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Zionism in the Age of Dictators

Stephen Crittenden: Welcome to the program.

Today: Part 3 of our series of programs on Zionism. You may remember that a few weeks ago we were looking at the dispute which has broken out in the Jewish communities in Britain and the United States over support for Israel. In Britain, a new group called 'Independent Jewish Voices' has formed, and a similar group has since started up here in Australia.

You may also remember that I interviewed Professor Alvin Rosenfeld from the University of Indiana, who was scandalised by my use of the term 'Blut und Boden Zionism', or 'blood and soil Zionism'. He denied that revisionist Zionism in the '20s and '30s and its leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky, had been influenced by fascist ideas about race.

Well I promised you more on the subject, and more in particular about Jabotinsky and today we speak to Lenni Brenner, the author of a number of books on Zionism, including 'Zionism in the Age of the Dictators' and 'The Iron Wall: Zionist Revisionism from Jabotinsky to Shamir'. He's also the editor of 'Fifty-one documents: Zionist collaboration with the Nazis'.

American Civil Rights activist Lenni Brenner crashed with Bob Dylan, spent time in jail with Hughie Newton, and for 13 years he worked with Stokeley Carmichael, whose Coalition Against Zionism and Racism was founded in 1985, and wound up when Carmichael died in 1998.

When 'Zionism in the Age of the Dictators' was published, in 1983, Vanessa Redgrave purchased the movie rights, and one chapter became the basis of the Jim Allen play, 'Perdition'. 'Perdition' was the centre of a major censorship scandal in 1987 when the Board of the Royal Court Theatre in London cancelled the premiere of a production to be directed by Ken Loach, at the last moment.

Well Lenni Brenner, welcome to The Religion Report. We know that Theodore Hertzel founded the Zionist movement a century ago because when he looked around him in Europe he saw hysterical anti-Zionism everywhere. But is there any doubt that early Zionism was shaped by the same ideas about race that shaped Fascism?

Lenni Brenner: Well there's no doubt about it. I'll just quote a couple of little things, in fact I'll quote my favourite first and I'll quote it before I tell you who wrote it, because when you hear who wrote it, you will laugh, OK? And everybody does. Now this is from an article written in 1921 called 'Assimilation and Nationalism', right?

'Nations with racial differences appear to have instincts which work against their fusion. The assimilation of the Jews of the European nations among whom they live in language, in customs, and to some extent even in the forms of religious organisation, could not eradicate the feeling of lack of kinship between them and those among whom they live. In the last resort, this instinctive feeling of lack of kinship is referable to the law of conservation of energy. For this reason it cannot be eradicated by any amount of well-meaning pressure. Nationalities do not want to be fused, they want to go each its own way.'

Now guess who said that?

Stephen Crittenden: Would I be right in thinking the line about the law of conservation of energy is the clue?

Lenni Brenner: Yes.

Stephen Crittenden: Albert Einstein.

Lenni Brenner: Albert Einstein, none other than Albert Einstein, and that's complete pseudo-science, I mean there is no law of conservation of energy and biology, races intermarry constantly. And that was typical not only of the Zionist movement but of the upper class and middle class of Europe and America of that time, and even Australia. I mean in other words they were living in the age of white imperialism, colonies all over the world. So that affected everybody in the intellectual world.

Stephen Crittenden: Lenni , a few weeks ago I interviewed Professor Alvin Rosenfeld on this program about Zionism and anti-Semitism, and I used the term 'Blut und Boden Zionism', 'blood and soil Zionism'. And he nearly ended the interview on the spot, because he said it was a Nazi term. But I found the term 'blood und boden Zionism' in your book being used by German Zionists in the 1930s.

