Zionism, Anti-Semitism and Fascism
By Nat Weinstein
A report titled A conference in Austria Denounces Anti-Semitism appeared in the June 21 edition of the New York Times. It described the overall theme of the two-day meeting in Vienna as focused on a new kind of anti-Semitism. The Times further described the new anti-Semitism as a virulent hybrid derived from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and old anti-Jewish stereotypes that many believed had long faded into history.
The meeting allegedly dealing with this so-called new problem was held under the auspices of the 55-member countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. However, without bothering to report the nature of the new anti-Semitism, the Times simply states that Secretary of State Colin L. Powell pressed the idea [combating anti-Semitism] against considerable resistance from states, whose representatives argued, anti-Semitism should be taken up in the context of racism and discrimination generally, rather than as a separate subject.
In order to prove that criticism of Israels crimes against the people of Palestine is anti-Semitism, Powell insisted that the Vienna conference bar any reference to the 55-year history of Palestinian suffering at the hands of the Israeli Zionist settler state(?!).
In other words, it would be exactly like discussing the question of anti-Semitism in Hitlers Germany without any reference to the Holocaust!
Clearly, as far as the American delegation and its allies are concerned, that conference had nothing whatever to do with combating the very real problem of anti-Semitism. Rather it was organized by the State Department to slander critics of U.S./Israeli crimes against the people of Palestine and the Middle East, as being motivated by anti-Semitic prejudice.
Such false accusationsas we shall seeplay right into the hands of the real anti-Semites who imply that all charges of anti-Semitism are slander because, they argue, stereotypical characterizations of Jews are based on fact!
The fact is, however, a growing number of old-fashioned right-wingers have already begun talking about a powerful and sinister force they call, the Jewish Lobby, which they claim is dictating U.S. foreign policy. And they claim that those who charge them with anti-Semitism, are slandering them because, they say, their charges are true.
To be sure, however, they dont say that all Jews possess the deplorable characteristics that they attack, but the clear implication transmitted is that the behavioral pattern is fairly typical of most Jews. But that, after all, is the essence of racist characterization, which allows that there might be exceptions to the rule.
However, even if we were to leave all that aside, those that claim that the Jewish Lobbya small group of pro-Zionist Jewscould dictate foreign or domestic policy to the hard-nosed, quintessentially-pragmatic American capitalist class, is absurd. In fact, those that make such a charge are either simple-minded fools or unmitigated anti-Semitic scoundrels.
Nothing new about the new anti-Semites
Although the Times has not reported who Secretary of State Colin L. Powell says are the new anti-Semites, in effect, he indicates that it includes all those who condemn Israels crimes against Palestine by refusing to discuss the question of anti-Semitism in the context of Israeli-Palestinian relations.
However, a very small minority of those who attack Israel are indeed old-fashioned anti-Semites.
Former U.S. Senator Patrick J. Buchanan sheds light on the matter of who are among the real anti-Semitic critics of Israel.
This very influential right-wing Republican wrote an article titled, Whose War? appearing in the March 24 edition of a national publication called The American Conservative. It is a lengthy polemic against what the author characterized as A neoconservative clique [which] seeks to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in Americas interest.
That a substantial collection of right-wing Republicans who have supported every imperialist war conducted by American imperialism in the last 100 years claims to oppose the latest wars in the Middle East is, to be sure, highly suspect.
Lets see what Buchanans alleged opposition to war looks like. This is what he says in the first three paragraphs of his article, Whose War?
Those three paragraphs alone have the ring of anti-Semitism. But theres more to come.
Buchanans case against the neoconservatives, as indicated in the above selection and what follows, amounts to a poorly disguised version of the much cruder charge that a Jewish Lobby is dictating American foreign policy.
Also running through Buchanans tirade against the neocons is his insinuation that former liberals, right-wing socialists and alleged Trotskyites, some of whom are also Jews, (or whose names often are construed as Jewish) have imposed their pro-Israeli agenda upon powerful capitalist media institutions like the Wall Street Journal and by attaching themselves to men of power. Heres how Buchanan weaves his stereotypical portrait of Jews:
But no less important is the meaning of Buchanan and companys failure, thus far, to hold George W. Bush and the bipartisan Congress responsible for their collective 55-year-long contribution to Israels war against Palestine. It can only be based first, on their refusal to condemn the present political leadership of American imperialism, and secondly, on their realization that a scapegoat will be necessary if the ticking time bomb of the Middle East and elsewhere in the colonial, as well as the imperialist world today, blows up in face of the American ruling class.
In fact, Bushs appointment of militant pro-Israeli Jews to such a positionmade more vulnerable to attack by their connection with alleged left-wing socialistshappens to have made Jews the most likely candidates to serve as the patsy when American imperialist policy in Israel and the Middle East blows up in Washingtons face.
