Wissenschaft und Publizistik als Kritik

Schlagwort: anti-Zionism

Chicago’s mayor goes Pro-Hamas: ‘Ceasefire now’

The Times of Israel (TOI), Blogs

By Dr. Clemens Heni

On January 31, 2024, a symbolic resolution for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip was adopted by the Chicago City Parliament in the US with the decisive vote of the mayor. The vote itself had been 23 to 23, meaning that half of the elected representatives had rejected the antisemitic resolution, which had been promoted for weeks, while the other half had approved it.

Many dozens of antisemitic Palestinians and their friends had previously shouted around in parliament and were then banned from the chamber by their buddy, the mayor of Chicago, after some time. But dozens were allowed to continue shouting their antisemitic hate speech loudly behind glass windows in a kind of VIP lounge and display their antisemitic clothing such as the PLO scarf or keffiya.

Earlier, before being ejected from the meeting hall, Chicago’s only Jewish congresswoman Debra Silverstein had been antisemiticaly insulted and a typical antisemitic conspiracy myth intoned that she would use her “Zionist money” to “wipe crime off her desk”.

The modern form of Holocaust denial also comes to the fore here, the unspeakable crimes of Hamas are negated or celebrated and Israel is accused, just as the antisemitic government from South Africa is doing at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The perpetrator-victim reversal is a very typical pattern of antisemitism, as research has shown in recent decades.

In her speech, Silverstein emphasized that it was intolerable to call for a ceasefire and not the complete destruction of Hamas.

The Palestinian organization had massacred over 1200 Jews in southern Israel in a genocidal frenzy on October 7, 2023 and kidnapped over 240, of which about 130 remain held hostage to this day.

Chicago Congressman Byron Sigcho-Lopez had brought fliers and in his speech accused the New York Times of documenting without evidence the genocidal pogroms of Hamas, including the unspeakable rapes of Jewish women by Muslim and Palestinian butchers. Sigcho-Lopez then celebrated the victory against Israel with antisemitic buddies, even if it was only symbolic – Chicago, however, is the third largest city in the USA after New York City and Los Angeles.

Public school students were given extra time off to participate in demonstrations in support of a permanent ceasefire and thus in support of the genocidal, Islamist-terrorist organization Hamas, according to the Wall Street Journal:

In the Windy City, the resolution was helped along by the Chicago Public Schools system, which offered students grace time to join Tuesday walk-outs supporting the ceasefire. Mr. Johnson said he was ‘incredibly proud’ of students for ‘exercising their constitutional rights’ and ‘speak(ing) up for righteousness.’

At these hate demonstrations against Israel on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, hundreds of students from high schools and other schools demonstrated for the antisemitic terror gang Hamas, for Palestine and against Israel.

The mayor was mighty proud of the young people who are standing up for Hamas and a permanent ceasefire, i.e. for the preservation of Hamas and against the complete disarmament of these Nazi-like monsters.

Here you can see the antisemites cheering after the decisive vote for a permanent ceasefire and thus for Hamas by Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Chicago has the largest Palestinian community in the US. The 82-year-old “civil rights activist” Jesse Jackson received enthusiastic applause for his mere presence and support of the anti-Israel resolution.

At least two antisemites carried a Palestinian flag with a picture of the Hamas spokesman in Chicago yesterday, according to the Times of Israel (TOI).

So they are fans of the Muslim-Nazis of Hamas and are obviously allowed to walk around freely in the US and spread antisemitic propaganda. People with flags like the one in Chicago should be charged with supporting terrorism and genocide, just like neo-Nazis who deny or celebrate the Holocaust.

Members of the “democratic socialists” in Chicago campaigned for and supported Johnson in 2023, as Politico magazine reports. Reactionary, antisemitic, but in the woke language of the mainstream called “progressives”, anti-Zionist employees of the City of Chicago have been agitating for a permanent ceasefire since the fall of 2023, analogous to employees in the White House of Joe Biden, who is a Zionist and close friend of the only Jewish state.

After the worst mass murder of Jews since the Shoah on 7 October 2023, the antisemitic organization “Democratic Socialists of America” is engaging in a typical perpetrator-victim reversal and is calling for no military aid for Israel from the USA and an end to the “massacres”, by which it means Israel’s self-defense.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has documented and criticized several examples of antisemitism by the “Democratic Socialists of America”. In Salt Lake City, for example, the group incites against the “settler-colonialist apartheid” of Israel, in San Francisco it talks about the “decolonization of Palestine” and calls for further mass murder of Jews with the slogan “from the river to the sea”, i.e. the destruction of the Jewish and democratic state of Israel. Only a few days after October 7, the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America in Denver, Colorado, calls for the complete destruction of Israel – “from the river to the sea“, as the ADL notes. For antisemites like these anti-democratic “socialists” and “democrats”, Israel is the perpetrator and not the victim of genocidal Muslim and Palestinian violence.

At any rate, this is also the milieu that supported the mayor of Chicago in the election campaign. It is therefore his “thanks” to these antisemitic agitators of all genders that he has now intolerably given his decisive vote to the anti-Israel resolution.

The New Yorker and Jacobin magazines, and of course the Young Democratic Socialists of America, were all excited in 2023 about ‘their’ new Mayor Johnson in Chicago, who could be a role model for major cities and other communities across America. What will they say now that their hero has helped an antisemitic resolution to pass with his vote?

America, and therefore the West, is teetering on the brink. In view of Brandon Johnson’s sensational election victory as mayor of Chicago in the spring of 2023, the US Democratic Party has decided to hold the party convention for the 2024 presidential election in Chicago of all places. This will be the most difficult battle for the pro-Israeli Joe Biden, because the extreme opposition to his pro-Israel policy comes from within his own party.

America, and therefore the West, is teetering on the brink. In view of Brandon Johnson’s sensational election victory as mayor of Chicago in the spring of 2023, the US Democratic Party has decided to hold the party convention for the 2024 presidential election in Chicago of all places. This will be the most difficult battle for the pro-Israeli Joe Biden, because the extreme opposition to his pro-Israel policy comes from within his own party. Added to this is the new right-wing agitator and populist Donald Trump, who has still not conceded his 2020 election defeat. Trump’s isolationism and complete arbitrariness could have dramatic consequences for Israel. Trump’s antisemitic and conspiracy-mythic voter base complements the antisemitic and conspiracy-mythic voter base of parts of the Democrats, i.e. the part that is aggressively pro-Palestine.

Immediately after the genocidal massacre by Hamas, Johnson failed politically. A few days after October 7, 2023, he remained equidistant. However, his parliamentary group leader in the Chicago parliament, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, re-tweeted a tweet by the notorious Ilhan Omar, Democrat member of the House of Representatives from Minnesota, in which the antisemitic classic of Jews and Israel as “child murderers” in Gaza and Palestine is rehashed. Ramirez-Rosa himself supports the antisemitic BDS movement, which is why he was dropped as a candidate for the position of lieutenant governor by Daniel Biss in September 2017. However, this did not hinder the career of Ramirez-Rosa, who openly appears as a Palestine supporter on his X profile.

He only had to resign from his position as leader of the Democrats in the Chicago City Council in November 2023 because he apparently has a violence problem – he had put his body in the way of a female colleague and prevented her from entering the meeting room.

The misery doesn’t just consist of people like this “Carlos”. The misery lies in the fact that everywhere, from Berlin to Chicago, San Francisco, Paris or London, those who supposedly stand up for diversity, tolerance and diversity are the exact same people who abandon or hate Jews and Israel and aggressively fight against them.

They are the very people who quite rightly oppose Trump or the AfD and recognize and criticize conspiracy myths, but as soon as a conspiracy myth or an antisemitic lie and perpetrator-victim reversal such as the fantasized “genocide” in Gaza come into play, the “do-gooders” remain silent. This currently affects millions of people in Germany who have taken to the streets and are against right-wing extremism in recent days and weeks – but these people remain silent about hatred of Jews because it comes from Muslims, Palestinians, left-wingers or oh so “progressive” people.

Those who see climate change as a huge threat are often those who see no problem in antisemitism and are antisemitic themselves, see Greta Thunberg. Conservatives, on the other hand, who deny man-made climate change, are sometimes more open to criticism of antisemitism, although this is often accompanied by the note that it is simply against left-wingers or migrants. But leftists and migrants, on the other hand, feel completely immune to criticism, as they are by definition immune to criticism. But today’s antisemitism of the 21st century comes primarily from Muslims and Islam, keyword Iran. Even otherwise secular leftists have been joining the chorus of anti-Zionists and Islamists for decades.

That was the biggest shock for Jews in Germany, the USA and worldwide, that they were left completely alone after the most terrible massacre, which definitely had a genocidal character, on October 7, 2023, and experienced antisemitic demonstrations, rallies and actions of varying intensity in the USA, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, England and everywhere else.

It was quite typical that the newly elected president of Harvard University had to resign after her refusal to categorize the call for genocide against Jews – “Palestine from the river to the sea” is a genocidal battle cry – as worth fighting and intolerable (which was also because she did unscientific and plagiaristic work). But it was a symbol worldwide of the so-called woke milieu, where it is always about diversity, equality and inclusion, that diversity, equality and inclusion does not mean Jews. Women’s groups refuse to call the documented rapes of Jewish women by Muslim men intolerable and repugnant, just as any rape is intolerable and repugnant. Even genocide researchers are stunned by the unbelievable brutality and sadism of Muslim men and Palestinians. Black Lives matter – but what about when it comes to Jewish lives? Black people in particular are at the forefront of defaming Israel, celebrating Hamas and wishing death on Jews. This was demonstrated when BLM Chicago posted a paraglider with a Palestinian flag. 90,000 people viewed it on X, which did not immediately delete this form of antisemitism and celebration of a genocidal massacre and blocked the account.

The core of the antisemitism problem in Chicago, however, is Brandon Johnson. From cooperating with a BDS supporter, to taking an equidistant stance after the largest massacre of Jews since the Shoah, to openly supporting Hamas with yesterday’s decision for a full ceasefire without fully disarming the Muslim-Nazis, Johnson shows which side he is on. He has given the antisemites in Chicago a field day with his vote, leaving behind a deeply divided city parliament and a massively shaken Democratic Party.

The Jewish Union Foundation and the Anti-Defamation League Midwest criticize the anti-Israel resolution of the city of Chicago and emphasize that in recent weeks Jewish life there is no longer safe. Jews are being insulted, stores are being graffitied and pro-Palestinian propaganda is being spread. The perpetrators – Muslims and Palestinians – are being victimized. The old antisemitic game of perpetrator-victim reversal – only it hasn’t happened on this scale since the Holocaust and all Israelis and Zionist Jews also thought that after Auschwitz and Babi Yar there could never be anything like it again. But Israel, for many reasons that are still being worked through, completely failed to protect its own people on October 7, 2023.

The US Democratic Party, however, will be pro-Israeli or it will not be. The election for American president in 2024 will be dramatic in every respect. The antisemite and sexist Trump must not win. But Joe Biden, who is also completely unqualified for the presidency because of his age, will face a massive antisemitic campaign from his own people.

Chicago is a beacon, contrary to any beacon of hope. The city is an antisemitic beacon. Democrats and the left must finally stand up against all forms of antisemitism, mainstream as well as right-wing, anti-Zionist and Holocaust trivializing antisemitism, but also and especially, because it is much more widespread, the anti-Jewish genocide celebrating, Hamas protecting, Muslim, Palestinian and left-wing antisemitism.

Am Israel Chai!

About the Author
Dr Clemens Heni is director of The Berlin International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (BICSA)

Were Germans innocent civilians during WWII?

Clemens Heni, Ph.D., The Times of Israel (Blogs), 12. November 2023

Screenshot, https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/were-germans-innocent-civilians-during-wwii/

On October 7, 2023, an unprecedented massacre against Jews occurred, not seen since the Shoah and Babi Yar.

1200 Jews and Israelis were butchered in a way no one could ever imagine after the Holocaust. Hamas and the Palestinians had the intention to shock Israel, as we now know from findings of the IDF in Gaza. It was the intention to kill the entire Jewish People, just like the Germans intended to kill all Jews during the Holocaust and World War II.

Today, though, Israel exists. Oct. 7 was not the beginning of a new Holocaust. But it feels like one, because the intention of Muslims and the Hamas was exactly the same like the German intention 85 years ago.

Shockingly, the Jewish state failed to protect its citizens and this will be dealt with after the War, because there are people responsible for that failure. We always thought Israel is the one and only place where Jews can live freely and secure, despite Intifadas and rocket alerts for decades – but a massacre on Israeli land was not thinkable.

But the main problem is Islamic antisemitism and its billions of fans worldwide. Academia is a main field of antisemitism, it has been a main playground for all kind of antisemitic resentment in recent decades. Those German and Western academics who promoted the antisemitic BDS movement, including those who fight the German Parliament’s resolution against BDS, were enabler of Hamas and the events of Oct. 7.

Most German and Western NGOs, activists or media always made a distinction between the military wing of Hamas and the political party of Hamas, as if antisemitic words do not kill. Hamas has always been an antisemitic terror organization and was never interested in building a Palestinian state side by side with Israel. Most Arabs were never interested in the two state solution since they rejected the UN Resolution 181 in November 1947 and started war against the Jewish state in the making.

Of course, Israel made political mistakes in recent decades as well, and religious extremists also live in the Westbank among settlers. But that is not the topic right now. The right-wing extremist government under Bibi is always not the topic right now.

In this short comment, I just want to focus on those who cry foul when Jews and the IDF defend Israel, like the hundreds of thousands of people today in London. Every single participant supports the slaughter of Jews by his or her participation. But they are not alone, French President Macron, who suggested Israel that he is on the Jewish side – as a President of France, what a joke!! -, now shows his real (French) face and calls for a ceasefire.

Would he have called to the Americans and British to have a ceasefire like in May 1944, weeks before D-Day? Would he called the poor German ‘civilians’ victims of allied bombings? Would he?

The Nazi Party and the German population wanted to kill all European Jews. There were no innocent civilians, as the community of the people (“Volksgemeinschaft” in German) was entirely antisemitic.

Recently, at a rally in southern Germany to remember the nights of pogroms on November 9, 1938, a speaker made clear how German ideology works these days. He is against Hamas and to some extent he sees the need of the IDF to fight this war. But more importantly he stressed the fact that at the end of the day, his hometown (Heilbronn, north of Stuttgart) was destroyed by allied bombers during the Second World War. As if that was not the consequence of Nazi Germany’s Holocaust and the Second World War, he rather portrayed his poor countrymen and -women as victims. He knows that all of them had no problem with the burning of the local synagogue, but he is unable to realize that the bombing – like the bombing of Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Frankfurt etc. – was important for ending the War. The allies, including British bombers, had most often military targets, but civilian casualties were unavoidable, because these military targets were part of the towns they attacked. And of course, the allies wanted to fight the German public as well, as they knew very well that antisemitism and anti-Western ideology was widespread among the entire population.

Hamas wants to kill all Israeli Jews and Jews worldwide. They do not have the means to do so, but they have Iran and with a nuclear arsenal that antisemitic dream could become reality, even if hundreds of millions of Iranians and Arabs would be killed in retaliation by Israel and the US. As they love death and embrace to become martyrs, such a scenario is not shocking for the Iranian regime (for the Iranian street it is!) nor for the Arab street (for the Arab regimes it might be, though).

Those women and men who did nothing to end the rule of Hamas since 2007, are not civilians. Children are civilians, but their parents are not and their cynical behavior to remain in areas under attack shows their complete lack of empathy. If they do not care if they are killed, they show their Islamist ideology. But children are victims of these parents.

The IDF does everything to prevent civilian victims – which is incredible difficult in Gaza in particular, but in Muslim jihadist areas in general.

Even those academics, politicians and activists who did not embrace the slaughter of Jews on Oct. 7, 2023, but now call for ceasefire should ask themselves: would they have urged the allies in May 1944 or any other time, to stop bombing Germany, in order to give Germans the possibility to hide even more weapons or industrial infrastructure etc.?

There is outrage about unavoidable ‘civilian’ casualties in Gaza in London, Berlin, Paris, New York City, but no outrage at all about the kidnapping of over 240 Jews in to Gaza by people who butchered other family members of friends of those kidnapped in a way, no animal would ever treat anyone.

What we are seeing in London today or in New York, Berlin, Paris and all other places on earth in recent days and weeks is the celebration of a Holocaust like mass murder on Oct. 7.

Did we ever had Holocaust supporting rallies in Germany? With tens of thousands of people? Did London ever witness Pro-Holocaust rallies with hundreds of thousands of people, celebrating the Nazis and the Shoah?


But today’s Nazis, Palestinian Muslim antisemites, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the like, are celebrated and supported on streets in Western countries and around the world. Iran publicly celebrates the massacre and is then invited today to Saudi-Barbaria to a summit of Arab and Muslim countries. The Mullah regime in Teheran is both denying the Holocaust and celebrating the Nazi like massacre of Oct. 7, 2023.

Academically spoken, that is a combination of secondary antisemitism and rejection of Holocaust memory and of the memory of Oct. 7, 2023 on the one hand, and Islamist and anti-Zionist antisemitism on the other. We see the flexibility of the “longest hatred” (Robert S. Wistrich (1945-2015)).

Some cry “Palestine, from the river to the sea” (although that antisemitic slogan might become illegal in Germany), others call for a ceasefire. Tens of thousands of killed people in any kind of war in Africa or currently in Ukraine do not translate in calls for a ceasefire. On the contrary, Western countries, the US and the EU support the war in Ukraine with billions and billions of Dollars and Euros, no calls for a ceasefire in Ukraine anywhere.

Russia supports the jihadist regime in Teheran and in Gaza, Turkey now calls into question the entire existence of Israel, which is no wonder taken the disgusting personality and ideology of Erdogan. His followers mainly in Germany and Europe celebrate him and the massacre of Oct. 7.

Germany does neither stop its diplomatic relations with Iran, nor with Turkey or Saudi-Arabia. As if their diplomatic relations with these barbarian countries did change anything in the last 40+ years.

As we all knew and predicted, the window of opportunity for the IDF is closing.

The world likes the killing of Jews and protects the killers. Antisemitism is on an all-time high since 1945. And that was exactly what Hamas wanted with the unprecedented massacre of babies, children, women and men. They anticipated that the pro-BDS world would be grateful for that day and post-colonial academics and activists now book paragliding events for their allies, friends and family.

Holocaust denial and neo-Nazis are outdated. Today, celebrating the Holocaust like massacre of Oct. 7, 2023 is “in”. And all those supposedly left-wing campuses around the US, and Europe are not left-wing, they are right-wing extremists and ordinary antisemites like neo-Nazis are.


About the Author
Dr Clemens Heni is director of The Berlin International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (BICSA)

Ukraine, Holocaust trivialization, transphobia and tolerating the “American Nazi Party” in the pro-Israel scene?

Originally published here on August 19, 2022


The Berlin International Center for the
Study of Antisemitism (BICSA)

BICSA Working Paper Series, No. 5, August 2022


Ukraine, Holocaust trivialization, transphobia and tolerating the “American Nazi Party” in the pro-Israel scene?


A new research center on contemporary antisemitism in London, Fathom Magazine, Kathleen Hayes and the anti-intellectual “Intellectual Dark Web” …


By Clemens Heni, Ph.D.


Published in August 2022

Series Editor: Dr. Clemens Heni, Director, The Berlin International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (BICSA)


c/o Edition Critic

Sophie-Charlotten-Str. 9-10

14059 Berlin


Mail: bicsa[at]bicsa.org

Read the PDF version of this working paper.


Table of Contents


Ukraine. 3

The London Conference on Antisemitism in September 2022. 10

The British Magazine Fathom.. 14

Quillette, the „Intellectual Dark Web“, the New Right and the American Nazi Party. 17

The case of Kathleen Hayes. 20

Hope: Gad Granach’s Zionism.. 24

Endnotes. 28


The new “London Center for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism” led by the sociologist David Hirsh has announced a conference on antisemitism for September 2022. It is important and very timely to engage critically with the various facets of antisemitism in the 21st century.

It is important to commemorate 9/11, which is part of the conference. In 2011, I published a big study about 9/11, Islamism and antisemitism, I know about the relevance to deal with jihad, Islam, Islamism, anti-Americanism and 9/11.[1] Professor Robert S. Wistrich invited me to speak at Hebrew University on December 18, 2002, about contemporary German anti-Zionism after 9/11.[2]

My talk included remarks about Holocaust distortion and the accusation by the West, that Serbia was organizing a “new Auschwitz” against Kosovo. That was a lie, of course, a grotesque Holocaust distortion. It was common, though, in Germany in 1999 in order to affirm the NATO War against former Yugoslavia. This kind of Holocaust distortion is now in full swing when it comes to Ukraine in 2022.

Therefore, it is striking that at the event in London in September 2022 the talk is almost exclusively about anti-Zionist antisemitism in many different forms – postcolonial, Islamist/Muslim, left, right, etc. Topics such as rejection of Holocaust memory in Ukraine by naming streets, squares or football stadiums after antisemites and Nazi collaborators – you won’t find at that London event.

One of the most blatant forms of antisemitism in the 21st century is naming squares and streets after the perpetrators of the Holocaust. One could also extend this to the downplaying of the Holocaust via the red-equals-brown ideology in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary or Western countries, such as to the supporters of the Prague Declaration of 2008 – like the last President of Czechoslovakia from 1989–1992 Vaclav Havel or former German President Joachim Gauck.[3]

When five Eastern European states recently called on the European Union to preserve “historical memory” and wrote that the aim should be to promote the “European platform for memory and conscience” based on the 2008 “Prague Declaration”, then the Holocaust historian Efraim Zuroff from Israel could only laugh bitterly. He writes in the Times of Israel, which praises his blog as particularly worth reading:

Several days ago, I was shocked to learn that five heads of state from Lithuania, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, and Poland, all post-Communist Eastern European countries, had recently beseeched the leaders of the European Union to step up efforts to “preserve historical memory.” It was addressed to the European Council president, European Commission president, and the Czech prime minister, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

For the past three decades since their transition to democracy, these countries have excelled in grossly distorting their own respective histories of the Holocaust. Yet the quintet of leaders now maintains that the Kremlin “is seeking to rewrite history and use it to justify its aggression against sovereign states.” Thus, they urge the bodies of the EU to take a leadership role in “preserving historical memory and preventing the Russian regime from manipulating historical facts.” They contend that this concern “is particularly relevant in light of Russia’s intensive use of history for propaganda purposes in the context of the war in Ukraine.”

These heads of state know how to deal with this problem of rewriting history.[4]

The governments of these countries know how to rewrite history – Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Estonia, Latvia. For years they have been playing down the Holocaust by whitewashing or even celebrating their own antisemitism and by glorifying their own Nazi perpetrators and, in a second step, by equating the unprecedented crimes of the Shoah with the crimes of Stalinism, referred to here as “crimes of communism” and would continue to this day. It is no less antisemitic when Ukrainian President Zelenskyi compares the start of the current war in Ukraine to the day the NSDAP was founded in 1920 and babbles about a “final solution” in Ukraine. This antisemitism didn’t go down well in Israel in the Knesset, where he delivered via internet one of his foul propaganda speeches.[5]

In 2010, I wrote about the “Memorial to the Victims of Communism” in Washington, D.C. Their new homepage and opening is now linked from this site Zuroff criticizes in his Times of Israel piece, which purports to keep European memory and conscience alive.[6] On March 15, 2010, I spoke at an international conference in Riga, Latvia, on Eastern European and Western antisemitism and the rewriting of history:

Look at www.victimsofcommunism.org memorial site in the US: they are saying that Communism was the “deadliest ideology in human history”: this is an antisemitic obfuscation of the Shoah![7]

The site “victimsofcommunism” honestly pushed its ideology at the time, writing on its site that „In October 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution gave birth to the deadliest ideology in human history – Communism.“ This is blatantly an antisemitic denial of what truly was the deadliest ideology in human history: Nazi eliminationist antisemitism. The homepage no longer has this antisemitic sentence on its page, but the intention of the creators is the same as before.[8]

Zuroff stresses that countries that are themselves rewriting history in antisemitic ways should be the last to accuse Russia of antisemitism. Of course, Russia is also lying when it talks about a “genocide” in the Donbass, when there is no genocide in the Donbass. And there is also not at all a Russian “war of annihilation” in Ukraine. In particular, in Germany, the country of the perpetrators of the Shoah, the Second World war and the “War of Annihilation” (“Unternehmen Barbarossa”, “Vernichtungskrieg”) against the Soviet Union from June 22, 1941 until 1944, one has to be reluctant to use the phrase “War of Annihilation”. Why then did the somewhat left leaning political scientist Lars Rensmann, who is now teaching at the University of Passau in Bavaria and who is associated with Hirsh’s new institute in London, invite his colleague Herfried Münkler of all people to an event on the war in Ukraine in mid-July (the event was then cancelled, but there will probably be an “alternative date” as the University of Passau happily announces on its homepage)?[9]

After all, Münkler is notorious for applying the term “war of annihilation” to the Russian war in Ukraine, thus playing down the Holocaust.[10] There is no “war of annihilation” in Ukraine, anyone who claims otherwise is simply lying or wants to clear the Germans of their guilt, because of course it is very convenient for the Germans to accuse one of the victims of World War II, Russians and Soviets, of crimes of the same magnitude as those committed by the fathers and grandfathers of the Münklers of this world.[11]

This is what research calls “secondary antisemitism”, a term Rensmann is familiar with, as he dealt a lot with that post-Auschwitz ideology in Germany.[12] Why then did he invite Münkler, who is invoking that kind of secondary antisemitism when applying the term “War of Annihilation” to the very typical war Russia is waging in Ukraine? Compare the Russian war in Ukraine to the Iraq War 2003, to the US led War in Afghanistan, the Vietnam War or the ongoing and compared to the War in Ukraine much more murderous War in Yemen by Saudi-Arabia and other Islamist warmongers and you find that the Russian War in Ukraine is a typical war. A typical war is horrible enough. But the war in Ukraine is not at all comparable to the unprecedented War of Annihilation by the German Nazi Army Wehrmacht against the Soviet Union and the Jews.

