Thursday, 9 July 2020

The Academic as an Establishment Whore – It wasn’t only in Nazi Germany that Academics Sacrificed Principles (& Colleagues)


How David Feldman of Birkbeck and the Pears Institute Changed His Views to Accommodate Zionist McCarthyism

Viktor Klemperer
I was recently reading Richard Evans trilogy on the Holocaust. He, like David Cesarani’s Final Solution, relied heavily on the 3 Volume Diaries of Victor Klemperer who had converted in 1912 to Christianity and married a non-Jew.
Klemperer was Professor of Romance Languages at the Technical University of Dresden. The first piece of anti-Semitic legislation that the Nazis brought in was in April 1933, the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service. Academics were considered civil servants. This led to the dismissal of Jewish academics.
House Where Klemperer Hid His Diaries
In the academic year of 1934—35 1,145 professors were dismissed or pensioned off early. These constituted 14.3% of the previous year’s faculty at all German universities. By 1938 this figure had risen to 33% and by 1939 to 45%. Many but not all of these were Jewish.
Victor_Klemperer receiving GDR prize
Klemperer was ‘lucky’. He was not immediately dismissed because he was a decorated veteran of the 1914-1918 War and President Hindenburg had insisted that Jewish veterans be excluded from the provisions of the Act.
However Hindenburg died in August 1934. In March 1935 the local Nazi Gauleiter Martin Mutschmann was appointed as Minister of Education for Saxony. At the end of April 1935 Klemperer was dismissed. Again he was ‘lucky’ in that he was made redundant, which allowed a pension to be paid.
University of Freiburg where Heidegger was Rector

Richard Evans describes how, when Klemperer was dismissed ‘none of his colleagues did anything to help him; the only sympathy came from a secretary.’ [The Third Reich in Power p.568] This acceptance of Nazi anti-Semitism was true of most of German intellectuals, most of whom rushed to swear their fealty to the Nazis.  Martin Heidegger, whom the Nazis appointed Rector of Freiburg University


was indecently silent when his Freiburg colleague, the great phenomenological philosopher Edmund Husserl, was dismissed as Jewish and pushed to suicide.’
Feldman has mastered the art of self-censorship

There were very few Karl Reinhardts, Professor of the Faculty of Law at the University of Frankfurt-am-main, who wrote on May 5, 1933 to the Nazi Minister for Science that he was unable to continue teaching because ‘the tradition of German Humanism’ had now been abandoned.’ Reinhardts was an exception. Gary Dorrien wrote of how ‘most of Frankfurt’s ostensibly humanist professors swiftly made their peace with fascism.’ [Social Democracy in the Making, p. 300]
Professor Kurt Huber - conservative philosophy lecturer who became part of the White Rose group - executed by the Nazis
Dr. Gerhard Falk wrote in The Expulsion of the Professors from the Universities in Nazi Germany, 1933-1941 that the number of letters supporting the Nazi policy of “Gleichschaltung” [Nazification]
far exceeded the stand taken in the above example. In fact, the evidence indicates that most of the former “Humanists” became “Nazis” almost overnight and hastened to swear allegiance to their new masters.’
Philosophy Professor Kurt Huber, who was executed in July 1943 for his membership of the White Rose group, was very much the exception. Huber concluded his defence by quoting Johann Gottlieb Fichte:
And thou shalt act as if
On thee and on thy deed
Depended the fate of all Germany,
And thou alone must answer for it.
Jewish and Israeli Academics Who Fought Racism and Zionism
Today the majority of the Jewish community supports, to a greater or lesser extent, the Israeli state, the apartheid nature of which is ever clearer. For those with doubts I recommend Jonathan Cook’s article on the history of the Jewish National Fund, which was the engine of ethnic cleansing and segregation in Israel. This is reflected in the large numbers of Jewish and Israeli academics who lend their talents to providing academic rationale for Zionism and the Israeli state just as their counterparts did in Germany. There are of course exceptions.
Perhaps the most famous exception today is Noam Chomsky. Norman Finkelstein is another who was denied tenure at DePaul University because Alan Dershowitz lobbied the University. 
A more recent victim of the Zionist lobby is Bristol University Professor Steve Miller, who has been forced to resign from the Labour Party after the usual allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’. Miller’s primary offence was co-authoring Bad News for Labour which questioned the lack of evidence behind Labour’s fake ‘anti-Semitism’ crisis. Waterstones was forced into calling off the book launch after a series of intimidatory calls and threats by Zionists. Fortunately we were able to put the book launch on at very short notice.
