On Both Sides of the Witch-hunt – The Alliance for Workers Liberty’s Political Schizophrenia

On Both Sides of the Witch-hunt – The Alliance for Workers Liberty’s Political Schizophrenia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

It is not anti-Semitic to quote the mutual praise of Nazis and Zionists
– just truthful

A member of the Hitler youth expressing his joy at the attacks on Jews and in Israel a small girl writing a message on a missile destined for the people of Gaza

If there is one thing that the
Zionist movement hates it is being reminded of the time, 80 years ago when
leading Nazis not only praised the German Zionist movement but also favoured it
in preference to their ‘assimilationist’ opponents.

Whey then do I mention it?  Is it calculated cruelty? Have the Zionists
changed their spots?  No the Zionist movement
today is still willing to collaborate with fascists, Nazis and assorted anti-Semites.
Whether it is the Zionist Organisation
of America inviting Steve Bannon, the editor of Breitbart News, house magazine of the Alt-Right to
their annual gala or the visit in July by Netanyahu to see his good friend the Hungarian
Prime Minister Viktor Orban.  
The AWL’s article attacking Moshe Machover
Orban is
the most racist leader in Europe and the competition is quite strong.  I wrote that ‘Far from Netanyahu criticising him [Orban] for his
anti-Semitism, quite the opposite took place and Israel’s Ambassador in Hungary
Yossi Amrani was forced to withdraw his mild criticisms
.’ 
Shortly
before Netanyahu landed in Hungary Orban had launched a nasty anti-Semitic campaign against George
Soros, a survivor of the Nazi occupation of Hungary who Netanyahu also hates, because
he finances Israeli human rights groups.   I wrote of Orban:
Admiral Horthy, who Netanyahu’s friend Viktor Orban is seeking to rehabilitate

‘His real crime has been
the campaign by Orban and his Fidesz party to rehabilitate
Admiral Horthy, Hungary’s ruler between 1920 and 1944 and the author of
Hungary’s war-time alliance with Nazi Germany.’
  

Horthy presided over the
deportation of nearly ½ million Jews to Auschwitz but that little fact didn’t
get in the way of Netanyahu’s love-in with him.  
According to the misnamed Alliance for Workers Liberty [Quoting
Nazis to damn “the Zionists”
] we are ‘left anti-Semites’
for raising such matters.  On the
contrary, it is the AWL who are demonstrating that they are a bunch of social
chauvinists and apologists for the racist crimes of imperialism and Zionism. 
Edwin Black, a devoted Zionist has
written the most comprehensive book on the Nazi-Zionist trade agreement [Ha’avara] that
helped destroy the Jewish and international boycott of Nazi Germany. [The Transfer Agreement, 1999, Brookline Books, London] Black describes how on March 25th
1933 Goering, panicked by the success of the Boycott summoned the leaders of German
Jewry to his offices. At the last moment the Zionists secured an invitation. The
3 non-Zionist Jewish leaders denied that they had any influence over the Boycott
campaign in America because, although they couldn’t say it, they welcomed the
pressure on the Nazis.  It was this which
had kept Nazi violence against Germany’s Jews in check.  Black describes what happened next:

‘‘Blumenfeld
[Secretary of the German Zionist Federation]
stepped forward on behalf of the Zionists, declaring that the German
Zionist Federation was uniquely capable of conferring with Jewish leaders in
other countries… Once uttered, the words forever changed the relationship
between the Nazis and the Zionists.’ [Black p.36]

