Chapter 7- THE BIRTH PANGS OF ZION
“The country which you are about to possess is a polluted country, polluted by the people of the country and their disgusting practices, which have filled it with their filth from end to end. Hence you are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, or let their daughters marry your sons, or ever concern yourselves about peace or good relations with them, if you want to grow stronger, to live off the fat of the land and bequeath it to your sons forever.”
Marxism and Zionism By defining itself as a religion and officially renouncing any national or ethnic claim, Reform Judaism of the nineteenth century made itself vulnerable to the general decline of religious piety that also affected Christianity. Many emancipated Jews rejected not only the ethnic-national conception of Judaism, but also its religious conception. Some converted to Christianity, less to change their religion than to break with their inheritance and better assimilate. This was the case with Heinrich Heine in 1825. It was also the case a year earlier with Herschel Levi, who baptized his whole family and changed his name to Heinrich Marx. His son Karl was then six years old. Twenty years later, Karl Marx displayed a virulent hostility to Judaism, which he saw as the source of the capitalist spirit.
However, in a notable and widely-noted paradox, the humanism of Marx remains imprinted with the very Judaism he execrated. Marx’s vision of world revolution painfully giving birth to the new world seems haunted by Hebrew messianism. In his Manifesto of the Communist Party cosigned by Friedrich Engels in 1848, the Communists “openly proclaim that their goals cannot be reached except through the violent overthrow of the entire social order of the past.” The proletariat, composed at that time of disinherited and uprooted peasants, became a new “chosen people” guiding humanity toward happiness. According to the Jewish journalist Bernard Lazare, the Jewish traditional denial of the spiritual world is the source of Marx’s philosophical materialism, in the name of which he ousted Gospel-friendly brands of socialism: “Having no hope of future compensation, the Jew could not resign himself to the misfortunes of life. [. . .] To the scourges that struck him, he replied neither by the fatalism of the Muslim, nor by the resignation of the Christian: he answered by revolt.”265
It should be pointed out, however, that revolutions are not a Jewish specialty—the Jews have been more often the victims than the instigators of revolutions. According to the more detailed analysis of Hilaire Belloc, leader of the English “distributist” current, Marxism proves its filiation with Judaism by its determination to destroy three things valued by Europeans and traditionally despised by Jews: (non-Jewish) patriotism, (Christian) religion, and (landed) property.266 The first point is symptomatic of the failure of Jewish assimilation, since the aim of assimilation was to make Jews national citizens and not “citizens of the world,” that is, stateless internationalists. Marx’s internationalism is blind to the patriotic feeling of the working classes, and reproduces Jewish hostility to nations and nationalisms of all kinds.
It is not the revolutionary spirit of the nineteenth century that is Jewish, but the Marxist ideology that gradually took control of it by merciless elimination of its competitors, derided as “nationalist,” “utopian,” “or “petit-bourgeois”—as Marx called Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, while shamelessly plagiarizing his work. Mikhail Bakunin, another member of the First International ousted by Marx, attributed Marx’s attachment to the state to his Jewishness, pointing out that the state is always the protector and best customer of the bankers: “What can Communism and the High Bank have in common? Ah! It is that Marx’s communism wants the powerful centralization of the State, and where there is a centralization of the State, there must necessarily be today a Central Bank of the State, and where such a Central Bank exists, the parasite nation of the Jews, speculating on the work of the people, will always find a way to exist.”267
Marxism, at bottom, is still a Jewish response to Judaism. It is a crypto-Judaism that doesn’t know itself. And it is precisely because he had not left the mental matrix of Judaism that Marx was incapable of recognizing its real nature: “Let us not look for the secret of the Jew in his religion, but let us look for the secret of his religion in the real Jew.”268 This thesis, taken up by the Marxist Abraham Léon who sees the Jews as a social class (un peuple-classe),269 is a decoy insofar as it underestimates, as belonging to the “superstructure” of Jewish society, what is rather its deep ideological foundation: the Jews are, foremost, an idea (un peuple-idée).
The journalist Moritz Hess had long shared the vision of his friend Karl Marx. He even published calumnies against Bakunin after the General Congress of the International in Basel (September 5–12 1869), accusing him of being an agent provocateur of the Russian government and of working “in the interest of pan-Slavism.”270 Yet seven years earlier he signed his book Rome and Jerusalem under the name of Moses Hess. Hess is a precursor of Zionism, convinced that “the race war was more important than class struggle” in history. Marx and Hess have something in common: they both broke with religion. But while in Marx this was a divorce from Judaism (symbolized by his baptism), in Hess it was, on the contrary, a return to Judaism seen as an ethnic identity and no longer as a religion. Marxism is, in some way, an extreme extension of assimilation (a fusion of Judaism into humanism), while Zionism is an extreme reaction against assimilation (the return of Judaism to nationalism).
Hess’s book Rome and Jerusalem (1862) had little immediate echo. Only after the outbreak of the Dreyfus affair in 1894 could a substantial portion of the European Jewish community be convinced of the failure of assimilation and the incurability of anti-Semitism—despite the fact that the mobilization of the Dreyfusards in 1899 and the final rehabilitation of Dreyfus in 1906 could logically lead to the opposite conclusion. The Dreyfus affair was what launched Zionism, by converting Theodor Herzl and Max Nordau, cofounders of the World Zionist Organization. Herzl writes in his Journal: “Anti-Semitism is a propelling force which, like the wave of the future, will bring Jews into the promised land. […] Anti-Semitism has grown and continues to grow—and so do I.”271
The term “anti-Semitism” was introduced by Wilhelm Marr, founder of the League of Anti- Semites (Antisemitische-Liga) in 1879 and journalist with the newspaper Antisemitische Hefte. It is based on an abuse of the word “Semite” forged by linguists for the purpose of language classification, just like its “Aryan” counterpart. Anti-Semitism designates a modern form of Judeophobia based on an ethnic conception of Jewishness, rather than the religious conception of traditional Christianity. It is therefore a mirror image of Jewish nationalism that, precisely at this moment, got rid of the religious definition of Jewishness to adopt an ethnic definition.
Until the end of the nineteenth century, the majority of Jews living in Germany for several generations remained as indifferent to the Zionist appeal as to the revolutionary appeal, cherishing above all their social success. It was among the Ashkenazi Jews who lived in Russian territory or had emigrated to Germany and Austria-Hungary that these movements would become tidal waves. These eastern European Jews formed the revolutionary vanguard that in March 1848 arose in the German Confederation and other regions under the domination of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. It was among them also that in 1882, the appeal of the doctor Leon Pinsker of Odessa for the Jews’ “return to the ranks of the nations by the acquisition of a Jewish homeland” was taken up. At the seventh World Zionist Congress (1905), young Jews from Poland and Russia took the lead. Among them were Chaim Weizmann and Nahum Sokolow, who later in London became key figures behind the Balfour Declaration. In 1922, as president of the Zionist Executive Committee, Sokolow made a strikingly prophetic declaration: “Jerusalem some day will become the capital of the world’s peace.”272 As for Weizmann, he remained until 1948 one of the most energetic promoters of Zionism in England and the United States, and ended his life as the first president of the State of Israel.
At the end of the nineteenth century, conversion to communism or Zionism among the newly emancipated Ashkenazi Jews was associated with the rejection of the Talmud. But the split led to two divergent options and two visions of history. Chaim Weizmann recounts in his autobiography (Trial and Error, 1949) that Jews in Russia in the early twentieth century were divided, sometimes within single families, between revolutionary communists and revolutionary Zionists. These divisions, however, were relative and changeable; not only were the pioneers of Zionism often Marxist, but many communist Jews became ardent Zionists throughout the twentieth century. The borderline was all the more vague as the powerful General Jewish Labour Bund in Lithuania, Poland and Russia, better known as the Bund, inscribed in its revolutionary agenda the right of the Jews to found a secular Yiddish-speaking nation. Moreover, some financiers in Europe and America supported the two movements jointly, to make them the two jaws of the same pincers that would clutch Europe: Jacob Schiff, one of the richest American bankers of the time, financed Herzl and Lenin simultaneously.
Russia and the Jews
Before analyzing the impact of Zionism and communism in Europe during what Yuri Slezkine calls “the Jewish century,”273 we need to look back at the history of the Jews of Eastern Europe. From the sixteenth to twentieth centuries, the Jewish community in Poland was the largest in the world. Its origin remains difficult to explain, but immigration from the Rhine countries at the end of the Middle Ages is the most plausible hypothesis. In the seventeenth century, Poland was governed by an oligarchy that concentrated all the wealth in its hands, and relied on the Jews for the exploitation of the peasants. Totally unassimilated, speaking Yiddish and hardly any Polish, the Jews lived under the control of their own administrative and judicial system, the kahal, which maintained the cohesion of the community by prohibiting competition among its members. But the Jews were also important players in the national economy. They were the landowners’ administrators and tax collectors. As legal middlemen in the grain trade, they manipulated prices at will. Their complicity in the oppression of the peasant masses by the nobility inevitably generated resentments that were expressed in explosions of violence. When the Cossacks led by Bogdan Chmielnicki revolted against the Polish nobles in 1648, the Jews were the first to be massacred.274
After the annexation of part of Poland by Russia between 1772 and 1795, these Ashkenazi Jews lived mainly in Russia, cantoned in their “Pale of Settlement.” They numbered six hundred thousand on the eve of the first partition (1772), and nearly six million by 1897.275 At the beginning of the nineteenth century, most still spoke neither Polish nor Russian. In 1801 a memoir written by the senator and writer Gabriel Romanovich Derjavin for Tsar Paul I after an observation mission in the Pale of Settlement, revealed that a majority of Jews made their living from the manufacture and sale of vodka, to which they were granted exclusive rights by the Polish nobility. By combining this activity with their second specialty, lending money at interest (i.e., selling alcohol on credit), they encouraged alcoholism among the peasants and indebted them to the point of ruin: “The Jews out of greed were exploiting the drinking problems of the peasants to cheat them out of their grain, in order to turn the grain into vodka, and as a result were causing famine.” Derjavin also denounced the Polish landowners, who did not administer their properties directly but instead used Jewish tenants: “Many greedy farmers ruin the peasants through back-breaking labors and impositions, and render them bereft of land or family.” Several efforts were made to put an end to this situation, but the lack of continuity in the policy of the successive tsars rendered them ineffective. A parallel policy of encouraging Jews to become farmers, through the granting of fertile lands, material, and animals, also failed and was abandoned in 1866.276
Tsar Alexander II (1855–1881), who emancipated the serfs in 1861, also abolished most of the restrictions imposed on the Jews and facilitated their access to Russian education. Between 1876 and 1883, the proportion of Jews in the universities increased considerably. Emancipated and educated, many young Jewish intellectuals became revolutionaries. While rejecting the Talmudism of their parents, they inherited their hatred of Christian and peasant Russia, while the Tsar remained in their eyes an avatar of Pharaoh. The assassination of Alexander II in March 1881, by a group of anarchists including Jews, triggered violent pogroms. Noting that more than 40 percent of law and medicine students at Kharkov and Odessa universities were Jewish, the new Tsar imposed a numerus clausus, which only reinforced the sense of injustice and revolutionary spirit among Jewish youth.277
The revolutionary forces that forced Tsar Nicholas II to abdicate in February 1917 were far from being exclusively Jewish. There was great discontent in all underprivileged classes, especially among the peasants. However, both opponents and advocates of Bolshevism have noted the high proportion of Jews among the Bolsheviks who overturned the February Revolution and Aleksandr Kerensky’s provisional government by their own October Revolution.278 Jewish historian Angelo Rappoport wrote in his seminal work: “The Jews in Russia, in their total mass, were responsible for the Revolution.”279 Winston Churchill wrote in a famous article in the Illustrated Sunday Herald published February 8, 1920: “There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews. It is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others.” In this article titled “Zionism versus Bolshevism: A struggle for the soul of the Jewish people,” Churchill sided with the Zionist cause, referring to Bolshevism as “this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization.”280
On the other side, the official gazette of Hungarian Jewry Egyenlöség (Equality) proclaimed: “Jewish intellect and knowledge, Jewish courage and love of peace saved Russia and perhaps the whole world. Never has world historical mission of Jewry shone so brightly as in Russia. Trotsky’s words prove that the Biblical and prophetic Jewish spirit of Isaiah and Micah, the great peace-makers, with that of the Talmudic Elders, is inspiring the leaders of Russia to-day.”281 The September 10, 1920 edition of The American Hebrew magazine pompously bragged: “The Bolshevik Revolution eliminated the most brutal dictatorship in history. This great achievement, destined to figure in history as one of the overshadowing results of the World War, was largely the product of Jewish thinking, Jewish discontent, Jewish effort to reconstruct.”282 “Jewish financing” should be added to the list, for the Bolshevik Revolution was largely financed by Wall Street bankers such as Jacob Schiff, who gloated: “The Russian revolution is possibly the most important event in Jewish history since the race was brought out of slavery.”283
The American Hebrew had also published, October 31, 1919, an article titled “The Crucifixion of Jews Must Stop!” warning of “this threatened holocaust of human life” on “six millions” of European Jews, who “are being whirled toward the grave by a cruel and relentless fate,” “six million men and women [a figure repeated seven times in one page] are dying from lack of the necessaries of life […] through the awful tyranny of war and a bigoted lust for Jewish blood.”284 “Jewish blood” here refers to the Russian civil war, when the counter-revolutionary struggle of the Russian and Ukrainian peasants gave rise to anti-Jewish pogroms (6,000 victims in 1919). The New York Times also distinguished itself in postwar propaganda designed to convince readers that the Jews had been the main victims of the First World War. In The New York Times of September 29, 1919, Felix Warburg, Chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for Jewish War Sufferers (founded in 1914 and still in existence with the shortened name of American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee), wrote that the Jews “were the worst sufferers in the war.” “The successive blows of contending armies have all but broken the back of European Jewry and have reduced to tragically unbelievable poverty, starvation and disease about 6,000,000 souls, or half the Jewish population of the earth.”285
Despite the many Russian pseudonyms adopted by the officers of the Bolshevik system, Russians were well aware that they had been conquered by a foreign people. A 1926 Agitprop report to the Central Committee secretariat expresses concern about a wave of anti-Semitism resulting from “the sense that the Soviet regime patronizes the Jews, that it is ‘the Jewish government,’ that the Jews cause unemployment, housing shortages, college admissions problems, price rises, and commercial speculation—this sense is instilled in the workers by all the hostile elements.” Repression of this “bourgeois anti-Semitism” was all the more brutal in that, as Yuri Slezkine notes, “the Soviet secret police—the regime’s sacred center, known after 1934 as the NKVD—was one of the most Jewish of all Soviet institutions. […] Out of twenty NKVD directorates, twelve (60 percent, including State Security, Police, Labor Camps, and Resettlement [deportation]) were headed by officers who identified themselves as ethnic Jews. The most exclusive and sensitive of all NKVD agencies, the Main Directorate for State Security, consisted of ten departments: seven of them […] were run by immigrants from the former Pale of Settlement.”286 Robert Wilton, a Moscow correspondent for the London Times for seventeen years, provided precise indications as to the proportion of Jews among Bolshevik apparatchiks as early as 1920. The Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party, which exercised supreme power, included 9 Jews and 3 Russians. (Lenin was counted among the Russians, although his maternal grandfather, born Srul [Israel], was Jewish). All the Central Committees of the parties represented included 41 identifiable Jews out of 61 members. The Council of People’s Commissars comprised 17 Jews out of 22 members. Among the names of 556 high officials of the Bolshevik State officially published in 1918–1919, 458 were identifiable as Jews.287
The Bolshevik Revolution pulled the rug out from under the Zionist propaganda machine, which had hitherto been based on reports of the Russian pogroms, amplified by the Western press. On March 25, 1906, The New York Times could evoke the fate of “Russia’s 6,000,000 Jews”: “the Russian Government’s studied policy for the ‘solution’ of the Jewish question is systematic and murderous extermination.” But such alarmist propaganda was no longer possible in 1917, since one of the first measures taken by the Bolsheviks was a law criminalizing anti- Semitism. The Russian Civil War did provide some space for a new narrative: on July 20, 1921, during the Russian Civil War, the same New York Times could still publish the headline “Massacre Threatens All Jews as Soviet Power Wanes. Russia’s 6,000,000 Jews are facing extermination.”288 A few years later, Chaim Weizmann, who had used the pogroms of Russia as a diplomatic lever in 1917, was forced to contradict himself: “Nothing can be more superficial and nothing can be more wrong than that the sufferings of Russian Jewry ever were the cause of Zionism. The fundamental cause of Zionism has been, and is, the ineradicable national striving of Jewry to have a home of its own—a national center, a national home with a national Jewish life.”289 Only when Hitler’s coming to power posed a new threat to the Jews, could Jewish suffering become again the main argument for the creation of Israel.
Ironically, the Jewish character of the Bolshevik Revolution was one of the main causes of the German anti-Semitism that brought Hitler to power. The Red Terror was a very close threat to the Germans. In 1918 there was a Bolshevik Revolution in Bavaria led by the Jew Kurt Eisner, who had established a short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic. “What is most essential in National Socialism,” according to German historian Ernst Nolte, “is its relation to Marxism, particularly to communism, in the form it took through the Bolshevik victory during the Russian Revolution.”290 It is often forgotten that in 1933, when Hitler came to power, the Soviets had just committed genocidal massacres followed by organized famine in Ukraine, at the gates of Germany, killing nearly eight million people, or one-third of the population. This crime against humanity, carried out by a predominantly Jewish NKVD, would never be mentioned in the Nuremberg trials, and still today is hardly ever discussed. (When in 2009, Ukraine opened a tribunal to prosecute the crime, Aleksandr Feldman, the chairman of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, forced the cancellation of the proceedings on the pretext that it would constitute an incitement to hatred, since the names of almost all the Soviet officers charged were Jewish.)291
The second enemy designated by Hitler was international finance, which was responsible for the depression of the 1930s. Banking was heavily dominated by Jews. In Berlin before the First World War, thirty private banks out of fifty belonged to Jewish families, and the proportion increased after the war.292 Thus, many Germans equated the horrors of Bolshevism with a Jewish plot, and the dominant position of the Jews in the capitalist economy—the revolution and the bank—were the two crucibles of Nazi anti-Semitism. This reminds us of Theodor Herzl’s assessment of the root of anti-Semitism: “When we sink, we become a revolutionary proletariat, the subordinate officers of all revolutionary parties; and at the same time, when we rise, there rises also our terrible power of the purse.”293 To all this was added the well-known role of the Jews in the defeat and annihilation of Germany at the end of the First World War, as the English Zionist Samuel Landman acknowledged in a 1936 memoir: “The fact that it was Jewish help that brought the USA into the War on the side of the Allies has rankled ever since in German— especially Nazi—minds, and has contributed in no small measure to the prominence which anti- Semitism occupies in the Nazi programme.”294
Of course, “the Jews” of Germany were not responsible for the intrigues of a handful of elites in the circles of power. These elites, however, claim to speak in the name of the Jews, and derive some of their power from this claim of representing their people. They pretend to speak for the community, while, to its misfortune, the silent majority of the Jews is taken hostage. Thus, as early as the 1920s, Judeophobia spread in Germany, hindering the process of assimilation of even the most German-speaking Jews. The case of Theodor Lessing is exemplary: from a family whose Judaism was no more than a remnant, he departed still further from the Jewish community in 1899 and married a young woman of the Prussian aristocracy. But his in-laws refused to meet their Jewish son-in-law, and he returned to the Jewish faith, henceforth with an ethnic conception of Jewishness. He expressed his rejection of assimilation in Jewish Self-Hatred, published in Berlin in 1930. Lessing psychologically analyzes the tragic journey of certain Jews who have broken with their Jewishness, while curiously avoiding the question of his own narcissistic wound that led him to break with his desire for assimilation.
