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A Tartan Tyranny: Censorship and Silence in the Virtue-Signalling Scottish Police State

Race isn’t a social construct, but here’s something that is: the so-called United Kingdom. In fact, it’s precisely because race exists that the U.K. is a construct rather than a nation. The native Whites of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are genetically distinct, which is why those regions are all genuine nations (ultimately from Latin nasci, “to be born”). If I travel from England to Scotland or Wales, I feel as though I’m going to a different country.

Concept vs Reality

That’s because I am going to a different country. And I like the feeling. I fully support the concept of Scottish and Welsh independence. For example, I would be delighted to see an independent Wales where the Welsh language and Welshness were re-born and re-invigorated. An independent Scotland would be more complicated and perhaps there should be two of them, split between the Gaelic-speaking Highlands and the Scots-speaking Lowlands.

But I chose my words carefully: I fully support the concept of Scottish and Welsh independence, but I utterly oppose what would be the modern reality. If Scotland and Wales won independence in the near future, they would be run by traitorous left-wing governments and would open their borders to the Third World. That’s already happened in independent southern Ireland, where the Jewish immigration minister Alan Shatter welcomed in many thousands of Blacks and Muslims. Their low average IQs and high average criminality are now inflicting serious harm on Ireland, as the hate-blogger Irish Savant has often documented.

A Scottish shabbos goy

Alan Shatter will one day, I hope, be put on trial for crimes against the Irish people. But Shatter couldn’t be charged with treason, because he was never Irish in the first place. He was always loyal to his own Jewish race and its interests. However, someone who can be charged with treason is the Scottish shabbos goy Tony Blair, who came to power with Jewish money and diligently served Jewish interests throughout his time as prime minister. Blair’s thuggish and Machiavellian press-secretary Alastair Campbell told the Jewish Chronicle that Blair “was conscious of the need to have very, very good relations” with “the Jewish community.” That “community” is small in numbers but gigantic in power, influence and wealth. In fact, you could define Blair’s New Labour party as an alliance between hostile Jews and renegade Scots against England and English traditions.

One English tradition that Jews like Peter Mandelson and Scots like Tony Blair wanted to destroy was the tradition of free speech. Authoritarianism and collectivism are stronger north of the border, where Christianity took a much sterner and stricter form after the fall of Catholicism. Although the Church of England burnt and beheaded enthusiastically in its early days, it became a mild and tolerant institution known for its fence-sitting and equivocation, not for hell-fire sermons and heresy-hunting. Calvinistic Scottish Protestantism was quite different and it’s unsurprising that Scotland witnessed “the last mass execution for witchcraft in western Europe.”

A curse on the Campbells

Scottish politicians like Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and John Reid brought those authoritarian traditions south to London to meet the authoritarian traditions of Jews like Lord Levy, Peter Mandelson and David Miliband. But the dim and narcissistic Blair was a front-man in New Labour, not a genuine leader. He followed orders from much more intelligent and forceful men like Lord Levy, who funded him, and Alastair Campbell, who oversaw his propaganda and choreographed his acting. Campbell was born in England but is ethnically Scottish and remained true to the clan whose name he bears. Historically, the Campbells are notorious in Scotland for their treachery in the Massacre of Glencoe against the Clan MacDonald. Alastair Campbell became notorious in England for his Machiavellian ways and was central to the lies and deceit that took Britain into the Iraq War.

The Machiavellian Alastair Campbell

Nowadays Campbell is central to the campaign to nullify or reverse Brexit, which Scotland didn’t vote for and which the Scottish “First Minister” Nicola Sturgeon strongly opposes. Sturgeon leads the collectivist and authoritarian Scottish National Party (SNP), but the “independence” planned by the Scots Nats would be a thoroughly Orwellian affair. They want to take Scotland out of the United Kingdom so that it can come more firmly under the rule of the European Union (EU). Read more

Ron Unz on Jewish Strategizing to Maintain 1000% Overrepresentation in the Ivy League

Ron Unz has an important article on Jewish overrepresentation in the Ivy League. Essentially the subterfuge was likely counting only religious Jews as Jews which resulted in a sudden very large drop in Hillel’s claims about Jewish enrollment in the Ivy League. As Unz notes, this is beautifully reminiscent of Jewish strategizing to avoid the charge of Jewish overrepresentation among Bolsheviks during the horrors of the first decades of the Soviet Union: The ADL and other Jewish organizations simply claimed that Bolshevik Jews, being godless Communists, were not really Jews at all. This is why Chapter 3 of The Culture of Critique is concerned with showing that Jewish Bolsheviks and other Jews on the left in the diaspora in the West not only identified as Jews but also saw communism as “good for the Jews,” as the saying goes. And of course, it was good for the Jews: Yuri Slezkine provides a great deal of corroboration that indeed Jews became an elite—a hostile elite—in the Soviet Union during the most murderous decades of the regime.

