Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jewish Dominance and Exploitation of the Black Civil Rights Movement

Jewish Dominance and Exploitation of the Black Civil Rights Movement

Many observers argue that the presumed Jewish altruism and social activism in the American civil rights movement of the 1960's had baser motives. Benjamin Ginsberg argues that the multicultural coalitions spearheaded by Jews in the civil rights era "was a political tactic" to "undermine the power" of those establishment social forces that hindered further Jewish socio-economic advancement. [GINSBERG, p. 125] In 1975 Hasia Dinner wrote a PhD thesis about the way that "Jewish support for black causes was a way for Jews to broaden their own rights without becoming conspicuous by advocating their group interests." [FEINGOLD, p. 130] "Jewish leaders," wrote Diner, "representing different socio-economic classes, ideologies, and cultural experiences committed themselves to black betterment and gave time, money, and energy to black organizations. The spectrum was so wide and the involvement so extensive that one must conclude that these leaders acted out of peculiarly Jewish motives ... [My] book demonstrates that Jewish ends were secured by involvement with blacks." [DINER, p. xiv, xii]

(Similarly, Jewish author Peter Novick notes the changing Jewish strategy in using massive Jewish attack against generic prejudice as a tool in fending off specific anti-Jewish hostility:

"In recent decades, the leading Jewish organizations have invoked the Holocaust to argue that anti-Semitism is a distinctively virulent and murderous form of hatred. But in the first postwar decades their emphasis -- powerfully reinforced by contemporary scholarly opinion -- was on the common psychological roots of all forms of prejudice. Their research, educational, and political action programs consistently minimized diffrences between different targets of discrimination. If prejudice and discrimination were all of a piece, they reasoned that they could serve the cause of Jewish self-defense as well by attacking prejudice and discrimination against blacks as by tackling anti-Semitism directly.") [NOVICK., P., 1999, p. 116]

"The Jewish struggle for equality and fair treatment," says Jonathan Kaufman, "was linked to the struggles of Blacks for greater opportunity. It was not a struggle of equals; Jews did not consider their plight equal to that of Blacks. But they recognized in the Black struggle for civil rights elements that could benefit them and conditions with which they sympathized." [MARTIN, p. 131] Hence, perhaps three-quarters of the funding for the three major civil rights organizations -- the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, The Congress of Racial Equality, and Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference is attributed to Jewish sponsorship. [MARTIN, p. 132]

"Any support of human rights in general by Jews," says Israel Shahak, "which does not include the support of human rights of non-Jews whose rights are being violated by [Israel] is deceitful ... [Jewish] support of Blacks in the South was motivated only by consideration of Jewish self-interest." [SHAHAK, p. 103] "The major role [that Jews] once played in the civil rights movement," says Charles Liebman and Stephen Cohen, "[is a] myth ... [that] enhances the self-image of a Jew as a caring and sensitive minority selflessly contributing to improve the lot of other minorities." [LIEBMAN/COHEN, p. 17] "Among the many myths life and history have imposed on Negroes," wrote Black author Harold Cruse in 1967, "... is the myth that the Negroes' best friend is the Jew." [CRUSE, p. 476]

For years W.E.B. DuBois was the only Black officer in the NAACP, which was largely directed, funded, and controlled in its early decades by Jews like Henry Moskowitz and Joel Spingarn. [ARSON, p. 140] (In 1913 Spingarn announced a yearly award named after himself, the "Spingarn Medal," for the "highest and noblest achievement of an American Negro." [DINER, p. 138] ) In a later era, and another Black organization, the Southern Leadership Christian Conference, a Jew -- Stanley Levison -- even wrote Martin Luther King's speeches for him. [MARTIN, p. 132] Levison has been described as one of King's "closest personal advisers." [KAUFMAN, J., 1988, p. 66] This voice of "Christian Leadership," Levison, was also discovered by the FBI to have been a former Communist party member. [KAUFMAN, J., p. 66] Another Jew, Marvin Rich, was the "chief fundraiser and key speech writer for the Congress of Racial Equality -- CORE", [GINZBURG, p. 145] and his position was later filled by another Jewish attorney, Alan Gartner. In the 1960s, "in CORE, younger and more militant members blocked efforts by [James] Farmer to name one of his Jewish advisers president of CORE, insisting the post be filled with a black." [KAUFMAN, J., 1988, p. 76] In the same era, the Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress, Will Maslow, was also a CORE national board member. (He resigned in outrage when one African-American CORE official, Clifford Brown, angrily declared that Hitler hadn't "killed enough" Jews). [UROFSKY, M., 1978, p. 327]

