For God, For Country, and For Yale: How top colleges figured out how to turn away Jews

The irony being that the Admission process is now often run by Jewish Americans, at least at Yale where the director of admissions and the President of the University are Jewish. In any case in the North East there is such a high rate of intermarriage between WASPs and Jews that to talk about a Jewish or a WASP elite today is meaningless. There is just an elite, and they don’t want competition. Who does?


If you’re not of recent Asian descent and just got an Ivy-League degree, there should be an asterisk after the degree.

Those are interesting statistics, thank you.

I was talking about the university’s early history, a hundred years ago, not the last few years. Sounds like the trend is toward unspoken quotas, even in schools that did not used to engage in such shady practices. Seems the wrong lesson was learned.

On the nose. Crticize Israel all you like. I think that Netanyahu’s a flaming moron who makes Bush Jr. look like a Nobel Prize winner and his actions might as well be calculated to make all Diaspora Jews feel unsafe because of the attitude that conflates “all Jews everywhere” with “Israel”. I love being held responsible for the actions of politicians in a country that I have never visited, have no plans on visiting, and have no method for checking their behavior.

But criticising Israel is one thing, a legitimate thing. Using the opportunity to engage in anti-semitism, as explicit as calling all Jews everywhere bloodthirsty monsters (shades of the blood libel) or as subtle as deliberately scheduling your protests when most of the Jews are off at prayer during our High Holy Days and then pointing at our absence… yeah, no. I gotta call bigotry on that.


You’re dangerously close to perpetuating the counter libel that everyone is attacking Israel as a cover for anti-semitism. Which was my original point. In my personal experience, this is very rare indeed and anyone who tries it gets shouted down pretty damn quickly. Yet nevertheless whenever there is something on Israel in The Grauniad et al, there are a whole load of people looking to be offended by anyone who is careless in their language.

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100 years ago—as the article itself says—the Ivies had neither quotas nor other forms of discriminatory admissions practices, either (though they didn’t admit women). I don’t know if Chicago was different than the Ivies in terms of when it adopted ‘holistic’ admissions practices, or if their demographics changed significantly when they started using them. It may be that their admissions discrimination lagged the Ivies, but there’s certainly no real reason to think that they did.

I don’t know that either. It’s an interesting research project, but this is not the week for it, at least from my end!

Oh, look, it’s a non-Jew telling a Jew what anti-semitism is! What’s next, a white person telling a black person what racism is? Or a man telling a woman what sexism is? Because that’s pretty much what you’re doing. [sarcasm]But since you’re doing it to Jews, it’s okay. [/sarcasm]

And your comment is bullshit. Blood libel imagery. Comparisons that make Israel out into the second coming of Nazi Germany. The people holding those posters don’t look like they’re getting “shouted down pretty quick” to me! Oh, and let’s add in some explicit anti-semitic double standards in the media–just look at CNN’s little mess-ups during the murder of four Jews at prayer this past week.

Or how about the utter silence in the news and social medias when Egypt pulls the exact same bullshit to the Palestinians that Israel does? Before you jump down my throat and try and put words down there for that last link, note that I’m not saying “Because Egypt does it too, that makes it okay when Israel does it.” I’m pointing at the double standard in the f’ing media. Israel pulls this kind of oppressive crap, they’re made out to be the second coming of Nazi Germany. Egypt does it… sound of crickets from Twitter, Tumblr, CNN and pretty much every other media outlet Gee, I wonder what could be the source of that little double standard?

Oh, and, btw, if you dare say that using the Swastika in relation to anything Jewish is not automatically anti-semitic, you are not only an anti-Semite yourself, you are perpetuating the very anti-semitism that makes Israel so desperate and panicked into doing the kind of stupid and monsterous actions that it has been condemned for, because that attitude just creates and contributes to the siege mentality and xenophobia that lead to such terrible acts as Operation: Protective Edge. Because it sends the very explicit message to us that the world does not care for Jewish lives, and we have to look out for our own. Because that is the symbol of the organization that wiped out a third of our global population, from which we have not yet recovered. There are fewer Jews alive now than there were in 1939. We have PTSD By Proxy as a culture-wide issue, and that f-ing symbol is our trigger, and there’s no valid reason to wave it in our faces other than to bully us and make us lose our composure–as I am doing when writing this post, because even just seeing the images at the links is making my blood boil in fear and hate.

