Talk:James Petras

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Early Discussions[edit]

I've added the passage below, because without it, the article gives the misleading appearance that James Petras is a a rather mainstream socialist, when in fact other socialists (e.g., Sam Manuel) have found some of his theories to be hateful.

Some of his more controversial essays have argued:

  • On September 11 The idea that radical Islamists carried out the attacks of September 11 is a "conspiracy theory"; it is more likely that the attacks were the work of a secular group. There is evidence that prior to September 11, Washington had planned to overthrow the Taliban, and it is plausible that Washington used the attacks as a pretext for going to war in Afghanistan. [1]
  • On Danish Cartoons The Mossad, with the help of the Ukranian Jew Rose, helped plot the Danish cartoon conflict pitting the West against Islamic peoples. This greatly facilitated Israel's capacity to implement its "genocidal policy" , a "Nazi-like economic siege over 4 million Palestinians, intended to starve them into surrendering their democratic freedoms." This "cultural conflict at the service of genocide" is a "crime against humanity".[2]
  • On Jews Loss of manufacturing jobs for workers in New York City was no doubt facilitated by "the ethnic-class differences between the six-figure salaried Jewish labor bosses and the low-paid Asian and Latino workers". The myth of war for oil "is circulated by almost all the major progressive Jewish intellectuals and parroted by their Gentile followers, who are in word and deed prohibited from mentioning the AIPAC word in any public meetings or manifestos. The power of the minority of politically active Jewish financiers in the pro-Israel lobby is spreading far beyond the area of US foreign policy into the cultural, academic and economic life of the US." To retaliate against professors Mearsheimer and Walt, who wrote a paper critical of The Israel Lobby, all the major Jewish publications "have launched together with all the major Jewish organizations, a propaganda campaign of defamation...and pressure for their purge from academia." While most Jews oppose the Iraq war, "they are not willing to criticize the pro-war Jewish lobby or to mention Israel ’s involvement in precipitating the war through its occupation of Palestine." [3]

Precis 12:34, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Uh, should this guy be listed under anti-Semites? I dislike trying to sort through the difference between 'anti-Zionism' and anti-antisemitism, but he keeps on harping about 'Jewish Power', and 'Jewish Financiers'. Also, his language in this article kinda seems to be directed at Jews, not 'Zionists'. I don't really know; any comments? Gilead 10:48, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

I would say no, for the following reason. Anti-semitic writings don't necessarily prove anti-Semitic motivation. Here is an example. In 2003, Tony Judt wrote a column in the NYT proposing the elimination of the Jewish State. Many (who feel that a catastrophe would result for millions of Jews living under Islamic rule) find Judt's idea to be anti-Semitic. However, if Judt truly believes that his suggestion is a just one, then one can't say on this basis that he himself is an anti-Semite. As for Petras, he may be an anti-Semite, but I'd prefer to err on the side of caution. Precis 20:58, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
I think the difference between anti Zionist and antisemitic is crucial, and folks are too quick to use both interchangeably.

You have a point, but he keeps going on about the 'Jews'. He seems to be implying that Jews control the media, US foreign policy, and even public debate. To be honest, he sounds like David Duke; he blames Israel/Jews/Zionists for manipulating the United States, and seems to be purposefully playing on the whole 'Jewish Control' theory. For these reasons, I think he should be labeled anti-semitic, but I'll wait for a consensus on the matter. Gilead 11:53, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

The case is not as clear cut as it is, e.g., for Larry Darby. Precis 20:27, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

The bit about Israel Shamir is wayy off. He is neither a Nazi nor a Swede -- absolute misinformation. He was born Jewish, served in the Israeli Military, and is since a convert to Episcopal Christianity.

"The bit about Israel Shamir" is ABSOLUTELY accurate. His Swedish name as well as Nazi politics were conclusively proven by the anti-facist publication "Spotlight" three years ago. It is true that he is now an Episcopal Christian -one who in his speeches and writings preaches the most sweeping lies and libels against "THE JEWS" and Jewish people worldwide (at one point comparing them to "a virus"). He has also supported genocidal violence against them, as can be seen on his website recently where he saluted Saddam Hussein for "bringing the war to the Jews" i.e the scud missles he dropped on Isreali civilians. This is but one of many examples (there is also his Pro-Hitler holocaust denial), most of which can be seen on "Shamir's" own website. Others have been exposed by genuine pro-Palestinian actvists such as Ali Abunimah & Hussein Ibish. In any case, it is now clear that Petras himself now shares this overall line of argument.

