Saturday, May 28, 2016

SWP leaders accompany fighters against US police brutality on visit to Cuba

....In addition to the seven family members, participants in the trip included Jacob Perasso and Róger Calero from the Socialist Workers Party, who worked with the hosting organizations in Cuba and with Mothers Cry for Justice in New York to coordinate aspects of the tour; Alyson Kennedy, who has been active in fights against police killings and torture in Chicago and is the SWP’s presidential candidate in 2016; and Nellie Bailey of the July 26 Coalition and the Harlem Tenants Council in New York. A project of the New York July 26 Coalition, the tour received the support of Cuba solidarity groups in several cities, as well as from individuals active in combatting police abuses....

http://www.themilitant.com/2016/8022/802250.html

Friday, May 27, 2016

Obama's bathroom Bonapartism

....The attempt to force schools to follow these guidelines also ignores the right to privacy, especially of women who wish to change clothes or use bathroom facilities without the presence of males....

http://themilitant.com/2016/8022/802253.html

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"Capitalist rulers more than 1 percent"

Capitalist rulers more than 1 percent

Many workers know they need a political perspective to take this on, but see no road outside of bourgeois politics, usually its liberal wing. Some look to Occupy groups and their railing against greedy banks and hedge funds—the 1 percent against all the rest of society.

The 1 percent/99 percent is an arbitrary division that serves to obfuscate real social classes, which are based on irreconcilable interests. It dovetails perfectly with the demagogy that permeates the 2012 Democratic election campaign, part of the bosses’ two-party sham.

The propertied rulers and their allies represent much more than 1 percent of the population. The capitalist class, in many gradations of size, includes the owners of all the factories, mines, mills, real estate, transportation and shipping, retail and commercial distribution, banking and finance, media, legal and illegal drug manufacture and distribution, etc, etc.

They include owners and co-owners of the 1.3 million firms that employ 10 or more workers, more than 2 million top corporate executives and the board members of some 6,500 banks.

Maintaining “order” on the shop floor for the capitalist owners are millions of supervisors, foremen and other management personnel.

The bosses are backed by the armed power of their state: over 800,000 federal, state and local cops; some 518,000 prison guards and jailers; and another 100,000 parole and probation officers; a military officer corps of 200,000; 58,000 agents and support personnel in the FBI, Secret Service and Defense Intelligence Agency; tens of thousands more in the CIA and National Security Agency, whose exact numbers the rulers keep “top secret”; 41,000 immigration and border patrol personnel; 10,000 in the Drug Enforcement Agency; 5,000 Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents; and more.

Add to this the millions who comprise a substantial section of middle-class “professional” layers not directly associated with production, but whose primary function is connected in one way or another to maintaining the social relations of capitalist production. These include lawyers, professors, think tank and non-governmental organization functionaries, etc—the self-styled “enlightened meritocracy.”

Rather than a “greedy” 1 percent, we confront the capitalist class and its allies representing far more than 10 times that—all of whom utterly depend on maintaining the exploitation of our labor, the source of all wealth. We are then confronted with the real class relations under capitalism, as well as the necessity and possibility of proletarian revolution to bring it to an end.

The Militant - March 5, 2012 -- NY meeting to discuss need for revolutionary workers’ party


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Austro-Marxism and Jewish nationalism

Trying out the new Tiny Scanner app on my phone.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7trXEFcZimVbkRabjNqOEZiT1E/view?usp=drivesdk

Whither Venezuela?

Excerpt:

....instead of mobilizing working people to take power out of the hands of the capitalist class and organizing workers to control conditions on the job — as Cuban revolutionaries did — Chávez put forward a course of trying to manage the capitalist market in favor of the working classes. Maduro has continued that course.

Cubans aid social programs

Chávez and Maduro used the nation’s oil profits — Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world — to subsidize housing, food, health care and social programs. Many of the social programs have been carried out with the help of revolutionary Cuba, which has tens of thousands of health-care workers, teachers and other volunteers who go to some of the most impoverished and least accessible areas of the country.

The Venezuelan government in return has provided cheap oil to Cuba.

The world capitalist economic crisis has had a devastating affect on Venezuela. A precipitous drop in the price of oil — which accounts for 95 percent of the country’s export earnings — was countered by printing money. Policies aimed at managing the crisis, such as price controls and a special exchange rate for dollars for companies that import and export, fueled inflation and shortages of goods, as many capitalists found it more profitable to speculate on the exchange rates instead of manufacturing.

Full article:
http://themilitant.com/2016/8021/802150.html

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Israel Question and Jew-hatred


How to wipe out left-anti-Semitism

Sean Matgamna

Jackie Walker, a woman of mixed African-Jewish background, and vice-chair of the Labour Party's left-wing group, Momentum, has been suspended by the Labour Party on grounds of anti-semitism. The charge of anti-semitism is based on a fragment of a Facebook conversation from some months ago. Her anti-semitism consisted in the statement that Africa too had experienced a Holocaust.

The Labour Party now has a regime of capricious and arbitrary instant exclusions. This paper and its predecessor Socialist Organiser have argued that anti-semitism in the labour movement needs to be rooted out. But this Red-Queen-in-Alice-in-Wonderland off with their heads regime is not the way to do it.

For decades, from Israel's June 1967 Six Day War and with renewed energy after the 1973 Yom Kippur Israeli-Egyptian war, hostility to Israel has been a major, and seemingly ever-growing, force in the labour movement and in the Labour Party. Some of that is a just hostility to Israel's treatment of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. But there is more than that. There is often a blatant anti-semitism.

In June 1967 Israel occupied that part of pre-1948 Palestine which the United Nations partition plan of 1947 had designated for an independent Palestinian state, to exist side by side with Israel. That Palestinian territory had been occupied and annexed in 1948-9 by Jordan and Egypt, and a small part of it by Israel. Now all of pre-war Palestine and Gaza was under Israeli control. Various Israeli offers to vacate the newly conquered territories in return for peace and recognition by the Arab states were rejected. Israel's occupation of that Palestinian land has so far lasted half a century. It has turned Israel into a regional imperialist power (in the sense that Marxists had called the pre-World-War-2 Czechoslovakian, Polish, and Yugoslav states imperialist: they ruled over minority peoples repressed to various degrees by the Poles, Czechs, Serbs).

Israel has been a grubby and brutal imperialist power in its treatment of the Palestinians. As with any other imperialist occupation, Marxists have demanded that the occupying power, Israel, get out of the Arab-majority territories and allow the Palestinians to have their own state there. That there were special problems was not to be denied. In 1967, no Arab state recognised Israel's existence, or its right to continued existence. Only the PLO and a couple of states, Egypt and Jordan, do so, even today. The PLO before the June 1967 war had been controlled by Egypt and fronted by Ahmad Shukeiri, who proclaimed the PLO's objective in the slogan: drive the Jews into the sea.

This was altogether too reminiscent of Hitler, then only twenty years dead. Any taint, approximation to, or suggestion of anti-semitism was still held to be unclean politics, far outside what was acceptable to labour-movement people. But with an enormous exception: the Stalinist movements everywhere had spent the years from 1948-9 to 1953 in a scarcely-disguised anti-semitic clamour against "the Zionists" and against Israel.

In Stalinist show trials in Russia's satellite states in Eastern Europe, such as the Czech Slansky trial of 1952, recently-prominent Stalinists accused of all sorts of treasons were indicted above all as being Zionists. They were jailed, and some hanged. The Stalinist parties everywhere conducted large-scale propaganda against Zionism. It was then that the assertion that the Zionists were tools, and political and moral accomplices, of Hitler and the Nazis, appeared and went into circulation. In the USSR, a projected show trial of Jewish doctors who had attended the leading Stalinists was set in train. It was abandoned when Stalin died in March 1953. Stalin's successor, Nikita Khrushchev, denounced Stalin in 1956, and his anti-semitism suddenly became a matter of public record. Many Jews left the Communist Parties. Stalinist anti-Zionist anti-semitism was banked down. But not everywhere. Open anti-semitism became a force in Poland as late as 1967-8.

The orthodox Trotskyists, including the Palestinian Trotskyists, declared themselves against both sides in the Israeli war of independence in 1948. The Workers Party in the USA supported Israel's right to exist and defend itself. Naturally, Trotskyists denounced the Stalinist anti-semitic campaigns of 1948 to 1953. In 1956 and after, its anti-semitism was part of their denunciation of Stalinism. How did those attitudes turn into fervent support for the Arab states against Israel? What were the political processes by way of which much of what had been official Stalinist doctrine in 1948-53, denounced as anti-Semitism by the orthodox Trotskyists, came to be fervently accepted and propagated by them?

The objective basis for it was the fact and the accompanying brutalities of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian-majority territories. Its subjective basis was the peculiar version of anti-imperialism which the Trotskyists adopted from the outbreak of the Korean war in 1950 onwards, an anti-imperialism coloured and sculpted by the belief that in the colonial and semi-colonial world the Stalinists were, by virtue of their militancy against the US and its allies, leading the first stage of an anti-capitalist and essentially working-class world revolution.

Thus the orthodox Trotskyists came to be impassioned defenders and advocates of one of the great imperialist blocs contending for mastery in the world. They made criticisms of Stalinism, but never allowed them to affect the basic commitment to " defend" the USSR and its spawns and replicas. The same sort of anti-imperialism was brought to bear on the antagonisms between Israel and the Arab states. The anti-colonial movements in the Arab world were construed as part of an"Arab Revolution", which in turn was part of the "Colonoial Revolution which was part of the world revolution. The Grant tendency (later Militant, and today the Socialist Party and Socialist Appeal) even discovered in 1965 that Ba thist (non-Stalinist) Syria had in thhis historical process become a "deformed workers state".

Israel, which after 1967, though not before, became closely allied with the USA, was part of the imperialist bloc. The Palestinians and the Arab states, such as Nasserite Egypt, opposing Israel were part of the progressive anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist bloc. And of course the Palestinians facing the superior might of Israel naturally attracted the reflex sympathy and support of socialists.

The Trotskyists shift from their attitude in the 1948 war and after was first a shift to a new denial that Israel was a historically legitimate state. From the end of Arab-Israeli hostilities in 1949, the Trotskyists had taken the existence of Israel as a fact. When in 1956 Israel joined France and Britain in invading Egypt (the Suez crisis), the Trotskyists properly took sides with Egypt, but did not conclude that Israel, the ally of Britain and France, had no right to continue existing. In the grip of a belief that the" Arab Revolution" was or would soon become socialist, Gerry Healy, the leader of the main British orthodox Trotskyist group, published a small pamphlet on the Suez crisis in which, astonishingly, he threatened that if the Israelis did not change to the right side in the world revolution, the side that the Arabs and their colonial revolution were on, they would soon face a bloody holocaust that would make Hitler's massacres seem "like a tea party! The organisation that could allow Healy to publish such a thing -- what could make the murder of six million Jews in Europe seem like a tea party?-- was politically sick; but the same organisation, at roughly the same time, could publish a valuable expose of Stalinist anti-semitism.

The shift to a radical opposition to the existence of Israel came by way of widespread acceptance of the post-1969 PLO proposal to replace Israel with a secular democratic state in all of pre-1948 Palestine, in which Jews and Arabs could live as equals. The PLO no longer shouted "Drive the Jews into the sea", but, with its seemingly benign proposal for Jewish-Arab equality in a common secular democratic state, it was thereby all the more effective in spreading the idea that Israel was not a legitimate state, that it should never have come into existence, and that it should be put out of existence as soon as possible. Any idea that this could ever be done by Israel agreeing to abolish itself as a state and put its citizens at the mercy of its long-time bitter enemies was ludicrous.

