|The Jewish Influence in America|
|http://www.sina.com.cn 2003/03/10 13:19 《英语学习》|
Y: Yang Rui, Presenter of Dialogue on CCTV 9
J: Jack Rosen,President, AmericanJewish Congress<注1>
H: Harley Lippman,founder and CEO,Genesis 10 <注2>
Y: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon<注3> said last October, "Don't worry about American pressures on Israel, because we Jewish people control America." Is this true, Jack?
J: No, we don't control America. We advocate on behalf of Jews in America and we advocate on behalf of Israel.<注4> We have historically been on the right side of many issues we advocate since WWII.<注5> We were on the right side in response to Nazi Germany. We were on the right side of the creation of the state of Israel. We were on the right side of promoting and fighting for civil rights<注6>, religious freedom and for rights of all minorities in America through the 60s, the 70s and the 80s. And I think it's the result of being on the right side, being engaged in the issues we have had a great deal of influence on.
Y: Other than your strong sense of justice in many areas you've mentioned, do you think the most important factor behind your influence could be... money? Financial power?
H: I think you can make an analogy with Chinese communities around the world.<注7>I think Chinese people and Jewish people have a lot in common. They both emphasize education, family value, history, ancestors and an attachment to land. Also, they are entrepreneurial<注8>. They are hardworking. So when that happens, people get jealous.
Y: Are those values that you cherish so much the main reason behind the success of the Jewish people, particularly in America?
H: Absolutely! Family value, hardworking, and education.
Y: Why did William Fulbright say Israel could choose the US Senate?<注9>
J: Jews, as well as other minorities, exercise their constitutional rights in America and have the ability to advocate on their behalf. One of those ways is to advocate in the US Senate, Congress and US administrations. And we do contribute a lot of money in the political process. I don't think we do that because we are necessarily wealthier than other communities. I think we are engaged maybe more than other communities.<注10> And in doing so, we get our messages across. And you find that many minority communities, including the Chinese community in America are doing exactly that today.
Y: The Chinese community doesn't have as strong a voice in the Congress as the Jewish people, though. That's a pity.
H: I just think that the Jewish people have a lot more in common with the Chinese people, in fact, perhaps more than with any other people in the world. Chinese and Jews are the only two peoples that have the longest and most continual history. And both have suffered a great deal. China suffered a great deal in WWII. Millions of Chinese lost their lives to the Japanese and Jews lost 6 million people to the Germans. Because of that suffering and because Jews were victims, many Jews in America are active politically, to ensure that another holocaust<注11> does not occur to Israel or to the Jewish people. In that spirit, Jews, like Chinese, also promote tolerance. You know one of the things I've known about my trip to China here is that, of all the countries I've been to in the world, China is the only country that has no history of anti-Semitism<注12>, which is remarkable, and which is extremely impressive to us Jews, because we don't see that in many countries, particularly in Europe.
Y: That's probably why the Israeli government turned out to be one of the few countries that accepted the People's Republic of China in the early days of our founding. The Labor Party in Israel developed a very friendly policy towards China. My next question is how many Jews are there in America.
J: Approximately three million.
Y: Harley, when we talk about the Jewish people in America, we say they are rich, they control the media and they control the banks. Do you accept this as true?
H: No, if I may be so blunt.<注13> If you look at the people who are really in the position to control the banks and media, you see Jews represented like you would see Italian Americans, Greek Americans. I think people tend to focus on individual Jews. If there are Jews who have very high positions in the media or in banking, they are doing it as individuals who happen to be Jewish. They are not doing it as part of some groups. We are doing it as individuals because our culture has established that you work hard and you focus on education.
Y: In a highly commercial society like the United States, if you control the media, that automatically means you will influence the perception<注14> of public opinion. When it comes to the Middle East issue, some of the Arabian minority groups in America fear that the opinion of the American society has been somehow shaped by your people because of your financial power, your wealth and your control of the media. Do you agree?
H: If anything, I think the media is not balanced enough in the Middle East. I think we are often given distorted pictures.<注15> This is what we see around the world. For one, let's define Zionism<注16>. Zionism has somehow gotten a negative image. To me, Zionism simply means that Jews have a right to their homeland and the Middle East.
