- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by GRINGO STARS
Sunday, Oct. 27, 2002 at 12:52 PM
"Zionism promised independence; it has produced a society in which the Prime Minister must periodically affirm to the people that the existence of the nation depends on the delivery of fifty or a hundred Phantom jets from the United States... Zionism promised physical security to the Jews; Israel is the most dangerous place on earth today for a Jew, and it will remain so as long as Israeli-Jewish society retains its colonial character and its function as an instrument of imperialism."
-- the Israeli Socialist Organization, in 1972
ZIONISM AND THE HOLOCAUST
By Lance Selfa
During Israel's many wars with the Arab states, Israeli leaders accused Arab states of desiring a "new Holocaust." Leading Zionists regularly called critics of the Israeli state's repression of the Palestinians "anti-Semites," likening them to the Nazi murderers of 6 million Jews. Zionists consciously use this sort of emotional blackmail to silence any critics of Israeli policies. "I repress the urge to shout 'Shut up, already' in the White House press room when [former Israeli Prime Minister] Menachem Begin toasts an American president with a 15-minute lecture on the meaning of the Holocaust," said a Holocaust survivor and supporter of peace with the Palestinians. "Must every thought of compromise conjure up the threat of appeasement at Munich?" (1)
From their attacks on their political opponents, one might think that the Zionists stood up to Hitler and the Holocaust. But the history of Zionists' inaction and their dealings with the Nazis makes a mockery of their use of the Holocaust as a political weapon.
A few months after Hitler came to power, the leading German Zionist organization sent Hitler a long memo offering formal collaboration with the Nazis. This stomach-turning memo reads, in part:
"On the foundation of the new state, which has established the principle of race, we wish to fit our community into the total structure so that for us too, in the sphere assigned to us, fruitful activity for the Fatherland is possible...
For its practical aims, Zionism hopes to be able to win the collaboration even of a government fundamentally hostile to Jews, because in dealing with the Jewish question no sentimentalities are involved but a real problem whose solution interests all peoples, and at the present moment especially the German people."(2)
At the time, collaboration meant that leading organizations of Zionism worked to undermine a worldwide anti-German boycott called to protest the Nazis' anti-Semitism. Instead, the World Zionist Organization worked out a "Transfer Agreement" by which money from German Jews could be sent to Palestine to finance imports into Germany. Meanwhile, inside Germany, the Nazis shut down all socialist and Jewish resistance organizations and arrested their leaders. But the Nazis allowed the Zionists to operate. An American Zionist leader confessed his embarrassment: "It was a painful distinction for Zionism to be singled out for favors and privileges by its Satanic counterpart [Nazi Germany]." (3)
Throughout the 1930s and the Second World War, Zionists always placed the interests of Palestine ahead of fighting anti-Semitism in Europe. Seeking allies against Britain, the Zionist militia, the Haganah, negotiated for support from the German SS. In one secret meeting in Haifa in 1937, Haganah agent Faviel Polkes told the SS's Adolph Eichmann that "Jewish nationalist circles are very pleased with the radical German policy, since the strength of the Jewish population would be so far increased" and overwhelm the Palestinians. For a period in the late 1930s, the Nazis allowed Polkes to set up Haganah recruiting and training camps inside Germany. For a period of time, Polkes' sole income was "secret funds from the SS." (4) The Zionists impressed Eichmann. Years later in exile in Argentina, he recalled "I did see enough to be very impressed by the way the Jewish colonists were building up their land. I admired their desperate will to live, the more so since I was myself an idealist. In the years that followed I often said to Jews with whom I had dealings that, had I been a Jew, I would have been a fanatical Zionist. I could not imagine being anything else. In fact, I would have been the most ardent Zionist imaginable." (5) This is the man who oversaw Hitler's Final Solution!
Thousands of Jews, including the rank and file of Zionist groups, resisted Hitler's attempt to herd them into death camps. Zionists united with Communists and Bundists in the 1943 armed uprising against the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto. But even at the Holocaust's height, Jewish Agency leaders and settler leaders in Palestine offered little help. "The disaster facing European Jewry is not directly my business," said Ben-Gurion in 1943. Zionist leaders believed the fight in Europe diverted them from their main task: building the Jewish state in Palestine. The chairman of the Jewish Agency's committee refused to divert Jewish Agency funds from Palestine into rescuing Europe's Jews. "They will say that I am anti-Semitic, that I don't want to save the Exile, that I don't have a warm Jewish heart" said Yitzhak Gruenbaum at a 1943 Jewish Agency meeting. "Let them say what they want. I will not demand that the Jewish Agency allocate a sum of 300,000 or 100,000 pounds sterling to help European Jewry. And I think that whoever demands such things is performing an anti-Zionist act." During the war, the Agency spent far more money to acquire land in Palestine than to mount rescues. (6)
Preserving the "remnant" of Jewry for transfer to Palestine, rather than saving the Jews, guided Zionist leaders. Ben-Gurion opposed a plan to allow German Jewish children to emigrate to Britain in 1938. To justify himself, Ben-Gurion said: "If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them to [Israel], then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh not only the life of these children but also the history of the people of Israel." (7) Unfortunately, plans like the British proposal to rescue Jewish children, were few. In general, Western governments turned their backs on Jews fleeing Germany. In one celebrated case, the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939 turned away a ship, the St. Louis, carrying more than 900 refugees wishing to emigrate to the U.S. Until several European countries agreed to accept the refugees, they were destined to return to Germany -- and to certain death. Still, American Zionist organizations refused to press for abolishing immigration restrictions which prevented Jews fleeing Germany to move to the U.S. Only the Left -- the Trotskyist Communist League and the Communist Party -- called for the lifting of all restrictions on Jewish immigration.