Lenni Brenner: Oh yes, I mean basically their attitude was German blood, German soil, Jewish blood, Jewish soil. In 1933, the Nazis come to power and on June 21st, 1933, the Zionist Federation of Germany sent a secret letter to the Nazis. Now we have the letter because it was ultimately published in Israel in 1963, 30 years later. This is the Zionist Federation of Germany to the Nazis. 'Our acknowledgment of Jewish nationality provides for a clear and sincere relationship to the German people and its national and racial realities, precisely because we do not wish to falsify these fundamentals because we too are against mixed marriage and are for maintaining the purity of the Jewish group and reject any trespass of the cultural domain.' Now I can tell you this: traditional Jewish opposition to mixed marriage was non-stop. I grew up in a family in which my mother kept telling me that I had to marry a Jew. 'Marry a Jew; marry a Jew', you know, it was non-stop. But that's very common. And when the Nazis came to power, the German Zionist Federation which represented a miniscule proportion of the Jews in Germany at that time, they felt that they had won. Here were these guys, who like us, 'blood and soil', like you say, 'Blut und Boden', and opposition to mixed marriage. I mean it was a Zionist dream.

Stephen Crittenden: Alvin Rosenfeld suggested that anti-Zionism among Jews these days can be a form of Jewish self-hatred. You demonstrate in your book that revisionist Zionism in the '20s and '30s itself had a strong flavour of Jewish racial self-hatred.

Lenni Brenner: Well the Zionist attitude was the Jews are smart people and so on and so forth, but they're wasting their time in these countries where they're the businessmen, they're the merchants, they're the parasites, you know? It wasn't so much Zionism revisionism it was actually Labour Zionism is more into that kind of thing. What the Jews had to do was go back literally to the soil, you know, in other words, Jews had to leave the cities of Poland and the United States and go settle on kibbutz in Israel, which were farms.

Stephen Crittenden: Lenni, what about Jabotinsky? He seems like an incredibly interesting and complex figure. You show that he didn't describe himself as a fascist, he didn't want to be called a fascist, but that he and his supporters were very influenced by fascist ideas and that there were in fact some very interesting links between his movement and Mussolini.

Lenni Brenner: Yes, Jabotinsky was one of the most famous linguists of his day. He would come to countries like let's say Belgium and introduce himself to an audience in Flemish, and he's an excellent writer. I mean he's as clear a writer as any imaginable, he's sort of an in-the-face man. 'This is what I stand for, that's right, a Jewish Empire, just like everybody else wants an empire, I want an empire', you know, that kind of mentality. The problem that he had with fascism was that he actually lived in Italy before Mussolini came to power, before World War I actually, and he loved the country which is the least anti-Semitic country in all of Europe. The capitalists there were famous in 1848 when they established the Roman Republic which only lasted about a year, but the first thing they did was smash down the wall of the ghetto.

Stephen Crittenden: And I think it's true that Mussolini himself for a long time when he was in power, treated Hitler's ideas about race as nonsense.

Lenni Brenner: Yes, for a brief instant he flirted with Anti-Semitism and then in 1918-'19 etc., and his own party members said, 'Benito, it doesn't work in Italy, everybody likes the Jews in Italy.' So from then on in he became a patriot of the Jews. Now what happened was that Jabotinsky liked the Italy before Mussolini came to power, and he resented the idea of Mussolini coming to power. But in the realities of Mediterranean politics of that period, Jabotinsky realised the British promised the Zionists a national home in Palestine but they didn't really intend to do it, I mean they were just using them against the Arabs, that was pretty obvious after a while. So he began to look around for a substitute mandatory, a League of Nations mandatory to take over from England. And there was England's rival, Italy, so he became pro-Fascist for the moment.

Now it reached the point where in 1935 Benito Mussolini had a squadron of young Zionist Revisionists, followers of Jabotinsky, at his Naval Academy, and the pro-Fascism just became greater and greater. I mean here is - this is an article from 'World Jewry' which is a pro-Zionist magazine published in London in 1936, and it's talking about Wolfgang von Reizel, who was the Economics Director of the Zionist Revisionists, and this is what he said:

'He personally was a supporter of Fascism and he rejoiced in the victory of Fascist Italy in Abyssinia as a triumph of the white races against the black.' That's the end of the quote. Now Abyssinia is Ethiopia, and I have another book which I reviewed about a year ago Erin Kaplan's 'The Jewish Radical Right - Revision of Zionism and its ideological legacy'. This is a quote from him. 'In his history of Hebrew seamanship, Jeremiah Halpern wrote that the cadets' meaning that the Betar squadron at Mussolini's Academy, 'despite opposition from their superiors expressed public support for Mussolini's regime. During the Italian campaign in Ethiopia the Betarist candidates marched alongside Italian soldiers in a demonstration in support of the war.' Now that's pretty clear. I mean here they are -

Stephen Crittenden: And you say those young Jews who graduated from that Naval Academy actually became the founders of the Navy of the new Israeli State?

