Part II: Henry Ford and the Jewish Question
The Occidental Quarterly 2(4), Winter 2002/2003: 53-77
So what is one to make of Henry Ford’s series of writings on Jews? TIJ is an amalgam of dark speculations on Jewish conspiracy combined with some interesting and, on the whole, accurate information on Jews and perceptions of Jews during the period. The weekly articles, which were compiled into a 4-volume book version that was never copyrighted and has thus been in the public domain for over 80 years, merit a fair and accurate summary.
Jewish Economic Influence
The general view of TIJ is that Jews have achieved a great deal of economic, political, and cultural domination in the U.S. and European societies. At times, TIJ writes as though the United States economy was completely dominated by Jews: “In America alone most of the big business, the trusts and the banks, the natural resources and the chief agricultural products, especially tobacco, cotton and sugar, are in the control of Jewish financiers or their agents” (5/22/1920). This undoubtedly exaggerated view of the overarching power of Jewish finance contrasts with discussions of a great many areas describing the extent to which Jews control specific areas of the economy and culture. A later article (6/05/1920) claims several other important industries are under Jewish control in the U.S.: The motion picture industry, 50% of the meat packing industry, “upwards of 60% of the shoemaking industry,” the clothing industry, distribution and selling of music, jewelry, grain, the Colorado smelting industry, magazine writing, news distribution, the liquor business, and the loan business, “only to name the industries with national and international sweep.”
While overly inclined to see Jewish domination of the U.S. economy resulting from Jewish overrepresentation in investment banking, TIJ was essentially correct when it pointed to particular industries that were dominated by Jews. Data from the 1930s indicated that Jews had disproportionate influence in retailing, the garment industry, cosmetics, entertainment, mass media and publishing, investment banking, and the professions (Editors of Fortune 1936; Sachar 1992, 341). All of these, with the exception of Jewish involvement in the professions were foci of TIJ, although TIJ did discuss Jewish influence in journalism and the academic world, particularly economics. TIJ is careful to distinguish between investment banking, where Jews had a very strong position, from retail banking, where they did not—a distinction also noted by Editors of Fortune (1936).
All of these industries are given detailed treatment in various places in TIJ (e.g., the liquor business was the focus of in three articles appearing in late 1921). In general, TIJ takes a balanced, nuanced approach to Jewish influence in particular areas. For example, in the financial area, TIJ describes a conflict between a nascent Jewish group and a non-Jewish group bent on preventing Jewish influence. “At one time [Jewish influence] threatened to be [paramount], but American financiers have always been silently aware of the International Jewish Financier, and have endeavored quietly to block his game” (11/13/1920). However, while presently thwarted, TIJ notes that Jewish influence on the stock exchange is increasing rapidly because Jews are willing to pay the highest prices for seats on the New York Stock Exchange as they become available, and no Jew ever sells his seat to a non-Jew. “One outstanding characteristic of the Jewish race is its persistence. What it cannot attain this generation, it will attain next. Defeat it today, it does not remain defeated; its conquerors die, but Jewry goes on, never forgetting, never deviating from its ancient aim of world control in one form or another” (11/13/1920). TIJ gives figures for Jewish membership of the NYSE as 60/1009 in 1872, rising to 106 in 1893 to 276 in 1919. Jewish control “is struggling to go higher, but has thus far been estopped” (11/13/1920).
Noting the importance of the theater as part of the plan outlined in the Protocols, TIJ provides detailed accounts in a series of five articles on Jewish domination of the theater and motion picture industry. “Not only the ‘legitimate’ stage, so-called, but the motion picture industry—the fifth greatest of all the great industries—is also Jew-controlled, not in spots only, not 50 per cent merely, but entirely; with the natural consequence that the world is in arms against the trivializing and demoralizing influences of that form of entertainment as at present managed. As soon as the Jew got control of American Liquor, we had a liquor problem with drastic consequences. As soon as the Jew gained control of the ‘movies,’ we had a movie problem, the consequences of which are not yet visible. It is the genius of the race to create problems in whatever business they achieve a majority. . . . Millions of Americans every day place themselves voluntarily within range of Jewish ideas of life, love and labor; within range of Jewish propaganda, sometimes cleverly, sometimes cunningly concealed” (1/01/1921). “Frivolity, sensuality, indecency, appalling illiteracy and endless platitude are the marks of the American State as it approaches its degeneracy under Jewish control” (1/01/1920).
TIJ claims that Jewish producers stage plays that provide positive images of Jews and that most of these are not successful despite massive publicity and endorsement by public officialdom. Ben Hur is given as a prominent exception, its 19-year run explained by the fact that “it is the most successful of all the vehicles for pro-Semitism now on the stage” (1/08/1921).
TIJ describes the rise during the 1890s of the Jewish-dominated Theatrical Trust which eclipsed the previous non-Jewish theatrical producers and agents. TIJ states that the Theatrical Trust blacklisted critics who “opposed its methods or pointed out the inferior, coarse and degrading character of the Trust productions.” TIJ claims that critics were fired by newspapers threatened by the Trust with loss of advertising revenue (1/08/1921). In turn, the Theatrical Trust became overshadowed by the Shubert family, another Jewish company (1/22/1921).
Regarding the movies, TIJ reports that 90% of the production is in the hands of a few large companies, 85% of which “are in the hands of Jews” (2/12/1921). The article appearing on 2/19/1921 discusses the Jews behind the major motion picture companies of the era, going over much the same information as presented in Neal Gabler’s (1988) An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood. TIJ is careful to note that its concerns with the moral messages in movies are not idiosyncratic but part of a larger kulturkampf between the movie industry and large segments of the American public: “In almost every state there are movie censorship bills pending, with the old ‘wet’ and gambling elements against them, and the awakened part of the decent population in favor of them; always, the Jewish producing firms constituting the silent pressure behind the opposition” (2/12/1921). Indeed, the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, headed by Will H. Hays, was created in 1922 in response to movements in over thirty state legislatures to enact strict censorship laws, and the Production Code Administration, headed by Joseph I. Breen, was launched in response to a campaign by the Catholic Legion of Decency (Gabler 1988). TIJ’s reservations about the moral content of movies was indeed widely shared among the American public.
TIJ attributes the moral sensibility of the movie industry to the fact that it is dominated by Jews—the contrast between the “Oriental ideal” for culture and the “Anglo Saxon, the American ideal.” The Oriental ideal is “‘If you can’t go as far as you like, go as far as you can.’ It gravitates naturally to the flesh and its exposure; its natural psychic habitat is among the more sensual emotions.” According to TIJ, “Here lies the whole secret of the movies’ moral failure: they are not American and their producers are racially unqualified to reproduce the American atmosphere. An influence which is racially, morally and idealistically foreign to America, has been given the powerful projecting force of the motion picture business, and the consequences are what we see” (2/12/1921). However, TIJ notes that to advocate censorship is construed as anti-Semitism: “Reader, beware! if you so much as resent the filth of the mass of the movies, you will fall under the judgment of anti-Semitism” (2/12/1921).
TIJ claims that the movies are biased in favor of Judaism and against Christianity. TIJ quotes from a letter from non-Jewish movie production company submitted during Congressional hearings, stating that Christian plays, such as Life of the Savior, have not been produced in order to not offend Jewish sensibilities (2/12/1921).
