Glenn Beck, the American Right and the myth of ‘the International Jew’

Glenn Beck, the American Right and the myth of ‘the International Jew’

by Paul Mutter

 

Glenn Beck will likely soon regale us all with the valuable lessons he learned in Israel. Perhaps the rally turnout was lower than expected, but you can bet that any book he writes about it will become a bestseller in the U.S.

Rather than wait for the inevitable write up of the tour, why not just get a copy of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and alternate among replacing every reference to “Jew” with your choice of the following categories: “the Left,” “African Americans,” “George Soros” (okay, he is Jewish) or “Muslims.” People like Beck are pamphleteers in search of a Dreyfus, a Trotsky or a Rothschild to pin the world’s ills on – someone on which to base a screed against the “liberal elite,” in the interest of demagogues, ultranationalists and corporate oligarchs.

Beck routinely gushes over with praise for the Jews – unlike African Americans and welfare queens, he argues, “the Jews conquered slavery.” But he also denigrates particular Jews with Holocaust references and suggests that Left-wing Israelis are self-hating Jews. I think that Beck has, unconsciously, incorporated anti-Semitism into his screeds because anti-Semitism is part of the foundation of modern anti-Left ideologies.

These ideologies have “evolved” from castigating Jews as subversive capitalist financiers to seeing their (now communist) hands in the civil rights and labor movements that the American Right despises so. Christian Zionism is useful to Beck and his cohorts because by loudly proclaiming their support for Zionism, they don’t have to look their anti-Left dogmas hard in the mirror and acknowledge that they have roots in early 20th century Western anti-Semitism. As the conservative Jewish magazine FrontPage puts it about anti-Semitism today,

“The International Jew” mythos “can be boiled down to an idea that still resonates: every attempt to achieve some kind of extra-national organizing, aka “globalization,” can be traced back to the Protocols.”

Beck has, of course, found his Dreyfus/Trotsky/Rothschild in the person of George Soros. Soros, as an “extra-national organizer” philanthropist, is depicted among the American Right as an accomplice in the Nazi Holocaust and a financial puppet master pulling the strings of “the Left” to achieve his sinister “liberal” agenda. The accusation prompted significant outrage, but Beck stayed in the saddle at Fox (as Soros is controversial enough anyway that Fox could fob off the resulting rabbinical condemnations and outcry from other media outlets). While the corporatists who bankroll the American Right are for corporate extra-national organizing, any other manifestations of globalization – i.e., what the Soros Foundation, the National Labor Relations Board or Amnesty International do – are anathema and Bolshevist. This is why anti-unionism and anti-regulation sentiment loom larger in GOP tirades than their bases’s well-expressed anti-globalization sentiments.

Some sources believe that Fox decided to cancel Beck’s show earlier this year after he attacked Simon Greer, head of Jewish Funds for Justice. When Greer offered his thoughts on charity, Beck called him out: “This [talk about the common good] leads to death camps. A Jew, of all people, should know that. This is exactly the kind of talk that led to the death camps in Germany.” “Elites” like Greer, Beck argues again and again, will seek to build a “Progressive utopia, that only ends in death camps.” But Greer is not nearly as partisan as Soros; and his faith-based approach is something the American right claims to support over “welfarism.”

Beck, who insists he is not anti-Semitic, isn’t above alluding to Jews as a whole being self-destructive, closet communists/fascists. Just before he held his “Restoring Courage” rally in Jerusalem, he said that the Tel Aviv J14 protests were Left-wing subversives. He sarcastically intoned the specter of “Islamocommunist” – J14 was presumably handing out flyers with Hamas reps – and suggested that the whole protest movement is being funded by an international conspiracy of Left-wing financiers.

The concept of a cabal of financiers funding world dissent – we’ve heard that before. Whether Beck realizes it or not, Adolf Hitler often prophesied that “if the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevisation of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.” And it’s a favorite propaganda themeof Iran’s bombastic Mahmoud Ahmadinejahd and other tinplate tyrants trying to distract their own publics from domestic problems.

But Beck’s ideological grandfather is Henry Ford, who gave “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” a print run in a national newspaper and was honored by Nazi diplomats, actions that have stained his reputation forever.

Ford, being an automaker, had a lot of interchangable conspiracies. He liked to interchange “the Jew” with “the union” or “Wall Street” in his post-WWI rants, a time period when he became increasingly close-minded and fatalistic. The industrialist claimed that unions were actually run by Jewish financiers and that he, ever the humanitarian, would not allow them to harm his workers (he had his own “Service Department” for doing that: Detroit gangsters armed with machine guns and lengths of pipe). Ford only publicly reputed his anti-Semitism after it became a serious PR problem for him, though according to those closest to him. “The Jew” became an implicit member of the elite, and Ford (despite his wealth), always saw himself as being outside that elite.

It is worth nothing that some of the most prominent Beck supporters have been opponents of civil rights legislation and opposed to the very principle of unionism. They claim that these things sap American greatness and are secretly tied to communism. Ford fought tooth and nail to keep the United Auto Workers Union out of Detroit – his scorn for them redoubled by the presence of Jewish union organizers. The union’s Detroit leader was Walter Reuther, was a socialist immigrant who worked closely with American Jewish leaders to organize workers in the 1930s. Reuther was also, in his later years, a supporter of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s civil rights movement, along with many other secular Jews and reform-minded rabbis (Reuther, who was also a Zionist, clearly saw the Jewish struggle for equal rights playing out among African Americans in the 1960s).

