23 nov. 2009

Palin's associated with a religious tendency whose leaders promote anti-Jewish conspiracy theory



There's some acceptance that statements such as Sarah Palin's prediction that Jews will soon be "flocking to Israel" may indicate Palin holds apocalyptic beliefs. What's not understood is that she's closely associated with a religious tendency whose leaders promote anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, including one most commonly used by the Third Reich, in the 1930's and 1940's, to whip up anti-Semitic hatreds: the claim that a worldwide cabal of Jewish bankers manipulates the world economy and preys on working classes.

Stumping for her new autobiography, Sarah Palin has made a round of interviews with high profile media figures such as Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters. In the Walters interview Palin justified her support for expansion of Jewish settler enclaves on Israel's West Bank with a strange prediction. Walters asked, "Now let's talk about some issues - the Middle East. The Obama Administration does not want Israel to build any more settlements on what they consider Palestinian territory. What is your view on this ?" Palin responded, "I disagree with the Obama Administration on that. I believe that, um, the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon because the population of Israel is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead."

Why might Palin's prediction come to pass ?

In the 1920's and 1930's, rising anti-Semitism was propelled, in part, by conspiracy theories alleging that Jewish bankers such as the Rothschild banking family controlled both the German and world economies through the manipulation of global money markets. Leaders in Sarah Palin's religious tendency have for years been promoting extremely similar conspiracy theories. Some of these allege that the Rothschild banking family heads an international conspiracy that dominates much of the world economy and controls the U.S.economy through the Federal Reserve.

In the 1980's and 1990's that conspiracy theory was folded into a apocalyptic meta-conspiracy narrative claiming that Jews and "Illuminati" controlled, or were close to controlling, the US government and were plotting to implement a "New World Order." The narrative went on to claim that the Jewish/Illuminati conspiracy was imminently ready to call up hundreds of thousands of foreign troops hidden on US army bases and in National Parks, who would round up patriotic Christians and pack them into trains which would bring them to internment camps where, in some versions of the narratives, those Christians would be slaughtered via machine guns, guillotines, ovens, or poison gas.

While there are secular versions of that New World Order meta-conspiracy narrative, most of the narratives are rooted in Christian apocalyptic end-time narratives that envision, with the coming of the New World Order, the rise of a murderous, tyrannical anti-Christ figure. But the fusion of anti-Jewish conspiracy theory with an anti-Christ narrative has precedent.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, probably the single most destructive work of anti-Jewish propaganda ever created, was first popularized through being printed as the final chapter in Russian Orthodox priest Sergei Nilus' 1905 book The Great within the Small and Antichrist, an Imminent Political Possibility. Notes of an Orthodox Believer. Alfred Rosenberg, Hitler's chief ideologist, tells of being given a copy of Nilus' book in 1917, while Rosenberg was studying in Moscow.

In short, this comes around to a concept widely promoted by Christian Zionists such as Christians United For Israel Founder, Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee, of the "fishers and hunters":

"Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks." - Jeremiah 16:16, KJV


Hagee and other Christian Zionists interpret that Biblical passage from the Book of Jeremiah as a prophecy which applies to current-day Jews worldwide.

Christian Zionists, broadly speaking, are Christians who think God wills it that all Jews live in Israel - and who go to elaborate lengths to bring that about. Regardless of whatever differences there might be between John Hagee's and Sarah Palin's respective brands of Christianity, the two seem to share a narrative common to Christian Zionist theology, that a terrible upwelling of anti-Jewish hatred will in the end-times cause Jewish citizens of every nation on Earth to make aliyah and move to Israel.

"Fishers" are, in that expected scenario, evangelists who try to convert Jews to Christianity and coax them to move to Israel. "Hunters" are overt anti-Semites who will come to hunt and kill those Jews who have not listened to the "fishers" and moved to Israel.

John Hagee's controversial late 2005 "God sent Hitler" sermon, which in May 2008 caused then-presidential candidate John McCain to renounce a long-sought political endorsement from Hagee, was more gratuitously offensive, even, than the general public was aware. During the internationally televised sermon, as Hagee asserted Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were hunters sent by God to chase Europe's Jews towards Palestine, pastor Hagee pantomimed holding a rifle aimed at, presumably, those hunted Jews.

[below: in internationally broadcast last 2005 sermon, Christians United For Israel founder John Hagee outlines his beliefs on the meaning of the Biblical scripture of Jeremiah 16:16]



Paradoxically, while "fishers" such as John Hagee decry overt acts of hatred and violence directed at Jews, they also promote various anti-Jewish myths, slurs, and conspiracy theories that foster anti-Semitism. The same grotesque paradox surfaces in Sarah Palin's religious tendency as well.

