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Dear Tablet Reader, China Wants You

Beijing business seeks Jew to be a Jew (women need not apply)

Marc Tracy
May 24, 2012
Chinese President Hu Jintao and the Jewish guy he hired.(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
Chinese President Hu Jintao and the Jewish guy he hired.(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s an open secret that many Chinese firms hire white foreigners essentially to have a white person sitting there, ostensibly making them look worldly or some such. It’s known as “Rent a White Guy,” because, indeed, it nearly always is a guy. One Chinese firm, however, has an even more particular specification: according to Foreign Policy, someone wrote in, “My contact is (deleted) and is slightly obsessed with Jewish people and thinks they are the smartest, so he naturally prefers this person to be Jewish. If he can’t get someone Jewish, he would also like someone who went to a famous university—Harvard, Yale, etc.” This is, of course, of a piece with the Chinese people’s bizarre but ultimately benign brand of philo-Semitism, which expresses itself in interests in Freud, the Talmud, and the Jews’ being “excellent.” They’re even mildly obsessed with Hitler, as Isaac Stone Fish (author of the blog post with the above job announcement) reported in Tablet Magazine last year.

Meanwhile, a host on CCTV turns out to have a written on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, “Why do the U.S. media not dare to support the call for the establishment of a Palestinian state? It’s because they’re afraid of getting fired by their Jewish bosses.” Of course, if he now gets fired by his philo-Semitic Chinese bosses, we can suggest a few English-language outlets that would be glad to have him.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.