Notice also that non-Jewish Whites and Asians of high academic ability are also discriminated against by this Jewish strategizing — and this despite well documented decline in Jewish academic performance compared to their upwardly mobile parents and grandparents. As Unz found in his 2012 paper, non-Jewish Whites are underrepresented by a factor of 15, Asians by a factor of 7. As I noted,

But the numbers for Jewish overrepresentation compared to Whites are even more striking. Corresponding to the collapse of Jewish academic achievement has been an increase in the percentage of high-performing Whites in math and science competitions. And whereas the performance of Jews has declined dramatically, the performance for Whites has stayed approximately the same—an amazing and very heartening finding considering the corrosive effect of the MTV culture and a public school system whose main function would seem to be spewing multicultural propaganda and White guilt rather than academic rigor. “Based on the overall distribution of America’s population, it appears that approximately 65–70 percent of America’s highest ability students are non-Jewish whites, well over ten times the Jewish total of under 6 percent.”

So instead of constituting 65–70% of the student body at elite universities, non-Jewish Whites average around 23% for elite universities while Jews, constituting less than 6% average around the same.

Read more

Tom Sunic’s Preface to Defamation Factory by Kaiter Enless

Defamation Factory: The Sordid History of the Anti-Defamation League
Kaiter Enless,
Reconquista Press, 2018

Below is my preface to the book.

*****

There is such a huge literature on Jews that it makes one wonder whether it is necessary at all to add more books on this subject. For the most part, the literature on Jews, at least as far as our postmodern discourse is concerned, depicts them as eternal victims of irrational prejudice by non-Jews. Hence, Jewish victimhood—either real or surreal—must now be projected worldwide as an educational tool for preordaining Jews as moral pillars of all of humanity. In addition, these perpetual victims must be appointed to serve as the conscience of always aggressive and unpredictable Gentiles. Even the literature critical or hostile to Jews, which as a rule carries the label, “anti-Semitic,” plays an important role in bolstering Jewish identity. Were there no more anti-Semites around, it is questionable how much longer Jewish identity would survive. Likewise, if all present anti-Semites were to disappear for good, a new brand of anti-Semitism would likely need to be invented.

In Defamation Factory, Keiter Enless focuses on the power and tactics of the Anti-Defamation League ( ADL), but also discusses Jewish psychology. He explains a specific Jewish binary behavior: constant fear of sudden anti-Jewish outbursts on the one hand, and, on the other, the obsessive Jewish quest to suppress their critics, whom they label “anti-Semites.” One merit of this book is that its author delves into semantic distortions used in the ADL discourse on potential or purported critics of Jews. While it is today acceptable to talk in general about “German crime,”  or “Russian crime,”  or “American  crime”  without criminalizing the entire German, Russian or American nation, the same generic usage of the word “Jew”, let alone the verbal construct  “Jewish crime,” is unacceptable and even, as is the case in modern Europe today, subject to criminal sanctions. The substantive “Jew,” even when used in a neutral political context, must be avoided. It should not come as a surprise that even the short, high-pitched English phoneme “Jew” /dʒuː/ is getting more and more replaced by a somewhat attenuated low-pitched adjective consisting of the two English syllables “Jew-ish,” thought to be able to offer some safe haven to a writer venturing into critical comments on some aspects of Jewish behavior — albeit always on guard not to cross the line, lest they get branded an “anti-Semite.”

Similar recourse to the adjectivization of the noun “Jew” is taking place in French and German speaking media and scholarship.Merely mentioning the German barrel-sounding and prolonged two-syllable noun “Jude” ( “yoo-deh”) — no matter what the context — or the shrill French one-syllable noun  “juif” /ʒɥif/, even if no Jew-bashing is intended, sounds disturbing in the ears of Jews. The intention is clearly to inhibit discussion of Jews at all, whether legitimate investigations of Jewish power and influence or the ravings of mentally deranged anti-Semites.

Keeping this in mind, it comes as no surprise that ever since its founding, the ADL has maintained a keen interest in having the last word in shaping public discourse—first in America, later in Europe. Having realized the power of words the early founding fathers of the Anti-Defamation League, decided to adorn themselves with this nice, abstract, flowery, and lachrymose title, thus providing a veneer of impartiality for public consumption. It avoided labeling itself with  an earsplitting qualifier like “Jew” or  “Jewish.” The hypothetical, albeit more appropriate denomination i.e., “the Jewish  Anti-Defamation League”, would barely have the same resonance of impartially for Americans today. For readers who grew up in the former communist universe, the awesome similarities  between the former communist newspeak in Eastern Europe and the present ADL newspeak in America cannot be overlooked.

Enless’s book offers a handy overview of ADL activities over the last century in America. This semi-secretive organization has managed, under cover of a humanitarian jargon and tolerance preaching, to cover up its own, often murky and criminal affairs. Enless’ book reads like a police report on a guilty suspect, yet the suspect never ever considers entering a guilty plea. Instead, the suspect deftly reroutes criminal charges against him by declaring himself a victim of hate. Thus, Leo Frank’s murder of  Mary Phagan in Atlanta in 1913 and his subsequent lynching by an angry mob came served as an excellent test case that legitimized the future activities of the ADL.