Is it possible that Münkler and Rensmann, who has a Ukrainian flag with the slogan #StandwithUkraine as a header on his Facebook account, have much in common when dealing with the current war and situation in Ukraine?[13]

This speaks for little political science differentiation. Is he also behind the streets in Ukraine that have been named after Holocaust perpetrators and antisemites in recent years? A left anti-militarist position would never post #StandwithUkraine or #StandwithRussia, but would oppose arms deliveries to both sides, it would decode NATO’s clear complicity in Putin’s process of fanaticism – keywords #notoneinch, Putin’s idea many years ago that Russia should be admitted to NATO which was greeted with laughter and most recently the peace plan of Putin and the Russian Federation of December 17, 2021, which was ignored by the US.

On the other hand, the US Congress was already planning war on Russia by Ukraine on January 3, 2022 and passed a billion-dollar program for military and other support a few weeks later in February, even before Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine on February 24.[14] BEFORE the war began, the US was already financing Ukraine and sending support and weapons.

On the other hand, it is typical of the time and scene for the conference in London in September 2022 that several lectures on

Soviet anti-Zionism and antisemitism are announced there,

but not one lecture on today’s antisemitism in Ukraine, which is evident there through honors, monuments, stamps, football stadiums, streets, avenues, etc., which were named after Nazi collaborators, antisemitic agitators or murderers of Jews such as Roman Shukhevych, Yaroslav Stetsko or Stepan Bandera in recent years. Or take the antisemitism of the neo-Nazi Azov Brigades, which were part of the Ukrainian army before they were militarily defeated in Mariupol – no lecture on that either.

A campaign is currently underway against David Hirsh at the University of London, where he teaches sociology at Goldsmiths College. He had criticized post-colonial and apparently pro-BDS tweets and actions by students and activists and was then aggressively defamed as a “white supremacist”.[15]

Hirsh deserves support in his fight against this kind of antisemitism in the UK.

But sometimes Hirsh also writes some very strange things about antisemitism. A quick look at David Hirsh’s Twitter account shows how unscientific and vulgar behavior is sometimes being used there, which seems to be typical of this anti-social medium and not a personal quirk of Hirsh’s. As a personal description, Hirsh writes about himself (as of August 07, 2022):

Russian warship go fuck yourself

Founder LCSCA @centre_as

Arsenal, women and men.

ADHD http://EngageOnline.org.uk http://gold.ac.uk/sociology/staf

In other words, in vulgar terms, he opposes the Russian war against Ukraine. In a tweet dated August 7, 2022 at 6:28 p.m., he then writes the following:[16]

Listen carefully to what antisemites say. They’re not telling you about Jews, but they’re telling you about themselves. They’re telling you what, in their imagination, evil and cunning people would do in a particular situation: their own fantasies, their own intentions.

Who does David Hirsh mean by “antisemites”? He means the Russian mission in Geneva, from which he posts a message under his tweet that that embassy-like mission had posted on Twitter. What is this Russian tweet about? The Russian tweet refers to mainstream media, which could not help but state that Ukraine often hides and positions weapons and artillery in schools or hospitals and Russian attacks would then appear as attacks on civilian targets. Then, the world attacks Russia for “war crimes”. Attacking civilians in such a way would indeed be a war crime. But what if Ukraine intentionally uses civilian infrastructure for their own soldiers and weapons to provoke Russia to attack theses civilian facilities?

Firstly, what could be antisemitic about the statement by the war party Russia? Why does David Hirsh, the sociologist and antisemitism expert from England, write that you should listen carefully to what the antisemites are saying and underneath is this tweet that reflects the current Russian line? What’s antisemitic about that?

Because that is exactly what is happening, as a report by Amnesty International, quoted by the Austrian daily Der Standard on August 5, 2022, shows:[17]

Amnesty International accuses Ukraine for breach of international law.

According to this, the Ukrainians are cynically and inhumanely positioning weapons and artillery in residential areas, and when the Russian side bombs them, it looks like a targeted attack on civilians, a war crime. The Ukrainians deliberately put their own population in this danger. Incidentally, a tactic that the pro-Israel scene or David Hirsh should know, as it has been used by the Islamist Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others in the Gaza Strip for years to discredit Israel.[18]

At the beginning of July 2022, the German Second TV Channel ZDF also quoted a UN report that Ukraine was deliberately using civilian locations such as a nursing home to station soldiers there. Survivors of a Russian attack spoke of the Ukrainian soldiers in the nursing home.[19]

According to Hirsh’s logic, the United Nations and the Second German Television (ZDF) also argue antisemitic. Is he serious?

However, there is current antisemitism in Russia. For example, when the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov recently perfidiously accused Hitler of “Jewish blood”, for which Putin unofficially apologized to Bennett in Israel, as the BBC reported from England.[20]

The UN report on civilians as human shields, though, emphasizes that both sides, the Ukrainians and the Russians, use this perfidious tactic of civilian shields and the instrumentalization of civilians.[21]

The reports from Amnesty International and international media coincide with the UN report and the tweet from the Russian mission in Geneva. But what David Hirsh fantasizes here as antisemitism, using the example of an empirically verified tweet from the Russian mission in Geneva, is not antisemitism.

When he builds his new institute – with dozens of experts on the Advisory Board, as you can see on the homepage – for the analysis and criticism of current antisemitism in the 21st century on such Twitter delusions – and there is a lot to be said for it, because he also for his new center has set up a Twitter account[22] –, then he can immediately stop the undertaking. Because this tweet from the Russian Mission in Geneva is not antisemitic and has nothing remotely to do with Jews or antisemitism. It is perfidious that, according to the UN, both sides are using this inhuman tactic, Russians and Ukrainians alike. Of course, the Russian mission in Geneva makes no mention of its own similar tactics. But that’s not antisemitic, and Hirsh doesn’t seem at all aware of the facts that Ukraine is using these cynical military tactics.

Russia’s war is a criminal war of aggression that violates international law and must end immediately. But more weapons for Ukraine will prolong this war and cause many more deaths in Ukraine. And the US and Germany want more people to die and the war to continue, otherwise they would not continue to supply Ukraine with weapons and ammunition. What about complicity in the war through NATO’s decades of aggression? This includes NATO’s eastward expansion, although US Secretary of State James Baker promised Gorbachev and the Soviets in February 1990 that NATO would itself in the event of a possible reunification Germany not expand “one inch eastward”.[23]

NATO maneuvers in Ukraine in recent years have been an intolerable provocation, as every reasonably trained political scientist and conflict researcher (m(ale)/f(emale)/d(iverse)) will confirm. But how does David Hirsh come to the conclusion that the obviously factual position of the Russian mission in Geneva that Ukraine is using civilian shields is antisemitic? This is an inflationary use of the accusation of antisemitism where it is not recognizable at all.

Are these good prerequisites for a new center for antisemitism research when the founding director David Hirsh introduces himself so vulgarly in the anti-social Twitter world and then posts tweets that have nothing to do with reality? What does he mean by antisemitism when the Russians only repeat what the daily Standard in Austria or Amnesty International, the UN and the German Second TV Channel (ZDF) also report? Are they all antisemites when they show empirically that Ukraine sometimes deliberately accommodates its own army, soldiers, weapons, ammunition and artillery in residential areas, schools, old people’s homes or hospitals?

In addition, are there good prerequisites for a new center for antisemitism research if Hirsh and his team right from the start equate the eliminatory antisemitism of National Socialism with Stalinist antisemitism, which was in no way with comparable German antisemitism?

It is not accidental that antisemitism was associated with both National Socialist and Stalinist totalitarianisms.[24]

Why is he not mentioning that the Red Army liberated Auschwitz? Soviet antisemitism was bad enough, but not at all comparable to the Shoah and German or Nazi antisemitism. To equate Nazi and Soviet antisemitism rather sounds a lot like the 1997 French “Black Book of Communism,” and historian Jeffrey Herf is also a supporter of this Holocaust-belittling black book,[25] and he will be part of the September 2022 conference in London as well as a Board Member of Hirsh’s new center.[26]

Maybe the above quoted phrase from Hirsh’s new center is just an unfortunate formulation that insinuates an analogy, but the obsessive Russian hatred that Hirsh shows on Twitter could point to deeper ideologemes. In addition, as quoted, he seems to ignore the categorial difference between Auschwitz and Stalinist antisemitism. This fear is there.

The London Conference on Antisemitism in September 2022

In addition to the usual speakers and very important and current topics such as anti-Zionism, 9/11, hostility to Israel, e.g. among leftists in Norway, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Muslim antisemitism, there are also obscure but very trendy topics such as Holocaust trivialization by critics of the medically irrational mask mandates. The mask mandates are probably not seen as medically irrational and democratically disastrous. This is not negating the disgusting Holocaust comparisons; some critics of the mask mandate might occasionally use them – even if I am not yet aware of such a comparison of masks and the Holocaust. There are indeed too many other antisemitic tropes in the scene critical of Corona politics, about which I reported in detail in a working paper of the Berlin International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (BICSA) in January 2021.[27]

Be that as it may, the announcement of Czech researcher Zbyněk Tarant’s presentation about “Holocaust Appropriation in Anti-Mask Protests – A New Challenge to IHRA Definition?” at the London conference in September 2022 reads as follows:

To our misfortune, antisemitism develops more quickly than our legal and scholarly definitions of it. Its fluidity was again aptly demonstrated during the anti-mask and anti-vaccination protests across Europe. Along with the antisemitic conspiracy myths, such as ‘plandemic’, or the belief that vaccines are meant to sterilize the world population, there were cases of abuse of Holocaust-related symbolism and iconography by the protesters, such as wearing yellow Stars of David, comparing epidemiological measures to Nuremberg laws and comparing vaccine mandate to the Nazi genocidal program. My presentation will explore the ideological and quasi-religious background of these myths, many of which have roots in the scene of Western Esotericism. As my presentation will argue, these incidents stretch our current definitions of antisemitism and some are not even covered by them. For example, the IHRA definition has no provision that would recognize such cases of Holocaust Appropriation in anti-vaxxer discourse as antisemitic, despite their harmful impact on Jewish life and tendency to banalize the horrors of the Shoah. Is it time to update the IHRA definition?[28]

It is significant that problematic tendencies in the anti-vaccination scene are discussed and probably presented far beyond their relevance, but the author does not say a word about the anti-democratic character of the entire vaccination discourse. He does not mention in his announcement the international Corona regime and the totalitarian arrogance of countries like Australia, New Zealand or the US to this day not allowing people to enter the country if they are not vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 or have undergone gene therapy. Gene therapy? Yes, since it is well known that a representative of the pharmaceutical industry from BAYER said at the Global Health Summit in October 2021 in Berlin, beaming with joy and perfidiously, with a mischievous laugh, that the “vaccination” was a “gene therapy” and that Corona was a huge stroke of luck for the pharmaceutical industry and the acceptance of genetic engineering, since by the end of 2019 some 95 percent of the population, at least in Germany, had been clearly opposed to genetic engineering. That’s exactly what Stefan Oelrich from BAYER said, you can watch the video of the Berlin event.[29]

THIS is the scandal of our time, Holocaust comparisons by marginal, extremist, esoteric and other groups critical of the Corona regime are bad and antisemitic, but just: marginal compared to the totalitarian vaccination policy of many (leading) countries in the world and the WHO.

There are enough examples of esoteric clumsy nonsense, comparisons of the Corona pandemic that play down the Holocaust and other problematic ideologemes, such as the case with the lawyer Füllmich, about whom and his Corona investigation committee and other problematic protagonists of the anti-Corona policy scene in the international context I have reported.[30] But addressing masks and antisemitism and thus covering the whole topic of Corona seems intentionally obscure and it is not to be expected that a differentiated criticism of the catastrophic and totalitarian Corona policy in the Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, US, UK etc. will occur at this talk.

Furthermore, I fear that many important features of the Corona regime are negated at all like mask mandates, lockdowns, vaccination apartheid,[31] social isolation and economic catastrophes around the world because of a completely irrational and intentional anti-democratic panic policy. I also fear that there will be no mention of the intentional use of panic by politicians around the world – see for example the so-called “panic paper” by Horst Seehofer, then German minister of the Interior, by then chancellor Merkel, vice-chancellor and today chancellor Olaf Scholz and the German government from March 2020.[32]

Criticism of the mask fetish should be a central topic today – and not a core topic for an antisemitism conference. That seems grotesque and may at best serve to defame any criticism of the mask mania. This is intended to present individual obscure mask mandate critics, presumably as an example for the whole ‘scene’ of critics of the epidemiologically, medically and democratically highly questionable Corona policies.

But what will the conference say about the many Jewish and Israeli medical professionals who have vehemently opposed Western and Israeli anti-democratic Corona policies, like Dr. Tomer Cooks of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics at the University of Ben-Gurion School of Medicine in the Negev? Like the professors Udi Qimron, Ariel Munitz, and Motti Gerlic and almost 150 other doctors and researchers in Israel, as early as December 2020 he was a signatory to a “Common Sense Model” that campaigned against lockdowns and for a rational Corona policy.[33]

In October 2020, a number of Jewish and Israeli epidemiologists and medical professionals were the first to sign the legendary Great Barrington Declaration, which is committed to protecting vulnerable groups. That Declaration wanted to prevent the millions of dead people in the countries of the Global South who have been subject to the lockdown policy since March 2020 and to this day caused. Or at least from October 2020, when the declaration was written and published, they wanted to minimize this “collateral damage” of the Corona policy of Merkel, Boris Johnson, Trump, Biden & Co. in the future. Among the signatories were the following people, most of whom signed both the Great Barrington Declaration of October 2020 and the specifically Israeli Common Sense Model of December 2020:

Dr. Ariel Munitz, professor of clinical microbiology and immunology, Tel Aviv University, Israel, Dr. Eitan Friedman, professor of medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel, Dr. Motti Gerlic, professor of clinical microbiology and immunology, Tel Aviv University, Israel, Dr. Uri Gavish, biomedical consultant, Israel, Dr. Udi Qimron, professor of clinical microbiology and immunology, Tel Aviv University, Israel.[34]

How antisemitic and anti-Israel will a Corona policy-critical scene staffed by leading Israeli researchers in the field of medicine be? It is therefore to be feared that the criticism of the Corona policy at this conference in London will only appear as part of today’s antisemitism, which would be a deliberate distortion of the facts if that were to happen.

In any case, what stands out extremely strangely at the announcement of the September 2022 London conference on contemporary antisemitism is the following lecture by an author who has hardly appeared in the public eye:

Kathleen Hayes “Punch a TERF’ and ‘Smash the Zionists’: Misogyny and Antisemitism“.

The author thus suggests that transphobic radical feminists are victims like Zionists. As an enlightened critical antisemitism, right-wing extremism and democracy researcher, one becomes skeptical. TERFs are known to be “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists”. Now you have to know that in 2021 more trans people were murdered worldwide than ever before since these acts of violence have been registered.

In 2021, 375 transsexuals were murdered worldwide, 70 percent of them in South America, 30 percent in Brazil alone. When I see Syrian or Iraqi refugees in Germany, for example, downtown, who stare at and threaten transsexuals, then I know how close these migrants and the New Right are, but also some traditional left and liberal feminists on issues of religion, family and gender.

In many countries there is increasingly anti-gender legislation and rhetoric, as in Poland, Hungary or even in the oh-so-western, enlightened Brexit Great Britain, as Forbes Magazine reports:

Meanwhile, a global recession in trans rights continues, with countries from Hungary, Poland and even the U.K. seeing rising transphobia, anti-LGBTQ policies and rhetoric.

Vice Magazines writes:

In the U.K., transphobic hate crime reports have quadrupled over the last six years.

This is the backdrop against which Hayes will speak in London in September 2022.

The British Magazine Fathom

In July 2022, Kathleen Hayes published an article in the British journal Fathom. Fathom is edited by Alan Johnson.[35] Her piece is called:

Fathoming the Intellectual Revolution of our Time (1) | ‘Punch a Terf’ and ‘Smash the Zionists’: Misogyny and Antisemitism in the Contemporary Western Left.[36]

That sounds very grand. So the “intellectual revolution of our time” should be “explored”: “Let’s box a TERF and hit the Zionists: misogyny and antisemitism in the present left in the West”. For Fathom’s editor Alan Johnson, the article is part of an “intellectual revolution of our time”. Hayes presents poststructuralism in an extremely abbreviated manner and without any deeper knowledge:

A few decades back, without a vote being taken, a handful of intellectuals decided to roll back the Enlightenment. Holding hands and chanting ‘Down with grand narratives,’ they dismissed as hubris the paradigmatic Western belief that it was possible to know anything approximating truth. Equating the Enlightenment with slavery, colonialism and women’s subjugation, they declared positivism the greatest sin and announced they were post everything.

All of the groundbreaking critique of prison rule, of surveillance, of the prison-style clinic by thinkers like Michel Foucault—who was also pro-Israel—is swept away with the silly stroke of a pen by a no-name author. In the following, Hayes does not discuss that positivism is in fact a dangerous ideology of domination, even today. The mere description and rubrication is a core element not only of capitalism and patriarchy, but also of Corona politics, for example. A dialectic view, Marxist, Adornite, even critical-theoretical and post-structuralist, would proceed differently.

It would analyze the connections between the capitalist world market, the breaking away of supply chains and the jobs of hundreds of millions of day laborers especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and the irrational panic of a virus that can primarily attack very old and sick people.[37] Based on data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in the UK, Dr. John Campbell has shown that only 12 per cent of the official Covid deaths in the UK died only from Covid-19.[38]

To attack Foucault, as Hayes does here without naming him, as a typical postmodernist (she does not mention that he was a gay man) who would have pitted the particular against the universal, is remarkably reductionist and shows surprisingly little knowledge of the history of post-structuralism or postmodernism. But to Hayes’ credit, she was active in an antisemitic cult from 1987 to 2016 and didn’t read much.

Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, Guattari and whatever their names are, post-structuralism as a whole was against the enlightenment and that’s how Judith Butler came to her pro-Hamas position, Hayes insinuates. One can criticize a lot and substantively in post-structuralist ideology, but Hayes wants to exorcise spirits here, since she herself exorcised the antisemitic spirit in herself in 2016 or thinks she has exorcised it. This has nothing to do with a serious scientific analysis of post-structuralism, despite all the Heideggerian and highly problematic tendencies in post-structuralism. Michel Foucault’s criticism of power – especially of the police, prisons, surveillance, punishment, clinic and medicine – is outstanding and of the greatest importance for our time.

Much like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (Republicans), Hayes opposes gender education in children:

In the US, for instance, many bills aim to prevent ‘transwomen’ from participating in women’s sport (while allowing them in other categories); some seek to end the teaching of gender woo to young children in public schools. These are legitimate goals although the devil, as always, is in the details.

So that’s not in a brochure by the right-wing extremist Germany party in the Bundestag, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), no. This is a quote from Hayes article in Fathom Magazine. Certainly there are antisemitic tendencies in the areas of feminism, intersectionality, multiculturalism and anti-racism.

But as Hayes argues here, the starting point of Judith Butler’s gender studies today is the problem, i.e. the emphasis on social gender – and not just her anti-Zionist drive which became public since the early 2000s. That the post-Auschwitz Marxist tradition did not engage with left-wing antisemitism, as Hayes claims,[39] is utterly grotesque when one looks at the scholarly literature of the last few decades.

The work “Revolutionary Jews from Marx to Trotsky” by Robert S. Wistrich from 1976 alone is an example. Ever since[40] and even before that there is a wide range of research on the Left and Jews as well as on left antisemitism and also from the Left, i.e. not only from anti-communists who only want to see their own prejudices confirmed. Immediately after the Six-Day War in June 1967, for example, in the leading intellectual weekly Die Zeit, the left-wing writer Wolfgang Hildesheimer wrote about the new left-wing anti-Zionist antisemitism and criticized his colleague Peter Weiss.[41]

In 1976, Jean Améry published an influential article criticizing left-wing and “respectable” antisemitism.[42] In 1980, the journalist Henry M. Broder published a reckoning with the left-wing antisemitism of his former friends and comrades. In 1986 he wrote a bestseller – “The Eternal Antisemite” – which dealt with all possible green and left-wing facets of antisemitism.[43] As is well known, Broder later became a conservative publicist with the “axis of the good” (an online Homepage called “Achgut”), which is open to the far right and gives the AfD a boost, for which he also spoke in the Bundestag.

In January 2001, i.e. before 9/11 and before the beginning of what we have been calling a remarkable, audible and activist pro-Israel scene since 2002 not only in Germany but internationally, as part of a radical left-wing autonomous group I myself wrote a brochure criticizing the left-wing anti-Zionism published by the Revolutionary Cells.[44] In 2010, the British jurist, lawyer and literary scholar Anthony Julius published a standard work on the history of antisemitism in England, which also deals with left-wing antisemitism today.[45] Of course, Kathleen Hayes missed all of that, since she was antisemitic herself until 2016.

Finally, Hayes also opens up a relationship between critical theory and postmodernism such as transsexualism, which would no longer know any truth; in a completely abstruse way, she constructs a mini-small group of transsexuals to be the actual gatekeepers and rulers of discourse. For them there is a direct relationship between antisemitism and transsexualism, neither is committed to the truth:

And yes, I’m aware the Frankfurt School played its own role, however ambivalently, in indicting the Enlightenment itself as leading inexorably to Auschwitz: a deeply pessimistic conclusion that paved the way for postmodernism, with its extreme scepticism towards material reality and truth. In a sense, reality and truth are ‘all’ that’s at issue here: the ability to recognise—and the right to say—that two plus two make four; the Earth is not flat; and a man is not a woman, no matter how artful his eyeliner.

In the last paragraph of her Fathom pamphlet, Kathleen Hayes then opens up a monstrous analogy that downplays the Holocaust and writes:

Once truth is up for grabs, all truths are up for grabs. A mind persuaded to reject the reality of biological sex is one unlikely to recognise basic facts about the Holocaust, or about living Jews.

So anyone who rejects their biological gender and does not see themselves as male or female tends to be a Holocaust denier. And with this essentialist doctrinal talk, Kathleen Hayes also feels like a trendsetter, being published both in the ‘liberal’ Fathom Magazine and elsewhere, as we shall see, all in 2022, when Fathom is starting its two-year “Intellectual Revolution,” as Alan Johnson, a dude of David Hirsh, writes.

Kathleen Hayes was an antisemitic activist in a Trotskyist party from 1987 to 2016, which she reports on in another 2021 Fathom article. She was a left-wing fanatic and has been a renegade for a few years, that is, an anti-left activist.

Quillette, the „Intellectual Dark Web“, the New Right and the American Nazi Party

Claire Lehmann, on the other hand, was never a leftist. She is an assimilated, middle-class woman from Australia, whose first text as an author in 2013 praised the marriage and dull childbearing penned by the then pregnant women. Like family ideologists from the AfD or other right-wing extremists, she lamented that criticism of the petty-bourgeois family idyll would cause serious damage to society. In 2015 she founded the new-right or far-right platform Quillette, which is considered a central medium of the “Intellectual Dark Web”. The inventor of the term “Intellectual Dark Web”, the equivalent of the “Dark Web”, which oscillates between gun sales, prostitution, terrorism and violence, is Eric Weinstein, who is a central figure in Quillette.

Of course, this is a purely linguistic misunderstanding, because right-wingers, conservatives, anti-feminists, patriots and nationalists, anti-gender ideologues and anti-political correctness rabble-rousers are anything but intellectual. We should remember what makes an intellectual. I wrote about this in 2006 in my dissertation on the critique of the welcoming into the salon of the New Right at the University of Innsbruck:[46]

Since the 1970s, German conservatives and nationalists have increasingly tried to rehabilitate German history and in no way assumed a pre-modern epoch, but did not deny the Nazi past, but rather looked for and found connection points. The social philosopher Hauke ​​Brunkhorst commented on this in a 1987 study.[47]

‘Mandarins, a term commonly used in Europe for the high Chinese officials of the Imperial Era, defined the German scientific scene from the mid-19th century until well into the 20th century with a deeply anti-intellectual resentment. However: ‘The classic role of philosophers, priests and prophets, mandarins and shamans is over.’ ‘[48]

Then: ‘The Mandarin stands above the parties: ‘If we do not succeed in putting the cause of the nation back above the cause of the party, then we are lost.’ [Eduard Spranger, C. H.]’.[49]

A German Mandarin does not have anything that characterizes an intellectual:

‘Intellectuals should not allow themselves to be seduced into compromises with supposedly deep-seated metaphysical needs. ‘Without a model’ (Adorno), without higher legitimation, they should insist on the ‘unrestricted use of their intellect’, and that means nothing other than the power of the negative and the right to negative, destructive criticism. This claim, which ‘is against innate and’, as Kracauer expressly emphasizes, ‘acquired nature’, cannot be given to intellectuals: ‘to at least tentatively override nature as far as possible. The intellect is nothing other than the instrument for the destruction of all mythical stocks in and around us.’ [50]

In this respect, of course, there are family ideologues, anti-gender agitators, nationalists and new right-wing protagonists who see white supremacy as endangered. They indulge in racism or promote antisemitic conspiracy ideologues like Alex Jones and the whole Trump environment, Trumpism. These people like the authors at Quillette are not intellectuals. Their intention is not, as Kracauer defined the very term intellectual, “the destruction of all mythical stocks in and around us”. On the contrary, they embrace myths, like patriotism, nationalism, or traditional family values and a binary world, based on men and women, black and white, good and evil. They are counter-intellectuals or anti-intellectuals like Claire Lehmann, the Dark Intellectual Web and Quillette.

