Saturday, December 15, 2007

Anti-Semitism & The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

" World War II is a story of how 'a grossly delusional view of the world, based on
infantile fears and hatreds, was able to find expression in murder and torture beyond all
imagining. It is a case-history in collective psychopathology, and its deepest implications
reach far beyond anti-Semitism and the fate of the Jews."

-----Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide (1966)

And as for The Protocols of The Elders of Zion Norman Cohn explains:

Today when people think of the myth of the Jewish world -conspiracy they think of the forgery known as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which circulated through the world in millions of copies in the 1920s and 1930s. But the Protocols are only the most celebrated and influential in a long series of fabrications reaching back almost to the French Revolution. " (Warrant , cohn,p. 29 )

Civilta cattolica a Catholic publication in the 1890s characterizes Jews as :

...Jews thrust for world domination, their hunger for gold, and their belief that Christians are no better than animals. Wherever the Jews live, in the words of these authors, they " form a foreign nation, and sworn enemy of (the people's ) well being." What should good Catholics do about this terrible threat to their to their livelihoods and happiness? The answer offered in the pages of civilta cattolica was clear : The Jews " civil equality " must be immediately revoked , for " they have no right to it ," remaining forever foreigners in every country , enemies of the people of every country that puts up with them ." Civilta cattolica Catholic Journal ( p. 8 Kertzer )

The Christian Church for centuries characterized the Jewish people as working against Christianity and God . The Jews were depicted as agents of the Devil and eventually became associated with the Antichrist . Thus were the Jews demonized . Once demonized it became easier for those who accepted this view to at the least allow the Jews to be unjustly treated . As again Norman Cohn in Warrant For Genocide explains :

" From the time of the first crusade onwards Jews were presented as children of the Devil, agents employed by Satan for the express purpose of combating Christianity and harming Christians . But above all it was said that Jews worshipped the Devil , who rewarded them collectively by making them masters of black magic; so however helpless individuals Jews might seem, Jewry possessed limitless powers for evil. And already then there was talk of a secret Jewish government- a council of rabbis, located in Moslem Spain, which was supposed to be directing an underground war against Christendom and employing sorcery as its principal weapon . " ( Warrant for Genocide , Norman Cohn p. 26 )

"The propagation of such views by the clergy century after century, gradually but decisively influenced the attitude of the laity...Christian teaching and preaching ensured that they ( the Jews ) would be treated not simply as strangers but as most dangerous enemies. During the Middle Ages Jews were almost wholly without legal rights and were frequently massacred by the mob. " ( Warrant , Cohn p. 26 )

"The myth of the Jewish world-conspiracy represents a modern adaptation of this ancient demonological tradition . According to this myth there exists a secret Jewish government which , through a world wide network of camouflaged agencies and organizations , control political parties and governments, the press and public opinion, banks and economic developments .
The secret government is supposed to be doing this in pursuance of an age -old plan and with the single aim of achieving Jewish dominion over the entire world; and it is also supposed to be perilously near to achieving this aim. " ( Warrant, Cohn, p. 27 )

Anxiety over the rapid changes taking place in the 18th and 19th centuries led some to believe that it was all part of a conspiracy and since the Jews were concentrated in the cities & tended to favor liberal and democratic reforms :

" As a result , by about 1870, it was possible to see in 'the Jews ' the supreme incarnation of modernity, even while continuing to see them as uncanny, semi-demonic beings " ( Warrant , Cohn p. 28 )

" The demonolgical type of antisemitism on the other hand, flourished among those who were the most thorughly disconcerted by the civilization of the nineteenth century. It was above all the landed aristocracy and the clergy who saw in ' the Jews ' a symbol of all that most threatened their world- and not only their material interests but the values that gave meaning to their lives. These people were only too happy to believe that such alarming changes must spring not from any defects in the old order, nor from impersonal historic processes , but from the macinations of a handful of devils in human form. Moreover by putting this idea about they could hope to achieve certain highly practical aims. To portray democracy, liberalism, and secularism as the work of the Jews was a way of making these things suspect in the eyes of a growing but ill-educated electorate " ( Warrant, Cohn pp. 28-29 )

