A Review of “The Devil That Never Dies” by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Part 2

Brenton Sanderson


Part 1

“Antisemitism” as “The Real Devil that Christianity Spawned”

Rather than hostility toward Jews having its origins in group competition for resources, Goldhagen contends that “antisemitism” is “the real devil that Christianity spawned.”[1] He conveniently ignores the fact that antipathy to Jews was widespread throughout the pre-Christian civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome, and instead claims that “antisemitism”

began in ancient Israel during the time of Jesus and migrated shortly thereafter to Greece. There it was codified in the context of early Christians’ desires to appropriate the early Jewish religious and messianic tradition, really Judaism revamped, for themselves. In Greece the Gospels were written, at best based on a long chain of hearsay, not until fifty to one hundred years after Jesus’ death by people who never knew or saw Jesus or the events surrounding his life. Antisemitism then moved to and became entrenched in Rome, the center of the Western world, where Christianity and simultaneously antisemitism had its greatest conquest when Emperor Constantine adopted Christianity for himself and the Roman Empire in the early fourth century. As his empire spread to more European lands in particular, the secular and religious authorities brought the antisemitic gospel with them, which, after Rome’s fall (which did not see the Church fall), spread to all of Europe, so that during the Middle Ages antisemitism, together with Christianity, had solidified itself as the one pan-European belief system, about which different peoples, peoples of different classes and stations, different professions, and eventually even different and warring forms of Christianity could agree upon and coalesce. Then, with European and Christian colonization of much of the world, antisemitism spread farther.[2]

In addition to ignoring the extensive and often violent pre-Christian aversion to Jews, Goldhagen also makes no mention of the fact that Christianity, unlike Judaism, is a universalist creed which eventually led to Europeans being the first people in history to ban slavery for moral reasons. Instead, he maintains that the New Testament is an “antisemitic” and “eliminationist” tract:

The Christian bible is, whatever its subsidiary pronouncement to the contrary, at its heart an eliminationist document. A codification of eliminationist antisemitism against Jews. Their evangelical calls for Jews to follow Jesus aside, the Gospels so deprecate the Jew’s existing cultural core (namely the Jewish bible’s laws and codes), implicitly and explicitly calling for an end to this people as Jews, and so demonize Jews in the process for putatively being Jesus’ enemies and murderers, and so threaten them with violence and destruction, that it is hard to see this as anything but an eliminationist mindset, a blueprint for eliminationist politics, and, if only tacitly, a call to eliminationist action — and this is how it has been taken by Christians and others beholden to the foundational paradigm it grounded.[3]       

Goldhagen claims that the New Testament contains “four hundred fifty antisemitic verses just in the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, averaging more than two per page.”[4] Conveniently, he has nothing to say about the “eliminationist” mindset, politics and actions that are far more clearly evident in the Jewish Bible, and how this has shaped Jewish attitudes toward non-Jews.

For instance, in Joshua 6:20–21, God helps the Israelites destroy Jericho, killing “men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.” In Deuteronomy 2:32–35, God has the Israelites kill everyone in Heshbon, including children. In Deuteronomy 3:3–7, God has the Israelites do the same to the people of Bashan. In Numbers 31:7–18, the Israelites kill all the Midianites except for the virgins, whom they take as spoils of war. In 1 Samuel 15:1–9, God tells the Israelites to kill all the Amalekites — men, women, children, infants, and their cattle — for something the Amalekites’ ancestors had done 400 years earlier. Ignoring the profound hostility to non-Jews and the Jewish supremacy that pervades the Jewish Bible and Talmud, Goldhagen proposes that

for two millennia antisemitism has been at the core of Christian civilization, first in its European heartland and then, missionized, around the world. It is inscribed in its bible. The deprecation of Jews and the replacement theology, meaning that Jews ought to disappear, has historically been central to Christianity’s and Christians’ self-definition. Christianity’s churches have until recently incessantly preached against Jews. Closely identifying Jews with evil, including the devil, organizing Christianity’s thinking and politics for centuries and had as a focal point the disposing of Jews.[5]    

