Why Isn’t There More Anti-Semitism in America?

Burt wants all of his readers on BernardGoldberg.com to enjoy a Christmas/Chanukah present. After you finish this article, don’t miss “Critiquing the Sioux City Debates.” Burt and Yvonne wish all the readers on BernardGoldberg.com a Happy Chanukah and a very Merry Christmas.

Recently, I had an exchange with my friend Alan Caruba, a fellow Jew who had written a piece in which he pointed out that in hard economic times anti-Semites have a greater tendency to crawl out from under their favorite rocks.

After acknowledging that he was right, I went on to state that as an American Jew, I was frankly surprised that there wasn’t more hatred of Jews than there is. And for once, I was being totally serious. If I weren’t Jewish, I could see how I, as a conservative, could be very antagonistic towards Jews. I mean, not being a total barbarian, I would try to be fair; I would attempt to balance things off by listing all of the Jewish contributions to medicine and science, literature and music, Hollywood and Broadway. I would think how much more unpleasant modern life would be without the efforts of Jonas Salk, George Gershwin, Albert Einstein, Richard Rodgers, Saul Bellow, J.D. Salinger, Jerome Kern, Billy Wilder, Carl Sagan and Milton Friedman. And that’s just the tiny tip of a huge iceberg.

But the fact remains that Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, Noam Chomsky and Saul Alinsky, also form a small portion of a fairly large toxic dump. It’s also true that the reason that people equate Jews with shady financial practices isn’t entirely due to the libelous charges planted in The Protocols of Zion, but to high-profile scoundrels named George Soros, Bernie Madoff, Michael Milken, Joshua Gould and Bernie Cornfeld. It doesn’t help that Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs could just as easily be the names of two kosher delis.

Speaking of which, why is it that it’s only beloved Jews who ever got around to changing their names? Why was it always the likes of Danny Kaye (nee David Kaminsky), Jack Benny (Benjamin Kubelsky), Mel Brooks (Mel Kaminsky), Woody Allen (Allen Konigsberg), George Burns (Nathan Birnbaum), Kirk Douglas (Issur Danielovitch), John Garfield (Jacob Julius Garfinkle), Eddie G. Robinson (Emanuel Goldenberg), Tony Curtis (Bernie Schwartz), Shelley Winters (Shirley Schrift), Lauren Bacall (Betty Joan Perske), Judy Holliday (Judith Tuvim) and Irving Berlin (Israel Isidore Baline), and never such national disasters as Henry Waxman, Michael Bloomberg, Barney Frank, Charles Schumer and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz?

Speaking of which, as a conservative, it pains me to have to acknowledge that while there are 31 members in the House and another 13 in the Senate who are Jewish, only one, Eric Cantor, is a Republican. When you realize that Jews represent less than three percent of the American population, the fact that they represent 13% of the Senate and nearly nine percent of the House, you get some idea of what a difference these people would make if only they used their power for good!

Fortunately, in spite of 80% of American Jews being so besotted with the Left that they would vote for Daffy Duck so long as he was running as a Democrat, we are not entirely insane and, with fewer and fewer exceptions, such as Jon Stewart (formerly Jonathan Leibowitz), we no longer feel we have to change our names in order to advance our careers. As a result, Bernard Goldberg, Charles Krauthammer, Dennis Prager, Mark Levin, Michael Medved, Ben Shapiro, Harry Stein, Lionel Chetwynd and Ronald Radosh, make no secret of the fact that they are both Jewish and conservative. I must confess I thought I’d be able to include Mark Steyn, but I checked and found out that he was baptized as a Catholic and confirmed as an Anglican, which probably explains the funny spelling.

Why isn’t there more anti-Semitism in America? After all, we Jews tend to be extremely out of step with the majority of Americans, who tend to be slightly right of center. Moreover, even aside from all those leftwing politicians who carry Barack Obama’s water, no matter if the issue is the stimulus, pandering to public sector unions or ObamaCare, we include in our ranks such prominent leftwing loudmouths as Ed Asner, Barbra Streisand and Sean Penn.

The answer is surprisingly simple. It appears that America’s Christians, by and large, are decent, logical and patriotic. As a result, they not only subscribe to the words found in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, but the other, older ones, inscribed in their Bible. And it probably doesn’t hurt that their savior happened to be Jewish.