As we have seen anti-Semitism was embedded in Christianity from the beginning. Throughout most of the history of the Catholic Church the Church did nothing to discourage such hatred & intolerance of the Jewish people . Though there were a few Popes who dared to alleviate the unnecessary oppression of European Jews but they were usually followed by Popes who believed it was their duty to keep the Jews segregated & impoverished through the establishment of Ghettos & severe restrictions on what work they were permitted to do & where or what professions they could aspire to or none & that they were to wear distinctive clothing or badges to distinguish them from non-Jews .

The Basic theological argument was that the Jews had been cursed by God for killing Jesus and that the curse was passed down from one generation to the next . Further it was argued that the Jews were to act as witnesses to the rise of Christianity as it became more triumphant . It was argued that the Jews were to " survive but not thrive ". This meant in practical terms whenever the Jews seemed to be not merely surviving but thriving they had to be put back in their place through more restrictive laws , massacres & executions or expulsions from various countries. According to The Church the Jews were also destined to see the Second Coming of Christ . At that future date a remnant of the nation of Israel would convert to Christianity so the Jews could not therefore according to church doctrine be completely wiped out.

In fact the Catholic Church was one of the primary institutions which through its teachings & its official journals such as " Civilta cattolica " in the 19th and into the 20th century helped to spread & even deepen the suspicions & superstitious nonsense and hatred of the Jews .

As Hans Kung points out :

Pope Pius VI rejected the 1791 Civil Constitution of the French Revolution and rejected the " abominable philosophy of human rights" and especially " freedom of religion, conscience, and the press and the equality of all human beings." ( p.153 Hans Kung )

And he adds :

Thus in the nineteenth century the papal state was the most backward state in Europe both politically and socially; in it the pope even spoke out against railways, gas lighting, suspension bridges and the like." ( p. 157 Hans Kung )

In the nineteenth century a new form of antisemitism emerged which was apparently more secular and appealed to reason in its criticisms of the Jews & Judaism. But for the most part no matter how it was dressed up in pseudo-scientific or social theories or pseudo-rationalists arguments it was just the same old irrational & superstitious prejudices against the Jews adapting medieval stereotypes claiming the Jews as being an inferior race who were not just enemies of Christianity but of humankind itself.

Once again the Jews were blamed by the anti-Semites for all that they believed was going wrong with society & that was perceived as evil or immoral from liberalism, the French Revolution ,to Napoleon , free-masons , the Illuminati, humanism, secularism , the revolutions of 1848 , the Paris Commune, socialism, communism,anarchism, corporate capitalism,the banking system, the stock exchange, nihilism, Darwinism, psychoanalysis, Higher Biblical Criticism, human rights & liberal notions such as equality , liberty, fraternity, nationalism & internationalism . Everything that was wrong with the world could be traced back to the invisible hand of the Jews who were characterized as a foreign element and like an infectious disease in the body politic.

Later the First World War & the Russian Revolution were also blamed on the Jews.
And Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany's defeat in the First World War & the unfair terms of the peace treaty for war reparations & the collapse of the German economy . Meanwhile the Russian Bolsheviks' after 1919 blamed the Jews for the social & economic problems of the Soviet Union.

The Catholic Church & other Christian Churches tended to criticize the Jewish people not just because of their religion but also at times suggested that the Jews were a separate race so it was not just as a matter of cultural differences ; it was not just their religion which they were taught & their upbringing that set them apart but something which they could not overcome ie race . To put it another way the anti-Semite would say it is their nature . All Jews are then characterized by the anti-Semites as being materialistic, greedy , miserly , cunning, immoral , sexually deviant , corrupt with a deep desire to destroy Western Christian Civilization & all its institutions including the Church, the Monarchies, & the natural order of things .