Zionism and Nazism German
Judeophobia was radicalized by the racialist theories of the time and turned into an extremely virulent anti-Semitism. Jewish intellectuals largely contributed to this ideological climate. The Struggle of the Races (Der Rassenkampf) published in 1883 by Ludwig Gumplowicz, a Jew from Cracow and professor of political science in Graz for twenty years, had a considerable influence on Germanic racism: “The perpetual struggle of the races is the law of history, while ‘perpetual peace’ is only the dream of the idealists,” he wrote. According to Gumplowicz, individuals of the same race are interconnected by “syngeneic feelings” that make them “seek to act as a single factor in the struggle for domination.”295 The term “race” at the time had a rather vague meaning, synonymous with “people,” and Gumplowicz, who expressed no particular sympathy for the Jews, included in the formation of syngeneic feeling not only consanguinity, but also education, language, religion, custom, and law. But the theoreticians of Jewish nationalism developed a narrower conception of race, which would directly influence, through mimetic rivalry, the ideology of the Aryan race. Recall that for Benjamin Disraeli, “language and religion do not make a race—there is only one thing that makes a race, and that is blood” (Endymion, 1880). As early as 1862, Moses Hess had emphasized the purity of his race: “The Jewish race is one of the primary races of mankind that has retained its integrity, in spite of the continual change of its climatic environment, and the Jewish type has conserved its purity through the centuries.” “The Jewish type is indestructible.” Therefore, “a Jew belongs to his race and consequently also to Judaism, in spite of the fact that he or his ancestors have become apostates.”296 The editor of Jewish World, Lucien Wolf, an influential historian and politician, insisted on the racial definition of Jewishness. He proclaimed the racial superiority of the Jews in an influential 1884 article titled “What is Judaism? A Question of To-Day”: “It is too little known that the Jews are as a race really superior, physically, mentally, and morally, to the people among whom they dwell.”297
Thus, in nineteenth- to twentieth-century Germany, Jewish racism precedes Aryan racism, just as in sixteenth- to seventeenth-century Spain the Marranos’ pride in their blood had provoked a reaction: the Iberian statutes of “purity of blood.” The parallel was made by Yitzhak Fritz Baer in Galut, published in Berlin in 1936. In both cases, we have Jewish communities suddenly emancipated (by baptism between 1391 and 1497, by European laws between the end of the eighteenth century and early nineteenth century), who rapidly acquire an economic, political, and cultural power disproportionate to their number, and who express racial pride offensive to the Gentiles, generating in the latter a hostility that turns into “race war.”298 “A Jew brought up among Germans may assume German custom, German words. He may be wholly imbued with that German fluid but the nucleus of his spiritual structure will always remain Jewish, because his blood, his body, his physical-racial type are Jewish. […] A preservation of national integrity is impossible except by a preservation of racial purity.” These words were not written by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf, but twenty years earlier, in 1904, by the Zionist Zeev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky in his “Letter on Autonomy.”299 At the time of Hitler’s accession to power in 1933, the Jewish community had been subjected to racial indoctrination of the völkisch type for half a century, especially from the Zionists. It was the Jew Haim Arlosoroff who, after the First World War, invented the term Volkssozialismus as the ideology of the Zionist party Hapoel Hatzair (“Young Workers”).300
It is therefore not surprising that Zionist and anti-assimilationist Jews were in favor of the Nuremberg laws, which prohibited marriages between Jews and Germans in the Reich. Joachim Prinz, a Zionist ideologist of German Jewry, who became president of the American Jewish Congress (1958–1966), writes in his book Wir Juden (“We the Jews”) published in Berlin in 1934: “We want assimilation to be replaced by a new law: the declaration of belonging to the Jewish nation and the Jewish race. A state built upon the principle of the purity of nation and race can only be honored and respected by a Jew who declares his belonging to his own kind. […] For only he who honors his own breed and his own blood can have an attitude of honor towards the national will of other nations.”301 Prinz left Germany in 1937 and immediately justified himself in an article for the journal Young Zionist titled “Zionism under the Nazi Government”: “The government announced very solemnly that there was no country in the world which tried to solve the Jewish problem as seriously as did Germany. Solution of the Jewish question? It was our Zionist dream! We never denied the existence of the Jewish question! Dissimilation? It was our own appeal!”302
The relationship between Nazism and Judaism was well known in Jewish circles of the 1930s. No one expressed it better than the American rabbi Harry Waton in a book published in 1939 by the Committee for the Preservation of the Jews, A Program for the Jews: “Nazism is an imitation of Judaism; Nazism adopted the principles and ideas of Judaism with which to destroy Judaism and the Jews.” “The Nazi philosophy starts out with the postulate: The blood of a race determines the nature, course of evolution and the destiny of that race. […] whether consciously or not, the Nazis took this theory from the Bible itself.” Waton goes further still: “Hitler’s declaration that the Jewish consciousness is poison to the Aryan races is the deepest insight that the Western world has yet achieved in its own nature; and his capacity to realize this is the proof of his genius as well as the secret of his power and of the curious fascination which his personality exerts. […] it is not the practical power or wealth of the Jews that he fears, but the character of the Jewish mind. […] It is the hidden penetration of the Jewish spirit into the Gentile mind that is the danger; and it is a danger because the ‘Aryan’ mind cannot resist it, but must succumb.”303 Waton, in fact, misunderstands Hitler’s real views on Jewishness, which, in private, were less racist than his own: “We use the term Jewish race,” Hitler wrote to a friend, “merely for reasons of linguistic convenience, for in the real sense of the word, and from a genetic point of view there is no Jewish race. […] The Jewish race is above all a community of the spirit.”304
Nazism and Zionism shared more than one ideological foundation; they had as their common enemy the assimilationist Jew. They also had a common goal: the emigration of Jews from Germany. Reinhardt Heydrich, chief of the SS Security Service, wrote in 1935 in Das Schwarze Korps, the official SS journal: “We must separate Jewry into two categories: the Zionists and those who favour being assimilated. The Zionists adhere to a strict racial position and by emigrating to Palestine they are helping to build their own Jewish state. […] The time cannot be far distant when Palestine will again be able to accept its sons who have been lost to it for over a thousand years. Our good wishes together with our official good will go with them.”305 It would be exaggerating to say that Hitler was ideologically a Zionist, for he had written in Mein Kampf in 1923: “For while Zionism tries to make the other part of the world believe that the national self-consciousness of the Jew finds satisfaction in the creation of a Palestinian State, the Jews again most slyly dupe the stupid goyim. They have no thought of building up a Jewish State in Palestine, so that they might inhabit it, but they only want a central organization of their international world cheating, endowed with prerogatives, withdrawn from the seizure of others : a refuge for convicted rascals and a high school for future rogues.”306 Nevertheless, the Nazis were largely favorable to the project originally formulated by Herzl, who had boasted in his diary: “I believe I have found the solution of the Jewish Question. Not a solution, but the solution, the only one,” repeating further that Zionism was “the only possible, final, and successful solution of the Jewish Question.”307 The first Zionist association inspired by Herzl’s book, the National-jüdische Vereinigung Köln, declared as its goal in 1897: “The Final Solution of the Jewish Question lies therefore in the establishment of the Jewish State.”308
The Nazis naturally wholeheartedly supported Jewish emigration to Palestine. In the spring of 1933, Baron Leopold Itz von Mildenstein, one of the earliest SS officers, spent six months in Palestine in the company of Zionist Kurt Tuchler. On his return, he wrote for Angriff (a journal founded by Joseph Goebbels) a series of twelve articles expressing great admiration for the pioneering spirit of Zionist Jews. It is not surprising, therefore, that when in 1933, the American Jewish Congress declared economic war on Germany and organized the boycott of German products, the Zionist Federation of Germany addressed a memorandum to “the New German State” (dated June, 21) condemning the boycott, and expressing sympathy for the Nazi ideology: “Our acknowledgment of Jewish nationality provides for a clear and sincere relationship to the German people and its national and racial realities. Precisely because we do not wish to falsify these fundamentals, because we, too, are against mixed marriage and are for maintaining the purity of the Jewish group and reject any trespasses in the cultural domain.” “The realization of Zionism could only be hurt by resentment of Jews abroad against the German development. Boycott propaganda—such as is currently being carried on against Germany in many ways—is in essence un-Zionist.”309
As Hannah Arendt has shown in her controversial book Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963), Nazi policy was pro-Zionist until 1938, and “all leading positions in the Nazi-appointed ‘Reichsvereinigung’ [compulsory organization of all Jews in Nazi Germany] were held by Zionists.” This created “a situation in which the non-selected majority of Jews inevitably found themselves confronted with two enemies—the Nazi authorities and the Jewish authorities.” Arendt was the first Jewish intellectual to unveil one of the Zionists’ darkest secrets, which has been since abundantly documented (e.g., by Tom Segev in The Seventh Million): “There existed in those first years a mutually highly satisfactory agreement between the Nazi authorities and the Jewish Agency for Palestine—a ‘Haavarah’, or Transfer Agreement, which provided that an emigrant to Palestine could transfer his money there in German goods and exchange them for pounds upon arrival. It was soon the only legal way for a Jew to take his money with him. The alternative was the establishment of a blocked account, which could be liquidated abroad only at a loss of between fifty and ninety-five percent). The result was that in the thirties, when American Jewry took great pains to organize a boycott of German merchandise, Palestine, of all places, was swamped with all kinds of ‘goods made in Germany’.”310 Some sixty thousand wealthy Jews benefited from this Haavara Agreement, making a decisive contribution to the Jewish colonization of Palestine.
This collaboration between Ben-Gurion’s Jewish Agency and Hitler’s Nazi government started in 1933 and ended officially in 1938 with Great Britain’s entry into the war. But the Lehi or Stern Gang, a dissident faction of the terrorist Irgun, led by future head of state Yitzhak Shamir, continued to bet on the Germans. In a document dated January 11, 1941, it recognized that “The evacuation of the Jewish masses from Europe is a precondition for solving the Jewish question,” envisioning “the establishment of the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, and bound by treaty with the German Reich,” and, with that aim, “offers to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.” The talks came to an end with the arrest by the British authorities of several Lehi members, including Yitzhak Shamir, for “terrorism and collaboration with the Nazi enemy.”311
In London and Washington, of course, the Zionist movement, led by Chaim Weizmann, supported the economic war against Germany. Weizmann revived the winning strategy of the First World War, attempting to monetize Jewish influence in England to bring the United States into the war. In a letter to Churchill dated September 10, 1941, he wrote: “I have spent months in America, traveling up and down the country […]. There is only one big ethnic group which is willing to stand, to a man, for Great Britain, and a policy of ‘all-out-aid’ for her: the five million American Jews. […] It has been repeatedly acknowledged by British Statesmen that it was the Jews who, in the last war, effectively helped to tip the scales in America in favour of Great Britain. They are keen to do it—and may do it—again..”312
The quid pro quo for this Jewish influence was the formation of an official “Jewish Army” among the Allied troops. This “Jewish Army” was an idea of Vladimir Jabotinsky, who had already suggested it to the British in 1917 and made it public again in 1940 in his book The War and the Jew.313 The purpose, of course, was to use this official Jewish army after the war as an argument for the foundation of Israel, for whoever has an army must necessarily have a state. The failure of this claim did not prevent the founders of the Jewish state from inscribing in their Declaration of Independence in 1948: “In the Second World War, the Jewish community of this country contributed its full share to the struggle of the freedom- and peace-loving nations against the forces of Nazi wickedness and, by the blood of its soldiers and its war effort, gained the right to be reckoned among the peoples who founded the United Nations.”
In fact, the Zionists clashed with the British, not the Germans, in their efforts to increase the Jewish population in Palestine. Jewish immigration consistently surpassed British quotas, and accelerated with the rise of Nazism: from 82,000 colonists for the period 1924–1931 to 217,000 for the period 1932–1938. In 1939, when the Germans invaded Poland, the population of Palestine was already one-third Jewish. The British government then issued a White Paper limiting Jewish immigration to 75,000 for the next five years. This provoked not only a strong protest from Ben-Gurion’s Jewish Agency, but also the mobilization of military groups (Haganah, and its offshoot the Irgun) against the British authorities in Palestine.314
An example: In November 1940, the British prevented three vessels chartered by the Central Bureau for Jewish Emigration (under the supervision of Adolf Eichmann), carrying 3,600 Jews from Nazi-occupied areas, from landing at the port of Haifa. On November 25, while the British were transferring these illegal immigrants to their ship, the Patria, with the intention of provisionally taking them to Mauritius, the Haganah sank the ship, drowning 267 of the 1,800 Jewish passengers already on board. The Haganah claimed that the passengers themselves had scuttled their ship, preferring death to the prospect of not being able to debark in the promised land. Then, forced to admit responsibility, the Hagana pleaded a mistake: the intention supposedly was simply to damage the ship and prevent the departure of the refugees.
English opposition prevented Hitler from considering the transfer of all Jews from Europe to Palestine, especially since he had always hoped for an alliance with England against the Soviet Union: “In Europe there are only two possible allies for Germany, England and Italy, for the whole of the future,” he wrote in 1923 in Mein Kampf. Moreover, Hitler did not want to alienate the Arab States, which were hostile to the Judaization of Palestine. On the other hand, the British and American Zionists hampered President Roosevelt’s efforts to find solutions to the Jewish refugee crisis by convening the Evian Conference in July 1938 (International Conference on Political and Economic Problems Caused by the Expulsion of Jews from the Reich). Weizmann had declared at the Zionist Congress in London in 1937: “The hopes of Europe’s six million Jews are centered on emigration.” But, considering emigration only to Palestine, he added: “From the depths of the tragedy I want to save two million young people. […] The old will pass. […] Only the branch of the young shall survive…”315 Ben-Gurion protested against the plan to open all borders to the persecuted Jews on the pretext that “pity will take over and the energy of the people will be channeled to save Jews from various countries. Zionism will be removed from the agenda not only in public opinion in Great Britain and the United States, but elsewhere in Jewish public opinion. If we allow the separation of the refugee problem from the problem of Palestine, we will endanger the existence of Zionism.”316 The failure of the Evian Conference, by preventing the escape of German Jews, made war inevitable: the hundred deaths of “The Night of Broken Glass” (November 9–10, 1938), a pogrom triggered by the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris by a young Polish Jew, provided Roosevelt a pretext to formally impose a complete economic embargo on Germany, recall his ambassador from Berlin, and announce the construction of ten thousand planes. When war broke out, there remained in Germany about 275,000 Jews who, for want of a visa, were unable to emigrate.
In May 1940, Heinrich Himmler drafted a project for Hitler: “A great emigration of all the Jews to a colony in Africa or elsewhere.” He affirmed his “inner conviction” that it was necessary “to reject as contrary to the Germanic spirit and as impossible the Bolshevik method of physical extermination of a people” (a method demonstrated by the Ukrainian genocide of 1932– 33, which left more than seven million dead). According to the French historian Florent Brayard, this is “a particularly important document to gauge the Nazi projects,” which proves that there was at that time “no determined genocidal perspective.” After the armistice with France, the territorial solution envisaged was Madagascar—an underpopulated and almost unexploited French colony. The Madagascar Plan envisioned deporting one million European Jews every year over four years. The plan was postponed until after the hoped-for victory against England, since its realization required mastery of the seas. After the opening of the Eastern Front in 1941, it gave way to the plan of mass deportation to the concentration camps of Poland.
Hitler’s Prophecy In the absence of a written document, historians are still debating the date when the expression “final solution,” borrowed from German Zionists who meant mass emigration to Palestine, would have become a Nazi code word for “extermination.” Brayard hypothesizes that between 1941 and 1942, “The final solution of the Jewish question,” the systematic murder of all European Jews, was conceived and implemented in absolute secrecy, or at least the greatest possible. But he notes that in Joseph Goebbels’ diary, until October 1943 Hitler’s close friend was persuaded that the fate of the deported Jews, once the war was over, would be expulsion to the east of Germany and its annexed territories.317
Given that in January 1942 the project of exterminating the Jews, through forced labor, sterilization and/or outright elimination, was adopted by Hitler and some of his entourage, one of the key questions historians must elucidate is that of the ideological gestation of this project. In an earlier work on the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” Florent Brayard rightly emphasizes a famous prophecy announced by Hitler from the Reichstag tribune on January 30, 1939. After recalling that he had often been a prophet, as when he predicted his own rise to power, Hitler added: “I want to be a prophet again: If international Jewish finance inside and outside Europe were to once again cast peoples into World War, the result would not be the Bolshevization of the world, and thus the victory of Judaism, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.” This “prophetic warning to Jewry!” as the headline of Völkische Beobachter put it the following day, was widely distributed and discussed, and extracts were inserted in a revised version of the propaganda film The Wandering Jew. This “prophecy” was a warning to England and France, who nevertheless entered the war on September 3, 1939. Hitler renewed his threat on January 30, 1941, mainly for the United States. The New York Times, which the Nazis held as the leader of the “Jewish press,” responded to Hitler’s speech with an article that was tantamount to challenging him to act on his word: “There is not a single precedent to prove he will either keep a promise or fulfill a threat. If there is any guarantee in his record, in fact, it is that the one thing he will not do is the thing he says he will do.”318
The United States entered the war in December under the pretext of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It was on December 12, 1941, that Hitler made the following remarks during a long speech, which we know from the notes taken by Goebbels and transcribed in his diary: “As far as the Jewish question is concerned, the Führer is determined to make a blank slate. He prophesized to the Jews that they would suffer destruction if they provoked another world war. It was not just empty words. World war is here, so the destruction of the Jews must be the necessary consequence.” Historians like Christopher Browning believe that if one were to specify the moment when Hitler and his entourage rallied to the idea of exterminating all the Jews of Europe, it was just after the US entry into the war. Hitler’s prophecy was the key to this development, not only among the elite of the Reich but also in German public opinion. For this prophecy, recalled Brayard, “was an object of recurring attention in Nazi propaganda, which, at certain key moments, never ceased to repeat it.” Beginning in 1942, many Nazi dignitaries referred to it, in private or in public, to call for the destruction of European Jewry. Nazi Germany was, as it were, contaminated by that prophetic spirit that, already in the biblical tradition, nourished genocidal projects. “By launching his prophecy, Hitler had thus constituted a singular and constraining discursive space. True, this prophecy could be mobilized for propaganda purposes, but at the time of its realization, its internal logic determined the forms that this use might take. Moreover, in choosing to reiterate it, Hitler had put at stake his very status as a prophet, the oracular power of his word, the specific nature of his power: It was not possible, with the world war having come, that the prophecy should not come true. [. . .] Indeed, this constraint was sufficient to initiate a phase of radicalization of the anti-Jewish policy.”319 What this analysis conceals is the cynical role of the Allies and their press, who pretended not to take seriously this prophecy of the Holocaust, while at the same time taunting Hitler with it—taunts that were clearly driven by the Jewish elite, and that in a sense caught Hitler in the trap of his own prophecy.
“Judea Declares War on Germany”
History, as written by the victors, is merely the continuation of war propaganda. Writing history is “the last battle,” to quote the title of the book by David Irving on the Nuremberg trials.320 Ironically, the statutes of this International Military Tribunal, which included a prohibition against the defense evoking Tu Quoque (“You also”)—a principle of law allowing the accused to return the accusation to the accuser (in this case, war crimes, crimes against peace and against humanity)—are dated August 8, 1945, precisely between the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This was already making a mockery of justice. On top of that, it is a well-established fact that the confessions of several convicted Nazi officers were obtained under torture. This is the case for Rudolf Höss, commander of Auschwitz from 1940 to 1943. According to the British sergeant Bernard Clarke, who captured him, “It took three days [of beating and sleep deprivation] to get a coherent statement out of him.”321 His deposition, which refers to three million deaths at Auschwitz under his responsibility, is today recognized as grossly exaggerated. There are many other proven cases of confessions extracted under torture and blackmail by the prosecution in Nuremberg: Maurice Bardèche, a survivor of the Nazi camps, assembled a number of them in 1950 in Nuremberg II or Les Faux-Monnayeurs.322 Like the Paris Conference in 1919, the Nuremberg Trials were influenced by a staff composed of a majority of Jews (more than two thirds according to Hungarian journalist Louis Marchalko). Benton Bradberry writes in The Myth of German Villainy that the trials were “permeated throughout with an atmosphere of Jewish vengeance seeking,” and remarks that the tens of Nazi leaders who were condemned to death were hanged on Purim day (October 16, 1946), the Jewish holiday celebrating the hanging of the ten sons of Haman.323 For the new Levitic elite, writing history always means writing the history of Israel. And writing the history of Israel always means reproducing biblical history.
Authentic historical work consists of revising official history. This presupposes the re- assessment, in the chain of causes and effects, of the story from the side of the vanquished side of the story. The limited scope of this chapter permits us to recall only a few factors that contributed to launching the Germans—and not just some high Nazi officials—into a state of murderous rage against Jews. We have already mentioned the Germans’ perception of the role of the Jews in the Bolshevik Revolution at the gates of Germany on the one hand, and in Germany’s defeat and economic collapse after the First World War on the other. These factors partly explain the rise of Hitler, whose Judeophobia was clearly displayed in Mein Kampf. At the outbreak of war with England in 1939, the Nazis tried to convince the German people that the war had been willed and orchestrated by the Jews. A few hours before his suicide, Hitler wrote again: “It is untrue that I or anyone else in Germany wanted war in 1939. It was wanted and provoked solely by international statesmen either of Jewish origin or working for Jewish interests.”324
Some evidence supports this claim. Indeed, on March 24, 1933, less than two months after the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor of the Reich, the British Daily Express published a front page article entitled “Judea Declares War on Germany. Jews of All the World Unite in Action.” The article proclaimed: “The Israeli people around the world declare economic and financial war against Germany. Fourteen million Jews dispersed throughout the world have banded together as one man to declare war on the German persecutors of their co-religionists.”
This campaign was supported by the majority of Jewish representative bodies and coordinated by influential Zionist lawyer Samuel Untermeyer. In a radio speech reproduced by The New York Times on August 7, 1933, Untermeyer called for “a holy war” against “medieval Hitlerland,” “a war that must be waged unremittingly,” by “the economic boycott against all German goods, shipping and services. […] we will undermine the Hitler regime and bring the German people to their senses by destroying their export trade on which their very existence depends.” Untermeyer called “traitor to their race” all Jews who refused to join this boycott. He had no doubt that Jews, who had overcome persecution “from time immemorial,” would once again prevail. “For the Jews are the aristocrats of the world.”325 Joining with Samuel Untermeyer in calling for an economic war against Germany, Bernard Baruch promoted preparations for actual war, as he proudly asserted in his autobiography: “I emphasised that the defeat of Germany and Japan and their elimination from world trade would give Britain a tremendous opportunity to swell her foreign commerce in both volume and profit.”326
Five days after the Daily Express article, Hitler publicly announced a counter-boycott of Jewish businesses in Germany as “merely a defensive measure exclusively directed toward Jewry in Germany,” and warned that international Jewry’s war on Germany would negatively affect German Jews. Goebbels broadcast a speech two days later explicitly warning that the attacks of international Jewry against Germany would rebound against German Jews.327 Jeffrey Herf, who cites these two speeches, fails to point out that they came in response to a declaration of war, accompanied by unfounded accusations, by American Jewish elites. This dishonest presentation is characteristic of mainstream historians of the Holocaust. Herf asserts that the Nazi leaders sincerely believed in the “Jewish conspiracy” they denounced, but fails to specify what their objective reasons for believing it were, so as to present their Judeophobia as a symptom of paranoia.
Behind the struggle against anti-Semitism was a more fundamental hostility against any form of nationalism, as plainly expressed by Solomon Freehof in Race, Nation or Religion: Three Questions Jews Must Answer (1935): “What stands in our way everywhere in the world is Modern Nationalism. That is our chief enemy. We are on the side of Liberalism against Nationalism. That is our only safety.” The daily Chicago newspaper The Sentinel, reporting a finding of the Central Conference of American Rabbis on September 24, 1936, wrote: “Nationalism is a danger for the Jewish people. Today, as in all epochs of history, it is proved that Jews cannot live in powerful states where a high national culture has developed.”328
In September 1939, as Great Britain declared war on Germany, the World Jewish Congress declared that international Jewry had already waged an economic war and now stood by Great Britain against Germany. The mobilization of American Jews against Germany intensified. In early 1941 appeared the 96–page booklet by Jewish American businessman Theodore Kaufman, Germany Must Perish. Suggesting as “a final solution” that “Germany be policed forever by an international armed force,” the author concludes: “There is, in fine, no other solution except one: That Germany must perish forever from this earth.” He proposes that “the extinction of the German nation and the total eradication from the earth, of all her people” be achieved by sterilizing all German males under sixty, and females under forty-five, which could be done in less than a month by about twenty thousand surgeons. “Accordingly in the span of two generations, […] the elimination of Germanism and its carriers, will have been an accomplished fact.”329
Interviewed by the Canadian Jewish Chronicle, Kaufman speaks of the Jews’ “mission” to guide humankind toward “perpetual peace”; thanks to them, “slowly but surely the world will develop into a paradise”; but for the moment, “let us sterilize all Germans and wars of world domination will come to an end!”330 German Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels had a translation of Kaufman’s book massively printed and read on the radio, as a way to show the German people what awaited them if they showed signs of weakness. By further asserting that German Jews were of his opinion, Kaufman provided the Nazis with a pretext for stigmatizing Jews by the Yellow Star (September 1941) and their deportation as enemies of the nation.331
Jeffrey Herf claims that Kaufman’s book had no impact except in Nazi propaganda. That is not the case. It was reviewed positively in The New York Times and The Washington Post. In 1944, it would be commented upon by Louis Nizer in his very influential book What to Do with Germany? (highly praised by Harry Truman). Nizer rejected Kaufman’s solution as exaggerated, but recommended the death penalty for 150,000 Germans, and “labor battalions” for hundreds of thousands more.332 The same year, celebrated Hollywood screenwriter Ben Hecht wrote in his Guide for the Bedeviled: “A cancer flourishes in the body of the world and in its mind and soul, and […] this cancerous thing is Germany, Germanism, and Germans.”333 Louis Marschalko cites a few more well-published Jewish authors advocating a “final solution” for the “German question”: Leon Dodd, who in How Many World Wars (New York, 1942), proclaims that no Germany and no German race must be left after the war; Charles Heartman, who in There Must Be No Germany After This War (New York, 1942), also demands the physical extermination of the German people; Einzig Palil, who in Can We Win the Peace? (London, 1942), demanded the dismembering of Germany and the total demolition of German industry; Ivor Duncan, who in the March, 1942, issue of Zentral Europa Observer, demanded the sterilization of forty million Germans, estimating the total cost at five million pounds sterling.334
While in 1942 and 1943 the chances of a German victory diminished, various events fed the Nazi propaganda mill and convinced the Germans that surrender was not an option. In the spring of 1943 German soldiers discovered the bodies of more than 4,500 Polish officers shot in the head by the Soviet NKVD in the spring of 1940 in the forest of Katyn (in Poland near the Belarusian border). Later other mass graves were discovered, raising the number of members of the Polish elite so executed by the Soviets in 1940 to more than 25,000. The Nazis denounced this “Judeo-Bolshevik” massacre, but the Soviets denied their responsibility and claimed that the massacre was perpetrated by the Nazis during their advance in 1941. The Germans then called on an international commission and the Red Cross, both of which confirmed Soviet guilt. But these conclusions were ignored by the Allies and the Western press. Jewish neurologist Richard Brickner exploited the lie of German guilt in a book published in 1943 under the title Is Germany Incurable? He intended to show that “the national group we call Germany behaves and has long behaved startlingly like an individual involved in a dangerous mental trend,” which he characterized as “the real murder-psychosis,” involving megalomania and “the paranoid’s conviction of his own a priori world-shaking importance, of the supreme value and significance of his every act and thought.”335 Despite evidence against the Soviets, the Nuremberg Tribunal declared the Nazis guilty of the Katyn massacre, just as it ignored Soviet responsibility for the deaths of more than 440,000 Poles (according to recent estimates) between September 1939 and June 1941, murdered with the aim of eliminating “social classes that were hostile to communism.”
