Racial Zionism

Review: Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism, Part 2

Go to Part 1.

Zionist Eugenics

Notions of race and racial competition pervaded Zionist thinking in the early to mid-twentieth century, a time when “volkisch conceptions were firmly established among Zionist intellectuals.”[i] Raphael Falk notes how “Zionist writers appealed to biological conceptions of race and nation and displayed an awareness of their responsibility not only to serve this biologically circumscribed ethnic group but also to propagate and improve it.”[ii] Many Zionists viewed evolutionary theory “as a conceptual framework for understanding the detrimental effects of Diaspora life and argued for the positive benefits that would accrue to Jews in Palestine.” Weikart observes that many “Jewish physicians, feminists and sexual reformers embraced eugenics,” and that leading Jewish anthropologists “embraced scientific racism” in the early twentieth century.”[iii] 

Several leading Jewish physicians and educators became flag bearers of a campaign to promote the eugenic aspects of Zionism. In 1922, the Zionist physician Mordechai Bruchov emphasized that: “In the struggle of nations, in the clandestine ‘cultural’ struggle of one nation with another, the one wins who provides for the improvement of the race, to the benefit of the biological value of the progeny.”[iv] Parental guidance articles and books published in Palestine from the 1920s emphasized “the purity of the race and the quality of children required to improve the nation,” which “subsequently shifted to the need to increase the birthrate in order to catch up with the high birthrate of the neighboring nations.”[v] Jewish biologist Fritz S. Bodenheimer (1897–1959), the son of one of Theodor Herzl’s closest allies, likewise stressed “the external threat posed by the faster reproductive rate of the Arab population.”[vi] Child care in Israel has long been conceived “as part of a national project” where “every mother who raised her child in Israel, in the past and at present, is conscious that this is not only her personal task, but rather a national task the climax of which – at the age of eighteen – is the recruitment of the Zionist baby to the nation’s army.”[vii] Read more

Ashkenazi Eugenics and Attitudes of Racial Superiority

The current TOO video is a compelling account of how thousands of North African Jews died  as a result of a bizarre treatment for ringworm during the 1950s (see also here). The ideology underlying this treatment was the racial inferiority of these Jews. The video notes, as also discussed in my review of John Glad’s book on Jewish eugenics, that attitudes of racial superiority and eugenics in the sense of racial purification were common among the Ashkenazim who created Israel.

A correspondent who watched the video informed me that Hannah Arendt, the well-known Jewish intellectual and author of Eichmann in Jerusalem, had similar views on Middle Eastern Jews as well as an attitude of superiority toward Eastern European Jews. Such attitudes were common among German Jews, especially in the early decades of the 20th century. For example, it is well known that the German Jewish establishment in America centered around the American Jewish Committee looked down on the Eastern European Jews immigrating to the US. (Nevertheless they were quite successful in keeping the gates open until the 1924 Immigration Restriction Law.) Read more

Review of John Glad’s “Jewish Eugenics”

Jewish Eugenics, by John Glad. Washington, DC: Wooden Shore Publishers, 2011; 464pp. (Downloadable at either www.whatwemaybe or www.woodenshore.org. These sites also have Glad’s Future Human Evolution.)

John Glad begins Jewish Eugenics by noting that “much of what might be termed  ‘accepted eugenics narrative’ is in crass discordance with the historical facts” (p. 8). In other words, we are about to enter one of those academic minefields where “truth” is rigorously cleansed to make sure it is compatible with ethnic interests. Indeed, “writing books about Jews used to be a far easier undertaking than it is today, with Jewish anxieties over ‘anti-Semitism’ having been so elevated as to render dispassionate scholarly discourse nearly impossible” (p. 8).

I am not so sure that dispassionate scholarship is impossible, but it is surely the case that findings that diverge from the self-image desired by any ethnic group will surely be vigorously contested by academic activists or, more probably, consigned to oblivion. Dr. Glad assures me that in his case, it is the latter, writing of his frustration at the silence that has greeted his work. Welcome to the club.

As a university professor, Glad is quite attuned to the politics of having a good career. Critics of eugenics, like the notorious Ashley Montagu (a disciple of Franz Boas), get fat honoraria for delivering superficial, factually challenged lectures sponsored by numerous academic departments and programs. (Glad characterizes a lecture by Montagu as “an impressive demonstration of indoctrination” [p. 91].) On the other hand, those who defend eugenics “are subjected to academic shunning” (p. 91), their books are not used in classes and not purchased by academic libraries. They get no invitations to attend conferences or deliver lectures. Read more

Tim Wise on Zionism

Someone sent me this quote from an article by Tim Wise,Anti-Semitism, Real and Imagined: Judaism, Zionism and the Struggle for Palestine.”

