Monday, May 6, 2024

Israel/Gaza: The Masks Come Off in American Society, by Ron Unz - The Unz Review


Audio Player

I think the striking events we have witnessed in American society over the last few months—and especially the last few days—are best understood if we consider a shrewd observation widely misattributed to Voltaire:

To learn who rules over you, simply find out who are not allowed to criticize.

From the years of my childhood I’d always been aware that political activism and protests were a regular feature of college life, with the 1960s movement against our Vietnam War representing one of its peaks, an effort widely lauded in our later textbooks and media accounts for its heroic idealism. During the 1980s I remember seeing a long line of crudely constructed shanties protesting South African Apartheid that spent weeks occupying the edges of the Harvard Yard or perhaps it was the Stanford Quad, and I think around the same time other shanties and protesters at UCLA maintained a long vigil in support of the Jewish Refusedniks of the USSR. Political protests seemed as much a normal aspect of college years as final exams and had largely replaced the hazing rituals and wild pranks of traditional fraternities, which were increasingly vilified as politically incorrect by hostile social censors among the students and faculty............

........Some years ago a former senior AIPAC official once boasted to a friendly journalist that if he wrote anything on a simple napkin, within 24 hours he could get signatures of 70 Senators to endorse it, and the political power of the ADL is equally formidable. Therefore it was hardly surprising that last week an overwhelming bipartisan 320-91 majority in the House passed a bill broadening the meaning of anti-Zionism and antisemitism in the anti-discrimination policies of the Department of Education by codifying the definitions used in our Civil Rights laws to classify those ideas as discriminatory.

Although I haven’t tried to read the text, the obvious intent it to force colleges to expunge such noxious activities as anti-Israel protests from their campus community or face loss of federal funds. This represents a striking attack against America’s traditional freedom of speech and thought as well as academic freedom, and may also serve to put enormous pressure on other private organizations to adopt similar policies. In a particularly ironic twist, the definition of antisemitism used in the bill clearly covers portions of the Christian Bible, so the ignorant and compromised Republican legislators have now wholeheartedly endorsed banning the Bible in a country in which 95% of the population has Christian roots.

While I doubt that any arrests along those lines would occur or stand up to legal challenge, once controversial ideas are increasingly banned from all respectable venues, much of the public, perhaps even including some confused law enforcement officers, may vaguely begin to assume that they have actually become illegal.

Put in simple form, “antisemitism” is the dislike or criticism of Jews and “Anti-Zionism” is the same thing with regard to the State of Israel. So potentially banning any criticism of Jews or Israel would certainly be a remarkable legal development in our society.

This massive suppression of all political opposition to Zionism through a mixture of legal, quasi-legal, and illegal means has hardly escaped the notice of various outraged critics. Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate are young Jewish progressives very sharply critical of Israel and its current attack on Gaza, and in their most recent livestream video a day or two before that Congressional vote, they agreed that Zionists were the greatest threat to American freedom and that our country was “under political occupation” by the Israel Lobby.”

They may or may not have been aware that their angry denunciation closely paralleled one of the most notorious Far Right phrases of the last half-century, which condemned America’s existing political system as nothing more than ZOG, a “Zionist Occupation Government.” Over time, obvious factual reality gradually becomes apparent regardless of ideological predispositions.


Although it’s difficult to be sure, I personally think that passage of that controversial House bill may have been a major strategic blunder for the pro-Israel forces, the ADL, and the other Jewish groups behind it. Jews only constitute about 2% of American population and over the last several generations many of their organizations seem to have waged a highly successful campaign to gain control over the key nodes of our society, but this has always required that their growing strength and influence remain invisible. However, the absolutely lock-step and uniform American political support for Israel’s ongoing massacre of the Palestinians has raised the awareness of some elements of our population and this legislative attempt to essentially outlaw criticism of Jews and Israel may have a similar impact. Views that had previously only circulated in extreme fringe circles may now begin to gain much greater traction.

For example, cartoonist Scott Adams has become a popular commentator in conservative, anti-Woke circles and he just released a blistering denunciation of the proposed legislation in which he sounded no different than far more extreme figures.

During the early decades of the Twentieth Century the enormous Russian Empire was only about 4% Jewish, but after the heavily Jewish Bolsheviks seized power, the top political leadership of that country became overwhelmingly of that one ethnicity. This enormous, blatant mismatch between ruled and rulers naturally provoked a great deal of hostility in the broader public, and the Bolsheviks responded to this problem by outlawing antisemitism, with the penalty sometimes even including summary execution.

