Right-wing and Left-wing Trojan Horses

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The new year 2013 will be a very important year in the struggle against the Iranian threat. Israel is facing international pressure and silence about the Iranian as well as the Islamist threat is prevailing. However, the situation is even more complicated if we look at supposedly pro-Israel and pro-Jewish individuals as well as at supposedly high-profile scholars in the field of research on antisemitism. Americans who support Israel should know about the German and European situation when it comes to Israel, Judaism, antisemitism, and Islamism. This article raises truly relevant questions (in my view) about pro-Israel, pro-Judaism and anti-Islamism activism and scholarship. Too many people support tremendously dangerous groups in Germany and Europe because there is not much discussion about troubling tendencies in these fields, both on the Left and on the Right.

This piece consists of two parts. Firstly it deals with the troubling connection of many people in the pro-Israel tent to right-wing extremist, neo-Nazi and New Right or right-wing populist groups and individuals in Europe and Germany. Secondly it focuses on left-wing or liberal scholars in the field of research on antisemitism and how they distort research on antisemitism and the Holocaust. I fear that many right-wingers and many left-wingers or liberals use Trojan Horses to destroy solidarity with Israel and research on antisemitism, Islamism and the Holocaust from within.

There are not many outspoken pro-Israel people in Europe, let alone scholars. Many liberal or left-wing scholars are instead anti-Zionist activists. However, this may not lead to support of German and European racists and right-wingers, many of them in support of anti-Muslim agitators, fans of the German Wehrmacht, Holocaust distortion if not affirmation, and antisemitic authors and supporters of Nazi Germany like Carl Schmitt or Ernst Jünger. The Finnish website Tundra Tabloids, for example, is promoted as a pro-Israel website and many authors from the pro-Israel tent refer to that website or publish there. The very same website, though, agitates against Roma from Bulgaria and Romania in a typical neo-Nazi-style way. Even worse, Tundra Tabloids also promotes Norwegian racist and anti-Muslim extremist Fjordman on its website with a constant link to his work. Fjordman urges the Western world to expel ALL MUSLIMS, as I will document in this piece.

I know this kind of racism from my doctoral dissertation on the German New Right from 1970-2005, published in 2007 in German (509 pages). Hatred of immigrants, including Muslims, is a core element of their agitation for a pure and “German Germany.” Talking about “Islamization” is highly problematic, because this term most often does not aim at Islamism and Islamists, rather at Muslim immigrants as such (in Europe in particular).

In 2012 the entire German Right and many left-wingers and the majority of the German population agitated against Judaism and circumcision, including a substantial number of pro-Israel activists (!). A leading voice for the Right was the website Politically Incorrect or PI. That website is the leading voice for Dutch politician Geert Wilders, too. They promote his events, and publish articles in favor of him, for example.

Eleven years of support for Israel, since 9/11 in particular, was maybe a misunderstanding in some regard. Some left-wingers and most right-wingers detest Judaism and Jews as Jews. They want an Israel without circumcised Jews and Jewry without circumcised Jews. Most people in the tiny pro-Israel tent are ignoring these very troubling tendencies. The leading German left-wing mainstream monthly, Konkret, though, remains pro-Jewish and pro-Israel, thanks to publisher Hermann L. Gremliza. They urged their fellow sisters and brothers from the left to stop giving Jews instructions (e.g. about circumcision) for a couple of years, “let’s say for the next 1000 years”…

This piece is a wake-up call. Otherwise support for supposedly pro-Israel right-wing groups and individuals from American philanthropists in particular prevails. At the end of the day these philanthropists will recognize that they supported anti-Jewish groups and people. These right-wing groups in fact embrace European history and German history and love the German Wehrmacht and have not really a problem with the Shoah.

Again: Most left-wingers and liberals have no problem with hatred of Israel, rather they spread anti-Zionist antisemitism. The same holds for mainstream Europe. Therefore many in the pro-Israel tent have a blind eye to very troubling tendencies in the self-declared anti-Jihad tent, where many right-wingers are active. Since 9/11 many neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists in Germany and Europe are agitating against Islam. Other neo-Nazis and right-wingers collaborate with Islamism, too, e.g. based on the decades old German-Islamist collaboration, which goes back to the German Empire and Kaiser Wilhelm II. But those who prefer resentment against Muslims deny that Islamism is a highly modern phenomenon, e.g. based on the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928 by Hasan al-Banna in Egypt.

As early as 1998 historian, Islamic Studies scholar and President of the Middle East Forum (MEF) in Philadelphia, Daniel Pipes, analyzed Islamism as a specific modern, 20th century-style phenomenon:

“Islamism is an ideology that demands man’s complete adherence to the sacred law of Islam and rejects as much as possible outside influence, with some exceptions (such as access to military and medical technology). It is imbued with a deep antagonism towards non-Muslims and has a particular hostility towards the West. It amounts to an effort to turn Islam, a religion and civilization, into an ideology.

The word “Islamism” is highly appropriate, for this is an “-ism” like other “-isms” such as fascismand nationalism. Islamism turns the bits and pieces within Islam that deal with politics, economics, and military affairs into a sustained and systematic program. As the leader of the Muslim Brethren put it some years ago, “the Muslims are not socialist nor capitalist; they are Muslims.” I find it very telling that he compares Muslims to socialists and capitalists and not to Christians or Jews. He is saying, we are not this “-ism,” we are that “-ism.” Islamism offers a way of approaching and controlling state power. It openly relies on state power for coercive purposes.”

Today, in the year 2013, neither the mainstream in the Western world and elsewhere, nor self-declared anti-jihadist activists and authors in Europe or the US do understand or follow this analysis of Islamism. Rather they deny the problem and danger of Islamism. Those who pretend to be talking about Islamism often distort its ideological background and prefer to talk about Islam as such, Muslims as such, and not about Islamism and Islamists.

Many neo-Nazis use fear of Islamist terrorism to spread lies about all Muslims. In Germany we have a legacy of neo-Nazi activities against immigrants and left-wingers. Since 1989/90 and the end of the GDR some 160 people have been killed by neo-Nazis in Germany, most of them immigrants, Turks and Muslims. The neo-Nazi group Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund (NSU) (National Socialist Underground) killed nine immigrants between 2000 and 2006. The group was revealed in 2011 and the German police or secret service played a very troubling role and may have been involved in some of the crimes of that group.

German activist Felix Strüning is a hardcore right-wing activist and was “Schriftführer,” someone who writes the protocols, of the tiny but aggressive right-wing party Die Freiheit until 2011. He also gave a friendly interview to the leading extreme right-wing, anti-Muslim (and not anti-Islamist), German nationalistic blog Politically Incorrect (PI). PI says that it is the biggest political European blog. The head of Die Freiheit in Bavaria, Michael Stürzenberger, on July 17, 2012 wrote on that blog, that Germany “cannot tolerate” “Jewish organizations” in that country“if Jewish organizations keep on doing this archaic rule,” aiming at circumcision. I mention and criticize this anti-Jewish agitation in my 2013 book Antisemitism: A Specific Phenomenon.

German right-wingers of all kind as well as Islamists know very well that there is no First Amendment in Germany and no free speech. Therefore they are obliged to hide their extremism, opening the door to using guilt by association as a typical form of political analysis in the German landscape. This includes left-wing extremists and their Islamist and mainstream friends, too.

Right-wingers cannot deny or praise the Holocaust, for example, without being punished. On October 6, 2012, Felix Strüning presented his foundation – Stresemann Foundation – at a meeting of all kinds or right-wing, New Right, right-wing populist and extreme right-wing authors, journals, activists, organizations, groups and publishing houses. Leading extreme right-wing weekly Junge Freiheit, the blog Politically Incorrect (PI), the party Die Freiheit, German nationalist fraternities, among many other right-wingers were present at the event. The gathering – called “Zwischentag” – was organized by a Götz Kubitschek, who is the owner of the extreme right-wing publishing house Antaios. Antaios praises the German Wehrmacht and therefore – the Holocaust. But the book does of course not say “We embrace the Holocaust” – rather “We embrace the Nazi Wehrmacht’s war against the Soviet Union,” which is the same, but in other words.

