Archive for the 'Antisemitism' Category

1970s Soviet Antisemitism

The antisemitism of Stalin’s Doctors’ Plot —  and to a lesser extent the Polish, Czech and other pseudo-antizionist antisemitic purges of the 1950s and ’60s — are remembered today. However, much less attention is paid to the Soviet Union’s conspiracy theory turn starting in the 1960s, where the previous hegemony of Orthodox Marxism was rivaled by various pro-Soviet conspiracy theories, often anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist in character. As part of this a vicious antisemitism – usually cloaked in anti-zionist terms – returned as well, and was exported to Soviet-allied groups in the Arab world, including the PLO. With the revival of antisemitism in Russia after the Soviet collapse, this period of Soviet antizionism can be seen as part of an unbroken link in the history of Russian antisemitism.

Roland Evans and Robert Novak, “Moscow vs Zionism”

“For one thing, the official state newspapers [of the Soviet Union]—Pravda and Izvestia—have been preaching fearsome anti-zionism for years. Following the first Brussels Conference On Soviet Jewry in 1971, Pravda labeled Zionism “an enemy of the people”—a phrase echoing the great purge of the 1930s. After a brief respite, the new, more virulent anti-Zionist campaign was triggered by the second Brussels conference.

The new state-supported campaign is manifested by an official Communist Party lecturer named Valery Yemelyanov, a candidate of economic sciences and a professor in the prestigious Institute of Foreign Languages. What makes Yemelyanov’s anti-Zionist campaign so insidious is that his harshest rhetoric came in a Moscow interview with a newspaper closely connected to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Yemelyanov delivered opinions that must have startled even anti-Israel PLO activists who are trying to establish a mini-state of their own on the Israeli-occupied West Bank. “World Zionism has become a great power in the world,” he said, elaborating as follows in a breathtaking spiral of charges:

Eighty-percent of the economy of non-Communist nations is concentrated in the hands of “Zionist capitalists.” 95% of the propaganda efforts undertaken in the capitalist world are concentrated in the hands of the Zionists, 99% in the United States.

In words reminiscent of the notorious “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,” Yemelyanov told his PLO interviewers that the world Zionist organization “works in a strictly secret framework” which includes “all the presidents and parliaments of the developed capitalist countries.” The only way to fight this “world” Zionist movement is to establish a world countermovement with the Arabs themselves should lead “because they are the prime objective of the Zionist movement and the leaders of the world struggle against one of its agents—the state of Israel.”

Such nonsense would not be worth a second glance were it not for the likelihood….that behind it is the weight of the Soviet state and its multiple propaganda apparatus.

Yemelyanov’s appeal directly to militant PLO members is obviously designed to thwart American efforts to find a political solution to the Arab-Israeli wares. As such, it plays on… anti-Israeli Arab passions (Deeply felt by all Palestinians) in a way calculated to arouse them to the highest pitch.”

from “Moscow vs Zionism,” Roland Evans and Robert Novak
“World Front” syndicated column, November 14-15, 1976.

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More on Yemelyanov

“Evidence that the Soviet new right wants a “final solution of the Jewish problem” is found… in the secret memorandum presented to the 25th Soviet Communist Party congress in 1975, a partial text of which reached Israel early this year.

Its author is Yemelyanov, a well-known ideological lecturer. The memorandum claims “that the Jewish Masonic order, B’nai B’rith, is the visible top of the invisible international Judaeo-Masonic pyramid ruling the non-Communist world and influencing Soviet policies through its agents inside the USSR.’

To deal with the Jewish menace, Yemelyanov proposes: ‘The creation of a world-wide anti-Zionist and anti-Masonic front on the model of the anti-fascist fronts of the 1930s and 1940s because the threat of Zionist rule over the world planned for the year 2000 threatens all the gentiles on our earth irrespective of their race, religion and party affiliation.’

