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I wasn’t closely following the midterm elections campaign, but the results seemed to be about as expected for Donald Trump and the Republicans. With some races still undecided, the Democrats will apparently pick up close to 35 House seats, giving them solid control, and also a half-dozen governorships, while losing at least a couple of Senate seats. These overall Democratic gains seem roughly what might be expected for the first midterm after a Republican presidential victory, but nothing at all like the “blue wave” that had seemed possible a few months earlier, before the bitter public battle over the Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination greatly re-energized the Republican base.

Perhaps the loss of the House may actually prove to be a mixed blessing for Trump. Democrats will achieve control of all the investigative committees and their accusations and subpoenas will make Trump’s life even more miserable than it was before, while surely removing any chance that significant elements of Trump’s remaining agenda will ever be enacted. However, although Trump had reached the presidency by advocating a radical populist-nationalist agenda, he has hardly governed in those terms. For his first two years in office, he sunk nearly all his political capital into enacting huge tax cuts for the rich, wholesale Wall Street deregulation, large increases in military spending, and an extremely pro-Israel foreign policy—exactly the sort of policies near-and-dear to the establishment conservative candidates whom he had crushed in the Republican primaries. Meanwhile, his jilted grassroots supporters have had to settle for some radical rhetoric and a regular barrage of outrageous Tweets rather than anything more substantive. With Republicans in full control of Congress, finding excuses for this widespread betrayal was quite difficult, but now that the Democrats have taken the House, Trump’s apologists can more easily shift the blame over to them.

Meanwhile, a considerably stronger Republican Senate will certainly ease the way for Trump’s future court nominees, especially if another Supreme Court vacancy occurs, and there will be little chance of any difficult Kavanaugh battles. However, here once again, Trump’s supposed radicalism has merely been rhetorical. Kavanaugh and nearly all of his other nominees have been very mainstream Republican choices, carefully vetted by the Federalist Society and other conservative establishment groups, and they would probably have been near the top of the list if Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio were sitting in the Oval Office.

Both Trump’s supporters and his opponents claim that his presidency represents a drastic break from Republican business-as-usual, and surely that was the hope of many of the Americans who voted for him in 2016, but the actual reality often seems rather different.

Although the net election results were not particularly bad for the Republicans, the implications of several state races seem extremely worrisome. The highest profile senate race was in Texas, and Trump may have narrowly dodged a bullet. Among our largest states, Texas ranks as by far the most solidly Republican, and therefore it serves as the central lynchpin of every Republican presidential campaign. The GOP has won every major statewide race for more than twenty years, but despite such seemingly huge advantages, incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz faced a very difficult reelection race against a young border-area Congressman named Beto O’Rourke, who drew enormous enthusiasm and an ocean of local and national funding.

I was actually in Texas just a couple of days before the vote, speaking at a Ron Paul-related conference in the Houston area, and although most of the libertarian-leaning attendees thought that Cruz would probably win, they all agreed with the national media that it would probably be close. Cruz’s final victory margin of less than three points confirmed this verdict.

But if things had gone differently, and O’Rourke had squeaked out a narrow win, our national politics would have been immediately transformed. Any Republican able to win California has a near-lock on the White House, and the same is true for any Democrat able to carry Texas, especially if the latter is a young and attractive Kennedyesque liberal, fluent in Spanish and probably very popular with the large Latino populations of other important states such as Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado. I strongly suspect that a freshman Sen. O’Rourke (R-Texas) would have been offered the 2020 Democratic nomination almost by acclamation, and barring unexpected personal or national developments, would have been a strong favorite in that race against Trump or any other Republican. Rep. O’Rourke raised an astonishing $70 million in nationwide donations, and surely many of his contributors were dreaming of similar possibilities. A shift of just a point and a half, and in twenty-four months he probably would have been our next president. But it was not to be.

Still, the very close nature of the race does not bode well for long-term Republican control over what has certainly become one of their must-win states. O’Rourke may have been an especially attractive candidate and Cruz has often described as unlikeable, but a small margin of victory drawn entirely from the older and whiter portion of the Texas electorate reinforces the growing GOP fear that changing demographics are inevitably shifting Texas toward the Democrats.

These negative indications were even stronger in the high-profile gubernatorial races in Florida and Georgia, each narrowly won by a right-wing white Republican who faced a left-wing black Democrat. In the past a matches along such racial and ideological lines in Southern states would have been expected to produce a blowout GOP victories, but this year the margin was less than two points in Georgia and less than one in Florida. These surprisingly strong showings by the two black Democrats came despite the considerable personal baggage each had carried, with the Florida candidate under possible investigation in a local corruption scandal and the one in Georgia owing over $50,000 in unpaid federal income taxes. Normally, these would have been exactly the sort of factors that provided a racially-suspicious white electorate a convenient sort of “psychological deniability,” allowing them to vote for the white candidate with a clear conscience.

Although Florida was traditionally a swing state, Georgia had been solidly Republican for many years, at least on the federal level, supporting the Republican presidential candidate in six of the last seven elections, with only fellow Southerner Bill Clinton carrying it by a whisker in 1992. Both Georgia senators had been Republican since 2005, as had been most of the Congressional delegation for over two decades, along with every current statewide officeholder. Georgia had elected some prominent Democrats in the not too distant distant past, but these had always been white moderates of the Southern variety. In a society whose politics was still substantially divided along racial lines, electing a vocal left-liberal black as governor might have seemed almost unthinkable, but it came within a couple of points of happening.

The apparent Democratic victory in a close Arizona Senate race represents another severe warning sign to the Republicans. With the sole exception of 1996, that state had backed the Republican presidential ticket without fail in every national election since 1960 and both senators had been Republican since 1995, with the Congressional delegation generally skewing in that same direction for the last half century. Yet a Democrat now seems to have won an open Senate seat, something that had last happened in 1976.

 
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This last week trial began in Boston federal court for the current lawsuit in which a collection of Asian-American organizations are charging Harvard University with racial discrimination in its college admissions policies. The New York Times, our national newspaper of record, has been providing almost daily coverage to developments in the case, with the stories sometimes reaching the front page.

Last Sunday, just before the legal proceedings began, the Times ran a major article explaining the general background of the controversy, and I was very pleased to see that my own past research was cited as an important factor sparking the lawsuit, with the reporter even including a direct link to my 26,000 word 2012 cover-story “The Myth of American Meritocracy,” which had provided strong quantitative evidence of anti-Asian racial quotas. Economic historian Niall Ferguson, long one of Harvard’s most prominent professors but recently decamped to Stanford, similarly noted the role of my research in his column for the London Sunday Times.

