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Jews, Blacks, and Political Power:

Ilya's post below on Spitzer reminds me that being of Jewish background myself (no, really!), I have found it very interesting that Obama has been receiving such overwhelming support from African Americans in this election. It's one thing to support Jesse Jackson or even Al Sharpton for symbolic reasons, but Obama actually has a good chance of becoming president.

Among Jews of past generations, and to a lesser extent even today, the last thing in the world many would want is a Jewish president. While such an achievement would undoubtedly be a matter of pride, there would also be grave concern that people would "blame the Jews" if things went badly. Moreover, there would be concern that if a Jewish president of the U.S. acted friendly toward Israel, he'd be accused of acting based on his Jewish background, while a Gentile president could be as pro-Israel as his ideology allows.

By contrast, African Americans don't seem particularly concerned about a potential racist backlash if Obama becomes president.

Why the difference? I think it has its roots in the different historical experiences of the two groups. Jews, being a minority people in exile, often were only able to protect themselves by establishing relationships with those in power. When the people turned against those in power, they turned against their Jewish advisors and allies as well, and by extension against the Jews. And when Jews were emancipated and became involved in political movements, ranging from liberalism to Communism, their ideological adversaries rarely hesitated to stir up opposition by focusing on Jewish leaders of the movement, resulting, for example, in the murder of tens of thousands of Jews by the White Russians during the Russian revolutionary upheaval. Even today in the U.S., anti-Jewish prejudice manifests itself in complaints about disproportionate Jewish political power, as witnessed by the oft-heard claim that Jewish neoconservatives manipulated the Bush Administration into war with Iraq.

By contrast, African Americans have suffered in large part because of their lack of political power. With 12% or so of the population and deep historic roots in American life, African Americans are less worried about being seen as outside interlopers seizing power from "real Americans", and more worried about the very real consequences they have suffered from being excluded from political power.

That, in any event, is my preliminary take.

Rod Blaine (mail):
Quite plausible. Two additional factors, perhaps:

(a) Jews are usually a very tiny minority - 1-2% of the US and most English-speaking countries. Black Americans are 12%. The proportion of Jews in positions of power - legislatures, courts, university presidents, corporate boards - is much higher than 1-2%, and moreover was achieved decades ago, when anti-Jewish prejudice was entirely legal and even socially acceptable. (Albeit anti-Jewish prejudice was almost never, in America, taken to the violent and even murderous extreme that anti-Black prejudice frequently was).

By contrast, the proportion of African Americans in positions of power is usually below 12%, and further below the further back in time you look. Moreover, it historically followed the enactment of federal laws and policies to increase Black representation (CRA, VRA, affirmative action), and so is easily seen (rightly or wrongly) as attributable partly, or even solely, to "decrees from Washington".

So - in a pattern going back to Mordecai (or even Joseph or Daniel?) - an anti-Semite could, with some minimal plausibility, complain that "Jews are over-represented in the gu'mmint". But a White supremacist could hardly complain that "Blacks are over-represented in the gu'mmint" - at least not in the policy-making echelons: maybe, just maybe, in the lower-level bureaucracy based around DC. Rather, a racist who wanted to warn "the White Race" about the danger posed by the Black Man is more likely to dwell on African American over-representation in the jailhouse than in the statehouse; to demonise them as lawbreakers, not lawmakers. (This is sounding like Jesse Jackson).

(b) While Jewish Americans are more easily assimilable with the majority than Black Americans are if we focus on appearance, they would, ironically, find it harder to "blend into the crowd" if we focus on religion. A Black pastor can talk Jesus and the white Protestant majority will see this as common ground.
3.13.2008 9:31pm
happylee:
What better way to end the day than by striking the third rail and mentioning that differnces in IQ between Jews and Blacks might explain some of the differences. With blacks, the oppressors were mostly worried about keeping them from from stealing, raping and sitting around doing nothing. With jews, the oppressors were mostly worried that these really smart, hard-working SOB's would take over the world.

So, letting a half-black man raised by his white liberal mom rise to the Presidency is a significantly less momentous event than letting yet another highly ambitious member of the lost tribe get the reigns of power.

Of course, the question would be far more interesting if we had either a Goldwater-ite jew or maybe a Reagan-ite black man running on the Republican ticket. Now that would be interesting -- and you can be sure the backlash would be, er, tsunami-sized.
3.13.2008 9:45pm
Specast:
David writes: "there would also be grave concern that people would "blame the Jews" if things went badly." Huh? I grant you that there haven't been many plausible Jewish presidential candidates in the U.S., but there is no shortage of Jews who have run for and won other positions of power in the U.S. Senators, governors, representatives (including chairs of powerful committees), but also CEOs or other shot-callers in big corporations. Sorry, but I see absolutely no evidence that Jews are, as a general matter, unusually reluctant to seek power -- much less a reluctance due to a fear that the leader will be blamed if things go badly. I suspect that Jewish "thirst" for power is no different than the "thirst" for power of most other ethnic groups (at least if we control for class, education, etc).
3.13.2008 9:56pm
clark37:
Firstly, I must object to poster Rod Blaine's usage of the spelling "Black": A person can be a Negro, an African-or Afro-American, or white, but a person cannot be "Black."

Secondly, it is my feeling that Jews (and I am Jewish)should not put themselves out front in the political arena. Their candicacy accomplishes nothing, and only serves to stir up prejudices.

As to blacks, a bit of perspective is due:

1. Halle Berry, upon winning an Academy award, buried herself in her white mother's arms and cried with joy about a triumph for black women.

2. Colin Powell, declaring himself "not that black" spent several thousand dollars in Scotland to have his family escutcheon painted.

3. Sen. Obama, Lord bless his soul, is not that black either. His decades-long embracing of yet another anti-Semitic "reverend" should focus attention on his feeling about Jews. That is to say, millions of Jews have worked to help blacks: where is the reciprocity?
3.13.2008 10:16pm
Caspar the Friendly Guest:
I don't remember any Jewish backlash when Joe Lieberman was picked as Gore's VP. Did I miss it? It's quite possible that I did, just like I was not even aware that Spitzer was Jewish until Ilya's post. Believe it or not, it's not something we Goyim care much about these days.
3.13.2008 10:18pm
Schlomo Rabinowitz (mail):

By contrast, African Americans have suffered in large part because of their lack of political power. With 12% or so of the population and deep historic roots in American life, African Americans are less worried about being seen as outside interlopers seizing power from "real Americans", and more worried about the very real consequences they have suffered from being excluded from political power.



In other words, African-Americans are real Americans and so act like it.


What better way to end the day than by striking the third rail and mentioning that differnces in IQ between Jews and Blacks might explain some of the differences. With blacks, the oppressors were mostly worried about keeping them from from stealing, raping and sitting around doing nothing.



That explains the bans on intermarriage, literacy, joining unions and guilds, acquiring professional degrees, owning property, starting-up businesses, voting, sitting on juries, and holding political office. It also explains why the first viable African-American candidate was magna cum laude at Harvard Law.
3.13.2008 10:25pm
Rod Blaine (mail):
> 'A person can be a Negro, an African-or Afro-American, or white, but a person cannot be "Black".'

Clark37, I don't get what you mean. As a white guy, my understanding has been that "Black" is unobjectionable but "Negro" is so dated as to be offensive in 2008. Clarify, please.

> "but there is no shortage of Jews who have run for and won other positions of power"

Yes, but - brace yourself - even Senators and Cabinet members are largely invisible outside the US (Condi &Colin are an exception, as was Albright, precisely because they were not "cranky old white guys" for a change). The President, and to some extent the Veep, are *the* public face. I take DB to be implying that American Jews, many of whom have close family in Israel, are wary of how it would look to the rest of the world if President Abe Goldstein ordered the USAF into action against Iran or the Taliban (especially if PAG had to assure the US people "trust me, I've seen secret briefings that I can't tell you about"). It's bad enough, PR-wise, when a born-again WASP like Dubya does it.
3.13.2008 10:28pm
Baseballhead (mail):
... African Americans are less worried about being seen as outside interlopers seizing power from "real Americans", and more worried about the very real consequences they have suffered from being excluded from political power.
Someone should forward this link to Geraldine Ferraro.
3.13.2008 10:38pm
sk (mail):
Clark37: you confuse me as well. From the article to which you objected:

"Jews are usually a very tiny minority
Black Americans are 12%.
anti-Jewish prejudice was entirely legal
Albeit anti-Jewish prejudice
anti-Black prejudice frequently was).
African Americans in positions of power is
policies to increase Black representation
But a White supremacist
Rather, a racist who wanted to warn "the White Race" about the danger posed by the Black Man"

In other words, he capitalized Jew, Black, African American, and White.

From your own post:

"That is to say, millions of Jews have worked to help blacks"

In other words, if you are opposed to capitalizing "Black," well the post capitalized all racial and religious descriptions. If you are opposed to using the word 'black' to describe black Americans, well, you did it too!

So what is your position?

