Alana Newhouse asks the right questions:

The question is of Jewish exceptionalism, and it is, to understate it, a thorny one. Hitler designed an entire political philosophy--and attendant death machine--based on the belief that the answer to this question was a resounding "yes." But awkward as this may be, this is, from a different perspective, a view shared by many Jews themselves, like the man who sends me the same e-mail once a month about the number of Jews who have won Nobel Prizes. ("Remarkably, Jews constitute almost one-fifth of all Nobel laureates. This, in a world in which Jews number just a fraction of 1 percent of the population.") And it's not just kooks and your grandmother: Even liberal, assimilated Jews can't help but believe that there is something special--better, smarter--about their people. Except when their people show up in handcuffs on the news...