The strange career of Lyndon LaRouche
Another ominous development is the role of a neo-fascist outfit among the old anti-Semites. It is an outfit led by one Lyndon LaRouche who appears to be the most sophisticated of any previous American fascist movement, by far. I have extracted a short sketch of the strange political evolution of Lyndon LaRouche that was reported in a Political Research Associates paper authored by Chip Berlet and Matthew N. Lyons.1
A more recent source of information comes straight from the horses mouth. It appeared in a leaflet distributed by the LaRoucheites, which polemicizes against what it calls the war party, a line that is remarkably similar to the political line advanced by Patrick Buchanan.
However, although fascist political ideology differs from run-of-the-mill right-wing rhetoric of the sort spouted by Patrick Buchanan, their political lines appear to be converging. Fascist tracts are not only more radical; they are marked, as are LaRouches, by fascisms use of anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist demagogywhich is a key ingredient in the pseudo-anti-capitalist ideological arsenal of fascism. His leaflet, which describes him as U.S. Democratic Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche . presents a more radical version of Buchanans antiwar position:
And like Buchanan, the LaRouche leaflet lets Bush off the hook by implying that he is a mere dupe of the Rumsfelds, Perles and Wolfowitzes.
Why LaRoucheite fascism is more dangerous than most
Larouche is the ablest of the last 70 years of American fascist demagogues. He perversely applies what he has learned from Trotskys critical analysis of the essential features of fascism2 to build his own fascist movement.
Most importantly, he apparently understood that Hitlers version of Mussolinis fascism was not mechanically adopted and applied to Germany, as so many of their superficial imitators in the U.S. have done. LaRouche has from the first understood the potential power of anti-Semitism as the key to a future mass fascist movement in the United Statesbecause of its relatively high proportion of Jews (slightly more the 5 percent.
However, he also has become aware that the time is not yet ripe for building a mass fascist movement by extra-legal attacks on Jews, communists and striking workerswhich most distinguishes fascism from traditional right-wing capitalist policies.
Such times arrive only when a terrible crisis has severely reduced mass living standards, instilling a growing sense of anti-capitalist consciousness among the working and lower middle classes.
When such a time arrives, anti-Semitism will become a powerful weapon in the hands of fascist demagogues who preach a pro-capitalist form of anti-capitalism. And just as Buchanan and his conservatives put sole blame on Jewish neoconservatives for the foreign policy set by President Bush and endorsed by the bipartisan Congress and corporate America today, tomorrow the LaRoucheites and other fascists will blame the next Great Depression on an international conspiracy against honest American capitalists led by Jewish bankers and their communist and liberal agents.
Thats when anti-Semitism will come into its heyday. When that time comes, fascists will excuse capitalists and their conservative and liberal political representatives. And just as Buchanan implies it was the work of the Jews, the fascists will say in so many words that it was the Jews who were the masterminds behind American imperialisms 55-year-long role of creating, financing and arming the Zionist state of Israel. Thats why those who profess opposition to Zionism are either foolish or anti-Semitic when they charge the so-called Jewish lobby with dictating American foreign policy.
Moreover, LaRouche has added another twist to the usual practice of would-be American fascist feuhrers. All previous American fascistsfrom the Ku Klux Klan to William Dudley Pelleys Silver Legiondemonized Blacks. Rather than demonizing African Americans, LaRouche lays claim to the heritage of Martin Luther King!
Moreover, LaRoucheites have established a relationship with the Black nationalist Nation of Islam. This together with identifying his movement with Martin Luther King reflects his apparent belief that sections of the Black petty bourgeoisie, many of whom bear anti-Semitic prejudices, can be won over to a fascist movement.
Aside from the hopelessness of winning over to a fascist ideology any significant layer of the very small Black middle classmuch less winning adherents among Black workersLaRouche shows an unusual ability to creatively apply the methods of Mussolini and Hitler to peculiarly American conditions. Moreover, while racism against Blacks and others is still alive and well in the United States, racist scapegoating of Blacks does not fit in right now with LaRouches current stress on establishing the false anti-capitalist image that is one of the basic components of fascism.
While anti-Semitism was dealt a blow when the horrors of the holocaust were revealed when allied troops occupied Germany at the end of World War II, the potential for building a mass movement around anti-Semitism in America is being steadily regenerated by the crimes of Zionist Israel. And while its time has not yet arrived it is well on its way to becoming the most credible scapegoat for the crimes of world capitalist imperialism and its most powerful exponent, capitalist America.
1 Sponsored by Political Research Associates 1310 Broadway St., #201, Somerville, MA 02144-1731
2 Fascism, What It Is and How to Fight It?, by Leon Trotsky.