Islam Versus Europe
December 6, 2013
Here are some extracts from Kevin MacDonald’s book Culture of Critique (see my review of it here). This is what KGS of the Tundra Tabloids blog, and the many others like him in the pseudo-Counterjihad movement*, says we should regard as “Leftism per se”, ignoring the “ethnic element” within it. Strangely, these people exhibit no such sensitivities when the Muslim alliance with modern European leftism is discussed or stories about negroes attacking people of European origin are featured.
*[I define the pseudo-Counterjihad as the movement whose apparent resistance to Islam is really only a cover for its activism in favour of Jewry. When the two come into conflict, the anti-Islam agenda falls by the wayside. These people will happily link to newspapers like the Guardian that broadcast the “Religion of Peace” mantra. They will even link to soft-jihad news sites like Press TV or Al Jazeera. However, if you have an anti-Islam website that dares to talk about the role of Jewish activism in pushing for immigration, multiculturalism, the criminalisation of free speech and a welcoming attitude towards Islam, they will anathematise you and cut you off. What does that tell us about what their agenda really is?
At first, they will splutter in the comments section, saying they haven’t seen the evidence. Then you supply the evidence. But they don’t change their views. They just sullenly stop linking to you or, like Muslims, hysterically accuse you of being motivated by irrational hatred.
As I said in a previous post, Similarities between Jews and Muslims:
Both eschew fact-based discussion, tending to express disagreement by launching moral accusations and invoking emotionally-charged symbols and associations rather than engaging in rational, evidence-based discourse.
Incidentally, the fact that the Jews in the Counterjihad movement cannot acknowledge these facts and publicly denounce and dissociate themselves from the Jewish activists pushing the diversity agenda makes them morally complicit in it. When it comes to the crunch, they side with their own tribe. Ethnicity trumps all.]
And let’s be clear here. I’m not saying things like “Hitler was Right”, “Bring back the camps”, “The Protocols were Right”. All I am saying is that Jewish individuals and organisations have been disproportionately involved in advocacy for open immigration, multiculturalism, diversity and the criminalisation of free expression and that this has played a facilitating role in the islamisation of the western world. I have backed up these claims with solid and unimpeachable evidence. I support Israel’s right to exist, to be an unabashedly Jewish ethno-state and to take harsh and ruthless action against the Muslims who threaten it. But none of that matters. If you criticise Jews in any way, you have to be anathematised. That’s who controls the Counterjihad movement. That’s who we have “defending” Europe from Islam. Fuck them. I say it is time we had a genuinely European Counterjihad movement that does not have its script for it written by Americans or Jews. We are the ones being invaded. We are the ones having our civilisation extinguished. It is time we had a voice of our own.
JEWISH ANTI-RESTRICTIONIST POLITICAL ACTIVITY UP TO 1924
Jewish involvement in altering the intellectual discussion of race and ethnicity appears to have had long term repercussions on U.S. immigration policy, but Jewish political involvement was ultimately of much greater significance. Jews have been “the single most persistent pressure group favoring a liberal immigration policy” in the United States in the entire immigration debate beginning in 1881 (Neuringer 1971, 392–393):
In undertaking to sway immigration policy in a liberal direction, Jewish spokespersons and organizations demonstrated a degree of energy unsurpassed by any other interested pressure group. Immigration had constituted a prime object of concern for practically every major Jewish defense and community relations organization. Over the years, their spokespersons had assiduously attended congressional hearings, and the Jewish effort was of the utmost importance in establishing and financing such non-sectarian groups as the National Liberal Immigration League and the Citizens Committee for Displaced Persons.
As recounted by Nathan C. Belth (1979, 173) in his history of the ADL, “In Congress, through all the years when the immigration battles were being fought, the names of Jewish legislators were in the forefront of the liberal forces: from Adolph Sabath to Samuel Dickstein and Emanuel Celler in the House and from Herbert H. Lehman to Jacob Javits in the Senate. Each in his time was a leader of the Anti-Defamation League and of major organizations concerned with democratic development.” The Jewish congressmen who are most closely identified with anti-restrictionist efforts in Congress have therefore also been leaders of the group most closely identified with Jewish ethnic political activism and self-defense.
Throughout the almost 100 years prior to achieving success with the immigration law of 1965, Jewish groups opportunistically made alliances with other groups whose interests temporarily converged with Jewish interests (e.g., a constantly changing set of ethnic groups, religious groups, pro-communists, anti-communists, the foreign policy interests of various presidents, the political need for presidents to curry favor with groups influential in populous states in order to win national elections, etc.). Particularly noteworthy was the support of a liberal immigration policy from industrial interests wanting cheap labor, at least in the period prior to the 1924 temporary triumph of restrictionism. Within this constantly shifting set of alliances, Jewish organizations persistently pursued their goals of maximizing the number of Jewish immigrants and opening up the United States to immigration from all of the peoples of the world. As indicated in the following, the historical record supports the proposition that making the United States into a multicultural society has been a major Jewish goal beginning in the nineteenth century.
