpreted to sanction the exploitation of non-Jews.

    It is hard to miss the intention of the Talmud, or misinterpret its noble meaning, or “pilpul” it into something other than what it is, when it says:

    “Rabbi Shemeul says advantage may be taken of the mistakes of a
    Gentile. He once bought a gold plate as a copper one of a Gentile for
    four zouzim, and then cheated him out of one zouzim in the bargain.
    Rav Cahana purchased a hundred and twenty vessels of wine from a
    Gentile for a hundred zouzim, and swindled him in the payment out of
    one of the hundred, and that while the Gentile assured him that he
    confidently trusted his honesty. Rava once went shares with a Gentile
    and bought a tree, which was cut up into logs. This done, he bade, his
    servants to go pick out the largest logs, but to be sure to take no more
    than the proper number, because the Gentile knew how many there
    were. As Rav Ashi was walking abroad one day he saw some grapes
    growing in a roadside vineyard, and sent his servant to see whom they
    belonged to. ‘If they belong to a Gentile,’ he said, ‘bring some here to
    me, but if they belong to an Israelite, do not meddle with them.’ The
    owner, who happened to be in the vineyard, overheard the Rabbi’s
    order and called out, ‘What? Is it lawful to rob a Gentile?’ ‘Oh, no,’ said
    the Rabbi evasively, ‘a Gentile might sell, but an Israelite would not.'”
    [HARRIS, p. 182, BAVA KAMA, Fol. 113, col. 2]

    This is to be found in Jewish religious texts. Likewise, this:

    “When an Israelite and a Gentile have a lawsuit before them, if they canst,
    acquit the former according to the laws of Israel, and tell the latter such
    is our laws; if they cannot get him off in accordance with Gentile law, do
    so, and say to the plaintiff such is your law; but if he cannot be
    acquitted according to either law, then bring forward adroit pretext and
    secure his acquittal. These are the words of Rabbi Ishmael. Rabbi
    Akiva says, ‘No false pretext should be brought forward, because if
    found out, the name of God would be blasphemed, but if there be no
    fear of that, then it may be adduced.'” [HARRIS, p. 31, BAVA KAMA,
    Fol. 113 col. 1]

    “The economic behavior of the Jew,” wrote the great sociologist Max Weber, “simply moved in the direction of the least resistance which was permitted them by [their] legalistic ethical norms. This means in practice that the acquisitive drive, which is found in varying degrees in all groups and nations, was here directed primarily to trade with strangers [i.e., non-Jews], who were usually regarded as enemies.” [WEBER, p. 254]

    In medieval Poland, “the limitations upon non-Jews [by Jewish law and culture] were … stringent,” notes Bernard Weinryb,

    “Being outsiders in the Jewish community they were subject to
    all the prescriptions applying to foreigners. Thus Jewish middlemen
    and agents were forbidden to put one non-Jewish businessman in
    contact with another or to bring a non-Jewish consumer into a
    non-Jewish store. Many warnings were issued to such agents against
    showing non-Jews ‘how to do business’ or divulging Jewish business
    secrets to him … Jews were forbidden to rent a room to a non-Jew …
    Another area controlled by the Jewish community was rents and
    leaseholds. In time … monopolistic tendencies increased among the
    Jews … The fact remained that the monopolistic-exclusion principles
    were also an integral part of the Jewish way of life and could thus not
    be regarded as a constant anti-Semitic factor directly solely against
    themselves.” [WEINRYB, p. 159]

    In an overview of Polish history, another Jewish scholar, Eva Hoffman, notes

    “that the Jews had their views of the people among whom they lived we
    we cannot doubt, but their ordinary opinions, ideas, and preconceptions
    are largely inaccessible to us, since almost no secular Jewish literature
    is extant for the early period. We do know, however, that Jews had
    their exclusionism and monopolistic practices, prohibiting rights of
    residence to outsiders in their quarters, and strictly guarded certain
    business practices and ‘secrets’ from non-Jews … We can take it
    for granted, moreover, that fierce religious disapproval traveled
    both ways [between Jews and Poles] … At the same time, unlike
    other minority groups, Jews had no wish to assimilate, to take on
    the coloring of the surrounding culture, to become like the other.”
    [HOFFMAN, E., 1997, p. 45]

    Strict adherence to Jewish laws and values by even the most corrupt of Jewry was typical of the Jewish underclass of Europe’s Middle Ages who found in their religious beliefs sanction for their predations on Gentiles. “Despite all their depravity,” says Mordechai Breuer, “members of the Jewish robber bands lived as Jews and generally adhered to traditional Jewish lifestyles and customs. As a rule, they did not undertake any expedition on the Sabbath [Saturday] and kept the dietary laws.” [BREUER, in MAYER, p. 249]

    “Jewish bandits stole almost exclusively from Christians,” notes Otto Ulbrichtl, “No breaking into houses of Court Jews or representatives of the Jewish community or synagogues (in contrast to the many burglarized churches) were reported.” [ULBRICHT, p. 62]

    Florike Egmond’s historical work about organized crime in the Netherlands (1650-1800) notes the following:

    “[There was] picking pockets, the theft of textiles and gold or
    silver, and church robbery with its concomitant violence against
    priests and clergy. None of these was the exclusive domain of
    Jews, who were involved in various other subcategories of theft
    and burglary as well, but in these particular offences Jews were
    especially prominent … [EGMOND, p. 108] … Some Jewish
    groups specialized in church robbery … From 1680 to 1795
    the robbery of churches and priests and clergy was the nearly
    exclusive domain of Jews … [EGMOND, p. 109] … Jews robbed
    not only Roman Catholic priests but Protestant ones too. It
    looks rather as if most Christian thieves stayed away from all
    churches, while Jewish thieves selected churches for more
    reasons that just convenience.” [EGMOND, p. 110]

    In pre-Holocaust Poland and Russia, notes Yiddish expert Abraham Brumberg, Jewish thieves, pimps, and prostitutes developed a rich folklore of hundreds of songs, mostly in this tenor:

    “I go into the street
    I open a door
    I spot a fur coat
    I invite it to go with me.” [LESTER, p. 36]

    Such a worldview that callously preys upon surrounding Gentile society was apparently not considered to be incongruous with the fundamental tenets of Judaism. As Brumberg notes, ‘Many who subscribed to these [thieving] values considered themselves God-fearing and had their own synagogues.” [LESTER, p. 36] [This we shall run across again]

    There is a tradition of Yiddish criminal songs in Eastern Europe:

    “The two large cities of Warsaw and Odessa ‘boasted’ of a strong Jewish
    underworld which lived by its own laws,and the songs in this category
    are varied and vivid, revealing the sentiments of the criminal world in the Pale
    (area of Czarist Russia where Jews were permitted to live). In many ways,
    these songs are similar to those of the non-Jewish world on themes that dealt
    with the life and pursuits of housebreakers, pickpocketes, hijackers,
    counterfeiters, extortionists, gangsters, pimps and even murderers. These
    are genuine folk songs, products of anonymous singers, actual persons who
    daily evaded the police, faced the hostility of the respectable community,
    quarreled and brawled among themselves, experienced the dangers and
    pleasures of their ‘chosen profession.'” [RUBIN, R., 1979]

    In 1939 Chaim Kaplan, a German-born Jew, noted the Jewish émigrés at the Russian-Polish border where 2,000 Jews were given a monetary advance by the Soviet government for a work project in the Soviet hinterlands: “To our shame, only 800 returned to accept the work and take the journey — the rest disappeared without a trace. They simply expressed their gratitude to the Soviet government, which had extended its protection and opened its borders to them, with trickery. There were also incidents of stealing from private people. Polish-born Jews are rather high-handed in matters of ‘yours’ and ‘mine,’ and if they don’t actually steal, they ‘take’ … There can be no atonement for such shameful behavior. It reflects on the character of an entire people.” [KAPLAN, C., p. 90]

    Jews were popularly perceived in medieval (and even up to modern Europe) as either ostentatiously wealthy parvenus or predatory small time thieves, with considerable moral overlap between them. Both groups were significant players in local economies with the Jewish upper-class and underclass often linked in economic exploitation of the non-Jewish communities around them. “From Court Jews to peddler,” says Jonathan Israel, “those divergent groupings penetrated and depended on each other economically, as well as in religion and commercial life. It would be idle to deny that there was exploitation as well as collaboration and interdependence, but such exploitation existed on all levels and operated in all ways.” [ULBRICHT, p. 59]

    One of the privileges that Jews often sought and acquired from European aristocracies in the Middle Ages was the right to demand full payment from aggrieved owners when stolen objects found their way into Jewish hands for sale. This caused deep resentment amongst the Gentile population; it was often charged that this policy paved the way for lucrative Jewish “fencing” operations where stolen goods could regularly find their ways to Jewish shops and hiding spots in the their community. [BARON EHOJ, p. 42] These Jewish agents of receivership were called in Hebrew ba’al ha-davar, literally meaning ‘wire pullers,’ figuratively meaning “Masters of the Affair.” [BREUER, p. 249]

    Florike Egmond notes the same kinds of Jewish fencing operations in the eighteenth century in the Netherlands:

    “Two equally salient characteristics of Jewish organized crime
    [were] its near monopoly on the buying and selling of stolen goods
    and the central importance of towns to all its activities … [EGMOND,
    p. 115] … The near monopoly of Jews in the fencing business indirectly
    contributed to the prominence of other Jews in organized crime …
    [EGMOND, p. 116] … The period between about 1740 and 1765 can
    be regarded as the phase of expansion of Jewish crime. After that
    Jewish involvement in organized crime continued at a consistently high
    level.” [EGMOND, p. 119]

    Although based in urban areas, Jewish bands were highly mobile and also preyed on those in the countryside. “Jews involved in organized crime in the Netherlands,” adds Egmond, “were often active in retail trade … Extensive travelling also meant numerous contacts with other Jewish peddler.” [EGMOND, p. 123] Eventually, common self-protective interests brought some Jewish, Gypsy and Christian criminals together. Egmond notes, however, that “most Christians who joined Jewish bands, whether they acted as occasional assistants or as experienced members” were always considered “outsiders.” [EGMOND, p. 145] In the case of one crime ring, the “Great Dutch Band,” a band of mixed ethnicity, it was formed by Moyse Jacob “who played a central role in bringing together the various criminal circuits of the Dutch Republic within a more permanent organizational structure.” [EGMOND, p. 148] In the Great Dutch Band’s first (Brabant) “branch,” two-thirds of its sixty members were Jews; in its second branch (the Meerssen Band), two-thirds of its sixty members were also Jewish; and 16 of 25 people were Jewish in the Band’s third expression. In the fourth, Jews were a quarter of the group. “The first [branch],” notes Egmond, “set the pattern with respect to criminal specialization, leadership, and forms of organization. All the principal commanders had been instructed (and probably selected) by Moyse Jacob himself.” They were also all Jewish. [EGMOND, p. 149]

    In a volume about Polish peasant society, William Thomas and Florian Znaiecki note that

    “The Jewish shopkeeper in a [Polish] peasant village is usually also
    a liquor dealer without license, a banker lending money at usury,
    often also a receiver of stolen goods and (near the border) a
    contrabandist. The peasant needs, and fears, him, but at the same
    time despises him always and hates him often. The activities of
    those country shop keepers is the source of whatever anti-Semitism
    there is in the peasant masses. We have seen in the documents the
    methods by which the shopkeeper teaches the peasant boy smoking,
    drinking, and finally stealing; the connection established in youth
    lasts sometimes into maturity, almost every gang of peasant thieves
    or robbers centers around some Jewish receiver’s place, where the
    spoils are brought and new campaigns planned. Gangs composed
    exclusively of Jews are frequent in towns, rare in the country; usually
    Jews manage only the commercial side of the questions, leaving robbing
    or transporting of contraband to peasants.” [THOMAS/ZNAIECKI, p.

    Jewish itinerants (perhaps 10% of the Jewish population in Germany in the Middle Ages), as well as Jewish thieves, and robbers were common in European life. Evidence of Christian criminals’ linkage to the Jewish economic underworld is reflected in the fact that “some 20%” of the vernacular for illicit activity in the jargon of non-Jewish criminals contained words and terms derived from Yiddish and Hebrew. [BREUER, p. 248]

    Oklahoma professor Stan Nadel notes the reason for the spreading of Yiddish criminal terms into the English language across the world:

    “It seems that [the Yiddish word] gonef (sometimes gonnoff, hence the false
    etymology) entered American and English slang via what is known as thieves’ cant.
    One of the traditional occupations for Jews in Europe and America was as
    pawnbrokers. That is an occupation which ttends to bridge the border between the
    criminal and business worlds. At the margin, the line between pawnbroker
    and fence (handler of stolen goods) is often obscured and some Jews played
    and important part in the criminalized underground of large cities … I had
    assumed [the term gonef] moved into American English from German Jewish
    immigrants in New York (like [famous Jewish criminal] Mrs. Mandelbaum)
    until I learned it was also present in 18th century London thieves’ cant. Then
    I was told by a specialist on the 18th century London underworld that Jewish
    fences played a key role in linking the London underworld with markets in
    Amsterdam (he says they claimed they could fence anything, including the
    crown jewels), and that this is the source of Yiddish loan words in English
    thieves cant.” [NADEL, S., 6-18-98]

    But, as we will increasingly find, it was not only the Jewish vagabonds, unscrupulous shopkeepers, or exploitive upper strata Court Jews who played the role of swindler with the Gentiles. No less an authority than Heinrich Graetz, one of the greatest Jewish historians whose History of the Jews was a pioneer work, had this to say, generally, about the Jews in Poland. It was a mainstream ethic

    “to twist a phrase out of its meaning, to use all the tricks of the clever
    advocate, to play upon words, and to condemn what they did not
    know … Such were the characteristics of the Polish Jew. … Honesty
    and right thinking he lost as completely as simplicity and truthfulness.
    He made himself master of all the gymnastics of the Schools (of
    religious interpretations) and applied them to obtain advantage over
    any one less cunning than himself. He took a delight in cheating and
    overreaching which gave him a sort of joy of victory. But his own
    people he could not treat in this way: they were as knowing as he. It
    was the non-Jew, to his loss, that felt the consequences of the
    Talmudically trained mind of Polish Jew.” [GRAETZ, v.10, p. 62,

    Israeli professor Jay Goren recalls the Jacob-Esau tradition, where Jacob, the Jewish cheater/deceiver, is heroized in Jewish tradition, noting:

    “As we may recall, Jacob the tent dweller, who used his head,
    outsmarted Esau, the skilled hunter, who uses his hands, and cheated
    Esau out of his inheritance, Isaac’s blessing. The blessing was the
    birthright of Esau by virtue of his being the firstborn child. In Jewish
    tradition, Jacob came to symbolize the Jews and Esau the Gentiles.
    Thus, an image of contrasting roles were formed whereby the Jews
    were supposed to use their heads and the Gentiles their muscles.”
    [GOREN, p. 135]

    The Israeli author Israel Shahak in 1994 argued that Orthodox Judaism is, in its very construct, motivated by “a combination of hypocrisy and the profit motive.” Even in Israel today, secular Jews look with disdain upon the Orthodox religious community for its “duplicity and venality.” “It is actually true,” Shahak writes, “that the Jewish religious establishment does have a strong tendency to chicanery and graft due to the corrupting influence of the Orthodox Jewish religion.” [SHAHAK, p. 48] [See Jewish drug money laundering, later chapter]

    The great German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, echos Graetz and Shahak in his own observations of the Jewish community:

    “[The Jews], living among us, or at least the greatest number of them,
    have through their usurious spirit … received the not unfounded
    reputation as deceivers … They do not seek civil honor, but rather
    wish to compensate their loss by profitably outwitting the very people
    among whom they find protection … We may suppose that their
    dispersion throughout the world, with their unity in religion and
    language, must not be attributed to a curse that had been afflicted
    upon this people. On the contrary, the dispersion must be considered
    a blessing, especially since the wealth of the Jews, if we think of them
    as individuals, apparently exceeds per capita that of any other nation
    at the present time. [KANT, p. 101-102]

    A well-known French Jewish socialist (and later Zionist), Bernard Lazare, addressed this issue of Jewish morality in 1894:

    “The moral charge of the anti-Semite [is that] the Jew is more dishonest
    than the Christian; he is entirely unscrupulous, a stranger to loyalty and
    candor. Is this charge well founded? It was true and is true in all those
    countries where the Jew is kept outside of society; where he receives
    only the traditional Talmudic education…. The Talmud and anti-Judaic
    legislation [in Gentile societies] united to corrupt the Jew to his very
    depths. Impelled by his teachers on the one hand, by hostile forces on
    the other, by many social causes besides, to the exclusive occupation
    of commerce and usury, the Jew became degraded. The pursuit of
    wealth ceaselessly prosecuted, debauched him, weakened the voice of
    conscience within him, taught him habits of fraud.” [LAZARE, p. 164]

    This ethic was of course brought by Jews, particularly from Eastern Europe, to America. As Jewish commentator James Yaffe notes: “The Lower East Side [the turn-of-the-century Jewish section of Manhattan] pushcart peddler who prided himself on his honesty wouldn’t hesitate to sell damaged goods to the gentile housewife.” [YAFFE, J., 1968, p. 68] Max Weber notes this quality in Jewish identity through history, referring to it as “the dualistic nature of [Judaism’s] in-group and out-group moralities.” [POLL, S., 1969, p. v]

    As Mary Antin, a Jewish immigrant to the United States from Russia, once observed in her autobiography, The Promised Land:

    “[Jewish merchants and money lenders] preyed upon [Christians], and our
    shopkeepers gave false measure. People who want to defend the Jews ought
    never to deny this. Yes, I say, we cheated the Gentiles whenever we dared,
    because it was the only thing to do … Is not that the code of war? Encamped
    in the midst of the enemy, we could practice no other. A Jew could hardly
    exist in business unless he developed a dual conscience, which allowed him
    to do to the Gentile what he would call a sin against a fellow Jew.” [TRAXEL,
    D., 1998, p. 29]

    Many modern Jewish apologists refute such exposure and criticism of traditional Jewish double standard of morality. As we have seen, when caught in the act of deceit there are religious texts that recommend explaining it quickly somehow away. Jules Carlebach, for example, argues that a “dual morality” — if, in his view, it ever existed — was no big deal; he likens the Jewish medieval communities in Europe to “independent political states,” saying:

    “If an independent political state adopted legislation which is intended
    to further the interests of its citizens, but which has no parallel
    provisions in neighboring states, then it is both logical and essential
    to create a dual system.” [CARLEBACH, p. 224]

    Jews had always closed ranks as a completely “foreign” body in mainstream Christian society. While some Jewish religious teachings certainly supported the notion that they should live in obedience with the laws of the host country they lived in, this was largely expedient and prudent for their own survival. Less supportive Jewish texts included prayers that anticipated the downfall of surrounding non-Jewish society. During Arab-Christian hostilities, for instance, Jews appealed to God to drain them both in war. They had a prayer, notes Salo Baron, “composed in the geonic period which was unheard of in any other period of Jewish history in the dispersion: ‘Be it Thy will, O Lord, that the Kings should wage war on one another.'” [BARON, ASOC&REL, p. 186]

    Jewish communities in Europe, as insular self-entities always searching for their own best interests, had been known to betray non-Jewish lands in which they lived. Both Hebrew and Yiddish were Jewish languages that were impenetrable to most non-Jews. (For centuries rabbinical dictate even forbade the teaching of Hebrew to Gentiles). These “secret” languages tended to heighten non-Jewish suspicions of them. The Muslim invasion of Christian Spain was aided by the Spanish Jewish community who expected better treatment under Islamic rule. The French city of Bordeaux was believed by some to have been betrayed by Jews in 848 to invading Normans; the same charge was made against Jews for the fall of the French town of (Visigothic) Arles to Catholics. Poles charged Jews with abetting invading Swedes in the 17th century. [HAGEN, p. 23] In the 12th century, Byzantine Jews aided invading Turks (Constantinople was breached with help from — and through — the Jewish quarter); in the 17th century Spanish and Portugese Jews intrigued with the Dutch. [MACDONALD, p. 64-65] On the other hand, in the early 1800s, when Napoleon invaded the Pale of Russia, “the pattern of German-Jewish behavior during the Napoleonic invasion was largely repeated in Russia.” [SACHAR, p. 79] The Jews, in other words, did nothing, laid low, and waited to see who was victorious. “With the exception of the Jewish community of Lithuania,” says Howard Sachar, “the citizens of the Pale were not obliged to commit themselves until the war was won.” [SACHAR, p. 79]

    The Italian ambassador to Poland, Eugenio Reale, in 1946 wrote an analysis of the “Jewish question” in Poland:

    “In effect, Polish Jews together with German Jews held a monopoly
    over all exports and imports of goods between Germany and Russia.
    Certain branches of manufacture in Poland were also under their control,
    particularly the textile industry in Lodz. It is of little wonder, then, that
    the Jews often manifested their true, undeniably existing feelings of
    solidarity with the Prussians. In Pomerania, during the 1848
    insurrections, groups of Jews greeted the insurgents with shouts
    such as: ‘We do not want Poland, we are Prussians.’ Almost a half
    century later, during the Warsaw manifestations in favor of Polish
    autonomy in the Russian sphere, the Jews took a similar position against
    the demonstrators, shouting, “Why should Poland exist? Down with
    Poland! Down with the white eagle [the symbol of Poland].”
    [PIOTROWSKI, p. 46]

    In Morocco under French rule, notes Nahum Goldmann, “the Jews were on such poor terms with the Arabs that they were nearly all pro-French — which brought them the hatred of those who aspired to independence.” In Algeria, also bucking under French colonialism, Jews “even had automatic French citizenship, unlike the non-Jews.” [GOLDMANN, N., 1978, p. 48] Even in 1996, notes the American Jewish Yearbook, “Between 800 and 900 Jews were known to be living in Bosnia-Herzegovnia … During the [civil] war, about 300 people who before the fighting had not declared themselves as Jewish joined the Jewish community, presenting written documentation such as marriage or birth certificates. Before the war, these people had declared themselves as ‘Yugoslavs.’ Some of them remained in Bosnia-Herzegovinia while others went to Israel.” [SINGER/SELDIN, 1997, p. 378]

    The Jewish Diaspora community in Europe has been formally called to task by Christian authorities a number of times in history, including two momentous occasions to find out exactly what the Jews in their midst believed and where they morally, politically, socially, and religiously stood with regards to Gentiles. One of the most important accounts of such an occasion was in France in the year 1240. A Jewish apostate named Donin, Christianized to Nicholas de Rupella, well versed in Hebrew as a Talmudic scholar, claimed to Church officials that there were many elements in the Jewish teachings that were threatening to non-Jews. A public disputation was held between Donin and Rabbi Yehiel ben Joseph of Paris and as Jeremy Cohen notes about Hebrew records of the event: “Some modern writers have labeled the Hebrew protocol [of the disputation] a prime example of literary polemic, using well-known forensic motifs to reinforce popular Jewish belief rather than actually reporting what occurred.” [COHEN, J., 1982, p. 66]

    Jacob Katz notes the infamous line in the Talmud that came up for public examination, stating “The best among Gentiles should be slain.” One can imagine that such a directive in Jewish religious texts, whatever its complex historical context as a part of intra-Jewish argument, exposed to Church leaders in Medieval society by a Jewish apostate, was not an easy one for the rabbis to explain away. Even Katz passes on its essential content, simply alluding to “whatever its meaning may be…” [KATZ, p. 108] M. K. Harris, in his book on Talmudic literature, adds an addenda to this opinion to “kill the best of the Gentiles.” “Modern editions,” notes Harris, “qualify this by adding ‘in time of war.'” [HARRIS, p. 191]

    The intention of the Church inquiry was, of course, to squeeze out of Jewish religious texts the most self-condemnatory sounding material. Hence, some of what Katz calls the Talmud’s apparent “picture of extreme hostility on the part of the Jews towards their Christian neighbors” seemed nothing less than indicting:

    ‘You have permitted [Jews] to shed the blood of Gentiles.’ ‘It is
    permitted to steal and plunder the Gentile’s possessions and (it is
    allowed) to cheat him.’ ‘Concerning the lost property of a Gentile,
    you say that it is forbidden to return it to him.’ The Gentile is
    suspected by the Jew of practicing fornication, adultery, and
    sodomy. The Jew is not allowed to make the Gentile any gift,
    nor is he even permitted to say, “How handsome this Gentile is;’
    it is permitted to you to curse and to despise idolatry’; and we
    are as despised in your eyes as locusts and flies.'” [KATZ, p. 107]

    The way the rabbis weaseled out of the grim possibility of extremely serious repercussions for the Jewish community was to argue that such lines — although they truly exist in Jewish sacred texts — applied to Gentiles of antiquity, yes, but that Christians were now an exception. This position, says Katz, was “no more than an ad hoc device to be used in the course of controversy. There is no indication in the Talmud or in the later halakhic sources that such a view was ever held, or even proposed, by an individual halakhist. In fact, evidence to the contrary exists.” [KATZ, p. 110] Rabbis even tried to convince Christian interrogators that insults and degradations in the Talmud directed towards Jesus of Nazareth referred to a different Jesus because it was a common name! [POPPER, p. 10] As Rabbi Yehiel ben Joseph said in defense of the Talmudic texts that defamed Christ, “Not every Louis born in France is the king of France. Has it not happened that two men were born in the same city, had the same name, and died in the same manner? There are many such cases.” [COHEN, J., 1982, p. 70] “The Jesus of the Talmud,” notes scholar Jeremy Cohen, “… is mentioned as condemned to wallow eternally in boiling excrement … When forced to admit that one talmudic passage mentioning the crimes of Jesus and his execution did indeed apply to the Christian Jesus, Yehiel still emphasized that the Talmud was not responsible for maintaining this opinion among Jews.” [COHEN, J., 1982, p. 71]

    The Jewish representatives also took great pains to distance themselves from traditional prayers that asked, as the apostate noted, for the end of the “unrighteous kingdom.” Did this mean the surrounding society in which the Jews currently lived? It did. This has always meant to Jews “the whole secular world and its entire political edifice” [KATZ, p. 112], but the Jewish defenders managed to convince their inquirers that the prayers alluded to the ancient powers of Biblical eras.

    This formal inquiry evinced a renewed suspicion by the Church towards Jews, as well as an outside steerage of the Judaic faith — for their own safety — towards liberalization. “The Paris disputation,” says Katz, “marks a transition, from the comparative tolerance of the Catholic Church towards the Jewish faith to the harassing practice of scrutinizing and censuring Jewish customs and tenets. The same event assisted, or even compelled, the Jews to take a further step towards the idea of religious tolerance.” [KATZ, p. 113]

    In 1806 a second group of Jewish community leaders were forced to again face a formal inquiry into their belief system by the greater society in which they lived. This convening again occurred in France, but this time it was at Napoleon’s insistence. The Jewish “Assembly of Notables,” and later an even more influential assemblage of Jewish leaders, the Sanhedrin, was presented with twelve written questions, upon whose answers their fate — as a community — was understood to rest. With the rise of the European nation states, conflicts between them, and with continued Jewish self-conception as a kind of sub national entity, Napoleon sought to confront the affluent and powerful parts of the Jewish community as to their ultimate political loyalties and allegiances.

    Questions included:

    * In the eyes of the Jews, are Frenchmen considered as brethren? Or are they considered strangers?

    *In either case, what line of conduct does their law prescribe towards Frenchmen not of their religion?

    * Do Jews born in France, and treated by the laws as French citizens, consider France as their country? Are they bound to defend it? Are they bound to obey the laws and to conform to the dispositions of the civil courts?

    * Can a Jewess marry a Christian, and a Jew a Christian woman? Or does the law allow the Jews to intermarry only among themselves?

    * Does Jewish law encourage Jews to practice usury among their own community?

    The Jewish notables replied, after extended consultations, with an affirmation of Jewish loyalty to France and the brotherhood of all French citizens, complete with careful, cautioned, diplomatic explanation for all such replies. Napoleon’s emissary, Count Mole, ‘was struck by what appeared to him to be evasive references: now to Moses, now to the Talmud, now to practical Jewish usage. He was particularly suspicious of the answer on usury … [but] Napoleon … declared himself satisfied.” [SACHAR, p. 48] The Jewish answers to Napoleon — the compromises of both orthodox and secularly assimilated Jewish leaders — are, in retrospect, considered also by historians to have been largely evasive. The gulf between those who represented traditional Jewish teachings and the growing numbers of secularized Jews was great, but both — traditional and assimilative — HAD to figure out ways to give Napoleon the answers he wanted. This gulf is reflected in Jacob Katz’s view that

    “Even learned Jews sincerely maintained that Judaism had
    always taught universalistic ethics only. When the ‘scientific’
    anti-Semites of the 1880’s discovered and published the
    extracts from ancient Jewish authorities on which earlier anti-
    Semitism had been based, the general Jewish public was not
    only outraged but genuinely astonished … Jewish leaders and
    scholars reconciled the contemporary views with the ancient
    authorities by resorting to apologetics.” [KATZ, p. 196]

    Robert Goldenberg notes the long tradition of Jewish evasiveness when it comes to explaining the Talmud to non-Jews:

    “[In the Middle Ages] Christians too studied the Talmud — often with
    the help of apostate Jews — and would then quote rabbinic authority
    in support of their own claims. Jews thus had to develop a double
    attitude toward the nonlegal aspect of the Talmud: when it was useful
    to them they cited it to refute the Christians’ claims, but when it
    weakened their position they felt free to repudiate it.” [GOLDENBERG,
    R., 1984, p. 164-165]

    In our day, Jewish apologists, propagandists, and populists continue to proliferate, reaching back into rabbinical law to recreate a romantic vision of the historical record of Jewish morality towards others. “The fact that the Jews in general,” proclaims Nachum Gidal, in a polemic against Christianity, “were very ethical in their religion, family, and daily life was of little significance for the Christian community.” [GIDAL, p. 12] “At all times and in all places,” claims Meir Tamari, both a Talmudic scholar and the chief economist of the Bank of Israel, “Jews were encouraged, especially in the economic field, to go beyond the letter of the law and to that which was more merciful than required, even though the rabbinical authorities could not naturally enforce such kindness.” [TAMARI, p.]

    Or, as Jacob Neusner rhapsodizes:

    “It is ethical for a Jew to guide the frail old lady across a busy street,
    it is also ethical for a Boy Scout to do so. And so being Jewish and
    being a Boy Scout functionally are pretty much the same thing.”
    [NEUSNER, J., 1972, p. 75]

  18. Spare7

  19. 5

    So great is the Jewish “commercial spirit,” so omnipresent, and so much part of Jewish religious teachings themselves, that, beginning in the 19th century, many Jews socializing into “civil” Christian society found themselves embarrassed by the crass behavior that resounded from the Orthodox synagogues. “There were many modern, acculturated Jews,” observes Howard Sachar, “who were increasingly repelled by the synagogue’s cacophony: the nasal singing, the selling of prayers, the gossiping of women in the gallery, the absence of decorum.” [SACHAR, p. 159]

    “In Judaism,” says Martin Sklare, “there is no sharp division between the sacred and secular, and consequently little development of separate norms in each area. This system conflicts with the Christian — and American — one which distinguishes between the sacred and profane, defines which situations belong to each category, and provides for special behavior.” [SKLARE]

    In other words, in Orthodox Judaism everything anywhere may be “profaned;” there is no physical sanctuary — including a synagogue — from the ubiquitous prowl of economic exploits (the Sabbath — the day of rest — is, for the religious, the exceptions). Jay Gonen notes an old joke about Jewish obsession with money even in religious contexts, circulated not by Gentile anti-Semites, but by Jews in Israel:

    “Two Jews, by a miracle, find time to pause and reflect in front of a holy
    site, the Wailing Wall, or the western wall of the Second Temple. One
    of them notices that the other is weeping profusely over the destruction
    of the Second Temple. ‘Why are you crying so much?’ he says, ‘True,
    the Temple has been destroyed, but the lot is still worth something.”
    [GONEN, p. 27]

    Jewish comedian Joan Rivers explains materialist and ostentatious Jewish identity this way: “I’m Jewish. If God wanted me to exercise he would’ve put diamonds on the floor.” [SAPOSNIK, 1998] One of Jewish comedian Milton Berle’s jokes went: “A Jewish youngster asked the boy next door to play with him. The boy answered, ‘My father says I can’t play with you because you’re Jewish.’ The Jewish lad answered, ‘Oh, that’s all right. We won’t play for money.'” [BERLE, M., 1996, p. 311] Or, “The Israelis have just developed a brand-new car. It not only stops on a dime, it picks it up.” [BERLE, M., 1996, p. 305] And: “Why did the Israelis win the Six-Day War?” “Because the equipment was rented.” [BERLE, M., 1996, p. 305]

    Another joke of the same genre circulated in the American Jewish community runs like this:

    “And then there was the Jewish Santa Claus. He came down the chimney
    and said: ‘Hi, kids. Want to buy some presents?'” [BLOOMFIELD, p.

    Another joke even addresses manipulation of anti-materialist notions of respect in the Gentile world towards Jewish economic advancement:

    “A wealthy Boston Brahmin was on his deathbed. The end was near,
    and he asked his three business partners, a Catholic, a Protestant, and
    a Jew, to come to the hospital to discuss some matters pertaining to his
    ‘You boys know I have no family,’ he began, ‘so I’m dividing my
    wealth among the three of you, in three equal shares. As a sign of your
    good friendship, however, I would like each of you to make a token
    gesture after I’m gone, by putting a thousand dollars into my coffin
    before it is lowered into the ground.’
    Several days later, the funeral was conducted according to the wishes
    of the deceased. At the appropriate time, the Catholic friend walked up
    to the coffin and placed in it an envelope containing one thousand
    dollars. The Protestant friend came forward and did likewise. Finally,
    the Jew walked up to the coffin, took out the two envelopes, and
    replaced them with a check for three thousand dollars.” [NOVAK/
    WALDOKS, 1981, p. 95]

    As always in Jewish folklore, Gentiles are — to the wily, down-to-earth Jew — stupid.

    William Novak and Moshe Waldoks call the following joke “a favorite, found in most collections of Jewish humor”:

    “A minister, a rabbi, and a priest were discussing how they made
    use of the funds in the collection plate. The minister said, ‘I draw
    a line on the floor, and I throw the money into the air. Everything
    that lands to the right of the line is for God; everything on the left
    is for me.’
    ‘That’s pretty much what I do,’ said the priest. ‘But instead of
    a line, I draw a circle. Everything in the circle is for God; everything
    outside the circle I keep for myself.’
    ‘I, too, have a system,’ said the rabbi, ‘I take the money and throw
    it up in the air, and whatever God catches He can keep.” [NOVAK/
    WALDOKS, 1981, p. 95]

    Such observations about Jewish values are acceptable, and common, within the Jewish community itself but, as Jewish scholar Nancy Jo Silberman-Federman notes, such a joke told from a Gentile would flag him or her as an anti-Semite. She notes the self-deprecating (and/or exploitive) tone of many Hanukkah cards sent by Jews to each other:

    “[In one case] the front of the card pictures a Jewish woman hugging
    Santa. The copy reads, ‘Merry Christmas! Thank goodness for
    Gentiles.’ The inside reads, ‘Somebody has to buy retail!’ If certain
    jokes are told by non-Jews, both the teller and the joke would be
    considered anti-Semitic … This [celebrating of such jokes in Jewish
    circles] may be seen socially as a mechanism for in-group solidarity.”

    Whereas in most — if not all — other religious faiths, adherents seek physical refuge from the anchors of materialist concern while they pray, in Orthodox Judaism, overt pecuniary transactions — involving personal egos and status assertion — are an integral part of the traditional Jewish religious service itself. Jewish sociologist Martin Sklare calls it “commercialism in the synagogue.” This includes “shenodering, the pledging of money for the opportunity of participating in the Torah service … , the holding of auctions during holidays and festival services for the purpose of ‘selling’ certain particularly honorific privileges; by stimulating competitive instincts, large amounts may be pledged; and the Yom Kippur appeal: fund raising which takes place during Kol Nidre, a particularly holy service.” [SKLARE, p. 363]

    To traditional Christian — and other religious temperaments — such vulgarization in a “House of God” inevitably calls to mind the old Christian story of Jesus becoming outraged at the Israelite money changers on Temple grounds. [Matt. 21:12-13; Mark 11: 15-17; Luke 19: 45-46] What kind of religion, non-Jews have found themselves asking through history, is this?

    In modern times, of course, to ask such a question is to attract assault as an “anti-Semite.” And, however bizarre, Jewish scholar Sara Horowitz’s comments, post Holocaust, in linking Jesus’ outrage at Jewish money-dealing in the sacred Temple to the Nazi persecution of Jewry is typical:

    “The New Testament [has] multiple descriptions of Jews defiling the
    Temple and Jesus’ consequent need to purify the holy space by throwing
    out the Jewish money changers … Historically, the image of the Jewish
    money changer whose presence defiles sacred space conflates with Jews
    as money lender, with the typing of the Jew as materialist and avaricious.
    Jewish attachment to money over attachment to God, to nation, or to
    other people is repeatedly portrayed in Nazi propaganda newsreels and
    feature films.” [HOROWTIZ, p. 125]

    But even when the Zionist “father” of modern Israel, Theodore Herzl, visited (in the late 19th century) the famed Jerusalem Wailing Wall, the supposed last remaining edifice of the ancient Temple itself, so revered in Jewish religious tradition and a magnet to Jewish pilgrims, he could only write with disdain that “we have been to the Wailing Wall. A deeper emotion refused to come, because that place is pervaded by a hideous, wretched, speculative beggary.” [HERZL, in PATAI, p. 746-747]

    Isaac Baer Levinsohn describes the Eastern European synagogue of the nineteenth century:

    “Each … synagogue abides by … only general disorder … This [person]
    jumps while another shouts; this one moans his loss while another one
    complacently smokes … One has just begun his prayer as another has
    finished it … this one jokes and pulls another by the ear. Quarrels and
    fisticuffs often ensue about private as well as public matters … One
    aspires to be the sixth to come up to the Torah, another seeks the honor
    of taking the Torah out of the Ark and often they quarrel on that
    account.” [SACHAR, p. 217]

    As many Jews, leaving their ghettos and Orthodox Judaism in the 19th century attuned themselves to surrounding Christian “civil” society, many became concerned about “embarrassing solicitations” in the synagogue. One American Conservative Judaism publication even chastised its community, saying:

    “There is no charitable expression in the English language that can
    connote the desecration of a Torah honor and the degradation of a
    House of Worship into a market place of vulgar vanities and rude
    commercialism.” [SKLARE, p. 363]

    Sklare describes Orthodox religious gatherings:

    “The Orthodox shul with the accompanying multidinous prayers, jams of
    people and children, all joined together in a cacophonous symphony of
    loud and sometimes raucous appeals to the Almighty.” [SKLARE, p.

    “The Orthodox synagogue,” says James Yaffe, “seemed [to Reform-minded Jews] dirty, shabby, unruly, un-American.” [YAFFE, J., 1968, p. 98] Conversely, even today in America, notes Solomon Poll,

    “the Hasidim [ultra-Orthodox Jews] noticed the great tendency to
    imitate the non-Jews. Jewish weddings had bridal processions. The
    groom was led in by his own parents; the rabbi also participated in
    the bridal procession; ushers attended the ceremony; the rabbi made
    a speech during the ceremony; pictures were taken — many times,
    movies. All these appeared to the Hasidim as mockeries and imitation
    of the goyim to which they vehemently objected.” [POLL, 1969, p. 41]

    Martin Sklare notes that one of the major affectations in the creation of the modern Conservative Judaism movement was a change toward “decorum.” In Orthodox Judaism, he notes, “should a worshipper consistently adopt what would generally be considered a reverent demeanor … his deportment might well be the subject of intense criticism … The form of Orthodox worship does seem to be almost unique in its lack of solemnity.” [SKLARE, p. 361] Although, “when I was a boy,” says Earl Shorris, “I was told that the reason why there was no musical instruments in the synagogue was that we were mourning the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.” [SHORRIS, E., 1982, p. 89]

    The novelist Herman Wouk wrote with fondness about his memories of Orthodox synagogue culture brought to America with Jews from Eastern Europe:

    “Calls to the Torah, opening of the Ark, and so forth, all went
    for a price. The auctions were colorful and exciting enough,
    but the mood of prayer naturally vanished while they went on.
    They were often pretty long. During the reading of the Torah,
    moreover, it became the practice of each man, as he was called
    to his aliya, or reading turn, to announced his contribution
    to the synagogue’s many charities. For each announcement
    he or his family received a public blessing by the shamas. Again
    this was a process of high economic value, but not attuned to
    the thoughts of the higher world …
    They enabled many tiny congregations to survive and grow
    into majestic congregations and fashionable temples. With the
    prospering of the Jewish community, these devices of
    desperation have gradually given way to conventional fund
    ‘Five dollars for the third reading!’ Nor do I want to forget the
    historic auction one Yom Kippur afternoon nearly forty years
    ago, in a synagogue in a Bronx cellar, when my father outbid
    men with far more money (though they were all poor struggling
    immigrants) for the reading of the Book of Jonah … These
    auctions are a thing of the past and it is better so, but they served
    a purpose. Children in such synagogues learned unmistakably
    what a precious thing a call to the Torah was.”
    [WOUK, p. 123-125]

    The value of the Torah would seem to suggest a price tag. Auctioning off the rights to recite prayers and announcing in public, each in turn, individuals’ charitable contributions reveals a lot more about Jewish merchant culture — and its pressures, struggles for community status, and symbiotic religious dogma — than it does anything remotely spiritual. Wouk’s fond memories for all the big bills flying around the Torah in his synagogue (albeit for religious intention) reflect a nakedly material concern. Such activity reaffirms what the Torah was largely intended as: recipes, rules, and regulations for Jewish self-advancement in a hostile political world, or — as apologists like to frame it — communal survival through the centuries. Wouk’s childhood memories of high auction recitation prices confirming the Torah’s value are obviously rooted in pride for his father and his status as an economic victor, as well as a general fascination with the wheeling and dealing of a street bazaar. Even the synagogue could function as a forum to celebrate human vanity in one’s ability to pay for something, in this case the right to recite sacred texts. (Synagogue members have even been sued in recent years for not paying membership dues. In Rockaway, New York, for example, in 2001 David Slossberg and three others were sued for back payment by the White Meadow Temple.) [GOLDWERT, M., 1-5-01] “Conspicuous charity,” wrote Judith Kramer and Seymour Levantman about the Jewish American community in 1961, “is less a matter of religious or ideological commitment than a conventional social obligation serving as a source of status.” [KRAMER, p. 101]

    Anthony Polonsky notes the Jewish tradition of “ostentatious generosity” in seventeenth century Poland:

    “Was this piety on the part of a few rich individuals shared by all
    Jews? To answer this question clearly, one must study the religious
    attitudes of the time. It seems that participation in services was
    motivated more by a desire to shine in public than by profound
    faith. If previously a synagogue seat was a sign of respectability
    in the community, now unfortunately they were being sold. Indeed,
    the practice of buying seats, backed by a deed of sale became
    common.” [POLONSKY, p. 59]

    For an Eastern European Jewish community ever fixated upon worldly accomplishment and the hierarchical status of respective members, even in their most holy religious center “the prosteh yidh [common Jews] sat at the back of the synagogue.” [ZBOROWSKI, p. 74]

    In the late 1950s the American Jewish poet, d. a. levy, wrote:

    My father and i
    went to a temple to hear
    the services
    sat down in time
    to hear the haunting
    language for just a moment
    when someone told us we had to stand in the
    back – we had chosen ‘reserved seats’
    seats that had been paid for
    we left and it was there i completed
    my external jewish education [PORTER, p. 126]

    As James Yaffe observed in 1968:

    “The synagogue charges no admissions fee to services, except on High
    Holy Day, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hoshanah, when everybody comes
    to worship. Then most synagogues require worshipers to buy
    tickets, and many sell reserved seats; the closer to the altar, the
    higher the price … ‘Passing the plate’ is not a custom in the
    synagogue. Sometimes a plain white envelope is left on the
    worshiper’s seat. Inside he finds a slip of paper with his name
    on it, and a list of suggested contributions, from twenty dollars
    up; he will put a check next to the amount her prefers, and slip
    the piece of paper back into the envelope. In old-fashioned
    Orthodox synagogues the method is often less decorous; the
    rabbi reads out the member’s names, and each man is expected
    to call out how much he intends to give.” [YAFFE, J., 1968, p. 154]

    Jewish student Silja Talvi complains about this Jewish tradition of charging steep admission to the most sacred of Jewish holy days (she blames “capitalism” for this custom, however, and rationalizes that the high prices are somehow useful in keeping “psychopathic anti-Semites” out of synagogues):

    “It is not a stretch to surmise that many more established synagogues have
    taken their cues from the capitalist economy that surrounds them, having
    arrived at the point of valuing finances about kehilla [community]. For all
    this kvetching about all the lost, unaffiliated Jews, how many among the
    country’s mainstream Jewish religious leadership have stopped to think
    about dropping cost-prohibitive barriers to getting in through the
    front door? … In this regard, Jewish religious institutions would do well
    to take inspiration from the Lubavitchers and Christian churches alike:
    Free admission, fundraising drives and donation baskets have a certain
    logical and friendly appeal, especially for those unaffiliated, lower-income
    Jews who have reason to feel uneasy about spending close to $100
    to be allowed a seat at a temple to spend the day or evening in prayer.
    Non-Jews who have overheard me in conversation about the fees involved
    in obtaining tickets for Jewish holiday services have expressed confusion
    at the very existence of fee schedules and entrance tickets. The tickets, I
    explain, are a necessary and common-sense precaution for Jewish
    institutions that hope to make it more difficult for psychopathic anti-Semites
    to walk through their doors. But why the high cost, they ask? For once,
    I don’t have a good answer.” [TALVI, S., 2001]

    Convert to Judaism Lydia Kukoffmn explains the Jewish idea of “paying to pray” like this:

    “I remember how put off I was at the thought of tickets for religious services.
    It was so foreign to my way of thinking. Over the years, however, I have come
    to realize that, although I may still resist the idea of paying to pray, it is the one
    time of the year when the temple is able to assure its continuity, and thereby
    its potential for service to its members.” [KUKOFF, L., 1981, p. 84-65]

    There are even Jewish jokes about such materialism in the synagogue:

    “It is Yom Kippur. A man comes to the synagogue in a state of obvious
    excitement. The usher is at the door looking at admission tickets. As the
    man tries to walk in, the usher stops him: ‘Let’s see your ticket.’
    ‘I don’t have a ticket. I just want to see my brother, Abe Teitelbaum.
    I have an important message for him.’
    ‘A likely story. There’s always someone like you, trying to sneak in
    in for the High Holy Day services. Forget it, friend. Try somewhere
    ‘Honest. I swear to you. I have to tell my brother something. You’ll
    see. I’ll only be a minute.’
    The usher gave him a long look. ‘All right,’ he says, ‘I’ll give you the
    benefit of the doubt. You can go in. But don’t let me catch you praying!”
    [SILBIGER, S., 2000, p. 44]

    Paul Cowan recalls the synagogue memories of his father (former CBS-TV president Lew Cowan):

    “Once, when I was a boy, my father told me that he recalled the Yom Kippurs
    he went to synagogue and watched Jake Cohen [Lew’s father] weep and beat
    his breast to atone for his sins. Then, after services, Lou would walk home
    with his parents and the rest of the huge Cohen clan and listen, appalled,
    as they fought over status and money; as they gossiped cruelly about siblings
    who weren’t there. That wasn’t religion, my father would tell me angrily. That
    was hypocrisy.” [COWAN, P., 1982, p. 6]

    In 1982, Earl Shorris recalled his childhood memories of the kinds of men who headed his synagogue:

    “We arrived at the synagogue as a family, three generations led by my grandfather
    … My grandfather spoke to his friend Eddie — Big Eddie, he called him. They
    spoke as members of the board of directors of the synagogue, important men,
    big donors. My grandfather earned his money from the labor of Italian and Polish women who sewed clothing in his factories. Big Eddie sold cheap wine and whiskey
    to the poor of the town. We did not approve of Big Eddie. His diamond ring and
    his fat cigar offended us … [H]is business offended us. There were fights in front
    of his store, stabbings, more than one killing. There were rumors about him.
    Some people said he dealt with criminals. It as said that he gave so much to
    the synagogue to atone for the way he made his money … He traded donations
    for a position as a director of the synagogue. My grandfather said Eddie wanted
    to be president, that he was willing to donate a community center if the directors
    would elect him president …. [SHORRIS, E., 1982, p. 3-4] [When Big Eddie
    finally strode up at the synagogue to be so honored, “the man our community commended to God” (p.7)] the color of his flesh was as rich and vulgar as his
    suit. [Grandfather,] you were so small, so pale beside him. Jerusalem was
    conquered, the Temple was destroyed, and there was no prophet in all of Israel.
    After the service I asked my father why it had happened. Money, was all he
    said. Sometimes you have to do these things, my grandfather added. A
    building doesn’t come cheap.” [SHORRIS, E., 1982, p.7]

    Jewish pride and concern for status and material affluence has a long history. There is a Yiddish word for it: yicchus, which connotes the traditional Jewish importance of personal and familial prestige, status, and a respected reputation in the community. This yicchus could be obtained for parents by their children’s marriage to a spouse of higher standing. But yicchus could be lost too, for instance, by stooping to manual labor. [ZBOROWSKI, p. 78]

    “In his ghetto community [the Jew] strove for yicchus,” wrote Harry Golden, “a word which has remained to this day the most important word in Jewish culture … [It] is more than a thousand years old … Yiddish and Hebrew are filled with words denoting the nuances of community standing.” [CUDDIHY, p. xi]

    Originally supposedly rooted in family genealogies and scholarship, it also grew to reflect upper class occupations, material affluence, and — for many — ostentatious display of ownership. As Zborowski and Herzog put it:

    “Historically, traditionally, ideally, learning has been and is regarded as
    the primary value and wealth as subsidiary or complementary. Economic
    pressures and outside influence have made of wealth a constant
    contender for first place in the value hierarchy.” [ZBOROWSKI, p. 74]

    David Koskoff even suggests that the idea of the marriage bond expressed as expensive jewelry has roots in ancient Jewish history, where the wedding ring had to be

    “large, heavy, and gold. It was expected to be of a specified value
    and fully paid for! Indeed, in the Hebrew stipulation that the ring
    must have a stipulated value, we see, perhaps, the origins of later
    customs which laid down that a wedding ring must be durable and
    of some worth — not a mere trifle … The basic principle survives
    today. It is not the thought that counts, it is the money.” [KOSKOFF, p.

    In non-religious Jewish circles, the principles of economic status (and embarrassment) are the same. “Community pressure can be exerted in many other ways,” says Yaffe,

    “Some [Jewish] federations publish a book at the end of each [fund-
    raising] campaign, in which the names of all contributors and the
    amounts of their contributions are listed. In Cleveland this book is
    mailed free of charge to every affiliated member of the Jewish community
    … [YAFFE, J., 1968, p. 172] … [At fund-raising dinners] the same thing
    goes on … After the food and the speeches, the name of each guest is
    read out from a stack of cards, and he is required to stand up and
    announce how much he intends to give — and to hand in his signed
    pledge then and there.” [YAFFE, J., 1968, p. 173]

    Zalman Schachter was asked why many young Jews in the post-1960s era left Judaism for other faiths like Buddhism. “First,” he replied,

    “it doesn’t feel real if it comes from their own thing. If you come to
    shul on Yom Kippur — this is the gross level, yah? — and you know
    you’re going to be hit for the United Jewish Appeal and the building
    fund, you can’t take your own tradition seriously.” [KAMENETZ, R.,
    1994, p. 150]

    The above kinds of expression of Jewish competitive pride, material self-worth, ostentation, and economic centeredness even at the heart of their religion — often aggravating anti-Jewish sentiment in surrounding Gentile populations — have been widely criticized.

    The wealthy Jewish gravitation to ostentation in Amsterdam (in the 1500s and 1600s) is noted by Jewish scholar Herbert Bloom:

    “If we compare [in Amsterdam] the Sephardic Jews’ luxurious and
    extravagant lifestyle with the simpler and more restrained ways of
    the average wealthy Dutchman, the contrast is striking and served
    to accentuate the traditional association between the Jew and money.”
    [BLOOM, H., p. xvi]

    “In Germany,” notes Joachim Prinz,

    “forty Marrano [‘secret’ Jewish] families paticipated in founding the Bank of Hamburg
    in 1619, and by the middle of that century they were accused of having too
    luxurious a life style, as evidenced by their palatial homes and their ostentatious
    funerals and weddings … Some of the finest homes in Amsterdam belonged to
    newly arrived Marranos.” [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 127]

    Oscar Rank (formerly Rosenfeld), an earlier Jewish psychoanalyst and follower of Sigmund Freud in the early 1900’s, complained that Jews in Vienna go “out of boredom to the synagogue and reduce it to a place of business, as if it were a branch of the stock exchange. The women show off their dresses, or what is beneath them; the men discuss petty affairs, but not what is beneath them.” [KLEIN] Walter Rathenau, the first Jewish foreign minister of Germany, noted (in 1897) Jewish ostentatious display in Germany, where he spotted “the curious vision of a completely alien tribe of people, conspicuously overdressed, of mobile and hot-blooded gesture. An Asiatic horde here on the sands of Brandenburg!” [GRUNFELD, F., 1996, p.. 203]

    Another Jew, Mordechai Breuer, took a harsher look at the European synagogue tradition as Jewry looked at itself during the Enlightenment: “What will the goyim say? was the question many an Ashkenazi Jew asked himself in view of the uncouth behavior, noisy commotion, and lack of formal structure that had established themselves in numerous synagogues.” [BREUER, p. 244]

    Walter Lippman, a prominent American journalist of German-Jewish descent, complained about excessive expressions of ostentation in the Jewish community of New York City in the early decades of the twentieth century:

    “The rich and vulgar and pretentious Jews of our big cities are perhaps
    the greatest misfortune that has ever befallen the Jewish people. They
    are the real fountain of anti-Semitism. They are everywhere in sight,
    and though their vices may be no greater than those of other jazzy
    elements in the population, they are a thousand times more
    conspicuous… When they rush about in super-automobiles,
    bejeweled and be-furred and painted and overbarbered, when
    they build themselves French chateaus and Italian palazzi, they
    stir up the latent hatred against crude wealth in the hands of
    shallow people: and that hatred diffuses itself. They undermine
    the natural liberalism of the American people… The Jew is
    conspicuous, and unless in his own conduct of life he manages
    to demonstrate the art of moderate, clean and generous living,
    every failure will magnify itself in woe upon the heads of the
    helpless and unfortunate. ” [LIPPMAN, Quoted in Cuddihy, p. 143]

    Harold Hochschild, Jewish chairman of a mining conglomerate, noted in a private memo in 1940 that

    “Anyone who visits restaurants, theatre or other places of entertainment
    in New York especially on Saturday or holiday nights, who has traveled
    on large pleasure-cruise ships, or who has seen certain types of Jewish
    summer hotels or camps near similar Gentile resorts must admit that
    differences in behavior play a strong part in anti-Semitism … It may not
    be morally wrong for Jewish women to overdress and overload
    themselves with jewelry and makeup, but these habits are certainly
    repugnant to many Gentiles.” [HOCHSCHILD, A., 1986, p. 184]

    Even Chaim Weitzmann, a pioneer Zionist and first President of modern Israel, had deep concern about many American Jews and their self-created magnetism for anti-Jewish hostility. “He believed,” says Peter Grose, “that the [American] anti-Semitism of the 1930s and 1940s was partly the Jews own fault.” Weitzmann worried that

    “Along with a new generation of modest and honest workers, there is a
    certain part of Jewish bourgeoisie — rich, quasi-powerful, loud, vulgar,
    pulling a weight far in excess of their numbers, ostentatious, in the eyes
    of the Gentiles they and they alone represent Jewry, and this is a grave
    danger.” [GROSE, p. 167]

    A compilation of non-Jewish observers were featured in an article about anti-Semitism in the American Hebrew of 1890, says Marie-Jane Rochelson:

    “Possible reasons cited for the dislike of Jews included their commercial
    ‘sharpness,’ their ‘clannishness,’ and their ‘vulgar’ ostentation in dress
    and manners. It is hardly surprising that [prominent Jewish author Israel]
    Zangwill’s portrait of wealthy, materialistic, and family-oriented Jews in
    ‘Grandchildren’ [a chapter in one of his books] evoked discomfort
    [among Jewish readers].” [ZANGWILL, 1998, p. 26]

    The respected Danish-American social crusader, Jacob Riis, and Lewis Hine, were the foremost photographic chroniclers of immigrant life in New York City in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, bringing to public attention the harsh urban conditions of the new poor and dispossessed from all over the world. Observing the Jewish community, Riis wrote:

    “Money is their God. Life is of so little value compared with even
    the leanest bank account. In no other spot does life wear so intensely
    BALD and materialist an aspect in Ludlow Street … Proprieties do
    not count on the East Side; nothing counts that cannot be converted
    into hard cash.” [RIIS, quoted in CUDDIHY, p. 140]

    “The great mass of American Jews,” wrote Jewish author Ralph Boas in 1917, “have sunk into a comfortable materialism … The sad result is that in prosperity the Jewish self-consciousness ceases to be religious and becomes merely racial.” [BOAS, p. 150] “The Jew party [was] appalling,” [future First Lady] Eleanor [Roosevelt] had written her mother-in-law in 1918 after an evening with [influential Jewish mogul/politician] Bernard Baruch, “I never wish to hear money, jewels or sables mentioned again.” [GOODWIN, D.K., 1995, p. 102]

    Jews in early 20th century America, notes sociologist John Higham, were popularly seen as

    “the quintessential parvenu — glittering with conspicuous and vulgar
    jewelry … attracting attention by clamorous behavior, and always
    forcing his way into society that was above him. To treat this stereotype
    entirely as a scapegoat for somebody else’s psychological frustrations
    is to overemphasize the irrational sources of ‘prejudice’ and to clothe
    the Jews in defensive innocence.” [MACDONALD, p. 49]

    In mid-twentieth century, Judith Kramer and Seymour Levantman noted that

    “Lacking occupational variety and economic yichus (the prestige of old
    and respected family businesses), [second generation Jewish Americans]
    substituted money as the measure of success. Money, and what it can
    buy, has remained the major source of status stratifying the [Jewish
    American] gilded ghetto and justifying its popular appellation.”
    [KRAMER, p. 13]

    In 1998, apologist Jewish professor Judith Elkin sought to explain parallel kinds of Jewish ostentation away in Latin America, explaining that “for tourists unfamiliar with the prevailing ostentatious lifestyle of the wealthy, the expectation of Jewish wealth may appear to be borne out on first contact with mercantile and industrial entrepreneurs, especially in the Caribbean basin … Actually, a princely lifestyle can be sustained in Peru, Colombia, Mexico, or Brazil quite cheaply, and a household with five or six servants may be only middle class in terms of the net financial worth of the head of household.” [ELKIN, p. 156]

    Jewish historian Howard Sachar also notes Jewish communal ostentation in the public sphere throughout Latin America:

    “In Sao Paolo [Brazil], as in Mexico City or Buenos Aires [Argentina],
    a major focus of Jewish identity is a luxurious sports facility-country
    club-community center … Like its model in Buenos Aires, it is called
    Hebraica … Not to be outdone, the Jews of Rio have constructed
    their own modern Hebraica building on the prestigious Rua des
    Laranjeiras. A seven-story building, it is equipped with comparable
    facilities.” [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 262]

    The sister of Jewish comedian Roseanne Barr remembers growing up in Salt Lake City and her feelings when she her family went to the local synagogue: “In a synagogue parking lot filled with Mercedeses, Lincolns, and Cadillacs, our old Chevy stood out like a sore thumb.” [BARR, p. 3] Barr eventually made it big in Hollywood where many famous moguls go home at the end of the work day to nearby Beverly Hills, a famed and wealthy enclave that is largely Jewish. (According to the local Jewish Federation Council, the 1990s population of Beverly Hills was 62% Jewish). [HASSE, 1998] Beverly Hills, notes Jewish journalist Connie Bruck, is “one of the most ostentatious displays of wealth that exists in this country, a town that spawns every excess that money can by.” [BRUCK, p. 80] This city, adds Janet Steinberg, “is the quintessential symbol of opulent California life.” [STEINBERG, J., 7-15-99, p. 37] As Jewish professor Barry Shain notes about this lifestyle: “I understand [President Bill Clinton’s sex playmate] Monica Lewinsky [who was raised in Beverly Hills, and is Jewish] very well. I never knew her personally, but I went to Beverly Hills High School. I understand her moral life from my experiences growing up with those wealthy Jewish women. They look upon the world as an opportunity to amuse themselves.” [LUCIER, J., 3-2, 98, p. 12]

    There are those who think that Palm Beach, Florida, is more “decadent” than Beverly Hills. One Washington DC newspaper declared, for instance, that Palm Beach is “the wealthiest and most decadent, glamorous and self-indulgent place on earth.” Not surprisingly, the population of metropolitan Palm Beach, too, is over 50 percent Jewish. [CHAFFEE, K., 12-3-1999, p. C12] “In 1962,” noted the Palm Beach Post in 1999, “only about 3,000 Jewish people lived in the greater West Palm Beach area. Today, estimates put that number at 100,000.” [HAYES, R., 1-26-99, p. 2B] The results of this invasion into a once predomnantly WASP enclave is noted by Jewish author Ronald Kessler who has written an entire book about Palm Beach, highlighting what he describes as “anti-Semitism”: “I tried to lean over backwards not to probe too deeply into anti-Semitism on the island. But I soon learned that I would be missing a big chunk of the story [of Palm Beach] if I skirted a subject that made me uncomfortable professionally and that was personally painful.” [KESSLER, R., 1999, p. 68] Symbolic perhaps of the changing elite guard, is the fact that The Social Index Directory, an elitiest listing of Palm Beach society people, “is now owned by the family of Robert Gordon, who is Jewish.” [KESSLER, R., 1999, p. 9] Although Jews have their own exclusive country club in Palm Beach (the Palm Beach Country Club), with 350 members, Kessler assails the non-Jewish community, complaining that “the [WASP] aristocrats are still in charge [of Palm Beach], the upper crust intact, the future of WASPdom secure.” [KESSLER, R., 1999, p. 52]

    Melvin Urofsky notes the 1940s visit of eventual Israeli prime minister Golda Meir to Palm Beach:

    “At Palm Beach, Florida, she was stunned at the elegance of the
    dinner crowd, their jewels and furs, and she mentally contrasted the
    scene of wealthy men and women vacationing in their posh resorts
    and that of Haganah [the early Israeli army] soldiers freezing in the
    Judean hills. ‘These people don’t want to hear about fighting and death
    in Palestine,’ she thought, but she was wrong, and before the evening
    had ended, they had pledged her $1.5 million, enough to buy a
    winter coat for every soldier in the Haganah.” [UROFSKY, M., 1978,
    p. 162]

    How about the posh Hamptons enclave for the super-rich on Long Island, New York? “The placement of the Jewish Community Center so prominently at the entrance to the town,” notes Steven Gaines,

    “gave [Jewish real estate baron Evan] Frankel great satisfaction over the years
    and had its desired effect, particularly during the Jewish High Holidays, when
    Woods Lane was line end to end with the luxury cars of those attending
    services. One year, a local man was provoked to count the number of
    German-made cars parked in front of the synagogue and remark in an
    indignant letter to the East Hampton Star that the Jews must have forgotten
    Germans’ war crimes.” [GAINES, S., 1998, p. 216]

    In 1998 Jewish mogul Ira Rennert made national news and came under widespread public attack for his plans to build the largest — and most ostentatious — home in America on New York’s Long Island. His 63-acre compound would include three separate buildings, 29 bedrooms, 39 bathrooms, two bowling alleys, a 164-seat cinema, 17 acres of manicured garden, and parking for 200 cars. The Washington Post likened it all to the “architecture of egoism.” [HARDEN, p. A1] Rennert, also noted the [London) Daily Telegraph, “is an enthusiastic Zionist and financial backer of Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which has led to [neighbor] fears [that Rennert’s new home is really] a school or a conference center.” [SAPSTED, p. B2]

    Another Jewish home builder on Long Island, Barry Trupin also engendered local wrath for his reconstruction of the Chestertown House. “What irked everyone,” notes Steven Gaines,” was the arrogance of it all — not just to tamper with a famous old house, but to tamper with it so badly … The house was indeed a grotesque creation, part faux-Normandy castle, part Disneyland on LSD. It was the largest private renovation project ever undertaken in New York State.” [GAINES, S., 1998, p. 220-221] Plans for the home included a personal zoo, a helicopter landing pad, and “an indoor barrier reef … a vast sunken acquarium … with a twenty-foot waterfall cascading down chunks of rock imported from Vermont, into a pool in which guests could not only swim but skin-dive, with hidden underwater air nozzles. The reef was stocked with 500 species, including lobster, parrot fish, sea anemones, grouper, and octopus.” [GAINES, S., 1998, p. 232]

    Another such Jewish mogul is David Saperstein, the largest stockholder in America’s largest radio network, Westwood One. “He’s building a much-touted mansion in an exclusive neighborhood near Beverly Hills,” noted Mother Jones magazine in 2001, “the 45,000-square-foot extravagance, dubbed the ‘Fleur de Lys,’ will include a ballroom to host dinner parties of 250, according to the Los Angles Times.” [MOTHER JONES, 5-3-01] [Note also, elsewhere in this work, immigrant Jewish Iranian tendencies to mansionize existing homes, Norman Lear’s unique mansion, and Hollywood producer Aaron Spelling’s comparably spectacular, and newsworthy, home ostentation in Los Angeles].

