Okay, let me try to write about the question of anti-semitism again. I have to plunge into this subject, or I will find myself off on some detour or digression. When you turn off the main path, you don’t know if you’ll ever get back.
The first question is, why does anti-semitism even exist anymore? I know we’ll always have enmity among religious and ethnic groups. That’s not the kind of animosity I’m talking about here. I wonder why people suspect Jews of doing things that have nothing to do with Judaism, or with past wrongs suffered, with any kind of grounded fear or rational hate. The animosity seems completely scapegoatish and free floating: it has no anchor. You have this nameless anxiety, and you want to attach it to something. You look around and see that other people blame Jews for this or for that, so you think you’ll do the same thing. Before you know it, you’re part of the fellowship of people who hate Jews!
I know that’s a bit of a sketchy account of anti-semitism, but that’s how it looks to me, from the outside. The hatred, suspicion, public defamation, secret envy, and irrational lies just don’t make sense to me. How do you explain it? Explanations exist, but because they try to account for irrationality, the explanations themselves often seem irrational. You need to read Hannah Arendt’s explanation of anti-semitism in Europe before Hitler, to see its roots in Western culture. Even then, her account of nineteeth century anti-semitism does not seem so relevant to the strain we see on this side of the ocean in the twenty-first.
Why do I even want to talk about anti-semitism in connection with 9/11? One can see that in almost every area of American culture, anti-semitism is submerged. Seventy-five years ago, if you were white, male, heterosexual, and Protestant, you were okay. You could star in Mad Men, as a made man. If you were not all four of those things, you likely had to watch out, because someone would run you down behind your back. You could win ill will from others not because of anything you did, but because of who you were. Society was segmented into those who were made, and those who were not.
Now we come to a political crime like 9/11, and the scum of anti-semitism appears right on the surface. When you try to look into who committed this crime, you don’t have to look far before you encounter the word Zionist. That is the preferred term, substituted for Jew, Israeli, or any other label one might want to apply to the suspected villains. I might be mistaken about this use of the word – perhaps its use is more innocent, and not an accusation. Yet if people use the word neutrally in this context, why choose a label that refers to a movement to establish a Jewish homeland in the Middle East? It would be like calling a Catholic a papist, when the subject of discussion has nothing to do with Rome, the Vatican, or the pope.
Without a doubt, people who raise the Zionist spectre when they write about 9/11 do so with one thing in mind: to place blame. They believe the crime grows out of a Jewish conspiracy. In that way, the parallel with the Reichstag fire of 1933, in Berlin, is telling. Germans wanted to blame the fire on the Jews and the Communists, international conspirators, even though they had no evidence for the charge. Similarly, some people here in the United States seem ready to blame a Zionist conspiracy for the events of 9/11, even though you can look carefully and find no solid evidence to support the accusation.
We come now to what is clearly a category error. Suppose you suspect the Mossad, Israel’s secret intelligence service, of being involved in 9/11. You might have evidence that the Mossad and some parts of the United States government collaborated in the crime. These are hypothetical statements, to help us understand the category error. I don’t want to say they are true.
Well we know Mossad agents commit crimes. They assassinate people, and engage in other activities that they keep secret, because they would be prosecuted for these acts if they committed these crimes in public. We have quite a bit of evidence that members of the Mossad engage in these activities. The problem is, they engage in these activities because they are members of a secret intelligence service, not because they are Jews. They serve the Israeli state, and in that role they act like other secret agents who serve their states. They do not commit crimes to serve an international Jewish conspiracy.
The anti-semites can readily say, “Yes, but the Israeli state is by definition Zionist, so it’s okay to use that label as we make our accusations.” Not so: if you have a problem with the Mossad, make your charges against that organization, and show the evidence. If you have a problem with the Israeli state, make your charges against Israel and its leaders. Show the evidence. When you make your charges against Zionists, you might as well accuse all Jews, given the label you have selected. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the infamously anti-semitic, fraudulent tract, serves as the source of the label in modern political discourse. When you use the word Zionist, you borrow from a long tradition of anti-Jewish propaganda, hatred, and agitation.
I hardly have to add that the growth of anti-semitic accusations within political and historical discussions about 9/11 does no good for people skeptical of the government’s account. All government has to do, to defend itself, is group the skeptics with the anti-semites, as it calculates ways to weaken a movement that wants to find the truth. Someone who wants to find the truth about 9/11 quickly sees the anti-Zionist conspiracy theories, and begins to ask, “What am I getting into here?” In that environment, you see the value of the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Given their emphasis on evidence, investigation, and professional expertise, no one can group that organization with the repugnant strain of accusations we have discussed here.
We have to decide what to ignore. We can ignore the official account, unless someone forces us to pay attention to it. We can ignore the anti-semitic accounts, unless, again, someone forces us to pay attention to them. We can ignore any explanation that does not seem to care about the truth. Anti-Zionist writing clearly fits that description: it does not have anything interesting to say, it builds on a long, established history of suspicion and prejudice to make its case, and it has no evidence of substance to underpin its accusations. Moreover, it cannot tell a story that makes any sense, or that is persuasive to anyone who looks for dispassionate reasoning in a complicated case like this one.
So, if you are tempted to dismiss alternate explanations of 9/11 because it is difficult to see past the surface scum, keep looking. Scrub the scum away. You’ll see the logic of persuasive truth, and a lot more of value underneath.