In September 2008, shortly after John McCain had picked Sarah Palin as a running mate, footage surfaced from an October 2005 ceremony, held at what many argue is by far Sarah Palin's most important church, the Wasilla Assembly of God. In the footage, saved by a blogger before the church partially scrubbed video and audio of past sermons and events from its website archive, Kenyan evangelist Thomas Muthee officiated over a strange ceremony in which Muthee and two other pastors blessed and anointed Sarah Palin and called upon God to protect her from "every spirit of witchcraft."

Before the ceremony Muthee gave a short speech, during which he advocated that the Christian church should "infiltrate" seven key sectors of society (including business, government, education, and media). During that speech, Muthee claimed that "Israelites" "run the economics" of America. But Bishop Muthee's apparently anti-Jewish attack was mild compared to those of some of his colleagues. Muthee is a prominent celebrity in the religious movement described below.

Sarah Palin's least scrutinized but arguably most significant religious influence, is Alaskan evangelist Mary Glazier, whose personal prayer group Palin joined in 1989 according to Glazier (linked Glazier talk from June 13, 2008 conference held near Seattle). Multiple sources including a January 2009 article in what has become the flagship magazine for American charismatic Christians, Charisma, have confirmed the Palin-Glazier relationship continued into 2008. Glazier's prayer warriors began praying for Sarah Palin's political success nearly two decades ago because, as Glazier was quoted in the Charisma article, "We felt then that she was the one God had selected."

As I've described in a recent Talk To Action story, late in September 2008 Mary Glazier sent out, through her personal prayer networks, a "prophetic warning" suggesting that a tragic act of terrorism might soon leave Sarah Palin alone with the American flag, "stepping into an office that she was mantled for." Glazier's warning appeared to suggest that John McCain would win the 2008 election but be killed in a terrorist attack, leaving Sarah Palin to become president.

Mary Glazier is no random evangelist - she is a high level leader and a prophet in the rapidly coalescing religious movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation. Glazier is also an "apostle" in its central leadership group, the International Coalition of Apostles, formed in 2001. In a January 7th, 2009 appearance at the Wasilla Assembly of God, Glazier's fellow ICA apostle Dutch Sheets credited Glazier with bringing the New Apostolic Reformation to Alaska. At least 5 leaders in the movement, including three ICA apostles, have appeared at the Wasilla Assembly of God. In June 2008, Sarah Palin spent Alaska State travel funds to fly from Juneau to the Mat-Su Valley, to attend two Wasilla Assembly of God related events.

There are over 500 apostles in the ICA, some of whom promote anti-Jewish bigotry on an industrial scale. Some of Glazier's fellow apostles, such as Cindy Jacobs, pepper their public speeches with anti-Jewish slurs. Other ICA apostles incite anti-Jewish hatred in a more focused manner.

ICA Apostle Tom Hess, who runs a messianic ministry in Jerusalem, has sent out worldwide, by his own accounting over 800,000 copies, in 24 different languages, of a book entitled "Let My People Go!" According to Hess 500,000 of those copies have been distributed in America. As I wrote in September 2007,

If you were one of the... Jewish Americans who received "Let My People Go: The Struggle Of The American Jew To Come Home To Israel" in the mail the first thing you probably would have noticed would have been the cover of the book, which features a somewhat crude drawing of a man in a business suit, with a briefcase, straining against numerous ropes tying him to a signpost which reads "Wall Street". There are so many of these ropes that it's quite obvious the man will never be able to break them simply by straining. If you had bothered to read the book, rather than simply tossing it in the trash, you'd have found no ambiguity ; the book says that the man on the cover is supposed to be Jewish, and it's hard to escape the implication that "Let My People Go" begins, and quite noisily so, with the premise that Jews, as a people, are bound to materialism, selfish and greedy.


Rivaling, or perhaps surpassing, Tom Hess is ICA apostle Jim Ammerman, who presides over between six and eight percent of the chaplains in the United States military, claims high level contacts in the Pentagon, and who September 2008 issued a thinly veiled threat against the lives of Democratic senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Biden, and Dodd.