Two decades ago, I had published a widely-discussed op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on somewhat similar issues of racial discrimination in elite admissions. But my more recent article was far longer and more comprehensive, and certainly drew more attention than anything else I have ever published, before or after. Soon after it appeared in The American Conservative, its hundreds of thousands of pageviews broke all records for that publication and it attracted considerable notice in the media. Times columnist David Brooks soon ranked it as perhaps the best American magazine article of the year, a verdict seconded by a top editor at The Economist, and the Times itself quickly organized a symposium on the topic of Asian Quotas, in which I eagerly participated. Forbes, The Atlantic, The Washington Monthly, Business Insider, and other publications all discussed my striking results.

Conservative circles took considerable interest, with Charles Murray highlighting my findings, and National Review later publishing an article in which I explained the important implications of my findings for the legal validity of the 1978 Bakke decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

There was also a considerable reaction from the academic community itself. I quickly received speaking invitations from the Yale Political Union, Yale Law, and the University of Chicago Law School, while Prof. Ferguson discussed my distressing analysis in a lengthy Newsweek/Daily Beast entitled “The End of the American Dream.”

Moreover, I had also published an associated critique suggesting that over the years my beloved Harvard alma mater had transformed itself into one of the world’s largest hedge-funds with a vestigial school attached for tax-exempt purposes. This also generated enormous discussion in media circles, with liberal journalist Chris Hayes Tweeting it out and generously saying he was “very jealous” he hadn’t written the piece himself, while many of his colleagues promoted the piece with similarly favorable remarks, while the university quickly provided a weak public response to these serious financial charges.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to myself or other outside observers, Harvard itself launched an internal investigation of the anti-Asian bias that I had alleged. Apparently, the university’s own initial results generally confirmed my accusations, indicating that if students were admitted solely based upon objective academic merit, far more Asians would receive thick envelopes. But Harvard’s top administrators buried the study and did nothing, with these important facts only coming out years later during the discovery process of the current Asian Quotas lawsuit.

 

Only the first part of my very long article dealt with the question of anti-Asian racial discrimination in elite college admissions, but it attracted vastly more attention than any other element.

For many years, there had been a widespread belief within the Asian-American community that such discriminatory practices existed, a sentiment backed by considerable anecdotal evidence. But the university administrations had always flatly denied those claims, and the media had shown little interest in investigating them. However, my powerful new quantitative evidence was very difficult to ignore.

Among other things, I focused upon the publicly available statewide lists of National Merit Semifinalists (NMS), a group that constituted the highest-performing one-half percent of American high school seniors. By a fortunate coincidence, this fraction of the American student body was reasonably close in size to the total enrollment of students at the Ivy League schools together with similarly elite schools such as Stanford, Caltech, and MIT. The NMS dataset had previously been almost entirely ignored by researchers, but I found it a treasure-trove of useful empirical information.

Since Asian last names are extremely distinctive, I was able to estimate that Asians nationally constituted roughly 25-30% of this top academic group, a figure considerably larger than their enrollment at Harvard and other elite schools. This conclusion was supported by the even greater Asian dominance in more highly selective academic competitions such as the Math Olympiad and the Intel Science Talent Search, though the far smaller numbers involved reduced the statistical validity of that analysis.

But my most dramatic finding relied upon an even simpler analysis of public data, which had previously remained unnoticed. As I wrote in my New York Times column:

Just as their predecessors of the 1920s always denied the existence of “Jewish quotas,” top officials at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and the other Ivy League schools today strongly deny the existence of “Asian quotas.” But there exists powerful statistical evidence to the contrary.

 
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In our modern era, there are surely few organizations that so terrify powerful Americans as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith, a central organ of the organized Jewish community.

Mel Gibson had long been one of the most popular stars in Hollywood and his 2004 film The Passion of the Christ became among the most profitable in world history, yet the ADL and its allies destroyed his career, and he eventually donated millions of dollars to Jewish groups in desperate hopes of regaining some of his public standing. When the ADL criticized a cartoon that had appeared in one of his newspapers, media titan Rupert Murdoch provided his personal apology to that organization, and the editors of The Economist quickly retracted a different cartoon once it came under ADL fire. Billionaire Tom Perkins, a famed Silicon Valley venture capitalist, was forced to issue a heartfelt apology after coming under ADL criticism for his choice of words in a Wall Street Journal column. These were all proud, powerful individuals, and they must have deeply resented being forced to seek such abject public forgiveness, but they did so nonetheless. The total list of ADL supplicants over the years is a very long one.

Given the fearsome reputation of the ADL and its notorious hair-trigger activists, there was a widespread belief that my small webzine would be completely annihilated when I first launched my recent series of controversial articles in early June by praising the works of historian David Irving, a figure long demonized by the ADL. Yet absolutely nothing happened.

During the next three months my subsequent articles directly challenged nearly every hot-button issue normally so fiercely defended by the ADL and its lackies, so much so that a friendly journalist soon described me as the “Kamikaze from California.” Yet despite my 90,000 words of text and the 13,000 comments I had attracted, the continuing silence of the ADL was absolutely deafening. Meanwhile, my articles were read more than half a million times, with the following being a list of the most provocative pieces:

When divine wrath fails to smite the heretic and terrifying enforcers of official dogma seem to have suddenly lost their taste for battle, others gradually begin to take notice and may grow emboldened. Eventually leading pro-Russian and Libertarian websites such as Russia Insider and LewRockwell began republishing some of my most controversial American Pravda articles, thus bringing my factual claims to the attention of broader audiences. After the conclusion of the my series, I began directly ridiculing my strangely timorous ADL opponents, publishing a short column entitled “Has the ADL Gone Into Hiding?” which led the redoubtable Paul Craig Roberts to describe me as “the bravest man I know.”

Apparently the combination of all these factors at long last grew too worrisome for the ADL, and stirring from their secret hiding place, its activists have now finally released a short and rather milquetoast response to my material, one which hardly much impresses me. A few days ago, they Tweeted out their column, together with a photo of their new nemesis.

 

The ADL may boast an annual budget of $60 million and have many hundreds of full-time employees, but its research skills seem sorely lacking. I discovered that they opened their rebuke by denouncing me as a notorious “anti-immigrant activist.” This seems an extremely odd claim given that I have published perhaps a quarter-million words on that contentious topic over the last twenty-five years, nearly all of it online and fully searchable, and my views have never been characterized in that fashion. To cite just one example, my article “California and the End of White America” appeared as a 1999 cover-story in Commentary, the flagship publication of The American Jewish Committee, and surely anyone reading it would be greatly puzzled by the ADL’s description. Indeed, just a few years earlier, I had been a top featured speaker at the October 1994 pro-immigrant protest in downtown Los Angeles, a 70,000 strong political rally that was the largest such gathering in American history to that date.