    Chaim Bermant notes the style of Hollywood’s old guard Jewish movie moguls:

    “If there was little intrinsically Jewish in the output of the Hollywood tycoons,
    there was something particularly Jewish in their style. The elder Selznick
    once told his son David (producer of Gone With the Wind): ‘Live expensively!
    Throw it around! Give it away! Always remember to live beyond your means.
    It gives a man confidence.’ This was not, in fact, far from the principles on
    which Hollywood operated, where the very cost of a film — ‘this multi-
    million dollar epic’ — was often used by the publicity department as a
    commendation.” [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 98]

    In 1959, apologetic Rabbi Albert Goldman observed that

    “often unable to distinguish between the real and the apparent, the
    substance of worth and the tawdry yet glittering imitation, their ersatz
    values attest to their basic superficialities. Lacking the understanding
    and support of their Hebraic traditions and group life, some surburban
    Jews fall prey to the current cultural ‘success system’ and, in their own
    insecurity, scramble madly after prestige and power. They believe that
    the undiscriminating expenditure of money alone will assure the
    attainment of their life goals.” [GOLDMAN, A., p. 203]

    In modern times, suggested Roger Kahn in 1968, “it is only slightly hyperbolic to suggest that when a Jewish businessman feels threatened he reaches not for a gun or a club, but for a checkbook.” [KAHN, R., p. 181] And Jonathan and Judith Pearl note the common nature of the modern Jewish bar mitzvah ceremony: “While scholars debate whether this centrality is part of a historical continuum or aberration, the fact is that for many American Jews, the focus of bar mitzvah has shifted from scholarly achievement to lavish partying … This focus on extravagance is all too well known.” [PEARL/PEARL p. 16]

    “Many people feel that the supreme Jewish crime is materialism,” noted Jewish author James Yaffe in 1968,

    “Jews, under the impact of the American experience, are said to
    have become money grubbers and turned away from the Almighty in
    order to worship the Almighty Dollar. It certainly isn’t hard to find
    instances which seem to bear this out … Spending money to make a
    splash to achieve status with friends and relations, has become a
    common game among American Jews. Everyone makes jokes about
    the women at Miami Beach with their mink coats and their jewelry, the
    women on Park Avenue with their wall-to-wall carpeting and their
    expensive furnishings in the style sometimes known as Brooklyn
    Renaissance, the men in their long black Cadillacs. (‘Can your little
    boy walk yet, Mrs. Cohen?’ ‘God forbid he should ever have to!’)
    The popularity of these jokes itself is proof that they correspond to
    a reality — though the people who make them always insist they refer
    to ‘those other Jews.’ If you want to see that reality with your own eyes,
    spend a day or two at the Concord Hotel in the Catskills … Even more
    horrible examples of lavishness and vulgarity are provided by many
    wedding and bar mitzvah parties. Extraordinary things occur.” [YAFFE,
    J., 1968, p. 270-271]

    Here’s an observation by Jonathan Rieder in his study about Italians and Jews in a section of Brooklyn:

    “Two Italian women with many Jewish friends decried the way the ostentatious
    show of status debased the meaning of genuine tradition: ‘These fancy weddings
    and bar mitzvahs are disgusting,’ they complained. ‘None of that has anything
    to do with tradition. It’s better to spend the money and go to Israel. It’s showing
    off, keeping up with the Jonses. There’s a “Can you top this?” attitude. It’s all
    show.” [REISER, J., 1985, p. 30]

    In 1984 Dov Fisch complained about bar mitzvahs “with scantily clad go-go girls” and the president of the Monticello Raceway who defrauded it of nearly $5,000 for his son’s bar mitzvah. “Tragically,” he wrote, “the bar mitzvah syndrome has become a symbol of so much of what is wrong with American Jewish life today. The one-upmanship knows no bounds.” Hence, a Long Island boy was zoomed to his bar mitzvah by a motorcycle racer, another arrived home to parade beneath, literally, a “fiddler on the roof,” and a Jewish couple spent $2,000 for a “Car Mitzva” which commemorated “the thirteenth year of their Rolls Royce.” Harvey Cohen’s bar mitzvah was at the rented Orange Bowl football stadium in Miami, where

    “the parents shamelessly invited two hundred guests to the spectacle,
    featuring a sixty-four piece band, bartenders dressed as referees,
    waitresses dressed as cheerleaders, and pom-pom girls wearing
    sweaters with the letter ‘H’ for Harvey … [The] electric scoreboard
    lit up with the words: ‘Happy Birthday Harvey.'” [FISCH, D., 1984,
    p. 224-225]

    Famous Jewish prostitute Xaviera Hollander notes one of her most memorable Jewish lovers:

    “Take the case of the obscenely rich young investment banker with whom I
    had formed what is politely termed a relationship. I had arranged romantic
    music, shimmering candlelight, an exquisite meal and I was wearing the most
    seductive perfume. Casanova Cohen, the ardent lover, rushed into bed.
    He gave me a perfunctory kiss and then got down to business. Literally.
    He treated me to a resume of his day’s dealings and then demonstrated his
    refinement by cataloguing his cherished possessions from Rolex to Rolls
    Royce. I think that he expected me to be overawed and could not comprehend
    that I found him boring, intellectually, not physically.” [HOLLANDER, X., 2000,
    p. 39]

    Stephen Bloom notes what happened when a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews bought a slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, in 1987, and soon began to make their influence felt in the town:

    “Generally, newcomers are eager to assimilate to a new culture. That’s why
    they came in the first place. But instead of arriving at the lowest rung of the
    economic ladder, these Jews had arrived already on top. The Jews who
    settled in Postville came from cities, and many brought with them large sums
    of money … Sholom Rubashkin built an enormous house on Wilson Street
    in an area of Postville thta the locals quickly labeled ‘Kosher Hill.’ Iowans
    were loathe to show such material wealth. ‘That Rubashkin home is a palace,’
    Alicia [one of the non-Jewish local people] said, and no one denied it.”
    [BLOOM, S., 2001, p. 50]

    “In recent years,” wrote Gerald Krefetz in 1982, “some Jews have succumbed to that all-American tendency to compound braggadocio and vulgarity in touting their ability to make it. Leaving discretion and taste aside, they boast of their abilities, vanities, and riches. One observer noted that after generations of oppression, ‘it is not simply that living well is the best revenge but rather that living well is an obligation.’ And telling about it is a compulsion. Jewish leaders, particularly those of the old school, feel called upon to ask ‘followers to avoid ostentatious display, fearing it might create antagonism.'” [KREFETZ, p. 5]

    Such requests generally fall on deaf ears: materialist “this world” consumption is championed by the Jewish religious faith itself, after all. Take the 1996 case of Jewish scholar, Jeffrey Rubin-Dorsky, who laments the fact that his ex-wife expects him to economically support her enrollment in a religious school to become a rabbi, and continue payments on her BMW. (The woman eventually became Orthodox, where she was forbidden to become a rabbi by sexist Orthodox standards). [RUBIN-DORSKY, p. 456]

    Samuel Heilman notes the concern an Israeli ultra-Orthodox rabbi had for the materialism of another ultra-Orthodox rabbi in America:

    “‘I visited someone in the United States a few years ago, a ben Torah,”
    [said the rabbi]. Stern nodded as he spoke, as if to imply that I had
    caught the drift of his message. ‘We got into his car, a beautiful car.’
    He said ‘beautiful’ as if it were two words: ‘beauty full.’ ‘The car had
    everything. Beautiful thick velvet seats, beautiful radio, lots of room,
    even a telephone — this was before so many people had telephones
    in their cars. So I said to him — we’ll call him ‘Reb [Rabbi] Shmuel —
    ‘Reb Shmuel, this is a beautiful car.’
    ‘And you know what he said to me? He said to me: ‘Reb Moshe,
    bist a na’ar [you’re naive]. This is last year’s model; I’ve already
    ordered next year’s model.’
    ‘Why?’ I asked him. ‘This is a wonderful car; you could keep it
    still for years.’ You know, it was one of those big Lincolns, a
    really gorgeous car.
    ‘And he said to me: ‘Reb Moshe, my neighbor already has a new
    model and it’s eating me up.'” [HEILMAN, S., 1992, p. 250]

    Still, some embarrassed Jews seek to blame non-Jewish origins for the ancient Jewish propensity towards materialism and ostentation. “We [Jews],” says Hillel Levine, “woke up from the American dream and tried to discover who we really were. For many of us this now means turning our concerns inward into the Jewish community, because we are disenchanted with the crass materialism of the larger society. Yet where can we find inspiration in the multimillion dollar presences of suburbia?” [LEVINE, p. 185]

    Norman Podhoretz recalls taking a fellow secular Jewish author, Norman Mailer, to an Orthodox synagogue in New York City:

    “He asked me to take him to a synagogue on Yom Kippur because he
    wanted to see the Hassid in the flesh … There were wooden benches,
    and as common in this kind of setup, these were young men, students
    smoking and dropping cigarettes on the floor. Orthodox Jews, especially
    Hassidic Jews, don’t treat synagogues like a church … After a short while
    Norman announced he’d had enough.” [MANSO, p. 367]

    Stephen Bloom notes the ultra-Orthodox community of Postville, Iowa, and its raucous religious effect on the tranquil town:

    “An hour must have passed, and then, as though on cue, a great roar of voices
    erupted from within the shul. The worship had ended and the men broke into
    raucous song. These liturgical melodies were booming and boisterous, each
    lasting twenty to thirty minutes. Soon, the singing was accomanied by banging.
    The men were pounding the metal tables with fists. They were stamping the
    shul’s wooden floor with the heels of their shoes and boots. The collective sound
    signaled to me that they must have been drunk .. I was eavesdropping on some
    sort of loud, inebriated religious reverie … The sounds shooting out from the
    shul’s windows and front door were deafening on this otherwise serene Iowa
    night.” [BLOOM, S., 2001, p. 36]

    He also notes, once he is actualy among these worshipers, that they “seemed drowned in showmanship — who could wail loudest, bow farthest without falling over, read the longest Hebrew passage fastest and without taking a breath.” [BLOOM, S., 2001, p. 203] They also get drunk as part of their relgious activity: This was an old fashioned chugging contest. Tast after toast followed … [BLOOM, S., 2001, p. 206] “Rapturous song, powerful drink, and overwhelming body heat was the Holy Communion of these believers. Everything about the day was intense and bodily: the dirty mikveh [communal bath], drinking, singing, the body odor, the pounding of fists and feet.” [BLOOM, S., 2001, p. 207]

    Secular Jew Howard Jacobson wrote in 1993 about his experiences while waiting to see the famous Orthodox Lubavitcher rabbi, Menachem Schneerson, in New York City. For a decade, the rabbi gave out a dollar (symbolic charity) to each of those who came to wait in lines to see him. As Jacobson notes:

    “I am taken down — and I stress the preposition: down, down, down —
    and into the shul of the Lubavitcher headquarters, where the dollar-
    queue will form, and here I behold a sight which beats even
    Areyonga in the Central Australian Desert for uncouthness, for
    outlandishness, for other-worldliness beyond any imaginings of
    other worlds. The shul teems and shudders with men and boys in
    every attitude of Hebraic, and to my eyes pre-Hebraic, worship …
    And here’s the most startling thing of all — men and boys begging,
    begging in the synagogue, banging for your money, pulling at your
    sleeves for charity — tsodekeh, tsodekeh — offering to pray for you
    for money, to pray for your parents for money, selling you raffle
    tickets, shoving them into your pockets, into your breast pockets —
    a mitzva, a mitzva — except that that’s not the most startling thing
    of all, because the most startling thing of all is that they’re selling
    gold watches down here.
    I try to hold on to my nerve. Jesus lost his sense of humor and
    proportion in the temple, and I am determined not to lose mine.”
    [JACOBSON, H., 1995, p. 144-145]

    “We [Jews],” Jacobson consoles himself, “believe there’s no distinction between the world’s business and the business of the spirit.” [JACOBSON, H., 1995,p. 145]

    Leaving his momentary personal audience with the rabbi, “no sooner do you beat back the first wave of beggars [in the synagogue],” recounts Jacobson,

    “than you find yourself waylaid by tradesmen wanting to sell you
    polythene sleeves to store your dollar in. For two dollars you can
    protect the one dollar. Or you can have it sealed and plasticated,
    turned into a place-mat with a date and a picture of the Rebbe [rabbi].”
    [JACOBSON, H., 1995, p. 150]

    To Next Chapter (6)

  20. Spare8

  21. 6 JEWISH MONEY AND ECONOMIC INFLUENCE “The extraordinary story of Jewish-American success contains lessons for us all.” Steven Silbiger, 2000, p. 1 “The Torah lights, the Torah shines, but only money warms.” Old Yiddish folk saying, [KUMOVE, S., 1985, p. 238] “Maybe we don’t know your [Christian] history. But you still have a lot to learn about ours.” Jewish “banker who had been born into a left-wing family” at a Christian-Jewish group discussion, [COWAN, P., 1987, p. 185] “During my dialogues with [famous Jewish Nazi-hunter Simon] Wiesenthal, I wondered what the Hebrew interpreter Luis de Torres, who was the first member of the expedition to set foot in the New World, might have said to the ‘Indians’ whenthe Pinta, Nina, and Santa Maria landed in the Bahamas on 12 October 1492: ‘Did he address them in Hebrew?’ ‘That I don’t know,’ Simon said, adding deadpan, ‘But I can tellyou what the Indians said back to the white man: ‘Now begins the tsuris [Yiddish for “tro ubles”].’ — Alan Levy, 1993, p. 22 In the early 1900s, Werner Sombart, a German professor of economics, became intrigued with a new book by the German sociologist Max Weber entitled: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. In it Weber speculated about the Protestant faith and its ideals of rationality, frugality, hard work, efficiency, goal orientation, and other such attitudes in the creation of capitalism. Sombart — and many others since him — was attracted to the controversial notion that a religious world view had in some way shaped (and perhaps initiated) the western economic system. But Sombart thought that Weber’s focus on Protestantism was not the right place to look for the roots of capitalism. After all, Christianity had evolved out of a much older religious tradition: Judaism. So Sombart wrote his own book, eventually even more controversial than Weber’s, entitled The Jews and Modern Capitalism; it was based on the argument that a preceding Jewish value system informed the Protestant one. As Sombart saw it, “Puritanism is Judaism.” [NEWMAN, A., 1998, p. 165] “There is almost certainly a strong element of truth in Sombart’s contentions,” notes W. D. Rubinstein, “which may well account for the unique success enjoyed by the Jews in the English-speaking world in modern times, and the rarity of antisemitic tendencies.” [RUBINSTEIN, WD, 2000, p. 21] When the book first came out, in 1911, Sombart’s “fundamental assertions were not challenged,” in fact he spoke to many audiences “recruited mainly from the Jewish intelligentsia.” [MENDES-FLOHR, WERNER, p. 93] Both of these scholars — Sombart and Weber — have been pioneers in the scholarly debate about Jews and their role in economic history, each noting some of most enduring and self-preserving traits of Jewry over the centuries wherever they lived: * They were foreigners with no formal citizenship everywhere in their diaspora. * They were scattered throughout the world, never concentrated in a single area. * Their physical and social separateness from non-Jews was voluntary and part of their religious world view. * They were not peasants and were not linked to the land in their diaspora; wherever they were found, they were an urban class. * They lived a double standard of morality: one for themselves and another for non-Jews, which functioned to position them as intermediaries between other peoples, and ultimately protected their group solidarity and identity. * They had strong injunctions to marry only within the Jewish community. [TRAVERSO, p. 44] * They also accumulated “liquid wealth,” per merchantry and money lending enterprises. Among Weber’s and Sombart’s other arguments was the idea that mainstream Judaism has largely been rationalist and legalistic in scope, eschewing magic and the realm of the supernatural, “this life” oriented and not towards the hereafter, and that the natural world is viewed by traditional Judaism only in the way by which it can be profitably exploited for the benefit of the Jewish people. As Harry Kemmelman notes in one of his popular novels featuring lead character “Rabbi Small”: “The virtuous Muslim, when he dies, goes to Paradise; the Buddhist assumes he will be reincarnated at a higher level; the Christian goes to heaven. When the virtuous Jew dies, he just dies.” [KEMMELMAN, H., 1981, p. 171] Talcott Parsons notes that Jewish emphasis upon “rationality … was mainly legalistic in character.” [PARSONS, p. 106] This rationality, argues Sombart, was integral to capitalism. And all these aforementioned factors contribute to a decidedly materialist world view. As R. Joseph Hoffman observes: “The Old Testament has a great deal to say about wealth as a sign of divine favor and source of human happiness. It is arguable that no single aspect of ancient Israelite religion stands in such obvious contrast to ancient Greek speculation concerning the immaterial nature of the good as the insistence of the Hebrew writers that the things of this world, being ‘God’s possession and man’s ward,’ are a source of delight, contentment, and blessing. The theme is recurrent… [The story of Genesis] is the mythological embodiment of a fundamentally this-worldly, economic theology.” [HOFFMAN, R. J., 1989,p. 172] “So closely has Jewish economic activity been intertwined with the history of capitalism,” concurs prominent Jewish scholar Howard Sachar, “that many historians have forgotten that the Jews were its putty as well as its molders. Jews helped shaped the destiny of capitalism, but capitalism also shaped the destiny of the Jews.” [SACHAR, p. 39] “According to this distinguished economic historian [Sombart],” says Paul Mendes-Flohr, “Jewish values and ingrained sensibilities — arid intellectualism, a calculating intelligence, insatiable desire, a double ethic — display a particular affinity to the ethical code and attitudes required by … the major economic developments and instruments of capitalism.” [MENDES-FLOHR, p. 134] Sombart was terribly off the mark with some of his speculations, especially a chapter devoted to innately racial “characteristics” of Jews (although, ironically, some Jewish scholars like Norman Cantor and Raphael Patai accept this kind of commentary today, so long as it is flattering to them), and Jews have had nearly a century to pick Sombart’s ideas apart. But not all of them can be easily discarded. In particular, his essential queries still stand, re-examined and reconsidered by scholars in our own day. Why have Jews had such enormous economic influence wherever they were — and are — in history, and whenever capitalism developed, why were Jews always significantly located as beneficiaries? To what degree have they been responsible for, or at least instrumental in, the development of capitalism? What is it about Jews and money? “One need not accept Sombart’s exaggerations,” wrote Salo Balon, “to see that the Jew had an extraordinarily large share of the development of early capitalism and received corresponding benefit.” [LIBERLES, p. 44] Sombart argued that, while Christian opinion in the medieval era disdained the pursuit of monetary gain and preoccupation with self-enrichment, Jewish religious principles actively encouraged a materially accumulative path. “Sombart notes will ill-concealed distaste,” says Werner Mosse, “that the most learned Talmudists [rabbis and other Jewish religious scholars] were also the most skilled financiers, doctors, jewelers, and merchants.” [MOSSE, p. 5] A year before the Jewish expulsion from Spain in 1492, for instance, Abraham Seneor, the Chief Rabbi of Castillian Jewry, was also a “tax farmer” (tax collector), [BARON, Econ Hist, p. 47] a position purchased from the Spanish aristocracy that was rendered in the public mind as a particularly despised form of exploitive entrepreneurism. Such colossal economic Jewish religious figures can be found yet today. By 1995, for example, Joseph Gutnik, an ultra-Orthodox Hassidic rabbi, had an economic empire worth $1.5 billion and was recognized as one of the richest men in Australia. His company, Centaur, notes the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, “had two main assets in western Australia — a nickel mine and a gold mine … Gutnik apparently has a fondness for diamonds. At one time he was even nicknamed Diamond Joe.” [HANDWERKER, H., 5-15-01] Sombart proposed “on one hand, [that] Christianity was the religion of poverty, and condemnation of material wealth was part of its creed. On the other hand, Judaism was the rational basis for wealth, the home of the modern economic spirit — free enterprise.” [KREFETZ, p. 44] “Orthodox Jews have never despised business,” notes the Jewish scholar Irving Kristol, “Christians have. The art of commerce, the existence of a commercial society, has always been a problem for Christians. Commerce has never been much of a problem for Jews … Getting rich has never been regarded as being in any way sinful, degrading, or morally dubious within the Jewish religion.” [KRISTOL, p. 317] “For the Jews, poverty was no virtue, wealth no evil. The Talmudic monetary laws, the dinei memonot, formed what was regarded by many as the most rewarding of Talmudic inquiry and crativity … It’s not the afterlife that’s important but life itself for rich and poor alike.” [GETTLER, L., 2000, p. 27] According to the New Testament,” notes Jewish business author Steven Silbiger, “the Christian world has, at best, an ambivalent attitude toward money and wealth … For Jews, on the other hand, wealth is a good thing, a worthy and respectable goal to strive toward. What’s more, once you earn it, it is tragic to lose it. Judaism has never considered poverty a virtue. The first Jews were not poor, and that was good. The Jewish founding fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, were blessed with cattle and land in abundance. Asceticism and self-denial are not Jewish ideals.” [SILBIGER, S., 2000, p. 1415] Silbiger compares the very different Christian and Jewish religious traditions about money. For the Christian: “Easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” — Matthew 19:24; Luke 18:25; Mark 10:25 “You cannot serve God and wealth.” — Luke 16:13 “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” — Timothy 6:10 For the Jew: “Where there is no flour, there is no Bible.” — The Mishna “Poverty causes transgression.” — Hasidic folk saying “Poverty in a man’s house is worse than fifty plagues.” — The Talmud “The account of Yahweh’s [God’s] covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15), ” notes R. Joseph Hoffman, “is … told in terms of this-worldly reward and material blessing (Gen. 22:17) … [In Judaism there is a] doctrine of conspicuous reward for obedience [to God] … [Apostle] Luke in particular presents the poverty ethic as a central Christian requirement … Paradigmatically, to be a ‘true’ follower [of Jesus by his Apostles] is to be poor.” [HOFFMAN, R. J., 1989, p. 173, 183, 185] As Sombart put it: “It is well known that the religion of the Christian stood in the way of economic activities. It is equally well known that the Jews were never faced with this hindrance. The more pious a Jew was and the more acquainted with his religious literature, the more he was spurred by the teachings of that literature to extend his economic activities.” [SOMBART, p. 222] Sombart even out-Freuds Freudian theory by suggesting that Jewish religious dictates encouraged sexual sublimation which, in turn, improved energies in money matters. (“We see that a good deal of capitalistic capacity which the Jews possessed was due in large measure to sexual restraint put upon them by their religious teachers.”) [SOMBART, p. 237] Exploring Jewish moral tenets towards non-Jews, particularly in the economic sphere, Sombart highlights excerpts from Jewish religious teachings like these: “If a non-Jew makes an error in a statement of accounts, the Jew may use it to his own advantage; it is not incumbent upon him to point it out.” “It is permissible to take advantage of a non-Jew, for it is written, thou shalt not take advantage of thy brother [i.e., other Jews].” [SOMBART, p. 245] As modern Jewish defenders point out, there are indeed other Jewish religious citations that can be produced that infer different attitudes towards non-Jews. But as Sombart underscores, for the Jews who seek religious assurances that a Jew can cheat and deceive Gentiles with moral impunity, there are clearly many citations to be found in the Jewish religious record that support, and even encourage, such an attitude. Such attitudes were unquestionably used by Jews in history, often as a mainstay. Hence, as part of Gentile folklore throughout the world, Jews are consistently and universally depicted as misers, penny-pinchers, and cheats who are completely obsessed with making money, views that are bitterly decried by Jews today as being totally unfounded, completely unwarranted, and anti-Semitic: in all cases, “stereotypes.” Wherever Jews lived in their diaspora, there were similar perspectives about them in the traditions of surrounding peoples: * “A real Jew will never pause to eat till he has cheated you. (Serbian) * “The Jew cheats even when praying.” (Czech) * “A real Jew will get gold out of straw.” (Spanish) * “So many Jews, so many thieves.” (German) * “A bankrupt Jew searches his own accounts.” (Greek) * “Bargain like a Jew but pay like a Christian.” (Polish) * “A Jewish miser will reject nothing more than having to part with his foreskin.” (Russian) * “A Jewish oath, a clear night, and women’s tears are not worth a mite. (Venetian) * “A Jew, if he cheats a Moslem, is happy that day.” (Moroccan) * “Mammon [money] is the God of the Jews.” (Hungarian) [ROBACK, p. 186-204] Jewish scholar Leonard Dinnerstein notes the similar folk beliefs about Jews in the African-American community: “There are several humorous tales about a ‘Colored Man, a Jew and a White Man’ in which the Jew is distinguished from other caucasians. The main thrust of almost all of these jokes is the compulsive Jewish concern for wealth.” [DINNERSTEIN, L., 1998, p. 117 (of double pagination] Like virtually all Jewish observers these days, however, Dinnerstein regards such folk tradition to be based on no facts whatsoever. As he decides, despite the fact that such folk traditions are part of every folk history wherever there have been Jews in any number, “[Blacks] have imbibed the European-American folklore about the cunning and exploitive Jew whose ruthlessly amassed fortune is used to political and economic control of society. There is more mythology than substance in these beliefs, but that does not lessen their impact. These stereotypes have existed among Blacks since their socialization into American culture.” [DINNERSTEIN, L., 1998, p. 873 (pages are doubly paginated)] What Dinnerstein neglects to mention, of course, as do virtually all Jewish polemicists on this subject, is that these “stereotypes” have also been very much part of even Jewish folk lore, hence Jewish self-identity. What did the Jewish community think, and celebrate, about itself in its own traditions? * “A Jew at a fair is like a fish in water.” (Yiddish) * “The Jew loves commerce.” (Yiddish) * “A Jew and a wolf are never idle.” (Yiddish) * “The Jew likes to poke his nose everywhere.” (Yiddish) * “Better in the hands of a Gentile than the mouth of a Jew.” (Yiddish) * “When the Pole thinks, he seizes his moustache, when the Russian thinks, he takes hold of his forelocks, and when the Jew thinks, he holds his hands behind.” (Yiddish) [ROBACK, p. 186-204] As Irving Howe and Eliezer Greenberg note about Yiddish folklore: “This folk humor provides a means of indirect social aggression and at other times, it releases a mordant self-criticism.” [KUMOVE, S., 1985, p. xx] The following are more examples of traditional Jewish self-identity from a collection of Yiddish folk sayings, [KUMOVE, S., 1985] further confirming certain troubling aspects of collective Jewish identity: * “One need never suspect a Jew — he surely is a thief.” [p. 139] * “It’s good to do business with a thief.” [p. 233] * “If you steal — you’ll have.” [p. 233] * “What is smaller than a mouse may be carried from a house.” [p. 233] * “Petty thieves are hanged, major thieves are pardoned.” [p. 233] * “A thief gives handsome presents.” [p. 230] * “Before a thief goes stealing, he also prays to God.” [p. 231] * “Better with a hometown thief than a strange rabbi.” [p. 231] * “Thieve and rob if you must but be honorable.” [p. 232] * “God protect us from Gentile hands and Jewish tongues.” [p. 196] * “Live among Jews, do business among the Goyim.” [p. 143] * “If you steal enough eggs, you can also become rich.” [p. 249] * “A fool gives and a clever person takes.” [p. 106] * “Always take — if you give me, I’ll go away, if not, I’ll stay.” [p. 106] * “Always take!” [p. 106] * “The goy is treyf [forbidden] but his money is kosher [acceptable].” [p. 126] * “Offer a Jew a ride and he throws you out of your own wagon.” [p. 45] * “A sense of justice we want others to have.” [p. 127] * “Money rules the world.” [p. 179] * “Money is the best soap — it removes the greatest stain. (p. 179) * “Gold shines out of the mud.” [p. 179] * “Gold has a dirty origin but is nevertheless treated with honor. [p. 180] * “The world stands on three things: on money, on money, and on money.” [p. 180] [All from KUMOVE, 1985] Jewish psychoanalyst Theodore Reik, in Jewish Wit (his volume about the subliminal psychological meanings of Jewish humor) notes: “All kinds of deception and cunning, of fraud and trickery, devised and committed by Jews, either to get money or to avoid paying money, are exposed and candidly revealed by Jewish jokes.” [REIK, T., 1962, p. 67] There is even an entire tradition of Yiddish folksongs like this: “Stealing has made its home in my heart, It doesn’t let me alone for a moment. It tells me that it was made just for me, That it can’t live without me for a moment.” [RUBIN, R., 2001 — Song 8] Jewish author Stephen Bloom was troubled when, during studies of an ultra-Orthodox group in America with deep roots in Jewish tradition, “anti-Semitic” stereotypes about Jews and money seemed confirmed: “To Lazar, bargaining was a thoroughly Jewish endeavor. Negotiating the lowest price wasn’t chutzpah, it was tradition. ‘I don’t feel like a Jew unless I bargain!’ Lazar bellowed. ‘I feel bad when I don’t make a deal. That’s part of being a Jew! A Jew has to know he got something for the absolute lowest price — or he feels rotten.’ If Lazar hadn’t been telling me this, I’d have thought it was one of the [non-Jewish] regulars at Ginger’s [diner]. Lazar meant what he said, and his remarks were totally anti-Semitic. If anyone else were saying this, Lazar would have him by the throat.” [BLOOM, S., 2001, p. 209] “Perhaps money is to Jews,” suggested Gerald Krefetz in his 1982 book, Jews and Money, “what aggression and territoriality is to other national, religious, and ethnic groups, “… In the American context … it continues to exert a magnetic attraction, for Jews seem to make much of it and hold it in high regard.” [KREFETZ, p. 30] Rabbi Jonathan Sacks notes the Jewish religious perspective on making money, that “the Torah treats protectively the money of Israel.” [SACKS, J., p. 107] “The Bible [Torah] is all about business,” adds Rabbi Burton Visotzky, a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary, “In Exodus, people step out of the family, forming a corporate entity. A lot of negotiation goes on. Abraham negotiates with God, with Pharoah; Moses negotiates with God, with the people.” [ELLIN] Forbes business magazine even featured a story in 1999 about this same Rabbi Visotzky, who teaches a monthly religious session to 20 powerful Jewish Manhattan businessmen. The article is intriguing for its insights on Jewish morality. On the day the reporter attended, the subject of discussion was Genesis 12:10-20. In this part of the Torah, the reader finds the disturbing story of the seminal Jewish patriarch Abraham, who pretends that his pretty wife, Sarah, is his sister so that he may both protect himself and sell her to the Egyptian Pharaoh. (She was, in fact, however incestuous, his half-sister.) [SMITH, M., 1989, p. 138] “This ploy,” notes the Forbes reporter, “will not only save his life but also allow him to turn a profit on her sale. Less delicately put, Abraham becomes Sarah’s pimp.” [LEE, S., 11-10-99] After Abraham reaps payment, God punishes Pharaoh by cursing his land with the plague. The Egyptian leader returns Sarah to Abraham and bans them from his land. “Payoff time again for Abraham,” notes the reporter, ” — Pharaoh pays him hush money.” [LEE, S., 11-10-99] Rabbi Visotzky then explained for Forbes the essence, as he saw it, to the biblical tale, quoting a lawyer in his study group who suggested that, “Morality aside, you may not like it, but by the end of the chapter — let’s face it — Abraham is talking one-on-one with the head of state and he’s earned start up costs.” Visotzky then adds: “This is what it means to be a small and embattled people who are going to survive at any cost. The only thing that matters is the bottom line.” [LEE, S., 11-10-99] (In this genre, a turn-of-the-century Jewish scholar, Cesare Lombroso, even argued that “among the Jews, before the definitive version of the Tablets of Law, the father had the right to sell the daughter to a man who would make of her his concubine for a period of time established by the sales contract … The Jews thus trafficked in the prostitution of their own daughters.” [HARROWITZ, p. 117] In 2001, African-American reverend Jesse Jackson, mired in a scandal when it was discovered he had fathered a new child out of his marriage, turned to study the Torah with New York rabbi Marc Schneier, for solace. The rabbi “and Jackson,” noted the Jewiish Telegraphic Agency, “studied the portion of Genesis in which Judah sleeps with his daughter-in-law, mistaking her for a prostitute. Despite his transgression, Judah is chosen from among his brothers to become heir to Jacob’s dynasty, which later produces King David and, Jewish tradition holds, will one day produce the Messiah.”) [WIENER, J., 1-26-01] Such Abrahamic ethics of survival and self-promotion aside, the Jewish historian Werner Mosse, in a review of Sombart’s theses, notes that “What Jews brought with them from their past into the industrial age was, as has often been noted, their particular appreciation of the value of money.” [MOSSE, p. 8] Mosse argues that this “appreciation of the value of money” was the Jewish means to security as a minority people in hostile Europe. “Significant also,” Mosse writes, “is the sense of Jewish solidarity overriding even the economic competition. What gives this solidarity a special economic significance is the dispersal of Jews across national boundaries.” [MOSSE, p. 11] This transnational allegiance to other Jews, and their lack of patriotic and defensive obligation to even the land in which they lived (until, for the assimilated, the 1800s), afforded Jews a uniquely favorable position of self-preservation and prosperity at the expense of non-Jews around them. Hannah Arendt notes that “The Jews had been the purveyors in wars and the servants of Kings, but they did not and were not expected to engage in conflicts themselves. When these conflicts enlarged into national wars, they still remained an international element whose importance and usefulness lay precisely in their not being bound to any national cause.” [ARENDT, p. 21] This Jewish inter-connectedness across many lands, their own trans-national languages of Hebrew and/or Yiddish, and a materialist ethic (antithetical to the Middle Age Christian morals around them) accentuated — often in monopolistic form — further Jewish development in money-lending, merchantry, and other trades. (As early as the 4th century the Archbishop of Constantinople, St. John Chrysotome, noted that the Jews in the declining Roman Empire “possessed large sums of money and that their patriarchs assembled immense treasures.” Jews occupied “the highest commercial position in (Antioch), causing a cessation of all business when they celebrated their holidays.” [LEON, p. 123] Jewish cross national links and associated expertise in money-making matters gave rise, in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, to the phenomenon of “Court Jews,” specious pseudo-princes eventually ubiquitous throughout Europe. Most of the hundreds of European nobles had Court Jews, who were usually afforded formal titles of aristocracy. By the 18th century, notes prominent Jewish historian Heinrich Graetz, “every state in Germany had its Court Jew or Jews, upon whose support the finances of the land depended.” [GOLDBERG, M. H., 1976, p. 55] These confidantes of the nobility were influential in effecting requests and concessions on behalf of the Jewish communities. “What was characteristic of the Court Jew … was his close association with [the Jewish] community whose interests he championed.” [MEYER, p. 105] “The Jewish heritage,” says Selma Stern, “… which was the innermost core of their existence, made [Court Jews] remain … more Jews than court factors.” [STERN, p. 241] At various times and various places, such Jews were afforded trade monopolies by the European aristocrats, including the dealing of jewels, silver, tobacco, velvet, and other luxuries and commodities. All classes, and especially the poor, could be critically and negatively effected by such Jewish manipulations. In the seventeenth century, for instance, Moses Jacobson “almost monopolized the highly important salt trade [to Poland and Lithuania] limiting the quantities he imported from Holland so the prices remained high. He bought so many goods that he could load up whole ships and deprived local merchants of their livelihoods.” [CARSTEN, p. 145] “[The Court Jews] became,” says Lewis Coser, “the rulers’ instrument for destroying feudal forces, estates, and guilds restricting his power. They were his financiers and bankers and collaborators…. ” [COSER, p 575] “In their capacity as bankers and money lenders,” says Selma Stern, “[Court Jews] often participated in political councils, in secret diplomatic missions, in the negotiation of peace treaties, and in military conferences.” [STERN, p. 115] Eva Hoffman calls similar Jews in the Polish empire “court servitors.” “One such servitor,” she observes, “a man known as Becal, paid a large sum to the king in return for a license to collect royal tolls in Ruthenia and Volhynia — in defiance of a law prohibiting Jews to lease royal customs. Over time, some of the more successful Jews began to identify with the szlachta [the aristocracy], adopting its dress, comportment and sometimes its arrogance.” [HOFFMAN, E., 1997, p. 50] Such Jews also functioned as the official gold and silver suppliers, as well as the money minters, for the nobles of various lands. Usually (but not always) under sanction of the Lords, these Jews, lessees of the royal mints, often withdrew millions of pieces of common coinage, particularly during wars, to reduce their silver content towards skimming profit for themselves and the ruling aristocracies. The resultant “devaluation of the currency and staggering inflation” was a “despised but very lucrative business” provoking “the ire and hatred of the impoverishing population” against the Jewish community. [BREUER, p. 109-110] During the Seven Years War in the mid-1700, 20-25 percent of Prussia’s war costs were raised in this way. “Whatever the ethical questions surrounding the operation of the mint entrepreneurs,” notes Steven Lowenstein, “there can be little question that [the Seven Years War] created a new type of Jewish elite.” [LOWENSTEIN] “[Court Jews],” says Stern, “were charged with counterfeiting and with violating money regulation; they were accused of money-clipping… they were blamed for the disorder in the currency system, for the fluctuations in the value of money, and for the resultant impoverishment of the subjects of the realm.” [STERN, p. 162] Another Jewish proclivity, war profiteering, has a long history. Jews were “prominent as military suppliers to Christians against Muslims in 13th century Spain, and against a rebellion of Catalonian nobility against King Pedro III of Aragon (1276-1285).” Jews, in this era, “also played a prominent role in the production of military equipment, metal casting, and armament manufacture.” [ENCY JUD, p. 934] In the 16th century, some Jews were experts in gunpowder and cannon manufacture and co-religionists “probably served as military suppliers during this period in Central Europe also.” [ENCY JUD, p. 934] In the 17th and 18th centuries Jews in Amsterdam supplied the armies of Holland, Morocco, and England. Various internal 17th century wars in Morocco provided Dutch Jews the opportunity to “act as military suppliers to all sides involved in the conflict.” [ENCY JUD, p. 934] Jewish war profiteering was so widespread by the sixteenth and seventeenth century that “no war was waged in Germany” without Jewish financing, [MEYER, p. 106] and Court Jews across Europe were loaning rival aristocracies funds for supplying Christian armies to war against each other. Jews were hence positioned for centuries as prime war profiteers and beneficiaries of Gentile political turmoil. Jews risked not their lives in these conflicts as combatants (some Jews began to serve in armies after Emancipation), but their investments (and increased popular Gentile hostility) during risky times. During the many wars of Europe, “this situation,” says F. L. Carsten, “proved the great opportunity for those Jews who provided the armies with food and fodder, bought the soldiers’ booty at advantageous prices and traded in the wake of the armies. Because there were so many princes and because they all needed loans so badly, this was the opportunity not only for a few Jews attached to one court, but for dozens, even hundreds, working for many different princes, to supply them with what they needed, or rather more often what they did not need.” [CARSTEN, p. 143] “Although the Court Jews themselves constituted only a minute proportion of the Jewish population,” says the Encyclopedia Judaica, “they required a widespread network of subcontractors, petty merchants, etc., who were also Jewish, in order to fulfill their functions as major contractor-suppliers, especially in war time. Large scale providing was achieved through contacts with Jewish dealers in Eastern Europe.” Anti-Jewish critics contended that in Germany at this time “all the military suppliers were Jews and all the Jews were military suppliers.” [ENCY JUD, v. 5, p. 934]Prominent Jewish war contractors included the Model family, Joseph Oppenheimer, the Gomperz family, Israel Avaron, and the Wertheimer, Mayer, and Herschel families. In England Abraham Israel “was the most prominent contractor during the rule of Cromwell.” Jews supplied William of Orange’s military needs in the 1700’s and Solomon de Medina supplied the troops of the Duke of Marlborough. Jews supplied the Duke of Schoenber’s armies in Ireland and Peterborough’s campaigns against the Spanish. Robert Harley “was accused of ruining the economy of England in order to enrich Jewish military suppliers.” [ENCY JUD, v. 5, p. 935] “European history in the Baroque Age,” notes Howard Sachar, “is studded with the names of these resourceful Jewish agents: men such as Israel Aaron, the first Jew to be admitted to East Prussia, who served as army supplier to Frederick William, the Great Elector, during all of Frederick William’s European wars; the banker Elias Gumperts of Cleves, who was also of use to the Great Elector in furnishing stone, wood, palisades, uniforms, munitions, food, and money for fortresses along the Rhine … During the war of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War in the eighteenth century, we find Jewish purveyors aligned with a Bavarian army that at one moment fought with, and the next moment against, the Prussians.” [SACHAR, p. 24] Jews also provided the French military supplies beginning in the 16th century, especially during the reign of Louis XIV. Abraham Gradis also supplied the French troops in Canada during the Seven Years War in the 18th century. “Among their other activities [“the Jewish banking firm of Mendes”] is reputed to have financed the French war in Canada, and to have dealt in bullion imports from America. Such operations as these naturally led to employment of these [Jewish Sephardic] Marrano bankers as loan agents by various European monarchs and for a couple of centuries or so practically all wars were more or less financed from these sources.” [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 15] Jews also “played a prominent role in supplying weapons and provisions to the English army in the colonies.” Mathias Bush provided the troops in Pennsylvania against the French, the Frank family contracted for the English army in America, and the Shaftall family supplied the American army in Georgia. [ENCY JUD, v. 5, p. 935] Even in a small town like Talbotton, near Atlanta, Georgia, “a local grand jury called to investigate war profiteering [in the Civil War] issued a report that blamed all the town’s problems on unnamed Jewish businessmen.” [TRACHTENBERG, 1996, p. 18] “Joseph Seligman, founder of the investment firm J. & W. Seligman, ws the person [Abraham] Lincoln trusted to convince European investors to buy Union bonds to finance the cost of the Civil War. Emmanuel Lehman, one of the founders of the Southern-based investment banking house Lehman Brothers, went to Europe and raised a great deal of money for the Confederacy.” [SILBIGER, S., 2000, p. 45-46] In 1618-1648 a series of wars — known as the Thirty Years Wars — spread across Europe. Largely a Catholic-Protestant conflict, it also echoed economic and territorial animosities. Germany was particularly devastated. The largely mercenary armies traversing Europe were often unpaid and ended up looting and ravaging the general populace. Starvation was rampant. “The agony of the Thirty Years War,” says Jewish historian Howard Sachar, with a flair for descriptive deprecation, “had literally pulverized the German peasantry into a race of hysterical grass-eating mystics.” [SACHAR, p. 65] Grass-eating mystics or not, another Jewish scholar notes that “while the Christian populace was decimated — in a number of regions reduced by 60 to 70 per cent — the Jewish population as a whole experienced only a minimal overall decline … Many Jews were able to provide services useful for the conduct of the war in their capacity as middle men, suppliers of goods, and credit agents.” [MEYER, Ed., p. 95] “Many Jewish businessmen in the 17th century,” says Sachar, “laid the foundation for his modest fortune by his purchase and disposal of the debris left on the battlefield of the Thirty Years War. Of course, foraging for one’s own duke behind enemy lines, or even within one’s own lines, was dangerous work, and not infrequently Jews were caught and executed as spies.” [SACHAR, p. 23] ” “In Vienna,” notes Joachim Prinz, “after the Thrity Years’ War, for example, the wealth of many of the Jewish families intoxicated the whole Jewish community … In Russia, some Jews seemed to propser during the Thirsty Years’ War because they were the tax colectors for the state.” [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 52] “The Thirty Years’ War,” adds J. O. Hertzler, ” … brought destruction, starvation, and pestilence. Again the spleen of dispossessed princes and impoverished and outraged peasants was vented upon the Jews who had achieved prosperity through their purchases and trade.” [HERTZLER, p. 95] During such periods, being Jewish was a distinct advantage towards survival. One rabbi of the era noted that “the soldiers, for years now on the march through the towns and villages, have often treated us more kindly than the non-Jews, so that Gentiles have sometimes brought their belongings to Jews for safe-keeping.” [MEYER, Ed., p. 97] Historian Mack Holt notes the situation of the people of France during times of warring: “[The civilians] overcome the dual threat of death and destruction from the soldiers themselves, as well as the pressure and hardship of royal taxation which the king needed to pay for the military destruction … [There was also] the threat of financial ruin meted out by the crown’s tax collectors … [HOLT, p. 195] Whenever marauding troops billeted themselves on the civilian population, they invariably seized all livestock and grain stores as a matter of practice.” [HOLT, p. 197] Wealthy Jews were involved in the financing of World War I (Jews “played a prominent part in organizing the German war economy”) [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 257] as well as earlier German wars of unification. Geran Bleichroeder’s money, for instance, was notable in 1866, during fighting between Prussia and Austria. The Philipp Speyer firm in Germany was involved in arranging credit for the United States during its Civil War and was involved in financing the building of railroads across America. [GROSS, N., p. 219] Earlier, Daniel Franks “was instrumental in raising money for the British army during the French and Indian War with the aid of his brother, Moses, a London financier.” [GROSS, N., p. 223] Mayer Amschel Rothschild’s “great fortune was acquired by hiring [William IX’s] troops, as mercenaries to the British in the American Revolutionary War.” [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 15] Conversely, Haym Solomon, an immigrant from Poland, helped secure credit for the American Revolution from France and the Netherlands. In Germany, “through [Ludwig] Loewe’s brother Isidor (1848-1910) and jointly with the firm of Mauser, an order of unprecedented magnitude was obtained for equipping the Turkish army.” [GIDAL, p. 266] After a merger with the Mauser company, this company “was supplying half the armies of the world with rifles.” [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 74] The London Rothschilds “found the 20,000,000 pounds to compensate slave owners after the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1833. In 1854 a 16,000,000 pound loan to finance the Crimean War was launched through the House of Rothschild, and in 1871 they raise 100,000,000 pounds to help France pay her war indemnity to Prussia. ” [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 40] “Among the branches of trade in which Jews achieved special prominence,” underscores Jewish scholar W.E. Mosse, “the outstanding one in the early nineteenth century was, undoubtably, war contracting. It was this activity which may be said to have laid the foundations of the fortunes of the German-Jewish economic elite. This was, unquestionably, the major source of early Jewish capital accumulation.” [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 386] Mosse suggest that some of the reasons why war profiteering became such an important source of Jewish economic activity was rooted in “the quasi-monopoly” they held in the European agricultural produce trade and “corruption in business dealings” with “those responsible for awarding military contracts.” [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 388] Eventually Jews rose to become “prominent” even in the armaments industry itself, including weapons and ammunition. (Even Chaim Weizmann, a chemist and eventually the first president of modern Israel, was instrumental in providing acetone as an explosive ingredient for British heavy artillery at a crucial time during the first World War. Weizmann’s efforts helped secure formal British government support for the principle of a Jewish state in the land then known as Palestine). [RHODES, R., 1988, p. 88-91] With the rise of European political movements against the Jews in the late nineteenth century, Albert Lindemann notes that “a European-wide body of opinion, cutting across class lines, focused on what was perceived as Jewish ruthlessness and immorality in search of profit. It was often asserted, and much discussed in the press, that the brutal Boer War (in South Africa, 1899-1902) was manipulated to benefit wealthy Jews. The repression of an uprising in 1907, in the course of which thousands of starving and desperate Romanian peasants were slaughtered, was widely described as protecting Jewish interests…. Involvement of Jews in these matters was not only plausible but real enough.” [LINDEMANN, p. 32-33] “[Jews] were a crucial element in the development of South Africa during the final quarter of the nineteenth century and a considerable proportion of the ‘Uitlanders,’ whose restiveness undere Boer rule was to lead to the South African war, were Jews. Among them was … Barney Barnato … [who] built up one of the largest fortunes in South Africa and controlled a labour force of one hundred and twenty thousand men.” [BERMNANT, C., 1977, p. 54] In Germany, says Sarah Gordon, there was “the popular belief that Jews had been highly active as war profiteers between 1914 and 1918 [World War I], and that they had promoted or gained from postwar inflation by questionable activities as financiers and middlemen. Anti-Semites eagerly compiled statistics on Jewish criminal activity, both real and bogus, to buttress their arguments.” [GORDON, p. 53] “The most repulsive of men,” remarked the well-known German Jewish philosopher (and Zionist) Martin Buber, “is the oily war profiteer, who does not cheat any God, for he knows none. And the Jewish profiteer is more repugnant than the non-Jewish for he has fallen lower.” [MENDES-FLOHR, BUBER, p. 141] Jewish international economic power toward expressly Jewish political ends in a war could even be asserted in Asia. At the turn of the twentieth century, American Jews who were concerned about a perceived Russian mistreatment of its Jewish citizens included Jacob Schiff, a senior partner in the American banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb, and Co. He believed that “the only hope for Russian Jews seemed to lay in the possibility that the Russo-Japanese War would lead to upheaval in Russia and constitutional government there.” [BEST, G., 1972, p. 315] Toward this end, Schiff helped Japan raise $180 million, nearly one-fourth of the total Japanese expenditure in its war with Russia. Schiff, the wealthy capitalist, even funded socialist indoctrination programs for Russian prisoners of war by the Japanese, in the hope that this might aid in the Tsar’s downfall. [LINDEMANN, p. 170] The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia claims that “in his later years [Schiff] recognized that he had innocently aided in the creation of a menace in the shape of Japanese imperialism.” [UJE, v. 9, p. 400] At the same time, since 1890, Jewish-American financiers — led by Jacob Schiff, Isaac Seligman, and Adolph Lewisohn — had vigorously lobbied the powerful international Jewish banking community as a collective entity to reject Russia’s own searches for loans. Ultimately defeated by Japan and suffering great indemnity demands, Tsarist Russia faced a largely successful international economic lockout by Jewish money lenders (the Russian government ultimately collapsed to the communist revolution, a situation international Jewry hoped to be better for Russian Jews). “A great nation,” reported the Jewish Chronicle with satisfaction about the teetering Tsarist state, “was now going from one Jewish banker to the other, vainly appealing for financial help.” [ARONSFELD, p. 103] Simon Wolf, Chairman of the Board of Delegates of the United American Hebrew Congregation, wrote that “Russia at this juncture needs two important elements to inspire its future prosperity and happiness: money and friends … The Jews of the world control much of the first … There is no disguising the fact that in the United States especially the Jews form an important factor in the formation of public opinion and in the control of the finances…” [ARONSFELD, p. 100] The following ultimatum to the huge country of Russia, and a threat to those who broke Jewish ranks to do business with it, was announced by a group of Jewish American businessmen wielding their own foreign policy, self-described as the “Hebrew alliance:” “First, until equal civil and religious rights are given the Jews of Russia, no money will be loaned the Russian government by any American Jews. Second, the Rothschilds [the worlds greatest and far-reaching banking firm, based in Europe] are united with the American Jewish bankers in this agreement and will use all their enormous prestige and power to assist in carrying out the threat. Third, no financial concern will be allowed to loan Russia money, under pain of the displeasure and financial punishment that such a combination of resources of the Hebrew alliance could so readily dispense.” [ARONSFELD, p. 100] Jewish economic collusion against Russia, notes Edwin Black, “was widely criticized for the stubborn continuation of their boycott even as it threatened the Allies’ [World War I] war effort. But the boycott remained in effect until the monarchy was toppled in 1917.” [BLACK, p. 31] Even within Russia itself, a Jewish “adventurous millionaire,” Parvus (aka Israel Lazarevitch Gelfand, or also anglicized as Helphand), was a sponsor of V. I. Lenin. [SINGER, N., p. 2] In this historical context — the “conspiracy” of international Jewish financiers unifying to bring Tsarist Russia to collapse — the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia notes that “the canard of the Jewish conspiracy to attain political world domination originated at the time when the Tsarist regime was threatened with revolution.” [UJE, v. 3, p. 1] The most famous anti-Semitic volume of all time, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which claimed to evidence a Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world, was created — and published — in Russia at this time. Stemming to great extent from profits garnered from the mostly Christian misery of Europe’s Thirty Years War, the phenomena of “Court Jews” rose to power and prominence in the 17th century, forging grandiose and pompous lifestyles that stirred ill will from the common peasantry. “The wealth and luxury displayed by many Court Jews,” says F.L. Carsten, “indeed made them an easy target for popular wrath. Many maintained great houses and loved ostentatious, grand displays, as so many princes and nobles did.” [CARSTEN, p. 151] “Court Jews,” says Selma Stern, “built and bought stately homes in which they reigned in patriarchal fashion in the midst of their numerous employees, clerks, servants, business friends, Talmudic scholars, and Yeshiva students.” [STERN, p. 228] (A Jewish author even wrote an entire book about an earlier European period, 768-900 BCE, when there existed “a Jewish princedom in feudal France.” Arthur Zuckerman noted that there is “unimpeachable evidence that the Carolingian Kings granted Septimanian Jewry a domain of considerable extent along the Mediterranean seacoast and on the borders of Spain.”) [ZUCKERMAN, A., 1972, p. 13] Court Jew Behrend Lehman, for example, was so wealthy that he owned a castle and thirteen villages. Israel Jacobson owned fifteen estates and other property throughout Germany. [CARSTEN, p. 151] Suss Oppenheimer, one of the most famous Court Jews (who was hanged when his aristocratic benefactor died and political winds changed) “with an extended network of Jewish financiers throughout Germany and the Netherlands” financed wars for the Hapsburg Empire against Louis XIV in 1688. His economic support helped save Vienna from the Turks in 1683 and his money “played a decisive role” in the siege and capture of Budapest in 1686 and Belgrade in 1688. [MEYER, p. 106] Oppenheimer reflected common Jewish practice by doing “all his business with other Jews; [he] gave contracts for military and court supplies only to them.” [CARSTEN, p. 155] In gleaning from the wars of the non-Jews around them, Court Jews not only kept their lucrative business networking within the local and transnational Jewish community, they even took the self-protective, self-promotive clan ethic to the next extreme. Although Court Jews were scattered in nations throughout Europe, “virtually all of the many hundreds of Court Jews were related by marriage. This was of considerable advantage for their financial, diplomatic, and dynastic services.” [BREUER, p. 112] Not surprisingly, on the other end of the economic spectrum, Jewish street thieves and robbers followed the same clannish pattern as their wealthy counterparts. “I believe I can prove,” said a commentator in the nineteenth century, “by means of a genealogical table that at least several hundred of the most notorious Jewish bandits alive form one single family.” [BREUER, p. 249] This notion of a “single family” has much broader implications. The collective incestuous economic character of both rich and lower class Jews, unified as members of an ethno-religious clan and functioning as a self-contained network within and against the non-Jewish communities in which they lived, even transnationally, is noted by Deborah Hertz in a commentary about the wealthy Jews of Berlin who rose to prominence in the eighteenth century: “None of the loaning, purveying, selling, or investing feats performed by the wealthy Jews in Berlin could have been executed without the aid of poor Jews who lived in small villages to the east. Both economic historians and anti-Semites alike have pointed out that cooperation between Jewish financiers in various European capitals was indispensable for Jewish financial interests in this era. It has less frequently been noted that the international ties linking Jews in different cities were also ties across the Jewish social hierarchy.” [HERTZ, p. 44] This Jewish emphasis towards ethnocentric unity and monopolistic economic control is a foundation of Jewish Diaspora history and surfaces and resurfaces over the centuries all over Europe. Jews were often expelled (“due as a rule to economic causes”) [HERTZLER, p. 88] en masse from towns, provinces, and even entire countries many times in their history. These include: 1012 – Mainz 1446 – Brandenburg 1541 – Prague 1182 – France 1462 – Mainz 1550 – Genoa 1276 – Upper Bavaria 1483 – Mainz 1551 – Bavaria 1296 – England 1483 – Warsaw 1557 – Prague 1306 – France 1492 – Spain 1569 – Papal states 1322 – France 1496 – Portugal 1649 – Hamburg 1394 – France 1496 – Naples 1669 – Vienna 1420 – Lyons 1498 – Nuremberg 1744 – Bohemia 1421 – Austria 1510 – Brandenberg Moravia 1424 – Cologne 1515 – Genoa Prague 1438 – Mainz 1533 – Naples 1891 – Moscow 1439 – Augsburg 1541 – Naples [SIEGEL, p. 127-129] On a more local scene, in England alone, for example, resulting from complaints and animosities against Jews leading up to their expulsion from the country in 1296, Jews were expelled from a number of cities, including 1190 – Bury St. Edmund 1236 – Southampton 1231 – Leicester 1242 – Berkhamsted 1234 – Newcastle 1244 – Newbury 1235 – Wycombe 1263 – Derby [BARON, Ancient, p. 243] From the 15th century to the late 19th century Jews were also banned from most of Russia as an inassimilable “alien people,” limited to living in an area (with large numbers of other ethnic peoples) commonly referred to as the Pale of Settlement. Jews consisted of about 12% of the total population of this area. Joachim Prinz notes the difficulties faced by the French attempt to ban Jews from all of France: “In 1683, the French government insisted upon a general expulsion of the Jews from France. Special instructions were sent to the authorities of Bordeaux, which had a considerable community of Marranos [secret Jews], warning them ‘not to expel more than a dozen Conversos [Marranos] every year because if if they are forced to leave Bordeaux, it would ruin the city’s economy as the commerce is almost entirely in the hands of that sort of persons.\'” [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 129] Although modern Jewish apologists tend to stress Christian religious persecution of Jewry, the much more vital reason for non-Jewish animosity, wherever Jews were, was that Jews often formed strangleholds on important parts of local economies, thanks to their centuries-old domination in commerce and often “unsavory” business practices, as well as their clannishness and transnational loyalties and allegiances to each other, always at the expense of non-Jews. As Deborah Hertz writes, concerning Germany, “Across the German-speaking territories, city councils, princes, and emperors were besieged by complaints from gentile craftsmen and merchants that Jewish business practices already had or would soon undermine their livelihood.” [HERTZ, p. 37] In Strasbourg, notes Howard Sachar, in 1806, Napoleon “was inundated with anti-Jewish grievances, with accounts of the ‘ruination’ of the peasantry by Jewish moneylenders. The petitioners begged the emperor to take special measures against Jewish foreclosures.” [SACHAR, p. 44] Jews are often portrayed in history as having been “forced into” their usurious paths. “It is self-evident,” counters Abram Leon, “that the claim, as do most historians, that the Jews began to engage in lending only after their elimination from trades is a vulgar error. Usurious capital is the brother of commercial capital … The eviction of Jews from commerce had as a consequence their entrenchment in one of the professions which they had already practiced previously.” [LEON, p. 138] The periodic consequences for Jewish exploitation of the impoverished could be violent. The Jewish Polish scholar Yitzak Schipper believed that “by the thirteenth century … the Jewish moneylender became the creditor of the poor classes of feudal society. He came face to face with those who could least afford to pay interest and carry the burden of medieval usury … The religious motive propagated and stimulated by the Crusaders was hardly a decisive factor in the hatred and persecution of the Jews. Jewish pogroms in the Middle Ages were of a strictly socio-economic character.. The main purpose [of the violent attacks against Jews] was the destruction of promissory notes…” [LITMAN, p. 65, 67] In later centuries, “in Austria,” says Albert Lindemann, “the capitalist financiers, the stockjobbers, the builders of the railroads, those responsible for the bankruptcies of [non-Jewish] artisans and small investors were undeniably to large extent of Jewish background.” [LINDEMANN, p. 25] The rise of powerful Jewish banking institutions began — especially in Germany and the Netherlands — in the seventeenth century. Wealthy Jews became influential in Dutch imperialist activities overseas, many as shareholders in both the Dutch East and West India Companies. About a quarter of both the Dutch East and West India companies were Jews; they also represented 37 of 41 members of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange in this era. [SACHAR, p. 28] When the Dutch Governor, Peter Stuyvesant, of New Amsterdam (now known as New York City), wrote a letter in 1655 to his superiors at the Dutch West India Company to seek permission to ban Jews from his colony, he was rebuffed. “He did not reckon,” notes Lewis Wirth, “with the fact that the Jews of Amsterdam were financially interested in the company that employed him and were represented in the Board of Directors.” [WIRTH, p. 133] “In Germany,” notes Joachim Prinz, “forty Marrano [‘secret’ Jewish] families paticipated in founding the Bank of Hamburg in 1619, and by the middle of that century they were accused of having too luxurious a life style, as evidenced by their palatial homes and their ostentatious funerals and weddings … Some of the finest homes in Amsterdam belonged to newly arrived Marranos.” [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 127] By the late seventeenth century important Jewish banking firms were founded in London. Sir David Salomons, “one of the founders of the Westminster Bank, is also recognized as one of the creators of the joint stock system. Furthermore, London owes its position as the world’s money centre largely due to the activities of three Jewish banking houses, namely the Goldschmid family, the house of Rothschild, and the banker Lord Swaythling.” [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 16] “Several Jews,” says Howard Sachar, “were … directors of the East India Company and of Lloyd’s of London… [SACHAR, p. 28] … In the early modern age, the courts of Europe were almost completely dependent upon private bankers for short term loans … most of the money in those days … was in the hands of the Jewish dealers in gems and precious metals. The identical circumstances that produced the merchant and purveyor produced the Jewish banker: his connection with the Netherlands, the banking center of Europe, through his Sephardic brethren, his international connections in all the mercantile centers of Europe; above all, his long experience in dealing with precious metals and the currencies of the continent.” [SACHAR, p. 24] The most famous banking house in history and the enduring symbol of international finance, investment banking, and trans-Jewish intrigue, the House of Rothschild (HR) of Frankfurt, Germany, rose to economic power in the nineteenth century, with branches throughout Europe. “The key aspect of the HR operational strategy,” notes Sam Lehman-Wilzig, “was secrecy … The extent to which [the Rothschilds] followed this strategy [of secrecy] bordered on the incredible. To this day their records have not been made public.” [LEHMAN-WILZIG, p. 254] “By the mid- [nineteenth] century,” writes Benjamin Ginsberg, “the entire European state system was dependent upon the international financial networks dominated by the Rothschilds.” [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 18] “Instances occurred,” notes Howard Sachar, “in which the Rothschilds demonstrably altered the course of international politics.” [SACHAR, p. 137] Its quick reversal of political allegiance, national loyalties, and attendant financing is noted by Hannah Arendt: “It took the French Rothschilds in 1848 hardly twenty-four hours to transfer their services from the government of Louis Philippe to the new short-lived French Republic and again to Napoleon III.” [ARENDT, p. 24] The vast empire of the Rothschilds alone evoked growing non-Jewish resentment. Arendt rhetorically wonders, “Where, indeed, was there better proof of the fantastic concept of a world Jewish government than in this one family, the Rothschilds, nationals of five different countries, prominent everywhere, in close cooperation with at least three different governments (French, Austrian, British), whose frequent conflicts never for a moment shook the solidarity at interest of their state bankers? No propaganda could have created a symbol more effective for political purposes than reality itself.” [SACHAR, p. 136] For many historians, the House of Rothschild is seminal in the examination of the rise of international capitalism. The Rothschilds may be even understood as the very protoype for the modern multinational corporation. “Considering HR’s dual policy of economic expansion and aid to their Jewish brethren,” notes Sam Lehman-Wilzig, “comparison to modern TNOs [transnational organizations] are especially intriguing … [LEHMAN-WILZIG, p. 260] … In those territories where the firm was already established, the [Rothschild] brothers used their presence with its concomitant financial importance for the area as an umbrella under which other Jews could be harmed only at risk of HR retribution.” [LEHMAN-WILZIG, p. 255] “Along with love of business,” added Joel Kotkin in 1993, “the Rothschilds [still] remain united by another, larger vocation, one extending beyond business, family, and even nation — the vocation of being Jews.” [KOTKIN, p. 16] The Rothschild banking concerns, however, were far from the only ones. Major Jewish investment banking organizations across Europe included those of the Seligmans, Oppenheimers, Habers, Speyers, Warburgs, Mendelssohns, Bleichroders, Eskeles, Arnsteins, Montagus, Goldsmids, Hambros, Sassoons, and others. The Jewish international banking network that floated state loans to finance European industry and railroads was wide: the five Rothschild brothers were in London, Paris, Vienna, Frankfort, and Naples. The Bleichroders were based in Berlin, the Warburgs in Hamburg, the Oppenheims in Cologne, the Sassoons in Bombay, the Guenzburgs in St. Petersburg. Jews were also influential in the creation of influential joint stock and commercial banks including two of Germany’s largest — the Deutsche Bank and the Dersdner Bank, as well as Credit Mobilier, Banque de Paris, Banca Commerciale Italiana, Credito Italiano, Creditanstalt-Bankverein, Banque de Bruxelles, among others. [KREFETZ, p. 46] “There was, by the end of the nineteenth century,” notes Chaim Bermant, “hardly a financial centre where Jewish bankers did not enjoy a position of considerable prominence. In Brussels there was the house of Bischoffsheim, and also Errers, Oppenheim and Stern who combined with Sulzbach and May of Frankfurt to form the Banque du Bruxelles, in 1821. In Switzerland Isaac Dreyfus and Sons participated in the formation of the Basler Handelsbank and the Basler Bankverein. In Holland there was Wertheimer and Gompertz and the house of Lissa and Kann. The Hungarian Genral Credit Bank of Budapest was of Jewish creation as were the Hungarian Commercial Bank and and the Hungarian Hypothecary Credit Bank. In St. Petersburg the Guenzburg families established the Discount and Credit Bank as well as the Bank of St. Pettersburg. The Warsaw Discount Bank was founded in 1871 by Mieczystaw Epstein, and Leopold Kronenberg took part in the formation of the Warsaw Credit Union as well as the Bank Hadlowy; but it was London, until World War I the banking capital of the world, which saw the largest concentration of Jewish financial talent [Rothschilds, Hambros, Speyers, Erlangers, Cassels, Sassoons, Hirschs, etc.].” [BERM
  22. [Rothschilds, Hambros, Speyers, Erlangers, Cassels, Sassoons, Hirschs, etc.].” [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 40]

    Louis Frankel was “one of the most important financiers in Sweden;” Isaac Gluckstadt was “one of the most famous financiers in Denmark.” Maurice Blank founded what became the “the second largest bank in Romania and the largest privately owned bank in the country.” Ernest Cassel “established the National Bank of Egypt.” [GREENBERG, M., p. 68-70] Maurice de Hirsch “helped place the first Turkish loan in Paris in 1854 and had, jointly, with the Ottoman bank, helped to establish the Credit Generale Ottoman in Constantinople, both of which gave him invaluable Turkish contacts.” [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 43] “The first international bank [that] opened in Germany was founded by a Marrano, Diego Teixera de Mattos in Hamburg … [By] the middle of the eighteenth century … the Pintos, Delmontes, Bueno de Mesquita and Francis Mels of Amsterdam were the leading financiers of northern Europe.” [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 15]

    In the United State, between 1840 and 1880, important Jewish banking firms that developed included those of August Belmont, Goldman Sachs, J.W. Seligman, Kuhn Loeb, Ladenburg Thalmann, Lazard Freres, Lehman Brothers, Speyer, and Wertheim. “Jewish bankers,” notes Gerald Krefetz, “projected an image of concentrated power because they often acted in concert, collaborating on financial deals.” [KREFETZ, p. 47]


    Wherever Jews have lived (and live) in their diaspora, following their collectivist strategies and aggressive opportunism that have served them well throughout history, they have often risen to extraordinary economic and social power. This was true in the Muslim world where Jews in the eleventh century “attained the highest level of political power in Muslim Spain,” in North Africa in the tenth and eleventh centuries when Jews “were important bankers, financiers, and advisors to the caliphates,” and in the Turkish Ottoman Empire where, by the fifteenth century, Jews “were particularly useful to the Ottomans because they lacked any tie to any of the subject populations of the multiethnic empire and, thus, could be entrusted with unpopular tasks such as tax collection.” [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 14-15] In the Ottoman empire, Jews
    “mainly worked in trade, and their role was particularly important to farming taxes,
    the collection of customs dues, and in the mint. They controlled all major tax
    farming in the Istanbul region in 1470-80 … Jews continued to play an important
    role in this sector in the sixteenth century … The Jews relatively high economic
    profile in Istanbul and other Ottoman towns in the Balkans naturally inclined the
    sultans to favor Jewish immigration into the Empire … In the first half of the
    seventeenth century, they monopolized the collection of customs, acting as
    intermediaries between the Ottoman officials and the European traders. By 1620,
    most customs officials in the port [of Izmir].” [BENBASSA/RODRIGUE,
    1995, p. 6, 47]

    Joachim Prinz notes the condition of Jews in Islamic Spain:

    “During the reign of the Moors, with but few interruptions, the Spanish Jews
    enjoyed not merely an equality of rights not accorded to Jews in other European
    countries until the French revolution; they held positions of great honor and
    distinction. There was hardly a Cabinet during the period between the eighth
    century and the Christian Reconquest which did not have a Jew serving as
    minister of finance.” [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 19-20]

    In Christian Spain, faced with animosity and hostility, and threats, from the local Christian populace, in the late fourteenth century the Jewish community set upon an elaborate deceit towards both survival as Jews and power. Known as “conversos,” or derisively by Christians as “Marranos” (swine), Spanish Jews converted en masse to Christianity, falsely professing the new faith for public consumption, but remaining Jews in virtually all respects in their private lives. The Jewish historian Cecil Roth notes that once the community embarked upon the ruse of conversion:

    “The social and economic progress of the recent converts and their
    descendants became phenomenally rapid. However dubious their
    sincerity [as Christians], it was now out of the question to exclude them
    from any walk of life on the ground of their creed. The Law, the
    administration, the army, the universities, the Church itself, were all
    overrun by recent converts of more or less questionable sincerity, or
    by their immediate descendants. They thronged to financial
    administration; for which they had a natural aptitude; protest being now
    impossible. They pushed their way into the municipal councils, into the
    legislature, into the judiciary. They all but dominated Spanish life …
    Within a couple of generations … almost every office of importance at
    [Royal] Court was occupied by Conversos and their children.”
    [ROTH, p. 20-21]

    “Outwardly,” notes Abba Eban, “these Marranos were … Christians; inwardly, they were Jews. Their disbelief in the dogmas of the Church was notorious … in time, they all but dominated Spanish life … These doubtful Christians were rightly regarded as a greater menace than avowed Jews. The population too had become enraged by the hypocrites who had gained a monopoly in important financial positions.” [EBBAN, p. 189-190]

    In a theme common to Jewish history, the Conversos “throughout the country … farmed the taxes [i.e., were lessees to collect taxes]. Thus, they inevitably became identified in the popular mind with the royal oppression. The occupation was as remunerative as it was unpopular; and the vast fortunes which were rapidly accumulated added jealousy to the other grounds for dislike.” [ROTH, p. 31] The Jewish fraud of conversion to Christianity was well known by the native Christian populace, and Jewish domination and exploitation eventually engendered such hostility towards them that they were expelled from Spain in 1492; ironically, in that same year the Christopher Columbus expedition to the New World “was largely a Jewish, or Marrano, [economic] enterprise.” [ROTH, p. 270] Prominent Jews involved in the Columbus journey included Luis de Santangel who was chancellor of the Spanish king’s “royal household,” Gabriel Sanchez, “the chief treasurer of Aragon,” and Juan Cabrero, “the king’s chamberlain.” Columbus’ cartographer was Jewish (Abraham Zacuto) as was the head of Spain’s naval academy (Yehuda Crescas). [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 57] “The only high official who wasn’t Jewish [in the planning of the Columbus expedition],” notes M. H. Goldberg,