Zionism’s problem is not that it is Jewish nationalism, per se, but rather a form of ethnic supremacy. And more than that: a form of European supremacy to boot. After all, there were Jews who had remained in and around Palestine for millennia, without substantial conflict withtheir Arab and Muslim neighbors. Likewise, many Jews lived under Muslim rule in the Ottoman Empire, where they received a generally warm or at least neutral reception–far better indeed than at the hands of Christian Europe, which expelled them from one place after another.

These Jews, unlike the European Jews who sought to displace said Arabs from their land, lived there peacefully and sought no grand designs for “Greater Israel.” They did not create Zionism, nor lead the charge for the development of a Jewish state. For that, it took a decidedly Western, European and frankly white Jewish community. The Jews who were most indigenous to the land of Israel, or those of Africa, or the rest of Asia Minor — in short those who were most directly Semitic language group peoples — were never the problem. Nor indeed was their faith. A decidedly colonial mentality, itself an outgrowth of European thought and culture from the late 1800s forward, was the fuel for the Zionist fire. Zionism’s problem is that it is a form of white supremacy and Western domination.

In short, Zionism as just another form of White evil. This certainly establishes Wise’s bona fides as an anti-Zionist Jew, but I am still suspicious that his attitudes are just another form of anti-White strategizing among Diaspora Jews. Self-deception?

It is certainly true that Zionism was the creation of European Jews and that at its beginnings it was closely tied intellectually to European racial nationalism. As I noted in Ch. 5 of Separation and Its Discontents:

Important Jewish intellectuals [in the late 19th century and well into the 20th century] developed Volkischeideologies as well as racialist, exclusivist views, which, like those of their adversaries, were no longer phrased in religious terms but rather in [the] … language of evolutionary biology. These intellectuals had a very clear conception of themselves as racially distinct and as a superior race (intellectually and especially morally), one that had a redemptive mission to the German people and other gentiles. As expected by social identity theory, while the Germans tended to emphasize negative traits of the Jewish outgroup, the Jewish intellectuals often conceptualized their continued separatism in moral and altruistic terms.

The result was that anti-Semites and zealous Jews, including Zionists, often had very similar racialist, nationalist views of Judaism toward the end of the 19th century and thereafter (Katz 1986b, 144). Zionism and anti-Semitism were mirror-images: “in the course of their histories up to the present day it has looked as if they might not only be reacting to one another but be capable of evolving identical objectives and even cooperating in their realization” (Katz 1979, 51). Nicosia (1985) provides a long list of German intellectuals and anti-Semitic leaders from the early 19th century through the Weimar period who accepted Zionism as a possible solution to the Jewish question in Germany, including Johann Gottleib Fichte, Konstantin Frantz, Wilhelm Marr, Adolf Stoecker. All conceptualized Judaism as a nation apart and as a separate “race.”

What had changed for Jews was not the reality that they were a closed racial and national group. The charge that Jews were a state within a state was common among Enlightenment intellectuals. What had changed was that the (temporary) triumph of Darwinism had changed the language of racial separatism so that Jews were no longer seen as a religious state within a state but as a racially exclusive strategizing group often in competition with the ethnic majority. Zionism then became a logical solution to the problem of chronic conflict between Jews and non-Jews. Jews would simply leave Europe. Indeed, Zionists cooperated with the National Socialist government in the 1930s to get Jews out of Germany to Palestine.

This strand of racial Zionism continues as a prominent ideology within Israel, particularly with the intellectual descendants of Vladimir Jabotinsky. And, as Geoffrey Wheatcroft has pointed out, at the present time Israel “is governed by [Jabotinsky’s] conscious heirs.”

The problem isn’t ethnic nationalism, and ethnic nationalism is certainly not restricted to White people. Ethnic conflict is apparent as well throughout the developing world, and will likely lead to more partitioning and nation-creation. As Jerry Z. Mullerhas noted, ethnostates are the norm, and “In areas where that separation has not yet occurred, politics is apt to remain ugly.” Ethnostates have a number of advantages besides the lack of chronic ethnically based conflict over everything from political power to affirmative action. As noted by Frank Salter, because of closer ties of kinship and culture, ethnically homogeneous societies are more likely to be open to redistributive policies such as social welfare and health care.  Sociologists such as Robert Putnam have also shown that ethnic homogeneity is associated with greater trust of others and greater political participation.