The ultimate Jewish victory on immigration is remarkable because it was waged in different arenas against a potentially very powerful set of opponents. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, leadership of the restrictionists was provided by Eastern patricians such as Senator Henry Cabot Lodge. However, the main political basis of restrictionism from 1910 to 1952 (in addition to the relatively ineffectual labor union interests) derived from “the common people of the South and West” (Higham 1984, 49) and their representatives in Congress. Fundamentally, the clashes between Jews and gentiles in the period between 1900 and 1965 were a conflict between Jews and this geographically centered group. “Jews, as a result of their intellectual energy and economic resources, constituted an advance guard of the new peoples who had no feeling for the traditions of rural America” (Higham 1984, 168–169), a theme also apparent in the discussion of the New York Intellectuals in Chapter 6 and in the discussion of Jewish involvement in political radicalism in Chapter 3.
Although often concerned that Jewish immigration would fan the flames of anti-Semitism in America, Jewish leaders fought a long and largely successful delaying action against restrictions on immigration during the period from 1891 to 1924, particularly as they affected the ability of Jews to immigrate. These efforts continued despite the fact that by 1905 there was “a polarity between Jewish and general American opinion on immigration” (Neuringer 1971, 83). In particular, whereas other religious groups such as Catholics and ethnic groups such as the Irish had divided and ambivalent attitudes toward immigration and were poorly organized and ineffective in influencing immigration policy, and whereas labor unions opposed immigration in their attempt to diminish the supply of cheap labor, Jewish groups engaged in an intensive and sustained effort against attempts to restrict immigration.
As recounted by Cohen (1972, 40ff), the AJCommittee’s efforts in opposition to immigration restriction in the early twentieth century constitute a remarkable example of the ability of Jewish organizations to influence public policy. Of all the groups affected by the immigration legislation of 1907, Jews had the least to gain in terms of numbers of possible immigrants, but they played by far the largest role in shaping the legislation (Cohen 1972, 41). In the subsequent period leading up to the relatively ineffective restrictionist legislation of 1917, when restrictionists again mounted an effort in Congress, “only the Jewish segment was aroused” (Cohen 1972, 49).
Nevertheless, because of the fear of anti-Semitism, efforts were made to prevent the perception of Jewish involvement in anti-restrictionist campaigns. In 1906 Jewish anti-restrictionist political operatives were instructed to lobby Congress without mentioning their affiliation with the AJCommittee because of “the danger that the Jews may be accused of being organized for a political purpose” (comments of Herbert Friedenwald, AJCommittee secretary; in Goldstein 1990, 125). Beginning in the late nineteenth century, anti-restrictionist arguments developed by Jews were typically couched in terms of universalist humanitarian ideals; as part of this universalizing effort, gentiles from old-line Protestant families were recruited to act as window dressing for their efforts, and Jewish groups such as the AJCommittee funded pro-immigration groups composed of non-Jews (Neuringer 1971, 92).
As was the case in later pro-immigration efforts, much of the activity was behind-the-scenes personal interventions with politicians in order to minimize public perception of the Jewish role and to avoid provoking the opposition (Cohen 1972, 41–42; Goldstein 1990). Opposing politicians, such as Henry Cabot Lodge, and organizations like the Immigration Restriction League were kept under close scrutiny and pressured by lobbyists. Lobbyists in Washington also kept a daily scorecard of voting tendencies as immigration bills wended their way through Congress and engaged in intense and successful efforts to convince Presidents Taft and Wilson to veto restrictive immigration legislation. Catholic prelates were recruited to protest the effects of restrictionist legislation on immigration from Italy and Hungary. When restrictionist arguments appeared in the media, the AJCommittee made sophisticated replies based on scholarly data and typically couched in universalist terms as benefiting the whole society. Articles favorable to immigration were published in national magazines, and letters to the editor were published in newspapers. Efforts were made to minimize the negative perceptions of immigration by distributing Jewish immigrants around the country and by getting Jewish aliens off public support. Legal proceedings were filed to prevent the deportation of Jewish aliens. Eventually mass protest meetings were organized.
Writing in 1914, the sociologist Edward A. Ross believed that liberal immigration policy was exclusively a Jewish issue. Ross quotes the prominent author and Zionist pioneer Israel Zangwill who articulated the idea that the United States is an ideal place to achieve Jewish interests.