Sk
3.13.2008 10:39pm
Uthaw:
I find it droll that after decades of Jewish efforts to ingratiate themselves with blacks, black anti-Semitism is as strong as ever.
3.13.2008 10:46pm
yankev (mail):

I don't remember any Jewish backlash when Joe Lieberman was picked as Gore's VP. Did I miss it? It's quite possible that I did, just like I was not even aware that Spitzer was Jewish until Ilya's post. Believe it or not, it's not something we Goyim care much about these days.
Caspar, I'm not sure what you mean by Jewish backlash. I do know that when Joe decided to run for the Senate as an independent, Daily Kos, Moveon and other liberal web sites were awash with anti-Semitic comments. Not just the usual charges of disloyalty to the US and being controlled by Israel, but out and out Father Coughlin style garbage -- he's an Orthodox Jew and everyone knows that Jews only look out for themselves, and besides his wife's name is hagaddah or something you eat on Passover. (That last is close to a direct quote.)

And there are 100 Senators, 435 representatives, 50 governors, but only one President. It's a much more visible office.

And you've certainly seen the garbage that goes around saying that it's the Jews' fault that we are mired in Iraq, ruining our economy and causing the needless deaths of real Americans, all so that the cowardly Jewish neocons can get rich and protect Israel at the expense of the US. And that's without a Jewish president, just a handful of Jews among the President's advisors.
3.13.2008 10:51pm
Passing By:
With blacks, the oppressors were mostly worried about keeping them from from stealing, raping and sitting around doing nothing.

Um... racist?
3.13.2008 10:52pm
JoshL (mail):

I don't remember any Jewish backlash when Joe Lieberman was picked as Gore's VP. Did I miss it? It's quite possible that I did, just like I was not even aware that Spitzer was Jewish until Ilya's post. Believe it or not, it's not something we Goyim care much about these days.


I do actually remember some backlash, or at least worry, but not so much about the place of Jews in America. Rather, it was a fear that "oyh, the Arabs will think that they now have proof of the Jews running America."
3.13.2008 10:52pm
Zathras (mail):
I would have thought the real distinction is the different narratives that racists hold for blacks, as compared to Jews. For blacks, the racist narrative is that they are inferior, and one becoming President tends to destroy that line of thought. For Jews, the racist narrative is that they are really in control of everything, and one becoming President would tend to confirm the racist narrative in the minds of bigots.
3.13.2008 11:12pm
John (mail):
Hey! What is this "And when Jews were emancipated and became involved in political movements, ranging from liberalism to Communism"?

Quite a range!
3.13.2008 11:39pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
That's liberalism in the broad sense of the word.
3.13.2008 11:42pm
magnolia:
"I don't remember any Jewish backlash when Joe Lieberman was picked as Gore's VP. Did I miss it? "

I remember my parents, who are Orthodox Jews and fairly conservative Democrats-gone-Republican, being kind of nervous about the idea of a Jewish President. They didn't seem to relish the attention and were concerned about an anti-Semitic backlash. I think it's somewhat generational though, they being children of holocaust survivors. Myself, I'd love to see a Jewish President as long as it isn't Joe Lieberman. But for now I'll take Obama.
3.13.2008 11:45pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
We don't capitalize "blond," "brunette," "ruddy," "mulatto,"or "octoroon,"so why should we capitalize "white," or "black."

In the early days of slavery, the slaves were called "blacks." Then came "African." Later "darky" or "darkey" came into use (with no invidious meaning). Then came "Africo-American" in about 1835 ,which got replaced by "freedman" after the Civil War. In 1880 T. Thomas Fortune, editor of the New York Age coined the term "Afro-American." After 1900 "Aframerican" enjoyed useage for a short time only to get replaced by "colored" and "Negro." In the 1960s "Afro-American" came back for a while, and then coming full circle, "black" returned. Now we have the awkward multi-syllabic "African-American." No doubt something new will come along in a few years.
3.14.2008 12:25am
Michael B (mail):
"Jews, being a minority people in exile, often were only able to protect themselves by establishing relationships with those in power. When the people turned against those in power, they turned against their Jewish advisors and allies as well, and by extension against the Jews. And when Jews were emancipated and became involved in political movements, ranging from liberalism to Communism, their ideological adversaries rarely hesitated to stir up opposition by focusing on Jewish leaders of the movement, resulting, for example, in the murder of tens of thousands of Jews by the White Russians during the Russian revolutionary upheaval." DB

Much would need to be addressed here but the note concerning "quite a range" is entirely apt. A Benjamin Disraeli is not the same thing as a Lazar Kaganovich. To suggest it all, or largely, be placed under the rubric of anti-Semitism or anti-Judaism is a wee bit of a stretch during an era when world historical, totalitarian, mass murdering ideological/political movements were afoot.

(Also, weren't something like 25 million White Russians variously killed from the time of the revolution and through Stalin's reign?)
3.14.2008 1:46am
Tom Fitzpatrick (mail):
"They didn't seem to relish the attention and were concerned about an anti-Semitic backlash." I think this attitude predates the Holocaust. See Chernow's book The Warburgs, and Steel's bio of Walter Lippmann.

Bernstein's take on African-American attitudes toward an Obama presidency seems plausible.
3.14.2008 1:50am
LM (mail):
David,

I think you got it right. I'd just add a couple of things:

First, to your notion of Jews feeling more exposed thanks to their history of rising to and being scapegoated for political power, I'd add a flip-side for African-Americans. Not only do they have little precedent for associating political power with vulnerability, they have little precedent for associating it with anything. The novelty of it gives them an incentive to seek power they've never had.

Second, (and I assume you must have felt this was implied) I'd extend the cost-benefit analysis for both groups beyond politics to economic and less tangible social incentives. For example, African-Americans, starting from greater need, probably see more economic upside than Jews do to having one of their own in high office.
3.14.2008 2:54am
LM (mail):
Caspar the Friendly Guest,

I don't remember any Jewish backlash when Joe Lieberman was picked as Gore's VP. Did I miss it? It's quite possible that I did, just like I was not even aware that Spitzer was Jewish until Ilya's post. Believe it or not, it's not something we Goyim care much about these days.

And that's why, sooner or later, you're ours!
;=)
3.14.2008 3:00am
LM (mail):
David,

Somehow I missed your last paragraph the first read through. It pretty much makes my first point. And since I assume my second point was too obvious for you not to have intended it be implied, never mind.
3.14.2008 3:06am
tvk:
Plausible theory, but the best empirical test would be to gouge the level of Jewish support for Joe Lieberman (as someone had pointed out above). And I don't just mean the rhetoric, I mean actual voting patterns.

Early in the primary season, a story being thrown around the media was that Obama would not receive lopsided black support because he wasn't "black enough" whereas Clinton had significant coattails in that community. Turns out that blacks actually voted for Obama in overwhelming proportions. Anyone have real numbers on how many Jewish voters voted for Lieberman, either as VP, more importantly, in the Democratic presidential primaries?
3.14.2008 3:07am
TGGP (mail) (www):
I have hosted Thomas Sowell's "Are Jews Generic?" here.

On a somewhat related note, here's Mencius Moldbug's "The Real Meaning of Diversity".
3.14.2008 3:36am
Asher Steinberg (mail):
I wouldn't say that the last thing I'd want is a Jewish President; if one got elected I might feel some small sense of pride or identity. I just think that we're already so represented in government and elsewhere that we don't feel the need for one. Blacks, on the other hand, were historically disenfranchised and continue to feel they are. One of the urban legends that I'm always shocked by and that is widely circulated amongst blacks (and recently by a very prominent rapper, on CNN no less) is that black voting rights are only temporary, and that when the Voting Rights Act expires 24 years from now they'll lose all rights to vote. In more educated circles you see the same sentiment in the insistence on drawing tons of majority-minority districts, even when they make it harder for Democrats to win overall. When the VRA got reauthorized in 2007, the NAACP insisted that Congress overrule Georgia v. Ashcroft, where the Court ruled that southern states could, without falling afoul of the VRA, trade a few districts where blacks were a huge majority for a greater number of districts where blacks held a narrow majority or a very large minority (40-49% or so). Such trades actually help blacks get more representation and help their favored party, but black interest groups, fearing the slightest retrogression in black voting influence, demanded that Congress amend the VRA to block them.
3.14.2008 4:24am
BruceM (mail) (www):
The difference is simple. Unlike the people who hate the Jews, nobody ever claims there is a "worldwide negro conspiracy" and that blacks control the world. Nobody claims blacks have all the money. Nobody claims blacks own all the banks. To the extent blacks have Africa as a homeland, the entire continent is an aids infested, war-torn, starving embarassment where the only content living creatures are the tsetse flies, and nobody claims any desire to take Africa away from the black people. Finally, people who hate blacks consider them a stupid, intellectually inferior race. Antisemites make a lot of claims against jews, but "jews are stupid" is never among them (at least not that I've ever heard).

Jews are blamed for everything. The only thing racists blame blacks for (wrongly of course) is the rape of white women, being really really scary and dangerous when high on cocaine or PCP, and annoying rap music and hip-hop culture.

