Tony Greenstein | 19 August 2017 | Post Views:

Answer – It Depends on their Attitude to Israel

It must be very difficult for Zionists
these days.  Netanyahu goes off to greet Hungary’s
Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is busy rehabilitating the former pro-Nazi leader
of Hungary, Admiral Miklos Horthy, who presided over the deportation of nearly
1/2m Jew to Auschwitz.  The loss of Steve
Bannon has caused real grief amongst Zionists in Israel and the USA.  And then there is Charlottesville, who do you
condemn there?  Sure they are neo-Nazis
and White Supremacists on one side and anti-fascists and Black Lives Matter on
the other, but that is the problem.

A simple guide to who is and who is not a Nazi
The neo-Nazis and White  Supremacists might hate Jews but they love Israel,
whereas the anti-fascists and Black Lives Matter activists detest Zionism but
they have no problem with Jews – indeed there were many Jews amongst their
I therefore though it might be
helpful if I could post a flow diagram explaining how best to judge who is and
who is not a Nazi!
Reaction to Charlottesville

As I said Charlottesville present
the Zionists with a real dilemma.  It
took Netanyahu three days before he could say anything about the neo-Nazi murder
of an anti-fascist at Charlottesville.  In
the Times of Israel of 15.8.17. in an
article headed 3
days later, Israeli leaders still conspicuously silent on Charlottesville
Ahrens wrote that:
three days
after neo-Nazis marched in broad daylight through the streets waving swastika
flags and chanting “Jews will not replace
the leader of the Jewish state had still not publicly commented on the
matter as of Tuesday.
silence in the face of images that send chills down the spines of Jews
worldwide has raised eyebrows among analysts and experts.
Similarly, an article For
Israel, White House Ties Trump Neo-Nazi Condemnation
for NDTV reports on
how ‘An Israeli cabinet minister has said relations with US President Donald
Trump take priority over condemning neo-Nazis, to justify Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu’s muted response to events in Charlottesville.’
Below is a good article on
Mondoweiss on the dilemmas of Zionists today and they are dilemmas.  The far-Right in Europe and the USA is
motivated primarily by hatred of Muslims and Islam.  Israel is seen as the standard bearer in that
fight.  The fact that it is Jewish is
irrelevant because it is also a virulently racist state.  Indeed fascists are quite capable of
differentiating between Jews at home in the USA and Israeli Jews.  As Richard Spencer, leader of the Alt-Right
repeatedly states, he is a ‘White
President Trump’s initial statement on the
Charlottesville violence, where he said “We
condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred,
bigotry and violence, on many sides, on many sides”,
has taken on a life of
its own. Equating the Nazis and white supremacists with their victims has
become a national (as well as international) sport, and the promulgators of
this “many sides” narrative are getting so excited with the prospect of it,
that they are even going further, to regard the leftists as worse than Nazis.
All this has made various Israeli
leaders rather uncomfortable. Because although they are on board with
Trump’s attacks on the left, his “many sides” narrative was, after all,
normalizing bona fide anti-Semitism.
But before we get to Israel, let’s see how the ‘left-equals right’
notion has been mainstreamed:
The notion of a supposed ‘Alt-Left’ as equal to the Alt-Right was voiced
loudly merely a day after the Charlottesville violence via none other than the
newspaper of record – New York Times, which published an op-ed
by Erick Woods-Erickson, opening with the following:
“As a
conservative, I see both the social justice warrior alt-left and the white
supremacist alt-right as two sides of the same coin.”

Vox congressional reporter Jeff Stein tweeted in
oped begins by admonishing “social justice warrior alt-left” the day after they
fought Nazis. Unreal.”

Meanwhile, in Israel, Head of Republicans Abroad in Israel Marc Zell said that he
holds “leftist thugs,” local authorities and organizations such as the American
Civil Liberties Union responsible for Saturday’s events:
“I am, of
course, no supporter of Nazis or white supremacists. But this very tragic event
could have been avoided,”
he said. “It
was clear to all that the leftist thugs would come out to provoke and escalate
the events. These thugs are the ugly face of progressivism around the country.
They are looking to shut down free speech.”

