I dunno, this is a tough one for me. As somebody who used to play basketball in a Catholic league, I used to be part of a team that sometimes had pennies thrown at us when we played away games. I presume this has something to do with the stereotype of Jews being money lovers/grubbers.

Czech Republic tv has been running an ad depicting an Orthodox Jew who was (not spitting at anybody, and) negotiating a price with the retail seller who supposedly works for the company running the ad. He negotiates the price down 80% (I’d hire this guy in a second) and then walks away mumbling that it wasn’t enough.

The Israeli ambassador immediately got on the Stop Antisemitism Red Alert Phone and managed to get the ad pulled off the air. However, the company spokesman did not apologize for the ad and claimed it was actually a positive depiction of a skillful negotiator as Jews are clearly depicted in plenty of literature.

This one confuses me a bit. Any opinions?

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  • May I offer an opinion from someone a lot wiser than I?
    Excerpt from Saul Bellow’s Ravelstein (a book that started my curiosity about what a Jewish identity means):
    “…and you’re a Jew, besides. The Jews had better understand their status with respect to myth. Why should they have any truck with myth? It was myth that demonized them. The Jew myth is connected with conspiracy theory. The Protocols of Zion for instance. . . Do you expect to be tapped one of these days and be told that you have now become an elder of Zion? Just give a thought now and then to those people on the meat hooks.”

  • They had an article in the Jpost about the Chinese view of the Jews this weekend. Anti-semitism, it seems, is in the eye of the beholder.

    Jews are rich, powerful, rich, shrewd and rich. They know the secret of success in banking, trade and industry. And they know the key to gaining influence in the US in general and in the White House in particular.

    These common Chinese characterizations of Jews might sound like an anti-Semitic diatribe, but sociologist Shalom Salomon Wald swears they are not. It’s actually a statement, he says, of the high regard in which China holds the Jewish people: These are the very traits that endear the Jews to the Chinese

  • laya – salomon wald is right on. those are qualities the chinese value in themselves.

  • Isn’t interesting how different cultures complement you. My only problem with the Chinese compliment is that the Bueracracy in China has run the country for close to 4000 years, and is perhaps one of the most graft driven entities in the world, it makes me wonder how much of a compliment that actually is coming from them. (That said, although it may seem strange with what I have said above, I hold the Chinese culture (the ‘far eastern’ cultures in general actually) in very high regard.)

    I think I may be very confused as to whether I have been complimented or insulted. Oh Well.

  • Let’s face it, when you mix images of bearded orthodoxy, business and Europe, and you are not Agudat Yisroel, it usually means there is anti Semitism lurking just under the surface. Anti Semitism can look like philo-semitism, seemingly to assert that that people (may) like or admire Jews, as did this official. However, when a group uses as a literary trope, and one that has been used for eons as justification for theft, oppression, murder, denial of civil and human rights…it is never done out of love. Obsession, maybe. Fascination, for sure. Unconscious, possibly. Good for the Jews, never.