Like Hitler, “Yemelyanov does not spell out in detail how he proposes to eliminate the Jewish menace. But he argues throughout his memorandum that Soviet Jews must not be expelled or allowed to leave, for those who go to Israel reinforce the potential of a fascist state, while the others who emigrate to the United States or other Western countries reinforce the Judaeo-Masonic pyramid.”

from “Behind the Headlines Anti-semitism May Replace Marxism-leninism As Official Soviet Creed,” JTA, December 27, 1978, http://www.jta.org/1978/12/27/archive/behind-the-headlines-anti-semitism-may-replace-marxism-leninism-as-official-soviet-creed

(See also “B’nai B’rith Accuses Soviet Lecturer of Rampant Anti-Semitism,” JTA, August 24, 1976, http://www.jta.org/1976/08/24/archive/bnai-brith-accuses-soviet-lecturer-of-rampant-anti-semitism)

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Ruth Okuneva, “Anti-Semitic Notions: Strange Analogies”

Excerpts from various works of Soviet propaganda, compiled by Russian historian Ruth Okuneva.

* “The chief strategic aim of the Zionist movement is the establishment of its domination of the world.”

* “Their obsession with the idea of world domination is the primary cause of the crimes which humanity has witnessed.”

* “… [A] group of people who profess a doctrine which alleges that they have been chosen by God to dominate the world.”

* “To sow poison and demonization,” i.e., to corrupt and destroy society, to deceive the peoples… the Zionists could not do this without having control of the most powerful propaganda apparatus—the mass media. That is why their first objective is to always take control of the newspapers and magazines, telegraph agencies, publishing houses, radios and television, the entire history of the world. In this pursuit they have already achieved a great deal.

* “Zionism is fascism… The basic content of Zionism is anticommunism, implacable hostility to the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, to the international revolutionary movement, and to all the anti-imperialist forces today.”

* “If we review the Torah form the standpoint of modern civilization and progressive Communist morality, it proves to be an unsurpassed textbook of blood-thirstiness and hypocrisy, treachery, perfidy, and licentiousness—of every vile human quality.”

* “The peculiarities of Jewish religion are hatred of mankind, preaching genocide, cultivating a love for power, and glorifying criminal means of achieving power.”

* “The chauvinistic idea of world domination has been particularly repulsive; formulated in the ‘Holy Scriptures,’ it has been reflected in their prayers.”

* “[I]n official abstracts of the prescripts of Judaism, repeated emphasis is given to the ‘exclusiveness’ of the Jews, their innate superiority to the goyim, their right to world domination.”

* “‘God’s chosen people’ have their own laws, their own sphere, their own destiny, whereas the despised goyim are suited only to be ‘tools with the power of speech,’ slaves.”

* “The Jews want to have slaves, but the slaves must not be Jews.”* “The teachings of Judaism are pervaded with hatred for the work and contempt for the man who spends his day in toil. The entire ideology of Judaism is not imbued with the idea of work, but with a narrow practicality, the means for making a profit, a mania for silver, the spirit of egoism, and the craving for money.”

* “The Talmud teaches that one is forbidden to steal only from a khaver (a fellow man). One is permitted to take everything from anyone else (goyim), because God has reserved all non-Jewish wealth for the Jews.”

From Ruth Okuneva, “Anti-Semitic Notions: Strange Analogies, 1980s” in Marvin Perry and Frederick M. Schweitzer, eds., Antisemitic Myths: A Historical and Contemporary Anthology (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008), pp. 251–53. Taken in turn from Theodore Freedman, ed, Anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union (NY: ADL, 1984).

Sinclair Lewis – Profile of an American Demagogue (excerpt from ‘It Can’t Happen Here’)

Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel, It Can’t Happen Here, portrays a world where several of the popular Far Right and populist demagogues of the 1930s—including Louisiana Senator and corrupt oligarch Huey Long, antisemitic priest and radio show host Father Coughlin, and  pro-Nazi Kansas minister Gerald Winrod—combine forces. They win the presidency and turn the country into a dictatorship wrapped in a kitschy Americana. (Although Long was assassinated before the 1936 presidential campaign, Coughlin and several others did join together, forming the far right Union Party. Their candidate, William Lemke, received over 900,000 votes in the race.)