You never see a Jewish rabbi depicted on the screen in any but a most honorable attitude. He is clothed with all the dignity of the office and he is made as impressive as can be. Christian clergymen, as any movie fan will readily recall, were subjected to all sorts of misrepresentations, from the comic to the criminal. Now, this attitude is distinctly Jewish. Like many unlabeled influences in our life, whose sources lead back to Jewish groups, the object is to break down as far as possible all respectful or considerate thought about the clergy. The Catholic clergy very soon made themselves felt in opposition to this abuse of their priestly dignity. You never see a priest made light of on the screen. But the Protestant clergyman is still the elongated, sniveling, bilious hypocrite of anti-Christian caricature. . . You may not depict a Hebrew as owner of a sweatshop—though all sweatshop owners are Hebrews; but you may make a Christian clergyman everything from a seducer to a safe-cracker and get away with it.
TIJ quotes a movie poster of the period: “‘I refuse to live with you any longer. I denounce you as my wife—I will go to HER—my free-lover.’ Thus speaks the Rev. Frank Gordon in the greatest of all free-love dramas” (2/19/1921). TIJ then notes pointedly but tentatively, “There may be no connection whatever, but behold what is done, and remembering what is written in the Protocols, a question arises. It is written: ‘We have misled, stupefied and demoralized the youth of the Gentiles by means of education in principles and theories, patently false to us, but which we have inspired.’ Protocol 9 ‘We have taken good care long ago to discredit the Gentile clergy’ Protocol 17 (2/19/1921). This typifies the manner in which TIJ refers to the Protocols (see also below): Actual events that can be reasonably shown to be due to Jewish influence are shown to fit with the conspiratorial master plan outlined in the Protocols. Despite the paranoid logic, the assertions of TIJ are congruent with recent studies indicating that Jews remain in control of the movie industry and that the movies generally portray Christians and Christianity negatively and Jews and Judaism positively (e.g., Medved, 1992/1993; MacDonald, 2002a).
Finally, there is little doubt that TIJ is correct in its assessment that Jews dominated the music industry in the U.S. As Kenneth Kantor notes:
Both as a business and as an expression of talent and creative artistry, American popular music was in large part shaped and formed by Jews, many of them immigrant newcomers to the American scene. . . . Virtually all the great names that come to mind when one considers popular music — Rogers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, Lorenz Hart, Jerome Kern, George and Ida Gershwin, Irving Caesar, and Charles Harris, for instance, are Jewish names. Jews wrote the songs, Jews sang the songs, and Jews made sure that the songs were circulated to every corner of the country, for they founded and built America's publishing industry. Among the vanguard publishers were M. Witmark, Charles K. Harris, Joseph Stern, Shapiro and Bernstein, Harry von Tilzer, Leo Feist, T. B. Harms, and Irving Berlin [born Israel Baline]. Collectively their publishing firms came to be known as ‘Tin Pan Alley’ ... It was the Tin Pan Alley ethos, combining the commercial with the aesthetic, that gave our popular music its distinctive character. (Kanter, p. ix]
Jewish Political Activism Aimed at Shaping the United States
Besides the cultural influences described above, TIJ devotes a great deal of attention to the Jewish political campaigns against public expressions of Christianity and for official recognition of the Jewish religion (e.g., recognizing Jewish holidays). “The St. Louis Charity Fair in 1908 planned to remain open on Friday evening; a great outcry; did the managers of that fair mean to insult the Jews; didn’t they know that the Jewish Sabbath began on Friday night?” (6/04/1921). TIJ presents a history of Jewish activism against public expressions of Christianity based on Kehillah records, beginning with an attempt in 1899–1900 to remove the word “Christian” from the Virginia Bill of Rights and culminating in 1919–1920: “In this year the Kehillah was so successful in its New York campaign that it was possible for a Jewish advertiser in New York to say that he wanted Jewish help, but it was not possible for a non-Jewish advertiser to state his non-Jewish preference. This is a sidelight both on Jewish reasonableness and Jewish power” (3/12/1920). “The Jews’ interference with the religion of the others, and the Jews’ determination to wipe out of public life every sign of the predominant Christian character of the United States is the only active form of religious intolerance in the country today” (3/21/1920).
Another aspect of Jewish power during the period was the ability to prevent public discussion of Jewish issues as such—an important source of Jewish power with continuing relevance in contemporary times (MacDonald, 2002a; Sobran, 1996).
There is a vague feeling that even to openly use the word ‘Jew,’ or to expose it nakedly to print, is somehow improper. . . . There is extreme sensitiveness about the public discussion of the Jewish Question on the part of Gentiles. They would prefer to keep it in the hazy borderlands of their thought, shrouded in silence. . . . The principal public Gentile pronouncements upon the Jewish Question are in the manner of the truckling politician or the pleasant after-dinner speaker; the great Jewish names in philosophy, medicine, literature, music and finance are named over, the energy, ability and thrift of the race are dwelt upon, and everyone goes home feeling that a difficult place has been rather neatly negotiated. (6/12/1920
Anyone who essays to discuss the Jewish Question in the United States or anywhere else must be fully prepared to be regarded as an Anti-Semite, in high-brow language, or in low-brow-language, a Jew-baiter. . . . The press in general is open at this time to fulsome editorials in favor of everything Jewish . . . while the Jewish press, which is fairly numerous in the United States, takes care of the vituperative end. (6/19/1920)
According to TIJ, Jews have succeeded in engaging in ethnic warfare without either side publicly acknowledging that there is indeed a war: “Yes, let it be agreed; if the Jewish idea is the stronger, if the Jewish ability is the greater, let them conquer; let the Anglo-Saxon principles and Anglo-Saxon power go down in ruins before the Tribe of Judah. But first let the two ideas struggle under their own banners; let it be a fair struggle” (5/21/1921; emphasis in TIJ).
Based on pronouncements of Jewish organizations and intellectuals, TIJ makes the important point that Jews promote “one of the dangerous doctrines being preached today” that “the United States is not any definite thing as yet, but that it is yet to be made, and it is still the prey of whatever power can seize it and mold it to its liking. It is a favorite Jewish view that the United States is a great unshapen mass of potentiality, of no particular character which is yet to be given its definite form. . . . We are not making Americans; we are permitting foreigners to be educated in the theory that America is a free-for-all, the prize of whatever fantastic foreign political theory may seize it” (3/05/1921). This comment on Jewish attitudes fits well with a great deal of evidence that Jews have consistently opposed the notion that the U.S. has any ethnic overtones or that it is a European or Christian civilization (see MacDonald, 1998/2002, Ch. 7). TIJ also cites a tendency for Jews to be very enthusiastic about the U.S. because of the potential of the U.S. to serve Jewish interests. As Zionist activist Israel Zangwill noted, “Next to being in a country of their own, there could be no better fate for [Eastern European Jews] than to be together in a land of civil and religious liberty, of whose Constitution Christianity forms no part and where their collective votes would practically guarantee them against future persecution. (in Ross 1914, 144)
A critical component of Jewish attempts to change the U.S. in conformity with Jewish interests is advocacy of unrestricted immigration. TIJ was well aware that Jewish groups were the main force advocating unrestricted immigration to the U.S. The article for March 5, 1921 claims that one part of the Jewish program for America is unrestricted Jewish immigration from any part of the world—a comment that fits well with the findings of other scholars (MacDonald, 1998/2002; Neuringer, 1980). “American Jews have never cared what kind of human riffraff filled the country as long as the Jewish flood was not hindered” (3/21/1921). TIJ notes that the Kehillah yearbook for 1913–1914 stated that the energy of Jewish activists was focused on “preventing the United States from changing the immigration laws in a manner to protect the country from undesirable aliens” (3/21/1920). An important technique in opposition to restrictive immigration laws was organizing mass meetings in large cities. TIJ states that the Kehillah is able to organize mass meetings “on a day’s notice” in all the major U.S. cities. “It was by Mass Meetings that Congress was coerced into breaking off our commercial treaty with Russia. It was by Mass Meetings that the literacy test [as a criterion for immigration] was defeated. It was by Mass Meetings that every attempt to restrict immigration has been defeated” (3/19/1921).
