Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on December 26, 2019.
Dan Rosenberg, writing in the Canadian Jewish News, claims that it’s “anti-Semitic” to say that there’s a war on Christmas. He also says that “terms such as ‘New York lawyers (and bankers),’ and ‘Hollywood culture’ refer to Jews. When people speak of the ‘secularists’ and ‘internationalists’ who are behind conspiracies like the War on Christmas, they are also referring to Jews.” And I suppose any mentions of globalists, George Soros’s influence, or the Israel Lobby are similarly off limits. In fact, for the likes of Rosenberg (and pretty much every Jew with a high position in the media), any mention that Jews are an elite or have any influence at all (or at least not any influence that is not utterly benign and good for everyone) is horrifying and utterly irrational.
Activists like Rosenberg are not limited by having to deal with actual data and facts. It’s simple. They can claim anything they want because any assertion that Jews have anything to do with changing Christian culture of America is automatically labeled as evil.
So what evidence does Rosenberg come up with?
The idea of the War on Christmas started with one of the founding fathers of American anti-Semitism: automaker Henry Ford. Back in the 1920s, he published a newsweekly called the International Jew. It frequently featured blatantly bigoted accusations such as, “Last Christmas, most people had a hard time finding Christmas cards that indicated in any way that Christmas commemorated someone’s birth.… People sometimes ask why three million Jews can control the affairs of 100 million Americans. In the same way that 10 Jewish students can abolish the mention of Christmas and Easter out of schools containing 3,000 Christian pupils.”
In modern times, Fox News has been airing segments such as Bill O’Reilly’s 2016 “Naughty or Nice” list, which praised businesses that use “Merry Christmas” and condemned others that say “Happy Holidays.”
That’s it. No heavy lifting required. Of course, it ignores Eli Plaut’s academic book A Kosher Christmas which proudly claims, in the words of a reviewer:
Jews have been the vanguard of an effort to “transform Christmastime into a holiday season belonging to all Americans,” without religious exclusivity. The most important Jewish mechanisms of secularization are comedy and parody, for laughter undermines religious awe. Take, for example, Hanukkah Harry from “Saturday Night Live”, who heroically steps in for a bedridden Santa by delivering presents from a cart pulled by donkeys named Moishe, Hershel, and Shlomo. Remarkably, Hanukkah Harry has emerged as a real Santa-alternative for many American Jews. Plaut sees such things not as attempts at assimilation but as an intentional subversion of Christmas traditions. “Through these parodies,” he writes, “Jews could envision not having to be captivated by the allure of ubiquitous Christmas symbols.” And it isn’t just Jews: for Americans in general, Jewish parody helps ensure that Christmas “not be taken too seriously” and that the celebrations of other traditions “be accorded equal respect and opportunity.”
As I note in my comment, “there seem to be two messages here. One is the message of subversion utilizing ridicule among other methods. The other is that Jews are seen as high-mindedly making Christmas ‘into a holiday season belonging to all Americans.’ The end result is that Christmas is not ‘taken too seriously’ and the Christian religious aspect central to the traditional holiday is de-emphasized.”
So is it “blatantly bigoted” to make claims such as that Jews have been instrumental in getting Christianity removed from the public square? Of course not. In Chapter 7 of The Culture of Critique I noted: “One aspect of the Jewish interest in cultural pluralism in the United States has been that Jews have a perceived interest that the United States not be a homogeneous Christian culture. As Ivers (1995, 2) notes,
Jewish civil rights organizations have had an historic role in the postwar development of American church-state law and policy.” In this case the main Jewish effort began only after World War II, although Jews opposed linkages between the state and the Protestant religion much earlier. … The Jewish effort in this case was well funded and was the focus of well-organized, highly dedicated Jewish civil service organizations, including the AJCommittee, the AJCongress, and the ADL. It involved keen legal expertise both in the actual litigation but also in influencing legal opinion via articles in law journals and other forums of intellectual debate, including the popular media. It also involved a highly charismatic and effective leadership, particularly Leo Pfeffer of the AJCongress.
