A Look at The ‘Powerful Jewish Lobby’

For decades Israel has violated well established precepts of international law and defied numerous United Nations resolutions in its occupation of conquered lands, in extra-judicial killings, and in its repeated acts of military aggression.

Most of the world regards Israel’s policies, and especially its oppression of Palestinians, as outrageous and criminal. This international consensus is reflected, for example, in numerous UN resolutions condemning Israel, which have been approved with overwhelming majorities.

“The whole world,” United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan recently said, “is demanding that Israel withdraw [from occupied Palestinian territories]. I don’t think the whole world … can be wrong.”[note 1]

Only in the United States do politicians and the media still fervently support Israel and its policies. For decades the US has provided Israel with crucial military, diplomatic and financial backing, including more than $3 billion each year in aid.

Why is the U.S. the only remaining bastion of support for Israel?

Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who was awarded the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, has candidly identified the reason: “The Israeli government is placed on a pedestal [in the US], and to criticize it is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic,” he said. “People are scared in this country, to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful — very powerful.”[note 2]

Bishop Tutu spoke the truth. Although Jews make up only about three percent of the US population, they wield immense power and influence — vastly more than any other ethnic or religious group.

As Jewish author and political science professor Benjamin Ginsberg has pointed out:[note 3]

Since the 1960s, Jews have come to wield considerable influence in American economic, cultural, intellectual and political life. Jews played a central role in American finance during the 1980s, and they were among the chief beneficiaries of that decade’s corporate mergers and reorganizations.

Today, though barely two percent of the nation’s population is Jewish, close to half its billionaires are Jews. The chief executive officers of the three major television networks and the four largest film studios are Jews, as are the owners of the nation’s largest newspaper chain and the most influential single newspaper, the New York Times … The role and influence of Jews in American politics is equally marked …

Jews are only three percent of the nation’s population and comprise eleven percent of what this study defines as the nation’s elite. However, Jews constitute more than 25 percent of the elite journalists and publishers, more than 17 percent of the leaders of important voluntary and public interest organizations, and more than 15 percent of the top ranking civil servants.

Stephen Steinlight, former Director of National Affairs of the American Jewish Committee, similarly notes the “disproportionate political power” of Jews, which is “pound for pound the greatest of any ethnic/cultural group in America.” He goes on to explain that “Jewish economic influence and power are disproportionately concentrated in Hollywood, television, and in the news industry.”[note 4]

Two well-known Jewish writers, Seymour Lipset and Earl Raab, pointed out in their 1995 book, Jews and the New American Scene:[note 5]

During the last three decades Jews [in the United States] have made up 50 percent of the top two hundred intellectuals … 20 percent of professors at the leading universities … 40 percent of partners in the leading law firms in New York and Washington … 59 percent of the directors, writers, and producers of the 50 top-grossing motion pictures from 1965 to 1982, and 58 percent of directors, writers, and producers in two or more primetime television series.

The influence of American Jewry in Washington, notes the Israeli daily Jerusalem Post, is “far disproportionate to the size of the community, Jewish leaders and U.S. official acknowledge. But so is the amount of money they contribute to [election] campaigns.” One member of the influential Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations “estimated Jews alone had contributed 50 percent of the funds for [President Bill] Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign.”[note 6]

“It makes no sense at all to try to deny the reality of Jewish power and prominence in popular culture,” acknowledges Michael Medved, a well-known Jewish author and film critic. “Any list of the most influential production executives at each of the major movie studios will produce a heavy majority of recognizably Jewish names.”[note 7]

One person who has carefully studied this subject is Jonathan J. Goldberg, now editor of the influential Jewish community weekly Forward. In his 1996 book, Jewish Power, he wrote:[note 8]

In a few key sectors of the media, notably among Hollywood studio executives, Jews are so numerically dominant that calling these businesses Jewish-controlled is little more than a statistical observation …

Hollywood at the end of the twentieth century is still an industry with a pronounced ethnic tinge. Virtually all the senior executives at the major studios are Jews. Writers, producers, and to a lesser degree directors are disproportionately Jewish — one recent study showed the figure as high as 59 percent among top-grossing films.

