Saturday, May 03, 2008

Unraveling Anti-Semitic 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

The Anti-Defamation League has a good report called "Unraveling Anti-Semitic 9/11 Conspiracy Theories" (2003) [PDF] that explains that the anti-semitic conspiracy theories about 9-11 are updated variations of old anti-semitic canards.

The ADL report highlights these points:

--A global network of anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists is energetically working to blame Jews and Israel for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

--These theories are the latest manifestation of centuries-old allegations that Jews manipulate and control world events for their own benefit. They bring the Protocols of the Elders of Zion into the 21st century, updating a familiar theme: that Jews are inherently evil and have a "master plan" to rule the
world.


--What makes the 9/11 conspiracy theories particularly important is that they have united disparate groups of Jew haters — American far-right extremists, white supremacists and elements within the Arab and Muslim world — who are exchanging and echoing information, ideas, and conspiracy theories, particularly through the Internet.

--9/11 conspiracy theories have grown to such an extent that they form an entire industry that includes books, pamphlets, videotapes, Web sites, and
speakers.


--These theories are poised to form the basis of a new anti-Semitic canard that will linger for decades and be used to demonize Jews and Israel. Anti-Semites are blaming Jews for the worst terrorist act committed and for its consequences, such as military conflicts. Allegations of Jewish culpability in the
9/11 attacks may even be used as justification for future acts of anti-Semitic violence. [Full text]


In my opinion, anti-government 9/11 conspiracy theories , such as the 9/11 Truth Movement, are a variation on anti-semitic conspiracy theories except that supposed traitors within the American government are subsituted for the Jews.

Wikipedia explains:

An antisemitic canard is a deliberately false story inciting antisemitism. The word "canard" is French for "duck," referring to a hoax. Despite having been thoroughly disproven, antisemitic canards are often part of broader theories of Jewish conspiracies.

These conspiracy theories had their origin with some early Christians who blamed the Jews for killing Jesus.

The ADL report points out that conspiracy theories claiming that the Jews were behind 9-11 are just the latest in a long line of anti-semitic canards.

In Europe, Jews have been falsely accused of many conspiracies such as poisoning wells and of trying to take over the world.

Wikipedia explains:

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion...is a plagiarism, literary forgery, and a hoax, alleging a Jewish and Masonic plot to achieve world domination. The writing has been revealed to be originally an antisemitic and anti-Masonic (and subsequently anti-Zionist) diatribe and conspiracy theory. It was first published in 1903 in Russian, in Znamya ("The Banner," a newspaper). The text has failed to pass any scholarly standards of authentication as an alleged historical document or record.

As noted above, the mendacious allegations of the so-called "9/11 Truth Movement," which claims that a conspiracy within the U.S. government orchestrated the attacks of 9/11, also seem to be a variation of anti-semitic conspiracy thinking.
9/11 conspiracy theories appear in a film called Loose Change.

Wikipedia explains:

[Loose Change (2005)] claims that the September 11, 2001 attacks were planned and conducted by elements within the United States government, and bases these claims on perceived anomalies in the historical record of the attacks...Media outlets, independent researchers, and prominent members of the scientific and engineering community generally agree that the film's main claims are false.

Beginning on page 24, some of the anti-government conspiracies are also treated by the 2003 ADL study.

Ex-professor Ward Churchill's fabricated claim that the U.S. Army infected the Mandan with smallpox is a variation on this old anti-semitic canard, except that Jews have been replaced by the U.S. Army. He has also claimed that the FBI backed death squads that murdered 342 Indians.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright's mendacious and discredited claim that the U.S. developed AIDS to kill black people is another example of an updated variation of the old anti-semitic canard that Jews are spreading diseases, except that the Jews have been replaced by the American government. This Christian minister repeats this ignorant lie even though in 1992 the head of the Russian intelligence service, Yevgeni Primakov, admitted that the KGB made up this lie.

The Russian newspaper Izvestia (3-19-92) wrote:

[Russia's foreign intelligence chief Yevgeni Primakov] mentioned the well known articles printed a few years ago in our central newspapers about AIDS supposedly originating from secret Pentagon laboratories. According to Yevgeni Primakov, the articles exposing US scientists' 'crafty' plots were fabricated in KGB offices.

The head of Russia's Communist Party, Gennady Zyuganov, has spread an updated version of an anti-semitic canard when he claimed in 2006 that the U.S. made bird flu to hurt Russia and Asia. Russian scientists certainly do not believe this stupid lie and are working with American scientists to control this deadly disease. Zyuganov's lie about bird flu is basically a version of Stalin's "Doctors' Plot."

Senator Obama has characterized Rev. Wright's false belief about AIDS as "divisive and destructive," but I wish he would explain why these views are false. Senator Obama says that Rev. Wright is a distraction from his campaign, but he also says he wants Americans to have better health care. A big part of having better health care is having accurate information about how diseases are spread.

Young black people (ages 18-24) account for 80% of the new AIDS cases. Research shows that many young blacks believe the discredited KGB lie that their government is out to kill them so they act irresponsibly and contract AIDS.

An informative Washington Post article (1-25-05), published a few days after the State Department memo (1-14-05) that contained Primakov's admission, explained:

More than 20 years after the AIDS epidemic arrived in the United States, a significant proportion of African Americans embrace the theory that government scientists created the disease to control or wipe out their communities, according to a study released today by Rand Corp. and Oregon State University.

That belief markedly hurts efforts to prevent the spread of the disease among black Americans, the study's authors and activists said. African Americans represent 13 percent of the U.S. population, according to Census Bureau figures, yet they account for 50 percent of new HIV infections in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

Phill Wilson, executive director of the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles, said past discrimination is no longer an excuse for embracing conspiracies that allow HIV to fester.

"It's a huge barrier to HIV prevention in black communities," Wilson said. "There's an issue around conspiracy theory and urban myths. Thus we have an epidemic raging out of control, and African Americans are being disproportionately impacted in every single sense.

"Black women made up 73 percent of new HIV cases among women in 2003, and black men represented 40 percent of new cases, according to the most recent federal figures available. Among gay men, blacks represented 30 percent of new infections, and adolescents ages 18 to 24 accounted for nearly 80 percent of new HIV cases.

"The whole notion of conspiracy theories and misinformation . . . removes personal responsibility," Wilson said. "If there is this boogeyman, people say, 'Why should I use condoms? Why should I use clean needles?' And if I'm an organization, 'Why should I bother with educating my folks?' The [Tuskegee]syphilis study was real, but it happened 40 years ago, and holding on to it is killing us."

I wish that Senator Obama would explain why we know that Rev. Wright's claims about AIDS are a deadly lie. This 2005 State Department memo from the end of Colin Powell's tenure shows that Rev. Wright is repeating a stupid lie that even the KGB disowned. Like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, this KGB AIDS hoax continues to be circulated despite its debunking.

Rev. Wright's lie about AIDS is not a distraction from Senator Obama's campaign. It is a test of his honesty and courage, of the Senator's ability to speak truth in the face of power.

Rev. Wright is despicable to protect his reputation by identifying this ridiculous KGB lie with the black church.

When I saw white clergymen repeating KGB lies, I spoke up in my church. I think Senator Obama should also speak up if he is really a church person. Senator Obama would be a true spokesman for the black church if he told the truth about his minister's lie. Protestants have a history of speaking up. They don't just blindly follow their ministers.

Senator Obama said on T.V. that he could never disown the black community; but when he is silent about this lie, he is disowning the black community. If he can't even stand up in for the truth in his own church, how can he stand up for America?

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