America has ample room for all the six millions of the Pale [i.e., the Pale of Settlement, home to most of Russia’s Jews]; any one of her fifty states could absorb them. And next to being in a country of their own, there could be no better fate for them than to be together in a land of civil and religious liberty, of whose Constitution Christianity forms no part and where their collective votes would practically guarantee them against future persecution. (Israel Zangwill, in Ross 1914, 144)
Jews therefore have a powerful interest in immigration policy:
Hence the endeavor of the Jews to control the immigration policy of the United States. Although theirs is but a seventh of our net immigration, they led the fight on the Immigration Commission’s bill. The power of the million Jews in the Metropolis lined up the Congressional delegation from New York in solid opposition to the literacy test. The systematic campaign in newspapers and magazines to break down all arguments for restriction and to calm nativist fears is waged by and for one race. Hebrew money is behind the National Liberal Immigration League and its numerous publications. From the paper before the commercial body or the scientific association to the heavy treatise produced with the aid of the Baron de Hirsch Fund, the literature that proves the blessings of immigration to all classes in America emanates from subtle Hebrew brains. (Ross 1914, 144–145)
Ross (1914, 150) also reported that immigration officials had “become very sore over the incessant fire of false accusations to which they are subjected by the Jewish press and societies. United States senators complain that during the close of the struggle over the immigration bill they were overwhelmed with a torrent of crooked statistics and misrepresentations of Hebrews fighting the literacy test.” Zangwill’s views were well known to restrictionists in the debates over the 1924 immigration law (see below). In an address reprinted in The American Hebrew (Oct. 19, 1923, 582), Zangwill noted, “There is only one way to World Peace, and that is the absolute abolition of passports, visas, frontiers, custom houses, and all other devices that make of the population of our planet not a co-operating civilization but a mutual irritation society.” His famous play, The Melting Pot (1908), was dedicated to Theodore Roosevelt and depicts Jewish immigrants as eager to assimilate and intermarry. The lead character describes the United States as a crucible in which all the races, including the “black and yellow” races, are being melted together. However, Zangwill’s views on Jewish-gentile intermarriage were ambiguous at best (Biale 1998, 22–24) and he detested Christian proselytism to Jews. Zangwill was an ardent Zionist and an admirer of his father’s religious orthodoxy as a model for the preservation of Judaism. He believed Jews were a morally superior race whose moral vision had shaped Christian and Muslim societies and would eventually shape the world, although Christianity remained morally inferior to Judaism (see Leftwich 1957, 162ff). Jews would retain their racial purity if they continued to practice their religion: “So long as Judaism flourishes among Jews there is no need to talk of safeguarding race or nationality; both are automatically preserved by the religion” (in Leftwich 1957, 161).
Despite deceptive attempts to present the pro-immigration movement as broad-based, Jewish activists were aware of the lack of enthusiasm of other groups. During the fight over restrictionist legislation at the end of the Taft administration, Herbert Friedenwald, AJCommittee secretary, wrote that it was “very difficult to get any people except the Jews stirred up in this fight” (in Goldstein 1990, 203). The AJCommittee contributed heavily to staging anti-restrictionist rallies in major American cities but allowed other ethnic groups to take credit for the events, and it organized groups of non-Jews to influence President Taft to veto restrictionist legislation (Goldstein 1990, 216, 227). During the Wilson Administration, Louis Marshall stated, “We are practically the only ones who are fighting [the literacy test] while a “great proportion” [of the people] is “indifferent to what is done” (in Goldstein 1990, 249).
The forces of immigration restriction were temporarily successful with the immigration laws of 1921 and 1924, which passed despite the intense opposition of Jewish groups. Divine (1957, 8) notes, “Arrayed against [the restrictionist forces] in 1921 were only the spokespersons for the southeastern European immigrants, mainly Jewish leaders, whose protests were drowned out by the general cry for restriction.” Similarly, during the 1924 congressional hearings on immigration, “The most prominent group of witnesses against the bill were representatives of southeastern European immigrants, particularly Jewish leaders” (Divine 1957, 16).
Jewish opposition to this legislation was motivated as much by their perception that the laws were motivated by anti-Semitism and that they discriminated in favor of Northwestern Europeans as by concern that they would curtail Jewish immigration (Neuringer 1971, 164)—a view that is implicitly in opposition to the ethnic status quo favoring Northwestern Europeans. Opposition to biasing immigration in favor of Northwestern Europeans remained characteristic of Jewish attitudes in the following years, but the opposition of Jewish organizations to any restrictions on immigration based on race or ethnicity can be traced back to the nineteenth century.