On the basis of a survey done in 2012 in the European Union, Goldhagen claims that some 100 million Europeans believe “the most damaging antisemitic canard ever,” namely that Jews are responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. So, for him, even just believing the actual wording of the New Testament account of the life and death of Jesus qualifies someone as an “antisemite.” He claims that if we extrapolate the findings to include Russia and Ukraine “that would add another forty million, bringing the European total to 140 million dyed-in-the-wool antisemites.”[6] Turning to the United States, Goldhagen claims that survey results indicate that “almost one in three Americans (31 percent), ninety million people, believe the most damaging antisemitic canard of all time: that ‘Jews were responsible for the death of Christ.’” In other words, a third of Americans simply believe the biblical account of the life and death of Jesus.

Goldhagen claims that “despite its publicly stated and championed position,” the post-Vatican II Catholic Church has “failed to excise antisemitism from its teaching and liturgy” and that “this is the case even in Europe and North America.” He bemoans the fact that the Church “has done little, and in many places nothing, to stop spreading antisemitism during the Christian calendar’s most sacred time and in the Jesus story as it is portrayed.”[7] He maintains that Catholicism in parts of the world is still in “a medieval” or “pre-Vatican II” state,” regarding its presentation of Jews.” Of course he has no analogous concern about how the Talmud (which remains in a pre-medieval state) depicts Jesus and teaches Jews how they should treat Christians.[8]

As one would expect, Goldhagen regards Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ as “a blatantly antisemitic film even according to the Catholic Church’s own guidelines for depicting the last days and death of Jesus.” He condemns Mel Gibson as “a dyed-in-the-wool, old style, Catholic antisemite” who in The Passion of the Christ “spins out his New Testament hatred publicly in cinematic calumny and incitement, and in private and uncontrollable outbursts.”[9] He likewise denounces Bishop Giacomo Babini, who in 2010 had the temerity to observe that a “Zionist attack” was behind the criticism of the Pope over the sex abuse scandal. The bishop explained that “Jews do not want the Church, they are its natural enemies.”[10] Goldhagen’s palpable hatred of the Catholic Church only lends weight to Babini’s thesis. 

Christianity as More “Antisemitic” than Islam

Goldhagen claims that while the treatment of Jews in Islam’s sacred texts, such as the Quran and the Hadith, “is horrifying, grounded in the foundational antisemitic paradigm, and provides the foundation for the Arab and Islamic world’s profound antisemitism,” it is still “not in any reasonable sense equivalent to the Christian bible’s casting of Jews as the central villains in the story of Jesus’ life, mission, attempt to save humanity and death.”[11] He asserts that “it is only by the horrific Christian standard that Islamic antisemitism and Muslims’ antisemitism have been (wrongly) judged to be not all that bad historically.”[12] So while Islamic “antisemitism” is bad, for Goldhagen the Christian variety is infinitely worse.

Revealed here is the reason for the overwhelming Jewish support for large-scale Muslim immigration into what were formerly homogeneously White Christian lands — despite the obvious dangers this presents to Jews. If, as Goldhagen claims, “antisemitism is the real devil that Christianity spawned,” then it logically follows that, for this devil to be fully exorcised from the global body politic, White Christian nations simply cannot be allowed to exist — no matter what the cost.

What Jews most decidedly do not want is a population that is ninety-nine percent White and Christian where they are a tiny one percent minority. They will always work to undermine that, not just on America, but in Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand too. They feel much safer in places that look like New York City which is a grab bag of races and peoples. The parochial group loyalty characteristic of Jews attracts far less attention in a society devoid of a cohesive racial and cultural core. It is therefore in the interests of Jews to dilute and weaken the identity of the nations within which they live. History shows that Jewish communities in the diaspora will only thrive in safety when their non-Jewish hosts’ identity is weak.

