The Zionist Conspiracy

Are the rumors true that Jews are planning to take over the world's governments and banks?

Filed under Conspiracies, Religion

Skeptoid #271
August 16, 2011
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Today we're going to point the skeptical eye at conspiracy theories that claim Jews are trying to take over the world. There is not just one version of this, there are many; and in their various forms, they've been around for centuries. There's hardly been a moment in the past 2,500 years when some group somewhere has not been fomenting mistrust and suspicion of Jews and their motives: The Jews want to take over your government, the Jews want to take control of your banks, the Jews want to abolish your church. The accuracy of these claims is one thing; the history behind them is another.

Although the word Zion means many things to many cultures, it's usually a place of peace and unity, and cross-cultural brotherhood. However it's most often associated with the Jewish people in particular. In that lexicon, the word Zion typically refers to the "promised land", the homeland promised by God to the Jews according to Judeo-Christian canon. Zion can also refer more specifically to the city of Jerusalem or the location of Solomon's Temple, and sometimes to the Biblical land of Israel.

Historically, a Zionist was any person who fought for the establishment of a Jewish nation in Zion. This was finally fulfilled over the course of many bloody months from 1947 to 1949, as various nations fought over the partitioning of Jerusalem and the surrounding region. The nation of Israel has held a tenuous foothold ever since, and it remains the political and spiritual homeland of all Jewish people all over the world. Since its establishment, the mission of Zionists has been to defend and strengthen Israel, and to oppose challenges to its sovereignty; in short, Zionism is Zionist nationalism.

Some critics of Zionism frequently broaden the application of the word Zionist to include any people anywhere who express support for Israel. Suffice it to say that antisemitism is not your everyday bigotry. Its roots run deep, it is cross cultural, and it's been institutionalized as an official national policy by some of the world's greatest superpowers. Nazi Germany is the only most obvious example of antisemitism as policy, but it's hardly the only one. 500 years before Christ, in the time of ancient Persia, Xerxes ordered all Jews in his kingdom to be killed. Various Roman emperors and Greek kings ordered the Jews to be exterminated. While the Christians prosecuted their Crusades against Muslims and Jews, the Muslims were forcing Christians and Jews to either convert or be killed. In the 1300s, Jews were widely burned at the stake throughout Europe for "causing" the plague. In the 1400s, the Spanish Inquisition burned some 30,000 Jews for refusing to leave their country. But this list could go on and on ad nauseum. Jews have always been blamed for something, and were always at the receiving end of the genocide. There are scant examples in history of Jews doing the same to anyone else.

And yet claims of Zionist Conspiracy have always persisted, lack of evidence notwithstanding. The most significant evidence of the existence of the Zionist conspiracy to rule the world appeared in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1903. Znamya was a small, short-lived newspaper published by an extreme nationalist faction called the Black Hundreds, for whom antisemitism was a core value. Znamya serialized 24 articles over 9 issues of the paper titled The Protocols of the Sessions of the World Alliance of Freemasons and of the Sages of Zion. They were, apparently, the recorded minutes of that group's meeting which took place sometime in the late 1800s. The headline was "A Program for World Conquest by the Jews: Minutes of a Meeting of the Elders of Zion". Its articles covered topics such as economic war, methods of conquest, acquisition of land, a transitional government, propaganda, destruction of religion, organizing disorder, and the control of stock markets. Russian ultra-nationalist Pavel Krushevan, the publisher of Znamya and openly antisemitic, refused to give his source for the articles, other than to say they were received by him in French and were translated.

The Protocols of Zion, as they were commonly called, were widely translated and reprinted. They appeared in numerous Russian publications for the next 14 years, and then arose in the west. Britain, the United States, and Germany began publishing them around 1920, and they've been available in print somewhere ever since. Today they are still published throughout the Middle East, in Venezuela, in Malaysia, and Indonesia; most often in Muslim countries.

