Summary: The so-called neoconservatives are crypto-Israelis, comparable to crypto-Jews passing as “New Christians” in the 14th to 17th century. Crypsis is a fundamental aspect of Jewish culture. It is in fact the very essence of Judean monotheism, crafted in the context of the Babylonian exile by having the god of Israel masquerading as the “God of Heaven” worshipped by Persians.
Laurent Guyénot is the author of JFK-9/11: 50 years of Deep State, Progressive Press, 2014, and From Yahweh to Zion: Jealous God, Chosen People, Promised Land … Clash of Civilizations, 2018. (or $30 shipping included from Sifting and Winnowing, POB 221, Lone Rock, WI 53556).
What’s a neocon?
“What’s a neocon?” clueless George W. Bush once asked his father in 2003. “Do you want names, or a description?” answered Bush 41. “Description.” “Well,” said 41, “I’ll give it to you in one word: Israel.” True or not, that short exchange quoted by Andrew Cockburn sums it up. The neoconservatives are crypto-Zionists, in the sense that their only loyalty goes to Israel — Israel as defined by their mentor Leo Strauss, that is, including an indispensable powerful Diaspora. In his 1962 lecture “Why We Remain Jews,” Strauss quoted as “the most profound and radical statement on assimilation that I have read” Nietzsche’s Dawn of Day aphorism 205 on the Jews (here in Strauss’s translation): “it only remains for them either to become the lords of Europe or to lose Europe […] at some time Europe may fall like a perfectly ripe fruit into their hand, which only casually reaches out. In the meantime it is necessary for them to distinguish themselves in all the areas of European distinction and to stand among the first, until they will be far enough along to determine themselves that which distinguishes.” Update that statement with “Western nations” instead of “Europe” and you have indeed the best possible summary of what the strategy of assimilation really means for the Diaspora elite of the Straussian sort.
The proof of the Straussian neocons’ crypto-Israelism is their U.S. foreign policy, which has always coincided with the best interest of Israel. Before 1967, Israel’s interest rested heavily on Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe. From 1967, when Moscow protested Israel’s annexation of Arab territories by closing Jewish emigration, Israel’s interest depended solely on U.S. military support and included the U.S. winning the Cold War. That is when the editorial board of Commentary (the monthly magazine of the American Jewish Committee) experienced their conversion to “neoconservatism,” and Commentary became, in the words of Benjamin Balint, “the contentious magazine that transformed the Jewish left into the neoconservative right.” Irving Kristol explained to the American Jewish Congress in 1973 why anti-war activism was no longer good for Israel: “it is now an interest of the Jews to have a large and powerful military establishment in the United States. […] American Jews who care about the survival of the state of Israel have to say, no, we don’t want to cut the military budget, it is important to keep that military budget big, so that we can defend Israel.” This enlightens us on what reality Kristol was referring to, when he famously defined a neoconservative as “a liberal who has been mugged by reality” (Neoconservatism: the Autobiography of an Idea, 1995).
With the end of the Cold War, the national interest of Israel changed once again. The primary objective became the destruction of Israel’s enemies in the Middle East by dragging the U.S. into a third world war. The neoconservatives underwent their second fake conversion, from anti-communist Cold Warriors to Islamophobic “Clashers of Civilizations” and crusaders in the “War on Terror.” The “Clash of Civilizations” meme was invented in 1990 by neocon ideologue Bernard Lewis, in an article entitled “The Roots of Muslim Rage.” The concept was then handed down to the goy Samuel Huntington (The Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of World Order). Never before had a book of geopolitics been the subject of such international media hype. Between 1992 and 1994 a parody of intellectual debate was acted in the press, opposing, on one side, Francis Fukuyama (a PNAC member) and his ridiculous prophecy of the “end of history,” and, on the other side, Samuel Huntington and the “clash of civilizations.” The purpose of this fake alternative was to build up Huntington, until the attacks of September 11, 2001 validated his thesis in the most dramatic way. Huntington’s book, meanwhile, has been translated into fifty languages and commented on by the entire world’s press. Long before that, the “clash of civilizations” became an essential part of hollywoodism, (watch Jack Shaheen’s documentary Real Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People, based on his book).
In September 2001, the neoconservatives got the “New Pearl Harbor” that they had been wishing for in a PNAC report written a year earlier. Two dozens neoconservatives had by then been introduced by Dick Cheney into key positions, including: Scooter Libby as Cheney’s deputy; Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith at the Pentagon, David Wurmser at the State Department, and Philip Zelikow and Elliott Abrams at the National Security Council. Abrams had written three years earlier: “Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nation in which they live. It is the very nature of being Jewish to be apart — except in Israel — from the rest of the population.” As for Perle, Feith and Wurmser, they figured among the signatories of a 1996 secret Israeli report entitled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, urging the new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to break with the Oslo Accords of 1993 and reaffirm Israel’s right of preemption on Arab territories. According to Patrick Buchanan, the 2003 Iraq war proves that the plan “has now been imposed by Perle, Feith, Wurmser & Co. on the United States.”