Today, we take for granted the usage of the expression “hate speech,” as if this expression had been embedded in English and American literary and juridical baggage ever since the birth of the English language or the birth of Geoffrey Chaucer. It is often forgotten that this equally abstract, generic expression is of recent provenance, practically unknown in the modern English language until the end of the 1970s. Nowadays, this newspeak expression “hate speech”  is being mightily championed by the ADL and similar institutions promoting peace and racial tolerance. The expression “fighting against hate” has become a major battle cry of the ADL, also entering into the daily parlance of modern citizens and their politicians who seldom bother to examine the origin of this expression or the motives of its inventors. The author notes that  “a world without hate…is  after all, a phrase which the ADL liked so much that they had it trademarked.”

The book also sheds light on the verbal inversions carried out by the ADL and its non-Jewish minions and how their linguistic manipulations result in the inversion of political reality. Or to put it more academically, verbal inversion always leads to the reversal of a  thesis. This is particularly true in the modern Western judiciary and scholarship which are becoming more and more inclined to arbitrary decision making, always ready to  clamp down on free speech advocates by declaring every nonconformist thought offensive or criminal. For instance, Henry Ford, the famous American car maker, who is also mentioned in the book, along with thousands of unnamed American activists, was also the subject of such thesis reversal. The ADL had initiated a smear campaign against Ford after Ford himself had first drawn attention to legal improprieties of the ADL.

The last chapter of the book leaves the reader holding his breath. The new viral world of the internet opens up new avenues of dissent for free speech advocates. It’s no surprise that the ADL is doing all it can to silence intellectual dissent in this new medium.

Zagreb, September, 2018

Joe McCarthy and the Jews: Comments on Jewish Organizations’ Response to Communism and Senator McCarthy, by Aviva Weingarten (2008).

Beginning in the 19th century, liberal/leftist politics has been a hallmark of the Jewish community in America and elsewhere. The attraction of Jews to the success of the Bolshevik Revolution was an entirely mainstream movement among large numbers of Jews in America and led to one of several anti-Jewish stereotypes during the 1920s and 1930s — stereotypes that were aided and abetted by people like Henry Ford and Father Charles Coughlin. Into the 1930s the American Communist Party (CPUSA) had a Yiddish-speaking Jewish section. and Jews around the world had positive attitudes toward the USSR, at least partly because Jews had achieved elite status there.

After World War II, however, anti-Semitism declined precipitously in the US, and Jewish organizations were poised to spearhead the transformations in civil rights and immigration legislation that would come to fruition in the 1960s. By 1950 the Jewish community was part of the establishment — well connected to the power centers in the media, politics, the academic world and the construction of culture generally.

But there was a major problem that the organized Jewish community was forced to confront—a problem stemming from the long involvement of the mainstream Jewish community in communism and the far left, at least until the end of World War II, and among a substantial number of Jews even after this period. In Jewish Organizations’ Response to Communism and Senator McCarthy, Aviva Weingarten points to a “hard core of Jews” (p. 6) who continued to support the Communist Party into the 1950s and continued to have a “decisive role” in shaping the policies of the American Communist Party (CPUSA) (p. 9).

Weingarten notes that unlike other communists, Jewish communists continued to have an ethnic  identity (p. 10) and often participated in the wider Jewish community. This is a refreshing change from a long history of Jewish apologetics over this issue. The standard line, not only among Jewish activist organizations but by academic authors such as Yuri Slezkine, has been that Jews ceased being Jews when they joined the Communist Party or participated in other far left causes. As a result, the focus of Chapter 3 of The Culture of Critique is to demonstrate that Jewish radicals retained a strong Jewish identity and a sense of pursuing specifically Jewish interests. Most egregiously, the American Jewish Congress — by far the largest Jewish organization in terms of membership — continued to be associated with the far left and was formally affiliated with organizations listed as subversive by the US Attorney General. The CPUSA viewed members of the American Jewish Congress as “democratic forces”  in their attempt to create “democratic and anti-fascist” policies in the World Jewish Congress (p. 25).

This history of Jewish involvement in communism and sympathy toward communism was now combined with the new situation of the Cold War in which the Soviet Union had become the mortal enemy of the United States. Read more

Method In Their Madness: Review of Michael Rectenwald’s Springtime for Snowflakes

Springtime for Snowflakes: Social Justice and its Postmodern Parentage
Michael Rectenwald
Nashville, Tenn.: New English Review Press, 2018

The takeover of academia by the far Left during the last several decades has been well documented. What sets Michael Rectenwald’s (MR) Springtime for Snowflakes apart is a rare insider’s critical appraisal of the ideologies and machinations of critical theory, postmodernism, social justice, and transgender theory. The book is in part an academic’s memoir and in part an ideological analysis of the various socially destructive beliefs and theories ensconced within the ivy-covered halls. “Snowflakes is a first-person embodiment of the postmodern perspective, the result of a deep and extended immersion” (xiii). Rectenwald is an apostate from the radical Left. “I had identified as a left or libertarian communist. . . . I became a well-respected Marxist thinker and essayist. I had flirted with a Trotskyist sect” (28).

At first glance MR seems an unlikely recruit for the far-Left. He is a product of a large working-/lower- middle-class German Catholic family from Pittsburgh. He attended Catholic secondary schools. Rectenwald recounts one incident that contributed to his embrace of the Left. As an eighth grader he and his father went to interview at Shadyside Academy. The headmaster informed the senior Rectenwald that although his son could do well there academically, socially he was not a good fit. “This experience and others like it increased the chances that if ever exposed to it, I would seriously entertain Marxism” (34).