The author Soeren Kern, based in Madrid, portrays the right-wing extremist German party pro NRW as “conservative” and “opposed to the further spread of Islam in Germany.” As if the very existence of Islam is the problem, and not Islamism. Worse, Kern does not tell the story behind pro NRW. This is not at all a more or less harmless conservative party. It is a very nationalistic and anti-Muslim party and from 2010 until July 2012 it was mainly represented by neo-NaziAndreas Molau, who submitted an antisemitic cartoon to the Iranian Holocaust cartoon contest in December 2006! Promoting a hardcore nationalistic German, pro-Islamist, pro-Jihadist and pro-Ahmadinejad party like pro NRW as harmless and as opposed to Islamism and terror, is not serious journalism, rather a distortion of facts. Pro NRW detests non-Germans or Germans with a Muslim background, too. They do not deal with Islamism and Islamist antisemitism as modern and new phenomena. The party itself was represented by antisemite Molau and everyone in Germany who is dealing with these topics knows this. Pro NRW are racists and the German domestic intelligence service is watching them, thanks to their right-wing extremism, which is against the German constitution.  A German court supported the decision to call pro NRW a right-wing extremist party.

In 2012 Felix Strüning enthusiastically reviewed a book by German extreme right-wing and anti-Muslim author Manfred Kleine-Hartlage (and interviewed the author as well), who is published in Germany by Antaios. Kleine-Hartlage contributed to Fjordman’s book in German, also published by Antaios in 2011. As mentioned, a book by a Stefan Scheil about the German war against the Soviet Union – Unternehmen Barbarossa – as “preventive war,”  embraces the Nazi Wehrmacht. Antaios also publishes and promotes self-declared fascists like Armin Mohler (1920-2003), who was a wannabee member of the Schutzstaffel (SS) and then the leading propagandist of the Conservative Revolution in the FRG, antisemites and Nazi legal scholars like Carl Schmitt, books from and about antisemite and author Ernst Jünger as well as leading French New Right author and activist Alain de Benoist.

This antisemitic and pro-Nazi Wehrmacht agitation is mainstream for most parts of the right-of center pro-Israel trend in Germany. Several right-wing activists from PI, the German Defence League (who are friends of the English Defence League, the blog Gates of Vienna supported a pro-Tommy Robinson rally in Berlin in front of the British Embassy by the German Defence League), members of Die Freiheit, and even neo-Nazis from the National Democratic Party (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands, NPD) joined a pro-German rally on October 3, 2012, the German Unity Day, in Berlin, agitating against Muslims and immigration as well as against the Euro and Brussels.

In July 2012, Strüning was at an event in the European Parliament in Brussels organized by the far-right “International Civil Liberties Alliance.” Another speaker was Austrian Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff. She said that the spread of sharia law in Europe is much more successful compared with policies of Nazis Germany or Stalinism, concentration camps and the Gulag, respectively, because sharia is implemented silently. This trivialization of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust is typical for right-wing extremist agitation. Sabaditsch-Wolff has a high standing among some extremist circles in the pro-Israel or rather anti-Islam tent. She is a close friend of English right-wing extremist leader of the English Defense League (EDL) (here is a fact sheet about the EDL and some pics of their fans with a “Sieg Heil” or Hitler salute, for example), Tommy Robinson, previously a member of the extreme right British National Party (BNP). On Facebook I came across several people promoting the ideas of Meir Kahane and other extremists around the Jewish Defence League (JDL). Author and pro-Israel activist Sam Westrop mentioned the JDL in an article in May 2012:

“One group sacrifices liberal principles for the futile hope of appearing morally superior, while on the other side, the supremacism of the Jewish Defence League, who view the murderer Baruch Goldstein “as a martyr”, needs little explanation. Both groups work to demonise others, and consequently contribute towards the delegitimisation of Israel by providing a great deal of ammunition to its enemies. At first glance, it would appear that these two groups could not be more different; but in reality they enjoy a symbiotic relationship, whereby the dogma of each gives confidence to the hysteria of both. The JDL describe us as treacherous ‘leftists’ while the Jewish loons claim we are treacherous – as Darren Cohen spoke of my Jewish and Muslim colleagues – ‘fascists’.”

And now we are facing close allies of the JDL like the English Defence League and their friend Sabaditsch-Wolff, who is often portrayed as a hero or harmless “Viennese housewife,” who just insulted Muhammed and was convicted at an Austrian court. If Sabaditsch-Wolff ever had a problem with hatred of Jews she would never have given a talk at an academy of the Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ), the leading right-wing party in Austria, formerly headed by extremist and antisemite Jörg Haider, who praised the “politics of employment” of the Nazis! Ironically Haider died in a car, a Volkswagen Phaeton, which is a product of Nazi policies, because Volkswagen is the product of the “KDF-Stadt bei Fallersleben,” founded by the Nazis in 1938, or “Autostadt” as Tuvia Tenenbom calls Wolfsburg in his bestseller Allein unter Deutschen (English edition was published in 2011, I sleep in Hitler’s Room), the headquarter of Volkswagen or VW in Germany.

German Islamic Studies scholar Rainer Glagow (1941–2010) was both a “critic of Islam” as well as a German nationalist. He signed a petition about the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany on May 8, 1945, saying that that day was not a day of liberation, rather of German defeat. People like Glagow were not happy that Nazi Germany was defeated and the Holocaust stopped. They frame May 8, 1945, as the “defeat of the German Wehrmacht.”

It is hard to understand why many Americans and American or Western institutions should support that kind of German propaganda by promoting websites like Politically Incorrect, despite the fact that the American Army was among those who liberated Europe from German National Socialist rule. Many portray German nationalism like that of Politically Incorrect as the one and only way to criticize Islamism. In fact, those right-wingers do not criticize Islamism; they hate immigrants as such, and Islam as such. They are most often proud Christians who never dealt with the fact that Nazi Germany was a Christian country and that Christian antisemitism prior to 1933 was an important element in the evolution of German-style antisemitism, too. These German or European (or American) people around websites like Politically Incorrect detest the circumcision and Judaism (as well as Islam) and they promote all kinds of right-wing, nationalist groups on their homepage. Politically Incorrect’s take on the end of the Second World War and Glagow is typical. May 8, 1945, was a day of liberation for Europe, but not for the Nazis and the German population. Politically Incorrect (PI) honored Glagow as a “fighter against Islamization,” including an article by representative of the „peoples movement Pax Europe” or „Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa (BPE),” Conny Axel Meier. Meier was another speaker, alongside with Sabaditsch-Wolff and Strüning, at the Brussels event in July 2012.

Fjordman, his real name is Peder Jensen, is a notorious Norwegian blogger. On December 17, 2010 he wrote:

“The truth is that there is no such thing as a moderate Islam; that nobody has yet managed to come up with a credible theoretical way to reform Islam; and that there are no practical indications of any softening or modernization of Islam actually taking place. Since the adherents of this creed in its present form are waging a war of annihilation against us and the civilization we have created, this leaves only one possible conclusion if we wish to retain our culture and freedom: Physical separation. Islam and those who practice it must be totally and permanently removed from all Western nations.
Potential objections can be raised to this solution. One is that it might provoke Muslims and trigger a world war. To this I will say that our mere existence as free and self-ruled peoples constitutes a provocation to them. Besides, we are already in a world war. Technically speaking, it started 1400 years ago, the mother of all wars.”

This is neo-Nazi-style ideology and hatred of Muslims. Contrary to scholarship like that of historian Robert Wistrich or historian Daniel Pipes, both experts on Muslim antisemitism, Fjordman states that Islam has been at war with ‘the West’ for some 1400 years, since the time of Muhammed. It is important to emphasize that Daniel Pipes, among many other scholars, distinguishes between Islamism and Islam, as quoted earlier in this piece.

Fjordman’s call for the removal of all Muslims from Europe is a hardcore racist slogan, following decades of neo-Nazi agitation in Europe. Fjordman, who is a hero for many rather racist self-declared anti-jihad activists and other fans of bigotry, is arguing in an unscholarly fashion. He denies that Islamism is a specific and modern phenomenon. He is supported by a scholar in medicine, Andrew Bostom, who mostly does not focus on Islamism as a modern topic. In August 2011, after Fjordman called for the removal or expulsion of all Muslims from Western countries, Bostom called the writing of Norwegian preacher of hate, “prolific,” very productive or rich. Bloggers like Atlas Shrugs (Pamela Geller) promote Fjordman and share his hatred of Muslims and Islam, which damaged the anti-Islamist tent a lot in recent years. Fjordman talks about “the mother of all wars” when dealing with Islam (!), therefore he denies the specifics of European history, and the Holocaust, for example.

Well-known American blogger Charles Johnson (the New York Times Magazine reported about him, in a pejorative way) runs the blog Little Green Footballs (LGF). He is an anti-jihadist author, e.g. known as critic of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR). On August 1, 2011 Johnson (LGF) analyzed the case of Fjordman and his allies:

“1) I’ve never tried to hide the fact that I linked to Fjordman’s articles in the years before 2007. In fact, I clearly acknowledged it in this post about the Norway terrorist: The Oslo Terrorist’s ‘Counter-Jihad’ Ideology.

