A postscript to

“A lightning in the middle of the night!”


When in late 2009 and early 2010 I contributed to Baron Bodissey’s Gates of Vienna (GoV) I was a philo-Semite. Then I awoke to the real world and distanced myself from Bodissey, after I realised that he was unwilling to discuss the Jewish Question. (I have a collection of articles in my main site under the category “Jew-blind Counter-Jihad.”)

It seems that Bodissey still does not allow legit commentariat at GoV. See for example “What Gates of Vienna wouldn’t publish” that appeared in Diversity Macht Frei in November 2015. I’ve just discovered that article.

In the GoV thread Dymphna, Bodissey’s wife, replied to another critic thus: “Jews are over-represented in music, the arts, science, etc. Shall we view the Nobel Prizes for science with suspicion since Ashkenazi Jews abound there?” Once more, she forgot the very crux of the Jewish problem. As I quoted and commented in February 2010 in “A lightning in the middle of the night!”:

Take note that GoV is a philo-Semitic blogsite, with a big Star of David in its main page stating “We Support Israel.” Below I quote a comment from the 2009 exchange at GoV. Avery Bullard said:

As I have often pointed out, socialism is by and large a disease of the intellectuals, and Jews are over-represented among intellectuals, due to a high native intelligence and a tradition of giving their children as much education as possible. Jews were also over-represented amongst musicians, physicists, and capitalist entrepreneurs.

But they are never over-represented in organisations or movements that represent the interests of the ethnic majority, only those that weaken that majority [the lightning!]. That is why they’ve been expelled from so many very different countries over so many centuries. Yet with the possible exception of Albert Lindemann (Esau’s Tears) they never want to know the reasons why they’ve been so disliked in order to prevent more tragedies in the future. Instead they dismiss all anti-Semitism as scapegoating. In other words: are Jews more responsible for communism, based on their proportional representation amongst the intelligentsia, than any other intellectuals? If they are over-represented in the intelligentsia then they had disproportionate influence in the direction the intelligentsia took. Many Russian intellectuals were Slavo-philes. Before Jews could access the most important U.S. universities the old WASP intelligentsia in the U.S. was much more traditionalist.

Bullard’s comment in the words I italicized above was the lightning that changed my worldview: from philo-Semitism to anti-Semitism in a single stroke!

As I have said, I wrote about my “Damascene conversion” more than six years ago. Nowadays I feel I’m light-years ahead from the Counter-Jihad movement. (For those who doubt that Jews “are never over-represented in organisations or movements that represent the interests of the ethnic majority, only those that weaken that majority,” read Kevin MacDonald’s trilogy.)

Published in: on August 5, 2016 at 9:06 am  Leave a Comment  

On exoteric WN


The following is a comment that the moderator of
The Occidental Observer did not let pass tonight

Thanks for mentioning The Daily Stormer. Today’s article on The Daily Stormer implicitly takes issue with Dr. MacDonald’s thesis about pathological altruism. Anglin wrote:

The Alt-Right, on the other hand, is driven by well-defined principles, even though we presently do not have a leader. There are different strands of the Alt-Right, of course, but we all agree on a few core concepts:

• White countries will be for White people
• Traditional gender roles will be restored
• The Jews are the prime force behind the collapse of Western civilization.

I agree with the first two concepts. But Anglin does not seem to have taken seriously what, for heavy-weight intellectuals like Tom Sunic, are factors even larger than the Jewish problem: economics over race policies and Christian axiology (see also William Pierce’s only non-fiction book, Who We Are). Then Anglin apparently refers to The Occidental Observer:

Replacing the Jewish Problem with a White Problem

Presently, it looks as though a big part of the strategy to direct us away from the Jews will be the promotion of the concept of “pathological altruism,” a theory which asserts that we Whites simply cannot help destroying ourselves in an attempt to help non-White people.

There is some basic truth within the concept, as we are an extremely empathetic race. But the agenda I see coming is to remove the Jewish question from the equation and replace it with pathological altruism. This ultimately amounts to victim-blaming.

If Anglin has MacDonald in mind he’s speaking nonsense, as the main focus of the professor is still the Jewish problem.

The concept of pathological altruism is interesting on an intellectual and academic level, but that is the extent of it. It is not useful in attempting to address the real plague of our society, which is the Jews. Beware of anyone trying to use this theory to shift the blame from the Jews onto Whites.

Wrong. It’s us who empowered them after the Napoleonic wars. Liberalism, i.e., white suicide, must be studied in addition to the Jewish problem.

Also beware of anyone trying to inject any other type of new concept into the narrative. We have a very stable narrative, and we need to simply stick with it and build on it. We need to stay focused on the Jewish problem, on building a movement based on an awareness of the Jewish issue.

Anglin’s POV is right as a pragmatic tactic for an exoteric site such as The Daily Stormer. The Nazis did about the same, especially Goebbels: sell the Jewish problem to the Aryan masses! But more esoteric NS leaders, such as Hitler and Himmler, in their inner circles also talked about what we might call the Christian problem, often as if it was a more elemental problem than the Jewish problem (see, e.g., here and here).

For propaganda purposes for American Christians The Daily Stormer is ok. But for more subtle tools of cracking the annoying cipher of white decline, the scholar ought to do a careful reading of Sunic’s and Revilo Oliver’s texts and those of this very webzine, including MacDonald’s concept of “pathological altruism”.

A deeply dishonest man

This post has been moved: here

Published in: on December 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm  Comments (9)  

CofC’s preface (1 of 10)

“The Jewish problem is one of the greatest problems in the world, and no man, be he writer, politician or diplomatist, can be considered mature until he has striven to face it squarely on its merits.”

—Henry Wickham Steed

The Culture of Critique’s
opening paragraphs
in the Preface:

The Culture of Critique (hereafter, CofC) was originally published in 1998 by Praeger Publishers, an imprint of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc. The thesis of the book is a difficult one indeed, not only because it is difficult to establish, but also because it challenges many fundamental assumptions about our contemporary intellectual and political existence.

CofC describes how Jewish intellectuals initiated and advanced a number of important intellectual and political movements during the 20th century. I argue that these movements are attempts to alter Western societies in a manner that would neutralize or end anti-Semitism and enhance the prospects for Jewish group continuity either in an overt or in a semi-cryptic manner. Several of these Jewish movements (e.g., the shift in immigration policy favoring non-European peoples) have attempted to weaken the power of their perceived competitors—the European peoples who early in the 20th century had assumed a dominant position not only in their traditional homelands in Europe, but also in the United States, Canada, and Australia. At a theoretical level, these movements are viewed as the outcome of conflicts of interest between Jews and non-Jews in the construction of culture and in various public policy issues. Ultimately, these movements are viewed as the expression of a group evolutionary strategy by Jews in their competition for social, political and cultural dominance with non-Jews.

Here I attempt to answer some typical criticisms that have been leveled against CofC. (See also my website). I also discuss issues raised by several books that have appeared since the publication of CofC.

There have been complaints that I am viewing Judaism in a monolithic manner. This is definitely not the case. Rather, in each movement that I discuss, my methodology has been:

(1.) Find influential movements dominated by Jews, with no implication that all or most Jews are involved in these movements and no restrictions on what the movements are. For example, I touch on Jewish neo-conservatism which is a departure in some ways from the other movements I discuss. In general, relatively few Jews were involved in most of these movements and significant numbers of Jews may have been unaware of their existence. Even Jewish leftist radicalism—surely the most widespread and influential Jewish subculture of the 20th century—may have been a minority movement within Jewish communities in the United States and other Western societies for most periods. As a result, when I criticize these movements I am not necessarily criticizing most Jews. Nevertheless, these movements were influential and they were Jewishly motivated.

(2.) Determine whether the Jewish participants in those movements identified as Jews and thought of their involvement in the movement as advancing specific Jewish interests. Involvement may be unconscious or involve self-deception, but for the most part it was quite easy and straightforward to find evidence for these propositions. If I thought that self-deception was important (as in the case of many Jewish radicals), I provided evidence that in fact they did identify as Jews and were deeply concerned about Jewish issues despite surface appearances to the contrary. (See also Ch. 1 of CofC.)

(3.) Try to gauge the influence of these movements on non-Jewish society. Keep in mind that the influence of an intellectual or political movement dominated by Jews is independent of the percentage of the Jewish community that is involved in the movement or supports the movement.

(4.) Try to show how non-Jews responded to these movements—for example, were they a source of anti-Semitism?

Several of the movements I discuss have been very influential in the social sciences. However, I do not argue that there are no Jews who do good social science, and in fact I provide a list of prominent Jewish social scientists who in my opinion do not meet the conditions outlined under (2) above (see Ch. 2 of CofC). If there was evidence that these social scientists identified as Jews and had a Jewish agenda in doing social science (definitely not in the case of most of those listed, but possibly true in the case of Richard Herrnstein—see below), then they would have been candidates for inclusion in the book. The people I cite as contributing to evolutionary/biological perspectives are indeed ethnically Jewish, but for most of them I have no idea whether they either identity as Jews or if they have a Jewish agenda in pursuing their research simply because there is no evidence to be found in their work or elsewhere. If there is evidence that a prominent evolutionary biologist identifies as a Jew and views his work in sociobiology or evolutionary psychology as advancing Jewish agendas, then he or she should have been in CofC as an example of the phenomenon under study rather than as simply a scientist working in the area of evolutionary studies.

Interestingly, in the case of one of those I mention, Richard J. Herrnstein, Alan Ryan (1994, 11) writes, “Herrnstein essentially wants the world in which clever Jewish kids or their equivalent make their way out of their humble backgrounds and end up running Goldman Sachs or the Harvard physics department.” This is a stance that is typical, I suppose, of neo-conservatism, a Jewish movement I discuss in several places, and it is the sort of thing that, if true, would suggest that Herrnstein did perceive the issues discussed in The Bell Curve as affecting Jewish interests in a way that Charles Murray, his co-author, did not. (Ryan contrasts Murray’s and Herrnstein’s world views: “Murray wants the Midwest in which he grew up—a world in which the local mechanic didn’t care two cents whether he was or wasn’t brighter than the local math teacher.”)

Similarly, 20th-century theoretical physics does not qualify as a Jewish intellectual movement precisely because it was good science and there are no signs of ethnic involvement in its creation: Jewish identification and pursuit of Jewish interests were not important to the content of the theories or to the conduct of the intellectual movement. Yet Jews have been heavily overrepresented among the ranks of theoretical physicists.

Einstein with other Zionists

This conclusion remains true even though Einstein, the leading figure among Jewish physicists, was a strongly motivated Zionist (Fölsing 1997, 494-505), opposed assimilation as a contemptible form of “mimicry” (p. 490), preferred to mix with other Jews whom he referred to as his “tribal companions” (p. 489), embraced the uncritical support for the Bolshevik regime in Russia typical of so many Jews during the 1920s and 1930s, including persistent apology for the Moscow show trials in the 1930s (pp. 644-5), and switched from a high-minded pacifism during World War I, when Jewish interests were not at stake, to advocating the building of atomic bombs to defeat Hitler.

From his teenage years he disliked the Germans and in later life criticized Jewish colleagues for converting to Christianity and acting like Prussians. He especially disliked Prussians, who were the elite ethnic group in Germany. Reviewing his life at age 73, Einstein declared his ethnic affiliation in no uncertain terms: “My relationship with Jewry had become my strongest human tie once I achieved complete clarity about our precarious position among the nations” (in Fölsing 1997, 488). According to Fölsing, Einstein had begun developing this clarity from an early age, but did not acknowledge it until much later, a form of self-deception: “As a young man with bourgeois-liberal views and a belief in enlightenment, he had refused to acknowledge [his Jewish identity]” (in Fölsing 1997, 488).

In other words, the issues of the ethnic identification and even ethnic activism on the part of people like Einstein are entirely separate from the issue of whether such people viewed the content of the theories themselves as furthering ethnic interests, and, in the case of Einstein, there is no evidence that he did so. The same cannot be said for Freud, the New York Intellectuals, the Boasians, and the Frankfurt School, in which “scientific” theories were fashioned and deployed to advance ethnic group interests. This ideological purpose becomes clear when the unscientific nature of these movements is understood. Much of the discussion in CofC documented the intellectual dishonesty, the lack of empirical rigor, the obvious political and ethnic motivation, the expulsion of dissenters, the collusion among co-ethnics to dominate intellectual discourse, and the general lack of scientific spirit that pervaded them. In my view, the scientific weakness of these movements is evidence of their group-strategic function.

CofC was not reviewed widely. Indeed, only three reviews have appeared in mainstream publications, including a brief review by Kevin Hannan (2000) in Nationalities Papers. Hannan’s review mostly describes the book, but he summarizes his impressions by noting, “[MacDonald’s] iconoclastic evaluation of psychoanalysis, Marxism, multiculturalism, and certain schools of thought in the social sciences will not generate great enthusiasm for his work in academe, yet this book is well written and has much to offer the reader interested in ethnicity and ethnic conflict.”

The other reviews have raised several important issues that bear discussion. Frank Salter’s (2000) review in Human Ethology Bulletin discussed some of the controversy surrounding my work, particularly an acrimonious session at the 2000 conference of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society where I was accused of anti-Semitism by several participants. For me the only issue is whether I have been honest in my treatment of sources and whether my conclusions meet the usual standards of scholarly research in the social sciences. Salter notes that I based my research on mainstream sources and that the assertions that have infuriated some colleagues

are not only true but truisms to those acquainted with the diverse literatures involved. Apart from the political sensitivity of the subject, much of the problem facing MacDonald is that his knowledge is often too far ahead of his detractors to allow easy communication; there are not enough shared premises for constructive dialog. Unfortunately the knowledge gap is closing slowly because some of his most hostile critics, including colleagues who make serious ad hominem accusations, have not bothered to read MacDonald’s books.

Salter also notes that those, such as John Tooby and Steven Pinker, who have denigrated my competence as a researcher in the media, have failed to provide anything approaching a scholarly critique or refutation of my work. Sadly, this continues. While there have been a number of ringing denunciations of my work in public forums, there have been no serious scholarly reviews by these critics, although they have not retracted their scathing denunciations of my work.

Paul Gottfried (2000) raised several interesting issues in his review in Chronicles, the paleo-conservative intellectual journal. (I replied to Gottfried’s review and Gottfried penned a rejoinder; see Chronicles, September, 2000, pp. 4-5).

Gottfried questions my views on the role of Jewish organizations and intellectuals with strong Jewish identifications as agents of change in the cultural transformations that have occurred in Western societies over the last 50 years. In general, my position is that Jewish intellectual and political movements were a necessary condition for these changes, not a sufficient condition, as Gottfried supposes. In the case of the reversal in U.S. immigration policy, there simply were no other pressure groups that were pushing for liberalized, multi-racial immigration during the period under consideration (up to the enactment of the watershed immigration bill of 1965). Nor were there any other groups or intellectual movements besides the ones mentioned in CofC that were developing images of the U.S. as a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society rather than a European civilization. Gottfried attributes the sea change in immigration to “a general cultural change that beset Western societies and was pushed by the managerial state.” I agree that multi-ethnic immigration resulted from a general cultural shift, but we still must develop theories for the origin of this shift.

Stephen Steinlight

A revealing development regarding Jewish attitudes toward immigration is an article by Stephen Steinlight (2001), former Director of National Affairs (domestic policy) at the American Jewish Committee (AJCommittee) and presently a Senior Fellow with the AJCommittee. Steinlight recommends altering “the traditional policy line [of the organized Jewish community] affirming generous—really, unlimited—immigration and open borders,” even though for “many decent, progressive Jewish folk merely asking such fundamental questions is tantamount to heresy, and meddling with them is to conjure the devil.”

Steinlight believes that present immigration policy no longer serves Jewish interests because the new immigrants are less likely to be sympathetic to Israel and because they are more likely to view Jews as the wealthiest and most powerful group in the U.S.—and thus a potential enemy—rather than as victims of the Holocaust. He is particularly worried about the consequences of Islamic fundamentalism among Muslim immigrants, especially for Israel, and he condemns the “savage hatred for America and American values” among the fundamentalists. Steinlight is implicitly agreeing with an important thesis of my trilogy on Judaism: Throughout history Jews have tended to prosper in individualistic European societies and have suffered in non-Western societies, most notably in Muslim cultures where there are strong ingroup-outgroup sensibilities (e.g., MacDonald 1998a, Ch. 2; the only exceptions to this generalization have been when Jews have constituted an intermediary group between an alien elite and oppressed native populations in Muslim societies.) Steinlight’s fears of the effects of a Balkanized America on Judaism are indeed well-grounded.

Steinlight is exclusively concerned with Jewish interests—an example of Jewish moral particularism which is a general feature of Jewish culture (see below). Indeed, his animosity toward the restrictionism of 1924-1965 shines through clearly. This “pause” in immigration is perceived as a moral catastrophe. He describes it as “evil, xenophobic, anti-Semitic,” “vilely discriminatory,” a “vast moral failure,” a “monstrous policy.” Jewish interests are his only consideration, while the vast majority of pre-1965 Americans are described as a “thoughtless mob” because they advocate a complete moratorium on immigration.

It seems fair to state that there is a communal Jewish memory about the period of immigration restriction as the high point of American anti-Jewish attitudes. Non-Jews have a difficult time fathoming Jewish communal memory.

For strongly identified Jews, the “vilely discriminatory” actions of immigration restrictionists are part of the lachrymose history of the Jewish people. Immigration restriction from 1924-1965 is in the same category as the Roman destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D., the marauding Crusaders of the Middle Ages, the horrors of the Inquisition, the evil of the Russian Czar, and the rationally incomprehensible calamity of Nazism. These events are not just images drawn from the dustbin of history. They are deeply felt images and potent motivators of contemporary behavior. As Michael Walzer (1994, 4) noted, “I was taught Jewish history as a long tale of exile and persecution—Holocaust history read backwards.” From this perspective, the immigration restriction of 1924-1965 is an important part of the Holocaust because it prevented the emigration of Jews who ultimately died in the Holocaust—a point that Steinlight dwells on at length.

Walter Benjamin

As Walter Benjamin (1968, 262) notes, “Hatred and [the] spirit of sacrifice… are nourished by the image of enslaved ancestors rather than that of liberated grandchildren.”

This is important because whatever one’s attitudes about the costs and benefits of immigration, a principal motivation for encouraging massive non-European immigration on the part of the organized Jewish community has involved a deeply felt animosity toward the people and culture responsible for the immigration restriction of 1924-1965. (As indicated in Ch. 7, another motivation has been to lessen the power of the European-derived majority of the U.S. in order to prevent the development of an ethnically homogenous anti-Jewish movement.)

This deeply held animosity exists despite the fact that the liberated grandchildren have been extraordinarily prosperous in the country whose recent past is the focus of such venom. The welfare of the United States and certainly the welfare of European-Americans have not been a relevant consideration for Jewish attitudes on immigration. Indeed, as indicated in Chapter 7, it’s easy to find statements of Jewish activists deploring the very idea that immigration should serve the interests of the United States. That is why the organized Jewish community did not settle for a token victory by merely eliminating the ethnically based quotas that resulted in an ethnic status quo in which Europeans retained their ethnic and cultural predominance. As indicated in Chapter 7, immediately after the passage of the 1965 law, activists strove mightily to increase dramatically the numbers of non-European immigrants, a pattern that continues to the present.

And, finally, that is why support for open immigration spans the Jewish political spectrum, from the far left to the neo-conservative right. Scott McConnell, former editorial page editor and columnist for the New York Post, commented on the intense commitment to open immigration among Jewish neo-conservatives (see also Ch. 7):1

Read some of Norman Podhoretz’s writing, particularly his recent book—the only polemics against anyone right of center are directed against immigration restrictionists.

