Almost 3 ½ years ago I published Thinking about Neoconservatism, analyzing the neoconservative movement in the context of my studies of the behavior pattern of Jewish groups in the societies where they live. I concluded neoconservatism was the latest of a long procession of political and intellectual movements dominated and essentially controlled by members of the Jewish community, in effect dedicated to a particular concept of how to promote the interests of that community. I specifically cited foreign policy and immigration as hallmark interests.
At the time, and for a couple of years later, this was an unmentionable theory. I am told certain prominent web sites stopped linking to VDARE.com after my essay was published. The malign presence of the SPLC (the “Southern Poverty Law Center”, a notorious ethnically-oriented Political Correctness enforcer) was soon felt on the scene, not coincidentally, and it named VDARE.COM a “hate group”, a sobriquet more normally associated with groups advocating violence and other forms of illegality.
But now public debate has changed considerably. Serious antiwar commentary routinely connects the Iraq/Iran policy problem with the influence of Israel and her friends in America. (See here and here and here.)
The vast majority of Americans live under the comfortable illusion that theirs is a free country. They suppose that issues are openly and honestly debated in the newspapers and on talk shows. In this imaginary world, all issues affecting public policy are on the table and are constantly scrutinized by the best and the brightest.
But that is simply not the case. In fact, I would go so far as to argue the opposite—that virtually all of the really critical issues affecting the United States and its role in the world are actually excluded from discussion in the elite media or in the political arena.
The classic case: US policy in the Middle East. Despite the obvious fact that US support for Israel has crucial implications for war and peace, the vast majority of Americans are oblivious to what is really going on in this region.
Most Americans would be appalled to learn the truth about what former President Jimmy Carter terms“the abominable oppression and persecution in the occupied Palestinian territories, with a rigid system of required passes and strict segregation between Palestine’s citizens and Jewish settlers in the West Bank.” Carter calls attention to the “enormous imprisonment wall … now under construction, snaking through what is left of Palestine to encompass more and more land for Israeli settlers.” (Los Angeles Times, December 8 2006).
Carter’s recent book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, and his courageous defense of it, seem finally to be triggering a newly open discussion of Israeli actions and Jewish influence in the U.S. Coming on the heels of the work of the University of Chicago’s John Mearsheimer and Harvard University’s Stephen Walt on the Israel Lobby, it highlights many of the same issues. Indeed, Carter has explicitly endorsed Mearsheimer and Walt's conclusion that American policy in the Middle East does not reflect genuine American interests, but instead those of the Israel Lobby. (Carter Shares Insight On Peace In Mideast, by Marty Rosen, Coastal Post, January 3 2007)
This is why it is possible to hope that the role of Jewish influence in promoting the epochal change inaugurated by the 1965 Immigration Act might also now be discussed openly and honestly
Carter is quite clear that open discussion of Israel’s policies in the U.S. has been suppressed:
“This reluctance to criticize any policies of the Israeli government is because of the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israel Political Action Committee and the absence of any significant contrary voices. It would be almost politically suicidal for members of Congress … to suggest that Israel comply with international law or to speak in defense of justice or human rights for Palestinians…. What is even more difficult to comprehend is why the editorial pages of the major newspapers and magazines in the United States exercise similar self-restraint, quite contrary to private assessments expressed quite forcefully by their correspondents in the Holy Land.”
In fact, it is not at all difficult to comprehend how this regime of “self-restraint” is maintained. President Carter himself, and Profs. Mearsheimer and Walt, point to pressure by the Israel Lobby on the media, consequent media self-censorship, and the intimidation of dissidents.
Carter’s book has created the astounding spectacle of a former president of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize winner being called an anti-Semite, being condemned by mainstream Jewish organizations such as the ADL and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and having his offers to give talks at major universities with high Jewish enrollment rejected. The saga of the book’s treatment on Amazon has been a farce.
I focus on Foxman’s comments because he heads a mainstream Jewish activist organization and thus reflects the opinions of at least a major component of the organized Jewish community. (It has long been noticed that there is a gap between the attitudes of the majority of American Jews and the attitudes of the established Jewish leaders. This is especially apparent on issues such as the neoconservative agenda of regime change in the Middle East and support of expansionist right-wing governments in Israel.)
The point here is that the Jewish Establishment will strongly resist any discussion of Jewish influence or dual loyalty in any area of public policy, no matter how judicious and factually-based it may be. These Jewish leaders have a strong sense of history. They know that Jews have repeatedly become elites in European societies. But they also realize that Jewish power and influence and dual loyalty have been potent themes of anti-Semitism throughout the ages. And they know that increases in Jewish power and influence have often been followed by the rise of rise of anti-jewish movements spearheaded by people whose interests have been damaged by that Jewish power and influence.
The strategy used by the Jewish Establishment is not to condemn the neocons for acting on their strong emotional and ethnic ties to Israel and manipulating the Bush administration into the disaster of Iraq and a looming war with Iran. Nor is it to urge that the Israel Lobby be scaled back in an effort to bring it more in line with a reasonable view of American interests. Rather, they go into the full blown smear and intimidation mode.
