A long critique by Andrew Coates of Andrew Murray’s “anti-imperialism”. You should read it, but here’s an extract:

One wonder how many other ‘challengers’ to US hegemony also “mandate” contingent support? To be supported (or in real terms, given kind words and some public show of endorsement) how far can a foreign policy trump a domestic one? A debate has begun on the US-left, with echoes in Europe, on Hamas. The American International Socialist Organization reject any backing for the violent, reactionary ISIS and Islamic State Islamists in Syria and Iraq. But they offer “unconditional but critical” support for the Gaza wing of the Muslim Brotherhood which has right-wing anti-socialist and anti-liberal policies. (3) The importance of their anti-imperialist battle with Israel over-rides their anti-democratic and corrupt practices.

Others might argue that it would be better simply to oppose Israel’s actions in attacking the Palestinians and depriving them of their rights than in to offer any succour to a group with a proven record of hostility to any form of left-wing and progressive politics. No amount of bluster about solidarity can disguise this side of Hamas. Israel’s actions need to be fought by a coherent movement, one not entangled in this dead-end. Such a push requires co-operation with Israeli citizens opposed to their state’s policies, and not a call to drive them into the sea. This is not to “blame” Hamas, it is simply not to take their political side.

Romantic third-worldism appears to have survived the collapse of any specific “non-capitalist” development after the fall of Official Communism and the rise of neo-liberal economics and politics. Perhaps we are seeing signs of a part others about to plunge into a second-youth, digging out dusty copies of Frantz Fanon to find inspiration for their “anti-imperialism”. (4) It continued to exist in the half-life of university “post-colonial” theory and some marginal groupuscules, like the French Les Indigènes de la République. These self-appointed representatives of the “natives” battle against neo-colonialist secularism and Marxism. They really are unconditional backers of Hamas, and treat the racist anti-Semite, ‘anti-Zionist’, and Holocaust denier, Dieudonné with great tenderness.

This is from the brilliant blog Mystical Politics:

More antisemitism at rallies against the Gaza war. This photo is from a rally in Stuttart, Germany, on July 25, 2014.

Source: http://emafrie.de/category/texte-von-emafrie. The poster in the center has an image on it by the French artist Zeon.
Here are a couple more photos of the same demonstration:
Translation: “Where are CNN, BBC, ZDF, Bild, Spiegel, and Co.? They are financed by Jewish capital, therefore they do not report about the terror of the Jewish State.”

Both of these posters are from Zeon, who seems to specialize in antisemitic and anti-Israel images. See here for a close-up of the image on the right-hand poster.

See also:

Antisemitism in anti-Israel rally in Sydney, Australia

Wave of anti-Semitic rallies hits cities across Germany

Anti-Israel demonstration in Zurich, Switzerland, July 18, 2014

Racist demonstration in Jerusalem on July 14

This is by Reem Abu-Hayyeh at the excellent IRR news service. Read the original here.

A timely pamphlet aimed primarily at French trades unionists provides an opportunity to reflect on the FN’s growing appeal to working-class voters.

If we don’t stop the waves of immigration, in ten years whites will become a minority in France.’

‘If we had real freedom of expression we would be able to say anything, including racist remarks.’

‘Foreign workers from poor countries are ready to work for any kind of salary and under any conditions; it is because of them that there has been a social recession.’

French_myths_bookIt is myths such as these that journalist Pierre-Yves Bulteau, with the financial support and research assistance of charities, trade unions and organisations,[1] attempts to debunk in the (French-language) pamphlet, En finir avec les idées fausses propagées par l’extrême droite (‘Putting an end to the myths spread by the extreme Right’)In this attractively produced, simply written and accessible 160-page pamphlet (perhaps, more aptly described as a small book), Bulteau takes 73 popular myths propagated by the far Right and breaks them down into the generic themes of: ‘The foreigners are guilty’; ‘It’s the system’s fault’; ‘France for the French’ and ‘False solutions’.

