On the Jews – 1


When Victims Rule: A Critique of Jewish Pre-Eminence in America

>a clearinghouse for information featuring over 10,000 citations from about 4,000 scholarly and mainstream bibliographic sources


Understanding Jewish Influence I: Background Traits for Jewish Activism


Understanding Jewish Influence II: Zionism and the Internal Dynamics of Judaism


Understanding Jewish Influence III: Neoconservatism as a Jewish Movement


Jewish Involvement in Shaping American Immigration Policy, 1881-1965: A Historical Review


Jews, Blacks, and Race


The Israel Lobby: A Case Study in Jewish Influence


Stalin’s Willing Executioners: Jews as a Hostile Elite in the USSR


The Neoconservative Mind – They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons


Light for Nations: A Short History of the Jews in the Modern World


On the Jews – 2


Wolzek’s Terror Timeline: History of the Jewish War Against the World


A Malicious Duo: Two Laws that Destroyed America’s Culture


A Malicious Duo, Part Two: Two More Laws that Destroyed America’s Culture


The Origins of Brown v. Board of Education, 1954


The Frankfurt School: Destroying Western Culture


Feminism: A Jewish Adversary Movement Against Gentile Culture


Jews Associated with the NAACP


President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Jewish Cabal


Jewish Spies Against America: A Long Tradition


Source: http://thezog.info/required-reading/

daily reminder that the number six million is basically holy to Jews



Regarding the ‘six million’ number you should know the following: In the Hebrew text

of the Torah prophesies, one can read “you shall return”. In the text the letter “V” or “VAU”

is absent, as Hebrew does not have any numbers; the letter V stands for the number 6.

Ben Weintraub, a religious scientist, learned from rabbis that the meaning of the missing

letter means the number is ’6 million’. The prophesy then reads: You will return,

but with 6 million less. See Ben Weintraub: “The Holocaust Dogma of Judaism”, Cosmo

Publishing, Washington 1995, page 3. The missing 6 million must be so before the Jews

can return to the Promised Land. Jahweh sees this as a cleaning of the souls of the

sinful people. The Jews must, on the return to the Promised Land, be clean

— the cleaning shall be done in burning stokes”

Jewish prophecies in the Torah require that 6 million Jews must “vanish” before the state

of Israel can be formed. “You shall return minus 6 million.” That’s why Tom Segev, an

Israeli historian, declared that the “6 million” is an attempt to transform the Holocaust

story into state religion. Those six million, according to prophecy, had to disappear in

“burning ovens”, which the judicial version of the Holocaust now authenticates. As a

matter of fact, Robert B. Goldmann writes: “. . . without the Holocaust, there would be no

Jewish State.” A simple consequence: Given six million Jews gassed at Auschwitz who

ended up in the “burning ovens” (the Greek word holocaust means burned offerings),

therefore, the prophecies have now been “fulfilled” and Israel can become a “legitimate state”.








Understanding Jewish Influence I:

Background Traits for Jewish Activism

Kevin MacDonald



Beginning in the ancient world, Jewish populations have repeatedly attained a position

of power and influence within Western societies. I will discuss Jewish background traits

conducive to influence: ethnocentrism, intelligence and wealth, psychological intensity,

aggressiveness, with most of the focus on ethnocentrism. I discuss Jewish ethnocentrism

in its historical, anthropological, and evolutionary context and in its relation to three critical

psychological processes: moral particularism, self-deception, and the powerful Jewish

tendency to coalesce into exclusionary, authoritarian groups under conditions of perceived threat.


Jewish populations have always had enormous effects on the societies in which they

reside because of several qualities that are central to Judaism as a group evolutionary

strategy: First and foremost, Jews are ethnocentric and able to cooperate in highly

organized, cohesive, and effective groups. Also important is high intelligence, including the

usefulness of intelligence in attaining wealth, prominence in the media, and eminence in the

academic world and the legal profession. I will also discuss two other qualities

that have received less attention: psychological intensity and aggressiveness.


The four background traits of ethnocentrism, intelligence, psychological intensity, and

aggressiveness result in Jews being able to produce formidable, effective groups—groups

able to have powerful, transformative effects on the peoples they live among. In the modern

world, these traits influence the academic world and the world of mainstream and elite

media, thus amplifying Jewish effectiveness compared with traditional societies. However,

Jews have repeatedly become an elite and powerful group in societies in which they reside

in sufficient numbers. It is remarkable that Jews, usually as a tiny minority, have been central

to a long list of historical events. Jews were much on the mind of the Church Fathers in the

fourth century during the formative years of Christian dominance in the West. Indeed, I

have proposed that the powerful anti-Jewish attitudes and legislation of the fourth-century

Church must be understood as a defensive reaction against Jewish economic power and

enslavement of non-Jews.1 Jews who had nominally converted to Christianity but maintained

their ethnic ties in marriage and commerce were the focus of the 250-year Inquisition in Spain,

Portugal, and the Spanish colonies in the New World. Fundamentally, the Inquisition should

be seen as a defensive reaction to the economic and political domination of these “New Christians.”2


Jews have also been central to all the important events of the twentieth century. Jews were

a necessary component of the Bolshevik revolution that created the Soviet Union, and they

remained an elite group in the Soviet Union until at least the post-World War II era. They

were an important focus of National Socialism in Germany, and they have been prime

movers of the post-1965 cultural and ethnic revolution in the United States, including the

encouragement of massive non-white immigration to countries of European origins.3 In the

contemporary world, organized American Jewish lobbying groups and deeply committed Jews

in the Bush administration and the media are behind the pro-Israel U.S. foreign policy that is leading

to war against virtually the entire Arab world.


How can such a tiny minority have such huge effects on the history of the West? This

article is the first of a three-part series on Jewish influence which seeks to answer that question.

This first paper in the series provides an introduction to Jewish ethnocentrism and other

background traits that influence Jewish success. The second article discusses Zionism as

the quintessential example of twentieth-century Jewish ethnocentrism and as an example

of a highly influential Jewish intellectual/political movement. A broader aim will be to discuss a

generalization about Jewish history: that in the long run the more extreme elements of the

Jewish community win out and determine the direction of the entire group. As Jonathan Sacks

points out, it is the committed core—made up now especially of highly influential and vigorous

Jewish activist organizations in the United States and hypernationalist elements in

Israel—that determines the future direction of the community.4 The third and final article

will discuss neoconservatism as a Jewish intellectual and political movement. Although

I touched on neoconservatism in my trilogy on Jews,5 the present influence of

this movement on U.S. foreign policy necessitates a much fuller treatment.


Figure 1: Understanding Jewish Activism


Figure 1 (Not available) provides an overview of the sources of Jewish influence. The four

background traits—discussed in more detail below—are ethnocentrism, intelligence,

psychological intensity, and aggressiveness. These traits are seen as underlying Jewish

success in producing focused, effective groups able to influence the political process

and the wider culture. In the modern world, Jewish influence on politics and culture is

channeled through the media and through elite academic institutions into

an almost bewildering array of areas—far too many to consider here.


I. Jews are Hyperethnocentric


Elsewhere I have argued that Jewish hyperethnocentrism can be traced back to their

Middle Eastern origins.6 Traditional Jewish culture has a number of features identifying

Jews with the ancestral cultures of the area. The most important of these is that Jews and

other Middle Eastern cultures evolved under circumstances that favored large groups

dominated by males.7 These groups were basically extended families with high levels of

endogamy (i.e., marriage within the kinship group) and consanguineous marriage

(i.e., marriage to blood relatives), including the uncle-niece marriage sanctioned in the

Old Testament. These features are exactly the opposite of Western European tendencies (See Table 1).8


Table 1: Contrasts between European and Jewish Cultural Forms.


European Cultural Origins

Jewish Cultural Origins

Evolutionary History

Northern Hunter-Gatherers

Middle Old World
Pastoralists (Herders)

Kinship System

Weakly Patricentric
Strongly Patricentric

Family System

Simple Household;

Extended Family;
Joint Household

Marriage Practices


Marriage Psychology

Companionate; Based on  Mutual
Consent and Affection

Utilitarian; Based on
Family Strategizing and
Control of Kinship Group

Position of Women

Relatively High

Relatively Low

Social Structure

Charismatic Leaders


Relatively Low

Relatively High; "Hyper-


Relatively Low

Relatively High; "Hyper-


Stresses Independence,

Stresses Ingroup
Identification, Obligations
to Kinship Group

Intellectual Stance


Dogmatism; Submission to
Ingroup Authority and
Charismatic Leaders

Moral Stance

Moral Universalism:
Morality Is Independent of
Group Affiliation

Moral Particularism;
Ingroup/Outgroup Morality;
"Good is what is good for the Jews"

Whereas Western societies tend toward individualism, the basic Jewish cultural form

is collectivism, in which there is a strong sense of group identity and group boundaries.

Middle Eastern societies are characterized by anthropologists as “segmentary societies”

organized into relatively impermeable, kinship-based groups.9 Group boundaries are often

reinforced through external markers such as hair style or clothing, as Jews have often done

throughout their history. Different groups settle in different areas where they retain their

homogeneity alongside other homogeneous groups, as illustrated by the following

account from Carleton Coon:


There the ideal was to emphasize not the uniformity of the citizens of a country as a
whole but a uniformity within each special segment, and the greatest possible contrast
between segments. The members of each ethnic unit feel the need to identify themselves
by some configuration of symbols. If by virtue of their history they possess some racial
peculiarity, this they will enhance by special haircuts and the like; in any case
they will wear distinctive garments and behave in a distinctive fashion.10

These societies are by no means blissful paradises of multiculturalism. Between-group

conflict often lurks just beneath the surface.  For example, in nineteenth-century Turkey,

Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived in a sort of superficial harmony, and even

inhabited the same areas, “but the slightest spark sufficed to ignite the fuse.”11


Jews are at the extreme of this Middle Eastern tendency toward hypercollectivism and

hyperethnocentrism. I give many examples of Jewish hyperethnocentrism in my trilogy

on Judaism and have suggested in several places that Jewish hyperethnocentrism is

biologically based.12 Middle Eastern ethnocentrism and fanaticism has struck a

good many people as extreme, including William Hamilton, perhaps the

most important evolutionary biologist of the twentieth century. Hamilton writes:


I am sure I am not the first to have wondered what it is about that part of the world
that feeds such diverse and intense senses of rectitude as has created three of the
worlds’ most persuasive and yet most divisive and mutually incompatible religions.
It is hard to discern the root in the place where I usually look for roots of
our strong emotions, the part deepest in us, our biology and evolution.13

Referring to my first two books on Judaism, Hamilton then notes that “even a recent treatise

on this subject, much as I agree with its general theme, seems to me hardly to reach to

this point of the discussion.” If I failed to go far enough in describing or analyzing Jewish

ethnocentrism, it is perhaps because the subject seems almost mind-bogglingly deep, with

psychological ramifications everywhere. As a pan-humanist, Hamilton was acutely aware

of the ramifications of human ethnocentrism and especially of the Jewish variety.

Likening Judaism to the creation of a new human species, Hamilton noted that


from a humanist point of view, were those "species" the Martian thought to see in
the towns and villages a millennium or so ago a good thing? Should we have let their
crystals grow; do we retrospectively approve them? As by growth in numbers by
land annexation, by the heroizing of a recent mass murderer of Arabs [i.e., Baruch
Goldstein, who murdered 29 Arabs, including children, at the Patriarch’s Cave in
Hebron in 1994], and by the honorific burial accorded to a publishing  magnate
[Robert Maxwell], who had enriched Israel partly by his swindling of his employees,
most of them certainly not Jews, some Israelis seem to favour a "racewise" and
unrestrained competition, just as did the ancient Israelites and Nazi Germans.
In proportion to the size of the country and the degree to which the eyes of
the world are watching, the acts themselves that betray this trend of reversion from
panhumanism may seem small as yet, but the spirit behind them, to this observer,
seems virtually identical to trends that have long predated them both in humans and animals.14

A good start for thinking about Jewish ethnocentrism is the work of Israel Shahak, most

notably his co-authored Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel.15 Present-day fundamentalists

attempt to re-create the life of Jewish communities before the Enlightenment (i.e., prior

to about 1750). During this period the great majority of Jews believed in Cabbala—Jewish

mysticism. Influential Jewish scholars like Gershom Scholem ignored the obvious racialist,

exclusivist material in the Cabbala by using words like “men,” “human beings,” and “cosmic”

to suggest the Cabbala has a universalist message. The actual text

says salvation is only for Jews, while non-Jews have “Satanic souls.”16


The ethnocentrism apparent in such statements was not only the norm in traditional Jewish

society, but remains a powerful current of contemporary Jewish fundamentalism, with

important implications for Israeli politics. For example, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi

Menachem Mendel Schneerson, describing the difference between Jews and non-Jews:


We do not have a case of profound change in which a person is merely on a superior
level. Rather we have a case of…a totally different species…. The body of a Jewish
person is of a totally different quality from the body of [members] of all nations of the
world…. The difference of the inner quality [of the body]…is so great that the bodies
would be considered as completely different species. This is the reason why the Talmud
states that there is an halachic difference in attitude about the bodies of non-Jews
[as opposed to the bodies of Jews]: “their bodies are in vain”…. An even greater difference
exists in regard to the soul. Two contrary types of soul exist, a non-Jewish soul
comes from three satanic spheres, while the Jewish soul stems from holiness.17

This claim of Jewish uniqueness echoes Holocaust activist Elie Wiesel’s claim

that “everything about us is different.” Jews are “ontologically” exceptional.18


The Gush Emunim and other Jewish fundamentalist sects described by Shahak and Mezvinsky

are thus part of a long mainstream Jewish tradition which considers Jews and non-Jews

completely different species, with Jews absolutely superior to non-Jews and subject to a

radically different moral code. Moral universalism is thus antithetical to the Jewish tradition

in which the survival and interests of the Jewish people are the most important ethical goal:


Many Jews, especially religious Jews today in Israel and their supporters abroad,
continue to adhere to traditional Jewish ethics that other Jews would like to ignore
or explain away. For example, Rabbi Yitzhak Ginzburg of Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus/Shechem,
after several of his students were remanded on suspicion of murdering a teenage Arab
girl: “Jewish blood is not the same as the blood of a goy.” Rabbi Ido Elba: “According to
the Torah, we are in a situation of pikuah nefesh (saving a life) in time of war, and in such
a situation one may kill any Gentile.” Rabbi Yisrael Ariel writes in 1982 that “Beirut is
part of the Land of Israel. [This is a reference to the boundaries of Israel as stated in
the Covenant between God and Abraham in Genesis 15: 18–20 and Joshua 1 3–4]
…our leaders should have entered Lebanon and Beirut without hesitation, and killed
every single one of them. Not a memory should have remained.” It is usually yeshiva
students who chant “Death to the Arabs” on CNN. The stealing and corruption by religious
leaders that has recently been documented in trials in Israel and abroad continues
to raise the question of the relationship between Judaism and ethics.19

Moral particularism in its most aggressive form can be seen among

the ultranationalists, such as the Gush Emunim, who hold that

Jews are not, and cannot be a normal people. The eternal uniqueness of the Jews
is the result of the Covenant made between God and the Jewish people at Mount Sinai….
The implication is that the transcendent imperatives for Jews effectively nullify moral
laws that bind the behavior of normal nations. Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, one of Gush Emunim’s
most prolific ideologues, argues that the divine commandments to the Jewish people
“transcend the human notions of national rights.” He explains that while God requires
other nations to abide by abstract codes of justice and righteousness, such laws do
not apply to Jews.20

As argued in the second paper in this series, it is the most extreme elements within

the Jewish community that ultimately give direction to the community as a whole. These

fundamentalist and ultranationalist groups are not tiny fringe groups, mere relics of traditional

Jewish culture. They are widely respected by the Israeli public and by many Jews in the

Diaspora. They have a great deal of influence on the Israeli government, especially the Likud

governments and the recent government of national unity headed by Ariel Sharon. The

members of Gush Emunim constitute a significant percentage of the elite units of the Israeli

army, and, as expected on the hypothesis that they are extremely ethnocentric, they are

much more willing to treat the Palestinians in a savage and brutal manner than are other

Israeli soldiers. All together, the religious parties represent about 25% of the Israeli electorate

21—a percentage that is sure to increase because of the high fertility of religious Jews

and because intensified troubles with the Palestinians tend to make other Israelis more

sympathetic to their cause. Given the fractionated state of Israeli politics and the increasing

numbers of the religious groups, it is unlikely that future governments can be formed

without their participation. Peace in the Middle East therefore appears

unlikely absent the complete capitulation or expulsion of the Palestinians.


A good discussion of Jewish moral particularism can be found in a recent article in Tikkun

probably the only remaining liberal Jewish publication. Kim Chernin wonders why so many

Jews “have trouble being critical of Israel.”22 She finds several obstacles to criticism of Israel:


1. A conviction that Jews are always in danger, always have been, and therefore are
in danger now. Which leads to: 2. The insistence that a criticism is an attack and will
lead to our destruction. Which is rooted in: 3. The supposition that any negativity towards
Jews (or Israel) is a sign of anti-Semitism and will (again, inevitably) lead to our destruction….
6. An even more hidden belief that a sufficient amount of suffering confers the right to
violence…. 7. The conviction that our beliefs, our ideology
(or theology), matter more than the lives of other human beings.

Chernin presents the Jewish psychology of moral particularism:


We keep a watchful eye out, we read the signs, we detect innuendo, we summon
evidence, we become, as we imagine it, the ever-vigilant guardians of our people’s
survival. Endangered as we imagine ourselves to be; endangered as we insist we are,
any negativity, criticism, or reproach, even from one of our own, takes on exaggerated
dimensions; we come to perceive such criticism as a life-threatening attack. The path
to fear is clear. But our proclivity for this perception is itself one of our unrecognized
dangers. Bit by bit, as we gather evidence to establish our perilous position in the world,
we are brought to a selective perception of that world. With our attention focused on
ourselves as the endangered species, it seems to follow that we ourselves can do no harm….
When I lived in Israel I practiced selective perception. I was elated by our little kibbutz
on the Lebanese border until I recognized that we were living on land that had belonged
to our Arab neighbors. When I didn’t ask how we had come to acquire that land,
I practiced blindness…

The profound depths of Jewish ethnocentrism are intimately tied up with a sense of historical

persecution. Jewish memory is a memory of persecution and impending doom, a memory

that justifies any response because ultimately it is Jewish survival that is at stake:


Wherever we look, we see nothing but impending Jewish destruction…. I was walking
across the beautiful square in Nuremberg a couple of years ago and stopped to
read a public sign. It told this story: During the Middle Ages, the town governing body,
wishing to clear space for a square, burned out, burned down, and burned up the
Jews who had formerly filled up the space. End of story. After that, I felt very uneasy
walking through the square and I eventually stopped doing it. I felt endangered, of course,
a woman going about through Germany wearing a star of David. But more than that, I
experienced a conspicuous and dreadful self-reproach at being so alive, so happily on
vacation, now that I had come to think about the murder of my people hundreds of years
before. After reading that plaque I stopped enjoying myself and began to look for other
signs and traces of the mistreatment of the former Jewish community. If I had stayed
longer in Nuremberg, if I had gone further in this direction, I might soon have come
to believe that I, personally, and my people, currently, were threatened by the contemporary
Germans eating ice cream in an outdoor cafe in the square. How much more potent
this tendency for alarm must be in the Middle East, in the middle of a war zone!…

Notice the powerful sense of history here. Jews have a very long historical memory.

Events that happened centuries ago color their current perceptions.


This powerful sense of group endangerment and historical grievance is associated with a

hyperbolic style of Jewish thought that runs repeatedly through Jewish rhetoric. Chernin’s

comment that “any negativity, criticism, or reproach, even from one of our own, takes on

exaggerated dimensions” is particularly important. In the Jewish mind, all criticism must

be suppressed because not to do so would be to risk another Holocaust: “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.’ ”23 Norman Podhoretz, editor

of Commentary, a premier neoconservative journal published by the American

Jewish Committee, provides an example:


My own view is that what had befallen the Jews of Europe inculcated a subliminal lesson….
The lesson was that anti-Semitism, even the relatively harmless genteel variety that enforced
quotas against Jewish students or kept their parents from joining fashionable clubs
or getting jobs in prestigious Wall Streetlaw firms, could end in mass murder.24

This is a “slippery slope” argument with a vengeance. The schema is as follows: Criticism of

Jews indicates dislike of Jews; this leads to hostility toward Jews, which leads to Hitler and

eventually to mass murder. Therefore all criticism of Jews must be suppressed. With this

sort of logic, it is easy to dismiss arguments about Palestinian rights on the West Bank

and Gaza because “the survival of Israel” is at stake. Consider, for example, the

following advertisement distributed by neoconservative publicist David Horowitz:


The Middle East struggle is not about right versus right. It is about a fifty-year effort by
the Arabs to destroy the Jewish state, and the refusal of the Arab states in general and
the Palestinian Arabs in particular to accept Israel’s existence…. The Middle East conflict
is not about Israel’s occupation of the territories; it is about the refusal of the Arabs to
make peace with Israel, which is an expression of their desire to destroy the Jewish state.25

 “Survival of Israel” arguments thus trump concerns about allocation of scarce resources

like water, the seizure of Palestinian land, collective punishment, torture, and the complete

degradation of Palestinian communities into isolated, military-occupied, Bantustan-type

enclaves. The logic implies that critics of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza

also favor the destruction of Israel and hence the mass murder of millions of Jews.


Similarly, during the debate over selling military hardware to Saudi Arabia in the Carter

administration, “the Israeli lobby pulled out all the stops,” including circulating books to

Congress based on the TV series The Holocaust. The American Israel Public Affairs

Committee (AIPAC), the main Jewish lobbying group in Congress, included a note stating,

“This chilling account of the extermination of six million Jews underscores Israel’s concerns

during the current negotiations for security without reliance on outside guarantees.”26 

In other words, selling AWACS reconnaissance planes to Saudi Arabia, a backward kingdom

with little military capability, is tantamount to collusion in the extermination of millions of Jews.


Jewish thinking about immigration into the U.S. shows the same logic.

Lawrence Auster, a Jewish conservative, describes the logic as follows:


The liberal notion that “all bigotry is indivisible” [advocated by Norman Podhoretz] implies
that all manifestations of ingroup/outgroup feeling are essentially the same—and equally
wrong. It denies the obvious fact that some outgroups are more different from the ingroup,
and hence less assimilable, and hence more legitimately excluded, than other outgroups.
It means, for example, that wanting to exclude Muslim immigrants from
America is as blameworthy as wanting to exclude Catholics or Jews.
Now when Jews put together the idea that “all social prejudice and exclusion leads
potentially to Auschwitz” with the idea that “all bigotry is indivisible,” they must reach
the conclusion that any exclusion of any group, no matter how
alien it may be to the host society, is a potential Auschwitz.
So there it is. We have identified the core Jewish conviction that makes Jews keep pushing
relentlessly for mass immigration, even the mass immigration of their deadliest enemies.
In the thought-process of Jews, to keep Jew-hating Muslims out of America
would be tantamount to preparing the way to another Jewish Holocaust.27

The idea that any sort of exclusionary thinking on the part of Americans—and especially

European Americans as a majority group—leads inexorably to a Holocaust for Jews is not

the only reason why Jewish organizations still favor mass immigration. I have identified two

others as well: the belief that greater diversity makes Jews safer and an intense sense of

historical grievance against the traditional peoples and culture of the United States and Europe

.28 These two sentiments also illustrate Jewish moral particularism because they fail to

consider the ethnic interests of other peoples in thinking about immigration policy. Recently

the “diversity-as-safety” argument was made by Leonard S. Glickman, president and

CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, a Jewish group that has advocated open

immigration to the United States for over a century. Glickman stated, “The more diverse

American society is the safer [Jews] are.”29 At the present time, the HIAS is

deeply involved in recruiting refugees from Africa to emigrate to the U.S.


The diversity as safety argument and its linkage to historical grievances against European

civilization is implicit in a recent statement of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) in response

to former French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing’s argument that Muslim Turkey

has no place in the European Union:


Ironically, in the fifteenth century, when European monarchs expelled the Jews, it was
Moslem Turkey that provided them a welcome…. During the Holocaust, when Europe
was slaughtering its Jews, it was Turkish consuls who extended protection to fugitives
from Vichy France and other Nazi allies…. Today’s European neo-Nazis and skinheads
focus upon Turkish victims while, Mr. President, you are reported to be considering
the Pope’s plea that your Convention emphasize Europe’s Christian heritage. [The Center
suggested that Giscard’s new Constitution] underline the pluralism of a multi-faith
and multi-ethnic Europe, in which the participation of Moslem Turkey might bolster the
continent’s Moslem communities—and, indeed, Turkey itself—against the menaces of
extremism, hate and fundamentalism. A European Turkey can only be beneficial
for stability in Europe and the Middle East.30

Here we see Jewish moral particularism combined with a profound sense of historical

grievance—hatred by any other name—against European civilization and a desire for the

end of Europe as a Christian civilization with its traditional ethnic base. According to the

SWC, the menaces of “extremism, hate and fundamentalism”—prototypically against Jews

—can only be repaired by jettisoning the traditional cultural and ethnic basis of European

civilization. Events that happened five hundred years ago are still fresh in the minds of

Jewish activists—a phenomenon that should give pause to everyone in an age

when Israel has control of nuclear weapons and long-range delivery systems.31


Indeed, a recent article on Assyrians in the U.S. shows that many Jews have not forgiven

or forgotten events of 2,700 years ago, when the Northern Israelite kingdom was forcibly

relocated to the Assyrian capital of Nineveh: “Some Assyrians say Jews are one group of

people who seem to be more familiar with them. But because the Hebrew Bible describes

Assyrians as cruel and ruthless conquerors, people such as the Rev. William Nissan say

he is invariably challenged by Jewish rabbis and scholars about the misdeeds of his ancestors.”32


The SWC inveighs against hate but fails to confront the issue of hatred as a normative

aspect of Judaism. Jewish hatred toward non-Jews emerges as a consistent theme throughout

the ages, beginning in the ancient world.33 The Roman historian Tacitus noted that “Among

themselves they are inflexibly honest and ever ready to show compassion, though they regard

the rest of mankind with all the hatred of enemies.34 The eighteenth-century English

historian Edward Gibbon was struck by the fanatical hatred of 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.35

The nineteenth-century Spanish historian José Amador de los Rios wrote of the Spanish

Jews who assisted the Muslim conquest of Spain that “without any love for the soil where

they lived, without any of those affections that ennoble a people, and finally without

sentiments of generosity, they aspired only to feed their avarice and to accomplish the ruin

of the Goths; taking the opportunity to manifest their rancor, and boasting of the hatreds

that they had hoarded up so many centuries.”36  In 1913, economist Werner Sombart, in

his classic Jews and Modern Capitalism, summarized Judaism as “a group by themselves

and therefore separate and apart—this from the earliest antiquity. All nations were

struck by their hatred of others.”37


A recent article by Meir Y. Soloveichik, aptly titled “The virtue of hate,” amplifies this theme

of normative Jewish fanatical hatred.38 “Judaism believes that while forgiveness is often

a virtue, hate can be virtuous when one is dealing with the frightfully wicked. Rather

than forgive, we can wish ill; rather than hope for repentance, we can instead hope that

our enemies experience the wrath of God.” Soloveichik notes that the Old Testament is

replete with descriptions of horribly violent deaths inflicted on the enemies of the Israelites

—the desire not only for revenge but for revenge in the bloodiest, most degrading manner

imaginable: “The Hebrew prophets not only hated their enemies, but rather reveled in their

suffering, finding in it a fitting justice.” In the Book of Esther, after the Jews kill the ten

sons of Haman, their persecutor, Esther asks that they be hanged on a gallows.


This normative fanatical hatred in Judaism can be seen by the common use among

Orthodox Jews of the phrase yemach shemo, meaning, may his name be erased.

This phrase is used “whenever a great enemy of the Jewish nation, of the past or

present, is mentioned. For instance, one might very well say casually, in the course of

conversation, ‘Thank God, my grandparents left Germany before Hitler, yemach shemo,

came to power.’ Or: ‘My parents were murdered by the Nazis, yemach shemam.’ ”39

Again we see that the powerful consciousness of past suffering leads to present-day intense hatred:


Another danger inherent in hate is that we may misdirect our odium at institutions in
the present because of their past misdeeds. For instance, some of my coreligionists
reserve special abhorrence for anything German, even though Germany is currently
one of the most pro-Israel countries in Europe. Similarly, after centuries of suffering,
many Jews have, in my own experience, continued to despise religious Christians,
even though it is secularists and Islamists who threaten them today, and Christians
should really be seen as their natural allies. Many Jewish intellectuals and others of
influence still take every assertion of the truth of Christianity as an anti-Semitic attack.
After the Catholic Church beatified Edith Stein, a Jewish convert to Christianity,
some prominent Jews asserted that the Church was attempting to cover up its role in
causing the Holocaust. And then there is the historian Daniel Jonah Goldhagen,
who essentially has asserted that any attempt by the Catholic Church to maintain that
Christianity is the one true faith marks a continuation of the crimes of the
Church in the past. Burning hatred, once kindled, is difficult to extinguish.

Soloveichik could also have included Jewish hatred toward the traditional peoples and culture

of the United States. This hatred stems from Jewish memory of the immigration law of 1924,

which is seen as having resulted in a greater number of Jews dying in the Holocaust because

it restricted Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe during the 1920s and 1930s. Jews are

also acutely aware of widespread anti-Jewish attitudes in the U.S. prior to World War II.

The hatred continues despite the virtual disappearance of anti-Jewish attitudes in the U.S.

after World War II and despite the powerful ties between the United States and Israel.40


Given the transparently faulty logic and obvious self-interest involved in arguments made by

Jewish activists, it is not unreasonable to suppose that Jews are often engaged in

self-deception. In fact, self-deception is a very important component of Jewish moral

particularism. I wrote an entire chapter on Jewish self-deception in Separation

and Its Discontents41 but it was nowhere near enough. Again, Kim Chernin:


Our sense of victimization as a people works in a dangerous and seditious way
against our capacity to know, to recognize, to name and to remember. Since we have
adopted ourselves as victims we cannot correctly read our own history let alone our
present circumstances. Even where the story of our violence is set down in a sacred
text that we pore over again and again, we cannot see it. Our self-election as the people
most likely to be victimized obscures rather than clarifies our own tradition. I can’t count
the number of times I read the story of Joshua as a tale of our people coming into their
rightful possession of their promised land without stopping to say to myself, “but this is
a history of rape, plunder, slaughter, invasion and destruction of other peoples.” As such,
it bears an uncomfortably close resemblance to the behavior of Israeli settlers and the
Israeli army of today, a behavior we also cannot see for what it is. We are tracing the
serpentine path of our own psychology. We find it organized around a persuasion of
victimization, which leads to a sense of entitlement to enact violence, which brings
about an inevitable distortion in the way we perceive both our Jewish identity
and the world, and involves us finally in a tricky relationship to language.

Political columnist Joe Sobran—who has suffered professionally for expressing his opinions

about Israel—exposes the moral particularism of Norman Podhoretz, one of the chorus of

influential Jewish voices who advocate restructuring the entire Middle East in the interests of Israel:


Podhoretz has unconsciously exposed the Manichaean fantasy world of so many of those
who are now calling for war with Iraq. The United States and Israel are “good”; the Arab-Muslim
states are “evil”; and those opposed to this war represent “moral relativism,” ostensibly
neutral but virtually on the side of “evil.” This is simply deranged. The ability to see evil
only in one’s enemies isn’t “moral clarity.” It’s the essence of fanaticism. We are
now being counseled to fight one kind of fanaticism with another. [My emphasis]

As Sobran notes, the moral particularism is unconscious—an example of self-deception.

The world is cut up into two parts, the good and the evil—ingroup-outgroup—as it has been,

for Jews, for well over two thousand years. Recently Jared Taylor and David

Horowitz got into a discussion whichtouched on Jewish issues. Taylor writes:


Mr. Horowitz deplores the idea that “we are all prisoners of identity politics,” implying
that race and ethnicity are trivial matters we must work to overcome. But if that is so,
why does the home page of FrontPageMag carry a perpetual appeal for contributions
to “David’s Defense of Israel Campaign”? Why Israel rather than, say, Kurdistan or
Tibet or Euskadi or Chechnya? Because Mr. Horowitz is Jewish. His commitment to
Israel is an expression of precisely the kind of particularist identity he would deny to
me and to other racially-conscious whites. He passionately supports a self-consciously
Jewish state but calls it “surrendering to the multicultural miasma” when I work to
return to a self-consciously white America. He supports an explicitly ethnic identity for
Israel but says American must not be allowed to have one… If he supports a Jewish Israel,
he should support a white America.42

Taylor is suggesting that Horowitz is self-deceived or inconsistent. It is interesting that

Horowitz was acutely aware of his own parents’ self-deception. Horowitz’s description

of his parents shows the strong ethnocentrism that lurked beneath the noisy universalism

of Jewish communists in mid-twentieth century America. In his book, Radical Son, Horowitz

describes the world of his parents who had joined a “shul” (i.e., a synagogue) run by

the Communist Party in which Jewish holidays were given a political interpretation.

Psychologically these people might as well have been in eighteenth-century

Poland, but they were completely unaware of any Jewish identity. Horowitz writes:


What my parents had done in joining the Communist Party and moving to Sunnyside
was to return to the ghetto. There was the same shared private language, the same
hermetically sealed universe, the same dual posturing revealing one face to the outer
world and another to the tribe. More importantly, there was the same conviction of
being marked for persecution and specially ordained, the sense of moral superiority
toward the stronger and more numerous goyim outside. And there was the same fear
of expulsion for heretical thoughts, which was the fear that riveted the chosen to the faith.43

Jews recreate Jewish social structure wherever they are, even when they are completely

unaware they are doing so. When asked about their Jewish commitments, these communists

denied having any.44 Nor were they consciously aware of having chosen ethnically Jewish

spouses, although they all married other Jews. This denial has been useful for Jewish

organizations and Jewish intellectual apologists attempting to de-emphasize the role of

Jews on the radical left in the twentieth century. For example, a common tactic of the

ADL beginning in the Red Scare era of the 1920s right up through the Cold War era was

to claim that Jewish radicals were no longer Jews because they had no Jewish

religious commitments.45


Non-Jews run the risk of failing to truly understand how powerful these Jewish traits of

moral particularism and self-deception really are. When confronted with his own rabid

support for Israel, Horowitz simply denies that ethnicity has much to do with it; he supports

Israel as a matter of principle—his commitment to universalist moral principles—and he

highlights the relationship between Israel and the West: “Israel is under attack by the same

enemy that has attacked the United States. Israel is the point of origin for the culture of

the West.”46 This ignores the reality that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is a major

part of the reason why the United States was attacked and is hated throughout the Arab

world. It also ignores the fact that Western culture and its strong strain of individualism are

the antithesis of Judaism, and that Israel’s Western veneer overlays

the deep structure of Israel as an apartheid, ethnically based state.


It’s difficult to argue with people who cannot see or at least won’t acknowledge the depths

of their own ethnic commitments and continue to act in ways that compromise the

ethnic interests of others. People like Horowitz (and his parents) can’t see their ethnic

commitments even when they are obvious to everyone else. One could perhaps say the

same of Charles Krauthammer, William Safire, William Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, and the

legion of prominent Jews who collectively dominate the perception of Israel presented by the

U.S. media. Not surprisingly, Horowitz pictures the U.S. as a set of universal principles,

with no ethnic content. This idea originated with Jewish intellectuals, particularly Horace

Kallen, almost a century ago at a time when there was a strong conception that the

United  States was a European civilization whose characteristics were racially/ethnically based.

47 As we all know, this world and its intellectual infrastructure have vanished, and I have

tried to show that the prime force opposing a European racial/ethnic conception of the U.S.

was a set of Jewish intellectual and political movements that collectively

pathologized any sense of European ethnicity or European ethnic interests.48


Given that extreme ethnocentrism continues to pervade all segments of the organized Jewish

community, the advocacy of the de-ethnicization of Europeans—a common sentiment in

the movements I discuss in The Culture of Critique—is best seen as a strategic move against

peoples regarded as historical enemies. In Chapter 8 of CofC, I call attention to a long list of

similar double standards, especially with regard to the policies pursued by Israel versus the

policies Jewish organizations have pursued in the U.S. These policies include church-state

separation, attitudes toward multiculturalism, and immigration policies favoring the dominant

ethnic group. This double standard is fairly pervasive. As noted throughout CofC, Jewish

advocates addressing Western audiences have promoted policies that satisfy Jewish

(particularist) interests in terms of the morally universalist language that is a central feature of

Western moral and intellectual discourse; obviously David Horowitz’s

rationalization of his commitment to Israel is a prime example of this.


A principal theme of CofC is that Jewish organizations played a decisive role in opposing

the idea that the United States ought to be a European nation. Nevertheless, these organizations

have been strong supporters of Israel as a nation of the Jewish people. Consider, for example,

a press release of May 28, 1999, by the ADL:


The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today lauded the passage of sweeping changes
in Germany’s immigration law, saying the easing of the nation’s once rigorous
naturalization requirements “will provide a climate for diversity and acceptance. It is
encouraging to see pluralism taking root in a society that, despite its strong democracy,
had for decades maintained an unyielding policy of citizenship by blood or descent
only,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “The easing of immigration
requirements is especially significant in light of Germany’s history of the Holocaust and
persecution of Jews and other minority groups. The new law will provide a climate for
diversity and acceptance in a nation with an onerous legacy of xenophobia, where the
concept of ‘us versus them’ will be replaced by a principle of citizenship for all.”49

There is no mention of analogous laws in place in Israel restricting immigration to Jews,

or of the long-standing policy of rejecting the possibility of repatriation for Palestinian refugees

wishing to return to Israel or the occupied territories. The prospective change in the

“us versus them” attitude alleged to be characteristic of Germany is applauded, while the

“us versus them” attitude characteristic of Israel and Jewish culture throughout history is

unmentioned. Recently, the Israeli Ministry of Interior ruled that new immigrants who have

converted to Judaism will no longer be able to bring non-Jewish family members into the country.

The decision is expected to cut by half the number of eligible immigrants to Israel. Nevertheless,

Jewish organizations continue to be strong proponents of multiethnic immigration to the

United States while maintaining unquestioning support for Israel. This pervasive double

standard was noticed by writer Vincent Sheean in his observations of Zionists in Palestine

in 1930: “how idealism goes hand in hand with the most terrific cynicism; . . . how they are

Fascists in their own affairs, with regard to Palestine, and internationalists in everything

else.”50 The right hand does not know what the left is doing—self-deception writ large.