They are all defenders of bourgeois rule, who do not shy away from classifying neo-Nazis as mere “conservatives” such as those of the American Nazi Party and thus making them socially acceptable, as we will see shortly.

In May 2019, the Swiss daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) published a hymn of praise for the anti-intellectual “Intellectual Dark Web” by right-wing publicist Milosz Matuschek.[51] He could have known what was circulating on the “Intellectual Dark Web”: Because in February 2019, the post-doc at Columbia University Richard Hanania wrote a very typical text for these counter-intellectuals of the “Intellectual Dark Web” on Quillette:

It Isn’t Your Imagination: Twitter Treats Conservatives More Harshly Than Liberals.

This is the usual whining from the Far Right that the mainstream would dismiss them. However, this text shows much more, namely the abysses of the talk of “free speech”. The Quillette article is about Twitter users who have been blocked due to hate speech or other reasons, i.e. whose Twitter accounts have been permanently or temporarily blocked.[52] The thesis is that Twitter reacts much less harshly to leftists compared to “conservatives”.

In the article, Quillette author Hanania linked an Excel spreadsheet that he worked on with a team. In doing so, they listed prominent cases of “conservatives” that mainstream media have reported being blocked by Twitter. There are 43 people or organizations. What Quillette now understands by “conservatives” knocks the bottom out of every barrel.

The 43 people and groups include British far-right, convicted thug Tommy Robinson, Gavin McInnes, founder of the neo-Nazi terrorist group Proud Boys, who were also banned from Twitter, and who later played a leading role in the attempted Capitol coup in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021 and are notorious for beating up Antifas and other leftists. There are also the conspiracy mythologist Alex Jones and his site Infowars, the neo-Nazi and founder of the term “Alt Right” Richard Spencer, the racist and Holocaust denier David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Finally, and most shockingly, Quillette also lists the “American Nazi Party” as part of those “conservatives” whose Twitter account was suspended.

Also in May 2019, the extreme right-wing publicist and at times a lecturer at the University of Augsburg as well as a speaker at an event of the German conservative Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation, Eoin Lenihan, published an anti-Antifa article. In it, he described “networks” of journalists on Twitter working on Antifa and right-wing extremism, and their alleged or actual relationship with Antifa activists examined in a study. Some of these journalists were named and defamed. He announced his “study” on May 15, 2019 on Twitter, on May 29 it was published on Quillette.[53]

One of the journalists who was attacked later reported how a few weeks later neo-Nazis, such as those from “Stormfront”, uploaded videos to YouTube with images of mass shootings, where the faces of journalists repeatedly appear in the middle, including pictures of herself, all people which Lenihan had denounced in his anti-Antifa article on Quillette.[54]

In July 2019, Quillette published another article opposing the blocking of antisemites, neo-Nazis, New Rightists, misogynists, transphobes, sexists, etc. pp. The author takes the antisemitic conspiracy mythologist Alex Jones as an example, who was included in the list of “conservatives” who were blocked by Twitter in February 2019. His ban on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Spotify and other a-social media would only have increased his popularity. What these bourgeois anti-bourgeois “Free Speech” protagonists ignore and thereby affirm is the violence emanating from guys like Alex Jones.

Until recently, he denied the Connecticut shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. He fantasized like a madman that the parents of the children killed were actors. The parents of one of the murdered children have now won a lawsuit against Jones in Austin, Texas. The court sees it as proven that Jones’ conspiracy myths generate a huge fortune – up to 300 million US dollars a year. The parents suffer from particularly severe post-traumatic stress disorders, similar to those of war victims or soldiers. The Austin court fined Alex Jones $49.3 million to pay these parents. There will also be further trials in Texas and Connecticut. The lawyers had previously called for a particularly high penalty to be imposed so that it would have a deterrent effect.

One of the new-right agitators of the anti-intellectual Dark Web is Dave Rubin. He, the “comedian,” neuroscientist Sam Harris, and mathematician Eric Weinstein, met with anti-left, pro-New Right activist at The New York Times, Bari Weiss, who wrote about it in May 2018 in the New York Times. Weiss is no longer with the New York Times, but her agitation for more traditional values ​​and more conservatism went viral. She found it somehow super exciting that Rubin also invited the antisemite and conspiracy mythologist Alex Jones to his show. Jones runs the “Infowars” site and has already spoken to Trump there. Weiss can write any number of books against antisemitism and is a super-star in the pro-Israel camp, but with texts like those in the NYTimes she has massively encouraged hatred of Jews and support for the New Right, since irrationalism and delusions of conspiracies are essential ingredients for antisemitism. Dave Rubin, like Weiss, is Jewish, so that doesn’t mean anything – irrationalism and obsessive hatred of leftists has nothing to do with it. Criticism of sexism and conventional family models, and specifically criticism of natalism, are concepts of the enemy of the New Right. Quillette is the flagship of the anti-intellectual “Intellectual Dark Web”. Bari Weiss opened them up to the mainstream via the New York Times.

Why am I going into such detail about Quillette, about those super exciting, oh so cosmopolitan New Right people and the “intellectual dark web”, i.e. a playground for authors who follow the thugs of the Proud Boys and provide intellectual legitimacy?

The case of Kathleen Hayes

Well, on Quillette, a page, it cannot be stressed enough, where the American Nazi Party is portrayed as poor “conservatives” who have been banned from Twitter, on May 19, 2022, the same Fathom author Kathleen Hayes writes an anti-gender piece. The same Hayes who will now appear in London in mid-September 2022 at the new antisemitism research think tank around the “leftist” David Hirsh and who was published in July 2022 by the liberal, left-wing or left-liberal magazine Fathom with the same anti-gender tropes.

In May 2022, Hayes publishes her article “Gender Ideology’s True Believers. I spent 25 years in a cultish political sect. Trans activists are giving me déjà vu” with the new-right magazine Quillette.

Only after that, in July 2022, will her similar, longer article appear on Fathom, so Fathom knew that she wrote for the far-right journal Quillette just a few months prior. In her May 2022 Quillette text, she links to another text of hers in the July 2021 Fathom Journal, where she reckoned with her left-wing antisemitic Trotskyist past, which lasted from 1987 to 2016.

In her autobiographical text in Fathom 2021, Hayes emphasizes that two groups were particularly hated in her Trotskyist splinter party: feminists and Zionists. She has easily carried her hatred of gender theories into the present day. The problem that Kathleen Hayes – like many right-wing extremists, new rightists and family ideologists worldwide – has with Judith Butler is not primarily her anti-Zionism, but rather her gender theories. That there is indeed a biological gender and a social gender, as Butler analyzed in her seminal 1990 book “Gender Trouble”, is denied or ridiculed here. Accordingly, we are not born as girls or boys, but are made into such primarily through socialization, without necessarily denying our biological gender. With this, Butler leaned on Simone de Beauvoir, as German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk recalled:

The American philosopher Judith Butler has prominently demonstrated that this supposedly natural order is neither as natural nor as orderly as claimed: her book Gender Trouble has become a classic in gender research. Exactly 30 years ago it was published in the US, just a year later in German under the title ‘The Unease of the Sexes’.

In it, Butler deals with Simone de Beauvoir’s work ‘The Second Sex’, above all with a famous thesis: ‘One is not born a woman, one becomes one.’

The fact that since then, especially after the second Intifada since autumn 2000, after September 11, 2001 and the founding of the anti-Israeli boycott movement BDS in 2005, Judith Butler has taken a terrible Jewish anti-Zionist position based on Hannah Arendt is another matter.[55]

Butler’s criticism of sexist attributions and patriarchal patterns was and is groundbreaking. Not so for Kathleen Hayes, who, in addition to a few greasy lip-services that trans people are somehow also human beings, describes the trans movement primarily as a “cult”. This reminds her of her own authoritarian cult past as an antisemitic and anti-feminist Trotskyist. Hayes does not mention what kind of anti-gender ideology she herself is invoking at Quillette and beyond. She mentions billionaire Harry Potter novelist J.K. Rowling, who has also come out as TERF and is part of the UK’s Gender Critical Feminists.[56] She has received death threats for her anti-trans positions. Such threats and acts of violence are terrible.

But what Hayes doesn’t say is who very often actually gets murdered because of their gender. In addition to women who are murdered by their husbands or lovers, transsexuals were murdered more often in 2021 than ever before since this has been recorded statistically. But Hayes writes just like the AfD in Germany or the New Right in the UK, the US or Australia when she formulates in Quillette:

Gender ideology is drilled into children from a young age at school; media, charities, and public institutions echo the line; critics are hounded and dismissed.

If that’s the ideology of David Hirsh and his super awesome new London Center for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, since Kathleen Hayes, who published this new-right rubbish, is supposed to speak at his inaugural conference in mid-September 2022, then there isn’t one difference to organized right-wing extremism and the New Right.

Hayes is no longer concerned with specific problems that men who define themselves as transsexuals and women can very well emanate from using women’s toilets to agitation in anti-social networks or on the street may well be fueled by pro and anti-trans people. No, Hayes is concerned here with “gender ideology” as such.

Her language is from the New Right. She fantasizes that children are indoctrinated with “gender ideology” from a young age. This is Far Right ideology, in the US it is intoned by Trumpism and in England by the corresponding anti-left and anti-gender circles, which apparently also includes the pro-Israel magazine Fathom.

Current academic texts criticizing the New Right and its relationship to capitalism and neoliberalism deal with the ideology of the “Intellectual Dark Web” and its wide circles of YouTubers with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers and New Right networks of all kinds. The British Political scientist Alan Finlayson criticizes the New Right, the Intellectual Dark Web and analyses:

A range of ideological currents – conservatism, nationalism, ethnonationalism, libertarianism – share a critique of the liberal state which gives to it a cultural and intellectual rather than economic class character. That critique emphasises the linguistic and discursive power of ‘new class’ intellectuals, exercised through institutions of culture, communication and legal regulation, oppressing or victimising those with contrary cultural, political and ethical orientations.

Today this analysis is the basis of a broad-based systematic challenge to the technocratic politics of third-way neoliberalism and globalisation. The new class is the common enemy, under a variety of names: ‘the establishment’, ‘the swamp’, ‘the blob’, ‘the cathedral’.

Because followers can characterise members of these groups variously as bureaucrats, intellectuals, civil servants, climate scientists, gender theorists, feminists, public sector workers, journalists, screenwriters, specific ethnic groups and so on, this antagonism sustains an otherwise unlikely alliance of Trump supporters, online ‘Men Going Their Own Way’, Christian Identity militias, radical libertarians, ethno-nationalists, anti-feminists, American paleoconservatives, ‘race realists’, anti-Muslims, anti-communists.[57]

Accordingly, the New Right agitates against a “new class” that is dominated by the “cultural Marxists”. This is reminiscent of the propaganda from the Springer group in Germany and their daily Die Welt and its agitator Don Alphonso.[58] Finlayson writes:

That class is figured as the ‘Cultural Marxist’. This label for a range of perspectives in social and political theory predates the internet. Its origins lie in paleo-conservative writing from where it has developed into a conspiracy theory, holding that acolytes of the Frankfurt School are enacting a plan to undermine America by promoting feminism and anti-racism (Jamin, 2014). Online the idea has taken on new life (Richardson, 2015; Manavis, 2019), becoming shorthand for the argument that claims to racial or gender equality are a spurious invention of those with a sinister hidden ‘agenda’ (Peterson, 2017; Murray, 2019).

The Cultural Marxist is a jargonising guru mesmerising impressionable students, exploiting them financially while covertly and calculatedly destroying Western culture by encouraging immigration. The idea has been taken up by Members of Parliament and circulated in magazines such as The Spectator (Walker, 2019). (…) [T]he figure is central to a political rhetoric which has emerged from the fusion of offline and online reactionary spaces, the inhabitants of which see themselves as involved in a war for hearts and minds, teaching others to see the invisible left-hand behind events, and to learn how to protect themselves by becoming part of the cultural, intellectual and moral resistance.

Jordan Peterson, for instance, advises school students to leave their classes if teachers begin discussing diversity, inclusivity or equity, to video it and post it to YouTube (Peterson, 2018). Such awareness and resistance are most powerfully conveyed through the rhetoric of ‘the red pill’.[59]

Finlayson aptly addresses Foucault’s critique of the “entrepreneurial subject,” which fits squarely with the rule of neoliberalism and the New Right. I would add, against more typical Guardian writers like Finlayson, that the Corona pandemic showed how the atomized people were being made into their ostensible saviors: panic-induced self-masking, isolating, and “segregating” (“Absonderung”, a Nazi word, executive directives read exactly as they did in 1933 or 1938).

The state is no longer responsible for a functioning health system, which has been systematically underfinanced for decades due to capitalism, the greed for profit of politicians, health insurance companies and hospital companies, but the individual is responsible for not getting sick! In an infectious disease where no human – no human! – can know where to get infected and how.

So either everyone is locked up (2020) or the vaccination apartheid is executed (2021/22) and since April 2020 all people have been forced to mask themselves – in public local and long-distance transport in Europe this regulation has only applied in Germany since spring 2022. The disastrous effects of the medically irrational masking in hospitals and retirement homes cannot be estimated – tens of thousands of inmates or patients will have died earlier or died at all, because as a human being you cannot live without empathy, i.e. without seeing other people and to feel. But these collateral deaths were readily produced by politicians, the media and society.

In any case, the bottom line is that in 2020 and 2021, without any lockdown and without any mask mandates, Sweden had less than half as much excess mortality than Germany, according to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO).[60] Another text criticizing the New Right deals exclusively with the Intellectual Dark Web flagship Quillette:

In its political and socioeconomic dimensions, Quillette might therefore be said to further destabilize contemporary and long-held dichotomies between liberal democracy and far-right politics, variously engaging both with tenets of liberalism and exhibiting far-right and neo-fascist elements.

Some Quillette writers’ various embrace of neoliberalism, along with their excuse or promotion of racism, radical traditionalism, and affirmation of pseudo-scientific hierarchies, demonstrate Landa’s observation that, far from representing liberalism’s primary antagonist, fascism can variously serve to reinforce the supremacist, elitist, and exclusivist premises of the (neo)liberal order. Liberal democracies, as demonstrated so dramatically in the 2020 US presidential election, can also provide for the emergence of far-right violence.[61]

Hope: Gad Granach’s Zionism

The pro-Israel scene, on the other hand, has been dominated for many years by conservatives and the New Right. One example is the neoconservative English bestselling author and anti-immigration activist Douglas Murray, whose books, such as one on “The Strange Death of Europe. Immigration, Identity and Islam” was liked to be read by far-right Hungarian President Victor Orbán, who posted a picture of himself while reading the Hungarian edition of Murray’s book on Facebook.[62]

On her new Twitter account, on July 20, 2022, Kathleen Hayes promotes and is very enthusiastic about Douglas Murray. On July 28, 2022, she is touting the London Conference on Antisemitism in September 2022, where, as shown, she is not only a participant, but will be a speaker, as she euphorically emphasizes.[63]

Using the example of Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum in Philadelphia, pro-Israel activist and former Donald Trump administration official and representative of the US pro-Israel camp, Kenneth S. Marcus, and publicist Henryk M. Broder, I have criticized these new-right tendencies in the pro-Israel scene in recent years.[64] I also experienced this myself when, because of my left-wing criticism of Trump’s right-wing extremism and sexism, the board of directors of the (NGO) Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, which I had co-founded in 2007 in Berlin, unanimously dismissed me in 2017, which is an honor. I don’t want anything to do with people like that anymore.

Israel deserves better than support from the New Right and from people who until a few years ago were antisemitic themselves for decades – like Kathleen Hayes – and today agitate against gender theories and publish on sites like Quillette that considers the American Nazi Party as  “Conservatives” who were blocked by Twitter. Resocialization matters, also for former “cult” followers such as Hayes – but as hateful as Kathleen Hayes agitates against the “gender ideology”, she should perhaps think about it for a few years before posing as a pro-Israel activist and author, who primarily harbors resentment against transsexuals. On the other hand, she is of course right, she finds similar agitators ideologically friendly to the New Right or the transphobic Left and feminist circles in the self-proclaimed pro-Israel scene.

Of course, the conference by Hirsh and his allies will have a few lectures about the danger deriving from the Right like in the US. But as along as someone like Kathleen Hayes, who writes for the New Right journal Quillette, appears at the conference, this is nothing but a farce.

What kind of world is this? What kind of pro-Israel scene is meeting in London in September 2022? Doesn’t it fit today’s Israel, where a right-wing extremist, religious fanatic and anti-Palestinian agitator like Itamar Ben Gvir might get up to 13 seats, which would mean the third-largest faction in the next Knesset elections with the party “Religious Zionism” at the beginning of November? A Ben Gvir who, as a 19-year-old, agitated against Prime Minister Rabin in 1995, damaged his state car and warned that Rabin would soon be attacked personally – and a few weeks later Rabin was murdered? The Times of Israel reports on this in a long critical feature on Ben Gvir. Ben Gvir was also one of the organizers of anti-LGBTQ rallies:

Additionally, the far-right Religious Zionism party, which now controls six seats in the Knesset, has three members openly hostile to LGBT rights: Avi Maoz, leader of the Noam faction, and Itamar Ben Gvir and leader MK Bezalel Smotrich, organizers of the 2006 “beast march” in Jerusalem, in which religious opponents of the Pride March walked with donkeys.

There is more anti-gender and transphobic activism in Israel, analyzed by the site Pinknews from the UK and illustrated with an LGBTQ-flag, including a star of David, used by Zionist protesters in Israel:

Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the Religious Zionist Party and self-described “proud homophobe”, helped to organise the 2006 anti-LGBT+ “beast parade” when World Pride came to Jerusalem.

The “beast parade” saw right-wing activists trace the Pride parade route with donkeys and goats, claiming the animals were above LGBT+ people because they hadn’t “sinned”. Other Knesset members under the Religious Zionism alliance umbrella include Itamar Ben-Gvir, who leads the Otzma Yehudit party, and Avi Maoz, founder of the anti-LGBT+ party Noam.  Ben-Gvir has celebrated the killing of Palestinians, has previously been convicted of inciting violence and supporting a terror group, and believes the “Arab enemy” must be “expelled” from Israel. Maoz’s Noam party has compared those who fight for LGBT+ rights to Nazis and suicide bombers, and was founded solely to oppose LGBT+ rights.

Unfortunately, Quillette’s, Fathom’s and Kathleen Hayes anti-gender rabble-rousing fits with such agitators as Ben Gvir.

What wonderful times those were when Zionists like Gad Granach (1915–2011) wrote about their life in Israel:

In any case, I am of the opinion that these so-called ‘settlers’ should be left to dry out, simply ignored, neither supported nor protected. (…)

That would be a short process if the ‘settlers’ on the West Bank were simply left to their own devices (…). Incidentally, what does ‘settlers’ even mean? Have they ever done anything for the land they ‘settle’ on?

They haven’t planted a single bush yet. The day before yesterday they were still in Brooklyn, today they want to explain to me what Zionism is. In 1936 I settled on Arab soil that we bought from the Arabs, but we worked it and we actually built. Avodah Yehudi, Jewish work, was very important at the time, and rightly so. No Arab built our houses, as is customary today. There’s the story of the Israeli who strolls through the streets of Shabbes with his son. He says: ‘You see, that house over there, I built that. And here’s the road, I built that too when I was young. And I laid the water pipes over there’. Then the little son says to his father in astonishment. ‘When you were young, were you an Arab?‘[65]

The new London Center for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism around David Hirsh certainly has the very important intention of fighting today’s anti-Zionist antisemitism. But with his inflationary talk of antisemitism regarding Russian tweets, which only reflect – based on mainstream media reports – how inhumane Ukraine is also using civilians as protective shields in this war, Hirsh completely discredits himself as an antisemitism researcher.

Notably by inviting Kathleen Hayes to speak at this conference, who publishes with the “Intellectual Dark Web” magazine Quillette, which presents the American Nazi Party as “conservatives” blocked by evil Twitter, Hirsh loses credibility as a critical researcher.

Finally, Hayes’ announced talk, based on her two articles on Quillette and Fathom, reflects an increasingly transphobic climate in the UK. Her perfidious statement that people who would not take biological sex for granted would also be open to denying the truth about the Holocaust is egregious and transphobic. This is also an inflationary use of the accusation of antisemitism. Such individuals are invited by the London Center for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, but not a word is heard about the very real Ukrainian antisemitism and street naming after perpetrators of the Holocaust and antisemitic ideologues, who paved the way of the Shoah in Ukraine. And that speaks volumes.

Criticism of antisemitism in London will be left-wing and anti-fascist, or it will not be.[66]




[1] In the following endnotes original German quotes (like from newspapers or other sources) are translated by the author. Titles of articles and books are quoted in the original with a translation following in brackets. Clemens Heni (2011): Schadenfreude. Islamforschung und Antisemitismus in Deutschland nach 9/11 [Schadenfreude. Islamic Studies and Antisemitism in Germany after 9/11], Berlin: Edition Critic.

[2] Clemens Heni (2002): German Political Culture: The Relationship to Anti-Zionism and Jihad before and after 11 September 2001, published online with the page hagalil on December 17, 2003, https://www.clemensheni.net/german-political-culture-the-relationship-to-anti-zionism-and-jihad-before-and-after-11-september-2001/. I also criticized Heidegger and Foucault in my talk, by the way. The German Embassy, a co-sponsor of the event, run riot after my talk. The audience and the host, Wistrich’s Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (SICSA), though, were very supportive. As a doctoral candidate, I became a Felix Posen Fellow at SICSA in 2003 and 2004.

[3] Clemens Heni/Thomas Weidauer (Ed.) (2012): Ein Super-GAUck. Politische Kultur im neuen Deutschland [A Super-GAUck. Political Culture in the new Germany], Berlin: Edition Critic, darin Clemens Heni (2012a): Die Abwehr der Erinnerung an den Holocaust und die komparatistische Obsession [Rejecting Holocaust Memory and the Comparative Obsession], ibid., pp. 7–42. One of the contributors to this anthology is the Holocaust historian, publicist and professor of Yiddish Dovid Katz from Vilnius in Lithuania. He has been a critic of Putin and Putinism for many years. In March 2022 he wrote, among other things, about the war in Ukraine:

„What is the upshot? That just as elsewhere in pro-Western Eastern Europe, a small but disproportionately powerful coterie of far-right pseudo-patriotic history rewriters, among them highly educated and sophisticated historians, politicians and state apparatchiks, all Holocaust revisionists in their passion to have as national heroes Hitler collaborators, have done so much harm to their own countries. It’s enough to peruse Defending History’s sections on Croatia, EstoniaHungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, and more (see Countries). Incidentally, the motivation of these small, overly influential elites is (mis)guided by two forms of racism: inability to concede their nations’ leaders acted wrongfully during the Holocaust (what country’s history has no dark spots?), and the demented desire for a (supposedly) ethnically pure country (in other words, quiet satisfaction with the results of accomplished ethnic purification).

Each time a ‘Bandera Street’ is inaugurated in Ukraine, glorifying the World War II fascist, whose hordes murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles of all ages and both genders on an ethnic basis (i.e. genocide), Ukraine and its prestige are dealt an unfair and undeserved blow”, Dovid Katz (2022): Ottawa Citizen & N.Y. Times Break Media Silence on Self-Damage of Eastern NATO/EU Democracies by Public-Space Adoration of Holocaust Collaborators, March 20, 2022, https://defendinghistory.com/ottawa-citizen-n-y-times-break-media-silence-on-self-damage-of-eastern-nato-eu-democracies-by-public-space-adoration-of-holocaust-collaboratorsce-on-self-damage-of-eastern-nato-eu-democracies-by-pu/109618.

[4] Efraim Zuroff (2022): 5 EU countries that shouldn’t be throwing stones. Accusing Russia of rewriting the Holocaust for its current propaganda is fair – but not when you’ve always whitewashed the Holocaust for your own purposes, 27. Juli 2022, The Times of Israel (Blogs), https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/5-eu-countries-that-shouldnt-be-throwing-stones/.

[5] „Israeli lawmakers outraged after Zelensky compares Ukraine war to Holocaust“, 20. März 2022, https://www.ynetnews.com/article/hjn3nxbf5; „Zelensky compares Kremlin’s actions to Nazi ‘final solution’ in Knesset speech“, 21. März 2022, https://www.jewishnews.co.uk/zelensky-compares-kremlins-actions-to-nazi-final-solution-in-knesset-speech/: „Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been criticised by some Israeli politicians after delivering a speech to the Knesset in which he compared the actions of the Kremlin with the Nazi ‘final solution’. In a 12 minute-long speech, in which he referenced the ‘people of Israel’ several times, Zelensky also drew flack after saying: ‘Ukrainians made their choice 80 years ago, we saved Jews, and there are among us righteous gentiles.’ After Sunday’s speech – the latest in a series of pleas made by Zelensky to politicians across the globe including the UK’s parliament – one Likud MK Yuval Steinitz said the president’s message ‘borders on Holocaust denial.’”

[6] https://www.memoryandconscience.eu/; https://www.memoryandconscience.eu/2022/06/11/opening-of-the-new-museum-of-the-victims-of-communism-in-washington-dc/.

[7] Clemens Heni (2010): Against the equation of National Socialism and Communism – Fight the Prague Declaration, conference presentation on March 15, 2010, article online March 21, 2010, https://www.clemensheni.net/against-the-equation-of-national-socialism-and-communism-fight-the-prague-declaration/. The original post read: „In October 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution gave birth to the deadliest ideology in human history – Communism.“ That is Holocaust denial, anti-Communist style. On Dec. 8, 2009, this was on their site, as the wayback machine documents, https://web.archive.org/web/20091208161141/http://www.victimsofcommunism.org/history_communism.php.

