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 toward 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 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 3 percent of the American population, the fact that they represent 13 percent of the Senate and nearly 9 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 percent 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 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 left-wing 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 left-wing 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.