2) My posts about Fjordman were deleted years ago, because I realized that the person who had represented himself as a rational critic of Islam was, in reality, a white nationalist of a particularly sneaky and nasty sort. I didn’t remove those posts to hide anything — I removed them because I wanted his crap off my site, and wanted nothing to do with him or his followers.

3) I’ve never hidden any of this. I’ve spent the last four years refuting, debunking, and arguing against Fjordman and his associates, and I invite anyone to have a look through my archives and confirm this fact. And I did this precisely because I saw something like the Oslo atrocities coming, when Fjordman, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and the rest began dropping their masks and hooking up with European fascist groups like Vlaams Belang, the EDL, Sweden Democrats, Geert Wilders, etc., etc.”

Why are people like Fjordman obsessed with Muslims while being most often very silent on secular and Christian and other antisemites in Europe, for example? Most antisemites in Europe are Christian or secular. Of course, Islamist antisemitism is a very serious problem, but rather in Iran, Egypt or the Gaza-Strip compared with Norway, without ignoring horrible trends in Scandinavian Jew-hatred, mostly deriving from the Muslim Islamist communities (including teenagers). We had horrible antisemitic rallies in Germany and Europe, organized by Islamists, yes. I published many articles about Islamist antisemitism in Germany and Europe. Mainstream media are most often in denial of Islamist antisemitism.

However, remember: most anti-Israel articles and books in Western countries are written by non-Muslims. Left-wing, liberal as well as mainstream defamation of Israel is a huge problem, too. For example, in my 2011 book Schadenfreude. Islamic Studies and Antisemitism after 9/11 in Germany (410 pages, in German), I focused on representative German scholars in the field of Islamic Studies. Most of them are not Muslims. Take Islamic Studies scholar and head of the Department of Islamic Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, Gudrun Krämer, as an example. In 2010 she was awarded the Gerda Henkel Prize of the Düsseldorf-based Gerda Henkel Foundation (€ 100,000). Krämer is a fan of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna and she portrays leading Sunni Islamist Yusuf al-Qaradawi as a “moderate.” She also contributed to the highly disturbing book in 2009, “Global Mufti. The Phenomenon of Yusuf al Qaradawi.”

Focusing on Muslims as the main and almost only cause for antisemitism in Europe or the Western world is racist in nature and completely inaccurate to boot. German Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature Günter Grass defamed Israel as a threat to world peace in a poem in 2012. His agitation against the Jewish state and his downplaying of Ahmadinejad and the Iranian threat was published in the leading German daily, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and he was immediately interviewed by the leading TV news show ARD-Tagesthemen. Grass, who became a member of the Schutzstaffel (SS) age 17 in 1944, was then provided a platform at ARD, to read his poem.

The German and European Right has no problem with Jew-hatred. Otherwise they would focus on ordinary Europeans and Germans who are promoting antisemitism in different forms (anti-Zionism, Holocaust distortion, anti-Judaism, among other forms of antisemitism like anti-Mammonism, anti-Molochism, anti-Ahasver, the ‘eternal Jew’ etc.). The German and European Right pretends to be scared about antisemitism and hatred of Israel. Therefore they use Israel as a tool to fight Muslims and the Left. People like Fjordman make it very easy for the Left to dismiss pro-Israel activism if it is based on racism Fjordman-style.

Fjordman reported about the July 2012 meeting on “free speech” in Brussels for Frontpage Magazine, a leading online website in the US in the pro-Israel or rather anti-Islam tent. Solidarity with Israel is very much damaged by such websites as long as they publish neo-Nazi-style people like Fjordman who pleads for the expulsion of all Muslims from Western countries!

Conny Axel Meier, a German anti-Muslim activist, said the following at the July 2012 Brussels event of the Civil Liberties Alliance:

“A study from the University of Hamburg in 2007 reveals that 14% of Muslims in Germany prefer Sharia instead of democracy. That means, that at least half a Million persons in Germany are supporters of  Sharia. Half a Million followers of Islamic Supremacism. And what are those appeasers continue telling us? That it might be only a tiny minority of misunderstanders among all the Millions of  peaceful muslims? Islamization seems only a fantasy and we are simply islamophobes and bigots? In the year 1928 – only five years before Hitler seized power in Germany, his Nazi-Party NSDAP numbered about 100 000 memberships, a fifth of the actual number of Sharia-supporters. It was a tiny minority than, too.”(emphasis in the original)

Portraying the support of sharia law as five times more dangerous than Nazi activities in the late 1920s, is a trivialization of Nazi terror in the Weimar Republic and a well known strategy of right-wing extremism in Germany since 1945. In fact, neo-Nazis killed dozens of Muslims in recent years, since 1989 in particular, in Germany (!), not vice versa. No one denies the threat posed by Salafi Islamists and many other Islamist groups in Germany, including Turkish groups like Milli Görüs, the biggest Islamist group in Germany. They promote antisemitism, too. But German nationalists like Meier and Politically Incorrect are promoting antisemitism as well, plus hatred of Muslims and pride in being German.

Geert Wilders is highly problematic, too. He opposes Judaism and ritual slaughter, thanks to his hardcore anti-Islam – and not at all anti-Islamist – stance. The Chief Rabbi of Israel, the Simon Wiesenthal Center as well as former activist of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Manfred Gerstenfeld, criticized Wilders for his rather antisemitic stance towards Judaism. Already in 2007 Wilders obfuscated Nazi ideology of Adolf Hitler when comparing Hitler’s Mein Kampf with the Quran. This kind of ridiculous agitation is highly dangerous. Hitler’s book and ideology led to the Holocaust! Unfortunately Manfred Gerstenfeld himself, who is a highly respected scholar on antisemitism in all its forms, started to publish with a website dedicated to spread the agitation of Fjordman in recent months (Tundra Tabloids), I mentioned this website earlier in this article.

We know that most left-wingers and liberals are silent about Islamist antisemitism and hatred of Israel. But publishing with right-wing extremist people who spread lies about “the mother of all wars,” distort the Holocaust and agitate against all Muslims like neo-Nazis in Europe do is no better.

In Austria there is a law that forbids pro-National Socialist activism. As mentioned, there is no free speech in Europe in general, because the first to embrace free speech are Holocaust deniers, neo-Nazis, and other antisemites, including Islamists of course. Parts of the Austrian Akademikerbund, an association of academics, pleaded in 2010, if not earlier, for an end to that anti-Nazi law in Austria. Sabaditsch-Wolff is a member of that Akademikerbund (its Vienna section) and known as a supporter of free speech.

Since 2012 Sabaditsch-Wolff is a board member of the peoples movement Pax Europe (Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa). In 2009, Robert Spencer was a speaker at a Pax Europa event in Germany. They are known as nationalists, often waving German flags at their events.

Most left-wingers and liberals turn a blind eye towards Islamism and hatred of Israel. However, having a legacy of anti-neo-Nazi activism in the 1990s, I was a co-author of a brochure about left-wing antisemitism as early as 2001, before 9/11, and as a result of the Second Intifada in September 2000. For most people like Strüning or Fjordman antisemitism is not a real problem. They hate Muslims as such and want a Muslim or immigrant-free Europe. They pretend to be pro-Israel, but this lip service is just necessary because they need funding from the US.

They are not scared about what happens to Jews and they never dealt emphatically with the six million Jews who were killed by Germans, Austrians and their allies (including Lithuanians, Latvians, Ukrainians, Croats, Dutch, some Islamists and pan-Arabists, among many others) during the Shoah.

People have to be extremely careful when dealing with proud Christian Europeans. None of these people is shocked by the Holocaust; it is not a topic for research for them. They hate Islam as such and not just Islamism. They love Israel not because it is a Jewish state, rather because it is seen as a hotbed for anti-Muslim policies. Those who claim the wonderful “Christian-Jewish symbiosis” in history distort what happened in Treblinka, Sobibor, and Auschwitz. Many German right-wing movements and parties like Die Freiheit or Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa promote the fantasy of a “Christian-Jewish symbiosis.”

At the end of the day the right-wing anti-Islam agitators are spreading Jew-hatred, too. This became crystal clear in 2012, as documented in this piece. Die Freiheit, the German party spreading antisemitism when aiming at Judaism and circumcision, is a symbol of right-wing tactics to destroy the pro-Israel tent from within. They use a Trojan Horse and will fight Jews in the pro-Israel tent as soon as they can. In Germany they already left their Trojan Horse in summer 2012.

Robert Wistrich, too, distinguishes between Christian antisemitism in the Middle Ages and Islamist antisemitism, which became a major threat for Jews in the 20th and 21st centuries in particular, without ignoring antisemitic tendencies in early Islam, too. But Christian Jew-hatred was by far a much more dangerous phenomenon compared with the history of Islam.

