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From the Jewish Journal of Greater L.A. (via MondoWeiss):

David Brooks’ Son Is In the Israeli Army: Does It Matter?
by Rob Eshman
2 days ago

One of the more interesting nuggets buried in a long, Hebrew-language interview with New York Times columnist David Brooks in the recent Ha’aretz magazine is the revelation, toward the very end, that Brooks’s oldest son serves in the Israel Defense Forces.

“Brook’s connection to Israel was always strong,” the article reports. “He has visited Israel almost every year since 1991, and over the past months the connection has grown even stronger, after his oldest son, aged 23, decided to join the Israel Defense Forces as a “lone soldier” [Ed. Note: a soldier with no immediate family in Israel].

“‘It’s worrying,’” says Brooks, ‘But every Israeli parent understands this is what the circumstances require. Beyond that, I think children need to take risks after they leave university, and that they need to do something difficult, that involves going beyond their personal limits. Serving in the IDF embodies all of these elements. I couldn’t advise others to do it without acknowledging it’s true for my own family.’”

Chatter immediately heated up over this fact, which until now hasn’t cropped up in any Google searches. Many commenters praised Brooks’ for his son’s service. Others maintained that he and the New York Times have the duty to reveal the fact that his son is serving in the IDF as it personally colors his commentary on Israel and Middle East issues.

Between 800-1000 Jews from abroad serve in the IDF, according to an IDF spokesperson. It is not illegal for an American citizen to join a foreign army– unless that army is at war with America. Nor does joining a foreign army require one to relinquish citizenship. …

In 2010 the web site reported that the New York Times senior correspondent in Israel, Ethan Bronner, had a son serving in the IDF. …

Here is the original Hebrew text from Haaretz:

הקשר של ברוקס לישראל תמיד היה חזק – הוא מגיע לארץ כמעט מדי שנה מאז 1991 – ואולם בחודשים האחרונים הקשר התחזק אפילו יותר, לאחר שבנו הבכור, בן 23, החליט להתגייס לצה”ל כחייל בודד. “זה מדאיג”, הוא אומר, “אך כל הורה ישראלי מבין שזה מה שהנסיבות מחייבות. וחוץ מזה, אני חושב שילדים צריכים לקחת סיכונים כשהם יוצאים מהאוניברסיטה, ושהם צריכים לעשות משהו קשה, שכרוך גם בלפרוץ את גבולות ‘העצמי’. שירות בצה”ל מגלם את כל המרכיבים האלו. אני לא יכול לייעץ לאחרים לעשות זאת, מבלי שהדבר יהיה נכון גם למשפחה שלי”

Leaving aside the specifics of the Brooks family (which are pretty interesting: Brooks’ wife not only converted but changed her first name from Jane to Sarah) …

This is a good example of a general theme of mine: in 21st Century America, you can roughly divide white men up into conservatives and liberals based on their predilections toward loyalty. Everybody feels loyalties, but conservatives tend to be more motivated than liberals by loyalty or team spirit. And conservatives tend to experience their feelings of loyalty in a fairly natural concentric fashion, with their feelings of loyalty diminishing as they go outward to people less like themselves.

Of course, there is a sizable degree of social construction involved in defining natural-seeming loyalties, similar to the inevitable splitter and lumper questions in any field. For example, George Washington was involved in first splitting the British Empire, then in lumping the 13 colonies. But, as Plato might have said, Washington turned out to have been more or less “carving nature at the joints,” so his social constructions have endured better than, say, the British Commonwealth or the United Arab Republic.

White male liberals, in contrast, pride themselves on a certain degree of disloyalty, possessing a set of loyalties that leapfrog in disdain over some set of people not all that far off from themselves. (Of course, all other kinds of liberals besides straight white males are encouraged by the media to subscribe to crude forms of ethnocentrism, such as demanding amnesty for their co-ethnics.)

As an American, I want other Americans, especially other Americans of power, influence, wealth, and talent to see themselves as on my side, the American side. That doesn’t seem too much to ask. I particularly want Americans of influence who are by nature conservatives to train their innate urges toward loyalty to overlap with my loyalties toward my fellow American citizens.

In contrast, if, say, Noam Chomsky doesn’t feel terribly loyal toward American citizens, well, I don’t mind all that much because he’s not by nature all that conservative. Loyalty is not a big part of Chomsky’s personality, nor are his loyalties naturally concentric. There are good things you can say about Professor Chomsky, but “you’d want him in your foxhole” is not the first one that comes to mind. Expecting loyalty from Chomsky is like expecting loyalty from your cat. People don’t give their cats names like “Fido” or expect them to defend their homes from intruders.

In contrast, there are a lot of more naturally conservative Jewish-Americans whom you would definitely want on your side, not on somebody else’s side. They like being loyal. But these days, nobody expects them to be loyal to their fellow citizens.

I would like to see our society engage in more social construction to get naturally conservative Jews like the Brookses to be more loyal to their fellow American citizens and less loyal to their foreign co-ethnics.

In particular, I favor criticism. Being criticized rationally for your poor behavior tends to encourage you to improve your behavior. But criticism of Jews for Jewish-typical failings such as excessive ethnocentrism is a career-killer today.

It’s like calling an angry black woman an angry black woman, except that angry black women tend to be more angry than powerful. In contrast, when Gregg Easterbrook wrote one sentence of criticism of Jewish movie moguls in 2003 in, of all places, Marty Peretz’s The New Republic, Easterbrook was immediately fired from his sportswriting job at Michael Eisner-controlled ESPN that accounted for half of his income. This is even though Easterbrook’s older brother Frank Easterbrook is a heavyweight federal judge. But nobody fears nepotistic vengeance by people named Easterbrook, while Eisner’s actions certainly served pour encourager les autres.

It didn’t always used to be this way. For example, as a child of the 1970s, I’ve often thought about Henry Kissinger. His career and personality have always been controversial, but I think it’s safe to say he is a man of parts. Further, I’m very glad in retrospect that Henry Kissinger was on our side, the United States of America, rather than on the side of the Soviet Union or of Israel.

My impression from reading between the lines in Kissinger’s immense memoir of 1973-74, Years of Upheaval, is that Kissinger had always been very concerned during his younger days about the possibility of accusations of dual loyalties, and that he resolved to overcome them by … not having dual loyalties, by just being loyal to the United States. And to his own fabulous career, of course, but back in the post-WWII era, loyalty to Americans in general tended to help you in your career.

Kissinger’s single loyalty drove the nascent neoconservatives wild with rage, but the neocons weren’t quite as organized and influential back then. Overall, back in the 1960s-1970s, the fact that the only thing simple about Kissinger was his single loyalty greatly benefited his career domestically by allowing him to become the right hand man of the experienced and cynical Richard Nixon.

And, more strikingly, it allowed him to play the role of honest broker in his shuttle diplomacy negotiating the disengagement of Israel’s army from the armies of Egypt and Syria after the 1973 war. That Anwar Sadat (and even Hafez Assad) came to see to see this Jewish-American as representing the interests of the United States rather than of some complicated mixture of American and Israeli interests proved highly useful to the United States (and even to Israel).

In today’s atmosphere, however, the idea that Henry Kissinger had to carefully police his own loyalties to prove, not unreasonably, to gentiles his loyalty to the United States sounds shockingly retrograde and anti-Semitic.

