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Mar. 21, 2019

More than a century ago, as immigrants were pouring into America by the millions, president Woodrow Wilson welcomed a group of newly naturalized citizens with a warning.

….”The day will come,” Bialik wrote in 1926, that “economic structures in America will shift, and the Jews there will find themselves aside the broken trough. They will be cast out from all the high positions they have achieved, and without doubt, there will come terrible days that no one desires.” America, Bialik was certain, was not as different from Europe as American Jews wanted to believe.

The “terrible days that no one desires” have thankfully not (yet?) come to America. But it is nonetheless stunning that almost a century ago, Bialik intuited that if economic malaise were to strike America, the Jews would find themselves marginalized. And lo and behold. At precisely the same moment that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders are in a full-scale attack on American capitalism, Ilhan Omar makes a reference to “the Benjamins” (i.e. the money that American Jews expend) as she tries to explain American support for Israel. Ilhan’s tweets have nothing to do with criticizing Israel’s policies, though. They are all about Jews. Jews and money. Jews and wealth. Jews and economics. Is it possible that Bialik understood America better than did Brandeis?”…

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