Blame Jews For Everything For Dummies

A difficult history

For centuries Jews have lived as a minority in the lands of others. Their relationship with the majority has often been problematic. What to do with the Jews? It was a question asked by thinkers and leaders alike. Martin Luther and Karl Marx felt the urge to express their opinion on this matter. Adolf Hitler sought a definitive solution of the issue, which was exterminating them. Jews still are blamed for many things. A few examples:

  • People who oppose interest and usury often blame the Jews for it as Jews have been money lenders for centuries and many Jews are still working in finance.
  • Jews have taken a piece of Arab land that is now called Israel. They expelled most of the Arab inhabitants. That’s why a lot of Arabs don’t like Jews.
  • It is sometimes said that the Jews determine what you hear on the radio and see on television because they control the media.
  • Perhaps you have read that Jews cause wars and revolutions, often with a little help from the secretive Freemasons and the elusive Illuminati.
  • Jews have been accused of harvesting organs without consent and being involved in the illegal organ trade.
  • Some people believe that Jews can’t be trusted because they are more loyal to Israel than the country they live in.
  • The political corruption in the United States is caused by a poor political system, but the Jews seem to profit from it, so follow the money.
  • Same goes for poor quality Hollywood movies. The Jews did it.
  • And Jews can be blamed for a lot of other things too, of course not the ‘good Jews’, only the ‘evil Jews’, but it is hard to tell the difference, so don’t trust them.

This is a difficult history. Closer inspection reveals that things aren’t always what they seem. There allegedly has been a long Christian tradition of intolerance towards Jews. Only Christians were even more intolerant towards all other religions, including other versions of Christianity. Only Jews were tolerated, first because the Pope said so, and later because Jews proved to be useful for trade, tax collecting and money lending, which were activities Christians found to be morally reprehensible and didn’t like to do themselves. In fact, Christians have been exceptionally tolerant towards the Jews.

Muslims were even more tolerant. Apart from Jews they also tolerated Christians. Despite that, Christianity and Islam were amongst the most intolerant religions that ever existed. That proved to be crucial for their success. Apparently the owner of this universe didn’t provide us with ample proof of Her existence so convincing people by argument wasn’t an option. The Jews didn’t get that. They preferred to keep exclusive rights to the all-powerful creator of this universe and didn’t try to forcefully convert others.

The plight of the Jews was not much unlike that of other minorities that didn’t adapt and integrate into society. Being beaten up from time to time is the least you can expect from peasants if you are not like them. And it was often worse than that.

Map of Canaan from around 750 BC
Map of Canaan from around 750 BC

Jewish history

Between 1200 BC and 900 BC a few small nation states emerged in an area that is now covered by Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Among them were Israel and Judah. These small states appeared because Egyptian power in the area was waning. It took a few centuries before new strong powers emerged and these small states were overrun. Israel fell into the hands of the Assyrians in 720 BC. Judah was destroyed in 587 BC by the Babylonians who had taken over the Assyrian Empire.1

These small kingdoms came with a national deity to provide them with protection. Their kings may have adopted a deity to promote a sense of a nation in order to assert their authority. Yahweh was the national deity of Judah and probably also of Israel. Originally, the worship of Yahweh may not have differed much from the worship of other national deities like for instance Chemosh the god of Moab.1

After Israel and Judah had ceased to exist, their inhabitants faced an identity crisis. Their uprisings were defeated. A lot of Jews were taken into exile in Babylonia. Jewish priests then began to write down the Torah (Old Testament) to define a sense of nation around their national deity Yahweh without the need for a king or a territory. In this way the Jews became a people without the need for a land.1 Their promised land Israel or Zion remained a central pillar in their religion nonetheless.

Around 450 BC many Jews who lived in exile were allowed to return. From 164 BC there was an independent Jewish state for 100 years until the Romans conquered it. At the time of Jesus tensions were growing between the Jews and their Roman overlords. These tensions led to several uprisings between 66 AD and 136 AD. During these revolts the Jewish temple was destroyed. Over time the majority of the inhabitants of the area became Christians and later Muslims. Jews remained in scattered communities around the Mediterranean.

In ancient societies knowledge and education were reserved for the elite. The Jews introduced mass education for the people. The Torah became the pillar of their national education system. Divine knowledge, rules, and regulations were open to the public. The value of education became strongly embedded in Jewish culture.1

Nations came and went but the Jews still exist, so becoming people without the need for a land turned out to be a successful long-term survival strategy. The Jewish people are around for more than 2,500 years, while being without a homeland for nearly 2,000 years. Their religion became the basis for Christianity and Islam. As a consequence Christianity and Islam both see Judaism as a legitimate religion. Christians and Muslims allowed Jews to live in their lands, albeit as secondary citizens.2

Living together wasn’t easy. For instance, Christians blamed the Jews for killing Jesus. The Jewish high priests had accused Jesus of blasphemy as he claimed to be the Son of God. According to the Gospel the Jewish high priests and a Jewish mob demanded the crucifixion of Jesus. Also according to the Gospel, which means ‘good news’ by the way, the blood of Jesus may be on the hands of the Jews forever:

When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood,’ he said. ‘It is your responsibility!’ All the people answered, ‘His blood is on us and on our children!’3

It is written in the Gospel that Jesus’ crucifixion happened according to the plan of God as Jesus’ sacrifice allegedly was meant to take away all the sin from the world. This makes God responsible for what happened to Jesus. Whether or not Jesus died on the cross is a matter of debate as the Quran claims that his crucifixion was a ruse.

