The Historic Basis of Jewish Imperialism

The International Jew, by Henry Ford

"We are a people — One people . . . . When we sink, we become a revolutionary proletariat, the subordinate officers of a revolutionary party; when we rise, there rises also our terrible power of the purse."

— Theodore Herzl, "A Jewish State," pp. 5, 23.


A great unloosening of speech with reference to the Jewish Question and the Jewish program for world power has occurred in this country since the beginning of this series of articles. It is now possible to pronounce the word "Jew" in a perfectly serious discussion, without timidity, or without intimidation. Heretofore that has been regarded as the special prerogative of the Jewish publicists themselves and they have used the name exclusively in well-organized and favorable propaganda. They can oust portions of Shakespeare from the public schools on the ground that the Jews are offended; they can demand the removal of one of Sargent's paintings from the Boston Library because it represents the Synagogue in a decline. But when anything emanates from the Gentile side which indicates that the Gentile is also conscious of the Jew, then the charge of prejudice is instantly and strongly made. The effect of that in this country has been a ban on speech which has had few parallels in our history. Recently at a banquet a speaker used the term "Jews" in reference to the actions of a group of Jewish bankers. A Jewish guest leaped to his feet demanding to know if the speaker considered it "American" to single out a race that way. The speaker replied, "I do, sir," and received the approval of the audience. In that particular part of the country, business men's tongues had been tied for years by the unwritten law that Jews must never by singled out as Jews.

No one would have predicted a year ago that a newspaper like the Chicago Tribune could have convinced itself that it was good newspaper policy to print in the first column of its first page a copyrighted article on the Jewish program for world rule, printing the word "Jew" in large letters in its headline, and abstaining from editorial retouching of the word "Jew" in the body of the article. The usual plan is to do what an eastern newspaper did when dealing with the same subject: wherever the term "international Jew" occurred in the article which it printed, it was retouched to "financiers."

The Chicago Tribune, however, on Saturday, June 19, 1920, printed in the first column of the first page a cable dispatch from John Clayton, its special correspondent, under the heading: "Trotsky Leads Jew-Radicals to World Rule. Bolshevism Only a Tool for His Scheme."

The first paragraph reads as follows:

"For the last two years army intelligence officers, members of the various secret service organizations of the Entente, have been bringing in reports of a world revolutionary movement other than Bolshevism. At first these reports confused the two, but latterly the lines they have taken have begun to be more and more clear."

As previously stated in THE DEARBORN INDEPENDENT, our own secret service is one of these, though there is reason to believe that because of the influence of Jews upon the government these investigations were not pursued with the persistency that might otherwise have been given them. However, we know from Jewish sources, not to mention any other, that the Department of Justice of the United States was at one time interested enough to make inquiries.

What the Tribune writer does in the above paragraph is to show that this interest has been sustained for two years by officials of the Entente, a fact which ought to be borne in mind by those who declare that the whole matter is of German instigation. The emergence of the Jewish Question into American thought was immediately met by a statement from Jewish sources that it was a German importation, and that the anti-Semitism which flowed over Germany and resulted in cleaning out the overwhelming Jewish revolutionary influences from the new German Government, was only a trick to throw the blame for the defeat of Germany on the Jews. American rabbis are even now unitedly preaching that history shows that every great war is followed by a new "attack" on the Jews. It is undoubtedly a fact that every war newly opens the people's eyes to the power which international Jewish financiers exert with reference to war — and it would seem that such a fact is worthy of a better explanation than that of "prejudice." However, as the Tribune article shows, and as well as the facts confirm, the interest is not confined to the German side; indeed, it is not even strongest there. It is "the various secret service organizations of the Entente" that have been most active in the matter.

The second paragraph further distinguishes between Bolshevism and Jewish imperialism:

"Bolshevism aims at the overthrow of existing society and the establishment of an international brotherhood of men who work with their hands as rulers of the world. The second movement aims for the establishment of a new racial domination of the world. So far as the British, French and our own department's inquiry have been able to trace, the moving spirits in the second scheme are Jewish radicals."