The question shouldn't be is Petras anti-semitic but are his ideas worth considering and is he accurate. To me he is a mixed bag; has some extreme ideas and his "sources" may be people who share his prejudices. Alternatively some things seem to be well referenced and his cast of characters related to OSP is also presented in Kevin MacDonald's "Understanding Jewish Influence". Looking up some of these characters lead me to others, all with similar profiles, all part of the American Enterprise Institute and seemingly all major players in determining our Mid-east policy; frightening! Had I not followed up on Petras' remarks I don't think I would have known of how big and close knit these people are. A real setup for "group think".Rcnau 05:47, 7 March 2007 (UTC)rcnau


  1. ^ James Petras, [ Washington's Conspiracy Theory Rejected], September 24, 2001
  2. ^ James Petras and Robin Eastman-Abaya, [ The caricatures in Middle East politics], La Haine, February 19, 2006]
  3. ^ James Petras, The Ascendancy of Finance Capital, Axis of Logic, March 30, 2006

Petras Views[edit]

When the separate book article got deleted eons ego, i started the views section. I noticed that also got speedily deleted. Interestingly, the latest edit line reason for the deletion is that it is "POV." Indubitably, it is Petras' POV. More that that, some of it just plain sociological fact- just statistics from Richard Cohen and Forbes. The rest his opinion. I'm not going to get into a wheel war. Just want to point out the facts and opinion. There should be room in an encyclopedia for diverse balancing views. And there should be more in the views section than the Jewish and Israel stuff.

  • Power of Israel in the United States

Petras has put his views in a book on this topic. He puts forth the thesis that American Jewry are less than 2% of the population, yet represent 25-30% of U.S.'s wealthiest families (citing Forbes). He asserts that they weild their wealth effectively. As an example(citing Richard Cohen in the Washington Post) -- supplying 60% and 35% of the total contributions respectively of the American Democratic and Republican political parties. Petras maintains that little public discussion is allowed about this financial power.

Petras maintains that this supposed Jewish influence in the Unites States affects Israel and Middle East Warfare. Petras has the view that Israel has engaged in ongoing military adventures with U.S. support and he has the view that these actions are contrary to U.S. national interest and are inexplicable without the Lobby connection. He repeats the analysis that neoconservatives embroiled America into the Iraq War under pretextural reasons to further greater Israel's interest. He has claimed that neoconservative Jewish organizations accurately reflect what he sees as the "dual loyalties" of the vast majority of American Jews. He further notes that pro-Israel neoconservative hawks are now urging war with Iran. He coins a new term -"Zioncon."

Petras analyzes the Global War or Terror as overblown and a way to mischaracterize resistance movements as "terrorists" and delegitimitize them.

Petras engages in an eight part analysis of Noam Chomskys criticsm on the "Lobby." He disagrees with Chomsky. "

  • Godspeed John Glenn! Will 11:02, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

here's my point about POV from the edit history of main article

  • "# (cur) (last) 06:52, 17 May 2007 Humus sapiens (Talk | contribs) (2,994 bytes) (Reverted edits by to version 130128579 by Bertilvidet (rv POV allegations of Jewish conspiracy. Shhh))
  1. (cur) (last) 05:01, 17 May 2007 (Talk) (5,097 bytes) (return to previous NPOV uncensored article)
  2. (cur) (last) 17:11, 11 May 2007 Bertilvidet (Talk | contribs) (2,994 bytes) (rm POC edits) "
  • Godspeed John Glenn! Will 11:52, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Edit Wars continue