It Can’t Happen Here’s protagonist is Doremus Jessup, a liberal who is the editor of a small town Vermont newspaper. Senator Buzz Windrip—based on Long—is the book’s successful presidential candidate and, soon after, the first dictator of the United States. Lee Sarason is Windrip’s Steve Bannon—a circus-show svengali who guides Windrip’s ambitions and later takes the crown himself.

The famous passage below isn’t so much an eerie prognostication of Donald Trump—although it is that, too—so much as a description of the canned shtick of the American right-wing demagogue. Trump is merely the latest incarnation of this hackneyed role, which seems to have a perpetual audience. Far RIght demogaguery allows talented speakers to harness the emotion of the public and tap into their disenchantment at the systemic problems of capitalism. But instead of directing this anger at the system, it is channeled toward Jews, blacks, immigrants, and finance capital; and the the very structures that created these problems are reinforced.

* * *

“Doremus Jessup, so inconspicuous an observer, watching Senator Windrip from so humble a Boeotia, could not explain his power of bewitching large audiences. The Senator was vulgar, almost illiterate, a public liar easily detected, and in his “ideas” almost idiotic, while his celebrated piety was that of a traveling salesman for church furniture, and his yet more celebrated humor the sly cynicism of a country store.

Certainly there was nothing exhilarating in the actual words of his speeches, nor anything convincing in his philosophy. His political platforms were only wings of a windmill. Seven years before his present credo—derived from Lee Sarason, Hitler, Gottfried Feder, Rocco, and probably the review Of Thee I Sing—little Buzz, back home, had advocated nothing more revolutionary than better beef stew in the country poor-farms, and plenty of graft for loyal machine politicians, with jobs for their brothers-in-law, nephews, law partners, and creditors.

Doremus had never heard Windrip during one of his orgasms of oratory, but he had been told by political reporters that under the spell you thought Windrip was Plato, but that on the way home you could not remember anything he had said.

There were two things, they told Doremus, that distinguished this prairie Demosthenes. He was an actor of genius. There was no more overwhelming actor on the stage, in the motion pictures, nor even in the pulpit. He would whirl arms, bang tables, glare from mad eyes, vomit Biblical wrath from a gaping mouth; but he would also coo like a nursing mother, beseech like an aching lover, and in between tricks would coldly and almost contemptuously jab his crowds with figures and facts—figures and facts that were inescapable even when, as often happened, they were entirely incorrect.”

But below this surface stagecraft was his uncommon natural ability to be authentically excited by and with his audience, and they by and with him. He could dramatize his assertion that he was neither a Nazi nor a Fascist but a Democrat—a homespun Jeffersonian-Lincolnian- Clevelandian-Wilsonian Democrat—and (sans scenery and costume) make you see him veritably defending the Capitol against barbarian hordes, the while he innocently presented as his own warm-hearted Democratic inventions, every anti-libertarian, anti-Semitic madness of Europe.

Aside from his dramatic glory, Buzz Windrip was a Professional Common Man.

Oh, he was common enough. He had every prejudice and aspiration of every American Common Man. He believed in the desirability and therefore the sanctity of thick buckwheat cakes with adulterated maple syrup, in rubber trays for the ice cubes in his electric refrigerator, in the especial nobility of dogs, all dogs, in the oracles of S. Parkes Cadman, in being chummy with all waitresses at all junction lunch rooms, and in Henry Ford (when he became President, he exulted, maybe he could get Mr. Ford to come to supper at the White House), and the superiority of anyone who possessed a million dollars. He regarded spats, walking sticks, caviar, titles, tea-drinking, poetry not daily syndicated in newspapers, and all foreigners, possibly excepting the British, as degenerate.

