On the anti-communism and anti-Semitism of Devon Nola and Gilad Atzmon:

1

28/09/2019 by socialistfight

Jewish Bolshevism is an anti-communist and antisemitic canard

Gerry Downing 27-9-19

It’s the bad luck of the Jews, and a persistent shonde, that some of the most notorious Communists were members of the tribe: “Iron Lazar” Kaganovich, Stalin’s brutal henchman; Jakub Berman, head of the Polish secret police; Romania’s Ana Pauker (“Stalin in a skirt”); and of course Exhibit A, Leon Trotsky. Like most of the other Red firebrands, Lev Davidovich Bronstein declared his Jewish identity meaningless. But maybe it wasn’t. For one thing, Communism promised to solve the Jewish question in a way that other movements could not. World revolution, unlike Bundism and Zionism (both more popular options among Eastern European Jews), offered an escape from Jewishness in the name of universal humanity, and at the same time satisfied the classically Jewish prophetic urge.
tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/273591/hanebrink-judeo-bolshevism

In the course of the discussion in Socialist Fight between Ian Donovan and Gerry Downing political differences on Gilad Atzmon and Devon Nola and their followers have sharpened. In his latest post Ian has accused me of polarising the debate by referring to Hitler because I had become a victim of Godwin’s law. [1] I was bound to make that reference because Atzmon and Nola jointly defend the following quote outrageously slandering the Russian Revolution:

“One of the first new laws created by the Jewish Bolsheviks when they took over Russia was to make “antisemitism” punishable by jail or death. Despite its freedoms, the United States is now following in Russia’s footsteps, with Jews/Chuck Schumer leading the charge.” [2]

In The Economist of Sep 15th 2011, in comments to the article The myth of Judaeo-Communism—and the reality of history [3] a poster using the name DAULATRAM supplies the details of the Jewish involvement in the Russian Revolution. Of the sixty named Bolshevik leaders only four could be considered Jewish, as he remarks, “all these people except the last two held high offices for many more years than Trotsky, Sverdlov, and Zinoviev, and Kaganovich, the only Jews who ever had important roles in Bolshevism. And note his comment at the start:

“How utterly irresponsible does one have to be, how simply lazy? in regard to a claim so powerfully used by fascists?” [4]

Whilst Gerry D was in Brighton for the Labour party conference, he asked five well known labour movement activists what they understood by the “Jewish Bolsheviks taking over Russia” and every one immediately identified it as Nazi propaganda. We invite those who boohoo or excuse the term to repeat the experiment for themselves. In fact, only three of the fifteen Commissars elected in 1917 to run the new Bolshevik government from December 1917 to March 1918 were Jewish in any way, and only one was openly recognisable as such; Leon Trotsky.

To remove all doubt on her stance Nola asserted “actually nothing here is propaganda. Bolshevism was a Jewish-led form of government, and we can delve into what caused anti-Jewish sentiment pre-Bolshevism.” She really believes the gross reactionary lies of the White armies and the Nazis. She regrets the decisively actions of the Bolsheviks in putting an immediate end to the Tsar’s and then the White armies’ pogroms of the Jews, and regrets the re-imposition of the death penalty for the mass slaughter of Jews, and claims not to know what “what caused anti-Jewish sentiment pre-Bolshevism” – i.e. maybe the Tsar had a point and they deserved it. Hers is a racist and antisemitic remark.

Ian’s defence of this is that it was not immediate but happened during the civil war only and Nola and Atzmon are confusing Bolshevism and Stalinism. But there is no confusion. Atzmon far prefers Stalin to Trotsky because Stalin was an antisemite like himself and Trotsky was and is the main enemy for both:

“the fact that Stalin turned against the Jews is known to everyone here. I do believe that Stalin insisted eventually to give Russia back to the Russians and this clearly made some ppl upset … it certainly explains Stalin’s paranoia, he knew what he was up against,..”

is certainly a racist and antisemitic remark, the Jews were the main danger and Stalin eventually wised up to it, so he is to be championed on this against that Jewish-Bolshevik Trotsky! Atzmon emphasises his absolute opposition to Trotskyism during the whole debate; “if I have to choose between your hero (Trotsky) and Stalin, I am certainly with that latter … in fact, the only communists I get on with are Stalinists” he proudly asserts.