The combined weight of so many Jews in one of America’s most lucrative and important industries gives the Jews of Hollywood a great deal of political power. They are a major source of money for Democratic candidates.

Reflecting their role in the American media, Jews are routinely portrayed as high-minded, altruistic, trustworthy, compassionate, and deserving of sympathy and support. While millions of Americans readily accept such stereotyped imagery, not everyone is impressed. “I am very angry with some of the Jews,” complained actor Marlon Brando during a 1996 interview. “They know perfectly well what their responsibilities are … Hollywood is run by Jews. It’s owned by Jews, and they should have a greater sensitivity about the issue of people who are suffering.”[note 9]

A Well-Entrenched Factor

The intimidating power of the “Jewish lobby” is not a new phenomenon, but has long been an important factor in American life.

In 1941 Charles Lindbergh spoke about the danger of Jewish power in the media and government. The shy 39-year-old — known around the world for his epic 1927 New York to Paris flight, the first solo trans-Atlantic crossing — was addressing 7,000 people in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 11, 1941, about the dangers of US involvement in the war then raging in Europe. The three most important groups pressing America into war, he explained, were the British, the Jews, and the Roosevelt administration.

Of the Jews, he said: “Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government.” Lindbergh went on:

… For reasons which are understandable from their viewpoint as they are inadvisable from ours, for reasons which are not American, [they] wish to involve us in the war. We cannot blame them for looking out for what they believe to be their own interests, but we must also look out for ours. We cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples to lead our country to destruction.

In 1978, Jewish American scholar Alfred M. Lilienthal wrote in his detailed study, The Zionist Connection:[note 10]

How has the Zionist will been imposed on the American people?… It is the Jewish connection, the tribal solidarity among themselves and the amazing pull on non-Jews, that has molded this unprecedented power … In the larger metropolitan areas, the Jewish-Zionist connection thoroughly pervades affluent financial, commercial, social, entertainment, and art circles.

As a result of the Jewish grip on the media, wrote Lilienthal, news coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict in American television, newspapers and magazines is relentlessly sympathetic to Israel. This is manifest, for example, in the misleading portrayal of Palestinian “terrorism.” As Lilienthal put it: “One-sided reportage on terrorism, in which cause is never related to effect, was assured because the most effective component of the Jewish connection is probably that of media control.”

One-Sided ‘Holocaust’ History

The Jewish hold on cultural and academic life has had a profound impact on how Americans look at the past. Nowhere is the well entrenched Judeocentric view of history more obvious than in the “Holocaust” media campaign, which focuses on the fate of Jews in Europe during World War II.

Israeli Holocaust historian Yehuda Bauer, a professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has remarked:[note 11]

Whether presented authentically or inauthentically, in accordance with the historical facts or in contradiction to them, with empathy and understanding or as monumental kitsch, the Holocaust has become a ruling symbol of our culture … Hardly a month goes by without a new TV production, a new film, a new drama, new books, prose or poetry, dealing with the subject, and the flood is increasing rather than abating.

Non-Jewish suffering simply does not merit comparable attention. Overshadowed in the focus on Jewish victimization are, for example, the tens of millions of victims of America’s World War II ally, Stalinist Russia, along with the tens of millions of victims of China’s Maoist regime, as well as the 12 to 14 million Germans, victims of the flight and expulsion of 1944-1949, of whom some two million lost their lives.

The well-financed Holocaust media and “educational” campaign is crucially important to the interests of Israel. Paula Hyman, a professor of modern Jewish history at Yale University, has observed: “With regard to Israel, the Holocaust may be used to forestall political criticism and suppress debate; it reinforces the sense of Jews as an eternally beleaguered people who can rely for their defense only upon themselves. The invocation of the suffering endured by the Jews under the Nazis often takes the place of rational argument, and is expected to convince doubters of the legitimacy of current Israeli government policy.”[note 12]

Norman Finkelstein, a Jewish scholar who has taught political science at City University of New York (Hunter College), says in his book, The Holocaust Industry, that “invoking The Holocaust” is “a ploy to delegitimize all criticism of Jews.”[note 13] “By conferring total blamelessness on Jews, the Holocaust dogma immunizes Israel and American Jewry from legitimate censure … Organized Jewry has exploited the Nazi holocaust to deflect criticism of Israel’s and its own morally indefensible policies.” He writes of the brazen “shakedown” of Germany, Switzerland and other countries by Israel and organized Jewry “to extort billions of dollars.” “The Holocaust,” Finkelstein predicts, “may yet turn out to be the ‘greatest robbery in the history of mankind’.”

