Jewish Influence

Benjamin Ginsberg on Jewish hypocrisy and double standards

Tablet interview: “Q&A: Benjamin Ginsberg, the Author of ‘How the Jews Defeated Hitler’”

[Tablet] One of the things that’s fascinating about my WASPy friends and compatriots is that so many dislike the State of Israel, to varying degrees. It bugs them. What interests me is trying to suss out the underlying or psychological impetus or sense of injury beneath these feelings, which are frankly less common in general among American gentiles than they are among American Jews. When I’ve asked them, “Why does this particular injustice bother you so much – why not Tibet?” the answers are very interesting. They come down to something like, “Why on one hand do you Jewish people come to us and say we have to be democratic and inclusive because otherwise we’re anti-Semites, and then back in the old country, where you go on your family vacations or Birthright trips, you get to strut around with automatic weapons and oppress everybody else, which isn’t fair, and is probably what we would want to do here, in some secret corner of our WASPy brains.”

[Ginsberg] That is a very good line, and I think it’s totally true. The animus is some form of displaced anti-Semitism.

Say what? Displaced anti-Semitism would be if these Whites used Jewish hypocrisy as an excuse from some deep irrational hatred of Jews. But isn’t hypocrisy always seen as a negative? The White Protestants who are on trial here assume a principled morality. They assume that if inclusiveness is a moral imperative in the U.S. as our intellectual elites constantly tell us, it must be a moral imperative everywhere. But many of the same people who advocate inclusiveness in the U.S. advocate oppression in Israel. And there’s resentment by many Whites because as a result of the moral imperative of inclusiveness in the U.S., they are losing the country. So, yes, there is probably a “secret corner” of their brains where they would like to reassert themselves and boot out or oppress the interlopers. But that has to remain secret on pain of job loss and social opprobrium.  Because they no longer command the moral and political high ground, they don’t dare  say that. Read more

How to talk about Jewish money influencing politics without getting into trouble

Here is Matt Yglesias talking about how Jewish money is what is making Congress so pro-Israel, my brackets and bolding:

What drives the overwhelming congressional support for Israel that’s such a striking element of American politics? For some members, it’s genuine passion. For others, it has to do with public opinion [shaped by whom?]. But another real consideration that’s rarely discussed in daylight is fundraising. Memos written by consultants working for Michelle Nunn, the Democrats’ candidate in Georgia, and leaked to National Review in an effort to make Nunn look bad lay it out. This excerpt, in particular, is a great window into how it works [note the casual-yet-patronizing SWPL-speak]: Screen_Shot_2014-07-28_at_1.42.54_PM This is getting spun in certain circles as a damning indictment of Nunn or her staff, as if she is planning to tailor her entire foreign policy around fundraising concerns. But really it’s just people doing their jobs. Sheri and Steve Labovitz are wealthy individuals who are active in the Atlanta Jewish community, as is Elaine Alexander. The author of the memo is informing the campaign that these individuals are likely sympathetic to Nunn’s broad policy outlook, and are promising candidates to help Nunn raise money. But they are also cautioning that taking the appropriate line on Israel is likely to be a litmus test for these donors. It’s not the place of a finance memo writer to come up with Nunn’s Israel policy, but the memo cautions that there are fundraising implications to what Nunn chooses to say about this. To anyone who’s familiar with Democratic Party fundraising — particularly for non-incumbent underdogs, who typically have trouble raising money — this won’t be too surprising.

So plutocrats’ using their financial clout to exploit U.S. foreign policy to further ethnic interests and politicians’ pandering to said interests are normal, basically. Yglesias also mentions the (self-)censorship:

Jewish donors are very important to Democratic Party finances, some of these donors have strongly held hawkish views on Israel, and the financial clout of AIPAC is the stuff of legend. At the same time, talk of rich Jews throwing their financial muscle around to influence policy in favor of Israel touches far too many anti-semitic tropes to be regularly mentioned in political discourse. But the concrete world of political fundraising doesn’t leave a ton of time for beating around the bush, so we get a little window here into how it looks to the finance people: if Nunn wants to maximize her donations, she needs to take the right stance.

