Sarah Palin, the "Blood Libel," and Jewish Democrats in the Crosshairs
Chip Berlet printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 10:25:47 AM EST
It is not surprising that someone who thinks she can see Russia while hunting on the shores of Alaska would claim she is the target of the "Blood Libel" for being held morally accountable for her malicious rhetoric.

The "Blood Libel" is the term used to describe the centuries old malicious and false claim that Jews kidnap Gentile children to drain their blood and use it to make Matzos used in religious rituals.

It is a sick irony that Rep. Garbrielle Giffords, the target of the Tucson terror rampage, is Jewish.

In the neonazi Political Right it is easy to find references to the claim that Jews not only kidnap children for their ghoulish ritual murder, but also the claim that Jew Bankers and their liberal allies control the currency of the United States and manipulate the economy and politics of our country.

These claims are lifted from the infamous hoax forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, first circulated to a mass audience in Russia in the early 20th century.

Neonazi Jonathan Williams, in an essay titled "Jews Are Burning America," at the Twelve Aryan Nations website, warns that Jews make it clear in "the pages of the `Protocols' about the need to possess Gold. Their sense of stability comes from their greed. Their exploitation of WHITE History, and their exploitation of the Negro for purposes of entertainment, shows their willingness to serve their Wicked Keeper at all costs."

The motives of the accused shooter in the Tucson rampage, Jared Lee Loughner, are unclear and further blurred by apparent delusions. Yet there are clues in his online posts that he picked up some of his ideas about a government conspiracy from right-wing sources. He is especially concerned with money manipulation and felt that current U.S. currency was invalid because it was not backed by silver or gold. Some of these ideas can be found in the writings of Ron Paul, the Republican Congressman from Texas, and in the pages of publications from the John Birch Society, a "Patriot" right-wing group.

In this blog, however, I will focus on the neonazi sector of the Political Right and their antisemitic claims about Jew Bankers lifted from the Protocols. The Protocols themselves claim that the Freemason fraternal order is part of the conspiracy, with the Jews behind the Freemasons. Another popular variant argues that the secretive Illuminati group infiltrated the Freemasons and continues to control the conspiracy.

Many conspiracy theories replicate the structure and essential accusations found in the Protocols without directly mentioning them by name. Stephen Bronner calls these latter claims "analogs" of the Protocols. Some of these analogs are thinly veiled. The Protocols are a forgery and plagiarized from earlier texts.There are a number of different versions of the Protocols, with different numbered sections, and their authors may have assembled the allegations from a base document that researchers have never found. Nevertheless, the various versions of the Protocols tend to have the same general set of allegations:

  • Jews manipulate the economy, especially through banking monopolies and the power of gold,
  • Jews encourage issuing paper currency not tied to the gold standard,
  • Jews promote financial speculation and use of credit,
  • Jews use liberalism to weaken church and state,
  • Jews control the press,
  • Jews work through radicals and revolutionaries,
  • Jews replace traditional educational curriculum to discourage independent thinking,
  • Jews encourage immorality among Christian youth,
  • Jews use intellectuals to confuse people,
  • Jews control "puppet" governments both through secret allies and by blackmailing elected officials,
  • Jews work through Masonic lodges,
  • Jews weaken laws through liberal interpretations,
  • Jews will suspend civil liberties during an emergency and then make the measures permanent.
  • Jews are behind a plan for global conquest,

What is remarkable is that before and after the publications of the Protocols, an almost identical set of claims were made against other scapegoated targets, including Freemasons (and the Illuminati), Catholics, plutocrats, agents of the Antichrist, communists, and assorted other so-called "secret elites."

Today many of these claims are used by right-wing demagogues on television and radio to attack Democrats, liberals, and leftists. Rep. Garbrielle Giffords is lying critically wounded in a hospital from a would-be assassin's bullet It would be refreshing if right-wing demagogues, including Sarah Palin, would take a quick refresher course on the historic outcomes of campaigns of vilification and demonization. At the very least they should be sensitive to the historic scapegoating of Jews represented by the Blood Libel.

They should also stop inadvertantly plagiarizing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion for the venomous material attacking Democrats as traitors out to destroy America. Words have consequences.

= = = = = = =

Portions of this post are borrowed from my contribution to a forthcoming collection of essays on the Protocols to be published by New York University Press.




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What is funny is that we can document the conservatives/Religious Right as actually having several of those characteristics/goals.

Financial manipulation, speculation, and pushing of credit - read Poverty Knowledge by O'Connor, Debt for Sale by Williams, and an older book The Poor Pay More by Caplovitz.  I could also name (after looking through my records) several peer-reviewed journal articles showing the same thing.  This is well documented - and from the RIGHT.

Control of the Press - my own (unpublished as of yet) research, and several peer-reviewed journal articles that I know of (but would have to dig out my notes to reference them).  I am sure that there is other documentation 'out there' that shows that the press is actually strongly conservative and supports the status quo.

"Traditional curriculum" - the things pushed on educators by the right (especially the religious right/dominionists) are well documented as to pushing blind obedience to authority and several people here on this blog have documented the lies they try to get forced into the schools - and let us not forget their attempts to push the big lie Creationism in the schools.  They obviously want blind obedience to their thinking and don't want their lies questioned, much less disputed.  This one is really offensive to me because we (liberals in education) STRESS learning to think for one's self, and have to fight against the blind acceptance of proved falsehoods such as Creationism/Intelligent Design.  "Teaching to the test" and rote memorization is a major problem because it dissuades individual thought.

Confusing people -  What about telling lies, using deception, and all of the rhetorical tricks used by the Religious right?   Truth helps one avoid confusion, although often the truth is complex and subtle.  This causes one to not be dogmatic and to possibly seem to vacillate at times because the truth can be so complex and seemingly contradictory.  Things are rarely Black or White (although the issue of dominionism vs freedom is clearly that).

Suspending civil liberties - Isn't that where we got Bush's Patriot act?  It is the CONSERVATIVES that do this.  Any excuse to crack down on the average people, but bamboozle them into accepting it as necessary.

Finally, Global Conquest - I think researchers on this blog have clearly demonstrated that the dominionists/Religious Right have that goal.  That goal has been openly stated numerous times by the dominionists.

I can also argue that their repressive activities actually increase immorality, and that THEY are the corrupting influence because they teach their children to hate and to persecute innocent people.  

Clearly, they're projecting their own goals and activities.  What is sad is that the followers actually believe the propaganda put out by their own leaders, and don't see what is truly going on.  

by ArchaeoBob on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 11:39:00 AM EST

All explained in Allport's The Nature of Prejudice
_ _ _

Chip Berlet: Research for Progress - Building Human Rights
by Chip Berlet on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 12:29:40 PM EST
Parent
I should read that book in it's entirety.  I remember reading an excerpt from it for a class.

Thanks for reminding me about it.


by ArchaeoBob on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 01:39:46 PM EST
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