Tony Greenstein | 03 October 2017 | Post Views:

It might be true but it’s anti-Semitic to say it!
Hitler in his famous ‘Prophecy’ speech promising the annihilation of the Jewish people, spoke about the Jews having the last laugh
The relationship between the Zionist movement
and the Nazis is something I’ve always taken a keen interest in.  Not because I wish to dwell on the more unsavoury
aspects of Zionist history for its own sake or even because of the hypocrisy of
those who attack anti-Zionists today as anti-Semites. The reasons for my
interest is that if Zionism collaborated with and indeed welcomed the Nazi regime
in the 1930’s, then it is likely to adopt the same attitude to anti-Semitism in
the future.
Of course I mean genuine anti-Semitism, not
the fake anti-Semitism that the Jewish Labour Movement and Zionists wield
against the Left and supporters of the Palestinians.  Today we see that Zionism has not changed its
spots.  Its attitude to anti-Semitism is
still the same.  Anti-Semitism rejects
the idea that Jews have any place outside Palestine.  That was why in the 1930’s the favourite
slogan of anti-Semites was ‘Jews to Palestine’. 
Unfortunately it could also be the slogan of Zionism.
Zionism never had any problem with this
because they too believed that the Jewish diaspora was unnatural and should be wound
up.  Indeed if you didn’t know who the
speaker was when they talked about Jews you might assume that they were
died-in-the-wool anti-Semites not Zionists. 
For example Israel’s first Justice Minister, Pinhas Rosenbluth described
Palestine as ‘an institute for the     fumigation of Jewish vermin’.[1] 
Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer and founder of the Alt-Right movement describes himself as a White Zionist
has always seen its interests as being the same as anti-Semitism.  Today we see Benjamin Netanyahu intervening
to prevent Hungary’s Israeli Ambassador criticising the nakedly anti-Semitic campaign
by its racist Prime Minister, Viktor Orban of George Soros.  Israel
backs Hungary, says financier Soros is a threat
We have the obscene spectacle of Benjamin’s
son, Yair Netanyahu producing a cartoon attacking Soros which contains all the
traditional anti-Semitic features.  It
was welcomed
by David Duke of the KKK and Andrew Anglin of the openly neo-Nazi The Stormer.  The guest
of honour
at the forthcoming Gala Dinner of the Zionist Organisation of
America in November is none other than Donald Trump’s anti-Semitic former
advisor, Steve Bannon.
Nor is it just a couple of fruitcakes.  When the Argentinian Junta in 1976-83 took
power their ideology included quite weird and strange versions of the
traditional anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. 
Jews such as  Jacobo Timerman were
savagely tortured, because they were Jews and of the 30,000 murdered by the
Junta, some 10-12% were young leftist Jews. 
What was Israel doing at the time? 
Supplying these monsters with weapons and engaging  in an arms trade over the dead bodies of
young Jews.
Translation on Yad Vashem’s site of  the welcome given by the official Zionist paper Judische Rundschau to the Nuremberg Laws
The welcome by the Zionist establishment for
Donald Trump and the openly White Supremacist and anti-Semitic alt-Right should
open peoples’ eyes.  A welcome, not only
by Netanyahu but by Israeli Labour Party leader Isaac Herzog who sent a message
of congratulation to Trump as ‘“an
American leader who showed the commentators and the sceptics that we are in a
new era of change
”.  A
welcome for Trump and Bannon
What particularly irked the Jewish Labour
Movement and its Vice-Chair Mike Katz at the recent Labour Party conference was
the Labour Party Marxists leaflet with an article by Moshe Machover.  Katz called Machover, a founder of Matzpen,
the Israeli Socialist Organisation an ‘immoral
Machover’s ‘immorality’ consists of pointing out certain inconvenient episodes
in Zionist history.  The pivotal turning
point in Nazi Germany was the introduction of the Nuremburg Laws which stripped
German Jews of their citizenship (much like Israel is beginning to strip its Bedouin
inhabitants of citizenship).  Instead Jews
became a separate national minority with their own flag, the Zionist Star of
Steve Bannon of the anti-Semitic Alt-Right is a guest of honour at the next Zionist Organisation of America gala dinner
On 15th
September at the mass Nuremburg rally, Hitler announced the introduction of the
Nuremburg laws which forbade Jewish marriage or sexual relations with
Aryans.  Gerald
Reitlinger described the laws as the most murderous legislative
instrument known to European history
days later, on 17th September 1935 an editorial in the Zionist paper Judische
Rundschau welcomed the Nuremburg

speakers at the Zionist Congress (which had just been held in Lucerne) stated
that the Jews are a separate people and once again put on record the
national claims of Jewry.

has merely drawn the practical consequences from this and 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. …. from now on and for the future
there can be no interference in questions connected with the Government
of the German people, that there can be no interference in the national affairs
of the German Nation.