German picture of 1493 depicting human sacrifice by Jews
German picture of 1493 depicting human sacrifice by Jews

In the Middle Ages rumours spread from time to time that Jews abducted little Christian boys for their secret rituals. This is commonly known as the blood libel. So if a boy disappeared, it was often time to kill some Jews. There was no basis for these beliefs but little did people know about the Jewish religion and its practices.2 Medieval people could freak out quite easily because they lacked proper education. And so witches were burnt on the stake whenever the harvests were poor.

Many people disliked Jews or even hated them. Jews were often involved in trade and finance. These activities were often seen as reprehensible as trade and finance often coincide with questionable ethics. Some languages still reflect this. The English language has the term Jewish stock take, referring to a shopkeeper destroying his or her own shop in a self-lit fire in order to claim insurance. The Dutch language has the word ‘jodenbod’, which means Jew’s bid, to indicate a bid below the market price which people in a desperate position may be forced to accept.

After the French Revolution of 1789, Jews in Western Europe received citizenship, but in Eastern Europe, and most notably in Russia, they faced persecution and pogroms, which are violent riots that included robbery, destruction of property and sometimes killings. Around 1870 the first Jewish settlers entered Palestine. In 1896 Theodor Herzl published The Jewish State in which he claimed that the solution to The Jewish Question was a Jewish state. This marked the beginning of modern Zionism.

In 1873 the Vienna stock market crashed. The event was followed by the long recession of the late nineteenth century that lasted until 1896. It was the first global economic crisis. Economic growth was lower than previously. Anti-Semitism was on the rise in German speaking areas and France as Jewish bankers and industrialists were blamed for the situation. It was also the time when Silvio Gesell was a businessman. He experienced the poor economic conditions first-hand. It made him investigate the underlying causes.

In 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, the only Jewish member of the French general staff, was convicted of spying for Germany. He was rehabilitated a decade later after vigorous protests. During World War I many Jews fought for their nation states, but after the war a myth emerged in Germany, suggesting that the war was lost because of leftists, republicans and a Jewish conspiracy, which is rather ironic as the Jews had been inclined to support Germany in its fight against Russia.

In an effort to gain Jewish support for Britain during World War I, the British offered Palestine to the Jews. The Arabs already living in Palestine had no say in this, which soon led to tensions and violence. After a revolt of the Arabs between 1936 and 1939 the British restricted Jewish immigration. In 1946 Zionists started a guerrilla war against the British while large numbers of Jews were entering Palestine. Many of them were Holocaust survivors.

The Holocaust is a major trauma in the collective memory of the Jews. Nearly six million Jews were killed during World War II, most of them systematically exterminated in concentration camps and mass executions. The Holocaust vindicated the Zionists who believed that Jews can only be safe if they have a country of their own.

In 1947 the United Nations planned to divide Palestine between the Jews and the Arabs. The Arabs didn’t agree and tried to expel the Jews. The war that followed was lost by the Arabs. Many Arab Palestinians were expelled from their homes and Israel was founded. The Arabs tried to reconquer Palestine but failed due to superior Israeli intelligence and military tactics, support from European countries and the United States for Israel, and a bit of miracle.

Over time the Arab nations lost interest in attacking Israel and Israel started colonising Palestinian land. The Palestinians resisted. There have been numerous terror attacks on the Israeli military and civilians. This made Israel seal off the border with Palestine. In recent years rocket attacks from the Gaza strip were sometimes answered with Israeli incursions that killed thousands of Palestinians. Major obstacles to peace currently are the unwillingness of militant groups like Hamas to make a final peace settlement in which Israel is recognised as well as the desire of Israel to colonise Palestinian land.

Conspiracy theories

Conspiracy theories range from crazy rumours to well-documented allegations. Despite being such a small people the Jews have had an enormous impact on world history. This fuels speculation. Before going into the conspiracy theories, it might be a good idea to come up with a few general explanations for the remarkable successes of the Jews:

  • The Jews invented mass education twenty-five centuries ago (it took twenty-four centuries before Western Europe followed suit) because the Jews came to believe that they all had to read their scriptures to discuss them in an intelligent manner.
  • In the past Jews were often pushed into occupations like trade and finance, which are activities that can make you rich without a lot of toil.
  • For centuries Jews have lived under marginal and uncertain conditions which required resourcefulness that may have become part of Jewish culture.
  • There might be a script running all that happens in this universe, and the Jews may be God’s chosen people after all, even though that was not always a blessing for the Jews themselves.

The conspiracy theories have done tremendous harm as they helped to make the Holocaust possible. It may nevertheless be better to view them more objectively as theories that could be reviewed against the evidence. That may require taking some emotional distance as the truth is not always pleasant.

Somehow Israel has the unconditional support of the United States. Senators and members of Congress who don’t agree face the powerful Israel Lobby, which often means that the lobby will fund the campaign of his or her opponent, so that he or she may not be re-elected. There is a joke that goes like this. Why doesn’t Israel become a state of the United States? Well, if Israel does, the country will have only two Senators. Jews have a lot of power in the United States and there is a book that claims that there is a secret Jewish plan to gain world domination.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a hoax made up by the Russian secret service around the year 1900. It subsequently became a guidebook for blaming Jews for everything. The Protocols claim that Jews form a secret cult that is conspiring to gain world dominance. Adolf Hitler believed it and so did many others like the auto maker Henry Ford. Somehow the work became a bit prophetic. That’s the irony of history, or perhaps the plan of God.

