500,000 anti-Semitic Books Mailed To Jewish-Americans
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Dec 25, 2007 at 12:47:34 PM EST
If you were one of the half million or so Jewish Americans who received "Let My People Go: The Struggle Of The American Jew To Come Home To Israel" in the mail the first thing you probably would have noticed would have been the cover of the book, which features a somewhat crude drawing of  a man in a business suit, with a briefcase, straining against numerous ropes tying him to a  signpost which reads "Wall Street". There are so many of these ropes that it's quite obvious the man will never be able to break them simply by straining. If you had bothered to read the book, rather than simply tossing it in the trash, you'd have found no ambiguity ; the book says the the man on the cover is supposed to be Jewish, and it's hard to escape the implication that "Let My People Go" begins, and quite noisily so, with the premise that Jews, as a people, are bound to materialism, selfish and greedy.
The book was in English, not German, but otherwise recipients might have wondered if they were staring at a piece of 1930's era anti-Jewish propaganda, commissioned by the Third Reich, that had become somehow displaced in time, thrust into our era by a freak temporal anomaly, a wormhole or sinister wrinkle in time, because the picture on the front cover of "Let My People Go..." suggests that Jews, perhaps more so than any other ethnic group, are bound, against all their best efforts or intentions, to money.  The book goes on to ask why the greatest concentration of Jews in any urban area on Earth can be found in New York City, which Tom Hess claims may be the World center of "hedonism and perversion". He even seems to invoke the myth of Jewish ritual sacrifice.

By Tom Hess's own reporting, in 2004 his ministry, the Jerusalem House Of Prayer, sent "Let My People Go! - The Struggle Of The American Jew To Return To Israel" to about 550,000 Jewish-Americans and, per Hess's account, perhaps 800,000 copies of the book - urging Jews everywhere around the globe to return to Israel before they are annihilated in a rising wave of anti-Jewish hatred Hess predicts - have gone put since the book was first published in 1987.

Did the myth of the "greedy, materialistic Jew" die with the Third Reich ? Of course not. The cultural trope is alive and well, thanks in part to Christian Zionism. Neo-Nazi groups could never get away with sending hundreds of thousands of pieces of anti-Jewish literature through the US mail. Christian Zionists can apparently do so with impunity, and cost of mailing their literature - if sent out by registered 501c(3) nonprofit organizations - can be federally subsidized.

Whether by accident or by intent, "Let My People Go!..." is packed with many of the most vicious and pervasive anti-Jewish slurs to ever have been coined.

For example, on page 32 of his book Tom Hess seems to invoke the Medieval myth that Jews sacrifice children to the Devil. Discussing the legalization of abortion in America, he writes:

"There is so much blood on American soil it is a miracle that we have not already been destroyed as a nation! Many secular, reform, and conservative Jews have encouraged abortion despite the fact that the killing of their future generations will affect [sic] the future of the Jewish people. There is little difference between child sacrifice in the Old Testament and abortions today."

"There is little difference... " - the tone of that assertion fits quite readily with the pseudo-sociological narrative that accompanied the soundtrack of one the most notorious pieces of propaganda ever filmed, The Eternal Jew.

In his discussion of abortion, Hess does not mention Gentiles who, by most accounts, are reported to also engage in the practice of abortion. By likening Jewish abortion to "child sacrifice in the Old Testament" Tom Hess evokes the obvious - those Jewish women so heartless as to have their own children, the future Jewish generation, ripped from their wombs... and to whom do they sacrifice those children ? Moloch ? Satan ? From the myth of Jewish ritual child sacrifice, it is only a short hop to the legend that Jews have vestigial horns atop their heads.

The idea that Jews embody singular, singularly repugnant traits becomes increasingly distinct as one reads the book. On page 53, we learn that York York City may incarnate the most extreme sins of our age, and on page 55 readers encounter the terrible truth that NYC has the greatest concentration of Jews on Earth !.

What are reasonable readers to conclude ?

"The two characteristics that most exemplify Babylon in Revelation are materialism and hedonism. New York City is not only the leading city in the world regarding money and materialism (with the World Money Market centered there) but also may be the leading  city in the world regarding perversion and hedonism.  

New York City and America are the heart of Babylon today..."["Let My People Go! - The Struggle Of The American Jew To Return Home To Israel", "New Millennium" Seventh Edition, 2004, by Tom Hess,  P.53]

Tom Hess's book makes no attempt to factually substantiate those claims. Turning the page of Hess's strange book, mailed unsolicited to hundreds of thousands of Jewish Americans in 2004, we're confronted - on page 55  - with the following:

"Why are there more Jews in New York City than in any city in the world and more Jews in American than any nation in the world?"