Shortly after the Normandy landings, Roosevelt and Churchill discussed the future of Germany at the Second Quebec Conference of September 11, 1944, and signed a project developed under the leadership of Jewish-Americans Henry Morgenthau Jr., the Secretary of the Treasury, and his assistant Harry Dexter White. This “Morgenthau Plan,” entitled Suggested Post-Surrender Program for Germany, or Program to Prevent Germany from Starting a World War III, “is looking forward to converting Germany into a country primarily agricultural and pastoral in its character,” by dismantling and transporting to Allied nations “all industrial plants and equipment not destroyed by military action,” while calling for “forced German labor outside Germany.” The revelation of this insane plan by The Wall Street Journal (September 23, 1944) helped push the Nazis into a desperate fight-to-the-death mentality, and suggested to Henry Stimson, US Secretary of War, this commentary: “It is Semitism gone wild for vengeance and, if it is ultimately carried out (I can’t believe that it will be), it as sure as fate will lay the seeds for another war in the next generation.”336 The plan was abandoned in 1946 because of the Soviet threat. Germany needed to become a bulwark against communism, and would therefore be entitled to the Marshall Plan. But until then, the Germans experienced a “peace” more infernal than all wars: destruction and plunder, organized famine, mass rapes, and the deportation of millions of slaves to the Soviet Union, most of whom would never return. According to James Bacque, more than nine million Germans died as a result of Allied starvation and expulsion policies in the first five years after the war.337 According to Jewish author John Sack, Jews played a major part in the massive cruelty perpetrated on the 200,000 German civilians parked in over a thousand concentration camps in Poland, “many of them starved, beaten and tortured.” On the basis of many documented cases, he claims that “more than 60,000 died at the hands of a largely Jewish-run security organization,” and lays the blame primarily on Zionist Jews.338
It is well known that Roosevelt’s conduct of the war, beginning with his decision to involve the United States, was influenced by his being greatly weakened physically and largely captive to his advisers. He was much influenced by his wife Eleanor Roosevelt, who had communist sympathies and a very favorable opinion of Stalin.339 At the Yalta Conference he was constantly assisted by a State Department official by the name of Alger Hiss, a former protégé of Felix Frankfurter, whom he would later appoint as the first Secretary-General of the United Nations. In 1948, thanks to the efforts of Richard Nixon (then a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee), Hiss was convicted of espionage for the Soviets. The Soviet archives made public in the 1990s confirmed his guilt.
Among the gray eminences behind Roosevelt were many Jewish personalities. In addition to Henry Morgenthau Jr. at the Treasury, we must mention the banker Bernard Baruch, already very influential under Wilson, and Felix Frankfurter, successor of Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court. According to Curtis Dall, son-in-law of Roosevelt: “Mr. Baruch, as top man, raised most of the campaign and expense money; Mr. Frankfurter approved, directly or obliquely, most of the important governmental appointments. They were, without doubt, the ‘Gold Dust Twins.’”340
Curtis Dall has also revealed a secret diplomatic channel demonstrating that the White House harbored a strong desire to prolong the war: on the one hand to deprive Germany of any possibility of escaping her programmed destruction; and on the other, to give the USSR time to invade Central Europe. Soon after Roosevelt and Churchill agreed in Casablanca in January 1943 to demand “unconditional surrender” from Germany, George Earle, the American ambassador to Bulgaria who served as special emissary to the Balkans from his base in Istanbul in neutral Turkey, was contacted by Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of the German intelligence service. Canaris explained that if President Roosevelt made it clear that he would accept an “honorable surrender,” the German generals, many of whom were hostile to Hitler’s suicidal policy, would deliver Hitler to international justice and put the German army at the disposal of US forces to ally against the USSR, the true enemy of Western civilization, and protect Central Europe from Soviet assault. Earle then met the German ambassador Fritz von Papen, a fervent Catholic and anti-Hitlerian, then Baron Kurt von Lersner, another German dignitary. Convinced of both the sincerity of the Germans and of Stalin’s determination to conquer Europe, Earle thrice sent an urgent message to Roosevelt by diplomatic and military channels inviting him to seize this unexpected opportunity. The only response Earle finally received from Roosevelt was an order to defer to the commander-in-chief in Europe, General Eisenhower. This killed the initiative of the German anti-Nazi dignitaries, who were executed by Hitler after their vain attempts to assassinate him on July 20, 1944.341
Eisenhower, as it turned out, was instructed to leave Central Europe—where most of the population only wanted to surrender to American troops—undefended against Stalin’s invasion. He could have used General Alexander’s allied forces in Italy to occupy Eastern Europe and the Balkans before they passed from Hitler’s yoke to that of the Red Army. The allied armies would then have freed Berlin entirely and would have reached Vienna, Budapest, and Prague, while the Soviet state would have been kept within the natural frontiers of Russia. Instead, Italian troops were used for a landing on the French Mediterranean coast, complementary to the main landing in Normandy, which brought no decisive military advantage. General Mark Clark, who in 1943 commanded the American forces in Italy, saw in this strategy “one of the outstanding political mistakes of the war.”342 Moreover, Eisenhower restrained General Patton’s enthusiasm, forcing him to stop a hundred kilometers before Berlin, and on March 28, 1945, he sent a “personal message for Marshal Stalin” to inform him of it. Patton nevertheless took Vienna against Eisenhower’s orders.
Thus the Second World War was completed with the determined aim of laying the foundations of a new conflict in Europe. The Atlantic Charter of August 14, 1941, had declared that the United States and Great Britain “wish to see sovereign rights and self government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them,” and “hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries.” This referred first of all to Poland, whose joint invasion by the Nazis and the Soviets had justified the Allies’ entry into the war. Yet the result of the Second World War was not to liberate Poland and the other Eastern European peoples, but to hand them over to the Soviet dictatorship. This situation did not result from any failure by the United States, but on the contrary from the secret will of the powers that controlled the White House.
Many other proofs exist of the secret complicity of the United States in the capture of Central Europe by the Soviets. During 1942, large quantities of uranium, cadmium, and heavy water thorium, aluminum tubes, and copper wiring (all materials required for the creation of a nuclear reactor) were sent to the Soviet government from an air base in Great Falls, Montana, established specifically for this purpose. This incredible high-tech military smuggling, organized from the White House, is known through the publication of notes taken by Captain George Racey Jordan, who participated in the delivery of these cargoes, which included many other kinds of industrial equipment (From Major Jordan’s Diaries, 1952). This secret assistance to the Soviets was supervised by Harry Hopkins, who had been placed in the White House by Bernard Baruch. Also delivered to Moscow were duplicates of United States Treasury plates, together with tons of paper and gallons of the appropriate ink for printing unlimited quantities of dollar bills.343 The transfers were supervised by Harry Dexter White, a protégé of Henry Morgenthau Jr. and a liaison officer between the Treasury and the State Department, who was also the principal US official at the Bretton Woods conference in 1944 and closely associated with the founding of the International Monetary Fund. Born Weit Magilewski of Lithuanian Jewish parents, White was charged with espionage on behalf of the Soviets, alongside Alger Hiss, following the denunciation of another repentant spy, Whittaker Chambers.
In 1941 Hitler had made the bold bet that England would at least accept a truce to allow Germany to defeat the Soviet Union. He had reason to believe it. Since 1917 Churchill had not ceased to present Bolshevism as the worst scourge of mankind. “Bolshevism is not a policy; it is a disease,” he said in the House of Commons on May 29, 1919, adding that “it is not a creed; it is a pestilence.” He prescribed gas as “the right medicine for the Bolshevist.” Later in the same year, on November 6, he compared the Germans sending Lenin back to Russia as sending “a phial containing a culture of typhoid or cholera to be poured into the water supply of a great city.” And he declared: “Of all the tyrannies in history, the Bolshevist tyranny is the worst, the most destructive, and the most degrading. It is sheer humbug to pretend that it is not far worse than German militarism.” But twenty years later, on September 3, 1939, the same Churchill declared in the House of Commons: “We are fighting to save the whole world from the pestilence of Nazi tyranny and in defense of all that is most sacred to man.” And, whereas he had, in 1919, recommended to Lloyd George to “Feed Germany; fight Bolshevism; make Germany fight Bolshevism,” in 1939 he denounced Chamberlain’s refusal to initiate a rapprochement with the Soviet Union.344 Nevertheless, Hitler was betting on Churchill’s self- interest when in May 1941 he parachuted his closest associate Rudolf Hess into Scotland with a mission to secretly inform the British government of his imminent offensive against the USSR and to propose a peace treaty. Hess was captured, Churchill refused to hear him, imprisoned him until the end of the war, then refused to release him as a prisoner of war and sentenced him in perpetuity for “conspiracy and crime against peace.”345
The very first day of Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa, June 22, 1941, Churchill spoke on the BBC to explain that Nazism was worse than communism: “The Nazi regime is indistinguishable from the worst features of Communism. It is devoid of all theme and principle except appetite and racial domination. It excels all forms of human wickedness in the efficiency of its cruelty and ferocious aggression.” The British government, Churchill went on to say, has “but one aim and one single, irrevocable purpose. We are resolved to destroy Hitler and every vestige of the Nazi regime.” And so, “any man or state who fights on against Nazidom will have our aid. That is our policy and that is our declaration. It follows, therefore, that we shall give whatever help we can to Russia and the Russian people.” Suddenly, Churchill stopped speaking of the Soviet Union, but of the “Russian people”: “The cause of any Russian fighting for his hearth and home is the cause of free men and free peoples in every quarter of the globe. Let us learn the lessons already taught by such cruel experience. Let us redouble our exertions, and strike with united strength while life and power remain.”346
In a text dictated on February 4, 1945, and included in his Political Testament, Hitler analyzed Churchill’s refusal. According to him, Churchill should have understood England’s need to “come to terms with me,” in order to preserve the “balance of power” and maintain Europe’s independence from the “two giants, the United States and Russia”; “When I attacked eastwards and lanced the communist abscess, I hoped thereby to rekindle a spark of common sense in the minds of the Western Powers. I gave them the chance, without lifting a finger, of making a contribution to an act of catharsis, in which they could have safely left the task of disinfecting the West in our hands alone. […] I had underestimated the power of Jewish domination over Churchill’s England.”347 What Hitler could not understand was that, behind the scenes of Anglo-American power, it had been decided not only that Nazi Germany was a worse enemy than the USSR, but that the USSR was not an enemy to be defeated at all. In fact, the leadership had decided to deliver half of Europe to Stalin.
“An old Zionist like [Churchill]” Another thing that Hitler could not know is how deeply Churchill was committed to helping Weizmann make the war the springboard for the foundation of Israel. It was only after his retirement that Churchill confessed. He declared publicly, on the fourth anniversary of the independence of Israel, that he had been “a Zionist from the days of the Balfour Declaration,” and he wrote to US President Eisenhower in 1956: “I am, of course, a Zionist, and have been ever since the Balfour Declaration.”348
Churchill’s Zionism helps explain how the Balfour Declaration became such a cornerstone of British policy. Churchill had always claimed that the intention of the Balfour Declaration was that Palestine might in the course of time become “an overwhelmingly Jewish State.” In his 1920 article “Zionism versus Bolshevism” he had already affirmed the British Government’s responsibility “of securing for the Jewish race all over the world a home and a centre of national life. […] if, as may well happen, there should be created in our own lifetime by the banks of the Jordan a Jewish State under the protection of the British Crown, which might comprise three or four millions of Jews, an event would have occurred in the history of the world which would, from every point of view, be beneficial, and would be especially in harmony with the truest interests of the British Empire.”
In 1922, as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, Churchill issued a White Paper crafted to reassure the Arabs, whose apprehensions, it said, “are partly based upon exaggerated interpretations of the meaning of the [Balfour] Declaration.” By “a Jewish National Home in Palestine,” the Declaration “does not mean a Jewish government to dominate Arabs. […] We cannot tolerate the expropriation of one set of people by another.” Yet that White Paper imposed no limitation to Jewish immigration in Palestine, nor to the purchase of lands by Jews, which were the great concerns of the Arabs. It simply said, in terms alarmingly vague: “For the fulfillment of this policy it is necessary that the Jewish community in Palestine should be able to increase its numbers by immigration. This immigration cannot be so great in volume as to exceed whatever may be the economic capacity of the country at the time to absorb new arrivals. […] Hitherto the immigration has fulfilled these conditions.” Moreover, if Churchill’s White Paper said that Jews will not rule over Arabs, it could be understood to mean that they will rule in a land free of Arabs. It was, therefore, carte blanche for the Zionist plan.
In 1939, a new Labour majority undermined Churchill’s influence in Parliament. A new White Paper was voted for by a large majority, which limited Jewish immigration to 75,000 for the next five years, with the stated purpose of preserving an Arab majority in Palestine. This was a serious reversal of policy regarding Zionism: The 1939 White Paper was unequivocally against letting Palestine become a Jewish State. This provoked not only a strong protest from Ben- Gurion’s Jewish Agency, but also the mobilization of military groups (Haganah, and its offshoot the Irgun) against the British authorities in Palestine.349
Churchill fought relentlessly against this 1939 White Paper, which he regarded as a betrayal of Great Britain’s commitment to the Balfour Declaration. His thoughts, he would say in 1942, were “99 per cent identical” with Weizmann’s. He had often consulted him in private meetings since 1919. In May 1939, the new White Paper was debated in the House of Commons. Churchill invited Weizmann to his London apartment to go over his speech and, as Weizmann recalled in his memoirs, “he asked me if I had any changes to suggest.” In 1951, Churchill would refer to himself, in a letter to Weizmann, as “an old Zionist like me.”
In the words of Martin Gilbert, author of Churchill and the Jews: A Lifelong Friendship (who also documents Churchill’s intimate family ties with the Rothschilds and other Jewish bankers), Churchill “refused to allow the 1939 White Paper, despite its passage into law by an overwhelming majority of Members of Parliament, to come into effect. This was certainly unconstitutional.” In December 1939, as Weizmann was planning a trip to the USA, the Foreign Office sent a telegram to the British Ambassador in the USA reiterating the guidelines of the new White Paper. Churchill protested to his War Cabinet colleagues that this would undermine Weizmann’s endeavor “to bring United States opinion as far as he possibly can on to our side.” In a memorandum that he wrote for the War Cabinet on Christmas Day 1939, he expressed his opposition to the restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine by reminding his Cabinet colleagues that: “it was not for light or sentimental reasons that Lord Balfour and the Government of 1917 made the promises to the Zionists which have been the cause of so much subsequent discussion. The influence of American Jewry was rated then as a factor of the highest importance, and we did not feel ourselves in such a strong position as to be able to treat it with indifference. […] when the future is full of measureless uncertainties, I should have thought it was more necessary, even than in November 1917, to conciliate American Jewry and enlist their aid in combating isolationist and indeed anti-British tendencies in the United States.” In another memorandum dated 19 May 1941, Churchill expressed his hope for the establishment after the war of a “Jewish State of Western Palestine” with the fullest rights for immigration and development, and with provision “for expansion in the desert regions to the southwards which they would gradually reclaim.”350
In 1945, Churchill was defeated by a Labour majority. The new Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, appointed Ernest Bevin, a man not well disposed toward Zionism, as Foreign Secretary. Churchill understood that the new British government would stick by the 1939 White Paper, and that the hopes of Zionism now rested on the USA. He then argued for the UK to give up on “a responsibility which we are failing to discharge and which in the process is covering us with blood and shame,” and to return the Mandate to the United Nations. As soon as the British handed the Mandate back to the UN, the Zionists declared the founding of the State of Israel, which the US and the Soviet Union immediately recognized. Churchill urged the British Government to do the same. In 1955, he even supported a suggestion by James de Rothschild that Israel, the nation that had founded itself by ousting Great Britan from Palestine by terrorism, should now be admitted to the British Commonwealth: “It would be a wonderful thing,” he said during a lunch at Buckingham Palace. “So many people want to leave us; it might be the turning of the tide.”
Birth of the “Jewish State” The fate of Palestine was not on the agenda of the Yalta Conference (February 1945); Franklin Roosevelt wanted to discuss it first with King Ibn Saud of Arabia. He did so immediately after the conference, from February 12 to 14, 1945, aboard the cruiser USS Quincy. Ibn Saud expressed his fears about the consequences of US support for the Zionists and Roosevelt gave him his word, confirmed by a letter dated April 5, that he “would take no action, in my capacity as Chief of the Executive Branch of this Government, which might prove hostile to the Arab people.” In describing his meeting with Ibn Saud, Roosevelt told Congress: “On the problem of Arabia,” he said, “I learned more about that whole problem—the Moslem problem, the Jewish problem—by talking with Ibn Saud for five minutes than I could have learned in the exchange of two or three dozen letters.”351
Roosevelt died on April 12th. “If Roosevelt had not died, there might not have been a Jewish state,” has commented Nahum Goldmann, one of Zionism’s most influential representatives with Ben-Gurion and Weizmann. (He was president of the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Organization from 1956 to 1968.) “Our great luck was that Roosevelt was replaced by Harry Truman, who was a simple and upright man. He said, ‘My friends are Jews; the Jews want the partition, so I am giving it to them.’”352 David Niles, Roosevelt’s assistant “for minorities” (i.e., for the Jews), expressed the same feeling to Stephen Isaacs: “Had Roosevelt lived, Israel would probably not have become a state.”353 Niles, one of the few FDR advisors retained by Truman, was the gray eminence of Zionism in the White House. It was he who, behind Truman’s back but on his behalf, orchestrated the campaign of intimidation and corruption that obtained a two-thirds majority in favor of the 1947 Partition Plan at the General Assembly of the United Nations.354
In his Memoirs published in 1956, Truman commented—in eloquent but somewhat hypocritical terms—on the circumstances of the vote: “The facts were that not only were there pressure movements around the United Nations unlike anything that had been seen there before but that the White House, too, was subjected to a constant barrage. I do not think I ever had as much pressure and propaganda aimed at the White House as I had in this instance. The persistence of a few of the extreme Zionist leaders—actuated by political motives and engaging in political threats—disturbed and annoyed me. Some were even suggesting that we pressure sovereign nations into favorable votes in the General Assembly.”355
In December 1945, a few months after Roosevelt’s death, Truman publicly expressed his aversion to the idea of a “Jewish state”: “The Palestine Government […] should be the Government of the people of Palestine, irrespective of race, creed or color.”356 However, on May 15, 1948, Truman recognized the State of Israel ten minutes after the announcement of its unilateral proclamation. This decision went against the recommendations of his secretary of state George Marshall, his defense secretary James Forrestal and all his advisers, as well as British Foreign Minister Ernest Benin. Moreover, it betrayed the spirit of the Quincy Pact. How was Truman “turned around”? Based on documents revealed by the Truman Library in 2003, an article in the Jewish World Review entitled “Truman did it to save his own skin” shows that his recognition of the Jewish state was strongly advised by his campaign director Clark Clifford, with the aim of securing the famous “Jewish vote” (a half-fiction cleverly maintained by the Zionist elites to increase their power) but also in exchange for campaign funding. Truman’s patron Abraham Feinberg, president of the Americans for Haganah Incorporated, which raised money for the Jewish militia against the Arabs, made no secret of having funded the Truman campaign in recorded testimony for the Truman Library in 1973.357
On May 28, 1949, a year after his recognition of the Jewish state—and six days after the alleged suicide of US Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, who more than anyone else had tried to deter Truman from recognizing Israel—Truman expressed in a letter to the government of Ben-Gurion his “deep disappointment at the Israeli refusal to make any of the desired concessions on refugees and boundaries.” He demanded Israel’s withdrawal to the borders of the UN Partition Plan and, in a pathetic plea revealing his helplessness, warned that if Israel pursued this path, “the U.S. will regretfully be forced to the conclusion that a revision of its attitude toward Israel has become unavoidable.” Ten days later Truman received an answer indicating that “The war has proved the indispensability to the survival of Israel of certain vital areas not comprised originally in the share of the Jewish state.” As for the Palestinian refugees, they were “members of an aggressor group defeated in a war of its own making.”358
Truman should have known as early as 1947 that Israel, founded as a “Jewish State” on the “Land of Israel” by its Declaration of Independence, would not be content with the borders granted by the UN Partition Resolution of November 29, 1947. Many of the “founding fathers” of Israel rejected the Partition in the name of the sacred principle of “The Sanctity of the Indivisibility of the Land,” to quote from Menachem Begin: “The dismembering of our homeland was illegal. It will never be recognized. The signature of institutions and individuals on the dissection contract it totally invalid.” Ben-Gurion signed the resolution in November, but only after having warned, in May, that “We want the Land of Israel in its entirety,” and before declaring in December that the boundaries assigned to Israel by the resolution were “not final.”359 Ben-Gurion’s government later refrained from such a politically damaging public stance, but
it surfaced again in the euphoria of the 1967 conquest. According to Yitzhak Tabenkin, a founding father of Zionism from the 1930s, “The goal of our entire project was then, and remains: a Greater Israel within its natural and ancient borders; from the Mediterranean to the desert and from Lebanon to the Dead Sea—as the reborn homeland of the entire Jewish people. This is the original Zionist ideal.” It was advocated as public policy by dozens of prominent Israelis who wrote and signed the document “For a Greater Israel” published in September
1967.360 Israel has not yet, to this day, endowed itself with a constitution, which would oblige it to define its borders, that is to say, what it means by “the land of Israel.”
By defining itself as a “Jewish state,” Israel also included racial discrimination in its birth certificate. A constitutional law was passed in 1985 to prohibit political parties from opposing this principle.361 Just five years after the end of the Second World War, Israel adopted the Law of Return that prevented the 1948 Palestinian refugees from returning to their villages. As Haim Cohen, former judge of the Supreme Court of Israel, remarked: “The bitter irony of fate decreed that the same biological and racist argument extended by the Nazis, and which inspired the inflammatory laws of Nuremberg, serve as the basis for the official definition of Jewishness in the bosom of the state of Israel.”362
Even before its birth, it was clear that Israel would carry in its genes, not only colonialist expansion and racial discrimination, but also terrorism, trademarked by the “false flag” strategy. The Irgun, a right-wing militia founded in 1931 as an offshoot of the Haganah, on the ideological basis of Jabotinsky’s Revisionist Zionism, whose leaders included future prime minister Menachem Begin, carried out dozens of bombings and other attacks against Palestinian and British targets between 1937 and 1948 (when it was integrated into the newly created Israeli army). Its most high-profile attack was the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on July 22, 1946. The hotel was the British administrative and military headquarters. Six Irgun terrorists dressed as Arabs entered the building and deposited around the central pillar 225 kg of TNT hidden in milk cans, while other militiamen were spreading explosives along the access roads to the hotel to prevent the arrival of rescuers. The stratagem failed when a British officer grew suspicious and intervened; a shooting ensued. The commandos fled and detonated the explosives, killing ninety-two people, twenty-eight of them British and fifteen Jewish.