Consider another conservative Jewish man of considerable powers, Michael Bloomberg, who is a couple of decades younger than Kissinger.

I wrote a lot about Michael Bloomberg when he was mayor of Gotham New York City: $30 billion in the bank, gives billions away in charity, had a 44,000 person “private army” (in his words), owns a worldwide computer network that his employees use to spy on finance guys, etc. Basically, Bloomberg is like a real world version of Bruce Wayne.

Do you want Bruce Wayne to feel, deep down, he’s on your side, or do you want Bruce Wayne to be most loyal to some other people halfway around the world? Of course you want Bruce Wayne to be on your side.

Bloomberg was a good mayor of New York because he feels a lot of loyalty toward New Yorkers. He wanted to be President of the United States too, but he would have been a disaster at that because of his lack of loyalty toward the American people. And that’s a shame because guys like Bloomberg ought to be a valuable resource for my country. Just a generation ago or so they would have been cautioned to keep their ethnocentrism down and their citizenism up, but we’re way past that age now.

For instance, in 2006 Bloomberg, who had 11 digits of net worth, went on the radio and announced that illegal aliens should get amnesty so that he doesn’t have to pay more money in monthly dues to have the fairways manicured at his Deepdale Country Club (which is possibly the most exclusive and notoriously underused golf course in America: members have included President Eisenhower and the Duke of Windsor). Conversely, he flew to Israel to accept the world’s first ever “Jewish Nobel Prize” from some Russian oligarchs.

But we’ve been almost wholly disarmed from shaming the Bloombergs into being more loyal toward Americans than toward Jews.

These are the kind of things where it should occur to a Bloomberg: wow, I’m really going to get laughed at if I do this kind of stuff. I should try to behave better, like I care about Americans rather than Israelis, so I’m not such a butt of jokes.

But, here’s the thing. Nobody gets the joke. It never occurs to Bloomberg that he’s making a fool of himself. Because who would dare joke about such matters? Bloomberg is one of the World’s Greatest Victims, and if you don’t wholly believe that, if you crack a smile, your career will get crushed like a bug (as happened to Rick Sanchez, formerly of CNN, for laughing at the suggestion that Jon Stewart is a fellow minority).

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Jews, American Media, Israel 
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As a long-time admirer of Israel, I’ve come to envy especially the freedom of discussion that Israeli culture permits on fundamental questions of demographics.

Consider, for example, the new book 2030: Alternative Futures for the Jewish People [5 megabyte PDF], which makes for eye-opening reading for anyone lulled by the pabulum of the American press.

This report is written by the staff of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, a thinktank devoted to maximizing the long-term welfare of “the Jewish People” (which, by the way, it always capitalizes in itspublications). An intellectually serious effort, 2030 can serve as a template for anybody thinking about improving the demographic prospects of their own peoples or parties.

For example, GOP leaders could read it and consider how its framework of analysis and its recommendations could be adapted to the task of growing more Republicans.

Founded in 2002, the Jerusalem-based Jewish People Policy Planning Institute has always been chaired by prominent Jewish-American diplomats. Its 2030 reportwas begun under Dennis Ross, chief U.S. negotiator at Bill Clinton’s failed Camp David 2 peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians in 2000. Ross left JPPPI in 2009 to run the Obama Administration’s Iran policy. Thenew chairman is Stuart Eizenstat, who had been Chief Domestic Policy Advisor to Jimmy Carter and is now Special Adviser on Holocaust Issues to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Jewish-American heavyweights who participated in brainstorming sessions for this book included: Lawrence Summers (the Obama Administration’s top economic advisor); Elliott Abrams (Bush’s main man on the Middle East); Charles Krauthammer (Washington Post and FoxNews); Abe Foxman (Anti-Defamation League); and Alan Dershowitz (the O.J. Simpson Dream Team).

Despite this American participation, the JPPPI is an offshoot of the Israeli government’s immigration arm, the Jewish Agency for Israel. (The JPPPI’s #2 man is a former boss of Israeli military intelligence). It makes an annual presentation to the Israeli cabinet. And, because the JPPPI’s publications are not intended for non-Jewish audiences—this book has not, so far as I know, previously been reviewed in America outside the Jewish press—it suffers less from the timidity that emasculates intellectual discourse in America.

For example, the JPPPI’s 2030 observes:

“World Jewry today is at a historical zenith of absolute wealth creation. …

“There are no data comparing Jewish and non-Jewish levels of accumulated wealth. One can base the predictions only on non-scientific analysis such as the prominence of Jews among: Nobel laureates, lists of rich people and the ‘Russian oligarchs,’ leaders of financial institutions, entertainment, hi-tech industries, and political representatives.”[Links added]

Sounds like they’re reading my stuff! (See links.)

2030 continues:

“Based on these observations, one can say that Jewish wealth is higher than almost any other ethnic group worldwide.”

That’s not the kind of thing you read in the U.S. press every day…

“Barring a financial catastrophe that would impoverish large numbers of Jews, given Jewish professional selection, levels of education and global mobility these trends are likely to continue in the next 20 years.”

It’s also informative to discover that the JPPPI views anti-Semitism at present “as a moral problem and an irritant, but not having any serious consequences”.

To its great credit, the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute has formally laid out its thinking in a clear fashion. Some may not agree with it, but everyone can see how they got to their conclusion: “Therefore, upgrading and increasing the power of the JewishPeople, including the net power of Israel, is an existential necessity”.

For instance, 2030′s “project mission” is to “provide insights into possible futures of the Jewish People and into the variables shaping them, with identification of policy instruments that can be used by Jewish People decision-makers to increase the probability of a thriving future for the Jewish People …”

It’s widely believed that it’s almost impossible to predict the future, but that’s because the questions people find most interesting (e.g., Who will win the tournament?) are precisely those that are most uncertain (indeed, often the most contrived to be uncertain.)

But much about history is driven by long term factors, such as demographics. This makes much that is crucially important (will Switzerland be a nicer place to live than the Congo?) seem too tedious to think about.

The 2030 project strives to identify the middle ground between theephemeral and the permanent.

The JPPPI methodology is to boil the future down to merely A) internal factors (what it calls “Jewish momentum” — “quantity, quality, power, structures and leadership”) and B) external factors: “the well-worn notion of ‘good for the Jews or bad for the Jews’.”

This generates four alternative futures: “Thriving”, “Drifting”,“Defending”, and “Nightmare”. The thinktank doesn’t try to predict which one will happen, but it outlines the various mechanisms pushing the global Jewish People in each direction.

If in 2030, Jews are self-confidently ethnocentric (have high Jewish Momentum) and the rest of the world loves them, then, according to the JPPPI, the Jewish People will be “Thriving”.

The opposite quadrant is called “Nightmare”—where Jews are both unpopular with outsiders and highly assimilated. Currently, Iran is the best (or worst) present-day example of this.

The JPPPI classifies the American Jewish community as currently “Thriving” due to an extremely positive external climate for Jews in America and moderately high internal Jewish Momentum.

It worries, though, that Jews are so popular with otherAmericans that Jewish cohesiveness will be sapped over the next 20 years. A high rate of intermarriage could drive the American Jewish community into the Drifting quadrant, where “Demographic shifts including accelerated assimilation of the Jewish communityin the US, and its decline relative to other groups in the US leads to decline in its political power”.

(JPPPI’s new chairman Stuart Eizenstat grumbled in 2009: “The growing Hispanic and Asian populations are not per seantagonistic to Israel, but they have little connection to the Jewish State”.)

While intermarriage slowly dilutes Jewish identity in America, the JPPPI notes a counter-trend: that many American Jews are becoming more “identified and affiliated”, as exemplified by the growth of Jewish day schools. This means that:

“… the patterns of decline are taking place concurrently with the increased number of strongly Jewish US senators and members of the House of Representatives, Jewish studies at colleges and universities around the US are numerous and highly visible, and in some places it has become quite ‘in’ to be Jewish in the US, even a status symbol.”

The opposite of “Drifting” is “Defending”—where Jews are besieged by anti-Semites, yet internally strong as a community. The JPPPI cites France, where Muslim immigration has led to pogrom-like incidents, as currently the closest to this alternative future.

The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute seems to prefer “Defending” to “Drifting”:

“While the Drifting future might be very pleasant and positive for Jews as individuals, it reflects an overall decline of the Jewish People as a whole. … a Defending alternative future demonstrates that even under strenuous external conditions, the Jewish People could become stronger”.

President Barack Obama had dinner last Tuesday with Likud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, among others, Dennis Ross, the former JPPPI chairman who is now Obama’s own special assistant to the President and senior director for the central (i.e. Middle Eastern) region. This was part of Obama’s attempt to mend fences with Israel in time for Democrats to collect big donations for the 2010 elections.

Perhaps the President should read 2030. He might learn something. As Henry Kissinger noted in the 1970s, Israeli foreign policy often has more to do with Israeli domestic politics than with Israel’s nationalinterest as the term is normally conceived. (By the way, Dr. K was one of the JPPPI’s brainstormers for 2030.)

The JPPPI makes numerous policy recommendations in 2030. Forinstance, it’s important to have a Plan B:

“The United States will likely continue to be the most powerful state for at least the first part of the 21st century but its relative power will diminish. …

“The rise of Asian states, particularly China and India, may be very significant from a Jewish perspective since Asian countries do not share the Biblical religions and traditions, and therefore, have a radicallydifferent view of Judaism and the Jewish People than Christian and Islamic countries. Also, they do not have significant Jewish communities. This provides unprecedented opportunities for a Jewish global grand-strategy, as proposed in a JPPPI paper on upgrading relations between the Jewish People and China.”

In case you are wondering whom the JPPPI sees as coming out ahead in the second part of the 21st century, it has prioritized its position papers on “Enhancing the Standing of Jewish People in Emerging Superpowers without Biblical Traditions” as China first, then India, and Japan at a later date.

Other 2030 policy suggestions include increasing the number of Jews in the world, both by getting more people to strongly self-identify as Jewish, and by making it more financially feasible for Jews to have more children.

First recommendation: “Redefining who is in and who is out andhow one joins so that more ‘semi-Jews’ are considered fullmembers of the Jewish community”. The JPPPI, which is largely secular, is impatient with the traditional rabbinical definition of who is a Jew used in Israel in determining who can legally marry.

Still, they don’t want to make purely nominal changeseither. They want people who have, say, a Jewish father and a gentile mother to actively identify with the Jewish People and Israel.

The self-defeating rabbinical situation in Israel is analogous to that in the U.S., where people of ambiguous backgrounds are prodded by government racial preferences to identify as minority. Thus a huge fraction of immigrants to America come from cultures, such as LatinAmerica and South Asia, where being viewed as whiter is traditionally a strong family aspiration. The American system, however, bribes and browbeats them into claiming the legal and moral advantages of nonwhiteness.

Not surprisingly, most people who are eligible foraffirmative action wind up favoring the party mostenthusiastic about preserving it: the Democrats.

Another JPPPI recommendation:

“Increasing birth rates: policy instruments can perhaps affect the statistical equivalent of one-half child per family, which when multiplied by millions of households over tens of years equals several millions of people. Thisrequires developing adequate and affordable infrastructures for early childhood, a flexible policy towards workingwomen, housing provisions and tax exemptions for two-incomehouseholds.”

In other words, policies of affordable family formation—which I’ve been recommending to the GOP for half a decade, to little effect.

This book’s framework for thinking about demographic trends is of broader usefulness to Americans. Demography matters in politics.

In the U.S., Democratic analysts are free to discuss in detail their Party’s progress toward “electing a new people”. For example, Ruy Teixeira has out a new paper sponsored by the Center for American Progress Action Fund called Demographic Change and the Future of the Parties [PDF]. It’s an update of the 2002 book by Teixeira and John Judis, The Emerging Democratic Majority, which I reviewed here. The future didn’t arrive on time for the Democrats in the 2002 elections, but 2008 was back on Teixeira’s track.

In contrast, however, Republicans analysts are never supposed to consider how to push the demographic tilt back in favor of the GOP. Any Republican think-tank that did so would be denounced in the harshest terms. So they don’t.

Thus the major Republican strategic initiative of the last decade, the Bush-Rove Hispander project, was launched upon—as far as I can tell after a decade of looking into it—a few back-of-an-envelope calculations and some conventional-wisdom talking points.

But even before Bush, Republican Administrations had a long history of making poorly thought-through and thus self-destructive decisions about demographics. For instance, the Nixon Administrationdetermined in 1973 to, in effect, extend racial and ethnic preferences, designed for African Americans with the intention of remedying the effects of slavery and Jim Crow, to immigrant groups that had never even been in the U.S. to be discriminated against in the first place.

How’s that working out lately?

Or, what about the Reagan Administration’s 1982 choice to switch Asian Indian immigrants from Caucasian to Asian so they would be eligible for minority business benefits?

What could make more sense for the GOP’s future than encouraging immigrant businessmen to become financially dependent upon liberal politicians?

Gilbert and Sullivan pointed out with only modest exaggeration in Iolanthe:

That every boy and every gal

That’s born into the world alive

Is either a little Liberal

Or else a little Conservative!

The problem for Republicans is that public policies, which they either support or are too stupid/ cowardly to oppose, have the inexorable demographic consequence of producing relatively fewer Republicans—or, to put it another way, fewer self-identified members of what might be termed “the American people”.

[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative.

His website features his daily blog. His new book, AMERICA'S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA'S "STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE", is available here.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Jews 
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I haven’t had anything to say previously about that fatal Israeli naval encounter with the Gaza-bound flotilla on May 31, 2010 … because Idon’t much care. Israel is not the 51st state; it’s one of a couple of hundred other countries. If Israel wants to push around the Palestinians, well, that’s their business much more than it is my business.

What I do care about is America. My particular bias is that free, insightful public discussion is better for America thanspin, ignorance, or wishful thinking. So I’m interested inthe flotilla frenzy to the extent it has implications for the quality of American discourse.

Chosen, but not Special is a long op-ed in the June 4th New York Times by the gifted Jewish-American novelist Michael Chabon. He is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, an impressively researched historical novel that manages tobe both literary and entertaining. It’s about two Jewishteens in New York who invent a Superman-style comic book superhero during Hitler’s ascendancy in 1939-1942.

In the NYT, Chabon uses Israel’s PR disaster to wrestle with the important question of Jewish intelligence. Awareness of higher average Ashkenazi Jewish intelligence happens to be the essential key to understanding the peculiarities of what you are allowed to write about in modern America.

Chabon discusses Jewish discomfort with the handful of gentiles who dare write about the fact of higher median Jewish IQ:

“For we Jews are not, it turns out, entirely comfortable living with the consequences of this myth, as becomes clear from thesquirming and throat-clearing that take place among us whenever some non-Jew pipes up with his own observations about how clever and smart we are in our yiddishe kops. “

Yiddish kops is, of course, Yiddish for Jewish brains.”In contrast, goyisher kops means “gentile brains.” The New Joys of Yiddish

notes that the latter phrase is not, alas, complimentary.”

Chabon continues:

“These include people like the political scientist Charles Murray, author of an influential essay titled “Jewish Genius,” or Kevin B. MacDonald, a psychology professor at California State University at Long Beach who argues that Jews essentially undertook a centuries-long program of self-breeding, selecting for traits of intelligence, guile and skill at calculation, as a kind of evolutionary adaptation to the buffetings of history andexile.”

Chabon frets about the perceived dangers of gentiles talking about the high average IQ of Ashkenazi Jews:

“Such claims, in mouths of gentiles, are a disturbing echo of thecharges of the pogrom-stokers, the genocidalists, the FatherCoughlins, who come to sharpen their knives against the same grindstone of generalization on which we Jews have long polished the magnifying lenses of our self-regard. The man who praises you for your history of accomplishment may someday seek therein the grounds for your destruction.”

Chabon, who is obviously stronger at creative than analytic thinking, announces, with no cited evidence other than the flotilla fiasco, that “Jews are stupid in roughly the same proportion as all the world’s people.”

What’s valuable about his op-ed, however, is how it illuminates much about the subject of Jewish intelligence that is normally obscured—such as how convinced Jews are of their own intellectual superiority.

Chabon begins:

“‘GAZA Flotilla Drives Israel Into a Sea of Stupidity’ declared the Israeli daily Haaretz on Monday, as though announcing the discovery of some hitherto unknown body of water. Citizens of other nations have longsince resigned themselves, of course, to sailing those crowded waters, but for Israelis—and, indeed, for Jews everywhere—this felt like headline news.”

Why? According to Chabon:

” … for Jews the first reaction was shock, confusion, as we tried to get our heads around what appeared to be an unprecedented display of blockheadedness.”

It shouldn’t have appeared unprecedented: the most obvious predecessor to Israel’s raid on the flotilla was its 1967 attack in roughly the same international waters on the USS Liberty, when the Israeli military killed 34 American seamen. Blockheadedness is the most innocent explanation that has yet been offered for Israel’s two-hour long air and sea assault on the clearly-marked American intelligence-gathering ship.

Personally, I care more about the Liberty than this Turkish-organized flotilla.

Of course, how many other Americans remember the Liberty? This event is certainly not frequently commemorated in our domestic media. Chabon, for instance, doesn’t mention it—is he even aware of it?—although it might be the best example he could find in support of his rather flimsy thesis.

Chabon has much of value to say on how convinced Jews are of their own average brilliance:

“… Jews around the world have long been accustomed to find in contemplating ourselves and that history: an inborn, half-legendaryagility of intellect, amounting almost to a magical power.”

He continues:

“As a Jewish child I was regularly instructed, both subtly and openly, that Jews, the people of Maimonides, Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk and Meyer Lansky, were on the whole smarter, cleverer, more brilliant, more astute than other people. And, duly, I would look around the Passover table, say, at the members of my family, and remark on the presence of a number of highly intelligent, quick-witted, shrewd, well-educated people filled tobursting with information, explanations and opinions on a diverse range of topics.”

By the way, Chabon’s mother was a lawyer, while his father was both a lawyer and a doctor.

Ockham’s Razor would suggest that the reason why smart Jews like Chabon’s relatives think that Jews tend to be pretty smart is—because Jews tend to be pretty smart. But William of Ockham’s Anglo logic is too simplistic for Chabon. You see, there are exceptions! And that, somehow, disproves the generalization:

“In my tractable and vainglorious eagerness to confirm the People of Einstein theory, my gaze would skip right over—God love them—any counterexamples present at that year’s Seder.”

Chabon has a more complicated (and, thus, in his mind, better) explanation:

“… to a Jew, it always comes as a shock to encounter stupidJews. Philip Roth derived a major theme of Goodbye, Columbusfrom the uncanny experience. The shock comes not because we have never encountered any stupid Jews before—Jews are stupid in roughly the same proportion as all the world’s people—but simply because from an early age we have been trained, implicitly and explicitly, to ignore them.”

That’s so smart it’s stupid.

If meeting stupid Jews always comes as a shock to Jews, even to one as brilliant and scornful as the author of Portnoy’s Complaint, then the straightforward explanation is that they are, indeed, relatively rare.

Exceptions don’t disprove tendencies. In fact, when exceptions are famous for their exceptionality, that’s evidence for the pattern. Unfortunately, in an intellectual climate where pointing out that a generalization is a stereotype (i.e., many people have noticed it) is consider a crushing refutation of its truthfulness, few grasp these logical rules.

In sum, Chabon is just being blockheaded in the socially approved manner.

Why do modern people congratulate themselves on being smart when they proclaim that something as interesting and important as Jewish intelligence is just a socially constructed myth? Do they have any idea how much work it requires to come up with a reasonable theory for Jewish brains?

Moreover, it’s absurd for Chabon to say that Jews have been brought up to ignore stupid Jews. Calling each other stupid was the favorite pastime of Eastern European shtetl Jews. says:

“Face it. We Jews don’t bear fools lightly. Who had time?So is it surprising that we have more words in Yiddish for fools than there are GoldenArches?”

Yiddish is the world’s best language for pointing out fine distinctions in your neighbor’s cognitive impairment:schnook, schlemiel, schmo, yutz, putz, schmuck, yekl,schlub, golem, nar, yold.

In reality, characteristic Jewish mistakes tend to arise from overthinking, from their facility at intellectually bullying dissidents reliant merely upon common sense.

Consider how many Jewish Communists spent the 22 months from the signing of the Nazi-Communist Pact on August 23, 1939 to Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941 thinking upreasons to denounce Churchill’s resistance to Hitler. That kind of astonishing doublethink inspired George Orwell’s 1984.

Tellingly, even though most of Chabon’s masterpiece, Kavalier & Clay, is set in 1940 and 1941 in Jewish New York City cultural circles, and even though Kavalier has recently escaped from Nazi-occupied Europe through the Soviet Union to Japan, the characters never mention theMolotov-Ribbentrop pact. In reality, the Hitler-Stalin accord was an obsessive topic for New York Jews at the time, but it’s a little too disturbing for modern readers.

In essence, as Chabon’s Passover stories imply, Jewish liberal egalitarianism is a hoax. Jewish leftist intellectuals like Stephen Jay Gould and Steven Rose have been the foremost volunteer thought policemen on IQ differences, not because leftist Jews believe that allethnic groups are equal in average intelligence, but because they don’t.

The root of political correctness is the Rube Goldbergian fear that if the goyisher kops are allowed to be exposed to realism about humandifferences, they will eventually realize that Jews tend to be smarter than them, and then they will come after the Jews with torches and pitchforks.

It’s a characteristic example of Jews using all those IQ points to overthink what’s increasingly a non-problem, only to wind up exacerbating bigger problems, such as contemporary immigration policy.