If Obama messed something up, he'd just be meeting the expectations of the racists. The worst that could happen to the reputation of african american people as a whole would be for racists to say "yep, I knew that n#gger would be dumb, there's a reason there are no good black quarterbacks in the NFL" (standard racist claim, I know it's not true). But that doesn't really matter, because (1) however poorly he does, he will be a better president than Bush, and (2) however well he does as president, racists will say he's doing a bad job anyway and will claim every decision he makes is wrong merely out of racist pride.

All that being said, I'm surprised african americans are not concerned about what I call racial estoppel. Once a black man is elected president, all claims of institutional racism (a black man can't succeed in america, the system is against black people, America is racist, etc.) are immediately negated, and countered with two words - President Obama.

If the holocaust could retroactively be undone, I seriously doubt a majority of Jewish people would want that to happen now. The Holocaust is the single biggest trump card jews have (I was born jewish, so don't flame me as an antisemite) and is the sole reason Isreal exists. I'm not justifying the Holocaust, saying it was a good thing, saying it was "worth it", or saying I'm glad it happened (though some jews make me wonder if they think it was worth it with the way they milk the holocaust). If you are Jewish, would you give up the "holocaust trump card" (and all the benefits that resulted in the wake of the holocaust, including the establishment of Isreal) in exchange for, at most, a few 80+ year old relatives and maybe a larger inheritance? Jewish people would be horrified at the creation of "Holocaust estoppel". Granted, an event in the past cannot be undone without aid of a time machine, so unless some racist can prove beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of jews worldwide that the Holocaust never actually existed, there will never be holocaust estoppel.

But why are african americans so unafraid and unconcerned about having all arguments of racism refuted overnight? Like the Holocaust, they'll still have slavery to argue, but that will also be greatly mitigated by the election of a black president.

If I were african american, I'd vote for Hillary, and until I was absolutely satisfied that NO institutional racism existed in America, that blacks earned the same as whites, dollar to dollar, that blacks were executed and imprisoned the same rates as white people, and that I had the same chance of getting hired, promoted, or retained as a white person in a job, the last thing I'd want would be a one-off black president. It would weaken every argument I'd have in favor of improving my life. I don't think african americans are naive enough to think that merely by having a black president he will have the devine power to end all racism in america during his term in office.
3.14.2008 5:12am
Howard Wolfson (mail):
But why are african americans so unafraid and unconcerned about having all arguments of racism refuted overnight?

If this were true, then Eliot Spitzer as Governor should negate any claims of anti-Semitism in New York. Uh, not really.
3.14.2008 5:40am
Falafalafocus (mail):
The only positive remark I can muster after reading BruceM's comment is that free speech is obviously alive and well at the Volokh Conspiracy.
3.14.2008 9:14am
BruceM (mail) (www):
Falafalafocus: How about telling me why I'm wrong, rather than skimming what I said, noticing that I used words like holocaust, jew, black people, "n#gger", and assuming that I have some sort of bad intention.

Howard: I don't see how that stems from anything I wrote.
3.14.2008 10:04am
Ken Arromdee:
How about telling me why I'm wrong, rather than skimming what I said, noticing that I used words like holocaust, jew, black people, "n#gger", and assuming that I have some sort of bad intention.

Believing that undoing the Holocaust would mean some more living 80 year relatives, but none of those relatives leaving descendants in the present day, is pretty obvious, for one thing.
3.14.2008 10:17am
yankev (mail):

Once a black man is elected president, all claims of institutional racism (a black man can't succeed in america, the system is against black people, America is racist, etc.) are immediately negated, and countered with two words - President Obama.


Right. We have a president who appointed Colin Powell Secretary of State and Condoleeza Rice as National Security Advisor -- the first two black people to hold either office. When Powell resigned, Pres. Bush appointed Ms. Rice to succeed him, making her the second black person and the first black woman to hold that office. Under Pres. Bush, and due to his personal interest, the US has devoted more money and energy to fighting AIDS in Africa than any country -- including the US -- has done in the past. None of this has stopped Kanye West, the NAACP, and various racial demagogues with charging that Pres. Bush hates black people, wants to strip them of all legal rights, ioncluding voting rights, and that he is plotting to do everything short of revoking the 13th amendment.

In short, reasons will be found that Pres. Obama does not prove anything. He had a white mother, he talks too white, he's too educated, he did not grow up in the US, etc. Not to mention that racism is far from over. It may no longer be the biggest obstacle to the success and survival of black Americans the way it once was, it may be far less prevelant, virulent and socially acceptable than it was 40 or 50 years ago, but it ain't dead by any means.
3.14.2008 10:21am
yankev (mail):

If the holocaust could retroactively be undone, I seriously doubt a majority of Jewish people would want that to happen now. The Holocaust is the single biggest trump card jews have
This may be one of the more morally vile statements that I have read on VC. Channeling Norman Finkelstein, are we?

(I was born jewish, so don't flame me as an antisemite)
History is littered with people who were born Jews and were anti-semites. Some of them converted and made false accusations about the Jewish religion to the Church -- that's one of the things that led to the burning of the Talmud, to the censoring of the prayer "Aleinu", and to various pogroms. Marx was born to a Jewish mother, and wrote some calumnies against Jews and Judaism that could rival Storm Front.


and is the sole reason Isreal exists.
You are the first person I have met who claims to be Jewish cand cannot spell Israel. Whenever I see the spelling Isreal, I am instantly suspicious of whoever wrote the post.

unless some racist can prove beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of jews worldwide that the Holocaust never actually existed, there will never be holocaust estoppel.
So it might be possible to prove that it never happened, it just can't be proved to the satisfaction of the worldwide Jewish consenus and/or conspiracy?
3.14.2008 10:29am
Waldensian (mail):

All that being said, I'm surprised african americans are not concerned about what I call racial estoppel. Once a black man is elected president, all claims of institutional racism (a black man can't succeed in america, the system is against black people, America is racist, etc.) are immediately negated, and countered with two words - President Obama.

True, but only if you're some kind of idiot, and thus easily convinced by preposterous claims.

Electing Obama would be a big deal in U.S. race relations. But no rational person could believe that the election of Obama "immediately negates" the presence of significant, and even "institutional," racism in this country.
3.14.2008 10:40am
JosephSlater (mail):
BruceM:

I am going to say this as temperately as I am able. You really, really, really need to reconsider what you said about Jews and the holocaust. You could not be more wrong, and that one part of your post, in its gallingly offensive inaccuracy, drowns out whatever else you are trying to say.
3.14.2008 11:06am
Mike Cornell:
Hey: I'm not going to defend BruceM, of course, but as a non-jew, he raises an interesting, if morbid, question:

If surveyed, which would most contemporary jews perfer:

A) That the holocaust never happened.

B) That Israel was never created.

I'd honestly be interested in the results of such survey.
3.14.2008 11:16am
Mike Cornell:
My A and B might be misinterpreted:

Situation A) No holocaust, no israel.

Situation B) Holocaust, Israel.
3.14.2008 11:17am
arthur (mail):
It's hard to take seriously a post that starts from the premise, "African Americans don't seem particularly concerned" about something(especially coming from a professional school academic wose African American contacts are distinctly non-random). It becomes more difficult to take seriously a comparison between what African Ameircans don't seem to be concerned aobut now, and what Jews of past generations seemed to be concerned about back then.
3.14.2008 11:18am
BruceM (mail) (www):
Ahh, okay, I see why I pissed off some people. Mike Cornell calmly and rationally poses the question which I claimed to answer in my initial post. The key word as he phrased it is "contemporary." I left that word out of my post because I presumed it.

Nobody, and certainly no jewish person (myself included), views the holocaust as a means to an end. But given the fact that it DID happen, jewish people have properly invoked what is the single most horrendous event in modern human history as defense to further persecution, an argument for protection, and an argument for (much-deserved) empathy. I'm not suggesting invoking the holocaust is improper.

I am suggesting that many contemporary jews, whose closest understanding of what the holocaust entailed was seeing "Schindler's List" would not trade the fact that it happened for all the "proceeds" (benefits, positive externalities, gains derived from... whatever you want to call them) obtained from that fact. Israel being the huge one, of course.

I think the better question is:

If surveyed, which would most contemporary jews perfer:

A) That the holocaust never happened.

or

B) That Israel was never created, that the Jewish lobby
is not as strong as it currently is, that Jewish people have long-overdue respect and sympathy for thousands of years of abuse, and that the holocaust could not be invoked in debates against antisemites.

Unless you believe that every single contemporary Jewish person would unequivocally choose "A" and I'm a jackass for even suggesting that "B" is a viable choice, I didn't say anything offensive. Morbid - you betcha. Politically Incorrect... I suppose. Worthy of being flamed? No. Come on.

If you do believe that no contemporary Jewish person would choose "B" I'd love to hear why.
3.14.2008 11:47am
sbron:
I think Jewish politicians are just as lustful for
power as any other kind. Senator Feinstein (ok, half Jewish) wants to shut down discussions she doesn't like by re-imposing the fairness doctrine. Senator Boxer
wants to impose CO2 caps and cripple the economy.
Boxer and Feinstein have not done a darn thing for California except bankrupt us with the costs of
uncontrolled, low-skilled, poorly educated immigrants.

