October 09, 2005

Nick Cohen on anti-semitism, well he's on something anyway

Here is as ridiculous an article on anti-semitism as you will find anywhere on the internet. It was published recently in the New Statesman (dated 10/10/05) but it has already been re-published on various zionist blogs and I have posted it here.

It doesn't have a title as such. It's headed News Statesman Essay. followed by a bland assertion with no back up in what is (I warn you) a lengthy article:
'Anti-Semitism isn't a local side effect of a dirty war over a patch of land smaller than Wales. It's everywhere from Malaysia to Morocco, and it has arrived here'
It's interesting actually that Nick Cohen is saying here that anti-semitism isn't linked to the question of Palestine. The fact that he is trivialising the zionist project as being over "a patch of land smaller than Wales" shows what his motivation is for the article: to support the racist war criminals of Israel and their supporters in the media and various governments. But he seems not to have quite got the hang of the zionist campaign to try to, it seems, criminalise all criticism of Israel. For example, the Jewish Chronicle on Friday 7/10/2005 has the Chief Rabbi decrying the "new anti-semitism" as consisting of Attacks on Holocaust Memorial Day, the proposed academic boycott of Israel and the churches' discussions of divestment from Israel or companies that supply murder machinery to Israel. Smartly, the Chief Rabbi started on something of a more general Jewish interest than just zionism but no one can plausibly deny that the holocaust has been used to defend Israel from criticism. So we have three examples of the "new anti-semitism" and all three are bound up with, not the Jews generally, but zionism in particular.

It seems we are in the middle of an orchestrated campaign to smear the opponents of Israel so the zionists are running around telling everyone that anti-zionism is not necessarily anti-semitic but it can become anti-semitic if it is too vociferously expressed. If it is orchestrated then poor old Nick Cohen has been left out of the loop. He's gone back to the old chestnut that hostility to Israel is a product of the "oldest hatred" not the other way around.

If you read the article and have any critical faculty at all you will see that it is riddled with unsubstantiated bland assertions, non-sequiturs and downright falsehoods but I don't want to reproduce it here and debunk it line by line because I've read it twice and I've only just had my breakfast. Also I might have to repeat the exercise if I get round to writing to the New Statesman about this. Instead I want to look at arguably the stupidest thing he asserts in the article. Cop this:
As I'd had little contact with Jewish religion or culture, I'd rarely given anti-Semitism a thought. I suppose I'd assumed it had burned out in the furnaces of Auschwitz. When the subject came up, I dutifully repeated the liberal mantra that "not all anti-Zionists are anti-Semites" and forgot the corollary "but all anti-Semites are anti-Zionists".
Let's leave aside the fact that Nick Cohen feels that the only way he earn the trust of his readers by assuring them that he is not Jewish himself. This means that we can trust him just as we can trust, say, Conrad Black and whole ragbag of non-Jewish zionist smear merchants. Let's focus on the ridiculous whopper that "all anti-Semites are anti-Zionists."

I'm drawing heavily on Wikipedia here though some of their definitions are disputed. Theodor Herzl was not the first zionist by any means but he was the first leader of the zionist movement as we know it today. According to Wikipedia "Herzl did not foresee any conflict between Jews and Arabs." I'm not sure what is meant here but he definitely foresaw the ethnic cleansing of the Arabs from Palestine. He was the first leader of the World Zionist Organisation which was then, to oversimplify slightly, the Jewish state in waiting. whose aim it was to establish a state in Palestine for Jews, secured by "public law."

Anyway, Mr Herzl himself was more than a tad anti-semitic. Biographies of Herzl show that he was highly assimilated. At one point, he thought it a good idea to have all Jews converted to the Catholicism of his native Austria. He also seems to have believed that Dreyfus was guilty of treason against France and he clearly joined and led the zionist movement to stem the flow of Jewish immigrants into the west and divert it to the Middle East where he felt that Jews could make themselves useful to this or that great power. He also believed that one day western Jews would thank him for saving them from hordes of east European Jews. I'll return to this theme in a later post because with all the bogus allegations of anti-semitism doing the rounds these days, no one discusses zionist anti-semitism. So take it as read that Herzl was anti-semitic and trust me that I'll dig up some writings and sayings in due course.

I want to look at the various alliances that zionism has made with its kindred spirit.

To secure a land for Jews Herzl approached the Ottomans who controlled Palestine at that time. He invoked the anti-semitic notion of Jewish financial power bailing the sick-man empire out of its financial woes. But as Ben Gurion would later say, it wasn't just land that zionim required; it was Jews. To that end he approached the Tsar Nicolas II, or more accurately, his anti-semitic chief of the secret police and discussed ways of having Jews drop out of the Russian revolutionary movements (and indeed out of Russia altogether) and go to Palestine. Their meeting was as famous as any embarrassment to the zionists can be. That is not very famous at all except among anti-zionists and zionists who just won't tell. Theodor Herzl approached none other than Count Von Plehve, the author of the worst pogroms in Russia - the pogroms of Kishinev with the following proposition:
"Help me to reach the land [Palestine] sooner and the revolt [against Czarist rule] will end." Von Plehve agreed, and he undertook to finance the Zionist movement. He was later to complain to Herzl: "The Jews have been joining the revolutionary parties. We were sympathetic to your Zionist movement as long as it worked toward emigration. You don’t have to justify the movement to me. You are preaching to a convert." Herzl and Weizmann offered to help guarantee Czarist interests in Palestine and to rid Eastern Europe and Russia of those "noxious and subversive Anarcho-Bolshevik Jews".
As an aside here, John Rose demonstrates in the Myths of Zionism how the new cadre of battle hardened Jews after the failed Russian insurrection of 1905 were crucial in establishing the backbone of the zionist militia in Palestine. so from the zionist perspective this alliance with anti-semitism proved to be very fruitful indeed.