Jewish ethnocentrism is well founded in the sense that scientific studies supporting the

genetic cohesiveness of Jewish groups continue to appear. Most notable of the recent

studies is that of Michael Hammer and colleagues.51 Based on Y-chromosome data, Hammer

et al. conclude that 1 in 200 matings within Jewish communities were with non-Jews over

a 2000-year period.


Because of their intense ethnocentrism, Jews tend to have great rapport with each

other—an important ingredient in producing effective groups.  One way to understand

this powerful attraction for fellow ethnic group members is J. Philippe Rushton’s Genetic

Similarity Theory.52 According to GST, people are attracted to others who are genetically

similar to themselves. One of the basic ideas of evolutionary biology is that people are

expected to help relatives because they share similar genes. When a father helps a child

or an uncle helps a nephew, he is really also helping himself because of their close genetic

relationship. (Parents share half their genes with their children; uncles share one-fourth of

their genes with nieces and nephews.53) GST extends this concept to non-relatives by

arguing that people benefit when they favor others who are

genetically similar to them even if they are not relatives.


GST has some important implications for understanding cooperation and cohesiveness

among Jews. It predicts that people will be friendlier to other people who are genetically

more similar to themselves. In the case of Jews and non-Jews, it predicts that Jews

would be more likely to make friends and alliances with other Jews, and that there

would be high levels of rapport and psychological satisfaction within these relationships.


GST explains the extraordinary rapport and cohesiveness among Jews. Since the vast

majority of Jews are closely related genetically, GST predicts that they will be very attracted

to other Jews and may even be able to recognize them in the absence of distinctive

clothing and hair styles. There is anecdotal evidence for this statement. Theologian Eugene

Borowitz writes that Jews seek each other out in social situations and feel “far more at

home” after they have discovered who is Jewish.54 “Most Jews claim to be equipped with

an interpersonal friend-or-foe sensing device that enables them to detect the presence

of another Jew, despite heavy camouflage.” Another Jewish writer comments on the

incredible sense of oneness he has with other Jews and his ability to recognize other Jews

in public places, a talent some Jews call “J-dar.”55 While dining with his non-Jewish

fiancée, he is immediately recognized as Jewish by some other Jews, and there is an

immediate “bond of brotherhood” between them that excludes his non-Jewish companion.


Robert Reich, Clinton administration Secretary of Labor, wrote that in his first face-to-face

meeting with Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, “We have never met before,

but I instantly know him. One look, one phrase, and I know where he grew up, how he

grew up, where he got his drive and his sense of humor. He is New York. He is Jewish.

He looks like my uncle Louis, his voice is my uncle Sam. I feel we’ve been together at

countless weddings, bar mitzvahs, and funerals. I know his genetic structure. I’m certain

that within the last five hundred years—perhaps even more recently—we shared the

same ancestor.”56 Reich is almost certainly correct: He and Greenspan do indeed

have a recent common ancestor, and this genetic affinity causes them to have an

almost supernatural attraction to each other. Or consider Sigmund Freud, who wrote

that he found “the attraction of Judaism and of Jews so irresistible, many dark emotional

powers, all the mightier the less they let themselves be grasped in words, as well as the

clear consciousness of inner identity, the secrecy of the same mental construction.”57


Any discussion of Judaism has to start and probably end with this incredibly strong

bond that Jews have among each other—a bond that is created by their close genetic

relationship and by the intensification of the psychological mechanisms underlying

group cohesion. This powerful rapport among Jews translates

into a heightened ability to cooperate in highly focused groups.


To conclude this section: In general, the contemporary organized Jewish community is

characterized by high levels of Jewish identification and ethnocentrism. Jewish activist

organizations like the ADL, the American Jewish Committee, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid

Society, and the neoconservative think tanks are not creations of the fundamentalist and

Orthodox, but represent the broad Jewish community, including non-religious Jews and

Reform Jews. In general, the more actively people are involved in the Jewish community,

the more committed they are to preventing intermarriage and retaining Jewish ethnic

cohesion. And despite a considerable level of intermarriage among less committed

Jews, the leadership of the Jewish community in the U.S. is at present

not made up of the offspring of intermarried people to any significant extent.


Jewish ethnocentrism is ultimately simple traditional human ethnocentrism, although it

is certainly among the more extreme varieties. But what is so fascinating is the cloak of

intellectual support for Jewish ethnocentrism, the complexity and intellectual sophistication

of the rationalizations for it—some of which are reviewed in Separation and Its Discontents

58 and the rather awesome hypocrisy (or cold-blooded deception)

of it, given Jewish opposition to ethnocentrism among Europeans.


II. Jews Are Intelligent (and Wealthy)


The vast majority of U.S. Jews are Ashkenazi Jews. This is a very intelligent group, with

an average IQ of approximately 115 and verbal IQ considerably higher.59 Since verbal

IQ is the best predictor of occupational success and upward mobility in contemporary

societies,60 it is not surprising that Jews are an elite group in the United States. Frank

Salter has showed that on issues of concern to the Jewish community (Israel, immigration,

ethnic policy in general), Jewish groups have four times the influence of European

Americans despite representing approximately 2.5% of the population.61 Recent data

indicate that Jewish per capita income in the U.S. is almost double that of non-Jews, a

bigger difference than the black-white income gap.62 Although Jews make up less than

3% of the population, they constitute more than a quarter of the people on the Forbes list

of the richest four hundred Americans. Jews constitute 45% of the top forty of the Forbes

400 richest Americans. Fully one-third of all American multimillionaires are Jewish. The

percentage of Jewish households with income greater than $50,000 is double that of non-Jews;

on the other hand, the percentage of Jewish households with income less than $20,000 is

half that of non-Jews. Twenty percent of professors at leading universities are Jewish,

and 40% of partners in leading New York and Washington D.C. law firms are Jewish.63


In 1996, there were  approximately three hundres national Jewish organizations in the

United States, with a combined budget estimated in the range of $6 billion—a sum

greater than the gross national product of half the members of the United Nations.64

For example, in 2001 the ADL claimed an annual budget of over $50,000,000.65 There

is also a critical mass of very wealthy Jews who are actively involved in funding Jewish

causes.  Irving Moskowitz funds the settler movement in Israel and pro-Israeli, neoconservative

think tanks in Washington DC, while Charles Bronfman, Ronald Lauder, and the notorious

Marc Rich fund Birthright Israel, a program that aims to increase ethnic consciousness

among Jews by bringing 20,000 young Jews to Israel every year. George Soros finances

liberal immigration policy throughout the Western world and also funds Noel Ignatiev and

his “Race Traitor” website dedicated to the abolition of the white race. So far as I know,

there are no major sources of funding aimed at increasing ethnic consciousness among

Europeans or at promoting European ethnic interests.66 Certainly the major sources of

conservative funding in the U.S., such as the Bradley and Olin Foundations, are not aimed

at this sort of thing. Indeed, the Bradley Foundation has been a major source of funding for

the largely Jewish neoconservative movement and for pro-Israel

think tanks such as the Center for Security Policy.67


Paul Findley68 provides numerous examples of Jews using their financial clout to support

political candidates with positions that are to the liking of AIPAC and other pro-Israel activist

groups in the U.S. This very large financial support for pro-Israel candidates continues

into the present—the most recent examples being the campaigns to unseat Cynthia McKinney

and Earl Hilliard from Congress in 2002. Because of their predominantly Jewish funding base

,69 Democratic candidates are particularly vulnerable, but all candidates experience this

pressure because Jewish support will be funneled to their opponents

if there is any hint of disagreement with the pro-Israel lobby.


Intelligence is also important in providing access to the entire range of  influential positions,

from the academic world, to the media, to business, politics, and the legal profession. In

CofC I describe several influential Jewish intellectual movements developed by networks

of Jews who were motivated to advance Jewish causes and interests. These movements

were the backbone of the intellectual left in the twentieth century, and their influence

continues into the present. Collectively, they call into question the fundamental moral,

political, and economic foundations of Western society. These movements have been

advocated with great intellectual passion and moral fervor and with a very high level of

theoretical sophistication. As with the neoconservative movement, discussed in the third

article in this series, all of these movements had ready access to prestigious mainstream

media sources, at least partly because of the high representation of Jews as owners and

producers of mainstream media.70 All of these movements were strongly represented

at prestigious universities, and their work was published by

prestigious mainstream academic and commercial publishers.


Intelligence is also evident in Jewish activism. Jewish activism is like a full court press

in basketball: intense pressure from every possible angle. But in addition to the intensity,

Jewish efforts are very well organized, well funded, and backed up by sophisticated,

scholarly intellectual defenses. A good example is the long and ultimately successful

attempt to alter U.S. immigration policy.71 The main Jewish activist organization

influencing immigration policy, the American Jewish Committee, was characterized

by “strong leadership, internal cohesion, well-funded programs, sophisticated lobbying

techniques, well-chosen non-Jewish allies, and good timing.”72 The most visible Jewish

activists, such as Louis Marshall, were intellectually brilliant and enormously energetic

and resourceful in their crusades on behalf of immigration and other Jewish causes. 

When restrictionist arguments appeared in the media, the American Jewish Committee

made sophisticated replies based on at least the appearance of scholarly data, and

typically couched in universalist terms as benefiting the whole society.  Articles favorable

to immigration were published in national magazines, and letters to the editor were published

in newspapers. Talented lawyers initiated legal proceedings aimed at preventing

the deportation of aliens.


The pro-immigration lobby was also very well organized. Immigration opponents, such

as Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, and organizations like the Immigration Restriction League

were kept under close scrutiny and pressured by lobbyists. Lobbyists in Washington also

kept a daily scorecard of voting tendencies as immigration bills wended their way through

Congress, and they engaged in intense and successful efforts to convince Presidents Taft

and Wilson to veto restrictive immigration legislation. Catholic prelates were recruited to

protest the effects of restrictionist legislation on immigration from Italy and Hungary.

There were well-organized efforts to minimize the negative perceptions of immigration

by distributing Jewish immigrants around the country and by getting Jewish aliens

off public support. Highly visible and noisy mass protest meetings were organized.73


Intelligence and organization are also apparent in contemporary Jewish lobbying on

behalf of Israel. Les Janka, a U.S. Defense Department official, noted that, “On all kinds

of foreign policy issues the American people just don’t make their voices heard. Jewish

groups are the exceptions. They are prepared, superbly briefed. They

have their act together. It is hard for bureaucrats not to respond.”74


Morton A. Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), is typical

of the highly intelligent, competent, and dedicated Jewish activist. The ZOA website states

that Klein had a distinguished career as a biostatistician in academe and in government service

in the Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations. He has received accolades as one of the

leading Jewish activists in the U.S., especially by media that are closely associated with Likud

policies in Israel. For example, the Wall Street Journal called the ZOA “heroic and the most

credible advocate for Israel on the American Jewish scene today” and added that we should

“snap a salute to those who were right about Oslo and Arafat all along,… including Morton

Klein who was wise, brave and unflinchingly honest…. [W]hen the history of the American

Jewish struggle in these years is written, Mr. Klein will emerge as an outsized figure.” The

website boasts of Klein’s success “against anti-Israel bias” in textbooks, travel guides,

universities, churches, and the media, as well as his work on Capitol Hill.” Klein has led

successful efforts to block the appointment of Joe Zogby, an Arab American, to the State

Department and the appointment of Strobe Talbott, Clinton nominee for Deputy Secretary

of State. Klein’s pro-Israel articles have appeared in a wide range of mainstream and Jewish

media: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New Republic, New Yorker,

Commentary, Near East Report, Reform Judaism, Moment, Forward, Jerusalem Post,

Philadelphia Inquirer, Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, Ha’aretz (Jerusalem),

Maariv (Jerusalem), and the Israeli-Russian paper Vesti.


Klein’s activism highlights the importance of access to the major media enjoyed by

Jewish activists and organizations—a phenomenon that is traceable ultimately to Jewish

intelligence. Jews have a very large presence in the media as owners, writers, producers,

and editors—far larger than any other identifiable group.75 In the contemporary world,

this presence is especially important with respect to perceptions of Israel. Media coverage

of Israel in the U.S. is dominated by a pro-Israel bias, whereas in most of the world the

predominant view is that the Palestinians are a dispossessed people under siege.76 A

critical source of support for Israel is the army of professional pundits “who can be

counted upon to support Israel reflexively and without qualification.”77 Perhaps the most

egregious example of pro-Israel bias resulting from Jewish media control is the Asper

family, owners of CanWest, a company that controls over 33% of the English-language

newspapers in Canada. CanWest inaugurated an editorial policy in which all editorials

had to be approved by the main office. As the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

notes, “the Asper family staunchly supports Israel in its conflicts with Palestinians, and

coverage of the Middle East appears to be a particularly sensitive area.”78 CanWest has

exercised control over the content of articles related to Israel by editing and spiking articles

with pro-Palestinian or anti-Israeli views. Journalists who have failed

to adopt CanWest positions have been reprimanded or dismissed.


III. Jews Are Psychologically Intense


I have compared Jewish activism to a full court press—relentlessly intense and covering

every possible angle. There is considerable evidence that Jews are higher than average

on emotional intensity.79 Emotionally intense people are prone to intense emotional

experience of both positive and negative emotions.80 Emotionality may be thought of

as a behavioral intensifier—an energizer. Individuals high on affect intensity have more

complex social networks and more complex lives, including multiple

and even conflicting goals. Their goals are intensely sought after.


 In the case of Jews, this affects the tone and intensity of their efforts at activism. Among

Jews there is a critical mass that is intensely committed to Jewish causes—a sort of 24/7,

“pull out all the stops” commitment that produces instant, massive responses on Jewish

issues. Jewish activism has a relentless, never-say-die quality. This intensity goes hand

in hand with the “slippery slope” style of arguing described above: Jewish activism is an

intense response because even the most trivial manifestation of anti-Jewish attitudes or

behavior is seen as inevitably leading to mass murder of Jews if allowed to continue.


Besides its ability to direct Jewish money to its preferred candidates, a large part of AIPAC’s

effectiveness lies in its ability  to rapidly mobilize its 60,000 members. “In virtually every

congressional district…AIPAC has a group of prominent citizens it can mobilize if an

individual senator or representative needs stroking.”81 When Senator Charles Percy suggested

that Israel negotiate with the PLO and be willing to trade land for peace, he was inundated

with 2200 telegrams and 4000 letters, 95% against, and mainly from the Jewish community

in Chicago.82 The other side is seldom able to muster a response that competes with

the intensity of the Jewish response. When President Eisenhower—the last president to

stand up to the pro-Israel lobby—pressured Israel into withdrawing from the Sinai in

1957, almost all the mail opposed his decision. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles

complained, “It is impossible to hold the line because we get no support from the Protestant

elements in the country. All we get is a battering from the Jews.”83 This pales in comparison

to the avalanche of 150,000 letters to President Johnson urging support for Israel when

Egypt closed the Strait of Tiran in May 1967. This was just prior to the “Six-Day War,”

during which the U.S. provided a great deal of military assistance and actively cooperated

in the cover-up of the assault on the USS Liberty. Jews had learned from their defeat at the

hands of Eisenhower and had redoubled their lobbying efforts,

creating by all accounts the most effective lobby in Washington.

Pressure on officials in the State and Defense departments is relentless and intense.

In the words of one official, “One has to keep in mind the constant character of this pressure.

The public affairs staff of the Near East Bureau in the State Department figures it will

spend about 75 percent of its time dealing with Jewish groups. Hundreds

of such groups get appointments in the executive branch each year.”84


Psychological intensity is also typical of Israelis. For example, the Israelis are remarkably

persistent in their attempts to obtain U.S. military hardware. The following comment illustrates

not only the relentless, intense pressure, but also the aggressiveness of Jewish pursuit

of their interests: “They would never take no for an answer. They never gave up. These

emissaries of a foreign government always had a shopping list of wanted military items,

some of them high technology that no other nation possessed, some of it secret devices

that gave the United States an edge over any adversary.”85  Even though small in number,

the effects are enormous. “They never seem to sleep, guarding Israel’s interests around

the clock.”86 Henry Kissinger made the following comment on Israeli negotiating tactics.

“In the combination of single-minded persistence and convoluted tactics the Israelis preserve

in the interlocutor only those last vestiges of sanity and coherence needed to sign the final document.”87


IV. Jews Are Aggressive


Being aggressive and “pushy” is part of the stereotype of Jews in Western societies.

Unfortunately, there is a dearth of scientific studies on this aspect of Jewish personality.

Hans Eysenck, renowned for his research on personality, claims that

Jews  are indeed rated more aggressive by people who know them well.88


Jews have always behaved aggressively toward those they have lived among, and they

have been perceived as aggressive by their critics. What strikes the reader of Henry Ford’s

The International Jew (TIJ), written in the early 1920s, is its portrayal of Jewish intensity

and aggressiveness in asserting their interests.89 As TIJ notes, from Biblical times Jews

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." In the Old Testament

the relationship between Israel and foreigners is one of domination: For example, “They shall

go after thee, in chains they shall come over; And they shall fall down unto thee. They shall

make supplication unto thee” (Isa. 45:14); “They shall bow down to thee with their face to

the earth, And lick the dust of thy feet” (49:23). Similar sentiments appear in Trito-Isaiah

(60:14, 61:5–6), Ezekiel (e.g., 39:10), and Ecclesiasticus (36:9). The apotheosis of Jewish

attitudes of conquest can be seen in the Book of Jubilees, where world domination

and great reproductive success are promised to the seed of Abraham:


I am the God who created heaven and earth. I shall increase you, and multiply you
exceedingly; and kings shall come from you and shall rule wherever the foot of the
sons of man has trodden. I shall give to your seed all the earth which is under heaven,
and they shall rule over all the nations according to their desire; and afterwards they
shall draw the whole earth to themselves and shall inherit it for ever (Jub. 32:18‑19).

Elsewhere I have noted that a major theme of anti-Jewish attitudes throughout the ages

has been Jewish economic domination.90 The following petition from the citizens of the

German town of Hirschau opposed allowing Jews to live there because Jews were

seen as aggressive competitors who ultimately dominate the people they live among:


If only a few Jewish families settle here, all small shops, tanneries, hardware stores,
and so on, which, as things stand, provide their proprietors with nothing but the scantiest
of livelihoods, will in no time at all be superseded and completely crushed by these
[Jews] such that at least twelve local families will be reduced to beggary, and our poor
relief fund, already in utter extremity, will be fully exhausted within one year. The Jews
come into possession in the shortest possible time of all cash money by getting involved
in every business; they rapidly become the only possessors of money,
and their Christian neighbors become their debtors.91

Late nineteenth-century Zionists such as Theodor Herzl were quite aware that a prime source

of modern anti-Jewish attitudes was that emancipation had brought Jews into direct economic

competition with the non-Jewish middle classes, a competition that Jews typically won.

Herzl “insisted that one could not expect a majority to ‘let themselves be subjugated’

by formerly scorned outsiders whom they had just released from the ghetto.”92 The

theme of economic domination has often been combined with the view that Jews are

personally aggressive. In the Middle Ages Jews were seen as “pitiless creditors.”93  The

philosopher Immanuel Kant stated that Jews were “a nation of usurers . . . outwitting the

people amongst whom they find shelter.... They make the slogan

‘let the buyer beware’ their highest principle in dealing with us.”94


In early twentieth-century America, the sociologist Edward A. Ross commented on a greater

tendency among Jewish immigrants to maximize their advantage in all transactions, ranging

from Jewish students badgering teachers for higher grades to Jewish poor attempting to

get more than the usual charitable allotment. “No other immigrants are so

noisy, pushing and disdainful of the rights of others as the Hebrews.”95


The authorities complain that the East European Hebrews feel no reverence for law
as such and are willing to break any ordinance they find in their way…. The insurance
companies scan a Jewish fire risk more closely than any other. Credit men say the
Jewish merchant is often “slippery” and will “fail” in order to get rid of his debts. For
lying the immigrant has a very bad reputation. In the North End of Boston
“the readiness of the Jews to commit perjury has passed into a proverb.”96

These characteristics have at times been noted by Jews themselves. In a survey commissioned

by the American Jewish Committee’s study of the Jews of Baltimore in 1962, “two-thirds

of the respondents admitted to believing that other Jews are pushy, hostile, vulgar,

materialistic, and the cause of anti-Semitism. And those were only the ones

who were willing to admit it.”97


Jews were unique as an American immigrant group in their hostility toward American

Christian culture and in their energetic, aggressive efforts to change that culture.98

From the perspective of Ford’s TIJ, the United States had imported around 3,500,000

mainly Yiddish-speaking, intensely Jewish immigrants over the previous forty years.

In that very short period, Jews had had enormous effect on American society, particularly

in their attempts to remove expressions of Christianity from public life beginning with

an attempt in 1899–1900 to remove the word “Christian” from the Virginia Bill of Rights:

“The Jews’ determination to wipe out of public life every sign of the predominant

Christian character of the U.S. is the only active form of religious intolerance in the

country today.”99


A prototypical example of Jewish aggressiveness toward American culture has been Jewish

advocacy of liberal immigration policies which have had a transformative effect on the U.S.:


In undertaking to sway immigration policy in a liberal direction, Jewish spokespersons
and organizations demonstrated a degree of energy unsurpassed by any other
interested pressure group. Immigration had constituted a prime object of concern for
practically every major Jewish defense and community relations organization. Over
the years, their spokespersons had assiduously attended congressional hearings,
and the Jewish effort was of the utmost importance in establishing and financing such
non-sectarian groups as the National Liberal Immigration League and the
Citizens Committee for Displaced Persons.100

Jewish aggressiveness and their role in the media, in the creation of culture and information

in the social sciences and humanities, and in the political process in the United States

contrasts with the role of Overseas Chinese.101  The Chinese have not formed a hostile

cultural elite in Southeast Asian countries motivated by historical grievances against the

people and culture of their hosts. For example, despite their economic dominance, the

Chinese have not been concerned with restrictions on their citizenship rights, which have

been common in Southeast Asia.102 Whereas the Chinese have reacted rather passively

to such restrictions, Jews have reacted to any manifestation of anti-Jewish attitudes or

behavior with an all-out effort at eradication. Indeed, we have seen that the mainstream Jewish

attitude is that even trivial manifestations of anti-Jewish attitudes and behavior must not be

ignored because they can and will lead to mass murder. 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.103


Besides the normal sorts of lobbying typical of the political process in the U.S., perhaps

the clearest examples of Jewish aggressiveness are the many examples of intimidation of

their opponents—loss of job, death threats, constant harassment, economic losses such

as loss of advertising revenue for media businesses, and charges of anti-Semitism—the last

being perhaps the greatest sin against the post-World War II political order that can be

imagined. When Adlai Stevenson III was running for governor of Illinois, his record in opposition

to Israeli settlement policy and his statement that the PLO was a legitimate voice of the

Palestinian people resulted in a whisper campaign that he was an anti-Semite. Stevenson commented:


There is an intimidating, activist minority of American Jews that supports the
decisions of the Israeli government, right or wrong. They do so very vocally and very
aggressively in ways that intimidate others so that it’s their voice—even though it is
a minority—that is heard in American politics. But it still is much louder in the United
States than in Israel. In other words, you have a much stronger, more vocal dissent in
Israel than within the Jewish community in the United States. The prime minister of
Israel has far more influence over American foreign policy in the Middle
East than over the policies of his own government generally.104

A common tactic has been to charge that critics of Israel are anti-Semites. Indeed, George

Ball, a perceptive critic of Israel and its U.S. constituency, maintains that the charge of

anti-Semitism and guilt over the Holocaust is the Israeli lobby’s most effective weapon—outstripping

its financial clout.105 The utility of these psychological weapons in turn derives from the very

large Jewish influence on the U.S. media. Historian Peter Novick 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.106

And, of course, the appeal to the Holocaust is especially compelling for American Jews.

When the Mossad wants to recruit U.S. Jews for help in its espionage work, in the words

of a CIA agent “the appeal is a simple one: ‘When the call went out and no one heeded it,

the Holocaust resulted.’ “107


Charges of anti-Semitism and guilt over the Holocaust are not the only instruments of

Jewish aggressiveness on Israeli issues. Jewish groups intimidate their enemies by

a variety of means. People who oppose policies on Israel advocated by Jewish activist

organizations have been fired from their jobs, harassed with letters, subjected to intrusive

surveillance, and threatened with death. Although there is a great deal of self-censorship in

the media on Israel as a result of the major role of Jews in the ownership and production of

the media, gaps in this armor are aggressively closed. There are “threats to editors and

advertising departments, orchestrated boycotts, slanders, campaigns of character assassination,

and personal vendettas.”108 Other examples recounted by Findley include pressure on

the Federal Communications Commission to stop broadcast licenses, demands for submission

to an oversight committee prior to publication, and the stationing of a Jewish

activist in the newsroom of the Washington Post in order to monitor the process.


The result of all this intense, well-organized aggression is that


Those who criticize Israeli policy in any sustained way invite painful and relentless retaliation,
and even loss of their livelihood by pressure from one or more parts of Israel’s lobby.
Presidents fear it. Congress does its bidding. Prestigious universities shun academic
programs and buckle under its pressure. Instead of having their arguments and opinions
judged on merit, critics of Israel suddenly find their motivations, their integrity, and basic
moral values called into question. No matter how moderate their criticism, they may
be characterized as pawns of the oil lobby, apologists for Arabs, or even anti-Semitic.109

The following quote from Henry Kissinger sums up

the aggressive Israeli attitudes toward U.S. aid:


Yitzak [Rabin] had many extraordinary qualities, but the gift of human relations was
not one of them. If he had been handed the entire “United States Strategic Air Command”
as a free gift he would have (a) affected the attitude that at last Israel was getting its due,
and (b) found some technical shortcoming in the airplanes that made his accepting them a
reluctant concession to us.110

But of course by far the most importantexamples of Israeli aggressiveness have been

toward their neighbors in the Middle East. Thisaggression has been there from the beginning,

as Israel has consistently put pressure on borderareas with incursions,

including the Kibya massacre of 1953 led by Ariel Sharon.111 The

personal aggressiveness of Israeli society has long been a topic of commentators. Israel is

known for its arrogance, insolence (chutzpah), coldness, roughness, rudeness, and lack of

civility. For example, B. Z. Sobel, an Israeli sociologist at the University of Haifa, found that

among the motivations for emigrating from Israel was that “there is indeed an

edginess [in Israeli society]; tempers flare, and verbal violence is rampant”112




The current situation in the United States is the result of an awesome deployment of

Jewish power and influence. One must contemplate the fact that American Jews have

managed to maintain unquestioned support for Israel over the last thirty-five years

despite Israel’s seizing land and engaging in a brutal occupation of the Palestinians in

the occupied territories—an occupation that will most likely end with expulsion or complete

subjugation, degradation, and apartheid. During this same period Jewish organizations

in America have been a principal force—in my view the main force—for erecting a state

dedicated to suppressing ethnic identification among Europeans, for encouraging massive

multi-ethnic immigration into the U.S., and for erecting a legal system and cultural ideology

that is obsessively sensitive to the complaints and interests of ethnic minorities:

the culture of the Holocaust.113


American Judaism is well organized and lavishly funded. It has achieved a great deal of

power, and it has been successful in achieving its interests.114 One of the great myths

often promulgated by Jewish apologists is that Jews have no consensus and therefore cannot

wield any real power. Yet there is in fact a great deal of consensus on broad Jewish issues,

particularly in the areas of Israel and the welfare of other foreign Jewries, immigration and

refugee policy, church-state separation, abortion rights, and civil liberties.115 Massive changes

in public policy on these issues, beginning with the counter-cultural revolution of the 1960s,

coincide with the period of increasing Jewish power and influence in the United States.

Indeed, one is hard-pressed to find any significant area where public

policy conflicts with the attitudes of mainstream Jewish organizations.


Later papers in this series will discuss concrete examples of Jewish activism:

The history of Zionism as a radical Jewish movement and

the presently influential Jewish neoconservative movement.


Kevin MacDonald is Professor of Psychology, California State University -‑ Long Beach, and

the author of author of a trilogy on Judaism as an evolutionary strategy: A People That Shall

Dwell Alone (1994), Separation and its Discontents (1998), and The Culture of Critique (1998),

all published by Praeger 1994-1998. A revised edition of The Culture of Critique (2002),

with an expanded introduction, is available in a quality soft

cover edition from www.1stBooks.com or www.amazon.com.




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End Notes

1. MacDonald 1998a, Ch. 3.

2. MacDonald 1998a, Ch. 4.

3. MacDonald 1998b/2002.

4. Sacks 1993, ix–x.

5. MacDonald 1998b/2002, passim.

6. MacDonald 1994/2002, Ch. 8; 1998b/2002, Preface.

7.Burton et al. 1996.

8. See MacDonald 1994/2002, Chs. 3 and 8 for a discussion of Jewish tendencies toward polygyny, endogamy, and consanguineous marriage.

9. E.g., Coon 1958, 153; Eickelman 1981, 157–174.

10.Coon 1958, 153.

11.Dumont 1982, 222. 

12. MacDonald 1994/2002, Ch. 8; MacDonald 1998a, Ch. 1.

13. Hamilton 2001, p. 273. Hamilton likens Judaism to a speciation event in which there is a role for cultural practices

such as food preparation: “the main (but moderate) differences from biological situations being that Judaism had come

to use a cultural element of inheritance to replace what genes once had been doing more slowly” (p. 271). He also notes

that, “In the world of animals, ants perhaps provide Homo's nearest equivalent for typical broadness of niche. If an

unspecialized ant species had a Bible, I’d expect to find in it extremely similar injunctions about food, ant genocide,

and so forth, as I find in the actual Bible, and I would have no difficulty to suppose these as serving each ant colony

well in its struggle for existence” (p. 271).

14. Hamilton 2001, 271–272.

15. Shahak and Mezvinsky 1999.

16. Ibid., p. 58.

17. In Shahak and Mezvinsky 1999, 59–60.

18. Wiesel 1985, 153.

19. Adelman 1999.

20. Lustick 1987, 123–124.

21. Shahak and Mezvinsky 1999, 8.

22. K. Chernin, Tikkun, Sept./Oct. 2002.

23. Novick 1999, 178.

24. Podhoretz 2000, 148.

25. http://www.frontpagemag.com/; December 12, 2002.

26. In Findley 1989, 102.

27. L. Auster, The View from the Right, December 9, 2002: http://www.counterrevolution.net/vfr/archives/001041.html

28. See MacDonald 1998/2002, Preface and Ch. 7.

29. Forward, November 29, 2002.

30. Simon Wiesenthal Center press release, November 10, 2002:  http://www.wiesenthal.com/social/press/pr_item.cfm?itemID=6722

31. Interview with Dutch-Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld, January 30, 2003: “We possess several hundred

atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European

capitals are targets for our air force. . . . Our armed forces . . . are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the

second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen

, before Israel goes under.”  http://www.de.indymedia.org/2003/01/39170.shtml

32. Assyrians hope for U.S. protection, Los Angeles Times (Orange County Edition), February 17, 2003, p. B8. 

33. MacDonald 1998a, Ch. 2.

34.Tacitus, 1942, 659.

35. Gibbon 1909, Ch. 16, 78.

36. In Walsh 1930, 196.

37. Sombart 1913, 240.

39. Ibid.

40. See MacDonald 1998/2002, Preface.

41. MacDonald 1998a.

43. Horowitz  1997, 42

44. See MacDonald 1998b/2002, Chap. 3

45. MacDonald 1998a, Ch. 6; 1998/2002, Preface.

46. Horowitz 2002.

47. MacDonald 1998b/2002.

48. Ibid.

50. Boyle 2001. 

51. Hammer et al. 2000.

52. See Rushton 1989; 1999.

53. This refers to genes identical because they are inherited from a common ancestor. Uncles and nieces share

one-fourth their genes only on average. Because the relationship is mediated though a sibling relationship, the

actual percentage can vary. Siblings may be more or less like one another depending on random processes,

but on average they share half their genes.

54. Borowitz 1973, 136.

55. Toronto Globe and Mail, May 11, 1993.

56. Reich 1997, 79.

57. In Gay 1988, 601.

58. MacDonald 1998a, Chs. 6–8.

59. MacDonald 1994/2002, Ch. 7.

60. Lynn 1992.

61. Salter 2002.

62. Thernstrom and Thernstrom, 1997.

63. Silbiger 2000.

64. Goldberg 1996, 38–39.

66. Salter 2002.

67. Vest 2002.

68. Findley 1989.

69. Lipset and Raab, 1995.

70.MacDonald 1998b/2002.

71. MacDonald 1998b/2002, Ch. 7.

72. Goldstein 1990, 333.

73. Neuringer 1971.

74. Findley 1989 164.

75. MacDonald1998b/2002, Preface.

76. Alterman 2002.

77. Ibid.

78. “Not in the Newsroom: CanWest, Global, and Freedom of Expression in Canada.” Canadian Journalists for Free Expression:  http://www.cjfe.org/specials/canwest/canw2.html; April 2002.

79. MacDonald 1994/2002, Ch. 7.

80. See Larsen and Diener 1987.

81. Massing 2002.

82. Findley 1989.

83. In Findley 1989, 119.

84. In Findley 1989, 164.

85. In Findley 1989, 164.

86. Findley 1989, 328.

87.In Ball and Ball 1993, 70.

88. Eysenck 1962, 262.

89. See MacDonald 2002, Review of The International Jew. Occidental Quarterly, v. 2, nos. 3 & 4, pp. 69, 53.

90. MacDonald 1998a, Ch. 2.

91. In Harris 1994, 254.

92. Kornberg 1993, 183; inner quote from Herzl’s diary.

93. Luchaire 1912, 195.

94. In Rose 1992, 7; italics in text.

95. Ross 1914, 150.

96. Ross 1914, 150.

97. Yaffe 1968, 73. Yaffe embeds this comment in a discussion of self-hating Jews—implying that Jews are simply accepting stereotypes that are the fantasies of bigoted non-Jews.

98. See also MacDonald 1994/2002.

99. The International Jew, 3/21/1920.

100. Neuringer 1971, 392–393.

101. MacDonald 1998b/2002.

102. Coughlin 1960, 169.

103. See MacDonald 1994/2002, Preface to the First Paperback Edition.

104. In Findley 1989, 92.

105. Findley 1989, 127.

106. Novick 1999, 12.

107. Newsweek 9/3/1979.

108. Findley 1989, 296.

109. Findley 1989, 315.

110. In Ball and Ball 1992, 70.

111. See Ball and Ball 1992, 44 and passim.

112. Sobel  1986, 153.

113. See MacDonald 1998b/2002, Preface.

114. Goldberg 1996.

115. Ibid., p. 5.




Understanding Jewish Influence II:

Zionism and the Internal Dynamics of Judaism

Kevin MacDonald


The history of Zionism illustrates a dynamic within the Jewish community in which the most radical elements end up pulling the entire community in their direction. Zionism began among the most ethnocentric Eastern European Jews and had explicitly racialist and nationalist overtones. However, Zionism was viewed as dangerous among the wider Jewish community, especially the partially assimilated Jews in Western countries, because it opened Jews up to charges of disloyalty and because the Zionists’ open racialism and ethnocentric nationalism conflicted with the assimilationist strategy then dominant among Western Jews. Zionist activists eventually succeeded in making Zionism a mainstream Jewish movement, due in large part to the sheer force of numbers of the Eastern European vanguard. Over time, the more militant, expansionist Zionists (the Jabotinskyists, the Likud Party, fundamentalists, and West Bank settlers) have won the day and have continued to push for territorial expansion within Israel. This has led to conflicts with Palestinians and a widespread belief among Jews that Israel itself is threatened. The result has been a heightened group consciousness among Jews and ultimately support for Zionist extremism among the entire organized American Jewish community.


In the first part of this series I discussed Jewish ethnocentrism as a central trait influencing the success of Jewish activism.1 In the contemporary world, the most important example of Jewish ethnocentrism and extremism is Zionism. In fact, Zionism is incredibly important. As of this writing, the United States has recently accomplished the destruction of the Iraqi regime, and it is common among influential Jews to advocate war between the United States and the entire Muslim world. In a recent issue of Commentary (an influential journal published by the American Jewish Committee), editor Norman Podhoretz states, “The regimes that richly deserve to be overthrown and replaced are not confined to the three singled-out members of the axis of evil [i.e., Iraq, Iran, and North Korea]. At a minimum, the axis should extend to Syria and Lebanon and Libya, as well as ’friends’ of America like the Saudi royal family and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, along with the Palestinian Authority, whether headed by Arafat or one of his henchmen.”2 More than anything else, this is a list of countries that Israel doesn’t like, and, as I discuss in the third part of this series, intensely committed Zionists with close links to Israel occupy prominent positions in the Bush administration, especially in the Department of Defense and on the staff of Vice President Dick Cheney. The long-term consequence of Zionism is that the U.S. is on the verge of attempting to completely transform the Arab/Muslim world to produce governments that accept Israel and whatever fate it decides for the Palestinians, and, quite possibly, to set the stage for further Israeli expansionism.


Zionism is an example of an important principle in Jewish history: At all the turning points, it is the more ethnocentric elements—one might term them the radicals—who have determined the direction of the Jewish community and eventually won the day.3 As recounted in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah, the Jews who returned to Israel after the Babylonian captivity energetically rid the community of those who had intermarried with the racially impure remnant left behind. Later, during the period of Greek dominance, there was a struggle between the pro-Greek assimilationists and the more committed Jews, who came to be known as Maccabeans.


At that time there appeared in Israel a group of renegade Jews, who incited the people. “Let us enter into a covenant with the Gentiles round about,” they said, “because disaster upon disaster has overtaken us since we segregated ourselves from them.” The people thought this a good argument, and some of them in their enthusiasm went to the king and received authority to introduce non-Jewish laws and customs. They built a sports stadium in the gentile style in Jerusalem. They removed their marks of circumcision and repudiated the holy covenant. They intermarried with Gentiles, and abandoned themselves to evil ways.4

The victory of the Maccabeans reestablished Jewish law and put an end to assimilation. The Book of Jubilees, written during this period, represents the epitome of ancient Jewish nationalism, in which God represents the national interests of the Jewish people in dominating all other peoples of the world:


I am the God who created heaven and earth. I shall increase you, and multiply you exceedingly; and kings shall come from you and shall rule wherever the foot of the sons of man has trodden. I shall give to your seed all the earth which is under heaven, and they shall rule over all the nations according to their desire; and afterwards they shall draw the whole earth to themselves and shall inherit it forever.5

A corollary of this is that throughout history in times of trouble there has been an upsurge in religious fundamentalism, mysticism, and messianism.6  For example, during the 1930s in Germany liberal Reform Jews became more conscious of their Jewish identity, increased their attendance at synagogue, and returned to more traditional observance (including a reintroduction of Hebrew). Many of them became Zionists.7As I will discuss in the following, every crisis in Israel has resulted in an increase in Jewish identity and intense mobilization of support for Israel.