    1. (cur) (last) 05:38, 25 August 2007 (Talk) (5,128 bytes) (Undid revision 153390783 by Sesel (talk) reversal of POV vandalism) (undo)
  1. (cur) (last) 17:53, 24 August 2007 Sesel (Talk | contribs) (2,987 bytes) (this is an unsourced opinion piece) (undo)
  2. (cur) (last) 17:33, 24 August 2007 (Talk) (5,128 bytes) (return to previous NPOV uncensored and fully contextualized article) (undo)
  • Godspeed John Glenn! Will 12:13, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

The Power of Israel in the United States[edit]

I began reading Petras' book The Power of Israel in the United States. At first the san serif type face made reading difficult. After the intro and well into the first chapter I jumped to chapter 13 and his attack, yes attack on Noam Chomsky. His sharp edged tone continued with every word I read, and to the point that it made me question his motives. I ended reading all 15 Petras points of contention on Chomsky and found most to be unsubstantiated and mostly his wishful opinions. Maybe sometime later I will try reading Petras in the future. 18:51, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Citations??????? Anti-Defamation League???? Finkelstein??? Petras as an "anti-jewish racist??" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:08, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Current POV Content and WP:Personal Attacks/ Please Note New Arbitration Resolution on Israel/Palestine and Related issues[edit]

Since I can see this already has become a heated topic, please see Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Palestine-Israel_articles which encourages civil and cooperative editing. It also creates a working group that intends to much more quickly and effectively deal with dispute resolution on problems that arise in editing articles related to these topics. I hope that anon IP will refrain from accusing people of racism and nazism for removing WP:POV material. Also the other material about his book should be sourced or replaced with sourced material which I might do myself when get a chance. Carol Moore 16:53, 22 January 2008 (UTC)CarolMooreDC [[User talk:Carolmooredc|{talk}]

Fair use rationale for Image:The power cover.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 02:50, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Statements are not notable unless they have been noted by a mainstream or otherwise major organization.[edit]

Regarding the 'allegations of anti-semitism' section. Note how my edit refers to everything that the ADL allegations criticizes. It does not include other Petras comments that have not been attacked by ADL. Petras's writings or statements should only be included in this section when a mainstream organization such as ADL actually says those writings or statements are 'anti-semitic'. Including other Petras comments, just because a Wikipedia editor thinks they are anti-semitic, is OR and strictly forbidden at Wikipedia.Haberstr (talk) 18:18, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Oh, I see what you mean. Not all of the statements in the section are being cited (directly or indirectly) by the ADL. Those statements by Petras that are not cited by a secondary source should probably be removed.(Hyperionsteel (talk) 20:37, 24 May 2014 (UTC))

I've reinserted some material, but only that which is directly cited/quoted by the ADL (I've also added the original article written by Petras where possible). We should be careful not to make this section too long.(Hyperionsteel (talk) 21:01, 24 May 2014 (UTC))

Looks good!Haberstr (talk) 08:18, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

He's Fringe[edit]

is Petras notable enough to have a wiki entry? He seems senile. It looks like he might have had some useful contributions to scholarship, once upon a time, but his more recent publications appear increasingly less academic. Even his current publisher--Clarity Press--looks questionable.Can anyone with JSTOR access check for recent peer reviews? -- (talk) 23:42, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

He passes WP:N - therefore should have an article.Jonpatterns (talk) 06:45, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

_____________ WHat do you mean by "Fringe"? I suppose you think he should write for the NYT? "is Petras notable enough to have a wiki entry? He seems senile. ?!" I'm sorry, but in saying that you 'seem' stupid. Maybe you should read one of his articles, pal, before you call him "senile". Start with this one:" Then come back here and give us examples of its incoherence.