The author notes that class resentment still fuels the Left, but what about ethnic resentment? Was Ted Kennedy motivated to pass the 1965 immigration act, in part, because his grandfather was snubbed by some Boston Brahmin?  Does Chris Cuomo support Antifa because his grandfather was called a Guinea on the streets of New York? The contemporary Left has been moving away from class issues into racial and sexual politics. MR grapples with both race and gender, though he is more comfortable analyzing the latter. Read more

A Singularly Semitic Scandal: Avital Ronell and the Corruption of Western Academia

In Homage to Catalonia (1938), his memoir of the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell describes how his wife was rudely woken by a police-raid on the hotel room she was occupying in Barcelona:

In the small hours of the morning there was a pounding on the door, and six men marched in, switched on the light, and immediately took up various positions about the room, obviously agreed upon beforehand. They then searched both rooms (there was a bathroom attached) with inconceivable thoroughness. They sounded the walls, took up the mats, examined the floor, felt the curtains, probed under the bath and the radiator, emptied every drawer and suitcase and felt every garment and held it up to the light. (Homage to Catalonia, ch. 14)

The police conducted this search “in the recognized OGPU [then the Russian communist secret-police] or Gestapo style … for nearly two hours,” Orwell says. He then notes that in “all this time they never searched the bed.” His wife was still in it, you see, and although the police “were probably Communist Party members … they were also Spaniards, and to turn a woman out of bed was a little too much for them. This part of the job was silently dropped, making the whole search meaningless.”

Orwell’s story suggests a new word to me: typhlophthalmism, meaning “the practice of turning a blind eye to essential but inconvenient facts” (from Greek typhlos, “blind,” + ophthalmos, “eye”). But it’s a long word, so let’s call it typhlism for short. Shorter is better, because the term could be used so often today. Orwell’s story is an allegory of modern Western politics and social commentary, where so many essential but inconvenient facts are “silently dropped” from analysis. For example, the Labour MP Denis MacShane and the Labour council in Rotherham were typhlistic when, for reasons of political correctness, they turned a blind eye to the horrors being committed by brown-skinned Muslims against White working-class girls.

Looking for Mr Reitman

And if you want to see another good example of typhlism at work, try one of the strangest and funniest scandals ever to set the Owl of Minerva hooting in the groves of Academe. The two central figures in the scandal are the New York University (NYU) professor Avital Ronell (born 1952) and her former graduate student Nimrod Reitman (born c. 1984). Ms Ronell, a “feminist literary theorist,” began her career studying with the enormously influential French philosopher Jacques Derrida and is now the Jacques Derrida Professor at the European Graduate School in Switzerland. As a sideline, she headed “the trauma and violence transdisciplinary studies program” at NYU. She is also a “self-defined lesbian,” while Mr Reitman is a homosexual.

Academic star Avital Ronell

Their respective sexualities, although not of course funny in themselves, are an essential part of what has made the scandal so entertaining. Mr Reitman has accused Ms Ronell of a sustained campaign of sexual harassment, including two incidents in which his 66-year-old lesbian mentor pulled him into her bed and “put my hands onto her breasts, and was pressing herself — her buttocks — onto my crotch. She was kissing me, kissing my hands, kissing my torso.” Read more

Reply to Danya Ruttenberg on Jews and Usury

I must object to Danya Ruttenberg’s recent Twitter thread on Jewish usury. The thread appears to have been prompted by a mailer sent out by Connecticut GOP State Senate candidate Ed Charamut, which shows Jewish opponent Matt Lesser clutching a fistful of cash. Criticism from Jews was almost immediate, with familiar claims that the piece played into “harmful anti-Semitic stereotypes” of Jews as greedy, exploitative, and untrustworthy. Charamut initially attempted to defend his use of the image and accused Lesser of “using the Democrat playbook of identity politics to hide from his record.” He insisted the image was only illustrating his belief that Lesser would vote to increase taxes and more government spending.

Unfortunately, but predictably, Charamut quickly caved and has now issued a groveling apology for his campaign flier, pleading: “It is clear now that the imagery could be interpreted as anti-Semitic, and for that we deeply apologize as hate speech of any kind does not belong in our society and especially not in our politics.” He then apologized specifically to Lesser, the Jewish community and “anyone who found the mailer to be anything other then a depiction of policy differences between the two candidates.” Lesser himself has claimed the pamphlet employs imagery used to depict Jewish people going back hundreds of years.”

At issue here is the fact it’s now basically forbidden, or considered highly suspect, to negatively discuss or depict the subject of Jews and money in any context — even if you object to the fiscal policies of your Jewish political opponent. Supporting this soft censorship is a quite distinctive Jewish historical narrative that is really nothing more than a tapestry of politicized myths. These myths act as something like a cultural-psychological shield, deployed instinctively, along with a special vocabulary (“trope!”, “canard!”, “stereotype!”), by strongly-identified Jews against all incoming criticisms.

