Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Zionism is and always has been a Jewish form of Anti-Semitism

Steve Bannon to Speak at Annual Zionist Organization of America Gala: 'He's So pro-Israel'

Steve Bannon is Donald Trump’s former Strategic Advisor, once the most powerful man in the White House after Trump himself.  Having been fired he has gone back to edit the far-right Breitbart News, house magazine of America’s White Supremacist Alt-Right.  Bannon perhaps more than any other figure represented all that is toxic in Trump’s Administration – the racism, the misogyny and bigotry.

It is also clear that Trump was loathe to dismiss Bannon and he only did so only because his new Chief of Staff, General John Kelly, insisted on it as the ‘globalists’ (for which read military hawks and  imperialists) isolated the ‘economic nationalists’.

The disputes between one set of warmongers and another are unimportant.  Both  factions are equally despicable.  What is of note however is how Bannon has been adopted by the Zionists, in particular the Zionist Organisation of America headed by Mort Klein.

Last year the ZOA also invited Bannon but a large Jewish demonstration, led by Jewish Voices for Peace and IfNotNow, two left-wing anti-Zionist Jewish organisations, led him to stay away. Despite this ZOA have renewed their invitation to Bannon for thisyear's gala dinner.

What one wonders are the attractions of Bannon and the movement he represents to the Zionists. It is barely in dispute that Breitbart is a sewer of racism, misogyny and bigotry with articles such as that by Milo Yiannopoulos, a former Associate Editor, Does Feminism Make Women Ugly?

Yiannopoulous, before he was forced to resign as a result of his advocacy of paedophilia was, despite his half-Jewish parentage, a died in the wool anti-Semite.  In an interview with David Rubin he explained how “Like the Jews run everything. Well we do. The Jews run all the banks. Well we do. The Jews run the media. Well we do. You know they’re right about all that stuff.”  Yiannopoulos insisted that Jewish control over finance and the media is “not in debate,” explaining that “Jews completely dominate the media. Vastly disproportionately represented in all of these professions. That’s just a fact, it’s not anti-Semitic to point out statistics.”
Milo Yiannopoulous
It is quite understandable that Yiannopoulous was looked on favourably at Breitbart given the views of his Bannon himself.  Bannon’s former wife, Mary Louise Piccard, testified during her 2007 divorce proceedings that Bannon didn’t want his children going to school with ‘whiny Jews’ and complained that there were too many Jewish students at the elite Archer School for Girls.
The biggest problem he had with Archer is the number of Jews that attend,” Bannon’s ex-wife said.   The  comments were first reported by the New York Daily News.

“He said that he doesn’t like the way they raise their kids to be ‘whiny brats’ and that he didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews,” Piccard wrote.

Bannon complained that another elite school had too “many Hanukkah books” in its library. [Steve Bannon Didn’t Want Children Going to School With ‘Whiny’ Jews, Forward 14.11.16.]  See also Will Steve Bannon Be the Anti-Semitic Firebrand in Donald Trump’s Inner Circle?, Forward Staff November 14, 2016

But if Bannon and Breitbart are anti-Semitic and supporters of White Supremacism they are also ardently pro-Zionist and pro-Israel.

Liberal Zionist papers like Forward found this hard to understand and there were articles, subsequent to Trump’s election Zionists who had spent the best part of their lives equating ‘anti-Semitism’ and anti-Zionism found it a shock that you could be ardently pro-Israel and Zionist  and still dislike Jews.    

Naomi Zeveloff  almost seemed to be in shock as she explained that ‘though it would seem impossible to hate Jews but love the Jewish state, these two viewpoints are not as contradictory as they appear.’  She interviewed Steven M. Cohen, a sociologist at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, who explained to her that ‘There is actually “little correlation” between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, according To be sure, anti-Semitism is found among the anti-Zionist left. But it is also found among the Zionist right’  
You could almost see the scales falling from Zeveloff's eyes as Cohen told her that ‘many people who dislike Jews like Israel and many people who are critical toward Israel are affectionate toward Jews,”  This was clearly not what she had been brought up to believe.  [How Steve Bannon and Breitbart News Can Be Pro-Israel — and Anti-Semitic at the Same Time, Forward 15.11.16.]
Steve Bannon - racist, anti-Semitic but ardently pro-Zionist

To those of us who are longstanding anti-Zionists this is nothing new.  Historically Zionists and anti-Semites have got on like a house on fire, even if it was Jews who did the burning.  From Theodor Herzl, with his trip to see von-Plehve, the author of the Kishinev pogroms in Russia to Ze’ev  Jabotinsky, who allied with the White Russian leader, Petlyura who had up to ¼ million Jewish deaths on his hands, Zionists have always found a strategic ally in anti-Semites.  The collaboration between Zionism and Nazism was not an aberration.  On the contrary it was simply a continuation of this historic relationship.

