Zionist Occupation Government conspiracy theory
The Zionist occupation government, Zionist occupational government or Zionist-occupied government (ZOG), sometimes also referred to as the Jewish occupational government (JOG), is an antisemitic conspiracy theory claiming Jews secretly control the governments of Western states. According to believers, a secret Zionist organization controls international banks, and through them the governments, in order to collude against white, Christian, or Islamic interests.
The expression is used by white supremacist, white nationalist, far-right, nativist, or antisemitic groups in Europe and the United States as well as by ultra-nationalists such as Pamyat in Russia and various far-right groups including the Freemen, Identity Christians and the Ku Klux Klan.
The word Zionist in "Zionist occupation government" should not be confused with the ideology of Zionism, the movement for support of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel. As the conspiracy theorists chiefly name countries outside that area, the usage of Zionist in this context is misleading because it is intended to portray Jews as conspirators who aim to control the world as depicted in the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
The association of Jews to the control of economic forces is the modern resurgence of an old stereotype, that of the "greedy Jewish merchant" which has been present in the Christian world since the Middle Ages. The conspiracy theory illustrates a specifically American far-right agrarian preoccupation, namely the vital possibility of extinction allegedly faced by the rural world, seen as the backbone of America, a danger caused by a remote, centralized and power-hungry metropolitan elite corrupted by "alien" influences.
The British fascist Arnold Leese already had the habit of referring to the "Jewish government" of his own nation in the interwar and postwar decades, while Nazis under the Weimar Republic dismissed a so-called "Jewish" hand behind that regime. In late 19th-century France, the insinuation that the French government was in the power of the Jews was a commonplace claim in nationalist discourse.
An early appearance of the term was in a 1976 article, "Welcome to ZOG-World", attributed to an American neo-Nazi named Eric Thomson, although Canadian white nationalists used the term "ZOG" as well. It also features as the main theme in the 1978 book The Turner Diaries written by William Luther Pierce, founder of the National Alliance, a white nationalist organization. The term came to the attention of a larger audience in a 27 December 1984 article in The New York Times about robberies committed in California and Washington by a white supremacist group called The Order. According to the newspaper, the crimes "were conducted to raise money for a war upon the United States Government, which the group calls 'ZOG', or Zionist Occupation Government". In 1985, the Oregon-based far-right group Posse Comitatus claimed: "Our nation is now completely under the control of the International Invisible government of World Jewry."
The Order of the Silent Brotherhood was an offshoot of the Aryan Nations, an organization founded in the early 1970s by Richard Girnt Butler; the latter had since the 1950s been associated with another antisemitic group, the Church of Jesus Christ Christian. Both of these groups trace their origins to antisemitic activists such as Gerald L.K. Smith and have interacted with the Ku Klux Klan. The term appeared extensively in Aryan Nations literature. In December 1984, Newsweek magazine reported that the Aryan Nations had set up an electronic bulletin board system called "Aryan Nation Liberty Net" to offer information for the locations of Communist Party USA offices and "ZOG informers".
In 1996, the Aryan Nations posted on its website an "Aryan Declaration of Independence", stating that "the history of the present Zionist Occupied Government of the United States of America is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations [...] [all] having a direct object—the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states." Claiming that "the eradication of the White race and its culture" is "one of its foremost purposes", the "ZOG" is accused of relinquishing powers of government to private corporations, white traitors and ruling class Jewish families. It accused "ZOG" Jews of subverting the constitutional rule of law; responsibility for post-Civil War Reconstruction; subverting the monetary system with the Federal Reserve System, confiscating land and property; limiting freedoms of speech, religion and gun ownership; murdering, kidnapping and imprisoning patriots; abdicating national sovereignty to the United Nations; political repression; wasteful bureaucracy; loosening restrictions on immigration and drug trafficking; raising taxes; polluting the environment; commandeering the military, mercenaries and police; denying Aryan cultural heritage; and inciting immigrant insurrections.
Since 1996, the term has spread in usage and is now popular with many other antisemitic organizations. Swedish Neo-Nazis say that Jews—in what they call the Swedish Zionist occupied government—are importing immigrants to "dilute the blood of the white race". The antisemitic website Jew Watch claims that the entire spectrum of Western nations and other countries are being ruled by "Zionist Occupation Governments".
