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For those primarily concerned about Jewish life in the diaspora, Israel, which has courted anti-Semitic nationalist leaders in Europe, isn’t really an ally, much less an ideal.

And Trump, who always speaks of American Jews as if they belong there, is a grotesque enemy. He tells Jews committed to life in America that they owe loyalty to Israel, which he sometimes calls, when speaking to American Jews, “your country.” He says this, and expects Jews to react with gratitude.

Instead, many are reacting with a redoubled commitment to multiracial democracy and solidarity. Jews have been taking to the streets because no amount of support for a foreign country can redeem what he’s doing to this one.
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<<For those primarily concerned about Jewish life in the diaspora, Israel, which has courted anti-Semitic nationalist leaders in Europe, isn’t really an ally, much less an ideal.

And Trump, who always speaks of American Jews as if they belong there, is a grotesque enemy. He tells Jews committed to life in America that they owe loyalty to Israel, which he sometimes calls, when speaking to American Jews, “your country.” He says this, and expects Jews to react with gratitude.>>

What we observe is that those living in Israel have the same nationalist commitment and disregard for alien invaders as every other nation in the world.

Jews living in other nations, by contrast, do not, intentionally holding themselves out as aliens over the generations, and then seeming to wonder why they are treated as aliens.

Of course, that's not always true. Einstein was famously a pacifist even while living in Germany during WWI. Still he sent the key letter to Franklin Roosevelt which got the United States working on an atomic bomb that could be used to roast Einstein's German enemies.

Similarly, Jewish scientists were recruited to develop the atomic bomb and worked with energy and creativity to develop a bomb to roast their German enemies. When Germany was defeated before the bomb could be used, those same Jewish scientists became remarkably reluctant to use the bomb on the Japanese.

I suppose that this independent and usually pacifist group discovered they had a real enemy in the Nazis, and were delighted to have the opportunity to kill off their enemy by whatever means could be developed.

But they didn't feel that way about the Japanese, presumably because the Japanese hadn't been busily killing off Jews.

It does seem reasonable to conclude that Jews tend to be loyal primarily to their own self identified group and not to whatever larger society they live within. It's not surprising that the people in that larger society notice things like that.

Similarly, when Jews kicked out the indigenous population of Palestine in order to create an explicitly Jewish state, they adopted the same kinds of nationalism and loyalty towards Israel that other populations had towards their nation state. And while Jews in the United States were a part of the effort to import Syrian refugees into the United States, Israel was content to let those refugees flow right past their common border with Syria and keep the entire refugee diaspora out of Israel.

So it doesn't seem unreasonable to take Jews at their own word, as an independent culture within the United States (or other countries) often with little loyalty to those larger societies. Of course, they aren't alone with such limited loyalties, with groups like the Amish also filling that description.

Seattle Pioneer
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Out of one side of your mouth you say we're so assimilated we aren't Jewish any more, and out of the other you insist we only care about our own(!). IMO, not only are we lucky to be Americans, but Americans are lucky we're here. It's a great relationship, or was until Trump :-/

AS for Jews working on the Manhattan project--there were more Christians than Jews, although much of the leadership was European Jews--who lost their jobs in Nazi Germany, anti-Semitic Poland, invaded Hungary, etc.

PS--Enrico Fermi worked on the Manhattan Project, wasn't Jewish, and also advocated for not dropping the bomb.

PPS--Jewish scientists were by & large accepted by fellow scientists. Such cannot always be said for other Jews. In 1949 my parents with their Jewish surname were unable to buy a house in the town they preferred and would up in one of a series of developments created by the Jewish developer Levitt after the original Levittown on Long Island.

PPPS--My parents were always patriotic, as are the next generation and the one after in our family. Not being Republican is not the same as not being patriotic! <sheesh>.

At that time, the field of physics was dominated by Jews. Of 85 names on the T-Division roster, I’m pretty sure 25 percent of the names are Jewish, and 80 percent of the leadership were Jewish.”

Not only that, four Jewish members of T-Division went on to become Nobel Laureates in the field of physics.

“I spoke with one of them who’s still alive, and he told me that the branch of physics called nuclear physics was referred to as Jewish physics, because so many of them were involved,” he said.


For the most part, he said, they came from liberal families with Jewish backgrounds and were well educated.

“The other thing is that virtually all of them experienced some kind of discrimination, either in this country or in Europe. At least one of them actually lost immediate family members in the Holocaust,” he said, referring to Czech-born Placzek.