Colin Powell, according to his biographer Karen DeYoung, privately rallied against this “separate little government” composed of “Wolfowitz, Libby, Feith, and Feith’s ‘Gestapo Office’,” but nevertheless granted them the Iraq war. His chief of staff, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, declared in 2006 that he had “participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community and the United Nations Security Council,” and in 2011, he openly denounced the duplicity of neoconservatives such as Wurmser and Feith, whom he considered “card-carrying members of the Likud party.” “I often wondered,” he said, “if their primary allegiance was to their own country or to Israel. That was the thing that troubled me, because there was so much that they said and did that looked like it was more reflective of Israel’s interest than our own.” In other words, something doesn’t quite ring true when neocons say “we Americans,” for example Paul Wolfowitz on April 11, 2002: “Since September 11th, we Americans have one thing more in common with Israelis. On that day America was attacked by suicide bombers. At that moment every American understood what it was like to live in Jerusalem, or Netanya or Haifa. And since September 11th, Americans now know why we must fight and win the war on terrorism.” The neocons’ capacity to deceive the American public by posturing as American rather than Israeli patriots required that their Jewishness be taboo, and Carl Bernstein, though a Jew himself, provoked a scandal by citing on national television the responsibility of “Jewish neocons” for the Iraq war.
But the fact that the destruction of Iraq was carried out on behalf of Israel is now widely accepted, thanks to the 2007 book by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. And even the best liars betray themselves sometimes. Philip Zelikow dropped the mask during a conference at the University of Virginia on September 10, 2002: “Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat is and actually has been since 1990: it’s the threat against Israel. And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell.”
Norman Podhoretz, editor-in-chief of Commentary (and father-in-law of Elliott Abrams), said that after June 1967, Israel became “the religion of the American Jews.” Naturally, outside the Jewish community, this religion should remain discreet, if possible even secret, and disguise itself as American patriotism. By leaning on Christian Zionists, the neocons have perfected this fake American patriotism wholly profitable to Israel, and ultimately disastrous for Americans — a pseudo-Americanism that is really a crypto-Israelism. This crypto-Israelism is very comparable to the crypto-Judaism that played such a determining role in Christendom from the early 15th century. It is worth delving into this background for a better understanding of a practice so constitutive of Jewish policy and culture.
A brief history of the crypto-Jews
Jews officially baptized into the Catholic Church but secretly loyal to Judaism have existed since the early Middle Ages, and their number kept growing after the centralization of papal power in Western Europe from the 11th century. The fifth edict of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) concerns precisely the problem of these insincere converts and their bad influence on other Christians. In many cases, their conversion had resulted from threat of expulsion. But an important factor to consider is the ritual prayer of Kol Nidre, solemnly declaimed three times the day before Yom Kippur: “All vows, obligations, oaths or anathemas, pledges of all names, which we shall have vowed, sworn, devoted or bound ourselves to, from this day of atonement to the next, we repent, aforehand, of them all, they shall be deemed absolved, forgiven, annulled, void and made of no effect; they shall not be binding nor have any power; the vows shall not be reckoned vows, the obligations shall not be reckoned obligatory, nor the oaths considered as oaths.” It is believed that this ritual formula, which proclaims Christian baptism inoperative, was already in use in all Jewish communities throughout Europe in the twelfth century.
The phenomenon of crypto-Judaism reached a new scale at the end of the 14th century in Spain and Portugal. In a quarter century (1391–1415), pressures, threats, and sermons made over a hundred thousand Jewish converts. Freed from the restrictions imposed on Jews, these converts, called “New Christians,” Conversos, or Marranos, experienced a meteoric socio-economic ascension. In the words of historian of Marranism Yirmiyahu Yovel: “Conversos rushed into Christian society and infiltrated most of its interstices. After one or two generations, they were in the councils of Castile and Aragon, exercising the functions of royal counselors and administrators, commanding the army and navy, and occupying all ecclesiastical offices from parish priest to bishop and cardinal. […] The Conversos were priests and soldiers, politicians and professors, judges and theologians, writers, poets and legal advisors—and of course, as in the past, doctors, accountants and high-flying merchants. Some allied themselves by marriage to the greatest families of Spanish nobility […] Their ascent and penetration in society were of astonishing magnitude and speed.” Most converts continued to marry among themselves, and many “effectively tried to keep — in the privacy of their homes and their clandestine behavior — a form of Jewish identity. They secretly observed some Jewish rituals, refrained as much as possible from eating forbidden foods, practiced silent prayer, murmured old formulas and Jewish blessings, and taught their children that they would be saved by the Law of Moses and not by that of Christ; they considered themselves captives in the ‘land of idolatry’ and awaited their own Messiah.”