 
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I’ve recently taken a bit of a break after three long months of writing in my American Pravda series, during which I finally got around to publishing many of the very surprising discoveries I had made over the last fifteen-odd years. That total came to more than 90,000 words of text, and required me to read or (mostly) reread some 40-50 books, so I was quite exhausted by the end of the cycle.

However, the results were quite encouraging, with my small series of articles generating nearly half a million pageviews of readership over that short period, while helping to drive our small webzine to record-setting traffic. Even more remarkably, those articles provoked nearly 13,000 comments, totaling an astonishing 1.8 million words of text. Indeed, the three most heavily-commented articles in our webzine’s history came from that group, as did five of our seven most widely-read pieces from the last six months.

Furthermore, several of these articles appear to have very strong “legs” and are still attracting enough readership to remain on the front page many weeks after they were first released, suggesting that they may end up accumulating remarkable aggregate traffic across the coming months and years.

Although all items in my American Pravda series have certainly been controversial, many of this group were especially so, with numerous observers noting that I had leaped four-square onto the deadliest “Third Rail” of journalist topics and some of them predicting that I would quickly be annihilated as a consequences of my foolhardy undertaking. I think the following is a reasonable list of these especially “touchy” pieces:

After the first and most innocuous of these pieces ran, an ultra-right-wing blogger quite unfriendly to me claimed that I had gone completely insane and for some bizarre reason had decided to commit immediate journalistic suicide by writing about such utterly forbidden topics. But that statement was made in early June and those reports of my demise seem rather premature.

Another right-winger bitterly hostile to my views said he was astonished that I had dared to publish the “Jewish Religion” article, and declared that if that piece didn’t immediately kill The Review, then absolutely nothing could. Ten weeks have now gone by, and I see no apparent need for any burial shroud.

Several much friendlier readers commended me for my remarkable bravery, but warned that I should prepare myself for one of the most ferocious onslaughts of attacks and denunciations in recent Internet history. Offhand, that might seem a very plausible prediction. After all, writers with far less visibility and readership have sometimes been fried to a crisp by a blast of vituperation for daring to cautiously mention even just one percent of the controversial claims I had boldly made in my columns. Yet almost no such attacks ensued, except from a couple of rather obscure and marginal quarters.

Surely the ADL ranks as the leading enforcer of silence on these sorts of forbidden issues, with Hollywood stars and powerful politicians trembling at merely a cross word from that fearsome organization. But their own silence over the last three months has been absolutely deafening, and without their apparent willingness to participate in any such attack, what other group or individual of any significance would dare to take the lead?

A very shrewd observation, widely misattributed to Voltaire, states that “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” Or put another way, individuals are reluctant to publicly challenge those whose power they fear. Certainly, this simple standard helps to explain many important aspects of America’s severely malfunctioning political system.

But suppose that same test were applied to the reaction of the ADL and its close allies toward this small series of articles, which have already been read nearly half a million times. What does such total silence indicate about the organization’s opinion on the relative power relationship they would face? I very much doubt that the ADL fears me in the least as an individual, but I do think they may be absolutely terrified of the many facts contained within the series of recent columns that I have now published, and such abject terror is what keeps them far, far away.

The easiest means of testing this hypothesis would for readers to bring these columns to the direct attention of the ADL and any journalists or activists who may be aligned with it. Perhaps the entire leadership of the ADL has merely been on an extended summer vacation, and remains unaware of the existence of this body of highly controversial material, which they normally would attack in such harsh terms. Surely, they would be grateful at an opportunity to begin earning their munificent salaries.

I don’t use Twitter myself, but I believe it’s very good means for passing along such information and links, and the ADL and its top leadership have several public Twitter addresses, as do their friends and allies.

 

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Meanwhile, I’ve recently spent some time reading a couple of the essay collections of Israel Shamir published in the mid-2000s. These had been sitting on my shelf for three or four years, and found the material extremely interesting.

I was very pleased to discover that he had come to so many conclusions quite similar to my own, though his analysis was usually derived from a vastly greater base of historical and personal knowledge rather than my own casual readings here and there. A portion of his articles from such years as 2005 and 2006 are conveniently available here, and provide a flavor of his views.

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• Category: History, Ideology • Tags: Anti-Semitism, Israel, Jews, World War II 
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Back in 1999 I was invited to join Steve Sailer’s HBD email group, where I encountered all sorts of interesting people. The participants were mostly intellectuals or journalists having sharply heterodox views about racial differences, especially those involving IQ and crime, and this was reflected in the somewhat euphemistic title, which stood for “Human Bio-Diversity.” A reasonable sense of the controversial roster is that less than a year earlier a founding member named Glayde Whitney had contributed the Foreword to David Duke’s 700 page opus My Awakening.

Although the discussions were intended to focus on scientific matters, it sometimes seemed that half the heated arguments revolved around immigration, and on that highly contentious topic, I was invariably outnumbered around 99-to-1, with even the handful of self-proclaimed liberals regularly ranging themselves against me. Despite such apparently long odds, I regarded myself as always victorious in all those endless debates, though I would have to admit that 99% of the audience probably would have disagreed with my verdict.

Particularly contentious was the question of Hispanic immigrant crime rates, which I claimed were roughly the same as those of whites, a position that virtually all those professors and authors denounced as utter lunacy. That particular dispute went on for so many years that eventually I no longer even bothered to argue the case, but just every now and then provided some satirical jibes on the topic.

As it happens, the late J. Philippe Rushton, longtime professor of Psychology at the University of Western Ontario, was a very occasional participant, and one of my jokes happened to catch his eye. Being a bit on the humorless side, he failed to comprehend that my remarks were actually tongue-in-cheek, and after three or four explanatory exchanges, I was finally forced to state my position as explicitly as possible: “Hispanics have approximately the same crime rates as whites of the same age.” He found my claim totally astonishing, saying that it contradicted absolutely everything he had learned about the topic and even threatened to overturn his entire ideological world-view, which he had so painstakingly built up over his previous thirty years of scientific investigation into human racial differences. Therefore, he said I couldn’t possibly be right.

