Israel As Europe’s Last Settler-Colony
by Gwydion M. Williams
This article includes some things I said in my contribution to the Bevin Society pamphlet Corbyn and Anti-Semitism. But most of it is new.
- A Few Questions
- Anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic?
- Jewish Influences
- Centre-Right Guilt
- Israel and White Racism
- Gulf Wars
- Holocaust Definitions
- Appendix – Deaths Caused by Hitler
A Few Questions
If someone complained about Ireland’s role as a tax haven, would that make them anti-Irish? No sensible person would say that, without checking the complainants’ other views on the Irish.
There has always been some anti-Irish feeling in England. It intensified with the long IRA war in Northern Ireland. Reached its peak with the Birmingham pub bombings of 1974, and was eased by the speedy arrest of some IRA sympathisers who were almost certainly not involved in the actual bombing. But the matter of tax is separate: Ireland does prosper by having low taxes on corporations. You could also say this allowed Ireland to catch up with Britain and the rest of Western Europe. But it is long overdue to be fixed.
Also in 1948, France still hoped to hold Algeria for its white settler minority. Britain mostly supported similar people in Kenya, South Africa and what was then Rhodesia. Israel could fairly be regarded as the last outstanding issue: similar to South Africa, where blacks now rule but whites are still fairly privileged.
It is not ‘anti-Semitism’ to attach equal importance to Israelis and Palestinians. So why is it being presented as such?
Europe as a whole has been tricked into accepting the New Right notion that the rich are the only true creators of wealth. That they should not be burdened with the needs of the rest of the society.
As part of the effort to cover up New Right injustice and failure, fog and darkness are being shed on all political challenges. And part of the fog and darkness is an enormous fuss about a supposed outbreak of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
Labour’s leader have been too nice and defensive on the issue. Critics should be tackled on three points:
- Are you saying that anti-Semitism is worse in the Labour Party than in other British political parties?
- Are you saying that anti-Semitism has got worse in the Labour Party since Jeremy Corbyn became leader?
- Are you saying that anti-Semitism is worse in Britain than elsewhere in the world?
These are questions that permit a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Critics can be expected to try to dodge them. But they should be continuously harassed until they do give an answer. Or until they are discredited by their failure to do so.
Neither ‘yes’ nor ‘no’ would suit what I’d assume to be their real purpose, which is to damage Labour and prevent another Labour government. A loss of support for Israel would be one reason – but British support for Israel is not vital. Most of those protesting also want to treat Austerity as a necessity. Defend the privileges of the rich as impossible to interfere with.
Saying ‘yes’ to any of my three questions would not be believed by most potential Labour voters. Also disbelieved by people unlikely to vote Labour, but believers in the importance of truthfulness.
Saying ‘no’ would lead on obviously to the question ‘so why is it only Labour you make a fuss about?’ And ‘is this all a cover for extremist actions by Israel?’
I made this point previously, but less clearly, in an article entitled “Tunbridge Wells has a Drugs and Murder Problem”. Tunbridge Wells is famous as the archetype of respectable English identity, and deservedly so. Both drugs and murder can be found there, but below the average for England, itself not high by global standards. So if it were used as a serious newspaper headline, it would clearly be dishonest. Might be exposed as such.
This trick is part of what I’ve been calling Bliaring, based on the politics of Tony Blair, called ‘Bliar’ on the marches against his disastrous Iraq War. It is cleverer than actual lying – you use true facts, but use them in a way that creates beliefs that you would not defend as true. He scared the public by saying that Saddam could deploy ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in 15 minutes. Left out the significant detail that this was Battlefield Poison Gas, of the sort that Saddam had been using for years. Of the sort George Galloway wanted condemned, and Blair was one of many who ignored the issue for as long as Saddam was a useful ally of the West.
Blair had to mislead, because it seems unlikely Saddam ever had weapons that could harm the West, or even seriously damage Israel. Iraq’s large army had done very little to fight Israel in the various wars waged by Egypt, Syria and Jordan. They also stood by in September 1970 – Black September – when King Hussein of Jordan crushed the independent power of Palestinians in his kingdom.
There is a lot of Community Hatred in Britain. A lot of it due to Tories stirring up ill-feeling without being overtly racist. Jews are not the only target. Not the main target, nor the community most at risk. And Labour has been the main force limiting such hatreds and bringing people together.
Anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic?
I’d flatly deny that anti-Semitism in the strict sense even exists within the Labour Party. Or not outside of a few tiny groups that the leadership has officially warned about. I’m taking anti-Semitism to mean notions of a race-war between ‘Aryan’ and ‘Semitic’ cultures. Or general notions of a Jewish or mostly-Jewish World Conspiracy.
You also do not find actual anti-Semitism in Britain, outside a Far-Right fringe that is violent because it’s heading straight for the dustbin of history. And such people have not so far dared harm anyone who’d be likely to hit back hard.
Anti-Jewish feeling clearly exists among some Britons – normal when one group of people choose to keep themselves distinct. Intensified when that community is better off and includes more famous and successful people than its neighbours. When they are suspected, rightly or wrongly, of seeing themselves as Superior Persons. That is normal human jealousy, and applies to many other groups, including people of Chinese origin in South-East Asia. But it should not be confused with the genocidal fantasies that most people think of in connection with the term anti-Semitism.
Labour has some members with prejudices against Jews, certainly. Particularly among Labour’s Muslim members. Jews as a community are richer than the British average, and quite a lot of them are in highly visible spots in the media. So there is anti-Jewish prejudice, certainly, along with a whole slew of other community hatreds. But the term Anti-Semitism should properly be reserved for the dangerous bunch of conspiracy-theorists who blame Jews for most of the troubles of a rapidly changing world.
The whole thing began in Tsarist Russia. In much of Europe, Jews were blamed for the strains created by elements of capitalism invading traditional societies. Also for the threat to existing social values from liberalism and socialism. But most governments discouraged that view, and saw Jewish banks and capitalists as useful. Knew that liberalism and socialism were not Jewish in origin, and that they were mostly spread by non-Jews. But Russia was different.
