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How Did Jews Become the New Privileged Class?

A new rainbow of progressivism, with its spectrum of escalating oppressions, has outed Jews as full-fledged members of the oppressor class.

Thane Rosenbaum is a novelist, essayist, law professor and Distinguished University Professor at Touro College, where he directs the Forum on Life, Culture & Society. He has written numerous works of fiction and nonfiction and hundreds of essays in major national and global publications. He is the legal analyst for CBS News Radio and appears on cable TV news programs. His most recent book is entitled “Saving Free Speech . . . from Itself.”

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Thane Rosenbaum
Thane Rosenbaum is a novelist, essayist, law professor and Distinguished University Professor at Touro College, where he directs the Forum on Life, Culture & Society. He has written numerous works of fiction and nonfiction and hundreds of essays in major national and global publications. He is the legal analyst for CBS News Radio and appears on cable TV news programs. His most recent book is entitled “Saving Free Speech . . . from Itself.”

Being part of the ruling class is a bit overrated. Yes, there’s those connections to seats of power. Memberships in the right clubs. Powerful people watching your back. Every conceivable advantage, just for the asking.

Who knew Jews wore all those white shoes?

Over the past several years, Jews have been stripped of any claims to minority status. They have a new origin story in America: one that involves Plymouth Rock and bypasses Ellis Island altogether. A new rainbow of progressivism, with its spectrum of escalating oppressions, has outed Jews as full-fledged members of the oppressor class—too wealthy to be innocent, complicity in the slave trade, and kinsmen to an apartheid state called Israel.

Over the past several years, Jews have been stripped of any claims to minority status. They have a new origin story in America: one that involves Plymouth Rock and bypasses Ellis Island altogether.

In essence, Jews are white people with privileges no less inexorable than Presbyterians. Marginalized, vulnerable victims? Not a chance. Any claims of ethnicity or ties to another national origin are fabricated.

Jews must stay in their proper lane, among the American machers.

Even just twenty years ago, such false claims would be ludicrous. Nowadays, it’s what most Americans—surely on the left—actually believe, or will faithfully falsify. What this will mean to the once unshakable Jewish alliance with the Democrat Party is anyone’s guess—not because Jews will renounce their affiliation, but they might find themselves unceremoniously kicked out.

This was not a good week in the mythology of Jewish influence, or even friendship with Jews —at least where it matters.

Demonstrators in various cities in France and the United States, along with London, Rome, and Tel Aviv, protested a French court ruling that the murderer of Sarah Halimi, an elderly Jewish woman tossed from her balcony in 2017, was not responsible for his actions. The assailant is an avowed Islamist, who proudly acknowledged that he committed the crime in name of Allah. The court ruled, however, that he was too high on marijuana to know the consequences of his act.

Imagine if that was Derek Chauvin’s defense in his recent trial for the murder of George Floyd. “I was too stoned to realize my knee was on Floyd’s neck.”

Speaking of Floyd, the crowds that gathered in New York, Los Angeles and Miami, marking the injustice in allowing Halimi’s murderer to go unpunished, were sparse, attended mostly by Jews. What was clearly missing was any solidarity from the Black Lives Matter movement, which benefitted so greatly last summer from the participation of Jews—as marchers and patrons—in their righteous cause.

French Jewish Women’s Lives Matter, too?

Former Secretary of State, John Kerry, who served in the Obama administration and who played a pivotal role in negotiating the Iran deal, is no friend of Israel. An audio tape now revealed that he divulged secrets to Iran’s foreign minister about Israel’s missile attacks against Iranian proxies in Syria. In addition to betraying the Israelis, one of America’s staunchest allies and the only democracy in the region, it may have compromised the strategic interests of the United States.

The time period coincides with Iran’s sabotaging of oil tankers passing through the Strait of Harmoz. The Gulf states, thrilled by the Abraham Accords, now must wonder whether the United States will resume its prurient flirtations with Iran that began in the Obama administration.

Iran was the chief patron of President Assad’s murder and gassings of his own people in Syria. Iran’s nuclear aspirations, and ballistic missile testing, are not just perilous for Israelis. People forget that the Iranian regime once took 52 Americans hostage for over a year. They are the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism. And the Persian street has been known to burn American flags and refer to the United States as the Great Satan (Israel is the Little Satan).

Meanwhile, there’s news from yet another former head of the American intelligence community. John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency during the Obama years, tweeted that he always wondered why, given their own persecuted, violent history, the Jews of Israel are not more empathetic to Palestinians.

This from the man who purportedly received intelligence briefings about Palestinian terrorism and rocket launching from hospitals with children standing around as mortar shells.

America’s former top spook has no compunction lecturing Israel on morality and empathy. Yes, Jews do have a scarred history. But that’s precisely why they won’t jeopardize their nationhood by taking Brennan’s advice: Misapplying false pieties about a people who have long demonstrated that the only Israel they could live with would be one empty of all Jews.

If this is what it’s like knowing powerful people, better to be friendless.

Who wouldn’t take moral advice from Brennan, who during George W. Bush’s presidency tacitly approved waterboarding and misled the Justice Department about its use?

Of course, the safety of Israel is not all that matters to American Jews—nor should it be. Besides, far too few Jews appreciate how important Israel is to American foreign policy, and the security of Jews worldwide.

For antisemites, disguising their animus by deliberately conflating Palestinian terror with human rights has become a convenient proxy for Jew-hatred.

For antisemites, disguising their animus by deliberately conflating Palestinian terror with human rights has become a convenient proxy for Jew-hatred.

In other more ennobling news, NBA legend Charles Barkley’s daughter married a Jewish boy born in the Soviet Union who came to America the old-fashioned way: as an ethnic immigrant.

Good luck explaining that to woke well-wishers.

Barkley had some trepidations about being lifted in a chair after dancing the hora. He feared that there wouldn’t be enough Jews to hoist his rebounder’s frame. Aside from that, his daughter having Jewish in-laws was something he very much welcomed.

In 2016, while speaking at an event in New Jersey hosted by Jews, he said, “You taught me a lot about life. You treated me with great respect. You helped me grow as a man. You’ve treated me fantastic over 30 years. That’s one of the reasons I feel a great sense of pride when I speak to Jewish people. I admire your respect and dignity for yourselves and family.”

It’s good to know people in high places. Mazel Tov, Sir Charles.


Thane Rosenbaum is a novelist, essayist, law professor and Distinguished University Professor at Touro College, where he directs the Forum on Life, Culture & Society. He is the legal analyst for CBS News Radio. His most recent book is titled “Saving Free Speech … From Itself.”

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