Tony Lerman
Tony Lerman is Jewish another academic who has been witchhunted. Lerman was the founding Director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research. Lerman was witchhunted out of his post by Zionist trustees led by former Tory Treasurer and Islamaphobe, Stanley Kalms. The Jewish Chronicle, ever the defender of academic freedom, termed this Divisive Lerman leaves JPR. Having a non-Zionist leading British Jewry’s think tank and research unit was unacceptable.
There are also a host of Israeli academics who have spoken out against Zionism and Israeli colonisation. Most of them have been forced to emigrate from Israel. They include Professors Ilan Pappe, Moshe Machover, Haim Bresheeth, Nira Yuval Davies, Avi Shlaim, Neveh Gordon and there are a few still in Israel - Edith Zirtal, Nurit Peled-Elhanana, Shlomo Sand and Rachel Gior.
There is also Professor Ze’ev Sternhell of the Hebrew University who has just died. Although a Zionist, he spoke out against what was happening in Israel, comparing it to the early period of Nazi Germany. Likewise former professors Israel Shahak, Yeshayahu Leibowitz and Yehuda Elkana, the latter was Rector of the Central European University in Budapest and a Holocaust survivor (before Netanyahu’s favourite anti-Semite, Viktor Orban forced it out.
Feldman mixing with the great and good of the Jewish Establishment - Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
David Feldman – Following in the Tradition of Heidegger not Reinhardts or Huber
Unfortunately David Feldman is not one of those who have stood out against the Zionist settler colonialism which Chomsky described as ‘the most brutal form of imperialism in some of its most vicious forms.!
Having ethnically cleansed 85% of the indigenous population, Israel has spent the whole of its existence pursuing policies of marginalising the Palestinians, both those living in 1948 Israel and after 1967 those living in Greater Israel/Palestine. The land discrimination, relegating 20% of the population to 2% of the land and the refusal to build even a single extra Arab town or community at a time when hundreds of Jewish-only communities have been built, coupled with the ‘derecognition’ of half the Arab villages, should make the nature of the Israeli state clear to all of the most obtuse.
Martin Heidegger
I sometimes wonder whether David Feldman and his fellow authors of Labour and Antisemitism: a Crisis Misunderstood have ever once considered that their academic sophistry and word play has real consequences in the ability of the Israeli state to blindfold, beat and abuse Palestinian children whom they arrest in the middle of the night because ‘anti-Semitism’ has become Zionism’ main method of defending.
Both the Jewish diaspora and Israel itself seem to have produced a remarkable number of dissident academics who have retained their honesty and integrity. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for David Feldman of the Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism.
There was a time when Feldman came in for criticism by the Zionist Establishment for having signed the statement Not in Our Name by Independent Jewish Voices. Instead of defending his signature he removed it! When Feldman was appointed Vice-Chair of the Chakrabarti Inquiry he came in for similar criticism from the Jewish Chronicle who feared he might be too independent. They need not have worried.
Feldman was appointed as an advisor to the 2015-16 All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism and he produced a sub-report on anti-Semitism. In October 2016 the Committee published a Report ‘Anti-Semitism in the UK’. The link to the sub-report is now broken.
I have to declare an interest. Between 1992-1995 I did an MA at Birkbeck on the History of British Imperialism.
In his sub-report Feldman quoted approvingly Brian Klug definition  of anti-Semitism as
a form of hostility towards Jews as Jews, in which Jews are perceived as something other than what they are.’
There was nothing about Israel in the definition. Feldman’s sub-report was largely uncontroversial. He gave as an example of an anti-Semitic stereotype the notion that Jews constitute a cohesive community, dedicated to the pursuit of its own selfish ends. Unfortunately the Board of Deputies with its demands that the Labour Party distance itself from ‘fringe Jews’ with its 10 Pledges has proved, once again, that Zionism and Anti-Semitism are 2 sides of the same racist coin.
Feldman claimed that the EUMC definition of anti-Semitism had fallen out of favour due to continued controversy regarding its application to the State of Israel and its policies.
In dealing with the Zionist meme that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic unless you criticise every other country (they call it ‘double standards’), Feldman noted that one of the reasons why people single Israel out is ‘Israel’s claim to be a liberal and democratic state.’