    “was the royal secretary — and his wife was Jewish … Of course, the
    involvement of Jews in Columbus’s voyage does not mean that Columbus
    himself was a Jew. But it does underscore the tendency of Jews somehow
    to be present, even if only behind the scenes, in history’s most important
    events.” [GOLDBERG, M. H., 1976, p. 111-112]

    At the time of the Columbus voyage and parallel Jewish expulsion, even King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella’s Finance Minister, Don Isaac Abarbanel, was Jewish. [GOLDBERG, M. H., 1976, p. 52] “On board Columbus’ ship,” adds Joachim Prinz,

    “were many Marranos. The list that has come down to us includes Rodrigo
    Sanchez, superintendent; Dr. Marco, ship’s surgeon; and Mesta Bernal, the
    physician. Luis de Torres, a Jew who had been converted [to Christianity] just
    a day before the ship sailed, served as official interpreter, and a Marrano, Rodrigo
    de Triana, was the seaman who sighted the first land.” [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 57]

    Famous Jewish Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal explains his perceptions of the Jewish dimensions to the Christopher Columbus expedition like this:

    “Why did [Christopher] Columbus personally supervise the roll-call? So I
    began to look at the roll he called. One tenth of his crew was Jews; some of
    them, I learned later, may have been rabbis. But, even though nine-tenths of the
    crew wasn’t Jewish, there was no priest aboard. Very unusual at sea! Then I
    am looking into the financing of his voyage. This business of Queen Isabella
    hocking her jewels to pay for it is all legend. With the help of Marrano [secret
    Jewish] ministers of hers, the mission was entirely financed by Jewish money
    … I began to ask myself, ‘ Simon went on, ‘why the Jews financed Columbus
    when all others had refused for years. Who was he and what did the Jews want from him? … Not only are there a number of Jewish names, but later I learn that
    several in Columbus’ crew spoke Hebrew and a couple of them may have
    been rabbis. And who was the interpreter on board? Luis de Torres, who had
    been interpreter for the Governor of Murcia, which had a large Jewish population.
    It took me two weeks to confirm that Luis de Torres had been the governor’s interpreter of Hebrew. Now the only possible explanation of this is that Columbus expected to reach countries in which Jews lived and governed.’ From research
    on Columbus that began around 1965, Wisenthal was convinced ‘that the Jews, concerned about their deteriorating situation in Spain, were looking for a
    homeland, a place to flee to, where they could find a protector. And so, in
    the belief that the ten lost tribes had found refuge in ‘India,’ they financed the expedition of Columbus: a man they could trust.’ Simon says Columbus was
    surely a Converso [convert from Judaism to Christianity] and quite likely a
    Marrano [a convert to Christianity who secretly remained Jewish].” [LEVY, A.,
    1993, p. 20, 21]

    Upon their expulsion from Spain, many Jews emigrated to the country next door, Portugal. Within the next hundred years, despite restrictions and persecutions in the new country, “there was no stratum to which the New Christians [Conversos] did not penetrate. This was the case even more in Portugal than in Spain … Their wealth was enormous … They almost monopolized commerce.” [ROTH, p. 76] “Some of the richest of the Portugese Marranos were able to establish branches of their enterprises in England and on the Continent, and many ventured into the New World to take advantage of the extraordinary opportunities for their diversified commerical undertakings … The wealth of these Portugese immigrants, according to figures which have come down to us, was staggering.” [OPRINZ, J., 1973, p. 127]

    One such Jew, Joao Miquez, son of the physician of the King of Portugal and nephew of famous bankers, eventually emigrated to Turkey, publicly renounced Christianity (choosing back the Jewish name Joseph Nasi), and rose to a lofty position in the Turkish Royal Court “so that for a time he was virtually the ruler of the Turkish Empire, then the most powerful in Europe.” [ROTH, p. 203] Miquez was influential in the election of a new king in Poland, he encouraged a revolt in the Netherlands, and was influential in the Turkish seizure of Cyprus from Italy. “No Jew of his time,” notes Joachim Prinz,

    “or probably of any time before the emancipation of the eighteenth century, played
    such an important role in world affairs … His most ingenious political dealings
    concerned the Marranos [secret Jews] of the world. From his strong position
    in the powerful [Jewish] Mendes family, Joseph Nasi devised what can be called
    a specific Marrano strategy, a plan for economic and political revenge against
    those who had mistreated Marranos. The Mendes family determined that if
    a country or a town discriminated against Marranos, theywould have to pay
    for it … the ruin of those who hated them.” [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 140, 141]

    Racial purity and obsessive endogamy was still an issue for the Jews (Marranos) of Belmonte, Spain, even in the 1940s. The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia noted that “these [people] pride themselves on being descended directly, and with no admixture of foreign blood, from the old Portuguese Jews.” [UN. JEW, p. 367]

    As early as 1512 Marranos began to settle in Antwerp, the most important port in northern Europe. With the rise of Amsterdam, “the Dutch Jerusalem,” more Jews moved there; and Jewish entrepreneurs extended throughout the Dutch colonial world. By the eighteenth century, the immigrant Marranos in Amsterdam — an international trading center and enemy of Spain — economically peaked, long since openly renewing their Jewish identities. In Amsterdam “developed the largest and most important [Jewish] community in Europe, with connections in many another Jewish settlement, and with the far flung influence in the Dutch colonies.” [BLOOM, p. xiv-xv]

    Jews in Amsterdam were deeply involved in a variety of economic activities, including Dutch colonialism (one quarter of the Dutch East India company’s stockholders were Jewish, for instance) and the diamond and jewelry trade as a virtual Jewish monopoly. [BLOOM, p. xvii] A common theme of non-Jewish peoples throughout Jewish history surfaced when “there was constant complaining, both at home and in the colonies, that these [Jewish] strangers were undermining the rights of native-born Dutchmen.” [BLOOM, p. xvi]

    In the eventual colonialist battle between the Dutch and Spain over the control of Brazil, “the war resolved itself almost into a struggle between the Spanish and Portuguese on the one hand and an alliance between the Marranos and the Dutch on the other,” including a Jewish espionage network in parts of the South American country. [ROTH, p. 285] As one traveler noted in the 17th century: “Among the free inhabitants of Brazil who were not in the Dutch West India Company service, the Jews were the most considerable in number. They had come there from Holland and built stately houses in Recife. They were all traders which were of great consequence to Dutch Brazil.” [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 128]

    Despite their formal expulsion from Spain, small numbers of Marranos continued to live in Spain for centuries later. In 1835 a Marrano said that

    “The great part [of my wealth] is buried underground; indeed, I have
    never examined the tenth part of it. I have coins of silver and gold older
    than the times of Ferdinand and the Accursed and Jezebel; I have also
    large sums employed in usury. We keep ourselves close, howver, and
    pretend to be poor, miserably so; but, on certain occasions, at our
    festivals, when our gates are barred, and our savage dogs are let loose
    in the court, we eat food off services such as the Queen of Spain cannot
    boast of … ” [ROTH, p. 360]

    Pre-Nazi Germany is yet another of the dramatic examples of the rise of Jewish economic influence and control in European countries, in this case violently ended by the Nazi destruction of German Jewry. Jews numbered at most about one per cent of the German population between 1871 and 1933, and this percentage had been steadily declining [GORDON, p. 8] but by the end of the eighteenth century, “a high proportion of the landed and liquid wealth in Prussia was in the hands of either nobles or Jews.” [HERTZ, p. 36] By 1908, 12 of the 20 richest Berliners were of Jewish ancestry, as were 11 of the 25 richest people in Prussia. [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 208] Of the top 200 Prussian millionaires, 55 were Jewish. Of the top 800, 190 were of Jewish extraction. [MOSSE, p. 30] 41% of Prussian iron and scrap iron firms, and 57% of other metal businesses were owned by Jews. [GORDON, p. 11] Although Jews in 1903 were only 0.74% of the labor force in Prussia, 27% of all Prussian lawyers were Jews, as were 10% of apprenticed lawyers, 47% of magistrates, and 30% of all higher ranks of the judiciary. [GORDON, p. 13]

    By the 1930s, 46% of German Jews were self-employed. [KOTKIN, p. 43] In 1932, six million Germans were unemployed. [RUBENSTEIN, R.L., p. 117] In the town of Sonderburg, in the Rhineland area of Germany, “of the five largest employers, two were Jewish firms; in one case, the Jewish-owned mill employed hundreds of Gentile workers — as many as 20 percent of the working adult labor force. In a very real sense, the Gentile community depended on Jews for employment and for retail goods.” [HENRY, F., p. 52]

    Gentile fortunes in Germany and its environs were based in landownership and agriculture; Jewish fortunes were founded upon banking and finance. [MOSSE p. 206] In Berlin, by the eighteenth century, “the income of Jews in the middle of the Jewish tax scale would be about three times higher than the average Berliner. The middle of the Jewish tax scale would thus be approximately equal to the top ten per cent of Berlin households.” [LOWENSTEIN] The average income of Jews in pre-Nazi Germany was 3.2 times higher than the rest of the population. [NIEWYK, p. 16] “At the end of the eighteenth century 400 Jewish families formed one of the wealthiest groups in Berlin … In Bavaria, in 1808, 80% of government loans were endorsed and negotiated by Jews.” [ARENDT, p. 17] By 1914 the Jews of Berlin — 5 per cent of that city’s population — paid over a third of its taxes [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 13] and there were “a large number of domestic servants in the two most important Jewish areas of Berlin during the 1920’s.” [GORDON, p. 15]

    In 1923, 150 of the 161 privately-owned banks in Berlin were Jewish; [GORDON, p. 11] “In Berlin alone,” notes Jewish author Edwin Black, “about 75% of the attorneys, and nearly as many doctors, were Jewish.” [BLACK, p. 58] “All the major Berlin department stores — Wertheim, Herman Tietz, N. Israel, KaDeWe,” says Jewish author Peter Wyden, “were the properties of Jews. All the principal newspaper publishers and thirteen of the drama critics were Jews. Garment manufacturing, a major industry, was generally known to be in Jewish hands.” [WYDEN, p. 21] “In Germany,” says Nachum Gidal, “Jews above all developed the setting up of department stores, the manufacture and ready-made ladies and gentlemen’s clothing, the tobacco, leather, and fur industries and the new film industry.” [GIDAL, p. 17]

    By 1823, the Bavarian government owed 23% of its public debt to Jews; as early as 1818, there was growing complaint about excessive Jewish influence in Germany. One German writer, Garlieb Merkel, noted that while the “German peoples had, in many years of political disaster lost their precious political rights and had diminished in stature, [Jews] had increased their wealth at a terrifying rate. They knew how gain equality with Christians everywhere and they zealously set about developing this equality into further privileges.” “This statement of Merkel has some truth in it,” says scholar Jacob Katz, “Jews had exploited, economically and socially, the new status they had achieved in the past generation.” [KATZ, From, p. 94] With formal emancipation, the Jews of Berlin, complained Merkel, “now bought up every house afforded for sale in the main streets and filled the cities with their shops. The Jews had long dominated in financial deals and trade in bills. Now they led in occupations such as the book trade … Almost all the country homes on both sides of the Tiergarten, the Berliners only place of recreation, had passed into Jewish hands … The Jews has made their gains at the expense of other citizens.” [KATZ, From, p. 94-95]

    The Jewish-French intellectual, Bernard Lazare, noted in 1894 that:

    “In Germany [Jewish] activity was exceedingly great. They were at the
    bottom of legislation favourable to the carrying on of banking and
    exchange, the practice of usury and speculation. It was they who profited
    by the abolition, in 1867, of the ancient laws limiting the rate of interest.
    They were active in bringing about the enactment of the law of June
    1870, which exempted stock companies from government supervision.
    After the Franco-German War, they were among the boldest speculators,
    and at a time when German capitalists were carried away by a passion for
    the creation of industrial combinations, they acted a no less important
    part than had the Jews of France, from 1830 to 1848. Their activity
    persisted until the financial panic of 1873, when the country squires and
    the small traders who had been ruined by the excesses of this Grunder
    Periode in which the Jew had played the most important part, gave
    themselves up to the most violent anti-Semitism, such, indeed, as
    proceeds only from injured interests.” [LAZARE, p. 166]

    With the rise of consolidated corporations in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, says W. E. Mosse, a Jewish scholar, “a picture emerges of a number of [German] companies with significant Jewish representation in the top positions, which constitutes something of a network with certain common features and common interests.” [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 219] For those men with “multiple board memberships” in a variety of major companies, 18 men had more than 21 board positions each. Of these 18, 10 were Jewish. [MOSSE, p. 257] “The distribution of these Jewish board members among major companies shows a distinctive interlocking pattern.” [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 253]

    This typical business formulation had been evidenced in the German elite some years earlier when Jews tried to gain acceptance into Masonic lodges. Jacob Katz notes that

    “Members of the lodge were expected to communicate with each other
    on equal footing. Jews, so the complaint ran, tended to cluster together
    whenever they appeared in the lodge, creating a subgroup, a clique.
    Similar observances were made in other quarters as well. I do not think
    this accusation was a figment of their imagination with no basis in fact.
    Jewish historical experience, as well as Jewish concepts and practices,
    created a mentality functioning as a factor of cohesion among Jews and
    thereby as a barrier between them and non-Jews.” [KATZ, RoGH, p. 5]

    Many German Jews were known to have, at least officially, converted to Christianity. Like the Spanish Marranos, this was often merely expeditious. As the German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine observed, baptism was “the ticket of admission into German culture.” [VARON, p. 10] Heine himself, notes Nahum Goldmann, “was a very good Jew at the end of his life and [his] conversion to Christianity was only a formality.” [GOLDMANN, N., 1978, p. 66] Popular German Jewish author Emil (born Cohen) Ludwig’s “conversion to Christianity had been merely an effort to buy the respect of Germans.” [MOSSE, G., 1985, p. 26] “Often one submitted [to baptism],” notes Adam Weisberger, “as an opportunistic matter of convenience … A Jewish origin was a handicap but one which baptism could remedy.” [WEISBERGER, A., 1997, p. 48] (Even in America, noted James Yaffe, reflecting a theme, “Serge Koussevitzky, Eugene Ormandy, and Pierre Monteux, all Jews, had to convert to Christianity in order to reach the top of the symphony world.”) [YAFFE, J., 1968, p. 52]

    Even among the wealthy assimilationists to German society in the Jewish communities “mixed marriages were the exception rather than the rule and the Jews continued to live a life apart. They interacted with non-Jews in their professional lives, but very seldom in private.” [TRAVERSO, p. 15] This model even parallels the wealthy German-Jewish situation in the United States in the same era: “The social solidarity [in America] was no way better exemplified and furthered than by the tendency — common to all unified elite — to intermarry … [SUPPLE, p. 80] … German-Jewish investment banking [in the U. S.] in the late 19th century … was … based upon the proliferation of kinship groups … it seems possible to say that the German-Jewish groups had a strategic role to play in the providing of capital from Germany for American industrial development.” [SUPPLE, p. 84-85] By 1937 nine of America’s richest 60 families were Jewish, including the Guggenheims, Lehmans, Warburgs, Kahns, Schiffs, Blumenthals, Friedsams, Rosenwalds, and Baruchs. [GOLDSTEIN, D. p. 101] Stephen Birmingham notes that the insularity of the wealthy Jewish strata in America: “For forty-five years after its founding in 1867, Kuhn, Loeb, and Company had no partners who were not related by blood or marriage to the Loeb-Kuhn-Wolff family complex. For nearly fifty years after Goldman, Sachs was founded, all partners were members of the intermarried Goldman and Sachs family. The Lehmans hardly seemed to need intermarriage at all: until 1924, nearly 75 years after the firm was founded, all the partners were named Lehman.” [BIRMINGHAM, p. 9-10]

    By 1907-08 Jews had a conspicuous presence in the corporate sector of the German economy. Despite representing only one per cent of the German population, 20 per cent of the largest companies had a “substantial” Jewish involvement. A further 16 per cent had “significant’ Jewish management. [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 273] Examing the very largest companies, W. E. Mosse notes that over two-thirds of such firms had a “significant Jewish component.” Of the most powerful corporate organizations in Germany, only 7.7 per cent were “without some degree of Jewish participation.” [MOSSE, p. 273, 274] In 1913, fifteen Jews held 211seats on boards of German banks; by 1928 this number was 718. In that same year Jews represented 80% of the leading members of the Berlin stock exchange. Five years later the Nazis expelled 85% of all stockbrokers because of “race.” [GORDON, p. 12]

    In the pre-World War II Weimar Republic of Germany that fell to the Nazis, 11% of Germany’s doctors were Jews, and 16% of its lawyers. [MOSSE, p. 26] By 1909-10, about one-fourth of the teachers at German universities were of Jewish descent. [GORDON, p. 13] As elsewhere, an expediential prerequisite for advancement was at least superficial conversion to Christianity. “Those who were baptized,” says Nachum Gidal, “were then eligible to be appointed to professional chairs.” [GIDAL, p. 17] “In the spring of 1933,” notes Anthony Heilbut, “Hitler shocked the world by dismissing from their jobs the titans of German scholarship, the vast majority of whom were Jewish.” [HEILBUT, p. 23] (Adolf Hitler’s family doctor had been Jewish. Hitler’s sister was even once employed by the Mensa Academica Judaica in Vienna. Hitler was awarded a medal of honor for his deeds in Wold War I; the award was reportedly expedited by a Jewish army officer, Hugo Gutmann.) [GOLDBERG, M., 1976, p. 38-39]

    Almost 80% of department and chain store business in pre-war Germany were Jewish, 40% of wholesale textile firms, and 60% of the wholesale and retail clothing business. By 1895, 56% of German Jews were involved in commerce; correspondingly, only 10% of non-Jewish Germans were in this field. [TRAVERSO, p.15] By the 1930s, Jews controlled 90% of the world’s fur trade, reflected in an important yearly auction in Leipzig. [BLACK, p. 131] “Jews were also important in the wholesale metal business and retail grocery business.” In Upper Silesia more than half of the local industry — coal, iron, steel, petroleum, et al — was owned or directed by Jews before 1933. [NIEWYK, p. 13-14] “The coal and iron industry of Upper Silesia,” says Sidney Osborne, “– the second largest in Germany — was almost the exclusive creation of a handful of Jews.” [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 18]

    This area included the Jewish-owned iron company owned by Mortiz Friedlander, Sinai Levy and David Lowenfeld; the “well-known iron and steel works, Bismarkshutte” which was founded by two Jewish merchants; an “extensive iron pipe and tube works” owned by Mortiz Hahn and Simon Huldschinsky; the Upper Silesian Iron Industry (with branches Tubenhutte and Baildonhutte); “one of the largest enamel works” in Germany; Ferrum, and iron and steel firm; the Upper Silesian Zinc Foundries company; the “coke-oven industry Gluckauf; the Upper Silesian Coke and Chemical Works; and coal mining (Otto Friedlander). [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 18] “Other important industries in Jewish hands,” adds Sidney Osborne,

    “were leather, textiles, and cigarette factories, the Portland cement and
    lime industry, and important iron and lumber interests. This account
    of Jewish enterprise in Upper Silesia is given with some particularity
    because it was more or less typical of what was going on in other
    industrial regions of Germany.” [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 19]

    “The Hirsch copper works in Halberstadt …,” notes Nachum Gidal, “[became] the most important copper and brass works in Europe. The works was still owned by the Orthodox family until 1933. In the basic materials industry, Fritz von Friedlander-Fuld (1858-1917) was outstanding with his Silesian enterprises … [comprising] a group of major firms. Friedlander-Fuld was responsible for building up the coke industry in Germany … Closely linked with the coke industry was the petroleum industry, led by general director M. Melamid … The founder of the Silesian iron industry (Caro-Hegenschedt) was George von Caro … His brother Oskar Caro … is regarded as the founder of the German enamel industry. Mortiz von der Porten … spearheaded the aluminum sector in Germany.” [GIDAL, p. 266] Wilhelm Von Gutmann’s Gebruder Gutmann Industries “was the largest single factor in the coal industry of the Austro-Hungarian empire.” [GREENBERG, M., p. 70] Philip Rosenthal founded “the most famous porcelain factory in Selb in Bavaria.” [GIDAL, p. 267] Albert Balin “played an outstanding part in the building up of the German merchant fleet … Under his guidance [the Hamburg-America line] developed into Europe’s leading shipping company.” Walter Rathenau was president of the “Siemens works, the largest electricity company in Germany.” [GIDAL, p. 266-268]

    In the 1930s, notes Ian Kershaw, during Nazi efforts to politicize the German peasants against Jews in the Alzenau district,

    “Jewish-owned cigar factories dominated local industry … Jews in fact
    owned most of the twenty-nine factories, with a combined work force
    of 2,206 women and 280 men … In the countryside … the main issue
    was the remaining dominance in many areas of the Jewish cattle
    dealer, the traditional middle-man and purveyor of credit for untold
    numbers of German peasants … [As late as 1935,] the wholesale
    cattle trade in Ebermannstadt was … still ‘to a good ninety percent’
    in Jewish hands.” [KERSHAW, p. 241-242]

    Jews were likewise dramatically over-represented in every sphere of academic enterprise, from philosophy to science. “Jews were also the most influential critics of drama, art, music, and books as well as the owners of the most important art galleries and theatres.” [GOLDBERG, p. 26] In the Berlin of 1930, 80% of the theatre directors were Jewish and they authored 75% of the produced plays. [MACDONALD, p. 125] Many prominent actors, actresses, and moviemakers were Jewish. Some Jewish scholars, like Walter Laquer, have even went so far as to claim that without Jewish influence the culture of the pre-Nazi Weimar Republic “would not have existed.” [TRAVERSO, p. 12] “Jews,” says Laqueur, “were prominent among Expressionist poets, among the novelists of the 1920’s, among the theatrical producers and, for a while, among the leading figures of cinema.” [LAQUER, p. 73] “Jewish names,” notes Nachum Gidal, “were numerous among the pioneers of film and the film industry,” [GIDAL, p. 370] including Paul Davidson and Herman Fellner who founded “the first German film company.” [GIDAL, p. 370]
    Frederick Grunfeld romanticizes the Jewish road from an economic base to enormous influence upon German popular culture:

    “The shoe-factory generation regularly produced and nurtured a brood of
    scribes, artists, intellectuals. Else Lasker-Schuler was the daughter of an
    investment banker, Carl Sternheim the son of a banker and newspaper
    publisher, Walter Benjaim of an antique dealer, Alfred Neumann of a lumber
    merchant, Stefan Zweig of a textile manufacturer, Franz Kafka of a
    haberdashery wholesaler, Herman Bloch of a cotton-mill owner; Theodore
    Lessing and Walter Hasenclver were sons of doctors and grandsons of
    manufacturers, and so on, in an orderly and predictable procession from
    the department store into the library, the theatre and the concert hall. ” [GRUNFELD,
    F., 1996, p. 28-29]

    Most of the members of the famously influential “Frankfurt School” of politics, philosophy, and culture were also Jewish — Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, Friedrich Pollock, and many others. Frederick Grunfeld argues that these people did not really experience anti-Semitism in pre-Nazi Germany. Why? “All of these privileged witnesses … came from well-to-do families of the upper middle class, for whom money had always been a talisman against the cruder forms of prejudice.” [GRUNFELD, F., 1996, p. 17]

    Although such people were from affluent families, socialism and communism were often the worldviews they championed. “What today we are apt to call Weimar culture,” notes Jewish scholar Werner Mosse, “was largely the creation of left-wing intellectuals, among whom there was such a disproportionate number of Jews that Weimar culture has been called, somewhat snidely, an internal Jewish dialogue.” [MOSSE, W., 1985, p. 22] “In twentieth century Germany where the Jews formed less than one percent of the nation’s population,” observes Istvan Deak,

    “Jews were responsible for a great part of German culture. The
    owners of three of Germany’s greatest newspaper houses; the editors
    of the Vossiche Zeitung and Berliner Tagleblatt; most book publishers;
    the owners and editors of the Neue Rundschau and other distinguished
    literary magazines; the owners of Germany’s greatest art galleries were
    all Jews. Jews played a major part in theatre and in the film industry as
    producers, directors, and actors. Many of Germany’s best composers,
    musicians, artists, sculptors, and architects were Jews. Their
    participation in literary criticism and in literature were enormous:
    practically all the great critics and many novelists, poets, dramatists,
    and essayists of the Weimer Republic were Jews … If cultural
    contributions by Jews were far out of proportion to their numerical
    strength, their participation in left-wing intellectual activities were
    even more disproportionate.” [DEAK, p. 28]

    By the 1920s German critics like Theodore Fritsch, Hans Blucher, and Adolf Bartel were influential in the growing German complaint that German culture was dominated by Jews. [TRAVERSO] A German Jew, Moritz Goldstein, had poured fuel on the issue of Jewish dominance by writing a much-discussed article in 1913 in which he wrote that Jews essentially ran German culture, from an almost complete monopoly of Berlin newspapers and dominance of German theatre, music, and literature. [LAQUER, p. 74] “German cultural life seems to be passing increasingly into Jewish hands,” Goldstein wrote, “… We Jews are administering the spiritual property of a nation which denies us our right and our ability to do so.” [GRUNFELD, F., 1996, p. 21] Even in the nineteenth century the German composer, and nationalist, Richard Wagner, was horrified to realize the large number of Jews in his audiences, as well as in the receptions for him afterward. [TRAVERSO, p. 12]

    Although Jews, as 1% of the German population, represented a negligible electoral power, by the early twentieth century their economic and social impact was considerable in the political sphere. Jewish-funded lawyers, for instance, were instrumental in securing fines against, or jail terms, for right wing politicians, often for disorderly conduct charges or libel. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 27] Even “the police commissioner of Berlin during part of the period of Nazi agitation for power was a Jew, Dr. Bernhard Weiss.” [GOLDBERG, M. H. 1979, p. 121] “In 1933,” says Anthony Heilbut, “[Jews] were only five hundred thousand of Germany’s sixty-four million people, and one-third of these lived in Berlin. Jews had infiltrated many areas of German life, particularly the media, through the newspapers they owned and edited, as well as the movies they wrote and produced.” [HEILBUT, p. 25] Before World War I, two of the most important German newspapers — the National-Zeitung of Berlin and the Franfurter Zeitung — were owned and edited by Jews. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 25] 13 of 21 daily newspapers in Berlin in the 1870’s were Jewish-owned, among them the only three that focused on political satire. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 25] In the pre-Nazi era of the Weimar Republic, three of Germany’s important newspapers were Jewish-owned — the Vossiche Zeitung, the Berliner Tageblatt (founded in 1872 by Rudolf Mosse and Georg Davidsohn) and the Frankfurter Zeitung (Heinrich Simon/Leopold Sonnemann). (The eventual president of the World Zionist Organization, Nahum Goldmann, began writing for the Frankfurt paper when he was 15 years old). [GOLDMANN, N., 1978, p. 16] The newspapers Grenzboten and Ostdeutsche Post were also owned by a Jewish media mogul, Ignaz Kuranda. [ROTH, C., 1940, p. 142] The two largest publishing houses in Germany — the Ullstein, and Mosse companies — were also owned by Jews, as were a number of smaller ones. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 26] Rudolf Mosse, the founder of the Mosse company, and a colleague also began “building up an advertising bureau which soon overtook the former leaders, the English advertising agencies, and had 275 branches worldwide.” [GIDAL, p. 272] In the late 1800s Leopold Ullstein “launched the Berliner Morgenpost, which built up a circulation of six hundred thousand, the largest in Germany, but perhaps his most dramatic breakthrough came with the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung which by 1894 had a circulation of two milion … Ullstein had five sons, all of whom developed different branches of his enterprise. By the ‘thirties they were not only the biggest newspaper group in Germany, but they also published books, magazines, dress patterns and music. They also had their own news agency, picture service, film studio and even a zoo to serve their children’s papers.” [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 70]

    The Jewish-owned Landhoffs book publishing firm was also a “book trade dynasty,” [LOTTMAN, p. 51] as was the Springers company. “Not just the principals of the [Springers] firm,” notes Business History, “but many of the distinguished scientists among their authors and editors were Jewish.’ [SHAW, C., p. 214] Leading “avante garde” publishing firms included the Jewish houses of S. Fischer, Kurt Wolff, Georg Bondi, Erich Reiss, and the Malik Verlag. [LAQUER, p. 73] “Bote and Bote was Germany’s largest music publisher and ran a concert agency as well … Both Rutter and Loening in Frankfurt am Main and the Deutsche Verlegsantalt in Stuttgart were founded by Jews, as were the later publishing houses of Erich, Reiss, Brandus, and a number of specialist presses.” [GIDAL, p. 35]

    With the rise of German fascism, in 1933 a retired United States Department official, Edward House, told a new ambassador to Berlin: “You should try to ameliorate Jewish suffering. [The Nazis] are clearly wrong and even terrible, but the Jews should not be allowed to dominate economic or intellectual life in Berlin as they have for a long time.” [GROSE, p. 97-98] Anthony Heilbut notes a joke that was a favorite of Albert Einstein’s, “in which an émigré asks a friend if he is homesick for Berlin, and the other replies: ‘What for? I’m not Jewish.'” [HEILBUT, p. 46]

    Jews were also vastly over represented as editors and reporters in German journalism. “Unfortunately,” says Sarah Gordon, “many of them tended to use their works as vehicles to oppose or criticize prevalent German values.” [GORDON, p. 14] Among these critics of German society was Kurt Tucholsky, “whose biting satire made him a hero of the more cosmopolitan segments of the German middle class. The son a successful Jewish businessman-lawyer, Tucholsky flayed Germans and German values mercilessly. By the late 1920s, he had decided that Germany was hopeless and that middle-class Germans were either idiots or positively evil.” [ROTHMAN/LICHTER, 1982, p. 85] Germans, assessed prominent Jewish pianist Arthur Rubinstein in the 1930s, “are not a musical people. They accept the heavy, pedantic music of Pfitzner, Reger and Bruckner with their long-winded ‘developments,’ just as they enjoy a stodgy meal of sauerkraut and sausages.” [SACHS, D., 1992, p. 21]

    On one hand, Jews were increasingly perceived to have strangleholds on the German social, cultural and economic system. On the other, in the political field, Richard Rubenstein notes that

    “Marxism was seen by conservative Europe as Jewish in origin
    and leadership, a view that was reinforced in Germany by the
    three successive left wing regimes that succeeded the Bavarian
    royal house of Wittelsbach from November 7, 1918 to May 1,
    1919, at the end of World War I. In Munich, the city that did
    more than any other to give birth to [Hitler’s] National Socialism,
    and in the era in which Hitler first joined the miniscule party, a
    series of politically naive, left-wing Jewish leaders attempted
    ineffectually to bring about an enduring socialist revolution
    in Catholic, conservative Bavaria.” [RUBENSTEIN, p. 113]

    “As Robert Michel pointed out in his classic Political Parties,” note Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter,

    “Jews at that time [late 1800s] were playing a key role in socialist
    parties in almost every European country in which they had
    settled in any numbers.” [ROTHMAN/LICHTER, 1982, p. 84]

    In Germany, thse inlcuded Daniel deLeon, a Sephardic Jew who headed the Socialist Labor Party. DeLeon “attempted to conceal his Jewish background, pretending that he was descended from an aristocratic family of Catholic background.” [ROTHMAN/LICHTER, 1982, p. 95]

    At the influential Die Weltbuhne left-wing intellectual journal in pre-Hitler Germany, 42 of 68 writers “whose identity could be established” were found to be of Jewish descent. Two more were “half-Jews” and three others were married to Jewish women. But, notes Isak Deak, “only a few of the Weltbuhne circle openly acknowledged that they were Jews … Die Weltbuhne was in this respect not unique; Jews published, edited, and to a great part wrote the other left-wing intellectual magazines … Jews created the left-wing intellectual movement in Germany.” [DEAK, p. 24-25, 29]

    In increasing political turmoil between World Wars I and II, and amidst the rise of Nazism and a growing perception that the communist movement would destroy tradition German culture and values, left-leaning Jewish politicians who were assassinated included Bavarian premiere Kurt Eisner, Eugen Levin (the chairman of the Executive Assembly of the Second Munich Soviet Republic), and German Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau.

    The actual origin of the term “anti-Semitism” is credited to German author Wilhelm Marr who wrote, in 1879, a book entitled The Victory of Judaism Over Germany. Here is a brief excerpt, as he agitated about so much Jewish dominance in the life of German society::

    “There is no stopping them … Are there no clear signs that the twilight of the
    Jews is setting in? No. Jewry’s control of society and politics, as well as its
    practical domination of the religious and ecclestical thought, is still in the prime
    of its development, heading toward the realization of Jehovah’s promise, ‘I will
    hand all peoples over to thee.’ By now, a sudden reversal of this process is fundamentally impossible, for if it were, the entire social structure, which has
    been so thoroughly Judaized, would collapse. And there is no viable alternative
    to this social structure which could take its place. Further, we cannot count on
    the help of the ‘Christian’ state. The Jews are the ‘best citizens’ of this modern, Christian state, as it is in perfect harmony with their interests … It is not a
    pretentious prophecy but the deepest inner conviction which I here utter. Your generation will not pass before there will be absolutely no public office, even the highest one, which the Jews will not have usurped. Yes, through the Jewish nation, Germany will become a world power, a western New Palestine. And this will happen, not through violent revolutions, but through the compliance of the people …
    German culture has proved itself ineffective and powerless against this foreign
    power. This is a fact; a brute inexorable fact. State, Church, Catholicism, Protestantism, Creed and Dogma, all are brought low before the Jewish tribunal, that
    is, the [irreverent] daily press [which the Jews control]. [Text in brackets inserted by Mendes-Flohr and Reinharz, presumably from the context of the rest of the original Marr work] The Jews were late in their assault on Germany, but once they started there was no stopping them.” [MENDES-FOHR/REINHARZ, 1980, p. 271-273]

  23. The Jews were late in their assault on Germany, but once they started there was no stopping them.” [MENDES-FOHR/REINHARZ, 1980, p. 271-273] In nearby Austria, major newspapers like Neue Freie Presse (“the most prestigious newspaper in Central Europe”) and Wiener Tagblatt were likewise Jewish-owned. “In German-speaking Europe,” says Jacques Kornberg, “the term ‘journalism’ and ‘Jews’ went together in people’s minds.” And, adds Kornberg, since Jews had a reputation for “shady business practices” and “journalistic corruption,” notions of “anti-Semitism and anti-journalism always went hand in hand.” [KORNBERG; ROTH, C., 1940, p. 142] In Vienna, Austria, by 1910, 62% of the lawyers were Jewish, 51% of the doctors and dentists, and 70% of those in scientific occupations. [TRAVERSO, p. 15] A large proportion of the rest of Viennese Jews, 40%, were merchants. A Jewish writer from Berlin, Jakob Wasserman, in visiting Vienna in 1898, remarked that “I soon realized that the whole of public life was dominated by Jews… I was amazed to see such a crowd of Jewish physicians, lawyers, clubs men, snobs, dandies, proletarians, actors, journalists, and poets.” [TRAVERSO, p. 28] Jewish author Stephan Zweig claimed that nine-tenths of Viennese culture was “promoted, nourished, or even created by Viennese Jewry.” [TRAVERSO, p. 28] “The crowding of Jewish sons of well-to-do parents into the cultural occupations was especially marked in Germany and Austria,” notes Hannah Arendt, “where a great proportion of cultural institutions, like newspapers, publishing, music, and theatre, became Jewish institutions.” [ARENDT, Origins, p. 52] In the late nineteenth century, says Albert Lindemann, “that the non-Jews [of Vienna] had a sense of being overwhelmed by a Jewish invasion is … easy to understand, particularly because Jews tended to choose certain occupations from which non-Jews were often consequently thrown out … Nearly all the banks in the capital, and indeed in the Dual Monarchy as a whole, were owned by Jews as were many of the most important newspapers, especially those of mass circulation.” [LINDEMANN, p. 25] “Antisemitism,” once observed Arthur Schnitzler, “became popular in Vienna ony when the Jews themselves took it up.” [LEVY, A., 1993,p. 346] This pattern existed not only in Germany and Austria, but in Western Europe and other parts of the world as well. “Between the Franco-Prussian War and the First World War, Paris was a major international banking and financial center, and Jews were among the dominant figures in French finance. In the late nineteenth century, roughly one-third of all Paris bankers were Jews.” [p. 20] Although Jews only numbered 60,000-80,000 people in France in 1880, they had joined the “inner circle of banking elite in the mid-nineteenth century … many observers… viewed the French bankers and the financial sector of the middle class as … running the country.” [RUBENSTEIN, p. 33] “The Jews [in France],” says Michael Marrus, “had, in less than a century, worked their way into all layers of French society. The rapidity of this advance is particularly striking.” [MARRUS, p. 35] “In France,” wrote Bernard Lazare, “under the Restoration and the July Monarchy, [Jews] stood at the head of the financial and industrial enterprise, and were among the founders of the great canals, railways, and insurance companies.” [LAZARE, p. 166] “There is no denying,” says Arnold Mayer, “that [by 1940] in France Jews occupied pivotal and exposed positions in government as well as in mass movements of the left.” [MAYER, p. 49] Such “pivotal positions” included the Jewish prime minister of France, Leon Blum. “Blum,” notes Mayer, “quite artlessly chose two Jews, Andre Blumel and Jules Moch, to be close assistants. His two cabinets also included not a few ministers and under secretaries of Jewish origin.” [MAYER, p. 48] (Even in the cultural sphere, “perhaps the most celebrated art salon in French society was owned by Madame Arman de Caillavet, daughter of a wealthy Jewish banker from Austria.” [MARRUS, p. 39] ) Much earlier, prior to their mass expulsion from France, the historian Rigord (1150-1207) claimed that by the twelfth century Jews “had acquired half of Paris” and that “a great number of Christians had even been expropriated by the [usurious] Jews because of debts.” [LEON, p. 146] Even Pope Innocent II complained to the King of France in this era that Jews were gaining possession of Church properties, lands, and vineyards. [LEON, p. 147] By the late nineteenth century, there was talk amongst prominent Jews in France about themselves as a superior people with a “right to rule” others. “There were certain magistrates,” wrote a well-known French Jewish intellectual, Julien Benda, “financiers rather than literary men, with whom the belief of superiority of their race and the natural subjugation of those who did not belong to it, were visibly sovereign.” [LINDEMANN, p. 69] In the same era, even the novelist Emile Zola, hero of French Jews for his activism in their support in the so-called Dreyfuss Affair (where a Jew was framed for espionage), was concerned in his writings about the conspiratorial implications of Jewish economic endeavors. “That such a man,” says Albert Lindemann, “shared the widespread apprehensions of the period about the rise of Jewish power, particularly in the form of money, suggests how much that sort of anti-Jewish hostility cut across the political spectrum.” [LINDEMANN, p. 70] Even the famed leftist, Fredrich Engels, who had praised Jewish activism in the socialist movement, said, “I begin to understand French anti-Semitism when I see how many Jews of Polish origin and German names intrude themselves everywhere.” [LINDEMANN, p. 70] The pattern of spectacular Jewish economic influence and prominence throughout their Diaspora is not uncommon. On the contrary. According to Australia’s Business Review Weekly’s 1986 ‘Rich List,’ 25% of the 200 wealthiest people in Australia were Jews. [RUTLAND, p. 260] This is phenomenal since Jews consist of half a per cent of that country’s population. As usual, the community was sticking together. 1961, 1966, and 1971 censuses found that 85-88% of Australian Jewish men and 90-94% of Jewish women were married to fellow Jews. In a more recent survey, a “large percentage” of mixed marriage partners (i.e., non-Jews) convert to Judaism and often the children are raised as Jews. [RUTLAND, p. 293] Taking advantage of the increased ethnic pluralization of Australian society, by the late 1980’s, says Suzanne Rutland, there has been a “re-Judaization” of Australian Jewry. [RUTLAND, p. 294] In New Zealand, Jewish entrepreneur “Sir Wolf Fisher and several Jewish colleagues pioneered the national steel mills, its brewing and hotel industries.” [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 171] In South Africa, “nowhere in the world have Jews slipped so quickly into a life of economic ease as here.” [LITVINOFF, p. 192] “The marketing of diamonds,” says Mendel Kaplan, “at the outset through individual dealers and later through the big diamond syndicates, was largely handled by Jews … the best of them … afterwards made their mark in the gold industry.” [KAPLAN, p. 356] Edmond de Rothschild had a significant investment in his predecessor in the South African diamond trade, Cecil Rhodes. By 1770 Jews controlled four-fifths of all diamonds imported from India and “over the years Jews have taken leading positions at De Beers, which today controls roughly four-fifths of the world’s output of unpolished diamonds.” [KOTKIN, p. 53] (The modern polished diamond trade is largely located in the Jewish state). Beneficiaries of apartheid, “South African Jews,” says African-American professor Tony Martin, “were the world’s richest community and have become the world’s highest per capita contributors to Israel.” [MARTIN, p. 74] Ernest Oppenheimer, who became one of the richest men in the world, is called by Louis Hotz “one of the chief architects of modern South Africa’s economy.” [FELDBERG, p. 57] Representing about 4% of the “white population,” “there is hardly a branch of South African industry in which Jewish men of enterprise and initiative have not had some part.” [FELDBERG, p. 63] “The white status of the Jew [in apartheid South Africa],” says Milton Shain, “was never seriously questioned or threatened … The Anglo-German Jewish establishment enjoyed privilege, power, authority, and even acclaim from earliest times, and the upward mobility of the Eastern European Jew was patently obvious. The pariah was indeed transformed into the parvenu.” “In South Africa,” diplomatically noted South African civil rights activists Desmund Tutu to a Jewish interviewer, “Jews in their success, especially as industrialists and business people and as traders would be seen as people who have benefited from the exploitation of Blacks, because the South African system is a capitalist system which has tended to favor the strong and successful … [HOFFMAN, p. 14] think there is a perception [among many South African Blacks] that Jews are not entirely innocent. Most of us oppose capitalism, because what we have experienced of capitalism tends to favor the privileged and the strong and [it] seems to be exploitive.” [HOFFMAN, p. 14] In Belgium, Jews dominate an estimated 80% of the Antwerp diamond trade. [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 47] Most of these are ultra-Orthodox Hassids. “If [Antwerp’s] Jews maintain little contact with Antwerp’s Gentile majority,” notes Howard Sachar, “their segregation is self-imposed, particularly by the Orthodox establishment. What contact would they wish, anyway, with the non- Jewish world? Their business activities are confirmed almost exclusively to an industry they themselves monopolize.” [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 48] In Canada, while comprising under 1% of the national population, by 1981 “both Jewish men and Jewish women tend to be concentrated at the top of the occupational hierarchy. Thus, Jewish men are about 4.5 times more likely than all men in Canada to be in a medical profession; 4.1 times more likely to have a social science job … Jews were 5.3 times more likely than all Canadians to earn very high incomes ($50,000 plus per year) and had “the highest average incomes of any ethnic group in Canada.” [p. 26-28] In a 1986 Toronto Life list of the most influential people in Toronto, “almost one in four was Jewish.” [TROPER, p. 40] In today’s Russian, with the fall of communism, a Jewish capitalist “oligarchy” is known to control between 50-80 percent of Russia’s wealth. As Jewish scholar Betsy Gidwitz noted in 1999: “That Jews control a disproportionately large share of the Russian economy and Russian media certainly has some basis in fact. Between 50 and 80 percent of the Russian economy is said to be in Jewish hands, with the influence of the five Jews among the eight individuals commonly referred to as “oligarchs” particularly conspicuous. (An oligarch is understood to be a member of a small group that exercises control in a government. The five oligarchs of Jewish descent are Boris Berezovsky, Mikhail Friedman, Vladimir Gusinsky, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and Alexander Smolensky. The other oligarchs are Vagit Alekperov, Vladimir Potanin, and Rem Vyakhirev.) Perhaps the most famous (and simultaneously the most infamous) of the oligarchs is Boris Berezovsky. In common with most of the other Jewish oligarchs, Berezovsky controls industries in three critical areas: the extraction and sale of a major natural resource, such as oil, as a source of great wealth; a large bank (useful in influencing industry and transferring assets abroad); and several major media outlets (useful for exerting influence and attacking rivals). He also controls a significant share of the Aeroflot airline and the Moscow automobile industry.” [GIDWITZ, B., 9-15-99] A 1999 Wall Street Journal editorial notes that disturbing situation in today’s Russia: “Russia’s oligarchs — many of them apparatchiks from the communist days — have stripped the country’s best assets and transferred their winnings to off-shore companies they control … For every dollar a Russian has laundered abroad there had to be a counterparty at the other end. London, Geneva, and New York are preferred destinations, as well as off-shore havens such as Cyprus and New Jersey. Estimates of $10 billion capital flight from Russia each year are probably conservative.” [W S J, 8-30-99, p. 8] [For a fuller story of Jewish Russian dominance in today’s Russia, including its “Russian mafia” dimensions, see the Mass Media 2 section]. Across the world, in Panama, by the 1980s, under the dictatorship of Manuel Noreiga, “the Jewish community as a whole, many of whose ancestors had arrived as Syrian traders at the turn of the century, was exceedingly rich. A spiritual leader of the community, Rabbi Zion Levy, warned them on more than one occasion at the Jewish Club in Panama City that their excesses could endanger their interests. The six-thousand-strong Jewish community owned the largest businesses in the Avanida Center, Via Espana, and Sona Libre. They lived in the expensive neighborhoods of Punta Paitia and San Francisco.” [COCKBURN, p. 251] “Maybe it’s not nice to say,” a Jewish merchant told a reporter for the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharanot, “but our situation with Noreiga was wonderful.” [COCKBURN, p. 251] In fact, noted Joel Kotkin in 1993, “in virtually every society where Jews are represented in any significant numbers — from the Americas to South Africa to Europe — [Jewish] levels of educational achievement and occupational and economic status remain far above the national averages.” [KOTKIN, p. 20] Nicaragua? In 1986 the Associated Press noted that “Rabbi Balfour Brickner of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York, who went to Nicaragua on a fact-finding mission in 1984, said most of Nicaragua’s handful of pre- [Sandanista] revolution Jews had close ties to the [former] dictator, Anastasio Somoza, and left of their own accord.” From a peak of about 150 families, fleeing the country with the fall of the dictator, there was then probably remaining “not more than five.” [NOKES, R., 3-20-86] Honduras? “Sam the Banana Man” Zemurray, a Bessarabian Jewish immigrant, made millions of dollars in his Cuyamel Fruit company, and by the 1930s was “the major shareholder in the largest banana company in Central America” (United Fruit — later called United Brands). Zemurray owned “300,000 shares of UFCO stock, valued at $30 million, a fortune placing him among the nation’s monied elite” and he was “the man who would run tropical America’s most powerful and far-flung transnational company for the next twenty-five years.” “Some may argue…,” wrote scholars Lester Langley and Thomas Schoonover in 1995, “that Zemurray had shaped United Fruit in the twenty years after his dramatic takeover and, further, that his ‘style’ in establishing his own company earlier in the century involved bribery and the subsidizing of revolution to overthrow a legitimate government in order to place someone more favorable to his interests in the executive office. Unarguably, he stands guilty of this charge — as does the U.S. government in its dealings with the isthmian governments in this century.” [LANGLEY/SCHOONOVER, p. 171] “As a foreign corporation of conspicuous size,” notes the New Encyclopedia Brittanica, “United Fruit sometimes became the target of popular attacks. The Latin-American press often referred to it as el pulpo (“the octopus”) in the first decades of the twentieth century.” [NEW ENCY BRITT, 1993, 12, p. 140] In 1975, Eli Black, by then another Jewish head of the same corporate conglomerate, committed suicide when it was revealed that he was bribing Honduran officials to get lower banana export taxes. “‘Bananagate,\'” noted Langley and Schoonover, “was yet another episode in the sordid record of the United States and, particularly, of United Fruit of Central America.” [LANGLEY/SCHOONOVER, p. 171] In Costa Rica, the Jewish community built their economic power in clothing manufacture and sales. By 1978, as .08% of that country’s population, “Jews were 1.6% of its medical doctors, 2% of its architects, 1.2% of its civil engineers … Jewish men and women of letters have occupied leading positions [in universities] since the early 1970s.” [GUDMUNDSON, p. 229] “To be sure,” noted Lowel Gudmundson in 1987, “wealth in general — and Jewish wealth in particular — invites criticism in Costa Rica, ” [GUDMUNDSON, p. 230] as it did in 1951-52 when there were demonstrations against Jewish commercial activities. An eventual Costa Rican president complained in 1946: “You [the Jews] should not be irritated by the complaints of Costa Ricans; you have left them without homes to live in; you are taking from them one of the few prosperous activities of the present day; you do not invest, nor produce; you try to create monopolies in some areas of commerce.” [GUDMUNDSON, p. 226-227] In Colombia, Ernesto Corescos, a Jewish entrepreneur, founded the Colombian airline (totally called Avianca). [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 267] In Venezuela, Jewish “Marrano” refugees from Portugal “intermarried and were numbered eventually among Venezuela’s most aristocratic families.” [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 266] By the mid-1980s, among the 17,000 Venezuelan Jews (living mostly in Caracas) were 350 factory-owners. Also, notes Howard Sachar, about recent Jewish immigrants there since World War II, “by now, their children occupy important positions in the professions, and notably as faculty members of the National University of Caracas.” [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 266] In Mexico, notes Judith Elkin, “In a 1994 study of the Jewish community of Mexico, 52.6 percent of employed Jews identified themselves as ‘directors, managers or administrators,’ while another 26.7 percent identified themselves as ‘professionals.’ The rate of upward social mobility was astonishing, considering that the community was barely 70 years old … Professionalization demarcates the occupational pattern of male and female Jewish workers from that of the majority population.” [ELKIN, 1998, p. 154] Robert Levine adds that “Affluent Mexican Jews, conscious of not ‘feeling’ Mexican and of being considered foreigners, now travel to Houston and Los Angeles to buy their clothes and to seek medical treatment. As a result, they contribute to the persistence of the stereotype of themselves as outsiders. Poorer Mexican Jews mixed more with non-Jews, but economic improvement is generally accompanied by a narrowing of extra group contacts until, at the top of the economic pyramid, virtually all contacts are with other Jews.” [LEVINE, Adoptive, p. 77] “The relatively small Jewish community [of Mexico],” notes Judith Elkin, “with its accumulated experiences, skills and enterprises, can be said to have served as a catalytic agent in the economic life of Mexico.” [ELKIN, 1998, p. 145] In 2000, the Jerusalem Report also noted: “The Jewish community [in Mexico] keeps a low profile partly because several of its members have been kidnapped. ‘Jews have been targeted perhaps because they are viewed as wealthy,’ says one member of the Jewish community who would not give a name for publication.” [DE LOPEZ, R., 11-29-00, p. 5] In Argentina, according to a national census, as early as 1960, “most Argentine Jewish males were employers or self-employed … 37 percent were in commerce, 22 percent in industry, and 10 percent were executives and managers … Jews are concentrated in white-collar occupations.” [ELKIN, 1998, p. 150] By 1970, half of the 242 credit unions in the country were owned or partly owned by Jews. The credit union system collapsed, however, noted Judith Elkin, because of “inflation and high interest rates [which] enriched the credit unions beyond the capability of some directors to manage their funds prudently. Swollen coffers attracted speculators, who operated on both sides of the law and invested too heavily in construction … Fraud in the management of the credit unions led to their widespread bankruptcy. Their collapse took down with them hundreds of thousands of small depositors … Perhaps the worse damage was the revival of ancient antipathies to Jewish ‘money changers.\'” [ELKIN, 1998, p. 165] Although “over the decades” the Jews of Argentina “established themselves as one of the nation’s most affluent communities,” with the controversial collapse of two Jewish-owned banks under charges of corruption, $28 million in Jewish “communal assets were lost overnight.” [JORDAN, M., 6-28-01] Among the prominent Jews of Argentina is the Wertheim family, owners of Banco Mercantil Argentino, ISA Fabrica (“the largest woolen mill in Latin America”), Argentina’s “biggest television manufacturer,” as well as companies involved in fruit, fashion and cattle. A Zionist activist, Julio Wertheim has also invested in Israeli companies. [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 286-288] In Brazil, “highly literate and well-versed in business affairs, [Jews] were in the forefront of Brazil’s remarkable [post-World War II] economic take-off.” [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 256] The Klabin and Lafer company, for example, became “the largest newsprint producer in Latin America.” [ELKIN, 1998, p. 146] Then there is Leon Feffer. “By 1950 [Feffer’s] company,” notes Jewish historian Howard Sachar, “was the largest manufacturer of quality paper in Brazil. At this point, he might have followed the example of the Klabins, East European Jews whose firm was the largest manufacturer of paper products in Latin America … [By 1985] not less than 70 million trees are growing in Feffer-owned forests, and 10,000 men are working there. Another 3,000 employees labor in Feffer’s huge integrated pulp-and-paper factory and 1,3000 in three smaller factories … [He is] the largest integrated pulp, paper and board operator in Latin America … [His company has a] domination of the Brazilian market.” [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 257-258] Henrique Rattner notes that “Jews have situated themselves in the upper ranks of society in terms of income per capita, educational achievement, life-style, and political identification … [RATTNER, p. 187] … Based upon available data, we may conclude that about two-thirds of the Jewish community of Brazil belong (in terms of income, occupation, educational level, and consumptive patterns) to the upper strata of Brazil’s stratification system. Studies of income distribution in Brazil show a clear trend toward the concentration of income in the hands of the upper 5% of the population … [RATTNER, p. 193] … It can be assumed that two- thirds of Brazilian Jews belong to the elite who control nearly half of the total personal income and of the country’s wealth where nearly half of the population at-large live at a subsistence level.” [RATTNER, p. 195] By 1968, only 0.3 percent of Jews in Brazil had manual labor jobs. “By comparison … the vast majority [of non-Jews worked] in agriculture and manual labor.” [ELKIN, 1998, p. 152] And what of the common Jewish Brazilian perception of their place in the social pyramid? “A felling of uneasiness and insecurity,” suggests Rattner, “leads to possible ambivalence in the attitudes and behavior of Jews and of their community toward progressive democratization of Brazilian society.” [RATTNER, p. 200] In Cuba, before Castro, says Robert Levine, “that Cuban Jews experienced significant post-war prosperity was demonstrated by the luxurious community center, the Patronato de la Casa de la Commidas Hebrea de Cuba,” built in 1953. “Several members of [dictator Fulgencio] Batista’s government from 1952 to 1958 were close to local Jews.” [LEVINE, p. 211] Among those was Jewish mobster Meyer Lansky, who built his own resort hotel, the Rivera, in Cuba, “the largest casino hotel in the world outside Las Vegas.” [LEVINE, p. 203] Among American Jewish industrialists, developers, financiers, and department store owners in the area, Jacob Branden was knighted by Batista, the Habif family owned the largest perfume factory, and Philip Rosenberg was head of one of the largest Cuban sugar plantations, the General Sugar Corporation. Hardy Spatz owned the Avis Rental car franchise; Albert Hartman was president of Chrysler of Cuba. [LEVINE, p. 229] “Several Jewish businessmen, especially the Americans, ran finance companies investing in commercial and residential real estate.” [LEVINE, p. 197] Adolph Kates was founder of the Miramar Yacht Club and was a member of the American Chamber of Commerce, Cuban Chamber of Commerce, and the honorary president of the Pro-Israel Committee in Cuba. [LEVINE, p. 225] Between 1930-45, 344 Jewish-owned companies made half of all shoes in Cuba. Twenty-four Jewish-owned diamond companies employed 1,200 people. [ELKIN, 1998, p. 145-146] With Castro’s communist revolution in 1959, about 70% of the Jewish residents of Cuba fled the country, “part of the general exodus of the middle and upper classes to the United States mainland.” [LEVINE, p. 243] There has even been an entire volume written about the tiny Jewish community in Jamaica. Why? “Although Jamaican Jews number no more than 350 individuals,” wrote Carol Holzberg in 1987, “they are still reputed to be among the island’s most prominent, wealthy, and influential national entrepreneurs.” [HOLZBERG, MINORITIES, p. xiv] By 1974-75 Jamaican Jews amounted to only .025% of that country’s population, but accounted for 24% of the national entrepreneurial elite “as measured by the number of Stock Exchange company boards they served on as directors and chairmen … By 1978 … six of the 14 most active national entrepreneurs were Jewish.” [HOLZBERG, p. 118] “By the eighteenth century,” notes Joachim Prinz, “the Jews were paying most of the taxes on the island of Jamaica, and both industry and international trade were in their hands.” [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 128] How about Curacao, an island north of Venezuela, once a significant African slave site in the Americas? “In fact,” notes the Jewish ethnic magazine Moment, “after 350 years on the island — the community refers to itself as the oldest continuous Jewish community in the Americas — the Jews are quick to point out that on Curacao, they are the locals … [There is] now fewer than 350 Jews on an island of about 125,000 … As one rabbi told me, Curacaoan Jews have long been the ‘Brahmins’ of their little island. There is no ‘community outside Israel where Jews [have] occupied that status in society,’ the rabbi said … The Jews are deeply entrenched in the island’s business elite. Jews own the island’s main bank, Maduro & Curiel’s. They own most of the car dealerships, the largest electrical appliance store, and many of the jewelry and clothing shops. Rabbi Michael Tayvah, a 39-year-old from Great Neck, N.Y., and spiritual leader at the Sephardic shul, says the Jews remain prominent in shipping—operating container freight companies.” [Roinick, J., AUG-SEP 2001] Peru? “In 1864,” notes Howard Sachar, “the abandoned mercury and silver mines of Peru were revived by the [Jewish] Salcedo family. [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 268] “The vast majority of the founder of Lima’s Jewish community,” says Ariel Segal, “were mercachifles, peddlers, small traders, and owners of stores, immigrants who after years of hard labor and poverty prospered and became rich. The children who graduated from the Colegio Leon Pinelo in its first years inherited the already prosperous properties of their parents and became professionals. Today they are leaders of Lima’s population, the inheritors of a community with solid institutions.” [SEGAL, A., 1999, p. 47] Segal has written an entire book about “the Jews of the Amazon” in the remote city of Iquitos. As one Jewish visitor to the region noted in 1910, “Upon arrival, you would think that you were in a Jewish city … It is typical of [a Moroccan Jewish immigrant from Tangiers] to make his fortune in Iquitos.” [SEGAL, A., p. 51] In Bolivia, in 1987 the Jewish community numbered only 480 people, and “most are in commerce and trade, but some have entered the cultural life of the nation as musicians, artists, and promoters of athletic teams.” [ELKIN, 1998, p. 127] The few Jews in Paraguay have centered upon a mercantile life, mostly in Asuncion. “Although far from wealthy, in a nation of limited resources, they are moderately well off.” [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 269] In Chile, notes Howard Sachar, “Marranos [the Spanish and Portuguese Jews who faked, en masse, conversion to Christianity] figured prominently [in Chile] among the early conquistadors and Jewish converts of the sixteenth century. Gunther Bohm’s volume, Chilean Jews in the Colonial Period, published by the National Academy, lists 150 names of Marrano origin currently borne by aristocratic Chilean families.” [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 275] By the 1970s, Jews numbered about 30,000 in Chile, mostly living in Santiago. Immigrant Jews “rapidly achieved their characteristic eminence in commerce and played a major role in the establishment of Chilean light industry.” [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 275] Chilean Jews were the first to build “factories for the manufacture of wagons, mirrors, leather clothing, and gramophone records … Chile’s first plastic factory was opened in 1924 by Jewish immigrants … By the fifties, there were Jewish entrepreneurs in sugar refining, tobacco plantations, lumber, chemicals, patent medicines, olive oil, perfume, thermoelectric plants, packing plants, eyeglasses, zippers, air conditioning and heating, Bakelite, and glass utensils for laboratories. Jewish managers and engineers were employed in foundries, construction firms, and public works, carrying on a long tradition of Jewish technicians involved with Chile’s development.” [ELKIN, 1998, p. 143] As a 1981 World Jewish Congress report noted in overview about the Jews of Latin America (expressly noting Jews in Mexico, “Central America and the West Indies,” Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Venezuela and Colombia): “For the most part, Jews living in these well-organized communities are relatively well-to-do … Most of the people who live in these countries are poor.” [WALINSKY, L., 1981, p. 77, 78] Hong Kong? The Wall Street Journal noted in 1997 that a Jewish family originally from Baghdad, the Kadoories, “are the foundation of Hong Kong commerce.” [KAHN, J., p. A1] Hong Kong, said the Jerusalem Post in 1998, is the place where the Jewish community (the relatively few who live there) is “arguably the wealthiest per capita in the world.” [ARNOLD, p. 16] Even in Iran things were excellent for Jews. Before the fall of the Shah in 1979, the 80,000 Jews of Iran “on per capita terms may well have been the richest Jewish community in the world.” [MISRAHI, p. 358] 80% of Iran’s Jews were regarded as ‘well off,\'” says David Misrahi, “another 10% ‘very rich.\'” [MISRAHI, p. 358] (In the wake of the Khomeini revolution, notes Robert Spero, when Iranian Jews began arriving en masse to the largely Jewish city in New York — Great Neck on Long Island, they began “to buy hundreds of homes … In a suburb not noted for modesty about its wealth, practically every American Jew in Great Neck has a story to tell about Iranian ostentation.” [SPERO, p. 20, 22] What about the Jews of Northern Ireland, who peaked at about 400 families in the capital city of Belfast in the 1950s? (Most have since left the area, going to England or Israel). As Patrick Rucker notes: “The cornerstone of the [Belfast Jewish] community had been set in the 19th century by a group of well-to-do Germans and Austrians. Gustav Wilhelm Wolff, in 1861, co-founded the shipbuilding factory Harland and Wolff, makers of the SS Titanic, and the Jaffe family thrived in Northern Ireland’s linen industry. Wealthy and influential, many such families became prominent in civic society … The Jews that remained in Northern Ireland, like their forefathers, are generally affluent and esteemed. Ronnie Appleton, president of the Belfast Hebrew Congregation, is a good example. A prominent attorney, Appleton was Belfast’s longest serving barriester when he retired last year [1999] … The Appletons probably have stronger ties to Israel than any other local family.” [RUCKER, P., 6-30-2000, p. 52] What about today’s post-communist Poland, where only about 10,000-25,000 “active, affiliated, and ‘border-line’ Jews” are estimated to exist? “They are,” says Laurence Weinbaum, a senior researcher for the World Jewish Congress, “extremely well-educated, often … (at least relatively) well off.” [WEINBAUM, p. 32] In Italy, after emancipation in the 18th century, says Cecil Roth, “Jewish genius became apparent in every aspect of Italian life … [ROTH, ITALY, p. 479] … The proportion of distinction in the Jewish community outnumbered those in the country as a whole by sixteen to one, holding a clear lead in every field except the hereditary nobility and the Church.” [ROTH, p. 480] Although Jews only represented 0.1% of the Italian population in 1930, nearly 7% of the names of a handbook of notable contemporary biographies were Jews. [ROTH, p. 480] That same year Jews represented 8% of the country’s university professors. [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 53] Adapting to political conditions, Jews were even well represented as prominent members of the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini. “Several Jews,” notes Edwin Black, “were among Mussolini’s closest advisers.” [BLACK, p. 62] Guido Jung was also Mussolini’s Minister of Finance, Albert Liuzzi was a commander in the fascist militia, and Giorgio Del Vecchi was the fascist rector of the University of Rome. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 37] Other prominent Jewish Italian fascists included Aldo Finzi, an undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior and member of the first Fascist Grand Council, Dante Almani, a vice chief of police, Maurizio Rava, a general in the fascist militia, and Renzo Ravenna, the mayor of Ferrara. Even Mussolini’s mistress, Margherita Sarfatti, was Jewish. She was also co-editor of the Fascist party’s monthly magazine. [ZUCOTTI, p. 25-26] Over 200 Jews marched with Mussolini into Rome in 1922 and there were three Jews among the Fascist “martyrs” who died in bloody fights with socialists. “Jewish involvement with Italian fascism is not surprising, ” says Susan Zuccotti, “With the exception of many in Rome, Italian Jews were solidly middle class, and by late 1921 fascism had become basically a middle-class, anti-worker movement. Early revolutionary aspects had declined, leaving as primary goals anti-socialism, union-busting, strike-breaking, and the restoration of law and order at workers’ expense.” [ZUCOTTI, p. 24 ] “There can hardly have been a Jewish family [in Italy],” wrote Hannah Arendt, “without at least one member in the Fascist Party, for … Jews, like other Italians, had been flocking for almost twenty years into the fascist movement, since positions in the civil service were open only to members.” [ARENDT, EICHMAN, p. 178] (Even in Hollywood, in the 1930s the Jewish mogul of Columbia studios, Harry Cohn, had an autographed photo of Mussolini in his office). [CHRISTOPHER, p. 202] Meir Michaelis writes that “It has been suggested that jealousy of intellectually superior rivals, like [Jews] Treves and Modiglaini, turned Mussolini into a latent anti-Semite during his socialist phase … Various Jews took part in the conversion of the future Duce to intervention and nationalism (G. Pantremoli, E. Jarach, E. Jona, C. Sarafatti). There were five Jews among the founders of the Fighting Fasci … According to Giuseppe Antonio Borgese, Mussolini was also strongly influenced by two Jewish women, one Russian and one Italian [Angelica Balabanoff and Margharita Sarfatti].” [MICHAELIS, M., 1978, p. 10-11] Both women were Mussolini mistresses. Even Mussolini’s dentist, Piperno, was an Orthodox Jew. [GOLDBERG, M. 1976, p. 35-36] In 1927 reporter Guido Bedarida reported on an interview he had with Rome’s Chief Rabbi, Angelo Sacerdoti: “Professor Sacerdoti is persuaded that many of the fundamental principles of the Fascist Doctrine such as: the observance of the laws of the state, respect of traditions, the principle of authority, exaltation of religious values, a desire for the moral and physical cleanliness of family and the individual, the struggle for an increase of production, and therefore a struggle against Malthusianism, are no more or less than Jewish principles.” [BRENNER, Zionism, p. 41] In the European northeast, “by 1900,” notes Ewa Morawska, “Jews constituted 75% of the entire commercial class in Russia and Congress Poland, 80% in Galicia, and 65% in Hungary.” [MORAWSKA ] In Hungary profoundly disproportionate Jewish influence was also readily observable in social and economic life. “By 1920,” says Norman Cantor, “half of the lawyers of Budapest were Jews, and Jews were also prominent in science, literature, and the arts.” [CANTOR, p. 247] By the late 1930s, Jews, as 5% of the Hungarian population, also owned over 36% of the retail stores, warehouses, and offices.” [KOTKIN, p. 43] In Budapest, in 1914, “Jews constituted 42 percent of the journalists, 45 percent of the lawyers, 49 percent of the doctors. Many had important positions in the government, and hundreds bore the patent of nobility. In no other country was the share of Jewish authors in the national literature as extensive. Ferenc Molnar was the nation’s most popular playwright … In 1913, Jeno Heltai, a cousin of Theodore Herzl [the founder of Zionism], was elected chairman of the Hungarian Writers’ Association.” [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 339] “By 1904 Jewish families owned 37.5 percent of Hungary’s arable land; by 1910, although Jews comprised only 0.1 percent of agricultural laborers and 7.3 percent of industrial workers, they counted 50.6 percent of Hungary’s lawyers, 53 percent of its commercial businessmen, 59.9 percent of its doctors and 80 percent of its financiers.” [RHODES, R. 1988, p. 105] “In countries like Hungary and Romania,” notes Richard L. Rubenstein, “commercial activity was largely in the hands of Jews, many of whom had emigrated from Galicia and the Pale of Settlement. They were regarded as permanently alien and unassimilable.” [RUBENSTEIN, p. 45] (Popular Jewish American convention today, of course, puts stock in legends of endemic Jewish suffering, in pre-war Hungary and elsewhere. This is what biographer Emmanuel Levin has to say about the Hungarian wealth of prominent Jewish Hollywood film director George Cukor’s great-grandfather, depicted as an inexplicable anomaly: “His great-grandfather owned an estate in Hungary, an unusual situation for Jews at the time. Cukor never learned the reason why his handsome grandfather left the landed gentry of Central Europe and emigrated to the United States.”) [LEVY, EMANUEL, 1994, p. 16] “The financial elite [after World War I],” says George Schopflin, “was separate from the political elite, though not wholly so. In Hungary this elite was overwhelmingly Jewish … In Romania, the financial elite was small and weak and tended to be dependent on external, Western patrons; it too was heavily Jewish and was far less assimilated than in Hungary … In Poland, the situation was similar, except that a native entrepreneurial class, based primarily on the population of former Prussian Poland, had begun to emerge and to compete with a Jewish entrepreneurial class that it regarded as alien.” [SCHOPFLIN, G., 1990, p. 70-71]” As W. D. Rubinstein notes: “In Hungary, there are reliable statistics about the highest class of taxpayers (known as ‘virilists’) in 1887. At that time, no fewer than 62.3 per cent of businessmen in this category (362 of 588) were Jewish, according to the research of Andrew C. Janos. Moreover, 12.5 per cent of the ‘virilist’ landowners in Hungary in 1857 were Jewish — 305 of 2,450. By the 1920s it was apparently the case that 54.0 per cent of the owners of commercial establishment in Hungary (66.2 per cent in Budapest) were Jews, as well as 85.0 per cent of the directors and owners of financial institutions (90.3 per cent in Budapest), and 62.1 per cent of all employees in commerce. But only 12.5 per cent of all industrialists (31.6 per cent in Budapest) were Jews, by the familiar Jewish/Gentile divide between commerce and industry. It was also claimed by Janos that ‘the members of twenty or so ‘grand [Jewish] families — the interlocking clans of Kohner, Ullman, Herzog, Deutsch, Mauthner, Goldberger, [and] Wodianer … controlled among themselves some 90 per cent of Hungary’s modern banking system and industrial plants.” [RUBINSTEIN, WD, 2000, p. 6-7] Czechoslovakia? “On the whole,” notes Ruth Kestenberg-Gladstein, “the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia were doing well. At the threshhold of the twentieth century, the Jews of these two lands belonged to the ‘comfortable, well-off’ strata of the population … [KESTENBERG-GLADSTEIN, p. 37] …[T]ime-honored Jewish business practices in the so-called ‘small trade’ [peddling] was … especially in the Czech areas … a Jewish monopoly [p. 38] … Jewish peddlers who became wealthy by exploiting the local peasants, who trusted them and availed themselves of their services as moneylenders, created resentment among Jews and gentiles alike. These peddlers charged exhorbitant rates of interest, thus forcing the peasants, and sometimes even a gentleman farmer, to sell thier property at auction, and then often purchased the property themselves at a cheap price. These abuses continuted until the Austrian Usury Laws of 1882 put an end to them … [p. 38-39] … By 1861 the Jews had been granted Besitzfahigkeit (the right to own landed property), and with the extravagance of the aristocratic landlords on the one hand and the thrift of the Jews on the other, it frequently happened that Jewish leaseholders became landowners.” [p. 39] Although there was a strata of poor, Jews “played an important role in the growth and development” of the Czech textile and beer industries, coal mining, and glass. “Quite aside from the fact that [these businesses] afforded employment to non-Jewish workers in their factories and generally boosted industry, the Jewish industrialists of these cities were responsible to a considerable extent for the economic advancement of their brethren, since they employed Jews in their offices and hired Jewish agents and commercial travelers to bring their goods to market … It seems that the Jews preferred to use their brethren in the organization of their businesses.” [KESTENBERG-GLADSTEIN, p. 40] Jewish economic or managerial influence in turn-of-the century Czechoslovakia was significant in the following categories: banking, journalism, insurance, coal, iron, lignite, graphite, magnesite, asbestos, health resorts (Jews were “operators of most of the first class hotels”) [PICK, J., p. 378], water power, agriculture (“The origin of much of the agricultural industry in Czechoslovakia could be traced to Jewish farmers”) [PICK, J., p. 379], breweries, malt [“Most malt factories producing for export were in Jewish hands”) [PICK, p. 381], hops (“The bulk of the hops output was exported and the majority of the exporters were Jewish”) [PICK, p. 382], sugar (“Many Jewish names were prominent among the sugar industrialists of the old Monarchy and, consequently, there were many Jewish members on the Boards of the nationalized enterprises in the Republic of Czechoslovakia”) [PICK, J., p. 382], candy/preserves/chocolate/cookies, alcohol (The “alcoholic liquers” industry was “primarily in Jewish hands”) [PICK, J., p. 389], yeast, starch, chicory/coffee substitutes, vegetable shortening, cucumbers/cheese/flour, forestry, pulp and paper (“Both [of the largest mills] were under Jewish management”) [PICK, J., p. 392], cardboard, plywood [“In this group, two Jewish-managed firms were of special importance”) [PICK, J., p. 394], furniture, the chemical industry, wood distillation/explosives/matches, pharmaceuticals (“Among the leaders of the pharmaceutical industry was Dr. Robert Heisler in Chrast, whose plants produced morphine and cocaine”) [PICK, J., p. 397], glass, glass jewelry, metal working/engineering/electrotechnical industries, metallurgy (“The famous Bohemia Copper Works in Prague were founded by Maximilian Bondy … The company was managed by Adolf Epler, who for many years had been associated with Sir Frederick Epstein”) [PICK, J., p. 402], automobiles, airplanes, aeronautical and scientific instruments, communications equipment and supplies, light metal products, textiles (“The textile industry [was] mostly in Jewish hands”) [PICK, J., p. 409], cotton, woolens [“The woolen industry had old and established traditions in Czechoslovakia. Its leaders were in the vast majority Jewish”) [PICK, J., p. 412], jute, flax, synthetics, hosiery, carpets, hats, clothing, leather, boots and shoes, gloves, rubber, cork, motion pictures (“The largest producer was the Elekta Film concern, with its imaginative chairman, Josef Auerbach”) [PICK, J., p. 422], cartels and syndicates, commerce, stock and commodities exchanges, patents, transportation, railways, inland waterways, and commercial aviation. [PICK, J., 1968, p. 359-447] Liva Rothkirchen notes an eventual “violent anti-Semitic reaction” by non-Jews to the Jews of Northeastern Slovakia, “where the Jewish population was especially numerous and least assimilated in appearance … The reason for this hostility lay mainly in the social disparity between the backward economic condition of the lower strata of the gentile population in this area on one hand, and the more favorable position many Jews had attained during the era of liberalism, on the other.” [ROTHKIRCHEN, L., p. 76] More broadly across central Europe, “Jewish entrepreneurs [of the Austria-Hungarian power establishment] built the railroads, financed the coal mines, set up the Pilsner beer industry, pioneered sugar refining, developed the iron and steel industries, controlled the leading banks and newspapers, and were prominent in the leather goods, furniture, clothing, and food processing trades.” [TIMMS, p. 51]The French-based Jewish Pereires family financed the southern Russian railways in 1856. “Other railways were financed by the Pereires in northern France, the Bischoffsheims in Belgium, Baron de Hirsch in Turkey, and the Belichroeders in Germany and Austria.” [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 16] In the major Polish city of Krakow, 60% of the local doctors and lawyers were Jews. “Like Jews in commerce,” says Ezra Mendelsohn, “Jews in the professions played a decisive role in Poland. One-third of all Polish lawyers and notaries were Jews, as were almost one-fourth of all those people engaged in publishing and journalism. Over one-half of all private doctors in Poland were Jews … [All these people] were extremely important as leaders of the Jewish community, and especially as leaders of the various Jewish political movements, including Zionism.” [MENDELSOHN, E., 1981, p. 8] “Following an 1862 waiver [by the Russian Tsar] on restrictions for Polish Jews,” notes Elizabeta Ettinger, “… by 1870 one-third of the factories in Warsaw were owned by Jews and by 1895 there was hardly a street left with no Jewish property (‘We own the streets,’ the Poles said half in jest, ‘and the Jews own the houses).\'” [ETTINGER, E., 1986, p. 20] By 1929, Jews constituted 43% of all of Poland’s “entrepreneurs and capital owners” and the “bulk of private non-farm real assets were Jewish. In the top-income group the proportion was even higher. In manufacturing and commerce, Jews held 40-45% of large and medium-sized businesses, and a majority of smaller ones.” [MARCUS, J. p. 253] “It was the Jewish commercial class whose impact was most strongly felt in [Poland] as a whole; thus in 1931, of all those active in industry, 20 percent were Jews, while of all those active in commerce, 52.7 percent were Jews. In the backward kresy the latter figure was much higher, reaching 88.3 percent in 1921! Such Jewish ‘domination’ of trade, which was certainly a fact in the more backward regions of the state where the native middle class was so weak, was also a typically East Europe phenomena.” [MENDELSOHN, E., 1981, p. 7] The Jewish bourgeoisie “dominat[ed] commerce and banking” in Poland in the 19th century and held a “strong position in industry.” [BADZIAK,p. 57] One of the best known Jewish industrialists in Poland, Izrael Poznanski of Lodz, “has long been a focus of interest for historians and writers. After the Second World War,” says Kazmierz Badziak, “the name Poznanski became a byword for the ruthless parvenu exploiting the working class.” [BADZIAK, p. 58] In the small Polish town of Kolbuszowa (with a population half Jewish), for example, former Jewish resident (up to World War II) Norman Salsitz recalled that “Jews conducted practically all the business of the town, with little or no Polish competition … Most [Poles] purchased from Jewish shopkeepers, took their drinks in saloons with Jewish proprietors, and relied on Jewish lawyers, whom they acknowledged to be ‘clever.’ It was my father, for example, who supplied Catholic churches in our area with candles and other items used in various church ceremonies.” [SALSITZ, N., 1992, p. xiv, 244] Four of the town’s five lawyers were also Jewish, as were two of the three doctors. Although Jews are religiously forbidden to eat pork, and Kolbuszowa was almost completely populated by Orthodox Jews, even the largest pig dealer in Kolbuszowa was a Jew, Abraham Rappaport. “How a Jew could prosper in such a business,” wonders Salsitz, “no one ever explained.” [SALSITZ, N., 1992, p. 99, , 100, 97] Salsitz declares that there were poor Jews in town, but also notes the condition of the non-Jewish peasants who lived in surrounding areas: “Their small plots of land were barely able to sustain them. At certain times of the year, before the harvest was in, survival for them came to be measured a day at a time. Potatoes, cabbage, sour milk, beans, a piece of bread — only these basic foods kept them from starvation. Pigs, chickens, eggs, butter, and milk they also produced, but could not themselves afford to eat.” [SALSITZ, N., 1992, p. 17] An Italian ambassador to Poland, Eugenio Reale, noted, that, as less than ten percent of the Polish population: “Already at the beginning of the twentieth century one-third of Poland’s industry and over one-half of its commerce was in Jewish hands. Before the Second World War, three-quarters of all Polish Jews were engaged in trade and industry whereas 80 percent of non-Jews were farmers. In trade, in banking, for every non-Jew there were 35 Jews; in industry and the crafts, for every 8 non-Jews there were 32 Jews; in the learned professions, for every non-Jew there were almost 4 Jews … As a result of the monopolistic and closed-shop nature of the Jewish enterprises, non-Jewish workers were naturally unable to advance in industries where they should have.” [PIOTROWSKI, p. 48] As Ezra Mendelsohn notes about Poland during the years 1915-1926, “To the extent that the Jews remained basically unacculturated and unassimilated they were regarded [by Poles] as aliens, speaking a foreign language and refusing to identify with Polish interests … Objective reasons for disliking Jews, who were so numerous, so influential, and so clearly non-Polish were not lacking.” [MENDELSOHN, E., 1981, p. 16, 12] As just one percent of the population in England, by World War I Jews accounted for 23% of Britain’s non-landed millionaires, as financiers, merchants, bankers, stockbrokers, and other such entrepreneurs. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 22] “Of 31 millionaire British merchants who died between 1808 and 1838 … 24 were Jewish. ” [BROOKS, J., 10-23-88, p. 42] More generally, “about 8.5 per cent of Britain’s top wealth-holders between 1809 and 1939 were Jews.” [RUBINSTEIN, WD, 2000, p. 11] Disproportionate influence in the mass media, as usual, was extraordinary. The Reuters news agency (“the chief purveyor of information on world events to the entire British press and, at times, the government”) was founded and owned by Jews (originally by Paul Julius Reuter whose original name was Israel Beer Josaphat), as was the Sunday Times, the Financial Times, the English Review, the Daily Telegraph, and the Westminister Gazette. A Jewish businessman, Harry Oppenheim, also had a major interest in the London Daily News. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 22] “In England,” notes Cecil Roth, “the most notable Jewish figure in the newspaper world in the nineteenth century was J. M. Levy, who founded not merely the Daily Telegraph, but, as a result, popular journalism as a whole in England … All three of the pioneers in the establishment of the European news agencies were Jews — Reuter, Wolff, and Havas.” [ROTH, C., 1940, p. 143, 145] As Chaim Bermant notes: “In the last century both the [London] Sunday Times and the Observer were at one time owned and edited (with no conspicuous success) by Rachel Beer, a member of the Sassoon banking clan, and the Daily Telegraph was owned until 1928 by the Levy-Lawson family. The Telegraph was originally picked up as a bad debt by Moses Levy, a printer (who for a while also owned the Sunday Times), but it was his son, Edward, who put new life and zest into it, and who, in 1871, joined with the New York Herald to sponsor Stanley’s successful search for Livingston … The Daily Herald, The People, and numerous other publications belonging to the Oldham group, were owned for a time by Julius Elias.” [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 70-71] By 1969 Jews were over represented by seven times their ratio in the population as Members of the House of Commons. [LITVINOFF, p. 18] (Among the earliest Jewish members of British Parliament was Manasseh Lopes in 1802. However, notes Stanley Weintraub, “he was no role model as he became involved in a scandal and was imprisoned for bribery and corruption.”) [WEINTRAUB, S., 1993, p. 116] As early as the twelfth century Jews exerted profound economic influence in England. The King of England, Henry II, owed a Jewish banker, Aaron of Lincoln, 100,000 pounds, a sum equal to that era’s annual budget for the entire English kingdom and numerous estates of nobles were taken over by Jewish usurers as payment for loans. [LEON, p. 145] By the late 17th century, the Carvajal family alone imported a twelfth of the country’s gold bullion into England. [SACHAR, p. 22] ) Typical too, as everywhere, the Jewish elite in England were genetically insular in consolidating their wealth and control. “[Britain’s] leading [Jewish] families,” says W. D. Rubenstein, “among them the Rothschilds, Montefiores, Goldsmids, Samuels, Sterns, Beddingtons, and Sassoons — became immensely wealthy, a self-contained and inter-married caste which has come to be known as the ‘cousin-hood.\'” [RUBENSTEIN, p. 13] This ‘Cousinhood,’ says Chaim Bermant, “[was] not merely a cluster of relatives. In many ways they functioned as an organic unit and even while their own rights were not yet wholly assured, they threw their wealth and influence on behalf of persecuted co-religionists in other parts of the world.” [BERMANT, p. 3] There is, in Britain,” says a Jewish author, Stephen Brook, “as in most nations of the western world, a club known as the Jewish community … Membership, like an ancient title of nobility, is inherited.” [BROOK, p. 11] Benjamin Disraeli, certainly the best known individual of Jewish descent in English history, rose to prominence as the British prime minister and was a chief architect of England’s world imperialist policy. World Zionist Organization president Nahum Goldmann calls him “the true creator of the British Empire in the nineteenth century.” [GOLDMANN, N., 1978, p. 9] Although an “assimilated” Jew into English society, he felt strongly about his Jewish heritage. “He felt very proud,” writes Hannah Arendt, “about the Rothschilds’ help in defeating Napoleon and did not see any reason why he should not be outspoken in his political opinions as a Jew.” [ARENDT, p. 71] As prime minister of the greatest imperialist country of the nineteenth century, Disraeli had connections with international Jewry and its enormous economic means. “Disraeli’s purchase of the Suez Canal in 1878,” says Benjamin Ginsberg, “was made possible by Henry Oppenheim’s extensive contacts in Egypt and a four million pound loan from Lionel Rothschild.” [GOLDBERG, B., 1993, p. 24] Chaim Bermant recounts the well-known story about this transaction: “In 1875, when Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli heard that a large packet of shares, which would have given Britain control of the Suez Canal, were on offer, there was only one person to whom he could turn for ready cash: Baron Lionel de Rothschild. His secretary, Cory, was quickly sent round to the bank and ushered into the presence of the Baron. How much money was needed? he was asked. Four million pounds. When? Tomorrow. The Baron, fingering a muscatel grape, popped it into his mouth and spat out the skin. ‘What is your security?’ ‘The ‘British government.’ ‘You shall have it.\'” [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 40] The implications of such international Jewish dealings were not lost to critics of the time. The British scholar, Goldwin Smith, (“a respected historian and educational reformer”) [PILZER, J., 1981, p. 10] wrote against Britain’s imperialist policies, arguing that the Disraeli government’s foreign policy benefited Jewish, and not British, interests. [GOLDBERG, p. 24] Smith argued that “the Jew alone regards his race as superior to humanity, and looks forward not to it ultimate union with other races, but to its triumph over them all, and to its final ascendancy under the leadership of a tribal Messiah.” [SMITH, G., 1881/1981, p. 10] The British writer J. A. Hobson, in his classic work, Imperialism: A Study, declared that Jews formed “the central ganglion of international capitalism.” [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 24] “United by the strongest bonds of organization,” he wrote, “always in closest and quickest touch with one another, situated in the heart of the business capital of every state, controlled, so far as Europe is concerned, chiefly by men of a single and peculiar race, who have behind them many centuries of financial expertise, they are in a unique position to manipulate the policy of nations.” [HOBSON, p. 56-57] Hobson’s book, described by one author as “the single most influential tract ever written on imperialism” [SMITH, p. 395] even gained high praise from the leader of the Russian Bolshevik revolution, V.I. Lenin. Nor were the implications of such criticisms lost to Disraeli himself. In fact, “[Disraeli] produced the entire set of theories about Jewish influence and organization that we usually find in the more vicious forms of anti-Semitism.” [ARENDT, p. 71] Such a “vicious form” is best epitomized in the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a document produced by the Russian tzarist government during their unsuccessful attempts to secure loans from international Jewish financiers at the turn of the century (most of them colluded against Russia). The Protocols proved to be false (it was essentially excerpted from an obscure novel) but has nonetheless become the most famous anti-Jewish document of all time, and is still afforded occasional currency by anti-Jewish groups and individuals today. The Protocols basically details an alleged Jewish plot to control the world and subjugate its non-Jewish populations. Who knows if Disraeli would have dismissed the Protocols? His own fascination with the prospect of world domination by a wealthy transnational Jewish cabal was very real. This fascination was not that of an obscure London rag picker or street sweeper. It was from the perspective of a member of Parliament and the eventual Prime Minister of Great Britain, the most powerful imperialist nation on earth in his time; and it was dreamed by a man who spent his political life among people, including many Jewish financiers, of momentous influence. “To the very end of his life,” notes Howard Sachar, “Disraeli held fast to the credo of [Jewish] racial aristocracy. Whenever he engaged in conversation with the Rothschilds, he harped on the theme to the point of monotony.” [SACHAR, p. 157-158] The idea of Jewish innate superiority and an economic interest in dominating earth were expressed in some of the novels Disraeli himself authored. His first novel was called Alroy (1833) and its title was taken from a historical figure, a messianic Jew in Iran in the twelfth century, David Alrui, who appealed to his fellow Jews to take up arms against the non-Jews around them. “In… Alroy,” notes Hannah Arendt, “Disraeli evolved a plan for a Jewish Empire in which Jews would rule as a strictly separated class … In a new novel, Coningsby, he abandoned the dream of a Jewish Empire and unfolded a fantastic scheme according to which Jewish money dominates the rise and fall of courts and empires and rules supreme in diplomacy. Never in his life did he give up this second notion of a secret and mysterious influence of the chosen man of a chosen race, with which he replaced his earlier dream of an openly constituted mysterious ruler caste. It became the pivot of his political philosophy … [ARENDT, p. 75] … To Disraeli, it was a matter of course that Jewish wealth was only a means for Jewish politics. The more he learned about Jewish bankers’ well-functioning organizations in business matters and their international exchange of news and information, the more convinced he was that he was dealing with something like a secret society which, without anybody knowing it, had the world’s destiny in its hands.” [ARENDT, p. 76] Disraeli even believed that Jews everywhere were uniformly desirous of “revenge” against Christians, using absolutely contrasting ideologies — capitalism and communism — to the same end through parallel “internationalism.” “Men of Jewish race,” he wrote, “are found at the head of every one of [the communist and socialist groups]. The people of God cooperate with atheists; the most skilled accumulators of property ally themselves with communists, the peculiar and chosen people touch the hands of the scum and low castes of Europe! And all this because they wish to destroy the ungrateful Christendum which owes them even its name and whose tyranny they can no longer endure.” [ARENDT, p. 76] “In this singular delusion,” says Arendt, “even the most ingenious of Hitler’s publicity stunts, the cry of the alliance between the Jewish capitalist and the Jewish socialist was already anticipated. Nor can it be denied that the whole scheme, imaginar
  24. “even the most ingenious of Hitler’s publicity stunts, the cry of the
    alliance between the Jewish capitalist and the Jewish socialist was
    already anticipated. Nor can it be denied that the whole scheme,
    imaginary as it was, had a logic of its own. If one started, as Disraeli
    did, from the assumption that Jewish millionaires were makers of
    Jewish politics, if one took into account the insults Jews had suffered
    for centuries (which were real enough, but still stupidly exaggerated
    by Jewish apologetic propaganda), if one had seen the not infrequent
    instances when the son of a Jewish millionaire became a leader of the
    workers’ movement and knew from experience how closely knit Jewish
    family ties were as a rule, Disraeli’s image of a calculated revenge upon
    Christian people was not far fetched.” [ARENDT, p. 72]