Author Tom Hess provides no answer for that alleged riddle, even though the answer is quite mundane and widely-known :

There are more Jews in New York City than anywhere in America because New York City was long the central immigration route into the United States. There are more Jews in America because The United States had, for a time, liberal immigration policies that allowed Jews-- who were fleeing the terrible Russian and Eastern European pogroms of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries --to become American citizens.




Display:
If they are "American" Jews - why 'go home to Israel?' Granted "Norwegian-American" doesn't have the same religious overtones.

by ecoflame on Wed Dec 26, 2007 at 12:34:10 PM EST
To imply "American" Jews are Jews first, Americans second.

Or even not really fully American.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 06:26:52 PM EST
Parent

Using the word "home" as in "going home to Israel" certainly does imply that a Jew's "home" is nowhere else.  Semantics as these are an echo of the Nazi state's use of "Non-Aryan Christians," also implying that certain races may be Christian, but they are non-Aryans first: a dangerous ethic which is also theologically reprehensible.
Can a Jew be at "home" in America?  I should certainly hope so.

by Steven D. Martin on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 06:19:03 AM EST
Parent
I'm trying to wrap my head around them all.

I've come to see Kittel as very important in this - how can someone who might have been even called a philo-semite flip so radically and turn towards such extreme hatred ?

I now see the answer in theological terms. Susannah Heschel put her finger on it ; racism is at base a theological argument.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Jan 04, 2008 at 09:54:22 PM EST
Parent





A few weeks ago we got a "free" book that turned out to be very anti Roman Catholic.

These people are going out of their way to offend people.

When I tried to report the book, I was told that unless there were calls for violence in it, it was protected by free speech.

by ArchaeoBob on Wed Dec 26, 2007 at 03:04:27 PM EST

Somebody spent a considerable amount of money on this.

Even though such speech is constitutionally protected I'd think that , based on the ADL's mission statement, the organization should be concerned with Hess's book.

by Bruce Wilson on Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 09:23:14 AM EST
Parent




WWW Talk To Action


Thoughts on the Finale of the Finn Debacle
Now that Bishop Robert Finn has finally resigned his leadership of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri -- here are some final thoughts......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
DeVos and School Privatization Funders Backing Philadelphia Democratic Mayoral Candidate
The Betsy DeVos-led American Federation for Children (AFC) and its core funders have spent more than fifteen million dollars in Pennsylvania over the last......
By Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)
Religious Right Rabbi: Christian Coalition Favorite Daniel Lapin Resurfaces
Back in the 1990s when I was regularly covering the antics of TV preacher Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition, one part of the job was......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Christian Right leaders escalate anti-LGBTQ threats
As marriage equality has advanced around the country, and the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on the issue in June, threatening language......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Could Support for LGBTQ Rights Disrupt the Coalition of Jews and Evangelical Christian Zionists?
Some might say that the relationship between the conservative US Jewish community and Evangelicals is inviolable, with support for Israel being the cement that......
By Bill Berkowitz (1 comment)
Whine Festival: Second-Tier Religious Right Leaders Still Don't Like Marriage Equality
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage equality case.In preparation for this, a sad collection of......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Whither the Christian Right in the Democratic Party?
You don't have to be a Hillary hater (and I'm not) to recognize that Clinton and other Democratic Party leaders have had long and......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Bishop Robert Finn Resigns Leadership of St. Joseph-Kansas City Diocese
Bishop Robert W. Finn, the Opus Dei Bishop who was convicted by a Missouri court for failing to report suspected child abuse by a......
By Frank Cocozzelli (5 comments)
Two Overlooked Indiana Outcomes that Could Haunt the Christian Right
I think there are two underreported features of the fallout from Indiana that we should make sure do not get lost in the hoo......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Terms, Definitions & Glossaries for Writing about the Religious Right
One of the challenges in writing about the Religious Right and what to do about it is the matter of terms and definitions. That's......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
President Obama Can Help Stop Religious Discrimination
Barry Lynn, the longtime executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, recently posted an important essay at Huffington Post. In......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Marriage Matters: Thoughts On The Recent Unpleasantness In Indiana
Last week I taped an interview with Sister Maureen Fielder, host of "Interfaith Voices," a popular radio program exploring religious issues that is carried......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
The Campaign Against Pro-LGBTQ Denominations
The recent endorsement of marriage equality by the Presbyterian Church (USA) seemed like a good moment to discuss the campaign to divide and conquer......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Upcoming Conference: From Abortion Rights to Social Justice
The 29th annual conference From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom will be held from April 10-12 at Hampshire......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Why Is Bishop Robert Finn Still In Power?
As I reported in September 2014, Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has been under Vatican investigation to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)

Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (0 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (3 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (1 comment)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (5 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (2 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.