Several years ago I was at a party talking to Norman, and Abe Rosenthal came over, and Norman introduced us with the words “Scott is very solid on all the issues, except immigration.” The very first words out of his mouth. This was when we were ostensibly on very good terms, and I held a job which required important people to talk to me. There is a complicated history between the neo-cons and National Review [NR], which John O’Sullivan could tell better than I, but it involved neo-con attacks on NR using language that equated modern day immigration restrictionism with the effort to send Jews back to Nazi death camps, a tone so vicious that [it] was really strange among ostensible Reaganite allies in 1995…

The Forward, a neo-connish Jewish weekly, used to run articles trying to link FAIR [Federation for American Immigration Reform], an immigration restriction group headed by former [Colorado governor] Richard Lamm, with neo-nazism, using… crude smear techniques… None of my neo-con friends (at a time when all my friends were Jewish neo-cons) thought there was anything wrong with this…

[Podhoretz with Bush Jr.]

Read the Weekly Standard, read Ben Wattenberg. Read the [Podhoretzes]. Or don’t. But if you were engaged on the issue, you couldn’t help but being struck by this, particularly because it came as such a shock. One doesn’t like to name names, because no one on the right wants to get on the bad side of the neo-cons, but I can think of one young scholar, who writes very temperately on immigration-related issues and who trained under a leading neo-con academic. He told me he was just amazed at the neo-cons’ attachment to high immigration—it seemed to go against every principle of valuing balance and order in a society, and being aware of social vulnerabilities, that they seemed to advocate. Perhaps it’s worth some time, writing a lengthy article on all this, on how the American right lost its way after the Cold War.

Notes [the Bibliography appears in the 10th entry]

1. McConnell’s comments were made on an email discussion list, September 30, 2001.

Published in: on October 5, 2012 at 5:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

CofC’s preface (2 of 10)

“The Jewish problem is one of the greatest problems in the world, and no man, be he writer, politician or diplomatist, can be considered mature until he has striven to face it squarely on its merits.”

—Henry Wickham Steed

The Culture of Critique’s
“The decline of ethnic consciousness
among European-derived people
in the United States”
in the Preface:

Fundamental to the transformation of the United States as a result of massive non-European immigration was the decline of ethnic consciousness among European peoples. It is fascinating to contrast the immigration debates of the 1920s with those of the 1950s and 1960s. The restrictionists of the 1920s unabashedly asserted the right of European-derived peoples to the land they had conquered and settled.

There were many assertions of ethnic interest—that the people who colonized and created the political and economic culture of the country had a right to maintain it as their possession. This sort of morally self-assured nativism (even the word itself now has a pathological ring to it) can be seen in the statement of Representative William N. Vaile of Colorado, a prominent restrictionist, quoted in Chapter 7 of CofC.


By the 1940s and certainly by the 1960s it was impossible to make such assertions without being deemed not only a racist but an intellectual Neanderthal. Indeed, Bendersky (2000) shows that such rhetoric was increasingly impossible in the 1930s.

One can see the shift in the career of racial theorist Lothrop Stoddard, author of books such as The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy and numerous articles for the popular media, such as Collier’s, Forum, and The Saturday Evening Post. Stoddard viewed Jews as highly intelligent and as racially different from Europeans. He also believed that Jews were critical to the success of Bolshevism. However, he stopped referring to Jews completely in his lectures to the Army War College in the late 1930s. The Boasian revolution in anthropology had triumphed, and theorists who believed that race was important for explaining human behavior became fringe figures. Stoddard himself went from being a popular and influential writer to being viewed as a security risk as the Roosevelt administration prepared the country for war with National Socialist Germany.

Another marker of the change in attitude toward Jews was the response to Charles Lindbergh’s remarks in Des Moines, Iowa on the eve of U.S. entry into World War II. Lindbergh’s advocacy of non-intervention was shaped not only by his horror at the destructiveness of modern warfare—what he viewed as the suicide of European culture, but also by his belief that a second European war would be suicidal for the White race. In an article published in the popular media in 1939 shortly after the outbreak of World War II, he stated that it was a war “among a dominant people for power, blind, insatiable, suicidal. Western nations are again at war, a war likely to be more prostrating than any in the past, a war in which the White race is bound to lose, and the others bound to gain, a war which may easily lead our civilization through more Dark Ages if it survives at all” (Lindbergh 1939, 65).

In order to maintain their dominance over other races, Lindbergh believed that whites should join together to fend off the teeming legions of non-whites who were the real long-term threat.

Lindbergh was not a Nordicist. He took a long-term view that Russia would be a white bulwark against the Chinese in the East. He advocated a racial alliance among Whites based “on a Western Wall of race and arms which can hold back either a Genghis Khan or the infiltration of inferior blood; on an English fleet, a German air force, a French army, [and] an American nation” (p. 66). However, the Soviet Union under Communism was abhorrent: “I tell you that I would a hundred times rather see my country ally herself with England, or even with Germany with all of her faults, than with the cruelty, the godlessness, and the barbarism that exist in Soviet Russia. An alliance between the United States and Russia should be opposed by every American, by every Christian, and by every humanitarian in this country” (in Berg 1999, 422). Lindbergh clearly viewed the atrocities perpetrated by the Soviet Union to be worse than those of Nazi Germany.

Lindbergh’s famous speech of September 11, 1941 stated that Jews were one of the principal forces attempting to lead the U.S. into the war, along with the Roosevelt administration and the British. Lindbergh noted that Jewish reaction to Nazi Germany was understandable given persecution “sufficient to make bitter enemies of any race.” He stated that the Jews’ “greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our Government.” And, most controversially, he stated, “I am saying that the leaders of both the British and Jewish races, for reasons which are understandable from their viewpoint as they are inadvisable from ours, for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the war” (in Berg 1999, 427).

Lindbergh’s speech was greeted with a torrent of abuse and hatred unparalleled for a mainstream public figure in American history. Overnight Lindbergh went from cultural hero to moral pariah.

Jewish influence on the media and government would be difficult to measure then as it is now, but it was certainly considerable and a common concern of anti-Jewish sentiment of the time. In a booklet published in 1936, the editors of Fortune magazine concluded that the main sources of Jewish influence on the media were their control of the two major radio networks and the Hollywood movie studios (Editors of Fortune 1936). They suggested that “at the very most, half the opinion-making and taste-influencing paraphernalia in America is in Jewish hands” (p. 62)—a rather remarkable figure considering that Jews constituted approximately 2-3% of the population and most of the Jewish population were first or second generation immigrants.

A short list of Jewish ownership or management of the major media during this period would include the New York Times (the most influential newspaper, owned by the Sulzberger family), the New York Post (George Backer), the Washington Post (Eugene Meyer), Philadelphia Inquirer (M. L. Annenberg), Philadelphia Record and Camden Courier-Post (J. David Stern), Newark Star-Ledger (S. I. Newhouse), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Paul Block), CBS (the dominant radio network, owned by William Paley), NBC (headed by David Sarnoff), all of the major Hollywood movie studios, Random House (the most important book publisher, owned by Bennett Cerf), and a dominant position in popular music.(2) Walter Winchell, who had an audience of tens of millions and was tied with Bob Hope for the highest rated program on radio, believed that opposition to intervention “was unconscionable, a form of treason” (Gabler 1995, 294). Winchell, “the standard bearer for interventionism,” was Jewish. He had close ties during this period to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) which provided him with information on the activities of isolationists and Nazi sympathizers which he used in his broadcasts and newspaper columns (Gabler 1995, 294-298).

There is no question that the movie industry did indeed propagandize against Germany and in favor of intervention. In May, 1940, the Warner Brothers studio wired Roosevelt that “personally we would like to do all in our power within the motion picture industry and by use of the talking screen to show the American people the worthiness of the cause for which the free peoples of Europe are making such tremendous sacrifices” (in Gabler 1988, 343). Later in 1940 Joseph P. Kennedy lectured the Hollywood movie elite that they should stop promoting the war and stop making anti-Nazi movies or risk a rise in anti-Semitism. Immediately prior to Lindbergh’s Des Moines speech, Senator Gerald Nye asserted that foreign-born owners of the Hollywood studies had “violent animosities toward certain causes abroad” (Gabler 1988, 344-345). Representatives of the movie industry, realizing that they had the support of the Roosevelt administration, aggressively defended making “America conscious of the national peril.”(3)

Harvard historian William Langer stated in a lecture to the U.S. Army War College that the rising dislike of Nazi Germany in the U.S. was due to “Jewish influence” in the media:

You have to face the fact that some of our most important American newspapers are Jewish-controlled, and I suppose if I were a Jew I would feel about Nazi Germany as most Jews feel and it would be most inevitable that the coloring of the news takes on that tinge.

William Langer

As I read the New York Times, for example, it is perfectly clear that every little upset that occurs (and after all, many upsets occur in a country of 70 million people) is given a great deal of prominence. The other part of it is soft-pedaled or put off with a sneer. So that in a rather subtle way, the picture you get is that there is no good in the Germans whatever. (In Bendersky 2000, 273)

It is also interesting that the Chicago Tribune was “circumspect on the Jewish question” despite the personal sentiments of Robert McCormick, the Tribune’s non-Jewish publisher, that Jews were an important reason behind America’s anti-German policy (Bendersky 2000, 284). This suggests that concern with Jewish power—quite possibly concern about negative influences on advertising revenue (see Editors of Fortune 1936, 57)—, was an issue for McCormick. On balance, it would seem reasonable to agree with Lindbergh that Jewish influence in the media was significant during this period. Of course, this is not to say that Jews dominated the media at this time or that other influences were not important.

It is also noteworthy that U.S. military officers often worried that Roosevelt was influenced to be anti-German by his Jewish advisors, Samuel I. Rosenman, Felix Frankfurter, and Henry Morgenthau, Jr. (Bendersky 2000, 274), and they worried that Jewish interests and the British would push the U.S. into a war with Germany. Both Frankfurter and Morgenthau were strongly identified Jews and effective advocates of Jewish interests within the Roosevelt Administration. Morgenthau actively promoted Zionism and the welfare of Jewish refugees (e.g., Bendersky 2000, 333ff, 354ff). Both supported U.S. involvement in the war against Germany, and Morgenthau became well-known as an advocate of extremely harsh treatment of the Germans during and after World War II.

Moreover, there is no question that Jews were able to have a great deal of influence on specific issues during this period. For example, Zionist organizations exerted enormous pressure on the government (e.g., Bendersky 2000, 325). During World War II they engaged in “loud diplomacy” (p. 326), organizing thousands of rallies, dinners with celebrity speakers (including prominent roles for sympathetic non-Jews), letter campaigns, meetings, lobbying, threats to newspapers for publishing unfavorable items, insertion of propaganda as news items in newspapers, giving money to politicians and non-Jewish celebrities like Will Rogers in return for their support. By 1944, “thousands of non-Jewish associations would pass pro-Zionist resolutions” (p. 326). In 1944 both Republican and Democratic platforms included strong pro-Zionist planks even though the creation of a Jewish state was strongly opposed by the Departments of State and War (p. 328).

Nevertheless, whatever the level of Jewish influence on the media during this period, commentators generally focused on denouncing the seeming implication in Lindbergh’s speech that Jewish interests were “not American.” I suppose that Lindbergh’s statement could have been amended by a public-relations minded editor without distorting Lindbergh’s intentions to read something like, “Jewish interests are not the same as the interests of most other Americans,” or “Jewish interests are not the same as those of the country as a whole.” However, I rather doubt that this alteration would have assuaged the outpouring of hatred that ensued. The simple facts that the vast majority of U.S. Jews were indeed in favor of intervention and that Jews did have a significant effect on public attitudes and public policy had become irrelevant. As Lindbergh himself said, the choice was “whether or not you are going to let your country go into a completely disastrous war for lack of courage to name the groups leading that country to war—at the risk of being called ‘anti-Semitic’ simply by naming them” (as paraphrased by Anne Morrow Lindbergh 1980, 224; italics in text).

America had entered into an era when it had become morally unacceptable to discuss Jewish interests at all. We are still in that era.(4)

It is instructive to review in some detail the “Niagara of invective” experienced by Lindbergh (Berg 1999, 428). He was denounced by virtually all the leading media, by Democrats and Republicans, Protestants and Catholics, and, of course, Jewish groups. Many accused him of being a Nazi, including the Presidential Secretary who compared Lindbergh’s speech to Nazi rhetoric. Reinhold Niebuhr, the prominent Protestant leader (see below), called on Lindbergh’s organization, America First, to “divorce itself from the stand taken by Lindbergh and clean its ranks of those who would incite to racial and religious strife in this country” (in Berg 1999, 428). America First released a statement that neither Lindbergh nor the organization were anti-Semitic.

The reaction of Lindbergh’s wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, is particularly interesting because it illustrates the power of moral revulsion combined with hypocrisy that had enveloped any public discussion of Jewish interests.

September 11, 1941:

Then [he gave] his speech—throwing me into black gloom. He names the “war agitators”—chiefly the British, the Jews, and the Administration. He does it truthfully, moderately, and with no bitterness or rancor—but I hate to have him touch the Jews at all. For I dread the reaction on him. No one else mentions this subject out loud (though many seethe bitterly and intolerantly underneath). C. [Charles], as usual, must bear the brunt of being frank and open. What he is saying in public is not intolerant or inciting or bitter and it is just what he says in private, while the other soft-spoken cautious people who say terrible things in private would never dare be as frank in public as he. They do not want to pay the price. And the price will be terrible. Headlines will flame “Lindbergh attacks Jews.” He will be branded anti-Semitic, Nazi, Führer-seeking, etc. I can hardly bear it. For he is a moderate…

September 13, 1941:
He is attacked on all sides—Administration, pressure groups, and Jews, as now openly a Nazi, following Nazi doctrine.

September 14, 1941:
I cannot explain my revulsion of feeling by logic. Is it my lack of courage to face the problem? Is it my lack of vision and seeing the thing through? Or is my intuition founded on something profound and valid?

I do not know and am only very disturbed, which is upsetting for him. I have the greatest faith in him as a person—in his integrity, his courage, and his essential goodness, fairness, and kindness—his nobility really… How then explain my profound feeling of grief about what he is doing? If what he said is the truth (and I am inclined to think it is), why was it wrong to state it? He was naming the groups that were pro-war. No one minds his naming the British or the Administration. But to name “Jew” is un-American—even if it is done without hate or even criticism. Why?

Because it is segregating them as a group, setting the ground for anti-Semitism… I say that I would prefer to see this country at war than shaken by violent anti-Semitism. (Because it seems to me that the kind of person the human being is turned into when the instinct of Jew-baiting is let loose is worse than the kind of person he becomes on the battlefield.)

September 15, 1941:
The storm is beginning to blow up hard. America First is in a turmoil… He is universally condemned by all moderates… The Jews demand a retraction… I sense that this is the beginning of a fight and consequent loneliness and isolation that we have not known before… For I am really much more attached to the worldly things than he is, mind more giving up friends, popularity, etc., mind much more criticism and coldness and loneliness.

September 18, 1941:
Will I be able to shop in New York at all now? I am always stared at—but now to be stared at with hate, to walk through aisles of hate! (A. M. Lindbergh 1980, 220-230; italics in text)(5)

Several issues stand out in these comments. Anne Morrow Lindbergh is horrified at having to walk through “aisles of hate,” horrified at having to give up her friends, horrified at being a pariah where once she was idolized as the wife of the most popular man in the country. While she accepts the truth of what her husband said and its good intentions, she thinks it better left unsaid and does not dwell on the unfairness of the charges against her husband, in particular with calling him a Nazi.

Truth is no defense if it leads to morally unacceptable actions, and slander and smear tactics are warranted and understandable if the goals are morally praiseworthy. She supposes that even a disastrous war that might kill hundreds of thousands of Americans (and, as her husband believed, might result in the destruction of European culture and the white race) is preferable to the possibility of an outbreak of violent anti-Semitism. The moral demeanor of Americans is more important than their survival as a nation or people. And all of this because Lindbergh simply stated that Jews had interests as a group that differed from those of other Americans.

Their lesson learned, American politicians presumably realized that even rational, intelligent, and humane discussions of Jewish interests were beyond the boundaries of appropriate discussion. Jews had no interests as Jews that could be said to conflict with the interests of any other group of Americans.

By the time of Lindbergh’s speech, Jews not only had a prominent position in the U.S. media, they had seized the intellectual and moral high ground via their control of the intellectual and political movements discussed in CofC. Not only were Jewish interests beyond the bounds of civilized political discussion, assertions of European ethnic interest became impermissible as well.

Such assertions conflicted with the Boasian dogma that genetic differences between peoples were trivial and irrelevant; they conflicted with the Marxist belief in the equality of all peoples and the Marxist belief that nationalism and assertions of ethnic interests were reactionary; such assertions were deemed a sure sign of psychopathology within the frameworks of psychoanalysis and the Frankfurt School; and they would soon be regarded as the babblings of country bumpkins by the New York Intellectuals and by the neo-conservatives who spouted variants of all of these ideologies from the most prestigious academic and media institutions in the society. There may indeed have been other forces that relegated a nativist mindset to the political and intellectual fringe—Gottfried (2000) points a finger at liberal Protestantism and the rise of the managerial state, but it is impossible to understand the effectiveness of either of these influences in the absence of the Jewish movements I describe.

The rise of a de-ethnicized non-Jewish managerial elite that rejects traditional cultural institutions—as exemplified by former President Bill Clinton and now Senator Hillary Clinton—and interwoven with a critical mass of ethnically conscious Jews and other ethnic minorities is an enormously important fact of our current political life. My claim that Jewish intellectual and political activities were a necessary condition for the rise of such an elite, while obviously difficult to verify conclusively (as any other causal hypothesis would be) is also compatible with the work of others, most notably D. A. Hollinger’s (1996) Science, Jews, and Secular Culture: Studies in Mid-20th-Century American Intellectual History and Carl Degler’s (1991) In Search of Human Nature: The Decline and Revival of Darwinism in American Social Thought.

The rise of such a de-ethnicized elite is hardly an inevitable consequence of modernization or any other force of which I am aware. Such de-ethnicized managerial elites are unique to European and European-derived societies. Such elites are not found elsewhere in the world, including highly developed nations such as Japan and Israel or the undeveloped nations of Africa and elsewhere. Moreover, the cultural shifts under consideration have also occurred in traditionally Catholic countries like France and Italy, where Protestantism has not been a factor. France in particular has been very open to non-European immigration and its intellectual life has been deeply influenced by the movements discussed in CofC. Conversely, there are many examples where Protestantism has peacefully co-existed with or even rationalized nationalism and ethnocentrism.

Developing theories of why Western cultures provide such fertile ground for the theories and movements discussed in CofC is a very useful area for research. It is instructive to look at the way Europeans in the U.S. saw themselves a century ago.(6)

Americans of European descent thought of themselves as part of a cultural and ethnic heritage extending backward in time to the founding of the country. The Anglo-Saxon heritage of the British Isles was at the center of this self-conception, but Americans of German and Scandinavian descent also viewed themselves as part of this ethnic and cultural heritage. They had a great deal of pride in their accomplishments. They had conquered a vast territory and had achieved a high degree of economic progress. They saw themselves as having created a civilization with a strong moral fabric—a country of farmers and small businessmen who had developed into a world economic power. They believed that their civilization was a product of their own unique ingenuity and skills, and they believed that it would not survive if other peoples were allowed to play too large a role in it. They saw themselves as exhibiting positive personality traits such as courage in the face of adversity, self-reliance, inventiveness, originality, and fair play—the very virtues that allowed them to conquer the wilderness and turn it into an advanced civilization.