These days there are those who might say its in their genes which some scientists who promote a racist view would & have argued .

But it is one thing to say that some individual is tall or short or dark or fair etc. due to ones genes and quite another to say someone or a whole people is honest or dishonest; moral or immoral because of their genes & there's nothing to be done about it. So from the anti-Semitic or racist viewpoint even if a Jew converted to Christianity they were still a Jew & would therefore act accordingly since they could not help themselves.

This notion also fits into the Christian view that the Jewish people had been cursed by God for their guilt in the Crucifixion of the Christ ( Deicide ) . The Church argued that this guilt was passed down from that first generation which killed Jesus to all succeeding generations of Jews even to the present time. Being cursed by God meant that the Jewish people could not truly change no matter how they might wish to so they are beyond redemption except for a small remnant who would be saved during The End Times & the Second Coming.

The focus then changed to suit the new era from being merely an attack on the religion of Judaism or as being cursed for killing Jesus to an attack on the Jews as a race .If the Jews constituted a separate race from the rest of humankind then their failings were passed on from one generation to the next .Given this dubious belief there was no way then for Jews as a people to behave in ways that were more natural or acceptable to other supposedly superior races such as the White European Race .

So enters a number of anti-Semitic forgeries the most influential of which was the full blown antisemitic diatribe that most fantastical notorious forgery entitled The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The Protocols were produced by the secret police of the Russian Czar in order to discredit the growing revolutionary movement which was spreading across the nation . As the Protocols circulated & were reprinted again & again they came to influence Adolph Hitler and other anti-Semites including the American industrialist Henry Ford and the 1930s popular American radio preacher & notorious anti-Semitic Catholic Priest Father Coughlin . ( More on Ford & Coughlin at another time)

Even after being publicly exposed as a forgery in the Times of London in the 1920s The Protocols were still being promoted by anti-Semites as an authentic document . What is even more remarkable is that The Protocols continued to be treated as authentic after World War II & the Holocaust . One would think that if ' The Jews ' had such power then surely they could have prevented the murder of some six million Jews but the anti-Semites reason therefore that the Holocaust was a " Jewish Hoax ". Or one could reason that if the Jews had had such power then they lost it by being reduced drastically in terms of numbers . But one shouldn't try to bring logic & reason into play concerning anti-Semitism & their belief in the World Wide Jewish Conspiracy . Like any questionable or bizarre " Conspiracy Theory " any new evidence can be twisted about to fit the " theory ".

The ludicrous claim of one of the earlier forgeries known as The Rabbi's Speech was a record of the actual written report or possibly the minutes taken down of a secret meeting held in a cemetery at night of Jewish representatives from around the world. Supposedly these meetings are held once every century . Each of the twelve members speaks detailing what they had so far accomplished in their drive to secretly control all the nations of the world . According to this text every government ,the financial institutions ,the military ,the newspapers , the schools, churches etc. had been infiltrated by their members in all the nations and therefore were now being controlled by members of their secret society but their task was not yet finished.

Later this was further adapted into The Protocols of The Learned Elders of Zion :

" The Protocols of the learned Elders of Zion constitutes one of the most infamous documents of antisemitism. It consists of the supposed minutes from twenty-four sessions of a congress held by representatives from the " twelve tribes of Israel " and led by a Grand Rabbi, whose purpose was to plan the conquest of the world . This congress never took place. The pamplet is actually a crude forgery created by the Okhrana, or secret police, of Imperial Russia . it first appeared in 1903 and it incorporates many of the most vicious myths about the Jews handed down over centuries . Used initially to blame Jews and their supposedly servile allies, the Freemasons , for the 1905 Revolution in Russia, the Protocols would become a welcome export around the world . If not simple hatred then pogroms , and if not pogroms then even worse , followed in its wake . It was applauded by royalty, it was embraced by counter revolutionaries , and the Nazis made it required reading . It still serves as a staple for numerous fundamentalists , conservative, neofascist, and antisemitic groups in the United States and throughout the world . What the real Communist Manifesto was for marxism , the fictitious Protocols was for antisemitism. "
A Rumor about the Jews : Reflections on Antisemitism and the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion , Stephen Eric Bronner pub. 2000

