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In the wake of Bernie Madoff’s ruinous investment schemes, Abe Foxman takes a cultural and political look at the many variations throughout history of the assumptions made about Jews and money. These include Jews as greedy global capitalists; Jews as wealthy secret communists; Jews as cheapskates; and Jews controlling the media with their money to unduly influence society. Foxman makes the case that these stereotypes have permeated cultures globally and argues that these beliefs are rooted in deep-seated and ...
In the wake of Bernie Madoff’s ruinous investment schemes, Abe Foxman takes a cultural and political look at the many variations throughout history of the assumptions made about Jews and money. These include Jews as greedy global capitalists; Jews as wealthy secret communists; Jews as cheapskates; and Jews controlling the media with their money to unduly influence society. Foxman makes the case that these stereotypes have permeated cultures globally and argues that these beliefs are rooted in deep-seated and pervasive anti-Semitism. As with all forms of bigotry, society at large needs to respond to the persistence of stereotypes by educating the young, denouncing hate speech, and by encouraging Jews, like all groups, to express pride in their ethnic and religious heritage.
A stalwart in the long campaign against anti-Semitism presents rational arguments on the side of reason and understanding.
Indefatigable Anti-Defamation League director Foxman (The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control, 2007, etc.) applies common sense against entrenched hatred, challenging patent bigotry with plain truths about Jews and money. Before diving in to "The Bernie Madoff Moment," the author reminds us of the virtuous owner of Malden Mills, who reacted heroically when his factory, where many townsfolk earned their livelihoods, was destroyed in 1995. That good man, like the criminal Madoff, was Jewish. Methodically, Foxman examines some causes of anti-Semitism, including charges of deicide and the belief in a cabal of usurers in a den of thieves. Certainly, some Jews are wealthy, but some are poor; some are tightfisted, others are remarkably philanthropic; some are capitalists, others communists. The author stresses that irrational bigotry isn't past history, but rather current events—in fact, the old czarist forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is still published and marketed worldwide. Anti-Semitism has survived the days of Father Coughlin and Henry Ford to be found on Twitter and the Internet, and it is global, unfiltered and viral. In his discourse, Foxman skims sordid and dangerous examples of bigotry, including ethnic comedy—though showbiz criticism isn't his strength. The author effectively marshals logic and fact, and he maintains a consistently calm, level tone.
A gentlemanly exhortation to communicate and get involved in the fight against an ancient evil.
1. The Bernie Madoff Moment
2. The Story of a Stereotype
3. The Facts Behind the Myths
4. The Stereotype Today
5. When Everyone Has a Megaphone
6. Not So Funny
7. Damned If We Do, Damned If We Don't
8. Society's Response.
Posted January 31, 2011
I didn't get to the point where I was willing to buy and read the book. I watched a presentation by Mr Foxman on CSPAN2 in which he gave an overview of his book. He stated that his concern, and reason for writing the book, was that many people maintain a stereotype that Jews are overly interested in money and making money. Yet he began his presentation talking about the fact the it was difficult to prepare such a presentation because of his concern that if he told too much about his book, people wouldn't buy it. Imagine that, concern for the bottom line! I have seen many of these programs featuring authors discussing their books and reasons for writing, none have begun as Mr Foxman's. I just had to smile.
Left to his own devices, Mr Foxman was a shining example of what he decries as blatant anti-semitism, the perception that Jews are inordinately interested in money and making money.
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