New York City activist

November 4, 2007

Taking responsibility for counteracting bigotry in our midst

Many people in the 9/11 Truth movement are appalled by the blatant Jew-hating of once-respected 9/11 Truth activists such as Eric Hufschmid and Christopher Bollyn. But how should we counter such bigotry?

Some 9/11 Truth activists think the thing to do is simply to refuse to associate with the Jew-haters. But that, in my opinion, is a band-aid solution. We need to address the deeper problem of how some bigoted ideologies, primarily though not exclusively anti-Jewish, are being promulgated these days within various political movements including the 9/11 Truth movement.

Jew-hating ideologies are most commonly promulgated in disguised form. The two favorite disguises seem to be:

  1. Exaggerated, oversimplified, highly rhetorical denunciations of the banking system, or of “international bankers” – even though the biggest banking families here in the U.S.A. are in fact WASP, not Jewish. (See my previous posts on Some of the rhetoric against the Federal Reserve System and Fractional reserve banking: A response to some of the hullabaloo.)
  2. Anti-Illuminism, i.e. belief in an ongoing, evil, world-controlling conspiracy of the “Illuminati.” (See my previous posts on The recent growth of anti-Illuminism: Dreadful ideology about the dreaded Illuminati and More about anti-Illuminism.)

By no means do all believers in either the “Illuminati” or demonized “bankers” hate Jews. Many do not. Some are even Jews themselves. However, these ideologies are historically intertwined with and closely parallel classic Jew-hating myths. For example, some anti-Illuminists have claimed that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious anti-Jewish forgery, is entirely true and accurate if you just substitute “Illuminati” for “Jews.” And a lot of the rhetoric we’ve been hearing in the alternative media about the Federal Reserve System is derived from writings such as Secrets of the Federal Reserve by Eustace Mullins, a notorious Jew-hater who also believed that Jews ritually kill Christian children. Speaking of ritual murder, there’s also the “Satanic Ritual Abuse” scare, which often goes hand-in-hand with anti-Illuminism.

What is wrong with these ideologies, besides being largely unfounded in reality, as far as I can tell?

  1. They help to create a climate in which bigotry can flourish. From either of the two above-discussed ideologies, especially anti-Illuminism, it’s only a very short intellectual step to enbracing classical anti-Jewish conspiracy theories too. Furthermore, as detailed in The recent growth of anti-Illuminism: Dreadful ideology about the dreaded Illuminati, anti-Illuminism itself typically entails bigotry against various sorts of people, primarily nonmainstream religions, but even mainstream religions too.
  2. To almost any Jew who is familiar with the history of bigotry against Jews, these ideologies will seem utterly creepy. Thus they are one of the factors which scare Jews away from the 9/11 Truth movement. Anti-Illuminism also scares politically aware people of other minority religions, e.g. Wiccans. Gays should be scared of it too, because anti-Illuminist propaganda often vilifies gays too as part of the dreaded “New World Order.”

To many other people, anti-Illuminism may seem harmlessly hokey. After all, if a person is going to be bigoted, it’s better to be bigoted against a totally imaginary group of people than against real people. The Illuminati themselves, if indeed they still exist, aren’t complaining. The problem is that many real people – and, in many cases, entire religions – are seen as agents of the Illuminati. So, anyone who opposes religion-based bigotry should be wary of anti-Illuminism.

So, what can we do? The main thing is to educate ourselves and others about these matters. Question the ideologies that pervade the populist alternative media, as well as the ideologies that pervade the mainstream mass media.

Learn about the history of religious persecution. Christians too were once rumored to be an evil cannibal cult.

If you feel that the banking system needs to be reformed, fine, but do your own research on it, don’t just blindly echo right wing populist rhetoric or even “scholars” such as Eustace Mullins. I would suggest purchasing an Economics 101 text book, if you didn’t take an economics course in college. And then, if you happen to live in a city that has a local Federal Reserve Bank building, I would suggest visiting their library, as well as your local public library and university library, if any. Make sure your own critique of the banking system is based on a genuine and sound understanding of economics and finance, not just on political ideology. Of course there are many different schools of economic thought, influenced by different political ideologies; I would suggest learning about a variety of them.

