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Mon Mar 31, 2014, 11:43 PM

The Chinese Believe That the Jews Control America. Is That a Good Thing?

“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’ Notebooks to 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.

So, it was with a degree of apprehension that I recently traveled to the former imperial capital of Nanjing to spend the day with Prof. Xu Xin, director of the Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute of Jewish and Israel Studies at Nanjing University. The first thing Xu did was suggest lunch. As we sat down to a steaming tofu hot pot, he woefully conceded that many Chinese believe the Jews to be “smart, rich, and very cunning.” 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.

Yet Chen presumably, like the majority of Chinese, has few concrete ideas about the reality of Jewish history or practices. Xu, the 65-year-old pioneer of Jewish studies in China, is campaigning to change that—and, by doing so, challenging entrenched stereotypes. The diminutive professor has made it his life’s pursuit to present a more nuanced view of the Jewish race and religion to his countrymen: one based on scholarship rather than rumor. To this end he launched the Institute of Jewish Studies in 1992, the first of its kind in Chinese higher education.

(long article, there is a page 2) more: http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/167289/nanjing-jewish-studies

[hr]

Unless I missed it, what I find interesting is there no mention that China does not officially recognize Judaism as a religion. This is an interesting article, especially in regards with remarks made by Pat Robertson about Jews and business (see: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=4759183). Anti-Semitism isn't always about name-calling, blood libels, or negative stereotypes.

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Reply The Chinese Believe That the Jews Control America. Is That a Good Thing? (Original post)
Behind the Aegis Mar 2014 OP
Scootaloo Apr 2014 #1
jberryhill Apr 2014 #2
Behind the Aegis Apr 2014 #5
Spitfire of ATJ Apr 2014 #3
Behind the Aegis Apr 2014 #4
Spitfire of ATJ Apr 2014 #6
Behind the Aegis Apr 2014 #7
Spitfire of ATJ Apr 2014 #8
Behind the Aegis Apr 2014 #9
Spitfire of ATJ Apr 2014 #12
bemildred Apr 2014 #10
Nanjing to Seoul Apr 2014 #11
Blue_Tires Apr 2014 #13
jberryhill Apr 2014 #15
Blue_Tires Apr 2014 #16
awoke_in_2003 Apr 2014 #14

Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 12:00 AM

1. China doesn't recognize a LOT of religions as religions

 

Only five in fact - Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestantism, and Catholicism. All five religions have some level of control by Beijing. But of course, nobody was ever under the illusion that China is where you go for religious freedom.

As far as the other instance goes... Well... We just saw a presidential hopeful shuffle forward on hands and knees to beg forgiveness of Sheldon Adelson for the slip of hte tongue that caused him to use, y'know,the term for the Palestinian territories that the State Department uses, in hopes that said guy will fund his bid. And the chinese know Adelson, since he was the guy bribing his way up and down Macau for so long. it's not an accurate perception, but from a distant and indifferent view, well...

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 12:14 AM

2. What else do "The Chinese" believe?

 


I find the subject line of the OP to be something of a hoot.

Apparently, it is not acceptable for "The Chinese" to attribute some alleged characteristic to a defined group.

But it is okay for you to do so if the group in question is "The Chinese" and what they, apparently as an undifferentiated collective, believe.

Ordinarily, I would say that is hypocritical. On the other hand, we are talking about "The Chinese" here, in which case having a common belief typical of the Asian "hive mind" mentality renders this to be an exception to the general rule.

After all, that's the way "The Chinese" think about things, so you have to take into account their peculiar group characteristic of all believing the same thing here.

Oookay.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 01:14 AM

5. Yes, the author should have used "some."

By not doing so, it allows some to focus on something other than the actual topic.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 12:17 AM

3. "Anti-Semitism isn't always about name-calling, blood libels, or negative stereotypes."

 

I've met people who act like it's anti-semitic to not give a damn about any of it.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 01:12 AM

4. It isn't, any more than it is "racist" to ignore racism.

The only time it could be is if the apathy was helpful in allowing the bigotry to progress.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 02:12 AM

6. The type I'm thinking of are looking for an excuse to go ballistic.

 

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #6)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 02:26 AM

7. They certainly exist, though some are figments of the imagination.

There are often used as a way to say bigotry isn't as bad as it seems or actually are responsible for the particular bigotry, though they are far and few between. It is a wonderful way to side-step bigotry.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #7)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 02:42 AM

8. Ever met the hard right FOX "News" fan who uses the Holocaust as a license to be an asshole?

 

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #8)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 02:48 AM

9. In person? No.

But I have met those who are Holocaust deniers or revisionists, and those who claim the Jews make too big a deal out of the Holocaust (similar to racists who claim Blacks "need to get over" slavery...I have met them too).

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #9)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 09:50 AM

12. So, you haven't met the Right Wing types who act like all "Arabs" are animals.

 

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 06:06 AM

10. Good stereotypes, bad stereotypes, I've learned to dislike them all. NT

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 06:09 AM

11. Hmmm. . .I have issue with this being on the ground here.

 

first: There is racism towards Jews here in China. The average Chinese person thinks all Jews are smart, clever and great at business. Their reasoning is Einstein.

second: The chinese name for Jewish person is 犹太人. (you tai ren). Translates into English as "Still the Great People."

third: Judaism isn't recognized? There are three Chabad Houses in Shanghai alone, four in Beijing, two in Guangzhou, one in Tianjin and the original Chinese Jews are from a city called Kaifang, in Henan province.

finally, the only thing they don't understand truly are kosher laws, after all. . .pork is soooo good to eat.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 11:04 AM

13. This makes no sense...

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.

Isn't that pretty much describing *every* ethnic culture on Earth? Or in the writer's eyes is anyone who isn't Jewish or Chinese inferior and don't matter in the grand scheme of things? Because she seems to be treading damn near that territory...

Or is this piece just another apologia for racial stereotypes, as long as they're of the flattering type? Either way, it is a poorly written and edited piece...

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #13)

Wed Apr 2, 2014, 09:36 AM

15. The Chinese are bigots, is the apparent takeaway

 

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #15)

Wed Apr 2, 2014, 10:27 AM

16. along with the author...

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 11:56 AM

14. Someone forced me

 

to have bagels and lox today

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