The main themes of the Protocols and related conspiracy theories are Jewish control of world finance, Jewish organisation of radical movements and Jewish manipulations of diplomacy to cause wars in which white Christians are killed. There are racist, political and religious aspects to these claims. It is sometimes argued that anti-Semites use so-called whistle words, which means that they secretly mean ‘evil Jews’ even when they don’t say that. That may sometimes be true, but once you depart from taking statements at face value, the argument soon becomes messy.

For instance, Mearsheimer and Walt investigated the power of the Israel Lobby. They claimed that if you criticise Israel in the United States you will be branded an anti-Semite, which means that you are a racist Jew-hater. Major newspapers subsequently published editorials calling their research anti-Semitic. Their book might be criticised for ignoring the pro-Israel viewpoint but that was not the aim of their research. AIPAC is the most prominent organisation in the Israel Lobby. Mearsheimer and Walt concluded:

AIPAC’s success is due to its ability to reward legislators and congressional candidates who support its agenda, and to punish those who challenge it. AIPAC makes sure that its friends get strong financial support from the myriad pro-Israel PACs. Those seen as hostile to Israel, on the other hand, can be sure that AIPAC will direct campaign contributions to their political opponents. The bottom line is that AIPAC, which is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on the U.S. Congress. Open debate about U.S. policy towards Israel does not occur there.4

Several powerful lobbies operate in the United States, some of them represent ethnic and foreign national interests, but few attract so much attention as the Israel Lobby. So why is the Israel Lobby so powerful, visible and aggressive? There are some possible answers:

  • Unlike other foreign interests, the Israel Lobby has tremendous popular and financial support. Anti-Semitism led to the Holocaust, so the Israel Lobby can more easily claim the moral high ground than any other lobby.
  • Jews don’t feel secure because of the Holocaust and because Israel is founded on land that has been taken from the Arabs. Criticism on Israel and Zionism provokes the fear that the legitimacy of the Jewish state is at stake.
  • Israel is ignoring international law by colonising Palestinian land. The unconditional support of the United States helps Israel to do that. Keeping this support may require suppressing dissent.

The Israel lobby is the most powerful in the United States but it has significant influence in some other countries as well. Powerful lobbies undermine democracies, most notably when they suppress dissent, which is something most lobbies don’t do.

Usury

The Jew as usurer is a well-known theme. The Roman Catholic Church forbade Christians to charge interest to fellow Christians. During the Middle Ages Jews were excluded from a wide range of professions and were pushed into activities that were considered reprehensible. One of them was money lending. The Torah allowed Jews to charge interest to Christians. Interest is one of the least understood economic mechanisms in modern times. It can destroy people, nations and even entire civilisations. The ancient Israelites knew this and believed that interest works like the slow poison of a serpent:

Usury does not all at once destroy a man or nation with, as it were, a bloody gulp. Rather, it slowly, sometimes nearly imperceptibly, subverts the victim’s constitution until he cannot prevent the fatal consequences even though he knows what is coming.5

In the Middle Ages interest rates were high, sometimes as much as 20% to 30% annually, so the insidious nature of interest was more visible than it is nowadays. And Jews were often blamed because they were the money lenders. The persecutions of Jews were profitable for their debtors. For instance, in 1290 king Edward I expelled the Jews from England, confiscated their assets, and defaulted on the loans he had received from them.

With the advent of modern banking things changed. In the 16th century short-term interest rates dropped to around 10% per year because financial markets became more developed and efficient. Because interest rates went down, and because of the Protestant reformation, religious objections against charging interest waned. As Christians were allowed to charge interest on fellow Christians the Jewish role in money lending was reduced but it remained significant. Interest became an essential part of the capitalist economy and Western culture became ignorant about problematic nature of interest.

Jews still play a prominent role in the financial sector in the United States. Several Jews have served as chairmen of the Fed, including Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen. The apparent parasitic nature of the financial sector and the bailouts feed the conspiracy theory of Jewish usury. Real wages in the United States have hardly risen for decades but the US financial sector comprised only 10% of total non-farm business profits in 1947 but grew to 50% by 2010. Among those who profited were many Jews. While many ordinary people in the United States are struggling to make ends meet, the top 1% is doing very well. Many of them are Jews too.

Anti-Zionism

Some anti-Zionists claim that Zionism equals Nazism. The idea that Jews are God’s chosen people is somewhat similar to the Nazi claim of Germans being superior people. The Nazi ideology held that Germany had the right to reclaim its lost territories. Zionists intend to reclaim the lost territories of the Jews. Zionism stresses that Jews should return to Israel while Nazism stresses that ethnicity is based on descent and homeland.

These are all common themes in nationalism, even the superiority thinking, so the parallels are not very telling. And there is at least one difference Zionism and Nazism. Even though Israel committed war crimes like most parties do in armed conflicts, Zionists did not exterminate the Palestinians or any other people so far. The situation in Israel and Palestine can be compared with apartheid in South Africa.

Some Zionists claim that anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism. If the anti-Semitism is about denying Jews the right to their own state in Israel then this is reasonable as this implies expelling millions of people. But if the anti-Zionism applies to opposing the colonisation of Palestinian land in violation of international law there is no reasonable ground for such a claim. It isn’t always clear what is meant.

Arab anti-Zionism is sometimes called Islamic anti-Semitism. Before Jews migrated into Palestine there was no Islamic anti-Semitism. After Israel was founded, Jews were expelled from several Arab countries. Many Arabs and Muslims believe that Jews have the right to a state but not on land they consider their own. That is not anti-Semitism.