And it was an approach unique to the Jewish state: to no other nation state was there such an attitude. In practice the approach could only mean what Shukeiri's "Drive the Jews into the sea" had meant: conquest of Israel, depriving the Hebrew nation of national rights, and killing as many Israeli Jews as necessary to do that. A combination of hostility to Israel's continuing occupation of Arab-majority territories and the pseudo-benignity of the secular democratic state proposal made the formula widely acceptable to people who would never accept the same programme -- that Israel was not a historically legitimate state and should go out of existence -- presented as the "drive the Jews into the sea" that it was and in practice could only be. Thus the idea of Israel's historical illegitimacy became widely accepted on the left, including the Labour Party left; and then, what followed from it, since Israel was so unreasonable as to refuse to abolish itself: support for any armed Arab (or, latterly, Islamic, i.e. Iranian) action against Israel....

Full article:

http://www.workersliberty.org/node/26638

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Lebanon's colonial past

http://themilitant.com/1990/5418/MIL5418.pdf

What happened to the Nicaraguan revolution?

April 20, 1990

http://themilitant.com/1990/5416/MIL5416.pdf

Millions challenge bureaucratic rule, demanding justice, democratic rights

April 13, 1990

http://themilitant.com/1990/5415/MIL5415.pdf

No third way between capitalist and workers' rule

April 6, 1990

http://themilitant.com/1990/5414/MIL5414.pdf

Democracy: for which class?

March 30, 1990

http://themilitant.com/1990/5413/MIL5413.pdf

Bending their knee to imperialism

March 23, 1990

http://themilitant.com/1990/5412/MIL5412.pdf

Do we need a green-socialist party?

From March 9, 1990 issue.

http://themilitant.com/1990/5410/MIL5410.pdf

I was a member of the SWP in 1989-1991 and I really learned a lot from these Doug Jenness columns.

The great divide between Lenin and Gorbachev

1990 article

http://themilitant.com/1990/5408/MIL5408.pdf

Saturday, May 14, 2016

‘Anti-Zionist’: code for anti-Jew 

The stakes in UK debate on Jew-hatred in
Labour Party

 

BY JONATHAN SILBERMAN

LONDON — A rise of Jew-hatred as the capitalist crisis deepens, combined with years of the left’s repetition of anti-Semitic slander — often under the guise of supporting the Palestinian struggle — is fueling turmoil in the British Labour Party.

Ken Livingstone — a member of the party’s executive and former London mayor — was suspended from Labour April 28 for “bringing the party into disrepute” through anti-Semitic remarks. Also suspended is Labour MP Naz Shah. Some 50 Labour members have been disciplined, according to press reports.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn declared that his party opposes “tolerating anti-Semitism in any form.” He has set up an investigation, but claims there is no crisis. Len McCluskey, leader of the Unite trade union, agreed, attacking what he called a “cynical attempt to manipulate anti-Semitism for political aims.” Left-wing papers, including Morning Star, Socialist Worker and Socialist, have joined the denial chorus.

“Ever since Jeremy Corbyn got elected,” Livingstone said April 28, “the media whip up all these issues, which are side-issues.”

Corbyn’s political opponents, both inside the Labour Party and in other bourgeois parties, are taking this opportunity to go after him. And Jew-hatred within the ruling class in Britain is not confined to the Labour Party.

But anti-Semitism is no “side issue.” And Labour’s turmoil is not the product of a smear campaign, but of its toleration over years of anti-Semitic slanders and the promotion of open Jew-haters, along with demonization of Israel and campaigns for Israel’s destruction.

Shah shared a Facebook posting in 2014 that read, “Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict — Relocate Israel into United States.” The posting stated the “transportation cost” would be less than three years’ worth of Washington’s support for Israeli defense spending.

Shah was a victim of a “well-orchestrated campaign by the Israel lobby,” Livingstone claimed. While saying the Facebook post was “over the top,” he added that “a real anti-Semite doesn’t just hate the Jews in Israel, they hate their Jewish neighbors” in London.

‘Jewish money’ slander 
Last October, Labour MP Gerald Kaufman said that “Jewish money, Jewish donations” were responsible for the UK government’s Israel policy. And prominent left Labour MP Tam Dalyell claimed in 2003 that the UK’s leading role in the Iraq war was due to the influence of a “Jewish cabal” over the government.

The association of Jews and money and alleged Jewish conspiracies are the stock-in-trade slander of anti-Semites.

The anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign reinforces that lie today — regardless of the intentions of those who participate in it — through its protests targeting stores whose owners are Jewish, allegedly for their support of Israel. To cover their anti-Semitism they often say “Zionist” and “Zio” when what they really mean is “Jew.”

Labour Party leaders like Corbyn have often embraced leaders of Hamas, who claim to speak in the name of the Palestinian people. The Hamas government of Gaza calls for the destruction of Israel, a stance echoed by much of the left.

“Anyone who has a knife, a club, a weapon, or a car, yet does not use it to run over a Jew or a settler, and does not use it to kill dozens of Zionists, does not belong to Palestine,” declared Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum in August 2014.

Anti-Semitism under the pretext of support to the Palestinian struggle undermines the Palestinian fight for national rights, including the fight for a viable and contiguous Palestine.

‘Anti-Zionist’: code for anti-Jew 
Livingstone says he is not anti-Semitic but “anti-Zionist.” He told the BBC anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitic because Hitler “was supporting Zionism … before he went mad and ended up killing 6 million Jews.”

The Holocaust was not the result of Hitler going mad, but of calculated moves to scapegoat the Jews for the crisis of capitalism and to destroy the workers movement in Germany.

Equating “Zionists” with Nazis has been a feature of Livingstone’s politics. When mayor of London he told a Jewish reporter that he was acting like a “concentration camp guard.” When he was leader of the Greater London Council in 1981 and editor of Labour Herald, the publication carried a cartoon depicting Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin as a Nazi.

Jew hatred is a product of capitalism in decay. Its ultimate purpose is to divert workers from a united militant struggle by promoting the poisonous lie that the problem is not capitalism, but evil Jewish capitalists. And it goes hand in hand with fascism, which proclaims that the solution is not internationalism and workers taking power and replacing the dictatorship of capital through revolutionary struggle, but “national socialism,” the polar opposite of the course fought for by communists since the time of Marx and Engels.

As the worldwide capitalist crisis deepens, Jew-hatred will continue to erupt. Class-conscious workers must oppose it everywhere it rears its head.  



http://themilitant.com/2016/8020/802050.html

The "the real problems millions of workers face."

....Clinton’s disdain for workers who face grinding depression conditions — typical of politicians in both the Democratic and Republican parties — is part of what’s fueling the support for the Donald Trump campaign, and to a lesser extent Bernie Sanders, and tearing at the fabric of the two historic bosses’ parties.

“Working people are fed up with politics and business as usual,” Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. president and a former coal miner, told the Militant. “The problem is capitalism, which is in the deepest crisis since the 1930s,” she said. “Trump, Sanders, Clinton and all the rest talk about ‘we’ and ‘us’ and ‘ours’ as if the bosses and workers are all in this together. But there is no we. There is a working class and a capitalist class. We have more in common with workers from around the world than with the bosses here at home.”

....Trump portrayed himself as the friend of coal miners. When he put on a miner’s hard hat, the crowd went wild.

He was presented with the hat by the coal bosses’ West Virginia Coal Association. And he didn’t say a word about the methane explosions, collapsed roofs and thousands of miners who are once again getting black lung from coal dust as a result of the coal bosses’ profit drive, disregard for safety and antiunion moves.

But the billionaire real estate capitalist wins a hearing because he puts his finger on some of the real problems millions of workers face.

Persistent high unemployment and a decline in real wages are just the tip of the iceberg of the social crisis that is spreading across Appalachia and the rest of the country. Workers in rural areas and small towns that have been devastated by mine, mill and factory closings are among the hardest hit. For the first time in decades, life expectancy in the U.S. is in decline. A report in 2015 said that West Virginia had the highest drug overdose death rate in the U.S.

These stark facts have spawned a series of articles in the Washington Postand other papers that blame the workers themselves for their growing addiction to opioid drugs and heroin, alcoholism and increased suicide rates. An April 8 Post feature was headlined, “‘We Don’t Know Why It Came to This.’ As white women between 25 and 55 die at spiking rates, a close look at one tragedy.”

Living conditions are worse for most workers who are Black. But gains made since the mass working-class struggle for Black rights overthrew Jim Crow segregation in the 1960s and ’70s have meant infant mortality, homicide and mortality rates have been declining over the last decade for African Americans. As a result, according to the May 8 New York Times, the gap between Black and white life expectancy was seven years in 1990, but had shrunk to 3.4 years by 2014.

Self-serving rationalizations for the economic crisis are less convincing to many working people than ever. A May 1 New York Times magazine article by the paper’s financial correspondent Andrew Ross Sorkin on President Barack Obama’s “economic legacy” notes that “few Americans seem to be celebrating” what Obama claims is the best managed “large economy on Earth in modern history.”

Obama blames Republican badmouthing of his “accomplishments” and the ignorance of working people for the lack of enthusiasm for his legacy. But Sorkin admits that average annual household income in the U.S. is $4,000 less than it was in 2001.

Fear of working class

The news media is awash with articles attacking Trump and reporting on the turmoil in the Republican Party. But the real target is not his program or lack thereof, which, as former opponent Ted Cruz put it, is really just “New York values.” It’s not a radical departure from normal bourgeois politics. The attacks reflect the fear that sections of the ruling class — Democrat and Republican, conservative and liberal alike — have of the hundreds of thousands of working people who show up at his rallies, embracing his denunciation of Washington and the politicians who carry on business as usual as the economic and social crisis deepens. This is especially true of workers the pundits view as “white trash.”

“The dangerous nihilism of Trump voters” was the headline on a May 4 opinion piece by Charles Lane in theWashington Post. You can blame the Republican establishment “for taking Trump too lightly,” Lane says. “But there hasn’t been nearly enough blaming of the people most responsible for The Donald’s rise: his voters.”

The liberal New York Daily Newsprojected a similar fear of workers in its May 4 featured editorial page cartoon. It depicts Trump supporters as zombies wearing “Make America Great Again” T-shirts.

More than any other candidate Trump speaks about the “working class.” He says his record as a successful businessman shows he can negotiate hard, push American nationalism and create jobs. And he skewers politics as usual.

“Does he get angry? Yes,” Bill Johnson, a cook and veteran told the LondonFinancial Times at Trump’s May 8 rally in Charleston. “Does he say silly things? Yes. But he’s a human being. He says what he feels.”

Trump recently backed off his opposition to raising the minimum wage, while promising that the jobs he creates will pay “much, much more” than that.

‘The stress of poverty’

Meanwhile Sanders, who won the Democratic primary in West Virginia May 10, continues to be a thorn in Clinton’s quest to be the chief executive officer of U.S. imperialism, increasing turmoil in the Democratic Party with his call to build a “movement” that would continue beyond the elections. In Kimball, West Virginia, Sanders spoke at a local food bank May 5. “When you don’t have any money you’re fighting for survival every day,” Sanders said. He said the increased death and addiction rates in West Virginia are caused by the “stress of poverty.”

“What is strange about what goes on in America is that we are the wealthiest country in the history of the world,” Sanders said. Like Trump he blamed bad trade deals for high unemployment and said he would create jobs.

“The SWP joins workers in fighting against the employers’ attacks on our jobs, wages, working conditions and deteriorating social conditions,” SWP presidential candidate Kennedy said. “We urge the unions to lead a fight for a massive government-funded public works program to put people to work at union wages, rebuilding crumbling infrastructure, hospitals, child care centers, schools, parks and other things workers need.

“No matter who is elected president, the capitalist crisis will continue,” she said. “The capitalist economy can’t be regulated or ‘managed.’ The working class must organize by the millions to overthrow the rule of the bosses and replace it with a workers and farmers government to control our own destiny.”

Full article:
http://themilitant.com/2016/8020/index.shtml

Friday, May 13, 2016

"....springtime for left-wing antisemitic anti-Zionism."

Excerpt:

....This is the way that history went: the failure of the European socialist revolution, the rise of Fascism and Nazism, the unprecedented transformation of the assault upon the Jews in the form of the Shoah, an industrial-scale genocide in the heart of Europe, the expulsion of the Jews from the Arab lands, and the degeneration of the Russian Revolution into Stalinism and antisemitism. All this left the appeal of assimilationism and universalism in tatters.