The modern revival of older anti-Jewish prejudices began with the profoundly foolish assassination of Tsar Alexander 2nd in 1881. It should count as the most unwise and disastrous assassination in history. Alexander 2nd had liberated the serfs and was taking Russia in a progressive direction. His heirs reversed the trend to social liberalism, while allowing destructive capitalist economics to continue.
The assassins had a mix of socialist and anarchist ideas, and favoured agrarian socialism. The massive polarisation of Russia after the assassination probably ensured a complete break-down and a remaking of Russia by the Bolsheviks, whose values were very different. Who absorbed or wiped out Russian Anarchism. Who did permanent damage to Russian agriculture.
One lesson from this is that individual acts of terrorism are mostly futile. That they are sometimes enormously damaging to the ideas behind those acts.
The other is that Bolshevik extremism should be understood in the context of a society where you had to be extremist to get anything done. Where the nice-sounding government based on Russia’s semi-democratic parliament did very nothing much between the collapse of Tsarism and the Bolshevik take-over. Nothing except insist that the hideously costly war must continue, with a major motive being ambitions for taking Muslim-majority Constantinople for Orthodox Christianity.
As for those who began the process, they were mostly not Jewish, nor much concerned with Jewish welfare. But the eight arrested for the plot included a woman of Jewish origin, Gesya Gelfman. She had broken with her Jewish heritage, perhaps to avoid an arranged marriage. She had practiced Free Love, and at the time of the assassination had a non-Jewish lover. She was not one of the three actual bombers. But she was presented as a major influence. And the successful assassin Ignacy Hryniewiecki, who came from a noble family in Lithuania, was wrongly rumoured to be Jewish.
With immense lack of judgement, the assassinated Tsar’s son and heir Alexander 3rd passed anti-Jewish laws and broadly encouraged the wave of pogroms that followed. It was similar to what happened in the US South after they lost the Civil War. Respectable leaders would politely say there was a major problem with a minority. And there would be a deafening silence if louts and men moved by personal spite then acted on the official line. Klu Kluk Klan in the USA. A mix of bigots later organised as the Black Hundreds in Tsarist Russia.
The same idiocy was continued by Nicholas 2nd, officially made a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church. One of many off-message facts ignored by the Western media: they can’t admit that Putin is a moderating force within a deeply offended Russian nation. Pro-Western elements made a mess of their dominance in the 1990s, and now get maybe 5% of the vote in fairly free elections. Traditional hatreds of Jews have revived.
Back in Late-Tsarist times, someone in Russia mixed a clever condemnation of Napoleon 3rd by a French radical with a mediocre anti-semitic novel from Germany. They created the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It had little impact at first, re-hashing what was already believed by many of the elite. But the French source was an intelligent and insightful criticism of corrupt liberal power-politics as practiced by Napoleon 3rd. His Second French Empire was pro-rich liberalism that modernised behind a façade of traditional values. That borrowed much from British Liberalism, and was influential on later attempts to be liberal and progressive in a society where only an autocrat was likely to be effective.
The original French critic of Napoleon 3rd had nothing at all to say about Jews. Jews had been emancipated in 1791 by the French Revolution, which also legalised homosexuality. A lot of modern values were invented there, but had to fight on for nearly 200 years to win out. But Jews had very little to do with the matter until the second half of the nineteenth century, when it turned out that Jews could adapt very nicely to new opportunities opened up by a radical shift in values that had happened within Latin-Christian culture. Values that neighbouring cultures accepted but were uneasy about, with Jews as convenient scapegoats for social strains.
White Russians fleeing the Bolshevik victory brought with them the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. They were widely believed by the Far Right. They were even taken seriously by British centre-right publications like the London Times, until the plagiarism of the French work for an anti-Semitic rant was exposed.
To someone ignorant of the original trick – and far too little has been done to make it known – the Protocols might sound convincing. Might make sense to the confused and the lost, at least. The plagiarism of a left-wing, non-socialist and anti-liberal French work meant that the stolen words is a fairly good description of liberal power-politics and manipulation of the media. Whereas most Far Right literature is obvious rubbish, they sound plausible. And most critics have neglected to publicise that Napoleon 3rd was the original target and that it has nothing to do with Jews. His Second Empire was broadly Modernist and used a façade of Christianity to keep quiet the authentic conservatives.
All of this I have explained in a previous Problems, with detailed sources. 
As Europe modernised under official Christian politics, many Jews did nicely out of the changes. They did well because they had always valued literacy and education, even if it had often been wasted on elaborate gibberish like the Kabbalah. And Jews understandably concentrated on areas where they were less likely to be discriminated against.
- In finance, you succeed by doing business with whoever you can profitably do business with, regardless of what you think of them.
- If you want a suit or a dress, you go to the best tailor even if you don’t like them as a person.
- In journalism and literature, editors normally value the publishable words regardless of the author.
- In entertainment, whatever brings in an audience will be cherished. (But Jews often use names that don’t sound Jewish, particularly in the USA.)
- In science and maths, where the ideas are the main point. Many of the best of them are difficult and touchy. Some are seriously unpleasant characters.
There were also older connections in finance. Jews had been authorised money-lenders in Latin-Christian Europe, and kept their role. But it was marginal, and the real powers were Italian Christians. Most notably the Medici family, whose power was based on money-lending and whose members included two highly influential popes. Also two Queens of France, the notorious Catherine de’ Medici and also Marie de’ Medici, grandmother of both Louis 14th for France and kings Charles 2nd and James 2nd and 7th of Great Britain. And having flourished in the 16th century, the House of Medici lost importance in the 17th. You could however credit them with doing more than most to create modern European culture. Much more so than the Rothschilds, who themselves have long since lost their 19th century importance and become just one of many rich families.
Dealing with real social forces, we see that Jews adapted quickly to new trends in literature and journalism. Were rather slower to take to science – only in the later 19th century did you get huge numbers of people of Jewish origin become prominent in in science and maths. Most of these were secular, often abandoning Jewish religion and customs. Many of the famous men excluded themselves from the formal definition of Jewishness by marrying non-Jewish women. Einstein was one example: his first wife and mother of his children was Serbian.
