Been Happy — Imagine Getting
The Slander His Pal Henry Ford
Helped Spread At Wal-Mart.
|September 21, 2004 |
H. Lee Scott, Jr.
President & CEO
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
702 Southwest 8th Street
Bentonville, AK 72716
Dear Mr. Scott:
We have received voluminous messages of concern from across the country that the notorious anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is being sold by Wal-Mart on its online catalog of books.
The "Description" of the book on your Web site suggests it may not be a forgery. In fact, there is no question that the Protocols is a forgery, created by a Czarist official in the early 20th century to promote the conspiracy theory that Jews are plotting to control the world. Historians, jurists and other authorities have publicly attested to its fraudulence.
The Protocols has been the major weapon in the arsenals of anti-Semites around the world, republished and circulated by individuals, hate groups and governments to convince the gullible as well as the bigoted that Jews have schemed and plotted to take over the world. For too many it continues to have resonance today, at a time when there is an explosion of global anti-Semitism.
ADL is not in the business of banning books, no matter how reprehensible they may be. While Wal-Mart has discretion in what books it chooses to sell, it owes it to its customers to unequivocally state the nature of the book and to disassociate itself from any endorsement of it. To demonstrate its corporate responsibility, we expect Wal-Mart to do so in the case of the Protocols, should it continue to list it in its online catalog.
We look forward to your response
|Abraham H. Foxman,|
Sunday, September 26, 2004
Walmart.com stops selling 'Protocols'
Bowing to a barrage of complaints from Jewish groups, retail giant Wal-Mart Inc. on Thursday stopped selling "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion," an infamous anti-Semitic tract long exposed as fake.
Jewish leaders had complained that the book, which purports to tell of an international Jewish conspiracy to take over the world, was being sold on Walmart.com with a description that suggested it might be genuine instead of a forgery concocted by the Czarist secret police in the early 20th Century.
The description, now withdrawn from the Wal-Mart Web site, said, "If ... The Protocols are genuine (which can never be proven conclusively), it might cause some of us to keep a wary eye on world affairs. We neither support nor deny its message. We simply make it available for those who wish a copy."
More on this protest from Chicago Jewish News. The best debunking of the book is available from the Simon Wiesenthal Center: Dismantling The Big Lie: Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion.
Amazon and Barnes & Noble continue to sell 'Protocols' online, but with dislaimers that are much stronger than Walmart's 'we neither support or deny.' Amazon's disclaimer recognizes the book as a 'pernicious fraud', and includes this:
'The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion' is classified under "controversial knowledge" in our store, along with books about UFOs, demonic possession, and all manner of conspiracy theories. You can also find books in other sections of Amazon.com's online bookstore that analyze The Protocols' fraudulent origins and its tragic historical role in promoting anti-Semitism and Jewish persecution, including 'A Lie and a Libel: The History of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.'
The Protocols of the (Learned) Elders of Zion is a fraudulent document purporting to describe a plan to achieve Jewish global domination. Written by Mathieu Golovinski, a Russian operative of Czar Nicholas II based on a early work by Maurice Joly linking Napoleon III to Machiavelli. Czar Nicholas was fearful of modernization and protective of his monarchy, ordered the Imperial Russia secret police, the Okhranka to publish it in order to blame the Jews for Russia's problems.
The overwhelming majority of historians in the United States of America and Europe have long agreed that the document is fraudulent, and in 1993, a district court in Moscow, Russia, formally ruled that the Protocols was faked in dismissing a libel suit by the ultra-nationalist Pamyat organization, which had been criticized for using them in their anti-Semitic publications.  (http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi?documents/protocols/protocols.001)
The Protocols is accepted as factual in some parts of the world in which opinion against Jews or Israel is high, as well as in countries such as Japan, where some believe it can be read as a textbook description of means to obtain power. In the current conflicts in the Middle East, the Protocols is sometimes being used as evidence of Jewish conspiracy. (UNISPAL (http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/4eb2f5f2a5956cfb85256e59006dd050?OpenDocument))
The Protocols are widely considered the beginning of contemporary conspiracy theory literature, such as None Dare Call It Conspiracy and Conspirators Hierarchy: The Committee of 300. The book is popular among those interested in conspiracy theories, although most of them consider it to be false. It has often been declared a major influence to every other book concerning conspiracy theories. Other editions study its great influence in Anti-Semitism during the previous century.