In response, Jews insisted on defining their own mode of participation in modernity and in universal emancipation: support for Zionism and a homeland for the Jews; the creation of Israel, a nation-state in a world of nation-state. Whether they moved to Israel or not, that was the choice of all but a sliver of world Jewry. And that remains the case today.


http://fathomjournal.org/the-left-and-the-jews-time-for-a-rethink/

Kwame Somburu, Perennial Socialist Candidate, Dies at 81

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/05/12/nyregion/kwame-somburu-perennial-socialist-candidate-dies-at-81.html?referer=https://www.google.com/

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Convergence of Jew-hatreds: Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World

I'm currently reading Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World by Jeffrey Herf.

***

“Nazi wartime Arabic broadcasts fused modern European and German anti-Semitism with the anti-Jewish themes extracted from the traditions of Islam.”

From Chapter 8: Postwar Aftereffects

….For the Brotherhood, the dispute over Palestine was also a civilizational and religious conflict. Its anti-Zionism drew on opposition to a Jewish state that had long preceded a Palestinian refugee problem. It adamantly opposed compromise available in the two-state solution suggested by the U.N. Partition Plan. The Brotherhood explained Russian support for the plan with an anti-Semitic litany: the Soviets were "pleasing the Jews and rewarding them for supporting the Communist revolution against the Czarist regime and at the same time getting rid of the Russian Jews who will want to immigrate to Palestine."45 The position of the Muslim Brotherhood, no less than that of the Mufti, was rooted in anti-Semitic arguments that emerged well before the establishment of the State of Israel.

The previous month, American intelligence officials in the Central Intelligence Group, successor to the OSS and precursor to the CIA, received a report about the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine from Alba M. Kerr, who was working as a research analyst in Beirut. Kerr's sources reported that in Jerusalem, the Brotherhood met in Husseini's home, where they read from the Koran, at times heard from Hassan al-Banna, prepared for jihad should the U.N. support establishment of a Jewish state, and were "arming by contraband sent by collaborators in Europe." Kerr reported that the movement was young but spreading rapidly in Palestine due to its opposition to both Zionism and Communism. The conclusion is worth quoting at length.

The significance of this new development is two-fold, for this is the first direct evidence of an organized Islamic movement and therefore it constitutes a threat to permanent peace, since no harmony can exist where political differences are based on sectarian differences. Already Maronites are pleading for protection against this absorption, and young progressive Arab nationalists here deplore the rapid growth of the Muslim Brotherhood because they realize the need for Arab unity and want to abolish sectarian bonds; so there is a strong possibility of a Holy War (Jihad). On 12 September 1947, the Muslim Brotherhood broke up a meeting in Dier Eszor. The Communist daily newspaper "Sent Bah Shaab" refers to them as "a fanatic group whose spiritual power is the Sword." This Muslim Brotherhood appears to be as [sic] an offspring of the Mufti and his collaborators. Whatever complexion they now assume, they are anti-Occidental religious fanatics, thus powerful enough to arouse 70,000,000 devout Moslems in this part of the world. The one immediate measure to stem this tide is Palestinian in- dependence.46

Kerr's analysis and conclusions were in tune with those of past American military and civil intelligence reporting. American agents were accurately observing the emergence and importance of Islamist ideology and politics and noting the fears it was arousing among secular Arab forces, yet in contrast to President Truman, they concluded that establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine would only make a bad situation worse. The idea that Arab secular forces might defeat the Islamists and thus make possible compromises over land with the Jews was not one that Kerr's report considered. It was yet another of the early and prescient American observations of the implications of the emergence of Islamist politics in these years.

In February 1948, the Cairo Embassy sent an article to Washington from Al Ikhwan Al Muslimin about "The Jews and Communism." The article claimed that "every Jew" was a Communist but somehow was simultaneously "against Communism." The Jews were without principles. "It suits the Jews to convert the whole world into Communism, although they themselves may not believe in this destructive doctrine." Russia intended to use Jews as a fifth column in the Middle East. Russia had "already invaded the Middle East, dear Americans, but by way of Palestine which is already filled with its Fifth Column. "47 In other words, the Jews in Palestine were a tool of the Soviets. The style and logic of the argument was identical to the merging of Jews and Communism in the Nazi assault on "Jewish Bolshevism."

The Brotherhood's resort to violence and its attacks on the Egyptian government made headlines in Egypt and aroused the continuing interest of American officials in Cairo. Embassy personnel noted and recorded the text of the Brotherhood's program published in its newspaper in September 1948. Showing striking similarities to Europe's twentieth-century totalitarian ideologies, it called for "the dissolution of all parties and the direction of all the population's political efforts towards one single aim." Legislation was to be coordinated with "Islamic laws from all points of view." The army and youth organizations should be organized on a "patriotic basis of Islamic nature." All Islamic countries and especially Arab nations should address "the question of the Khalifate." There should be no distinction between individual and public life. All government actions should be based on Islamic laws and justice. All celebrations, movements, public ceremonies, prisons, and hospitals were to be subjected to the Islamic doctrine. "Azharists, that is, students and faculty of AlAzhar University, should be employed in military and administrative positions. Although its religious ground differed from fascism and Nazism, the Muslim Brotherhood shared their hatred of democracy and liberalism. It celebrated unity over division, was contemptuous of a multiplicity of political parties, sought one standpoint from which all matters should be judged, and favored a cult of youth and militaristic mobilization.48

The Brotherhood's program was one of unbridled authoritarian moralism. It aimed to control culture and fostered nationalist xenophobia toward foreigners. It called for strict "public morality" and "severe punishment for any breach thereof." Women were to be protected "in accordance with the Islamic spirit." Prostitution would be abolished and adultery treated as a crime. Gambling, drinking, and narcotics would be prohibited. Women would not be allowed to use cosmetics. "The display of beauty" was not acceptable among female teachers, students, and doctors. Girls' education would be modified to make it different from that of boys. Coeducation would be banned. "Any unlawful intimacy between a man and a woman" would be "a punishable crime." Marriage and procreation would be encouraged "by all possible means." Yet, like the fascists and National Socialists, the Brotherhood proposed a program of cultural repression and censorship. Cabarets and dance halls would be closed, and plays and films would be censored. The wording of songs would be "improved" and "controlled." Broadcasting would be used to foster "a good, patriotic and moral education." An Islamic government would "confiscate all risque and obscene plays and books and all those papers which encourage libertinism." Cafe opening hours would be limited, and they would be used instead to teach illiterates how to read and write. Those who did not fast on Ramadan would be punished. Schools would be annexed by the mosques. Religion would be taught in all schools, including the universities. Learning the Koran by heart would be encouraged at the private schools. "Degrees having any connection with religion or language courses" would not be given "unless the candidate knows by heart the Koran or, in respect to certain schools, a part of it." Special attention would be given to Islamic and national history, patriotic education, and the history of Islamic civilization. The learning of Arabic would be given priority. Further, such a government would "eliminate the use of foreign languages, foreign habits and fashions in the family and do away with the employment of foreign nurses and governesses and the like, by Egyptianizing them all, especially in the high class families." The state would control the press. Writers would be encouraged to write about Islamic subjects and public health would be improved.49

The economic program promoted by the Brotherhood was no less antimodern and illiberal. Interest would be forbidden. Foreigners working in Egyptian companies would be fired. "Only local elements" would be employed. The public should be protected from "the despotism of monopoly companies." Employees' salaries should be raised and the pay of "High Officials" reduced, yet employment should be expanded, the standard of living raised, and Egypt's natural resources exploited. The program was an attack on capitalism from the right. From the standpoint of market economics, it was economic illiteracy. The program was profoundly and deeply antiliberal in politics, economics, and culture. These programmatic statements of the Muslim Brotherhood demonstrated again what had been obvious from the meeting of hearts and minds in Berlin that produced the broadcasts of Voice of Free Arabism and Berlin in Arabic: during and after World War II, Nazism and fascism found common ground with radical Islam. The collapse of fascist and Nazi ideology taking place in postwar Europe was simply not in evidence in the program of the Muslim Brotherhood.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qLnxzdJIXsBnuHocTsjbK4ysgYyrCGQ36-coq4-OVOw/edit?usp=docslist_api

Interpretations of the French Revolution

https://www.marxists.org/subject/france/rude/french-revolution.htm

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Soviet regime's 1917 appeal to Muslims of the East

http://themilitant.com/1990/5407/MIL5407.pdf

Stalinist Jew-hatred after the Six Day War


From Ch 3 of A Lethal Obsession by Robert Wistrich [2010]

....The Six-Day War transformed the periodic but isolated diatribes into a long and intensive anti-Semitic campaign without parallel in the history of the Soviet Union.34 After 1967, the USSR began to flood the world with a constant flow of anti-Zionist propaganda whose intensity far exceeded its earlier broadsides against the ideological heresies of Trotskyism, Titoism, or Maoism. Only the Nazis in their twelve years of power had ever succeeded in producing such a sustained flow of fabricated libels as an instrument of their domestic and foreign policy. This post-Stalin Soviet offensive did not admittedly aim at the expropriation, expulsion, or extermination of Soviet Jewry. But under the guise of anti-Zionism, the rulers in the Kremlin could continue Stalin’s legacy, expressing more openly a primitive anti-Semitism officially proscribed by Marxist-Leninist ideology.35 The Great Russian chauvinism popularized by Stalin gradually began to reconnect with the older xenophobic traditions of late czarism.36 The USSR was gradually being transformed under Brezhnev into a cross between Russian state fascism and National Socialism. The hollow shell of official Marxist-Leninist verbiage was being filled with old-new prejudices whose sources went as far back as the counterrevolutionary pogroms of 1905.37

The Communist crusade to delegitimize Israel began on the morrow of Israel’s lightning victory over Moscow’s Arab allies. This crushing defeat of three Arab states was a severe blow to Soviet prestige as an anti-American superpower and to the reputation of its armaments. Soviet diplomatic representatives and domestic media in the USSR immediately accused the Israelis of “behaving like Nazis.” On July 5, 1967, Communist Party general secretary Leonid Brezhnev, speaking to graduates of the military academies gathered at the Kremlin, bluntly stated that “in their atrocities it seems they [the Israelis] want to copy the crimes of the Hitler invaders.”38 From this point it became almost obligatory to slander the State of Israel and its Jewish inhabitants as imitators of the Nazis, ardent advocates of “racism,” “barbarians,” “pirates,” “vandals,” and “practitioners of genocide.” All the clichés, images, and trigger words like Blitzkrieg, Herrenvolk, Gauleiter, concentration camps, and SS executioners would be mobilized on a massive scale for the benefit of foreign as well as Soviet domestic audiences.

The Nazi metaphor linked to the charge of Zionist racism assumed a central place in the Soviet effort to defame Israel, Zionism, and the Jewish people. Yuri Ivanov, one of the “Jewish experts” at the higher levels of the party apparatus, insisted that Jewish nationalism was no less racialist than Nazism. In his Beware! Zionism! (1969), he maintained that Zionist “superiority” was confined solely to the cunning use of corruption, media control, and news distortion on a global scale to achieve its pernicious ends. Zionists were the sworn enemies of the Soviet Union and the Communist movement. Ivanov “enriched” Soviet Marxism with a “dazzling” new insight into Zionism: It was now defined as “the ideology, the ramified system of organization and the political practice of the big Jewish bourgeoisie that has merged with the monopolistic circles of the USA and other imperialist powers. Its basic content is militant chauvinism and anti-communism.39

Ivanov was one of a new breed of anti-Zionist publicists, which included Yevgeny Yevseyev (author of Fascism Under the Blue Star), Vladimir Bolshakov, Vladimir Begun, Dmitri Zhukov, and Lev Korneyev, who would adapt Marxist-Leninist ideology to official requirements. In their narrative, Zionism resembled a great invisible power whose octopus-like tentacles extend into every sphere of politics, finance, religion, and the communications media in capitalist countries. It was an international Mafia, controlled by big Jewish bankers and financiers, who had a vast intelligence service at its disposal. The villainy of the big Jewish bourgeoisie and Zionism had no equal in history. The Zionists themselves were, however, by no means only Jews. According to Yevgeny Yevseyev, writing in Komsomolskaya Pravda (October 4, 1967), they numbered as many as twenty to twenty-five million people in the United States alone, where they owned most of the news agencies (80 percent) and much of the industry (43 percent), and exerted a decisive influence over banking, law, journalism, and the professions. Such writing, in the best anti-Semitic tradition, combined wholly spurious statistics with a truly stunning and servile mediocrity. In these diatribes, the classic Nazi fantasy of a Western world controlled and manipulated by Jewish high finance resurfaced as if there had never been a Holocaust, let alone a life-and-death struggle of the Soviet Union against German fascism.