But he was the Common Man twenty-times-magnified by his oratory, so that while the other Commoners could understand his every purpose, which was exactly the same as their own, they saw him towering among them, and they raised hands to him in worship.”

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Sinclair Lewis, It Can’t Happen Here (NY: New American Library/Penguin, 1935/2005), pages 70­–71.

Seymour Martin Lipset on the Black Panthers and Antisemitism

Thus Stokeley Carmichael who was a leader of both the Student Nonviolent (now “National”) Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and of the Black Panthers before abandoning the struggle in America for residence abroad, accounted for the resentment expressed toward Jews by black militants as a result of “the exploitation [of blacks] by Jewish landlords and merchants,” in an article published in The New York Review of Books in 1966. Elsewhere, he wrote: “You let just one Negro get a Molotov cocktail and throw it at some Jew’s liquor store and they call out the whole damn National Guard.” In an interview with David Frost on April 13, 1970, Carmichael declared that, in his judgment, Adolf Hitler “was the greatest white man.” He went on to say that he could not describe men like Johnson, Nixon, Truman or Churchill as “great people,” since they “were doing things against my people.”

The most overt expressions of anti‐Semitism have come generally from the most militant of the black organizations, the one with closest ties to sections of the white New and Old Lefts, the self‐described Marxist‐Leninist Black Panther party. The party goes out of its way to identify as Jews those in the Establishment who oppose it and who happen to be Jews. Thus, in the Dec. 21, 1968, issue of The Black Panther, Eldridge Cleaver attacked Judge Monroe Friedman, who presided over the Oakland, Calif., trial of Huey Newton in the following terms: “If the Jews like Judge Friedman are going to be allowed to function, and come to their synagogues to pray on Saturdays, or do whatever they do down there, then we’ll make a coalition with the Arabs, against the Jews….”

The Panthers have even argued that Judge Julius J. Hoffman gave the Jewish defendants in the Chicago conspiracy trial better treatment than he gave Bobby Seale. Connie Matthews, international coordinator of the party, wrote in The Black Panther of April 25, 1970, that there was an alliance between the Jewish judge and the Jewish defendants:

“It was a Zionist judge, Judge Hoffman, who allowed the other Zionists to go free but has kept Bobby Seale in jail and sentenced him to four years for contempt charges. Bobby Seale alone stands trial again in April on conspiracy charges. With whom did he conspire? The Zionists?

“The other Zionists in the… trial [i.e., Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin] were willing and did sacrifice Bobby Seale and his role in the conspiracy trial to gain publicity.”

Now clearly Rubin and Hoffman are in no way “Zionists.” This is simply a code word for Jew, just as it has become in Eastern Europe.

Though opposed to all capitalists, the Panthers single out Jewish businessmen for attack. Thus, a statement in the May 19, 1970, issue of the party newspaper declares that they are against “Zionist exploitation here In Babylon, manifested in the robber barons that exploit in the garment industry and the bandit merchants and greedy slum lords that operate in our communities.” In describing a tenants’ action in Atlantic City against a landlord, an article in the June 13, 1970, Black Panther praises the tenants for “gathering together to form a United Front against Zionist Pig Sobel….” The article concludes with the exhortation: “ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE — DEATH TO THE ZIONIST PIGS.” And as if to prove that the reference to Sobel was not fortuitous, the paper a week later carried a story on “Substandard Housing in America” which referred to buildings “owned by a Zionist by the name of Rosenbaum.”

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from Seymour Martin Lipset, “The Socialism of Fools,” New York Times, January 3, 1971, page 6.

Alison Weir on Clay Douglas’s ‘The Free American Hour,’ Aug, 25, 2010

Recently the website IfAmericansKnewAlisonWeir went down, which documented some of cryptoantisemite Alison Weir’s more outrageous statements. We’ve pulled it out of archive.org to make it more available. The first post was a transcript of one of her appearances on the Clay Douglas show, and the second showed that one the first things she did upon becoming Council for the National Interest president was to send out propaganda based on classic antisemitic tropes.


