Jews and the Left

Nora Ephron makes an obvious choice

I finally got around to watching Julie & Julia, directed by Nora Ephron who also wrote the screenplay. She is Jewish and a typical Hollywood liberal. She donated to Al Franken and Obama. Here’s an example of her prose (titled “White Men” from the liberal (and very mainstream) website Huffington Post, written just before the Pennsylvania primary in 2008:

This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don’t mean people, I mean white men. How ironic is this? After all this time, after all these stupid articles about how powerless white men are and how they can’t even get into college because of overachieving women and affirmative action and mean lady teachers who expected them to sit still in the third grade even though they were all suffering from terminal attention deficit disorder — after all this, they turn out (surprise!) to have all the power. (As they always did, by the way; I hope you didn’t believe any of those articles.)

White men are nothing more than haters. Not even Bill Kristol is liberal enough for her.

Julie & Julia is basically about two women becoming famous cooks 50 years apart. But Ephron can’t resist an opportunity for a little propagandizing. The movie has a brief cameo appearance of Julia’s father, John McWilliams. The following is from a biography of Child:

Pasadena, where she was born in 1912, was a handsome city, known for its wealth and civic accomplishments; John McWilliams was a living symbol of the city’s prosperity. A Princeton graduate and devout Republican, he managed the Western landholdings and investments amassed by his own father and later became vice president of J. G. Boswell, one of California’s major landowners and developers. His personal and professional mission was to keep California booming, and he put a great deal of time into Pasadena community life. Julia was raised to admire his discipline and public spirit, which she did, but he also nurtured a set of rabidly right-wing convictions that she would come to abhor. The two of them split sharply during the 1950s, when John McWilliams became a strong supporter of Senator Joseph McCarthy whom Julia found despicable. Her father was also outspoken about his contempt for Jews, artists, intellectuals, and foreigners; and for most of her adult life Julia viewed him with enormous dismay, though she managed to keep loving him.

In fact, McWilliams’ anti-Jewish views were well enough known that he was mentioned, along with well-known figures such as Gerald L. K. Smith and Methodist preacher Wesley Swift, as anti-Jewish supporters of McCarthy in Aviva Weingarten’s Jewish Organizations’ Response to Communism and Senator McCarthy (see my review here).

In Julie & Julia, McWilliams is presented as a cranky supporter of McCarthy who dislikes Julia’s husband Paul, a political liberal who had lived in Paris as a poet and artist — everything that McWilliams detested. In the movie, Paul is working as a librarian in the Foreign Service when he is called to Washington where he is grilled about possible communist associations and on his sexual orientation. Julia states that she knows many people who have been persecuted by McCarthy even though they have done nothing wrong. Paul returns to France dispirited by his experience.

The movie seems to be a reasonably accurate portrayal of McWilliams — a portrayal tailor made to hammer home one of Hollywood’s favority moral lessons about the evil 1950s.

However, Ephron could have taken another tack altogether. Although Julia renounced her father’s views on McCarthy, her views on homosexuality would certainly exclude her from the culture of the mainstream media today.

Homophobia was a socially acceptable form of bigotry in midcentury America, and Julia and Paul participated without shame for many years. She often used the term pedal or pedalo — French slang for a homosexual — draping it with condescension, pity, and disapproval. “I had my hair permanented at E. Arden’s, using the same pedalo I had before (I wish all the men in OUR profession in the USA were not pedals!),” she wrote to Simca. Fashion designers were “that little bunch of Pansies,” a cooking school was “a nest of homovipers,” a Boston dinner party was “peopled by 3 fags in an expensive house…. We felt hopelessly square and left when decently possible,” and San Francisco was beautiful but full of pedals—“It appears that SF is their favorite city! I’m tired of them, talented though they are.”

So Ephron had a choice if she wanted to bring up politically volatile issues. She could have played up the angle of Julia’s father as a cranky right-wing supporter of Sen. McCarthy, or she could have played up the angle of the Childs as homophobes.

But this was a feel-good movie, so it was a no-brainer. For Ephron, part of the feel-good message is to portray Julia’s character as an enlightened liberal, just like herself — and at the same time get in yet another dig at the retrogrades who supported McCarthy while avoiding any mention of McWilliams’ civic contributions or Julia’s homophobia.

Despite the fact that McCarthy was basically right about the people he hauled before his committee (see M. Stanton Evans, Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies), the cause of anti-McCarthyism remains a rallying cry for the Nora Ephrons of the world — at least partly because, as Weingarten shows, so many of them were Jews.

My only surprise is that we weren’t treated to a caricature of McWilliams’s anti-Jewish attitudes.

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Tom Sunic: Reply to Stern

Editorial note: Frequent TOO contributor Tom Sunic replies to Joel Stern’s letter to several writers associated with TOO and TOQ. (For Stern’s letter, see Alex Kurtagic’s “Narcissism” blog which also comments on Stern.)

Dear Mr. Stern:

Thank you for your comments. I appreciate  your concern for the future of  the Jewish people, and I’d also like to extend  my condolences  regarding the loss of your family . 

Of course, I speak in my own name, not on behalf of my TOO colleagues, all of them being outstanding intellectuals and tolerant people. I hope you have read Prof. MacDonald’s work — in which you won’t find any Jew baiting, but rather serious analyses of this most important issue of our times. 

