An article in Times of London on April 2nd, titled ‘Labour welcomes back blogger who compares Israelis to Nazis‘, included the following about the “socialist, anti-Zionist, anti-racist” blogger in question, Tony Greenstein:
An activist who has referred to his critics as “Zionist scum” and claimed that the state of Israel has informally forbidden mixed-race couples has been re-admitted to the Labour Party.
Tony Greenstein, a campaigner from Brighton, was allowed back after Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in September despite having been barred during an attempt to join the party in the summer.
On his blog, Mr Greenstein refers to himself as a “socialist, anti-Zionist, anti-racist” and accuses the state of Israel of “wanton murder of Palestinian civilians”. He also compares Israelis to Nazis, saying of a proposed military award for an Israeli soldier: “It is the honour that used to attach to the SS.”
In a post in November entitled “When Nuremberg Came to Israel”, Mr Greenstein wrote: “Israel is a Jewish racial state and miscegenation, the mixing of the races, is strictly forbidden in Israel. Not legally of course, because Israel has to formally adhere to western values, but in the accepted and unwritten Zionist consensus.”
Evidence about him compiled last year by Labour’s compliance unit and seen by The Daily Telegraph, included claims that Margaret Thatcher was “obviously legitimate” as a target for the IRA, and that “Zionists collaborated with the Nazis”.
Whilst most wouldn’t dare defend such extremist rhetoric about Israel, evidently Mr. Greenstein protested to the paper’s editors about the article’s implicit suggestion that he’s antisemitic, as this Times of London correction on April 14th (which appeared in both the print and online editions) indicated:
Greenstein crowed about the Times of London clarification on his personal blog, here.
However, the suggestion by Mr. Greenstein that his being Jewish should inoculate him from charges of antisemitism – which evidently seemed plausible to Times of London editors – is of course absurd.
Indeed, as Professor Edward Alexander explained in an introductory op-ed about his new book (Jews Against Themselves), there have always been, throughout history, Jews who have “defamed, abandoned, and harmed their own people”. (The title of Alexander’s book, however, is somewhat misleading, as such Jews typically don’t hate themselves at all. It’s most ‘other Jews’ they despise.)
Examples of Jews who either advance explicitly antisemitic tropes, or for whom the Jewish state’s “very existence is…a cancer that must be extirpated from the face of the earth” – i.e., hatred for Israel so intense that it crosses the line into antisemitism – include: Gilad Atzmon, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Philip Weiss, Max Blumenthal, Glenn Greenwald, Mira Bar-Hillel, Marc Ellis, Richard Falk, Ronnie Kasrils, Jacqueline Rose, Gerald Kaufman, Richard Silverstein and Gideon Levy.
Perhaps most prominent on the list of Jewish anti-Semites is an Israeli Jew named Gilad Atzmon.
As we’ve noted repeatedly, Atzmon engages in explicit antisemitism which is indistinguishable from what’s found on the white supremacist right. He refers to Judaism as “supremacist“ faith, has questioned whether the Holocaust occurred while simultaneously arguing that, if Hitler’s genocide did occur, it can partly be explained by Jews’ villainous behavior. On this latter note, he claimed that Hitler’s views about Jews may one day be proven right. Atzmon also explicitly charges that Jews are indeed trying to take over the world, and has endorsed of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, arguing about the document that “it is impossible to ignore its prophetic qualities and its capacity to describe” later Jewish behavior.
Whilst Greenstein’s comments don’t rise to Atzmon’s level, and we of course don’t know what’s inside his heart, his odious moral comparison between Israeli Jews and Nazis is certainly antisemitic according to the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism – and merely the fact that he considers himself Jewish shouldn’t be a factor in this determination.
- A review of ‘Jews Against Themselves‘: (Gabrielle Schoenfeld)
- Review of ‘Jews Against Themselves’ (Richard Landes)