Radical bills authorizing the roundup of Canadian Jews residing in this country illegally passed both houses of the Arizona Legislature and now await Governor Jan Brewer's signature.
Immediate targets are expected to be foreign-born Jews hanging about in the parking lots of banks looking for odd jobs and for investors.
"This isn't about Jews occupying settlements on the West Bank," said County Attorney Andrew Thomas. "It's about Jews occupying parking lots at Citibank."
Michael Lacey column
Complaints reached a crescendo at a recent Tea Party protest at Wells Fargo's headquarters in downtown Phoenix.
"After making my deposit at Bank of America," Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth told the crowd, "I asked a Jew in the parking lot if he'd like to make a buck. Next thing you know, my Chevy is swarmed. One of 'em got in my car, and we were halfway to Mesa before I figured out that he didn't want to trim my overgrown hedge; he wanted me to invest in his hedge fund."
Valley residents claim bitterly that the influx of Canadian Jews has greatly confused the traditional get-rich real estate schemes that have been the hallmark of prudent Arizona speculation.
"When I first got to Arizona, dirt was worth your life," observed protest organizer J.T. Ready. "Ask Don Bolles if Ned Warren wasn't a giant in dirt. And Charles Keating. Hell, you don't have a Keating Five without dirt.
"But now, you pull into a bank's parking lot and some Canadian Jew is banging on your window with his bonds and rollover IRAs, Treasury notes, grain futures, and municipal securities.
"The hell are they saying?" wondered Ready. "Who can understand a word of it?"
Hayworth, who is running against incumbent John McCain for the U.S. Senate, introduced the next speaker, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, to the rally.
Arpaio promised to round up all Canadian Jews whose papers weren't in order — no matter what the federal government thought.
"I can spot a Canadian Jew as quick as you can say 'snow monkey,'" said America's toughest sheriff. "Hook nose and earmuffs . . . What's the mystery? So it's pedal to the metal until my jail's a shtetl."
The enthusiastic crowd erupted into a chant:
"Don't be stupid, be a smarty.
"Come and join the Nazi party."
Jews first began to leave Canada because there simply were not enough graduate-school openings for their children. The exodus put unbearable pressure on American dental, medical, psychiatric, and law schools.
Parents of Canadian Jews in graduate school have taken to bank parking lots in an effort to raise money for tuition. The clusters of men outside the banks offer advice, for a fee, on all forms of market speculation.
State Senator Russell Pearce, a Republican from Mesa and the primary mover of Senate Bill 1070 and House Bill 2632, challenged critics of his legislation:
"The government of the United States wants to tell American Jews at Goldman Sachs how much they can earn, but we can't tell Canadian Jews to stop earning and learning at our expense?"
Callers to conservative talk-radio shows debated where law enforcement should look for Canadian Jews.
Einstein Bagels, suggested one caller.
"What about Pep Boys?" wondered another listener. "What kinda name is Moe?"
Forget auto-parts stores, suggested another listener. "You never see 'em with tools. They're all cheesecake eaters."
The host of KLJW's morning show, Darrell Ankarlo, agreed, saying the chosen people prefer rugelach to wrenches. He said law enforcement should ignore Ace Hardware and focus on pastry shops: "It's not the honey-do list. It's the honey Jew list, if you want to find the Canadians."
The president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, Mark Spencer, said he has already issued guidelines to members of his union on what "reasonable suspicion" of a Canadian Jew in mufti is: "You're in a crowded movie theater and a cell phone goes off. The ring tone is 'If I Were a Rich Man' — you ask for the Jew's papers."
The legislation forbids Arizona cities from adopting sanctuary policies that would prevent law enforcement from conducting roundups. Citizens, under the legislation, can hire a smart Jew lawyer — as long as it's a smart Arizona Jew lawyer — to sue offending municipalities.
Reaction from religious leaders was muted.
"Are the Jews who are coming here gay?" asked Bishop Thomas Olmsted. "Maybe they could forget graduate school and just become priests. There's a shortage, you know? If we can embrace pedophiles, surely we can embrace Canadian Jews."
Senator Pearce, in contrast, saw little room for compromise.
"My son couldn't get into medical school," Pearce observed. "He had to go to work for Sheriff Arpaio, which is the same job I had before becoming a senator. Any parent wants their kid to have more opportunity than they had. But no. All the seats in medical school are occupied by Hymie this and Hymie that.
"The Canadian Jew residents in Valley hospitals start with a bris and move on to abortion. While Canadian Jews might be thought of as pro-choice, that evaporates if the wife's a shiksa. You might say I'm conflicted: On the one hand, I don't want another fetus aborted; on the other, it's a Jewish fetus."
Pearce recently revealed plans to intervene in his son's career. He announced before television cameras that he would be happy to succeed Arpaio should a federal grand jury indict the sheriff.
When it became obvious just how easy it was to get into a graduate program in Arizona, what began as a trickle of Canadian Jews jumping the border became a flood.
Border security reacted with spot circumcision inspections.
Canadian Jews lived in terror of a red uniformed Mountie's extending a gloved hand and demanding: "Put your shvantz right here, eh . . ."
The desire to leave Canada, coupled with restrictive legislation in Arizona, created a new form of border racketeering. Shalom Shleppers (S.S.) was one typical cartel taking advantage of the dispossessed. The thugs lined up transport for Canadian Jews looking to sneak across the border. Stretch Mercedes limos were loaded to the limit. But the victims often found themselves abandoned in places like Victoria, mere kilometers from the safety of America.
Ephraim Katz, the goniff from S.S., explained the fate of the Canadian Jews who can see, but not reach, Seattle.
"What can I tell you?" said Katz. "We sold short."
But enough Canadian Jews made it into Arizona that their presence is keenly felt in bank parking lots and in graduate schools.
Pearce bragged, "Let me tell you that my other landmark legislation passed out of committee last week — the bill allows a person to carry a concealed weapon without a permit or training. And this is going to introduce just the right note of tension on campus.
"Let's see how Moishe from Montreal reacts in dental school. Who can concentrate on caps and crowns when the cracker next to you in class might bust a cap in your ass?"
Predictably, the Arizona Civil Liberties Union has strongly opposed the rounding up of Canadian Jews.
"Arizona has a shameful history of segregation, the internment of Japanese Americans, the expulsion of Mexicans. Now you are going to round up Canadian Jews. What's next? When do you start eating children?" asked a clearly frustrated Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the Arizona ACLU.
"This is barbarism," she concluded.
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"Let me tell you something," said candidate Hayworth responding to the ACLU. "After we get done paying for Obamacare, we might be happy if there were children to eat. And it's a matter of historical fact that Jews ate Christian children in the Middle Ages. Maybe we should learn something from them.
"Let's look at it another way," said Hayworth. "We know people are starving in Haiti. Al Gore insists that global warming will cause crop failure. And you still can't get a decent po-boy in the 9th Ward of New Orleans.
"Would you be willing to eat children if it would end world hunger?" asked Hayworth.
"What if the kids were half-breeds?"