In his 1951 autobiography, Menachem (Volfovitz) Begin, former leader of the Irgun and founder of the Herut, forerunner of today’s Likud Party, vaunted the importance of his terrorist actions for the founding of the Zionist state. In his autobiography The Revolt, Menachem Begin brags about “the military victory at Deir Yassin,” because the news of this slaughter of 254 villagers (mostly unarmed men, women, and children) immediately led to the “maddened, uncontrollable stampede of 635,000 Arabs. […] The political and economic significance of this development can hardly be overestimated.”363
“Irgun was from the beginning organized on the strictly conspiratorial lines of a terrorist underground movement,” writes disillusioned Zionist Arthur Koestler. As for the members of the Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang), a splinter group of the Irgun founded by Avraham Stern in 1940, which would subsequently be led by another future Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, they “were believers in unrestricted and indiscriminate terror.”364 On November 6, 1944, members of Lehi (otherwise known as the Stern Gang) assassinated Lord Moyne, the British resident minister in the Middle East, for his anti-Zionist positions. (The bodies of his murderers, executed in Egypt, were later exchanged for twenty Arab prisoners and buried at the “monument of heroes” in Jerusalem). On September 17, 1948, the same terrorist group murdered in Jerusalem Count Folke Bernadotte, a Swedish diplomat appointed United Nations mediator in Palestine. He had just submitted his report A/648, which described “large-scale Zionist plundering and destruction of villages,” and concluded that the “return of the Arab refugees rooted in this land for centuries” was necessary. His assassin, Nathan Friedman-Yellin, was arrested, convicted, and then amnestied; in 1960 he was elected to the Knesset.365
The “Human Material”
Anti-Zionist rabbi Moshe Shonfeld claimed that the Zionists had, during World War II, knowingly aggravated the Holocaust, as a necessary founding sacrifice for their Jewish state. Relying on numerous testimonies, he thus summarized the politics of the Zionist leaders: “The shedding of Jewish blood in the Diaspora is necessary in order for us to demand the establishment of a ‘Jewish’ state before a peace commission. Money will be sent to save a group of ‘chalutzim’ (pioneers), while the remainder of Czech Jewry must resign itself to annihilation in the Auschwitz crematoria.” In other words, “The Zionist leaders saw the spilt Jewish blood of the holocaust as grease for the wheels of the Jewish national state.”366
In 1948, when international recognition was achieved, Israel’s goal was twofold: territorial expansion through annexation and ethnic cleansing of Arab territories, and demographic expansion through mass immigration. The first objective required that tensions be maintained in order to provide pretexts for the enlargement of borders by force. As for the immigrants needed to colonize the conquered territories, they would be acquired by whatever means might be necessary. In the 1940s, the first “human material” (to use Theodor Herzl’s own phrase from The Jewish State) came from the Jewish “refugees” who had fled or been deported during the war.
We have seen how behind the scenes, the Zionists opposed refugees being welcomed anywhere other than Palestine, in accordance with the principle enunciated by Ben-Gurion in 1935: “We must give a Zionist response to the catastrophe faced by German Jewry—to turn this disaster into an opportunity to develop our country.” Again on December 8, 1942, Ben-Gurion declared at the Mapai general assembly: “It is the job of Zionism not to save the remnant of Israel in Europe but rather to save the land of Israel for the Jewish people and the Yishuw.”367 Early in 1944, Roosevelt recommenced opening the borders of allied countries to Jewish refugees, but his efforts again clashed with the opposition of Jewish representative elites. When Morris Ernst, sent by Roosevelt to London to discuss the project, returned with British agreement to welcome 150,000 refugees, Roosevelt was satisfied: “150,000 to England—150,000 to match that in the United States—pick up 200,000 or 300,000 elsewhere and we can start with half a million of these oppressed people.” But a week later, Roosevelt announced to Ernst the abandonment of the project “because the dominant vocal Jewish leadership of America won’t stand for it.” The Zionists “know they can raise vast sums for Palestine by saying to donors, ‘There is no other place for this poor Jew to go.’ But if there is a world political asylum, they cannot raise their money.” Incredulous, Ernst made the rounds of his Jewish contacts. He wrote in his memoirs that “active Jewish leaders decried, sneered and then attacked me as if I were a traitor. At one dinner party I was openly accused of furthering this plan of freer immigration [into the US] in order to undermine political Zionism.”368
Truman’s efforts were similarly hampered. Rabbi Philip Bernstein, who was in 1946 adviser on Jewish affairs to the US high commissioner in Germany, testified in 1950 in the Yiddish Bulletin that he had lied to the president by making him believe that the overwhelming majority of Jewish refugees wanted to settle in Palestine. In reality, they wanted either to return where they came from or to emigrate to the United States. Rabbi Abraham Klausner, chaplain and “father figure” at the Dachau concentration camp after its liberation in April 1945, wrote in a report of May 2, 1948, to the American Jewish Conference: “I am convinced that the people must be forced to go to Palestine. They are neither prepared to understand their own position nor the promises of the future. […] It must be borne in mind that we are dealing with a sick people. They are not to be asked, but to be told, what to do.” The means of “forcing” them to emigrate into Palestine against their will included propaganda (rumors of pogroms in the United States), harassment, and confiscation of food.369 The operation was a success: between 1945 and 1952, nearly one million Jews settled in the territories evacuated by the Palestinians. Until 1948, this still had to be done in violation of British rule. But it could be done with the approval of world public opinion, provided the right symbols were mobilized. And what more powerful symbol than the Exodus, the eternally recyclable myth of the Jewish people in desperate search of its Promised Land? On July 11, 1947, 4,500 refugees from Displaced Persons camps in Germany, selected by the organization in charge of Zionist clandestine immigration (Mossad Le’aliyah Beth) and smuggled to the south of France, embarked from there for Palestine, aboard a vessel that, at sea, was renamed Exodus 1947 in order to attract more media attention. The British prevented the ship from landing. Three refugees were killed and dozens were wounded in the violent clashes. The British returned the refugees to their French port of origin, but the French government, headed by Léon Blum, agreed with the Zionists to prevent them from disembarking. They were finally sent back to Germany, which generated worldwide sympathy for them and protests against the British.370
The victims of Nazism were not the only ones “convinced” to immigrate to Israel. The Zionists also coveted the Jews of the Arab countries, especially those of Iraq—descendants of the millennial community of Babylon—who were unwilling to emigrate. The chief rabbi of Iraq, Khedourin Sassoon, spiritual leader of his community for forty-eight years, declared in 1950: “Iraqi Jews will be forever against Zionism. Jews and Arabs have enjoyed the same rights and privileges for 1000 years and do not regard themselves as a distinctive separate part of this nation.”371
The Zionists then used a method that they later perfected: the fabrication of false anti-Semitic acts. Between 1950 and 1951, the city of Baghdad was hit by a series of explosions targeting Iraqi Jews, causing deaths, injuries, and material damage. These bombings, blamed on Arab nationalists, spread fear in the Jewish community. On the very night of the first attack, Zionist tracts were already circulating, enjoining “all the tribe of Zion living in Babylon” to make its Aliyah. An Iraqi court later convicted about 20 people for these bombings. All were members of the secret Iraqi Zionist organization. Approximately 125,000 Jews had meanwhile left Iraq for Israel.372 These new Israelis of Iraqi origin soon complained of discrimination. One of them, Naeim Giladi, testified in his book of the racism which then prevailed among the Ashkenazi toward the Jews of the Middle East and Africa (descendants of converted Berbers or Sephardic Jews exiled in the sixteenth century) and who were subjected to aggressive eugenic measures.373
The Soviet Union and Israel The Eastern European Ashkenazim nevertheless remained the main reservoir of Jews coveted by the Zionist state. Since they were in the Soviet Union or its satellites, their immigration was subject to Stalin’s goodwill, and relations between Israel and Stalin would deteriorate.
Until 1947, the historic founders of Israel had skillfully exploited the rivalry between the US and Soviet empires in order to persuade each of them to support the UN Partition Plan (and bring with them the countries in their respective spheres of influence) by offering to both parties the prospect of a strategic alliance in the Middle East. Truman’s support for the creation of a Jewish state was unsurprising, but Stalin’s was unexpected. Using newly uncovered documents from Russian archives, Laurent Rucker shows, in Moscow’s Surprise, that Soviet support resulted from years of secret diplomatic dealings that started in January 1941 in London, when Ivan Maisky, Moscow’s ambassador to London, met with Chaim Weizmann, then in November with Ben-Gurion, who was on his way to the United States. On that occasion, Maisky stated to Ben- Gurion, “You are going to America. You will render us a great service if you will impress upon people there the urgency of helping us; we need tanks, guns, planes—as many as possible, and above all, as soon as possible.” In 1943, Maisky was transferred to Moscow to prepare for the future peace conferences, and stopped in Palestine on the way, to meet with Ben-Gurion. From that time, writes Rucker, “contact between Soviet and Zionist representatives intensified as plans for the postwar order were formulated.” In return for Zionist help in securing US military support for the Soviet Union in 1941–1943, the Soviet Union would provide “political, military, and demographic support for the Zionist movement” from 1947 to 1949.374
Recognizing the Jewish state on May 14, 1948, Stalin had good reason to hope that Israel would lean on the Soviet side in the Cold War that was looming. After all, the Israeli Labor Party, the founding and majority party, was of socialist and collectivist orientation. Israel thus obtained from the Soviets the armaments that enabled it to fight the Arab countries hostile to the new state in 1948, even while the United States was respecting the UN arms embargo. The weapons came from Czechoslovakia, where the great Skoda arsenal had passed from the Nazis to the Communists. Without these weapons, it is likely that the State of Israel would not have survived. Moreover, more than two hundred thousand Jews, mainly from Poland, but also from Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria, were allowed to emigrate to Palestine, after the British withdrawal, during the years 1948–1952.
Stalin, however, was not long in noticing the double game Israel was playing in asking for American support. Moreover, Stalin was concerned about the unexpected and overwhelming enthusiasm of the Soviet Jews for Israel and their massive demand for emigration. When Golda Meir (born Mabovitch in Kiev) moved to Moscow as the first ambassador of the State of Israel, five months after the official foundation of the Jewish state, her arrival aroused a suspicious enthusiasm among the Russian Jewish population: fifty thousand Jews went to the synagogue on the Saturday following her arrival. Golda Meir missed no occasion to remind Russian Jews that their current country of residence was not their true home, and “every one of her public appearances was accompanied by a demonstration of Soviet Jewish identification with Israel,” writes Yuri Slezkine.375
Stalin was also concerned about the loyalty of Soviet Jews in the war against America, where many had relatives.376 He began to repress the resurgence of Jewish nationalism in November 1948, arresting the leaders of the influential Anti-Fascist Jewish Committee, and closing many Jewish institutions in the country. On January 15, 1953, nine doctors, including seven Jews, were accused by Stalin of conspiracy to poison him. This affair of the “Jewish doctors” caused an uproar in the West. “Stalin will succeed where Hitler failed,” predicted Commentary, press organ of the American Jewish Committee. “He will finally wipe out the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe. […] The parallel with the policy of Nazi extermination is almost complete.”377 On February 11, the USSR broke off diplomatic relations with Israel. It was in this context that Stalin died suddenly, on the morning of March 6, 1953, at the age of seventy-four, officially of a cerebral hemorrhage, but more likely of poisoning. A month later, the “Jewish doctors” were released.
The 1950s were marked by the disaffection of many European Communists, some of whom converted to Trotskyism. Their denunciation of Soviet anti-Semitism made it possible to forget the strong involvement of Jews in the Red Terror. Thus, for example, Annie Kriegel left the French Communist Party, the PCF, in 1956 to devote herself to writing a critical history of communism. In her 1982 book Israël est-il coupable? (Is Israel Guilty?) Kriegel absolved Israel of the massacres of Sabra and Shatila, casting the accusation as far-left propaganda. In the same year, she founded the journal Communisme with Stéphane Courtois, who, after her death, directed the publication of The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (1997), which sold over a million copies worldwide. That volume succeeds in exposing the crimes of Communism (80 million deaths) without ever mentioning the Jewish component of the Communist forces in Europe.
Nasser, the Useful Enemy In the United States, after Truman’s two terms, General Dwight Eisenhower was elected president in November 1952. Although he had previously been a member of Roosevelt’s Democratic Party, he ran on the Republican ticket, at the invitation of a faction that wanted to block the natural leader of the Republican Party—Robert Taft, a senator who had protested against Roosevelt’s military and economic support to the USSR. In 1948, Taft had also courageously denounced the Nuremberg trials, which in his view violated the basic principles of justice. Taft then opposed the formation of NATO in 1949; Eisenhower, in contrast, had just been appointed first commander-in-chief of this military alliance. “Ike” would become the president of the Cold War, and his two inaugural addresses (January 1953 and 1957) were entirely devoted to this subject. Eisenhower was the first of a long series of American presidents who would mention his support of Israel during election campaigns: “The state of Israel is democracy’s outpost in the Middle East and every American who loves liberty must join the effort to make secure forever the future of this newest member in the family of nations” (October 16, 1952).378
In 1948, the Arab countries had proven totally unfit to confront the Israeli intruder due to their dissensions, corruptions, and betrayals. But in 1952, a more formidable enemy stood against Israel in the person of Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser, who took power in Egypt and soon became a hero of Arab nationalism and, even more dangerously, pan-Arabism. Nasser’s willingness to recognize Israel within the borders of the Partition made him an even more formidable obstacle to the secret project of Israeli expansionism. Israeli hawks reacted with a new, highly confrontational policy aimed at creating pretexts for attacking Egypt and conquering new lands, while discrediting Nasser in the eyes of the West so as to prevent any alliance between Egypt and the West. If Nasser—the founder of a secular democratic state—allied with the Americans, they would apply irresistible diplomatic and economic pressure forcing Israel to accept peace on a territorial basis deemed insufficient by the Zionists. The Zionist strategy thus was to ensure that Israel was perceived in Washington, London, and Paris as the only reliable bastion of anti-communism in the Middle East, while simultaneously portraying Nasser’s Egypt as a communist ally. The Cold War was the indispensable context for achieving these objectives, which is why a climate of anti-communist paranoia had to be maintained among the American people and elite. Zionist propaganda did not hesitate to demonize Nasser by comparing him to Hitler: Ben-Gurion called him a “fascist dictator” while Menachem Begin insisted that he was surrounded by Nazi emissaries.379
Nasser’s priority in 1952 was to ensure that the British withdrew from the Suez Canal in 1956, as provided for by the agreement passed twenty years earlier. He needed this diplomatic victory to obtain sufficient credibility in the eyes of his people to weaken his internal enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood, and thus be in a position to negotiate with Israel. Israel’s hawks therefore decided to prevent this historic turn, with the aim of keeping Egypt cast as an enemy of the West. In the summer of 1954, four days before British Secretary of State for War Anthony Head traveled to Cairo to prepare for the withdrawal, Egyptian Jews trained in Israel committed several false flag bomb attacks against British targets, designed to be blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood. Dan Kurzman, Ben-Gurion’s hagiographer, sums up the logic of this psychological operation: “Why not blow up American and British property in Egypt ? Washington and London would think Nasser couldn’t control the extremist Moslem Brotherhood or the Communists. And if he cracked down on them, all the better. They would retaliate and there would be no end to violence in Egypt. Would Britain leave the strategic Suez Canal to a nation in flames? Would America let it? Presumably not.”380
Operation Susannah, the second confirmed case of false flag terrorism in modern history, failed due to the arrest of one of the bombers, leading to the apprehension of twelve other Israeli agents. The scandal came to be known as the “Lavon Affair,” named after the minister of defense Pinhas Lavon who took the blame. The goal, in the words of the head of Israeli military intelligence Benjamin Givli, was “to break the West’s confidence in the existing [Egyptian] regime.”381 The scandal was played down in the Israeli and US media, and it was not until 2005 that the Israeli state recognized its responsibility. In the 1950s, however, Israel exploited the incident by making its population believe that innocent Israeli agents had been victims of Egyptian anti-Semitism.382
Moshe Sharett, minister of foreign affairs from 1948 to 1956 and prime minister from 1954 to 1955 (who grew up in contact with the Arabs and knew their language and culture, unlike the Ashkenazi who constituted the majority of the government) advocated moderate Zionism and respect for international law. He was opposed by Ben-Gurion’s hawks, who conceived of the Arabs as a primitive enemy that had to be crushed purely by force.383 This clan, Sharett wrote regretfully in his newspaper in 1955, wanted “to set the Middle East on fire,” “to frighten the West into supporting Israel’s aims,” and thus “raises terrorism to the level of a sacred principle.” Sharett included in this condemnation Pinhas Lavon and Moshe Dayan, as well as Shimon Peres, who would eventually become president of Israel at the age of 84.384
There were no limits to what the Israeli hawks would do to sabotage the dialogue between Sharrett and Nasser and to prevent a lasting entente between Israel and Egypt. Using the pretext of the death of an Israeli during an infiltration operation by Palestinians—on land stolen from them—Ariel Sharon attacked Gaza on February 28, 1955, forcing Nasser to break off negotiations with Sharrett and driving the latter to resign. The hawks returned to power. Paradoxically, it was the Israeli attack on Gaza that caused the outburst of indignation necessary for the formation of a Palestinian nationalist movement: “The Israelis probably saved us from extinction with that attack,” said Yasser Arafat.385 The creation of Fatah (Palestine Liberation Movement) in 1958 complicated Nasser’s task, but, recognizing Arafat’s determination and political intelligence, as well as his uncontested leadership in the eyes of his people, Nasser became his protector and main supporter.
As a result of the Gaza attack, Nasser decided to arm Egypt appropriately, realizing that his only chance of peace rested on his ability to respond to Israel’s attacks. He therefore endeavored to convince the United States and Great Britain to sell arms to him, but rejected the condition imposed on him by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles to engage in a formal alliance with the United States that would be unacceptable in the eyes of his people. Although ideologically anti- communist, Nasser was finally compelled to accept the competing offer from the Soviets, which was generous and theoretically unconditional. In September 1955 he signed a contract with the USSR for the purchase of arms through Czechoslovakia. It set off an intense Zionist campaign to discredit Nasser, in the eyes of the West, as a danger to the stability of the Middle East and, conversely, to present Israel as the only reliable ally in the region. On February 14, 1956, Ben- Gurion sent an open letter to Eisenhower, disseminated throughout the American Jewish community, demanding US arms aid for Israel.
On July 19, 1956, a month after the British withdrawal from Suez, the US government canceled financing for the Aswan Grand Dam, instantly destroying Nasser’s most ambitious project for modernizing Egypt. In response, Nasser nationalized the canal on July 26, compensating the shareholders. In October, the British and French signed the “Protocol of Sèvres,” a secret agreement with Israel to take back the Canal Zone from Nasser and, if possible, overthrow him. (France correctly saw Nasser as an ally of Algerian nationalists of the FLN.) The Machiavellian plan was as follows: Israel would attack Egypt and occupy the Sinai Peninsula; Britain and France would threaten to intervene, demanding that each side withdraw from the combat zone, while proposing an armistice that would be unacceptable to Nasser since it would leave Israeli troops inside Egypt. Nasser would have no choice but to refuse the ultimatum, and English and French troops could then launch a seemingly justifiable invasion.
The offensive began on October 29, 1956, with the Israelis, British, and French counting on the fact that Eisenhower was busy with his re-election campaign. Khrushchev vigorously protested and threatened to send troops against Israel. Eisenhower took Khrushchev seriously, and made the right choice by joining his protest, while publicly blaming the British and the French rather than the Israelis. (Ike’s popularity was such that no press campaign could prevent his re-election.) Israel withdrew from the Sinai, and an international peacekeeping force was stationed in Sharm El Sheikh until 1967.
Israel drew two lessons for the future: first, to arrange to never again appear as the aggressor, for the United States could not tolerate it; and second, to build a stronger influence over US domestic policy and place a more conciliatory man in the White House.
Chapter 8 THE INVISIBLE COUP
“I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous god and I punish a parent’s fault in the children, the grandchildren, and the great- grandchildren among those who hate me.”
John F. Kennedy, the Lobby, and the Bomb In the 1960 presidential elections, Vice President Richard Nixon was in line to become Eisenhower’s successor. He was not regarded as a friend of Israel, and has even been suspected of anti-Semitism, on the basis of recently declassified White House recordings. On the Democrats’ side, the Zionist lobby threw their support to Lyndon Johnson, a longtime ally. As the Senate majority leader in 1957, Johnson had strongly protested against UN sanctions aimed at forcing Israel to retreat from the Sinai, with a letter to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles published in The New York Times (February 20, 1957).386 But John Kennedy won the primaries.
Kennedy was worse than Nixon for the Zionists. His Irish Catholic background was already a bad omen, and his father, while ambassador in London, had supported Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement policy toward Hitler. In September 1960, the Herut, Menachem Begin’s political party, voiced concerns about whether Joe Kennedy “did not inject some poisonous drops of anti- Semitism in the minds of his children, including his son John’s.”387 Referring to the traditionally Democratic “Jewish vote,” the author asks: “How can the future of Israel (sic) be entrusted to these men who might come to power thanks to Jewish votes, strange and paradoxical as this may seem.” In his Pulitzer prize-winning book Profiles in Courage (1956), Kennedy had declared his admiration for Senator Robert Taft, who by calling the Nuremberg trials a shameful parody of justice had sacrificed his political career, including his chances for the presidency, rather than build it on hypocrisy. Worse, as a senator, Kennedy had expressed sympathy for the Palestinian refugees, whose camps he had visited in 1956.388
Kennedy came to power at a time when the dismantling of the French, British, and Belgian colonial empires had led to the independence of twenty new African states. As a senator and while campaigning for the presidency, he had urged Washington to “recognize the force of Arab nationalism” so as to “channel it along constructive lines.” “Call it nationalism, call it anti- colonialism, call it what you will, Africa is going through a revolution. […] The word is out— and spreading like wildfire in nearly a thousand languages and dialects—that it is no longer necessary to remain forever poor or forever in bondage.”389 Kennedy felt no sympathy for Israel’s anachronistic colonial adventure, but great admiration for Gamal Abdel Nasser, the hero of Arab nationalism. Nasser was perceived by the Zionist leaders as the greatest obstacle to their secret expansionist agenda, especially because of his willingness to recognize Israel within the 1948 Partition borders.
As soon as it became clear that Kennedy would beat Johnson in the Democratic primaries, Zionists pressured him to pick Johnson as his running mate, rather than Adlai Stevenson, another unlucky contender for the presidential ticket, who was the preferred choice of the Kennedy team. (Kennedy would name Stevenson Ambassador to the U.N. instead). “You know, we had never considered Lyndon,” Kennedy once apologized to his assistant Hyman Raskin, “but I was left with no choice […] those bastards were trying to frame me. They threatened me with problems and I don’t need more problems.”390 It is on record, thanks to Kennedy insider Arthur Schlesinger (A Thousand Days, 1965), that it was in fact Philip Graham and Joseph Alsop, respectively publisher and columnist of The Washington Post, both strong supporters of Israel, who convinced Kennedy to take Johnson on his ticket, in a closed door conversation.391 Schlesinger doesn’t reveal Graham and Alsop’s arguments, and states that Kennedy’s final decision “defies historical reconstruction”—a curious statement for a historian so well informed, which can only be explained by Schlesinger’s refusal throughout his 872 pages to come to grips with Kennedy’s Middle East policy and his battle with Zionism. Alan Hart has convincingly filled in the blanks: both Graham and Alsop were strongly pro-Israel as well as pro-Johnson, and both could exert a huge influence on public opinion. So “Kennedy was forced by Israel’s supporters to take Johnson as his vice-presidential running mate.”392 Why would the Zionists want Johnson as vice-president, rather than keep him as Senate majority leader, a better position for blocking anti-Israel legislation? It can only be because they saw the vice-presidency as a step to the presidency. And the sooner, the better.