The first Western publication is believed to have been in the Times of London on May 8, 1920, under the headline "The Jewish Peril". While some readers were shocked at what they believed the Jews were up to, others were more skeptical; and one of the Times' correspondents finally uncovered a shocker. A year after the publication, in August of 1921, the Times published a followup called "The End of Protocols" in which it was revealed that much of The Protocols of Zion was a nearly exact copy of an 1864 book by Maurice Joly called The Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu. Joly, a conservative French lawyer, wrote it as a satirical account of how Napoleon III was planning to take over the world. Large sections of it were plagiarized word-for-word in the original French, literally replacing the word "French" with "the world" and replacing "Napoleon III" with "Jews". As Joly's book was (and still is) available for anyone to examine, this revelation established conclusively that The Protocols of Zion were a hoax.

But who was the hoaxster? Pavel Krushevan himself, perhaps? Many authors advanced theories over the ensuing 70 years, but it wasn't until 1992 and the collapse of communism that certain Soviet archives were unsealed and made available. Russian researcher Mikhail Lépekhine spent five years going through the records, and the story he unearthed was worthy of a modern spy tale.

In the opening years of the 1900s, the Imperialist Russian government correctly saw impending revolution as a very real possibility. The primary job of the Okhrana, the Russian secret police, was to stave this off as best they could; and in a war of ideologies, propaganda is usually the best weapon. Antisemitism was endemic in the Imperial government (indeed, discrimination against Jews was a national policy), and blaming the empire's problems on the Jews was a familiar tactic of the regime. Pyotr Rachkovsky was the head of Okhrana based in Paris, where he could keep an eye on the many revolutionaries who had sought safety in France. Around 1900, while researching propaganda campaigns, he came across The Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu. Documents unearthed by Lépekhine show that Rachkovsky's office hired the author and political activist Matvei Golovinski to write something up showing that the Jews were behind everything the revolutionaries opposed. Golovinski wrote The Protocols of Zion using the text provided by Rachkovsky as a guide, and it was then delivered back to Russia by their agent Yuliana Glinka. She delivered it into the eager hands of publisher Pavel Krushevan, and the rest is history. Mikhail Lépekhine's findings were written up in the French magazine Le Figaro in August of 1999, and again to much greater attention in L'Express a few months later.

In what seems like an almost pitiful last gasp of a dying regime, as the revolution progressed, the Imperialists began calling the Bolshevik revolutionaries themselves Jews. The term Judeo-Bolshevism was invented to associate Jews with communism, and later became one of Adolf Hitler's pet phrases. The ironic footnote to all of this is that Golovinski, author of the most infamous antisemitic document in modern history, changed allegiances after the 1917 revolution and became a Bolshevik himself.

With The Protocols of Zion having been so thoroughly proven to be a hoax as early as 1921, its continued publication and endorsement by such world leaders as Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suggests that belief in the Zionist Conspiracy is driven by something other than true history or evidence. Many scholars have identified three basic types of antisemitism:

  1. Ancient antisemitism, which despised Jews because they were poor and considered inferior. Their culture had a late start and few friends, and they never got a strong foothold.

  2. Modern antisemitism, on the other hand, is largely based on suspicion of the Jews trying to control the world economy. Since the establishment of Israel, suddenly Jews have been considered to be in a position of strength from which they can wield international power.

  3. Christian antisemitism, which has its roots in Jewish deicide. This is the belief that all Jews, everywhere, are responsible for the execution of Jesus Christ. This underlying theme has been the primary driver of European antisemitism for two thousand years.

Why were the Jews always on the receiving end of holocausts, crusades, inquisitions, and imperial edicts? Why are there no stories of Jews riding forth and exterminating their enemies? The Christians and the Muslims fought each other, and both fought the Jews; we don't seem to have ever seen the Jews fighting back. The simple answer is that throughout most of history, there has never been a Jewish homeland. For 2,000 years, there have been no Jewish kings to send armies against the Christians and the Muslims. There were no Jewish dungeons in which confessions of apostasy could be extracted. The Jewish culture has been largely a civilization of refugees ever since Biblical times. They are history's greatest scapegoats and toughest survivors.

$2/mo $5/mo $10/mo One time

So far, not a single one of any of the myriad Zionist conspiracies has ever come true or been evidenced to exist. The only foundations supporting the current Zionist conspiracies are profound, historically-rooted antisemitism, and hoaxed or nonexistent evidence. Centuries of oppression have marginalized the Jewish community and they remain a tiny minority in the world; hardly the likely suspects to rise and conquer the world's economies and governments.