[8] https://victimsofcommunism.org/.

[9] https://www.uni-passau.de/internationales/ukrainehilfe/vortragsreihe/.

[10] “Judith Heitkamp: A definition of the term war of annihilation says that in such a war ‘all physical and psychological limitations are lifted‘. If one follows the news about the Russian warfare, does one have to speak of a war of annihilation by Russia against Ukraine?

Herfried Münkler: I do believe that it can be done. In any case, it is not recognizable that the usual restrictions and limitations of international warfare law, which were developed in the late 19th and over the course of the 20th century, have a relevant position in this war. In principle, it is a question of independent military action in which assumed military requirements dominate and the restrictions of wartime law take a back seat,” „Herfried Münkler über Kriegsführung in der Ukraine. Warum Russland einen Vernichtungskrieg führt“, 14.04.2022, https://www.br.de/kultur/gesellschaft/interview-herfried-muenkler-ukraine-russland-vernichtungskrieg-mariupol-kriegsverbrechen-100.html.

Well: In the Second World War from September 1, 1939 and in the German and Wehrmacht war of annihilation from 1941 to 1944, six million Jews and 27 million Soviets were murdered, thousands of villages were completely wiped out and Jews and Soviet commissars were deliberately murdered, Hannes Heer/Klaus Naumann (1995): Vernichtungskrieg. Verbrechen der Wehrmacht 1941 bis 1944, Hamburg: Hamburger Edition. Nothing even remotely comparable has happened in Ukraine since February 24, 2022. Even the neo-Nazis of the Azov Brigades, who had holed up in a steelworks in Mariupol for weeks, were not murdered with carpet bombing, but ultimately surrendered to the Russian army and the pro-Russian units on the ground. No war of annihilation anywhere. War is terrible enough! The word “war of annihilation” has an exclusively propaganda and NS-trivializing function.

The historian Hubert Brieden said about Münkler in a program for Radio Flora from Hanover: “Münkler, mass media and politicians claim that Russia’s war against Ukraine is a war of annihilation. The leader of the Greens, Ricarda Lang, justified the German arms deliveries to the Ukrainian government a few days after the start of the Russian attack on Ukraine with a “war of annihilation” allegedly planned by the Russian government. At that time, the Ukrainian government reported 352 civilians killed.

In Germany’s war of annihilation, at least 27,000,000 people died in the Soviet Union, 14,000,000 of them civilians. An integral part of this war of annihilation was the systematic murder of the Jewish population. In the further course of Russia’s war against Ukraine, there were no indications that Russia wanted to systematically exterminate the Ukrainian population or parts of it for racist reasons. It is a war with bombing and rocket attacks, street and house fighting and consequent destruction and deaths – that’s bad enough – a war like in Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria etc. but it is not a war of annihilation. The association with the Nazi genocide program serves to justify supplying arms to a war zone and an armament program unprecedented since 1945.

This type of war propaganda works on the same pattern as Josef Fischer’s Auschwitz lie in the war against Yugoslavia. Andriy Melnyk, the Ukrainian ambassador who has since been recalled, never tired of talking about Russia’s war of annihilation. At the same time, he downplayed the involvement of Ukrainian nationalists led by Stepan Bandera in the Holocaust. About 1.6 million Jews were murdered by the Germans and their local allies in what is now Ukraine. Shortly after taking office, Melnyk, who has been Ukrainian ambassador to Germany since January 2015, laid flowers at the grave of one of the main people responsible for the mass murder of Jews and Poles in Ukraine.

His belittling of Bandera led to protests by the Israeli and Polish embassies in 2022 and ultimately to his dismissal,” Hubert Brieden (2022): ” … wow, wir stehen nicht nur auf den Schultern von Joschka Fischer, sondern auch auf denen unserer Großväter.” Deutsche Kriegspropaganda: Verharmlosung des NS-Vernichtungskrieges und des Holocaust, Radio Flora, 18.07.2022, https://radioflora.de/wow-wir-stehen-nicht-nur-auf-den-schultern-von-joschka-fischer-sondern-auch-auf-denen-unserer-grossvaeter-deutsche-kriegspropaganda-verharmlosung-des-ns-vernichtungskrieges-und-des-holo/.

[11] The network “Remembrance + Future in Hanover e.V.” shows the inflationary talk of “genocide” in a very exemplary way when it wrote in a newsletter at the end of March 2022:

„Here with us, many are disturbed and stunned by the fact that the Russian ruler has now followed up the numerous announcements and actions of recent years that he wants to restore the former Russian-Soviet great power with further aggressive military actions. Stunned that a mafia-like, power-obsessed nomenklatura led by a Chekist who rules with murder, manslaughter and genocide is destroying years of self-suggestion.” Putin is an autocratic, anti-liberal and brutal ruler, but he has not committed genocide. What are these networkers in Hanover talking about? Which genocide?

[12] Lars Rensmann (2004): Demokratie und Judenbild [Democracy and the perception of Jews in Germany], Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

[13] https://de-de.facebook.com/lars.rensmann (as of August 8, 2022). Some ex-authors of the only left popular monthly magazine in this country – Konkret – are particularly insidious – such as Lars Quadfasel, Tom Uhlig, Alex Feuerherdt, Ramona Ambs, Elke Wittich, Olaf Kistenmacher, Marit Hofmann, Leo Fischer, Jan Süselbeck, Elke Wittich, Lothar Galow-Bergemann and others –

https://kontrast-mittel.org/2022/06/30/warum-wir-nicht-mehr-fur-konkret-schreiben/ –, who now no longer want to write for Konkret because Konkret does not want to become a member of NATO and the ‘Western community of values’ – the pseudo-left agitators* put right-wing extremist journals like Compact with Konkret on the same level in relation to the Russian Ukraine war:

“For us, the authors of Konkret, a red line has been crossed with the editorial course on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. We don’t want to and can’t continue to publish in a magazine that is close to the AfD, the volkish wing of the Party of the Left or with Jürgen Elsässer’s [right-wing extremist] Compact Magazine, Henry Kissinger, Klaus von Dohnanyi or the lobby groups of German industry on this issue.”

German industry, by the way, rejoices at the 100 billion that Scholz & Co. want to spend on the Bundeswehr in view of the historical possibility of finally being able to kill Russians again, albeit indirectly via Ukrainian soldiers, but with German tanks, howitzers and other things should use murderous tools instead of politics employing diplomacy and skill.

Just as perfidious is an online Journal called “Kritiknetz” by the former lecturer at Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences Heinz Gess, who also puts Compact Magazine and Konkret Magazine in the same line; Heinz Gess (2022): Stinkender Misthaufen? Zur Querfront in Putins Krieg [Stinking dung heap? To the transverse front (Querfront) in Putin’s war], in: Kritiknetz – Zeitschrift für Kritische Theorie der Gesellschaft, https://www.kritiknetz.de/images/stories/texte/Gess_Misthaufen.pdf. The editorial staff of Konkret had already taken a clear stance against Putin and the war on February 24, the day Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine began

“We do have no concrete understanding of Moscow’s power-political ambitions and the Russian push to smash the ‘Vladimir-Iljitsch-Lenin-Ukraine’ (Vladimir Putin), nor is a commitment to the free-democratic world order of the West to be expected from this magazine, a Western world which always discovered his great love for peace when the West itself had not just started a war of aggression.” A “long version” of a statement (which came as a short version in issue 8/22) on the Konkret homepage also says:

“The discussion will be continued in the next issue – including an article on the development of Russian foreign policy over the past 20 years and on the question of how and when Vladimir Putin, who was trying to get closer to the West, became a chauvinist warlord. (…) 3. But why did the authors of the call for a boycott, although they were invited, not take part (anymore) in the discussion? They give two answers to this question – one untrue and one childish. The untrue:

‘In his (Lars Quadfasels) view, there has been less and less room for controversy and exchange lately. For the March issue, Quadfasel wrote a critical article on the subject. After that it shouldn’t have been possible anymore’, he said on the Twitter page of the NDR media magazine ‘Zapp’ in the context of an interview that ‘Zapp’ had conducted there with Quadfasel. Konkret has obtained a cease-and-desist declaration against the NDR because of this obvious untruth (up to and including the May issue, Quadfasel published articles on the Ukraine war in Konkret); the broadcaster has removed the passage from the network. (…) Finally, one more thing: The Konkret boycotters have put the motto on the homepage on which they published their ‘declaration’ (contrast-medium.org): ‘Contrast medication are medicines that are not intended to cure or alleviate serve illnesses, but help to identify them.’ The metaphorical use of the term ‘illness’ to label unpopular (political) opinions, and thus the pathologization of the political opponent, is fascist idiom“, Editorial Heft 8/22, Langfassung, https://www.konkret-magazin.de/727-editorial-heft-8-22-langfassung.

[14] For all these topics see the book by Gerald Grüneklee/Clemens Heni/Peter Nowak (2022): Nie wieder Krieg ohne uns… Deutschland und die Ukraine, Berlin: Edition Critic [Never again War without us… Germany and Ukraine], which was published in late July 2022.

[15] „Goldsmiths asks student union to begin antisemitism probe over Jewish lecturer slurs“, 19. Mai 2022, https://www.jewishnews.co.uk/university-opens-anitisemitism-probe-as-jewish-academic-called-far-right-supremacist/.

[16] https://mobile.twitter.com/DavidHirsh.

[17] „Amnesty International wirft Ukraine Völkerrechtsbruch vor. Die Unterbringung von Truppen in Wohngebieten habe die Zivilbevölkerung gefährdet, heißt es. Russische Medien instrumentalisieren den Bericht ihrerseits“ [“Amnesty International accuses Ukraine of violating international law. The accommodation of troops in residential areas has endangered the civilian population, it is said. Russian media exploit the report for their part”], August 5, 2022, https://www.derstandard.de/story/2000138043310/amnesty-international-wirft-ukraine-voelkerrechtsbruch-vor.

[18] „Hamas’ use of human shields is a war crime“, May 13, 2021, https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/teich-hamas-use-of-human-shields-is-a-war-crime.

[19] „Bericht zu Pflegeheim-Angriff : Tote Zivilisten: UN machen Ukraine Vorwürfe“ [Nursing home attack report: Dead civilians: UN blames Ukraine], July 9, 2022, https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/politik/kriegsverbrechen-zivilisten-un-bericht-ukraine-krieg-russland-100.html.

[20] „Putin sorry for Lavrov’s claim Hitler was part Jewish – Israel PM“, May 5, 2022, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-61339749.

[21] „OHCHR is concerned that in the course of hostilities, both Russian armed forces and affiliated armed groups as well as Ukrainian armed forces took up positions either in residential areas or near civilian objects, from where they launched military operations without taking measures for the protection of civilians present, as required under IHL.16 OHCHR is further concerned by reports of the use of human shields, which involves seeking to use the presence or movement of the civilian population or individual civilians to render certain points or areas immune from military operations. The use of human shields is specifically prohibited by article 28 of Geneva Convention IV and article 51(7) of additional protocol I”, June 29, 2022, https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/documents/countries/ua/2022-06-29/2022-06-UkraineArmedAttack-EN.pdf.

[22] https://mobile.twitter.com/centre_as.

[23] I dealt with documents about the “not one inch” offer by James Baker, the Americans and Germany, Clemens Heni (2022): “Not one Inch”, Ukraine und NATO-Osterweiterung im Kontext oder: Amerika plante 1959 91 Atombomben auf Ost-Berlin zu werfen” … und die UdSSR wurde im Februar 1990 von Baker, Bush sen. und Kohl “ausgetrickst” [“Not one inch”, Ukraine and NATO eastward expansion in context or: America planned to drop 91 atomic bombs on East Berlin in 1959 … and in February 1990 the USSR was tricked out by Baker, Bush sen. and German chancellor Kohl], February 13, 2022, https://www.clemensheni.net/not-one-inch-ukraine-und-nato/; Jonathan Guyer (2022): “How America’s NATO expansion obsession plays into the Ukraine crisis. The post-Cold War debates shaping the current standoff with Russia“, January 27, 2022, https://www.vox.com/22900113/nato-ukraine-russia-crisis-clinton-expansion; Svetlana Savranskaya/Tom Blanton (2017): Declassified documents show security assurances against NATO expansion to Soviet leaders from Baker, Bush, Genscher, Kohl, Gates, Mitterrand, Thatcher, Hurd, Major, and Woerner. Slavic Studies Panel Addresses “Who Promised What to Whom on NATO Expansion?”, December 12, 2017, https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/russia-programs/2017-12-12/nato-expansion-what-gorbachev-heard-western-leaders-early; Mary Elise Sarotte (2010): Not One Inch Eastward? Bush, Baker, Kohl, Genscher, Gorbachev, and the Origin of Russian Resentment toward NATO Enlargement in February 1990. Diplomatic History, 34(1), pp. 119–140, http://www.jstor.org/stable/24916036; Mary Elise Sarotte (2021): Not One Inch. America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

[24] https://londonantisemitism.com/about/.

[25] „‘The authors of The Black Book of Communism are part of a welcome change in the moral-philosophical landscape in Paris, and one hopes elsewhere, as a result of which liberal and left-of-center intellectuals, scholars and politicians judge the crimes of communist regimes with the same severity they’ve applied to those of Nazism and fascism.’—Jeffrey Herf, The Washington Post Book World”, reads the blurb by Herf for the book on the homepage of the publisher, Harvard University Press, https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?content=reviews&isbn=9780674076082. For criticism of the Holocaust distorting Black Book of Communism see Jens Mecklenburg/Wolfgang Wippermann (Hg.) (1998): Roter Holocaust? Kritik des Schwarzbuch des Kommunismus [Red Holocaust? Criticism of the Black book of Communism], Hamburg: Konkret Literatur Verlag.

[26] It is very common to ignore Holocaust distortion via the Red equals Brown ideology, I dealt with it in the first issue of the Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism: Clemens Heni (2017): Antisemitism in the Twenty-First Century, Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 1–9, here p. 3. DOI: 10.26613/jca/1.1.1, https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.26613/jca/1.1.1/html?lang=en.

[27] Clemens Heni (2021): Antisemitismus im Zeitalter von Corona (BICSA Working Paper, Januar 2021 – Jubiläum, 10 Jahre BICSA) [Antisemitism in the Age of Corona], January 31, 2021, http://www.bicsa.org/allgemein/antisemitismus-im-zeitalter-von-corona-bicsa-working-paper-januar-2021-jubilaeum-10-jahre-bicsa/.

[28] https://londonantisemitism.com/conference-21st-century-antisemitism/.

[29] „KEY 01 – Opening Ceremony – World Health Summit 2021“, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJFKBritLlc. See the discussion about that video and Corona gene therapy in Clemens Heni (2021a): Corona-Panikorchester in großen Nöten: ARD-Faktenfinder – “Gentherapie” – Ivermectin – Spotify – Onchozerkose [Corona panic orchestra in great need: ARD fact finder – “gene therapy” – Ivermectin – Spotify – onchocerciasis], 02. Februar 2022, https://www.clemensheni.net/corona-panikorchester-in-grossen-noeten-ard-faktenfinder-gentherapie-ivermectin-spotify-onchozerkose/.

[30] Clemens Heni (2021b): Jenseits der Agitation im Tagesspiegel: Antisemitismus als einigendes Band? #allesdichtmachen, die CDU (Maaßen) und die “Schwarmintelligenz” der BASIS [Beyond the agitation in the daily Der Tagesspiegel: Is antisemitism common ground for critics of  Corona policies, like #allesdichtmachen, including remarks about Far Right politician Maaßen and the new party Die BASIS], 12. Mai 2021, https://www.clemensheni.net/jenseits-der-agitation-im-tagesspiegel-antisemitismus-als-einigendes-band-die-cdu-maassen/.

[31] Since 2021 we know that vaccinated people against SARS-CoV-2 are exactly as long and as intense contagious as not vaccinated people, as a major study of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US and the US Ministry of Justice have shown: “Transmission potential of vaccinated and unvaccinated persons infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in a federal prison, July—August 2021“, November 19, 2021, https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.11.12.21265796v1.full-text. Every single differentiation between vaccinated and not vaccinated people is an Apartheid rule and has to end immediately. Since 2021 most people who died with or from Covid-19 were vaccinated.

[32] „Schwerer Vorwurf an Horst Seehofer (CSU): Politische Vereinnahmung von Forscher:innen in Geheimdokument?“[“Serious accusation against Horst Seehofer (CSU): Political appropriation of researchers in a secret document?”], 09. Februar 2021, https://www.fr.de/wissen/schwerer-vorwurf-an-horst-seehofer-csu-politische-vereinnahmung-von-forscherinnen-in-geheimdokument-90197291.html; „Wie bekommen wir Corona in den Griff?“ Internes Papier aus Innenministerium empfahl, den Deutschen Corona-Angst zu machen“ [“How do we get Corona under control?” Internal paper from the Ministry of the Interior recommended making Germans afraid of Corona”], 11. April 2020, https://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/aus-dem-innenministerium-wie-sag-ichs-den-leuten-internes-papier-empfiehlt-den-deutschen-angst-zu-machen_id_11851227.html.

[33] „Lockdown policy ‘madness:’ Israeli scientist tells i24NEWS“, 31. Dezember 2020, https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/coronavirus/1609424065-lockdown-policy-madness-israeli-scientist-tells-i24news; Clemens Heni (2021c): Hope is in the air: the Israeli ‘Common Sense Model’ for Corona in context, 02. Januar 2021, The Times of Israel (Blogs), https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/hope-is-in-the-air-the-israeli-common-sense-model-for-corona-in-context/.

[34] Clemens Heni (2020): Yes, we can: Celebrate the End of Trump, November 8, 2020, The Times of Israel (Blogs), https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/yes-we-can-celebrate-the-end-of-trump/.

[35] https://fathomjournal.org/about-us/.

[36] https://fathomjournal.org/fathoming-the-intellectual-revolution-of-our-time-1-punch-a-terf-and-smash-the-zionists-misogyny-and-antisemitism-in-the-contemporary-western-left/.

[37] As early as May 2020, world leading epidemiologist Professor John P.A. Ioannidis from Stanford University in California, estimated the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) of Covid-19 at 0.23 per cent. His study was submitted on May 13, 2000, a revised version resubmitted on September 13, 2000 and the paper was then accepted on September 15, 2020. The study was published as a WHO Bulletin on October 14, 2020, John P.A. Ioannidis (2020): Infection fatality rate of COVID-19 inferred from seroprevalence data, https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/340124/PMC7947934.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y. Compare this to the IFR of the Influenza epidemic in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1969/70, which was at 0.29 per cent, see a study by co-workers at the now infamous Robert Koch-Institute (RKI) in Berlin, Udo Buchholz et al. (2016): Todesfälle durch Influenzapandemien in Deutschland 1918 bis 2009 [Deaths by Influenza pandemics in Germany 1918 through 2009]. Bundesgesundheitsblatt 59, pp. 523–536 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00103-016-2324-9. Not one of the useless and antidemocratic measures such as lockdowns, mask mandates, vaccination apartheid, isolation, quarantine, stop of international supply chains etc. were used and enforced in 1969/70. In August 2022, in Germany the Case Fatality Rate is 0.13 per cent, which is two to ten times higher than the epidemiologically important Infection Fatality Rate, as most people do not realize that they have Covid-19, do not see a doctor and have not really a serious problem with their cough, sniff or sore throat. The average age of death from (or with) Covid-19 from the beginning was 80+ years, it was even 82,5 years in 2021 in the UK, which is above life expectancy. A huge amount of official Covid deaths did not die because of the virus, but only with a positive test, while there were other reasons for the death, comorbidities for example.

[38] John Campbell (2022): Freedom of information discussion, January 20, 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UHvwWWcjYw; ONS Report (2022): COVID-19 deaths and autopsies Feb 2020 to Dec 2021, January 17, 2022, https://www.ons.gov.uk/aboutus/transparencyandgovernance/freedomofinformationfoi/covid19deathsandautopsiesfeb2020todec2021.  

[39] In Fathom she writes: „The admonition for Jews to reject Zionism, remain in Europe and fight for socialist revolution ended in horrific ‘special Jewish sorrows’. That the Marxist movement’s dogmatic universalism left a terrible legacy has never been acknowledged by subsequent generations of leftists—and has left a deep reservoir of unexamined guilt“ (emphasis by the author).

[40] In addition to articles and book chapters, historian Robert S. Wistrich (1945–2015) published the following books on the topic of the Left and antisemitism, including the relationship of universalism and particularism: Revolutionary Jews from Marx to Trotsky (1976); Trotsky: Fate of a Revolutionary (1979); Socialism and the Jews: The Dilemmas of Assimilation in Germany and Austria-Hungary (1982, on Marx and antisemitism ibid., pp. 25–26); From Ambivalence to Betrayal. The Left, the Jews and Israel (2012). See also Julius Carlebach (1978): Karl Marx and the Radical Critique of Judaism, London, Henley and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul; Edmund Silberner (1949): “Was Marx an Anti-Semite?,” Historica Judaica, 11 (April 1949); Robert Misrahi (1972): Marx et la question juive, Paris: Gallimard; for a discussion of Marx, antisemitism and the Left see in addition Clemens Heni (2013): Antisemitism: A Specific Phenomenon. Holocaust Trivialization – Islamism – Post-colonial and Cosmopolitan anti-Zionism, Berlin: Edition Critic, pp. 89–92, including a take on Marx and Bruno Bauer.

[41] Wolfgang Hildesheimer (1967): Denken auf eigene Gefahr. Ein Offener Brief an Peter Weiss über den Nahost-Konflikt [Think at your own risk. An open letter to Peter Weiss about the Middle East conflict], Die Zeit, July 28, 1967, http://www.zeit.de/1967/30/denken-auf-eigene-gefahr; Wolfgang Hildesheimer (1999): Briefe [Letters]. Herausgegeben von Silvia Hildesheimer und Dietmar Pleyer, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. On Hildesheimer’s criticism of Peter Weiss‘ Anti-Zionism see Clemens Heni (2018): Der Komplex Antisemitismus. Dumpf und gebildet, christlich, muslimisch, lechts, rinks, postkolonial, romantisch, patriotisch: deutsch [Complex antisemitism: dumb and educated, Christian, Muslim, left, right, post-colonial, romantic, patriotic: German], Berlin: Edition Critic, pp. 649–658. There I also quoted postcards that Adorno and Hildesheimer wrote to each other in August 1967, the first came from Adorno, where the critical theorist warmly thanked Hildesheimer for his criticism of Peter Weiss’s anti-Zionism in Die ZEIT, ibid., p. 654.

[42] Jean Améry (1976): Der neue Antisemitismus [The new antisemitism], Tribüne. Zeitschrift zum Verständnis des Judentums, Vol. 15., No. 59, pp. 7010–7014.

[43] Henryk M. Broder (1980): Danke schön. Bis hierher und nicht weiter [Thank you very much. Up to here and no further]. Mit Beiträgen von Detlef Hartmann, Ulrich Klug, Uwe Maeffert, Ulrich Vultejus, Hamburg: Konkret Literatur Verlag; Henryk M. Broder [1980]/(1982): Zur Demokratie angetreten – ein Volk macht Dienst nach Vorschrift [Stand still for democracy. A people embraces it’s call of duty], in: Lea Fleischmann (1982), Dies ist nicht mein Land. Eine Jüdin verläßt die Bundesrepublik. Mit einem Nachwort von Henryk M. Broder [This is not my country. A Jew leaves the Federal Republic. With an afterword by Henryk M. Broder] , 4. edition, Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe Verlag, pp. 251–272; Henryk M. Broder (1986): Der Ewige Antisemit. Über Sinn und Funktion eines beständigen Gefühls [The eternal antisemite. On the meaning and function of a constant feeling], Frankfurt am Main: Fischer.

[44] „We don’t like your love-song. Kritik des Antizionismus der Revolutionären Zellen – und anderer Linker heute“, January 2001, a scan of the brochure can be found here: https://clemensheni.net/wp-content/uploads/We-don-t-like-your-love-song-linker-Antisemitismus.pdf.

[45] Anthony Julius (2010): Trials of the Diaspora. A History of Antisemitism in England, Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.

[46] Clemens Heni (2007): Salonfähigkeit der Neuen Rechten. ‚Nationale Identität‘, Antisemitismus und Antiamerikanismus in der politischen Kultur der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1970–2005: Henning Eichberg als Exempel [Welcoming the New Right into the Salon. ‚National Identity‘, antisemitism and anti-Americanism in the political culture of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1970–2005: Henning Eichberg as an example], Marburg: Tectum, pp. 87–88. [doctoral dissertation, University of Innsbruck, Austria, July 2006].

[47] Hauke Brunkhorst (1987): Der Intellektuelle im Land der Mandarine, Frankfurt a. M. (Suhrkamp; edition suhrkamp)[Intellectuals in the Land of the Mandarin]. Meanwhile, Brunkhorst has mutated into an irrational ZeroCovid-Professor, he supports the fanatic ZeroCovid movement: Clemens Heni (2021d): Das Untier wird politisch – “zwei Epidemien”: “Corona und Coronarr”. Ulrich Horstmann attackiert den Coronawahnsinn [The beast becomes political – “two epidemics”: “Corona and Corona maniac”. Ulrich Horstmann attacks the Corona madness], 23. Juli 2021, https://www.clemensheni.net/das-untier-wird-politisch-zwei-epidemien-corona-und-coronarr-ulrich-horstmann-attackiert-den-coronawahnsinn/.

[48] Brunkhorst 1987, p. 2.

[49] Ibid., p. 77.

[50] Ibid., p. 10.