But, since Rosenberg focuses on Henry Ford, let’s take a look at what Ford’s The International Jew (TIJ)had to say (see my review). This was around 1920, well before the post-World War II era when Jewish influence crescendoed. The International Jew had a lot to say about Jewish efforts to eradicate the idea that America ought to be a Christian culture. Rosenberg writes that any mention of “Hollywood culture” is an unacceptable reference to Jews. Ford’s writers were well aware of this:
TIJ notes that to advocate censorship is construed as anti-Semitism: “Reader, beware! if you so much as resent the filth of the mass of the movies, you will fall under the judgment of anti-Semitism” (2/12/1921).
But, after noting that “90% of the production is in the hands of a few large companies, 85% of which “are in the hands of Jews” (2/12/1921), there was enough resentment about the movies that in fact attempts to control Hollywood were created shortly thereafter:
TIJ is careful to note that its concerns with the moral messages in movies are not idiosyncratic but part of a larger kulturkampf between the movie industry and large segments of the American public: “In almost every state there are movie censorship bills pending, with the old ‘wet’ and gambling elements against them, and the awakened part of the decent population in favor of them; always, the Jewish producing firms constituting the silent pressure behind the opposition” (2/12/1921). Indeed, the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, headed by Will H. Hays, was created in 1922 in response to movements in over thirty state legislatures to enact strict censorship laws, and the Production Code Administration, headed by Joseph I. Breen, was launched in response to a campaign by the Catholic Legion of Decency (Gabler 1988). TIJ’s reservations about the moral content of movies was indeed widely shared among the American public.
The effectiveness of these organizations in influencing the content of Hollywood culture lasted until the 1960s’ counter-cultural revolution, a social transformation, that as argued in Chapter 3 of The Culture of Critique, was the product of a new Jewish-dominated elite that remains dominant today. Moreover, “the assertions of TIJ are congruent with recent studies indicating that Jews remain in control of the movie industry and that the movies often portray Christians and Christianity negatively and Jews and Judaism positively (e.g., Medved, 1992/1993; MacDonald, 2002a).” For recent examples, see Edmund Connelly’s updated War on Christmas series.
As also noted in the quote above from The Culture of Critique, TIJ was also well aware of Jewish influence in removing Christianity from the public square:
Besides the cultural influences described above, TIJ devotes a great deal of attention to the Jewish political campaigns against public expressions of Christianity and for official recognition of the Jewish religion (e.g., recognizing Jewish holidays). “The St. Louis Charity Fair in 1908 planned to remain open on Friday evening; a great outcry; did the managers of that fair mean to insult the Jews; didn’t they know that the Jewish Sabbath began on Friday night?” (6/04/1921). TIJ presents a history of Jewish activism against public expressions of Christianity based on Kehillah records [see TIJ‘s account of the Kehillah], beginning with an attempt in 1899–1900 to remove the word “Christian” from the Virginia Bill of Rights and culminating in 1919–1920: “In this year the Kehillah was so successful in its New York campaign that it was possible for a Jewish advertiser in New York to say that he wanted Jewish help, but it was not possible for a non-Jewish advertiser to state his non-Jewish preference. This is a sidelight both on Jewish reasonableness and Jewish power” (3/12/1920). “The Jews’ interference with the religion of the others, and the Jews’ determination to wipe out of public life every sign of the predominant Christian character of the United States is the only active form of religious intolerance in the country today” (3/21/1920).