Danya Ruttenberg is one such strongly identified Jew, and her Twitter thread in response to the Charamut-Lesser incident is a classic example of the cultural-psychological shield. Normally these deployments are so commonplace and predicable that they merit little comment. Ruttenberg’s statement, however, has achieved almost 2500 retweets and over 3000 likes in a little over 48 hours. Some response, I feel, is required.

Ruttenberg is apparently a rabbi and feminist author and has been named one of The Jewish Week‘s “36 Under 36” in 2010 (36 most influential leaders under age 36), and was also named one of the top 50 most influential women rabbis by The Jewish Daily Forward. In certain respects she is far from Orthodox, but she is a very strongly identified leftist Jew and exemplifies, in many respects, trends and attitudes in Diaspora Judaism. Her unabashed feminism, ‘anti-racism,’ and leftism has contributed to a certain appeal outside Judaism, and she enjoys a Twitter following of over 43,000. It was for this not insignificant audience that she attempted to contextualize the Charamut-Lesser incident with an apologetic narrative on Jews and usury. Why she focused specifically on the issue of usury in response to the incident is unclear (Lesser is not a moneylender and he is not depicted or referenced in relation to debt in the Charamut flier), unless one assumes that on some level Ruttenberg acknowledges the fact that Jews have, in the past and present, maintained what can only be termed a special or extraordinary relationship with money. As such, Ruttenberg deploys the classic Jewish apologetic narrative attempting to explain this relationship, and begins, in erroneous but predictable fashion, with Jewish moneylenders in medieval Europe.

The first problem with Ruttenberg’s narrative is that she begins with Jewish moneylending in medieval Europe. This is part of a strategy I have elsewhere described as a “cropped timeline explanation.” Essentially, when confronted with the question of why Jews have generated such animosity in history, across such a broad geographical area, and amidst such a variety of religious cultures, Jews resort to a process of historical gerrymandering. To accept the full breadth and weight of the historical context leaves Jewish behaviour as the only logical explanation for anti-Semitism.  Since this is culturally, religiously, and psychologically unacceptable to Jews, they have long resorted to simply ignoring vast swathes of evidence. This most often involves beginning and ending their explanation for anti-Jewish animosity with a timeline most befitting the meme of innocent Jewish victimhood and predatory European Christianity. As such, all Jewish explanations of anti-Semitism essentially begin with medieval Christendom, and omit or downplay any historical evidence of Jewish behaviour and anti-Jewish cultural currents outside this time frame, or the historical narratives that may follow from it. This process will be described in more detail below, but it should suffice to state here that the special relationship between Jews and money preceded medieval Christianity.

It is a matter of clear historical record that the special relationship between Jews and money preceded medieval Christianity. Jews have settled among European host populations since ancient times. The oldest communities were in the urban centers of the Mediterranean, and a list of Jewish colonies in this area can be found in the First Book of Maccabees. In the early Roman empire clusters of Jews could be found as far north as Lyon, Bonn and Cologne.[1] The economic nature of these communities was uniform, and similar to those in the East. Even prior to the Talmudic era, c.300–500 A.D., Jews had developed a strong interest and aptitude in commerce and banking. From its origins, the Jewish involvement in these spheres was regarded by host populations as malevolent and exploitative. In one of the earliest examples, a papyrus dated to 41 A.D., an Alexandrian merchant warns a friend to “beware of the Jews.”[2] During the fourth century, Alexandria witnessed a number of anti-Jewish riots, almost all of them provoked by accusations of economic exploitation.

In other words, Jewish economic activity was deemed highly problematic by host populations at least one thousand years before Ruttenberg begins her cropped timeline explanation for the “trope” of Jews and usury — an economic activity that had not only condemned as unethical by Christian theologians, but by Aristotle and large numbers of Greek and Roman legislators.

Between the fifth and tenth centuries, Jewish trading posts took hold across Europe, from Cadiz and Toledo to the Baltic, Poland, and Ukraine. This extensive network afforded the Jews an almost total monopoly in the exchange of currency and information. Islamic and Christian civilizations during this period were bitterly opposed and traders from either faction were reluctant to carry goods into rival territory. Jews, enjoying relative tolerance from both civilizations, were able to carry goods from the Middle East into Europe, where Carolingian elites were particularly fond of purchasing luxury goods from Arab lands via Jewish merchants. Similarly, Jews were strategically positioned to overcome the legal obstacles of both civilizations to usury, an economic area they had refined almost to an art form in Babylon — as evidenced in the very large amount of commentary on moneylending in the Babylonian Talmud.

During the Carolingian Dynasty (c. 714 – c.877), the Jewish population of Northwestern Europe evolved from a scattering of individual international traders to growing communities of local traders. The shift to local trade enabled the Jews to acquire an influential middleman role in European society, to which they added widespread engagement in credit operations. On this foundation of growing economic influence, the later Carolingian period also witnessed the development of the first symbiotic relationships between Jewish finance and European elites. This granted significant privileges and protections to Jews, who soon acquired elite status themselves. One of the first examples of such a relationship emerged in the 810s, when Agobard (c.779–840), the Archbishop of Lyon attempted to restrict the financial activities of Jews in his locality, and was confronted with royal power. Perhaps even more so than when Muslims invaded Spain in 711, when “the Jews helped them overrun it,”[3] the silencing of Agobard may be regarded as the birth of the Jews as a hostile elite in European society. Certainly it was the first major political victory for the taboo on claims regarding Jewish influence.

