World domination, war-mongering and brainwashing through psychoanalysis; it’s all in a day’s work for Jews, who have long been the subjects of conspiracy theories and vicious rumors. Here are eight of the most persistent and pernicious.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, one of the most notorious literary forgeries, is a how-to manual of world domination, passed off as if it had been written by a secret society of malicious, scheming Jews. First published in Russia in the early 1900s, it is the quintessential text of anti-Semitic literature: “At the present day we are, as an international force, invincible,” reads part of Protocol No. 3.
Anti-Semitism in the Middle Ages gave birth to folklore that Jews spread the Black Plague, poisoned wells and sacrificed Christian children so that they could use their blood to make matzoh. The last myth endures today among some virulent anti-Semites, and was promulgated most recently on a 2003 Syrian television program called Al-Shatat (“The Diaspora”), based on The Protocols.
White supremacists have long maintained that Jews are the driving force behind the mixing of the races, a process that those obsessed with something they call “racial integrity” compare to genocide. One especially imaginative hate site envisions “a police state under martial law run by Jews [sic] and their two-legged mixed breed monsters of the future.”
Show-biz Jews have supposedly corrupted the minds of youth through, among other things, “Jewish jazz,” a “miasma…which combines weak-mindedness with every suggestion of lewdness.” Another version has the Jews, led by old studio heads like David O. Selznick and Samuel Goldwyn, controlling Hollywood for their gain. In 1921, Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent wrote that the “motion picture influence” was “exclusively under the control, moral and financial, of the Jewish manipulators of the public mind.”
The lie that Jews foment wars while getting others to fight in them is an old one. Henry Ford believed that Jews started World War I in order to reap profits. Contemporary conspiracy theorists have popularized the idea that the Jews orchestrated 9/11 in order to tarnish the image of Muslims and ignite war. The myth that 4,000 Jews were secretly alerted not to show up to work at the World Trade Center that day persists among the misinformed both here and abroad; it was first disseminated by a Syrian newspaper. In fact, about 400 Jews died in the attacks.
Greedy “Zionist” Profiteers
Jews are accused of having reaped “astonishing profits” in the wars they’ve allegedly created by lending money to and supplying both sides. There are some who believe that a collective of “Zionist bankers” is currently hoarding gold in preparation for a global financial collapse that it will precipitate. Conspiracy theories about Jews and money have their origins in early Christian anti-Jewish propaganda.
Brainwashing Analysts & Neurosis-Spreaders
The Jew Watch Project, an anti-Semitic website, lists Freudianism as one of several “Jewish Mind-Control Mechanisms,” citing Freud’s early Jewish education as a major source of his theories. It quotes an early critic named Egon Friedell, a Viennese writer who renounced his own Judaism and decried psychoanalysis as “a grandiose attempt to spread infection,” by which “the whole world is to be neuroticized, sexualized, diabolicized.”
The Protocols and Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent were early disseminators of this theory, which fascists in the 1930s did their best to spread throughout the world. President Richard Nixon ranted in private about Jews in the press, as did Spiro Agnew and Pat Buchanan. There are plenty of websites that “out” Jewish media tycoons, and some that even try to “out” non-Jews; in his 2005 documentary about anti-Semitism, Protocols of Zion, filmmaker Marc Levin meets a skinhead who is convinced that Rupert Murdoch, a practicing Christian, has kept his Jewish roots hidden.
Adapted from the Moment Magazine article by David Zax