Ian continues to defend this anti-Bolshevism and anti-semitism with increasingly weaker and confused arguments: Atzmon is Jewish and so cannot be anti-semitic. The self-hating Jew is a biological impossibility, apparently. Can Jewish people, whether Zionist or anti-Zionist, be anti-Semitic? is the subhead to his reply to Gerry D and he answer that in the negative, with one historical exception:

“who Gilad Atzmon himself says was a Jewish anti-Semite. Otto Weninger, a brilliant but seemingly disturbed Jewish young aspiring philosopher who wrote the work ‘Sex and Consciousness’ at the turn of the 20th Century. He committed suicide at the age of 23, which is a logical consequence of being both anti-Semitic and Jewish”.

Then comes the biological theory of why Atzmon cannot be antisemitic, no matter how many antisemitic things he says:

“He is part of a phenomenon that is quite new in Jewish history and a result of the terrorism and barbarism of the Israeli state in which he grew up: Jews who as a result of what Israel is doing to Palestinian Arabs, which is a form of slow genocide, feel an acute sense of guilt about their Jewish origin, see Jews as simply an oppressor people, and have an emotional response against any and all manifestations of Jewish identity. In that sense because driven by guilt and emotion, he and his followers are sometimes difficult to debate with. But it is the duty of the left to engage with this strand of confused anti-racist thought politically, and not engage in chauvinistic anathemas.” [5]

Except renouncing his Jewish origins allows him to be as racist and antisemitic as he wants. He famously did this in the following tweet in 2014:

“I am not a Jew anymore. I indeed despise the Jew in me (whatever is left). I absolutely detest the Jew in you”.

In March 2017, during a meeting in the LSE he asserted that “the Jews were expelled from Germany for misbehaving” and repeated it when asked. His writings appear on far right websites including those of white supremacist, former KKK leader David Duke, David Irving and Veterans Today [6], all with his permission, in the name of ‘free speech’.

William Joyce was convicted of one count of high treason in 1945 and sentenced to death, with the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords both upholding his conviction. He was hanged on 3 January 1946, making him the last person to be executed for treason in the United Kingdom.

The Irish fascist William Joyce (‘Lord Haw Haw’) was certainly anti-Irish, despised his own nation and progressed from supporting the Black and Tans in Ireland from 1919 to 1922 to accusing Lloyd George and Churchill of having betrayed them, to being the voice of Hitler during the WWII (‘Germany calling, Germany calling’), and got hanged for it after the war. Almost all Irish fascists groups are or were anti-Irish and pro-British imperialism apart from some religious ones, they are, “the storm-troopers of finance capital” in Trotsky’s famous comment. The IRA had every right to seek assistance from the Nazis against British imperialism as had the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem against the British in Palestine.

Definition of Antisemitism must be consistent!

Ian uses the correct definition of antisemitism as, “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group” and then asserts that “obviously then those who accuse Atzmon of ‘anti-Semitism’ are not using the dictionary definition”. Because, obviously, he has excused Atzmon’s antisemitism as a biological impossibility and says you cannot be antisemitic and Jewish and also that Zionism cannot be antisemitic. We have quoted several explicitly racist antisemitic remarks by several people, apart from those by Nola and Atzmon, in Devon Nola’s thread of 10th September which exactly fit that definition given by Ian. [7]

Donald Trump is pro Zionist and antisemitic as are the fascist movements in eastern Europe. Netanyahu and most rightist Zionist are both Zionist and anti-semitic. White Aryan Resistance, the Ku Klux Klan, and the American Nazi Party in the USA are both anti-Zionist and antisemitic. Smaller fascist movements in Britain and western Europe tend to be pro-Zionist and antisemitic. Fascism has no consistent ideology like Marxism, it is consistent reaction to whatever is progressive in a given society the better to destroy the organisations of the working class and allow capitalism to exploit without resistance.

