The Jewish Establishment

by Joseph Sobran

IN THE EARLY 1930s, Walter Duranty of the New York Times was

in Moscow, covering Joe Stalin the way Joe Stalin wanted to be covered.

To maintain favor and access, he expressly denied that there was famine

in the Ukraine even while millions of Ukrainian Christians were being

starved into submission. For his work, Duranty won the Pulitzer Prize

for journalism. To this day, the Times remains the most magisterial and

respectable of American newspapers.

Now imagine that a major newspaper had had a correspondent in Berlin

during roughly the same period who hobnobbed with Hitler, portrayed

him in a flattering light, and denied that Jews were being mistreated -

thereby not only concealing, but materially assisting the regime's

persecution. Would that paper's respectability have been unimpaired

several decades later?

There you have an epitome of what is lamely called "media bias."

The Western supporters of Stalin haven't just been excused;

they have received the halo of victimhood for the campaign,

in what liberals call the "McCarthy era," to get them out of the

government, the education system, and respectable society itself.

Not only persecution of Jews, but any critical mention of Jewish power

in the media and politics is roundly condemned as "anti-semitism."

But there isn't even a term of opprobrium for participation in the

mass murder of Christians. Liberals still don't censure the Communist

attempt to extirpate Christianity from Soviet Russia and its empire,

and for good reason - liberals themselves, particularly Jewish liberals,

are still trying to uproot Christianity from America.

It's permissible to discuss the power of every other group, from the

Black Muslims to the Christian Right, but the much greater power of the

Jewish Establishment is off-limits. That, in fact, is the chief measure

of its power: its ability to impose its own taboos while tearing down

the taboos of others - you might almost say its prerogative of


You can read articles in Jewish-controlled publications from the Times

to Commentary blaming Christianity for the Holocaust or accusing

Pope Pius XII of indifference to it, but don't look for articles in any

major publication that wants to stay in business examining the

Jewish role in Communism and liberalism, however temperately.

Power openly acquired, openly exercised, and openly discussed is

onething. You may think organized labor or the Social Security lobby

abuses its power, but you don't jeopardize your career by saying so.

But a kind of power that forbids its own public mention, like the Holy

Name in the Old Testament, is another matter entirely.

There is an important anomaly here. The word "Jewish," in this context,

doesn't include Orthodox or otherwise religious Jews. The Jews who

still maintain the Hebraic tradition of millennia are marginal, if they

are included at all, in the Jewish establishment that wields

journalistic, political, and cultural power. Morally and culturally, the

Orthodox might be classed as virtual Christians, much like the

descendants of Christians who still uphold the basic morality, if

not the faith, of their ancestors. Many of these Jews are friendly to

Christians and eager to make common cause against the moral

decadence they see promoted by their apostate cousins. Above

all, the Orthodox understand, better than almost anyone else in

America today, the virtues - the necessity - of tribalism, patriarchal

authority, the moral bonds of kinship.

The Jewish establishment, it hardly needs saying, is predominantly

secularist and systematically anti-Christian. In fact, it is unified

far more by its hostility to Christianity than by its support of Israel,

on which it is somewhat divided. The more left-wing Jews are faintly

critical of Israel,though never questioning its "right to exist" - that is,

its right to exist on terms forbidden to any Christian country; that is,

its right to deny rights to non-Jews. A state that treated Jews as Israel

treats gentiles would be condemned outright as Nazi-like. But Israel

is called "democratic," even "pluralistic."

Explicitly "Jewish" organizations like the American Jewish Committee

and the Anti-Defamation League enforce a dual standard. What is

permitted to Israel is forbidden to America. This is not just

thoughtless inconsistency. These organizations consciously support

one set of principles here - equal rights for all, ethnic neutrality,

separation of church and state - and their precise opposites in

Israel, where Jewish ancestry and religion enjoy privilege. They

"pass" as Jeffersonians when it serves their purpose, espousing

rules that win the assent of most Americans. At the same time, they

are bent on sacrificing the national interest of the United States to

the interests of Israel, under the pretense that both countries'

interests are identical. (There is, of course, no countervailing

American lobby in Israel.)

The single most powerful Jewish lobbying group is the American

Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which, as its former director

Thomas Dine openly boasted, controls Congress. At a time when

even Medicare may face budget cuts, aid to Israel remains

untouchable. If the Israelis were to begin "ethnic cleansing" against

Arabs in Israel and the occupied lands, it is inconceivable that any

American political figure would demand the kind of military strike now

being urged against the Serbs in ex-Yugoslavia.