Any lumping together of Christian identitarians and National Alliance hotheads with TOO is groundless.  

I respect your concerns for the real or hypothetical attacks on your victimhood. But I also expect from you some respect for my own, including respect for the historical memory of my people and my race —  wherever they may reside. It would be commendable on your part to extend sympathies to many of my relatives who perished anonymously in communist terror after 1945. While many Jews in America take for granted that non-Jews will constantly reminisce about Jewish victimology and hypothetical threats to the Jewry, few Jews seem to be concerned with the plight of non-Jews under communism in East Europe. 

The fact that Jewish intellectuals played a formidable role on the eve and during the Bolshevik seizure of power — however good or bad their intentions may have been — remains a topic that needs to be addressed in detail. This might help us avoid future mass killings and pogroms and secure, more or less, some semblance of cohabitation.

Yet, something tells me that neither myself nor yourself seriously believe in this static scenario.

One of the reasons anti-Semitism occurs is due to the lack of open debate about mutual perceptions and self-perceptions of Jews vs. non-Jews.  Hatred of Jews is prevalent among  those who mimic Semitism, people who subconsciously try to be more Jewish than Jews themselves. This is part and parcel of ‘genealogical proximity’, between Christians and Jews, and which has historically resulted in mutual hatred. This is a neurotic dilemma of a person wishing to replace his Sameness by someone else’s, i.e. Jewish/Christian Otherness. The classic example of this neurotic mindset are Christian Zionists. 

Your concerns reflect standard self-induced fears and self-fulfilling prophecies about anti-Semitic demons — who, as a rule, must sooner or later materialize.  The demon architects are not those you suspect of anti-Semitism, but those who claim to be your friends now. 

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Tom Sunic

www.tomsunic.info

Croatia

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Jews are the financial engine of the left

In his book Why Are Jews Liberals?, Norman Podhoretz states that Jews fund the left in America. He states it as a rather obvious truth — so obvious that it doesn’t really require a great deal of research.

And he is not writing simply about explicitly Jewish activist organizations like the ADL, but also to organizations like the ACLU and the $PLC. In fact, in his 1996 book Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment, J. J. Goldberg pointed out that “within the world of liberal organizations like the ACLU and People for the American Way, Jewish influence is so profound that non-Jews sometimes blur the distinction between them and the formal Jewish community.”

For example, SUSPS, an environmentalist activist group attempting to influence  the Sierra Club  to oppose immigration, recounts the notorious donations north of $100 million by David Gelbaum to the Sierra Club on condition that they not oppose immigration. As Gelbaum famously said to the president of the Sierra Club, “”I did tell [Sierra Club President] Carl Pope in 1994 or 1995 that if they ever came out anti-immigration, they would never get a dollar from me.”

It turns out that Gelbaum is also a major donor to the ACLU — more than $20 million annually. The New York Times reports that Gelbaum will not be making his donation this year. But the gap will be at least partially filled: “Donors like the Leon Levy Foundation, the Open Society Institute [funded by George Soros], Peter B. Lewis and John Sperling had stepped up with pledges totaling $23 million spread over the next three years.”

The only thing these sources have in common is Jewishness. Sperling, Soros, and Lewis are on an authoritative list of the 139 Jews on the 2009 Forbes 400 list of wealthiest  Americans;  Leon Levy was also Jewish, not making the list only because he died in his 70s with a net worth of around a billion dollars (which would qualify him for the list today). The Times report also notes that donations had been hurt because some foundations had been harmed by the Bernie Madoff fiasco — also presumably Jewish money.

Several implications:

Lists of wealthiest Americans underestimate Jewish wealth because people like Levy don’t appear on lists of wealthy people even though their money is still being used to advance Jewish causes.

Secondly, Jews are very good at using their financial power to advance their ethnic interests. One of the biggest problems for European-Americans is that wealthy non-Jews seem far more interested in funding the opera or getting their name on a building at the local university than in helping their people. A good example is the Chandler family who formerly owned the L. A. Times. They had no interest in the media, and the company is now controlled by Sam Zell, who is Jewish. The family remains wealthy but in general seems to be involved in finding fun and interesting ways to spend their time (one of them flies around the world to attend the opera; another is into building outsize model trains) rather than influencing the world.

Finally, in researching this, I couldn’t help but notice that Lewis, Soros, and Sperling have gotten together previously. The Wikipedia entry for Sperling notes, “Together with George Soros, and Peter Lewis of Progressive Insurance, Sperling raised considerable amounts of money for drug [legalization] and other related causes, especially during the 2004 presidential campaign.” Sperling also exhibits the Jewish tendency for disdain of the traditional culture of America. The Wikipedia entry includes a comment on his book The Great Divide: Retro vs. Metro America: “One America, to judge from the book’s illustrations, … lives in ‘vibrant’ cities with ballet troupes, super-creative Frank Gehry buildings and quiet, tasteful religious ritual; the other relies on contemptible extraction industries (oil, gas and coal) and inhabits a world of white supremacy and monster truck shows and religious ceremonies in which beefy men in cheap clothes scream incomprehensibly at one another.”

Not much doubt what side of the culture wars Sperling (and Lewis and Soros) are on.

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