You want to criticise Israel? Go ahead. I do it all the time. But stop trying to make excuses for the people that want to see myself and every person in my ethnicity murdered and happily make use of the greatest evil ever done to us as a rhetorical device to make us afraid and rash. Criticize it as you would another country. But if you keep singling it out, guess what? You’re just an anti-semite and an active contributor to the problem.


My not-noticeably Jewish grandfather was accepted to Harvard Law in the early 1930s and was even awarded a scholarship. He always talked about how surprised he was that they accepted him, and not only accepted, but even gave him money. It makes me sad, to some degree, to think that he was able to be come a successful lawyer with a top-notch legal education despite the fact he was Jewish. I’d much prefer it not be relevant at all. Such is the world we still live in.

I don’t think anyone here is making excuses for them.

Some of us here are survivors of [at least rumored] neo-Nazi violence, and would also face extermination at the hands of Nazi regimes.

I am triggered too.

Yay assimilation?

Kidding sort of… You are right though, I’ve probably brought this up before but it was within living memory that on race selection sections of official forms in the US, “Hebrew” was a choice.

Not to put too fine a point on it but the Diaspora is not just the US and the problem you refer to most certainly predates Bibi. Nor for that matter is the problem limited to certain groups who have made war upon the State of Israel since 48. I can tell you from first hand experience that living on the edge of the Diaspora had more events that made me fear for my safety before the Bibi administration than during.

Actually you do. Make aliyah and become a voting citizen. Don’t pretend your hands are tied on this, its not true.

On the whole I agree that one may criticize the State of Israel without being an anti-semite. This is most often not the case but it certainly is possible. For clarifications sake I’ll come out and say that I’m a “zionist” in the classical secular sense but still maintain theological objections to the State as we are not in the era of Moshiach and all that implies, but nonetheless theologically support the right of Jews to live in our homeland and not to cede one inch of it to those who attempt to take it from us. If this sounds paradoxical it is likely you have never argued with a talmudist :smile:

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I think individuals and communities have the right to live in their historic homelands, and to set up safe havens, but I don’t think anyone has the right to set up states encompassing their historic homelands, especially because they overlap.

There is no way for Greece and Turkey, or France and Germany, or Germany and Poland, or Poland and Ukraine, or Ukraine and Russia, to both encompass their historic homelands, because they overlap, and if either were to refuse to concede an inch, and were to try to reclaim the rest, the other would regard it as an invasion.

I think you are taking a dangerous ultranationalist position, and it is one of the causes of the world wars and many smaller wars.


Borderline excuses, of an all too common subtype of “I don’t see it, therefore it doesn’t exist.” Less an active sympathizer than an enabler. Still, fair point.

Roma? LGBT? Communist? Socialist? Slav? Pole? Jehova’s Witness? Not trying to be an ass, just curious.

Yeah. I’d ask your opinion on Europeans/other whites trying to “reclaim” that symbol, but that’s a whole 'nother topic.

Was it? I’ve been wondering on that, why there isn’t a “Jewish” category on the US census form.

Agreed on all points. Sorry if I lacked granularity. However, I will point out that Operation: Protective Edge has resulted in a statistically significant upswing in global anti-semitism. Which is driving Jews to make aliyah and thus reinforcing the need for Israel as a safe place for us, which reinforces the cycle.

Must be nice to have the money to have that option. I’m dirt poor, and, besides, that’s a disingenuous argument. The point I was making is that I am a US citizen. And yet I am still blamed for the actions of a distant country that I am only linked to via ethnic and cultural ties.

As a disabled autistic trans womon, and as an anarchist pacifist.

(Although Hans Asperger convinced them not to exterminate autistics the last time around, there’s no telling what would happen the next time.)