No one can take people who claim to be against antisemitism seriously, as long as they are downplaying, obfuscating or embracing the entire history of Christianity, including Christian antisemitism. In my second book, published in 2009, I dealt, for example, with the Catholic Bund Neudeutschland and their anti-liberalism and antisemitism before and after 1933.

The pro-Israel as well as the anti-jihad tents or discussions need to focus on serious authors and scholars. The Iranian threat is the most dangerous threat Jews and Israel are currently facing, without ignoring Arab anti-Zionism and other forms of anti-Zionism like Western anti-Zionism. Right-wingers of many kinds in Europe and Germany are not concerned about the Iranian threat in the first place. They are concerned about immigration as such. They detest Muslims as such, as shown in the case of Fjordman. No surprise, then, that those right-wingers do not focus on German antisemitism from the mainstream. The Holocaust is not an important field of research for them. As shown in the case of Mr. Glagow and his friends from the big network of Politically Incorrect and Conny Axel Meier, those people portray May 8, 1945, as the “defeat of the German Wehrmacht.”

If this is the common ground for Americans to support these right-wing groups in Germany and Europe, I am wondering what they will tell the GIs who fought against Germany and National Socialism.

People like Fjordman, Strüning, Sabaditsch-Wolff, Meier and many others of that kind of agitators are part of the problem. They are not in the pro-Israel tent, they build an anti-Muslim tent. They are proud of Europe and Germany and ignore that the worst crime on earth ever, the Holocaust, was made by Germans and their European allies.

On January 3, 2013, Strüning’s ally, Götz Kubitschek, the new-right or extreme right-wing activist and publisher, backed German left-wing journalist Jakob Augstein. Augstein is no. 9 on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s “2012 Top Ten Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Slurs.” Currently, there is a huge debate going on in Germany about the antisemitism of Augstein (who was born in 1967, and is a multimillionaire, co-owner of the weekly Der Spiegel and owner of the small weekly Freitag). Augstein also promoted anti-American tropes and defamed US Troops because “79 elite soldiers” killed the “unarmed” and “old man” Osama Bin Laden, who was “surrounded by females and children.” In his tirade against America on May 5, 2011, he followed the anti-Americanism of Indian left-wing activist Arundhati Roy, who after 9/11 compared Bin Laden to George W. Bush.

For example, Augstein wrote on April 6, 2012, on his column for the leading German news website Spiegel Online (SPON):

“Israel’s nuclear power is a danger to the already fragile peace of the world. This statement has triggered an outcry. Because it’s true. And because it was made by a German, Guenter Grass, author and Nobel Prize winner. That is the key point. One must, therefore, thank him for taking it upon himself to speak for us all.”

This is how the new antisemitism works: “Jew’s nuclear power is a danger to the already fragile peace of the world.” Replace “Jews” with “Israel” and that’s it. Replacing Jew’s with Israel’s is the transformation we witnessed from the 1930’s and 40’s to the 21st century. Most people, though, not only but particular Germans, have not the intellectual strength and power to understand this crucial analysis. Resentment prevails, and analysis and scholarship on antisemitism is defamed. Scholars like Juliane Wetzel from the Center for Research on Antisemitism at Technical University Berlin, or her colleague Klaus Holz, a leading protestant activist and scholar on antisemitism, denied that Augstein is an antisemite because they themselves have no problem with the defamation of Israel in the way I quoted Augstein.

Extreme right-wing Kubitschek argued that the Simon Wiesenthal Center wrongly bases his decision on German-Jewish journalist Henryk M. Broder. Klaus Holz defamed Broder, too. The extreme right and Kubitschek has no problem with the defamation of Israel or the conspiracy thinking, promoted by left-wing Jakob Augstein and documented by the SWC.

Thus, Kubitschek announced that in February 2013 his publishing house Antaios will publish a small book, entitled “Forget about Broder! Are we still Antisemites?” (in German), written by a Günter Scholdt. They aim at Broder because he is the best known pro-Israel journalist in Germany. Most, if not all German dailies who reported about the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Top Ten list of antisemitic/anti-Israel slurs attacked Broder and/or backed Augstein. But it is particularly remarkable that the extreme right, which is eager to portray herself as pro-Israel and anti-Islamist, defames the leading pro-Israel and anti-Islamist journalist.

Antisemitism, racism, rejection of Holocaust remembrance, and (German) nationalism go hand in hand with people like Götz Kubitschek, Fjordman or Felix Strüning.

The leading German platform for Geert Wilders and all these people around Wilders mentioned in this article is – as already quoted – the German blog Politically Incorrect. Germany “cannot tolerate” “Jewish organizations” in that country “if Jewish organizations keep on doing this archaic rule,” aiming at circumcision, is the slogan of these antisemites in 2012. Who can take the pro-Israel lip-service of these people and groups seriously anymore?

As Commentary’s Ben Cohen wrote in November 2012, Wilders anti-ritual slaughter stance in the Netherlands should open eyes in the pro-Israel tent. Wilders and the likes are so obsessed with being anti-Islam – and not just anti-Islamism – that they oppose ritual slaughter, knowing that Jews will be a target, too.

People have to recognize that being anti-Islamism and pro-Israel does not mean being proud of Germany, silent about the Holocaust, and being anti-circumcision.

German and European right-wingers tried to pretend to be pro-Jewish ever since 9/11. The year 2012 has shown that they are antisemitic. They are also racist and anti-Islam and have to be fought for all these reasons and many more.

Scholarship on antisemitism has to be aware of left-wing, cosmopolitan anti-Zionism as well as of right-wing anti-Judaism/antisemitism or Holocaust distortion and trivialization. Neither Fjordman, Wilders or Politically Incorrect, nor people like Judith Butler, Günter Grass or Edward Said (I deal with Butler, Grass, and Said in my 2013 book Antisemitism: A Specific Phenomenon) are friends of serious scholarly research on antisemitism in all its forms. They have all to be analyzed and criticized for their promotion of different forms of antisemitism, left-wing or right-wing. Supporting people who want to expel all Muslims from Western countries is not tolerable. Fjordman crossed a red line and spreads neo-Nazi-style ideology.

Let us now turn to the rather left-wing or liberal Trojan Horse in the field of research on antisemitism and the Holocaust. I take scholars from the UK as an example. Scholarship in the Western world, particularly in Europe and North America, in the humanities and the social sciences in the fields of history of antisemitism, contemporary antisemitism, Middle East Studies, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Holocaust Studies, comparative literature, sociology, political science, law, cultural studies and related fields, is dominated by liberal or left-wing scholars. I’ll focus on several troubling tendencies of a couple of typical and representative scholars in some of these fields.

Legal scholar Lesley Klaff from the Sheffield Hallam University in England wrote about contemporary anti-Zionism and hate speech in the UK:

“The last few years have witnessed an explosion of anti-Zionist rhetoric on university campuses across the United Kingdom. Encouraged by the University and College Union’s annual calls for discriminatory measures against Israeli institutions and academics, the rhetoric has become even more strident since Operation Cast Lead. (…) There has been a proliferation of anti-Zionist expression on UK university campuses since 2002 when, on 6 April, 125 British academics published an open letter in The Guardian calling for an EU moratorium on funding for grants and research contracts for Israeli universities (…) This letter marked the official start of the British ‘academic boycott of Israel’ and acted as a catalyst for the use of the British university campus as a platform for the expression of anti-Zionist views.”[1]

Historian of antisemitism Robert Wistrich criticized the BBC, the Guardian, and the weeklyLondon Review of Books, the perhaps “most widely circulated of European literary magazines” for its constantly anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, or post-Zionist, approach and its defamation of Israel in recent years.[2]

Analyzing and criticizing scholars is an important field of research, take Campus Watch, an organization of the Middle East Forum (MEF) in Philadelphia, which deals with scholars in the field of Islamic and Middle East Studies in North America.[3]

Wistrich, head of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (SICSA)[4]at HebrewUniversity, said in August 2009 at a conference in Montréal, Canada:

“George Orwell said: ‘There are some things which only an intellectual would be stupid enough to believe.'” Wistrich went on: “Intellectuals invented modern antisemitism. They were the pioneers of it and therefore we need to be particularly attentive and vigilant to the ways in which contemporary intellectuals are contributing to new and more modern, or postmodern, in some cases, forms of antisemitism.”[5]