Ammerman played an important role in inciting the 1990's militia movement - through barnstorming national tours, under the auspices of a Topeka, Kansas, Christian ministry called The Prophecy Club, during which Ammerman deployed an elaborate anti-Semitic conspiracy theory claiming that the United States government, controlled by evil forces, was imminently ready to declare martial law, round up dissenting Americans, and herd them into concentration camps. Ammerman claimed to have a "high level security clearance." Behind the evil conspiracy, claimed Ammerman, were Rothschilds and other international Jewish banking concerns.

I began this story by mentioning John Hagee for what was a less-than-casual reason. Like Jim Ammerman, John Hagee also distributes, on a worldwide scale, conspiracy theory claiming that Rothschilds control America through the Federal Reserve. Hagee's conspiracy theory-laden sermons go out on Christian broadcast networks that according to John Hagee's official biography reach 190 countries around the globe. According to Jim Ammerman, he and John Hagee are good friends who sometimes go out for lunch.

Both Jim Ammerman and John Hagee have promoted, on a mass scale, conspiracy theories alleging Jewish bankers rule the world. Recently, famed Holocaust survivor, scholar, author, and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel gave a keynote address at one of John Hagee's church events. According to the ADL, claims that Rothschilds head such an alleged conspiracy amount to a "classic anti-Semitic myth."

[below: video documents similarity of John Hagee's financial conspiracy theory to the financial conspiracy theory promoted in the most notorious anti-Jewish propaganda film ever made, The Eternal Jew, produced under the personal supervision of Joseph Goebbels]





FRANK RICH ON PALIN'S BOOK


AT last the American right and left have one issue they unequivocally agree on: You don’t actually have to read Sarah Palin’s book to have an opinion about it. Last Sunday Liz Cheney praised “Going Rogue” as “well-written” on Fox News even though, by her own account, she had sampled only “parts” of it. On Tuesday, Ana Marie Cox, a correspondent for Air America, belittled the book in The Washington Post while confessing that she couldn’t claim to have “completely” read it.

“Going Rogue” will hardly be the first best seller embraced by millions for talismanic rather than literary ends. And I am not recommending that others follow my example and slog through its 400-plus pages, especially since its supposed revelations have been picked through 24/7 for a week. But sometimes I wonder if anyone has read all of what Palin would call the “dang” thing. Some of the book’s most illuminating tics have been mentioned barely — if at all — by either its fans or foes. Palin is far and away the most important brand in American politics after Barack Obama, and attention must be paid. Those who wishfully think her 15 minutes are up are deluding themselves.

The book’s biggest surprise is Palin’s wide-eyed infatuation with show-business celebrities. You get nearly as much face time with Tina Fey and the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in “Going Rogue” as you do with John McCain. We learn how happy Palin was to receive calls from Bono and Warren Beatty “to share ideas and insights.” We wade through star-struck lists of campaign cameos by Robert Duvall, Jon Voight (who “blew us away”), Naomi Judd, Gary Sinise and Kelsey Grammer, among many others. Then there are the acknowledgments at the book’s end, where Palin reveals that her intimacy with media stars is such that she can air-kiss them on a first-name basis, from Greta to Laura to Rush.

Equally revealing is the one boldfaced name conspicuously left unmentioned in the book: Levi Johnston, the father of Palin’s grandchild. Though Palin and McCain milked him for photo ops at the Republican convention, he is persona non grata now that he’s taking off his campaign wardrobe. Is Johnston’s fledgling porn career the problem, or is it his public threats to strip bare Palin family secrets as well? “She knows what I got on her” is how he put it. In Palin’s interview with Oprah last week, it was questioning about Johnston, not Katie Couric, that made her nervous.

The book’s most frequently dropped names, predictably enough, are the Lord and Ronald Reagan (though not necessarily in that order). Easily the most startling passage in “Going Rogue,” running more than two pages, collates extended excerpts from a prayerful letter Palin wrote to mark the birth of Trig, her child with Down syndrome. This missive’s understandable goal was to reassert Palin’s faith and trust in God. But Palin did not write her letter to God; she wrote the letter from God, assuming His role and voice herself and signing it “Trig’s Creator, Your Heavenly Father.” If I may say so — Oy!

Even by the standard of politicians, this is a woman with an outsized ego. Combine that with her performance skills and an insatiable hunger for the limelight, and you can see why she will not stay in Wasilla now that she’s seen 30 Rock. The question journalists repeatedly asked last week — What are Palin’s plans for 2012? — is a red herring. Palin has no obligation to answer it. She is the pit bull in the china shop of American politics, and she can do what she wants, on her own timeline, all the while raking in the big bucks she couldn’t as a sitting governor. No one, least of all her own political party, can control her.