Americans at the turn of the 19th century looked out on the world and saw their own society as superior to others. They saw themselves and other European societies as reaping the rewards of political and economic freedom while the rest of the world suffered as it had from time immemorial—the despotism of Asia, the barbarity and primitivism of Africa, and the economic and political backwardness of Russia and Eastern Europe.

They saw themselves as Christian, and they thought of Christianity as an essential part of the social fabric and their way of life. Christianity was seen as basic to the moral foundations of the society, and any threat to Christianity was seen as a threat to the society as a whole. When these people looked back on their own childhood, they saw “a simple, secure world of commonly accepted values and behavior” (Bendersky 2000, 6)—a world of cultural and ethnic homogeneity. They had a strong sense of family pride and regional identification: They had deep roots in the areas in which they grew up. They did not think of the U.S. as a Marxist hell of war between the social classes. Instead they thought of it as a world of harmony between the social classes in which people at the top of society earned their positions but felt a certain sense of social obligation to the lower social classes.

The early part of the 20th century was also the high water mark of Darwinism in the social sciences. It was common at that time to think that there were important differences between the races—that races differed in intelligence and in moral qualities. Not only did races differ, but they were in competition with each other for supremacy. As described in Separation and Its Discontents (MacDonald 1998a), such ideas were part of the furniture of intellectual life—commonplace among Jews as well as non-Jews.

That world has vanished. The rise of Jewish power and the disestablishment of the specifically European nature of the U.S. are the real topics ofCofC. The war to disestablish the specifically European nature of the U.S. was fought on several fronts. The main thrusts of Jewish activism against European ethnic and cultural hegemony have focused on three critical power centers in the United States: The academic world of information in the social sciences and humanities, the political world where public policy on immigration and other ethnic issues is decided, and the mass media where “ways of seeing” are presented to the public. The first two are the focus of CofC.

At the intellectual level, Jewish intellectuals led the battle against the idea that races even exist and against the idea that there are differences in intelligence or cultural level between the races that are rooted in biology. They also spearheaded defining America as a set of abstract principles rather than an ethnocultural civilization. At the level of politics, Jewish organizations spearheaded the drive to open up immigration to all of the peoples of the world. Jewish organizations also played a key role in furthering the interests of other racial and ethnic minorities, and they led the legal and legislative effort to remove Christianity from public places.

The first bastion of the old American culture to fall was elite academic institutions and especially the Ivy League universities. The transformation of the faculty in the social sciences and humanities was well underway in the 1950s, and by the early 1960s it was largely complete. The new elite was very different from the old elite it displaced. The difference was that the old Protestant elite was not at war with the country it dominated. The old Protestant elite was wealthier and better educated than the public at large, but they approached life on basically the same terms. They saw themselves as Christians and as Europeans, and they didn’t see the need for radically changing the society.

Things are very different now. Since the 1960s a hostile, adversary elite has emerged to dominate intellectual and political debate. It is an elite that almost instinctively loathes the traditional institutions of European-American culture: its religion, its customs, its manners, and its sexual attitudes. In the words of one commentator, “today’s elite loathes the nation it rules” (Gerlernter 1997). A good example is Stephen Steinlight’s comments on the immigration restriction of 1924-1965 (see above).

This “hostile elite” is fundamentally a Jewish-dominated elite whose origins and main lines of influence are described in CofC. The emergence of this hostile elite is an aspect of ethnic competition between Jews and non-Jews and its effect will be a long-term decline in the hegemony of European peoples in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.

Although European peoples are less prone to ethnocentrism and more prone to moral universalism and individualism (see below), they did not surrender their impending cultural and demographic eclipse without a fight. There is no evidence for internal WASP self-destruction, but a great deal of evidence that their active resistance was overcome by the movements I discuss in CofC.

For example, Bendersky’s (2000) recent The “Jewish Threat” shows strong resistance to the decline of European hegemony among U.S. Army officers in the period from World War I to well into the Cold War era and shows that similar attitudes were widespread among the public at that time. But their resistance was nullified by the decline of the intellectual basis of European ethnic hegemony and by political events, such as the immigration law of 1965, which they were unable to control. In the end, the 1965 law passed because it was advertised as nothing more than a moral gesture that would have no long-term impact on the ethnic balance of the U.S. However, to its activist supporters, including the Jewish organizations who were critical to its passage, immigration reform was what it had always been: a mechanism to alter the ethnic balance of the United States (see Ch. 7).

The fact that the Jewish intellectuals and political operatives described in CofC did not lose their national/ethnic loyalties shows that there was no general trend to de-ethnicization. The broad trends toward de-ethnicization somehow occurred among the Europeans but spared the Jews who by all accounts continue to strongly support their ethnic homeland, Israel, and continue to have a strong sense of peoplehood—propped up now by high-profile programs encouraging Jews to marry other Jews.

My account would benefit from discussing the acceptance of Jews by the Protestant establishment after World War II. However, what I have seen thus far suggests Jewish involvement in the dramatic changes in Protestant sensibilities as well. Recently I have become aware of John Murray Cuddihy’s (1978) book, No Offense: Civil Religion and Protestant Taste. The chapter on Reinhold Niebuhr is particularly interesting in thinking about how to account for the acceptance of Jews and Judaism by the WASP establishment after W.W.II. Cuddihy focuses on the elevation of Judaism to the status of one of the “big three” U.S. religions, to the point that a rabbi officiates at the presidential inauguration even though Jews constitute approximately 2-3% of the population. Cuddihy argues that this religious surface served as a protective coloring and led to a sort of crypto-Judaism in which Jewish ethnic identities were submerged in order to make them appear civilized to the goyim. As part of this contract, Niebuhr acknowledged “the stubborn will of the Jews to live as a peculiar people”—an acknowledgement by an important Protestant leader that the Jews could remain a people with a surface veneer of religion.

Both sides gave up something in this bargain. The Jews’ posturing as a religion left them open to large-scale defection via intermarriage to the extent that they took seriously the idea that Judaism was akin to Protestantism, and to some extent this did occur. But recently, Jews have been mending the fences. There is an upsurge in more traditional forms of Judaism and an open rejection of intermarriage even among the most liberal wings of Judaism. Recent guidelines for Reform Judaism emphasize traditional practices of conversion, such as circumcision, that are likely to minimize converts, and proselytism is explicitly rejected.(7) It would appear that Conservative religious forms of Judaism will be the rule in the Diaspora and there will be a self-conscious ethnic aspect to Jewish religiosity.

What the Protestants gave up was far more important because I think it has been a contributing factor in the more or less irreversible ethnic changes in the U.S. and elsewhere in the Western world. Judaism became unconditionally accepted as a modern religion even while retaining a commitment to its ethnic core. It conformed outwardly to the religious norms of the U.S., but it also continued to energetically pursue its ethnic interests, especially with regard to issues where there is a substantial consensus among Jews: support for Israel and the welfare of other foreign Jewries, immigration and refugee policy, church-state separation, abortion rights, and civil liberties (Goldberg 1996, 5).

What is remarkable is that a wealthy, powerful, and highly talented ethnic group was able to pursue its interests without those interests ever being the subject of open political discussion by mainstream political figures, for at least the last 60 years—since Lindbergh’s ill-fated Des Moines speech of 1941.

I suppose that Niebuhr thought that he was only giving up the prospect of converting Jews, but the implicit downgrading of the ethnic character of Judaism provided an invaluable tool in furthering Jewish ethnic aims in the U.S. The downgrading of the ethnic aspect of Judaism essentially allowed Jews to win the ethnic war without anyone even being able to acknowledge that it was an ethnic war.

For example, during the immigration debates of the 1940s -1960s Jews were described by themselves and others as “people of the Jewish faith.” They were simply another religion in an officially pluralistic religious society, and part of Jewish posturing was a claim to a unique universalistic moral-religious vision that could only be achieved by enacting legislation that in fact furthered their particularist ethnic aims. The universalistic moral-religious vision promoted by Jewish activists really amounted to taking the Protestants at their own word—by insisting that every last shred of ethnic identity among Protestants be given up while Jews were implicitly allowed to keep theirs if they only promised to behave civilly.

Reinhold Niebuhr

The evidence provided by Cuddihy suggests that Niebuhr was socialized by the Jewish milieu of New York into taking the positions that he did—that his position as a major Protestant spokesperson was facilitated by alliances he formed with Jews and because his writings fit well with the Jewish milieu of New York intellectual circles. Niebuhr’s behavior is therefore more an indication of Jewish power and the ability of Jews to recruit non-Jews sympathetic to their causes than an indication of Protestant self-destruction. One cannot underestimate the importance of Jewish power in intellectual circles in New York at the time of Niebuhr’s pronouncements (see CofC, passim). For example, Leslie Fiedler (1948, 873) noted that “the writer drawn to New York from the provinces feels… the Rube, attempts to conform; and the almost parody of Jewishness achieved by the gentile writer in New York is a strange and crucial testimony of our time.”(8)

Notes [the Bibliography appears in the 10th entry]

2. This listing is based on several sources: Editors of Fortune (1936); To Bigotry No Sanction. A Documented Analysis of Anti-Semitic Propaganda. Prepared by the Philadelphia Anti-Defamation Council and the American Jewish Committee. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Anti-Defamation Council (1941); Gabler 1988; Kantor 1982 (here).

3. Ben Hecht, who was a prominent Hollywood screenwriter and staunch Zionist, included pro-interventionist ideas in movies at this time (Authors Calendar). For example, in Angels over Broadway (1940), Hecht has the Douglas Fairbanks Jr. character ask, “What happened to the Poles, the Finns, the Dutch? They’re little guys. They didn’t win…” Rita Hayworth replies, “They will, some day.” Hecht also made some uncredited additions to Alfred Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent (1940). When Hitchcock was asked about the anti-Nazi and pro-Britain message of the film, he said that it was all the doing of Walter Wanger and Ben Hecht. (Wanger was also Jewish; his birth name was Walter Feuchtwanger.) In the film a character says, “Keep those lights burning, cover them with steel, build them in with guns, build a canopy of battleships and bombing planes around them and, hello, America, hang on to your lights, they’re the only lights in the world.”

4. The only exception in recent years—albeit relatively minor—was Pat Buchanan’s 1990 column in which he referred to Israel’s “Amen Corner” in the United States advocating war with Iraq. (Indeed, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee had been lobbying Congress behind the scenes to declare war on Iraq [Sobran 1999]).

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Norman Podhoretz, former editor of Commentary, promptly labeled Buchanan an “anti-Semite” without feeling the need to address the question of whether or not American Jews were indeed pressing for war with Iraq in order to benefit Israel. As in the case of Lindbergh’s remarks a half century earlier, truth was irrelevant. While this incident has not altered the taboo on discussing Jewish interests in the same way that it is common to discuss the interests of other ethnic groups, it has resulted in a long-term problem for Buchanan’s political career.

When Buchanan ran for president in 2000, a hostile columnist writing in a prominent Jewish publication stated, “Out of the slime of the sewers and into the filth of the gutter a desperate Patrick J. Buchanan, the neo-Nazi, has crawled into the political arena using anti-Semitism as his principal device to secure a future for himself” (Adelson 1999). The columnist went on to claim that Buchanan “always was a neo-Nazi” and that he “reveals the shallow quality of his tortured, sick, defective mind.” Not to be outdone, Alan Dershowitz (1999) wrote, “Let there be no mistake about it. Pat Buchanan is a classic anti-Semite with fascist leanings who hates Israel and loves Nazi war criminals.”

The example illustrates that Jews continue to exert immense pressure, including smear tactics, to keep Jewish interests off limits in American political discussion. As with Lindbergh in an earlier generation, Buchanan’s experience is a grim reminder to politicians who dare raise the issue of Jewish interests in public debate. Buchanan became completely marginalized within the Republican Party and eventually left it for a spectacularly unsuccessful run as the Reform Party presidential candidate in 2000.

5. In a conversation with his wife on November 24, 1941, Charles Lindbergh was pessimistic about establishing a Jewish state:

C. and I get into an argument á propos of an article in the paper, a speech of a rabbi at a Jewish conference in which he said that the first thing that would have to be done at the peace table after the war was that a large indemnity would have to be paid to the Jews for their sufferings. Also speaks about having a piece of land of their own—which I am sympathetic with… [C.] says it isn’t as simple as all that. Whose land are you going to take?… He is very pessimistic of its being solved without great suffering. (A. M. Lindbergh 1980, 239)

6. The following is based on Bendersky’s (2000, 2-46) study of U.S. military officers but is representative of commonly held attitudes in the early 20th century.

7. “Reform Judaism Nears a Guide to Conversion.” New York Times, June 27, 2001.

8. Jewish pressure for altering traditional Roman Catholic attitudes on Jewish responsibility for deicide are recounted in Lacouture (1995, 440-458) and Roddy (1966). Pope John XXIII deleted the “perfidious Jews” reference from the Holy Week liturgy (Lacouture 1995, 448). He then solicited the opinions of the world’s 2,594 bishops on the Church’s relations with the Jews. Virtually all of the respondents wished to maintain the status quo. The Pope was “bitterly disappointed by the response of the episcopate” (p. 449).

Published in: on October 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

CofC’s preface (3 of 10)

“The Jewish problem is one of the greatest problems in the world, and no man, be he writer, politician or diplomatist, can be considered mature until he has striven to face it squarely on its merits.”

—Henry Wickham Steed

The Culture of Critique’s
“The evolutionary origins of European individualism”
in the Preface:

Although there is much evidence that Europeans presented a spirited defense of their cultural and ethnic hegemony in the early-to mid-20th century, their rapid decline raises the question: What cultural or ethnic characteristics of Europeans made them susceptible to the intellectual and political movements described inCofC?

The discussion in CofC focused mainly on a proposed nexus of individualism, relative lack of ethnocentrism, and concomitant moral universalism—all features that are entirely foreign to Judaism. In several places in all three of my books on Judaism I develop the view that Europeans are relatively less ethnocentric than other peoples and relatively more prone to individualism as opposed to the ethnocentric collectivist social structures historically far more characteristic of other human groups, including—relevant to this discussion—Jewish groups. I update and extend these ideas here.

The basic idea is that European groups are highly vulnerable to invasion by strongly collectivist, ethnocentric groups because individualists have less powerful defenses against such groups.

The competitive advantage of cohesive, cooperating groups is obvious and is a theme that recurs throughout my trilogy on Judaism. This scenario implies that European peoples are more prone to individualism. Individualist cultures show little emotional attachment to ingroups. Personal goals are paramount, and socialization emphasizes the importance of self-reliance, independence, individual responsibility, and “finding yourself” (Triandis 1991, 82). Individualists have more positive attitudes toward strangers and outgroup members and are more likely to behave in a pro-social, altruistic manner to strangers. People in individualist cultures are less aware of ingroup/outgroup boundaries and thus do not have highly negative attitudes toward outgroup members. They often disagree with ingroup policy, show little emotional commitment or loyalty to ingroups, and do not have a sense of common fate with other ingroup members.

Opposition to outgroups occurs in individualist societies, but the opposition is more “rational” in the sense that there is less of a tendency to suppose that all of the outgroup members are culpable. Individualists form mild attachments to many groups, while collectivists have an intense attachment and identification to a few ingroups (Triandis 1990, 61). Individualists are therefore relatively ill-prepared for between-group competition so characteristic of the history of Judaism.

Historically Judaism has been far more ethnocentric and collectivist than typical Western societies. I make this argument in Separation and Its Discontents (MacDonald 1998a; Ch. 1) and especially in A People That Shall Dwell Alone (MacDonald 1994; Ch. 8), where I suggest that over the course of their recent evolution, Europeans were less subjected to between-group natural selection than Jews and other Middle Eastern populations. This was originally proposed by Fritz Lenz (1931, 657) who suggested that, because of the harsh environment of the Ice Age, the Nordic peoples evolved in small groups and have a tendency toward social isolation rather than cohesive groups. This perspective would not imply that Northern Europeans lack collectivist mechanisms for group competition, but only that these mechanisms are relatively less elaborated and/or require a higher level of group conflict to trigger their expression.

This perspective is consistent with ecological theory. Under ecologically adverse circumstances, adaptations are directed more at coping with the adverse physical environment than at competing with other groups (Southwood 1977, 1981), and in such an environment, there would be less pressure for selection for extended kinship networks and highly collectivist groups. Evolutionary conceptualizations of ethnocentrism emphasize the utility of ethnocentrism in group competition. Ethnocentrism would thus be of no importance at all in combating the physical environment, and such an environment would not support large groups.

European groups are part of what Burton et al. (1996) term the North Eurasian and Circumpolar culture area.(9) This culture area derives from hunter-gatherers adapted to cold, ecologically adverse climates.

In such climates there is pressure for male provisioning of the family and a tendency toward monogamy because the ecology did not support either polygyny or large groups for an evolutionarily significant period. These cultures are characterized by bilateral kinship relationships which recognize both the male and female lines, suggesting a more equal contribution for each sex as would be expected under conditions of monogamy. There is also less emphasis on extended kinship relationships and marriage tends to be exogamous (i.e., outside the kinship group). As discussed below, all of these characteristics are opposite those found among Jews.

The historical evidence shows that Europeans, and especially Northwest Europeans, were relatively quick to abandon extended kinship networks and collectivist social structures when their interests were protected with the rise of strong centralized governments. There is indeed a general tendency throughout the world for a decline in extended kinship networks with the rise of central authority (Alexander 1979; Goldschmidt & Kunkel 1971; Stone 1977). But in the case of Northwest Europe this tendency quickly gave rise long before the industrial revolution to the unique Western European “simple household” type.

The simple household type is based on a single married couple and their children. It contrasts with the joint family structure typical of the rest of Eurasia in which the household consists of two or more related couples, typically brothers and their wives and other members of the extended family (Hajnal 1983). (An example of the joint household would be the families of the patriarchs described in the Old Testament; see MacDonald 1994, Ch. 3)

Before the industrial revolution, the simple household system was characterized by methods of keeping unmarried young people occupied as servants. It was not just the children of the poor and landless who became servants, but even large, successful farmers sent their children to be servants elsewhere. In the 17th and 18th centuries individuals often took in servants early in their marriage, before their own children could help out, and then passed their children to others when the children were older and there was more than enough help (Stone 1977).

This suggests a deeply ingrained cultural practice which resulted in a high level of non-kinship based reciprocity. The practice also bespeaks a relative lack of ethnocentrism because people are taking in non-relatives as household members whereas in the rest of Eurasia people tend to surround themselves with biological relatives. Simply put, genetic relatedness was less important in Europe and especially in the Nordic areas of Europe. The unique feature of the simple household system was the high percentage of non-relatives. Unlike the rest of Eurasia, the pre-industrial societies of northwestern Europe were not organized around extended kinship relationships, and it is easy to see that they are pre-adapted to the industrial revolution and modern world generally.(10)

This simple household system is a fundamental feature of individualist culture. The individualist family was able to pursue its interests freed from the obligations and constraints of extended kinship relationships and free of the suffocating collectivism of the social structures typical of so much of the rest of the world. Monogamous marriage based on individual consent and conjugal affection quickly replaced marriage based on kinship and family strategizing. (See Chs. 4 and 8 for a discussion of the greater proneness of Western Europeans to monogamy and to marriage based on companionship and affection rather than polygyny and collectivist mechanisms of social control and family strategizing.)

