|May 28th, 2009||#1|
Jews Exercise Extreme Power While Fronting as Tiny, Aggrieved Minority
[Jews acknowledge their great power in this article. Anti-jews point out that jews use their power for evil. If the jews were rich and powerful but helped people, no one would think twice about them, just as no one thinks twice about the Amish. But jews are a tremendous force for the negative. They student of jewry will always, always, always reach the conclusion that they are the racial embodiment of evil.]
Rise Of US Jewish Power -
'Nothing Short Of Astounding'
From Israel Shamir
Some news items should be read in conjunction: otherwise, they make little sense. Recently, we were informed by Vanity Fair, that Jewish element with the US elites crossed 50%. Five years ago, it was assessed at 30%, now we are up to more than half.
In the artcle below, a Jewish editor feels happy about this achievement. But how non-Jewish Americans should view it? Why should they care? And here we offer you a second news item, saying that social disparity gap in the US reached new heights.
This is the answer: the more Jewish power at the top, more social disparity at the bottom. In short, when it is good for Jews, it is rarely good for anybody else. Read these two articles in conjunction:
Feel The power
By Joseph Aaron
I just can't help it.
This kind of thing gives me a big thrill. And a big chill.
It's not that often that you find the entire state of Jewish life today encapsulated in one place. So when you do, it's worth taking note of and learning from.
The place of which I speak is the October issue of Vanity Fair magazine. Vanity Fair is one of the most fascinating magazines around, one that every issue features an amazingly eclectic collection of articles, from the very serious to the complet ely frivolous.
Indeed, while the October issue features such stories as "How $9 billion in cash vanished in Iraq;" "Inside Bush's bunker;" "How the Media Gored Al Gore in 2000;" and more, the cover features Nicole Kidman wearing a sailor cap and opening her shirt to reveal her nautical necklace and her brassiere.
Vanity Fair is nothing if not on the cutting edge of where society is and is going. Vanity Fair is definitely not a Jewish publication.
And yet, in this one issue, it tells us more about the Jewish world as it is today than any lecture or book or class out there.
It does that in two ways.
The first is its annual list of what it calls The New Establishment, the 100 most powerful, most influential people in American society.
What is absolutely amazing, stunning about the list is how many Jews there are on it. Jews make up about 2.5 percent of the U.S. population so there should be two or three Jews on the list.
Guess again, bubeleh.
The list of the Vanity Fair 100 includes, get ready, 51, yes 51 Jews.
I say 51 because that's how many I'm sure are Jewish. There may be others on the list who are Jewish but who I don't know are Jewish and whose names are not obviously Jewish.
But let's say I got them all. That means that more than half the names on the list of the 100 people who are the most vital to this society are Jewish. And this is a list that includes Apple's Steve Jobs and Oprah and Bill Clinton and Warren Buffett, to name a few of the few non-Jews on the list.
That is absolutely nothing short of astounding.
Talk about us being accepted into this society, talk about us having power in this society, talk about anti-Semitism being a thing of the past, talk about Jews no longer needing to be afraid to be visible and influential.
And it doesn't stop there.
The magazine also has a separate list of what it calls The Next Establishment, younger people it believes destined to make the big list some year soon.
Of the 26 names on that list, 15 are Jews. That I'm sure of. 15 of 26. More than half.
And it doesn't stop there.
The magazine also has a separate list of what it calls The Pit-Stop Club, those who have made The New Establishment list in the past but who didn't make it this year but are fairly certain to make a comeback in a future year.
Of the nine names on this list, eight are Jews. Eight out of nine. Don Imus is the only non-Jew on the list.
I mean, it's just unbelievable.
This is a big country with lots and lots of very talented, highly educated, tremendously motivated people. And no one has its finger on the pulse of the people who make this country what it is more than Vanity Fair.
And when it came time to pick the 100 who most move and shake things in America, more than half-more than half-are Jews. And on the list of those who will one day be on that list, more than half-more than half-are Jews. Not to mention that almost 100 percent of those who were on the list and are poised to make a comeback are Jews.
Tells you so much about the place of Jews in this country, about the amazing people Jews are.
That's something we should never take for granted, something we should always be blown away by, feel very, very good about.
Instead, however, the Jewish world is so much about kvetching and worrying.
When will we learn to fight fights that matter. When will we learn not everything needs to be made a big deal of. Not everything we don't like is a threat, indeed some of the things we don't like only become a nuisance because we make a big deal out of it.
We are powerful, very powerful. We play a major, pivotal role in the life of this country. And yet we are always acting like scared little mice on the verge of annihilation.
And if you think how we are doesn't have consequences, please look at something else in this Vanity Fair issue, something that also tells us much about Jewish life today.
There is an article in the magazine called "Talk of the Town." It tells the story of the intense rivalry between two of the most powerful men on Wall Street, Henry Kravis and Stephen Schwarzman.
Both, as you may have guessed, are Jews. Both are at the very top of the private equity world, which is where the financial action is these days. Both control tens of billions of dollars worth of assets.
The first thing that struck me about the story is what jerks both are, each trying to top the other, destroy the other, outdo the other. Not to mention the abominable way that each treats their employees. Each acts in ways that are not very much in keeping with the teachings and values of Judaism.
That's sad, but that's not what got to me. What got to me is how much these two do, how much these two give, to all kinds of good causes-libraries and museums and hospitals and universities and on and on, all mentioned by name in the article. You read and see how much energy each puts into his charitable work, how much money each donates to charitable causes. Doing so, it is very clear, for the social status and clout it brings.
What is also clear is that it seems neither is involved in or gives to Jewish causes, at least not in any significant way.
That too tells you a lot about Jewish life today.
For they are not alone. The fact is that, as survey after survey has shown, most very wealthy Jews in this country do not give to Jewish causes. Certainly not the tens of million dollars they so eagerly give to a university or a museum.
The question is why they feel so little allegiance to their own community, their own people, why they so much look elsewhere to devote their resources and their energies.
I think it's because we have made Judaism such an unpleasant place.
Judaism has so many powerful people among us, as the Vanity Fair 100 list shows. We are such a part of this society, have such impact on this society and yet we're always unhappy, always feel victimized, always kvetch about this and that. It's always another Holocaust around the corner, there's always the next Hitler on the scene, Israel is always embattled, we're always worried, always scared, always sure the end is near.
Well, who the hell wants to join that little party?
Because we so squander all the good that has come our way, too many of us are simply opting to go their own way, to be part of things that don't involve guilt and neuroticism.
More than half those on the Vanity Fair 100 are Jews. And yet we don't feel powerful, indeed, the very fact of the list makes us even more nervous than we were before. Instead of being pleased and taking pride, we fret that it's not so good to be so visible, bad that the gentiles see how much influence we have. And so we take even an occasion for joys and make it one for oys.
Is it any wonder then that if we always make out that Jewish life, despite all evidence to the contrary, is a scary and dreary place, that those who have made it, want nothing to do with it?
Social Inequality In US Hits New Record
By Bill Van Auken
16 October 2007
The Internal Revenue Service issued a report last week documenting record levels of social inequality in the United States. According to the data released by the IRS, America's wealthiest 1 percent accounted for 21 percent of all income in 2005, while the bottom 50 percent earned just 12.8 percent of the total national income.
While the share of income taken in by the wealthiest 1 percent rose steeply-up three points from 19 percent in 2004-the share for the half of the population at the bottom of the economic ladder fell during the same period by 0.6 percent.
The IRS data, published in the Wall Street Journal last Friday, are based on "adjusted gross income" reflected in tax returns for 2005. This measure provides a starker and more accurate picture than other indices of the staggering polarization between wealth and poverty in America.
It records individual income after deductions for such expenses as alimony or individual retirement accounts, and includes capital gains, a major source of income for the very rich. It also breaks down the figures relating to the wealthiest social layers, spelling out the obscene levels of income raked in by the top 1 percent and top 0.1 percent, as opposed to other reports that lump this relative handful of multimillionaires and billionaires together with average figures for the top 10 percent.
The share claimed by this wealthiest layer has now surpassed the previous record recorded during the stock market boom of the 1990s. And, while the IRS has kept such data only since 1986, it is believed that the present percentage of the national income going to this layer is higher than at any time since the period that preceded the Wall Street crash of 1929 and the Great Depression.
Even George W. Bush is compelled to acknowledge the prevalence of social inequality in America. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the president said, "First of all, our society has had income inequality for a long time." By way of explanation, Bush, the offspring of a family worth many millions, declared, "Skills gaps yield income gaps."
The Wall Street Journal was more candid than the president, acknowledging that while the IRS did not spell out the source of rising income for the wealthy, the "boom on Wall Street has likely played a part."
The newspaper went on to point out the enormous accumulation of wealth on Wall Street itself, citing a recent study from the University of Chicago showing that twice as many Wall Street executives count themselves in the top 0.5 percent income bracket as their counterparts in other sectors of the economy. One of the authors of the study, Joshua Rauh, told the Journal, "It's hard to escape the notion" that the increasing monopolization of wealth at the top is a "Wall Street, financial industry-based story."
Summarizing the study, the Journal reported that "the highest-earning hedge-fund manager earned double in 2005 what the top earner made in 2003, and the top 25 hedge-fund managers earned more in 2004 than the chief executives of all the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index combined." The study also found "profits per equity partner at the top 100 law firms doubling between 1994 and 2004, to over $1 million in 2004 dollars."
The data released by the IRS indicated that the minimum annual income needed to make it into the top 1 percent rose 3 percent between 2000 and 2005 to $364,647.
On the opposite end of the social scale, the median income of tax filers had fallen 2 percent between 2000 and 2005 to just $30,881, with fully half of the population struggling to get by on less than that.
Earlier data released by the US Census Bureau established that every section of the population outside of the top 5 percent saw their real income fall between 2000 and 2005.
According to one recent study, while real income for the bottom 90 percent of the population fell by 11 percent between 1973 and 2005, those in the top .01 percent bracket, comprising some 14,000 households with annual incomes averaging nearly $13 million, saw their take increase by 250 percent over the same period.
What emerges from the data are the effects of a long-standing social policy involving a massive transfer of wealth from working people, the great majority of the population, to a handful of the super-wealthy, who have enriched themselves at the expense of the rest of society.
This is not merely an American, but rather a global policy that has been carried out on the backs of the working class of every country. A study released last week by the Boston Consulting Group found that the world's 9.6 million millionaires-comprising just 0.7 percent of the earth's population-now control $33.2 trillion in wealth-roughly a third of all the wealth in the world. According to the study, the world's wealthiest 0.1 percent-those with $5 million or more in financial assets-now owns 17.5 percent of global wealth.
Meanwhile, half of the world's population-some 3 billion people-live on less than $2 a day.
The social cost of this vast accumulation of wealth by the financial elite grows daily. A report issued last week by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the Center for Social Policy at the University of Massachusetts in Boston found that 41 million working families in America-one in five-are unable to cover the costs of basic necessities with the money they earn working for low pay and no benefits.
The study found that many of these workers are ineligible for federal support in the form of child care assistance, the Earned Income Tax Credit, Food Stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. Eligibility for such assistance has been steadily tightened by federal and state governments.
The demagogy of the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates about defending the "middle class" notwithstanding, these policies have been enacted by Democratic and Republican administrations alike. The growth of income inequality in America has continued unbroken since 1973, spurred by the high-interest-rate, recessionary policies enacted by Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker-Democratic President Jimmy Carter's appointee-with the deliberate aim of driving up unemployment, slashing wages and unleashing a big business offensive against the working class.
It was under the Clinton administration that the top 1 percent set their previous record share of the national income-20.8 percent in 2000, Clinton's last year in the White House. This was up from about 14 percent when he first took office.
The increased concentration of wealth was fueled by the Democratic administration's deregulation of the financial markets, which spurred the financial bubble of the '90s that gave rise to much of today's financial elite. At the other end of the social ladder, the Clinton White House carried out a ruthless war against the working class and poor, carrying through its pledge to "end welfare as we know it" and slashing other areas of social spending.
From the beginning of the Bush administration, the Democrats have helped pass round after round of tax cuts for the rich, running into the trillions of dollars. Even a limited proposal to close a tax loophole that has allowed hedge and equity fund managers earning hundreds of millions of dollars a year to pay a lower tax rate than a bus driver or an office worker was shelved earlier this month by the Democratic Senate leadership, in deference to the party's well-heeled contributors on Wall Street.
The inequality that pervades every facet of American society inevitably finds its expression within the Democratic Party, which, while posturing as the party of the people, remains a political instrument of the ruling financial elite. Among the Democratic candidates, the three front-runners-Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards-are all millionaires.
Roughly half of the US Senate is made up millionaires, many of them Democrats. The House, meanwhile, is led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who in her latest financial disclosure forms reported that she and her investor husband conducted some 30 stock sales and purchases last year, many of them involving sums up to $1 million each. She also reported owning a California vineyard, valued between $5 million and $25 million.
The Democrats will do no more to reverse the growth of social inequality than they will to end the war in Iraq. In the final analysis, the explosion of militarism abroad and the destruction of working class living standards at home are two sides of a common political agenda aimed at funneling the wealth of the US and the world into the coffers of a financial oligarchy.
|June 13th, 2009||#2|
1REV. WRIGHT NAMES THE JEW
“Wright says ‘Jews’ keeping him from Obama (AP)”
Thu Jun 11, 7:17 pm ET
HAMPTON, Va. – President Barack Obama’s controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, blamed “them Jews” in an interview this week for keeping him from speaking to the president, but later apologized.
Wright, the former pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, said he hasn’t spoken to Obama since he became president.
“Them Jews ain’t going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter that he’ll talk to me in five years when he’s a lame duck, or in eight years when he’s out of office,” Wright told the Daily Press of Newport News following a Tuesday night sermon at the 95th annual Hampton University Ministers’ Conference.
“They will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. … I said from the beginning: He’s a politician; I’m a pastor. He’s got to do what politicians do.”
Wright issued a statement Thursday that he was “disturbed and deeply saddened” that his comments were stirring discussion again.
“I apologize for the way I framed my comments. I mis-spoke and I sincerely meant no harm or ill-will to the American Jewish community or the Obama administration,” Wright said. “I have great respect for the Jewish faith and the foundational (and central) part of our Judeo-Christian tradition.”
Obama was a longtime member of the church but resigned from it and cut ties with Wright after videos surfaced during the presidential campaign showing Wright’s sometimes provocative sermons. Wright’s incendiary comment included shouting “God damn America” and accusing the government of creating AIDS.