All the Senators who are Jewish want to keep both legal
and illegal immigration running at full tilt and destroy
the tradition of assimilation. It is only a matter of time before a far-left Jewish version of Obama will be running for President.

The real question is why are virtually all Jewish politicians are on the political left? I can only think of one Senator who is nominally Jewish (Norm Coleman) who is a Republican and occassionally defies leftist/multicultural orthodoxy.
3.14.2008 11:47am
Ken Arromdee:
What makes you think that no holocaust would weaken the "Jewish Lobby"?

For one thing, if there are *more Jews alive to lobby*, you'd expect the lobby to be stronger (if there even is such a thing).
3.14.2008 11:58am
DG:
It is a common misapprehension that the creation of Israel has anything to do with the Holocaust. Britain was going to pull out of Mandatory Palestine one way or another and the Jews were already there. In fact, Israel may have been more, rather than less successful with a larger population base and greater financial support, all of which may have come from a post WWII Europe without a holocaust. Zionism didn't begin in 1945. In fact, WWII put things on hold as the fight against the Nazis was considered far more important than the fight against the British.

So, the choice being presented is simply false. Would I prefer the Holocaust had never happened? Of course. Anyone who could suggest otherwise is a fool. Thats a category I throw BruceM into.
3.14.2008 12:00pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
Israel may well have existed without the Shoah ever occurring. There was a Zionist movement before the Shoah. The British Empire was collapsing and there would likely have given up the Mandate in any event.

It is not an either/or question.

This idea that Jews would trade the death of six million for Israel is offensive, any way you phrase it. It would be like asking blacks if they would rather have had slavery or be still living in Africa.
3.14.2008 12:00pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
One more thought. When I was young and my parents dragged me to synagogue (as those of you who despise me know, I hate religion and do not consider myself religous in any sense), I once attended a symposium with several rabbi's discussing the question "Why Did God Allow the Holocaust to Happen?" While I personally believe the Holocaust is pretty darn good evidence that there is no God (and thus the question itself is loaded), the general consensus amongst the rabbis was that the Holocaust directly led to the formation and international recognition of Israel. An extreme form of the "God works in myserious ways" argument... like the Holocaust was a dark blessing of sort.

I simply do not believe that a majority of contemporary Jews would trade the existence of Israel (among other benefits) for the removal of horrible event in human history. Either way, since Jews lost so many people in order to gain Israel, it makes Israel that much more precious and worthy of defending.
3.14.2008 12:03pm
Mike Cornell:

This idea that Jews would trade the death of six million for Israel is offensive, any way you phrase it. It would be like asking blacks if they would rather have had slavery or be still living in Africa.


I don't see what is so big a deal about the question. We speculate all the time in history classes about things like whether the moderate anti-slavery movement would have traded 600,000 lives to end slavery if they had the choice prior to the war. Many people --- jews and non-jews --- consider Israel's continued existence worth a significant sacrifice.

Maybe the question could be rephrased: Does the average jew (or average american) think Israel's continued existence worth a war that kills 6 million people?

I honestly don't know. But just because something is morbid to think about doesn't mean it's not a worthwhile question.
3.14.2008 12:13pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Bruce M, it's an exceedingly stupid question, because you are asking whether people would trade a real, existing good, (Israel, with 6 million people), for a hypothetical, much greater good (no Holocaust). And, moreover, the Holocaust was a disaster for Zionism and Israel because the vast majority of the expected population of the state, and the strongest supporters of Zionism (Eastern European Jews) were wiped out.
3.14.2008 12:19pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
I would add that if you asked the question ex ante, in 1939, touting all the purported benefits of the Holocaust, only a lunatic would have said, sure, let's have a Holocaust.
3.14.2008 12:24pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
Bob: Sorry, but there's simply no way Israel would exist today but for the occurrence of the Holocaust and the massive loss and inhumane treatment of Jews. Maybe a few square miles designated "Israel" would have been set aside for Jews in the middle of Antarctica, but even that's a stretch.
3.14.2008 12:26pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

With jews, the oppressors were mostly worried that these really smart, hard-working SOB's would take over the world.

If Jews were really smart, they'd figure out how to get Israel's neighbors to love Israel instead of hating it. Instead it looks like there will never be peace in the Middle East. (Yes, I know it's unfair to put the burden on Israel. A really smart people would quickly get past this sense of unfairness, and solve the problem.)
3.14.2008 12:32pm
ejo:
I have a problem with the proposition that blacks have suffered due to a lack of political power-I tend to think that the community's problems are self inflicted. blacks have lots of political power in many major urban areas, none of which changes the social problems actually plaguing them (aside, of course, from the white man inventing AIDS to keep them down as one might here from Obama)
3.14.2008 12:34pm
yankev (mail):

I simply do not believe that a majority of contemporary Jews would trade the existence of Israel (among other benefits) for the removal of horrible event in human history.
First of all, as my father A"H often pointed out, it is silly to assume that you can change one event and that everything else would have stayed the same. To anyone who said "I could have been rich if I had only bought Xerox (or Pepsi or whatever) at $X a share when it first came out," his reaction was always "If you had bought it, how do you know it would still have grown in price the way it did? Maybe if you had bought it then, it would have gone down?" (Dad was not religious, but his thoughts on this are reminescent of the Bais HaLevi.)

But since we get to pick in your scenario, BruceM, why are we restricted to your choices? If I get a choice, I'd go back a few millennia further to when the spies returned from Canaan, and change it so that we had taken the advice of Joshua and Caleb and not that of the other 10 spies. Result, Israel, with no Babylonian exile, no Roman exile, and no holocaust.
3.14.2008 12:38pm
JosephSlater (mail):
BruceM:

As others have mentioned, it's not at all clear that but-for the Holocaust there would have been no Israel. And it's certainly not at all clear that but-for the Holocaust, there would be more anti-semitism today. Various forms of bigotry fade over time (look at institutional sexism and attitudes toward women in the past 50 years, or attitudes towards gays and lesbians in the past 20). And FWIW, the very existence of Israel itself seems to be prompting some renewed anti-semitism (for very wrong, misguided reasons I stress) today.

Also, any speculation in a history class would have to engage in a whole series of counter-factual guesses that, while possibly interesting, can't seriously pose the "either/or" question, because we have no idea what would have happened had there not been a Holocaust -- well, except for the whole "six million innocent people would not have been brutally tortued and killed in unimaginably horrible ways" part.

And for that reason, if you want an answer to your question, speaking as a modern, secular Jew who supports Israel in principle, I would give up that state in a second to avoid the Holocaust.
3.14.2008 12:38pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
If you asked the question ex ante, in 1939, touting all the purported benefits of the Holocaust, only a lunatic would have said, sure, let's have a Holocaust.

Of course, I couldn't agree more. That's why I find the "Holocaust was God's plan for Isreal" notion so stupid. If that's your god, find a new religion.

The Holocaust was a disaster for Zionism and Israel because the vast majority of the expected population of the state, and the strongest supporters of Zionism (Eastern European Jews) were wiped out.

It was certainly a disaster in a million ways, but I don't see how it can be a "disaster for Zionism and Isreal" beacuse those unfortunate deaths directly led to Isreal's formation. Pre-Holocaust, the international community had no desire, nor intent, to establish a homeland for Jews in the Holy Land - despite the strongest supporters for such a state. If you or anyone can cite me to any authority that makes a convincing case that Isreal would have been internationally established but for the Holocaust, I will gladly read it with an open mind.
3.14.2008 12:43pm
PLR:

We don't capitalize "blond," "brunette," "ruddy," "mulatto" or "octoroon," so why should we capitalize "white" or "black?"

It could be useful for a reviewer who says that Chris Rock's HBO specials are the zenith of Black comedy, recognizing that few would claim the specials actually contain black comedy.
3.14.2008 12:50pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
Joseph: Sure, we don't know what would have happened in place of the holocaust. Frankly, if Germany had not wasted so much of its resources carrying out the holocuaust, and instead had spent those resources solely on the war effort (and welcomed all german jews into its army with loving hands), there's a good chance that we'd all be speaking German right now. Maybe one of the people killed during the holocaust would have grown up and turned out to be even worse than Hitler. Or Maybe one of the people killed during the holocaust would have discovered the cure for cancer... who knows? There's no way to.

Thus, implicit in the option of not having had the Holocaust is included the infinite possible scenarios that could have resulted from having no Holocaust (including, I concede, the very small chance that Isreal would somehow have been established nonetheless).

If you want an answer to your question, speaking as a modern, secular Jew who supports Israel in principle, I would give up that state in a second to avoid the Holocaust.

Fair enough, I appreciate the straight answer.
3.14.2008 12:54pm
JosephSlater (mail):
OK, BruceM, not to drag this out much further, but is it really your honest belief that a majority of Jews in the U.S. today would answer your question differently than I did? I confess I've never thought to ask that question to any of my Jewish friends and family, but my instinct is that every one of them would sincerely answer as I did.
3.14.2008 1:01pm
Mike Cornell:
I don't have a dog in this fight, but this seems excessive:


Bruce M, it's an exceedingly stupid question


Maybe it's weird to compare the two things, but a lot of non-jews (myself included) are interested in understanding the relationship between non-Israeli jews, Israel, and the Holocaust. It may not be something that's fun or comfortable to talk about, but it's not exceedingly stupid.