In 1492, King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile issued the Alhambra Decree, which ordered the final expulsion of Jews who refused to convert, under the justification of their bad influence on their converted brethren, whom they constantly tried to “instruct in the ceremonies and observances of their Law, circumcising their children, etc.” About 40,000 Jews chose baptism, while 120,000 emigrated, mostly to Portugal, tripling the number of Jews in that country. As always in such case, those who preferred exile to apostasy took with them a deeper resentment against Catholicism. Their resentment worsened when, four years after the Alhambra Decree, the king of Portugal Manuel I issued a similar decree, with the difference that, addicted to the Jews’ financial manna, he forbade them to leave the kingdom; in practice, this meant conversion or death. However, he guaranteed them that no investigation would be conducted into their religious life during a period of twenty years (a guarantee renewed in 1512 and again in 1524). Portugal now had a population consisting of about 12 percent New Christians, concentrated in the cities where they represented as much as a quarter to a third of the population. They learned and perfected the art of leading a double life.
King Manuel eventually allowed them to leave and engage in international trade in 1507. The Marranos, often simply referred to as “Portuguese”, quickly became first-class international businessmen, confidently exchanging bills of exchange. They “created the first pre-modern, albeit fragmented, model of economic globalization” and “soon began to rise to the forefront of international trade, virtually monopolizing the market for certain commodities, such as sugar, to participate to a lesser degree in trading spices, rare woods, tea, coffee, and the transportation of slaves.” When in 1540, the new Portuguese king João III introduced the Inquisition following the Spanish model, tracking Portuguese Judaizers down all over Europe and even in the New World, Judaizing Marranos became more intensely resentful of the Catholic faith they had to fake, and more secretive.
What this sad story proves is that Portuguese monarchs bear a heavy responsibility for aggravating the “crypto-Jewish problem.” But they did not create it. Crypsis is a Jewish tradition, and it has deep roots in the Bible. The biblical figure of Esther, the clandestine Jewess who, in the Persian king’s bed, inclined him favorably toward her people, was particularly popular among the Marranos. For generations, they prayed to “Saint Esther.” This is significant because the legend of Esther is also a cornerstone of Jewish culture: every year the Jews celebrate its happy ending (the massacre of 75,000 Persians by the Jews) by the feast of Purim.
Many Marranos or their descendants became monks or priests, and some rose to important ecclesiastical positions in the Catholic Church. They could find justification in their Hebrew Bible, which they now officially called “Old Testament,” and where they could read: “Rebekah took her elder son Esau’s best clothes, which she had at home, and dressed her younger son Jacob in them. […] Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau your first-born’” (Genesis 27:15–19). If Jacob/Israel duped his brother Esau (aka Catholic Rome) of his birthright by dressing like him, why would they not do the same?
The Jesuit order attracted many Marranos, a situation which made it scandalously controversial at times, as Robert Maryks has documented in The Jesuit Order as a Synagogue of Jews (a good review here). The monastic order of Saint Jerome was also known for attracting Judaizing Marranos. One prominent friar, Hernando de Talavera, was the confessor of Isabella the Catholic. Another, Fray Vicente Rocamoro, was the confessor of Anne-Marie (daughter of Philip III of Spain and future empress); he suddenly disappeared, then reappeared in 1643 in the Jewish community of Amsterdam under the name of Isaac de Rocamora.
The role of the Marranos was important in the Calvinist movement. When England sought to undermine Spain’s control over the Netherlands, she benefited from the support of many crypto-Jews converted from Catholicism to Calvinism. According to Jewish historian Lucien Wolf, “the Marranos in Antwerp had taken an active part in the Reformation movement, and had given up their mask of Catholicism for a not less hollow pretense of Calvinism. […] The simulation of Calvinism brought them new friends, who, like them, were enemies of Rome, Spain and the Inquisition. […] Moreover, it was a form of Christianity which came nearer to their own simple Judaism.”
A racialist conception of Jewishness became a hallmark of Marrano culture. Having been forced to change their religion, the Marranos minimized the importance of religion and interpreted their Jewishness in racial terms, viewing themselves as fundamentally Jewish regardless of their religion. It was the Marranos who disseminated the first racialist theories: in 1655 Isaac La Peyrère, a Marrano from Bordeaux, claimed in his treatise Præadamitæ that Adam is the ancestor of the Jewish race, while other breeds are derived from a pre-Adamic humanity, devoid of soul.