Viktor Klemperer
Feldman also dealt effectively with the Zionist distortion of the ‘MacPherson principle’ that the definition of an anti-Semitic incident should be anything that is perceived by the ‘victim’ as racist. Feldman wrote that:
It is sometimes suggested that when Jews perceive an utterance or action to be antisemitic that this is how it should be described. In the UK this claim looks for support to the 1999 Stephen Lawrence Inquiry... Macpherson wrote that ‘a racist incident’ is ‘any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person.’ If we look at the context ... it is unambiguously clear that Macpherson intended to propose that such racist incidents require investigation. He did not mean to imply that such incidents are necessarily racist. However, Macpherson’s report has been misinterpreted and misapplied in precisely this way. Its authority has been thrown behind the view that such incidents should, by definition, be regarded as racist. In short, a definition of antisemitism which takes Jews’ feelings and perceptions as its starting point and which looks to the Macpherson report for authority is built on weak foundations.
Feldman was equally clear about the problems of concusing identity politics and racism, warning of the danger of  ‘conceptual and political chaos.’
For if the identification of racism becomes a matter of subjective judgment only then we have no authority other than the perception of a minority or victim group with which to counter the contrary subjective opinions of perpetrators who deny that they are racists. Without an anti-racist principle which can be applied generally we are left in a chaotic situation in which one subjective point of view faces another. An equally damaging objection is that Jews in the UK have diverse and, in some respects, contradictory perceptions of antisemitism.
Feldman noted that the EUMC working definition of anti-Semitism, the precursor of the IHRA, which the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency dropped ‘have not been adopted’.
Regarding the EUMC (now IHRA) example of antiSemitism:
Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis’.
Feldman’s recommendations fell on the right side of the line:
Yet the fact that these uses of the Holocaust are wrong and hurtful does not render them antisemitic. Misleading analyses and hurt feelings are significant. They should be named for what they are.
When Michael Gove compared BDS to the Nazi siege of Jewish shops, Feldman had no hesitation in criticising him and the equally obnoxious Campaign Against Anti-Semitism.
Despite Mr Gove’s aim of criticising those who ‘trivialise’ and ‘pervert’ the Holocaust, he appeared guilty of these same errors. We find a similar muddle when the ‘Campaign Against Antisemitism’ likened the boycott movement as well as the Tricycle Theatre’s refusal of sponsorship money from the Israeli embassy to the ‘Nazi boycott of Jewish enterprise after Hitler’s election.’
Unlike the dishonest Jonathan Freedland Feldman was clear:
As we have stressed elsewhere in this sub-report, the fact that something offends Jews does not render it antisemitic. Moreover, for reasons set out earlier, we cannot assume that the double standards which many of Israel’s supporters find in the BDS movement amount to evidence that the movement is antisemitic.
Feldman suggest that a Boycott of Israel might nonetheless be unlawful under the Equalities Act 2000 because discriminated against a nationality. I disagree with him because the Boycott isn’t against individual Israelis but the State of Israel. Otherwise all international solidarity would be outlawed. The Boycott of Chile under Pinochet would have been illegal despite it being in support of Chileans who were dying under torture.  In the round Feldman’s sub-Report was pretty fair. In his conclusions Feldman wrote that
‘The movement to boycott Israel dismays Jews for understandable reasons. This does not mean it is antisemitic. Boycott movements become antisemitic when they discriminate against Jews.
Dealing with the Zionist accusation that opposition to Operation Protective Edge when Israel murdered 2,200 people, including 551 children, Feldman was equally blunt.
the concern expressed by many spokespeople for the Jewish community often lacked perspective and, in this way, contributed to a climate of insecurity. We should recognise that the antisemitic portion of the opposition to Operation Protective Edge amounted to only a small part of a large body of opinion. Moreover, there was a want of perspective in assessing the current situation in comparison to the past. For example, the assertion from a leading communal figure that we are living through the most insecure time since the Jews’ restoration in the seventeenth century has no basis in fact and encourages Jews to imagine their situation as far less secure than it really is.