Since America’s Jewish groups do not possess such extreme administrative power, they have been forced to rely upon concealment and political manipulation to achieve their ends, and they may have severely over-reached themselves with that latest legislative effort to outlaw criticism. More and more people may start to pay closer attention to the seemingly inexplicable political decisions taken by so many of our elected officials while also noticing the unusual composition of the top ranks of our government. On that last point, one of my 2023 articles pointed out the obvious:

Consider, for example, the leading figures in our current Biden Administration, who are playing a crucial role in determining the future of our own country and the rest of the world. The list of Cabinet departments has wildly proliferated since Washington’s day, but suppose we confine our attention to the half-dozen most important, led by the individuals who control national security and the economy, and then also add the names of the President, Vice President, Chief of Staff, and National Security Advisor. Although “Diversity” may have become the sacred motto of the Democratic Party, the background of the handful of individuals running our country appears strikingly non-diverse, especially if we exclude the two political figureheads at the very top.

  • President Joe Biden (Jewish in-laws)
  • Vice-President Kamala Harris (Jewish spouse)
  • Chief of Staff Jeff Zients (Jewish), replacing Ron Klain (Jewish, Harvard)
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Jewish, Harvard)
  • Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen (Jewish, Yale)
  • Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III (Black)
  • Attorney General Merrick Garland (Jewish, Harvard)
  • National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (White Gentile, Yale)
  • Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines (Jewish)
  • Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas (Jewish)

Oddly enough, while America’s current political predicament might have alarmed some important individuals from the first half of the last century, it probably would have hardly surprised them. Five or six years ago I read a fascinating book by Prof. Joseph Bendersky, an academic historian specializing in Holocaust Studies and the history of Nazi Germany. As I wrote at the time:

Bendersky devoted ten full years of research to his book, exhaustively mining the archives of American Military Intelligence as well as the personal papers and correspondence of more than 100 senior military figures and intelligence officers. The “Jewish Threat” runs over 500 pages, including some 1350 footnotes, with the listed archival sources alone occupying seven full pages. His subtitle is “Anti-Semitic Politics of the U.S. Army” and he makes an extremely compelling case that during the first half of the twentieth century and even afterward, the top ranks of the U.S. military and especially Military Intelligence heavily subscribed to notions that today would be universally dismissed as “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.”

Put simply, U.S. military leaders in those decades widely believed that the world faced a direct threat from organized Jewry, which had seized control of Russia and similarly sought to subvert and gain mastery over America and the rest of Western civilization.

In these military circles, there was an overwhelming belief that powerful Jewish elements had financed and led Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution, and were organizing similar Communist movements elsewhere aimed at destroying all existing Gentile elites and imposing Jewish supremacy throughout America and the rest of the Western world. While some of these Communist leaders were “idealists,” many of the Jewish participants were cynical opportunists, seeking to use their gullible followers to destroy their ethnic rivals and thereby gain wealth and supreme power. Although Intelligence officers gradually came to doubt that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was an authentic document, most believed that the notorious work provided a reasonably accurate description of the strategic plans of the Jewish leadership for subverting America and the rest of the world and establishing Jewish rule.

Although Bendersky’s claims are certainly extraordinary ones, he provides an enormous wealth of compelling evidence to support them, quoting or summarizing thousands of declassified Intelligence files, and further supporting his case by drawing from the personal correspondence of many of the officers involved. He conclusively demonstrates that during the very same years that Henry Ford was publishing his controversial series The International Jew, similar ideas, but with a much sharper edge, were ubiquitous within our own Intelligence community. Indeed, whereas Ford mostly focused upon Jewish dishonesty, malfeasance, and corruption, our Military Intelligence professionals viewed organized Jewry as a deadly threat to American society and Western civilization in general. Hence the title of Bendersky’s book.

Let us take a step back and place Bendersky’s findings in their proper context. We must recognize that during much of the era covered by his research, U.S. Military Intelligence constituted nearly the entirety of America’s national security apparatus—being the equivalent of a combined CIA, NSA, and FBI—and was responsible for both international and domestic security, although the latter portfolio had gradually been assumed by J. Edgar Hoover’s own expanding organization by the end of the 1920s.

Bendersky’s years of diligent research demonstrate that for decades these experienced professionals—and many of their top commanding generals—were firmly convinced that major elements of the organized Jewish community were ruthlessly plotting to seize power in America, destroy all our traditional Constitutional liberties, and ultimately gain mastery over the entire world.