Portuguese Marranos and their descendants had a deep and lasting influence in economic, cultural and political world history. A case in point is Benjamin Disraeli, Queen Victoria’s prime minister from 1868 to 1869, and from 1874 to 1880. From a family of Portuguese Marranos converted back to Judaism in Venice, his grandfather had moved to London in 1748. Benjamin’s father, Isaac D’Israeli, the author of a book on The Genius of Judaism, had his whole family baptized when Benjamin was thirteen, for purely mundane reasons — administrative careers were still closed to the Jews. Disraeli, a “race fanatic” according to Hannah Arendt, defined himself as “Anglican of Jewish race.”
Disraeli has been called the true inventor of British imperialism, since it was he who, by introducing the Royal Titles Act in 1876, had Queen Victoria proclaimed Empress of India by Parliament. He orchestrated the British takeover of the Suez Canal in 1875, through funding from his friend Lionel Rothschild (an operation that also consolidated the Rothschilds’ control over the Bank of England). But Disraeli can also be considered one of the forerunners of Zionism. Well before Theodor Herzl, Disraeli tried to add the “restoration of Israel” to the Berlin Congress agenda, hoping to convince the Ottoman Sultan to concede Palestine as an autonomous province.
So what was Disraeli’s motivation behind his foreign policy? Did he believe that the fate of the British was to conquer the world? Or did he see the British Empire as the instrument for the Jewish nation’s fulfillment of its destiny? In mooring the Suez Canal to British interests, did he just seek to outdo the French, or was he laying the foundation for the future alliance between Israel and the Anglo-American Empire? No one can answer these questions with certainty. But his contemporaries pondered them. William Gladstone, his longtime competitor for the prime ministry, accused him of “holding British foreign policy hostage to his Jewish sympathies.”
When the hero of Disraeli’s novel Tancred (1847), a Jew promoted Lord just like the author, glorifies the British Empire in these words: “We wish to conquer the world, led by angels, in order to bring man to happiness, under divine sovereignty,” who does he really mean by “we”? This is the same question that comes to mind when Wolfowitz says “we, Americans”. The Disraeli case is illuminating because the issue of his crypto-Zionism reflects, a century and a half earlier, the issue of the neocons’ crypto-Zionism.
The Haskalah and the masquerade of religion
From his Darwinian perspective, Professor Kevin MacDonald sees crypto-Judaism as “an authentic case of crypsis quite analogous to cases of mimetic camouflage in the natural world.” This even applies, according to MacDonald, to the sincere converts who nevertheless maintain group separatism—those who, while willingly accepting the water of baptism, believe that it has not changed the nature of the blood flowing in their veins, and who care to maintain the purity of that Jewish blood. “Indeed, one might note that New Christians who maintained group separatism while sincerely accepting Christianity were really engaging in a very interesting evolutionary strategy—a true case of crypsis entirely analogous to crypsis in the natural world. Such people would be even more invisible to the surrounding society than crypto-Jews, because they would attend church regularly, not circumcise themselves, eat pork, etc., and have no psychological qualms about doing so. […] Psychological acceptance of Christianity may have been the best possible means of continuing Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy during the period of the Inquisition.”
MacDonald’s Darwinian analysis extends to Judaism itself, which serves as the religious mask of ethnic Jewry. This applies particularly the Haskalah movement (the Jewish enlightenment), which, following the leadership of Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786), confined Jewishness to the religious sphere and encouraged Jews to engage fully into Gentile culture. Reforms for the complete Emancipation of the Jews from all discriminations soon followed: considered members of a religion confession, Jews became equal in right to Catholics and Protestants. Yet most Jews remained as endogamic as before, and suspiciously uninterested in converting anyone. Rather, many converted to various brands of Christianity, for if Judaism is now just a religion and assimilation is the goal, why not chose instead the majority religion of the host nation? So reasoned Heinrich Heine (1797–1856), who stated in his final book Romanzero: “I make no secret of my Judaism, to which I have not returned, because I have not left it.” Gilad Atzmon points out that the Haskalah motto, “Be a Jew at home and a man in the street” is fundamentally dishonest: “The Haskalah Jew is destined to live in a dual, deceptive mode, if not practically a state of schizophrenia. […] The Haskalah Jew is deceiving his or her God when at home, and misleading the goy once in the street. In fact, it is this duality of tribalism and universalism that is at the very heart of the collective secular Jewish identity. This duality has never been properly resolved.”
Zionism was an attempt to resolve it. Moses Hess, a major precursor with his book Rome and Jerusalem (1862), wrote: “Those of our brethren who, for purposes of obtaining emancipation, endeavor to persuade themselves, as well as others, that modern Jews possess no trace of a national feeling, have really lost their heads.” A Jew is a Jew “by virtue of his racial origin, even though his ancestors may have become apostates.” Addressing his fellow Jews, Hess defended the national character of Judaism and denounced the assimilationist Jew’s “beautiful phrases about humanity and enlightenment which he employs as a cloak to hide his treason.”