After the Press came the Bank: John Kennedy soon received a visit from Zionist financier Abraham Feinberg (who had already financed Truman in exchange for the recognition of Israel), who said to him, as Kennedy reported to his friend Charles Bartlett: “We know your campaign is in trouble. We’re willing to pay your bills if you’ll let us have control of your Middle East policy.” Bartlett recalls that Kennedy was deeply upset and swore that, “if he ever did get to be President, he was going to do something about it.”393 Thanks to his father’s fortune, Kennedy was relatively independent, but not to the point of being able to reject Feinberg’s offer. And so, after naming Johnson as vice-president, he appointed Myer Feldman as his special counsel on the Middle East. Born of Jewish Ukrainian immigrants, Feldman was known as “a behind-the-scenes liaison to Israel,” and often met with Israel’s Prime Minister Ben-Gurion and Foreign Secretary Golda Meir, as The New York Times candidly remembers him.394
From 1962 to 1963, JFK submitted seven bills in an effort to reform the Congressional campaign finance system. All of them were defeated by the influential groups they sought to curtail. Meanwhile, with the support of the attorney general Robert Kennedy, Senator William Fulbright, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, conducted an audit on the American Zionist Council (precursor of AIPAC), the concluding report of which recommended that it be registered as a “foreign agent” and therefore subject to the obligations defined by the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, which would considerably limit its influence.395
The Zionists’ worst fears proved justified. Historian Philip Muehlenbeck writes: “While the Eisenhower administration had sought to isolate Nasser and reduce his influence through building up Saudi Arabia’s King Saud as a conservative rival to the Egyptian president, the Kennedy administration pursued the exact opposite strategy.”396 During his first months in the White House, Kennedy committed himself in letters to Nasser and other Arab heads of state to supporting UN Resolution 194 for the right of return of Palestinian refugees. Former Undersecretary of State George Ball noted in his book, The Passionate Attachment (1992), that Ben-Gurion reacted with “a letter to the Israeli ambassador in Washington, intended to be circulated among Jewish-American leaders, in which he stated: ‘Israel will regard this plan as a more serious danger to her existence than all the threats of the Arab dictators and Kings, than all the Arab armies, than all of Nasser’s missiles and his Soviet MIGs. […] Israel will fight against this implementation down to the last man.’”397
But the greatest danger that Kennedy represented to Israel was his determination to stop its nuclear weapons program. By the early 1950s, David Ben-Gurion, both prime minister and defense minister, had entrusted Shimon Peres to nudge Israel toward the secret manufacture of atomic bombs, by diverting materials from the cooperation program Atoms for Peace, launched naively by Eisenhower, and by organizing industrial espionage and smuggling. Kennedy had made nuclear disarmament one of his grand missions on the international level. He had announced it at the General Assembly of the United Nation on September 25, 1961, with a powerful speech declaring his “intention to challenge the Soviet Union, not to an arms race, but to a peace race—to advance together step by step, stage by stage, until general and complete disarmament has been achieved.” The challenge had been well received by Nikita Khrushchev, and the first step was taken on August 5, 1963, with the signature of the first international Test Ban Treaty. In 1963, with only four countries in possession of nuclear weapons, nuclear disarmament was an achievable goal, and Kennedy was determined not to let this opportunity pass. “I am haunted by the feeling that by 1970, unless we are successful, there may be ten nuclear powers instead of four, and by 1975, fifteen or twenty,” he said prophetically during his press conference on March 21, 1963.398
Israel, however, was just as determined in its secret race to be the first and only country in the Middle East with the bomb. Informed by the CIA in 1960 of the military aim pursued at the Dimona complex in the Negev desert, Kennedy did his utmost to force Israel to renounce it. He replaced CIA Director Allen Dulles by John McCone, who had, as Eisenhower’s chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), leaked to The New York Times the truth about Israel’s Dimona project; the story was printed on December 19, 1960, weeks before Kennedy was to take office. As Alan Hart writes, “there can be no doubt that Kennedy’s determination to stop Israel developing its own nuclear bomb was the prime factor in his decision to appoint McCone.”399 Then Kennedy urged Ben-Gurion to allow regular inspections of Dimona, first verbally in New York in 1961, and later through more and more insistent letters. In the last one, cabled June 15, 1963, to the Israeli ambassador with instructions to hand it personally to Ben-Gurion, Kennedy demanded Ben-Gurion’s agreement for an immediate visit followed by regular visits every six months, otherwise “this Government’s commitment to and support of Israel could be seriously jeopardized.”400 The result was unexpected: Ben-Gurion avoided receiving the letter by announcing his resignation on June 16. As soon as the new prime minister Levi Eshkol took office, Kennedy sent him a similar letter, dated July 5, 1963, to no avail. Did Ben-Gurion resign in order to move into the shadows of the deep state? Eleven days later, his words showed the same commitment to provide Israel with the bomb: “I do not know of any other nation whose neighbors declare that they wish to terminate it, and not only declare, but prepare for it by all means available to them. […] Our numbers are small, and there is no chance that we could compare ourselves with America’s 180 million, or with any Arab neighboring state. There is one thing, however, in which we are not inferior to any other people in the world—this is the Jewish brain. And the Jewish brain does not disappoint; Jewish science does not disappoint. […] I am confident […] that science is able to provide us with the weapons that will serve the peace and deter our enemies.”401
The secret showdown between Kennedy and Ben-Gurion on the nuclear question was revealed by two books: Seymour Hersh’s The Samson Option in 1991, then Avner Cohen’s Israel and the Bomb in 1998. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz published a review of Cohen’s book on February 5, 1999, which reads: “The murder of American President John F. Kennedy brought to an abrupt end the massive pressure being applied by the US administration on the government of Israel to discontinue the nuclear program. Cohen demonstrates at length the pressures applied by Kennedy on Ben-Gurion. He brings the fascinating exchange of letters between the two, in which Kennedy makes it quite clear to [Ben-Gurion] that he [JFK] will under no circumstances agree to Israel becoming a nuclear state. The book implied that, had Kennedy remained alive, it is doubtful whether Israel would today have a nuclear option.”402 The subject has been taken up by Michael Karpin in 2007, in The Bomb in the Basement. Karpin writes: “Kennedy placed the limitation of the nuclear arms race at the center of American foreign policy. In his judgment the United States, as the leader of the free world, was responsible for restricting the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Kennedy displayed great determination in his fight for disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation. Israel’s nuclear enterprise was in direct contradiction with the principles of his policy.”403
Who Killed Kennedy? Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, at 12:30 p.m. One hour later, Lee Harvey Oswald was apprehended. The same day, Americans heard on television: “The assassin of President Kennedy is an admitted Marxist who spent three years in Russia trying to renounce his US citizenship.” “After changing his mind and returning to the United States last year, Oswald became a sympathizer of the Cuban prime minister, Fidel Castro.”404 But quickly Oswald’s Soviet and Cuban connections were forgotten and he was presented to the public as the sole assassin. The FBI confirmed it, and after a mock investigation by a presidential commission, this became official truth. Assuming this theory is a lie (as about 75 percent of Americans today believe), and that Oswald was in fact “just a patsy” as he publicly claimed, the quest for the real culprits must logically start by investigating the man who shot Oswald to death at point-blank range two days later, while Oswald was being transferred from the Dallas Police station (where he had been interrogated for two days while no one made a recording or took notes) to the Dallas County jail. Oswald’s assassin is known as Jack Ruby, but few people know that his real name was Jacob Leon Rubenstein, that he was the son of Jewish Polish immigrants, and that, asked by the Warren Commission how he had been allowed into the Police Station, he claimed he had been translating for Israeli reporters. (Ruby spoke Yiddish, but what Israeli reporter in the US could possibly need a Yiddish translator?)
Ruby was a member of the Jewish underworld, and a friend of Los Angeles gangster Mickey Cohen, whom he had known and idolized since 1946. Cohen was the successor of the famed Benjamin Siegelbaum, a.k.a. Bugsy Siegel, one of the bosses of Murder Incorporated. Cohen was infatuated with the Zionist cause, to which he had been introduced by Hollywood script writer Ben Hecht, as he explained in his memoirs: “Now I got so engrossed with Israel that I actually pushed aside a lot of my activities and done nothing but what was involved with this Irgun war.” What kept him so busy, he goes on to explain, was stealing surplus weapons coming back from Europe after WWII and sending them to the Irgun.405 Like Ben Hecht, Mickey Cohen was in contact with Menachem Begin, the former Irgun chief, with whom he even “spent a lot of time,” according to Gary Wean, former detective sergeant for the Los Angeles Police Department. (Incidentally, Wean claims that Cohen, who specialized in sexually compromising Hollywood stars for the purpose of blackmail, was responsible for pushing Marilyn Monroe into Kennedy’s bed.)406 The major godfather to whom Cohen was accountable was Meyer Suchowljansky, known as Lansky, himself a dedicated Zionist and a generous donor to the Anti- Defamation League. (His granddaughter Mira Lansky Boland would become an ADL official.) So there is a direct line connecting Jack Ruby, via Mickey Cohen, to the Israeli terrorist ring, and in particular to Menachem Begin, a specialist in false flag terror. We also know that Ruby phoned Al Gruber, a Mickey Cohen associate, just after Oswald’s arrest; no doubt he received then “an offer he couldn’t refuse,” as they say in the underworld.407 As Gail Raven, a former girlfriend of Ruby and nightclub dancer in his Carousel Club, once said: “He had no choice. […] Jack had bosses, just like everyone else.”408 To top it all, Ruby’s defense lawyer William Kunstler wrote in his memoirs that Ruby told him he had killed Oswald “for the Jews,” and Ruby’s rabbi Hillel Silverman received the same confession when visiting Ruby in jail.409 According to a declassified US State Department document, Israeli Foreign Minister Golda Meir reacted to the news that Ruby had just killed Oswald with this sentence: “Ruby is alive, Oy vaaboy if we get caught!”410
Jack Ruby was also linked to Lyndon Johnson. Former Nixon operative Roger Stone said in an interview with The Daily Caller, that in November 1963, upon seeing Ruby on television, “Nixon said, ‘The damn thing is, I knew this Jack Ruby. Murray [Chotiner] brought him to me in 1947, said he was one of ‘Johnson’s boys’ and that LBJ wanted us to hire him as an informant to the [House Un-American Activities] Committee. We did.’ I think Nixon immediately recognized that LBJ was using one his operatives to do ‘clean up’ work on the murder of John Kennedy.”411 That Ruby acted on Johnson’s orders is a likely explanation of Ruby’s odd statements to the Warren Commission: “If you don’t take me back to Washington tonight to give me a chance to prove to the President that I am not guilty, then you will see the most tragic thing that will ever happen.” Ruby made himself clearer: “There will be a certain tragic occurrence happening if you don’t take my testimony and somehow vindicate me so my people don’t suffer because of what I have done.” He feared that his act would be used “to create some falsehood about some of the Jewish faith,” but added that “maybe something can be saved […], if our President, Lyndon Johnson, knew the truth from me.”412 Ruby seems to have wanted to send through the Commission a message to Johnson, or rather a warning that he might spill the beans about Israel’s involvement if Johnson did not intervene in his favor. We get the impression that Ruby expected Johnson to pardon him—just as in 1952 Johnson had managed, through corruption of the judge and threats to the jury, to keep his personal hitman Mac Wallace out of jail, with only a five-year suspended sentence, despite his conviction for first-degree murder, which is normally a sure ticket to death row in Texas.413 Ruby’s sense of betrayal would explain why in 1965, sentenced to life in prison, Ruby implicitly accused Johnson of Kennedy’s murder in a press conference: “If [Adlai Stevenson] was Vice-President there would never have been an assassination of our beloved President Kennedy.”414
Ruby’s statement to the Warren Commission was leaked to journalist Dorothy Kilgallen and published in the New York Journal American, August 18–20, 1964. Kilgallen also interviewed Jack Ruby and boasted afterwards of being about to “break the real story” and publish “the biggest scoop of the century” in a book titled Murder One. The book was never published: Kilgallen was found dead of an overdose of barbiturates and alcohol on November 8, 1965.415 As for Ruby, he died from a rapidly spreading cancer in 1967.
Kennedy’s death propelled Johnson to become head of state and, in the atmosphere of national crisis thus created, enabled him to bully both justice and the press while achieving his life’s ambition. Many Americans immediately suspected Johnson’s involvement in the assassination, especially after the publication in 1964 of a book by James Evetts Haley, A Texan Looks at Lyndon, which portrayed Johnson as deeply corrupt. According to his biographer Robert Caro, Johnson was a man thirsting “for power in its most naked form, for power not to improve the lives of others, but to manipulate and dominate them, to bend them to his will […], a hunger so fierce and consuming that no consideration of morality or ethics, no cost to himself— or to anyone else—could stand before it.”416 Throughout the years, a considerable amount of evidence has accumulated indicating that Johnson, alongside complicit Texas authorities, masterminded Kennedy’s assassination. This thesis is highly convincing.417
Complicity among high-ranking Navy officers is also certain. President Kennedy was pronounced dead at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, but his body was literally stolen at gunpoint from the appointed coroner, Earl Rose, and the autopsy was performed at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Washington by an inexperienced military doctor (James Humes), flanked by senior officers and federal agents. The autopsy report stated that the fatal bullet had entered the back of the skull, contradicting testimony of twenty-one members of the Dallas hospital staff who saw two entry bullet-wounds on the front of Kennedy’s body. Dr. Charles Crenshaw, for example, divulged in 1992: “From the damage I saw, there was no doubt in my mind that the bullet had entered his head through the front”—an account that exonerates Oswald, who was behind the president at the time of the shooting.418
Navy involvement links directly to Johnson, who had many shady business partners there. The Navy secretary appointed by Kennedy in January 1961 was Texan John Connally, who had obtained that position at the insistence of Johnson. When Connally resigned eleven months later to run for the Texas governorship, Johnson convinced Kennedy to name another of his Texan friends, Fred Korth. Connally and Korth were both closely associated with the Texas-based company General Dynamics, which was close to bankruptcy in 1961. Korth, who had been president of GD’s main bank, Continental National Bank, was forced to resign in November 1963, weeks before the Dallas coup, after the Justice Department implicated him in a fraud involving a $7 billion contract for the construction of 1,700 TFX military aircraft by General Dynamics (the biggest arms contract ever at this time). Johnson’s personal secretary, Bobby Baker (“my strong right arm,” as he liked to call him), was charged in the same case, and one of Baker’s associates, Don Reynolds, was testifying against him on November 22 before the Senate Rules Committee. He attested to having seen Baker with a suitcase containing $100,000 in kickbacks intended for Johnson, and further claimed to have been offered bribes for his silence.419
Because of this mounting scandal and other suspicions of corruption, Kennedy was determined to change vice-presidents for his upcoming reelection campaign, as part of “making government service an honorable career,” as he had confided to his longtime personal secretary Evelyn Lincoln.420 While in Dallas the day before the president’s visit for the Soda Bottlers’ Convention (as business attorney for Pepsi-Cola), Nixon publicized the rumor of Johnson’s removal, as the Dallas Morning News reported on November 22: “Nixon Predicts JFK May Drop Johnson.” Instead, Johnson became president that very day.
From the moment he became president while Kennedy’s body was still warm, Johnson used all the weight of his newly acquired authority to kill the investigation and impose the necessity of selling to the public the “lone gunman” theory. In order to do that, he didn’t try to convince people around him that this was the truth; rather, he claimed it was a matter of national security. Instead of playing down the importance of evidence linking Oswald to the USSR and communist Cuba, he dramatized its highly explosive nature, capable of igniting a new world war—a nuclear one. Hours after Oswald was arrested, Johnson insisted that all federal and state bodies quickly deny any rumor of foreign conspiracy and assert that Oswald had acted alone. Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade, Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr, and Police Chief Jesse Curry all received phone calls from Johnson’s aide Cliff Carter (Johnson’s flunky ever since he had helped him steal his first Senate election in 1948), issued directly from Air Force One and then the White House. According to Wade, “[Carter] said that President Johnson felt any word of a conspiracy—some plot by foreign nations—to kill President Kennedy would shake our nation to its foundations. […] Washington’s word to me was that it would hurt foreign relations if I alleged conspiracy, whether I could prove it or not. I was just to charge Oswald with plain murder and go for the death penalty. Johnson had Cliff Carter call me three or four times that weekend.”
Johnson continued to raise the specter of nuclear war to silence the “rumors” of a communist conspiracy: “40 million American lives hung in the balance,” he kept repeating.421 Johnson used the same argument to direct the hand of the members of the Warren Commission formed on November 29 to appease public suspicion of a government cover-up. “We’ve got to be taking this out of the arena where they’re testifying that Khrushchev and Castro did this and did that and check us into a war that can kill 40 million Americans in an hour,” he explained to Senator Richard Russell in a telephone conversation on November 29, persuading him to join the commission.422
The man who played the key role in fabricating the government lie purveyed by the commission was Arlen Specter, the inventor of what came to be called the “magic bullet” theory: a single bullet supposed to have caused seven wounds to Kennedy and John Connally, who was sitting in front of him in the limousine, and later found in pristine condition on a gurney in Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. Specter was still defending his theory in his 2000 autobiography entitled, with an ironic touch of chutzpah, Passion for Truth. At his death in 2012, Specter, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, was officially mourned by the Israeli government as “an unswerving defender of the Jewish State,” and by AIPAC, as “a leading architect of the congressional bond between our country and Israel.”423
Many other Israeli sayanim can be identified in the story. (Sayanim is a term for Mossad assistants recruited from the Jewish Diaspora to help with operations outside Israel.) JFK’s trip to Dallas, being officially non-political, was sponsored by a powerful business group known as the Dallas Citizens Council, dominated by Julius Schepps, “a wholesale liquor distributor, member of every synagogue in town, and de facto leader of the Jewish community,” as described by Bryan Edward Stone in The Chosen Folks: Jews on the Frontiers of Texas.424 As Stone makes clear (after Natalie Ornish in Pioneer Jewish Texans, 1989425), wealthy Jews were highly influential in Texas, contrary to the popular image. Among other influential figures was advertising executive and PR man Sam Bloom, who chaired the “host committee” inviting Kennedy. According to former British intelligence officer Colonel John Hughes-Wilson, it was Bloom who “suggested that the police make Oswald accessible to the press. He also suggested— against the explicit advice of the local FBI—that they move the alleged assassin from the Dallas police station to the Dallas County Jail in order to give the newsmen a good story and pictures. Dallas FBI agent James Hosty always believed that Bloom and Ruby were in cahoots; when the police later searched Ruby’s home, they found a slip of paper with Bloom’s name, address and telephone number on it.”426
The Hijacked Conspiracy I cannot, in the scope of this chapter, tackle all the questions raised by Kennedy’s assassination, nor mention all the hypotheses explored for fifty years.427 What must be clarified here is Oswald’s precise role in the plot. The real nature of his communist connections is unclear and probably ambivalent. Many testimonies from close friends and relatives indicate that Oswald had sincere sympathies for Marxism and for Castro’s regime in Cuba, but there is also evidence that, on his return from the USSR in June 1962, he was hired by the FBI for undercover work in communist circles. It ultimately makes little difference; what is clear is that Oswald’s communist connections were carefully monitored and recorded—for example, he was twice filmed handing out leaflets for the pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans—in order to be used on November 22, 1963, as his motive for shooting the president.
This raises the hypothesis that the assassination of Kennedy was designed as a false flag attack, meant to provide a false pretense for invading Cuba and overthrowing Castro, but that Johnson thwarted the second part of the plan. This is the thesis put forward by the majority of Kennedy conspiracy theorists, or at least by the most visible ones, such as James Douglass in JFK and the Unspeakable (2008): Kennedy, they say, fell victim to a plot by the anti-communist far-right in the military-intelligence complex with accomplices in the community of Cuban exiles. James Douglass and like-minded researchers do indeed demonstrate convincingly that Kennedy was in conflict with the old guard of the CIA and the Pentagon, since he had spoiled the Bay of Pigs operation (April 1961) by refusing to involve US military units. Worse, he had negotiated a peaceful outcome to the Cuban Missile Crisis with Nikita Khrushchev (October 1962) by pledging to dismantle the American missiles in Turkey in exchange for the withdrawal of Soviet missiles in Cuba.
Some of those researchers never attempt to explain why, if the Dallas shooting was staged as a pretense for invading Cuba, that invasion never took place. Those who address the question, like James Douglass, credit Johnson with preventing the invasion. Johnson, we are led to understand, had nothing to do with the assassination plot, and thwarted the plotters’ ultimate aim to start World War III. This is to ignore the huge amount of evidence gathered against Johnson for fifty years. It also begs another question: if Johnson resisted the hawks’ pressure to invade Cuba, why did he escalate the Vietnam War? In late 1963, Kennedy had decided to evacuate all US military personnel in Vietnam (who amounted to only 15,000 “military advisors”). On November 11, he signed directive NSAM-263 for the removal of “1,000 U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963,” in anticipation for withdrawing “by the end of 1965 […] the bulk of U.S. personnel.”428 On November 21, the day before his fatal visit to Texas, he expressed his resolution to his assistant press secretary Malcolm Kilduff, after reading a report on the latest casualties: “After I come back from Texas, that’s going to change. There’s no reason for us to lose another man over there. Vietnam is not worth another American life.”429
On November 26, the day after Kennedy’s funeral, Johnson buried the NSAM-263 directive and replaced it with another, NSAM-273, which required the military to develop a plan “for the United States to begin carrying the war north,” including “different levels of possible increased activity,” and “military operations up to a line up to 50 kilometers inside Laos”—which violated the 1962 Geneva Accords on the neutrality of Laos.430 Johnson’s decision regarding Vietnam was a clear betrayal of Kennedy’s earlier policy, and the amazing expediency of his change of policy suggests premeditation. It has also been discovered that, in the weeks preceding the Kennedy assassination, Johnson and his business partners had invested heavily in the aircraft manufacturer Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV), founded by a close acquaintance of Johnson, James Ling, and headquartered in Dallas. In January 1964, LTV was to become one of the Pentagon’s biggest arms suppliers for the Vietnam War.431
In my analysis, authors arguing for a conspiracy hatched within the US military-industrial- intelligence complex (let’s call it the inside job thesis) prove convincingly that the leadership in the CIA and the Pentagon was desperately trying to start a war against Castro, and that they were prepared to deceive the president in order to do that. But they fail to demonstrate that they were prepared to assassinate the president: there is a huge difference between setting up a secret operation behind the president’s back and committing high treason by murdering their own president.
One solution to the problem has been provided by the already-mentioned Gary Wean in his book There’s a Fish in the Courthouse (1987), quoted by Michael Piper in his groundbreaking Final Judgment. Relying on a well-informed source in Dallas (identified as Republican Senator John Tower in his 1996 second edition), Wean raises the possibility that the Dallas coup was “a double-cross of fantastic dimensions,” in which a failed assassination attempt staged by the CIA was hijacked by what he names the Mishpucka (Hebrew for “the Family”), the Russian Jewish Mafia, whose evil power reaching into the highest spheres Wean has been investigating for years in California. The Mishpucka wanted Kennedy dead and turned the operation into a successful assassination, then escaped investigation by hiding behind the CIA’s scheme. JFK researcher Dick Russell has independently added weight to that theory by interviewing Cuban exiles who believe they were manipulated (The Man Who Knew Too Much, 1992).
