The Jewish Establishment
by Joe Sobran

(From SOBRAN'S, September 1995, pages 4-5)

     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 
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 

     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 
murders 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 offending. 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 one thing. 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 

     Jewish-owned publications like the WALL STREET 
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 inhibitions.

     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, 
but 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 no 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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