Officially, Reformed Judaism opposed Zionism. On the occasion of their 1885 Pittsburgh Conference, American reformed rabbis issued the following statement: “We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religion community, and therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor the restoration of a sacrificial worship under the Sons of Aaron, or of any of the laws concerning the Jewish State.” Yet despite this theoretical rejection of nationalism Reformed Judaism promoted a messianic theory which ascribed an exalted role to Israel as chosen people. German-American rabbi Kaufmann Kohler, a star of the Pittsburgh Conference, argued in his Jewish Theology (1918) that by renouncing the expectation of an individual Messiah, “Reform Judaism has thus accepted the belief that Israel, the suffering Messiah of the centuries, shall at the end of days become the triumphant Messiah of the nations.” “Israel is the champion of the Lord, chosen to battle and suffer for the supreme values of mankind, for freedom and justice, truth and humanity; the man of woe and grief, whose blood is to fertilize the soil with the seeds of righteousness and love for mankind. […] Accordingly, modern Judaism proclaims more insistently than ever that the Jewish people is the Servant of the Lord, the suffering Messiah of the nations, who offered his life as an atoning sacrifice for humanity and furnished his blood as the cement with which to build the divine kingdom of truth and justice.” It is easy to recognize here a blatant case of mimesis, which shows that, in the process of making itself look like a religion, Jewishness can do no better than mimicking Christianity: the crucifixion of Christ (by the Jews, as Christians used to say) is turned into a symbol of the martyrdom of the Jews (by Christians mostly).
One can also see in the neo-messianism of Reformed Judaism a form of super-nationalism through which Reform Judaism contributed, paradoxically, to the rise of the very Zionism that it claimed to disavow. In fact, the theme of the “crucifixion of the Jews” was also widely used by secular Zionist Jews as a political argument.
While originally affirming their mutual incompatibility and competing for the hearts of Jews — wealthy and destitute alike — Reformed Judaism and Zionism finally joined hands and congratulated each other on their marvelous common achievement: a nation like no other, with both a national territory and an international citizenry. Except for a few orthodox Jews, most Jews today see no contradiction between Judaism and Zionism. The question of whether such dialectical machinery is engineered by Yahweh or by B’nai B’rith is open to debate. But although some consciously planned dialectical engineering must be accounted for, the process also results from the Jews’ tendency to capitalize on every movement of opinion in which they see a promising future. They may find themselves divided on many issues, but since their choices are ultimately subordinated to the great metaphysical question, “Is it good for Jews?” there is always a moment when their oppositions are resolved in a way that reinforces the global position of the Jews.
A similar dialectical opposition can be observed between Zionism and Communism. The former was a nationalist movement, while the second was internationalist, so they are theoretically irreconciliable. But a former Trotskist like Irving Kristol is the living proof (though now dead) that they are not. In fact, the following remark by the historian of Judaism Daniel Lindenberg illustrates that Jewish internationalists’ relation to Israel in the 20th century strongly resembled the New Christians’ relation to Judaism in pre-modern times: “Anyone who has known Communist Jews, ex-Kominternists, or even some prominent representatives of the 1968 generation will know what frustrated crypto-Jewishness means: Here are men and women who, in principle, according to the ‘internationalist’ dogma, have stifled in themselves all traces of ‘particularism’ and ‘petty-bourgeois Jewish chauvinism,’ who are nauseated by Zionism, support Arab nationalism and the great Soviet Union—yet who secretly rejoice in Israel’s military victories, tell anti-Soviet jokes, and weep while listening to a Yiddish song. This goes on until the day when, like a Leopold Trepper, they can bring out their repressed Jewishness, sometimes becoming, like the Marranos of the past, the most intransigent of neophytes.”
From the perspective of “What is good for the Jews,” contradictions are easily resolved. Jews, for example, can be nationalists in Israel, and multiculturalists abroad, as Kevin MacDonald has well documented. A caricature of this contradiction is Israel Zangwill, the successful author of the play The Melting Pot (1908), whose title has become a metaphor for American society. The hero is a Jew who emigrated to the United States to flee the pogroms that decimated his family in Russia. He falls in love with a Christian Russian immigrant, who turns out to be the daughter of the Russian officer responsible for the death of his family. The father of the bride repents, and the couple lives happily ever after. The hero makes himself the bard of assimilation by mixed marriages, through which God gives birth to a new man: “America is God’s Crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and reforming.” The paradox is that when he was writing this play, Zangwill was a committed Zionist leader, that is, the leader of a movement affirming the impossibility of Jews living among Gentiles, and demanding that they be ethnically separated. Zangwill is the author of another famous formula: “Palestine is a land without people for a people without land.” There is no better illustration of the Jewish community’s double standard, advocating cross-breeding among the Gentiles and ethnic purity among the Jews. The neoconservative Douglas Feith said it bluntly in a speech delivered in Jerusalem in 1997: “There is a place in the world for non-ethnic nations and there is a place for ethnic nations.”
