This is part twenty-nine of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.
If you’re not involved in academic life or the Holocaust museum industrial complex you might not be aware that one of the main Jewish exports of our time is the Holocaust – this from America. Another major Jewish export is military weapons – this from Israel.
Since contemporary Jewish life revolves around the Holocaust and Israel the Jewish export portfolio makes perfect sense. Specialization and niche markets are the rage.
The weapons industry – no explanation necessary. Like other major industrial countries, Israel’s weapons’ industry is part of its cash flow and global cache. The Holocaust industry is less obvious, at least in its export capacity. But if you think conceptually of the “Holocaust for others” you’ll see how we have, for example, exported the Holocaust to Christians in America and Europe for decades. The Holocaust functions as a global discourse as well. We have marketed the Holocaust around the world.
Only a small portion of Holocaust trading is conducted in cash. Rather a global Holocaust bank account has been established where the Jewish establishment in America and Israel trades the Holocaust (thus Jewish suffering and a need for empowerment) for political and military support. There are also highly trained cadres of Jewish academicians who trade the Holocaust for a livelihood. This includes teaching in universities but, as well, advising genocide museums and the like around the world.
The Holocaust/weapons industry export scenario is relatively new. It’s more or less fifty years since these they came into being, a short time in the history of an ancient people. Yet brevity in time is made up by depth of commitment.
As Jews, we are deeply invested, perhaps dependent, on these exports. Our place in the world, our self-esteem is involved. Without the Holocaust/weapons industry, we would feel adrift.
Without the Holocaust for others we fear that our time of respect on the world stage is numbered. Without a weapons’ industry, we fear Israel’s global reach will diminish. Without that global reach can Israel survive?
The Holocaust for others. Weapons for others. Seemingly self-assured, we have become a needy people. Without others, we are less. So involved with the Holocaust and weapons sales we have forgotten how previously we had a corner on other exports, primarily critical thought and ethics. Various forms of artistic endeavors as well. And, let’s not forget science, when scientific thinking rather than lab experimentation was crucial to breakthroughs in science.
In many fields of endeavors we were paradigm shifters. Breakthrough types. The prophetic was thinly disguised. It was dressed as it was in secular garb. Still it had its time on the world stage.
The secular garb was a ruse. The thin disguise masked Jewishness raging in the world. Unannounced, it was still easily noticed. When queried about it, most Jews took to their closets. Like Freud, a proud Jew, who tried to hand over psychoanalysis to Jung. The reason: Freud didn’t want his “science” to be mistaken for “Jewish.” Which it was, of course, quite Jewish, with little bits of science sprinkled in. What a Jewish science it was!
The slayers of Moses as one writer sees it, each Jewish patriarch slaying the last one to assume his rightful place as the Moses of his generation. Almost all of the great Jewish thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth century had this sensibility. Of course, most of them didn’t mention Moses, except Freud whose last book was exactly on that subject. And as Freud would have it, the real Biblical Moses was himself slain in the desert. The Israelites wanted none of the discipline Moses dished out. Off with his head! It isn’t a mistake that Freud announced Moses’ execution. After all wasn’t he, Freud, the new and perhaps last Moses?
Have I forgotten war, occupation and terror as high on the list of Jewish exports? Ask the Palestinians, Lebanon, Iran and other countries. I suppose we could place this in the weapons industry folder. Maybe I need a better catch-all term here.
9/11 and the whole security systems industry, heavily Israeli. Another huge Jewish export these days.
No matter what its size, every Sparta needs a “we’ll make you ready for war” industry and “we’ll provide you with the weapons to keep you safe” industry. So war and everything that surrounds war – the umbrella is big and getting bigger. If you don’t provide the full range of exports needed, importers might look elsewhere for what they need. Somewhat like the drug cartels, I guess. Deliver or we’ll find someone else who can.
Suppliers and users. Suppliers try to enlarge the markets for their goods. Users ply the world for supplies that are cheap, reliable and perform. Yes, another similarity to the drug cartel, since there are direct causalities, those who fight in the wars, and collateral damage, regrettable but also part and parcel of war itself.
Balance of trade is crucial for nations. You don’t want to import more than you export. As well, the market is always changing and some products may compete internally with other products. On the Jewish front Holocaust exports are being compromised by Israel’s export of war. For this and other reasons, including the passage of years since the Holocaust, we should expect the Holocaust export business to diminish over time.
Now it might just be an image problem, so Israel and some Jews in America think, hence the Brand Israel campaign. However, the globally circulated photographic images of occupation and invasion are hard to brush out. “Just do it” is all over the Israeli can-do attitudes. It may be that bombing Iran will enhance Israel’s image in some quarters but overall it seems downhill for the Holocaust. My advice: Don’t invest in Holocaust stock right now.
In financial newsletter lingo place the Holocaust in the sell category. Unload it as quickly as you can.
Suggestions for investing in other Jewish causes? Not sure. Though the Israeli economy is doing fairly well, there are all sorts of negatives embedded in the Israeli way of life. If you take one brick out of the Israeli edifice the whole Jewish state might come tumbling down. My advice: Sell at your convenience, at least hedge your bets.
Other possibilities? With the Holocaust and Israel on the skids other Jewish causes may also suffer. They’ve been in the shadow of the Holocaust and Israel for a very long time and fed off their success. I’d place other areas of Jewish life under a caution flag. Wait and see what happens to the Holocaust/Israel complex before increasing your investment.
Where to invest? The ever-pressing question for the 1%. If you’re leaving the Jewish stock scene, you might want to check out the China wage slavery scene. Untold ecological damage might be a warning, though. Industrialization and modernization are never pretty. Millions, in this case hundreds of millions or more, sacrificed for a future that will never arrive for the many.
Apple, though, seems good as a buy option. They are taking advantage of China’s “development” but don’t have corporate headquarters there. My advice: If you don’t care about the Chinese people, invest.
The Holocaust for others. Weapons for others. Jewish heritage on the world market. Up for sale. To the highest bidder.