Zionism in the official Soviet dispensation was merely a cover for the Jewish bourgeoisie “to enhance its position in the economy of the largest capitalist states … and in the capitalist system as a whole.”40 According to Vladimir Kiselev, writing in 1977, the ultimate objective of Jewish capital was to exploit its special kinship relations to achieve world domination through control of the international banking system. This was plainly an old-new version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, revived in pseudo-Leninist disguise. Another Soviet journalist, the prolific Lev Korneyev, added his own gloss. He believed that the American Jewish capitalists were well on their way to achieving their sinister aim, since the military-industrial monopolies in the United States were to a large degree already “controlled or belong to the big pro-Zionist bourgeoisie.”41 Many of the oil companies allegedly fell into this category. So, too, did McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed Aircraft, “controlled” by Lazard Frères & Co., a finance empire “founded … by bankers of Jewish origin.”42 Although such major financial institutions as the Rockefeller Chase Manhattan Bank were hardly Jewish, in Soviet propaganda they would invariably be described as “crypto-Zionist.” In this way, Korneyev and his ilk could maintain that Zionism “controls and directly owns 158 of the 165 largest death corporations in the West.” The main point was to identify Jews as controlling the “warmongering” industrial-military complex.43 Beyond the substitution of the word “Zionist” for “Jew,” there was little to differentiate this fifth-rate Communist hack literature from earlier Nazi or fascist productions.

Soviet versions of the Protocols dwelt on the “superprofits” of the big Jewish bourgeoisie whose real aim was to bring about a supergovernment under its own control. Israel was seen as an important connecting link in this vast design of the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Lehmanns, and Lazard Frères. But the key role belonged to the “Zionist Corporation,” understood as a complex network of interlocking parts with tentacles in every single area of business, politics, the media, culture, and religion. The metaphysical concept that drove this well-oiled machine and cemented the “cosmopolitan Mafia” was the Judaic concept of the chosen people.44 This distinguishing mark of Judaism was presented by Soviet publicists as the ideological-religious mask for expanding Jewish power and its desire for world domination. Particularly striking was the Communist attempt to present Jewish chosenness as a racist doctrine of anti-goyism (hatred of Gentiles) obligating Jews to ruthlessly exploit, humiliate, and kill all non-Jews who refused to submit to their dictates. This was a blatantly anti-Semitic fabrication drawing on the long tradition of anti-Talmudic vilification in Christian Europe.

In his Judaism and Zionism (1968) Trofim Kichko had denounced with special vehemence the “chauvinistic idea of the God-chosenness [bo-goizbrannost] of the Jewish people, the propaganda of messianism and the idea of ruling over the peoples of the world.”45 This “dogma,” according to Kichko and other anti-Zionist ideologues, had been the justification for Israeli “criminality,” responsible for the “extermination” of Palestinian Arabs and “hatred towards other peoples.” Vladimir Begun’s Creeping Counterrevolution (1974) developed this Soviet hate propaganda in classical anti-Judaic language. Describing the Bible as “an unsurpassed textbook of bloodthirsti-ness, hypocrisy, treason, perfidy and moral degeneracy,” Begun wrote that Zionist “gangsterism,” too, had “its ideological roots in the scrolls of the ‘holy’ Torah and the precepts of the Talmud.”46 Judaic messianism was nothing but “a specific version of ultra-imperialism, an international trust of capitalists exploiting the world.”47 Such Soviet propaganda had a considerable resonance in the Arab world, especially among more secular client-states such as Syria.

Soviet anti-Semites such as Vladimir Begun worked to revise the traditional Marxist-Leninist interpretation of Judeophobia as a reactionary tool of the ruling classes. In their new interpretation, the prerevolutionary Jew-baiting of Polish, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian peasants and the czarist pogroms of 1881 and 1905 were metamorphosed into a populist class struggle against merciless Jewish usurers. Dmitri Zhukov, reviewing Begun’s work in the mass circulation Ogonyok, fully supported the proposition that anti-Semitism was a spontaneous reaction of the oppressed classes to “barbarous exploitation by the Jewish bourgeoisie.”48 Thus, the Black Hundred pogromshchiki of the early twentieth century found themselves rehabilitated seventy years later as precocious heralds of a Russian (national) socialist order.

Communist bigotry found a resounding echo in the United Nations at a Security Council session on September 25, 1971. Soviet ambassador Yakov Malik replied to the Israeli representative’s remarks about Soviet anti-Semitism with a vicious diatribe against the “chosen people” and “long-nosed” Jews.

Don’t stick your long nose into our Soviet garden. History shows that those who have stuck their noses into our garden have usually lost them…. The Fascists considered that the ideal was the Aryan with his blue eyes and blond hair. I do not know what the external signs are with the Zionists; but their racist theory is the same that the Fascists advocated towards all peoples…. The chosen people: is that not racism? What is the difference between Zionism and Fascism, if the essence of its ideology is racism, hatred towards other peoples? The chosen people. The people elected by God. Where in the second half of the twentieth century does not hear anyone advocating this criminal absurd theory of the superiority of one race and one people over others? Try to justify that from the rostrum of the United Nations. Try to prove that you are the chosen people, and the others are nobodies….

I must only regret that some political leaders—including those in the city [New York] in which we find ourselves—under the influence and pressure of the Zionists, because of mercantile and electoral considerations, follow on the leash of the Zionists and support them by every means.49

The USSR publicly encouraged such equations of Zionism with anti-Semitism, fascism, and Nazism at the United Nations. Indeed, as early as 1965, the Soviets had formally proposed that Zionism be linked to colonialism, racism, and other imperialist evils. They rejected the proposal by the United States and Brazil that anti-Semitism be condemned as part of the UN General Assembly’s initial draft convention to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. A further escalation occurred in March 1967 at the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. The Soviet delegate did not shrink from attacking his American counterpart (Morris Abram) for “obeying the orders of the Zionists and the Jews of America” and allegedly “serving two masters.”50 These anti-Semitic aspersions of dual loyalty against American Jews were made at a time when the USSR was deliberately inciting both Egypt and Syria against Israel. In 1967 the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc (except for Romania and Cuba) broke off diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, lining up unreservedly with Israel’s enemies. Between 1967 and 1973, the USSR greatly intensified its domestic and foreign propaganda against Zionism, which rose to new heights of vituperation.

One symptom of this anti-Jewish escalation was the reproduction in 1972 in the Soviet Embassy journal in Paris, URSS, of extracts from a 1906 pamphlet issued by the pogromist czarist organization Soyuz Russkii Narod (Union of the Russian People): The one change in the text was, of course, to substitute the word “Zionist” for “Jew.” The original brochure had been called The Jewish Question, or The Impossibility of Granting Rights to Russian Jews. The Soviet Embassy article, entitled “The School of Obscurantism,” consisted of various fabricated quotations from czarist and other anti-Semitic sources designed to prove that Zionism was based on a goy-hating Judaic religion that claimed divine sanction to massacre Gentiles.51 On April 24, 1973, a Paris court found the French publisher of URSS (the Communist deputy mayor of Nanterre) guilty of public slander and incitement to racial discrimination, hatred, and violence. During the trial a Catholic witness, Rev. Braun, aptly commented: “Unfortunately the text we are studying today is reminiscent of the worst fabricated theories of Der Stürmer and other sheets distributed by the Nazi propaganda. It stupefied me, for in it I found the identical falsifications which have been exploited in all antisemitic publications, whether recent or old.”52

The anti-Semitic propaganda contained in the URSS journal was no anomaly. It fused the made-in-Russia tradition of the Protocols with Nazi and Communist influences to substantiate the fantasy of a well-organized Jewish drive for world supremacy.53 An imaginary national conflict between Russians and Jews was being fabricated and transformed into a confrontation between cosmic forces of good and evil that assumed an apocalyptic significance.54 The age-old suspicion of Jews as a malevolent power anchored in muzhik (peasant) popular traditions, in Russian Orthodoxy as well as in the state bureaucracy, was reactivated on an unprecedented scale to do battle with the forces of “international Zionism.” Once more, as in czarist Russia, the destructive power of “international Jewry” could be highlighted—this time as a force responsible for subversion within the USSR, including the encouragement of liberalism, Freemasonry, and intellectual dissent.

The Brezhnev years also saw the emergence of such fanatical anti-Semites as Valery Emelianov, an Arabist lecturer from the Oriental Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, who would later become a Pamyat propagandist. In a memorandum of January 10, 1977, submitted to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Central Committee, Emelianov claimed that the United States was in the hands of a “Zionist-Masonic” government, led by President Jimmy Carter. The U.S. president was supposedly under the thumb of the B’nai B’rith “gestapo,” a philanthropic organization said to be engaged in worldwide espionage rather than antidefamation work. In lectures given during this period to Soviet audiences, Emelianov liked to warn of a deadly Zionist-Masonic (zhidoma-sontsvo) plot aiming to achieve world mastery by the year 2000.55 This obsession with a vast network of secret (Jewish Masonic lodges) aiming at penetrating party, government, and ideological institutes was yet another link to the anti-Semitic worldview of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Nazi leadership. According to Emelianov, the “Zionists penetrate into the goy’s midst through the Masons.” Every Mason is “an active informer of the Zionists.” After the mid-1970s the theme of the Zionist-Masonic conspiracy, hitherto restricted to the fringes, began to appear much more widely in official Soviet publications. Since the fall of Communism, this classic anti-Jewish theory of the Jewish-Masonic plot has continued to flourish in Russian neo-Slavophile, neo-pagan, and Orthodox Christian-nationalist circles.

For Soviet-era anti-Semites like Emelianov, Freemasonry provided the vital fifth column of Gentile support in a world where Jews were decidedly short on manpower.56 The Masons were paving the way for Zionism (which already dominated the Western economy) to achieve global hegemony. “The Zionists base themselves on the Judaic-Masonic pyramid, controlling 80 per cent of the economy in the capitalist countries and 90-95 per cent of the information media,” Emelianov wrote.57 Hence, the apocalyptic war against “the Zionist-Masonic danger” threatening the Soviet Union required a “merciless struggle.” Emelianov even suggested deportation of Jews to remote areas of the Soviet Union in the event of a war with the West. He argued that the mass emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel should have removed the last Russian illusions about their true loyalties: “They have emigrated from Socialism to Fascism under the blue star of David. Is this not a threatening warning of the possibility of an even greater mass betrayal… if a new military situation arises?”58

Emelianov recommended the creation of a worldwide anti-Zionist and anti-Masonic front to expose the “crimes” of Judaism and to unmask the Western campaign for human rights and other fronts used by American capitalist interests. Freemasonry was nothing but a “screen for the ‘chosen ones’”—the representatives of finance capital who sought unrestricted mastery in the “free world.”59

Emelianov’s last work, De-Zionization, published in 1980 by the Palestine Free Press in Paris, revealed a strong neo-pagan influence. The Christianization of Russia, he argued, had been part of “an international Zionist plot.” It was the deep cause of all Russian disasters. Judeo-Christianity had undermined the Slav race (“the backbone of the Aryans”)—the “greatest creative force” in antiquity.60 Christianity was nothing but a Jewish secret weapon for weakening the Slav master race, according to this Russian reconstruction of the Aryan myth. Jews were an anti-Aryan “criminal genotype of a hybrid character,” the result of crossbreeding “in the criminal world of the black, yellow and white races.”61 Emelianov’s semi-delirious ravings (reminiscent of Nazi pamphleteering) did not prevent him from achieving a certain following as the Soviet system began to disintegrate from within.

