TIJ is far from ideal as an analysis of Jewish issues. However, apart from its immersion in the Protocols, its major claims about Jews are correct and have been corroborated by later scholarship. Jews are indeed an ethnically closed group that has vigorously sought to remain separate from the peoples they have lived among throughout their history. They are a very talented group, adept equally at building businesses and lobbying Congress. They have shown a penchant for being able to influence the media, not only via ownership but also via economic pressure and overrepresentation among journalists, writers, and producers of media content. Jews were indeed deeply involved in political radicalism during the 1920s and thereafter, and TIJ was quite correct to emphasize the importance of Zionism to the later history of Jews and to the world in general.
What strikes the reader of TIJ is its portrayal of Jewish intensity and aggressiveness in asserting its interests. Jews were unique as an American immigrant group in their hostility toward American Christian culture and in their energetic efforts to change that culture (see also MacDonald 1998b, 2002). From the perspective of TIJ, the United States had imported around 3,500,000 mainly Yiddish-speaking, intensely Jewish immigrants over the previous forty years. In that very short period, Jews had had enormous effect on American society. The following are, I think, examples of Jewish influence on the U.S. in which TIJ is essentially accurate:
- Jews had achieved a great deal of economic success, even to the point of dominating certain important U.S. industries.
- Jewish organizations had launched highly successful campaigns to remove any references to Christianity from U.S. public culture and to legitimize Judaism as a religion on a par with Protestantism and Catholicism.
- Jewish organizations had been able to impose their ethnic interests on certain key areas of domestic policy. As TIJ noted, Jews were the main force behind maintaining the policy of unrestricted immigration; by 1920, unrestricted immigration policy had continued nearly twenty years after U.S. public opinion had turned against it (see MacDonald 1998b, Ch. 7). Jews had also shown the ability to have a great deal of influence in the executive branch of the U.S. government, as indicated by their influence in the Wilson administration.
- Jews had also been able to impose their ethnic interests in the area of foreign policy despite widespread feelings among the political establishment that the policies advocated by the Jewish community were often not in the best interests of the United States. The main examples highlighted by TIJ were the abrogation of the Russian trade agreement in 1911 and post-W.W. I policy toward Eastern Europe, cases in which Jewish attitudes were entirely dictated by their perceptions of the interests of foreign Jews rather than the economic or political interests of the U.S. Jews achieved their goals on these issues despite the views of the Taft administration on the Russian trade agreement and the views of a wide range of military and diplomatic figures that the U.S. should support post-W.W. I Poland as a bulwark against Bolshevism and that Jewish complaints against Poland were exaggerated (see Bendersky 2000).
- Jews had been a major force behind the success of Bolshevism and its incredibly bloody rein of terror in the Soviet Union and in the abortive Communist revolutions in Hungary (headed by Bela Kun) and Germany (headed by Kurt Eisner).
- Jews were the main component and by far the most energetic component of the radical left in the United States, a movement that advocated a massive political, economic, and cultural transformation of the U.S.
- Jews had attained a substantial influence over the U.S. media via a virtual monopoly on the movie production business, domination of the theater and music businesses, their influence in journalism, ownership of some newspapers, and their ability to apply economic pressure on newspapers because of their importance as advertisers. In turn, the ability of Jews to pressure non-Jewish newspapers depended on Jewish ownership of department stores in major cities. Jews used this media influence to advance their domestic and foreign policy agendas, portray Jews and Judaism positively while portraying Christianity negatively, and promote a sexual morality at odds with the traditional culture of the United States.
- In turn, these consequences stemmed from critical features of Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy (MacDonald 1994/2002) that were well recognized, if crudely stated, by TIJ: Jews are highly intelligent, and Jews are intensely ethnocentric: “The international Jew . . . rules not because he is rich, but because in a most marked degree he possesses the commercial and masterful genius of his race, and avails himself of a racial loyalty and solidarity the like of which exists in no other human group” (6/12/1920).
TIJ reported some success in having Jewish issues discussed publicly. For example, the July 17, 1920, article stated that “A great unloosening of speech with reference to the Jewish Question and the Jewish program for world power has occurred in this country since the beginning of this series of articles.” The article goes on to quote articles and editorials on Jewish radicalism, including an article in the Chicago Tribune (“Trotsky Leads Jew-Radicals to World Rule: Bolshevism only a Tool for His Scheme”) and a Christian Science Monitor editorial giving credence to the “Jewish peril.”
Nevertheless, despite this upsurge in discussion of Jewish issues as a result of the publication of TIJ, public discussions of Jewish issues have remained more or less taboo. Father Charles Coughlin discussed Jewish issues in his widely disseminated radio broadcasts in the 1930s until being effectively shut down in 1940 as a result of a decision by the National Association of Broadcasters to forbid selling airtime to “spokesmen of controversial public issues” (Marcus 1973, 176; see also Warren 1996)—a regulation that was explicitly aimed at keeping Coughlin off the air. In September 1941, Charles Lindbergh had few, if any, defenders in the media when he was subjected to a torrent of abuse for stating a simple fact, that Jews were one of three groups advocating U.S. involvement in W.W. II against Germany (the others being Britain and the Roosevelt administration). In the long run, the TIJ was simply a blip in a long-term trend that continues into the present.