Now Rushton was then widely regarded as being the world’s foremost White Nationalist academic scholar, and he was basically saying that he would eat his own hat if my contradictory racial analysis proved correct. Such an intellectual challenge was just too tempting for me to resist, so I took a brief hiatus from my ongoing software project to work out the crime numbers.

Sure enough, the quantitative results came out exactly the way I knew they would, and I was quite pleased with my resulting cover story “The Myth of Hispanic Crime” that ran in the March 2010 issue of The American Conservative. Not only did my detailed analysis eventually win over Prof. Rushton and most of my more thoughtful critics, but it also sparked an enormous Internet debate, and probably had widespread influence. I was puzzled at the time that such simple calculations had not previously been undertaken by America’s vast army of pro-immigrant academics and journalists, and could only wonder whether they had deliberately avoided investigating the issue for fear that the claims of their anti-immigrant opponents would prove entirely correct. Regardless of the cause, for years afterward whenever I Googled “Hispanic Crime” or “Latino Crime”, the search engine would turn up many tens of millions of web pages, but my own article was generally listed in the top five or six results, quite often in the top two or three. Even today, nearly a decade later, copies of my article still rank remarkably high in such searches on Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.

Was my controversial analysis actually correct? Well, when I moved to Palo Alto in 1992, neighboring East Palo Alto had America’s highest per capita murder rate, which obviously made people here rather nervous. But then over the next 25 years, a vast flood of Hispanic immigrants, both legal and illegal, swept into the region, and the city became overwhelmingly Latino and immigrant. Perhaps coincidentally, the homicide rate fell by some 99%, with the last two years marred by only a single killing, a murder-suicide involving a couple of elderly white lesbians, while all other crime rates have also plummeted. Palo Alto is home to the CEOs of Google, Facebook, Apple, and numerous other leading tech companies, so perhaps rightwing activists should be less than totally mystified why their anti-immigrant zealotry has generally fallen on rather deaf ears within the Silicon Valley business community.

 

Although immigration and Hispanic crime were perennial topics in that HBD group, for a few years after the 9/11 attacks the latter issue was almost entirely displaced by feverish exchanges on Muslim terrorism and the accompanying Clash of Civilizations. Once again, I was invariably on the short end of a 99-to-1 divide, with nearly all the others in the group claiming that destruction of the World Trade Center conclusively proved that we needed to close our borders to foreign immigrants. I pointed out that since the Arab hijackers involved hadn’t been immigrants, but had generally entered our country on tourist visas, maybe the “War on Terrorism” should be renamed the “War on Tourism,” and we should protect America by completely closing our borders to the horrifying risks of the latter. Yet everyone ignored my sage advice.

The 9/11 attacks themselves had astonished me as much as everyone else on the HBD list, but aside from carefully reading the developing story in the New York Times and my other morning newspapers, I was too busy with my work to otherwise follow the topic. At first, everyone seemed certain that there would soon be a wave of follow-up attacks by the dozens or perhaps even hundreds of other Islamic terrorists remaining in our country, but nothing like that ever happened. After a few weeks had gone by without any further explosions, even small ones, I told the other HBD listmembers that I now strongly suspected that every last Al Qaeda terrorist in America had probably died in the suicide attacks of September 11th, and there wasn’t a single remaining operative left behind to commit further mayhem. Many of the others disagreed with me, but as the months and years went by, my surprising hypothesis turned out to be correct.

There was one important exception to this pattern, but it actually served to confirm the rule. As I wrote a few years ago in my original “American Pravda” article:

 
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Reason Magazine and Holocaust Denial

A few years ago I somehow heard about a ferocious online dispute involving a left-leaning journalist named Mark Ames and the editors of Reason magazine, the glossy flagship publication of America’s burgeoning libertarian movement. Although I was deep in my difficult programming work, curiosity got the better of me, so I decided to take a look.

During the Immigration Wars of the 1990s, I’d become quite friendly with the Reason people, frequently visiting their offices, especially during my “English” campaign of 1998, when I’d located my own political headquarters in the same small Westside LA office building they used. As my content-archiving software project began absorbing more and more of my time during the early 2000s, I’d gradually lost touch with them, but even so, the 40-odd years of their magazine archives had become the first publication I’d incorporated into my system, and I was now pleased to discover that both sides in the ongoing feud had put my system to good use in exploring those old Reason issues.

Apparently, the libertarians grouped around Reason had successfully been making political inroads into Silicon Valley’s enormously wealthy technology industry, and had now organized a major conference in San Francisco to gather together their supporters. Their left-leaning rivals decided to nip that project in the bud by highlighting some of the more unsavory ideological positions that mainstream libertarian leaders had once regularly espoused. Perhaps Ron Paul and other libertarians might oppose overseas wars and drug laws, and support cutting taxes and regulations, but they and their Republican Party allies were unspeakably vile on all sorts of other issues, and all “good thinkers” should therefore stay very far away.

The debate began in rather mundane fashion with an article by Ames entitled “Homophobia, Racism, and the Kochs” denouncing Reason for sharing a platform with a high-ranking Republican Congresswoman of Christian conservative views, as well as the magazine’s reliance upon Koch funding and its alleged support for Apartheid South Africa during the 1970s and 1980s. The response by the Reason editor seemed quite persuasive, and he rightfully dismissed the guilt-by-association attacks. He also outlined the gross errors and omissions in the charges regarding South Africa, and ridiculed Ames as a notoriously error-prone “conspiracy theorist.” Surely few outsiders would have paid any attention to such a typical exchange of mudslinging between rival ideological camps.

But then things took a very different turn, and a week later Ames returned with a 5,000 word article bearing a title sure to grab attention: “Holocaust Denial.” He claimed that in 1976 Reason had published an entire special issue devoted to that explosive topic.

Surely everyone on the Internet has encountered numerous instances of Holocaust Denial over the years, but for a respectable magazine to have allotted a full issue to promoting that doctrine was something else entirely. For decades, Hollywood has sanctified the Holocaust, and in our deeply secular society accusations of Holocaust Denial are a bit like shouting “Witch!” in Old Salem or leveling accusations of Trotskyism in the Court of the Red Czar. Progressive Sam Seder’s Majority Report radio show devoted a full half-hour segment to the charges against Reason, and Googling “Reason Magazine”+”Holocaust Denial” today yields thousands of hits. This substantial explosion of Internet controversy was what caught my own attention at the time.