Jewish-owned publications like The Wall Street Journal, The New

Republic, The Atlantic Monthly, U.S. News & World Report, the New York

Post, and New York's Daily News emit relentless pro-Israel propaganda;

so do such pundits as William Safire, A.M. Rosenthal, Charles

Krauthammer, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and George Will, to name a few.

That Israel's journalistic partisans include so many gentiles - lapsed

goyim, you might say - is one more sign of the Jewish establishment's

power. So is the fact that this fact isn't mentioned in public (though it

is hardly unnoticed in private.)

So is the fear of being called "anti-Semitic." Nobody worries about

being called "anti-Italian" or "anti-French" or "anti-Christian"; these

aren't words that launch avalanches of vituperation and make people

afraid to do business with you.

It's pointless to ask what "anti-Semitic" means. It means trouble. It's

an attack signal. The practical function of the word is not to define

or distinguish things, but to conflate them indiscriminately - to equate

the soberest criticism of Israel or Jewish power with the murderous

hatred of Jews. And it works. Oh, how it works.

When Joe McCarthy accused people of being Communists, the

charge was relatively precise. You knew what he meant. The

accusation could be falsified. In fact the burden of proof was on

the accuser: when McCarthy couldn't make his loose charges stick,

he was ruined. (Of course, McCarthy was hated less for his "loose"

charges than for his accurate ones. His real offense was stigmatizing

the Left.)

The opposite applies to charges of "anti-Semitism." The word has no

precise definition. An "anti-Semite" may or may not hate Jews. But he

is certainly hated by Jews. There is no penalty for making the charge

loosely; the accused has no way of falsifying the charge, since it

isn't defined.

A famous example. When Abe Rosenthal accused Pat Buchanan of

"anti-Semitism," everyone on both sides understood the ground rules.

There was a chance that Buchanan would be ruined, even if the

charge was baseless. And there was no chance that Rosenthal would

be ruined - even if the charge was baseless. Such are the rules.

I violate them, in a way, even by spelling them out.

"Anti-Semitism" is therefore less a charge than a curse, an imprecation

that must be uttered formulaically. Being a "bogus predicate," to use

Gilbert Ryle's phrase, it has no real content, no functional equivalent

in plain nouns and verbs. Its power comes from the knowledge of its

potential targets, the gentiles, that powerful people are willing to

back it up with material penalties.

In other words, journalists are as afraid of Jewish power as

politicians are. This means that public discussion is cramped and

warped by unspoken fear - a fear journalists won't acknowledge,

because it embarrasses their pretense of being fearless critics of

power. When there are incentives to accuse but no penalties for

slander, the result is predictable.

What is true of "anti-Semitism" is also true to a lesser degree of

other bogus predicates like "racism," "sexism," and "homophobia."

Other minorities have seen and adopted the successful model of

the Jewish establishment. And so our public tongue has become

not only Jewish-oriented but more generally minority-oriented in its


The illusion that we enjoy free speech has been fostered by the

breaking of Christian taboos, which has become not only safe but

profitable. To violate minority taboos is "offensive" and "insensitive";

to violate Christian taboos - many of them shared by religious Jews -

is to be "daring" and "irreverent." ("Irreverence," of course, has

become good.)

Jewry, like Gaul, may be divided into three parts, each defined by its
borders vis-a-vis the gentile world. There are the Orthodox, who not
only insist on borders but wear them. They often dress in attire that
sets them apart; they are even willing to look outlandish to gentiles in
order to affirm their identity and their distinctive way of life. At the
other extreme are Jews who have no borders, who may (or may not)

assimilate and intermarry, whose politics may range from left to right,

A0but who in any case accept the same set of rules for everyone.

I respect both types.

But the third type presents problems. These are the Jews who maintain

their borders furtively and deal disingenuously with gentiles. Raymond

Chandler once observed of them that they want to be Jews among

themselves but resent being seen as Jews by gentiles. They want to

pursue their own distinct interests while pretending that they have

not such interests, using the charge of "anti-Semitism" as sword and

shield. As Chandler put it, they are like a man who refuses to give

his real name and address but insists on being invited to all the

best parties. Unfortunately, it's this third type that wields most of
the power and skews the rules for gentiles. The columnist Richard
Cohen cites an old maxim: "Dress British, think Yiddish."

Americans ought to be free to discuss Jewish power and Jewish
interests frankly, without being accused of denying the rights of
Jews. That should go without saying.
The truth is both otherwise and unmentionable.

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