Of course, worrying about peasants with pitchforks in 2010 is laughable. And that’s what everyone—gentiles and Jews—should do with this line of thinking: laugh at it.Satire is the solution. If Jews were as amenable to kiddingby gentiles as WASPs had been to Jewish comedians, theywould be less prone to inflicting their complexes uponAmerican policy.

Sadly, Chabon doesn’t get the joke. He concludes with a long peroration about how everyone, Jew and gentile alike, should just forget the “myth,” the “nonsense,” that Jews tend to be smarter and just hold Israel to the same standard as everywhere else.

That’s fine with me, but what about America?

Allow me to suggest a completely different moral. The clear evidence of higher average Ashkenazi IQ impliesthat American Jews should take to heart an admirable bit of 20th Century Jewish wisdom, one with which an expert on comic books like Chabon ought to be familiar—StanLee‘s line in Spider-Man: With great power comes great responsibility.

If, say, as reported by the Jewish Telegraph Agency, Jews make up over 1/3rd of the 2009 Forbes 400, and if Jews make up half of the 2009 Atlantic 50 of most influential political pundits, then that implies that Jews, owing in part to their higher average cognitive functioning, should embrace greater responsibility.

Instead of viewing themselves as beleaguered victims, they should admit that they now comprise an elite withinAmerica—and that they should apply to themselves anupdated version of the old cavalier concept of noblesse oblige.

[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative.

His website features his daily blog. His new book, AMERICA'S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA'S "STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE", is available here.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Jews 
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My article last week profiling historian Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison was inspired by David Brooks’ column, The Power Elite [NYT,February 18, 2010]. Brooks outlined some of the problems caused by the replacement of Morison’s old Protestant Establishment by what Brooks calls a “meritocratic elite”—actually, as I pointed out, substantially Jewish—more interested in short-term profit-making in than long-term caretaking of the country.

One commenter on Brooks’ column, CTWood, filled in some missing background on the once-popular notion of noblesse oblige:

“Not too long ago elites lived the ethos that with great wealth and power came great responsibility. The ruthless climbers of the 19th and 20th centuries secured that wealth and/or power then spawned succeeding generations (Republican and Democrat alike) in which public service meant something: Taft,Rockefeller, Kennedy.”

Another, Hugo Pirovano, made Brooks’ point far more explicitly:

“When the WASPS dominated, their best and brightest performed selflessly and honestly because they felt that in working for their country they were working for themselves. They were not ashamed to want America to win. They were advancing their patrimony.”

Admiral Morison’s Oxford History of the American People, forexample, is quite explicit about the dubious way the United States acquired California—but, he points out, it was California!

Pirovano continues:

“Nowadays the best and brightest, are quite equivocal in their feelings for their country. The burden of America’s past faults and sins weighs heavily on them. Their sympathies go well beyond America’s borders.”

The most central aspect of this process was well described by David Samuels in Assimilation and Its Discontents in New York Magazine(September 28, 2008):

“Future historians will record that the Jews replaced the old Protestant elite, who had run the city [of New York ] off and on since the eighteenth century until their power was finally shattered by the cultural metamorphosis of 1968…”

Samuels observes:

“It takes a certain amount of effort to remember that it was not surprising even into the late sixties for Jews to be excluded from top-tier jobs at the commercial banks, ad agencies, and insurance companies that formed the elite of the city’s business class … The Jews of New York City had their own banks, their own law firms, their own social clubs, and their own charities, which enabled them to function as a kind of parallel elite …”

Since then, there has been a huge diffusion of the talents and values of Jews throughout the financial industry.

Yet, as the New York Times’ Brooks asked, “would we say that banks are performing more ably than they were a half-century ago?”

Well, they have certainly acquired an ever-larger share of the GDP!

The theory behind the dusty old concept of noblesse oblige is that a powerful class that thinks of itself as being in the game for the very long run will tend to behave in a more responsible fashion than one that doesn’t. As they say, nobody ever washed a rental car.

In the early 20th Century, for example, leadership caste WASPs played a major role in setting aside National Parks and in limiting immigration.

Even more fundamentally, they tolerated criticism of themselves by others. Criticism encourages you to behave better.

Of course, the moribund WASP Establishment’s increasingfair-mindedness had its downsides. One problem with letting other people have their say about you is that they may undermine your power. Samuels writes of

“my own personal sorrow about the fate of the Harvard-educated Brahmins I admired in my youth, who cherished their belief in liberal openness while licking at the bleached bones of their family romances. Their mansions arethreadbare and drafty, and stickers on their salt-eaten Volvos advertise the cause of zero population growth. It’s hard to imagine that their ancestors sailed clipper ships to China and wrote great books and built great companies and ran spies behind enemy lines in Europe.” (VDARE.COM links added).

But, shouldn’t new elites be held to the same standards ofcriticism that helped them displace the old elites? Why is it considered admirable for the new establishment to try todestroy the careers of their critics?

For noblesse oblige to work, privileged and influential groups have to be publicly acknowledged to be privileged and influential. If, on the other hand, their main sense of collective identity is that of marginal members of society endangered by the might of the current majority, then the system doesn’t operate.

In 2006, blogger Noah Millman was surprised by a rabbi’s Purim sermon. Not by the message—Write your Congressman about Darfur!—but by the unusualexplanation the rabbi offered: noblesse oblige.

“He compared the position of the Jewish community in America today with Queen Esther’s position in King Ahashuerus’s [Xerxes's] Persia: that is to say, a position of power or, more precisely, profound influence on those who wield power. And, he said, that power implies responsibility.”

Millman noted:

“But you (or at least I) rarely hear a Jewish leader saying, in so many words, that Jews must act to prevent this or that injusticebecause we are powerful, and power implies responsibility.” [Gideon's Blog, March 13, 2006]

Instead, Jewish leaders typically exhort Jews with one of three arguments, all based around feelings of communal self-pity. Millman enumerates them:

(1) “We Jews have suffered, so we should be acutely sensitive to others’ suffering …;”

(2) “As God liberated the Jews from captivity in Egypt … we have a religious obligation as Jews to help the oppressed”;

(3) “Jews should be aware of our collective vulnerability, historical and continuing, and therefore for our own good always take theother side of the kinds of groups, movements and individuals who have victimized us in the past, and who could threaten us again in the future.”

And yet that plain fact is that in modern America, Jews are the biggest winner among ethnic groups. Although only two percent of the American population, Jews make up about 35 percent of the Forbes 400 wealthiest individuals. (That percentage is from after the financial bubble burst in 2007-2008, so it likely reflects a long-run baseline.)

By way of comparison, consider Italian-Americans, who arrived in America at roughly the same time as Jewish-Americans and tend to live in similar parts of the country. Today, Italians are fairly wellrepresented in most aspects of American life: movie stars, the Democratic Speaker of the House, two Republican Supreme Court Justices, and so forth. Indeed, Italians make up 5.4 percent of the gentile members of the Forbes 400 and 5.7 percent of the gentile population. For Italian-Americans, on average, life isn’t bad.

Yet, Italians are only 1/30th as likely per capita as Jews to be billionaires.

Thirty to one is a big difference.

This ratio isn’t proof of conspiracy or even simple discrimination. It is merely proof of Disparate Impact. Federal law makes a very big deal out of Disparate Impact when it involves “Hispanic” ethnicity. If ethnic Hispanics are less than four-fifths as successful as white non-Hispanics, a longstanding EEOC regulation puts the burden of disproving discrimination on employers.