How to Perpetrate An Intellectual Hoax
In the current issue of Political Quarterly there is an article by three Birkbeck academics, including Feldman, Labour and Antisemitism: a Crisis Misunderstood. Not once do they ask where this ‘crisis’ came from or indeed any questions about it. They simply take its existence for granted. Nor do they ask why it was that the mainstream media from the Sun to the Guardian and the BBC ran with the narrative of ‘Labour anti-Semitism’ and whether it might have something to do with the election of Jeremy Corbyn in September 2015.
Feldman et al. want to reframe anti-Semitism as a ‘reservoir’ of images rather than a ‘virus’. Even by the criteria of post-modernism, where everything is relative, this article is shoddy.
Feldman’s article reminds me of when Alan Sokal, a professor of physics at New York University, sent a nonsense article to Social Text, an academic journal that at the time was a leading intellectual forum. It was published. See What an Audacious Hoax Reveals About Academia and Fashionable Nonsense
In 2013 John Bohannon, who was a journalist, not a doctor, submitted an academic study to 304 peer-reviewed scientific journals concerning a molecule that appeared to show promise as a treatment for cancer. It was accepted for publication by 157 of the journals. He completely made up the study. See It's Surprisingly Easy to Get a Fake Study Published in an Academic Journal
In 2018 three more academics, James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian wrote 20 fake papers arguing for ridiculous conclusions and submitted them to high-profile journals in fields such as gender studies. Seven of their articles were accepted for publication by peer-reviewed journals. Seven more were still going through various stages of the review process. Only six had been rejected.
The article by Feldman, Gidley and McGeever comes under the category of a hoax. Not once do they say what the ‘anti-Semitism’ is that they are writing about. Is it the definition that most people accept, the OED definition: ‘hostility to Jews or prejudice against Jews’? or is it the IHRA definition?  The article rests on 3 legs:
i.                 There has been a widespread focus on individual ‘antisemites’, rather than on the broader problem of antisemitism. Antisemitism is not a virus or poison but a reservoir of readily available images and ideas that subsist in our political culture.
ii.             They offer five ways forward.
iii.         The authors talk of
a historical parting of the ways between antiracism and opposition to antisemitism. An antiracism defined solely by conceptions of whiteness and power, we argue, has proven unable to fully acknowledge and account for antiJewish racism.
This is just so abysmally ignorant. Anti-racism isn’t defined by ‘whiteness’ (which is why I’m critical of ‘White Privilege) but by relations of power and exploitation. Hence why anti-Irish racism was just as severe as anti-Black racism. A leader of the National Front, Steve Brady, once told me that they considered the Catholics of Northern Ireland to be their Blacks!
In 2016 Feldman, before he became one of the Zionist establishment’s tame academics, had been a free soul. In December of that year he wrote askingWill Britain’s new definition of antisemitism help Jewish people? I’m sceptical’.  The sub head of which was:
While some consensus is needed in this debate, I fear this definition is imprecise, and isolates antisemitism from other forms of bigotry’
Clearly there has been a change of tune! Now Feldman wants to separate the fight against state racism against Black people from the fight against anti-Semitism.
Feldman casts scorn on the idea that Labour ‘antisemitism’ was ‘‘a malign confection’ created by the opponents and enemies of Corbyn, even though two-thirds of the party held that opinion in autumn 2019. Feldman dismisses the idea that Labour ‘anti-Semitism’ were
falsehoods disseminated to discredit the party by Tories, Blairites and Zionists, factions which fear its radicalism in general and its support for the Palestinians in particular.
Feldman and co. have a simple answer.
‘The one thing we know about reported hate crime figures in general is that they represent the tip of an iceberg. It is special pleading to think that Labour’s data are in some way different.’
David Feldman made a gratuitous attack on Jackie Walker, implying that a Black woman could be Jewish
Who were the three people who were first expelled from the Labour Party?  Tony Greenstein, Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth.  All of them anti-racist activists. Jackie and I were Jewish and Jackie and Marc were Black. What kind of ‘hate crime figures’ were we?  We were expelled as part of the ‘anti-Semitism smear campaign’ but none of us were expelled for anti-Semitism despite the fact that we were suspended as part of the anti-Semitism witchhunt.
The facts are clear that it was a political stitch up. Marc was accused of abusing a Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth despite not knowing she was Jewish. She was alleged to have left the Chakrabarti Inquiry in tears but videos show no tears, just synthetic anger. Marc was integrally involved in the Stephen Lawrence campaign and was responsible for introducing Nelson Mandela to them. Jackie was alleged to have said that Jews financed the slave trade. An outright lie based on the omission of one word in a private conversation. This is the stuff on which Feldman and his miserable associates based their allegations.