Thus in 1882 the Jewish press was unanimous in its condemnation of the Chinese Exclusion Act (Neuringer 1971, 23) even though this act had no direct bearing on Jewish immigration. In the early twentieth century the AJCommittee at times actively fought against any bill that restricted immigration to white persons or non-Asians, and only refrained from active opposition if it judged that AJCommittee support would threaten the immigration of Jews (Cohen 1972, 47; Goldstein 1990, 250). In 1920 the Central Conference of American Rabbis passed a resolution urging that “the Nation . . . keep the gates of our beloved Republic open . . . to the oppressed and distressed of all mankind in conformity with its historic role as a haven of refuge for all men and women who pledge allegiance to its laws” (in The American Hebrew, Oct. 1, 1920, 594).
The American Hebrew (Feb. 17, 1922, 373), a publication founded in 1867, to represent the German-Jewish establishment of the period, reiterated its long-standing policy that it “has always stood for the admission of worthy immigrants of all classes, irrespective of nationality.” And in his testimony at the 1924 hearings before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, the AJCommittee’s Louis Marshall stated that the bill echoed the sentiments of the Ku Klux Klan; he characterized it as inspired by the racialist theories of Houston Stewart Chamberlain. At a time when the population of the United States was over 100 million, Marshall stated, “[W]e have room in this country for ten times the population we have”; he advocated admission of all of the peoples of the world without quota limit, excluding only those who “were mentally, morally and physically unfit, who are enemies of organized government, and who are apt to become public charges.” Similarly, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, representing the AJCongress and a variety of other Jewish organizations at the House Hearings, asserted “the right of every man outside of America to be considered fairly and equitably and without discrimination.”
By prescribing that immigration be restricted to 3 percent of the foreign born as of the 1890 census, the 1924 law prescribed an ethnic status quo approximating the 1920 census. The House Majority Report emphasized that prior to the legislation, immigration was highly biased in favor of Eastern and Southern Europeans, and that this imbalance had been continued by the 1921 legislation in which quotas were based on the numbers of foreign born as of the 1910 census. The expressed intention was that the interests of other groups to pursue their ethnic interests by expanding their percentage of the population should be balanced against the ethnic interests of the majority in retaining their ethnic representation in the population.
The 1921 law gave 46 percent of quota immigration to Southern and Eastern Europe even though these areas constituted only 11.7 percent of the U.S. population as of the 1920 census. The 1924 law prescribed that these areas would get 15.3 percent of the quota slots—a figure actually higher than their present representation in the population. “The use of the 1890 census is not discriminatory. It is used in an effort to preserve as nearly as possible, the racial status quo of the United States. It is hoped to guarantee as best we can at this late date, racial homogeneity in the United States The use of a later census would discriminate against those who founded the Nation and perpetuated its institutions” (House Rep. No. 350, 1924, 16). After three years, quotas were derived from a national origins formula based on 1920 census data for the entire population, not only for the foreign born. No doubt this legislation represented a victory for the Northwestern European peoples of the United States, yet there was no attempt to reverse the trends in the ethnic composition of the country ; rather, the efforts aimed to preserve the ethnic status quo.
Although motivated by a desire to preserve an ethnic status quo, these laws may also have been motivated partly by anti-Semitism, since during this period liberal immigration policy was perceived as mainly a Jewish issue (see above). This certainly appears to have been the perception of Jewish observers: Prominent Jewish writer Maurice Samuel (1924, 217), for example, writing in the immediate aftermath of the 1924 legislation, wrote that “it is chiefly against the Jew that anti-immigration laws are passed here in America as in England and Germany,” and such perceptions continue among historians of the period (e.g., Hertzberg 1989, 239). This perception was not restricted to Jews. In remarks before the Senate, the anti-restrictionist Senator Reed of Missouri noted, “Attacks have likewise been made upon the Jewish people who have crowded to our shores. The spirit of intolerance has been especially active as to them” (Cong. Rec., Feb. 19, 1921, 3463). During World War II Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson stated that it was opposition to unrestricted immigration of Jews that resulted in the restrictive legislation of 1924 (Breitman & Kraut 1987, 87).
Moreover, the House Immigration Committee Majority Report (House Rep. No. 109, Dec. 6, 1920) stated that “by far the largest percentage of immigrants [are] peoples of Jewish extraction” (p. 4), and it implied that the majority of the expected new immigrants would be Polish Jews. The report “confirmed the published statement of a commissioner of the Hebrew Sheltering and Aid Society of America made after his personal investigation in Poland, to the effect that ‘If there were in existence a ship that could hold 3,000,000 human beings, the 3,000,000 Jews of Poland would board it to escape to America’ ” (p. 6).
