Why Jews Are Different
Jude Wanniski
December 10, 1997


Memo To: Website browsers, fans, clients
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: The Chosen People

A website fan, Lewis Fein, last week posed a question on our Bulletin Board about my views on why I consider Jews, as a class of people, to be different. Like many of you, he is trying to figure out my relationship with Minister Louis Farrakhan, where I am coming from on what seems forever to have been “the Jewish question.” The answer had been at the back of my mind for a long time, but had not been expressed because the question had not been posed in a way that demanded an answer. There are, of course, myriad distinctions between Jewish culture and all other cultures, but I think in terms of the history of political economy. My formulation may be original, but perhaps not. Let’s have a discussion about this. Here’s what I wrote to Fein:

Jews are different than non-Jews. What sets them apart from the rest of civilization is the culture that resists intermarriage with non-Jews. Those who have drifted into intermarriage over the last three millennia are now part of the rest of civilization, and one supposes that we, at least in the west, all have some "Jewish blood." But if God in fact “chose” Jews to set themselves apart in this fashion, it was done with a divine purpose. While the population of the world has gone to 6 billion, with Jews now only a tiny fraction at 13 million, that small number is the most powerful and educated and talented, pound for pound, than any other group. With all the terrible things that civilization has endured for these millennia, Jews have traveled through as if on their own private spaceship.

I submit that if this had not been the case, we might not have gotten where we are, but might still be back in the age of the barbarians. If Jews had intermarried in all these years, they all would have disappeared as a culture. In that light, I regard Jewish culture and history as a primary blessing of the one God we all worship. Louis Farrakhan, I assure you, feels exactly as I do. Exactly. And just as you decry the dissolution of Judaism at the hands of those who would call themselves Jews and still reject the laws of Abraham and Moses, so does Farrakhan decry those Muslims and Christians who have lost their way. Before you jump to conclusions about Robert Novak and Wanniski and Farrakhan, do some homework. Go into the Nation of Islam website <www.noi.org> and read the Farrakhan speeches you will find there. There is no anti-Semitism there. The Jews who do not want you to hear his message are those who fear you will find them out and call them to account. There were Big Jews who profited at the expense of Little Jews. There are always Bigs who profit at the expense of Littles, in all faiths, races, ethnic groups. That's the way the world is. You do too. And so do I. And so does Farrakhan from time to time, when he can't resist. None of us are without that kind of sin. Well, maybe Mother Theresa.

In a recent conversation with Min. Farrakhan, in advance of his current trip to the Middle East, we discussed the primary social differences between the three monotheistic religions that flowed from the laws of Abraham and Moses -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Judaism is the most exclusive of the three, Christianity the most evangelical of the three, Islam the most ecumenical of the three. The primary political differences of the three -- which I express in terms of the basic political unit of the family -- is that Judaism is the father, Christianity is the mother, Islam is the child. When Farrakhan told Larry King on the night of the Million Man March: “I am a Jew,” he did not mean that he has some Jewish blood somewhere in his past. He meant that Judaism is his father, Christianity is his mother, and he is Islam. That’s how the Jewish community should view Farrakhan, as the most important representative of the Islamic world, because of his place in the world as an American. Instead of the father who sees the son as a threat, and attempts to keep him down, the father should try to see this son as a grown man who would like to help solve the problems that bedevil all three religions in the Middle East.