Cast back to Feldman’s article in the Guardian which recognised the:
discrimination and occupation, annexation and expropriation. Those who make Israel the target of criticism for these actions are now denounced as antisemitic by Israel’s leaders and by their supporters around the world.
In December 2016 Feldman accepted that
antisemitism is a term that does service both as a defence of minority rights, and in the context of support for a discriminatory and illiberal state power. Little wonder the word provokes so much disagreement.
Today Feldman pours scorn on Labour members whose ‘complaint (is) that antisemitism is being used as a stick with which to beat the Labour Party is unworldly.’ They don’t explain why. Perhaps it’s unworldly for the Daily Mail, a racist paper which employed Katie Hopkins to have initiated the fake anti-Semitism campaign.  Why is it that 2 anti-Gypsy bigots, Eric Pickles and John Mann, were at the centre of the ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign?  There is no mention of context in Feldman’s recent article.
In his 2016 article Feldman wrote of a
racism when it is directed against a group that is relatively affluent, coded as “white”, and most of whose members feel attached to the strongest power in the Middle East.’
In other words criticising the identity of Zionist Jews could be a form of racism. It is clear that identity politics was even then leading Feldman down the wrong road. Feldman also commented that the IHRA was ‘bewilderingly imprecise’ and it carried the danger that ‘the overall effect will place the onus on Israel’s critics to demonstrate they are not antisemitic.’ Feldman accepted, like the IHRA’s author Kenneth Stern, that it ‘chilled’ free speech.
Anti-Semitism as a virus
This is a favourite Zionist metaphor. It was used by Hitler about Jews (‘bacillus’) and Katie Hopkins (‘cockroches) about refugees. It means that racism, instead of being a product of society is a pathology. It bears no relation to scapegoatism, class or colonialism. Zionism favours it because it means it is futile fighting anti-Semitism.
Corbyn was repeatedly attacked as anti-Semitic because of his support of the Palestinians. Yet John Bercow, who had known him for 22 years , stated that hadn’t detected a ‘whiff’ of anti-Semitism about Corbyn though he recalled anti-Semitism in the Tory Party. In one incident a fellow MP said: ‘If I had my way, Berkoff, people like you wouldn’t be allowed in this place.’ To which Bercow replied ‘Sorry, when you say people like me, do you mean lower-class or Jewish?’ To which he replied, ‘Both.’”
However Tory anti-Semitism and racism did not feature in the Establishment’s hegemonic narrative and Feldman and co. were not about to upset the apple cart and ask why.
For academics Feldman, Gidley and McGeever are incredibly dishonest. They say that according to the 2019 Yougov survey
fully one quarter of Labour voters agreed that ‘Israel can get away with anything because its supporters control the media’.
What is their conclusion?
‘when Israel became the topic of conversation these respondents drew on the store of antisemitic stereotypes—in this case on the hoary idea, at least 150 years old, that Jews control the media.’
There’s just one problem with this. It didn’t mention Jews. It said Israel’s supporters control the media. If you believe that all supporters of Israel are Jews, which is patently untrue, then you are being anti-Semitic for assuming all Jews think the same. Supporters of Israel like born again Christian Rupert Murdoch clearly do run the media.
Feldman’s suggestion that anti-Semitism is
‘a deep reservoir of stereotypes and narratives, one which is replenished over time and from which people can draw with ease’
is essentialist. It posits anti-Semitism as unchanging. Historically anti-Semitism has changed as the Jews have changed. To think that three Birkbeck academics have come up with this rubbish suggests that the college needs to think about the quality of its teaching staff.
Unsurprisingly given the paucity of their analysis, their proposals to remedy the ‘problem’ of anti-Semitism aren’t worth the paper they are written on.
Anti-Semitism is not  form of racism
Feldman argues that
‘the reason Labour has not responded more adequately to antisemitism is a continued difficulty in recognising antisemitism as a form of racism.’
Clearly it never occurred to these 3 whizz kids that if you define ‘anti-Semitism’ as opposition to Israeli racism then it is obviously going to be difficult to recognise this as a form of racism.