The Majority Report also included a report by Wilbur S. Carr, head of the United States Consular Service, that stated that the Polish Jews were “abnormally twisted because of (a) reaction from war strain; (b) the shock of revolutionary disorders; (c) the dullness and stultification resulting from past years of oppression and abuse . . . ; Eighty-five to ninety percent lack any conception of patriotic or national spirit. And the majority of this percentage are unable to acquire it” (p. 9 see Breitman & Kraut [1987, 12] for a discussion of Carr’s anti-Semitism). (In England many recent Jewish immigrants refused to be conscripted to fight the enemies of the czar during World War I; see note 14). The report also noted consular reports that warned that “many Bolshevik sympathizers are in Poland” (p. 11). Likewise in the Senate, Senator McKellar cited the report that if there were a ship large enough, three million Poles would immigrate. He also stated that “the Joint Distribution Committee, an American committee doing relief work among the Hebrews in Poland, distributes more than $1,000,000 per month of American money in that country alone. It is also shown that $100,000,000 a year is a conservative estimate of money sent to Poland from America through the mails, through the banks, and through the relief societies. This golden stream pouring into Poland from America makes practically every Pole wildly desirous of going to the country from which such marvelous wealth comes” (Cong. Rec., Feb. 19, 1921, 3456).
As a further indication of the salience of Polish-Jewish immigration issues, the letter on alien visas submitted by the State Department in 1921 to Albert Johnson, chairman of the Committee on Migration and Naturalization, devoted over four times as much space to the situation in Poland as it did to any other country. The report emphasized the activities of the Polish Jewish newspaper Der Emigrant in promoting emigration to the United States of Polish Jews, as well as the activities of the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Society and wealthy private citizens from the United States in facilitating immigration by providing money and performing the paperwork. (There was indeed a large network of Jewish agents in Eastern Europe who, in violation of U.S. law, “did their best to drum up business by enticing as many emigrants as possible” [Nadell 1984, 56].)
The report also described the condition of the prospective immigrants in negative terms: “At the present time it is only too obvious that they must be subnormal, and their normal state is of very low standard. Six years of war and confusion and famine and pestilence have racked their bodies and twisted their mentality. The elders have deteriorated to a marked degree. Minors have grown into adult years with the entire period lost in their rightful development and too frequently with the acquisition of perverted ideas which have flooded Europe since 1914 [presumably a reference to radical political ideas that were common in this group; see below]” (Cong. Rec., April 20, 1921, 498).
The report also stated that articles in the Warsaw press had reported that “propaganda favoring unrestricted immigration” is being planned, including celebrations in New York aimed at showing the contributions of immigrants to the development of the United States. The reports for Belgium (whose emigrants originated in Poland and Czechoslovakia) and Romania also highlighted the importance of Jews as prospective immigrants. In response, Representative Isaac Siegel stated that the report was “edited and doctored by certain officials”; he commented that the report did not mention countries with larger numbers of immigrants than Poland. (For example, the report did not mention Italy.) Without explicitly saying so (“I leave it to every man in the House to make his own deductions and his own inferences therefrom” [Cong. Rec., April 20, 1921, 504]), the implication was that the focus on Poland was prompted by anti-Semitism.
The House Majority Report (signed by 15 of its 17 members with only Reps. Dickstein and Sabath not signing) also emphasized the Jewish role in defining the intellectual battle in terms of Nordic superiority and “American ideals” rather than in the terms of an ethnic status quo actually favored by the committee:
The cry of discrimination is, the committee believes, manufactured and built up by special representatives of racial groups, aided by aliens actually living abroad. Members of the committee have taken notice of a report in the Jewish Tribune (New York) February 8, 1924, of a farewell dinner to Mr. Israel Zangwill which says:
Mr. Zangwill spoke chiefly on the immigration question, declaring that if Jews persisted in a strenuous opposition to the restricted immigration there would be no restriction. “If you create enough fuss against this Nordic nonsense,” he said, “you will defeat this legislation. You must make a fight against this bill; tell them they are destroying American ideals. Most fortifications are of cardboard, and if you press against them, they give way.”