Zell even went as far as to suggest that the car-ramming attack might
have been a ‘false flag’:
“I am
confident that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the newly appointed director
of the FBI, Christopher Wray, will conduct a proper investigation. And I will
not be surprised if they find that the incident was deliberately provoked by
the left”
, he said.
As I had mentioned in my first commentary on
the Chartlottesville aftermath, Trump’s equivocal statements were a
dog-whistle. He was calling on the dogs, and he was waiting to see how loud
they could bark.
But there was also fierce pressure on Trump to name the thugs by name.
So on Monday he finally did call
the KKK, Neo-Nazis and White-Supremacists, albeit ending the
condemnation with “other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold
dear as Americans”
. Coming from Trump, the latter could be read as another
opening to the “many sides” narrative.
Indeed, on Tuesday, Trump went back and doubled down on his original
message, applying the “alt-left” notion which was being mainstreamed in
the meanwhile. Speaking at the Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday, the
president was asked for his opinion after Senator John McCain had condemned the
“alt-right” for its role in the violent rally, to which he responded:
What about alt-left? Do they have
any semblance of guilt?”

Let’s hop back to Israel now, because the fact that the Nazis are
involved in this is causing a certain discomfort to many Jewish Israelis. As
CNN host Anderson Cooper was saying
on Tuesday, the Charlottesville Neo-Nazis “were
freaking chanting ‘Jews will not replace us’ on the streets of America.”
Thus Israeli centrist leaders Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni were rather
vociferous and unequivocal in their condemnations. Yesterday, Lapid said that
aren’t two sides. When Neo-Nazis march in Charlottesville and scream slogans
against Jews and in support of white supremacy, the condemnation has to be
unambiguous. They represent hate and evil. Anyone who believes in the human
spirit must stand against them without fear.”

Sounds good. Let’s put aside for the moment Lapid’s own
anti-Palestinianism, anti-miscegenationism (against mixed marriage) and
Tzipi Livni, who had joined forces with the left under the Zionist Union
was also quite clear:
“When it
comes to racism, anti-Semitism and Nazism, there are never two equal sides.
There’s good and there’s evil. Period”,
she said.
Let’s also put aside for the moment the fact that Livni, who was Foreign
Minister during Israel’s 2008-9 Gaza onslaught said
that “Israel demonstrated real
hooliganism during the course of the recent operation, which I demanded”
well as
that “Hamas now understands
that when you fire on its citizens it responds by going wild – and this is a
good thing.”
  – I mean, just because it’s hooliganism on a
national level, doesn’t mean it’s racist, does it?
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett has called on US leaders to
denounce the rally’s “displays of
” and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of Bennett’s Jewish Home
party has urged prosecution of neo-Nazi activists. Once again, let’s put aside
for the moment the Education
I’ve killed many Arabs
and there’s no problem with that”,
as well as the Justice Minister’s
advocacy for genocide
of Palestinians.
Now, as the condemnations were coming from the right of Netanyahu, that
was a sign that he shouldn’t be too silent on this, even if he wanted to not
upset Trump. So Netanyahu finally tweeted on Tuesday that he was “outraged by expressions of anti-Semitism,
neo-Nazism and racism. Everyone should oppose this hatred.”

But, alas, another Netanyahu came out on this. Netanyahu Jr., that is –
Yair Netanyahu. Writing
on his Facebook yesterday:
“To put
things in perspective. I’m a Jew, I’m an Israeli, the neo nazis scums in
Virginia hate me and my country. But they belong to the past. Their breed is
dying out. However the thugs of Antifa and BLM who hate my country (and America
too in my view) just as much are getting stronger and stronger and becoming
super dominant in American universities and public life.”

