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Jewish Power: Inside The American Jewish Establishment Paperback – September 29, 1997

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 446 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (September 29, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201327988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201327984
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,460,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Doomsday predictions that American Jews are on the verge of disappearing via assimilation are fallacious, declares Goldberg, in part because a large minority of Jews are becoming more observant, in part because even weakly affiliated Jews nevertheless still identify with a common cultural heritage and shared destiny. In a trenchant, provocative probe of American Jewish power politics, Goldberg, New York-based contributing editor for the Israeli news magazine Jerusalem Report, challenges conventional wisdom on many fronts. Refuting critiques by Noam Chomsky, Paul Findley, George Ball and others who contend that the clout of the American Jewish lobby created the U.S.-Israel alliance, he argues instead that the forging of this alliance under Nixon?a Republican president elected with almost no Jewish backing?thrust American Jewry's political establishment onto the international stage, linking liberal Jews in an uneasy alliance with mostly gentile Cold Warriors. Rejecting claims of a Jewish shift to the right, Goldberg marshals statistics to demonstrate that American Jews remain overwhelmingly Democratic and liberal, even though neoconservative, Zionist and Orthodox "New Jews" who gained prominence after the 1967 Six-Day War have come to be identified in the popular mind as the leadership of the American Jewish community. Whether he is discussing FDR's response to the fate of European Jewry or contemporary Jews' self-image of vulnerability, Goldberg forces one to rethink individual positions.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Goldberg (editor, Builders and Dreamers, Associated Univ., 1993), a contributing editor to Jerusalem Report, provides a revealing glimpse of Jewish organizations, money, and political power in the United States. Goldberg covers such provocative topics as liberalism and American Jews; Jews and the Cold War; how Jews vote; and the rise of the Israel lobby. Most compelling are his discussions of black-Jewish relations, although the focus of his analysis is principally the relationship between New York City's Orthodox and African American communities. Certain to cause comment is the author's contention that the "Who is a Jew?" debate in Israel has its roots in a dispute among Diaspora Jewry in America and that the Israeli Orthodox community was largely indifferent to the issue initially. Recommended for all popular collections.?Mark Weber, Kent State Univ. Lib., Ohio
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By E. Rodin MD on December 10, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although the book, written in the middle nineties, is somewhat out of date it is important because it provides a factual, non-polemic picture of Jewish Power in America. If a similar account were to be written by a Gentile the author would risk condemnation by the main media. Goldberg has meticulously collected his facts and the Prologue story about ex-President Bush's encounter with the Jewish lobby is most enlightening. Goldberg discusses the successes of Jewish individuals in all major aspects of our society and their influence on both domestic as well as foreign policy.
For a person who lived during the nineteen thirties in Vienna a comparsion with the Jewish success story after World War I and prior to Hitler's assumption of power is inevitable. One can only hope that conditions in America will never reach the depth of despair which made a Hitler possible. Nevertheless the concerns for the future which some of Goldberg's informants express are entirely justified. This is especially so after September 11 when every effort is made by Jewish authorities to identify Prime Minister Sharon's policies and interests with those of the United States. Since they violate the civil rights of the Palestinian population and are in disregard of international law as well as U.N. resolutions there can be a serious backlash from the Gentile community in the U.S. if and when the Middle East explodes in a major war, with a resultant major world-wide economic downturn. To avoid a tragedy of this type Mr. Goldberg would be well advised to update his book and exert his influence on the Jewish leadership in the U.S. to promote a just solution in the Middle East which takes the legitimate needs, rather than desires, of Israelis and Palestinians into account. In this way he could be of great service not only to the Jewish community but the world at large.
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36 of 47 people found the following review helpful By zonaras on April 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
JEWISH POWER by obviously liberal journalist J. J. Goldberg describes the influence of America's Jewish community in influencing the US government. There are several problems with the book. It does not provide enough historical context and skims over some areas where Jews are either predominient (such as in Hollywood or textiles) or grossly represented out of proportion to the rest of the population (such as the mainstream media and Ivy League schools). Goldberg has a lot of ace to cover, and this is the type of book that might rile up that old demon "anti-Semitism" because it gives striking details on how much power the organized Jewish community wields (which includes Reform, Conservative and Orthodox synagouges plus the non-affiliated). But otherwise what Goldberg does say is worth the five stars. The vast majority of the book is about the ins-and-outs of Jewish 'alphabet soup' organizations, AIPAC's lobbying for Israel and its silencing of opponents, and a lengthy analysis of the conflicts between blacks and Jews from the mid-70s.
Jews form the most consistently liberal segment of the US population, and Democratic canidates for President have usually been able to command roughly 80% of the Jewish vote. One-half of the white civil rights leaders that went to the South were Jews, the NAACP was formed and directed by Jews into the mid-60s and Jews have been consistently leading the fight for "seperation of church and state" (i.e. demoralizing Christians). 50% of the Democratic party's money comes from Jewish contributers. This can be decieving, because the Jewish swing vote can influence elections, hence the Republican party also tries to drum up Jewish support, and 20% of Republican money comes from Jews.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Henry Oliner on December 24, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simply focusing on the subject of Jewish power raises suspicions of anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories. Goldberg dispels the fear by carefully and clearly separating statistical observations from irrational and erroneous conclusions.
It is indisputable that Jews are represented far beyond their average population in the media and in Hollywood. It would be a terrible mistake to conclude that this means that they control the content, or worse that they use this power to intentionally attack Christian values or stereotype blacks.
In fact the Jews in America are anything but united. Outsiders may see a single Jewish community but this is a common ethnocentric error. Jewish power in American politics is not the result of conspiracy, but the result of demographics and using their basic American rights.
Jews are twice as likely to vote as the average population. That alone doubles their impact but still leaves them a small minority of the voters. They are also far more likely to fund their candidates and political causes, and to actively volunteer their time. But most importantly the Jews in America are concentrated in the eight states that account for almost half of the electoral votes.
Goldberg points out how this very real power is felt in elections and in domestic and foreign policy, but also that it is not centrally controlled. It is ironic to note that aid to Israel increased far more under Republican presidents than Democrats even though the American Jews have been far more identified with the left and the Democrats (within a widely varying degree).
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