Bill O’Reilly’s fake “War on Christmas,” anti-semitism, and the “gay agenda”

One of the most interesting books I’ve read lately was The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion by graphic artist Will Eisner.
It’s an illustrated account of how a forged document (The Protocols) meant to demonize Jews was produced in the early part of last century using plagiarized materials, and how it became part of a massive world-wide anti-semitism campaign; one that eventually lead to the holocaust and communism, and to today’s ultra-right wing conspiracy movements. Eisner’s book is a compelling account of the history of this bloody document that just won’t seem to die.
Read this book first… then go read another book I read this year, called “Them: Adventures with Extremists.” Then go watch Fox News for a day, and you’ll begin to see all the connections– and how this debunked document lives on, as the foundation of the rhetoric of the ultra-right wing militia movements, and for much of the garbage that comes from the mouths of Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove, only adapted to attack “liberal elite” and the “gay mafia” and the new “war on Christmas.”
It’s all about adaptation.
The “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” document originally had nothing to do with the Jews; it started out as an attack on Napoleon III in France. It was called The Dialogues in Hell between Machiavelli and Montesquieu written by a French attorney. It was a fairly incendiary pamphlet about how to overthrow a government, and it’s venom was attractive to lots of people.
Eventually this pamphlet made it’s way into the hands of a Russian exile named Mathieu Golovinski, who was working with the Russian secret police to convince Czar Nicholas II that his leaning towards the liberal reform movement was wrong.
Golovinski plagiarized the Dialogues to create a fake account of mythical high-powered Jews with access to financial institutions having secret meetings to plot bringing down the Russian government and eventually taking over the world. The pamphlet “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” claimed these Jews were behind the liberal reform movement in Russia at the time.
The forged pamphlet worked wonders: Czar Nicholas veered right and squashed liberal reform movement, which lead to widespread unrest in Russia that later exploded into the Russian Revolution. Except for this document, communism would never have gained traction around the world. Nicholas also lead some viscious attacks on the innocent Jews, who took the fall for the Russian liberals, and then kept taking the fall for everything else.
The Protocols swept around the world; they made their way to Adolph Hitler, who used them to justify the holocaust (with the tacit cooperation of the German people, who had also read them) and to America, where auto maker Henry Ford reprinted them in 1921 in his home-brew paper the Dearborn Independent, where he also began publishing other anti-Jewish diatribes, including The International Jew, an account that included, among other things, a screed about how the Jews were engaging in a War on Christmas.
In 1921, scholars debunked The Protocols, illustrating that the language had been lifted verbatim from the 1894 French document and thus couldn’t have been describing an actual meeting of any Russian Jewish conspirators in 1903. The two documents were reprinted side-by-side, but even this couldn’t stop the pamphlet’s spread. It’s reprinted and distributed around the world today and is very popular in Muslim countries, contributing to the the anti-Israel movement,as well as red states. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh believed them to be real, as did Waco cult leader David Koresh, and Olympic park bomber Eric Rudolph.
Nothing seems to stop the wild idea that somewhere out there, there’s a secret plot by a group of elitists trying to keep you down.
Much of the language of the Protocols of The Elders of Zion lives on today, and reading Will Eisner’s book and seeing the words of the document is a revelation that will cause you to see politics with a new set of eye glasses.
Words from the Protocols show up not just in conspiracy theory survivalist groups who live in the wilderness and talk about the Bilderberg Group, but in in Right-wing attacks on the “liberal and hollywood elite” and the “gay Mafia” promoting the “gay agenda” and in Bill O’Reilly’s new fictional movement, the “War on Christmas” which is lifted wholesale from Henry Ford’s anti-semitic screed, and based on the methdology of the Protocols: create a fictional enemy using a scapegoat, and then attack that enemy to gain political power.

Posted in GLBT Issues, Media, Politics

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