In the interview Tuesday, Wright also criticized Obama for not sending a U.S. delegation to the World Conference on Racism held recently in Geneva, Switzerland, saying Obama chose not to for fear of offending Jews and Israel.
“Ethnic cleansing is going on in Gaza. Ethnic cleansing (by) the Zionist is a sin and a crime against humanity, and they don’t want Barack talking like that because that’s anti-Israel,” Wright said.
The White House declined to comment to the Associated Press on Thursday on Wright’s remarks
|June 17th, 2009||#3|
[Jews siphon off MOST money devoted to security. Fuck everyone else is the first commandment of judaism.]
Jewish groups get majority of security grants
June 17, 2009
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- More than 60 percent of $15 million in security grants released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will go to Jewish-affiliated groups.
Homeland Security did not release a list of grant recipients, but a person with knowledge of the list told JTA that 144 of the 227 nonprofits that received awards Tuesday are part of the Jewish community.
The grants are part of Homeland Security's Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which allows nonprofit groups in 62 designated high-threat urban areas to apply for money to acquire and install physical security enhancements intended to deter and detect terrorists and extremists such as video surveillance, blastproof windows and doors, and other enhancements. A total of $80 million in grants has now been doled out in the four years of the program.
United Jewish Communities and the Orthodox Union lauded the distribution of the grants.
"The last few weeks have reminded us that we cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to our safety and security as a community,” said William Daroff, vice president for public policy and director of UJC/Jewish Federations of North America’s Washington office. “If we have learned anything from the foiled attack at the Riverdale synagogues, the Holocaust Museum and elsewhere, it is to remain vigilant. The Nonprofit Security Grant Program is a proven resource that helps supplement the work of local and federal law enforcement to help keep us safe.”
|June 21st, 2009||#4|
Join Date: Jul 2007
By Paul Eisen - (August 19, 2004)
The crime against the Palestinian people is being committed by a Jewish state with Jewish soldiers using weapons displaying Jewish religious symbols, and with the full support and complicity of the overwhelming mass of organised Jews worldwide. But to name Jews as responsible for this crime seems impossible to do.
The future is always open and nothing can ever be ruled out; but, for now, it's hard to see how Israel can be stopped. After over fifty years, it is clear that Israel will only relinquish its eliminationist attitude to Palestinians and Palestinian life when it has to. This need not be through military action but it is hard to see how anything else will do. The conventional wisdom - that if America turned off the tap, Israel would be brought to its knees - is far from proven. First, it's not going to happen. Second, those who believe it may well be underestimating both the cohesiveness of Israeli society and the force of Jewish history which permeates it. Even more unlikely is the military option. The only force on earth which could possibly confront Israel is the American military, and, again, that is not going to happen.
Palestinian resistance has been astonishing. After over fifty years of brutal assault by what may well one day be seen as one of the most ruthless and irrational powers of modern times, and with just about every power on earth ranged against them, Palestinians are still with us, still steadfast, still knowing who they are and where they come from. Nonetheless, for the time being effective resistance may be over (though the possibility of organised non-violent resistance can never be ruled out), and, for now, the only strategy open may be no more than one for survival.
For us it is so much easier to deny this reality than to accept it, and doubtless the struggle will continue. How fruitful this will be no-one can say. Although the present seems hopeless, survival is still vital and no-one knows when new opportunities may arise. Anyway, to struggle against injustice is always worth doing. But what if the struggle becomes so delusional that it inhibits rather than advances resistance? What if the struggle becomes a way of avoiding rather than confronting reality? Those slogans "End the Occupation!" and "Two States for Two Peoples!" are now joined by a new slogan, "The One-State Solution!" This is every bit as fantastic as its predecessors because, just as there never was going to be an end to the occupation, nor a real Palestinian state, so, for now, there is no possibility of any "one state" other than the state of Israel which now stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, and the only "solution" is a final solution and even that cannot be ruled out.
"Zionism is not Judaism;
Judaism is not Zionism…."
The crime against the Palestinian people is being committed by a Jewish state with Jewish soldiers using weapons with Jewish religious symbols all over them, and with the full support and complicity of the overwhelming mass of organised Jews worldwide. But to name Jews as responsible for this crime seems impossible to do. The past is just too terrible. All of us know of the hatred and violence to which accusations against Jews have led in the past. Also, if we were to examine critically the role of Jews in this conflict, what would become of us and of our struggle? Would we be labelled anti-Semites and lose much of the support that we have worked so hard to gain?
The present, too, is full of ambiguities. Zionism is not Judaism; Judaism is not Zionism has become an article of faith, endlessly repeated, as is the assertion that Zionism is a secular ideology opposed, for much of its history, by the bulk of religious Jews and even now still opposed by true Torah Jews such as Neturei Karta. But Zionism is now at the heart of Jewish life with religious Jews amongst the most virulent of Zionists and Neturei Karta, despite their impeccable anti-Zionism, their beautiful words and the enthusiasm with which they are welcomed at solidarity rallies, etc., may well be just Jews in fancy dress, a million miles from the reality of Jewish life.
And even if Zionism can still be disentangled from Judaism, can it be distinguished from a broader Jewish identity or Jewishness? So often Zionism is proclaimed to be a modern add-on to Jewish identity, another, albeit anachronistic, settler-colonial ideology simply adopted by Jews in response to their predicament. But, could it be that our need to avoid the accusation of anti-Semitism and our own conflicted perceptions and feelings, our insistence that Zionism and Jewishness are separate, has led us seriously to misunderstand the situation? Has our refusal to look squarely at the very Jewishness of Zionism and its crimes caused us to fail to understand exactly what we are up against?
Jews, Judaism and Zionism
Jews are complex; Jewish identity is complex and the relationship between Judaism the religion, and a broader, often secular, Jewish identity or Jewishness is very complex indeed. Jewishness may be experienced a long way from synagogue, yeshiva or any other formal aspect of Jewish religious life, yet is often still inextricably bound to Judaism. That is why secular Jews are able to proclaim their secularity every bit as loudly as they proclaim their Jewishness. Marc Ellis, a religious Jew, says that when you look at those Jews who are in solidarity with Palestinians, the overwhelming majority of them are secular - but, from a religious point of view, the Covenant is with them. For Ellis, these secular Jews unknowingly and even unwillingly may be carrying with them the future of Jewish life.
Jewish identity, connecting Jews to other Jews, comes from deep within Jewish history. This is a shared history, both real and imagined, in that it is both literal and theological. Many Jews in the west share a real history of living together as a distinct people in Eastern, Central and then Western Europe and America. Others share a real history of settlement in Spain followed by expulsion and then settlement all over the world, particularly in Arab and Islamic lands. But this may not be what binds all Jews, because for all Jews it is not a real, but maybe a theological, history that is shared. Most Palestinians today probably have more Hebrew blood in their little fingers then most western Jews have in their whole bodies. And yet, the story of the Exodus from Egypt is as real to many of them, and most importantly was as real to them when they were children, as if they, along with all Jews, had stood with Moses at the foot of Mount Sinai.
And histories like that don't stop at the present. Even for secular Jews, though unacknowledged and even unrealized, there is a sense, not only of a shared history, but also of a shared destiny. Central to Jewish identity both religious and non-religious is the sense of mission centered on exile and return. How else to explain the extraordinary devotion of so many Jews, religious and secular, to the "return" to a land with which, in real terms, they have very little connection at all?
For many Jews, this history confers a 'specialness'. This is not unique to Jews - after all, who in their heart of hearts does not feel a little bit special? But for Jews this specialness is at the centre of their self-identification and much of the world seems to concur. For religious Jews, the specialness comes from the supposed covenant with God. But for secular Jews, the specialness comes from a special history. In either case this can be a good, even a beautiful, thing. In much of Jewish religious tradition this specialness is no more than a special moral obligation, a special responsibility to offer an example to the world, and for so many secular Jews it has led them to struggle for justice in many places around the world.
At the heart of this Jewish specialness is Jewish suffering and victimhood. Like the shared history itself, this suffering may, but need not, correspond to reality. Jews have certainly suffered but their suffering remains unexamined and unexplained. The Holocaust, now the paradigm of Jewish suffering, has long ceased to be a piece of history, and is now treated by religious and secular alike, as a piece of theology - a sacred text almost - and therefore beyond scrutiny. And the suffering never ends. No matter how much Jews have suffered they are certainly not suffering now, but for many Jews their history of suffering is not just an unchallengeable past but also a possible future. So, no matter how safe Jews may be, many feel just a hair's-breadth away from Auschwitz.
Zionism is at the heart of this. Zionism is also complex and also comes from deep within Jewish history with the same sense of exile and return. Zionism also confirms that Jews are special in their suffering and is explicit that Jews should 'return' to a land given to them, and only them - by God if they are religious, or by history if they are not - because they simply are not safe anywhere else on earth.
But so what? If Jews think that they are a people with a religious link to a land and have a deep wish to 'return', why should we care, so long as the land is not already populated by Palestinians? And if Jews feel that they are special and that God has made some kind of special arrangement with them, so what, so long as this does not lead them to demand preferential treatment and to discriminate against others? And if Jews feel that they have suffered like no-one else on the face of the earth, fine, so long as they do not use this suffering to justify the imposition of suffering on others and to blackmail morally the whole world into quiescent silence.
This is the problem with Zionism. It expresses Jewish identity but also empowers it. It tells Jews (and many others too) that Jews can do what Jews have always dreamed of doing. It takes the perfectly acceptable religious feelings of Jews, or if you prefer, the perfectly harmless delusions of Jews, and tries to turn them into a terrible reality. Jewish notions of specialness, choseness and even supremacism, are fine for a small, wandering people, but, when empowered with a state, an army and F16s become a concern for us all.
Zionism as Jewish empowerment in statehood changes everything. Israel is not just any state, it is a Jewish state and this means more than just a state for Jews. This Jewish state is built on traditions and modes of thought that have evolved amongst Jews for centuries - amongst which are the notions that Jews are special and that their suffering is special. By their own reckoning, Jews are "a nation that dwells alone" it is "us and them" and, in many cases, "us or them". And these tendencies are translated into the modern state of Israel. This is a state that knows no boundaries. It is a state that both believes, and uses as justification for its own aggression, the notion that its very survival is always at stake, so anything is justified to ensure that survival. Israel is a state that manifestly believes that the rules of both law and humanity, applicable to all other states, do not apply to it.
Their own worst nightmare
It is a terrible irony that this empowerment of Jews has come to most resemble those empowerments under which Jews have suffered the most. Empowered Christianity, also a marriage of faith and power, enforced its ideology and pursued its dissidents and enemies with no greater fervor than has empowered Judaism. In its zeal and self belief, Zionism has come to resemble the most brutal and relentless of modern ideologies. But unlike the brutal rationality of Stalinism, willing to sacrifice millions for political and economic revolution, this Jewish ideology, in its zealotry and irrationality, resembles more the National Socialism which condemned millions for the attainment of a nonsensical racial and ethnic supremacy.
Of course there are differences but there are also similarities. National Socialism, like Zionism, another blend of mysticism and power, gained credibility as a means to right wrongs done to a victimized people. National Socialism, like Zionism, also sought to maintain the racial/ethnic purity of one group and to maintain the rights of that ethnic group over others, and National Socialism, like Zionism, also proposed an almost mystical attachment of that group to a land. Also, both National Socialism and Zionism shared a common interest - to separate Jews from non-Jews, in this case to remove Jews from Europe - and actively co-operated in the attainment of this aim. And if the similarity between these two ideologies is simply too great and too bitter to accept, one may ask what National Socialism with its uniforms, flags and mobilized youth must have looked like to those Germans, desperate after Versailles and the ravages of post-First World War Germany. Perhaps not so different from how the uniforms, flags and marching youth of pre- and post-state Zionism must have looked to Jews after their history of suffering, and particularly after the Holocaust.
This is, for Jews, their own worst nightmare: the thing they love the most has become the thing they hate the most. And for those Jews and others, who shrink from the comparison, let them ask themselves this: What would an average German, an enthusiastic Nazi even, have said in, say, 1938 had they been confronted with the possibility of an Auschwitz? They would have thought that you were stark, staring mad.
American Jews and Jewish America
At the heart of the conflict is the relationship between Israel and America. The statistics - billions in aid and loans, UN vetoes, etc., etc. need not be repeated here - American support for Israel seems limitless. But what is the nature of this support? For many, perhaps most, the answer is relatively simple. Israel is a client state of America, serving American interests or, more particularly, the interests of its power elites. This view is underpinned by the obvious importance of oil, the huge strategic importance of the region and the fact that, if Israel did not further the interests of those who control America, then we can be sure America would not support Israel. Also, there is no doubt that, in the IDF, America has found a marvellously flexible and effective force, easily aroused and let loose whenever any group of Arabs get a little above themselves.
But is this the whole story? Does Israel really serve America's interests and is their relationship wholly based on the sharing of these interests? Consider how much in terms of goodwill from other nations America loses by its support for Israel, and consider the power and influence of the "Jewish", "Zionist" or "pro-Israel" lobby, as when many an otherwise responsible lawmaker, faced with the prospect of an intervention in their re-election campaign from the Jewish lobby, seems happy to put his or her re-election prospects way in front of what is good for America.
The details of the workings of AIPAC and others, and the mechanics by which these groups exert pressure on America's lawmakers and governors, have been dealt with elsewhere; we need only note that this interest group is undoubtedly extraordinarily effective and successful. Not just a small group of Jews supporting Israel, as its supporters would have us believe, these are powerful and committed ideologues: billionaires, media magnates, politicians, activists and religious leaders. In any event, the power of the Jewish lobby to make or break pretty well any public figure is legendary - not for nothing is it often referred to simply as "The Lobby".
But again, there may be far more to the Israel/U.S. relationship than just a commonality of interest and the effectiveness of certain interest groups. That support for Israel must be in the interests of those who control America is certainly true, but who controls America? Perhaps the real relationship is not between Israel and America but between Jews and America.