Ian says:

“But to extrapolate from that to say that “Zionism is a form of Jewish anti-Semitism” makes no sense at all if you consider that anti-Semitism is about advocating hostility and discrimination against Jewish people. For Zionists advocate the opposite; discrimination against non-Jews and a Jewish ethnocracy in Israel where non-Jewish Palestinian Arabs have no real rights. It is quite normal for nationalists to be harshly critical of what are perceived to be faults of their ‘own’ people, not for the purpose of promoting hostility or discrimination against them, but as part of an exhortation upon them to change and make themselves fit to be the founders of a new (or ‘reborn’) nation.”

But Zionists also consistently advocate hostility and discrimination against anti-Zionist Jewish people and have done so since its birth as a modern movement. Theodore Herzl and many other early Zionist welcomed antisemitic repression because it tended to force Jews to emigrate to Palestine. The Haavara Agreement between Nazi Germany and Zionist German Jews of August 1933 allowed the migration of up to 60,000 German Jews to Palestine in 1933–1939 but effectively consigned the rest of the poor Jews to the death camps.

David Ben-Gurion remarked soon after the Kristallnacht in November 1938, when Britain decided not to permit 10,000 Austrian and German Jewish children to go to Palestine but instead to offer them refuge in Britain:

An antisemitic Zionist

‘‘Were I to know that all German Jewish children could be rescued by transferring them to England and only half by transfer to Palestine, I would opt for the latter, because our concern is not only the personal interest of these children, but the historic interest of the Jewish people.’’

That remark by that Zionist is absolutely antisemitic. And we are fully aware today of the absolutely hostility of the Board of Deputies, the Jewish labour Movement and the Labour and Conservative Friends of Israel to all anti-Zionist and indeed liberal Jews. That is certainly anti-semitism, and not biologically impossible at all.

And we do not agree the “material conditions that gave rise to it (antisemitism) have now disappeared”. What material conditions exist on the crescent of virulent anti-semitic fascism from Golden Dawn in Greece, through the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland and Lithuania who not only do not deny the Holocaust but celebrate it and want to do it again? The fascist propaganda about equating Jewish money and capitalism itself is the ideological ground that is advancing in these places, even if Islamophobia is preferred as the “other” by far rightist defenders of the capitalist system in western Europe and elsewhere.

One of literally hundreds of editions of Orwell’snotorious anti-communist book. Animal Farm was on the schools’ curriculum throughout the imperialist world as an anti-Communist tract to ideologically inoculate the youth against revolutionary socialism.

On Strasserism and the far right

Ian mentions several right and far right racists who are nonetheless not antisemitic or supporters of Hitler. But that’s not a very popular position in today’s society, Hitlerism has got a very bad press. But he ignores my section on Strasserism. Atzmon likes George Orwell. Orwell was a decent liberal English gentleman during the Spanish civil war who told the truth about the counter-revolutionary role of Stalinism there in crushing the socialist revolution and ensuring the victory of fascism. But he politically degenerated into identifying Stalinism as the main enemy and became an MI5 spy afterwards, supplying the secret police with information on communist party members in Britain and elsewhere. His book Animal Farm was on the schools’ curriculum throughout the imperialist world as an anti-Communist tract to ideologically inoculate the youth against revolutionary socialism.

So, Orwell wrote an apparently left-social democratic programme. As did the Strasserites apparently until you examined the ideology behind it.