My initial reaction was one of puzzlement. Reason had been the first periodical I had digitized in my system a dozen years earlier, and surely I would have noticed an entire issue promoting Holocaust Denial. However, I soon discovered that February 1976 had been excluded from the supposedly complete set the magazine had shipped me for processing, an omission that itself raises serious suspicions. But Ames had somehow located a copy in a research library and produced a full PDF, which he conveniently placed on the Internet to support his accusations.

 

Carefully reading his article and then glancing through the contents, I decided that his accusation was technically false but substantially true. Apparently the actual theme of the issue was “Historical Revisionism” and except for a couple of paragraphs buried here and there among the 76 pages, Holocaust Denial never came up, so characterizing it as a Holocaust Denial issue was obviously a grotesque exaggeration. But on the other hand, although few of the authors were familiar to me, it seemed undeniably true that they were numbered among America’s more prominent Holocaust Deniers, and most of them were deeply associated with organizations situated in that same camp. Furthermore, there were strong indications that their positions on that topic must certainly have been known to the Reason editors who commissioned their pieces.

The clearest case comes when Ames quoted the explicit statements of Dr. Gary North, a prominent libertarian thinker who had served as one of Ron Paul’s earliest Congressional aides and later became his longtime partner in politics and business:

Probably the most far-out materials on World War II revisionism have been the seemingly endless scholarly studies of the supposed execution of 6 million Jews by Hitler. The anonymous author [Hoggan] of ‘The Myth of the Six Million’ has presented a solid case against the Establishment’s favorite horror story—the supposed moral justification for our entry into the war…The untranslated books by the former Buchenwald inmate Prof. Paul Rassinier, have seriously challenged the story…A recent and very inexpensive book in magazine form, Did Six Million Really Die?, appeared in 1973, written by Richard Harwood.

A later issue carried a thousand word letter by Prof. Adam Reed of Rockefeller University, a past Reason contributor, strongly affirming the mainstream Holocaust narrative by quoting from standard works, and taking Dr. North to task for his citation of Holocaust Denial works of doubtful quality. But North firmly stood his ground:

“The second point, that about 6 million Jews really did die in the concentration camps, is one that will be open until the records of the period become fully available. I am not convinced yet, one way or the other. I am happy to have Dr. Reed’s interpretation of the data, but until the publishing companies and academic guild encourage the re-examination of the data, I shall continue to recommend that those interested in revisionist questions read The Myth of the Six Million and Did Six Million Really Die? as reasonable (though not necessarily irrefutable) pieces of historical revisionism. If a person can’t make up his mind, he should do more reading.”

Dr. James J. Martin was the lead contributor to the February Revisionism issue, and the preceding January issue had featured an extended Q&A by the editors, with one of the queries directly addressing the controversial topic:

 
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Around 35 years ago, I was sitting in my college dorm-room closely reading the New York Times as I did each and every morning when I noticed an astonishing article about the controversial new Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir.

Back in those long-gone days, the Gray Lady was strictly a black-and-white print publication, lacking the large color photographs of rap stars and long stories about dieting techniques that fill so much of today’s news coverage, and it also seemed to have a far harder edge in its Middle East reporting. A year or so earlier, Shamir’s predecessor Menacham Begin had allowed his Defense Minister Ariel Sharon to talk him into invading Lebanon and besieging Beirut, and the subsequent massacre of Palestinian women and children in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps had outraged the world and angered America’s government. This eventually led to Begin’s resignation, with Shamir, his Foreign Minister, taking his place.

Prior to his surprising 1977 election victory, Begin had spent decades in the political wilderness as an unacceptable right-winger, and Shamir had an even more extreme background, with the American mainstream media freely reporting his long involvement in all sorts of high-profile assassinations and terrorist attacks during the 1940s, painting him as a very bad man indeed.

Given Shamir’s notorious activities, few revelations would have shocked me, but this one did. Apparently, during the late 1930s, Shamir and his small Zionist faction had become great admirers of the Italian Fascists and German Nazis, and after World War II broke out, they had made repeated attempts to contact Mussolini and the German leadership in 1940 and 1941, hoping to enlist in the Axis Powers as their Palestine affiliate, and undertake a campaign of attacks and espionage against the local British forces, then share in the political booty after Hitler’s inevitable triumph.

Now the Times clearly viewed Shamir in a very negative light, but it seemed extremely unlikely to me that they would have published such a remarkable story without being absolutely sure of their facts. Among other things, there were long excerpts from the official letters sent to Mussolini ferociously denouncing the “decadent” democratic systems of Britain and France that he was opposing, and assuring Il Duce that such ridiculous political notions would have no future place in the totalitarian Jewish client state they hoped to establish under his auspices in Palestine.

As it happens, both Germany and Italy were preoccupied with larger geopolitical issues at the time, and given the small size of Shamir’s Zionist faction, not much seems to have ever come of those efforts. But the idea of the sitting Prime Minister of the Jewish State having spent his early wartime years as an unrequited Nazi ally was certainly something that sticks in one’s mind, not quite conforming to the traditional narrative of that era which I had always accepted.

Most remarkably, the revelation of Shamir’s pro-Axis past seems to have had only a relatively minor impact upon his political standing within Israeli society. I would think that any American political figure found to have supported a military alliance with Nazi Germany during the Second World War would have had a very difficult time surviving the resulting political scandal, and the same would surely be true for politicians in Britain, France, or most other western nations. But although there was certainly some embarrassment in the Israeli press, especially after the shocking story reached the international headlines, apparently most Israelis took the whole matter in stride, and Shamir stayed in office for another year, then later served a second, much longer term as Prime Minister during 1986-1992. The Jews of Israel apparently regarded Nazi Germany quite differently than did most Americans, let alone most American Jews.

 

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Around that same time, a second intriguing example of this quite different Israeli perspective towards the Nazis also came to my attention. In 1983, Amoz Oz, often described as Israel’s greatest novelist, had published In the Land of Israel to glowing reviews. This book was a collection of lengthy interviews with various representative figures in Israeli society, both moderate and extreme, as well as some coverage of the Palestinians who also lived among them.

Of these ideological profiles, one of the shortest but most widely discussed was that of an especially hard-line political figure, unnamed but almost universally believed to be Ariel Sharon, a conclusion certainly supported by the personal details and physical description provided. Near the very beginning, that figure mentioned that people of his ideological ilk had recently been denounced as “Judeo-Nazis” by a prominent liberal Israeli academic, but rather than reject that label, he fully welcomed it. So the subject generally became known in public discussions as the “Judeo-Nazi.”