Lenni Brenner: Yes. They weren't just pro-Fascist, they actually joined the Italian Fascist Youth, the Italian Fascist party. They were living in Italy, going to school at Mussolini's Naval Academy. They joined the Italian Fascist Youth. This is from the Idea Zionistica March, 1936. They're inaugurating their squadron headquarters. The rabbi's benediction. The order. Attention, a triple chant was ordered by the squad's commanding officer. 'Viva l'Italia, Viva il Rei, Viva il Duce' followed by a benediction which Rabbi Elder Luck invoked in Italian and Hebrew for God and for the King and for il Duce.' And then it says 'Giovinezza" was sung with much enthusiasm by the Betara. Giovinezza was the Italian Fascist party anthem, it wasn't the Italian anthem. What happened was that by 1936 when the Spanish Civil War broke out, Mussolini realised that he had to make sure that the Spanish loyalists were defeated in Spain because if they won, it would inspire the workers in Italy to revolt against him. So he had to ally himself with Hitler, and that meant that he had to get rid of this Betar squadron at his Naval Academy, he had to kick Jews not only out of the Italian Fascist party but out of his Cabinet, and he put in Italian racial laws because otherwise Hitler wouldn't ally himself with him, it was as simple as that.

So they got kicked out. Jabotinsky went back to supporting the British in World War II, but I want to point out that a wing of the Zionist Revisionists broke with him over that and went and supported Hitler. Yitzhak Shamir and most importantly, Avraham Stern and Yitzhak Shamir, let's put it that way, they decided, Look, let's give Mussolini a break. He really tried to do right by Zionism and the Jews, those ingrates, they wouldn't go for it, except for us they wouldn't go for it. So he turned on us, and that's understandable. But now we have to show that we're really Fascist just like him. So what they did was that they sent a messenger, two messengers actually, to Beirut, which was occupied by Vichy France at that time, in 1940 and '41, in December, '40, January, '41. And they gave them a note. It's called 'Fundamental Features of the Proposal of the National Military Organisation in Palestine' (Irgun Zvai Leumi) Concerning the Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe and the Participation of the NMO in War on the Side of Germany.

Now we have this, because they gave it to a German diplomat and he put it in the archives in the German Consulate or Embassy I should say, in Ankara, Turkey and was captured after the war by the British. So we have this. And this is what they said:

'Common interest could exist between the establishment of a new order in Europe in conformity with the German concept of the true national aspirations of the Jewish people as they're embodied by the NMO. Co-operation between the new Germany and a renewed folkish-national Hebraium would be possible and the establishment of the historic Jewish State on a national and totalitarian basis, bound by the treat with the German Reich, would be in the interests of a maintained and strengthened future German position of power in the Near East. Proceeding from these considerations the NMO in Palestine, under the condition the abovementioned national aspirations of the Israeli Freedom movement are recognised on the side of the German Reich offers to actively take part in the war on Germany's side.'

Stephen Crittenden: And the NMO is the group that broke away from Jabotinsky Zionists?

Lenni Brenner: Yes.

Stephen Crittenden: We're talking I assume about a very small splinter group?