The assumption is that the CIA and their Cuban exile associates intended to spare Kennedy’s life but force him to retaliate against Castro. It was a false flag operation: Oswald, the patsy, had been groomed with the “legend” of a pro-Castro communist activist, to be sold to the public by news media on the day of the assassination. According to what Tower told Wean, “There was to be an attempt on the life of President Kennedy so ‘realistic’ that its failure would be looked upon as nothing less than a miracle. Footprints would lead right to Castro’s doorstep, a trail that the rankest amateur could not lose.”
Israel had no interest in Cuba but wanted Kennedy dead. So did Johnson. So they hijacked the operation, probably by providing the real snipers on the grassy knoll. The national security state was too deeply involved to be able to protest, and had to go along with its original plan to blame Oswald, knowing that if they tried to expose Israel’s coup, they would be the first to be exposed.432
Several researchers have independently reached the same conclusion that a fake assassination attempt by CIA-led Cuban exiles was turned into a real assassination by a third party, but few succeeded—or, more probably, dared—to name that third party. They are mentioned by the late Michael Collins Piper. One of them was former CIA contract agent Robert Morrow in his 1976 novelized version of events, Betrayal. Another was longtime independent investigator Scott Thompson, who alleged that Howard Hunt was coordinating the fraudulent assassination attempt, but notes that “it remains unclear to this day who intervened into the dummy assassination set-up and turned it into the real thing.” Veteran JFK investigator Dick Russell, in The Man Who Knew Too Much, has also pondered the possibility that the CIA’s relationship with Oswald was “usurped by another group,” and noted: “Many people in the CIA had reasons to cover up their own relationship to Oswald, even if this had nothing to do with an assassination conspiracy. […] what cannot be overlooked is that a third force was aware of the counterspy web [surrounding Oswald] and seized on it to their own advantage.”433
Whether or not the CIA was implicated in a fake assassination attempt on Kennedy is, after all, secondary—for a person’s or an organization’s vulnerability to blackmail is proportional to the number of illegal activities he or it wants to keep secret, and no organization has more dirty secrets to hide than the CIA. By its privileged access to the media, the Zionist network had plenty of means of keeping the agency on the defensive.
The Mossad had also placed its mole, James Jesus Angleton, in a key position inside the CIA. Angleton was both the Mossad liaison for the CIA, as head of the CIA “Israel Office,” and the chief of counterintelligence since 1954, which allowed him to conduct massive domestic spying on American citizens in collaboration with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Angleton played a key role in the cover-up after Kennedy’s assassination as liaison between the CIA and the Warren Commission. But many prominent JFK investigators contend that Angleton also played a key role in setting up Oswald as the patsy in the first place. Professor John Newman writes in Oswald and the CIA: “In my view, whoever Oswald’s direct handler or handlers were, we must now seriously consider the possibility that Angleton was probably their general manager. No one else in the Agency had the access, the authority, and the diabolically ingenious mind to manage this sophisticated plot. No one else had the means necessary to plant the WWIII virus in Oswald’s files and keep it dormant for six weeks until the president’s assassination. Whoever was ultimately responsible for the decision to kill Kennedy, their reach extended into the national intelligence apparatus to such a degree that they could call upon a person who knew its inner secrets and workings so well that he could design a failsafe mechanism into the fabric of the plot. The only person who could ensure that a national security cover-up of an apparent counterintelligence nightmare was the head of counterintelligence.”434
What Newman fails to notice, however, is that Angleton was more Mossad than CIA. He is actually the ultimate source of the conspiracy trail linking the CIA to the JFK assassination, by initiating and then leaking a secret CIA memorandum dated 1966 and intended for recently nominated CIA director Richard Helms, saying that CIA agent Howard Hunt was in Dallas on November 22, 1963, and that an alibi for him to be elsewhere “ought to be considered.” This memo was given to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), and simultaneously to reporters Joe Trento and Jacquie Powers, who reported it in the Sunday News Journal, on August 20, 1978. Trento subsequently revealed to JFK assassination investigator Dick Russell that it was Angleton himself who leaked the memo. Michael Collins Piper, who connected the dots, writes: “It is my contention that Angleton’s conspiratorial activities in regard to the JFK assassination—including his singular involvement in circulating the ‘Hunt in Dallas’ story— unquestionably stem from Angleton’s link to Israel and its role in the JFK assassination conspiracy.”435 Angleton’s links to Israel were such that, according to his latest biographer, Michael Howard Holzman, “after his death, not one but two monuments to Angleton were dedicated at memorial services in Israel” during ceremonies attended by chiefs of Israeli intelligence and even a future prime minister.436 Another biographer, Tom Mangold, states: “Angleton’s closest professional friends overseas […] came from the Mossad and […] he was held in immense esteem by his Israeli colleagues and by the state of Israel, which was to award him profound honors after his death.”437
The theory that the conspiracy trail leading to the anti-communist far right in Kennedy’s assassination was planted deliberately by Israel’s sayanim can explain a number of oddities in some of the clues. How else can we reasonably explain, for example, the full-page advertisement printed in The Dallas Morning News of November 22, bordered in black like a funeral notice and carrying the ironic bold headline “WELCOME, MR. KENNEDY TO DALLAS…,” that accused the president of having betrayed the Cubans now “living in slavery”?438 The veiled threat was authored by a nonexistent American Fact-Finding Committee.
How can any serious investigator take this at face value, and believe that a right-wing group planning to assassinate Kennedy in Dallas on November 22 would sign their crime in such a way, while at the same time trying to blame it on the communists? Yet this is exactly what most “inside job” theorists do. What they usually fail to mention is that the announcement was paid and even signed by a certain Bernard Weissman, a Jewish American who had moved to Dallas no sooner than the 4th of November, and who had been seen on the 14th in Jack Ruby’s strip- tease bar the Carousel Club, in a two-hour meeting also attended by J. D. Tippit, the police officer who would be shot to death one hour after Kennedy, supposedly also by Oswald while resisting arrest.439 The Dallas Morning News advertisement was not the only sign conspicuously posted to point to the anti-communist far right: on the same day, an infamous poster could be seen in the streets of Dallas, with Kennedy’s photo under the headline “WANTED FOR TREASON.”
While it massively supported the government thesis of the lone gunman, the mainstream media subtly fed suspicions directed at the CIA. For maximal efficiency, the expectation of a CIA coup was even planted into public opinion before the assassination. This was done on October 2 with an article in The Washington Daily News, by an obscure Saigon correspondent named Richard Starnes, picked up the next day by The New York Times’s chief Washington correspondent Arthur Krock. The article denounced the CIA’s “unrestrained thirst for power” and quoted an unnamed “very high official” who claimed that the White House could not control the CIA, and that: “If the United States ever experiences an attempt at a coup to overthrow the Government, it will come from the CIA and not the Pentagon. The agency represents a tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone.”440 In such a way, The New York Times was planting a sign, a month and a half before the Dallas killing, pointing to the CIA as the most likely instigator of the upcoming coup. Most Kennedy researchers take this sign at face value, and even suggest that Kennedy had himself leaked his worries to the press as a warning to Americans. This, in spite of the fact that Kennedy “was so disturbed” by the article that he brought it up in the National Security Council the same day, asking advice about how to respond. “Kennedy decided to say nothing about the article, but it had shaken him,” comments James Douglass.441
One month after Kennedy’s assassination, it was the turn of The Washington Post to use a very similar trick, by publishing an op-ed signed by Harry Truman, in which the former president said he was “disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government.” “I never had any thought when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations,” at the point of becoming across the globe “a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue […] there are now some searching questions that need to be answered.”442
Truman was hinting at the CIA’s role in toppling foreign governments and assassinating elected leaders abroad. But given the timing of his article, one month to the day after Dallas, it could only be understood by anyone with ears to hear, and at least subliminally by the rest, as an indictment of the CIA in the Kennedy assassination. This article, widely reprinted in the 1970s after the creation of the Church Committee and the House Select Committee on Assassinations, is regarded as Truman’s whistleblowing. Yet its mea culpa style is completely unlike Truman, and it was in fact not written by Truman, but by his longtime assistant and ghostwriter, David Noyes. Truman probably never saw it prior to its publication in The Washington Post’s morning edition, but he (and not the CIA) may be responsible for its deletion from the afternoon print runs.443 Noyes’s role as Truman’s ghostwriter is documented in Sidney Krasnoff’s book, Truman and Noyes: Story of a President’s Alter Ego (Jonathan Stuart Press, 1997), which the publisher advertises as “an EXTRAORDINARY story of the relationship between a Missouri born Baptist, with no formal education beyond high school & a Russian born Jew with an eighth grade education.”444
In the 70s, the mainstream media and publishing houses again played a major role in steering conspiracy theorists toward the CIA trail, while avoiding any hint of Israeli involvement. One major contributor to that effort was A. J. Weberman, with his 1975 book Coup d’État in America: The CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, co-authored by Michael Canfield. According to the New York Jewish Daily Forward (December 28, 2012), Weberman had “immigrated to Israel in 1959 and has dual American-Israeli citizenship,” and is “a close associate of Jewish Defense Organization founder Mordechai Levy, whose fringe group is a spin-off of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane’s militant right-wing Jewish Defense League.” Weberman acknowledged Richard Perle’s assistance in his investigation.445 The Weberman- Canfield book contributed to the momentum that led the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) to reinvestigate in 1976 the murders of JFK and Dr. Martin Luther King, while, in the wake of the Watergate scandal, the Senate had already formed the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities (known as the Church Committee).
It is also in this context that Newsweek journalist Edward Jay Epstein published in The Reader’s Digest (then in his book Legend: the Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald, 1978) an interview of George De Mohrenschildt, a Russian geologist and consultant to Texan oilmen, who had befriended Oswald and his Russian wife in Dallas in 1962. De Mohrenschildt admitted that Oswald was introduced to him at the instigation of Dallas CIA agent J. Walton Moore.446 That piece of information is dubious for several reasons. First, Moore was officially FBI rather than CIA. Second, it rests on a printed interview given by De Mohrenschildt to journalist Edward Epstein a few hours before his death. So De Mohrenschildt was in no position to confirm or deny the words that Epstein ascribed to him. In fact, De Mohrenschildt’s published interview contradicts his own manuscript account of his relationship to Oswald, revealed after his death.447 Moreover, Epstein’s main source for his book Legend: the Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald (1978) is James Jesus Angleton, who was actively spreading disinformation at the time of the HSCA, defending the theory that Oswald was a KGB agent with CIA connections.
De Mohrenschildt’s death was ruled a suicide. The Sherriff’s report mentions that in his last months he complained that “the Jews” and “the Jewish mafia” were out to get him.448 Needless to say, Epstein doesn’t recall De Mohrenschildt mentioning this fear.
The “Jewish mafia” is taboo, in Kennedy research as well as in mainstream news. However, much has been said about the involvement of other “mafias”: “MOBSTERS LINKED TO JFK DEATH,” ran a Washington Post headline in 1977, after the HSCA report was released.449 It is commonly admitted that Jack Ruby belonged to the underworld, but saying he belonged to the Jewish community is considered bad taste. His real name is hardly mentioned in the book by Jewish journalist Seth Kantor, Who Was Jack Ruby? (1978, retitled The Ruby Cover-Up in 1980). Note that Kantor, who was working for the Dallas Times Herald in 1963, had then given the Warren Commission false testimony about a conversation he had had with Ruby in front of Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where Kennedy had been taken, during which Ruby had appeared distressed by the death of his beloved president.450
All the above examples illustrate a fundamental principle of the propaganda destined to maintain Americans in the ignorance of the real nature of the forces that dominate the “deep state.” This propaganda functions on two levels: on the surface is the official lie of the Warren Commission Report (Oswald the lone nut); below that are several lies or half-truths focusing on government and underworld complicity. The involvement of elements from the CIA, implicitly suggested by mainstream media and fully exploited by the controlled opposition, acts as a lure for all skeptics, and keeps most of the conspiracy sphere from going after Israel.
It is important to stress that investigators who focus their attention on the CIA and ignore Israel are not necessarily involved in conscious deception. I agree with Kevin Barrett that “a big part of this is the semi-conscious knowledge that if you ‘go there’ you will never get serious publishing and distribution.” And in the early stage of the investigation, the CIA was the natural suspect for anybody considering the Warren Report as a fraud.
For some investigators, however, persistent self-deception may be linked to a deep-seated ethnic loyalty. It happens that the two most influential pioneers of JFK conspiracy theories are journalist Edward Jay Epstein with his book Inquest (1966), and lawyer Mark Lane (born Levin) with Rush to Judgment (1966), both indicting the CIA. They are the sole investigators mentioned in a “CIA Dispatch” dated January 1967, marked “PSYCH” and “Destroy when no longer needed,” with the heading “RE: Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report.” It is the earliest known use of the term “conspiracy theories,” and it begins like this: “Conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization, for example by falsely alleging that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for us. The aim of this dispatch is to provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries.”451 Indeed, years of reading through the whole spectrum of “JFK research” has convinced me that the evidence linking Oswald to the CIA is at best very weak, whereas there is hard evidence that he was on the payroll of the FBI. This is critically important for two reasons: first, it is well known that FBI and CIA have always been rivals (indeed, spying on each other); second, J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI, was a longtime neighbor and friend of Johnson, and played a critical role in the JFK assassination cover-up by leaking his conclusions that Oswald acted alone even before the Warren Commission convened. (No one could contradict Hoover, who maintained himself at the head of the FBI for 48 years until his death at age 72, spanning nine presidents, thanks to his secrets files on just about everybody that counted in Washington.) This CIA Dispatch 1035–960 is important as the first government document mentioning “conspiracy theories” and as a propaganda program to discredit them. But it also shows that the CIA was forced to enter into damage control mode by dissenters such as Epstein and Lane who insisted on incriminating the CIA, while never mentioning evidence against Israel.
That Israeli agents have been instrumental in spreading conspiracy theories targeting the CIA has become evident in regard to Oliver Stone’s film JFK released in 1991. It starred Kevin Costner in the role of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, who opened an investigation into Kennedy’s assassination in 1967. This film, which shook public opinion to the point of motivating the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, was produced by Arnon Milchan, described in a 2011 biography as being from his youth “one of the most important covert agents that Israeli intelligence has ever fielded,” involved in arms smuggling from the US to Israel.452 In 2013 Milchan publicly revealed his extended activity as a secret agent of Israel, working in particular to boost Israel’s nuclear program.453
It is therefore no wonder that Stone’s film gives no hint of the Mossad connection that Garrison stumbled upon. So it appears that the confrontation between the official theory and the inside-job conspiracy theory is largely staged by Zionist interests, or at least serves the interest of Israel by keeping the public’s attention away from any thought of Israeli participation. At the same time, the half-truth of the CIA’s involvement serves as a constant threat of blackmail against American institutions, forcing the state to defend tooth and nail its impossible theory (magic bullet and all), knowing full well that, if this cover-up is ever revealed, it will be the first to be exposed (for both the operation and its cover-up). Such is the general operating mode by which Israel controls the US: it implicates elements of the US government in its black operations, in order to involve them in the cover-up, as the Zionist-controlled mainstream media serves as a sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.
The same strategy, of playing one lie against another in order to obscure the real issue, has been applied twice in the Kennedy affair. This was, in the very early stage, the strategy employed by Lyndon Johnson and his accomplice Edgar Hoover: while Johnson was circulating within the government the dangerous theory of a communist plot, Hoover spread to the public, as a lid on this bombshell, the reassuring thesis of the lone gunman. The rumor of the communist plot was used as the argument to convince federal and state officials to settle for the lone nut theory as the public version, in the name of the national interest and for the sake of world peace (while the thesis of the communist plot occasionally resurfaces).454 Once the risk of triggering a world war had disappeared, the conspiracy theory of the CIA plot took on the function of the new dangerous thesis that had to be smothered, lest the fire of popular outrage lead to a major crisis. The CIA theory invaded popular culture in the 70s, together with other false leads such as the mafia theory.
Besides this method of “triangulation,” which consists of one camp staging a fight between two other camps while remaining invisible, the general strategy of controlled opposition can be summarized as “contain and contaminate.” First, contain public opinion within strict limits to prevent Israeli involvement from ever being mentioned. Second, contaminate public opinion by a variety of false leads that, by their sheer number, generate a sort of learned helplessness, the sense that “the truth will never be known.” And finally, promote the most bizarre theories that serve as a scarecrow to keep reasonable people away from alternative theories in general.
To summarize, a triple lie has been woven around the Kennedy assassination, each lie corresponding to a fake Oswald: there is the lone-nut Oswald, the Castro-agent Oswald, and the CIA-asset Oswald. None of them is the real Oswald, who has no relevance to the case anyway. So any investigation that focuses on Oswald is bound to lose itself in one of these three false trails. Even the CIA asset Oswald is largely bogus, since in reality, Oswald’s connections to the world of intelligence and espionage mostly involved the Navy. Oswald was a Marine, and it was under the Secretary of the Navy John Connally that he was sent into Russia as a false deserter. Before that, he had been based in Atsugi in Japan with the ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence). The ONI is the oldest American intelligence service (founded in 1881), the first to practice domestic surveillance, and the first to develop a relationship with organized crime, as documented by Professor Jeffrey Dorwart in his two-volume history of the ONI (Naval Institute Press, 1983).
In New Orleans, Oswald kept his post office box in the same building where the ONI had its local office. But while the CIA has always taken the heat for the assassination of President Kennedy, the ONI has managed to escape publicity. When CIA Director Richard Helms was asked by the HSCA about their interest in Oswald after his defection, he said that “it would have been considered a Navy matter,” and recommended they talk to ONI Director Rufus Taylor— who happened to have died two weeks earlier. No wonder the Assassination Records Review Board, formed in the 1990s to reinvestigate Kennedy’s murder, said in a final 236-page report that “the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) was described as a puzzle, if not a black hole.” Johnson’s close ties with the Navy are certainly not unrelated to this black hole.455
For fifty years, the Israeli trail in the Kennedy assassination has been covered up, and anyone who dares mention it is immediately ostracized from the community of respectable Kennedy conspiracy theorists. American congressman Paul Findley nevertheless had the courage to write in March 1992 in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs: “It is interesting to note that in all the words written and uttered about the Kennedy assassination, Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, has never been mentioned.” One single author has seriously examined the case against the Israeli underworld: Michael Collins Piper, in his 1995 book Final Judgment: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy. Piper has been treated like the plague ever since. But his work has grown in influence. In 2013, in his edition of Kennedy’s letters, including those to Ben-Gurion about Dimona, Martin Sandler writes of Piper’s work: “Of all the conspiracy theories, it remains one of the most intriguing.”456 The Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi should be counted among those convinced by Piper. He declared in 2008: “Kennedy decided to monitor the Dimona nuclear plant. He insisted on doing so, in order to determine whether or not it produced nuclear weapons. The Israelis refused, but he insisted. This crisis was resolved with the resignation of Ben-Gurion. He resigned so he would not have to agree to the monitoring of the Dimona plant, and he gave the green light for the killing of Kennedy. Kennedy was killed because he insisted on the monitoring of the Dimona plant.”457 On September 23, 2009, Gaddafi had the guts to demand a new investigation in a speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations.458
Johnson, a “Jewish President”? The assassination of President Kennedy was a hidden coup d’état meant to replace an independent government with a government subservient to Israel’s interests. From the very next day, all of Kennedy’s policies hostile to Israel’s agenda were reversed, without the American people having the slightest idea of what was going on. The American Zionist Council escaped foreign agent status by renaming itself the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The consequence was that, by 1973, as Senator William Fulbright would remark on CBS, “Israel controls the Senate, […] anything Israel wants, Israel gets.”459
Kennedy’s death relieved Israel of all pressure (diplomatic or otherwise) to stop its nuclear program, or even to be forced to acknowledge it. Historian Stephen Green tells it better: “Perhaps the most significant development of 1963 for the Israeli nuclear weapons program, however, occurred on November 22: On a plane flying from Dallas to Washington, D.C., Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States, following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.” Green explains further: “In the early years of the Johnson administration the Israeli nuclear weapons program was referred to in Washington as ‘the delicate topic.’ Lyndon Johnson’s White House saw no Dimona, heard no Dimona, and spoke no Dimona when the reactor went critical in early 1964.”460
Faced with Johnson’s complete lack of interest in that issue, John McCone resigned from the CIA in 1965: “When I cannot get the President to read my reports, then it’s time to go.” Israel acquired its first nuclear bomb around 1967, and the public had to wait until 1986 to know about it, thanks to the publication in the Sunday Times of photographs taken by Israeli technician Mordechai Vanunu inside the Dimona complex. (Vanunu was abducted by the Mossad, convicted of treason in Israel, and imprisoned for 18 years, including 11 in solitary confinement). Under Johnson, military aid to Israel reached $92 million in 1966, more than the total of all previous years combined. Johnson even allowed the delivery of Phantom missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. As for US foreign policy, it took a decidedly pro-Israel turn, under the supervision of Myer Feldman, now promoted special counsel for the Middle East, with the help of Walt and Eugene Rostow, also sons of Jewish immigrants (the first acting as special
counsel for national security, the second as under-secretary of state).461
In 2013, the Associated Press reported on newly released tapes from Johnson’s White House office showing LBJ’s “personal and often emotional connection to Israel.” The tapes showed that during the Johnson presidency, “the United States became Israel’s chief diplomatic ally and primary arms supplier.” An article from the 5 Towns Jewish Times “Our First Jewish President Lyndon Johnson?” recalls Johnson’s continuous support of Jews and Israel in the 1940s and 50s, then his role in the crafting of pro-Israel UN Resolution 242 in November 1967. It concludes: “President Johnson firmly pointed American policy in a pro-Israel direction. In historical context, the American emergency airlift to Israel in 1973, the constant diplomatic support, the economic and military assistance and the strategic bonds between the two countries can all be credited to the seeds planted by LBJ.”
The article also mentions that “research into Johnson’s personal history indicates that he inherited his concern for the Jewish people from his family. His aunt Jessie Johnson Hatcher, a major influence on LBJ, was a member of the Zionist Organization of America.” And, in an additional note: “The facts indicate that both of Lyndon Johnson’s great-grandparents, on the maternal side, were Jewish. […] The line of Jewish mothers can be traced back three generations in Lyndon Johnson’s family tree. There is little doubt that he was Jewish.”462 Johnson, the son of Rebekah Baines and Samuel Johnson, and grandson by his mother of Ruth Huffman, attributed his philo-Semitism to a family inheritance: “Take care of the Jews, ‘God’s Chosen People.’ Consider them your friends and help them any way you can,” he remembered his grandfather saying.463 His wife, known as Lady Bird, would later testify: “Jews have been woven into the warp and woof of all his years.” And is not Johnson the only American president ever to have inaugurated a synagogue—in Austin, a month after becoming President?464 So there is ample ground for believing that Johnson was some kind of crypto-Jew. In any case, there can hardly be any doubt that he was a crypto-Zionist.
With Johnson in control of the White House, Israel could resume its plan of expansion without fear of US interference. Johnson ignored all of Khrushchev’s overtures to pursue the peace process he had started with Kennedy, thus making sure the Cold War would continue to provide the necessary context for America’s support of Israel’s aggression against Egypt. Military involvement in Vietnam, which Kennedy had decided to reduce leading toward full withdrawal by 1965, was instead escalated by Johnson for that very purpose (and for the profit of the military-industrial complex, in which Johnson invested heavily).
