“Marx redefines Jewish religion as the cult of money: “Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist.” He does the same for Jewish nationality, in one short sentence: “The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general.” It follows naturally, according to Marx, that if you abolish money you will solve the Jewish question:
“Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from practical, real Judaism, would be the self-emancipation of our time. An organization of society which would abolish the preconditions for huckstering, and therefore the possibility of huckstering, would make the Jew impossible. His religious consciousness would be dissipated like a thin haze in the real, vital air of society.”
Jews will be emancipated when all men will be emancipated, for there is no other emancipation than emancipation from money.
Marx makes the radical claim that love of money and economic alienation came to the world from the Jews. He equates economic alienation to Jewish influence:
“the practical Jewish spirit has become the practical spirit of the Christian nations. The Jews have emancipated themselves insofar as the Christians have become Jews. … The Jew is perpetually created by civil society from its own entrails. … The god of the Jews has become secularized and has become the god of the world”
And so, “In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.” That sounds terribly anti-Semitic, from today’s standards. Because of these essays on the Jewish Question, Marx’s biographers have been more concerned by the question, “Was Marx an anti-Semite?” (see Edmund Silberner’s 1949 book of that title) than by the issue of his Jewish background, environment, and mindset. This is best illustrated by this article by Michael Ezra, “Karl Marx’s Radical Antisemitism.”
But in the context of the time, Marx’s view of the Jews as money worshippers was rather banal. It was almost unanimously shared among socialists, as Hal Draper reminds us in “Marx and the Economic-Jew Stereotype.” It was especially common among revolutionary Jews as well as among Zionists who were generally socialists. Moses Hess himself, for instance, wrote in “The Essence of Money”: “The Jews, who in the natural history of the social animal-world had the world-historic mission of developing the beast of prey out of humanity have now finally completed their mission’s work.”
What Marx did was to push the stereotype to its limit: he made the love of money not just an attribute of some Jews, but the very essence of the Jews. But by doing so, he was in effect dissolving the Jewish question into a socio-economic question: the Jew becomes the archetypal bourgeois. By this sleight of hand, Marx eliminated the Jewish question once and for all. He would never come back to it.
In fact, never again would Marx target specifically Jewish financiers. Nesta Webster draws attention to that anomaly in her World Revolution: The Plot Against Civilization (1921):
“The period of 1820 onwards became, as Sombart [Werner Sombart, The Jews and Modern Capitalism, 1911)] calls it, ‘the age of the Rothschilds,’ so that by the middle of the century it was a common dictum, ‘There is only one power in Europe, and that is Rothschild.’ Now how is it conceivable that a man who set out honestly to denounce Capitalism should have avoided all reference to its principal authors? Yet even in the section of his book dealing with the origins of Industrial Capitalism, where Marx refers to the great financiers, the stock-jobbing and speculation in shares, and what he describes as ‘the modern sovereignty of finance,’ he never once indicates the Jews as the leading financiers, or the Rothschilds as the super-capitalists of the world.”“
and (my emphasis in red):
“Jewish movements seem to be working history through dialectical antagonisms that ultimately advance the Big Project. The capacity of the Jewish community to present itself either as a religion or as a nationality, depending on the circumstances, is the prime example. After gaining political emancipation in the name of religious freedom in the first part of the 19th century, European Jews were in the position to reclaim their special nationhood. For a few decades, reformed rabbis would ostensibly oppose Jewish nationalism, proclaiming in the 1885 Pittsburgh Conference: “We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religion community.” Yet the same Pittsburgh Conference saw no contradiction in adopting the theory of German rabbi Kaufman Kohler, that “Israel, the suffering Messiah of the centuries, shall at the end of days become the triumphant Messiah of the nations,” which amounts to say that Israel is not an ordinary nation, but the super-nation. In the 20th century, any trace of a contradiction between Reformed Judaism and Zionism was removed.The early collaboration between Marx and Hess and the late encounter between Marx and Graetz both prefigure another dialectical opposition between Communism (the International revolution aimed at destroying Christian nations) and Zionism (the national project aimed at building the Jewish nation). Both movements developed in the same milieu. Chaim Weizmann recounts in his autobiography (Trial and Error, 1949) that in early twentieth-century Russia, revolutionary communists and revolutionary Zionists belonged to the same milieu. Weizmann’s brother Schmuel was a communist, and that was not a source of family discord. These divisions were relative and changeable; many Zionists were Marxists, and vice versa. The borderline was all the more vague that the Communist Bund, born the same year as Zionism (1897), inscribed in its revolutionary agenda the right of the Jews to found a secular Yiddish-speaking nation. As Gilad Atzmon recently wrote, the Bund was “also an attempt to prevent Jews from joining the ‘Hellenic’ route by offering Jews a tribal path within the context of a future Soviet revolution.”
But the most important thing to note is that, from the early days, Jewish revolutionary activity provided Zionists with a diplomatic argument in favor of their alternative program for the Jews. Herzl mentions in his diary (June 4, 1900) that “intensifying Jewish Socialist activities” was a way to “stir up the desire among the European governments to exert pressure on Turkey to take in the Jews” (Palestine was then under Ottoman control). He hawked Zionism as a solution to the problem of Jewish revolutionary subversion when meeting Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1898, and again when meeting Russian ministers in St. Petersburg in 1903. The next generation of Zionists continued the stratagem.Churchill, who spoke with one voice with Chaim Weizmann,dramatized the opposition between the “good Jews” (Zionists) and the “bad Jews” (communists) in his 1920 article “Zionism versus Bolshevism: A struggle for the soul of the Jewish people.” He referred to Bolshevism as “this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization” and to Zionism as the solution “especially in harmony with the truest interests of the British Empire.” (Churchill’s later alliance with Stalin proves that his Zionism was stronger than his anti-communism.)In the aftermath of World War II, the rivalry between the Communist and the Capitalist worlds remained the indispensable context for the creation and expansion of Israel. That explains why Roosevelt’s administration, largely controlled by Jews, helped Stalin conquer half of Europe and thwarted all attempts to stop him. Curtis Dall, Roosevelt’s son-in-law, has revealed a secret diplomatic channel demonstrating that the White House went out of its way to give the USSR all the time and the armament necessary to invade Central Europe. Thus the Second World War was completed with the determined aim of laying the foundations for the Cold War, that is, a highly explosive polarization of the world that would prove crucial for Project Zion. In fact, during this whole period, it is almost impossible to distinguish, among the Jewish advisors of Roosevelt and Truman on foreign policy, the pro-Communists from the pro-Zionists, as David Martin remarks in The Assassination of James Forrestal. A case in point is David Niles (Neyhus), who was guilty of spying for the Soviets while advising Roosevelt, but then played a key role in Truman’s support of the U.N. Partition Plan and the recognition of Israel.The Cold War proved instrumental when Nasser, Israel’s most formidable enemy, was pushed into the communist camp in 1955, setting off an intense Zionist campaign to present him as a danger to the stability of the Middle East, and to present Israel, by contrast, as the only reliable ally in the region. The Cold War was also the crucial context for Israel’s defeat of Egypt in 1967 and Israel’s annexation of territories stolen to Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.“