Lenni Brenner: No, they were. Were talking about a group that is universally known by the name that the British gave them, they're called the Stern Gang . And it was a miniscule group at the time. But one of their leaders, Yitzhak Shamir, later became the Prime Minister of Israel, OK? I mean I was there in Israel in 1983, when this pro-Nazi from 1940 became the Prime Minister of Israel. What literally happened was I was there and I had this document that I just read you, in English and in German. So I took it to an English language Palestinian paper in Jerusalem and they ran the document, and that caused a big hubbub because what happened was that all the foreign correspondents in Jerusalem, when they wanted to know what the Arabs were thinking, they read this English language publication and they read this thing, and they questioned Shamir about it and 'Well there was a plan to talk to them etc. I opposed it but I did join the Stern Gang after the plan was abandoned.' That was just a straight lie.

Stephen Crittenden: You mention Shamir; let's just broaden this out a little bit more and consider the Likud party. Jabotinsky is often seen as the spiritual father of the Likud, of Menachen Begin, of Netanyahu.

Lenni Brenner: Yes, well not only that but almost Ehud Elmert who's the Prime Minister of Kadema, he comes from an Irgun family, and he was born in 1945, but his father was a leader of the Irgun. So when we're talking about the revisionists collaborating with Mussolini in particular, we're talking about the entire Zionist revisionist movement. That's Likud and Kadema. And as you said, Menachem Begin and so on and so forth. That's straight, OK? Shamir, as I say, he represented a minor element in 1940 but as Zionism came into power and had to maintain itself, that minor element became the Prime Minister, OK? I mean he was Prime Minister twice from 1983 to 1991. Stern, they have a museum in Israel for Sterne, they have streets named after him ...

Stephen Crittenden: Lenni , I've seen a quote of David Ben Gurion in the late '30s saying he supports transportation of the Arabs, that he sees nothing immoral in that. Now the Jewish people were about to experience transportation for themselves. No-one knew what was just around the corner, but they were speaking the same language.

Lenni Brenner: Well they didn't know what was around the corner, that's true. But on the other hand you mentioned David Ben Gurion, now this is a statement that Ben Gurion made on December 7th, 1938, in other words after Kristallnacht, which was this huge pogrom in Germany, the Night of the Broken Glass where they shattered the windows of Jewish stores all over Germany etc., now this is the man who later became the first Prime Minister of Israel, right?

'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 by transporting them to Eretz 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.'

Now I mean, that statement is so shocking that even most Zionists when they read it - they can hardly believe that he said it, you know. In other words in 1938 after Kristallnacht, he's talking about saving half the Jews rather than all the Jews all in the interest of Zionism and so on. And that was their mentality, their attitude was 'Look, the Jews are in dead trouble no matter where they live, because they don't live in their own country. So what we've got to do is set up our own country come hell or high water'. Labour Zionists were the ones, not the Revisionist, Labour Zionists were the ones who signed a trade agreement with the Nazis in 1933, when all the rest of the Jews, everywhere were spontaneously boycotting Nazi Germany. It didn't take much to do that. The World Zionist Organisation never boycotted Nazi Germany, they were legal in Nazi Germany. When the Communists were illegal, Social Democrats were illegal, the Christian Centre Party was illegal, Catholic Centre Party, every party except the Nazis was illegal, the Zionist movement was legal and allowed to function, and it wasn't an underground organisation, it was up there in front. How I mean this is Labour Zionists. So let me put it this way, the Labour Zionists and the Zionist Revisionists, competed for the franchise if you know what I mean.

Stephen Crittenden: The franchise of?

Lenni Brenner: Of the Nazis and the Fascists. Jabotinsky denounced his own followers in Palestine for being pro-Nazi, but the leader of the Zionist Revisionists in Germany, George Karesky, was the pick of the German government, I mean they appointed him to one Jewish organistion after the other, after the other. And it got so bad that when he finally went to Palestine in the late '30s, the German Jews met him at the boat and rioted, they were so furious at this Zionist Revisionist.

Stephen Crittenden: There's a view that the modern Israeli State is in some sense founded on an original sin, of the dispossession of the Palestinians who were there. That the military action of 1948 is part of that, that a kind of demographic warfare in fact went on, even from much earlier before 1948. What's your view of that?