My recommendation is that we oppose the above-discussed ideologies not in a heavy-handed, denunciatory manner, but through rational argument and by educating ourselves and others about the history of these ideologies.

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17 Comments »

  1. You seem pretty reasonable and reasoned.
    I started to get twithches of paranoia years ago from associating with an international photo journalist who wrote articles for the CIA’s in-house news organ. He was quite ‘down’ on conventional wisdom and thoroughly panned sanitized news. That was well before the current ‘dumbing down’of reporting.
    Another eye-opener was a biography of Nelson Rockefeller, past director of the CIA and an empire-builder. Unhappily, his constructs did not stand the test of time.
    I’ve met and talked with a Palestinian lady about her ‘take’ on Israel and the Jews. Considering she was in uniform against them at one point, I thought her position clear.As far as she was concerned, family land had been stolen without recompense.
    There are any number of stories about of the lot of Palestinians and the horrors to which they are being subjected.
    It’s behind a subscription wall now, but I recall an article in Haaretz decrying the American Neocon perversion of domestic Israeli politics : inciting repression of Arabs and ethnic hatred.
    What we have today is a lack of compassion and moderation. If Jews are responsible – saying so is not unreasonable. Oddly, the Israeli PM himself gives his countrymen short shrift at times.
    I recommend http://peoplesgeography.com/ to your attention. I have found her a responsible and informative source.

    Comment by opit — November 5, 2007 @ 9:46 pm | Reply

  2. It is important not to blame Jews in general for the actions of the government of Israel, given that there are many Jews who are NOT ultra-hawkish ultra-Zionists.

    Alas, some folks these days equate any and all criticism of the government of Israel with “anti-semitism.” That’s obviously ridiculous.

    Unfortunately, however, there are also some people who claim to be “just anti-Zionist, not anti-semitic,” but who then turn around and start spouting anti-Jewish conspiracy theories straight out of Henry Ford’s The International Jew.

    Be that as it may, it certainly is possible to be critical of the government of Israel without hating all Jews as people. At the same time, we should also recognize that there are many neo-Nazi-ish groups around the world who are using the Israeli government’s actions as an excuse to whip up hatrad of Jews in general.

    Hence I think it’s important for critics of the government of Israel, if motivated by a genuine humanitarian concern, to oppose and counteract irrational Jew-hating as well.

    Comment by Diane — November 5, 2007 @ 10:13 pm | Reply

  3. Who will bell the cat? You should realize that at least one you would perhaps categorize as such resides on my blogroll. He’s there because I don’t think it’s a fair call to say that those who decry hatred and KKK tactics are any more or less correct regardless of target. What is obvious is that there is a good deal of ignoring the plight of Arab peoples and active flogging of hatred and intolerance in the name of ‘security’ and ‘counterterrorism’ : to which I call ‘bullshit’.

    Comment by opit — November 5, 2007 @ 10:43 pm | Reply

  4. opit wrote:

    What is obvious is that there is a good deal of ignoring the plight of Arab peoples and active flogging of hatred and intolerance in the name of ’security’ and ‘counterterrorism’

    With this I fully agree. If you look at my blog, you will notice that quite a few posts are devoted to questioning the official story of what happened on 9/11, which is a major source of a lot of the anti-Arab (and anti-Muslim) bigotry. Also I oppose the war in Iraq.

    I think it’s important to counter anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry. But it’s also important to counter a revival of Nazi-like ideologies as well.