" The book Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion was a fraud -- a forged document that was purported to be a copy of the secret plans of the Jewish elders to create chaos and take over the world. It was a forgery created in czarist Russia by the czar's secret police in 1902. It portrayed Judaism as a worldwide conspiracy dedicated to the destruction of Christian civilization. The czar's police were trying to blame the Jews for the terrible state of affairs in Russia, to divert attention away from Czar Nicholas' incompetent management of the country. In the long run, it did not do Nicholas any good, but it caused the Jews a lot of grief.

The czarist secret police actually copied an obscure political document written by the Frenchman Maurice Jole (Joly sic) in 1864, "A Dialogue in Hell: Conversations Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu about Power and Right". The Dialogue was a series of debates between two fictitious characters -- Machiavelli and Montesquieu in Hell -- with Montesquieu defending republicanism and criticizing the authoritarianism of Napoleon III. As you can imagine, the fictitious Machiavelli attacked democracy and republicanism, and plotted its undoing. The czar's police simply plagiarized Jole's(Joly's sic) Dialogues, and put the words of this fictitious Machiavelli in Hell into the mouths of some equally imaginary Jewish elders. That forgery was then used as justification for murderous pogroms against the Jews.

In the following century, the Protocols became a favorite document of all kinds of hateful anti-semites. Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler both spoke of its great influence on them. The Protocols provided an excuse for attacking the Jews. The Nazi logic was that the Protocols showed that the Jews had already attacked the German people, the German economy, and the German government, and the Nazis were merely fighting back to defend their country from aggressors who were bent on destroying their nation.

The Religious Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous
and the Twelve Steps by A. Orange Chapter 18: Henry Ford and Anti-Semitism

And as for The Protocols first appearance as a complete work we get this From The Protocols of The Learned Elders of Zion in PDF

The Protocols did not become public until 1905, when Russia's
defeat in the Russo-Japanese War was followed by the Revolution in the
same year, leading to the promulgation of a constitution and institution
of the Duma. In the wake of these events, the reactionary "Union of
the Russian Nation" or Black Hundreds organization sought to incite
popular feeling against the Jews, who they blamed for the Revolution
and the Constitution. To this end they used the Protocols, which
was first published in a public edition by the mystic priest Sergius
Nilus in 1905. The Protocols were part of propaganda campaign which
accompanied the pogroms of 1905 inspired by the Okhrana. A variant
text of the Protocols was published by George Butmi in 1906 and again
in 1907. The edition of 1906 was found among the Czar's collection,
even though he had already recognized the work as a forgery. In his
later editions, Nilus claimed that the Protocols had been read

And From a defender of the Protocols we get this sort of desperate nonsense which attempts to explain a number of complex issues & problems by explaining everything by a handy Conspiracy Theory which gives the believer a false sense of certainty :The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion:Proof of an Ancient Conspiracy by Ivan Fraser

The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is a document which should be read by all. No other single document provides us with such a clear understanding of why the world is gradually moving towards a One World Government, controlled by an irreproachable hidden hand. In fact, in the Protocols, we are given clear insights as to why so many incomprehensible political decisions are made in both local, national and international politics, which seem to continually work against the favour of the masses and in favour of the vested interests of the banking/industrial cartel - the global power elite.

We ignore it at our peril.

As the following article makes plain though many are aware of The Protocols they usually know little about them or their history and that the Protocols are still in print or can be found on the internet and so are still promoted as authentic & are believed in by millions of otherwise sane rational beings . One can only assume they fill some pathological need to focus one's anxiety , paranoia & fear on some all encompassing Conspiracy Theory which explains why & how things are the way they are . A sort " cognitive dissonance " to explain what otherwise seems to the individual inexplicable.

