Influencing How Jews Are Seen in China: It’s All about Nobel Prizes and Tolerance of Dissent
Tablet has an article reflecting Jewish angst over the possibility that the Chinese might think that Jews run America (“The Chinese Believe That the Jews Control America. Is That a Good Thing?“). Unlike in the U.S. where the ADL will threaten the livelihood of anyone who says that Jews have any power or influence, one might think that the Chinese are free to make up their own minds about the subject based on rigorous academic research. Think again.
“Do the Jews Really Control America?” asked one Chinese newsweekly headline in 2009. The factoids doled out in such articles and in books about Jews in China—for example: “The world’s wealth is in Americans’ pockets; Americans are in Jews’ pockets”—would rightly be seen to be alarming in other contexts. But in China, where Jews are widely perceived as clever and accomplished, they are meant as compliments. Scan the shelves in any bookstore in China and you are likely to find best-selling self-help books based on Jewish knowledge. Most focus on how to make cash. Titles range from 101 Money Earning Secrets From Jews’ Notebooksto Learn To Make Money With the Jews.
The Chinese recognize, and embrace, common characteristics between their culture and Jewish culture. Both races have a large diaspora spread across the globe. Both place emphasis on family, tradition, and education. Both boast civilizations that date back thousands of years. In Shanghai, I am often told with nods of approval that I must be intelligent, savvy, and quick-witted, simply because of my ethnicity. While it is true that the Chinese I’ve met are fascinated by—rather than fear—the Jews, these assertions make me deeply uncomfortable.
“Deeply uncomfortable.” The author, Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, is proud that the Chinese understand that Jews are powerful and influential in the U.S. But she sees the situation from the standpoint of an American Jew for whom ideas that Jews have power or control are anathema because such ideas touch on major themes of historical anti-Semitism, such as media control.
Just before my visit to Nanjing, the Chinese tycoon Chen Guangbiao made international headlines by publicly announcing his ambitions to buy the New York Times and later the Wall Street Journal. In a TV interview he explained that he would be an ideal newspaper magnate because “I am very good at working with Jews”—who, he said, controlled the media.
Read the rest: theoccidentalobserver.net