Indeed, the focus of Jewish activism was that the United States was not a Christian civilization but an “unshapen mass of potentiality”:
Based on pronouncements of Jewish organizations and intellectuals, TIJ makes the important point that Jews promote “one of the dangerous doctrines being preached today” that “the United States is not any definite thing as yet, but that it is yet to be made, and it is still the prey of whatever power can seize it and mold it to its liking. It is a favorite Jewish view that the United States is a great unshapen mass of potentiality, of no particular character which is yet to be given its definite form. . . . We are not making Americans; we are permitting foreigners to be educated in the theory that America is a free-for-all, the prize of whatever fantastic foreign political theory may seize it” (3/05/1921). This comment on Jewish attitudes fits well with a great deal of evidence that Jews have consistently opposed the notion that the U.S. has any ethnic overtones or that it is a European or Christian civilization (see MacDonald, 1998/2002, Ch. 7). …
What strikes the reader of TIJ is its portrayal of Jewish intensity and aggressiveness in asserting its interests. Jews were unique as an American immigrant group in their hostility toward American Christian culture and in their energetic efforts to change that culture (see also MacDonald 1998b, 2002b). From the perspective of TIJ, the United States had imported around 3,500,000 mainly Yiddish speaking, intensely Jewish immigrants over the previous 40 years. In that very short period, Jews had had enormous effect on American society.
Fundamentally, TIJ was correct in all of its important assertions. I conclude:
Mainstream scholarship supports the following contentions of TIJ regarding Jewish influence on the U.S. as of the early 1920s:
Jews had achieved a great deal of economic success, even to the point of dominating certain important U.S. industries.
Jewish organizations had launched highly successful campaigns to remove references to Christianity from U.S. public culture and to legitimize Judaism as a religion on a par with Protestantism and Catholicism.
Jewish organizations had been able to impose their ethnic interests on certain key areas of domestic policy. As TIJ noted, Jews were the main force behind maintaining the policy of unrestricted immigration; by 1920, unrestricted immigration policy had continued nearly 20 years after U.S. public opinion had turned against it (see MacDonald 1998b, Ch. 7). Jews had also shown the ability to have a great deal of influence in the executive branch of the U.S. government, as indicated by their influence in the Wilson administration.
Jews had also been able to impose their ethnic interests in the area of foreign policy despite widespread feelings among the political establishment that the policies advocated by the Jewish community were often not in the best interests of the United States. The main examples highlighted by TIJ were the abrogation of the Russian trade agreement in 1911 and post-W.W.I policy toward Eastern Europe where Jewish attitudes were entirely dictated by their perceptions of the interests of foreign Jews rather than the economic or political interests of the U.S. Jews achieved their goals on these issues despite the views of the Taft Administration on the Russian Trade Agreement and the views of a wide range of military and diplomatic figures that the U.S. should support post-W.W.I Poland as a bulwark against Bolshevism and that Jewish complaints against Poland were exaggerated (see Bendersky 2000).
Jews had been a major force behind the success of Bolshevism and its incredibly bloody reign of terror in the Soviet Union and in the abortive Communist revolutions in Hungary by Kun and Germany by Eisner.
Jews were the main component and by far the most energetic component of the radical left in the United States, a movement that advocated a massive political, economic, and cultural transformation of the U.S.
Jews had attained a substantial influence over the U.S. media via a virtual monopoly on the movie production business, domination of the theater and music businesses, their influence in journalism, ownership of some newspapers, and their ability to apply economic pressure on newspapers because of their importance as advertisers. In turn, the ability of Jews to pressure non-Jewish newspapers depended on Jewish ownership of department stores in major cities. Jews used this media influence to advance their domestic and foreign policy agendas, portray Jews and Judaism positively while portraying Christianity negatively, and promote a sexual morality at odds with the traditional culture of the United States.
In turn, these consequences stemmed from critical features of Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy
But for an activist like Rosenberg, all that is necessary is to scream “bigoted,” “anti-Semitic,” and the vast majority of people, unaware of the history of Jewish activism, acquiesce. This is unsurprising because the history of Jewish activism and influence can’t even be discussed in polite circles much less be disseminated in the mainstream media or the educational system.
Or they are well aware of the Jewish role in transforming the culture of the United States, but they also aware of the Jewish power to ruin their lives.
In short the present situation is an excellent marker of Jewish power in contemporary America. And yes, Christianity remains in their crosshairs.