The Zionists, unlike the non-Zionists, were prepared
to do their best to help the Nazis defeat the Boycott if in turn the Nazis
would help them build a Jewish state in Palestine. 
The Zionist   paper which welcomed the Nuremberg Laws
Why is this relevant?  Because today, as fascist groups and racism (including
anti-Semitism) grow in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, the Israeli state and its
leaders have the friendliest of relations with not only Orban other racist and anti-Semitic
regimes for example the Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło of the far-Right Law and
Justice party.
Only today we hear news of a
march of an estimated 60,000 fascists in Warsaw celebrating a pogrom against
the Jews in Warsaw in 1936.  Polish
Nationalist Youth March Draws Thousands in Capital – Crowd of mostly young
people carries banners that read ‘Europe Will Be White’ and ‘Clean Blood’
  Their slogan is ‘Pray for Islamic Holocaust’.  Presumably there is no point in praying for
another Jewish one since most Poland Jews either died in the Holocaust or
departed after the war.  We can assume
that Israel will not be making any representations about this march.
Today the primary victims of
fascist violence in Europe are Muslims and this is not unwelcome to Israel and
the Zionist movement.  The far-Right in Europe
and America openly admire Israel for its hostility to Muslims. The neo-Nazi leader
of America’s alt-Right, Richard Spencer declares that he is a White
Zionist
.  Is there a difference
between the march in Warsaw and the thousands of settlers who chant ‘Death to
the Arabs’
in Jerusalem?
The Labour Party Marxists publication which the Zionists took exception to
The AWL is nothing if not stupid.
You might have thought that their experience of being denounced as
‘anti-Semitic’ by Owen Smith in the leadership contest with Jeremy Corbyn would
have taught them a lesson.  At least two
AWL members – Pete Radcliffe and Daniel Randall were expelled from the Labour
Party for ‘left anti-Semitism’.
The AWL is unique on the British
Left. They are Trotskyist Zionists (though Trotsky would have run a mile from
them!). Whereas most supporters of a 2 State solution in Palestine reluctantly
accept the continuance of a racist Jewish Supremacist state, AWL endorse the Apartheid
Jewish state enthusiastically.  Those who
don’t share their enthusiasm are guilty of ‘left anti-Semitism’. 
Absurdly they are argue that ‘left
anti-Semitism’ is not racist! As I pointed out at a debate
with Daniel Randall on the 15th September 2016, if it’s not racist
it’s not anti-Semitic either!  They
should find another word, like anti-Zionist!
When the head of the Gestapo’s Jewish desk Baron von Mildenstein went with Kurt Tuchler and their wives for a 6 month visit to Palestine in 1933, as guest of the Labour Zionist movement, they struck a medal on their return with the Swastika on one side and the Zionist Star of David on the other
During our debate
I embarrassed Randall by noting that he had been expelled from the Labour Party
for ‘left anti-Semitism’.  His response
was:  ‘I
do want to say from the outset that it is undeniably the case that the issue of
anti-Semitism has been instrumentalised and manipulated by some on the Labour
Right and their supporters in the press in order to undermine Corbyn and the
Left.’
[see transcript]
Never before, or since have the
AWL admitted that ‘left anti-Semitism’ is a weapon used by the Right against
the Left.  It took the experience of the
Summer of 2016 for the AWL to realise that for the Labour Right –
‘anti-Semitism’ and being on the Left were synonymous.  In Scotland, Rhea Wolfson, the left’s candidate
for the National Executive Committee and herself a member of the Jewish Labour
Movement had her nomination rejected by her Glasgow constituency, after Jim