Other statements in the article are:

"Within the ranks of communism is a group of this party, but it does not stop there. To its leaders, communism is only an incident."

(This will recall the statement of Lord Eustace Percy, quoted last week from the Canadian Jewish Chronicle — "Not because the Jew cares for the positive side of radical philosophy, not because he desires to be a partaker in Gentile nationalism or Gentile democracy, but because no existing Gentile system of Government is anything but distasteful to him.")

"They are ready to use the Islamic revolt, hatred by the central empires for England, Japan's designs on India, and commercial rivalry between America and Japan."

"As any movement of world revolution must be, this is primarily anti-Anglo-Saxon."

"The organization of the world Jewish-radical movement has been perfected in almost every land."

"The aims of the Jewish-radical party have nothing of altruism behind them beyond liberation of their own race."

It will be conceded that these are rather startling statements. If they were found in a propagandist publication of no responsibility, the average reader might pass them by as preposterous, so little does the average reader know of the secret influences which shape his life and frame his problems. But appearing in a great newspaper, they must receive a different evaluation.

Nor did the Tribune stop at the news article. On June 21, 1920, an editorial appeared entitled "World Mischief." The editorial is evidently an effort to prevent possible misunderstanding of what the news article was driving at.

"The Jewish phase of the movement, he asserts, aims at a new racial domination of the world . . ."

The Tribune also says that while it is perhaps natural for the Jews of other countries to be engaged in this "world mischief," the Jews of England and the United States "are loyal nationalists and conservative upholders of the national traditions." It were well if this were true. Perhaps it is true of tens of thousands of Jews as individuals; it certainly is not true of those internationalists who pull the strings of all the governments and who during the last six tragic years have been meddling with world affairs in a way which must soon be plainly told. The unfortunate circumstance is that all the American and English Jews must for a time feel a distress which no one desires them to feel, which everyone would do much to save them from, but which seems inevitable until the whole story is told and until the mass of the Jews themselves cut off from their name and support some who now receive their deepest homage.

It is worth while observing the contrasts and similarities between the Gentile and Jewish reaction to this alleged movement to establish a Jewish imperialism over the world. Jewish publicists first deny it without qualification. It is all false, all a lie, all hatched up by enemies of the Jews in order to stir up hatred and murder. As the evidence accumulates, the Jewish tone changes: "Well, suppose it is true," the publicists say; "is it any wonder that the poor oppressed Jews, driven to madness through their sufferings, should dream dreams of overthrowing their enemies and placing themselves in the seat of authority?"

The Gentile mind, confronted with the statement, says: "Yes, but they are Russian Jews. Don't mind them. American Jews are all right. They would never be taken in by anything like that." Going a little deeper into the subject, the Gentile mind is forced to admit the existence of some kind of a subversive world movement, the power of which has shaken even this country, and that the moving spirits in it are revolutionary Jews. And then the tendency from that point forward is either to fall in with the theory that the movement is really Jewish in its origin, agitation, execution and purpose, or to set up the theory that it is a "world movement" undoubtedly, but only incidentally Jewish. The end of both Jewish and Gentile reaction is an admission that something answering to the movement charged actually exists.

For example, the Christian Science Monitor, whose standard as a newspaper no one will question, has this to say in a lengthy editorial on the subject:

"In spite of this, it would be a tremendous mistake to conclude that the Jewish peril, given another name and atmosphere, does not exist. It might, indeed, be renamed, out of one of the grandest of the books of the Old Testament, 'the terror by night,' for it is, essentially, the Psalmist's concept of the forces of mental evil at which, consciously or unconsciously, Professor Nilus is aiming. In other words, that a secret international political organization exists, working unremittingly by means of its Bureau of Psychology, though the world which should be awake to it is entirely asleep to it, is, to the man who can read the signs of the times, a thing unquestionable."