    Comment by Diane — November 6, 2007 @ 2:57 am | Reply

  5. I’ve not delved into the 9/11 story as much as I perhaps should have for a number of reasons : some of which might relate to a different ‘take’ on U.S. foreign policy.
    I was around for Vietnam – at a distance. It made no sense, ever.
    The foray into Afghanistan was pretty much predictable.
    Then things went hinky again. Bin Ladin was never nailed down and it somehow was not worth more than reassuring people he would be dealt with : well, not much more.
    The U.S. has done things like take Noreiga from his home : rather a ‘World Sheriff’ approach to international affairs. So, when Saddam was tagged as a no-goodnik there wasn’t much to argue about. Invading Iraq, on the other hand, didn’t make sense. Why? And threatening Saddam without allowing him a bolt-hole was pure farce.
    Which all seems to roam about and ignore another odd thing. I know the U.S. has a substantial Jewish population. But American ‘aid’ and financing revolves around arms : logical enough from a nation obsessed with delivering death and destruction upon its enemies. Who are they again ? I can’t really find any record of the U.S. suffering except when meddling abroad. Odd, that.
    But the U.S.-Israel linkage is very strong. There is no obvious benefit to the U.S. for its support, such as it is,( a bloody expensive such as it is, I admit )and unrest grows in the Middle East over the injection of this people from all over who are fortifying – and irrigating – the desert and setting up a hub of prosperity and power : to the resentment of the neighbours, discomforted and intimidated by the new warrior at the door.
    And then there are the dispossesed. Those who owned the land before title was wrenched away have no effective compensation or redress. Many are kept captive for decades, for daring to fight their new status.
    This isn’t really about religion or ethnicity at all. They are just convenient markers for some sort of a foray to establish a different kind of beachead : a client nation.
    It isn’t even a matter of winners and losers. All happens because of powers from afar decreeing what shall happen for reasons that will never been understood or accepted by those affected.
    So. Is it a Jewish offensive ? Rather like asking if fish swim : and about as searching.

    Comment by opit — November 6, 2007 @ 6:29 am | Reply

  6. opit wrote:

    But the U.S.-Israel linkage is very strong. There is no obvious benefit to the U.S.

    There’s no obvious benefit to the U.S. as a whole, but there’s an obvious benefit to the military-industrial complex, a huge segment of the U.S. economy. I think it’s no coincidence that U.S. support for the most belligerent Israeli faction has grown since the end of the Cold War. Ever since the end of the Cold War, the military-industrial complex has needed new enemies to justify its continued existence, so, it is in the interests of the military-industrial complex for the U.S. to have a very unpopular ally who can help the U.S. make a bunch of enemies.

    I’m not sure exactly what all the reasons are for the current U.S. alliance with the most belligerent faction in Israel, but I strongly suspect that the above is one of them.

    By the way, the ultra-Zionist lobby here in the U.S. doesn’t consist of just Jews. It also includes a large portion of the Christian religious right wing, e.g. folks like Pat Robertson and Tim LaHaye, who, despite their support for Israel, also embrace anti-Illuminism, an ideology with many historical connections to anti-Jew bigotry. Thus it seems that folks like Pat Robertson are both (1) urging Jews to be as nasty as possible and, at the same time, (2) popularizing some ideological groundwork for a revival of Nazi-like ideology. In other words, fanning the flames on both sides.

    As for why Osama bin Laden wasn’t caught: I don’t know for sure, but I suspect it’s because some folks in the U.S. government find it convenient to keep him around as a bogeyman.

    In any case, you might find it worthwhile to look into the question of what really happened on 9/11. You might start with the sites listed on my blogroll under “Links – 9/11 – what happened? (inside job).”

    Comment by Diane — November 6, 2007 @ 7:01 pm | Reply

  7. Speaking of Blogroll – Dissident has been MIA for a bit now : which is a pain. Blog deleted.

    Comment by opit — November 11, 2007 @ 1:46 am | Reply

  8. (This comment is an edited pingback.)

