Jonathan Kay

National Post, May 10, 2011


In August, 1897, Theodor Herzl and two hundred fellow activists convened at a concert hall in Basel, Switzerland, to attend the First Zionist Congress. The capstone of their deliberations was The Basel Program, a landmark manifesto aimed at “establishing for the Jewish people a publicly and legally assured home in Palestine.…”

But as legend has it, it was all an elaborate act—just a respectable set-piece to divert gentile journalists and spies from the real meeting taking place at a secret location nearby. There, Herzl delivered a clandestine 24-part lecture series for Jewish ears only. In these speeches, “protocols” as Herzl called them, there was little talk of carving a small country out of the Middle Eastern desert. What he proposed was nothing less than a plan for total world domination.

Europe’s gentiles—or goyim, as they were described in Yiddish—generally were a happy, earnest lot, Herzl told his audience. They worked their farms and small businesses assiduously, prayed to a benevolent Christian God, and prospered under the kindly, lawful aristocrats who rose up from among their ranks. But they were also gullible, lustful, greedy and unstable in their attitudes—human frailties that the calculating, ascetic Jew could exploit in order to rob them of their entitlements.

The Jewish strategy, Herzl explained, would target all strata of goyim. To corrupt the proles, Jewish smut merchants would provide pornography and “alcoholic liquors.” To ensnare middle-class farmers and merchants, Jewish moneylenders would practice usury. Ambitious gentile politicians would be co-opted through extortion and outright bribery; or else installed as quislings in Europe’s Masonic lodges, which Jews secretly controlled.

Meanwhile, gentile intellectuals, such as they were, would be beguiled by democracy, liberalism, Marxism, socialism, communism, Darwinism, anarchism, “Nietzsche-ism,” and all the other fangled creeds the Jew had created.…

Of course, God-fearing men would never willingly succumb to Jewish tyranny. But Herzl had an answer to that: Jews would not only annihilate Europe’s earthly rulers, but also “the very principle of God-head and the spirit,” whose presence in men’s souls shielded them from the “arithmetical calculations and material needs” upon which the Jew preyed.… “All nations will be swallowed up in the pursuit of gain, and in the race for it will not take note of their common foe [the Jew].…”

When Herzl was done with his 24 protocols, the conference disbanded and the Jewish Elders returned to their homes in order to prepare their plots. The world might never have learned of the protocols’ existence—but for a single Russian police agent who, through means unknown, intercepted one of Herzl’s acolytes at a German Masonic lodge.

In exchange for what one must assume to have been an extravagant sum, the Jew agreed to turn over his handwritten transcription of Herzl’s protocols—but only till the next morning. All through the night, a team of Russian scribes feverishly copied out the Hebrew text. When sunrise broke, the fruits of their labour were sent to translators in Moscow, who would go on to warn the world of the Jewish menace.

Thus ends the fairy tale, known to history as The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion—a document that would become the most influential conspiracist tract since the era of the French Revolution. Millions of readers were taken in by this poisonous fraud following its widespread publication in 1919. Adolf Hitler and other war criminals would be inspired to act on it, setting in motion a wave of anti-Semitic hatred so intense that, by the end of the Second World War, Central and Eastern Europe were left virtually Judenrein.

All this came to pass despite the fact the Protocols was debunked within months of its dissemination. As investigators revealed, the document was concocted by czarist anti-Semites who had not even taken the trouble to invent the lies themselves. Instead, they plagiarized Protocols from two sources: Biarritz, a lurid anti-Semitic novel published 50 years previously in Germany, and a French propaganda tract from the same era, “Dialogues in Hell between Machiavelli and Montesquieu,” written by a French lawyer named Maurice Joly.…

The Protocols was a lie. But like all successful conspiracy theories, it was a lie that people wanted to hear. This was a moment when Europe had just endured not one, but two epic upheavals, neither of which had a simple, comprehensible cause.… For Europeans reading the Protocols in the 1920s and 1930s, the document offered something precious: the idea that only a single barrier—the Jewish race—blocked a return to the peaceful, pious and socially ordered world that had been destroyed by war, revolution, mechanization, urbanization, radical political ideologies, secularization and catastrophic inflation. The evil brilliance of the Protocols lay in the fact that it patched together a theory of Jewish conspiracy that covered every one of these upheavals—all the while enchanting the reader with backward glimpses of the noble, God-fearing milieu that the Jew allegedly had undermined.…