Strasserism is a left form of Nazism that proports to defend the working class by fighting for their interests against ‘finance capital’ to achieve a national socialist rebirth. Only of course ‘finance capital’ was controlled by Jews and so it was necessary to eliminate the Jews as the ‘other’. It derives its name from Gregor and Otto Strasser, two brothers initially associated with this position. Otto Strasser was expelled from the Nazi Party in 1930 and went into exile in Czechoslovakia. It is populist, antisemitic and anti-capitalist theory advocated by Otto Strasser in his National socialism – Periodicals (Nationalsozialistische Briefe, 1925-1931), which advocated class conflict, wealth redistribution and a possible alliance with the Soviet Union. He attacked Hitler for betraying the “socialist” aspects of national socialism. Gregor Strasser paid with his life for his opposition to Hitler on 30 June 1934 in the Night of the Long Knives. Strasserism is still active today.

Ian says:

“The fact that Atzmon believes in the truth of Plocker’s 2006 article, Stalin’s Jews, which in my view is a hysterical anti-Communist Zionist mea culpa, does not make Atzmon ‘far right’ any more than it makes its author, Plocker, a far-right anti-Semite. In fact, judging by his barbed criticisms of Israeli collaboration with anti-Muslim types who used to be anti-Semitic he might actually be quite a liberal Israeli.”

Sever Plocker is obviously a far right anti-communist and nothing liberal about him at all. The claim that his piece is distorted and far right but not antisemitic is wrong because he exaggerates the Jewish role in the Great purges along far right lines. This from one Thomas Lowinger:

“Plocker’s was a very badly researched article. (He says) the total victims of Stalin were about 20 million. (Research by Robert Conquest) Yagoda was at the helm of the NKVD for two years. Much of the killing came before and after. Stalin was in power from the 20’s to 1952. Kaganovich was a theoretician and had little to do with the purges. Plocker appeared to have copied the Wikipedia comments on Yagoda. The Wikipedia comments seem to echo the words of an anti-semitic site. Some modern historians claim that Stalin’s victims numbered less than 6 million (based on now open archives). These included German civilians, POWs long after Yagoda was dead. It is evident that Plocker knows little of Russian history. It is a disgrace for ynetnews to publish such an article.” [8]

Ian cites “(Robert) Conquest, Niall Ferguson and likely Solzhenitsyn” as the source of Stalin’s Jews but asserts that these far rightists and vicious racists are not antisemitic. Why is this important?

Pankaj Mishra has a few words to say about Niall Ferguson who:

“Offered a robust defence of British motives, which apparently were humanitarian as much as economic. Transporting millions of indentured Asian labourers to far-off colonies (Indians to the Malay Peninsula, Chinese to Trinidad) was terrible, but ‘we cannot pretend that this mobilisation of cheap and probably underemployed Asian labour to grow rubber and dig gold had no economic value.’ And he challenged the ‘fashionable’ allegation that ‘the British authorities did nothing to relieve the drought-induced famines of the period.’ In any case, ‘whenever the British were behaving despotically, there was almost always a liberal critique of that behaviour from within British society.’ He sounds like the Europeans described by V.S. Naipaul – the grandson of indentured labourers – in A Bend in the River, who ‘wanted gold and slaves, like everybody else’, but also ‘wanted statues put up to themselves as people who had done good things for the slaves’. [9]

But we are relieved to hear he is not antisemitic!

Conclusion

We are resolved to make clear our political differences with the group of anti-communists and antisemites around Gilad Atzmon and Devon Nola and openly denounce them as such. Ian recounts that “Barely a day after the Bolsheviks took power, when the situation in the provinces was still uncertain, Trotsky believed that having a Jew in the role of chief enforcer would hand their enemies a useful tool. ‘Was it worthwhile to put into our enemies’ hands such an additional weapon as my Jewish origin?’ Trotsky asked. It was already enough of a shock that the autocracy and then the Provisional Government had both collapsed. He could not be oblivious to his Jewish origin and its likely effect, particularly among the peasants, where antisemitic attitudes remained widespread.”

