The International Jewish Conspiracyrnby Paul GottfriedrnAny conversation about conspiracy theories inevitably turnsrnto “the Jews.” On one hand, the critics of “internahonalrnZionism” claim that U.S. foreign policy (or the world’s resources)rnare being devoted to promoting Israel’s interests; on thernother, there are those who warn against an “international Jewishrnconspiracy.” The second group can be traced at least as far backrnas the mid-19th century. Ranging from relatively reasonable socialrncommentators to conspiratorial nuts, members of thisrngroup sometimes hallucinate about the Protocols of the LearnedrnElders ofZion, an agglutinative text that owes much of its presentrnform to the czarist secret police of the early 20th centur)’.rnMaking its way through France, Austria, and finally the UnitedrnStates, this steadily embellished narrative eventually enteredrnthe Middle East as an anti-Israeli document.rnBehind the setting of the Protocols (in which Jewish dignitariesrnassemble in a Prague cemetery to discuss plans to takernover the world) is a less bizarre belief Jews are clannish as wellrnas resourceful, and this combination of traits may make themrnappear a unified force determined to conquer the gentile world.rnDespite exaggerations, psychologist Kevin MacDonald makesrnthis argument in his books. MacDonald’s view of coordinatedrnJewish efforts does not require the existence of a Jewish state. Itrnassumes a conscious, collective attempt by Jews in high placesrnto acquire or expand power on behalf of their group—sometimesrnto the detriment of gentiles.rnUntil recently, however, Jewish infighting in the UnitedrnStates was far more intense than anything Jews suffered at thernhands of WASP patricians. Dislike between German Jews andrnOstjuden in New York could fill tomes of sociopsychologicalrnPaul Gottfried is a professor of humanities at ElizabethtownrnCollege in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, and the author,rnmost recently, of After Liberalism: Mass Democracy in thernManagerial State (Princeton).rnstudies. A common Jewish explanation for why there was notrnmore done to help Eastern European Jews escape the holocaustrnis that snooty German Jews in the United States blocked the entryrnof other, less socially acceptable Jews.rnMoreover, there is no indication that Jewish liberals in thernmedia or at universities behave differentiy from their pseudo-rnGhristian counterparts. At one point, Yale and Princeton bothrnhad Jewish heads, while Harvard was led by a Gatholic presidentrnwith a Jewish father. Still, these university presidents werernselected not because of concerted Jewish efforts but because thernold WASP establishment looked favorably upon them, and becausernthey may have exerted themselves a bit harder to climbrnup the greasy pole of professional success. There seems to be norncentral Jewish control responsible for the rise of Jewish liberalrnacademics and mediacrats to eminence. And whatever obnoxiousrnideology Jewish liberals spread, others in the United States,rnCanada, and Europe would happily promote it in their absence.rnZionists, in contrast to other Jews, focus their attention onrnbuilding and supporting a Jewish state — and on trying to convincernJews (other than themselves) to settle there. This movementrnarose in the late 19th centur)’ in Central and Eastern Europe.rnDespite some reservations among Eastern Europeanrnrabbinic leaders and the expected opposition of assimilatedrnGerman Jews in Germany and the United States, the Zionistsrnembraced what turned out to be a winning cause. But Zionistsrndid not invent Jewish nationalism; it was there all along, even ifrnit took the Zionists to give that sentiment a political expression.rnSince the creation of Israel in 1948, this political expressionrnhas been easy to recognize, both outside the Jewish homelandrnand within it. Represented in the United States by suchrnadvocates as the American Israel Public Affairs Committeern(AIPAC), Zionist activists have sometimes aroused angerrnthrough their intimidating tactics. They have targeted politi-rnMARCH 2001/23rnrnrn