[51] Milosz Matuschek (2019): Voltaires Erben 2.0 oder Warum das Intellectual Dark Web so sehr fasziniert. Intellektuelle Nonkonformisten um Dave Rubin und Joe Rogan haben eine alte Tugend neu entdeckt: Endlosgespräche mit furchtlosen Zeitgenossen über kontroverse Themen, Thesen und Trends zu führen. Live und ungeschnitten, also unverfälscht. Das neue Format kommt an [Voltaire’s Legacy 2.0 or why the Intellectual Dark Web is so fascinating. Intellectual non-conformists around Dave Rubin and Joe Rogan have rediscovered an old virtue: having endless conversations with fearless contemporaries about controversial topics, theses and trends. Live and uncut, so unadulterated. The new format is cool], NZZ, 16.52019, https://www.nzz.ch/feuilleton/intellectual-dark-web-wieso-voltaires-erben-faszinieren-ld.1481641. The openness towards the New Right or left-wing conspiracy myths is typical of an appeal by Matuschek and his colleague, the YouTuber (WHAT a word and what a business model) Gunnar Kaiser, “Appeal for free debate spaces”, to which dozens of people then signed, which often appear in the mainstream media, on television or radio and at events, among the first signatories are also conspiracy ideologues on 9/11 such as Mathias Bröckers, https://idw-europe.org/; https://idw-europe.org/liste-der-unterzeichner/. For criticism of Bröckers see Ivo Bozic (2011): Mossad, wer sonst? Verschwörungstheorien zu den Anschlägen finden immer größeren Zulauf. Je absurder, desto beliebter [Mossad, who else? Conspiracy theories about the attacks are becoming increasingly popular. The more absurd, the more popular], 05. September 2011, Jüdische Allgemeine, https://www.juedische-allgemeine.de/politik/der-mossad-wer-sonst/:

“The conspiracy theorists are not only dependent on obscure esoteric publishers, such as Kopp-Verlag, which is particularly ambitious on the subject of September 11th, they also publish their books in well-known houses such as Piper, Westend and Knaur. And they always make it onto the bestseller lists, also because the book by Mathias Bröckers is hyped up in the German arts pages and by television magazines such as ‘Titel, Thesen, Temperamente’ (ARD). Conspiracy theories about 9/11 are not only a phenomenon of left and right enemies of America and antisemites, but have firmly established themselves in the middle of society. They are all the more dangerous.”

[52] See also interesting information about Quillette here: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Quillette. The German Mainstream online cultural magazine „Perlentaucher“ (Pearl diver) obviously finds the New Right style agitation of Quillette rather thrilling, and the magazine reported several times enthusiastically about Quillette and quoted the New Right platform, https://www.perlentaucher.de/9punkt/2018-11-13.html?highlight=Quillette#a69378, like on November 13, 2018: „Ideas. Amelia Lester tells politico.com what the ‘Intellectual Dark Web’ (IDW) is all about, a loose association of intellectuals and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who oppose left-wing identity politics and claim values to advocate for enlightenment. Her favorite magazine is Quillette (from which The Pearl Diver has quoted several times), run by editor Claire Lehmann: This magazine ‘has at times received a massive repercussion on social media. Its authors have been thrown at everything from ‘clown’ to ‘crypto-fascist’. But fans of the site include pop psychologist Jordan Peterson, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, Harvard psychology professors Steven Pinker and New York University’s Jonathan Haidt, and columnists such as David Brooks, Meghan Daum and Andrew Sullivan.“

[53] Eoin Lenihan (2019): It’s Not Your Imagination: The Journalists Writing About Antifa Are Often Their Cheerleaders, May 29, 2019, https://web.archive.org/web/20190529172934/https://quillette.com/2019/05/29/its-not-your-imagination-the-journalists-writing-about-antifa-are-often-their-cheerleaders/. Lenihan posted a video about an anti-Corona policy rally in the city of Ulm in the south-west of Germany in February 2022 on YouTube – „Spaziergang/Demonstration Ulm”, Germany – 25.2.22“, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZopHQQXuKqs; as long as this scene does not distance itself from right-wing extremists or the New Right of any kind, something like this happens again and again, although of course people can always be present at a public demonstration or rally who, if they are not exactly as well-known as Jürgen Elsässer from the right-wing extremist Compact Magazine or convicted Holocaust denier Horst Mahler etc., run along unnoticed and then take over the action for themselves.

[54] „The day after it was published, the article made its way to notorious white supremacist forum Stormfront, and I soon found out what was meant by ‘further study.’ A few weeks after Lenihan had his big day out at Quillette, I got a message from a friend warning me about a weird video that had just popped up on YouTube. As the Columbia Journalism Review describes, the video showed ‘imagery of mass shooters intercut with images of the reporters mentioned by Lenihan under the heading ‘Sunset the Media.’ ’ My face was there, next to those of a dozen other writers, activists, and friends”, Kim Kelly (2019): Quillette’s “Antifa Journalists” List Could’ve Gotten Me Killed. What a harassment campaign reveals about a darling journal of the intellectual dark web, June 14, 2019, https://newrepublic.com/article/154205/quillettes-antifa-journalists-list-couldve-gotten-killed; Jared Holt (2019: Right-wing publications launder an anti-journalist smear campaign, June 12, 2019, https://www.cjr.org/analysis/quillette-antifa-journalist-smear-campaign.php. A supposedly equidistantly but de facto supportive article by Cathy Young about the New Right, Quillette and Lenihan’s baiting, Cathy Young (2019): Antifa, Quillette, and Media Bias. Who got smeared?, July 3, 2019, https://medium.com/arc-digital/antifa-quillette-and-media-bias-a6fa7652d38a shows the embarrassing journalism of our time. A week later Young had to admit that she had played down the right-wing role of Lenihan, but her focus was on the „extremism of Antifa“.

[55] I wrote a book about the pro-Israel stance of the original Marxist Critical Theory, Max Horkheimer, Theodor W. Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Leo Löwenthal, and the anti-Zionist Erich Fromm, including chapters on Judith Butler’s anti-Zionism, Clemens Heni (2014): Kritische Theorie und Israel. Max Horkheimer und Judith Butler im Kontext von Judentum, Binationalismus und Zionismus [Critical Theory and Israel. Max Horkheimer, Judith Butler, Jewry, Bi-Nationalism and Zionism], Berlin: Edition Critic.

[56] For a scientific analysis and criticism of Rowling and the current transphobic discourse among left and liberal feminists, see a master’s thesis at the FU Berlin in sociology from December 2021: Braedyn Ezra Simon (2021): IT ISN’T HATE TO SPEAK THE TRUTH”: ANTI-TRANS (GENDER) POLITICS IN THE UK AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GENDER CRITICAL FEMINIST MOVEMENT. A critical look into the colonial remnants of gender discourse, December 2, 2021, https://refubium.fu-berlin.de/handle/fub188/32780.

[57] Alan Finlayson (2021): Neoliberalism, the Alt-Right and the Intellectual Dark Web, Theory Culture Society, Special Issue „Post-Neoliberalism?“, pp. 1–24, here p. 11.

[58] Clemens Heni (2020a): Die geistigen Brüder des Neonazis in Hanau: AfD, Merkelhasser, Don Alphonsos Agitation gegen „Kulturmarxismus“ [The spiritual brothers of neo-Nazis in Hanau: AfD, Merkel haters, Don Alphonso’s agitation against “cultural Marxism”], 20. Februar 2020, https://www.clemensheni.net/die-geistigen-brueder-des-neonazis-in-hanau-afd-merkelhasser-don-alphonsos-agitation-gegen-kulturmarxismus/.

[59] Finlayson 2021, p. 12.

[60] WHO (2022): „Global excess deaths associated with COVID-19 (modelled estimates)“, May 5, 2022 (Update), https://www.who.int/data/sets/global-excess-deaths-associated-with-covid-19-modelled-estimates.

[61] Imogen Richards/Callum Jones (2022): Quillette, Classical Liberalism, and the International New Right, in: A. James McAdams/Alejandro Castrillon (Hg.), Contemporary Far-Right Thinkers and the Future of Liberal Democracy, London/New York: Routledge, pp. 121–148, here p. 145. In the text, the two authors characterize Nietzsche in a typically vulgar Marxist tradition and contrary to empiricism as anti-enlightenment and right-wing. In fact, Nietzsche was an anti-German and friend of the Jews. Imogen Richards has also written a scientifically questionable text on neoliberalism and the Corona pandemic that is just as little empirical as his false characterization of Nietzsche, where he factually misrepresents Sweden and speaks badly about the rational response in that Scandinavian country, Imogen Richards (2022a): Neoliberalism, COVID-19 and conspiracy: pandemic management strategies and the far-right social turn, Justice, Power and Resistance • vol 5 • no 1-2 • pp. 109–126, here p. 114. The fact that Sweden has less than half as much excess mortality as Germany, a heartland of the ZeroCovid madness, precisely because of its more liberal, epidemiologically more sensible policy, is of course not mentioned in this text.

[62] Murtaza Hussain (2018): The Far Right Is Obsessed with a Book About Muslims Destroying Europe. Here’s What It Gets Wrong. Rather than declaring the continent “dead,” it might be worth considering that every generation faces unique challenges, 25. Dezember 2018, https://theintercept.com/2018/12/25/strange-death-of-europe-douglas-murray-review/.

[63] https://mobile.twitter.com/renegade_kathy.

[64] Clemens Heni (2017): Jews should stop supporting the Alt-Right and the enemies of the Jewish people, The Times of Israel (Blogs), November 18, 2017, https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/jews-should-stop-supporting-the-alt-right-and-the-enemies-of-the-jewish-people/; Clemens Heni (2018): Kenneth L. Marcus’ Oxymoron: Trump and Civil Rights, March 12, 2018, The Times of Israel (Blogs), https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/kenneth-l-marcus-oxymoron-trump-and-civil-rights/; Clemens Heni (2019): Why is Germany’s Best Known Jewish Journalist Giving Speeches to Its Holocaust-Downplaying, Far-Right Party? February 4, 2019, Tablet Magazine, https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/jewish-journalist-defending-german-far-right. Clemens Heni (2019a): “Please give me some latkes before you kill me”: Jews and neo-Nazis in Germany, February 11, 2019, https://www.clemensheni.net/please-give-me-some-latkes-before-you-kill-me-jews-and-neo-nazis-in-germany/: “Our climate is in trouble. Both the climate and climate change as well as the political climate, the political cultures of our societies. My piece about journalist Henryk M. Broder on Tablet Magazine on Monday, February 4, has created some noise among the Far Right. That is no surprise and indicates the importance of the article.“

[65] Gad Granach (1997)/19985: Heimat los ! Aus dem Leben eines jüdischen Emigranten. [Without homeland. The life of a Jewish emigrant], recorded by Hilde Recher, Augsburg: Ölbaum Verlag, pp. 147–149.

[66] In times of the Corona pandemic and the pandemic turn, the Antifa movement in Germany has proven to be particularly aggressive, irrational and totalitarian – slogans like “we vaccinate you all” testify to their willingness to use violence. Whether the Antifa movement acted similarly irrationally internationally, in Australia, the US, UK, France etc. would be worth a closer examination; Clemens Heni (2021e): “Wir impfen euch alle!” – Berliner Antifa zeigt ihr wahres Gesicht – ECHTE Antifas sind entsetzt [“We vaccinate you all!” – Berlin Antifa shows their true colors – real Antifa people are appalled], March 14, 2021, https://www.clemensheni.net/wir-impfen-euch-alle-berliner-antifa-zeigt-ihr-wahres-gesicht-echte-antifas-sind-entsetzt/.


Haaretz embraces Trump, Arendt and the one-state solution

Von Dr. phil. Clemens heni, 17. Februar 2017

Times of Israel (Blogs)

In an article in Haaretz, February 16, 2017, Chemi Shalev invokes Hannah Arendt and her bestselling study “Origins of Totalitarianism.” Arendt introduced the highly problematic concept of “totalitarianism” in 1951, an extremely unhelpful concept, today dedicated to equate left and right, Nazis and Communists. Shalev shares her equation of right and left:

“To create the ‘artificially fabricated insanity’ on which they depend, the Nazis produced hatred of Jews, and the Communists enemies of the people, creating common ground for isolated individuals and giving them a new, unifying ‘self-definition.’”

As all know in Israel, Arendt was among the worst commentators on the Eichmann trial. In Germany, this is among the reasons, people like her so much, by the way.

Most importantly for us today is Arendt’s obsessive anti-Zionism as early as in the mid-1940s. Her article “Zionism reconsidered” from 1945 was a blast to the political Zionist movement, just months after the Shoah ended.

Among the worst things, a scholar can do, is comparing her to Critical Theory, Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse etc. (I never understood why my colleague Lars Rensmann, also a political scientist, embraces the analogy or relationship of Arendt and Critical Theory, although we know that both detested each other, Critical Theory Arendt and Arendt Critical Theory, for many reasons. However, it is highly fashionable topic in academia, to be sure, regardless if it is relevant or not.)

Critical Theory was Marxist and pro-Israel, despite the difficulties Horkheimer had with the Jewish STATE.

Arendt, though, was against political Zionism, she favored a “binational” solution. Like Trump!

Trump just said two days ago at the press conference with Netanyahu in the White House, he is fine with a ” two-state solution OR a one-state solution.”

Shockingly, Haaretz’s Chemi Shalev is in favor of Arendt as a forerunner of Trump in that respect — while using Arendt as a critic of Trump’s mob-elite relationship:

Trump’s most ludicrous moment of the evening, of course, came when he uttered his “one state, two state, whatever” formula, which sounded like a ham-handed effort to fulfill a request from the Prime Minister’s Office not to complicate Netanyahu’s life with his coalition back home. One can understand Trump, for whom words are not cardinal and who can simply deny he ever said them or accuse the media of distorting them, even though they were broadcast on live TV. The rest of the world however, has no choice but to take Trump’s statements seriously, irresponsible as they were because he is, unbelievable as it remains, the president of the United States.

The irony is that talk of a one-state solution can also take one back to Arendt, whose early Zionism developed into ambivalence in her later years. Arendt supported a Jewish “homeland” in Palestine and was a great admirer of the social and cultural achievements of the pre-State Yishuv, which she saw as redesigning the modern Jew. But she also supported a one-state solution, as it is defined today, that is a binational Jewish-Arab state along the lines advocated by philosopher Martin Buber and Hebrew University president Judah Magnes, and who knows, because he really doesn’t care, Donald Trump as well.

Arendt would have been fine with that! Just re-read her “Zionism reconsidered” from 1945. Kurt Blumenfeld was furious about it, like his friend Gershom Scholem. Scholem once was a binational Zionist from the Brith Shalom group in the 1920s and early 1930s, but around 1936 Scholem had become a political Zionist, fighting on the rooftops of Jerusalem with a rifle in his hands, against the Arabs and Muslims who rejected Jews to have their own state.

Arendt never understood that shift of Scholem from cultural Zionism and binationalism to political Zionism.

On January 16, 1946, Scholem visited Kurt Blumenfeld at his home in Jerusalem. He gave him a copy of the Menorah Journal from fall 1945, with Arendt’s “Zionism Reconsidered” in it. Blumenfeld, one must know, was born in 1884 and more than 20 years older than Arendt (born 1906) and what we would call today a “cool” and vibrant person in Weimar Republic’s 1920s Zionist and Jewish circles. It was Blumenfeld, who motivated Arendt to deal with antisemitism and with Zionism in the first place, and he made Arendt familiar with cigars etc. Philosopher Hans Jonas wanted Arendt to join him for a talk Blumenfeld gave in Heidelberg in 1926, and at that event, Arendt met Blumenfeld for the first time.

The following day, January 17, 1946, Blumenfeld wrote a letter to his old friend Felix Rosenblüth, who became Israel’s first Minister of Justice (he gave himself a Hebrew name, of course, Pinhas Rosen). Blumenfeld was shocked about the tone of Arendt. Her “journalist superficiality” was not news to him, but still remarkable. Her anti-Zionism combined with her arrogance and disrespectful tone towards Zionists, battling for a Jewish state, was too much for Blumenfeld.[i] He broke with Arendt (but become affiliated with her again, just to get in trouble with her after Arendt’s publication on the Eichmann trial).

I dealt with Arendt and her political father, Kurt Blumenfeld, and the way Blumenfeld criticized her in 1946 in my book about “Critical Theory and Israel” (in German), as well as the pro-Israel stance of Critical Theorists Max Horkheimer, Theodor W. Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Leo Löwenthal. Erich Fromm, though, also an early member of the Horkheimer circle of Critical Theorists in the 1930s, became an ardent anti-Zionist.

It is a truly bad idea to invoke Arendt and to promote Trump’s indifference towards Israel as a Jewish state – and his flirt, with a binational, non-Jewish state, the one-state solution. It is shocking that an American President publicly mentions the option of a “one-state solution.” That is anti-Zionism, whether from the left, who embraces the end of the Jewish state, or the right, who wants a one-state with no rights for the new Palestinian citizens.

The extreme right and the extreme left with join Chemi Shalev in his obsession with Arendt (Judith Butler is a long-time fan of Arendt, as is her friend Seyla Benhabib, I deal with that in my study on Critical Theory and Israel).

The one-state solution is anti-Zionist. As shown, even close allies of Arendt like her political father Kurt Blumenfeld, were shocked about her tone and anti-Zionist ideology in 1945/46.

Trump is a huge threat to Jews in America and to Israel. He made a soft-core denial of the Shoah on January 27, 2017, he rejects questions about rising antisemitic attacks on synagogues in America, he employs neo-Nazi allies such as Steve Bannon, and he invoked conspiracy myths every single day, and repeats lies, lies, lies.

To embrace Trumps one-state flirt and to compare him to Arendt is not an “irony,” as Haaretz’ Chemi Shalev believes. It is anti-Zionist ideology.

What we need is criticism of racism in Israel, of the religious fanatics, the settler movement, and the possibility of an annexation of the Westbank. That would result in the end of the Zionist dream and the Jewish state.

Israel is a Jewish and democratic state. Trump will never learn that lesson, Arendt never tried to really learn it.

[i] The letter from Kurt Blumenfeld to Felix Rosenblüth from January 17, 1946, reads like follows: „Gestern abend war Gerhard Scholem bei mir mit der Herbstnummer des Menorah Journal. Bei dieser Gelegenheit lernte ich Hannahs Artikel ‚Zionism Recon­sid­er­ed‘ kennen. Da ich leicht dazu neige, in meiner Kritik über das Ziel zu schießen, wartete ich Scholems Meinung ab. Sie war noch schärfer und gering­schätziger. (…) Ich be­daure meinen Brief an Hannah.[i] Nicht etwa, weil dieser Artikel ein unerträgliches Misch­masch einer in diesen Dingen Halbgebildeten ist, sondern weil sich dort Charakter­züge enthüllen, die mich schon einmal veranlaßt haben, meine Beziehungen zu Hannah abzubrechen. Dieses Mal kommt alles noch deutlicher und unschöner zum Ausdruck. Daß sie uns Sektierer nennt, ist mir unwichtig. Die Ignoranz in zionist­ischen Dingen (wobei ich nicht nur an die Bemerkung über ‚General Zionists‘ denke, die einem ernsten Forscher nicht passieren dürfen), überrascht mich auch nicht, da ich Hannahs journalistische Oberflächlichkeit und Voreiligkeit zur Genüge kenne. Furchtbar ist die Minderwertigkeit, die sich in ihren menschlichen Bewertungen manifestiert. Ein völlig unbeteiligter, herzloser Mensch, der über eine Chuzpe verfügt, zu der er nicht das geringste Recht hat, schreibt hier über unter schwersten Bedingungen sich entwickelndes Leben, über das sie sich durch Hörensagen verschnörkelte Begriffe gebildet hat. (…) Der Artikel im Menorah Journal enthüllt für mich sehr stark eine psychopathische Seite in Hannahs Wesen. Es ist ein bis zum Aberwitz übersteigertes Ressentiment zu fühlen; die sonderbare, mit Heftigkeit geführte Kontroverse, ob Judenhaß dauern oder verschwinden wird, ist dafür besonders bezeichnend. Für Hannahs menschliche Situation, nicht nur für ihre politische, ist es notwendig, das Verschwinden des Antisemitismus zu prognostizieren. Im zionistischen Bewußtsein Palästinas spielt übrigens der Judenhaß im Galuth keine entscheidende Rolle. (…) Ich würde sogar Hannahs Antizionismus noch mit Gelassenheit hinnehmen, wenn ich über die Gehässigkeit und Gemeinheit der Darstellung hinwegkommen könnte. Ich kann es nicht.“ (Kurt Blumenfeld (1976): Im Kampf um den Zionismus. Briefe aus fünf Jahrzehnten. Herausgegeben von Miriam Sambursky und Jochanan Ginat, Stutt­gart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 197–98).


How Does Modern-day Germany deal with Antisemitism? Lecture by Dr. Clemens Heni, WJC, Jerusalem

Lecture by Dr. Clemens Heni, Director, The Berlin International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (BICSA, www.bicsa.org) at the World Jewish Congress Institute for Research and Policy, Jerusalem, 9a Diskin Street, Monday, May 27, 2013, 4 pm (with special thanks to Dr. Laurence Weinbaum, chief editor of the Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, who organized the event, who was a great host and who is a wonderful ally!)

CAM00414On Facebook, the World Jewish Congress wrote: “On May 27, 2013, the WJC Institute for Research and Policy hosted a talk at the offices of the Institute given by Dr. Clemens Heni, director of The Berlin International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (BICSA). Dr. Heni spoke on “How Does Modern-Day Germany Deal with Antisemitism?” He described the three main categories of antisemitism and how those are manifested in modern-day Germany. He stressed the widespread antisemitism in the guise of anti-Zionism that flourishes in German academia and political life. A spirited Q&A session followed his talk, in which Judge Gabriel Bach, a prosecutor at the Eichmann Trial and a native of Germany, took an active part. Institute member Dr. Nir Boms, a fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Dayan Center, moderated the event.”


Der World Jewish Congress und sein Institute for Research and Policy luden mich ein, am 27. Mai 2013 einen Vortrag über das heutige Deutschland und sein Verhältnis zum Antisemitismus zu halten. Unter anderem waren mehrere ehemalige Botschafter Israels anwesend. Es war eine besondere Ehre und Freude, dass sich der Staatsanwalt und stellvertretende Ankläger gegen Adolf Eichmann, Gabriel Bach (Jg. 1927), für meinen Vortrag interessierte und aktiv an der anschließenden Diskussion teilnahm. Unten stehend ist das hand-out, das ich verteilte. Der Vortrag selbst war länger und ausführlicher (13 Seiten mit 97 Fußnoten) als das Paper, das nur einige zentrale Aspekte aufführt. Vom Vortragsort in der Diskin Street hat man übrigens einen wundervollen Blick über Jerusalem und sieht vis-à-vis das israelische Parlament, die Knesset.


View from WJC Jerusalem to the Knesset

Gabriel Bach and Clemens Heni, Jerusalem, May 27, 2013, World Jewish Congress

How does Modern-Day Germany deal with Antisemitism?


What is Antisemitism and what categories of antisemitism can be analyzed?


Antisemitism in the 21st century is hatred of Jews, hatred of the Jewish state of Israel, and the distortion of the Holocaust.


There are mainly three categories of antisemitism:


1)      Old-style anti-Judaism and antisemitism up until 1945, which still exists today

2)      Antisemitism after the Holocaust, including Holocaust distortion or “secondary antisemitism” which is closely related to the

3)      Anti-Zionism and hatred of Israel since 1948


Category 1) Old-style anti-Judaism and antisemitism up until 1945, which is still existent today


1)                  Anti-circumcision since antiquity; anti-shechting and other anti-Judaism resentments

2)                  Jews as Christ-killer

3)                  Anti-Ahasver, the “eternal Jew” (in Germany in particular, framed Der Ewige Jude as early as 1694)

4)                  Blood Libel, Jews accused of killing innocent non-Jewish (mostly Christian and since 1840 (Damascus Blood Libel) Muslim children)

5)                  Anti-Mammonism, Jews accused of being behind capitalism and money (examples are Karl Marx 1844 or leftists in winter 2003 dancing in Davos at the World Economic Forum around a golden calf and combining anti-Americanism and antisemitism.)

6)                  Conspiracy Myths, in particular the most horrible conspiracy fraud ever, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion from the early 20th century (a Russian forgery), today disseminated throughout the Muslim and Arab worlds, and among neo-Nazis, and others. Jews being behind the “Black Death” in the Middle Ages in Europe is another conspiracy myth, for example. The same holds for talks about an “Israel lobby” controlling the US, among many other conspiracy driven myths. Jews being behind modernity and liberalism, sexual politics, the emergence of big cities and the destruction of traditions, and Jews being behind Socialism and Communism, or the French and Russian Revolutions fit conspiracy myths, too.

Me and moderator Dr. Nir Boms, World Jewish Congress, May 27, 2013, Jerusalem. You see the four books on antisemitism, Germany, the New Right, Islamic Studies and antisemitism after 9/11, I’ve written since 2002, when I was a doctoral candidate and when I first spoke at an international conference in Jerusalem at the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (SICSA), Hebrew University


Category 2) Antisemitism after the Holocaust, including Holocaust distortion or “secondary antisemitism” (Antisemitism after and because of Auschwitz)


7)                  Projecting German guilt onto modernity like equating of the Holocaust with “motorized agriculture” (Martin Heidegger, 1949); bomb war against Germany framed as “bombing Holocaust” and related terms (the latter is promoted, for example, by leading boulevard daily BILD-Zeitung and its author Jörg Friedrich, who used the term “crematoria” for the city of Dresden); projecting German guilt onto the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe like Czechoslovakia, when Germans are portrayed as victims of a “Holocaust of expulsion.”