    Disraeli, suggests Albert Lindemann, “may have been, both as a writer and even more as a personal symbol, the most influential propagator of the concept of race in the nineteenth century, particularly publicizing the Jews’ alleged taste for power, their sense of superiority, their mysteriousness, their clandestine international connections, and their arrogant pride in being a pure race.” [LINDEMANN, p. 77] As Stanley Weintraub notes, Disraeli “sees crypto-Jews managing affairs: professors, ambassadors, generals, councellors, and cabinet members.” In Coningsby, Disraeli wrote that the world is “governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.” [WEINTRAUB, S., 1993, p. 216] In real life, “within days of publication” of this book, Disraeli was invited to dinner with a Rothschild. [WEINTRAUB, S., 1993, p. 219]

    Turning elsewhere, to Eastern Europe, a nineteenth century consortium of wealthy Jewish contractors and financiers were instrumental in building railroads throughout the area. One of the “secrets” to Samuel Poliakov’s success in this field, says Aradius Kahan, “was his ability to obtain credits from Russian and foreign banks … and the speed, if not necessarily the quality, of construction and exploitation.” [KAHAN, p. 93] “Kinship ties,” adds Kahan, “between Jewish bankers in Berlin and Frankfort … facilitated transfers of loans across national boundaries.” [KAHAN, p. 99] Baron Moritz de Hirsch, “an enormously wealthy financier, [built] the Trans-Balkan Railroad.” [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 253] “It is estimated that Hirsch made between $32m and $34m from the entire Oriental Railway scheme, but he may have had to pay out more than half ot that in bribes.” [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 45] Hirsch, notes Chaim Bermant, “had one palace in Paris, another in Versailles, a third near the Rothschilds in Piccadilly, a castle in Moravia, a country house near Sandringham, a shooting lodge near Newmarket and a vast hunting estate at St. Johann in Hungary. It was there that, during a memobrable fortnight in October 1891, he entertained a large party [which included various members of the British aristocracy] … In a five-day shoot the party slaughtered over eleven thousand head of game.” [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 45-46]

    Other prominent Eastern European Jewish ‘railroad tycoons’, says Howard Sachar, “included the Poliakovs, the Kronenbergs, the Nathansons, the bankers Efrosi and Co., the Rafaloviches, and Gunzbergs. They had the most available capital and the best international connections for securing additional funds from their fellow Jews in Berlin, Paris, and Warsaw.” [SACHAR, p. 212] Because of this, “Jews were able to lay the basis for modern Russian banking.” Horace Gunzberg founded one of the largest investment banks in Russia; Meyer & Co., was the second largest bank in Moscow. In Warsaw, by the late 1800s the Wawelbergs, Kronenbergs, and Frankels were among its most preeminent bankers. In Odessa, the Efrosi Bank “played a crucial role in the grain export trade,” and the Poliakovs alone founded four banks in Moscow. [SACHAR, p. 212]

    “By 1916,” notes Robert Brym, “the fourteen St. Petersberg banking houses operating in joint-stock capital had 70 managers, 28 of whom (or 40 percent) were Jews. One liberal Jewish commentator of the period was prompted to remark that there ‘is hardly a loan the Russian government seeks to negotiate but some Russo-Jewish agents are, directly or indirectly, connected therewith.” [BRYM, 1978, p. 25]
    “A number of important industries were very disproportionately owned and organised by Jews,” notes W. D. Rubinstein,

    “they included textiles, sugar refining, flour milling, saw mills, brewing and
    alcohol, tobacco, and the leather manufacturing industry; in commerce, the
    grain and timber trade; banking; shipping and transport; and mining — industries
    from which Jews were not barred by law. Such statistics as exist show that
    the Jews often far exceeded their percentage of the population in these
    fields. For instance, Jews owned about 182 of 518 join-stock sugar companies
    (35 per cent); 69 out of 106 sawmills in the northwestern areas (68 per
    cent); and so forth, based on very scattered statistics. By 1878,
    60 per cent of the grain export from Odessa was in Jewish hands; according
    to the 1897 Census, 886 of every 1,000 persons engaged in commerce
    in Russia’s northwestern provinces were Jews.” [RUBINSTEIN, WD,
    2000, p. 6-7]

    For the Jewish community at-large, the overall nuances of Jewish influence in a more generally impoverished Eastern Europe was different than the West. In the late eighteenth century the Polish Commonwealth collapsed and was absorbed by Austria, Prussia, and Russia. The demise of serfdom in later years eroded Jewry’s aristocracy-serving pre-eminence; Jewish communities became more and more politically agitated. Aleksander Hertz notes that:

    “All the positions of the nationalist Jews agreed with the idea that Jews
    were different than Poles, constituted a distinctly separate cultural and
    national community, and had their own specific interests. The Zionists
    laid full emphasis on alienness, the Bundists on differentness and
    separateness, but both ascribed to the fact of Jewish survival to their
    age-old isolation from the surrounding community. Unlike the Poles
    and assimilationists, they viewed isolation as an extremely positive
    phenomena.” [HERTZ, p. 28]

    In Russia, under Tsarist rule, Jews were only allowed to live in an area called the Pale of Settlement, twenty-five western districts (20% of European Russia — 362,000 square miles, reaching west of Warsaw) which they shared with a variety of other ethnic peoples — Poles, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, and Lithuanians, among them. Jewish economic activity was varied, from merchantry to craft specialization. Still, a British traveler of the era wrote that “the entire petty trade in Poland and Lithuania is controlled by Jews” and a historian of Lithuanian Jewry noted that in 1792 “all the trade and industry of Lithuania was controlled by this population.” [MENDOLSOHN, p. 2] “Nearly all the merchants of the Pale [of which Jews were 12% of the population],” says Howard Sachar, “were Jews … [and] it was true that the Jews were exceptionally influential in the upper levels of commerce.” [SACHAR, p. 212] By the turn of the twentieth century, estimates another scholar, three-quarters of the merchants of the Pale were Jewish, 88-96% of those in provinces like Grodno and Minsk, 82% of those in Western Galicia, and 92% in Eastern Galicia. [HEINZE, p. 185]

    “In the Pale of Settlement,” observes Michael Aronson, “most of the grain trade (measured in terms of actively employed individuals engaged in the trade) were heavily concentrated in the hands of the Jewish merchants … They also engaged extensively in the exploitation of the forests. Jews were thus very important intermediaries between the peasants and the market. They took part in almost all the peasants’ commercial dealings in the Pale and generally excluded non-Jewish competition from this field of activity.” [ARONSON, p. 37]

    Such Jewish economic power derives from its medieval origin, notes Bernard Weinryb, “where in Poland a number of wealthy Jews … were engaged … (as money lenders, merchants) … managers of the prince’s mint, supervisors of collection of taxes and tolls, [and] management of estates acquired as the result of foreclosure.” Often these Jews became “creditors of the prince or King, occasionally even a city.” They also leased ore and salt mines and “paid a fixed sum annually and then usually took in a much higher amount.” [WEINRYB, p. 63] “There are also cases,” notes Weinryb, “in which failure to repay the loan punctually caused the amount of the loan to be raised to five times the original sum. In some cases tardy borrowers were jailed, and on many occasions their real estate and villages were foreclosed and taken over by the Jewish lenders. The debtors’ natural resentment of his creditors was increased when homeowner and property owners saw their properties foreclosed.” [WEINRYB, p. 60] In southern Poland, after the 15th century, Jews owned such estates, non-Jewish slaves, and “in later centuries … certain Jews were exercising … local justice over Christians.” [WEINRYB, p. 62]

    Odessa, notes Chaim Bermant,

    “the largest industrial and commecial city of southern Russia, had a Jewish population
    of 165,000 (out of half a million) before World War I, and although part of the
    Pale, it was not quite of it, for its population was largely Western in outlook,
    with a sizeable industrial proletariat, many prosperous merchants and bankers,
    and a large Jewish professional class. About ninety per cent of the doctors in
    Odessa, and more than half of the lawyers, were Jews.” [BERMANT, C., 1977,
    p. 149]

    In western Russia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a “confrontation (between Jewish and non-Jewish workers) took place predominantly in Jewish-owned factories; the presence of the Jewish worker was considered [by non-Jews] to be part of a ‘Jewish plot’ which would ultimately replace the non-Jewish worker.” [KAHAN, p. 39] Tensions sometimes rose between Jewish social classes too; Kahan suggests that wealthy Jewish industrialists were reluctant to exploit other Jews in their factories. Non-Jews were less likely to be “class-conscious, less easily organized, and less radical in demanding higher wages and more humane treatment.” [KAHAN, p. 40] “By 1880,” says Norman Cantor, “Russia was going through the early stages of industrialization and the emergence of factory production provided jobs in Warsaw and elsewhere. The factories, usually owned by Jewish entrepreneurs, were highly exploitive and insalubrious, as was characteristic of the early Industrial Revolution elsewhere.” [CANTOR, p. 253]

    A certain proper protocol of exploitation was also necessary. Exploiting fellow Jews had precarious religious and social repercussions. “It appears,” says Ezra Mendelsohn, “that Jewish industrialists refused to hire Jews because they felt that proper employee relationships were impossible when both were of the Jewish faith.” [MENDELSOHN, p. 21]

    By 1889 the Russian Ministry of Justice warned the Tsar that the legal profession was being “flooded with Jews.” [LINDEMANN, p. 145] Barnett Litvinoff noted in 1969 that, even under communism, “in the major cities of European Russia the Jews take on the familiar characteristics of Jews in other parts of the world … In terms of employment structure, they resemble almost uncannily their fellows in the United States: their most often chosen occupations are medicine and law … [As 1% of the Russian population] one-seventh of all Soviet doctors are Jews, and one-ninth of all the lawyers. Next in prominence comes writers and journalists.” [LITVINOFF, B., p. 99]

    Michael Paul Sacks devoted an entire article to the subject of the 1989 Russian census and its revelations regarding Jewish occupational tiers in the Soviet Union. While Jews in Russia are popularly conceived in the West to be a disadvantaged people oppressed by endemic Russian anti-Semitism, by the 1950s, he notes, Jews

    “continued to be widely represented in the Soviet academic, cultural, and
    artistic elite … In the 1970s … Jews had specialized knowledge and
    experience that remained in short supply and assured their entry
    into many high-status positions [SACKS, M., 1998, p. 247] … Many Jews
    … filled the void left by the aftermath of the [Russian] revolution when
    the traditional clerical, administrative, and intellectual classes boycotted
    the Soviet regime or were kept out of these positions [SACKS, 1998,
    p. 248] … [The 1989 census revealed that Jews had a great] concentration
    in urban areas …, higher levels of education, and relative seniority in key
    industries … Jewish educational achievement vastly exceeded that of
    Russians [64% of Jews had a ‘higher education,’ 14% of non-Jewish
    Russians] [SACKS, M., 1998, p. 252] … The difference between the two
    groups [Jews and Russians] was evident across all age groups, but
    the educational advantage of older Jews seems especially significant:
    older workers were at a more advanced stage in their careers and those
    with high education were likely to occupy important positions within their
    professional fields …” [SACKS, M., 1998, p. 252]

    Sacks notes that the largest employment category for Jews in Russia was/is as engineers (16% of all employed Jews). The most populous occupational category for non-Jews in Russa was/is metal workers (7.2%). [SACKS, M., 1998, p. 256] “Occupations that were largest only for Jews,” Sacks continues, “were primarily top-level positions, and all were white collar: physicians, scientists, chief managerial personnel, artists and producers, literary and press personnel. The categories that were largest only for Russians were entirely manual labor and often low-skill: tractor drivers, cleaners, weighers, nursemaids, lathe operators, tailors and seamstresses, carpenters, and dairy workers.” [SACKS, M., 1998, p. 257] Three-quarters of all employed Jews in 1989 were in non-manual labor positions; conversely, three-quarters of all Russian non-Jews had manual labor jobs. Among the Jewish “manual laborer” category were watchmakers, jewelers, bookbinders, shoe makers, tanners, furriers, barbers, cosmeticians, and photographers. [SACKS, M., 1998, p. 260, 263]

    Sacks notes the troubling implications of the Russian Jewish occupational field:

    “Jewish achievements may have left Jews in a vulnerable situation. They
    were concentrated in high-level positions and often very isolated from
    the bulk of the Russian labor force. Older and much more highly educated,
    most Jews were in a world far apart from typical Russian workers. A
    survey in Russia in 1992 showed that one of the strongest variables
    associated with anti-Semitism was ‘having no acquaintances or friends
    who are Jewish.’ Another study from the same period found that ‘the
    vast majority of Russians (between 75 and 78 percent) saw themselves
    as having nothing or very little in comon with Jews.” [SACKS, M.,
    1998, p. 264]

    With the eventual fall of Tsarist rule, the influence of Jews in the rise of Russian communism was profound. (After all, as Louis Rapoport notes, “[Karl] Marx, Ferdinand Lassalle, and Eduard Bernstein [were] men of Jewish origin who laid the foundations of communism and socialism.”) [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 15] During the 1917 revolution, two communist factions, the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks vied for power. Leading up to the revolution, eight of the seventeen Menshevik Party central committee members were Jewish. The “entire Menshevik Party which included many Jewish members … was politically linked with the Jewish Labor Bund [a party largely championing Jewish nationalism].” [LEVIN, N., 1988, p. 13] The head of the Menshevik Party was also Jewish, Raphael Abramovich. [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 31]

    The rival Bolshevik revolutionary faction, however, prevailed in the overthrow of the tsarist government, replacing it with a communist government headed by V. I. Lenin. (A Jew, Boris Zbarsky, even was the one who embalmed Lenin’s corpse for permanent display in the Kremlin). [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 95] Lenin had a Jewish grandfather, Alexander Dmitrievich Blank, on his mother’s side. Russian author Dmitri Volkogonov’s 1994 biography of Lenin notes that

    “In [Lenin’s sister’s] letter to Stalin [after Lenin’s death], Anna wrote: ‘It’s
    probably no secret for you that the research on our grandfather shows that
    he came from a poor Jewish family, that he was, as his baptismal certificate
    says, the son of ‘Zhitomir meschanin Moishe Blank.’ She went on to suggest
    that ‘this fact could serve to help combat anti-semitism.’ Paradoxically for
    a Marxist who believed in the primacy of environmental over inherited factors,
    she also asserted the dubious proposition that Lenin’s Jewish origins ‘are
    further confirmation of the exceptional abilities of the Semitic tribe, [confirmation]
    always shared by Ilyich [Lenin] …. Ilyich always valued Jews highly.’ Anna’s
    claim explains, for instance, why Lenin frequently recommended giving
    foreigners, especially Jews, intellectually demanding tasks, and leaving the
    elementary work to the ‘Russian fools.'” [VOLKOGONOV, D., 1994, p. 8-9]

    Lenin also once told Maxim Gorky that “the clever Russian is almost always a Jew or has Jewish blood in him.” [VOLKOGONOV, D., 1994, p. 112]

    At the time of the revolution, the chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Jacob Sverdlov, was Jewish. [WEYL, 1968, p. 197] As the new ruling Bolshevik clique took shape, three of the six members of the original ruling Politburo were also Jewish. Two of them, Lev Kamenev (Rosenfeld) and Grigori Zinoviev (Apfelbaum), joined with Stalin to form the threesome that ruled Russia at leader V. I. Lenin’s death. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 30] (Zinoviev once remarked that “We must carry along with us ninety million out of the one hundred million Soviet Russian population. As for the rest, we have nothing to say to them. They must be annihilated.”) [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 31] Zinoviev “and his wife Z. I. Lilina were close family friends of Lenin, and Zinoviev probably received more personal letters from Lenin than any other leader.” Similarly, Lev Kamenev “received the most correspondence [from Lenin] … He was much trusted by Lenin, even on personal matters, for example on Lenin’s relationship with his mistress Inessa Armand at the time he and Lenin were sharing an apartment in Poland. Kamenev’s knowledge of Lenin is important because he was the first editor, with Lenin’s direct participation, of Lenin’s collected works.” [VOLKOGONOV, D., 1994, p. xxxv]

    Another Jew, Angelica Balabanova, formerly an associate of Mussolini in Italy, headed the first Communist Comintern. Karl Radek (Sobelsohn) was “one of the leading agents of the Communist International … The short-lived Hungarian Soviet Republic was led by Bela Kun (a variant of Cohen) and the organizer of the Workers’ and Soldiers’ Soviets of the even more ephemeral Bavarian Soviet Republic was Eugen Levine.” [WEYL, p. 197] “Eugen Levine and Max Levien, distinctly un-Bavarian names,” notes Alex de Jonge, “proclaimed a Communist Soviet Republic.” [DE JONGE, A., 1978, p. 53]

    Howard Sachar notes more deeply the case of Hungary where

    “a free election took place in November 1945, and the communists won
    only 8 percent of the vote … With the intimidating force of the Red
    Army behind them, the Communists turned their efforts in the next
    year to infiltration … Their Soviet-trained leadership included a large
    majority of Jews. Although many of the commissars from the Bela
    Kun era in 1919 had been killed, a number of them survived in Soviet
    exile. These were the men who returned now in the wake of the Red
    Army. Their spokesman was Matyas Rakosis … He returned
    at the head of a quintet of fellow Jews that included Erno Gero, who
    would become the communist government’s economic overlord;
    Mihaly Farka, its military and defense chieftain; Jozeph Revai, its
    cultural ‘pope’; and most importantly, Gabor Peter, who would be
    named head of the dreaded security police.” [SACHAR, H., 1985,
    p. 344]

    Jewish pre-eminence in the new Russian regime was throughout the communist system. As Zvi Gitelman notes:’

    “The idea that the Bolshevik regime was a Jewish one gained
    popularity because of the relatively large numbers of Jews who
    in 1917 suddenly rushed into governmental posts from which
    they had been barred under the tsars. So striking was the
    prominence of Jews in high places that when it was proposed
    that a Jewish ticket be put forth in the elections to the Constituent
    Assembly, Maxim Vinaver commented, ‘Why do Jews need a
    separate ticket? Whichever party wins, we will still be the
    winners.'” [GITELMAN, Z., 1972, p. 114]

    In the struggle for power in Russia, notes Nathaniel Weyl, “the prominence of Jews in the leadership of the Bolshevik Party was no greater than their prominence in the leadership of other, less totalitarian parties.” Prominent Jews in rival socialist factions included Julius Martov (Tsederbaum), Raphael Abramovitch, and I. N. Steinberg. Boris Savinkov, also Jewish, was the “legendary head of the Terrorist Brigade of the Socialist Revolutionary Party.” Aaron Baron and Lev Chorny were well-known Anarchists. [WEYL, 1968, p. 199-200] Building to the Russian revolution era, prominent Jewish revolutionaries also included Grigory Abramovich Perets and Nikolay Utin. One of the founders (in 1876) of the “Land and Liberty” revolutionary party was Mark Natanson. “Another Jew,” notes Leon Schapiro, “Aaron Zundelevich, played an important part on its executive committee. There were Jewish propagandists, Jewish organisers, Jewish terrorists … It is impossible to doubt the importance of the Jewish contribution to the less spectacular business of organisation and staff-work. It was the Jews, with their long experience of exploiting conditions on Russia’s western frontier which adjoined the Pale for smuggling and the like, who organised the illegal transport of literature, planned escapes and illegal crossings, and generally kept the wheels of the whole organisation running.” [SCHAPIRO, L., 1961, p. 152] One of the Land and Liberty party’s later branches, the “Black Repartition” group, “soon became the cradle of the Marxist movement. Jewish revolutionaries participated in all stages and in all aspects of this movement.” [SCHAPIRO, L., 1961, p. 149-151]

    “The abundance of Jewish names in the higher and middle levels of power (in the [Bolshevik] Party and state apparat, in the military, ministry, etc.) is indisputable,” says apologist Jewish author Arkady Vaksberg, “… For anti-Semites now, this is an odious and outrageous fact; from the point of view of normal people not blinded by chauvinist hatred, it is meaningless.” [VAKSBERG, p. 22] “Among the second-string leaders of the Soviet,” observed Nathaniel Weyl, “were Gregory Sokolnikov (Brilliant), Solomon Lozovsky, who would head the Red International of Labor Unions, and Moses Uritsky, chief of the Petrograd Cheka and number two man in the Soviet secret police.”[WEYL, 1968, p. 198]

    In 1923, notes Isaac Deutscher, “a triumvirate, composed of Stalin, Zinoviev, and Kamenev, formed itself within the Politbureau … Between them, the three men virtually controlled the whole [Communist] party and, through it, the Government … Zinoviev was, in addition, the President of the Communist International.” [DEUTSCHER, p. 255] Amidst intrigue and power struggles within the communist movement, however, by 1927 Kamenev and Zinoviev “at last threw in their lot with Trotsky.” [DEUTSCHER, p. 307] Trotsky, an enemy of Stalin, was “the founder and builder of the Red Army,” [DEUTSCHER, p. 192] and once the “number two man next to Lenin. ” [NEW ENCYC BRITTANICA, p. 945] He was also Jewish, born Lev Davidovich Bronstein. Trotsky, Zinoviev, and Kamenev, notes Arkady Vaksberg, “alone formed the ‘leadership nucleus’ and had every reason to expect to inherit the mantle of leadership from Lenin. The man closest to the ‘troika’ (Trotsky-Zinoviev-Kamenev) after [Yakov] Sverdlov’s death was Grigori Sokolnikov.” [VAKSBERG, p. 19] All five of these men poised to rule Russia were Jewish. Kamenev once told Trotsky (his brother-in-law) [WALSH, p. 440] that “It will be enough for you and Zinoviev to appear together on the platform in order to reconquer the whole party.” [DEUTSCHER, p. 308] It didn’t work out that way. Stalin proved to be a more ruthless and/or shrewd leader in the struggle for power.

    Nonetheless, Jews were very well represented in the Soviet system under Stalin. As Isaac Deutscher notes,

    “Jews were quite prominent in [Stalin’s] entourage, though far less
    so than they had been in Lenin’s. [Max] Litvinov stood for over a decade
    at the head of the Soviet diplomatic service; Kagonovich was to
    the end Stalin’s factotum; Mekhlis was the chief political Commissar
    of the army; and Zaslavsky and Ehrenburg were the most popular
    of Stalin’s sycophants. Yet he was not averse from playing on
    anti-Jewish emotions when this suited his convenience. During
    the struggle of against the inner-party oppositions his agents made
    the most of the circumstance that Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev,
    and Radek were of Jewish origin.” [DEUTSCHER, p. 605]

    “Lev Mekhlis,” notes Louis Rapoport,

    “would become Stalin’s secretary and one of the most despised
    men in Soviet history … Immediately after the Revolution, many
    Jews were euphoric over their high representation in the new
    government. Lenin’s first Politburo was dominated by men of
    Jewish origins … Under Lenin, Jews became involved in all aspects
    of the Revolution, including its dirtiest work. Despite the Communists’
    vow to eradicate anti-Semitism, it spread rapidly after the Revolution —
    partly because of the prominence of so many Jews in the Soviet
    administration, as well as in the traumatic, inhuman Sovietization
    drives that followed.” [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 30]

    The Soviet Union’s leading communist newspaper was Pravda. It’s “leading staff members,” Yakov Khavinson and David Zaslavsky, were Jewish, as were the Soviet Unions ambassadors to the U.S., Maxim Litvinov and Ivan Maisky, who were recalled in 1943. [VAKSBERG, p. 260, 139]

    In 1994, Russian-born (and raised) Jewish author Arkady Vaksberg wrote a book entitled Stalin Against the Jews. Its fundamental thesis is that Stalin was a fanatical anti-Semite. (Louis Rapoport’s Stalin’s War Against the Jews reflects the same theme). The fact that many Jews (including millions of others) died under his direction is beyond question. And Stalin’s actions in later life reflect his suspicions of the loyalty of many in the Jewish community. But the fact that Stalin was nonetheless surrounded by Jews everywhere in positions of high power (Lazar Kaganovich, Pyatnitsky, Fillip Goloschekin “and many others who were made part of the ruling circle”) [VAKSBERG, p. 20] is described by Vaksberg as “camoflauge” for the Soviet leader’s hatred of Jews. [VAKSBERG, p. 27] Yet Vaksberg’s own evidence to portray the Russian Jewish community as solely victims consistently deflates the premise of Stalin’s enduring anti-Semitism.Vaksberg assails Stalin as a singularly rabid, irrational Jew-hater even while stating that “the people who surrounded Stalin and who had rendered him service in the twenties and thirties were mostly Jews” [VAKSBERG, p. 35] and conceding that Jews especially close to Stalin like Emelyan Yaroslavky (Mines Gubelman), Moisey Gubelman, Lev Mekhlis (“Stalin’s right hand man”), [VAKSBERG, p. 23] Lazar Kaganovich and Isaac Mintz all survived Stalin’s declared “anti-Zionist” purges.

    “Why did Stalin, as an anti-Semite,” wonders Vaksberg, “have two Jewish secretaries — Lev Mekhlis and Grigori Kanner?” [VAKSBERG, p. 27] Why too, we might add in turning Vaksberg’s facts to different theses, whenever Stalin went on a vacation, did Lazar Kaganovich, a Jew, take over running the government? [VAKSBERG, p. 51] And why, we might add, if Stalin was so all-encompassingly hateful of Jews, did he entrust his life to a Jewish bodyguard, Matyas Rakoszy? [VAKSBERG, p. 40] (Another Jewish Stalin bodyguard, son of a rabbi, and “protege of Nikita Khruschev,” was Alexander Contract, who started out in the NKVD — later the KGB. Contract even saved the life of future Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin). [O’DWYER, T., 7-6-98] And if Stalin was singularly focused in his alleged hatred of Jews, why did his “personal corps of physicians” include “Drs. Weisbrod, Moshenberg, and Lev Gigorievich Levin?” [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 37] Even prominent non-Jewish Communist Party officials (and close associates of Stalin’s social circle), President Mikhail Kalinin, Bukharin, Molotov, Voroshilov, Andreyev, Poskrebyshev, and Rykov, all had Jewish wives. Stalin’s own daughter Svetlana Allilueva had an affair with Jewish screenwriter Alexei Kapler; she later married Grigory Morozov (Moroz), also Jewish. [VAKSBERG, p. 138; RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 208] The fact that Stalin reportedly did not approve of these men is routinely explained by Jewish scholars as anti-Semitism. Stalin’s sister-in-law (eventually imprisoned) by his first wife was also Jewish. So was one of his daughters-in-law. And there is controversial testimony that Stalin even had a Jewish mistress, Rosa Kaganovich. [RAPAPORT, L., p. 46, 241] [ROTHMAN/LICHTER, 1982, p. 94]

    Over a hundred Jewish generals also served in Stalin’s Soviet army, including the chief of the Soviet Air Force at the start of World War II, General Jacob Smushkevich. [GOLDBERG, M. H., 1976, p. 78]

    “It seemed,” says Louis Rapoport,

    “there were Jews wherever [Stalin] looked. His loyal tin soldier, Marshal
    Voroshilov, was devoted to his Jewish wife, Catherine. Marshal Bulganin
    was also happily married to a Jew, Nadezhda. Politburo member Andrei
    Andreyev, who fell from grace in 1950, was married to Dora Khazan, and
    Kaganovich the Jew was married to Maria, also one of the tribe.
    Malenkov, who was suspected of being a bit of a philo-Semite, had a
    Jewish son-in-law, as, it was said, did Khrushchev. The up-and-coming
    Leonid Brezhnev was said to have a Jewish wife.” [RAPOPORT, L.,
    1990, p. 208]

    Stalin’s alleged fanatical anti-Semitism had further curious twists. “Another non-Jew not only helped create Israel,” notes M. Hersch Goldberg, “but saved it. Incredible as it may seem, that man was Joseph Stalin. The tale of Stalin’s role in helping create and then insure the early survival of Israel has been little told; and on those occasions when it has been mentioned, there has been no satisfactory explanation for it.” This includes the fact that in 1947 the Soviet Union publicly supported the creation of a Jewish state, and was the second country (after the U.S.) to recognize its establishment. Stalin also initially supported Israel in its war of independence against the Arabs and supported Israel with shipments of arms through Czecheslovakia. Even the Soviet delegate to the United Nations, also President of the Security Council, was of Jewish heritage — Jacob Malik. [GOLDBERG, M. H., 1976, p. 220-224] It would seem that if Stalin was truly overwhelmed with feelings of irrational anti-Semitism, Jewish power within his own government had overwhelmed him.

    From the start of his argument about Stalin’s single-minded hatred of Jews, Arkady Vaksberg marks the early struggle for power between Stalin and Trotsky-Zinoviev-Kamenev-Sikolnikov: “All four men whom Stalin perceived as his rivals in the struggle for power were Jewish. Each of them, especially Trotsky, naturally had a large number of allies in higher eschelons of power who could influence the distribution of posts and positions and the political clout and popularity of candidates. There was a certain ethnic ‘imbalance’ here too.” [VAKSBERG, p. 19]

    As normal in Jewish scholarship (framing Jews as victims even as they act as oppressors), Vaksberg even makes the preposterous claim that the reason Jewish commanders ran 11 of the 12 major Gulag Archipelago concentration camps (including the director of them all, Matvei Berman, who also headed the slave labor project that built the Belomar-Baltic Canal) was that Stalin wanted to make Jews look bad, and foment anti-Semitism. “It could not,” he insists, “have been sheer coincidence.” [VAKSBERG, p. 98] Maybe not. But other possible reasons are too profoundly troubling for Vaksberg to consider.

    Jews were also everywhere prominent in Soviet secret police organizations. “From the beginning,” writes Benjamin Ginsberg, “the Soviet state relied upon military, police, and security services to sustain itself, and Jews were active in these agencies. … Jews … staff[ed] and direct[ed] the coercive instruments upon which the state relied to control its citizens.” [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 30] Genrikh Yagoda, for instance, was the Soviet Chief of the Secret Police in the 1930s. A pharmacist, he specialized “in preparing poisons for his agents to use in liquidating Stalin’s opponents.” [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 31] “Yagoda was the man Stalin trusted most within the repressive aparat without which no totalitarian regime can exist,” says Arkady Vaksberg, “The Soviet version of dictatorship and Stalin personally would not have survived without the ‘faithful watchdogs of the revolution’ and their ‘punishing swords.'” [VAKSBERG, p. 36] Yagoda’s brother-in-law, Leopold Averebakh was the “chief supervisor of Party purity in Soviet literature.” [VAKSBERG, p. 35]

    (America has even had its own Jewish secret police kind of poisoner. Journalist Alexander Cockburn noted Sidney Gottleib as the “US Official Poisoner … For more than two decades [he] managed the CIA’s Technical Services Division … With Gottleib’s death, America has lost its prime poisoner. For many years, most notably in the 1950s and 1960s, Gottleib presided over the CIA’s technical services division and supervised preparation of lethal poisons, experiments in mind control and administration of LSD and other psycho-active drugs to unwitting subjects.”) [COCKBURN, A., GOTTLIEB]

    “Working side by side with Yagoda,” notes Arkady Vaksberg about a kindred Jewish government deputy, “was another professional chekist (a euphemism for professional executioner), Meer Trilissen … The many actions undertaken by Trilissen’s agents included blowing up the cathedral in Sofia with the Bulgarian tsar and his government inside.” [VAKSBERG, p. 38]

    Other Jews, Matvei Berman and Naftali Frenkel of the secret police, were instrumental in the creation of the slave labor system in which 200,000 workers died during one project alone, the White Sea-Baltic Canal. [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 31] “It was Frenkel,” notes Louis Rapoport,

    “who refined Berman’s use of prisoners as slave labors … Most of
    the chief overseers of the Canal were Jews. Solzhenitsyn described
    them as ‘six hired murderers each of whom accounted for thirty
    thousand lives: Firin – Berman – Frenkel – Kogan – Rappoport – Zhuk
    … Thousands of Jewish revolutionaries helped to spearhead the
    Terror machine with a messianic fervor. One of them, Matvei Berman,
    had helped to institutionalize slave labor as early as 1922.” [RAPAPORT,
    L., 1990, p. 30, 44]

    Likewise, Yakov Agranov, Karl Danker “and other representatives of the Jewish proletariat … distinguished themselves with a talent for execution.” [VAKSBERG, p. 39] Other prominent Jewish officials in the Soviet government included K.V. Pauler, Chief Operations Officer of the secret police in the 1930’s, Lev Inzhir (Chief Accountant for the Gulag: Inzhir “the all-powerful clerk, was kept busy with figures on transit points, rail depots and harbors, human and other freight transfers, length of terms, morality rates.”), “top” Chekist Aron Soltz, [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 44, 45] M. I. Gay who headed a secret police organization that conducted mass arrests and executions during “The Great Terror” of the 1930s, and A.A. Slutsky and Boris Berman who were in charge of terrorist and espionage activities abroad in the 1930s.

    Noting that “many of the prosecution witnesses and agent provocateurs against” Jewish enemies of the communist state were also Jewish, Louis Rapoport adds that

    “Some of the main instruments of the Terror [against everyone] were
    also of Jewish origin: M. I. Gay, who headed a special secret police
    department; A. A. Slutsky and his deputies Boris Berman and
    Shpiegelglas, who were in charge of terror and espionage abroad;
    and NKVD operations chief Pauker. None of these mass executioners
    survived [later purges against them] [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, p. 49-50]

    The man who headed the firing squad that executed the Russian royal family, Yakov Yurovsky, was also Jewish, as was the Bolshevik official who reported the deaths to Lenin, Yakov Sverdlov. [KRICHEVSKY, Behind, 1997, p. 8] Or, as Arkady Vaksberg puts it: “There is no getting around the fact that the first violins in the orchestra of death of the tsar and his family were four Jews — Yakov Yurovsky, Shaia Goloshchekin, Lev Sosnovsky, and Pinkus Vainer (Pert Voikov). The concert master and conducter was Yakov Sverdlov.” [VAKSBERG, p. 37]

    As Zvi Gitelman notes about the Cheka, the early Soviet terrorist police organization:

    “The high visibility of Jews in the Bolshevik regime was dramatized
    by the large numbers of Jews in the Cheka … From the Jewish point
    of view it was no doubt the lure of immediate physical power which
    attracted many Jewish youths … Whatever the reasons, Jews were
    heavily represented in the secret police … Since the Cheka was the
    most hated and feared organ of the Bolshevik government, anti-
    Jewish feelings increased in direct proportion to Cheka terror.”
    [GITELMAN, 1972, p. 117]

    [Parallel Jewish representation in the Polish communist secret police is addressed in the Holocaust chapter. Click here to view this excerpt]

    Leon Schapiro remarks that “it is difficult to suggest a satisfactory reason for the prevalence of Jews in the Cheka … Anyone who had the misfortune to fall into the hands of Cheka stood a very good chance of finding himself confronted with, and very possibly shot by, a Jewish investigator.” [SCHAPIRO, L., 1961, p. 165]

    “I doubt that there was another poet (or novelist or playwright or artist),” says Arkady Vaksberg, “who was surrounded by as many Chekists as [Vladimir] Mayakovsky. [Mayakowsky was the leading poet of the Russian revolution era.] And sadly, they were almost all Jewish.” These included at least three Jewish generals in the secret terrorist organization: Yakov Agranov, Moisey Gorb, and Lev Elbert. [VAKSBERG, p. 45]

    Another Jewish author, Richard Pipes, adds that

    “The worst bestialities were committed by some of the provincial
    Chekas — which operated at a distance from the eyes of the
    central organs and had no fear of being reported on by foreign
    diplomats or journalists. There exists a detailed description of
    the operations of the Kiev Cheka in 1919 by one of its staff,
    I. Belerosov, a former law student and tsarist officer, which he
    gave to general Denikin’s investigators.
    According to Belerosov, at first (fall and winter of 1918-1919)
    the Kiev Cheka went on a ‘continuous spree’ of looting, extortion,
    and rape. Three-quarters of the staff were Jews, many of them
    riffraff incapable of any other work, cut off from the Jewish
    community although careful to spare fellow Jews.” [PIPES, R.,
    1990, p. 823-824]

    In later years, another Jew, Zakhar Ilyich Volovich, “was involved in many of the dirty circles of the NKVD [precursor to the KGB], crimes even today enveloped in dark secrecy.” [VAKSBERG, p. 45-46] Among the many Jewish executives in the Main Directorate of State Security of the NKVD were Mosiey Boguslavsky, Yakov Veinshtok, Zakhlar Volovich, Mark Gai, Matvei Gerzon, Moisey Gorb, Ilya Grach, Yakov Deich, Grigory Rapoport, Abram Ratner, Abram Slutsky, David Sokolinsky, Solomon Stoibelman, Meer Trilesser, Semyon Firin, Vladimir Tsesarsky, Leonid Chertok, Isak Shapiro, Grigory Yakubovsky, “and many other NKVD workers of the same level and same origins.” [VAKSBERG, p. 98] The non-Jewish head of the NKVD, Lavrenti Beria, had “many Jews in his close entourage … [who were in] major positions in the NKVD.” These included Generals Arkady Gertsovsky, Veniamin Gulst, Ilya Ilyushin-Edleman, Matvei Potashnik, Solomon Milshtein, Lev Novobratsky, Leonid Raikhman, and Naum Eitigen. Heads of NKVD “investigative groups” included Colonels Boris Rodos, Lev Shvartsman, Isaia Babich, Iosif Babich, Iosif Lorkish, and Mark Spekter. [VAKSBERG, p. 102]

    Among these, Colonel Lev Shvartsman stands out for Arkady Vaksberg as “one of the most vicious KGB executioners … He personally tortured Mikhail Koltsov, diplomats, major scientists, and cultural figures.” [VAKSBERG, p. 223] Likewise, another Jew, Colonel Boris Rodos was a “sadist [who] … at the Academy of Internal Affairs taught … the methods of working over prisoners in their cells.” [VAKSBERG, p. 211] “As a Jew,” notes Yevgenia Albats in his book about the history of the KGB, “I’m interested in another question entirely: Why were there so many Jews among the NKVD-MGB investigators — including many of the most terrible? It’s a painful question for me, but I cannot evade it.” [ALBATS, Y., 1994, p. 147]

    “Such Bolshevik Jewish luminaries as Lev Kamenov, Grigori Zinoviev, and Yakov Sverdlov,” says Ukrainian-American author Myron Kuropas, “helped Lenin come to power; and it was Jews like Maxim Litvinov, Lazar Kaganovich, and hundreds of lesser lights who were in the forefront of Stalin’s rise to power. It was they who later helped Stalin engineer Ukraine’s genocidal famine and the brutal Soviet takeover of Western Ukraine. When the USSR began to decline, writes [a former KGB officer married to a Jewish officer in the same force], ‘the flower of this educated leadership and their children emigrated to Israel and the West.’ I can’t help but wonder how many of these criminals now reside in the United States.” [KUROPAS, M., 8-14-94, p. 77]

    Some estimates suggest that between a fourth and a fifth of the rural Ukrainian population perished by enforced starvation. [MOYNAHAN, p. 120] One of the dedicated Jewish communists was Lev Kopolev. “We were realizing historical necessity,” he wrote,

    “We were performing our revolutionary duty. We were obtaining grain
    for the socialist fatherland … I saw women and children with distended
    bellies, turning blue, with vacant, lifeless eyes. And corpses — corpses
    in ragged sheepskin coats and cheap felt boots; corpses in peasant huts,
    in the melting snow of old Vologda, under the bridges of Kharkov … I
    saw all this and did not got out of my mind or commit suicide … I
    believed [in the new Soviet order] because I wanted to believe.”
    [MOYNAHAN, p. 119]

    In 1987, Stuart Kahan, an American relative of Russian communist strongman Lazar Kaganovich (originally named Moiseyevich; he is described by Kahan as the Soviet “Apparatus of Terror”), wrote a book about him. The author interviewed the elderly Kaganovich in Yiddish via his father, and concluded that his relative

    “was, to put it mildly, a devil. That relative exuded evil, an evil
    that put millions of people to death … [KAHAN, S., p. 5] … Although
    the Church was left intact, its lands were seized [by the communist
    movement]. Even prior religious teaching was forbidden in the schools.
    Of course, word came down that it was the Jews who did this. After all,
    wasn’t the revolution prepared and fashioned by Jews? Both of Karl
    Marx’s grandfathers were rabbis, and Lenin’s grandfather was also
    Jewish. And wasn’t Yarkov Sverdlov, the first chief of state, a Jew,
    as was Trotsky himself? … That Trotsky, unquestionably the most
    outstanding man among the Bolsheviks, was a Jew did not seem an
    insuperable obstacle in a party in which the percentage of Jews, 52
    percent, was rather high compared to the percentage of Jews (1.8
    percent) in the total population.” [KAHAN, p. 80-81]

    Kaganovich “eventually held more key posts in the power structure than anyone except Stalin … He demolished the huge Church of Christ the Savior and replaced it with the Palace of the Soviets. As commissar of heavy industry during the war years, he chose his brother Mikhail as his deputy and controlled everything from the vast fuel and steel industries to chemicals and building materials.” [RAPOPORT, L., 1990, -. 43]

    Jewish author Arkaday Vaksberg even calls yet another Jewish Soviet leader, Rozalia Zemlyachka (Zalkind), “a sadist and monster who would play a major role in the slaughter in the Crimea after the destruction of the last strongholds of the White Movement [anti-communists] there.” [VAKSBERG, p. 23] Another Jew, Bela Hun, “spread bloody terror” with Semlyachka. [VAKSBERG, p. 41] Another government (and Jewish) terrorist, “the lawyer Moisey Uritsky … was the scourge of Petrograd in 1918, terrorizing the citizenry as the local Cheka. He was killed by another Jew, Leonid Kanegisser.” [VAKSBERG, p. 23] Another Jewish Soviet leader, Filipp Goloschchekin, “was one of the main organizers of the murder of the tsar’s family in 1918 … [He also] displayed boundless cruelty in the genocide of the Kazakhs when he became Party leader of Kazakhstan.” [VAKSBERG, p. 17]

    As even Winston Churchill once wrote about Jewish influence in the communist world:

    “This [communist] movement among Jews is not new. From the days
    of Spartacus-Weishaupt [Adam Weishaupt, the Bavarian founder in
    1776 of one of the most famous conspiratorial groups, the Illuminati, in
    history], to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela
    Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxemberg (Germany), and Emma Goldman
    (United States), this worldwide conspiracy for the overthrow of
    civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of
    arrested development and envious malevolence, an impossible equality
    has been steadily growing. It has been the mainspring of every subversive
    movement during the nineteenth century.” [PIPES, D., 1997, p. 139]

    Jews were also “particularly visible in the Soviet cultural and propaganda apparatus” and they “dominated the Soviet film industry.” [GINSBERG, B., 1993, p. 31] Half of the June 1930 membership of the Communist Academy — a philosophy organization — were also Jewish. “It is obvious that from the very first moves to revive academic and scholarly work in the philosophical field [in Russia],” notes Yehoshua Yakhot, “the part played by Jews was considerable and, in a certain sense, predominant.” [YAHOT, p. 244] By 1984, as one percent of the Soviet populace, one author even found that even 33 per cent of Soviet musicologists were Jews. [BRAUN, J. , p. 85]

    More than once in Soviet history, Jews have fallen under government suspicion for a collective foreign intrigue — many charged as agents of “American imperialism” or Israel. Sometimes portrayed in the Soviet press during Stalin era as men of “uncertain allegiance,” notes Isaac Deutscher, the newspapers

    “revealed systematically the Jewish names of writers who had been
    know to the public under Russian pseudonyms … The Jews were to
    some extent protected by their prominence in vital spheres of the
    national life, in the management of industry, in nuclear research, in
    the [communist] party machine, in the academic world, and in the
    armed forces. (Nearly twenty thousand Jews held teaching posts in
    the Universities).” [DEUTSCHER, p. 608]

    Among those many purged by Stalin in 1953 was the Jewish head (Palgunov) of Tass, the government news agency. [HYDE, H.M., 1971, p. 590] In 1937, in a purge of the Commander of the Red Army, seven of his top generals went with him. Four of these generals were Jewish –Yan Garmarik, Yon Yakir, R. Eideman, and B. Feldman. [HYDE, H.M., 1971, p. 351-352]

    Opponents of indigenous European nationalist movements, Jews also rose to power in enforcing communist rule over post-World War II Soviet satellite countries, including Czecheslovakia, Hungary, and Poland. In Hungary, for example, Mathiou Rakosi was the Communist Party leader and Peter Gabor headed the secret police. Eduard Oklag, Yokub Berman and Gilyari Minz were prominent in the Polish government, Anna Pauker in Romania. “It was she,” notes Howard Sachar, “not the [Communist] party’s chairman, Gheorghe Gheorghin-Dej, who made the key policy decisions in her triple capacity as deputy premier, foreign minister, and deputy secretary of the central committee … Simeon Bughichi, Mrs. Pauker’s successor as foreign minister, was also Jewish … There were several Jews [after World War II] … who played leading roles in the [Yugoslavian communist] government. The most eminent of these was Moshe Pijade [president of the Yugoslav National Assembly].” [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 363, 365, 315]

    A number of these Jewish leaders throughout the communist system met their end in government power purges. In Czecheslovakia, for example, Rudolph Slansky and ten other Jewish elites of the party were tried; eight were executed. “The Slansky trial,” note Ronald Radosh and Joyce Milton, “was in part a move to purge the Czech communist party of its Jewish leadership.” [RADOSH/MILTON, p. 349] Jewish scholar Barnet Litvinoff adds that

    “When Stalin’s tyranny was at its height, and his grasp upon his
    satellites complete, powerful Jewish personalities were conspicuous
    in the Communist hierarchies of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary,
    and Romania … Hilary Minc and Jacob Berman who returned to
    Warsaw … stood very close to the master in the Kremlin … Erno
    Gero, Matyas Rakosi, and Mihaly Farkas occupied similar
    positions in Hungary, while Anna Pauker was the unquestioned
    mistress of Romania, with authority comparable to Rudolf
    Slansky’s in Czechoslovakia. The list was an extensive one, and
    included government and Party officials alike, ambassadors
    abroad, and some military figures trained by the Soviet secret
    police, not to mention university professors, film producers and
    broadcasting personalities.” [LITVINOFF, B., p. 104-105]

    [Also, note this link that examines the phenomenon of Jewish communist spies for the Soviet Union in America]

    Philip Mendes notes Jewish prominence in a wide variety of communist and left wing movements throughout the world:

    “As early as the French Revolution of 1830, Jews played an active role in radical
    movements [including Michel Goudchaux, Philippe Anspach, Michel Alcan,
    Olinde Rodrigues, Adolphe Cremieux, and Josue Leon] … In the 1860s and ’70s
    Jewish activists occupied some of the highest positions in the fledgling Russian
    revolutionary movement. The ‘pioneer of Russian-Jewish revolutionary action’ was
    Nicholas Utin [Others included Mark Natanson, Paul Axelrod, George Plekahnov,
    Vera Zasulitch, Rosalie Bograd, Meir Molodetsky, Gregory Goldenberg, Lew
    Deutch, Vladimir Jochelson, Aaron Sundelievitch, and Hsya Helfmann] … Jewish
    individuals also played a prominent role in all the Russian radical movements, from
    the Socialist Revolutionaries to the Mensheviks to the Bolsheviks … In Hungary …
    for almost four decades in fact, the top leaders of the Communist Party were Jews …
    In France, many Jews have figured prominently in the leadership of the Communist
    Party, including Charles Rappoport, Jean Kanapa, Jean Ellerstein, Haim Cukierman,
    Charles Fierman and Henri Krasucki.” [MENDES, P., 1993, p. 9-13]

    Other countries of prominent Jewish radicalism cited by Mendes included Poland, Lithuania, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Holland, Austria, Germany, Spain, Great Britain, Chile, and the Middle East.