At much the same time, large numbers of Jews started joining the emerging new political creeds of socialism, secular communism and anarchism. All of these had begun within Latin-Christian culture. Religious communism in the sense of no personal property is indeed what Christianity had begun as and intermittently tried to practice, mostly as communities of monks and nuns but occasionally as small utopian colonies.
None of these new political movement were Jewish in origin. Mostly the members of Jewish origin abandoned Jewish separatism and sought to merge with the wider non-Jewish population.
Later on, a lot of individuals of Jewish origin did become prominent within the various left-wing movements. Karl Marx was almost the first of these, and came from a family that had converted and been baptised. I could find only one notable Jewish socialist before him: French-Jewish philosopher Moses Hess. Hess influenced Marx and Engels. but later diverged from them and became a pioneering Zionist.
Marx and Engels operated within an existing secular-communist movement that had been growing in various forms for decades. Marx’s economic ideas were also a development of older ideas of Ricardian socialism. Ricardo himself was a convert from Judaism, but not a socialist.
Though socialism is not of Jewish origin, socialist organisations would generally accept Jews on an equal basis. Racist socialism existed up to the 1930, but it was mostly White Racist and accepted Jews as a variety of White. Like finance, tailoring, retail traded, journalism, literature, science and maths, it was an outlet for talented Jews.
The Centre-Right tended to exploit this and fooled those who’d benefit from left-wing politics into thinking it was all a Jewish trick. Outside of Tsarist Russia, most of them didn’t actually believe this and would accept rich Jews who were useful. But acceptance was rarely complete. The Centre-Right were much more ambiguous before Hitler polarised everything with World War Two.
Blaming Jews for modernism maiming itself with the First World War was foolish. But folly is part of the human condition. In South-East Asia, Jews are an insignificant minority, but long-settled and distinctive Chinese communities have a major role in business. Are much richer than their neighbours, get blamed and are sometime attacked with mob violence.
These Chinese are just one of the Market Minorities described by Amy Chua’s book World On Fire. She herself is best known for her Tiger Mother book. She comes from the Chinese-origin minority of South-East Asia, and has a husband of Jewish origin. Her children would not be eligible for settlement in Israel, supposing they wished for this, because the official definition of the ‘Jewish Race’ is based on having a Jewish mother.
It’s an error to treat prejudice as irrational. Mostly it is a drastic misreading of real social problems. Much easier to blame someone you already don’t like, than accept that your cherished social values include flaws and must change. That’s why I’ve spent some time showing why prejudices exist, and why they are a wholly false reading of the facts.
Mainstream European politics had generated the self-maiming of the First World War. It had to change itself a great deal and import many ideas from socialism and communism before it got a viable new politics after 1945. And then pretended never to have done this from the 1980s, when memories had faded. But between the two wars, mainstream European politics were confused. The ideas that separated out as Fascism were part of the mix. Suspicion of Jews grew, from a sadly-normal human belief that someone had to be responsible, and preferable someone ‘not at all like me’.
When first published in English in 1920, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were taken very seriously by the mainstream British press. This included the London Times, then a vastly more serious and respected newspaper than it is now. It also admitted its error when people discovered that vast chunks of Dialogue in Hell by Maurice Joly had been crudely reworked to make the Protocols.
Joly had not been concerned about Jews, but was misaligned in a way many on the Far Right are misaligned.
When this previously obscure work was noticed, people wondered why a French liberal republican mocked things close to his own beliefs. I’d suppose it is much the same reason that a once-married couple may go to extremes of hate – you have a close bond and have to feel emotional.
In politics, it is not at all unusual to find intense hatred and rivalry between people who seem very similar to outsiders. Joly had a lot of this, and may also have despaired of the future when he saw Napoleon 3rd’s politics flourishing. When he saw people he had once been close to, becoming flourish members of that regime. It got so bad that he finally committed suicide by shooting himself – a sure sign of self-hate. I’d class his work as a work of liberal self-hatred, easily twisted to right-wing beliefs that he would presumably have despised.
The Protocols might have been discredited. But the slew of ideas in them were taken up by super-rich car-maker Henry Ford and publicised in a book called The International Jew. People who must be ignorant of that little detail still approvingly quote his comment that history is bunk – actually an angry reaction to exposure of other errors he had made. His attitude would have been better summarised as ‘just because it isn’t true is no reason to think it isn’t true’: quite common among right-wingers. He found all sorts of excuses for a work that should have returned to well-deserved obscurity.
Ford himself was a generator of vast disruption in the USA’s traditional culture by making the automobile much cheaper and more available. He genuinely cherished the values of Small-Town America. He failed to see that it was mostly under threat from a machine that let you aimlessly drift from one place to another, never having a stable social context. That his automobiles opened up small towns to all sorts of alien influence that might have stayed far away and marginal without cheap motoring.
Ford at that time had a vast authority among people with a mix of modernist and right-wing attitudes. Aldous Huxley has him replacing Jesus Christ as ‘Our Ford’ in his satirical SF novel Brave New World. And the Nazis were heavily influenced by him.
Hitler got as far as he did, because the centre-right in Britain and the USA mostly took a friendly attitude to him. And even more to Mussolini, whom Churchill had approved of until he joined forces with Hitler.
All of this has been pushed out of mainstream history. The left has done far too little to publicise the well-documented historic links between Nazism and the ‘respectable’ centre-right. And perhaps those who think it a good idea for Jews to align with the political heirs of those people are genuinely unaware of it.
Prejudices of all sorts have been made worse by the New Right. In principle it is a non-racial creed: but those who need to get elected have intentionally stirred up various forms of race hatred. And this was always part of Centre-Right politics in Britain and the USA.
It isn’t prejudice against Jews that the New Right seek to stir up. But if you stir up the murky depths of human nature, only a fool would fail to realise that almost anything might come to the surface.
There are a lot of fools in Centre-Right politics. Shrewd operators who can work the system, but have a silly and false notion of the deep workings of the system. Boris Johnson is the most blatant case, but just one of many.
