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There's something special about these folk

What have the Jews ever done for us?

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Even the most rabid anti-Semite would have to admit that there is definitely something special about these folk. We read the statistics before.

There are just over 13.4 million Jews world-wide (2010 figures), indicating that about 0.19% of the World is Jewish - about 1 person out of every 520. So the expectation is that 0.19% of the Worlds' scientists, musicians, entertainers, writers would, on average, be Jewish. Not so. Just looking in the period since the mid-19th Century we find that about 25% of the World's scientists have been Jews and that 22% of all Nobel Prize winners in the 20th Century were Jewish.

Here is a roll of honour:

This is a partial list of people of Jewish ancestry who have 'made it' in the world at large in the last couple of hundred years.

WRITERS

Isaac Asimov, Saul Bellow, Judy Blume, Anita Brookner, Jackie Collins, Edwina Currie, Noam Chomsky, John Diamond, Andrea Dworkin, Harlan Ellison, Ben Elton, Nora Ephron, Martin Gilbert, Albert Goldman, William Goldman, Zoe Heller, Joseph Heller, Arthur Koestler, Judith Krantz, Erica Jong, Franz Kafka, Primo Levi, Ira Levin, Norman Mailer, David Mamet, Arthur Miller, Dorothy Parker, Boris Pasternak, Harold Pinter, Chaim Potok, Marcel Proust, Harold Robbins, Jack Rosenthal, Philip Roth, Oliver Sacks, J.D.Salinger, Hugh Schonfield, Will Self, Sidney Sheldon, Neil Simon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Muriel Spark, Danielle Steele, Tom Stoppard, Jackie Susann, Leon Uris, Irving Wallace, Elie Wiesel.

ACTORS, ENTERTAINERS AND PERSONALITIES

Edward G Robinson, John Garfield, Lee J Cobb, Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Robin Williams, Melvyn Douglas, Bette Midler, Richard Dreyfuss, Walter Matthau, Lawrence Harvey, Winona Ryder, Gene Wilder , Maureen Lipman, Dustin Hoffman, Richard Benjamin, Elliot Gould, Michael Douglas, Anouk Aimee, Sarah Bernhardt, Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Barbra Streisand, Alma Cogan, Helen Shapiro, Milton Berle, George Burns, Danny Kaye, Lenny Bruce, The Marx Brothers, Bud Flanagan, Sid Caesar, Woody Allen, Harrison Ford, Mel Brooks, Sophie Tucker, Dinah Shore, Eddie Fisher,  Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Topol, Billy Crystal, Marty Feldman, Jerry Lewis, Sid James, Jack Benny, Frankie Vaughan, Bob Dylan, Elkie Brookes, Neil Diamond, Leonard Cohen, Harry Houdini, Howard Werth, Peter Green, Paul Kossoff, Paula Abdul, Jackie Mason, Theda Bara, Fanny Brice, Bernard Bresslaw, Bernie Winters, Alexie Sayle, Ben Elton, Joan Rivers, Lionel Blair, Marjorie Proops, Claire Rayner, Uri Geller, Ruby Wax, Dani Behr, Tania Bryer, Muriel Gray, Ron Moody, Warren Mitchell, David Baddiel, Jeff Goldblum, David Schwimmer, Leonard Nimoy (Mr Spock), William Shatner (Captn Kirk), Saatchi & Saatchi, David Copperfield, David Suchet, John Suchet, Lou Reed, Mark Knopfler, Goldie Hawn, Vanessa Feltz, Stephen Fry, Debra Winger, Vidal Sassoon, Linda McCartney, Marc Bolan, David Schneider, John Bluthal, Miriam Karlin, Miriam Margolyes, Janet Suzman, David Kossof, Alicia Silverstone, Caprice, Rachel Stevens, Gwyneth Paltrow, Amy Winehouse, Nigella Lawson, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Roseanne Barr, Lenny Kravitz, Jerry Springer, Judd Hirsch, Jason Biggs, David Blaine, Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G), Ronnie Ancona , Henry Winkler, Jerry Seinfeld, Zero Mostel, Adam Sandler, Paul Newman, Jo Brand, Krusty the Clown, Sharon Osbourne, Madeleine Kahn, Rodney Dangerfield, Harvey Fierstein, Adrien Brody, Andrew Sachs, Simon Amstel, Michael Grade, Michael Green, Claudia Winkleman, Esther Rantzen.

PRODUCERS/DIRECTORS

The Warner Brothers, William Fox, Louis B Mayer, Samuel Goldwyn, Louis Selznick, Adolph Zukor, Jack and Harry Cohn, Jesse Lasky, Lew Grade, Lord Delfont, Steven Spielberg, Sam Wannamaker, Michael Winner, David O Selznick, Joseph Mankiewicz, Alexander Korda, Billy Wilder, Roman Polanski, Richard Benjamin, Peter Bogdanovich, James L Brooks, Ethan and Joel Coen, David Cronenberg, Cecil B DeMille, Sergei Eisenstein, Nora Ephron, Stephen Frears, William Friedkin, Sam Fuller, Lawrence Kasdan, Stanley Kubrick, John Landis, Fritz Lang, Mike Leigh, Richard Lester, Barry Levinson, Sidney Lumet, Jonathan Lynn, Sam Mendes, Frank Oz, Sydney Pollack, Otto Preminger, Harold Ramis,  Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner, Ivan Reitman, John Schlesinger, Don Siegel, Oliver Stone, J.J. Abrams.

