Richard Melson

February 2005

CFG Essay: Judeocentrism


Globalization  and Judeocentrism


by L. Feiner.

In Jews in the Japanese Mind (1995, Free Press) Goodman and Miyazawa

discuss the phenomenon of anti-Semitism in the non-Western world,

particularly in countries such as Japan and other East Asian countries where there are very few Jews.

One reason for this phenomenon is that, with the increasing economic, political and social integration of the Western and non-Western worlds, of the developed and developing worlds, Jews are seen as a symbols of Western influence. Anti-Semitism and "Judeophobia" are expressions of fears about Western influence, particularly about US influence.

Below, R. Melson addresses the corresponding phenomenon in the West,

namely the phenomenon of "Philo-Semitism" or "Judeocentrism".

In this case, Jews are seen as talismans against the threats to the West posed by increasing integration with the non-Western and developing worlds.

There are several reasons why the Jews came to be seen as menacing symbols of Western influence in the non-Western world and talismans against non-Western influence in the Western world.

First of all, as Walter Russell Mead points out in his book Mortal Splendor: The American Empire in Transition, (1987, Houghton Mifflin), the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is a microcosm of the relation between the Western, developed world, and the non-Western, developing world.

The conflict represents a First World and Third World society intertwined and interleaved.

As Mead puts it, "power relations (between the West and the rest) which are usually mercifully obscured by distance, are seen up close (in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict)".

Also because of the Holocaust, the Jews are seen a white Western people who were subjected to the level of exterminist violence usually associated with Western colonization of the non-Western world. They are the one Western ethnicity which has acquired "Third World victim status"

Therefore, what we are calling "Judeocentrism" allows hostility to be expressed against the non-Western world in a way which assuages the guilt over the history of Western colonialism in the non-Western world.



by Richard Melson October 2004:

Jules Michelet, the famous nineteenth century French historian who co-coined the word "Renaissance,"is discussed extensively by both Edmund Wilson in his "To the Finland Station,"as well as by Walter Benjamin in his classic "Arcades Project," Harvard University Press.

Michelet says somewhere: "Every era dreams up the following one"

("Chaque époque rêve la suivante")

Think of the mid-nineties through 2000. The whole world is forced to wonder:

1. When did Madeleine Albright learn that she is Jewish? Is it true? Why all the "dancing around"?

2. Will the Jewish pianist, depicted by Geoffrey Rush in the movie, "Shine," come to the USA and play for us at Carnegie Hall or on PBS TV? Might he crack up again?

3. Did Clinton seduce the Jewish intern Monica Lewinsky or was it the other way? Is she an Israeli agent? Was she put up to it?

4. Will his affair with Monica Lewinsky influence Middle East policy? Will it force him to pardon Mark Rich or Jonathan Pollard? (Marc Rich, Netanyahu’s buddy, was of course pardoned by Clinton just before leaving office)

5. Did Al Gore choose a Jewish running mate in the 2000 presidential electoral contest to trump potential Republican "bribes" to the Jewish pressure groups, in advance?

An honest world-watcher would say the following:

US media and Washington policy-making have become so tangled up with Jewish themes, pressures, personalities and demands that the world finds itself in a kind of bad Zionist dream where rational world political economy is becoming impossible.

Simply put: Washington literally can’t function.

An honest person would say that if we take Michelet’s dictum

"each era dreams of /dreams up the subsequent one,"

as our guide to the link between dreams and world political economy,

the whole world finds itself in the middle of a Zionist nightmare,

of which points 1-5 above are aspects within the larger bad dream.

A Point 6 is the endless rumination now about John Kerry’s Jewish ancestry on his grandfather’s side.

("New York Times", Sunday, May 16, 2004, page 17 has a boxed story about Kerry’s grandfather, Frederick Kerry, born Fritz Kohn).

Emerging from this bad dream requires Palestine plus Third World Development, which are two sides of a coin:

"regime-change" at the world level. This entails the world's entering a post-Zionist chapter, on the other side of the contemporary nightmare, which now sees Sharon/Kristol/Feith in charge of US policy for the Middle East and indeed, for the whole world.

October 17, 2004 coda:

Bush has just announced a new antisemitism law, cooked up by the

Zionist pressure groups to harass the Arab and Muslim worlds with,

will be enforced globally, thus deepening and extending this nightmare.

Dreams and Development: Part II

by Richard Melson May 2004:

In the first part of "Dreams and Development," we used Michelet’s dictum, "each era has dreams of the next one," to frame our discussion of Sharon/Kristol/Feith Zionism and the Israelization of Washington policy, as a kind of macrohistorical nightmare.

By macrohistorical, I mean a level involving not the history of one person, family, region, country or society but the entire world in its transit through the decades.

There is another dimension where one sees a Zionist or "Judeocentric" view of the world, subtly "injected into" the world’s consciousness and affecting its ability to orient itself: PBS ( principally BBC & WGBH/Boston) programs for educational television.

In recent years we have seen various producers and writers give us the following Judeocentric views of the world:

1. "Foyle’s War," BBC multipart series, starring Michael Kitchen, predominantly concerned with Jewish themes set in WW II England.

2. "Daniel Deronda," BBC, centering on Daniel Deronda’s self-discovery as Jew and Zionist who "extricates" himself from his British roots and finds his way to Zionism and resettlement in Palestine.

Based on the George Eliot novel from the nineteenth century.

3. "The Way We Live Now", based on the Trollope classic,  starring David Suchet and featuring the lives of London Jews in 19th century England, including the character Brehgert played by Jim Carter, the sensitive soul who realizes that his Christian fiancee will never "be on the same page" as he is spiritually and so realizes he has to break with her.

The lead character played by Suchet, the Jewish financier who cuts too many corners too deeply, is surrounded by efffete and grasping British aristocrats and American go-getters, and their complex interaction drives the story.

4. "Ivanhoe," BBC miniseries, based on Walter Scott’s novel, showing how Isaac the Jew and his beauteous daughter Rebecca are finally forced to leave England.

5. "Nostromo", BBC/WGBH co-production, showing how intrigues and plots involving Latin American silver mines and political conflicts in "Costaguana" lead to the death of Hirsch, the Jewish character, in Conrad’s novella.

One could give many more examples such as the BBC "Disraeli" miniseries, "Reilly, Ace of Spies," Herman Wouk’s "The Winds of War," as well as "Christabel" with Elizabeth Hurley.

A preponderance of contemporary movies, whether theatrical releases, DVD's, or VHS videos, such as:

"Utz," "Bon Voyage," "God is Great," "Varian's War," "Me without You," "Focus," "Monsieur Ibrahim" "The Barbarian Invasions," "The Governess" etc. all somehow center around Jewish themes or sub-themes.

This of course "blocks out" other ways of looking at the world, such as Arab, Muslim, or Iranian ones. For example, the great flowering of today's Iranian cinema is somehow not really "legitimate" or "kosher."

The truth is that the Israelization of Washington policy-making, accompanied by the constant flow of such Judeocentric images presented by BBC and BBC/WGBH writers and producers in the various high-quality TV miniseries, taken all together, are close to bringing the world to something like a "nervous breakdown."

CFG Essay: Judeocentrism

February 20, 2005