Star of david.
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Our secret is out. The Jews control the world! We own the media. Politicians do our bidding. Wall Street is a Jewish shtetl. Hollywood moguls make secret deals in Yiddish. Jewish professors propagandize their students to support Israel. Jewish puppet masters pull the strings and their compliant puppets simply follow.
If you troll the Internet, these are the absurd allegations that you will find repeated over and over again. It reminds me of the old joke about the two Jews in a Vienna café in the 1930s. One of them is reading the Yiddish newspaper, while the other one peruses the Der Stürmer, the Nazi propaganda organ. The Jew reading the Yiddish newspapers asks accusingly “Why are you reading that Nazi rag?” The other Jew responds: “I used to read the Yiddish newspaper, and all it talked about was how Jews are suffering, being fired from their jobs, being subject to pogroms and starving. Now I read in the Nazi newspaper that we control the world. I prefer the good news!”
Since the publication of the 19th-century Czarist forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the primary tropes of antisemitism have been the dual canards that Jews control the world and that all the problems of the world are attributed to the Jews. There is an old Polish proverb that says, “If there is a problem, the Jews must be behind it.”
The reality, of course, is quite different. Jews are subject to antisemitism in many parts of the world, and increasingly on university campuses. Israel is condemned at the UN more than all the other nations of the world combined. There is poverty among many Jews, particularly the elderly.
Holocaust denial is rampant on the Internet. The percentage of Jews in the world, already infinitesimal, is shrinking, while intermarriage and assimilation among Jews are increasing.
Whatever successes Jews have achieved have been as a result of their hard work, creativity and determination. Consider Israel, a nation that until recently had few natural resources or inherent wealth. Yet it has risen to the top of the hi-tech world through its inventions and innovations.
No country in history has contributed more to the world in proportion to its population and its time as a nation than the state of the Jewish people. Should Jews be blamed for Israel’s success? It is true that Jews are represented in large numbers in various professions such as academic, finance and the media. That is not because they are given preferential treatment. It is because they have proved to be successful at these enterprises. Should they be blamed for that?
THE ESSENCE of antisemitism is to believe that everything positive about Jews should be interpreted negatively. Consider the hard Left’s absurd accusation against Israel of “pinkwashing.” Those who accuse Israel of pinkwashing acknowledge that Israel has among the best records in the world of supporting the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people. Certainly it has the best record in the Middle East. Yet the antisemites who accuse Israel of pinkwashing claim that the only reason Israel supports the rights of sexual minorities is to cover up – to whitewash, or in this case pinkwash – how badly it treats the Palestinians. This perverse accusation fails to consider the reality that Israel supports these rights because it is the right thing to do. Indeed, within Israeli society those who support gay rights are more likely to support Palestinians than those who oppose these rights. But these facts are irrelevant to the antisemites who believe that the nation-state of the Jewish people can do nothing good, except for bad reasons.
The other lie that follows from “The Jews control the world” is that individual Jews who happen to have succeeded and are in positions of authority, always work together on behalf of Jewish control of the world. The reality is quite different. Consider, for example, the alleged Jewish control of the media. It is true that Jewish families have ownership interests in The New York Times
and other newspapers. But those newspapers don’t promote Jewish “control” of the world. Indeed, they are often at odds with Jewish public opinion. The same is true of Wall Street, Hollywood and academia, where individual Jews hold diverse opinions on issues of Jewish concern. But to the antisemite, all Jews are the same and their goal – to control the world – is identical.
So, no – Jews do not control the world. Many contribute to the world through their individual accomplishments, but that is true of members of every religion, ethnic and racial group. The world would be a poorer place – intellectually, artistically, charitably and in many other ways – if there were no Jews. Many European countries that were complicit in ridding themselves of their Jewish populations have come to regret their actions. So let’s make sure that Europe’s remaining Jews remain safe from the antisemites who spread the lie of Jewish control of the world.
This article first appeared in The Hill.
Follow Alan Dershowitz on: Twitter: @AlanDersh, Facebook: @AlanMDershowitz
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>