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"Beware of Ally"

by Joseph Sobran, from the October, 1994, issue of Sobran's

You can't understand American politics and culture nowadays without grasping the enormous power and influence of the Jews. The Jewish angle is complicated; it's not all to the bad; but from a Christian standpoint, it deserves criticism, because the interest of Jews and Christians naturally diverge. It is sentimental nonsense to pretend otherwise.

But since sentimental nonsense is obligatory in the American media, anyone who tries to talk frankly on the subject is "out of the mainstream," "extremist." The Israeli press is remarkably blunt about Jewish power in this country; but its coverage, though written from a Jewish perspective, would violate settled taboos in America. A Hebrew-language newspaper, Ma'ariv (the Israeli equivalent of the Washington Post), recently [Sept. 2, 1994] ran a long, detailed article on Jews in the Clinton Administration: "The Jews Who Run Clinton's Court"! The idea that there may be a Christian perspective on the subject is unthinkable.

The notion that two profoundly different cultures can easily mix, under shibboleths of "pluralism" and "multi-culturalism," is naive. You might as well expect a character from Homer to walk into a Thackeray novel. A culture is almost by definition a set of things that can't mix, because they have their own full meaning only in relation to each other and lose their meaning in any alien context.

Unfortunately, the Jews - the organized Jews, the ones who, for our purposes, really count (leaving out unaffiliated Jews, mavericks, eccentrics, Mrs. Goldberg down the street, so to speak - are quick to damn any criticism as "anti-semitism," "Jew-hating," and, when that criticism comes from independent Jews, "self-hate." (The idea of "self-hate" is so tortured you wonder how on earth it arose. You get the impression that the only people Jew ever hate are themselves.)

The word "anti-Semitic" can usually be translated "Semitically Incorrect." Jews in America don't have to worry about persecution. The organized Jewish power is actually enforcing an ideological orthodoxy, and its habitual resort to personal abuse and intimidation is itself part of what deserves criticism. Such charges wouldn't be daunting to potential critics if "the Jews" weren't powerful. Like such ugly neologisms as "racism," "sexism," and "homophobia," "anti-semitism" doesn't belong to the classic English language, as it has been used from Shakespeare to Dr. Johnson to Dickens to Hemingway. It's a term of vilification. Its function is not to define and distinguish but to conflate. (Nobody speaks of "anti-gentilism.") So many people and places have been damned as anti-Semitic countries.

Nevertheless, certain things must be said. And to be said they must be sayable. The Jewish question is part of my beat. Part of the reason for this newsletter is to utter a Christian viewpoint and to defend Christian interests at a time when public discourse is choked with fear of the Jews, in large part because of Jewish control of the major media - by ownership, pressure, false delicacy, and the constant threat of calumny.

Why is this urgent? Well, because, for instance, Israel can get a lot of Americans killed. In his book The Samson Option (Random House, 1991), Seymour Hersh described in detail how Israel's secret nuclear arsenal implicated, and even endangered, the United States. Maybe Hersh was wrong. But, he is a distinguished reporter, and he was making an assertion of considerable gravity. His thesis deserved, you might think, some discussion. The book was an attempt to alert us to an unsuspected danger and a vindication, by the way, of the foreign policy of America's founders. But The Samson Option died a quick death.

I began to understand the problem in 1982, when I ceased to be an automatic defender of Israel (which I had been since the Six-Day War in 1967). The savage war on Lebanon opened my eyes. I saw, first, that the American alliance with Israel was making us enemies throughout the Muslim world. That was good for Israel and also good for the Soviet Union; but very bad for the United States. Moreover, I had a personal stake: my two sons were approaching draft age at a time when it looked as if the draft might be restored, and I saw no reason why they should be sent to fight in the middle East. The thought of it made my blood run cold. For that matter, I didn't want any American boy to die for a foreign country.

I also came to realize how treacherously Israel was dealing with the United States. I'd tried to ignore evidence of this, starting with the attack on the Liberty in 1967. When Menachem Begin lied to Ronald Reagan about his intentions in Lebanon, the pattern was too clear to ignore. I learned a good deal about Israel espionage against the United States even before the Pollard spy case broke in 1985.

Along the way I perceived an unmentionable fact: that many Jews in the media were committed, sometimes fanatical Zionists, who justified everything Israel did, would never admit any deep divergence between American and Israeli interests - and would shed not tear if my sons died for Israel. They included most of the neoconservatives I'd previously thought of as my allies and, in some cases, friends. But even the Pollard case didn't seem to shake their primary loyalty to Israel.

I also couldn't help noticing the hypocrisy of organized Jewry, which pushed one set of principles in America - racial equality, secularism, and so forth - and their polar opposites in Israel, whose reason for being is to confer privileged status on Jews and Judaism. Jews won't let American Christians pray in their own public schools, but they are willing to tax them to subsidize and protect Israel. That, too, is both obvious and unmentionable. It cries out for discussion.