TIJ places a great deal of emphasis on Jewish power in the media as a tool of Jewish political activism. TIJ recounts an incident when a professor returned from Russia with a magazine article on the Jewish question in that country. The editor was “deeply impressed with all he learned—but said he could not print the article. The same interest and examination occurred with other magazine editors of the first rank” (6/26/1920). Although Jews had make strides in ownership of the press during this period, TIJ states that ownership of the press is not critical because Jews are able to exert pressure by withholding advertising. A newspaper that reprinted an excerpt of an article on Jews from the Dearborn Independent lost a number of Jewish advertising accounts the next day (9/11/1920).
TIJ also presents an interesting account of resistance to Jewish pressure by James Gordon Bennett, a non-Jew who owned the New York Herald, the most prestigious newspaper in the city until he died in 1918. According to TIJ, the Jewish owners of department stores threatened the city’s newspapers with loss of advertising if they failed to back a Jewish candidate for mayor. Bennett published the threatening letter and managed to survive the loss of Jewish advertising. Despite Bennett’s victory, Jewish power in journalism increased in New York. The Herald died with Bennett, and “Adolph S. Ochs, a Philadelphia Jew, acquired the [New York] Times. He soon made it into a great newspaper, but one whose bias is to serve the Jews” (2/05/1921). In fact, this assessment of the New York Times is quite reasonable (see discussion in MacDonald 2002a).
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) also receives some attention from TIJ. The ADL is portrayed as organizing boycotts to achieve its ends, often through its ability to control advertising in newspapers placed by Jewish department store owners. The ADL pressures newspapers to remove negative references to people identified as Jews. This pressure has resulted in Jews with negative press being referred to as Russians or as Englishmen, but never as Jews (3/19/1921; 7/03/1920). TIJ also points to a double standard in this regard: “A Jewish paper may shriek to the skies that Professor So-and-So, or Judge So-and-So, or Senator So-and-So is a Jew; but the secular newspaper that should do that would be visited by an indignant committee bearing threats” (9/11/1920). TIJ also reports that in 1919, the ADL claimed success in getting 150 U.S. cities to exclude The Merchant of Venice from public schools.
Jewish Influence on Foreign Policy
TIJ describes in some detail the 1911 Jewish campaign to abrogate the Russian trade agreement. TIJ was partly motivated out of pique at former President Taft who was president at the time of the abrogation and who had been recruited by the ADL to denounce TIJ. On November 1, 1920, Taft released his statement condemning TIJ “as a foolish pronouncement” (1/15/21). TIJ’s account of Taft’s role in the abrogation of the Russian trade agreement agrees with other accounts of the events but adds some interesting personal details. The source of the problem was that the Russian government restricted the freedom of its Jewish citizens to travel and settle within Russia to the so-called Pale of Settlement, an area in Western Russia with a large Jewish population which had been annexed by Russia from Poland at the end of the 18th century. (Jews had traditionally been banned from Russia.) Some Jews were getting around these laws by going to the U.S., becoming naturalized citizens, and then returning to Russia as U.S. citizens. Russia regarded this as a subterfuge. It continued to view these people as subject to its travel and residence restrictions. The Jewish campaign favored formulations in which the problem was couched as a general American problem rather than as a specific problem for American Jews. But the difficulties for American Jews were only a pretext for a larger campaign directed at exerting pressure on Russia to end the Pale of Settlement and thereby change the status of Russian Jews.
A delegation of prominent American Jews, including Jacob Schiff, visited President Taft to discuss this issue as well as the use of literacy tests for immigrants—another important Jewish concern. Taft rebuffed the Jewish delegation on the trade embargo issue, basing his decision on his interpretation of the best interests of the United States, and he also presented the Jewish delegation with a letter from the U.S. Ambassador in Russia giving the Russian point of view on their Jewish subjects and the need to restrict their movements. TIJ does not discuss the contents of this letter, but the official Russian view was that emancipation had resulted in Jews economically dominating and exploiting the Slavic peasants (Judge 1992, 9, 11); Jews in Russia “were viewed by the authorities and by much of the rest of population as a foreign, separate, exploitative, and distressingly prolific nation” (Lindemann 1991, 17).
Taft’s behavior angered the Jewish delegation and particularly Jacob Schiff who refused to shake the President’s hand. The American Jewish Committee began an intense campaign which resulted in victory when, a mere 10 months later, “both houses of Congress ordered President Taft to notify Russia that the treaty with Russia would be terminated. . . . Whether this had anything to do with the fact that William Howard Taft became that unusual figure—a one-term President—this chronicle does not undertake to say” (1/15/1921).
TIJ also presents an interesting account of various descriptions of the anti-Jewish actions in Poland in 1919. The article of November 6, 1920 compares several accounts of the situation in Poland and notes that a very pro-Jewish account by Sir Stuart Samuel, the Jewish head of the British mission to Poland, was widely publicized, including being placed as advertisements in newspapers. On the other hand, accounts by Henry Morganthau Sr. (also Jewish and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey) and Captain P. Wright (a member of the British mission to Poland) that were less flattering to Jews disappeared from public awareness to the point that copies of them were difficult to obtain.
TIJ emphasizes Jewish sympathy for communism as an important issue in Polish anti-Semitism: “Whenever Bolshevik Red armies swept across Poland, the Jews met them with welcomes. This is no longer denied, even in the United States: it is explained by the statement that the Bolsheviki are more friendly to the Jews than are the Poles” (11/06/1921). The report by Wright emphasized the successful Jewish demands for group political and legal rights at the Versailles Peace Conference:
If the Jews of England—after multiplying their numbers by twenty or thirty—demanded that the Jewish Board of Guardians should have extensive powers, including the right to tax for purposes of emigration, and that a separate number of seats should be set aside in the London County Council, the Manchester Town Council, the House of Commons, and the House of Lords, to be occupied only by Jews chosen by Jews; that the president of the board of education should hand over yearly to the Jews sums proportionate to their numbers; if some were to demand the right to have separate Jewish law courts, or at least to be allowed to use Yiddish as well as English in the King’s Bench and Chancery Division; if the most advanced even looked forward to a time when Bank of England notes were to be printed in Yiddish as well as in English, then they might well find public opinion, even in England, less well disposed to them.
TIJ notes the large degree of Jewish influence on Woodrow Wilson: “They formed a solid ring around him.” Commenting on the special access to Wilson held by the Jewish journalist David Lawrence, TIJ states, “There was a time when he communicated to the country through no one but a Jew” (12/04/1920). TIJ provides examples of Jews who were involved in corruption during W.W.I, attributing the crimes to the immense power of Jewish financier Bernard Baruch who controlled the War Industries Board.
TIJ states that Simon Wolf, Jewish lobbyist in Washington, suggested that a Jew be appointed ambassador to Spain “to show Spain that the United States does not approve Spain’s act of expulsion back in the fifteenth century. Jews are also suggesting to President Harding that a Jew be appointed Ambassador to Germany to rebuke the Germans’ resentment against Jewish control of finance, industry and politics” (3/19/1921). The request for a Jewish ambassador to Spain to protest the expulsion of 1492 is truly remarkable but not at all surprising. It is yet another indication of the intensity and persistence of Jewish memories of anti-Semitism (MacDonald 1998a, Ch. 6; 2002a). TIJ also claims that American and British Jews with a Zionist agenda are crowding diplomatic posts in the Middle East, “so that the whole mid-Orient is now under Jewish control, and the Mohammedan World is given to understand that the Jews are merely coming back from their conquest of the white races” (3/19/1921).