The Monitor gives warning against prejudice and disregard of the laws of evidence which is exceedingly timely and is, indeed, the desire of anyone who has ever undertaken to deal with this subject, but too often it is a disregard of facts and not of evidence that makes the difficulty. It is safe to say that most of the prejudice today is against the facts, it has not been caused by them.

There are two preconceptions to be guarded against in making an approach to this question. One is that the Jewish imperialistic program, if such a thing exists, is of recent origin. Upon the mere mention of such a program, Gentiles are likely to think that it was formulated last week, or last year, or within recent time. That need not be the case at all, and in Jewish matters it is very likely not to be the case. It is very easy to see how, if the program were to be formulated today, it would be wholly different from the one which is to be considered. The kind of program that would be made today indeed exists too, but it is not to be compared in extent and profundity with that which has existed for a very long time. Perfect constitutions of invisible governments are not the creations of secret conventions; they are the accumulated thought and experience of centuries. Moreover, no matter how prone a modern generation may be to disregard such things, the mere fact that they may have existed as a secret racial ideal for centuries is a powerful argument for their respectable acceptance, if not active execution, by the generation that now is. There is no idea deeper in Judaism than that Jews constitute a Chosen People and that their future is to be more glorious than their past. A large part of the Christian world accepts that, too, and it may well be true, but in a moral universe it cannot come to pass by the methods which have been and are being used.

But to mention the ancient lineage of the idea of the Chosen People is merely to suggest that of all the programs that may have gathered round it to assist its full historical realization, it is not strange that there should be one very old one to which the wisest minds of Israel have contributed their best of mind and heart to insure its success. That there is such a plan has been the belief of many deep delvers in the hidden things of the world, and that such a plan has at times had its dress rehearsals, so to speak, on a limited stage, as if in preparation for its grand finale on the universal stage, is another belief held by men at whose knowledge it is impossible to cavil.

So, then, it may be that we are dealing with something for which present-day Jews, even the more important internationalists, are not originally responsible. It may have come to them as part of their ancient Jewish inheritance. Certainly, if it were a mere modern thing, hastily conceived and thrown together after the modern fashion, it could be expected to disappear in the same era which saw it born.

Another preconception to be guarded against is that every Jew one meets has secret knowledge of this program. That is not the case. With the general idea of the ultimate triumph of Israel every Jew who has retained contact with his people is familiar, but with the special plans which for centuries have existed in formulated form for the attainment of that triumph, the average Jew is no more familiar than anyone else — no more so than was the average German with the secret plans of the Pan-Germanic party whose ideas started and guided the recent war. The average Jew enters into the plans of the secret group just to this extent, except in specially selected cases: It is perfectly understood that the consummation of the Jewish triumph will not be distasteful to any Jew, and if the methods to be used toward the end are a bit violent, every Jew can be depended upon to see in that violence a very insufficient retribution visited upon the Gentile world for the sufferings which it has caused the sons of Judah throughout the centuries.

Still, with even these preconceptions guarded against, there is no escape from the conclusion that if such a program of Jewish world imperialism exists today, it must exist with the cognizance and active support of certain individuals, and that these groups of individuals must have somewhere an official head.

This is, perhaps, the one point at which more investigators stop than at any other. The idea of a Jewish autocrat is too strange for the mind which has not been much in contact with the main question. And yet there is no race which more instinctively supports autocracy than does the Jewish race, no race which more craves and respects position. It is their sense of the value of position that explains the main course their activities take. The Jew is primarily a money-maker for the reason that up to this time money is the only means he knows by which to gain position. The Jews who have gained position for any other reason are comparatively few. This is not a Gentile gibe; it is the position of a famous Anglo-Jewish physician, Dr. Barnard Von Oven, who wrote: "All other means of distinction are denied him; he must rise by wealth, or not at all. And if, as he well knows, to insure wealth will be to insure rank, respect and attention in society, does the blame rest with him who endeavors to acquire wealth for the distinction which it will purchase, or with that society which so readily bows down to the shrine of Mammon?"