In 1967 Israel tripled its area in less than a week, extending to the south, north, and east. It amputated the Gaza Strip and Sinai from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan. Having learned the lesson of its failure in 1956, Israel succeeded in creating the illusion that it was acting in self-defense. By poisoning Soviet espionage with false communications, Israel incited Nasser to begin troop movements in Sharm el-Sheikh near the Israeli border. On May 27, 1967, Nasser blocked access to the Straits of Tiran, cutting the Israeli Navy’s access to the Red Sea. Israeli propaganda, disseminated in the United States, cast these defensive movements as preparations for aggression, justifying a preventive attack by Israel.
Such propaganda could not deceive American intelligence. But Johnson had given Israel a green light in a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, dated June 3: “I want to protect the territorial integrity of Israel […] and will provide as effective American support as possible to preserve the peace and freedom of your nation and of the area.”465 Johnson also asked the CIA to transmit to the Israeli army the precise positions of the Egyptian air bases to be destroyed.
Four days after the start of the Israeli attack, Nasser accepted the ceasefire request from the UN Security Council. It was too soon for Israel, which had not yet achieved all its objectives. It was then that, on June 8, 1967, the USS Liberty, an NSA spy ship, easily recognizable by its large American flag, covered by radar antennae and unarmed, was stationed in international waters off Sinai. For seventy-five minutes, the ship was bombed, strafed, and torpedoed by Israeli Mirage jets and three torpedo boats, with the obvious intention of sinking it without leaving any survivors. (Even the lifeboats were machine-gunned.)
The spy activity of the USS Liberty, some analysts say, was to ensure that Israel would not go beyond the secret US permission to invade Sinai. But the Israeli military hierarchy, and Moshe Dayan in particular, intended to take full advantage of the situation, and as soon as the fighting in Egypt ceased, it redeployed its troops to the north to annex Syrian and Jordanian territories. The attack on the USS Liberty therefore had two objectives: it sought to neutralize US surveillance and with it the American ability to interfere; but it was also conceived as a false flag operation that would have been blamed on Egypt if it had succeeded, that is, if the ship had been sunk and its crew exterminated. Testimonials indicate that Johnson supported this option by intervening personally to prohibit the nearby Sixth Fleet from rescuing the USS Liberty after the crew, despite the initial destruction of its transmitters, had managed to send off an SOS. Everything suggests that the attack on the USS Liberty had been secretly authorized by the White House. Had the subterfuge of blaming the Egyptians worked, the United States would have used the pretext to intervene militarily alongside Israel, probably forcing the USSR to go to war.466
The USS Liberty affair was suppressed by a commission of inquiry headed by Admiral John Sidney McCain II, commander-in-chief of US Naval forces in Europe (and father of Arizona Senator John McCain III). The survivors received a medal in an unadvertised ceremony, accompanied by a formal order never to mention the incident. Only recently have some broken the silence.467
Johnson accepted Israel’s spurious “targeting error” explanation. In January 1968 he invited the Israeli prime minister, Levi Eshkol, to Washington, and warmly welcomed him to his Texas ranch. What’s more, Johnson rewarded Israel by lifting the embargo on offensive military equipment: US-made tanks and aircraft immediately flowed to Tel Aviv. Under Nixon, military sales would reach $600 million in 1971 and $3 billion two years later, making Israel the biggest customer of the US defense industry.
At the end of the Six-Day War, Moscow contented itself with protesting against Israel’s annexation of new territories by breaking diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv and stopping the emigration of its Jewish citizens, which had been accelerating in the previous months. The UN Security Council condemned Israel’s “acquisition of territory by war” and called for “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” This Resolution 242, which has since been frequently invoked in the peace negotiations in the Middle East, has still not been enforced.
On November 27, 1967, faced with Israel’s refusal to comply, De Gaulle denounced in a press conference Israel’s illegal occupation of the territories, “which cannot go without oppression, repression, expulsions. [. . .] Unless the UN itself tore up its own charter, a settlement must be based on the evacuation of the occupied territories.” Some believe that this de Gaulle statement (accompanied by his famous description of the Jewish people as “cocky and domineering”) was not unrelated to the destabilization of his government in May 1968, carried out mainly by Trotskyites with the main agitator being Daniel Cohn-Bendit.468
It bears repeating that the Cold War provided the indispensable context for the Israeli conquest of new territories and the accompanying ethnic cleansing, expanding Israel’s borders and weakening its Arab enemies. Without the Cold War and its propaganda of fear and hatred, there would have been no chance of convincing the American people that Israel was their ally and Nasser their enemy. If we admit that this enterprise had been long premeditated, we may understand that Israel had a major reason to eliminate Kennedy, in addition to those already mentioned: with Kennedy re-elected in November 1964, and Khrushchev simultaneously in power in the USSR, the end of the Cold War loomed before 1968. The monstrous absurdity of the Vietnam War, which had no other purpose than to prolong and intensify this global conflict, would never have taken place.469 With Kennedy and Khrushchev in office, given what is known today of their secret rapprochement, Israel had no chance of accomplishing the tripling of its territory resulting from the Six-Day War. Khrushchev, let us not forget, was the architect of de- Stalinization and the subsequent “thaw.” He rehabilitated many political prisoners, such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whom he authorized to publish his first famous work, A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962). Bill Walton remembers that on November 19, 1963, after signing the first Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, Kennedy declared that “he intended to be the first President of the United States to visit the Kremlin as soon as he and Khrushchev reached another arms control agreement.”470 Kennedy died three days later. Khrushchev, who was in the same position as Kennedy in relation to his hawkish advisors, lost his meager support. He was overthrown in 1964, his country plunged back into the cold, and Solzhenitsyn was again censured.
On August 7, 1970, Mark Lane wrote an article for The Los Angeles Free Press entitled “CIA Killed JFK to Keep War Going.”471 This cannot be true. Neither the CIA nor the Pentagon wanted to “keep the war going.” What the hawks wanted was to quickly end the war by a full scale American victory. If there was one country that had an interest in keeping and maximizing the tension while avoiding a decisive clash, it was clearly Israel.
Serial Assassinations On April 4, 1968, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in circumstances not unlike those surrounding the murder of the late President Kennedy. The name, portrait, and profile of the alleged lone sniper were broadcast almost instantly. As William Pepper, King’s friend and attorney, has shown in An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King (2003), the mentally deficient James Earl Ray had been handled by some unidentified “Raul” (possibly connected to Jack Ruby), who had arranged for his housing in a room overlooking King’s balcony at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, and for a gun to be found under his window with his fingerprints on it. The lawyer appointed to defend Ray had no trouble convincing him to plead guilty in hopes of receiving leniency from the court. Nobody paid attention when Ray recanted three days later, maintaining his innocence thereafter until his death in 1998. Reverend King had embarrassed Johnson’s government through his stance against the Vietnam War, and further through his project to gather “a multiracial army of the poor” in a “Poor People’s Campaign” that would march on Washington and camp on Capitol Hill until Congress signed a “Declaration of the Human Rights of the Poor.”
Since it is seldom pointed out, it is worth emphasizing that King had also strongly disappointed the Jewish-Zionist community, who felt he had never paid back an important debt. King had received strong support—in money, legal advice, media coverage, and other areas— from American Jews, leading to his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Many Jews had helped organize his march on Washington, DC, which culminated in his famous “I have a dream” speech of August 28, 1963, in front of the Lincoln Memorial. As Seth Berkman recalled on the fortieth anniversary of that historic landmark: “Arnie Aronson was a little-known but crucial organizer; Rabbi Uri Miller recited the opening prayer; Rabbi Joachim Prinz delivered a stirring speech just before King’s historic words.” It was the same Joachim Prinz who had in 1934 applauded the Nazi state for being “built upon the principle of the purity of nation and race,” now claiming that Jews have always taught “that when God created man, he created him as everybody’s neighbor.”472
In return for their support, Zionists expected from King some friendly gesture toward Israel. He was officially invited more than once to Israel, but always politely declined (“too busy”). According to Haaretz, “Documents that have come to light 45 years after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. show Israel’s efforts to woo the civil rights leader—a campaign that never came to fruition.”473 After 1967, black nationalists, such as SNCC’s leadership, became increasingly critical of Israel. There was a rift within the civil rights movement, many resenting the disproportionate presence of Jews. King’s visit to Israel would have broken the movement apart. Whether or not King was assassinated for failing to pay his debt, it is a matter of record that, after his death, Zionists abused his legacy by pretending he had expressed support for Israel in a letter written to an anti-Zionist friend, containing the following passage: “You declare, my friend; that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely ‘anti-Zionist’ […]. And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God’s green earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews […]. Anti-Semitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind. In this we are in full agreement. So know also this: Anti-Zionist is inherently anti-Semitic, and ever will be so.”
This letter is a hoax. It first appeared in the book Shared Dreams: Martin Luther King, Jr. & the Jewish Community by Rabbi Marc Schneier (1999), an attempt to fight against rising black anti-Semitism, naively forwarded by Dr. King’s son, Martin Luther King III. Although fully proven fake, it has since been reprinted in many books and web pages. The Anti-Defamation League’s Michael Salberg used that very quote in his July 31, 2001, testimony before the US House of Representatives International Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights.474 And so King provided, once dead, the very support to Israel that he had always refused to give when alive.
Two months after King’s death, it was the turn of Robert Kennedy, John’s younger brother and former attorney general—and a strong supporter of King—to be assassinated in a still more bizarre way. On March 16, 1968, Robert had announced his candidacy for the presidency. All those who had mourned John found hope that Robert would regain control of the White House and, from there, reopen the investigation into his brother’s death. He was assassinated on June 6 in Los Angeles, just after winning the California primaries and thereby becoming the most likely Democratic candidate. The presumed assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, has always claimed, and continues to claim, that he has never had any recollection of his act: “I was told by my attorney that I shot and killed Senator Robert F. Kennedy and that to deny this would be completely futile, [but] I had and continue to have no memory of the shooting of Senator Kennedy.” He also claims to have no memory of “many things and incidents which took place in the weeks leading up to the shooting.”475
Psychiatric expertise, including lie-detector tests, have confirmed that Sirhan’s amnesia is not faked. In 2008, Harvard University professor Daniel Brown, a noted expert in hypnosis and trauma-induced memory loss, interviewed Sirhan for a total of sixty hours, and concluded that Sirhan, who belongs to the category of “high hypnotizables,” acted involuntarily under the effect of hypnotic suggestion: “His firing of the gun was neither under his voluntary control, nor done with conscious knowledge, but is likely a product of automatic hypnotic behavior and coercive control.” During his sessions with Dr. Brown, Sirhan could remember having been accompanied by a sexy woman, before suddenly finding himself at a shooting range. According to Brown, “Mr. Sirhan did not go with the intent to shoot Senator Kennedy, but did respond to a specific hypnotic cue given to him by that woman to enter ‘range mode,’ during which Mr. Sirhan automatically and involuntarily responded with a ‘flashback’ that he was shooting at a firing range at circle targets.” Months after Sirhan recalled these details, Dr. William Pepper found an entry in the police file that showed that Sirhan had visited a police firing range and signed the register just days before the assassination. He was handled by a man who did not sign the register.476
Available information is too sketchy to reconstitute entirely how Sirhan was programmed. We know that he had been treated by a neurosurgeon after a head injury, after which his behavior had changed, according to his mother. We also know he was interested in occultism and attended the Rosicrucian order AMORC, founded by Spencer Lewis. Sirhan may have fallen into the hands of an agent working for CIA MKUltra projects, supervised by the infamous Dr. Sidney Gottlieb (not a Nazi doctor, incidentally, but the son of Hungarian Jews whose real name was Joseph Scheider). Under Gottlieb’s supervision, teams working on a research project named Bluebird had to answer such questions as: “Can a person under hypnosis be forced to commit murder?” according to a document dated May 1951.477
One person who may have been involved in Sirhan’s programming, and who reportedly bragged about it to two prostitutes, is famed hypnotist Dr. William Joseph Bryan Jr. Bryan makes no secret of having worked for the Air Force in the “brainwashing section.” His biggest claim to fame, which he bragged about all the time, was how he had hypnotized the Boston Strangler, Albert Di Salvo, into confessing to the crime. In the notebook found at his home, Sirhan Sirhan had written, in the same style reminiscent of automatic writing as other incriminating words: “God help me . . . please help me. Salvo Di Di Salvo Die S Salvo.” It is surmised he heard the name while under hypnosis.478
Other pages of the same notebook, which Sirhan recognizes as his own handwriting but does not remember writing, are also reminiscent of automatic writing: “My determination to eliminate
R.F.K. is becoming more the more of an unshakable obsession . . . R.F.K. must die RFK must be killed. Robert F. Kennedy must be assassinated R.F.K. must be assassinated . . . R.F.K. must be assassinated assassinated . . . Robert F. Kennedy must be assassinated before 5 June 68 Robert F. Kennedy must be assassinated I have never heard please pay to the order of of of of of.”479
Besides the question of Sirhan’s programming, there are serious ballistic and forensic contradictions in the official explanation of Kennedy’s murder. Evidence suggests that, in fact, none of Sirhan’s bullets hit Kennedy. For according to the autopsy report of Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner Dr. Thomas T. Noguchi, Robert Kennedy died of a gunshot wound to the brain, fired from behind the right ear at point blank range, following an upward angle. Noguchi restated his conclusion in his 1983 memoirs, Coroner, and his conclusion has been backed by other professionals. Yet the sworn testimony of twelve shooting witnesses established that Robert had never turned his back on Sirhan and that Sirhan was five to six feet away from his target when he fired. Moreover, Sirhan was physically overpowered by Karl Uecker after his second shot, and, although he continued pressing the trigger mechanically, his revolver was then not directed toward Kennedy. Tallying all the bullet impacts in the pantry, and those that wounded five people around Kennedy, shows that at least twelve bullets were fired, while Sirhan’s gun carried only eight. On April 23, 2011, attorneys William Pepper and his associate, Laurie Dusek, gathered all this evidence and more in a 58–page file submitted to the Court of California, asking that Sirhan’s case be reopened. They documented major irregularities in the 1968 trial, including the fact that laboratory tests showed the fatal bullet had not been shot from Sirhan’s revolver, but from another gun with a different serial number; thus, instead of incriminating Sirhan, the ballistic test in fact should have proved him innocent. Pepper has also provided a computer analysis of audio recordings during the shooting, made by engineer Philip Van Praag in 2008, which confirms that two guns are heard.480
There are strong suspicions that the second shooter was Thane Eugene Cesar, a security guard hired for the evening, who was behind Kennedy at the time of shooting, and seen with his pistol drawn by several witnesses, one of whom, Don Schulman, positively saw him fire. Cesar was never investigated, even though he did not conceal his hatred for the Kennedys, who according to him had “sold the country down the road to the commies.”481
Just hours after Robert’s assassination, the press was able to inform the American people not only of the identity of the assassin, but also his motive, and even his detailed biography. Twenty- four-year-old Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was born in Jordan and had moved to the United States when his family was expelled from West Jerusalem in 1948. After the shooting, a newspaper clipping was found in Sirhan’s pocket, quoting favorable comments made by Robert regarding Israel and, in particular, what sounded like an electoral commitment: “The United States should without delay sell Israel the 50 Phantom jets she has so long been promised.” Handwritten notes by Sirhan found in a notebook at his home confirmed that his act had been premeditated and motivated by hatred of Israel. Jerry Cohen of The Los Angeles Times wrote, in a front page article on June 6, that Sirhan is “described by acquaintances as a ‘virulent’ anti-Israeli,” (Cohen changed that into “virulent anti-Semite” in an article for The Salt Lake Tribune), and that: “Investigation and disclosures from persons who knew him best revealed [him] as a young man with a supreme hatred for the state of Israel.” Cohen infers that “Senator Kennedy […] became a personification of that hatred because of his recent pro-Israeli statements.” Cohen further learned from Los Angeles Mayor Samuel Yorty that: “About three weeks ago the young Jordanian refugee accused of shooting Sen. Robert Kennedy wrote a memo to himself, […] The memo said: ‘Kennedy must be assassinated before June 5, 1968’—the first anniversary of the Six-Day War in which Israel humiliated three Arab neighbors, Egypt, Syria and Jordan.” In a perhaps cryptic final note, Cohen cited Prof. Joseph Eliash of UCLA, who remarked that “his middle name, Bashara, means ‘good news’.”482
In 2008, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Bobby’s assassination, this tragic day was installed into the post-9/11 mythology of the Clash of Civilizations and the War on Terror. The Jewish Daily Forward wrote: “One cannot help but note the parallel between Kennedy’s assassination and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In both tragic cases, Arab fanaticism reared its ugly head on American soil, irrevocably changing the course of events in this country.” “Robert Kennedy was the first American victim of modern Arab terrorism.” “Sirhan hated Kennedy because he had supported Israel.” Writing for the Boston Globe, Sasha Issenberg recalled that the death of Robert Kennedy was “a first taste of Mideast terror.” He quotes Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, a former volunteer in Robert Kennedy’s campaign (better known as Jonathan Pollard’s lawyer), reflecting: “I thought of it as an act of violence motivated by hatred of Israel and of anybody who supported Israel,” “It was in some ways the beginning of Islamic terrorism in America. It was the first shot. A lot of us didn’t recognize it at the time.”483 The fact that Sirhan was from a Christian family was lost on Dershowitz, who speaks of “Islamic terrorism.” But The Jewish Forward took care to specify Sirhan’s faith, only to add that Islam ran in his veins anyway: “But what he shared with his Muslim cousins—the perpetrators of September 11—was a visceral, irrational hatred of Israel. It drove him to murder a man whom some still believe might have been the greatest hope of an earlier generation.”484
For The Jewish Forward, it seems, the point was to remind the Jews: “See, it’s always the same eternal hatred of Jews and Israel.” For The Boston Globe, the point was rather to tell Americans: “We are all Israelis.” (The Boston Globe is owned by The New York Times, controlled by the Sulzberger family, although Dershowitz would dismiss such a remark as “nonsense” in a 2010 article, “Do Jews Control the Media?”)485
If Sirhan was, like Oswald, a patsy, only of a more sophisticated type (a Manchurian candidate), the next question is: who had an interest in having people believe that Robert was killed by a fanatic Palestinian motivated by hatred of Israel? To raise the question is to answer it. But then, we are faced with a dilemma, for if Robert Kennedy was supportive of Israel, why would Israel kill him? The dilemma is an illusion, since it rests on a misleading assumption, which is part of the deception: in reality, Robert Kennedy was not pro-Israel. He was simply campaigning. As everyone knows, a few good wishes and empty promises to Israel are an inescapable ritual in such circumstances. And Robert’s statement in an Oregon synagogue, mentioned in the May 27 Pasadena Independent Star-News article found in Sirhan’s pocket, didn’t exceed the minimal requirements. Its author David Lawrence had, in an earlier article entitled “Paradoxical Bob,” underlined how little credit should be given to such electoral promises: “Presidential candidates are out to get votes and some of them do not realize their own inconsistencies.” As for the documentary aired on May 20, 1968, mentioning Robert’s trip in Palestine in 1948, it was another campaign ad aimed at Jewish voters. When Robert Kennedy had visited Palestine, one month before Israel declared its independence, he was twenty-two years old. In the series of articles he drew from that trip for The Boston Globe, he praised the pioneer spirit of the Zionists, and expressed the hope that: “If a Jewish state is formed it will be the only remaining stabilizing factor in the near and far East.” But he had also voiced the fears of the Arabs in quite prophetic terms:
“The Arabs are most concerned about the great increase in the Jews in Palestine: 80,000 in 1948. The Arabs have always feared this encroachment and maintain that the Jews will never be satisfied with just their section of Palestine, but will gradually move to overpower the rest of the country and will eventually move onto the enormously wealthy oil lands. They are determined that the Jews will never get the toehold that would be necessary for the fulfillment of that policy.”
Less than five years before his presidential bid, Robert Kennedy had not been, in his brother’s government, a particularly pro-Israel attorney general: he had infuriated Zionist leaders by supporting an investigation led by Senator William Fulbright of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations aimed at registering the American Zionist Council as a “foreign agent” subject to the obligations defined by the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, which would have considerably hindered its efficiency. After 1963, the AZC escaped this procedure by changing its status and renaming itself AIPAC.486 All things considered, there is no ground for believing that Robert Kennedy would have been, as president of the US, particularly Israel-friendly. His brother certainly had not been. The Kennedy family, proudly Irish and Catholic, was known for its hostility to Jewish influence in politics, a classic theme of anti-Kennedy literature, best represented by the 1996 book by Ronald Kessler with the highly suggestive title, The Sins of the Father: Joseph P. Kennedy and the Dynasty He Founded.487 Joe Kennedy had been notoriously critical of Jewish influence during World War II. While US Ambassador in London from 1938 to 1940, he supported Chamberlain’s appeasement policy toward Hitler. When Roosevelt was about to enter the war, he resigned “to devote my efforts to what seems to me the greatest cause in the world today: to help the President keep the US out of the war.” After the war, he reportedly said “the Jews have won the war.”488
All things considered, it can only be by an outstanding hypocrisy that The Jewish Daily Forward wrote, on June 6, 2008: “In remembering Bobby Kennedy, let us remember not just what he lived for, but also what he died for—namely, the precious nature of the American-Israeli relationship.”489 Robert Kennedy’s death had not been a bad thing for the precious “American- Israeli relationship.” As a US president, would he have saved Israel from disaster in 1973, as had Nixon and Kissinger by providing it with unlimited military support against Egypt? Nothing is less sure.
But let us assume, for the sake of argument, that Robert Kennedy was perceived as pro-Israel in 1968. All the same, Israel would have had a compelling motive to eliminate him, for the simple reason that Robert was, above all else, his brother’s heir and avenger.
All of his biographers have stressed his total commitment and loyalty to his brother John, whom he idolized. In return, John had come to trust his judgment on almost every issue, and had made him, not only his attorney general, but also his closest adviser. Robert didn’t have John’s charisma, nor his ambition. He felt that his brother’s coat, which he had literally worn during his first months of mourning, was too big for him. If he finally decided to run for president in 1968, it was under the pressure of destiny. As a lover of Greek tragedies, Robert believed in fate. And he knew that he was, in the eyes of millions of Americans, the legitimate heir to the murdered king—as well as his avenger, even if the thought was rarely voiced. His public appearances led to displays of fervor never seen before for a presidential candidate, and his total lack of concern for his own security made him look all the more genuine.
This exceptional brotherly friendship between John and Robert has an obvious implication for the investigator into Robert’s death. And the fact that this is seldom mentioned is a cause for wonder. As Lance deHaven-Smith has remarked in Conspiracy Theory in America, “It is seldom considered that the Kennedy assassinations might have been serial murders. In fact, in speaking about the murders, Americans rarely use the plural, ‘Kennedy assassinations’. […] Clearly, this quirk in the Kennedy assassination(s) lexicon reflects an unconscious effort by journalists, politicians, and millions of ordinary Americans to avoid thinking about the two assassinations together, despite the fact that the victims are connected in countless ways.”490
John and Robert were two brothers united by an unshakable love and loyalty,. What is the probability that their murders are unrelated? Rather, we should start with the assumption that they are related. For there is a good chance that their solution resides in the link between them. In fact, common sense naturally leads to the hypothesis that Robert was prevented from becoming president because, obsessed with justice as he was, he had to be prevented from reaching a position where he could reopen the case of his brother’s death. Both murders have at least two things in common: Johnson and Israel. First, consider the fact that they precisely frame the presidency of Lyndon Johnson, who controlled both investigations: Johnson became president the day of John’s death, and he retired a few months after Robert’s death. As for Israel’s implication, the plot to blame an anti-Israel Palestinian gives it away in Robert’s case. In John’s case, Israel’s fingerprints are even more unmistakable, and one must wonder why most investigators make so much effort not to see them.