All of this paints a picture of enormous Jewish power during this period. However, the limits of Jewish power at the time were also apparent during this period, particularly in the battle over immigration. Unlike the abrogation of the Russian Trade Agreement, immigration aroused intense passions among non-Jews as well, and Jews were on the losing side in the immigration restriction legislation of 1921 and 1924. It was not until 1965 that this immigration policy was overturned despite continued intense Jewish pressure on this issue over the ensuing decades (MacDonald, 1998b, Ch. 7).
Are Jews a Race?
TIJ takes the view that Jews are a race and understand themselves to be a race but have successfully lobbied to ensure that public references to Judaism refer to it as a religion. (The TIJ usage of the term ‘race’ reflects the fact that during this period there was no distinction between the major human races and small descent groups, the latter termed ‘ethnic groups’ in today’s parlance.) In 1909, Jews successfully pressured Congress to reject a recommendation of the U.S. Census Bureau to have the category of ‘Jew’ for recording immigrants. Jewish lobbyists insisted that Jews were a religion, not a race, despite heated arguments to the contrary in the U.S. Senate, including prominent immigration restrictionist Henry Cabot Lodge. As a result, “there are 46 other classifications [of racial/ethnic groups], but none for the Jew,” and TIJ quotes a government report stating that classification “by race or people” “is acceptable to the people of the United States with one exception” (10/09/1920; emphasis in TIJ).
TIJ notes that there is “at least one indication has appeared in which the Jew has one view to present to the Gentiles, and another which he cherishes among his own people, on this question of Race,” i.e., that Jews view themselves as a race but wish non-Jews to regard them only as a religion (10/09/1920). To buttress its claims that Jews are a race—a view that agrees with the results of modern studies of population genetics (MacDonald 1994/2002, Ch. 2), TIJ cites comments from a number of Jewish scholars and prominent Jews. It quotes a Jewish scholar, Leon Simon, that “The idea that Jews are a religious sect, precisely parallel to Catholics and Protestants, is nonsense” (10/16/1920). TIJ also quotes the influential proto-Zionist theorist, Moses Hess, that the Jew “belongs to a race; he belongs to a nation; he seeks a kingdom to come on this earth, a kingdom which shall be over all kingdoms, with Jerusalem the ruling city of the world” (10/16/1920). (Given the abundant signs of “the rise of the Jews,” to use Lindemann’s  phrase, it must have seemed ominous to TIJ to be reminded of the prediction of Jewish world supremacy contained not only in ancient Jewish religious writings but also repeated by an influential Jewish intellectual of the modern era.) In the same passage, TIJ also quotes Supreme Court Justice and Zionist Louis Brandeis that “the percentage of foreign blood in the Jews of today is very low. Probably no important European race is as pure.” TIJ also cites Jewish scholar Israel Friedlander’s statement that the Jewish idea of racial purity stems from the rejection of the Samaritans as Jews recorded in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Old Testament, a view that is common among scholars today (see MacDonald 1994/2002, Ch. 3). Friedlander writes that “it is enough for us to know that the Jews have always felt themselves to be a separate race, sharply marked off from the rest of mankind” (10/16/1020).
TIJ also points out the irony of Jews claiming to be a religion in the U.S. while claiming to be a nationality in Eastern Europe. Jewish groups, including some based in the U.S., successfully lobbied the post-W.W.I Peace Conferences to achieve nationality status in Poland and other Eastern European countries after World War I. As several scholars have noted, religious forms of Judaism have acted as a “protective coloring” (Elazar 1980, 9) adopted because “it is a legitimate way to maintain differences when organic ways [i.e., assertions of ethnic peoplehood] are suspect” (Elazar 1980, 23). As Katz (1986, 32) notes, “The definition of the Jewish community as a purely religious unit was, of course, a sham from the time of its conception.” Cuddihy (1978) discusses the rise of Judaism to the level of being considered one of the three major U.S. religions along with Protestants and Catholics despite constituting only 2–3% of the population.
TIJ on Anti-Semitism
TIJ takes the view that anti-Semitism results mainly from Jewish behavior and that it can be rationally understood by adducing appropriate evidence. TIJ’s view is that non-Jews who attempt to understand anti-Semitism by attributing blame to the Jews should therefore not be classified as anti-Semites:
It would seem to be necessary for our Jewish citizens to enlarge their classification of Gentiles to include the class which recognizes the existence of a Jewish Question and still is not anti-Semitic. . . . Anti-Semitism is a term which is bandied about too loosely. It ought to be reserved to denote the real anti-Jewish temper of violent prejudice. . . . Nor is it anti-Semitism to say that the suspicion is abroad in every capital of civilization and the certainty is held by a number of important men that there is active in the world a plan to control the world . . . by control of the machinery of commerce and exchange. It is not anti-Semitism to say that, nor to present the evidence which supports that, nor to bring proof of that. (June 19, 1920)
Anti-Semitism throughout history “has never accomplished anything in behalf of those who used it, and it has never taught anything to the Jews against whom it was used” (6/19/1920). Anti-Semitism “has sometimes broken into murderous violence . . . . There is, of course, no excuse for these outbreaks, but there is sufficient explanation of them” (6/19/1920). Jews tend to over-attribute the Christian religious basis of anti-Semitism: “There is no hesitation in stating that there is no prejudice whatever in the Christian churches against the Jew on account of his religion” (6/19/1920). (Baldwin, who finds the roots of Ford’s anti-Jewish attitudes in medieval religious attitudes, would have benefited by reading this passage.)
A common technique of those attempting to criticize Jews is to find Jewish authors who reflect their views. TIJ does this quite often, as in the July 10, 1920 installment where Theodore Herzl is used as a reference supporting the idea that Jews are nation. “He said, ‘We are a people—One people.” “Herzl’s words are being proved to be true—‘when we sink, we become a revolutionary proletariat, the subordinate officers of the revolutionary party” (7/10/1920). The entire passage is quoted as an epigram in the article for July 17, 1920: “We are a people—One people . . . . When we sink, we become a revolutionary proletariat, the subordinate officers of a revolutionary party; when we rise, there rises also our terrible power of the purse.” TIJ quotes an article by Lord Eustace Perry, republished “apparently with approval” in the Canadian Jewish Chronicle, as follows:
Liberalism and Nationalism, with a flourish of trumpets, threw open the doors of the ghetto and offered equal citizenship to the Jew. The Jew passed out into the Western World, saw the power and the glory of it, used it and enjoyed it, laid his hand indeed upon the nerve centers of civilization, guided, directed and exploited it, and then—refused the offer . . . . Moreover—and this is the remarkable thing—the Europe of nationalism and liberalism, of scientific government and democratic equality is more intolerable to him than the old oppressions and persecutions of despotism. . . . In a world of completely organized territorial sovereignties, he [the Jew] has only two possible cities of refuge: he must either pull down the pillars of the whole national state system or he must create a territorial sovereignty of his own. In this perhaps lies the explanation both of Jewish Bolshevism and Zionism, for at the moment Western Jewry seems to hover uncertainly between the two. In Eastern Europe Bolshevism and Zionism often seem to grow side by side, just as Jewish influence molded Republicanism and Socialist thought throughout the nineteenth century — not because the Jew cares for the positive side of radical philosophy, not because he desires to be a partaker in Gentile nationalism or Gentile democracy, but because no existing Gentile system of government is ever anything but distasteful to him.” (7/10/1920; emphasis in text)
TIJ comments: “All that is true, and Jewish thinkers of the more fearless type always recognize it as true. The Jew is against the Gentile scheme of things.” (7/10/1920; emphasis in text). The passage quoted is in fact remarkably similar to the writings of prominent Zionist Maurice Samuel, especially his You Gentiles (Samuel 1924).
