Do Jews have too much power and influence?

If there is one accusation against the Jews that has prevailed for millennia, it is that they have too much power and influence.

From Pharaoh to Hitler to US Congressmen today, there have always been anti-Semites who have justified their Jew-hatred by claiming the Jews have too much power. The Jews control the banks (money), the news media (public opinion), and the movie industry (the arts), they say today.

Jews have fought against these false claims, but even armed with all the facts (e.g. if Jews control the news media, why are the media so anti-Israel?), it has been a futile effort.

Could it be that Jews are not powerful enough?

Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan M. Dershowitz, author of over thirty books, says, “We need to increase our influence.” (Jewish Press, March 28, 2019)

Writing to Americans, he argues that, “Jews have contributed enormously–disproportionately–to America’s success. Along with other immigrants, Jews have helped change our country for the better: academically, scientifically, economically, politically, militarily, medically, legally, technologically and in so many other ways. We have earned the right to act as first-class citizens. No other group is ever accused of having too much power and influence. That false claim–dating back to times and places where Jews had little or no influence–is an anti-Semitic trope….

“History has proven that Jews need more power and influence than other groups to secure their safety. During the 1930s and early 1940s Jews had morality on their side, but they lacked the power and influence to save six million of their brothers and sisters from systematic murder….

“Israel must have more military power than all of its enemies and potential enemies combined. As [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu wisely put it: ‘The truth is that if Israel were to put down its arms there would be no more Israel. If the Arabs were to put down their arms there would be no more war’….Israel must get stronger, not weaker, despite its current military superiority.

“Elie Wiesel once said that the lesson of the Holocaust is that, ‘We must believe the threats of our enemies, more than the promises of our friends.’”

Though secular, Dershowitz quotes the Psalmist, “The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace” (29:11), explaining the seeming contradiction between the two parts: “I interpret this wonderful verse to mean that, ‘God will give the Jewish people strength, and only through strength will they achieve Shalom, peace’….

“[H]istory has proven that Jews without power are vulnerable to the oldest prejudice known to humankind–a prejudice that may abate, as it did for several decades following the Second World War, but it always rears its ugly head as it is now doing in England, France, Eastern Europe and on the hard left in the United States. When Jewish power and influence are used in the cause of peace and justice–as it is today–there is nothing to be ashamed of. It should be a source of pride.”

Throughout history, certainly, no other nation or people has been as consistently targeted and persecuted as the Jews have been, and yet they did not perish.

Ultimately, we recognize that it is not through the Jews’ efforts alone that they have survived: “‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of Hosts” (Zech. 4:6). Surely, God has blessed and preserved the people and nation of Israel through the ages, defying human understanding. This is the only plausible explanation of our existence, a living miracle!