The author sets out with a purpose, to provide: ‘a weapon to arm the members of our organisations who ask us how to respond.’ This timely intervention came shortly after the French local elections in which the Front National (FN) captured 1,546 municipality seats and gained control of ten towns across France, and on the eve of the European elections where a quarter of French voters cast their vote for the FN. Amongst FN gains was the previously Parti Socialiste (PS) stronghold of Hénin-Beaumont. A mayor who ran on the FN ticket is Robert Ménard, a founder of Reporters Without Borders and former activist with the Revolutionary Communist League[2]. Similarly, Fabien Engelmann, the new mayor of Hayange (once famous for its iron mines) was formerly active in the Trotskyist party, Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle) and the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (New Anticapitalist Party), which he broke with when it fielded a veiled Muslim woman candidate in a regional election. His former trade union, the CGT, attempted to expel him when his affiliation to the FN became known.
Continue reading ‘French Front National: fake anti-globalization rhetoric’

Of course anti-Zionism is not the same as antisemitism. But some anti-Zionists are antisemites.  Here’s three examples.

1. Parisian anti-Israel protestors besiege Jews in synagogues.

At the weekend, it is reported that “three Paris synagogues sustained anti-Semitic attacks over the weekend with rioters sending three Jews to the hospital.” Note well: not the Israeli embassy, but Jewish synagogues.

In the 11th arrondissement in eastern Paris, breakaway anti-Israel marchers “tried to force their way into a Paris synagogue Sunday with bats and chairs, then fought with security officers who blocked their way, according to police and a witness.”

A police spokeswoman said the Don Isaac Abravanel synagogue in eastern Paris was targeted during a service, and worshippers were blocked inside while police pushed protesters back. The spokeswoman said all those inside left safely by Sunday evening.

Aline Le Bail-Kremer watched the incident unfold from her window across the street. She said protesters came from two directions and converged on the synagogue, grabbing chairs from sidewalk cafes and wielding bats as they tried to push past security guards.

Another synagogue on Rue de la Roquette in Paris was attacked by rioters hurling stones, according to the Times of Israel. Earlier on Saturday, rioters hurled a Molotov cocktail at a synagogue in Aulnay-sous-Bois, a suburb of Paris.

On the march itself, “Among the protesters were those who carried signs reading “Gaza is a concentration camp” and “Anti-Zionism,” according to local reports, and some called out “Death to Jews.””

One French Green Party politician defended the antisemitic attacks. Pierre Minnaert said it was “not surprising” that synagogues “under attack” when they support Israel’s policies.

Protestors doing antisemitic quenelle saluate. Via @mendelpol

Protesters demonstrate against Israel and in support of residents in the Gaza Strip in Paris

Video. JPost report.

2. Meanwhile in Frankfurt, Germany:

A demonstration in Frankfurt against Operation Protective Edge erupted into violence, with protesters tossing stones at the police.

According to the Frankfurter Rundschau paper, about 2,500 protesters appeared in downtown Frankfurt, screaming “God is great,” and slogans such as “freedom for Palestine” and “children-murderer Israel.”

Eight police officers were injured. One sign at the rally was titled, “You Jews are Beasts.”

German media reported that after the protests, groups sought to locate Jewish institutions. The Frankfurt police said Jewish institutions would be protected. It is unclear if the goal was to attack said institutions.

According to the Rundschau, student organization Left-SDS, Islamists and some members of the Neo-Nazi group National Socialists Rhein-Main attended the anti-Israel protest. Flags from Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Hamas were on display at the protest. Banners compared Prime Minister Netanyahu with Adolf Hitler. Supporters of Assad’s regime were also present at the protest.

In a bizarre act of cooperation, German journalist and publicist Thomas von der Osten-Sacken reported on the website of the weekly Jungle World that Frankfurt’s police allowed the demonstrators to use a police vehicle and loudspeaker to blast anti-Israeli slogans. According to a police statement, the authorities allowed the use of their equipment in order to deescalate the situation. The Jungle World article sarcastically titled its account, “The Police, Friend and Helper.”

Spontaner Protest auf der Zeil. Foto: Rolf Oeser. Via Frankfurter Rundschau.

Independent report.

3. #HitlerWasRight

Meanwhile, the hashtag #HitlerWasRight has been trending on social media, showing the extent to which Holocaust denial and Nazi ideology have permeated the anti-Zionist movement. Read more about this here.

Several items from Tendance Coatesy, on the Voltaire Network, on the French far right’s links to Putinism, and on Godard’s fascist turn.