Today the people who are being rooted out of the Jewish community are Jews living in the Diaspora who do not support the aims of the Likud Party in Israel. The overall argument here is that Zionism is an example of the trajectory of Jewish radicalism. The radical movement begins among the more committed segments of the Jewish community, then spreads and eventually becomes mainstream within the Jewish community; then the most extreme continue to push the envelope (e.g., the settlement movement on the West Bank), and other Jews eventually follow because the more extreme positions come to define the essence of Jewish identity. An important part of the dynamic is that Jewish radicalism tends to result in conflicts with non-Jews, with the result that Jews feel threatened, become more group-oriented, and close ranks against the enemy—an enemy seen as irrationally and incomprehensibly anti-Jewish. Jews who fail to go along with what is now a mainstream position are pushed out of the community, labeled “self-hating Jews” or worse, and relegated to impotence.


Table 1:

Jewish Radicals Eventually Triumph within the

Jewish Community: The Case of Zionism


  1. Zionism began among the more ethnocentric, committed segments of the Jewish community (1880s).
  2. Then it spread and became mainstream within the Jewish community despite its riskiness. (1940s). Supporting Zionism comes to define what being Jewish is.
  3. Then the most extreme among the Zionists continued to push the envelope (e.g., the settlement movement on the West Bank; constant pressure on border areas in Israel).
  4. Jewish radicalism tends to result in conflicts with non-Jews (e.g., the settlement movement); violence (e.g., intifadas) and other expressions of anti-Jewish sentiment increase.
  5. Jews in general feel threatened and close ranks against what they see as yet another violent, incomprehensible manifestation of the eternally violent hatred of Jews. This reaction is the result of psychological mechanisms of ethnocentrism: Moral particularism, self-deception, and social identity.
  6. In the U.S., this effect is accentuated because committed, more intensely ethnocentric Jews dominate Jewish activist groups.
  7. Jews who fail to go along with what is now a mainstream position are pushed out of the community, labeled “self-hating Jews” or worse, and relegated to impotence.


Origins of Zionism in Ethnic Conflict in Eastern Europe


The origins of Zionism and other manifestations of the intense Jewish dynamism of the twentieth century lie in the Yiddish-speaking world of Eastern Europe in the early nineteenth century. Originally invited in by nobles as estate managers, toll farmers, bankers, and moneylenders, Jews in Poland expanded into commerce and then into artisanry, so that there came to be competition between Jews and non-Jewish butchers, bakers, blacksmiths, shoemakers, and tailors. This produced the typical resource-based anti-Jewish attitudes and behavior so common throughout Jewish history.8 Despite periodic restrictions and outbursts of hostility, Jews came to dominate the entire economy apart from agricultural labor and the nobility. Jews had an advantage in the competition in trade and artisanry because they were able to control the trade in raw materials and sell at lower prices to coethnics.9


This increasing economic domination went along with a great increase in the population of Jews. Jews not only made up large percentages of urban populations, they increasingly migrated to small towns and rural areas. In short, Jews had overshot their economic niche: The economy was unable to support this burgeoning Jewish population in the sorts of positions that Jews had traditionally filled, with the result that a large percentage of the Jewish population became mired in poverty. The result was a cauldron of ethnic hostility, with the government placing various restrictions on Jewish economic activity; rampant anti-Jewish attitudes; and increasing Jewish desperation.


The main Jewish response to this situation was an upsurge of fundamentalist extremism that coalesced in the Hasidic movement and, later in the nineteenth century, into political radicalism and Zionism as solutions to Jewish problems. Jewish populations in Eastern Europe had the highest rate of natural increase of any European population in the nineteenth century, with a natural increase of 120,000 per year in the 1880s and an overall increase within the Russian Empire from one to six million in the course of the nineteenth century.10 Anti-Semitism and the exploding Jewish population, combined with economic adversity, were of critical importance for producing the sheer numbers of disaffected Jews who dreamed of deliverance in various messianic movements—the ethnocentric mysticism of the Kabbala, Zionism, or the dream of a Marxist political revolution.


Religious fanaticism and messianic expectations have been a typical Jewish response to hard times throughout history.11 For example, in the eighteenth-century Ottoman Empire there was “an unmistakable picture of grinding poverty, ignorance, and insecurity”12 among Jews that, in the context of high levels of anti-Semitism, effectively prevented Jewish upward mobility. These phenomena were accompanied by the prevalence of mysticism and a high fertility rate among Jews, which doubtlessly exacerbated the problems.


The Jewish population explosion in Eastern Europe in the context of poverty and politically imposed restrictions on Jews was responsible for the generally destabilizing effects of Jewish radicalism in Eastern Europe and Russia up to the revolution. These conditions also had spillover effects in Germany, where the negative attitudes toward the immigrant Ostjuden (Eastern Jews) and their foreign, clannish ways contributed to the anti-Semitism of the period.13 In the United States, radical political beliefs held by a great many Jewish immigrants and their descendants persisted even in the absence of difficult economic and political conditions and have had a decisive influence on U.S. political and cultural history into the present. The persistence of these beliefs influenced the general political sensibility of the Jewish community and has had a destabilizing effect on American society, ranging from the paranoia of the McCarthy era to the triumph of the 1960s countercultural revolution.14 In the contemporary world, the descendants of these religious fundamentalists constitute the core of the settler movement and other manifestations of Zionist extremism in Israel.


The hypothesis pursued here is that Jewish population dynamics beginning in the nineteenth century resulted in a feed-forward dynamic: Increasing success in economic competition led to increased population. This in turn led to anti-Jewish reactions and eventually to Jewish overpopulation, poverty, anti-Jewish hostility, and religious fanaticism as a response to external threat. In this regard, Jewish populations are quite the opposite of European populations, in which there is a long history of curtailing reproduction in the face of perceived scarcity of resources.15 This may be analyzed in terms of the individualism/collectivism dimension, which provides a general contrast between Jewish and European culture:16 Individualists curtail reproduction in response to adversity in order to better their own lives, whereas a group-oriented culture such as Judaism responds to adversity by strengthening group ties; forming groups with charismatic leaders and a strong sense of ingroup and outgroup; adopting mystical, messianic ideologies; and increasing their fertility—all of which lead to greater conflict.


There is an association between religious or ethnic fanaticism and fertility, and it is quite common for competing ethnic groups to increase their fertility in response to perceived external threats.17 Ethnic activists respond to the perceived need to increase the numbers of their group in several ways, including exhorting coethnics to reproduce early and often, banning birth control and abortions, curtailing female employment in order to free women for the task of reproducing, and providing financial incentives. In the contemporary world, Jewish activists both within Israel and in the Diaspora have been strong advocates of increasing Jewish fertility, motivated by the threat of intermarriage in the Diaspora, the threat of wars with Israel’s neighbors, and as a reaction to Jewish population losses stemming from the Holocaust. Pro-natalism has deep religious significance for Jews as a religious commandment.18 Within Israel, there is “a nationwide obsession with fertility,” as indicated by the highest rate of in-vitro fertilization clinics in the world—one for every 28,000 citizens. This is more than matched by the Palestinians. Originating in the same group-oriented, collectivist culture area as the Jews, the Palestinians have the highest birth rate in the world and have been strongly attracted to charismatic leaders, messianic religious ideology, and desperate, suicidal solutions for their political problems.19


For the Jews, the religious fundamentalism characteristic of Eastern Europe from around 1800–1940 has been a demographic wellspring for Judaism. Jewish populations in the West have tended to have low fertility. Beginning in the nineteenth century, Western Jewish populations would have stagnated or declined in the absence of “the unending stream of immigrants from Jewish communities in the East.”20 But the point here is that this demographic wellspring created the stresses and strains within this very talented and energetic population that continue to reverberate in the modern world.


These trends can be seen by describing the numerically dominant Hasidic population in early nineteenth-century Galicia, then a province of the Austro-Hungarian empire; similar phenomena occurred throughout the Yiddish-speaking, religiously fundamentalist culture area of Eastern Europe, most of which came to be governed by the Russian empire.21 Beginning in the late eighteenth century, there were increasing restrictions on Jewish economic activity, such as edicts preventing Jews from operating taverns, engaging in trade, and leasing mills. There were restrictions on where Jews could live, and ghettos were established in order to remove Jews from competition with non-Jews; taxes specific to Jews were imposed; there were government efforts to force Jewish assimilation, as by requiring the legal documents be in the German language. These laws, even though often little enforced, reflected the anti-Jewish animosity of wider society and undoubtedly increased Jewish insecurity. In any case, a large percentage of the Jewish population was impoverished and doubtless would have remained so even in the absence of anti-Jewish attitudes and legislation. Indeed, the emigration of well over three million Jews to Western Europe and the New World did little to ease the grinding poverty of a large majority of the Jewish population.


It was in this atmosphere that Hasidism rose to dominance in Eastern Europe. The Hasidim passionately rejected all the assimilatory pressures coming from the government. They so cherished the Yiddish language that well into the twentieth century the vast majority of Eastern European Jews could not speak the languages of the non-Jews living around them.22 They turned to the Kabbala (the writings of Jewish mystics), superstition, and anti-rationalism, believing in “magical remedies, amulets, exorcisms, demonic possession (dybbuks), ghosts, devils, and teasing, mischievous genies.”23 Corresponding to this intense ingroup feeling were attitudes that non-Jews were less than human. “As Mendel of Rymanów put it, ‘A Gentile does not have a heart, although he has an organ that resembles a heart.’ ”24 All nations exist only by virtue of the Jewish people: “Erez Yisreal [the land of Israel] is the essence of the world and all vitality stems from it.”25 Similar attitudes are common among contemporary Jewish fundamentalists and the settler movement in Israel.26


The Hasidim had an attitude of absolute faith in the person of the zaddic, their rebbe, who was a charismatic figure seen by his followers literally as the personification of God in the world. Attraction to charismatic leaders is a fundamental feature of Jewish social organization—apparent as much among religious fundamentalists as among Jewish political radicals or elite Jewish intellectuals.27 The following account of a scene at a synagogue in Galicia in 1903 describes the intense emotionality of the community and its total subordination to its leader: 


There were no benches, and several thousand Jews were standing closely packed together, swaying in prayer like the corn in the wind. When the rabbi appeared the service began. Everybody tried to get as close to him as possible. The rabbi led the prayers in a thin, weeping voice. It seemed to arouse a sort of ecstasy in the listeners. They closed their eyes, violently swaying. The loud praying sounded like a gale. Anyone seeing these Jews in prayer would have concluded that they were the most religious people on earth.28

At the end of the service, those closest to the rabbi were intensely eager to eat any food touched by him, and the fish bones were preserved by his followers as relics. Another account notes that “devotees hoping to catch a spark from this holy fire run to receive him.”29 The power of the zaddic extends so far “that whatever God does, it is also within the capacity of the zaddic to do.”30


An important role for the zaddic is to produce wealth for the Jews, and by taking it from the non-Jews. According to Hasidic doctrine, the non-Jews have the preponderance of good things, but...

It was the zaddic who was to reverse this situation. Indeed, R. Meir of Opatów never wearied of reiterating in his homilies that the zaddik must direct his prayer in a way that the abundance which he draws down from on high should not be squandered during its descent, and not “wander away,” that is, outside, to the Gentiles, but that it mainly reach the Jews, the holy people, with only a residue flowing to the Gentiles, who are “the other side” (Satan’s camp).31

The zaddics’ sermons were filled with pleas for vengeance and hatred toward the non-Jews, who were seen as the source of their problems.


These groups were highly authoritarian—another fundamental feature of Jewish social organization.32 Rabbis and other elite members of the community had extraordinary power over other Jews in traditional societies—literally the power of life and death. Jews who informed the authorities about the illegal activities of other Jews were liquidated on orders of secret rabbinical courts, with no opportunity to defend themselves. Jews accused of heretical religious views were beaten or murdered. Their books were burned or buried in cemeteries. When a heretic died, his body was beaten by a special burial committee, placed in a cart filled with dung, and deposited outside the Jewish cemetery. In places where the authorities were lax, there were often pitched battles between different Jewish sects, often over trivial religious points such as what kind of shoes a person should wear. In 1838 the governor of southwestern Russia issued a directive that the police keep tabs on synagogues because “Very often something happens that leaves dead Jews in its wake.”33 Synagogues had jails near the entrance, and prisoners were physically abused by the congregation as they filed in for services.


Not surprisingly, these groups had extraordinary solidarity; a government official observed, “The Hasidim are bound to each other with heart and soul.”34 This solidarity was based not only on the personality of the rebbe and the powerful social controls described above, but on the high levels of within-group generosity which alleviated to some extent their poverty. Needless to say, Hasidic solidarity was seen as threatening by outsiders: “How much longer will we tolerate the Hasidic sect, which is united by such a strong bond and whose members help one another.”35


Hasidism triumphed partly by its attraction to the Jewish masses and partly because of the power politics of the rebbes: Opposing rabbis were forced out, so by the early nineteenth century in Galicia, Poland, and the Ukraine, the vast majority of Jews were in Hasidic communities. Their triumph meant the failure of the Jewish Enlightenment (the Haskalah) in Eastern Europe. The Haskalah movement advocated greater assimilation with non-Jewish society, as by using vernacular languages, studying secular subjects, and not adopting distinguishing forms of dress, although in other ways their commitment to Judaism remained powerful. These relatively assimilated Jews were the relatively thin upper crust of wealthy merchants and others who were free of the economic and social pressures that fueled Hasidism. They often cooperated with the authorities in attempts to force the Hasidim to assimilate out of fear that Hasidic behavior led to anti-Jewish attitudes.


As noted above, one source of the inward unity and psychological fanaticism of Jewish communities was the hostility of the surrounding non-Jewish population. Jews in the Russian Empire were hated by all the non-Jewish classes, who saw them as an exploitative class of  petty traders, middlemen, innkeepers, store owners, estate agents, and money lenders.36 Jews “were viewed by the authorities and by much of the rest of population as a foreign, separate, exploitative, and distressingly prolific nation.”37 In 1881 these tensions boiled over into several anti-Jewish pogroms in a great many towns of southern and southwestern Russia. It was in this context that the first large-scale stirrings of Zionism emerged.38 From 1881–1884, dozens of Zionist groups formed in the Russian Empire and Romania.


Political radicalism emerged from the same intensely Jewish communities during this period and for much the same reasons.39 Political radicalism often coexisted with messianic forms of Zionism as well as intense commitment to Jewish nationalism and religious and cultural separatism, and many individuals held various and often rapidly changing combinations of these ideas.40


The two streams of political radicalism and Zionism, each stemming from the teeming fanaticism of threatened Jewish populations in nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, continue to reverberate in the modern world. In both England and America the immigration of Eastern European Jews after 1880 had a transformative effect on the political attitudes of the Jewish community in the direction of radical politics and Zionism, often combined with religious orthodoxy.41 The immigrant Eastern European Jews demographically swamped the previously existing Jewish communities in both countries, and the older community reacted to this influx with considerable trepidation because of the possibility of increased anti-Semitism. Attempts were made by the established Jewish communities to misrepresent the prevalence of radical political ideas and Zionism among the immigrants.42


The Zionist and radical solutions for Jewish problems differed, of course, with the radicals blaming the Jewish situation on the economic structure of society and attempting to appeal to non-Jews in an effort to completely restructure social and economic relationships. (Despite attempting to appeal to non-Jews, the vast majority of Jewish radicals had a very strong Jewish communal identity and often worked in an entirely Jewish milieu.43) Among Zionists, on the other hand, it was common from very early on to see the Jewish situation as resulting from irresoluble conflict between Jews and non-Jews. The early Zionist Moshe Leib Lilienblum emphasized that Jews were strangers who competed with local peoples: “A stranger can be received into a family, but only as a guest. A guest who bothers, or competes with or displaces an authentic member of the household is promptly and angrily reminded of his status by the others, acting out of a sense of self-protection.”44 Later, Theodor Herzl argued that a prime source of modern anti-Semitism was that Jews had come into direct economic competition with the non-Jewish middle classes. Anti-Semitism based on resource competition was rational: Herzl “insisted that one could not expect a majority to ‘let themselves be subjugated’ by formerly scorned outsiders whom they had just released from the ghetto…. I find the anti-Semites are fully within their rights.”45 In Germany, Zionists analyzed anti-Semitism during the Weimar period as “the inevitable and justifiable response of one people to attempts by another to make it share in the formation of its destiny. It was an instinctive response independent of reason and will, and hence common to all peoples, the Jews included.”46


As was often the case during the period, Zionists had a much clearer understanding of their fellow Jews and the origins of anti-Jewish attitudes. Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, a prominent Zionist and leader of the American Jewish Congress whose membership derived from Eastern Europe immigrants and their descendants, accused Western European Jews of deception by pretending to be patriotic citizens while really being Jewish nationalists: “They wore the mask of the ruling nationality as of old in Spain—the mask of the ruling religion.”47  Wise had a well-developed sense of dual loyalty, stating on one occasion “I am not an American citizen of Jewish faith. I am a Jew. I am an American. I have been an American 63/64ths of my life, but I have been a Jew for 4000 years.”48 


Zionists in Western countries were also at the ethnocentric end of the Jewish population. Zionism was seen as a way of combating the assimilatory pressures of Western societies: “Zionist ideologues and publicists argued that in the West assimilation was as much a threat to the survival of the Jewish people as persecution was in the East.”49  Zionism openly accepted a national/ethnic conceptualization of Judaism that was quite independent of religious faith. As Theodore Herzl stated, “We are a people—one people.”50 The Zionist Arthur Hertzberg stated that “the Jews in all ages were essentially a nation and…all other factors profoundly important to the life of this people, even religion, were mainly instrumental values.”51 There were a number of Zionist racial scientists in the period from 1890–1940, including Elias Auerbach, Aron Sandler, Felix Theilhaber, and Ignaz Zollschan. Zionist racial scientists were motivated by a perceived need to end Jewish intermarriage and preserve Jewish racial purity.52 Only by creating a Jewish homeland and leaving the assimilatory influences of the Diaspora could Jews preserve their unique racial heritage.


For example, Auerbach advocated Zionism because it would return Jews “back into the position they enjoyed before the nineteenth century—politically autonomous, culturally whole, and racially pure.”53 Zollschan, whose book on “the Jewish racial question” went through five editions and was well known to both Jewish and non-Jewish anthropologists,54 praised Houston Stewart Chamberlain and advocated Zionism as the only way to retain Jewish racial purity from the threat of mixed marriages and assimilation.55 Zollschan’s description of the phenotypic, and by implication genetic commonality of Jews around the world is striking. He notes that the same Jewish faces can be seen throughout the Jewish world among Ashkenazi, Sephardic, and Oriental Jews. He also remarked on the same mix of body types, head shapes, skin, and hair and eye pigmentation in these widely separated groups.56


For many Zionists, Jewish racialism went beyond merely asserting and shoring up the ethnic basis of Judaism, to embrace the idea of racial superiority. Consistent with the anti-assimilationist thrust of Zionism, very few Zionists intermarried, and those who did, such as Martin Buber, found that their marriages were problematic within the wider Zionist community.57 In 1929 the Zionist leaders of the Berlin Jewish community condemned intermarriage as a threat to the “racial purity of stock” and asserted its belief that “consanguinity of the flesh and solidarity of the soul” were essential for developing a Jewish nation, as was the “will to establish a closed brotherhood over against all other communities on earth.”58


Assertions of Zionist racialism continued into the National Socialist period, where they dovetailed with National Socialist attitudes. Joachim Prinz, a German Jew who later became the head of the American Jewish Congress, celebrated Hitler’s ascent to power because it signaled the end of the Enlightenment values, which had resulted in assimilation and mixed marriage among Jews:


We want assimilation to be replaced by a new law: the declaration of belonging to the Jewish nation and the Jewish race. A state built upon the principle of the purity of nation and race can only be honoured and respected by a Jew who declares his belonging to his own kind…. For only he who honours his own breed and his own blood can have an attitude of honour towards the national will of other nations.59

The common ground of the racial Zionists and their non-Jewish counterparts included the exclusion of Jews from the German Volksgemeinschaft.60 Indeed, shortly after Hitler came to power, the Zionist Federation of Germany submitted a memorandum to the German government outlining a solution to the Jewish question and containing the following remarkable statement. The Federation declared that the Enlightenment view that Jews should be absorbed into the nation state


discerned only the individual, the single human being freely suspended in space, without regarding the ties of blood and history or spiritual distinctiveness. Accordingly, the liberal state demanded of the Jews assimilation [via baptism and mixed marriage] into the non-Jewish environment…. Thus it happened that innumerable persons of Jewish origin had the chance to occupy important positions and to come forward as representatives of German culture and German life, without having their belonging to Jewry become visible. Thus arose a state of affairs which in political discussion today is termed “debasement of Germandom,” or “Jewification.” …Zionism has no illusions about the difficulty of the Jewish condition, which consists above all in an abnormal occupational pattern and in the fault of an intellectual and moral posture not rooted in one’s own tradition.61

Zionism As a “Risky Strategy”


Zionism was a risky strategy—to use Frank Salter’s term62—because it led to charges of dual loyalty. The issue of dual loyalty has been a major concern throughout the history of Zionism. From the beginnings of Zionism, the vast majority of the movement’s energy and numbers, and eventually its leadership, stemmed from the Eastern European wellspring of Judaism.63 In the early decades of the twentieth century, there was a deep conflict within the Jewish communities of Western Europe and the U.S., pitting the older Jewish communities originating in Western Europe (particularly Germany) against the new arrivals from Eastern Europe, who eventually overwhelmed them by force of numbers.64 Thus, an important theme of the history of Jews in America, England, and Germany was the conflict between the older Jewish communities that were committed to some degree of cultural assimilation and the ideals of the Enlightenment, versus the Yiddish-speaking immigrants from Eastern Europe and their commitment to political radicalism, Zionism, and/or religious fundamentalism. The older Jewish communities were concerned that Zionism would lead to anti-Semitism due to charges of dual loyalty and because Jews would be perceived as a nation and an ethnic group rather than simply as a religion. In England, during the final stages before the issuance of the Balfour Declaration, Edwin Montagu “made a long, emotional appeal to his colleagues [in the British cabinet]: how could he represent the British government during the forthcoming mission to India if the same government declared that his (Montagu’s) national home was on Turkish territory?”65 Similar concerns were expressed in the United States, but by 1937 most American Jews advocated a Jewish state, and the Columbus Platform of the Reform Judaism of 1937 officially accepted the idea of a Palestinian homeland and shortly thereafter accepted the idea of political sovereignty for Jews in Israel.66


In post–World War I Germany, a major goal of Reform Judaism was to suppress Zionism because of its perceived effect of fanning the flames of anti-Semitism due to charges of Jewish disloyalty.67 In Mein Kampf, Hitler argued that Jews were an ethnic group and not simply a religion, which was confirmed by his discovery that “among them was a great movement . . . which came out sharply in confirmation of the national character of the Jews: this was the Zionists.68  Hitler went on to remark that although one might suppose that only a subset of Jews were Zionists and that Zionism was condemned by the great majority of Jews, “the so-called liberal Jews did not reject Zionists as non-Jews, but only as Jews with an impractical, perhaps even dangerous, way of publicly avowing their Jewishness. Intrinsically they remained unalterably of one piece.”69 


Hitler’s comments reflect the weak position of the Zionists of his day as a small minority of Jews, but they also show the reality of the worst fears of the German Reform movement during this period: that the publicly expressed ethnocentric nationalism of the Zionists would increase anti-Semitism, because Jews would be perceived not as a religious group but as an ethnic/national entity with no ties to Germany. The existence of Zionism as well as of international Jewish organizations such as the Alliance Israélite Universelle (based in France) and continued Jewish cultural separatism were important sources of German anti-Semitism beginning in the late nineteenth century.


In the Soviet Union, Stalin regarded Jews as politically unreliable after they expressed “overwhelming enthusiasm” for Israel and attempted to emigrate to Israel, especially since Israel was leaning toward the West in the Cold War.70 During the fighting in 1948, Soviet Jews attempted to organize an army to fight in Israel, and there were a great many other manifestations of Soviet-Jewish solidarity with Israel, particularly in the wake of Jewish enthusiasm during Golda Meir’s visit to the Soviet Union. Stalin perceived a “psychological readiness on the part of the volunteers to be under the jurisdiction of two states—the homeland of all the workers and the homeland of all the Jews—something that was categorically impossible in his mind.”71  There is also some indication that Stalin, at the height of the Cold War, suspected that Soviet Jews would not be loyal to the Soviet Union in a war with America because many of them had relatives in America.72


In the U.S., the dual loyalty issue arose because there was a conflict between perceived American foreign policy interests that began with the Balfour Declaration of 1917. The U. S. State Department feared that a British protectorate in Palestine would damage commercial interests in the region and that in any case it was not in the interests of America to offend Turkey or other Middle Eastern states.73 While President Woodrow Wilson sympathized with the State Department position, he was eventually persuaded by American Zionists, notably Louis Brandeis, to endorse the declaration; it was then quickly approved by the British.


The dual loyalty issue was also raised in Britain, most especially after the Second World War, when the Labour government failed to support the creation of a Jewish state. Many British Jews gave generously to finance illegal activities in the British protectorate of Palestine, including the smuggling of arms and refugees and Jewish attacks on British forces.74 British losses to Jewish terrorism during this period were not trivial: the bombing of the King David Hotel by future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and his associates led to the deaths of eighty-three of the British administrative staff plus five members of the public. These activities led to widespread hostility toward Jews, and the Labour government pointedly refused to outlaw anti-Semitism during this period. During the late 1960s and 1970s, charges of dual loyalty appeared in the House of Commons among Labour MPs, one of whom commented that “it is undeniable that many MPs have what I can only term a dual loyalty, which is to another nation and another nation’s interests.”75


Attitudes ranging from unenthusiastic ambivalence to outright hostility to the idea of a Zionist homeland on the part of presidents, the State Department, Congress, or the American public persisted right up until the establishment of Israel in 1948 and beyond. After World War II, there continued to be a perception in the State Department that American interests in the area would not be served by a Jewish homeland, but should be directed at securing oil and military bases to oppose the Soviets. There was also concern that such a homeland would be a destabilizing influence for years to come because of Arab hostility.76 Truman’s defense secretary, James Forrestal, “was all but obsessed by the threat to [American interests] he discerned in Zionist ambitions. His concern was shared by the State Department and specifically by the Near East Desk.”77  In 1960 Senator J. William Fulbright, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, declared in response to attempts to coerce Egypt into agreeing to Israel’s use of the Suez Canal, “in recent years we have seen the rise of organizations dedicated apparently not to America, but to foreign states and groups. The conduct of a foreign policy for America has been seriously compromised by this development.”78 Truman himself eventually caved in to Zionist pressure out of desire to ensure Jewish support in the 1948 election, and despite his own recently revealed personal misgivings about Jewish myopia in pursuit of their own interests.79


Zionist Extremism Becomes Mainstream


Since the Second World War, there has been a long evolution such that the American Jewish community now fully supports the settler movement and other right-wing causes within Israel. Zionists made a great deal of progress during the Second World War. They engaged in “loud diplomacy,” organizing thousands of rallies, dinners with celebrity speakers (including prominent roles for sympathetic non-Jews), letter-writing campaigns, meetings, lobbying, threats against newspapers for publishing unfavorable items, insertion of propaganda as news items in the press, and giving money to politicians and non-Jewish celebrities in return for their support.80 By 1944, thousands of non-Jewish associations would pass pro-Zionist resolutions, and both Republican and Democratic platforms included strong pro-Zionist planks, even though the creation of a Jewish state was strongly opposed by the Departments of State and War.81


A 1945 poll found that 80.5% of Jews favored a Jewish state, with only 10.5% opposed.82 This shows that by the end of the Second World War, Zionism had become thoroughly mainstream within the U.S. Jewish community. The triumph of Zionism occurred well before consciousness of the Holocaust came to be seen as legitimizing Israel. (Michael Novick dates the promotion of the Holocaust to its present status as a cultural icon from the 1967 Six-Day War.83) What had once been radical and viewed as dangerous had become not only accepted, but seen as central to Jewish identity.


Since the late 1980s, the American Jewish community has not been even-handed in its support of Israeli political factions, but has supported the more fanatical elements within Israel. While wealthy Israelis predominantly support the Labor Party, financial support for Likud and other right-wing parties comes from foreign sources, particularly wealthy U.S. Jews.84 The support of these benefactors is endangered by any softening of Likud positions, with support then going to the settler movement. “Organized U.S. Jews are chauvinistic and militaristic in their views.”85


Within Israel, there has been a transformation in the direction of the most radical, ethnocentric, and aggressive elements of the population. During the 1920s–1940s, the followers of Vladimir Jabotinsky (the “Revisionists”) were the vanguard of Zionist aggressiveness and strident racial nationalism, but they were a minority within the Zionist movement as a whole. Revisionism had several characteristics typical of influential nineteenth-century Jewish intellectual and political movements—features shared also with other forms of traditional Judaism. Like Judaism itself and the various hermeneutic theories typical of other Jewish twentieth-century intellectual movements, the philosophy of Revisionism was a closed system that offered a complete worldview “creating a self-evident Jewish world.”86 Like the Hasidic movement and other influential Jewish intellectual and political movements, Revisionism was united around a charismatic leader figure, in this case Jabotinsky, who was seen in god-like terms—“Everyone waited for him to speak, clung to him for support, and considered him the source of the one and only absolute truth.”87 There was a powerful sense of “us versus them.” Opponents were demonized: “The style of communication . . . was coarse and venomous, aimed at moral delegitimization of the opponent by denouncing him and even ‘inciting’ the Jewish public against him.”88

Jabotinsky developed a form of racial nationalism similar to other Zionist racial theorists of the period (see above). He believed that Jews were shaped by their long history as a desert people and that establishment of Israel as a Jewish state would allow the natural genius of the Jewish race to flourish. “These natural and fundamental distinctions embedded in the race are impossible to eradicate, and are continually being nurtured by the differences in soil and climate.”89


The Revisionists advocated military force as a means of obtaining a Jewish state; they wanted a “maximalist” state that would include the entire Palestine Mandate, including the Trans-Jordan (which became the nation of Jordan in 1946).90 In the 1940s, its paramilitary wing, the Irgun, under the leadership of Menachem Begin, was responsible for much of the terrorist activities directed against both Arabs and the British forces maintaining the Palestinian Mandate until 1948, including the bombing of the King David Hotel and the massacre at Deir Yasin that was a major factor in terrorizing much of the Palestinian population into fleeing.91


Over time, the Labor Party has dwindled in influence, and there has followed the rise and ascendancy of the Likud Party and ultra-nationalism represented by Begin, who came to power in 1977 and began the process of resurrecting Jabotinsky,92 by Yitzhak Shamir (commander of LEHI [the Stern Group], another pre-1948 terrorist group), and now by the government of Ariel Sharon, whose long record of aggressive brutality is described briefly below. Fundamentalists and other ultranationalists were a relatively weak phenomenon in the 1960s, but have increased to around 25 percent in the late 1990s and are an integral part of Sharon’s government. In other words, the more radical Zionists have won out within Israel. (As Noam Chomsky notes, there has been a consensus on retaining sovereignty over the West Bank, so that the entire Israeli political spectrum must be seen as aggressively expansionist.93 The differences are differences of degree.)


The connections between Jabotinsky and the current Israeli government are more than coincidental: Just before Israel’s election in February 2001, Sharon was interviewed seated “symbolically and ostentatiously beneath a large photo of Vladimir Jabotinsky, spiritual father of militant Zionism and Sharon’s Likud party. Jabotinsky called for a Jewish state extending from the Nile to the Euphrates. He advocated constant attacks to smash the weak Arab states into fragments, dominated by Israel. In fact, just what Sharon tried to do in Lebanon. Hardly a good omen for the Mideast’s future.”94


Sharon has been implicated in a long string of acts of “relentless brutality toward Arabs,” including massacring an Arab village in the 1950s; the “pacification” of the Gaza Strip in the 1970s (involving large-scale bulldozing of homes and deportation of Palestinians); the invasion of Lebanon, which involved thousands of civilian deaths and the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian refugees; and the brutal Israeli response to the recent Palestinian intifada.95 The Kahan Commission, an Israeli board formed to investigate the Lebanese incident, concluded that Sharon was indirectly responsible for the massacre, and it went on to say that Sharon bears personal responsibility.


The intention of the Sharon government is to make life so miserable for the Palestinians that they will voluntarily leave, or, failing that, to simply expel them. Ran HaCohen, an Israeli academic, sums up the situation as of June 2002:


Step by step, Palestinians have been dispossessed and surrounded by settlements, military camps, by-pass roads and checkpoints, squeezed into sealed-off enclaves. Palestinian towns are besieged by tanks and armed vehicles blocking all access roads. West Bank villages too are surrounded by road blocks, preventing the movement of vehicles in and out: three successive mounds of rubble and earth, approximately 6 feet high, with 100 metre gaps between them. All residents wishing to move in and out of the village—old or young, sick or well, pregnant or not—have to climb over the slippery mounds. At present, this policy seems to have been perfected to an extent that it can be further institutionalised by long-term bureaucracy: a permit system, considerably worse than the “pass laws” imposed on blacks in Apartheid South Africa.96

Little has changed since this assessment. Recently this state of affairs is being formalized by the construction of a series of security walls that not only fence in the Palestinians but also result in the effective seizure of land, especially around Jerusalem.97  The wall encircles and isolates Palestinian villages and divides properties and farmland in ways that make them inaccessible to their owners.98


The current state of affairs would have been absolutely predictable simply by paying attention to the pronouncements and behavior of a critical subset of Israeli leaders over the last fifty years. Again, they have been the most radical within the Israeli political spectrum. The clear message is that an important faction of the Israeli political spectrum has had a long-term policy of expanding the state at the expense of the Palestinians, dating from the beginnings of the state of Israel. Expansionism was well entrenched in the Labor Party, centered around David Ben-Gurion, and has been even more central to the Likud coalition under the leadership of Menachem Begin and, more recently, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon. The result is that the Palestinians have been left with little hope of obtaining a meaningful state, despite the current “road map to peace” efforts. The next step may well be expulsion, already advocated by many on the right in Israel, although the strategy of oppression is in fact causing some Palestinians to leave voluntarily.99 Voluntary emigration has long been viewed as a solution by some, including Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (on the more “liberal” end of the Israeli political spectrum), who urged that Israel “create…conditions which would attract natural and voluntary migration of the refugees from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to Jordan.”100


“Transfer,” whether voluntary or involuntary, has long been a fixture of Zionist thought going back to Herzl, Chaim Weizmann, and Ben-Gurion.101 Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary in 1937: “the compulsory transfer of the Arabs from the valleys of the projected Jewish state . . . we have to stick to this conclusion the same way we grabbed the Balfour Declaration, more than that, the same way we grabbed at Zionism itself.”102 A prominent recent proponent of expulsion is Rehavam Zeevi, a close associate of Sharon and Israel’s Minister of Tourism as well as a member of the powerful Security Cabinet until his assassination in October, 2001. Zeevi described Palestinians as “lice” and advocated the expulsion of Palestinians from Israeli-controlled areas. Zeevi said Palestinians were living illegally in Israel and “We should get rid of the ones who are not Israeli citizens the same way you get rid of lice. We have to stop this cancer from spreading within us.” There are many examples, beginning no later than the mid-1980s, of leading Israeli politicians referring to the occupied territories on the West Bank as “Judea and Samaria.”103 


The point is that movements that start out on the extreme of the Jewish political spectrum eventually end up driving the entire process, so that in the end not only American Jews but pro-Israeli non-Jewish politicians end up mouthing the rhetoric that was formerly reserved for extremists within the Jewish community. In 2003, at a time when there are well over one hundred Israeli settlements on the West Bank and Gaza filled with fanatic fundamentalists and armed zealots intent on eradicating the Palestinians, it is revealing that Moshe Sharett, Israeli prime minister in the 1950s, worried that the border settlements were composed of well-armed ex-soldiers—extremists who were intent on expanding the borders of Israel. Immediately after the armistice agreement of 1948 Israeli zealots, sometimes within the army and sometimes in the nascent settler movement, began a long string of provocations of Israel’s neighbors.104 An operation of the Israeli army (under the leadership of Ariel Sharon) that demolished homes and killed civilians at Qibya in 1953 was part of a broader plan: “The stronger the tensions in the region, the more demoralized the Arab populations and destabilized the Arab regimes, the stronger the pressures for the transfer of the concentrations of Palestinian refugees from places near the border away into the interior of the Arab world—and the better it was for the preparation of the next war.”105 At times the army engaged in provocative actions without Prime Minister Sharett’s knowledge,106 as when David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, led a raid in 1955 which resulted in a massacre of Arabs in Gaza. When confronted with his actions by an American Jew, Ben-Gurion “stood up. He looked like an angry prophet out of the Bible and got red in the face. He shouted, ‘I am not going to let anybody, American Jews or anyone else, tell me what I have to do to provide for the security of my people.”107


The war to occupy the West Bank did not take place until 1967, but Sharett describes plans by the Israeli army to occupy the West Bank dating from 1953. Throughout the period from 1948–1967 “some of the major and persistent accusations” by the Israeli right were that the Labor-dominated governments had accepted the partition of Palestine and had not attempted to “eradicate Palestinian boundaries” during the 1948 war.108 The annexation of East Jerusalem and the settlement of the West Bank began immediately after the 1967 war—exactly what would be expected on the assumption that this was a war of conquest. Menachem Begin, who accelerated the settlement process when he assumed power in 1977, noted, “In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that [Egyptian President] Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”109

Given the tendency for Jewish radicals to carry the day, it is worth describing the most radical Zionist fringe as it exists now. It is common among radical Zionists to project a much larger Israel that reflects God’s covenant with Abraham. Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, maintained that the area of the Jewish state stretches: “From the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates.”110 This reflects God’s covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15: 18–20 and Joshua 1 3–4: “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” The flexibility of the ultimate aims of Zionism can also be seen by Ben-Gurion’s comment in 1936 that


The acceptance of partition [of the Palestinian Mandate] does not commit us to renounce Transjordan [i.e., the modern state of Jordan]; one does not demand from anybody to give up his vision. We shall accept a state in the boundaries fixed today. But the boundaries of Zionist aspirations are the concern of the Jewish people and no external factor will be able to limit them.111

Ben-Gurion’s vision of “the boundaries of Zionist aspirations” included southern Lebanon, southern Syria, all of Jordan, and the Sinai.112 (After conquering the Sinai in 1956, Ben-Gurion announced to the Knesset that “Our army did not infringe on Egyptian territory…. Our operations were restricted to the Sinai Peninsula alone.”113 Or consider Golda Meir’s statement that the borders of Israel “are where Jews live, not where there is a line on the map.”114


These views are common among the more extreme Zionists today—especially the fundamentalists and the settler movement—notably Gush Emunim—who now set the tone in Israel. A prominent rabbi associated with these movements stated: “We must live in this land even at the price of war. Moreover, even if there is peace, we must instigate wars of liberation in order to conquer [the land].”115 Indeed, in the opinion of Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky, “It is not unreasonable to assume that Gush Emunim, if it possessed the power and control, would use nuclear weapons in warfare to attempt to achieve its purpose.”116 This image of a “Greater Israel” is also much on the minds of activists in the Muslim world. For example, in a 1998 interview Osama bin Laden stated,

[W]e know at least one reason behind the symbolic participation of the Western forces [in Saudi Arabia] and that is to support the Jewish and Zionist plans for expansion of what is called the Great Israel…. Their presence has no meaning save one and that is to offer support to the Jews in Palestine who are in need of their Christian brothers to achieve full control over the Arab Peninsula which they intend to make an important part of the so called Greater Israel.117

To recap: A century ago Zionism was a minority movement within Diaspora Judaism, with the dominant assimilationist Jews in the West opposing it at least partly because Zionism raised the old dual loyalty issue, which has been a potent source of anti-Semitism throughout the ages. The vast majority of Jews eventually became Zionists, to the point that now not only are Diaspora Jews Zionists, they are indispensable supporters of the most fanatic elements within Israel. Within Israel, the radicals have also won the day, and the state has evolved to the point where the influence of moderates in the tradition of Moshe Sharett is a distant memory. The fanatics keep pushing the envelope, forcing other Jews to either go along with their agenda or to simply cease being part of the Jewish community. Not long ago it was common to talk to American Jews who would say they support Israel but deplore the settlements. Now such talk among Jews is an anachronism, because support for Israel demands support for the settlements. The only refuge for such talk is the increasingly isolated Jewish critics of Israel, such as Israel Shamir118 and, to a much lesser extent, Michael Lerner’s Tikkun.119The trajectory of Zionism has soared from its being a minority within a minority to its dominating the U.S. Congress, the executive branch, and the entire U.S. foreign policy apparatus.


