Captain Alfred Dreyfus
Prologue: The First Dreyfus Affair
If you’ve never heard of the famous ‘Dreyfus Affair before, you may have skipped modern history at school.
Strictly speaking, it was a French affair – but it soon became famous far beyond the borders of France, in the 1890s and first decade of the 20th Century. The press gave the evolving saga feverish coverage.
French society was deeply shaken by the apparent scandal of injustice to a Jewish French Army captain, accused of spying for the Germans. Many took the side of Dreyfus and protested his innocence; others proclaimed his guilt. It was the ‘O.J. Simpson case’ of the era, with impacts that were considerably more significant.
Most popular historical accounts suggest Alfred Dreyfus was indeed innocent of the spying charges. I have no idea – but I’m quite prepared to accept that. My interest in mentioning the case is not to re-open it.
A French Family Discusses the Dreyfus Affair: before and after
In the mid-1890s, much of the French nation divided into ‘Dreyfusards’ and ‘anti-Dreyfusards. Families quarreled over the topic.
Eventually, Dreyfus was judged innocent, brought back from imprisonment on Devil’s Island and granted a Presidential pardon. But Europe was changed by the incident. The whole world was changed.
By the end of the Dreyfus Affair, there was a new political movement – complete with a ‘Founding Father’ – as well as a new, very widely-used term (with variants in numerous languages).
I’m not referring to Emile Zola (author of the now legendary Dreyfusard tract ‘J’Accuse!’) – nor to any of the other French intellectuals who became more prominent by their involvement in the Dreyfus Affair.
The new ‘Founding Father’ was Theodor Herzl – and the movement Zionism. The new term? ‘Anti-Semitism’.
It’s true that the word ‘ Zionism’ itself was also publicly launched during this period. But for many years, the concept of ‘anti-Semitism’ was much better known and more widely used than ‘Zionism’. That probably remains the case to this day.
Theodor Herzl - popularized the term 'Anti-Semitism'
Herzl did not invent the expression ‘anti-Semitism’. But it is fair to say he played a central role in its promulgation. In the early 1890s, few in Europe or America were familiar with the expression. By the time of Herzl’s untimely death in 1904 at the age of 44, it was in common usage.
‘Anti-Semitism’ had arrived. For some it was an expression of their phobia and aversion to Jews – for others a form of irrational paranoia and/or a rationale for Jewish separation.
’Anti-Semitism’ was a newly-labeled ‘problem’ with a ready-made ‘solution’, at least for Herzl. The solution was Zionism: a separate Jewish State.
Not everyone agreed with the solution of Zionism, of course. But in retrospect, what was crucial was that the two concepts – ‘Anti-Semitism’ and Zionism – were coupled together almost from their inception. Like two large iron balls linked by a chain, they would roll down the hill of history together, picking up pace and crashing through anything in the way.
The Israeli-agency Mossad: defending Jews - or intensifying anti-Jewish sentiment?
They have remained coupled ever since. Zionism feeds off – and requires – ‘Anti-Semitism’. It’s also increasingly the primary cause of what people describe as ‘Anti-Semitism’. The Zionist project thus creates its own sustenance: a veritable model of sustainability!
The Dreyfus Affair is famous and remains significant – to this day – because it helped launch modern Zionism and its parasitic dead twin: ‘Anti-Semitism’.
In and of itself, the Dreyfus Affair was a small case. Yet it assumed international and historical significance. Ultimately, for those who have really controlled the Zionist project from its inception – it was no more than a means to an end. Herzl’s role was also really no more than a means to an end. He has been given the historical credit for ‘founding ‘modern Zionism’. But he never called the shots. Herzl was modern Zionism’s first CEO – but he never sat on the board. His excursions into policy are poor clues to the agenda of those who devised and funded the Zionist project – and to what eventuated since his death.
Edmond James de Rothschild: a prime mover in early Zionism
Published in 1896, Herzl most famous work – a pamphlet called ‘The Jewish State’ (Der Judenstaadt) – carried the subtitle “Proposal of a modern solution for the Jewish question”.
Significantly, it was originally called ‘Address to the Rothschilds’. The key text of modern Zionism was conceived as an appeal to the world’s richest banking family.
21 years later, in 1917. the King of England, then head of the largest and wealthiest Empire the world had ever seen, also wrote directly to the head of the Rothschild family formally promising Palestine as a ‘Jewish home’.
The role of the Rothschilds was pivotal from the outset of Zionism – and recognized as such by key protagonists. (It’s also noteworthy that the initial ingress of separatist Jewish settlers into Palestine dates from the 1880s, long before Herzl’s involvement; it was funded by Baron Edmund James de Rothschild.