The fact-checking siege of “Going Rogue” — by the media, Democrats and aggrieved McCain campaign operatives alike — is another fruitless sideshow. Palin’s political appeal has never had anything to do with facts — or coherent policy positions. The more she is attacked for not being in possession of pointy-headed erudition, the more powerful she becomes as an avatar of the anti-elite cause. As Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, has correctly observed, “She represents less a philosophical strain on the right than an affect and a demographic.”

That demographic is white and non-urban: Just look at the stops and the faces on her carefully calibrated book tour. The affect is emotional — the angry air of grievance that emerged first at her campaign rallies in 2008, with their shrieked threats to Obama, and that has since resurfaced in the Hitler-fixated “tea party” movement (which she endorses in her book). It’s a politics of victimization and sloganeering with no policy solutions required beyond the conservative mantra of No Taxes. Its standard-bearer can make stuff up with impunity: “Thanks, but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere”; Obama’s “palling around with terrorists”; health care “death panels.”

After the Palin-McCain ticket lost, conservative pundits admonished her to start studying the issues. If “Going Rogue” and its promotional interviews are any indication, she has ignored their entreaties during her months at liberty. Last week, Greta Van Susteren chastised Oprah for not asking Palin “one policy question,” but when Barbara Walters did ask some, Palin either recycled Dick Cheney verbatim (Obama is “dithering”) or ran aground. Her argument for why “Jewish settlements” should be expanded on the West Bank was that “more and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead.” It was unclear what she was talking about — unless it was the “rapture” theology that requires the mass return of Jews to settle the Holy Land as a precondition for the return of Christ.

The discredited neocon hacks who have latched on to Palin as a potential ticket back into power have their work cut out for them. But it’s better for Palin’s purposes to remain as blank a slate as possible anyway. Some of her most ardent supporters realize that she’ll drive still more independent voters away if she fills in too many details. And so Matthew Continetti, the author of the just-published “Persecution of Sarah Palin” and her most persistent cheerleader after William Kristol, wrote in The Wall Street Journal that her role model for 2012 should be Bob McDonnell, the new Republican governor-elect of Virginia, who won on “a bipartisan, center-right approach.”

What Continetti means is that Palin could still somehow fudge her history as McDonnell did; his campaign kept his career-long history as a political acolyte and financial beneficiary of Pat Robertson on the down-low. Even the far right has figured out that homophobia is a turnoff to swing voters, which is why Palin goes out of her way in “Going Rogue” to remind us she has her very own lesbian friend. (What’s left unsaid is that the book’s credited ghost writer, Lynn Vincent, labeled homosexuality as “deviance” in her own writings for World, the evangelical magazine.)

But no matter how much Palin tries to pass for “center-right,” she’s unlikely to fool that vast pool of voters left, right and center who have already written her off as unqualified for the White House. The G.O.P. establishment knows this, and is frightened. The demographic that Palin attracts is in decline; there’s no way the math of her fan base adds up to an Electoral College victory.

Yet among Republicans she still ties Mitt Romney in the latest USA Today/Gallup survey, with 65 percent giving her serious presidential consideration, just behind the 71 for her evangelical rival, Mike Huckabee. The crowds lining up in the cold for her book tour are likely to be the most motivated to line up at the polls in G.O.P. primaries. They don’t speak the same language as Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Michael Steele, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner or, for that matter, McCain. They are more likely to heed Palin salesmen like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh than baffled Bush administration grandees like Peter Wehner, who last week called Palin “a cultural figure much more than a political one” on the Web site of the establishment conservative organ Commentary.

Culture is politics. Palin is at the red-hot center of age-old American resentments that have boiled up both from the ascent of our first black president and from the intractability of the Great Recession for those Americans who haven’t benefited from bailouts. As Palin thrives on the ire of the left, so she does from the disdain of Republican leaders who, with a condescension rivaling the sexism they decry in liberals, belittle her as a lightweight or instruct her to eat think-tank spinach.

The only person who can derail Palin is Palin herself. Should she not self-destruct, she will doom G.O.P. hopes of a 2012 comeback. But the rest of the country cannot rest easy. The rage out there is larger than Palin and defies partisan labeling. Her ever-present booster Continetti, writing in The Weekly Standard, suggested that she recast the century-old populist outrage of William Jennings Bryan by adopting the message “You shall not crucify mankind upon the cross of Goldman Sachs.” If Obama can’t tamp down that rage across the political map, Palin will at the very least pave the way for a demagogue with less baggage to pick up her torch.