Another such Black civil rights group was the National Urban League, greatly funded by the Sears-Roebuck magnate, Julius Rosenwald. Edwin Seligman ("descended from one of the wealthiest and most prestigious Jewish families"), was the first chairman of the organization. Its first Executive Board included Abraham Lefkowitz and Felix Adler -- later joined by Seligman's brother George and Ella Sachs Plotz. In 1932, six Jews "served as officials" at the Urban League's Chicago branch. [DINER, p. 186] Following Jewish philanthropic donations, Salmon O. Levinson began directorship of the Abraham Lincoln Center (a social work center for Blacks and whites) in 1917. [DINER, p. 181] Jacob Billikopf, also Jewish, became chairman of Howard University, a Black college, in 1935. Fisk University also had influential Jewish board members. To this day, Rabbi David Saperstein serves as an NAACP board member. "By the mid-1960s," says Jonathan Kaufman, "Jewish contributions made up three-quarters of the money raised by SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee], CORE, and SCLC. So important were contributions from Jews to SCLC, Jesse Jackson recalled later, that for a time King's advisers debated whether they should call the group simply the Southern Leadership Conference, eliminating the reference to 'Christian.' In phone conversations with King, Bayard Rustin, one of King's top advisers, would remind him to include references in his speeches to the 'Judeo-Christian tradition.'" [KAUFMAN, J., 1988, p. 66]

Jewish actor Theodore Bikel, a Zionist activist, was once "one of SNCC's most prominent supporters." [VOLKMAN, p. 215] Howard Zinn was also a Jewish SNCC "adviser." [KAUFMAN, J., 1988, p. 67] SNCC African-American leader Stokely Carmichael's "first demonstration was a pro-Israel rally held in front of the United Nations by the Young Socialist League." (He later became very vocally anti-Zionist). Another SNCC Black leader, Robert Moses, "had gone to the Jewish socialist camp, Camp Wo-Chi-Ca, as a child and befriended many Jews from radical and socialist homes." [KAUFMAN, J., 1988, p. 67]

What about the Southern Poverty Law Center, famed fighter for the impoverished and African-American rights, especially in the South? It is based in Montgomery, Alabama, and in 1996 the local Montgomery Advertiser printed an embarrassing expose about the Center. The salary, noted the paper, for SPLC president and CEO (as well as SPLC co-founder) Joseph Levin was $137,798 a year. Not bad for a fighter on behalf of those mired in poverty. The Center's Legal Director, Richard Cohen, made $151,420. But that's not all. The Advertiser further noted that "One thing remains a constant at the nation's wealthiest civil rights charity, the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center: All the top-paid, top-level management jobs are held by whites." [RICHARDSON, S., 8-29, p. D7] [No notation of the percentage of Jews within this "white" nomenclature is noted] In SPLC's 25-year history "no black person has held a top-level management position, and only one black staffer has ever been among the top five paid positions." In SPLC's team of five lawyers, one was African-American. [RICHARDSON, S., 8-29-96, p. D7]

The next year, an editorial writer, Rose Sanders, expressed outrage in the same newspaper that the SPLC publicly condemned Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam (a hero in large parts of the Black community) as a racist. She pointed out the hypocrisy of the charge, noting that "Joseph Levin says he is not a bigot, but how does he explain the bigotry evidenced by the employment practices at the Poverty Law Center? An example of the Center's racial prejudice is illustrated by its racial tolerance program. The program did not have a single black employee. No black person helped shape or design the program." [SANDERS, R., 9-22-97, p. 7A] The granddaddy of Black civil rights organizations, the NAACP, "took shape" at the estate ("Troutbeck") of Joel Spingarn who became its Board Chairman in 1915. He served in this position until 1929 when he became, instead, the president, til 1939. He was succeeded by his brother Arthur (for many years head of the NAACP's Legal Committee) till 1966, when another Jew, Kivie Kaplan, "a millionaire manufacturer of patent leather," [HILLEL/LEVINE, p. 127] took over. "By 1968," note Hillel Levine and Lawrence Harmon, "the perceived paternalistic leadership style of Kaplan and other prominent Jews in the civil rights movement was coming under increasingly sharp attack. Activists called for his resignation; Kaplan refused." [HILLEL/ HARMON, p. 127] Only with Kaplan's death in 1975 did the NAACP -- 64 years after its founding -- have the opportunity to elect its first Black president. [GOLDBERG, p. 24]