The Committee does not feel that the restriction aimed to be accomplished in this bill is directed at the Jews, for they can come within the quotas from any country in which they were born. The Committee has not dwelt on the desirability of a “Nordic” or any other particular type of immigrant, but has held steadfastly to the purpose of securing a heavy restriction, with the quota so divided that the countries from which the most came in the two decades ahead of the World War might be slowed down in order that the United States might restore its population balance. The continued charge that the Committee has built up a “Nordic” race and devoted its hearing to that end is part of a deliberately manufactured assault for as a matter of fact the committee has done nothing of the kind. (House Rep. No. 350, 1924, 16)
Indeed, one is struck in reading the 1924 congressional debates by the rarity with which the issue of Nordic racial superiority is raised by those in favor of the legislation, whereas virtually all the anti-restrictionists raised this issue. After a particularly colorful comment in opposition to the theory of Nordic racial superiority, restrictionist leader Albert Johnson remarked, “I would like very much to say on behalf of the committee that through the strenuous times of the hearings this committee undertook not to discuss the Nordic proposition or racial matters” (Cong. Rec., April 8, 1924, 5911). Earlier, during the hearings on the bill, Johnson remarked in response to the comments of Rabbi Stephen S. Wise representing the AJCongress, “I dislike to be placed continually in the attitude of assuming that there is a race prejudice, when the one thing I have tried to do for 11 years is to free myself from race prejudice, if I had it at all.” Several restrictionists explicitly denounced the theory of Nordic superiority, including Senators Bruce (p. 5955) and Jones (p. 6614) and Representatives Bacon (p. 5902), Byrnes (p. 5653), Johnson (p. 5648), McLoed (pp. 5675–5676), McReynolds (p. 5855), Michener (p. 5909), Miller (p. 5883), Newton (p. 6240), Rosenbloom (p. 5851), Vaile (p. 5922), Vincent (p. 6266), White, (p. 5898), and Wilson (p. 5671; all references to Cong. Rec., April 1924).
Indeed, it is noteworthy that there are indications in the congressional debate that representatives from the far West were concerned about the competence and competitive threat presented by Japanese immigrants, and their rhetoric suggests they viewed the Japanese as racially equal or superior, not inferior. For example, Senator Jones stated, “We admit that [the Japanese] are as able as we are, that they are as progressive as we are, that they are as honest as we are, that they are as brainy as we are, and that they are equal in all that goes to make a great people and nation” (Cong. Rec., April 18, 1924, 6614); Representative MacLafferty emphasized Japanese domination of certain agricultural markets (Cong. Rec., April 5, 1924, p. 5681), and Representative Lea noted their ability to supplant “their American competitor” (Cong. Rec., April 5, 1924, 5697). Representative Miller described the Japanese as “a relentless and unconquerable competitor of our people wherever he places himself ” (Cong. Rec., April 8, 1924, 5884); see also comments of Representatives Gilbert (Cong. Rec., April 12, 1924, 6261), Raker (Cong. Rec., April 8, 1924, 5892), and Free (Cong. Rec., April 8, 1924, 5924ff).
Moreover, whereas the issue of Jewish-gentile resource competition was not raised during the congressional debates, quotas on Jewish admissions to Ivy League universities were a highly salient issue among Jews during this period. The quota issue was highly publicized in the Jewish media, which focused on activities of Jewish self-defense organizations such as the ADL (see, e.g., the ADL statement published in The American Hebrew, Sept. 29, 1922, 536). Jewish-gentile resource competition may therefore have been on the minds of some legislators. Indeed, President A. Lawrence Lowell of Harvard was the national vice-president of the Immigration Restriction League as well as a proponent of quotas on Jewish admission to Harvard (Symott 1986, 238), suggesting that resource competition with an intellectually superior Jewish group was an issue for at least some prominent restrictionists.
It is probable that anti-Jewish animosity related to resource competition issues was widespread. Higham (1984, 141) writes of “the urgent pressure which the Jews, as an exceptionally ambitious immigrant people, put upon some of the more crowded rungs of the social ladder” (Higham 1984, 141). Beginning in the nineteenth century there were fairly high levels of covert and overt anti-Semitism in patrician circles resulting from the very rapid upward mobility of Jews and their competitive drive. Prior to World War I, the reaction of the gentile power structure was to construct social registers and emphasize genealogy as mechanisms of exclusion—“criteria that could not be met by money alone” (Higham 1984, 104ff, 127). During this period Edward A. Ross (1914, 164) described gentile resentment for “being obliged to engage in a humiliating and undignified scramble in order to keep his trade or his clients against the Jewish invader”—suggesting a rather broad-based concern with Jewish economic competition. Attempts at exclusion in a wide range of areas increased in the 1920s and reached their peak during the difficult economic situation of the Great Depression (Higham 1984, 131ff).
In the 1924 debates, however, the only Congressional comments suggesting a concern with Jewish-gentile resource competition (as well as a concern that Jewish immigrants were alienated from the cultural traditions of America and tended to have a destructive influence) that I have been able to find are the following from Representative Wefald:
I for one am not afraid of the radical ideas that some might bring with them. Ideas you cannot keep out anyway, but the leadership of our intellectual life in many of its phases has come into the hands of these clever newcomers who have no sympathy with our old-time American ideals nor with those of northern Europe, who detect our weaknesses and pander to them and get wealthy through the disservices they render us.