The Centre-Right has been more friendly to Jews since the spectacular victory of Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967. It was the only clear military victory by the West in the entire Cold War, unless you count the 1983 United States invasion of the tiny island of Grenada, where a hard-line leftist faction had just murdered the popular left-wing leader Maurice Bishop.
The Six-Day War also confirmed Israel’s status as part of the West, which had been less clear before. It was and remains a tricky issue. Jordan, the main loser with Israel’s capture of the Old City in Jerusalem and the entire West Bank, was and remains pro-Western.
In the 1956 Suez Crisis, the USA had saved Nassar and helped persuade Israel to give up its conquest of the Gaza Strip and parts of Sinai. Whereas after 1967, the USA made sure that the United Nations Resolution 242 did not include a clear requirement on them to withdraw from all occupied territories. It might mean that, or might not, but the US blocked attempted to make it unambiguous.
This 1967 victory also encouraged US Jews to assert themselves more, and for more of them to join the Republicans. For some of them to go along with hostility to other minorities if their own position was not questioned.
Or not questions for now.
General Centre-Right guilt should not be doubted. It was Tories who in 1964 defeated rising Labour politician Patrick Gordon Walker in his constituency with the slogan ‘if you want a nigger neighbour, vote Labour’. And who broadly encouraged the racist attitudes that led to the recently-publicised attempts to deprive long-settled old people of West Indian origin of their citizenship for not having all the right paperwork.
Not, indeed, that most leading Tories are sincere racists. Extremely rich people of any origin are welcomed into their inner circles. They go after the poor in general, with absurd complexities added to welfare for supposed fairness and fraud prevention. They ignore vast number of clearly documented case of honest needy people of all racial origins being denied what the law entitles them to. Probably they’d like to change the law to give far less, but they also have to win elections. So they claim to be generous, and persecute the needy on a multiracial basis.
Also not a sincere racist was Richard Nixon. He was a slick Californian trickster who saw the chance to re-shape and polarise US politics by a subtle appeal to Southern Democrats enraged by Kennedy and Johnson finally being serious about racial equality. Southern Democrats always made a show of not being racist, while also making it clear to their voters that they were solid racists who would never allow equality or integration. Nixon smoothly took them over, while also avoiding being seen as racist by the wider mass of Republican voters.
Southern Democrats were Old Right – they believed in looking after their own people, though not on an equal basis and with a racial hierarchy defended. Nixon’s policies were ‘Feed-the Rich’, but it got much worse under Reagan. He did nothing at all to slow the wider drift towards the USA gaining a non-white majority. And he stripped his White-Racist voters of the job security and welfare that had given them a sense of dignity and purpose. Ignored the massive over-prescription of legal opiates by doctors, which has spread massive addiction. He treated them like idiots, as did the two Bushes and other leading Republicans. And for a long time, they did nothing to show that this was a false view of them.
Nixon began the break-up of the highly successful Mixed Economy system, as I have explained elsewhere. They were helped by the Soviet leadership drawing totally the wrong lessons from Western success. They decided that it was market forces that were the key: so they tried a system of pseudo-markets that blighted the crude but highly successful system they had inherited from Stalin. The Chinese were much wiser: they saw that the West was allowing individual initiatives that a state-run system would usually suppress. That is the context in which I’d understand Mao’s two grand initiatives beyond the Stalin system: the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The economy was actually growing well under the very left-wing system that Mao had imposed during the Cultural Revolution, though agriculture was definitely a problem. And Deng was less different from Mao than is generally supposed: he decided that capitalism would be useful, but never that it was automatically a good thing. President Xi isn’t really deviating from Deng’s policies in deciding that the time has come to ease down the amount of capitalism.
In the West, the Mixed Economy gave good well-paid jobs to most workers. The rich remained rich, but had much less social power than they once had.
When the Soviet Union started losing popularity and economic strength, the rich stopped seeing Social Justice as a necessary evil to avoid either Communism or a return of Fascism. Also saw no need to defend traditional values when it might cost them money.
The Nixon strategy, expanded by Reagan and Thatcher, involved a jolly-sounding politics that would feed more and more money to the rich. That would treat ordinary right-wingers as idiots who could be cheated of their money while their social values were also trashed.
Under Trump, the idiots have finally revolted. They got themselves someone who sounds as bigoted and prejudiced as they are. His actual beliefs are probably subtler – like Ronald Reagan, he knows that sounding foolish gains you more votes from the unintelligent than you lose from enraged intellectuals.
His foreign policies are also less foolish than the disastrous interventions that continued under Obama and would have been pursued vigorously by Hilary Clinton had she been elected. But within the USA, he has given another gigantic gift to the rich in the form of tax cuts with crumbs tossed to the poor. And he is cruder than previous Republican presidents in securing the White-Racist vote. He seems unlikely to fix anything within the USA.
Israel and White Racism
That a general encouragement of race hatred includes hostility to Jews is only to be expected. But Corbyn’s critics within Labour prefer to treat it as something unique and without rational cause. They say that Labour under Corbyn has an alarming problem, presumably not found outside of Labour or in Labour before Corbyn’s election. But all that is new is hostility to Israel’s extremist policies, and many Jews share this feeling. Even some long-term Zionists feel that things have now gone too far.
There is also a striking lack of interest in race or communal hatreds of other sorts. A determination to hang onto the same pro-rich policies that generated the hatreds. Supposedly we only need to worry about hostility to Jews. We need not show the same concern about hostility to lesser breeds of human.
They don’t actually say ‘lesser breeds of human’. But if that is not what they are thinking, then just what are they thinking?
A militant minority of Jews do have a splendid record of fighting racism and all other forms of inequality and discrimination. Risking their lives and sometimes losing them. But it was only ever a minority, many of them against Zionism. And sadly, it seems to be a shrinking minority. In the current row, we have Jewish Voice for Labour website, doing excellent work. But though they rightly complain that bodies like the Jewish Board of Deputies are largely self-appointing, I fear the balance of numbers is against them. And it has been sad to see how The Guardian has been neutral-to-pro during the campaign against Corbyn.