Characteristics of Jews
Apart from TIJ’s flights into conspiracy theories, especially as in the case of the Protocols, its view of Judaism is reasonably congruent with my account (MacDonald 1994/2002). Jews are a highly talented group: the explanation of their success is in their “vigor, resourcefulness and special proclivities” (5/22/1920). Jews are an aggressive group. According to TIJ, from Biblical times they have endeavored to enslave and dominate other peoples, even in disobedience of divine command, quoting the Old Testament, “And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.”
Throughout history Jews have tended to be unpopular with the people while they have made alliances with elites (see also MacDonald 1994/2002, 1998a): “What cared the Jew if the people gnashed their teeth against him, so long as the king and the court were his friends?” Jews have eschewed friendships with non-Jews because of a feeling of racial superiority, and indeed, “the Jew who reflects upon the disparity between his people’s numbers and their power may be pardoned if he sees in that fact a proof of their racial superiority” (6/5/1920).
Jews in America separate themselves from others and do not assimilate; “he cultivates by his exclusiveness the feeling that he does not ‘belong’ ” (6/5/1920). “The international Jew . . . rules not because he is rich, but because in a most marked degree he possesses the commercial and masterful genius of his race, and avails himself of a racial loyalty and solidarity the like of which exists in no other human group” (6/12/1920). There is considerable evidence that Jews are indeed highly ethnocentric, what one may even term “‘hyperethnocentric” (MacDonald 1998a, Ch. 1; 2002a). “The contention of certain modernists notwithstanding, the world will go on thinking of the Jew as a member of a race, a race whose persistence has defeated the utmost efforts made for its extermination, a race that has preserved itself in virility and power by the observance of those natural laws the violation of which has mongrelized so many nations . . . And he will always have the right to feel that to be a Jew is to belong to a superior race” (6/12/1920).
Jews are intent on remaining resolutely separate in America:
To love a Christian maiden is sinful; this is the theme of all sorts of stories, sketches and editorials appearing these days. But [playwright] James Gibbons Huneker, in a sketch extravagantly praised by Jewish critics, shows how deep this idea of separateness is when he makes [his character] Yaankely Ostrowicz say: “As a child I trembled at the sound of music and was taught to put my finger in my ears when profane music, Goy music, was played.” This is the root idea: All Gentile life and institutions are “profane.” It is the Jews’ unceasing consciousness of the Goy that constitutes the disease of Judaism, this century-long tradition of separateness. . . . A study of Jewish publications, books, pamphlets, declarations, constitutions and charters, as well as a study of organized Jewish action in this and other countries, indicates that there is a tremendous amount of anti-Goyism, or anti-Gentilism. (3/12/1921)
TIJ sees Jews as suffering from moral particularism—a tendency to confuse morality with what is good for the Jews (see also MacDonald 2002a). According to TIJ, Jews have a pronounced sense of ingroup-outgroup morality—“the ethics of the stranger,” the classic being “unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury” (5/22/1920). But, according to TIJ, Jewish moral particularism goes beyond that to an inability to see things from the perspective of the other: “Truly, these people are a paradox. They are not fair. They are constituted so that they cannot see the other side of anything. . . . Non-Jews are fair. They are willing to see the other people’s point of view. When it was said to us the “Merchant of Venice” was a cruelty upon Jewish school pupils, we said, without investigation, ‘Out goes the Merchant, then!’” (6/04/1921).
TIJ implores Jews to end their moral particularism and become a full participant in society: “The Jew has been too long accustomed to think of himself as exclusively the claimant on the humanitarianism of society; society has a large claim against him that he cease his exclusiveness, that he cease exploiting the world, that he cease making Jewish groups the end of all of his gains, and that he begin to fulfill, in a sense his exclusiveness has never yet enabled him to fulfill, the ancient prophecy that through him all nations of the earth should be blessed.”
TIJ sees Jews as ruthless fanatics who will oppress others if given the chance. The main examples in the contemporary world are said to be Bolshevism and the Jabotinskiists, the fanatic and violent Zionist terrorists in Palestine. However, TIJ also provides a brief history of Jewish violence against Christians and others during antiquity, including the events in Jerusalem in 614 a.d. in which 60,000 Palestinian Christians were massacred by Jews after being purchased as war booty from the conquering Persians. This is indeed an event worth noting. “The Israeli archaeologist Ronny Reich writes: ‘They were probably sold to the highest bidder. According to some sources, the Christian captives at Mamilla Pond were bought by Jews and were then slain on the spot.’ An eyewitness, Strategius of St. Sabas, was more vivid: ‘Jews ransomed the Christians from the hands of the Persian soldiers for good money, and slaughtered them with great joy at Mamilla Pool, and it ran with blood.’ Jews massacred 60,000 Palestinian Christians in Jerusalem alone (Shamir 2001).” TIJ also includes the famous quote from 18th-century British historian Edward Gibbon on Jews in the ancient world:
From the reign of Nero to that of Antoninus Pius, the Jews discovered a fierce impatience of the dominion of Rome, which repeatedly broke out in the most furious massacres and insurrections. Humanity is shocked at the recital of the horrid cruelties which they committed in the cities of Egypt, of Cyprus, and of Cyrene, where they dwelt in treacherous friendship with the unsuspecting natives; and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of the legions against a race of fanatics, whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but of human kind. The enthusiasm of the Jews was supported . . . by the flattering promise which they derived from their ancient oracles, that a conquering Messiah would soon arise, destined to break their fetters and to invest the favourites of heaven with the empire of the earth. (Gibbon, 1909; as quoted in TIJ, 8/27/1921)
TIJ describes a propaganda campaign in the U.S. media in favor of Zionism. TIJ quotes an article from the Atlantic Monthly warning that “the information we receive in America comes through the Jewish Telegraph Agency and Zionist Propaganda. ‘The latter . . . with its harrowing stories of pogroms in Europe, and its misrepresentations of the situation in the Near East, has been able to awaken not a little sympathy for the Zionist propaganda.’ This propaganda of pogroms—‘thousands upon thousands of Jews killed’—amounts to nothing except as it illustrates the gullibility of the press. No one believes this propaganda, and governments regularly disprove it” (5/28/1921).
Commenting on Zionist riots against the natives of Palestine (“the ‘persecuted’ turned persecutor”), TIJ notes that the High Commissioner of Palestine is Sir Herbert Samuel, a Jew, and that all the ministers of the commission are Jews. The British government sentenced militant Zionist Ze’ev Jabotinsky to 15 years in prison for leading riots against the natives, but “he was released immediately upon the arrival of Sir Herbert Samuel, and is now traveling in state, and is talked of as a possible successor to Sir Herbert, although he is originally one of the Russian Bolsheviki come down to practice the gentle arts of that tribe in Palestine.” TIJ takes the view that the long term intention of Zionism is to establish Israel as a world power: “It begins to be very clear that Jewish nationalism will develop along the line of enmity to the rest of the world. . . . . [T]he Jews are thinking of elevating themselves into the military power that shall stand between East and West on that most strategic strip of ground in the world” (5/28/1921). In a comment foreshadowing the expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948 and reminiscent of recent comments by U.S. and Israeli politicians on the status of the West Bank, TIJ quotes Zionist activist Israel Zangwill stating, “Let [the natives] get out! We must gently persuade them to ‘trek.’ After all, they have all Arabia with its million square miles, and Israel has not a square inch. There is no particular reason for the Arabs to cling to those few kilometers” (5/28/1921).