One-thirtieth is a lot smaller than four-fifths. Yet the law doesn’t mention any other kind of ethnicity than Hispanic.

You really can’t understand modern America without thinking about these sorts of numbers. But, do Americans really want to understand America?

On the rare occasions when the topic of Jewish influence surfaces in the Main Stream Media, attempts to confuse are trotted out over and over—such as theological hair-splitting over Who Is a Jew? and reminders that Not All Jews Agree.

Of course, the exact same points could have been made about the old Protestant elites. Indeed, their disagreements are the stuff of American history, for example the Civil War. For that matter, Henry Ford and George S. Patton believed in reincarnation, but nobody claims they therefore weren’t ethnically Protestant.

Just as it was worth understanding the Protestant Establishment, its strengths and weaknesses, it is now worth understanding the Jewish elite.

Yet in the Main Stream Media, mentioning the kind of numbers I just cited is mostly just not done.

One possible reason: roughly 50 percent of the Atlantic 50 list of the most important pundits are Jewish.

Similarly, with the Oscars just selected, it’s worth recalling Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League noting in 2008 that “all eight major film studios are run by men who happen to be Jewish.”

Samuels contends “New York Jews circa 2008 are wealthy white people whose protestations of outsiderness inspire blank stares or impatient eye rolling.”

But is that really true? Or has the public increasinglyinternalized Politically Correct ignorance?

The ADL has polled Americans four times on whether or not they agreewith the proposition “The movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews”. In 1964, 47 percent agreed versus 21 percent who disagreed. By 2008, amazingly, only 22 percent of the public agreed and 63 percent disagreed.

Columnist Joel Stein laughed: “Actually, it just shows how dumb America has gotten. Jews totally run Hollywood.”

In contrast to the Main Stream Media, the Jewish press, such as TheForward and the Jewish Telegraph Agency (which first compiled anestimate of the Jewishness of the 2009 Forbes 400), is usually much more informative on the subject of Jewish influence.

Conclusion: American Jews should start thinking of themselves less as oppressed outcasts who need to go for whatever they can get while the getting is good, and start more accurately thinking of themselves as belonging to the best-connected inner circle of the contemporary American Establishment.

Thus, American Jews should realize that, like the Protestant elite of yore, their privileged position as a de facto leadership caste bestows upon themselves corresponding duties to conserve the long-term well-being of the United States—rather than to indulge in personal and ethnic profit and power maximization.

But that’s unlikely to happen until the Jewish elite to begin to tolerate non-Jewish criticism, rather than to continue to try to destroy the careers of critics—or even just honest observers—in what seems to be an instinctivereaction intended to encourage the others.

A group self-image of victimization, combined with a penchant for ideological intensity and powerful ethnocentric lobbies, can lead to bizarre political manifestations—such as the dominant Jewish assumption that proper veneration of their Ellis Island ancestors requires opposition to patriotic immigration reform today.

In contrast, Italian-Americans, who lack institutions such as the ADL, appear to feel themselves freer to make up their own minds aboutwhat immigration policy will be best for their American posterity.

Comedians have been snickering for generations about the pretensions of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

It’s time for snickering whenever the Sons of Ellis Island start to declaim about immigration based on ancestor worship.

[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative.

His website features his daily blog. His new book, AMERICA'S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA'S "STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE", is available here.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Jews 
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After 40 years as a leading spokesman for the Neoconservative takeover of the conservative movement, former Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz admits in his new book Why Are Jews Liberals? that Neoconservatism has failed utterly at what would seem its most basic task: persuading Jews to vote Republican.

While Podhoretz recounts his role in key steps in the Neocon ascendancy over the GOP, such as helping drive former National Review stalwart Joe Sobran into penury (to encourage the others) and organizing denunciations of then-National Review editor John O’Sullivan, he confesses that the Neocons’ growing power over the Republican Party has proven useless at converting Jews to the GOP.

According to Podhoretz’s numbers, in the 1928 Presidential election, Al Smith received 78 percent of the Jewish vote. Eighty years later, Barack Obama’s share of the Jewish vote was … 78 percent. I’ve graphed the data here:


If this trend continues, by 2088 the Democrats will be down to 78 percent!

In recent elections, the Neocons have moved beyond claiming a veto over who gets to make a living as a conservative writer to furnishing the Republican Presidential candidates with a readymade grand strategy:Invade the World / Invite the World / In Hock to the World.

Yet American Jews have remained dubious.

Neocons did perform some service to the U.S. and to the GOP in the 1970s. Unfortunately, in this decade their policies and politics have failed the country and the Republican Party very badly. Isn’t it about time to put the Neocons—first and second generation—out to pasture?

Podhoretz’s Why Are Jews Liberals? is a combination of history of the last 2,000 years of Jewish victimization, voting analysis of 20th Century Presidential elections, and latest rendition of Podhoretz’s autobiography, all from a single, relentless perspective: Is it good for the Jews?

Podhoretz scoffs at Jews’ rationalizations for their liberalism, such as the claim, popular among Reform rabbis, that what the Old Testament and the Talmud are really all about is “social justice”. As Podhoretz trenchantly replies, “If the theory were valid, the Orthodox would be the most liberal sector of the Jewish community”. He goes on to point out:

“… the egalitarianism behind the liberal conception of social justice is altogether foreign to the Torah. Unlike the New Testament, which consistently favors the poor over the rich and sees money as the root of all evil, in the Hebrew Bible riches are just as consistently considered a blessing. Furthermore, as Steven H. Cohen and Charles S. Liebman take pains to point out, the poor to whom Jews are commanded to do justice “are primarily other Jews [American Jewish Liberalism: Unraveling the Strands Steven M. Cohen; Charles S. Liebman The Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 3. (Autumn, 1997), pp. 405-430.]”.

Podhoretz more or less implies that Judaism is, in essence, a faith focused upon one lineage, a religion of race. In his concluding chapter, he argues that liberalism threatens racial suicide for the Jews:“fashionable conceptions of what constitutes progress and how to define justice … could be tantamount to committing suicide”.

With prophetic fury, Podhoretz thunders:

“The Torah of liberalism puts itself radically at odds with the very commandment that comes closer than any other (certainly than tikkun olam ['perfecting the world']) to encapsulating the essence of the Torah of Judaism, and the observance of which for more than three thousand years is probably the single best explanation of the mystery of Jewish survival:

I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.’ [Deuteronomy 30:19]”

Podhoretz certainly avoids New Testament universalism. For unapologetic ethnocentrism, it’s hard to beat Why Are Jews Liberals? Podhoretz’s book addresses itself solely to Jews, and assumes that, morally, Jews should care only about Jewish ethnic interests.

Thus, Podhoretz finds the persistent Jewish alignment with the Democrats irrational. First Jews tend to be wealthy, and the GOP tries to be even nicer than the Democrats to the rich. Second, Republicans tend to be even more gung-ho on Israel. Third, Republicans are, at least theoretically, more skeptical about racial quotas, which Jews aren’t eligible for. And fourth, the left has for the last four decades been more anti-Semitic than the right.

Podhoretz’s arguments for why Jews ought to be Republican are sensible, yet unimaginative. For example, Podhoretz suggest that the Republicans are good for the Jews on pocketbook issues. Still, are the Democrats really all that bad for the Jews economically?