Ezra and the invention of Jewish monotheism
In Darwinian terms, “crypsis” is defined as “the faculty of a species to merge with its environment,” while ”mimesis” means “the faculty of one species to resemble another.” These are adaptive strategies conventionally attributed to the Jews, and rightly so. The Jew has an extraordinary capacity “to conform externally to his temporary surroundings,” wrote Hilaire Belloc (The Jews, 1922); “a Jew takes on with inexplicable rapidity the colour of his environment.” But this must not be confused with actual assimilation. Such crypsis is an adaptive strategy for security in a potentially hostile environment. By no means is it a renunciation of Jewish identity: “while he is, within, and through all his ultimate character, above all things a Jew; yet in the superficial and most immediately apparent things he is clothed in the very habit of whatever society he for the moment inhabits.”
In this last section, I will argue that this culture of crypsis and deception is woven into the very fabric of Hebrew Bible.
Historians today admit that the core of the Jewish Tanakh, the “Deuteronomistic corpus” formed by the Pentateuch and the books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel and Kings, which show a strong narrative and ideological unity, was edited during the exilic period, and mostly at the end of it, when Babylon had fallen under Persian rule and the exiled Judeans were preparing for the reconquest of Palestine. This does not mean that all the contents of this first part of today’s Hebrew Bible were invented then. There was an aggregation of oral and written materials: law codes, chronicles and legends of kings, warriors, and holy men, as well as religious and secular songs, visions, and prophecies. But “the ideological structure of the biblical literature can only be explained in the last analysis as a product of the Persian period.” (Baruch Spinoza had reached the same conclusion in 1670, by the way, though recent scholars ignore him).
When Persian king Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon in 539 BCE, the Judeans were rewarded for having assisted him from within; they obtained high offices at the Persian court. The Judeans also received permission and support for returning to Jerusalem and establish a theocracy (a government of priests) over the ancient land of Israel. For this, Cyrus is bestowed the title of God’s “Anointed” (Mashiah) in Isaiah 45:1, Yahweh (or his influential devotees) having “grasped [him] by his right hand, to make the nations bow before him.” The pattern of how the Judeo-Babylonians used the Persian empire for their colonizing entreprise is remarkably similar to the way Zionists have used the Anglo-American Empire in recent times. In fact, it can be said that the final redaction of the Pentateuch and of most of historical books was undertaken as a propanganda tool to sustain the geopolitical project of the conquest of Palestine by the Judeo-Babylonians, a conquest wholly illegitimate if we consider that these Judeans aimed at usurping the name and the heritage of the ancient kindgom of Israel, of which Judea was merely, until the destruction of Israel by Assyria, a backwards hinterland of arid mountains and deserts inhabited by pastoral tribes recently settled. It is therefore no wonder that the Bible has always been the blueprint for the Zionist project.
The story of Joseph son of Jacob, which occupies the last chapters of the Book of Genesis (37–50), dates from that Persian period, and the story of Esther, which belongs to the same “Jewish romance” genre, is even posterior. Both heroes are smart Jews who have reached influential positions in the high spheres of government and use them to benefit their community, at the expense of the natives.
Post-exilic innovations are particularly obvious in Genesis, which is now the first book of the Pentateuch, but can be considered the latest in redaction. The Tower of Babel story (Genesis 11) cannot have been written prior to the fall of Babylon, and the Garden of Eden, where both the Euphrates and the Tigris take their source (Genesis 2), takes its Hebrew name Pardès, from which “Paradise” derives, from Persian royal gardens.
The Book of Genesis equates the God of Israel to the God of mankind and Creator of the Universe. That idea crystallized during the Persian period. In earlier strata of the Bible, Yahweh is the jealous god, and his jealously supposes the existence of other gods. In pre-exilic prophets, Yahweh is a national, ethnic god: “For all peoples go forward, each in the name of its god, while we go forward in the name of Yahweh our god for ever and ever” (Micah 4:5). And in the story of Moses, which is very old indeed, Yahweh presents himself to Moses as “the god of your ancestors” (Exodus 3:6). What sets him apart from other tribal gods is possessive exclusivism: “You shall have no other gods to rival me” (Exodus 20:3).