1. On Franklin Lamb and France’s Assad supporters:

Counterpunch has published some well-informed reports on the unfolding civil war in Iraq, notably by Patrick Cockburn. The same cannot be said for the latest piece by the notorious Franklin Lamb, who has been linked to the far-right  Réseau Voltaire (Voltaire Network)  (23 articles, up to 2001)… [In his article on ISIS, the] Reseau Voltaire contributor [i.e. Lamb] records this comment,

ISIS appears uniformly contemptuous of the Zionist regime and its army and also appears eager to fight them in the near future despite expectation that the regime will use nuclear weapons. “Do you think that we do not have access to nuclear devices? The Zionists know that we do and if we ever believe they are about to use theirs we will not hesitate.  After the Zionists are gone, Palestine will have to be decontaminated and rebuilt just like areas where there has been radiation released.”…

One feels deep disgust at anybody relishing the kind of ‘liberation’ ISIS would bring to Israel. Coatesy has background on the Voltaire Network: see here on Thierry Meyssan, here on their Syria conspiracy theories, but in particular here: After Israel Shamir, we have Franklin P.Lamb. He is a regular on the fascist ‘anti-imperialist’ Voltaire Network (23 articles – here). His latest Counterpunch offering is an ‘analysis’ which claims that the Syrian uprising is being used to undermine the ‘resistance’ force Hezbollah, “Implementing the Feltman Project.  Is the Syrian Crisis Being Leveraged to Weaken Hezbollah?” One expects the answer, given the premis that Hezbollah is the “leader of the international Resistance.” He concludes by asking, The coming weeks will reveal what, if any, success foreign and domestic anti-Resistance forces achieve in using the Syrian crisis to dismantle Hezbollah. This is a curious way of putting things, until you realise where Lamb’s thought processes originate. […]

What is Lamb’s Voltaire Network? The President of the Network of Thierry Meyssan,  9/11 The Big Lie, which claimed that the 11th of September 2001 was due to an internal plot within the US administration. The Network broadcast this declaration widely. Meyssan’s works appear regularly on the Holocaust deniers’ site, Entre la plume et l’enclume. The Voltaire Network is better known under its French title, Réseau Voltaire. It has faced accusations of supporting the Chinese and Russian states, anti-Semitism, and alignment with Islamists. Supporters who resigned in 2005 said, …Under the pretext of resistance to American imperialism arrangements have been made with Russian and Chinese imperialisms, and their alignment with Islamists has led to a drift towards anti-semitism, latent amongst its leading figures. Thierry Meyssan is closely associated with the fascist and racist Dieudonné and his ‘anti-Zionist’ Party (Parti Anti Sioniste). There is not formal tie between the Réseau Voltaire and this, very marginal, political party. But what is clear is that the Voltaire Network is pro-Assad, like the Parti Anti Sioniste  as are many from this ‘nébuleuse‘. […]

With yet another contributor to Counterpunch from this background we wonder why anybody takes it seriously, or indeed, took Alexander Cockburn seriously at all – ever.
This appeared in Le Monde [early in June]:

Moscow-Paris-Vienna : the meetings and acquaintances of Aymeric Chauprade, Adviser of Marine Le Pen Le Monde.  (Adapted Extracts)