The Jew is not averse to kings, only to the state of things which prevents a Jewish king. The future autocrat of the world is to be a Jewish king, sitting upon the throne of David, so ancient prophecies and the documents of the imperialistic program agree.

Is such a king in the world now? If not, the men who could choose a king are in the world. There has been no king of the Jews since before the Christian Era, but until about the eleventh century there were Princes of the Exile, those who represented the headship of the Jews who were dispersed through the nations. They were and still are called "exilarchs," or Princes of the Exile. They were attended by the wise men of Israel, they held court, they gave the law to their people. They lived abroad wherever their circumstances or convenience dictated, in Christian or Mohammedan countries. Whether the office was discontinued with the last publicly known exilarch or merely disappeared from the surface of history, whether today it is entirely abandoned or exists in another form, are questions which must wait. That there are offices of world jurisdiction held by Jews is well known. That there are world organizations of Jews — organizations, that is, within the very strong solidarity of the Jewish nation itself — is well known. That there is world unity on certain Jewish activities, defensive and offensive, is well known. There is nothing in the condition or thought of the Jews which would render the existence today of an exilarch distasteful to them; indeed, the thought would be very comfortable.

The Jewish Encyclopedia remarks: "Curiously enough, the exilarchs are still mentioned in the Sabbath services of the Ashkenazim ritual * * * The Jews of the Sephardic ritual have not preserved this anachronism, nor was it retained in most of the Reform synagogues of the nineteenth century."

Is there, then, a Jewish Sanhedrin? — a governing or counseling body of Jews who take oversight of the affairs of their people throughout the world?

The Jewish Sanhedrin was a most interesting institution. Its origin and method of constitution are obscure. It consisted of 71 members, with the president, and performed the functions of a political senate. There is nothing to show whence the Sanhedrin derived its authority. It was not an elective body. It was not democratic. It was not representative. It was not responsible to the people. In these qualities, it was typically Jewish. The Sanhedrin was chosen by the prince or priest, not with the purpose of safeguarding the people's interest, but to assist the ruler in the work of administration. It was thus assembled by call, or it was self-perpetuating, calling its own members. The arrangement seems to have been that well-known device by which an aristocracy can maintain itself in power whatever the political construction of the nation may be. The Jewish Encyclopedia says: "The Sanhedrin, which was entirely aristocratic in character, probably assumed its own authority, since it was composed of members of the most influential families of the nobility and priesthood."

This body was flanked by a similar body, which governed the religious interests of the nation, the members being drawn apparently from classes nearer the common people.

The Sanhedrin exercised authority not only over the Jews of Palestine, but wherever they were scattered throughout the world. As a senate exercising direct political authority, it ceased with the downfall of the Jewish State in the year 70, but there are indications of its continuance as an advisory body down to the fourth century.

In 1806, in order to satisfy the mind of Napoleon upon some questions which had arisen concerning the Jews, an Assembly of Notables was called, whose membership consisted of prominent Jews of France. They, in turn, to bring the sanction of all Jewry to the answers which they should give Napoleon, convoked the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin assembled in Paris on February 9, 1807. It followed the prescribed ancient forms; it was comprised of Jews from all parts of Europe; it was assembled to put the whole authority of Jewry behind any compact the French Jews may have been able to make with Napoleon.

In putting forth its decisions, this Sanhedrin of 1807 declared that it was in all respects like the ancient Sanhedrin, "a legal assembly vested with power of passing ordinances in order to promote the welfare of Israel."

The significance of these facts is this: Whatever the leaders of the Jews may do today in the way of maintaining the policy and constitution of Israel, would not constitute a new departure. It would not signify a new attitude. It would not be evidence of a new plan.

It would be entirely natural, Jewish solidarity being what it is, that the Sanhedrin should still be continued. The ancient Sanhedrin appears to have had a group of ten who were somewhat exalted in importance above the rest; it would be perfectly natural if the leaders of the Jews were today divided into committees, by countries or by objects.