Speaking of 1905, that was the year when Britain's Arthur (later Lord) Balfour pushed through the Aliens Act. This act was aimed specifically at restricting the numbers of Jews fleeing persecution in Europe. As Lord Balfour the promoter of this anti-semitic measure would issue the notorious declaration pledging British support for the zionist project. Whilst I don't agree with all of his reasoning, significantly, the only dissenter over the adoption of the Balfour Delaration as British foreign policy on the British cabinet of the time was the only Jewish minister: Edwin Samuel Montagu
When the Jews are told that Palestine is their national home, every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish citizens, and you will find a population in Palestine driving out its present inhabitants, taking all the best in the country, drawn from all quarters of the globe, speaking every language on the face of the earth, and incapable of communicating with one another except by means of an interpreter.
Clearly he failed to recognise, arguably, zionism's only impressive achievement: the reconstruction of Hebrew as an everyday working language.

The Balfour Declaration came in the wake of the Russian revolution so just as zionism had lost an anti-semitic benefactor it gained another.

Even after Israel was established the collaboration of zionists with anti-semites continued. Here's Israel Shahak's take, worth quoting at length
In fact, close relations have always existed between Zionists and antisemites: exactly like some of the European conservatives, the Zionists thought they could ignore the 'demonic' character of antisemitism and use the antisemites for their own purposes. Many examples of such alliances are well known. Herzl allied himself with the notorious Count von Plehve, the antisemitic minister of Tsar Nicholas II; Jabotinsky made a pact with Petlyura, the reactionary Ukrainian leader whose forces massacred some 100,000 Jews in 1918-21; Ben-Gurion's allies among the French extreme right during the Algerian war included some notorious antisemites who were, however, careful to explain that they were only against the Jews in France, not in Israel.

Perhaps the most shocking example of this type is the delight with which some Zionist leaders in Germany welcomed Hitler's rise to power, because they shared his belief in the primacy of 'race' and his hostility to the assimilation of Jews among 'Aryans'. They congratulated Hitler on his triumph over the common enemy - the forces of liberalism. Dr Joachim Prinz, a Zionist rabbi who subsequently emigrated to the USA, where he rose to be vice-chairman of the World Jewish Congress and a leading light in the World Zionist Organization (as well as a great friend of Golda Meir), published in 1934 a special book, Wir Juden (We, Jews), to celebrate Hitler's so- called German Revolution and the defeat of liberalism:
The meaning of the German Revolution for the German nation will eventually be clear to those who have created it and formed its image. Its meaning for us must be set forth here: the fortunes of liberalism are lost. The only form of political life which has helped Jewish assimilation is sunk.
The victory of Nazism rules out assimilation and mixed marriages as an option for Jews. 'We are not unhappy about this,' said Dr Prinz. In the fact that Jews are being forced to identify them- selves as Jews, he sees 'the fulfillment of our desires'. And further:
We want assimilation to be replaced by a new law: the declaration of belonging to the Jewish nation and Jewish race. A state built upon the principle of the purity of nation and race can only honored and respected by a Jew who declares his belonging to his own kind. Having so declared himself, he will never be capable of faulty loyalty towards a state. The state cannot want other Jews but such as declare themselves as belonging to their nation. It will not want Jewish flatterers and crawlers. It must demand of us faith and loyalty to our own interest. For only he who honors his own breed and his own blood can have an attitude of honor towards the national will of other nations.

The whole book is full of similar crude flatteries of Nazi ideology, glee at the defeat of liberalism and particularly of the ideas of the French Revolution and great expectations that, in the congenial atmosphere of the myth of the Aryan race, Zionism and the myth of the Jewish race will also thrive.

Of course, Dr Prinz, like many other early sympathizers and allies of Nazism, did not realize where that movement (and modern antisemitism generally) was leading. Equally, many people at present do not realize where zionism - the movement in which Dr Prinz was an honored figure - is tending: to a combination of all the old hates of classical Judaism towards Gentiles and to the indiscriminate and ahistorical use of all the persecutions of Jews throughout history in order to justify the zionist persecution of the Palestinians.

For, insane as it sounds, it is nevertheless plain upon close examination of the real motives of the zionists, that one of the most deep-seated ideological sources of the Zionist establishment's persistent hostility towards the Palestinians is the fact that they are identified in the minds of many east-European Jews with the rebellious east-European peasants who participated in the Chmielnicki uprising and in similar revolts - and the latter are in turn identified ahistorically with modern antisemitism and Nazism.
I've been running all over the internet for evidence of this confluence of zionist and nazi aims, ie anti-semitic zionism and zionist anti-semitism, and there it was all along in Israel Shahak's Jewish History Jewish Religion. Read it in full here. It has all the evidence you need to show that Nick Cohen's article is an exercise in shmockery. To recap, he said that not all anti-zionists are anti-semitic but all anti-semites and anti-zionists. I hope that I have demonstrated here that many anti-semites have been fervent zionists, to paraphrase Eichman, the most fanatical zionists imaginable. And clearly, some, indeed many, zionists can be anti-semites. As a rule one should challenge all statements made by zionists. They very rarely stand passing, let alone close, scrutiny.

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