©2011 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com!
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Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
Author website: http://www.burtprelutsky.com/
  • Lexa Kyle

    Dear Santa Burt,

    I have loved you since hearing about you on Joseph Farah’s WND years ago.

    Thank you for another brilliant column.

    Happy New Year,

  • Burt Prelutsky

    Wil: I could do all the things you ask, but I believe your questions are all of a rhetorical nature and you, therefore, aren’t seeking answers, but are merely looking to vent your dislike of Israel.


  • Wil Burns

    Can someone explain for me how the USA’s “bond with Israel is unbreakable”, what makes Israel a “friend”, how Isreal has blind and unquestioning allegiance from the USA regardless of world opinion……..and how does Israel so effectively manipulate USA foreign policy?

    • rider237

      provide some examples please? it seems to me, that over the years, we have manipulated their policies far more than they, ours.

      as for why they are a friend, there are a number of reasons. among them, the intel we share, and the fact that they are the only democracy in the region. our policy for many years had been to support democracy in other countries, and especially in that region (for better or worse). we also have a kind of psychological bent toward supporting underdogs. since they are surrounded by countries that have tried in the past to destroy them, and some who still swear to do so, they are a natural pick for us to support.

      do YOU ever wonder why the tiny speck makes the Muslim countries so crazy? that’s a far more interesting question, i think.

  • Burt Prelutsky

    cmacrider: I appreciate your balanced and tolerant response to what was in fact a rhetorical question.

    However, I have to challenge your third statement. Although there is a fairly equal divide between liberals and conservatives in other groups, when it comes to blacks and Jews, the divide is enormous. In fact, these days conservative blacks in the House outnumber conservative Jews 2-1. That is literally 2-1, Eric Cantor being the one heretic.

    In the Senate, there are no Jewish Republicans. And when it comes to presidential elections, there is not much of a difference between blacks, who vote 90% for the Democrat, and Jews, who give 80% of their votes to the left-winger.


    • cmacrider

      Burt: Point well taken but will the Jewish vote stay Democrat if the Dems keep veering further and further to the Left?

  • cmacrider

    Burt: As a Anglo-Saxon (Scottish & English)Canadian let me suggest a few reasons why I personally (and a great majority of my type) do not harbour anti-semitic sentiments:

    1. As an inheritor of the Christian tradition, I am sufficiently intelligent to recognize that Christianity is built upon Judaism and hence Europe and North America have a Judaic Christian tradition. As a result of this historical fact, on the basic fundamental of how a society should operate …. Jews and Christians attempt to practice the same value system.
    2. Although every “tribe” has their bad apples, as a general proposition the Jewish people have endeavoured to fit in with the cultural tradition in which they find themselves and have made solid (if not outstanding) contributions to their respective society.
    3. Unless you maintain strict vigilance, you can’t tell who is Jewish and who isn’t because they are like the rest of us … pro democratic some Left wing and some Right wing.
    4. Anti-Semitism is the preserve of the extreme Right and Left (Stalinism has been as anti semitic as was Hitler’s regime) because the democratic thread that runs through modern Judaism is a distinct threat to them and an ally to people who are proponents of liberal democracies.
    5. Yes …there are many Jewish people in the financial world and of great wealth. However, most of us realize two things (a) there is a historic reason for that namely the charging of interest was forbidden by Christianity until it was recognized that interest is the equivalent of rental paid on capital and then non Jewish people got into the business and (b) there are as many people who are Jewish that are poor as there are in other “tribes”.
    6. Jews do not try to force their religious beliefs on others … do not proclaim the rest of us to be infidels who should either convert or die. I have yet to have a Jew coming to my door to attempt to convert me which unfortunately I cannot claim to be true for some of the more fundamentalist Christian types.
    7. Anti-Semitism cannot be justified on an intellectual basis.

  • Burt Prelutsky

    Brendan: You have explained American exceptionalism in about 70 words. You would think that even Obama could grasp it, but apparently that’s not the case.