This relatively greater proneness to forming a simple household type may well be ethnically based. During the pre-industrial era, this household system was found only within Nordic Europe: The simple household type is based on a single married couple and their children and characterized Scandinavia (except Finland), British Isles, Low Countries, German-speaking areas, and northern France. Within France, the simple household occurred in areas inhabited by the Germanic peoples who lived northeast of “the eternal line” running from Saint Malo on the English Channel coast to Geneva in French-speaking Switzerland (Ladurie 1986).

This area developed large scale agriculture capable of feeding the growing towns and cities, and did so prior to the agricultural revolution of the 18th century. It was supported by a large array of skilled craftsmen in the towns, and a large class of medium-sized ploughmen who “owned horses, copper bowls, glass goblets and often shoes; their children had fat cheeks and broad shoulders, and their babies wore tiny shoes. None of these children had the swollen bellies of the rachitics of the Third World” (Ladurie 1986, 340). The northeast became the center of French industrialization and world trade.

The northeast also differed from the southwest in literacy rates. In the early 19th century, while literacy rates for France as a whole were approximately 50%, the rate in the northeast was close to 100%, and differences occurred at least from the 17th century. Moreover, there was a pronounced difference in stature, with the northeasterners being taller by almost 2 centimeters in an 18th century sample of military recruits. Ladurie notes that the difference in the entire population was probably larger because the army would not accept many of the shorter men from the southwest. In addition, Laslett (1983) and other family historians have noted that the trend toward the economically independent nuclear family was more prominent in the north, while there was a tendency toward joint families as one moves to the south and east.

These findings are compatible with the interpretation that ethnic differences are a contributing factor to the geographical variation in family forms within Europe. The findings suggest that the Germanic peoples had a greater biological tendency toward a suite of traits that predisposed them to individualism—including a greater tendency toward the simple household because of natural selection occurring in a prolonged resource-limited period of their evolution in the north of Europe. Similar tendencies toward exogamy, monogamy, individualism, and relative de-emphasis on the extended family were also characteristic of Roman civilization (MacDonald 1990), again suggesting an ethnic tendency that pervades Western cultures generally.

Current data indicate that around 80% of European genes are derived from people who settled in Europe 30-40,000 years ago and therefore persisted through the Ice Ages (Sykes 2001). This is sufficient time for the adverse ecology of the north to have had a powerful shaping influence on European psychological and cultural tendencies. These European groups were less attracted to extended kinship groups, so that when the context altered with the rise of powerful central governments able to guarantee individual interests, the simple household structure quickly became dominant. This simple family structure was adopted relatively easily because Europeans already had relatively powerful psychological predispositions toward the simple family resulting from its prolonged evolutionary history in the north of Europe.

Although these differences within the Western European system are important, they do not belie the general difference between Western Europe and the rest of Eurasia. Although the trend toward simple households occurred first in the northwest of Europe, they spread relatively quickly among all the Western European countries.

The establishment of the simple household freed from enmeshment in the wider kinship community was then followed in short order by all the other markers of Western modernization: limited governments in which individuals have rights against the state, capitalist economic enterprise based on individual economic rights, moral universalism, and science as individualist truth seeking. Individualist societies develop republican political institutions and institutions of scientific inquiry that assume that groups are maximally permeable and highly subject to defection when individual needs are not met.

Recent research by evolutionary economists provides fascinating insight on the differences between individualistic cultures versus collectivist cultures. An important aspect of this research is to model the evolution of cooperation among individualistic peoples.

Fehr and Gächter (2002) found that people will altruistically punish defectors in a “one-shot” game—a game in which participants only interact once and are thus not influenced by the reputations of the people with whom they are interacting. This situation therefore models an individualistic culture because participants are strangers with no kinship ties. The surprising finding was that subjects who made high levels of public goods donations tended to punish people who did not, even though they did not receive any benefit from doing so. Moreover, the punished individuals changed their ways and donated more in future games even though they knew that the participants in later rounds were not the same as in previous rounds. Fehr and Gächter suggest that people from individualistic cultures have an evolved negative emotional reaction to free riding that results in their punishing such people even at a cost to themselves—hence the term “altruistic punishment.”

Essentially Fehr and Gächter provide a model of the evolution of cooperation among individualistic peoples. Their results are most applicable to individualistic groups because such groups are not based on extended kinship relationships and are therefore much more prone to defection. In general, high levels of altruistic punishment are more likely to be found among individualistic, hunter-gather societies than in kinship based societies based on the extended family. Their results are least applicable to groups such as Jewish groups or other highly collectivist groups which in traditional societies were based on extended kinship relationships, known kinship linkages, and repeated interactions among members. In such situations, actors know the people with whom they are cooperating and anticipate future cooperation because they are enmeshed in extended kinship networks, or, as in the case of Jews, they are in the same group.

Similarly, in the ultimatum game, one subject (the “proposer”) is assigned a sum of money equal to two days’ wages and required to propose an offer to a second person (the “respondent”). The respondent may then accept the offer or reject the offer, and if the offer is rejected neither player wins anything. As in the previously described public goods game, the game is intended to model economic interactions between strangers, so players are anonymous. Henrich et al. (2001) found that two variables, payoffs to cooperation and the extent of market exchange, predicted offers and rejections in the game. Societies with an emphasis on cooperation and on market exchange had the highest offers—results interpreted as reflecting the fact that they have extensive experience of the principle of cooperation and sharing with strangers. These are individualistic societies. On the other hand, subjects from societies where all interactions are among family members made low offers in the ultimatum game and contributed low amounts to public goods in similarly anonymous conditions.

Europeans are thus exactly the sort of groups modeled by Fehr and Gächter and Henrich et al: They are groups with high levels of cooperation with strangers rather than with extended family members, and they are prone to market relations and individualism. On the other hand, Jewish culture derives from the Middle Old World culture area characterized by extended kinship networks and the extended family. Such cultures are prone to ingroup-outgroup relationships in which cooperation involves repeated interactions with ingroup members and the ingroup is composed of extended family members.

This suggests the fascinating possibility that the key for a group intending to turn Europeans against themselves is to trigger their strong tendency toward altruistic punishment by convincing them of the evil of their own people. Because Europeans are individualists at heart, they readily rise up in moral anger against their own people once they are seen as free riders and therefore morally blameworthy—a manifestation of their much stronger tendency toward altruistic punishment deriving from their evolutionary past as hunter gatherers. In making judgments of altruistic punishment, relative genetic distance is irrelevant. Free-riders are seen as strangers in a market situation; i.e., they have no familial or tribal connection with the altruistic punisher.

Thus the current altruistic punishment so characteristic of contemporary Western civilization: Once Europeans were convinced that their own people were morally bankrupt, any and all means of punishment should be used against their own people. Rather than see other Europeans as part of an encompassing ethnic and tribal community, fellow Europeans were seen as morally blameworthy and the appropriate target of altruistic punishment. For Westerners, morality is individualistic—violations of communal norms by free-riders are punished by altruistic aggression.

On the other hand, group strategies deriving from collectivist cultures, such as the Jews, are immune to such a maneuver because kinship and group ties come first. Morality is particularistic—whatever is good for the group. There is no tradition of altruistic punishment because the evolutionary history of these groups centers around cooperation of close kin, not strangers (see below).

The best strategy for a collectivist group like the Jews for destroying Europeans therefore is to convince the Europeans of their own moral bankruptcy. A major theme of CofC is that this is exactly what Jewish intellectual movements have done. They have presented Judaism as morally superior to European civilization and European civilization as morally bankrupt and the proper target of altruistic punishment. The consequence is that once Europeans are convinced of their own moral depravity, they will destroy their own people in a fit of altruistic punishment. The general dismantling of the culture of the West and eventually its demise as anything resembling an ethnic entity will occur as a result of a moral onslaught triggering a paroxysm of altruistic punishment. And thus the intense effort among Jewish intellectuals to continue the ideology of the moral superiority of Judaism and its role as undeserving historical victim while at the same time continuing the onslaught on the moral legitimacy of the West.

Individualist societies are therefore an ideal environment for Judaism as a highly collectivist, group-oriented strategy. Indeed, a major theme of Chapter 5 is that the Frankfurt School of Social Research advocated radical individualism among non-Jews while at the same time retaining their own powerful group allegiance to Judaism. Jews benefit from open, individualistic societies in which barriers to upward mobility are removed, in which people are viewed as individuals rather than as members of groups, in which intellectual discourse is not prescribed by institutions like the Catholic Church that are not dominated by Jews, and in which mechanisms of altruistic punishment may be exploited to divide the European majority. This is also why, apart from periods in which Jews served as middlemen between alien elites and native populations, Middle Eastern societies were much more efficient than Western individualistic societies at keeping Jews in a powerless position where they did not pose a competitive threat (see MacDonald 1998a, Ch. 2).

Notes [the Bibliography appears in the 10th entry]

9. Burton, M. L., Moore, C. C., Whiting, J. W. M., & Romney, A. K. (1996). Regions based on social structure.Current Anthropology, 37: 87-123.

10. Laslett (1983) further elaborates this basic difference to include four variants ranging from West, West/central or middle, Mediterranean, to East.

Published in: on October 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

CofC’s preface (4 of 10)

“The Jewish problem is one of the greatest problems in the world, and no man, be he writer, politician or diplomatist, can be considered mature until he has striven to face it squarely on its merits.”

—Henry Wickham Steed

The Culture of Critique’s
“The evolutionary origins of Jewish
collectivism and ethnocentrism”
in the Preface:

Jews originate in the Middle Old World cultural area(11) and retain several of the key cultural features of their ancestral population.

The Middle Old World culture group is characterized by extended kinship groups based on relatedness through the male line (patrilineal) rather than the bilateral relationships characteristic of Europeans. These male-dominated groups functioned as military units to protect herds, and between-group conflict is a much more important component of their evolutionary history. There is a great deal of pressure to form larger groups in order to increase military strength, and this is done partly by acquiring extra women through bridewealth.(12) (Bridewealth involves the transfer of resources in return for marriage rights to a female, as in the marriages of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob recounted in the Old Testament.)

As a result, polygyny rather than the monogamy characteristic of European culture is the norm. Another contrast is that traditional Jewish groups were basically extended families with high levels of endogamy (i.e., marriage within the kinship group) and consanguineous marriage (i.e., marriage to blood relatives), including the uncle-niece marriage sanctioned in the Old Testament. This is exactly the opposite of Western European tendencies toward exogamy. (See MacDonald 1994, Chs. 3 and 8 for a discussion of Jewish tendencies toward polygyny, endogamy, and consanguineous marriage.) Table 1 contrasts European and Jewish cultural characteristics.(13)

[The table can be seen here]

Whereas individualist cultures are biased toward separation from the wider group, individuals in collectivist societies have a strong sense of group identity and group boundaries based on genetic relatedness as a result of the greater importance of group conflict during their evolutionary history. Middle Eastern societies are characterized by anthropologists as “segmentary societies” organized into relatively impermeable, kinship-based groups (e.g., Coon 1958, 153; Eickelman 1981, 157-174). Group boundaries are often reinforced through external markers such as hair style or clothing, as Jews have often done throughout their history. Different groups settle in different areas where they retain their homogeneity alongside other homogeneous groups. Consider Carleton Coon’s (1958) description of Middle Eastern society:

There the ideal was to emphasize not the uniformity of the citizens of a country as a whole but a uniformity within each special segment, and the greatest possible contrast between segments. The members of each ethnic unit feel the need to identify themselves by some configuration of symbols. If by virtue of their history they possess some racial peculiarity, this they will enhance by special haircuts and the like; in any case they will wear distinctive garments and behave in a distinctive fashion. (Coon 1958, 153)

Between-group conflict often lurked just beneath the surface of these societies. For example, Dumont (1982, 223) describes the increase in anti-Semitism in Turkey in the late 19th century consequent to increased resource competition. In many towns, Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived in a sort of superficial harmony, and even lived in the same areas, “but the slightest spark sufficed to ignite the fuse” (p. 222).

Jews are at the extreme of this Middle Eastern tendency toward hyper-collectivism and hyper-ethnocentrism—a phenomenon that goes a long way toward explaining the chronic hostilities in the area.

I give many examples of Jewish hyper-ethnocentrism in my trilogy and have suggested in several places that Jewish hyper-ethnocentrism is biologically based (MacDonald 1994, Ch. 8; 1998a, Ch. 1). It was noted above that individualist European cultures tend to be more open to strangers than collectivist cultures such as Judaism. In this regard, it is interesting that developmental psychologists have found unusually intense fear reactions among Israeli infants in response to strangers, while the opposite pattern is found for infants from North Germany.(14) The Israeli infants were much more likely to become “inconsolably upset” in reaction to strangers, whereas the North German infants had relatively minor reactions to strangers. The Israeli babies therefore tended to have an unusual degree of stranger anxiety, while the North German babies were the opposite—findings that fit with the hypothesis that Europeans and Jews are on opposite ends of scales of xenophobia and ethnocentrism.

I provide many examples of Jewish hyper-ethnocentrism in my trilogy on Judaism. Recently, I have been much impressed with the theme of Jewish hyper-ethnocentrism in the writings of Israel Shahak, most notably his co-authored Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (Shahak & Mezvinsky 1999). In their examination of current Jewish fundamentalists and their influence in Israel, Shahak and Mezvinsky argue that present-day fundamentalists attempt to recreate the life of Jewish communities before the Enlightenment (i.e., prior to about 1750). During this period the great majority of Jews believed in Cabbala—Jewish mysticism. Influential Jewish scholars like Gershom Scholem ignored the obvious racialist, exclusivist material in the Cabbala by using words like “men”, “human beings”, and “cosmic” to suggest the Cabbala has a universalist message. The actual text says salvation is only for Jews, while non-Jews have “Satanic souls” (p. 58).

The ethnocentrism apparent in such statements was not only the norm in traditional Jewish society. It remains a powerful current of contemporary Jewish fundamentalism, with important implications for Israeli politics. For example, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, describing the difference between Jews and non-Jews:

We do not have a case of profound change in which a person is merely on a superior level. Rather we have a case of a totally different species. The body of a Jewish person is of a totally different quality from the body of [members] of all nations of the world. The difference of the inner quality [of the body] is so great that the bodies would be considered as completely different species. This is the reason why the Talmud states that there is an halachic(15) difference in attitude about the bodies of non-Jews [as opposed to the bodies of Jews]: “their bodies are in vain”. An even greater difference exists in regard to the soul. Two contrary types of soul exist, a non-Jewish soul comes from three satanic spheres, while the Jewish soul stems from holiness. (In Shahak & Mezvinsky 1999, 59-60)

This claim of Jewish uniqueness echoes Holocaust activist Elie Wiesel’s (1985, 153) claim that “everything about us is different.” Jews are “ontologically” exceptional.

The Gush Emunim and other Jewish fundamentalist sects described by Shahak and Mezvinsky are thus part of a long mainstream Jewish tradition that considers Jews and non-Jews as completely different species, with Jews absolutely superior to non-Jews and subject to a radically different moral code. Moral universalism is thus antithetical to the Jewish tradition.

Within Israel, these Jewish fundamentalist groups are not tiny fringe groups, mere relics of traditional Jewish culture. They are widely respected by the Israeli public and by many Jews in the Diaspora. They have a great deal of influence on the government, especially the Likud governments and the recent government of national unity headed by Ariel Sharon.

The members of Gush Emunim constitute a significant percentage of the elite units of the Israeli army, and, as expected on the hypothesis that they are extremely ethnocentric, they are much more willing to treat the Palestinians in a savage and brutal manner than are other Israeli soldiers. All together, the religious parties make up about 25% of the Israeli electorate (Shahak & Mezvinsky 1999, 8)—a percentage that is sure to increase because of their high fertility and because intensified troubles with the Palestinians tend to make other Israelis more sympathetic to their cause. Given the fractionated state of Israeli politics and the increasing numbers of the religious groups, it is unlikely that future governments can be formed without their participation. Peace in the Middle East therefore appears unlikely absent the complete capitulation of the Palestinians.

The point here is not so much about the fundamentalists in contemporary Israel but that traditional Jewish communities were intensely ethnocentric and collectivist—a major theme of all three of my books on Judaism. A thread throughout CofC is that Jewish intellectuals and political activists strongly identified as Jews and saw their work as furthering specific Jewish agendas. Their advocacy of intellectual and political causes, although often expressed in the language of moral universalism, was actually moral particularism in disguise.

Given that ethnocentrism continues to pervade all segments of the Jewish community, the advocacy of the de-ethnicization of Europeans—a common sentiment in the movements I discuss in CofC—is best seen as a strategic move against peoples regarded as historical enemies. In Chapter 8 of CofC, I called attention to a long list of similar double standards, especially with regard to the policies pursued by Israel versus the policies Jewish organizations have pursued in the U.S. As noted throughout CofC, Jewish advocates addressing Western audiences have promoted policies that satisfy Jewish (particularist) interests in terms of the morally universalist language that is a central feature of Western moral and intellectual discourse. These policies include church-state separation, attitudes toward multi-culturalism, and immigration policies favoring the dominant ethnic groups. This double standard is fairly pervasive.(16)

A principal theme of CofC is that Jewish organizations played a decisive role in opposing the idea that the United States ought to be a European nation. Nevertheless, these organizations have been strong supporters of Israel as a nation of the Jewish people. Consider, for example, a press release of May 28, 1999 by the ADL:

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today lauded the passage of sweeping changes in Germany’s immigration law, saying the easing of the nation’s once rigorous naturalization requirements “will provide a climate for diversity and acceptance. It is encouraging to see pluralism taking root in a society that, despite its strong democracy, had for decades maintained an unyielding policy of citizenship by blood or descent only,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “The easing of immigration requirements is especially significant in light of Germany’s history of the Holocaust and persecution of Jews and other minority groups. The new law will provide a climate for diversity and acceptance in a nation with an onerous legacy of xenophobia, where the concept of ‘us versus them’ will be replaced by a principle of citizenship for all.”(17)

There is no mention of analogous laws in place in Israel restricting immigration to Jews and the long-standing policy of rejecting the possibility of repatriation for Palestinian refugees wishing to return to Israel or the occupied territories. The prospective change in the “us versus them” attitude alleged to be characteristic of Germany is applauded, while the “us versus them” attitude characteristic of Israel and Jewish culture throughout history is unmentioned.

Recently, the Israeli Ministry of Interior ruled that new immigrants who have converted to Judaism will no longer be able to bring non-Jewish family members into the country. The decision is expected to cut by half the number of eligible immigrants to Israel.(18) Nevertheless, Jewish organizations continue to be strong proponents of multi-ethnic immigration to the United States.(19) This pervasive double standard was noticed by writer Vincent Sheean in his observations of Zionists in Palestine in 1930: “how idealism goes hand in hand with the most terrific cynicism… how they are Fascists in their own affairs, with regard to Palestine, and internationalists in everything else.”(20)

My view is that Judaism must be conceived primarily as an ethnic rather than a religious group. Recent statements by prominent Jewish figures show that an ethnic conceptualization of Judaism fits with the self-images of many Jews.

Speaking to a largely Jewish audience, Benjamin Netanyahu, prominent Likud Party member and until recently prime minister of Israel, stated, “If Israel had not come into existence after World War II then I am certain the Jewish race wouldn’t have survived… I stand before you and say you must strengthen your commitment to Israel. You must become leaders and stand up as Jews. We must be proud of our past to be confident of our future.”(21) Charles Bronfman, a main sponsor of the $210 million “Birthright Israel” project which attempts to deepen the commitment of American Jews, expresses a similar sentiment: “You can live a perfectly decent life not being Jewish, but I think you’re losing a lot—losing the kind of feeling you have when you know [that] throughout the world there are people who somehow or other have the same kind of DNA that you have.”(22) (Bronfman is co-chairman of the Seagram company and brother of Edgar Bronfman, Sr., president of the World Jewish Congress.) Such sentiments would be unthinkable coming from European-American leaders. European-Americans making such assertions of racial pride would quickly be labeled haters and extremists.