Despite the Jewish ethno-political origins of the liberalization of Western immigration policies, Goldhagen writes as though European people had voluntarily decided to open their borders to the Third World and to embrace mass non-White immigration:

The simple fact, not sufficiently paid attention to, is that an enormous reservoir of antisemites — among the peoples of Arab and Islamic countries, and now Arabs and Islamic immigrants and their descendants living abroad — is itself streaming around the world to populate it with deeply devout antisemites. This does not mean that all Arabs or all Muslims, either living in the countries of their ancestry or now non-predominantly Arabic or Islamic countries are antisemitic, but an enormous number of them are, and they are a substantial population on the move. Tens of millions of people of Arabic descent live abroad. Nineteen million Muslims live in the European Union alone, seventeen times the 1.1 million Jews. … Muslims and Arabs are aware of their numerical strength and conscious of their ability to spread their antisemitic beliefs and press for the adoption of their antisemitic politics, and they do so. No corner of the world is worry free for Jews, and much of the world where there are Jews (and probably where there are few of them) is dangerous for them owing to the actual or threatened violence perpetrated by Muslims and Arabs.[13]

Jews only start complaining, as Goldhagen does here, about the multiracial and multicultural fruits of their collective labors when some of the people let in to these countries (promoted intensively by the organized Jewish community) begin to disrupt Jewish lives — typically because they are Muslims who have an intimate familiarity with the Jewish mindset and, because they have a stronger collective sense, are not as easily undermined and, indeed, are not afraid to lose their lives in fighting Jews — or Europeans. By contrast, empathic, fair, and tolerant White people are far easier targets for Jewish manipulation. 

Jewish Power as “A Figment of the Antisemitic Imagination”

In The Devil That Never Dies Goldhagen claims that notions of Jews’ “alleged clannishness” and “earth-shattering power, and malevolence, continue to be a figment of the antisemitic imagination.”[14] This is despite the fact that even back in the early 1970s, President Nixon, then supposedly the most powerful man in the world, and Billy Graham, the leading Christian leader in the United States, felt unable to publically express their grave concerns about the dangers of Jewish power and influence in the United States for fear of the repercussions. Labelling their conversation a “horrifying exchange,” Goldhagen states that:

In 1972, in the White House’s Oval Office, Nixon let forth a brief antisemitic rant about Jews’ ‘total domination of the media,’ and what he regarded as their left-wing bias. The President of the United States, with unlimited access to the best sources of information about every aspect of his country, adopted the jargon of an ignorant antisemitic bigot when speaking about Jews in private. Such is the powerful, stupefying quality of this prejudice. Graham immediately agreed with Nixon regarding Jews’ power and nefariousness. Taking the president’s words as a green light for him to speak to a kindred spirit, and elaborating his real views about Jews, he went still further. “They’re the ones putting out the pornographic stuff,” he informed Nixon. And so severe is the danger the Jews pose that, Graham declared, their “stranglehold has got to be broken or this country’s going down the drain.[15]

Nixon, in response to Graham citing how the Jews had — owing to their own actions — provoked violent backlashes against themselves in Spain in 1492 and in Germany during the National Socialist period, observed that: “It’s happening [again] — and now it’s going to happen in America if these people don’t start behaving … . It may be they have a death wish.”[16]

Billy Graham and Richard Nixon

Billy Graham and Richard Nixon

According to Goldhagen, this exchange “conveys the fantastical nature of antisemities’ views about Jews: ‘total domination,’ nutty notions about pornography, ‘stranglehold,’ and the acute threat Jews willfully pose to the United States of ‘sending it down the drain.’” Goldhagen’s reaction to Nixon and Graham’s conversation — so characteristic of the vast majority of Jews who instinctively and hysterically defend their interests — regardless of the facts — reminds one of Israeli journalist Manny Friedman’s observation in his Times of Israel article from 2012 where he notes that whenever anyone claims that “Jews control the media” or “Washington”:

Suddenly we’re up in arms. We create huge campaigns to take these people down. We do what we can to put them out of work. We publish articles. We’ve created entire organizations that exist just to tell everyone that the Jews don’t control nothin’. No, we don’t control the media, we don’t have any more sway in DC than anyone else. No, no, no, we swear: We’re just like everyone else! …

Let’s be honest with ourselves, here, fellow Jews. We do control the media. We’ve got so many dudes up in the executive offices in all the big movie production companies it’s almost obscene. Just about every movie or TV show, whether it be “Tropic Thunder” or “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is rife with actors, directors, and writers who are Jewish. Did you know that all of the eight major production studios are run by Jews? But that’s not all.

