August 05, 2013

Hirsh on Hitler

I noticed a bizarre post on Engage recently which was a write up of a speech Engage's Dr David Hirsh gave to 6th formers at the Jews' Free School.  The talk was titled The Left and Israel and the stand out bit was this:
The Nazis are usually thought of as right wing.  But in some ways, they were also similar to the left.  They were radical, they wanted profound change.  They didn't like nationalism, they had a global programme for changing the whole world.  They were hostile to British and American imperialism and democracy.  They put their big political ambitions before the ‘pursuit of happiness’.  Hitler claimed to be the universalist and he said it was the Jews who wrecked society for everybody by following only  their own selfish interests.
I missed a trick here and thought this simply compared to Hirsh's likening of Joseph Massad to David Duke but Discredited Andrew in the Hasbara Four-Step post noticed something worse:
This is nuttier and more disturbing though, he's actually partially rehabilitating Nazism in order to make the comparison. There should be a special reward for going that bit further and saying something unnecessarily mad. Bad hasbara awards 2013?
I suppose to try to determine what Hirsh actually means by "nationalism", as in "The Nazis.....didn't like nationalism", would be an exercise in futility.  He claims himself to not be a zionist but I'm not aware of his ever offering a definition of zionism beyond "Israeli nationalism".

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