That he described himself in such terms was hardly an exaggeration, since he rather gleefully advocated the slaughter of millions of Israel’s enemies, and the vast expansion of Israeli territory by conquest of neighboring lands and expulsion of their populations, along with the free use of nuclear weapons if they or anyone else too strongly resisted such efforts. In his bold opinion, the Israelis and Jews in general were just too soft and meek, and needed to regain their place in the world by once again becoming a conquering people, probably hated but definitely feared. To him, the large recent massacre of Palestinian women and children at Sabra and Shatila was of no consequence whatsoever, and the most unfortunate aspect of the incident was that the killers had been Israel’s Christian Phalangist allies rather than Israeli soldiers themselves.

Now rhetorical excess is quite common among politicians and a shroud of pledged anonymity will obviously loosen many tongues. But can anyone imagine an American or other Western public figure talking in such terms, let alone someone who moves in higher political circles? These days, Donald Trump sometimes Tweets out a crude misspelled insult at 2am, and the American media is aghast in horror. But given that his administration leaks like a sieve, if he routinely boasted to his confidants about possibly slaughtering millions, we surely would have heard about it. For that matter, there seems not the slightest evidence that the original German Nazis ever spoke in such ways privately, let alone while a journalist was carefully taking notes. But the “Judeo-Nazis” of Israel are another story.

As near as I can recall, the last even slightly prominent figure in American public life who declared himself a “Nazi” was George Lincoln Rockwell during the 1960s, and he was much more of a political performance artist than an actual political leader. Even as marginalized a figure as David Duke has always hotly denied such an accusation. But apparently politics in Israel is played by different rules.

In any event, Sharon’s purported utterances seem to have had little negative impact upon his subsequent political career, and after spending some time in the political wilderness after the Lebanon disaster, he eventually served five years as Prime Minister during 2001-2006, although by that later date his views were regularly denounced as too soft and compromising due to the steady rightward drift of the Israeli political spectrum.

 

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I recently published a couple of long essays, and although they primarily focused on other matters, the subject of anti-Semitism was a strong secondary theme. In that regard, I mentioned my shock at discovering a dozen or more years ago that several of the most self-evidently absurd elements of anti-Semitic lunacy, which I had always dismissed without consideration, were probably correct. It does seem likely that a significant number of traditionally-religious Jews did indeed occasionally commit the ritual murder of Christian children in order to use their blood in certain religious ceremonies, and also that powerful Jewish international bankers did play a large role in financing the establishment of Bolshevik Russia.

When one discovers that matters of such enormous moment not only apparently occurred but that they had been successfully excluded from nearly all of our histories and media coverage for most of the last one hundred years, the implications take some time to properly digest. If the most extreme “anti-Semitic canards” were probably true, then surely the whole notion of anti-Semitism warrants a careful reexamination.

All of us obtain our knowledge of the world by two different channels. Some things we discover from our own personal experiences and the direct evidence of our senses, but most information comes to us via external sources such as books and the media, and a crisis may develop when we discover that these two pathways are in sharp conflict. The official media of the old USSR used to endlessly trumpet the tremendous achievements of its collectivized agricultural system, but when citizens noticed that there was never any meat in their shops, “Pravda” became a watchword for “Lies” rather than “Truth.”

Now consider the notion of “anti-Semitism.” Google searches for that word and its close variants reveal over 24 million hits, and over the years I’m sure I’ve seen that term tens of thousands of times in my books and newspapers, and heard it endlessly reported in my electronic media and entertainment. But thinking it over, I’m not sure that I can ever recall a single real-life instance I’ve personally encountered, nor have I heard of almost any such cases from my friends or acquaintances. Indeed, the only persons I’ve ever come across making such claims were individuals who bore unmistakable signs of serious psychological imbalance. When the daily newspapers are brimming with lurid tales of hideous demons walking among us and attacking people on every street corner, but you yourself have never actually seen one, you may gradually grow suspicious.

Indeed, over the years some of my own research has uncovered a sharp contrast between image and reality. As recently as the late 1990s, leading mainstream media outlets such as The New York Times were still denouncing a top Ivy League school such as Princeton for the supposed anti-Semitism of its college admissions policy, but a few years ago when I carefully investigated that issue in quantitative terms for my lengthy Meritocracy analysis I was very surprised to reach a polar-opposite conclusion. According to the best available evidence, white Gentiles were over 90% less likely to be enrolled at Harvard and the other Ivies than were Jews of similar academic performance, a truly remarkable finding. If the situation had been reversed and Jews were 90% less likely to be found at Harvard than seemed warranted by their test scores, surely that fact would be endlessly cited as the absolute smoking-gun proof of horrendous anti-Semitism in present-day America.

It has also become apparent that a considerable fraction of what passes for “anti-Semitism” these days seems to stretch that term beyond all recognition. A few weeks ago an unknown 28-year-old Democratic Socialist named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scored a stunning upset primary victory over a top House Democrat in New York City, and naturally received a blizzard of media coverage as a result. However, when it came out that she had denounced the Israeli government for its recent massacre of over 140 unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, cries of “anti-Semite” soon appeared, and according to Google there are now over 180,000 such hits combining her name and that harsh accusatory term. Similarly, just a few days ago the New York Times ran a major story reporting that all of Britain’s Jewish newspapers had issued an “unprecedented” denunciation of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, describing it as an “existential threat” to the Jewish community for the anti-Semitism it was fostering; but this apparently amounted to nothing more than its willingness to sharply criticize the Israeli government for its long mistreatment of the Palestinians.

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One plausible explanation of the strange contrast between media coverage and reality might be that anti-Semitism once did loom very large in real life, but dissipated many decades ago, while the organizations and activists focused on detecting and combating that pernicious problem have remained in place, generating public attention based on smaller and smaller issues, with the zealous Jewish activists of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) representing a perfect example of this situation. As an even more striking illustration, the Second World War ended over seventy years ago, but what historian Norman Finkelstein has so aptly labeled “the Holocaust Industry” has grown ever larger and more entrenched in our academic and media worlds so that scarcely a day passes without one or more articles relating to that topic appearing in my major morning newspapers. Given this situation, a serious exploration of the true nature of anti-Semitism should probably avoid the mere media phantoms of today and focus on the past, when the condition might still have been widespread in daily life.

Many observers have pointed to the aftermath of the Second World War as marking a huge watershed in the public acceptability of anti-Semitism both in America and Europe, so perhaps a proper appraisal of that cultural phenomenon should focus on the years before that global conflict. However, the overwhelming role of Jews in the Bolshevik Revolution and other bloody Communist seizures of power quite naturally made them objects of considerable fear and hatred throughout the inter-war years, so the safest course might be to push that boundary back a little further and confine our attention to the period prior to the outbreak of the First World War. The pogroms in Czarist Russia, the Dreyfus Affair in France, and the lynching of Leo Frank in the American South come to mind as some of the most famous examples from that period.