A revealing comment by AJCommittee official Stephen Steinlight (2001) illustrates the profound ethnic nationalism that has pervaded the socialization of American Jews continuing into the present:

I’ll confess it, at least: like thousands of other typical Jewish kids of my generation, I was reared as a Jewish nationalist, even a quasi-separatist. Every summer for two months for 10 formative years during my childhood and adolescence I attended Jewish summer camp. There, each morning, I saluted a foreign flag, dressed in a uniform reflecting its colors, sang a foreign national anthem, learned a foreign language, learned foreign folk songs and dances, and was taught that Israel was the true homeland. Emigration to Israel was considered the highest virtue, and, like many other Jewish teens of my generation, I spent two summers working in Israel on a collective farm while I contemplated that possibility.

More tacitly and subconsciously, I was taught the superiority of my people to the gentiles who had oppressed us. We were taught to view non-Jews as untrustworthy outsiders, people from whom sudden gusts of hatred might be anticipated, people less sensitive, intelligent, and moral than ourselves. We were also taught that the lesson of our dark history is that we could rely on no one…

It must be admitted that the essence of the process of my nationalist training was to inculcate the belief that the primary division in the world was between “us” and “them.” Of course we also saluted the American and Canadian flags and sang those anthems, usually with real feeling, but it was clear where our primary loyalty was meant to reside.(23)

Assertions of Jewish ethnicity are well-founded. Scientific studies supporting the genetic cohesiveness of Jewish groups continue to appear, most notably Hammer et al. (2000). Based on Y-chromosome data, Hammer et al. conclude that 1 in 200 matings within Jewish communities were with non-Jews over a 2000 year period. [The following sentence does not appear in the printed version of MacDonald’s book, only in the online version:] This is a link to a report discussing the article by Hammer et al., “Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences May 9, 2000.

In general, the contemporary organized Jewish community is characterized by high levels of Jewish identification and ethnocentrism. Jewish activist organizations like the ADL and the AJCommittee are not creations of the fundamentalist and Orthodox, but represent the broad Jewish community, including non-religious Jews and Reform Jews. In general, the more actively people are involved in the Jewish community, the more committed they are to preventing intermarriage and retaining Jewish ethnic cohesion. And despite a considerable level of intermarriage among less committed Jews, the leadership of the Jewish community in the U.S. is not now made up of the offspring of intermarried people to any significant extent.

Jewish ethnocentrism is ultimately simple traditional human ethnocentrism, although it is certainly among the more extreme varieties. But what is so fascinating is the cloak of intellectual support for Jewish ethnocentrism, the complexity and intellectual sophistication of the rationalizations for it—some of which are reviewed in Separation and Its Discontents (Chs. 6-8), and the rather awesome hypocrisy of it, given Jewish opposition to ethnocentrism among Europeans.

Notes [the Bibliography appears in the 10th entry]

11 . Burton, M. L., Moore, C. C., Whiting, J. W. M., & Romney, A. K. (1996). Regions based on social structure. Current Anthropology, 37: 87-123.

12 . Barfield, T. J. (1993). The Nomadic Alternative. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

13. Support for this classification comes from several places in my trilogy on Judaism and in turn depends on the work of many scholars. Besides the sources in this preface, special note should be made of the following: Evolutionary history: MacDonald 1994, Ch. 8; Marriage practices: MacDonald 1994 (Chs. 3 and 8); Marriage psychology: CofC (Chs. 4, 8); Position of women CofC (Ch. 4); Attitude toward outgroups and strangers: MacDonald 1994 (Ch. 8), MacDonald 1998a (Ch. 1); Social structure: MacDonald 1994 (Ch. 8), MacDonald 1998a (Chs. 1, 3-5), CofC (Chs. 6, 8, and passim as feature of Jewish intellectual movements); Socialization: MacDonald 1994 (Ch. 7), CofC (Ch. 5); Intellectual stance: MacDonald 1994 (Ch. 7), CofC (Ch. 6 and passim); Moral stance: MacDonald 1994 (Ch. 6), CofC (Ch. 8).

14. Grossman et al. and Sagi et al., in I. Bretherton & E. Waters (Eds.), Growing Points in Attachment Theory and Research. Monographs for the Society for Research in Child Development, 50(1-2), 233-275. Sagi et al. suggest temperamental differences in stranger anxiety may be important because of the unusual intensity of the reactions of many of the Israeli infants. The tests were often terminated because of the intense crying of the infants.

Sagi et al. find this pattern among both Kibbutz-reared and city-reared infants, although less strongly in the latter. However, the city-reared infants were subjected to somewhat different testing conditions: They were not subjected to a pre-test socialization episode with a stranger. Sagi et al. suggest that the socialization pre-test may have intensified reactions to strangers among the Kibbutz-reared babies, but they note that such pre-tests do not have this effect in samples of infants from Sweden and the U.S. This again highlights the difference between Israeli and European samples.

15 . A halachic difference refers to a distinction based on Jewish religious law.

16. The following comment illustrates well the different mindset that many strongly identified Jews have toward America versus Israel:

While walking through the streets of Jerusalem, I feel Jewish identity is first and foremost about self-determination and, by extension, the security and power that comes with having a state. I am quite comfortable in Israel with the sight of soldiers standing with machine guns and the knowledge that even a fair number of the civilians around me are probably packing heat.

The seminal event in my Zionist consciousness, despite my being born after 1967 and having serious misgivings about Israel’s control over the territories, is still the dramatic victory of a Jewish army in the Six-Day War. Put me in New York, however, and sud-denly the National Rifle Association symbolizes this country’s darkest side.

It’s as if my subconscious knows instinctively that the moment we land at JFK Airport, it becomes time to stash away those images of Israeli soldiers taking control of Jerusalem’s Old City, of Moshe Dayan standing at the Western Wall, and to replace them with the familiar photograph of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marching by the side of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (A. Eden, “Liberalism in Diaspora.” The Forward, Sept. 21, 2001)

17. ADL Hails Passage of New Immigration Law in Germany (http://www.adl.org/presrele/dirab%5F41/3396%5F41.asp).

18. Jerusalem Post, March 5, 2001.

19. See, e.g., the ADL Policy Report on the prospects of immigration legislation in the George W. Bush administration and the 107th Congress [this document has been removed from ADL page].

20. In, Boyle (2001), p. 160. As recounted by Boyle, Sheean was hired by the Zionist publication, New Palestine, in 1929 to write about the progress of Zionism in that country. He went to Palestine, and after studying the situation, returned the money the Zionists had paid him.

He then wrote a book (Personal History; New York: Literary Guild Country Life Press, 1935)—long out of print—describing his negative impressions of the Zionists. He noted, for example, “how they never can or will admit that anybody who disagrees with them is honest” (p. 160). This comment reflects the authoritarian exclusion of dissenters noted as a characteristic of Jewish intellectual and political movements in CofC (Ch. 6). His book was a commercial failure and he passed quietly into oblivion.

The subject of Boyle’s book, George Antonius, was a Greek Orthodox Arab from what is today Lebanon. His book, The Arab Awakening (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1938) presented the Arab case in the Palestinian-Zionist dispute. The appendices to his book include the Hussein-McMahon correspondence of October 24, 1915, between Sharif Hussein (who authorized the Arab revolt against the Turks) and Henry McMahon, British High Commissioner in Egypt.

The correspondence shows that the Arabs were promised independence in the whole area (including Palestine) after the war. Also in the appendices are the Hogarth Memorandum of January 1918 and the Declaration to the Seven of June 16, 1918, both of which were meant to reassure the Arabs that England would honor its earlier promises to them when the Arabs expressed concern after the Balfour Declaration. Britain kept these documents classified until Antonius published them in The Arab Awakening. Antonius was pushed out of the Palestine Mandate Administration by British Zionists and died broken and impoverished.

21. Daily Pilot, Newport Beach/ Costa Mesa, California, Feb. 28, 2000,

22 . “Project Reminds Young Jews of Heritage.” Washington Post, Jan. 17, 2000, p. A19.

23. Steinlight tempers these remarks by noting the Jewish commitment to moral universalism, including the attraction to Marxism so characteristic of Jews during most of the 20th century. However, as indicated in Chapter 3, Jewish commitment to leftist universalism was always conditioned on whether leftist universalism conformed to perceived Jewish interests, and in fact Jewish leftist universalism has often functioned as little more than a weapon against the traditional bonds of cohesiveness of Western societies.

Published in: on October 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

CofC’s preface (5 of 10)

“The Jewish problem is one of the greatest problems in the world, and no man, be he writer, politician or diplomatist, can be considered mature until he has striven to face it squarely on its merits.”

—Henry Wickham Steed

The Culture of Critique’s
“Jewish Involvement in Communism
and the Radical Left”
in the Preface:

“Beat them, Red Fighters, clobber them to death, if it is the last thing you do! Right away! This minute! Now!… Slaughter them, Red Army Fighters, Stamp harder on the rising lids of their rancid coffins!” (Isaac Babel, described by Cynthia Ozick [2001, 3] as “an acutely conscious Jew,” propagandizing for the Bolshevik Revolution; in Ozick 2001, 4).

Another recent development related to the issues raised in CofC was the publication of The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (Courtois et al. 1999). Reading this book has caused me to expand on some of the ideas in Chapter 3 of CofC. I didn’t emphasize enough the truly horrific nature of the Soviet regime, nor did I place sufficient emphasis on the consequences of Jewish involvement in the rise and maintenance of Communism.

The Soviet government killed over 20 million of its own citizens, the vast majority in the first 25 years of its existence during the height of Jewish power. It was a “state against its people” (Werth 1999), mounting murderous campaigns of collective punishment (usually involving deportation or forced starvation) against a great many ethnic groups, including Great Russian peasants, Ukrainians, Cossacks, Chechens, Crimean Tatars, Volga Germans, Moldavians, Kalmyks, Karachai, Balkars, Ingush, Greeks, Bulgars, Crimean Armenians, Meskhetian Turks, Kurds, and Khemshins as groups (Courtois 1999, 10; Werth 1999, 219ff). Although individual Jews were caught up in the Bolshevik violence, Jews were not targeted as a group.(24)

In CofC (Ch. 3), I noted that Jews were prominently involved in the Bolshevik Revolution and formed an elite group in the Soviet Union well into the post-World War II-era. [Since publication of this preface, Yuri Slezkine’sbook, The Jewish Century (Princeton University Press, 2004) provides a great deal of information showing that Jews were a hostile elite in the USSR.] It is interesting that many of the non-Jewish Bolsheviks were members of non-Russian ethnic groups or, as noted in CofC, were married to Jewish women. It was a common perception during the early stages of the Soviet Union that the government was dominated by “a small knot of foreigners” (Szajkowski 1977, 55). Stalin, Beria, and Ordzhonikidze were Georgians; Dzerzhinsky, the ruthless head of the Checka (Secret Police) during the 1920s, was a Pole with strong pro-Jewish attitudes. The original Cheka was made up largely of non-Russians, and the Russians in the Cheka tended to be sadistic psychopaths and criminals (Werth 1999, 62; Wolin & Slusser 1957, 6)—people who are unlikely to have any allegiance to or identification with their people.

The Bolshevik revolution therefore had a pronounced ethnic angle: To a very great extent, Jews and other non-Russians ruled over the Russian people, with disastrous consequences for the Russians and other ethnic groups that were not able to become part of the power structure. For example, when Stalin decided to deport the Chechens, he placed an Ossetian—a group from which he himself was partly derived and an historic enemy of the Chechens—in charge of the deportation. Ossetians and Georgians, Stalin’s own ancestral groups, were allowed to expand at the expense of other ethnic groups.

While Stalin favored the Georgians, Jews had their own ethnic scores to settle. It seems likely that at least some of the Bolshevik mass murder and terror was motivated by revenge against peoples that had historically been anti-Jewish. Several historians have suggested that Jews joined the security forces in such large numbers in order to get revenge for their treatment under the Czars (Rapoport 1990, 31; Baron 1975, 170). For example, the Cossacks served the Czar as a military police force, and they used their power against Jewish communities during the conflicts between the government and the Jews. After the Revolution, the Cossacks were deported to Siberia for refusing to join the collective farms. During the 1930s, the person in charge of the deportations was an ethnic Jew, Lazar Kaganovich, nicknamed the “wolf of the Kremlin” because of his penchant for violence. In his drive against the peasants, Kaganovich took “an almost perverse joy in being able to dictate to the Cossacks. He recalled too vividly what he and his family had experienced at the hands of these people… Now they would all pay—men, women, children. It didn’t matter who. They became one and the same. That was the key to [Kaganovich’s] being. He would never forgive and he would never forget” (Kahan 1987, 164). Similarly, Jews were placed in charge of security in the Ukraine, which had a long history of anti-Semitism (Lindemann 1997, 443) and became a scene of mass murder in the 1930s.

In CofC (Ch. 3), I noted that Jews were very prominently involved in the Soviet secret police and that they played similar roles in Communist Poland and Hungary. In addition to many lower ranking security personnel, prominent Jews included Matvei Berman and Naftali Frenkel, who developed the slave labor system which resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. (The construction of a canal between the Baltic and the White Sea claimed many thousands of lives. The six overseers of the project were Jews: Firin, Berman, Frenkel, Kogan, Rappoport, Zhuk.) Other Jews who were prominent in carrying out the Red Terror included Genrik Yagoda (head of the secret police), Aron Soltz, Lev Inzhir (chief accountant of the Gulag Archipelago), M. I. Gay (head of a special secret police department), A. A. Slutsky and his deputy Boris Berman (in charge of terror abroad), K. V. Pauker (secret police Chief of Operations), and Lazar Kaganovich (most powerful government official behind Stalin during the 1930s and prominently involved in the mass murders that took place during that period) (Rapoport 1990, 44-50). In general, Jews were not only prominent in the leadership of the Bolsheviks, but they “abounded at the lower levels of the party machinery—especially, in the Cheka, and its successors the GPU, the OGPU and the NKVD” (Schapiro 1961, 165). The special role of Jews in the Bolshevik government was not lost on Russians: “For the most prominent and colourful figure after Lenin was Trotsky, in Petrograd the dominant and hated figure was Zinoviev, while anyone who had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Cheka stood a very good chance of finding himself confronted with, and possibly shot by, a Jewish investigator” (Schapiro 1961, 165). Beginning in 1917 it was common for Russians to associate Jews with the revolution (Werth 1999, 86). Even after the German invasion in 1941, it was common for many Russians to hope for German victory to rid the country of “Jews and Bolsheviks”—until the brutality of the invaders became apparent (Werth 1999, 215).

The discussion of Jewish power in the Soviet Union in CofC notes that in stark contrast to the campaigns of mass murder against other peoples, Stalin’s efforts against a relative handful of high-ranking Jewish Communists during the purges of the 1930s were very cautious and involved a great deal of deception intended to downplay the Jewish identity of the victims. Jewish power during this period is also indicated by the fact that the Soviet government established a Jewish autonomous region (Birobidzhan) in 1934, at least partly to curry favor with foreign Jewish organizations (Gitelman 1988). During the 1920s and throughout the 1930s the Soviet Union accepted aid for Soviet Jews from foreign Jewish organizations, especially the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee which was funded by wealthy American Jews (Warburg, Schiff, Kuhn, Loeb, Lehman, Marshall).

Another revealing incident occurred when Stalin ordered the murder of two Polish-Jewish leaders of the international socialist movement, Henryk Ehrlich and Victor Alter. These murders created an international incident, and there were protests by leftists around the world (Rapoport 1990, 68). The furor did not die down until the Soviets established a Jewish organization, the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (JAC), dedicated to winning the favor of American Jews. American Jewish leaders, such as Nahum Goldmann of the World Jewish Congress and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise of the American Jewish Congress (AJCongress), helped quell the uproar over the incident and shore up positive views of the Soviet Union among American Jews. They, along with a wide range of American Jewish radicals, warmly greeted JAC representatives in New York during World War II.

A map of the Gulag “archipelago”

Again, the contrast is striking. The Soviet government killed millions of Ukrainian and Russian peasants during the 1920s and 1930s, executed hundreds of thousands of people who were purged from their positions in the party and throughout the economy, imprisoned hundreds of thousands of people in appalling conditions that produced incredibly high mortality and without any meaningful due process, drafted hundreds of thousands of people into forced labor with enormous loss of life, and ordered the collective punishment and deportation of Cossacks and other ethnic groups, resulting in mass murder of these groups. At the same time, actions against a handful of Jewish Communists were taken cautiously and performed with reassurances that the government still had very positive views of Jews and Judaism.

A major theme of Chapter 3 of CofC is that in general Jewish leftists, including supporters of Bolshevism, continued to identify as Jews and that Jewish support for these causes waxed or waned depending on their congruence with specific Jewish issues. However, I should have emphasized more just how much specifically Jewish issues mattered, that indeed Jewish involvement with Bolshevism is perhaps the most egregious example of Jewish moral particularism in all of history.

The horrific consequences of Bolshevism for millions of non-Jewish Soviet citizens do not seem to have been an issue for Jewish leftists—a pattern that continues into the present. In CofC, I noted that Ilya Ehrenberg’s silence about Soviet brutalities involving the murder of millions of its citizens during the 1930s may have been motivated largely by his view that the Soviet Union was a bulwark against fascism (Rubenstein 1996, 143-145). This moral blindspot was quite common. During the 1930s, when millions of Soviet citizens were being murdered by the Soviet government, the Communist Party USA took great pains to appeal to specific Jewish interests, including opposing anti-Semitism, supporting Zionism, and advocating the importance of maintaining Jewish cultural traditions. During this period, “the American radical movement glorified the development of Jewish life in the Soviet Union… The Soviet Union was living proof that under socialism the Jewish question could be solved” (Kann 1981, 152-153). Communism was perceived as “good for Jews.” Radical Jews—a substantial percentage of the entire Jewish community at that time—saw the world through Jewish lenses.

A fascinating example of an American Jewish radical who extolled the virtues of the Soviet Union is Joe Rapoport (Kann 1981, 20-42, 109-125)—mentioned briefly in CofC, but his example bears a deeper examination. Rapoport joined a Jewish detachment of the Red Army that was fighting the Ukrainian nationalists in the civil war that followed the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. Like many other Jews, he chose the Red Army because it opposed the anti-Jewish actions of the Ukrainian nationalists. Like the vast majority of Russian Jews, he greeted the revolution because it improved the lives of the Jews.

After emigrating to the U.S., Rapoport visited the Ukraine in November of 1934, less then one year after the famine created by Soviet government actions that killed 4 million Ukrainian peasants (Werth 1999, 159ff ). The peasants had resisted being forced to join collective farms and were aided by local Ukrainian authorities. The response of the central government was to arrest farmers and confiscate all grain, including reserves to be used for next year’s harvest. Since they had no food, the peasants attempted to leave for the cities but were prevented from doing so by the government. The peasants starved by the millions. Parents abandoned starving children before starving themselves; cannibalism was rampant; remaining workers were tortured to force them to hand over any remaining food. Methods of torture included the “cold” method where the victim was stripped bare and left out in the cold, stark naked. Sometimes whole brigades of collective workers were treated in this fashion. In the “hot” method, the feet and the bottom of the skirt of female workers were doused with gasoline and then set alight. The flames were put out, and the process was repeated (Werth 1999, 166). During the period when the famine claimed a total of 6 million lives throughout the country, the government exported eighteen million hundredweight of grain in order to obtain money for industrialization.