Another thing they had in common is they weren’t practicing Jews.

“That’s why I titled my talk ‘Jews in Theory,’ ” he said, pointing out the double meaning. “They all were a part of the Theoretical Division, but, the best I can tell, not one of them was good about following Jewish practices.”

Petra Moser, an assistant professor of economics at Stanford, found that the number of U.S. patents increased by 31 percent after 1933 in fields common among those who emigrated from Germany, according to her research paper. In fact, these scientists and inventors led a transformation of American innovation in the post-World War II period.

"German Jewish émigrés had a huge effect on U.S. innovation," Moser said in an interview. "They helped increase the quality of research by training a new generation of American scientists, who then became productive researchers in their own rights."

The decision by many Jews to leave Germany is perhaps best understood in light of a Nazi Germany law passed on April 7, 1933 – just 67 days after Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor – that forced so-called non-Aryan civil servants out of their jobs.

By 1944, more than 133,000 German Jewish émigrés had moved to America – many of them highly skilled and educated. Some were even Nobel Prize winners and renowned intellectuals like Albert Einstein in physics, and Otto Loewi and Max Bergmann in chemistry.

As Moser describes it, these newcomers to the United States faced obstacles even in their new homeland, though nothing like the life-and-death situation in Nazi Germany. Sometimes Jewish scientists met with unusual administrative hurdles in acquiring visas and employment, she noted.

Nonetheless, German Jewish scientists contributed brainpower to the U.S. war effort and postwar industry – at least that's the historical perception.


"U.S. inventors who collaborated with émigré professors began to patent at substantially higher levels in the 1940s and continued to be exceptionally productive in the 1950s," wrote the researchers.

The effect of German Jewish émigrés was arguably even larger than can be scientifically documented, Moser added. Some of their research was highly classified – such as the Manhattan Project that led to the atomic bomb – and therefore rarely patented.

Moser said that biographical records suggest that British universities like Oxford and Cambridge quickly hired the most productive scientists – and only the younger, less prominent ones came to the United States.

"When these people arrived in the U.S. they were often not allowed to work in the most promising research fields because they were Jewish, and there was still a lot of open anti-Semitism in large U.S. firms," she said.

When the researchers controlled for these facts in their study, they found the new émigrés accounted for a 70 percent overall increase in patents for inventions, Moser said.


"More than half of my colleagues at Stanford are immigrants. I want to find out how policies that alter the flow of such highly skilled immigrants affects science and innovation," she said.

As the threat of Nazism spread throughout Europe, Jews were faced with a difficult decision, whether to leave their homeland or remain in the face of oppression. Many scientists made the decision to leave. In fact, between 1930 and 1941, twelve Nobel prize winning scientists came to the United States because of the threat of Nazi Germany. Seven of these twelve Nobelists were Jewish. These Jewish scientists included physicists Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein, James Franck, and Eugene Wigner, and biologists Otto Loewi, Otto Meyerhof, and Otto Stern. The other five non-Jewish Nobelists were physicists Enrico Fermi, Wolfgang Pauli, and Viktor Hess, chemist Peter Debye, and biologist C.P. Henrik Dam. Of this group of immigrant Nobelists, Pauli, Stern, Dam, and Wigner would win their prizes after coming to the United States. Upon arriving in the United States, the majority of the scientists worked on the east coast, at universities such as Princeton, New York University, Cornell, Fordham, Carnegie Institute of Technology, and the University of Pennsylvania (Schlessinger, 1996). Bohr, who had been forced to flee Denmark, Pauli, and Dam spent the war years in the United States but left America and conducted their research after the war. The nine other Nobelists remained and had a strong influence on the scientific community (Zuckerman, 1977).

In addition to these Nobelists, many other great scientists fled to the United States. These included many members of the 41st chair. The 41st chair is collection of scientists who "deserve" a Nobel prize but have not won one. One such immigrant who was also a member of the 41st chair was the Austrian Erwin Chargaff. His discovery that there are specific complementary nucleic acid base pairs which bond together, namely adenine and thiamin, and guanine and cytosine, laid the foundation for the discovery of the structure of DNA. Thus the intellectual migration that occurred as a result of fascist oppression in Eastern Europe had a profound impact in generating greater intellectual activity in the United States. However, this by itself would have had little effect if the new members of the scientific community had not become actively involved in American science. Their influence can be traced in three ways: construction of the first atomic bomb, mentorship, and the initiation of new focus on the biological sciences.
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