Some recent editions proclaim that the "Jews" as depicted in the Protocols are used as a cover identity for other conspirators such as the Illuminati or Freemasons. Other minor groups that believe in its authenticity have claimed that the book does not depict the way that all Jews think and act but only of those belonging to an alleged secret elite of Zionists.
The Protocols take the form of an essay that is written as if it were an instruction manual to a new member of the Elders, which describes how they will run the world. The Elders seem to want to trick all "gentile nations" whom they call "goyim", into doing their will. There are many unusual points that can be made about the protocols, some of which vouch against their authenticity, yet some of which point out larger questions:
- The document however is somewhat prophetic in that it describes some things that are very similar to what was established in Russia after the revolution.
- The document is also written from the point of view that the reader will already understand that the Freemasons are a secret society with a hidden political agenda, but the protocols purport to show that even that agenda is being really controlled by the Elders, a sort of conspiracy theory within a conspiracy theory. This is somewhat unusual for the time that the protocols were supposed to have been written, however, since the idea of the Freemasons secretly interfering in politics for selfish reasons was not really discussed much at the time, being a more modern phenonenon. (At the time, Freemasons were popular as were many fraternal organizations; their biggest opponent, the Catholic Church, was against them not for any imagined wrong but for their nonsecret support of freedom of religion and "enlightenment ideals". However, at least one case of an actual "conspiracy" or society within Freemasonry had already come to light, namely the Bavarian Illuminati. Furthermore, Abbe Barruél had already accused the Jews of founding the Illuminati.) In another way, Freemasons and "liberal thinkers" are shown to be tools for the Jews to eventually create a Jewish theocracy. This point, however, is very different from most of the Judeo-Masonic conspiracy theories/essays of the time, which define the "Jews" with not so much emphasis on race or religion, but rather as those who reject Jesus' "spiritual kingdom" and look for a "kingdom on earth". If the protocols were intended as obviously fictitious in the style of C. S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, it's difficult to pin down who the target audience might be.
- Another unusual point is that the protocols seems to describe a "kingdom", and goes into great lengths as to how things will be run in this kingdom. However, even during this kingdom the Elders will still not have direct control over the laws, and instead will continue to assert control via usury and control of money. Even the "King of the Jews" himself, will appear to be nothing more than a figurehead.
The Plagiarized Document
The actual origin of the Protocols can be clearly traced back to its beginnings and associated with known historical events. There is no actual connection with any Jewish conspiracy.
The origin of most of what make up the Protocols lies in an 1864 pamphlet titled Dialogues in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu by the French satirist Maurice Joly, which attacks the political ambitions of Napoleon III by using the device of diabolical plotters in Hell. In turn, Joly appears to have plagiarized a good amount of the material from a popular novel by Eugene Sue, The Mysteries of the People. In Sue's work, the plotters were Jesuits, and the Jews do not appear in the pamphlet. There seems to be some confusion here, because the Jesuit plotters were in Sue's book The Wandering Jew, which wasn't in fact about Jews.
It being illegal to criticize the monarchy, Joly had the pamphlet printed in Belgium, and then attempted to have it smuggled over the French border. It was seized by the police, who confiscated as many copies as they could, then banned the book. The police traced the book to Joly, who was then tried on April 25, 1865, and sentenced to fifteen months in prison.