These horrors are unmentioned by Rapoport in his account of his 1934 visit. Instead, he paints a very positive portrait of life in the Ukraine under the Soviets. Life is good for the Jews. He is pleased that Yiddish culture is accepted not only by Jews but by non-Jews as well, a clear indication of the privileged status of Judaism in the Soviet Union during this period. (For example, he recounts an incident in which a Ukrainian worker read a story in Yiddish to the other workers, Jews and non-Jews alike.) Young Jews were taking advantage of new opportunities not only in Yiddish culture but “in the economy, in the government, in participation in the general life of the country” (Kann 1981, 120). Older Jews complained that the government was anti-religious, and young Jews complained that Leon Trotsky, “the national pride of the Jewish people,” had been removed. But the message to American radicals was upbeat: “It was sufficient to learn that the Jewish young people were in higher positions and embraced the Soviet system” (Kann 1981, 122). Rapoport sees the world through Jewish-only eyes. The massive suffering in which a total of nearly 20 million Soviet citizens had already died because of government actions is irrelevant. When he looks back on his life as an American Jewish radical, his only ambivalence and regrets are about supporting Soviet actions he saw as not in the Jewish interest, such as the non-aggression pact with Germany and failure to consistently support Israel.

Rapoport was thus an exemplar of the many defenders of Communism in the U.S. media and intellectual circles (see below and Ch. 3). A prominent example of malfeasance by the media was the New York Times, owned by a Jewish family and much on the mind of those concerned about Jewish media influence (see above). During the 1930s, while it was highlighting German persecution of Jews and pushing for intervention into World War II against Germany, the Times whitewashed the horrors of Soviet rule, including the Ukrainian famine, even though the story was covered extensively by the Hearst newspapers and even though the leadership of the Times had been informed on numerous occasions that its correspondent was painting a false picture of Stalin’s actions.(25)

Peter Novick’s recent book, The Holocaust in American Life (Novick 1999), contributes to scholarship on the involvement of Jews in the radical left during the 20th century. He shows that Jewish organizations in the U.S. were well aware of Jewish involvement in Communism, but they argued that only a minority of Jews were involved and downplayed the fact that a majority of Communists were Jews, that an even greater majority of Communist leaders were Jews, that the great majority of those called up by the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1940s and 1950s were Jews, and that most of those prosecuted for spying for the Soviet Union were Jews (see also Chapter 3 of CofC and MacDonald 1998a, 200-201).

Indeed, the proposal that leftist radicalism represented a minority of the American Jewish community is far from obvious. In fact, the immigrant Jewish community in the U.S. from 1886 to 1920 can best be described as “one big radical debating society” (Cohn 1958, 621). Long after this period, leftist sympathies were widespread in the AJCongress—by far the largest organization of American Jews, and Communist-oriented groupswere affiliated with the AJCongress until being reluctantly purged during the McCarthy era (Svonkin 1997, 132, 166). Recently no less a figure than Representative Samuel Dickstein, discussed in Chapter 7 as a strong Congressional proponent of immigration and certainly a prominent and mainstream figure in the Jewish community, was revealed as a Soviet spy. Dickstein was motivated at least partly by his sympathy with Soviet anti-fascism (Weinstein & Vassiliev 1999, 140-150).

Novick notes that Jewish organizations made sure that Hollywood movies did not show any Communist characters with Jewish names. Newspapers and magazines such as Time and Life, which were at that time controlled by non-Jews, agreed not to publish letters on the Jewishness of American Communists at the behest of a staff member of the AJCommittee (Novick 1999, 95).

Novick also notes that Jewish Communists often used the Holocaust as a rhetorical device at a time when mainstream Jewish organizations were trying to keep a low profile. This fits well with the material in CofC indicating a strong Jewish identification among the vast majority of Jewish Communists. Invocations of the Holocaust “became the dominant argument, at least in Jewish circles, for opposition to Cold War mobilization” (Novick 1999, 93). Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, convicted of spying for the Soviet Union, often invoked the Holocaust in rationalizing their actions. Julius testified that the USSR “contributed a major share in destroying the Hitler beast who killed 6,000,000 of my co-religionists” (p. 94). Public demonstrations of support for the Rosenbergs often invoked the Holocaust.

Although Bendersky (2000) presents an apologetic account in which Jewish involvement in radical leftism is seen as nothing more than the paranoia of racist military officers, he shows that U.S. military intelligence had confirmation of the linkage from multiple independent sources, including information on financial support of revolutionary activity provided by wealthy Jews like Jacob Schiff and the Warburg family. These sources included not only its own agents, but also the British government and the U.S. State Department Division of Russian Affairs. These sources asserted that Jews dominated the Bolshevik governments of the Soviet Union and Hungary and that Jews in other countries were sympathetic to Bolshevism. Similarly, Szajkowski (1977) shows that the view that Jews dominated the Bolshevik government was very widespread among Russians and foreigners in the Soviet Union, including American and British military and diplomatic personnel and administrators of relief agencies. He also shows that sympathy for the Bolshevik government was the norm within the Eastern European immigrant Jewish community in the U.S. in the period from 1918-1920, but that the older German-Jewish establishment (whose numbers were dwarfed by the more recent immigrants from Eastern Europe) opposed Bolshevism during this period.

While the Jewish Holocaust has become a moral touchstone and premier cultural icon in Western societies, the Jewish blind spot about the horrors of Bolshevism continues into the present time. Jewish media figures who were blacklisted because of Communist affiliations in the 1940s are now heroes, honored by the film industry, praised in newspapers, their work exhibited in museums.(26) For example, an event commemorating the blacklist was held at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in October 1997. Organized by the four guilds—the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), Directors Guild of America (DGA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and Writers Guild of America, west (WGAw), the event honored the lives and careers of the blacklisted writers and condemned the guilds’ lack of response fifty years earlier. At the same time, the Writers Guild of America has been restoring dozens of credits to movies written by screenwriters who wrote under pseudonyms or used fronts while blacklisted. Movies on the topic paint a picture of innocent Jewish idealists hounded by a ruthless, oppressive government, and critics like Bernheimer (1998, 163-166) clearly approve this assessment. In the same vein, the 1983 movie Daniel, based on a novel by E. L. Doctorow and directed by Sydney Lumet, portrayed the conviction of the Rosenbergs as “a matter of political expediency. The persecution is presented as a nightmarish vision of Jewish victimization, senseless and brutal” (Bernheimer 1998, 178).

A nostalgic and exculpatory attitude toward the Jewish Old Left is apparent in recent accounts of the children of “red diaper babies,” including those who have come to reject their leftist commitments. For example, Ronald Radosh’s (2001a) Commies describes the all-encompassing world of Jewish radicalism of his youth. His father belonged to a classic Communist Party front organization called the Trade Union Unity League. Radosh was a dutiful son, throwing himself fervently into every cause that bore the party’s stamp of approval, attending a party-inspired summer camp and a New York City red-diaper high school (known as “the Little Red Schoolhouse for little Reds”), and participating in youth festivals modeled on Soviet extravaganzas. It says a lot about the Jewish milieu of the Party that a common joke was: “What Jewish holidays do you celebrate?” “Paul Robeson’s birthday and May Day.” Radosh only questioned the leftist faith when he was rejected and blackballed by his leftist comrades for publishing a book that established the guilt of Julius Rosenberg. Radosh shows that academic departments of history remain a bastion of apologia for the far left. Many academic historians shunned Radosh because of his findings, including Eric Foner, another Red Diaper Baby, who was a president of the American Historical Association. Radosh writes of the “reflexive hatred of the American system” that pervades the left. It was indeed a “reflexive hatred”—a hatred that, as discussed in CofC, was due far more to their strong Jewish identifications than to anything objectively wrong with American society. Nevertheless, despite his reservations about the leftism of his past, he presents the motivations of Jewish communists as idealistic even as they provided “the ideological arguments meant to rationalize Soviet crimes and gain the support by Americans for Soviet foreign policy” (Radosh 2001b).

Despite the massive evidence for a very large Jewish involvement in these movements, there are no apologies from Jewish organizations and very few mea culpas from Jewish intellectuals. If anything, the opposite is true, given the idealization of blacklisted writers and the continuing tendency to portray U.S. Communists as idealists who were crushed by repressive McCarthyism. Because many Communist societies eventually developed anti-Jewish movements, Jewish organizations portray Jews as victims of Communism, not as critical to its rise to power, as deeply involved in the murderous reign of terror unleashed by these regimes, and as apologists for the Soviet Union in the West.

Forgotten in this history are the millions of deaths, the forced labor, the quieting of all dissent that occurred during the height of Jewish power in the Soviet Union. Remembered are the anti-Jewish trends of late Communism.

The 20th century in Europe and the Western world, like the 15th century in Spain, was a Jewish century because Jews and Jewish organizations were intimately and decisively involved in all of the important events. If I am correct in asserting that Jewish participation was a necessary condition for the Bolshevik Revolution and its murderous aftermath, one could also argue that Jews thereby had a massive influence on later events. The following is an “alternative history”; i.e., a history of what might have happened if certain events had not happened. For example, alternative historian Niall Ferguson’s The Pity of War makes a plausible case that if England had not entered World War I, Germany would have defeated France and Russia and would have become the dominant power in Europe. The Czar’s government may well have collapsed, but the changes would have led to a constitutional government instead of the Bolshevik regime. Hitler would not have come to power because Germans would have already achieved their national aspirations. World War II would not have happened, and there would have been no Cold War.

But of course these things did happen. In the same way, one can then also ask what might have happened in the absence of Jewish involvement in the Bolshevik Revolution. The argument would go as follows:

(1) Given that World War I did occur and that the Czar’s government was drastically weakened, it seems reasonable that there would have been major changes in Russia. However, without Jewish involvement, the changes in Russia would have resulted in a constitutional monarchy, a representative republic, or even a nationalist military junta that enjoyed broad popular support among the Great Russian majority instead of a dictatorship dominated by ethnic outsiders, especially Jews and “jewified non-Jews,” to use Lindemann’s (1997) term. It would not have been an explicitly Marxist revolution, and therefore it would not have had a blueprint for a society that sanctioned war against its own people and their traditional culture. The ideology of the Bolshevik revolution sanctioned the elimination of whole classes of people, and indeed mass murder has been a characteristic of communism wherever it has come to power (Courtois et al. 1999). These massacres were made all the easier because the Revolution was led by ethnic outsiders with little or no sympathy for the Russians or other peoples who suffered the most.

(2) Conservatives throughout Europe and the United States believed that Jews were responsible for Communism and the Bolshevik Revolution (Bendersky 2000; Mayer 1988; Nolte 1965; Szajkowski 1974). The Jewish role in leftist political movements was a common source of anti-Jewish attitudes, not only among the National Socialists in Germany, but among a great many non-Jewish intellectuals and political figures. Indeed, in the years following World War I, British, French, and U.S. political leaders, including Woodrow Wilson, David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill and Lord Balfour, believed in Jewish responsibility, and such attitudes were common in the military and diplomatic establishments in these countries (e.g., Szajkowski 1974, 166ff; see also above and Ch. 3). For example, writing in 1920, Winston Churchill typified the perception that Jews were behind what he termed a “world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization.” The role of Jews in the Bolshevik Revolution “is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others.” Churchill noted the predominance of Jews among Bolshevik leaders (Trotsky, Zinoviev, Litvinoff, Krassin, Radek) and among those responsible for “the system of [state] terrorism.” Churchill also noted that Jews were prominent in revolutionary movements in Hungary, in Germany, and in the United States. The identification of Jews with revolutionary radicalism became a major concern of the military and political leaders throughout Western Europe and the United States (Bendersky 2000; Szajkowski 1974). Moreover, as noted above, the deep involvement of Jews in Bolshevism was privately acknowledged within Jewish activist organizations. Lucien Wolf, a fixture in the Anglo-Jewish establishment, noted that, “I know the political history of the Jews in Europe and the part played by Jews in Bolshevism much too well not to realise the danger that we run in pretending that they always did hold aloof from revolution. There would have been no progress in Europe without revolution and I have often written and lectured—and I shall do so again—in praise of the Jews who have helped the good work” (in Szajkowski 1974, 172).

(3) In Germany, the identification of Jews and Bolshevism was common in the middle classes and was a critical part of the National Socialist view of the world. For middle-class Germans, “the experience of the Bolshevik revolution in Germany was so immediate, so close to home, and so disquieting, and statistics seemed to prove the overwhelming participation of Jewish ringleaders so irrefutably,” that even many liberals believed in Jewish responsibility (Nolte 1965, 331). Hitler was also well aware of the predominance of Jews in the short-lived revolutions in Hungary and in the German province of Bavaria in 1919. He had experienced the Jewish involvement in the Bavarian revolution personally, and this may well have been a decisive moment in the development of his anti-Jewish ideas (Lindemann 2000, 90).

Jewish involvement in the horrors of Communism was therefore an important ingredient in Hitler’s desire to destroy the USSR and in the anti-Jewish actions of the German National Socialist government. Ernst Nolte and several other historians have argued that the Jewish role in the Bolshevik Revolution was an important cause of the Holocaust. Hitler and the National Socialists certainly believed that Jews were critical to the success of the Bolshevik Revolution. They compared the Soviet Union to a man with a Slavic body and a Jewish-Bolshevik brain (Nolte 1965, 357-358). They attributed the mass murders of Communism—“the most radical form of Jewish genocide ever known”—to the Jewish-Bolshevik brain (Nolte 1965, 393). The National Socialists were well aware that the Soviet government committed mass murder against its enemies and believed that it was intent on promoting a world revolution in which many more millions of people would be murdered. As early as 1918 a prominent Jewish Bolshevik, Grigory Zinoviev, spoke publicly about the need to eliminate ten million Russians—an underestimate by half, as it turned out.

Seizing upon this background, Hitler wrote:

Now begins the last great revolution. By wrestling political power for himself, the Jew casts off the few remaining shreds of disguise he still wears. The democratic plebeian Jew turns into the blood Jew and the tyrant of peoples. In a few years he will try to exterminate the national pillars of intelligence and, by robbing the peoples of their natural spiritual leadership, will make them ripe for the slavish lot of a permanent subjugation. The most terrible example of this is Russia. (In Nolte 1965, 406)

This line of reasoning does not imply that there were no other critical factors. If World War I had not occurred and if the Czar hadn’t entered that war, then the Czar could have stayed in power much longer. Russia might have been transformed gradually into a modern Western state rather than be subjected to the horrors of Communism. In the same way, Hitler may not have come to power if there had been no Great Depression or if Germany had won World War I. Such events also would have altered things enormously.

The victory over National Socialism then set the stage for the tremendous increase in Jewish power in the post-World War II Western world. This new-found power facilitated the establishment of Israel, the transformation of the United States and other Western nations in the direction of multi-racial, multi-cultural societies via large-scale non-white immigration, and the consequent decline in European demographic and cultural pre-eminence. The critical details of these and other consequences of Jewish rise to international elite status and power are described in CofC.

Notes [the Bibliography appears in the 10th entry]

24. In the early 1950s Stalin appears to have planned to deport Jews to a Jewish area in Western Siberia, but he died before this project was begun. During their occupation of Poland in 1940, the Soviets deported Jews who were refugees from Nazi-occupied Western Poland. However, this action was not anti-Jewish as such because it did not involve either Jews from the Soviet Union or from Eastern Poland. This deportation is more likely to have resulted from Stalin’s fear of anyone or any group exposed to Western influence.

25. Taylor, S. J. (1990). Stalin’s Apologist, Walter Duranty: The New York Times’s Man in Moscow. New York: Oxford University Press; R. Radosh (2000). From Walter Duranty to Victor Navasky: The New York Times’ Love Affair with Communism. FrontPageMagazine.com, October 26; W. L. Anderson (2001), The New York Times Missed the Wrong Missed Story, November 17, 2001. Radosh’s article shows that the Times’ sympathy with communism continues into the present. The Times has never renounced the Pulitzer Prize given to Walter Duranty for his coverage of Stalin’s Five-Year Plan.

26. Hamilton, D. (2000). “Keeper of the Flame: A Blacklist Survivor.” Los Angeles Times, October 3.

Published in: on October 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

CofC’s preface (6 of 10)

“The Jewish problem is one of the greatest problems in the world, and no man, be he writer, politician or diplomatist, can be considered mature until he has striven to face it squarely on its merits.”

—Henry Wickham Steed

The Culture of Critique’s
“From the Culture of Critique
to the Culture of The Holocaust”
in the Preface:

While CofC describes the “culture of critique” dominated by Jewish intellectual and political movements, perhaps insufficient attention was given to the critical elements of the new culture that has replaced the traditional European cultural forms that dominated a century ago.

Central to the new culture is the elevation of Jewish experiences of suffering during World War II, collectively referred to as “the Holocaust”, to the level of the pivotal historico-cultural icon in Western societies. Since the publication of CofC, two books have appeared on the political and cultural functions of the Holocaust in contemporary life—Peter Novick’s The Holocaust in American Life, and Norman Finkelstein’s The Holocaust Industry. Novick’s book, the more scholarly of the two, notes that the Holocaust has assumed a preeminent status as a symbol of the consequences of ethnic conflict. He argues that the importance of the Holocaust is not a spontaneous phenomenon but stems from highly focused, well-funded efforts of Jewish organizations and individual Jews with access to the major media:

We are not just “the people of the book,” but the people of the Hollywood film and the television miniseries, of the magazine article and the newspaper column, of the comic book and the academic symposium. When a high level of concern with the Holocaust became widespread in American Jewry, it was, given the important role that Jews play in American media and opinion-making elites, not only natural, but virtually inevitable that it would spread throughout the culture at large. (Novick 1999, 12)

The Holocaust was originally promoted to rally support for Israel following the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars: “Jewish organizations [portrayed] Israel’s difficulties as stemming from the world’s having forgotten the Holocaust. The Holocaust framework allowed one to put aside as irrelevant any legitimate ground for criticizing Israel, to avoid even considering the possibility that the rights and wrongs were complex” (Novick 1999, 155).

As the threat to Israel subsided, the Holocaust was promoted as the main source of Jewish identity and in the effort to combat assimilation and intermarriage among Jews. During this period, the Holocaust was also promoted among non-Jews as an antidote to anti-Semitism. In recent years this has involved a large scale educational effort (including mandated courses in the public schools of several states) spearheaded by Jewish organizations and staffed by thousands of Holocaust professionals aimed at conveying the lesson that “tolerance and diversity [are] good; hate [is] bad, the overall rubric [being] ‘man’s inhumanity to man’” (pp. 258-259). The Holocaust has thus become an instrument of Jewish ethnic interests not only as a symbol intended to create moral revulsion at violence directed at minority ethnic groups—prototypically the Jews, but also as an instrument to silence opponents of high levels of multi-ethnic immigration into Western societies. As described in CofC, promoting high levels of multi-ethnic immigration has been a goal of Jewish groups since the late 19th century.

Jewish Holocaust activists insisted on the “incomprehensibility and inexplicability of the Holocaust” (Novick 1999, 178)—an attempt to remove all rational discussion of its causes and to prevent comparisons to numerous other examples of ethnic violence. “Even many observant Jews are often willing to discuss the founding myths of Judaism naturalistically—subject them to rational, scholarly analysis. But they’re unwilling to adopt this mode of thought when it comes to the ‘inexplicable mystery’ of the Holocaust, where rational analysis is seen as inappropriate or sacrilegious” (p. 200). Holocaust activist Elie Wiesel “sees the Holocaust as ‘equal to the revelation at Sinai’ in its religious significance; attempts to ‘desanctify’ or ‘demystify’ the Holocaust are, he says, a subtle form of anti-Semitism” (p. 201).