Unsurprisingly there have been no Jewish victims of Labour’s fake anti-Semitism crisis. This in itself proves that it is confected. Anti-Semitism is a form of racism, but it mainly expresses itself as prejudice in Britain. There are no Jewish victims of Windrush or Jewish victims of Police racism and violence.  Jews are not disproportionately imprisoned.  It wasn’t Maurine Lipman but Bianca Williams and her partner who were stopped and handcuffed by the Metropolitan’s racist pigs.
If what Feldman is saying is that anti-Semitism is no longer a form of racism then what they are talking about is not anti-Semitism. Unfortunately this thought never occurred to these 3 geniuses.
The 3 academics refer to the wider anti-racist movement where
divisions were growing between campaigns against antisemitism and those organised around opposition to other forms of racism, especially when articulated with the politics of Zionism and antiZionism.
They refer to the split between the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism and Searchlight magazine in the early 1990s over the question of Israel and Palestine and the
‘100 Black, Asian and minority ethnic organisations signed an open letter expressing dismay at Labour’s decision to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition.’
What Feldman doesn’t ask is why Labour ignored the collective voice of Black and Asian groups and prioritised Zionist Jewish groups. That would seem to be a good example of racism. The obvious answer was that the IHRA was not about anti-Semitism but painting support for the Palestinians and anti-Zionism as anti-Semitic.
In their search for ‘Labour anti-Semitism’ the 3 academics plumb the depths. For example Corbyn’s review of John Hobson’s classic book Imperialism because he did not mention a few anti-Semitic lines out of 400 pages. One of Zionism’s few honest academics and the historian of the Jewish community, Professor Geoffrey Alderman explained in the Spectator Is Jeremy Corbyn really anti-Semitic?
Context is paramount.... We all know what Hobson thought of Jews and capitalism. But to conclude – as Finkelstein does – that in writing the foreword Corbyn had praised a 'deeply anti-Semitic book' is to give a totally false impression of what this influential study is actually about. In a text running to almost 400 pages there are merely a dozen or so lines which we would call anti-Semitic. There was absolutely no need for Corbyn to have drawn attention to them in his foreword.
Alderman concluded that ‘the grounds for labelling him an anti-Semite simply do not exist.’ I disagree with Alderman on most things but this was a brave and honest assessment. He noted that Corbyn had always put himself out for Jewish causes.
This is why Alderman, a columnist for 14 years, has been banned from the Jewish Chronicle’s pages by editor Stephen Pollard. Clearly Feldman and his fellow poodles will suffer no such penalty.
Feldman wrote about how ‘Daniel Finkelstein ... characterised Imperialism as a “deeply antisemitic book” which Mr Corbyn, to his discredit, had commended as “correct and prescient”.

Freedland never missed an opportunity to attack Corbyn for 'antisemitism'
If Feldman had an ounce of honesty he wouldn’t touch Finkelstein with a barge pole.  As I pointed out Finkelstein was a member of the Board of the far-Right racist Gatestone Institute. The Gatestone Institute is funded by Rebekah Mercer who also funds Breitbart, the paper of the alt-Right and White Supremacy in the United States. Breitbart used to be edited by the anti-Semitic Stephen Bannon. Also associated with Gatestone is Douglas Murray of the far-Right Henry Jackson Society (of which Stephen Pollard is a founding member).  Murray’s writings are advertised on Gatestone’s website.
Naturally Jonathan Freedland got into the act accusing Corbyn of being ‘blind to anti-Semitism’ over the Hobson book. Freedland should examine ‘anti-Semitism’ at the Guardian, because they advertised the book and carried a review which stated that
‘Hobson's Imperialism belongs to the small group of books in the years from 1900 to the outbreak of war that have definitely changed the contours of social thought.’
Another example was the notorious mural’ in Tower Hamlets. They tell us that this was ‘a powerful illustration of antisemitism’  That ‘the mural depicted six men at a table dictating the ‘New World Order’. Yes it was conspiratorial but it wasn’t anti-Semitic.  2 of the 6 bankers were Jewish.
What is amazing is that this article took 3 academics to write it!
Feldman’s willingness to act as Pollard’s poodle was exemplified by his article The historical left really was ‘for the many, not the Jew’. in reaction to Corbyn’s review of Hobson’s book.
Feldman argued in the Jewish Chronicle that Hobson’s book was lauded in the labour press and that in these circles, the idea that imperial expansion was driven by Jewish financial interests was commonplace. This is rubbish.