British historian Arnold Toynbee produced an antisemitic trope when equating Israel and the Jews to Nazis in the 1950s, as literary critic Anthony Julius[6] and Robert Wistrich have shown.[7] The Israel-equals-Nazism-and-the-Holocaust comparison and equation has been part of leftist agitation for decades,[8] just have a look at such an antisemitic cartoon in the issue of the Labour Herald from June 25, 1982.[9]

Let’s have a look at contemporary scholars and authors and listen to a leading voice in the UK when it comes to anti-Zionism and antisemitism, Jacqueline Rose, a scholar in English at Queen Mary, University of London. She is a wonderful example and maybe George Orwell had her in mind when he analyzed intellectuals and their relationship to stupid things many decades ago. Jacqueline Rose wrote in 2005:

“It was only when [Richard] Wagner was not playing at the Paris opera that he [Theodor Herzl, CH] had any doubts as to the truth of his ideas. (According to one story it was the same Paris performance of Wagner, when – without knowledge or foreknowledge of each other – they were both present on the same evening, that inspired Herzl to write Der Judenstaat, and Hitler Mein Kampf.)”[10]

First of all, one must wonder about the scholarly standard of Princeton University Press. This is not a spelling mistake, because otherwise the editors would have told Rose to correct it. Everyone knows that Hitler was born in 1889 (a few days after British historian Arnold Toynbee was born). Rose needs the parallelization of Hitler and Zionism to defame Zionist Jews in the most shocking way possible, so she invented an extremely ridiculous and absurd constellation in Paris. Every serious historian and intellectual must recognize this, regardless if someone favors anti-Zionism or not. This is simply not scholarship anymore, not even controversial scholarship, this is clap-trap.

Theodor Herzl indeed finished the manuscript of Der Judenstaat in May 1895. We do not know which concert Rose is talking about, but it could not have been later than May 1895. At that time, young Adolf was 6 years old and in fact only visited Paris in 1940 when he conquered France during the Second World War, as Wistrich recalls in his critique of Jacqueline Rose. Wistrich wrote in his A Lethal Obsession. Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad(2010), that “no contemporary platitude about the Jewish state is left unmentioned” in Rose’sThe Question of Zion.[11]

Rose also compared Israel to Nazi Germany, a hardcore antisemitic slur, as Anthony Julius,[12]documented in 2010 in his masterly study Trials of the Diaspora. A History of Antisemitism in England.[13]

The Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, based in London, and its director David Feldman are obviously rather fascinated by Rose as they invited her to present her new book on June 19, 2012. I dealt with this and several other kosher-stamps for post- and anti-Zionism at the Pears Institute and its allies like Jonathan Judaken in an article, published on November 9, 2012.

What are other troubling examples of scholars in the UK when it comes to research on antisemitism?

– take Zygmunt Bauman, the world famous sociologist, who did not simply ignore the unprecedented character of the Shoah when framing antisemitism as part of modernity. Worse, as early as 1989 in his Modernity and the Holocaust he accused Israel and the Jews of emphasizing the uniqueness of the Shoah and the anti-Jewish character of the Holocaust.[14]His obsession with downplaying antisemitism and the specificity of National Socialism and the Shoah and his defamation of Israel culminated in an interview he gave on August 16, 2011 to the influential Polish weekly Polityka, where he compared the Warsaw Ghetto with the security fence in Israel.[15] According to the “Working definition of Antisemitism” of the former European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) “antisemitism manifests itself” by “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”[16]

– or take Steven Beller who wrote in his small book Antisemitism: A very short introduction, published in the UK by a leading publishing house, Oxford University Press, that

“Antisemitism, in the form of a political movement aimed at persecuting, discriminating against, removing, or even exterminating Jews, is no longer a major threat in our globalized world.”[17]

This is denying reality; tell the Israeli population in Sderot, Ashkelon, Beersheba, Tel Aviv or Jerusalem about this, or Jews in the Netherlands or Sweden! Beller goes on to claim that “the answer to antisemitism is ultimately not a Jewish state, but the establishment of a truly global system of liberal pluralism.”[18] Anti-Zionism is mainstream in the UK and Oxford University Press is eager to print and distribute this in a small book supposedly dedicated to analyzing antisemitism. German publisher Reclam translated the book into German and the OxfordUniversity series claims that its books have been translated in many languages.

– or take British historian Tony Judt (1948–2010), and his infamous article “Israel: The Alternative” from 2003[19], where Judt wrote:

“The depressing truth is that Israel today is bad for the Jews.”[20]

Ahmadinejad or the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are grateful to Judt for defaming the Jewish state of Israel. Although scholars like sociologist Werner Cohn,[21] Judaic Studies scholar Alvin H. Rosenfeld[22], literary critic Anthony Julius,[23] or Manfred Gerstenfeld,[24]formerly from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), analyzed the antisemitism of Tony Judt, there are a huge number of scholars and students who still take Judt seriously. British historian Timothy Garton Ash, for instance, gave the first Tony Judt Memorial lecture on September 27, 2011 at New York University.[25] For historian David Cesarani, who is familiar with Judt’s anti-Israel position, Judt was a “superstar” and his “social and political agenda is resolutely moderate.”[26] Moderate!  Cynically spoken: Maybe Judt, was “moderate” in terms of a UK standard of hatred of Israel.

– or take Eric Hobsbawn. Eric Hobsbawn (1917–2012) alongside with many other anti-Israel academics signed a letter in the Guardian during Operation Cast Lead aiming at the very existence of Israel as a Jewish state since 1948.[27] We can see the close relationship of downplaying or trivializing the Holocaust and anti-Zionist activism in the work of Eric Hobsbawn. In his worldwide bestseller Age of Extremes, first published 1994, which supposedly is a history of the 20th century, there is no chapter on the Holocaust. Auschwitz is not worth mentioning in the book or index, either.[28] Hobsbawn mentions the Holocaust only in passing. There are 68 photographs in that book, not one about the Holocaust.[29] Anthony Julius analyzed the problematic approach of Hobsbawn and anti- or post-Zionist Jews or Jewish publications in the UK like the “Independent Jewish Voice.”[30]

– or take British historian Donald Bloxham from Edinburgh. In 2009 he wrote:

“Aimé Césaire, mentor of the anti-colonial theorist Frantz Fanon, was one of the first to formulate the verdict that Nazi Germany did to Europe what Europeans had been doing to Africans and others for a long time. The judgment has since become a commonplace in the scholarship of genocide and colonialism.”[31]

Remember: this is a quote from Bloxham’s Oxford University Press book about The Final Solution, the Holocaust. There was nothing like the Holocaust in Africa, as scholarship has shown, but Bloxham ignores recent research on that topic. He mainly refers to one highly controversial German scholar, Jürgen Zimmerer.[32] I deal with him and the debate about German South-West Africa in my new book, based, for example, on findings of historian and expert on African history Jakob Zollmann, who is critical about Holocaust distortion.[33] If the Shoah was more or less the same as colonial crimes then there would not be a need for Holocaust Studies.

Donald Bloxham then accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” without giving the slightest context and without referring to scholarly literature on the Arab-Israeli war 1947/48 and the establishment of Israel. Bloxham writes – again, in a book about the Final Solution:

“In the ensuing years, in another former Ottoman province, Palestine, the nascent Israeli state forced the dispersal of large numbers of Arabs and went on to deny them the right to return.”[34]

Donald Bloxham applies the Islamist and secular anti-Zionist position of “right of return,” which is still today a main obstacle to peace in the Middle East, and a core ideology of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine in the Near East (UNWRA).[35]

These are just a few outstanding examples of scholars from the UK and their relationship to antisemitism, anti-Zionism, Holocaust distortion, and post-colonial ideology.[36]

Finally, almost all scholars in the social sciences and humanities – I just focused on a few outstanding examples from the UK – reject or ignore research on Islamism and Muslim antisemitism. This is not so much different to the 1930s when the Western world ignored, if it did not embrace, Nazi antisemitism. Just look at the Ivy League in the United States and its pro-Nazi policies after 1933, for example, as historian Stephen Norwood has convincingly shown in recent years.[37]

The strange increase in research centers, consortiums and events about antisemitism is rather an indication that serious scholarship is being hijacked by newcomers who have no interest in analyzing antisemitism. Rather, the obfuscation or affirmation of antisemitic tropes is prevalent, often based on post-colonial and post-Orientalist ideology (following Edward Said), Holocaust distortion and anti-Zionism or post-Zionism.

