Jewish Control – Between Reality and Myth
by Daniel Pipes
Translations of this item:
["As-Saytara al-Yahudiya ma bayn al-Haqiqa wa'l-Khiyyal" – contribution to a symposium in an Arabic-language magazine]
(1) It is said that the Jewish control of America is so tight. Is that reality or myth?
The notion of Jewish control of the United States is utter nonsense. Jews are a capable people who have, through hard-work, gained a disproportionate role in some aspects of American life. But they in no way dominate the country. Further, they could not, for Jews differ greatly among themselves; the notion of a single Jewish viewpoint organized by a single Jewish group is pure fantasy. On any topic—from education to foreign policy—they disagree vociferously and intensely among themselves.
(2) The Arab press talks about Jewish control of money, media and politics in America. Is this an undisputed fact?
No, there is no Jewish control of the media and politics in the United States. Jews do have a larger role than their 2 percent of the population might suggest, but it is far from monolithic or organized. Jews compete with each other as much or more than they cooperate—whether for business or for votes.
(3) Has the political Jewish control originated from the active role in elections as a well organised minority?
For starters, there is no "political Jewish control." For evident historical reasons, Jews have an intense interest in politics. They have had a tumultuous and sometimes terrible history: to protect themselves from future disasters, Jews in the United States and elsewhere tend to pay close attention to politics. They vote in larger percentages than almost any other element of the population. They give money to political candidates in larger amounts. They write and speak more about politics. None of this amounts to Jewish "control" of politics in the United States, but it does help explain the prominent place of Jews in American public life.
(4) What about religious and cultural alliances of American Jews with the rest of America?
In the entire history of the Jews, they have never lived in a country as securely and as successfully as in the United States today. It is a golden age. The secularism of the United States offers Jews the opportunity to purse their religion without any interference from the state. The openness of the country allows them the chance to flourish economically and express themselves intellectually. Its democratic nature permits Jews to integrate into public life. In all, Jews have become a full-fledged part of American life. They have both influenced the country and been influenced by it. In this sense, Jews cannot be distinguished from other Americans, even if they retain a distinctive set of characteristics.
(5) If there were such control, how can America liberate itself from it?The notion of America liberating itself from Jews is absurd. Jews are full citizens of the United States with political, economic and personal rights and responsibilities precisely like any other citizens. This may be difficult for Arabs to comprehend, for the premises of American life are utterly different from those in the Middle East; as a result, Arabs in many cases simply do not understand how things work in the United States. It is key not to assume that the United States resembles Arab countries; I urge your readers not to see the United States in terms of their own experience. It takes much information and imagination to understand how this truly revolutionary country functions. Do not presume: learn. Do not project from what you know but take the time to find out how things work there. Only by such a process of investigating will Arabs come to comprehend the United States in general and specifically the role of Jews within it.
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