Lenni Brenner: Well Yitzhak Rabin wrote a book which was published in Hebrew and then in English by the University of California. In the University of California version he describes how they ran Palestinians out of one particular town in 1948. The way they did it was they called the Palestinian leaders in the town into the Town Square and said 'Look, here are buses. Now you get into those buses and you get out of here, and if you don't get out of here' - and then they opened fire with machine guns over the heads of the Palestinians. They didn't kill anybody, but if somebody fires a machine gun over your head, you're going to take a bus out of there.

The Zionist attitude Look, Palestine is a small country and we're not even getting all of it. So we've got to drive out as many of these Arabs as possible. You said 'original sin'; I would call it unoriginal sin, if you know what I mean. In other words, this is the standard colonialist way of operating. One thing about Jabotinsky, he is famous for one article that he wrote called 'The Iron Wall', in which he just put it right out on the T-shirt, you know, Look, we're a colonial movement, the Arabs are going to resist us just like every other native group resists colonists; just like when the whites came to America, the Indians fought them. Every native group fights foreigners who come into their country. And the only way we can establish Zionism is with an iron wall. And what he meant was an iron wall of bayonets. And he wrote this in 1921 and he said Look, you can talk all you want, as to who is going to be the iron wall, whether it's going to be the British who is going to be the iron wall for us, or we're going to be the iron wall, but no iron wall, no Zionism. I mentioned Einstein before, you know this was going to be a wonderful place for the Jews who are going to revive their culture and so on, well you know, Jabotinsky's attitude was 'That's very good, but unless you're ready to shoot at the Arabs, you're not going to revive anything because the Arabs, being the natives, they are not going to say Hey, yes, welcome and please do take over our country'. I mean hey, God, you understand, the Zionists didn't come there as immigrants you know, in other words let's say Jews come to Australia, or Jews come to America, they weren't trying to take over Australia or America, they were going to become Americans, Australians. But here they came specifically at the invitation of the wonderful fellows called the British Empire. I'll tell you this, I mean I read Rosenblat's denunciation of all the Jews who are denouncing Zionism now, and that's going to go on because Zionism isn't working. It's created a Jewish State that's just simply an armed camp. I mean it is nothing but an iron wall at this point, and the average Jew in America first off, resents Israel because it's an Orthodox Jewish State, and the average Jew in the United States is simply not Orthodox. In fact the demographers estimate that about 28% of the Jews in the United States consider themselves to be atheist. So that's No.1. And No.2 they see America's ties to Israel as creating problems from America and wars for America and so on, and as Americans they don't feel Why should America have to go to Israel's defence?

Stephen Crittenden: OK, a last question now that we're on to Jews in America. Lenni , some people would say that this latest debate that's going on in America and Britain over Zionism and antiSemitism, is just the Jewish right hitting the Jewish left over the head and saying, 'Be quiet'. But it seems to me that the American Zionists have been pretty quiet themselves over the past year. Could that be because one US Defence Department official received a long jail sentence recently, and several American Zionists have been indicted over spying for Israel?

Lenni Brenner: Well let me put it this way. There's one American Jew named Pollard Who's been in jail for about 20 years as an Israeli spy. OK. And now AIPAC which is the American Israel Political Action Committee, several of their leaders are waiting trial on charges of getting information from the State Department and illegally passing it on to Israel. And everybody understands that there are Israeli spies all over the American government etc. But the Zionist establishment is not silent. On the contrary. They hardly defended themselves against those charges because the politicians here are in their pay and they don't care about the fact that these guys are in jail or going to jail or anything like that. What the Zionists are yelling about is this: The Zionists can bribe a gentile politician, all you've got to do is pass out money, that's American politics, OK. The problem is they can't bribe the Jews. The Jews either believe in Zionism or they don't. And more and more Jews are simply saying No, I don't believe in it. First off, a majority of young Jews in the United States now, mix marriage. In other words, marry gentiles. So what Israel is all about is a State where they're supposed to go and live off by themselves where in the real world they're living with the ex-Jews living with the ex-Catholic next door. That's the reality of America. So more and more of these Jews who are so alien to Zionism are speaking out. And even some people who've been Zionists, like Tony Judd, for example, was an Editor of New Republic Magazine, he broke with Zionism about two years ago. They don't stop denouncing him as an anti-Semite. Or a self-hater. Now what I tell people is Look, they can call me a self-hater all they like, the fact is all my ex-girlfriends tell me that I was in love with myself and the only one I ever loved, was myself. And they know me a little better than the Zionists.

