"Jewcentricity" is a word that sounds like it was coined by an embittered anti-Semite. But it's actually the inspiration of Adam Garfinkle, a Jew, writing in The American Interest magazine to call attention to a phenomenon that has roots in anti-Semitism and runs from the silly to the sublime: " . . . the idea, or the intimation, or the subconscious presumption . . . that Jews are somehow necessarily to be found at the very center of global-historical events."
"Jewcentricity" is most evident in the recycling of "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion," a fictitious text commissioned by the czar's secret police for a Russian audience at the end of the 19th century, describing a fanciful cabal of Jews who plan to take over the world. Some critics of the neoconservatives, some of whom are Jewish, cite the protocols, so called, in their accusations that Jews have hijacked American foreign policy. Others, critical of Israel, hyperventilate over the power of the "Israel lobby."
"The Protocols" have naturally become a best seller in several Muslim countries, including Turkey and Egypt, where they were turned into a television series. ("Semitic Sex in the City," however, it was not.) "The Protocols" were featured on the Iranian stands at last year's book fair in Frankfurt "to expose the real visage of this Satanic-enemy," along with an abridged edition of Henry Ford's literary thriller, "The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem" (which never made it to the screen). "The grip of the Jewish parasitic influence," asserts the preface of the new edition, "has been growing stronger and stronger ever since [Henry Ford's time]."
Serious examples of "Jewcentricity" are reflected in the media obsession with Sen. George Allen's Jewish mother, who was born in Tunisia and barely escaped the Holocaust, and before that, with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's Jewish roots in Czechoslovakia. The national newspapers and television networks spent considerably more time investigating the senator's "blood" parentage and its likely effect on his re-election campaign than the blood being spilled in Darfur. "Why?" asks Adam Garfinkle. "Because . . . Jews is news and there are no Jews in Darfur." That doesn't slow down the conspiracy theorists in other countries, with or without Jews, from obsessing over the myth of sinister Jewish power.