In the history of Israel, the initial sympathy after 1945 was based on the West’s failure to protect millions of Jews that Hitler slaughtered. Also a wish to dump the surviving displaced Jewish populations somewhere outside of Europe and the USA. The USA had room for all of them, but no wish to take more than a few highly gifted individuals. They were protecting the dominant White Anglo-Saxon Protestant values, which are now getting what’s probably a last revival with President Trump. But in the 1940s and 1950s, ‘WASP’ values were far more solid.
Those Jews who had arrived with the original WASP settlers in the 18th and early-19th century had similar attitudes to the WASP majority. They were fitted in on much the same basis as the numerous eccentric little Protestant sects that were part of the mix. Likewise a scattering of Roman Catholics. There was a panic over Freemasons – but anyone who got a good look at them would see them as nothing more than a club with standard values despite their eccentric club rules and silly rituals. They also tended to be from upper-middle social circles rather than the true Establishment. Their eccentric club rules were there to add an element of mystery to lives that were otherwise very dull. Also useful for making standardised social contacts for people who would quite often be ‘strangers in a strange land’.
In the later 19th century, the arrival of many more Roman Catholics in the USA caused alarm. Initially it was German Catholics, though Irish Catholics were also unwelcome. A similar but sometimes more extreme view was taken of huge numbers of Jews from Middle-Europe and Russia, who also did not take naturally to WASP norms. Jews who were also far more numerous than the older integrated Jews, and formed communities with distinct ideas of who they were.
All this caused a revival of overt White Racism, most notably the Klu Kluk Klan. It happened because covert Establishment racism was no longer working. Establishment attitudes were mostly lukewarm.
The Second World War saw Hitler bungle his way into a war with the two strongest White Racist powers, the British Empire and the United States. Because they also needed the Soviet Union to win that war, the new United Nations was defined with Pan-Human principles. And by degrees, overt racism and other prejudices were suppressed.
But prejudices did not vanish. In the 1960s, there were worries in the USA over the election of Kennedy as their first Roman Catholic president. Kennedy was one of only two non-WASPs to get the nation’s highest office: and Obama was a conventional Afro-American Protestant, sharing most of the WASP world-vision. Obama was notable for not fixing the mess in the Middle East, nor closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Bailing out the banks in 2008, when they should have been nationalised and broken up into smaller units.
The existence of Israel was authorised at a time when both racism and imperialism were much more respectable than they now are. Creating Israel on Arab land was the final phase of European seizure of lands outside of Europe. The last gasp before the displacement of dominant ‘White Race’ settlers in Algeria, Kenya, former Rhodesia and South Africa. And it happened before most of the victims of European Imperialism got a voice at the United Nations – Latin America was then much more definitely dominated by descendants of its own land-grabbers. Even so, the UN authorised a much smaller Israel than the one which emerged after the war of 1948. Bad behaviour by a few Arabs was used to justify the expulsion of a much larger unwanted Arab populations: people who would otherwise have been a majority in the Israel that actually emerged.
Let’s also be clear: Israel was defined on a racial basis. Anyone judged to be ‘of the Jewish race’ could settle there, regardless of where they lived or whether they might be at risk in the land they were born in. Non-Jews in the Israel of 1948-1967 were citizens, but not equal citizens. And though Israel since 1967 has ruled the rest of the British-defined Mandate Territory of Palestine, almost all of its non-Jewish inhabitants have been left in limbo. Definitely not Israeli citizens, but also not citizens of a meaningful Palestinian state.
I supported Israel for as long as they seemed to be trying to get back to the borders as they stood in 1967. Maybe I was over-optimistic – but they did hand back Sinai. But no one had ever counted Sinai as part of historic Israel. The West Bank was another matter.
With hindsight, it’s a great pity that Israel didn’t unilaterally hand back most of the West Bank to Jordan, during the years when Jordan still claimed it. That kingdom began as the British-backed Emirate of Transjordan, controlling land east of the River Jordan that was not included in British Palestine. Transjordan included land that had been Jewish according to the Book of Joshua, and had sometimes been ruled by later Israeli kingdoms. A few Zionists complained at the time, but no one important. But within Zionism, there has been a continuous feeling by many of them that the whole of British-defined Palestine belongs to Jews. That it should in the long run have no place for non-Jews. That it was Jewish land, and non-Jews whose ancestors had been there for centuries were unwelcome intruders.
During the 1948 fighting, the British-trained Arab Legion captured the Old City of Jerusalem and held on to a portion of the land that had been defined as Palestinian by the United Nations. It was based on the Emirate of Transjordan, but in 1949 it transformed itself into the Kingdom of Jordan, incorporating what became the West Bank. Kept links after Israel conquered the West Bank in 1967, but renounced its claims in 1988. The hope perhaps was that a real Palestinian state could replace it, but that hope was never realised.
The settlement of Jews on the West Bank began immediately after its 1967 occupation, and is continuing down to the present day. Many Israelis identify the West Bank as Judea and Samaria, and feel it really belongs to people racially defined as Jewish. This despite the probability that many of the Muslim and Christian Palestinians have ancestors who were originally Jewish and were converts to the dominant religions.
Other converts would have come from the ancient Samaritans. There were once a population of many millions, significant within the Roman Empire and its Byzantine extension, though they never had their own kingdom. Samaritans claimed to follow a more authentic version of the original Hebrew religion than the one centred around the Jerusalem Temple.
Most of this little-known community of Alternative Israelis vanished centuries ago: some massacred and others converted to Islam and now part of the Palestinian population. Survivors of the original creed sank to a minimum of about 100 in the late 19th century. They have since recovered slightly.
Jews are supposedly refugees whose ancestors fled from the land they are now reclaiming. But it seems likely that many currently defined as Jews are descended from converts made over the centuries. There’s a big argument over the Khazars, a large kingdom in what’s now European Russia that had Judaism as its state religion. And in his still-very-readable A Short History of the World, H G Wells notes that after the destruction of Carthage by Rome, large Carthaginian settlements in Spain etc. suddenly vanished and large settlements of Jews were found in the same places. Carthaginians were Rome’s great enemy: Jews were broadly acceptable for as long as the Roman Empire was pagan.
