The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, first published in 1903, continues to influence contemporary anti-Semitism, claims retired judge Hadassah Ben-Itto, who presented her findings to a captivated audience at the Jabotinsky Institute Museum. Her recent lecture, the second in a Jabotinsky Institute “Moadon HaMachon” series devoted to the topics of anti-Semitism, anti-Israelism, and public diplomacy, probed the use of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a political document.
In his opening comments, moderator Yossi Ahimeir, director of the Jabotinsky Institute, noted that the rash of current anti-Semitic outbursts should serve as a warning signal to all who believe that this contemptible phenomenon has disappeared from the world’s stage.
According to Judge Ben-Itto, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion enjoy significant international acclaim, and are disseminated throughout the entire world as a tool of incitement against Israel and the Jews, even though there is decisive proof—as noted in her research volume The Lie That Wouldn't Die: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion—that the Protocols are a total forgery. Judge Ben-Itto stressed that the Protocols have gained popularity not only in the Moslem world, who are already sworn enemies, but also among the Moslem communities in Europe.
As she wrote in her book, “In essence, the Moslem countries embraced The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, including its anti-Semitic aspects, as part of their anti-Zionist ideology.” According to Judge Ben-Itto, “The Jews are still depicted as being intent on controlling the world, yet at the first stage, they are plotting to control the neighboring countries in the Middle East.
“The creation of the State of Israel and its military victories over the Arab world, supported by foreign countries whose leaders are controlled by the Jews, are all used as conclusive proof of the veracity of the Protocols, and are frequently quoted by anti-Semitic and racist groups.”
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, emphasized Judge Ben-Itto, constitute a convenient platform to inculcate anti-Semitism against Israel and the Jews, and are easily implanted within the popular culture of television series, soap operas, children’s shows and more.
Judge Ben-Itto noted that Israel is the only country where no translation of The Protocols exists, despite this volume’s role in inciting hatred of Jews throughout the world. Disregarding the phenomenon will not make it disappear. In this context, it is important to mention the case of Susanna Klein, a Jewish student from the University of California, Berkeley, who publicly demanded that the dean of the university dismiss an instructor of Arab-Iraqi descent for claiming that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a genuine document written by Jews.
Judge Hadassah Ben-Itto’s book The Lie That Wouldn't Die: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion has recently been translated to both Arabic and Farsi, and she has also learned that Saudi Prince Talal has purchased a copy for himself.
The Jabotinsky Institute “Moadon Hamachon” lecture series on Anti-Semitism and Public Diplomacy Counter-Activities is held once every two weeks on Sunday evenings. Future sessions will feature lectures by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Daniel Ayalon, Dr. Roni Stauber, Professor Dina Porat, Mr. Itamar Marcus, MK Nachman Shai, Professor Elhanan Yakira, Dr. Amir Goldstein, and others.