Only in the Persian period does Yahweh become the only true God, and, by logical consequence, the creator of the Universe. And unsurprisingly, the way the Jewish God pretends to have created the Universe is directly imitated from Mesopotamian myths—though his hanging the sun in the heavens three days and three nights after saying “let there be light” (Genesis 1:3–19) leaves us skeptical.
As for monotheism, for whose invention Jews take so much pride, it was also borrowed from Persian religion, which was officially monotheistic under the Achaemenids. (Whether they were Zoroastrians is a matter of debate, but it is known that the Achaemenids were worshipers of the Supreme God Ahura Mazda, whose representations and invocations can be seen on royal inscriptions.) Herodotus tells us about the customs of the Persians: “they have no images of the gods, no temples nor altars, and consider the use of them a sign of folly. [….] Their wont, however, is to ascend the summits of the loftiest mountains, and there to offer sacrifice to Zeus, which is the name they give to the whole circuit of the firmament” (Histories, I.131). Persian monotheism, however, was highly tolerant of other cults, and neither Cyrus the Great nor his descendants tried to impose their religion on conquered peoples.
In contrast, Yahwism, or Judean monotheism, is exclusivist because, although Yahweh now claims to be the universal God, he remains the jealous god of Israel. The formation of Judean (Jewish) monotheism is in itself a process of crypsis: the ethnic god of Israel is mimicking the true universal God of the Gentiles, for the purpose of political and cultural ascendency.
The process can actually be deduced from the Book of Ezra. In 458 BCE, eighty years after the return of the first exiles, Ezra, proud descendant of a line of Yahwist priests, went from Babylon to Jerusalem, accompanied by some 1,500 followers. Carrying with him an amplified version of the Torah and presumably mandated by the king of Persia, Ezra called himself the “Secretary of the Law of the God of heaven” (Ezra 7:21). That title itself is a strong argument for considering, as did Spinoza, that Ezra was indeed the head of the scribal school that compiled the Deuteronomistic corpus. Ezra was soon joined by Nehemiah, a Persian court official of Judean origin (a Joseph-type figure).
The book of Ezra contains extracts from several edicts attributed to succeeding Persian kings. All are deemed as fake as Ahasuerus’s edict in the book of Esther, but their content is indicative of the politico-religious strategy deployed by the Judean exiles for their proto-Zionist lobbying. In the first edict, Cyrus the Great declared: “Yahweh, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has appointed me to build him a Temple in Jerusalem, in Judah. Whoever among you belongs to the full tally of his people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem, in Judah, and build the Temple of Yahweh, the god of Israel, who is the god in Jerusalem” (Ezra 1:2–3, my emphasis). So, Cyrus speaks in the name of “the God of heaven” while authorizing the Judean exiles to build a temple to “Yahweh, the god of Israel who is the god in Jerusalem.” We understand that both phrases refer to the same God, but the duality is significant. We find it again in the edict authorizing the second wave of return. It is now Artaxerxes, “king of kings,” addressing “the priest Ezra, Secretary of the Law of the God of heaven,” to ask him to offer a gigantic holocaust to “the god of Israel who resides in Jerusalem” (7:12–15). We later find twice the expression “God of heaven” interspersed with seven references to “your God,” that is to say, the God of Israel (and keep in mind that capitalization is a convention of modern translators). The phrase “God of heaven” appears one more time in the book of Ezra, and it is, again, in an edict of a Persian king: Darius confirms the edict of Cyrus and recommends that the Israelites “may offer sacrifices acceptable to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons” (6:10). Elsewhere the book of Ezra only refers to the “God of Israel” (four times), “Yahweh, the God of your fathers” (once), and “our God” (ten times). In other words, according to the author of the book of Ezra, only the kings of Persia imagine that Yahweh is “the God of heaven”—a common designation of the universal god Ahura Mazda among the Persians—while for the Jews, Yahweh is merely their god, the “god of Israel,” the god of their fathers, in short, a tribal god.
The same principle can be observed in the book of Daniel (another romance of the Joseph and Esther type), when Nebuchadnezzar, impressed by Daniel’s oracle, prostrates himself and exclaims: “Your god is indeed the God of gods, the Master of kings” (Daniel 2:47). Such narratives in which the god of the Jews becomes, in the eyes of the goyim, the God of the Universe, reveal the real secret of Judaism, the key to its relationship to universalism: for the Jews, Yahweh is the god of the Jews, while Gentiles are led to believe that he is the supreme and only God. “In the heart of any pious Jew, God is a Jew,” writes Maurice Samuel in You Gentiles (1924), while in the message addressed to the Goyim, he is the universal God who happens to prefer Jews.