Jerusalem Post, May 24, 2011


Documents apparently confirming rumors that Vladimir Lenin had Jewish ancestors can now be seen at Russia’s State History Museum.… Among the newly released documents on display is a letter written by Lenin’s sister, Anna Ulyanova, claiming that their maternal grandfather was a Jew from the Ukraine who converted to Christianity to escape persecution in the Pale of Settlement and have access to higher education.…

“He came from a poor Jewish family and was, according to his baptismal certificate, the son of Moses Blank, a native of (the western Ukrainian city of) Zhitomir,” Ulyanova wrote in 1932.… In the letter, written [by Ulyanova] to Josef Stalin, who replaced Lenin after his death in 1924, Ulyanova wrote “Vladimir Ilych [Lenin’s birth name] had always thought of Jews highly. I am very sorry that the fact of our origin—which I had suspected before—was not known during his lifetime.…”

Ulyanova requested that Stalin make Lenin’s Jewish background known to combat the rise of anti-Semitism.… She wrote in her letter, “I hear that in recent years anti-Semitism has been growing stronger again, even among Communists. It would be wrong to hide the fact from the masses.”

Stalin ignored Ulyanova’s request and told her to “keep absolute silence” about the letter, according to the exhibition’s curator, Tatyana Koloskova.…

Guy Milliere
Hudson Institute, May 16, 2011

On April 19, the Corfu synagogue, in Greece, was burned. How many Jews live in Corfu today? One hundred and fifty. How many Jews live in Greece? Eight thousand, or about 0.8% of the population. For some, it seems these figures are still far too high. Two other synagogues were burned in Greece during the past year.…

What happened in Greece is happening everywhere across the European continent.

During the last decade, synagogues were vandalized or set on fire in Poland, Sweden, Hungary, France. Anti-Semitic inscriptions are being drawn on building walls in Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam, London, Berlin and Rome. Jewish cemeteries are being ransacked. Jews are being attacked on the streets of most major cities on the continent.… Jewish schools are being placed under police protection everywhere, and are usually equipped with security gates. Jewish children in public high schools are bullied; when parents complain, they are encouraged to choose another place of learning for their children.

In some cities such as Malmo, Sweden, or Roubaix, France, the persecution suffered by the Jewish community has reached such a degree that people are selling their homes at any price and leaving. Those who stay have the constant feeling that they are risking their lives: they must be extremely streetwise and carry no sign showing who they are. In 1990, approximately 2000 Jewish people lived in Malmo; now there are fewer than 700, and the number is decreasing every year.

Jews now, in fact, have to be streetwise in all European countries: men wearing a skullcap usually hide it under a hat or a cap. Owners of kosher restaurants located on avenues where protests are organized close their facilities before the arrival of the participants—even if the protest is about wages or retirement age. They know too well that among the demonstrators, there will always be some who will express their rage at the sight of a Jewish name or a star of David on a store front. In Paris, on Labor Day, May 1st, in front of a Jewish cafe on Avenue of the Republic, several hundred demonstrators stopped and began to boo “Jews” and “Zionists.” A man coming out of the cafe was assaulted until police officers arrived on the scene.

A few weeks ago in Norway, when Alan Dershowitz was banned from giving lectures on the conflict in the Middle East, the professors who supported the ban used anti-Semitic stereotypes in their remarks. What happened to him is now commonplace. In many universities in Europe, giving lectures on Jewish culture has become risky, and giving lectures on Israel anywhere—without being clearly “pro-Palestinian”—is even more risky, or impossible: Once the event is announced, the organizers and the lecturers immediately receive explicit death threats by mail or by the internet. The day the lecture takes place, “anti-Zionists” organize violent protests, try to prevent people from entering the hall, and physically attack the lecturers. The only way to avoid this type of situation is to organize the lecture by invitation only, without ads.

After World War II, anti-Semitism seemed to disappear in Europe. It is back, to a very disquieting degree. Although it is not exactly the same anti-Semitism that in the 1930’s, it is not fully different.

It is an anti-Semitism that is widespread in the Muslim population that settled in Europe, and it would be easy to think that it is strictly an Islamic phenomenon, but the anti-Semitism as it exists today in the Muslim world was heavily influenced by the old European anti-Semitism. And what the Muslim immigrants bring with them can easily find resonances in European non-Muslim populations. Copies of fraudulent Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Arabic are sold in Islamic bookstores from one end of the continent to the other, and they also circulate abundantly again in many European languages, under the mantle or via internet.…

The new, current anti-Semitism now adds on to the old kind, the demonization of the State of Israel. The Islamic view of Israel is now the dominant view of Israel in Europe. The idea that Israel is a “colonial power” that has “robbed” people of their land, and is an “artificial State”, even though the Jews have been on that land for three thousand years—and even though many states in the area, such as Jordan and Libya, and Iraq are even more illegitimate, their borders having been drawn on paper by the British in the 1920s—is a commonplace among journalists.

