Wieseltier and Weinstein Discuss “Should the Jews Leave Europe?”
Leon Wieseltier, former long-time cultural editor of The New Republic, who was about to get the Widow Jobs’ money to start a new magazine until he ran into a Weinstein Problem last month, offered a memorable version of the Invite the World / Invade the World conventional wisdom in TNR in 2010:
So: Cordoba House [i.e., the “Ground Zero mosque“] in New York and a Predator war in Pakistan—graciousness here and viciousness there—this should be our position.
Published on 29 Apr 2015
Atlantic editor in chief James Bennet moderates a discussion between national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg and contributing editor Leon Wieseltier. Goldberg is the author of “Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe?,” the cover story featured in the April issue.
From the Hollywood Reporter in 2015, a reaction to Goldberg’s article:
“We’re gonna have to get as organized as the mafia,” the mogul told the audience at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s national tribute dinner, where he was introduced by friend and competitor Jeffrey Katzenberg as “a really nice Jewish boy.” …
“We better stand up and kick these guys in the ass,” movie mogul Harvey Weinstein said about present-day anti-Semites as he accepted the Humanitarian Award at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s National Tribute Dinner on Tuesday night at the Beverly Hilton. “We’re gonna have to get as organized as the mafia,” he continued. “We just can’t take it anymore [from] these crazy bastards.” …
Weinstein, 63, then went off-script to speak about his father, who was a sergeant stationed in Cairo during World War II. The elder Weinstein aided the Haganah (the precursor to the IDF before Israel was a state) and later taught his sons about anti-Semitism. Weinstein emphasized his concern about anti-Semitism around the world, which Wiesenthal Center studies indicate is at its highest levels since the end of World War II.
“I’m upset when I read The Atlantic Monthly’s headline that says, ‘Should the Jews leave Europe?’ — a resounding ‘no’ on my end — and [New York Times columnist] David Brooks today talking about how to combat anti-Semitism,” Weinstein said. “It’s like, here we go again, we’re right back where we were [before the Holocaust]. And the lessons of the past are we better stand up and kick these guys in the ass.”
The co-head of The Weinstein Company continued, “I think it’s time that we, as Jews, get together with the Muslims who are honorable and peaceful — but we [also] have to go and protect ourselves. We have to build, once again, back into the breach. There’s a quote from Kurt Vonnegut’s book The Sirens of Titan and it always was the motto of Miramax and now The Weinstein Company. It says, ‘Good can triumph over evil if the angels are as organized as the mafia.’ That’s how we built our company! And, unfortunately, we [Jews] are gonna have to get as organized as the mafia. We just can’t take it anymore. We just can’t take these things. There’s gotta be a way to fight back.”