We also control the ads that go on those TV shows.

And let’s not forget AIPAC, every anti-Semite’s favorite punching bag. We’re talking an organization that’s practically the equivalent of the Elders of Zion. I’ll never forget when I was involved in Israeli advocacy in college and being at one of the many AIPAC conventions. A man literally stood in front of us and told us their whole goal was to only work with top-50 school graduates students because they would eventually be the people making changes in the government. Here I am, an idealistic little kid that goes to a bottom-50 school (ASU) who wants to do some grassroots advocacy, and these guys are literally talking about infiltrating the government. Intense.

On the other hand, Goldhagen — like a caricature of the type of Jew that Friedman describes — brands Johan Galtung, the Norwegian founder of the discipline of peace studies, a pernicious “antisemite” for having pointed out in 2011 that “The Jews control U.S. media,” and use it to warp the American people and politics to support Israel.[17] He likewise denounces the former dean of the White House press corps, Helen Thomas, for pointing out that “Congress, the White House, and Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists. No question in my opinion. They put their money where their mouth is. … We’re being pushed in the wrong direction in every way.”

For Goldhagen, the claims of Galtung and Thomas (who was ensconced within the heart of American political journalism for decades), “are all old antisemitic tropes — about Jews and money and the media and warping the will and politics of the people — dressed up for a new global age.”[18] No need to examine the data. Even the ADL implicitly acknowledges that Jews run Hollywood, although of course they are careful to add the ridiculous claim that Jewishness does not influence the content of the media.

Again ignoring the obvious truths spelled out by Friedman (albeit for a Jewish audience), Goldhagen is outraged that Karel de Gucht, formerly Belgium’s minister of foreign affairs and deputy prime minister and in 2013 the European Union’s commissioner for trade, had the nerve to openly talk about Jewish power, when he warned:

Do not underestimate the Jewish lobby on Capitol Hill. That is the best organized lobby, you shouldn’t underestimate the grip it has on American politics — no matter whether it’s Republicans or Democrats. … Don’t underestimate the opinion … of the average Jew outside Israel/ … There is indeed a belief — it’s difficult to describe it otherwise — among most Jews that they are right. And a belief is something that’s difficult to counter with rational arguments. And it’s not so much whether they are religious Jews or not. Lay Jews also share the same belief that they are right. So it is not easy to have, even with moderate Jews, a rational discussion about what is happening in the Middle East.[19]

By making this simple statement de Gucht had, according to Goldhagen, exposed himself as “a rank antisemite.” An examination of campaign finance contributions to both major parties in the U.S. is enough to confirm that Jews have captured both sides of American politics. While the Democrats push the Jewish domestic agenda harder (i.e. open borders and multiculturalism) and the Republicans push the Jewish foreign policy agenda harder (i.e. economically and militarily destroying Israel’s enemies), neither party fundamentally disagrees with either of these policies. So while the Republicans are more likely to get your son killed abroad fighting for Israel, the Democrats will do all they can to ensure your children get passed over for jobs in favor of non-Whites. But Democrats are hardly immune to the machinations of the Israel Lobby, and the Republican Party has done little to oppose the dispossession of White America.

“There is No Such Thing as the Israel Lobby”

Goldhagen regards claims that Jews exert a dominating interest over the elite institutions of the United States (including Congress) as just another in the long list of calumnies that have been made against the Jews. Rather than being glaringly self-evident to anyone of average intelligence who pays cursory attention to American politics, the perception that Jewish interests are determining American foreign policy is, for Goldhagen, a testament to the success of “antisemites” who have “worked hard” to create this misleading impression.