    Ultimately, Benjamin Ginsberg [GINSBERG, B., 1993] alludes to the reoccurring paradigm to all this, that Jews throughout European history have sought benefit from allegiance to ruling powers — from absolute monarchists to communist dictatorships — which oppressed, suffocated, and even massacred non-Jewish masses. As a people who historically distanced themselves from the indigenous peoples of every land they lived and as centuries-old nemeses of the Christian order, Jews were ideally suited to function as dispassionate legislators — and exploiters and oppressors — over those of whom they had no real bond or interest. “The Gentile population in general,” says Ewa Morawska about Eastern Europe, “and the inhabitants of villages surrounding the [Jewish community] in particular, were seen by Jews primarily in instrumental terms as suppliers of … material livelihood.” [MORAWSKA, p. 15] For those many Jews who had a religious basis in their lives, traditional Judaism often served the interests of devaluing others. As consequence, Jewish communities periodically engendered the wrath — and sometimes violence — of the common populace.

    Jewish scholar George Mosse frames the common bond between the polar politics of the Jewish European capitalist and communist this way:

    “There was an affinity between the Jewish bourgeoisie which supported
    the newest in the arts, placing themselves squarely on the side of the
    modernists, and their wayward socialist children, who wanted to
    overthrow the existing social and economic order. This affinity was
    based on shared ideals that the sons wanted to realize more completely
    than the fathers had.” [MOSSE, G., 1985, p. 57]

    “Empirical data,” adds Jewish scholar Norman Cantor, “support the contention of French and German anti-Semites in the 1920s and 1930s that the Jews were both capitalists and communists, and thus doubly anathema to the reactionary racist movements that funneled into Judeo-phobic fascism. The German cartoons of the 1920s who depicted Jews as both bloated capitalists swallowing European civilization and nefarious red terrorists plotting to blow up western civilization were not engaging in absolute fantasy, even though Jewish apologists then and historians now like to make that accusation and try to forget the whole thing.” [CANTOR, p. 275]


    To Next Chapter (7)

  25. Spare9

  26. 7 A CLOSER LOOK AT POLAND AND EASTERN EUROPE “Probably 90% of medieval people [in Europe] were peasants. But astonishingly little is known about them. Universally illiterate, like prehistoric people, they left no documents of their own. Literate members of medieval society, mainly churchmen, either ignored the peasants or, in most cases, mentioned them with contempt. To reconstruct the life of peasants, not only their economic condition but also their customs, attitudes, and inner experiences presents an impossible challenge.” [JUDD] “[Medieval] satire [about peasants],” says Jacques Le Goff, “often emphasizes the peasant’s filth, poor clothing, and minimal diet, but also a sort of bestiality that placed him … between beasts and humans … [This reflects] the undeniable and widespread conditioning brought on by harsh living conditions, alimentary shortages, monotonous work, a daily struggle for existence, the great scourge of famines, recurrent epidemics, and the dangers of war … ” [LE GOFF] (As recently as pre-World War II Poland, Jewish author Norman Salsitz, who was raised in that country, notes that “all across Poland the peasant was held in almost universal contempt.”) [SALSITZ, N., 1992, p. 88] These peasants are that stock from whom most Euro-Americans have descended. And these impoverished and often desperate people who harbored the greatest day to day grievances against the Jews, and who perpetrated most of the violence against them — are rendered entirely mute in the twentieth century. We know well the Jewish martryology myths of the Middle Ages story, told and retold by their Hebrew and Yiddish chroniclers that are popular Jewish canon today. But we don’t know the peasants’ version of things; there is only scant reference to them by the Christian clergy or local aristocracy, neither of whom were even remotely sympathetic to their plight. A Jewish author, Max Dimont, lays the barest outline of the peasant torment: “[Christian feudal life was like] a vast prison. The bars were the all-encompassing restrictions placed upon the daily life of the people. Inside the bars were the peasants, the so-called Third Estate, who comprised about 95 per cent of the total population. Outside the bars but tied to them by invisible chains were the other two estates, the priests and the nobles. Neither inside the prison nor tied to the bars outside it were the Jews, the unofficial “Fourth Estate.” The restrictions placed on the feudal serfs, as the peasants were called, pursued them from “womb to tomb.” There could be no movement from one estate to another except through the ranks of the clergy, and then only for the exceptionally gifted child. Restrictions on travel kept the serf tied to the soil. He usually saw nothing of the world except that within walking distance. Though he was technically a free man, he could own no property. He could be sold with the land by his lord … The peasant had to grind his flour in the lord’s granary, bake his bread in the lord’s bakery — all for a fee, paid either in goods or in labor. He could only own wooden dishes, and one spoon was all he was allowed for his entire family, no matter what its size. The kind of cloth he could buy, sell, or wear, was regulated. The lord was allowed to sample everything his serfs had, including their brides … ” [DIMONT, p. 247] “In this [feudal] system,” notes Eva Hoffman, “the Jews who were growing more numerous and visible could be thought of as another estate, with its own place in the ordained social order.” [HOFFMAN, E., 1997, p. 47] “All Eastern European Jewry,” notes a Yiddish folk saying, “is one town.” [KUMOVE, S., 1985, p. 47] “No travelers’ account of Poland,” says Jerzy Lukowski, “was complete without almost ritual reference to the degradation of the serfs … In Poland, peasants were forbidden to leave their villages without seigneurial [manor lord] permission in 1496 … Until 1768, the noble seigneur enjoyed the power of life and death over his serfs. He could buy and sell them like chattel, independently of landed transactions.” [LUKOWSKI, p. 38] As late as the 1800s, says Jewish scholar Howard Sachar, “the typical Russian peasant was bound in serfdom to his soil. Diseased, ignorant, hopelessly superstitious, he lived in a rude hut, slept in his clothes, and fed his fire with animal dung.” [SACHAR, p. 80] And as Sula Benet notes about Poland: “For three hundred years, until 1784, the peasants were serfs, bound to their land and to their lords. After that, although the Constitution of 1791 nominally changed their status, there was little real change in their position or condition until Poland was reconstituted in 1919, after the first World War.” [BENET, S., p. 31] And what of the Jewish merchants and money lenders, and the Jews at-large, the people that kept to themselves and refused to interact with others except towards commercial profit, these people from whom many impoverished Gentiles sought out to borrow money, not to expand their fortunes, but merely to survive the current season? Dimont continues: “None of these restrictions applied to the Jews. They were free to come and go, marry and divorce, sell and buy as they pleased…. The priests were excluded from work, the nobles did not want to work, and the serfs were not allowed to enter the bourgeoisie or middle-class professions. There was no one left to do this work except the Jews, who therefore became indispensable. The Jews were the oil that lubricated the creaky machinery of the feudal state.” [DIMONT, p. 247] Jews were visibly distinct from the rest of the population, especially by dress. They usually wore black and the men were distinguished by side locks over their ears. They also ‘”stood out by specific mannerisms,” says Janusz Tazbir, “their nervous gestures, continually emphasizing the spoken word, and their characteristic feverish haste.” The Jew was to a Christian “an economic rival, an onerous creditor, accused of arrogance and impudence … and willing to suffer any humiliation for even a small gain. ” They were widely perceived as cowards and swindlers who held “occupations that did not deserve to be called ‘work.\'” [TAZBIR, p. 27-31] Bernard Weinryb suggests as typical the area of Breslau in the mid-14th century: perhaps 10% of the Jewish community was “poor and about 7% ‘very rich,’ thus placing about four-fifths of the Jewish population in the middle-income range, whatever this may have meant to them.” [WEINRYB, p. 70] Even as late as the twentieth century, there can be no comparison between the strata of “poor” in the Jewish community and the impoverished Gentile peasant society at-large around them. Ewa Morawska notes that “At the end of the last century in Galicia [a province that is today divided between Poland and the Ukraine, including the city of Krakow], a region generally poorer than other provinces of Eastern Europe, about 50,000 peasants annually died of starvation; such catastrophes did not occur in Jewish society, even among the most deprived, partly because of the well-organized in-group assistance, but also because of a somewhat higher general standard of living.” [MORAWSKA, p. 12] A good example of chronic Jewish myopia concerning their own history, completely devoid of the wider context of European history around it, is Poland. This country — until Hitler’s campaign to exterminate Jews, and Poles, and others — was the home for more Jews than any other place in the world. After being expelled from other areas of Europe in the mid-1300’s, Jews were allowed by the ruling nobles to immigrate to feudal Poland. There, despite modern Jewish itemization of alleged Polish persecutions over the centuries, the Jewish community flourished. (Just before World War II, “84% of all the Jews in the world either lived in historically Polish territory, or came from families that had lived there.” [SHERWIN, p. 157] To this day Jewish popular opinion still condemns Poles and their culture, with accusations of all sorts leading up to alleged Polish indifference to — and betrayal of — the Jews under the Nazis. More about that later. Let’s go back a few centuries. What kind of country, we might wonder, had the Jews moved to? Beyond the sacred island of Jewry, what was the indigenous populations’ miserable situation? What were the social and political forces that were boiling all around them? In war after war after war, Poland has been a country continuously ripped apart, partitioned, divided, and subdivided by invaders for centuries. If anyone has a legitimate claim to historic victimization, Poles can stake a claim as deeply valid as anybody. Here is a rudimentary chronological overview of the social upheaval, religious tension, and terrors that ripped through all or part of Polish society (which has changed and reformed in expanse) for hundreds of years, beginning with the century before the Jews’ arrival: 1241-1242. Mongols invade Poland. 1246-1307. Lithuanians raid parts of Poland. 1248-1287. Jatvingians raid parts of Poland. 1328-1322. Teutonic (Germanic) knights and Bohemians crush Poland in a series of wars. 1350’s. Jews began immigrating en masse to Poland. 1399. Mongols defeat Poland in war. 1410. Poland defeat Teutonic knights in war. 1419. Protestant Hussite rebellion. 1454-1467. Polish uprising against the Teutonic knights. 1475, 1484. Ottoman Empire attacks parts of Poland. 1486-94. Russian Tsar Ivan II the Great attacks Lithuania. 1492. Tatars raid parts of Poland. 1497. Moldavians militarily defeat Poles. 1498-99. Tatar invasion reaches Krakov, one of Poland’s greatest cities. 1500-1503. Tsar Ivan II attacks Lithuania again. 1507-1508. Polish war with Russia over Lithuania. 1512-22. Polish war with Russia over Lithuania. 1524. Ottoman troops cut through parts of Poland and conquer sections of Hungary. 1558-82. Russian Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible fights 24 year long war against Teutonic kingdom. 1563-70. Russia invades Poland in First Nordic War. 1578-81. Poland defeats Russia in three campaigns. 1600-1635. Swedish-Poland war. 1618-1648. Thirty Years War, of which Poland has peripheral involvement. 1620. Poles defeat Prince of Transylvania. 1621-1631. Poles defeat Turks in battle, but Turkish attacks continue for ten more years. 1633-34. Poles attack Turks, Russians, and Swedes. 1635. Poland seizes Swedish ports on Baltic Sea. 1648, 1651. Rebellion of Cossacks against Polish nobles. With armed aid from Tatars and Turks, hundreds of thousands of people are massacred. 1654-1655. Russia attacks Poland and conquers eastern part. 1655, 1657. Poles defeat Swedish and Brandenburg armies. 1660-62. Polish union with Ukraine and defeat of Russia. Polish rebellion against King of Poland. 1672-1673. Turks attack Poland; Poland loses two-thirds of Ukraine. 1673. Turks defeated. 1683. Turks driven from Vienna, a crucial event for Europe. 1700-21. The Northern War. Polish alliances attack Sweden. 1704-1710. Swedish troops destroy one-third of all Polish cities. 1756-63. Seven Years War. Russian armies used Polish bases in their war against Prussia. 1768-72. Polish Catholic uprisings, known as the Confederation of Bar. 1794. Polish popular insurrection against Russia and Prussia. 1797-1801. Polish legions, formed from former Austrian prisoners of war, fight Austria. 1806. France attacks Prussia, Russia aids France, and Poles rebel against Prussia. 1809. Napoleonic Wars of 1809. 1830-31. Polish insurrection and war against Russia. 1833-1846. Rebellious Polish revolutionary cells captured and imprisoned. 1846. Polish rebellion put down by Austrian troops. 1853-56. Russia’s Crimean War leads to reforms in Poland. 1863. Polish insurrection, put down. Executions and exile. Russian governor makes “every effort to stamp out Polish culture altogether.” 1905. Polish patriots take part in abortive revolution against Russian government. 1914. World War I. 800,000 Poles killed and destruction of the country. 1917. Russian Revolution. 1918. Polish uprising against Germans in city of Poznan. 1920. Polish-Soviet war. 1929. Polish unemployment hits 33%, not including those employed in agriculture. 1936, 1938. Violent uprisings, strikes. 1939. Fall of Poland to the Nazis in World War II. [ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITTANICA, 1993] This is the kind of country Poland’s Jews lived in since the fourteenth century. “The established order (of the Polish state) has been overturned on at least five occasions — in 1138, in 1795, in 1813, in 1864, and in 1939, on each occasion all concrete manifestations of a unified political community were lost.” [DAVIES, p. x] In just the 1600’s, for instance, “war, the bubonic plague, slave raids, and mass murders had reduced the total [Polish population] … [to] 45% of the former total population.” [E. Britt., 25, p. 946] Jews were, as elsewhere in Europe, for centuries not obliged to serve in the military and distanced themselves from warring factions as much as possible, unless, of course, it was clearly opportune to make an allegiance. Jews principally functioned — at least till the Enlightenment — with the intertwined aims of insular self-survival, weathering others’ socio-political catastrophes, and advancing wherever and whenever possible towards the objectives of Jewish individual and communal opportunism. The failed Polish insurrection against Russian rule in 1863, notes Theodore Weeks, had the following effect on the populace in Poland: “The Jews of Russian Poland were also affected by the post-1863 repressions. On the whole, however, the Russian administration did not single them out — unlike the Poles — for specific restrictive measures … Thus as Polish rights were further restricted, on the whole, the Jewish legal situation in Russian Poland remained relatively untouched.” [WEEKS, T., p. 64] “Only a very small percentage of the population in Poland,” notes Bernard Weinryb, “in about 1600 estimated at less than 10 per cent of the country’s total population, had any aspiration to “rights.” Less than half of this small group (the magnates and the wealthy landed gentry) had standing and influence in the country.” [WEINBRYB, p. 160] Discriminated against on one hand (as everyone, short of nobility and clergy, was throughout medieval Europe in some form), the Jewish community in Poland was also afforded special privileges by the ruling aristocracy. While Jews were sometimes prohibited from owning land (as were most other people), they could pay the owning nobles a flat fee to lease it; profits beyond this fee were theirs to keep. “The belief that Jews could not own land,” notes Albert Lindemann, “ranks as one of the most often overheard simplifications about their status, both in Russia and elsewhere in Europe … The real issue was not whether Jews could own land, if they would work it with their own hands, but whether they could own land that allowed them to exploit the labor of the peasants.” [LANDEMANN, Esau’s, p. 63] Jewish author Norman Salsitz notes another version of the land issue, in his book about growing up in pre-World War II Poland: “My father’s father was born and spent his life on an estate not far from Kolbuszowa. The estate belonged to Jacob Eckstein, certainly the most estimable Jew in our town. Naftali Saleschutz, my grandfather, served as manager, which brought him into close relations with many peasants who worked in the fields belonging to Eckstein and gave him a sense of connection with the soil. (The Jews had lived in the area since the sixteenth century; they were originally farmers but had in time moved off to the towns and villages and lost direct contact with the land).” [SALSITZ, N., 1992, p. 28] For the non-Jewish part, notes Michael Aronson, “Russian peasants endured a hunger not only for food. They suffered from land hunger as well.” [ARONSON, p. 25] Jews in Poland were formally protected and served as tax-collectors, bankers, and administrators of the money mints, breweries and salt mines. (In later centuries Jews eventually owned many of such important industries). Even the Polish King Casimir the Great fell into debt to Jewish lenders, as did King Lewis of Hungary. [LEON, p. 156] “In the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries,” says Abram Leon, “Jewish usurers succeeded in taking possession of the lands belonging to the nobles.” [LEON, p. 185] Until the union of Poland and Lithuania, Jews perhaps had it even better in Lithuania. “Lithuanian Jews,” says Leon, “enjoyed the same rights of the free population. In their hands lay big business, banking, the customhouses, etc. The farming of taxes and customs brought them great wealth. Their clothes glittered with gold and they wore swords just like the gentry.” [LEON, p. 189] “Jews in southeastern Poland …,” notes Jewish scholar Bernard Weinryb, “were legally on par with the nobles with regard to the amounts paid as indemnification for being wounded or killed. If we go beyond formality and consider the prevailing practice the position of the Jew appears in a more favorable light. If he could not be nobleman, he could be like one — or in the place of one. Jewish lessees of the king’s or nobles’ villages and towns, or of various taxes and other sources of revenue, were accorded broad powers and status-bearing functions, often over large expanses populated by many people, not all of them peasants. To these Jews were transformed almost Lord’s power, mostly including the perquisites of local justice. A number of Jews actually did behave like nobles — conducting themselves haughtily, arrogantly, arbitrarily, dictatorially, and sometimes even recklessly … A number of cases are known in which a non-Jewish tax collector, or nobleman, or a court usher, was simply afraid to enter the houses of prominent Jews on business, not wanting to risk being thrown out or beaten up … Many … instances are known in which Polish Jewish communities or other groups refused to follow Polish court summonses or orders from other offices.” [WEINRYB, p. 162-163] In later centuries, however, “increasingly,” says Leon, “the Jews came in contact only with the poor, the artisans, and the peasants. And often the anger of the people, despoiled by the Kings and Lords and compelled to pledge their last belongings to the Jews, turning against the walls of the [Jewish] ghetto.” [LEON, p. 155] The Jewish role of hated tax collector was common not only in Poland, but throughout Europe. Salo Baron writes that: “Most widespread was the Jewish contribution to tax farming. The medieval regimes, as a rule, aided by only small, inefficient, and unreliable bureaucracies, often preferred to delegate tax collection to private entrepreneurs who, for a specific lump sum they paid the treasury, were prepared to exact the payments due from the taxpayers. Of course, the risks of under collection were, as a rule, more than made up by considerable surpluses obtained, if need be, by ruthless methods. [BARON, EH of J, p. 46] “Wealthy Jews,” notes Bernard Weinryb, “with good connections among those in power, and on one hand, underworld elements, believed in their own ability to take care of themselves, or to invoke the protection of the powerful. They frequently resorted to hard and brutal measures to achieve their ends … ” [WEINRYB, p. 164] Typically, Jewish apologists like Leon Poliakov — following traditional martyrological models — blame Jewish economic “aggression” against non-Jews as a response to Gentile hostility to them: “The Jews replied to Christian animosity by a hatred just as intense but necessarily restrained or repressed. Whereas the aggressive potential of the Christians could be expressed at will and discharged directly, Jewish aggression was obliged to seek other channels and to become in some way transmuted. The psychic energy thus accumulated had ample opportunity to function in the realm of the struggle for existence — in the pursuit of negotiable currency.” [POLIAKOV, p. 87] Along with Jewish leases on tax collecting, inns, dairies, flour mills, tolls, and other essentials of commerce, says Simon Dubnov, “the Jews inherited from the landed gentry some of the rights over the serfs. The lessees endeavored to extract as much revenue as possible from the nobleman’s estates, and to do that it was necessary to exploit the peasantry.” [DUBNOV, v. 4, p. 26] “Jews,” writes Witold Rymankowki, “in contrast to the millions of serfs and the impoverished townspeople who were oppressed by the nobility, constituted a privileged group which … effectively represented the only class in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to concentrate finance and liquid assets in its hands.” [POLONSKY, p. 156] An old Latin proverb proclaimed that the Polish Commonwealth was “heaven for the nobles, purgatory for the townsfolk, hell for the peasants, and paradise for the Jews.” [HAGEN, p. 13] “The Council of Four Lands,” says David Biale, “which was the supracommunal governing body of the Polish Jews, maintained a virtual ‘Jewish lobby’ at the Polish parliament. In the eyes of enemies of the Jews, the power of this lobby was such that, according to a statement from 1669, ‘in practice Jews do not let any law materialize which is unfavorable to them.\'” [BIALE, POWER, p. 72] Jews prospered so well that, when the Polish and Lithuanian nobility merged forces in the mid-sixteenth century, Jews followed up with their “services.” With Polish expansion into the Ukrainian frontiers, Jews leased land there too from the aristocracy, and dictated over the population of serf-slaves. Wealthy Jews established themselves securely throughout the Polish economy and farmed out work and management opportunities to relatives and co-religionists. “During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries,” says Salo Baron, “domestic commerce (in Poland and Lithuania) as well as export (timber, grain, furs) and import (cloth, wine, luxuries) were for the most part in Jewish hands.” [BARON, EHOJ, p. 227] In fact, Heinrich Graetz states that “circumstances were such at the time that the Jews of Poland could form a state within a state.” [GRAETZ, Pop Hist, p. 10, v. 5; in LEON, p. 190] The Jews of Poland were exploited by the Polish nobility (in the sense that they were heavily taxed as a communal entity). But Jews in turn ruthlessly exploited the masses of impoverished peasants beneath them, most of the non-Jews of the land, and even the burghers, townsfolk, and sometimes nobles. “[Jews] enjoyed religious and communal autonomy and enriched themselves, becoming the most numerous group of capitalists in the country. They were sufficiently protected by law, and living in wealth they turned to Talmudic studies.” [OXFORD POLAND, p. 567] In Germany, the Jewish opportunity to collect money for no work (per usury) was noted by an ancient rabbi, Shalom ben Isaac Sekel: “The reason why the Torah holds a higher place [for Jews] in Germany than in other places is that the Jews here charge interest to Gentiles and need not engage in an [time-consuming] occupation. On this score they have time to study the Torah.” [BARON, EHoJ, p. 55] The upper strata of Jewish wealth attracted malevolent attention. In sixteenth century Poland there were formal complaints that “Jews in the royal towns have synagogues and houses, which are finer and more numerous than the churches and the houses of Christians. There is a need for the King to act fast to rectify this.” [POLONSKY, p. 58] In seventeenth century Poland, Hirsz Kiejdanower, identified as a Jewish “mystic,” wrote: “I have seen Jewish women out on the street, dressed not as Jews but as nobles. They question their husbands’ opinions and bring Christian hatred and jealousy upon us.” [POLONSKY, p. 50] For their part, the peasants were in a despicable state. In Poland the aristocracy’s complete control over commoner lives was legalized with statutes in 1496, 1518, 1532, and 1543, whereby the poor were formally rendered as human chattel living “under conditions of virtual slavery as cheap laborers for the noble’s farmstead economy.” [ENCY BR, 25, p. 949] “The Jewish arendator [leasee of land, mills, inns, breweries, tax farming, etc.],” writes Norman Davies, “became the master of life and death over the population of entire districts and, having nothing but a short-term and purely financial interest in the relationship, was faced with the irresistible temptation to pare his temporary subjects to the bone. On the noble estates, he tended to put all his relatives and co-religionists in charge of the flour mill, the brewery, and in particular the Lords’ tavern, where by custom the peasants were obliged to drink. On the church estates, he became the collector of all ecclesiastical dues, standing by the church door for his payment from tithe-payers … the baptized infant, newly-weds, and mourners … The Jewish community became the symbol of social and economic exploitation.” [DAVIES, p. 444] “The Jewish steward,” adds seminal Jewish historian, Heinrich Graetz, “strove to draw as much as possible from the manors and to exploit the peasants as much as possible.” [GRAETZ, in LEON, p. 192] Likewise, “the toll farmer,” remarks Bernard Weinryb, “had many opportunities to practice abuse. Rates were not clearly fixed. The toll farmer and his employees had the right to search traveler’s wagons to confiscate the wares of anyone trying to avoid payment of tolls … Those who thought they had been overcharged tended to regard this as Jewish oppression.” [WEINRYB, p. 64] “Jews,” notes Hillel Levine, “sometimes even managed whole villages and oversaw the economic development and exploitation of forests, mines, mints, custom houses, toll roads, and breweries on the gentry’s estates, using serf labor … Jews were motivated … to squeeze profits out of the margins. These included more rigorous supervision of the serfs and more efficient collection of rents and taxes, adding to the harshness of the serfs’ lives and by no means making the Jewish arendator [lessee of a business enterprise from the lords] beloved.” [LEVINE, p. 63] Chaim Bermant notes: “In Poland, the Jews became so numerous, prosperous and entrenched, that they began to lose something of their caution. Their whole economy was based mainly on the arenda system under which they became tax farmers and collectors for the crown, or lessees of the forests, estates, mills and salt mines of the nobility. Some operated on a large scale, many on a small scale, leasing a few acres of land, or operating a small distillery or tavern, but their utility to their superiors rested in their powers of extraction. The peasantry, the work force, the cattle, the land, were all regarded in much the same light and were pressed for their maximum yield, and if the nobility were thus the ultimate exploiters, the Jews were the visible ones and aroused the most immediate hostility. Rabbis warned that Jews were sowing a terrible harvest of hatred, but while the revenues rolled in the warnings were ignored. Moreover, the rabbis themselves were beneficiaries of the system.” [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 26] The Cambridge History of Poland notes that: “Jesuit preachers … used to complain that peasants were mere slaves. Their field service had been steadily increased and all kinds of abuses had been practiced. The squires wanted to sell their badly-brewed ale and so peasants were simply forced to drink it. The Jewish innkeeper had to distribute set quantities among the peasants, who could throw it away, but pay for it they must. [The peasants’] right to buy and sell became limited; their children were taken away from them in order to serve at the manor; they were not allowed to go to the town in order to earn money or acquire some learning. The worst condition existed on the large domains of the nobility in Ruthenia. The noblemen usually farmed out their immense domains to the so-called commissaries, and these would extort money from the peasants, with the active help of the Jews.” [CAMBRIDGE, p. 566] The reference to ale is important here. Jewish merchants were eventually afforded a monopoly on alcohol distribution throughout most of Poland, including the Ukraine. This meant that the person who regularly demanded tax payments from such peasant “slaves,” the person who managed the land and made decisions upon which the impoverished peasants were exploited, the person who dragged the peasant’s child away, the man who drove the peasant into deeper debt, and the man who sold the peasants booze to drink away their misery, all had a Jewish face. In the mid-eighteenth century, in rural areas of parts of Eastern Europe, up to 85% of the Jewish population “was involved in some aspect of manufacturing, wholesaling, or retailing of beer, mead, wine, and grain-based intoxicants, like vodka.” [LEVINE, p. 9] “Anti-Semites,” says H. H. Ben-Sasson, “ascribed the drunkenness prevalent among the peasants and their permanent state of indebtedness to the wily Jewish taverner, who also extended credit to them.” [BARON, ECHJ, p. 136] (Gentile accusations that Jewish saloon owners were poisoning the non-Jewish populace with alcohol and contributing to moral decay even had a direct parallel to Jewish commercial activities in the American South at the turn of the twentieth century. Jews, who “overwhelmingly opposed prohibition,” yet were known themselves as “unusually sober,” were singled out for attack by Christian temperance leaders for their great role in the liquor trade, for what was described as Jewish greed and pursuit of profit at the expense of public health and morality. [LINDEMANN, p. 232] During the prohibition years, the Seagram’s alcohol fortune was built by the Bronfman family, who ran illegal liquor into the United States from Canada; one of the heirs of this fortune, Edgar Bronfman, is the current head of the Jewish World Congress). Eastern European Jews had a popular Yiddish song for this aspect of their prosperity: “Shicker is a goy … trinker muss er. (The Gentile is a drunkard; he has to drink.)” [CANTOR, SC, p. 183] Jews themselves had a marked tendency towards sobriety. George Mosse suggests that “the reasons for their moderation in the consumption of alcohol may have … been … economic…. Avoidance of drunkenness helped to avoid expenses and thus assisted in the primary accumulation of capital.” Staying sober, needless to say, is also a distinct advantage, economically or otherwise, over the intoxicated. And alcoholism is a steady, reliable source for profit. “The Jews,” says Hillel Levine, “…. could avert facing his contribution to the plight of the serf — ‘A goy,’ he might mutter with self-righteousness, ‘drunken sloth is the essence of the Gentile.’ [LEVINE, p. 10] It is disturbing to note how deeply ingrained the disdain for non-Jews is in Jewish folk tradition (as well as the lengths they go to hide it from Gentiles). In a 1955 study of Jewish American stereotypes equating non-Jews with drunkenness, 38 of 73 Jewish respondents denied they had ever heard about an association of Gentiles and alcoholics as children, but “when asked specifically about a childhood ditty called ‘Drunken is the Gentile,’ only 17 denied familiarity with it. This turnabout, wrote the researcher, Charles Snyder, was because Jewish respondents recognized that “the interviewer knew the prevailing folk beliefs and that it was no longer necessary to conceal ethnocentric ideas behind a universalistic front.” [SKLARE, p. 576] Under the veil of objective scholarship, a pair of modern (1952) scholars even echoed classical Jewish stereotypes and contempt for non-Jewish peasantry with this defaming vignette from their book about their beloved Eastern European Jewish community: “It is no rare occurrence for the market day to end in violence. The peasant, having sold his wares, will celebrate his profits — and perhaps drink them away — at a Jewish inn. When he can no longer pay for liquor and still insists on more, he will be thrown out, whereupon if he is already inflamed by drinking he sets up a cry, “The Jew has cheated me!” If a group of comrades who have shared the activities of the day should join him, a token riot may follow.” [ZBOROWSKI, p. 67] Anthropologist Frances Pine notes traditional peasant perceptions of local lawyers and innkeepers (code words for Jews, especially the latter) in the Polish mountain area known as the Podhale: “Lawyers and innkeepers were portrayed as encouraging village men to drink and then, when they were unable to pay their debts, taking their lands as forfeit. Many of these stories probably contain substantial truths; for instance, land records from the 19th until the mid-20th century show frequent mortgaging of lands and transfers of land title to pay off debt to non-villagers who are listed as innkeepers and advocates.” [Pine, F., 1999, p. 52] Jews continued to invest in and propagate alcohol, a product they recognized was harmful and were disinclined to use themselves (short of ritual wine uses). By the late nineteenth century perhaps the largest brewery in Europe, Schultheiss-Patzenhofer, “was a ‘Jewish firm’ (in terms of management, Board membership, and financial links).” [MOSSE, p. 12-13] In the Ukraine, by 1872, after the feudal system had passed into history, wealthy Jews owned about 90% of Ukraine’s distilleries, as well as 56% of its sawmills, 48% of its tobacco production, and 33% of the sugar refineries. [SUBTLENY, p. 277] A Jewish business mogul, notes Chaim Weizman, the Russian-born first president of israel, “Mr. Brodsky, [was] the sugar king of Russia.” [WEIZMAN, C., 1949, p. 100] In the Russian province of Zhitomir, 73.7% of the Jews living there made their living by leasing distilleries and selling alcohol at taverns. [LINDEMANN, p. 152] Even in the Polish town of Oswiecim (renamed and known infamously as the Nazi site for the concentration camp Auschwitz) Jakob Haberfeld, a Jewish “liquor magnate” owned (up to the World War II era) the most beautiful building in the area — a 40-room mansion. [GOLDMAN, A., 1998, p. A1] (On the subject of Jewish reclamation, in 2001 heirs to the Jewish Wertheim department store dynasty were even takng ownership to land in Berlin [once owned by the Wertheim family] that was the site of Adolf Hitler’s personal bunker. [BOYES, R., 6-26-01] Hayim Zhitlowsky was from the Jewish village of Uschah in what later became part of the Soviet Union. He was, as one Jewish historian puts it, “the outstanding thinker of the Jewish cultural renaissance in the Yiddish language in the twentieth century.” He was no vicious, prejudicial, peasant anti-Semite; he was a lover of his own Jewish people, and influential in preserving their culture. But Zhitlowsky was deeply troubled by the omnipresent Jewish exploitation of their surrounding non-Jewish peasant neighbors. In 1883 he wrote: “[The Jewish businessman] Samuel Solomovich Poliakov built railroads for Russia. Those railroads were, according to Nekrasov’s famous poem, built on the skeletons of the Russian peasantry. My uncle Michael in the [Jewish town of] Uschach distilled vodka for the Russian people and made a fortune on the liquor tax. My cousin sold vodka to the peasants. The whole town hired them to cut down Russian woods which he bought from the greatest exploiter of the Russian peasants, the Russian landowner…. Wherever I turned my eyes to ordinary, day-to-day Jewish life, I saw only one thing, that which anti-Semites were agitating about; the injurious effect of Jewish merchantry on Russian peasantry.” [In CUDDIHY, p. 138] Other Jews, especially among socialists, were moved by the Eastern European peasants’ plight at the hands of Jewish communities. “We were convinced,” wrote one, “that all the Jews were swindlers.” Another, Pavel Akselrod, said that “however great the poverty and deprivation … of the Jewish masses … the fact remains that, taken overall, some half of them function as a non-productive element, sitting astride the neck of the lower classes in Russia.” [LINDEMANN, p. 141] Isaac Deutscher notes the case of prominent Jewish communist leader Leo Trotsky: “Trotsky saw poverty and exploitation from the window of the home of an upstart Jewish landowner, whose son he was.” [DEUTSCHER, p. 24] Ber Borochov, a Jew, a socialist, and a Zionist, explained Jewish exploitation of non-Jews this way: “The vast majority of non-Jews gain their livelihood from nature … whereas the majority of Jews earn their living directly from other men. In Russia and Galicia 70-80% of non-Jews earn their livelihood from nature; a similar percentage of the Jews earn theirs from men.” [BOROCHOV, p. 68] By 1918, notes Richard Rubenstein, “in addition to the miserable condition of the peasants … between seven and eight million Poles were unemployed or woefully underemployed in a country of 32,500,000.” [RUBENSTEIN, R., p. 117] And as Sula Benet observes: “Before [1946], about sixty per cent of all farms were too small to support a family, while at the same time almost half of the arable land was owned by a landed nobility representing less than six-tenths of one per cent of the agricultural population … The great majority of peasants — almost ten million — owned farms too small to furnish a family subsistence.” [BENET, S., p. 32-33] Richard Watt is one of many scholars to have written a book about some aspect of Polish history. And Watt, like virtually all modern historians, feels obligated to, with broad strokes, make reference to the Jewish poor to tone down what must be said about the economic dominance Jews enjoyed in the country. So, on one hand, Watt remarks that “as a group [the Jews] were very poor — but Poland itself was a poor country.” [WATT, p. 360] But he also observes, however incongruously, that “in every village a Jew owned the store, a Jew was the horse-and-cattle trader, and a Jew was the moneylender … Some Jews dominated the professions of law and medicine. They played major roles in banking and the insurance industry. In fact, Jews handled practically all of preindependence Poland’s commerce … [WATT, p. 359] … Although Poland’s Jews comprised 10 percent of the population, they paid between 35 and 40 percent of Poland’s taxes. And because they owned a substantial amount of Poland’s wealth, their mass emigration would have seriously drained the nation of capital.” [WATT, p. 365] As W. D. Rubinstein notes, in citing the studies of fellow Jewish scholar Joseph Marcus, “Jew received about 40 per cent of all income earned by Poland’s Group I earners [i.e., the wealthiest people in Poland], including incomes earned in the agricultural sector.” [RUBINSTEIN, WD, 2000, p. 8] [The implication here, of course, is that the Jewish percentage of the top incomes in Poland was far higher in the commerical and financial sectors]. In 1975 a Jewish American, Leona Schecter (living earlier in Moscow with her husband, Time magazine bureau correspondent Jerrold) recalled a conversation she had with her Ukrainian maid who said “Yes, it’s always the same with the Jews. They’ve always pushed their children to do well. It was always that way here and it’s the same with you. At least you don’t push food into your children to make them fat, like the Russian Jews do. In Odessa every Jewish child knew two or three languages and could play on at least two musical instruments. It paid off — they have the easy jobs, they are the intelligentsia with all the privileges. You never see a Jew in a factory of a on a collective farm.” “I was stunned,” writes Schecter, “but there was nothing I could contradict in what she said.” [SCHECTER, 1975, p. 121] By 1905, notes Theodore Weeks in the journal Eastern European Jewish Affairs, “the former landowning elites of noble background were in many cases overshadowed or even eclipsed by ‘new men,’ many of whom were Jewish or of Jewish origin … Poles could, and did, argue that Jews had profited from equal rights to enrich themselves with no thought to the general good of the Polish land. Furthermore, following this argument, nationalist Poles accused Jews of continuing their own selfish, anti-Polish interests, of forming Jewish nationalist groups which specifically demanded nationalist rights for non-Polish languages and culture, and, worst of all, acting (actively or passively) as agents of russification in the Polish provinces.” [WEEKS, T., p. 66] In the early 1800s, in the wake of the Enlightenment, Russian laws were devised to pry Jews out of their tight ethnocentric ring and pull them into the broader non-Jewish community. Jewish communal autonomy was legally deconstructed, limits were put on Jewish trade, Jewish schools were forced to teach the language of the people in whose midst they lived, and some Jews were conscripted into the military for the first time (they had earlier bought their way out). Jews were forced to choose family surnames and some were relocated to work in agricultural establishments, but “agriculture held little if any attraction to them.” [SACHAR, p. 78] The Russian government’s intention, says Lionel Kochan, was to “decrease the Jewish identity.” [KOCHAN, p. 114] It didn’t work. Russian Jewry could not be convinced, cajoled, coerced, or torn away from their traditions of “separateness” and “uniqueness.” In spite of every conceivable repressive measure, notes Howard Sachar, “the Jews remained a cohesive mass, devoutly traditional in religion and occupation, a separate nation sticking like a bone in Russia’s throat.” [SACHAR, p. 84] (Despite later being forcibly assimilated in the next century under Soviet communism, 69% of the Jews of Vilnius (17,000 people; 7 percent of that city’s population) declared in the census of 1959 that Yiddish was their “mother tongue.” In Riga, where 30,000 Jews were 5% of the city population, 48% declared Yiddish to be their mother tongue. For the Soviet Union at-large in that same year, nearly 20% of all Jews formally declared Yiddish to be their principle language.) [KOREY, W., 1973, p. 173] “As late as 1897, 96.9 percent of Russian Jewry declared [Yiddish] to be their mother tongue.” [ASCHHEIM, S., 1982, p. 11] With the emancipation of the peasant serfs in the 1860s and 1870s, Jewish socio-economic life was changing; aristocratic-linked privileges including complete self-autonomy were eroding. “The commercial monopoly of the Jews declined,” notes Abram Leon, “in the degree that the peoples whose exploitation had fed it, developed.” [LEON, p. 136] By the turn of the twentieth century a large Jewish proletariat had grown and their principal agitation tended to be about “being Jewish.” “By far the most significant Jewish Marxist party was the Bund,” notes Kochan, “It far exceeded other Russian social democratic parties in size and influence.” [KOCHAN, p. 122] The Bund expressly demanded distinctly Jewish nationalist rights in Russia. A second Jewish political movement of nationalist separation was Zionism, which sought to transplant the Russian Jewish population to some other country to establish Jewish nationalism. In the context of Jewish traditional economic exploitation of the non-Jewish people, its long — and continuing — tradition of insularity, and rising Jewish agitation for its own separatist demands even within Russia, some Russian Gentiles responded violently. Riots against Jews began in 1881 after the assassination of Tsar Alexander II; the fact that there was a Jewish member (Gessia Gelfman) in the assassin’s group enflamed already existing negative public opinion against Jews. [LOWE, p. 59] In the further context of collapsed grain prices, Russian crop failure, an industrial slump, and gathering groups of peasants looking for seasonal work where there was none, 45% of all Jews who were attacked were engaged in trade. [LOWE, p. 58] “Jews operated independently of, and outside, the corporatist framework,” says Lowe, “which had the … advantage that they could avoid special taxes and other obligations in kind owed to the guilds. This situation gave rise to the frequent complaint that Jews tried to avoid their obligations.” [LOWE, p. 60] In this vein, the official government newspaper aggravated hostility against Jews by writing that “90% of Jews avoided military conscription.” [LOWE, p. 61] During the Russian-Japanese War, notes Stuart Kahan, “many Jews tried various tactics to stay out of the army. Some submitted to baptism, converting to the Church in order to delay military duty. Or, if not that, at least be assigned to a nondangerous position. Others bribed officers with anything they could get their hands on in order to get out of military service.” [KAHAN, S., p. 43] In Lithuania, notes World Zionist organization president Nahum Goldmann, “There was a law exempting only sons [i.e., one son in a family] from military service, and in Jewish communities it was the rabbi who kept the birth register. So when a father had three sons they were each entered under a different name; in my own family my grandfather was called Leibmann, my father Goldmann, and my uncle Szalkowitz!” [GOLDMANN, N., 1978, p. 16] The first president of modern Israel, Chaim Weizman, an immigrant from Russia, notes how he avoided military service in the land he was born: “I took advantage of this interruption in my education to get rid of my military obligations [in Russia], which had been hanging over me like a nightmare. It goes without saying that I had no intention of wasting four years serving Czar Nicholas. I appeared before a conscription board, was duly examined and duly pronounced fit. By a marvellous stroke of luck, I managed to talk my way out of the army in a special interview with the local military commander, a decent and cultured Russian who thought it a pity to have my education interrupted.” [WEIZMAN, C., 1949, p. 49] Even relatively liberal newspapers continually published accusations against the Jewish community. “In article after article,” notes Michael Aronson, “[Russian] newspapers accused the Jews within the Pale of Settlement of being merciless exploiters of the Russian laboring classes and the major source of their impoverishment and suffering.” [ARONSON, p. 68] The Russian Ministry of Interior published a statement in reaction to growing attacks upon Jews: “In the last 20 years the Jews, little by little, have taken over not only trade and production, but through rent or purchase, significant amounts of landed property. Because of their clannishness and solidarity, all but a few of them have bent every rule not to increase the productive forces of the country, but to exploit the native inhabitants, primarily the poorer classes. This provoked the protest of the latter, finding such deplorable expression in acts of violence.” [LOWE, p. 64] In the midst of riots against Jews in Russia in 1881 a socialist organization called People’s Will proclaimed that “The people in the Ukraine suffer most of all from the Jews. Who takes the land, the woods, and the taverns from out of your hands? The Jews. From whom does the peasant, often with tears in his eyes, have to beg permission to get to his own field? The Jews. Where ever you go — the Jews are everywhere.” [LINDEMANN, p. 141] During the Russian pogroms against the Jews in the late 1800s, “Jewish liquor stores,” notes Heinz-Dietrich Lowe, “and inns were often a major, or even first, target of attack.” [LOEWE, p. 56] But, says Israeli scholar Boas Evron, “the Russian pogroms were aimed against traditionalist Jews [those who resisted assimilation into Russian society], and only rarely did they touch the more affluent neighborhoods where the assimilated [Jews] lived.” [EVRON, p. 49] Let us recall briefly again, the nonassimilative Talmudic Jewish world view of the non-Jew around him. As a German Jewish observer, I. Horowitz, noted: “The Polish Jews of the ghetto were filled with contempt for everything outside their world. Their servile, craven exterior simply masked their real sense of the Talmudic superiority. Beneath the helpless aspect lay a cynical, arrogant view of the non-Jew: Jews had shut themselves off and created states within states. The ghetto, originally born of compulsion, had become a second nature, an inner necessity.” [in ASCHHEIM, S., 1982, p. 23] The British vice-consul to Russia, L. Wagstaff, noted the circumstances leading up to the 1880s rioting against Jews in Eastern Europe: “It is chiefly as brokers or middlemen that the Jews are so prominent. Seldom a business transaction of any kind takes place without their intervention, and from both sides they receive compensation. To enumerate some of their other occupations, constantly denounced by the public: they are the principal dealers in spirits; keepers of ‘vodka’ (drinking) shops and houses of ill-fame; receivers of stolen goods; illegal pawnbrokers and usurers. A branch they also succeed in is as government contractors. With their knowledge of handling money, they collude with unscrupulous officials in defrauding the State to vast amounts annually … It must, however, be said that there are many well educated, highly respectable Jews in Russia, but they form a small minority … In the leasing by action of government and provincial lands, it is invariably a Jew who outbids the others and afterwards re-lets plots to the peasantry at exorbitant prices… From first to last, the Jew has had his hand in everything … In their relation to Russia [Jews] are compared to parasites that have settled on a plant not vigorous enough to throw them off, and which is being sapped of its vitality.” [MACDONALD, 1998. [p. 79-80] In 1919, a three-man committee was appointed by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to study the situation in Poland. “The three Americans, Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Sr., Brigadier General Edgar Jadwin, and Homer H. Johnson,” notes Sonja Wentling, “agreed that excesses had occured, but they differed over the causes and and extent of the violence [against Jews]. Morgenthau, an assimilated Jew who opposed Jewish separatism and nationalism, submitted a report tht was very different in character from the one submitted by his colleagues. While Morgenthau emphasized the deliberate murder of Jews based solely on the fact that they were Jews, Jadwin and Johnson concluded that the problem in Poland ws due in large part to Jewish separatism and commercial competition … In their [Jadwin’s and Johnson’s] opinion, it was not religious differences that had kept Poles and Jews apart, but the history and attitude of the Jews.” [WENTLING, S., 2000, p. 388] In a statement which can be applied virtually anywhere, historian Mack Holt notes that “civil war, popular revolt, and social violence were endemic to pre-modern society.” [HOLT, p. 3] Whatever the context of the riots/pogroms beginning in the late nineteenth century in Russia against Jews, they must be weighed (as they never are) within the growing socio-political turmoil in that country — a society wresting free from its foundation in (non-Jewish) indentured servitude. Violent peasants outbursts in their struggles for justice, freedom, and dignity were many: between 1826 and 1861 there were 1,186 “peasant uprisings” in Russia [WOLF, E., p. 52] struggling against feudal oppressors, whoever they were. The culmination of a century’s turmoil was ultimately expressed in the Russian civil war of 1919-20 in which nine million people perished. [KAHAN, S., p. 99] Other estimates cite Russian deaths at sixteen million between 1914 and 1921, the result of war and revolution. [CLEMENTS, B., p. 172] Bryan Moynahan notes further, a decade later, that “the terror-famine inflicted as a matter of Socialist policy from the beginning of 1930 probably killed fourteen million peasants … Whole villages were depopulated … The Soviet Union was still massively a peasant country; more than 80 per cent of the population lived in its 600,000 hamlets and villages. The Communist attitude to country people, however, was murderous. The Party never enjoyed any rural affection.” [MOYNAHAN, p. 107-108] Those thousands of peasants deported to other areas of Russia “sometimes spent weeks in the [train] cars as they rolled slowly toward their place of deportation, stacked into cattle wagons or ‘Stolypin cars,’ windowless prisons. The legs of some did not touch the floor for days, because they were so tightly packed that they hung suspended between each other.” [MOYNAHAN, p. 113] As noted earlier, many Bolshevik Jews were at the helms of these mass oppressions and mass murders. Judeo-centric history, however, is only interested in the martyrological legends of its tribe and largely focuses on the seminal 1881 rioting/pogroms against Jews which spread into 8 provinces and 240 communities in parts of Russia. As Jewish scholar Michael Aronson notes, however, “The number of cases of rape and murder (one of the highest estimates refers to 40 dead and 225 rapes in 1881) seems relatively low by twentieth-century standards. But this did not prevent the stormy events of 1881-84 from having a deeply shocking and long-lasting impact on [largely Jewish] contemporaries.” [ARONSON, p. 61] For Jews, especially in the West, the attacks upon Jewish communities merely informed, and confirmed, convictions of Jewish innocence and the specialness of their unique suffering within their religiously-based martyrological tradition. As Chaim Bermant notes, Jewish innocense and passivity to Polish attack is not accurate: “After the 1881 pogroms Jews began to organize self-defence units. In the late ‘eighties, for example, a large gang which set upon the Jews of Odessa found themselves confronted by Jewish bands, armed with clubs and iron-bars (and according to the police, fire-arms), and quickly drew back. The same happened in Berdichev and several other centres. Jews often gave as good as they got, even better on occasion, but their efforts were restricted by the police and the army, nominally there to keep the peace, but usually siding with the attackers. In August 1903, there was a pitched battle in the streets of Gomel between Jews, peasants and railway workers in which twelve Jews and eight Christians were killed and many hundreds were injured: much property was looted and destroyed. In a pogrom at Zhitomir which extended over three days in April 1905, ten Christians and sixteen Jews were killed — mainly through police action. On the third day of the fighting a crowd of about a thousand Jews made their way to the governor and warned that if their attackers were not called off they would embark upon a general slaughter. ‘Rivers of blood will flow. We will kill all Christians irrespective of their age, sex, class …” [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 211] The Polish side of the story in anti-Jewish “pogroms” in that country is never mentioned in mainstream Jewish history. As Tadeusz Piotrowski notes about violence against Jews, for example, in the towns of Kielce and Czestochowa, “the first was sparked by a massive demonstration involving 300 young Jews who marched up and down the town streets chanting: ‘Long live Lenin! Long live Trotsky! To hell with Poland!’ The second was precipitated by the shooting of a Polish soldier by a Jew.” [PIOTROWSKI, p. 43] Likewise too, much of the violence against Jews in the early years of the twentieth century, in the context of a World War, the Polish-Soviet War, and the Polish-Ukrainian War, means — in context — something quite different than an exclusive Polish expression of single-minded hatred of Jews: i.e., irrational anti-Semitism. As Norman Davies notes in the case of the years 1918-1920, “the scale of Jewish casualties was minimal considering the conditions in which they occurred … That fewer than one thousand Jewish civilians perished, when the Polish army during the same period suffered over 250,000 casualties, is a fair indication of the scale of the [Polish] disaster.” [PIOTROWSKI, p. 43] Meticulous Jewish documentation of “anti-Semitism,” pogroms, and other acts of violence against Jews in Europe is a central part of Jewish history and identity. Yet, far less examined as context to anti-Jewish animosity are the likes of Norman Salsitz’s depiction of his Jewish boyhood in small-town Poland: “We stole fruit off the trees and out of the orchards of the townspeople and peasants. Why we did it no one seemed to know. The Poles, of course, knew of this practice and tried their best to protect their property. Dogs were set upon us, and if Poles caught up with us we could expect a beating. But year after year it was the same all over again. Instead of actually taking fruit, too often we just managed to break off the tree limbs and ruin what was on them… In the summer peasants also stood [in the town market area] selling wild strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries that they brought along in heavy, thick baskets … My friends and I missed few chances to sneak up to the baskets and run off with a handful of berries. Why did we do it? The berries we enjoyed, of course, but there can be no denying the thrill that stealing the berries brought us, especially when peasants gave chase for a short distance in a vain effort to retrieve what was rightfully theirs … Snatching berries didn’t bother me as much as the large number we crushed when we made our grab.” [SALSITZ, N., 1992, p. 64-65, 126] And the terrible context for this maliciousness? As Salsitz notes elsewhere: “Peasants rarely had it well off. The overwhelmingly majority barely scraped by. Either they worked the fields for others and received a portion of the harvest, or they cultivated their own plots (a large majority owned their land), few of which were large enough for subsistence, let alone surplus. Most led a hand-to-mouth existence, and worse than that in the early summer months, when reserve provisions were nearly exhausted and the desperately needed new crop was still not ripe … They survived in part because they made do with so little and because of Kolbuszowa, where they might find an occasional job.” [SALSITZ, N., 1992, p. 88] In the Ukraine, Jews positioned themselves throughout history into especially volatile situations. Orest Subtleny, a scholar of the Ukraine, writes: “Forbidden to own land, but allowed to lease it, Jews often became leaseholders. Thus, on the vast lands of the Ostrorog family, for example, there were about 4000 Jewish leaseholders, in 1616, over half the crown lands in Ukraine were leased to Jewish entrepreneurs. Because they had to make good their investments in a relatively short period of two or three years, they exploited the properties and peasants mercilessly, without regard for future consequences. It was not uncommon for a leaseholder to demand six or seven days of labor from the peasants and, with the help of the magnate’s minions, to drive them into the fields.” [SUBTLENY] “In 1768,” notes Jerzy Lukowski, “there occurred … one of the bloodiest peasant uprisings in European history, the so-called Koliscyzna … [in the area of Hunan] one modern study suggests (the massacre) of 5,000 nobles and 7,000 Jews. The Jews were particularly hated in the Ukraine, where they dominated the peasant economy as millers, inn keepers, usurers and middlemen — in short, as the alien instrument of an alien authority.” [LUKOWSKI, p. 60] “In exchange for their services,” notes Subtleny, “Jewish merchants attempted to extract the highest possible profits. To many non-Jews it appeared that they were not only excessive, but ill-gotten. For example, after studying the economic relationship between Jews and Ukrainians in Transcarpathia, a Hungarian economist of Irish descent, Edmund Egan, reported to the government that while the administration, magistrates, and estate owners contributed to the woeful plight of the peasantry, the main fault lay with the Jews, who as moneylenders, merchants, and tavern-keepers, were ‘disposing the Ruthenians of their money and their property.\'” [SUBTLENY, p. 311] An 1890 Hapsburg police report noted that “except for their daily bread, the peasants are dependent on the Jew at every state in their lives. He serves as their customer, counselor, agent, and factotum, in the full sense of the word.” [SUBTLENY, p. 312-313] Jewish economic dominance of Eastern Europe commoners goes back many centuries. Abram Leon notes that “Polish money has been discovered bearing Hebraic characters and dating from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. This fact in itself proves that Polish trade was in the hands of the Jews.” [LEON, p. 184-185] In 1810 a Russian military officer, V. Bronewsky, wrote that “Poland should in all justice be called a Jewish kingdom … Jewish taverns mark out all the main roads ..
  27. In 1810 a Russian military officer, V. Bronewsky, wrote that “Poland should in all justice be called a Jewish kingdom … Jewish taverns mark out all the main roads … Apart from some rare manors which are administered by the Lords themselves, all the others are farmed out or pledged to the Jews. They possess enormous capitals and no one can get along without their help. Only some few very rich Lords are not plunged to the neck in debt with the Jews.” [LEON, p. 196] Another Eastern European traveler, one Von Furtenbach, wrote that “Everything is in [Jewish] hands. They lend money to the Lords and peasants.” [LEON, p. 196]

    “The success of the Polish Jews in the [later arendar] period,” notes Hillel Levine, “in squeezing profits from unprofitable enterprises and returning unrealistically high yields from mandatory loans has something to do with their capacity to take advantage of their international connections. Indeed, the rise of the arendars must be compared with, and even linked to, the rise of the better known Court Jews in central and western Europe.” [LEVINE, p. 64]

    The Polish and Ukrainian Jews first felt large scale retribution for their self-aggrandizing policies on the backs of the non-Jewish poor in 1648. It is a particularly accursed year in both Jewish and Polish history, but is considered a heroic one of rebellion in today’s Ukraine. It is also the date of the beginning of an event sometimes referred to in Jewish history as their “Third Great Catastrophe.” Tens of thousands of Ukrainian Cossacks, led by Bogdan Chmielnicki, rose up against Polish noble domination and engaged in a vindictive orgy of vengeance and murder throughout the Ukraine and Poland. The catalyst was when Chmielnicki came home one day to find his home confiscated by a Polish noble, one of his sons killed, and his fiancée kidnapped. From his personal rage Chmielnicki forged a unified revolt amongst his people against the suffocating aristocracy. And Jews, omnipresently exploitive appendages of aristocratic oppression as land managers, tax collectors, financial advisors, tavern owners and merchants were soon to bear the wrath and fury, full force, of Cossack revenge. “[The Cossacks] first attacked the soldiers of the Polish nobles and the Jewish communities settled on their estates, and which frequently served as their estate managers.” [REVOLT AND THE PEASANT, p. 161] The nobles’ Polish armies were routed and thousands of Jews were massacred. (One scholar believes that the Jewish community’s “rejection of their own poor” during the Cossack attacks contributed to some Jews’ conversion to Christianity.) [POLONSKY, p. 59] The Polish people at-large, however, may have borne up to ten times the Jewish number of casualties. [DIMONT, p. 240]

    Some Jewish sources have claimed 2.4 to 3.3 million deaths during the Cossack rebellions even though there may have been as few as 50,000 Jews in the area in which the insurrection occurred. “The fragmentary information of the period, and to a great extent information from subsequent years including reports of recovery — clearly indicate that the catastrophe may not have been as great as had been assumed.” [WEINRYB, p. 193-194]

    “Contemporaries of the Cossack revolt,” says Bernard Weinryb, “attribute it also to the extortionist practices of the Jews. Some memoir writers (the memoirs having been written and published later) mention also that the people hated the Jews because the latter were leaseholders of the Greek Orthodox churches. They allegedly held the keys to these church buildings and controlled their use. It is said that the Jews demanded a fee for permitting the christening of a child, a wedding, and other church affairs. This theme appears again and again in Ukranian folk songs and other material.” [WEINBRYB, p. 186]

    As Israel Shahak notes

    “This typical peasant uprising against extreme oppression, an uprising
    accompanied not only by massacres committed by the rebels but also
    by even more horrible atrocities and ‘counter-terror’ of the Polish-
    magnates’ private armies, has remained emblazoned in the conscious-
    ness of East-European Jews to this very day — not, however, as a
    peasant uprising, a revolt of the oppressed, of the wretched of the earth,
    nor even as a vengeance visited upon all the servants of the Polish
    nobility, but as an act of gratuitous anti-Semitism directed against Jews
    as such.” [SHAHAK, p. 66]

    In this regard, two Jewish authors, Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin, expressing common Judeo-centrism, parallel the Chmielicki attacks to the Holocaust:

    “In both instances, all Jews, including infants, were targeted for
    murder; the general populace nearly always joined in the attacks.
    [PRAGER, p.19]

    A well-known historian of Eastern Europe, scholar Norman Davies, notes the typical Jewish myopia and distortion on the subject as evidenced in Martin Gilbert’s Jewish History Atlas. Gilbert claims that over 100,000 Jews were massacred in attacks by Cossacks beginning in 1648. Martin even writes that “[the Cossacks] joined with the Polish peasants in attacking the Jews.” “[Gilbert’s readers],” notes Davies, “might easily get the impression that the Chmielnicki massacres were directed mainly, if not exclusively, at Jews. In fact, there were virtually no Polish peasants at that period in the areas marked on Gilbert’s map, and the attacks on the Jews were but one part of a terrible vengeance wracked by the Cossacks and their associates on everyone who they regarded as agents of feudal oppression.” Gilbert also noted an area where 5,000 Jews a year died of starvation in 1880-1914. “Again,” says Davies, “the unsuspecting reader might be led to assume that the Jews of Galicia were the main or even only victims of starvation. There is nothing in the text to indicate that the Polish and Ukrainian peasants of Galicia were starving in even greater numbers.” [DAVIES, Between, p. 248]

    [The following link is to a post by a Polish commentator at an online discussion group. We at JTR cannot verify the accuracy of this list, nor the Polish source book for this. But, from our own research, the names we recognize on the list (Bronislaw Geremek, Jerzy Kosinski, Stanislaw Krajewski, Adam Michnik, Jerzy Urban, Dawid Warshawski) are indeed Jewish. But Lech Walesa?!). ]


    To Next Chapter (8)

  28. [The following is a post by a Polish commentator at a discussion group. We at JTR cannot verify the accuracy of this list, nor the Polish source book for this. But, from our own research, the names we recognize on this list from our own research (Bronislaw Geremek, Jerzy Kosinski, Stanislaw Krajewski, Adam Michnik, Jerzy Urban, Dawid Warshawski) are indeed Jewish. But Lech Walesa?!). ]


    Lista osób o zmienionych nazwiskach (Or, “List of persons with name changes”). It continues: Nazwiska autentyczne nizej wymienionych osób zostaly ustalone w oparciu o… (Or, Authentic names of the folks listed below are based upon: (A) Secret catalog data of the people of Poland, according to the Central Bureau’s MSW addresses [Archival numbers are as listed in the Pol. Language]; and (B) Data given by historians in their many publications. ————————————————————————–

    A) Dane tajne kartoteki ludnosci Polski przy Centralnym Biurze. Adresów MSW (nr arch. 1/6526/1 – data archiwacji 9.07.1984, nr rejestracyjny 14750-99 – data rejestracji Wydz. III-2, SUSW Warszawa).
    (B) Dane ujawnione przez historyków w ich licznych publikacjach.