The overwhelming majority of Jews in America live their lives just like any other Americans. They've done well and are undoubtedly pleased that America supports their fellow Jews in Israel but that's as far as it goes. Nonetheless, an awful lot of Jews certainly do control an awful lot of America - not the industrial muscle of America - the steel, transport, etc., nor the oil and arms industries, those traditional money-spinners. No, if Jews have influence anywhere in America, it's not over its muscle and sinew but over its blood and its brain. It is in finance and the media that we find a great many Jews in very influential positions. Lists abound (though you have to go to some pretty unpopular websites to find them) of Jews, prominent in financial and cultural life: Jews in banks; Jews in Forbes Magazine's Richest Americans; Jews in Hollywood; Jews in TV; Jewish journalists, writers, critics, etc., etc.
Nor have Jews been slow in exploiting their position. Jews have not hesitated to use whatever resources they have to advance their interests as they see them. Nor does one need to subscribe to any conspiracy theory to note how natural it is for Jews in the media to promote Jews and their values as positive and worthy of emulation. When did anyone last see a Jew portrayed in anything other than a favourable light? Jews are clever, moral, interesting, intense, warm, witty, complex, ethical, contradictory, prophetic, infuriating, sometimes irritating, but always utterly engaging. Nor is it any wonder that Jews in influential positions are inclined to promote what they see as Jewish collective interests. Is it really all that incredible that Jewish advisers around the Presidency bear Israel's interests at heart when they advise the President on foreign affairs?
But so what? So there are a lot of Jews with a lot of money, and a lot of Jews with a lot to say and the means to say it. If Jews by virtue of their ability and use of resources (as honestly gained as by anyone else) promote what they perceive as their own collective interest, what's wrong with that? First, with some notable exceptions, the vast majority of Jews can, in good faith, lay hands on hearts and swear that they never take decisions or actions with collective Jewish interests in mind, certainly not consciously. And even if they did, they are acting no differently from anyone else. With a few exceptions, Jews have earned their advantageous positions. They came with nothing, played according to the rules and, if they use their influence to further what they perceive as Jewish interests, what's so special about that? Do not the Poles, the Ukrainians, the Gun lobby, the Christian Evangelicals also not work to further their group interests?
The difference between Jews and other groups is that they probably do it better. Jews are, by pretty well any criteria, easily the most successful ethnic group in America and, for whatever reason, have been extraordinarily successful in promoting themselves both individually and collectively. And there would probably be nothing wrong with this were it not for the fact that these same people who exert so much control and influence over American life also seem to refuse to be held accountable. It is the surreptitiousness with which Jews are perceived to have achieved their success which arouses suspicion. Jews certainly seem cagey about the influence they have. Just breathe the words "Jewish power" and wait for the reaction. They claim it's because this charge has so often been used as a precursor to discrimination and violence against them, but never consider the possibility that their own reluctance to discuss the power they wield arouses suspicion and even hostility.
But there is another claim, subtler and more worrying. This is that it doesn't exist; that Jews do not wield power, that there is no Jewish lobby; that Jews in America do not exert power and influence to advance Jewish interests, even that there are no such things as Jewish interests! There are no Jewish interests in the war in Iraq, there are no Jewish interests in America; most amazing, there are no Jewish interests even in Israel and Palestine. There is no Jewish collective. Jews do not act together to advance their aims. They even say that the pro-Israeli lobby has actually not all that much to do with Jews, that the Jewishness of Israel is irrelevant and the Public Affairs Committees (PACs) which lobby so hard for Israel are in fact doing no more than supporting an ally and thus looking after America's best interests even to the extent of concealing their true purpose behind names such as "American for Better Citizenship", "Citizen's Organised PAC" or the "National PAC" - none of which make one reference in their titles to Israel, Zionism or Jews. Similarly, Jews and Jewish organisations are said to be not so much furthering Jewish interests and values as American, or, even, universal interests and values. So, the major Holocaust Museum, styled as a "Museum of Tolerance", focuses not only on anti-Semitism, but on every kind of intolerance known to mankind (except that shown by Jews to non-Jews in Israel and Palestine). Similarly, the Anti-Defamation League is but an organisation for the promotion of universal principles of tolerance and justice, not just for Jews but for everyone.
This conflation of Jewish interests with American interests is nowhere more stark than in present American foreign policy. If ever an image was reminiscent of a Jewish world conspiracy, the spectacle of the Jewish neo-cons gathered around the current presidency and directing policy in the Middle East, this must be it. But we are told that the fact that the Jewish neo-cons, many with links with right wing political groups within Israel, are in the forefront of urging a pro-Israel policy, is but a coincidence, and any suggestion that these figures might be influenced by their Jewishness and their links with Israel is immediately marginalised as reviving old anti-Semitic myths about Jewish dual loyalty. The idea that American intervention in Iraq, the one viable military counterweight to Israeli hegemony in the Middle East and therefore an inspiration to Arab and Palestinian resistance, primarily serves Israeli rather than American interests has also been consigned to the nether world of mediaeval anti-Semitic myth. The suggestion that those Jews around the president act from motives other than those to promote the interests of all Americans is just anti-Semitic raving. And maybe they're right. Perhaps those who promote Jewish interests are in fact promoting American interests because, for now at least, they appear to be one and the same.
In Washington, D.C. is a memorial to a terrible tragedy. Not a memorial to a tragedy visited on Americans by a foreign power as at Pearl Harbour or 9/11, nor to a tragedy visited by Americans on Americans such the sacking of Atlanta. Nor is it a memorial of contrition to a tragedy inflicted by Americans onto another people, such as to slavery or to the history of racial injustice in America. It is to none of these. The Holocaust memorial is to a tragedy inflicted on people who were not Americans, by people who were not Americans, and in a place a very long way from America. And the co-religionists or, even, if you like, the co-nationals, of the people on whom the tragedy was visited and to whom the memorial is built make up around two percent of the American population. How is it that a group of people who make up such a tiny percentage of the overall American population can command such respect and regard that a memorial to them is built in the symbolic heart of American national life?
The Jewish narrative is now at the centre of American life, certainly that of its cultural and political elites. There is, anyway, much in the way that Americans choose to see themselves and their history which is quite naturally compatible with the way Jews see themselves and their history. What more fitting paradigm for a country founded on immigration, than the story of the mass immigration of Jews at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? For many Americans, the story of those Jews who came to their Goldenes Medina, their Golden Land, with nothing and, through hard work and perseverance, made it to the very top of American society, is also their story. And what could be more inspirational for a country, if not officially but still viscerally, deeply Christian than the story of the Jews, Jesus' own people and God's chosen people, returning to their ancient homeland and transforming it into a modern state. And for a nation which sees itself as a beacon of democracy in the world, what better international soul-mate than the state of Israel, widely held to be "the only democracy in the Middle-East"? Finally what greater validation for a country itself founded on a narrative of conquest and ethnic cleansing than the Biblical narrative of the conquest and ethnic cleansing of the Promised Land with the addition of the equally violent settlement of modern Palestine with its own ethnic cleansing and then "making the desert bloom"?
Most resonant, of course, is the notion of Jews as a suffering people. The fact that this "suffering people" is now enjoying a success beyond the dreams of any other ethnic group in America seems irrelevant. Also ignored is how American Jews have made it to the very top of American society whilst, every step of the way, complaining about how much they're being discriminated against. Nonetheless, to America, Jews have an enduring and ongoing history of suffering and victimhood. But this history has rarely been examined or even discussed.
A Suffering People
That Jews have suffered is undeniable, but Jewish suffering is claimed to have been so enduring, so intense and so particular that it is to be treated differently from other sufferings. The issue is complex and cannot be fully debated or decided here but the following points may stimulate thought and discussion.
During even the most terrible times of Jewish suffering such as the Crusades or the Chmielnitzky massacres of seventeenth century Ukraine, and even more so at other times in history, it has been said that the average peasant would have given his eye-teeth to be a Jew. The meaning is clear: generally speaking, and throughout most of their history, the condition of Jews was often far superior to the mass of the population.
The above-mentioned Ukrainian massacres took place in the context of a peasant uprising against the oppression of the Ukrainian peasantry by their Polish overlords. As has often been the case, Jews were seen as occupying a traditional position of being in alliance with the ruling class in their oppression of the peasantry. Chmielnitzky, the leader of this popular uprising, is today a Ukrainian national hero, not for his assaults on Jews (there are even references to his having offered poor Jews to join the uprising against their exploitative co-religionists - the Jews declined) but for his championing of the rights of the oppressed Ukrainians. Again, the inference is plain: outbreaks of anti-Semitic violence, though never justified, have often been responses to Jewish behaviour both real and imaginary.
In the Holocaust three million Polish Jews died, but so did three million non-Jewish Poles. Jews were targeted but so were Gypsies, homosexuals, Slavs and Poles. Similarly, the Church burned Jews for their dissenting beliefs but then the church burned everyone for their dissenting beliefs. So again, the question must be asked: what's so special about Jewish suffering?
The Holocaust, the paradigm for all anti-Semitism and all Jewish suffering, is treated as being beyond examination and scrutiny. Questioning the Holocaust narrative is, at best, socially unacceptable, leading often to social exclusion and discrimination, and, at worst, in some places is illegal and subject to severe penalty. Holocaust revisionist scholars, named Holocaust deniers by their opponents, have challenged this. They do not deny a brutal and extensive assault on Jews by the Nazi regime but they do deny the Holocaust narrative as framed by present day establishments and elites. Specifically, their denial is limited to three main areas. First, they deny that there ever was an official plan on the part of Hitler or any other part of the Nazi regime systematically and physically to eliminate every Jew in Europe; second, they deny that there ever existed homicidal gas-chambers; third, they claim that the numbers of Jewish victims of the Nazi assault have been greatly exaggerated.
But none of this is the point. Whether those who question the Holocaust narrative are revisionist scholars striving to find the truth and shamelessly persecuted for opposing a powerful faction, or whether they are crazy Jew-haters denying a tragedy and defaming its victims, the fact is that one may question the Armenian genocide, one may freely discuss the Slave Trade, one can say that the murder of millions of Ibos, Kampucheans and Rwandans never took place and that the moon is but a piece of green cheese floating in space, but one may not question the Jewish Holocaust. Why? Because, like the rest of the Jewish history of suffering, the Holocaust underpins the narrative of Jewish innocence which is used to bewilder and befuddle any attempt to see and to comprehend Jewish power and responsibility in Israel/Palestine and elsewhere in the world.
What is a Jew?
Israel Shamir, the Russian-born Israeli writer, advocates the right of all people, whatever their ethnicity or religion, to live together in complete equality between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. Shamir condemns the behaviour of Israel and of Diaspora Jews and calls for an end to their preferential treatment, but he also proposes an opposition to Judaism itself for which he stands accused of being anti-Jewish - a charge he does not deny but actually embraces.
Shamir proposes the existence of a Jewish ideology, or "Jewish paradigm" as he puts it, and proposes that it is the voluntary adherence to this "spirit" which makes a Jew into a Jew. For him, Jewishness is neither race nor ethnicity - there is, for Shamir, no such thing as a Jewish 'tribe' or 'family' - no biological or ethnic body from which there can be no escape. Further, this ideology, based on notions of choseness, exclusivity and even supremacism is, at least when empowered, incompatible with peace, equality and justice in Palestine or anywhere else for that matter.
No-one wants to oppose any Jews simply for being Jews, or even for what they believe, but only because of what they do. The problem is that since, according to Shamir, what Jews believe and even do is precisely what makes them into Jews, so opposition to Jewishness as an ideology surely comes dangerously close to opposition to Jews simply for being Jews. But for Shamir, Jews are Jews because they choose to be Jews. Someone may be born of Jews and raised as a Jew but they can if they wish reject their Jewish upbringing and become a non-Jew. And many have done just that including such famous escapees as Karl Marx, St. Paul, Leon Trotsky (and Shamir himself), etc. Opposition to Jews is not, therefore, like opposition to Blacks or to Asians or to other common racist attitudes since the object of the opposition is perfectly able to relinquish the ideology in question.
Shamir has never in any way called for any harm to be done to Jews or anyone else, nor for Jews or anyone else to be discriminated against in any way. Adherence to this Jewish ideology is, for Shamir, regrettable, but not, in itself, a matter for active opposition. Nor does this mean that Shamir is opposed to any individual Jew just because he or she is a Jew. What Shamir actively opposes is not "Jews" but "Jewry". Analogous to say, the Catholic Church, Jewry consists of those organised Jews and their leaders who actively promote corrosive Jewish interests and values, particularly now in the oppression of the Palestinians.
One doesn't have to be in complete agreement with Shamir to understand what he is talking about. Why should Jews not have a "spirit"; after all, such a concept has been discussed with regard to other nations?
"It is dangerous, wrong, to speak about the "Germans," or any other people, as of a single undifferentiated entity, and include all individuals in one judgement. And yet I don't think I would deny that there exists a spirit of each people (otherwise it would not be a people) a Deutschtum, an italianitia, an hispanidad: they are the sums of traditions, customs, history, language, and culture. Whoever does not feel within himself this spirit, which is national in the best sense of the word, not only does not entirely belong to his own people but is not part of human civilization. Therefore, while I consider insensate the syllogism, 'All Italians are passionate; you are Italian; therefore you are passionate," I do however believe it legitimate, within certain limits, to expect from Italians taken as a whole, or from Germans, etc., one specific, collective behavior rather than another. There will certainly be individual exceptions, but a prudent, probabilistic forecast is in my opinion possible." Primo Levi
And for Jews it is, perhaps, even more appropriate. The place of Judaism as an ideology at the centre for all Jewish identity may be debated, but few would dispute that Judaism is at least at the historic heart of Jewishness and, whatever else may bind Jews together, it is certainly true that religion plays an important part. Second, for a group of people who have retained such a strong collective identity with no shared occupation of any land, language, nor even, in many cases, a culture, it is hard to see what else there could be that makes Jews into Jews. Surely for Jews, in the absence of other, more obvious factors, it is precisely such a spirit that has enabled them to retain their distinctive identity for so long and in the face of such opposition.
But if there is some kind of Jewish spirit or ideology, what is it? As far as Judaism, the religion, goes it seems fairly clear that there is an ideology based on the election of Israel by God, the special relationship Jews are supposed to have with God and the special mission allocated to Jews by God. So for observant Jews there is a special quality intrinsic to the covenant and to Judaism itself, though not all of them find it appealing:
"There is a strain in Jewish thought that says there is a special Godly something or other that is passed down in a certain genetic line which confers a special quality on people and Jewishness is a special quality. I call that metaphysical racism." Rabbi Mark Solomon
But whilst easy to see such a common spirit in religious Jews - after all it is precisely that which makes them religious - it is so much harder to define it in secular Jews, those Jews who reject, often quite vociferously, all aspects of Jewish faith. They often claim that they don't have an ideology, or that their ideology is one of, say, the left: not only not Jewish, but opposed to all religions including Judaism. Yet seemingly so free of all such ignorant superstition, these same people still call themselves Jews, still more often than not marry other Jews and still turn up to solidarity rallies only with other Jews and under Jewish banners. What is their ideology?
