From the pages of Crank

Number 6

P.O. Box 633, Prince Street Station, New York, NY 10012;

$3 per issue; checks payable to Jeff Koyen

How About That Anti-Semitism in Star Trek?

By Don Frew

I began wondering what happened to the Jews in Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future. First, I dismissed the question–after all, plenty of cultures and religions are noticeably absent from Star Trek. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Jews are present in Star Trek in the form of the Ferengi, everyone’s favorite greedy schemesters. And I was shocked to realize that the Ferengi fulfill just about every stereotype attributed to the Jews by Nazis.

Key points about the Ferengi:

iShort, swarthy, and shifty-eyed

iNoted for their oversized facial features

iWalk with a bent-over, loping gait

iWidely known as crafty and cunning, rather than intelligent

iAll males wear distinctive headgear

iA wandering group of people

iGreedy and untrustworthy, obsessed with the accumulation of mercantile profit

iMerchants, moneylenders, and tavern keepers

iFollow an explicit, multipoint plan for the advancement of their group, generally at the expense of others

iMales lust after “human” women

iRepeatedly attempt to ingratiate themselves into “human” society through flattery and bribes

iSuspected of cannibalism

iThey are portrayed as a threat to “our” society, but this threat is not very credible and used primarily as an excuse to oppress and discriminate against them


iThe Ferengi are governed by a council of elders which is headed by “the Nagus.” In Jewish history, the head of a clan or tribe, the head of the Sanhedrin, and the president of the current state of Israel have all been referred to as “the Nasi.”

iThe producers have almost exclusively cast Jewish actors as Ferengi.

iThe Ferengi are outsiders in Federation space. They are distrusted and, in many instances, hated. Jews, for their part, have endured much of the same treatment, especially at the hands of Arabs. The Arabic word for “foreigner” is “Al-ferengi.”

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