The problem is that Western societies have embarked on a public policy project in which the ethnonationalism of White people is officially proscribed as an unadulterated evil.  Everyone else’s ethnonationalism is just fine. And at the risk of repeating myself, the organized Jewish community has adopted a strategy of rationalizing and promoting even extreme forms of racial Zionism in Israel while being a pillar of multiculturalism and massive non-White immigration in the West. What’s good for the Jews and all that.

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J.J. Goldberg’s Reflections on Purim

Forward columnist J. J. Goldberg is distinguished among Jewish writers for acknowledging that yes, Jews are indeed powerful. The basic message of his 1996 book, Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment,  was that American Judaism is well organized and lavishly funded. It has achieved a great deal of power, and it has been successful in achieving its interests.

Goldberg’s book is a good rejoinder to those who claim that the Jewish community is hopelessly divided on all issues and therefore doesn’t have any net effect on public policy. His book acknowledged that in fact there is a great deal of consensus on broad Jewish issues, particularly in the areas of Israel and the welfare of other foreign Jewries, immigration and refugee policy, church-state separation, abortion rights, and civil liberties. As I noted in CofC, the massive changes in public policy on these issues beginning with the counter-cultural revolution of the 1960s coincide with the period of increasing Jewish power and influence in the United States.

Goldberg tackled Jewish power again in a recent Forward column, “Purim’s Lessons About Diaspora Power.” Again the point is that Jews are certainly not the weak, beset group typically presented by activist organizations like the ADL. He notes that since WWII, Jewish power increased while the enemies of Jews “declined in numbers and influence.” However, he sees a fundamental change:

Today, quite unexpectedly, we’re back where we started. Diaspora Jews still have resources to protect their interests and values, as they’ve had since World War II. But Jewish communities also face mounting threats from real enemies once again, thanks to the combined effects of the September 11 attacks, the Al-Aqsa Intifada and the Iraq War. Anti-Israel and anti-Jewish activists and ideologues have taken to claiming with unaccustomed boldness that organized Jewry controls and undermines whole governments and industries. Israel’s sworn enemies are broadening their focus and taking aim — with words and sometimes with bombs — at Israel’s closest overseas ally, the Jewish community. Perhaps most important, verbal attacks on organized American Jewish activity are no longer taboo. Diaspora Jewry hasn’t lost legitimacy, but its enemies have regained theirs.

Israel and Diaspora Jewish communities are indeed being criticized as never before. Right now, there is Israeli Apartheid Week aimed at boycotts, demonstrations, and divestment from Israel.  At this point, you would  have to be living under a rock to be unaware of the iron grip that the Israel Lobby has on US foreign policy and at its role in fomenting the Iraq war.

I would also  like to think that people are becoming more willing to openly and honestly discuss Jewish influence in the other areas mentioned in Goldberg’s 1996 book, especially on immigration policy and other areas related to multiculturalism. That is certainly what we at TOO are trying to do.

Goldberg makes two remarkable recommendations:

First, remember that [in the Purim story] Haman plotted to destroy the Jews because Mordecai insulted him. Sometimes your enemies hate you because of something you did, not just who you are. Sometimes a small concession now can save a lot of grief later.

Wouldn’t it be great if people like Abe Foxman, Heidi Beirich, and Mark Potok took that to heart? — that some criticisms of Jews are not just “canards” based on ancient prejudices but reflect real conflicts of interest in the contemporary world. But of course, it’s unrealistic. The organized Jewish community cannot acknowledge Jewish involvement in promoting the Iraq war any more than it can acknowledge its role in promoting and financing immigration and multiculturalism into Western societies. The changes unleashed by Jewish influence in America have been profound–literally transformational. Taking any responsibility would be dangerous indeed for Jews, especially as we see that American politics is increasing defined by racial identity.

Further, especially in Israel, Jewish behavior is on “feed forward” in the sense that the most committed Jews are in determining the direction of policy. It’s always been that way, and in the contemporary world, this means that the fundamentalists, the settlers, and the overtly racialist Zionists are in the driver’s seat, dominating the most right wing government in Israeli history.  The result is that Israeli expansionism, apartheid, and the oppression of the Palestinians will not be halted as a result of pressures within the Jewish community. The American Jewish community will continue to support all this — despite the glaring hypocrisy such behavior implies given the role of Jews as a pillar of multiculturalism in the Diaspora. There will be no concessions.

As a result, the ADL’s policy of condemning any discussion of Jewish influence will doubtless continue. Reasonable criticism must be completely suppressed because any leak in the dike is likely to lead to a deluge. And yet, as Goldberg seems to be admitting, Jewish influence can’t be ignored forever. I think he’s probably right. At least, I hope so.