For my money it is much the same sense of specialness found in religious Jews but with a special reference to victimhood. "Yes, but only in the Hitlerian sense", answered philosopher Maxime Rodinson when asked if he still considered himself a Jew. For many of these Jews it is their identity as a threatened and victimized people that makes them Jews. "Hitler said I was a Jew, so I may as well be a Jew" is one response or "To be a Jew somehow denies all those who ever persecuted Jews a victory- so I'm a Jew". For these Jews, albeit estranged from Jewish religious and often community life as well, Emil Fackenheim's famous post-Holocaust 614th commandment (to add to the other 613): Thou shall survive! is an absolute imperative. But whatever the motive, this self-identity runs very deep indeed. Amongst these Jews, no matter how left or progressive they may be, one may criticise Israel to the nth degree, poke fun at the Jewish establishment and even shamefully denigrate Judaism as a religion, but depart one iota from the approved text on anti-Semitism and Jewish suffering, and you are in deep trouble. For these rational folk, Jewish suffering and anti-Semitism is every bit as inexplicable, mysterious and therefore, unchallengeable as for any religious Jew.
Jewish secularism is often offered as evidence that there is no such thing as a Jewish identity gathered around any shared ideology. After all, if all Jews subscribe to the same basic ideology, then how come so many Jews so obviously don't? And if all Jews essentially support the same interests, how come so many Jews so obviously don't? But is it that obvious? Not only do secular Jews very often seem to subscribe to Jewish notions of specialness and victimhood, but also, in their attitudes to non-Jews in general, and Palestinians in particular, they are by no means all that different from religious Jews.
It is often quoted how many Jews are in solidarity movements with Palestinians and how many of these are secular. And it's true: there are many Jews in sympathy with the Palestinians and the overwhelming majority are secular, and the main thrust of post-1967 virulent Zionism has come to be associated with the religious right. But this secular Jewish tradition, in fact, has been at the forefront of Zionism's assault on the Palestinians. It was secular Labour Zionists who created the Zionist ideology and the pre-state Jewish-only society. It was secular Zionists - good, humanistic, left-wing kibbutzniks - who directed and carried out the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians, and the destruction of their towns and villages. It was secular Zionists who established the present state with all its discriminatory practices; and it was a largely secular Labour government that held the Palestinian citizens of Israel under military government in their own land for eighteen years. Finally, it was a secular, Labour government which conquered the West Bank and Gaza, and first built the settlements, and embarked on the Oslo peace process, coolly designed to deceive the Palestinians into surrendering their rights.
And even those secular Jews who do support Palestinian rights, on so many occasions, the solidarity they offer is limited by self interest. That these people, at least as much as anyone else, act out of their highest motives may be true. Many have been lifelong activists for many causes and many find their activism springs, consciously or unconsciously, from what they see as the highest ideals of their Jewishness. But nonetheless for many of them, solidarity with Palestinians means above all, the protection of Jews. They call for a Palestinian state on 22 per cent of the Palestinian homeland, but only to keep and protect the 'Jewishness' of the Jewish state. The Palestinian state they call for would inevitably be weak, dominated by the Israeli economy and under the guns of the Israeli military - surely they must know what this would mean!
At rally after rally, in speeches and on leaflets and banners, these Jews denounce the occupation: "Down with the occupation…down with the occupation…down with the occupation…" but not a word of the inherent injustice of a state for Jews only; perhaps a mention of the ill-gotten gains of 1948, but nothing of the right of return of the refugees, no restitution merely 'a just solution' taking account, of course, of Israel's 'demographic concerns'. "We are with you….we are with you….we are with you" they say "...but...". Whether it be condemnation of some form of Palestinian resistance of which they disapprove, or some real or perceived occurrence of anti-Semitism, for these Jews there is always a "but."
They should take a leaf from Henry Herskovitz. He is part of an organisation called Jewish Witnesses for Peace, which holds silent vigils outside synagogues on shabbat. Of course, all the other Jewish activists are shrieking at him that you mustn't target Jews for protest, that you must draw a distinction between Jews, Israelis and Zionists, that you'll only alienate the people we want to engage.... but he doesn't care. He knows that support from the Jewish mainstream, as Tony Cliff the Trotskyite used to say, "….is like honey on your elbow - you can see it, you can smell it but you can never quite taste it!" Henry also knows that to say that Jews in America individually and in their religious and community organisations should not be held accountable for what is happening is a lie and discredits all Jews before the non-Jewish world.
So these secular Jews often end up being just another round of Michael Neuman's "veritable shell game" of Jewish identity. "Look! We're a religion! No! a race! No! a cultural entity! Sorry--a religion!" Because this is the key to maintaining Jewish power - if it's indefinable, it's invisible. Like a Stealth Bomber (you can't see it on your radar but you sure know when you've been hit) Jewish power, with its blurred outlines and changing forms, becomes invisible. And if you can't see it you can't fight it. Meanwhile the assault on the Palestinians continues.
The phrase is itself terrifying because of its past association with discrimination and violence against Jews, but Jews themselves have no problem with it. The notion of a Jewish People is at the centre of Jewish faith with Jews of all or no degrees of religious adherence over and over again affirming its existence. It is also at the heart of Zionism even in its most secular forms and is written into the foundational texts of the state of Israel. The concept even received international legal approval when the Jewish people were declared, by the West German state, to be the post-war residual heirs of intestate Jews. And yet it is an absolute article of faith for everyone, including those in the solidarity movement, that while we may criticize and confront Israel and Israelis, we may not criticize and confront the Jewish people and Jews. Unlike Israel and any other state, the Jewish People has no common policy and any attack on the Jewish people is, therefore, aimed at what they are and not at what they do.
But is speaking of the Jews doing this or doing that any more or less acceptable than speaking of, say, the Americans? If the American military lays waste a third world country, it is done by order of the government (a small group) with the full support of the ruling elites (another small group), the tacit support of a substantial segment of the population (a larger group), the silent denial of probably the majority of the population (a very large group) and the opposition of a tiny minority (a small group). Is it all that different with Jews?
It may be. Unlike the United States, 'the Jews' are not a legally constituted body and they do not have an obvious and defined common policy. 'The Jews' do not have an officially designated leadership, nor do they inhabit one area of land, nor do they speak a common language or even share a common culture. Theoretically at least there seem to be so many differences as to render any comparison untenable. In practice this may not be the whole story.
It is true that 'the Jews' do not constitute a legally recognized body, but Zionism, with its claim to represent all Jews, has increasingly confused the issue. It is also true that the Zionists do not represent all Jews but they do represent the views of very many Jews indeed, and certainly the most powerful and influential Jews. And there is no doubt that the overwhelming majority of organized Jews are fully behind the Zionist project. That 'the Jews' do not have a formally designated leadership does not mean that they have no leadership - bodies again to which the overwhelming majority of organized Jews owe allegiance: the Israeli Government, the World Zionist Organization; numerous large and powerful Jewish organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, The Simon Wiesenthal Centre; lesser bodies such as the Board of Deputies of British Jews and similar organizations in every country in which Jews reside. Then there is the extensive network of Jewish bodies often linked, through synagogues to the whole spectrum of mainstream Jewish religious and community life. All these bodies with their vast and interconnected network do provide leadership; they do have clearly defined policies and they are all four-square behind Zionism and Israel in its assault on the Palestinians.
Does this constitute a definable Jewish collective engaged in advancing Jewish interests? Officially, perhaps not, but, effectively, when one notes the remarkable unanimity of intent of all these bodies, the answer may well be yes. They do not of course represent all Jews nor are all individual Jews responsible for their actions, but nonetheless 'the Jews' - organized, active and effective Jews - are as responsible for the pursuit of Jewish interests in Palestine and elsewhere as 'the Americans' in Vietnam, 'the French' in Algeria, and 'the British' in India.
So why should our response be different? Why should 'the Jews' not be as accountable as 'the Americans' and even ordinary Jews as accountable as ordinary Americans? Why do we not picket the offices of the Anti-Defamation League or The Conference of Presidents or the offices or even the homes of Abe Foxman, Edgar Bronfman and Mort Zuckerman in the U.S. and Neville Nagler in the U.K.? Why do we not heckle Alan Dershowitz in the U.S. and Melanie Phillips in the U.K.? What about the U.K. Chief Rabbi who in his time has had lots to say about Israel and Palestine? Why do we not take the struggle to every synagogue and Jewish community centre in the world? After all, every Shabbat a prayer is said for the state of Israel in every mainstream synagogue in the land, most of which are focal points for Zionist propagandizing and fundraising, so why should these Jews who choose to combine their prayers and their politics be immune while at prayer from our legitimate protests at their politics? And for those few Jews who are really prepared to stand up and be counted for their solidarity with Palestinians, why can we not still give to them due honour and regard as we did to those few Americans who opposed American imperialism and those white South Africans who opposed apartheid?
The answer is that we are frightened. Even knowing that Jews are responsible and should be held accountable, still we are frightened. We are frightened because criticism of Jews with its woeful history of violence and discrimination seems just too dangerous a position to take - it may open the flood-gates to a burst of Jew hatred. We are frightened that if we were to discuss the role of Jews in this conflict and in other areas and begin to hold Jews accountable, we might be labelled anti-Semites and lose support. And, perhaps most of all, we are frightened of the conflicted inner passions that confound us all whenever we come to look at these things.
Does speaking the truth about Jewish identity, power and history lead to Jews being led to concentration camps and ovens? Of course it doesn't! It is hatred, fear and the suppression of free thought and speech which leads to these things - whether the hatred, fear and suppression is directed against Jews or by Jews. Anyway, despite efforts to convince us to the contrary, we do not live in the thirteenth century. Californians are unlikely to pour out of their cinemas showing Mel Gibson's 'Passion' chanting "Death to the Jews!" And, at a time when Jews in Israel/Palestine, overwhelmingly backed by Jewish organisations in the west, are desecrating churches and mosques wholesale and brutally oppressing entire Christian and Muslim populations, we may be forgiven for finding it hard to get excited about graffiti daubed on some synagogue somewhere.
If we were to begin to engage with the role of Jews in this conflict, we may well be labelled anti-Semites and we may well, initially at least, lose support. The anti-Semite curse has long served as a frightener to silence all criticism of Jews, Israel and Zionism, and undoubtedly will be used to discredit our cause. But so what? They call us anti-Semites anyway so what's to lose? Edward Said spent a lifetime picking his way through the Israel/Zionism/Judaism minefield and never once criticised Jews, and he was called an anti-Semite his whole life, right up to and even after his death. As a movement we have probably spent as much time being nice to Jews as we have speaking up for Palestinians, and for what? Where has it got us? We are not racists and we are not anti-Semites, so let them do their worst. We shall speak our minds.
For so long now Jews have told the world that black is white and not only that, but also if anyone should dare to deny that black is white they will be denounced as anti-Semites with all the attendant penalties. We are held in a moral and intellectual lock, the intention of which has been to silence all criticism of Israeli and Jewish power. In saying the unsayable we may set ourselves and others free. And think how it will feel the next time you are called an anti-Semite to say "Well, I don't know about that, but I do have some very strong but legitimate criticisms to make of Jews and the way they are behaving….and I intend to speak out"?
And you never know; we may be pleasantly surprised. Israel Shamir, who has no trouble whatsoever in calling a Jew a Jew, was cheered spontaneously recently when he introduced himself from the floor at a London solidarity meeting. I saw it with my own eyes. His first English-language book has just been published; he corresponds freely and reciprocally with many highly respected figures and is on the boards of advisers of The Association for One Democratic State in Palestine and of Deir Yassin Remembered. Perhaps it's all just a case of the Emperor's new clothes. Perhaps we're all just waiting for some innocent child to blow the whistle.
The situation facing the Palestinian people is truly terrible. Old political strategies have got us nowhere. We need a new and widened debate. It may be that a new and credible discourse which puts Jews and Jewishness at the critical centre of our discussions is part of that.
And one final point: In a previous piece, paraphrasing Marc Ellis I wrote:
"To the Christian and to the entire non-Jewish world, Jews say this: 'You will apologise for Jewish suffering again and again and again. And, when you have done apologising, you will then apologise some more. When you have apologised sufficiently we will forgive you ... provided that you let us do what we want in Palestine.'
Shamir took me to task, "Eisen is too optimistic", he said, "Palestine is not the ultimate goal of the Jews... ...the world is."
Well, I don't know about that, but, if as now seems likely, the conquest of Palestine is complete and the state of Israel stretches from Tel-Aviv to the Jordan River, what can we expect? Will the Jews of Israel, supported by Jews outside of Israel, now obey the law, live peaceably behind their borders and enjoy the fruits of their victory, or will they want more? Who's next?
Paul Eisen is a director of Deir Yassin Remembered
|July 10th, 2009||#5|
Join Date: Mar 2007
Jews Exercise Extreme Power
Joseph Aaron (07/10/2009)
When Al Franken was finally, finally confirmed as having won the Senate seat from Minnesota, the political commentators all focused on the fact that that made him the 60th Democratic vote.
60 is significant because it takes 60 votes in the Senate to shut down a filibuster. A filibuster is the only way the Republicans, who are in the minority, would be able to stop the Democrats from doing as they wished. But 60 votes shuts off a filibuster and so Franken's election shut down the only power the Republicans had.
But the number I focused on when I heard that Franken was in was the number 13.
As in how many Jews there are now are in the Senate.
13. Meaning 13 percent. An astounding number when you consider that Jews make up but about 2 percent of the American population. And when you consider that there is only one African American senator, even though blacks make up a far larger part of the population. And that there is only one Hispanic senator and no Asian senators, even though both those ethnic groups have many more members than Jews do.
And when you consider that even if Franken had lost and his opponent had won, there still would have been 13 Jewish senators. Norm Coleman, you see, is also Jewish.
I have made much over the years about the very many ways Jews are so amazingly a part of American society and culture, but I think this Senate number really takes the kosher cake.