"Litigation," notes Hasia Diner, "was the Association's most potent weapon ... Many of those lawyers and legal advisors were Jews. In fact, Jews made their greatest impact on the Association in this area." [DINER, p. 128] Jewish lawyer Nathan Margold's 1929 "report became the bible of the NAACP's legal efforts." [KAUFMAN, J., 1988, p. 91] Jack Greenberg headed the 1960s-era NAACP Legal Defense Fund. In 1982, still at the helm, a Black student coalition at Harvard protested Jewish paternalism and the fact that a white Jew "was heading the country's premier black legal organization." [KAUFMAN, J., 1988, p. 119-121] Joel Spingarn, who served as both the NAACP Chairman of the Board and as a major in the U.S. Military Intelligence Department (MID) during World War I, was revealed in recent years by the Memphis Commercial Appeal to have "used his [NAACP] post to obtain critical information for MID." [MARTIN, p. 49] Another such "liberal" Jew on the NAACP membership rolls included Judge Julian Mack (of the U.S. Court of Appeals), the first President of the American Jewish Congress. Mack was also president of the Zionist Organization of America from 1918 to 1921. He and Louis Brandeis, notes Thomas Kolsky, "dominated American Zionism from 1914 to 1921 and also in the 1930s." [KOLSKY, T., p. 26]

With Jews holding the purse strings to many ostensibly Black organizations, in 1976 Black activist Julian Bond sought the directorship of the NAACP. Although critical of Israel, Bond found it necessary to sign a yearly "Black Americans in Support of Israel (BASIC)" statement "if he was to have any chance of winning the NAACP position, given the powerful influence of Jews within the organization." [GINZBURG, p. 169] In the early years of the NAACP, adds Hasia Diner, "heavy Jewish involvement may explain why the [NAACP] conference passed the 'Russian Resolution,' which protested the expulsion of Jews from the city of Kiev, Russia." [DINER, p. 136] Later, African Americans like William Pollard, Deputy Director of the NAACP, took "many trips" to Israel, although socialization to the Jewish/Israeli perspectives was not always completely successful. [STARR, J., 1990, p. 251]

Clues to the nature of Spingarn's NAACP may be gleaned from the following quotes from B. Joyce Ross, author of J.E. Spingarn and the Rise of the NAACP:

* "Spingarn's failure to relinquish the power he wielded in the NAACP comprised one of the greatest paradoxes of his career." [p. 69]

* "Spingarn's familiarity with New York's most reputable financial institutions and his expertise in the management of stocks and bonds enabled him to become one of the key formulators of the NAACP's financial policy." [p. 57] (He also had a "special influence" at publishers Harcourt, Brace and a "special relationship" at Alfred Knopf). [LEWIS, p. 562]

* 'The NAACP became a closed corporation ... [resulting in] a tremendous narrowing of the broad base of authority suggested by the Association's constitutional structure, with a concomitant tendency toward a self-perpetuating Board of Directors." [p. 52]

* "The central office's tight control of the branches meant essentially that a few New York administrators determined NAACP policy on a nationwide scale." [p. 58-59]

* "[W.E.B. Du Bois], the only Black executive officer [until 1916] contended that it was absolutely necessary that he have a large measure of autonomy lest the Association with its preponderance of white executives, should become a white dominated organization with Negroes as mere helpers ... From an administrative standpoint [Du Bois'] demand for autonomy was a potential threat to the organization's basic unity." [p. 61-62]