  • Brendan Horn

    The founders of this country had great foresight when they created a country with freedom of religion, free speech, and a free press. These freedoms have made this a country where people are exposed to many different ideas and beliefs and so people have become accustomed to differences and are not generally threatened by the beliefs of others. Intelligent discourse easily defeats anti-Semitic ideas.

  • Burt Prelutsky

    Ken–A lot of anti-Semites adopt the soft approach by claiming that they don’t hate Jews, but merely oppose Israeli policies. It was bullshit back when Vanessa Redgrave used to mouth it and it’s bullshit now. Nobody in his or her right mind could look at Israel and then look at its enemies and decide that the Arabs and Muslims hold the moral high ground.

    rider237: How can anyone not regard Jews and blacks as voting blocs when, election after election, they vote for left-wing candidates by overwhelming margins? That would be as silly as denying that Jewish and black politicians are nearly always Democrats.

    Regards, Burt

  • Ken Besig, Israel

    This week Tom Friedman, who is apparently Jewish, and a leading writer for the New York Times, repeated some of the worst anti Semitic canards while castigating Israel. Tom may not be anti Semitic himself, but he sure sounds like it.
    And the Ron Paul campaign and Ron himself are deeply anti Jewish and make no bones about it.
    Of course for Tom and Ron, they engage in the “soft” anti Israel bigotry to disguise their real and abiding dislike for Jews. When the “paper of record” is willing to employ a Jewish anti Semite and a possible GOP nominee can run on an anti Jewish and anti Israel record, I would say that anti Semitism is alive and well.

    • rider237

      some of the worst antisemites seem to be Jewish. i think it’s like the wealthy asking for higher taxes. “yes, i’m one of them, but not really!”.
      Ron Paul is a nut. he is the head of the Cult of Ron Paul. while his followers are enthusiastic and loud, they are among the least informed…and they are not conservatives. i’d be in the 1% if i had a buck for every one of them that has told me they’ll vote for Obama if RP is not the nominee. go figure….

      just as there is still racism against other groups, there will be some against Jews. it’s just the way it is.

  • rider237

    i agree with Glen. i also find more antisemitism on the left, especially among older dems and Catholics, but not exclusively. look at some of the stuff out of OWS.
    a lot of conservatives are (non-catholic) Christians. they believe that the Jews are Gods chosen and to deny them is to risk the wrath of God.
    most conservatives that i know do not practice identity politics. they don’t see Jews, or anyone else, as a voting block.

    i don’t see mystery or lunacy in the fact that the Jews embrace the left. they do it for the same reason the catholics embrace the left. traditionally, the religion and government are one. if your religion is responsible for all that you do in your life and your religion is also your government, then big government is for you!

    + the old guard republicans were not so friendly to either Jews or Catholics :-)but, neither were the old guard dems.

  • Burt Prelutsky

    Glen: Like you, I don’t generally concern myself with anyone’s ethnicity. Still, it is hard to ignore when so much blood is spilled in the name of Islam and when 43 out of 44 Jewish members of Congress carry water for Obama and the loony Left.


    • cmacrider

      Burt: I think you will have to agree that the Democratic Party has been moving more and more to what you describe as the “looney left.” I think it is fair to say that when the Democratic Party was centrist or centre/left that it may have been a more “comfortable fit” for Jewish people than was the Republican/conservative Party. As the Democrats continue to veer farther left, look for more and more Jewish people finding a home in the Republican Party. This is definitely happening in Canada where Harper has made “pro-Israel” a conservative tenet simply because Israel is (a) democratic and (b)pro-western and (c) attempts to operate on some modern rational basis. In holding this position does not preclude Canadian Conservatives from examining Israel objectively and critiquing their policies if we feel they are in error .. however that does not require one to be anti-semitic. After all Canadians are critical of American policy over the Keystone XL pipeline which is quite distinct from being anti-American.

  • Glen Stambaugh

    I don’t think most people judge others by their ethnicity. Tho the right has been sterotyped with this, it appears to me once the few nazi types are removed from the equation, the lefties are the ones emphasizing racial difference.

    Your list is an amazing set of brilliance and talent, many of whom I never knew were Jewish. I puzzle over the liberal bent of most Jews, including your list more intelligent than I am… yet so blind to the obvious. Beyond that I don’t care that they happen to be Jewish.