13 out of 100 Senators are Jews. And to show just how embraced and accepted we are in this society, it is further amazing that both of the senators from the state of Wisconsin, not exactly a hotbed of Judaism, are Jews. Both. Kohl and Feingold. And that there are Jewish senators from other states where there are not very many Jews: Minnesota and Vermont and Oregon. Franken and Sanders and Wyden.
And that the most populous state in the whole union, California, has not one but two senators who are Jews. Boxer and Feinstein.
And the amazement continues with the fact that while there are 13 Jewish senators, two other senators have Jewish roots, Kaufman of Delaware and Bennet of Colorado, but do not identify as Jews. So we kinda got 15 Jews in the Senate. (The ones not yet mentioned, just for the record are Cardin of Maryland, Lautenberg of New Jersey, Lieberman of Connecticut, Levin of Michigan, Schumer of New York and Specter of Pennsylvania. Maryland and New Jersey and Connecticut and Michigan and New York and Pennsylvania you can understand. Harder to understand is why no Jew from Florida.)
Meanwhile, over in the House of Representatives, you have no less than 31, that's 31 Jews. Including from states where you have very few Jews. Nevada and Virginia and Tennessee and New Hampshire and Wisconsin (boy, those cheeseheads do love to vote for Jews) and Colorado and even Kentucky.
In all, the roster of Jews in the House reads like the roll call at a B'nai B'rith meeting: Ackerman and Adler and Berkley and Berman and Cantor and Cohen and Davis and Engel and Filner and Frank and Giffords and Grayson and Harman and Hodes and Israel (great name for a Jewish politician) and Kagan and Klein and Levin and Lowey and Nadler and Polis and Rothman and Schakowsky (Illinois' very own) and Schwartz and Schiff and Sherman and Wasserman Schultz (winner of the most Jewish name) and Waxman and Weiner and Wexler and Yarmuth. Yarmuth's the Jew from Kentucky.
G-d bless America. Really.
In all, 44 Jews in the Congress. That's a lot of Jews, and many of them have a lot of clout. We take that for granted but we should be grateful and we should feel blessed.
So let the pundits get all hot and bothered about the number 60. When I think of Al Franken, I think 13. And 31.
And when you think about, there's even more amazement going on in Washington. Do you know there are more Jews on the Supreme Court than there are Protestants? In this, an overwhelmingly Protestant country. Amazing.
Meanwhile, over at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, you have the chief of staff to the president being a Hebrew speaking Jew, Rahm Emanuel. And the chief of staff to the first lady being a Jew, Susan Sher. [And the chief of staff to the vice president being a Jew, Ronald Klain. -- K.] And the top political and policy advisor to the president being a Jew, David Axelrod. And the top economic advisor to the president being a Jew, Larry Summers. I could go on and on and on, but you get the point. In this country, we are not only embraced and accepted, but we are more than welcomed into the corridors of power, and there ain't nothing to be afraid of as a result.
What a country.
|August 1st, 2009||#6|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Jewish reporter for ‘Forbes’ admits censoring himself about Jewish angle when on national television
by Philip Weiss on December 23, 2008
Robert Lenzner is a reporter for Forbes who was on the Leon Charney Report the other night–a somewhat smalltime show that airs on Channel 25 in New York and often has a Jewish theme to it. Charney served under Jimmy Carter and is a smart guy who could care less about being telegenic.
Charney and Lenzner and Stewart Ain of the Jewish Week were talking about the Madoff scandal and the Jewish angle, and Lenzner agreed that there was a strong Jewish element to Madoff's world/victims, and then caught himself. No transcript, dearies; the actual show is not up yet, my reporter here is the unimpeachable James North; and North says that Lenzner said in essence: Do you think we could edit that out? When I'm on CNBC I don't mention the Jewish angle.
To their credit, Charney and Ain both said, No the Jewish angle is important, we're going with this.
It is a small moment but important. Lenzner is the most mainstream of the three men. He is Jewish, highly-educated, and said to be menschy. And here he admitted that he censors himself when discussing these issues before a national audience. This is hardly an aberration. It shows the degree to which successful American Jews are simply incapable of publicly discussing an important fact, the Jewish presence in Establishment life, presumably because pogroms would eventuate. Can you imagine anything like this sort of censorship when discussing the Christian right and stem-cell research? Or George Bush's religious/social background? Jewish journos, jump up to it. See where you stand. And what is your responsibility, as journalists no less, to this nation that has given us so much?
|August 8th, 2011||#10|
A fifth of all congressmen taking paid-for holidays to Israel this summer
A fifth of members of the House of Representatives will be taking their summer holidays in Israel this year with almost all the trips being paid for by one of America's most powerful lobby groups.
The American Israel Education Foundation is shelling out to take around eighty congressmen to Israel during the summer recess period.
The group is supporting organisation to the American Israel Public Affair Committee (AIPAC) which describes itself as 'America's leading pro-Israel lobby'.
According to the Jerusalem Post, 55 of the holidaymakers will be Republicans while 26 will be Democrats. Many will be visiting Israel for the first time.
|February 26th, 2012||#11|
Join Date: Jan 2005
Video: Original Savage Chick exposes jews & zionist xtians
I'm so depressed about outsourcing I called the suicide hotline and got a call center in Pakistan. They got all excited and asked me if I could drive a truck.
|February 26th, 2012||#12|
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: The Heart of Dixie
This is going to run a bit long, so bear with me...
Hollywood - a creation of the Jews:
In 1903 the four Warner brothers bought a used Edison Kinetoscope projector for $1,000 and repaired it. They began showing what they called the "magic lantern pictures" on the walls in beer halls. 1909 Edison's General Film Co. sued Warner Brothers for violating their copyright to the motion picture machine and forced them to close their company. At that time, the Warners and other Jews were making illegal films in Brooklyn. They fled Edison's private detectives for Los Angeles where lax laws let them steal the film business away from Thomas Edison. Later this same skullduggery occurred once again. Two gentile inventors. Lee De Forrest and Theodore Case, came up with the "talking machine" sound system. The same Jewish producers also stole this invention and the Jew Al Jolson came out with the first "talkie" film - "The Jazz Singer."
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. is an American producer of film and television entertainment. One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank, California and New York City. Warner Bros. has several subsidiary companies, including Warner Bros. Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Home Video, New Line Cinema, TheWB.com, and DC Comics. Warner owns half of The CW Television Network. The corporate name honors the four founding Warner brothers (born "Wonsal" or "Wonskolaser") to a family of Polish Jews from the village of Krasnosielc - Harry (born Hirsz), Albert (born Aaron), Sam (born Szmul), and Jack (born Itzhak), who emigrated from Poland, which was at that time part of the Russian Empire, to London, Ontario, Canada. The three elder brothers began in the movie theatre business, having acquired a movie projector with which they showed films in the mining towns of Pennsylvania and Ohio. They opened their first theater, the Cascade, in New Castle, Pennsylvania in 1903. (The site of the Cascade is now the Cascade Center, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex honoring its Warner Bros. heritage.) In 1924, movie theater magnate Marcus Loew had a problem. He had bought Metro Pictures Corporation (founded in 1916) and Goldwyn Pictures (founded in 1917) to provide a steady supply of films for his large theater chain, Loew's Theatres. However, these purchases created a need for someone to oversee his new Hollywood operations, since longtime assistant Nicholas Schenck was needed in New York to oversee the theaters. Loew addressed the situation by buying Louis B. Mayer Pictures on April 16, 1924. Because of his decade-long success as a producer, Mayer was made a vice-president of Loew's and head of studio operations in California, with Harry Rapf and Irving Thalberg as heads of production. For decades MGM was listed on movie title cards as "Controlled by Loew's, Inc."
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., or MGM, is an American media company, Mayer Pictures involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer Pictures. In 1924, movie theater magnate Marcus Loew had a problem. He had bought Metro Pictures Corporation (founded in 1916) and Goldwyn Pictures (founded in 1917) to provide a steady supply of films for his large theater chain, Loew's Theatres. However, these purchases created a need for someone to oversee his new Hollywood operations, since longtime assistant Nicholas Schenck was needed in New York to oversee the theaters. Loew addressed the situation by buying Louis B. Mayer Pictures on April 16, 1924. Because of his decade-long success as a producer, Mayer was made a vice-president of Loew's and head of studio operations in California, with Harry Rapf and Irving Thalberg as heads of production. For decades MGM was listed on movie title cards as "Controlled by Loew's, Inc." Though Loew's Metro was the dominant partner, the new studio inherited Goldwyn's studios in Culver City, California, the former Goldwyn mascot Leo the Lion (which replaced Metro's parrot symbol), and the Goldwyn corporate motto Ars Gratia Artis ("Art for Art's Sake"). Also inherited from Goldwyn was a runaway production, Ben–Hur, which had been filming in Rome for months at great cost. Mayer scrapped most of what had been shot and relocated production to Culver City. Though Ben–Hur was the most costly film made up to its time, it became MGM's first great public-relations triumph, establishing an image for the company that persisted for years. Also in 1925, with the success of both The Big Parade and Ben–Hur, MGM surpassed Universal Studios as the largest studio in Hollywood, a distinction it would maintain for over 30 years. Marcus Loew died in 1927, and control of Loew's passed to Nicholas Schenck. In 1929, William Fox of Fox Film Corporation bought the Loew family's holdings with Schenck's assent. Mayer and Thalberg disagreed with the decision. Mayer used political connections to persuade the Justice Department to delay final approval of the deal on antitrust grounds. During this time, in the summer of 1929, Fox was badly hurt in an automobile accident. By the time he recovered, the stock market crash in the fall of 1929 had nearly wiped Fox out and ended any chance of the Loew's merger going through. Schenck and Mayer had never gotten along (Mayer reportedly referred to his boss as "Mr. Skunk") , and the abortive Fox merger increased the animosity between the two men.
Universal Pictures (sometimes called Universal City Studios or Universal Studios for short), a subsidiary of NBC Universal, is one of the six major movie studios. Founded in 1912 by Carl Laemmle, a German-Jewish immigrant from Laupheim who settled in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he managed a clothing store. On a buying trip in 1905 to Chicago, he was struck by the popularity of nickelodeons. One story has Laemmle watching a box office for hours, counting patrons and calculating the day's take. Within weeks of his Chicago trip, Laemmle gave up dry goods to buy the first of several nickelodeons. For Laemmle and other such entrepreneurs, the creation in 1908 of the Edison-backed Motion Picture Trust meant that exhibitors were expected to pay fees for Trust-produced films they showed. Based on Edison's patent for the electric motor used in cameras and projectors, along with other patents, the Trust collected fees on all aspects of movie production and exhibition, and attempted to enforce a monopoly on distribution. It was believed that the productions were meant to be used for another company but the firm turned Universal down. Universal Pictures is the second-longest-lived Hollywood studio; Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures is the oldest by a month.
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation – also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply Fox – is one of the six major American film studios. The studio is a subsidiary of News Corporation, the media conglomerate owned by Rupert Murdoch. The company was founded on May 31, 1935, as the result of the merger of Fox Film Corporation, founded by a Jew named William Fox (Fuchs) in 1915, and Twentieth Century Pictures, founded in 1933 by Darryl F. Zanuck, Joseph Schenck, Raymond Griffith and William Goetz. The Fox Film Corporation was formed in 1915 by the Jewish American theater "chain" pioneer William Fox, who formed Fox Film Corporation. When rival Marcus Loew died in 1927, Fox offered to buy the Loew family's holdings. Loew's Inc. controlled more than 200 theaters as well as the MGM studio (whose films are currently distributed internationally by Fox). When the family agreed to the sale, the merger of Fox and Loew's Inc. was announced in 1929. But MGM studio-boss Louis B. Mayer, not included in the deal, fought back. Using political connections, Mayer called on the Justice Department's anti-trust unit to block the merger. Fortunately for Mayer, Fox was badly injured in a car crash in the summer of 1929, and by the time he recovered he had lost most of his fortune in the fall 1929 stock market crash, putting an end to the Loew's merger. Over-extended and close to bankruptcy, Fox was stripped of his empire and ended up in jail. Fox Film, with more than 500 theatres, was placed in receivership. A bank-mandated reorganization propped the company up for a time, but it was clear a merger was the only way Fox Film could survive. Under the new president Sidney Kent, the new owners began negotiating with the upstart but powerful independent Twentieth Century Pictures in the early spring of 1935. Twentieth Century Pictures was an independent Hollywood motion picture production company created in 1933 by Joseph Schenck, the former president of United Artists, Darryl F. Zanuck from Warner Brothers, William Goetz from Fox Films, and Raymond Griffith. Financial backing came from Schenck's older brother Nicholas Schenck and the father-in-law of Goetz, Louis B. Mayer, the head of MGM Studios. Company product was distributed by United Artists, and was filmed at various studios. Joe Schenck and Fox management agreed to a merger; Spyros Skouras, then manager of the Fox-West Coast theaters, helped in the merger (and later became president of the new company). Although it was still much smaller than Fox, Twentieth Century was the senior partner in the merger. At first, it was expected that the new company would be called "Fox-Twentieth Century." However, 20th Century brought more to bargaining table besides Schenck and Zanuck. It was profitable and had more talent than Fox, the new company was called The Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, and began trading on May 31, 1935.
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film production and distribution company. Columbia Pictures now forms part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment. The studio, founded in 1919 as Cohn-Brandt-Cohn Film Sales by brothers Jack and Harry Cohn and Joe Brandt, released its first feature film in August 1922. It adopted the Columbia Pictures name in 1924 and went public two years later. In its early years a minor player in Hollywood, Columbia began to grow in the late 1920s, spurred by a successful association with director Frank Capra. Following a reorganization, partner Brandt was bought out, and Harry Cohn took over as president. In an effort to improve its image, the Cohn brothers renamed the company Columbia Pictures Corporation in 1924. Cohn remained head of production as well, thus concentrating enormous power in his hands. He would run Columbia for the next 34 years, the second-longest tenure of any studio chief, behind only Warner Bros.' Jack Warner. In an industry rife with nepotism, Columbia's was particularly notorious. Columbia's product line consisted mostly of moderately budgeted features and short subjects including comedies, sports films, various serials, and cartoons. Columbia gradually moved into the production of higher-budget fare, eventually joining the second tier of Hollywood studios along with United Artists and Universal.