* Even though W. E. Du Bois, one of the foremost Black leaders of the day, received a full salary from the Association for his services, he frequently was obliged to solicit personal loans from Spingarn." [ p. 57] The early Black nationalist Marcus Garvey "stormed out of the NAACP's headquarters in 1917, 'dumbfounded' by the apparent domination of whites." These included Board Chairman Joel Spingarn, his brother Arthur who was pro bono counsel, Herbert Lehman of the Executive Committee, Arthur Sachs, Herbert Seligmann - director of public relations, and his secretary Martha Gruening. [LEWIS, p. 553] (A particularly curious instance occurred in 1962-63 when the labor union expert at the NAACP, a Jew named Herbert Hill, led an attack on the -- largely Jewish -- International Ladies Garment workers union, for racism ["discrimination."] [GLAZER/MOYNIHAN, p. 178]

Other NAACP activists included Felix Frankfurter ("an active Zionist who is credited with drafting the Balfour Declaration, the 1918 statement of the British government favoring the establishment of the Jewish homeland in Palestine" and Herman Lehman who "was also a Zionist and lent a hand in the Palestine Economic Corporation. Among Louis Marshall's "primary activities" included "serving as president of the American Jewish Committee." Herman Moskowitz "worked ardently in the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Social Service Association." [DINER, p. 123]

In later years Marcus Garvey ran into trouble with the law concerning his part-ownership of a steam line business. "I am being punished for the crime of the Jew Silverstone [an agent of the Black Star line]," he complained, "I was persecuted by Maxwell Mattuck, another Jew, and I am to be sentenced by Judge Julian Mack, the eminent jurist [and an NAACP board member]. Truly, I may say, 'I am going to Jericho and fell among thieves.'" [MAGIDA, p. 166]

"One is driven to the hypothesis," says Israel Shahak, "that quite a few of Martin Luther King's rabbinical supporters were either anti-Black racists who supported him for tactical reasons (wishing to win black support for American Jewry and for Israel) or were accomplished hypocrites." [SHAHAK, p. 26] "[Jewish] loyalists," declared Thelma Thomas Dalevy, president of the mostly Black Delta Sigma Theta sorority in 1979, "are not compatible with the struggle of black Americans for equal opportunity under the law. Indeed, we question whether their loyalties are first with the state of Israel or the United States." [STANFIELD, p. 1849]

Yet, "Jews cannot afford to engage in or tolerate political tactics or public rhetoric that seriously threatens to discredit blacks," observes Benjamin Ginzburg, "This is one of the major reasons that Jewish racism, often expressed privately, seldom manifests itself publicly. African-Americans are simply too important to the legitimacy of the American domestic state. If Jews engage in attacks on blacks or permit doubts to be raised about the merits of their political claims, then Jews are, in effect, undermining a major moral prop supporting the institutions from which they themselves derive enormous benefits and through which they exercise considerable power." [GINZBURG, p. 153]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


