My Response to a Seinfeld Jew

Before I get to Ellis Weiner’s drivel on Ariana Huffington’s website, let me tell you a bit about him — not the irrelevant details in his bio (that he was an editor of National Lampoon, that he writes for children’s television, or that he’s the author of the soon-to-be-published book “Yiddish With George And Laura”) – but what you really need to know to understand him.

Ellis Weiner is a Seinfeld Jew.

Seinfeld Jews demonstrate their “Jewishness” by spreading The Sunday New York Times on their bagels, listening to NPR, sprinkling their speech with Yiddish-isms (thereby differentiating themselves from ex-Catholics and liberals from Protestant backgrounds), and snickering at conservative Christians.

Seinfeld Jews have laminated their ACLU membership cards. Seinfeld Jews go to shul (synagogue) three times a year – Rosh Ha-Shanah, Yom Kippur and Barbra Streisand’s birthday. Seinfeld Jews think history’s greatest villains were/are Adolf Hitler and George W. Bush. OK – that’s an exaggeration. They don’t think Hitler was nearly as bad as W.

Weiner writes for the Huffington Post – Nu? (See, I can do it too.) The Huffington Post is the officious website of the lady who sounds like Countess Dracula, made her fortune by marrying a millionaire who later announced he was gay (hey, if John Wayne had married Countess Huffington, he would have been a homosexual, too), fawns on Bill Maher (she’s his favorite “conservative”), and switched sides when it proved more profitable to hang with the left.

For me, the highlight of the last California gubernatorial campaign came during a debate, when Arnold Schwarzenegger said to Huffington, in response to her taunting, “Arianna, I’ve got a part for you in ‘Terminator IV.’” (In “Terminator III,” he used the head of the female Terminator to demolish a row of toilets.) The Governator’s one-liner wasn’t nearly as funny as the shrieks it provoked from Huffington. (“You se da vay he dis-respects vimmin!”) Who said liberals are humor-deficient? That would be me.

Back to the Weiner. Presumably, his column, “An Open Fan Letter to Embattled Christians,” is meant to be hilarious. I can picture him sitting at home evenings, chuckling over his copy of “The Funniest Things I’ve Ever Written, Said And Thought” by Ellis Weiner.

Intended as a put-down of the recently concluded War On Christians conference, his screed was filled with Comedy Central stuff like, “First: It takes a certain kind of courage to bring together (in a single room! On purpose!) Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex), Rod Parsley, Gary Bauer, Phyllis Schlafly, the notably execrable Janet Parshall, and – in a particularly brilliant casting coup – the Luciano Pavarotti of religious lunacy, Alan Keyes.”

“A certain kind of courage,” “execrable,” “a casting coup,” “the Luciano Pavarotti of religious lunacy” — not one, but two exclamation marks? Stop, you’re killing me!

But Weiner was just getting warmed up.

Then, he turned his toothless sarcasm on me. “And speaking of chutzpah, what gathering of reactionary, self-righteous ‘Christian’ moralists would be complete without their very own representatives of the Hebrew persuasion? The (Washington) Post cites two: First, Don Feder … who founded an organization called Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation.”

“This is something that, frankly, I wish I had thought of. To be house Jew to the meshugge Christian right: brilliant. No heavy lifting, contributions from the credulous and pious, cushy travel and lodging budgets, nice per diem, no actual work (unlike the back-breaking labor of writing for children’s television) …. And me sitting at home like a putz, wondering why my Jews Rabidly In Favor of Anti-Christian Defamation can’t raise bupkes.” What a hoot!

Note the following;

1. House Jew? Wiener can’t even get his slurs straight. It’s “court Jew” (in the Middle Ages: the Jewish advisor to a Christian monarch) and House n-word (the favored slave who worked in the plantation house, instead of sweating in the field).

2. Weiner endorses one of the classic canards of anti-Semitism: That if a Jew appears to be helping a Christian, it’s actually a clever ruse to exploit him.

Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation is such a cunning scheme that I’ve managed to con myself. I receive no compensation whatsoever for my work with the group. Abe Foxman – head honcho of the Anti-Defamation League – is paid half a million annually to attack Christians. I get bupkes (nothing) to defend them. And I’m the hustler.

What I’ve been saying through Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation is exactly the same thing I said in 19 years of syndicated columns for The Boston Herald, and the same thing I said in my 1996 book “Who’s Afraid Of The Religious Right?” (AKA: “Yiddish With Rush and Ann”). Perhaps I am the sly Jew of a Dickens novel, but at least I’m consistent.

Shortly after I saw the Weiner piece, someone sent me the following article by the inimitable Ben Stein – humorist, actor and commentator – written just before Christmas last year.

After confessing his bewilderment with celebrity magazines encountered at the supermarket check-out (“I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are…. I don’t know who Lindsay Lohan is either, and I do not care at all about Tom Cruise’s wife”), Stein gets serious.

“Next confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are: Christmas trees.”

But that’s only the beginning of Stein’s iconoclasm. “It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to push me into a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of the year.”

(Aside: During the past holiday season, Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation held a press conference at the National Press Club called “Jews For It’s OK To Say Merry Christmas.” Speakers included such notorious house Jews as Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Michael Horowitz (a Hudson Institute scholar), comedian Jackie Mason and yours truly. Hey, I have to do something to keep those “nice per diems” rolling in.)

Then Stein discloses: “I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution, and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.”

“Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him.”

Ben Stein – not a candidate for membership in Jews Rabidly In Favor of Anti-Christian Defamation.

What prompted me to write this column was a letter I recently received on the website of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation (I know, this is starting to sound like an extended commercial, but, please, bear with me) from a lady named Sharon:


“Dear Mr. Feder,

I’ve just found your website from Concerned Women for America’s website. I watched an 8-minute speech you gave. Thank you for your support.

I have often wondered why so many Jews seem to hate Christians when we have supported Israel for so many years. I have often written letters to Presidents and Congressmen to support Israel.

My father served in World War II and his army unit liberated Dachau – he would not speak of it until he was dying. When I can, I tell people of his horrible description – to prevent anyone (who will listen) from believing that the Holocaust did not happen.”

I wonder how Weiner would respond to this. Here’s my reply:

“Dear Sharon,

There really aren’t so many Jews who seem to hate Christians. Regrettably, those who do have the biggest forums and the biggest mouths. They hate you because, in you, they see a reflection of traditional Jewish values – which embarrasses them.

Jews who adhere to Torah Judaism are grateful to Christians for creating a country where we didn’t end up in ghettos or ovens – where citizenship isn’t based on how one worships God, but God’s law is honored.

Such Jews understand that in the moral battle against modern paganism, Christians are our allies. We are both spiritual descendants of Abraham and bear the burden of standing for the truth he first enunciated.

It’s no coincidence that the greatest nation on earth is the only one explicitly founded on Judeo-Christian ethics. (As De Tocqueville commented: America is great because America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”)

America didn’t start in Philadelphia in 1776 or 1787. It didn’t start with the Mayflower Compact or the English Enlightenment. It started at Sinai.

But it was Christians who brought the vision of Sinai to these shores. It’s no coincidence that the much-maligned Puritans (progenitors of the evangelicals), who did so much to shape our institutions of government, were philo-Semites.

It was Christians who gave us our form of government, based on the Torah’s wisdom. It wasn’t atheists or agnostics or secularists who tamed the wilderness, built the farms and factories and fought the wars to keep us safe and free, but Christians.

Your father and the other young Christian men who walked into a hell on earth to save its tormented victims represented the best of America – the America that should inspire the devotion of all of us, Jew and gentile alike.”

That’s why I do what I do.

Let’s see if the Weiner can sneer at that.

This column was first published by