Benjamin Franklin Warned Against the Jews
As the American colonies rose in revolt against political oppression occasioned by the attempt of Jewish banking houses in Europe to consolidate their economic foothold in the New World, no man among the Founding Fathers was more alert to the designs of international Jewry than that shrewd elder statesman of the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin.
Perhaps Ben Franklin’s most damning indictment of Jewry was contained in his famous prophecy at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia. In one of the most anti-Jewish utterances of all time, he declared:“I fully agree with General Washington, that we must protect this young nation from an insidious influence and impenetration. That menace, gentlemen, is the Jews. In whatever country Jews have settled in any great number, they have lowered its moral tone; depreciated its commercial integrity; have segregated themselves and have not been assimilated; have sneered at and tried to undermine the Christian religion upon which that nation was founded by objecting to its restrictions; have built up a state within a state; and when opposed have tried to strangle that country to death financially, as in the case of Spain and Portugal. For over 1700 hundred years, the Jews have been bewailing their sad fate in that they have been exiled from their homeland, as they call Palestine. But, gentlemen, did the world give it to them in fee simple, they would at once find some reason for not returning. Why? Because they are vampires, and vampires do not live on vampires. They cannot live only amongst themselves. They must subsist on Christians and other people not of their race. If you do not exclude them from these United States in the Constitution, in less than 200 years they will have swarmed here in such great numbers that they will dominate and devour the land, and change our form of government, for which we Americans have shed our blood, given our lives, our substance, and jeopardized our liberty. If you do not exclude them, in less than 200 years our descendants will be working in the fields to furnish them substance, while they will be in the counting houses rubbing their hands. I warn you, gentlemen, if you do not exclude the Jews for all time, your children will curse you in your graves. Jews, gentlemen, are Asiatics, let them be born where they will or how many generations they are away from Asia, they will never be otherwise. Their ideas do not conform to an American’s, and will not even though they live among us ten generations. A leopard cannot change its spots. Jews are Asiatics, are a menace to this country if permitted entrance, and should be excluded by this Constitutional Convention.”
Franklin’s remarks were recorded in “Chit Chat Around the Table During Intermissions,” a section of the Diary of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina. Pinckney (1746-1825) attended the Convention as a delegate, and took down excerpts of some of the outstanding addresses and discourses, which he later published in his diary. Perhaps the best proof of the Franklin prophecy—as with any prophecy—lies in its actual fulfillment. What Benjamin Franklin foresaw as an ominous possibility in 1787 has today—a little over two hundred years later—become painful reality.