Some conspiracies are, undoubtedly, real. But of the many conspiracy theories that claim to predict future events, like a Zionist world government, not one has ever materialized. To those who promote or fear any given Zionist conspiracy, consider that all of its predecessors has faded away unfulfilled. I urge you instead to find your own Zion, a place of peace, unity, and cross-cultural brotherhood.

But if you insist on having evidence for the Zionist conspiracy, the official logo for the 2012 Olympic Games in London — a grouping of jagged polygons — is said to spell out the word Zion. Watch out.

Follow me on Twitter @BrianDunning.

Brian Dunning

© 2011 Skeptoid Media, Inc. Copyright information

References & Further Reading

Conan, E. "Les secrets d'une manipulation antisémite." L'Express. LEXPRESS.fr, 18 Nov. 1999. Web. 10 Aug. 2011. <http://www.lexpress.fr/culture/livre/les-secrets-d-une-manipulation-antisemite_817525.html>

Hadassa, B. The Lie That Wouldn't Die: One Hundred Years of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Portland: Vallentine Mitchell, 2005.

Handwerk, B. "Anti-Semitic "Protocols of Zion" Endure, Despite Debunking." National Geographic News. National Geographic Society, 11 Sep. 2006. Web. 13 Aug. 2011. <http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/09/060911-zion.html>

Joly, M. Dialogue aux enfers entre Machiavel et Montesquieu. Bruxelles: Impr. de A. Mertens et fils, 1864.

Lendering, J. "Ancient Antisemitism." Articles on Ancient History. Livius, 25 Jul. 2001. Web. 9 Aug. 2011. <http://www.livius.org/am-ao/antisemitism/antisemitism02.html>

Philo Judaeus of Alexandria. Against Flaccus. Alexandria: (Ancient publication), c.40.

Pipes, D. Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From. New York: The Free Press, 1997. 85-87.

Reference this article:
Dunning, B. "The Zionist Conspiracy." Skeptoid Podcast. Skeptoid Media, Inc., 16 Aug 2011. Web. 21 Apr 2014. <http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4271>

Discuss!

10 most recent comments | Show all 201 comments

As a Jew, I can tell you that anti-Semitism has nothing to do with being anti-Zionist. What happened to the Palestians in 1947, and continuous oppression of the same people illustrates the danger of Zionism. Many, many Jews oppose Zionism, which goes against the teachings of the Jewish Faith. Zionist used the Holocaust, which did happen and was a horrible atrocity, to get the UN to give the State of Israel 56% of Palestine's land in November 47'. I love how anyone that questions or opposes Israel is automatically anti-Semitic, according to the geopolitical arena and news media. Besides, the word Semitic actually refers to several cultures, languages, and ethnicities not Just one religion, group of people, or country. The article demonstrates a confirmation bias as per the sources cited.

Daniel, St. Petersburg FL
September 15, 2013 1:33pm

>Jews have been kicked out of every country that has welcomed them with open arms throughout history
>Its everyone else's fault but the Jews
This is what shills actually believe

bob, Arizona
October 24, 2013 8:04am

Sometimes, I think that maybe we Jews SHOULD take over the world. Then we could put an end to the persecution.

Then I realize how impossible it would be to organize a conspiracy out of Jews. it would be like herding cats.

Meshakhad, Redmond, WA
November 08, 2013 8:15pm

There is a huge hypocrisy when it comes to Zionism and its supporters and here are a few examples.

1. Israel is up and arms about Iran's nuclear program, yet Israel has over 200 undeclared nuclear weapons.

2. The Jews believe they are entitled to a "Jewish only homeland" and believe they deserve special treatment and circumstances, Yet they criticize American fundamentalists for wanting the same exact thing for America, and at the same time they believe that the Palestinians do not deserve their own homeland that Israel stole from them.

3. The Jewish lobby plagues American Government with duel citizens that put Jewish interest before American, Yet there are 0 duel citizens working for the Israeli government.

supporting Israel is supporting corruption, war , death, and destruction. Any good hearted American wouldent stand for it!

