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Opposition to Zionism is not anti-Semitism.

Written by: Nick G. on 27 November 2023


Ever since international solidarity with the Palestinian resistance to Zionist aggression against Gaza emerged after October7, the Zionist lobby and its supporters have charged their opponents with anti-Semitism.

The Zionist lobby knows well the effectiveness of this charge. As one group of Semites (the term originally included Palestinians and other Arabs, and Akkadians, and Phoenicians), the Jews had been attacked by Christians for their alleged involvement in the crucifixion of Christ and barred from most employment and professions throughout Europe. Pogroms attacked Jewish communities over hundreds of years before Hitler elevated ethnic cleansing into wholesale genocide. Thus, from the late 1800s on, anti-Semitism was promoted by some, and opposed by others, as a specific form of hatred of Jews.

The German variant of the fascist movement that began in Italy under Mussolini, took anti-Semitism and anti-Communism as its targets. Hitler often spoke of them in the same breath as “Jewish Bolshevism”. The National Socialist Program of 1920 clearly stated its intention to deny citizenship to Jews and people of Jewish descent, and five years later, Hitler’s Mein Kampf further developed his racial hatred of Jews as a people inferior to the Aryan “master race”.  

There was nothing hidden or concealed about Hitler’s intentions towards the Jews. As his Nazi Party grew in strength, world leaders were asked by Jewish organisations to take a stand against anti-Semitism. Many were affected by the disease themselves or were afraid to alienate those in their electoral bases who were anti-Jewish. Only one leader made a public condemnation of anti-Semitism, and he was the head of a country which had a long history of hatred of Jews and of pogroms against their communities.

Stalin’s forceful denunciation of anti-Semitism

On January 12, 1931, Joseph Stalin replied to an inquiry from the Jewish News Agency in the United States:

In answer to your inquiry :

National and racial chauvinism is a vestige of the misanthropic customs characteristic of the period of cannibalism. Anti-semitism, as an extreme form of racial chauvinism, is the most dangerous vestige of cannibalism.

Anti-semitism is of advantage to the exploiters as a lightning conductor that deflects the blows aimed by the working people at capitalism. Anti-semitism is dangerous for the working people as being a false path that leads them off the right road and lands them in the jungle. Hence Communists, as consistent internationalists, cannot but be irreconcilable, sworn enemies of anti-semitism.

In the U.S.S.R. anti-semitism is punishable with the utmost severity of the law as a phenomenon deeply hostile to the Soviet system. Under U.S.S.R. law active anti-semites are liable to the death penalty.

J. Stalin
January 12, 1931

Not one other leader of the so-called “democracies” denounced anti-Semitism so forcefully. Indeed many did not at all.

Despite knowing of Hitler’s desire to cleanse Germany (and Europe) of Jews, and knowing of the existence of concentration camps, they refused to condemn Hitler.

On the other hand, and knowing of Hitler’s plans for war and his “final solution” of the “Jewish problem”, Stalin had Pravda publish his reply to the US Jewish News Agency on November 30, 1936 so as to provide leadership on this question among the Soviet people.

Anti-Semitism not an issue for Menzies.

This stands in marked contrast to people like Robert Menzies. As Attorney-General in the Lyons United Australia Party government, Menzies admired Hitler’s government for its suppression of the workers’ movement, and ignored its growing record of anti-Semitism. In 1933, he had acknowledged the “barbaric and medieval persecution” to which Jews in Europe were “apparently” being subjected, but the following year he unsuccessfully attempted to exclude Czech Jewish Communist Egon Kisch from entering Australia on an anti-fascist speaking tour. 

Whilst still Attorney-General (and Minister for Industry) he toured Europe from April to August 1938, and included Nazi Germany on his itinerary. Persecution of Jews was in full swing (it was only three months before the notorious Nazi pogrom known as the Kristallnacht) yet all he could talk of was how wonderful was Hitler’s leadership.

Addressing the Australian Women's National League in Melbourne in October after his return, he said “If you were Germans, you would take off your hats to Herr Hitler, who does really rule Germany and is not a figurehead. He has produced results. He has been able to bluff and the other nations have not been able to call his bluff.”

The Melbourne Argus, Nov. 15th, 1938 said “In his recent visit to Germany he (Mr. Menzies), had been impressed with German industrial efficiency and with the attitude of responsibility of the big industrial enterprises to the welfare of their employees and their children.”

Reporting on the same speech by Menzies, the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying “The dictator in Germany had been guilty of unspeakably bad things, but there were also points in the dictatorship that Australia could learn from. He had been impressed with German industrial efficiency.”