Jews and Political Radicalism
TIJ takes the view that contemporary Communism is an extension of traditional Jewish collectivism: “The traditional Jewish Kahal [i.e., Jewish self-government] is really the same as the modern Soviet: Under the Kahal or ancient Soviet, the Jews lived by themselves and governed themselves . . . . It was communism in a more drastic form than has been seen in the world outside Russia. Education, taxes, domestic affairs, all were under the absolute control of a few men who constituted the ruling board. . . . All property was in common, which did not prevent the leaders becoming rich” (8/28/1920). (This last statement is not accurate. Property was not held in common in traditional Jewish communities.)
As was common during the period, TIJ points to the very prominent role of Jews in the Bolshevik government in the USSR (9/25/1920) and in Bela Kun’s short-lived communist revolution in Hungary (8/28/1920). TIJ notes the continuation of Hebrew schools in the Soviet Union—an aspect of the Soviet government’s well-known encouragement of secular Jewish culture during this period (Evsektsiya). TIJ provides a list which claimed that 17 of the 22 members of the “Council of the Commissaries of the People” are Jews. TIJ does not cite its source except to say that it was “smuggled out of the Soviet Union.” There were many such lists circulating during the period and it is impossible to find a consensus on their authenticity or accuracy. Nevertheless, it is certainly true that Jews had a privileged position in the early years of the Soviet government and were a critical part of the ruling elite (Lindeman, 1998; MacDonald, 1998b, Ch. 3).
TIJ states that Jews hailed the victory of Bolshevism at first. “There was no concealment whatever in the early days of the new regime as to the part which Jewry had in it. Public meetings, interviews, special articles poured forth in which very valuable elements of truth were mingled. There was no attempt at concealment of names. Then the horror of the thing began to take hold upon the world, and for just a breathing space Jewish opinion fell silent. There was a spasmodic denial or two. Then a new burst of glorification. The glorification continues within Judaism itself, but it now carries on the Gentile side of its face a very sad expression labeled ‘persecution.’ We have lived to see the day when to denounce Bolshevism is to ‘persecute the Jews’” (9/25/1920).
TIJ points to an article from The American Hebrew of 9/10/1920 which claimed that “That achievement [referring to the overthrow of the Czar] . . . was largely the outcome of Jewish thinking, of Jewish discontent, of Jewish effort to reconstruct. This rapid emergence of the Russian revolution from the destructive phase and its entrance into the constructive phase is a conspicuous genius of Jewish discontent. . . . What Jewish idealism and Jewish discontent have so powerfully contributed to accomplish in Russia, the same historic qualities of the Jewish mind and heart ARE TENDING TO PROMOTE IN OTHER COUNTRIES” (9/25/1920; emphasis provided by TIJ). TIJ comments, “Why are ‘Jewish idealism’ and ‘Jewish discontent’ always linked together?” Jewish writers have often fancifully linked Jewish radicalism to idealism and moral superiority (see MacDonald, 1998b, Ch. 3), but linking it at the same time to Jewish discontent would indeed seem to be the height of self-deception.
TIJ also cites an article in the Jewish Chronicle of London from 1919 stating, “There is much in the fact of Bolshevism itself, in the fact that so many Jews are Bolsheviks, in the fact that the ideals of Bolshevism at many points are consonant with the finest ideals of Judaism” (10/2/1920). The same paper contained an article in 1920 by Israel Zangwill praising “the race which has produced a Beaconsfield [i.e., Disraeli], a Montagu, a Klotz, a Kurt Eisner [leader of the short-lived Communist government in Bavaria], a Trotsky” (emphasis in TIJ). TIJ also reproduces part of an article from the newspaper, the Communist, stating, “Without exaggeration, it may be said that the great Russian social revolution was indeed accomplished by the hands of the Jews. Would the dark, oppressed masses of the Russian workmen and peasants have been able to throw off the yoke of the bourgeoisie by themselves? No, it was precisely the Jews who led the Russian proletariat to the dawn of the Internationale and not only have led, but are now leading the Soviet cause which remains in their safe hands. . . . It is not without reason that during the elections to all Soviet institutions the Jews are winning by an overwhelming majority” (9/25/1920; emphasis by TIJ).
TIJ attributes most of the Jewish support for Bolshevism in the U.S. to the Jewish trade unions in the garment industry (4/23/1921). TIJ describes the radicalism of the union leaders but also emphasizes their links with the wider Jewish community and particularly their membership in the Kehillah and the links between the Kehillah and the American Jewish Committee. For example, “another big union which makes part of the New York Kehillah is the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, whose membership is about 200,000. It is officered by Russian Jews whose pronounced Bolshevism has been widely reported in the Jewish press of New York” (4/23/1921).
Such linkages between radical groups and mainstream Jewish organizations were indeed common at least until the 1950s. For example, the 50,000-member Jewish Peoples Fraternal Order was an affiliate of the American Jewish Congress and also listed as a subversive organization by the U. S. Attorney General. The JPFO was the financial and organizational “bulwark” of the CPUSA after World War II and also funded the Daily Worker and the Morning Freiheit (Svonkin 1997, 166). Although the American Jewish Congress severed its ties with the JPFO and stated that communism was a threat, it was “at best a reluctant and unenthusiastic participant” (Svonkin 1997, 132) in the Jewish effort to develop a public image of anti-communism—a position reflecting the sympathies of many among its predominantly second- and third-generation Eastern European immigrant membership.
Jews and the Federal Reserve System
TIJ is deeply suspicious of the Federal Reserve System enacted into law in 1913 after being proposed originally by Paul Warburg, a German-Jewish immigrant and partner in the Kuhn, Loeb & Co. investment banking firm. Baldwin’s account hardly does justice to TIJ’s treatment, stating only that TIJ “mistakenly [accuses] Warburg of advocating only one central bank, when in fact he had pushed from the beginning that the core be tied to diversified branches” (pp. 213–214). TIJ acknowledges that the system is tied to various branches but provides a quotation from Warburg suggesting that this formal structure could be overcome administratively, and it provides data indicating that a vastly disproportionate amount of loans were being made through the New York branch—that the New York branch had become primus inter pares.
TIJ agreed that it was a good idea to have a centralized banking system, but complained that the system actually functioned to funnel money away from agriculture areas, where credit remained tight, to New York it was used to further the interests of Jewish financiers who were international in outlook and concerned to promote Jewish interests rather than concerned mainly with the interests of United States. The main suspicion was directed at the Kuhn, Loeb, & Co. because of Warburg’s role in creating the Federal Reserve System and because Warburg had become director of the Federal Reserve Board. TIJ noted that the members of Kuhn, Loeb, & Co. had international ties by business and blood to other Jewish banking firms in Europe.
TIJ provides several examples of the international focus of Kuhn, Loeb, & Co. For example, TIJ recounts the well-known fact that Jacob Schiff, a Jewish activist and partner in the firm of Kuhn, Loeb, & Co., had financed the Japanese war effort against the Russian Empire in 1905 and had also provided financial support to revolutionary movements within Russia that eventually led to the overthrow of the Czar. TIJ also noted that Schiff hated the Czarist Russian government because of its treatment of its Jewish citizens—certainly an accurate assessment. In other words, TIJ is suggesting that the Federal Reserve might be used to promote the international ethnic interests of Jews rather than the interests of the United States.
TIJ also points to the internationalism of Paul Warburg’s connections by quoting Otto Kahn, another partner in Kuhn, Loeb, & Co., to the effect that American money should be put to use in helping build up the French Empire, particularly Syria. (In the same passage, TIJ notes the role of international Jewish organizations in getting the French to guarantee Jewish interests in Syria.) Moreover, TIJ asserts that Max Warburg, of the German branch of the banking family, was implicated in a U.S. government document as financing Trotsky’s campaign against Russia. TIJ also supports its claim of the internationalism of Jewish bankers by noting that the German Warburgs also made a loan to the city of Paris during W.W.I. “(T)he international financiers have been so engrossed in world money that the sense of national responsibility sometimes becomes blurred in their minds” (7/09/21).