Russian fascism had already emerged as a significant intellectual trend by the 1970s.62 In the armed forces, anti-Semitic beliefs were indeed widespread, with the “imperialist” Western world perceived as being ruled by Zionists. In army circles, as on the “New Right,” within the nationalist core of the Communist Party (and in dissident fascist groups centered around the samizdat publication Veche), hatred of the West, Great Russian nationalism, and Nazified anti-Semitism were fusing together in an unholy trinity. The ex-naval officer Ivan Shevtsov’s two very popular anti-Semitic novels, published in 1970 (and compulsory reading in the armed forces), In the Name of the Father and the Son and Love and Hate, enjoyed official Politburo backing. They provided an insight into the flavor of this Soviet mutation in the direction of National Socialism. In the first novel, world Jewry, led by Zionists, has already obtained control of American imperialism and is busy secretly infiltrating the life cells of all the countries in the world, “undermining from within all that is strong, healthy and patriotic.” Agents of Zionism like “Judas Trotsky” and his followers are shown to be part of the same subversive strategy that eventually will lead to the noxious penetration of liberal ideas, modernist art, and pornography from the West into the Soviet Union.63

In Shevtsov’s second novel, the Jewish villain Nahum Hotzer is depicted as a sadistic pervert, drug peddler, and murderer who kills his own mother for money and dismembers the body of a beautiful Aryan teenager, after first seducing her and turning her into a dope addict. Other characteristics in this popular novel include treacherous Jewish scientists ready to sell Soviet nuclear weapon secrets to the United States and a Russian hero murdered by Jewish colleagues for wishing to reveal that Albert Einstein had plagiarized the theory of relativity. Shevtsov’s “aesthetic” division of humanity into racially pure, blue-eyed, fair-haired Russians and diabolical dark-haired Jews is one more indication of how deeply the Nazi anti-Semitic poison had infiltrated the political culture of Soviet Communism. Russian television programs like Skupshchki dush (Traders of Souls), first shown on January 22, 1977, which branded persecuted Jewish activists as “soldiers of Zionism within the Soviet Union,” provided particularly graphic examples of the new genre. Such films and novels denigrated Jews as congenital traitors, deliberately appealing to the basest instincts of the population and actively sowing hatred of Soviet Jews.64

Pseudo-historical works that depicted all the activities of Jews in Russian and Soviet history as dangerously subversive offered a more academic version of the same poison. But throughout the Soviet media, the message of Zionist ideological subversion, of Jews as a fifth column, and of international Jewry as a vast intelligence-gathering apparatus threatening the socialist fatherland, were widely popularized. Zionism was consistently depicted as the “enemy of the Soviet people,” seeking to overthrow Soviet power.65 There were times when the struggle against the “Zionist enemy” seemed to be placed on a par with the war of survival waged by the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany between 1941 and 1945.

This mountain of vilification against Israel and Zionism was a testimony to the mythical power with which it was credited. Zionist influence and omnipotence was deemed to have a cosmic dimension, truly satanic in character. Diabolical talents were attributed to the Zionist movement as it perfidiously moved to achieve domination over all other peoples and nations in keeping with the biblical concept of the “chosen people.” At least until Mikhail Gorbachev’s ascent in 1985, such propaganda relentlessly focused on the idea of Jewish chosenness and global hegemony as the master plan of Zionist devils in human form.66

The roots of Zionist Satanism, according to such anti-Semitic writings, lay in the Jewish religion and its racist postulates. Valery Skurlatov, for example, categorically asserted that “the racist concept of Judaism had served as a prototype of European racism.”67 According to Skurlatov—one of the leading neo-pagan nationalists during the Soviet era—the preservation “of the purity of their blood was proclaimed as the most sacred obligation of Jewry” while “the despised goyim were useful only as ‘speaking tools’ or slaves.”68 The ultimate aim of Zionist doctrine, as in the case of Nazism, was “to realize world domination.”69 At the same time, in the shorter term, it served to justify Israeli aggression throughout the Middle East and the repression of Arabs in the Jewish state.70 According to Radio Moscow, “Everyone who believes in Zionism admits that a non-Jew in the Jewish State is a sub-human.”71 This was typical of the Goebbels-like incitement that characterized the Soviet media.

As part of its massive disinformation offensive directed at Africa, Radio Moscow told its listeners on October 4, 1967:

It is known that the ruling circles of Tel Aviv justify their aggressive policy by the policy of the “chosen people”—which in plain words means racism. It would seem that a people who suffered from Hitler’s Nazi theory should hate racism, but the leaders of Israel have adopted racism, this extremely reactionary ideology of imperialism as their own. The theory of the Israelites being the chosen people is now being energetically spread…. It is well known that the Israeli extremists despise the people of Africa … consider them to be second-class people.72

The goal of Communist indoctrination aimed at the Third World was to build support for Soviet foreign policy in Africa and Asia, which included the isolation of Israel. The constant visual and verbal comparisons in the Soviet media between Israel and South Africa were especially important for Moscow’s campaign to win influence in black Africa. Thus, according to Radio Peace and Progress in a broadcast on October 15, 1975, it was monopoly circles representing Zionist organizations who “invest their capital in the economy of the South African Republic and together with the local businessmen, control various branches of industry and agriculture.”73 The South African Zionists, it was alleged, were “highly interested in preserving the regime of exploitation in the South of the continent.”74 The South African diamond billionaire Harry Oppenheimer was a special target of this “new” Soviet-style anti-Semitism exported to the Third World. The Moscow-based Asia and Africa Today described Oppenheimer (a Jewish convert to Anglicanism) as the uncrowned king of South Africa, “a secret patron of the Zionist community in South Africa.”75 Repeatedly, the point was made that behind the Pretoria–Tel Aviv nexus lay the interests of the “rich 120,000 strong Jewish community of South Africa, which has amassed huge capital by exploiting the native population.”76 The “pious” among them have assumed “the key positions in economy and trade and obtain great profits from the system of racial inequality that reigns in that country.”77

Emphasizing the South African connection became an integral part of Soviet efforts to portray Zionism as a Trojan horse for Western imperialism and racism in the Third World.78 Israel, it was claimed, existed in order to ensure the subversion of the Afro-Asian and Arab liberation movements. It was an integral part of the neocolonialist ambitions of world imperialism and a cover for American infiltration into Africa, though it had also developed its own plans for exploiting the continent’s natural resources.79 Naturally, only the most corrupt methods were employed by the money-grabbing Zionists. Thus Israelis in Africa were reviled by Moscow for “selling untested and unproven vaccines … having the effect not so much of curing the patient’s ailments as of emptying his pockets.”80 Far from being altruistic experts, Israeli technicians and advisers were depicted as permanently engaged in subversive activities against African countries. In propaganda directed to the Third World, Israelis would usually be shown as deliberately sowing dissension between Africans and Arabs in line with a broader imperialist conspiracy.81

Russian and Arab efforts to persuade more and more African states to break off relations with Israel finally bore fruit at the end of 1973. The Soviets intensified their campaign against the “close military cooperation” between Pretoria and Tel Aviv in these years. According to Moscow, both countries pursued identical “racist policies” and had a common ideological outlook. Both Israel and South Africa (unlike the USSR) favored territorial expansionism and had fought against Third World national-liberation movements, and they were jointly developing nuclear and chemical weapons. The constant twinning of apartheid and Zionism by Communist propagandists proved to be one of their more effective methods for infiltrating and influencing Third World, and especially African opinion.

The ferocity with which the Soviet Union pursued its campaign of abuse against Zionism was undoubtedly aggravated by the sympathy the Israeli victory of 1967 had aroused among Soviet Jews. For the first time, Zionism came to be seen as a comparable problem to that of other nationalist movements the Soviets (like their czarist predecessors) had consistently repressed. Anti-Zionism provided a valuable ideological instrument for containing what the Soviet government now saw as a serious competitor for the loyalties of its “Jewish nationality.” The campaign against the Zionists was also a means for discouraging national liberation movements among the other subject peoples of the USSR.82 The anti-Semitic component in this “black” propaganda was clearly devised to sow suspicion and division abroad. In Eastern Europe, as we have seen, Zionist conspirators were blamed for dissident trends in Poland and Czechoslovakia. In America and Europe, Jews who opposed Soviet policies were defamed as Zionist agents, while in the Third World (above all in Africa), with its sensitivity to issues involving Western imperialism, race, and color, Zionism was damned as part of a diabolical neo-colonialist plot. Soviet propaganda would therefore leave no stone unturned in its efforts to artificially transform Zionism into a “racial problem.”83 Moreover, in its broadcasts to the Muslim world, Radio Moscow was particularly extreme, entertaining its listeners with invented horror stories about Arabs being used as human targets by Israeli soldiers, Arab women being raped, and lurid accounts of atrocities against Palestinians, the destruction of whole villages, and the arrests and torture of innocent civilians—all of these actions being presented as a normal part of “the theory and practice of Zionism.”84

This was the backdrop to the November 10, 1975, vote on UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 (72 in favor, 35 against, and 32 abstentions) that determined that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” The vote was widely perceived as being a victory for Soviet strategy against the West, while at the same time demonstrating Arab oil power and the great voting strength of Third World countries in the United Nations (including many Muslim nations).85 At the same time, virtually all Western countries strongly opposed the resolution, with U.S. ambassador Daniel P. Moynihan adopting a particularly outspoken attitude in condemning Soviet and Arab libels against Zionism.86 Among the more eloquent journalistic responses was that of British literary critic Goronwy Rees, who noted that the UN resolution was passed on the thirty-seventh anniversary of the horrifying Nazi pogrom known as “Crystal Night”:

There were ghosts haunting the Third Committee that day; the ghosts of Hitler and Goebbels … grinning with delight to hear, not only Israel, but Jews denounced in language which would have provoked hysterical applause at any Nuremberg rally…. And there were other ghosts also at the debate; the ghosts of the 6,000,000 dead in Dachau and Sachsenhausen and other extermination camps, listening to the same voices which had cheered and jeered and abused them as they made their way to the gas chambers. For the fundamental thesis advanced by the supporters of the resolution, and approved by the majority of the Third Committee, was that to be a Jew, and to be proud of it, and to be determined to preserve the right to be a Jew, is to be an enemy of the human race.87

Writing in the “Observer” column of the International Herald Tribune, Russell Baker also evoked the Nazi specter and the Soviet embrace of Hitlerism:

Hitler must have had a good laugh down in hell last week when the United Nations General Assembly formally endorsed antisemitism by a large majority. After thirty years in odious repute the old dictator’s theory of what made the world go wrong has finally been declared the collective wisdom of the higher-minded nations of the planet. The sweet irony of it, of course, was that the Soviet Union was right out in front…. The last time Russia embraced Hitler was in the non-aggression pact on the eve of World War II. By signing it, Stalin gave the Nazis the security they needed to march into Poland, a march that eventually led to the deaths of 20 million Russians…. The Soviet government has been so helplessly mired in political cynicism for so long that one has to come to take it for granted…. But rehabilitating Hitlerism—surely there were some things they wouldn’t do. There weren’t.88

Such moral indignation had some weight in the West at the end of 1975, but its impact was questionable in the longer term. Once Zionism was officially declared by the United Nations to be a synonym for racism, the Soviet Union and its Arab allies (each with their separate and distinct agendas) could remorselessly escalate their efforts to blacken Israel’s reputation. On the other hand, the collapse of the USSR, the dissolution of the Communist bloc, and the repeal of the UN “Zionism-Racism” resolution in 1991 were decisive blows exposing the “Tower of Babel” of falsifications and lies on which the USSR had built its foreign policy. In the 1990s one million Soviet Jews came to Israel once Gorbachev had opened the gates—a resounding victory over Soviet totalitarianism.89