From:
WHEN VICTIMS RULE. A CRITIQUE OF
JEWISH PRE-EMINENCE IN AMERICA

[Hmmm. Why would our liberal justice-screaming Jews skip a major forum about racism? Unless they knew they'd be a target of discussion. All hail racist Israel!]
Jews Skip Europe Racism Forum,
by Ruth E. Gruber, JEwish Times, SEPTEMBER 13, 2003
"Pascale Charhon found herself part of a small minority this month when more than 300 delegates from 55 countries sat down in Vienna to discuss how to combat racism, discrimination and xenophobia. Charhon, the director of the Brussels-based European Jewish Information Center, represented one of only half a dozen or so Jewish organizations that attended the Sept. 4-5 conference. The lack of Jewish participation was not totally unexpected. Convened by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the meeting followed a parallel conference in June that had focused specifically on combating anti-Semitism. So anti-Semitism was not officially on the agenda of this conference. For Charhon, however, the broader focus provided all the more reason to attend this time around. "The Jewish people and the European Jewish world are definitely part of Europe; we are citizens of Europe," she told JTA. "This inclusive Europe will protect the rights of everyone, including Jews," she said. "We have a role to play ... Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Paris-based international liaison director, agreed. "We've begun to move a bit toward self-ghettoization," he said. But, he said, divorcing anti-Semitism from other hatred-related issues could prove counterproductive. "If you leave a vacuum, it will be filled by those who are hostile to us," he said."
[The following article is really one of Jewish paternalism and dominance of African-Americans: Jewish hegemony is always disguised as aid.]
Blacks and Jews Entangled,
by Edward S. Shapiro, First Things, 45 (August/September 1994)
"Of the many pieties of American Jewry, few have been accepted so readily and widely at face value or have been so influential as the easy assumption that blacks and Jews share vital interests arising out of what the rabbi-historian Arthur Hertzberg termed the "comradeship of excluded peoples" ... Jews have supposed that they, more than any other group, could and did empathize with the plight of blacks, and that blacks recognized this ... Jews were propelled into the civil rights movement by the belief that Jews and blacks shared the same agenda. Joel and Arthur Spingarn helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Jack Greenberg succeeded Thurgood Marshall as head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Jewish organizations such as the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, and the ADL were in the forefront in the campaign against racial prejudice. The financial contributions of Jews were crucial in the work of the NAACP, the Urban League, the Congress of Racial Equality, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, and other civil rights organizations. More than half of the whites who went to Mississippi in 1964 to challenge Jim Crow were Jews, and about half of the civil rights attorneys in the South during the 1960s were Jews ... [M]any of the most prominent authorities on black history and black sociology have been Jews. One thinks immediately of Melville J. Herskovits (The Myth of the Negro Past), Frank Tannenbaum (Slave and Citizen), and Charles Silberman (Crisis in Black and White), among others. The field of black history in America is studded with such names as Herbert Aptheker, Ira Berlin, Philip Foner, Herbert Gutman, Lawrence W. Levine, Leon F. Litwack, Gilbert Osofsky, George Rawick, and Seth M. Scheiner. Robert W. Fogel, the cowinner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Economics, coauthored the most controversial economic analysis of slavery, Time on the Cross, and Stanley Elkins wrote Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life, the most debated study of the impact of slavery on blacks. The historian Peter Novick in his 1988 volume, That Noble Dream: The "Objectivity Question" and the American Historical Profession, noted a difference in the way that gentile and Jewish historians have approached black history. While white historians who wrote of white attitudes and behavior toward blacks-George Frederickson, Winthrop Jordan, C. Vann Woodward-were usually gentiles, those white historians who wrote of blacks as subjects were generally Jews. Jews seemingly were better able to write about blacks from the black point of view. Thus Herbert Gutman wrote a mammoth history of the black family and Lawrence Levine wrote an outstanding book on Afro-American folk culture. Nell Painter, a contemporary black historian, claimed that while most white historians wrote from a white perspective, historians such as Levine and Gutman "are able to think about history in what I'd call 'black' ways." Jewish spokesmen emphasized that this affinity of Jews toward blacks stemmed not only from idealism but also from self-interest. ... This presumption has continued to resonate among American Jews. One curious manifestation of this was the Public Broadcasting System documentary film Liberators: Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II. This film and an accompanying book that appeared simultaneously described the role of black soldiers in liberating Jews from the Buchenwald and Dachau concentration camps in April 1945. The film opened on November 9, 1992, the fifty-fourth anniversary of Kristallnacht, at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center