Jul 27, 2009

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Controlling Anti-Jewish Stereotypes: The Case of the “Hook-Nosed Jew”

schnozzimOne of my interests in life is the bizarre phenomenon of anti-Jewish propaganda manufactured by elite and well-organized cadres of Jews.

Israel Shamir, in his controversial book Cabbala of Power, makes an interesting point about “hook-nosed Jews.” It seems that many Jews, far from shrinking from mention of their noses, never lose an opportunity to reinforce this particular stereotype by referring to their own noses negatively if there is no one else around to do so. When Jewish cemeteries are vandalized or swastikas are found defacing walls, the culprits on numerous occasions have turned out to be Jews. (See, e.g., here and here.) So it is with the legendary “Jewish nose”: a protected species of stereotype deliberately nurtured and kept alive by organized Jewry for propaganda purposes.

Shamir recounts several of these instances. David Mamet, Jewish American playwright, once noticed a bumper sticker on a car: “Israel, Out of the Settlements!” Mamet took umbrage. “This could well be translated,” he huffed, “as Hook-nosed Jews, Die!” Writing an article for The Age, a Jewish publication, Graham Barrett slyly invoked the same carefully cultivated stereotype. “The retired Malaysian Prime Minister,” he told his readers, “took a parting snipe at the ‘hook-nosed Jews’ who rule the world by proxy.”

But this is ridiculous. The Malaysian Prime Minister, as everyone knows, made no reference to “hooked-nosed Jews.” And Mamet is simply fantasizing about the attitudes of someone who was taking an entirely reasonable point of view on the Middle East. In his twisted world, any criticism of Israel, no matter how reasonable, is just another crazed statement of a Jew-hater whose images of Jews come right out of a Der Sturmer cartoon

With the reader’s permission, I shall continue my disquisition on Jewish noses for a bit. The legendary ‘Jewish nose’, though fairly common among non-Jews, appears to cause our Jewish cousins extra special anguish. Rhinoplasty, invented by German-Jewish surgeon Jacques Joseph in the 1890s, largely caught on because its earliest and most enthusiastic customers were Jews. When Jewish comedienne Fanny Brice had her nose job, Dorothy Parker (herself half Jewish) quipped: “Fanny has cut off her nose to spite her race!” Since then, many famous Jews have gone under the knife, including Natalie Portman (Herschlag), Winona Ryder (Horowitz), Gwyneth Paltrow (Paltrowitz), and Sarah Jessica Parker (Bar-Kahn).

Though this would appear to be a relatively frivolous subject, the intelligent reader will understand that it is not the Jewish nose per se that is of interest to me. I am really interested in Jewish power — in this case, the power to suppress any public discussion of a Jewish stereotype based to a considerable extent on the reality of Jewish noses. It’s really the same as Jewish ability to suppress statements that Jews have inordinate influence on the media. Truth is irrelevant.

In fact, it is the whole cluster of alleged anti-Semitic stereotypes and fabricated “canards“ that hover over any discussion of organized Jewry, or of Israel, and which make it almost impossible for anyone to discuss Jewish issues without being branded “anti-Semitic.”


  1. Don Miller said:

    The easiest way to discuss Jewish tendencies & preferences is to always refer to “some Jews” or “organized Jewry,” eschewing phrases like “the Jews” and by using a reference by some Jews as an opening.

    For example, some Jews revel in the use of the insect label WASP, especially in the context of the “decline” of Anglo-Saxon Christian leadership. At that point, it is useful to inquire into WEJ (white European Jewish) attitudes about this or that.

    It is almost impossible to launch inquiries, but it is easy to make inquiries in the context of responses.

    The author is entirely correct that many negative stereotypes are placed in our mouths by the phrasing used by some Jews — almost as if they are quoting us about noses and other unpleasant stereotypes.

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