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Columns

April 12, 2014

Mr. Adelson disturbs my 'ghetto mentality'

This Sheldon Adelson guy makes me very nervous.

So, for that matter, do the Koch brothers, George Soros, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Irwin Jacobs, Fred Eychaner, Jon Stryker and Michael Bloomberg, just to name a few who have two things in common.

All are extremely wealthy men who give enormous amounts of money to Democratic or Republican politicians and political groups.

And all of them are Jewish.

Even for many of us Jews whose only views of a European ghetto have come from old newsreel footage, the “ghetto mentality” lives on.

While today in America the word has taken on a different ethnic connotation, “ghetto” stems from 1516 when the authorities in Venice, Italy, compelled Jews to be limited to a designated quarter of the city. The practice, and the term, spread in that century and the next to create Jewish ghettos in several European cities.

The Nazis, of course, created ghettos in Germany, Poland and Hungary that became abominable cauldrons of degradation and death. The most infamous was in Warsaw, Poland, where more than 400,000 Jews were forced to live in an area of 1.3 square miles. Between starvation, disease, deportations to death camps and those killed when they rose in revolt, more than 300,000 died.

In recent centuries, Jews have felt they had to watch their step, to not appear too prosperous or prominent, lest they provoke a pogrom, which was a violent, often-government-approved attack on Jews, often in Russian, Polish and German ghettos.

Jews, the peasants were told, were always plotting to take over the world. This “plot” was detailed in a fraudulent document called “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Published in Russia in 1903, the proven forgery purported to be the minutes of a meeting of Jewish leaders in the late 1800s. By taking over the world’s economy and controlling the press, it said, “the Jews” would slither their way into dominance.

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