On the other side we have right-wing activists, particularly in Germany and Europe like Fjordman, who agitate against Muslims and who argue against Judaism and ritual slaughter or the circumcision like Geert Wilders or the German blog Politically Incorrect and the extreme right-wing party Die Freiheit and its Bavarian head Michael Stürzenberger. Activists like Felix Strüning are collaborating with Politically Incorrect and the entire right-wing club of agitators against Muslims as such. As documented, those right-wingers embrace Antaios publisher Götz Kubitschek, who published Fjordman in 2012 and portrays the Holocaust and the National Socialist war against the Soviet Union as a “preventive war.” As shown, Strüning was part of a conference in Berlin that was organized by Kubitschek, and the antisemitic blog Politically Incorrect and its agitator Stürzenberger were part of the event, too. For economic reasons Strüning and other European activists don’t tell their American donors or friends about their German extreme right-wing bedfellows.

I tried to show in this article that serious scholarship and activism in the field of antisemitism, Islamism, Israel, and the Holocaust, has to be aware of dangerous tendencies from the left and from the right.

Promoting post- and anti-Zionism as a solution to the Arab-Israel conflict is suicide for Jews and Israel. Collaborating with self-declared friends of Israel from the (extreme as well as new) right will be a failure, too. At the end of the day it turns out that those right-wingers, as well as many German left-wingers, even pro-Israel ones, detest Judaism and argue aggressively against the circumcision or ritual slaughter.

This is the rather complicated situation we will be facing in 2013 and the following years and decades.

Islamism is a modern phenomenon. People have to stop talking about the supposedly continuity of some 1400 years of Islamism from the very beginning of Islam. This is ridiculous and distorts the history of antisemitism, too. Christian antisemitism was by far more dangerous compared with Islamic Jew-hatred in the Middle Ages in particular. The Holocaust was a German project, embedded in the long history of European and Christian antisemitism.

I know about organized Islamism and the threat it poses to Germany, Europe and the entire world and wrote the entry about Islamism in Germany in the first ever World Almanac of Islamism, published by the American Foreign Policy Council in 2011.

However, the ontologization or essentialization of Islamism has to be stopped. Framing Islamism as a 1400 (or 1500) years old project[38] denies that the Muslim Brotherhood was established in 1928 and that its antisemitism and Islamism are highly modern phenomena. The collaboration of the Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Hussaini with Hitler, the Nazis and the Germans during National Socialism and the Holocaust was a highly modern phenomenon, and not mentioned or advocated in the Quran, too!

Like every religious book, take the Bible as an example, the Quran depends on modern interpretation. This is what believers like Irshad Manji, a moderate, lesbian Muslim, do. She was a speaker, for example, at the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA) at YaleUniversity, several years ago. She dealt with Muslim antisemitism without framing the entire history of Islam as antisemitic, of course

The same holds for the very new and modern phenomenon of Iranian Islamism. The Iranian Revolution took place in 1979 and the following years and not 1400 years ago!

Israel needs support from serious scholars, authors, and activists, as well as politicians and the public in Western countries. Israel does not need advice from post-Zionist people who base their judgment on lies like those of Jacqueline Rose who wrote that Hitler was inspired to write Mein Kampf age six in 1895 in Paris, while Theodor Herzl was inspired to write Der Judenstaat during the very same concert!

Finally, Israel does not deserve support from right-wingers who base their judgment on pure hatred of Muslims as such and who distort if not embrace the Shoah and German nationalism in particular. For good reason, no one will take the pro-Israel as well as the anti-Islamism tents seriously if people like Fjordman or Strüning, who stand pars pro toto for the entire right-wing scene in Europe, are considered allies. Left-wing as well as right-wing Trojan Horses are a serious threat to Jews, Israel, the anti-Islamist scene and serious scholarship and activism on these topics.

Even Jews in Germany are reluctant to call antisemites antisemites. Several leading Jewish voices in Germany backed Jakob Augstein and criticized the Simon Wiesenthal Center for putting Augstein on the SWC 2012 Top Ten antisemitic/anti-Israel Slurs list. Salomon Korn, Vice-President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Julius H. Schoeps, historian of German-Jewish history, and historian Michael Wolffsohn, backed the anti-Zionist antisemitism of Jakob Augstein by framing it as “rubbish” or stupid, but not as antisemitic. The German media was extremely happy to quote Jews that their darling Jakob Augstein is not an antisemite, in this distorted and supposedly kosher view. Many debates about Israel would change entirely without the very few but extremely influential – because the non-Jewish German journalists are eager to find Jews who downplay, ignore, obfuscate or support forms of antisemitism  – Jewish voices who often frame anti-Zionist antisemitism as “criticism of Israel.” Historian Wolffsohn, a well known figure in the political landscape of Germany, who once served in the IDF, went so far as to claim that the Simon Wiesenthal Center is “irrelevant,” saying to a leading daily, based in Berlin, Der Tagesspiegel: “I believe the Simon Wiesenthal Center is analytically and intellectually irrelevant.”

As literary critic Edward Alexander has shown recently, in his fascinating, timely, and tremendously important article about “Past and Present: Some Reflections on American-Jewish Intellectuals,” and the role people (and groups) like Hannah Arendt, Martin Jay, Tony Judt, George Steiner, J Street, Michael Lerner, and Peter Beinart played and play since the 1960s in denouncing Israel and/or the Jewish people from within, the problem of Trojan Horses goes beyond the left/right specter in the gentile world. German and Norwegian right-wingers use their being anti-jihad to promote hatred of immigration and hatred of Jews. A few Jews in the US and Europe use their being Jewish to give kosher-stamps for gentile antisemites. Iran loves these activities in Western countries because it detracts attention from the Iranian and Islamist threat.


[1] Lesley Klaff (2010): “Anti-Zionist Expression on the UK Campus: Free Speech or Hate Speech?,” Jewish Political Studies Review, Vol. 22, Nos. 3–4, 87–109, online http://jcpa.org/article/anti-zionist-expression-on-the-uk-campus-free-speech-or-hate-speech/ (visited November 22, 2012).

[2] Robert Wistrich (2011): From Blood Libel to Boycott: Changing Faces of British Antisemitism, Posen Papers on Contemporary Antisemitism 13, The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, Hebrew University, online http://sicsa.huji.ac.il/robert%20pp13.pdf (visited November 22, 2012), 1-2.

[3] “Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum, reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America with an aim to improving them. The project mainly addresses five problems: analytical failures, the mixing of politics with scholarship, intolerance of alternative views, apologetics, and the abuse of power over students. Campus Watch fully respects the freedom of speech of those it debates while insisting on its own freedom to comment on their words and deeds,” http://www.campus-watch.org/ (visited November 22, 2012).

[4] Let me say a few positive things about the UK and its relation to antisemitism. Perhaps the best known research center on antisemitism today is the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (SICSA) at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, established in 1982. It is named after Vidal Sassoon, who died this year. I posted an entry on my homepage to commemorate him. Vidal Sassoon first got in touch with politics in London after the Second World War. In 1947 he became a member of the famous group 43, a Jewish group fighting antisemitism in London and England, particularly Oswald Mosley and the Union Movement, and his pro-Nazi fascists, the Blackshirts. Antisemitism and hatred of Jews did not end on May 8, 1945, as we all know. Mosley was friends with Arthur Ehrhardt, himself a Nazi, member of the Waffen-SS and a SS-Hauptsturmführer, responsible for fighting “partisans.” Arthur Ehrhardt was then supported by Mosley and others after 1945 to reorganize SS activities under another name and he founded the journal Nation Europa, following the pan-European SS-ideology. Ehrhardt was the political father of Henning Eichberg, the leading theorist of German New Right ideology since the late 1960s. In 2006 I finished my doctoral dissertation about Henning Eichberg, the New Right and German ideology from 1970–2005, including the analysis of anti-Americanism, national identity, and antisemitism, Clemens Heni (2007): Salonfähigkeit der Neuen Rechten. ‘Nationale Identität, Antisemitismus und Antiamerikanismus in der politischen Kultur der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1970–2005: Henning Eichberg als Exempel, Marburg: Tectum [also doctoral dissertation University of Innsbruck, July 2006].)

[5] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIZKoYcP_vY&lr=1 (visited November 22, 2012; transcript by CH).

[6] Anthony Julius (2010): Trials of the Diaspora. A History of Anti-Semitism in England, Oxford/New York: OxfordUniversity Press, 412–414;

[7] Wistrich 2011, 7: “The intellectual pioneer in the 1950s of the idea that Zionism is a form of Nazism was, however, another eminent member of the British establishment, the renowned philosopher of history Arnold J. Toynbee. His monumental A Study of History unequivocally and relentlessly indicted the Zionists as ‘disciples of the Nazis.’ According to Toynbee, they had chosen ‘to imitate some of the evil deeds that the Nazis had committed against the Jews.'”