Because the Holocaust is regarded as a unique, unknowable event, Jewish organizations and Israeli diplomats cooperated to block the U.S. Congress from commemorating the Armenian genocide. “Since Jews recognized the Holocaust’s uniqueness—that it was ‘incomparable,’ beyond any analogy—they had no occasion to compete with others; there could be no contest over the incontestable” (p. 195). Abe Foxman, head of the ADL, noted that the Holocaust is “not simply one example of genocide but a near successful attempt on the life of God’s chosen children and, thus, on God himself” (p. 199)—a comment that illustrates well the intimate connection between Holocaust promotion and the more extreme forms of Jewish ethnocentrism at the highest levels of the organized Jewish community.

A result was that American Jews were able to define themselves “as the quintessential victim” (Novick 1999, 194). As an expression of this tendency, Holocaust activist Simon Wiesenthal compiled a calendar showing when, where and by whom Jews were persecuted on every day of the year. Holocaust consciousness was the ultimate expression of a victim mentality. The Holocaust came to symbolize the natural and inevitable terminus of anti-Semitism. “There is no such thing as overreaction to an anti-Semitic incident, no such thing as exaggerating the omnipresent danger. Anyone who scoffed at the idea that there were dangerous portents in American society hadn’t learned ‘the lesson of the Holocaust’” (p. 178).

While Jews are portrayed as the quintessential victim in Holocaust iconography, the vast majority of non-Jews are portrayed as potential or actual anti-Semites. “Righteous Gentiles” are acknowledged, but the criteria are strict. They must have risked their lives, and often the lives of the members of their families as well, to save a Jew. “Righteous Gentiles” must display “self-sacrificing heroism of the highest and rarest order” (Novick 1999, 180). Such people are extremely rare, and any Jew who discusses “Righteous Gentiles” for any other reason comes under heavy criticism. The point is to shore up the fortress mentality of Jews, “promoting a wary suspicion of gentiles” (p. 180). A prominent Jewish feminist exemplifies this attitude: “Every conscious Jew longs to ask her or his non-Jewish friends, ‘would you hide me?’ and suppresses the question for fear of hearing the sounds of silence” (p. 181).

Consciousness of the Holocaust is very high among Jews. A 1998 survey found that “remembrance of the Holocaust” was listed as “extremely important” or “very important” to Jewish identity—far more often than anything else, such as synagogue attendance and travel to Israel. Indeed, Jewish identity is far more important than American identity for many American Jews: “In recent years it has become not just permissible but in some circles laudable for American Jews to assert the primacy of Jewish over American loyalty” (Novick 1999, 34). (See, e.g., the comments by AJCommittee official Stephen Steinlight above.)

However, consciousness of the Holocaust is not confined to Jews but has become institutionalized as an American cultural icon. Besides the many Holocaust memorial museums that dot the country and the mushrooming of mandated courses about the Holocaust in public schools, a growing number of colleges and universities now have endowed chairs in Holocaust Studies. “Considering all the Holocaust institutions of one kind or another in the United States, there are by now thousands of full-time Holocaust professionals dedicated to keeping its memory alive” (Novick 1999, 277).

This effort has been very successful. In a 1990 survey, a substantial majority agreed that the Holocaust “was the worst tragedy in history” (Novick 1999, 232; italics in text). Recently, the main thrust of the Holocaust as cultural icon is the ratification of multiculturalism. Between 80 and 90 percent of those surveyed agreed that the need to protect the rights of minorities, and not “going along with everybody else” were lessons to be drawn from the Holocaust. Respondents agreed in similar proportions that “it is important that people keep hearing about the Holocaust so that it will not happen again.”

The effort has perhaps been even more effective in Germany where “critical discussion of Jews is virtually impossible. Whether conservative or liberal, a contemporary German intellectual who says anything outside a narrowly defined spectrum of codified pieties about Jews, the Holocaust, and its postwar effects on German society runs the risk of professional and social suicide” (Anderson 2001). Discussions of the work of Jewish intellectuals have come to dominate German intellectual life to the almost complete exclusion of non-Jewish Germans. Many of these intellectuals are the subjects of CofC, including Walter Benjamin, Theodore Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Hannah Arendt, Paul Celan, and Sigmund Freud. “Shoah business” “has become a staple of contemporary German cultural and political life. Germans thrive on debates about the Holocaust and their ongoing responsibility to preserve its memory, campaigning to erect a gigantic memorial to the Jewish dead in the historic center of Berlin, or flocking to hear the American scholar Daniel Goldhagen’s crude and unhistorical diatribes against the German national character” (Anderson 2001). Scholars have lost all sense of normal standards of intellectual criticism and have come to identify more or less completely with the Jewish victims of Nazism.

For example, Holocaust poet Paul Celan has become a central cultural figure, superceding all other 20th-century poets. His works are now beyond rational criticism, to the point that they have become enveloped in a sort of stultifying mysticism: “Frankly, I find troubling the sacred, untouchable aura that surrounds Celan’s name in Germany; troubling also the way in which his name functions like a trump card in intellectual discussions, closing off debate and excluding other subjects” (Anderson 2001). Jewish writers like Kafka are seen as intellectual giants who are above criticism; discussions of Kafka’s work focus on his Jewish identity and are imbued by consciousness of the Holocaust despite the fact that he died in 1924. Even minor Jewish writers are elevated to the highest levels of the literary canon while Germans like Thomas Mann are discussed mainly because they held views on Jews that have become unacceptable in polite society. In the U.S., German scholars are constrained to teach only the works of Germans of Jewish background, their courses dwelling on persecution, and genocide.

Indeed, it is not too far fetched to suppose that German culture as the culture of Germans has disappeared entirely, replaced by the culture of the Holocaust. The Holocaust has not only become a quasi-religion capable of eradicating the remnants of German culture, Jews have become sanctified as a people. As Amos Elon noted in describing the German response to a new Jewish museum in Berlin, “With so much hyperbole, so many undoubtedly sincere expressions of guilt and regret, and of admiration for all things Jewish, one could not help feeling that fifty years after the Holocaust, the new republic was, in effect, beatifying the German Jews” (Elon 2001).

Like Novick, Finkelstein (2000) takes a functionalist view of “the Holocaust Industry,” arguing that it serves as a vehicle for obtaining money for Jewish organizations from European governments and corporations, and for justifying the policies of Israel and U.S. support for Israeli policy (p. 8). Finkelstein also argues that embracing the Holocaust allows the wealthiest and most powerful group in the U.S. to claim victim status. The ideology of the Holocaust states that it is unique and inexplicable—as also noted by Novick. But Finkelstein also emphasizes how the Holocaust Industry promotes the idea that anti-Jewish attitudes and behavior stem completely from irrational loathing by non-Jews and have nothing to do with conflicts of interest. For example, Elie Wiesel: “For two thousand years we were always threatened. For what? For no reason” (in Finkelstein 2000, 53). (By contrast, the basic premise of my book, Separation and Its Discontents [MacDonald 1998a] is precisely that anti-Jewish attitudes and behavior throughout history are firmly rooted in conflicts of interest). Finkelstein quotes Boas Evron, an Israeli writer, approvingly: “Holocaust awareness” is “an official, propagandistic indoctrination, a churning out of slogans and a false view of the world, the real aim of which is not at all an understanding of the past, but a manipulation of the present” (p. 41).

Finkelstein notes the role of the media in supporting the Holocaust Industry, quoting Elie Wiesel, “When I want to feel better, I turn to the Israeli items in the New York Times” (p. 8). The New York Times, which is owned by the Sulzberger family (see below), “serves as the main promotional vehicle of the Holocaust Industry. It is primarily responsible for advancing the careers of Jerzy Kosinski, Daniel Goldhagen, and Elie Wiesel. For frequency of coverage, the Holocaust places a close second to the daily weather report. Typically, The New York Times Index 1999 listed fully 273 entries for the Holocaust. By comparison, the whole of Africa rated 32 entries” (Finkelstein 2001). Besides a receptive media, the Holocaust Industry takes advantage of its power over the U.S. government to apply pressure to foreign governments, particularly the governments of Eastern Europe (pp. 133ff).

In a poignant allusion to the pervasive double standard of contemporary Jewish ethical attitudes (and reflecting a similar ethical double standard that pervades Jewish religious writing throughout history), Finkelstein describes a January 2000 Holocaust education conference attended by representatives of 50 countries, including Prime Minister Ehud Barak of Israel. The conference declared that the international community had a “solemn responsibility” to oppose genocide, ethnic cleansing, racism, and xenophobia. A reporter afterward asked Barak about the Palestinian refugees. “On principle, Barak replied, he was against even one refugee coming to Israel: ‘We cannot accept moral, legal, or other responsibility for refugees’” (p. 137).

Published in: on September 30, 2012 at 12:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

CofC’s preface (7 of 10)

“The Jewish problem is one of the greatest problems in the world, and no man, be he writer, politician or diplomatist, can be considered mature until he has striven to face it squarely on its merits.”

—Henry Wickham Steed

The Culture of Critique’s
“Jews and the Media: Shaping ‘Ways of Seeing'”
in the Preface:

I noted above that Jewish movements opposing European domination of the U.S. focused on three critical areas of power: The academic world of information in the social sciences and humanities, the political world where public policy on immigration and other ethnic issues are decided, and the mass media where “ways of seeing” are presented to the public. CofC focused on the first two of these sources of power, but little attention was given to the mass media except where it served to promote Jewish intellectual or political movements, as in the case of psychoanalysis. This lack of attention to the cultural influence of the mass media is a major gap. The following represents only a partial and preliminary discussion.

By all accounts, ethnic Jews have a powerful influence in the American media—far larger than any other identifiable group. The extent of Jewish ownership and influence on the popular media in the United States is remarkable given the relatively small proportion of the population that is Jewish.(28) In a survey performed in the 1980s, 60 percent of a representative sample of the movie elite were of Jewish background (Powers et al. 1996, 79n13). Michael Medved (1996, 37) notes that “it makes no sense at all to try to deny the reality of Jewish power and prominence in popular culture. Any list of the most influential production executives at each of the major movie studios will produce a heavy majority of recognizably Jewish names. This prominent Jewish role is obvious to anyone who follows news reports from Tinsel Town or even bothers to read the credits on major movies or television shows.”

Media ownership is always in flux, but the following is a reasonably accurate portrait of current media ownership in the United States by ethnic Jews:

The largest media company in the world was recently formed by the merger of America On Line and Time Warner. Gerald M. Levin, formerly the head of Time Warner, is the Chief Executive Officer of the new corporation. AOL-Time Warner has holdings in television (e.g., Home Box Office, CNN, Turner Broadcasting), music (Warner Music), movies (Warner Brothers Studio, Castle Rock Entertainment, and New Line Cinema), and publishing (Time, Sports Illustrated, People, Fortune).

The second largest media company is the Walt Disney Company, headed by Michael Eisner. Disney has holdings in movies (Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, under Walt Disney Studios, includes Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Caravan Pictures, Miramax Films); television (Capital Cities/ABC [owner of the ABC television network], Walt Disney Television, Touchstone Television, Buena Vista Television, ESPN, Lifetime, A&E Television networks) and cable networks with more than 100 million subscribers; radio (ABC Radio Network with over 3,400 affiliates and ownership of 26 stations in major cities); publishing (seven daily newspapers, Fairchild Publications [Women’s Wear Daily], and the Diversified Publishing Group).

The third largest media company is Viacom, Inc., headed by Sumner Redstone, who is also Jewish. Viacom has holdings in movies (Paramount Pictures); broadcasting (the CBS TV network; MTV [a particular focus of criticism by cultural conservatives], VH-1, Nickelodeon, Showtime, the National Network, Black Entertainment Television, 13 television stations; programming for the three television networks); publishing (Simon & Schuster, Scribner, The Free Press, and Pocket Books), video rentals (Blockbuster); it is also involved in satellite broadcasting, theme parks, and video games.

Another major media player is Edgar Bronfman, Jr., the son of Edgar Bronfman, Sr., president of the World Jewish Congress and heir to the Seagram distillery fortune. Until its merger with Vivendi, a French Company, in December 2000, Bronfman headed Universal Studios, a major movie production company, and the Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company (including Polygram, Interscope Records, Island/Def Jam, Motown, Geffen/DGC Records).

After the merger, Bronfman became the Executive Vice-Chairman of the new company, Vivendi Universal, and the Bronfman family and related entities became the largest shareholders in the company.(29) Edgar Bronfman, Sr. is on the Board of Directors of the new company.

Other major television companies owned by Jews include New World Entertainment (owned by Ronald Perelman who also owns Revlon cosmetics), and DreamWorks SKG (owned by film director Steven Spielberg, former Disney Pictures chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, and recording industry mogul David Geffen). DreamWorks SKG produces movies, animated films, television programs, and recorded music. Spielberg is also a Jewish ethnic activist. After makingSchindler’s List, Spielberg established Survivors of the Shoah Foundation with the aid of a grant from the U.S. Congress. He also helped fund Professor Deborah Lipstadt’s defense against a libel suit brought by British military historian and Holocaust revisionist David Irving.

In the world of print media, the Newhouse media empire owns 26 daily newspapers, including several large and important ones, such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Newark Star-Ledger, and the New Orleans Times-Picayune; Newhouse Broadcasting, consisting of 12 television broadcasting stations and 87 cable-TV systems, including some of the country’s largest cable networks; the Sunday supplement Parade, with a circulation of more than 22 million copies per week; some two dozen major magazines, including the New Yorker, Vogue, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Vanity Fair, Bride’s, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, Self, House & Garden, and all the other magazines of the wholly owned Conde Nast group.

The newsmagazine, U.S. News & World Report, with a weekly circulation of 2.3 million, is owned and published by Mortimer B. Zuckerman. Zuckerman also owns New York’s tabloid newspaper, the Daily News, the sixth-largest paper in the country, and is the former owner of the Atlantic Monthly. Zuckerman is a Jewish ethnic activist. Recently he was named head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an umbrella organization for major Jewish organizations in the U.S.(30) Zuckerman’s column in U.S. News and World Report regularly defends Israel and has helped to rejuvenate the America-Israeli Friendship League, of which he is president.(31)

Another Jewish activist with a prominent position in the U.S. media is Martin Peretz, owner of The New Republic (TNR) since 1974. Throughout his career Peretz has been devoted to Jewish causes, particularly Israel. During the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, he told Henry Kissinger that his “dovishness stopped at the delicatessen door,” and many among his staff feared that all issues would be decided on the basis of what was “good for the Jews” (Alterman 1992, 185, 186). Indeed, one editor was instructed to obtain material from the Israeli embassy for use in TNR editorials. “It is not enough to say that TNR’s owner is merely obsessed with Israel; he says so himself. But more importantly, Peretz is obsessed with Israel’s critics, Israel’s would-be critics, and people who never heard of Israel, but might one day know someone who might someday become a critic” (Alterman 1992, 195).

The Wall Street Journal is the largest-circulation daily newspaper in the U.S. It is owned by Dow Jones & Company, Inc., a New York corporation that also publishes 24 other daily newspapers and the weekly financial paper Barron’s. The chairman and CEO of Dow Jones is Peter R. Kann. Kann also holds the posts of chairman and publisher of the Wall Street Journal.

The Sulzberger family owns the New York Times Co., which owns 33 other newspapers, including the Boston Globe. It also owns twelve magazines (including McCall’s and Family Circle, each with a circulation of more than 5 million), seven radio and TV broadcasting stations; a cable-TV system; and three book publishing companies. The New York Times News Service transmits news stories, features, and photographs from the New York Times by wire to 506 other newspapers, news agencies, and magazines.

Jewish ownership of the New York Times is particularly interesting because it has been the most influential newspaper in the U.S. since the start of the 20th century. As noted in a recent book on the Sulzberger family (Tifft & Jones 1999), even at that time, there were several Jewish-owned newspapers, including the New York World (controlled by Joseph Pulitzer), the Chicago Times-Herald and Evening Post (controlled by H. H. Kohlsaat), and the New York Post (controlled by the family of Jacob Schiff). In 1896 Adolph Ochs purchased the New York Times with the critical backing of several Jewish businessmen, including Isidor Straus (co-owner of Macy’s department stores) and Jacob Schiff (a successful investment banker who was also a Jewish ethnic activist). “Schiff and other prominent Jews like… Straus had made it clear they wanted Adolph to succeed because they believed he ‘could be of great service to the Jews generally’” (Tifft & Jones 1999, 37-38). Ochs’s father-in-law was the Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, the founder of Reform Judaism in the United States.

There are some exceptions to this pattern of media ownership, but even in such cases ethnic Jews have a major managerial role.(32) For example, Rupert’s News Corporation owns Fox Television Network, 20th Century Fox Films, Fox 2000, and the New York Post. However, Peter Chernin is president and CEO of Fox Group, which includes all of News Corporation’s film, television, and publishing operations in the United States. Murdoch is deeply philosemitic and deeply committed to Israel, at least partly from a close relationship he developed early in his career with Leonard Goldenson, who founded the American Broadcasting Company. (Goldenson was a major figure in New York’s Jewish establishment and an outspoken supporter of Israel.) Murdoch’s publications have taken a strongly pro-Israel line, including The Weekly Standard, the premier neo-conservative magazine, edited by William Kristol.

Murdoch… as publisher and editor-in-chief of the New York Post, had a large Jewish constituency, as he did to a lesser degree with New York magazine and The Village Voice. Not only had the pre-Murdoch Post readership been heavily Jewish, so, too, were the present Post advertisers. Most of Murdoch’s closest friends and business advisers were wealthy, influential New York Jews intensely active in pro-Israel causes. And he himself still retained a strong independent sympathy for Israel, a personal identification with the Jewish state that went back to his Oxford days. (Kiernan 1986, 261)

Murdoch also developed close relationships with several other prominent Jewish figures in the New York establishment, including attorney Howard Squadron, who was president of the AJCongress and head of the Council of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, and investment banker Stanley Schuman.

Another exception is NBC which is owned by General Electric. However, the President of NBC is Andrew Lack and the President of NBC News is Neal Shapiro, both of whom are Jewish. In addition, the Bertelsmann publishing group is a Germany-based company that is the largest publisher of trade books in the world and also owns magazines, newspapers, and music. Most of Bertelsmann’s influence is outside the United States, although it recently purchased the Random House Publishing Company.

Even granting the exceptions, it is clear that Jews enjoy a very powerful position in U.S. media, a position that is far more powerful than any other racial/ethnic group. The phenomenal concentration of media power in Jewish hands becomes all the more extraordinary when one notes that Jews constitute approximately 2.5% of the U.S. population. If the Jewish percentage of the American media elite is estimated at 59% (Lichter et al. 1983, 55)—probably an underestimate at the present time—, the degree of disproportionate representation may be calculated as greater than 2000%. The likelihood that such an extraordinary disparity could arise by chance is virtually nil. Ben Stein, noting that about 60% of the top positions in Hollywood are held by Jews, says “Do Jews run Hollywood? You bet they do—and what of it?”(33) Does Jewish ownership and control of the media have any effect on the product? Here I attempt to show that the attitudes and opinions favored by the media are those generally held by the wider Jewish community, and that the media tends to provide positive images of Jews and negative images of traditional American and Christian culture.