And because the Israeli occupation and large-scale settlement of the West Bank unleashed a wave of terrorist-style violence against Israel, Jews perceive Israel as under threat. As with any committed group, Jewish commitment increases in times of perceived threat to the community. The typical response of Diaspora Jews to the recent violence has not been to renounce Jewish identity but to strongly support the Sharon government and rationalize its actions. This has been typical of Jewish history in general. For example, during the 1967 and 1973 wars there were huge upsurges of support for Israel and strengthened Jewish identity among American Jews: Arthur Hertzberg, a prominent Zionist, wrote that “the immediate reaction of American Jewry to the crisis was far more intense and widespread than anyone could have foreseen. Many Jews would never have believed that grave danger to Israel could dominate their thoughts and emotions to the exclusion of everything else.”120 The same thing is happening now. The typical response to Israel’s current situation is for Jews to identify even more strongly with Israel and to exclude Jews who criticize Israel or support Palestinian claims in any way.


This “rallying around the flag” in times of crisis fits well with the psychology of ethnocentrism: When under attack, groups become more unified and more conscious of boundaries, and have a greater tendency to form negative stereotypes of the outgroup. This has happened throughout Jewish history.121

Several commentators have noted the void on the Jewish left as the conflict with the Palestinians has escalated under the Sharon government. As noted above, surveys in the 1980s routinely found that half of U.S. Jews opposed settlements on the West Bank and favored a Palestinian state.122 Such sentiments have declined precipitously in the current climate: 

At a progressive synagogue on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Rabbi Rolando Matalo was torn between his longtime support for Palestinian human rights and his support for an Israel under siege. “There is a definite void on the left,” said Matalo…. Many American Jewish leaders say Israel’s current state of emergency—and growing signs of anti-Semitism around the world—have unified the faithful here in a way not seen since the 1967 and 1973 wars…. These feelings shift back and forth, but right now they’re tilting toward tribalism.123

Note that the author of this article, Josh Getlin, portrays Israel as being “under siege,” even though Israel is the occupying power and has killed far more Palestinians than the Palestinians have killed Israelis.


“I don’t recall a time in modern history when Jews have felt so vulnerable,” said Rabbi Martin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles…. This week, the center will be mailing out 600,000 “call to action” brochures that say “Israel is fighting for her life” and urge American Jews to contact government leaders and media organizations worldwide….  Rabbi Mark Diamond, executive vice president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, said debate over the West Bank invasion and the attack on the Palestinian Jenin refugee camp is overshadowed by “a strong sense that Israel needs us, that the world Jewry needs us, that this is our wake-up call.” He said he has been overwhelmed in recent weeks by numerous calls from members of synagogues asking what they can do to help or where they can send a check…. “I have American friends who might have been moderate before on the issue of negotiating peace, but now they think: ‘Our whole survival is at stake, so let’s just destroy them all,’” said Victor Nye, a Brooklyn, N.Y., businessman who describes himself as a passionate supporter of Israel.

In this atmosphere, Jews who dissent are seen as traitors, and liberal Jews have a great deal of anxiety that they will be ostracized from the Jewish community for criticizing Israel.124 This phenomenon is not new. During the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, Richard Cohen of the Washington Post criticized the Begin government and was inundated with protests from Jews. “Here dissent becomes treason—and treason not to a state or even an ideal (Zionism), but to a people. There is tremendous pressure for conformity, to show a united front and to adopt the view that what is best for Israel is something only the government there can know.”125  During the same period, Nat Hentoff noted in the Village Voice, “I know staff workers for the American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress who agonize about their failure to speak out, even on their own time, against Israeli injustice. They don’t, because they figure they’ll get fired if they do.”126


Reflecting the fact that Jews who advocate peace with the Palestinians are on the defensive, funding has dried up for causes associated with criticism of Israel. The following is a note posted on the website of Tikkun by its editor, Michael Lerner:


TIKKUN Magazine is in trouble—because we have continued to insist on the rights of the Palestinian people to full self-determination. For years we’ve called for an end to the Occupation and dismantling of the Israeli settlements. We’ve called on the Palestinian people to follow the example of Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela and Gandhi—and we’ve critiqued terrorism against Israel, and insisted on Israel’s right to security. But we’ve also critiqued Israel’s house demolitions, torture, and grabbing of land. For years, we had much support. But since Intifada II began this past September, many Jews have stopped supporting us—and we’ve lost subscribers and donors. Would you consider helping us out?”127

Another sign that Jews who are “soft” on Israel are being pushed out of the Jewish community is an article by Philip Weiss.128


The refusal of liberal American Jews to make an independent stand has left the American left helpless. American liberalism has always drawn strength from Jews. They are among the largest contributors to the Democratic Party; they have brought a special perspective to any number of social-justice questions, from the advancement of blacks and women to free speech. They fostered multiculturalism…. The Holocaust continues to be the baseline reference for Jews when thinking about their relationship to the world, and the Palestinians. A couple of months ago, I got an e-mail from a friend of a friend in Israel about the latest bus-bombing. “They’re going to kill us all,” was the headline. (No matter that Israel has one of largest armies in the world, and that many more Palestinians have died than Israelis). Once, when I suggested to a liberal journalist friend that Americans had a right to discuss issues involving Jewish success in the American power structure—just as we examined the WASP culture of the establishment a generation ago—he said, “Well, we know where that conversation ends up: in the ovens of Auschwitz.”

Because of Jewish ethnocentrism and group commitment, stories of Jews being killed are seen as the portending of another Holocaust and the extinction of the Jewish people rather than a response to a savage occupation—a clear instance of moral particularism writ large.


The same thing is happening in Canada where Jews are concerned about declining support by Canadians for Israel. “The past three years have been extraordinarily tough on Jews in Canada and around the world,” said Keith Landy, national president of the Canadian Jewish Congress. “Every Jew has felt under attack in some form.”129 The response has been increased activism by deeply committed wealthy Jews, including, most famously, Israel Asper, executive chairman of CanWest Global Communications Corp. Asper has used his media empire to promote pro-Likud policies and has punished journalists for any deviation from its strong pro-Israel editorial policies.130 The efforts of these activists are aimed at consolidating Jewish organizations behind “hawkish” attitudes on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Older Jewish organizations, such as the Canada-Israel Committee and the Canadian Jewish Congress, would be remodeled or driven out of existence to exclude Jews less committed to these attitudes.




An important mechanism underlying all this is that of rallying around the flag during times of crisis, a phenomenon that is well understood by social psychologists. Group identification processes are exaggerated in times of resource competition or other perceived sources of threat,131 a finding that is highly compatible with an evolutionary perspective.132  External threat tends to reduce internal divisions and maximize perceptions of common interest among ingroup members, as we have seen among American Jews in response to perceived crises in Israel, ranging from the Six-Day War of 1967 to the unending crises of the 1990s and into the new millennium.133 Jewish populations also respond to threat by developing messianic ideologies, rallying around charismatic leaders, and expelling dissenters from the community. Traditionally this has taken the form of religious fundamentalism, as among the Hasidim, but in the modern world these tendencies have been manifested in various forms of leftist radicalism, Zionism, and other Jewish intellectual and political movements.134 Throughout Jewish history, this siege mentality has tended to increase conflict between Jews and non-Jews. In the context of the intense ethnic conflict of nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, the conflict was exacerbated by an enormous increase in the Jewish population. 


And in all cases, the leaders of this process are the more ethnocentric, committed Jews. They are the ones who donate to Jewish causes, attend rallies, write letters, join and support activist organizations. As J. J. Goldberg, the editor of the Forward, notes,  Jews who identify themselves as doves feel much less strongly about Israel than those who identify themselves as hawks. “Jewish liberals give to the Sierra Fund. Jewish conservatives are Jewish all the time. That’s the whole ball game. It’s not what six million American Jews feel is best — it’s what 50 Jewish organizations feel is best.”135  In other words, it’s the most radical, committed elements of the Jewish community that determine the direction of the entire community.


As a European in a society that is rapidly becoming non-European, I can sympathize with Jabotinsky’s envy of the native Slavic peoples he observed in the early twentieth century:


I look at them with envy. I have never known, and probably never will know, this completely organic feeling: so united and singular [is this] sense of a homeland, in which everything flows together, the past and the present, the legend and the hopes, the individual and the historical.136
Every nation civilised or primitive, sees its land as its national home, where it wants to stay as the sole landlord forever. Such a nation will never willingly consent to new landlords or even to partnership.137

It is the memory of this rapidly disappearing sense of historical rootedness and sense of impending dispossession that are at the root of the malaise experienced by many Europeans, not only in the U.S. but elsewhere. The triumph of Zionism took a mere fifty years from Herzl’s inspiration to the founding of the state of Israel. There is a tendency to overlook or ignore the powerful ethnocentrism at the heart of Zionism that motivated people like Jabotinsky, especially on the part of the American Jewish community, which has been dedicated throughout the twentieth century to pathologizing and criminalizing the fragile vestiges of ethnocentrism among Europeans.138


But the bottom line is that the Zionists were successful. Israel would not have become a state without a great many deeply ethnocentric Jews willing to engage in any means necessary to bring about their dream: a state that would be a vehicle for their ethnic interests. It would not have come about without the most radical among them—people like Jabotinsky, Begin, Shamir, Sharon, and their supporters—a group which now includes the entire organized American Jewish community. The impending dispossession of Europeans will only be avoided if people of their ilk can be found among the political class of Europeans.


The final paper in this series will discuss neo-conservatism as a Jewish intellectual and political movement. A main point of that paper will be that Jewish neo-conservatives are the current radicals who are charting the direction of the entire Jewish community.


Kevin MacDonald is Professor of Psychology, California State University —Long Beach, and the author of a trilogy on Judaism as an evolutionary strategy: A People That Shall Dwell Alone (1994), Separation and its Discontents (1998), and The Culture of Critique (1998), all published by Praeger 1994-1998. A revised edition of The Culture of Critique (2002), with an expanded introduction, is available in a quality soft cover edition from www.1stBooks.com or www.amazon.com.


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MacDonald, K. B. (1994/2002). A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism As a Group Evolutionary Strategy, with Diaspora Peoples. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse. Originally published in 1994 by Praeger (Westport, CT).

MacDonald, K. B. (1997). Life history theory and human reproductive behavior: Environmental/contextual influences and heritable variation. Human Nature 8:327–359.

MacDonald, K. B. (1998a). Separation and Its Discontents:: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism. Westport, CT: Praeger.

MacDonald, K. B. (1998b/2002). The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements. Bloomington, IN: 1stBooks Library. Originally published in 1998 by Praeger (Westport, CT).

MacDonald, K. B. (2000). Book Review Essay: The numbers game: Ethnic conflict in the contemporary world. Population and Environment 21:413–425.

MacDonald, K. B. 2002.What makes Western culture unique? The Occidental Quarterly 2(2):8–38.

MacDonald, K. B. (2003). Understanding Jewish activism I: Background traits for Jewish activism. Occidental Quarterly 2(3):5–38.

Mahler, R. (1985). Hasidism and the Jewish Enlightenment: Their Confrontation in Galicia and Poland in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century.  Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America.

Masalha, N. (1992). Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of “Transfer” in Zionist Political Thought, 1882–1948. Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies.

Massing, M. (2002). Deal breakers, American Prospect, March 11.

Meyer, M. A. (1988). Response to Modernity: A History of the Reform Movement in Judaism. New York: Oxford University Press.

Neusner, J. (1987). Judaism and Christianity in the Age of Constantine: History, Messiah, Israel, and the Initial Confrontation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Nicosia, F. R. (1985). The Third Reich and the Palestine Question. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Niewyk, D. L. . (1980). The Jews in Weimar Germany. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.

Norden, E. (1995). An unsung Jewish prophet. Commentary 99(4):37–43.

Novick, P. (1999).The Holocaust in American Life. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Parsons, J. (1998). Human Population Competition. A Study of the Pursuit of Power through Numbers. Lewiston, NY & Lampeter, Wales: The Edwin Mellen Press.

Podhoretz, N. (2002). In praise of the Bush doctrine. Commentary, September.

Prinz, J. (1934). Wir Juden. Berlin: Erich Press.

Rokach, L. (1986). Israel’s Sacred Terrorism, 3rd edition. Belmont, MA: Association of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc. Originally published 1980.

Rubenstein, J. (1996). Tangled Loyalties: The Life and Times of Ilya Ehrenburg. New York: Basic Books.

Ruppin, A. (1971). Arthur Ruppin: Memoirs, Diaries, Letters, ed. A. Bein, trans. K. Gershon. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson.

Sachar, H. M. (1992). A History of Jews in America. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Sacks, J. (1993). One People? Tradition, Modernity, and Jewish Unity. London: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization.

Salter, F. K. (2002a). Fuzzy but real: America’s ethnic hierarchy. Paper presented at the meetings of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences, Montreal, August 9.

Salter, F. K. (Ed.) (2002b). Risky Transactions. London: Berghan.

Schatz, J. (1991). The Generation: The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Communists of Poland. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Shahak, I. (1993). Relations between Israel and organized American Jews.  Middle East Policy Council Journal, 2(3). http://www.mepc.org/public_asp/journal_shahak/shahak45.asp

Shahak, I. (1994). Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years. Boulder, CO: Pluto Press.

Shahak, I., & Mezvinsky, N. (1999). Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. London: Pluto Press.

Shavit, Y. (1988). Jabotinsky and the Revisionist Movement, 1925–1948. London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd.

Teitelbaum, M. S., & Winter, J. (1998). A Question of Numbers: High Migration, Low Fertility, and the Politics of National Identity.New York: Hill and Wang.

Vaksberg, A. (1994). Stalin against the Jews, trans. A. W. Bouis. New York: Knopf.

Vital, D. (1975). The Origins of Zionism. Oxford, UK: Oxford University, The Clarendon Press.

Weiss, P. (2002). Holy or unholy, Jews and right in an alliance, New York Observer, September 19.

Wheatcroft, G. (1996). The Controversy of Zion: Jewish Nationalism, the Jewish State, and the Unresolved Jewish Dilemma. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.


1. MacDonald 2003.

2. Podhoretz 2002.

3. Sacks 1993, ix–x.

5. Jubilees 32:18–19.

6. MacDonald 1994/2002, Ch. 3.

7. Meyer, 1988, 388.

8. MacDonald 1994/2002, Ch. 5.

9. See MacDonald 1998/2004, preface to the paperback edition.

10. Alderman 1992, 112; Frankel 1981, 103; Lindemann 1991, 28–29, 133–135.

11. E.g., For exampple, Scholem 1971; MacDonald 1994/2002,Ch. 3.

12. Lewis 1984, 164.

13. Aschheim 1982.

14. MacDonald 1998/2002, especially Ch. 3.

15. MacDonald 1997, 2002.

16. See MacDonald (1998/2002), 2003.

17. Bookman 1997; Teitelbaum & Winter 1997; Parsons, 1998; MacDonald, 2000.

18. Bookman 1997, 89.

19. Bookman 1997; MacDonald 2000.

20. Vital 1975, 28.

21. The following relies on Mahler 1985.

22. Vital 1975, 46.

23. Mahler 1985, 16.

24. Mahler 1985, 17.

25. Mahler 1985, 17.

26. MacDonald 2003; Shahak & Mezvinsky 1999, 58–60.

27. MacDonald 1998/2002.

28. Ruppin 1971, 69.

29. In Mahler 1985, 8.

30. In Mahler 1985, 249.

31. Mahler 1985, 251.

32. MacDonald 1998/2002.

33. Shahak & Mezvinsky 1999, 37.

34. In Mahler 1985, 21.

35. In Mahler 1985, 21.

36. See summary in MacDonald 1998/2004.

37. Lindemann 1991, 17.

38. Vital 1975, 65ff.

39. Vital 1975, 314.

40. See Frankel 1981.

41. Alderman 1983, 47ff; MacDonald 1998/2002, Ch. 3.

42. Alderman 1983, 60; MacDonald 1998/2004, Ch. 8.

43. MacDonald 1998/2002, Ch. 3; Vital 1975, 313.

44. Vital 1975, 117.

45. Kornberg 1993, 183; inner quote from Herzl’s diary.

46. Niewyk 1980, 94.

47. In Frommer 1978, 118.

48. In Lilienthal 1953, 165.

49. Endelman 1991, 196.

50. Herzl 1970, 76.

51. In Neusner 1987, 203.

52. Efron 1994; Endelman 1991, 196.

53. Efron 1994, 136.

54. Efron 1994, 155.

55. Gilman 1993, 109; Nicosia 1985, 18.

56. See Efron 1994, 158.

57. Norden, 1995.

58. In Niewyk 1980, 129–130

59. Prinz 1934; in Shahak 1994, 71–72; italics in text.

60. Nicosia 1985, 19.

61. In Dawidowicz 1976, 150–152.

62. Salter 2002b.

63. Laqueur 1972; Vital 1975.

64. Frommer 1978; Alderman 1983

65. Laqueur 1972, 196; see also John & Hadawi 1970a, 80.

66. Laqueur 1972, 546, 549; Wheatcroft 1996, 98–147; The Columbus Platform: “Guiding Principles of Reform Judaism” (1937); reprinted in Meyer 1988, 389.

67. Meyer 1988, 339.

68. Hitler 1943, 56.

69. Ibid., 57.

70. Schatz 1991, 375n.13.

71. Vaksberg 1994, 197.

72. Rubenstein 1996, 260.

73. Sachar 1992, 256ff.

74. Alderman 1983, 129.

75. In Alderman 1983, 151.

76. Goldmann 1978, 31; Lilienthal 1978, 50, 61; Sachar 1992, 580.

77. Sachar 1992, 597.

78. In Cohen 1972, 325.

79. Regarding Truman’s attitudes toward Jews, see “Harry Truman's Forgotten Diary: 1947 Writings Offer Fresh Insight on the President,” Washington Post, July 11, 2003, p. A1;  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A40678-2003Jul10.html  

80.   Bendersky 2000, 325.

81. Ibid., 328; John & Hadawi 1970a, 357.

82. Wheatcroft 1996, 226.

83. Novick 1999, 155.

84. Shahak 1993.

85. Ibid.

86. Shavit 1988, 23.

87. Ibid., 67.

88. Shavit 1988, 80.

89. In Shavit 1988, 112.

90. John & Hadawi 1970a, 249.

91. Ibid., 351. John & Hadawi 1970b, 329.

92. M. Bruzonsky, “The Mentor Who Shaped Begin’s Thinking: Jabotinsky,” Washington Post, Outlook Section, Sunday, Nov. 16, 1980.

93. Chomsky 1999, 54. 

94. E. Margolis, “Sharon Won the Battle, but Does It Mean More War?” Toronto Sun, Feb. 11, 2001.

95. Ibid.

96. HaCohen 2002.

97. Brubacher 2002.

98. “U.S. May Punish Israel for Building Fence in W. Bank,” Los Angeles Times, August 5, 2003.

99. Cockburn 2002.

100. In Chomsky 1999, 116.

101. Chomsky 1999, 117; Masalha 1992.

102. In Masalha 1992, 210.

103. Aruri 1986

104. Chomsky 1999, 101.

105. Rokach 1986.

106. Wheatcroft 1996, 249.

107. In Findley 1989, 277.

108. Shavit 1988, 243.

109. Chomsky 1999, 100; see also http://www.cactus48.com/truth.html.

110. Herzl 1960, 711.

111. Chomsky 1999, 161; see also http://www.cactus48.com/truth.html.

112. In Chomsky 1999, 161.

113. In Chomsky 1999, 161.

114. In Chomsky 1999, 50.

115. In Shahak & Mezvinsky 1999, 73.

116. Ibid., 73.

120. Hertzberg 1979, 210.

121. MacDonald 1998a, Ch. 1.

122. Findley 1989, 265.

123. Getlin 2002.

124. Ibid.

125. In Findley 1989, 269.

126. In Findley 1989, 271.

127. http://www.tikkun.com/, September 2002.

128. Weiss 2002.

130. See MacDonald, 2003.

131. Hogg & Abrams 1987; Hewstone, Rubin & Willis 2002.

132. MacDonald 1998a.

133. Alexander 1979.

134. MacDonald 1998b/2002.

135. In Massing 2002.

136. In Shavit 1988, 116.

137. In Wheatcroft 1996, 207.

138. MacDonald 1998/2002.




Understanding Jewish Influence III:

Neoconservatism as a Jewish Movement

Kevin MacDonald


Over the last year, there has been a torrent of articles on neoconservatism raising (usually implicitly) some difficult issues: Are neoconservatives different from other conservatives?  Is neoconservatism a Jewish movement? Is it “anti-Semitic” to say so?


The thesis presented here is that neoconservatism is indeed a Jewish intellectual and political movement. This paper is the final installment in a three-part series on Jewish activism and reflects many of the themes of the first two articles. The first paper in this series focused on the traits of ethnocentrism, intelligence, psychological intensity, and aggressiveness.1 These traits will be apparent here as well. The ethnocentrism of the neocons has enabled them to create highly organized, cohesive, and effective ethnic networks. Neoconservatives have also exhibited the high intelligence necessary for attaining eminence in the academic world, in the elite media and think tanks, and at the highest levels of government. They have aggressively pursued their goals, not only in purging more traditional conservatives from their positions of power and influence, but also in reorienting US foreign policy in the direction of hegemony and empire. Neoconservatism also illustrates the central theme of the second article in this series: In alliance with virtually the entire organized American Jewish community, neoconservatism is a vanguard Jewish movement with close ties to the most extreme nationalistic, aggressive, racialist and religiously fanatic elements within Israel.2


Neoconservatism also reflects many of the characteristics of Jewish intellectual movements studied in my book, The Culture of Critique3(see Table 1).


Table 1: Characteristics of Jewish Intellectual Movements


  • A deep concern with furthering specific Jewish interests, such as helping Israel or promoting immigration.
  • Issues are framed in a rhetoric of universalism rather than Jewish particularism.
  • Issues are framed in moral terms, and an attitude of moral superiority pervades the movement.
  • Centered around charismatic leaders (Boas, Trotsky, Freud).
  • Jews form a cohesive, mutually reinforcing core.
  • Non-Jews appear in highly visible roles, often as spokespersons for the movement.
  • A pronounced ingroup/outgroup atmosphere within the movement—dissenters are portrayed as the personification of evil and are expunged from the movement.
  • The movement is irrational in the sense that it is fundamentally concerned with using available intellectual resources to advance a political cause.
  • The movement is associated with the most prestigious academic institutions in the society.
  • Access to prestigious and mainstream media sources, partly as a result of Jewish influence on the media.
  • Active involvement of the wider Jewish community in supporting the movement.

However, neoconservatism also presents several problems to any analysis, the main one being that the history of neoconservatism is relatively convoluted and complex compared to other Jewish intellectual and political movements. To an unusual extent, the history of neoconservatism presents a zigzag of positions and alliances, and a multiplicity of influences. This is perhaps inevitable in a fundamentally political movement needing to adjust to changing circumstances and attempting to influence the very large, complex political culture of the United States. The main changes neoconservatives have been forced to confront have been their loss of influence in the Democratic Party and the fall of the Soviet Union. Although there is a remarkable continuity in Jewish neoconservatives' interests as Jews—the prime one being the safety and prosperity of Israel—these upheavals required new political alliances and produced a need for new work designed to reinvent the intellectual foundation of American foreign policy.


Neoconservatism also raises difficult problems of labeling. As described in the following, neoconservatism as a movement derives from the long association of Jews with the left. But contemporary neoconservatism is not simply a term for ex-liberals or leftists. Indeed, in its present incarnation, many second-generation neoconservatives, such as David Frum, Jonah Goldberg, and Max Boot, have never had affiliations with the American left. Rather, neoconservatism represents a fundamentally new version of American conservatism, if it can be properly termed conservative at all. By displacing traditional forms of conservatism, neoconservatism has actually solidified the hold of the left on political and cultural discourse in the United States. The deep and continuing chasm between neocons and more traditional American conservatives—a topic of this paper—indicates that this problem is far from being resolved. 


The multiplicity of influences among neoconservatives requires some comment. The current crop of neoconservatives has at times been described as Trotskyists.4 As will be seen, in some cases the intellectual influences of neoconservatives can be traced to Trotsky, but Trotskyism cannot be seen as a current influence within the movement. And although the political philosopher Leo Strauss is indeed a guru for some neoconservatives, his influence is by no means pervasive, and in any case provides only a very broad guide to what the neoconservatives advocate in the area of public policy. Indeed, by far the best predictor of neoconservative attitudes, on foreign policy at least, is what the political right in Israel deems in Israel’s best interests. Neoconservatism does not fit the pattern of the Jewish intellectual movements described in The Culture of Critique, characterized by gurus (“rabbis”) and their disciples centered around a tightly focused intellectual perspective in the manner of Freud, Boas, or Marcuse. Neoconservatism is better described in general as a complex interlocking professional and family network centered around Jewish publicists and organizers flexibly deployed to recruit the sympathies of both Jews and non-Jews in harnessing the wealth and power of the United States in the service of Israel. As such, neoconservatism should be considered a semicovert branch of the massive and highly effective pro-Israel lobby, which includes organizations like the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)—the most powerful lobbying group in Washington—and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). Indeed, as discussed below, prominent neoconservatives have been associated with such overtly pro-Israel organizations as the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), and ZOA. (Acronyms of the main neoconservative and pro-Israel activist organizations used in this paper are provided in Table 2.)


Table 2: Acronyms of Neoconservative and Pro-Israel
Activist Organizations Used in this Paper


  • AEI: American Enterprise Institute—A neoconservative think tank; produces and disseminates books and articles on foreign and domestic policy; http://www.aei.org/.

  • AIPAC: American Israel Public Affairs Committee—The main pro-Israel lobbying organization in the U.S., specializing in influencing the U.S. Congress; http://www.aipac.org/.

  • CSP: Center for Security Policy—Neoconservative think tank specializing in defense policy; formerly headed by Douglas Feith, CSP is now headed by Frank Gaffney; the CSP is strongly pro-Israel and favors a strong U.S. military; http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/.

  • JINSA: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs—Pro-Israel think tank specializing in promoting military cooperation between the U.S. and Israel; http://www.jinsa.org/.

  • MEF: Middle East Forum—Headed by Daniel Pipes, the MEF is a pro-Israel advocacy organization overlapping with the WINEP but generally more strident; http://www.meforum.org/.

  • PNAC: Project for the New American Century—Headed by Bill Kristol, the PNAC issues letters and statements signed mainly by prominent neocons and designed to influence public policy; http://www.newamericancentury.org/.

  • SD/USA: Social Democrats/USA—“Left-neoconservative” political organization advocating pro-labor social policy and pro-Israel, anticommunist foreign policy; http://www.socialdemocrats.org/.

  • WINEP: Washington Institute for Near East Policy—Pro-Israel think tank specializing in producing and disseminating pro-Israel media material; http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/.

  • ZOA: Zionist Organization of America—Pro-Israel lobbying organization associated with the more fanatical end of the pro-Israel spectrum in America; http://www.zoa.org/.

Compared with their deep and emotionally intense commitment to Israel, neoconservative attitudes on domestic policy seem more or less an afterthought, and they will not be the main focus here. In general, neoconservatives advocate maintaining the social welfare, immigration, and civil rights policies typical of liberalism (and the wider Jewish community) up to about 1970. Some of these policies represent clear examples of Jewish ethnic strategizing—in particular, the role of the entire Jewish political spectrum and the entire organized Jewish community as the moving force behind the immigration law of 1965, which opened the floodgates to nonwhite immigration. (Jewish organizations still favor liberal immigration policies. In 2004, virtually all American Jewish public affairs agencies belong to the National Immigration Forum, the premier open borders immigration-lobbying group.5) Since the neocons have developed a decisive influence in the mainstream conservative movement, their support for nonrestrictive immigration policies has perhaps more significance for the future of the United States than their support for Israel.


As always when discussing Jewish involvement in intellectual movements, there is no implication that all or even most Jews are involved in these movements. As discussed below, the organized Jewish community shares the neocon commitment to the Likud Party in Israel. However, neoconservatism has never been a majority viewpoint in the American Jewish community, at least if being a neoconservative implies voting for the Republican Party. In the 2000 election, 80 percent of Jews voted for Al Gore.6


These percentages may be misleading, since it was not widely known during the 2000 election that the top advisors of George W. Bush had very powerful Jewish connections, pro-Likud sympathies, and positive attitudes toward regime change in Arab countries in the Middle East. Republican strategists are hoping for 35 percent of the Jewish vote in 2004.7 President Bush’s May 18, 2004, speech to the national convention of AIPAC “received a wild and sustained standing ovation in response to an audience member’s call for ‘four more years.’ The majority of some 4,500 delegates at the national conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee leaped to their feet in support of the president…. Anecdotal evidence points to a sea change among Jewish voters, who historically have trended toward the Democratic Party but may be heading to Bush’s camp due to his stance on a single issue: his staunch support of Israel.”8 Nevertheless, Democrats may not lose many Jewish voters because John Kerry, the likely Democratic candidate, has a “100% record” for Israel and has promised to increase troop strength and retain the commitment to Iraq.9


The critical issue is to determine the extent to which neoconservatism is a Jewish movement—the extent to which Jews dominate the movement and are a critical component of its success. One must then document the fact that the Jews involved in the movement have a Jewish identity and that they are Jewishly motivated—that is, that they see their participation as aimed at achieving specific Jewish goals. In the case of neoconservatives, an important line of evidence is to show their deep connections to Israel—their “passionate attachment to a nation not their own,” as Pat Buchanan terms it,10 and especially to the Likud Party. As indicated above, I will argue that the main motivation for Jewish neoconservatives has been to further the cause of Israel; however, even if that statement is true, it does not imply that all Jews are neoconservatives. I therefore reject the sort of arguments made by Richard Perle, who responded to charges that neoconservatives were predominantly Jews by noting that Jews always tend to be disproportionately involved in intellectual undertakings, and that many Jews oppose the neoconservatives.11 This is indeed the case, but leaves open the question of whether neoconservative Jews perceive their ideas as advancing Jewish interests and whether the movement itself is influential. An important point of the following, however, is that the organized Jewish community has played a critical role in the success of neoconservatism and in preventing public discussion of its Jewish roots and Jewish agendas.


Non-Jewish Participation in Neoconservatism


As with the other Jewish intellectual and political movements, non-Jews have been welcomed into the movement and often given highly visible roles as the public face of the movement. This of course lessens the perception that the movement is indeed a Jewish movement, and it makes excellent psychological sense to have the spokespersons for any movement resemble the people they are trying to convince. That’s why Ahmed Chalabi (a Shiite Iraqi, a student of early neocon theorist Albert Wohlstetter, and a close personal associate of prominent neocons, including Richard Perle) was the neocons’ choice to lead postwar Iraq.12 There are many examples—including Freud’s famous comments on needing a non-Jew to represent psychoanalysis (he got Carl Jung for a time until Jung balked at the role, and then Ernest Jones). Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict were the most publicly recognized Boasian anthropologists, and there were a great many non-Jewish leftists and pro-immigration advocates who were promoted to visible positions in Jewish dominated movements—and sometimes resented their role.13 Albert Lindemann describes non-Jews among the leaders of the Bolshevik revolution as “jewified non-Jews”—“a term, freed of its ugly connotations, [that] might be used to underline an often overlooked point: Even in Russia there were some non-Jews, whether Bolsheviks or not, who respected Jews, praised them abundantly, imitated them, cared about their welfare, and established intimate friendships or romantic liaisons with them.”14


There was a smattering of non-Jews among the New York Intellectuals, who, as members of the anti-Stalinist left in the 1940s, were forerunners of the neoconservatives. Prominent examples were Dwight MacDonald (labeled by Michael Wrezin “a distinguished goy among the Partisanskies”15—i.e., the largely Jewish Partisan Review crowd), James T. Farrell, and Mary McCarthy. John Dewey also had close links to the New York Intellectuals and was lavishly promoted by them;16 Dewey was also allied closely with his former student Sidney Hook, another major figure on the anti-Stalinist left. Dewey was a philosemite, stating: “After all, it was the Christians who made them ‘it’ [i.e., victims]. Living in New York where the Jews set the standard of living from department stores to apartment houses, I often think that the Jews are the finest product of historical Christianity…. Anyway, the finest living man, so far as I know, is a Jew—[humanitarian founder of the International Institute of Agriculture] David Lubin.”17


This need for the involvement of non-Jews is especially acute for neoconservatism as a political movement: Because neoconservative Jews constitute a tiny percentage of the electorate, they need to make alliances with non-Jews whose perceived interests dovetail with theirs. Non-Jews have a variety of reasons for being associated with Jewish interests, including career advancement, close personal relationships or admiration for individual Jews, and deeply held personal convictions. For example, as described below, Senator Henry Jackson, whose political ambitions were intimately bound up with the neoconservatives, was a strong philosemite due partly to his experiences in childhood; his alliance with neoconservatives also stemmed from his (entirely reasonable) belief that the United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in a deadly conflict and his belief that Israel was a valuable ally in that struggle. Because neoconservatives command a large and lucrative presence in the media, thinktankdom, and political culture generally, it is hardly surprising that complex blends of opportunism and personal conviction characterize participating non-Jews.


University and Media Involvement


An important feature of the Jewish intellectual and political movements I have studied has been their association with prestigious universities and media sources. The university most closely associated with the current crop of neoconservatives is the University of Chicago, the academic home not only of Leo Strauss, but also of Albert Wohlstetter, a mathematician turned foreign policy strategist, who was mentor to Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, both of whom have achieved power and influence in the George W. Bush administration. The University of Chicago was also home to Strauss disciple Allan Bloom, sociologist Edward Shils, and novelist Saul Bellow among the earlier generation of neoconservatives.


Another important academic home for the neocons has been the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Wolfowitz spent most of the Clinton years as a professor at SAIS; the Director of the Strategic Studies Program at SAIS is Eliot Cohen, who has been a signatory to a number of the Project for a New American Century’s statements and letters, including the April 2002 letter to President Bush on Israel and Iraq (see below); he is also an advisor for Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, an important neocon think tank. Cohen is famous for labeling the war against terrorism World War IV. His book, Supreme Command, argues that civilian leaders should make the important decisions and not defer to military leaders. This message was understood by Cheney and Wolfowitz as underscoring the need to prevent the military from having too much influence, as in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War when Colin Powell as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had been influential in opposing the removal of Saddam Hussein.18


Unlike other Jewish intellectual movements, the neoconservatives have been forced to deal with major opposition from within the academy, especially from Arabs and leftists in academic departments of Middle East studies. As a result, neoconservative activist groups, especially the WINEP and the MEF’s Campus Watch, have monitored academic discourse and course content and organized protests against professors, and were behind congressional legislation that will mandate U.S. government monitoring of programs in Middle East studies (see below).


Jewish intellectual and political movements also have typically had ready access to prestigious mainstream media outlets, and this is certainly true for the neocons. Most notable are the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Public Interest, Basic Books (book publishing), and the media empires of Conrad Black and Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch owns the Fox News Channel and the New York Post, and is the main source of funding for Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard—all major neocon outlets.


A good example illustrating these connections is Richard Perle. Perle is listed as a Resident Fellow of the AEI, and he is on the boards of directors of the Jerusalem Post and the Hollinger Corporation, a media company controlled by Conrad Black. Hollinger owns major media properties in the U.S. (Chicago Sun-Times), England (the Daily Telegraph), Israel (Jerusalem Post), and Canada (the National Post; 50 percent ownership with CanWest Global Communications, which is controlled by Israel Asper and his family; CanWest has aggressively clamped down on its journalists for any deviation from its strong pro-Israel editorial policies19). Hollinger also owns dozens of smaller publications in the U.S., Canada, and England. All of these media outlets reflect the vigorously pro-Israel stance espoused by Perle. Perle has written op-ed columns for Hollinger newspapers as well as for the New York Times.


