Blaming the Jews: Reaction to the Financial Crisis in the Europe, Latin America and the Middle East
Posted: October 31, 2008
In response to the financial crisis, age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews or the "Zionists" controlling world events, governments and finances are emerging in Europe, Latin America and the Arab and Muslim world. Much of the anti-Semitic material appearing on Web sites as articles or comments is from unidentified individuals who are angry and seeking to place blame for the spreading impact of the crisis. Others are written by authors who accuse Jews or Zionists of creating and benefiting from the crisis. Some are accompanied by vicious anti-Semitic caricatures and images.
The following is a snapshot of the global anti-Semitic reaction that has emerged as a result of the ongoing financial crisis as compiled by ADL:
• "When it comes to money Jews are always in the say."
This comment, which appeared on Ariva.de, an independent provider of financial news, was one of many which made casual linkage between the crisis and Jews or repeated anti-Semitic stereotypes of the "money-savvy" and "financially dominating Jew."
• "World-Jewry Finance grabbed trillions of Euros and Dollars. Among them the Jews Rothschild and Morgan-Stanley. With the trillions they will incite further wars and finance them."
This quote appeared on freenet, a German Internet discussion forum. The individual used the name "world–jewry finance" and accused Jews of grabbing money to finance wars.
• "It is clear that the United States will remain the world financial center. After all it is the second home of the world finance jews! Rockefeller, Rothschild, Lehman Brothers, Goldman-Sachs….. and many more!"
This quote was also posted on freenet by an individual using the name "Ramirez61."
• "The trouble is most of Europe is sick of their Zionist puppet governments, the wrecking of the universities and the flood of third world immigration. Another Hitler, running a united Europe, could be elected in a heartbeat."
This appeared in an article on the Web site of the newspaper Pravda which published an article arguing that French, German and Italian leaders are advocating a bailout of European banks to benefit "Rothschild, Kuhn Loeb, and other banking magnates," a reference to well-known Jewish banking families in the early 20th century.
• "Which Jews have looted this money, hang these termites.. As Jewish bankers again take aim at Russia, we ought to recognize the danger of the situation for the Russian People, and the American People. History teaches us that Jewish leaders are capable of treachery and genocidal murder…."
Response by a reader named "Khothla" in the comments section connected to the Pravda article.
• "The crisis is not a financial problem but an economic one … it is what is behind this gruesome scene of savage capitalism of the Zionist students of Milton Friedman."
This quote was written in response to an op-ed in El Pais which made reference to Jews and the financial crisis appeared in the mainstream newspaper El Pais. While the articles did not directly accuse Jews of causing the crisis, the comments section following the articles contained several anti-Semitic entries.
• "The world does not learn and here you have again the crisis caused by the Jews in the Banking. Who will reimburse the affected, Israel..? or the Zionists".
The title of a thread in the comments section of El Pais, in early October 2008.
• "Lehman's management board is made up of Jews who were only interested in results no matter at what price."
Several financial Web sites featured articles with anti-Jewish themes, including the quote above.
• "So the banks used to be Jewish-owned … has anything changed?"
The Web site of the mainstream British newspaper, The Independent, featured the above post in its comments section. Another post, by a visitor identifying himself as "Errol Flynn," repeated the claim which alleged $400 billion transfer from Lehman Brothers to Israeli banks. Both posts were eventually removed by the site's administrators.
• "The mechanism through which the Zionist Lobby shatters empires after skinning them has repeated once and again throughout history…In our time, these same families can be observed sucking the blood of the European Union, Russia and even America, the ultimate victim of the banker. Because banking, similar to cancer, ends by destroying the organism that acts as its host."
This quote appeared in an October 2008 essay on the blog, "Red Patriotica Argentina," which focuses on Argentinean nationalism. The essay claimed that Jews were responsible for economic crises in earlier periods, including Germany in the early 1900s. The website also accused the "Jewish Lobby" for being responsible for the financial crisis in the U.S.
• "It is worrisome but…it is not a novelty that with each global economic crisis they turn to members of the 'chosen people.' But what is really important is to avoid that people's virulence be directed in mass to the Jewish people… rather than to the unscrupulous Zionist speculators that act on Wall Street."
This was taken from October 2008 posts made by individuals to Argentina Indymedia, a left-wing news Web site tailored to various localities, blamed "Zionist speculators" or the financial crisis by "Diego."
• "Bernanke and his predecessor (and agitator of this debacle) Greenspan, the two Moishes and the hedge of Bernie that always makes money… no; I do not believe in witches but [they fly]…"
This appeared on the Argentina Indymedia Web site and was written by an individual called "Oligarch."
• "I am not at all surprised that the large Jewish community in the US had 'something' to do with this North American Disaster. We [in Argentina] know it very well (by our own experience with a lot of banks owned by people of that community)."
This appeared in October on the discussion board of a mainstream Argentinean newspaper, La Nacion, "Roger 9."
• "The bandit bankers…have demonstrated that they are the true lords of the neoliberal world, as it is clear from the beneficiaries of the financial rescue plan Paulson-Bernanke-Bush…."
Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, a writer for the left-wing paper La Jornada, wrote this, referring to the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Lehman Brothers sent billions of dollars to Israeli banks before its collapse.
Aporrea.org, a Venezuelan-based Web site that claims to disseminate news and social political opinion pieces "for the socialist revolution of Venezuela" has reprinted a number of anti-Semitic articles on the financial crisis from left-wing authors in the Spanish-speaking world. A sampling of comments from articles follows:
• "The billions deposited mysteriously in Israeli banks just in time for the bankruptcy of the North American banks. Those are the true terrorists of the planet, the terrorists of the financial system and it is a black hole that devours everything…"
This quote appeared in a mid-October article by Magaly Acosta Oviedo and promotes the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that billions of dollars from failed American companies were deposited in Israeli banks.
• "With the crisis generated, or rather, accelerated by these Zionists groups, who have managed to acquire, even more, the political, financial and economic power of the imperialist North American country and in many other countries around the world; the middle class in the US and in Europe is impoverished and assaulted by these same Zionist capitals…"
Basem Tajeldine wrote this in an early October 2008 article in which he accused "Zionist groups" of having tremendous political and financial power and impoverishing the middle class in the U.S. and Europe.
• "The operations of gains from the "crisis" and the "bubbles" are controlled by very concentrated Zionists groups (with a center of operations on Wall Street and European metropolis) who control the networks of the global capitalist system...Its insertion in the Congress and the White House, its contacts with the CIA and the US intelligence, its ramifications in the Pentagon and the military industry in the US, allows the Zionist Lobby in New York (the owner of the global network) to have prior knowledge of the foreign affairs and national security policies that influence in the global markets of the capitalist network…"
This is from a September 2008 article by Manuel Freytas, who claims to be a journalist, researcher and analyst who specializes in intelligence and strategic communication. He claimed that Zionists control the American government, U.S. military and intelligence operations, and the world capitalist system.