TIJ cites figures indicating that the great majority of loans and money are funneled through the New York Fed rather than the 11 other branches located around the country. “The money is in New York. Go out through the agricultural states, and you will not find it. Go into the districts of silent factories and you will not find it. It is in New York. The Warburg Federal Reserve has deflated the country. . . . The Federal Reserve Idea was doubtless right; if it had not been, it could not have been established. But it has been manipulated. . . . Kuhn, Loeb & Company, the Speyers and the other Jewish money-lenders have money for Mexico, Norway, Germany, and all sorts of commercial companies being organized to do business overseas, and it is American money. The Warburg Federal Reserve System has been badly misused, badly manipulated, and the country is suffering from it” (7/16/1921).
The discussion of the Protocols and references to them throughout the work is definitely the low point of TIJ. Since the Protocols were exposed as fraudulent, it has been very easy to discredit the entire enterprise of TIJ because of its extensive use of them, and that is exactly what Baldwin does. TIJ was well aware of claims that the Protocols had been claimed to be forgeries, but rejected them, stating, for example, “This makes the sixth ‘final’ and ‘complete’ exposure that the Jews have put forth for public consumption. The Jews have still time to repent and tell the truth. Suppose they make the seventh the whole truth with a true repudiation of the Protocols” (10/8/1921).
The Protocols presents a “theory” in which absolutely every aspect of modernism is explained as the result of a single, centuries-old overarching Jewish conspiracy to subjugate non-Jews. To be charitable, TIJ always presents the Protocols as only tentatively authentic. TIJ argues repeatedly that the best evidence for the authenticity of the Protocols is that events that have transpired since the Protocols were written conform to its predictions. And TIJ acknowledges that, even granted that the predictions have come true, one must also provide actual evidence that Jews have been behind the events forecast by the Protocols.
The difficulty is that, while some of the statements from the Protocols discussed in TIJ seem fairly straightforward, many are not falsifiable. Moreover, TIJ often fails to provide evidence that Jews are actually behind the events supposedly forecast by the Protocols. A general problem with the Protocols is that there is too much of a tendency to see any and all actions of Jews as aiming for a common purpose of subjugating non-Jews. While authors like Baldwin apologetically deny any group cohesion to Jews, the Protocols err on the opposite side by fitting everything Jews do into an overarching Jewish conspiracy.
The Protocols is written in such a way that virtually anything that happens—even anti-Jewish actions—can be seen as part of a Jewish conspiracy. For example, according the Protocols and TIJ (7/31/1920), the fact that Jews head labor unions and are prominent capitalists does not show real differences among Jews but only that all the forces of society are run by Jews for a common purpose to subjugate non-Jews. TIJ approves of Protocol Nine which states that “At the present time, if any government raises a protest against us, it is only for the sake of form, it is under our control and it is done by our direction, for their anti-Semitism is necessary for keeping in order our lesser brothers” (9/18/1920). The following is intended to give a flavor of TIJ’ use of the Protocols.
TIJ claims that the “World Program” outlined by the Protocols has several aspects: financial control; political control; control of education; “trivializing the public mind through a most complete system of allurement”; and “sowing the seeds of disruption everywhere—not the seeds of progress, but of economic fallacies and revolutionary temper” (9/18/1920). TIJ takes the view that acceptance of the Protocols is not to be at face value but only as the result of evidence, “if reliable” (7/17/1920). “Whether the method laid down by the Protocols is worth considering or not depends entirely on whether it can be found in actual affairs today” (9/18/1920).The Protocols is regarded as the “theory of Jewish World Power rather than the actual operation of that power in the world today,” the latter to be discovered by compiling evidence (7/24/1920). For example, “whether the Protocols are of Jewish origin or not, whether they present Jewish interests or not, this [i.e., religious and race hatreds] is exactly the state of the world, of the Gentile world, today” (7/31/1920).
TIJ argues that the idea of a common Jewish plot to rule the world would not be expected to be known by the average Jew and that such a proposal is really no more surprising than to suppose that the Jewish nation has a foreign policy: “There can be little doubt . . . as to the existence of what may be called a ‘foreign policy,’ that is, a definite point of view and plan of action with reference to the Gentile world. The Jew feels that he is in the midst of enemies, but he also feels that he is a member of a people—“one people” [quoting Zionist pioneer Theodore Herzl]. He must have some policy with regard to the outer world.” TIJ states that, “If, in looking about the world, it is possible to see both the established conditions and the strong tendencies to which these Protocols allude, it will not be strange if interest in a mere literary curiosity gives way to something like alertness, and it may be alarm” (8/7/1920). In the long run, the goal of the Jews is international control: The Protocols: “Then our international rights will eliminate national rights in the narrow sense, and we will govern the governments as they govern their subjects” (8/7/1920).
The Protocols and TIJ yearn for a world without division and dissension, presumably a reflection of the traditional Russian society whose ideals the Protocols reflect. Both the Protocols and TIJ yearn for a world without confusion, where everyone has similar beliefs. Every departure from this homogeneity is seen as the work of the Jews intended to subjugate non-Jews. From the Protocols: “People of all opinions and of all doctrines are at our service, restorers of monarchy, demagogues, Socialists, communists, and other Utopians. We have put them all to work” (7/31/1920). All theories, including scientific theories, are part of the plan: There is a “‘Jewish’ plan to split society by ‘ideas’” (8/14/1920). Protocols: Let those theories of life which we have induced them to regard as the dictates of science play the most important role for them. . . . Note the successes we have arranged in Darwinism, Marxism, and Nietzscheism” (7/31/1920). Racial strife and class antagonism are part of the plan, and TIJ sees the latter fulfilled in Russia where there is “the spectacle of a Gentile lower class led by Jewish leaders against a Gentile upper class!” (7/31/1920). “The whole outlook of these Protocols upon the world is that the idea may be made a most potent poison” (7/31/1920). “We create courts.” “We have taken good care long ago to discredit the Gentile clergy and thereby to destroy their mission” (7/31/1920).
Jews use their influence to corrupt non-Jews, and especially non-Jewish youth. Protocols: “To prevent them from really thinking out anything themselves, we shall deflect their attention to amusements, games, pastimes, excitements and people’s palaces.” TIJ interprets the following as a fulfillment of the Protocols: “Every influence that leads to lightness and looseness in Gentile youth today heads up in a Jewish source” (8/7/1920). “While a certain percentage of the Jewish youth itself is overcome by this social poison, the percentage is almost nothing compared with the results among the youth of the Gentiles” (8/7/1920). Protocols: “To destroy Gentile industry, we shall, as an incentive to this speculation, encourage among the Gentiles a strong demand for luxuries—all enticing luxuries” (8/7/1920).
Corresponding to this attempt to corrupt non-Jews, the Protocols has a very low estimate of non-Jewish human nature: The Protocols: “People in the masses and people of the masses are guided by exceptionally shallow passions, beliefs, customs, traditions, and sentimental theories and are included toward party division, a fact which prevents any form of agreement, even when this is founded on a thoroughly logical basis. . . . Our triumph has also been made easier because, in our relations with the people necessary to us, we have always played upon the most sensitive strings of the human mind—on calculation, greed, and the insatiable material desires of men” (7/31/1920). Reflecting the Protocols’ tendency to see everything working together to suit Jewish ends, TIJ notes, “Distrust and division are everywhere. And in the midst of the confusion everyone is dimly aware that there is a higher group that is not divided at all, but is getting exactly what it wants by means of the confusion that obtains all around” (7/31/1920).
