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July/August 2003 • Vol 3, No. 7 •

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 Israel’s 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 Hitler’s 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 accusations—as we shall see—play 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 don’t 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 Lobby”—a small group of pro-Zionist Jews—could 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 Israel’s 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 America’s 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.

Let’s see what Buchanan’s alleged opposition to war looks like. This is what he says in the first three paragraphs of his article, “Whose War?”

The War Party may have gotten its war. But it has also gotten something it did not bargain for. Its membership lists and associations have been exposed and its motives challenged. In a rare moment in U.S. journalism, Tim Russert put this question directly to Richard Perle: “Can you assure American viewers ... that we’re in this situation against Saddam Hussein and his removal for American security interests? And what would be the link in terms of Israel?”

Suddenly, the Israeli connection is on the table, and the War Party is not amused. Finding themselves in an unanticipated firefight, our neoconservative friends are doing what comes naturally, seeking student deferments from political combat by claiming the status of a persecuted minority group. People who claim to be writing the foreign policy of the world superpower, one would think, would be a little more manly in the schoolyard of politics. Not so.

Former Wall Street Journal editor Max Boot kicked off the campaign. When these “Buchananites toss around ‘neoconservative’—and cite names like Wolfowitz and Cohen—it sometimes sounds as if what they really mean is ‘Jewish conservative.’” Yet Boot readily concedes that a passionate attachment to Israel is a “key tenet of neoconservatism.” He also claims that the National Security Strategy of President Bush “sounds as if it could have come straight out from the pages of Commentary magazine, the neocon bible.” (For the uninitiated, Commentary, the bible in which Boot seeks divine guidance, is the monthly of the American Jewish Committee.)

Those three paragraphs alone have the ring of anti-Semitism. But there’s more to come.

Buchanan’s 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 Buchanan’s 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.” Here’s how Buchanan weaves his stereotypical portrait of Jews:

Who are the neoconservatives? The first generation were ex-liberals, socialists, and Trotskyites, boat-people from the McGovern revolution who rafted over to the GOP at the end of conservatism’s long march to power with Ronald Reagan in 1980.

A neoconservative, wrote Kevin Phillips back then, is more likely to be a magazine editor than a bricklayer. Today, he or she is more likely to be a resident scholar at a public policy institute such as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) or one of its clones like the Center for Security Policy or the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). As one wag writes, a neocon is more familiar with the inside of a think tank than an Abrams tank.

Almost none came out of the business world or military, and few if any came out of the Goldwater campaign. The heroes they invoke are Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Harry Truman, Martin Luther King, and Democratic Senators Henry “Scoop” Jackson (Wash.) and Pat Moynihan (N.Y.).

All are interventionists who regard Stakhanovite support of Israel as a defining characteristic of their breed. Among their luminaries are Jeane Kirkpatrick, Bill Bennett, Michael Novak, and James Q. Wilson.

Their publications include the Weekly Standard, Commentary, the New Republic, National Review, and the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. Though few in number, they wield disproportionate power through control of the conservative foundations and magazines, through their syndicated columns, and by attaching themselves to men of power.

When the Cold War ended, these neoconservatives began casting about for a new crusade to give meaning to their lives. On Sept. 11, their time came. They seized on that horrific atrocity to steer America’s rage into all-out war to destroy their despised enemies, the Arab and Islamic “rogue states” that have resisted U.S. hegemony and loathe Israel.

Buchanan’s insinuations of a Jewish conspiracy in the service of Israel echo a similar claim that lay at the heart of Adolph Hitler’s brand of fascism.

But no less important is the meaning of Buchanan and company’s failure, thus far, to hold George W. Bush and the bipartisan Congress responsible for their collective 55-year-long contribution to Israel’s 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, Bush’s appointment of militant pro-Israeli Jews to such a position—made more vulnerable to attack by their connection with alleged left-wing socialists—happens 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 Washington’s 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

Though often dismissed as a bizarre political cult, the LaRouche organization and its various front groups are a fascist movement whose pronouncements echo elements of Nazi ideology. Beginning in the 1970s, the LaRouchites combined populist anti-elitism with attacks on leftists, environmentalists, feminists, gay men and lesbians, and organized labor. They advocated a dictatorship in which a “humanist” elite would rule on behalf of industrial capitalists. They developed an idiosyncratic, coded variation on the Illuminati Freemason and Jewish banker conspiracy theories. Their views, though exotic, were internally consistent and rooted in right-wing populist traditions.

A former Trotskyist, Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., founded the National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC) in 1968 as an offshoot of the radical student movement. But in the early 1970s, LaRouche engineered a political about-face, using cult pressure tactics to consolidate his grip over the NCLC and initiating a campaign of physical attacks on Communists and Black nationalists, which cut his followers off from the Left. The result was a fascist organization with some unique strengths: a dedicated, full-time cadre of several hundred members, a high proportion of intellectuals with advanced training, familiarity with leftist theory and organizing, and inside information about radical organizations and leaders.

A more recent source of information comes straight from the horse’s 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 LaRouche’s, by fascism’s use of anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist demagogy—which 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 Buchanan’s “antiwar” position:

The war of aggression against Iraq must be ended immediately. Already there exists the clear danger that there will be no “after the Iraq War”; rather, it is threatening to spread into a global war, in the course of which, the USA will implement its new military doctrine of “preventive” first use of nuclear weapons. Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell have already mentioned “consequences” for Syria and Iran. The Iraq War has already triggered a clear aggravation of the situation around North Korea and the Japanese Defense Minister warned of a possible “preemptive war against the North Korean nuclear-arms potential. If we want to prevent a world catastrophe, this war must be stopped now. This is possible only if the war party—the so-called “Chickenhawks,” Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle Shulsky and Co.—is thrown out of the Bush administration immediately. And that is not impossible.

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.

LaRouche shows an unusual ability to creatively apply the methods of Mussolini and Hitler to peculiarly American conditions.

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 Trotsky’s critical analysis of the essential features of fascism2 to build his own fascist movement.

Most importantly, he apparently understood that Hitler’s version of Mussolini’s 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 States—because 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 workers—which 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.”

That’s 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 imperialism’s 55-year-long role of creating, financing and arming the Zionist state of Israel. That’s 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 fascists—from the Ku Klux Klan to William Dudley Pelley’s Silver Legion—demonized 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 class—much less winning adherents among Black workers—LaRouche 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 LaRouche’s 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.





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