in the garden

 

Feb 2004 Journal

previous article:Let's not be heedless over the headscarf! (editorial)
next article:Warm touch from OSHA volunteers

Some rulers of the world!

As if to substantiate ex-Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamed's assertion that Jews rule the world, the Tory Party has now taken up the so-called triple Disraeli option and entrusted the recovery of its electoral fortunes to a Michael Howard-Oliver Letwin-Lord Saatchi triumverate. Simultaneously, it has become embarrassingly clear that nearly all Russia's super-rich oligarchs - some currently on the run from Putin's ex-KGB agents, one in jail, and one ensconced at Chelsea FC - are 'co-religionists'.

They used to order these matters better under Stalin. In those far-off days both some of the dictator's minions, such as Kaganovich and Yagoda, and his best-known victims - ranging from the culpable Trotsky to the innocent Mandelshtam - were Jewish. Similarly, in Cold War Hungary the Stalin-and-Beria clones Rakosi and Farkas persecuted fellow Jews like the writers Gyula Hay and Tibor Dery without fear and favour.

But enough of nasty politics. In the 1900s Berlin emerged as the theatre capital of Europe thanks to the directors Brahms, Reinhardt, Jessner and Bernauer - every man-jack of them a Jew. At around the same time, the more rough-hewn artistic pioneers Goldwyn, Laemmle and Schenk were laying the foundations of Hollywood as the world's movie capital. Fast forward to the McCarthyite fifties and the pilloried Hollywood Ten sported surnames of similar provenance like Biberman, Malz and Ornitz.

The McCarthy phenomenon strongly suggests that politics - like the poor - will always be with us. Given that inescapable fact, one wishes that Israel were more Jewish - not in the ethnic or religious sense, but in the IQ sense of the word! How one longs for a Michael Howard sound-alike to resuscitate the country's 'natural party of government' from its seemingly inevitable demise - and for a Saatchi sibling to present the case of the Jewish state to an increasingly sceptical world audience.
Richard Grunberger

previous article:Let's not be heedless over the headscarf! (editorial)
next article:Warm touch from OSHA volunteers