Encouraged by the successes of financial-political pioneers like those in Lyon, significant numbers of Jews from southern Europe began a steady northern migration. The point here is that Jews were not pre-existing in large numbers in northern and western Europe and merely moved into moneylending due to a prohibition on other occupations or the owning of land. It was not a case, as Ruttenberg argues, of it being “convenient for local authorities to permit Jews to work in trades that were repugnant to Christians.” Rather, Jews moved to medieval Europe specifically in order to engage in moneylending and the lucrative trade of goods on credit at interest. Many gathered in the Rhine basin, forming the nucleus of what would later come to be known as ‘Ashkenazi’ Jewry.

Expansion from there was rapid. A colony of Jewish financiers reached England in 1070, following on the heels of the Norman Conquest four years earlier. B. Lionel Abrahams used vast quantities of archival evidence in his 1894 Arnold Prize-winning article on “The Expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290,” and was able to conclude on the basis of this evidence that when the Jews first settled in England “they brought with them money, but no skill in any occupation except lending it out at interest.”[4] Another article states that there is no evidence, among this abundant literature, “to suppose that the English Jews of this period got their living in any considerable numbers in any other art or craft. … It is therefore probable that the capital with which the community started in the country was very considerable.”[5] Headquartered in London, the Jews of England mirrored their counterparts elsewhere on the continent in that they became “a tightly knit class of financiers. From the start they managed to associate closely with the kings in their operations, turning over to the royalty the notes of defaulting debtors in return for a share of the sums due. They were the ‘king’s men,’ vassals of a special kind, since they were the chief source of their suzerain’s revenues.”[6] The foundation of the Jewish relationship with European elites was thus a general confluence of financial and political ambitions. The primary victims would be the European masses.

The curious thing here is that Ruttenberg explains in her next two tweets that moneylending was very attractive to Jews, and explains that cash was more portable than land and that usury was very profitable. So, taken together, her first four tweets amount to the argument that Jews were mercilessly forced against their best intentions into an occupation that they found wildly convenient, profitable, and powerful. Quite the silver lining. Setting aside the possibility that Ruttenberg is simply a liar, there is clearly an issue of self-deception at play here in the denial of the well-established fact that Jews enjoyed moneylending and deliberately developed their demographic and cultural presence in Europe at the nexus of the financial and the political.

Of course, Ruttenberg can’t help but end with a return to the lachrymose narrative of Jewish victimhood. These Jews, forced to become wealthy and powerful via loans, were taxed at “jaw-droppingly high rates” and their way of life was “tied to anti-Jewish oppression.”

In reply, for most of the medieval period Jews weren’t subject to high levels of taxation. Elman, having examined the medieval taxation rolls of England, writes that “apart from the quasi-regular and normal legal sources of income, which the English as much as the Jews were required to pay, the king claimed from a Jews a number of occasional contributions, especially loans and tallages [i.e., taxes levied by a medieval lord on dependents]. In the thirteenth century, which is the vital period for our purpose, the loans were insignificant in number and amount [emphasis added].”[7] Further, there “is no evidence of the levy of any collective tallage upon them until the year 1168, and then the number did not exceed 5,000 marks.”[8] When the tallages were brought in, they only applied to land that Jews had seized in lieu of the unpaid loans of the barons — high taxation in these instances were just a fiscal sleight-of-hand to allow Jews to seize land on the forfeited loans of the barons and then pass them to the Crown as part of the overall deal underpinning their settlement. Further, Jews were excused from Crown taxes[9] and unlike the Christian population, in their movement around the country transacting business Jews were “free of all tolls and dues.”[10]

On the matter of “anti-Jewish oppression,” the Jewish penetration of European society was a risky venture but one that Jewish populations evidently felt was worth the gamble. No Jews were ever forced to settle in a European country, but still they came and still they expanded. They were aware that as non-Christians and as masters of debt they would generate hostility in the general population. Indeed, these considerations formed an important aspect of their bargaining for charters — agreements drawn up between Jews and European elites that laid down the terms of residence, levels of protection, and financial rewards that would make it worthwhile for Jews to settle. For example, in 1084, Jews were given a defensive wall around their settlement quarter in the Rhineland town of Speyer in fulfillment of promises made in their charter.[11] Some of the oldest houses still standing in England were originally built on the orders of Jews, their longevity owing to the fact that Jews possessed the wealth to build homes with a generous use of stone for security.[12] The Jewish move into Europe was thus predicated upon an understanding that Jews would be hated but untouchable, reviled but rich, merciless but unaccountable.