Murphy, Blair’s Scottish leftover, accused Momentum of ‘anti-Semitism’.
What has angered the AWL is that
Moshe Machover has been exonerated and readmitted to the Labour Party despite
writing an ‘apparently anti-Semitic’, article
describing the warm relations between leading Nazis and the Zionist movement in
Germany.  Indeed Sam Matthews of the
Disputes Committee backed away from his initial description of the article that
Moshe had written and which Labour Party Marxists had reprinted. 
Heydrich – in charge of the combined police (RSHA) and the ‘engineer’ of the Final Solution
In the article Moshe quoted an
article Heydrich had written in the SS paper Das Schwarze Korps on September 26 1935:
‘National socialism has no
intention of attacking the Jewish people in any way. On the contrary, the
recognition of Jewry as a racial community based on blood, and not as a
religious one, leads the German government to guarantee the racial separateness
of this community without any limitations. The government finds itself in
complete agreement with the great spiritual movement within Jewry itself,
so-called Zionism, with its recognition of the solidarity of Jewry throughout
the world and the rejection of all assimilationist ideas.’ 5
The full quotation can be found in
The Third Reich and the Palestine
Question’
[I.B. Tauris, 1985, London, p.57 and a shortened version in Zionism and Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany, CUP,
2008] by Francis Nicosia, Professor of Holocaust Studies at Vermont University.
Of course by itself, this
quotation simply proves that the Nazis looked on the Zionist rejection of
assimilation favourably.  Obviously
Heydrich, who is described by Gerald Reitlinger as the ‘engineer’ of the Final
Solution [The Final Solution, Valentine Mitchell, London, 1968. p.13] was
lying when he said that the Nazis had no intention of attacking the Jewish
people. 
Relations
between the Zionists and the Nazis went much deeper.  Lucy Dawidowicz described how in January 1935
Heydrich had issued an instruction to the Gestapo in Bavaria that Zionist youth
groups ‘are not to be treated with that
strictness that it is necessary to apply to the members of the so-called
German-Jewish organizations (assimilationists)’
. [‘War Against the Jews
1933-45, Penguin 1987’ pp.118, citing Mommsen ‘Der Nationalsozialistische
Polizeistaat pp.78/9 and Nicosia, ZANG, p.119]
The question is
whether this was just one-way traffic. 
Did the Zionists reciprocate in any way and the answer is yes, very much
so.  On 21st June 1933 the
German Zionist Federation wrote a memo to Hitler explaining the ideological similarity
between the Zionists and the Nazis.
‘On
the foundation of the new state, which has established the principle of race,
we wish so to fit in our community [so that] fruitful activity for the
Fatherland is possible. Our acknowledgement of Jewish nationality provides for
a clear and sincere relationship to the German people and its national and
racial realities. Precisely because we don’t wish to falsify these
fundamentals, because we too are against mixed marriages and are for
maintaining the purity of the Jewish group… The realisation of Zionism could
only be hurt by resentment of Jews abroad against the German development.
Boycott propaganda… is in essence fundamentally unZionist, because Zionism
wants not to do battle but to convince and to build.’ [Lucy Dawidowicz, A Holocaust Reader, p.150-153.]
The Zionists set
their face against any campaign against the Nazis. They opposed a Boycott because
they realized that Jewish Palestine could prosper by trading with Nazi Germany.  When faced with a choice between building a Jewish
state and the needs of the Jewish diaspora they unhesitatingly chose the