The Eurodeputy for the Front National – Rassemblement Bleu Marine (RBM), -Aymeric Chauprade (wikipedia – in English), took part in strange meeting on Saturday the 31st of May in Vienna.  (Austria) The meeting was called under the title of the 200 years of the Holy Alliance, which brought together Imperial Russia, the Austrian Empire, and the Prussian kingdom. The event was organised by the the Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev, who is linked to Ukrainian separatists in  Donetsk in the Ukraine. According to the Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger,  this get-together was held to discuss how to save  Europe from liberalism (economic and political) and the “homosexual lobby”. Those present included  Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the far-right Austrian  FPÖ  (allies of  Marine Le Pen),  and  Volen Siderov of the Bulgarian extreme-right party  Ataka  (with whom Le Pen refuses to work).
The most striking guest was Aleksandr Gelyevich Dugin  Putin’s éminence grise  and Eurasian ideologue. (1) M. Chauprade has already worked with the most radical wing of the Pro- Putin forces. During the Crimean referendum in Crimea he was an observer for a NGO linked to Eurasian ideas, the Eurasian Observatory for Democracy and Elections (EODE) (2). This body is led by  Luc Michel, European National Communitarian Party (ENCP) (3), a red-brown groupuscule  that continues the work of the neo-fascist Jean Thiriart. The EODE  observers came from diverse quarters, from the Greek Communist Party (KKE) Die Linke, Forza italia (qui  the Flemish far-right, Vlaams Belaang  and  Enrique Ravello of  Plataforma per Catalunya.  The latter had been a member of the  Cedade,  a grouping of Spanish neo-Nazis.
References from Wikipedia.
(1) Aleksandr Gelyevich Dugin (RussianАлекса́ндр Ге́льевич Ду́гин, born 7 January 1962) is a Russian political scientist, traditionalist, and one of the most popular ideologists of the creation of a Eurasian empire that would be against the “North Atlantic interests”. He is known for his fascist views,[1][2][3][4] and had close ties to the Kremlin and Russian military.[5] Dugin serves as an adviser to State Duma speaker (and key member of the ruling United Russia party) Sergei Naryshkin.[6]
(2) Eurasian Observatory for Democracy and Elections (EODE) is a Russia-based far-rightnon-governmental organization which on its website claims that it monitors elections.[1][2] According to its website, it specializes in the “self-proclaimed republics” (AbkhaziaTransdnistriaNagorno-Karabakh).[3][1] It is led by the Belgian far-right activist Luc Michel.[4] EODE’s other leader is Jean-Pierre Vandersmissen. Both Michel and Vandermissen are followers of the Belgian Neo-Nazi politician Jean-François Thiriart.[5][6][7] According to Oliver Bullough, on its website the organization stated that “it shares the values of “the current Russian leadership and V.V. Putin.””[8] EODE visited Crimea during the 2014 Crimean referendum international observer team and claimed that the referendum was conducted in a legitimate manner.[9][10]
(3) The Parti communautaire national-européen (PCN) is a Belgium-based political organisation led by Luc Michel, a former member of the Neo-Nazi FANE party. A largely National Bolshevik movement, it also has activists in France.[1] The PCN was founded in 1984 as a successor to the similar Parti Communautaire Européen. The party bases its ideas on those of Jean-François Thiriart,[1] who served as an advisor to Michel for a time after the foundation of the group, and seeks the creation of a single European state stretching entity from Russia to the Atlantic coast. Including activists with origins on both the far right and far left, it seeks to liberate Europe from its ‘Yankee and Zionist enemies’.[2] Its founding membership included both those whose background was neo-fascism and former Maoists.[3] It has also been noted for giving support to controversial world leaders, most notably Iraq‘s Saddam Hussein and Libya‘s Muammar al-Gaddafi.[4] It also declared its support for ecologism.[5] According to Eric Rossi PCN belongs to a strand of the Francophone far right that he identifies as “ethno-differentialist revolutionary nationalism”, in which he also includes Nouvelle RésistanceGroupe Union DéfenseTroisième voie and Groupement de recherche et d’études pour la civilisation européenne. He contrasts this with the “exclusivist nationalists” (as represented by Œuvre française) and the “supremacist racialist nationalists” (Fédération d’action nationale et européenne and Parti nationaliste français et européen), although including all three groups within a wider model of neo-fascism.[6] The party has, from time to time, contested elections in Belgium and France (without securing elected office), although at the last Belgian elections they told their supporters to vote for the Vlaams Belang.
3. On Jean-Luc Godard:

David Thompson once commented that Jean-Luc Godard, the celebrated, and once leftist, cinéaste was fated to remain a “Young Turk” all his life. Now approaching his dotage Godard still feels the need to make provocative statements. Interviewed at length in yesterday’Le Monde and asked about the European election results he announced, J’espérais que le Front national arriverait en tête. Je trouve que Hollande devrait nommer – je l’avais dit à France Inter, mais ils l’ont supprimé – Marine Le Pen premier ministre.” I was hoping that the Front National would come first. I find that Hollande should nominate – I said this on France Inter, but they cut it out – Marine Le Pen as Prime Minister.

Asked by the newspaper the reasons why he took this stand, the film-director responded, “To shake things up, so that we make at least some moves towards changing things, even if they don’t really do so. It’s better than pretending to do nothing. Jean-Luc Godard continued his theme, recalling that, “The Front National had 2 seats on the National Resistance Council. At that time it was a pro-Communist organisation. Still, despite this it was called the Front National….”

