Wide attention in liberal French and Jewish circles was attracted by a new attempt to revive the long refuted libel of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
A writer hiding behind the pseudonym, Salluste, in a number of articles published in the "Revue de Paris,"one of the large Parisian periodicals, started the new anti-Jewish offensive by producing what looks strikingly like a new version of the Protocols. The same subject, the same thesis, under a different title. Has the experience of the Protocols borne its fruits ? Or has the author been taken aback with shame in view of the name behind which he takes refuge? He does not re-edit the feuilleton "romance" of the "Protocols. "He claims, however, that Israel, for the past century, has been concentrating its efforts, in order to impose its moral political and financial domination upon the world by the destruction of Christian civilization.This is the password that has been given him not only by some "isolated Talmudists," but by all its spiritual heads, since Moses Mendelssohn, by all those whom Salluste calls the Neo-Messiahnists.
Salluste takes cognizance of the precautions that he must take with comparatively enlightened public of the "Revue"in which he writes and he has no intentions of buiding up his proof on a paper the origin and style of which may give rise to suspicions and controversy; he founds it upon an "unquestionable text," one of a quasi-scientific accuracy! This is an alleged letter addressed in 1819 to Karl Marx by a Neo-Messiahnist, Baruch Levy, in which the "doctrine" is formulated "with a rare precision."
The Jewish people taken collectively will itself be its own Messiah, the writer asserts. Its reign upon the earth will be accomplished by the unification of the other human races, the elimination of frontiers and monarchies which are the bulwark of private property, and the establishment of a universal Republic, which will all over acknowledge to Jews the rights of citizens. In this new organization of humanity, the sons of Israel, scattered right now over the surface of the globe, all of like race and of like traditional formation–without forming a distinct nationality–will without opposition become the directing element, especially if they succeed in imposing upon the working masses the stable direction of some among them. The governments of the nations forming the universal Republic will all pass without effort into Israelite hands in behalf of the victory of the proletariat. Individual property will then be able to be abolished by the rulers of the Jewish rac, who all over will administer the public weal. Thus the "promise of the Talmud" will be performed, which is that when the times of the Messiah have come, the Jews will hold under their keys the properties of all the people of the world.
Backed up by this "evidence," Salluste does not hesitate to carry out his demonstration to the end. Karl Marx, despite his conversion to Protestantism, becomes the mandatary of all Israel and the agent of execution of Neo-Messiahnism–through power conferred by Baruch Levy. He is going to fulfil his mission with the aid of Heinrich Heine, the erudite Zung, and Engels, whom Salluste persists in declaring of Jewish origin in spite of officials proofs, and later on Herzen, Lassalle and a score of young Jews, fiery revolutionaries. All are going to prepare the social upheaval, not in the intersts of the proletariat, according to Salluste, but for the triumph of Judaism.
For the rest, the means and the end are confused; Christian society will be destroyed by infiltering into it the Communist doctrine, which is specifically Jewish. And after a half a century of struggle, in behalf of the world war, waged also by international Judaism, the victory of Marxist Bolshevism assures that of the Jews in Russia, while awaiting the turn of the other countries, according to Salluste.
Alfred Berl, editor of "Paixet Droit,"organ of the Alliance Israelite Universelle, commented on this new anti-Semitic offensive of libels and inventions. In a recent issue, the organ of the Alliance Israelite Universelle takes under close scrutiny the assertions made by Salluste and the "evidence" cited in support thereof. Baruch Levy is an invention of Salluste’s imagination, Mr Berl says, and proceeds:
"We do not know whether the readers of the Revue de Paris have been fully convinced by the convincing force of this line of reasoning. It seems to us to put itself open to some objections.
"Since in the very first place Salluste rests his theory of Neo-Messiahnism on the sole testimony of Baruch Levy, it would have been advisable to establish with more precision the civil and social status and the role of this fundamental witness in science and in Judaism of his time. Now then, Salluste leaves us in this regard, and despite his copious articles, utterly in the dark.
"All the inquiries, all the researches made in Jewish circles, in the contemporaneous journals and bibliography, have borne no results. Nobody knows and nobody has ever known the name of Baruch Levy among the authorized representatives of Jewish erudition in France and in the countries of Germanic culture. A strange thing indeed, since it is a matter of a personage to whom Salluste ascribes such great importance. No document has been found again that concerns him or mentions him; and of and by himself there remains nothing written, but only the aforementioned letter, devoid moreover of any indication of date and origin.
