Monday 12 November 2007

Cross-eyed Europe. The Protocols of the Sages of Information, by Pilar Rahola (2003)

"The present anti-Semitic edifice is built on two equally powerful pillars. One has to do with the culture of the hatred and prejudice that marks us as a people. However, the other pillar is absolutely necessary for those prejudices to take wing and fly: the informative lie. And "lie", nowadays, is a verb conjugated with equal enthusiasm by journalists and intellectuals, to such a degree that the truth about Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict is being superseded by a parallel truth, based on the distortion and falsification of history. Here, too, there is nothing new, inasmuch as historical and contemporary anti-Semitism have to do with lying. I will put in the harsh terms merited by the accusation: Europe - erudite, intellectual, media-minded; the Europe that reports daily on the Middle East and which is responsible for the voraciously anti-Israel cast of opinion, is rewriting a new version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The secret agents of czarism have replaced by modern-day journalists; the ancient peril of a Jewish plot is now being couched as a Yankee-Israeli plot; the evil Jew of yesteryear is the same evil Jew he always was, except that now his plot is situated on Wall Street and he has an army. I shall never cease to be amazed and horrified by the force of old iniquities. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) put it this way in a study it conducted among adults in five European countries: it is alarming to find in this post-Holocaust and post-September-11th world that one out of five persons believes in the old slanders. In Spain, for instance, some 70% believe in the concept of a Jewish financial lobby, as lobby that, naturally, pulls the world’s strings. Thus, in the beginning of time, we had Christian texts converting the Jewish people into God killers. I believe that somewhere there is a wretch who wants to make a movie out of it… In 1903, we had the Protocols garbed by the Russian extreme right, who contributed to instigating the pogroms that devastated that country until 1914, with the slaughter of 60,000 Jews in the civil war between the whites and the reds. In 1920, we had Henry Ford and frenzied international Jew. And in vanquished and convulsed Germany, well nourished on the Protocols, Hitler wrote his Mein Kampf and Rosenberg and Goebbels saw to the propagation of hatred and, therefore, the legitimization of persecution. The outcome is well known.
Today, the same Europe which gave rise to everything - hatred, persecution and extermination, is now giving birth to a new narrative whose stigmas are distant and the distortion of which is equally inconsiderate and whose consequences, in any event, will never be good. This is my explicit accusation: the journalistic and intellectual world, fundamentally composed of leftists, has written new highly influential Protocols, with devastating consequences. Day by day, with every news item, with every declaration, we don’t have the odd ferocious book; today, we have a library full of them. Like their forebears, the Protocols of the Sages of Information are fake, criminal and false. Israel is the target. The reason - there are many, most of which are ignoble. The justification is Sharon. The excuse - anti-Zionism. The weapon - prestige. The propagator - thousands of media. The ally - Arafat. The result - anti-Semitism."
From a speech delivered at the International Keren Hayesod Conference, 25.11.2003.
Pilar Rahola comes from a republican and anti-fascist family. She is a Catalan writer, journalist and former parliamentarian of the republican left.
Also by Pilar Rahola.

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