The notion of Jews controlling the United States was a standard Nazi one and has been a staple of antisemites ever since. The view today that if not for Jews’ insidious control of the United States, the United States itself would be a better country, the Middle East would be far better off, and the world would also be a better place comes also from those whose antisemitism is principally focused on the United States itself. In their widely discussed book The Israel Lobby, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt peddle such antisemitism dressed up in the garb of academic seriousness and respectability, with the invention of the bogeyman known as the Israel Lobby into which they subsume and thereby delegitimize people who vocally or in various ways materially support Israel. Indeed, their book is the best cloaked major antisemitic tract in English of the last several decades. …[20]

In short, according to Mearsheimer and Walt, Jews, and the non-Jews they have co-opted or allied themselves with (Mearsheimer and Walt are careful to formally insist some non-Jews are also part of the Israel Lobby), insidiously control American foreign-policy making, betray American interests, duped the United States into launching an unnecessary war against Iraq, thereby impoverish the United States, produce enmity for it across many countries, wreak destruction halfway around the world, and cause the death of a large number of innocent Americans. Indeed in an earlier article — before they sanitized their presentation for the book — Mearsheimer and Walt wrote even more openly in the vein of antisemites past and present. They warned in ominous tones about the power of “Israel and its American supporters”: “If their efforts to shape US policy succeed, Israel’s enemies will be weakened or overthrown, Israel will get a free hand with the Palestinians, and the US will do most of the fighting, dying, rebuilding and paying.”[21]

According to Goldhagen, who is himself an ultra-Zionist, “There is no such thing as the Israel Lobby.” This despite the fact that elsewhere in The Devil That Never Dies he admits that “Israel’s supporters, given their preponderance in a democracy and their passion for a beleaguered, existentially threatened democracy with which many sympathize and identify, have no doubt been influential in Washington.” Having said this, he reassures us that “most do not formally or informally belong to a lobby, which in American politics is an organization or group of organizations that seek to directly influence governmental officials and which has the clear connotation of something not in the public interest, or worse.” Goldhagen’s casuistic reasoning is seemingly that, as America’s interests are indistinguishable from Israel’s interests, AIPAC and the other neocon organizations that aggressively lobby Congress on behalf of Israel are only really advocating for American interests, and, therefore, do not represent an actual “lobby.”

Israel is, according to Goldhagen, worth expending any amount of blood and treasure to defend because “Israel has been for decades the lone genuine democracy in the Middle East and a staunch American ally, including during the Cold War.”[22] Naturally he makes no mention Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty, the Lavon affair, or the extensive Israeli spying operations the United States, or the fact that the alliance with Israel provides Americans with no benefit whatsoever. Nor does he exhibit any familiarly with Mearsheimer and Walt’s actual arguments on whether the United States benefits from its lavish support for Israel. Nor indeed does he feel a need to address whether Israel after 50 years of occupation, ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and legally enshrined discrimination can meaningfully be called a democracy.

Goldhagen argues that many “antisemities” see the source of “Israel’s perniciousness” to reside “in its character as a Jewish state, namely a country of Jews, because even though many if not most of the countries in the world are conceived of as belonging to or expressing the political nationhood of a people, antisemites do not allow that Jews may do the same, routinely maintaining that to call Israel a ‘Jewish’ state, even though the overwhelming majority of the population is Jewish, is ‘racist.’”[23]

This is absurd. The anger of White Nationalists with regard to Israel is, at least from my perspective, less about Jews maintaining an avowedly Jewish state with a racially restrictive immigration policy (which is only natural), and more to do with the hypocrisy of Jewish activists like Goldhagen supporting such a state for Jews while regarding the European and European-derived equivalents of Israel (like Australia under the White Australia policy) as morally reprehensible and fit targets of Jewish activism for promoting immigration, multiculturalism, and the dispossession of White populations.

All European and European-derived countries were originally conceived of as belonging to and expressing the political nationhood of a people. This is no longer the case due, in large part, to Jewish intellectual and political activism. To rub salt into the wound, Zionist Jews take pride in their having destroyed the racial and ethnic basis of Western nations. Take, for example, Australian Jewish activist and national editor of the Australian Jewish News Dan Goldberg who proudly acknowledged that: “In addition to their activism on Aboriginal issues, Jews were instrumental in leading the crusade against the White Australia policy, a series of laws from 1901 to 1973 that restricted non-White immigration to Australia.” 