The interviewers reminded him that this Front National had nothing to do with the present-day Front National, created in 1972 by Jean-Marie Le Pen, and that only the name was identical (a synonymy). Jean-Luc Godard did not back down, “No. If you say its the same word, you are stuck in words, not facts. It is a fact. Given the importance of this nomination, this is also a synonymy as well…the Prime Minister of Luxembourg is called Junker. That is also the name of the German bombers…. The Franco-Swiss film-maker did recognise  that he was  “not one of them” (the Front National). “Jean-Marie Le Pen wanted for a long time to kick me out of France..but I simply wish that things change. The real winners (of the elections) were those who abstained, and I’ve been one of them for a long time.”

From Mystical Politics:

Wawrzyn, Heidemarie: Nazis in the Holy Land 1933-1948

Co-published by The Hebrew University Magnes Press and De Gruyter for the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism.

Young Germans marched through Haifa shouting “Heil Hitler!” and Swastika flags were hoisted at the German consulates in Mandatory Palestine. It was in November 1931 when a non-Jewish German made the initial contact with Nazi officials in Germany that led to the establishment of a miniature Third Reich with local NS groups, Hitler Youth program, and associations for women, teachers, and others in Palestine. Approximately 33% of all Palestine-Germans (Palästina-Deutsche) participated in the NS movement. Until today no extensive research written in English has been done on this bizarre “footnote” in history.

While previous publications in German mainly concentrated on the members of the Temple Society, this work includes Protestant and Catholic Germans as well. It focuses on the relationship of Palästina-Deutsche with local Arabs and Jews. It covers the period of 1933 to 1948 as well as the years between the establishing of the State of Israel and the departure of the last group of Germans in 1950. At the end of the book, the reader will find a list with more than seven hundred names of those who joined the NS groups.

This is from Shiraz Socialist:

The following warning to the Left comes from Gerry Gable of Searchlight, the UK’s longest-established anti-fascist publication. It was published on 1st June, the day before the inaugural meeting of ‘Anti-Fascist Resistance in Ukraine’:

The so-called Anti-Fascist Resistance in Ukraine has called a meeting on the evening of Monday 2 June at SOAS. The British left and anti-fascist movement has been canvassed to take part.

The warning below, which exposes these political crooks, comes from genuine anti-fascists in Ukraine. President Putin’s media Trojan Horse, the Russia Today TV station, presents as commentators Nazis from Germany and the UK, and people involved in the far-right LaRouche cult group without explaining who they really are.

Over the past few weeks RT has featured Paul Weston from the tiny Islamophobic Liberty GB party, who has been associated with the English Defence League. Weston was described on screen as a civil rights activist. Also on was Manuel Ochsenreiter, editor of Zuerst!, a glossy German Nazi magazine. Then came the man from LaRouche’s international Executive Intelligence Newsletter, the happy hunting ground of several intelligence services. This is the group responsible for the death in 2003 of the British student Jeremiah Duggan in Germany, a death that will be subject to a new inquest in the North London Coroner’s Court next February.

Our comrade who has written the paragraphs that follow, is one of the most experienced investigators of what really goes on in Moscow and  Kiev. He expresses his sorrow, as do I, about the way part of the British and European left are being manipulated by these enemies of the true anti-fascist struggle.

The so-called “Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine” is simply a scam.

Borotba, which “represents” the Ukrainian side (their guy will address the meeting on Skype), is a fake left-wing organisation the representatives of which are now travelling across Europe to get funding for their dodgy activities. No decent left-wing group in Ukraine is cooperating with them. This is very much worth reading:


At the same time, Borotba has been cooperating with the so-called “Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine”. Its leader, Natalya Vitrenko, is a long-time associate of LaRouche:



Borotba also supports the self-proclaimed Donetsk People Republic, the “constitution” of which proclaims an authoritarian clerical regime.

It’s really painful to see that so many people fall victim of the idiotic propaganda.


H/t to Comrade Coatesy for drawing our attention to this bizarre affair. Coatesy also gives more detail about Lyndon LaRouche (aka “Lyn Marcus”):

The name LaRouche should send alarm bells ringing.

I will just cite this (there are thousands of pages on the Net about him) about this creature, ” Why is LaRouche considered a crank in some circles? Consider the following tidbits drawn from numerous similar statements over 30 years. According to LaRouche, The Beatles (who “had no genuine musical talent”) were created by the “British Psychological Warfare Division” and promoted “by agencies which are controlled by British intelligence.”