It wasn’t the Right who joined Jews in the fight against Oswald Moseley in October 1936 at the Battle of Cable Street or who fought Franco in Spain. Wherever fascism or anti-Semitism reared its ugly head it was the Left who fought it alongside the social causes of anti-Semitism. Zionism’s allies today were then part of the problem which is why the Jews of Mile End voted in 1945 to send England’s first elected Communist, Phil Piratin to parliament.
It is true that there was sometimes a conflation between Jews and capitalism by early socialists and anarchists like Proudhon. However despite criticism of his On the Jewish Question Marx came out firmly in favour of Jewish Emancipation in his debate with Bruno Bauer.
With the transition, especially in Eastern Europe, from feudalism to capitalism, Jews were still seen in their feudal roles as agents of money. However this changed as the Jews became proletarianised.
What is true is that it was the supporters  of Zionism in the Labour Party who were anti-Semitic. Labour in 1921 had admitted Poale Zion as an affiliated society because Labour saw Empire and Colonisation as good things bringing ‘civilisation’ to the natives.  When the future Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald visited Palestine in 1922 he told his hosts that
‘the rich plutocratic Jew, who is the true economic materialist. He is the person whose views upon life make one anti-Semitic. He has no country, no kindred... he is an exploiter of everything he can squeeze. He is behind every evil that Governments do... He detests Zionism because it revives the idealism of his race.’ [David Cesarani, Anti-Zionism in Britain, p.141].
Sidney Webb, founder of the Fabians and the New Statesman made similar comments about European social democratic parties being ‘Jew ridden’ whereas the Labour Party didn’t have this problem as there was no money in it!
MacDonald’s anti-Semitism was little different from the anti-Semitism of the Zionists. Fellow MP Watson Rutherford described Winston Churchill, an ardent Zionist, as having decided in the 1914 Shell Debate that ‘the best course of action to get them to support it (his proposal) was … to do a little Jew-baiting.’ Churchill was ‘too much of a demagogue to forego the applause to be had from attacking someone who was… a Jew, and an unpopular one at that. [Michael Cohen, Churchill and and the Jews, pp. 28-29]
Arthur Balfour, another Zionist favourite, was also an anti-Semite. Chaim Weizmann described a conversation he had had with Balfour on the 12th December 1914. Balfour told him of a conversation with Cosima Wagner, the notoriously anti-Semitic widow of Richard Wagner. Balfour explained that ‘he shared many of her anti-Semitic postulates.’ Instead of protesting Weizmann
pointed out that we, too… had drawn attention to the fact that Germans of the Mosaic persuasion were an undesirable and demoralizing phenomenon…’  [Leonard Stein, The Balfour Declaration p.154]
What was particularly disgusting about Feldman’s Jewish Chronicle article, apart from its jumping on the anti-Corbyn bandwagon alongside racists like Pollard and Finkelstein was its dishonesty. Historically the left has fought anti-Semitism uncompromisingly.
Even the late Robert Wistrich, Professor of History at Tel Aviv University in his ‘Socialism and the Jews’ wrote of the German Social Democratic Party that:
Opposition to anti-Semitism had become a badge of honour for the workers’ movement: it now expressed their total contempt for a political system that had excluded them as pariahs. Anti-Semitic demonstrations were broken up in Berlin, Dresden and other German cities with increasing frequency between 1881 and 1884.
Wistrich described ‘a typical incident’ in Hanover in April 1881 when workers jeered Adolf Stocker, founder of the Christian Social Party.
He then passed over to the Jewish question, which was greeted by the Social Democrats with cries of Aha! and ironical applause. The Jew-bait was evidently to be the appetising sauce with which all this rubbish was to be made palatable to the workers. Nevertheless the latter showed not the slightest desire to swallow the bait..’ [p. 94]
The one section of German society that held out to the last against Hitler was the left, the SPD and KPD. The parties of the Right in particular the DNVP of Hugenburg cooperated with the Nazis and supported Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor. In November 1932, the last free elections in Germany, the Nazi vote fell to 11.7 million (33.09%). The combined vote for the parties of the working class, the SPD and KPD, of 13.2 million (37.3%) was one and a half million more than the Nazis.
If Feldman wanted to find anti-Semitism then he need look no further than the Zionist movement whose leading members in 1933 welcomed Hitler to power.  That was one of the reasons why they opposed the Boycott of Nazi Germany so strongly.