    1. Jerzy Albrecht – Finkelstein
    2. Amsterdamski – Saul Henrykowski
    3. Stanislaw Arski – Apfelbaum
    4. Stefan Arski – Artur Salman
    5. Bronislaw Baczko – Gideon
    6. Leszek Balcerowicz – Aaron Bucholtz
    7. Ryszard Bender – Fajwisch Berenstein
    8. Jan K. Bielecki – Izaak Blumenfeld
    9. Boleslaw Bierut – Rotenschwanz
    10. Alef Bolkowiak – Alef Gutman
    11. Michal Boni – Jakub Bauer
    12. Jerzy Borejsza – Beniamin Goldberg
    13. Wiktor Borowicki – Aaron Berman
    14. Marek Borowski – Szymon Berman
    15. Stefan Bratkowski – Blumstejn
    16. Stanislaw Brodzki – Bronstejn
    17. Jan Brzechwa – Jan Worobiec
    18. Ryszard Bugaj – Izaak Blumfeld
    19. Zbigniew Bujak – lewy syn rabina Malachowskiego
    20. August Chelkowski – Dawid Cnajbaum
    21. red. Kamila Chilinska – Halpern
    22. Wieslaw Chrzanowski – Szymon Knopfstejn
    23. Adam Cichocki – Aaron Zigenbaum
    24. Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz – Dawid Goldstein
    25. Bernard Cukier – Kolski
    26. Józef Cyrankiewicz – Izaak Cukerman
    27. Marek Czekalski (prezydent Lodzi) – Wachter
    28. Tadeusz Daniszewski – Dawid Kirschbaum
    29. Ostap Dluski – Adolf Langer
    30. Jan Dobraczynski (pisarz) – Gutmacher
    31. Ludwik Dorn – Dornbaum
    32. Andrzej Drzycimski – Abraham Engel
    33. Lech Falandysz – Aaron Fleischman
    34. Arkady Fidler – Efroim Trusker
    35. Pawel Finder – Pinkus
    36. Aleksander Ford – Liwczyc
    37. Wladyslaw Frasyniuk – Rotenschwanz
    38. Jerzy Frydberg – Izrael Frydberg
    39. Bronislaw Geremek – Berele Lewartow
    40. Zofia Gomulkowa – Liwa Szoken
    41. Henryk Goryszewski – Jakub Glikman
    42. Jan Górecki – Muhlrad, dyr. gen. Min. Finansów
    43. Wiktor Górecki – Muhlrad, “komandos” z 1968
    44. Maria Górowska (sedzia) – Sand lub Berger
    45. Halina Górska – Sara Kugelschwanz
    46. Alina Grabowska – Sara Rotenfisch
    47. Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz – Hajka Grundbaum
    48. Ryszard Marek Gronski – Goldberger
    49. Wiktor Grosz – Izaak Medres
    50. Jacek Groszkowski – Hersz Herszkowicz
    51. Leon Halban – Blumenstok, prof. KUL-u
    52. Aleksander Hall – Miron Hurman
    53. Marian Hemar – jan Marian Herscheles
    54. Józefa Hennelowa – Zyta Goldmond
    55. Szymon Hirszowski – Szymon Hirsz
    56. Józef Hubner – Dawid Szwarc
    57. Piotr Ikonowicz – Dawid Goldsmith
    58. Henryk Jablonski – Apfelbaum
    59. Jerzy Jakubowski – Miszkatenblit
    60. Ludwika Jankowska – Luba Kowienska
    61. Andrzej Jaroszewicz – Aron Samet
    62. Piotr Jasienica – Lech Benar
    63. Jerzy Jaskiernia – Aaron Aksman
    64. Mieczyslaw Jastrun – Agatstein
    65. Tomasz Jastrun s. Mieczyslawa – Agatstein
    66. Kalina Jedrusik – Makusfeld
    67. Roman Jurys – Chaim Szacht
    68. Jaroslaw i Lech Kaczynscy – Kalkstein
    69. Ida Kaminska – Rachel, dyr. Teatru Zyd. w W-wie
    70. Jan Karski (kurier AK) – J. Kozielewski-?
    71. Andrzej Kern – Dawid Ginsberg
    72. Jan Kobuszewski – Weisleder
    73. adm. Piotr Kolodziejczyk – Robert Cajmer
    74. Grzegorz Kolodko – Samuel Hanerman
    75. Maria Komar (generalowa) – Riwa Zukerman
    76. Janusz Korczak – Henryk Goldszmit
    77. Janusz Korwin-Mikke – Ozjasz Goldberg
    78. Jerzy Kosinski – Josek Lewinkopf
    79. Janina Kotarbinska – Dina Steinberg, z. prof. Kotarbinskiego
    80. Mikolaj Kozakiewicz – Jakub Kleinman
    81. Helena Kozlowska – Bela Frisch
    82. Stanislaw Krajewski – Abel Kaimer
    83. Hanna Krall – Hajka Rejchgold
    84. Krzysztof Król – Aaron Rosenbaum
    85. Marian Krzaklewski – Dawid Zimmerman
    86. Lucyna Krzemieniecka – Wiera Zeidenberg
    87. Edward Krzemien (dziennikarz GW) – Wolf
    88. Kunicki – Goldfinger
    89. Kazimierz Kuratowski – Kuratow
    90. Zofia Kuratowska-Jaszunska – Goldman
    91. Jacek Kuron – Icek Kordblum
    92. Aleksander Kwasniewski – Izaak Stoltzman
    93. Jolanta Kwasniewska -Konty – Kohn
    94. Stanislaw Jerzy Lec – Letz de Tusch
    95. Janusz Lewandowski – Aaron Langman
    96. Olga Lipinska – Fajga Lippman
    97. Teresa Liszcz – Sara Lankamer
    98. Jan Litynski – Jakub Leman
    99. Lubiejski – Zygielman
    100. Lozowski – Salomon Abramowicz
    101. Aleksander Luczak – Dawid Lachman
    102. Helena Luczywo – Chaber (ojciec), Guter (matka)
    103. Antoni Macierewicz – Izaak Singer
    104. Aleksander Malachowski – Jakub Goldsmith
    105. Marek Markiewicz – Samuel Moritz
    106. Tadeusz Mazowiecki – Icek Dikman
    107. Jacek Merkel – Samuel Nelken
    108. Adam Michnik – Aaron Szechter
    109. Andrzej Milczanowski – Aaron Edelman
    110. Jerzy Milewski – Dawid Machonbaum
    111. Leszek Moczulski – Robert Berman
    112. Karol Modzelewski – Samuel Mendel
    113. Zygmunt Modzelewski – Fischer
    114. Jerzy Morawski – Izaak Szloma
    115. Stanislaw Nadzin – Gutman
    116. Stefan Niesiolowski – Aaron Nusselbaum
    117. Jerzy Robert Nowak (prof.) – Moritz Neuman
    118. Piotr Nowina-Konopka – Haim Kromer
    119. Róza Ochabowa – Grunbaum
    120. Andrzej Olechowski – Mosze Brandwein
    121. Józef Oleksy – Szymon Buchwio (Lemek)
    122. Jan Olszewski – Izaak Oksner
    123. Janusz Onyszkiewicz – Jojne Grynberg
    124. Jerzy Osiatynski – Szymon Weinbach
    125. Janina Paradowska – Rachela Busch
    126. Jan Parys – Haim Pufahl
    127. Aleksander Paszynski – Finkelstein
    128. Miroslawa Pazynska – Srula Kundelman
    129. Leslaw Podkanski – Izaak Freinkel
    130. Ezdra Podlaski – Rotenschwanz
    131. Kazimierz Pomian – Furman lub Rotenschwanz
    132. Radkiewiczowa, zona min. – Ruta Teitsch
    133. Helena Radlinska, prof.- Rajchman, Akad.Organ.Sl. Spol.
    134. Mieczyslaw Rakowski – Mojzesz Rak
    135. Jan Regula – Josek Mützenmacher
    136. Jan Maria Rokita – Izaak Goldwicht
    137. Andrzej Rosiewicz – A. Jarosiewicz
    138. Adolf Rudnicki (pisarz) – Schneider
    139. Jan Rulewski – Fikelman
    140. Rutkowski – Botwin
    141. Hanka Sawicka – Szapiro
    142. Ryszard Setnik – Szymon Bauman
    143. Izabela Sierakowska – Rebeka Sommer
    144. Janusz Sitynski – Jakub Leman
    145. Ernest Skalski – Wilker lub Nimen
    146. Skrzeszewski – Fokenman
    147. Krzysztof Skubiszewski – Szymon Schimel
    148. Wladyslaw Slawny – Rosenberg
    149. Antoni Slonimski – Stomma
    150. Zenon Smolarek – Izaak Zimmerman
    151. Ewa Spychalska – Salome Stein
    152. Marian Starownik – Symeon Steinman
    153. Stefan Starzewski – Gustaw Szusterman
    154. Stanislaw Stomma – Szaja Sommer
    155. Michal Strak – Baruch Steinberg
    156. Julian Stryjkowski (pisarz) – Pesah Stark
    157. Jerzy Stuhr (aktor) – Josek Feingold
    158. Hanna Suchocka – Hajka Silberstein
    159. Boleslaw Sulik – Jakub Steinberg
    160. Kalman Sultanik – Chaim Studniberg
    161. Irena Szewinska (sportowiec) – I. Kirszenstein
    162. Stefan Szwedowicz (brat Michnika) – Szechter
    163. Roman Szydlowski – Szancer
    164. Wieslawa Szymborska – Rottermund
    165. Pawel Spiewak – Stinger
    166. Boleslaw Tejkowski – Benio Tejkower
    167. Jerzy Turowicz – Jakow Turnau
    168. Stanislaw Tuszewski – Salomon Hardnik
    169. Magda Umer (piosenkarka) – Humer
    (córka zbrodniarza UB)
    170. Jerzy Urban – Josek Urbach
    171. Mieczyslaw Wachowski – Jakub Windman
    172. Henryk Walczak – Zukerman
    173. Lech Walesa – Lejba Kohne
    174. Dawid Warszawski – Konstanty Gebert
    175. Adam Wazyk (poeta) – Wagman
    176. Andrzej Werblan – Aaron Werblicht
    177. Andrzej Wieczorkiewicz – Hirsz Gelpern
    178. Aleksander Wirpsza – Leszek Szaruga
    179. Dariusz Wójcik – Dawid Wisental
    180. Andrzej Wróblewski – Andrzej Ibislauer
    181. Ludmila Wujec – Okrent
    182. Jan Wyka – Leopold Wessman
    183. Roman Zambrowski – Rubin Nusbaum
    184. Janusz Zaorski – Jakub Bauman
    185. Andrzej Zoll – Rojeschwanz, b. prezes Tryb. Konst.
    186. Janusz Ziólkowski – Izaak Zemler Wojskowi (Army)
    187. gen. Edward Braniewski – Brandsteter
    188. gen. Jan Drzewiecki – Holzer
    189. gen. Marian Graniewski – Gutaker
    190. gen. Wiktor Grosz – Izaak Medres
    191. gen. Artur Jastrzebski – Artur Ritter (Niemiec)
    192. gen. Grzegorz Korczynski – Kalinowski
    193. gen. Leszek Krzemien – Maksymilian Wolf
    194. gen. Matejewski – Kugelschwanz
    195. gen. Marian Naszkowski – Wasser
    196. gen. St. Poplawski – Siergiej Grochow (Rosjanin)
    197. gen. Karol Swierczewski – Walter Goltz lub Tenenbaum
    198. gen. Leon Turski – Tennenbaum
    199. gen. Mieczyslaw Wagrowski – Izaak Pustelman
    200. gen. Tadeusz Wilecki – Wallach
    201. gen. Zarako-Zarakowski – Zarako, Nacz. Prok. WP
    202. gen. Janusz Zarzycki – Neugebauer
    203. plk Michal Bron – Bronstein, prac. MSZ
    204. plk dr Charbicz – Marek Heberman, kom.Szpit.Woj.,Warszawa
    205. plk Otto Finski – Finkenstein, szef sztabu “Sluzba Polsce”
    206. plk Garbowski – Caber lub Gruber, d-ca dyw.
    207. plk Gradlewski – Goldberg, GZP WP
    208. plk Mieczyslaw Kowalski – Kohn
    209. plk Anatol Liniewski – Liberman, prac. ASG
    210. plk Rosinski – Rosenberg, DOW
    211. plk Rotowski – Rotholtz, szef Zarz. Sl. Techn. WP
    212. plk St. Sokolowski – Szabat, prac. WAP
    213. plk Pawel Solski – Pinkus, szef Sl. Samoch. WP
    214. plk Szulczynski – Szulcynger, d-ca pulku
    215. plk Wl. Tykocinski – Tikotiner, attache wojsk.
    216. plk Wadlewski – Waldman, dyr. Dep. Wojsk. w Min. Zdrowia
    217. plk Zarski – Silberstein, prac. WAP
    218. pplk Jerzy Bryn – Izrael Alter, prac. MSZ
    219. pplk Jan Dolanowski – Dollinger, DOW
    220. pplk Adam Laski – Gutbrot, prac. ASG
    221. pplk Henryk Zieman – Zysman, DOW
    222. mjr Roman Domanski – Rosenstand, DOW
    223. mjr Marcel Kot – Abram Sterenzys
    224. mjr Józef Sliwinski – Flaumenbaum, szef Wyd. “Sluzba Polsce”
    225. mjr Henryk Uminski – Keff
    226. Filip Berski – Badner, prokurator wojskowy
    227. Kazimierz Golczewski – Bauman, Nacz. Prok. Wojsk.
    228. sedzia Franciszek Kapczuk – Natanel Frau, Sad Wojsk. Wroclaw
    229. Maksymilian Litinski – Lifszyc, Nacz. Prok. Wojsk.
    230. Lubiejski – Zygielman, II Zarzad
    231. Jakub Lubowski – Chase Smen, prok. Dep. Sl. Spraw.
    232. Jan Orlinski – Unterweiser, Prok. Wojsk.
    233. Henryk Podlaski – Fink, Nacz. Prok. Wojsk.
    234. Rajski – Rajgrodzki, II Zarzad
    235. Roman Rawicz – Vogel, Najw. Sad Wojsk.
    236. Henryk Trojan – Adler, II Zarzad
    237. Henryk Walczak – Zukerman
    238. Zagórski – Winter, II Zarzad
    239. Arnold Zaleski – Zalkind, prac. Prok. Wojsk. Pracownicy MSW
    240. gen. Józef Hübner – Dawid Szwarc
    241. gen. Matejewski – Kugelschwanc
    242. gen. Miecz. Moczar – Mykola Demko (Ukrainiec)
    243. Gen. Julian Polan – Harasim, morderca sadowy
    244. gen. Roman Romkowski – Natan Grinspan-Kikiel
    245. gen. Józef Maria Rózanski – Rosenzweig
    246. plk Leon Andrzejewski – Ajzen Lejb-Wolff, dyr. Gabin. Ministra
    247. plk Bielecki – Moniek Buchman, szef WUBP Kraków
    248. plk Julia Brystiger – Prajs
    249. plk Górecki – Goldberg, dyr. Depart. IX
    250. plk Mieczyslaw Mietkowski – Mojzesz Borowicki, doradca MSW
    251. plk Orlowski – Kugelschwanz
    252. plk Marian Reniak – Marian Struzynski
    253. plk Józef Rózanski – Josek Goldberg, dyr. dep. MBP
    254. plk Sienkiewicz – Lewi, dyr. depart.
    255. plk Szerynski – Szhnkman, prac. MBP
    256. plk Józef Swiatlo – Izaak Fleischfarb, z-ca dyr. depart. X
    257. pplk Helena Wolinska-Brus – Ochsmann
    258. mjr Adam Kornecki – Dawid Kornhendler, szef WUBP Kielce
    259. Antoni Alster – Nauman, v-ce szef MBP
    260. Barbara Giller – Basze Lea, prac. MBP Duchowni (Religion)
    261. kard. Franciszek Macharski – Finkelstein
    262. ks. prof. Józef Tischner – Blumstein
    263. ks. prof. Romuald Weksler-Waszkinel – Jakub Weksler

    bp Jan Chrapek, bp Bronislaw Dembowski,bp S. Gadecki,bp gen. Slawoj L. Glódz, abp Henryk Muszynski, bp Tadeusz Pieronek, bp Tadeusz Rakoczy, abp Ziólek, abp Józef Zycinski, ks. Adam Bijak, ks. Adam Boniecki, ks. Michal Czajkowski, o. Jan Góra (ten od Lednicy), k. Roman Indrzejczyk, ks. Stanislaw Musial, ks. pral. Grzegorz Pawlowski…?


  29. Spare10

  30. 8


    In our own time, as throughout history, Orthodox male Jews still must daily thank God for not being born Gentile, as well not being born a woman. Such ritual thanks branch out into other areas as well.

    “One specific mitzvah [religious commandment] required of traditional Jews each day,” says Arthur Kurzweil, “is [a reminder] that we were slaves in Egypt. This mitzvah is not performed with a ritual object, nor is it an act that would cause some to think you looked religious. Merely reflecting in your mind and hearing that we were slaves is, in itself, considered a spiritual act of great significance.” [KURZWEIL, p. xxii] Jewish victimhood tradition ritually underscores their roles as slaves thousands of years ago. In Orthodox households, says Evelyn Kaye, “bitter herbs [are dipped] in salt water at Passover to remind [Jews] of the tears of the slaves in Egypt.” [KAYE, p. 45]

    The traditional daily reminder of slavery and the supposed fact that thousands of years ago Jews were held in bondage is all the more peculiar when one tries to imagine what thoughts went through the minds of the many Jewish slave traders throughout history, merchants who were instrumental even in the slave trading of Europeans. These are the words of James Parkes, a respected philosemitic scholar, extremely sympathetic to Jews in his many volumes about their history:

    “In the period from the fifth to eight centuries [Jews] gradually
    took the place previously occupied by the Syrians as
    ‘international’ traders; and they continued, and perhaps,
    developed, the trade in slaves.” [PARKES, p. 17]

    “While the Jews were… never… the only traders, it is possible
    that the slave trade through north-eastern Europe to the Slav
    countries and the land trades to the East were for practical
    purposes Jewish monopolies. ” [PARKES, p. 25]

    “It would appear that Jews had little difficulty in obtaining slaves
    in the eastern provinces of the empire and Poland, in spite of
    the protection which acceptance of Christianity in those regions
    should have given the inhabitants. References to this traffic in
    Christian slaves are not infrequent. [PARKES, p. 45]

    “The evidence is thus enough to show that the Church
    possessed a genuine grievance against the section of the Jewish
    population involved in the slave trade. But the misdeeds of
    slave traders did not cease at the purchase of Christians in
    eastern Europe. Agobard quotes cases — and there is no reason
    to refute his evidence — of the theft of children in France for
    sale to the Moors of Spain; and a chronicler of the middle of
    the tenth century brings an even more unpleasant story of the
    castration of boys in eastern France for their sale as eunuchs to
    the Moorish harems, a trade which was, apparently, extremely
    profitable.” [PARKES, p. 46]

    “In the tenth century,” notes Jewish (and Zionist) author Julius Brutzkus, “the Jews possessed salt mines near Nuremberg. They also traded in arms, and exploited the treasuries of the churches. But their great specialty … was their trade in slaves.” [LEON, p. 124] “The first Jews that Poles encountered,” states the Encyclopedia Judaica, “must certainly have been traders, probably slave traders, of the type called in the 12th-century Jewish sources holekhei rusyah (travelers to Russia). [EN JUD, v. 13, p. 710] “In the tenth century,” notes Israel Abrahams, “the Spanish Jews often owed their wealth to their trade in slaves.” [ABRAHAMS, p. 98]

    Jews, says Lewis Browne, “traveled everywhere from England to India, from Bohemia to Egypt. Their commonest merchandise in those days, beginning with the eighth century, was slaves. On every high road and on every great river and sea, these Jewish traders were to be found with their gangs of shackled prisoners in convoy.” Such disturbing facts that impugn the Jewish myths of perpetual victimhood must of course be apologized away. “Slave trading,” says Browne, a Jewish scholar, “seems irredeemably vile and hateful to us today, but we must remember here again the standards have changed …And in light of the customs of those times, the slave-traffickers were actually doing almost a moral act. They alone were keeping the conquering armies from slaughtering every one of their defeated foes after each battle.” [WILLIAMS, J., p. 230]

    Jewish apologists of course further argue that Jews were involved in the trade of European slaves (the English word “slave” is reputed to come from “Slav”) because “they were forced into it” by others, they were only “doing the dirty work for Christians,” it was a norm of the era, or that extensive Jewish slave trading was a “Christian ecclesiastical myth.” Another Jewish apologist justifies the Jewish slave trade of Europeans during the era of Pope Gregory this way:

    “Had the Jews been prevented from owning slaves it is likely that
    they would have given up the slave trade and had they done this
    the labor shortage that would have been created might have
    caused an inestimable loss of life through sheer starvation.”
    [ABEL, p. 197]

    “Slave traders were proverbially dishonest.” [BARON, p. 193] And there were many legal hurdles that Jewish slave traders had to face, both from Christian authorities (who grew increasingly outraged by Jews owning Christian slaves), and their own rabbinical authorities when faced with the necessity of slaves’ castration, for instance, to be eunuchs. Jewish religious texts forbade mutilation. This problem was easily resolved by resorting to a technicality; prospective Jewish slave owners merely hired non-Jews to do the operation before they formally bought them. [BARON, p. 191] Jewish writers in Spain complained more frequently than other places about the ethics of having slave concubines in Jewish households. [BARON, p. 194]

    Jewish mythology claims a long history of moral superiority over others, and innocence. The original Ku Klux Klan (1865-1876), however, was not hostile to Jews and even had Jewish members, including Simon Baruch, the father of the Quarter-Master General of the Confederate Army. (The father of Bernard Baruch, the Chairman of the War Industries Board under President Woodrow Wilson in World War I, was a member of the Ku Klux Klan). [COIT, M., 1957, p. 12-13] The Secretary of State of the Confederacy (initially its Secretary of War) was also of Jewish birth, Judah P. Benjamin. [RUBINSTEIN, p. 20] After the war Benjamin fled to England. David de Leon was the first Surgeon General of the Confederacy. [GOLDBERG, M. H., 1976, p. 172] Other prominent Confederate Jews included Edwin Moise, Speaker of the Louisiana House; Raphael Moses who “was influential in leading Georgia out of the Union;” Henry Hyans, the Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana leading up to the Civil War; and Edwin de Leon, “whom Benjamin sent to Paris to handle public relations and propaganda for the South.” “The prominent role of Jews in the Confederacy,” notes Nathaniel Weyl, “is generally either ignored or condensed into shamefaced footnotes by those historians of American Jewry whose opinions conform to the liberal-leftist stereotype.” [WEYL, N., 1968, p. 54]

    “Not a single Jew,” notes Stephen Isaacs, “has been identified among the abolitionists in Charleston, South Carolina, which had been home to the largest Jewish community in the United States at one time.” [ISAACS, p. 180] “[The Jew] somehow feels that in the Great Democracy he is ‘the other’ Negro — a white-skinned one,” wrote Isaac Deutcher in 1968, “And how very often he gets his own back on the black Negro: in the Southern States more often than not it is the Jew who is one of the most fanatical upholders of white supremacy.” [DEUTCHER, ., 1968, p. 43]

    Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, a champion of liberal Reform Judaism and “the most active and renowned rabbi in the United States” in the nineteenth century [SACHAR, p. 196], actively supported the enslavement of Blacks, called Abraham Lincoln an “imbecile,” and argued that Blacks were “beasts of burden.” [LINDEMANN, p. 210] Other of his words were later engraved on a memorial tablet in the Memorial Hall of Temple Emanu-El, the great Reform Judaism synagogue in New York City:

    “American Judaism. A religion without mystics or miracles. Rational and
    self-evident, eminently human, universal, liberal and progressive. In
    perfect harmony with modern science, criticism, and philosophy and in
    full sympathy with universal liberty, justice and charity. There are no
    better American citizens than the Jews and no religion better befitting a
    free people than Judaism.” [GOLDSTEIN, D. p. 68]

    Jonathan Kaufman notes the case of another very prominent New York Jewish rabbi in 1861:

    “Rabbi Morris Jacob Raphall … brought the full force of Jewish
    learning to a defense of slavery, preaching a lengthy sermon that
    defended its biblical roots and noting that ‘Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,
    Job — the men with whom the Almighty conversed, with whose
    names he emphatically connects to his own most holy name …
    all these men were slaveholders.’ Raphall was no fringe figure. He
    was one of the most prominent rabbis of his day; the year before
    he had been chosen to be the first Jew to open a session of the
    House of Representatives with a prayer.” [KAUFMAN, J., 1988,
    p. 22]

    Modern scholar Judah Rosenthal notes rabbi Raphall’s effect on the slavery debate in America:

    “Rabbi [Morris] Raphall delivered a sermon entitled ‘The Bible View
    of Slavery.’ Raphall attempted to prove ‘that according to the Talmud
    there is no difference between a lost ox, donkey, or slave, and that
    the Talmud recommends turning over a fugitive slave to its master.
    The discourse of Rabbi Raphall which appeared in print caused a
    public stir. It was reprinted many times in the pro-slavery press.
    It produced a sensational effect coming from a popular rabbi who
    had the reputation of being a biblical scholar … Raphall was right
    in his Biblical exegesis.” [ROSENTHAL, J., 78]

    In 1896 an editorial in the Jewish South of Richmond, Virginia, argued that “Negroes are intellectually, morally, and physically an inferior race — a fact none can deny, ” [LINDEMANN, p. 225] and with the death of a particularly racist Jewish senator from Maryland, Isador Rayner, a Black journalist wrote that Rayner “invoked upon his colored neighbors the terrors of (a pogrom).” [LINDEMANN, p. 233]

    In 1991 a book was published by Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, described by one Jewish author as “a masterful piece of propaganda.” [MAGIDA, p. 171] This work, and some of the issues surrounding it, merit some special attention here. Aside from a handful of obscure, rarely read volumes that challenged the commonly accepted facts of the Holocaust, the Nation of Islam’s new volume was the most controversial book about Jews published in decades and helped in securing a deeper rift between American Black and Jewish communities. Available from a 1-800 telephone number, the book received relatively wide circulation in the African-American community. The volume, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, seeks to document Jewish historical involvement in the African slave trade and severely taints, by association, Jewish luster in the later American civil rights record. In a word, the book — which is a direct assault upon the myths of Jewry’s self-perception of a higher moral ground than other people — must somehow be dismissed by the Jewish community to avoid considerable embarrassment.

    In fact, dismissal is quite easy. The Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan are in such serious disrepute in the Jewish, and other non-Black, communities that few people, other than those in the African-American world, have actually read the NOI book. Though most Jews have heard of it, it is automatically understood to be “hate literature,” molded of entirely anti-Semitic nonsense and unworthy of anyone’s serious attention. No Jew in his or her right mind would ever dare to purchase such a thing and add to anti-Semitic coffers. (Reluctance to read the book, on principle, is deep. At the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, by late 1997 the 1994 edition on its library shelves — the sole copy — had never been checked out). This situation has allowed Harold Brackman, of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (one of the various Jewish “defense” agencies), to write a few versions of his rebuttal to Secret Relationship charges, counterclaims that serve completely as the relevant truths for Jews — and sympathizers — interested in the matter. Brackman and the Jewish community rely upon the fact that most (non-Black) people will probably only read his book about the controversial subject, if any.

    “Among [the arguments in support of the Secret Relationship],” says Ralph Austen (who read the book) in the Jewish journal Tikkun, “there is one which Jewish intellectuals need to take seriously: that few of the Jewish leaders who have attacked the book have actually read it.” [AUSTEN, p. 66] And what is the essential impact one gets out of reading it? “There were not many Jews in America between 1492 and the 1860s,” says Austen, “and quite a few had been involved in the slave trade.” [AUSTEN, p. 68]

    The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews seeks to tell the story of Jewish involvement in the African slave trade, largely throughout the Americas. The book’s strategy is to use nearly 1,300 (mostly) scholarly citations to present its argument. Seeking maximum credibility, the overwhelming majority of the excerpts from historical sources are indeed “authoritative,” i.e., the quotes are not only from respected academic volumes, but most authors are Jewish scholars in various fields of expertise. As many African-Americans bitterly complain, a very large number of Jews are preeminent in the academic world, even in African-American studies, a situation that has for decades found Jews (and other non-Blacks) dictating to African-Americans the facts and parameters of their own history. Some citations in The Secret Relationship are from less academically pedigreed commentators, but most of these are also Jewish which, as the Nation of Islam intended, confers a dimension of legitimacy to the quote, even if it is only opinion.

    The quotes, facts, and figures by legitimate and well-respected Jewish academics (who usually address the subject of Jews and slaves peripherally in the course of their own other interests) do not depict, in any way, a morally superior people. They underscore the Jewish role in the African slave trade and they are collected in the Nation of Islam volume by the hundreds. Take, for example, the following excerpts:

    “The female slave was a sex tool beneath the level of moral
    considerations. She was an economic good, useful, in addition to her
    menial labor, for breeding more slaves. To attain that purpose, the
    master mated her promiscuously according to his breeding plans.
    The master himself and his sons and other members of his household
    took turns with her for the increase of the family wealth, as well as for
    satisfaction of their extra-marital sex desires. Guests and neighbors too
    were invited to that luxury. [LOUIS EPSTEIN, Sex Laws and Customs
    in Judaism, in SEC.LIFE, p. 196]

    “They came with ships carrying African blacks to be sold as slaves.
    The traffic in slaves was a royal monopoly, and the Jews were often
    appointed as agents for the Crown in their sale.” [SEYMOUR
    LIEBMAN, New World Jewry, SEC LIFE, p. 55]

    “They came with ships carrying African blacks to be sold as slaves. The
    traffic in slaves was a royal monopoly, and the Jews were often
    appointed as agents for the Crown in their sale … [LIEBMAN, in SEC.
    LIFE, p. 55] … [The Jews] were the largest ship chandlers in the entire
    Caribbean region, where the shipping business was mainly a Jewish
    enterprise … The ships were not only owned by Jews, but were manned
    by Jewish crews and sailed under the command of Jewish captains.”
    [SEYMOUR LIEBMAN, New World Jewry, 1493-1825 , in MARTIN,
    p. 113]

    “The West India Company, which monopolized imports of slaves from
    Africa, sold slaves at public auctions against cash payments. It happens
    that cash was mostly in the hands of Jews. The buyers who appeared
    at the auctions were almost always Jews, and because of this lack of
    competitors, they could buy slaves at low prices. On the other hand,
    there was also no competition in the selling of the slaves to the
    plantation owners and other buyers … Profits up to 300 per cent of
    the purchase value were often realized with high interest rates … If it
    happened that the date of such an auction fell on a Jewish holiday the
    auction had to be postponed.” [Arnold Wiznitzer, Jews in Colonial
    Brazil, in SEC. LIFE, p. 29]

    “Just as a disproportionately large number of Jews were slave
    owners, a disproportionately large number of Jewish merchants sold
    slaves as they would any other goods. Several of these merchants
    were prominent in their communities: an acting rabbi, the president
    of a congregation.” [ROBERTA FEUERLICHT, in SEC LIFE, p. 179]

    The Nation of Islam’s own racist reputation, Jewish lobbying power (and the fear of it), and the obvious fact that few — if any — pedigreed historians have bothered to read the Secret Relationship can only explain the following resolution by the American Historical Association about the controversial book:

    “The AHA deplores any misuse of history that distorts the historical
    record to demonize a particular racial, ethnic, or cultural group. The
    Association therefore condemns as false any statement alleging that
    Jews played a disproportionate role in the exploitation of slave labor
    in the Atlantic slave trade.” [RESPONSE, p. 9, SPRING, 1995]

    But Jews did, it would seem irrefutably, have (at the very least) a “disproportionate role” in the slave trade even in the southern United States, where they were not — as the NOI book shows — as involved as in other places in the Americas. According to one survey noted by Jewish scholars Lee Soltow and Ira Rosenwaike, 75% of Jewish households surveyed in the American South owned slaves, more than double the average 36% for all southern households. [ROSENWAIKE, in SEC. LIFE, p. 180] And Jews, as we will continue to witness, have always been “disproportionately” represented in virtually any field where there is serious money to be made. (In Port Royal, Jamaica, in 1680, about 16% of Jewish households had no slaves; in the non-Jewish community, this figure was over 47%. Likewise 73.7 % of Jewish households had between one and four slaves; in the non-Jewish community the figure was 41.8 %.) [SCHORSCH, J., 2000]

    Ultimately, the much-maligned NOI volume does not assert that Jews ran the whole slave trade from a back street in Amsterdam, but rather that they held indeed a disproportionately significant role, a factor that should be considered in modern Jewish-Black relations, the way it is an important factor in Black-White relations. The book’s fundamental charge is so stated: “The most prominent of Jewish pilgrim fathers used kidnapped Black Africans disproportionately more than any other ethnic or religious group in New World history and participated in every aspect of the international slave trade.” [SEC. LIFE, p. vii] Behind Jewish resistance to take responsibility (whatever its dimensions) for the more distasteful parts of Jewish history is the fact that such concessions imperil the mythos of modern Jewish identity itself: i.e., that Jews are morally superior to all others, for which they are humanity’s consummate (and innocent) Victims.

    Albert Lindemann notes the typical case of prominent Jewish historian Oscar Handlin’s volume Three Hundred Years of Jewish Life in America: “[Handlin] ignored the issue [of slavery in his volume] … even while mentioning by name the ‘great Jewish merchants’ who made their fortunes in the slave trade.” [LINDEMANN, p. xx]

    It is clear that the issue of Jewish influence in the African-slave trade in many parts of the world was significant. And this is the value of the NOI book (along with, perhaps, the idea that Jews are not, as so often depicted in the popular media, necessarily the “best friend” of the Black man). How much significant the slave trade was Jewish-inspired can only be a matter of endless disputation. Considerably less than one percent of North America’s population were Jews and it’s hard to imagine that, by numbers alone, 18th and early 19th century Jewry could have possibly controlled the huge slave market in this area. (As late as 1817, there were only 3,000 Jews in all of America. [ROSENWAIKE, p. 13] ) Nonetheless, in considering the evidence — Jewish and otherwise, it is clear that Jews were very much disproportionately involved in, and important to, the trade in human chattel. In some colonial posts they were no doubt preeminent in the business. The largest Jewish exploitation of slaves seems to have been in Barbados, Brazil “In the first half of the seventeenth century,” notes Abram Leon, “all the great sugar plantations in Brazil were in the hands of Jews.” [LEON, p. 176], Curacao, Jamaica, and Surinam (Dutch Guinea). Jewish historian Arnold Wiznitzer adds that “Jews dominated the slave trade” in Dutch Brazil. [SCHORSCH, J., 2000]

    Historian David Brion Davis notes that in the Jewish-founded town of Joden Savanne in Surinam, they “extracted labor from African slaves in one of the most deadly and oppressive environments in the New World.” [MAGIDA, p. 184]

    Jewish scholar Harold Bloom also noted that, in the early 1700s,

    “Colonists [in Surinam] were troubled by attacks of ‘Bush
    Negroes,’ former slaves who had escaped inland and refused
    to return to their owners. They declared themselves independent
    and set fire to many plantations … [BLOOM, H., p. 121] … Slave
    trade was one of the most important Jewish activities here as
    elsewhere in the colonies.” [BLOOM, H., p. 123]

    And as scholar Jacob Marcus, also Jewish, observes:

    “Some writers of the eighteenth century, in attempting to account for
    repeated flights by Negro slaves, accused Jewish owners of mistreating
    their charges, and indictment the [Jewish] authors of the Historical
    Essay [on the Colony of Surinam (1788] ascribed to anti-Jewish
    prejudices and vigorously denied. It is a fact, however, that the wars
    against the French and the Bush Negroes called into being among the
    Jewish planter class a specific type of individual: the aggressive, brutal
    fighter, politically ambitious and resentful of every limitation and
    infringement of their personal liberty.” [SCHORSCH, J., 2000]

    Whatever its faults, the Secret Relationship is legitimate in laying out the historical role between Blacks and Jews in the New World on the table for scrutiny. While this relationship has not really been “secret” in the literal sense (the information is freely available to anyone who cares to tediously find it) it certainly has never before been fore grounded nor popularly addressed; rather, it has been buried from public discourse in the obscure pages of esoteric academe. It has taken the growth of African-American scholarship (whether others like its accentuations or not) to frame discourse about the slave trade to their own — not Jewish — perspective. As one can see in this book, existing Jewish scholarship on Black history — originally framed to Jewish interests and concerns — is voluminous.

    The Nation of Islam’s intention in their volume was to quote from expressly Jewish sources as much as possible and overlooked those many non-Jewish sources that would instantly fall prey to discredit by the omnipresent charge of anti-Semitism. Citations from Jews would presumably render the NOI’s arguments all more authoritative, resistant to the inevitable charge that the book was unfairly biased against Jews.

    What the NOI apparently didn’t recognize, of course, is that Jewish convention asserts that many Jews themselves are tainted by the dreaded virus of anti-Semitism. Thus, at the bottom line, it only slightly matters whether the NOI had quoted Adolf Hitler’s view about the Jews (which they did not) or critical Jewish authors of Israel and Jewish life like Roberta Feuerlicht and Lenni Brenner (which they did). Jews or not, such people are not — to the standards of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Harold Brackman, “respected authorities.” “The truth of the matter,” writes Brackman, “is that The Secret Relationship validates Feurlicht and Brenner as ‘authoritative’ for precisely the same reasons that the Nazis exploited the writings of selected Jews in that earlier era.” [BRACKMAN, p. 57]

    This, then, is the tone of debate — not uncommon in the Jewish community — over the book: the inevitable dragging of even Brenner’s and Feuerlicht’s criticism of Jewry into an association with Hitler and the very thought of an investigation into the facts of Jewish influence in the slave trade as opening doors to another Holocaust.

    As The Secret Relationship was disseminated among segments of the African-American community, the Jewish community ignored it as much as possible, sometimes attacking it generally, categorically, as merely an anti-Semitic tome. “The book is a remarkable work of hate,” says Jewish author Richard Bernstein in his own volume about the “multiculturalist” political wars of today’s society …. I myself saw copies of it for sale at an Afrocentric conference I attended in Atlanta.” [BERNSTEIN, p. 117] But silence by the Jewish community was perceived by many in the Black community as an admission of guilt, and Brackman eventually came forward to “point-by-point” discard the allegations posed in the controversial volume.

    Harold Brackman’s credentials include the facts that he has taught — like so many Jewish scholars — African-American history at three major American universities. One of his book rebuttals to the Secret Relationship outshines even the NOI’s reputed capacity for hyperbole, entitled: Ministry of Lies, The Truth Behind the Nation of Islam’s The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews. The Nation’s 1300 citations cannot be reasonably addressed in a digestible volume, so Brackman goes for what he considers to be the “anti-Semitic” volume’s weakest links.

    Unfortunately, for the Jewish argument, upon close examination, the very foundation of Brackman’s scholarship is shaky from the start, as evidenced in the very methodology of his attack to deconstruct the Secret Relationship as “lies.” Brackman begins a chapter entitled “Methods ( … of Deceit and Distortions to Falsify History)” by stating that

    “the Secret Relationship is an anonymous production. ‘The Historical
    Research Department ‘ [the formal author of the NOI book] identifies
    no individual members, nor does it indicate their academic credentials.
    In other words, those responsible themselves remain secret — choosing
    to hide rather than stand behind their scholarship.”
    [BRACKMAN, p. 45]

    Curiously, such impugning based on anonymity can likewise be made about the magazine Response, the journal of Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Los Angeles Holocaust-oriented “education center” that sponsored Brackman’s own work. While a Response “staff” is noted at the end of the magazine — an Editor in Chief, and Editor/Supervisor, Senior Researcher, et al, the text of the magazine itself is never credited with an attributable author (except a brief editor’s column). Even the Wiesenthal Center’s educational resources kit for teachers, The Holocaust, 1933-1945, does not provide authorship for most of its pages of factual assertions.

    Brackman continues:

    “The reader is asked to proceed on blind faith supported only by the
    assurance that: ‘The facts, we believe, speak for themselves.’”

    The purported facts, of course, are excerpts from mostly Jewish authors, most of them credible scholars. Brackman pushes foreword, now on a rhetorical soapbox:

    “No thoughtful person should accept this statement at face value.
    Historical facts and historical truth are not identical. The indispensable
    link between them is the historian’s commitment to the honest evaluation
    and presentation of evidence. Two thousand years ago, the Roman orator
    Cicero enunciated what might be called ‘The Historian’s code of Ethics’:

    “The first law for the historian is that he shall never utter an
    untruth. The second is that he shall suppress nothing that is
    true. Moreover, there shall be no suspicion of partiality, or
    malice.” [BRACKMAN, p. 45]

    Brackman’s championing of Cicero as a paragon of moral virtue and truth-finding is a bizarrely unsupportive selection for the foundation of his own arguments. Certainly Cicero was a virtuous figure, committed to telling the truth with no malice, et al. But as Brackman should have known, in the common Jewish rush to condemn nearly every important thinker in history as somehow anti-Jewish, Cicero is often cited in books about anti-Semitism as a seminal “anti-Semite” himself; he is to be found in such titles as History and Hate, Twenty-Three Centuries of Antisemitism, A Short History of Antisemitism, and others.

    Jewish professor Peter Schafer in his Judeophobia. Attitudes Towards the Jews in the Ancient World, even writes that, in Rome, “the first voice to be heard, and one regarded as the first evidence of Roman ‘anti-Semitism’ is that of the great orator of the late Republic, Cicero (106-43 B.C.E.) in his famous speech Pro Flacco … It is the Jews as a pressure group, influential in public assemblies, who are attacked by Cicero.” [SCHAFER, 1997, p. 180]

    Taking careful account of Cicero’s aforementioned reluctance to “utter and untruth,” the ancient sage says this about Jews:

    “How numerous they are, their clannishness, their influence in the
    assemblies.” [FLANNERY, p. 15]

    These are charges that are among the foundations of “anti-Semitic” arguments to our own day. And of course they remain, after all these centuries, “true,” as we shall soon see. Cicero also called Judaism barbara superstisios (a barbarous superstition) [MORAIS, p. 40] and his teacher, Apollonius Molon of Rhodes (presumably one of Cicero’s seminal inspirations for the truthful approach to history) “was the first to compose an entire work against the Jews, thus launching the endless chain of adversus Judaeos [criticism of Jews] that reaches us to the present day.” [FLANNERY, p. 12]

    So begins Professor Brackman’s defense of Jewry against the anti-Semitic “lies” of the Secret Relationship.

    Obviously, anyone interested in the relationship between Jews and the slave trade should read both books, the NOI’s and Brackman’s. Rather than go through a tedious point by point refutation of a range of Brackman’s own refutations of the Secret Relationship, suffice it to note that in his little 100 page book, Brackman often manages to stray considerably off the subject of Jews and the slave trade, rhapsodizing about Jewish altruism in the Civil Rights movement, chronicling the deteriorating Black-Jewish relations since 1991, arguing that calling the Black slavery experience a “Holocaust” (as the NOI book does) is inappropriate, and that African slavery deaths are often exaggerated. Most significantly, Brackman renders the Nation of Islam book to be merely “a hateful fantasy … originally concocted by white anti-Semites … who throughout history have demonstrated that they have no more true regard for Blacks than Jews.” [BRACKMAN, p. 91] This standard Jewish tact of shirking responsibility and passing it all along elsewhere upon someone else’s’ head is a historically Jewish as the Talmud. And drawing a connection, as Brackman does, between automobile baron Henry Ford’s belief in a world Jewish conspiracy and the NOI’s examination of Jewish involvement in slavery is to find, in Jewish minds, the very equivalent obsession with “conspiracy” theories as those they condemn in “anti-Semites.”

    In 1993 a tenured Black professor, Tony Martin, of Wellesley College (the alma mater of Hilary Clinton) made national attention by committing the crime of using the Secret Relationship (as one of seven other course books) as a reading assignment in an African-American studies class. Martin found himself in a struggle for academic freedom against a massive — and unified — campaign by national Jewish agencies to censor and defame him, attempting to get him fired as an academically incompetent anti-Semite. The Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Community Relations Council and others joined to charge Martin with “clear-cut anti-Semitic prejudice in his classroom and on the Wellesley campus and demanded his firing.” [MARTIN, p. 8-9] Martin and the book were soon attacked in four articles in the Boston Globe, on National Public Radio, the New York Times, the Associated Press, ABC’s This Week With David Brinkley, the Today Show, and others. [MARTIN, p. 13-14]

    In an attack on professor Martin, a Jewish fellow faculty member at Wellesley College, Jerold Auerbach, wrote that “Anti-Semitism … is quietly diverted into the channel of academic freedom … Professor Martin and his ilk are free to emulate [Nazi ideologue] Joseph Goebbels … It is sufficient, perhaps, to note that anyone who teaches The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews as serious history has entered the realm of academic charlatanism.” [AUERBAC H., p. 1]

    One wonders how an ideologue like Auerbach musters the gall to smear Martin as a veritable Nazi when Auerbach’s own ideological allegiance and attention to “serious history” is so morally questionable. In 1984 professor Auerbach sported an article in the Zionist journal, Midstream, in defense of twenty-two members of the messianic fascist Gush Emunim organization who faced court trials for a variety of crimes in Israel. “Accused of murdering Arabs at the Islamic College in Hebron, and of attempts to assassinate Arab mayors, bomb Arab buses, and destroy the Dome of the Rock,” Auerbach sees such charges as “inflamed rhetoric [that] obscures principles of Jewish religious nationalism …. To describe these defendants as ‘West Bank terrorists’ prejudges their guilt and distorts their identity … A lunatic fringe can easily be dismissed, but Gush Emunim draws too heavily upon Judaism and Zionism for such cavalier treatment. The credo of Gush Emunim … may … be enchantingly simple. But it can also be urgently compelling for in Judea and Samaria [these are the right-wing land expansion terms Auerbach chooses in reference to what is more commonly known as the “occupied territories”] Jews are struggling to explore and express intimate relationships — between a people, its God, and its promised land — that have defined Judaism since the ‘Exodus.'” [AUERBACH, 10-84]

    The group Auerbach fawns over — Gush Emunim, its messianic world view, and its hostility to all non-Jews, we have run across before and will visit again in this volume. Its credo is messianic land expansion and Nazi-like attitudes towards non-Jews based on the worst tradition of talmudic interpretation. “Gush Emunim leaders,” says Israel Shahak, “have quoted religious precepts which enjoin Jews to oppress Gentiles.” [SHAHAK, p. 96] Israeli Uri Huppert notes that Miriam Levinger, wife of prominent Gush Emunim leader Rabbi Moshe Levinger, “expressed the extremist attitude now prevalent in the Orthodox, religious-nationalist camp in her well-known remark that ‘democracy’ is not a Jewish value.” [HUPPERT, U., 1988, p. 18] Ideologues of Gush Emunim-style teachings who have risen to fame in recent years include Yigal Amir, the assassin of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and Baruch Goldstein, mass murderer of 29 Arabs in a Hebron mosque as they prayed. More about Gush Emunim later.

    Among the most prominent (of the few) African-Americans attacking Martin’s “anti-Semitism” was Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a Harvard professor, who was afforded space on the subject in the Op Ed section of the New York Times. (Gates, notes the African-American Los Angeles Sentinel, is seen by “many African-Americans … as a pawn of Jewish leadership who never misses an opportunity to attack Black scholars and Afro-centrism, while ignoring rampant Jewish racism.” [LEWIS, p. A7] Gates wrote that:

    “The Bible of the new anti-Semitism is the Secret Relationship Between
    Blacks and Jews, an official publication of the Nation of Islam that
    boasts 1,275 footnotes in the course of 334 pages. Sober and scholarly
    looking, it may well be one of the most influential books published in the
    Black community in the last twelve months … To be sure, the book
    massively represents the historical record, largely through a process of
    cunningly selected quotations from often reputable sources. [GATES,
    p. 219] … The authors of the Secret Relationship Between Blacks and
    Jews boast that they’re hanging the Jews by their own words!” [GATES,
    p. 225; original emphasis]

    And what of Gates’ authoritative reference to categorically refute the 1,275 “misrepresenting” citations in the Secret Relationship? Harold Brackman. Gates’ rebuttal to the Secret Relationship, proudly proclaimed in the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s magazine, Response, “drew of Brackman’s scholarship.” Hence, Gates’ foundation as an African-American scholar attacking the NOI book is not largely — if at all — his own research, but that from a polemical Jewish scholar working for the Wiesenthal Center [See later chapter for a discussion about its role as a pro-Israel, Judeo-centric propaganda center]. In a thank you letter to Brackman (published in the Wiesenthal’s journal), Gates wrote:

    “I want to say how appreciative I am for the ground-clearing work you
    performed in your paper on ‘The Secret Relationship.’ It’s a subject I had
    been addressing for a while, addressing the book’s insidiousness in fairly
    general terms but I think anyone interested in truly thrashing through the
    issues has to be immediately grateful, as I am, for your splendidly detailed
    and meticulous work of reason and analysis.”
    [RESPONSE, p. 11, FALL 1992, v. 12, no. 6]

    To Next Chapter (9)