Yet there was a darker side to the neo-Stalinist legacy that survived the death of Soviet Communism. One symptom of this poisonous heritage was the apartheid analogy with Zionism, which constituted an integral part of Soviet “anti-imperialist” policy. It was a totalitarian fiction that would be eagerly adopted by much of the Western New Left starting in the late 1960s, despite its tainted origins. The Trotskyists, for all their uncompromising anti-Stalinism, became the most enthusiastic propagators of this Soviet falsification and avid purveyors of the “Zionist-racist” mythology. The Trot-skyite Left (with Jews prominent in their ranks) not only systematically slandered Israel as a racist state but also unabashedly mobilized the Holocaust in the service of their anti-Zionist dogmas. Like the Soviet “revisionists,” they did not so much deny the Holocaust but rather accused the Zionists of collaborating with the Nazis in implementing it—a no less horrendous and baseless charge—which enabled them to reinforce the fabrication that Zionism had always been intrinsically racist and evil.90 Soviet disinformation further bequeathed to the Western Left (including its more liberal wings) an utterly spurious portrayal of Zionism as the outgrowth of Judaic chosenness. The racist hubris of self-definition as a “chosen people,” called by God to rule over colonized peoples, was mendaciously attributed in the USSR both to Jewish theology and Zionist ideology. These fictions provided employment for a whole army of propagandist hacks. In the 1970s, the PLO as well as Arab governments joined forces with the USSR and its Communist allies to spread these noxious lies about Zionism as a dangerous twin brother of “racism,” “imperialism,” and “militarism” and a spearhead of world reaction.91

The apartheid libel concerning Israel has probably been one of the Soviet Union’s most toxic legacies to the West, the United Nations, and the Arab-Muslim world. It transformed Zionism (and by implication Jews and Judaism) into an inhuman ideology and the foundation of a state policy that supposedly divides the world into Jews (a “chosen people”) and goyim (inferior beings designated to be slaves). The “God-chosen Jews” have in effect followed in the footsteps of Nazi Germany and South Africa. This Soviet anti-Semitic fabrication, intended from the outset to delegitimize, isolate, and reduce Israel to pariah status, has proven remarkably successful in the international arena during the past forty years. It also provided, among other things, a basis for recent academic and trade boycott resolutions in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Norway; for continuing UN-sponsored conferences and meetings like the notorious Durban anti-Semitic spectacle of 2001, which—under the umbrella of “anti-racism”—openly fostered hatred of Jews.92 Equally, it has contributed to envenoming the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at every conceivable level.

In apartheid South Africa, it needs to be said, 90 percent of the black population was disenfranchised and lacked fundamental civil rights—a situation of minority rule with some parallels in the Arab world but certainly none in Israel.93 Apartheid was a form of draconian discrimination enshrined in harsh race laws that were strictly applied—including the banning of sexual relations between whites and nonwhites. Nothing remotely similar has ever existed in Israel. Nor is there any analogy between the poverty-stricken Bantustans reserved as separate “homelands” for blacks under apartheid and Israel’s temporary control of Palestinian areas for security reasons pending negotiations to resolve the conflict. Foolish statements by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, by certain UN officials, and some Arab spokesmen deliberately ignore the huge differences in history, context, and democratic ethos between Israel and apartheid South Africa.94They strengthen the feeling that the term “apartheid” is simply being utilized (as it was in Soviet propaganda) in a purely pejorative and abusive sense in order to defame the Jewish state.

“Apartheid,” in its original South African setting, literally meant the keeping apart of the races (sexually, socially, politically) by a long list of legal prohibitions: They included separate housing, separate areas governed by pass laws, separate bus seats, whites-only beaches and benches—all of which would be unconstitutional in Israel.95 Hence, the South African system, in total contrast to Israeli democracy, was built not on equality but on racial hierarchy and purity. Equally absurd is the designation “apartheid wall” for Israel’s security fence. The barrier was not put there to separate the so-called Jewish race from Arabs, but to stop Palestinian suicide bombers from infiltrating Israel within the green line in order to murder Israeli civilians. This had nothing whatsoever to do with apartheid. Like other absurd analogies that pillory Israel as a racist or Nazi state, the myth of Zionist apartheid is yet another dark legacy of neo-Stalinist anti-Semitism bequeathed to a confused and disoriented Western world.




From Ch 3 of A Lethal Obsession by Robert Wistrich [2010]





....The Six-Day War transformed the periodic but isolated diatribes into a long and intensive anti-Semitic campaign without parallel in the history of the Soviet Union.34 After 1967, the USSR began to flood the world with a constant flow of anti-Zionist propaganda whose intensity far exceeded its earlier broadsides against the ideological heresies of Trotskyism, Titoism, or Maoism. Only the Nazis in their twelve years of power had ever succeeded in producing such a sustained flow of fabricated libels as an instrument of their domestic and foreign policy. This post-Stalin Soviet offensive did not admittedly aim at the expropriation, expulsion, or extermination of Soviet Jewry. But under the guise of anti-Zionism, the rulers in the Kremlin could continue Stalin’s legacy, expressing more openly a primitive anti-Semitism officially proscribed by Marxist-Leninist ideology.35 The Great Russian chauvinism popularized by Stalin gradually began to reconnect with the older xenophobic traditions of late czarism.36 The USSR was gradually being transformed under Brezhnev into a cross between Russian state fascism and National Socialism. The hollow shell of official Marxist-Leninist verbiage was being filled with old-new prejudices whose sources went as far back as the counterrevolutionary pogroms of 1905.37



The Communist crusade to delegitimize Israel began on the morrow of Israel’s lightning victory over Moscow’s Arab allies. This crushing defeat of three Arab states was a severe blow to Soviet prestige as an anti-American superpower and to the reputation of its armaments. Soviet diplomatic representatives and domestic media in the USSR immediately accused the Israelis of “behaving like Nazis.” On July 5, 1967, Communist Party general secretary Leonid Brezhnev, speaking to graduates of the military academies gathered at the Kremlin, bluntly stated that “in their atrocities it seems they [the Israelis] want to copy the crimes of the Hitler invaders.”38 From this point it became almost obligatory to slander the State of Israel and its Jewish inhabitants as imitators of the Nazis, ardent advocates of “racism,” “barbarians,” “pirates,” “vandals,” and “practitioners of genocide.” All the clichés, images, and trigger words like Blitzkrieg, Herrenvolk, Gauleiter, concentration camps, and SS executioners would be mobilized on a massive scale for the benefit of foreign as well as Soviet domestic audiences.



The Nazi metaphor linked to the charge of Zionist racism assumed a central place in the Soviet effort to defame Israel, Zionism, and the Jewish people. Yuri Ivanov, one of the “Jewish experts” at the higher levels of the party apparatus, insisted that Jewish nationalism was no less racialist than Nazism. In his Beware! Zionism! (1969), he maintained that Zionist “superiority” was confined solely to the cunning use of corruption, media control, and news distortion on a global scale to achieve its pernicious ends. Zionists were the sworn enemies of the Soviet Union and the Communist movement. Ivanov “enriched” Soviet Marxism with a “dazzling” new insight into Zionism: It was now defined as “the ideology, the ramified system of organization and the political practice of the big Jewish bourgeoisie that has merged with the monopolistic circles of the USA and other imperialist powers. Its basic content is militant chauvinism and anti-communism.39



Ivanov was one of a new breed of anti-Zionist publicists, which included Yevgeny Yevseyev (author of Fascism Under the Blue Star), Vladimir Bolshakov, Vladimir Begun, Dmitri Zhukov, and Lev Korneyev, who would adapt Marxist-Leninist ideology to official requirements. In their narrative, Zionism resembled a great invisible power whose octopus-like tentacles extend into every sphere of politics, finance, religion, and the communications media in capitalist countries. It was an international Mafia, controlled by big Jewish bankers and financiers, who had a vast intelligence service at its disposal. The villainy of the big Jewish bourgeoisie and Zionism had no equal in history. The Zionists themselves were, however, by no means only Jews. According to Yevgeny Yevseyev, writing in Komsomolskaya Pravda (October 4, 1967), they numbered as many as twenty to twenty-five million people in the United States alone, where they owned most of the news agencies (80 percent) and much of the industry (43 percent), and exerted a decisive influence over banking, law, journalism, and the professions. Such writing, in the best anti-Semitic tradition, combined wholly spurious statistics with a truly stunning and servile mediocrity. In these diatribes, the classic Nazi fantasy of a Western world controlled and manipulated by Jewish high finance resurfaced as if there had never been a Holocaust, let alone a life-and-death struggle of the Soviet Union against German fascism.



Zionism in the official Soviet dispensation was merely a cover for the Jewish bourgeoisie “to enhance its position in the economy of the largest capitalist states … and in the capitalist system as a whole.”40 According to Vladimir Kiselev, writing in 1977, the ultimate objective of Jewish capital was to exploit its special kinship relations to achieve world domination through control of the international banking system. This was plainly an old-new version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, revived in pseudo-Leninist disguise. Another Soviet journalist, the prolific Lev Korneyev, added his own gloss. He believed that the American Jewish capitalists were well on their way to achieving their sinister aim, since the military-industrial monopolies in the United States were to a large degree already “controlled or belong to the big pro-Zionist bourgeoisie.”41 Many of the oil companies allegedly fell into this category. So, too, did McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed Aircraft, “controlled” by Lazard Frères & Co., a finance empire “founded … by bankers of Jewish origin.”42 Although such major financial institutions as the Rockefeller Chase Manhattan Bank were hardly Jewish, in Soviet propaganda they would invariably be described as “crypto-Zionist.” In this way, Korneyev and his ilk could maintain that Zionism “controls and directly owns 158 of the 165 largest death corporations in the West.” The main point was to identify Jews as controlling the “warmongering” industrial-military complex.43 Beyond the substitution of the word “Zionist” for “Jew,” there was little to differentiate this fifth-rate Communist hack literature from earlier Nazi or fascist productions.



Soviet versions of the Protocols dwelt on the “superprofits” of the big Jewish bourgeoisie whose real aim was to bring about a supergovernment under its own control. Israel was seen as an important connecting link in this vast design of the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Lehmanns, and Lazard Frères. But the key role belonged to the “Zionist Corporation,” understood as a complex network of interlocking parts with tentacles in every single area of business, politics, the media, culture, and religion. The metaphysical concept that drove this well-oiled machine and cemented the “cosmopolitan Mafia” was the Judaic concept of the chosen people.44 This distinguishing mark of Judaism was presented by Soviet publicists as the ideological-religious mask for expanding Jewish power and its desire for world domination. Particularly striking was the Communist attempt to present Jewish chosenness as a racist doctrine of anti-goyism (hatred of Gentiles) obligating Jews to ruthlessly exploit, humiliate, and kill all non-Jews who refused to submit to their dictates. This was a blatantly anti-Semitic fabrication drawing on the long tradition of anti-Talmudic vilification in Christian Europe.



In his Judaism and Zionism (1968) Trofim Kichko had denounced with special vehemence the “chauvinistic idea of the God-chosenness [bo-goizbrannost] of the Jewish people, the propaganda of messianism and the idea of ruling over the peoples of the world.”45 This “dogma,” according to Kichko and other anti-Zionist ideologues, had been the justification for Israeli “criminality,” responsible for the “extermination” of Palestinian Arabs and “hatred towards other peoples.” Vladimir Begun’s Creeping Counterrevolution (1974) developed this Soviet hate propaganda in classical anti-Judaic language. Describing the Bible as “an unsurpassed textbook of bloodthirsti-ness, hypocrisy, treason, perfidy and moral degeneracy,” Begun wrote that Zionist “gangsterism,” too, had “its ideological roots in the scrolls of the ‘holy’ Torah and the precepts of the Talmud.”46 Judaic messianism was nothing but “a specific version of ultra-imperialism, an international trust of capitalists exploiting the world.”47 Such Soviet propaganda had a considerable resonance in the Arab world, especially among more secular client-states such as Syria.



