Apr 29, 2009 12:59 pm


"When the world catches a cold, Jews catch pneumonia," goes the saying. As the world has been suffering from a major cold since 9/11 recently aggravated by the economic meltdown, historically minded Jews everywhere have been worrying about the dangers of rising Antisemitism. Should we make our worries public? Should we call to task those whose careless words may be increasing our peril? Or is it better to just let sleeping dogs lie? These questions have dogged me since the morning of Saturday the 18th. I have finally decided to share the story with you. I hope I am doing the right thing.

That morning I turned on Steve Cordasco's Big Money show. His teaser that week was based on a warning issued by the economic analyst Marc Faber in his newsletter that a certain minority should pack its bags and leave the US. Cordasco repeatedly warned that the identity of the minority Faber mentions would surprise the audience. I wish I could quote his words but unfortunately, he has yet to add the podcast of that show to the previous ones. As is, you will have to make due with my memory.

To be honest, I would have been surprised if he did not identify Jews as the endangered minority and not merely because it is the"usual suspect." For months he has laid much of the woes of Wall Street on the shoulders of Goldman Sachs. In any case, he began his report of Faber's warning by saying with a great flourish that no, the endangered minority is not the Black, Spanish or Muslim, it is the Jewish minority BECAUSE that 2% of the population is overrepresented in Congress, the administration and Wall Street. And,then, there is Israel. In other words, the usual Antisemitic list of Jewish offenses. Cordasco added that the Faber newsletter was given to him by a Jewish friend and that he raised the issue to warn of the dangers of such a noxious development. Moreover, he contacted the ADL and they have said that they are aware of the dangers.

After some reflection, I have decided that before reporting on the Faber/Cordasco warning I should find out who said what. I sent Cordasco an email requesting additional information. He called me the following day and told me that his email was running 80% in favor of his raising the issue. I explained that my concern was not with his wish to raise the problem but the fact that he seemed to buy into the"reasons" Anti-Semites use to justify Jewish persecution. I repeatedly asked him point blank whether the enumeration of those reasons was taken from Faber's newsletter or were his own addition. He avoided giving me a direct answer but asked that I call him Thursday afternoon and promised that he would meet with me Friday and, then, permit me to read the newsletter.

I forgot to call him Thursday but when I called Friday morning he said he was too busy to meet with me and, indeed, he did decided to move on and not make the issue the focus of Saturday's broadcast. He also read me the pertinent paragraph from Faber's newsletter and helpfully suggested that I should try to contact Faber directly and ask for a copy of the expensive subscriber only report.

I followed up on the suggestion and Marc Faber was kind enough to send me a copy of his newsletter. The paragraph bellow is the only one in which he makes any reference to Jews:

In every society, outrage by the people has been very dangerous. But throughout history, before it turned in earnest against the government, the political elite always managed to April 2009 The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report 5 turn it against minorities, whether it be Jews throughout Western Europe (conveniently assisted by the Church), Armenians in Central Asia, Kurds in the Middle East, Indians in Africa, and Chinese in Southeast Asia. And since I have far more Jewish friends around the world than friends of any other ethnic background, I am deeply concerned about the growing outrage by the American people — particularly if the US economy doesn’t improve, which I believe it won’t in the long term.

For sure, if I were of Jewish origin and living in the US I would be insuring against the eventuality that that outrage will be turned against a minority group. I would buy property and keep some assets in Asia (but not through an American bank), where Jews are such a tiny minority and such an economically insignificant economic force that they don’t attract any attention. In fact, if I were Jewish, I would leave the US without delay! The “outrage” writing is on the wall and I wouldn’t trust Mr. Obama for a second.

As I immediately told Steve Cordasco on the phone, Faber placed the danger to American Jews within the context of the danger facing minorities during troubled economic times. At no point, did Faber, blame the victims. I thought it only fair to try to listen to Cardasco's April 25th show. Unfortunately, I was able to listen only to a relatively small part and in it he dealt only with other economic topics.

It is at this point that I began to ask myself whether I should write anything on this topic, or just keep mum. I decided that as silence rarely served the Jewish people well, I should report the story. I hope I did the right thing. Let me just add: Though Marc Faber's basic assumptions have merit, his Swiss background may intensify his concern. For if any Jews should pack their bags, European Jews should be the first in line and many of them, especially in France and Britain, have already packed. Indeed, many have already purchased apartments in Israel.

As for American Jews, I think it is a bit too early to panic and, however kindly Marc Faber may have meant it, I cannot see millions of Jews finding refuge in Asia. I do suggest Indonesian Chinese consider their options. One thing can hardly be debated: We live in economic dangerous times and, as always, Jews, like other successful minorities, are in particular peril. There is no point in burying our heads in the proverbial sand. We must fight back with any tools available to us including timely warnings. Consider this one such warning.

UPDATE: A German friend of responded to my piece. As it was private I do not post his response but here is the public part of my answer:

First, I hope you have not interpreted my note to mean that Germans should feel guilty about"Auschwitz" and therefore may not criticize Israel. Israel is not perfect and no one knows it better than Israelis. I do believe that Europeans should be historically minded enough to appreciate the need for a Jewish state.

Your annoyance with German Jewish moralizing parallels mine when I hear American Indians trying to make me feel guilty about the Pilgrims or Blacks holding me responsible for slavery. If I am sensitive, the reason is that uniquely amongst all the countries in the world, Israel continued existence is seriously called into question just as the right of Jews to exist has been called into question for thousands of years.

Even more unacceptable is the idea that the rise of the new Antisemitism is explained by Israel's real or imagined transgressions. It is in that context that Auschwitz comes into play. After all, there was no Israel then. Yes, Israelis should try to win hearts and minds but it is not easy. The world is in an angry mood and if convinced that the billion Muslims could be appeased by sacrificing a few million Jews it would be sorely tempted to do so. Believing Jews deserve it or brought it on themselves makes the matter easier. That is the analysis behind Marc Faber's warning newsletter.

Maybe, I am paranoid, but as many of my generation, I wondered why my grandparents did not see the storm coming and packed up their bags on time. I understand them better and better now. My grandfather, you see, was a medic in the Austro-Hungarian army and believed his medals will protect him. No, you are not responsible or guilty but I would be if I learn nothing from his experience.

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