Neoconservatives such as Jonah Goldberg and David Frum also have a very large influence on National Review, formerly a bastion of traditional conservative thought in the U.S. Neocon think tanks such as the AEI have a great deal of cross-membership with Jewish activist organizations such as AIPAC, the main pro-Israel lobbying organization in Washington, and the WINEP. (When President George W. Bush addressed the AEI on Iraq policy, the event was fittingly held in the Albert Wohlstetter Conference Center.) A major goal of the AEI is to maintain a high profile as pundits in the mainstream media. A short list would include AEI fellow Michael Ledeen, who is extreme even among the neocons in his lust for war against all of the Arab countries in the Middle East, is “resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the AEI,” writes op-ed articles for The Scripps Howard News Service and the Wall Street Journal, and appears on the Fox News Channel. Michael Rubin, visiting scholar at AEI, writes for the New Republic (controlled by staunchly pro-Israel Martin Peretz), the New York Times, and the Daily Telegraph. Reuel Marc Gerecht, a resident fellow at the AEI and director of the Middle East Initiative at PNAC, writes for the Weekly Standard and the New York Times. Another prominent AEI member is David Wurmser who formerly headed the Middle East Studies Program at the AEI until assuming a major role in providing intelligence disinformation in the lead up to the war in Iraq (see below). His position at the AEI was funded by Irving Moscowitz, a wealthy supporter of the settler movement in Israel and neocon activism in the US.20 At the AEI Wurmser wrote op-ed pieces for the Washington Times, the Weekly Standard, and the Wall Street Journal. His book, Tyranny’s Ally: America’s Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein, advocated that the United States should use military force to achieve regime change in Iraq. The book was published by the AEI in 1999 with a Foreward by Richard Perle.


Prior to the invasion of Iraq, the New York Times was deeply involved in spreading deception about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and ties to terrorist organizations. Judith Miller’s front-page articles were based on information from Iraqi defectors well known to be untrustworthy because of their own interest in toppling Saddam.21 Many of these sources, including the notorious Ahmed Chalabi, were also touted by the Office of Special Plans of the Department of Defense, which is associated with many of the most prominent Bush administration neocons (see below). Miller’s indiscretions might be chalked up to incompetence were it not for her close connections to prominent neocon organizations, in particular Daniel Pipes’s Middle East Forum (MEF), which avidly sought the war in Iraq. The MEF lists Miller as an expert speaker on Middle East issues, and she has published articles in MEF media, including the Middle East Quarterly and the MEF Wire. The MEF also threw a launch party for her book on Islamic fundamentalism, God Has Ninety-Nine Names. Miller, whose father is ethnically Jewish, has a strong Jewish consciousness: Her book One by One: Facing the Holocaust “tried to … show how each [European] country that I lived and worked in, was suppressing or distorting or politically manipulating the memory of the Holocaust.”22


The New York Times has apologized for “coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been” but has thus far refused to single out Miller’s stories as worthy of special censure.23 Indeed, the Times’sfailure goes well beyond Miller:


Some of the Times’s coverage in the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq was credulous; much of it was inappropriately italicized by lavish front-page display and heavy-breathing headlines; and several fine articles by David Johnston, James Risen and others that provided perspective or challenged information in the faulty stories were played as quietly as a lullaby. Especially notable among these was Risen’s “C.I.A. Aides Feel Pressure in Preparing Iraqi Reports,” which was completed several days before the invasion and unaccountably held for a week. It didn't appear until three days after the war’s start, and even then was interred on Page B10.24


As is well known, the New York Times is Jewish-owned and has often beenaccused of slanting its coverage on issues of importance to Jews.25 It is perhaps another example of the legacy of Jacob Schiff, the Jewish activist/philanthropist who backed Adolph Ochs’s purchase of the New York Times in 1896 because he believed he “could be of great service to the Jews generally.”26


Involvement of the Wider Jewish Community


Another common theme of Jewish intellectual and political movements has been the involvement and clout of the wider Jewish community. While the prominent neoconservatives represent a small fraction of the American Jewish community, there is little doubt that the organized Jewish community shares their commitment to the Likud Party in Israel and, one might reasonably infer, Likud’s desire to see the United States conquer and effectively control virtually the entire Arab world.27 For example, representatives of all the major Jewish organizations serve on the executive committee of AIPAC, the most powerful lobby in Washington.  Since the 1980s AIPAC has leaned toward Likud and only reluctantly went along with the Labor government of the 1990s.28 In October 2002, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued a declaration of support for disarming the Iraqi regime.29 Jack Rosen, the president of the American Jewish Congress, noted that “the final statement ought to be crystal clear in backing the President having to take unilateral action if necessary against Iraq to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.”30



The organized Jewish community also plays the role of credential validator, especially for non-Jews. For example, the neocon choice for the leader of Iran following regime change is Reza Pahlavi, son of the former Shah. As is the case with Ahmed Chalabi, who was promoted by the neocons as the leader of post-Saddam Iraq, Pahlavi has proven his commitment to Jewish causes and the wider Jewish community. He has addressed the board of JINSA, given a public speech at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, met with American Jewish communal leaders, and is on friendly terms with Likud Party officials in Israel.31



Most important, the main Jewish activist organizations have been quick to condemn those who have noted the Jewish commitments of the neoconservative activists in the Bush administration or seen the hand of the Jewish community in pushing for war against Iraq and other Arab countries. For example, the ADL’s Abraham Foxman singled out Pat Buchanan, Joe Sobran, Rep. James Moran, Chris Matthews of MSNBC, James O. Goldsborough (a columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune), columnist Robert Novak, and writer Ian Buruma as subscribers to “a canard that America’s going to war has little to do with disarming Saddam, but everything to do with Jews, the ‘Jewish lobby’ and the hawkish Jewish members of the Bush Administration who, according to this chorus, will favor any war that benefits Israel.”32 Similarly, when Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC) made a speech in the U.S. Senate and wrote a newspaper op-ed piece which claimed the war in Iraq was motivated by “President Bush’s policy to secure Israel” and advanced by a handful of Jewish officials and opinion leaders, Abe Foxman of the ADL stated, “when the debate veers into anti-Jewish stereotyping, it is tantamount to scapegoating and an appeal to ethnic hatred…. This is reminiscent of age-old, anti-Semitic canards about a Jewish conspiracy to control and manipulate government.”33Despite negative comments from Jewish activist organizations, and a great deal of coverage in the American Jewish press, there were no articles on this story in any of the major U.S. national newspapers.34

These mainstream media and political figures stand accused of anti-Semitism—the most deadly charge that can be imagined in the contemporary world—by the most powerful Jewish activist organization in the U.S. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has also charged Buchanan and Moran with anti-Semitism for their comments on this issue.35 While Foxman feels no need to provide any argument at all, the SWC feels it is sufficient to note that Jews have varying opinions on the war. This of course is a nonissue. The real issue is whether it is legitimate to open up to debate the question of the degree to which the neocon activists in the Bush administration are motivated by their long ties to the Likud Party in Israel and whether the organized Jewish community in the U.S. similarly supports the Likud Party and its desire to enmesh the United States in wars that are in Israel’s interest. (There’s not much doubt about how the SWC viewed the war with Iraq; Defense Secretary Rumsfeld invited Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Center, to briefings on the war.)36


Of course, neocons in the media—most notably David Frum, Max Boot, Lawrence F. Kaplan, Jonah Goldberg, and Alan Wald37—have also been busy labeling their opponents “anti-Semites.” An early example concerned a 1988 speech given by Russell Kirk at the Heritage Foundation in which he remarked that “not seldom it has seemed as if some eminent neoconservatives mistook Tel Aviv for the capital of United States”—what Sam Francis characterizes as “a wisecrack about the slavishly pro-Israel sympathies among neoconservatives.”38 Midge Decter, a prominent neocon writer and wife of Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz, labeled the comment “a bloody outrage, a piece of anti-Semitism by Kirk that impugns the loyalty of neoconservatives.”39


Accusations of anti-Semitism have become a common response to suggestions that neoconservatives have promoted the war in Iraq for the benefit of Israel.40 For example, Joshua Muravchik, whose ties to the neocons are elaborated below, authored an apologetic article in Commentary aimed at denying that neoconservative foreign policy prescriptions are tailored to benefit Israel and that imputations to that effect amount to “anti-Semitism.”41 These accusations are notable for uniformly failing to honestly address the Jewish motivations and commitments of neoconservatives, the topic of a later section.


Finally, the wider Jewish community provides financial support for intellectual and political movements, as in the case of psychoanalysis, where the Jewish community signed on as patients and as consumers of psychoanalytic literature.42 This has also been the case with neoconservatism, as noted by Gary North:


With respect to the close connection between Jews and neoconservatism, it is worth citing [Robert] Nisbet’s assessment of the revival of his academic career after 1965. His only book, The Quest for Community (Oxford UP, 1953), had come back into print in paperback in 1962 as Community and Power. He then began to write for the neoconservative journals. Immediately, there were contracts for him to write a series of books on conservatism, history, and culture, beginning with The Sociological Tradition, published in 1966 by Basic Books, the newly created neoconservative publishing house. Sometime in the late 1960’s, he told me: “I became an in-house sociologist for the Commentary-Public Interest crowd. Jews buy lots of academic books in America.” Some things are obvious but unstated. He could follow the money: book royalties. So could his publishers.43


The support of the wider Jewish community and the elaborate neoconservative infrastructure in the media and thinktankdom provide irresistible professional opportunities for Jews and non-Jews alike. I am not saying that people like Nisbet don’t believe what they write in neoconservative publications. I am simply saying that having opinions that are attractive to neoconservatives can be very lucrative and professionally rewarding.


In the following I will first trace the historical roots of neoconservatism. This is followed by portraits of several important neoconservatives that focus on their Jewish identities and their connections to pro-Israel activism.


Historical Roots Of Neoconservatism
Coming to Neoconservatism from the Far Left


All twentieth century Jewish intellectual and political movements stem from the deep involvement of Jews with the left. However, beginning in the late 1920s, when the followers of Leon Trotsky broke off from the mainstream communist movement, the Jewish left has not been unified. By all accounts the major figure linking Trotsky and the neoconservative movement is Max Shachtman, a Jew born in Poland in 1904 but brought to the U.S. as an infant. Like other leftists during the 1920s, Shachtman was enthusiastic about the Soviet Union, writing in 1923 that it was “a brilliant red light in the darkness of capitalist gloom.”44 Shachtman began as a follower of James P. Cannon,45 who became converted to Trotsky’s view that the Soviet Union should actively foment revolution.


The Trotskyist movement had a Jewish milieu as Shachtman attracted young Jewish disciples—the familiar rabbi/disciple model of Jewish intellectual movements: “Youngsters around Shachtman made little effort to hide their New York background or intellectual skills and tastes. Years later they could still hear Shachtman’s voice in one another’s speeches.”46 To a much greater extent than the Communist Party, which was much larger and was committed to following the Soviet line, the Trotskyists survived as a small group centered around charismatic leaders like Shachtman, who paid homage to the famous Trotsky, who lurked in the background as an exile from the USSR living in Mexico. In the Jewish milieu of the movement, Shachtman was much admired as a speaker because of his ability in debate and in polemics. He became the quintessential rabbinical guru—the leader of a close, psychologically intense group: “He would hug them and kiss [his followers]. He would pinch both their cheeks, hard, in a habit that some felt blended sadism and affection.”47


Trotskyists took seriously the Marxist idea that the proletarian socialist revolution should occur first in the economically advanced societies of the West rather than in backward Russia or China. They also thought that a revolution only in Russia was doomed to failure because the success of socialism in Russia depended inevitably on the world economy.  The conclusion of this line of logic was that Marxists should advocate a permanent revolution that would sweep away capitalism completely rather than concentrate on building socialism in the Soviet Union.


Shachtman broke with Trotsky over defense of the Soviet Union in World War II, setting out to develop his own brand of “third camp Marxism” that followed James Burnham in stressing internal democracy and analyzing the USSR as “bureaucratic collectivism.”  In 1939–1941, Shachtman battled leftist intellectuals like Sidney Hook, Max Eastman, and Dwight Macdonald, who were rejecting not only Stalinism but also Trotskyism as insufficiently open and democratic; they also saw Trotsky himself as guilty of some of the worst excesses of the early Bolshevik regime, especially his banning of opposition parties and his actions in crushing the Kronstadt sailors who had called for democracy. Shachtman defended an open, democratic version of Marxism but was concerned that his critics were abandoning socialism—throwing out the baby with the bathwater.


Hook, Eastman, Burnham, and Macdonald therefore constituted a “rightist” force within the anti-Stalinist left; it is this force that may with greater accuracy be labeled as one of the immediate intellectual ancestors of neoconservatism. By 1940, Macdonald was Shachtman’s only link to the Partisan Review crowd of the New York Intellectuals—another predominantly Jewish group—and the link became tenuous. James Burnham also broke with Shachtman in 1940. By 1941 Burnham rejected Stalinism, fascism, and even the New Deal as bureaucratic menaces, staking out a position characterized by “juridical defense, his criticism of managerial political tendencies, and his own defence of liberty,”48 eventually becoming a fixture at National Review in the decades before it became a neoconservative journal.


Shachtman himself became a Cold Warrior and social democrat in the late 1940s, attempting to build an all-inclusive left while his erstwhile Trotskyist allies in the Fourth International were bent on continuing their isolation in separate factions on the left. During this period, Shachtman saw the Stalinist takeover in Eastern Europe as a far greater threat than U.S. power, a prelude to his support for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and the U.S. role in Viet Nam. By the 1950s he rejected revolutionary socialism and stopped calling himself a Trotskyist;49 during the 1960s he saw the Democratic Party as the path to social democracy, while nevertheless retaining some commitment to Marxism and socialism. “Though he would insist for the rest of his life that he had found the keys to Marxism in his era, he was recutting the keys as he went along. In the early 1950s he had spoken, written, and acted as a left-wing, though no longer revolutionary, socialist. By the late 1950s he moved into the mainstream of U.S. social democracy”50 with a strategy of pushing big business and white Southerners out of the Democratic Party (the converse of Nixon’s “Southern strategy” for the Republican Party). In the 1960s “he suggested more openly than ever before that U.S. power could be used to promote democracy in the third world”51—a view that aligns him with later neoconservatives.


In the 1960s, Michael Harrington, author of the influential The Other America, became the best known Shachtmanite, but they diverged when Harrington showed more sympathy toward the emerging multicultural, antiwar, feminist, “New Politics” influence in the Democratic Party while Shachtman remained committed to the Democrats as the party of organized labor and anti-communism.52 Shachtman became an enemy of the New Left, which he saw as overly apologetic toward the Soviet Union. “As I watch the New Left, I simply weep. If somebody set out to take the errors and stupidities of the Old Left and multiplied them to the nth degree, you would have the New Left of today.”53 This was linked to disagreements with Irving Howe, editor of Dissent, who published a wide range of authors, including Harrington, although Shachtman followers Carl Gershman and Tom Kahn remained on the editorial board of Dissent until 1971–1972. 


The main link between Shachtman and the political mainstream was the influence he and his followers had on the AFL-CIO. In 1972, shortly before his death, Shachtman, “as an open anti-communist and supporter of both the Vietnam War and Zionism,”54 backed Senator Henry Jackson in the Democratic presidential primary. Jackson was a strong supporter of Israel (see below), and by this time support for Israel had “become a litmus test for Shachtmanites.”55 Jackson, who was closely associated with the AFL-CIO, hired Tom Kahn, who had become a Shachtman follower in the 1950s. Kahn was executive secretary of the Shachtmanite League for Industrial Democracy, headed at the time by Tom Harrington, and he was also the head of the Department of International Affairs of the AFL-CIO, where he was an “obsessive promoter of Israel”56 to the point that the AFL-CIO became the world’s largest non-Jewish holder of Israel bonds. His department had a budget of around $40 million, most of which was provided by the federally funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED).57 During the Reagan administration, the AFL-CIO received approximately 40 percent of available funding from the NED, while no other funded group received more than 10 percent. That imbalance has prompted speculation that NED is effectively in the hands of the Social Democrats USA—Shachtman’s political heir (see below)—the membership of which today includes both NED president Carl Gershman and a number of AFL-CIO officials involved with the endowment.


In 1972, under the leadership of Carl Gershman and the Shachtmanites, the Socialist Party USA changed its name to Social Democrats USA.58 Working with Jackson, SD/USA’s members achieved little political power because of the dominance of the New Politics wing of the Democratic Party, with its strong New Left influence from the 1960s. With the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, however, key figures from SD/USA achieved positions of power and influence both in the labor movement and in the government. Among the latter were Reagan-era appointees such as United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Elliott Abrams (son-in-law of Podhoretz and Decter), Geneva arms talks negotiator Max Kampelman (aide to Hubert Humphrey and founding member of JINSA; he remains on its advisory board), and Gershman, who was an aide to UN Ambassador Kirkpatrick and head of the NED.59 Other Shachtmanites in the Reagan administration included Joshua Muravchik, a member of SD/USA’s National Committee, who wrote articles defending Reagan’s foreign policy, and Penn Kemble, an SD/USA vice-chairman, who headed Prodemca, an influential lobbying group for the Contra opponents of the leftist Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Abrams and Muravchik have continued to play an important role in neocon circles in the George W. Bush administration (see below). In addition to being associated with SD/USA,60 Kirkpatrick has strong neocon credentials. She is on the JINSA Board and is a senior fellow at the AEI. She also has received several awards from Jewish organizations, including the Defender of Israel Award [New York], given to non-Jews who stand up for the Jewish people (other neocon recipients include Henry Jackson and Bayard Rustin), the Humanitarian Award of B’nai B’rith, and the 50th Anniversary Friend of Zion Award from the prime minister of Israel (1998).61 Kirkpatrick’s late husband Evron was a promoter of Hubert Humphrey and long-time collaborator of neocon godfather Irving Kristol.


During the Reagan Administration, Lane Kirkland, the head of the AFL-CIO from 1979 to 1995, was also a Shachtmanite and an officer of the SD/USA. As secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO during the 1970s, Kirkland was a member of the Committee on the Present Danger, a group of neoconservatives in which “prominent Jackson supporters, advisers, and admirers from both sides of the aisle predominated.”62  Kirkland gave a eulogy at Henry Jackson’s funeral. Kirkland was not a Jew but was married to a Jew and, like Jackson, had very close ties to Jews: “Throughout his career Kirkland maintained a special affection for the struggle of the Jews. It may be the result of his marriage to Irena [nee Neumann in 1973—his second marriage], a Czech survivor of the Holocaust and an inspiring figure in her own right. Or it may be because he recognized…that the cause of the Jews and the cause of labor have been inseparable.”63 


Carl Gershman remains head of the NED, which supports the U.S.-led invasion and nation-building effort in Iraq.64 The general line of the NED is that Arab countries should “get over” the Arab-Israeli conflict and embrace democracy, Israel, and the United States. In reporting on talks with representatives of the Jewish community in Turkey, Gershman frames the issues in terms of ending anti-Semitism in Turkey by destroying Al Qaeda; there is no criticism of the role of Israel and its policies in producing hatred throughout the region.65 During the 1980s, the NED supported nonviolent strategies to end apartheid in South Africa in association with the A. Philip Randolph Institute, headed by longtime civil rights activist and SD/USA neocon Bayard Rustin.66 Critics of the NED, such as Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex), have complained that the NED “is nothing more than a costly program that takes U.S. taxpayer funds to promote favored politicians and political parties abroad.”67 Paul suggests that the NED’s support of former Communists reflects Gershman’s leftist background.


In general, at the present time SD/USA continues to support organized labor domestically and to take an active interest in using U.S. power to spread democracy abroad. A resolution of January 2003 stated that the main conflict in the world was not between Islam and the West but between democratic and nondemocratic governments, with Israel being the only democracy in the Middle East.68 The SD/USA strongly supports democratic nation building in Iraq.


A prominent member of SD/USA is Joshua Muravchik. A member of the SD/USA National Advisory Council, Muravchik is also a member of the advisory board of JINSA, a resident scholar at the AEI, and an adjunct scholar at WINEP. His book Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism69 views socialism critically, but advocates a reformist social democracy that falls short of socialism; he views socialism as a failed religion that is relatively poor at creating wealth and is incompatible with very powerful human desires for private ownership.


Another prominent member of SD/USA is Max Kampelman, whose article, posted on the SD/USA website, makes the standard neoconservative complaints about the UN dating from the 1970s, especially regarding its treatment of Israel:


Since 1964,…the U.N. Security Council has passed 88 resolutions against Israel—the only democracy in the area—and the General Assembly has passed more than 400 such resolutions, including one in 1975 declaring “Zionism as a form of racism.” When the terrorist leader of the Palestinians, Arafat, spoke in 1974 to the General Assembly, he did so wearing a pistol on his hip and received a standing ovation. While totalitarian and repressive regimes are eligible and do serve on the U.N. Security Council, democratic Israel is barred by U.N. rules from serving in that senior body.70


Neoconservatives as a Continuation of
Cold War Liberalism’s “Vital Center”


The other strand that merged into neoconservatism stems from Cold War liberalism, which became dominant within the Democratic Party during the Truman administration. It remained dominant until the rise of the New Politics influence in the party during the 1960s, culminating in the presidential nomination of George McGovern in 1972.71 In the late 1940s, a key organization was Americans for Democratic Action, associated with such figures as Reinhold Niebuhr, Hubert Humphrey, and Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., whose book, The Vital Center (1947), distilled a liberal anticommunist perspective which combined vigorous containment of communism with “the struggle within our country against oppression and stagnation.”72 This general perspective was also evident in the Congress for Cultural Freedom, whose central figure was Sidney Hook.73 The CCF was a group of anticommunist intellectuals organized in 1950 and funded by the CIA, and included a number of prominent liberals, such as Schlesinger.


A new wrinkle, in comparison to earlier Jewish intellectual and political movements discussed in Culture of Critique, has been that the central figures, Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol, have operated not so much as intellectual gurus in the manner of Freud or Boas or even Shachtman, but more as promoters and publicists of views which they saw as advancing Jewish interests. Podhoretz’s Commentary (published by the American Jewish Committee) and Kristol’s The Public Interest became clearinghouses for neoconservative ideas, but many of the articles were written by people with strong academic credentials. For example, in the area of foreign policy Robert W. Tucker and Walter Laqueur appeared in these journals as critics of liberal foreign policy.74 Their work updated the anticommunist tradition of the “vital center” by taking account of Western weakness apparent in the New Politics liberalism of the Democratic Party and the American left, as well as the anti-Western posturing of the third world.75


This “vital center” intellectual framework typified key neoconservatives at the origin of the movement in the late 1960s, including the two most pivotal figures, Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz. In the area of foreign policy, a primary concern of Jewish neoconservatives from the 1960s–1980s was the safety and prosperity of Israel, at a time when the Soviet Union was seen as hostile to Jews within its borders and was making alliances with Arab regimes against Israel.


As they saw it, the world was gravely threatened by a totalitarian Soviet Union with aggressive outposts around the world and a Third World corrupted by vicious anti-Semitism…A major project of Moynihan, Kirkpatrick, and other neoconservatives in and out of government was the defense of Israel…. By the mid-1970s, Israel was also under fire from the Soviet Union and the Third World and much of the West. The United States was the one exception, and the neoconservatives—stressing that Israel was a just, democratic state constantly threatened by vicious and aggressive neighbors—sought to deepen and strengthen this support.76


Irving Kristol is quite frank in his view that the U.S. should support Israel even if it is not in its national interest to do so:


Large nations, whose identity is ideological, like the Soviet Union of yesteryear and the United States of today, inevitably have ideological interests in addition to more material concerns…. That is why we feel it necessary to defend Israel today, when its survival is threatened. No complicated geopolitical calculations of national interest are necessary.77


A watershed event in neoconservatism was the statement of November 1975 by UN Ambassador Daniel P. Moynihan in response to the UN resolution equating Zionism with racism. Moynihan, whose work in the UN made him a neocon icon and soon a senator from New York,78 argued against the “discredited” notion that “there are significant biological differences among clearly identifiable groups, and that these differences establish, in effect, different levels of humanity.”79 (In this regard Moynihan may not have been entirely candid, since he appears to have been much impressed by Arthur Jensen’s research on race differences in intelligence. As an advisor to President Nixon on domestic affairs, one of Moynihan’s jobs was to keep Nixon abreast of Jensen’s research.80)  In his UN speech, Moynihan ascribed the idea that Jews are a race to theorists like Houston Stewart Chamberlain, whose motivation was to find “new justifications…for excluding and persecuting Jews” in an era in which religious ideology was losing its power to do so. Moynihan describes Zionism as a “National Liberation Movement,” but one with no genetic basis: “Zionists defined themselves merely as Jews, and declared to be Jewish anyone born of a Jewish mother or—and this is the absolutely crucial fact—anyone who converted to Judaism.”81 Moynihan describes the Zionist movement as composed of a wide range of “racial stocks” (quotation marks in original)—“black Jews, brown Jews, white Jews, Jews from the Orient and Jews from the West.”


Obviously, there is much to disagree with in these ideas. Jewish racial theorists, among them Zionists like Arthur Ruppin and Vladimir Jabotinsky (the hero of the Likud Party throughout its history), were in the forefront of racial theorizing about Jews from the late nineteenth century onwards.82 And there is a great deal of evidence that Jews, including most notably Orthodox and Conservative Jews and much of the settler movement that constitutes the vanguard of Zionism today, have been and continue to be vitally interested in maintaining their ethnic integrity.83 (Indeed, as discussed below, Elliott Abrams has been a prominent neoconservative voice in favor of Jews marrying Jews and retaining their ethnic cohesion.)


Nevertheless, Moynihan’s speech is revealing in its depiction of Judaism as unconcerned about its ethnic cohesion, and for its denial of the biological reality of race. In general, neoconservatives have been staunch promoters of the racial zeitgeist of post-WWII liberal America. Indeed, as typical Cold War liberals up to the end of the 1960s, many of the older neocons were in the forefront of the racial revolution in the United States. It is also noteworthy that Moynihan’s UN speech is typical of the large apologetic literature by Jewish activists and intellectuals in response to the “Zionism is racism” resolution, of which The Myth of the Jewish Race by Raphael Patai and Jennifer Patai is perhaps the best-known example.84


The flagship neoconservative magazine Commentary, under the editorship of Norman Podhoretz, has published many articles defending Israel. Ruth Wisse’s 1981 Commentary article “The Delegitimation of Israel” is described by Mark Gerson as “perhaps the best expression” of the neoconservative view that Israel “was a just, democratic state constantly threatened by vicious and aggressive neighbors.”85 Wisse views hostility toward Israel as another example of the long history of anti-Jewish rhetoric that seeks to delegitimize Judaism.86 This tradition is said to have begun with the Christian beliefs that Jews ought to be relegated to an inferior position because they had rejected Christ. This tradition culminated in twentieth century Europe in hatred directed at secular Jews because of their failure to assimilate completely to European culture. The result was the Holocaust, which was “from the standpoint of its perpetrators and collaborators successful beyond belief.”87 Israel, then, is an attempt at normalization in which Jews would be just another country fending for itself and seeking stability; it “should [also] have been the end of anti-Semitism, and the Jews may in any case be pardoned for feeling that they had earned a moment of rest in history.”88 But the Arab countries never accepted the legitimacy of Israel, not only with their wars against the Jewish state, but also by the “Zionism as racism” UN resolution, which “institutionalized anti-Semitism in international politics.”89 Wisse criticizes New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis for criticizing Israeli policies while failing to similarly criticize Arab states that fail to embody Western ideals of freedom of expression and respect for minority rights. Wisse also faults certain American Jewish organizations and liberal Jews for criticizing the policies of the government of Menachem Begin.90


The article stands out for its cartoonish view that the history of anti-Jewish attitudes can be explained with broad generalizations according to which the behavior and attitudes of Jews are completely irrelevant for understanding the history of anti-Semitism. The message of the article is that Jews as innocent victims of the irrational hatred of Europeans have a claim for “a respite” from history that Arabs are bound to honor by allowing the dispossession of the Palestinians. The article is also a testimony to the sea change among American Jews in their support for the Likud Party and its expansionist policies in Israel. Since Wisse’s article appeared in 1981, the positive attitudes toward the Likud Party characteristic of the neoconservatives have become the mainstream view of the organized American Jewish community, and the liberal Jewish critics attacked by Wisse have been relegated to the fringe of the American Jewish community.91


In the area of domestic policy, Jewish neoconservatives were motivated by concerns that the radicalism of the New Left (many of whom were Jews) compromised Jewish interests as a highly intelligent, upwardly mobile group. Although Jews were major allies of blacks in the civil rights movement, by the late 1960s many Jews bitterly opposed black efforts at community control of schools in New York, because they threatened Jewish hegemony in the educational system, including the teachers’ union.92 Black-Jewish interests also diverged when affirmative action and quotas for black college admission became a divisive issue in the 1970s.93 It was not only neoconservatives who worried about affirmative action: The main Jewish activist groups—the AJCommittee, the AJCongress, and the ADL—sided with Bakke in a landmark case on racial quota systems in the University of California–Davis medical school, thereby promoting their own interests as a highly intelligent minority living in a meritocracy.94


Indeed, some neoconservatives, despite their record of youthful radicalism and support for the civil rights movement, began to see Jewish interests as bound up with those of the middle class. As Nathan Glazer noted in 1969, commenting on black anti-Semitism and the murderous urges of the New Left toward the middle class:

Anti-Semitism is only part of this whole syndrome, for if the members of the middle class do not deserve to hold on to their property, their positions, or even their lives, then certainly the Jews, the most middle-class of all, are going to be placed at the head of the column marked for liquidation.95


The New Left also tended to have negative attitudes toward Israel, with the result that many Jewish radicals eventually abandoned the left. In the late 1960s, the black Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee described Zionism as “racist colonialism”96 which massacred and oppressed Arabs. In Jewish eyes, a great many black leaders, including Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Touré), Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, and Andrew Young, were seen as entirely too pro-Palestinian. (Young lost his position as UN ambassador because he engaged in secret negotiations with the Palestinians.) During the 1960s, expressions of solidarity with the Palestinians by radical blacks, some of whom had adopted the Muslim religion, became a focus of neoconservative ire and resulted in many Jewish New Leftists leaving the movement.97 Besides radical blacks, other New Left figures, such as I. F. Stone and Noam Chomsky (both Jews), also criticized Israel and were perceived by neocons as taking a pro-Soviet line.98 The origins of neoconservatism as a Jewish movement are thus linked to the fact that the left, including the Soviet Union and leftist radicals in the United States, had become anti-Zionist.


In 1970 Podhoretz transformed Commentary into a weapon against the New Left.99 In December of that year National Review began, warily at first, to welcome neocons into the conservative tent, stating in 1971, “We will be delighted when the new realism manifested in these articles is applied by Commentary to the full range of national and international issues.”100 Irving Kristol supported Nixon in 1972 and became a Republican about ten years before most neocons made the switch. Nevertheless, even in the 1990s the neocons “continued to be distinct from traditional Midwestern and southern conservatives for their northeastern roots, combative style, and secularism”101—all ways of saying that neoconservatism retained its fundamentally Jewish milieu.


 The fault lines between neoconservatives and paleoconservatives were apparent during the Reagan administration in the battle over the appointment of the head of the National Endowment for the Humanities, eventually won by the neoconservative Bill Bennett. The campaign featured smear tactics and innuendo aimed at M. E. Bradford, an academic literary critic and defender of Southern agrarian culture who was favored by traditional conservatives. After neocons accused him of being a “virulent racist” and an admirer of Hitler, Bradford was eventually rejected as a potential liability to the administration.102


The entry of the neoconservatives into the conservative mainstream did not, therefore, proceed without a struggle. Samuel Francis witnessed much of the early infighting among conservatives, won eventually by the neocons. Francis recounts the “catalog of neoconservative efforts not merely to debate, criticize, and refute the ideas of traditional conservatism but to denounce, vilify, and harm the careers of those Old Right figures and institutions they have targeted.”103


There are countless stories of how neoconservatives have succeeded in entering conservative institutions, forcing out or demoting traditional conservatives, and changing the positions and philosophy of such institutions in neoconservative directions…. Writers like M. E. Bradford, Joseph Sobran, Pat Buchanan, and Russell Kirk, and institutions like Chronicles, the Rockford Institute, the Philadelphia Society, and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute have been among the most respected and distinguished names in American conservatism. The dedication of their neoconservative enemies to driving them out of the movement they have taken over and demonizing them as marginal and dangerous figures has no legitimate basis in reality. It is clear evidence of the ulterior aspirations of those behind neoconservatism to dominate and subvert American conservatism from its original purposes and agenda and turn it to other purposes…. What neoconservatives really dislike about their “allies” among traditional conservatives is simply the fact that the conservatives are conservatives at all—that they support “this notion of a Christian civilization,” as Midge Decter put it, that they oppose mass immigration, that they criticize Martin Luther King and reject the racial dispossession of white Western culture, that they support or approve of Joe McCarthy, that they entertain doubts or strong disagreement over American foreign policy in the Middle East, that they oppose reckless involvement in foreign wars and foreign entanglements, and that, in company with the Founding Fathers of the United States, they reject the concept of a pure democracy and the belief that the United States is or should evolve toward it.104


Most notably, neoconservatives have been staunch supporters of arguably the most destructive force associated with the left in the twentieth century—massive non-European immigration. Support for massive non-European immigration has spanned the Jewish political spectrum throughout the twentieth century to the present. A principal motivation of the organized Jewish community for encouraging such immigration has involved a deeply felt animosity toward the people and culture responsible for the immigration restriction of 1924–1965—“this notion of a Christian civilization.”105 As neoconservative Ben Wattenberg has famously written, “The non-Europeanization of America is heartening news of an almost transcendental quality.”106 The only exception—thus far without any influence—is that since 9/11 some Jewish activists, including neoconservative Daniel Pipes, head of the MEF, and Stephen Steinlight, senior fellow of the American Jewish Committee, have opposed Muslim—and only Muslim—immigration because of possible effects on pro-Israel sentiment in the U.S.107


In general, neoconservatives have been far more attached to Jewish interests, and especially the interests of Israel, than to any other identifiable interest. It is revealing that as the war in Iraq has become an expensive quagmire in both lives and money, Bill Kristol has become willing to abandon the neoconservatives’ alliance with traditional conservatives by allying with John Kerry and the Democratic Party. This is because Kerry has promised to increase troop strength and retain the commitment to Iraq, and because Kerry has declared that he has “a 100 percent record—not a 99, a 100 percent record—of sustaining the special relationship and friendship that we have with Israel.”108 As Pat Buchanan notes, the fact that John Kerry “backs partial birth abortion, quotas, raising taxes, homosexual unions, liberals on the Supreme Court and has a voting record to the left of Teddy Kennedy” is less important than his stand on the fundamental issue of a foreign policy that is in the interest of Israel.109


The Fall of Henry Jackson and the Rise
of Neoconservatism in the Republican Party


The neoconservative takeover of the Republican Party and of American conservatism in general would have been unnecessary had not the Democratic Party shifted markedly to the left in the late 1960s. Henry Jackson is the pivotal figure in the defection of the neocons from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party—the person whose political fortunes most determined the later trajectory of neoconservatism. Jackson embodied the political attitudes and ambitions of a Jewish political network that saw Jewish interests as combining traditionally liberal social policies of the civil rights and Great Society era (but stopping short of advocating quota-type affirmative action policies or minority ethnic nationalism) with a Cold War posture that was at once aggressively pro-Israel and anticommunist at a time when the Soviet Union was perceived as the most powerful enemy of Israel. This “Cold War liberal” faction was dominant in the Democratic Party until 1972 and the nomination of George McGovern. After the defeat of McGovern, the neoconservatives founded the Committee for a Democratic Majority, whose attempt to resuscitate the Cold War coalition of the Democratic Party had a strong representation of Shachtmanite labor leaders as well as people centered around Podhoretz’s Commentary: Podhoretz; Ben Wattenberg (who wrote speeches for Hubert Humphrey and was an aide to Jackson); Midge Decter; Max Kampelman (see above); Penn Kemble of the SD/USA; Jeane Kirkpatrick (who began writing for Commentary during this period); sociologists Daniel Bell, Nathan Glazer, and Seymour Martin Lipset; Michael Novak; Soviet expert Richard Pipes; and Albert Shanker, president of the American Federation of Teachers. Nevertheless, “by the end of 1974, the neoconservatives appeared to have reached a political dead end. As guardians of vital center liberalism, they had become a minority faction within the Democratic Party, unable to do more than protest the party’s leftward drift.”110


The basic story line is that after failing again in 1976 and 1980 to gain the presidential nomination for a candidate who represented their views, this largely Jewish segment of political activists—now known as neoconservatives—switched allegiance to the Republican Party. The neocons had considerable influence in the Reagan years but less in the George H. W. Bush administration, only to become a critically important force in the foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration where, in the absence of a threat from the Soviet Union, neoconservatives have attempted to use the power of the United States to fundamentally alter the political landscape of the Middle East.


Henry Jackson was an ideal vehicle for this role as champion of Jewish interests. He was a very conscious philosemite: “My mother was a Christian who believed in a strong Judaism. She taught me to respect the Jews, help the Jews! It was a lesson I never forgot.”111 Jackson also had very positive personal experiences with Jews during his youth. During his college years he was the beneficiary of generosity from a Jew who allowed him to use a car to commute to college, and he developed lifelong friendships with two Jews, Stan Golub and Paul Friedlander. He was also horrified after seeing Buchenwald, the WWII German concentration camp, an experience that made him more determined to help Israel and Jews.


Entering Congress in 1940, Jackson was a strong supporter of Israel from its beginnings in 1948. By the 1970s he was widely viewed as Israel’s best friend in Congress: “Jackson’s devotion to Israel made Nixon and Kissinger’s look tepid.”112 The Jackson-Vanik Amendment linking U.S.-Soviet trade to the ability of Jews to emigrate from the Soviet Union was passed over strenuous opposition from the Nixon administration. And despite developing a reputation as the “Senator from Boeing,” Jackson opposed the sale of Boeing-made AWACS to Saudi Arabia because of the possibility that they might harm the interests of Israel.