Hatred towards Israel is now the most widely shared sentiment among Europeans, whatever their place on the political spectrum. It is now through hatred of Israel, that hatred of Jews…can again express itself.…

As Israel is a Jewish state, European Jews are asked to be “good Europeans”, and to disavow Israel. If they refuse, or worse, if they say they still support Israel, they are considered untrustworthy. In the 1930s, Jews were accused of not being full members of the country where they lived. Today, the same criticism rises in a slightly different form: Jews are accused of the existence of a Jewish state, and are suspected of being too tied to that state to be full members of the country where they live.

More deeply, the Jews of Europe might feel that if they can paint the Jews as evil, then perhaps what their parents and grandparents did to them during World War II was not really so bad after all; you could even say they deserved what they got.… The Israeli army is often compared in European media to the Nazi army. The comparison is fully playing its role: if the Jews are Nazis today, it means that the Europeans did the world a favor in killing six million of them, and that the Europeans are not really guilty.…

A survey conducted last year for the Friederich Ebert Foundation, a German think tank linked to Germany’s Social Democratic Party, was eloquent. To the question: “Do you think that Jews abuse their status as victims of Nazism ?”, positive responses reached proportions hardly imaginable: 72.2% in Poland, 48% in Germany, 40.2% in Italy, 32.3% in France. Another question, “Do you understand why people do not like Jews”, generated results that must be faced. Number of positive responses: 55.2% in Poland, 48.9% in Germany, 40.2% in Italy.… The question, “Do you think that Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians”, was asked. Positive responses : 63% in Poland, 47.7% in Germany.

Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, called the poll “very disturbing. The governments of Europe, and the European Union,” he said, “would do well to wake up to this problem before it is too late.”


Manfred Gerstenfeld
Jerusalem Post, May 24, 2011


That the offer of free lectures on the middle East conflict by Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, one of the most eloquent advocates of the Israeli case, was refused by three universities in Norway should come as no surprise. Besides being a substantial producer of oil and gas, the country is also a major purveyor of Israel hatred and anti-Semitism.

Several ministers of the Labor and Socialist Left governing parties have endorsed hate-inciting acts. The state TV and radio company NRK has an anti-Israel bias officially approved by the Broadcasting Council. There is a dominant anti-Israel attitude in the media and significant anti-Israelism in academia. Trade unions make periodic boycott calls. Some Lutheran bishops are major inciters. There is substantial anti-Semitism in schools. In 2008, comedian Otto Jespersen urged his nationwide TV audience to remember “all the billions of fleas and lice that lost their lives in the German gas chambers, without having done anything wrong other than settling on persons of Jewish background.…”

For a long time this Norwegian reality went almost unnoticed abroad. It surfaced with a vengeance in the “Wall Street Journal” in late March when Dershowitz attacked the heads of the universities who refused his offer. “Only once before have I been prevented from lecturing at universities in a country. The other country was apartheid South Africa,” he observed. Then, turning to Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store, who claims that Norway’s philosophy is ‘dialogue,’ Dershowitz wrote that “Hamas and its supporters are invited into the dialogue, but supporters of Israel are excluded by an implicit, yet very real, boycott against pro-Israel views.”

Jay Nordlinger of the “National Review,” the only foreign journalist who occasionally writes about the Nordic country, usually does so sympathetically. Yet a few days after Dershowitz’ article, Nordlinger remarked: “Norway is a splendid country, and its citizens are right to be proud of it. But it has a problem, one common to many countries: anti-Semitism. Not just opposition to Israel [which is problematic enough], but plain, old-fashioned anti-Semitism.”

This rare foreign criticism of Norway was followed by an interview in “The Jerusalem Post” with American author Bruce Bawer, who argued that Norway’s cultural elite has replaced its affinity “to the Soviet Union with sympathy for the great totalitarian ideology of our time: Islamism. Thus they romanticize Palestinians and despise Israel.” He recommended that Norwegian Jews leave for Israel.…

The attitude of the ruling cultural elite toward Israel can best be described as a national mutation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. As Dr. Jekyll, it presents itself as a great supporter of human rights and major contributor of development aid; as Mr. Hyde it rarely misses an opportunity for Israel-bashing.

