Well, this is a proud time for the Jewish people.
In fact, it’s been one piece of proud news after another for quite a while now. A few months ago, the whole country changed, thanks to a Jew named Harvey Weinstein. After we learned of his disgusting behavior over decades, it unleashed a torrent of news about how many men are pigs, ignited the #metoo movement, and let us know about one famous man after another who has treated one woman after another horribly, abominably, shamefully.
And shamefully for the Jewish people, while Harvey Weinstein opened the floodgates, a whole parade of Jews followed. Indeed, dozens of well-known and powerful Jews followed, indeed almost half of the menpigs we’ve learned about who have been sexually harassing, have been Jews.
And it hasn’t stopped. Just this week, Eric Greitens, the governor of Missouri, who many saw as perhaps the first Jewish president, was indicted for felony invasion of privacy after allegedly blackmailing a former lover.
Seems Greitens, the first Jewish governor of Missouri, had an affair with a woman in 2015, and then photographed her while she was naked and in a compromised position. He threatened to release the photo if she ever revealed the affair. Another in the long line of not nice Jewish boys.
Then we had the Israeli police recommend that the prime minister of Israel be indicted on a whole bunch of corruption charges, with more still being investigated. With all the Jews being indicted, is it any wonder there are so many Jewish lawyers?
And while the leader of the Jewish state was shown to be involved in some very unJewish behavior, the state itself, or rather the government he heads, was proceeding along with its plan to deport about 40,000 African migrants who had fled to Israel after escaping horrible persecution back home. It’s hard to think of a more Jewish story than people running for their lives seeking safe haven, and it’s harder to think of a less Jewish response than sending them back to almost certain hell.
Meanwhile, in the American government, we had a Jew, Jared Kushner, be stripped of his top secret security clearance because, after looking into his background, the FBI simply could not recommend he be able to keep it. Not after continually lying about foreign officials he had met, filing papers riddled with missing information, hiding who knows how much money he’s gotten from what overseas banks to keep his sinking empire afloat.
Then we had news that Teva Pharmaceuticals, which used to be a source of pride to the Jewish people, joined the list of Jewish sources of shame. Teva is based in Israel, and grew to become the world’s leading manufacturer of generic drugs. An Israeli company that made very good by doing good.
But Jews doing good, acting right, increasingly seems to be a thing of the past. As evidenced by the fact that Israeli-based Teva, teva being a Hebrew word meaning natural, showed that a drug company, even an Israeli one, cares only about money and not about people. People were quite excited when Teva announced recently that it would begin selling a copycat version of Syprine — an expensive drug invented in the 1960s. Syprine, which treats a rare condition known as Wilson disease, gained notoriety after Valeant Pharmaceuticals International raised the price of the drug to $21,267 in 2015 from $652 just five years earlier.
And so there was excited anticipation that Teva would fix that outrage, especially when in promoting its coming “lower-cost” alternative to Syprine, a Teva executive boasted in a news release that its new product “illustrates Teva’s commitment to serving patient populations in need.”
Here’s the thing about Teva’s commitment. Teva’s new generic will cost $18,375 for a bottle of 100 pills, 28 times what Syprine cost in 2010, and hardly the discount many patients were waiting for.
Makes you feel good to be Jewish, doesn’t it?
And then we come to Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul, a huge financial backer of both Trump and Netanyahu, and so someone who, despite his phenomenal Jewish ignorance, is the most influential Jew whispering into their ears.
Before I tell you what Sheldon did this week to bring us even more Jewish pride than he has already done by buying up Las Vegas’ biggest newspaper so he could squash it investigating how he does business; saying he doesn’t care if Israel remains a democracy or not as long as it doesn’t allow a two state solution; and starting a daily newspaper in Israel that is distributed free and so has forced several of Israel’s independent newspapers to go out of business; let me tell you a story that shows how sick the Jewish world is these days.
Sheldon started that daily newspaper for the sole purpose of being very pro-Bibi. All its coverage is favorable to Bibi. And so one would think Bibi might show some gratitude to Sheldon for starting a paper that is always on his side.