SOURCE:
https://web.archive.org/web/20160308024336/http://ifamericansknewalisonweir.com

Transcript: Alison Weir on The Free American Hour, August 25, 2010

originally posted March 25th, 2011

Below is a complete transcript of Alison Weir’s August 25, 2010 appearance on the Free American Hour internet radio show, hosted by far-Right and anti-Semitic activist Clay Douglas (freeamerican dot com). The full audio of this broadcast is available here. Alison Weir has also appeared on the Free American Hour on April 23, 2010 and February 9, 2011.


Continue reading ‘Alison Weir on Clay Douglas’s ‘The Free American Hour,’ Aug, 25, 2010′

U.S. Green Party’s Ajamu Baraka Linked to Holocaust Denier

An image Barrett promotes in his writings on Holocaust Denial.

An image Barrett promotes in his writings on Holocaust Denial.

The U.S. Green Party is well-known to be a home for antisemites and conspiracy theorists. In fact, this seems to be such an accepted fact in the party that it has nominated Amaju Baraka for vice president, even tho he has a very public history of working with Holocaust Denier Kevin Barrett. This includes being in an anthology Barrett edited, and appearing on his radio show.

  • It was not a fluke that Baraka was in the anthology; he appeared on Barrett’s Truth Jihad radio show at least twice: see here and here.
  • For Barrett’s views on Holocaust Denial, see here and here.
  • A Green Party national co-coordinator replied by smearing those who pointed this out as an attempt to “run interference for apartheid in Israel” — despite the fact that the discussion was in reference to Holocaust Denial, and had no references to Israel.
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  • Jill Stein, or whoever is running her twitter account, has refused to reply to tweets, but has “liked” a tweet saying it’s acceptable that Baraka is working with a  Holocaust Denier.

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There is no justification for anyone on the Left working with Holocaust Deniers. This is not a new issue for the Greens either; the Canadian party just expelled a member for Holocaust Denial.

The Green Party needs to publicly denounce Holocaust Denial, break links with deniers, and institute mandatory education about antisemitism for all national and state-level staff.

UPDATE: According to Gawker, Baraka claims he knew nothing about Barrett’s views — despite the fact that they were public before his radio shows appearances. He claims he is the victim of a vast media conspiracy, saying,

“This witch-hunt against Ajamu Baraka is utterly bizarre, and the people participating it—from the media barons who ordered it to the lowly reporters who carry out those orders—are pathetic cowards who disgrace the name of journalism.”

It seems that everyone is to blame except Ajamu Baraka.

afff-front-cover

Barrett’s anthology, which includes a contribution from Ajamu Baraka, alongside a host of well-known neofascists and antisemites.

David Macey – Foucault, the French Communist Party, and the Doctor’s Plot (1993)

Foucault approached the final hurdle of the agrégation in spring 1950. This was also the year in which he finally joined the PCF. The Parti Communiste Français [PCF] had emerged from the war as the single most important political grouping in France, and was able to win five million votes in 1945. By the middle of 1947, its membership reached a high point of 900,000. Authoritarian, highly centralised and disciplined, the Party was a classic Stalinist formation, complete with a somewhat absurd personality cult dedicated to its secretary-general, Maurice Thorez. It was also highly patriotic and still enjoyed and exploited the reputation it had won in the wartime Resistance; this was le parti des fusillis—the party which had lost more members than any other to German repression. …

This was the party which Foucault chose to join in 1950. He took out his Party card at the urging of Althusser, who had taken the same decision two years earlier. In subjective terms, Foucault’s newfound commitment was largely a reaction to the apocalyptic despair he had felt as an adolescent living through a disastrous war. Politics had little meaning when the only choice available was one between Truman’s America and Stalin’s Russia. …

Many of those who joined the PCF at roughly the same time as Foucault left it after only a few years. Mass resignations followed the revelations about Stalin’s Russia made in Khrushchev’s ‘secret report’ to the Twentieth Party Congress of the CPSU [Communist Party of the Soviet Union] in 1956, and Soviet intervention in Hungary that same year led to many more departures. In Foucault’s case, the disaffection set in earlier. At the beginning of 1953, Pravda announced the arrest of nine doctors on very serious charges. They had allegedly murdered Zhdanov, had planned to murder a number of Soviet marshals and had plotted against the life of Stalin himself. Immediately after Stalin’s death from natural causes on 3 March, Pravda announced that the nine had been released and rehabilitated; they had been the victims of a machination. Seven of the nine were Jewish. In. France, the PCF’s press covered the ‘doctors’ plot’ in slavishly pro-Soviet terms, commenting that the security services of the USSR had ‘picked off the murderers in white coats, the secret agents recruited among the Zionists and Jewish nationalists’ and implying that the entire plot had been hatched in Tel Aviv.

Foucault attended a meeting at which André Wurmser attempted to justify the arrest of the nine. Wurmser laid down the Party line, and his audience of normaliens did their best to believe the unbelievable. For Foucault, believing the unbelievable was a way of existing within the Party: continued membership was the source of such tension that it became an exercise in ‘dissolving the ego’. After the death of Stalin, the PCF let it be known that there had been no plot, that it had been pure invention. The ENS [École Normale Supérieure, where Foucault was a student] cell wrote to Wurmser to ask for an explanation, but received no reply. Shortly afterwards, Foucault quietly left the PCF. The incident left a ‘bitter taste’ in his mouth, and resulted in both a life-long loathing for the PCF and a distinctly jaundiced view of the USSR.

The ‘doctors’ plot’ had revealed the existence of an ugly strand of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union. The French Party press was not to be outdone in the matter of anti-Semitism. According to Annie Besse, writing in Cahiers du communisme, ‘Hitler…refrained from harming the Jews of the big bourgeoisie… Who will ever forget that Leon Blum, his wife at his side, contemplated from the windows of his villa the smoke from the ovens of the crematoria!’ Zionism was ‘a mask behind which to conceal espionage operations against the Soviet Union’. Whether Foucault ever read these statements is not known, but in 1953 he was already denouncing the ‘odious’ attitude taken towards Israel by both the superpowers. His pro-Israeli sentiments were as unswerving as his dislike for the PCF, and it is difficult to believe that there was no connection between the two.

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from David Macey, The Lives of Michael Foucault: A Biography (NY: Pantheon Books, 1993), pages 37-38, 39-40.

Kalle Lasn (Adbusters): “Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?” (full image) (2004)

“Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?”,  Kalle Lasn’s infamous Adbusters article (March/April 2004),  is often talked about. But it is curiously hard to find a copy of the actual image—especially since much of its notoriety  derives from it being a list political figures in which the Jewish ones are marked with symbols next to their names! So, with all the brew-ha-ha lately about antisemitism at Occupy Wall Street, we thought we’d pull this one out of the archives.

(If you have trouble seeing the image, click here.)

We have a lot to say about antisemitism and the critique of finance capital; the failure of the left to oppose antisemitism at OWS and how this has handed openings to the right; the left’s pathetic failure in the response to these accusations, which have some validity; and the comparison between the anti-globalization and “Occupy” movements in terms of antisemitism, the critique of finance capital, and Left/Right crossover. But it will all have to wait.

Further reading about the Occupy movement, the critique of finance capital, and left/right crossover:

Spencer Sunshine, “Occupied With Conspiracies? The Occupy Movement, Populist Anti-Elitism, and the Conspiracy Theorists”

Matthew Lyons, “Rightists woo the Occupy Wall Street movement”

TPMDC, “Not Helping: David Duke Supports Occupy Wall Street”

The Liberty Lamp, “Infiltrators of the Occupy Movement.”

Michael C. Moynihan, “Busted: The Canadian magazine Adbusters sparked the Occupy Wall Street movement. It also has a weakness for Israel-bashing conspiracy theories.”

(mostly important for information at the end about Adbusters publishing Holocaust-denier Gilad Atzmon & co)

Scission,  “OCCUPY KANSAS CITY DEBATES THE “PROTOCOLS OF THE LEARNED ELDERS OF ZION”/ ARE YOU KIDDING ME”

“The bad seed of the #Occupy Movement—Occupy Tallinn”

Our American Generation, “American Neo Nazis and the Occupy Movement”

Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement (HARM), HARM Withdraws Support for Occupy Indianapolis

Mike Levine, “US Professors Travel to Iran to Discuss Occupy Wall Street Movement”

(Normally, I’d never link to FOX, but this is of interest because, while the “US professors” were leftists and marxists – one an Italian-style autonomist – Iran’s Press TV quotes a US Iman saying that the OWS 99% is “naturally against Zionism…. The monster today is global Zionism.”)

(Documents some of the antisemitic cartoons which came out in 2012 in Occupy/Anonymous circles.)

YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO SEE THIS IMAGE IN FIREFOX; IF NOT, USE A DIFFERENT BROWSER

TEXT:

WHY WON’T ANYONE SAY THEY ARE JEWISH?

Friends help each other out. That’s why the US sends billions of dollars every year to Israel. In return, Israel advances US strategic interests in the Middle East. But despite this mutual back scratching, Israeli-American relations are enduring a rough patch. Last December, a senior State Department official blasted Israel for having “done too little for far too long” to resolve the conflict with its Palestinian neighbors. Indeed, President Bush himself had scolded Israel a month earlier with his demand that “Israel should freeze settlement construction, dismantle unauthorized outposts, end the daily humiliation of the Palestinian people and not prejudice final negotiations with the building of walls and fences.”

Harsh words, but is it all just window-dressing? This was not the first time Bush criticized Israel and he has made numerous calls for a “viable” Palestinian state during his presidency. Nevertheless, he has never concretely punished Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for ignoring US directives and shrugging off his commitment to the peace process. It’s also worth noting that diplomatic admonitions are the responsibility of the State Department which has been on the losing end of the policy wars in Bush’s White House. One wonders what Israeli-American relations, and indeed what American relations with the rest of the world would look like if the neocon hawks who control Rumsfeld’s Defense Department were also in charge at State.

A lot of ink has been spilled chronicling the pro-Israel leanings of American neocons and fact that a the disproportionate percentage of them are Jewish. Some commentators are worried that these individuals – labeled ‘Likudniks’ for their links to Israel’s right wing Likud party – do not distinguish enough between American and Israeli interests. For example, whose interests were they protecting in pushing for war in Iraq?

Drawing attention to the Jewishness of the neocons is a tricky game. Anyone who does so can count on automatically being smeared as an anti-Semite. But the point is not that Jews (who make up less than 2 percent of the American population) have a monolithic perspective. Indeed, American Jews overwhelmingly vote Democrat and many of them disagree strongly with Ariel Sharon’s policies and Bush’s aggression in Iraq. The point is simply that the neocons seem to have a special affinity for Israel that influences their political thinking and consequently American foreign policy in the Middle East.

Here at Adbusters, we decided to tackle the issue head on and came up with a carefully researched list of who appear to be the 50 most influential neocons in the US (see above). Deciding exactly who is a neocon is difficult since some neocons reject the term while others embrace it. Some shape policy from within the White House, while others are more peripheral, exacting influence indirectly as journalists, academics and think tank policy wonks. What they all share is the view that the US is a benevolent hyper power that must protect itself by reshaping the rest of the world into its morally superior image. And half of the them are Jewish.

Kalle Lasn