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Allegations of antisemitism[edit]

A (well sourced and encyclopedically written) three paragraph section on this has been reduced to a one paragraph section recently, with the editor citing "undue weight". I am pasting the previous section here, so editors can discuss if it is indeed of undue weight or should be reinstated BobFromBrockley (talk) 16:17, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

In a 2006 article entitled "9/11 Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories Still Abound," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) criticized Petras's assertion that US federal investigators had reason to believe that 60 Israelis arrested under the Patriot Act after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks may have had advance knowledge about the attacks. The ADL also noted Petras' assertion that "The lack of any public statement concerning Israel's possible knowledge of 9/11 is indicative of the vast, ubiquitous and aggressive nature of its powerful diaspora supporters."[1][2]

In a 2009 article, the ADL again criticized Petras, alleging that he blamed the ongoing economic crisis on "Zionist" control over the U.S. government and world events, and alleged that Petras argued that pro-Israel Americans had launched a massive campaign to push the U.S. into a war with Iran. The ADL also alleged that Petras' allegations included the antisemitic accusation that the American Jewish community controls the mass media and is "bloodthirsty" in its appetite for war.[3] The previous year, Petras alleged that "It was the massive infusion of financial contributions that allowed the [Zionist Power Configuration] (ZPC) to vastly expand the number of full-time functionaries, influence peddlers and electoral contributors that magnified their power – especially in promoting US Middle East wars, lopsided free trade agreements (in favor of Israel) and unquestioned backing of Israeli aggression against Lebanon, Syria and Palestine...No economic recovery is possible now or in the foreseeable future...while Zionist power brokers dictate US Mideast policies.[4][5]

The ADL also cited a 2008 interview in which Petras stated that [U.S.] presidents are at the disposal of "Jewish power" [6] and maintained that Jews represent "the greatest threat to world peace and humanity."[7] In the same 2008 interview cited by the ADL, Petras stated that "it’s one of the great tragedies that we have a minority that represents less than 2% of North American’s population but has such power in the communications media" and that the reason "why the North American public doesn’t react against the manipulations of this minority...[is] because the Jews control the communications media."[8] In an 2010 article published in the Arab American News, Petras stated that "For the U.S. mass media the problem is not Israeli state terror, but how to manipulate and disarm the outrage of the international community. To that end the entire Zionist power configuration has a reliable ally in the Zionized Obama White House and U.S. Congress."[9]


  1. ^ 9/11 Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories Still Abound, Anti-Defamation League, September 7, 2006.
  2. ^ James Petras, Israel and the U.S.: A unique relationship, James Petras web site, January 23, 2002.
  3. ^ Boycott & Divestment Efforts Proliferate on Campus, Anti-Defamation League, April 8, 2009.
  4. ^ Financial Crisis Sparks Wave of Internet Anti-Semitism, Anti-Defamation League, October 24, 2008.
  5. ^ The Zionist Power Configuration In America And Israel’s War with Iran by James Petras,, July 18, 2008.
  6. ^ A Disenchanted James Petras by Efraín Chury Iribarne, Dissident Voice, June 13th, 2008.
  7. ^ Boycott & Divestment Efforts Proliferate on Campus, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), April 8, 2009.
  8. ^ A Disenchanted James Petras by Efraín Chury Iribarne, Dissident Voice, June 13th, 2008.
  9. ^ Profile: Osama Siblani & The Arab American News, Anti-Defamation League, April 15, 2013.

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Petras and "anti-semitism" or anti-Zionism[edit]

I think it is questionable to use the term "antisemitism" here, we also rely too heavily on one partisan source for the entire section on the controversy; the ADL; with no other more neutral, or un-involved outlet commenting on the issue. The ADL is an ethnocentric political lobby group and a supporter of the right-wing Likkudnik-led Israeli state (which Petras is a staunch critic of coming from a left-wing anti-Zionist perspective), so obviously there is a conflict of viewpoint between the two. Petras' commentary on Jewish issues revolves solely around the issue of the Israeli state (and its US-based support/influence network), this is anti-Zionism. Claíomh Solais (talk) 17:02, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

The point is that Petras has been alleged to be antisemitic. His anti-Zionism is not notable. What is notable is that he is accused of racism. There are other allegations as well as the ADL, and I am happy to add them in today to flesh it out and avoid over-reliance on one source.BobFromBrockley (talk) 10:44, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
I am adding material other than the ADL, from his own work and from (mainly leftist) critics and defenders. I am changing the section title to "Anti-Zionism, criticisms of the Jewish lobby and allegations of antisemitism", which hopefully addresses Claíomh's concerns and takes the undue weight off the ADL.BobFromBrockley (talk) 11:55, 30 November 2017 (UTC)