I have never believed in the existence of UFOs as alien spacecraft, always dismissing such notions as ridiculous nonsense. But suppose declassified government documents revealed that for decades nearly all of our top Air Force officers had been absolutely convinced of the reality of UFOs. Could I continue my insouciant refusal to even consider such possibilities? At the very least, those revelations would force me to sharply reassess the likely credibility of other individuals who had made similar claims during that same period.

These views were also fully articulated in the later books and memoirs of prominent former Military Intelligence officers such as Prof. John Beaty and Prof. Revilo Oliver.


When we are faced with a government run by individuals who seem to have little political independence, it is worth speculating upon the means by which those nominal rulers are controlled. Several years ago I discussed some strong indications of those possible methods, perhaps explaining some of the strange political decisions or bizarre reversals that otherwise may seem so puzzling.

Today when we consider the major countries of the world we see that in many cases the official leaders are also the leaders in actuality: Vladimir Putin calls the shots in Russia, Xi Jinping and his top Politburo colleagues do the same in China, and so forth. However, in America and in some other Western countries, this seems to be less and less the case, with top national figures merely being attractive front-men selected for their popular appeal and their political malleability, a development that may eventually have dire consequences for the nations they lead. As an extreme example, a drunken Boris Yeltsin freely allowed the looting of Russia’s entire national wealth by the handful of oligarchs who pulled his strings, and the result was the total impoverishment of the Russian people and a demographic collapse almost unprecedented in modern peacetime history.

An obvious problem with installing puppet rulers is the risk that they will attempt to cut their strings, much like Putin soon outmaneuvered and exiled his oligarch patron Boris Berezovsky. One means of minimizing such risk is to select puppets who are so deeply compromised that they can never break free, knowing that the political self-destruct charges buried deep within their pasts could easily be triggered if they sought independence. I have sometimes joked with my friends that perhaps the best career move for an ambitious young politician would be to secretly commit some monstrous crime and then make sure that the hard evidence of his guilt ended up in the hands of certain powerful people, thereby assuring his rapid political rise.

More and more thoughtful Americans are becoming aware that on so many important matters our two major political parties often seem more like separate wings of a single political entity, sometimes labeled the “uniparty.” I discussed this disturbing phenomenon in the closing paragraphs of my original American Pravda article:

Most of the Americans who elected Barack Obama in 2008 intended their vote as a total repudiation of the policies and personnel of the preceding George W. Bush administration. Yet once in office, Obama’s crucial selections—Robert Gates at Defense, Timothy Geither at Treasury, and Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve—were all top Bush officials, and they seamlessly continued the unpopular financial bailouts and foreign wars begun by his predecessor, producing what amounted to a third Bush term.

Consider the fascinating perspective of the recently deceased Boris Berezovsky, once the most powerful of the Russian oligarchs and the puppet master behind President Boris Yeltsin during the late 1990s. After looting billions in national wealth and elevating Vladimir Putin to the presidency, he overreached himself and eventually went into exile. According to the New York Timeshe had planned to transform Russia into a fake two-party state—one social-democratic and one neoconservative—in which heated public battles would be fought on divisive, symbolic issues, while behind the scenes both parties would actually be controlled by the same ruling elites. With the citizenry thus permanently divided and popular dissatisfaction safely channeled into meaningless dead-ends, Russia’s rulers could maintain unlimited wealth and power for themselves, with little threat to their reign. Given America’s history over the last couple of decades, perhaps we can guess where Berezovsky got his idea for such a clever political scheme.

Several months ago a young military serviceman named Aaron Bushnell from a strongly Christian background became so distraught at his country’s active involvement in what he regarded as the supreme crime of genocide that he set himself on fire and died as an act of protest, an event certainly without precedent in American history and extraordinarily rare elsewhere in the world. Although the story quickly vanished from our own media, the coverage on global social media was enormous, and may have lasting consequences.

After discussing that tragic incident, I went on to suggest that the dire fate of Gaza’s Palestinians might ultimately be seen as having played a similar role, suddenly allowing both Americans and the rest of the world’s population to glimpse the long-concealed rulers of our own country:

For similar reasons, I think that the tens of thousands of dead Gazans did not lose their lives in vain. Instead, their martyrdom has dominated the global media for the last five months, conclusively revealing to the entire world the moral bankruptcy of the international system that had condemned them to their fate.

Probably hundreds of millions of people worldwide have now begun asking themselves questions that they never would have previously considered. I suspect that those responsible for the destruction of Gaza may come to rue the day when they helped open doors that they may eventually wish had been kept tightly shut.

Related Reading: