Eggs In One Basket
By Uri Avnery
17 October, 2004
a hundred years ago, the Russian Czars secret police cobbled together
a document they called the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion".
The "authors" were not particularly original they took
a satire, written decades earlier about Napoleon IIIs ambitions
for world domination, and substituted Jewish rabbis for the French emperor.
According to the revised document, the Jews are plotting to control
the world, and the tentacles of this conspiracy reach everywhere.
When this fabrication
was composed, the scenario was quite outlandish. In mighty Russia, which
at that time included a great part of Poland, Jews had hardly any influence
at all. In the German Reich, Jews were indeed prominent in several fields
such as banking, commerce and the press but they were
remote from the real centers of power. The Kaiser kept them out of the
prestigious officers corps and the higher echelons of the powerful
bureaucracy. Jews prominent in the sciences could count themselves lucky
if they obtained a professorship.
In the United States
some Jews were getting rich, but theyccould not penetrate the highest
ranks of the economy and society.
How hollow the legend
of Jewish power really was, became evident when the Nazis, after soaring
high on the wings of anti-Semitism, annihilated the Jews of Europe.
American and British Jews could not (and, indeed, did not even seriously
attempt to) push their government into doing something to save their
brethren. Both governments were afraid of providing ammunition for the
Nazis, whose propaganda claimed that Roosevelt and Churchill were stooges
of International Jewry.
After a decent interval
of several decades, the Elders of Zion have staged a comeback in the
last few years. The internet is now full of anti-Semitic messages that
adapt the old falsified document to the present realities. But the disgusting
old slogans have not changed a bit.
On the face of it,
the job of the anti-Semites is much easier now. Since the Protocols
were "discovered", much has changed in the world. True, the
Holocaust eradicated almost all of European Jewry, but in its wake the
State of Israel, which defines itself as a Jewish State, came into being.
And, most importantly, the Jewish community in the United States has
attained a standing comparable only to the Golden Age of the Jews in
medieval Muslim Spain.
In a way, the lies
of the Protocols have fulfilled themselves. "America controls the
world," the anti-Semites now say, "and the Jews control America."
In support of this,
they point to the war in Iraq. It is well known that a group of "neo-conservatives",
almost all of them Jews, occupied central positions of power in Washington
and pushed for the invasion of Iraq. Some years before that, members
of this group acted as advisors to the then Prime Minister of Israel,
According to the
anti-Semites, these Jews sold the war to the United States with mendacious
arguments, in order to eliminate Israels most dangerous enemy
in the Middle East, Iraq. Now they are conspiring against Israels
two remaining enemies, Syria and Iran.
On the face of it,
but only on the face of it, there is some truth in these allegations.
The neo-cons indeed believe that the interests of the Unites States
and Israel coincide, and they indeed pushed for this war. But a thousand
neo-cons like Wolfowitz and Perle would not have succeeded in this,
without the influence of another group in Washington, much more powerful,
and much less visible: the oil people.
The Bush family
and Vice President Dick Cheney represent the interests of this group.
Behind them looms the immense power of the oil companies, in which Jews
play hardly any part at all.
Their aim was not
only to take over the huge oil reserves of Iraq itself, but also to
locate a permanent American military and political base between the
immense oil resources of the Caspian Sea in the North and the Persian/Arabian
gulf in the South. This, they argue, is necessary in order to assure
American dominance in a world in which oil is a dwindling resource of
fundamental importance to all industrialized economies.
The neo-cons supplied
only the ideological embellishment and the moral justification. One
could almost say that this is the traditional job assigned to the Jews.
It is easy for anti-Semites
to list all the Jewish names in the American administration. As in Germany
after World War I, during the so-called Weimar Republic, American Jews
are prominent in the administration, economy, media, law, medicine and
science. The Zionist lobby brags openly (perhaps too openly) that it
can bring down any senator or congress(wo)man who criticizes Israel.
They have given ample proof of that. Somebody once said that if AIPAC,
the pro-Israeli Jewish lobby, submitted a resolution to Congress abolishing
the Ten Commandments, 80 senators and 400 congressman would sign on
the first day.
The situation is
especially glaring as far as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is concerned.
During the watch of President Bill Clinton, almost all the team dealing
with this problem were Jews. Their meetings with Israeli politicians
could easily have been conducted in Yiddish. With the advent of George
W. Bush, a fundamental change took place: the liberal Jews in the team
were supplanted by conservative Jews. Now, too, almost all the people
in the American administration dealing with the Middle East are Jews.
publications stress these facts which are true in themselves
in order to prove that the Jews control the world. But reality
is more complex by far.
True, the Zionist
lobby is big and strong, but there are others equally strong or stronger
in the field. One could mention the American Rifle Association, the
lobbies of physicians and trial lawyers and others, and in the political
field the even more powerful Christian Evangelists. Much to the chagrin
of the anti-Semites, this lobby is also completely devoted to Israel.
Indeed, the Christian Evangelists, especially in the United States and
Britain, invented modern Zionism long before Theodor Herzl and his colleagues
adopted this idea.
The American Jewish
community is proud of its great influence. That is understandable, if
one remembers that only two generations ago Jews were not admitted to
the important clubs (prompting the Jewish comedian Groucho Marx to quip:
"I dont want to belong to any club that will accept me as
a member!") Their amazing ascent stems from hard work, organizational
talent and readiness to donate money.
But anyone conversant
with Jewish history may suspect that, as the Yiddish saying goes, "Die
kalle ist zu shein" ("the bride is too beautiful.") After
the Golden Age, all the Jews were expelled from Spain. After the brilliant
success of the Jews in Germany, the Nazis came to power. Today, anti-Semites
in the United States are a vocal and despised marginal group, but it
is a mistake to ignore the danger.
What would happen
for example, if the United States sank ever deeper into the bloody swamp
of Iraq, into an atmosphere of national calamity? When the search for
a scapegoat is on, the Jewish neo-cons will stick out.
What would happen
if Americans started to wonder about the roots of the terrorism of Islamic
fanatics? Wont there be some who would argue that America got
into the Clash of Civilizations with the Muslim world only because of
And if America gets
into a really deep economic depression, might not Jewish names
like that of the chief of the Federal Reserve come up?
One should not exaggerate
these dangers. At present they are hardly specks on the horizon. But
I would advise the leaders of the Jewish institutions in the United
States to exercise some self-restraint. Intoxication with power can
easily lead to dangerous excesses. And I would also advise the government
of Israel not to put all its eggs in one basket.