Why is this the case?  Primarily because Zionism began as a separatist reaction to anti-Semitism which accepted the terms of debate that the anti-Semites set.  Zionis began from the premise that anti-Semitism couldn't be fought, the non-Jews were inherently anti-Semitic and therefore you had to come to terms with them.  The anti-Semites said that the Jews didn’t belong and the Zionists agreed.  
Mort Klein of the Zionist Organisation of America - has no problem working with neo-Nazis and anti-Semites as long as they are Zionists
The anti-Semites were more than happy to support Zionism.  Indeed they were often passionate about the fact that Jews should go to Palestine.  In Poland and elsewhere in Europe anti-Semites demonstrated with the chant 'Jews to Palestine' just as today Israeli Jews chant 'Death to the Arabs.'  The belief that Jews belonged in Palestine, not the countries of their birth, was the fundamental basis of their agreement and sometimes, if you didn’t know who was speaking, it could either be a Zionist or an anti-Semite. 

To take but 3 examples Israel’s first Justice Minister, Pinhas Rosenbluth described Palestine as ‘an institute for the fumigation of Jewish vermin’.[1] Chaim Weizmann, the longstanding President of the World Zionist Organisation and 1st President of Israel  described German Jewish refugees as ‘the germ-carriers of a new outbreak of anti-Semitism.’[2] Jacob Klatzkin, editor of Die Welt and co-founder of the Encyclopedia Judaica, held that Jews were ‘a people disfigured in both body and soul - in a word, of a horror… some sort of outlandish creature… in any case, not a pure national type.... some sort of oddity among the peoples going by the name of Jew.' [3]
When Bannon was appointed, the Anti-Defamation League, a thoroughly Zionist group initially spoke out against the appointment but the major pro-Israel lobby group, AIPAC, kept quiet and refused to say anything.  The Zionist Organisation of America, which boasted Alan Dershowitz as a guest at its last dinner, has welcomed Bannon, despite (or maybe because of?) his anti-Semitism.
Sebastian Gorka
Their PR adviser, Arthur Schwartz, wrote "we're honored to have him as a guest."  His tweet was quoted by Sebastian Gorka, another former Trump adviser who was dismissed from the White House and like Bannon, is close to the American far right. "Can't wait," Gorka wrote. "Thank you to Mort Klein and all his team. Patriots, all."  

Gorka has been a life lmember and adviser to far-Right anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi Hungarian groups.  Other speakers at the ZOA dinner alongside Bannon will be American ambassador to Israel David Friedman and former Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman.

“Steve is one of the best friends that Israel has had in any administration,” claimed Schwartz.  Also on the guest list is Gorka.  Vanity Fair described how Gorka was a member of Vitézi Rend, a far-right Hungarian military organization that supported the Nazis during World War II and how he wore a medal honoring the group to an inauguration party.  Gorka defended the group as historically anti-Communist, which of course could be said for any neo-Nazi group. “First I am an Islamophobe, then I’m an anti-Semite, then I am a fascist. Next I am going to be a Martian, you know, subversive,” he said to The Telegraph, calling himself a political victim.

Although Bannon and Gorka are welcomed by Zionist organisations in the United States Jewish anti-Zionist and socialist groups can be expected to demonstrate outside the ZOA’s annual gala dinner come November.

Tony Greenstein

[1]           1. Joachim Doron, p.169, ‘Classic Zionism and modern anti-Semitism: parallels and influences’ (1883-1914), Studies in Zionism 8, Autumn 1983.
[2]           2.  Edwin Black, p.259, The Transfer Agreement, citing Palestine Post 5.7.33.
[3]           3.  Arthur Herzberg, The Zionist Idea, p. 322/323, Temple, Atheneum, New York 1981.

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