Do you know who Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admires most in history – Caesar Augustus, Founder of the Roman Empire. Our Senior Analyst Anthony Vecchione passed this on to me, last week. Coincidentally, September 23rd happens to be the Emperor’s birthday (born in 63 BC).
As a lifelong student of world history, I fully concur in Zuckerberg’s choice. Augustus referred to himself as Princeps (PRIN-keps), or “first citizen,” from which we get the title prince. This Prince accomplished wondrous things: he made Italy Europe’s first nation-state, he launched the 200-year Pax Romana (Roman Peace), and established a multi-ethnic empire of 80-million people that lasted until 1453 and survives in the organization of the Catholic Church and in the structure of our Republic. Augustus is at the heart of Western Civilization which undergirds today’s world.
For the Jewish Zuckerberg, Augustus can also be the creator of his Judean patrimony. It was Augustus who appointed Herod [the Great], King of Judea. And it was Herod who build the Second Temple, the fortress at Masada, and the city of Caesarea in tribute to his Roman patron. Herod, an Arab convert to Judaism, secularized and westernized ancient Judea. But, it was all undone by Jewish Zealots within one hundred years, and the nation renamed Palestine by our Roman forebears.
When the Romans defeated the Zealots they banished all Jews from Jerusalem, and perhaps Judea. The thousands who left Jerusalem and Judea scattered in all directions. According to Israeli author Shlomo Sand in his controversial book, The Invention of the Jewish People, some found their way to the Caucasus and supposedly converted the Turkic Khazar tribe – this may explain the diverse physical characteristics of Jews. However, the fact that eastern European Jews spoke Yiddish, a German dialect, indicates their migration from western Europe not the Caucasus.
Whatever accounts for Jewish physical diversity, the U.S. Dept of Education’s civil rights office now accepts that being Jewish is not merely a religion but also an ethnicity, protected under the anti-bigotry laws. This official interpretation is the work of Kenneth Marcus, appointed by the Trump Administration to the civil right division of the DOE. The [Jewish] Forward calls Marcus one of “the new faces of Jewish power,” and that “if Marcus has any say in it, we may witness a new era of Jewish advocacy.
There is really nothing surprising in all this. Jews have always claimed DNA links to the Twelve Tribes, particularly anyone with the surname Levy. The very word Semite expresses a homogenous ethnic category that includes Arabs, by way of Abraham’s liaison with an Arab slave girl. And, we all know Jewish power exists – be it a new face or an old one. In a somewhat haunting way, we find that the Judean Zealots have returned to earth – still nationalistic and uncompromising. We see it in Kenneth Marcus and in Jerod Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, whose ‘screw them’ policy toward Palestinians is baldly Zionist.
The new Marcus policy allows Jewish academics and students to bring in the federal government to counter anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist “discrimination” in schools. Until Marcus, the Dept. of Education could not be called in for religious discrimination – traditional anti-Semitism. Now, anti-Semitism is expanded to include ill-will toward the Jewish motherland and its geo-political arm Zionism. Clearly, Marcus wants to weed out the growing movement in American universities to vilify Israel for Palestinian suffering. This movement began at English universities as the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions). BDS works to “end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law,” according to its website.
Suffice it to say, the new Judean-based attitude is meant to make existing anti-Semitic laws all encompassing. As Kenneth Marcus says, “…it is important to determine whether terms such as ‘Zionist’ are actually code for ‘Jewish’.”
To many, Zionist is code for intolerance. -JLM