  31. Spare11

  32. 9 JEWISH CRIME “Of all the areas of Jewish enterprise,” notes Gerald Krafetz, “none has been so overlooked as the field of crime. And it isn’t because of a lack of Jewish criminality. For an introspective people, this oversight is significant. It is as if Jewish crime did not exist, an unsavory skeleton is best left in the family closet … The sociopathology of Jews is not an acceptable notion since it runs counter to both religious precepts and preconceived ideas that Jews have of themselves.” [KREFETZ, p. 112] “Jews were … involved in many of the most visible and spectacular frauds of the post-Civil War period,” notes Benjamin Ginsberg, “as well as in economic dislocations and financial manipulations that characterize the era.” [GINSBERG, p. 75] In one much publicized scandal for instance, the Jewish governor of South Carolina, Franklin Moses, oversaw the issue and selling of $6 million in fraudulent state securities, as well as funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funds into his own pocket. [GINSBERG, p. 75] In a broader financial sphere, very visibly at the top of the socio-economic pyramid, Jewish businessman Joseph Seligman’s nefarious activities in the late 1800s helped to create the infamous “Black Friday” stock market crash. Benjamin Ginsberg notes that the crash “ruined thousands of investors, implicated President Grant, and led to a Congressional investigation of [Jay] Gould and Seligman … Similarly, in the early 1890s, Jacob Schiff collaborated with E. H. Harriman in the latter’s attempts to wrest control of the Northern Pacific Railroad from J. P. Morgan and James Hill … When the price of the Northern Pacific Stock collapsed, the entire market crashed in the notorious ‘Black Thursday’ panic that led to a nationwide economic depression.” [GINZBURG, p. 73] In 1885 the French-based project to build the Panama Canal collapsed, resulting in financial scandal that led, in part, to Seligman again. “Both the United States Congress and the French Parliament had inquiries,” says Ginsberg, “In both countries major Jewish financiers were implicated: Baron Jacques de Reinach in Paris and Joseph Seligman in the United States. Many shareholders lost everything, but Seligman lost nothing. In contemporary parlance, the Seligmans engaged in influence peddling, insider trading, and corporate asset stripping and looting — all at the expense of credulous investors.” [GINZBURG, p. 74] The French end of the Panama Canal scandals, notes Albert Lindemann, “involved large amounts of French capital and threatened national prestige — and Jewish agents were deeply involved. The intermediaries between the Panama company and parliament were almost exclusively Jews with German names and backgrounds, some of whom tried to blackmail one another.” [LINDEMANN, p. 87] The Jewish component of (Gentile) Huey Long’s corrupt political machine in early 20th century Louisiana included Leon Weiss, an architect, who “was implicated in the financial scandals surrounding the administration and served prison time.” [KIRKUS, 10-1-97] Herbert Stempel was willing participant in the 1950s television quiz show scandals until a Gentile, Charles Van Doren, usurped him in deceit. Jewish TV producer Lew Cowan, denying guilt, was one of the most prominent executives who lost his job in the wake of the scandals. Even at the heart of the World Zionist Organization, after founder Theodore Herzl’s death, his wife Julie (“an extravagant and unstable woman”) “threatened the Zionist leaders with scandals and lawsuits if they didn’t meet her extravagant financial needs.” [STERNBERGER, I., 8-15, 1995] At the other end of the socio-economic world, “the scant attention [popular author Irving Howe] paid to Jewish crime in World of Our Fathers, his magisterial study of the [Manhattan Jewish] Lower East side,” notes Charles Silberman, “is a good example of the amnesia American Jews show about this part of their history.” [SILBERMAN, p. 128] In researching the level of Jewish crime during the early decades of this century in the Lower East Side, Albert Fried notes that “I discovered that an enormously complex, richly endowed culture of vice and criminality, made up mainly of young people, thrived on the Lower East Side, that most outsiders regarded it as Tammany’s bastion of power [Tammany Hall, the corrupt New York city government of the era] that the Jews themselves eventually came to look upon it as an insufferable burden of shame and embarrassment.” [FRIED, p. xiv] Such embarrassment included Jewish “fagins” (bands of pickpockets), thieves, pimps, prostitutes, opium dealers, gamblers, brothel-owners, racketeers, murderers, robbers, and others of virtually any persuasion. Arson for building insurance and horse-poisoning in extortion rackets were “two offenses associated almost exclusively with Jews.” [JOSELIT, p. 36] “In the area of only one square mile [in the Jewish Lower East Side],” notes Jenna Weissman Joselit, “authorities estimated there were approximately two hundred disorderly [prostitution] houses, three hundred and thirty-six gang ‘hang-outs,’ and over two hundred pool halls-cum-betting establishments; dance halls, a rendezvous of pimps and procurers, were found every two and one-half blocks.” [JOSELIT, p. 24] Abe “the General” Greenthal, “was one of America’s premier pickpockets … Abe’s home and base of operation was in New York City, but his gang traveled all over the United States picking pockets.” Michael Kurtz (born in 1850) “was one of America’s most celebrated burglars.” Joseph ‘Yoski Nigger’ Toblinsky “led a gang that specialized in stealing and poisoning horses.” Benjamin (Dopey) Fein “was the first gangster to make labor racketeering a full-time and profitable business. He institutionalized the practice of furnishing gangs of hoodlums to unions in their wars against employers.” [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 88, 91, 94, 95] “In 1908,” notes the Jerusalem Post, “Jews were 25 percent of the four million residents in New York City but 50% of the prison population.” [HENRY, M., 10-4-01] That same year, the police commissioner of New York City, Theodore A. Bingham, publicly noted that half of all the criminals in his city were Jewish. “Jewish leaders,” notes Robert Rockaway, “worried that Jewish gangsters provided ammunition for Jew-haters. Consequently, they steadfastly refused to acknowledge the problem in public.” [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 51] As stories of Jewish crime in New York City became increasingly publicized in the mainstream mass media, initially the “Yiddish press challenged the veracity of the evidence,” [GOREN, p. 141] but “beginning in 1909 and reaching a climax in 1912,” says Arthur Goren, “widely publicized disclosures of vice and crime among Jews created dismay and then alarm in Jewish circles. Protests of innocence were now impossible.” [GOREN, p. 135] The murder of a well-known Jewish gambler, Herman Rosenthal, was particularly horrifying for the Jewish community in that it opened up a Pandora’s Box of trials and testimonies profoundly unflattering to local Jewry. Goren notes that “The appalling fact was that the underworld segment which the trials and the indefatigable press had so thoroughly laid bare consisted almost entirely of Jewish gangsters and gamblers. No longer could Jewish apologists find comfort in viewing the phenomena as a rare deviation from the norm. In the accounts, the criminals appeared as commonplace East Side figures. Sons of hard-working parents, most had been exposed as children to religious training and had led average family lives. Even considering the hired gangsters apart, one could point to exceptional and touching instances of family loyalty, pride in one’s ethnic group, and knowledge of an affection for Jewish religious tradition.” [GOREN, p. 154] “Jewish criminals,” wrote Moses Rischin, “regularly made newspaper headlines. The appearance of an ungovernable youth after the turn of the century was undeniable and excited apprehension.” [FRIED, p. xvi] In April 1911, for instance, 400 Jewish shopkeepers flooded a criminal court building to complain and testify before a grand jury about robberies and gangs in their neighborhoods. [FRIED, p. 26] In 1909 alone, 3,000 Jewish “youngsters” appeared before an area juvenile court. [FRIED, p. 41] Gangster Monk Eastman alone “bossed a Jewish street gang that could field as many as 1,200 men on short notice.” [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 97] While many criminals were rooted in poverty, some prominent Jewish gangsters — like Arnold Rothstein and Big Jack Zelig — came from comfortable backgrounds. [FRIED, p. 40] The king of Jewish crime in the era, Arthur Rothstein, “was a rich man’s son.” [COHEN, R., p. 46] Monk Eastman’s father “was solidly middle class, a restaurant owner.” [COHEN, R., p. 45] Israeli scholar Robert Rockaway discounts the usual apologetics for Jewish gangsters, saying: “More likely, these men selected careers in crime because they wanted money, power, recognition and status; and they wanted it fast. Crime offered them a quick way to realize their dreams.” [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 52] “It was the Jews, by and large,” says Norman Cantor, “not the Italians, who created what was later called the Mafia. In the 1920s the Italians began to replace the Jews in the New York organized crime industry, but as late as 1940 if you wanted a spectacular hit you were looking for a representative of the Lepke Buchalter Gang, also known as Murder Inc. Jews were also prominent in the gambling trade and developed Las Vegas in the 1940s. It was a Jewish gambler who fixed the 1919 baseball World Series — what became known as the Black Sox scandal.” [CANTOR, p. 389] The perpetrator of the scandal was Arnold Rothstein, notes Charles Silberman, “the inventor of organized crime.” [SILBERMAN, p. 128] “It was with some astonishment,” notes Jewish critic Marvin Kitman, “that I discovered what an integral part of American Jewish life crime was. Our forefathers made names for themselves, such as they are, as gangsters, murderers, musclemen, hit men, acid throwers, arm breakers, bombers and all the other professions open to nice Jewish boys. Prostitution, vice, alcohol, gambling, racketeering, extortion, and all the other things that fill the newspaper today and that I gladly have been attributing as character flaws in other groups of founding fathers: Those were our things … I was shocked at how deep our roots are in all the sinks of depravity and corruption … The Jews were the first ones to realize the link between organized crime and organized politics. They led the way in corrupting the police and city hall. They first realized the value of gang/syndicate cartels in business to reduce the killing of each other. They were monopolists of the highest order … We wrote the book, so to speak, on crime, but it’s all forgotten.” [KITMAN, p. 9] “Some disgruntled Jewish immigrants,” says Jonathan Sarna, “chose crime as their vehicle of upward mobility. Through robbery and fencing operations, they created a parasitic counter-industry that lived off the garment trade, skimming its profits for personal benefit. Others made their living by exploiting Jewish religious practices (the standard history of the kosher-meat industry in New York is aptly entitled Fraud, Corruption, and Holiness).” [SARNA, Jewish, p. 53] Kosher meat is food that is prepared according to traditional Orthodox religious standards; it presumably entails extra time and energy to prepare which escalates prices to be higher than non-kosher food. An investigation in New York City sponsored by a Jewish community organization in 1915 discovered that 60% of the meat sold as kosher was fraudulent: most rabbis who supervised kosher sanctions were under slaughterhouse employ and abandoned strict religious adherence. [GOREN, p. 79] Among 6,000 New York area butchers who allegedly only sold kosher meat to fellow Jews, there were “few who did not, at some point, deal in unkosher meat.”[GASTWIRT, p. 113] The Jewish slaughterhouse system was also involved in price-fixing, extortion, racketeering, fist fights in the synagogue, and even murder. “The intense rivalry and competition in the kosher poultry business,” notes Harold Gastwirt, “made it prey to racketeering and violence.” [GASTWIRT, p. 46] Jewish gangsters were also violently active in support of Jewish unions or employers, depending upon who paid them. “Some of the so-called Jewish unions,” remarked a veteran of Jewish labor activities, “… fell early in their careers upon evil days: underworld characters, gangsters, got a foothold in the organization … Unfortunately, the element engaged to help would refuse to clear out when their services were no longer wanted.” [GOREN, p. 304] Rita Simon notes another of the political dimensions of underworld [and New York City governmental] corruption: “In exchange for police protection of his gang, [gang leader] Monk [Easton] employed ‘repeaters’ (repeat voters) at the polls in favor of Tammany Hall, the local Democratic machine.” [SIMON, p. 139] Jewish crime was widespread in a number of the largest urban areas of America, some of it eventually “syndicated” throughout the country, at times even in cooperation with the Italian mafia. In Chicago the Westside Jewish underworld ward was known as the “Bloody Twentieth.” A 1906 description of the area claimed that “murderers, robbers, and thieves of the worst kind are born, reared, and grow to maturity in numbers that far exceed the record of any similar district on the face of the globe.” [FRIED, p. 90] (Even Al Capone’s accountant, who later rose to further notoriety, was Jewish, Jake “Greasy Thumb” Guzik.) [LACEY, p. 18] In Cleveland, the Jewish community had its “noisome and brutal Woodland section”; in Detroit it was the eastside, most prominently ruled by the Purple Gang; in Boston it was the Chelsea quarter; Newark had its “fierce third ward”; and in Philadelphia Jewish crime, featuring boss Harry Stromberg, was largely located in the southeast area. These cities, with New York, says Albert Fried, “held the worst, that is the most criminalized, of the Jewish neighborhoods in America.” [FRIED, p. 90] In London, England, notes Daniel Levy, “the Jews were involved in assorted criminal activities. They committed petty thievery, forgery, and illegal distilling of booze. Some sailed to eastern Europe and convinced young girls that jobs and bachelors awaited them in England, only to ship them off to Indian or Argentinean white slave markets.” [LEVY, D, p. 20] Earlier forms of blackmail by non-Jewish British gangs were “developed by Jewish gangs (formed after the great immigration of the 1880s) into extortion from legitimate shopkeepers. Much as Jewish gangsters liked to portray themselves as honourable knights defending their co-religionists against anti-Semitic thugs, they were just as likely to live as predators upon their fellow Jews. A gang of extortionists known as the ‘Bessarabians’ were headed by a professional boxer who called himself Max Moses in private life and ‘Kid McCoy’ in the ring.” [FIDO, M., 2000, p. 17] Poland? In the early twentieth century, future Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion was jailed in Warsaw, Poland, for suspected radical political activism. “That was the first time,” he said later, “that I ever came into contact with the dregs of society. I was shaken to the core at the language and behavior. I never had the slightest notion that such people ever existed … The thing that shook me most was that these criminals were Jews.” [Daniel Kurzon suggests that these included members of a rival Jewish political group which Ben-Gurion considered “more dangerous criminals” than the “brothel keepers.” [KURZMAN, D., 1983, p. 67] Prominent Jews in Chicago’s criminal underworld included Louis ‘Diamond Louie’ Cowan, Hymie ‘the Loud Mouth’ Levine, Sam ‘Sammy the Greener’ Jacobson, Maxie Eisen, Murray ‘the Camel’ Humphreys, and (non-Jewish) Al Capone’s money man, Jake Guzik. [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 43] In 1924, “Chicago Jewish leader” S. M. Melamed warned about the “great number of Jews in the underworld.” [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 49] “Bootlegging in Boston,” notes Robert Rockaway, “was controlled by Charles ‘King’ Solomon … He headed one of the largest liquor, vice, and narcotics smuggling syndicates in New England … In the 1920s, Solomon ran the Boston underworld.” [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 34] But even smaller cities, like Minneapolis and adjacent St. Paul, had serious problems with Jewish crime. In November 1927 the Minneapolis Saturday Press ran an article that enflamed local public opinion, quoting the remarks of a non-Jewish gangster: “90% of the crimes committed against society in this city are committed by Jew gangsters … It is Jew, Jew, Jew, as long as one cares to comb over the records. I am launching no attack against the Jewish people as a RACE. I am merely calling attention to a FACT.” [FRIED, p. 113] Originally from Sioux Falls, Iowa, prominent Jewish gangsters in Minneapolis included “Kid” Cann (Isador Blumenfeld), Yiddie Bloom, and the Berman brothers (Davie and Chickie). [LACEY, p. 66] Cann is believed to have been responsible for the murder of Walter Ligget, publisher of Midwest America, for a series of articles the paper printed about the Minneapolis criminal underworld. Ligget was gunned down in front of his family while Christmas shopping. “Much of [Minneapolis’] illicit business,” notes Robert Rockaway, “was managed by Isadore ‘Kid Cann’ … Blumenfeld and his all-Jewish syndicate … In 1942, the FBI identified Kid Cann as ‘the overlord of the Minneapolis, Minnesota underworld.” [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 48] Cleveland mob leaders included Moe Dalitz, Morris Kleinman, Sam Tucker, and Lou Rothkopf. After prohibition, “the Cleveland mob joined with Lansky and his confederates … and formed the core of the most sophisticated national crime syndicate in America.” [BLOCK, A., p. 165] Shondor Birns (Szandor Birnstein) was another prominent Cleveland mobster, lasting in the criminal underworld for decades til 1975, when he was assassinated by a car bomb. In early years, he was part of the Maxie Diamond (also Jewish) gang. Among Birns’ crime partners was Mervin Gold who “was accused of defrauding banks and the Small Business Administration by using stolen Canadian bonds as collateral for loans. He fled to Israel,” but eventually returned. Birns, noted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer for his reputation as a “charming killer,” was suspected of Gold’s eventual murder. [MCGUANGLE, F., 7-11-99, p. 5H] Reading, Pennsylvania? As non-Jewish mobster Patsy Lepera recounted in his autobiography: “Reading at that time, in the thirties and forties, was run by the Minkers — Abe and his brother Izzy. They had a nephew named Alex Fudeman who fronted for them … Even though my father was connected right to Sicily, he had to do what the Jews wanted done in Reading, because that was their town. They eliminated the Italians. At one time it was a two-mob town … One thing I learn as I go through life is if you come up against a Jew or an Italian, you check him out. You don’t do nothing against him — you check him out careful. Jews don’t belong to the [Italian] mob, but they’re connected strong. An awful lot of Jews are connected strong.” [LEPERA, P., 1974, p. 7-8] Missouri? Charlie Birger (born Sachna Itzik Berger), prominent bootlegger, was hung in 1928 for the murder of the mayor of West City, Missouri. He is believed to have been “responsible directly or indirectly for the murders of at least a dozen people, many of whom had been his loyal followers.” One of the killed who was not a follower was a local Ku Klux Klan leader. [DE NEAL, G., 1998, p. xviii] To what lengths Jewish fraud and crime could go might be measured in the chutzpah of Bernie Barton (originally Blaustein) who even set up a fake church with a junkie as preacher as a “front for fencing stolen goods.” [DEUTSCH, G., p. 7] A number of modern respectable Jewish fortunes were founded on links to the underworld in the Prohibition era. Most noteworthy, the Seagram’s alcohol fortune (the Canadian Bronfman family) grew to power by getting their alcohol into criminal hands who smuggled it into the United States. Bronfman, who bristled when anyone called him a bootlegger, had a distribution deal for his booze with Jewish mobster Meyer Lansky. [BIRMINGHAM, p. 159] Detroit’s largely Jewish Purple Gang was also extremely active in running illegal booze from Windsor across the river border. The Purple Gang’s activities also included “gambling, prostitution, extortion, loan sharking, and rackets of every kind.” [FRIED, p. 102] So much smuggling was going on between Canada and the United States across Lake Erie that it was known as “the Jewish Lake.” [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 37] During prohibition too, “[Federal] officials labeled sacramental wine [for religious purposes] one of the chief sources of illegal liquor in the nation,” notes Jenna Weissman Joselit, “Furthermore, calling the record level of usage a ‘national scandal,’ they saw the problem as largely a Jewish one.” [JOSELIT] Here’s what Israeli scholar Robert Rockaway says about Detroit’s Purple Gang, and Jewish gangs generally: “During Prohibition (1920-1933), Jewish gangsters became major operatives in the American underworld and played prominent roles in the creation of organized crime in the United States. At the time, Jewish gangs dominated illicit activiites in a number of America’s largest cities, including Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, Newark, New York, and Philadelphia. The gang dealt in bootlegging, gambling, extortion, drugs, and murder, and developed a reputation for being more ruthless than Al Capone’s mob in Chicago. The Purple’s decade-long reign of terror ended when most of the gang’s members either went to prison or were murdered by rivals … During the Prohibition era (1919-1933) 50 percent of the country’s leading bootleggers were Jews, and Jewish criminals financed and directed much of the nation’s narcotics traffic … While Jews predominated in their quarter [in Purple Gang-era Detroit], other immigrants and ethnic groups lived there as well. One former resident of the old neighorhood joked that it was of the old neighborhood joked that i was easy to distinguish the Jewish dwelling from those occupied by non-Jews. ‘The non-Jews grew flowers in front of their houses,’ he said. ‘The Jews grew dirt.\'” [ROCKAWAY, R., 2001, p. 113-] Elsewhere, “bootlegging in Prohibition-era Philadelphia was directed by Max ‘Boo Boo’ Huff … Huff’s successor as Philadelphia’s dominant Jewish mobster was Harry Stromberg, alias Nig Rosen … He also led what was called the ’69th Street Gang’ that dealt in prostitution, extortion and labor racketeering. His influence extended as far as Washington, Baltimore, and Atlantic City … When Stromberg left Philadelphia, he was superceded by his driver and bodyguard, Willie Weisberg, a long-time member of the city’s Jewish underworld.” [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 32, 34] Another modern Jewish fortune similarly constructed is that of the Annenbergs, which was founded upon Moses Annenberg’s horse racing news monopoly that he arranged with the criminal underworld. “That Annenberg and the Prohibition and gambling mobs had interests in common is indisputable,” says Albert Fried, “An information monopoly, nominally independent, gave the mobs the wherewithal to police the complex, sprawling kingdom of the Book [i.e., gambling and bookies]; it was an instrument of their sovereignty. In return Annenberg was allowed to reap inordinate profits and become one of the richest men in the land, the founder of one of its singular dynasties.” [FRIED, p. 118] Another of the most prominent Jewish American family fortunes, the “fabulously rich Pritzker family from Chicago,” had links, however indirectly, to organized crime even in more recent history. They were involved, as “clients of the [Bruce] Kanter firm,” who ran a variety of shady Caribbean companies. Kanter, who “had direct ties to organized crime,” [BLOCK, A., p. 162] served on the Hyatt hotel company’s Board of Directors (Hyatt is one of many companies owned by the Pritzkers). [BLOCK, A., p. 191] Also, notes Allen Block, “A little digging into their background produced troubling questions. It was discovered that the source of some Pritzker money comes from the racket-ridden Teamsters Pension Fund … Investigators probing the Pritzker empire were intrigued by its connection to the Pension Fund. This was especially so when it discovered that both [mob-linked] Jimmy Hoffa and Allen Dorfman personally worked on Pritzker loans.” [BLOCK, A., p. 192] In 1997, major publishers afforded two legendary Jewish conmen of international (dis)repute respective biographies. Adam Worth started out re-joining and re-deserting various Civil War regiments (both Union and Confederate) for enlistment bonuses and later expanded his exploits into forgery, larceny, robbery, burglary, and other criminal mainstays. In England, Sir Robert Anderson, head of Criminal Investigations at Scotland Yard, observed in 1907 that “Adam Worth was the Napoleon of crime. None other could hold a candle to him.” The Pinkerton security agency noted that “in the death of Adam Worth there probably departed the most inventive and daring criminal in modern times … Among all the men Pinkertons have known in a life time, this man was the most remarkable criminal of them all.” [MCINTYRE, p. 287] Novelist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used Worth as his model for Professor Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes’ arch-nemesis. An important associate in Worth’s earlier years was “Mother” Mandelbaum, described in her era as “the great crime promoter of modern times,” the “most successful fence in the history of Newy York” and the woman who “first put crime in America on a syndicated basis.” Starting in 1862, over the next two decades she was reputed to have “handled between $5,000,000 and $10,000,000 worth of stolen property.” [MCINTYRE, B., 1997, p. 29, 30] A few years later another real-life rogue (and Jewish) notable, Morris Cohen (the subject of the second biography), rose from a life as a western Canadian circus barker and pickpocket to an adventurous life as an arms dealer, bodyguard, and general to Chinese leader Sun Yat-Sen. [LEVY, D.] Later he served under Chiang Kai-Shek. He also functioned as a liaison for Zionist influences to Chinese leadership. [UROFSKY, M., 1978, p. 99] A similar Jewish con-man was Elias Abraham Rosenberg, a “rascal” who arrived in Hawaii in 1887. There, he “ingratiated himself with King David Kalakaua by his chanting and so-called occult powers. He soon became the King’s soothsayer and astrologer, acquiring such power over the monarch that the Hawaiian press bitterly denounced him as a ‘Holy Moses.’ Rosenberg taught the King some Hebrew and was persuaded to appoint him appraiser of customs. He was given quarters in the Iolani Palace, where he practiced magic, read the stars, and chanted Bible stories in Hebrew.” [KOPPMAN/POSTAL, 1978, p. 229-230] In 1998, Jewish fraudster Trebitsch Lincoln was also afforded a biography. Lincoln, noted a reviewer, was “the king of dupers” and “a thwarted megalomaniac who was also a champion con man.” Born in Hungary in 1879, he immigrated to England and converted to Christianity. He became a member of Parliament, and later tried to become a British, and then a German, spy. He turned up as a supporter of the right-wing Kapp Putsch in Berlin in 1920, became an abbot of a Buddhist temple in Shanghai, fleeced his devotees, welcomed invading Japanese, became a Nazi apologist/propagandist and on and on in the life of a human chameleon. [BERRY, N., 5-8-98, p. 28] In 1999, the (London) Daily Mail highlighted the Kray twins, Ronnie and Reggie, “of Jewish and Romany stock.” Both were imprisoned in the 1960s. Only Reggie survives, “the best-known gangster in Britain … By 1963, through their networks of thugs and thieves, Ronnie and Reggie were lording it over London’s underworld and became figures in London society.” Decades after the likes of Worth and Cohen, famous Jewish underworld figures like Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky made the American scene. Siegel was instrumental in creating the legalized crime-laden playground of Las Vegas, starting things off at the Flamingo Hotel. Joseph Sacher headed the nearby Sands Hotel; Sacher “was second only to Lansky in the [crime] Syndicate. Years … [later] he fled the U.S. and went into exile in Israel.” [KELLEY, K., p. 219] Allen Friedman notes another early Jewish criminal influence in Sin City: “The real potential of Las Vegas was not understood until Moe Sedway arrival in 1941.” [FRIEDMAN, A., p. 82] Meyer Lansky eventually “retired” from a successful life of crime with some $150-300 million after corrupt escapades that included Florida’s “Gold Coast,” the Bahamas, and a gambling resort in pre-Castro Cuba. “At the height of his notoriety,” says Robert Lacey, “Meyer Lansky was reckoned to be, and was targeted by the U.S. Justice Department as, the biggest gangster in the United States — a dangerous lawbreaker of extraordinary power. He was identified as the Mafia’s banker, the boss of the National Crime Syndicate, the head of the Combination — the Chairman of the Board.” [LACEY, R., p. 10-11] Las Vegas has long been a hotbed of underworld influence and a worldwide attraction for gambling and prostitution. The Italian Mafia has also, from the conception of Las Vegas as a leisure Mecca, held great sway in the city, but its most famous underworld personages have always been Jewish mobsters Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky. The great scope of Jewish contribution to the creation, and dubious ethics, of Las Vegas may be measured by the words of professor Allen Balboni. Here he discusses the development of the desert city as a gambling resort area: “Most of the [Las Vegas] hotel builders were Jewish Americans. Jay Sarno and Nate Jacobson were associated with Caesar’s Palace [Sarno later created Circus Circus]; Moe Dalitz, Morris Kleinman, and Sam Tucker with the Desert Inn (and, along with Jake Factor, with the Stardust after [Italian-American Tony] Cornero’s death); Sidney Wyman, Al Gottesman, and Jake Gottleib with the early years of the Dunes; Gus Greenbaum, Moe Sedway, and Charlie Resnick with managing the Flamingo after Bugsy Siegel’s death; Ben Goffstein, Willie Alderman, and David Berman with the booking and running of the Riviera; Milton Prell with the establishment of the Sahara and then with the transformation of the Tally-Ho into the Aladdin; Hyman Abrams, Carl Cohen, and Jack Entratter with the ownership and operation of the Sands; and Ben Jaffe, Phil Kastel, and Jell Houssels (of Anglo-Saxon background) with the construction and operation of the Tropicana … A few Italian-Amerians hold minor ownership shares in casinos.” [BALBONI, p. 27] Jewish singer Eddie Fisher recalls a Las Vegas offer he had at the peak of his career that he now regrets turning down: “When I was working at the Desert Inn I met with a man named Billy Weinberger, who told me, ‘We’re building a new hotel and we want to give you fifty percent of it.’ In return I would perform there permanently and would use my influence to attract other major stars. That sounded interesting. ‘What’s it going to be called?’ I asked. ‘Caesar’s Palace.\'” [FISHER, E., 1999, p. 292] Bernie Rothkopf also owned the MGM Hotel. Allen Glick was, between 1974-79, “the mob’s front man at the Stardust, Fremont, Hacienda, and Marina hotels.” [MORRISON, J.A., p. 1A] “In July, 1979 Allen Glick was stripped of his Nevada gambling license and fined over $500,000 for a variety of improprieties.” Glick sold his interests in casinos to Allan Sachs, who was, with a partner, “figureheads for the Chicago mob responsible for providing skim monies” from Las Vegas gambling operations. [MOLDEA, 1989, p. 336] Jerome Mack, past president of the Dunes and Riviera, was a former national chairman of the Israel Bonds Campaign. Jewish entrepreneur Hank Greenspon owned the Las Vegas Sun newspaper and a local TV station. [See his efforts for Israel in the mass media section] In more recently years, Arthur Goldberg is the CEO of Park Place Entertainment, a conglomeration of 29 hotel-casinos [JENKINS, P., 5-30-99] worldwide (Caesar’s Palace, Bally’s, etc.) that is twice the size of its nearest competitor. Its Stardust division is the world’s largest hotel company. Elsewhere, Sheldon Adelson, chairman of the Sands, is also the owner of Venetian, a new Las Vegas complex built in 1999 at a cost of $1.6 billion. Adelson is “one of richest men in America,” in 1998 worth about $600 million. [STOLL, I., 1-7-00, p. 1] Adelson, noted the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “is one of the country’s largest donors to Jewish groups and he has influence in the national Jewish community.” [RALSTON] Adelson, notes the (Jewish) Forward, “has paid for 75 congressmen to visit Israel with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [the pro-Israel lobbying organization].” [STOLL, I., p. 1] As Joe Gelman noted in 1999, “A number of these sin-palace operators are Jewish and strong supporters of Israel.” [GELMAN, p. 15B] [Author Gelman complains about the use of this citation here]. The chairman of the Mirage, Steve Wynn, is also Jewish. (The funds for Wynn’s first casino, the Golden Nugget, was in large part raised by convicted Jewish financier Michael Milken). [JOHNSTON, D., p. 74] The Las Vegas mayor, Oscar Goodman, elected in 1999, is the former president of Temple Beth Sholom. He also has a reputation as a “mob lawyer,” defending, among others, Jewish mobster Meyer Lansky and Frank Rosenthal. Rosenthal, notes the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “is credited by some with founding the modern day Las Vegas sports book but was repeatedly denied a gambling license because of association with organized crime members.” [ZAPLER, p. 1A] All of this, in more recent years, has its mirror image in Atlantic City and, increasingly, other American gambling Meccas. Kenny Shapiro, for instance, was “the Atlantic investment banker for [Italian American mafioso] Nicky Scarfo, the vicious killer who ruled the Philadelphia Mafia, the most murderous mob family in America.” [JOHNSTON, D., 1992, p. 82] Another influential Jewish gambling mogul today is Sol Kerzner, founder and principal owner of Sun City (also known as “Sin City”), a resort playground created in 1979 in a poverty-stricken area of apartheid South Africa. Kerzner’s modern empire has expanded with extravagant casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the Bahamas, Mauritus, France, and a Native American site in Connecticut. An alleged bribery scheme involving the Jewish mayor of Capetown, David Bloomberg, in 1986 held up — for a while — his United States investments. “Sun City,” notes reporter Jay Clarke, “started out as a ‘Sin City,’ a place where South Africans could let their hair down because it was located then in the so-called ‘independent homeland’ of Bophuthatswana. Gambling, show-girl revenues, and prostitution were the lures.” [CLARKE, p. TR1] “If ever there was an appropriate setting for corruption it is Sun City,” noted the (London) Guardian, “situated as it is in one of nine homelands which represent the cornerstones of that most corrupt of social systems, apartheid.” [BERESFORD, p. 18] One of the Israelis who made millions off the immoral socio-political system surrounding Sun City is Shabtai Kalmanovitch; he worked as an “economic advisor” to Bophuthatswana’ s dictator. [BERESFORD, p. 18] ) In recent years Sun City has attempted to diversify by creating a family-oriented “Lost City” adventure park adjoining the casino. “The patent reason why the Lost City has been designed as a family playground and entertainment centre,” says the (London) Guardian, “is that it entices the public into gaming. The corridors leading to the main casino even feature children’s versions of slot machines — game machines — which could with some justification be described as nursery slopes inculcating the joys (or otherwise) of adult addiction to the one-armed bandits packing the main ‘treasure hall.\'” [BERESFORD, p. 18] Many Jewish (and other) mob figures were also involved in the gambling industry in Cuba until the communist revolution destroyed their operations. “After the loss of Cuba and the clampdown on the Mafia by the Kennedy Justice Department,” notes Dan Moldea, “Meyer Lansky and the organized crime syndicate had targeted the Bahamas as its new off-shore gambling and narcotics empire.” [MOLDEA, 1989, p. 128] In the casino/resort/hotel world of the Bahamas, and its criminal underworld, Jews have also been prominent. Among those who find a place in Alan Block’s book about organized crime on these islands are * Louis Arthur Chesler who “served as [mobster] Lansky’s point man … Among Chesler’s criminal specialties was the handling of stolen securities.” [p. 34-35] * Morris Mac Schwabel, a Manhattan attorney, formerly convicted of securities fraud. [p. 36] * Joseph Jacob Frankel, who in the early 1960s “teamed up with Charles ‘Ruby’ Stein and [Italian mafioso] Nicholas ‘Jiggs’ Farlano who were major organized crime figures.” [p. 89] * Arthur Millgram, president of Automated Ticket Systems (it had contracts with the New York lottery system), who was murdered in 1977. [p. 91] * Joel Mallin, a lawyer who had “ties to the mob.” [p. 91] * Irving Kahn, partner with “mob attorney Morris Shenker.” [p. 95] * C. Gerald Goldsmith, who “was the Board Chairman of the [Nassau] Port Authority, DEVCO, and several related firms. This put him in the middle of one of the largest political payoff scams in the Bahamas. … One of his duties was the illegal siphoning of company funds into the hidden bank accounts for political payoffs.” [p. 95, 98] * Ben Novack, owner of Miami’s Fountainbleau hotel, who was an “associate of prominent gangsters Lansky, Coppola, and others including Max Eder, a loanshark and suspected labor racketeer with a history of gambling, robbery, narcotics, and homicide arrests.” [p. 115] * “Cleveland racketeers Morris Kleinman and Moe Dalitz.” [p. 116] * Burt Kanter, a lawyer who had “direct ties to organized crime. [p. 162] He was a senior member of the law firm Kanter, (Milton) Levenfeld, (Charles) Lippitz and (Roger) Baskes. * Allen Dorfman, who was “murdered in 1985 to prevent him from talking about mob investments … [He] was in the same league as Glick, Shenker, and Malnik.” [p. 164] Even among many of the most vicious Jewish thugs, worldwide collectivist Jewish loyalty usually finds expression. “During Israel’s war of independence,” says Gerald Krefetz, “[Meyer Lansky] killed an arms exporter who was selling to Arab countries. Lansky has contributed substantial funds from his gambling fortunes to Jewish causes, particularly to the United Jewish Appeal.” [KREFETZ, p. 116] “A Jew should lead a normal life and a proud life,” Lansky once remarked, “… I’ve been ready at any time in my life to defend myself against insults to Jews or to me as a Jew.” [SARNA, Jewish, p. 55] In Russia, in warring leading to the Communist revolution, “real life gangster [Jewish] Misha Yaponchik … helped to defend Odessa’s Jews from the Whites [loyal to the Tsar] but was afterwards killed by the [Communist] Reds.” [SICHER, p. 172] In England, Jewish criminal Jacob Comacho (aka Jack Spot) started “to establish the reputation for violence that would cause his rise. He called himself the “King of Aldgate.” “When Oswald Mosley’s Fascists started to infest the East End [of London] chanting, ‘We gotta get rid of the Yids,’ Spot became a local hero, taking a lead-weighted chair leg to inflict a savage beating on one of Mosely’s roughnecks at the battle of Cable Street. Spot’s exultant recollection of the incident from his placid law-abiding retirement in the ’80s was still capable of startling a young journalist by the revelation of relished brutality … He liked to think of himself as the strong man who could be sent for by any Jewish businessman in trouble anywhere, from Glasgow to London. He would then bash the businessmen’s enemies, and in return help himself to clothing, food and drink, and spare cash as he needed it. Rabbis recommended him to their congregations, as Spot tells it.” [FIDO, M., 2000, p. 32-33] “During Prohibition,” notes Israeli scholar Robert Rockaway, “fifty per cent of the leading bootleggers were Jewish, and Jewish criminals financed and directed much of the nation’s narcotics traffic … At the same time, a number of these mobsters, quietly and without publicity, defended and assisted the Jewish community. Despite their aversion to ‘these black sheep of Israel,’ many ordinary Jews appreciated the gangster’s protection, whereas communal leaders accepted and sometimes solicited their aid.\'” [ROCKAWAY, p. 215] Jewish mobster Mickey Cohen, for instance, was particularly active in raising money for the Jewish terrorist group IRGUN in its attacks against the British (and Arabs) in Palestine. [BIRMINGHAM, p. 281] “Just how aware, in 1947,” says Stephen Birmingham, “American Jews were aware of the role of organized crime in the fight for an independent Israel is unclear. Probably most were not aware. Those who were, numbed by reports of the Holocaust that were at last appearing in the American media, preferred to look the other way or to take the attitude that the end justifies the means.” [BIRMINGHAM, p. 284] The Jewish criminal underworld was also helpful to Israel in getting weapons to Israel in its early years. Yehuda Arazi, an arms purchaser for the Haganah organization, even made contacts with the Jewish-based Murder, Inc. gang, looking for help. “In my busines,” said Arazis, “We can’t be too fussy who we do business with. Sometimes they’re not nice people.” [ROCKAWAY, p. 230] Other underworld contacts arranged for Israeli agents to conceal arms smuggling out of New York City. Jewish criminals even had links to the President of Panama who allowed illegal Israeli arms shipments to sail under the Panama flag. [ROCKAWAY, p. 231] In 1947 gangster Mickey Cohen helped fund-raising efforts for the terrorist Irgun gang fighting the British in Palestine. Jewish criminals pooled about $120,000 for the Irgun cause.” [ROCKAWAY, p. 232-233] Jewish gangsters like Allie Tennebaum, says Rich Cohen, “did live to see the emergence of a strong Israel, and they must have seen it as something to rejoice over, proof that not everything the gangsters believed in was wrong.” [KAUFMAN, G., p. 2] Susan Berman, daughter of gangster David Berman, wrote that her father was, as Jonathan Sarna sardonically notes, “a Jewish role model.” He was “extremely proud of being Jewish,” notes Ms. Berman, ” … He felt that for a Jewish child to be properly brought up, there must be a synagogue, a rabbi, and a cantor in evidence.” [SARNA, JEWISH, p. 55] Another Jewish author, Rich Cohen, romanticizes gangster murder as some kind of affirmative act of redemption, delighting in Jewish violence so strongly that he can write: “When [Abe] Reles took a mark [murdered someone], he was not just ending a life: he was expressing the essential freedom of the Jew in America.” [KAUFMAN, p. 2] “America,” wrote another Jewish author, Albert Fried, about Jewish gangsters,” is embracing Bugsy Siegel’s vision; his martyrdom [he was murdered by other mobsters] was not in vain.” [SARNA, JEWISH, p. 55] “Bombast of this sort,” complains Jonathan Sarna in a review of Fried’s volume, “is obviously meant, in part, to pander to a potential Jewish audience, trying to fashion for it folk heroes of the same ‘gentleman-bandit’ type as non-Jews enjoy. Jewish criminals are thus portrayed as being proud of their heritage, big givers to charity, and strong supporters of the state of Israel.” [SARNA, JEWISH, p. 55] Is this an artificial portrayal that Jewish gangsters were integral to, and respected by, many in Jewish neighborhoods, and loyal to the burgeoning state of Israel? After the assassination of gangster Big Jack Zelig in 1912, during his New York City funeral procession “the streets of all around Broome Street were jammed,” said Jewish detective Abe Schoenfeld, “A choir consisting of twelve singers conducted by Cantor Goldberg of Newark, New Jersey, sang their Jewish hymns as the procession proceeded down Delaney Street to the bridge. There was an unbroken line of people covering the sidewalk watching the funeral. Only the funeral of Rabbi Joseph (a revered spiritual leader) surpassed this –the funeral of Jack Zelig.” [ROCKAWAY, p. 217] In Chicago, the death of criminal Samuel “Nails” Morton attracted “five thousand Jewish mourners, including rabbis [who] accompanied Morton’s hearse to the cemetery. Local reporters wanted to know why so many Jews would attend the funeral of a notorious gangster.” [ROCKAWAY, p. 218] The reason, argues Robert Rockaway, is an old one: Jewish unity against non-Jewish enemies. Between both the Jewish criminal underworld and respectable Jewry, there were especially strong feelings of solidarity against anti-Jewish right-wing political movements. In the 1930s, for example, prominent gangster Meyer Lansky was solicited by a New York City judge and former Congressman, Nathan Perlman, and New York’s most famous rabbi, Stephen Wise, to arrange violent attacks against pro-German groups in America. [ROCKAWAY, p. 220, COHEN, R., p. 190] ] As late as 1992 the Synagogue of the Suburban Torah in Livingston, New Jersey, sponsored a tribute occasion in honor of a Jewish gangster, Max “Puddy” Hinkes, who had decades earlier organized violent Jewish mobster attacks upon pro-Nazi sympathizers in the area. [ROCKAWAY, p. 223] In Minneapolis, “gambling czar” David Berman led Jewish underworld assaults upon pro-Nazi conferences in the 1930s [ROCKAWAY, p. 224]; likewise, Mickey Cohen instigated similar violence in Los Angeles. [ROCKAWAY, p. 227] For some Jews, Cohen’s claim that he single-handedly beat up two Nazi-types locked in a jail cell with him is welcome legend. [COHEN, R., 1999, p. 191] Even Jack Ruby, assassin of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, “with several friends, frequently attempted to disrupt rallies of the German-American Bund. One acquaintance reported that Ruby was responsible for ‘cracking a few heads’ of Bund members. Apparently he joined in this activity for ethnic rather than political reasons. The young men in the group were not organized adherents of any particular political creed, but were pool hall and tavern companions from Ruby’s Jewish neighborhood who gathered on the spur of the moment to present opposition when they learned that pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic Bund movement was planning a meeting.” [WARREN COMMISSION, 1964, p. 696] “From Arthur Rothstein and Meyer Lansky to their modern day successors in the Americas, Israel or the Soviet Union,” says Joel Kotkin, “Jewish criminals have succeeded in everything from murder for hire to smuggling. Yet, even in crime, both emphasis and cultural preference lay with the successful use of sechel (smarts) rather than brute force.” [KOTKIN] It is curious that Kotkin concedes a Jewish criminal tradition but accepts another mythology about modern Jewry – that Jews were/are smart, but never violent. One of the many Jewish mobsters recruited to help Israel was Bugsy Siegel. “Siegel,” says Robert Rockaway, “remained enthusiastic about violence. Even after he became a major crime boss, he wanted to do the killing himself rather than simply arrange matters. This may explain his willingness to help Israel once he learned that Jews were willing to kill to achieve their state.” [ROCKAWAY, p. 231] Other exceptionally prominent Jewish murderers in America’s criminal underworld included Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, head of Murder, Inc., and “one of the most vicious gangsters in the annals of American crime … Between sixty and eighty men died on Lepke’s orders. They were burned in gasoline, buried in quicklime, shot, stabbed with ice picks, or garroted.” [ROCKAWAY, 1993, p. 17] Lewis “Pretty” Amberg “was one of New York’s best known killers, having ‘rubbed out’ from eighteen to a hundred men, no one knew for sure.” [ROCKAWAY, 1993, p. 22] Charley Workman “was said to have killed twenty men … he was so expert at assassination.” [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 193] Harry “Pittsburg Phil” Strauss was “perhaps the most famous professional killer in American gangster history … [He] killed over 100 (some say over 400) men from the late 1920s to 1940s, making him the most prolific killer in New York.” [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 149] “Detroit police,” adds Robert Rockaway, “credit the [the all-Jewish Detroit] Purple Gang with over 500 killings, more than the Capone mob. This caused Herbert Ausbury, a historian of American crime, to call the gang ‘the most efficiently organized gang of killers in the United States.\'” [ROCKAWAY, R., 2001, p. 113-] Rich Cohen, who wrote a book about Jewish crime, noted his own family’s reaction to what he discovered in his research: “They really had no idea just how bad [Jewish criminals] were. I didn’t really know how violent they were, or how many people they killed or how many times they were arrested. You come to see them as people. Even within that world, some of them were worse than others. With some, it was just the situation. And some of them were just killers.” [KERNICKY, p. 1E] Cohen also noted that some of New York’s Jewish gangsters gathered at his grandmother’s restaurant: “When I told [my grandmother] of my interest in writing about the restaurant and also about the gangsters and their table in back, her face clouded over, ‘They’ll kill you,’ she said, ‘These men, they’re not like you. They’ll kill a boy like you.’ When I pointed out that these men –Reles, Strauss, Goldstein, Maione, Abbandando — were long dead, she shook her head and said, ‘They’ll kill you.\'” [COHEN, R., 1999, p. 35] Yet, adds Cohen, “When [Abe] Reles and the boys were hanging out at my grandparents’ diner and the cops came by, my great-grandmother would hide their guns in the onions. She hated gangsters, but she hated people she thought hated Jews more.” The endemic anti-Semites Cohen refers to here are generic policemen. [COHEN, R., p. 156] A Jewish columnist, Brian Viner, at Great Britain’s Jewish Chronicle notes Rich Cohen’s look into Jeish criminal history, like this: “That I know all this is thanks largely to my estimable cousin Ben, a fount of information on Jewish gangster matters. I phoned him the other night and he told me, just as I might tell someone that Arensal are top the league by a point, that of 60,000 Jews living in Argentina by the 1920s, 9,000 were involved in prostitution rackets. You have to admit it’s a conversation stopper. Ben — a big fan of Rich Cohen’s book ‘Tough Jews,’ not the least for its story of Red Levine, a hitman who wouldn’t kill anyone on Shabbat — is a Glaswegian, whose own father was threatened with imprisonment in 1916 for his involvement in a gambling den. And, according to Ben, some of the nastiest loan sharks in pre-war Glasgow were Jewish.” [VINER, B., 11-29-02, p. 37] Jewish author Gloria Deutsch also notes today’s Jewish blinders to their inglorious turn-of-the-century American past: “We were always conditioned to believe Jews didn’t do these things, but here is Sandy Sadowsky [author of My Life in the Jewish Mafia] with her hair-raising stories of gangland murders, prostitution, rackets, strong-arm men — the shtarkers who exacted revenge and protected their bosses — and one wonders if believing in the myth of Jewish crimelessness (other than a spot of fraud here and there) wasn’t anything more than a huge collective ostrich act.” [DEUTSCH, p. 7] Jewish violent criminality today also goes against the popular myths of an absolute non-violence in the Jewish community. “The concept of Jewish convicts serving serious jail time,” noted the Los Angeles Times in 1995, “runs counter to a popular stereotype that Jewish felons tend to be nonviolent types who serve their sentences in minimum security cells … Jews outside of prison often find this [fact of Jewish murderers] hard to deal with.” “The people who know about it are kind of amazed,” Howard Cohn, a part-time rabbi at the Pennsylvania State Corrections Institute told the Times. “They can’t believe there are really Jews in a prison like this.” [BEALE, p. A5] In the most sensational genre, New York serial killer David Berkowitz (“Son of Sam”) was Jewish (he was adopted by a Jewish family as an infant), as was Joel Rifkind [EFTMIADES, p. 75] of Long Island, who into the early 1990s strangled to death at least 17 women, mostly New York prostitutes. “He went, picked up a prostitute, had sex with her, killed her, and dumped her.” [EFTIMIADES, p. 90-91] In the 1920s, one of America’s most sensational crimes, splashed all over the country’s newspapers, was that of the Leopold and Loeb boys: “A pair of wealthy young members of Chicago’s Jewish bourgeoisie in the early 20s, they kidnapped a young man, Bobby Franks, and murdered him as a kind of Nietzchean experiment; after their arrest, it was revealed that they had a sexual relationship too.” [BARBOUR, D., 1998] At the time, it was popularized as “the crime of the century.” [ABRAHAMSEN, D., 1983, p. 41] Amy Fisher, who received a great deal of press in New York tabloids as the “Long Island Lolita,” was jailed in 1992 for shooting the wife of her lover. [PORTER, B., 5-11-99, p. A6] Even in an Orthodox religious community, in 1990, the Jewish Week ran an article about today’s New York Satmar Chasidic community, “notorious for its violent actions against other Jewish groups [which] has imploded into a war against itself. Pitting supporters of the deceased Satmar Rabbi against supporters of his successor … In the Brooklyn area of Williamsburg, home to more than 30,000 Satmars, four cars belonging to one faction were set on fire last week, while as many as 500 Satmars watched and cheered. Three Satmars, in one of the burning cars, needed to be rescued by police, who were also trying to control the Satmar onlookers.” [MARK, J, Satmar] Satmar violence against others has increasingly spread against non-Jewish neighbors. “Recent years,” wrote Jonathan Mark in 1990, “have seen an explosion of tension between all chasidim and their Black and Hispanic neighbors. Most recently, Hispanic groups have complained that the Satmars act like they have the right of eminent domain over Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, where many Satmars reside. They have charged that chasidic men have sexually harassed non-Jewish women, that chasidic security patrols are actually racially motivated vigilantes.” [MARK, SATMAR, p. 4] In the more overtly political context (and not Orthodox), in an entire book about assassinations (limited only to those deemed “political”) carried out by Jews in Palestine/Israel from 1882 to 1988, Israeli scholar Nachum Ben David itemizes 91 cases of “assassination events” committed by Jews. (An assassination is defined by this author in his title as “a rhetorical device for justice”). Most murder victims were other Jews who were considered “traitors/collaborators/squealers/informers.” [BEN DAVID, p. 418] “We are not dealing with a lone fanatic killer [in these cases],” stresses Ben David, “but with a premeditated planned act, committed by a group or by a representative of a group.” [BEN YEHUDA, p. xxi] Aside from a possible volume about Jewish gangster murders, no doubt a similar volume could be created about Jewish assassinations under the auspices of Russian communism. Just before, and after, the creation of the Soviet state, assassinations by Jews, in one form or another, sometimes as secret police agents, are many. Mark Zborowsky, for instance, (a later immigrant to America where he became a university professor), in league with fellow Jews Naum Eitingon and Grigory Rabinovich, was instrumental in the operation to murder Trotsky’s son, Lev Sedov. [VAKSBERG, p. 96] Arkady Vaksberg notes another case of Jews murdering Jews: “The murder of two Jews whom Stalin hated [Efraim Sklyansky and Isiah Khurgin] had been organized by two other Jews, Kanner and Yagoda. Let us add that Kanner’s assistant, Bombin, and Mekhil’s assistants, Makhovev and Yuzhak, were all Jewish.” [VAKSBERG, p. 28] In 1904, the Russian Minister of Interior, Vlacheslav Plehve, also fell to a Jewish assassin. [LINDEMANN, A., 1997, p. 296] In 1906, in the Russian town of Grodno, “Jewish partisans assassinated the Russian district commander of police.” In 1908, the chief of police from another town, Bialystok, came to Grodno. This time, “the Jew who tried to shoot him died in prison.” [LACEY, p. 18] In September of 1911 another Jewish assassin, Dmitry Bogrov, shot and killed Pyotr Stolypin, a prominent Russian official, at the Kiev Opera Theatre. [SINGER, N, p. 2] Another Jewish would-be killer, Fanya Kaplan, also shot V. I. Lenin through the neck in a failed assassination attempt in early communist Russia, saying that he had “betrayed the Revolution.” [LEVYTSKY, p. 29] On the same day, “the Cheka leader Uritsky was shot to death in August 1918 by a distinguished Jewish poet and army officer named Kannegiesser who ‘was revolted by the fact that so many of the Bolsheviks were Jewish.\'” [WEYL, N., 1968, p. 198] In 1926, another Jewish assassin, Shalom Schwartzbard, murdered Ukrainian nationalist Symon Petlura, in Paris. (Petlura was in exile from his homeland; he formerly led the Ukrainian army against Bolshevik attack). As noted earlier, a Jewish woman was also a member of the team that assassinated Tsar Alexander II. And, as noted before also, those who directed (and participated in) the murder of the royal family during the Russian Revolution were also largely Jewish. Even in Argentina, “on May Day 1909, during a workers’ demonstration in Buenos Aires, a Jewish anarchist murdered a local police chief,” thereby igniting anti-Jewish rioting. [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 281] Elsewhere, during the rise of Nazi fascism in Germany, notes Franklin Ford, “paradoxically, during their movement’s first years in power, Nazis were the victims, not the perpetrators of two sensational murders of German’s residing in foreign parts.” [FORD] In 1936 a Nazi official in Switzerland, Wilhelm Gustloff, was assassinated by a Jewish student, David Frankfurter. In 1938 Ernst von Rath, a German embassy official in Paris was killed by Herschel Grynszpan. The Nazis used this act as an excuse to respond with intensified savagery to the German Jewish population. Years earlier, in 1918, long before the Nazis came to power, a Russian Jew, Yakov Blumkin, assassinated the German ambassador to Moscow, Count Mirbach. [SUDOPLATOV, p. 189] Kurt Eisner, the Jewish prime minister of Bavaria, was also assassinated in 1918 by Count Arco Valley, “a young man who felt stigmatized by the fact that his mother was Jewish.” [GRUNFELD, F., 1996, p. 123]’ As Leon Schapiro notes about late 19th century Russia and the formation of a communist base there: “When Jews thronged into the party after 1881 the number of Jewish terrorists was very high. There were important Jewish terrorists, like Gershuni, for example, in the socialist revolutionary party which evolved during the present century as the heir of the ‘People’s Will’ … In more recent times one could cite the extensive Jewish participation in the savageries of the Red Terror of the Cheka [the secret police] — or even events in Palestine.” [SCHAPIRO, L., 1961, p. 152] In America, in 1892 famous Jewish anarchist Emma Goldman and two comrades decided to assassinate millionaire Henry Clay Frick. “In desperation [Goldman] tried whoreing [sic] (unsuccessfully) on 14th Street [in New York] to raise the money for a gun, and [Alexander] Berkman went to Pittsburgh to pull the trigger.” [SHULMAN, A., 1970, p. 10] The assassination attempt by Berkman was carried out, but Frick survived his wound. Also in America, in 1974 Samuel Byck, another Jewish would-be assassin, embarked on a sensationally bizarre suicidal scheme to kill President Richard Nixon. He murdered a security guard at the Baltimore/Washington airport, stormed into a jet and demanded to the pilots that it take off and follow his orders. His plan was to crash the plane into the White House. Technically unable to accommodate him, Byck murdered the two pilots before he was, in turn, shot and killed by authorities. [CLARKE, J., p. 128-142] More famous, of course, in Texas, was Jack Ruby (born Jacob Rubinstein), the (Jewish) murderer of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who is believed to have killed John F. Kennedy. Ruby had interests in six Dallas-area strip-tease clubs. As Gerald Posner notes: “Ruby often resulted to violence with his employees, and lost the tip of his left index fingers when one bit it off during a scuffle. He beat one of his musicians with brass knuckles, cracked another’s head with a blackjack, knocked another’s teeth out, and put the club’s handyman in the hospital with a severe beating. To avoid paying the club’s cigarette girl $50 in back wages, he threatened to throw he down the stairs until she relented her claim … He was not above attacking people from behind, kicking men in the groin or face once he had them to the floor, or even striking women … He was often malicious, forcing beaten victims to crawl out of the club on hands and knees.” [POSNER, p. 357] Paul Krassner also notes this about Ruby: “Lenny [Bruce, the famous Jewish comic] told me, ‘I know other comics who have worked for Jack Ruby. Dig this. They say he has a tattoo of a vagina on his upper arm, and whenever he flexes his muscle, the vagina dilates open.” [KRASSNER, P., 1993, p. 60] Ruby’s killing of Oswald erased his looming testimony, as well as any other person’s or organization’s involvement in the most famous political assassination in American history. “In Dallas, Texas,” noted Jewish scholar Barnet Litvinoff, “a man born with the name Rubinstein who subsequently eliminated its Jewish-sounding suffix took it upon himself to avenge the martyrdom of a President. He gave his Jewishness as one of the reasons for doing so.” [LITVINOFF, B., p. 18] At Ruby’s trial, Patrick Dean (the police sergeant in charge of security where Oswald was killed) testified that shortly after the shooting he talked to Ruby about what he had just done. One of the reasons Ruby killed Oswald, the killer told him, was “because he wanted the world to know that Jews do have guts.” [BELLI, p. 167] When Kennedy was shot, Ruby was in the advertising offices of the Dallas Morning News, troubled by a full page advertisement in that morning’s newspaper. As Gerald Posner notes, “The entire page was a black-bordered advertisement, headed in large block letters, ‘Welcome Mister Kennedy,’ and the text accused the President of being a Communist tool. It was signed by ‘The American Fact-Finding Committee, Bernard Weissman, Chairman. Ruby was very disturbe
  33. “The entire page was a black-bordered advertisement, headed in
    large block letters, ‘Welcome Mister Kennedy,’ and the text accused
    the President of being a Communist tool. It was signed by ‘The
    American Fact-Finding Committee, Bernard Weissman, Chairman.
    Ruby was very disturbed that the News should have run such a
    demeaning advertisement and was dismayed that it was signed by
    someone with a Jewish name.” [POSNER, 1993, p. 371]

    Ruby mingled with a variety of underworld figures, and was involved in gun smuggling to Cuba, facts that has fueled in later years a variety of conspiracy theories about who really killed Kennedy. And for what reason. Jim Marris notes that

    “The smuggling of arms to Cuba was overseen by Norman ‘Roughhouse’
    Rothman, a burly associate of Miami’s mob boss Santos Trafficante who
    managed Trafficante’s Sans Souci in Havana. At the same time Rothman
    reportedly was splitting Havana slot machines with [Cuban dictator]
    Batista’s brother-in-law.” [MARRIS, p. 391]

    In his 1989 investigation of the Kennedy assassination, Marris also devotes an entire chapter entitled, “Did Ruby and Oswald Know Each Other?,” itemizing the testimony of those who claimed that the two were not strangers to each other. [MARRIS, p. 402-414]

    “There were many signs that Ruby wasn’t just a harmless scoundrel,” noted Newsweek in 1993, “and the investigation into his background was remarkably — almost willfully — shallow. FBI agents interviewed hundreds of his acquaintances, but they barely followed up on obvious leads about his underworld friends and his trips to Cuba.” [BECK, p. 94]

    While Ruby was locked in prison and sentenced to death for the murder of Oswald, the London Guardian notes that Ruby

    “was raving by the end — there was no bigger conspiracy theorist than
    Jack Ruby. He became convinced America had begun a pogrom against
    the Jews because of what he, or Oswald, or both of them, had done.”

    To Next Chapter (10)

  34. Spare12

  35. 10

    “[Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion] could hard imagine
    that Jewish women would stoop to crime or prostitution. When an associate, Meyer Weisgal, who resembled David Ben-Gurion, once told him humorously that a girl had walked up to him on a London street and offered her services, overwhelmed by the idea of sleeping with the ‘Israeli prime minister.’ Ben-Gurion, clearly troubled, was interested in only one thing: ‘Was she Jewish?'”
    — Dan Kurzman, 1983, p. 39

    “I also take a kind of perverse pleasure in the thought that the most important
    and influential book ever written is the product of Jewish thought … I call it
    ‘perverse’ becaue it is an instance of national pride which I don’t want to feel
    and which I fight against constantly …”I remember once a fellow Jew remarking
    with satisfaction on the high percentage of Nobel Prize winners who were Jewish.
    I said, ‘Does that make you feel superior?’ ‘Of course,’ he said. ‘What if I told you
    that sixty percent of the pornographers and eighty percent of the crooked Wall
    Street manipulators wre Jewish? He was startled. ‘Is that true?’ ‘I don’t know. I
    made up the figures. But what if it were true? Would it make you feel inferior?’
    He had to think about that. It’s much easier to find reasons to consider oneself
    superior than inferior. But one is just the mirror image of the other.'”
    — Isaac Asimov, 1994, p. 322

    ‘But where do Jews enter the picture?’ I asked him.
    ‘Ah!’ said Simon [Wiesenthal], slapping his knee. ‘I haven’t told you something else. A few years ago, I have a talk with a man who went to school with Hitler. I ask him what Hitler was like in school and he says, ‘Normal. But maybe this hatred began after got this infection from a Jewish whore.’
    ‘Are you saying that Hitler caught syphillis from a Jewish prostitute?’ I asked increduously.
    Wiesenthal laughed and said: ‘What’s the matter? You think only Jews can catch diseases from prostitutes?’
    ‘No, but were Jewish prostitutes common in Austria?’
    ‘Why not? Is there a Gentile monopoly on prostitution?’
    ‘I just don’t see it as a vocation for a nice Jewish girl.’
    ‘A nice Jewish girl,’ Simon mimicked. ‘You have those ‘nice Jewish girls’ in Israel, too, these days and they had them in Vienna years ago — when there were more Jews.’
    — Alan Levy,
    The Wiesenthal File. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,
    Grand Rapids, MI, 1993 p. 18

    At the end of the 19th and beginning of the twentieth century, Jews were deeply involved in what was popularly called “white slavery”: international prostitution rings. “White slavery,” notes scholar Albert Lindemann, “was a concern of Jewish leaders throughout the world, who recognized it as a special problem.” [LINDEMANN, p. 33] [Jews have also dominated the pornography and commercial sexploitation business, a trend which continues to this day — see Mass Media section]

    “Between 1880 and 1939,” notes scholar Edward Bristow, “the Jews played a conspicuous role in ‘white slavery,’ as the commercial prostitution of that era was dramatically called. Not only was this Jewish participation conspicuous, it was historically unprecedented, geographically widespread, and fraught with collective political dangers.” [BRISTOW, p. 1] “Jewish trafficking,” says Bristow, “was anchored in brothel keeping, women freelanced or kept houses while their husbands procured … Jewish traffickers also supplied Gentile-run houses.” [BRISTOW, p. 56-57]

    Rooted largely in Eastern and Central Europe where they “dominated the international traffic out of the area,” [BRISTOW, p. 2] Jews were involved in prostitution rings that networked, wrote Arthur Mora (of London’s Jewish Association for the Protection of Girls and Women) in 1903, to “almost all parts of North and South Africa, to India, China, Japan, Philippine Island, North and South America, and also to many of the countries of Europe.” [BRISTOW, p. 1] Jewish criminals trafficked women under their control virtually anywhere, also including the major cities of Bulgaria, Bosnia, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Ceylon, Manchuria, South Africa, Rhodesia, and Mozambique. [BRISTOW, p. 181]

    “By 1900,” says Bristow, “Jewish commercial vice was largely incorporated in underworld elements and many of it participants were predators of the poor.” [BRISTOW, p. 89] Jewish pimps, procurers, and traffickers preyed mostly on non-Jewish women, but even large numbers of Jewish women were part of their stables.

    In 1872, for example, Jewish prostitutes in Warsaw numbered 17% of the known prostitution population, in Krakow 27%, and in Vilna 47%. [BRISTOW, p. 23] Within the Jewish community itself, it was not uncommon for recruiters to marry innocent Jewish young women and “deposit them in foreign brothels.” [BRISTOW, p. 25] Many of the Jewish criminal underworld figures apparently saw no gap between their day-to-day activities and their religious lives, often maintaining their religious obligations. A Warsaw thug, Shilem Letzski, organized a small synagogue for Jewish “prostitutes, madams, pimps, and thieves.” This criminal community even had a rabbinical court “to settle disputes between pimps.” [BRISTOW, p. 60] In Constantinople, prostitutes contributed money to “have their pimps called to Torah on holidays.” [SCHNEIDER, p. 225] In New York City, “a public school and a large synagogue were situated right next door to the house of prositution.” [RUBINOW, I., 1959, p. 114-115]

    In Buenos Aires, Argentina, notes Donna Guy, the Jewish pimp organization called the Varsovia Society

    “ostensibly functioned as a mutual aid society … In fact, the Varsovia
    consisted of pimps who wanted to maintain their business and still lead
    a religious life … Varsovia associates established their own synagogue
    on Guemes Street in the midst of the traditional bordello district.”
    [GUY, p. 22]

    Israeli scholar Robert Rockaway notes also, for example, that prominent Jewish American mobster Longy Zwillman “always remained sensitive to his Jewish upbringings.” When a close friend died, and the funeral was conducted in a church, Zwillman refused to attend. As he explained it, he was an ancestral member of the Jewish priest caste (the Cohens) and it was religiously forbidden to him to be with a dead body in a room. [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 30]

    Dr. Louis Maretsky, the head of the B’nai B’rith in Germany, forlornly noted in 1912 that at least 271 of 402 prostitution traffickers on a Hamburg police list were Jewish; in reviewing similar lists for Eastern Europe and South Africa at least 374 of 644 were from the Jewish community. [BRISTOW, p. 56] (No mention here is made of even higher possible percentages: as explored later, it has long been a tradition for many Jews in their diaspora to formally change their identifiable Jewish names). Concerning Galicia, Maretsky wrote that “the prominence of Jewish traffickers and brothel operators there is no doubt. From the files of the Austrian and German police there were 111 Jewish traffickers active in Galicia and the neighboring province of Bukovina for 1904-08 alone.” [BRISTOW, p. 56]

    By 1889 Jewish women ran 203 of 289 (70%) of the licensed brothels in the “Pale of Settlement” (encompassing over 20 provinces in eastern Poland and western Russia — an area where Jews were about 12% of the population). 1122 of 5127 (22%) licensed prostitutes in this area were Jewish. [BRISTOW, p. 63] The grievous political dangers for local Jewry in the context of enduring interethnic hostilities, when 78% of the rest of the women were Gentile, many indentured in Jewish houses, is obvious.

    Further in the West, 16 of 19 licensed brothels in Warsaw were run by Jewish women, prostitutes in the low-class establishments were expected to service 40-50 customers a day, up to 60-70 on Holy Days. (In 1905 the respectable part of the Jewish Warsaw community rioted against the brothels; 40 whorehouses — legal and illegal — were reported destroyed, 8 persons killed, and 100 injured). [BRISTOW, p. 61]

    In Minsk, Jews ran all four legitimate houses of ill repute. In the Russian province of Kherson (which includes the city of Odessa) 30 of 36 licensed brothels were Jewish-owned. The American Consul in Odessa wrote in 1908 that the “whole ‘business’ of prostitution is almost exclusively in the hands of the Jews.” [BRISTOW, p. 56]

    Martin Fido notes another genre of Jewish Eastern European profiteer in the prostitution world, in England:

    “Latvian ponces accompanied [prostitutes] to help them cross borders and find accomodation and working premises. These men were despised by police and
    by some of the criminal fraternity for ‘living off immoral earnings.’ But they were
    not pimps … They were effectively travel agents, couriers and managers in
    strange and unfriendly places. Their arrival in London ensured that a major
    strand of prostitution would be controlled by organized crime. One of these
    Latvians, Max Kassell, was still running a small stable of hookers in the 1930s,
    when he was murdered in Soho … Jewish dominance of the East End [of
    London] and its crime was reflected in their Yiddish name, ‘spielers’ (places
    for games). In the Brick Lane neighborhood, Isaac Bogard, a Jewish villain
    whose swarthy complexion and tightly curled black hair earned him the
    nickname ‘Darky the Coon,’ extended his interests. He began in the
    early years of the 20th century by supplying muscle for street traders who
    wanted to prevent newcomers from moving in, but he moved on to
    managing prostitutes and drinking clubs.” [FIDO, M., 2000, p. 19-20]

    Then in London there was Harry ‘Little Hubby’ Distleman, “a Jewish club manager, gambler and possibly part-sharer (with his brother) in a chain of brothels.” [FIDO, M., 2000, p. 31] Jewish author Chaim Bermant noted in the Jewish Chronicle in 1993 that “In the same period (1903-1909), 151 aliens [in Great Britain], most of them Jewish, were convicted for keeping brothels, and 521 for soliciting … Rabbi Avigdor Schonfeld … protested that to draw attention to the existence of Jewish prostitutes harmed the good name of the Jewish people.” [JEWISH CHRONICLE, 1-15-93]

    More recently, Jewish singer Eddie Fisher recalls that “while performing in England in the late 1950s I had become friendly with a Jewish song plugger, a man who eventually left the music business to open a very exclusive whorehouse.” [FISHER, E., 1999, p. 293] A little later, there was the infamous Colin Levy:

    “In 1973, one of the better-known and more appreciated solo practioners
    of that tony [London prostitution] underworld was Norma Levy (nee Mary
    Russell), an Irish-born prostitute in her mid-twenties whose career ‘on the
    game’ ws being managed by her husband Colin Levy, a petty crook …
    In 1973, Colin Levy found himself short of money. Aware that one of
    Norma’s patrons was the celebrated Lord Lambton, he decided to solve
    his problem with a bit of blackmail. Camera in hand, he lay in wait outside
    Norma’s bedroom during Lambton’s next vist to her flat. At the appropriate
    time, at a signal from Norma, he burst into the room. With flashlights
    popping in his face, the stunned Lambton was frozen on film, in
    flagrante delicto, for posterity.” [Levy’s blackmail failed, but there was
    a resultant scandal, including the ethics of newspaper (where Levy tried
    to sell his photos] that published accounts of the story] [KIERNAN, T.,
    1986, p. 162]

    In Vienna, authorities knew of about 50 Jewish prostitution traffickers based in Czernowitz, “and they were a very inbred lot extending over two generations.” [BRISTOW, p. 74] The most publicized ‘white slavery’ trial occurred in 1892, in Lemberg (once also called Lvov, then a Polish provincial capital, today called Lviv in Ukraine), where 27 traffickers — all Jews — were prosecuted for ensnaring women to go to Constantinople, Egypt, and India. Some of the women recruits understood their tasks, but others “were maids, others fieldworkers, one a butcher’s helper, all apparently promised honest jobs.” [BRISTOW, p. 74] (Lemberg, “a cradle of Zionism from the 1880s onward,” also had anti-Jewish riots in 1918. [KRAJEWSKI, S., p. 340] )

    There was a tradition of Yiddish folk songs about Jewish criminal behavior, like this:

    “I am Salve, the thief,
    Four brothers are we;
    One is hungry, the other well fed,
    But thieves all four are we.

    One is a pickpocket,
    The second a pimp, a handsome fellow;
    One is a hijacker on the lookout for
    And I am a house thief.

    A pimp is common,
    As all agree:
    From his own wife,
    He gets the disease
    To be a hijacker is bitter:
    You can rupture your lung,
    It’s hard to earn something with some of
    the packages,
    The best thing is to be a house thief.”
    [RUBIN, R., 1979]

    “In an age of pandemic anti-Semitism,” says Bristow, “a Jewish pimp was a political as well as a social force,” [BRISTOW, p. 4] very emotionally reinforcing anti-Jewish sentiments of the day. Jews were already blamed in central Europe for a financial crash in 1873 and economic competition between Jews and non-Jews was heightening.

    A young and enraged Adolf Hitler paid particular attention to the highly visible phenomenon of Jewish street hustling and prostitution rings in Vienna, and was incensed that many non-Jewish women were coerced into the largely Jewish-run trade. “In no other city of Western Europe,” he wrote in Mein Kampf, “could the relationship between Jewry and prostitution, and even now the white slave traffic, be studied better than in Vienna … an icy shudder ran down my spine when seeing for the first time the Jew as an evil, shameless, and calculating manager of this shocking vice, the outcome of the scum of the big city.” [BRISTOW, p. 84]

    The Jewish prostitution business extended from Europe across the world, where it sometimes overlapped with French, Italian, Chinese, and other rings. In the Punjabi (Indian) capital of Lahore, “Jewish pimps were in the habit of leaving their women penniless only to reappear after workers had accumulated some money.” [BRISTOW, p. 195] In Rio de Janeiro Jewish immigrants from Russia, Poland, Hungary, and Romania were so much identified with prostitution in the late 1800’s that “the kaftan, a Jew’s traditional long gown, became synonymous with pimp.” [BRISTOW, p. 113]

    Thirty-nine Jews were expelled from Brazil in 1879 for soliciting women for prostitution and running illegal whorehouses. [BRISTOW, p. 114] Of 199 licensed whorehouses in Buenos Aires in 1909, 102 were run by Jews and more than half the prostitutes were Jewish. [FRIED, p. 71] 4,248 Jewish women were registered for licensed brothels in Buenos Aires between 1880-1913, and those represented only the licensed ones. Edward Bristow estimates that 9,000 Jewish women immigrants came to Brazil in a 25-year span in that era as prostitutes (many were no doubt highly transient), when the total Jewish population of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay combined amounted to less than 60,000 people in 1910. [BRISTOW, p. 119] (Brian Viner, a columnist at England’s Jewish Chronicle, underscores these figures from Argentina in this manner: “That I know all this is thanks largely to my estimable cousin Ben, a fount of information on Jewish gangster matters. I phoned him the other night and he told me, just as I might tell someone that Arensal are top the league by a point, that of 60,000 Jews living in Argentina by the 1920s, 9,000 were involved in prostitution rackets. You have to admit it’s a conversation stopper.”) [VINER, B., 11-29-02, p. 37]

    In 1889, the Buenos Aires Bulletin Continental reported that 200 German/Austrian women were held against their will by Jewish pimps from Poland. [GUY, p. 5] “Jewish procurers,” says Donna Guy,

    “… became an organized ring in major cities all over the world.
    They were particularly powerful in the Argentine port cities of
    Buenos Aires and Rosario … [GUY, p. 10] … Turn-of-the-century
    reports by the Hamburg B’nai B’rith [a Jewish fraternal organization]
    concluded that most prostitutes in Buenos Aires were Jewish and that
    traffickers ‘dress with ostentatious elegance, wear large diamonds, go
    to the theatre or opera daily; they have their own clubs and
    organizations where wares are sorted, auctioned, and sold … They
    have their own secret wireless code, are well organized, and– heavens!
    — in South America everything is possible.” [GUY, p. 19]

    “Pooling their financial resources in a kind of guild,” notes another Jewish scholar, Howard Sachar,

    “the [Polish Jewish] newcomers [to Argentina] in 1909 controlled
    slightly more than half the nearly two hundred licensed brothels in
    Buenos Aires. Jewish women served as their madams, and Jewish
    immigrant girls often were recruited and lured into their hands as
    prostitutes.” [SACHAR, H., 1985, p. 283]

    In Cuba, Jews “became engaged in the ‘White Slave Trade,'” says Robert Levine, “importing prostitutes — some Jewish — from Poland … Many women recruited to the business had been trapped in the Russian and Polish Pale and throughout the Hapsburg Empire by force or fraud, and the human dilemma was great.” [LEVINE, p. 66]

    Incredibly, even in Germany, where Jews have such a horrible history, such Jewish-related problems still bubble beneath the surface. In 1994 a US News and World Report reporter noted the observations of a Frankfort policeman patrolling Precinct 4:

    “‘It’s all owned by Jews,’ [Bernd] Gayk says of the train station’s red light
    district. ‘Practically everything in this area is owned by German Jews.
    There is a single cabaret here owned by a German, but the rest belongs
    to the Jews.'” [MARKS, J., p. 42, 44]

    Shockingly, even shortly after the Holocaust when there were only a few thousand Jews left in Germany, they remained prominent in the prostitution business there. In 1961 Rabbi Richard L. Rubenstein interviewed Dean Heinrich Gruber of the Evangelical Church of East and West Berlin. Rubenstein notes that Gruber nearly himself perished in a Nazi concentration camp, and he “had a long and heroic record of opposition to the Nazis on Christian grounds as well as friendship and succor for Nazism’s chief victims [Jews].” [RUBENSTEIN, p. 5] “The problem in Germany is that the Jews haven’t learned anything from what happened to them,” the Dean told a startled Rubenstein, “I always tell my Jewish friends that they shouldn’t put a hindrance in the way our fight against anti-Semitism.” [RUBENSTEIN, p. 7] Gruber then complained that “many of the brothels and risqué night clubs, for example, were in Jewish hands, especially those in close proximity to army camps.” [RUBENSTEIN, p. 7] And Rubenstein’s response to the clergyman? “Look,” the rabbi said,

    “I don’t understand why you are so troubled about a pitifully small
    number of Jews in shady positions or interested in making money
    rather than following more edifying pursuits. It seems to me that
    every person pays a price for the kind of life he or she leads. Why
    should Germany be upset about a few such Jews unless they are
    overly involved in other peoples’ lives? Must every Jew make himself
    so pale, so inconspicuous, even invisible, that he will give no offense
    to Germans? … After what happened [the Holocaust], why should
    any Jew remain and worry about German approval?” [RUBENSTEIN,
    p. 7-8]

    Marvin Wolf, a Jewish captain in the U.S. army serving in Germany, recalls that in 1971

    “Rabbi David, the Jewish chaplain in Frankfort am Main — and the husband of
    my mother’s second cousin — told me that he knew several Jewish millionaires
    at whose homes I would be welcome — but, ‘I’m not crazy about any of them,’
    he said. ‘What do you mean?’ I asked. ‘After the war, ’45, ’46, Germany was in
    ruins,’ he explained. ‘Terrible times. Nobody had money except the Occupation
    forces and a handful of Jews who had survived the camps and got a monthly
    pension — government reparations. In Frankfort, a few of these Jews recruited
    starving, desperate German girls and opened brothels. Got their revenge, and
    got rich, too. They’re in other businesses now, but do you really want to spend
    Pesach [Passover] with such people?” [WOLF, M. J., 1998]

    In 1909 one Jewish observer, Marcus Braun, estimated there to be 50,000 Jewish immigrant prostitutes in America and 10,000 pimps. (Edward Bristow considers these figures grossly inflated, but notes that one of Braun’s colleagues, echoing at least public feelings about the problem, thought there were up to 100,000 American Jewish women of ill repute.) In any case, the Jewish pimps of New York City (who owned many of the “so-called French” bordellos in the Tenderloin district and “sought to fill them with French prostitutes from abroad”) [BRISTOL, p. 165] had their own official organization: “The New York Independent Benevolent Association.” Frances Kellar, a respected social worker, wrote in 1907 that “the two nationalities who may be said to be central to the disorderly house business in New York [are] French and Jewish … French houses … are not … to be so much feared as the Jewish … [which are] thoroughly vicious and bad.” [BRISTOL, p. 165] By the turn of the century, “hundreds and hundreds” of Jewish women walked the Lower East Side of New York City as prostitutes. [FRIED, p. 8] Benjamin Altman described the whores he saw on Allen Street: “A hundred women on every … corner. Tall women, short women. Fair women. Ugly women.” [FRIED, p. 12]

    Between November 15, 1908 and March 15, 1909, almost three-quarters of 2,093 prostitute cases before the New York City courts were “native-born” women, “a preponderance,” noted Albert Fried, “who were presumably Jewish.” (Ethnic categories included “Russian” and “Polish,” but not Jewish). [FRIED, p. 8] Of “foreign-born” prostitutes in court, 225 were Jewish, 154 French, 64 German, 31 Italian, 29 Irish, and 10 Polish. [FRIED, p. 8]

    “The Jewish pimp,” says Albert Fried, “freely used marriage brokers and unemployment agencies to snare his victims — the young, the lonely, the innocent, the weak, the alienated, the oppressed.” [FRIED, p. 14] Starting out with one whore in 1890, for example, by 1912 Motche Greenberg had a “controlling interest in eight whorehouses and 114 women and was earning $4,000 a month, an incalculable amount by today’s standards.” [FRIED, p. 18]

    In Chicago, by 1907 Rabbi Emil Hirsch declared that 75% of the “white slavery” in his city was controlled by Jews. [BRISTOW, p. 177] The Jewish periodical the Forward forlornly reported that “the facts that were uncovered at the trial [for corruption] of [police] inspector McCann are horrifying. 75% of the white slave trade in Chicago is in Jewish hands. The owners of most of the immoral resorts on the West Side are Jews. Even in Gentile neighborhoods Jews stand out prominently in the nefarious business.” [FRIED, p. 70]
    (Even in 2001, as a result of an undercover police investigation, Joel Gordon (a cantor, i.e., the man who sings liturgical songs and leads prayer in a synagogue) and his wife Alison Greenberg were tried in Chicago for running a brothel. Ginsberg was also charged with acts of prostitution. “We now realize,” said Howard Peritz, a member of Gordon’s synagogue, “that in starting a congregation around a man [Gordon], we were canonizing him.” [JEWISH TELEGRAPHIC AGENCY, 1-5-01] The same year, a synagogue room (Finchley Synagogue’s Kinloss Suite) in Great Britain made the news when it hosted a “stag party with three strippers performing ‘sexually explicit acts.'” Some of the money raised was supposed to go to a Jewish charity.) [ZERDIN, J., 29-01]

    In 1987, a Jewish ultra-Orthodox group bought a slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, and began hiring illegal non-Jewish aliens from Eastern Europe to do the menial jobs at their company. Despite the fact that only Jews dominated the upper eschelons of the firm, and Jewish author Stephen Bloom’s underscores Jewish exploitation and condemnation of the entire non-Jewish community in his book called Postville, he frames the following in cautiously distancing, apologetic form:

    “[A woman in her mid-twenties said:] ‘The managers are incredibly rude. One
    manager fired me because I wouldn’t go to bed with him.’ The translator used the
    word ‘manager,’ but the woman was most likely speaking of one of her
    supervisors, who would have been a Christian. ‘If the manager wants to sleep
    with you and you do, you get a raise. If you don’t, he makes your life
    miserable. Girls have no choice.’ No one [of a group of fellow workers] disputed
    what the woman said.” [BLOOM, S., 2001, p. 138]

    In 1932, a few Polish-American officials of the city of Hamtramck (within Detroit) were charged by a grand jury with the “familiar charge of collusion with vice interests for gratuities.” The central player among those convicted was Jewish, Jacob Kaplan, “head of a vice syndicate” who collected $2,000 a month from disorderly houses in the Syndicate.” [WOOD, 1955, p. 53-54] In 1941, the Detroit Free Press listed the names of those involved in another exposed vice ring in the area of Hamtramck, a ring that drew city officials and administrators into its web with bribes and payoffs. The racketeers included “Sam (the Jap) Gross, Hamtramck area brothel operator;” Charles Berman, “charged with operating a vice resort;” Irene Kaplan, “defendant in accusations as brothel keeper;” Ike (Forty Grand) Levy, “vice resort operator;” Kitty (Big Nose) Silverman, “reputed vice resort keeper;” and Jack (alias Jack Jesus) Silverman, “husband of Kitty.” [WOOD, A., 1955, p. 84, 86]

    Israeli scholar Robert Rockaway notes the dimensions of Detroit’s all-Jewish Prohibition-era Purple Gang:

    “Detroit’s Canadian border and existence of Jewish-owned Canadian distilleries,
    such as those of Sam and Harry Bronfman [Jewish founders of Seagram], offered opportunities to Detroit’s Jewish gangsters that rivaled bootlegging operations in
    Chicago and New York. Instead of transporting the liquor themselves, the Purples arranged for the Jewish-dominated ‘Little Jewish Navy’ to bring it across the river
    for them … The Gang’s dealings also extended to the sale of stolen diamonds, narcotics and prostitution in Canada.” [ROCKAWAY, R., 2001, p. 113-]

    In New York City, among many other Jewish madams, was “Polly Adler, the Polish-born madam of New York’s most famous bordello of the 1920s and 1930s.” [MCDOUGAL, p. 92]

    Jewish comic and eventual TV superstar Milton Berle recalls Adler’s brothel:
    “When I had a night off from the Paradise, John Garfield [the actor, born Julius Garfinkle], who was a good friend, and I went over to Polly Adler’s for dinner. Sure, the world knew Polly as a [brothel] madam, but her friends knew her as an intelligent woman, fun to be with, and a good cook. After dinner, Polly excused herself because she had to make some telephone calls to arrange for girls for her clients. John and I were talking when I said, ‘I don’t know about you, Julie (his real name was Jules), but I feel sort of horny.’ John thought he might feel the same way, so we spoke to Polly about it, and she said she could get us two of her $100 girls — Polly handled only the best — and send them around to wherever we said. John and I went our separate ways to await our deliveries. When the doorbell rang at my place, there was Carole [a woman Berle had been dating and already having an affair with].” [BERLE, M., 1974, p 186]

    A little earlier, “the most famous madam in turn-of-the century New York was Rosie Hertz. Saving enough from her own prostitution, she and her husband, Jacob, opened several brothels on the Lower East Side during the 1880s … The epitome of the ‘white slaver,’ Hertz was called by one judge the ‘godmother for prostitutes.’ Another critic considered her ‘as much a public feature of the lower East Side … as the Brooklyn Bridge.” [GILFOYLE, T., 1992, p. 295]

    Dallas, Texas? When Jack Ruby (Rubenstein) murdered Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963, he owned the Carousel, a local strip tease joint. As Gerald Posner notes, “Ruby’s main competition was from the Theatre and Colony Clubs, owned by two brothers, Abe and Barney Weinstein. In 1961, they had introduced amateur strip-tease dancing.” [POSNER, p. 362] Atlanta, Georgia? By 1999, owner Steve Kaplan’s Gold Club “nude dancing” business had been “indicted on federal racketeering charges that included prostitution, credit card fraud, money laundering, police corruption and ties to the Gambino organized crime family.” His lawyer, Alan Begner, was also Jewish. “Since 1982,” noted the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, “Begner has carved a lucrative niche as a lawyer of adult entertainment establishments,” representing about half of the 45 in metropolitan Atlanta. “I knock out laws,” he explained to the newspaper. Begner’s interest in strip joints began when another Jewish owner (Emmanual Isaacs of the “She Club”) asked him to represent him. [RANKIN, B., 12-5-99, p. 2D]

    The Associated Press further noted in 2001 that Gold Club owner Steven Kaplan (club manager: Norbert Calder) was

    “accused of building a $50 million fortune in part by providing prostitutes
    for celebrities. Atlanta’s Gold Club is one of the most profitable nude clubs
    in the country, popular among convention-goers and visiting celebrities.
    Federal investigators say it is also a high-priced brothel that pumps cash into
    the Gambino crime family … [The Federal indictment against Kaplan] says
    Kaplan ordered more than 20 beatings of people who did not repay loans
    at high rates of interest.” [COURT TV, 4-2001]

    The most famous “sex club” in history (prospering in the 1970s and 1980s before the AIDS epidemic) is probably Plato’s Retreat, based in New York City. Its owner was also Jewish: Larry Levenson. As Jewish scholar David Allyn describes it:

    “First of all, you have to picture the Ansonia Hotel, which is a late 19th century
    wedding-cake of a building in the heart of the upper west side in New York. In
    the basement of the Ansonia was Plato’s Retreat, then the world’s most famous
    sex club. Men and women would stroll about the Ansonia lobby in nothing but
    towels. In the club, they would have sex with possibly a dozen or so people
    in a single night. Plato’s Retreat represented the commercial version of what was
    happening in people’s apartments and living rooms across the country.”
    [BOOKMARK, 2000]

    Green Bay, Wisconsin? George Tane, also Jewish, “was a bootlegger who controlled Green Bay, Wisconsin. After Prohibition, he owned all the houses of prostitution in the city.” [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 214] Atlanta, Georgia? In 2001, Steven Kaplan, owner of the nude “Gold Club,” faced a Federal indictment on counts of “loan sharking, money laundering and bribing police officers.” He was also accused “of building a $50 million fortune in part by providing prostitutes for celebrities … Atlanta’s Gold Club is one of the most profitable nude clubs in the country.” [COURT TV, 4-30-2001] [See also evidence in this volume — Mass Media 2 Chapter — about prostitution rackets controlled by today’s “Russian” mafia, which is largely Jewish in organization; Heidi Fleiss (the much-publicized, high-priced Jewish prostitution “madam” to Hollywood stars), famed Jewish prostitute Xaviera Hollander (“The Happy Hooker”), and details of enormous Jewish influence in the worlds of “smut” and pornography]

    With the American public beginning to note the high Jewish representation in the prostitution trade; some journalists implied wider corruption. In the June 1909 issue of McClure’s magazine, for instance, George Kibbe Turner wrote:

    “Out of the Bowery and Red Light districts have come the new
    development in New York politics — the great voting power of the
    organized criminals. It was a notable development not only for New
    York, but for the country at large. And no part of it was more
    noteworthy than the appearance of the Jewish dealer in women, a
    product of New York politics, who has vitiated more than any other
    single agency the moral life of the great cities of America in the past ten
    years.” [BELL, p. 187]

    “It is an absolute fact,” wrote Ernest Bell in his 1911 book about white slavery, “that corrupt Jews are now the backbone of the loathsome traffic in New York and Chicago. The good Jews know this and feel keenly the unspeakable shame of it.” [BELL, p. 188] “The criminal instincts that are so often found naturally in the Russian and Polish Jew,” wrote Frank Moss in a popular volume called American Metropolis (1897), “come to the surface in such ways as to warrant the opinion that these people are the worst element in the entire make-up of New York City … A large proportion of the people of New Israel are addicted to vice.” [FRIED, p. 55-56]

    “Vice and crime did pervade the Lower East Side,” remarks Albert Fried, “and no one knew it more keenly than its residents. The better part of wisdom, so far as they were concerned, was to keep the disgrace quiet, to avoid publicizing it.” [FRIED, p. 59] Meanwhile, in the early 1900’s the National Council of Jewish Women even had Yiddish-speaking volunteers working to keep new female immigrants at Ellis Island “out of the clutches of men (often Jewish) who would try to entice them into prostitution.” [SCHNEIDER, p. 224]

    By the early years of the twentieth century, large urban department stores had reputations “as breeding grounds for prostitution.” In New York City, for example, Macy’s fell under suspicion to some, in part for its proximity to a former red light district. In 1913, Percy Strauss, the Vice President of Macy’s, hosted a “vice vigilante” group to investigate his store. “Strauss,” notes William Leach, “no dour Puritan, had a personal interest in leading a campaign against vice. For one thing, as a German Jew and spokesman for the Jewish community, he had to disprove the charge — widely made — that immigrant Jewish women (and many of his own employees, therefore) were more likely than other women to be prostitutes.” [LEACH, p. 117] By 1915 the Committee Against Vice (of which Strauss had conveniently become chairman) published a report that affirmed that Macy’s was “normal.” “On the other hand,” says William Leach, “testimony in the ‘secret reports’ told a different tale. Saleswomen, it was revealed, passed around pornographic cards and poems about themselves, talked openly about ‘sex’ and ‘sex desire,’ and ‘gossiped about fairies,’ as one investigator put it. Private accounts by other investigative reformers echoed this view, that things at Macy’s and in other department stores were hardly ‘normal’ or ‘decent.’ ‘The strongest temptation of girls in department stores,’ warned one reformer, ‘is not poverty but luxury and money.'” [LEACH, p. 118]

    Although Jewish poverty was — and is — often argued as a major reason for their high international representation in such a vice, a 1914 League of Nations survey of 25 Jewish prostitutes in Buenos Aires showed that only 4 of them claimed to be poor before their new trade. Nine, however, stated that their family lives had been “immoral or abusive in some way.” [BRISTOW, p. 95] (As Robert Rockaway notes about the dozens of members in Detroit’s all-Jewish criminal Purple Gang, which was involved in everything from murder to prostitution: “[Purple Gang members] were not products of crushing poverty, broken homes, or widespread economic despair. Most of them had been raised in lower middle class households where the father had a steady, if not well-paying, job.”) [ROCKAWAY, R., 2001, p. 113-]

    And what, in complete dismissal of the facts of history, is the common Jewish perspective about the unabashed prominence of Jews in the “white slave trade?” This, in 1998, from Jewish scholar Gary Tobin in a popular Jewish newspaper:

    “For those with a knowledge of history of 19th century anti-Semitic
    propaganda, the idea that Jews are running “the white slave trade” is
    nothing new. Cartoon like stereotypes of loathsome Jewish villains
    trading on the lost virtue of non-Jewish maidens was standard material
    for the Nazis and their precursors … It took a sick mind to imagine that
    Jews were running the world’s oldest profession.” [TOBIN,
    Distinguished, p. 51]

    Tobin was responding to a very disturbing article in the New York Times (January 11, 1998) which described the horrible situation that Slavic Gentile prostitutes face today, trapped in Israel. As the Times notes, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and a resulting economic chaos, literally hundreds of thousands of Russian and Ukrainian women have been dispersed throughout the world, most entrapped in an international prostitution trade run by the “Russian mafia.” (Although it is certainly inferred, what the Times article does not overtly mention is that a significant part of the Russian mafia is Jewish. See later chapter). Glenn Frankel, however, a Washington Post correspondent in Jerusalem, took the perspective in 1994 that “there was much talk about the Russian mafia muscling in [to Israel], although the police and most crime experts agreed that the brothels were almost entirely under the control of the Israeli mafia and that the Russians worked mostly as low-level managers or hookers.” [FRANKEL, p. 175]

    “Israel has become a routine destination for the global trafficking of women,” noted Leonard Fein in a 1998 Jewish Bulletin,

    “women coerced into prostitution. The thousand such women
    brought into Israel annually derive principally from the countries
    of the former Soviet Union, and the way they get to Israel is that
    they are ‘purchased,’ each one costing between $10,000 and $20,000.
    And they are, of course, expected to repay the cost to their masters
    through what amounts to indentured servitude — or, if you prefer the
    simpler and more straightforward, slavery … Some [are] as young
    as 15, and even 12 … Each woman earns between $50,000 and
    $100,000 for her pimp. The turnover of the prostitution trade in
    Israel comes to some $450 million a year.” [FEIN, 1998, p. 21]

    In a country of six million people, this averages about $75 a year paid to a pimp for every man, woman, and child in Israel. There are today 150 brothels and sex shops in Tel Aviv alone. [SILVER, E., 8-25-2000, p. 32]

    In an interview with Marina, a Russian prostitute, the (Jewish) Forward noted in 1995 that there were nine or ten “Russian” prostitution rings in Israel. “Girls are regularly beaten to keep them obedient,” Marina told the Forward, “… [The Israeli police are] regularly paid off with free visits to our girls. A reporter like you thinks you’re picking up a stone from the road, but you might find you’re digging into a mountain.” [SHILLING, p. 5] As a report by Israel’s Women’s Network noted in 1997:

    “Every year, hundreds of women from the former Soviet Union
    are lured to Israel, gaining entry by posing as immigrants, on
    the promise of finding lucrative jobs, and then are lured into
    prostitution by abusive pimps.” [GROSS, N., 1997, p. 16]

    In 1998, Hungary’s Consul in Tel Aviv, Andrea Horvath complained that four Hungarian women “had allegedly met their Israeli employer in a Budapest discotheque. They were hired as dancers but were later forced to provide sexual services as well.” [MTI, 3-20-98] In 2000, Robert Friedman, in talking about his book about the “Russian Mafia,” noted Seimon Mogilevich, head of a major Jewish mobster network, noting him as “one of the world’s biggest traffickers in women, Eurasian women.” [PENKLAVA, M., 5-3-2000]

    “Women are sold into the sex business in Israel for between $5,000 and $15,000,” reported the Jerusalem Post in 1998, “while the pimps who buy them can earn between $10,000 and $50,000 a year per woman … 2,000 women are brought to Israel from the CIS and forced by pimps to work as prostitutes. Many are brought here on false pretenses and held against their will.” As Ira Omait, head of the Haifa Emergency Shelter for Women told the Post, “We are fast heading in the direction of trade in minors for prostitution and slavery.” [COLLINS, L., 12-15-98, p. 5] Incredibly, as noted in a Jerusalem Post editorial in 1998, “According to the Women’s Lobby [a women’s group in Israel], part of the [prostitution] problem is that there is no law against slavery in Israel.” [JERUSALEM POST, 1-13-98, p. 10]

    “Poor Women of Ex-Soviet Union Lured Into Sex Slavery” headlined a 1998 Associated Press story. Women forced into prostitution in Israel, noted the article, were locked in rooms and provided only food and condoms. And Israeli law on the subject? In 1996 150 men were arrested for pimping or running brothels. Merely 21 cases went to trial, and no one was ever convicted of a crime. [LINZER, D., 6-13-98] In 1998 an Israeli judge even ordered an insurance company to pay for a client’s prostitution addiction:

    “An Israeli insurance company has been ordered to pay 300,000
    shekels ($80,000) to fund the prostitution habit of a man injured
    in a car accident.” [DEUTSCHE PRESSE-AGENTUR, 4-22-98]

    The man claimed that since a 1993 car crash he couldn’t form relationships with women and relied on the prostitution world.