Islamic anti-Semitism emerged when Arab anti-Zionists took over existing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. There are tensions between Arabs and Jews living in Europe and Jews are harassed. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is often blamed for that. Only Jews living in Europe aren’t part of that conflict. They do not occupy land Arabs claim so this can be called anti-Semitism. But colonists on the West Bank are harassing Palestinians and destroying their property too. As Arabs are Semites too this can be called Jewish anti-Semitism.

If denying the Jews a homeland is reprehensible then the same is true for denying the Palestinians their own state and colonising their land. If international law still has any meaning then a peace settlement would be based on the 1967 borders. Preferably relocations are minimised, meaning that Jews can live in the Palestinian state while Palestinians can live in the Jewish state. That is possible once there is a climate of mutual respect and friendship. Sadly, hatred takes at least a generation to subside so a pragmatic solution may need to be found to bridge that period.

Control of the media and opinion

In 2012 six major corporations own 90% of the mainstream media in the United States. Most of large media corporations in the United States have Jewish CEOs and owners. Journalists are often Jewish too. Philip Weiss noted from his 30 years of experience in journalism that Jews made up the majority of the important positions in the publications he worked for. Weiss contends that this may have implications for the way the news is covered, most notably if it pertains to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as Jews feel a pressure to support Israel or at least not to betray Israel.6

On the other hand J.J. Goldberg wrote in The Forward that, although Jews do hold many prominent positions in the US media, they do not make a high priority of Jewish concerns and that Jewish Americans generally perceive the media as anti-Israel.7 That suggests that with fewer Jews in journalism not much will change about the reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the United States.

And what about the Jews dominating Hollywood? Joel Stein of the Los Angeles Times mocked the efforts of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which is another part of the Israel Lobby, to misinform the American public:

I have never been so upset by a poll in my life. Only 22% of Americans now believe “the movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews,” down from nearly 50% in 1965. The Anti-Defamation League, which released the poll results last month, sees in these numbers a victory against stereotyping. Actually, it just shows how dumb America has gotten. Jews totally run Hollywood.8

The Internet is more difficult to control. Anti-Semitic as well as anti-Zionist messages can be found on many message boards. Efforts are made to counter that with pro-Israel messages on social media using students on Israeli university campuses.9 It is part of a general and continuous public relations effort called Hasbara that some call propaganda.

In October 2007 about 300 academics issued a statement calling for academic freedom from political pressure, in particular from groups portraying themselves as defenders of Israel. In 2009, after sociology professor William Robinson sent an email to students comparing the Israeli occupation of Gaza with the Nazi-controlled Warsaw Ghetto during World War II, the ADL started a campaign to discipline him for violating the faculty code of conduct.

Linguistics professor Noam Chomsky said during an interview that the ADL had compiled a 150-page dossier on him, apparently to find information it could use against him. Chomsky told that an ADL insider sent him the file. It included conversations, correspondence and other materials.10 Chomsky said that it read like an FBI file. He further noted that:

It’s hard to nail this down in a court of law, but it’s clear they essentially have spies in classrooms who take notes and send them to the ADL and other organisations. The groups then compile dossiers they can use to condemn, attack or remove faculty members. They’re like J. Edgar Hoover’s files. It’s kind of gutter stuff.10

Causing wars and revolutions

The French revolutionaries decided that Catholics, Protestants and Jews all became full members of society. In 1797 and 1798 a French Jesuit and a Scottish physicist published two remarkably similar books. Both claimed that secret societies were undermining the social order and had started the French Revolution. Both pointed at the Freemasons and the Illuminati as the main culprits. Jews were also seen as conspirators. Much of contemporary conspiracy thinking still centres around Illuminati, Freemasons and Jews.

A more recent allegation is that Jews were behind the Russian Communist Revolution of 1917. The idea was introduced by the anti-communist forces during the Russian Civil War that followed the revolution in an effort to make use of existing anti-Semitic sentiments. The allegation was taken over the Nazis in Germany. There was a high number of Jewish Communist party leaders during the revolution. The anti-Semitism in the Russian Empire may have prompted Jews to join radical political movements.

That doesn’t explain why many Jews joined radical movements in other countries too. Milton Friedman tried to shed some light on this issue. He found that a significant part of the revolutionary anti-capitalist literature has been written by Jews and that Communist parties in many countries were run and manned to a disproportionate extent by Jews.11

Friedman didn’t believe that Jews are seeking world domination. He gave two reasons as to why Jews have been attracted to radical movements. First, the left provided the Jews with equal citizenship while the Christian right did not. Second, the stereotype that Jews are profiteers and usurers may have persuaded them to show themselves and the anti-Semites that they are not selfish and heartless, but public-spirited and idealistic.11

A group of Marxists called the Frankfurt School felt that social change using Hegel’s dialectic is possible if you are critical of your research and check how theories work out in practice. This may be correct but doing experiments with people involves serious moral issues. Social experiments can harm the fabric of society. Marxists tend to be hostile to religion and have aimed to overthrow the existing capitalist social order. After it turned out that their economic experiment wasn’t successful, Marxists switched to trying to liberate suppressed groups.

The Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory alleges that the Frankfurt School aims to undermine Western civilisation using civil rights movements, feminism, Islam, spreading LGTB propaganda, and pop-music, causing a breakdown of traditional Christian family values. The traditional values that are under attack often disdain the people that the Marxists aim to liberate. Several prominent people from the Frankfurt School were Jews so Jews are sometimes blamed for Cultural Marxism too.