The role American Jews played in organizing American workers and the early civil rights movement was significant – and all such organizing efforts have been and are loathed by conservatives. Red baiting, Jew baiting and black baiting increasingly came together, but this was approaching the fringes of respectability (and electability).

So, by the 1990s, pro-segregation and anti-labor forces had come together – consciously, in fact – to try and reverse the gains of organized labor and non-whites under the “anti-elitist” banner of restoring “states rights.” The anti-immigrant, anti-regulation, anti-labor populism in the U.S. today is very much the cloth that modern American conservativism is cut from. Gone is the wording “The International Jew,” but the spirit is very much there, and that spirit animates Glenn Beck’s ideologies: “liberal Jews” alias “the elite,” alias “the communists,” have once again become the enemies of American freedom and dignity – that is, they are Democratic sheeple and, in actuality, insufficiently Jewish!

One of Beck’s recommended readings for his listeners, “The Red Network,” is a good example of how “the Elite” can be easily conflated with “Jews.” Written in the 1930s by a pro-Nazi American historian named Elizabeth Dilling, Beck proclaimed on his show (starting at 1:10 in this clip) that the work is an authoritative volume on communism. He also noted that the book cogently demonstrates the links between organized labor and communism – then started castigating the U.S.’s “communist” teachers’ unions.

Beck seems to have missed the parts in the book where those labor activists were called scheming Russian Jews. “The Red Network,” when not railing against African Americans, portrays Jews as either self-defeating pacifists or militant Bolshevik agitators, responsible for Germany’s WWI defeat: “conspiring, revolutionary Communist Jews” betrayed Germany in WWI and then, according to Dilling (and Hitler), sought to take the country over in the 1920s on Moscow’s orders. Beck’s response to criticism of the book was to claim that he hardly remembered reading it a few days before and to denounce “the Left” for trying to paint him as an anti-Semitic Nazi sympathizer.

Some of the Henry Ford pedigree is visible in the man the Jewish Journal calls Beck’s “mentor and guru, Mormon extremist W. Cleon Skousen, a hardcore racist and anti-Semite. Beck frequently totes Skousen’s writings on his show, even though Skousen has long been an ardent opponent of African-American civil rights and sees communists behind everything (including African-American civil rights, of course).

Then there are the bizarre sermons of American evangelical leader John Hagee, a man Beck has had on his show numerous times. Hagee blames the Rothschilds, the Federal Reserve and the Illuminati for America’s economic woes, seems to be taking a page from “The Eternal Jew,” a Nazi propaganda film that said that:

“The Jews are sitting at all junctions of the world’s money markets . . . their capital enables them to terrorize world exchanges, world opinion, and world politics.”

Hagee’s views are, on the surface, pretty straightforward. He is a Muslim-bashing, Christian Zionist. His favor has been courted by people like Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman (who once favorably compared him to Moses). And he believes that Christians are the shepherds of the Jews. What more could a Zionist ask for?

Well, a Zionist might want to ask what happens to the sheep in the long run. For the end of the world to go as Hagee envisons, all Jews must return to Greater Israel and prepare for the end times. After most of the world is destroyed, Jesus Christ will return to Earth and reign from Jerusalem for a millennium. And then, as a reward for their shepherding of the Jews up to this point, Jesus will send the good Christians into Heaven for a seven year grace period while the anti-Christ moves to destroy Jerusalem.

Perhaps because of the role Jerusalem must play in this scenario for the end times is why Glenn Beck is saying that:

“The last one to attack is Jerusalem. It is the symbol of so much power. It is not their [Muslims’] most sacred site. It is a sacred site and the root of all of us. It cannot be lost. It cannot be lost.”

This is the legacy of the tsarist spies who wrote the Protocols, of European fascism, of members of the American Right such as Father Charles Coughlin, David Duke and the John Birch Society, and most recently, of repressive foreign leaders who have used Israel’s depredations as a rallying point for their people to take attention away from their own.

And it is a legacy that Glenn Beck is part of. As the Jewish Journal rightly puts it, Beck and all of his cohorts are no friends of Israel (or Palestinians). They are a false front for reactionary racism and anti-labor agendas that have been blended together in DC backrooms. And, increasingly, American Jews are buying into this spiel as social conservativism and all or nothing pro-Israel politics turn traditionalists against liberals.

A Gay German Jewish anti-Christ. Illuminati, Alan Greenspan and the Rothschilds. Gestapo Soros and Kapo Greer. Socialism with Islamist Characteristics. All of these thoughts can fit comfortably inside Beck’s head because they come back to the original boogeyman of the 20th century whose specter has made his, and Hagee’s, careers possible: the enduring myth of “The International Jew” among the American Right.

With friends like this, who needs Ahmadinejad?

This entry was posted in Antisemitism, Islamophobia, Israel, UltraRight, Zionism. Bookmark the permalink.

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