On July 17, 1939 in Perth, Menzies said “If Herr Hitler were to be considered fairly and dispassionately, it must be admitted that he had done remarkable things for his country.”

A woman shouted an interjection: “Concentration camps, my God!”

Menzies replied that he regarded it as a cardinal rule to be fair to one's opponents. In other words, the woman should be fair to Hitler!

Following the death of Lyons in April 1939, Menzies became UAP leader and Prime Minister. In September, he announced as his “melancholy duty” that as a consequence of the UK declaring war on Germany, Australia was also at war.

But at this stage it was a “phoney war”, with no real action being taken by the US and France to stop Hitler. That lasted for eight months until May 1940, when Germany invaded France. Up until this point, Menzies was still defending Hitler. 

“I have a great admiration for the Nazi organisation of Germany. There is a case for Germany against Czechoslovakia. We must not destroy Hitlerism, or talk about shooting Hitler,” he told Parliament (Hansard, April 22, 1940).

Zionism has inherited the spirit of anti-Semitism

It is all very well for the heirs of Menzies and their look-alikes in the Labor Party to decry anti-Semitism, but they do so only as a defense of Israel as an imperialist enclave within the Middle East.

When the Israelis engage in Nazi-like suppression of the Palestinians, they are silent. 

When Israel established itself through terrorist violence of the Haganah, and of the Irgun and Stern gangs, Zionism fully embraced a racist ideology of conquest and suppression. As early as 1895, Theodor Herzl had proclaimed that “The superiority of Jewish colonial rights over the rights of the indigenous Palestinians has always been the hallmark of the Zionist movement.” He had the Nazi concept of lebensraum (the right of conquest for seizure of living room) before Nazism existed and made it its own. It still manifests itself in Israel’s illegal seizure of Palestinian territory following the Zionist state’s creation in 1947, and in its state-supported invasion of the West Bank by so-called settlers who impose their will by way of anti-Palestinian pogroms.

To achieve its attempted crushing of the Palestinians, Israel has imposed the Warsaw Ghetto writ large upon Gaza. Announcing a “complete siege” of Gaza two days after Hamas’ attack on Israel, the latter’s defence minister, Yoav Gallant, was straightforward about his view of Palestinians. “There will be no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel, everything will be closed. We are fighting against human animals and will act accordingly.” When the Palestinians stage their own Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the Israelis stage their own Nazi demolition of the ghetto they have imposed.

It is one thing to slander the supporters of the Palestinian resistance as anti-Semitic. It is a blindness to the spirit of anti-Semitism that lies at the heart of Zionism and its supporters.

This is the Nazi-like spirit that infuses the comments of Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu who said that dropping a “nuclear bomb” on the Gaza Strip is “an option”.

Eliyahu, a minister from the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, said that “one of Israel’s options in the war in Gaza is to drop a nuclear bomb on the Strip,” Daily Times of Israel reported.

Speaking a radio interview, Eliyahu also “voices his objection to allowing any humanitarian aid into Gaza.”

“We wouldn’t hand the Nazis humanitarian aid,” the minister said, adding that “there is no such thing as uninvolved civilians in Gaza.”

The far-right minister also said that the Palestinian population “can go to Ireland or deserts, the monsters in Gaza should find a solution by themselves.”
He added: “Anyone waving a Palestinian or Hamas flag shouldn’t continue living on the face of the earth.”

Again, the same spirit infuses the comments by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu following the events of October 7. 

In describing the war he had unleashed as a “holy mission”, he said: “You must remember what Amalek has done to you, says our Holy Bible”. His words are reference to a text which goes on to read: “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass,” (1 Samuel 15:3). 

According to George Browning, former Anglican Bishop of Canberra Goulburn, “This statement frighteningly tells you all you need to know about the mindset and intention of Israel’s vengeful Prime Minister, and of the future that lies ahead for all Palestinians in the lands of their birth.”

Nothing gives the lie to charges of anti-Semitism directed at supporters of the Palestinian resistance more than the involvement of non-Zionist Jews in the rallies and demonstrations. A disciplined approach to anti-Semitism has been a hallmark of the organisers of pro-Palestinian marches and rallies, and they have welcome the presence of Jews with their anti-Netanyahu slogans of “Not in our name”.

The courage of the young Jewish boy who spoke at the Sydney school student strike for Palestine, and the welcome afforded by the Palestinian organisers points in the best possible way to a future in which Jews and Palestinians, and Hebrews, Muslims and Christians cooperate in the creation of a singular, secular state from the River to the Sea.


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