I thought Slater's answer was reasonable:


I would give up that state in a second to avoid the Holocaust.



And I would think that someone who thought Israel was worth 6 million death would be within reason too. I'd trade 6 million dead to preserve America, and while I don't have a particularly strong connection to Ireland, I wouldn't be surprised to find many Americans who would trade 6 million lives to preserve that, either.
3.14.2008 1:01pm
The Unbeliever (mail):
I think we're missing the silliest part of BruceM's post.

Jews are blamed for everything. The only thing racists blame blacks for (wrongly of course) is the rape of white women, being really really scary and dangerous when high on cocaine or PCP, and annoying rap music and hip-hop culture.


Uh, who should we blame for rap music and hip-hop culture? (And since when is ascribing those two items to "black" culture considered racist?)

I vote we blame rap music on the Asians, since they haven't been featured in this thread yet.
3.14.2008 1:18pm
mischief (mail):

I don't remember any Jewish backlash when Joe Lieberman was picked as Gore's VP. Did I miss it?


After all the fun and games were over, I remember an article written about crunching the numbers. The conclusion was that Lieberman had neither attracted Jewish voters nor repelled Gentile ones.
3.14.2008 1:39pm
Falafalafocus (mail):
Sorry, I am finally at a lunch break. but Bruce's complaint invited me to elaborate.

To answer BruceM's complaint, my comment was not solely directed at the Holocaust remark. But since he demands an answer from all the Jews present, I will oblige for myself: "No."

Interestingly, BruceM seems to answer his own question with a "No" as well:


Nobody, and certainly no jewish person (myself included), views the holocaust as a means to an end.


I'm still waiting with fervent anticipation for BruceM to find me some proof of that "most most contemporary jews" would prefer the Holocaust (even with all the "wonderous" benefits described by him), but I'm not holding my breath.

(As an aside I also don't know what to make of the whold "Isreal" spelling, which I have to assume is some political statement since it has already been pointed out. I would be interested in learning what the message is).

In any event, that was just the tip of the iceberg. Your "racial estoppel" theory, which was extraordinarily dereft of logic (one president negates 200 years of injustice, so don't vote for him) and is, at the same time, insulting to those who have legitimate concerns about the usefulness of affirmative action programs. However, this argument appears to have been dropped by you so I withraw any hurt my earlier comment made in that regard.

You also throw out there a comment that, if Barack were to perform poorly, "(1) however poorly he does, he will be a better president than Bush,". I realize that Bush may not be popular with you or even the vast majority of the people. However, do you honestly believe that Bush sets the absolute floor in incompetence? Do you really want to dare the next president to make things worse (however you choose to view that phrase)?
3.14.2008 1:45pm
Ai:
Yes, Bernstein is right; Jews are politically powerful and blacks are politically powerless.

And that, children, is precisely why blacks are legally privileged (to the detriment of Jews who are nearly all white) in securing positions in education and employment.

QED.
3.14.2008 1:48pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
The Unbeliever: when I used the word "blame" I intended to ascribe malicious and/or ignorant intent on the part of the hateful blamer. My point was that the hatred of blacks and the hatred of jews are based on entirely different (though equally ignorant and erroneous) theories.

but is it really your honest belief that a majority of Jews in the U.S. today would answer your question differently than I did?

Joseph: Yes, it is my belief that a majority of contemporary Jews (in the world, not necessarily just within the U.S.), would answer differently. However, for contemporary jews, it has to be noted that 60+ years after the fact, the only tangible, non-emotional advantages to the Holocaust not having occurred are: (1) a significantly greater world Jewish population, (2) more relatives, living and deceased, in your extended family, and (3) possibly more wealth in your family, since the Nazis wouldn't have stolen your ancestors' assets. The disadvantages are, in addition to no Israel, not being able to invoke "remember the Holocaust" in defense against antisemites. I realize that comes off as cynical (which may be yet another reason people are pissed at me here), but it's perfectly valid to throw the Holocaust in the face of anyone who advocates hatred against Jews (or Israel).

I must note that I don't think either answer is right or wrong, both are reasonable, and choosing Israel over no Holocaust in no way means or should be interpreted as supporting the Holocaust in any way. I feel obliged to point out that if God did not allow the Holocaust to occur in order to facilitate the establishment of Isreal, then either: there is no god, or God hates the jews (e.g. Judaism is not the correct religion). Why else would God allow such a terrible thing to happen?

I'd trade 6 million dead to preserve America...

Mike: So would I, but I bet we're in the minority on that. Most Americans are willing to throw away the Constitution to save a few fat, stupid children. Also, someone is bound to point out that the population of America is far greater than the population of Israel, so 6 milion of one can't be compared to 6 million of the other. But still, deaths taken proportionally, I concur.
3.14.2008 1:53pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
It was certainly a disaster in a million ways, but I don't see how it can be a "disaster for Zionism and Isreal" beacuse those unfortunate deaths directly led to Isreal's formation. Pre-Holocaust, the international community had no desire, nor intent, to establish a homeland for Jews in the Holy Land - despite the strongest supporters for such a state. If you or anyone can cite me to any authority that makes a convincing case that Isreal would have been internationally established but for the Holocaust, I will gladly read it with an open mind.
Hello, the British Peel commission in 1937 suggested creating a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
3.14.2008 1:57pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
Falafalafocus: So now you're finding malicious intent in my typos? I see I inadvertently misspelled Israel once out of the many times I've typed it here. What sort of "message" or "political statement" could the common typo "Isreal" versus "Israel" possibly convey?

However, do you honestly believe that Bush sets the absolute floor in incompetence?

Yes. Incompetence in governing/being POTUS. I'm sure he's competent at many other things.

Do you really want to dare the next president to make things worse (however you choose to view that phrase)?

No, of course not. Where do you glean a "dare" in my comment? Of course, you're someone who finds malicious political statements in common typos, so I don't known if I really want to know.

I'm still waiting with fervent anticipation for BruceM to find me some proof of that "most most contemporary jews" would prefer the Holocaust (even with all the "wonderous" benefits described by him), but I'm not holding my breath.

It's just my opinion. I certainly could be wrong, but I don't think I am. Seeing as how offensive the mere question is, are you really surprised nobody has done a formal, scientific survey on the matter?
3.14.2008 2:04pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
Even today in the U.S., anti-Jewish prejudice manifests itself in complaints about disproportionate Jewish political power, as witnessed by the oft-heard claim that Jewish neoconservatives manipulated the Bush Administration into war with Iraq.

Very clever way of absolving Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith, and of course non-Jews like Dick Cheney for the epic failure that is Iraq. Use a loaded word like "manipulated" to misrepresent the genesis of the policy. Use a loaded phrase like "disproportionate Jewish political power" to deflect criticism that the policies they recommended failed miserably as many people (including Jews) predicted at the time. Omit completely the fact that their miscalculations were predicated in part on the successful con run on them by (non-Jew) Ahmad Chalabi, who had dangled before them an Iraq that was not only pro-America but actively pro-Zionist.

The problem is not that the largely Jewish neo-conservatives "manipulated" anyone, but that for reasons of their own Bush and Cheney loved their stupid ideas.
3.14.2008 2:22pm
MarkField (mail):

However, do you honestly believe that Bush sets the absolute floor in incompetence?


Possibly not, but his company is rather limited. A random draw from the citizen pool would be a better bet.
3.14.2008 2:39pm
Mac (mail):
magnolia wrote:


I remember my parents, who are Orthodox Jews and fairly conservative Democrats-gone-Republican, being kind of nervous about the idea of a Jewish President. They didn't seem to relish the attention and were concerned about an anti-Semitic backlash. I think it's somewhat generational though, they being children of holocaust survivors. Myself, I'd love to see a Jewish President as long as it isn't Joe Lieberman. But for now I'll take Obama.

magnolia,

I think you best take a long, hard look at the statements of the Rev. Wright who is not just Obama's pastor but his self-proclaimed spiritual advisor.
Personally, I would never vote for Obama due to his politics but I would very much like to see a black or Black president. However, I find his very long and strong relationship with the Rev. Wright very troubling, deeply troubling.
I don't support or associate with racists. I can't imagine anyone not only having a close association with one, but proclaiming one to be his spiritual advisor, not sharing his views. Having listened to the news yesterday and to the Rev. Wright's statements and his past actions esp. relating to Farakhan, I am appalled and rather frightened. Obama has not renounced Wright or Farakhan, really. And, given his strong support for Wright over the years, I wouldn't believe him if he did. Others may differ, but I just can't imagine having a racist and anti-semite as a spiritual advisor and not sharing his views.
I will grant you that Obama seems charming and all that. But, I fear there is a very dark side. I really, really fear it.
3.14.2008 2:43pm
Waldensian (mail):

who should we blame for rap music and hip-hop culture?