Though Israel has always been defined on a racial basis, those Jews who initially went there had been compelled to be a separate racial group back in Europe, despite most of them wishing to be just a religious minority. And while the older sort of Christian anti-Semitism would accept and assimilate converts, the Nazis refused to do so and used an unalterable ethnic definition.
There were excuses, when Israel was first established, for saying it was a refuge for people who would be allowed nowhere else. But that does not apply to Jewish settlement of ‘Judea and Samaria’, which is on-going and the big obstacle to peace.
The whole drift in recent years is towards excluding non-Jews. It has been strengthened by the recent Nation-State law, passed by a narrow margin against many protests from Moderate Zionism:
“The Nation-State law establishes that racist and discriminatory practices against Palestinians and non-Jews are legal. The law states that in Israel only Jewish people have the right to self-determination, demotes Arabic from an official language to ‘special status,’ places national value on the development of ‘Jewish settlement’ and confirms that the state ‘will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.’”
Sadly, Moderate Zionism is a dying creed. Its best hope was taking the Oslo Peace Agreement seriously and letting a real Palestinian state emerge. It has been going downhill since the assassination by an extremist-religious Zionist of Yitzhak Rabin, who oversaw Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War. Rabin was the first native-born prime minister of Israel, and the best hope of peace between Israel and the Arabs. His murder may have been the act of an isolated extremist, but it was also part of a trend. Hard-line policies now dominate: the reality of modern Israel has fallen far below what was once hoped for.
Hard-line Israelis and their supporters were also involved in the disastrous attempt to create an Arab World subservient to the USA and unwilling to challenge Israel. Their bright idea, based on ignorant New-Right beliefs about European history, was to knock over independent-minded secular authoritarian regimes, beginning with Iraq. For some reason, these characters believed that they could create nice parliamentary capitalist states that would be happy to live in peace and love the Anglosphere.
Instant Democracy – Just Add Firepower!
Reality failed to match this. The only functional parliamentary system, that in Iraq, is pro-Iranian. It has all along been dominated sectarian Shia-Islam parties. Generated corrupt governments that were also sectarian enough to produce a wave of Islamist extremist among Iraq’s Sunni-Arab minority. And remains a weak government of ever-shifting coalitions, while ordinary Iraqis suffer.
In Egypt, it was rapidly discovered that pro-Western elements were less than 10% of the voters, while a clear majority were inclined to some version of Islamism. The USA had to authorise a coup and a return to sham elections.
It was never realistic to expect Arab states to copy parliaments that had evolved over centuries in Europe. Which generally accepted the notion of a ‘loyal opposition’ long before full democracy was attempted.
It is a total botch, but the people who did the botching fail to blame themselves. Bitterly resent those who expose them as cheats and bunglers.
And they’d forgotten Iran. Had they properly assessed their earlier failure in Iran, they could have saved many Arab lives. Saved themselves a few thousand lives of their soldiers and a great deal of money. In Iran, Britain and the USA had in the 1950s undermined the elected secular regime of Mohammad Mosaddegh after it dared demand a fair price for oil. Restored the Shah as dictator, and got a docile little right-wing regime in Iran, friendly to Israel. They then loosely favoured protests that might have made it even more Western. And were amazed that it all turned to Islamic extremism.
They were aiming at almost exactly the same thing in Iraq. They were utterly amazed when the same general trend was followed. As I said earlier, they are brilliant at ‘working the system’, but ignorant little bungers when dealing with human realities outside of their own experience.
Those characters just don’t learn. They are increasingly becoming ‘the one fixed point in a changing world’. They remind me strongly of the demented chief character in the 1993 psychological thriller-comedy Falling Down. Except that it featured one of the victims of their greedy bungling: I strongly suspect that the politicians involved in the current mess-up will be personally well-looked after if they lose their present positions. It is mostly not as crude as formal corruption: just the rich looking after their friends on an informal network basis. Probably believing the nonsense of the official line: rich business people are mostly pig-ignorant of matters outside their work and the occasional hobby.
The rise of Corbyn and the left within Labour threatens British support for extreme Israeli actions. It also undermines the floundering system of US-dominated Globalisation, which a majority of Jews have signed up to, even though a militant minority are bitter opponents. The majority control bodies like the Jewish Board of Deputies. Hence the smear campaign, claiming that Labour under Corbyn has some particular problem with anti-Semitism.
Many honest people have been confused by massive media campaigns. Stuff typical of the New Right: shedding fog and darkness on truths they don’t want to deal with.
The truth is very simple.
- Anti-Semitism is hostility to Jews, wherever they are living and whatever they are doing.
- Anti-Zionism is hostility to the notion of a Jewish homeland on land taken from non-Jews already living there.
I suggested earlier that it would be wise to distinguish between anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish prejudice. Distinguish crazy conspiracy theories centred on Jews from the common human failing of hating rich and successful neighbours. But that’s just my view. What we currently know about is the distinction between hostility to Israel and various forms of hostility to Jews as such.
If you split anti-Semitism from anti-Zionism, Labour has less of it than Britain overall. Less than the other major political parties. And nothing much by global standards:
“A survey of anti-Semitic attitudes in Britain, published last September by the respected Institute for Jewish Policy Research — an organization with no ties to any political party — contains several findings that are worth considering amid this uproar. First: Levels of anti-Semitism in Britain are among the lowest in the world. Second: Supporters across the political spectrum manifest anti-Semitic ideas. Third: Far from this being an issue for the left, the prejudice gets worse the farther right you look. And yet, at the same time, British Jews now generally believe anti-Semitism to be a large and growing problem and have come to associate it with Labour in particular.”
Jews in the USA are unlikely to be shot by the police. Jews in Britain are unlikely to have their citizenship questioned after spending most of their lives here.