Dreyfus humiliated: a classic image in the Dreyfus case
Seen in this historical context, The Dreyfus Affair was what in modern times we call a ‘media beat-up’. Of course, punishment of an innocent man (assuming Dreyfus was innocent) is a serious matter. If this was done for reasons of sectarian bigotry, that’s also important to report and a crusading media should indeed seek redress for the victim. The grim conditions on France’s notorious penal colony doubtless also merited reporting.
The case was not insignificant. However, when the fate of one man becomes the talking point of Europe, media coverage is, perhaps, out of proportion to the issue overtly at stake. It suggests an underlying motive. I believe the motive, ABOVE ALL, was to launch the concept of ‘anti-Semitism’ and promote its universal usage.
Herzl played an important role in this, but he was not the only player in the orchestra. The press as a whole – much (although by no means all) in Jewish hands – served as an vast amplifier. The stage was thus set for a new century (the 20th Century) that might well be given the subtitle ‘Anti-Semitism and its Consequences’.
The New Dreyfus Affair: Missing Epilogue?
History is full of ironies.
In June 2008, a young police inspector with a background in the Metropolitan anti-Terrorism squad (who had also, reportedly, been on duty during the 7/7 London bombings), was reportedly observed by British Member of Parliament George Galloway and a respected British journalist at an anti-Bush demonstration in London, undertaking what appeared to be the role of agent provocateur.
Inspector Chris Dreyfus: little media interest in this man or his curious activities
The policeman’s name is Christopher (Chris) Dreyfus. When Galloway went public with an open letter about this to the Home Secretary, it seemed the case might well be tagged the New Dreyfus Affair.
Yet the mass media has shown no interest at all in this case. Even George Galloway and Yasmin Whittacker-Khan, the journalist who first mentioned the incident in a national newspaper without naming the officer, have been silent on the subject ever since.
On February 6th this year, Britain’s Socialist Unity website, which had reported Galloway’s Open letter the previous year, published the following item as an update:
CLARIFICATION AND APOLOGY
Filed under: Police, Law, blogging, civil liberties — admin @ 2:00 pm
On 25 June 2008 we published a posting, by Andy Newman, entitled “J’accuse! — the Dreyfus Affair”. This posting included a copy of a letter Mr George Galloway MP had sent to the RT Hon Jacqui Smith the Home Secretary, identifying Inspector Christopher Dreyfus as an agent provocateur at an anti-war demonstration in Parliament Square on 15 June 2008.
Mr Galloway said that he had observed Inspector Dreyfus commit various crimes, including incitement to violence, attempted assault on a police officer and several serious public order offences. He called upon the Home Secretary to conduct an inquiry into Inspector Dreyfus’ behaviour. Our posting called upon readers to comment on Mr Galloway’s letter. We made clear that Inspector Dreyfus denied the allegations.
We understand that, as a result of Mr Galloway’s letter, the matter has been comprehensively investigated by the British Transport Police and the Metropolitan Police, and that their findings have been reviewed by the Crown Prosecution Service.
The investigations did not substantiate Ms Whittaker-Khan’s story or the allegations in Mr Galloway’s letter. The CPS has confirmed that there is no case to answer.
We now accept that Christopher Dreyfus was not present at the demonstration and did not engage in any of the criminal behaviour referred to in Ms Whittaker-Khan’s story or Mr Galloway’s letter. We apologize to him for the damage caused to his reputation.
I recently wrote a short item about the new ‘Dreyfus Affair’ on this website: Met Police Agent Provocateurs: Dreyfus Affair 2
This item was picked up and reported by NiqNaq, a private UK-based blog, but swiftly removed. Apparently, someone contacted the blogger and pointed him to the earlier Socialist Unity story. NiqNaq immediately accepted the explanation, deleted its first article and issued a restraction.
George Galloway MP: was his open letter of complaint reckless misreporting - or has he since been silenced?
I had missed the February 2009 Socialist Unity article until then, because it used the words ‘Christopher Dreyfus’. My web searches employed the search term ‘Chris Dreyfus’, the shorter form of this man’s name, which had been used in previous reports and correspondence that I’d seen.
However, had I noticed the Social Unity ‘Correction’ myself, I think I’d still have been inclined to ask a few questions before accepting it as gospel truth.
If Galloway was truly mistaken, where is his public explanation and apology? I can’t find it.
If forced to issue such an apology, George Galloway’s credibility would be shot to pieces. He has plenty of political enemies; one would imagine that if the politician had been mistaken when publicly identifying this particular policeman as a suspected agent provocateur, they’d relish humiliating him over the incident.
But no – it seems there’s a broad consensus to keep this story out of the media. It’s the antithesis of the first Dreyfus Affair; this is the scoop that no-one wants…
What a contrast it all makes with the ferocious investigative journalism of the famous Dreyfus Affair!
If journalists in Herzl’s day had been so accepting, Alfred Dreyfus would surely have perished on Devil’s Island…