As many academics have pointed out, the media have become more and more important in creating culture (e.g., Powers et al. 1996, 2). Before the 20th century, the main creators of culture were the religious, military, and business institutions. In the course of the 20th century these institutions became less important while the media have increased in importance (for an account of this transformation in the military, see Bendersky 2000). And there is little doubt that the media attempt to shape the attitudes and opinions of the audience (Powers et al. 1996, 2-3). Part of the continuing culture of critique is that the media elite tend to be very critical of Western culture. Western civilization is portrayed as a failing, dying culture, but at worst it is presented as sick and evil compared to other cultures (Powers et al. 1996, 211). These views were common in Hollywood long before the cultural revolution of the 1960s, but they were not often expressed in the media because of the influence of non-Jewish cultural conservatives.

Perhaps the most important issue Jews and Jewish organizations have championed is cultural pluralism—the idea that the United States ought not to be ethnically and culturally homogeneous. As described in CofC, Jewish organizations and Jewish intellectual movements have championed cultural pluralism in many ways, especially as powerful and effective advocates of an open immigration policy. The media have supported this perspective by portraying cultural pluralism almost exclusively in positive terms—that cultural pluralism is easily achieved and is morally superior to a homogeneous Christian culture made up mainly of white non-Jews. Characters who oppose cultural pluralism are portrayed as stupid and bigoted (Lichter et al. 1994, 251), the classic being the Archie Bunker character in Norman Lear’s All in the Family television series. Departures from racial and ethnic harmony are portrayed as entirely the result of white racism (Powers et al. 1996, 173).

Since Jews have a decisive influence on television and movies, it is not surprising that Jews are portrayed positively in the movies. There have been a great many explicitly Jewish movies and television shows with recognizable Jewish themes. Hollywood has an important role in promoting “the Holocaust Industry,” with movies like Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993) and the four-part television miniseries Holocaust (1978), written by Gerald Green, directed by Marvin Chomsky, and produced by Herbert Brodkin and Robert Berger. Both of these films were lavishly promoted by Jewish groups. The promotion for Holocaust in 1978 was remarkable (Novick 1999, 210).

The ADL distributed ten million copies of its sixteen-page tabloid The Record for this purpose. Jewish organizations pressured major newspapers to serialize a novel based on the script and to publish special inserts on the Holocaust. The Chicago Sun-Times distributed hundreds of thousands of copies of its insert to local schools.

The AJCommittee, in cooperation with NBC, distributed millions of copies of a study guide for viewers; teachers’ magazines carried other teaching material tied to the program so that teachers could easily discuss the program in class.

Jewish organizations worked with the National Council of Churches to prepare other promotional and educational materials, and they organized advance viewings for religious leaders. The day the series began was designated “Holocaust Sunday”; various activities were scheduled in cities across the country; the National Conference of Christians and Jews distributed yellow stars to be worn on that day. Study guides for Jewish children depicted the Holocaust as the result of Christian anti-Semitism. The material given to Jewish children also condemned Jews who did not have a strong Jewish identity. This massive promotion succeeded in many of its goals. These included the introduction of Holocaust education programs in many states and municipalities, beginning the process that led to the National Holocaust Memorial Museum, and a major upsurge of support for Israel.

In general, television portrays Jewish issues “with respect, relative depth, affection and good intentions, and the Jewish characters who appear in these shows have, without any doubt, been Jewish—often depicted as deeply involved in their Judaism” (Pearl & Pearl 1999, 5).

For example, All in the Family (and its sequel, Archie Bunker’s Place) not only managed to portray working class Europeans as stupid and bigoted, it portrayed Jewish themes very positively. By the end of its 12-year run, even archenemy Archie Bunker had raised a Jewish child in his home, befriended a black Jew (implication: Judaism has no ethnic connotations), gone into business with a Jewish partner, enrolled as a member of a synagogue, praised his close friend at a Jewish funeral, hosted a Sabbath dinner, participated in a bat mitzvah ceremony, and joined a group to fight synagogue vandalism. These shows, produced by liberal political activist Norman Lear, thus exemplify the general trend for television to portray non-Jews as participating in Jewish ritual, and “respecting, enjoying, and learning from it. Their frequent presence and active involvement underscores the message that these things are a normal part of American life” (Pearl & Pearl 1999, 16). Jewish rituals are portrayed as “pleasant and ennobling, and they bestow strength, harmony, fulfillment, and sense of identity upon those who observe them” (p. 62).

Television presents images of Jewish issues that conform to the views of mainstream Jewish organizations. Television “invariably depicts anti-Semitism as an ugly, abhorrent trait that must be fought at every turn” (p. 103). It is seen as metaphysical and beyond analysis. There is never any rational explanation for anti-Semitism; anti-Semitism is portrayed as an absolute, irrational evil. Positive, well-liked, non-Jewish characters, such as Mary Tyler Moore, often lead the fight against anti-Semitism—a pattern reminiscent of that noted in CofC in which non-Jews become high-profile spokespersons for Jewish dominated movements. There is also the implication that anti-Semitism is a proper concern of the entire community.

Regarding Israel, “on the whole, popular TV has conveyed the fact that Israel is the Jewish homeland with a strong emotional pull upon Diaspora Jews, that it lives in perpetual danger surrounded by foes, and that as a result of the constant and vital fight for its survival, it often takes extraordinary (sometimes rogue) measures in the fields of security and intelligence” (Pearl & Pearl 1999, 173). Non-Jews are portrayed as having deep admiration and respect for Israel, its heroism and achievements. Israel is seen as a haven for Holocaust survivors, and Christians are sometimes portrayed as having an obligation to Israel because of the Holocaust.

In the movies, a common theme is Jews coming to the rescue of non-Jews, as in Independence Day, where Jeff Goldblum plays a “brainy Jew” who rescues the world, and in Ordinary People, where Judd Hirsch plays a Jewish psychiatrist who rescues an uptight WASP family (Bernheimer 1998, 125-126). The movie Addams Family Values, discussed in CofC (Ch. 1, Note 4) is another example of this genre. Bernheimer (1998, 162) notes that “in many films, the Jew is the moral exemplar who uplifts and edifies a gentile, serving as a humanizing influence by embodying culturally ingrained values.” As discussed in CofC, this “Jews to the Rescue” theme also characterizes psychoanalysis and Jewish leftist radicalism: Psychoanalytic Jews save non-Jews from their neuroses, and radical Jews save the world from the evils of capitalism.

On the other hand, Christianity is typically portrayed as evil, even going so far as depicting Christians as psychopaths. Michael Medved describes Hollywood’s cumulative attacks in recent years on the traditional American family, patriotism, and traditional sexual mores—the Hollywood version of the culture of critique. But the most obvious focus of attack is on the Christian religion:

In the ongoing war on traditional values, the assault on organized faith represents the front to which the entertainment industry has most clearly committed itself. On no other issue do the perspectives of the show business elites and those of the public at large differ more dramatically. Time and again, the producers have gone out of their way to affront the religious sensibilities of ordinary Americans. (Medved 1992/1993, 50)(34)

Medved fails to find even one film made since the mid-1970s where Christianity is portrayed positively apart from a few films where it is portrayed as an historical relic—a museum piece. Examples where Christianity is portrayed negatively abound. For example, in the film Monsignor (1982), a Catholic priest commits every imaginable sin, including the seduction of a glamorous nun and then is involved in her death. In Agnes of God (1985), a disturbed young nun gives birth in a convent, murders her baby, and then flushes the tiny, bloody corpse down the toilet. There are also many subtle anti-Christian scenes in Hollywood films, such as when the director Rob Reiner repeatedly focuses on the tiny gold crosses worn by Kathy Bates, the sadistic villain in Misery.

Another media tendency is to portray small towns as filled with bigots and anti-Semites. Media commentator Ben Stein records the hostility of the media toward rural America:

The typical Hollywood writer… is of an ethnic background from a large Eastern city—usually from Brooklyn [i.e., they have a Jewish background]. He grew up being taught that people in small towns hated him, were different from him, and were out to get him [i.e., small town people are anti-Semites]. As a result, when he gets the chance, he attacks the small town on television or the movies…

The television shows and movies are not telling it “like it is”; instead they are giving us the point of view of a small and extremely powerful section of the American intellectual community—those who write for the mass visual media… What is happening, as a consequence, is something unusual and remarkable. A national culture is making war upon a way of life that is still powerfully attractive and widely practiced in the same country… Feelings of affection for small towns run deep in America, and small-town life is treasured by millions of people. But in the mass culture of the country, a hatred for the small town is spewed out on television screens and movie screens every day… Television and the movies are America’s folk culture, and they have nothing but contempt for the way of life of a very large part of the folk… People are told that their culture is, at its root, sick, violent, and depraved, and this message gives them little confidence in the future of that culture. It also leads them to feel ashamed of their country and to believe that if their society is in decline, it deserves to be. (Stein 1976, 22)

This is a good example of social identity processes so important in both Jewish attitudes toward non-Jews and non-Jewish attitudes toward Jews: Outgroups are portrayed negatively and ingroups are portrayed positively (see CofC passim and MacDonald 1998a, Ch. 1).

Influence on the media undoubtedly has a major influence on how Israel is portrayed—a major theme of Finkelstein’s (2000) The Holocaust Industry. Ari Shavit, an Israeli columnist, described his feelings on the killings of a hundred civilians in a military skirmish in southern Lebanon in 1996, “We killed them out of a certain naive hubris. Believing with absolute certitude that now, with the White House, the Senate, and much of the American media in our hands, the lives of others do not count as much as our own.”(35)

The election of Ariel Sharon as Prime Minister of Israel provides another study in contrast. There was a huge difference in the media reaction to Sharon and the response to the situation in Austria when Jörg Haider’s Freedom Party won enough seats in parliament to have a role in the Austrian government. Several countries, including Israel, recalled their ambassadors in response to the election of Haider. Politicians around the world condemned Austria and announced that they would not tolerate Haider’s participation in any Austrian government. Trade embargoes against Austria were threatened. The cause of these actions was that Haider had said that there had been many decent people fighting on the German side during World War II, including some in the SS. He had also said that some of Hitler’s economic policies in the 1930s had made good sense. And he had called for a cutoff of immigration into Austria. Haider apologized for these statements, but the electoral success of his party resulted in the ostracism of Austria and a continuous barrage of alarmist media attacks against him personally.

Contrast this with the treatment of Ariel Sharon’s election as prime minister of Israel in 2001. Sharon was Israel’s Minister of Defense in September 1982 during the slaughter of 700-2000 Palestinians, including women and children in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps just outside Beirut, Lebanon. New York Times journalist Thomas Friedman saw “groups of young men in their twenties and thirties who had been lined up against walls, tied by their hands and feet, and then mowed down gangland style.”(36) Radio communications among Israeli military commanders were monitored in which they talked about carrying out “purging operations” in the refugee camps. While the actual killing was done by Lebanese Christians supported by Israel, the Israeli army kept the camps sealed for two days while the slaughter went on. The Kahan Commission, an Israeli commission formed to investigate the incident, concluded that Sharon was indirectly responsible for the massacre, and it went on to say that Sharon bears personal responsibility.(37)

The reaction to the election of Sharon in the U.S. media has been subdued to say the least. No trade embargoes were threatened, no ambassadors were recalled. The Los Angeles Times dutifully printed a column in which Sharon was portrayed as having “learned from his mistakes.”(38) In June, 2001, Sharon was indicted as a war criminal in Belgium on the basis of affidavits provided by survivors of the slaughter. It is also noteworthy that Rehavam Zeevi, a close associate of Sharon and Israel’s Minister of Tourism as well as a member of the powerful Security Cabinet until his assassination in October, 2001, described Palestinians as “lice” and advocated the expulsion of Palestinians from Israeli controlled areas. Zeevi said Palestinians were living illegally in Israel and “We should get rid of the ones who are not Israeli citizens the same way you get rid of lice. We have to stop this cancer from spreading within us.”(39)

As another indication of the very large Jewish influence on the U.S. media, Eric Alterman notes that “in most of the world, it is the Palestinian narrative of a dispossessed people that dominates. In the United States, however, the narrative that dominates is Israel’s: a democracy under constant siege.” (E. Alterman, “Intractable foes, warring narratives: While much of the world sees Mideast conflict through Palestinian eyes, in America, Israel’s view prevails” March 28, 2002).

A critical source of support for Israel is the army of professional pundits “who can be counted upon to support Israel reflexively and without qualification.” Alterman lists 60 prominent media personalities in this camp including a long list of Jewish writers: William Safire, A. M. Rosenthal, Charles Krauthammer, Martin Peretz, Daniel Pipes, Andrea Peyser, Dick Morris, Lawrence Kaplan, William Kristol, Robert Kagan, Mortimer Zuckerman, David Gelertner, John Podhoretz, Mona Charen, Yossi Klein Halevi, Sidney Zion, Norman Podhoretz, Jonah Goldberg, Jeff Jacoby, Seth Lipsky, Irving Kristol, Ben Wattenberg, Lawrence Kudlow, Alan Dershowitz, David Horowitz, Jacob Heilbrun, Michael Ledeen, Uri Dan, Paul Greenberg.

These writers have access to virtually all of the major media in the United States. 
This contrasts with a much smaller group of five columnists “likely to be reflexively anti-Israel and/or pro-Palestinian regardless of circumstance.” These include Patrick Buchanan, Christopher Hitchens, Edward Said, Alexander Cockburn, and Robert Novak. Three of these columnists are associated with the far left journal, The Nation (Cockburn, Hitchens, Said), and only Novak is presently affiliated with a major media organization (The Washington Post). Alterman points to another small group classified as “columnists likely to criticize both Israel and the Palestinians, but view themselves to be critically supporters of Israel, and ultimately would support Israeli security over Palestinian rights”; this group includes the editorial Boards of The New York Times and The Washington Post. Another columnist who should be included in the intermediate category is Michael Lind, who noted the following in a column in Newsweek International (April 3, 2002):

What passes in the United States as an evenhanded stance is perceived, not only in the Middle East but in Europe and throughout the world, as unquestioning American support of bully tactics by Israel… For more than a decade, U.S. policy toward Israel has been shaped as much by domestic politics as by grand strategy: the pro-Israel lobby is the most powerful one in Washington. This support for Israel—no matter what its policies—has given license to Israel’s hard right to employ savage means of oppression against the Palestinians, and even against their own Arab citizens. While it is rarely noted in the American media, Israel has now occupied Palestinian lands for 35 years, denying 3 million people rights, and ruling over them with brutality.

There can be little doubt that the U.S. media is dominated by a pro-Israeli perspective ultimately deriving from Jewish influence on the media. What is perhaps most interesting is the long list of non-Jews who are in the first category—those who support Israel reflexively and without qualification. These include George Will, William Bennett, Andrew Sullivan, Allan Keyes, Brit Hume, Bill O’Reilly, Michael Barone, Ann Coulter, Linda Chavez, and Rush Limbaugh.

The fact that reflexive support for Israel is not characteristic of non-Jews in other societies with less Jewish influence on the media strongly suggests that unconditional support for Israel is a critical litmus test of acceptability by the major media in the U.S.—that prospective pundits “earn their stripes” by showing their devotion to Israel (and, one might infer, other Jewish issues, such as immigration; none of these pundits is a critic of massive non-European immigration into Western societies). After all, reflexive, uncritical support for anything is rare enough for any issue, and we know that the media in other countries are not so one-sided. So it seems difficult to explain the huge tilt toward Israel as the result of individual attitudes in the absence of some enormous selective factor. And there is the obvious suggestion that while the Jews on this list must be seen as ethnic actors, the non-Jews are certainly making an excellent career move in taking the positions they do.

This litmus test for prospective opinion makers is further supported by the fact that Joe Sobran was fired from National Review because he had the temerity to suppose that U.S. foreign policy should not be dictated by what’s best for Israel—an event that was accompanied by charges by Norman Podhoretz that Sobran was an “anti-Semite” (see Buckley 1992; Podhoretz, 1986).

Notes [the Bibliography appears in the 10th entry]

28. Discussions of Jewish ownership of the media include: Ginsberg 1993, 1; Kotkin 1993, 61; Silberman 1985, 147.

29. http://www.economictimes.com/today/31tech22.htm [this item has been removed from that site]

30. The Forward, April 27, 2001, pp. 1, 9.

31. The Forward, November 14, 1997, p. 14.

32. A partial exception is the Washington Post Co. Until her recent death, the Washington Post was run by Katherine Meyer Graham, daughter of Eugene Meyer, who purchased the paper in the 1930s. Ms. Graham had a Jewish father and a Christian mother and was raised as an Episcopalian. Katherine’s husband, the former publisher of the Post, Phil Graham, was not Jewish. The Post’s publisher, since 1991, is Donald Graham, the son of Katherine and Phil Graham. This influential publishing group is thus less ethnically Jewish than the others mentioned here. The Washington Post Co. has a number of other media holdings in newspapers (The Gazette Newspapers, including 11 military publications), television stations, and magazines, most notably the nation’s number-two weekly newsmagazine, Newsweek. The Washington Post Co.’s various television ventures reach a total of about 7 million homes, and its cable TV service, Cable One, has 635,000 subscribers. In a joint venture with the New York Times, the Post publishes the International Herald Tribune, the most widely distributed English language daily in the world.

33. http://www.eonline.com/Features/Specials/Jews/ [this item has been removed from that site]

34. Cones (1997) provides a similar analysis:

This analysis of Hollywood films with religious themes or characters reveals that in the last four decades Hollywood has portrayed Christians as sexually rigid, devil worshipping cultists, talking to God, disturbed, hypocritical, fanatical, psychotic, dishonest, murder suspects, Bible quoting Nazis, slick hucksters, fake spiritualists, Bible pushers, de-ranged preachers, obsessed, Catholic schoolboys running amok, Adam & Eve as pawns in a game between God and Satan, an unbalanced nun accused of killing her newborn infant, dumb, manipulative, phony, outlaws, neurotic, mentally unbalanced, unscrupulous, destructive, foul mouthed, fraudulent and as miracle fabricators. Few, if any, positive portrayals of Christians were found in Hollywood films released in the last four decades.

35. Reprinted in the New York Times May 27, 1996.

36. James Ron, “Is Ariel Sharon Israel’s Milosevic?” Los Angeles Times, February 5, 2001.

37. http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0ign0 [this item has been removed from that site].

We shall remark here that it is ostensibly puzzling that the Defense Minister did not in any way make the Prime Minister privy to the decision on having the Phalangists enter the camps.

It is our view that responsibility is to be imputed to the Minister of Defense for having disregarded the danger of acts of vengeance and bloodshed by the Phalangists against the population of the refugee camps, and having failed to take this danger into account when he decided to have the Phalangists enter the camps. In addition, responsibility is to be imputed to the Minister of Defense for not ordering appropriate measures for preventing or reducing the danger of massacre as a condition for the Phalangists’ entry into the camps. These blunders constitute the non-fulfillment of a duty with which the Defense Minister was charged.

38. Yossi Klein Halevi, “Sharon has learned from his mistakes.” Los Angeles Times, February 7, 2001.

39. Washington Post, July 3, 2001; Los Angeles Times, October 18, 2001.

40. Jewish organizations have also been strong advocates of “hate crime” legislation. For example, in 1997 the ADL published Hate Crimes: ADL Blueprint for Action, which provides recommendations on prevention and response strategies to crimes of ethnic violence, such as penalty enhancement laws, training for law enforcement and the military, security for community institutions, and community anti-bias awareness initiatives. In June 2001 the ADL announced a program designed to assist law enforcement in the battle against “extremists and hate groups.” A major component of the Law Enforcement Initiative is the development of specialized hate crime, extremism, and anti-bias curricula for training programs designed for law enforcement.

Published in: on September 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm  Comments (1)