Jews are one of several minority groups all round the world that have higher average incomes than the society they live in – but since 1945, they have not been one of those at serious risk. Other ‘Market Minorities’ have suffered much worse, but some can move on and do better in a new life, as the East African Asians have done. Poor and ill-educated minorities mostly fare far worse, like the Vietnamese Boat People and the Rohingya being expelled from Myanmar. But we are expected to think that British prejudice against Jews is a unique problem that the Labour Party has been neglecting.
Note also that Labour anti-Semitism suddenly became an urgent problem when Labour dared to ignore the elite and elect Corbyn. It was probably worse in earlier years, with a lot of working-class bigotry. But for as long as the Labour leadership was broadly pro-Israel, as little as possible was said about the matter.
For as long as the Tory leadership are reliably pro-Israel, as little as possible is said about extensive anti-Jewish bigotry among ordinary Tories. Little about other forms of Tory racism, where the nice Tories politely suggest there is a problem and louts who listen will act on the logic of what they are told.
You also hear little about Tory links with the Far Right, most of whom have dropped anti-Jewish talk in order to concentrate on their other hatreds. Dropped it for now: the attitudes are still there and might become overt at any time.
The big victims have been Muslims, unfairly lumped with small extremist groups at war with the west. All of which have come out of Wahhabism, a hard-line version of Sunni Islam that has been pushed by Saudi Arabia. Spread globally, with much compliance by the West. The Saudi dynasty flatly reject democracy and are the most extreme illiberals still surviving in the modern world – but they also have massive business links with the West. So far, they are off-limits. So far, they have been given plenty of weapons with which to kill the unfortunate people of Yemen.
Labour was for a long time blamed for not accepting the definition of the self-appointed International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. This body shows no interest in injustice to anyone other than Jews. The Nazi death-machine deliberately killed several million who were not Jewish, on top of tens of millions of all origins killed as part of trying to win the war. It was unique in the deliberate killing of helpless members of unwanted populations not accused of any specific crime. But most people only know about the anti-Jewish part of it.
It is entirely true that more Jews were killed than any other group. Six million was the official SS estimate. It was roughly two-thirds of the Jews living in Europe, but numbers of Jews could be hard to estimate. A full audit is tricky, because the SS did their best to destroy all traces of what they’d done. Some serious scholars have put it as low as 4.5 million: no one knows for certain.
If the SS killed less than the standard estimate, it wasn’t for want of trying. Poor little Anne Franke would have survived Auschwitz, as her father did, because the carefully-concealed death chambers were being dismantled as the Red Army came closer. But she and her sister were shipped to Bergen-Belsen, taking resources from Germany’s disintegrating war effort. The camp had a typhoid epidemic that is presumed to have killed them. That’s the logic of Race War: potential mothers of future Jews are more dangerous than adult males.
But it often get overlooked that mass extermination for non-military reasons includes several million non-Jews. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has the following:
“Calculating the numbers of individuals who were killed as the result of Nazi policies is a difficult task. There is no single wartime document created by Nazi officials that spells out how many people were killed in the Holocaust or World War II…
“Jews: up to 6 million
“Soviet civilians: around 7 million (including 1.3 Soviet Jewish civilians, who are included in the 6 million figure for Jews)
“Soviet prisoners of war: around 3 million (including about 50,000 Jewish soldiers)
“Non-Jewish Polish civilians: around 1.8 million (including between 50,000 and 100,000 members of the Polish elites)
“Serb civilians (on the territory of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina): 312,000
“People with disabilities living in institutions: up to 250,000
“Roma (Gypsies): 196,000–220,000
“Jehovah’s Witnesses: around 1,900
“Repeat criminal offenders and so-called asocials: at least 70,000
“German political opponents and resistance activists in Axis-occupied territory: undetermined
“Homosexuals: hundreds, possibly thousands (possibly also counted in part under the 70,000 repeat criminal offenders and so-called asocials noted above)”.
The machinery of the death-camp prioritised Jews. But it also killed non-Jewish Poles who were educated or who were surplus to Nazi plans for a re-designed Europe. Also gypsies, along with homosexuals and the chronically insane or hereditarily defective of any racial origin.
The Holocaust Memorial Museum’s combined total for non-Jewish Soviet civilians and Soviet prisoners of war would be more than eight million. Soviet estimates went as high as 20 million, and the current Russian government goes as high as 26 million, including more than eight million combat deaths.
A more commonly used total is 11 million, including 6 million Jews. This has been criticised as biased. Regardless, it was undoubtedly an immense crime, but definitely not a crime directed only at Jews.
I would also add that Hitler must be held responsible for the deaths of around seven million non-Jewish Germans, plus millions more of what he’d have defined as part of the superior Nordic race. And if you excuse him responsibility for Japan’s war on China and the wider Pacific War that followed, he was still guilt of 42 to 52 million deaths out of a total of 70 to 85 million. (Japan killed the rest.)
The Nazi death-machine was a logical extension of earlier massacres, with European empires and European settlers the major offenders.
Some such purification, mostly not including Jews as targets, had been widely discussed well beyond the circle of Nazis and their supporters. There was quite a lot of it in British and US Science Fiction. One of the worst instances was The Marching Morons by Cyril M. Kornbluth, in which an intelligent minority exterminate the rest of the human race. It was published in 1951 and the Science Fiction fan community gave it an award in 1965 as one of the best novellas written up to that date. It even has those organising the extermination of the inferior making use of tricks invented by the Nazis. This despite Kornbluth himself being of Polish-Jewish ancestry. It’s as if he thinks that the basic idea was fine, but the Nazis stupidly killed the wrong people.
The whole matter of calling it the Holocaust nicely distances the mass killing of European Jews from massive genocide of populations outside of Europe by European empires. Empires that generally included Jews as part of the white elite; and only a minority of Jews, mostly left-wing, rejected this unfair privilege.
To me, it seemed obvious that Hitler was a particular instance of a much wider crime: I detailed this in an article called Jews as ‘Collateral Damage’ in the Fall of the British Empire.