Germany has given the Jewish minority the opportunity to live for itself and is
offering State protection for this separate life of the Jewish minority:[3]

Whilst the liberal Zionist Jewish Forward in America is worried about the alliance between Zionists and anti-semites the Labour Zionist Jewish Labour Movement complains if we talk about it!

Zionism was so taken up with its own racial
idiocy, the idea that races and nations cannot live together that it justified
the Nuremburg Laws as fulfilling its own demands. Of course the Zionist
movement couldn’t know that the Nazis would adopt the Final Solution in
1941.  Very few people, apart from
Trotsky predicted that.  However it wasn’t
only the German Zionist movement which welcomed the Nuremburg laws.  The Zionist movement in Palestine did
too.  It had seen the rise of the Nazis,
in the words of Berl Katznelson, Ben Gurion’s deputy, as “an opportunity to build and flourish like
none we have ever had or ever will have”
. [4]

On 26th
September Reinhardt Heydrich, Himmler’s Deputy and in charge of the RHSA
(Police and SS) declared that he was‘‘in
agreement with the great spiritual movement within Jewry itself, Zionism, whose
position is based on the recognition of the unity of Jewry throughout the world
and the rejection of all ideas of mixing in.’ 
describes how the ‘fiercely anti-Zionist and
deutschnational Association of National German Jews (VnJ) in December, while
the Jewish war veterans organization (RjF) was completely neutralised.  Additional bans on meetings and activities of
other Jewish organisations, were enacted at the end of 1936 until the middle of
1937.  Again ‘these too were directed
primarily at the assimilationist organizations.’  [6]
even before the introduction of the Nuremburg Laws the policy of the Nazi state
was to support the Zionists against the non and anti-Zionist German Jewish organisations.  On 28 January 1935 Heydrich issued a
directive to all police officers that ‘The
activity of the Zionist-oriented youth organizations that are engaged in the
occupational restructuring to Palestine lies in the interest of the National
Socialist state’s leadership.
Try as
they might the Zionist movement is finding it impossible to suppress the truth
about their own record.  Cry as they
might that everyone bar them is anti-Semitic, the reality of who really has
most in common with anti-Semitism is catching up with them.  And no, we should not accept the idea that to
speak the truth is anti-Semitic!
Labour Party Marxists attracted hysterical attacks from the right wing
at the Labour Party conference. Many of these centred around an article in the LPM
no 17, by veteran Israeli-Jewish Marxist, Moshé Machover. This explored an area
of “basic agreement” between the Nazi regime and the Zionist movement. The
Labour right used their natural allies to attack this – the Daily Mail, The
, The Sun, etc. We thought we should let the author himself
LPM: Frankly, I enjoyed your article but I didn’t anticipate it would
cause so much fuss! How do you explain the vehemence of the attacks on your
contribution? Why is this happening?

MM: It’s the result of a conjunction of two things. I follow the Israeli
press very closely and the wider political discussions in Israel in general.
Quite some time ago – and I’m talking about before anyone imagined that Corbyn
would be Labour Party leader (least of all himself!) – there was a feeling in
Israeli establishment circles that they were losing the propaganda war. They
responded with the Hasbara campaign.1)
This was part of a decision was made to go onto the offensive: in a
sense, it’s the last ditch attempt to rescue the international reputation of
this state. They are losing credibility on the arena of what could be called
international opinion, but – more importantly – they are losing the Jewish
public outside Israel, especially those under 30. There is a clear generational
shift in opinion. These people are becoming very critical of Israel and its
colonisation project.
You could see a sign of this at the Labour conference on September 27,
in Corbyn’s leader speech to close the event. His call for Israel to stop the
oppression of the Palestinians and to end the savage oppression of these people
won loud applause.2)) This was a sign of the times. It’s an indicator of what the
general public has come to feel – including a large percentage of Jewish
people, especially the youth.
Remember, the Israeli establishment identified this quite some time
before Corbyn’s breakthrough was on the agenda. They had already decided to go
on the attack internationally, using this ‘dirty bomb’ tactic of labelling any
criticism of Zionism and its colonisation project as anti-Semitic.
In the UK, they found useful fools in the form of the Labour right wing.
The Israeli state’s propaganda tactic of smearing all criticism of itself as
anti-Jewish coincided with the Labour’s right’s need to discredit Corbyn and
the left of the party.
Now Corbyn has plenty of enemies – both inside and outside the party! So
this smear tactic was eagerly seized upon – including by people who care
absolutely nothing about the issues of Israel-Palestine, the Jews,
Zionism and all these important questions. They are totally cynical in their use
of these issues. As Chris Williamson’s phrase goes, the Labour right
“weaponised” the sensitive and complex issue of anti-Semitism for the sake of
narrow, factional advantage against a left in the Labour Party that was growing
and threatening to overwhelm them.
It’s a dirty war.
LPM: Mike Katz of the Jewish Labour Movement 3) dubbed you
an “amoral historian” in conversation with one of our supporters at the
Brighton Labour conference. He couldn’t really elaborate on this category when
challenged to do so. He didn’t directly contest the veracity of anything you
said: he simply seemed to be implying that bringing up the issue of the limited
collaboration between Zionist organisations as the Nazi regime at all is
outside the boundaries of social/political acceptability. But, as I say, that’s
a guess! What do you think he’s talking about?

