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The Abominable Dr. Shahak

(This is guest post by Paul Bogdanor)

“Jewish terror is very kosher in the USA!”

Israel Shahak

“Israel Shahak was quietly heroic.”

Ernst Zundel

In Jerusalem a terrorist murders teenagers as they study in a library. In Scotland the head of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign writes a lengthy justification for their murder. According to Mick Napier, the victims of the massacre were monsters in training, taught to regard Gentiles as cattle, to steal their livers Hannibal Lecter-style, to use Arabs for medical experiments and to send Arabs to gas chambers.

How plausible are these horror stories? Napier cites the usual conspiracy theorists and fascists. But he has another notable source: the writings of a chemistry professor. His name was Israel Shahak. Great things have been claimed for this chemist. According to Ernst Zundel, “He was a voice of reason and decency… We will sorely miss him and his honesty.” According to David Duke, he was “a lifelong human rights activist.” Obviously we can be entirely confident in the judgements of anyone championed by Ernst Zundel and David Duke.

Shahak has many such admirers. His opinions about Jews and Israel are cited constantly on every major Nazi website. Examples include AAARGH, CODOH, Radio Islam,, Ziopedia, Jewish Tribal Review and Jew Watch. Shahak is highly recommended by the Auschwitz apologists of the Institute for Historical Review. He has been praised hundreds of times by the would-be stormtroopers at Stormfront.

Shahak’s articles and translations carry titles such as The Jewish Hatred Towards Christianity, The Jewish Laundry of Drug Money and The Jews Who Run USA. He is a favourite of the Nazis because he gave a Jewish imprimatur to all the most virulently antisemitic lies.

Want to prove that Jews are money-hungry parasites? Shahak inveighed against

the excessive – indeed almost the exclusive – concern with money and the flattery of the rich… The force of Jewish devotion in assembling money is thought to be infinite. (The Times, January 27, 1973)

Want to prove that Jews seek world domination? In Shahak’s words:

the invasion of Lebanon was intended by Sharon, and by some others, to be the first stage in building an Israeli empire extending from “Algeria or Morocco” from the west to China in the east, and from Kenya or even South Africa in the south to the USSR in the north. (Letter, Hadashot Supplement, June 19, 1992)

Want to prove that Jews start wars for oil? Here is Shahak:

by the conquest of Jordan, Israel could really cut the Arab world in two… Jordan has borders with Kuwait and the UAE, meaning roads going there. Therefore, Israel could levy blackmail on Arab oil countries one way or another. (Journal of Palestine Studies, Spring 1978)

With his busy schedule teaching chemistry and peddling bigotry, Shahak plainly had no time to glance at a map. Not that his publishers ever noticed.

Was Shahak a reliable source on the beliefs and practices of Jews? To use his own formulation, the question answers itself. But since the point is unclear to SPSC, let us read Shahak on Jewish worship of the Devil:

both before and after a meal, a pious Jew ritually washes his hands, uttering a special blessing. On one of these two occasions he is worshipping God, by promoting the divine union of Son and Daughter; but on the other he is worshipping Satan…

Shahak also taught that Jews curse Gentile graves and dishonour Gentile corpses, that Jews are allowed to kidnap Gentiles but forbidden to save Gentile lives, that Jews worship sexual obscenity, that Jews believe in lying to God, and that Jewish tradition is “obviously motivated by the spirit of profit.”

Shahak is Napier’s source for the following claim:

The Mercaz HaRav yeshiva is based on contempt for all Gentiles, not only Arabs. This yeshiva was founded by Rabbi A.Y. Kook, and later led by his son, T.Y. Kook. The manner in which young minds are shaped at this Yeshiva can be guessed from one of A.Y.’s spiritual pronouncements, that “The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews – all of them in all different levels – is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle.” Kook’s classification of Palestinians as non-human allows the graduates of Mercaz HaRav to ignore those commandments that forbid stealing, murder and coveting.

Since non-Jews are similar to another species in the Kooks’ world-view, the very notion of human rights governing the relations between Jews and others is naturally repugnant to his followers; human rights are definitely not on the syllabus at Mercaz HaRav.

Like so many anti-Zionist calumnies, this is the exact opposite of the truth. Here is what Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Kook had to say about universal human rights:

Now one might receive the mistaken impression that the Torah endorses this attitude, whereby we should assign a greater value to our own people’s good than to the welfare of others. After all, the Torah commands the Children of Israel to conquer the land from the indigenous nations. But this is clearly unacceptable! How could God, Whose mercy extends to all His creations, oppress His own handiwork?! How could the Most High command that we remove from our hearts the well being of the entire human race for our own selfish good?! … The very thought of nationalism is despicable to God, for He equates all mankind. The goal is to seek the true success of all God’s creations. True justice means that one views with equal concern the advancement of the entire human race.

And again:

It is inconceivable that for the sake of a people’s natural self-love, other nations should be displaced. All are God’s handiwork. Israel must know that no permission was granted to displace a nation for the sake of national self-aggrandizement.

Contrast Kook’s sentiments towards non-Jews with Shahak’s opinions about his fellow Jews. Not content with vilifying them as Gentile-hating worshippers of the Devil, Shahak even managed to find excuses for the infamous Chmielnicki Massacre, which he classified as a “revolt of the oppressed.” In his mental universe, if a peasant decided to murder Jews, it must have been because “Jews profited from his state of slavery and exploitation.” For Shahak and those who invoke his “scholarship,” pogromists were the victims of the Jews they slaughtered.

Since my subject is antisemitism, and since Mick Napier and his ilk furiously deny that they are antisemites, I will close by quoting an outright Nazi, the aforementioned David Duke:

I will be the first to acknowledge that not all Jews support or share in this supremacism. In fact, a number of courageous Jews suffer greatly for opposing it. This book is dedicated to the memory of one of them: an Israeli Professor, Dr. Israel Shahak… He persuasively argued that unless both Jews and Gentiles courageously stand up against this supremacist agenda and its power, it will continue to pose a severe danger to Jews and Gentiles alike.

Can anyone deny that these lines could have been written, word for word, by Mick Napier?

Paul Bogdanor is the editor, with Edward Alexander, of The Jewish Divide Over Israel, due in paperback later this month.