TIJ is far from ideal as an analysis of Jewish issues. However, apart from its immersion in the Protocols, the great majority of its major claims about Jews are correct and have been corroborated by later scholarship. Jews are indeed an ethnically closed group that has vigorously sought to remain separate from the peoples they have lived among throughout its history. They are a very talented group, adept equally at building businesses and lobbying Congress. They have shown a penchant for being able to influence the media, both via ownership but also via economic pressure and by overrepresentation among journalists, writers, and producers of media content. Jews were indeed deeply involved in political radicalism during the 1920s and thereafter, and TIJ was quite correct to emphasize the importance of Zionism to the later history of Jews and to the world in general.
What strikes the reader of TIJ is its portrayal of Jewish intensity and aggressiveness in asserting its interests. Jews were unique as an American immigrant group in their hostility toward American Christian culture and in their energetic efforts to change that culture (see also MacDonald 1998b, 2002b). From the perspective of TIJ, the United States had imported around 3,500,000 mainly Yiddish speaking, intensely Jewish immigrants over the previous 40 years. In that very short period, Jews had had enormous effect on American society.
It is instructive to compare the Jews with the Overseas Chinese who originated in the last 200 years as immigrant groups in several Southeast Asian countries. Both he Jews and the Overseas Chinese have often been seen as minority ethnic groups dominating the people they live among. Both the Overseas Chinese and the Jews are highly intelligent and prone to high-investment parenting. Both have been utilized by alien or indigenous elites as economic middlemen under essentially oppressive conditions. Regarding Jews, beginning in the ancient world and extending down to the 20th century in Eastern Europe, the role of Jews as willing agents of princely exploitation was a common theme of anti-Semitism (see MacDonald 1994/2002, Ch. 5; MacDonald, 1998a, Ch. 2).
However, there is a major difference between the Jews and the Overseas Chinese. TIJ as well as mainstream scholarship shows that the arrival of large numbers of immigrant Jews had a very large influence on the media, on the creation of culture, on information in the social sciences and humanities, and on the political process in the United States (MacDonald, 1998b/2002). This has not happened with the Chinese in Southeast Asia. The Chinese have not formed a hostile cultural elite in Southeast Asian countries, and have not been concentrated in media ownership or in the construction of culture. We do not read of Chinese cultural movements disseminated in the major universities and media outlets that subject the traditional culture of Southeast Asians and anti-Chinese sentiment to radical critique.
As Peter Novick (1999, 12) notes regarding the importance of the Holocaust in contemporary American life,
We [i.e., Jews] 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.
The following passage describing the political attitudes of the Overseas Chinese in Thailand could never have applied to Jews in Western societies since the Enlightenment: “But few seem to know or indeed to care about the restrictions on citizenship, nationality rights, and political activities in general, nor are these restrictions given much publicity in the Chinese press. This merely points up the fact, recognized by all observers, that the overseas Chinese are primarily concerned with making a living, or amassing a fortune, and thus take only a passive interest in the formal political life of the country in which they live” (Coughlin 1960, 169). On the contrary, for Jews, any manifestation of anti-Jewish attitudes or behavior is to be met with an all out effort at eradication: “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’ ” (Novick 1999, 178). In reading TIJ one is struck by the intense activism Jewish immigrants exerted in an effort to assert economic and political rights, as well as shape the wider culture (e.g., removing public displays of Christianity). This compares to the situation in Indonesia where not only have the Chinese not attempted to remove public displays of symbols of Indonesian nationalism and religion, they have not seriously attempted to change laws in place since the 1960s mandating that there be no public displays of Chinese culture (see MacDonald, 2002b).
Mainstream scholarship supports the following contentions of TIJ regarding Jewish influence on the U.S. as of the early 1920s:
1. Jews had achieved a great deal of economic success, even to the point of dominating certain important U.S. industries.
2. Jewish organizations had launched highly successful campaigns to remove references to Christianity from U.S. public culture and to legitimize Judaism as a religion on a par with Protestantism and Catholicism.
3. Jewish organizations had been able to impose their ethnic interests on certain key areas of domestic policy. As TIJ noted, Jews were the main force behind maintaining the policy of unrestricted immigration; by 1920, unrestricted immigration policy had continued nearly 20 years after U.S. public opinion had turned against it (see MacDonald 1998b, Ch. 7). Jews had also shown the ability to have a great deal of influence in the executive branch of the U.S. government, as indicated by their influence in the Wilson administration.
4. Jews had also been able to impose their ethnic interests in the area of foreign policy despite widespread feelings among the political establishment that the policies advocated by the Jewish community were often not in the best interests of the United States. The main examples highlighted by TIJ were the abrogation of the Russian trade agreement in 1911 and post-W.W.I policy toward Eastern Europe where Jewish attitudes were entirely dictated by their perceptions of the interests of foreign Jews rather than the economic or political interests of the U.S. Jews achieved their goals on these issues despite the views of the Taft Administration on the Russian Trade Agreement and the views of a wide range of military and diplomatic figures that the U.S. should support post-W.W.I Poland as a bulwark against Bolshevism and that Jewish complaints against Poland were exaggerated (see Bendersky 2000).
5. Jews had been a major force behind the success of Bolshevism and its incredibly bloody rein of terror in the Soviet Union and in the abortive Communist revolutions in Hungary by Kun and Germany by Eisner.
6. Jews were the main component and by far the most energetic component of the radical left in the United States, a movement that advocated a massive political, economic, and cultural transformation of the U.S.
7. Jews had attained a substantial influence over the U.S. media via a virtual monopoly on the movie production business, domination of the theater and music businesses, their influence in journalism, ownership of some newspapers, and their ability to apply economic pressure on newspapers because of their importance as advertisers. In turn, the ability of Jews to pressure non-Jewish newspapers depended on Jewish ownership of department stores in major cities. Jews used this media influence to advance their domestic and foreign policy agendas, portray Jews and Judaism positively while portraying Christianity negatively, and promote a sexual morality at odds with the traditional culture of the United States.
In turn, these consequences stemmed from critical features of Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy (MacDonald 1994/2002) that was well recognized, if crudely stated, by TIJ: Jews are highly intelligent, and Jews are intensely ethnocentric: “The international Jew . . . rules not because he is rich, but because in a most marked degree he possesses the commercial and masterful genius of his race, and avails himself of a racial loyalty and solidarity the like of which exists in no other human group” (6/12/1920).
TIJ reported some success in having Jewish issues discussed publicly. For example, the July 17, 1920 article stated that “A great unloosening of speech with reference to the Jewish Question and the Jewish program for world power has occurred in this country since the beginning of this series of articles.” The article goes on to quote articles and editorials on Jewish radicalism, including an article in the Chicago Tribune (“Trotsky leads Jew-Radicals to World Rule. Bolshevism only a Tool for His Scheme”) and a Christian Science Monitor editorial giving credence to the “Jewish peril.”
Nevertheless, despite this upsurge in discussion of Jewish issues as a result of the publication of TIJ, public discussions of Jewish issues have remained more or less taboo. Father Charles Coughlin discussed Jewish issues in his widely disseminated radio broadcasts in the 1930s until being effectively shut down in 1940 as a result of a decision by the National Association of Broadcasters to forbid selling airtime to “spokesmen of controversial public issues” (Marcus 1973, 176; see also Warren 1996)—a regulation that was explicitly aimed at keeping Coughlin off the air. In September 1941, Charles Lindbergh had few, if any, defenders in the media when he was subjected to a torrent of abuse for stating a simple fact, that Jews were one of three groups advocating U.S. involvement in W.W.II against Germany (the others being Britain and the Roosevelt Administration). In the long run, the TIJ was simply a blip in a long-term trend that continues into the present.
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