Jews in Israel feel free to act brutally against Arabs, writes Israeli journalist Ari Shavit, “believing with absolute certitude that now, with the White House, the Senate and much of the American media in our hands, the lives of others do not count as much as our own.”[note 14]
Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has spoken with blunt exasperation about the Jewish-Israeli hold on the United States:[note 15]

I’ve never seen a President — I don’t care who he is — stand up to them [the Israelis]. It just boggles the mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn’t writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens certainly don’t have any idea what goes on.

Today the danger is greater than ever. Israel and Jewish organizations, in collaboration with this country’s pro-Zionist “amen corner,” are prodding the United States — the world’s foremost military and economic power — into new wars against Israel’s enemies. As the French ambassador in London recently acknowledged, Israel — which he called “that shitty little country” — is a threat to world peace. “Why should the world be in danger of World War III because of those people?,” he said.[note 16]

To sum up: Jews wield immense power and influence in the United States. The “Jewish lobby” is a decisive factor in US support for Israel. Jewish-Zionist interests are not identical to American interests. In fact, they often conflict.

As long as the “very powerful” Jewish lobby remains entrenched, there will be no end to the systematic Jewish distortion of current affairs and history, the Jewish-Zionist domination of the U.S. political system, Zionist oppression of Palestinians, the bloody conflict between Jews and non-Jews in the Middle East, and the Israeli threat to peace.

Notes
1. Quoted in Forward (New York City), April 19, 2002, p. 11.
2. D. Tutu, “Apartheid in the Holy Land,” The Guardian (Britain), April 29, 2002.
3. Benjamin Ginsberg, The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State (University of Chicago, 1993), pp. 1, 103.
4. S. Steinlight, “The Jewish Stake in America’s Changing Demography: Reconsidering a Misguided Immigration Policy,” Center for Immigration Studies, Nov. 2001. http://www.cis.org/articles/2001/back1301.html
5. Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab, Jews and the New American Scene (Harvard Univ. Press, 1995), pp. 26-27.
6. Janine Zacharia, “The Unofficial Ambassadors of the Jewish State,” The Jerusalem Post (Israel), April 2, 2000. Reprinted in “Other Voices,” June 2000, p. OV-4, a supplement to The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.
7. M. Medved, “Is Hollywood Too Jewish?,” Moment, Vol. 21, No. 4 (1996), p. 37.
8. Jonathan Jeremy Goldberg, Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment (Addison-Wesley, 1996), pp. 280, 287-288. See also pp. 39-40, 290-291.
9. Interview with Larry King, CNN network, April 5, 1996. “Brando Remarks,” Los Angeles Times, April 8, 1996, p. F4 (OC). A short time later, Brando was obliged to apologize for his remarks.
10. A. Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1978), pp. 206, 218, 219, 229.
11. From a 1992 lecture, published in: David Cesarani, ed., The Final Solution: Origins and Implementation (London and New York: Routledge, 1994), pp. 305, 306.
12. Paula E. Hyman, “New Debate on the Holocaust,” The New York Times Magazine, Sept. 14, 1980, p. 79.
13. Norman G. Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry (London, New York: Verso, 2000), pp. 130, 138, 139, 149.
14. The New York Times, May 27, 1996. Shavit is identified as a columnist for Ha’aretz, a Hebrew-language Israeli daily newspaper, “from which this article is adapted.”
15. Interview with Moorer, Aug. 24, 1983. Quoted in: Paul Findley, They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby (Lawrence Hill, 1984 and 1985), p. 161.
16. D. Davis, “French Envoy to UK: Israel Threatens World Peace,” Jerusalem Post, Dec. 20, 2001. The French ambassador is Daniel Bernard.

About the author

Mark Weber is director of the Institute for Historical Review. He studied history at the University of Illinois (Chicago), the University of Munich, Portland State University and Indiana University (M.A., 1977). For nine years he served as editor of the IHR’s Journal of Historical Review.