 

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In 1991 Cambridge University Press published The Jew Accused by Albert Lindemann, a noted scholar of European ideological movements, and his book focused on exactly that era and those sorts of incidents. Although the text is quite short, running less than 300 pages, Lindemann built his discussion upon a huge foundation of secondary literature, with his footnotes drawn from the 200 works included in his extensive bibliography. As far as I could tell, he seems a very scrupulous scholar, generally providing the multiple, often conflicting accounts of a given incident, and coming to his own conclusions with considerable hesitation.

 
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Although I always had a great interest in history, I naively believed what I read in my textbooks, and therefore regarded American history as just too bland and boring to study.

By contrast, one land I found especially fascinating was China, the world’s most populous country and its oldest continuous civilization, with a tangled modern history of revolutionary upheaval, then suddenly reopened to the West during the Nixon Administration and under Deng’s economic reforms starting to reverse decades of Maoist economic failure.

In 1978 I took a UCLA graduate seminar on the rural Chinese political economy, and probably read thirty or forty books during that semester. E.O. Wilson’s seminal Sociobiology: The New Synthesis had just been published a couple of years earlier, reviving that field after decades of harsh ideological suppression, and with his ideas in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help noticing the obvious implications of the material I was reading. The Chinese had always seemed a very smart people, and the structure of China’s traditional rural peasant economy produced Social Darwinist selective pressure so thick that you could cut it with a knife, thus providing a very elegant explanation of how the Chinese got that way. A couple of years later in college, I wrote up my theory while studying under Wilson, and then decades afterward dug it out again, finally publishing my analysis as How Social Darwinism Made Modern China.

With the Chinese people clearly having such tremendous inherent talent and their potential already demonstrated on a much smaller scale in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore, I believed there was an excellent chance that Deng’s reforms would unleash enormous economic growth, and sure enough, that was exactly what happened. In the late 1970s, China was poorer than Haiti, but I always told my friends that it might come to dominate the world economically within a couple of generations, and although most of them were initially quite skeptical of such an outrageous claim, every few years they became a little less so. The Economist had long been my favorite magazine, and in 1986 they published an especially long letter of mine emphasizing the tremendous rising potential of China and urging them to expand their coverage with a new Asia Section; the following year, they did exactly that.

These days I feel tremendous humiliation for having spent most of my life being so totally wrong about so many things for so long, and I cling to China as a very welcome exception. I can’t think of a single development during the last forty years that I wouldn’t have generally expected back in the late 1970s, with the only surprise having been the total lack of surprises. About the only “revision” I’ve had to make in my historical framework is that I’d always casually accepted the ubiquitous claim that Mao’s disastrous Great Leap Forward of 1959-61 had caused 35 million or more deaths, but I’ve recently encountered some serious doubts, suggesting that such a total could be considerably exaggerated, and today I might admit the possibility that only 15 million or fewer had died.

 

But although I always had a great interest in China, European history was even more fascinating to me, with the political interplay of so many conflicting states and the huge ideological and military upheavals of the twentieth century.

In my unjustified arrogance, I also sometimes relished a sense of seeing obvious things that magazine or newspaper journalists got so completely wrong, mistakes which often slipped into historical narratives as well. For example, discussions of the titanic 20th century military struggles between Germany and Russia quite often made casual references to the traditional hostility between those two great peoples, who for centuries had stood as bitter rivals, representing the eternal struggle of Slav against Teuton for dominion over Eastern Europe.

Although the bloodstained history of the two world wars made that notion seem obvious, it was factually mistaken. Prior to 1914, those two great peoples had not fought against each other for the previous 150 years, and even the Seven Years’ War of the mid-18th century had involved a Russian alliance with Germanic Austria against Germanic Prussia, hardly amounting to a conflict along civilizational lines. Russians and Germans had been staunch allies during the endless Napoleonic wars, closely cooperated during the Metterich and Bismarck Eras that followed, while even as late as 1904, Germany had supported Russia in its unsuccessful war against Japan. Later, Weimar Germany and Soviet Russia had a period of close military cooperation during the 1920s, the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939 marked the beginning of the Second World War, and during the long Cold War, the USSR had no more loyal a satellite than East Germany. Perhaps two dozen years of hostility over the last three centuries, with good relations or even outright alliance during most of the remainder, hardly suggested that Russians and Germans were hereditary enemies.

Moreover, throughout much of that period, Russia’s ruling elite had had a considerable Germanic tinge. Russia’s legendary Catherine the Great had been a German princess by birth, and over the centuries so many Russian rulers had taken German wives that the later Czars of the Romanov dynasty were usually more German than Russian. Russia itself had a substantial but heavily assimilated German population, which was very well represented in elite political circles, with German names being quite common among government ministers and sometimes found among important military commanders. Even a top leader of the Decembrist revolt of the early 19th century had had German ancestry but was a zealous Russian-nationalist in his ideology.

Under the governance of this mixed Russian and German ruling class, the Russian Empire had steadily risen to become one of the world’s foremost powers. Indeed, given its vast size, manpower, and resources, combined with one of the world’s fastest economic growth rates and a natural increase in total population that was not far behind, a 1914 observer might have easily pegged it to soon dominate the European continent and perhaps even much of the world, just as Tocqueville had famously prophesized in the early decades of the 19th century. A crucial underlying cause of the First World War was Britain’s belief that only a preventative war could forestall a rising Germany, but I suspect that an important secondary cause was the parallel German notion that similar measures were necessary against a rising Russia.

 
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About a decade ago, I happened to be talking with an eminent academic scholar who had become known for his sharp criticism of Israeli policies in the Middle East and America’s strong support for them. I mentioned that I myself had come to very similar conclusions some time before, and he asked when that had happened. I told him it had been in 1982, and I think he found my answer quite surprising. I got the sense that date was decades earlier than would have been given by almost anyone else he knew.

Sometimes it is quite difficult to pinpoint when one’s world view on a contentious topic undergoes sharp transformation, but at other times it is quite easy. My own perceptions of the Middle East conflict drastically shifted during Fall 1982, and they have subsequently changed only to a far smaller extent. As some might remember, that period marked the first Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and culminated in the notorious Sabra-Shatila Massacre during which hundreds or even thousands of Palestinians were slaughtered in their refugee camps. But although those events were certainly major factors in my ideological realignment, the crucial trigger was actually a certain letter to the editor published around that same time.