with Jesse Jackson and other luminaries in attendance. One month later it was screened at the Apollo Theater in Harlem under the sponsorship of a group calling itself the Liberators Commemoration Committee. The screening was followed by a reception attended by black leaders, black veterans of World War II, and Holocaust survivors. Liberators could not have appeared at a more fortuitous time for new York City politicians and black and Jewish leaders. Mayor Dinkins hoped that it would lessen tensions between blacks and Jews that had been exacerbated by the 1991 riot in Crown Heights and the refusal in October 1992 of a Brooklyn jury to convict Lemrick Nelson of the murder of Yankel Rosenbaum. Dinkins had been elected in 1989 as the city's first black mayor, and he had emphasized during the election campaign that he could best heal the city's ethnic and racial divisions. Dinkins' hope for reelection depended on support among Jewish voters, and Liberators, with its premise that Jews and blacks shared a common agenda, was grist for his political mill. The New York City Board of Education planned to distribute copies of the documentary to all of the city's public junior and senior high schools, and Jewish philanthropists competed for the privilege of funding the operation. They hoped that the film could help stem the tide of increasing black anti-Semitism and repair the badly frayed black-Jewish liberal coalition. Liberators received an Academy Award nomination for best documentary even after doubts had been raised by black World War II veterans, Holocaust survivors, and Holocaust historians regarding the film's veracity. It soon became clear that black soldiers had never liberated Dachau and Buchenwald, although they had been in the vicinity. Jeffrey Goldberg, the New York bureau chief for the Forward, a Jewish English language weekly, blew the whistle on Liberators. In an essay titled "The Exaggerators," which appeared in the February 8, 1993 issue of the New Republic, Goldberg quoted the denials of both black soldiers and survivors that blacks had liberated Dachau and Buchenwald. The American Jewish Committee issued a fifteen-page report which concluded that Liberators contained "serious factual flaws well beyond what can be written off as 'artistic license.'" The black veterans were particularly angry regarding the liberties that had been taken with the truth. "I first went to Buchenwald in 1991 with PBS," one black soldier who appeared in the film told Goldberg. The black soldiers had had an enviable record of service in Europe in 1944 and 1945, and they did not want this record sullied by fantasies which, once discredited, could bring into question their wartime performance. E. G. McConnell, one of these soldiers, said, "We had been stripped of our history in our slavery, and I didn't want to come up with anything that could tarnish our record. But apparently some other people didn't mind a few lies." Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the controversy surrounding Liberators was not the deceit practiced by Nina Rosenblum, the film's Jewish cocreator, but her continuing refusal to recant even after the movie's misrepresentations had been exposed and the film and videotape had been withdrawn from circulation. She described as racists those whites who would deprive the black units of credit for liberating Dachau and Buchenwald. This she argued even though the black veterans themselves had been the first to raise doubts about the film. Rosenblum in fact described McConnell as "severely brain-damaged" due to being hit in the head with shrapnel during the war. The black veterans were not the only blacks who objected to the film. Blacks who had been involved in making the film soon realized that their artistic integrity had been compromised for the sake of Rosenblum's political and social agenda. Rosenblum was not the only Jew unwilling to allow the minor point of historical accuracy to detract from the laudable effort to cement black-Jewish relations. If the film was not factually true, they seemed to be saying, so much the worse for truth. Peggy Tishman, one of the cohosts for the Apollo showing, asked rhetorically, "Why would anybody want to exploit the idea that this is a fraud? What we're trying to do is make New York a better place for you and me to live." The truth of the film was subsidiary to its role in reviving the black-Jewish alliance. For Jews on the left, Liberators was a disaster not because it was a fraud but because it encouraged those elements within the Jewish community who were skeptical of the black-Jewish alliance. Letty Pogrebin, writing in the radical Jewish magazine Tikkun, feared that the controversy engendered by the film played into the hands of those political forces who sought to capitalize on black-Jewish hostility. For her, the dispute mandated a search for truth "at a level deeper than facts." "The film presents us with a problem of ethical slippage and well-intentioned embellishment," she wrote, but "not a hoax." "Truth must be defended, yes; but so must the liberal vision of Black advancement and the struggle for Black-Jewish harmony." It is precisely because Jews have presumed that blacks and Jews have common interests that they are so disappointed by the reluctance of Jesse Jackson and other black leaders to strongly condemn the anti-Semitic rantings of Louis Farrakhan and his ilk. This disappointment stems not only from the belief that blacks have not shown the proper gratitude for all that Jews have done for them. More important is the fact that black