Of course none of this is news to anyone who has been paying attention for the past 30 (40, 50, 100, 200, 500…?) years. But it is interesting to see this discussed in the mainstream. Vox is run by Ezra Klein. The article was tweeted by Glenn Greenwald. Read more

Jews as a Necessary Condition

This video of John Mearsheimer (available also in our video archive) is a good discussion of how to conceptualize not only Jewish involvement in the Iraq war but Jewish influence generally.

The argument is that :

1. The neoconservatives were the main force behind the war.

2. The neoconservatives are a key component of the Israel Lobby, are “deeply committed to Israel,” and are involved in a variety of pro-Israel organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

3. Other components of the Israel Lobby, notably AIPAC, were also deeply involved. Read more

Bill Clinton: Pioneer in Courting Jewish Money

The  Republican grovelfest continues to reverberate.  Philip Weiss compiles a few additions, including an editorial writer from the New York Times (“It’s hard to imagine a political spectacle more loathsome…”. ) The interesting thing is that Weiss includes a quote from David Frum’s book on GW Bush (The Right Man) noting the prominent role of Jews in making Bill Clinton’s wonderful career. This  includes Clinton “getting very rich rapidly” right after he left the presidency. (I recall that pretty much the first thing that Clinton did after leaving office was to give a speech to a Jewish audience in LA for $100,000—just a little thank you note, with the promise of much more to come.)

Sociopathy can be very lucrative, and the recent grovelfest shows that there is no shortage of White politicians willing to do anything for the fame and fortune of the presidency. All they have to do to climb onto the gravy train is to make it very clear that they care nothing about the future of their own people. Clinton’s statement to an audience at Portland State University in 1998 is classic:

Today, largely because of immigration, there is no majority race in Hawaii or Houston or New York City. Within five years, there will be no majority race in our largest state, California. In a little more than 50 years, there will be no majority race in the United States. No other nation in history has gone through demographic change of this magnitude in so short a time … [These immigrants] are energizing our culture and broadening our vision of the world. They are renewing our most basic values and reminding us all of what it truly means to be American.

And then there’s this quote from his 1997 State of the Union speech: “My fellow Americans, we must never, ever believe that our diversity is a weakness — it is our greatest strength.” If we believe strongly enough, it will come true, never mind the reality of ethnic conflict throughout human history.

Here’s David Frum:

Clinton can fairly be called the most philo-Semitic president in U.S. history. His closest friends and most trusted aides were Jews, his administration was crammed with Jewish appointees, both his nominees to the Supreme Court were Jewish—even his most famous girlfriend was Jewish. And Jews liked Clinton as much as he liked them. They appreciated his intellectuality and his social tolerance, his liberated wife, and his moderate liberalism. Jewish donors contributed generously to Clinton’s election campaigns; after he left office, some of those former donors helped him to grow very rich very rapidly.

Republicans Grovel before Sheldon’s Billions

Usually the media downplays any hint that strongly identified Jews acting out of Jewish motives are able to influence American politics or anything else. But Sheldon Adelson’s conference of Republican hopefuls apparently was too obvious, especially in the wake of his donating around $100 million to Republicans in the 2012 election cycle (and “much more in 2016“).

So the LATimes made it official: Republicans who are serious about being nominated for president had better genuflect before Jewish money: “2016 Republican hopefuls hope to woo Jewish donors.”

The occasion was a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition in which Adelson was only one of many politically active Jewish billionaires. And what do Jewish billionaires care about?

During speeches Saturday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie all addressed the key concerns of Adelson and many group members — the threat of a nuclear Iran, their desire to strengthen U.S. ties with Israel, and what they view as the waning prestige of the U.S. abroad. With varying degrees of deftness, the candidates each touched on their own ties to Israel and Jewish tradition.