I'm dying for somebody to explain for me what "hip-hop culture" actually consists of. For many people, "hip-hop culture" appears to be roughly equivalent to "things young black people do that I don't like."

I.e., the phrase seems to have about as much descriptive content as calling someone a "Leftist."
3.14.2008 2:50pm
JoshL (mail):

I can only think of one Senator who is nominally Jewish (Norm Coleman) who is a Republican and occassionally defies leftist/multicultural orthodoxy


Arlen Specter is a senator who is both Jewish and a Republican. The only Jewish member of the House who is a Republican is Eric Cantor (VA-07, around Richmond).
3.14.2008 3:12pm
holdfast (mail):
In Europe and the UK, "Neocon" is often used as a synonym for Dirty Jew - not so much here in the USA, where it generally means evil, incompetent warmonger.
3.14.2008 3:14pm
happylee:
I think everyone would benefit from a quick review of the articles linked by TGGP.
3.14.2008 3:25pm
David M (www):
The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 03/14/2008 A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.
3.14.2008 3:31pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
The problem is not that the largely Jewish neo-conservatives "manipulated" anyone, but that for reasons of their own Bush and Cheney loved their stupid ideas.
Two points. First, it's quite obvious that SOME people claim that the Jewish necons did manipluate the Bush Administration. Second, how about the "largely Jewish ACLU" has manipulated the Supreme Court into a series of foolish church-state decisions. Sounds a bit prejudiced, no?
3.14.2008 3:44pm
Jim O'Sullivn (mail) (www):
Tha fact that the percentage of Jews and Blacks in the Senate, versus the American population large, is wierdly reversed (about 1-2% versus about 10% at any one time) is one of those things that polite people don't mention, like a piece of parsley stuck between your two front teeth. If we as a nation could speak a bit more frankly about the obvious, maube we could figure out what, if anything, is wrong.
3.14.2008 3:47pm
talleyrand (mail):
Mac said:

"I don't support or associate with racists. I can't imagine anyone not only having a close association with one, but proclaiming one to be his spiritual advisor, not sharing his views. Having listened to the news yesterday and to the Rev. Wright's statements and his past actions esp. relating to Farakhan, I am appalled and rather frightened. Obama has not renounced Wright or Farakhan, really."

Then you shouldn't vote for McCain based on his relationship with insane anti-Catholic Pastor Hagee or his "spiritual advisor" Rod Parsley, who preaches hatred of Muslims.

McCain said "I am very proud of the Pastor John Hagee's spiritual leadership to thousands of people." He also said "When he endorses me, it does not mean that I embrace everything that he stands for and believes."

McCain's "spiritual advisor" Rod Parsely has also said some bizarre things, including this (in his 2005 book "Silent No More"): "I do not believe our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand our historical conflict with Islam. I know that this statement sounds extreme, but I do not shrink from its implications. The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed...."

Suggesting that the US should seek to convert or annihilate 1 billion Muslims is a lot more frightening and appalling than anything Farrakhan or Wright has ever said.

Nevertheless, I can accept that McCain is not a bigot even though some of his key supporters are, and I seriously doubt that he believes, as his spiritual advisor does, that America was founded by God to destroy Islam. But you can't seem to do the same re: Sen. Obama. Why not? I think you are just misinformed. You say that Obama has never renounced Farrakhan, but that is simply wrong.

Here's a tip: google the words "Obama," "Farrakhan" and "renounce" and see what pops up...
3.14.2008 3:53pm
Ai:
A vile, evil, vicious, hateful, racist has been my beloved and esteemed spiritual adviser, "like an uncle to me", for more than 20 years. Indeed, he performed my marriage and baptized my daughters.

Can I be the Donkey Party nominee for President now?
3.14.2008 4:29pm
Mac (mail):
talleyrand,

McCain has not had these people or anyone like them as his his "spiritual advisor" for the last 20 years. He does not now nor has he ever belonged to their congregations. McCain is not a favorite of the "Christian Right". He has not financially supported this guy or these guys. I can't find any quote where McCain has called him his spiritual advisor. Link, please? You may be right, but I can't find it.

Also, just as historical fact, we do have long, historical problems with Islam. See why Thomas Jefferson bought a Koran and also, you can look up where the phrase, "to the shores of Tripoli", comes from in the Marine Corps Hymn.

That said, both of these Pastor's are idiots. However, now that you have pointed it out, I will pay very close attention to McCain's relationship with them and what he says about them.

Your further said,

You say that Obama has never renounced Farrakhan, but that is simply wrong.



Sorry, I watched the interview with Russert and Obama where this came up. Obama stuttered, stumbled and hardly renounced Farrakhan and certainly never renounced the man he has been associated with for 20 years, who married him, baptised his children, and whose church he has financially supported and attended for 20 years and whom he calls his spiritual advisor. Wright, who honored Farrakhan and went to Tripoli with him, is a black racist who hates Jews, Whites and God knows who all else.
As I said, I will look at McCain's relationship, if any, with the idiots you mentioned. I doubt we will find too much there and certainly no history. I think, while interesting and worth a further look, this is not a valid comparison that you have made.
3.14.2008 4:34pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Co-sign Talleyrand's post.

Criticizing Obama, who did explicitly renounce and reject Farrakhan's odious anti-semitism, but not mentioning McCain's association with odious bigots displays at best, a dishonest partisan double standard. And let's also consider the annual Republican Presidential candidate pilgrimage to Bob Jones University.
3.14.2008 4:36pm
Tillman Fan (mail):
What if Napoleon had a Piper Cub?
3.14.2008 4:52pm
Mac (mail):

Co-sign Talleyrand's post.

Criticizing Obama, who did explicitly renounce and reject Farrakhan's odious anti-semitism, but not mentioning McCain's association with odious bigots displays at best, a dishonest partisan double standard. And let's also consider the annual Republican Presidential candidate pilgrimage to Bob Jones University.



Joseph and Talleyrand,


We can play this game all day. I can mention the truly hateful and odious Daily Kos to whom all of the Democrats traipsed to have their debate despite, among other things, their many anti-Semetic comments re Lieberman when he decided to run as an Independent. Or the George Soros funded MoveOn.org who will threaten and attempt to destroy anyone, Left or Right, who dares to disagree with them and they have the money to make an impact.
That said, I do see a real difference here between an intimate and 20 year long relationship and a passing moment with some guys who have endorsed you and I really doubt McCain was all that aware of their beliefs. Both sides get some endorsements they would rather not have and both sides pay homage to organizations that the other side doesn't like.

However, that is not the same as a 20 year intimate relationship.
Maybe I am wrong and you are right. If he becomes President, I hope like hell that I am.

The irony of electing a Black man President and getting rid of that racial bugaboo only to find we have elected a black racist who hates Whites, Jews and God knows who else into the office, is too bizarre to contemplate.
3.14.2008 5:05pm
dirk manners:
How about a little life in this thread?

It is wrong for a white to rule blacks--Africa. Special exception for the Castro bros. 'cause they're commies.

But somehow, it's OK for a black to rule whites--Sen. Obama.
3.14.2008 5:33pm
talleyrand (mail):
Mac,

Do you really believe that Senator Obama "hates Whites, Jews and who knows else"? Have you ever detected any anti-Semitism or racism in any speech that Obama has ever given? How about in any legislation he has supported? Has anyone who knows him ever said that Obama "hates Whites, Jews and God knows who else"? That would be pretty amazing if he could have gone through his entire public career--and I include his law school career, tenure as editor of the Harvard law Review, tenure as professor at U. of Chicago Law School, as well as his political career--all the while fooling his smart (and mostly white) colleagues.

All I'm saying is, use a little common sense (that's a "conservative" virtue, isn't it?). What is more likely? That Senator Obama has been able to fool all the white folk up until now and is really a closet racist and anti-Semite, or that he's being tarred by association by partisan hacks who oppose his campaign for presidency? As I said, I don't believe that McCain is a bigot even though he has associated with them and praised them effusively for their spiritual leadership. But it's easy to tar a politician by association, and McCain is no exception.
3.14.2008 5:42pm
DG:
{The disadvantages are, in addition to no Israel, not being able to invoke "remember the Holocaust" in defense against antisemites. }

I suggest you read a bit more about the history of Zionism. Some in-depth research might reveal a bit more about ideas for post-mandate Palestine, including the presumed Jewish role, absent anything concerning the Holocaust. As far as your other comment - since when has the Holocaust ever been an effective tool against actual anti-semitism? Why would a jew-hater care? The Holocaust may have made anti-semitism a bit less vocal, its still present and just as severe, in Europe, in a slightly different wrapper. Been to Poland recently?
3.14.2008 5:43pm
DG:
I don't think Senator Obama hates white people. I do think he subscribes to a far loonier version of leftist ideology than he has talked about during the campaign, and his minister is a great example of that. I think that if he is president, we'll see his true colors - red, not black. As far as McCain - no one seriously believes that he shares any of the ideas of the religious right. His disdain for them is palpable and he is embracing them while holding his breath. This is the exact opposite of Obama, who is distancing himself from his former compatriots.
3.14.2008 5:46pm
Rod Blaine (mail):
> 'Antisemites make a lot of claims against jews, but "jews are stupid" is never among them (at least not that I've ever heard)'

Well, there is "On the Political Stupidity of the Jews", but it's by... Irving Kristol.
3.14.2008 5:49pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
BruceM:

"The only thing racists blame blacks for (wrongly of course) is the rape of white women, …"


I'm not sure what you mean by this statement. If you mean racists accuse all or even a majority of blacks of raping white women, then I agree. If you mean that the racists assert the incidence or black-white rape is far higher than the reverse then the racists are right and you are wrong. At least according to the National Crime Victimization Surveys.