Hermann Goedsche, a German anti-Semite and a spy for the Prussian secret police who had been removed from his job as a postal clerk after forging evidence for the prosecution of political reformer Benedict Waldeck in 1849, included Joly's Dialogues in his 1868 book Biarritz, written under the name Sir John Retcliffe. In the chapter "The Jewish Cemetery in Prague and the Council of Representatives of the Twelve Tribes of Israel", he invented a secret rabbinical cabal which meets in the cemetery at midnight every hundred years to plan the agenda for the Jewish Conspiracy. To portray the meeting, he borrowed heavily from the scene in the novel Joseph Balsamo by Alexandre Dumas where Cagliostro and company plot the affair of the diamond necklace, and likewise borrowed Joly's Dialogues as the outcome of the meeting.
Goedsche's book was translated into Russian language in 1872, and in 1891 an extract of the chapter containing the meeting of the fictional centennial rabbinical "council of representatives", including the plagiarized Joly's Dialogues was circulating in Russia; whether they originated it or not, the Russian secret police found the work useful in their fight to discredit liberal reformers and revolutionaries who were rapidly gaining support among the populace. During the Dreyfus affair in France in 1893–1895, when polarization of European attitudes towards the Jews was at a maximum, the Dialogues were edited into their final form, which appeared in Russia in 1895 and began to be privately published starting in 1897 as the Protocols.
Russian Reactionaries Use the Forgery
It enjoyed another wave of popularity in Russia after 1905, when the progressive political elements in Russia succeeded in creating a constitution and a parliament, the Duma. The reactionary "Union of the Russian Nation", known as the Black Hundreds, together with the Okhranka, blamed this liberalization on the "International Jewish conspiracy", and began a program of widely disseminating the Protocols as a propaganda support for the wave of pogrom that swept Russia in 1903–1906 and a tool to deflect attention from social activism.
The mystical priest Professor Sergei Nilus gained fame by promulgating the Protocols as Chapter 18, the work of the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland in 1897. After it had been pointed out that the First Zionist Congress had been open to the public and attended by many non-Jews, he claimed the Protocols were the work of the meetings of the "Elders of Zion" in 1902–1903, despite the conflict with his claim of having received a copy previous to that date:
- In 1901, I succeeded through an acquaintance of mine (the late Court Marshal Alexei Nikolayevich Sukotin of Chernigov) in getting a manuscript that exposed with unusual perfection and clarity the course and development of the secret Jewish Freemasonic conspiracy, which would bring this wicked world to its inevitable end. The person who gave me this manuscript guaranteed it to be a faithful translation of the original documents that were stolen by a woman from one of the highest and most influential leaders of the Freemasons at a secret meeting somewhere in France—the beloved nest of Freemasonic conspiracy. (Source: Morris Kominsky, The Hoaxers, 1970. p. 209.)
Simultaneously a popular edition published by George Butmi claimed that the Protocols were the work of the Masonic/Jewish conspiracy.
Western Distribution by Anti-Bolsheviks
1927 edition by Russian emigrants in Paris; 1930 Spanish edition
After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, various warring fractions used the Protocols to perpetrate hatred and violence against the Jews. The idea that Bolshevik movement is a Jewish conspiracy for world domination sparked worldwide interest in the Protocols. In a single year (1920), five editions were sold out in England. The same year in the United States, Henry Ford sponsored printing of 500,000 copies and until 1927 published a series of anti-Semitic articles in The Dearborn Independent, a newspaper that he controlled.
In 1920, the history of the Protocols was traced back to the works of Goedsche and Joly by Lucien Wolf and published in London in August of 1921. The history of the Protocols was similarly exposed in the series of articles in The Times by its Constantinople reporter Philip Grave who got his information from Wolf's work; and the same year, an entire book documenting the hoax was published in the United States by Herman Bernstein. Despite this widespread and extensive debunking, the Protocols continued to be regarded as important factual evidence by anti-Semites.