Stephen Crittenden: Lenni, it's been great talking to you. We've got to wind it up I'm afraid, but look, that's been a very interesting and entertaining conversation on a whole range of levels. Thank you very much for talking to us.

Lenni Brenner: All right. And have a good day.

Stephen Crittenden: Lenni Brenner, the author of 'Zionism in the Age of the Dictators'. We await your letters.

That's all this week, goodbye from Stephen Crittenden.

Guests

Lenni Brenner
Author of 'Zionism in the Age of the Dictators'

Further Information

Zionism in the Age of the Dictators (ONLINE)

Presenter

Stephen Crittenden

Producer

Noel Debien


# reads: 920

Original piece is http://www.abc.net.au/rn/religionreport/stories/2007/1876894.htm#transcript


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My feeling is that no respectable academic or person of reputable intellectual standing will appear on Crittenden's show. Thus he has to find crackpots who quote their own material and isolated events to support their way out views. To assert that significant numbers of Jews supported Nazis is so stupid that it belies response. If it didn't belittle the 20M or so people who died as a result of Nazism, I would be inclined to think the programme was a send-up - perhaps part of the forthcoming comedy festival.

Posted by Bella Ceruza on 2007-04-01 14:00:45 GMT


The ABC Styleguide does not permit use of the term “terrorist”. So no Moslem may be so labelled. But on Stephen Crittenden’s radio“pogrom “ on 14 Dec 2006, Moslem violence was excused, and it was said that Israel used terrorism to frighten Arab ‘perpetrators’. It was later said that Begin was a ‘brutal terrorist’. So the ABC does apply ‘terrorist’ to Jews, while the ban is carefully upheld about today’s Moslem epidemic. Senator Santoro used this example in his complaint to the ABC. Perhaps now that the Senator has gone, ‘the cat’s away’ and the rats can safely “play”.

Posted by Yitzchak. on 2007-03-31 13:02:32 GMT


Stephen Crittenden's anti-Israel trilogy has nothing whatever to do with "a Religion Report". It is a manifesto of extremist leftist anti-Israel politics vomited out on "Your ABC". Crittenden's effort is a new low-point exemplifying ABC bias. If he is not suspended (again) one must ask difficult questions on the ABC.

Posted by Paul Rozental on 2007-03-28 12:16:24 GMT


The kook, Lenni Brenner, filled with a great need to prove his "bonafides" to the "others" distorts history and elevates little "clues" to huge and significant events. Seeing everything through the veil of his overt Jew-animosity , he arrives at ridiculous conclusions. The Jews of the era he purports to know about needed to feel that they were safe - legitimate citizens, accepted as countrymen. Singing songs, writing letters or articles were ways used to display Jewish legitimacy and "patriotism." These were all ultimately unsuccessful attempts to prove Jews were integral to the larger society. Brenner's information is skewed and fraudulent. He manufactures nefarioius plots and schemes, from tidbits and questionable sources. An obscure magazine article, an event, the WZO not being officially banned by the Nazis he declares as "proof" of collusion and deadly intent. Nazis had show trials, show camps, and show orchestra concerts. I guess that was "proof" of the special power, influence, and status of the Jews as Brenner would see it.

Posted by Roberta E, Dzubow on 2007-03-23 22:53:50 GMT


The Religion Report must be demanded to make an equivalent three programs about the anti Semitism in the Arab and Muslim world in the past and present, and about the undisputed evidence of Palestinian leaders collaboration with the Nazis during world war II. The Mufti of Jerusalem, who was a friend of Hitler, visited Nazi Germany as Hitler’s guest of honour at the time when the rest of the world was at war with Nazi Germany. The Mufti was seeking Hitler's support in exterminating the Jews in British controlled Palestine. It would be a very easy job for the ABC to collect the material, including photos of the Mufti shaking hands with Hitler and their anti-Semitic speeches. If the ABC fails to do so would be a further evidence of driving a blatant political agenda to demonise Israel.

