On October 9, 2017, Tablet Magazine editor-at-large and host of Unorthodox podcast Mark Oppenheimer posted an article titled, “The Specifically Jewy Perviness of Harvey Weinstein.” In a relatively content-dense article, Oppenheimer went on to describe Weinstein as “the old, same old, another rich, entitled, powerful man with a bad dye job abusing his might to coerce women into sex.”
Between the 1990s and 2015, popular film producer Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted or harassed at least thirteen women who were interviewed during a recent ten-month investigation. This news hit the world by storm, and various media outlets have exploded because of these immoral acts. However, it is apparent that most of the recent outrage is due to Weinstein’s actions in and of themselves rather than the real evil at hand; that is, that this scandal was somehow capable of continuing for as long as it did.
Oppenheimer, however, decided to bring Weinstein’s ethnic, cultural, and religious identity into the spotlight, referring to the predator as American novelist Philip Roth’s literary depiction of “the Jewish American man in the twentieth century, finally coming into power but, having not grown up with it, unsure of what he’s supposed to do now. All those years craving unattainable Gentiles, but never before the means to entice them.”
The above description of Weinstein as a stereotypical Jewish man in the modern era may be taken as satirical, and it could have been taken in stride by readers. The article was written for a reason – multiple reasons, perhaps.
In 2012, John Travolta stepped forward and stated that “Hollywood is controlled by homosexual Jewish men who expect sexual favors in return for career-related ones.” This is validated by a prominent presence of homosexual and/or pedophile Jewish men who have been accused of sexual assault. In March 1977, American Jewish film director Roman Polanski was arrested and charged in Los Angeles with five offenses against Samantha Gailey, a 13-year-old girl. In 1992, American Jewish filmmaker Woody Allen has received sexual abuse allegations involving seven-year-old girl Dylan Farrow. In 2010, American Jewish filmmaker Bryan Singer received allegations of sexually assaulting a male in his 20s. The history of affluent Jews in the United States is closely intermingled with an unfortunate history of sexual abuse and pedophilia.
Since 1968, Jewish Americans have voted overwhelmingly Democrat, and a 2007 survey of Conservative Jewish leaders and activists showed that an overwhelming majority supports gay rabbinical ordination and same-sex marriage. Law of Return is Israeli legislation, passed on 5 July 1950, that gives Jewish people the right to live in Israel and to gain Israeli citizenship, even if they have committed sexual assault against a minor; however, according to Your News Wire, “child rights activists contend there is a dark loophole to the law which allows Jewish pedophiles to effectively flee court-mandated supervision in their home countries and move to Israel with a clean slate.”
According to The Jerusalem Press, “the police apprehended almost two dozen suspected haredi sex offenders in Jerusalem and three haredi-majority cities, after having previously arrested the head of a so-called Modesty Guard committee in the haredi community who was found to be in the possession of numerous records of men who had committed sex offenses.”
According to the Publilc Security Ministry, violence against single women has risen nearly twenty-fold since 2003. This means that one in three women are assaulted in the Nation of Israel. One can read various cases of sexual assault carried out by Jewish men against women and children here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
And so, Oppenheimer made a jab at Weinstein, a verified Jewish sexual predator, and his collective identity. For this, he has apologized, stating that his analysis was “hasty and ill-considered, especially in light of the even graver accusations that were published by the New Yorker this morning.”
But is Oppenheimer’s apology warranted, or is it simply the product of mass shaming? There is a legitimate conversation to be had regarding the nature of sexuality, abuse, and the international Jewish community; however, such an issue cannot be explored without voices on both the left and right crying, “anti-Semitism!” One must not be afraid to ask questions about matters that are controversial and difficult to understood.