Imagine that one party was running upon a “national capitalist” platform modeled upon the policies of the industrial powerhouses of East Asia: retention of our industrial base through tariffs and import quotas, restrictions on outsourcing jobs and insourcing immigrants, and a cooling of financial speculation.

Then, sure, it might make sense to vote on economics. Yet, in the real world, neither party offers this Buchananite platform—as Podhoretz has labored to ensure (he details his machinations against Pat Buchanan on pp. 224-232). Since both parties are for globalism, how much difference does Republican v. Democrat make economically?

Consider Goldman Sachs, a firm which, as Podhoretz informs us on p. 84, was founded by Marcus Goldman after his arrival in America from Bavaria in 1848. Goldman Sachs is far from an all-Jewish company today, but it would be fair to describe it as a firm at which numerous Jewish-Americans find gainful employment.

How was business for Goldman Sachs under the Democratic Clinton Administration?

On the whole, not too shabby. Having former Goldman CEO Robert Rubin as Clinton’s Treasury Secretary didn’t hurt.

How was business for Goldman Sachs under the Republican Bush Administration?

Not bad, but a little dicey in the late going. Fortuitously, former Goldman CEO Hank Paulson (who was raised as a Christian Scientist) happened to be Bush’s Treasury Secretary, so all’s well that ends well.

How has business been for Goldman Sachs under the Democratic Obama Administration?

So far, Goldman is forced to make do with merely having a Goldman alumnus as chief of staff to the Treasury Secretary, rather than as the Treasury Secretary himself. But in these hard times we’ve all got to make sacrifices, and Goldman will likely get by okay. Joe Nocera of the New York Times reported on October 23 that Goldman “had put aside $16 billion so far this year for employee bonuses”, so the children of Goldman workers probably won’t go hungry this winter. (Goldman was excluded from the pay cuts recently announced by the Obama Pay Czar.)

To put it in the terms Podhoretz like to think in: Is Republican power good for Goldman Sachs?

Is Democratic power good for Goldman Sachs?

Overall, it’s hard to see that Goldman Sachs does much worse under Democrats than under Republicans, or vice-versa.

I have to imagine that a lot of Jewish-Americans feel that they’ll do all right with either party in power—so why get greedy and vote Republican just to shave a few points off their marginal tax rates?

After all, back in 1987, Jews made up 92 of the Forbes 400 richest people in America, according to Nathaniel Weyl’s 1989 book, The Geography of American Achievement. This month, however, after 22 years in which power at the federal level has been fairly evenly split between the two parties, Jacob Berkman, who covers Jewish philanthropists for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, estimated that in the newly released 2009 Forbes 400:

At least 139 of the Forbes 400 are Jewish

That’s an increase of about one-half over 22 years.

Hence, Jews, who comprise about 1/50th of the population, are 1/3rd or more of the Forbes 400. On a per capita basis, Jewish-Americans are roughly 25 times more likely than other Americans to be billionaires.

Even if the Republicans had won all the intervening elections, how much better could it be for the Jews?

Perhaps the typical Jewish-American feels it would be churlish to complain.

Similarly, many American Jews aren’t quite as obsessive about Israel’s security as Podhoretz (who, for instance, devotes pp. 191-194 to rehashing the Neocons’ 1981 dispute with the Reagan Administration over Caspar Weinberger’s decision to sell AWACS planes to Saudi Arabia).

Strikingly, Podhoretz himself showed little interest in Israel up until its security was assured by its successful 1967 attack on its menacing Arab neighbors.

Noam Chomsky, a Jewish disputationist of opposing ideology but comparable tenacity, notes:

And you can date the beginning of the enthusiastic support for Israel in the culture pretty well, since 1967. Before 1967, the intellectual community was skeptical about Israel or uninterested in it. That changed. If you look at Norman Podhoretz’s book Making It, a kind of self-advertisement that came out in 1967, there is barely a mention of Israel. …”

I haven’t read Making It, but I have read Breaking Ranks, Podhoretz’s next autobiography (like Philip Roth and Barack Obama, his preferred mode is semi-autobiographical). According to Breaking Ranks’ index, the word “Israel” doesn’t come up until over halfway through … in 1967.

Why? As General Patton liked to say, “Americans love a winner”. Who wants to invest your ego in something likely to fail? After the Six Days War, Israel became for many American Jews what the Notre Dame football team had been for American Catholics.

Also, Podhoretz has, last I checked, four grandchildren living in Israel, so his worries are, for understandable reasons, more intense than the average American Jew’s.

Nevertheless, the fact is that many American Jews now see Israel’s security as less parlous than Podhoretz does. After all, Israelis have not only American Neocons looking out for their welfare, but their owngovernment as well!

Earlier in this decade, for instance, Israel was subjected to a horrific campaign of suicide bombings by Palestinians crossing into Israel proper from the West Bank.

So the government of Israel quickly put up a highly effective border fence that solved the problem.

In contrast, the American government recently pushed back the projected date of completion of its “virtual fence”—cameras on poles—from 2009 until 2016.

Rather than complain about how the Neocons view Israel as America’s 51st State, I would like to ask if America can please be Israel’s 7th Province for the two or three years it would take the Israeli government to construct an effective fence along our southern border?

Granted, Podhoretz wouldn’t be happy if America followed Israel’s example by building a working border fence. He sneers at American immigration restrictionists in this book as nativists—although, for some unknown reason, he has no criticism of Israel’s highly “nativist”immigration policy.

But I would be happy.

Similarly, while the Neocons demand America bomb Iran to prevent it from someday brandishing a few nuclear weapons in Israel’s direction, the government of Israel created for its people the ultimate strategic deterrent. Israel acquired five submarines from the Germans and equipped them with cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads from its sizable arsenal.

Hard as it is to imagine—it’s almost as if Israel’s government sees its chief duty as looking out for the interests of Israel’s majority!

What about Podhoretz’s third reason why Jews should vote Republican, affirmative action?

To his credit, the 79-year-old Podhoretz is keeping the faith by still denouncing after all these years the racial quotas that threatened his generation of Jewish government employees. Yet it’s increasingly a non-issue for younger Jews, who have better things to do than to compete with Non-Asian Minorities for jobs like Fire Lieutenant. (Plus, of course, there’s no sign that quotas will be imposed to keep Jewish representation in, say, Ivy League colleges down to their proportion in the population, although quotas are a zero-sum game and this unquestionably means that, for example, white Catholics are crowded out.)

Likewise, American Jews are right to worry about anti-Semitic terrorists. But the most sensible response—make sure you don’t let them into the U.S.—conflicts with the open borders ideology inculcated in both liberal and Neocon Jews by generations of ethnocentric Ellis Island nostalgia. The Neocons reason that since we can’t not Invite the World (we just can’t), we must therefore Invade the World and bomb them until they stop hating us.

After six years in Iraq, the liberal Jews now believe that’s dumb. But with border control unthinkable, the best plan they’ve come up with so far for persuading Muslims hotheads to not come over here and kill us is to elect President a black guy with the middle name of “Hussein”.

(You gotta admit, though, it makes more sense than invading Iraq.)

Thus we can see why most Jews don’t find Podhoretz’s reasons for voting Republican persuasive.

Still, Jewish liberalism goes much deeper than that.

Why, then, are Jews liberals?