Was there, in 1968, any reason to believe that Robert intended to reopen the investigation into his brother’s death, once in the White House? The answer is yes. From November 22, 1963, Robert was alienated and closely monitored by Johnson and Hoover. Although still attorney general, he knew he was powerless against the forces that had killed his brother. Yet he lost no time beginning his own investigation. He first asked CIA director John McCone, a Kennedy friend, to find out if the plot had anything to do with the agency. In March 1964, he had a face- to-face conversation with mobster Jimmy Hoffa, his sworn enemy, whom he had battled for ten years, and whom he suspected of having taken revenge on his brother. Robert also asked his friend Daniel Moynihan to search for any complicity in the Secret Service, which had been responsible for the president’s security in Dallas.491 And of course Robert suspected Johnson, whom he had always despised and mistrusted. “Johnson lies all the time,” he is reported saying. “I’m just telling you, he just lies continuously, about everything. In every conversation I have with him, he lies. As I’ve said, he lies even when he doesn’t have to.”492
In fact, a week after JFK’s death, November 29, 1963, Bill Walton, a friend of the Kennedys, went to Moscow and handed to Georgi Bolshakov (the agent who had already carried secret communications between Khrushchev and Kennedy) a message for Khrushchev from Robert and Jacqueline Kennedy. According to the memo found in the Soviet archives in the 90s by Alexandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali (One Hell of a Gamble, 1998), they wanted to inform the Soviet premier that they believed John Kennedy had been “the victim of a right-wing conspiracy,” “that only RFK could implement John Kennedy’s vision, and that the cooling that might occur in U.S.- Soviet relations because of Johnson would not last forever.”493
Johnson had several cards in his hand to keep Robert quiet. One of them was his Cuban- Soviet conspiracy theory, which could be reactivated at any time. Its purpose was twofold: it made it possible to silence all conspiracy theories under the veiled threat of nuclear war, but it was also designed to silence Robert Kennedy, for it came with the accessory theory that Castro had killed John Kennedy in retaliation for Robert Kennedy’s attempts on his life. In 1967, in an effort to stop Robert from running for president, Johnson leaked the idea to Washington Post columnist Drew Pearson, who spread the rumor. Hundreds of newspapers reported in March: “President Johnson is sitting on a political H-bomb, an unconfirmed report that Senator Robert Kennedy may have approved an assassination plot [against Castro] which then possibly backfired against his late brother.”494 The obvious implication was that Robert was responsible for his brother’s death. This theory still occasionally surfaces, for example in Gus Russo, Live By the Sword: The Secret War Against Castro and the Death of JFK (1998), which even suggests that Oswald had been originally trained to assassinate Castro.
When the Warren Commission report was released, Robert Kennedy had no choice but to publicly endorse it, but “privately he was dismissive of it,” as his son Robert Kennedy, Jr. remembers.495 To friends who wondered why he wouldn’t voice his doubt, he said: “there’s nothing I can do about it. Not now.”496 Yet Robert contacted an MI6 officer friend of the Kennedy family (dating back to the days when Joe Kennedy was the US Ambassador to England), who made arrangements for two French intelligence operatives to conduct, over a three-year period, a quiet investigation that involved hundreds of interviews in the United States. One of them was André Ducret, head of the security for French President Charles De Gaulle. Over the years, these French secret agents hired men to infiltrate the Texas oil industry, the CIA, and Cuban mercenary groups in Florida. Their report, replete with innuendo about Lyndon Johnson and right-wing Texas oil barons, was delivered to Bobby Kennedy only months before his own assassination in June of 1968.
After Bobby’s death, the last surviving brother, Senator Ted Kennedy, showed no interest in the material. The agents then hired a French writer by the name of Hervé Lamarr to fashion the material into a book, under the pseudonym of James Hepburn.497 The book was first published in French under the title L’Amérique brûle, and translated into eleven languages. No major US publisher was willing to print it, but it nevertheless circulated under the title Farewell America: The Plot to Kill JFK. Its conclusion is worth quoting: “President Kennedy’s assassination was the work of magicians. It was a stage trick, complete with accessories and fake mirrors, and when the curtain fell, the actors, and even the scenery disappeared. […] the plotters were correct when they guessed that their crime would be concealed by shadows and silences, that it would be blamed on a ‘madman’ and negligence.”498
Robert Kennedy had planned to run for the presidency in 1972, but the horrors of Vietnam and the realization of the urgency of the time precipitated his decision to run in 1968. Another factor may have been the opening of an investigation by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison in 1967. Garrison was privileged to see Abraham Zapruder’s amateur film, confiscated by the FBI on the day of the assassination, whose images show that the fatal shot came from the grassy knoll well in front of the president, not the School Book Depository located behind. Garrison’s investigation, however, suffered a smear campaign and the mysterious deaths of his two main suspects and witnesses, Guy Banister and David Ferrie.
When talk of the investigation began, Kennedy asked one of his closest advisors, Frank Mankiewicz, to follow its developments: “I want you to look into this, read everything you can, so if it gets to a point where I can do something about this, you can tell me what I need to know.” He confided to his friend William Attwood, then editor of Look magazine, that he, like Garrison, suspected a conspiracy, “but I can’t do anything until we get control of the White House.”499 He refrained from openly supporting Garrison, believing that since the outcome of the investigation was uncertain, it could jeopardize his plans to reopen the case later, and even weaken his chances of election by construing his motivation as a family feud. Garrison claims that Robert sent him a message through a mutual friend: “Keep up the good work. I support you and when I’m president I am going to blow the whole thing wide open.” But Garrison rightly feared that Robert would not live long enough, and thought that speaking out publicly would have protected him.500
In conclusion, there can be no doubt that, had he been elected president, Robert Kennedy would have reopened the case of his brother’s assassination, in one way or another. This certainly did not escape John’s murderers. They had no other way to stop him than by killing him.
History seems to replay indefinitely the mythical struggle of Seth against Osiris. The story of the Kennedy brothers and their nemesis Lyndon Johnson is an Osirian tragedy, with two Irish- Catholic siblings as Osiris and, playing Seth, a crypto-Jewish Texan who, having seized the throne by murder, hastened to tie the destiny of America to that of Israel. This time, Seth did not give Horus a chance: John John (JFK Jr.), who had turned three on the day of his father’s funeral, was eliminated in a suspicious plane crash on July 16, 1999, in the company of his pregnant wife and sister-in-law.
At the age of 39, JFK Jr. was preparing to enter politics. In 1995 he founded George magazine, which seemed harmless until it began to take an interest in political assassinations. In March 1997, George published a 13-page article by Guela Amir, the mother of Yigal Amir, the assassin of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who had offended the Israeli right-wing by agreeing to a “land for peace” exchange with the Palestinians. Guela Amir revealed that her son operated under the guardianship of a Shin Bet agent opposed to the peace process.501 Thus, John Jr. was eliminated while following in the footsteps of his father, entering politics through the door of journalism and taking an interest in the crimes of the Israeli deep state.
In 1968, the death of Robert Kennedy benefited Republican Richard Nixon, who won the presidency eight years after being beaten by John F. Kennedy. Nixon made Henry Kissinger his national security advisor. Secretary of State William Rogers, who was trying to reduce US military involvement around the world, went head-to-head with Kissinger on the issue of Palestine, finally resigning in 1973 while complaining that Kissinger was sabotaging his efforts for a just and equitable peace. Kissinger replaced Rogers, filling both positions simultaneously for the first time in history, giving him total control over foreign policy. Thus, when Egypt and Syria launched the Yom Kippur War on October 6, 1973, with the aim of recovering the territories illegally occupied by Israel, Nixon responded to the call of Golda Meir and saved Israel from disaster by ordering an airlift supplying the Zionists with almost unlimited weapons. After the war, US military assistance to Israel intensified.
In April 1974, however, Nixon attempted to regain control, and sent the deputy director of the CIA, General Vernon Walters, to a secret meeting with PLO leaders without informing Kissinger. Walters returned convinced of the legitimacy and good faith of Yasser Arafat. In July 1974, Nixon himself traveled to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Israel, and Jordan and criticized Israel’s intransigence. On August 6, 1974, Nixon announced to Kissinger that he intended to cut off all military and economic aid to Israel if it refused to comply with the UN resolutions.502 Just three days later, Nixon was forced to resign by the intensification of the Watergate scandal. Bob Woodward, the journalist who broke the scandal, had a rather curious background, revealed by Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin in Silent Coup (1991): he had been hired by The Washington Post on the recommendation of its president Paul Ignatius, the former Navy secretary appointed by Johnson in 1967. Woodward had worked five years for the Navy in the communications sector with a top-secret security clearance.503
Nixon was replaced by his vice-president Gerald Ford, a former member of the Warren Commission, known for his pro-Israel positions. One of his first decisions was to recognize Jerusalem as capital of the Jewish state, in violation of UN resolutions. Under Ford, the infiltration of Israel into the heart of the American state apparatus entered a new stage, which we will explore in the next chapter.
The Triumph of Zionist Propaganda
During the period studied in this chapter, the United States plunged into a deep, covert war, most of which remains completely hidden from an American public who nevertheless confusedly feels that American democracy died in Dallas on November 22, 1963. The lie about Kennedy’s assassination infected the national psyche, as a repressed secret festering in the unconscious of America and making it vulnerable to other lies. Every lie creates a predisposition to falsehood, and even the need for other lies to cover it. Conversely, the unveiling of a lie may unravel other lies, perhaps even the whole fabric of untruth out of which twentieth-century American history is woven. That is why we still see today, on the part of the government, a fierce desire to perpetuate the lie about Kennedy’s death.
The Johnson years also mark a turning point in American Jewish public opinion. Until the middle of the twentieth century, the majority felt that Jews were doing very well in the Diaspora. Few had any desire to emigrate to Palestine as required by the Zionist creed. Many also feared that the creation of a Jewish state would lead to accusations of dual loyalty. Theodor Herzl had replied in advance to this fear by asserting that, on the contrary, assimilated Jews who did not wish to live in Palestine would be freed from the suspicion of double loyalty by their very choice: “They would no longer be disturbed in their ‘chromatic function,’ as Darwin puts it, but would be able to assimilate in peace, because the present anti-Semitism would have been stopped for ever.”504 Yet even before the creation of Israel, the Zionists, through the Yiddish press in particular, were demanding of American Jews that if they did not emigrate to Israel, they should at least be loyal and generous to Zionism. This moral requirement became even stronger during the first two decades of the post-war period, by which time the Jews had become “the most prosperous, educated, politically influential, and professionally accomplished ethnoreligious group in the United States,” in Yuri Slezkine’s words.505 Zionist pressure tore the fabric of the American Jewish community. “It is not Palestine alone that has been partitioned. A vast number of American Jews were split in two by the same political act,” wrote Alfred Lilienthal in his book What Price Israel? (1953).506 Another anti-Zionist Jewish journalist, William Zukerman, was also subjected to violent attacks for denouncing in 1934 “the threat of Jewish fascism” and then in 1955 “the wave of hysteria currently unleashed among American Jews” by “a propaganda campaign on the part of a foreign government.”507 This quarrel remained essentially internal to the Jewish community, and the voices of the anti-Zionist Jews were largely stifled in the public debate. In the 1960s they became increasingly rare, so that gradually the mass of American Jews was encouraged to feel Israeli at heart.
However, until 1967, American Jews remained discreet about their support for Israel, knowing perfectly well that this support amounted to a dual loyalty. What could it mean to be a Zionist in the United States after 1947, if not allegiance to a foreign power? It was only after the Six-Day War of 1967 that American Jews began to support Israel more actively and openly. Many American Jews could recognize themselves in Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s comment that until June 1967, “I had not known how Jewish I was.”508
There were two reasons for this change of mind. First, Zionist control of the press had become such that American public opinion was easily persuaded that Israel had been the victim and not the aggressor in the Six-Day War. The mainstream media took seriously the statement of Prime Minister Levi Eshkol to the Knesset on June 12, 1967, that “the existence of the State of Israel was hanging by a thread, but the hopes of the Arab leaders to exterminate Israel have been wiped out.”509 Israel’s victory was a divine miracle, according to the storytelling propagated in the United States. It was pure propaganda, as several Israeli ministers and high-ranking officials later disclosed: “I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai on May 14 would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it,” confided chief of staff and future prime minister Yitzhak Rabin (Le Monde, February 28, 1968). “The claim that the danger of genocide was hanging over our heads in June 1967, and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence was only a bluff,” revealed General Matetiyahu Peled, head of the logistics command (Le Monde, June 3, 1972).510
Secondly, after 1967, the crushing deployment of Israeli power against Egypt, a nation supported diplomatically by the USSR, enabled the Johnson administration to elevate Israel to a strategic asset in the Cold War. “For American Jewish elites, Israel’s subordination to US power was a windfall,” Norman Finkelstein explains. “Jews now stood on the front lines defending America—indeed, ‘Western civilization’—against the retrograde Arab hordes. Whereas before 1967 Israel conjured the bogey of dual loyalty, it now connoted super-loyalty. […] After the 1967 war, Israel’s military élan could be celebrated because its guns pointed in the right direction
—against America’s enemies. Its martial prowess might even facilitate entry into the inner sanctums of American power.” Therefore “After the June war, mainstream American Jewish organizations worked full time to firm up the American-Israeli alliance.”511 The New York Times and The Washington Post, which until then had remained relatively restrained, became openly pro-Israel.
Israeli leaders, for their part, stopped blaming American Jews and recognized the legitimacy of serving Israel while residing in the United States. In very revealing terms, Benjamin Ginsberg writes that already in the 1950s, “an accommodation was reached between the Jewish state in Israel and the Jewish state in America”; but it was after 1967 that the compromise became a consensus, as anti-Zionist Jews were marginalized and silenced.512 Thus was born a new Israel, whose capital was no longer only Tel Aviv but also New York; a transatlantic Israel, a nation without borders, delocalized. It was not really a novelty, but rather a new balance between two realities, one old and the other beginning in 1947. Let us not forget that until the foundation of the Jewish state, “Israel” was a common designation of the international Jewish community, as when the British Daily Express of March 24, 1933, printed on its front page: “The whole of Israel throughout the world is united in declaring an economic and financial war on Germany.”513 In May 1947, the Zionists gave the name Israel to the new “Jewish nation” they proclaimed
in Palestine, giving the word a different meaning. The two notions (national Israel and international Israel) are made inseparable by the fact that every Jew in the world is virtually a citizen of Israel, since all he has to do is ask. In the 1970s, the hearts of an increasing number of American Jews began to beat secretly, and then more and more loudly, for Israel. Reform Judaism, which until then had declared itself to be exclusively religious, soon rationalized this new situation by a 1976 resolution affirming: “The State of Israel and the Diaspora, in fruitful dialogue, can show how a People transcends nationalism while affirming it, thus establishing an example for humanity.”514
It is important to emphasize that the commitment of an international Jewish elite capable of influencing foreign governments has been necessary not only for the foundation of Israel, but also for its survival. Even today, Israel’s survival is entirely dependent on the influence of the Zionist network in the United States and Europe (euphemistically called the “pro-Israel lobby”). Again, the parallel with the post-exilic period is valid, since for many centuries the kingdom of Israel was virtually ruled by the Babylonian exiles, with Nehemiah himself retaining his principal residence there. Is it not written in the Book of Baruch that the Babylonian exiles collected money to send to the Jews who remained in Jerusalem? After the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, Babylon remained the center of universal Judaism (and the place where the Talmud was written).
The American Jewish community (New York, for short) now fulfills the same function, as has been pointed out by many prominent Zionists such as Jacob Neusner in A History of the Jews in Babylonia (1965), and, before him, Max Dimont in Jews, God and History (1962). The American Jews who prefer to remain in the United States rather than emigrate to Israel are, Dimont argued, as essential to the community as the Babylonian Jews who declined the invitation to return to Palestine in the Persian era: “Today, as once before, we have both an independent State of Israel and the Diaspora. But, as in the past, the State of Israel today is a citadel of Judaism, a haven of refuge, the center of Jewish nationalism where dwell only two million of the world’s twelve million Jews. The Diaspora, although it has shifted its center through the ages with the rise and fall of civilizations, still remains the universal soul of Judaism.”515 In other words, New York is to Tel Aviv what Jewish universalism is to Jewish nationalism: two sides of the same reality. Although its theoretical vocation is to welcome all the Jews of the world, the State of Israel would collapse if it achieved this goal. It is unsustainable without the support of international Jewry, mobilized by such groups as AIPAC and B’nai B’rith (in Hebrew, “sons of the covenant,” founded in New York in 1843).
Broadly, among the Jewish community, Israel brings together all those who, through their family origins, feel “eternally” or “unconditionally” attached to it. Israel is thus a country of the heart and not just an administrative citizenship. In this sense, the fifty-two American Jewish representative organizations, as well as the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which has been coordinating them since 1956, are part of Israel, insofar as they are openly devoted to Israel’s defense—for example when they fight anti-Zionism by calling it anti-Semitism. From this point of view, Israel has two world capitals: Tel Aviv and New York. Over the years, pushed by their representative elites, American and European Jews have forged such a personal and intimate connection with the State of Israel that the defense of this state has become for them a sort of second nature, a self-preservation instinct. It would seem that Zionism has succeeded in transforming each Jew into an Israeli at heart, even a sleeper agent of Israel. As a result, the phenomenon announced by Alfred Lilienthal in 1953 has been realized: “In contemporary Judaism, the worship of the State of Israel is crowding out the worship of God.”516 Israel has become what Yahweh once was: the soul or god of the Jewish community. Basically, Israel substituted itself for its national god in the same way that Humanity had substituted itself for its universal God during the Enlightenment. The phenomenon can be regarded as indirect proof that Yahweh has never ceased to be for the Jews the god of Israel.
But Israel is not the only divinity of contemporary Jews. For “The State of Israel is God’s answer to Auschwitz,” wrote Abraham Herschel in 1969, in a Trinitarian formula that summarizes the relationship between Yahweh, Israel, and Holocaust.517 The memorial cult of “the Holocaust” (the term refers to a religious sacrifice and is intimately linked in the book of Ezra to the reconstruction of the Temple) is today inseparable from support for Israel; the two form a single amalgamated bond holding the global Jewish community together. The cult was inaugurated during the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Israel (abducted in 1960 in Argentina, tried in 1961, hanged in 1962)—a formidably effective global communications operation, staged by Ben-Gurion “to educate our youth. In addition, this trial is needed because the world has started to forget the Nazi horrors.” He admitted: “The fate of Eichmann, the person, has no interest for me whatsoever. What is important is the spectacle.” The Eichmann trial, declared Mapai’s general secretary in an electoral speech, was intended as “the trial of the Jewish people against eternal anti-Semitism in all nations and through all generations.”518 At the same time, it was necessary to scrub away the still-fresh stain of the collaboration between Zionism and Nazism: it was bad taste to remind the world that Adolf Eichmann, an admirer of Herzl, had visited Palestine for the first time in 1937 under the Haavara Agreement, and had met on this occasion Ben-Gurion’s assistant, Teddy Kollek, future mayor of Jerusalem.519
The Holocaust, the avatar of Yahweh, escapes history to join the category of myth, which is why “it is not within reach of historians.”520 This sacralization of the Holocaust through permanent media brainwashing fulfills two complementary functions: guilt in the Gentiles, fear among the Jews. Through guilt, the Gentiles are kept in check and all their criticisms are neutralized under the threat of passing for potential gas chamber operators. Through fear, the Jewish community is kept under control and their loyalty to Israel strengthened, Israel being presented to them as an “insurance policy,” a fortress (preferably well armed) in which to take refuge in the event of a new Holocaust. The spiritual power of this cult is such that the trauma of the Holocaust has now been proven to be passed from generation to generation on the genetic level, via what is called “epigenetic inheritance” according to a research team at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, led by Rachel Yehuda.521
Every religion has its priests. It was in the late 1960s that Elie Wiesel became an international star of the Holocaust. His book Night, published in 1958 with a preface by François Mauriac, was translated into German in 1962 with, as if by magic, the “crematory ovens” (intended to incinerate the dead) systematically transformed (11 times) into Gaskammer, or “gas chambers,” which thus make their appearance in force in Holocaust mythology. As Alain Soral put it, “As founding sacrifice, the gas chamber has replaced the cross of Christ.”522
Shortly after Elie Wiesel’s Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, controversy erupted. Wiesel was denounced as an impostor by Miklos Grüner, a friend and fellow prisoner of the real Lazar Wiesel at the camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald.523 But what does it matter? Elie Wiesel remains to this day “the consummate narrator of the death and resurrection of the Jewish people.”524 In the writings of Wiesel and company, the Holocaust has become an initiatory mystery, as ironically illustrated by Norman Finkelstein, himself the son of two survivors of the Warsaw ghetto and the camps, who quotes from Wiesel’s book Against Silence: “Wiesel intones that the Holocaust ‘leads into darkness,’ ‘negates all answers,’ ‘lies outside, if not beyond, history,’ ‘defies both knowledge and description,’ ‘cannot be explained nor visualized,’ is ‘never to be comprehended or transmitted,’ marks a ‘destruction of history’ and a ‘mutation on a cosmic scale.’ Only the survivor-priest (read: only Wiesel) is qualified to divine its mystery. And yet, The Holocaust’s mystery, Wiesel avows, is ‘noncommunicable’; ‘we cannot even talk about it.’ Thus, for his standard fee of $25,000 (plus chauffeured limousine), Wiesel lectures that the ‘secret’ of Auschwitz’s ‘truth lies in silence.’”525
As an “ideological representation,” Norman Finkelstein explains, “The Holocaust” is “a coherent construct” whose dogmas “sustain significant political and class interests. Indeed, The Holocaust has proven to be an indispensable ideological weapon. Through its deployment, one of the world’s most formidable military powers, with a horrendous human rights record, has cast itself as a ‘victim’ state, and the most successful ethnic group in the United States has likewise acquired victim status.” As a matter of fact, “organized Jewry remembered The Holocaust when Israeli power peaked, [and] when American Jewish power peaked. […] Thus American Jewish elites could strike heroic poses as they indulged in cowardly bullying.”526
The sacralization of the Holocaust, while sealing the exceptionality of the Jewish people as unsurpassable victim of history, allows it to universalize its enemy. Ben-Gurion had already, speaking of the imminent war in Palestine in 1947, warned that the Arabs were “the disciples and even teachers of Hitler, who know only one way of solving the Jewish problem: total destruction.” But it was during preparations for the Six-Day War that what Idith Zertal calls the “Nazification of the Arabs” began. Equating Nasser with Hitler became a common theme of Israeli propaganda. Haaretz led the campaign with such articles as “The Return of the Hitlerite Danger,” where the paper’s military correspondent claimed that Israel must “crush the machinations of the new Hitler right away, while it is still possible to do so.” Even Ben-Gurion, the head of state, joined in: “I have no doubt that the Egyptian dictatorship is being instructed by the large number of Nazis who are there.”527
The Holocaust is universal and polymorphous. After being incarnated in Nazi Germany, it can return in the guise of a new enemy. For there are, forever, only two camps: Israel and the rest of the world. The enemy changes identity but remains the same, universal and timeless: Hitler was himself only an avatar of Nebuchadnezzar, and the Holocaust the latest biblical episode. In the Bible itself, moreover, the enemies follow and resemble each other: Egypt, Babylon, and Persia form a series, completed by Rome, but at bottom they are one in the Jewish imagination. They are all Esau. They are interchangeable: the story of Esther could just as well happen in Babylon, and that of Daniel in Persia.