Our whole system of amusements has been taken over by men who came here on the crest of the south and east European immigration. They produce our horrible film stories, they compose and dish out to us our jazz music, they write many of the books we read, and edit our magazines and newspapers. (Cong. Rec., April 12, 1924, 6272)
The immigration debate also occurred amid discussion in the Jewish media of Thorsten Veblen’s famous essay “The intellectual pre-eminence of Jews in modern Europe” (serialized in The American Hebrew beginning September 10, 1920). In an editorial of July 13, 1923 (p. 177), The American Hebrew noted that Jews were disproportionately represented among the gifted in Louis Terman’s study of gifted children and commented that “this fact must give rise to bitter, though futile, reflection among the so-called Nordics.” The editorial also noted that Jews were overrepresented among scholarship winners in competitions sponsored by the state of New York. The editorial pointedly noted that “perhaps the Nordics are too proud to try for these honors. In any event the list of names just announced by the State Department of Education at Albany as winners of these coveted scholarships is not in the least Nordic; it reads like a confirmation roster at a Temple.”
There is, in fact, evidence that Jews, like East Asians, have higher IQ’s than Caucasians (Lynn 1987; Rushton 1995; PTSDA, Ch. 7). Indeed, Terman had found that Chinese were equal in IQ to Caucasians—further indication that, as Carl Degler (1991, 52) notes, “their IQ scores could not have been an excuse for the discrimination” represented by the 1924 legislation. As indicated above, there is considerable evidence from the congressional debates that the exclusion of Asians was motivated at least partly by fears of competition with a highly talented, intelligent group rather than by feelings of racial superiority.
The most common argument made by those favoring the legislation, and the one reflected in the Majority Report, is the argument that in the interests of fairness to all ethnic groups, the quotas should reflect the relative ethnic composition of the entire country. Restrictionists noted that the census of 1890 was chosen because the percentages of the foreign born of different ethnic groups in that year approximated the general ethnic composition of the entire country in 1920. Senator Reed of Pennsylvania and Representative Rogers of Massachusetts proposed to achieve the same result by directly basing the quotas on the national origins of all people in the country as of the 1920 census, and this was eventually incorporated into law. Representative Rogers argued, “Gentlemen, you can not dissent from this principle because it is fair. It does not discriminate for anybody and it does not discriminate against anybody” (Cong. Rec., April 8, 1924, 5847). Senator Reed noted, “The purpose, I think, of most of us in changing the quota basis is to cease from discriminating against the native born here and against the group of our citizens who come from northern and western Europe. I think the present system discriminates in favor of southeastern Europe” (Cong. Rec., April. 16, 1924, 6457) (i.e., because 46 percent of the quotas under the 1921 law went to Eastern and Southern Europe when they constituted less than 12 percent of the population).
As an example illustrating the fundamental argument asserting a legitimate ethnic interest in maintaining an ethnic status quo without claiming racial superiority, consider the following statement from Representative William N. Vaile of Colorado, one of the most prominent restrictionists:
Let me emphasize here that the restrictionists of Congress do not claim that the “Nordic” race, or even the Anglo-Saxon race, is the best race in the world. Let us concede, in all fairness that the Czech is a more sturdy laborer, with a very low percentage of crime and insanity, that the Jew is the best businessman in the world, and that the Italian has a spiritual grasp and an artistic sense which have greatly enriched the world and which have, indeed, enriched us, a spiritual exaltation and an artistic creative sense which the Nordic rarely attains. Nordics need not be vain about their own qualifications. It well behooves them to be humble. What we do claim is that the northern European, and particularly Anglo-Saxons made this country. Oh, yes; the others helped. But that is the full statement of the case. They came to this country because it was already made as an Anglo-Saxon commonwealth. They added to it, they often enriched it, but they did not make it, and they have not yet greatly changed it. We are determined that they shall not. It is a good country. It suits us. And what we assert is that we are not going to surrender it to somebody else or allow other people, no matter what their merits, to make it something different. If there is any changing to be done, we will do it ourselves. (Cong. Rec., April 8, 1924, 5922)
The debate in the House also illustrated the highly salient role of Jewish legislators in combating restrictionism. Representative Robison singled out Representative Sabath as the leader of anti-restrictionist efforts; without mentioning any other opponent of restriction, he also focused on Representatives Jacobstein, Celler, and Perlman as being opposed to any restrictions on immigration (Cong. Rec., April 5, 1924, 5666).