8)                  Using the term Holocaust for all kind of things, therefore universalizing the Shoah: terms like “biological Holocaust,” “atomic” or “nuclear Holocaust,” “high-tech Holocaust,” “for the animals it is like Treblinka,” “Golden Holocaust,” when talking about the tobacco industry, or “Holocaust of abortion” are examples.

9)                  Denial of the Uniqueness of the Shoah. Some post-colonialists and post-Orientalists, for example, talk about “Kaiser’s Holocaust” or talk about “From Windhuk to Auschwitz” (historian Jürgen Zimmerer, Hamburg University) and frame the mass murder of natives in German South-West Africa (today: Namibia) as a Holocaust. Others compare colonialism, imperialism or slavery with the Shoah and confuse exploitation with destruction.

10)               Red equals brown, the Prague Declaration (June 2008) and the rewriting of the Second World War have become major tropes in contemporary historiography.

11)               Talking about “Islamophobia” and comparing racist attacks against immigrants, including Muslims, in Germany and elsewhere, to genocidal antisemitism.

12)               Holocaust denial by neo-Nazis, Islamists, and others.


Category 3) Anti-Zionism and hatred of Israel


13)               Jewish anti-Zionism prior to the establishment of Israel (e.g. Martin Buber, Hannah Arendt)

14)               Soviet-style anti-Zionism after 1948

15)               Arab anti-Zionism (rejection of UN division plan 1947)

16)               Islamist anti-Zionism

17)               Liberal and left-wing anti-Zionism after 1967 in the West

18)               Right-wing anti-Zionism immediately after 1945 and even before, Nazi antisemitism was also anti-Zionist

19)               Mainstream European anti-Zionism in several countries who see Israel as a “threat to world peace,” particularly since the year 2000 and after 9/11

20)               Particularly since the Second Intifada in 2000, anti-Zionism and Islamism increased dramatically via electronic media and the Internet (take, as examples, anti-Israel pages online, including the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement, leading Islamist Yusuf al-Qaradawi and his online activities)


Germany and Category 1) Old-style anti-Judaism and antisemitism:

Anti-circumcision court ruling in Cologne May 2012; supportive of the anti-circumcision climate in Germany: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, small and tiny pro-Israel left-winger (jungle world, Bahamas), “evolutionary humanists” (=aggressive atheists) of the Giordano Bruno Foundation; particularly the extreme right-wing Politically Incorrect (blog), and the tiny party Die Freiheit (Michael Stürzenberger)


Germany and Category 2) Holocaust Distortion and secondary Antisemitism:

Award in Germany in 2012 for historian Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands › Holocaust distortion, implicitly following Ernst Nolte, denial of unprecedented character of the Shoah; equating of Hitler and Stalin; pro-Snyder: Christoph Dieckmann, Michael Wildt, Jörg Baberowski; contra-Snyder: Dan Diner, Dan Michmann, Dovid Katz, Robert Rozett, Efraim Zuroff, Jürgen Zarusky, Richard Evans, for example


Prague Declaration (2008): red equals brown (promoted by Lithuania and other East European countries and individuals), rewriting of textbooks; support by newly elected (2012) German President Joachim Gauck

Dr. Clemens Heni, World Jewish Congress, May 27, 2013

Germany and Category 3: Anti-Zionism and hatred of Israel:


Journalist Jakob Augstein (Der Freitag, Spiegel Online) supports Günter Grass’ anti-Zionism


Awards in Germany in 2012 for anti-Israel philosopher and gender studies celebrity Judith Butler (BDS, Israel Apartheid Week Toronto 2012) and anti-nation-state, Kantian political scientist Seyla Benhabib (“Israel committed possible crimes against humanity” in the Gaza war 2008/2009)


Scholar in political psychology Wolfgang Kempf says: comparing Israel to Nazis might urge Jews not to “lose their high moral standard”; in his view, suicide bombing against Jews in Israel is “not necessarily antisemitic” if not followed by the denial of Israel’s right to exist


Leading German expert on antisemitism, Wolfgang Benz (former head, Center for Research on Antisemitism (ZfA), Technical University Berlin): charming interview with leading Islamist, pro-Iranian, antisemitic and anti-Israel homepage Muslim-Markt, November 2010; equation of antisemitism and Islamophobia (Dec. 2008); equation of critics of antisemitism and Islamism with “preachers of hate” (Jan. 2010);


Center for Research on Antisemitism (ZfA) and its head Stefanie Schüler-Springorum (newcomer in the field) appointed Islamic Studies scholar Achim Rohde (2012); pro-pan-Arabism Rohde is a follower of antisemite Jacqueline Rose and of anti-Zionist Edward Said; Rohde is explicitly supposed to work with Said’s concept of Orientalism in relation to Islamophobia and antisemitism. The ZfA focuses on research on antisemitism seen as “research on minorities.” International research on antisemitism, though, has shown that antisemitism has close to nothing to do with the existence of Jews in a country or region (take post-Holocaust European antisemitism, Saudi-Arabian or Qatari antisemitism as examples)


Leading German Islamic Studies scholar Gudrun Krämer (Free University Berlin) promotes Yusuf al-Qaradawi as a “moderate.” Her former students are Rohde as well as Bettina Gräf, who embraced al-Qaradawi in her edited book Global Mufti. In Global Mufti al-Qaradawi is portrayed, for example, as a moderate because he allows females to commit suicide bombing against Jews without the allowance of their fathers or husbands, and even unveiled. That’s feminism, Islamist-style …



Center for Research on Antisemitism (ZfA) in Germany appointed anti-Israel activist

Islamic Studies scholar Achim Rohde
promotes Edward Said and
anti-Zionist antisemitism


By Dr. Clemens Heni, The Berlin International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (BICSA), August 1, 2012 (another version of this article was published July 31, 2012, with algemeiner.com in New York City)


The Center for Research on Antisemitism (ZfA) at the Berlin Technical University in April 2012 appointed as a co-worker an outspoken supporter of antisemite Edward Said: Achim Rohde. A scholar in Islamic Studies, Rohde was hired because he conducts research to evaluate the similarities of “antisemitism” and “Orientalism” “in the sense of Edward Said,” as the ZfA newsletter of May 2012 declares. In addition, he will be working on the ZfA’s big project on “Islamophobia in European societies.”[1] “Islamophobia” as a research project of a Center for Research on Antisemitism? This is unscholarly in nature and politically scandalous.

The appointment of Achim Rohde is shocking for scholars on antisemitism, though a big coup for enemies of the Jewish state of Israel. Responsible for this is newly appointed head of the ZfA, historian Stefanie Schüler-Springorum. Hired in June 2011, she is a newcomer to scholarship on antisemitism. She has not published a single book on that topic – nor has Rohde.

Edward Said becomes even more mainstream
in German academia

Edward Said (1935–2003) was the leading academic anti-Zionist voice in the last decades, achieving global fame. He portrayed Arabs as the ‘new Jews’ as early as 1969.[2] He equated Israel with South-African apartheid in 1979[3] and portrayed Israel as the leading Orientalist, imperialist and racist power in his bestselling book Orientalism in 1978.[4] The chapter on Israel is the last and longest chapter in this anti-Western and antisemitic book. In an interview in 1987 Said said that Israelis had not learned the lessons from their own suffering under Nazi Germany. In his view Jews have become perpetrators now in the same way Germans or Nazis were perpetrators against the Jews.[5] In 1999 Said said that, if he could choose, he would opt for a kind of renewed Ottoman Empire. Jews could become an accepted minority, but Israel would be destroyed.[6]

Now, in 2012, Edward Said is mainstream[7] at the only German University based research center on antisemitism. They are promoting antisemitism instead of analyzing it.

Achim Rohde and the equation of antisemitism
and Orientalism

Rohde was published in 2010 by then head of the ZfA, controversial historian Wolfgang Benz.[8] Rohde promotes the fantasy that Muslims and Arabs had been victims of Germany since the 19th century, if not long before. He follows the ideology of “the Orient within.” This means: while Orientalists aim at Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East, they aim at Jews in Europe. Jews are victims of Orientalism within the homeland of the empire, Europe, so to speak, while Arabs and Muslims are victims abroad, in the Middle East and in the fantasies of artists, authors, writers, politicians, intellectuals, the public, art historians, painters etc. etc.

This equation of antisemitism and Orientalism is a denial of antisemitism, which is based on conspiracy theories, blood libels, anti-liberalism, anti-capitalism, anti-communism, anti-Westernism and many other aspects of that “longest hatred,” a term of historian Robert S. Wistrich.[9] The “lethal obsession” (Wistrich)[10] of antisemitism cannot be compared or equated with supposedly or real Orientalism and allegedly or really problematic views vis-à-vis the Arabs and Muslims. Particularly after 9/11 it has become fashionable and useful to ignore Islamism and Muslim antisemitism and to talk about Arabs, Muslims and Jews as victims of Orientalism. Anti-Zionist antisemitism is a core element of this post-Orientalist ideology, as I have shown in the work of Edward Said.


Rohde and many colleagues, who are obsessed with post-colonial ideology and Edward Said, ignore or deny the close friendship of German Emperor Wilhelm II, who traveled to the Ottoman Empire in 1898 and portrayed himself as friend of the Muslims. German Islamists remember this German-Muslim friendship until today.[11] In 1914, during the First World War, Wilhelm II initiated the Jihad of the Ottoman Empire, as Middle East Studies scholar and historian Wolfgang G. Schwanitz has shown.[12] Subsequently, the Arab Muslim Brotherhood developed close ties with the Nazis even before the Holocaust. During the Shoah, the Arab and Muslim leader at the time, Haj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, collaborated with Hitler and the Germans. Nazi Germany was pro-Arab and pro-Muslim, and anti-Jewish.[13] Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal documented the close relationship of the Grandmufti of Jerusalem, al-Husseini, and the Axis (Nazi Germany and fascist Italy) in 1947.[14]


Nazi scholar Hans Lindemann published a work about Islam in 1941, urging the Germans to see the similarities of the Muslim world and National Socialism.[15] A leading Nazi agitator, Johann von Leers, was happy about Islamism and converted to Islam after the defeat of Nazi Germany and went to Egypt, like many former Nazis, to spread Jew-hatred and antisemitism in that leading Arab country. Egyptian President Nasser welcomed these Nazis and collaborated with them, as the American Jewish Committee documented as early as 1957.[16] Historian Robert Wistrich analyzed the antisemitism of Egypt and von Leers in 1985.[17]

During the 1950s, the Federal Republic of Germany became a hotbed for Islamism (supported by Federal agencies), thanks to anti-communist hysteria of the time, as Pulitzer Prize winner Ian Johnson[18] and historian Stefan Meining[19] have shown in recent years. Finally, 9/11 inflamed German Schadenfreude, anti-American, anti-Israel and pro-Islamist tendencies.[20]

Rohde, from the younger generation (born 1969), is equally aggressive against critics of antisemitism as is Benz. Rohde’s thesis was about the Ba’ath Party, Saddam Hussein, gender-relations in Iraq, and the ideology of pan-Arabism.[21] He submitted his work in 2006 at the Institute for Islamic Studies at Free University Berlin. His first reader was the controversial (in Germany: prize winning) scholar Gudrun Krämer, who is known for portraying the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hasan al-Banna, as a nice guy with great ideas to promote Islam.[22] She is also known for her support of the leading Sunni Islamist in the world, Yusuf al-Qaradawi,[23] who praised Adolf Hitler in January 2009 in Al-Jazeera TV, aired from Qatar, where he lives.[24]

For Rohde, Iraq Ba’ath party style pan-Arabism failed. He urges the Arab world to look for a stronger and more successful way of pan-Arab ideology and action.[25] He is against the “hegemony of globalization”[26] and refers to Edward Said, Daniel Boyarin and anti-Zionist Jacqueline Rose.[27] Why did Rohde refer to anti-Zionist and antisemitic authors in a doctoral dissertation dedicated to the analysis of Iraq, gender relations and pan-Arabism?

Boyarin and Rose have been analyzed as examples of progressive Jewish antisemitism by scholar in literature and Jewish Studies Alvin H. Rosenfeld in 2006.[28] It is telling that Rohde deleted these references at the very end of his study to Boyarin,[29] Rose and Said in his published book in 2010 on the same topic.[30]

Rohde refers to German historian Jürgen Zimmerer, a leading voice in distorting the Holocaust by universalizing it and framing colonial crimes as forerunners of the Shoah. For Rohde, imperialism, racism, and Orientalism are closely related to Nazi Germany.[31] He also compares German and Nazi “sexual politics” with those of the United States and Israel in the 20th century.[32]

The ZfA, Hazem Saghiyeh and Saleh Bashir and the Universalizing of the Holocaust

Achim Rohde is not a direct Holocaust denier; instead he trivializes and distorts the Shoah by referring to Arab authors like Hazem Saghiyeh and Saleh Bashir. Saghiyeh and Bashir published an article in 1997 in which they argued against Holocaust denial, characterizing it as too stupid an argument to be useful in their fight against Zionism.[33] Indeed, even Said is against hard-core Holocaust denial, but he said in the very same article Rohde refers to that “Zionism” is based on “apartheid.”[34]

The same holds for the article Universalising the Holocaust by Hazem Saghiyeh and Saleh Bashir.[35] They accused Israel of not having learnt the lessons from history; they distorted and trivialized the Shoah completely by equating it with racism and colonialism:

“The dissociation between the acknowledgment of the Holocaust and what Israel is doing should be the starting point for the development of a discourse which says that the Holocaust does not free the Jewish state or the Jews of accountability. On the contrary, the Nazi crime compounds their moral responsibility and exposes them to greater answerability. They are the ones who have escaped the ugliest crime in history, and now they are perpetrating reprehensible deeds against another people. Modern Jewish consciousness can no longer look at the world from the exclusive perspective of the Holocaust, in spite of the magnitude of the event and its enormity. Within these parameters, it becomes pressing to (re)present the event as a trial for human suffering more than a purely and exclusively Jewish one, especially since the Jews in recent decades have started losing their long-standing “monopoly” over the tragic. The Turk in Germany, the Algerian in France, and always the black in every place, head the columns of victims of racism in the world and in them, albeit in different proportions and degrees, is the continuation of the suffering of the Jews of which the Holocaust was the culmination.”[36]

This antisemitic argumentation which universalizes the Holocaust and therefore trivializes it is a basic assumption of Islamic Studies scholar Achim Rohde. For him, like for Saghiyeh and Bashir, Turkish, Algerian or Black people are seen in a “continuation of the suffering of the Jews of which the Holocaust was the culmination.”

This is a denial of the Holocaust if we look at the situation of Turks in Germany or Arabs and Algerians in France at any time. It is unscholarly in nature to equate the situation of immigrants or citizens with an immigrant background and the Holocaust.

In an article in 2005, Rohde thanks[37] anti-Zionist authors Moshe Zuckermann from Israel and German sociologist and anti-Zionist Klaus Holz“[38] for helpful comments and support. Holz was on the short-list for the job as head of the ZfA and Zuckermann knows Schüler-Springorum, too.[39]

For Rohde Zionism is based on „central aspects of modern antisemitism;” for him it is „a kind of identification with the aggressor.”[40] He attacks Israel and remembrance of the Shoah in Israel and urges the Arab and Muslim world not to deny the Holocaust, but to attack “Shoah remembrance in Israel”[41] from a ‘higher ground.’ This ‘higher ground’ is the distortion or trivialization of the Holocaust and not hard-core denial of it.

Achim Rohde and the campaign in support of German anti-Zionist Ludwig Watzal

In December 2008 Rohde supported an Internet campaign by a German anti-Israel and antisemitic website in support of German political scientist and anti-Zionist activist Ludwig Watzal.[42] Secretary General of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Stephan Kramer, attacked the “antisemitic clichés” of Watzal in April 2008. Then, the Central Council of Jews in Germany pleaded to dismiss Watzal as co-worker of a Federal Agency.[43] Political scientist and expert on Islamism, Iran, and antisemitism, Matthias Küntzel, criticized Watzal in 2005 as well.[44]

In his support of Watzal, Rohde was joined by Palestinian Abdallah Frangi, Ramallah, from the PLO, antisemitic author Norman Finkelstein, left-wing politician Inge Höger, who joined the terrorist Gaza flotilla in 2010 (she was on the Mavi Marmara), and over 300 other anti-Zionist activists, scholars etc. Watzal is a particularly aggressive anti-Zionist voice in Germany. Due to many of his anti-Israel articles, critics like Social Democrat Franziska Drohsel, then head of the youth organization of the Social Democrats in Germany (Jusos), supported Jewish organizations who urged the Federal Agency for Education to take a clear stand against their co-worker Watzal. German daily Die Welt reported about the anti-Israel stand of Watzal.[45] While ZfA co-worker Achim Rohde supported Ludwig Watzal in 2008, even his colleague at the ZfA, Juliane Wetzel, criticized Watzal’s writing and his fantasies about “Jewish capital” and “Jewish power,” according to an article in 2006.[46]

Rohde, Gil Anidjar and poststructuralist,
linguistic Holocaust denial:
Jews were not killed as Jews in Auschwitz…

Rohde also sides with Middle East Studies scholar Gil Anidjar from Columbia University and his study The Jew, The Arab. A History of the Enemy from 2003,[47] because Anidjar equates antisemitism with Orientalism and portrays Muslims as victims of Nazism and the Holocaust.[48] For Anidjar, Zionism is antisemitic, because it aims at Judaism, Jews, Arabs, and Islam. He applies Said’s ideology of the “Semite” and accuses “Orientalism” of being antisemitic, including being anti-Arab.[49] This is a denial of antisemitism, of its term and ideology. Islam has a legacy of antisemitism, although on another level as Christian antisemitism. Portraying Muslims and Arabs as victims of European history is beyond reality. Islam is an imperialist religion, like Christianity. For centuries, Jews have been oppressed and murdered by Christians and also by Arabs and Muslims (on a lower scale). Since 1945 and particularly since 9/11 Islamism and Arab anti-Zionism are the biggest threat to Jews and Israel. Iran seeks nuclear weapons and its president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is known for his incitement to genocide; he pleads for a “World without Zionism,”[50] and is followed by the entire Iranian regime and substantial parts of Western academia and activists as well. Edward Said fought for a world without Zionism, too, decades before Ahmadinejad, and even before the Iranian revolution in 1979.


Anidjar makes fun of Jews and the Holocaust and equates the fate of Jews with the history of the word “Muslim.” For him, like for fashionable Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben Jews died as “Muslims” and not as Jews in Auschwitz.[51] This is linguistic antisemitism. These horrible games with language are mainstream in many poststructuralist, postmodern and antisemitic circles. It is shocking, though, that a scholar from the ZfA refers favorably to this parody of scholarship.


In reality Muslims were allies of the Nazis, we know of SS-Imams, Muslims in the German army, the Wehrmacht, SS-units and so on. Rohde follows Anidjar and says that both Jews and Muslims have been victims of Europe since the crusades.[52] In an interview about his book Anidjar rejects any scholarly analysis of the “new antisemitism” and equates antisemitism with racism or the situation of Muslims.[53] In 2009 Anidjar published another article and equated (and mentioned the “link” between) colonialism and the Holocaust;[54] he attacked Israel, the US and the War on Terror, in order to portray the poor and innocent Arabs (and Muslims) as victims of Israel and the US.[55] Already in his 2003 book and then in his 2009 article, Anidjar applied the grotesque distinction between “The Jew, the Arab: good Semite, bad Semite.”[56] Like Edward Said and many protagonists of post-colonial theory, he denies that antisemitism was an anti-Jewish ideology from the very beginning (and not a kind of Orientalism), starting with Wilhelm Marr’s agitation in Germany in 1879.[57] Consequently, Anidjar was a speaker in 2009 at the Israel Apartheid Week and promoted boycotting Israel and therefore Jews.[58] This is no problem and not worth mentioning for German academics like Achim Rohde or Felix Wiedemann, also a scholar from the younger generation; as quoted, Achim Rohde referred to Anidjar very positively in 2005 as well as in 2010, Wiedemann refers to Anidjar’s scandalous book from 2003 (The Jew, The Arab) in 2012, and promotes Rohde’s approach, too, embedded in esoteric, cotton-ball-style criticism.[59]


What is the problem with Achim Rohde’s appointment to Germany’s premier, tax-supported Center for Research on Antisemitism (ZfA) at Technical University in Berlin?


1) He supports antisemitic, anti-Zionist, post-colonial and post-Orientalist superstar Edward Said;

2)  He supports German anti-Zionist and highly controversial activist Ludwig Watzal;

3) He supports antisemitic, anti-Zionist authors like Daniel Boyarin and Jacqueline Rose;

4) He supports authors who make fun of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, who defame Israel as apartheid and promote the boycott of Israel like Gil Anidjar;

5) He supports the trivialization and in fact denial of the Holocaust by equating it with the situation of Turks in Germany today with reference to Hazem Saghiyeh and Saleh Bashir;

6) He equates antisemitism with “Orientalism” and denies the genocidal ideology of antisemitism;

7) He ignores or affirms the Iranian and Islamist threat;

8) He dwells on the fantasy of “Islamophobia” and is employed to do so by the ZfA.


The Center for Research on Antisemitism (ZfA) at the Technical University Berlin should finally change its name: it is


The German Edward Said Center for
Holocaust distortion
and post-colonial Antisemitism




[1] Newsletter, No. 42, Center for Research on Antisemitism (ZfA), Technical University Berlin, May 2012, http://zfa.kgw.tu-berlin.de/newsletter/Newsletter42.pdf (visited July 21, 2012).

[2] Edward Said (1969): The Palestinian Experience, in: Moustafa Bayoumi/Andrew Rubin (eds.) (2001), The Edward Said Reader, London: Granta Books, 14–37, 34.

[3] Edward Said (1979): Zionism from the Standpoint of its Victims, in: Bayoumi/Rubin (eds.) (2001), 114–168.

[4] Edward Said (1978): Orientalism, New York: Vintage Books.

[5] The interview reads: “[Question to Said] Given the history of the Jews and the creation of the Israeli state, because of their historical experience with persecution and suffering and holocaust [small ‚h’ in the original, CH] and death camps, should one feel that Israelis and Jews in general should be more sensitive, should be more compassionate? Is that racist? [Said] No, I don’t think it’s racist. As a Palestinian I keep telling myself that if I were in a position one day to gain political restitution for all the suffering of my people, I would, I think, be extraordinarily sensitive to the possibility that I might in the process be injuring another people“ (Edward Said (1987)/2010: The Pen and the Sword. Conversations with Edward Said. David Barsamian, introductions by Eqbal Ahmad and Nubar Hovsepian, Chicago: Haymarket Books, 42).

[6] Edward Said (1999): An Interview with Edward Said, in: Bayoumi/Rubin (eds.) (2001), 419–444, 430.

[7] In Cultural Studies, Islamic Studies, Middle East Studies, comparative literature and related fields, Said has been mainstream for a long time. See, for example, among his followers in Germany Markus Schmitz (2008): Kulturkritik ohne Zentrum. Edward W. Said und die Kontrapunkte kritischer Dekolonisation, Bielefeld: transcript (Schmitz defames the Middle East Forum’s project Campus Watch and says it is a reminder to the times of “McCarthy,” ibid., 227); Stefan Wild (2003a): Rezension von Martin Kramer, Ivory Towers on Sand. The Failure of MiddleEastern Studies in America, Washington D.C. 2001, ISBN 0-94 4029-49-3, 130 S., U.S. $ 19,95, Die Welt des Islams, Vol. 43, Nr. 2, 290–292 (this is a particularly aggressive and ironic review of Martin Kramer’s famous study Ivory Towers on Sand from 2001); Birgit Schäbler (2008): Post-koloniale Konstruktionen des Selbst als Wissenschaft: Anmerkungen einer Nahost-Historikerin zu Leben und Werk Edward Saids, in: Alf Lüdtke/Reiner Prass (Hg.) (2008): Gelehrtenleben. Wissenschaftspraxis in der Neuzeit, Köln/Weimar/Wien: Böhlau Verlag, 87–100; Schäbler is an anti-Israel author and defamed the security fence in Israel, Birgit Schäbler/Ute Behr/Stephanie Dumke (2004): The Israel-Palestinian Conflict as Result of Colonial Border-Making, Tagungsbericht, June 18, 2004, http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/tagungsberichte/id=499 (visited July 23, 2012); Stefan Weidner (2011): Vom Nutzen und Nachteil der Islamkritik für das Leben, Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte (APuZ), Nrs. 13–14/2011, 9–15; for historian Ulrich Sieg, who was on the short-list for the job as head of the ZfA, Edward Said’s Orientalism was a „master-piece,“ Ulrich Sieg (2006): Rezension von Ian Buruma, Avishai Margali, Okzidentalismus. Der Westen in den Augen seiner Feinde, WerkstattGeschichte, Vol. 15, No. 43, 137–139, 137.

[8] Achim Rohde (2010): Unter Südländern. Zur Geschichte der Orientalistik und Judaistik in Deutschland, Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft, Vol. 58, No. 7/8, 639–652. Benz edited this issue personally, in addition he is the editor of the journal, too; he introduced Rohde in his article in that issue, Wolfgang Benz (2010): Zur Genese und Tradition des Feindbildes Islam. Einleitende Bemerkungen zum Themenheft Islambilder vom Mittelalter bis zum Ersten Weltkrieg. Traditionen der Abwehr, Romantisierung, Exotisierung, Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft, Vol. 58, No. 7/8, 585–590.

[9] Robert S. Wistrich (1991): Antisemitism. The Longest Hatred, London: Methuen.

[10] Robert S. Wistrich (2010): A Lethal Obsession. Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad, New York: Random House.

[11] Fritz Ahmad Gross (no year of publication indicated): Kaiser Wilhelm II. – Deutschland und der Islam, Islamische Zeitung, online http://www.enfal.de/grund44.htm (visited July 22, 2012).