"If the holocaust could retroactively be undone, I seriously doubt a majority of Jewish people would want that to happen now."

If someone could get into a time machine go back and change history so that the holocaust never happened, I think almost every Jew would want that.

"The Holocaust is the single biggest trump card jews have (I was born jewish, so don't flame me as an antisemite) and is the sole reason Isreal exists."

I think must people including me would dispute this assertion, particularly the "sole reason" part.

"If you are Jewish, would you give up the "holocaust trump card…"


In a nanosecond.

"But why are african americans so unafraid and unconcerned about having all arguments of racism refuted overnight? Like the Holocaust, they'll still have slavery to argue, but that will also be greatly mitigated by the election of a black president."

It does not matter. We could elect an entirely black government and the recriminations about slavery would never cease.

"I don't think african americans are naive enough to think that merely by having a black president he will have the devine power to end all racism in america during his term in office."

You think you're wrong here. Blacks want the government to fix their shortcomings and it can't do that. As usual Shakespeare said it best. "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

Finally on the replaying of history, I must quote a wise sage who once told me: "if your aunt had balls she'd be your uncle."
3.14.2008 6:00pm
talleyrand (mail):
DG said:

"I think that if he is president, we'll see his true colors - red, not black."

Well said, but off the mark substantively. Obama's econ policies will likely be influenced by his economic advisors, not his pastor. And this is what Gregory Mankiw, Harvard econ prof and former top econ advisor in teh Bush Administration, has to say about them: "They're all top-notch economists. Their views are left of the political center, as one would expect, but only slightly."

See "Obama's Economic Brain Trust Breaks With `Status Quo'"

http://www.bloomberg.com/
3.14.2008 6:06pm
LM (mail):
Mike Cornell and BruceM,

Your willingness to trade 6 million Americans to preserve America isn't remotely analogous to trading the 6 million Holocaust dead for the State of Israel.

1. The Americans, if not actively and voluntarily involved in their country's defense, would at least be its citizens. None of the Holocaust victims volunteered for their sacrifice or had any say in the matter. Nor were they defending Israel, which didn't exist, so they weren't its citizens. Until you go back and get their consent to be martyred for some future Zionist State, you have no analogy.

2. Then there's the matter of your numbers. Six million dead Jews in 1945 in return for an Israel of seven million today* is not analogous to trading six million Americans for our country, population 300 million. To show just how ridiculous your example would be with accurately comparable numbers, the Americans sacrificed would approximate 250 million, far more than our total population in the 1940's. It's obviously beyond serious contemplation how we could lose that number and exist at all, much less with our actual population today.

3. Even if you corrected the arithmetic, the Holocaust was monumentally more significant a loss to world Jewry's historical, cultural core than a mere random subtraction of any given percentage of its population.

4. These distortions are all predictable byproducts of your analogy's biggest flaw, i.e., that the Americans you consider expendable are abstractions, while the Holocaust took actual people with actual histories, families and descendants. And they were actual people who were annihilated not for a nation's survival, but in one of mankind's most reprehensible and pointless atrocities. Anyone who'd presume to legitimize those deaths as an acceptable price for any current benefits would at best play a disgusting game of sophistry.


[*Let's not even deal with the fact that only 5.5 million of those are Jewish.]
3.14.2008 7:13pm
Mac (mail):
Here are some actual quotes of the Rev. Wright.


In DVD copies of his sermons available for purchase, Wright can also be seen questioning America's role in the spreading of the HIV virus that leads to AIDS. In another speech, made in the days after 9/11, he suggested that American foreign policy invited the terror attacks.

"We bombed Hiroshima. We bombed Nagasaki. And we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon and we never batted an eye," Wright said.

"We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because of stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own backyard. America is chickens coming home to roost."
The pastor also said: "The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied."
"There is a man here who can take this country in a new direction," Wright said during his Jan. 13 sermon.

During a Christmas sermon, Wright tried to compare Obama's upbringing to Jesus at the hands of the Romans.

"Barack knows what it means living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people," Wright said. "Hillary would never know that.

"Hillary ain't never been called a nigger. Hillary has never had a people defined as a non-person."

In a Jan. 13 sermon, Wright said:

"Hillary is married to Bill, and Bill has been good to us. No he ain't! Bill did us, just like he did Monica Lewinsky. He was riding dirty."



What is most appalling to me is that Obama is raising his children in this church. Everything else aside, would any of you really want your children to believe that HIV is a government program to commit genocide against people of color? Or that we have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians? Who do you think he means by that? My guess would be Israel.

He knew the minister thinks highly of Farrakhan. Is it reasonable to suppose Obama's children were never exposed to that thought while attending this church?
The Rev. Wright also said, ""There is a man here who can take this country in a new direction," Wright said during his Jan. 13 sermon.

During a Christmas sermon, Wright tried to compare Obama's upbringing to Jesus at the hands of the Romans.

"Barack knows what it means living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people," Wright said. "Hillary would never know that.

"Hillary ain't never been called a nigger. Hillary has never had a people defined as a non-person."

In a Jan. 13 sermon, Wright said:

"Hillary is married to Bill, and Bill has been good to us. No he ain't! Bill did us, just like he did Monica Lewinsky. He was riding dirty."

"There is a man here who can take this country in a new direction," Wright said during his Jan. 13 sermon.

During a Christmas sermon, Wright tried to compare Obama's upbringing to Jesus at the hands of the Romans.

"Barack knows what it means living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people," Wright said. "Hillary would never know that.

"Hillary ain't never been called a nigger. Hillary has never had a people defined as a non-person."

In a Jan. 13 sermon, Wright said:

"Hillary is married to Bill, and Bill has been good to us. No he ain't! Bill did us, just like he did Monica Lewinsky. He was riding dirty."


In a fiery sermon taped and available on DVD, Barack Obama's longtime pastor and spiritual adviser can be seen and heard saying three times: "God damn America."



Again, Obama is OK with his children learning this crap? The Reverend is entitled to his opinion. However, I don't want someone as President who is OK with his kids looking up to a guy who says "God damn America" among the other things mentioned above. Obama's second book Audacity of Hope, he said was inspired by the Rev. Wright.

I can only say that my children would never have been exposed to this vile hatred. I would never had allowed it. I would never have let them look up to a man who hates Whites and Jews and who knows who else? As more of his DVD sermons are explored, we may find out.

You know, I hope I am wrong. But, the children really make me wonder. An adult may indeed pick and choose (although, I still can't see associating with a racist), but when you are willing to raise your children in this cess pool of hate? You can't expect children to pick and choose and know the difference. If you are teaching them this guy is wonderful and right and why else would you be attending this church with them, then I think the pick and choose argument falls apart.
3.14.2008 8:17pm
LM (mail):
Mike Cornell and BruceM,

Allow me to make my point in more personal terms.

My dad's commitment to Israel went so far as to place him on what many might consider the wrong side of the line of duel loyalty. He swore his undivided loyalty to this country, he served honorably in the Army, and he never would have sided against the US to favor Israel. But he did play a significant, obviously criminal role in smuggling guns to the Irgun. And having done so never caused him a moment's guilt or regret, only pride. In other words, he was a seriously committed Zionist, and remained so to his death.

At the same time, his Jewish religious identity was more conflicted. Having been a lifelong observant, by some definitions Orthodox Jew, upon learning of the Holocaust, he stopped his daily prayer rituals and all related religious practices. He abandoned Kosher dietary practices, and other than to introduce his children to Judaism through membership in a Reform Synagogue, he never again attended religious services. In short, he was furious at God, and he took that grudge with him to his grave right alongside his love for Israel.

And if he were here to ask if he'd trade even a single Jew who was gassed in Auschwitz for the State of Israel he dearly loved, not only am I certain he'd say that he would not, I'm confident he'd be offended at the very suggestion. When I hear that question, I reflexively feel that my love and respect for his memory demands no less.
3.14.2008 8:31pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
LM: In my 12:53am post (at the end) I noted that comparing 6 million americans to 6 millions jews/isrealis is not a valid comparison.

As for your dad, when was he born? When did he die? Would he be considered a "contemporary" Jew? Someone who was alive during the holocaust is excluded from my definition of contemporary jew.

That being said, I respect your post and I respect your father.

Maybe I'm jaded. I constantly see young jewish people on TV defending Isreal with "holocaust this" and "holocaust that" and these are the people I am referring to in my initial post. I'm willing to reconsider my statement that "a majority of (contemporary) jews" would want the holocaust to retroactively be undone. However I do still believe that a significant percentage (though possibly less than a majority) would.