former.  At the World Zionist Congress in
Prague in 1933 they failed even to condemn the Nazi regime. 
In August 1933 the
Zionist leaders agreed a trade agreement, Ha’avara, with the Nazis which effectively
destroyed the International Jewish Boycott of Nazi Germany. A Boycott which had
the potential to destroy the Nazi government in its infancy. Instead the
Zionist movement hitched its wagon to the success of the Nazi state.   The
result was that the pressure was off Hitler and the regime in subsequently years
could consolidate. 
As Black noted
Ha’avara meant that
whilst most Jews were doing their best to undermine the German economy and
effect the removal of Hitler, the Zionists’ interest was in stabilizing and
safeguarding the German economy: ‘the
Nazi party and the Zionist Organization shared a common stake in the recovery
of Germany. If the Hitler economy fell, both sides would be ruined.
’ [Black
p. 253]
Even
as ardent a Zionist as Elie Wiesel admitted that the
‘Jewish leaders of
Palestine never made the rescue of European Jews into an overwhelming national
priority. We know that Zionist leader Itzhak Gruenbaum… considered creating
new settlements more urgent than saving Jews from being sent to Treblinka and
Birkenau.
Wiesel
cited approvingly Tom Segev’s conclusion that ‘Only a few survivors owed their
lives to the efforts of the Zionist movement’. [The Land That Broke Its
Promise : THE SEVENTH MILLION: The Israelis and the Holocaust,
http://articles.latimes.com/1993-05-23/books/bk-38582_1_tom-segev/]
Yet the AWL
would have you believe that to mention this naked collaboration is ‘anti-Semitic’.
The AWL identify with the most right-wing, racist movement amongst Jewry.  This is the mark of their appeasement and
concession to imperialism today.
It is argued
that the Zionist movement at this time could not be certain that the
professions of Heydrich and others, that they intended no harm to the Jews but
merely sought racial separation, were false. The physical attacks on Jews in
Germany and the vile anti-Semitic propaganda of Der Sturmer should have told them that the Nazi regime was no ‘ordinary’
anti-Semitic regime. Ordinary Jews knew this which was why they packed out
Madison Square Gardens in New York as part of the movement to Boycott Nazi Germany.
Unlike most Jews, the Zionists chose to believe the Nazis, which is why they
alone of the Jews welcomed the 1935
Nuremburg Laws, which were described by Reitlinger as ‘the most murderous legislative instrument known to European
history’. 
The Introduction to the
Nuremburg Laws read: 
‘If the Jews had a state of their own in which the
bulk of their people were at home, the Jewish question could already be
considered solved today… The ardent
Zionists of all people have objected least of all to the basic ideas of the
Nuremberg Laws, because they know that these laws are the only correct solution
for the Jewish people too…’ [Moshe
Machover and Mario Offenberg, Zionism and
its scarecrows’
p. 38., Khamsin 6, Pluto Press, 1978, citing Die Nurnberger Gesetze, 5. Auflage,
Berlin 1939 p.13/14]. 
On the 17th September, just 2 days after the promulgation of
the Nuremburg Laws, Judische Rundschau, paper of the German Zionist
movement welcomed them declaring that:
‘Germany …
is meeting the demands of the International Zionist Congress when it
declares the Jews now living in Germany to be a national minority. Once the Jews
have been stamped a national minority
it is again possible to establish
normal relations between the German Nation and Jewry.’
[http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/german-news-agency-on-the-nuremberg-laws
]
Moshe also cited
the welcome for the Nazi regime by Rabbi Joachim Prinz, one of the leaders of
the German Zionist Federation.  In his
1934 book ‘Wir Juden’ (We Jews) he
stated that:

‘‘(The Jews) have been drawn out
of the last recesses of christening and mixed marriages. We are not unhappy
about it… The theory of assimilation has collapsed. … We want to replace
assimilation by something new: the declaration of belonging to the Jewish
nation and the Jewish race. A state, built according to the principles of
purity of the nation and race can only be honoured and respected by a Jew who
declares his belonging to his own kind.’

The AWL in their article
criticise Machover for the ‘trope of Nazi-Zionist collaboration’ (‘trope’
is a favoured word for Zionist dopes!). The article quotes at length Heydrich
to prove that he was a vicious anti-Semite. 
No one however disputes or his
role in the Holocaust. Yet despite this Heydrich spoke favourably of the
Zionists and they in turn saw in the rise of the Nazis ‘proof’ that the Jews did
not belong amongst the German nation. 
The article goes on to quote Hitler in Mein Kampf as saying that a
Jewish state would be “a central
organisation for their (Jews’) world swindling … a haven for convicted
scoundrels and a university for budding crooks.”

What else was
Hitler expected to say?  That he saw a
Jewish State as leading to the reforming of the Jewish character?  In fact many Nazis did believe this,
including Eichmann who described himself as an ‘ardent Zionist’ but in 1922,
Hitler, saw everything that was Jewish as being evil, including Zionism, which
he knew little about.  However Hitler was
willing to adapt to circumstances when in power.  In 1933 the same Hitler approved the trade
agreement with the Zionists and in 1937-8 when others in the Nazi government
wanted to end it, it was Hitler who was decisive in ensuring the Ha’avara
continued up till the beginning of the war.
What Moshe
Machover said in his article was merely a basic recitation of the facts of the
early Zionist relationship with the Nazis. 
Of course the Nazis’ flattering of the Zionist movement in Germany did
not mean that they changed their attitude to the Jews.  They still sought either to expel them or exterminate
them. The tragedy is that instead of unremitting opposition to Nazism, the
Zionists became the Nazis useful fools. The Nazis played the Zionists like a
violin. In 1941 with the beginning of the Holocaust and the deportation of the Jews
of Germany, the Nazis made no distinction between Zionist and
non-Zionists.  All Jews were destined for
the gas chambers or the pits of Ponary. The Zionist movement even betrayed its
own supporters in Europe.
Ha’avara led to 100m RM of trade
between Germany and Palestine and accounted for 60% of total capital investment
in the Zionist economy in Palestine. [David
Rosenthall, Chaim Arlosoroff 65 Years After his Assassination, Jewish
Frontier, May-June 1998, p. 28, New York]
In response to the Kindertransport when Britain agreed to admit 10,000 Jewish children from Germany, Ben Gurion declared that he would prefer to save half Germany’s children if they went to Palestine than all of them in England – from his official biography, The Burning Ground 
Berl Katznelson, who was a founder
of Mapai, the Israeli Labour Party, and editor of the Histadrut paper Davar saw the rise of Hitler as “an opportunity to build and flourish like none
we have ever had or ever will have”.
[Nicosia,
ZANG, p.91. Tom Segev, The Seventh Million, p.18]. Ben Gurion “hoped the Nazis’ victory would become a
‘fertile force’ for Zionism
” 
The Zionist movement functioned
as a Jewish Quisling movement.  The Jews
of Europe were completely written off by the Palestinian Zionist movement and
the Jewish Agency. 
In the course of their article
the AWL also imply that Jackie Walker was anti-Semitic for saying that the Black
Holocaust of slavery isn’t commemorated on Holocaust Memorial Day. As this is a
fact then presumably AWL are happy with this exclusion.
Former NUS President Malia
Bouatthia is also attacked as anti-Semitic for stating that Birmingham
University was “something of a Zionist outpost” 
Ken Livingstone’s anti-Semitism is simply taken for granted.
The AWL represent an extreme
version of a historic tendency of the British Left to accept what Lenin
described as the crumbs off the table of imperialism. Lenin had been seeking to
explain the conservatism of the British working class in terms of its
identification with the British Empire. 
The AWL have a long history of support for Western imperialism from
refusing to call for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq or Afghanistan
to supporting the CIA backed Islamic Mojahadeen in Afghanistan to opposition to
the Republican movement in Ireland.
In Palestine the AWL treat
Zionism not as an ethno-nationalist settler colonial movement but as a
legitimate form of nationalism. This is despite the fact that Zionism claims that
Jews world wide form a nation despite the fact that diaspora Jews do not speak
the same languge, occupy the same territory or have the same culture.  It is a racial view of Jewry.  The AWL having long abandoned any concept of
imperialism refuse to see Israel as a client regime of US imperialism.  The AWL also have nothing to say about the virulent
racism which is inherent in a Jewish settler colonial state.
Within the trade union movement
the AWL have consistently opposed any attempts at solidarity with the Palestinians.  When I spoke to UNISON conference in 2007 and
2008 in support of BDS, one of those speaking against us was from the AWL.  However the AWL’s racist support for Israel had
negligible support and the motions were passed overwhelmingly.
The AWL found themselves in a
dilemma when the Labour Right and Zionist Jewish Labour Movement sought to
expel Professor Moshe Machover, an Israeli anti-Zionist and socialist. After
all  Machover had been expelled not only
for his relationship with the CPGB and Labour Party Marxists but originally for
his ‘apparently anti-Semitic’ article
Anti-Zionism is not Anti-Semitism’. The
AWL supported the basis on which the expulsion was proposed but not the
expulsion itself without losing all credibility on the Left.  In their article
the AWL have sought to try to reconcile these contradictions – how to
oppose the witch hunt of which they are themselves a victim whilst retaining
their ideological purity.  The result, is
as one might expect, a complete ideological mish-mash.
Author: Dale Street
Had it not been
distributed as a leaflet at this year’s Labour Party conference, Moshe
Machover’s article “‘Anti-Zionism
does not equal anti-Semitism’
” would have been just another
turgid and distasteful article which had found a natural home for itself in the
pages of the Weekly Worker.
A longer version
of the same article – entitled “Don’t Apologise – Attack” – had been published
in Weekly Worker four months earlier. According to that article:
• Anyone who
thought that a retweet by Naz Shah MP – which had suggested that Israel (and,
presumably, its population) should be relocated to the USA – “was anything but
a piece of satire should have their head examined.”