The quiproquo would lead to a public scandal in 167 BC, when the Hellenistic emperor Antiochos IV dedicated the temple in Jerusalem to Zeus Olympios, the supreme God. He had been led to understand, probably, that Yahweh and Zeus were two names for the cosmic God, the Heavenly father of all mankind. But the Jewish Maccabees who led the rebellion against him knew better: Yahweh may be the Supreme God, but only Jews are intimate with Him, and any way the Pagans worship Him is an abomination.
 Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld: His Rise, His fall, and Catastrophic Legacy, Scribner, 2011, p. 219. Cockburn claims to have heard it from “friends of the family.”
 Strauss, “Why we Remain Jews”, quoted in Shadia Drury, Leo Strauss and the American Right, St. Martin’s Press, 1999, p. 31-43.
 Benjamin Balint, Running Commentary: The Contentious Magazine That Transformed the Jewish Left into the Neoconservative Right, Public Affairs, 2010.
 Congress Bi-Weekly, quoted by Philip Weiss, “30 Years Ago, Neocons Were More Candid About Their Israel-Centered Views,” Mondoweiss.net, May 23, 2007: mondoweiss.net/2007/05/30_years_ago_ne.html
 Elliott Abrams, Faith or Fear: How Jews Can Survive in a Christian America, Simon & Schuster, 1997, p. 181.
 Stephen Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel, Enigma Edition, 2008, p. 156.
 Stephen Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal, op. cit., p. 120.
 Justin Raimondo, The Terror Enigma: 9/11 and the Israeli Connection, iUniverse, 2003, p. 19.
 April 26, 2013, on MSNBC, watch on YouTube.
 Noted by Inter-Press Service on March 29, 2004, under the title “U.S.: Iraq war is to protect Israel, says 9/11 panel chief,” and repeated by United Press International the next day, on www.upi.com.
 Norman Podhoretz, Breaking Ranks: A Political Memoir, Harper & Row, 1979, p. 335.
 Yirmiyahu Yovel, L’Aventure marrane. Judaïsme et modernité, Seuil, 2011, p. 395.
 Yirmiyahu Yovel, L’Aventure marrane, op. cit., pp. 119-120, 149–151.
 Yirmiyahu Yovel, L’Aventure marrane, op. cit., pp. 483, 347.
 Yirmiyahu Yovel, L’Aventure marrane, op. cit., pp. 149–151.
 Yirmiyahu Yovel, L’Aventure marrane, op. cit., pp. 185–191.
 Lucien Wolf, Report on the “Marranos” or Crypto-Jews of Portugal. Presented to the Alliance Israelite Universelle and the Council of the Anglo-Jewish Association, March 1926.
 Quoted in André Pichot, Aux origines des théories raciales, de la Bible à Darwin, Flammarion, 2008, pp. 52–66.
 Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, vol. 1: Antisemitism, Meridian Books, 1958, pp. 309–310.
 Stanley Weintraub, Disraeli: A Biography, Hamish Hamilton, 1993, p. 579.
 Kevin MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism, Praeger, 1998, kindle 2013, k. 5876–82.
 Quoted in Kevin MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents, op. cit., k. 4732–4877.
 Gilad Atzmon, The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics, Zero Books, 2011, pp. 55–56.
 Moses Hess, Rome and Jerusalem: A Study in Jewish Nationalism, 1918 (archive.org), pp. 71, 27.
 Moses Hess, Rome and Jerusalem, op. cit., p. 74.
 Quoted in Alfred Lilienthal, What Price Israel? (1953), 50th Anniversary Edition, Infinity Publishing, 2003, p. 14.
 Kaufmnann Kohler, Jewish Theology, Systematically and Historically Considered, Macmillan, 1918 (www.gutenberg.org), p. 290.
 Kaufmann Kohler, Jewish Theology, Systematically and Historically Considered, Macmillan, 1918 (on www.gutenberg.org), pp. 378–380.
 Daniel Lindenberg, Figures d’Israël. L’identité juive entre marranisme et sionisme (1649–1998), Fayard, 2014, p. 10.
 Stephen Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal, op. cit., p. 119.
 Hilaire Belloc, The Jews, Constable & Co., 1922 (archive.org), pp. 32–35.
 Philip Davies, In Search of “Ancient Israel”: A Study in Biblical Origins, Journal of the Study of the Old Testament, 1992, p. 94. Davies is one of the founders of this “minimalist” school now gaining wide recognition. Also influential has been Niels Peter Lemche, The Israelites in History and Tradition, John Knox Press, 1998. A more recent proponent of the same approach is Thomas Romer, who has summarized his conclusions in The Invention of God, Harvard University Press, 2016.
 Benedict de Spinoza, Theological-political treatise, chapter 8, §11, Cambridge UP, 2007, pp. 126-128, on *.
 Maurice Samuel, You Gentiles, New York, 1924 (archive.org), pp. 74–75.