September 21, 2007

Racial purity; ignorance of religious ethic; visceral hatred of sexual minorities; xenophobia - in Israel? never!

Crikey! That's Geoffrey Alderman writing about Jewish fascists in the Jewish Chronicle today. I always thought Geoffrey Alderman was a Jewish fascist in the Jewish Chronicle until today. Actually, I must thank him for reminding me to nuance my thinking. Can you make a verb (or can you verb) out of nuance? I think so. Anyway, Geoffrey Alderman has written an interesting article in today's JC on Jews who were proud fascists during what Brenner famously called, The Age of the Dictators. He's written it in the wake of that neo-nazi business in Israel.

Now, do you remember me pointing out that this neo-nazi stuff has cropped up in Israel for each of the last three years. Well, not to be outdone, get a load of Geoffrey:
The capture of the gang, and the discovery of their ways and weaponry, have shocked public opinion both in Israel and the diaspora. But in fact this is by no means the first incident of its kind. Small neo-Nazi organisations operating in Israel have been known to the Israeli police for some time. A centre for victims of anti-Jewish harassment in Israel, established by Zalman Gilichinsky, has been documenting such incidents since 1990. Dr Gilichinksy’s efforts have until now been largely rebuffed by Israeli politicians and police, perhaps because the truths he uncovered were felt to be an exaggerated embarrassment. But not any more.
Now think Lenni Brenner:
should we be surprised that Nazism holds any attraction for Jews? I do not think we should. Fascism — one of Nazism’s parent creeds — had many Jewish admirers in the first half of the 20th century. The then Chief Rabbi of Rome was a paid-up member of Mussolini’s Fascist party. In his memoirs, the distinguished Israeli diplomat and academic Dan Segre records how he was born into a thoroughly fascist Jewish family in Piedmont. It is not pleasant to remember — but we must never forget — that a number of prominent British Jews were proud fascist “fellow travellers” in the 1930s, including Sir Philip Montefiore Magnus, Gladstone’s biographer.
I really need to read up on this stuff but where do I find the time?

Anyway, Alderman's on a roll here. Why on earth would Jews of all people support fascists, even nazis?
Nazism also had its Jewish admirers and supporters, at least in its early years. Professor Marc Shapiro’s brilliant study of the radical-Orthodox head of the Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin, Yechiel Weinberg, documents the reasoning that lay behind Weinberg’s admittedly guarded welcome for the advent of a Nazi government in Germany in 1933, and points out that his views echoed those of a rabbinical colleague, Elie Munk. The Nazis (Munk explained) opposed democracy, women’s rights, and socialism; so did the Jews.

In Nazi Germany there were party members of undoubted Jewish origin, such as Field Marshal Erhard Milch, whom Hitler himself bracketed with Göring as the joint founder of the Luftwaffe. Nor did this penchant for the racist ideologies of the far right end in 1945. During the 1970s, I elevated myself into the bad books of the Board of Deputies by publicly naming and shaming halachically Jewish members of the (British) National Front.
I'm tellin' ya! Lenni Brenner's kidnapped Geoffrey Alderman.

But how are these manifestations of Jewish fascism related?
there are sinister threads that connect all these movements: an obsession with racial purity; an ignorance of religious ethic; a visceral hatred of sexual minorities; an obsessive xenophobia; the glorification of physical aggression as a legitimate form of political expression.
Has he made his case here? These are the outward forms of fascism. Are they what connect the support of a Chief Rabbi in 1930s Rome to racist bootboys in Petah Tikva? I don't think they are. I just thought it was funny that a supporter of Israel can be so shocked that some new Israelis can be so shocked at those who have "an obsession with racial purity; an ignorance of religious ethic; a visceral hatred of sexual minorities; an obsessive xenophobia; the glorification of physical aggression as a legitimate form of political expression." Take out Israel's sop to western liberal opinion on "sexual minorities" and he's described Israel itself.


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