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A US media monitoring organization focusing on Israel and the Middle East has accused The Economist magazine of endorsing automaker Henry Ford's anti-Semitism.
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) said that in the July 19 edition of the London-based magazine, finance correspondent John Prideaux approvingly quoted Ford in blaming the Jews for the Great Depression in a book review about President Franklin D. Roosevelt's depression era economic revitalization plan.
CAMERA said that in the review of the book The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, author Amity Shlaes charges that Roosevelt's New Deal only made things worse.
However, the Boston-based organization added, "The Economist approvingly quotes Henry Ford to point the finger at another villain - the Jews."
The section in question in the book review read: "Ms. Shlaes tends to look at the depression in terms of the conflict between business (good) and politics (bad). At the time, though, Roosevelt's view that the 'lack of honor of men in high financial places' was at the root of the trouble seemed like a statement of the obvious, rather than a political pose. Even Henry Ford had been uttering warnings that 'the Jews of Wall Street,' as he so nicely called them, had stored up trouble in the 1920s. The depression appeared to prove him right."
In response, a CAMERA spokesman said: "The Economist's reference to Henry Ford blaming Jews for the depression jumps off the page when you first read it. The passage can be seen as endorsing the car maker's anti-Semitic views which is not, obviously, what Amity Shlaes intended."
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Prideaux would only say that it was clear that this was not the meaning.