The Frogs are at it again—the French Resistance has reemerged, this time in an iPhone version. A mélange of French anti-racist and pro-Jewish groups whipped themselves into a frothy meringue of holy Gallic gall and on Wednesday their indignant croaking finally forced Apple Computer to cease and desist selling the app Juif ou pas Juif? (“Jew or not Jew?”) within the boundaries of Europe’s Most Annoying Country.
The “Jew or Not Jew?” app (still available in English at the Apple Store for $1.99) contains a database of over 3,500 famous Tribespersons, enabling users to, say, search whether Yaphet Kotto is Jewish (he is!) or how many actors in, say, Smokey and the Bandit or Billy Jack were among God’s Chosen People (zero). The French protesters’ self-righteous cries of Ribbite! Ribbite! (“Ribbit! Ribbit!”) alleged that such a database mimics a “method of designation and stigmatization always used by radical far-right milieux and racists.” A section of the French Penal Code makes it illegal to publish information pertaining to French citizens’ “racial or ethnic origin…political, philosophical or religious…or sexual orientation,” with punishment of up to five years in prison and 300,000 euros. One news report after the next reminded the world’s insatiably gullible readers that an estimated 76,000 Jews were deported from France to Nazi camps during WWII and that fewer than 3,000 returned alive, but no one specified whether they were exterminated or simply didn’t want to live in France anymore.
Ironically—or maybe not—the app’s creator, Johann Levy, is himself a Heeb. Levy claims that he and his co-Jews are forever curious about which public figures are Jewish, so he created a “fun and positive” way “to bring a feeling of pride to Jews when they see that such-and-such a businessman or celebrity is also Jewish.” In an article he penned for Le Nouvel Observateur after the Frogs yanked his app, he wrote that “The pride of belonging to the same group that a person you admire is natural.”
Yet in the tangled world of Jews (both proud and self-hating), the non-Jews who hate them, and the non-Jews who rush to the Jews’ defense and hate the non-Jews who hate Jews, Levy has found himself labeled an anti-Semite.
We bought the “Jew or Not a Jew” app, toyed around with it for a few hours, and found that we didn’t wind up liking or hating Jews any more or less than we liked or hated them in the first place. We weren’t surprised to discover that Fyvush Finkel, Meyer Guggenheim, Chaim Topol, and Simon Ashkenazi were Jewish, but Sylvester Stallone? Werner Klemperer, who played Nazi commandant Colonel Klink on Hogan’s Heroes? Steven Seagal’s dad? In each of the last three cases, we clicked “Now this is a surprise!” rather than “I knew he was Jewish!” The application also allows you to click, “Erm…I think there might be a mistake here,” so we informed the manufacturer that George Soros (listed under “Philanthropy”) and Ben Bernanke (“Economists”) were miscategorized and should have been included in the “Criminals” section.
And except for the fact that it’s a mobile-phone application, “Jew or Not a Jew” isn’t exactly breaking any new ground. Back in 1989, a Saturday Night Live sketch co-written by certified Jew Al Franken was called “Jew, Not a Jew” and played much the same game. Howard Stern, who despite his prominent proboscis claims to be only half-Jewish, regularly featured a game called “Guess Who’s the Jew” on both radio and TV. And since 2006, the website jewornotjew.com has played the “Who’s a Jew?” game with far more wit and panache than the new iPhone app. The site issues each celebrity a “Jew Score” based on three variables: “How Jewish they are internally, how Jewish they are externally and how much we want that person to be a Jew in the first place.” A post on the site’s Facebook page seems miffed at the publicity the new app is garnering and claims Johann Levy stole much of their data and 100 percent of their concept. It’s hard to argue: The mobile app’s “Random Jew” link performs exactly the same function as jewornotjew.com’s “Surprise Me!” tab—click on it, and up pops a new Jew for you to review.
In our long sojourns in the flame-war trenches, we’ve concluded there are two unrelentingly obsessive Internet personality types far more tedious than any other:
1) Those who blame Jews for everything.
2) Those who blame Jews for nothing.
One can never appease either such type without entirely condemning or completely absolving Das Juden, so our purpose, at least for today, is neither to blame the Jews nor to hold them blameless. For now, we’ll snooze on the Jews.
In this case, the fault lies clearly with the French. This is not the France of Napoleon Bonaparte or Charles Martel. Rather, this is a meek and sickly France that still feels guilty for colonizing Africa and Asia, that remains humiliated for rolling over like a submissive poodle and allowing Hitler all of three minutes to conquer it. The recent burqa ban seemed like a sign of hope until one realizes it was done in the service of feminism rather than national cohesion. This new France hauls drunken fashion fags before tribunals for making anti-Jewish statements and drags blonde sexpots into the Star Chamber for making unkind remarks about Muslims. Though France wasn’t liberated by Muslims or Jews in World War II, it’s apparently still legal to bash Americans until les vaches come home. En général, this is a France that has ceased being French in any admirable way.
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