• Jackie Walker “has been suspended for saying that there was not only a Jewish
holocaust but also a black African one too.” (Wrong: that was not the reason
for her suspension.)

• There was nothing antisemitic about NUS President Malia Bouattia describing
Birmingham University as “something of a Zionist outpost”.

• Ken Livingstone was “certainly inaccurate” in having said that Hitler
supported Zionism until he went mad. At the same time, “the point he was making
was basically correct”.
The inclusion of a
shorter version of the article in a “Labour Party Marxists” bulletin
distributed at Labour Party conference rescued it from obscurity.

Overnight, Machover’s article
became a cause célèbre for left antisemites (and antisemites in general).

Zionism is essentialised.
Machover unceasingly refers to “the Zionists … the Zionists … the Zionists.”
Unlike any other nationalism, Zionism is portrayed as a uniformly negative
monolith.
Legitimate
complaints about antisemitic arguments and ways of thinking are dismissed as a
Zionist concoction: “And so the Zionists and their allies decided to launch the
‘Anti-Zionism equals Anti-Semitism’ campaign.”
This “campaign” is
an international (cosmopolitan) one: “The whole campaign of equating opposition
to Zionism with antisemitism has been carefully orchestrated with the help of
the Israeli government and the far right in the United States.”

Antisemitism is defined in such a way that its existence in the labour movement
can simply be denied as being of no account:
“The handful of
people of the left who propagate a version of the ‘Protocols of Zion’ carry no
weight and are without any intellectual foundation.”
Unlike others who
share his current politics, Machover does not define Zionism as a form of
antisemitism. But he does portray
collusion with antisemitism as inherent in Zionism:
“You can also attack
Zionism because of its collusion and collaboration with antisemitism, including
up to a point with Nazi Germany.”
This brings
Machover round to the trope of
Zionist-Nazi collaboration
: “Let us now turn to the Zionist-Nazi
connection. … The Zionists made overtures to the Nazi regime, so how did the
Nazis respond? … In other words, a
friendly mention of Zionism,
indicating an area of basic agreement it
shared with Nazism.”
The “friendly
mention of Zionism” cited by Machover is a quote from an article written in
1935 by Reinhard Heydrich, published
in the Das Schwarze Korps, the in-house magazine of the Nazi SS:
“National
socialism has no intention of attacking the Jewish people in any way. The
government finds itself in complete agreement with the great spiritual movement
within Jewry itself, so-called Zionism.”
Heydrich was a
hardened antisemite from the early 1930s onwards. He was one of the architects
of the Final Solution. Only a few months earlier he had made clear his attitude
towards Jews in another article in Das Schwarze Korps:
“In order to
preserve our people, we must be harsh in the face of our enemy, even at the
cost of hurting an individual or being condemned as rabble-rousers by some
probably well-meaning people. …
“If someone is our
enemy, he is to be vanquished subjectively and without exception. If, for
example, out of false compassion, every German should make an exception for
‘only one decent’ Jew or Freemason whom he knows, we would end up with 60
million such exceptions.”
Ten years before
Heydrich’s article Hitler had already
dismissed a Jewish state as “a central organisation for their (Jews’) world
swindling
… a haven for convicted scoundrels and a university for budding
crooks.”
Thus, to
illustrate the “basic agreement” which Zionism supposedly shared with the
Nazis, Machover quotes an architect of the Holocaust, from an article in the
magazine of the organisation which played a leading role in carrying out the
Holocaust.
It is not about
supporting the Palestinians. Machover says explicitly: that’s not enough. You
must also demonise “the Zionists” as an evil essence running through history to
link Jews today back to the taint of the Nazis.

 

 

 

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