We must now ask was it worthwhile to put into our enemies’ hands such an additional weapon as maintaining friendly relations with Gilad Atzmon and Devon Nola? We say no, they are not some naive workers entering the political arena for the first time under the hammer of great events. These are hardened political opponents of ours who could never possibly be won to revolutionary socialism, Trotskyism. We are only giving a stick to beat us to our political opponents and driving away possible political allies. Ian, you should remain with “your red friend here, Gerry” and stay in the company of all us “terminally leftists”, to use Devon Nola’s rightist terminology.

Notes


[1] Godwin’s law itself can be abused as a distraction, diversion or even as censorship, fallaciously miscasting an opponent’s argument as hyperbole when the comparisons made by the argument are actually appropriate. https://web.archive.org/web/20090715142410/http://www.reason.com/news/show/32944.html

[2] IN PLAIN SIGHT NEWS, Jewish Senator Introduces Law To Imprison Americans For Criticizing Israel, November 5, 2018, https://ronabbass.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/jewish-senator-introduces-law-to-imprison-americans-for-criticizing-israel/

[3] The myth of Judaeo-Communism—and the reality of history, A scholarly look at the myths of Jewish participation in Communist rule in Europe, Sep 12th 2011, https://www.economist.com/eastern-approaches/2011/09/12/the-myth-of-judaeo-communism-and-the-reality-of-history

Stanislaw Krajewski Covenant, Global Jewish Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 3 (October 2007 / Cheshvan 5768), Article 2/10 Jews, Communists and Jewish Communists, in Poland, Europe and Beyond, http://www.covenant.idc.ac.il/en/vol1/issue3/Jews-Communists-and-Jewish-Communists.html#bio

[4] DAULATRAM, The Economist, Sep 15th 2011, The myth of Judaeo-Communism—and the reality of history,

blake123: I suppose you have seen my earlier posting?, An amended version: I assume Krajewski knows Polish or Russian or German or English. In any one of these languages ample sources exist at the touch of a computer button to totally refute an unconscionable lie spread by fascists that he cites claiming he can’t tell if it is true: that 75 percent of Bolshevik revolutionary leaders were Jews. How utterly irresponsible does one have to be, how simply lazy? In regard to a claim so powerfully used by fascists?

Lenin (founder of USSSR) was Russian.

Stalin (25 years Soviet dictator) was Georgian.

Kalinin (Soviet President until 1945) was Russian.

Rykov (Soviet PM after Lenin) was Russian.

Molotov (long time Soviet PM and Foreign Minister) was Russian.

Voroshilov (long time Soviet defence leader) was Russian

Bukharin (high-rank Politburo member, favourite of Lenin) was Russian.

Chicherin (long time Foreign Minister) was Russian – related to Russian royal family.

Tomsky (Trade Union chief, important Politburo man) was Russian.

Dzherzhinski (founder of political police) was Polish

Menzhinsky (political police head) was Polish

Piatakov (Politburo man) was Russian

Kirov (Leningrad Party Chief) was Russian

Nogin (important leader) was Russian.

Kuibyshev (Politburo man) was Russian.

Rudzutak (Poliburo man) was Latvian.

S. Kamenev (important military chief) was Russian (L. Kamenev was half-Jewish).

Serebriakov (important Central Committee man) was Russian.

Prebrazhensky (important economist) was Russian.

Tsyrupa (GOSPLAN head) was Russian.

Muralov (Moscow Garrison chief) was Russian.

Smirnov (important military man) was Russian.

Tukhachevsky (longtime military chief) was Russian – a Tsarist Guards Officer.

Lunacharsky (longtime Arts Commissar) was Russian.