Well, Bibi, like Trump, can never get enough positive attention. And so he reached out to the publisher of another Israeli daily newspaper and offered him a deal – if his newspaper, which has often been critical of Bibi, would start publishing favorable articles about him, Bibi in turn would see to it that a law would be passed that would in essence put Sheldon’s paper out of business. It would outlaw papers that were distributed for free.
Do you see the depths of the depravity? Sheldon goes out of his way to help Bibi, including creating a daily newspaper to support him. But Bibi, craven and so lacking in loyalty, is ready to pass a law to harm Sheldon’s paper, in a backroom deal with a rival newspaper of Sheldon’s, if that would get Bibi positive stories in that other paper. Stabbing his own supporter in the back. Ah, you can smell the Jewish pride, can’t you?
But let’s get to what Sheldon did this week. As you may have heard, Trump said he’s moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Now building an embassy these days is quite an expensive proposition and it is estimated the new Jerusalem embassy will cost about $500 million.
Well, it appears Sheldon has told Trump and the State Department that he’s willing to pick up the tab, to pay for the construction of the new embassy. After all, when you’re worth more than $40 billion, what’s $500 million?
Please note that never in American history has a private citizen paid for the construction of an American embassy. Indeed, it’s not even clear such a thing is legal. But then Sheldon, who has made sweetheart deals all around the world with governments to make sure his casinos got built in places like Macao, doesn’t concern himself with piddling legal niceties.
He wants an embassy in Jerusalem, the embassy will cost $500 million to build and so Sheldon will pay for it. Simple. Nauseating but simple.
It is hard to find a more disgusting and morally tone deaf idea. For starters talk about feeding into Jewish stereotypes. Does Sheldon not recognize how there could be no greater favor to those who think Israel and the Jews control American foreign policy than an American Jew paying for the construction of the American embassy in Israel, in Jerusalem?
As one Jewish news service put it, “the optics of a rich donor paying the U.S. government for the embassy makes the move look less like a principled policy than a personal favor.”
“Citizens volunteering their resources and energies to ease the government’s burdens is laudable,” said Jason Isaacson of the American Jewish Committee. “But an American embassy represents – and must be seen indisputably as representing – the United States of America rather than any generous individual or segment of American society. The American embassy in Jerusalem – as with all American embassies around the world – should serve, and belong to, every American equally.”
Daniel Shapiro, the Obama administration’s ambassador to Israel who has since leaving the position advocated for a move, said Adelson funneling hundreds of millions of dollars into U.S. government’s coffers, would raise conflict of interest questions, including what is the casino magnate getting in return.
There is no question what he is giving is a very black eye to the Jewish community and Jewish ethics.
I could keep going since there are so many Jews these days acting in such horrible ways, but let me end with a glimmer of hope. Provided, not surprisingly, by one of the kids who attended that school in Florida that was the scene of the recent mass shooting. Oh, first I should just mention that another source of Jewish shame has been Steve Israel, the Broward County sheriff, and Jew, whose department has bungled the whole thing, first ignoring repeated warnings about the teenage shooter before the shooting, then having a deputy who didn’t act during the shooting, then the sheriff himself lying about all kinds things after the shooting, but claiming he has done an “amazing job” as sheriff.
But hey, I want to end on a positive note.
Meadow Pollack was one of five Jews killed in the massacre. A week after, her parents and two brothers flew to Washington, for a roundtable discussion with Trump at the White House. Ahead of the televised meeting, they also had a private sit-down with the president in the Oval Office.
Meadow’s brother Hunter wore a yarmulke during the meeting, explaining that “I wore it there because I’m proud to be Jewish. I wanted to wear my kippah in the highest office of the land. My Jewish peers in this country need to be proud of being Jewish, and that’s how we can honor Meadow’s memory as a beautiful Jewish girl.”
Beautiful indeed. Good for Hunter, a proud Jew, the kind of Jew we need so much more of these days, seem to have so few of these days.
May the memory of Meadow be for blessing, and may we all learn what Jewish pride is all about and is supposed to be, from her brother, who made a point of wearing a yarmulke in the Oval Office, something, by the way, that Jared has never done.