Where do the Israel hatred and anti-Semitism originate? The Lutheran creed, which dominated the country in the past explains much. In the 19th century, Norway was the last European country to let Jews in. During World War II…more than 750 [Jews] were arrested by the Norwegian authorities, who, after confiscating their possessions, delivered the captive Jews to the German occupiers. Almost all were killed in Auschwitz. Norway is also one of a handful of countries in which kosher slaughter is outlawed. It preceded Nazi Germany in passing a bill to this effect by a large parliamentary majority in 1929. However, to this day Norway has not seen fit to outlaw whaling and the brutal slaying of large numbers of seals.

Norway is falsely ranked among the leading countries concerning freedom of the press. That is because in this democracy, censorship is executed by the editors of the papers rather than by the state. The end result, though, makes for far less than a free market of ideas, especially when it comes to issues like anti-Semitism and Israel hatred.

A typical example is a letter of complaint last August by then-US senator Sam Brownback to the Norwegian ambassador in Washington about the hatred against Jews and Israel. To back up his claims, Brownback attached a 10-point document from the Simon Wiesenthal Center with serious allegations of hate-supporting acts by the Norwegian king and several ministers, including Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Foreign Minister Store. Only the small Christian “Norge Idag” newspaper mentioned Brownback’s letter. All other media ignored it, even though it is unlikely that an American senator had ever written anything as critical of Norway and its leaders. But serious public debate, as is often the case there, was stifled.

(Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld has published 19 books,
“Behind the Humanitarian Mask: The Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews.”)



Cif Watch, February 6, 2011


The Community Security Trust (CST) has once again produced sterling work in its recently released “Antisemitic Incidents [in the UK] Report 2010.” The 639 reported incidents in 2010 are the second highest annual total since records began in 1984…[and] the long-term trend of rising levels of antisemitic incidents in the UK over the past decade continues.

Of course the CST’s report represents the tip of the iceberg, as the organization itself points out: “Not all antisemitic incidents will be reported to CST and therefore the true figures will be higher than those recorded.”

The entire report makes for very disturbing reading, but some particularly worrying trends include the damage to property of private individuals—attacks on private homes, the number of incidents involving Jewish schools, schoolchildren and teachers, the prominence of attacks in the Greater Manchester area and the rise of violent anti-Semitic assaults as a proportion of the total incidents.

The then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown described the previous CST report, released in February 2010 and monitoring the incidents of 2009, as “deeply troubling”. The question many of us will be asking is how he and other members of the British establishment intend to deal with this disturbing and well-documented trend of rising antisemitism in their country. No less troubling perhaps is the fact that the British government leaves the recording of antisemitic hate crime to the Jewish community itself.

In a country which prides itself in being a liberal and multicultural democracy, one might expect a newspaper which describes itself as ‘the world’s leading liberal voice’ to place antisemitic hate crimes pretty much at the top of its ‘to do’ list. Unfortunately, we have yet to see this issue being taken up seriously by the Guardian. In fact, other CST reports have cited the Guardian as a major purveyor of anti-Semitic discourse.…

As pointed out in this latest report, the first week in June 2010—immediately following the incident aboard the ‘Mavi Marmara’—showed a spike in incidents of hate crimes against British Jews. At the time, CiF Watch recorded the publication of 37 opinion pieces, editorials and cartoons relating to the incident (excluding actual news items) between the dates 31/05/2010 and 11/06/2010. Seventy-six percent of those articles were hostile towards Israel. Overall, the coverage of this event cast Israel in the role of the aggressor and transgressor of international law, while severely downplaying—and often completely ignoring—the actions of the IHH in this incident and its links to terrorist organizations.…

“The findings raise serious questions about the willingness on the parts of The Guardian and The Independent to deal appropriately with evidence which supports Israel’s side of a contested story. Given the high-profile given by these same publications to stories involving serious allegations of wrongdoing by Israel, this is particularly noteworthy.…”

The CST’s meticulous recording of antisemitic attacks…is obviously extremely important.… However, in any normally functioning society the recording of, and fight against, hate crimes perpetrated against a minority cannot be left to the victims themselves. One would expect to see much broader interest in the subject from those supposedly committed to anti-racism and the creation of an inclusive society and one might conclude that the Left-leaning liberal media should be expected to be at the forefront of that cause.…