Kirilenko (important military and jurist figure): Ukrainian

Antonov-Ovseenko ( important CC leader): Ukrainian

Raskolnikov (important revoltionary): Russian

Bubnov (CC leader): Russian

Krupskaya (important leader, Lenin’s wife): Russian

Stasova (CC leader): Russian

Beloborodov (CC man): Russian

Goloshchekin (CC man): Russian

Skrypnik (CC man): Ukrainian

Ordzhonikidze (indiustrial leader): Georgian

Mrachkovsky (CC man): Russian

Krasin (important revolutionary and industrialist)

Karakhan (diplomat): Armenian

Mikoyan (Politburo man): Armenian

Rakovsky (diplomat): Bulgarian

Vatzetis (military leader): Lithuanian

Frunze (War Commissar): Russian

Andreyev (CC man): Russian

Smilga (Economic leader): Russian

Kollontai (diplomat): Russian

Kuusinen (Politburo man): Finn

Berzin (intelligence chief): Latvian

Pokrovsky (historian)

Blukher (military man)

Uglanov (Leningrad Party Chief): Russian

Kotov (CC man): Russian

Shliapnikov (Bolshevik leader in Russia before Lenin returned from abroad): Russian

Malinovsky: (Bolshevik leader in Duma): Polish

Riutin (CC man): Russian

Milyutin (Commissar of Finance)

Sapronov (CC man): Russian

Korotkov (CC man): Russian

All these people except the last two held high offices for many more years than Trotsky, Sverdlov, and Zinoviev, and Kaganovich, the only Jews who ever had important roles in Bolshevism.

DAULATRAM Sep 17th 2011, seven839: you and Didomyk and Yura2009 operate by the same simplistic anti-Jewish criterion and play beautifully into my hands. If founding by people of Jewish birth proves a movement is Jewish, Christianity is Jewish infinitely more than communism. The first Russian politburo was made up of Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Krestinsky and Kamenev. Lenin was Russian. So was Krestinsky. Stalin was Georgian. Kamenev had a Jewish father but a Russian mother and so was not Jewish by Jewish definition. Only Trotsky was Jewish. So that settles it. Blame Georgia and Russia for communism, not the Jews.

https://www.economist.com/node/21528897/comments?page=21#sort-comments

[5] Ian Donovan, What is anti-Semitism? Can Jewish people, whether Zionist or anti-Zionist, be anti-Semitic?, https://socialistfight.com/2019/09/26/stalin-anti-semitism-and-the-naqba-reply-to-a-comrade/

[6] Anti-Semite Gordon Duff Discusses Israeli Control of U.S. In Syria, December 12, 2014, The Syrian government’s Counterterrorism and Reli­gious Extrem­ism Conference featured remarks by American anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist Gordon Duff during which he described the U.S. as being controlled by Israel. Senior editor at Veterans Today, a web­site that presents anti-Semitic conspiracy theories as news, Duff described himself as the “U.S. Keynote Speaker” at the conference. During his remarks, Duff told his audience that “I do believe there are areas of misunderstanding [about] how the United States works politically…It’s very difficult to understand what has happened as far as Israeli control of American politics, and I will, as succinctly as possible, I will explain this to you.”

Duff also elaborated on the Veterans Today delegation’s objective while in Syria, stating, “It’s our goal here while we are here to try to establish a method of communication that will allow Syria and other nations in the area to understand Israel’s control of the U.S., the control of the U.S. by organized crime, and how the U.S. government is subservient to a worldwide criminal organization.” https://www.adl.org/blog/anti-semite-gordon-duff-discusses-israeli-control-of-us-in-syria

[7] Gerry Downing, 2209-19, Jewish Bolshevism is an anti-communist and antisemitic canard, https://socialistfight.com/2019/09/23/jewish-bolshevism-is-an-anti-communist-and-antisemitic-canard/

[8] FailedMessiah.com, Covering Orthodox Judaism Since 2004, DECEMBER 22, 2006, Jewish Mass Murderers, https://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2006/12/jewish_mass_mur.html

[9] London Review of Books, 3 November 2011, Watch this man, Pankaj Mishra, Civilisation: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson, Allen Lane, https://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n21/pankaj-mishra/watch-this-man

One thought on “On the anti-communism and anti-Semitism of Devon Nola and Gilad Atzmon:

  1. […] claims that there is no confusion between Stalinism and Bolshevism in the following passage that appeared […]

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