Hence the fury among Jewish activists when General Wesley Clark blurted our that “New York money people” are gung-ho for bankrolling politicians who will support US involvement in a war against Iran; and that talk of a war with Iran is common in Israel. As Matthew Iglesias, himself Jewish, notes: “Everything Clark said … is true. What's more, everybody knows it's true.” (American Prospect, January 23, 2007). But, as we should know by now, truth is irrelevant here.
Partly this is because, thus far, these tactics have been tremendously effective. The American Jewish Establishment will not change these tactics until they stop working. After all, it is a long road from widespread discussion on the internet and occasional mentions in the above-ground media to having a real influence on the President and in the halls of Congress. There, change will be much slower.
This is especially true given the very large role of Jewish money in funding the newly-resurgent Democrats. On the Republican side, as Scott McConnell has argued, the neocons may be down, but they are far from out. And they are still pushing for war against Iran.
I think too that the American Jewish leadership no longer has the flexibility to use any other strategy. The radical expansionists, often motivated by religious and ethnic fanaticism, have long been in control in Israel—since 1967 really. They are the vanguard of the Jewish community, and as usual, they they pull the rest of the Jewish community with them. The moderates (aka “self-hating Jews”) have been shoved aside and do not really count any more. Similarly, the organized Jewish community in America is dominated by the expansionists. Jews who do not sign on to Israel’s expansionist agenda are relegated to the fringes.
Indeed, one of the arguments of Mearsheimer and Walt is that Israel would be far better off if it could not persuade Washington to support its expansionist agenda. And reasonable Jews like Jerome Slater are wondering what it takes to “save Israel from itself”:
“The real issue is the willed ignorance—the psychological need not to know—of our community. The price—to the Palestinians, to the Israelis, and to American national security—is already unbearable, and it may well soon become apocalyptic.”
These comments bring to mind historian Albert Lindemann’s statement in his book Esau’s Tears (P535)
“Jews actually do not want to understand their past—or at least those aspects of their past that have to do with the hatred directed at them, since understanding may threaten other elements of their complex and often contradictory identities.”
Whether it’s about the past or the present, the pattern among Jews is self-deception and willful ignorance.
“Most important for the content of immigration reform, the driving force at the core of the movement, reaching back to the 1920s, were Jewish organizations long active in opposing racial and ethnic quotas… Following the shock of the Holocaust, Jewish leaders had been especially active in Washington in furthering immigration reform. To the public, the most visible evidence of the immigration reform drive was played by Jewish legislative leaders, such as Representative Celler and Senator Jacob Javits of New York. Less visible, but equally important, were the efforts of key advisers on presidential and agency staffs. These included senior policy advisers such as Julius Edelson and Harry Rosenfield in the Truman administration, Maxwell Rabb in the Eisenhower White House, and presidential aide Myer Feldman, assistant secretary of state Abba Schwartz, and deputy attorney general Norbert Schlei in the Kennedy-Johnson administration.” (pp. 56–57)
In the past year, there has been much discussion of illegal immigration. It tapped into a very large reservoir of public anger about the lack of control of our borders and, I think, the transformations that immigration is unleashing. The fact that illegal immigration is, after all, illegal made it difficult to keep off the public radar (What part of illegal don’t you understand??).
But this contrasts with almost no discussion at all in the Mainstream Media of the question of the 1,000,000 or so legal immigrants that come to the U.S. every year—no discussion of their effect on the economy, social services, crime and competition at elite universities; no discussion of their effect on the long term ethnic composition of the U.S. and the displacement of native populations in various sectors of the economy; and no discussion of whether most Americans really want all of this. (They don’t.) The fact that large scale legal immigration causes exactly the same difficulties as large scale illegal inflow is a non-subject.
Those who question the power and influence of the Israel Lobby are quickly labeled anti-Semites. The terms of choice for anyone who thinks the U.S. should have any restrictions at all on immigration are “racist” and “nativist”.
It is exactly the same routine: Media self-censorship, pressure on the media and politicians who stray from official orthodoxy, and intimidation via labeling, anathematizing, and ultimately loss of livelihood.
But the two issues of Israel and immigration relaxation (in the U.S.) have in common a deep and straightforward Jewish commitment to particular policies. My contention is that both policies have been construed by Jewish leaders as being helpful to the security and political influence of their community.
In the case of Israel, this is self-evident. In the case of immigration policy, there ample documentation[PDF] of a consistent interest by the Jewish community, both in America and in Europe, in ending the hegemony of the host community amongst whom they live. The measures taken to enforce their chosen objectives suggest there is indeed an element of truth in what Foxman dismisses as “the old canard and conspiracy theory of Jewish control of the media, Congress, and the U.S. government”.
I have presented the facts about Jewish influence in both immigration and the Middle East elsewhere. This has been extremely unwelcome. And it is not at all surprising that the Jewish community would strenuously resist these conclusions.
Nevertheless, on foreign policy matters what is going on has obviously become increasingly apparent to a lot of smart people with intellectual integrity.
As the incoming 110th Congress starts up, a crucial question will be if this new comprehension will dawn in an area in which, I believe, it is even more critical: America’s post-1965 immigration disaster.
Kevin MacDonald [email him] is Professor of Psychology at California State University-Long Beach. For his website, click here.
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