anti-Semitism throws doubt on an important element of the identity of American Jewish liberals and radicals-the presumption that blacks and Jews comprise a community of the oppressed and that Jews are never acting more true to their religious and ethnic heritage than when they are working side by side with blacks to create a society free of racial and religious prejudice. If anything, this belief of Jews in their special relationship with blacks encourages anti-Semitism. As Arch Puddington has argued ("Black Anti-Semitism and How it Grows," Commentary, April 1994), anti-Semites such as Farrakhan are encouraged in their anti-Semitism "in the knowledge that Jews, unlike other whites, will react not simply with anger, but with wounded innocence and appeals for 'dialogue' and 'healing.' Abandoning the fiction of the special relationship might thus have the paradoxical effect of contributing to a reduction of racial tensions." Black anti-Semitism, however, is simply incomprehensible to Jews who would like to believe that their own history of affliction, culminating in the Holocaust, has made them incapable of racism. This ignores the sociological and historical context within which black-Jewish relations have evolved. A curious effort along these lines was the editorial "Victims and Victimizers" that appeared in the March-April 1994 issue of Tikkun ... For Jews on the left an entente with blacks was necessary in order to define their sense of self. This entente vindicated Jewish liberalism and encouraged a Jewish identity free of religious obscurantism. "We are all forced to confront . . . the question of what is a Jew and what does this all mean," Ellen Willis, a Jewish radical, said in 1982. "And to me the status of Jews as outsiders and as persecuted outsiders is the core of what Judaism and Jewishness is all about" ... In his 1988 book Where Are We? The Inner Life of America's Jews, [Leonard] Fein admitted that American Jews were no longer among the oppressed. Nevertheless, Jews should continue to identify with blacks because of "our continuing need to see ourselves among the miserable-or, at least, the still- threatened." The involvement of Jews in the civil rights movement, Fein concluded, "has helped preserve our sense of ourselves as still, and in spite of all the successes we've known, among the oppressed, hence also among the decent, the just, the virtuous" ... Even a cursory examination of the history of black-Jewish relations in the United States reveals that they were never as warm as Pogrebin and Fein would have us believe, nor are they today as frigid as alarmists claim. If support for blacks is an ineluctable result of Jewish values, then one would expect that the most Jewish of American Jews-the Orthodox of Brooklyn-would be the most sympathetic toward blacks. The exact opposite, however, is true. Secure in their Jewish identity, they do not require close relations with blacks to define their Jewish identity. Their Jewishness rests on more substantial grounds. One does not have to be Orthodox, however, to be wary of blacks. Norman Podhoretz's 1963 essay in Commentary, "My Negro Problem-and Ours," reveals how wide was the cultural gulf between immigrant Jews and their children who resided in the solidly Jewish neighborhood of Brownsville in Brooklyn and the blacks in adjacent neighborhoods. Podhoretz and his friends were simultaneously repulsed by and attracted to the superior athleticism and sexuality of the blacks, an attitude also reflected in Norman Mailer's famous essay "The White Negro" ... Indeed, it would seem that for [Jewish civil rights lawyers] Greenberg and Lowenstein, as well as for Howard Zinn, William Kuntsler, and others, an involvement in black causes was a surrogate identity that helped fill the vacuum in their lives stemming from their estrangement from things Jewish ... Even during the first two decades after World War II-the supposed "golden age" of black-Jewish relations-James Baldwin, Kenneth Clark, and other blacks warned liberal Jews that their image of a close black- Jewish affinity was a fiction of their imagination, and that candor and realism were now required. As Baldwin noted in a famous statement, "Georgia has the Negro and Harlem has the Jew." Whenever the black had to pay rent to a Jewish apartment house owner, or shopped at a Jewish- owned store, or was taught by a Jewish school teacher, or was supervised by a Jewish social worker, or was paid by a Jewish employer, the fact of black subservience to Jews was driven home ... As much as Jews might have done for blacks, the relationship was essentially one of paternalism. A paradigm of this association was the one between Jack Benny and Rochester on the popular radio and television show of the 1940s and 1950s. As close and warm as the dealings between the two men might be portrayed, there was never any mistaking the fact that Benny was the boss and Rochester the servant. Letty Pogrebin's dismay concerning the debate over Liberators derived from her fear that it could prevent a refashioning of the traditional relationship between the two groups. The furor over the film's historical accuracy, she claimed, had obscured the "deeper" truth of the film, namely, that in the past blacks had helped Jews just as Jews had helped blacks. The opponents of the film, in her view, hoped to obliterate the memory of this reciprocity ... The pervasive anti-Semitism of [African-American author Harold Cruse's] The Crisis of the Black Intellectual stemmed from Cruse's bitterness over the fact that the black drive for self-determination had