And I became aware that most Christians in the media, including friends of mine, were afraid to say what, deep down, they knew. They were afraid of being smeared by the same neoconservatives they professed to regard as friends. They didn't dare to draw the obvious inference from the Pollard case, even when it transpired that the documents Pollard stole had probably been passed to the Soviets by the Israelis. They were in the same position as liberals in the 1940s and 1950s who had been afraid to admit that their ranks had been infiltrated by Soviet sympathizers and agents. (The cry of "anti-Semitism" was a bullying diversion from the real issue, as the cry of "McCarthyism" had been.)

Even knowing all this, I was shocked at the violence of the personal attacks against me when I began writing against the U.S.-Israeli alliance.The neoconservatives, whom I'd naively expected to respect my right to disagree, were the most vicious. I was even more shocked when some of my Christian friends betrayed me - though one of my great consolations was that I found stalwart and honorable friends among non-Zionist Jews. (When the chips were down, some of my best friends were Jews.)

Pat Buchanan got the same treatment a few years later, when he observed that Israel's "Amen Corner" was leading the cry for war with Iraq - just as I expected it would. He, too, was attacked with special venom by neoconservatives some of whom he'd befriended, as well as by some Christian conservatives who saw their chance to win favor with the people they feared and toadied to. (Among those who were brave and decent enough to defend him was Michael Kinsley, his liberal Jewish antagonist on Crossfire.)

You can agree with the neocons on nine out of ten issues -but if the tenth is Israel, the other nine count for nothing. You may want to keep their friendship, but it's not up to you; they treat you as their mortal enemy (which is why I define anti-Semite as a man who is hated by Jews). There is no clearer proof of the absolute priority of Israel for them. But the gentiles in the conservative movement, who still talk in their sleep about Alger Hiss,have put up little resistance to Zionist infiltration.

And it's one of the constants of journalism that the Amen Corner eggs this country to fight with any country it sees as a threat to Israel: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, even North Korea. Moreover, it favors military intervention abroad in general, though it's less unanimous when Israel isn't menaced; some oppose intervention in Bosnia or Haiti, because the loss of American lives would lead to "isolationism" - their word for making American interests paramount.

Why does Zionism rely so heavily on deceit, camouflage, insinuation, betrayal, propaganda, and calumny? At bottom it may be less a matter of mendacity than of a cultural gulf. Most Zionists, even those who are otherwise honest people, resist open debate because they correctly sense that their cause - Jewish chauvinism - is indefensible in terms of both American interests and Christian culture. They need gentile support but can't afford to say what they really think of gentiles; though what they think can be gathered from the way Israeli law treats gentiles. Where gentiles are the majority, the Jewish power calls for equality, secularism, and "pluralism";l but Israel, where the phrase "Judeo-Christian" is used sparingly, is exempt from those other wise universal standards. (Hence the tortured Israeli debate over whether to annex the occupied territories: what if the Arabs become the national majority!) The occasional gentile who catches on must be silenced and ostracized. Find, if you can, an American Zionist who demands equality for Israeli Christians. Such a Zionist is nearly as rare as an American Christian who sticks up for his fellow Christians in Israel.

Israel is no worse than many other countries. But it is worse than any other ally, except Britain - another country that likes its American friends to do the fighting. The analogies are interesting. At home, Churchill spoke of "the British Empire"; but for American consumption, he sang of "the great democracies" and "the English speaking peoples." Nor has Mrs. Thatcher been shy about telling us where to send our boys. The Zionists have a long way to go before they will match British mischief; but Britain is an exhausted power, and Zionism poses the chief dangers to America at the moment.

There are other aspects of organized Jewry that deserve our critical attention too, its virtues as well as its proclivities. Up to a point, its tribalism is healthy and deserves emulation by a society whose weakening bonds of kinship are plunging us into crime and general decadence. But its liberalism, self-absorption, and deep hostility to Christianity are both excessive and self-destructive. The intellectual brilliance of Jews is one of the wonders or the world; but it also has its dark side, a facile skepticism, an insensitivity to the dumb virtues of tradition (even, at times, Jewish tradition), a reckless radicalism.

The reason the current Jewish taboos should be broken is so that the whole truth can be told, and not just those things that are discreditable to the Jews. Actually, the Jews are nowhere near as bad as some of their defenders make them sound. They sometimes take advantage of our gullibility; which is not to say we gentiles were all innocent before they arrived. They do us harm; but not because they really want to harm us. As I say, cultures are more than just different flavors of ice cream. They are more like different cosmologies. The most important fact about any man, as G.K. Chesterton pointed out, is what kind of universe he thinks he's living in.
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[The preceding article was reprinted with permission from the May edition of SOBRAN'S, P.O. Box1383, Vienna, VA 22183. For subscription information, call 1-800-493-4401.]

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