China’s Search for the Secrets of Jewish Success

In China, widespread fascination with Jews is based mainly on the assumption that Jewish religion and culture impart economic success. Most information available about Jews, however, consists of falsehoods, absurd generalizations, and crude stereotypes. James Ross, co-editor of a new book on Chinese perceptions of Jews, writes:

Best-selling Chinese books have been filled with outrageous claims about Jews for decades. . . . In recent years, however, much of China’s popular discussion of Jews and Judaism has appeared on blogs. In a July 2012 blog-post titled “Jewish Education,” Wang War writes that the “Jewish nation is the world’s smartest, richest, and most mysterious nation.” He cites Marx, Darwin [!], Freud, Einstein, and Mendelssohn as “Jewish gurus,” notes the high number of Jewish Nobel Prize winners, and praises Jewish success at business. “Seventy percent of world trade is controlled by the Jews,” he writes, and Jews account for 25 percent of the 400 richest Americans. “It is said that most of the world’s wealth is in the pockets of the Jews,” writes Wang.

One of the main sources of Jews’ success, according to Wang, is education. Learning and education are “spiritual beliefs,” he writes, and part of the “national spirit.”. . .

Stereotypes and misinformation about Jews remain widespread in China. But they seem to have inspired admiration for Jews, rather than anti-Semitism. Despite the lack of a significant Jewish presence in China, Jews remain a model for success.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Anti-Semitism, China, Jewish genius, Jewish World, Philo-Semitism

Iran’s Program of Subversion and Propaganda in the Caucasus

In the past week, Iranian proxies and clients have attacked Israel from the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and Yemen. Iran also has substantial military assets in Iraq and Syria—countries over which it exercises a great deal of control—which could launch significant attacks on Israel as well. Tehran, in addition, has stretched its influence northward into both Azerbaijan and Armenia. While Israel has diplomatic relations with both of these rival nations, its relationship with Baku is closer and involves significant military and security collaboration, some of which is directed against Iran. Alexander Grinberg writes:

Iran exploits ethnic and religious factors in both Armenia and Azerbaijan to further its interests. . . . In Armenia, Iran attempts to tarnish the legitimacy of the elected government and exploit the church’s nationalist position and tensions between it and the Armenian government; in Azerbaijan, the Iranian regime employs outright terrorist methods similar to its support for terrorist proxies in the Middle East [in order to] undermine the regime.

Huseyniyyun (Islamic Resistance Movement of Azerbaijan) is a terrorist militia made up of ethnic Azeris and designed to fight against Azerbaijan. It was established by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps . . . in the image of other pro-Iranian militias. . . . Currently, Huseyniyyun is not actively engaged in terrorist activities as Iran prefers more subtle methods of subversion. The organization serves as a mouthpiece of the Iranian regime on various Telegram channels in the Azeri language. The main impact of Huseyniyyun is that it helps spread Iranian propaganda in Azerbaijan.

The Iranian regime fears the end of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan because this would limit its options for disruption. Iranian outlets are replete with anti-Semitic paranoia against Azerbaijan, accusing the country of awarding its territory to Zionists and NATO. . . . Likewise, it is noteworthy that Armenian nationalists reiterate hideous anti-Semitic tropes that are identical to those spouted by the Iranians and Palestinians. Moreover, leading Iranian analysts have no qualms about openly praising [sympathetic] Armenian clergy together with terrorist Iran-funded Azeri movements for working toward Iranian goals.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Azerbaijan, Iran, Israeli Security