    Pingback by The 9/11 Truth movement and me: Further reply to Pat Curley « New York City activist — November 22, 2007 @ 3:01 pm | Reply

  9. […] Here in New York at least, I suspect that many of the staunchest opponents of the 9/11 Truth movement are Jews who are terrified of the possibility that, if 9/11 were to turn out to be an inside job, then Israel might be inplicated somehow, and that such a revelation might, in turn, lead to a Nazi-like backlash against all Jews. At the very least they’re scared of the possibility that a belief that 9/11 is an inside job could lead to a Nazi-like backlash against all Jews. To counteract this, we need to show that we care about opposing all bigotry, including bigotry against Jews. […]

    Pingback by On our need for more scientists: Reply to Petros Evdokas « New York City activist — December 9, 2007 @ 12:35 am | Reply

  10. Then they’d better find their citations and put them in order. Ha’aretz had a story decrying U.S. influence on Israeli politics by supporting radical splinter candidates and changing the composition of the Knesset to more violent tendencies. The Lebanon fiasco was blamed on that. It’s behind a subwall in archives : no later than August 2006.

    Comment by opit — December 9, 2007 @ 2:14 am | Reply

  11. […] What I do know is that the possible involvement of anyone in the Israeli government is an extremely sensitive issue with many people, with many Jews terrified that such a revelation, or such a belief, might lead to a Nazi-like backlash against all Jews. So, as I’ve said before, I think we need to show that we care about opposing all kinds of bigotry, including bigotry against Jews. (See my earlier blog post Taking responsibility for counteracting bigotry in our midst.) […]

    Pingback by Former Italian president Francesco Cossiga thinks 9/11 was an inside job « New York City activist — December 9, 2007 @ 8:04 pm | Reply

  12. You know, Zionism is not Jewry, any more than the Texas nutballs are America. Still, the actions of the last year and a bit set a new level for active mischief against Palestine by Israel. I don’t see any big worry about ‘backlash’ when something is needed to set things straight. Long and the short : Israel is a ‘cat’s paw’ filled to overflowing with weaponry by the U.S.

    Comment by opit — December 11, 2007 @ 6:19 am | Reply

  13. In Israel, we have great injustices against one group being perpetrated in the name of another group which, historically, over many centuries, has also suffered great injustice.

    Please stop suggesting that Jews don’t have valid concerns too. Any real, lasting solution will need to address the concerns of both sides.

    If you continue to slight or dismiss the concerns of Jews, I am going to ask you to stop posting on my blog.

    P.S.: I’ve added a rule about this to my Comment policy.

    Comment by Diane — December 11, 2007 @ 9:56 am | Reply

  14. Diane : feel free to delete. I am not being wantonly hateful – nor dismissive of concerns of Jews about what is happening. What I am saying is that – as in the U.S. – the common wish of the people is being overridden by extremist power blocs. Israel is awash in fear : has been for a while. I haven’t been subjected to a constant barrage of disinformation. All I do know is that great big honking barriers trespass on Palestinian land and they are subjected to harassment which destroys their economy : the latest conditions will cause many deaths.
    Check with the UN. Or do I have to do the homework ?

    Comment by opit — December 12, 2007 @ 2:52 am | Reply

  15. P.S. You are facing a particular kind of attack which does not appeal to logic but rather uses innuendo to change perceptions of what is reasonable : a particularly insidious technique which can slide by because it seems reasonable on the face of it.
    I’ve posted a few links on the subject. The easiest place to start is the Wikipedia entry on ‘Moving the Overton Window’. What does this have to do with your concerns for truth ? Just remember the basis of reason is to start with an open mind : not justify preconceptions. That is, after all, your stated position.

    Comment by opit — December 12, 2007 @ 3:05 am | Reply

  16. (This comment is an edited pingback.)

    The post below contains a suggestion, for those who blame people in the Israeli government for the 9/11 attacks, on how to prove their case.

    Pingback by To the “blame Israel” crowd: Put up or shut up « New York City activist — January 13, 2008 @ 5:26 pm | Reply


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