The Jerusalem Post’s gift to anti-Semitic dictators

A list of the World’s Most Influential Jews is bound to make people squirmy to begin with, but you have to wonder with the Jerusalem Post considered whether they were writing copy for every dictator in the Middle East by putting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at No. 1, crediting his site with having "enabled and ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
Chris Ratcliffe - Pool/Getty Images
Chris Ratcliffe - Pool/Getty Images
Chris Ratcliffe - Pool/Getty Images

A list of the World's Most Influential Jews is bound to make people squirmy to begin with, but you have to wonder with the Jerusalem Post considered whether they were writing copy for every dictator in the Middle East by putting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at No. 1, crediting his site with having "enabled and encouraged" the events of the Arab Spring. (The "Jewish power-providers of the Arab Spring revolts," as the headline puts it.)

The Facebook-as-Mossad plot meme is already a staple of anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists. Now, the next time Bashar al-Assad or Muammar al-Qaddafi want to blame their protests on the Jews, they can say they read it in the Jerusalem Post.

In any case, Zuckerberg is certainly powerful -- though he's downplayed his company's role the Arab Spring -- and Jewish, though he's a self-described atheist -- so his inclusion on the list makes sense, though I might have gone with Ben Bernanke for the top spot. (Dominique Strauss-Kahn would have been a contender until last month.)

A list of the World’s Most Influential Jews is bound to make people squirmy to begin with, but you have to wonder with the Jerusalem Post considered whether they were writing copy for every dictator in the Middle East by putting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at No. 1, crediting his site with having "enabled and encouraged" the events of the Arab Spring. (The "Jewish power-providers of the Arab Spring revolts," as the headline puts it.)

The Facebook-as-Mossad plot meme is already a staple of anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists. Now, the next time Bashar al-Assad or Muammar al-Qaddafi want to blame their protests on the Jews, they can say they read it in the Jerusalem Post.

In any case, Zuckerberg is certainly powerful — though he’s downplayed his company’s role the Arab Spring — and Jewish, though he’s a self-described atheist — so his inclusion on the list makes sense, though I might have gone with Ben Bernanke for the top spot. (Dominique Strauss-Kahn would have been a contender until last month.)

Overall the list seems a little biased toward Israeli government officials with negligible global influence, and there are some odd omissions. George Soros? The Sulzbergers? Does Natalie Portman really have more influence in Hollywood than Steven Spielberg or Harvey Weinstein?

Perhaps I’m being too critical, but what’s a list of Jews for if not fodder for argument?

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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