[12] Wolfgang G. Schwanitz (2003): Djihad „Made in Germany“: Der Streit um den Heiligen Krieg 1914–1915, Sozial.Geschichte, No. 2/2003, 7–34; Wolfgang G. Schwanitz (2004): Die Berliner Djihadisierung des Islam. Wie Max von Oppenheim die islamische Revolution schürte, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Auslandsinformationen, No. 10/2004, 17–37; Wolfgang G. Schwanitz (2004a): Max von Oppenheim und der Heilige Krieg. Zwei Denkschriften zur Revolutionierung islamischer Gebiete 1914 und 1940, Sozial.Geschichte, Vol. 19, No. 3, 28–59.

[13] Jeffrey Herf (2009): Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World, New Haven: Yale University Press; Jeffrey Herf (2010): Hitlers Dschihad. Nationalsozialistische Rundfunkpropaganda für Nordafrika und den Nahen Osten, Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Vol. 58, No. 2, 259–286; Matthias Küntzel (2002): Jihad und Judenhaß. Über den neuen antijüdischen Krieg, Freiburg: ça ira; Matthias Küntzel (2003): Ein Deutsches Schweigen. Die Vorfahren der islamischen Hamas arbeiteten gern mit den Nazis zusammen. Ein Umstand, den die deutsche Linke in ihrer Nahostsolidarität gerne ausblendet, taz, April 12, 2003, http://www.taz.de/?id=archiv&dig=2003/04/12/a0225 (visited July 23, 2012); Matthias Küntzel (2004): Von Zeesen bis Beirut. Nationalsozialismus und Antisemitismus in der arabischen Welt, http://www.matthiaskuentzel.de/contents/von-zeesen-bis-beirut (visited July 23, 2012); Klaus-Michael Mallman/Martin Cüppers (2010): Nazi Palestine. The Plans for the Extermination of the Jews in Palestine, New York: Enigma Books.

[14] Simon Wiesenthal (1947): Großmufti – Großagent der Achse, Salzburg/Wien: Ried-Verlag.

[15] Hans Lindemann (1941): Der Islam im Aufbruch, in Abwehr und Angriff. Mit 1 Karte und 4 Kunstdrucktafeln, Leipzig: Friedrich Brandstetter.

[16] American Jewish Committee (1957): The Plight of the Jews in Egypt, New York: American Jewish Committee, online: http://www.ajcarchives.org/AJC_DATA/Files/551.PDF (visited July 23, 2012).

[17] “The most prominent of these former collaborators of Hitler and Goebbels was the notorious antisemite Johann von Leers, invited to Cairo by Haj Amin el-Husseini. Von Leers had initially settled after the war in the Argentine where he edited the neo-Nazi monthly Der Weg. The Grand Mufti had repeatedly sent messages of encouragement to von Leers and his fellow Nazis in Buenos Aires and in August 1956 he had publicly complimented Der Weg for having ‚always championed the Arabs’ righteous cause against the powers of darkness embodied in World Jewry’’. An exalted figure in Nasser’s entourage, the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem obtained a post for von Leers as political adviser in the Egyptian Information Department, where, according to the Manchester Guardian, he exercised ‚considerable influence on the nature of the current anti-Jewish measures’. Von Leers continued to be active as an antisemitic propagandist in Cairo under his Muslim name, Omar Amin, until his death in 1965,” (Robert Wistrich (1985): Hitler’s Apocalypse. Jews and the Nazi Legacy, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 176).

[18] Ian Johnson (2005): The Beachhead. How a Mosque for Ex-Nazis became Center for Radical Islam, The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2005; Ian Johnson (2010): A Mosque in Munich. Nazis, the CIA and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West, San Diego (CA): Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

[19] Stefan Meining (2011): Eine Moschee in Deutschland. Nazis, Geheimdienste und der Aufstieg des politischen Islam im Westen, Munich: C.H.Beck.

[20] For a comprehensive critique of German Islamic Studies, scholars in antisemitism and the public in Germany after 9/11 see my book Clemens Heni (2011): Schadenfreude: Islamforschung und Antisemitismus in Deutschland nach 9/11, Berlin: Edition Critic.

[21] Achim Rohde (2006): Facing Dictatorship. State-Society Relations in Ba’Thist Iraq. Zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades eingereicht am Fachbereich Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften der Freien Universität Berlin im April 2006, manuscript, Free University Berlin, Institute for Islamic Studies.

[22] Gudrun Krämer (2010): Hasan al-Banna, Oxford/New York: Oneworld Publications.

[23] Gudrun Krämer (2006): Drawing Boundaries. Yusuf al-Qaradawi on Apostasy, in: Gudrun Krämer/Sabine Schmidtke (eds.) (2006): Speaking for Islam. Religious Authorities in Muslim Societies, Leiden/Boston: Brill, 181–217; Gudrun Krämer (2009): Preface, in: Bettina Gräf/Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen (eds.) (2009): Global Mufti. The Phenomenon of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, London: Hurst & Company (2009), ix–xi.

[24] For an overview on many more antisemitic statements of al-Qaradawi see http://www.memri.org/report/en/print5020.htm (visited July 23, 2012).

[25] Rohde 2006, 425; see also Achim Rohde (2005): Der Innere Orient. Orientalismus, Antisemitismus und Geschlecht im Deutschland des 18. bis 20. Jahrhunderts, Die Welt des Islams, Vol. 45, Nr. 2, 370–411; Achim Rohde (2009): The Orient Within. Orientalism, Anti-Semitism and Gender in 18th to early 20th Century Germany, in: Benjamin Jokisch/Ulrich Rebstock/Lawrence I. Conrad (eds.) (2009): Fremde, Feinde und Kurioses. Innen- und Außenansichten unseres muslimischen Nachbarn, Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 147–165; Achim Rohde (2010a): State-Society Relations in Ba’Thist Iraq Facing Dictatorship, London/New York: Routledge (this is his shortened 2006 dissertation).

[26] Rohde 2006, 425.

[27] See footnote 12 (which belongs to the chapter „Conclusions“), Rohde 2006, 428: „Edward Said, Freud and the Non-European (London: Verso, 2003), 49, 53/54. See also Stephen Sheehi, ‚Failure, Modernity, and the Works of Hisham Sharabi: Towards a Post-Colonial Critique of Arab Subjectivity,’ Critique 10 (1997): 39–54; Daniel Boyarin, ‚The Colonial Drag: Zionism, Gender, and Mimikry,’ in the Pre-Occupation of Post-Colonial Studies, eds. Fawzia Afzal-Khan and Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks (Durham/London: Duke Univ. Press, 2000), 234–265; Jacqueline Rose, The Question of Zion (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 2005).“ Remember: these are quotes from the end of Rohde’s doctoral dissertation, which is about Iraqi history, gender relations, dictatorship and pan-Arabism. He quotes antisemites in such a study: this indicates his hatred of Israel as a Jewish state.

[28] Alvin H. Rosenfeld (2006): „Progressive“ Jewish Thought and the new anti-Semitism, http://www.ajc.org/atf/cf/%7B42D75369-D582-4380-8395-D25925B85EAF%7D/PRO
GRESSIVE_JEWISH_THOUGHT.PDF  (visited July 22, 2012).

[29] Rohde refers to above quoted article of Daniel Boyarin; the dedication of Boyarin’s article reads like this: „To Michel Warschawsky and Tikva Parnas, tireless fighters against the Zionist occupation in all Palestine,” (Daniel Boyarin (2000): ‚The Colonial Drag: Zionism, Gender, and Mimikry,’ in: Fawzia Afzal-Khan/Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks (eds.) (2000): The Pre-Occupation of Post-Colonial Studies, Durham/London: Duke University Press, 234–265, 234). The expression „All Palestine” aims at the destruction of Israel. Furthermore one can find the close relationship of antisemites like Boyarin and post-colonial superstars like Bhabha, who share this antisemitism: „I wish to express gratitude to Homi K. Bhabha, who read a much earlier and a very recent version of this essay and whose influence is felt on every page, even where I have not been able to assimilate it completely,” (Boyarin 2000, 259).

[30] Rohde 2010a, 161.

[31] See Rohde 2005, 389, footnote 40, reference to Zimmerer. For a close analysis of the scholarly failure of Jürgen Zimmerer see Jakob Zollmann (2007): Polemics and other arguments – a German debate reviewed, Journal of Namibian Studies, [Vol. 1], No. 1, 109–130 and my forthcoming book Antisemitism: A Specific Phenomenon.

[32] Rohde 2010a, 209, footnote 84.

[33] Rohde 2010a, 213, footnote 4.

[34] Edward Said (1998): Der dritte Weg führt weiter. An die arabischen Unterstützer von Roger Garaudy, Le Monde Diplomatique, German version: http://www.monde-diplomatique.de/pm/1998/08/14/a0226.text.name,askOg6bPY.n,36 (visited July 23, 2012).

[35] Hazem Saghiyeh/Saleh Bashir (1997)/1998: Universalizing the Holocaust. How Arabs and Palestinians relate to the Holocaust and how the Jews relate to the Palestinian victim, Palestine-Israel Journal, Vol. 5, Nos. 3 & 4, 1998, online: http://www.pij.org/details.php?id=382 (visited July 22, 2012). The Arab original has been published in 1997.

[36] Saghiyeh/Bashir 1997.

[37] Rohde 2005, Rohde 2009.

[38] Rohde 2005, 370, footnote 1.

[39] For example, Schüler-Springorum and Zuckermann were part of a small symposium in Berlin in May 2010, http://www.jmberlin.de/main/DE/02-Veranstaltungen/veranstaltungen-2010/2010_05_22_symposium.php (visited July 22, 2012).

[40] Rohde 2005, 410.

[41] Rohde 2005, 411.

[42] http://www.arendt-art.de/deutsch/palestina/Honestly_Concerned/watzal_ludwig_aktion.htm (visited July 21, 2012): „307 Dr. Achim Rohde D Hamburg wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Georg-Eckert-Institut für internationale Schulbuchforschung.“

[43] „Zentralrat fordert Entlassung eines Redakteurs der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung,“ April 5, 2008,  http://www.zentralratdjuden.de/de/article/1625.html (visited July 22, 2012).

[44] http://www.matthiaskuentzel.de/contents/tag-watzal-darf-ich-sie-antisemit-nennen (visited July 22, 2012).

[45] Richard Herzinger (2008): Mitarbeiter schreibt israelfeindliche Texte. Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung, Die Welt, April 10, 2008, http://www.welt.de/politik/article1885758/Mitarbeiter
_schreibt_israelfeindliche_Texte.html (visited July 23, 2012).

[46] Alexandra Makarova (2006): Neutrales Haus in Erklärungsnot. Bei der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung häufen sich Israel-kritische Peinlichkeiten, June 2006, http://www.j-zeit.de/archiv/artikel.361.html (visited July 22, 2012).

[47] Gil Anidjar (2003): The Jew, The Arab. A History of the Enemy, Stanford: Stanford University Press.

[48] Rohde refers several times to Anidjar, see Rohde 2010, 645 (with reference to Anidjar 2003); Rohde 2005, 385, 400f.

[49] Anidjar 2003, 192–193, endnote 51.

[50] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005): Speech at the Conference „A World Without Zionism,“ October 26, 2005, Teheran, translation by Nazila Fathi, New York Times, 30.10.2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/30/weekinreview/30iran.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1 (visited July 23, 2012).

[51] Gil Anidjar (2003a): Interview „The Jew, the Arab,” http://asiasociety.org/countries/religions-philosophies/jew-arab-interview-gil-anidjar (visited July 22, 2012).

[52] Rohde 2010, 645.

[53] Anidjar 2003.

[54] Gil Anidjar (2009): Can the walls hear?, Patterns of Prejudice, Vol. 43, Nos. 3/4, 251–268, 266.

[55] Anidjar 2009, 267.

[56] Anidjar 2009, 255.

[57] Wilhelm Marr (1879): Der Sieg des Judenthums über das Germanenthum. Vom nicht confessionellen Standpunkt aus betrachtet, Bern: Rudolph Costenoble; Wilhelm Marr (1879a): Vom jüdischen Kriegsschauplatz. Eine Streitschrift, Bern: Rudolph Costenoble.

[58] „At Columbia University (CU), a recently formed group called the Columbia Palestine Forum (CPF) hosted a teach-in on March 4 that featured CU professors and students that are members of CPF, a group advocating for the university to divest from Israel. Speakers compared the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to apartheid in South Africa and one professor, Gil Anidjar, an Assistant Professor in the Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures (MEALAC) department, advocated for a boycott as an ‚exercise of freedom‘“ (http://www.adl.org/NR/exeres/2F101AAE-F472-450F-8C13-53825A79D075,DB7611A2-02CD-43AF-8147-649E26813571,frameless.htm (04.08.2010)).

[59] It is disturbing and problematic that historian Felix Wiedemann refers to Anidjar 2003 positively, without the slightest analysis of his antisemitism. In an overview article for a online encyclopedia about Edward Said, Orientalism, and the Orientalism debate, Wiedemann also sides with Achim Rohde, Felix Wiedemann (2012): Orientalismus, Version: 1.0, in: Docupedia-Zeitgeschichte, April 19, 2012, https://docupedia.de/zg/Orientalismus?oldid=82032#cite_ref-69 (visited July 23, 2012). Wiedemann ignores one of the most updated overviews on Edward Said, a critique of Said’s antisemitism, and particularly the portrayal of Muslims and Arabs as the new Jews, an ideology of Said from the late 1960s (if not earlier): Heni 2011, 76–136. The most shocking aspect of Wiedemann’s piece, though, is his positive reference to antisemite and anti-Israel activist Gil Anidjar. Wiedemann is also not mentioning the antisemitic ideology of Said in its entirety, although he pretends to be a bit skeptical about him; he does quote a few other works of Said than Orientalism but does not mention that Said introduced the concept of Arabs as the ‘new Jews’ as early as 1969, a core element of today’s antisemitism and anti-Zionism and distortion of history. It is remarkable that a young historian like Wiedemann does not even mention that Said equated Israel with apartheid (although, in a completely other context, apartheid South Africa is mentioned in Wiedemann’s piece!), for example. Following an antisemitic author like Gil Anidjar is indicating a failure of scholarship.

The German city of Frankfurt awards the “Professor of Parody” and hatred of Israel: Judith Butler

By Clemens Heni

(updated August 28, 2012)

On June 1, 2012, it was announced that Judith Butler will be awarded the Theodor-W.-Adorno-Prize of the city of Frankfurt, Germany, on September 11, 2012. September 11 is the birthday of Adorno, though, today we associate 9/11 with that date, particularly when it comes to scholars like Butler. She is “Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature and the Co-director of the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley.”[1] The prize (50,000 Euro) is named after philosopher Theodor W. Adorno (1903–1969), a co-founder of Critical Theory in the 1930s, who fled National Socialism in 1934 and was in exile in the United States since 1938 until he returned to Frankfurt. His father was Jewish. The Adorno-Prize is awarded every three years only.[2] While Adorno fled the German boycott of Jews, Butler is known for endorsing the boycott of the Jewish state of Israel.


The core problem is that Israel is not accepted as a Jewish state by many leftist, Islamist, neo-Nazi and other antisemites. It is particularly important to focus on Jewish anti-Zionists because neo-Nazi, leftist and Islamist activists and authors often refer to them and Jewish anti-Zionists give hatred of Israel a kind of kosher stamp.

Many scholars are obsessed with the only diverse society in the Middle East, the only democracy and the only safe haven for Arab and Muslim homosexuals, for example: Israel.

It is important to focus on the Jewish character of Israel. Some anti-Zionists claim that they are not anti-Israel, because they like Israel but reject the Jewish character of the state. A bi-national state as envisioned by Martin Buber or Hannah Arendt is still seen as an option by those anti-Zionist activists. The exodus of almost one million Jews from Arab and Muslim countries since 1948 indicates what would happen if Jews no longer comprised the majority in their own country. Everyone can see that scholars like Judith Butler single out Israel and equate Israel with South African apartheid, while they are silent about the really violent and oppressive, antidemocratic countries in the Middle East, like Saudi Arabia, Iran (the Iranian threat!), Syria, Turkey, Egypt, among many others.


In 2009 in her book Frames of War Judith Butler equates the criticism of Adorno and Horkheimer in their Dialectics of Enlightenment with US policies in the War on Terror.

“The legal move by which the US claimed that prisoners at Camp Delta were not entitled to protection under the Geneva Conventions is one that institutes the expectation that those prisoners are less than human. They are considered enemies of the state, but they are also not conceptualizable in terms of the civilizational and racial norms by which the human is constituted. In this sense, their status as less than human is not only presupposed by the torture, but reinstated by it. And here we have to see – as Adorno cautioned us – that violence in the name of civilization reveals its own barbarism, even as it ‘justifies’ its own violence by presuming the barbaric subhumanity of the other against whom that violence is waged.”[3]

Adorno and Horkheimer wrote their book in defense of the West and as an attack on Nazi Germany. They applied a Dialectic of Enlightenment, while Butler equates the West and America with National Socialism and the Holocaust when she refers to that study. Despite all their shortcomings, Adorno and Horkheimer already focused on antisemitism. They were completely shocked and paralyzed by the Holocaust; they had a specific chapter on antisemitism, along with other chapters on modern rationality, Greek mythos, and modern capitalist and technical society. A close colleague and friend of Adorno and Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, worked for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) after 1943 – supporting the US in its war against Nazi Germany.

For Butler, the “Professor of Parody” as philosopher and feminist Martha Nussbaum from the University of Chicago has criticized her,[4] post-9/11-warfare of the US is the same as the war of Nazi Germany against the Jews. In this completely distorted and absurd world of fantasy, jihadists are implicitly portrayed as the Jews of today. In 2011 Butler was published in a volume alongside with Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, and Cornel West. Editors Eduardo Mendieta and Jonathan Vanantwerpen aggressively support Butler’s stand against Harvard President Lawrence Summers and his criticism of the anti-Israel boycott and academic antisemitism.[5] Butler herself[6] attacks Israel[7] and the entire Zionist project, based on Hannah Arendt,[8] Martin Buber and Edward Said and his claim that Palestinians and Jews share a history of displacement.[9] Butler portrays herself as a girl walking in the footsteps of Arendt and Buber:

“I’d like to turn now, briefly, to thinking about Hannah Arendt, Jewish to be sure, but someone whose political views made many people doubt the authenticity of her Jewishness. Indeed, as a result of her salient criticisms of political Zionism and the state of Israel in 1944, ’48, and ’62, her claim to belong to the Jewish people was severely challenged, most famously by Gershom Scholem. Scholem quickly embraced a conception of political Zionism, whereas Martin Buber in the teens and twenties actively and publicly defended a spiritual and cultural Zionism that, in his early view, would become ‘perverted’ if it assumed the form of a political state. By the 1940s, Arendt, Buber, and Nudah Magnes argued in favor of a binational state, proposing a federation in which Jews and Arabs would maintain their respective cultural autonomy; of course, there are other versions of binationalism that do not presume the monolithic cultural integrity of ‘two peoples’ as Buber did, and I hope to gesture toward that at the end of my remarks. It is worth noting as well that Franz Rosenzweig also elaborated a diasporic opposition to Zionism in his The Star of Redemption, in which he argues that Judaism is fundamentally bound up with waiting and wandering but not with the claim of territory.”[10]

Butler prefers a “cultural Zionism” even after the Holocaust, while Buber developed that concept, how bad or mistaken it might have been, between 1910 and 1930, before the Shoah. Buber could also not anticipate genocidal threats from Iran or Arab countries; Butler knows them, but ignores or affirms Iranian, Arab and Muslim Jew-hatred.


It is remarkable (though not astonishing in the case of the German) that Habermas and Taylor join such an outstanding voice like that of Butler, who literally aims at organizations like “AIPAC,”[11] and Jewish support for Israel in the US and abroad.


In a very important statement on September 17, 2002, President of Harvard University, Lawrence Summers, criticized antisemitism among academics and said:

“I speak with you today not as President of the University but as a concerned member of our community about something that I never thought I would become seriously worried about — the issue of anti-Semitism. I am Jewish, identified but hardly devout. In my lifetime, anti-Semitism has been remote from my experience. My family all left Europe at the beginning of the 20th century. The Holocaust is for me a matter of history, not personal memory. To be sure, there were country clubs where I grew up that had few if any Jewish members, but not ones that included people I knew. My experience in college and graduate school, as a faculty member, as a government official – all involved little notice of my religion.”[12]

He was shocked about the growing antisemitism since 2001 in particular:

“Consider some of the global events of the last year: There have been synagogue burnings, physical assaults on Jews, or the painting of swastikas on Jewish memorials in every country in Europe. Observers in many countries have pointed to the worst outbreak of attacks against the Jews since the Second World War. Candidates who denied the significance of the Holocaust reached the runoff stage of elections for the nation’s highest office in France and Denmark. State-sponsored television stations in many nations of the world spew anti-Zionist propaganda. The United Nations-sponsored World Conference on Racism – while failing to mention human rights abuses in China, Rwanda, or any place in the Arab world – spoke of Israel’s policies prior to recent struggles under the Barak government as constituting ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. The NGO declaration at the same conference was even more virulent.”

Summers also noted that “it would have been inconceivable a generation or two ago that Harvard could have a Jewish President.” There is a long history of antisemitism on American campuses and at the Ivy League in particular, as historian Stephen Norwood has shown.[13]

In a response to Lawrence, who did not mention specific scholars by name, Judith Butler ran riot and wrote a piece in 2003:

“When the president of Harvard University declared that to criticise Israel at this time and to call on universities to divest from Israel are ‘actions that are anti-semitic in their effect, if not their intent’, he introduced a distinction between effective and intentional anti-semitism that is controversial at best. The counter-charge has been that in making his statement, Summers has struck a blow against academic freedom, in effect, if not in intent.“[14]

Criticism of antisemitism is called “a blow against academic freedom” while in fact Judith Butler is against academic freedom, when it comes to criticism of antisemitism. One could argue with Freud that Butler projects her own lust of restricting academic freedom onto others. Butler signed an “Open Letter from American Jews” although it was not anti-Israel enough for her, because it did not call for “the end of Zionism.” Did she ever call for “the end of Saudi-Arabian Wahhabi rule”? Did she ever call for “end the misogynistic policies of the Taliban in Afghanistan”? Did she ever call for the end of airing pro-Holocaust statements on Egypt or Al-Jazeera TV from Qatar? Did she ever call to stop publishing antisemitic cartoons in Arab, state sponsored newspapers, like in Syria, Egypt, or Iraq? Did she ever call to stop the hanging of homosexuals in the Islamic Republic of Iran? Did she ever call on German firms to stop their trade with Islamofascist regimes like in Iran, or did she ever call to stop German trade with Arab dictators like Saddam Hussein, who in March 1988 killed some 5000 Kurdish Iraqis with German lethal gas in the city of Halabja? Did she ever call to halt the persecution of non-believers and critics of Islam in Muslim countries from Morocco to Indonesia?


In 2006 philosopher Elhanan Yakira initiated a vibrant debate in Israel about post-Zionism, anti-Zionism and antisemitic academics. His study was published in English in 2010 and is a seminal work for scholars, students and the public who want to understand how anti-Israeli propaganda works. For example, he criticizes Judith Butler and her above-quoted article from 2003, where the Californian activist wrote that some “95,000 Palestinians” will be “homeless” thanks to the anti-terror fence. Yakira gives the context:

“In fact, very few, if any, Palestinians have been made ‘homeless’ by the construction of the security barrier, and only a small part of it is actually a wall. It is true that some Arabs have lost part of their land (not their homes). However, Israelis also have lost something: an unknowable number of them have lost the privilege of being killed by infiltrating Palestinian resistance fighters. In areas where the barrier is complete, suicide bombing and other attacks on Israeli civilians – in buses, restaurants, discothèques, and shops – have virtually stopped. Given the fact that Butler’s article was written at the height of the suicide-bombing campaign, it is hard to avoid the suspicion that she is not, after all, immune to the kind of affectivity [Serge] Thion [a close ally of French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson] exhibits toward Israel and Israelis.”[15]

Judith Butler is a long-time supporter of boycotts of Israel. Before the BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) movement was launched by Palestinians in 2005 she was already singling out the Jewish state. In March 2011 she spoke at the “Israel Apartheid Week” in Toronto.[16] While Blacks in South Africa Apartheid could not vote, for example, Arabs and Muslims can vote in Israel. The defamation of Israel as apartheid is not just antisemitic because it spreads lies about Jews and throws oil on the Arab, Muslim and Iranian hatred of Jews and Israel. It is also a distortion of South African racism and real apartheid. Germany, though, is a hotbed for anti-Zionist Jews.

There is a committee, consisting of ten members, who decided to award Butler this prize, headed by the major of Frankfurt, Petra Roth (from the conservative Christian Democratic Union, CDU). Among those who should best know about antisemitism, one might think, is Axel Honneth, himself professor at Frankfurt University and head of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, the very same institution founded by Horkheimer and others and joined by Adorno. Adorno and Horkheimer were lucky and could flee Nazi antisemitism and the Holocaust. They witnessed boycotts of Jews and Jewish firms while being in exile, out of reach of the Nazis and Germans. To award a prize to a scholar who is in favor of boycotting Jews and Israelis is a slap in the face of Adorno. Contrary to Butler, Adorno was an intellectual and a scholar who preferred theory and criticism to anti-Jewish activities like Israel Apartheid weeks.