POLITICS

Benjamin Disraeli , Sir Herbert Samuel , Anatoly Scharansky , Leslie Hore-Belisha , Manny Shinwell , Leon Blum, Leon Brittain, Lord Young, Nigel Lawson, Gerald Kaufmann, Malcolm Rifkind, Michael Howard, Greville Janner, Golda Meir, Henry Kissinger, the Millibands.

BUSINESS/COMMERCE/LAWYERS

Milton Friedman , The Rothschilds, The Samuels, the Sassoons, The Montefiores, The Goldsmiths, The Montagus, The Mocattas, George Soros, Michael Dell, Alan Sugar, Robert Maxwell, Roman Abramovitch, Mitchell Glazer, Alan Dershowitz, Anthony Julius, Victor Mishcon, Baron Pannick (went to school with him!)

MUSIC AND ART

Itzhak Perlman, Isaac Stern, Yehudi Menuhin, Sir George Henschel , Gustav Mahler, Mendelsohn, Offenbach, Georges Bizet, Benny Goodman, George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, Lionel Bart, Larry Adler , Steven Sondheim, Sammy Cahn, Jacob Epstein, Marc Chagall, Jerome Kern, Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe, Burt Bacharach, Marvin Hamlisch, Lucian Freud, Roy Lichtenstein, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Don Black, Aaron Copland, Jerry Goldsmith, Michael Kamen, Carole King, Lucien Freud.

SCIENCE, MEDICINE AND PHILOSOPHY

Albert Einstein, William Herschel, Neils Bohr , Albert Michelson, Heinrich Hertz, James Franck, Paul Ehrlich, Robert Oppenheimer, Edward Teller, Isidor Rabi, Claude Levi-Strauss, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Buber, Karl Marx, Heinrich Heine, Spinoza, Sigmund Freud , Alfred Adler, Jonas Salk, Carl Sagan, Chaim Weissman, Jacob Bronowski, Benoit Mandlebrot, Paul Ehlrich, Nostradamus, Max Born, Richard Feynman, Wolfgang Pauli, Robert Winston, Jonathan Miller, Alfred Ayer, Karl Popper.

SPORT

Harold Abrahams, Mark Spitz, Max Baer, Daniel Mendoza, Jack ‘Kid’ Berg, Gary Jacobs, Ronnie Rosenthal, Eyal Berkowitz, Yossi Benayoun, Joel Stransky, Phil Cohn (as we're struggling in this category, I'm putting forward my grandfather, a useful boxer in the '20s in the East End, I'm told, and the first and last time he'll ever be written about).

OK, it’s just a list of names, but to put it into perspective let’s just look at one area, the musical theatre. The following musicals were composed by Jews: Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Show Boat, Porgy and Bess, South Pacific, The King and I, Annie Get your Gun, Cabaret, Camelot, Carousel, Chicago, A Chorus Line, Fame, 42nd Street, Funny Girl, Gigi, Godspell, Guys and Dolls, La Cage aux Folles, Les Miserables, A Little Night Music, Little Shop of Horrors, Mary Poppins, Miss Saigon, My Fair Lady, Oklahoma!, The Producers and The Wizard of Oz. It’s harder to find one that isn’t Jewish!

The only major composer in the most prolific period (mid-20th Century) who wasn’t Jewish was Cole Porter, who explained how he made the leap to Broadway theatres: “I’ll just write Jewish tunes”. Irving Berlin, one of the major songwriters of the 20th Century, was to write White Christmas (ironic, eh?), Easter Parade (even more ironic), God Bless America and There’s no Business like Show Business. In 1924 it was remarked that “Irving Berlin has no place in American music. He is American Music.

And if you think this is a bit contrived and selective, here’s a well known answer to anti-Semites by the Jewish comedian, Sam Levinson.

"It's a free world; you don't have to like Jews, but if you don't, I suggest that you boycott certain Jewish products, like the Wasserman test for syphilis; digitalis, discovered by a Dr. Nuslin; insulin, discovered by Dr. Minofsky; chloral hydrate for convulsions, discovered by Dr. Lifreich; the Schick test for diptheria; vitamins, discovered by Dr. Funk; streptomycin, discovered by Dr. Z. Woronan, the polio pill by Dr. A. Sabin and the polio vaccine by Dr. Jonas Salk. Go on, boycott! Humanitarian consistency requires that my people offer all these gifts to all people of the world. Fanatic consistency requires that all bigots accept syphilis, diabetes, convulsions, malnutrition, infantile paralysis and turberculosis as a matter of principle.You want to be mad? Be mad! But I'm telling you, you ain't going to feel so good!"

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