A variety of plots gravitating around the original conspiracy theory were imagined by activists, one stating for instance that as many as 4,000 Jews were warned of the September 11 attacks before they happened. Believers also claim that ZOG-like forces control the American foreign policy. Despite their own singularities, most ZOG theories involve the idea of a Jewish power over the finance or banking, including one imagining a Jewish control on the Federal Reserve.
Neo-Nazi David Lane developed his version of the white genocide conspiracy theory in his c. 1995 White Genocide Manifesto, the origin of the later use of the term. Lane claimed that the government policies of many Western countries had the intent of destroying white European culture and making white people an "extinct species". Lane—a founding member of the organization The Order—criticized miscegenation, abortion, homosexuality, Jewish control of the media, "multi-racial sports" and the legal repercussions against those who "resist genocide" and the ZOG that he said controls the United States and the other majority-white countries and which encourages "white genocide".
- Swain, Carol (2003). Contemporary voices of white nationalism in America. Cambridge, UK New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 253. ISBN 0521816734.
- Mogelson, Luke (January 15, 2021). "Among the Insurrectionists". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
- "ZOG". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
- Larsson, Stieg (7 January 2014). The Expo Files: Articles by the Crusading Journalist. ISBN 9781623650650. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
- Issitt, Micah; Main, Carlyn (16 September 2014). Hidden Religion: The Greatest Mysteries and Symbols of the World's Religious Beliefs. ABC-CLIO. pp. 31–32. ISBN 9781610694780.
- Perimutter, Dawn (2004). Investigating Religious Terror and Ritualistic Crimes. p. 49. ISBN 9781420041040.
- Weitz, Eric; Fenner, Angelica, eds. (2004), Fascism and Neofascism: Critical Writings on the Radical Right in Europe, Studies in European Culture and History, Palgrave Macmillan, p. 208, ISBN 978-1-40396659-9,
...the neo-Nazis have proclaimed themselves a white/Aryan resistance movement fighting the Zionist Occupation Government (ZOG) and racial traitors..
- Daniels 1997, p. 45.
- Bronner, Stephen Eric (2000), A Rumor About the Jews: Reflections on Antisemitism and "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion", Palgrave Macmillan, p. 136,
The National States Rights Party and the California Noontide Press distributed the Protocols during the 1970s and it is still hailed by representatives of right-wing militias: William Luther Pierce, author of the neofascist bestseller The Turner Diaries, for example, identifies the American state as a "Zionist Occupation Government.
- Brasher, Brenda (2001), Encyclopedia of Fundamentalism, Routledge, p. 305,
With the racist and anti-Semitic theology of Christian Identity as their justification, they blame the Jewish Antichrist, or the Zionist Occupation Government (ZOG), which rules in Washington, taking its orders from internationalist Jews in Israel, the United Nations, and the Fortune 500. Attracting old-line hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan and inspiring newer ones like the Aryan Nation Alliance..., the militia and Patriot movements have helped to legitimize racist and anti-Semitic hate groups...
- Perry, Barbara (2003), Hate and Bias Crime, Routledge, p. 325,
...vivid philosophy of White supremacy, including the belief that the United States is manipulated by foreign Jewish interests collectively known as the Zionist Occupation Government (ZOG). With this conspiracy theory, the strain is "explained" (e.g., the Jews are behind multicultural curricula), and the solution is presented: hate crimes and race war.
- Pilch, Richard F; Zilinskas, Raymond A (2005), Encyclopedia of Bioterrorism Defense, Wiley, p. 114,
The importance of Christian Identity (CI) in the context of bioterrorism is that it has been openly embraced by certain U.S. right-wing 'militia' and terrorist cells whose members have expressed interest in acquiring or utilizing pathogens and toxic chemical agents... as weapons against their opponents, including representatives of the 'Zionist Occupation Government' (ZOG) that they feel is controlled by 'satanic' Jews.