Soviet anti-Semites such as Vladimir Begun worked to revise the traditional Marxist-Leninist interpretation of Judeophobia as a reactionary tool of the ruling classes. In their new interpretation, the prerevolutionary Jew-baiting of Polish, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian peasants and the czarist pogroms of 1881 and 1905 were metamorphosed into a populist class struggle against merciless Jewish usurers. Dmitri Zhukov, reviewing Begun’s work in the mass circulation Ogonyok, fully supported the proposition that anti-Semitism was a spontaneous reaction of the oppressed classes to “barbarous exploitation by the Jewish bourgeoisie.”48 Thus, the Black Hundred pogromshchiki of the early twentieth century found themselves rehabilitated seventy years later as precocious heralds of a Russian (national) socialist order.



Communist bigotry found a resounding echo in the United Nations at a Security Council session on September 25, 1971. Soviet ambassador Yakov Malik replied to the Israeli representative’s remarks about Soviet anti-Semitism with a vicious diatribe against the “chosen people” and “long-nosed” Jews.



Don’t stick your long nose into our Soviet garden. History shows that those who have stuck their noses into our garden have usually lost them…. The Fascists considered that the ideal was the Aryan with his blue eyes and blond hair. I do not know what the external signs are with the Zionists; but their racist theory is the same that the Fascists advocated towards all peoples…. The chosen people: is that not racism? What is the difference between Zionism and Fascism, if the essence of its ideology is racism, hatred towards other peoples? The chosen people. The people elected by God. Where in the second half of the twentieth century does not hear anyone advocating this criminal absurd theory of the superiority of one race and one people over others? Try to justify that from the rostrum of the United Nations. Try to prove that you are the chosen people, and the others are nobodies….



I must only regret that some political leaders—including those in the city [New York] in which we find ourselves—under the influence and pressure of the Zionists, because of mercantile and electoral considerations, follow on the leash of the Zionists and support them by every means.49







The USSR publicly encouraged such equations of Zionism with anti-Semitism, fascism, and Nazism at the United Nations. Indeed, as early as 1965, the Soviets had formally proposed that Zionism be linked to colonialism, racism, and other imperialist evils. They rejected the proposal by the United States and Brazil that anti-Semitism be condemned as part of the UN General Assembly’s initial draft convention to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. A further escalation occurred in March 1967 at the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. The Soviet delegate did not shrink from attacking his American counterpart (Morris Abram) for “obeying the orders of the Zionists and the Jews of America” and allegedly “serving two masters.”50 These anti-Semitic aspersions of dual loyalty against American Jews were made at a time when the USSR was deliberately inciting both Egypt and Syria against Israel. In 1967 the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc (except for Romania and Cuba) broke off diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, lining up unreservedly with Israel’s enemies. Between 1967 and 1973, the USSR greatly intensified its domestic and foreign propaganda against Zionism, which rose to new heights of vituperation.



One symptom of this anti-Jewish escalation was the reproduction in 1972 in the Soviet Embassy journal in Paris, URSS, of extracts from a 1906 pamphlet issued by the pogromist czarist organization Soyuz Russkii Narod (Union of the Russian People): The one change in the text was, of course, to substitute the word “Zionist” for “Jew.” The original brochure had been called The Jewish Question, or The Impossibility of Granting Rights to Russian Jews. The Soviet Embassy article, entitled “The School of Obscurantism,” consisted of various fabricated quotations from czarist and other anti-Semitic sources designed to prove that Zionism was based on a goy-hating Judaic religion that claimed divine sanction to massacre Gentiles.51 On April 24, 1973, a Paris court found the French publisher of URSS (the Communist deputy mayor of Nanterre) guilty of public slander and incitement to racial discrimination, hatred, and violence. During the trial a Catholic witness, Rev. Braun, aptly commented: “Unfortunately the text we are studying today is reminiscent of the worst fabricated theories of Der Stürmer and other sheets distributed by the Nazi propaganda. It stupefied me, for in it I found the identical falsifications which have been exploited in all antisemitic publications, whether recent or old.”52



The anti-Semitic propaganda contained in the URSS journal was no anomaly. It fused the made-in-Russia tradition of the Protocols with Nazi and Communist influences to substantiate the fantasy of a well-organized Jewish drive for world supremacy.53 An imaginary national conflict between Russians and Jews was being fabricated and transformed into a confrontation between cosmic forces of good and evil that assumed an apocalyptic significance.54 The age-old suspicion of Jews as a malevolent power anchored in muzhik (peasant) popular traditions, in Russian Orthodoxy as well as in the state bureaucracy, was reactivated on an unprecedented scale to do battle with the forces of “international Zionism.” Once more, as in czarist Russia, the destructive power of “international Jewry” could be highlighted—this time as a force responsible for subversion within the USSR, including the encouragement of liberalism, Freemasonry, and intellectual dissent.



The Brezhnev years also saw the emergence of such fanatical anti-Semites as Valery Emelianov, an Arabist lecturer from the Oriental Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, who would later become a Pamyat propagandist. In a memorandum of January 10, 1977, submitted to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Central Committee, Emelianov claimed that the United States was in the hands of a “Zionist-Masonic” government, led by President Jimmy Carter. The U.S. president was supposedly under the thumb of the B’nai B’rith “gestapo,” a philanthropic organization said to be engaged in worldwide espionage rather than antidefamation work. In lectures given during this period to Soviet audiences, Emelianov liked to warn of a deadly Zionist-Masonic (zhidoma-sontsvo) plot aiming to achieve world mastery by the year 2000.55 This obsession with a vast network of secret (Jewish Masonic lodges) aiming at penetrating party, government, and ideological institutes was yet another link to the anti-Semitic worldview of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Nazi leadership. According to Emelianov, the “Zionists penetrate into the goy’s midst through the Masons.” Every Mason is “an active informer of the Zionists.” After the mid-1970s the theme of the Zionist-Masonic conspiracy, hitherto restricted to the fringes, began to appear much more widely in official Soviet publications. Since the fall of Communism, this classic anti-Jewish theory of the Jewish-Masonic plot has continued to flourish in Russian neo-Slavophile, neo-pagan, and Orthodox Christian-nationalist circles.



For Soviet-era anti-Semites like Emelianov, Freemasonry provided the vital fifth column of Gentile support in a world where Jews were decidedly short on manpower.56 The Masons were paving the way for Zionism (which already dominated the Western economy) to achieve global hegemony. “The Zionists base themselves on the Judaic-Masonic pyramid, controlling 80 per cent of the economy in the capitalist countries and 90-95 per cent of the information media,” Emelianov wrote.57 Hence, the apocalyptic war against “the Zionist-Masonic danger” threatening the Soviet Union required a “merciless struggle.” Emelianov even suggested deportation of Jews to remote areas of the Soviet Union in the event of a war with the West. He argued that the mass emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel should have removed the last Russian illusions about their true loyalties: “They have emigrated from Socialism to Fascism under the blue star of David. Is this not a threatening warning of the possibility of an even greater mass betrayal… if a new military situation arises?”58



Emelianov recommended the creation of a worldwide anti-Zionist and anti-Masonic front to expose the “crimes” of Judaism and to unmask the Western campaign for human rights and other fronts used by American capitalist interests. Freemasonry was nothing but a “screen for the ‘chosen ones’”—the representatives of finance capital who sought unrestricted mastery in the “free world.”59



Emelianov’s last work, De-Zionization, published in 1980 by the Palestine Free Press in Paris, revealed a strong neo-pagan influence. The Christianization of Russia, he argued, had been part of “an international Zionist plot.” It was the deep cause of all Russian disasters. Judeo-Christianity had undermined the Slav race (“the backbone of the Aryans”)—the “greatest creative force” in antiquity.60 Christianity was nothing but a Jewish secret weapon for weakening the Slav master race, according to this Russian reconstruction of the Aryan myth. Jews were an anti-Aryan “criminal genotype of a hybrid character,” the result of crossbreeding “in the criminal world of the black, yellow and white races.”61 Emelianov’s semi-delirious ravings (reminiscent of Nazi pamphleteering) did not prevent him from achieving a certain following as the Soviet system began to disintegrate from within.



Russian fascism had already emerged as a significant intellectual trend by the 1970s.62 In the armed forces, anti-Semitic beliefs were indeed widespread, with the “imperialist” Western world perceived as being ruled by Zionists. In army circles, as on the “New Right,” within the nationalist core of the Communist Party (and in dissident fascist groups centered around the samizdat publication Veche), hatred of the West, Great Russian nationalism, and Nazified anti-Semitism were fusing together in an unholy trinity. The ex-naval officer Ivan Shevtsov’s two very popular anti-Semitic novels, published in 1970 (and compulsory reading in the armed forces), In the Name of the Father and the Son and Love and Hate, enjoyed official Politburo backing. They provided an insight into the flavor of this Soviet mutation in the direction of National Socialism. In the first novel, world Jewry, led by Zionists, has already obtained control of American imperialism and is busy secretly infiltrating the life cells of all the countries in the world, “undermining from within all that is strong, healthy and patriotic.” Agents of Zionism like “Judas Trotsky” and his followers are shown to be part of the same subversive strategy that eventually will lead to the noxious penetration of liberal ideas, modernist art, and pornography from the West into the Soviet Union.63



In Shevtsov’s second novel, the Jewish villain Nahum Hotzer is depicted as a sadistic pervert, drug peddler, and murderer who kills his own mother for money and dismembers the body of a beautiful Aryan teenager, after first seducing her and turning her into a dope addict. Other characteristics in this popular novel include treacherous Jewish scientists ready to sell Soviet nuclear weapon secrets to the United States and a Russian hero murdered by Jewish colleagues for wishing to reveal that Albert Einstein had plagiarized the theory of relativity. Shevtsov’s “aesthetic” division of humanity into racially pure, blue-eyed, fair-haired Russians and diabolical dark-haired Jews is one more indication of how deeply the Nazi anti-Semitic poison had infiltrated the political culture of Soviet Communism. Russian television programs like Skupshchki dush (Traders of Souls), first shown on January 22, 1977, which branded persecuted Jewish activists as “soldiers of Zionism within the Soviet Union,” provided particularly graphic examples of the new genre. Such films and novels denigrated Jews as congenital traitors, deliberately appealing to the basest instincts of the population and actively sowing hatred of Soviet Jews.64



Pseudo-historical works that depicted all the activities of Jews in Russian and Soviet history as dangerously subversive offered a more academic version of the same poison. But throughout the Soviet media, the message of Zionist ideological subversion, of Jews as a fifth column, and of international Jewry as a vast intelligence-gathering apparatus threatening the socialist fatherland, were widely popularized. Zionism was consistently depicted as the “enemy of the Soviet people,” seeking to overthrow Soviet power.65 There were times when the struggle against the “Zionist enemy” seemed to be placed on a par with the war of survival waged by the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany between 1941 and 1945.



This mountain of vilification against Israel and Zionism was a testimony to the mythical power with which it was credited. Zionist influence and omnipotence was deemed to have a cosmic dimension, truly satanic in character. Diabolical talents were attributed to the Zionist movement as it perfidiously moved to achieve domination over all other peoples and nations in keeping with the biblical concept of the “chosen people.” At least until Mikhail Gorbachev’s ascent in 1985, such propaganda relentlessly focused on the idea of Jewish chosenness and global hegemony as the master plan of Zionist devils in human form.66



The roots of Zionist Satanism, according to such anti-Semitic writings, lay in the Jewish religion and its racist postulates. Valery Skurlatov, for example, categorically asserted that “the racist concept of Judaism had served as a prototype of European racism.”67 According to Skurlatov—one of the leading neo-pagan nationalists during the Soviet era—the preservation “of the purity of their blood was proclaimed as the most sacred obligation of Jewry” while “the despised goyim were useful only as ‘speaking tools’ or slaves.”68 The ultimate aim of Zionist doctrine, as in the case of Nazism, was “to realize world domination.”69 At the same time, in the shorter term, it served to justify Israeli aggression throughout the Middle East and the repression of Arabs in the Jewish state.70 According to Radio Moscow, “Everyone who believes in Zionism admits that a non-Jew in the Jewish State is a sub-human.”71 This was typical of the Goebbels-like incitement that characterized the Soviet media.