    The 1998 New York Times article noted that more than 1,500 Slavic prostitutes — mostly from the Ukraine — have been deported from Israel for residence infractions in the past three years. (Israeli oppression knows no end: “Unlike many countries, Israel does not pay airfare for deportees.” [LINZER, D., 6-13-98]) Prostitution is not illegal in Israel and clients include foreign workers, “Israeli soldiers with rifles on their shoulders,” business executives, and tourists. The Times noted that

    “The networks trafficking women run east to Japan and Thailand, where
    thousands of young Slavic women now work against their will as
    prostitutes, and west to the Adriatic Coast and beyond … The routes
    are controlled by Russian gangs based in Moscow … In Ukraine alone …
    as many as 400,000 women under 30 have gone in the past decade …
    Israel is a fairly typical destination … Police officials [in Israel] estimate
    that there are 25,000 paid sexual transactions every day. [This in a
    country with a population of 6 million]. Brothels are ubiquitous … Once
    they cross the border [into Israel] their passports will be confiscated
    [by pimps], their freedoms curtailed and what little money they have
    taken from them at once … The Tropicana, in Tel Aviv’s bustling
    business district, is one of the busiest bordellos. The women who work
    there, like nearly all prostitutes in Israel today, are Russian. Their bosses,
    however, are not. ‘Israelis love Russian girls,’ said Jacob Golan, who
    owns this and two other clubs, ‘…. They are blonde and good looking
    and different than us … And they are desperate. They are ready to do
    anything for money.” [SPECTER, p. 1]

    “The situation,” wrote Jewish author David Weinberg in an 1998 article about prostitution in Israel entitled Not So Holy Land, “is enough to make you cry in despair, or vomit from shame.” [WEINBERG, D., 1-18-98, p. 8]

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  36. Spare13

  37. 11

    “I have frequently had hotheaded romantics assume that our family fled
    Russia to escape persecution. They seem to think that the only way we got
    out was by jumping from ice flow to ice floe across the Dnieper River, with
    bloodhoods and the entire Red Army in hot pursuit. No such thing. We
    were not persecuted and we left in a quite legal manner with no more
    trouble than one would expect from any bureaucracy, including our own.
    If that’s disappointing, so be it.”
    Isaac Asimov,
    I. Asimov. A Memoir. 1994, p. 19

    Ask any non-Jewish American what his or her personal link is to the Roman era, the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, and other epics of human history and he will tell you: nothing. He knows nothing about it. And he doesn’t care. For such a late twentieth century American to reflect on his own roots back to, say, medievalism, is to look with the naked eye for Mars: it is a vague dot, reputed by others to exist, in the remotest distance. Indistinct. Unfathomable. Something eternally elusive, lost forever.

    Few Americans can trace their family history more than a few generations, if that. Throughout anyone’s own ancestral lineage, however, going back deeply into time, there obviously exists their own share of participants — as both perpetrators and victims — in great and minor wars, massacres, invasions, famines, epidemics, and other disasters of every kind. Presuming five procreative generations per century, exponentially, any human being alive today can theoretically claim direct genetic lineage to over a thousand ancestors back to 1800, over 37,000 people to 1700, over a million back to the year 1600, and over a staggering billion human beings back to 1400 (thirty generations). Whatever the mathematically realistic number, (and Jewish history claims 4,000 years) the deeper we go back into history, the more we must consider the veritable Milky Way of humanity that preceded us in direct ancestral lineage; people of every imaginable sort, and they all knew well the melancholic chords of human suffering, sometimes subtly, sometimes brutally. Every single one of them.

    Today’s Americans of French, British, Italian or other European descent find themselves today lumped together in the generic “white” American community. Their respective ancestries are stirred together, gone. Their European origins mean little to them; they are homogenized in the New World, their identities now expressed — for better or worse — in the icons of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Billy the Kid, Babe Ruth, the hallowed Constitution, even McDonald’s hamburgers, or other superficial national icons that ancestrally have nothing directly to do with them.

    The typical American’s alienation, disinterest, and lack of connection to distant history is not characteristic of modern Jews. On the contrary. A stone thrown in spite through a Jewish window in Italy in the fourteenth century is a stone thrown into Jewish hearts today. The actions against Jews by desperate thugs in Poland in the eighteenth century are dumped on Gentile doorsteps in our time by Jews who are still grieving, still embittered, still seeking redress. And when we turn, in more recent history, to the bestial deeds of Adolf Hitler to conquer the world, we find that Jews have pulled tightly in a circle to proclaim that everything sinister in the whole world malevolently labors against them, and them only.

    Ultimately, it is a central article of modern Jewish faith — reflecting both secular and religious attitudes, formed and hardened over the ages — that to be Jewish is to be always maltreated for innocence by others. Or, perhaps more correctly to Jewish eyes, as part of this innocence, being Jewish is to be a victim for the crime of being superior to their persecutors. This claim to superiority was originally religiously based, as God’s “Chosen People” of Old Testament tradition. And this Jewish preoccupation — as being victims of their self-presumed superiority — has been passed down, religiously, over the ages (traditionally epitomized in Jewish pilgrimage to Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall to bemoan their communal fate, manifest also in the likes of the volume Sefer Yosifon, anonymously compiled in the tenth century as a litany of Jewish complaints and miseries). In the aftermath of Hitler’s atrocities against Jews during World War II, this world-view has come to define, more tightly than any other aspect of Jewish tradition — and now highly politicized — modern Jewish self-identity.

    But is this true? From the evidence we have already seen, are Jews correctly depicted as history’s consummate, incomparable, and innocent victims? Have Jews pre-eminently and collectively suffered more than all other human beings, “victims of centuries of persecution and bigotry?” [UROFSKY, M., 1978, p. 378] And for no reason?

    Here’s a typical view of the Eastern European Jewish past, by Judith Arcana, who discusses the roots of Jewish American poet Grace Paley’s family to the Jews of Russia:

    “One of Isaac’s brothers, Russya, was killed in a workers demonstration
    in 1905 … In the wake of that death, probably spurred by the retaliatory
    wave of pogroms, the family decided to leave Russia. Knowing the unpredictability of royal whim, Natasha Gutseit, Isaac’s widowed
    mother, sent the young couple to America before the czar could change
    his mind and snatch them back again.” [ARCANA, J., 1993, p. 10]

    Here Arcana, who omits the relevance of Jewish socialist agitation in Russia as a factor in their “persecution” [Elsewhere she notes that even both Paley’s parents were socialists, enemies of the Tsarist regime — p. 9], speculates that the Russian czar would have interest in “snatching” Jews back to Russia.

    In the American context, “one commonly finds a sentence like this in many [Jewish] books or articles,” says Joshua Rothenberg, “… ‘Jews came to the shores of this country from the ghettos of the shtetlekh [Eastern European Jewish villages] as a result of the pogroms.’ Each phrase in this sentence is untrue or oversimplified to the point of untruth. There were no ghettos in 19th century Eastern Europe (except in the metaphysical sense) … And the pogroms were not the principal reason for emigration: proportionately more Jews came to the United States from Austrian-ruled Galicia — where there were no pogroms — than from Tsarist Russia.” [ROTHENBERG, p. 3]

    “It has been discovered,” says Henry Feingold, “that religious persecution, even its physical manifestations of pogroms, rarely furnishes sufficient impetus for Jews to uproot themselves. Moreover, it cannot account for the thousands of Jews who chose to leave areas relatively free of religious persecution … [FEINGOLD, p. 60] … Historians have taken a closer look at the early acculturation process and have discovered that the highly touted ability of the Jewish family to withstand the stresses of transplantation have been overstated. New studies on Jewish vice and crime and criminality and the discovery of a relatively high divorce and desertion rate among immigrant Jews present a picture of a community paying a dear price for establishing itself.” [FEINGOLD, p. 61]

    “The lachrymorose recollection of the shtetl, which are still with us,” says Daniel Bell, “fail to recall its narrowness of mind, its cruelty, especially to schoolchildren (to whom a whole series of memoirs, such as Solomon Ben Maimon’s, testify), and its invidious stratification.” [BELL, Reflections, p. 318] Little remembered is this oppression of Jews by Jews. “Prior to World War I,” adds Rothenburg, “the Kehilah [Jewish governing bodies] were ruled, in most cases, by an oligarchy of the rich and the [Jewish] clergy. Their excesses, especially in the area of indirect taxation (kosher meat, etc.) and the silencing of the protesting voices of the poor, are well-known and documented. The Kehilahs remained a source of bitter complaint for the majority of the Jewish population, which had no say in the conduct of their own community affairs.” [ROTHENBURG, p. 5]

    American Jews today hold dear many nostalgic “Fiddler on the Roof”-type myths about their Eastern European ancestors. As, however, Jewish author Ivan Kalmar notes

    “A stalwart Jewish peasant, with a native wit and a naive religiosity,
    ever sturdy in the face of unending adversity, he is the epitome of
    Jewish nostalgia … The Fiddler is so much part of the way we
    think of our Jewish background … The Fiddler image has some
    basis in reality, but it is also very much part of a nostalgic
    reconstruction of our past, an example of what anthropologists
    call ‘invention of tradition’ … Jewish authors [like Sholem
    Aleichem, creator of Fiddler on the Roof] tried to create
    stereotypes of the Jews that would identity them with less
    wealthy groups who were looked at more favourably by the
    greater society. Sholom Aleichem’s Tevye [hero of Fiddler
    on the Roof] is very much a Ukrainian peasant. To counter
    the idea of the Jew as a ‘parasite,’ Sholom Aleichem presents
    Tevye as a dairy farmer, who sells not the Gentile peasant’s
    products but his own. North American Jews have
    enthusiastically accepted the validity of Sholom Aleichem’s
    Tevye as a metaphor for the Eastern European Jew of old …
    Where finally Tevye finally shows unique character, he
    turns out to be a modern Jew. Where he is being a ‘typical,’
    folksy, traditional East European Jew, he resembles the
    romanticized Ukrainian peasant … Of course, there were
    in reality Jewish peasants like Tevye, but compared to the
    Slavs, the percentage of Jews who farmed was miniscule.”
    [KALMER, I., quoted by PRYTULAK, L., UKRAINIAN

    “Having … turned their backs on Poland,” notes Jewish scholar Victor Seidler about modern Jewish perceptions of Eastern European heritage, “it can be difficult for the second generation [of Jews in America] to recognize just how Polish their parents were. Things we learned to think of as ‘Jewish’ turn out to be Polish.” [SEIDLER, V.J., 2000, p. 74] “Indeed,” notes George Mosse, “when the first German-Jewish painter, Mortiz Oppenheim, painted scenes from the ghetto shortly after emancipation, it was transformed, as we have seen, into a community permeated with German middle-class values.” [MOSSE, G., 1985, p. 80]

    Jewish author Howard Jacobson notes Jewish historic myth-making at an exhibition of photographs of Eastern European Jews at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. Particularly troubling to him was the depiction of the stereotypically “studious Jew”:

    “Something is wrong with this exhibition. Something is wrong with
    the way we modern Jews idealize a past we wouldn’t touch with a
    barge-pole if it were offered us again … Why is Jewish study always
    made to look so soulful in these sorts of photographs, so unrelieved,
    so unvarious, so fucking miserable and desolating? What is it about
    Jewish books that make absorption in them such an invariably
    heart-rendering business? What a sell! How have the Jews done it,
    how have we persuaded ourselves, but gentiles as well, that anguish
    and lamentation and self-abnegation and bodilessness and pathos
    attach inalterably and exclusively to our studies? You don’t see
    [St. Thomas] Aquinas looking into a book like that.” [JACOBSON, H.,
    1995, p. 192-193]

    The distinguished Jewish historian, Salo Baron, of Columbia University, whose twelve-volume Social and Religious History of the Jews is the most extensive Jewish history by a single author in existence, argued a view that, post-Holocaust, has been swept to the wayside by modern Jewish discourse. His view was that Jewish suffering in the European Middle Ages, and throughout history, has been exaggerated. That is, that the Jews of Europe, as a group, in comparison to their Christian neighbors, actually had a better life in the Middle Ages, to the 20th century. For all the claims of massacres and pogroms, according to surviving documents, the Jewish population actually grew more rapidly than the Gentiles around them. [LIBERLES, p. 42] This accelerated in later centuries. “The two and a half centuries from 1660 to 1914,” says Baron, “the Jewish population grew numerically some fifteen times … while mankind at-large increased by only 250 per cent, Europe by 350 per cent …” [BARON, H and J.H., p. 50] This thesis, addressing later years, is supported by a non-Jewish scholar of the Ukraine, Orest Subtleny:

    “Throughout the nineteenth century, especially in its latter part, the
    Jews experienced a tremendous population rise. Between 1820 and
    1880, while the general population of the [Russian] empire rose by
    87%, the number of Jews increased by 150%. On the Right Bank,
    this rise was even more dramatic: between 1844 and 1913 the number
    of its inhabitants rose by 265% while the Jewish population increased
    by 844%! Religious sanctions of large families, less exposure to
    famines, war, and epidemics, and a low mortality rate because of
    communal self-help and the availability of doctors largely accounted
    for this extraordinary increase.” [SUBTLENY, p. 276]

    Salo Baron argued that his people, the Jews, were so privileged, relative to non-Jews throughout the European Middle Ages, that with the coming of the Enlightenment era “emancipation” and “equality” amounted to “a net loss [to Jews] in status and lifestyle.” [SCHORSCH, p. 383] Elsewhere, he wrote that “it is likely … that even the average medieval Jew, compared to his average Christian contemporary … was the less unhappy and destitute creature — less unhappy and destitute not only by his own consciousness, but even if measured by such objective criteria as standards of living, cultural amenities, and protection against individual starvation and disease.” [LINDEMANN, Esau’s, p. 11]

    “Throughout the Middle Ages,” notes David Biale, “the Jews enjoyed considerable influence in many of the lands in which they lived … In addition to their interest Court politics, these Jews participated in political life in defense of Jewish interests.” [BIALE, POWER p. 69] “The situation of the Jews in the first half of the Middle Ages,” says Abram Leon, “was … extremely favorable. The Jews were considered as being a part of the upper classes in society and their juridicial position was not perceptibly different from that of the nobility.” [LEON, p. 128] “At least some of the Jewish dress of the Middle Ages,” adds Biale, “such as the Jewish hat, originated out of choice rather than compulsion … The yellow patch [worn by Jews] … was not originally intended as an instrument for segregating and humiliating the Jews … but to proclaim publicly that its wearer enjoyed official protection.” [BIALE, POWER, p. 67]

    One of the privileges Jews enjoyed throughout Europe until relatively modern history was that they didn’t have to serve in the local military organizations. “During the continuous wars of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries,” wrote Baron, ” … the Jews were neutral and suffered few losses. If they had been combatants they might have lost more than in all the pogroms.” [LIBERLES, p. 42] Yet Medieval Jews were allowed the extremely significant privilege of carrying weapons, a privilege equal to knights and one to which all commoners (the overwhelming majority of the population) were forbidden. [GOLDBERG, p. 123] Baron also noted that, while there were certainly Jews who suffered poverty, the surrounding Christian population was worse off. And if the Jewish ghettos were, as widely claimed, abject holes of enforced degradation, “is it not remarkable that the most typical Ghetto in the world, the Frankfurt Judengasse, produced in the pre-Emancipation period the greatest banking house in history?” [LIBERLES p. 45]

    “The Jews,” says Israel Shahak,

    “in spite of all the persecution to which they were subjected, formed
    an integral part of the privileged classes … Jewish historiography,
    especially in English, is misleading on this point inasmuch as it tends
    to focus on Jewish poverty and anti-Jewish discrimination … The
    poorest Jewish craftsman, peddlar, landlord’s steward, or petty cleric
    was immeasurably better off than a serf [most of the non-Jewish
    population]. This was especially true in those European countries
    where serfdom persisted until the nineteenth century, whether in a
    partial or extreme form: Prussia, Austria (including Hungary), Poland,
    and the Polan lands taken by Russia. And it is not without significance
    that, prior to the beginning of the great Jewish migration of modern
    times (around 1889), a large majority of all Jews were living in those
    areas and that their most important social function there was to
    mediate the oppression of peasants on behalf of the nobility and
    the Crown.” [SHAHAK, p. 52-53]

    Jews in Eastern Europe understood the people around them as, categorically, persecutors. And “the Jews saw their persecutors as an inferior race,” noted World Zionist Organization President Nahum Goldmann, “Most of my [physician] grandfather’s patients [in Lithuania] were peasants. Every Jew felt ten or a hundred times the superior of these lowly tillers of the soil; he was cultured, learned Hebrew, knew the Bible, studied the Talmud — in other words he knew that he stood head and shoulders above these illiterates.” [GOLDMANN, 1978, p. 13]

    “It would never have occurred to us,” said one Jewish immigrant to the United States, “that the Gentile world [in Eastern Europe] was happier … On the contrary, we considered our world happier and finer.” “We thought they were unfortunate,” says another, “We were above them, this was the feeling [towards peasants].” [MORAWSKA, p. 17] In the face of the commonly cherished belief among modern Jews that their brethren of Eastern Europe were terribly and uniformly impoverished, it is a fact that Jews were doing so well (relative to the non-Jews around them) that non-Jewish servants in Jewish households were common.

    Apart from racist folk tales, Zborowski and Herzog note that most Jewish children in Eastern Europe learned fragments of the surrounding non-Jewish culture via the Gentile servants in their homes. “These impressions [of non-Jewish life],” the scholars write, “[were] available not only to the children of the rich, for [Jewish] women of modest circumstances who worked in a store or at the market often had the help of a [non-Jewish] peasant girl in the house.” [ZBOROWSKI, p. 155] “[Jewish life] was certainly better than the life of the Russian peasant,” remarks Howard Sachar. [SACHAR, p. 215]

    “We were luckier than most of our fellow-Jews in being able to afford ‘servants,’ if that is the real name for them,” declares Chaim Weizmann, an immigrant from the “Pale” of Russia, an agitator for how bad Jews had it in his place of birth, and the first president of modern Israel, “… [My second servant] who outlived the first and was with us for something like thirty-five years, was a lovable peasant by the name of Yakim … He had learned to sing, after a fashion, the Jewish national anthem, Hatikvah; and in moments of enthusiasm would cry out: ‘Come, little ones, let us sing Tikvah!'” [WEIZMAN, C., 1949, p. 22]

    Elsewhere, Weizman adds:

    “The teachers and governing authorities of the schools within the Pale [an area of Russia] were typical Russian officials, and as such, not free from corruption. So the rich Jew would use his gold to pave the way for his boy to enter the school … There were occasions when a rich Jew would hire ten non-Jewish candidates (at times rather oddly selected) to sit for the entrance examination at the local school, and thus make room for one Jewish pupil — needless to say his own son or a protege.” [WEIZMAN, C., 1949, p. 31]

    “Even when the Jewish common people were known to be desperately poor,” adds Albert Lindemann, “as in Austrian Galicia or parts of the Jewish Pale of Settlement in tsarist Russia, their overall per capita wealth still seems to have been greater than that of non-Jews, mostly peasants, among whom they lived.” [LINDEMANN, Esau’s, p. 21] “On the whole,” says sociologist Stephen Steinberg, “Eastern European Jews [prior to immigration to America in the late nineteenth century] were unquestionably poor, though decidedly better off than the surrounding peasant population.” [STEINBERG, p. 97]

    What, one wonders, is to be read between this relativity of being “poor?” How poor could Jews have really been if they were “decidedly better off” than the non-Jewish peasants (who were most of the Eastern European population), even hiring Polish servants for their homes?

    Another part of Jewish popular mythology is that the Jews were forced against their will into ghettos in Europe. The widely-believed accusation that Jews were forcibly segregated, particularly into ghettos, is a distortion of historical fact. In the Middle Ages most Christian towns themselves had walls, gates, and locks for protection from outsiders. The enclosed Jewish ghetto was, in origin, a Jewish construction, conceived for both protection and self-segregation from the taint of non-Jewish ways.

    “In the thirteenth century,” writes Max Weinrich, “segregated living quarters for Jews were made compulsory. The fact of the matter is that separate Jewish streets had existed all along … If the Jews lived together long before segregated living quarters were imposed upon them, then their segregation must have been voluntary. It was. Living apart, no matter how bizarre it may appear in the light of present day concepts and attitudes, was part of the ‘privileges’ accorded to the Jews in conforming with their own wishes.” [WEINRICH, p. 105]

    As president Nachum Goldmann of the World Zionist Organization notes:

    “It is wrong to say that the goyim forced the Jews to separate themselves
    themselves from other societies. When the Christians defined the
    ghetto limits, Jews lived there already.” [GOLDMANN, N., 1978, p. 66]

    For centuries Jews isolated themselves from their surrounding non-Jewish neighbors except, of course, for the necessities of commerce. “Had the Jews not possessed a deep-rooted conviction of the truth of their religion,” says Jacob Katz, “and had they not actively sought to maintain their separate identity, the tendencies inherent in medieval conditions would inevitably have ended by breaking down the social barrier erected by Jewish ritual.” [KATZ, Ex, p. 40] “In Orthodox Judaism,” wrote anthropologist Maurice Fishberg in 1911, “a Jew must not eat at the same table with a Gentile, nor any food prepared by the latter; must not eat or drink from dishes, with spoons, forks, knives, etc. which have been used by a Gentile; must not drink wine with the container of which has been touched by a Christian, Mohammadan, or heathen … I know Jews to feel nauseated and even vomit when told that the food they have consumed was not kosher. … It was the intense tribal spirit engendered by his religion which kept the Jew from intimate contact with the Gentiles, more than the laws promulgated by Christian states for the purpose.” [FISHBERG, p. 536]

    “We [Jews] formed the ghetto ourselves,” wrote the Zionist leader Vladamir Zabotinsky, ” … voluntarily, for the same reason for which Europeans in Shanghai established their separate quarter, to be able to live their own way.” [KORBANSKI, p. 8] “The Ghetto was rather a privilege than a disability,” notes J. O. Hertzler, “and sometimes was claimed by the Jews as a right when its demolition was threatened.” [HERTZLER, p. 73] Boas Evron cites the work of fellow Israeli scholar, Yehezkel Kaufmann, in noting that

    “the popular assumption that external anti-Jewish pressures forced
    group identify and exclusivity on the Jews is unconvincing, since
    historical evidence shows that Jewish exclusivity and aloofness
    preceded outside hostility and were thus its cause, not its result …
    Jewish communities were always borne by host societies … They
    never shared in political, military, administrative, or technological
    responsibilities.” [EVRON, p. 53]

    In articles in 1928 and 1932, Cecil Roth, one of the foremost Jewish scholars of his day, set out to debunk the Jewish myths of incessant persecution by non-Jews through the ages. “In the first place,” wrote Roth, “…. the Jew has always tended to regard as a martyr all persons who died at Gentile hands … even if he died in a drunken brawl … All those [Jews] who met a violent end, no matter under what circumstances, were included under the head of martyrs in the Jewish popular consciousness and recollection.” [ROTH, Most, p. 136-137]

    This martyr tradition and schema has even been outrageously used, quite the same, with the identical religious base, in Orthodox Jewish messianic political quarters in our own day. Baruch Goldberg, the American-born Orthodox Israeli doctor who murdered 29 Arabs with an automatic weapon this decade as they prayed in a Hebron mosque, and who was subsequently beaten to death, was proclaimed by some Jews to be kadosh. (This word is commonly translated as meaning “holy;” it also has connotations meaning “separate” or “apart.”) “A Jew who is killed because he is a Jew,” wrote Dov Leor (a rabbi for the messianic Gush Emunim organization) about Goldberg’s violent death, “must certainly be called … a holy martyr … without investigating their previous conduct.” [LEOR, p. 61] “Baruch Goldstein was the greatest Jew alive,” declared a Jerusalem teacher, Samuel Hacohen, “not in one way, but in every way … There are no innocent Arabs here, and thank God that one Jewish hero reminded us that it had become almost legal to kill Jews in the street. He is the only one who could do it, the only one who was 100 percent perfect. He was no crazy … Killing isn’t nice, but sometimes it is very necessary.” Rabbi Yaacov Perin also announced at Goldberg’s funeral that “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.” [BROWNFELD, A., 3-99, p. 85]

    A 1908 pamphlet, notes Cecil Roth, was widely circulated in the Jewish community under the title, Jews Hanged or Burned Alive in Rome…. Because They Refused to Change Their Faith. Of the hanged Jews listed, all but one were in fact executed for specific crimes, a harshness rendered no differently to any other people of past eras. “This instance,” says Roth, “… is symptomatic of the attitude which Jewish historiography has consistently adopted. Any popular attack or any governmental persecution in which Jews were victims is set down outright as an expression of anti-Semitic sentiment.”

    In another example, in 1278, on charges of money clipping [skimming gold or silver content from coinage], 267 Jews were hanged in London. This punishment was not merited out to Jews as Jews, but to those who were disproportiontely “in possession of the greater amount of ready money.” Those who accumulated money in the Jewish money-lending and usury era happened to be overwhelmingly Jews, but also included a lesser number of Christian goldsmiths and such who were similarly arrested and executed. “What seems at first blush,” says Roth, “[to be] an act of sheer persecution appears in a closer examination one of primitively sharp justice.” [ROTH, p. 137]

    In the early years of Christianity, in Alexandria (of today’s Egypt), attacks upon Jews rendered in Jewish historical consciousness as acts of anti-Semitism were really what Roth says today would be called “an interracial riot.” [ROTH, p. 138]

    Roth underscored the precarious existence of all peoples’ lives in the Middle Ages:

    “The modern reader frequently fails to realize that, generally speaking,
    life in the Middle Ages was not secure. For every section of the
    population the probabilities of meeting a violent death were high, even
    in times of comparative peace. Country people were continually subject
    to the onslaught of bandits or of lawless barons, as well as the
    marchings and counter marchings of armed forces. [Even] city dwellers
    … [ran] the risk of sack and wholesale murder. The whole of medieval,
    and a great part of modern, history is studded with instance of the sort:
    the devastation of Attila, the Scourge of God; the ravaging of the Vexin
    by William the Conqueror; the sack of a score of German cities during
    the Thirty Years War. There were frequently cases when only a minority
    of the population survived, the vast majority being piteously massacred.
    These events and their like should be borne in mind when one considers
    the vicissitudes of any particular racial or religious minority. The scarlet
    of Jewish persecution does not stand out on a ground of virginal white.
    [ROTH, p. 138]

    In medieval Poland, says Bernard Weinyrb, “In an epoch and a country where most of the time people were in danger of attacks by Tatars and Turks, of wars, soldiers, and robber gangs on the roads, insecurity became the normal way of life for people who had never known anything different.” [WEINRYB, p. 159]

    The miseries caused by the sack of Rome in 1527, Christian crusades against Muslim-controlled Jerusalem in 1096, Leon in 1197, Malaga in 1487, Naples in 1494, Padua in 1509, Tunis in 1535, or “a hundred other occasions” were at least equivalent tragedies to Jewish descriptions of “Jewish martyrdom.” [ROTH, p. 138]

    “It is probably the fact,” says Roth, “that in the course of the medieval wars and disorders, the Jews normally suffered more than any other section of the population. This was not necessarily, however, because they were Jews, but simply because they belonged to the more opulent class … on the capture of a town (by an army), the first objective of the assailants would naturally be the streets of the goldsmiths and the street of the Jews.” [ROTH, p. 139]

    Likewise, Jews — perceived as affluent and exploitive outsiders to native populaces –suffered the same way at the hands of mobs as did Italian traders in London in 1439 and 1455, and at the “Hansa Steelyard” in 1494. Jews were also subject to random “acts of rapine,” like any Christian — or other community — of the Middle Ages, as happened in the Jewish part of Asolo, in northern Italy, in 1547. Perpetrators in that case were punished by the central government.

    While Jews were sometimes required to wear special badges of identification in the European Middle Ages, it was a norm of discrimination for the era. Muslims also had to wear such marks of “outsider” distinction in Christian societies. Conversely, in the Muslim world, Christian communities were also faced with such laws and legislation of discrimination, sometimes even in clothing. And of course Jewish law itself has various nomenclature and attendant rules for treatment of various categories of non-Jews as second-class, or worse, people. (Even in modern Israel, Arabs are discriminatorily noted as such on national identity cards).

    “Some current histories,” said Roth in 1932, “appear to assume the Jews were sole victims of the Spanish Inquisition … Strictly, this is so far from the truth that a precisian might retort that [the Jews] never came under the [Inquisition’s] scope, save in exceptional cases, since the activities were essentially confined to [Christian] apostates and renegades.” [ROTH, p. 141] Those “Jews” who risked trouble were those among the Marranos/Conversos, who disingenuously represented themselves as Christians and were thereby subject to the same scrutinization for religious conformance as that directed upon any other Christian. Widely targeted were Christian heretics, not the Judaic faith. As M. Hirsh Goldberg notes,

    “Contrary to popular belief, Jews who openly remained Jews were
    not tortured or killed as part of the inquisition proceedings. The
    Inquisition was specifically authorized by the Church to root out
    heresy among Catholics, so only heretical Christians and Jewish
    converts to Christianity accused of secretly reverting to Judaism
    were prosecuted.” [GOLDBERG, M. H., 1979, p. 16]

    “[T]he Holy Inquistion in Portugal,” notes Arnold Wiznitzer, “did not persecute Jews who never had been Catholics. Only persons of Jewish origin who had been born Catholic, or those, born Jews and baptised later, who had deserted Catholicism openly or secretly were subject to the Inquisition since they were considered as being apostates.” [WIZNITZER, A., 1957, p. 64]

    “The Inquistion,” notes Joachim Prinz,

    “is considered one of the many traumatic experiences of Jewish history, and as
    such, it is always spoken of with dread. But, of course, the Inquistion had no
    power over Jews at all. It was established for the purpose of dealing with
    Christians who had deviated from their faith. The Marranos who were called
    into account for their secret practices appeared not as Jews but as allegedly
    heretical Chrisitans … No unconverted Jews were ever called to the tribunals.”
    [PRINZ, J., 1973, p. 44]

    “Living under the Inquisition,” adds Goldberg in another volume,

    “caused Jews to make some curious adjustments, as can be seen
    in the family of Manoel Pereira Coutinho, who had five daughters —
    all nuns in a convent in Lisbon — while in Hamburg his sons were
    living openly as Jews.” [GOLDBERG, M. H., 1976, p. 109]

    “All Jews know about the Inquisition,” wrote David Goldstein, a Jewish apostate, “but of Jewish [-perpetrated] injustices they know hardly anything.” [GOLDSTEIN, p. 117] “The name of Torquemada,” wrote Jewish author John Cournos in 1937, “the loathsome Grand Inquisitor, was a byword among us children, as it was in other Jewish households.” [GOLDSTEIN, p. 117] This view that the Inquisition somehow centered on Jews still remains widespread in the community today, as proclaimed in a 1990 issue of the American Jewish Congress magazine devoted to the subject of Jewish identity. Ignoring the Christian target groups of the heresy trials, Zvi Bekarman remarked that “The Inquisition is brought to us as one more proof of the suffering of the Jews.” [BEKERMAN, p. 14]

    Despite all the Jewish lamenting of pogroms and massacres upon their ancestors, the Catholic-Protestant massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day in the 1500’s was as spectacularly horrible as any Jewish medieval misfortune to that time. Nor, adds Roth, “was persecution of the Jews in its acutest form [ever] systematic.” (The later World War II Holocaust scenario, which of course was systematic, will be addressed later at length in its own chapter).

    Jews were often blamed for the epidemic of the Plague and the Black Death that swept Europe in the Middle Ages (while Jewish communities were relatively free from the disease, [HERTZLER, p. 95] but such causal connection to medieval minds was not to the detriment of Jews only. Non-Jews were also accused of, and murdered for, causing the Plague in Palermo in 1526, in Germany in 1530, 1545, and 1574, at Casale Monferrat in 1536, and other places throughout Europe. In Breslau, in 1349 sixty Jews were executed for having caused a town fire, “but,” says Roth, “when one recalls that 300 years afterwards the Great Fire of London was [blamed upon] the Papists, one realizes that the Jews had no monopoly on unjust accusations.” [ROTH, p. 144]

    Jewish communities themselves had irrational superstitions to scapegoat others and to explain disease and other misfortunes. Says Zborowski and Herzog:

    “If an epidemic strikes the shtetl, prayers are, of course, offered up.
    Other steps consist chiefly in marrying off two orphans or cripples,
    so that God will be mollified by the good deeds of the worshippers…
    Whenever there was an epidemic in the shtetl they used to blame it
    on peoples’ sins. They tried to find the guilty ones and expose them
    to the public … Another method for getting rid of an epidemic was
    to get two orphans if possible and to marry them off on the cemetery
    …” [ZBOROWSKI, p. 224]

    Throughout Europe, “it was…. dangerous to be an old woman in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries”‘ when witch hunts put 100,000 unfortunates on trial for sorcery in Germany alone. [ROTH, p. 145] Some 30,000 such victims are reputed to have been burned alive or torn to pieces in England, and over a two hundred year period in Scotland, an average of two hundred “witches” were burned at the stake each year. Throughout Europe gypsies were sporadically singled out for persecution and blame, and various Christians and other non-Jews from time to time were executed for the charge of cannibalism.

    Lest modern Jews feel too smug in the brutal superstitions of the ancient Gentiles, the Talmud itself notes an instance when eighty Jewish women were hung at one time at the instigation of a fellow Jew, “Simeon the Son of Shetach,” in Ashkelon for the crime of being witches. [HARRIS, p. 174] When coming across a witch, the Talmud recommends that the passerby “should mutter thus, ‘May a potsherd of boiling dung be stuffed in your mouths, you ugly witches!'” [HARRIS, p.189] Some rabbis even opined that a witch may be either male or female, but “most women are witches.” [HARRIS, p. 190] Even “the best among women,” said Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai, “is a witch.” [HARRIS, p. 191]

    The Talmud also details the various manners of stoning, strangling or beheading Jewish “blasphemers and idolaters.” Such criminals were also buried up to their knees in manure, and their mouths forced open by strangling. Molten lead could then be poured “into his bowels.” [HARRIS, p. 170]

    The persistence of the Jewish mythology of unique persecution, says Roth, has much to do with their longevity and communal dispersal throughout Europe and the world. The persecution of the Albigensians of France, for instance, is known by hardly anyone today because their destruction was singularly localized, they were completely wiped out, and there is no one interested in heralding their suffering. Likewise the Waldenses of France, and various others. “The Jews,” notes Roth, “are an inseparable element in the history of every country in Europe … and thus have an advantage, as it were, of a superior publicity service; and no historian, even a Gentile, could fail to be impressed by this insistent, pathetic, unique record.” [ROTH, p. 147]

    Roth goes to the essence of the Jewish mythos of communal agony:

    “In the classical period … with its holocausts and heroes, the lot of
    the Jewish people was much the same as that of the ancient Britons,
    the Iberians, and the Gauls; and the leaders of those peoples’ struggles
    for freedom deserve to be remembered as much as the Jewish martyrs
    who are commemorated each year on the ninth of Ab. But this is far
    from the case. Generally, they are forgotten, save by a few industrious
    antiquarians; and they have no place today in the proud memories of
    any people. The reason is very plain. The races for which they fought
    are long since dead. The Jews are still alive.” [ROTH, p. 147]

    These insightful observations were written by Roth in 1932. The rise of German fascism and its institutionalized inhumanity was still only rising. Yet we can see here in Roth’s unusually honest overview of Jewish history the broader, foundational context for current Jewish thinking about themselves to this day. Of course the so-called Holocaust of World War II has completely solidified the traditional view of the persecution of Jewry and obliterated Roth’s broadly realistic brand of Jewish historiography.

    To a now militant Jewish polemic, their community’s European experience in World War II merely confirms the Jewish mythos of unique and eternal victimization and martrydom. It is monolithic, irrefutable, immutable, and immoveable: Jews argue they were uniquely “singled out.” There will be a great deal more about the Holocaust and its part in Jewish identity in its own chapter. For immediate purposes, it is enough here to recognize the historical context for modern Jewry’s fundamental self-conception: that of humankind’s foremost — and superlative — victims, passed along as part of religious faith century after century, reified in Jewish cosmology at every turn.

    Roth’s early 1930’s view, in the context of rising Nazi fascism and worry about anti-Semitism spreading in America, has been completely muted in our own day, and Jewish apologetics about Jewish identity and history began rising in direct proportion to the gravity of the growing German threat. By 1941, a Jewish author, Oscar Janowsky, reviewed — in the same Jewish journal that earlier published Roth’s critiques of the Jewish victimization cosmology — two new books that championed Jewish history. Each book was authored by well-respected Jewish scholars. One of them was Cecil Roth. Janowsky’s title for his article was “Apologetics for Our Time.” In the context of German Nazism, even Roth was swallowed by the demands for Jewish positive image-making against all and any self-critical Jewish commentary. “Both authors,” wrote Janowsky, “would readily concede that the purpose [of these books] was not to write ‘history’ of the accepted variety. Our age requires apologetics, and this sad need has been filled by the authors.” [JANOWSKY, p. 225] This “sad need” was so great that a 1951 volume entitled The Hebrew Impact on Western Civilization even stated bluntly in its very first sentence: “This book is a book of propaganda.” [RUNES, D., p. vii]

    In 1947, Milton Steinberg wrote a volume, Basic Judaism, explaining the faith for both Jews and “those many non-Jews who happen to be curious about Judaism.” [STEINBERG, p. viii] Here Steinberg’s apologetic, in doing his part to engender a positive Jewish public image (like so many others to our own day), was grossly untrue: “Judaism is totally unaware of race. Though the Tradition loves to trace the House of Israel to the Patriarchs, blood descent is no factor in its calculations.” [STEINBERG, M., p. 99]

    With World War II and the disaster that befell humanity — and the Jews within it — looming soon over Europe, this apologetic methodology (as well as a resultant Jewish militancy) about Jewish history has continued in a rarely interrupted straight line to the present day. (Examine, for example, the gushingly laudatory content of the popular 1999 bestseller by a non-Jewish author: The Gifts of the Jews). In fact, the mythology of perpetual Jewish victimhood was well along as an exploitable tool by American Jews and Zionists as a political devise at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, where Jewish woe centered upon anti-Jewish riots and attacks in Eastern Europe, particularly in Russia. “Some of the atrocities [against Jews] initially reported,” writes Albert Lindemann, “were exaggerated or simply did not occur, and some Jews made false claims in the hope of getting relief money from Western Europe and America.” [LINDEMANN, p. 154]

    Many of the exaggerations were also created to enhance Zionist propaganda to garner sympathy and support for a Jewish state in Israel. An important target of Zionist propaganda and historical exaggeration was American Jews. “You have to speak to American Jews in superlatives,” remarked Nachum Goldmann, for many years the president of both the World Zionist Organization and World Jewish Congress, “Cool, balanced, analysis makes no impression on them, and exaggeration is almost indispensable.” [GROSE, p. 162] Elsewhere, in 1978 he noted that his Zionist group alone had spent “millions of dollars on propaganda.” [GOLDMANN, N., 1978, p. 63]

    A pioneer strategist in the use of the accusation of anti-Semitism as a propaganda device was Theodore Herzl, a Viennese journalist and playwright, the man most credited for the successful promotion of the Jewish “return to Israel” Zionist ideology. Herzl “understood the true nature of propaganda,” notes former Israeli diplomat, Moshe Leshem,” of the emotional appeal.” “In truth … noise amounts to a great deal,” Herzl noted in his diary, “A sustained noise is in itself a noteworthy fact, world history is nothing but noise.” [LESHEM, p. 85]

    Among the most reported Russian anti-Jewish pogrom sites at the turn of the century was Kishinev. (This incident led to the creation of the Jewish lobbying agency, the American Jewish Committee in 1903). [HALKIN, p. 54] Chaim Weitzmann, another Zionist activist and the first President of the state of Israel, wrote to a member of the wealthy Jewish Rothschild family (instrumental in funding early Jewish settlements in pre-Israel Palestine):

    “Eleven years ago … I happened to be in the cursed town of Kishinev
    … In a group of about 100 Jews we defended the Jewish quarter with
    revolvers in our hand, defended women and girls … We slept in the
    cemetery — the only safe place and we saw 80 corpses brought in,
    mutilated dead…”

    “Thus Weizmann,” says Albert Lindemann, “reports that he personally saw eighty mutilated corpses in a single place, when the death toll for the entire city was later generally recognized to be forty-five. But there is another problem with the account he provides. It is pure fantasy. Weizmann was in Warsaw at the time.” [LINDEMANN, p. 164]

    The long — and continuing — Jewish defamation of Poles and Poland, as part of a broad Zionist propaganda policy and secular Jewish victimization theology, has been going on for a long time. For all western Jewry’s complaints about massive Polish violence against Polish Jewry, in 1919 Hugh Gibson, the United states minister to Warsaw, wrote that, “It is ridiculous as we are told about every incident where the Jew gets the worst of it and a great many incidents that never happened at all. These yarns are exclusively of foreign manufacture for anti-Polish purposes.” Two prominent and powerful American Zionists — Louis Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter (both United States Supreme Court justices) — confronted Gibson to complain about his dispatches to Washington. “They complained that my reports on the Jewish question had gone round the world and undone their work [in proclaiming enormous violent Polish anti-Semitism],” said Gibson,

    “… They finally said that I had stated that the stories of excesses against
    the Jews were exaggerated, to which I replied that they certainly were
    and I should think any Jew would be glad to know it … [They] seemed
    to be interested in agitation for its own sake rather than in learning the
    situation … Their efforts were concentrated on an attempt to bully me
    into accepting the mixture of information and misinformation which
    they have adopted as the basis of their propaganda … Felix handed
    me a scarcely veiled threat that the Jews would try to prevent my
    confirmation by the Senate [then pending] … They made it clear to
    me that they do not care to have any diagnosis made that is not based
    entirely on Jewish statements as to conditions and events and doesn’t
    accept them at face value. If they are not ready to go into the question
    honestly I don’t see how they can hope to accomplish anything for their
    people… [American Jews have embarked upon] a conscienceless and
    cold-blooded plan to make the condition of the Jews in Poland so bad
    they must turn to Zionism for relief.” [GROSE, p. 94-95]

    In 1923 the United States Vice Consul to Warsaw, Monroe Kline, added that “It is true that the Pole hates the Jew … The Jew in business oppresses the Pole to a far greater extent than does the Pole oppress the Jew in a political way.” [GROSE, p. 95]

    More recently, Leonard Fein notes Jewish fears of assimilation that could erase them as a people, and the emotional cloud that informs Jewish perception of the facts of history:

    “Deep down — and sometimes not so very deep — we [Jews] still
    believe that we depended on the pogroms and persecutions to
    keep us a people, and that we have not the fibre to withstand
    the lures of a genuine open society. It is seduction, not rape,
    that we fear the most, and nowhere is the seducer more blatant,
    less devious, than here in America.” [in SILBERMAN, p. 165]

    The Jewish limited historical memory (and corresponding embracement of legend) and its singular focus on its martyrological tradition has also been systematically exploited to buttress Zionist reasoning for the necessity of the modern state of Israel: a home for Jews from worldwide anti-Semitic persecution. The lengths some Jews will go to enforce — and create — the martyrological/persecution tradition for political purposes was noted by Wilbur Crane Eveland, a former CIA agent stationed in Iraq in the early years after the foundation (1948) of today’s Israel. A few months before his arrival to that country in 1950, a bomb went off “outside a Passover gathering,” underscoring Arab hostility to Jews and encouraging 10,000 to move to the new Israeli state. Eveland wrote that

    “Just after I arrived in Baghdad, an Israeli citizen had been recognized
    in the city’s largest department store: his interrogation led to the
    discovery of fifteen arms caches brought into Iraq by an underground
    Zionist movement. In attempts to portray the Iraqis as anti-American
    and to terrorize the Jews, the Zionists planted bombs in the United
    States Information Service Library and in synagogues. Soon
    leaflets began to appear urging Jews to flee to Israel … Although
    the Iraqi police later provided our embassy with evidence to show that
    the synagogue and library bombings, as well as the anti-Jewish and anti-
    American leaflet campaigns, had been the work of an underground
    Zionist organization, most of the world believed reports that Arab
    terrorism had motivated the flight of the Iraqi Jews whom the
    Zionists had ‘rescued’ really just in order to increase Israel’s Jewish
    population.” [FEURLICHT, p. 231]

    Aware from personal experience about the facts in such matters, in 1998, an Iraqi-born Jew and former Zionist activist, Naeim Giladi, wrote that he wanted “to tell the American people, and especially American Jews, that Jews from Islamic lands did not emigrate willingly to Israel; that to force them to leave, Jews killed Jews.” [GILADI, p. 1]

    In 1975 Jewish CBS reporter Mike Wallace journeyed to another Arab nation, Syria, to do a 60 Minutes program on the country. Years later, he noted his own biases (about alleged Syrian anti-Semitism) that were destroyed when he actually went to Damascus:

    “[Before I went to Syria] I had a strong impression of what life was
    like for [Jews] there. From Jewish friends in America, I had heard
    the same stories over and over again: The Jews in Syria were confined
    to ghettos and were constant victims of persecution. A tight curfew was
    imposed on them and they were not allowed to have telephones or
    drives automobiles. Nor were they permitted to worship in synagogues
    of study in their traditional language, Hebrew. In short, the Syrian Jews
    were forced to live as prisoners within their own country.” [WALLACE/
    GATES, 1984, p. 282]

    All this, as Wallace soon learned upon visiting Syria, was complete nonsense. Jews owned cars; Jews had classes in Hebrew. Although the Jewish community was under close surveillance by the Assad regime, Wallace is careful to note that so was everyone in that police state. The CBS reporter interviewed a variety of Jews in the Arab country. Speaking to a Jewish teacher, Wallace notes his surprise to her response about the myths he had heard about Syrian anti-Semitism :

    “Then I mentioned all the stories I had heard about how badly the
    Jews were treated in Syria, and when I asked her where she thought
    they came from, she replied in an almost malevolent tone: ‘I think
    that it’s Zionist propaganda.'” [WALLACE, M., 1984, pl. 285]

    Cecil Roth, in his overviews of Jewish history with its attendant polemics and apologetics (let alone some of the fraudulent escapades of modern Zionism), argued that the continued suppression of an honest evaluation of the Jewish past could come back to haunt them:

    “By suppression we play into the hand of the anti-Semite, who may one
    day make capital out of the innocent humanity we have chosen to
    ignore. But, above all, by repression we are faithless to the most sacred
    charge of history, which is the pursuit of truth.” [ROTH, p. 423]

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  38. Spare14

  39. 12 THE JEWISH COSMOLOGY OF VICTIMHOOD (Part 2) “I also tried to avoid becoming uncomfortably hooked on anti-Semitism as the main problem in the world. Many Jews I knew divided the world into Jews and anti-Semites, nothing else. Many Jews I knew recognized no problem anywhere, at any time, but that of anti-Semitism … Such is the blindness of people that I have known Jews who, having deplored anti-Semitism in unmeasured tones, would, with scarcely a breath in between, get on the subject of African-Americans and promptly begin to sound like a group of petty Hitlers. And when I pointed this out and objected to it strenuously, they turned on me in anger. They simply could not see what they were doing. I once listened to a woman grow eloquent over the terrible way in which Gentiles did nothing to save the Jews of Europe. ‘You can’t trust Gentiles,’ she said. I let some time elapse and then asked suddenly, ‘What are you doing to help the blacks in their fight for civil rights?’ ‘Listen,’ she said, ‘I have my own troubles.’ And I said, ‘So did the Gentiles.’ But she only stared at me blankly. She didn’t get the point at all.” Isaac Asimov, I. Asimov. A Memoir, 1994, p. 20, 21 For nearly fifteen centuries in their diaspora, after the Jewish/Roman historian Josephus, the Jewish community taught and re-taught only its religious dogma and martyrological mythos to define its past, present, and future. Until the Enlightenment in the late 18th century, the Jewish ghettos were filled with people cloistered away under rabbinical blinders. Jewish “history” was all history, and it was entirely framed in the religiously-based conventional framework for understanding the world: Jewish exceptionality, Jewish martyrology, and an apocalyptic vision entwined in Jewish suffering in search of atonement. [LOPATE, p. 306] As Jacob Neusner notes: “What strikingly characterizes the imagination of the archaic Jew is the centrality of Israel, the Jewish people in human history, the certainty that being Jewish is the most important thing about oneself, and that Jewishness, meaning Judaism, was the dominant aspect of one’s consciousness.” [NEUSNER, J., 1972, p. 62] Simon Dubnov, a prominent and well-respected Jewish historian, notes that Jews were so self-isolated from the non-Jews around them that for centuries their own history was merely the recycled metacommentaries about their seminal myths of Chosen People victimhood: “Talmudic literature (including the Midrashim) … hardly contained any material concerning social dynamics which is necessary for history in the true sense. The leaders of the nation that was deprived of its kingdom seemed to have lost interest in the events of the world around them … The historian is greatly distressed when, in the scores of volumes of talmudical literature, he finds merely vague hints at events of the first five centuries of the Christian era, and searches in vain for chronological data. He has a sense of shame for the nation … which… lost its ability to perpetuate its experiences, even in simple chronicles… The one-sidedness of the Jewish sources, which illuminated only the spiritual side of life, created a false historical perspective.” [DUBNOV, p. 436-438] Robert Goldenberg notes that, in Jewish tradition, “great rabbinic leaders … became both disembodied bearers of a an elaborate legal tradition and also heroes of a marvelously rich tradition of legend … From the historian’s point of view, the Talmud thus becomes a terribly frustrating book. It is rich with stories that may — or may not — reflect the way certain events happened, and it is full of legal discussions that may — or may not — report the actual content of early rabbinic scholarly activity. Everything is fascinating, everything is potentially an open window on the past, but nothing can be trusted.” [GOLDENBERG, R., 1984, p. 157] “Jews have suffered and Christians have suffered [throughout history],” wrote Rabbi Richard Singer, “Mankind has suffered. There is no group with a monopoly on suffering and no human beings which have experienced hate and hostility more than any other. I must say, however, that it is my impression that Jewish history has been taught with a whine and a whimper rather than a straightforward acknowledgement that man practices his inhumanity on his fellow human beings.” [ZUKERMAN, p. 66] “[A] disability for the Jews in modern times,” says Barnet Litvinoff, “has been their own obscurantism. If all the questions of how to live were to be answered only in the wisdom of the Talmud, there could be no intellectual explorations, and therefore no progress.” [LITVINOFF, p. 10] “[Rabbis] had cut off [the Jewish community] from the community of nations,” wrote Bernard Lazare in 1894 about the Jewish ghetto mentality, “They had made of it a sullen recluse, a rebel against all laws, foreign to all feeling fraternity [with others], closed to all beautiful, noble, and generous ideas; they had made of it a small and miserable nation, soured by isolation, brutalized by a narrower education, demoralized and corrupted by an unjustifiable pride.” [LAZARE, p. 14] “The Eastern European Jews,” notes Raphael Patai, “(with a few very notable exceptions) considered interest in all realms of non-Jewish intellectual endeavor as un-Jewish and therefore prohibited. Even the readings of books other than the Bible, the Talmud, the codes, and the Midrashim was strictly forbidden, and has remained so to this day in those circles in which the Eastern European Yeshiva tradition survives.” [PATIA, R., 1971, p. 294] “Jews lived with memory, so that redemption might be hastened,” adds Stephen Whitfield, “but they did not live with history. The rabbis … made little effort to record the history of their own post-Biblical era … The first post-medieval attempt at a history of the Jews was written by a gentile, Jacques Basnage … Only … under the impact of modernization … could Jews … wrest meaning from Jewish life and identity. [WHITFIELD, p. 29-30] Basnage’s 17-volume work, published between 1706 and 1711, has been called by one twentieth-century Jewish reviewer “the basis for the science of Jewish history; and though his work was far from perfect, it remained the best for a century to come.” [GOLDBERG, M. H., 1976, p. 212] Although Jewish history usually highlights Christian intolerance and the periodic burnings of the Talmud, the earliest printings of even this religious tract were accomplished with substantial Christian support. As M. Hersch Goldberg notes: “Pope Leo X, who reigned from 1513 to 1521, encouraged the printing of the first complete edition of the Talmud. Under his patronage, fifteen volumes of the Babylonian Talmud were printed in Venice beginning in 1519 … Another Christian played an important part in preparing that historic edition of the Talmud. The printer Daniel Bomberg (whose name may sound Jewish, but who was a Christian) had set up his press in Venice in 1516. He devoted great care and attention in printing the Talmud … Seemingly fascinated with Jewish literature, Bomberg is said to have done more to spread Jewish learning than any other printer of his time … Over the years, Bomberg printed approximately two hundred books of Jewish interest.” [GOLDBERG, M. H., 1976, p. 210-211] The Talmud itself, of course, is not history, but religious polemic. “Memory of the past,” says Yosef Yerushalmi, “was always a central component of Jewish experience; the historian was not its primary custodian.” [WHITFIELD, AMERICAN, p. 30] “The [Israelite] prophet,” notes Old Testament scholar John Allegro, “saw Yahweh [the Israelite God] as a cosmic deity, lord of the heavenly hosts and forces of nature, but at the same time still the special god of Israel, a tribal deity whose main interest was the welfare of his Chosen People. Thus it followed that whatever the grand strategy in the Creator’s mind, it involved the destiny of the Jews, and all history was directed to their glorification.” [ALLEGRO, J., 1971, p. 58] “Most Jews have a slight knowledge of Jewish history,” says Chaim Bermant, “This is true even of those in Yeshiva (college of higher learning), for the Yeshiva is devoted largely to the study of the Talmud, and the Talmud, though encyclopaedic in scope, was completed by the sixth century and events beyond that date are largely terra incognita, except where they are echoed by liturgy and lore.” [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 18] The above observations, and one of the theses of this volume, point to a Jewish identity that is at its conceptual roots — even for the secular today — religious in complexion and fundamentally ahistorical. Firmly going against the grain of popular Jewish proclamation that they, and their old religion, Judaism, are the root of everything wise and wonderful on earth, a Jewish author and social activist, Maurice Hindus, wryly observed in 1927 that “The force that first pried the Jewish mind open to radical doctrines of a modern nature had its origin not in Jewish but in distinctly non-Jewish intellectual associations … [Political philosophers] Marx and Lassalle were steeped in Western, that is, modern Gentile culture, Gentile philosophy, Gentile science … It is only after the Jew began to ram down the gates of the ghetto and to make excursions into the intellectual temples of his Christian neighbors, only after he had laid aside the Talmud and the Shulcan Aruch for modern, western, that is Gentile, history, biology, psychology, science, that he embarked on a career of achievement in modern arts and science … The old Jewish civilization, with its rigid orthodoxy and its emphasis on Jewish superiority, compelled aloofness from worldly intellectual intercourse even as it compelled social isolation. It frowned on the perusal of modern literature, philosophy, social theory, even on the study of foreign, that is Gentile, languages.” [HINDUS, p. 369-370] “Guided by the dictum that ‘all that is new is forbidden by the Torah,\'” says Charles Silberman, “the rabbis spoke as though the slightest deviation from tradition was a lapse into heresy.” [SILBERMAN, p. 171] “The Jewish nature does not produce its rarest fruits in a Jewish environment,” noted Israel Abrahams, “… It was ancient Alexandria that produced Philo, medieval Spain Maimonides, modern Amsterdam Spinoza.” [FEUERLICHT, p. 38] “One can be ignorant of all the sayings of the wise old rabbis,” notes Ann Roiphe, “and still acknowledge the Magna Carte, the Declaration of Independence, the words of Rousseau, Hobbes, Emerson, the art of Leonardo da Vinci, Michealangelo and Dante, the science of Darwin, Newton and Galileo. These were not Jewish, and the great Jewish thinkers, Freud, Marx and Einstein, Claude Levi-Strauss, studied at Christian universities and learned form Christian scholars … The great universities of the West were founded without Jews … The Christian world created Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, Harvard, and Yale.” [ROIPHE, 1981, p. 209] These perspectives do not reflect the mainstream current of modern Jewish history, however. For most, the self-repeating myths of the wonders of Jewish Talmudic scholarship and its attendant Jewish martyrology were — and are — central to Jewry’s understanding of its past. In the late nineteenth century, for example, Heinrich Graetz, the seminal “modern” Jewish historian, was only following a long line of self-portrayal when he introduced one of his volumes of Jewish history with what he felt to be the essence of their story: “The long era of the dispersion, lasting nearly seventeen centuries, is characterized by unprecedented sufferings, an uninterrupted martyrdom, and a constantly aggravated degradation and humiliation unparalleled in history … ” [GRAETZ, v. 4 Intro, in LIBERLES p. 104] In 1911 a Jewish anthropologist, Maurice Fishberg, blamed common Jewish “nervous disposition” largely on historic persecutions: “Considering that in medieval times massacres of Jews were quite frequent … it may be said that many of the survivors have remained with unstable nerves, and that a fair proportion of neurotics and psychopathics have inherited their nervous disposition from their maltreated grandparents … Any people, no matter what race, could not remain with healthy nerves under the ban of abuse and persecutions to which the Jews were subjected.” [FISHBERG, p. 532] In 1917, H. G. Enelow framed the same world view this way: “There is no history as full of hardship and suffering as the history of Israel. But there is none so heroic, either. That is just what has made it the most heroic history in the world. That because the Jews were chosen for a divine work, they have to suffer a great deal.” [ENELOW, p. 45] Likewise, another nineteenth century Jewish scholar, Leopold Zunz, made the convergence of Jewish superiority and “aristocracy” through suffering explicit in a quote that eventually became “perhaps the best known in modern Jewish literature” [ROTH, Most, p. 136]: “If there be an ascending scale of sufferings, Israel reached its highest degree. If the duration of affliction, and the patience with which they are borne, confer nobility upon man, the Jews vie with the aristocracy of any country.” [SCHULMAN, p. 34] A 1954 “High Holy Days Prayer Book” for Jewish congregations even devoted two pages to quotes (including the one immediately above) by secular Jewish commentators, a legendary Jewish martyrological history framed here as the expression of religious faith. Other lamentations in the prayer book included: * “Combine all the woes that temporal and ecclesiastical tyrannies have ever inflicted on men or nations, and you will not have reached the full measure of suffering which this martyr people was called upon to endure.” [Leopold Zunz] * “The thousand years’ martyrdom of the Jewish people, its unbroken pilgrimage, its tragic fate, its teachers of religion, its martyrs, its philosophy, champions — this whole epic will, in days to come, sink into the memory of men.” [Simon Dubnov] [SILVERMAN, M., p. 386-387] Fredda Herz and Elliot Rosen understand such self-definitions as “aristocratic” victims to be essential to modern Jewish temperament: “Jews anticipate attack from non-Jews, while privately reassuring themselves that they are ‘God’s chosen people.’ The assumption is that suffering is a basic part of life. This suffering may even reinforce the notion that they are superior to others by virtue of their burden of oppression.” [HERZ/ROSEN, p. 367] In 1993, one of England’s chief rabbis, Jonathan Sacks, framed Jewish resistance to assimilation in the land they lived as a noble sacrifice, the willingness to stand loyal with a relentlessly subjugated, oppressed people: “For the most part, Jews [through history] did not say, ‘What advantage is it to remain part of the people of Israel, seeing that they are humiliated and persecuted? It is better for me to join my destiny to those who have power.’ They declared their willingness liheyet miyisrael, to be counted among Israel.” [SACKS, J., p. 131] “[The] self-image of Judaism,” says Philip Sigal, “as originating in bondage and redemption indelibly engraves itself upon the group memory and it became the permanent mythos of its origin. Beside that, documentable history is irrelevant. All that has transpired since antiquity is wedded to that theology.” [SIGAL, p. 1] Israeli scholar Boas Evron notes that “Long historical memory, delving into centuries-old, even millennia-old, disasters, massacres and wrongs (accompanied by the convenient forgetting of wrongs and atrocities perpetrated by ones’ own people against others), lachyrmorose self-righteousness, are all characteristics of groups whose experience is basically passive, as the Jews have been politically for thousands of years. In such groups, the consciousness of being victims accumulates and poisons the very being of its members. At times these characteristics become the primary content of their self- awareness as a group, a perverted focus of their self-identity. Finally, this suffering becomes a source of pride. (‘I am persecuted and hated, a sign that I am valuable and unique, for which I am envied and hated’), rather than engendering a desire to be rid of it.” [EVRON, p. 109] The cloaking of Jewish martyrological legend over an authentic Jewish history in the real world is noted by another Israeli, Meron Benvenisti: “It is an ahistoric philosophy of an ahistoric people. It sustained us for two thousand years and is so imbued in our psyche that it was not altered even when we made the profound leap from an ahistoric, dispensed, and powerless people to an historic, independent, and powerful nation [Israel].” [BENVENISTI, p. 73] “The belief that the Jewish people had always been the passive sufferer of Christian persecution,” says Hannah Arendt, “actually amounted to a prolongation and modernization of the old myth of chosenness.” [FEUERLICHT, p. 35] “The more desperate the oppression,” writes Raphael Jospe, “the more oppressors reinforced the Jewish view that they, the victims, were the Chosen People, and that the oppressor religions were all the more morally spiritually bankrupt.” [JOSPE, R. p. 130] Michael Aronson notes the way that riots against Jews in Russia in the late nineteenth century were simply plugged into traditional interpretive Jewish martyrological frameworks focusing on categorical Jewish innocence: “In Jewish consciousness, three biblical images are deeply ingrained as archetypes of Jewish oppression. First is that of the Pharoahs, who enslaved the Children of Israel in Europe. Next, are the treacherous and murderous Amalekites, who attacked the Children of Israel in Sinai after their exodus from Egypt and became the symbol of causeless hatred. And third is the archetypical murderer Haman (by tradition a descendant of Amalek), who tried to destroy all the Jews in the Persian Empire. From the very beginning of anti-Jewish outbreaks in 1881, the biblical images must have sprang to people’s minds and influenced their interpretation of events. Indeed, these images were invoked repeatedly in both journalistic and historical literature on the pogroms written by Russian Jews, and others.” [ARONSON, p. 9] Like many Jewish or Gentile historians tainted by martyrological contagion, Bryan Moynahan’s index to the Jews’ role in his book about the last 100 years of Russian history reflects almost solely the Jewish victimology theme: “Jews: -accusations against -anti-Semitism -behavior toward -emigration -in Great War -massacre -pogroms against” [MOYNAHAN, p. 266] Prominent Jewish psychoanalyst and child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim once wrote an article about the popular social psychology surrounding (famous Nazi victim) Ann Frank, noting the special state of “innocence” the Jewish people decree about themselves, a blanket character afforded no one else: “Some time ago I questioned in print why there is such vast admiration for The Diary of Ann Frank. I received many reactions, positive and negative, but whether those who let me know their reactions agreed or disagreed, they all shared one feature: a deep compassion for what they called the ‘innocent’ victims of Nazi aggression … I was further startled to find that in the many communications I received, the adjective ‘innocent’ was applied only by Jews to Jewish victims. Nobody referred to the innocent Gypsies or the innocent Jehovah’s Witnesses, though they, like the Jews were internal minorities, one of which, the Gypsies, was exterminated in toto. Maybe I overlooked it, but despite search I can recall no popular reference to the innocent Norwegians, for example, who the Nazis also killed in numbers.” [BETTELHEIM, 1991, p. 257] “Jewish consciousness is cultivated consistently from the moment they are capable of understanding the spoken word,” observed Maurice Feurlich in 1937, “… I had the theme, Children of a Martyr Race, dinned into my consciousness so deeply that it became the basic element of my emotional life. Almost the first words I understood were “oppressed people,” “martyrs,” “prejudice,” “persecution.” Like all other Jewish children, I emerged with a ‘Persecution Complex’ which grew stronger as I grew older … [This] more than anything else constitutes the Jewish consciousness we have today … Our persecution complex makes us abnormal in dealing with our neighbors … For few of us have the courage to admit that the fault might rest in our personal makeup. It is true of human nature generally that men seek to blame for failure everywhere but their own doorstep, but we Jews divulge from the normal when this becomes a mental habit with which we constantly salve the wounds of our failures.” [GOLDSTEIN, p. 116] “It became customary [in the Middle Ages] to record the names of the victims of persecutions,” says Leon Poliakov, “many lists are preceded by the evocation of the ‘cities of blood’ … Thus the memory of the first martyrs was perpetuated and a tradition was created and strengthened, inspiring succeeding generations to follow the lead and example of their ancestors.” [POLIAKOV, p. 84] The ancestors have followed the lead well. In a 1984 survey, 94% of American Jews were found to believe that “Jews have a uniquely long and tragic history of persecution.” [LIEBMAN/COHEN, p. 31] “One critical element in this statement,” note Charles Liebman and Steven Cohen, “is the word unique. The image of Jewish victimization has its political and psychological uses, and as a result Jews often have a deep emotional investment in preserving their image as a uniquely long-suffering minority. Leading Jewish spokesmen have resisted efforts to deny Jews their history of extraordinary persecution and to diminish the singularity, the distinctiveness, of Jewish victimization.” [LIEBMAN, COHEN, p. 31] “All the Jews must internalize past events as if they happened to them only yesterday,” explains Meron Benvenisti about traditional Jewish victim identity, “My father still feels the agony of the expulsion from Spain as if it happened to him personally and not five hundred years ago.” [BENVENISTI, 1989, p. 73] Jewish religious history — and Jewish identity itself — has always been founded upon the idea that non-Jews are out to destroy them. “For Thy [God’s] sake are we killed all the day long,” proclaims the Torah/Old Testament. “We are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” [PSALMS 44:22] “Eysor soyneh l’yaakov,” wrote Joshau Halberstam in 1997, “[is] a phrase well known to Jews brought up in traditional homes. The literal translation of the phrase is ‘Esau hates Jacob,’ but the names are always understood as referring to the gentile hatred of Jews, an enmity that is presumed to be perpetual.” [HALBERSTAM, p. 215] Rabbi Moshe Zvi Neriyah, director of a network of religious Zionist high schools in Israel, and a former member of the Knesset, publicly declared that there were two kinds of Gentiles, “those that simply hate us and those who attempt with all their power to destroy us.” [LIEBMAN/COHEN, p. 59] “The Holocaust is not a national insanity that happened once and passed,” remarked a former Israeli Minister of Education in 1984, “but an ideology that has not passed from the world and even today the world may condone crimes against us.” [LIEBMAN/COHEN, p. 61] A number of Jewish religious fast days, including the traditional ninth of Av, the tenth of Tereth, the seventeenth of Tammuz, and the third of Tishri, commemorate “national and communal catastrophes.” Most are linked to the destruction of the First Temple (physically memorialized today in Jerusalem at what is widely known as the “Wailing Wall”) by non-Jewish enemies. At one time in Jewish history thirty-six such fast days of mourning were observed each year. [YOUNG, p. 263] “Three times a day,” notes Howard Sachar, “and oftener on special occasions, pious Jews prayed for the Restoration [of the destroyed Temple].” [SACHAR, p. 309] Even at Jewish ma