Podhoretz contends, plausibly, that liberalism is a substitute religion for Jews. He quotes Dennis Prager:“Despite their secularism, Jews may be the most religious ethnic group in the world”. When Jews stopped believing in Jehovah, according to Podhoretz, they didn’t start believing in nothing; they believed in Marxism.

UC Berkeley historian Yuri Slezkine spelled out the appeal of Communism to Jews in The Jewish Century, his history of enthusiastic Jewish complicity in the Bolshevik regime from 1917-1947. Secularizing Jews believed they were discriminated against in 19th Century Europe because of religion, nationalism, and their talent for capitalism. Marxism promised to abolish all three.

Podhoretz contends that when harsh history finally persuaded Jews to stop believing in Marxism, they believed in socialism. When they stopped believing in socialism, they believed in the Democratic Party.

And that’s where their theological evolution has ground to a halt, because “beyond the liberal faith there was nowhere to go but into the outright apostasy of conservatism. To them this was asdeeply repugnant, and even horrifying, as conversion to Christianity had been to their grandparents …”

In a symposium on Podhoretz’s book in the September issue of Commentary, Michael Medved sharpens this analysis, pointing out that hostility toward Christians—anti-Christianism, you might say—is what keeps Jewish identity going:

“For most American Jews, the core of their Jewish identity isn’t solidarity with Israel; it’s rejection of Christianity. … Jewish voters don’t embrace candidates based on their support for the state of Israel as much as they passionately oppose candidates based on their identification with Christianity … This political pattern reflects the fact that opposition to Christianity—not love for Judaism, Jews, or Israel—remains the sole unifying element in an increasingly fractious and secularized community. …”

Medved offers a test of his hypothesis:

“What is the one political or religious position that makes a Jew utterly unwelcome in the organized community [e.g., in synagogues ]? We accept atheist Jews, Buddhist Jews, pro-Palestinian Jews, Communist Jews, homosexual Jews, and even sanction Hindu-Jewish meditation societies. ‘Jews for Jesus‘, however, or ‘Messianic Jews’ face resistance and exclusion everywhere.”’

Many Jews therefore view enthusiastic Christian believers—no matter how reliably they support Israel and American Jews—as enemies by definition.

Despite anti-Christianism being at least as crucial in explaining modern American politics as its notorious counterpart, anti-Semitism, Microsoft Word’s spellchecker informs me that there is no such words as “anti-Christianism”—or Christophobia, VDARE.COM’s choice (And as you may recall, in George Orwell’s 1984, the appendix on The Principles of Newspeak offers some helpful observations on the importance of who gets to decide what is and what isn’t a word.)

My belief is that criticism is good for you. (I’ve personally experienced a lot of it.) In contrast, people who are treated as being above criticism tend to behave more badly over time.

For example, criticism by Jews of Christian anti-Semitism has no doubt greatly improved Christian attitudes and behavior. If our culture were to permit it, criticism by Christians of Jewish anti-Christianism would likely have a similar socially salutary effect.

I’d like to offer three additional explanations for why Jews tend to vote Democratic.

Although political correctness is usually marketed on the grounds that we must protect Non-Asian Minorities from learning facts about themselves, the media figures actually doing most of the enforcing of political correctness tend to be members of a high average IQ group that seems to believe that the peasant majority will come for them with pitchforks if anybody smart ever clues them in on the facts about IQ. For example, only one of the Atlantic 50 ranking of most influential pundits is NAM, while half are Jewish.

Jewish organizations have striven tirelessly to make Americans more poorly informed and more naive. Thus LA Times columnist Joel Stein laughed last year about an Anti-Defamation League survey:

“I have never been so upset by a poll in my life. Only 22% of Americans now believe ‘the movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews,’ down from nearly 50% in 1964. The Anti-Defamation League, which released the poll results last month, sees in these numbers a victory against stereotyping. Actually, it just shows how dumb America has gotten. Jews totally run Hollywood.” [How Jewish is Hollywood?, December 19, 2008]

  • Second, the Democrats are more the party of “minoritarianism”, which appeals to America’s most powerful minority.

“Minoritarianism” is another one of those non-words (although John Derbyshire used it in 2002).Majoritarianism was a great enthusiasm of the left from, say, Tom Paine onward—think of all those Marxists ranting about “the masses”. Yet, since the 1960s, minorities have been portrayed as much more glamorous and deserving than the majority.

  • Third, the Democrats are the party of victimism, and ethnic self-pity is the default mode of 21st Century Jewish thought, including Podhoretz’s.

Jews are the great storytellers and mythmakers of our time, and they make up their own most credulous audience. Thus the first 117 pages of Podhoretz’s book are devoted to Jewish history over the last 2000 years. In Podhoretz’s retelling, Jews are, overwhelmingly, the passive victims of two millennia of gentile prejudice. Jews seem to be a people almost without qualities of their own, soft clay molded solely by gentile bigotry.

When he was editor of Commentary, Podhoretz would have laughed if anyone dared submit a manuscript that portrayed African-Americans so one-sidedly. (Here’s Podhoretz’s controversial 1963 article about black violence against Jews, such as the young Norman Podhoretz: My Negro Problem—and Ours).

In Podhoretz’s history, Jewish victims are everywhere, while Jewish villains and Jewish victors are not. Podhoretz’s index lists poor Captain Dreyfus on seven pages, while murderous Comrade Trotsky and triumphant Prime Minister Disraeli appear on none.

Indeed, Disraeli, Queen Victoria’s favorite, had much to say on Podhoretz’s topic of why Jews should be conservatives. Disraeli constantly argued that Jews should be conservative traditionalists because they have such a rich tradition to conserve. (Disraeli famously, if intemperately, replied to Daniel O’Connell,“Yes, I am a Jew, and when the ancestors of the Right Honorable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon.”)

But Podhoretz can’t be bothered with Jewish historical figures who would make for a more three-dimensional version of their history.

A fact almost unknown in the U.S. is that, for most years in the last millennium, the median Ashkenazi Jew in Central and Eastern Europe was much richer than the median gentile. While writing their groundbreaking 2005 paper Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence, Greg Cochran and Henry Harpending would frequently encounter academics who had never heard anything like this, whose awareness of the Jewish experience seemed largely limited to Fiddler on the Roof. (The poverty that many Eastern European Jews faced by 1900 was due to their ancestors’ tremendous Malthusian success at growing their numbers beyond that which could be employed in traditional finance-related occupations.)

As I noted in my VDARE.COM article The Cuban Compromise, Jews, like Cubans, have earned the right to special privileges due to their political power. Just as Cuban exiles have controlled American foreign policy toward Cuba and won their relatives unique status as refugees rather than immigrants, America can afford to let Israel push around the Palestinians because it pleases a domestic bloc.

And, in the unlikely event of something terrible happening to the Jewish state, we would no doubt grant refugee status to Israeli Jews.

But what America can’t continue to afford is the pervasive unrealism imposed by the current code of silence about Jewish power and interests.

Thus Jewish demonization of immigration reform patriots appears to have two motivations:

And this demonization is the single most important reason that America’s immigration disaster is still above criticism, long after it has become obvious that it is a disaster, and despite the fact that an overwhelming number of Americans are strongly opposed to it.

Jews will do fine when they compete openly in the marketplace of ideas. They don’t have to rig the market as well.

[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog. His new book, AMERICA'S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA'S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Jews 
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

The evidence is clear — but often ignored
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?