Some of the recent wars in the Middle East can be attributed, at least to some extent, to the neoconservatives. Their ideology can be seen as a practical implication of The Clash of Civilisations of Samuel Huntington. Huntington stated that Western nations will lose predominance if they fail to recognise the irreconcilable nature of cultural tensions. Huntington believed that Islam is a fundamental problem for the West.12

Leo Strauss was the founder of American neoconservatism. He proposed a restoration of the vital ideas underpinning Western civilisation such as classical Greek philosophy and the Judeo-Christian heritage and he promoted faith in the moral purpose of the West. Huntington was more cynical about the moral purpose of the West as he wrote:

The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion […] but rather by its superiority in applying organised violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.12

Both Huntington and Strauss were Jews while the neoconservatives are a predominantly Jewish movement. Neoconservatives advocate the promotion of democracy and the American national interest in international affairs, often by military force.

The Jewish connection, combined with the neoconservatives being preoccupied with the Middle East and Islam, gave rise to the suspicion that the wars they promoted were for the benefit of Israel. In the run up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Jewish neoconservatives were accused of dual loyalty. The controversy continues because of the neoconservative stance towards Iran, Israel’s main adversary. The response of the Israel Lobby was to accuse people who raised these issues of anti-Semitism.

Blood Libel 2.0

In 2009 the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet ran an article about Israeli organ harvesting with the sensationalist headline ‘Our sons are plundered of their organs’. The allegations bore some similarity to the blood libel. Dead Palestinian children had been returned to their families by the Israeli army with organs missing.13 In the 1990s skin, corneas, heart valves and bones from deceased Israelis, Palestinians and foreigners had been taken without permission.14

Organ trafficking is widespread. China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Brazil, the Philippines, Moldavia, and Romania are among the world’s leading providers of trafficked organs. In China organs have been harvested from political prisoners. Trafficked organs are either sold domestically or exported to be transplanted into patients from the US, Europe, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and especially Israel.15 Israel faces a shortage of organ donors because Jewish religious law requires the body to be intact in burial.16

But organ trade isn’t murder. It can save lives. For poor people the choice may come down to selling a child or selling an organ. Not allowing organ sales may make their situation even more miserable. Stealing organs from the dead is reprehensible because the deceased nor the family have given permission. These practises may have existed in Israel on a wider scale even though they probably have ended by now. It is at least telling that a stolen heart may have been used in Israel’s first successful heart transplant.17

Allegiance

The allegiance of Jews has been a theme in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. As is the case with every minority, there is always the question of allegiance. Most minorities don’t have a lot of influence so their allegiance isn’t a big issue, but Jews have a lot of power in the United States. In his book By Way of Deception Victor Ostrovsky, a former operative for the Israeli intelligence service Mossad, claimed that the Mossad recruits helpers among the Jews outside Israel for its operations.18

One of the most well-known helpers was Jonathan Pollard. He sold a large number of classified US documents to Israel. He also sold documents to South Africa and attempted to sell documents to Pakistan. Many highly sensitive documents stolen by Pollard have been handed over to the Soviet Union, putting the lives of US intelligence assets at risk. A few other cases of Israeli espionage in the United States attracted publicity, such as the arrest of former AIPAC officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman.

The intriguing coincidences surrounding the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 keep conspiracy theorists busy. Allegations have been made that Al Qaeda received financial support from Saudi officials and that investigations into this matter were blocked via high-level interference from Washington because Saudi Arabia was an ally of the United States. Also Israel often features in 9/11 conspiracy theories.

A New York housewife spotted five Israelis filming the attacks on the World Trade Center from a rooftop. She noted that they were already there just after the first strike had hit the Twin Towers. The Israelis were dancing and appeared to be full of joy as the World Trade Center burned and crumbled. They were arrested with $4700 in cash, foreign passports and a pair of box cutters of the type used by the hijackers. Two of them were Mossad agents. The FBI believed they were spying on Islamic extremist networks.19

The FBI interrogated them for weeks and concluded that there was no evidence of them having foreknowledge of the attacks. But the Israelis were uncooperative so it wasn’t possible to extract a lot of information out of them. Later some of these men discussed the events on an Israeli talk show. One of them said: “We come from a country that experiences terror daily. Our purpose was to document the event.” It suggests that the Mossad knew what was going to happen and that Israel didn’t inform the United States because Israel could benefit from the attacks.19

Control of the United States government

A Christian desire for returning the Jews to the Holy Land has promoted the Zionist cause. Some Christians believe that the gathering of the Jews in Israel is a prerequisite for the Second Coming of Jesus. This is a reason for a strong support for Israel amongst Evangelical Christians. Republican candidates need their support. Jews often support Democratic candidates so that Democrats pay good attention to their Jewish voters. In this way strong support for Israel in both political parties is ensured.

The United States political system is corrupt by design. To get an office, politicians need a lot of money for their campaigns. In this way corporations and wealthy individuals can buy influence. Wealthy Jews generously donate to political campaigns. In 2006, 60% of the Democratic Party’s fundraising and 25% of that for the Republican Party’s fundraising came from Jewish-funded Political Action Committees.

Several Jews found their way into influential positions in the United States government. In 1994 the Israeli paper Ma´ariv wrote that the Clinton Administration allowed more Jews in sensitive positions than any government before. The article noted that the Jews in Clinton’s government were not a design, but that their achievements had brought them there. Jewish power in the Democratic government was huge but there were also Jews heading for top positions in the Republican Party, for example Paul Wolfowitz.20

Wolfowitz was one of the neoconservatives, a political movement whose ideology played a significant role in American policies after 11 September 2001. In 2000 he was one of the supporters of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) which promoted the removal of Saddam Hussein. After 11 September 2001, the PNAC pushed for an attack on Iraq. The security of Israel played a role in the considerations of the neoconservatives but there is little evidence that the Iraq war was principally fought for Israel.