Posted by Rachel on 2007-03-23 03:41:11 GMT


I believe that Stephen Crittenden should at the very least, be reprimanded and reminded of his responsibilities to the listening public, his employers, on these grounds. 1) The particular treatment of Zionism and Antisemitism in the 3 programs he devoted to them go beyond the brief of what anyone would deem to be religion or even culture, and into polemics and politics. 2) He has pursued over 3 programs, a virtual campaign of self justification over what he clearly perceived to be an affront to his motives and knowledge. I refer specifically to the interview in the first program with Prof Rosenfeld. When asking the professor to comment on the use of the phrase 'Blut und Boden' (German for blood and soil) Rosenfeld calmly said that he would discontinue the interview if he, Crittenden, continued this line of questioning. It is evident to anyone who has even a passing knowledge of nazism, that this phrase is well known as the racial justification by nazi idealogues for ridding the Reich of "racially inferior minorities", especially Jews. It has the same currency and associations as "Judenrein" (Jew free), "Lebensraum" (living space for ethnic Germans) and of course, "The Final Solution to the Jewish Question". To use such a term to a proud Jew is to accuse him and every supporter of Israel of Nazism. In a feeble and obviously self-serving attempt to justify himself, Crittenden inserted as a postscript, a quote of a Revisionist German Zionist who used the offending phrase in the early 1930's. Without going into the complex history of Zionism and the fact that the quote was used very selectively, the presenter knew very well what the accepted connotation of the phrase was, as any reputable history text and encyclopaedia will testify. The following week Mr Crittenden had a British representative of the 'Independent Jewish Voices". Fair enough I suppose in the interest of balance, though this person got an armchair ride compared to the good Professor the previous week. Not content to leave the state of affairs rest there and risking the pursuit of a fairly esoteric topic in the eyes of the average RN listener, intelligent and well read as they may be, Mr Crittenden invited a third guest on the topic some 2 weeks later. To further reinstate his slighted credentials, Crittenden did not invite some independent scholar on Zionism or even do the research himself, no; he invited Renni Brenner. This man is a renowned Marxist and cold war warrior who has written intemperate diatribes against Zionism, Israel and Jewish culture. As well as his professed communism, he was a supporter of Louis Farrakan and the Nation of Islam. In fact, he supported a study they did on Jews owning slaves. I could go on, but check this person out for yourself. But, he was born Jewish so Crittenden has seemingly covered himself against anti Jewish bias. This gentleman was let loose on the listeners with only Dorothy Dixers from the presenter and not even his most extravagant claims received the slightest scrutiny. I could give many instances but the worst was Brenner's assertion that the Zionist/Jewish lobby had extensively bribed US politicians to further their own ends and the Pollard case was the tip of the iceberg, with Israeli spies well established in the corridors of power. Of course Mr Brenner willingly corroborated Crittenden's associations of Zionism with nazism. Clearly, this lawyer knew the answers before he asked the questions. In this respect, Crittenden had done his research. Perhaps he has not realised that even the UN general assembly which has passed 57 resolutions against Israel, has rescinded the one equating Zionism with racism. Perhaps he feels it should be reinstated. By pursuing his personal agenda whether for political or personal reasons, Stephen Crittenden had abused his brief and done a great disservice to the credibility of the ABC.