Their resurgence is especially notable & troubling in Arab & Islamic countries & communities around the world and help to promote a more rabid & virulent form of anti-Semitism which also encompasses by default suspicions about the State of Israel. This in itself is disturbing And unfortunate since historically Muslims up to the 19th century were not nearly as anti-Semitic traditionally as were the Christians .

The anti-Jewish lie that refuses to die
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a forgery about a world plot by Jews, have sustained anti-Semitism for 100 years. Times 2 meets the woman still battling against them: an interview with Hadassa Ben-Itto author of The Lie That Wouldn't Die : The Protocols of The Eleders of Zion ,pub. 2005.

TimesOnline - UK/March 2, 2005
By Steve Boggan

When Hadassa Ben-Itto told her colleagues she was giving up her career as one of Israel's most senior judges to expose the deadliest forgery of the 20th century, they thought she was crazy. The forgery - perhaps more accurately a plagiarism - was The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and it had been used to justify the murders of millions of Jews in Russia and Nazi Germany. But, they said, it was nonsense. It was a fairy story. Surely, no one believed this rubbish any more . . . did they?

That was in 1991. Ben-Itto subsequently embarked, at the age of 64, on an odyssey that took her thousands of miles from home and more than 100 years back in time to pre-revolutionary Russia and a Europe in anti-Semitic ferment. And, by the time she had completed her epic journey, no one thought she was crazy any more...

But first, what are The Protocols of the Elders of Zion? They first appeared in 1905 as an appendix to The Great and the Small by the Russian writer Sergei Nilus. Purporting to be the minutes of a great meeting of Jewish leaders, they chronicle the devious methods by which Jews will cause global economic and political collapse to facilitate their complete domination of the world.

The reasoning behind the Protocols was first used as a means of justifying the massacres - or pogroms - that left thousands of Jews dead in Russia, the message being: "If we don't kill them, they will kill us." It was a similar message to that used by Hitler 30 years later.

Divided into 24 tracts on such subjects as Ruthless Suppression, Despotism and Modern Progress and Assault on Religion, its use of language is chillingly matter-of-fact. For example, in Instilling Obedience, Protocol XXIII reads: "Subjects . . . give blind obedience only to the strong hand which is absolutely independent of them, for in it they feel the sword of defence and support against social scourges . . .

"What do they want with an angelic spirit in a king? What they have to see in him is the personification of force and power."

"I was horrified when I read them - particularly when I found out they were still being published around the world as if they were true," she says.

"Everyone had heard of them, but no one was taking them seriously. I decided to have a series of ten dinner parties for ten or so people, senior lawyers, academics, politicians and journalists, at which I would ask the guests about the Protocols. Everyone had heard of them but not one had read them.

"When I told my guests what they said and what I had found out about their history, they were appalled. I then thought that if so many influential Jews were living in ignorance, it was time for me to unmask the Protocols for what they were. The Jewish people have a history of not standing up when they are being attacked - and we have seen the results of that. I believe in standing up at the first sign of danger."

"The real tragedy is that despite Georges Brunschvig's great victory, the Protocols are still being published in new editions all round the world.

"You can even buy them on Amazon. They represent the most dangerous libel on an entire race and give support to the belief in what is more widely known as the Jewish Conspiracy - that the Jews are responsible for everything.

"For 9/11, for Iraq, for the spread of Aids, for all political unrest. They are so clever, you see, because any kind of social, economic or political problem fits in with the grand plan for creating the kind of disorder necessary for world domination.

"The Protocols have now left me with a moral dilemma. I am against banning and burning books - that is the kind of behaviour we associate with the Nazis. But when something has been proven to be a fake and when it is specifically designed to incite racial hatred, then I think there is a case for banning it. That is now impossible with the rise of the internet, so the best I can do is expose it as widely as possible for what it is."