Some scholars compare the Protocols to The permanent instruction of the Alta Vendita, supposedly found by Italian Secret police and endorsed by several Popes. The nature of the plans in both is very similar, as the Protocols go into much detail as to how to replace the Pope as the head of the Catholic Church.
Besides the Tsarist forgery, another popular theory amongst scholars was that the Protocols were written by an offshoot Masonic or other fraternal lodge (of which many invoked the name Zion in their name at the time), as a sort of fantasy as to how they would like to control things.
Textual evidence seems to disqualify that the document was written by someone Jewish. One example is the semi-messianic idea that constantly appears in the text, of establishing a "King of the Jews". This was never a Jewish term, and was only referenced on the cross of Jesus.
Western History after 1929
The Protocols eventually became a part of the propaganda arsenal of the Nazis in their justification for the persecution of the Jews. The book was prescribed for compulsory study in schools.
In 1934 the Swiss Nazi Dr. A. Zander published a series of articles accepting the Protocols as fact. He was brought to court, in what has come to be known as the Berne Trial, by Dr. J. Dreyfus-Brodsky, Dr. Marcus Cohen and Dr. Marcus Ehrenpreis. The trial began in the Cantonal Court of Berne on 29 October 1934. On 19 May 1935 the court, after full investigation, declared the Protocols to be forgeries, plagiarisms, and obscene literature.
In a similar case in Grahamstown, South Africa, in August 1934, the court imposed fines totalling 1775 pounds ($4,500) on three men for disseminating a version of the Protocols.
Among Muslim nations and groups after 1948
Many Arab governments fund the publication of new printings of the Protocols, and teach them in their schools as historical fact. The Protocols have been accepted as fact by many Islamic extremist organizations, such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Al Qaeda.
In the past, the Protocols were publicly recommended by Presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat of Egypt, one of the President Arifs of Iraq, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, and Colonel Moammar Qaddafi of Libya, among other political and intellectual leaders of the Arab world, and in March 1970, the Protocols were reported to be the best 'nonfiction' bestseller in Lebanon.
- "When The Protocols of the Elders of Zion were discovered, some 200 years ago, and translated in various languages, including Arabic, the World Zionist Organization attempted to deny the existence of the plot, and claimed forgery. The Zionists even endeavored to purchase all the existing copies, in order to prevent their circulation. But today, Shimon Peres proves unequivocally that the Protocols are authentic, and that they tell the truth."
- "All the evils that currently affect the world are the doings of Zionism. This is not surprising, because the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which were established by their wise men more than a century ago, are proceeding according to a meticulous and precise plan and time schedule, and they are proof that even though they are a minority, their goal is to rule the world and the entire human race."
Translations of the Protocols are extremely popular in Iran. The first edition was issued during the summer of 1978 at the time of the Islamic revolution. In 1985 a new edition of the Protocols was printed and widely distributed by the Islamic Propagation Organization, International Relations Department in Tehran. The Astaneh-ye Qods Razavi (Shrine of Imam Reza) Foundation in Mashhad, Iran, one of the wealthiest institutions in Iran, financed publication of the Protocols in 1994. Parts of the Protocols were published by the daily Jomhouri-ye Eslami in 1994, under the heading The Smell of Blood, Zionist Schemes. Sobh, a radical Islamic monthly, published excerpts from the Protocols under the heading The text of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion for establishing the Jewish global rule in the December 1998–January 1999 issue, illustrated with a caricature of the Jewish snake swallowing the globe.
- "The ultimate goal of the Jews ... after conquering the globe ... is to extract from the hands of the Lord many stars and galaxies".
Saudi Arabian schoolbooks contain explicit summaries of the Protocols as factual:
- The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
- These are secret resolutions, most probably of the aforementioned Basel congress. They were discovered in the nineteenth century. The Jews tried to deny them, but there was ample evidence proving their authenticity and that they were issued by the elders of Zion. The Protocols can be summarized in the following points:
- 1. Upsetting the foundations of the world's present society and its systems, in order to enable Zionism to have a monopoly of world government.
