David Icke’s forthcoming “Worldwide Wakeup” tour, including a sell-out event at the Manchester O2 Apollo arena, forces opponents of antisemitism to seriously confront the blatant lunacy of New Age conspiracy theory.
Icke’s promotional tour film has over 100,000 views on Youtube. It can be viewed here and shows Icke as a manic prophet of imminent doom, using speech and images to urgently warn an eager theatre audience that a“Rothschild Zionist” conspiracy controls the world, driving global conflict through NATO and seeking World War Three, which will begin between Zionists and Muslims.
Sadly for those seeking light relief, Icke does not mention his notorious reptilian conspiracy, in which undercover reptile shape shifters run the planet, but the film does include the below image (at 10:21) when Icke, to a smattering of applause states,
“There you are, that’s bloody NATO…I like that”
Note the Stars of David and Israeli flags pinned to the reptilian NATO warmongers. It shows the unavoidable linkage between Icke’s “Rothschild Zionist” conspiracy theory and antisemitism, and is one of many images in his show that include Jewish and Israeli symbolism. This is no surprise, as much of his imagery comes from the wildest fringes of the American far right and 9/11 “truthers”.
Icke seems well aware of the antisemitism, showing his audience footage of Jewish anti-Zionists, warning them that Jews are “used as a bloody front” by “Rothschild Zionism”, saying that not all Zionists are Jewish, and beseeching Israelis to realise that the “hierarchy” controlling them is the same as that controlling America, Britain and elsewhere.
Despite this, he is essentially a hate preacher with a 21st Century spin on a very old antisemitic conspiracy theory. Attacks on the Jewish Rothschild banking family are one of history’s best documented antisemitic tales, dating back over 200 years and found in far right, far left and Islamist circles. For example, Labour Leader in 19 December 1891:
“Wherever there is trouble in Europe, wherever rumours of war circulate and men’s minds are distraught with fear of change and calamity, you may be sure that a hook-nosed Rothschild is at his games”
Icke also angrily denounces claims of antisemitism against him as being proof of “Rothschild Zionist” power, smirking that “when you say ‘we’re all infinite awareness having an experience and the genetic spacesuit is f**king irrelevant’, well it’s very difficult to make it [the antisemitism charge] stick”. Then, to rising applause, he states “I don’t bloody give a shit”.
The temptation to ignore Icke, or to contemptuously dismiss him as a crazy charlatan, should be resisted, because antisemitism and its off-shoots have never been rational.
Icke’s behaviour is preposterous, but is it any less so than the Nazi belief in a Jewish plot to rule the world? Or, when compared to the conspiracy theories about Jews and Zionists that circulate in so many Muslim majority countries? Furthermore, the fundamentals of Icke’s “Rothschild-Zionism” exist in more common anti-Zionist chatter, in which “Zionists” or “pro-Israelis” are accused of everything from 9/11 to running the media, economy and invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Icke has actually noted this elsewhere, saying others simply call the conspiracy “Zionist”.
Finally, there is the current mood in which people are urgently seeking answers to an increasingly globalised, unstable world and its problems. Those seeking scapegoats and targets have little interest in reason, so much so that Oxford Dictionaries have designated “post-truth” as the word of the year for 2016, defining it as:
“denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”
Jews have been the primary targets of conspiracy theory for millennia. David Icke may have a new spin for a New Age audience, but the deeper psychological cause and potential danger is ages old: which is why we ignore it at our peril.