If you were to believe my grandmother, practically everybody is Jewish. As with many bubbes — although we didn’t call her bubbe — she swept almost everyone she wanted into “the tribe.” Sometimes, as with Cary Grant, to my childhood amazement, she even turned out to be right.
But she never mentioned Fidel Castro. He was a pariah after all. (This grandmother was no lefty.) It wasn’t until years later I heard the rumors that the Comandante himself was a landsman. He was from one of those Spanish marrano families, so the legend went, that converted from Judaism into Catholicism during the Inquisition.
I never believed it — or, more precisely, I seriously doubted it. Until now.
My eyes were opened when I read Jeffrey Goldberg’s fascinating report about his recent journey to Havana to meet Fidel. Castro had invited Goldberg to Cuba after reading a piece he wrote in the Atlantic about the Iran-Israel conflict. At their meeting in Havana, the aging dictator made the usual criticisms of Israel, but then quite emphatically informed the journalist of his distaste for Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s rampant anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. He went on to talk about the unique heritage of the Jews and how Ahmadinejad was wrong not to respect it and that Israel deserved to exist.
Castro… attacking another Third World despot and recognizing Israel? Strange business indeed.
There could be only one conclusion. Fidel is Jewish after all.
Not that this is anything to be proud of. Its just interesting. (And, yes, I know this evidence is still highly circumstantial, but trust me. You’ve heard of gay-dar? This is Jew-dar.) Maybe the old bird is feeling a little guilty. Who knows? Lately, he even admitted he mistreated homosexuals and that socialism wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be as economic system. What’s next? Barack Obama abjures unions? We’ll see. This is going to be an interesting year, Jewish or otherwise.
To my gentile and Jewish friends, happy new year.