Mearsheimer and Walt wrote that pro-Israel figures have established a commanding presence at the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Security Policy, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, and that these think tanks are all decidedly pro-Israel.4

In most cases the US supports the position of Israel but there are a few instances in which the US government did not. The Eisenhower administration forced Israel to withdraw from the Sinai after the Suez Crisis. The administration of Bush sr. delayed support to Israel because of the settlements issue. The Israeli government and the Obama administration differed on the settlements issue and how to deal with Iran. In those cases the Israel Lobby organised resistance in Congress and the Senate.

Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion cover
Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion cover

The irony of history or God’s peculiar sense of humour

Perhaps the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are worth reading after all, just to see how the most bizarre conspiracy theories can appear convincing if you look at the evidence. If the protocols had been for real the situation in the United States today may not have been very different. There is no grand conspiracy of Jews aiming for world domination. But what difference does it make? This is the irony of history and perhaps God’s peculiar sense of humour. And so Manny Friedman came to write in the Times Of Israel:

We have, for example, AIPAC, which was essentially constructed just to drive agenda in Washington DC. And it succeeds admirably. And we brag about it. Again, it’s just what we do. But the funny part is when any anti-Semite or anti-Israel person starts to spout stuff like, “The Jews control the media!” and “The Jews control Washington!” Suddenly we’re up in arms. We create huge campaigns to take these people down. We do what we can to put them out of work.21

So perhaps the Israel Lobby has taken some advice from the protocols:

And let’s not forget AIPAC, every anti-Semite’s favourite punching bag. We’re talking an organisation that’s practically the equivalent of the Elders of Zion. I’ll never forget when I was involved in Israeli advocacy in college and being at one of the many AIPAC conventions. A man literally stood in front of us and told us that their whole goal was to only work with top-50 school graduate students because they would eventually be the people making changes in the government.21

Then Friedman draws the following remarkable conclusion:

The truth is, the anti-Semites got it right. We Jews have something planted in each one of us that makes us completely different from every group in the world. We’re talking about a group of people that just got put in death camps, endured pogroms, their whole families decimated. And then they came to America, the one place that ever really let them have as much power as they wanted, and suddenly they’re taking over. Please don’t tell me that any other group in the world has ever done that. Only the Jews. And we’ve done it before. That’s why the Jews were enslaved in Egypt. We were too successful. Go look at the Torah — it’s right there. And we did it in Germany too.21

This is the personal opinion of a Jewish writer, but there is little doubt that he made his comments in good spirit with regard to his fellow Jews. And he doesn’t appear to be a fool. An important clue with regard to the secret of the success of the Jews can be found in his conclusion. Jews always lived at the margin and had to be resourceful to survive. These skills may have become part of Jewish culture so that Jews came out on top once they could operate without restrictions. It suggests that if these restrictions remain lifted, measures are taken to end usury (interest) and political corruption, and Jews fully integrate into the societies they live in, the issue could disappear over time.

Now let’s get back to the joke. What if Israel becomes a state of the United States? It might solve a lot of issues. The allegiance of Jews living in the United States would be to the United States. Israel can make peace with the Palestinians and give up land without fearing for its survival as the United States will defend it. Most Americans are willing to support Israel unconditionally so why not? And Israel will have only two senators from then on. It may never come to that but it can be a useful idea to entertain, perhaps for a limited period of time until peaceful conditions in the Middle East have prevailed. And that may be sooner than most people expect.

Featured image: Blame Jews For Everything For Dummies. Found on Reuvera.hubpages.com. [copyright info]

1. The Bible’s Prehistory, Purpose and Political Future. Jacob L. Wright (2014). Coursera.org. [transcript]
2. Practising Tolerance in a Religious Society: The Church and the Jews in Italy. Bernard Dov Cooperman (2014). Coursera.org. [transcript]
3. Matthew 27:24-25
4. The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt (2006). London Review of Books.
5. Usury, Destroyer of Nations. S.C. Mooney (1988). Theopolis.
6. Do Jews Dominate in American Media? And So What If We Do? Philip Weiss (2008). Mondoweiss.net. [link]
7. Jewish power: inside the American Jewish establishment. Goldberg J.J. (1997). Basic Books. pp. 280–281.
8. Who runs Hollywood? C’mon. Joel Stein (2008). Los Angeles Times. [link]
9. Israel to pay students to defend it online. USA Today (2013). [link]
10. Israel lobby descends on UC-Santa Barbara. Committee To Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB. [link]
11. Capitalism and the Jews. Miltion Friedman (1988). Foundation For Economic Education. [link]
12. The Clash of Civilizations. Samuel P. Huntington (1996). Simon & Schuster.
13. “Our sons are plundered of their organs”. Donald Boström (2009). Aftonbladet. [link]
14. Israel harvested organs without permission, officials say. Kevin Flower and Guy Azriel (2009). CNN. [link]
15. Organ trafficking: a fast-expanding black market. Janes Defence & Security Intelligence (2008).
16. A mitzvah called organ donation. Efrat Shapira-Rosenberg (2007). Ynetnews. [link]
17. 40 Years After Israel’s First Transplant, Donor’s Family Says His Heart Was Stolen. Dana Weiler-Polak (2008). Haaretz. [link]
18. By Way of Deception: The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer. Victor Ostrovsky (1990). St. Martin’s Press.
19. Five Israelis were seen filming as jet liners ploughed into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. The Scotland Herald (2003). [link]
20. The Jews Who Run Clinton’s Court. Avinoam Bar-Yosef (1994). Maariv.
21. Jews DO control the media. Manny Friedman (2012). Times of Israel. [link]