The wartime actions of some Zionist leaders came back to haunt them. In 1952, Malchiel Gruenwald, an Israeli hotel operator who lost 50 members of his family in the Holocaust in Hungary, accused Dr. Rudolph Kastner of collaborating with the Nazis. Kastner, a prominent Labor Party politician and spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Commerce and Industry, sued Gruenwald for libel. The subsequent trial, which became known as the "Kastner affair," exposed a sordid history of deal making between the Zionists and the Nazis. Kastner had been the head of the Jewish Agency in Hungary, the leading Zionist representative in that country during the war. He had cut deals with leading Nazis, including Eichmann and SS officer Kurt Becher, to win passage of Jews to Palestine. But as a leader of the Jewish community in Hungary who knew about Hitler's "Final Solution," he helped send far more Jews to their deaths. He even appeared as a witness for the defense of Becher at the postwar Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals. Gruenwald charged:
"[Kastner] wanted to save himself, so that Becher would not reveal to the international court their deals and their joint acts of robbery... Where now is the money of the Jews of Hungary, millions of which no accounting was given?... He saved no fewer than fifty-two of his relatives, and hundreds of other Jews -- most of whom had converted to Christianity -- bought their rescue from Kastner by paying millions! That's how Kastner saved the members of Mapai [the Israeli Labor Party]... He saved people with connections, and made a fortune in the process." (8)
In the end, the court decided that some of Gruenwald's charges were true, but that others were unproved. Yet, the court did not want to take upon itself the judgment of Kastner's actions during the war. It left that to a government board of inquiry. Many in Israel's elite realized that an investigation would expose dozens of leading Israeli politicians with skeletons similar to Kastner's in their closets. A former Israeli secret service agent saved the government the embarrassment of an investigation when he assassinated Kastner in 1957. In 1993, the Tel Aviv City Council voted to name a street in Kastner's honor. (9)
1. Quoted in David Schoenbaum, The United States and the State of Israel (Oxford University Press, New York, 1993), p. 322.
2. L. Brenner, op. cit., pp. 48-49.
3. Ibid., p.85.
4. Christopher Simpson, Blowback (Collier Books, New York, 1988), p. 253.
5. Eichmann quoted in Lenni Brenner, op. cit., p. 98.
6. Ben-Gurion quoted in Tom Segev, The Seventh Million. (Hill and Wang, New York, 1993), p. 98. Gruenbaum quote and comparison of Jewish Agency spending in Segev, p. 102.
7. Quoted in L. Brenner, op. cit., p. 149.
8. Quoted in T. Segev, op. cit., pp. 257-258.
9. The Kastner case is described in detail in Akiva Orr, "The Kastner Case, Jerusalem, 1955," in his Israel: Politics, Myths and Identity Crises (Pluto Press, London, 1994), pp. 81-116.
Report this post as:
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 5 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
|CANADA LAND OF THE FREE
||Monday, Oct. 28, 2002 at 4:34 PM
||Monday, Oct. 28, 2002 at 5:52 PM
||Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 7:29 AM
|Herzl invented fascism.
||Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 7:59 AM
|You're correct, Steve...
||Thursday, Oct. 02, 2003 at 12:48 PM
Change Links 2018 July posted
More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena
"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena
Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles
Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California
Change Links June 2018 posted
The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years
Unity Archive Project
Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi
CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police
Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies
California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings)
Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico
Change Links May 2018
Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
More Local News...
14 Disturbing Facts About Scott Gottlieb, Trump's FDA Head
Behind the scenes at fbi National Academy
Treasury Takes Aim at Shell Companies
Paraphysique de l'intelligence
Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record
Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals.
Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries
The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally!
The System Question as a Survival Question
Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control
Du pain et des jeux
Paraphysique de martyrologie
Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator
Democratic Socialists of America
Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's
Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento
FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution?
Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians
The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally!
Social Policy as Social Infrastructure
Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud
Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner..
June 2018 Honduras coup update
Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support
New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients
Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation
Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why
Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme )
More Breaking News...