A. Zarkov:

If you mean racists accuse all or even a majority of blacks of raping white women, then I agree.

Yeah that accusation, as well as the spread of that fear, is what I was saying. Just trying to distinguish jew-hatred from black-hatred. The sine qua non of antisemitism is not that Jews are uncontrollable, violent beasts with insatiable sexual desires.

If someone could get into a time machine go back and change history so that the holocaust never happened, I think almost every Jew would want that.

See, I know it sounds insanely cynical and jaded, but now -- over half a century after the fact -- with countless benefits and remunerations obtained as a result of and in sympathy due to the Holocaust (Israel being numero uno), I really don't agree with that statement. In fact, it is my gut feeling that the more supportive of Israel a modern, contemporary Jew is, the less likely he/she would be to desire using a time machine to go back and prevent the Holocaust.

It does not matter. We could elect an entirely black government and the recriminations about slavery would never cease.

Are you referring solely to claims for monetary slavery reparations? I'd agree that even with an entirely black American government, a small group of african americans would still want money as "reparations" for slavery. But if we elected an entirely black government, all claims about institutional racism, a racist government, racist laws and policies, would be estopped.
3.14.2008 10:42pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"In fact, it is my gut feeling that the more supportive of Israel a modern, contemporary Jew is, the less likely he/she would be to desire using a time machine to go back and prevent the Holocaust."

I support Israel and I would certainly go back and prevent the Holocaust if I could. Of course I'm only one person, but for obvious reasons, I think I have a lot of company. Unless you can produce some evidence for your speculative assertion, I don't think many will take you seriously.

"But if we elected an entirely black government, all claims about institutional racism, a racist government, racist laws and policies, would be estopped."


Since even a black democratic government cannot fix the ills many blacks suffer, or close the average white-black achievement gap, the recriminations would continue. The members of the government would get accused of being "Oreo Cookies."
3.15.2008 6:28am
M. Simon (mail) (www):
The fact that the percentage of Jews and Blacks winning Nobel Prizes, versus the American population large, is weirdly reversed (about .1% versus about 20%) is one of those things that polite people don't mention, like a piece of parsley stuck between your two front teeth. If we as a nation could speak a bit more frankly about the obvious, maybe we could figure out what, if anything, is wrong.
3.15.2008 2:28pm
Tom R (mail):
> "if we elected an entirely black government"

Does anyone hear know enough about South Africa since 1994 to test this claim empirically?

Of course, the comparison won't be exact since SA has a [b]lack President, Cabinet, Legislature, etc elected by a [b]lack majority, whereas in the US, presumably they'd be elected by a white majority. It's not completely outlandish to imagine the US electing a President Obama, Powell, or Rice (or Patrick or Steele?) - less counterfactual than the alternative universe of the film Black Man's Burden (1996).
3.15.2008 5:15pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
wrt the Holocaust:
If it did not have mana in the present, people wouldn't be attempting to make it worse, in the sense of finding even more peoples and institutions guilty.
One issue is the accusation that the Allies didn't bomb the rail spurs leading from the main lines to the camps.
If the Allies had cared, they would have bombed the spurs.
Bogus.
If the spurs had been cut, the Jews would have been dismounted at the break and msde to walk. No difference.
If the main lines were bombed, no transport at all, or greatly delayed while the repairs were made and the remaining rolling stock was used to supply the war machine. In addition, bombing the spurs does not otherwise inconvenience the German ability to wage war, extend the war, and give themselves time to kill Jews.
The Eight Air Force had more guys kiled bombing the Reich than the Marines lost fighting in the Pacific, and a substantial part of that effort was directed at railroads, marshalling yards and so forth. The Ninth Air Force, tactical, did more work strafing trains and other transport facilities in France and Western Europe.
The RAF lost more guys, about 50,000.
The famed 617 RAF Squadron, the Dam Busters, modified their aircraft for special bombs designed to destroy railroad bridges--difficult to hit and difficult, once hit, to destroy--named Tallboy and Grand Slam.
Every hit on a transportation facility delayed the transport of Jews and hastened the end of the war.
Yet the aura of The Holocaust is so valuable that even more guilty parties must be found.
So, without answering the question of whether some Jews would not want to go without the Holocaust, the fact is that, today, it remains extremely valuable.
3.15.2008 7:52pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
Exactly, the Holocaust (or the "aura of the Holocaust" - good way of saying it) is extremely valuable to Jews, no matter how politically incorrect and morbid it may sound. When you're a disliked minority (for whatever reason or for no reason at all as is usually the case), being able to cite to a historical fact to gain sympathy is simply invaluable.
3.15.2008 8:17pm
LM (mail):
Assuming the premise arguendo, without the Holocaust Jews would be at a loss for examples to cite?
3.15.2008 10:08pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
LM.
I suspect pogroms in Poland in the late nineteenth century would have less weight with the rest of the world than did the Holocaust.
There were huge numbers of Allied soldiers who witnessed the results of the Holocaust, and the survivors and their children have done reasonably well--to keep the story alive--in other countries.
Nothing in the history of the Jews could remotely have the impact of the Holocaust.
My father, who had pushed Infantry platoons and companies through Europe had the most trouble with his guys afterward. They were set to explore the backroads and paths of their little patch of Europe and look for dead people. My father thought they were escapees from the camps at the end of the war who died of disease and exposure.
Goldenhagen says they were the detritus of the end-of-war walkabouts the camp staffs did.
The American soldier will follow a good officer to Hell and make Hell regret the visit. But he doesn't do a good job of policing up the dead, his own especially, or others.
After having used up "every stretcher in the Third Army", the effort was reduced to hauling the cadavers to the side of the road and making a note on a map for the juice freaks of Graves Registration.
And the guys "ain't gonna pick up no more dead people, Lieutenant".
No event in Jewish history has come within a million miles of its effect on the rest of the world.
That some feel it has to be embellished is telling.
3.15.2008 11:56pm
LM (mail):
I don't have a position on whether there's any significant embellishment of the Holocaust going on. I'm not aware of having seen it, but I don't deny it's possible. I do find it idiotic that anyone would consider it necessary. As for the Polish pogroms, they hardly scratch the surface of the pre-Holocaust history I had in mind. My point was that for anyone familiar with the history of the Jewish people, the Holocaust is unnecessary to make the case for a pattern of civil, clerical and popular persecution that's followed Jews geographically and across time. And anyone who's managed to blind himself to all that history isn't likely to be deterred by the Holocaust.
3.16.2008 12:39am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
LM.
You may be right, as far as Jews go.
But the effect on the rest of the world was pretty slim.
George Washington promised the Jews they'd be allowed, as I recall, to sit under their own vine and fig tree and none shall make them afraid. I expect GW had the history you speak of in mind.
But he was an educated and extremely wise man.
It took the Holocaust to genuinely impress the rest of the world.
Thing is, many ethnic groups had their own history of persecution. The Armenians come to mind, the Irish are still unhappy with the Sassenachs, Scottish devolution still refers to Culloden and the Clearances.
Without the Holocaust, the Jews would be one more, with particularly good record-keeping.
3.16.2008 12:56am
LM (mail):
Richard,

It's a fair point that most ethnic persecution lacks the notoriety anti-Semitism reached with the Holocaust, but even a genocide of comparable proportions didn't spare the Armenians their ongoing fight to write that chapter in history. As for whether my perception of anti-Semitism's unusual duration and breadth of persistence reflects reality, variable record-keeping or just my own bias, I don't know, but neither do I think it matters much. The importance of remembering brutality is to honor the dead and prevent its repetition, not to create hierarchies of suffering.
3.16.2008 2:14am
yankev (mail):

As far as your other comment - since when has the Holocaust ever been an effective tool against actual anti-semitism? Why would a jew-hater care? The Holocaust may have made anti-semitism a bit less vocal, its still present and just as severe, in Europe, in a slightly different wrapper. Been to Poland recently?

For that matter, been to an ANSWER rallly, or read any public statements by "moderate" Mahmoud Abbas and his mouthpeice Saeb Erekat, yemach shemam? They are all busy accusing Israel of being the new Nazis and planning and carrying out a new Holocaust against the Palestinians. The Holocaust made overt anti-semitism unfashionable in the West for a few decades, but that temporary respite has ended. Today it simply adds to the list of available charges for blood libelists to use.
3.16.2008 4:06pm
eddie22 (mail):
Do not overlook the fact that Obama is not African American.
He is Kenian-American.

His core identity is not linked to slavery/inferiority being a 'black animal', but to the country of his father - Kenia.

Colin Powell is Scottish American by the way.

You may not understand the full meaning of this if you have not personally experienced it.
3.16.2008 4:10pm
yankev (mail):

My point was that for anyone familiar with the history of the Jewish people, the Holocaust is unnecessary to make the case for a pattern of civil, clerical and popular persecution that's followed Jews geographically and across time.
Sadly, LM, even among Jews, that's a very small number of people.
3.16.2008 4:14pm