New World Order

The direction of history

We are heading towards a single integrated world order, sometimes called New World Order. Humanity is converging in three major ways, intellectually, economically and politically. The spread of religions and ideologies made it possible to unify different peoples under the same set of ideas. Trade and money enabled the cooperation between strangers all over the globe. And the increased cooperation between nation states is paving the way for a closer integration of governments.1

The world is now run by a global elite of business people, politicians, bureaucrats, engineers, journalists, scientists, opinion makers, writers and artists. No matter where they live, whether it is New York, Buenos Aires, Shanghai, Dubai or Cape Town, these people increasingly have the same interests, the same viewpoints about the world, the same culture, and increasingly live similar lifestyles. The individuals in these elites have more in common with each other than with their fellow countrymen.1

Globalisation

Globalisation has transformed the world. People everywhere around the globe are now interconnected. They cooperate and compete. Globalisation started more than 500 years ago when Portuguese explorers set sail for Africa to find new trade routes to the Indies. In 1492 Columbus discovered America while trying to do the same. In the centuries that followed the world became more interconnected. Globalisation really took off in recent decades when several developments converged. These were:

  • the rise of neoliberalism around 1980
  • the fall of communism around 1990
  • personal computers and digital data storage
  • optical fiber and Internet making it possible to connect people around the globe
  • global standards for data exchange making it possible for every computers to exchange data with every other computer
  • software enabling cooperation between people and businesses around the globe

At the end of the 1970s economies in the Western world were stagnating. It was argued that poor business conditions and international competition were to blame. This marked the rise of neoliberalism. From the 1980s onwards regulations were reduced and the free movement of labour and capital were promoted. It became easier to move jobs to areas with lower labour costs. Entrepreneurs were seen as heroes and making profits became a goal in itself. It was the era of stock market capitalism and financial engineering with little consideration for people, communities and the environment.

The fall of communism gave further impetus to globalisation. In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell. A few years later the Soviet Union was dissolved and the European Union became enlarged. From then on it seemed that there was no alternative to capitalism.2 Countries like China, India and Russia realised that they had to compete on the global marketplace and began to transform their economies. Every country did this in its own way. For instance, India specialised in services and information technology. China became the global industrial powerhouse where everything is made.

Computers and data storage made it possible to store documents and other data like pictures and recordings digitally. In the 1980s the personal computer entered the homes of many people. Computers were also used in businesses but the impact of information technology remained limited. Rxchanging data between computers was still difficult because computers often weren’t interconnected and software suppliers used different formats for exchanging data.2

That all changed with the emergence of the Internet. Netscape turned out to be a crucial catalyst. It allowed people on personal computers to look at web pages anywhere around the world. Netscape turned out to be a killer application that made Internet very popular very quickly. Investors suddenly realised that Internet would change the world and that large profits were to be made. It resulted in a massive overinvestment in everything related to Internet during the Internet bubble of 2000. One of those overinvestments was in optical fiber. As a consequence the price of data transport dropped dramatically.2

Standards for data exchange emerged. Software suppliers were forced to support them and began to focus on facilitating the interaction, competition and cooperation of people around the globe, effectively enabling the world to turn into a global village where people everywhere can participate. This transformed the way people cooperate. The traditional way of organising is top down via command and control. The new way of organising is via teams of people sharing a responsibility for a task or a product, making more complex cooperations possible. China and India were able to develop. These countries were integrated in the global economy. Businesses used more cheap overseas labour, workers in developed nations were faced with job insecurity and lagging wages.

In 1977 Chinese leaders realised that communist China needed to embrace capitalism. For two decades progress was into that direction was slow. That changed in the 1990s but doing business in China remained problematic until in 2001 China became member of the World Trade Organisation. From then on China conformed to international law and trade practises. It became attractive to do business with China. Corporations moved their production to China and China became the industrial powerhouse of the world.

The rise of China and India

Half the world’s population lives in Asia. In China or India alone live nearly two times as many people as in the European Union and the United States combined. The same is true for Africa. If people everywhere around the globe obtain a more equal portion of wealth then the relative importance of the European Union and the United States will decline. If current trends continue, China will be the most powerful nation in the near future. The Chinese economy may be the biggest in the world already.

Chinese leaders are preparing for a New World Order under Chinese leadership. Chinese policies include economic colonisation of developing countries like the United States and European countries have done previously. For instance, China grants loans to developing countries to build their infrastructure. If they fail to pay back these loans, China may take possession of assets like mines, harbours and corporations as payment. If India is going to follow suit, it may become China’s main contender. At the same time the importance of nation states is declining and they may even disappear in the future.

Global cooperation

Businesses are closely integrated with their global supply chains. Doing business has become a global affair more than ever. Issues like trade, climate change, human rights, disease control, international crime and financial markets require international agreement and cooperation of governments. The Old World Order was based on the sovereignty of nation states, which means that at least in theory, there was no higher authority than the nation state. All nation states were equally sovereign, at least in theory, and their power was restricted only by the treaties they signed.