Furthermore, the Queen of England and the British royal family run the global drug trade. 37 LaRouche asks: “Who is pushing the world toward war?” It is “the forces behind the World Wildlife Fund, the Club of Rome, and the heritage of H.G. Wells and the evil Bertrand Russell.”38 Having a hard time as a political activist? LaRouche has the cure! He is “confident and capable of ending your political-and sexual-impotence; the two are interconnected aspects of the same problem….I am going to make you organizers…by taking your bedrooms away from you….I shall destroy your sense of safety….” From here.

We urge you to read Coatesy’s account, which is rather more even-handed than we’re inclined to be, and includes a link to a statement from the ‘Anti-Fascist Resitance in Ukraine’ campaign and from Borotba, putting their side of the argument. But there can be no doubt that this so-called “anti-fascist” campaign is a quite extraordinary rotten blocof genuine dupes of Putin, sub-Stalinists, degenerate ex-Trotskyists and far-right conspiracy theorists with Nazi links.

See also: Dale Street on the Prime Minister of  the Donetsk People’s Republic

Comment: I don’t trust Searchlight one bit; they are themselves old tankies, and their collusion  with the security state puts has meant the militant ant-fascist movement has come to regard them as toxic. However, on this issue, they are absolutely correct.

Here are some comments from Coatesy’s comment thread, which add more details, and below that (at the bottom of the post) are links to genuinely anti-fascist voices from Ukraine. Continue reading ‘Who are the anti-fascists in Ukraine?’

Jazz jihad


This article, by Brian Chasnoff, is the the San Antonio Express-News:

Kory Cook, music director at KRTU-FM Jazz for San Antonio, said the radio station at Trinity University just “dodged a bullet,” but it’s probably more accurate to say it dodged a “quenelle.”

The hand gesture, widely seen as a reverse Nazi salute, is familiar to many Spurs fans as something guard Tony Parker flashed in a photo three years ago alongside the French anti-Semite Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala.

Recently, LaBonte asked Cook at KRTU to help him find a venue for a show dubbed “Jazz Jihad!” It features Gilad Atzmon, an Israeli-born British jazz saxophonist who calls himself a “proud self-hating Jew”; LaBonte’s jazz trio; and Mark Dankof, a local “anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Cook connected LaBonte with Ray Palmer, owner of High Wire Arts on West Josephine. Palmer agreed to host the show, and LaBonte advertised it on Facebook as “sponsored by KRTU.” Local musicians caught wind; an uproar ensued. JJ Lopez, general manager at KRTU, sent an email to Trinity staff on Saturday clarifying the situation. “We are not supporting this event,” Lopez wrote. “KRTU’s inclusion on the flyer was not approved by station management. I contacted the lead musician and had our name removed, effective immediately.” (“That was a mistake,” said Cook, who was planning to play drums at the show but backed out. “I did tell Trevor that KRTU would support the show on the air, we would promote it. But we were never a sponsor.”)

And on Sunday, after learning more about the acts involved, Palmer canceled. “I’m way open to many different mindsets,” he told me, “but when you get into exclusions and hate … I got a bad taste in my mouth.”

“Hate” is one way to describe the views of LaBonte, which include a defense of Adolf Hitler. In December, on Facebook, LaBonte wrote, “If Hitler was an evil dictator, then why did he have broad public support?”

This is extreme stuff, and LaBonte doubled down on Monday. “Jews were heavily involved in communism and were targeting Europe to communize it,” he told me. “Hitler was not trying to take over the world. Hitler was trying to protect it from communism, which was trying to take over the world…. It was planned by Jews.” LaBonte said speakers at the show “were going to talk about some of these things.”

I even received a surprise call from Atzmon, who defended LaBonte’s views (“Everything he told you so far is partially correct as we know”) and railed against the cancellation of his show — in a notably anti-Semitic manner. “I’m offended,” Atzmon said. “I write about Jewish political power, and here it comes.”

I mentioned that his views offend some people. “People can be offended by a lot of things,” he said. “But as far as I’m aware, in this country, we have the First Amendment, which allows me theoretically to express my thoughts.”

Another freedom implicit in the First Amendment is that of association, and the saga of “Jazz Jihad!” shows that this freedom entails a responsibility, sometimes, to disassociate. Faced with the prospect of his band appearing in this column, King fired LaBonte: “I don’t want to be associated with his beliefs.” Embarrassed by the photograph with Dieudonné, Parker publicly apologized. And both Cook and Palmer backed out of “Jazz Jihad!,” which LaBonte is planning at another, undisclosed local venue. (A second show is scheduled at Ovations Night Club in Houston.)