- Sauter, Mark; Carafano, James (2005), Homeland Security, McGraw-Hill, p. 122,
The Order, a faction of the Aryan Nations, seized national attention during the 1980s. The tightly organized racist and anti-Semitic group opposed the federal government, calling it the 'ZOG', or Zionist Occupation Government.
- Schwarz, Rabbi Sidney (2006), Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World, Jewish Lights Publishing, p. 96, ISBN 1-58023-312-0,
One of the most widely distributed anti-Semitic tracts in history is The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a book of antisemitic canards authored in the nineteenth century that portrays Jews as conspiring to seek global dominance. Similarly, American-based racist groups in this last century have frequently leveled accusations against Jews for controlling both banks and public officials..
- Blamires, Cyprian (2006). World Fascism: A-K. ABC-CLIO. p. 749. ISBN 9781576079409.
- Thomson, Eric, Welcome to ZOG-World, FAEM.
- King, Wayne (27 December 1984). "Links of Anti-semitic Band Provoke 6-state Parley". The New York Times. p. 7.
Canadian White Nationalists use this term as well.
- Christian Posse Comitatus Newsletter, n.d. quoted in Stern, Kenneth S (1996), A Force upon the Plain: The American Militia Movement and the Politics of Hate, New York: Simon & Schuster, p. 50.
- Aryan Nations (12 March 1996). "Declaration of Independence". Internet Archive. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
- Pred, Allan (2000), Even in Sweden, University of California Press.
- "Jewish Occupied Governments". Jew Watch. Retrieved 9 January 2008.
- "Súhrnné výsledky hlasovania podľa územného členenia: Výsledky za SR". Retrieved 9 December 2019.
- Paulovičová, Nina (2018). "Holocaust Memory and Antisemitism in Slovakia: The Postwar Era to the Present". Antisemitism Studies. Indiana University Press. 2 (1): 17, 19–22. doi:10.2979/antistud.2.1.02. S2CID 165383570.
In Kotleba’s eyes, every political skirmish in Slovakia is a “very well prepared performance” directed by Z. O. G. (the “Zionist Occupation Government”).
- Berger, J. M. "How 'The Turner Diaries' Changed White Nationalism". The Atlantic. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
The manifesto itself was soon reduced to the simple phrase 'white genocide', which proliferated at the start of the 21st century and has become the overwhelmingly dominant meme of modern white nationalism.
- Dessem, Matthew (26 December 2016). "Drexel University, Apparently Unfamiliar With White Supremacist Lingo, Censures Prof For 'White Genocide' Tweet". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
Although it's difficult to date precisely, white supremacist publishing houses being somewhat less reliable than Simon & Schuster, that honor probably belongs to the late David Lane, terrorist, white supremacist, and author of an execrable little essay called 'White Genocide Manifesto'.
- Stack, Liam (15 August 2017). "Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Antifa: A Glossary of Extremist Language". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
- Feshami, Kevan A. (6 September 2017). "Fear of White Genocide". Lapham's Quarterly. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
- Jackson, Paul (1 May 2015). "'White genocide': Postwar fascism and the ideological value of evoking existential conflicts". In Cathie Carmichael; Richard C. Maguire (eds.). The Routledge History of Genocide. Routledge. pp. 207–226. ISBN 9781317514848.
Duke's current website hosts a variety of essays that develop the idea that white people are being subjected to a genocide. Again we see a key linkage here between raising the idea of a white genocide and decrying liberal political ideals. In one such essay, 'The Genocide of the White Race is Promoted by Liberals', the point is set out as follows: ... The actions being taken by liberal governments to force non-White into every White nation will eventually eliminate the White race itself.
- Daniels, Jessie (1997), White Lies: Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality in White Supremacist Discourse, UK: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-91289-X,
: "Conceptualizations of class and state converge in the white supremacist discourse in the characterization of the United States government as the 'Zionist Occupation Government' (ZOG)... As indicated by the ubiquitous reference to the state as 'ZOG' ('Zionist' is equated with 'Jewish') within these publications, the state is depicted as inherently 'Jewish', a racial identity within the discourse. The government, as well as the corporate elite, is supposedly 'occupied' and controlled by Jews."