Jackson’s experience of the Depression made him a liberal, deeply empathetic toward the suffering that was so common during the period.  He defined himself as “vigilantly internationalist and anticommunist abroad but statist at home, committed to realizing the New Deal–Fair Deal vision of a strong, active federal government presiding over the economy, preserving and enhancing welfare protection, and extending civil rights.”113 These attitudes of Jackson, and particularly his attitudes on foreign policy, brought him into the orbit of Jewish neoconservatives who held similar attitudes on domestic issues and whose attitudes on foreign policy stemmed fundamentally from their devotion to the cause of Israel:


Jackson’s visceral anticommunism and antitotalitarianism…brought him into the orbit of Jewish neoconservatives despite the subtle but important distinction in their outlook. The senator viewed the threat to Israel as a manifestation of the totalitarian threat he considered paramount. Some neoconservatives viewed Soviet totalitarianism as the threat to Israel they considered paramount.114


Jackson had developed close ties with a number of neocons who would later become important. Richard Perle was Jackson’s most important national security advisor between 1969 and 1979, and Jackson maintained close relations with Paul Wolfowitz, who began his career in Washington working with Perle in Jackson’s office. Jackson employed Perle even after credible evidence surfaced that he had spied for Israel: An FBI wiretap on the Israeli Embassy revealed Perle discussing classified information that had been supplied to him by someone on the National Security Council staff, presumably Helmut (“Hal”) Sonnenfeldt. (Sonnenfeldt, who was Jewish, “was known from previous wiretaps to have close ties to the Israelis as well as to Perle…. [He] had been repeatedly investigated by the FBI for other suspected leaks early in his career.”115) As indicated below, several prominent neocons have been investigated on credible charges of spying for Israel: Perle, Wolfowitz, Stephen Bryen, Douglas Feith, and Michael Ledeen. Neocon Frank Gaffney, the non-Jewish president of the CSP, a neocon thinktank, was also a Jackson aide. Jackson was also close to Bernard Lewis of Princeton University; Lewis is a Jewish expert on the Middle East who has had an important influence on the neocons in the George W. Bush administration as well as close ties to Israel.116


 In the 1970s Jackson was involved with two of the most important neocon groups of the period. In 1976 he convened Team B, headed by Richard Pipes (a Harvard University Soviet expert), and including Paul Nitze, Wolfowitz, and Seymour Weiss (former director of the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs). Albert Wohlstetter, who was Wolfowitz’s Ph.D. advisor at the University of Chicago, was a major catalyst for Team B. Jackson was also close to the Committee on the Present Danger. Formed in November 1976, the committee was a Who’s Who of Jackson supporters, advisors, confidants, and admirers from both the Democratic and Republican parties, and included several members associated with the SD/USA: Paul Nitze, Eugene Rostow, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Max Kampelman, Lane Kirkland, Richard Pipes, Seymour Martin Lipset, Bayard Rustin, and Norman Podhoretz. CPD was a sort of halfway house for Democratic neocons sliding toward the Republican Party.


The result was that all the important neocons backed Jackson for president in 1972 and 1976.  Jackson commanded a great deal of financial support from the Jewish community in Hollywood and elsewhere because of his strong support for Israel, but he failed to win the 1976 Democratic nomination, despite having more money than his rivals. After Jackson’s defeat and the ascendance of the leftist tendencies of the Carter administration, many of Jackson’s allies went to work for Reagan with Jackson’s tacit approval, with the result that they were frozen out of the Democratic Party once Carter was defeated.117 A large part of the disillusionment of Jackson and his followers stemmed from the Carter administration’s attitude toward Israel. Carter alienated American Jews by his proposals for a more evenhanded policy toward Israel, in which Israel would return to its 1967 borders in exchange for peace with the Arabs. Jews were also concerned because of the Andrew Young incident. (Young, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN and an African American, had been fired after failing to disclose to the State Department details of his unauthorized meeting with representatives of the Palestinians. Blacks charged that Jews were responsible for Young’s firing.)


In October 1977 the Carter administration, in a joint communiqué with the Soviet Union, suggested Israel pull back to the 1967 borders: “Jackson joined the ferocious attack on the administration that ensued from devotees of Kissinger’s incremental approach and from Israel’s supporters in the United States. He continued to regard unswerving U.S. support for Israel as not only a moral but a strategic imperative, and to insist that the maintenance of a strong, secure, militarily powerful Israel impeded rather than facilitated Soviet penetration of the Middle East.”118 Jackson was particularly fond of pointing to maps of Israel showing how narrow Israel’s borders had been before its 1967 conquests. For his part, Carter threatened to ask the American people “to choose between those who supported the national interest and those who supported a foreign interest such as Israel.”119


There was one last attempt to mend the fences between the neocons and the Democrats, a 1980 White House meeting between Carter and  major neocons, including Jeane Kirkpatrick, Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter, Ben Wattenberg, Elliott Abrams (aide to neocon favorite Patrick Moynihan120), Max Kampelman, and Penn Kemble. The meeting, which discussed attitudes toward the USSR, did not go well, and “henceforth, their disdain for Carter and dislike of Kennedy would impel the neoconservatives to turn away from the Democratic Party and vote for Reagan.”121 “They had hoped to find a new Truman to rally around, a Democrat to promote their liberal ideas at home while fighting the cold war abroad. Not finding one, they embraced the Republican party and Ronald Reagan as the best alternative.”122


Perle left Jackson’s office in March 1980 to go into business with John F. Lehman (Secretary of the Navy during the Reagan administration and, as of this writing [2004] a member of the panel investigating the events of 9/11). Quite a few neocons assumed positions in the Reagan administration in the area of defense and foreign policy: Kirkpatrick as UN ambassador (Kirkpatrick hired Joshua Muravchik, Kenneth Adelman, and Carl Gershman as deputies); Perle as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy (Perle hired Frank Gaffney and Douglas Feith); Elliott Abrams as Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights Affairs; Max Kampelman as U.S. ambassador to the Helsinki human rights conference and later as chief U.S. arms negotiator); Wolfowitz as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian affairs. Another Jewish neocon, Richard Pipes, was influential in putting together a paper on grand strategy toward the USSR. Nevertheless, Reagan kept the neocons at arm’s length and ceased heeding their advice. He favored developing trust and confidence with Soviet leaders rather than escalating tensions by threats of aggressive action.123


Bill Clinton courted neocons who had defected to Reagan. Perle, Kirkpatrick, and Abrams remained Republicans, but thirty-three  “moderate and neoconservative foreign policy experts” endorsed Clinton in 1992, including Nitze, Kemble, and Muravchik, although Muravchik and several others later repudiated their endorsement, saying that Clinton had returned to the left liberal foreign policy of the Democrats since McGovern.124 Ben Wattenberg and Robert Strauss remained Democrats “who have not written off the Jackson tradition in their own party.”125 Senator Joseph Lieberman, the Democrat’s 2000 vice presidential nominee, is the heir to this tradition.


Responding to the Fall of the Soviet Union


With the end of the Cold War, neoconservatives at first advocated a reduced role for the U.S., but this stance switched gradually to the view that U.S. interests required the vigorous promotion of democracy in the rest of the world.126 This aggressively pro-democracy theme, which appears first in the writings of Charles Krauthammer and then those of Elliot Abrams,127 eventually became an incessant drumbeat in the campaign for the war in Iraq. Krauthammer also broached the now familiar themes of unilateral intervention and he emphasized the danger that smaller states could develop weapons of mass destruction which could be used to threaten world security.128


A cynic would argue that this newfound interest in democracy was tailor-made as a program for advancing the interests of Israel. After all, Israel is advertised as the only democracy in the Middle East, and democracy has a certain emotional appeal for the United States, which has at times engaged in an idealistic foreign policy aimed at furthering the cause of human rights in other countries. It is ironic that during the Cold War the standard neocon criticism of President Carter’s foreign policy was that it was overly sensitive to human rights in countries that were opposed to the Soviet Union and insufficiently condemnatory of the human rights policies of the Soviet Union. The classic expression of this view was Jeane Kirkpatrick’s 1979 Commentary article, “Dictatorships and Double Standards.” In an essay that would have been excellent reading prior to the invasion of Iraq, Kirkpatrick noted that in many countries political power is tied to complex family and kinship networks resistant to modernization. Nevertheless, “no idea holds greater sway in the mind of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize governments, anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances.”129 Democracies are said to make heavy demands on citizens in terms of participation and restraint, and developing democracies is the work of “decades, if not centuries.”130 My view is that democracy is a component of the uniquely Western suite of traits deriving from the evolution of Western peoples and their cultural history: monogamy, simple family structure, individual rights against the state, representative government, moral universalism, and science.131 This social structure cannot easily be exported to other societies, and particularly to Middle Eastern societies whose traditional cultures exhibit traits opposite to these.


 It is revealing that, while neocons generally lost interest in Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe after these areas were no longer points of contention in the Cold War, there was no lessening of interest in the Middle East.132 Indeed, neoconservatives and Jews in general failed to support President George H. W. Bush when, in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, his administration pressured Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians and resisted a proposal for $10 billion in loan guarantees for Israel. This occurred in the context of Secretary of State James A. Baker’s famous comment, “Fuck the Jews. They didn’t vote for us.”133 


Neoconservative Portraits


As with the other Jewish intellectual movements I have studied, neoconservatives have a history of mutual admiration, close, mutually supportive personal, professional, and familial relationships, and focused cooperation in pursuit of common goals. For example, Norman Podhoretz, the former editor of Commentary, is the father of John Podhoretz, a neoconservative editor and columnist. Norman Podhoretz is also the father-in-law of Elliott Abrams, the former head of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (a neoconservative think tank) and the director of Near Eastern affairs at the National Security Council. Norman’s wife, Midge Decter, recently published a hagiographic biography of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, whose number-two and number-three deputies at the Pentagon, respectively, are Wolfowitz and Feith. Perle is a fellow at the AEI.134 He originally helped Wolfowitz obtain a job with the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in 1973. In 1982, Perle, as Deputy Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, hired Feith for a position as his Special Counsel, and then as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Negotiations Policy. In 2001, Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz helped Feith obtain an appointment as Undersecretary for Policy. Feith then appointed Perle as chairman of the Defense Policy Board. This is only the tip of a very large iceberg.


Leo Strauss


Leo Strauss is an important influence on several important neoconservatives, particularly Irving and Bill Kristol. Strauss was a classicist and political philosopher at the University of Chicago. He had a very strong Jewish identity and viewed his philosophy as a means of ensuring Jewish survival in the Diaspora.135 As Strauss himself noted, “I believe I can say, without any exaggeration, that since a very, very early time the main theme of my reflections has been what is called the ‘Jewish Question.’ ”136 

Much of Strauss’s early writing was on Jewish issues, and a constant theme in his writing was the idea that Western civilization was the product of the “energizing tension” between Athens and Jerusalem—Greek rationalism and the Jewish emphasis on faith, revelation, and religious intensity.137 Although Strauss believed that religion had effects on non-Jews that benefited Jews, there is little doubt that Strauss viewed religious fervor as an indispensable element of Jewish commitment and group loyalty—ethnocentrism by any other name:


Some great love and loyalty to the Jewish people are in evidence in the life and works of Strauss…. Strauss was a good Jew. He knew the dignity and worth of love of one’s own. Love of the good, which is the same as love of the truth, is higher than love of one’s own, but there is only one road to the truth, and it leads through love of one’s own. Strauss showed his loyalty to things Jewish in a way he was uniquely qualified to do, by showing generations of students how to treat Jewish texts with the utmost care and devotion. In this way he turned a number of his Jewish students in the direction of becoming better Jews.138


Strauss believed that liberal, individualistic modern Western societies were best for Judaism because the illiberal alternatives of both the left (communism) and right (Nazism) were anti-Jewish. (By the 1950s, anti-Semitism had become an important force in the Soviet Union.) However, Strauss believed that liberal societies were not ideal because they tended to break down group loyalties and group distinctiveness—both qualities essential to the survival of Judaism. And he thought that there is a danger that, like the Weimar Republic, liberal societies could give way to fascism, especially if traditional religious and cultural forms were overturned; hence the neoconservative attitude that traditional religious forms among non-Jews are good for Jews.139 (Although Strauss believed in the importance of Israel for Jewish survival, his philosophy is not a defense of Israel but a blueprint for Jewish survival in a Diaspora in Western societies.) 


The fate of the Weimar Republic, combined with the emergence of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union, had a formative influence on his thinking. As Stephen Holmes writes, “Strauss made his young Jewish-American students gulp by informing them that toleration [secular humanism] was dangerous and that the Enlightenment—rather than the failure of the Enlightenment—led directly to Adolph Hitler.”140 Hitler was also at the center of Strauss’s admiration for Churchill—hence the roots of the neocon cult of Churchill: “The tyrant stood at the pinnacle of his power. The contrast between the indomitable and magnanimous statesman and the insane tyrant—this spectacle in its clear simplicity was one of the greatest lessons which men can learn, at any time.”141 I suspect that, given Strauss’s strong Jewish identity,  a very large part of his admiration of Churchill was not that Churchill opposed tyrants, but that he went to war against an anti-Jewish tyrant at enormous cost to his own people and nation while allied with another tyrant, Joseph Stalin, who had by 1939 already murdered far more people than Hitler ever would.


Strauss has become a cult figure—the quintessential rabbinical guru, with devoted disciples such as Allan Bloom.142  Strauss relished his role as a guru to worshiping disciples, once writing of “the love of the mature philosopher for the puppies of his race, by whom he wants to be loved in turn.”143 In turn, Strauss was a disciple of Hermann Cohen, a philosopher at the University of Marburg, who ended his career teaching in a rabbinical school; Cohen was a central figure in a school of neo-Kantian intellectuals whose main concern was to rationalize Jewish nonassimilation into German society.


Strauss understood that inequalities among humans were inevitable and advocated rule by an aristocratic elite of philosopher kings forced to pay lip service to the traditional religious and political beliefs of the masses while not believing them.144 This elite should pursue its vision of the common good but must reach out to others using deception and manipulation to achieve its goals. As Bill Kristol has described it, elites have the duty to guide public opinion, but “one of the main teachings [of Strauss] is that all politics are limited and none of them is really based on the truth.”145  A more cynical characterization is provided by Stephen Holmes: “The good society, on this model, consists of the sedated masses, the gentlemen rulers, the promising puppies, and the philosophers who pursue knowledge, manipulate the gentlemen, anesthetize the people, and housebreak the most talented young”146—a comment that sounds to me like an alarmingly accurate description of the present situation in the United States and elsewhere in the Western world. Given Strauss’s central concern that an acceptable political order be compatible with Jewish survival, it is reasonable to assume that Strauss believed that the aristocracy would serve Jewish interests.


Strauss’s philosophy is not really conservative. The rule by an aristocratic elite would require a complete political transformation in order to create a society that was “as just as possible”:


Nothing short of a total transformation of imbedded custom must be undertaken. To secure this inversion of the traditional hierarchies, the political, social and educational system must be subjected to a radical reformation. For justice to be possible the founders have to “wipe clean the dispositions of men,” that is, justice is possible only if the city and its citizens are not what they are: the weakest [i.e., the philosophic elite] is supposed to rule the strongest [the masses], the irrational is supposed to submit to the rule of the rational.147 [emphasis in original]


Strauss described the need for an external exoteric language directed at outsiders, and an internal esoteric language directed at ingroup members.148 A general feature of the movements I have studied is that this Straussian prescription has been followed: Issues are framed in language that appeals to non-Jews rather than explicitly in terms of Jewish interests, although Jewish interests always remain in the background if one cares to look a little deeper. The most common rhetoric used by Jewish intellectual and political movements has been the language of moral universalism and the language of science—languages that appeal to the educated elites of the modern Western world.149 But beneath the rhetoric it is easy to find statements describing the Jewish agendas of the principal actors. And the language of moral universalism (e.g., advocating democracy as a universal moral imperative) goes hand in hand with a narrow Jewish moral particularism (altering governments that represent a danger to Israel).



It is noteworthy in this respect that the split between the leftist critics of Strauss like Shadia Drury and Stephen Holmes versus Strauss’s disciples like Allan Bloom and Harry V. Jaffa comes down to whether Strauss is properly seen as a universalist. The leftist critics claim that the moral universalism espoused by Strauss’s disciples is nothing more than a veneer for his vision of a hierarchical society based on manipulation of the masses. As noted, the use of a universalist rhetoric to mask particularist causes has a long history among Jewish intellectual and political movements, and it fits well with Strauss’s famous emphasis on esoteric messages embedded in the texts of great thinkers. Moreover, there is at least some textual support for the leftist critique, although there can never be certainty because of the intentionally enigmatic nature of Strauss’s writings.


I am merely adding to the leftist critique the idea that Strauss crafted his vision of an aristocratic elite manipulating the masses as a Jewish survival strategy. In doing so, I am taking seriously Strauss’s own characterization of his work as centrally motivated by “the Jewish question” and by the excellent evidence for his strong commitment to the continuity of the Jewish people. At a fundamental level, based on my scholarship on Jewish intellectual and political movements, one cannot understand Strauss’s well-attested standing as a Jewish guru—as an exemplar of the familiar pattern of an intellectual leader in the manner of Boas or Freud surrounded by devoted Jewish disciples—unless he had a specifically Jewish message.


The simple logic is as follows: Based on the data presented here, it is quite clear that Strauss understood that neither communism nor fascism was good for Jews in the long run. But democracy cannot be trusted given that Weimar ended with Hitler. A solution is to advocate democracy and the trappings of traditional religious culture, but managed by an elite able to manipulate the masses via control of the media and academic discourse. Jews have a long history as an elite in Western societies, so it is not in the least surprising that Strauss would advocate an ideal society in which Jews would be a central component of the elite. In my view, this is Strauss’s esoteric message. The exoteric message is the universalist veneer promulgated by Strauss’s disciples—a common enough pattern among Jewish intellectual and political movements.


On the other hand, if one accepts at face value the view of Strauss’s disciples that he should be understood as a theorist of egalitarianism and democracy, then Strauss’s legacy becomes just another form of leftism, and a rather undistinguished one at that. In this version, the United States is seen as a “proposition nation” committed only to the ideals of democracy and egalitarianism—an ideology that originated with Jewish leftist intellectuals like Horace Kallen.150 Such an ideology not only fails to protect the ethnic interests of European Americans in maintaining their culture and demographic dominance, it fails as an adequate survival strategy for Jews because of the possibility that, like Weimar Germany, the U.S. could be democratically transformed into a state that self-consciously opposes the ethnic interests of Jews.


The most reasonable interpretation is that neocons see Strauss’s moral universalism as a powerful exoteric ideology. The ideology is powerful among non-Jews because of the strong roots of democracy and egalitarianism in American history and in the history of the West; it is attractive to Jews because it has no ethnic content and is therefore useful in combating the ethnic interests of European Americans—its function for the Jewish left throughout the 20th century.151 But without the esoteric message that the proposition nation must be managed and manipulated by a covert, Jewish-dominated elite, such an ideology is inherently unstable and cannot be guaranteed to meet the long-term interests of Jews.


And one must remember that the neocons’ public commitment to egalitarianism belies their own status as an elite who were educated at elite academic institutions and created an elite network at the highest levels of the government. They form an elite that is deeply involved in deception, manipulation and espionage on issues related to Israel and the war in Iraq. They also established the massive neocon infrastructure in the elite media and think tanks. And they have often become wealthy in the process. Their public pronouncements advocating a democratic, egalitarian ideology have not prevented them from having strong ethnic identities and a strong sense of their own ethnic interests; nor have their public pronouncements supporting the Enlightenment ideals of egalitarianism and democracy prevented them from having a thoroughly anti-Enlightenment ethnic particularist commitment to the most nationalistic, aggressive, racialist elements within Israel—the Likud Party, the settler movement, and the religious fanatics. At the end of the day, the only alternative to the existence of an esoteric Straussian message along the lines described here is massive self-deception.


Sidney Hook


Born in 1902, Sidney Hook was an important leader of the anti-Stalinist, non-Trotskyist left. Hook’s career is interesting because he illustrates an evolution toward neoconservatism that was in many ways parallel to the Shachtmanites. Indeed, Hook ended up as honorary chairman of the SD/USA during the 1980s.152 Hook became a socialist at a time when virtually all socialists supported the Bolshevik revolution as the only alternative to the anti-Jewish government of the tsar.153 As a professional philosopher, he saw his role as an attempt to develop an intellectually respectable Marxism strengthened with Dewey’s ideas. But until the Moscow Trials of the 1930s he was blind to the violence and oppression in the USSR. During a visit to the USSR in 1929, “I was completely oblivious at the time to the systematic repressions that were then going on against noncommunist elements and altogether ignorant of the liquidation of the so-called kulaks that had already begun that summer. I was not even curious enough to probe and pry, possibly for fear of what I would discover.”154 During the 1930s, when the Communist Party exercised a dominant cultural influence in the United States, “the fear of fascism helped to blur our vision and blunt our hearing to the reports that kept trickling out of the Soviet Union.”155 Even the Moscow Trials were dismissed by large sectors of liberal opinion. It was the time of the Popular Front, where the fundamental principle was the defense of the Soviet Union. Liberal journals like the New Republic did not support inquiries into the trials, citing New York Times reporter Walter Duranty as an authority who believed in the truth of the confessions.


Unlike the Shachtmanites, Hook never accepted Trotsky because of his record of defending “every act of the Soviet regime, until he himself lost power.”156 “To the very end Trotsky remained a blind, pitiless (even when pitiable) giant, defending the right of the minority vanguard of the proletariat—the Party—to exercise its dictatorship over ‘the backward layers of the proletariat’—i.e., those who disagreed with the self-designated vanguard.”157


Hook became a leader of the anti-Stalinist left in the 1930s and during the Cold War, usually with John Dewey as the most visible public persona in various organizations dedicated to opposing intellectual thought control. His main issue came to be openness versus totalitarianism rather than capitalism versus socialism. Like other neoconservatives, from the 1960s on he opposed the excesses of the New Left, including affirmative action. Sidney Hook received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Ronald Reagan. Like many neoconservatives, he never abandoned many of his leftist views: In his acceptance speech, Hook stated that he was “an unreconstructed believer in the welfare state, steeply progressive income tax, a secular humanist,” and pro-choice on abortion.158 Sounding much like SD/USA stalwart Joshua Muravchik,159 Hook noted that socialists like himself “never took the problem of incentives seriously enough.”160


Like Strauss, Hook’s advocacy of the open society stemmed from his belief that such societies were far better for Judaism than either the totalitarian left or right. Hook had a strong Jewish identification: He was a Zionist, a strong supporter of Israel, and an advocate of Jewish education for Jewish children.161 Hook developed an elaborate apologia for Judaism and against anti-Semitism in the modern world,162 and he was deeply concerned about the emergence of anti-Semitism in the USSR.163  The ideal society is thus culturally diverse and democratic:No philosophy of Jewish life is required except one—identical with the democratic way of life—which enables Jews who for any reason at all accept their existence as Jews to lead a dignified and significant life, a life in which together with their fellowmen they strive collectively to improve the quality of democratic, secular cultures and thus encourage a maximum of cultural diversity, both Jewish and non-Jewish.164


Stephen Bryen


Despite his low profile in the George W. Bush administration, Stephen Bryen is an important neocon. Bryen served as executive director of JINSA from 1979 to 1981 and remains on its advisory board. He is also affiliated with the AEI and the CSP. Richard Perle hired Bryen as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Reagan administration. At the Pentagon, Perle and Bryen led an effort to extend and strengthen the Export Administration Act to grant the Pentagon a major role in technology transfer policy. This policy worked to the benefit of Israel at the expense of Europe, as Israel alone had access to the most secret technology designs.165 In 1988 Bryen and Perle temporarily received permission to export sensitive klystron technology, used in antiballistic missiles, to Israel. “Two senior colleagues in [the Department of Defense] who wish to remain anonymous have confirmed that this attempt by Bryen to obtain klystrons for his friends was not unusual, and was in fact ‘standard operating procedure’ for him, recalling numerous instances when U.S. companies were denied licenses to export sensitive technology, only to learn later that Israeli companies subsequently exported similar (U.S. derived) weapons and technology to the intended customers/governments.”166


It is surprising that Perle was able to hire Bryen at all given that, beginning in 1978, Bryen was investigated for offering classified documents to the Mossad station chief of the Israeli embassy in the presence of an AIPAC representative.167 Bryen’s fingerprints were found on the documents in question despite his denials that he had ever had the documents in his possession. (Bryen refused to take a polygraph test.) The Bryen investigation was ultimately shut down because of the failure of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to grant access to the Justice Department to files important to the investigation, and because of the decision by Philip Heymann, the chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and later Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton Administration, to drop the case.


Heymann is Jewish and had a close relationship with Bryen’s lawyer, Nathan Lewin. Heymann’s Jewish consciousness can be seen from the fact that he participated in the campaign to free Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard and expunge his record —a major effort by a great many Jewish organizations and Jewish activists such as Alan Dershowitz. There were reports that Heymann was attempting to bypass Attorney General Janet Reno by preparing a Justice Department recommendation for presidential clemency, and that Heymann’s behavior may have been a factor in his resignation shortly thereafter.168


Despite this history of covert pro-Israeli activism, in 2001 Bryen was appointed, at the urging of Paul Wolfowitz, to the China Commission, which monitors illicit technology transfers to China, a position that requires top secret security clearance.169 Many of the illicit technology transfers investigated by the commission are thought to have occurred via Israel.


Charles Krauthammer


In his 1995 book, John Ehrman regards Charles Krauthammer as a key neoconservative foreign policy analyst because Krauthammer was on the cutting edge of neocon thinking on how to respond to the unipolar world created by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Krauthammer has consistently urged that the U.S. pursue a policy to remake the entire Arab world—a view that represents the “party line” among neoconservatives (e.g., Michael Ledeen, Norman Podhoretz, Bill Kristol, David Frum, and Richard Perle170). In a speech at the AEI in February 2004, Krauthammer argued for a unilateral confrontation with the entire Arab-Muslim world (and nowhere else) in the interests of “democratic globalism.” He advocated a U.S. foreign policy that is not “tied down” by “multilateralism”: “the whole point of the multilateral enterprise: To reduce American freedom of action by making it subservient to, dependent on, constricted by the will—and interests—of other nations. To tie down Gulliver with a thousand strings. To domesticate the most undomesticated, most outsized, national interest on the planet—ours.”171 Democratic globalism is aimed at winning the struggle with the Arab-Islamic world:


Beyond power. Beyond interest. Beyond interest defined as power. That is the credo of democratic globalism. Which explains its political appeal: America is a nation uniquely built not on blood, race or consanguinity, but on a proposition—to which its sacred honor has been pledged for two centuries…. Today, post-9/11, we find ourselves in an…existential struggle but with a different enemy: not Soviet communism, but Arab-Islamic totalitarianism, both secular and religious…[D]emocratic globalism is an improvement over realism. What it can teach realism is that the spread of democracy is not just an end but a means, an indispensable means for securing American interests. The reason is simple. Democracies are inherently more friendly to the United States, less belligerent to their neighbors, and generally more inclined to peace. Realists are right that to protect your interests you often have to go around the world bashing bad guys over the head. But that technique, no matter how satisfying, has its limits. At some point, you have to implant something, something organic and self-developing. And that something is democracy. But where? The danger of democratic globalism is its universalism, its open-ended commitment to human freedom, its temptation to plant the flag of democracy everywhere. It must learn to say no. And indeed, it does say no. But when it says no to Liberia, or Congo, or Burma, or countenances alliances with authoritarian rulers in places like Pakistan or, for that matter, Russia, it stands accused of hypocrisy. Which is why we must articulate criteria for saying yes…. I propose a single criterion: where it counts…. And this is its axiom: We will support democracy everywhere, but we will commit blood and treasure only in places where there is a strategic necessity—meaning, places central to the larger war against the existential enemy, the enemy that poses a global mortal threat to freedom.


Where does it count today? Where the overthrow of radicalism and the beginnings of democracy can have a decisive effect in the war against the new global threat to freedom, the new existential enemy, the Arab-Islamic totalitarianism that has threatened us in both its secular and religious forms for the quarter-century since the Khomeini revolution of 1979 … There is not a single, remotely plausible, alternative strategy for attacking the monster behind 9/11. It’s not Osama bin Laden; it is the cauldron of political oppression, religious intolerance, and social ruin in the Arab-Islamic world—oppression transmuted and deflected by regimes with no legitimacy into virulent, murderous anti-Americanism. It’s not one man; it is a condition.172


Krauthammer is a Jew and his Jewish identification and pro-Israel motivation is typical of Jewish neoconservatives, as is his obeisance to the idea that America is a proposition nation, rather than a nation founded by a particular ethnic group—an ethnocultural creation of Western Europe that  should attempt to preserve this heritage. The same attitude can be seen in Irving Kristol’s comment that the U.S. is an “ideological nation” committed to defend Israel independent of national interest (see above). This ideology was the creation of leftist Jewish intellectuals attempting to rationalize a multicultural America in which European-Americans were just one of many cultural/ethnic groups.173


He is a regular columnist for the Jerusalem Post and has written extensively in support of hard-line policies in Israel and on what he interprets as a rise in age-old anti-Jewish attitudes in Europe. In 2002 Krauthammer was presented with Bar-Ilan University’s annual Guardian of Zion Award at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. His acceptance speech reveals an observant Jew who is steeped in Jewish history and the Hebrew tradition. The 1993 Oslo Accords are termed “the most catastrophic and self- inflicted wound by any state in modern history”; this disastrous policy was based on “an extreme expression of post-Zionistic messianism.”174 Krauthammer rejected the “secular messianism” of Shimon Peres as more dangerous than the religious messianism of Gush Emunim (a prominent settler group with a message of Jewish racialism and a vision of a “Greater Israel” encompassing the lands promised to Abraham in Genesis—from the Nile to the Euphrates175) or of certain followers of the Lubavitcher Rebbe because of its impact on shaping contemporary Jewish history.


Krauthammer is also deeply concerned with anti-Semitism:


What is odd is not the anti-Semitism of today [in Europe], but its relative absence during the last half-century. That was the historical anomaly. Holocaust shame kept the demon corked for that half-century. But now the atonement is passed. The genie is out again. This time, however, it is more sophisticated. It is not a blanket hatred of Jews. Jews can be tolerated, even accepted, but they must know their place. Jews are fine so long as they are powerless, passive and picturesque. What is intolerable is Jewish assertiveness, the Jewish refusal to accept victimhood. And nothing so embodies that as the Jewish state.176


Another barometer of Jewish identification is Krauthammer’s take on Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. In sentiments similar to those of many other Jewish activists and writers, he terms ita “blood libel,” “a singular act of interreligious aggression,” a “spectacularly vicious” personal interpretation.177 Gibson’s interpretations “point overwhelmingly in a single direction — to the villainy and culpability of the Jews.” The crucifixion is “a history of centuries of relentless, and at times savage, persecution of Jews in Christian lands.” One gets the impression of a writer searching as best he can to find the most extreme terms possible to express his loathing of Gibson’s account of the Christian gospel.


Paul Wolfowitz


Paul Wolfowitz’s background indicates a strong Jewish identity. His father Jacob was a committed Zionist throughout his life and in his later years organized protests against Soviet treatment of Jews.178 Jacob was deeply concerned about the Holocaust,179 and, in his own reminiscences of his teenage years, Paul recalls reading books about the Holocaust and traveling to Israel when his father was a visiting professor at an Israeli university. Wolfowitz reads Hebrew, and his sister married an Israeli and lives in Israel.180 At the University of Chicago the professors mentioned in his account of the period are all Jewish:181 Albert Wohlstetter, his Ph.D. advisor; Leo Strauss (Wolfowitz’s original intent when enrolling at the University of Chicago was to study with Strauss, and he ended up taking two courses from him); Strauss’s disciple Alan Bloom, whose Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students (1987) is a neocon classic; and Saul Bellow, the novelist.


Also indicative of a strong Jewish identity is a conversation Wolfowitz had with Natan Sharansky, Israeli Cabinet Minister and leader of a right wing, pro-settlement political party, at a conference on Middle East policy in Aspen, Colorado, in 2002. The conference was arranged by Richard Perle under the auspices of the AEI. Wolfowitz and Sharansky walked to a reception, because the latter, as an observant Jew, could not drive on the Sabbath. Sharansky noted that the walk “gave us a chance to talk about everything — Arafat, international terrorism, Iraq and Iran and, of course, Jewish history, our roots and so on.”182 Wolfowitz is married to Clare Selgin, and they have three children, Sara, David, and Rachel.183


Ravelstein is Bellow’s fictionalized but essentially accurate description of Alan Bloom and his circle at the University of Chicago.184 It is of some interest because it recreates the Jewish atmosphere of Wolfowitz’s academic environment. Wolfowitz was a member of Bloom’s circle at Cornell University and chose the University of Chicago for his graduate training because of the presence there of Leo Strauss, most likely at the urging of Bloom. Wolfowitz and Bloom maintained a close relationship after Bloom moved to the University of Chicago and during Wolfowitz’s later career in the government. Wolfowitz was one of the “favored students” of Bloom described in Robert Locke’s comment that “Favored students of the usually haughty Bloom were gradually introduced to greater and greater intimacies with the master, culminating in exclusive dinner parties with him and Saul [Bellow] in Bloom’s lavishly furnished million-dollar apartment.”185 


As depicted by Bellow, Bloom emerges as the quintessential guru, surrounded by disciples—a “father” who attempts not only to direct his disciples’ careers but their personal lives as well.186 His disciples are described as “clones who dressed as he did, smoked the same Marlboros”; they were heading toward “the Promised Land of the intellect toward which Ravelstein, their Moses and their Socrates, led them.”187 “To be cut off from his informants in Washington and Paris, from his students, the people he had trained, the band of brothers, the initiates, the happy few made him extremely uncomfortable.”188 Bloom in turn is depicted as a “disciple” of the Strauss character, Felix Davarr: “Ravelstein talked so much about him that in the end I was obliged to read some of his books. It had to be done if I was to understand what [Ravelstein] was all about.”189


Bloom’s Ravelstein is depicted as very self-consciously Jewish. A theme is the contrast between “crude” Jewish behavior and genteel WASP behavior—a theme described beautifully and authoritatively in the writings of John Murray Cuddihy.190 And there is the acute consciousness of who is a Jew and who isn’t; all of Ravelstein’s close friends are Jews. There is an intense interest in whether non-Jews dislike Jews or have connections to fascism. And there is a fixation on the Holocaust and when it will happen again: “They kill more than half of the European Jews…There’s no telling which corner it will come from next.”191 Ravelstein thought of Jews as displacing WASPs: He “liked to think of living in one of the tony flat buildings formerly occupied by the exclusively WASP faculty.”192


Following Strauss, Bloom thought of Western civilization as the product of Athens and Jerusalem, and is said to have preferred the former, at least until the end of his life, when Jerusalem loomed large: Bellow’s narrator writes, “I could see [Ravelstein/Bloom] was following a trail of Jewish ideas or Jewish essences. It was unusual for him these days, in any conversation, to mention even Plato or Thucydides. He was full of Scripture now”—all connected to “the great evil,” the belief during the World War II era “that almost everybody agreed that the Jews had no right to live…a vast collective agreement that the world would be improved by their disappearance and their extinction.”193 Ravelstein’s conclusion is that “it is impossible to get rid of one’s origins, it is impossible not to remain a Jew. The Jews, Ravelstein…thought, following the line laid down by [his] teacher Davarr [Strauss], were historically witnesses to the absence of redemption.”194


Ravelstein recounts a conversation with the Wolfowitz character, Philip Gorman, which reflects Wolfowitz’s well-known desire to invade Iraq in 1991:


Colin Powell and Baker have advised the President not to send the troops all the way to Baghdad. Bush will announce it tomorrow. They’re afraid of a few casualties. They send out a terrific army and give a demonstration of up-to-date high-tech warfare that flesh and blood can’t stand up to. But then they leave the dictatorship in place and steal away….195


Wolfowitz has had a close relationship with Richard Perle beginning with their service in the office of Sen. Henry Jackson.196 He also has a long record of pro-Israel advocacy. In 1973 he was appointed to the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA); Mark Green notes that “Wolfowitz…brought to ACDA a strong attachment to Israel’s security, and a certain confusion about his obligation to U.S. national security.”197 In 1978, he was investigated for providing a classified document to the Israeli government through an AIPAC intermediary, but the investigation ended without indictment. (As Paul Findley shows, leakage of classified information to Israel by American Jews is routine within the Departments of State and Defense—so routine that it is accepted as a part of life in these departments, and investigations of the source of leaks are seldom performed.198)  Later, in 1992, the Department of Defense discovered that Wolfowitz, as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, was promoting the export to Israel of advanced AIM-9M air-to-air missiles. The sale was canceled because Israel had been caught selling the previous version to the Chinese. Until his appointment as Deputy Secretary of Defense in the Bush administration, Wolfowitz was on the Advisory Board of WINEP, and was a patron of Dennis Ross, who was Ambassador to Israel in the Clinton Administration before becoming director of Policy and Strategic Planning at WINEP.


Wolfowitz wrote a 1997 Weekly Standard article advocating removal of Saddam Hussein, and signed the public letter to President Clinton organized by Bill Kristol’s Project for the New American Century urging a regime change in Iraq. Within the George H. W. Bush administration, Wolfowitz was “the intellectual godfather and fiercest advocate for toppling Saddam.”199 Wolfowitz has become famous as a key advocate for war with Iraq rather than Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of September 11.200 Richard Clarke recounts an incident on September 12, 2001, in which President Bush asked a group at the White House for any information that Saddam Hussein was involved in the September 11 attacks. After Bush left, a staffer “stared at [Bush] with her mouth open. ‘Wolfowitz got to him.’”201


Former CIA political analysts Kathleen and Bill Christison note that “One source inside the administration has described [Wolfowitz] frankly as ‘over-the-top crazy when it comes to Israel.’”202 Although they find such an assessment insufficiently nuanced, they acknowledge that zealotry for Israel is a prime motivator for Wolfowitz. Journalist Bill Keller is much more cautious:


You hear from some of Wolfowitz’s critics, always off the record, that Israel exercises a powerful gravitational pull on the man. They may not know that as a teenager he spent his father’s sabbatical semester in Israel or that his sister is married to an Israeli, but they certainly know that he is friendly with Israel’s generals and diplomats and that he is something of a hero to the heavily Jewish neoconservative movement. Those who know him well say this—leaving aside the offensive suggestion of dual loyalty—is looking at Wolfowitz through the wrong end of the telescope. As the Sadat story illustrates, he has generally been less excited by the security of Israel than by the promise of a more moderate Islam.203


This is a remarkable statement. “The Sadat story” refers to Wolfowitz’s very positive reaction to Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat’s speech to the Knesset as part of the peace process between Israel and Egypt. Obviously, it is silly to suppose that this event shows Wolfowitz’s relative disinterest in Israel’s security. Moreover, statements linking Wolfowitz to Israel are always off the record, presumably because people fear retaliation for stating the obvious. Thus Bill Keller coyly manages to document the associations between Wolfowitz and Israel while finding assertions of dual loyalty “offensive” rather than a well-grounded probability. 


