Tony Greenstein | 10 June 2012 | Post Views:

Ultra-Orthodox Sect Reported to Have Spoken at a Meeting of National Front Supporters

If the Jewish Chronicle are correct, Strictly Orthodox Neturei Karta’s new alliance with extreme right  and there is no reason to believe otherwise, then one Rabbi Aharon Cohen from NK spoke to a meeting consisting of fascists, holocaust deniers and assorted anti-Semites.   The photograph certainly looks genuine enough and given Cohen’s previous record of attending the Tehran Conference which brought together an assorted collection of far-right freaks and holocaust deniers, then it is all too plausible.

Neturei Karta’s actions don’t just involve themselves but others with whom they demonstrate.  Whilst we cannot prevent them attending the demonstrations and counter-demonstrations we organise, the time has come when they should no longer be given a platform.  If they wish to speak alongside supporters of the Palestinians and anti-Zionists then they have to respect the wishes of others, prime amongst which is we don’t have relations or contacts with fascists, overt anti-semites or holocaust deniers.  We leave such things to the Zionist movement.

What beggars belief is that Aharon Cohen justified his action as being about warning the fascists and assorted crazies of the dangers of ‘Zionism’.  Zionism is a product of the far-right and anti-Semitism.  Without anti-Semitism there would have been no Zionism.  If Cohen had bothered to lift his head out of the Torah, Talmud and other useless sources of information and read something about the history of Zionism, then he would have come across the founder of Political Zionism Theodor Herzl proclamations in his Diaries that ‘the anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies. We want to emigrate as respected people.’ pp 83/84 Diaries  Because Herzl’s attitude to anti-Semitism was quite explicit:  ‘In Paris …I achieved a freer attitude towards anti-Semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon. Above all I recognise the emptiness and futility of trying to ‘combat’ anti-Semitism. ’ Diaries p.6. 

Anti-Semitism and Zionism went together like Bonnie & Clyde.  To lecture anti-Semites on the perils of Zionist libels about ‘anti-Semitism’ is to miss the point altogether.

Present at this meeting were ex-NF member Troy Southgate and friend of David Irving and Gilad Atzmon Lady Michele Renouf.

According to the Jewish Chronicle Baron wrote after the meeting that ‘While the Zionists use antisemitism as a big club to batter the goyim over their heads, for the devout Torah-true Jews it is a sign that they are doing something wrong.’

If this is accurately reported, and it’s always difficult with the JC to distinguish fact from fiction, then it just proves what a calamitous decision Neturei Karta have made.  The Zionists don’t use ‘anti-Semitism’ to batter goyim over the head but an entirely different weapon that is mislabelled ‘anti-Semitism’ is used to batter over the head people who support the Palestinians and oppose Zionism.  This does not include inveterate anti-Semites of the David Duke variety.  The ‘goyim’ that Baron refers to are Jew-haters like himself.  The mere use of the phrase ‘goyim’ is telling, since the libel of ‘anti-Semitism’ is used against Jewish as well as non-Jewish critics of Zionism.

The fact, if it is a fact, that Rabbi Cohen ‘differentiated what he said was the ancient bigotry of antisemitism with the response particularly in the Muslim world to Zionist atrocities’ is immaterial.  What matters is his audience.  And if he has been quoted correctly then Aharon Cohen is doubly stupid.  Gilbert Achcar, Brian Klug and myself have argued that what is termed ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Middle East is a reaction to Zionism and doesn’t have the same social roots as European anti-Semitism.  But Cohen wasn’t speaking to an Arab audience.  He was speaking to died-in-the-wool anti-Semites.  His decision is, to say the least, baffling.

Gerry Gable, editor of Searchlight, informs us re Rabbi Cohen that the Nazis are welcome to this quisling.  Gerry Gable is someone who would do well to keep is over-sized mouth shut.  Not only did he marry a fascist, Sonia Hochfelder, but he was caught red-handed in 1977 urging his superior at London Weekend Television Barry Cox not to give sympathetic coverage to the then Labour government deportations of Phil Agee, an ex-CIA agent and Mark Hosenball, a journalist.  Gable was acting a mouthpiece for the security services and MI5 with whom he boasted close connections, as well as the Israeli security services. Gable also planted false charges, alleging the anarchist Class-War group were working with if not a front for the National Front in the 1980’s’.  The result of these false allegations was to seriously destabilise Anti-Fascist Action.  See my article on Gable’s activities Undermining Anti-Fascists, Defending Zionism

Gable is well known as someone who trades information on the left and anti-fascist movement with the secret state.  No anti-fascist worth their salt has anything to do with someone who is a political pimp.