Compare Benzion Netanyahu’s comment:

It was primarily because of the functions of the Jews as the king’s revenue gatherers in the urban areas that the cities saw the Jews as the monarch’s agents, who treated them as objects of massive exploitation. By serving as they did the interests of the kings, the Jews seemed to be working against the interests of the cities; and thus we touch again on the phenomenon we have referred to: the fundamental conflict between the kings and their people—a conflict not limited to financial matters, but one that embraced all spheres of government that had a bearing on the people’s life. It was in part thanks to this conflict of interests that the Jews could survive the harsh climate of the Middle Ages, and it is hard to believe that they did not discern it when they came to resettle in Christian Europe. Indeed, their requests, since the days of the Carolingians, for assurances of protection before they settled in a place show (a) that they realized that the kings’ positions on many issues differed from those of the common people and (b) that the kings were prepared, for the sake of their interests, to make common cause with the “alien” Jews against the clear wishes of their Christian subjects. In a sense, therefore, the Jews’ agreements with the kings in the Middle Ages resembled the understandings they had reached with foreign conquerors in the ancient world. (Netanyahu 1995, The Origins of the Inquisition in 15th-Century Spain, 71–72)

Perhaps the most egregious falsehood in Ruttenberg’s tweet thread is her claim that “only a small subset of Jews were pushed into moneylending.” First, it should by now be clear that Jews were not “pushed” into moneylending. Second, the numbers engaged in moneylending were not “a small subset.” One historian has pointed out that there is no evidence, among the abundant literature on medieval English Jewry, “to suppose that the English Jews of this period got their living in any considerable numbers in any other art or craft. … It is therefore probable that the capital with which the community started in the country was very considerable.”[13] In the thousands upon thousands of pages of documents we have on this community (the residential data, the taxation information, the details of their personal accounts etc.), we don’t find a professionally diverse and dispersed population, but instead a close-knit, inter-related, and extremely well-organized group of money-lenders and financiers.

Ruttenberg’s claim that only a small subset of Jews were engaged in moneylending and her claim that Jews were treated differently from “Christian bankers” are actually linked in more ways than one. Some excellent research has recently been carried out on the context of Jewish expulsions in medieval Europe (and the expulsions of usurers more generally) by Harvard’s Rowan William Dorin. Dorin’s 2015 PhD thesis, Banishing Usury: The Expulsion of Foreign Moneylenders in Medieval Europe, 1200–1450, is viewable here and is well worth the read, particularly his chapter on the background to the expulsions of Jews. In May 2016, Dorin published a development of the ideas in a chapter in Law and History Review, “‘Once the Jews have been Expelled:’ Intent and Interpretation in late Medieval Canon Law.”[14] The major conclusions of Dorin’s meticulous work are that Jews were nothing more than a small and often incidental fraction of the overall expulsions of moneylenders from various areas of medieval Europe,and that most banishments targeted “Christians hailing from northern Italy. (PhD thesis, 3)” The expulsion of Jews from various European locations is revealed not as an expression of irrational anti-Semitism, but as a result of essentially judicial arguments that stressed the need for unanimous policies concerning usury. As Dorin notes, “one of the few constants of medieval papal attitudes towards the Jews had been a strong resistance to their expulsion.” (2016, 337).

This only began to change when usury, rather than Jews qua Jews, came under papal consideration. Early medieval usury legislation such as Usuranum voraginem was promulgated in response to the increasing presence of Christian moneylenders from northern Italy in the cities and territories of northern Europe, and it was on these Christian moneylenders that its sanctions fell (denial of lodging and expulsion within 3 months). Over time, however, both secular and ecclesiastical figures grappled with the wording of the legislation, which did not mention Christians specifically. Over time, a consensus grew that usury, whether Christian or Jewish, was a grave social ill, and the historical papal aversion of the expulsion of Jews was overturned. The majority of expulsions of Jews occurred not because of the deeds of a “small subset” of Jews, but because usurers of all descriptions were being expelled and Jewish communities were based almost exclusively on the trade in loans. They simply had to be removed in toto. This is only the briefest summary of Dorin’s work, and it really has to be read in full to be appreciated. It is, however, a powerful rejoinder from a Harvard PhD historian and medieval legal specialist to the pop pseudo-history advanced by Rabbi Ruttenberg and eagerly absorbed by those who really don’t know any better.

The latter part of Ruttenberg’s tweet depicted above really says it all in terms of the circular nature of the Jewish defensive narrative.[“You caught that the reason Jews were pushed into this in the first place was also a result of anti-Jewish oppression, yes? Got it? Good”] Ruttenberg basically engages in the familiar Jewish tactic of explaining every negative Jewish behaviour (that is, when any is admitted to) by pointing to oppression. “You oppressed us, so we did A.” “But why did we oppress you?” “Because we also did B.” But why did you do B?” “Because you oppressed us.” “But why did we oppress you in that instance?” “Because we also did C.” Ad infinitum.

