Page:The International Jew - Volume 1.djvu/21

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
17
THE JEW IN CHARACTER AND BUSINESS

the days of conscious international commercial organizations, they were bound together by the sinews of a common life. It was observed by many writers in the Middle Ages that the Jews knew more of what was transpiring in Europe than the governments did. They also had better knowledge of what was likely to occur. They knew more about conditions than the statesmen did. This information they imparted by letter from group to group, country to country. Indeed, they may be said thus to have originated unconsciously the financial news-letter. Certainly the information they were able to obtain and thus distribute was invaluable to them in their speculative enterprises. Advance knowledge was an immense advantage in days when news was scarce, slow and unreliable.

This enabled Jewish financiers to become the agents of national loans, a form of business which they encouraged wherever possible. The Jew has always desired to have nations for his customers. National loans were facilitated by the presence of members of the same family of financiers in various countries, thus making an interlocking directorate by which king could be played against king, government against government, and the shrewdest use made of national prejudices and fears, all to the no small profit of the fiscal agent.

One of the charges most commonly made against Jewish financiers today is that they still favor this larger field of finance. Indeed, in all the criticism that is heard regarding the Jew as a business man, there is comparatively little said against him as an individual merchant serving individual customers. Thousands of small Jewish merchants are highly respected by their trade, just as tens of thousands of Jewish families are respected as our neighbors. The criticism, insofar as it respects the more important financiers, is not racial at all. Unfortunately the element of race, which so easily lends itself to misinterpretation as racial prejudice, is injected into the question by the mere fact that the chain of international finance as it is traced around the world discloses at every link a Jewish capitalist, financial family, or a Jewish-controlled banking System. Many have professed to see in this circumstance a conscious organization of Jewish power for