MM: Well, I’m not quite sure. I have made my views about history and
morality quite clear in the past. They can be found in a book I published in
2012 and in public lectures I gave in London in 2006.4)
In these, I make it crystal clear that moral judgements of historical
events are very important. But first, you need the facts. You mustn’t
start with a moral, value-laden attitude to past events. In the first instance,
establish what happened. The moral judgements must come later.
Everyone is entitled to their own moral assessments of the historical
actions of individuals, groups, parties or social classes. We can disagree. But
people are not entitled to ‘alternative facts’. The factual record I
refer to in my article is there, it is available to access, the basic record of
the events I write about is uncontested. (As you say, Mike Katz didn’t contest
them either!) So, accept that these events took place, they are part of history
and must be explained. Then let’s talk about morality!
LPM: The JLM seem to approach historical truth and investigation with
parameters that set by what is sayable – what is permitted to be spoken
of, regardless of whether it is an actual historical fact.

MM: Here are some historical facts, then. We are closing in on the century
of the Balfour declaration.5) It’s interesting to read what the Board of Deputies of British Jews
said about it at the time. During the discussions around the declaration,
spokespeople of the BDBJ expressed consistent and fundamental objections to the
general plan for the Zionist colonisation of Palestine and specifically to the
idea that the Jews in Britain were a separate race or nationality.
They insisted that Jewishness is a religion. Take Lucien Wolf,6) a leading
light in the BDBJ. In a famous letter to Lord Rothschild while the negotiations
that resulted in the Balfour Declaration were taking place, he took great
exception to the Zionist idea that it was “self-delusional for any Jew to
believe him or herself to be English by nationality and Jewish by faith”. This
is how Wolf responded:
I have spent most of my life in combating these very doctrines when
presented to me in the form of anti-Semitism and I can only regard them as the
more dangerous when they come to me in the guise of Zionism. They constitute a
capitulation to our enemies which have absolutely no justification in history,
ethnology or the facts of everyday life…

In fact, the Zionists of that time – who, it must be remembered, were a
minority amongst British Jews and minorities in all western European countries
– would have regarded Wolf’s stance as abominable.
Later, we have the Montefiore brothers – Alexander and Claude, who were,
respectively, the presidents of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and of
the Anglo-Jewish Association. These two penned a letter to The Times,
published on May 24, 1917. In it, they express a similar sentiment:
“Establishment of a Jewish nationality in Palestine founded on the
theory of Jewish homelessness would have the effect throughout the world of
stamping the Jews as strangers in their native lands, undermining their
hard-won position as citizens and nationals of those lands.”

So, what they are saying is that our nationality is British; we are
Jewish by religion. In fact, they go on to reject the idea of:
a secular Jewish nationality recruited on some loose and obscure
principle of race and of ethnographic peculiarity.

LPM: And isn’t this the specific feature that you point to when you
reference the limited ‘commonality’ of one aspect Zionism and the Nazis. The
notion of the Jews as a race; the idea that they could not live amongst
gentiles without constant conflict and friction; that assimilation was an
illusion and, therefore, there was the need for the Jews to separate themselves
from the Gentiles and vice versa?

MM: Yes, but let’s remember something about that Heydrich7) quotation
in my original article – the one that caused LPMers so much trouble from JLM
activists outside the Labour conference!8) In this, Heydrich is responding to a reciprocal
overture on the part of German Zionists. Let me put this in its historical
This context was the publication of the notorious, abominable Nuremberg
Laws against German Jews – probably the foulest racist laws enacted.9)These were
published in September 1935. Of course, most German Jews felt the same as
Lucien Wolf and the Montefiores in Britain: they regarded themselves as Germans
by nationality and Jews by religion or religious background.
But a minority amongst the community – the Zionists – welcomed
the Nuremburg laws! Here is a quote from the official organ of the Zionist
movement in Germany – it is available in Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust
Memorial Museum in Jerusalem. The name of this journal was Jüdische
. Specifically, it was an editorial, signed by the editor, a
certain Mr Brendt, which welcome the fact that Germany had recognised the Jews
not as part of the German people, but as separate nationality/race. (In Germany
– and in many other places at that time – the words ‘nation’ and ‘race’ tended
to be treated as synonyms). Brendt refers to the resolution recently passed by
the 19th World
Zionist Congress (1935), held in Lucerne in Switzerland. He says that this
resolution put an end to any talk of Judaism being simply a religion. And now,
he says, speaking of the Nuremberg laws:
Germany has merely drawn the practical consequences from this and is
meeting the demand of the International Zionist Congress when it declares the
Jews now living in Germany to be a national minority.