There are always being held, year by year, world meetings of the principal Jews of all lands. They come together whenever called, to the disregard of everything else. Great judges from the high courts of the various countries, international financiers, Jewish orators of the "liberal type" who have the ear of the Gentiles, political maneuverers from all the parties represented in the world, they assemble wherever they will, and the subjects of their deliberations are made known only to the extent they will. It is not to be supposed that all of the attendants on these conventions are members of the inner circle. The list of delegates will show scores of persons with whom no one would associate Lord Reading and Judge Brandeis. If the modern Sanhedrin meets, and it would be the most natural thing in the world if it should, we may be sure it meets within the closed circle of those persons which the Jewish aristocracy of money, intellect and power approves.

The machinery of a Jewish world government exists ready-made. The Jew is convinced that he has the best religion, the best morality, the best method of education, the best social standards, the best ideal of government. He would not have to go outside the circle of that which he considers best to get anything which he may need to advance the welfare of his people, or to execute any program which may have to do with the outside world.

It is the ancient machinery that the international Jew uses in all those activities which he permits the world to see in part. There are gatherings of the financial, political and intellectual chief rulers of the Jews. These gatherings are announced for one or another thing — sometimes. Sometimes there is a gathering of Jews in a world capital, with no announced purpose. They all appear in one city, confer and depart.

Whether there is a recognized head to all of this is yet to be disclosed. There can be little doubt, however, as to the existence of what may be called a "foreign policy," that is, a definite point of view and plan of action with reference to the Gentile world. The Jew feels that he is in the midst of enemies, but he also feels that he is a member of a people — "one people." He must have some policy with regard to the outer world. He cannot help but consider present conditions, he cannot consider them without being stirred to speculate upon what the outcome must be, and he cannot speculate on the outcome without in some manner endeavoring to make it as he would like it to be.

The invisible government of the Jews, its attitude toward the Gentile world, its policy with regard to the future, are not, then, the abnormal things that some would make them appear. Given the Jewish position, they are of all things most natural. Jewish existence in this world is not such as woos the Jew into sleepy contentment; it is such as stirs him into organization against future contingencies and into programs which may shape those contingencies to the benefit of his race. That there should be a Sanhedrin of the Jews, a world body of the leading men of all countries; that there should even be an exilarch, a visible and recognized head of the Sanhedrin, mystically foreshadowing the autocrat to come; that there should even be a world program, just as every government has its foreign policy, are not strange, uncanny suppositions. They grow normally out of the situation itself.

And it is also natural that not every Jew should know this. The Sanhedrin always was the aristocracy, and would be today. When rabbis cry from their pulpits that they know nothing about this thing, they are doubtless telling the truth. What the international Jew depends upon is the likelihood of every Jew approving that which brings power and prestige to his people. At any rate, it is well enough known that however little the ordinary Jewish leader may have been told about world programs, he regards with greatest respect and confidence the very men who must put these programs through, if these exist at all.

The twenty-fourth Protocol of the Learned Elders of Zion has this to say:

"Now I will discuss the manner in which the roots of the house of King David will penetrate to the deepest strata of the earth. This dynasty, even to this day, has given power of controlling world affairs to our wise men, the educational directors of all human thought."

This would indicate, if reliable, that, as the Protocol goes on to recite, the Autocrat himself has not appeared, but the dynasty, or the Davidic line in which he must appear, have entrusted the work of preparing for him to the Wise Men of Zion. These wise men are represented not only as preparing those who exercise rulership over Judaism's affairs, but also as framing and influencing the world's thought toward ends which shall be propitious to these plans. Whatever may be hidden in the program, it is certain that its execution or the effects of its execution cannot be hidden. Therefore, it may be possible to find in the outer world the clues which, traced back to their source, reveal the existence of a program, whose promise for the world, good or bad, ought to be widely known.

[THE DEARBORN INDEPENDENT, issue of 17 July 1920]