One of Joshua Muravchik’s apologetic claims is that “in fact the careers of leading neoconservatives have rarely involved work on Middle East issues."204 This is false. For example, Wolfowitz wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. During the Carter administration, he prepared the Limited Contingency Study, which emphasized the “Iraqi threat” to the region, and during the Reagan administration he lobbied against selling AWACS to Saudi Arabia and against negotiating with the Palestinians; during the George H. W. Bush administration he was Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, a position where he “would once again have responsibility for arms control, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, the areas to which he had devoted the early years of his career.”205


Richard Perle


Like Wolfowitz and the Strauss-Bloom nexus at the University of Chicago, for Perle

the defining moment in our history was certainly the Holocaust…. It was the destruction, the genocide of a whole people, and it was the failure to respond in a timely fashion to a threat that was clearly gathering…We don't want that to happen again…when we have the ability to stop totalitarian regimes we should do so, because when we fail to do so, the results are catastrophic.206


Richard Perle first came into prominence in Washington as Senator Henry Jackson’s chief aide on foreign policy. He organized Congressional support for the 1974 Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which angered Russia by linking bilateral trade issues to freedom of emigration, primarily of Jews from the Soviet Union to Israel and the United States. In 1970 Perle was recorded by the FBI discussing classified information with the Israeli embassy. In 1981 he was on the payroll of an Israeli defense contractor shortly before being appointed Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, a position responsible for monitoring U.S. defense technology exports.207 During his tenure in the Reagan administration Perle recommended purchase of an artillery shell made by Soltan, an Israeli munitions manufacturer. After leaving his position in the Defense Department in 1987, he assumed a position with Soltan. Like many other former government officials, he has also used his reputation and contacts in the government to develop a highly lucrative business career. For example, although he did not personally register as a lobbyist, he became a paid consultant to a firm headed by Douglas Feith that was established to lobby on behalf of Turkey.208 At the present time, Perle is on the board of directors of Onset Technology, a technology company founded by Israelis Gadi Mazor and Ron Maor with R&D in Israel. Onset Technology has close ties to Israeli companies and investment funds.209 He is a close personal friend of Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.210


Perle was the “Study Group Leader” of a 1996 report titled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” published by the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), an Israeli think tank. The membership of the study group illustrates the overlap between Israeli think tanks close to the Israeli government, American policy makers and government officials, and pro-Israel activists working in the United States. Other members of this group who accepted positions in the George W. Bush administration or in pro-Israel activist organizations in the U.S. include Douglas Feith (Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy), David Wurmser (member of IASPS, a protégé of Perle at AEI, and senior advisor in the State Department), Mayrev Wurmser (head of the Hudson Institute [a neocon thinktank]), James Colbert of JINSA,and Jonathan Torop (WINEP).


 Despite Joshua Muravchik’s apologetic claims,211 the “Clean Break” report was clearly intended as advice for another of Perle’s personal friends,212 Benjamin Netanyahu, who was then the new prime minister of Israel; there is no indication that it was an effort to further U.S. interests in the region. The purpose was to “forge a peace process and strategy based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism.” Indeed, the report advises the United States to avoid pressure on the Israelis to give land for peace, a strategy “which required funneling American money to repressive and aggressive regimes, was risky, expensive, and very costly for both the U.S. and Israel, and placed the United States in roles it should neither have nor want.” The authors of the report speak as Jews and Israelis, not as U.S. citizens: “Our claim to the land—to which we have clung for hope for 2000 years—is legitimate and noble.”Much of the focus is on removing the threat of Syria, and it is in this context that the report notes, “This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq—an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right—as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.”213


Proposals for regime change, such as found in “A Clean Break,” have a long history in Israeli thought. For example, in 1982 Israeli strategist Oded Yinon echoed a long line of Israeli strategists who argued that Israel should attempt to dissolve all the existing Arab states into smaller, less potentially powerful states. These states would then become clients of Israel as a regional imperial power. Neocons have advertised the war in Iraq as a crusade for a democratic, secular, Western-oriented, pro-Israel Iraq—a dream that has a great deal of appeal in the West, for obvious reasons. However, it is quite possible that the long-term result is that Iraq would fracture along ethnic and religious lines (Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds). This would also be in Israel’s interests, because the resulting states would pose less of a threat than the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. As Yinon noted, “Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel's targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel.”214


Former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson has suggested that the dissolution of Iraq may well have been a motive for the war:


A more cynical reading of the agenda of certain Bush advisers could conclude that the Balkanization of Iraq was always an acceptable outcome, because Israel would then find itself surrounded by small Arab countries worried about each other instead of forming a solid block against Israel. After all, Iraq was an artificial country that had always had a troublesome history.215


And as the Iraqi insurgency has achieved momentum, there is evidence that Israeli military and intelligence units are operating in Kurdish regions of Iraq and that Israel is indeed encouraging the Kurds to form their own state.216 There is little doubt that an independent Kurdish state would have major repercussions for Syria and Iran, as well as for Israel’s ally Turkey, and would lead to continuing instability in the Middle East. A senior Turkish official noted, “If you end up with a divided Iraq, it will bring more blood, tears, and pain to the Middle East, and [the U.S.] will be blamed…From Mexico to Russia, everybody will claim that the United States had a secret agenda in Iraq: you came there to break up Iraq. If Iraq is divided, America cannot explain this to the world.”


Elliott Abrams


Some of Elliott Abrams’ neoconservative family and professional associations have been described above. In December 2002 Abrams became President Bush’s top Middle East advisor. He is closely associated with the Likud Party in Israel and with prominent neocons (Richard Perle, Bill Kristol, Marc Paul Gerecht, Michael Ledeen, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Paul Wolfowitz) and neocon think tanks (PNAC, AEI, CSP, JINSA).217 Because of his reputation as a strongly identified Jew, Abrams was tapped for the role of rallying Jews in support of Reagan in the 1980 campaign.218


Abrams is also an activist on behalf of Jewish continuity. The purpose of his book Faith and Fear: How Jews Can Survive in Christian America is to shore up Jewish religious identification, avoid intermarriage, and avoid secularization in order to assure Jewish continuity. In this regard it is interesting that other prominent neocons have advocated interracial marriage between whites and blacks in the U.S. For example, Douglas J. Besharov, a resident scholar at the AEI, has written that the offspring of interracial marriages “are the best hope for the future of American race relations.”219


In Faith and Fear, Abrams notes his own deep immersion in the Yiddish-speaking culture of his parents and grandparents. In the grandparents’ generation, “all their children married Jews, and [they] kept Kosher homes.”220 Abrams acknowledges that the mainstream Jewish community “clings to what is at bottom a dark vision of America, as a land permeated with anti-Semitism and always on the verge of anti-Semitic outbursts.” The result is that Jews have taken the lead in secularizing America, but that has not been a good strategy for Jews because Jews themselves have become less religious and therefore less inclined to marry other Jews. (This “dark vision of America” is a critical source of the “Culture of Critique” produced by Jewish intellectual movements; it is also a major reason why the Jewish community has been united in favor of large-scale nonwhite immigration to America: Diluting the white majority and lessening their power is seen as preventing an anti-Jewish outburst.221)  Following Strauss, therefore, Abrams thinks that a strong role for Christianity in America is good for Jews:


In this century we have seen two gigantic experiments at postreligious societies where the traditional restraints of religion and morality were entirely removed: Communism and Nazism. In both cases Jews became the special targets, but there was evil enough even without the scourge of anti-Semitism. For when the transcendental inhibition against evil is removed, when society becomes so purely secular that the restraints imposed by God on man are truly eradicated, minorities are but the earliest victims.”222


Douglas Feith


Like most of his cronies, Feith has been suspected of spying for Israel. In 1972 Feith was fired from a position with the National Security Council because of an investigation into whether he had provided documents to the Israeli embassy. Nevertheless, Perle, who was Assistant Secretary for International Security Policy, hired him as his “special counsel,” and then as his deputy. Feith worked for Perle until 1986, when he left government service to form a law firm, Feith and Zell, which was originally based in Israel and best known for obtaining a pardon for the notorious Marc Rich during the final days of the Clinton administration.  In 2001, Douglas Feith returned to the Department of Defense as Donald Rumsfeld’s Undersecretary for Policy, and it was in his office that Abraham Shulsky’s Office of Special Plans (OSP) was created. It was OSP that originated much of the fraudulent intelligence that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld have used to justify the attack on Iraq. A key member of OSP was David Wurmser who, as indicated above, is a protégé of Richard Perle.223


Retired army officer Karen Kwiatkowski describes Feith as knowing little about the Pentagon and paying little attention to any issues except those relating to Israel and Iraq.224 Feith is deferential to the Israeli military. As Kwiatkowski escorted a group of Israeli generals into the Pentagon:


The leader of the pack surged ahead, his colleagues in close formation, leaving us to double-time behind the group as they sped to Undersecretary Feith’s office on the fourth floor…. Once in Feith’s waiting room, the leader continued at speed to Feith’s closed door. An alert secretary saw this coming and had leapt from her desk to block the door. “Mr. Feith has a visitor. It will only be a few more minutes.” The leader craned his neck to look around the secretary’s head as he demanded, “Who is in there with him?”


Unlike the usual practice, the Israeli generals did not have to sign in, so there are no official records of their visits.225 Kwiatkowski describes the anti-Arab, pro-Israel sentiment that pervaded the neocon network at the Department of Defense. Career military officers who failed to go along with these attitudes were simply replaced.


Feith has a strong Jewish identity and is an activist on behalf of Israel. While in law school he collaborated with Joseph Churba, an associate and friend of Meir Kahane, founder of the racialist and anti-Western Jewish Defense League. During the late 1980s to early 1990s he wrote pro-Likud op-ed pieces in Israeli newspapers, arguing that the West Bank is part of Israel, that the Palestinians belong in Jordan, and that there should be regime change in Iraq. He also headed the CSP and was a founding member of One Jerusalem, an Israeli organization “determined to prevent any compromise with the Palestinians over the fate of any part of Jerusalem.226


He is an officer of the Foundation for Jewish Studies, which is “dedicated to fostering Jewish learning and building communities of educated and committed Jews who are conscious of and faithful to the high ideals of Judaism.”227 In 1997 Feith and his father (a member of Betar, the Zionist youth movement founded by Vladimir Jabotinsky) were given awards from the ZOA because of their work as pro-Israel activists. The ZOA is a staunch supporter of the most extreme elements within Israel. Feith’s law partner, L. Marc Zell of the firm’s Tel Aviv office, is a spokesman for the settler movement in Israel, and the firm itself is deeply involved in legal issues related to the reconstruction of Iraq, a situation that has raised eyebrows because Feith is head of reconstruction in Iraq.228


Zell was one of many neocons close to Ahmed Chalabi but abandoned his support because Chalabi had not come through on his prewar pledges regarding Israel—further evidence that aiding Israel was an important motive for the neocons. According to Zell, Chalabi “said he would end Iraq’s boycott of trade with Israel, and would allow Israeli companies to do business there. He said [the new Iraqi government] would agree to rebuild the pipeline from Mosul [in the northern Iraqi oil fields] to Haifa [the Israeli port, and the location of a major refinery].”229 Another partner in the law firm of Feith and Zell is Salem Chalabi, Ahmed Chalabi’s nephew. Salem Chalabi is in charge of the trial of Saddam Hussein.230


Abraham Shulsky


Abram Shulsky is a student of Leo Strauss, a close friend of Paul Wolfowitz both at Cornell and the University of Chicago,231 and yet another protégé of Richard Perle. He was an aide to neocon Senators Henry Jackson (along with Perle and Elliot Abrams) and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and worked in the Department of Defense in the Reagan administration. During the George W. Bush administration, he was appointed head of the Office of Special Plans under Feith and Wolfowitz. The OSP became more influential on Iraq policy than the CIA or the Defense Intelligence Agency,232 but is widely viewed by retired intelligence operatives as manipulating intelligence data on Iraq in order to influence policy.233 Reports suggest that the OSP worked closely with Israeli intelligence to paint an exaggerated picture of Iraqi capabilities in unconventional weapons.234 It is tempting to link the actions of the OSP under Shulsky with Strauss’s idea of a “noble lie” carried out by the elite to manipulate the masses, but I suppose that one doesn’t really need Strauss to understand the importance of lying in order to manipulate public opinion on behalf of Israel.


 The OSP included other neocons with no professional qualifications in intelligence but  long records of service in neoconservative think tanks and pro-Israel activist organizations, especially the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Examples include Michael Rubin, who is affiliated with AEI and is an adjunct scholar at WINEP, David Schenker, who has written books and articles on Middle East issues published by WINEP and the Middle East Quarterly (published by Daniel Pipes’ MEF, another pro-Israel activist organization), Elliott Abrams, David Wurmser, and Michael Ledeen. The OSP relied heavily on Iraqi defectors associated with Ahmed Chalabi, who, as indicated above, had a close personal relationship with Wolfowitz, Perle, and other neocons.235


Michael Ledeen


Michael Ledeen’s career illustrates the interconnectedness of the neoconservative network. Ledeen was the first executive director of JINSA (1977–1979) and remains on its board of advisors. He was hired by Richard Perle in the Defense Department during the Reagan years, and during the same period he was hired as special advisor by Wolfowitz in his role as head of the State Department Policy Planning Staff. Along with Stephen Bryen, Ledeen became a member of the China Commission during the George W. Bush administration. He was also a consultant to Abraham Shulsky’s OSP, the Defense Department organization most closely linked with the manufacture of fraudulent intelligence leading up to the Iraq War. The OSP was created by Douglas Feith, who in turn reports to Paul Wolfowitz. As noted above, he is resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at AEI.


Ledeen has been suspected of spying for Israel.236 During the Reagan years, he was regarded by the CIA as “an agent of influence of a foreign government: Israel,” and was suspected of spying for Israel by his immediate superior at the Department of Defense, Noel Koch.237 While working for the White House in 1984, Ledeen was also accused by National Security Adviser Robert C. McFarlane of participating in an unauthorized meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres that led to the proposal to funnel arms through Israel to Iran in order to free U.S. hostages being held in Lebanon—the origins of the Irangate scandal.238


Ledeen has been a major propagandist for forcing change on the entire Arab world. Ledeen’s revolutionary ideology stems not from Trotsky or Marx, but from his favorable view of Italian fascism as a universalist (nonracial) revolutionary movement.239 His book, War on the Terror Masters, is a program for complete restructuring of the Middle East by the U. S. couched in the rhetoric of universalism and moral concern, not for Israel, but for the Arab peoples who would benefit from regime change. Ledeen is a revolutionary of the right, committed to “creative destruction” of the old social order:


Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. Seeing America undo traditional societies, they fear us, for they do not wish to be undone. They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence—our existence, not our politics—threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission….


Behind all the anti-American venom from the secular radicals in Baghdad, the religious fanatics in Tehran, the minority regime in Damascus, and the multicultural kleptomaniacs in the Palestinian Authority is the knowledge that they are hated by their own people. Their power rests on terror, recently directed against us, but always, first and foremost, against their own citizens. Given the chance to express themselves freely, the Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian people would oust their current oppressors. Properly waged, our revolutionary war will give them a chance.240


Bernard Lewis


The main intellectual source for imposing democracy on the Arab world is Bernard Lewis, the Princeton historian who argues that Muslim cultures have an inferiority complex stemming from their relative decline compared to the West over the last three hundred years. (Such arguments minimize the role of Israel and U.S. support for Israel as a sourse of Arab malaise. However, there is good evidence that the motives of Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 conspirators derive much more from U.S. support for Israel than a general anti-Western animus.241) He contends that Arab societies with their antiquated, kinship-based structure can only be changed by forcing democracy on them.242 Wolfowitz has used Lewis as the intellectual underpinning of the invasion of Iraq: “Bernard has taught how to understand the complex and important history of the Middle East, and use it to guide us where we will go next to build a better world for generations to come.”243 During the 1970s Lewis was invited by Richard Perle to give a talk to Henry Jackson’s group, and, as Perle notes, “Lewis became Jackson’s guru, more or less.” Lewis also established ties with Daniel Patrick Moynihan and with Jackson’s other aides, including Wolfowitz, Abrams, and Gaffney. One of Lewis’s main arguments is that the Palestinians have no historical claim to a state because they were not a state before the British Mandate in 1918.


Lewis also argues that Arabs have a long history of consensus government, if not democracy, and that a modicum of outside force should be sufficient to democratize the area—a view that runs counter to the huge cultural differences between the Middle East and the West that stem ultimately from very different evolutionary pressures.244 Lewis, as a cultural historian, is in a poor position to understand the deep structure of the cultural differences between Europe and the Middle East. He seems completely unaware of the differences in family and kinship structure between Europe and the Middle East, and he regards the difference in attitudes toward women as a mere cultural difference rather than as a marker for an entirely different social structure.245


Lewis’s flawed beliefs about the Middle East have nevertheless been quite useful to Israel—reflecting the theme that Jewish intellectual movements have often used available intellectual resources to advance a political cause. Not only did he provide an important intellectual rationale for the war against Iraq, he is very close to governmental and academic circles in Israel—the confidant of successive Israeli Prime Ministers from Golda Meir to Ariel Sharon.246


Dick Cheney


By several accounts, Vice President Cheney had a “fever” to invade Iraq and transform the politics of the Middle East and was the leading force within the administration convincing President Bush of the need to do so.247 As with the other Jewish intellectual and political movements I have reviewed, non-Jews have been welcomed into the movement and often given highly visible roles as the movement’s public face. Among the current crop in this intellectual lineage, the most important non-Jews are Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, both of whom have close professional and personal relationships with neoconservatives that long pre-date their present power and visibility. Both Cheney and Rumsfeld have been associated with Bill Kristol’s PNAC (which advocated a unilateral war for regime change in Iraq at least as early as 1998)248 and the CSP, two neocon think tanks; Cheney was presented with the ADL’s Distinguished Statesman Award in 1993 and was described by Abraham Foxman as “sensitive to Jewish concerns.”249 When Cheney was a Congressman during the early 1980s, he attended lunches hosted for Republican Jewish leaders by the House leadership. Cheney was described by Marshall Breger, a senior official in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush  administration as “very interested in outreach and engaging the Jewish community.”250 He was also a member of JINSA, a major pro-Israel activist organization, until assuming his office as vice president.


Cheney has also had a close involvement with leading Israeli politicians, especially Natan Sharansky, Secretary of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs in the Likud government and the prime architect of the ideology that the key to peace between Israel and the Arab world, including the Palestinians, is Arab acceptance of democracy. When President Bush articulated the importance of Palestinian democracy for the Middle East peace “roadmap” in his June 2002 policy speech,


Sharansky could have written the speech himself, and, for that matter, may have had a direct hand in its drafting. The weekend prior to the speech, he spent long hours at a conference [organized by Richard Perle and] sponsored by the AEI in Aspen secluded together with Vice President Cheney and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. The Bush speech clearly represented a triumph for the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz axis in the administration over the State Department, which was eager to offer the Palestinians a provisional state immediately.”251


Both Cheney and Rumsfeld have close personal relationships with Kenneth Adelman, a former Ford and Reagan administration official.252  Adelman wrote op-ed pieces in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal in the period leading up to the war, and he, along with Wolfowitz and Irving Lewis “Scooter” Libby (Cheney’s chief of staff), were guests of Cheney for a victory celebration in the immediate aftermath of the war (April 13, 2003).253 Adelman has excellent neocon credentials. He was a member of the Committee on the Present Danger in the 1970s and UN Ambassador during the Reagan Administration, and worked under Donald Rumsfeld on three different occasions. He was a signatory to the April 3, 2002, letter of the Project for a New American Century to President Bush calling for Saddam Hussein’s ouster and increased support for Israel. The letter stated, “Israel is targeted in part because it is our friend, and in part because it is an island of liberal, democratic principles—American principles—in a sea of tyranny, intolerance, and hatred.”  The advocacy of war with Iraq was linked to advancing Israeli interests: “If we do not move against Saddam Hussein and his regime, the damage our Israeli friends and we have suffered until now may someday appear but a prelude to much greater horrors…. Israel’s fight against terrorism is our fight. Israel’s victory is an important part of our victory. For reasons both moral and strategic, we need to stand with Israel in its fight against terrorism.”254 Adelman’s wife, Carol, is affiliated with the Hudson Institute, a neoconservative think tank.


Cheney’s role in the ascendancy of the neocons in the Bush administration is particularly important: As head of the transition team, he and Libby were able to staff the subcabinet levels of the State Department (John Bolton) and the Defense Department (Wolfowitz, Feith) with key supporters of the neocon agenda. Libby is a close personal friend of Cheney whose views “echo many of Wolfowitz’s policies”; he “is considered a hawk among hawks and was an early supporter of military action against terrorism and particularly against Iraq.”255 He is Jewish and has a long history of involvement in Zionist causes and as the attorney for the notorious Marc Rich. Libby and Cheney were involved in pressuring the CIA to color intelligence reports to fit with their desire for a war with Iraq.256 Libby entered the neocon orbit when he was “captivated” while taking a political science course from Wolfowitz at Yale, and he worked under Wolfowitz in the Reagan and the Bush I administrations.257 He was the coauthor (with Wolfowitz) of the ill-fated draft of the Defense Planning Guidance document of 1992, which advocated U.S. dominance over all of Eurasia and urged preventing any other country from even contemplating challenging U.S. hegemony.258 (Cheney was Secretary of Defense at that time.) After an uproar, the document was radically altered, but this blueprint for U.S. hegemony remains central to neocon attitudes since the collapse of the Soviet Union.


Donald Rumsfeld


As noted above, Rumsfeld has deep links with neoconservative think tanks and individual Jews such as Ken Adelman, who began his career working for Rumsfeld when he headed the Office of Economic Opportunity in the Nixon administration. Another close associate is Robert A. Goldwin, a student of Leo Strauss and Rumsfeld’s deputy both at NATO and at the Gerald Ford White House; Goldwin is now resident scholar at the AEI.


Rumsfeld also has a long history of appealing to Jewish and Israeli causes. In his 1964 campaign for reelection to Congress as representative from a district on the North Shore of Chicago with an important Jewish constituency, he emphasized Soviet persecution of Jews and introduced a bill on this topic in the House. After the 1967 war, he urged the U.S. not to demand that Israel withdraw to its previous borders and he criticized delays in sending U.S. military hardware to Israel.259 More recently, as Secretary of Defense in the Bush II administration, Rumsfeld was praised by the ZOA for distancing himself from the phrase “occupied territories,” referring to them as the “so-called occupied territories.”260


Despite these links with neoconservatives and Jewish causes, Rumsfeld emerges as less an ideologue and less a passionate advocate for war with Iraq than Cheney. Robert Woodward describes him as lacking the feverish intensity of Cheney, as a dispassionate “defense technocrat” who, unlike Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Feith, would have been content if the U.S. had not gone to war with Iraq.261


Daniel Pipes


Many neoconservatives work mainly as lobbyists and propagandists. Rather than attempt to describe this massive infrastructure in its entirety, I profile Daniel Pipes as a prototypical example of the highly competent Jewish lobbyist. Pipes is the son of Richard Pipes, the Harvard professor who, as noted above, was an early neocon and an expert on the Soviet Union. He is the director of the MEF and a columnist at the New York Post and the Jerusalem Post, and appears on the Fox News Channel. Pipes is described as “An authoritative commentator on the Middle East” by the Wall Street Journal, according to the masthead of his website.262 A former official in the Departments of State and Defense, he has taught at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, and the U.S. Naval War College. He is the author of twelve books on the Middle East, Islam, and other political topics; his most recent book is Militant Islam Reaches America (published by W.W. Norton, 2002), a polemic against political Islam which argues that militant Islam is the greatest threat to the West since the Cold War. He serves on the “Special Task Force on Terrorism and Technology” at the Department of Defense, has testified before many congressional committees, and served on four presidential campaigns.


Martin Kramer is the editor of the Forum’s journal. Kramer is also affiliated with Tel Aviv University’s Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies. His book, Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America, has been a major impetus behind the recent effort to prevent criticism of Israel on college campuses. The book was warmly reviewed in the Weekly Standard, whose editor, Bill Kristol, is a member of the MEF along with Kramer.  Kristol wrote that “Kramer has performed a crucial service by exposing intellectual rot in a scholarly field of capital importance to national wellbeing.”


The MEF issues two regular quasi-academic publications, the Middle East Quarterly and the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, the latter published jointly with the United States Committee for a Free Lebanon.  The Middle East Quarterly describes itself as “a bold, insightful, and controversial publication.” A recent article on weapons of mass destruction claims that Syria “has more destructive capabilities” than Iraq or Iran. The Middle East Intelligence Bulletin “specializes in covering the seamy side of Lebanese and Syrian politics,”263 an effort aimed at depicting these regimes as worthy of forcible change by the U.S. or Israeli military. The MEF also targets universities through its campus speakers bureau, seeking to correct “inaccurate Middle Eastern curricula in American education,” by addressing “biases” and “basic errors” and providing “better information” than students can get from the many “irresponsible” professors that it believes lurk in U.S. universities.


The MEF is behind Campus Watch, an organization responsible for repressing academic discussion of Middle East issues at U.S. universities. Campus Watch compiles profiles on professors who criticize Israel: A major purpose is to “identify key faculty who teach and write about contemporary affairs at university Middle East Studies departments in order to analyze and critique the work of these specialists for errors or biases.” The MEF also develops “a network of concerned students and faculty members interested in promoting American interests on campus.”264


Again we see the rhetoric of universalism and a concern with “American interests” produced by people who are ethnically Jewish and vitally concerned with the welfare of Israel. Recently Campus Watch has decided to discontinue its dossiers because over one hundred professors asked to be included in their directory of suspicious people. Nevertheless, Campus Watch continues to print names of people whose views on the Middle East differ from theirs. The MEF, along with major Jewish activist organizations (the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, and the Anti-Defamation League), has succeeded in getting the U.S. House of Representatives to overwhelmingly approve a bill that would authorize federal monitoring of government-funded Middle East studies programs throughout U.S. universities. The bill would establish a federal tribunal to investigate and monitor criticism of Israel on American college campuses.


Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA)


Rather than profile all of the many neoconservative think tanks and lobbying groups, I will describe JINSA as a prototypical example. JINSA attempts to “educate the American public about the importance of an effective U.S. defense capability so that our vital interests as Americans can be safeguarded [and to] inform the American defense and foreign affairs community about the important role Israel can and does play in bolstering democratic interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.”265  Typical of Jewish intellectual movements is that Jewish interests are submerged in a rhetoric of American interests and ethical universalism—in this case, the idea that Israel is a beacon of democracy.


In addition to a core of prominent neoconservative Jews (Stephen D. Bryen, Douglas Feith, Max Kampelman, Michael Ledeen, Joshua Muravchik, Richard Perle, Stephen Solarz), JINSA’s advisory board includes a bevy of non-Jewish retired U.S. military officers and a variety of non-Jewish political figures (e.g., Dick Cheney) and foreign policy analysts with access to the media (e.g., Jeane Kirkpatrick) who are staunch supporters of Israel. As is typical of Jewish intellectual movements, JINSA is well funded and has succeeded in bringing in high-profile non-Jews who often act as spokesmen for its policies. For example, the former head of the Iraq occupation government, General Jay Garner, signed a JINSA letter stating that “the Israel Defense Forces have exercised remarkable restraint in the face of lethal violence orchestrated by the leadership of [the] Palestinian Authority.”


JINSA reflects the recent trend of American Jewish activist groups not simply to support Israeli policies but to support the Israeli right wing. For JINSA, “‘regime change’ by any means necessary in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority is an urgent imperative. Anyone who dissents—be it Colin Powell’s State Department, the CIA or career military officers—is committing heresy against articles of faith that effectively hold there is no difference between US and Israeli national security interests, and that the only way to assure continued safety and prosperity for both countries is through hegemony in the Middle East—a hegemony achieved with the traditional Cold War recipe of feints, force, clientism and covert action.”266 Note the exclusionary, us versus them attitude typical of the Jewish intellectual and political movements covered in The Culture of Critique.


Part of JINSA’s effectiveness comes from recruiting non-Jews who gain by increased defense spending or are willing to be spokesmen in return for fees and travel to Israel. The bulk of JINSA’s budget is spent on taking a host of retired U.S. generals and admirals to Israel, where JINSA facilitates meetings between Israeli officials and retired but still-influential U.S. flag officers. These officers then write op-ed pieces and sign letters and advertisements championing the Likudnik line. In one such statement, issued soon after the outbreak of the latest intifada, twenty-six JINSAns of retired flag rank, including many from the advisory board, struck a moralizing tone, characterizing Palestinian violence as a “perversion of military ethics” and holding that “America’s role as facilitator in this process should never yield to America’s responsibility as a friend to Israel,” because “friends don’t leave friends on the battlefield.”267 Sowing seeds for the future, JINSA also takes U.S. service academy cadets to Israel each summer and sponsors a lecture series at the Army, Navy, and Air Force academies. 


JINSA also patronizes companies in the defense industry that stand to gain by the drive for total war. “Almost every retired officer who sits on JINSA’s board of advisers or has participated in its Israel trips or signed a JINSA letter works or has worked with military contractors who do business with the Pentagon and Israel.”268  For example, JINSA advisory board members Adm. Leon Edney, Adm. David Jeremiah, and Lieut. Gen. Charles May, all retired, have served Northrop Grumman or its subsidiaries as either consultants or board members. Northrop Grumman has built ships for the Israeli Navy and sold F-16 avionics and E-2C Hawkeye planes to the Israeli Air Force, as well as the Longbow radar system to the Israeli Army for use in its attack helicopters. It also works with Tamam, a subsidiary of Israeli Aircraft Industries, to produce an unmanned aerial vehicle.


JINSA is supported not only by defense contractor money but also by deeply committed Zionists, notably Irving Moscowitz, the California bingo magnate who also provides financial support to the AEI. Moscowitz not only sends millions of dollars a year to far-right Israeli West Bank settler groups like Ateret Cohanim, he has also funded land purchases in key Arab areas around Jerusalem. Moscowitz provided the money that enabled the 1996 reopening of a tunnel under the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, which resulted in seventy deaths due to rioting. Also involved in funding JINSA is New York investment banker Lawrence Kadish, who also contributes to Republican causes. Again, we see the effects of the most committed Jews. People like  Moscowitz  have an enormous effect because they use their wealth to advance their people’s interests, a very common pattern among wealthy Jews.269


The integration of JINSA with the U.S. defense establishment can be seen in the program for its 2001 Jackson Award Dinner, an annual event named after Senator Henry Jackson that draws an “A-list” group of politicians and defense celebrities. At the dinner were representatives of U.S. defense industries (the dinner was sponsored by Boeing), as well as the following Defense Department personnel: Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz; Under Secretary of Defense Dov Zakheim (an ordained rabbi); Assistant Secretary of the Navy John Young; Dr. Bill Synder, the Chairman of the Defense Science Board; the Honorable Mark Rosenker, Senior Military Advisor to the President; Admiral William Fallon, Vice Chief of Naval Operations; General John Keane, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army; General Michael Williams, Vice Commandant of the Marines; Lieutenant General Lance Lord, Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Also present were a large number of U.S. flag and general officers who were alumni of JINSA trips to Israel, as well as assorted Congressmen, a U.S. Senator, and a variety of Israeli military and political figures. The 2002 Jackson Award Dinner, sponsored by Northrup Grumman, honored Paul Wolfowitz. Dick Cheney was a previous recipient of the award.


JINSA is a good illustration of the point that whatever the deeply held beliefs of the non-Jews who are involved in the neoconservative movement, financial motives and military careerism are also of considerable importance—a testimony to the extent to which neoconservatism has permeated the political and military establishments of the United States. A similar statement could be made about the deep influence of neoconservatism among intellectuals generally.




The current situation in the United States is really an awesome display of Jewish power and influence. People who are very strongly identified as Jews maintain close ties to Israeli politicians and military figures and to Jewish activist organizations and pro-Israeli lobbying groups while occupying influential policy-making positions in the defense and foreign policy establishment. These same people, as well as a chorus of other prominent Jews, have routine access to the most prestigious media outlets in the United States. People who criticize Israel are routinely vilified and subjected to professional abuse.270


Perhaps the most telling feature of this entire state of affairs is the surreal fact that in this entire discourse Jewish identity is not mentioned. When Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Michael Rubin, William Safire, Robert Satloff, or the legions of other prominent media figures write their reflexively pro-Israel pieces in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, or the Los Angeles Times, or opine on the Fox News Network, there is never any mention that they are Jewish Americans who have an intense ethnic interest in Israel. When Richard Perle authors a report for an Israeli think tank; is on the board of directors of an Israeli newspaper; maintains close personal ties with prominent Israelis, especially those associated with the Likud Party; has worked for an Israeli defense company; and, according to credible reports, was discovered by the FBI passing classified information to Israel—when, despite all of this, he is a central figure in the network of those pushing for wars to rearrange the entire politics of the Middle East in Israel’s favor, and with nary a soul having the courage to mention the obvious overriding Jewish loyalty apparent in Perle’s actions, that is indeed a breathtaking display of power.


One must contemplate the fact that American Jews have managed to maintain unquestioned support for Israel over the last thirty-seven years, despite Israel’s seizing land and engaging in a brutal suppression of the Palestinians in the occupied territories—an occupation that will most likely end with expulsion or complete subjugation, degradation, and apartheid. During the same period Jewish organizations in America have been a principal force—in my view the main force—for transforming America into a state dedicated to suppressing ethnic identification among Europeans, for encouraging massive multiethnic immigration into the U.S., and for erecting a legal system and cultural ideology that is obsessively sensitive to the complaints and interests of non-European ethnic minorities—the culture of the Holocaust.271 All this is done without a whisper of double standards in the aboveground media.


I have also provided a small glimpse of the incredible array of Jewish pro-Israel activist organizations, their funding, their access to the media, and their power over the political process. Taken as a whole, neoconservatism is an excellent illustration of the key traits behind the success of Jewish activism: ethnocentrism, intelligence and wealth, psychological intensity, and aggressiveness.272 Now imagine a similar level of organization, commitment, and funding directed toward changing the U.S. immigration system put into law in 1924 and 1952, or inaugurating the revolution in civil rights, or the post-1965 countercultural revolution: In the case of the immigration laws we see the same use of prominent non-Jews to attain Jewish goals, the same access to the major media, and the same ability to have a decisive influence on the political process by establishing lobbying organizations, recruiting non-Jews as important players, funneling financial and media support to political candidates who agree with their point of view, and providing effective leadership in government.273 Given this state of affairs, one can easily see how Jews, despite being a tiny minority of the U.S. population, have been able to transform the country to serve their interests. It’s a story that has been played out many times in Western history, but the possible effects now seem enormous, not only for Europeans but literally for everyone on the planet, as Israel and its hegemonic ally restructure the politics of the world.


History also suggests that anti-Jewish reactions develop as Jews increase their control over other peoples.274 As always, it will be fascinating to observe the dénouement.




I thank Samuel Francis for very helpful comments on the paper. I am also grateful to an expert on Leo Strauss for his comments—many of which were incorporated in the section on Leo Strauss. Unfortunately, at his request, he must remain anonymous. Finally, thanks to Theodore O’Keefe for his meticulous editorial work and his monumental patience.


Kevin MacDonald is Professor of Psychology, California State University (Long Beach), and the author of A People That Shall Dwell Alone (1994), Separation and Its Discontents (1998), and The Culture of Critique (1998), all published by Praeger.


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1. MacDonald 2003a.

2. MacDonald 2003b.

3. MacDonald 1998/2002.

4. Muravchik (2003) describes and critiques the idea of Trotsky’s influence among neoconservatives.

5. Steinlight 2004.

6. Friedman 2002; Young Jewish Leadership Political Action Committee (http://yjlpac.org/dc/fyi.htm).

7. Kessler 2004.

8. Horrigan, “Bush increases margins with AIPAC.” United Press International, May 18, 2004.


9. See  Buchanan 2004.

10. Buchanan 2004.

11. B. Wattenberg interview with Richard Perle, PBS, November 14, 2002 (www.pbs.org/thinktank/transcript1017.html). The entire relevant passage from the interview follows. Note Perle’s odd argument that it was not in Israel’s interest that the U.S. invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein posed a much greater threat to Israel than the U.S.

Ben Wattenberg: As this argument has gotten rancorous, there is also an undertone that says that these neoconservative hawks, that so many of them are Jewish. Is that valid and how do you handle that?

Richard Perle: Well, a number are. I see Trent Lott there and maybe that’s Newt Gingrich, I’m not sure, but by no means uniformly.

Ben Wattenberg: Well, and of course the people who are executing policy, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Connie Rice, they are not Jewish at last report.
Richard Perle: No, they’re not. Well, you’re going to find a disproportionate number of Jews in any sort of intellectual undertaking.

Ben Wattenberg: On both sides.

Richard Perle: On both sides. Jews gravitate toward that and I’ll tell you if you balance out the hawkish Jews against the dovish ones, then we are badly outnumbered, badly outnumbered. But look, there’s clearly an undertone of anti-Semitism about it. There’s no doubt.
Ben Wattenberg: Well, and the linkage is that this war on Iraq if it comes about would help Israel and that that’s the hidden agenda, and that’s sort of the way that works.
Richard Perle: Well, sometimes there’s an out and out accusation that if you take the view that I take and some others take towards Saddam Hussein, we are somehow motivated not by the best interest of the United States but by Israel’s best interest. There’s not a logical argument underpinning that. In fact, Israel is probably more exposed and vulnerable in the context of a war with Saddam than we are because they’re right next door. Weapons that Saddam cannot today deliver against us could potentially be delivered against Israel. And for a long time the Israelis themselves were very reluctant to take on Saddam Hussein. I’ve argued this issue with Israelis. But it’s a nasty line of argument to suggest that somehow we’re confused about where our loyalties are.

Ben Wattenberg: It’s the old dual loyalty argument.

12. Chalabi’s status with the neocons is in flux because of doubts about his true allegiances. See Dizard 2004.

13. MacDonald 1998/2002, Chs. 3, 7; Klehr 1978, 40; Liebman 1979, 527ff; Neuringer 1980, 92; Rothman & Lichter 1982, 99; Svonkin 1997, 45, 51, 65, 71–72.

14. Lindemann 1997, 433.

15. Wrezin 1994.

16. MacDonald 1998/2002, Ch. 7; Hollinger 1996, 158.

17. In Hook 1987, 215. For information on Lubin, see: http://centaur.vri.cz/news/prilohy/pril218.htm.

18. Mann 2004, 197.

19. “Not in the Newsroom: CanWest, Global, and Freedom of Expression in Canada.” Canadian Journalists for Free Expression: www.cjfe.org/specials/canwest/canw2.html; April 2002.

20. Bamford 2004, 281.

21. Moore 2004.

22. In B. Lamb interview of Judith Miller on Bootnotes.org, June 17, 1990. www.booknotes.org/Transcript/?ProgramID=1008.

23. The Times and Iraq. New York Times, May 26, 2004, A10. Okrent (2004) notes that the story was effectively buried by printing it on p. A10.

