Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Diaries of a (not so) mad Greek antisemite

I have been reading for a few months the blog of a gentleman with the sobriquet "MacManus" (The MacManus Diaries). The blog owner writes on culture and politics with a decidedly nationalistic bend, although he professes to be of the left. I will admit that often I have found myself in agreement with many of his writings, although not necessarily with the responses of those who follow his blogs. I was made aware of this blog by a friend who, a third of a century ago, was a classmate of Mr. "MacManus" at an elite private school in the Athens area, which counts the current Prime Minister of Greece as well as the leader of the main opposition party among its many illustrious alumni. My friend gave up on the "MacManus" blog after some antisemitic comments were published by the blog owner who, when taken to task, refused to acknowledge the transgression.

A couple of days ago, Mr. "MacManus' published a comment in which, after stating that he is celebrating his "Hebrew name" (Εμμανουήλ), proceeds to comment ruefully on the loss of friends who have stopped talking to him because of his past antisemitic comments, although, as he states, he is fond of Woody Allen and Bob Dylan. This argument is, of course, reminiscent of the typical response: "I can not be a racist because some of my best friends/favorite artists/authors are black/Jewish/whatever".

Now, one more antisemitic blog among many would not be big deal, except Mr. "MacManus" proceeds to finger the "chosen" (περιούσιους) bankers for having "...bled humanity dry". The word "περιούσιος" is an interesting one, used in a derogatory fashion to describe Jews, as, for example, in the unabashedly antisemitic blog "Δελτίο των 11", where Mr. "MacManus" many times has found items worth quoting in his own blog, although, to be fair, usually on matters pertaining to immigrants and FYROM and not to the Jews. Until now, that is. Just compare (English translation below the Greek text):

"...Δηλαδή του Jacob Hirsch Schiff .Δηλαδή του Soros.
Δηλαδή των Περιούσιων της Goldman Sahs."
"...That is, Jacob Hirsch Schiff. That is, Soros. That is,
the Chosen of Goldman Sahs (sic)
Δελτίο των 11

- and -

"…ενεθυμήθην όσους μ’ έκοψαν τη διαδικτυακή
«καλημέρα»επειδής παρεξηγήθησαν γιά τα σχόλιά
μου διά τους
Περιούσιους Τραπεζίτας και τα
Χρηματοπιστωτικά Ιδρύματα που΄χουν ξεζουμίσει
σύμπασα την ανθρωπότητα.
Βλέπεις, μπορείς να
σχολιάζεις ελεύθερα τα τεκταινόμενα στην
της Γάζας
, αλλά δεν πρέπει να πιάσει ο στόμας
επ’ ουδενί, τους …(κάθε) Λήμαν Μπράδερς και
τον κάθε
"...I remembered those who stopped saying "Good
morning" because they were offended by my
comments on the Chosen Bankers and the
Financial Lending Institutions which have bled
(sucked) dry the entire world. You see, you may
comment freely on what is taking place in Gaza,
but you can't talk about each Lehman Brothers
or each Soros!

Regarding the obsession of antisemites with George Soros I have posted previously. As for the Lehman Brothers financial services company, here are some facts: The company was, indeed, founded by Jews in the mid-1800s. In 2008 it declared bankruptcy and its North American operations have since been acquired by Barclays, a venerable British bank. However, looking at the names of the last Board of Directors as well as the list of former officers, it is clear that some may be Jewish and some are not. But, let's assume, for the sake of argument, that Lehman Brothers had, indeed, been run by Jews throughout its existence and that it and other similarly "Jewish run" financial institutions were responsible for the present worldwide financial crisis. Of course, this is a gross oversimplification, since the causes of the crisis have been many and are quite complex, but we will let this pass also. And let us further assume, as antisemites like to point out, that all this has been part of a Jewish plot to destabilize the world's financial systems. Here I will ignore the obvious questions, such as what did they gain from this? I mean, Bernie Madoff, for instance, is in jail and well known Jewish philanthropic institutions (e.g. the Art Museum of Brandeis University) as well as many (Jewish) individuals have lost their lives' savings as a result of his activities. But anyway, going along with this "reasoning", let me relate a parallel situation from first-hand experiences:

Some years ago, when my family and I were living in the United States, my very young son had to have a major operation to remove a tumor. We were fortunate to be near Boston so my son was treated at the Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the best hospitals in the world. During my son's lengthy hospital stay and subsequent follow-up visits, we met people who had come there from all over the world, including Greece, to seek treatment for their children from the same physicians we were seeing. All the physicians we dealt with, and there were many, surgeons, pathologists, oncologists, neurologists, physiatrists, were exceptionally competent and knowledgeable and extremely dedicated, compassionate and "human" in ways that one finds difficult to understand if one has dealt with medical professionals in Greece, where this type of attitude towards patients and the families of patients would be the exception rather than the rule (and no demands for "φακελλάκια" either, by the way). Many of the doctors were Jewish, and their proportion among the medical staff was considerably higher than the percentage of Jews in the general population, something that has found its way into American popular culture, with jokes about Jewish mothers wishing their daughters to marry Jewish doctors (although nowdays Jewish women are just as likely to become doctors as Jewish men). Surely, this situation must be viewed by people less naive than us as a Jewish plan to take over the medical profession. And given the excellent care we and others received, one would be compelled to conclude that this is part of some worldwide Jewish conspiracy to cure children from life-threatening illnesses, no doubt in order to promote some nefarious Jewish agenda for world domination.

This is all nonsense, of course, as much nonsense as the argument that Jews dominate the financial system in order to promote some secret agenda. It turns out that in the Boston area a plurality, if not a majority, of the ubiquitous neighborhood pizza eateries are owned or operated by Greeks. Yet it would be just as ludicrous to argue that this is because of some plot to clog the arteries of the unsuspecting American public as part of some dark conspiracy by Greeks bent on world domination. And who knows, maybe Greek Americans and Jewish Americans are working together after all, with the former helping to create health problems among the American public for the benefit of the latter. Joking aside, there are reasons based on the historical and socioeconomic development of a society that adequately and convincingly explain why particular ethnic or religious groups are over or under represented in certain professions, reasons having nothing to do with conspiracies.


  1. Soros is a Communist and Obama's Boss. The facts here: http://www.commieblaster.com/george-soros-fund/index.html

  2. I am not convinced that Soros is either a communist or "Obama's boss", although his support for the more left-wing elements of the U.S. Democratic Party is certainly well known, as was his enmity towards former U.S. President George W. Bush. As I have stated previously I do not much like Mr. Soros, not as an individual (I do not know him since he and I do not move in the same social circles) but as a public person. My issue with many Soros haters has to do with the implied or explicit antisemitic slant they adopt when talking or writing about him. Whatever Mr. Sosos political or social agenda may be it is not part of a Zionist (read Jewish) conspiracy against the world or Greece specifically, as many Greek national socialists claim.