Nation states are increasingly under pressure to conform to global standards as actions of one nation affect other nations as well. The global elite influences the decisions on these issues but they can’t completely ignore ordinary citizens. The elite believes it acts for the benefit of mankind and that we need more international cooperation or even a global government. This is reflected, for instance, in the words of the British politician Denis Healey, who had been involved in Bilderberg Conferences in which members of the elite gathered in secrecy. He told the Guardian:

To say we were striving for a one-world government is exaggerated, but not wholly unfair. Those of us in Bilderberg felt we couldn’t go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people and rendering millions homeless. So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing.3

The elite is first and foremost a social network. Globalists have friends and they have friends and they have friends too. Meetings like Bilderberg are just the tip of the iceberg. Still these meetings can influence political agendas. For instance the European Union has been discussed at Bilderberg and it may well be that these meetings helped to make the elite agree on more European cooperation and integration. Europe had just been ravaged by two world wars so it may have seemed a good plan. But that plan would not have succeeded if most Europeans didn’t feel the same. A side-benefit of globalisation is war becoming less likely because waging war is becoming more costly. Wars disrupt supply chains. As a consequence businesses may leave warring countries and not come back.

Neoliberalism or neofeudalism?

Many people in China and India have seen their living standards improve. In fact, globalisation may have been the best development aid. Nevertheless, the greatest winners are wealthy oligarchs all around the world. A 2017 report from Oxfam points out that the world’s eight wealthiest people own as much as the poorest 50%.4 There is no global government or binding international treaties so nation states end up competing to please large corporations and billionaires.

In the 1970s the situation in Western Europe and the United States was different. Most people were middle class. Since then a growing divide between the rich and the poor emerged. This coincided with the rise of neoliberalism, which is the idea that more should be left to the markets and that governments shouldn’t interfere.

Neoliberalism emerged in the 1970s when the ruling class was in trouble. The economy was stagnating. Unions had a lot of power. The cost of welfare states became a problem. Businesses were struggling because of the competition from low-wage countries. And so the elite started to promote freedom of the markets, privatisation, entrepreneurial spirit and individual liberty. The power of labour was curtailed. Welfare was reduced. Wealth inequality began to increase. Many jobs moved to low wage countries.

Conspiracy theories

There is a conspiracy theory claiming the elite has a secret plan to create a New World Order where ordinary humans will be mere serfs. Rather than seeing the globalisation and the emerging oligarchy as a result of social, political and economic developments, conspiracy theorists believe it was deliberately planned by the elite. They see the elite as an evil cabal. Indeed, the elite doesn’t seem to like democracy and human rights when these values conflict with their interests.

In the decades after World War II the secret services of the United States toppled democratically elected governments and supported dictators while claiming to promote human rights, freedom and democracy. The politics of trade and power often conflict with principles and morals. It is often argued that if you don’t play this kind of dirty politics, you will lose power and the world will not become a better place either.

The political system of the United States is corrupt by design. Politicians fund their campaigns with donations. They accept money from large corporations and wealthy individuals so they tend to represent their wealthy donors rather than their electorate. It is not surprising that conspiracy theories thrive in the United States. It is also a business for ‘independent writers’ in a ‘free market’ to constantly come up with new ‘disclosures’ of ‘secret plots’ to keep their readers entertained.

Investigative journalism of good quality is time consuming and costly. If you don’t come up with interesting finds from time to time, readers may get bored. News outlets are often guided by advertisement income so journalism is either non-offending or of an extremist nature. Political division may further promote this process. If the political climate is moderate and people are willing to pay for high-quality content, the situation might improve. And more involvement of citizens in political decisions may be required.

Deep state

Politicians come and go but many officials remain within the governmental institutions for a longer period of time. Most of them aren’t democratically elected. Often they are specialised technocrats that have the best knowledge of the field they are working in. Most of them believe to work interest of the public but they can obstruct democratically elected officials. But technocrats probably are not what is meant by deep state.

The deep state consists of the interest groups that have captured the government to profiteer at the expense of the taxpayers. One can think of lobbyists and think tanks who represent the interests of businesses that live off government contracts or benefit from favourable legislation, for instance the Military Industrial Complex. These people work covertly via social networks to influence politicians and other officials.

A better political system

The elite doesn’t care for ordinary people. Perhaps individual members care, but as a group the elite behaves as if they don’t. The elite is living in a bubble and has no idea about the plight of ordinary people. The rise of populism in Europe and the United States signals a growing discontent. If the economy goes south, things may get out of hand. It may therefore be a good idea to aim for political reforms to increase the legitimacy of government institutions by involving the citizens in decisions.

Direct democracy as practised in Switzerland can help to do that. It gives the citizens more control over their government. Making direct democracy work requires a culture of reason and compromise, issues rather than people taking the centre stage, and an adequate education of the citizens. It may be hard to build credible institutions top down so direct democracy may be the best way to achieve that. The Swiss have confidence in their government while political debates tend to be rational. Direct democracy it is not perfect and perhaps it hampers innovation. For instance, women received only the right to vote in 1970 because men decided about that.

Direct democracy can be a beginning. It gives people more power to shape their own future. And with power comes responsibility. With direct democracy citizens can’t blame politicians for their mistakes. They can only blame themselves. As a consequence they may inform themselves better and debate options in a rational manner. This can make people venture outside existing ideologies and beliefs and look at the evidence and apply logic instead. The New World Order could be directed by everyone. Wouldn’t it be great?

1. Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind. Yuval Noah Harari (2014). Harvil Secker.
2. The World Is Flat 3.0. Thomas Friedman (2007). Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
3. Who pulls the strings? (part 3). The Guardian (2001). [link]
4. Just 8 men own same wealth as half the world. Oxfam (2017). [link]