Thursday, February 15, 2018

American Jews and Inconsistency on Immigration - By Mike Konrad

This is an observation more than a critique, but it cannot help but be addressed.  The internet is making certain inconsistencies about Jewish-American politicians obvious.  It is something I have known about for decades but have kept quiet about, until I examined it more closely and became sure I was not overlooking a matter.
Recently, Senator Chuck Schumer battled with President Trump to tender protections to illegal aliens brought to the USA as children.  Now, I am not saying who is right or wrong in this debate.  In fact, I am closer to Senator Schumer's opinion, though I was not in favor  of the government shutdown to force the issue.
Senator Schumer is a strong supporter of Israel.  In fact, "Schumer says he advised Trump to declare Jerusalem Israel's 'undivided' capital[.]"
What is striking here is an obvious inconsistency.  Israel is adamant about preserving its Jewish identity in a way that America and many European nations are not.  Israel radically favors Jewish immigrants.  Presently, Israel is trying to rid itself of African refugees and has threatened those who refuse to leave with imprisonment.
Now, one has to wonder why a strong supporter of Israel, such as Senator Schumer, is not as critical of Israel's planned deportations as he is of Trump's – or conversely, if he is accepting of Israel's deportations, why is he critical of President Trump?  Apparently, Senator Schumer sees no problem with Israel maintaining its ethnic Jewish identity, yet somehow he feels obliged to act otherwise concerning America's ethnic core.
And yes, America still has an ethnic core.  Bluntly speaking, that core is white European, weighted toward Northern European.  That core is diminishing, to be sure, but most of the readers at American Thinker can remember a time when that American ethnic core was uncontested.
After 1924, quotas for immigration to the United States favored ethnic groups from seven countries in descending order: Germany, Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Poland, Norway, and France.  With the exception of France, all of these countries were clearly Northern European, and Northern France might as well be.  My chief opinion of that historical quota is that it set the limit for Italians far too low.  The Italians deserved a higher number.  By way of disclosure, I am neither Italian in ancestry nor related to Italian-Americans, but a lot of my friends are.
The quotas were set up to maintain the approximate ethnic make-up of the United States, which, unlike Western Europe at that time, was not mono-ethnic, but, though poly-ethnic, comprised similar or related ethnic groups.  A South German (Munich) Catholic immigrant might be indistinguishable from an American WASP in all but religion.  A Swedish Protestant would be even blonder than the average American.  A glib Irishman might speak English better than a native-born cowboy.
There was room for play in the quotas, and they were modified over time, but until 1965, those were the general ratios.  No doubt, the quotas had been pushed by Nordic supremacists like Madison Grant, who wrote books warning against the decreasing Nordic-ness of America, such as The Passing of the Great Race.  But though Grant had some quite distasteful, and sometimes insane opinions about certain European ethnic groups, the quotas did maintain America's rough ethnic core for 40 years.
It was these ethno-centric quotas that upset many of America's elite.  Here is where it gets ironic: some of these elites were Jewish, such as Emanuel Celler.  Celler worked to overturn the quotas.
Celler made his first major speech on the House floor during consideration of the Johnson Immigration Act of 1924. ... The Johnson Act of 1924, which Celler opposed ...  virtually eliminat[ed] all immigrants other than those from England, France, Ireland[,] and Germany.
The quotas would last until 1965.  To be fair, the Kennedy family also pushed the change.
After 1948, Israel set up an ethno-centric quota system that not only favored, but subsidized Jewish immigrants.  Contrary to what is often declared, Israeli society radically favored Ashkenazi (European) Jews over Sephardi and Mizrahi (non-European) Jews.  There was quite a degree of discrimination.  
Discrimination against non-European Jews was bad enough that in the 1970s, groups of Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews formed a group called the Black Panthers, taking their name from the American group.  It is not that Israel did not absorb Mideastern Jews, but rather that its national elite were Ashkenazi Jews, and there was a social hierarchy.  The Mizrahi and Sephardi were mistreated.
I am not aware that Celler, who protested American quotas, ever criticized Israeli immigration policy.
Now, I am not opposed to any nation wanting to keep its ethnic center, provided that minorities are treated with equal rights.  I see no problem if France wants to remain European and stops any further Muslim immigration, provided that the Muslims already among them are treated fairly and encouraged to assimilate.  The same for Germany, Spain, Italy.  In this, I do not see a problem with much of Israel's ethno-centric immigration policies.
However, Israel takes this a bit farther.  Israel does not allow mixed marriages among religions, nor does it allow civil marriage – and rabbis get to determine one's Jewishness.
From The Guardian:
Reut T, a 28-year-old Israeli secretary, regards herself as a traditional and observant Jew, attending synagogue each week.  So having her Jewishness questioned when she wanted to marry was shocking and humiliating.
The news, delivered in a summons to a rabbinical court, came out of the blue.  Not only could she not be married by the rabbinate, she was told, but her very status as Jewish was being questioned[.]
From the Jerusalem Post:
The Chief Rabbinate is adding hundreds of people every year to two blacklists of citizens that will prevent them, their children[,] and their maternal relatives from ever marrying in Israel, newly available data show.
A questionable Gentile ancestor could be as damaging to an Israeli Jew hoping to get married in Israel as the possibility of a "negro" great grandparent could be to an otherwise white person in the Deep South during the Jim Crow era – as this blue-eyed woman (at the 24:22 mark) had to explain.  While laws have eased up in the United States, they are apparently getting more rigid in Israel as the rabbis seem to be getting stricter.
Members of the Jewish community in America – even liberals like Chuck Schumer – rarely mention this, while at the same time, they attack those who would defend America's core ethnic identity like Donald Trump.  I find this inconsistent, and it has to be addressed.
I am not asking for marriage to be theocratically monopolized in America.  Nor am I saying America should be as white as is possible.  Nor would I forbid intermarriage.  I do not see anything racist if our immigration laws were to prefer that 75% of all immigrants be Western European in origin, provided the other 25% of immigrants were treated equally.  This would not be racist.  It would be preserving our ethnic core, just as Israel does, and given the secular nature of our Constitution, it would almost certainly be applied less rigidly.  I do not want America to define itself as a white or Christian state, even if Israel defines itself as a "Jewish state," but I do think preserving that ethnic core is still valid.  One cannot accuse me of racism unless one also accuses Israel of an even more severe racism, which  I do not.
Probably the most atrocious example of this double standard came in 1973, when the popular TV show  Bridget Loves Bernie was canceled because some Jewish pressure groups were furious that American TV approved of Jewish-Christian intermarriage.
Meredith Baxter said, "We had bomb threats on the show.  Some guys from the Jewish Defense League came to my house to say they wanted to talk with me about changing the show."  Threatening phone calls made to the home of producer Ralph Riskin resulted in the arrest of Robert S. Manning, described as a member of the Jewish Defense League.  Manning was later indicted on murder charges, and fought extradition to the U.S. from Israel, where he had moved.
Needless to say, the quite popular show was canceled.  Ironically, soon after that, the CBS network didn't mind featuring an interracial couple on the The Jeffersons– historically, more controversial – after dodging the issue of Jewish-Christian marriages, which did not bother the public at large and actually had large-scale approval.
Again, I support Israel, and have no problem with a nation that wants to maintain its ethnic core, whatever that core is.  But I do have a problem with the double standard demonstrated by some, quite powerful, members of the Jewish-American community.  They should be called out on this.
This is not racism, but self-respect.
Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago.  He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at and a website about small computers at