Ah yes, the real issues facing America. I guess we are supposed to believe that, like every neocon who ever graced the op-ed pages of our elite media, these rich Jewish Republicans are absolutely certain that American interests are being served with their obsession about Israel. Read more

Alison Weir on the Early Days of the Israel Lobby

In “Background traits for Jewish activism” I listed several traits of Jewish activist groups that make them so effective. They are all on display in Alison Weir’s excerpt from her book Against Our Better Judgment: How the US was Used to Create Israel

1. Jewish groups are well organized and lavishly funded. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised by the incredible scale of Zionist activism during the 1940s, both financially and in the scale of their outreach efforts. But it is truly remarkable. Weir describes the “gargantuan financial resources” available, amounting to $1.5 billion in today’s dollars. A big part of the effort was aimed at non-Jewish elites in business, labor, religion, and academia; pro-Zionist books by non-Jews were subsidized.

For example, at its beginning in 1945

[the American Zionist Emergency Council] booked Madison Square Garden, ordered advertisements, and mailed 250,000 announcements – the first day. By the second day they had organized demonstrations in 30 cities, a letter-writing campaign, and convinced 27 U.S. Senators to give speeches. Grassroots Zionist action groups were organized with more than 400 local committees under 76 state and regional branches. AZEC funded books, articles and academic studies; millions of pamphlets were distributed.

This top-down approach making alliances with sympathetic non-Jews is typical of Jewish efforts generally, as with the neoconservatives whose networks of think tanks and access to the media and the highest levels of government provide excellent career prospects for ambitious Jews and non-Jews alike. As a small minority, Jews must reach out to others and they are very effective at doing it. Read more

Reply to John Derbyshire

John Derbyshire discusses several reasons for why Whites have become such wimps, including a couple where he mentions me:

What needs explaining—what always needs explaining—is white ethnomasochism.”

We are not short of offered explanations. Most popular:

• It’s the Jews. The theory: Nursing an atavistic hatred of gentiles, and fearful of being the only noticeable minority in an otherwise homogenous society, Jews seek to demoralize and shatter gentile culture.

Occasional contributor Kevin MacDonald takes this line, drawing on evolutionary psychology to fortify his explanations.

It seems to me, though, that MacDonald just replaces something that’s difficult to explain with something that’s even more difficult to explain.

Britain’s population, for example, is only one percent Jewish on the most generous assumptions, perhaps less than 0.5 percent. Why do 99 percent allow themselves to be dictated to by one percent?Why are they such wimps? And we’re back where we started.

• It’s the Enlightenment. London University’s Eric Kaufmann is the fugleman here, arguing that the Enlightenment contained within itself a cosmopolitanism and moral universalism that eroded WASP hegemony from within. See Verdict: Suicide—Eric Kaufmann Replies To *Kevin MacDonald.

This I think gets a good piece of the truth. One driving force of the Enlightenment was curiosity, an open-minded interest in other peoples and ways of life. It’s not implausible that this could curdle into disdain for one’s own ethny. Why it actually did so when it did—in the second half of the 20th century—is less easy to understand, though I think Kaufmann does a fair job with the American case.

1. Invoking the Enlightenment to explain what happened in post-World War II America is obviously an inadequate explanation without a whole lot of additional analysis, so Derbyshire’s move is to simply follow Kaufmann without dealing with my objections. To make a convincing argument, he would have to reply to my objections to Kaufmann’s analysis, which can be found in  my reply to Kaufmann (appended at the end of Kaufmann’s critique). For example, I write that  “especially as elaborated in this section of the longer version of my review, …  Jewish intellectuals were in the driver’s seat by the 1940s, that they dominated the New York Intellectuals, and that they promoted [non-Jews] like Dewey who advanced ideas that were compatible with theirs.”

Of course, Derbyshire and I have been disagreeing about my basic statement on all this, my book The Culture of Critique, for quite a while, so I guess nothing has changed. Read more