been deflected by Jewish radicals into causes, such as communism, that were of little relevance to black nationalism. For decades sensitive observers warned Jews that black-Jewish relations were not what they presumed. In 1964, Rabbi Richard C. Hertz discussed the "Rising Tide of Negro-Jewish Tensions" in the black magazine Ebony, and two years later the sociologist Dennis Wrong prophesied that "Negro anti-Semitism is not a passing phenomenon." This prediction seemingly has come to pass. Recent polls have revealed that 63 percent of New York City's blacks believe Jews to have too much influence in the city and that blacks are twice as likely to hold anti- Semitic views as other Americans. Gary E. Rubin of the Amer ican Jewish Committee has raised serious doubts about the methodology of these polls, and he insists that they overestimate the extent of overall American anti-Semitism. Still, there seems little question that anti-Semitism is more widespread among blacks than whites. American blacks are the only major American ethnic group that has leaders who are clearly anti-Semitic. Black anti-Semitism seems to have repealed the traditional sociological laws of anti-Semitism. Whereas for whites anti-Semitism is more prevalent among those older, less affluent, less educated, and more religious, among blacks the exact opposite is true. Within the black community there is a positive correlation between youth, schooling, income, and lack of religiosity on the one hand and anti-Semitism on the other."
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is an American civil rights organization. The NAACP was founded as the American Negro Committee on February 12, 1909 by a group of thirteen activists, where W. E. B. DuBois was the only African-American while the others were Jewish Americans. The organization was one of the leading organizations involved in the civil rights struggle of the 1960s and 70s. The first presidents of the NAACP were Jewish, but following the death of Kivie Kaplan in 1975, an African American was elected. As of 2003, the president of the organisation is Kweisi Mfume."
[Jews always do what is their own community's best interests.]
New book stirs debate on Jews´ role during apartheid years in South Africa,
By Moira Schneider, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, October 26, 2003
"A new book that examines the role of Jews in apartheid South Africa is raising awkward questions about what Jews did — and didn´t do — to end apartheid Gideon Shimoni´s "Community and Conscience: The Jews in Apartheid South Africa," published this summer, has caused a stir among some South African Jews who say the book shames the Jewish community, exposing Jews´ status as bystanders while white South Africa systematically persecuted the country´s black majority. The author, who was born in South Africa but has lived in Israel since 1961, said the book is intended not to pass moral judgment, but to document the historical record. "I am neither condoning it nor condemning it," Shimoni said of how Jews responded to the apartheid system. "My task as a historian is to try to understand and explain. I think every person will make that judgment for him or herself." In his book, Shimoni — who holds the Shlomo Argov Chair in Israel-Diaspora Relations at Jerusalem´s Hebrew University — writes that while individual Jews were among the most active whites to oppose apartheid, the total number of Jews actively struggled against the system were few and the country´s main Jewish group was largely silent on the issue. Until the mid-1980s, the community as a whole did not condemn apartheid. That revelation prompted a past president of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies to say recently that Jews had failed "the struggle," as the fight against apartheid is called here. During the 1950s and 1960s, the board had tried to steer clear of any political involvement, maintaining that there was no Jewish position on political issues. Like other South Africans, they said, Jews participated in their country´s affairs according to their individual convictions. That, Shimoni said, in effect shifted responsibility for providing moral guidance to the rabbinate. For the most part, Jewish clergy did not take up the challenge. ... Shimoni concludes that during the 46-year reign of apartheid, there was nothing in the record of the Jewish community "deserving of moral pride, neither does it warrant utter self-reproach. From a coldly objective historical perspective, this was characteristic minority group behavior — a phenomenon of self-preservation, performed at the cost of moral righteousness." Dennis Davis, a former activist against apartheid who now is chairman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies´ Cape Council, was less charitable in passing judgment on his predecessors. At a panel discussion held here to launch the book, Davis said he was "ashamed of the disgraceful legacy which haunts us." He described the community´s role during apartheid as "nothing short of pathetic." In one episode Shimoni recalls in his book, a Jewish nursery school denied admission four decades ago to a black girl whose mother was Jewish and father was black. The school board was chaired by the city´s chief rabbi, who said the girl´s application was rejected "fearing that acceptance of a colored child would jeopardize the school´s government license." When a group of sympathetic parents protested, saying the child was Jewish, the rabbi suggested the community chip in to send the girl to Israel."

No comments:

Post a Comment