Just in case anyone isn’t fully convinced by Ruttenberg’s thread, she wheels out some psychoanalytic jargon for her conclusion. The “trope” of the greedy, crooked Jew merely serves as the “scapegoat for other stresses and complexities in society.” I personally find it quite funny that one of these stresses and complexities remains household debt. I finally it equally strange that, despite it being two centuries since Jews achieved full political and economic “emancipation,” they are still utterly prolific as moneylenders and financiers. The founder and CEO of Avant Credit, one of America’s fastest growing online providers of consumer loans, is Al Goldstein. Goldstein is also behind  SpringCoin, CashNetUSA, Dollars Direct, Enova International, Quick Quid, Pounds to Pocket, and On Stride Financial. Goldstein owns more than 10,000 properties foreclosed on Americans during the financial crash, an event in which his co-ethnics at Quicken Loans (Daniel Gilbert) and Roland Arnall (Ameriquest), played a major role. San Francisco-based moneylending operation LendUp, which has recently been forced to pay $6.33 million in refunds and fines for violating consumer finance laws. is operated by Sasha Orloff and Jacob Rosenberg. Chicago-based PLS Financial is owned and operated by Dan and Bob Wolfberg.

Jeffrey Weiss is the Jewish head of DFC Global Corp, which operates Money Mart, The Money Shop, PayDay UK, and PayDay Express. The head of EZCorp is the Jewish Australian Phillip Cohen. Among its American assets, Cohen’s EZCorp has a portfolio which includes EZ Pawn, Pawn Plus, Value Pawn and Jewelry, Premier Pawn and Jewelry, USA Pawn and Jewelry Company, Easy Cash Solutions, Jerry’s Pawn Shop, and CashMax Payday Loans. Internationally, it also owns Cash Amigo in Mexico, as well as the Cash Converters International Brand. EZ Corp has joined the U.K. feeding frenzy by offering the online payday lending “service” Cash Genie. As well as coming under criticism for charging annual interest rates of 2,986% on its loans, Cash Genie has been forced to repay money to its customers after the Financial Conduct Authority found that the company applied unauthorized charges to customer accounts and permitted customers to become indebted far beyond their means.

In the UK, Mr Lender advertizes its services under the motto “Your Friend Until Payday.” But who is Mr Lender? The founder and owner of the company is Adam Freeman, a member of the South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue who was also selected for the U.K.’s version of The Apprentice. Even with new laws and restrictions, Mr Lender still charges 1,269.6% APR on his loans. Not very friendly.

But by far the most notorious “domestic” online moneylender in Britain is Wonga. It was the astonishing 5,853% rate on Wonga’s annual loans that finally prompted the British government to begin closing the loopholes which permitted the moneylender’s feeding frenzy on the British people. Wonga, which still charges annual interest rates of 1,509%, was founded by two South African Jews, Errol Damelin and Jonty Hurwitz. Both operated the company via the Virgin Islands in order to avoid paying tax. They were, however, very generous donors to Jewish causes like Jewish Care.

According to his Wikipedia entry, Damelin “grew up in a Jewish family where he attended the University of Cape Town. Following his graduation in 1992 he immigrated to Israel. He began his career working as a corporate finance banker at an Israeli bank that later merged into Israel Discount Bank.” He founded Wonga in 2007, with the company soon attracting criticism for “fraud and the exploitation of the most vulnerable in society.” Among the company’s practices was the forging of legal letters in order to terrorize customers into paying ever higher fees. Because such practices are completely illegal the company was later subject to a criminal investigation. Like a rat deserting a sinking ship, Damelin stepped down from his leadership at Wonga (retaining shares) just two weeks before the company was due to be hit with new regulations from the Financial Conduct Authority as well as a $4 million compensation demand. Wonga had yet to pay thousands of customers when it went bust in August 2018. Errol Damelin has since waded into obscurity while Hurwitz has reinvented himself as a creator of degenerate art that is then sold at inflated prices by the Jewish art-fad dictators, the Saatchi brothers. He calls this piece “Immigrant.” You couldn’t make it up.

I have to finish with the one true sentence from Ruttenberg’s thread — the first. “Everything old is still ongoing, I guess.”

I couldn’t put it better.


[1] P. Johnson, A History of the Jews (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987), p.171.

[2] S. Baron (ed) Economic History of the Jews (New York: Schocken, 1976), p.22.

[3] Ibid, p.177.

[4] B. L. Abrahams, “The Expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290” Jewish Quarterly Review, 7:1 (1894), 75-100 (p.76).

[5] “The Jews of England in the Thirteenth Century,” Jewish Quarterly Review, 15:1 (1902), 5-22 (p.10).

[6] L. Poliakov, The History of Anti-Semitism, Volume 1: From the Time of Christ to the Court Jews (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003), p.78.

[7] P. Elman, “The Economic Causes of the Expulsion of the Jews in 1290” The Economic History Review, 7:2(1937) 145-154 (p.145).

[8] “The Jews of England in the Thirteenth Century,” Jewish Quarterly Review, 15:1 (1902), 5-22 (p.10).

[9] Ibid, p.11.

[10] B. L. Abrahams, “The Expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290” Jewish Quarterly Review, 7:1 (1894), 75-100 (p.84).

[11] Johnson, A History of the Jews, p.205.

[12] Ibid, p.208.

[13] “The Jews of England in the Thirteenth Century,” Jewish Quarterly Review, 15:1 (1902), 5-22 (p.10).

[14] R. W. Dorin, “‘Once the Jews have been Expelled:’ Intent and Interpretation in late Medieval Canon Law.” Law and History Review, May 2016, Vol. 34, No. 2., 335-362.