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“The Protocols of Zion”
by Jared Israel
[Posted 26 November 2002]
[ www.tenc.net ]
I wouldn't be telling you this except it is a TV adaptation of "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," Adolph Hitler's favorite book.
You may not have heard of "The Protocols" of Zion, or you may have heard that it is a hoax. Or perhaps you have heard people say there is a Jewish plot to rule the world and "The Protocols of Zion" is in some way involved.
Those who push "The Protocols" generally claim it is the minutes of a meeting of Jewish leaders, whom the book bizarrely calls "Elders of Zion." Sometimes they say these "Elders" met in 1897 in Berne, Switzerland, at the time of the first Zionist conference; other times in Paris. (Just for the record, the Zionist conference in Berne was an entirely open affair.)
The most obvious theme of "The Protocols" is that Jewish people are supposed to be this homogeneous block of conspirators with nearly supernatural powers, and led by cunning Masters of Deceit (the "Elders of Zion") who are united behind the goal of ruling over gentiles.
To help conquer the gentiles (or, in Yiddish, the 'goyim') "The Elders of Zion" supposedly employ, of all people, the Fraternal Order of Masons, who have the task of infiltrating and undermining the always-clueless gentiles.
The Protocols was shown to be a hoax in a superb series of articles published in the London Times back in 1921. We have scanned the relevant editions of the London Times and I am proud to say you can view them, for the first time on the Internet, at Emperor's Clothes. (1)
But what is the point of "The Protocols" hoax?
Hoax with a Purpose
It is very easy to fall into an error regarding the Protocols.
That error is to see it exclusively as an expression of hatred of Jewish people. Of course, it is violently anti-Semitic. However, as we shall see, it was written, and is still used today, to accomplish a goal.
"The Protocols" is a convenient tool for those who hold power and wish to distort, forestall or undermine democracy.
Ordinary people everywhere are susceptible to racist arguments. So undemocratic establishment forces often try to mobilize people's fears of particular ethnic groups so as to distract them from the real source of inequality and oppression: the establishment elite. The ethnic group targeted has often been Jewish people because they are a distinct minority in many countries.
"The Protocols" have been used in this manner to mobilize prejudice and fear against Jews. The first and most obvious effect is to provide a scapegoat on whom to blame all social problems and discontent, thus diverting the majority from organizing against the real holders of power.
But there is yet another purpose, perhaps more significant. "The Protocols" states that progressive movements - as far back as the 18th century movement for Liberty, Equality and Fraternity - are all secretly the work of Jews. By spreading the ideas of "The Protocols", fascist operatives, often covertly employed by seemingly respectable Establishments, can accuse those who demand change or who expose abuses of being agents of 'The Jews'. Since anti-Jewish prejudice (anti-Semitism) is common anyway, presenting the struggle for social reform as being controlled by 'The Jews' is an attempt to convince people that social reform is bad for them. Thus, the ideas in "The Protocols" are used to poison the very terms of political discourse and to destroy movements for reform, isolating honest reformers, or even transforming such movements into tools of the Establishment. Moreover, if the fear of an evil conspiracy of "Elders of Zion" can be sufficiently whipped up, ordinary people can be gotten to surrender rights and to engage in criminal acts which they would never permit, let alone support, under normal circumstances.
As I noted earlier, researchers have shown that "The Protocols" is a work of fiction. But it was not originally written mainly to attack Jews or Masons. Rather, it employed the rhetorical device of a supposed Jewish/Mason conspiracy to attack democrats trying to reform the Russian Empire, accusing them of being agents of the imaginary Jewish conspiracy.
The Russian Czar's secret police, the Okhrana, fabricated "The Protocols" in the 1890s. Pyotr Ivanovich Rachkovsky, then head of the Russian Secret Police abroad, probably ordered the writing of the Protocols. Rachkovsky was a big advocate of using anti-Semitism to attack reformers and revolutionaries. After the Russian Revolution of 1905, he helped organize the fascist-like Black Hundreds in Russia. Moreover, his specialty was the creation of false documents:
The goal of "The Protocols" was to convince Russians that the liberal reformers and social revolutionaries threatening the power of the Russian aristocracy would destroy Russia. That is why we find that the Protocols includes statements like this one:
As you will recall, advocates of "the Protocols" claim it is the minutes of a meeting of some "Elders of Zion." Pretending for the moment that these Elders existed, they would hate the Aristocrats (since they are trying to undermine them). So why on earth would they make flowery, overblown statements about the mystical glories of the Russian aristocracy? Why would they say that the Russian autocracy was chosen by God?
They wouldn't. But advocates of the Russian aristocracy would. Especially if they were writing a pamphlet which used a fictional meeting of "Elders of Zion" as a device to boost the Aristocracy and paint its opponents as "agents of the Jews".
Once you understand that "The Protocols" was a hoax intended to prevent social reforms in quasi-feudal Russia, it makes sense. But if you try to read "The Protocols" as the minutes of a supposed meeting of real conspirators, it's an incoherent mess. I'll show you an example of that in Part 2.
[Footnotes & Further Reading Follow Appeal]
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Footnotes and Further Reading
(1) On 16-18
August 1921, Philip Graves published his famous London
Times articles showing how "The Protocols of Zion"
was a plagiary. We have scanned his articles into PDF
files and also transcribed them for easier reading. All
is accessible at
(2) Norman Cohn, 1981 (1969), Warrant For Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and 'The Protocols of Elders of Zion', Chico, CA: Scholars Press
(3) Sergyei A. Nilus, 1958 (1921), Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, London, UK: The Britons
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