And surprisingly as recent as 1993 there was a court case in Russia dealing with the authenticity of the Protocols and whether they constituted Hate Literature the article is found atThe Nizkor Project website .

Los Angeles Times, November 28, 1993

MOSCOW -- In what observers called a historic ruling, a Russian
court has pronounced the infamous "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" an
anti-Semitic forgery -- the first such verdict in the land where the fraud
originated 90 years ago.
"Up to now every country had disengaged itself from this shameful
book, except Russia, where it was concocted," Tancred Golenpolsky, the
publisher of the Moscow Jewish newspaper that won the ruling, said

The ruling by Judge Lyudmila Belikova was hailed by the Los
Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, which provided financial support for
Golenpolsky and documentary material to the court.
"The ruling today under Russian law destroys any veneer of
respectability that hatemongers around the globe have tried to bestow on
this hateful work," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the center's associate dean,
in a statement."

But The defenders of The Protocols ... argued that "They have no decency left to say the Protocols are a fake when the entire history of Russia after 1917 is solid proof that they are genuine,"said Dmitri D. Vasiliev, head of the organization, in an interview'

So such court ruling do little to discourage the anti-Semitic true believer since they can argue that the judge or the court or jury & the media are being manipulated behind the scenes by ' the Jews ' .

take care,

also see:

The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion Plagiarism at its Best by José Delacruz, November 2003

Holocaust education from THE NIZKOR PROJECT

The Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu
By Maurice Joly

“What He Has Done Is Sickening to Contemplate”: Catholic Liberal John Ryan Denounces Father Charles Coughlin
by John Ryan

Spartacus Educational home page

The Religious Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous
and the Twelve Steps by A. Orange Chapter 18: Henry Ford and Anti-Semitism


Religious Tolerance .Org

also see: Jewish-Christian
& of particular interest at this website on anti-Semitism in the New Testament see the article Removing Anti-Jewish Polemic
from our Christian Lectionaries: A Proposal by Norman A. Beck

see On Martin Luther's Anti-Semitism
Martin Luther's dirty little book:On the Jews and their lies A precursor to Nazism by Jim Walker

and also see:
Medieval Sourcebook: St. John Chrysostom (c.347-407) Eight Homilies Against the Jews

And from the website Catholic Answers: Just War Doctrine

and for more in depth coverage of the Holocaust & Anti-Semitism see the following websites:

The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Dedicated to 12 million Holocaust victims who suffered and died
at the hands of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime

Antisemitism Research Resources
This Web site provides annotated links and original material about antisemitism and the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion website Thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands, of Jews have died because of this infamous forgery.Rabbi Joseph Teluskin Jewish Literacy

Anti-Semitism of the "Church Fathers"


Other References:

ANTISEMITISM: THE LONGEST HATRED, Robert S. Wistrich, pub. 1992

A Moral Reckoning :The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, pub. 2002

Constantine's Sword : The Church & the Jews by James Carroll, pub. 2001

The Catholic Church By Hans Küng -Translated by John Bowden, pub. 2001

The Popes Against The Jews: The Vatican's Role in The Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism, By David I. Kertzer pub. 2001


The Horizon History of Christianity, by Roland H. Bainton pub.1964.

Warrant For Genocide : The Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and the Protocols of The Elders of Zion, by Norman Cohn 1967 & revised 1996.

A Rumor about the Jews : Reflections on Antisemitism and the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion , Stephen Eric Bronner pub. 2000

As for those who defend the Protocols their arguments are rather absurd & tortuous as every bit of evidence compiled against The Protocols only makes its defenders more insistent on their authenticity. They assume that there is a Jewish Conspiracy & The Protocols prove it.

For a current antisemitic dubious & twisted defense of the authenticity of The Protocols in which the author claims that the forgery story is just another incident of the ongoing Jewish conspiracy see:


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