J: Look at what's portrayed in American media. They are real-life and factual<注17> pictures and stories. Look at the Middle East. You would portray Israel and you compare it to the rest of the Middle East. The fact that Israel is portrayed in a positive light, not because of the Jewish press, or Jewish-run press, as you are suggesting, but because that's the factual scene. But on the other hand, recently many Jewish communities suggest that they boycott the Los Angeles Times and New York Times,<注18> which are the top newspapers in the country, because of their coverage on Israel which they think leans more towards the Palestinians.<注19>
Y: How do you estimate the influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee<注20>? This seems to be the most influential organization that represents the interests of Jews in America.
J: Extremely influential, probably the most successful lobbying<注21>sgroupsin America, one that's being emulated by Muslims and Chinese amongst others. I think it's effective because Americans have been supportive of that policy. If you look at the support that Israel gets today, from Christian communities in America, if you combine Christian community support of Israel with Israeli support, how hard is it for a lobbyingsgroupssuch as AIPAC to be successful in the Senate? It's pretty easy.
Y: What are the most fundamental values of the Jewish religion?
H: One that comes to mind is that we judge people more by their deeds than their words. For example, in Catholic religion, you can say something and you can ask for forgiveness, or you go to confession on Sunday. If I understand it correctly, it tends to forgive on the basis of your words. In the Jewish religion, we focus more on deeds than words.
J: Education, education, education! That's what our tome<注22> is all about.
Y: You mentioned the WWII, but why were Jews hated and persecuted in many parts of the world before and after the WWII, like what was portrayed in Schindler's List <注23>?
H: I think there are two reasons. For one thing...
H: Right, jealousy! Thank you for saying that. I think...
Y: You don't think there's anything wrong with, say, the ways Jews do business around the world...?
J: I don't think it's that shocking. I mean, what wrong did the Jews do in Spain? What wrong did they do to the Catholic Church<注24>? What wrong did they do in Poland? One of the biggest lies ever perpetrated<注25> on the Jews was done by the largest religion in the world, which is the Catholic religion. The Catholics blame the Jews for killing Jesus Christ. Children were taught in school that Jews killed Jesus Christ, not that Jews were rich, not that Jews have long noses, not that Jews should be hated ?they killed their God!
H: I think the reason why Jews are targets is that they are easy targets. People like to blame. Hitler was looking to take power. If you look historically, people who blame others were projecting what they want to do. Hitler blamed the Jews for being powerful when he himself wanted to take power in Germany. We were a defenseless group. We didn't have a military force to defend ourselves. We were very easy targets.
J: Look, Harley, those are explanations that occurred later in history. The fact is that the Catholic Church blamed us for killing their God and from that emanated26 blame, hatred and persecution. When you go back in history, you cannot overlook that. There was a time Jews lived amongst Muslims quite comfortably, without any discrimination or anti-Semitism. But they could not live in Europe after the Catholic Church's doctrine prevailed.
Y: Are there any major organizations that coordinated efforts worldwide to bring former Nazi officers to justice? Do you think you have eliminated all the former Nazi officers scattered around the world, particularly those in Latin America?
J: Most likely those that are left are quite aged right now and will not be around much longer, thank goodness.
H: I believe that as a Jew, anyone who's the victim of racism or who has been murdered or fell victim to genocide<注27> because of his race or religion or nationality, should be defended. I personally thank President Clinton when he went to the aid for the Muslims in Kosovo, because I think they were victims of the Serbs<注28>. And I was saying this as a human being, and as a Jew who has a family that suffered in the holocaust, I believe my mission in life is to care for everyone who's the victim of this. So I think it's important that we stand up for all people - Chinese who were victims in WWII to the Japanese - for anyone around the world - the Tutsis who were slaughtered by the Hutu in Rwanda.<注29> And this list goes on. I think the Jewish people feel that if the memory of the holocaust is to have any meaning for the future, it is that we stand up for all people, all human beings who have suffered. That's an important principle.
6. civil rights:民权。
18. boycott:联合抵制；拒绝购买；Los Angeles Times:《洛杉机时报》；New York Times:《纽约时报》。
24. Catholic Church:全体基督教徒。
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