Tim, Guntersville Al
November 09, 2013 11:59pm

There is NO JEWISH OPPRESSION OF PALESTINIANS, NO OCCUPATION OF PALESTINIAN LAND BECAUSE "PALESTINIANS," PERIOD.

The commentators who continue to make these bullsh*t claims validate Brian's research 1,000% in every aspect, except why there are so many blithering idiots who believe the dog poop piled high and deep in their Leftist media who are totally controlled by the greatest propaganda organization since Josef Goebbels and Adolf Hitler.

In fact, the entire Palestinian national movement was born and bred on Naziism. That movement had nothing whatsoever to do with pushing the Big Lie that "Palestine" was a real nation with its own definable borders, governments, kings, and a separate ethnicity from that of every other Arab inhabitant.

The Communist/Socialist/Marxist axis of Evil in the Public Educational Systems of the US and Europe have based much of their curriculum about Israel and the Jews on the Protocols fraud. It is now no secret that the Holocaust had a lot of willing helpers among the countries in Europe conquered by the Nazis.

Catholic anti-Semitism and Muslim anti-Semitism provided the fire for Hitler's ovens.

The colossal morons who are the most virulently anti-Semitic are also the dumbest people who ever walked the face of the Earth when it comes to the history and contributions of the Jewish people.

Western civilization would not exist without the Jews. They provided the moral, political, and scientific foundations for it. You can't debunk the truth.

Jorges, Atlanta, Gas
February 11, 2014 5:10am

Brian, you seem to have completely left out the facts regarding the Israel/Palestinian conflict. You claim that no Jews have ridden forth into battle, and yet horrific crimes against humanity have been committed by Israel repeatedly in the west bank, along with lies, deceit, and murder of innocent civilians. These aggressive acts have been made in a false pretense of protecting the nation of Israel, while in reality it is about destroying the opponent and expanding in a demonstration of survivalist behavior. It is unfortunate that this is the reality, however by skirting these major issues regarding Israel and Zionism you have completely destroyed the integrity of your article, and perhaps even reinforced the case that Zionism is indeed a problem that humanity needs to address in order to evolve.

To those comments resembling Jorges, Atlanta, Gas; your tone is defensive and vindictive which often is an admission of guilt. As humans we must move forward towards something that will benefit humanity, a Pareto efficient outcome ideally. There are many evils that are hindering humanity and we must identify all of them and find a solution otherwise humankind surely will destroy itself. This is not about who is best, entitled, or the most powerful. This is about finding those groups that are more dedicated to themselves than in joining the human race in its natural evolution into a sustainable civilization. This is not about who is right or who is wrong. This is about what is right

Anonymous, USA
March 03, 2014 12:33am

Boggles the mind what some people can think about the reality we all share.
No one group controls the world and if they did I'd like a word with them about the piss poor job they are doing.

Steve, Boston
March 06, 2014 12:32pm

As a Christian, who loves the Jews, I can say one can do so without being Zionist. Read the insights of those Torah believing Jews, who are also not Zionists.

Our country has its own history of pushing people off their land and containing them on reservations.

God is the God of Abraham's seed whom He promised to bless, including those of Ishmael. God is a God of justice, and loving your neighbor as yourself.

God is a God of truth. God is no respecter of persons. Should the Jews be God's chosen people, God would hold them to a high standard of righteousness. There are Gentiles, Jews and Muslims, who would seek for peace above war. May the God of peace bring this to pass!

Rebecca, Montana
March 29, 2014 11:18pm

Zionists already control the banks and have done in Europe as far back as Napoleon. They helped defeat Napoleon though the Zionist movement wasn't established until 1897. To understand the problem with Israel one must understand religious scripture. The Jews were banned from the Holyland until the Messiah returned and right now, not Messiah has returned. This Israel is an imposter and likely the Israel that will usher in the Antichrist eventually. I don't know what this person has been reading but it is designed to mislead people. Jews are the essence of the Bible and that is the only guidance that should be seeked when speaking about this group of people.

Isa, Tehran
April 09, 2014 7:38am

Even Martin Luther had his own opinions about Jews. So blaming the Jews for everything has been around since the Biblical days.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther

Candy, Gainesville, FL
April 13, 2014 3:51pm

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