Posted by HS on 2007-03-22 20:14:37 GMT


The ABC’s Religion Report Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism Part 3: Zionism in the Age of the Dictators A compelling argument could be made (using the ABC’s very own criteria) that the ABC is promoting hate speech. What has led me to this conclusion? If you go to the ABC web site at http://www.abc.net.au/compass/explore/anti.htm , you will find the following statement: OPPOSING OR EXTREMIST VIEWS The particular views expressed on the linked sites are neither endorsed nor supported the ABC; nor are they the views of the ABC. In a number of instances, they are provided as examples of the extremity of views expressed by some groups; including those sometimes referred to as "hate groups". The following text and link is found towards the bottom of the page (fifth from bottom item): Anti-Zionist page Jewish and non-Jewish contributors who oppose Zionism. WARNING: Some web surfers may find aspects of this site confronting or offensive. http://www.codoh.com/zionweb/zionweb.html The above link takes you to the CODOH (Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust) website. The founder of CODOH, Bradley R. Smith, is a notorious Holocaust denier and a former media director of the ‘Institute for Historical Review’. (Additional information can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_denial) The first article listed on the CODOH site? Surprise, surprise, it is ‘Zionism In the Age of the Dictators - A Reappraisal’, by Lenni Brenner, the very same book and author that received such an approving hearing on Wednesday’s Religion Report. A quick look at the other articles and books listed on the CODOH site should dispel any possible doubts about this being a hate site.

Posted by Nathan on 2007-03-22 14:11:59 GMT


SEND IN A FORMAL COMPLAINT AND I'LL BE GLAD TO SIGN IT

Posted by Esther on 2007-03-22 11:31:52 GMT


SHEMA ISRAEL... IT IS NOT THE USEFUL IDIOTS THAT RULE THIS WORLD. WE OWE OUR EXISTENCE NOT TO THOSE WHO WANT OUR ELIMINATION BUT TO THE ONE WHO WE ARE LOYAL TO.

Posted by ESTHER on 2007-03-22 11:29:06 GMT


I've taken Stephen Crittenden to task before about his anti-Israel/anti-Zionist bias, but he's really scapped the bottom of the harbour with even considering interviewing a rabble rousing, Marxist and somewhat bigoted Brenner. Crittenden is hiding behind the so-called respectability of his program's title, The Religion Report, when in fact this is blatant political grand-standing and virulent antisemitism, not just the standard anti-Israel/anti-Zionist fare that seems to be the hallmark of the ABC and much of the media in general.

Posted by Avi P. on 2007-03-22 10:15:37 GMT


This article almost made my soul vomit. Brenner, US Marxist civil rights activist, has fried his brain on bad weed or something, and reveals a fixation on demonizing Israel, Zionism, Judaism which beggars belief...focussing on quotes taken undoubtedly out of context, building whole cases out of single incidents, single characters, and absolutely missing the big picture and the historical and spiritual importance of Israel to every Jew...I guess he was too busy being, according to Wiki, a 10-year old Marxist (ooh!) to hear any prayers of "next year in Jerusalem"; and aren't our enemies just gagging to hear this poison from this archetypical self-hating Jew? But we do live in a free country and he has a right to his opinion as long as he is not actively inciting hatred...so will somebody out there please put together a coherent rebuttal?

Posted by Shyrla Pakula on 2007-03-22 06:33:23 GMT


I encourage all of you to lodge a formal complaint to the ABC for violation of its Code of Practice and its obligation to provide accurate, balanced and impartial programs. This was not a religion report, this is pure and simple a vicious political propaganda campaign to demonize Israel and its 6 million people, similar to what we often hear from Arab and Islamic extremists, the likes of Iran's President, Hezbollah and Hamas whose favorite slogan is the need to destroy the "Zionist entity" meaning: the State of Israel, a legitimate UN member state. There was neither opportunity to answer to the very serious allegations and accusations made, nor attempts to challenge these allegations with proof of evidence. I was also deeply offended, as eighth generation Israeli born, to be labeled colonialist, and for denying the historic, cultural and religious rights that Jewish people have to the Land of Israel.

Posted by Rachel on 2007-03-22 06:03:27 GMT


This sort of disgusting anti-Semitic propaganda should come as no surprise from such filth as the ABC. It is the kind of garbage that Hitler would be proud of. Is the philosophy of today's leftist extremists all that different from the far right of the 1930's?

Posted by Wazza on 2007-03-22 04:48:18 GMT


It speaks volumes of the ABC that the link at the end of the transcript, is to a German Marxist website. They are truly scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Posted by Dan on 2007-03-22 02:53:32 GMT