Anti Fascism

Protocols then and now

This is a crosspost from the CST Blog by Dave Rich

Gilad Atzmon, jazz musician and ex-Israeli, writing last week in Dissident Voice –  which describes itself as “a radical newsletter in the struggle for peace and social justice”:

Interestingly enough, the political morbid conditions in which we live was actually described by an unusual fictional text that was published in 1903 namely, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The Protocols is widely considered a forgery. It is a manual for a prospective new member of the “Elders”, describing how they will run the world through control of the media and finance, replacing the traditional social order with one based on mass manipulation. Though the book is considered a hoax by most experts and regarded as a vile anti-Semitic text, it is impossible to ignore its prophetic qualities and its capacity to describe both the century unfolding and the political reality in which we live I am referring here to: AIPAC, the Credit Crunch, Lehman Brothers, Neocon wars, interventionist ideology, a British Foreign Secretary listed as an Israeli Propaganda (Hasbara) author trying to amend Britain’s ethical stand, a Zionist by admission put on an inquiry panel to investigate why Britain launched a Zionist war and so on.

As it happens staunch Zionists such as David Aaronovitch, Nick Cohen, and Alan Dershowitz use a very banal spin to divert the attention from the devastating prophetic reality depicted by The Protocols. A reality in which they themselves promote interventionist wars in our midst. Again and again they stress the fact that The Protocols was a forgery. They insist that we look at its anti-Semitic origin while evading its content and meaning. However whether or not The Protocols is a fictional text or a forgery doesn’t change the fact that it explores our disastrous contemporary reality. A reality in which we are killing en masse the enemies of Israel in the ‘name of democracy’, a reality in which Dershowitz himself puts enormous effort into cleansing academia of any critical voices of Israel, Zionism, and Jewish power in America and the West.

John Tyndall, lifelong neo-Nazi and founder of the British National Party, writing in the far right journal Spearhead (”a cross-section of contemporary British nationalist opinion”) in 1976:

What is it that makes ‘anti-Semitism’ a doctrine, as distinct from merely a sentiment? It is, of course, the theory of a Jewish plan for world conquest, a theory which has found expression in numerous writings but is best known as the central theme in the famous Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Ever since this document appeared in Russia in the 1890s there has been argument about its authenticity, and it may indeed be that it was, as the Jews claim, a forgery concocted by the Tsarist political police in order to justify draconian measures against them.

But to assume that the whole Jewish Question hangs on the authenticity or otherwise of the Protocols is to miss the point. What is it that distinguishes the novelists who earn, universally, the description of ‘great’ and whose works form a part of the heritage of the most cultured communities the world over, from the ordinary cheap thriller-writers who perhaps earn big royalties but who are seldom acknowledged as making any contribution to the enrichment of the mind? It is, of course, that the really great writer, while his story is fiction, bases that story on true phenomena of life which millions can immediately recognise as parallelling their own experiences…In my view it is incumbent on the Jews who dislike the theme of the Protocols not to prove that the book itself is a forgery, but to prove that the theme contained in it is wrong.

The two passages are remarkably similar, although I certainly do not intend to accuse Atzmon of plagiarism. A lot of people have noticed that there are parts of the anti-Zionist world where traditional antisemitic ideas, language or images are recycled as anti-Zionist, with only the slightest change of emphasis or wording. Criticism of Israel or Zionism is all well and good; but surely nobody would be happy to find themselves unwittingly parrotting John Tyndall?