Paramount Pictures is an American film production and distribution company, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Founded in 1912 and currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom, it is America's oldest existing film studio; it is also the last major film studio still headquartered in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles. Paramount is consistently ranked as one of the top-grossing movie studios. Paramount Pictures can trace its beginning to the creation in May 1912 of the Famous Players Film Company. Founder Hungarian-born Jew, Adolph Zukor, who had been an early investor in nickelodeons, saw that movies appealed mainly to working-class immigrants. With partners Daniel Frohman and Charles Frohman he planned to offer feature-length films that would appeal to the middle class by featuring the leading theatrical players of the time (leading to the slogan "Famous Players in Famous Plays"). By mid-1913, Famous Players had completed five films, and Zukor was on his way to success. That same year, another aspiring producer, Jesse L. Lasky, opened his Lasky Feature show Company with money borrowed from his brother-in-law, Samuel Goldfish, later known as Samuel Goldwyn. The Lasky company hired as their first employee a stage director with virtually no film experience, Cecil B. DeMille, who would find a suitable location site in Hollywood, near Los Angeles, for his first film, The Squaw Man. Beginning in 1914, both Lasky and Famous Players released their films through a start-up company, Paramount Pictures Corporation, organized early that year by a Utah theatre owner, W. W. Hodkinson, who had bought and merged several smaller firms. Hodkinson and actor, director, producer Hobart Bosworth had started production of a series of Jack London movies. Paramount was the first successful nation-wide distributor; until this time, films were sold on a state-wide or regional basis. Not only was this inefficient, but it had proved costly to film producers. Also while Famous Players and Lasky were privately owned Paramount was a corporation so the other two companies were merged into Paramount. Soon the ambitious Zukor, unused to taking a secondary role, began courting Hodkinson and Lasky. In 1916, Zukor maneuvered a three-way merger of his Famous Players, the Lasky Company, and Paramount. The new company, Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, grew quickly, with Lasky and his partners Goldfish and DeMille running the production side, Hiram Abrams in charge of distribution, and Zukor making great plans. With only the exhibitor-owned First National as a rival, Famous Players-Lasky and its "Paramount Pictures" soon dominated the business.
A Partial list of Jewish actors and actresses (and their real names):
Jack Albertson (Harold Albertson)
Jason Alexander (Jay Scott Greenspan)
Woody Allen (Allen Stewart Konigsberg)
Ed Ames (Edmund Dantes Urick)
Beatrice Arthur (Bernice Frankel)
Bronco Billy Anderson (Maxwell Henry Aronson)
Lauren Bacall (Betty Joan Perske)
Barbara Bain (Millicent Fogel)
Barbara Barrie (Barbara Ann Berman)
Jack Benny (Benjamin Kubelsky)
Robby Benson (Robin David Segal)
Milton Berle (Milton Berlinger)
Michael Ian Black (Michael Ian Schwartz)
Mel Blanch (Melvin Jerome Blank)
Tom Bosley (Thomas Edward Bosley)
Mel Brooks (Melvin Kaminsky)
Lenny Bruce (Leonard Alfred Schneider)
George Burns (Nathan Birnbaum)
Red Buttons (Aaron Chwatt)
Susan Cabot (Harriet Shapiro)
Sid Caesar (Isaac Sidney Caesar)
Dyan Cannon (Samile Diane Friesen)
Eddie Cantor (Edward Israel Iskowitz)
Kate Capshaw (Kathleen Sue Nail)
Helena Bonham Carter
Lee J. Cobb (Leo Jacob)
Peter Coyote (Rachmil Pinchus Ben Mosha Cohon)
Jamie Lee Curtis
Tony Curtis (Bernard Schwartz)
Rodney Dangerfield (Jacob Cohen)
Sammy Davis Jr.
Jerry Douglas (Gerald Rubenstein)
Kirk Douglas (Issur Danielovitch)
Bob Dylan (Robert Allen Zimmerman)
Douglas Fairbanks (Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman)
Fyvush Finkel (Philip Finkel)
Al Franken (Alan Stuart Franken)
Zsa Zsa Gabor (Sári Gábor)
Estelle Getty (Estelle Scher)
John Garfield (Jacob Julius Garfinkle)
Brad Garrett (Bradley Harold Gerstenfeld)
Kathie Lee Gifford (Kathryn Lee Epstein)
Paul Michael Glaser (Paul Manfred Glaser)
Paulette Goddard (Marion Pauline Levy)
Tracey Gold (Tracey Claire Fisher)
Elliott Gould (Elliott Goldstein)
Lee Grant (Lyova Haskell Rosenthal)
Lorne Greene (Lyon Himan "Chaim" Green)
Buddy Hackett (Leonard Hacker)
Monty Hall (Monte Halperin)
Estelle Harris (Estelle Nussbaum)
Laurence Harvey (Laruschka Mischa Skikne)
Barbara Hershey (Barbara Lynn Herzstein)
Steven Hill (Solomon Krakovsky)
Judy Holliday (Judith Tuvim)
John Houseman (Jacques Haussmann)
Leslie Howard (Leslie Howard Steiner)
Sam Jaffe (Shalom Jaffe)
Al Jolson (Asa Yoelson)
Madeline Kahn (Madeline Gail Wolfson)
Danny Kaye (David Daniel Kaminsky)
Lainie Kazan (Lanie Levine)
Alan King (Irwin Alan Kniberg)
Jack Klugman (Jacob Joachim Klugman)
Harvey Korman (Harvey Herschel Korman)
Hede Lamar (Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler)
Michael Landon (Eugene Maurice Orowitz)
Piper Laurie (Rosetta Jacobs)
Marc Lawrence (Max Goldsmith)
Steve Lawrence (Sidney Liebowitz)
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Al Lewis (Albert Meister)
Jerry Lewis (Jerome Levitch)
Shari Lewis (Sonia Phyllis Hurwitz)
Hal Linden (Harold Lip****z)
Peter Lorre (László Löwenstein)
Tina Louise (Tina Blacker)
Courtney Love (Courtney Michelle Harrison)
Joan Lunden (Joan Elise Blunden)
Camryn Manheim (Debra Frances Manheim)
The Marx Bothers: Grocho, Chico, Harpo, Gummo & Zeppo (Julius, Leonard, Adolph, Milton & Herbert Marx)
Bill Macy (Wolf Marvin Garber)
Howie Mandel (Howard Michael Mandel)
Ross Martin (Martin Rosenblatt)
Jackie Mason (Yacov Moshe Maza)
Walter Matthau (Walter John Matthow)
Paul Mazurka (Irwin Mazursky)
Chesty Morgan (Lillian Wilczkowsky)
Shelly Morrison (Rachel Mitrani)
Rick Moranis (Frederick Allan Moranis)
Victor “Vic” Morrow
Jan Murray (Murray Janofsky)
Paul Newman (Paul Leonard Newman)
Sarah Jessica Parker
Mandy Patinkin (Mandel Bruce Patinkin)
Natalie Portman (Natalie Hershlag)
Tony Randall (Arthur Leonard Rosenberg)
Charlotte Rae (Charlotte Rae Lubotsky)
Paul Reubens (Paul Rubenfeld)
Don Rickles (Donald Jay Rickles)
Ron Rifkin (Saul M. Rifkin)
Joan Rivers (Joan Molinsky)
Doris Roberts (Doris Mae Meltzer)
Tanya Roberts (Victoria Leigh Blum)
Edward G. Robinson (Emanuel Goldenberg)
Lilian Roth (Lillian Rutstein)
Peter Sellers (Richard Henry Sellers)
Rod Serling (Rodman Edward Serling)
Jane Seymour (Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg)
Dinah Shore (Frances Rose Shore)
Phil Silvers (Philip Silver)
Wendie Jo Sperber
Jerry Stiller (Gerald Isaac Stiller)
Harold J. Stone (Harold Hochstein)
The Three Stooges: Larry, Curly, Moe & Shemp Howard (Louis Feinberg, Jerome, Moses & Samuel Horwitz)
Jill St. John (Jill Arlyn Oppenheim)
Ben Stein (Benjamin Jeremy Stein)
Jon Stewart (Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz)
Mel Torme (Melvin Howard Torma)
Robert Trebor (Robert Schenkman)
Mike Wallace (Myron Leon Wallechinsky)
Samuel Wanamaker (Samuel Watmacher)
Jack Warden (John Warden Lebzelter)
Lesley Ann Warren
Mae West (Mary Jane West)
Gene Wilder (Jerome Silberman)
Anson Williams (Anson William Heimlick)
Shelly Winters (Shirley Schrift)
Ed Wynn (Isaiah Edwin Leopold)
Abe Vigoda (Abraham Charles Vigoda)
|February 26th, 2012||#13|
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: The Heart of Dixie
American retail store chains of the past and present that are/were owned by Jews
Lazarus Department Stores
Abraham & Straus
Saks Fifth Avenue
The Limited Inc.
New York & Company
Bath & Body Works
Abercrombie & Fitch
American Eagle Outfitters
Lazarus Department Stores - founded by Simon Lazarus, an Ohio Jew who established The F&R Lazarus & Co., an operation which blossomed into what is today known as Macy's, Inc, a major retail holding company in the U.S. In 1850, Lazarus, a rabbinical scholar, arrived in Columbus, and in 1851 he opened the Lazarus store. Assisted by his wife Amelia and sons Fred and Ralph, Simon and his store gradually began to prosper. Simon Lazarus was once described as "a good man, a gentle man, a scholar--and no merchant,"--and Simon's own grandson, the late Robert Lazarus, Sr., was the man who said it. By 1870, industry improvements (primarily attributable to the mass manufacture of men's uniforms for the Civil War), led the family to expand the business to include ready-made men's civilian clothing and eventually a complete line of merchandise. Simon Lazarus served as the first Rabbi of Central Ohio's oldest Reform synagogue, Temple Israel.
Later Simon sons, Fred Lazarus, Sr. and Ralph Lazarus, joined the business, adding many innovative marketing techniques. After Simon's death in 1877, his widow Amelia continued running the store with their two sons. After Amelia's death in 1899, the store was renamed The F&R Lazarus & Company and positioned the company for rapid expansion of the company. In 1928, the company purchased The John Shillito Company department store in Cincinnati. In 1929, Federated Department Stores, Inc., was organized in Columbus, Ohio, as a holding company for founding members F&R Lazarus & Company, its subsidiary The John Shillito Company, William Filene's Sons & Company and Abraham & Straus department stores. The group was led by Fred Lazarus, Jr., whose namesake company was by then the dominant retail store in Columbus. The Lazarus family pioneered many shopping firsts such as the concept of "one low price" (in which no bargaining was required); theirs was also the first department store with escalators and the first air conditioned store in the country. The family also successfully lobbied President Franklin Roosevelt to permanently set the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving, thereby ensuring a longer Christmas shopping season in those years in which November had 5 Thursdays.
Abraham & Straus (or A&S) was a major New York City department store, based in Brooklyn. Founded in 1865 by Abraham Abraham, the son of a Jewish immigrant from Bavaria. The chain, which became part of Federated Department Stores, in 1929 is now part of Macy's. Abraham's father was Judah Abraham, left Bavaria in 1837 and married Sarah Sussman en route to the United States. Soon after arrival, Judah Abraham opened a store on Murray Street in New York. In 1843 Abraham Abraham was born. He had delicate health, and wanted to be a violinist. During the Civil War, he ran away to Chicago to enlist, but was brought back by his father. At 14, he worked at Hart & Dettlebach of Newark, along with Simon Bloomingdale and Benjamin Altman for $1 a week. Abraham opened Wechsler & Abraham in Brooklyn in 1865 at 285 Fulton Street. The company later became Abraham & Straus. He became a Brooklyn philanthropist, establishing the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, among many other causes. In 1890, he commissioned a house, now demolished, at 800 St. Mark's Avenue in Brooklyn. Among Abraham's many notable descendants are grandson Donald B. Straus, an educator, author, and advisor, great-great-granddaughter Nina Rothschild Utne, a magazine publisher, and great-great-great-grandson Arthur Bradford, an author and director.
Gimbels was an iconic major American department store corporation from 1887 through the late 20th century. Gimbels was founded by a young German Jewish immigrant, Adam Gimbel (1817–1896). Gimbel arrived as a young immigrant from Bavaria in 1835, settled in New Orleans and earned a living as a travelling peddler. He opened his first store in Vincennes, Indiana, in 1842. After a brief stay in Danville, Illinois, Gimbel relocated in 1887 to the then boom-town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The new store was an immense success, quickly becoming the leading department store in Milwaukee. In 1894 Adam Gimbel acquired the Granville Haines store in Philadelphia, and in 1910 opened another branch in New York City. With its arrival in New York, Gimbels prospered, and soon became the primary rival to the leading Herald Square retailer, Macy's. In 1922 the chain went public, offering shares on the New York Stock Exchange, though the family retained a controlling interest. This provided the capital for expansion, starting with the 1923 purchase of across-the-street rival, Saks & Co., which operated under the name "Saks Thirty-Fourth Street". With ownership of Saks came a new, about-to-open uptown branch, Saks Fifth Avenue. In 1925 Gimbels entered the Pittsburgh market with its purchase of Kaufmann & Baer's. Although this expansion spurred talk of the stores becoming a nation-wide chain, such hopes were ended by the Great Depression. The more-upscale and enormously profitable Saks Fifth Avenue stores did continue to expand in the 1930s, opening branches in Chicago, Boston and San Francisco. At one point, Gimbel Brothers Inc. was the largest department store in the world. By 1930 Gimbels had branched to seven flagship stores throughout the country and had net sales of $123 million. By the time of World War II, profits had exploded to a net worth of $500 million, or over $1 billion in today's money. By 1965, Gimbel Brothers Inc. consisted of 53 stores throughout the country, which included 22 Gimbels, 27 Saks Fifth Avenue stores, and four Saks 34th St.
Macy's Inc. was founded as Federated Department Stores in 1929 in Columbus, Ohio. Federated was originally a department store holding company for Abraham & Straus, F&R Lazarus & Company (including its Cincinnati division, then known as The John Albert Macy Company) and William Filene's Sons of Boston. Bloomingdale Brothers joined the organization in 1930. Federated moved its corporate offices to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1945.