[8] Even critics of antisemitism like Dave Rich from the Community Security Trust (CST) argue sometimes not so convincingly. He said in 2011 at a conference about the EUMC Working Definition on Antisemitism: “For example, the Working Definition’s list of examples of antisemitism relating to Israel – which includes describing Israel’s existence as “a racist endeavour” and comparing Israel to Nazi Germany – is preceded by the crucial sentence: “Examples of the ways in which antisemitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israeltaking into account the overall context could include…” [emphasis by Dave Rich]. This leaves an obvious question which is not often asked, much less answered: what is the context in which these examples may not be antisemitic? For example, does a statement daubed on a wall differ from the same statement, made in a lecture theatre or written on an internet blog? At what point does the manner and context in which the statement is made demand intervention, either by a website moderator or by the police?” (Dave Rich (2011): Reactions, Uses and Abuses of the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism, http://kantorcenter.tau.ac.il/sites/default/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/
proceeding-all_3.pdf (visited November 23, 2012)). WELL, if we take the comparison of Israel to Nazi Germany as an example, as Rich did as well, one should state that every single comparison of Israel with the worst regime on earth ever, National Socialism, is antisemitic, regardless if this comparison is made on a wall, in a lecture theatre or in a book, during daylight, at night, on a Wednesday afternoon, or on a Sunday morning. Such a comparison is obfuscating the Holocaust and defaming the Jewish state in the worst way possible. It projects the German guilt onto the Jews. Sigmund Freud, who died in London in 1939, could have written about this kind of antisemitic projection in some length. I do not understand why Rich asks if there might be a situation where the comparison of Israel to Nazi Germany (which is one of the examples of comparisons he refers to) “may not be antisemitic.”

[9] Wistrich 2011, 8.

[10] Jacqueline Rose (2005): The Question of Zion, Princeton and Oxford: PrincetonUniversity Press, 64–65.

[11] Robert Wistrich (2010): A Lethal Obsession. Antisemitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad, New York: Random House 2010, 536.

[12] There are other examples of people in the UK who analyze, criticize and fight antisemitism in all its forms, including Muslim, left-wing and academic antisemitism. These activists and authors include, among many others, Ronnie Fraser and the Academic Friends of Israel (http://www.academics-for-israel.org/, visited November 23, 2012), and Douglas Murray, an outstanding voice against the Western and British denial of the Iranian threat.  Murray spoke against the affirmation of Islamism, anti-Zionism and antisemitism at the Cambridge Political Union in March 2011, http://www.cus.org/connect/debates/2011/this-house-would-rather-a-nuclear-iran-than-war (visited July 9, 2012);  or see the Zionist Federation, its Vice President Jonathan Hoffman, http://www.zionist.org.uk/ (visited November 23, 2012) or young activists and authors like Sam Westrop. It would be interesting, by the way, to learn why a Muslim member of British Muslims for Israel was disinvited to speak at an event of the Union of Jewish Students (and the possible involvement of the Community Security Trust, CST, in that decision). I think it is important and tremendously timely to support pro-Israel Muslims. Maybe many Muslims are pro-Israel but do not dare to speak out. Therefore it is imperative to give pro-Zionist Muslims a forum and to support their cause; in May 2012 Westrop reported the following: “Pro-Israel Muslims are especially feared. Kasim Hafeez – my Muslim friend and Israel advocate whom I mentioned earlier – was recently banned from speaking to Jewish students by the Union of Jewish Students (UJS). The UJS stated that Kasim’s presence would be dangerously provocative during the annual ‘Israel Apartheid Week’, because his speaking tour was: ‘very controversial and could potentially backfire on the J-Socs, exacerbating tensions and disrupting interfaith relations. We are concerned that he will stir up unnecessary anti-Israel & anti-Jewish sentiment among several hostile groups on campus’ This proscription was supported by a number of Jewish organisations within Britain,” Sam Westrop (2012):  “Fool to the left of me, Neo-Nazi to the right…,” May 24, 2012, http://blogs.jpost.com/content/fool-left-me-neo-nazi-right (visited November 23, 2012). Westrop is also criticizing right-wing extremist Jewish groups like the Jewish Defense League (JDL), as well as rather anti-Zionist Jewish groups, both of which defamed the British Israel Coalition (http://bicpac.co.uk/, visited November 23, 2012), where Westrop and Hafeez are members.

[13] Julius 2010, 557.

[14] Zygmunt Bauman (1989): Modernity and the Holocaust, Cambridge: Polity Press, ix.

[15] For translations from this interview see Elvira Grözinger (2011): “Zygmunt Baumanns Verirrungen,” October 3, 2011, http://spme.net/cgi-bin/articles.cgi?ID=8380 (visited May 18, 2012).

[16] EUMC: “Working Definition of Antisemitism,” http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/material/pub/AS/AS-WorkingDefinition-draft.pdf (visited May 17, 2012). The EUMC existed between 1998 and 2007; the successor of the EUMC in 2007 is the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), which is still providing this definition today.

[17] Steven Beller (2007): Antisemitism – A Very Short introduction, New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 119.

[18] Beller 2007, 119. Beller is also known for challenging critics of antisemitism like political scientist and sociologist Andrei S. Markovits from the University of Michigan. In the UK based peer-reviewed journal Patterns of Prejudice, which published several highly controversial articles in recent years (I analyze a couple of them in my new book, Heni 2013), Beller wrote:  “Andy Markovits similarly loses perspective when discussing the anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism of his erstwhile friends in the European left. He states, for example, that the BBC, Guardian and Independent share a ‘hostility towards Israel, Jews, and the USA’ (222). Israel and the USA perhaps, but Jews? As an online reader of the Guardian and BBC, I do not think their criticism of the United States and of Israel is based on a distorting ‘hostility’ so much as an astute objectivity and a refreshing outsider’s perspective, although I can see why many Americans I know are, like Markovits, antagonized by it. But why would Markovits claim that the BBC, Guardian and Independent are hostile to ‘Jews’, that they are effectively antisemitic? That is a grievous misrepresentation of these institutions, ignoring their decades of combating prejudice and championing the rights of individuals and minorities, Jews very much included,” Steven Beller (2007a): “In Zion’s hall of mirrors: a comment on Neuer Antisemitismus?,”Patterns of Prejudice, Vol. 41, No. 2, 215–238, 219–220. Beller equally rejects the analysis of the “new antisemitism” by Omer Bartov, Michael Walzer, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Alain Finkielkraut, Thomas Haury, Jeffrey Herf, Robert Wistrich and Matthias Küntzel, ibid., 217.

[19] Tony Judt (2003): “Israel: The Alternative,” October 23, 2003, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2003/
oct/23/israel-the-alternative/ (visited May 23, 2012).

[20] Judt 2003.

[21] Werner Cohn (2011): “Prolegomena to the Study of Jews Who Hate Israel. Not to Weep or to Laugh, but to Understand,” http://www.wernercohn.com/Prolegomena%20to%20the%20Study%20of%20Jews%20Who%20Hate
%20Israel.htm (visited May 23, 2012); “Broadly speaking, Jews who hate Israel fall into three categories: a) the famous, of which Noam Chomsky is about the only one; b) the well-known, like Norman Finkelstein and Tony Judt, and c) others who are not known beyond their immediate circles but who do lurk in various crevices of the Internet. Altogether, as I will explain below, it is not likely that there are more than a few thousand of these haters active worldwide, say fewer than 10,000 and probably no more than half that number. Considering that there are more than 13 million Jews in the world at the moment, the proportion of those who actively hate Israel, about 0.04 of one percent, might well be considered to be modest indeed,” Cohn 2011.

[22] Alvin H. Rosenfeld (2006): “Progressive” Jewish Thought and the new anti-Semitism, New York City: The American Jewish Committee,  http://www.ajc.org/atf/cf/%7B42D75369-D582-4380-8395-D25925B85EAF%7D/
PROGRESSIVE_JEWISH_THOUGHT.PDF (visited March 27, 2012), 15–16.

[23] “In a speech at Chicago University, given in October 2007, Tony Judt said: ‘If you stand up here and say, as I am saying and someone else will probably say as well, that there is an Israel lobby (…) you are coming very close to saying that there is a de facto conspiracy or if you like plot (…) and that sounds an awful lot like, you know, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the conspiratorial theory of the Zionist Occupational Governments and so on – well if it sounds like it it’s unfortunate, but that’s just how it is. We cannot calibrate the truths that we’re willing to speak, if we think they’re true, according to the idiocies of people who happen to agree with us for their reasons.’ Judt’s odd, misconceived remarks bring me to the Jewish anti-Zionistcontributions to anti-Semitism – in summary, both to affirm the truth of certain anti-Semitic positions (or positions with anti-Semitic implications) and to protect the holders of those positions from charges of anti-Semitism,” Julius 2010, 557.

