There are some things that you really shouldn’t have to explain to people. You know, like don’t put your hand on a hot stove, don’t spit into the wind, and don’t buy into the notion that Jews “rule the world by proxy”. Of course, that’s a reference to the now infamous speech that ex-Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad made at an OIC meeting. The scary thing wasn’t that a man who is widely considered to be a “moderate” Muslim from a “moderate” Muslim country made those remarks, it’s that none of the other Muslim leaders at the conference seemed to have a problem with them.
But while Mohamad’s loopy sentiments are quite common in the Muslim world, they’re unfortunately all too prevalent in Europe as well. While nations like Germany and France are typically the first countries in Europe most people associate with this sort of anti-semitism, even our allies in Britain are not immune to it. In fact, David Frum actually wrote a column devoted to this subject in the Daily Telegraph last year that read in part…
“(T)he certainty that American policy is controlled by what one British magazine called a “kosher conspiracy” was the single most widely held opinion I heard in the course of an eight-day visit to Britain.”
Even here in America, perhaps the friendliest place on earth for Jews other than Israel itself, the myth of the Jewish puppetmasters pulling our nation’s strings lives on in some quarters. Just think back to Democratic Congressman Jim Moran’s comments in March of this year,
“If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this. The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should.”
Similarly, although you’ll never get them to admit this, a lot of the people who rave about the influence of “neoconservatives” (which they often use as a synonym for “Jewish conservative”) think exactly the same way that Moran does. They talk as if there are “Jewocons” that have some sort of super powers that allow them to trick 90% of the Republican party into agreeing with them on foreign policy.
Now coming up with all these fantastical ideas about Jews ruling the world might be understandable if Israel trampled across the world like Rome. But in reality, Jews have had a very rough time over the last hundred years or so. The Nazis killed 6 million Jews and Israel’s neighbors have made four attempts to drive the Israelis into the sea. Meanwhile, Israel is reviled at the UN and 60% Of Europeans think Israel is the greatest threat to world peace. This is despite the fact that Israel is a tiny country in the Middle-East that is outnumbered 60 to 1 by hostile Arabs, many of whom would like nothing better than to finish the job that Hitler started. If this is what “ruling the world” is supposed to be like, I’m sure the Jews would have begged some other group to take their place at the top of the food chain by now.
So where does this idea that “Jews rule the world” come from? From a variety of sources — old prejudices that have been passed down from father to son for generations, Arabs who can’t understand why their armies of serfs can’t defeat a Westernized army, & leaders in the Middle-East and Europe who’re looking for a convenient scapegoat for their ills. All of these things feed into anti-semitism & conspiratorial notions about Jews who dominate world events from the shadows.
But the thing that seemingly arouses the most suspicion these days amongst the “Look out for the Jews crowd” is the strong support for Israel in the United States. “How can this be,” the Mahathir Mohamads of the world wonder? The Jews are hated in much of the Middle-East and Israel is treated as a pariah state by most of Europe. Yet, the world’s only super power is a steadfast advocate of the Israeli state.
Some people will tell you that it’s because “Jews control the media in the United States” and give the American people a misleading picture of Israel. But, that’s not true in the least. While there are certainly many powerful Jews in the media & entertainment industry, percentage wise their numbers are quite small. Furthermore, just because there are a few Jews who’re editors of important newspapers & magazines or because there are Jews somewhere in the chain of command of the mega-corporations that own most of the media in the US, doesn’t mean that you should conclude that they’re actually controlling how Israel is portrayed. You have to keep in mind that the average American has access to not only ABC, NBC, & CBS, but to the cable news networks, talk radio, and the internet. In today’s political climate where complaints about media “Bias” of all types are practically an everyday thing, it’s impossible to slant the news one way or the other without a lot of people calling you on it and getting out the opposite point of view. So even if you have the cockeyed belief that Michael Eisner forces ABC News to only give favorable coverage to Israel, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference. That’s because Fox, Rush Limbaugh, CBS and many, many other sources would cover the same ground and wouldn’t put the same spin on it. In a country like America that has a free press, what Barnum said is quite applicable; “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
Moreover, even if you bought into the idea that Jews could control the news, the idea that all Jews would slant stories in identical ways because they’re on the “same team” is simply ridiculous. There are tremendous differences of opinion in the American Jewish community, not only about Israel and the war on the terrorism, but about any number of things. So while there are plenty of Jewish hawks who were for removing Saddam Hussein, there were also influential Jews who were against the war in Iraq and there are even Jews who want to “dismantle” Israel itself. Gee, wouldn’t you think that if Jews were going to “rule the world by proxy,” that they would at least all get on the same page?
Additionally, Jews are split politically in the US as well. Roughly 70% of Jews support the Democrats, while the GOP only gets around 30% of Jewish support. That’s particularly notable since Republicans control the White House, Senate, the House, the Supreme Court, and the majority of governorships in the US. If Mohamad and company were right, it would surely be the other way around.
However, that begs a question; why does America support Israel? Politically, the Democrats tend to look out for Israel because it’s an important issue to Jews who not only tend to vote Democratic, but who also punch way out of their weight class when it comes to making contributions to Democratic candidates. On the other hand, Republicans tend to support Israel not only because Evangelical Christian voters who pull the lever for the GOP are very supportive of Israel, but because Israel is viewed as a friendly, pro-American Democracy in a sea of hostile dictatorships.
Above and beyond that, you have to consider the effects of 9/11 on America’s view of the conflict in the Middle-East. Israel is a small country that has stood firmly in our corner against our mutual enemies even as many of the nations we once considered staunch allies have jumped ship. On top of that, Israel, like America, is under attack by terrorists, some of whom have also killed Americans. Then there are the Palestinians who are supportive of terrorism, are led by a terrorist, who hate Americans & loved Saddam with a passion, and don’t even get me started on the public celebrations they had after 9/11. Given all of that, the real mystery isn’t why so many Americans support Israel, it’s why so many don’t.
There are a lot of intellectually lazy people out there who seem to almost have a psychological compulsion to blame the Jews for every headache in their life. If it wasn’t the Jews, my guess is that they’d probably be blaming America, the Brits, or some other group of people for their problems. But the sooner these people quit railing against a Jewish cabal that doesn’t exist, the sooner they’ll start to take personal responsibility for making their lives and the lives of their countrymen better. That would be good for everybody, not just the Jews.