Over the next few decades, Federated expanded nationwide, adding Rike Kumler of Dayton, Ohio (merged into Shillito's in the 1980s to become Shillito-Rike's); Burdines of Miami, Florida; John Albert Macy Jr. of Atlanta, Georgia; Foley's of Houston, Texas; Sanger Brothers and A. Harris, both of Dallas, Texas (which was merged with Sanger Brothers to form Sanger-Harris); Boston Store of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; MainStreet of Chicago, Illinois; Bullock's, of Los Angeles; I. Magnin, of San Francisco, California; Gold Circle; and Richway Discount Department Stores of Worthington, Ohio. In 1982, Federated acquired the Twin Fair, Inc. discount store chain based in Buffalo, New York and merged it with Gold Circle. Federated was the successor to the Lazarus operation begun in Columbus, Ohio, in 1851. Lazarus family members served in prominent positions within Federated through the 1980s. In the mid-1930s, a modern merchandising standard was set when Fred Lazarus (son of Simon) arranged garments in groups of a single size with a range of style, color and price in that size, rather than the other way around. Lazarus based this technique upon observations made in Paris. Fred Lazarus Jr. also convinced President Franklin D. Roosevelt that changing the Thanksgiving holiday from the last Thursday of November the fourth Thursday, extending the Christmas shopping season, this would be good for the nation's business. An Act of Congress perpetuated the arrangement in 1941. After this date "Black Friday" became a nation wide sensation, becoming the most profitable day for Macy's nation wide. Other companies tried to follow suit but failed to overcome what John Albert Macy had in mind. Various Lazarus family members also held key positions on Federated's board and within its various divisions—namely, Foley's, Filene's, Lazarus and Shillito's. As of January, 2002, Robert Lazarus Jr. was the only family member still with an official role at Federated, serving as assistant to Ron Klein, then chairman and CEO of the Rich's/Lazarus/Goldsmith's operating unit of Federated, now Macy's South. In 1983 it sold most of its infrastructure to JMB Realty.
Limited Brands (formerly known as The Limited, Inc.) is an American apparel company based in Columbus, Ohio. In 2009 it reported 9.04 billion dollars in revenue for the last fiscal year. In 1912 Bella Cabakoff emigrated with her parents from Russia to Columbus, Ohio to escape persecution. At 21, she became the youngest buyer for the Lazarus department store chain. However, after spending over 20 years with Lazarus, in 1951 she and her husband Harry Wexner opened a women's clothing store named Leslie's (after their son) on State Street. This store became the training ground for Leslie Wexner. In 1963 he borrowed $5,000 from his aunt and $5,000 from the bank and opened a store at the Kingsdale Shopping Center in Upper Arlington. This store was named "The Limited" because the store focused on clothing for younger women, unlike his parents' general merchandise store. Later in 1964, Bella and Harry closed their store to join their son in his venture.
The original board consisted of only the three family members and long time friend of Harry and Bella, Jim Waldron, (who served as Senior Vice President): Bella Wexner (who served as secretary until her death in 2001), Harry as chairman (who served until his death in 1975) and Leslie who succeeded his father as the chairman and later became CEO. He and his family continue to control 17% of LTD. In 1969, Wexner took The Limited Brands public, listed as LTD on the NYSE. In 1977, The Limited moved into its main headquarters on Morse Road in Columbus, Ohio, where it still operates from today.
The 1980s started a string of acquisitions: In 1982, the Victoria's Secret brand, store, and catalogue were purchased from Roy Raymond for $4 million. Also in 1982, 207 Lane Bryant stores were purchased. In 1985, a single Henri Bendel store was purchased for $10 million and 798 Lerner stores for $297 million. Finally, in 1988, 25 Abercrombie & Fitch stores were purchased for $46 million. The Limited then phased out its ownership of the A&F brand in 1996, when it was spun off into a publicly-traded company. The 1990s saw the initial development of the Limited Too, Bath & Body Works, Structure, and Victoria's Secret Beauty. Later in 1998, several Bath & Body Works stores were converted to The White Barn Candle Company stores to begin a home fragrance brand. On August 3, 2007, Limited Brands transferred 75% ownership of its flagship Limited chain to buyout firm Sun Capital Partners Inc. In 2010, the remaining shares were sold to Sun Capital Partners Inc.
Leslie "Les" H. Wexner (born September 8, 1937 in Dayton, Ohio) is an American businessman from Columbus, Ohio, and currently chairman and CEO of the Limited Brands corporation. Wexner was born to Russian Jewish immigrants in Dayton, Ohio. He attended The Ohio State University, majoring in business administration. He became a member of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity. He briefly attended law school, but left to help his parents run their store in a suburban Columbus, Ohio, shopping center. In 1963, Les Wexner borrowed $5,000 from his aunt to start 'The Limited' (so named because the store focused on clothing for younger women, unlike his parents' general merchandise store). The Limited opened its first store in the Kingsdale Shopping Center in Upper Arlington. Wexner's parents closed their store one year later in 1964, and joined their son at 'The Limited'. Wexner took Limited Brands public in 1969, listed as LTD on the NYSE. Over the years he built a large retailing and marketing conglomerate, which currently includes: Victoria's Secret, Pink (Victoria's Secret), Bath & Body Works, Henri Bendel, C. O. Bigelow, The White Barn Candle Company, and La Senza. Previous brands that have spun off include: Lane Bryant, Abercrombie & Fitch, Lerner New York, The Limited Too (now Tween Brands, Inc.), Structure 9, Aura Science, The Limited (separation from Limited Brands by sale of 75% to Sun Capital Investments, made official as of August 3, 2007), Express (separation from Limited Brands by sale of 75% to Golden Gate Capital, made official as of July 6, 2007). Allegations have been made that Wexner's The Limited Inc. has used slave labor both in the United States and abroad. These charges have been made particularly against Victoria's Secret which is part of The Limited Inc. and owned by Leslie Wexner.
J.W. Mays, Inc. is a real estate firm based in Brooklyn, New York, United States. From 1927 until 1988 the company ran a chain of discount department stores in the area surrounding New York City referred to as simply Mays, with stores located in three of New York City's five boroughs and Long Island. The chain grew from a Brooklyn women's clothing store founded by Joe Weinstein, a Russian Jewish immigrant, in 1924. In 1927 Weinstein incorporated the company, and added his initials. The reason why he chose the name to begin with was because, as Weinstein said, "it reminded me of the countryside and the flowers and the springtime".
Mays grew throughout the 1950s and 1960s. It's slogan, "Every Day A Sales Day", was imprinted, in big red, script lettering, on every white paper shopping bag, and every white cardboard shopping box. Mondays were "super-sales" days, and stores were especially crowded then. Weinstein was aggressive in his competition against other discount retailers such as Ohrbach's and Alexander's, as well as the higher end department stores. At one point Weinstein discussed a merger between Mays and his two main discount competitors, but it never came to be. At the company's peak in the 1970s, Mays operated nine stores. At that time the company had about 5,000 employees. By the late 1970s, it started losing market share to other discount retailers, and in 1982 the store declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company closed five locations that operated outside the city, leaving one store in Manhattan, two stores in Queens, and the original store in Brooklyn. In 1987, Mays closed one of its two stores in Queens (Glen Oaks), leaving three in the chain. The chain continued on but announced on December 28, 1988 that they would be closing the remaining three stores in the chain immediately, with the final sale occurring on December 31 of that year. Beginning on January 1, 1989, J.W. Mays, Inc. reincorporated as the real estate company that it currently does business as.
Neiman Marcus, formerly Neiman-Marcus, is a luxury specialty retail department store operated by the Neiman Marcus Group in the United States. The company is headquartered in the One Marcus Square building in Downtown Dallas, Texas, and competes with other department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, Von Maur and Bloomingdale's. The Neiman Marcus Group also owns Bergdorf Goodman specialty retail department stores on Fifth Avenue in New York City and a direct marketing division, Neiman Marcus Direct, which operates catalogue and online operations under the Horchow, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman names. Herbert Marcus, Sr., a former buyer with Dallas' Sanger Brothers department store, had left his previous job to found a new business with his sister Carrie Marcus Neiman and her husband, A. L. Neiman, then employees of Sanger Brothers competitor A. Harris and Co.. In 1907 the trio found themselves with $25,000 from the successful sales-promotion firm they had built in Atlanta, Georgia, and two potential investments into which to invest the funds. Opting to reject the unknown "sugary soda pop business," the three entrepreneurs chose instead to return to Dallas to found a retail business rather than take a chance on the fledgling Coca-Cola company. For this reason, early company CEO Stanley Marcus was quoted in 1957 as saying in jest that Neiman Marcus was "founded on bad business judgment." The store, established on September 10, 1907, was lavishly furnished and stocked with clothing of a quality that was not commonly found in Texas. Within a few weeks, the store's initial inventory, mostly acquired on a buying trip to New York made by Carrie, was completely sold out. Oil-rich Texans, welcoming the opportunity to flaunt their wealth in more sophisticated fashion than was previously possible, flocked to the new store. In spite of a nationwide financial panic set off only a few weeks after its opening, Neiman Marcus was instantly successful, and its first several years of operation were quite profitable. In 1914 a fire destroyed the Neiman Marcus store and all of its merchandise. A temporary store was set up and opened in 17 days. By the end of 1914, Neiman Marcus opened in its new, permanent location at the corner of Main Street and Ervay Street. With the opening of the flagship Neiman Marcus Building, the store increased its product selection to include accessories, lingerie, and children's clothing, as well as expanding the women's apparel department. In its first year at the new building, Neiman Marcus recorded a profit of $40,000 on sales of $700,000, nearly twice the totals reached in its last year at the original location. In 1927 the store expanded and Neiman Marcus premiered the first weekly retail fashion show in the United States. Neiman Marcus Direct conducts both print catalog and online operations under the Neiman Marcus, Horchow and Bergdorf Goodman brand names. Under the Neiman Marcus brand, Neiman Marcus Direct primarily offers women's apparel, accessories and home furnishings. Horchow offers upscale home furnishings, linens, decorative accessories and tabletop items. Horchow, a furniture brand owned by Neiman Marcus, is sold in a limited number of Neiman Marcus locations. There are also Horchow Finale Stores, with two locations. Though Horchow items are also found in Neiman Marcus Last Call stores, the Horchow Finale stores focus on furniture & home items. The two remaining Horchow Finale Stores are in the Dallas, Texas area. The original Horchow Finale location closed in 2009 to make way for the George W. Bush Presidential Library. The Inwood Village location of Horchow Finale became a showcase Neiman Marcus Last Call in March 2010.
Bloomingdales, founded by Jewish-American businessmen, Lyman G. Bloomingdale (1841–1905) who in April 1872, with his brother Joseph, opened their first store on 56th Street in New York City. The son of a Bavarian Jew, Benjamin Bloomimgdale, Lyman and his brother Joseph and were trained in the retailing of ladies clothing at their father's store. Going into business for themselves, the Bloomingdale brothers' new store sold a wide variety of European fashions, anchored through their own buying office in Paris. Their success resulted in the business outgrowing its premises and in 1886 they relocated operations to its famous present-day location at 59th Street and Third Avenue where Bloomingdale became one of the most widely recognized brand names in the world. Brother Joseph Bloomingdale retired from the business on New Years Day 1896 but Lyman remained involved until his death in 1905 at Elberon, New Jersey. A benefactor to a variety of causes and cultural institutions, in 1901 Lyman Bloomimgdale donated a Washington Allston painting to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and in his will written in 1904, left $100,000 for charitable purposes. Lyman's son, Samuel J. Bloomingdale, took over as head of the department store and proved a very capable manager and an astute marketing innovator who significantly expanded the business. Grandson Alfred S. Bloomingdale. Bloomingdale's is an American department store owned by Macy's, Inc. (formerly Federated Department Stores). Bloomingdale's started in 1861 when brothers Joseph and Lyman G. Bloomingdale started selling hoop-skirts in their Ladies Notions' Shop on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The pair were sons of Benjamin Bloomingdale, a Bavarian-born salesman who had lived in North Carolina and Kansas, and settled in New York City. In 1872 the Bloomingdale brothers opened their first store at 938 Third Avenue, New York City. Bloomingdales' biggest competitors are Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, & Saks Fifth Avenue. Bloomingdale's also competes with Nordstrom and Von Maur.
Saks Fifth Avenue - is a luxury American specialty store owned and operated by Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises (SFAE), a subsidiary of Saks Incorporated. It competes in the high-end specialty store market in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, i.e. 'the 3 B's' Bergdorf, Barneys, Bloomingdale's and Lord & Taylor. The company headquarters and the company-designated flagship store are in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Saks Fifth Avenue is the successor of a business founded by Andrew Saks in 1867 and incorporated in New York in 1902 as Saks & Company. Andrew died in 1912 and in 1923 Saks & Co. merged with Gimbel Brothers, Inc., operating as a separate autonomous subsidiary. On September 15, 1924, Horace Saks and Bernard Gimbel opened Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City. When Bernard's brother Adam Gimbel became President of Saks Fifth Avenue in 1926 after Bernard's sudden passing, the company took on national aspirations. The very first branch store opened in 1851 in the city of Palm Beach, Florida as a resort store, followed by a Southampton, New York resort store in 1928. The first full-line year-round Saks store was opened in Chicago in 1929, followed by another resort store in Miami Beach, Florida. In 1938 Saks expanded to the West Coast, opening in Beverly Hills, California. By the end of the 1930s Saks Fifth Avenue had a total of 10 stores, including resort locations such as Sun Valley, Mount Stowe and Newport. More full-line stores followed with Detroit in 1940 and Pittsburgh in 1949. In downtown Pittsburgh, the company moved to its own freestanding location approximately one block from its former home on the fourth floor in the downtown Gimbel's flagship. The San Francisco location opened in 1952. More expansion followed from the 1960s through the 1990s including Texas, the Midwest, and the South. BATUS Inc. acquired Gimbel Bros., Inc. and its Saks Fifth Avenue subsidiary in 1973 as part of its diversification strategy. In 1990, BATUS sold Saks to Investcorp S.A., which after investing in the company and weathering the early 1990s recession took Saks public in 1996 as Saks Holdings, Inc. In 1998, Saks Holdings Inc. was acquired by Proffitt's, Inc., then the parent company of Proffitt's among other department stores. Upon closing of the acquisition, Proffitt's, Inc. changed its name to Saks Incorporated. In 2005 vendors filed against Saks alleging unlawful chargebacks. The SEC formally investigated the complaint and Saks settled with the SEC in 2007.