"Assuredly, this dearth of information does not authorize us to deny formally the existence of Baruch Levy and the authenticity of the letter; but is it plausible that a man, the bearer of such a new doctrine as Neo-Messiahnism, so contrary to Jewish orthodoxy, is it plausible, we repeat, that this correspondent of Marx, to whom he wrote also in the name of all Judaism, should have failed to leave any trace of his action among contemporaries?
"One wonders whether, by neglecting to clear up this point, according to the elementary rules of historical criticism, Salluste has not shaken in advance the foundations of his argumentation. An omission this that is all the more grave since, even were all doubt eliminated as to the existence of Baruch Levy and the authenticity of his letter, the thesis of Salluste would still be quite flimsy; to wit, that for a century Judaism has pursued a dream of universal domination on the ruins of Christian civilization and its vital principles.
"In the absence of Baruch Levy, are Heinrich Heine, Lassalle or Marx sufficiently representative of Judaism for their word to be able to commit any others than themselves?
"The same reservation is likewise valid for Bernard Lazare, whom Salluste pretends to take seriously, almost tragically, in things that with him were often only bravados and paradoxes.
"We who have seen Bernard Lazard quite closely to appreciate his strong qualities, his great valor, have also known his weaknesses and his errors. He remains a likeable. peculiar personality, but he himself would never have pretended that he summed up the thought and soul of Israel.
"There are several abodes in the house of my father,’says the Gospel Likewise in the bosom of human groups there is not only one tendency, one opinion, one ideal. And despite common traits, appreciable differences mark the individual.
"Anti-Semitism lacks not only humanity, it lacks also logic. It oftentimes lodges grievances against the Jews on account of their extreme individualism; and it forgets, as soon as this serves its purpose, to incriminate them in toto and to generalize against them, as if they were uniform and interchangeable human beings.
"Salluste has not arrived at the point of impartiality where men are judged according to their works and not according to origin, by what they do and not by what they are," Mr. Berl writes. "Now then, the Jew evolves and varies with the environment in which he lives and develops freely; he justifies the legal or social lot that is made for him by the country of which he is the true citizen or only the dependent. The nations have the Jews that they deserve: what is to be said but that they resemble their Christian compatriots?
"How many varieties appear in the Israelite group, both from the moral point of view and from the intellectual point of view? There are virtuous Jews; there are some very dissolute, honest ones and dishonest ones; among them there are purely practical spirits and others purely devoted to the cult of the ideal, bankers and philosophers, savants and artists, politicians and dreamers. Shall one try to classify them in the lump from the point of view of political or social tendencies? All advance classification would be deceiving They count among their number conservatives and revolutionaries, but it is here less their atavism that drives them into a party than it is their personal or class interest. In that they differ hardly at all from non-Jews. Before being Jews they are men. Therefore one cannot be surprised that the Jew should prefer a liberal regime that opens up all doors to him to a regime of reaction that denies him or withdraws from him all rights and seeks to throw him back to the ghetto.
"The successful Jew desires to conserve the society that has made his place for him; the Jew, hit by the vicissitudes of life or handicapped by the inequality of the laws, swears at the organism wherein he suffers. Then he may become a subversive ferment: the Russia of the Czars has experienced it, at its expense. On the other hand in countries of equality the Jew who is ambitious and able to realize his ambitions will surely become a useful collaborator and a factor of order and progress. The both biased and unsubstantiated thesis of Salluste does norpermit of any distinetion, any shade that might attenuate its unplausibility. He belongs to those who take more delight in hitting hard than in touching right. At the outset of his article he gives the measure of his philosophical sense of history Comparing the destiny of Bolshevism to that of the French Revolution, he writes: That it also would have been able to be easily suppressed, in July 1989, by the thirty thousand men of Marshal de Broglie, in a way that mention of it hardly would have been made today in fourlines in the manual of the bachelor’s degree.’
"Thus despite the faults of the last reigus, despite the intolerable abuses of the ancient regime, and the wrath of the popular masses, joined with the influence of the writings of the encyclopedists, thirty thousand bayonets, according to the author, would have sufficed to stop the outbreak of the revolution and nip in the bud all the neccessary reforms.
"Every thesis is tenable; however, this one would seem less astonishing under the signature, not of Salluste, but of Pere Loriquet.
"What is still more saddening is the fact that grave accusations, devoid of proof of truth and of plausibility against a whole group of the national collectivity, should have been able to be received by an esteemed and formerly liberal review, a review that had for its founders the pure and noble savant that James Darmester was, the honest and great historian whose name was Lavisse,"Mr Berl concludes.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.