As for me, a proud Jew, I won’t be attending, no matter how talented the musicians. Chalk that up to the First Amendment, too.

An “open letter to the world” at lettrs tells the story of how Trevor LaBonte passed from ordinary lumpen-leftism to conspiracy theories to the far right. It makes for illuminating and tragic reading.

LaBonte and Atzmon, in linking up to Mark Dankof, are connecting to the out and out far right. Dankof’s world is that of American Free Press, founded by Willis Carto, “one of America’s most influential political racial theorists”. To understand this world, see SPLC’s page on Willis Carto and his group Barnes Review, or the Nizkor project’s page on Carto.


Michael Ezra blogs:

The Mail Online has an article up about an anti-fascist, topless, feminist activist in Dresden praising Bomber Harris for the bombing of that city in 1945.  Anna Edwards, who wrote the article, comments:

Between February 13th and February 14th 1945, between 35,000 and 135,000 people were killed by Allied bombing in Dresden.

In his findings in the Irving-Lipstadt trial (Section 13.126), The Hon. Mr. Justice Gray said:

In my judgment the estimates of 100,000 and more deaths which Irving continued to put about in the 1990s lacked any evidential basis and were such as no responsible historian would have made.

A comment from one Jurek Molnar clarifies the numbers:

The latest numbers on Dresden I can recall are from a study based on all available historical death records, which was published 2005. About 25.000, maybe 27.000 died in the bombardments of Dresden in 1945.

Dresden is a myth in Germany. It evolves all around a certain need to be victims too. Most accounts on Dresden from 1950 until the late 90ies were highly exaggerated, claiming that up to 250.000 people have died. German grief of the past also claimed that the bombardment had no strategic purpose and was a war crime. But that is of course not true. The study I mentioned above also states that Dresden had an important military infrastructure, a production of tanks and other weapons and was one of the cities that had the biggest pro Nazi populations. Bombing Dresden should also frustrate German resistance forces and weaken the city’s Nazi sympathies. One can have different perspectives on this issue.

Nevertheless the numbers that claim more than 30.000 victims are all made up and definitely not true.

The topless protestors, incidentally, are Anne Helm, a European parliamentary candidate for the Pirate Party in Berlin, and Deborah Anderson of Femen, although apparently both the Pirates and Femen have officially disavowed the protest. (There’s an interview in German with Helm here.) As a post-script, the neo-Nazi NPD demonstrated against Helm and the Pirate Party for her actions, with resulting scuffles, and there has been a big social media controversy going on in Germany too.)

This is interesting, from Robert Zaretsky’s article on Heidegger’s “Black Notebooks”:

Yet, it was the hand offered by the French philosopher Jean Beaufret that pulled Heidegger from the professional exile imposed by the Freiburg committee. Shortly after Jean-Paul Sartre, whose own thought was inspired by Heidegger’s work, gave his celebrated public talk “Existentialism is a Humanism,” Beaufret contacted Heidegger for his reaction. While Heidegger replied that Sartre had completely misunderstood his writings, this was less important than the public’s misunderstanding of Beaufret’s motivations. As the Heidegger scholar Richard Wolin notes, Beaufret, who had fought with the Resistance, soon gravitated towards the dark planet of Holocaust denial. In a letter he wrote to the notorious negationist Robert Faurisson, Beaufret reassured him that he, like Faurisson, had “traveled the same path” and had been “considered suspect for having expressed the same doubts” about the gas chambers.

In the same letter, Beaufret congratulated himself for having shared his views with Faurisson, and never committing them to paper. The same cannot be said for his work on behalf of Heidegger: Beaufret morphed into a veritable public relations firm for the Nazi thinker, serving as his privileged interlocutor and interpreter in France. While Sartre soon distanced himself from Heidegger’s writings, other and younger postwar intellectuals like Louis Althusser and Michel Foucault were drawn to them; they became the darling of self-described revolutionaries on the left rather than reactionaries on the right. For good reason, Heidegger chuckled that when the French talk philosophy, they think in German.

See also: Pierre Joris: “Heidegger, France, Politics, the University (1997); Gregory Fried: A Letter to Emmanuel Faye (2011).

Previously: Anti-imperialist Holocaust deniers in France; Ultra-gauche FaurissonistsGilles Dauvé and negationism


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