If anyone is a quisling it is Gable himself, having acted as an uncritical mouthpiece for Zionist collusion with fascist groups like the Lebanese Phalange and maintained silence over the close connections between the current Israeli government and far-right politicians, including neo-Nazis in Europe.

As for the Zionist Community Security Trust, having stewarded a demonstration that included EDL members outside the Israeli embassy, having refused to criticise Zionist Federation officer Jonathan Hoffman and others for demonstrating alongside the EDL and having supplied false and perjured evidence in an attempt to secure the deportation of Sheikh Raed Salah of Israel’s Northern Islamic League, its reputation is at rock-bottom.  Their comment that Neturei Karta has “played with left-wing extremists and Islamists, including the Holocaust-denying Tehran regime, Neturei Karta can now add British fascists to their list of consorts.’ says more about the CST than NK.  But then CST always had a soft spot for ‘right-wing extremists’ as opposed to their left-wing counterpart!

Nonetheless, despite the hypocritical cant from the CST, Gable and Harry’s Place, the fact is that NK should be hauled over the coals and told in no uncertain terms that if they want any connection with the Palestine solidarity movement then contacts, any contacts, with the anti-Semitic and fascist/holocaust denying right is unacceptable.  Period.

Below is an interesting article on the links between another nutcase, Gilad Atzmon and Alexander Baron.

Alexander Baron & Gilad Atzmon- A Mutual Admiration Society

It seems Atzmon is getting even bolder in his open anti-semitism.  In a blog post dated the 27th December  he links to a supportive article from the homophobic plagiarist Alexander Baron.

Baron is one of the lesser known figures on the far right, so a bit of background.  He’s openly antisemitic and a holocaust denier as this quote from his website shows  shows:

“I have published on the Holocaust and Holocaust Revisionism – what is known pejoratively and inaccurately as Holocaust Denial. I have published a book length exposé of Zionist agent and sexual deviant David Irving”.

He uses the traditional antisemite tactic of blaming Jews for antisemitism.  He describes the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” as: Organized Jewry’s Deadliest Weapon

Baron isn’t just a lone crank, he has operational links with the Evolian think-tank “New Right”, set up by the veteren far-right activist and founder of “National Anarchism”, Troy Southgate.  Southgate acts as secretary of the group, which has Jonathan Bowden (who used to be in the Monday Club, the Revolutionary Conservative Caucus, the Freedom Party and the BNP) as its chairman.  So, much like Southgate, this is someone with a long history of neo-fascist activism.  Another person involved with the New Right is the veteran fascist and Holocaust denier Lady Michelle Renouf.  Baron thanks her in his writing up of the 2010 conference so he obviously knows her relatively well.  Baron himself spoke at the 2005 launch of the group and the 2010 and 2011 conferences.

Considering this is all easily available on Baron’s website (which is where the article Atzmon links to is from), there is no way Atzmon won’t have seen at least some of it.

So why might Atzmon be attracted to Baron and by extension the New Right?

I’d say it’s an ideological convergence.  Despite the claims from some quarters, while Atzmon is undoubtedly on the far right, his particular allegiance isn’t to Neonazi interpretations of fascism. (The fact some are pushing this merely illustrates the lack of serious anti-fascist analysis around at the moment.  Nobody with even a basic understanding of far-right ideology would be arguing this). His is more a kind of ‘post-modern’, cultural take on far right themes.  So he’s going to be attracted to the likes of Baron who present themselves as “beyond left and right”.  And the founding statement of the New Right could come straight from Atzmon himself:

We are opposed to liberalism, democracy and egalitarianism and fight to restore the eternal tsunami that have become submerged beneath the corrosive tsunami of the modern world.

(For a more in-depth analysis of this specific strand of neofascism, see Co-opting the Counter Culture: Troy Southgate and the National Revolutionary Faction) by Graham D. Macklin).

Some conclusions.

While it might have been previous possible to claim that, while a racist, Atzmon wasn’t a fascist, that is definitely no longer the case.  Atzmon is now openly linking to the organised far right, which makes him one of them.  As such, no platform is the correct position to take, whatever that may entail.

And those like Roy Bard/FreeThePeeps (who was behind the Indymedia coup) and Lauren Booth who are still defending Atzmon have to be treated as fascists themselves at this point.  Even if they don’t actively follow far right ideologies, they are now overtly collaborating with fascists.  At this point, it doesn’t make any difference whether this is deliberate or is the product of stupidity and wilful ignorance.  While not quite at the same level yet, Mikey Ezra of Harry’s Place also needs watching carefully.  While he may see getting his books signed by fascists as some kind of jolly public school jape, I beg to differ.

You are either anti-fascist or you are pro-fascist.  There is no middle ground and none will be accepted.

Tony Greenstein

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