24. Okrent 2004.

25. See examples in MacDonald 1998/2002, Preface to the first paperback edition.

26. Tifft & Jones 1999, 38.

27. MacDonald 2003b; Massing 2002.

28. Massing 2002.

29. Cockburn 2003.

30. Cockburn 2003.

31. Massing 2002.

32. Jerusalem Report, May 5, 2003. http://www.adl.org/anti_semitism/as_simple.asp

33.ADL Urges Senator Hollings to Disavow Statements on Jews and the Iraq War. ADL press release, May 14, 2004; www.adl.org/PresRele/ASUS_12/4496_12.htm.  These sentiments were shortly followed by a similar assessment by the American Board of Rabbis which “drafted a resolution demanding that Senator Hollings immediately resign his position in the Senate, and further demanded that the Democratic Party condemn Hollings’ blatant and overt anti-Semitism, as well” (USA Today, May 24, 2004) www.capwiz.com/usatoday/bio/userletter/?letter_id=92235631&content_dir=congressorg; the American Board of Rabbis is an Orthodox Jewish group that regards Sharon’s policies as too lenient and advocates assassination of all PLO leaders: see www.angelfire.com/ny2/abor/  An article of mine on this issue (MacDonald 2003c), published by Vdare.com, was also said to be “anti-Semitic” by the Southern Poverty Law Center: “Civil rights group condemns work of CSULB professor”; Daily Forty-Niner (California State University–Long Beach) 54(119), May 16, 2004. www.csulb.edu/~d49er/archives/2004/spring/news/volLIVno119-civil.shtml

34. Daily Google-News searches from May 6, 2004 to May 29, 2004. During this period, several articles on the topic appeared in the Forward, and there were articles in the Baltimore Jewish Times and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Summary articles written in the Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz more than three weeks after the incident focused on anxiety among American Jews that Jews would be blamed for the Iraq war. (J. Zacharia, “Jews fear being blamed for Iraq war,” Jerusalem Post, May 29, 2004; N. Guttman, Prominent U.S. Jews, Israel blamed for start of Iraq War,” Ha'aretzMay 31, 2004).There were no articles on this topic in Hollinger-owned media in the United States.

36. Morris 2003. 

37. Goldberg 2003; Kaplan 2003; Lind 2003; Wald 2003.

38. Francis 2004, 9.

39. In Francis 2004, 9.

40. Buchanan 2003.

41. Muravchik 2003.

42. See MacDonald 1998/2002, Ch. 4.

43. North 2003.

44. In Drucker 1994, 25.

45. Cannon was not Jewish but lived his life in a very Jewish milieu. He was married to Rose Karsner.

46. Drucker 1994, 43; “A younger, Jewish Trotskyist milieu began to form around him in New York” (35).

47. In Drucker 1994, 43.

48.  Francis 1999, 52.

49. Drucker 219.

50. Drucker, 261.

51. Drucker, 179.

52. Drucker, 288.

53. In Drucker, 305.

54. Vann 2003.

55. A short history of the Socialist Party USA. http://sp-usa.org/spri/sp_usa_history.htm As with everything else, there was an evolution of their views on Zionism. The Shachtmanite journal, the New International, published two articles by Hal Draper (1956, 1957) that were quite critical of Israel; this journal ceased publication in 1958 when the Shachtmanites merged with the Socialist Party USA.

56. Brenner 1997.

57. Massing 1987.

58. This led to the resignations of many and the eventual reconstruction of the Socialist Party USA with the left wing of the former organization.

59. Sims 1992, 46ff.; Massing 1987. 

60. Sims 1992, 46.

61. Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, AEI biography: www.aei.org/scholars/filter.all,scholarID.32/scholar2.asp

62. Kaufman 2000, 296

63. Forward, August 20, 1999.

64. C. Gershman. A democracy strategy for the Middle East. www.ned.org/about/carl/dec1203.html; Dec. 12, 2003.

65. C. Gershman. After the bombings: My visit to Turkey and Istanbul’s Jewish community. www.ned.org/about/carl/dec2703.html Dec. 27, 2003.

66. Massing 1987.

67. Paul 2003.

68. For democracy in Iraq and the Middle East. Resolution of January 2003. http://www.socialdemocrats.org/Iraq.html.

69. Muravchik 2002.

70. M. Kampelman. Trust the United Nations? Undated; available at www.socialdemocrats.org/kampelmanhtml.html as of May 2004. The article has the following description of Kampelman: Max M. Kampelman was counselor of the State Department; U.S. ambassador to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe; and ambassador and U.S. negotiator with the Soviet Union on Nuclear and Space Arms. He is now chairman emeritus of Freedom House; the American Academy of Diplomacy; and the Georgetown University Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.

71. Ehrman 1995.

72. Schlesinger 1947, 256.

73. Hook 1987, 432–460; Ehrman, 47.

74. Ehrman, 50.

75. Tucker (1999) later argued that the United States should avoid the temptations of dominion in a unipolar world. It should attempt to spread democracy by example rather than force, and should achieve broad coalitions for its foreign policy endeavors.

76. Gerson 1996, 161–162.

77. Kristol 2003.

78. See Ehrman 1995, 63–96. Moynihan was especially close to Norman Podhoretz, editor of Commentary, who was Moynihan’s “unofficial advisor and writer” during his stint as UN ambassador (Ehrman 1995, 84).

79. Moynihan 1975/1996.

80. Miele 2002, 36–38.

81. Moynihan 1975/1996, 96.

82. See MacDonald 1998/2004, Ch. 5; MacDonald 2003.

83. See MacDonald 1998/2004, Ch. 5; MacDonald 2003. 

84. Patai & Patai 1989. See discussion in MacDonald 1998/2004, Ch. 7.

85. Gerson 1996, 162.

86. Wisse 1981/1996.

87. Wisse 1981/1996, 192.

88. Wisse 1981/1996, 193.

89. Wisse 1981/1996, 193.

90. Wisse singles out Arthur Hertzberg as an example of an American Jew critical of Begin’s government. Hertzberg continues to be a critic of Israeli policies, especially of the settlement movement. In a New York Times op-ed piece “The price of not keeping peace” of August, 27, 2003, Hertzberg urges the United States to cease funding the expansion of Jewish settlements while also preventing the Palestinians' access to foreign funds used for violence against Israel:

The United States must act now to disarm each side of the nasty things that they can do to each other. We must end the threat of the settlements to a Palestinian state of the future. The Palestinian militants must be forced to stop threatening the lives of Israelis, wherever they may be. A grand settlement is not in sight, but the United States can lead both parties to a more livable, untidy accommodation.

91. Reviewed in MacDonald 2003.

92. See Friedman 1995, 257ff.

93. Friedman 1995, 72.

94. MacDonald, in press. In recent years mainstream Jewish groups such as the AJCommittee have supported some forms of affirmative action, as in the recent University of Michigan of 2003 case.

95. Glazer 1969, 36.

96. Friedman 1995, 230.

97. Liebman 1979, 561; MacDonald 1998/2002, Ch. 3.

98. Ehrman 1995, 38.

99. Ehrman 43.

100. Ehrman, 46

101. Ehrman, 174.

102. Francis 2004, 7.

103. Francis 2004, 9.

104. Francis 2004, 11–12.

105. MacDonald 1998/2002, preface to the paperback edition and Ch. 7.

106. Wattenberg 1984, 84.

107. Pipes 2001; see also Pipes’ Middle East Forum website: http://www.meforum.org/; Steinlight 2001, 2004.

108. In Buchanan 2004.

109. Ibid.

110. Ehrman, 62.

111. In Kaufman 2000, 13.

112. Kaufman 2000, 263.

113. Kaufman 2000, 47.

114. Kaufman 2000, 295. Kaufman footnotes the last assertion with a reference to an interview with Daniel Patrick Moynihan, July 28, 1996.

115. Hersh 1982.

116. Kaufman 2000, 172; Waldman 2004.

117. Z. Brzezinski, in Kaufman 2000, 351.

118. Kaufman 2000, 374. Despite his strong support for Israel, Jackson drew the line at support for the Likud Party, which came into power in 1977 with the election of Menachem Begin. Whereas the Likud policy has been to seize as much of the West Bank as possible and relegate the Palestinians to isolated, impotent Bantustan-like enclaves, Jackson favored full sovereignty for the Palestinians on the West Bank, except for national security and foreign policy.

119. Kaufman 2000, 375.

120. Moynihan was expelled from the movement in 1984 because he softened his foreign policy line (Ehrman 1995, 170).

121. Kaufman 2000, 308.

122. Ehrman 1995, 95.

123. Diggins 2004.

124. Kaufman 2000, 446.

125. Ibid., 447.

126. It’s interesting that Commentary continued to write of a Soviet threat even after the fall of the Soviet Union, presumably because they feared a unipolar world in which Israel could not be portrayed as a vital ally of the United States (Ehrman 1995, 175–176).

127. Ehrman 1995, 181.

128. Ehrman 1995, 182.

129. Kirkpatrick 1979/1996.

130. Ibid., 71.

131. MacDonald 2002.

132. Ehrman 1995, 192.

133. Ehrman 1995, 197.

134. Lobe 2003a.

135. Strauss 1962/1994. 

136. Ibid., 44.

137. Dannhauser 1996, 160.

138. Dannhauser 1996, 169–170; italics in text. Dannhauser concludes the passage by noting, “I know for I am one of them.” Dannhauser poses the Athens/Jerusalem dichotomy as a choice between “the flatland of modern science, especially social science, and the fanaticism in the Mea Shaarim section of Jerusalem (incidentally, I would prefer the latter)” (p. 160).

139. Strauss 1962/1994;Tarcov & Pangle 1987; Holmes 1993, 61–87.

140. Holmes 1993, 63.

141. In Jaffa 1999, 44.

142. Himmelfarb (1974, 61): “There are many excellent teachers. They have students. Strauss had disciples.” Levine 1994, 354: “This group has the trappings of a cult. After all, there is a secret teaching and the extreme seriousness of those who are ‘initiates.’” See also Easton 2000, 38; Drury 1997, 2.  

143. Strauss 1952, 36.

144. Drury 1997; Holmes 1993; Tarcov & Pangle 1987, 915. Holmes summarizes this thesis as follows (74): “The good society, on this model, consists of the sedated masses, the gentlemen rulers, the promising puppies, and the philosophers who pursue knowledge, manipulate the gentlemen, anesthetize the people, and housebreak the most talented young.”

145. Easton 2000, 45, 183.

146. Holmes 1993, 74.

147. Levine 1994, 366.

148. Strauss 1952, Ch. 2.

149. MacDonald 1998/2002.

150. See MacDonald 1998/2002, Ch. 7.

151. MacDonald 1998/2002, passim.

152. Massing 1987.

153. Hook 1987, 46.

154. Hook 1987, 123.

155. Hook 1987, 179.

156. Hook 1987, 244.

157. Hook 1987, 246.

158. Hook 1987, 598.

159. Muravchik 2002.

160. Hook 1987, 600.

161. Hook 1989.

162. MacDonald 1998/2002, Ch. 6.

163. Hook 1987, 420: Anti-Semitism in the USSR “had a sobering effect upon intellectuals of Jewish extraction, who had been disproportionately represented among dissidents and radicals.”

164. Hook 1989, 480–481.

165. Saba 1984.

166. Green 2004.

167. Saba 1984; Green 2004.

168. Dershowitz 1994; Jones 1996. 

169. Green 2004.

170. Frum & Perle 2003.

171. Krauthammer. Democratic realism: An American foreign policy for a unipolar world. Irving Kristol lecture at the American Enterprise Institute, Feb. 10, 2004.

172. Ibid.

173. See MacDonald 1998/2002, Chaps. 7, 8.

174. Krauthammer. He tarries: Jewish messianism and the Oslo peace. Lecture given at Bar-Ilan University, June 10, 2002; www.biu.ac.il/Spokesman/Krauthammer-text.html; see also Jerusalem Post, June 11, 2002.

175. See MacDonald 2003a, 2003b.

176. Krauthammer 2002.

177. Krauthammer 2004a.

178. Mann 2004, 23.

179. Hirsh 2003.

180. Mann 2004, 23, 30.

181. Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz interview with Sam Tannenhaus of Vanity Fair, May 9, 2003. United States Department of Defense News Transcript.


182. Ephron & Lipper 2002.

183. Curtiss 2003.

184. Locke 2002.

185. Locke 2002.

186. Bellow 2000, 27.

187. Bellow 2000, 56.

188. Bellow 2000, 103.

189. Bellow 2000, 101.

190. Cuddihy 1974. See Bellow 2000, 57–58.

191. Bellow 2000, 174.

192. Bellow 2000, 61. 

193. Bellow 2000, 178–179.

194. Bellow 2000, 179.

195. Bellow 2000, 58.

196. Keller 2002.

197. Green 2004.

198. Ibid., 139–164.

199. Woodward 2004, 21.

200. Mann 2004, 302.

201. Clarke 2004, 32.

202. Christison & Christison 2003.

203. Ibid.

204. Muravchik 2003.

205. Mann 2004, 170; see also 79–81; 113. 

206. Perle interview on BBC’s Panorama, in Lobe 2003c. 

207. Findley 1989, 160; Green 2004.

208. Hilzenrath 2004.

209. Oberg 2003.

210. Brownfield 2003.

211. Muravchik, 2003.

212. Hilzenrath 2004.

213. A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm. Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies Report, 1996. http://www.iasps.org/; see: www.israeleconomy.org/strat1.htm.

214. Yinon 1982.

215. Wilson 2004, 484; Wilson suggests that Scooter Libby or Elliott Abrams revealed that his wife, Valerie Plame was a CIA agent in retaliation for Wilson’s failure to find evidence supporting purchase of material for nuclear weapons by Iraq.

216. Hersh 2004.

217. Lobe 2002b.

218. Ehrman 1995, 139.

219. Besharov & Sullivan 1996, 21; Besharov apparently did not take a position as moderator of a debate between Elliott Abrams and Seymour Martin Lipset on whether the American Jewish community could survive only as a religious community (the Diamondback, student newspaper at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, Dec. 9, 1997; www.inform.umd.edu/News/Diamondback/1997-editions/12-December-editions/971209-Tuesday/NWS-Flagship). Another prominent neocon, Ben Wattenberg, who is a senior fellow at AEI, is very upbeat about interracial marriage and immigration generally—the better to create a “universal nation” (Wattenberg 2001). Wattenberg’s article notes, with no apparent concern, that Jews have high rates of intermarriage as well.

220. Abrams 1997, ix.

221. See MacDonald 1998/2002, preface to the First Paperback Edition and chap. 7.

222. Abrams 1997, 188.

223. Risen 2004.

224. Kwiatkowski 2004b.  

225. Kwiatkowski 2004a.

226. Bamford 2004, 279.

228. Kamen 2003.

229. Dizard 2004. Dizard notes:

Why did the neocons put such enormous faith in Ahmed Chalabi, an exile with a shady past and no standing with Iraqis? One word: Israel. They saw the invasion of Iraq as the precondition for a reorganization of the Middle East that would solve Israel’s strategic problems, without the need for an accommodation with either the Palestinians or the existing Arab states. Chalabi assured them that the Iraqi democracy he would build would develop diplomatic and trade ties with Israel, and eschew Arab nationalism. Now some influential allies believe those assurances were part of an elaborate con, and that Chalabi has betrayed his promises on Israel while cozying up to Iranian Shia leaders.

230. Friends of Israel are turning up in the strangest places. American Conservative, May 24, 2004, 19.

231. Mann 2004, 75.

232. Kwiatkowski 2004b. Hersh 2003: “‘They [the CIA] see themselves as outsiders,’ a former C.I.A. expert who spent the past decade immersed in Iraqi-exile affairs said of the Special Plans people.”

233. Lobe 2003c.

234. Marshall 2004: “Shlomo Brom, a former Israeli intelligence officer now at the Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, has confirmed that Israeli intelligence played a major role in bolstering the administration’s case for attacking Iraq. The problem, Brom maintains, is that the information was not reliable.”

235. E.g., Hersh 2003; Bamford 2004.

236. See Green 2004.

237. Green 2004.

238. Milstein 1991.

239. Laughland 2003.

240. Ledeen 2002.

241. See Bamford 2004, 96–101, 138–145.

242. Waldman 2004.

243. Waldman 2004.

244. See MacDonald 2002.

245. Lewis 2002.

246. Waldman 2004.

247. Woodward 2004, 416

248. PNAC Letter to President Clinton, Jan. 26, 1998 www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm;  PNAC Letter to Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, May 29, 1998 www.newamericancentury.org/iraqletter1998.htm

249. Samber 2000.

250. Ibid.

251. Rosenblum 2002. See also Milbank 2002. In a later column, Rosenblum (2003) noted,

Now [Sharansky] delivered the same message to Cheney: No matter how many conditions Bush placed on the creation of a Palestinian state under Arafat, any such announcement would constitute a reward for two years of non-stop terror against Israeli civilians. The normally laconic Cheney shot to attention when he heard these words. ‘But your own government has already signed off on this,’ he told Sharansky, confirming the latter’s worst suspicions. Sharansky nevertheless repeated, as Cheney scribbled notes, that without the removal of Arafat and the entire junta from Tunis, the creation of an atmosphere in which Palestinians could express themselves without fear of reprisal, and the cessation of incitement against Israel in the Palestinian schools and media peace is impossible. President Bush’s upcoming speech had already undergone 30 drafts at that point. It was about to undergo another crucial shift based on Sharansky’s conversation with Cheney. Two days later, on June 24, 2002, President Bush announced at the outset, ‘Peace requires a new and different Palestinian leadership.’ He did not mention Yasir Arafat once.

252. Drew 2003. 

253. Woodward 2004, 409–412.

254. www.newamericancentury.org/Bushletter-040302.htm; other signatories include William Kristol, Gary Bauer, Jeffrey Bell, William J. Bennett, Ellen Bork, Linda Chavez, Eliot Cohen, Midge Decter, Thomas Donnelly, Nicholas Eberstadt, Hillel Fradkin, Frank Gaffney, Jeffrey Gedmin, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Charles Hill, Bruce P. Jackson, Donald Kagan, Robert Kagan, John Lehman, Tod Lindberg, Rich Lowry, Clifford May, Joshua Muravchik, Martin Peretz, Richard Perle, Daniel Pipes, Norman Podhoretz, Stephen P. Rosen, Randy Scheunemann, Gary Schmitt, William Schneider, Jr., Marshall Wittmann, R. James Woolsey.

255. United States National Security Background Guide; University of Chicago: Chicago Model United Nations VI, Feb. 13, 2001; http://chomun.uchicago.edu/committees/NSC_back.pdf


256. Pincus & Priest 2003; Bamford 2004, 368–370.

257. Keller 2002; see also Woodward 2004, 48.

258. Lobe 2002a; Mann 2004, 208–210.

259. Decter 2003, 41–43.

260. ZOA news release, Aug. 7, 2002. ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said:  “Israel has the greater historical, legal, and moral right to Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.  At the very least, those areas should be called disputed territories, not occupied territories, since the term ‘occupied’ clearly suggests that the ‘occupier’ has no right to be there.  We strongly applaud Secretary Rumsfeld's courageous and principled stance in distancing himself from the ‘occupied territory’ fallacy.” www.zoa.org/pressrel2002/20020807a.htm.

261. Woodward 2004, 416.

263. Whitaker 2002.

266. Vest 2002.

267. Vest ibid.

268. Vest ibid.

269. See MacDonald 2003a.

270. Findley 1989; MacDonald 2003a.

271. See MacDonald 1998/2002, preface.

272. MacDonald 2003a.

273. MacDonald, 1998/2002, chap. 7.

274. MacDonald 1998/2004.



This is how the ‘Court Jews’ have been strategically placed into power families over millennia.

Reflections on Jewish Intermarriage into Native Elites


“I want to thank my Jewish daughter. I have a Jewish daughter. This wasn’t in the plan but I’m very glad it happened.” – Donald Trump, February 2015.

(ILLUSTRATION: Donald Trump’s Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner)


by Andrew Joyce


AS DISCUSSION CONTINUES among White advocates over the Trump candidacy, I haven’t failed to notice that perhaps the most persistent criticism of Trump from our ranks has been his strong links to Jews, in particular his familial ties to Jewish blood. There’s certainly some substance to this. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, has adopted the Jewish religion as her own and has been married to Jewish real estate speculator Jared Kushner since 2009. Both of Donald Trump’s grandchildren are Jewish. Looking into the situation in more detail, I was intrigued to discover that Ivanka’s previous two significant relationships were also with Jews, Greg Hirsch and James Gubelmann. Of further note is Ivanka’s very close friendship with Chelsea Clinton, another progeny of the American power elite, who married the Jewish financier Marc Mezvinsky in 2010. The Trump and Clinton situations are excellent examples of the centuries-old practice of strategic Jewish intermarriage with native elites, and this phenomenon deserves some focused attention.


Jewish intermarriage into non-Jewish power elites is a significant but under-researched aspect of Jewish strategies to maintain and expand influence. At first sight, of course, it appears paradoxical. A major part of the Jewish group evolutionary strategy is concerned with segregation of the gene pool and preventing high levels of genetic admixture from surrounding groups. Judaism has historically been replete with social and cultural controls designed to minimize contact with non-Jews, and therefore greatly inhibit admixture. Additionally, converts are dissuaded and scorned in Judaism in a manner quite without parallel in any other religious culture. However, as Kevin MacDonald has noted in A People That Shall Dwell Alone (2002, hereafter PTSDA), conversion and admixture were permissible, if not eagerly sought, when such an admixture was very small and offered significant net benefits to the group. Similarly, at the opposite end of the Jewish strategic ghetto, controls were also far from airtight — the most sincere Jewish apostates to Christianity tended to be overwhelmingly poor and obscure, and were little mourned by the group at large. The eugenic benefits of pursuing such a strategy are obvious.


Even in ancient times there is evidence that “some gentile-derived genes were being selected for their effects on resource-obtaining abilities within the Jewish community (PTSDA, 41).” By targeting the rich and powerful for intermarriage, Jews could obtain significant and immediate material resources, an improvement in social status, and also useful genetic material. Though very few in number, ancient converts, and their more celebrated modern counterparts, have been disproportionately intelligent and successful. MacDonald writes that It is possible that even this relatively small genetic admixture from surrounding populations could be adaptive for a strategizing group because the group would benefit from new genetic combinations, e.g. intelligence, greater phenotypic similarity etc…Evidence in favor of this hypothesis would be that Jewish proselytism, while highly limited and restricted, has been more successful among wealthy, intelligent, and talented individuals and that this pattern was actively encouraged by the Jewish community (PTSDA, Chapter 2, 41).[1]


Earlier this year Princeton University Press published Todd Endelman’s Leaving the Fold: Conversion and Radical Assimilation in Modern Jewish History. Endelman’s work purports to examine phenomena like intermarriage and conversion but, typically for mainstream Jewish scholarship, it neglects to engage in any real sense with aspects of these phenomena that reflect less favorably on Jewish culture, particularly the nature of elite-level intermarriage. However, there are a few useful snippets of information that offer substantiation for MacDonald’s observations. Those Jews who drifted into the non-Jewish gene pool were indeed, according to Endelman, “swindlers, drunkards, whores, schlemiels, schlemazels, nudniks, and no-goodniks” whose “social, cultural, and even moral level was low.”[2] By contrast, those non-Jews welcomed into the Jewish fold were from the very highest social levels, and the efforts taken to entice young princes, landowners, or heirs of industry to take Jewish wives were remarkable for their long-term, premeditated nature. Endelman remarks on census data from Berlin, covering the period 1770–1826, which indicates that elite Berlin Jews were utilizing baptism as “a long-term strategy to make their daughters eligible for eventual intermarriage.”[3]

article-2600615-1CF81D5C00000578-766_634x474Chelsea Clinton and her Jewish husband Marc Mezvinsky with Bill Clinton

Of course, the most significant barrier to Jewish attempts to intermarry with the non-Jewish elite were the religious aspects of marriage, and the requirement that Jews convert to Christianity before being permitted to take a Christian spouse. This barrier only began to weaken in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, beginning in the German-speaking lands where some of the aforementioned leading Jewish families began baptizing their daughters in long-term strategies for intermarriage with the Prussian elite, the Junkers. By the late 1700s many of the Junkers had fallen on hard times financially, due in large part to Jewish predation. The same period witnessed a boom in the wealth of Jewish bankers. Deborah Hertz writes in Jewish High Society in Old Regime Berlin that “discrete private loans to those who could afford the high interest rates was one way that the Jewish bankers increased the wealth they acquired in the Seven Year’s War.”[4] Indebted nobles began frequenting the homes of their Jewish creditors, either to make payments or plead for extensions. It was in these circumstances that the first fraternization began between the Prussian nobility and the daughters of the Jewish elite. There is even some suggestion that nobles were heavily pressured, via their debts, to take Jewish wives for easier terms. For example, Hannah Arendt argued that intermarriages between the Prussian nobility and Jewish women were simply “a continuation of the creditor-debtor exchanges of the earlier years.”[5] Eventually this mode of contact evolved into the “salon” culture, in which soirées were staged and hosted by Jewish financial magnates with the specific purpose of encouraging the mixing of the Prussia nobility and selected Jewesses.[6]


Civil marriage wasn’t introduced in Prussia until 1874. Until then there were a considerable number of insincere conversions that facilitated intermarriage but failed to disguise the fact that the Jewish wives of the Prussian nobility continued to carry on Jewish lives. Hertz describes the Jewish families as “socially opportunistic” strategizers who were motivated by “status-hungry desires” and “craved the higher positions possessed by Christians.”[7] The vast majority of Jewish women who married into the Junker class derived many of the social benefits now attached to their status in non-Jewish society, while retaining “strong ties to friends and relatives who remained Jewish.”[8] The flurry of Jewish intermarriages into the Prussian elite only began to ebb away around 1813, when Prussian society witnessed a backlash against the encroachment, and a number of “anti-Semitic” salons were established.[9]Many of the salon women were treated with scathing disdain by those members of the elite who resented the Jewish incursion. For example, Wilhelm von Humboldt, the Prussia philosopher and diplomat, once described salon star Rahel Levin as a “monster.” And when Levin married Karl August Varnhagen von Ense, the cream of the Prussian elite, von Humboldt asked a friend whether “there was anything a Jew could not achieve.’”[10]



Although the salons of Prussia and Paris facilitated the extension and deepening of Jewish influence, no nineteenth-century native elite was subjected to Jewish penetration as strongly as the British aristocracy. In 1936 England’s Arnold Leese, a former military veterinarian and leader of a small Fascist group, published a pamphlet titled Our Jewish Aristocracy: A Revelation. At the outset of the publication, Leese wrote that he wished to impress upon his fellow Britons that “their race is being displaced and replaced, and without notice to any individual.” Compared with our contemporary situation, Leese couldn’t even imagine what genuine displacement and replacement would actually look like. However, what Leese did manage to produce was a valuable, though imperfect, piece of research that made a convincing case for the argument that the British elite was being slowly displaced and replaced with Jewish genes. My careful re-examination of his lengthy list of British nobles with Jewish ancestry indicates that Leese made a handful of errors, but the majority of those listed were indeed related to Jews by blood or marriage.


In his classic work, The Jews (1922), Hilaire Belloc wrote that Jewish intermarriage into the British elite was more “subtle and penetrating” than even the Jewish acquisition of key positions in the institutions of the State. Belloc stated that:


Marriages began to take place, wholesale, between what had once been the aristocratic territorial families of this country and the Jewish commercial fortunes. After two generations of this, with the opening of the twentieth century those of the great territorial English families in which there was no Jewish blood were the exception. In nearly all of them was the strain more or less marked, in some of them so strong that though the name was still an English name and the traditions those of a purely English lineage of the long past, the physique and character had become wholly Jewish and the members of the family were taken for Jews whenever they travelled in countries where the gentry had not yet suffered or enjoyed this admixture (223).


The two main reasons for the more extensive Jewish penetration of the British aristocracy were the earlier introduction of civil marriage, and the admission of Jews to the hereditary peerage on a par with the native elite (beginning with Nathan Mayer Rothschild in 1884). Endelman writes that in Britain, “marriage without a religious ceremony became legal in 1837, and in 1839 Hannah de Rothschild (1815–1864), daughter of the founder of the English branch of the banking clan, married Henry FitzRoy, younger son of the second Lord Southampton, at St. George’s, Hanover Square, without first becoming a Christian.”[11] Although romantic historical renditions of the marriage portray it as a love affair between two people whose families objected to the pairing, the ensuing scale and extent of Jewish intermarriage into the peerage following the union suggest that the Rothschilds and the wider Anglo-Jewish Cousinhood were very keen on the development. In fact, within a century the scale of Jewish intermarriage with the British aristocracy was such that it led L.G. Pine, editor of Burke’s Peerage from 1949–1959, to write in 1956 that “the Jews have made themselves so closely connected with the British peerage that the two classes are unlikely to suffer loss which is not mutual.”


Pine’s astute comment bears some reflection because it cuts to the heart of Jewish intermarriage with native elites. Jews historically have tirelessly engaged in efforts to position themselves either in elite positions or in positions that place them between the elite and the great mass of people. Jews have sought these positions of power and influence in order to pursue their goals and interests — goals and interests which are very often at odds with the interests of native populations. This conflict of interests is the root cause of what has been termed “anti-Semitism,” and one of the main strategies Jews have employed against “anti-Semitism” is that of crypsis. Cryptic strategies have involved insincere conversions to Christianity and the abandonment of phenotypic characteristics that provoke hostility. The argument here is that Jewish intermarriage with native elites should be seen, partly, as a more extreme example of Jewish crypsis.  What better way for a foreign elite to occupy powerful positions in a society than to do so in a manner which gives the impression that the foreign elite is nothing more than the traditional, native elite? By inter-breeding so acutely with the native elites, and blending their interests so tightly, the strategy also places further distance between the native elite and the people it leads. As Pine suggests, the native elite can no longer act on behalf of the people and against foreign influence because intermarriage has ensured that any Jewish loss would in fact be “mutual.”


The Trump and Clinton intermarriages should be seen as part of this greater strategy of expanding power and influence cryptically, and “normalizing” or blurring the image of Jews at the top of our society. Also, in the same way that one injects small amounts of microbes in order to immunize oneself against a disease, by taking in small amount of the “best” genes or personalities Jewry “immunizes” itself against the threat of a reaction from the financially and politically powerful. To be clear, although it is clearly helpful, the argument here is not that intermarriage is any longer essential to the expansion of Jewish power and influence. It’s continuance in the present is in part merely a symptom of the geriatric, decayed, and increasingly alien nature of our existing elites. Our sick society has an elite composed of media types, corporate vultures, and opportunistic politicians. And when a society hands over the top positions of power and influence to the financially rich but morally and ideologically bankrupt, it will not be cream that rises to the top, but scum.


Jews no longer have to reach across a cultural Rubicon in order to penetrate an exalted native elite. They already occupy the same dubious space as it. In Diversity in the Power Elite: How It Happened, Why It Matters (2006) G. William Domhoff and Richard Zweigenhaft state that “Jews are overrepresented overall in the corporate elite. Jews are also now overrepresented in both the Senate and the House.”[12] The need for the salons has long since dissipated. The rotten elites, both foreign and domestic, can intermingle in their board rooms and political venues, their fates and interests, as Pine stated, now entwined. Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky, the son of an Iowa Congressman and a Philadelphia Congresswoman, met at a 1993 Democratic political retreat in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Ivanka Trump met Jared Kushner in a heavily-Jewish social milieu built around the upper echelon of corporate real estate. The social circles are mutual.


A couple of weeks ago, during a conversation with a White advocate of many years’ service, I was asked my opinion on the monarchies of Europe and their future. I replied that although I have a lingering respect for centuries of tradition, the time has come for the decrepit old elites to be swept away. In the course of the ongoing invasion of foreign peoples into Europe, the remaining aristocracies will not survive long anyway. The invaders will not respect the history, tradition or authority of people who are no more than relics of past European glories. The inbred, quasi-Jewish denizens of Europe’s crumbling manorial estates may lock the doors of their palatial residences, but if push came to shove, they would be no more spared the ravages of a racial conflict than the humblest member of society. Nor should we mourn the passing of these people and their toppling from power and influence. These older elites have had centuries to prove that they deserved their positions through service to the folk and concern for the collective material well-being. Time and again they failed. Their corporate and political successors are failing even more rapidly, and much more profoundly.


If it can be said that many White advocates are elitists in the sense that they reject the proposition that “all men are equal,” it must be made clear that this in no way suggests support or endorsement for the existing elite, or the qualifications by which this group claims elite status. Quite the opposite. We are thus both elitist and “anti-elite.” In the same way, we acknowledge the influence of genes and heredity on one’s personality, behavior, and abilities but reject the idea that heredity alone is a qualification for individual or familial power. One does not find hereditary elites in nature. A lion may rule a pride but none of his cubs, talented though they may be, are necessarily destined to take his place. In the long history of monarchy in Europe, Fate placed a crown upon a genius only once in centuries. The remainder of these ages witnessed Europe laboring under despots, the mediocre, the inept, the feeble, the cowardly and the venal.


One of the great lies fed to the masses is that we now live in an era of meritocracy, with access to elite status open to anyone who is “talented” enough. But the lie doesn’t bear up under closer scrutiny. Even if one adopts the position that successfully competing to get into a “meritocratic” institution like an elite university is an avenue towards eventual, wider, elite status, one is confronted with phenomena like Jewish overrepresentation at elite universities. The fact remains that we live in what a January 2015 article in The Economist described as a flawed “hereditary meritocracy.” The hereditary meritocrats who compose our modern elites benefit from social and ethnic networking in much the same way as the hereditary aristocrats did in earlier periods. There are gatekeepers controlling access to elite universities, elite media positions, and elite social functions. As has been stated, Jews are massively overrepresented across all indicators of elite power and influence. Meritocracy, like modern democracy, is an illusion.


This discussion is aimed primarily at moving us away from references to “our” elite, as opposed to the Jewish elite. If anything resembling the old WASP elite still exists in America, it is either moribund, corrupted, or beyond saving. The salvation of our people will not come from throwing our support behind an imagined non-Jewish group already possessing some wealth and power. As discussed above, interests and bloodlines have been intertwined enough for any such group to view a decline in Jewish power as a decline in its own. “Our” elite isn’t really “ours” at all. There is simply one, heavily-Jewish, elite, and we are in ideological, material, and spiritual opposition to it. How excited, then, should we really be about Donald Trump? For all his bluster, Trump is a creation and product of the bourgeois revolution and its materialistic liberal ideologies. We are teased and tantalized by the fantasy that Trump is a potential “man of the people.” But I cannot escape the impression that he is a utilitarian and primarily economic character, who seeks a social contract based on personal convenience and material interest. In his business and political history I see only the “distilled Jewish spirit.” In his family tree I see distilled Jewish blood. Time will tell how useful his “drawing attention to the immigration issue” will be. Time will also tell whether, if he is successful in reaching the White House, he would do anything to reverse the decline of White America.


I’d love to be proven wrong.




[1] A recent paper notes that this process is quite common in nature and may well have occurred in humans. The technical term for the spread of favorable genes from one population to another is “adaptive introgression.” It has been proposed that human populations settling in Eurasia acquired beneficial genes “‘for free’ at a frequency of a few percent” from Neanderthals and other groups which then spread rapidly. The same thing may have happened with Jewish populations in Europe, thus accounting for the superior IQ of Ashkenazi groups compared to other Jewish groups, especially Middle Eastern Jews.


Adaptation through the acquisition of new mutations is generally a slow process: it is rare for favourable alleles to appear, and these are often lost by chance when they first occur in a single individual or in very few individuals. By contrast, if favourable alleles have emerged in one group, they can spread to other groups relatively rapidly by gene flow. This process, called ‘adaptive introgression’, is well documented in bacteria and plants, and described in some cases in animals, but it has not previously been considered an important factor in human adaptation. However, because Neanderthals and Denisovans lived in Europe and Asia for hundreds of thousands of years, they presumably carried alleles that were favourable given the conditions where they lived. Through gene flow, modern humans spreading across Eurasia from Africa could then acquire these alleles ‘for free’ at a frequency of a few percent, thus ensuring that they were not lost and could be acted upon by positive selection. (Svante Pääbo, “The diverse origins of the human gene pool,” Nature Reviews—Genetics 16 (June, 2015), 313–314.



[2] T. Endelman, Leaving the Fold: Conversion and Radical Assimilation in Modern Jewish History (Princeton University Press, 2015), 77.

[3] Ibid, 79.

[4] D. Hertz, Jewish High Society in Old Regime Berlin (Syracuse University Press, 2005), 214.

[5] Ibid, 215.

[6] Ibid, 207.

[7] Ibid, 210.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid, 258.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Endelman, Leaving the Fold, 79.

[12] G. W. Domhoff & R. Zweigenhaft, Diversity in the Power Elite: How It Happened, Why It Matters (Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), 38.

* * *

Source: Occidental Observer












Many people suffer under the misapprehension that Jesus was a "Jew," moreover,

that he was "King of the Jews." Thus, by inference, that the "Jews" were the

"Chosen People" of the Holy Bible and so ancient possessors and modern inheritors

of the Bible Covenants gifted by Yahweh to their forebears Abraham, Jacob and Judah.

However, this is not the case. In fact, during Christ's Mission and Passion no such

people existed called "Jews" nor indeed did the word "Jew." In short: Jesus was NOT a

"Jew" nor was he "King of the Jews."


In fact, Jesus is referred as a "Jew" for the first time in the New Testament in the

18th century; in the revised 18th century English language editions of the 14th century

first English translations of the New Testament. The etymology of the word "Jew" is

quit clear. Although "Jew" is a modern conception its roots lie in the 3rd and 4th

centuries AD. That is, the modern English word "Jew" is the 18th century contraction

and corruption of the 4th century Latin "Iudaeus" found in St. Jerome's Vulgate Edition

and derived from the Greek word "Ioudaios." The evolution of this can easily be seen in

the extant manuscripts from the 4th century to the 18th century, which illustrate not only

the origin of the word "Jew" found in the Latin word "Iudaeus" but also its current use in

the English language. Littered throughout these manuscripts are the many earlier

English equivalents used by various chroniclers between the 4th and the 18th century.


Thus, from the Latin "Iudaeus" to the English "Jew" the evolution of these English forms is:

"Gyu," "Giu," "Iu," "Iuu," "Iuw," "Ieuu," "Ieuy," "Iwe," "Iow," "Iewe," "Ieue," "Iue," "Ive,"

"Iew," and then, finally, the 18th century, "Jew." Similarly, the evolution of the English

equivalents for "Jews" is: "Giwis," "Giws," "Gyues," "Gywes," "Giwes," "Geus,"

"Iuys," "Iows," "Iouis," "Iews," and then, finally, in the 18th century, "Jews."

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