A few years earlier, I had discovered The London Economist, as it was then called, and it had quickly become my favorite publication, which I religiously devoured cover-to-cover every week. And as I read the various articles about the Middle East conflict in that publication, or others such as the New York Times, the journalists occasionally included quotes from some particularly fanatic and irrational Israeli Communist named Israel Shahak, whose views seemed totally at odds with those of everyone else, and who was consequently treated as a fringe figure. Opinions that seem totally divorced from reality tend to stick in one’s mind, and it took only one or two appearances from that apparently die-hard and delusional Stalinist for me to guess that he would always take an entirely contrary position on every given issue.

In 1982 Israel Defense Minister Ariel Sharon launched his massive invasion of Lebanon using the pretext of the wounding of an Israeli diplomat in Europe at the hands of a Palestinian attacker, and the extreme nature of his action was widely condemned in the media outlets I read at the time. His motive was obviously to root out the PLO’s political and military infrastructure, which had taken hold in many of Lebanon’s large Palestinian refugee camps. But back in those days invasions of Middle Eastern countries on dubious prospects were much less common than they have subsequently become, after our recent American wars killed or displaced so many millions, and most observers were horrified by the utterly disproportionate nature of his attack and the severe destruction he was inflicted upon Israel’s neighbor, which he seemed eager to reduce to puppet status. From what I recall from that time, he made several entirely false assurances to top Reagan officials about his invasion plans, such that they afterward called him the worst sort of liar, and he ended up besieging the Lebanese capital of Beirut even though he had originally promised to limit his assault to a mere border incursion.

The Israeli siege of the PLO-controlled areas of Beirut lasted some time, and negotiations eventually resulted in the departure of the Palestinian fighters to some other Arab country. Shortly afterward, the Israelis declared that they were moving into West Beirut in order to better assure the safety of the Palestinian women and children left behind and protect them from any retribution at the hands of their Christian Falangist enemies. And around that same time, I noticed a long letter in The Economist by Shahak which seemed to me the final proof of his insanity. He claimed that it was obvious that Sharon had marched to Beirut with the intent of organizing a massacre of the Palestinians, and that this would shortly take place. When the slaughter indeed occurred not long afterward, apparently with heavy Israeli involvement and complicity, I concluded that if a crazy Communist fanatic like Shahak had been right, while apparently every mainstream journalist had been so completely wrong, my understanding of the world and the Middle East required total recalibration. Or at least that’s how I’ve always remembered those events from a distance of over thirty-five years.

During the years that followed, I still periodically saw Shahak’s statements quoted in my mainstream publications, which sometimes suggested that he was a Communist and sometimes not. Naturally enough, his ideological extremism made him a prominent opponent of the 1991 Oslo Peace Agreement between Israel and the occupied Palestinians, which was supported by every sensible person, though since Oslo ended up being entirely a failure, I couldn’t hold it too strongly against him. I stopped paying much attention to foreign policy issues during the 1990s, but I still read my New York Times every morning and would occasionally see his quotes, inevitably contrarian and irredentist.

Then the 9/11 attacks returned foreign policy and the Middle East to the absolute center of our national agenda, and I eventually read somewhere or other that Shahak had died at age 68 only a few months earlier, though I hadn’t noticed any obituary. Over the years, I’d seen some vague mention that during the previous decade he’d published a couple of stridently anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist books, just as might be expected from a hard-line Communist fanatic, and during the early 2000s I started seeing more and more references to these works, ironically coming from fringe sources of the anti-Semitic Far Right, thereby once again proving that extremists flock together. Finally, about a decade ago, my curiosity got the better of me and clicking a few buttons on Amazon.com, I ordered copies of his books, all of which were quite short.

 

My first surprise was that Shahak’s writings included introductions or glowing blurbs by some of America’s most prominent public intellectuals, including Christopher Hitchens, Gore Vidal, Noam Chomsky, and Edward Said. Praise also came from quite respectable publications such as The London Review of Books, Middle East International, and Catholic New Times while Allan Brownfeld of The American Council for Judaism had published a very long and laudatory obituary. And I discovered that Shahak’s background was very different than I had always imagined. He had spent many years as an award-winning Chemistry professor at Hebrew University, and was actually anything but a Communist. Whereas for decades, Israel’s ruling political parties had been Socialist or Marxist, his personal doubts about Socialism had left him politically in the wilderness, while his relationship with Israel’s tiny Communist Party was solely because they were the only group willing to stand up for the basic human rights issues that were his own central focus. My casual assumptions about his views and background had been entirely in error.

 
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About Ron Unz

A theoretical physicist by training, Mr. Unz serves as founder and chairman of UNZ.org, a content-archiving website providing free access to many hundreds of thousands of articles from prominent periodicals of the last hundred and fifty years. From 2007 to 2013, he also served as publisher of The American Conservative, a small opinion magazine, and had previously served as chairman of Wall Street Analytics, Inc., a financial services software company which he founded in New York City in 1987. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University, Cambridge University, and Stanford University, and is a past first-place winner in the Intel/Westinghouse Science Talent Search. He was born in Los Angeles in 1961.

He has long been deeply interested in public policy issues, and his writings on issues of immigration, race, ethnicity, and social policy have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Nation, and numerous other publications.

In 1994, he launched a surprise Republican primary challenge to incumbent Gov. Pete Wilson of California, running on a conservative, pro-immigrant platform against the prevailing political sentiment, and received 34% of the vote. Later that year, he campaigned as a leading opponent of Prop. 187, the anti-immigration initiative, and was a top featured speaker at a 70,000 person pro-immigrant march in Los Angeles, the largest political rally in California history to that date.

In 1997, Mr. Unz began his “English for the Children” initiative campaign to dismantle bilingual education in California. He drafted Prop. 227 and led the campaign to qualify and pass the measure, culminating in a landslide 61% victory in June 1998, effectively eliminating over one-third of America’s bilingual programs. Within less than three years of the new English immersion curriculum, the mean percentile test scores of over a million immigrant students in California rose by an average of 70%. He later organized and led similar initiative campaigns in other states, winning with 63% in the 2000 Arizona vote and a remarkable 68% in the 2002 Massachusetts vote without spending a single dollar on advertising.

After spending most of the 2000s focused on software projects, he has recently become much more active in his public policy writings, most of which had appeared in his own magazine.


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Hundreds of POWs may have been left to die in Vietnam, abandoned by their government—and our media.
Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.