The Times of Israel reports sources “close
to the Prime Minister
” taking a distance, claiming that “Yair is an adult and his views are his alone”.
But this is where it gets more confusing. Because yesterday, ‘Hail
Trump’, white supremacist, Alt-Right leader Richard Spencer was interviewed on Israeli
Channel 2, and said that Israelis should respect someone like him, because he’s
a white Zionist”:
“An Israeli
citizen, someone who understands your identity, who has a sense of nationhood
and peoplehood, and the history and experience of the Jewish people, you should
respect someone like me, who has analogue feelings about whites. You could say
that I am a white Zionist – in the sense that I care about my people, I want us
to have a secure homeland for us and ourselves. Just like you want a secure
homeland in Israel”,
he said.
At the same time, Spencer voiced the classical anti-Semitic tropes about
Jewish ‘over-representation’ and separating them from ‘whites’, when he was
asked whether slogans such as “Jews will not replace us” constitute
“Let’s be
honest,” Spencer said, “Jews are vastly over-represented in what you could call
‘the establishment,’ that is, Ivy League educated people who really determine
policy, and white people are being dispossesed from this country.”

This is not the first time Spencer brings up the ‘white Zionism’ notion.
He has also managed to leave Texas rabbi Matt Rosenberg speechless, when
the latter, an avowed Zionist, challenged him with ‘love an inclusion’, where
Spencer presented to him the question:
“Do you
really want radical inclusion into the State of Israel? And by that I mean
radical inclusion. Maybe all of the Middle East could go move in to Tel Aviv or
Jerusalem. Would you really want that?”

Spencer added to the blow a white-supremacist embrace of “respect”:
Jews exist precisely because you
did not assimilate. That is why Jews are a coherent people with a history and a
culture and a future. It’s because you had a sense of yourselves. I respect
that about you. I want my people to have that same sense of themselves”,
Not only is this not new from Spencer – it is not new from Nazis in
general. As Adolf Eichmann said
in 1960 (Time):
“In the
years that followed (after 1937) I often said to Jews with whom I had dealings
that, had I been a Jew, I would have been a fanatical Zionist. I could not
imagine anything else. In fact, I would have been the most ardent Zionist

Indeed, the anti-Semitic, white-supremacist notions represented in
Charlottesville, make the proximity between Zionism and anti-Semitism too close
for comfort for many Jews, especially the Zionist ones. Zionism has a long and
murky record
of collaboration with Nazis, which presents a contradiction to
the narrative of Israel being a diametric answer to anti-Semitism and the
But having mentioned Yair Netanyahu, it could be an interesting anecdote
to mention the letter of another Yair – the Jewish terrorist ‘Stern Gang’
leader Avraham ‘Yair’ Stern (‘Yair’ being his nom de guerre), offering
allegiance to Hitler in January 1941. Here Stern offers to “actively take part in the war on Germany’s side” and that “common interests could exist between the
establishment of a new order in Europe in conformity with the German concept,
and the true national aspirations of the Jewish people as they are embodied by
the NMO” (NMO stands for National Militant Organization, of which the Stern
Gang became an offshoot).

When Herzl wrote in his diary that “the
anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic
countries our allies
”, he was already pinpointing a notion which Zionism
and Israel would desperately seek to conceal. Which is, that Zionism, the state
ideology, and anti-Semitism, are tightly knit and inter-dependent. Zionism is
not an answer to anti-Semitism – it is an extension of it. And when the
unabashed racists and anti-Semites go marching, when their Israel-loving
President keeps exonerating them and equating them with their victims, then it
becomes a bit uncomfortable. The ideological affinity between anti-Semitism and
Zionism becomes exposed. And that’s where the Zionist apologists try to cover it
up again, under the balancing act of being a Zionist and opposing
But Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, Yair, he got the trick. The trick is to
demonize the left as “haters” and “thugs”, so as to also be able to condemn
the Nazis, as it were, but effectively making the left worse than Nazis, by
downplaying the Nazis as a thing “of the
Because Israel is now in an ideological international fight both
against anti-Semitism, supposedly and as it were, but more importantly and more
truly, against the left. But it has to look good. You don’t want to seem too

Posted in

Tony Greenstein

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.