- 2. Eliminating nationalities and religions, especially the Christian nations.
- 3. Striving to increase corruption among the present regimes in Europe, as Zionism believes in their corruption and [eventual] collapse.
- 4. Controlling the media of publication, propaganda and the press, using gold for stirring up disturbances, seducing people by means of lust and spreading wantonness.
- The cogent proof of the authenticity of these resolutions, as well as of the hellish Jewish schemes included therein, is the [actual] carrying out of many of those schemes, intrigues and conspiracies that are found in them. Anyone who reads them - and they were published in the nineteenth century - grasps today to what extent much of what is found there has been realized (See: The Danger of World Jewry, by Abdullah al-Tall, pp. 140-141 [Arabic]).
The Charter of Hamas explicitly refers to the Protocols, and promotes them as factual. Article 32 of the Hamas Charter states:
- The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying. (http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/mideast/hamas.htm)
The Charter also makes several references to Freemasons as one of the "secret societies" controlled by "Zionists".
Palestinian National Authority
On February 20, 2005, the Mufti of Jerusalem Ikrima Sabri appeared on Al-Majd Saudi Arabian satellite TV to comment on the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister. Sabri stated "Anyone who studies The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and specifically the Talmud will discover that one of the goals of these Protocols is to cause confusion in the world and to undermine security throughout the world."  (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-7-1506190,00.html)On May 19, 2005, The New York Times reported that PA Minister of Information Nabil Shaath removed from his ministry’s web site an Arabic translation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. 
Other contemporary appearancesThe American retail chain, Wal-Mart, was criticized for selling The Protocols of the Elders of Zion on its website with a description that suggested it might be genuine. It was withdrawn from sale in September 2004, as 'a business decision'. It is distributed in the United States by some Palestinian student groups on college campuses, and by Louis Farrakhan's "Nation of Islam". In 2002, the New Jersey based Arabic-language newspaper The Arab Voice published excerpts from the Protocols as true; in his defense, editor and publisher Walid Rabah
protested (in Arabic) that
- "some major writers in the Arab nation accept the truth of the book."
In Greece the Protocols have had multiple publications in recent decades, along with various commentaries depending on who published the book and what is their point of view. The anti-Semitic minority party Hrisi Avgi ("Golden Dawn") consider the book to be an accurate document and distribute their edition to their members.
The final work of cartoonist Will Eisner, published after his death in 2005, was a graphic novel titled The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, detailing the document's complex history.
The New Zealand National Front sells copies published by their former national secretary, Kerry Bolton. Bolton also publishes (and the NZNF sells) a book entitled "The Protocols of Zion in Context" that seeks to refute the idea that the Protocols are a forgery.
- Black propaganda
- Conspiracy theory
- False document
- Priory of Zion
- Tanaka Memorial
- A Racial Program for the Twentieth Century
- Actual text of the Protocols (http://aztlan.net/protocols.htm)
- Refutation of "The Protocols" (http://emperors-clothes.com/antisem/protocols-1.htm)
- Essay by Shaul Wallach on the Protocols (http://shamash.org/holocaust/denial/protocols.txt)
- 1921 investigation by the Times of London (http://emperors-clothes.com/antisem/times-pdf.htm) into the Protocols: contains transcripts and .PDF files of the Times articles
- Eisner, Will and Eco, Umberto, The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. ISBN 0-393-06045-4
- Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide, 1967 (Eyre & Spottiswoode), 1996 (Serif)
- Hadassa Ben-Itto, The Lie That Wouldn’t Die: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, 2005 (Vallentine Mitchell). Review (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-7-1506190,00.html)
- Will Eisner, The Plot
- Danilo Kis presents a narrative history of the "Protocols" as The Book Of Kings And Fools in The Encyclopedia of the Dead, 1989 (Faber and Faber)