So, according to this leading Zionist, by enacting the Nuremburg laws,
the German Reich is implicitly accepting the position of the international
Zionist Congress.
Of course, we look back at this history with the 20/20 vision of
hindsight. We know the end of the story as it were; where the Jews of Europe
actually ended up – facing physical extermination. And, of course, you cannot
be sure that Heydrich himself was guilty of dissimulation when he responded
positively to this overture. He may have been lying; or, as some historians
argue, that at the point in history the ‘Final Solution’ was not yet the fixed
policy of the Nazi state.
In some ways, this question of intention is a secondary matter.
Heydrich, writing in the SS paper Das Schwarze Korps, is responding
within days of that editorial in that official Zionist organ, and he explicitly
states that “the government [ie, the Nazis in power] finds itself in
complete agreement with the great spiritual movement within Jewry itself, the
so-called Zionism, with its recognition of the solidarity of Jewry throughout
the world and the rejection of all assimilationist ideas.”

It was very important for the Nazis state to insist that Jews were not
simply a religion because it was not the policy – in general – of their state
to persecute and discriminate in such an extreme way against religious
minorities. Thus, they insisted that the Jews were a separate nation/race. In this
respect, their view clearly coincided with that of the Zionist movement –
which, remember, was a minority viewpoint amongst German Jews. In that sense,
Heydrich was using the Zionists against the majority of the German Jews.
He was using Zionism as a polemical stick against the majority viewpoint of
German Jews – for assimilation and full civil rights in Germany, the country of
their birth.
LPM: What’s your estimation of the Labour conference and what does the
controversy around this sensitive question tell us about the current balance of
forces between the left and right?
There are contradictions. One the one hand, Corbyn wins enthusiastic
applause when he calls for an end of the oppressions of the Palestinians. On
the other hand, we have an ongoing guerrilla war in the lower levels of the
party – at the level of council votes, for example – where bad positions are
being adopted, very dangerous votes taken.
So, the “weaponisation” of anti-Semitism continues, but can move into different
arenas of struggle. We can make progress in the Labour Party itself, but then
in local councils the rightwing Labour councillors can stop education on the
issue of Israel-Palestine, they can close down actions and meetings in
solidarity with the Palestinians, etc.
The fight isn’t over! This dirty war against us will continue and
probably intensify as the pro-Israel apologists and rightist in the party lose
Hasbara is
a Hebrew word for the public relations efforts of the Israeli state to
disseminate abroad positive propaganda about itself and its actions.
give real support to end the oppression of the Palestinian people, the
50-year occupation and illegal settlement expansion and move to a genuine
two-state solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict” (
Mike Katz
is a leading member of the Jewish Labour Movement. A fuller biography of the
man can be read here –
and Palestinians: Conflict and resolution
, Haymarket Books, Chicago 2012. Also see lecture
The Balfour
Declaration was a public statement in the form of a letter to Lord
Rothschild, issued by the British government during WWI announcing
support for the establishment of a Jewish “national home” in Palestine. The
area was then an Ottoman region with an Arab population and a tiny Jewish
Wolf was a British-Jewish journalist and historian of Anglo-Jewry. He was a
campaigner for Jewish civil rights and an outspoken opponent of political
Tristan Eugen Heydrich was a high-ranking Nazi SS commander
during World War II, and a main architect of the Holocaust.
Nuremberg laws (1935) institutionalised many of the racial theories of Nazi
ideology. The laws excluded German Jews from Reich citizenship and prohibited
them from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of “German or
related blood.”

[1]              Joachim
Doron, p.169.
[2]         G. Reitlinger, p.7, The Final Solution
Valentines Mitchell. London, 1998.
[3]        Juedische Rundschau, No. 75,
September 17, 1935.

[4]          Nicosia, ZANG, p.91. Segev, p.28
attributes this to a report by Moshe Beilinson, a cofounder
of  Davar, to Katznelson.
[5]        Francis Nicosia, Zionism and
anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany’ p.119, 2008, CUP.
[6]        Nicosia p. 121.
[7]        Lucy Dawidowicz, War Against the Jews,
p. 119, Penguin, 1987.

Posted in

Tony Greenstein

Leave a Comment

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