Jewish Financial Power as a “Fantastical” Notion

Goldhagen claims to be utterly bewildered as to why anyone would think that “Jews having such power in business is a problem, is threatening, is seen as a resource that they misuse or potentially misuse.” A 2007 survey found that around 40 percent of Europeans have what Goldhagen describes as the “fantastical” belief that “Jews have too much power in international financial markets,” while a 2009 survey supposedly found that around 30 percent of Europeans believe Jews were, to at least some extent, responsible for the Global Financial Crisis. Goldhagen indignantly questions why “international bankers and currency traders who happen to be Jews would be defined as Jews, why such Jews having such power (whatever that means) let alone too much power would be bad — for what evil are the supposed Jews supposedly using such power?”[24]

Goldhagen here ignores the nexus between disproportionate wealth and disproportionate political, legislative, and media influence, and how Jewish elites have wielded this influence to reshape Western societies in their own interests. The current influence of Sheldon Adelson within the Republican Party is just one example of the capacity of Jewish financial power to shape American politics and with it, American foreign policy. Indeed, I would contend that the entire anti-White political and cultural superstructure of the contemporary West has been built on a foundation of Jewish wealth. Jewish Americans make up 2.2 per cent of the U.S. population yet comprise around 35 percent of U.S. billionaires and around 50 percent of Wall Street bankers. Goldhagen is, however, impervious to any evidence put forward that would confirm the validity of the statements used in the Anti-Defamation League’s surveys, claiming that “a person trying to justify them, in other words, to say that they are either true or believable enough, succeeds only in revealing that he or she is antisemitic.”[25]

The author of The Devil That Never Dies is encouraged by the fact that, despite a survey that found that 80 percent of the Americans surveyed agreed that “Wall Street and major banking institutions in our country operate in their own selfish interest and not in the interest of the American economy,” this has not flowed through to increased hostility to Jews in the United States. He notes that: “As Jews are commonly associated with Wall Street and banking, and one of the standard questions in surveys about antisemitism focusses specifically on Wall Street, it is extraordinarily significant that there has been no upsurge in this accusation about Jews.”[26]  He is likewise encouraged by the fact that “though closer than three in five Americans (57 percent) believe that a cabal in Washington was working for its members’ own narrow interests — this is an extraordinarily high number — such a conspiratorial view of American politics and economy has not implicated Jews or affected people’s conception of Jews to any sizable degree.”[27]

This can, to a great extent, be attributed to how bankers, financiers, politicians and political advisors are portrayed by Hollywood, where they are invariably depicted as sociopathic WASPs rather than as the Jews that, in very many instances, they actually are. The bulk of Hollywood dramas portray finance professionals as unscrupulous and money hungry, but these traits are never associated with Jews. Even when a character is based on an actual individual who is Jewish they are invariably transmuted by Hollywood into a WASP, and thus real ethnic identity of the financial and political elite is concealed from the average American.

Go to Part 3.


 

[1] Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, The Devil That Never Dies (New York NY: Little, Brown & Co., 2013), 458.

[2] Ibid. 194-95.

[3] Ibid. 61.

[4] Ibid. 70.

[5] Ibid. 94.

[6] Ibid. 259-60.

[7] Ibid. 241.

[8] Ibid. 243.

[9] Ibid. 33.

[10] Ibid. 243.

[11] Ibid. 223.

[12] Ibid. 95.

[13] Ibid. 197-98.

[14] Ibid. 20-21.

[15] Ibid. 91-92.

[16] Ibid. 93.

[17] Ibid. 30.

[18] Ibid. 289.

[19] Ibid. 288-89.

[20] Ibid. 26.

[21] Ibid. 28.

[22] Ibid. 29.

[23] Ibid. 332.

[24] Ibid. 267.

[25] Ibid. 270.

[26] Ibid. 284.

[27] Ibid.

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