And I’d just yesterday heard about another online harassment campaign, full of Nazi rhetoric. Unfortunately trans ppl are especially vulnerable to online harassment because many of us depend on online communities, or are vulnerable to doxxing which enables offline harassment and violence.


Wasn’t on census forms as far as my research shows but I have a memory of some school forms from the 70s in New Jersey where there was a tick box for “Hebrew”. Unfortunately I can’t find a citation on this. Not everything is on the internet it seems.

I can’t find any official data on immigration post O:PE claim. Here is official data 1948-2013 and here is recent commentary by the head of the Jewish Agency which works closely with immigrants to the State of Israel globally. See also the JVL data on the subject. One thing which is quite clear is that besides the wave of immigrants which coincided with the Second Infatata, and of course the victory in the 67 war, conflict with the Arabs has not been a generally major cause of Jews returning to our homeland.

As far as trends of anti-semitism, yes the last year has brought us some horrific news but I can’t find any solid trend data to compare pre and post O:PE incidents in comparison to general trends. I’m not fond of the ADL reports as they lack clear data in the published versions as do the US State Department versions but I like the USSD reports a bit better. Note also that the reports concerning riots which made headlines so recently which were supposedly “caused” by O:PE were no where near as horrific as the murders in Toulouse which predated O:PE by almost two years. Also the submarine law fare trend in some european countries definitely predates and does not seem to coincide with any particular conflict incidents.

Basically it seems that there does not seem to be a provable cause and effect relationship between anti-semitic incidents, regional conflicts with the State of Israel and immigration to the State of Israel. Such claims tend towards the general Ashkenazi behavioral pattern of “keep our heads down and maybe they will stop burning our villages”.

First off its not about one’s individual income level, secondly its not disingenuous since it is a provable fact that as a Jew, US passport holder or not, a legal structure exists to fast track the immigration process into the State of Israel which entitles you to citizenship and voting rights almost from the minute your feet touch the ground at Ben Gurion airport. The Jewish Agency and other groups have financial aid programs in place so it is possible.

As far as blame goes, this comes back to Jews getting static under the guise of complaints about the actions of the State of Israel. Again though its just anecdotal, I’ve had death threats just for being visibly Jewish that had nothing to do with the actions of the State of Israel and though I too am a US citizen, I live in a country which has been subject to a formal pro-Arab League/anti-State of Israel media campaign since the 1973 OPEC embargo, and where there is lots of virulent anti-semitism under the guise of criticism of the State of Israel. I’ve dealt with the same things you talk about as well. Based on historical trends, some folks will blame us about O:PE, the well running dry, a poor harvest, financial crises or the argument they had with their spouse. Somehow its always the fault of the Jews to some people.

Perhaps you don’t have a grasp on the variances between the secular and theological issues here? This isn’t meant as a put down at all, its one of those things that even some who are well versed in their historical and present day rabbinics can’t give you a broad yes/no answer.

There is of course the possibility that you are using the adjectives “dangerous” and “ultranationalist” in the emotional or propaganda sense as well. Would you be kind enough to clarify?

Someone knows how to do research! See, that would be a great indication you were right for the school.

bibliophile20: Was it? I've been wondering on that, why there isn't a "Jewish" category on the US census form.

“Hebrew” absolutely was on U.S. census forms. That was the term, not “Jewish”.

BTW, Ashkenazi Jewish is a recognized and measurable genetic population. Not Sephardim, Mizrahim, etc., but the Ashkenazim are. Which is ironic, since more of that group’s genetic makeup is non-MENA* as opposed to other Jewish populations.

*Middle Eastern/North African

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Do you know when that changed? It could be that my searches on the .gov websites were just looking at the wrong things or the wrong time periods.

As far as I’ve been able to tell, it had a lot to do with the census taker. I’ve researched thousands of families, many of whom were Jewish, and there doesn’t seem to be an official stance based on year…some families will be listed as “Hebrew” in a given census whereas others, even living in the same area, will not be.

Another common and related problem: census takers would make assumptions about the ethnic makeup of an entire family based on who came to the door and answered questions. So mixed-race marriages often were not accurately recorded.

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