Two separate fusses, one in Europe and one in the United States, have raised the awkward question of Jewish influence. Recently, the European Union commissioner for trade, Karel de Gucht, a Belgian, made some remarks about the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in Washington, in the course of which he said:
Do not underestimate the Jewish lobby on Capitol Hill. That is the best-organized lobby, you shouldn’t underestimate the grip it has on American politics—no matter whether it’s Republicans or Democrats.
In the ensuing uproar, this statement was described by the editor of the British magazine Standpoint (a monthly that ingeniously manages to unite both Zionist and Roman Catholic conservatives) as “blatant anti-Semitism” and a voice “from Europe’s unspeakable past.”
Then, last week, Cuban-American TV anchor Rick Sanchez, apparently maddened by the taunts of Jon Stewart, made some rather heavily sarcastic remarks about the power of the American Jewish minority and the sharing of its liberal assumptions by many at the networks. He was fired from CNN almost before he had finished getting this off his chest. […]
Coming to Sanchez, I ask myself if the world in which I have worked for so many decades—the intersecting and overlapping world of the news media, publishing, the academy, and the think-tank industry—is even imaginable without the presence of liberal American Jews. The answer is plainly no. Moreover, I can’t think of any other “minority” of which this is remotely true, unless it were to be the other minority from which I can claim descent: people of British or Anglophile provenance.
In the manner in which Sanchez spoke, also, there was something like a buried resentment. He didn’t descend into saying that there was Jewish control of the media, but he did imply that liberalism was linked to a single ethnicity. Still, there is nothing criminal about this, and the speed of his firing, like the other recent abrupt disappearances of Laura Schlessinger and Octavia Nasr, seems to suggest a network system that cares only about playing safe and avoiding “offense.” The best way to demonstrate the hidden influence of the chosen people would be for Jon Stewart and others to join me in calling for Rick Sanchez’s reinstatement. If it then didn’t happen, it would help us understand who really pulls the strings around here.