Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ sent to Parliamentarians

YOU ARE IN: Home Page > Topics > Antisemitism

On Sunday, 9 October, many federal parliamentarians - reportedly all of them - were emailed a copy of the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion' ("The Protocols").

The Protocols is a fraudulent antisemitic text that purports to be the minutes of a late 19th century meeting of Jewish leaders discussing their plan for global domination. It was first published in Russia in 1903 and was used to blame Jews for the Russian Revolution... and virtually all subsequent wars, conflicts or other negative events. Since that time it has been translated into multiple languages, and disseminated internationally in the early part of the twentieth century.

The email to the politicians was sent to "truth seekers" and said "Please study ALL of it, and save it to your desktop. Read it repeatedly, until you become familiar with EACH Protocol, and then join the dots, as to how and why things are happening in politics and finance the way they are."

The email was sent by "Free State Voice" and claims to be the "official voice of our Christian Central Queensland Free State which "seceded from the evil iniquity of the illegal State and Federal governments on July 1st, 2004." The Free State website states that it "consists of a group of traditional, patriotic, Christian, God-fearing Australians..." Free State Voice has taken over from "Hinterland Voice" and claims to have "over 100,000 readers."

Its editor Brian McDermott is a known for his antisemitic comments. He was an early One Nation activist, has spoken at the far-right Inverell Forums and Sydney Forums and been published by Fred Toben, The Strategy and the League of Rights. In 2006 he circulated a "cartoon" which included the words "Auschwitz: Six Million Holocaust Survivors (sic): 'The Gas Was Not Strong Enough'".

Clearly the "Free State Voice" and McDermott lack political credibility, but its dissemination of The Protocols reminds us that The Protocols are still being widely disseminated by antisemitic groups who claim that it is a factual document.

The Protocols is not a harmless text. It has always been one of major sources used to promote and justify antisemitism over the past 100 years. Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were major proponents of the text: It was studied, as if factual, in German classrooms after they came to power in 1933, despite having been exposed as fraudulent in 1921 by The Times. It was found that The Protocols was largely plagiarised from a 1864 satire by the French political writer Maurice Joly entitled Dialogue aux enfers entre Machiavel et Montesquieu or "Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu" (which was intended to warn of the ambitions and pretentions of then-French Emperor Napoleon III) as well as a chapter from an 1868 work of fiction entitled "Biarritz" by the antisemitic German novelist Hermann Goedsche, which had been translated into Russian in 1872.

Despite being accepted by most of the world as forgery, it continues to be widely available around the world, particularly on the internet, as well as in print in Asia, South America and the Middle East.

In the Middle East, a large number of Arab and Muslim regimes and leaders have endorsed them as authentic, including Presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat of Egypt, one of the President Arifs of Iraq, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, and Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi of Libya. It has also been endorsed by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ekrima Sa'id Sabri, and the education ministry of Saudi Arabia .

The 1988 Hamas Charter, states that that The Protocols embodies the plan of the Zionists. This is the same Hamas that controls the Gaza strip and has entered into a Palestinian ‘unity government' with Fatah, and is seeking UN recognition for a Palestinian state.

According to expert on conspiracy theories Dr. Daniel Pipes:

"the great importance of The Protocols lies in its permitting antisemites to reach beyond their traditional circles and find a large international audience, a process that continues to this day. The forgery poisoned public life wherever it appeared; it was 'self-generating; a blueprint that migrated from one conspiracy to another.' The book's vagueness - almost no names, dates, or issues are specified - has been one key to this wide-ranging success. The purportedly Jewish authorship also helps to make the book more convincing. Its embrace of contradiction - that to advance, Jews use all tools available, including capitalism and communism, philo-Semitism and antisemitism, democracy and tyranny - made it possible for The Protocols to reach out to all: rich and poor, Right and Left , Christian and Muslim, American and Japanese."

A useful history of The Protocols and the ugliness this forgery has spawned is here.

This mass-mailing is a useful reminder that this dangerous "lie that won't die" remains potent in some circles even in the 21st century here in largely tolerant, multicultural Australia.


Most recent items in: Antisemitism