Goldberg’s second bit of advice is: “Don’t abandon your intermarried relatives. They might save your life some day.” In other words, there is likely to be an anti-Jewish backlash at some point, and Jews had better be prepared. It’s an interesting suggestion to look to intermarried Jews for help. Goldberg’s implicit theory is that blood ties are critical in the end, and I couldn’t agree with him more.

Although intermarriage is often condemned in the Jewish community and there are high profile programs like Birthright Israel aimed at reducing it, several Jewish theorists have pointed out that intermarriage has certain strategic benefits for Judaism.  Chapter 9 of Separation and Its Discontents has the following quote from two Jewish scholars of the Diaspora:

The successful exercise of influence is best achieved in a community with a large subset of members interacting with politicians and opinion leaders. Through intermarried Jews themselves, and certainly through their social networks involving Jewish family and friends who may be closer to the core of the community, Jewish concerns, interests, and sensibilities can be articulated before a wider, more influential audience. In a recent interview, Presidential aide Robert Lipshutz traced the origin of Jimmy Carter’s concern for Israel to his close friendship with a first cousin, an Orthodox Jew (Carter’s aunt married a Jewish man, and their two children were raised as Jews). Intermarrying Jews, while perhaps diluting the community in one sense, perform compensating strategic functions in another. (Lieberman and Weinfeld, Demographic trends and Jewish survival. Midstream 24 (November), 1978, 16.)

Goldberg’s comment agrees with my conclusion:

The deepest layers of Jewish commitment [i.e., Orthodox, Conservative and other strongly ethnic forms of Judaism] constitute the long-term well spring of Judaism, with the outer layers acting as mere temporary appendages that will be cast off in the long run. This deep inner layer of very intense group commitment provides demographic vigor to replenish those in the outer layers [i.e., they’re the ones having the babies] who are gradually moving away from Judaism while nevertheless performing political and social roles that are indispensable for the contemporary vitality of Judaism. Such a perspective essentially agrees with the views of political scientist Michael Walzer (1994, 5), who notes that without radical transformation, secular Judaism cannot reproduce itself; since the Enlightenment, “it [has] remained parasitic on an older religious Judaism that it didn’t and couldn’t pass on.”

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Trudie Pert on Birthright Israel

Trudie Pert’s current TOO article “Birthright Israel: A Model Ethnic Charity” shows once again that, despite being pillars of multicultural righteousness, the laws of political correctness do not apply to the organized Jewish community. As noted in the article, Charles Bronfman, one of the largest funders of Birthright, obviously has a deep attachment to Jewish DNA. Birthright has successfully raised the percentage of Jews who marry Jews to 72%. Given that the program will reach one third of young Jews and given that a lot of Jews who don’t go are from the more conservative wings of Judaism who are not in need of a program like this or have already been to Israel, it suggests a major effect on retaining the ethnic basis of Judaism in the Diaspora. It reminds us that for the early Zionists, the main reason for establishing Israel was to preserve Jewish DNA:

[These] Jewish racial Zionists, such as Arthur Ruppin … were motivated by the fear that Diaspora Judaism would lose its biological uniqueness as a result of pressures for intermarriage and assimilation.

Among the Zionists, the racialists won the day. Ruppin’s ideas on the necessity of preserving Jewish racial purity have had a prominent place in the Jabotinsky wing of Zionism, including especially the Likud party in Israel and its leaders—people like Ariel Sharon, Menachem Begin, and Yitzhak Shamir. (Here’s a photo of Sharon speaking to a Likud Party convention in 2004 under a looming photo of Jabotinsky.) Jabotinsky believed that Jews were shaped by their long history as a desert people and that the establishment of Israel as a Jewish state would allow the natural genius of the Jewish race to flourish, stating, for example: “These natural and fundamental distinctions embedded in the race are impossible to eradicate, and are continually being nurtured by the differences in soil and climate.”  As Geoffrey Wheatcroft recently pointed out, at the present time Israel “is governed by [Jabotinsky’s] conscious heirs.”

Israel is obviously living up to its intended function of preserving Jewish DNA — not only in Israel, but via Birthright, in the Diaspora as well.

The other important point about Pert’s article is the complete lack of this sort of thinking by wealthy White philanthropists. Bill Gates gives billions to non-Whites and actually excludes Whites — even poor Whites — from applying for his aid programs. Gates and other wealthy Whites are behaving according to conventional attitudes of multicultural America, reaping the public acclaim in the media and doubtless feeling morally righteous. (Again, George Gilder’s sense of moral righteousness comes to mind.) We have to change all that.

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