In August 2007 the United States Postal Service began an experimental program selling the plus Zip Code extension to businesses. The first company to do this was Saks Fifth Avenue which received the zip code of 10022-SHOE for the eighth floor shoe department in its flagship Fifth Avenue (Manhattan) store. Today, the New York flagship store accounts for a significant amount of the entire chain's annual revenue. Since 2000, Saks has closed a number of locations, including White Plains, Garden City, and Southampton in New York, as well as other suburban, and "downtown" location around the country. The focus has been to have a smaller number of stores in each key market, and thus make those stores destinations within their respective markets. As an example, the Saks 5th Avenue location at the Shops at Prudential Center in Boston, is the only Saks 5th Avenue stores in the greater Boston metropolitan area, and the location in Bala-Cynwd is the only location in the greater Philadelphia market . The chain's strategy for international expansion focuses on underserved luxury markets. Its first international location, operated under license by SFAE, opened in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, courting the wealth of the oil-rich Middle East. Other locations now include the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and two stores in Mexico City. A new store is planned for Kazakhstan. In January 2009, the company opened a second location in Saudi Arabia, in the city of Jeddah. and coming soon opening in Puerto Rico in Plaza Internacional, the opening of this stores and this grand mall is estimated in finally 2012.
Rich’s Department Stores - Founded in 1867 by Morris Rich, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant who grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, who had borrowed $500 from his brother Emanuel and opened M. Rich Dry Goods general store in 1867. The store was at 36 Whitehall Street, and was run by Morris Rich. It was renamed M. Rich & Co. in 1871, when his brother Emanuel joined him; it was again renamed M. Rich & Bros. in 1876 when the third brother Daniel joined. In 1872 it moved across the street to the corner with Hunter Street (now MLK Street), and in 1881 to 54 and 56 Whitehall Street, later adding 52 in 1906. In 1901 it became a true department store by dividing merchandise into separated sections, and was incorporated as M. Rich & Bros. Co. It became simply Rich's in 1924. Two innovative ideas that Rich tried were the barter system and a credit system. Daniel's son Walter succeeded his uncle Morris as Rich's president from 1926 to 1947, and was succeeded by the grandson of Morris Rich Richard H. Rich. Under the leadership of Richard Rich, affectionately known as Dick Rich, Rich's began expansion in the 1950s. Rich's had moved outside the Atlanta area for its first new store in 1955 when a store in Knoxville Tennessee was opened. Rich's opened its first suburban store at Lenox Square in 1959, Georgia's first shopping mall. The open-air mall shared space with the other major Atlanta department store, Davison's. That same year Rich's also opened a store at Belvedere Plaza Shopping Center, a large two-level strip mall in Belvedere Park near Decatur and more recently famous for its "wigs and beepers" store. Rich's sold off its Knoxville store to Miller's, as it re-focused on its Georgia stores. Rich's most aggressive expansion was during the 1960s and 1970s. Four more stores opened in the Atlanta area in the 1960s, two of those enormous three story full line stores. While this expansion resulted in continued success of the chain, it chipped away at the business of the downtown store. By this time, Rich's was the leading regional department store in the country, though it remained largely unknown by the general public outside of Georgia. This would soon change, however. Throughout the 1970s, four more Rich's locations opened in Georgia including one in Augusta, the first in the state outside of Atlanta. Rich's also began an aggressive expansion with stores in Alabama and South Carolina. Also, there were plans much later in the early 1990s to expand Rich's into Charlotte, but these were scrapped. Of all the stores out of state, stores opened in Greenville, Columbia and Birmingham with two (adding a third in 1986) in Birmingham, creating stiffer competition in the city against regional chains Pizitz, Loveman's and Parisian. This expansion also strained the company financially, and the sudden death of Richard Rich in 1975 threw the company into turmoil. It was rumored that the surviving descendants were incapable of running the company, and the store was ultimately sold out to Federated Department Stores (now known as Macy's, Inc.).
Pizitz Department Stores - Founded by Louis Pizitz, a Jewish immigrant from Belaus, in 1899 on the site of its flagship building in downtown Birmingham. At its peak it operated 12 other stores, mostly in the Birmingham area with several locations in Huntsville and other Alabama cities. It was sold to McRae's in December 1986, and all former Pizitz stores became McRae's. Many of the former Pizitz former locations are now closed, but the Pizitz family (via Pizitz Management Group) still owns the buildings of most of its former stores. This became an issue when the McRae's chain was sold to Belk Department Stores of Charlotte, North Carolina in 2005.
Parisian Department Stores - Founded in 1880 by Jewish sisters Bertha and Estella Sommers under the name Parisian Dry Goods & Millinery Company. The Sommers sisters moved the store three times and sold it in 1911 to Jewish businessmen Louis Gelders and G. W. Beringer, who renamed it The Parisian Company. Lauren Bloch, the store's general manager, bought it in 1918 and renamed in Bloch's Parisian. Carl Hess, a German immigrant, and William Holiner bought the store in the early 1920s and moved it to a large building on the corner of 3rd Avenue North and 18th Street in Birmingham in 1928. The Great Depression pushed the company into receivership and near demise in 1932. The store moved into the remodeled Roden Block on 2nd Avenue North in 1937 and this remained the flagship store until 1989. The business eventually emerged from receivership and grew in the 1940s and 1950s under the management of Carl's son Emil. In October 1950 the store received a major renovation that included excavation of a storage basement and a mezzanine-level men's store. The new entrance, clad in plate glass and Alabama marble, featured the nation's first installation of "Pittcomatic" touch-action hydraulically-operated doors, as well as backlit plexi-glass and neon signage. Hess and Lenny Salit (son-in-law of William Holiner) developed a popular interest-free credit program in the 1950s, and the store was one of the first in the country to offer free gift wrapping, free shipping and a liberal return policy. Parisian opened a second store at Five Points West in 1963. Though expectation were low, their early foray into the suburbs was an immediate hit. The company opened a third store in Vestavia Hills in 1965 and the fourth, at Eastwood Mall, in 1969. For many years the company's corporate offices and warehouse were located in a former Dolly Madison bakery adjacent to the railroad tracks at 26th Street and 11th Avenue North. In the 1970s, Parisian added stores in Huntsville, Montgomery and Florence. Parisian's owners took the company public in 1983, raising $22.5 million for expansion. Parisian anchored major mall developments, including Bel Air Mall in Mobile and Madison Square Mall in Huntsville, both of which opened in 1984. A second offering in 1986 raised an additional $18 million, allowing the chain to expand into Dothan, Pensacola, Chattanooga and Atlanta. Beginning in 1988, Jon Coffelt was commissioned to paint over 100 original works for Parisian by store designer Jim Mitchell, helping launch the artist's career. Hooker Company, an Australian investor, bought Parisian in 1988 for $250 million and pledged $125 for an aggressive store expansion. Hooker filed for bankruptcy during the late 1980s economic downturn. Donald Hess, who had taken over operations from father, Emil, bought the chain Parisian back and — heavy with debt — sold a 45% interest to Lehman Brothers in 1990, which injected $35 million into the company. Parisian opened nine new stores 1992 and opened five more stores in 1993, stretching its footprint into Detroit and Nashville. Parisian joined Proffitt's Inc., in 1996. In September of 1998, Proffitt’s, Inc. and Saks Holdings, Inc. completed a merger transaction where Saks Fifth Avenue and its Off 5th outlet stores became the Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises division of Proffitt’s, Inc. At that time, Proffitt’s, Inc. was renamed Saks, Inc. At its height, Saks, Inc. operated more than 250 mid-level to high end department stores under its Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises group, the Parisian division, the Northern Department Store Group (Younkers, Herberger's, Carson Pirie Scott, Bergner's, Boston Store), and its Southern Department Store Group (Proffitt's and McRae's), plus more than 50 Club Libby Lu specialty shops. The Proffitt's and McRae's stores were sold in 2005 to Belk, Inc of Charlotte, North Carolina. In 2006, Saks' Parisian division, headed by President and CEO Toni Browning, operated 38 stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Particularly in larger markets, Parisian was placed in a marketing tier between the luxury-oriented Saks chain and the company's other more moderate nameplates.
Loveman’s Department Stores - Founded by A. B. Loveman, a Jewish immigrant from Hungary, who opened his first general merchandise store in Greensboro, Alabama, in the late 1860s. In 1887 he relocated to Birmingham and opened A. B. Loveman's Dry Goods Emporium at 1915 2nd Avenue North. He was soon joined by Moses Joseph of Selma and the store became Loveman & Joseph. In 1889, with the addition of Emil Loeb, the company became Loveman, Joseph, & Loeb. Loveman, Joseph, & Loeb constructed a large new department store in 1890 facing 19th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue North. The store was expanded in 1899. By 1911, Loveman's was known as the largest, most magnificant department store south of the Ohio River. It advertised over 60 individual departments and served as a state textbook depository. In 1917, an add-on known as the Loveman's Annex was built between the main building and the the site later occupied by the Alabama Theatre. In 1923, after Loveman's son Joseph took over the company, a majority ownership stake was acquired by the newly-formed City Stores Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (now CSS, Inc.). The holding company also took control of New Orleans, Louisiana's Maison Blanche Co. and Memphis, Tennessee's B. Lowenstein, Inc. It serviced all of its stores through a central buyer, but operations were kept under the local control of the individual chains. The downtown store was destroyed in a massive fire which started in the sub-basement on March 10, 1934, sparing only the exterior of the Annex. The store reopened within a few weeks at a temporary location in the former Parisian building a block away while a new Loveman's building was built on the site of the fire. Material salvaged from the demolished building was used by the Civil Works Administration to begin construction of municipal shops near the Birmingham Jail. The new store, completed in 1935, featured a bold, clean art-deco style. A clock on the corner of 19th Street and 3rd Avenue became a popular landmark and meeting place. The new store was one of the first in the United States to be fully air conditioned and the first in Alabama to have an escalator.
Comptroller Orville Schanbacher was named president of the company in 1947. In June 1949 Loveman's opened a new "store for the home" facing 2nd Avenue North, connected to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of the main store by a bridge over the alley. Other stores opened in Bessemer and Montgomery. During the Civil Rights Movement, Loveman's was one of the many downtown stores picketed to promote the hiring of more African American clerks. Under president John Breyer the retailer and completed a major remodeling of its downtown store in 1969 and added a 400-space parking deck in 1970. Breyer also extended the store to new locations at West Lake Mall and Western Hills Mall in 1969 and 1970, respectively. Another Century Plaza location debuted in 1976. Its opening was marked by a balloon launch and the slogan, "a whole lotta store!", which was adopted by the entire chain until complaints from school teachers led to a change. Other stores were located in Huntsville and Montgomery. Loveman's parent, the City Stores Company, filed for Title XI bankruptcy in 1979 and sought a buyer to take control of the Loveman's chain as a whole. Sharp rises in prime lending rates and uncertainty about the wider economy left that effort fruitless. On April 2, 1980 President Jerry Sklar announced that all stores would close that week. The last day of business was Saturday, April 5. The firm's 700 employees, 500 of which worked in the Birmingham area, were let go with modest severance packages based on tenure. The Century Plaza and Western Hills Mall locations, complete with their inventories, were purchased by rival Pizitz and reopened within weeks (opening the way for Pizitz' departure from Eastwood Mall). Four other locations (downtown, Bessemer, Montgomery and Huntsville) held liquidation sales at the end of April. The Birmingham Public Library board evaluated the possibility of taking over the downtown store for a new central library. The 1935 Loveman's building downtown was renovated in 1998 as the home of the McWane Science Center.
Zale’s Jewelry: Founded in 1924 by Morris B. Zale, William Zale, and Ben Lipshy who opened the first Zales Jewelers store in Graham, Texas. At the time, credit plans were not common, so their concept of offering one was fairly revolutionary, marketed under the slogan, "a penny down and a dollar a week." By the beginning of World War II, the company had expanded to a dozen stores throughout Texas and Oklahoma. During the lean war years, Zales maintained its prices and looked for expansion opportunities. In 1944, Corrigan's of Dallas was acquired, a finer jewelry purchase that was joined by the Bailey Banks & Biddle brand in 1962. The year 1957 was marked both by Zales' first entry into a shopping center (rather than stand-alone downtown locations), and the company's listing on the American Stock Exchange. In 1986, the company was bought out by a Canadian and Austrian consortium, and in 1989, the entity bought Gordon's Jewelers. Zale Corp. is now a public company trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
|February 26th, 2012||#14|
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: The Heart of Dixie
Jews are supposed to make up less than 3% of the population of the United States (6,588,065 Jews out of 311,800,000 Americans)
95% of the wealth in the United States is owned by the richest 1% of the American population.
50% of the top richest people appearing in Forbes 400 Richest Americans can be found in the Jerusalem Post's World's 50 Richest Jews
The World's 50 Richest Jews (those appearing in the top 100 of Forbes 400 Richest Americans are shown in red):
Lawrence (Larry) Page
David and Simon Reuben
Alain and Gerard Wertheimer
Sammy Ofer and family
Samuel Newhouse Jr.
Richard S. LeFrak
George R. Roberts
Frank Lowy and family
Jews appearing in Forbes 400 Richest Americans that were not included in Jerusalem Post's World's 50 Richest Jews:
Paul Milstein & family
Riley P. Bechtel
Stephen D. Bechtel Jr.
Edgar M. Bronfman
Malcolm Glazer & family
Jay Robert Pritzker
Jean (Gigi) Pritzker
George Lindemann & family
Jeremy Jacobs Sr.
Thomas H. Lee
John E. Abele
A. James Clark
Walter Shorenstein & family
Evgeny (Eugene) Shvidler
|March 12th, 2013||#16|
Join Date: May 2009
Shindleman Brothers launch lawsuit over 'anti-Semitic ' posters
|March 12th, 2013||#17|
Celebrating My Diversity
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: With The Creepy-Ass Crackahs
"We've never backed down from a bully."
Typical kike kvetch: Tar their victims as having a typically kike quality.
Truth hurts, fatties. Tough shit.
|March 12th, 2013||#19|
Celebrating My Diversity
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: With The Creepy-Ass Crackahs
Another municipal kike racket is to raid infrastructure trust funds. White tax payers in a medium-sized city can fund a rainy day account for water and sewer improvements that can get into the 9 figures. Kikes who come into city leadership bleed the fund dry by diverting the money into kike crony contracts that have nothing to do with the city's physical plant. It's legal theft.
When major sewer projects have to be expanded or replaced, surprise! There's no money. Whitey's taxes have to go up and huge bonds have to be floated. . .with a kike investment bank getting the fees.
You goys shulda planned ahead!
|August 2nd, 2013||#20|
Join Date: May 2009
Philip Weiss on Jewish Success