Lewis Namier, former Political Secretary of the Zionist Organisation in London and the personal secretary of Weizmann during the 1930’s wrote the preface to Arthur Ruppin’s Jews in the Modern World. Etan Bloom in his 2008 Ph. D Thesis (Tel Aviv University) wrote that
Knowledgeable Zionists, including Nahum Goldmann, saw in Namier an intense Jewish anti-Semite’.
Namier wrote that:
not everyone who feels uncomfortable with regard to us must be called an anti-Semite, nor is there anything necessarily and inherently wicked in anti-Semitism.
Bloom wrote how
‘the original draft was ‘even stronger. Weizmann – who worked closely with Ruppin - read it and had to warn Namier not to be so open in expressing their common toleration of Nazism’ because ‘the louts will say, the Jews themselves think that it will be all for the good, etc’.
If Feldman, once he’s finished his academic whoring wants to return to the real world he could do better than read America’s Jewish Forward and articles such as How Steve Bannon and Breitbart News Can Be Pro-Israel — and Anti-Semitic at the Same Time, in which Naomi Zeveloff declared that:
‘though it would seem impossible to hate Jews but love the Jewish state, these two viewpoints are not as contradictory as they appear.
It only seems impossible because academics like Feldman have consistently tried to hide the truth that it is Zionism which shares most in common with anti-Semitism.  Both believe that Jews belong, not in the countries where they live but in their ‘real homeland’ Israel.
When nearly all the far-Right see Israel as a bulwark against the Muslim hordes who are trying to replace them in Europe, academic prostitutes who write to please the Board of Deputies deserve our contempt.
I haven’t mentioned Feldman’s co-authors.  Ben Gidley is mentioned by some as Bob from Brockley. The other contributor Brendan McGeever has penned an anti-communist tract Antisemitism and the Russian Revolution which argues that the Bolsheviks were responsible for the massive increase in pogroms that accompanied the Revolution. I can only recommend Clara Weiss’s excellent Brendan McGeever’s Antisemitism and the Russian Revolution: Distorting history in the service of identity politics, parts one and two.
Or I can only quote the Black artist and intellectual of the Harlem Renaissance, Claude MacKay:
“Every Negro… should make a study of Bolshevism and explain its meaning to the coloured masses. It is the greatest and most scientific idea afloat in the world today… Bolshevism has made Russia safe for the Jew. It has liberated the Slav peasant from priest and bureaucrat who can no longer egg him on to murder Jews to bolster up their rotten institutions. It might make these United States safe for the Negro… If the Russian idea should take hold of the white masses of the western world… then the black toilers would automatically be free.”
Black fighters like Paul Robeson looked to the Soviet Union, even under Stalin, as an example of a society where racism was not inevitable. What McGeever is doing with his book is no different from the attempts of David Irving and others to deny the Holocaust.
That there were some pogroms committed by the Red Army in the civil war is undeniable.  However they were under 10% of those perpetrated and the Bolsheviks did their best to prevent them including shooting pogromists.  The vast majority were carried out by the White Russians. Nowhere does McGreever mention, because it would spoil his narrative that a member of the Zionist Organisation and the leader of what became Revisionist Zionism, Vladimir Jabotinsky, formed an alliance with the Ukrainian nationalist leader Petliyura, who was responsible for up to 200,000 Jewish deaths.
The Red Army consisted mainly of peasants amongst whom anti-Semitism had been rife. The Czarist monarchy, with whom the Zionists were so infatuated, had consciously used anti-Semitism to divide the workers and peasants. The Bolsheviks consciously sought to attack anti-Semitism from the beginning. 
Weiss writes that:
In the Red Army, leaflets were distributed against anti-Semitism. Perpetrators of pogroms were severely punished. For instance, units involved in the pogroms of Budyonny’s First Cavalry in Poland in 1920 were dissolved and up to 400 cavalrymen were executed
The alliance with Petliura heralded the later Zionist collaboration with the Nazis when they decided to oppose the world Jewry’s boycott of Germany by forming a pact, Ha'avara with them. The needs of Palestine came before the needs of the Jews. It is a great pity that David Feldman has lent his undoubted talents to whitewashing Zionism and in the process getting into bed with two anti-communists to peddle his nonsense article on Labour anti-Semitism.  Such are the depths that Zionist ‘intellectuals’ sink to.
Tony Greenstein

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please submit your comments below