As part of its massive disinformation offensive directed at Africa, Radio Moscow told its listeners on October 4, 1967:



It is known that the ruling circles of Tel Aviv justify their aggressive policy by the policy of the “chosen people”—which in plain words means racism. It would seem that a people who suffered from Hitler’s Nazi theory should hate racism, but the leaders of Israel have adopted racism, this extremely reactionary ideology of imperialism as their own. The theory of the Israelites being the chosen people is now being energetically spread…. It is well known that the Israeli extremists despise the people of Africa … consider them to be second-class people.72







The goal of Communist indoctrination aimed at the Third World was to build support for Soviet foreign policy in Africa and Asia, which included the isolation of Israel. The constant visual and verbal comparisons in the Soviet media between Israel and South Africa were especially important for Moscow’s campaign to win influence in black Africa. Thus, according to Radio Peace and Progress in a broadcast on October 15, 1975, it was monopoly circles representing Zionist organizations who “invest their capital in the economy of the South African Republic and together with the local businessmen, control various branches of industry and agriculture.”73 The South African Zionists, it was alleged, were “highly interested in preserving the regime of exploitation in the South of the continent.”74 The South African diamond billionaire Harry Oppenheimer was a special target of this “new” Soviet-style anti-Semitism exported to the Third World. The Moscow-based Asia and Africa Today described Oppenheimer (a Jewish convert to Anglicanism) as the uncrowned king of South Africa, “a secret patron of the Zionist community in South Africa.”75 Repeatedly, the point was made that behind the Pretoria–Tel Aviv nexus lay the interests of the “rich 120,000 strong Jewish community of South Africa, which has amassed huge capital by exploiting the native population.”76 The “pious” among them have assumed “the key positions in economy and trade and obtain great profits from the system of racial inequality that reigns in that country.”77



Emphasizing the South African connection became an integral part of Soviet efforts to portray Zionism as a Trojan horse for Western imperialism and racism in the Third World.78 Israel, it was claimed, existed in order to ensure the subversion of the Afro-Asian and Arab liberation movements. It was an integral part of the neocolonialist ambitions of world imperialism and a cover for American infiltration into Africa, though it had also developed its own plans for exploiting the continent’s natural resources.79 Naturally, only the most corrupt methods were employed by the money-grabbing Zionists. Thus Israelis in Africa were reviled by Moscow for “selling untested and unproven vaccines … having the effect not so much of curing the patient’s ailments as of emptying his pockets.”80 Far from being altruistic experts, Israeli technicians and advisers were depicted as permanently engaged in subversive activities against African countries. In propaganda directed to the Third World, Israelis would usually be shown as deliberately sowing dissension between Africans and Arabs in line with a broader imperialist conspiracy.81



Russian and Arab efforts to persuade more and more African states to break off relations with Israel finally bore fruit at the end of 1973. The Soviets intensified their campaign against the “close military cooperation” between Pretoria and Tel Aviv in these years. According to Moscow, both countries pursued identical “racist policies” and had a common ideological outlook. Both Israel and South Africa (unlike the USSR) favored territorial expansionism and had fought against Third World national-liberation movements, and they were jointly developing nuclear and chemical weapons. The constant twinning of apartheid and Zionism by Communist propagandists proved to be one of their more effective methods for infiltrating and influencing Third World, and especially African opinion.



The ferocity with which the Soviet Union pursued its campaign of abuse against Zionism was undoubtedly aggravated by the sympathy the Israeli victory of 1967 had aroused among Soviet Jews. For the first time, Zionism came to be seen as a comparable problem to that of other nationalist movements the Soviets (like their czarist predecessors) had consistently repressed. Anti-Zionism provided a valuable ideological instrument for containing what the Soviet government now saw as a serious competitor for the loyalties of its “Jewish nationality.” The campaign against the Zionists was also a means for discouraging national liberation movements among the other subject peoples of the USSR.82 The anti-Semitic component in this “black” propaganda was clearly devised to sow suspicion and division abroad. In Eastern Europe, as we have seen, Zionist conspirators were blamed for dissident trends in Poland and Czechoslovakia. In America and Europe, Jews who opposed Soviet policies were defamed as Zionist agents, while in the Third World (above all in Africa), with its sensitivity to issues involving Western imperialism, race, and color, Zionism was damned as part of a diabolical neo-colonialist plot. Soviet propaganda would therefore leave no stone unturned in its efforts to artificially transform Zionism into a “racial problem.”83 Moreover, in its broadcasts to the Muslim world, Radio Moscow was particularly extreme, entertaining its listeners with invented horror stories about Arabs being used as human targets by Israeli soldiers, Arab women being raped, and lurid accounts of atrocities against Palestinians, the destruction of whole villages, and the arrests and torture of innocent civilians—all of these actions being presented as a normal part of “the theory and practice of Zionism.”84



This was the backdrop to the November 10, 1975, vote on UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 (72 in favor, 35 against, and 32 abstentions) that determined that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” The vote was widely perceived as being a victory for Soviet strategy against the West, while at the same time demonstrating Arab oil power and the great voting strength of Third World countries in the United Nations (including many Muslim nations).85 At the same time, virtually all Western countries strongly opposed the resolution, with U.S. ambassador Daniel P. Moynihan adopting a particularly outspoken attitude in condemning Soviet and Arab libels against Zionism.86 Among the more eloquent journalistic responses was that of British literary critic Goronwy Rees, who noted that the UN resolution was passed on the thirty-seventh anniversary of the horrifying Nazi pogrom known as “Crystal Night”:



There were ghosts haunting the Third Committee that day; the ghosts of Hitler and Goebbels … grinning with delight to hear, not only Israel, but Jews denounced in language which would have provoked hysterical applause at any Nuremberg rally…. And there were other ghosts also at the debate; the ghosts of the 6,000,000 dead in Dachau and Sachsenhausen and other extermination camps, listening to the same voices which had cheered and jeered and abused them as they made their way to the gas chambers. For the fundamental thesis advanced by the supporters of the resolution, and approved by the majority of the Third Committee, was that to be a Jew, and to be proud of it, and to be determined to preserve the right to be a Jew, is to be an enemy of the human race.87







Writing in the “Observer” column of the International Herald Tribune, Russell Baker also evoked the Nazi specter and the Soviet embrace of Hitlerism:



Hitler must have had a good laugh down in hell last week when the United Nations General Assembly formally endorsed antisemitism by a large majority. After thirty years in odious repute the old dictator’s theory of what made the world go wrong has finally been declared the collective wisdom of the higher-minded nations of the planet. The sweet irony of it, of course, was that the Soviet Union was right out in front…. The last time Russia embraced Hitler was in the non-aggression pact on the eve of World War II. By signing it, Stalin gave the Nazis the security they needed to march into Poland, a march that eventually led to the deaths of 20 million Russians…. The Soviet government has been so helplessly mired in political cynicism for so long that one has to come to take it for granted…. But rehabilitating Hitlerism—surely there were some things they wouldn’t do. There weren’t.88







Such moral indignation had some weight in the West at the end of 1975, but its impact was questionable in the longer term. Once Zionism was officially declared by the United Nations to be a synonym for racism, the Soviet Union and its Arab allies (each with their separate and distinct agendas) could remorselessly escalate their efforts to blacken Israel’s reputation. On the other hand, the collapse of the USSR, the dissolution of the Communist bloc, and the repeal of the UN “Zionism-Racism” resolution in 1991 were decisive blows exposing the “Tower of Babel” of falsifications and lies on which the USSR had built its foreign policy. In the 1990s one million Soviet Jews came to Israel once Gorbachev had opened the gates—a resounding victory over Soviet totalitarianism.89

Yet there was a darker side to the neo-Stalinist legacy that survived the death of Soviet Communism. One symptom of this poisonous heritage was the apartheid analogy with Zionism, which constituted an integral part of Soviet “anti-imperialist” policy. It was a totalitarian fiction that would be eagerly adopted by much of the Western New Left starting in the late 1960s, despite its tainted origins. The Trotskyists, for all their uncompromising anti-Stalinism, became the most enthusiastic propagators of this Soviet falsification and avid purveyors of the “Zionist-racist” mythology. The Trot-skyite Left (with Jews prominent in their ranks) not only systematically slandered Israel as a racist state but also unabashedly mobilized the Holocaust in the service of their anti-Zionist dogmas. Like the Soviet “revisionists,” they did not so much deny the Holocaust but rather accused the Zionists of collaborating with the Nazis in implementing it—a no less horrendous and baseless charge—which enabled them to reinforce the fabrication that Zionism had always been intrinsically racist and evil.90 Soviet disinformation further bequeathed to the Western Left (including its more liberal wings) an utterly spurious portrayal of Zionism as the outgrowth of Judaic chosenness. The racist hubris of self-definition as a “chosen people,” called by God to rule over colonized peoples, was mendaciously attributed in the USSR both to Jewish theology and Zionist ideology. These fictions provided employment for a whole army of propagandist hacks. In the 1970s, the PLO as well as Arab governments joined forces with the USSR and its Communist allies to spread these noxious lies about Zionism as a dangerous twin brother of “racism,” “imperialism,” and “militarism” and a spearhead of world reaction.91



The apartheid libel concerning Israel has probably been one of the Soviet Union’s most toxic legacies to the West, the United Nations, and the Arab-Muslim world. It transformed Zionism (and by implication Jews and Judaism) into an inhuman ideology and the foundation of a state policy that supposedly divides the world into Jews (a “chosen people”) and goyim (inferior beings designated to be slaves). The “God-chosen Jews” have in effect followed in the footsteps of Nazi Germany and South Africa. This Soviet anti-Semitic fabrication, intended from the outset to delegitimize, isolate, and reduce Israel to pariah status, has proven remarkably successful in the international arena during the past forty years. It also provided, among other things, a basis for recent academic and trade boycott resolutions in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Norway; for continuing UN-sponsored conferences and meetings like the notorious Durban anti-Semitic spectacle of 2001, which—under the umbrella of “anti-racism”—openly fostered hatred of Jews.92 Equally, it has contributed to envenoming the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at every conceivable level.



In apartheid South Africa, it needs to be said, 90 percent of the black population was disenfranchised and lacked fundamental civil rights—a situation of minority rule with some parallels in the Arab world but certainly none in Israel.93 Apartheid was a form of draconian discrimination enshrined in harsh race laws that were strictly applied—including the banning of sexual relations between whites and nonwhites. Nothing remotely similar has ever existed in Israel. Nor is there any analogy between the poverty-stricken Bantustans reserved as separate “homelands” for blacks under apartheid and Israel’s temporary control of Palestinian areas for security reasons pending negotiations to resolve the conflict. Foolish statements by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, by certain UN officials, and some Arab spokesmen deliberately ignore the huge differences in history, context, and democratic ethos between Israel and apartheid South Africa.94They strengthen the feeling that the term “apartheid” is simply being utilized (as it was in Soviet propaganda) in a purely pejorative and abusive sense in order to defame the Jewish state.

“Apartheid,” in its original South African setting, literally meant the keeping apart of the races (sexually, socially, politically) by a long list of legal prohibitions: They included separate housing, separate areas governed by pass laws, separate bus seats, whites-only beaches and benches—all of which would be unconstitutional in Israel.95 Hence, the South African system, in total contrast to Israeli democracy, was built not on equality but on racial hierarchy and purity. Equally absurd is the designation “apartheid wall” for Israel’s security fence. The barrier was not put there to separate the so-called Jewish race from Arabs, but to stop Palestinian suicide bombers from infiltrating Israel within the green line in order to murder Israeli civilians. This had nothing whatsoever to do with apartheid. Like other absurd analogies that pillory Israel as a racist or Nazi state, the myth of Zionist apartheid is yet another dark legacy of neo-Stalinist anti-Semitism bequeathed to a confused and disoriented Western world.


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