Britons including Charles Darwin objected to slavery, but were quite happy with the extermination of inconvenient natives in Patagonia, Australia, New Zealand etc. And the Concentration Camp was invented in South Africa. Used to suppress independent-minded Boers who were guilty of sitting on gigantic gold reserves that the British Empire wanted. Racism was not the issue: both sides favoured whites dominating and taking the best land.
Labour was denounced for not accepting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism. Thought-Crimes as defined by them include stuff that most of us are happy to denounce and maybe suppress. But the definition goes well beyond that, including the following:
“Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations…
“Claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor…
“Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation…
“Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”
The ‘definition’ fails to say whether it outlaws saying that some Jewish citizens might favour Israel, or even that just a few have done that. If it outlawed someone saying ‘all Jewish citizens’, that would be fair enough. But I don’t think the vagueness is an accident. And it is a fact that some US citizens have been convicted of putting Israel first – Jonathan Pollard, for instance. Or should the man’s confession to major spying be outlawed from the domain of Mentionable Facts on the grounds that it is anti-Semitic?
I detailed earlier how it’s not unfair to call Israel racist, and getting worse all the time.
From 1967, it was not a real democracy. It denied a useful vote to most of those it ruled, and has gone on ruling despite promises of self-government.
As for the Nazi comparison, I’d see it as unfair. But no worse than dozens of other false comparisons. Almost any exercise of authority can get called Nazi.
Labour did in the end accept the biased and unworthy definitions, and the row subsided. This may have been connected with large numbers of Jews coming forward and saying that the accusers did not speak for them.
Beyond that, the whole drift is to treat prejudice against Jews as something profoundly different from prejudice against other racial groups, ‘lesser breeds of human’. This is not only unjust: it is also not very smart, even from the viewpoint of someone who might not care about minorities other than Jews. Latin-Christian culture still dominates the world, particularly in its Anglo expression. The centre-right who want to keep their culture’s hegemony have always had mixed feelings about Jews, and always will. Jews are seen as both useful and dangerous, and might at any time be re-classified as more dangerous than useful. It’s an inherent part of politics that does not accept all humans as human and worthy of respect.
It is silly and short-termist for so many influential Jews and Jewish organisations to turn against the left, the main force for actual human equality. And equally foolish not to accept that the collapse of nice liberal-capitalist ideas that dominated from the 1980s is very much caused by their failure to maintain the broad prosperity and security for the West. The optimum that existed in the 1950s and 1960s.
As I’ve detailed elsewhere, New Right policies have entirely failed to boost overall economic growth, or even improve on the disorderly 1970s. They have however given most of the benefits to the rich, while encouraging ordinary people to blame immigrants or minorities.
White Racism in the USA was saved by Richard Nixon’s ‘Southern Strategy’ of appealing to racist voters who had been Southern Democrats. Republican Party politics was never overtly racist. It was always careful to include some Jews and to be distant from the despised and mostly ineffective Neo-Nazi fringe. Yet it has kept alive prejudices that mostly include supressed anti-Jewish feelings.
If you nurture a viper, don’t be surprised if you get bitten.
Appendix – Deaths Caused by Hitler
The Wikipedia says that World War Two caused 70 to 85 million deaths, only 21 to 25 million of them military. But you could excuse him responsibility for Japan’s war on China and the wider Pacific War that followed. He did choose to make friends with Japan and to cut Germany’s earlier ties to Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang. But Japan had been working towards the conquest of China long before Hitler came to power.
I made the following estimates:
|Low estimate||High estimate|
|Dutch East Indies||3,000,000||4,000,000|
|Allied Pacific War military deaths||3,237,000||3,237,000|
This is being generous to Hitler. Deaths in India were mostly caused by Churchill refusing to do anything about the Bengal famine. His immediate guilt, but in part caused by a European war that was Hitler’s fault.
Since many figures are rounded to the nearest million, I summarise this as Hitler having caused 45 to 52 million deaths in a war he had no need to fight. 34 to 41 million for military ends. Perhaps 11 million killed by a death-machine that drained resources from the war and helped defeat him.
How does that compare to World War One? The Wiki says:
“The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was about 40 million: estimates range from 15 to 19 million deaths and about 23 million wounded military personnel, ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history.
“The total number of deaths includes from 9 to 11 million military personnel. The civilian death toll was about 8 million, including about 6 million due to war related famine and disease civilians..”
Detailed figures are:
|Civilians killed||Excess Civilian Deaths||Military Deaths|
Excess deaths exclude the Flu Pandemic, which killed 20 to 100 million worldwide. This was much worse that other pandemics – the previous one had killed one million and the next one to one and a half. If you assume that a normal pandemic would have occurred without the war, then deaths from the ‘Great War’ were 37 to 117 million, mostly caused by a flu epidemic that became much more deadly while spreading among the men in the trenches.
It was called Spanish Flu, because Spain was neutral and allowed honest reporting of flu deaths. It is believed to have started in the USA in 1917 and to have spread among soldiers. War created ideal conditions for this flu to adapt to spread between healthy young men under extreme stress and living without good hygiene. It killed far more young adults than other flu pandemics.
This first appeared in a magazine called ‘Problems.
Issue 36, 4th Quarter 2018. November 2018
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pervomartovtsy and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narodnaya_Volya
 The Protocols of Zion – a Plagiarism of ‘Joly the Miserable’, a section of a much larger article that also covers Hitler’s rise. See https://gwydionwilliams.com/048-anti-semitism-and-zionism/hitler-the-13th-chancellor/#_Toc515264101
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Medici#Medici_Popes. There were four in all, but the other two did not count for much.
 Antisemitism in the London Times. https://gwydionwilliams.com/048-anti-semitism-and-zionism/hitler-the-13th-chancellor/#_Toc515264103
 Having annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, Israel did offer citizenship to those living there. Most refused it. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_citizens_of_Israel.)
 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/06/opinion/anti-semitism-britain-labour-party.html. The study can be found at http://www.jpr.org.uk/documents/JPR.2017.Antisemitism_in_contemporary_Great_Britain.pdf
 See Appendix for detailed figures