01-01-2003

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

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The Protocols of the Elders of Zion - Document forged by the Czarist secret police, in order to incite violence against Jews in Russia, about between 1890s and 1903. It is based on an1864 French satire by Maurice Joly, directed at of the Emperor Napoleon III. The Protocols are alleged minutes of a meeting at which non-existent leaders of the World Jewish Conspiracy ("Elders of Zion") planned to take over the world. The Protocols were published by US industrialist Henry Ford and publicized in a series of articles in the 1920s in his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, occasioning a lawsuit. Ford lost the suit and admitted he was wrong:

 

"To my great regret I learn that in the Dearborn Independent and in reprint pamphlets entitled, 'THE INTERNATIONAL JEW', there have appeared articles which induce the Jews to regard me as their enemy, promoting antisemitism.

 

"As a result of this survey I am deeply mortified that this journal, which is intended to be constructive and not destructive, has been made the medium for resurrecting exploded fictions, for giving currency to the so-called Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion, which have been demonstrated, as I learn, to be gross forgeries, and for contending that the Jews have been engaged in a conspiracy to control the capital and the industries of the world, besides laying at their door many offences against decency, public order and good morals...I deem it to be my duty as an honourable man to make amends for the wrong done to the Jews as fellow men and brothers, by asking their forgiveness for the harm which I have unintentionally committed, by retracting, as far as lies within my power the offensive charges laid at their door by these publications, and by giving them the unqualified assurance that henceforth they may look to me for friendship and good will...

 

"Had I appreciated even the general nature to say nothing of the details of these utterances, I would have forbidden their circulation without a moment's hesitation...This statement is made on my own initiative and wholly in the interest of right and justice, and is in accordance with what I regard as my solemn duty as a man and as a citizen."

 

Nonetheless, the Protocols are still published as if they were true, particularly in the Arab world, where many regard them as factual. "Anti-Zionists," as they style themselves, often insist that the Protocols are the resolutions of the First Zionist Congress in Basle. Adolf Hitler made frequent and famous use of the "International Jewry" and "International Finance Jewry" in his harangues.