Representative Blanton, complaining of the difficulty of getting restrictionist legislation through Congress, noted, “When at least 65 per cent of the sentiment of this House, in my judgment, is in favor of the exclusion of all foreigners for five years, why do we not put that into law? Has Brother Sabath such a tremendous influence over us that he holds us down on this proposition?” (Cong. Rec., April 5, 1924, 5685). Representative Sabath responded, “There may be something to that.” In addition, the following comments of Representative Leavitt clearly indicate the salience of Jewish congressmen to their opponents during the debate:
The instinct for national and race preservation is not one to be condemned, as has been intimated here. No one should be better able to understand the desire of Americans to keep America American than the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Sabath], who is leading the attack on this measure, or the gentlemen from New York, Mr. Dickstein, Mr. Jacobstein, Mr. Celler, and Mr. Perlman. They are of the one great historic people who have maintained the identity of their race throughout the centuries because they believe sincerely that they are a chosen people, with certain ideals to maintain, and knowing that the loss of racial identity means a change of ideals. That fact should make it easy for them and the majority of the most active opponents of this measure in the spoken debate to recognize and sympathize with our viewpoint, which is not so extreme as that of their own race, but only demands that the admixture of other peoples shall be only of such kind and proportions and in such quantities as will not alter racial characteristics more rapidly than there can be assimilation as to ideas of government as well as of blood. (Cong. Rec., April 12, 1924, 6265–6266)
The view that Jews had a strong tendency to oppose genetic assimilation with surrounding groups was expressed by other observers as well and was a component of contemporary anti-Semitism (see Singerman 1986, 110–111). Jewish avoidance of exogamy certainly had a basis in reality (PTSDA, Chs. 2–4), and it is worth recalling that there was powerful opposition to intermarriage even among the more liberal segments of early-twentieth-century American Judaism and certainly among the less liberal segments represented by the great majority of Orthodox immigrants from Eastern Europe who had come to constitute the great majority of American Jewry. The prominent nineteenth-century Reform leader David Einhorn, for example, was a lifelong opponent of mixed marriages and refused to officiate at such ceremonies, even when pressed to do so (Meyer 1989, 247). Einhorn was also a staunch opponent of conversion of gentiles to Judaism because of the effects on the “racial purity” of Judaism (Levenson 1989, 331). The influential Reform intellectual Kaufman Kohler was also an ardent opponent of mixed marriage. In a view that is highly compatible with Horace Kallen’s multiculturalism, Kohler concluded that Israel must remain separate and avoid intermarriage until it leads humankind to an era of universal peace and brotherhood among the races (Kohler 1918, 445–446). The negative attitude toward intermarriage was confirmed by survey results. A 1912 survey indicated that only seven of 100 Reform rabbis had officiated at a mixed marriage, and a 1909 resolution of the chief Reform group, the Central Council of American Rabbis, declared that “mixed marriages are contrary to the tradition of the Jewish religion and should be discouraged by the American Rabbinate” (Meyer 1988, 290). Gentile perceptions of Jewish attitudes on intermarriage, therefore, had a strong basis in reality.
Far more important than the Jewish tendency toward endogamy in engendering anti-Jewish animosity during the congressional debates of 1924 were two other prominent themes of this project: Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe were widely perceived as unassimilable and as retaining a separate culture (see SAID, Ch. 2); they were also thought to be disproportionately involved in radical political movements (see Ch. 3).
The perception of radicalism among Jewish immigrants was common in Jewish as well as gentile publications. The American Hebrew editorialized, “[W]e must not forget the immigrants from Russia and Austria will be coming from countries infested with Bolshevism, and it will require more than a superficial effort to make good citizens out of them” (in Neuringer 1971, 165). The fact that Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe were viewed as “infected with Bolshevism . . . unpatriotic, alien, unassimilable” resulted in a wave of anti-Semitism in the 1920s and contributed to the restrictive immigration legislation of the period (Neuringer 1971, 165). In Sorin’s (1985, 46) study of immigrant Jewish radical activists, over half had been involved in radical politics in Europe before emigrating, and for those immigrating after 1900, the percentage rose to 69 percent. Jewish publications warned of the possibilities of anti-Semitism resulting from the leftism of Jewish immigrants, and the official Jewish community engaged in “a near-desperation . . . effort to portray the Jew as one hundred per cent American” by, for example, organizing patriotic pageants on national holidays and by attempting to get the immigrants to learn English (Neuringer, 1971, 167).
From the standpoint of the immigration debates, it is important to note that in the 1920s a majority of the members of the Socialist Party were immigrants and that an “overwhelming” (Glazer 1961, 38, 40) percentage of the CPUSA consisted of recent immigrants, a substantial percentage of whom were Jews. As late as June 1933 the national organization of the CPUSA was still 70 percent foreign born (Lyons 1982, 72–73); in Philadelphia in 1929, fully 90 percent of Communist Party members were foreign born, and 72.2 percent of the CPUSA members in Philadelphia were the children of Jewish immigrants who had come to the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century (Lyons 1982, 71).
Source: Culture of Critique by Kevin MacDonald