[24] “Tony Judt, director of the Remarque Institute at New York University, delegitimizes Israel in a more sophisticated way,” than others who are against Zion, Manfred Gerstenfeld (2005): “Jews against Israel,” Nativ, Vol. 8, October 2005, http://www.acpr.org.il/English-Nativ/08-issue/gerstenfeld-8.htm (visited May 23, 2012).

[25] http://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2011/09/15/timothy-garton-ash-to-deliver-tony-judt-memorial-lecture-muslims-in-europe-the-challenges-to-liberalism-sept-27-at-nyu.html (visited May 23, 2012).

[26] David Cesarani (2012): “Thinking the Twentieth Century, by Tony Judt, with Timothy Snyder,” February 10, 2012, http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/thinking-the-twentieth-century-by-tony-judt-with-timothy-snyder-6699572.html (visited June 24, 2012).

[27] Paul Gilroy, Ted Honderich, Étienne Balibar, Ilan Pappé, Gilbert Achcar, and Slavoj Zizek, among many others, were also signatories of that inflammatory letter. This remarkable letter, published in the Guardian, defamed the very existence of Israel and said: “The massacres in Gaza are the latest phase of a war that Israel has been waging against the people of Palestine for more than 60 years. The goal of this war has never changed: to use overwhelming military power to eradicate the Palestinians as a political force, one capable of resisting Israel’s ongoing appropriation of their land and resources. Israel’s war against the Palestinians has turned Gaza and the West Bank into a pair of gigantic political prisons,” “Growing outrage at the killings in Gaza,” January 16, 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/
2009/jan/16/gaza-israel-petitions (visited March 29, 2012). Sociologist Gurminder Bhambra from the University of Warwick hosted Walter Mignolo from Duke University in the US. Mignolo is known as a supporter of the “one-state-solution,” read: the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state, which would result in the killing of Jews, no doubt about this. Bhambra bases her own work on post-colonial ‘superstar’ Edward Said (Gurminder K. Bhambra (2007): Rethinking Modernity. Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination, Basingstoke (UK): Palgrave Macmillan). Bhambra compared the Holocaust to the history of slavery and the United States Holocaust Memorial to the Museum of Slavery in Liverpool. This is a distortion of the Shoah and a denial of its unprecedented character. Edward Said was a leading voice of anti-Israel scholarship since the late 1960s. He portrayed Arabs as the ‘new Jews’ as early as 1969 (Edward Said (1969): “The Palestinian Experience,” in: Moustafa Bayoumi/Andrew Rubin (eds.) (2001), The Edward Said Reader, London: Granta Books, 14–37, 34). He equated Israel with South-African apartheid in 1979 (Edward Said (1979): “Zionism from the Standpoint of its Victims,” in: Bayoumi/Rubin (eds.) (2001), 114–168) and denounced Israel as the leading Orientalist, imperialist and racist power in his bestselling book Orientalism in 1978 (Edward Said (1978): Orientalism, New York: Vintage Books). The chapter on Israel is the last and longest chapter in this anti-Western and antisemitic book. In an interview in 1987 Said said that Israelis had not learned the lessons from their own suffering under Nazi Germany. In his view, Jews have become perpetrators now in the same way the Nazis were perpetrators against the Jews (The interview reads: “[Question to Said] Given the history of the Jews and the creation of the Israeli state, because of their historical experience with persecution and suffering and holocaust [small ‚h’ in the original, CH] and death camps, should one feel that Israelis and Jews in general should be more sensitive, should be more compassionate? Is that racist? [Said] No, I don’t think it’s racist. As a Palestinian I keep telling myself that if I were in a position one day to gain political restitution for all the suffering of my people, I would, I think, be extraordinarily sensitive to the possibility that I might in the process be injuring another people,” Edward Said (2010): The Pen and the Sword. Conversations with Edward Said by David Barsamian.Introductions by Eqbal Ahmad and Nubar Hovsepian, Chicago: Haymarket Books, 42 (this interview was first published 1987)). In 1999 Said said that, if he could choose, he would opt for a kind of renewed Ottoman Empire. Jews could become an accepted minority, but Israel would be destroyed (Edward Said (1999): “An Interview with Edward Said,” in: Bayoumi/Rubin (eds.) (2001), 419–444, 430).

[28] Eric Hobsbawn (1994): Age of Extremes. The Short Twentieth Century 1914 – 1991, London: Michael Joseph.

[29] These pictures have no page numbers, and follow page 212 in the book, Hobsbawn 1994.

[30] Julius analyzed the anti-Zionist approach of Eric Hobsbawn and the “Independent Jewish Voice” (IJV): “The anti-Zionist is not just a Jew like other Jews; his dissent from normative Zionist loyalities makes him a better Jew. He restores Judaism’s good name; to be a good Jew one has to be an anti-Zionist. Eric Hobsbawn, for example, explained when IJV was launched: ‘It is important for non-Jews to know that there are Jews … who do not agree with the apparent consensus within the Jewish community that the only good Jew is one who supports Israel.’ This refusal to ‘support’ Israel leads to the formulation: ‘Israel is one thing, Jewry another.’ So far from Zionism being inextricably implicated in Jewish identity, fidelity to Judaism demands that Israel be criticized and one’s distance from Zionism be affirmed. The public repudiation of the  ‘right of return’, guaranteed to Jews by Israel in one of its earliest pieces of legislation, was considered to be one important such affirmation,” Julius 2010, 548.

[31] Donald Bloxham (2009): The Final Solution. A Genocide, New York: Oxford University Press, 20, emphasis added.

[32] Bloxham 2009, 324–325.

[33] Heni 2013, 132–150, the chapter is entitled: “From Windhoek to Auschwitz” – “Kaiser’s Holocaust.” I am analyzing and criticizing these expressions, which in fact are book titles of contemporary historians!

[34] Bloxham 2009, 108.

[35] For a comprehensive analysis and critique of UNWRA and the right of return of Palestinian ‘refugees’ see Steven J. Rosen (ed.) (2012): UNWRA, Part of the Problem. Special Issue of Middle East Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 4.

[36] I could also ask why David Seymour, a scholar in law from the University of London, denied the antisemitism in the early work of Karl Marx and did not even deal in detail with the remarkable scholarship on the antisemitism in “On the Jewish Question” of Marx from 1844. I would go further and say that Marx actually changed his position and started analyzing the value form of capitalism instead of defaming Jews and the field of distribution, finance, and money lending and so on. However, there is a horrible legacy of the early Marx until today if we look at left-wing and right-wing as well as mainstream anti-capitalist tropes, which defame one aspect of capitalism like Wall Street or the financial sector, while embracing the labour movement and the production of goods as such. Antisemitism among groups like Occupy Wall Street has been analyzed in recent years. I was astonished that Seymour omitted an analysis of Giorgio Agamben’s anti-Americanism and his distortion of the Holocaust when comparing the Shoah to Guantanamo Bay, for example. Finally, but not surprisingly, Seymour did not deal with the maybe most troubling aspect of Hannah Arendt’s scholarship: her anti-Zionism, which predates most of her political writing on other topics like “totalitarianism.” See David M. Seymour (2007): Law, Antisemitism and the Holocaust, Abingdon, Routledge-Cavendish.

[37] Stephen H. Norwood (2009): The Third Reich in the ivory tower: complicity and conflict on American campuses, Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press; Stephen H. Norwood (2011): Antisemitism in the contemporary American university: parallels with the Nazi era, Jerusalem: The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (SICSA), Acta, No. 34.

[38] Take one of the editors of the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism (JSA), Steven K. Baum, as an example. He is doing very good work with that journal, and I am a Board Member, too. But framing contemporary Muslim antisemitism as “1500” years old, is not convincing and not scholarly in nature; “Baum relates some of his experiences: “I carried out a study on 100 North American Muslims and 100 Christians who were given tests on the topics of anti-Semitism and other psychological phenomena. Their scores were then added up regarding levels and types of anti-Semitic beliefs. The results were that mainstream Christian anti-Semitism scores were low, while most Muslim scores were high. Threat to one’s social identity emerged as the strongest predictors of anti-Semitism in the Muslim samples. I sent my study to the Journal of Contemporary Religion. Its editor said that a reviewer wanted me to explain those religious differences in terms of Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians. I replied that 1,500 years of anti-Semitic Muslim culture were the most likely source. The editor said that she would not publish the article until this issue was resolved with the reviewer,” Interview with Steven K. Baum by Manfred Gerstenfeld, December 28, 2012, Israelnationalnews.com.

Heni is director of The Berlin International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (BICSA)

Right-wing and Left-wing Trojan Horses

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