German professor Micha Brumlik gives Butler his Jewish kosher stamp.[19] He is known for doing so for anti-Zionist antisemitism. He is against obvious antisemitism like that of Hamas, but he is in favor of Jewish anti-Zionism. He even equated Butler’s pro-Hezballah and pro-Hamas stand with supposedly or indeed problematic paragraphs from philosopher Adorno about jazz. Therefore criticism of music is the same as hatred of Jews and incitement to genocide from Hamas. I learned that this is mainstream in Germany; after I alerted professor Honneth to Butler’s antisemitism he replied that this is rather respectable “criticism of Israel” and he referred to Brumlik’s article.


It may not be true and it may not be possible that one of the leading anti-Israel voices of the world, Judith Butler, who wants to destroy the Jewish character of Israel by allowing the return of Palestinian “refugees” from 1948, and who opposes philosophically the Jewish character of Israel with reference to Hannah Arendt and Martin Buber, will be awarded the Adorno Prize of the city of Frankfurt. Butler is among the most aggressive critics of “Campus-Watch,”[20] an institution of the Middle East Forum (MEF), established in 2002.[21] As quoted, in a book of hers in 2009, Butler even equates, like another highly fashionable philosopher of our time, Italian Giorgio Agamben, US policies during the War on Terror with Nazi policies and concentration camps. “The other” is the jihadist, seen as victim of America and not as mass murderer. “The other” is the Islamist and he is seen as the Jew of today. More delusion is hardly possible.

Brumlik, though, the German professor of pedagogy, refers to above quoted article of Butler from 2011 (“Is Judaism Zionism”) and likes it very much. American scholar Russell Berman, an expert on Germany, the left, Critical Theory, antisemitism and anti-Western ideology, puts Butler’s ideology in a nutshell – this analysis fits for most liberal and left-wing anti-Zionists, worldwide:

“It is as if for Butler a concern with anti-Semitism anywhere, and, in particular, in the academy were, in her view, incompatible with any criticism of Israel. Yet that absurd presumption is undermined by Butler’s own prose: for she too, despite herself, has to come to grips with anti-Semitism in the academy and not – this would be the easy case – with Nazi flag-wavers or right-wing populists – but in the very core of her chosen political community, the academic anti-Zionist movement.”[22]

The city of Frankfurt has to rethink its decision to award Judith Butler. Antisemitism should not be rewarded in Germany again. Too many anti-Israel scholars and activists already have been honored, tenured, or given prizes. This has to stop and serious research on antisemitism, particularly on anti-Zionist antisemitism and Islamism, has to be supported.


In 2007 Lawrence Summers repeated his criticism of academic and mostly left-wing and liberal antisemitism in an interview he gave to the prestigious Podcast Series “Voices on Antisemitism” of the United States Holocaust Memorial:[23]

“I found it shocking and deeply troubling that a substantial group of faculty members at major universities would propose seriously, and indeed seek to pressure, for universities like Harvard to sell, to divest, any stock, any company that did any business with Israel. It seemed to me that such a boycott that singled out Israel was profoundly misguided. And so I raised the question of whether this action, because of its singling out of Israel, was antisemitic in its effect if not necessarily in its intent.“

He has probably Judith Butler’s attack on him in mind, when he concludes:

“I think the magnitude of the reaction I got was not something I fully anticipated. I had the reaction that, if people had felt so inhibited from speaking on these issues that they praised my courage, that there must be a larger problem around these issues on university campuses than I had previously supposed. I think it might have been a more difficult decision if I had known just how much attention those remarks would generate, but while it would have been a more difficult decision, I think I would have been even more convinced of the importance of speaking out in the way that I did.”

The President of the leading University of the world spoke out against academic antisemitism as early as 2002. In 2012 German academics and politicians still do not understand what anti-Zionism means or they affirm hatred of the Jewish state of Israel. It is not acceptable to call Israel an apartheid state, as Butler does, and it is not acceptable to boycott Israel, as Butler propagates. Adorno told us that antisemitism has to be fought and not to be awarded!


Dr. Clemens Heni is a political scientist and the founding Director of the Berlin International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (BICSA) http://bicsa.org/ . 2008/2009 he was a Post-Doctoral researcher at Yale University. He published three books on antisemitism so far, including his study Schadenfreude. Islamic Studies and Antisemitism in Germany after 9/11 (410 pages, in German, 2011). He can be reached at c.heni@gmx.de


[1] http://rhetoric.berkeley.edu/people.php?page_id=1056&p=54 (visited June 6, 2012).

[2] http://www.kulturpreise.de/web/preise_info.php?preisd_id=495 (visited June 6, 2012); “Judith Butler erhält den Theodor-W.-Adorno-Preis,“ http://www.focus.de/kultur/buecher/
literatur-judith-butler-erhaelt-den-theodor-w-adorno-preis_aid_760909.html (visited June 6, 2012); “Theodor-W.-Adorno-Preis an Judith Butler,“ http://www.hr-online.de/website/
rubriken/kultur/index.jsp?rubrik=72824&key=standard_document_44944250 (visited June 6, 2012).

[3] Judith Butler (2009): Frames of War. When is Life Grievable, London/New York: Verso, 93.

[4] Martha Nussbaum (1999): Professor of Parody, February 22, 1999, The New Republic, http://www.akad.se/Nussbaum.pdf (visited June 6, 2012). Butler was awarded the “first prize in the annual Bad Writing Contest sponsored by the journal Philosophy and Literature”, for example, ibid. Nussbaum criticizes that Butler rejects feminist activism towards better laws to protect women, and that Butler stays away from the struggle for more social equality for women, too.

[5] Eduardo Mendieta/Jonathan Vanantwerpen (2011): The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere, in: Eduardo Mendieta/Jonathan Vanantwerpen (eds.), The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere. With an Afterword by Craig Calhoun, New York: Columbia University Press. The book is result of an event in New York City on October 22, 2009, ibid., vii.

[6] Judith Butler (2011): Is Judaism Zionism, in: Mendieta/Vanantwerpen (eds.), 70–91.

[7] „And, of course, it makes a difference whether one is criticizing the principles of Jewish sovereignty that characterize political Zionism since 1948, or whether one’s criticism is restricted to the occupation as illegal and destructive (and so situates itself in a history that starts with 1967), or whether one is more restrictively criticizing certain military actions in isolation from both Zionism and the occupation, i.e., last year’s assault on Gaza and the war crimes committed there, the growth of settlements, or the policies of the current right-wing regime in Israel,“ Butler 2011, 75.

[8] Butler 2011, 77ff.

[9] Butler 2011, 77.

[10] Butler 2011, 77.

[11] Butler 2011, 74.

[12] Lawrence Summers (2002): Address at morning prayers, Memorial Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts, September 17, 2002, http://www.harvard.edu/president/speeches
/summers_2002/morningprayers.php (visited June 5, 2012).

[13] Stephen H. Norwood (2009): The Third Reich in the ivory tower: complicity and conflict on American campuses, Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.

[14] Judith Butler (2003): No, it’s not anti-semitic, London Review of Books, August 21, 2003, http://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n16/judith-butler/no-its-not-anti-semitic (visited June 5, 2012).

[15] Elhanan Yakira (2010): Post-Zionism, Post-Holocaust. Three Essays on Denial, Forgetting, and the Delegitimation of Israel, Cambridge etc.: Cambridge University Press, 315.

[16] http://toronto.nooneisillegal.org/node/572 (visited June 5, 2012).

[17] Micha Brumlik (2012): Die Philosophin im Brunnen, June 4, 2012, http://www.taz.de/
Kolumne-Gott-und-die-Welt/!94612/ (visited June 6, 2012). Resentment against Adorno is very widespread in Germany, because he was a son of a Jew and he survived National Socialism. Adorno even came back to Germany, taught Germans about antisemitism and there is resentment against him because Adorno was a critic of right-wing newspapers and their hatred of liberals around 1968, like Axel Springer’s BILD daily. Therefore, it is remarkable that a German author equates anti-Zionist Butler with pro-Israel philosopher Adorno, Michael Kreutz (2012): Versöhnung der Differenzen, June 3, 2012, http://www.transatlantic-forum.org/index.php/archives/2012/13541/versoehnung-der-differenzen/ (visited June 8, 2012). Kreutz accuses Adorno of having been a typical German “antiliberal,” which isn’t but resentment. Adorno was a victim of German antiliberal German nationalism as early as during the First World War, he wrote about this. Kreutz is a newcomer when it comes to philosophy, history, and research on antisemitism (he studied Oriental Philology). Adorno knew about antisemitism in the US in the 1940s, too. About antisemitism in America and the Ivy League and their pro-Nazi stand see Norwood 2009. Extremely naïve and badly educated authors ignore Western antisemitism completely, they are blinded by their hatred of the left (everyone who is analyzing Western antisemitism, in addition to Islamic or left-wing antisemitism, is considered an evil left-winger or liberal from their point of view).

[18] William Brand (2002): Professors accuse Web site of witch hunt
Campus Watch.org lists critics of U.S. Mideast policy, September 30, 2002, http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/255 (visited June 6, 2012).

[19] Steven Plaut (2010): Collaborators in the War against the Jews: Judith Butler, March 9, 2010, http://frontpagemag.com/2010/03/09/collaborators-in-the-war-against-the-jews-judith-butler/ (visited June 6, 2012).

[20] Russell Berman (2008): From ‘Left-Fascism’ to Campus Anti-Semitism: Radicalism as Reaction, Democratiya, 13, 14–30, 26, http://dissentmagazine.org/democratiya/
article_pdfs/d13Berman.pdf (visited June 6, 2012).

[21] Lawrence Summers (2007): Voices on Antisemitism – A Podcast Series, United States Holocaust Memorial, http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/focus/antisemitism/voices/
transcript/?content=20070215 (visited June 6, 2012).

German Political Culture: The Relationship to Anti-Zionism and Jihad before and after 11 September 2001

This article was first published with www.hagalil.com on December 17, 2003


This lecture I have hold on December 18th, 2002, at the international Symposium “Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism in Western Europe Since 2000” , organised by the Hebrew University, The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, Jerusalem.
The words in italics were unspoken at my lecture because of lack of time.

Clemens Heni, Bremen

Dear Mr. Shafir, dear Mr. Wistrich, dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very grateful for this invitation, for having the opportunity to speak here in Jerusalem about German anti-Zionism and of course to discuss actual trends of Antisemitism and anti-Zionism or Israel-hatred in Western Europe. I also thank Mr. Wiemer and the German Embassy for giving a financial squirt. And of course I thank the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, who at short term provided financial support for my flight to Israel.

Let me start with a kind of parable by Woody Allen: Two New York Intellectuals small talking at a party: one to the other: “Listen, I’ve written an essay, against antisemitism.” – Did you ? Nice. I prefere a bat.”

My report handles with three aspects:

1) political culture as a concept – anti-Zionism, projection and refusal of holocaust memory in Germany
2) the change of political culture in Germany since 2000 focussing on Israel: results of media research
3) How do the Children and Grandchildren of Germans Willing Executioners deal with anti-Zionism and Jihad ?

Analyzing political culture is one possible way to approach German society and at the same time single out German specifics of antisemitic impact. Firstly I would like to shortly introduce to you a concept of political science to analyse political culture, in order to operationalize it in a next stept with empirical material on anti-Zionism in Germany.

According to the political scientist Karl Rohe Political Culture should for a better understandig distinguished into “political social culture” and “political culture of interpretation”. Whereas “political social culture” consists of common “self-evidence, the “political culture of interpretation” points out the manifest sphere of political culture.” (1)

“From a conceptual point of view the difference between political culture of interpretation and political social culture is merely, that the political designs of the latter have already crystallized into mentalities (…), whereas in the case of culture of interpretation they either are still placed in the folder of the political designer or are being handed to-and-fro between cultural and political system.”

By applying this analytical pattern, I would state, that since a certain time anti-Zionism is beeing shoved to-and-fro between cultural and political system. Public opinion, media reports and street demonstrations increasingly affect the federal government and the political system, while statements of prominent representatives of society or even the political class retroacitvely influence the climate in Germany. This interaction is all the stronger, as the government comes from the left and has closer relations to non-parliament movements or union activists than right wingers usually have. This might seem paradox and astonishing just at first sight – a closer view however reveals a specific German phenomenon.

Particularly and maybe even only under the auspices of a red-green government it was it possible to let resentments against the USA and Israel come to surface, which had to be sublimated in a different way under a conservative government. This unselfconsciousness might not accidently be an emanation of a ‚left‘ government. Social-Democrats (SPD) and the Greens consider themselves immune to German National Socialism. From their point of view antisemitism is a problem exclusively for Conservatives – refusal of Holocaust memory and projection of German guilt on to Israel’s existence or politics – are all phenomena which they would never think of arising from left-wingers.

The invitation of the prominent author and antisemite Walser by the Federal Chancellor Schröder at the 8th of May 2002 was a sign. He suggests to forget the Jewish victims of the Shoah. Germany has become nowadays a state like any other, he declares. Exactly this attempt to forget the Jewish victims was defined as “secondary antisemitism” by the Critical Theory of Adorno and Horkheimer, the term itself was invented by their co-worker Peter Schönbach 40 years ago (2). Built upon this social political foundation the anti-Zionist attack against Israel is not in far distance. Refused German guilt is being projected on to the Jews becoming perpetrators now, symbolized in the State of Israel. The first to introduce and to advocate the most sharply this perception of Jews as perpetrators was the radical German left in 1967. Increasingly the pattern expanded within German society as a whole – not to mention GDR-anti-Zionism.

This psychological reaction is very important in order to understand what happens in Germany. Germans do not want to talk any more about Treblinka and Sobibor. Now they are looking for Auschwitz elsewhere: in Yugoslavia, in Israel or as an aspect of modernity in general, as stated by several philosophers and social scientists – following the so called post-structural theories of Michel Foucault or even the Nazi-Philosopher Martin Heidegger for example. This emanation of Holocaust relativization instead of it’s denial has become an accepted history narration, not only of course, but especially in Germany.

  • Thus my conclusion at this point: “The German way”(Schröder), anti-Americanism and antiimperialistic tradition/positions of the SPD (unionism, the social movement attac) amalgamate with strong anti-zionist groups of the Greens/the New Left in general and are establishing new forms of antisemitism and anti-Zionism with good feelings for the creators, because they are ‘left’.
  • The political culture in Germany has dramatically changed during the last four years. Antisemitism has arrived in midst of German society expressis verbis, whereas formerly it was uttered hidden behind the hand. As the former Press Councelor of Israels Embassy in Germany, Yossef Levy told me some months ago, he cannot understand the change since the celebration of Israels 40th anniversary, which has been held in Berlin with a large fancy cake, up to today. Nowadays he feels Israel-hatred all over the streets and media in Germany. It just dashes you to the ground.

2) Let me now give you some hard facts about Israel coverage in the German press and especially TV to be followed by examples of a specific german anti-Zionism, which might illustrate the way people in Germany think about Israel and German history.

Reports on the second Intifada since end of September 2000 are clearly drawing a negative picture of Israel. Israel is perceived as a cruel state, with tanks acting against stone throwing children on German TV-Screens. Israel is the perpetrator, the Palestinians are victims. The image of the jewish children murderer, an antisemitic item of the christia middle ages, as you know, was held up several times at demonstrations since 2002 until today.

Those antisemitic stereotypes have never been broadly discussed and rejected in Germany. Some people made a graffity on a synagogue in Berlin: “Israel kills children”. There you can see the direct line from antisemitism to anti-Zionism and vice versa. This visualised anti-israelian view is accompanied by verbal pictures with a clear antisemitic connotation. The characterization of Premier minister Sharon as a “bulldozer” represents one semantic devaluation by german newspaper. This is just one result of a qualitative study carried out by an institute in Duisburg, examining the essential newspapers and journals in Germany (FAZ, FR, SZ, Tagesspiegel, taz (3), Welt und Spiegel). Besides the already mentioned labeling of Ariel Scharon as a killing machine, which might be a synonyme for “bulldozer” – the study dealt with four central events: the visit of the temple mount in Jerusalem by Sharon, the death of the palestinian child Mohammed al-Dura (see the screening of Esther Schapiras film this evening!), the lynch murder of two israelian soldiers in Ramallah by Palestinians, and a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv first of June 2001. Along with these events the image of Israel was examined (4). A similar picture provides a study of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, especially dealing with the ultimate status of Israel as perpretator (5).

I would like to point out one aspect: suicide bombings are beeing regretted by germans as actions of desperate Palestinians, who actually want the best, but whose methods are a bit rude. In Germany almost nobody mentions the aim of suicide bombings: killing as many jews as possible, destabilizing Israel and, refering to an old PFLP (Palestinian Front to Liberate Palestine) strategy of the 70s, killing Jews in times of israelian-palestinian approaches. Nobody talks about the antisemitic impact of Hamas, Hizbollah, Islamic Jihad or the PLO in general. Not a word about egyptian all-day antisemitism; the only documentation originate from very few left-wingers, the jewish german community and the Israel Embassy.

Medien Tenor, which is associated with israel media watch, has examined TV reports on Israel before and after the World Trade Center massmurdering in New York. This study is first of it’s kind in the world (6). They covered the evening news of the German TV channels ZDF, ARD, RTL, Sat 1 and Pro 7. (other countries, Britain, USA, South Africa and the Czech Republikc were also examined). “A uniform method was used in all countries, providing for the first time a comparable database for objective media review in different countries. supplying TV coverage to a population of almost 500 Million people. The sudy covers quantitative aspects, topics covered and qualitative diagnosis.” (7)

Result: Israel’s importance in German TV coverage has dramatically decreased after 9 11 2001. Within the Middle East coverage there have been some 80 % of the reports about Israel compared to the Palestinian Authority before WTC. Whereas from Sept. 2001 to March 2002 the percentage is only 37 %. Even more striking is the dominance of the topic ‚Terror‘ within Israel coverage. While terror represented some 49 % of all informations about Israel broadcasted in German TV from September 2000 to August 2001, the other parts being Politics, international affairs, Religion and culture, the percentage of the topic Terror has increased up to 89 % from October 2001 to March 2002.

Even worse is the characteriziation of Israel in German Media. Already before the WTC murdering by islamic jhads, the image was rather negative, in detail: 25% negative reports, 72% neutral reports and only some 3% positive representations. After WTC the reception of Israel has enormiously deteriorated: more than 45% of the news have a clear negative pitch, 49% are neutral and just a few more than before, mere 5,5% report in a positive manner about Israel. In contrast the negative Image of the PA has even decreased after 9 11 2001, from 45 to some 25 %, while Israel is considered more negative im comparision with the PA after WTC (negative Image of Israel is 40 % after WTC). It appears very significant to me, that the antisemitic impact of suicide bombing as well as islamistic antisemitism are being denied by significant parts of German society. Along with this phenomenon comes a partial tolerance or even support of these islamic groups. No prominent representative of the political class, the establishment or the media interpreted the massacre of New York as an antisemitic action. On the contrary the islamic Jihads are more likely soft-pedalled by describing them as avengers on imperialistic USA and israelian aggression against the Palestinians. The remark of the former Federal Minister of Justice, Herta Däubler-Gmelin (SPD), comparing Bush’s policy wiht Hitler’s, seconds the popular TV anchorman of the Tagesthemen, Ulrich Wickert who supposed that Bush and Bin Laden have the same way of thinking. The german refusal of any substantial critique of Irak, along with the increasing economic relations to this antisemitic state (8), is the youngest chapter in this anti-american and also anti-israelian, german-arabic friendship.

3) Empirical examples contextualized with part one and two

Let me characterize two main ropes:
1) indifference and the refusal to fight ani-Zionism
2) the affirmation of anti-Zionism.

Both are numerous and handled in the political culture of interpretation in Germany.

1a) The Professor of Political Science Wolfgang Dressen (Fachhochschule Duesseldorf) initiated an exposition dealing with a middle age topos at first sight, but in fact with the aim of reinstalling german-arabic friendship including the jewish community. It is no accident that he set a link to an extremist islmamic homepage on the internet. The press supported his claim for a “variety of opinion” and refused to tell the public sphere anything substantial about this anti-Israeli homepage of muslim-markt. To give you an impression about this islamic group: they propose to all moslems in Germany not to buy any product of Israel, to refuse Israel a right of existence and so on.

The following passage I mentioned during the discussion about my lecture, especially focusing the ‘anti-racist’ thinking of a SPD-left wingers: In the state of Bremen, the Prime Minster of the smallest state in Germany’s north-west, Henning Scherf, gave an interview to a journal of the largest and extremist Islamic group in Germany, the Turkish organisation Milli Görüs, and supports their activities in his territory. While ignoring that at the mosques books like that of the French Holocaust-denier Roger Garaudy are offered for sale, Scherf prefers the dialogue. The protestant church as well maintains contacts with these extremist Islamic groups.

1b) The step from here to the German government is not far. Federal Minister of foreign Affairs Joschka Fischer himself invited the President of Syria, Assad (the son). Despite protests of the Central Council of Jews in Germany (“Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland”) and small groups against antisemitism and anti-Zionism Fischer talked with Assad in a friendly manner. Neither did Fischer demand the delivery of the Nazi mass murder Anton Brunner, whom several Jewish and non-Jewish organizations assume living in harmony in Syria for several decades now, nor did he or Federal Chancellor Schröder substantially criticize the antisemitism of Syria’s Minister of Defence, who told the Arabic world on TV:

“If I see a Jew, I would kill him. If every Arab kills one Jew, the Problem is solved”.

Except for Fischer’s hint to Assad, to somehow change his rhetoric, you could not hear a real critism of this very aggressive antisemitism. What does it mean: Change your rhetoric, if you speek about a person like Syria’s Minister of Defence, who calls up to kill a Jew ? After this state visit, it cannot be regarded an accident that Fischer or Schröder did not react at all the day Möllemann held Sharon and Friedman responsible for rising anti-Israelian and antisemitic feelings all round the world respectively Germany, because of their behavior as Jews (!!!).

At that point I would like to return to my scientific concept of political culture. Political culture of interpretation is full of anti-zionist activities and the political class refuses to fight them – more often they affirm these anti-Jewish positions in which twisted way ever. Thus it has become a part of the political social culture not to fight Islamic groups and their anti-Jewish impact. Only a few organizations have been forbidden after WTC. And of course it is not just a question to prohibit such groups or organizations. It’s also a question of how to reflect antisemitic and anti-zionist activities.

2) Affirmation of Islamic Jihad in Germany

The most mass-effective manifestation of actual anti-Zionism showed up in spring 2002 with numerous demonstrations all over Germany for a free Palestine. Israel was accused of killing children, there were posters with a Hamburger where the meat inside was a Palestinian inscribed “made in Israel” . Or posters with “the Israeli massacre of Jenin” were held up. The truth is not important for people with such strong resentments.

Several ten thousand people from left organizations like the PDS (“Party of Democratic Socialism”) (who called the WTC attacks “something like this comes from this”) and the Greens, autonomous groups and of course Arabic, Islamic groups including Hizbollah, Hamas, PLO with their flags and many other groups or organizations like, for example, the Hizb ut-Tahrir. This group scanned “Jews are monkeys” in Arabic, anyway some hundred meters behind the Member of Federal Parliament Christian Ströbele walked with his friends. Same time, same place, same anti-Jewish impact.

Here you can see what I wanted to explain at the beginning: the specific German need to project guilt on to Israel and the Jews. The danger for Israel lies in the large variety and discoursive practice of this “new anti-Israelianism” (9). The conference in Durban in summer 2001 was a sign to the world: listen, Israel is a racist state, Zionism means hate. (Did the Jews learn anything from Auschwitz?) These anti-Zionist Internationals (10) suggest that the jews didn’t learn anything since Auschwitz.

After the WTC attacks the danger for Israel has even increased, because the Jihadists could see that European demonstrations do not call up to fight Jihad but the USA and Israel instead, the same targets of Jihad. In addition the Palestinians could see that suicide bombing gives the PA a better position in the European Community and destabilizes Israel, psychologically, politically, economically, and socially. The already mentioned muslim-markt is a strong anti-Israeli-group and is surely just one example of few. Not to forget that it was no accident that the Al-Qaida members Mohammed Atta and his friends had good circumstances to prepare the massacre in New York while living and studying in Hamburg and visiting several mosques in this city for many years.

To come to an end let me please give you a final example which shows you the convergence of left, right and the center in Germany. Since several months left groups are collecting signatures for a resolution pleading for a stop to deliver military equipment and weapons to Israel. Besides this they call for a stop of import of israel goods. At the same time, last week, President of State Katsav visited Germany and the Nazi party NPD proclaimed to a demonstration with the slogan: “Solidarity with Palestine. No more weapons for Israel”.

You might be astonished here but the reality in Germany lies in this Nazi-slogan. Although left wingers opposed this demonstration most of them didn’t realize that they are fighting for the same aim: “Free Palestine. No more weapons for Israel.” To complete this dramatic converge of left, right and now the center, some days before the NPD Peter Struck, Federal Minister of Defence told us, that Germany will not send the demanded transport tanks called ‚Fuchs‘ to Israel. The Greens did also refuse such an export at a party convent the same week-end. None of them was willing to talk about Hamas or Hizbollah, about antisemitic speeches of Presidents of State of Syria for example.

This new anti-zionist view of world has arisen since 2000 on a well-grounded fundament by leftist since 1967. They are talking about human rights, they never talk about the human duty to fight anti-Zionism and antisemitism.

Not just at night in a dream, but in everyday politics Federal Chancellor Schröder wants to install German UN-Soldiers at the Golan for example, in order to tell the Jews in Israel how to care about human rights. He and his Vice-Chancellor Fischer are convinced that they can tell Israel the truth about Auschwitz. They also know much better to talk friendly to Hizbollah, Hamas or Arafat himself in order to bring peace on earth, they believe.

I myself, according to the Philosopher Adorno, I am convinced you cannot debate pro- and contra suicide bombing with madmen. Considering the personality structure of such persons “le sort en est jeté- rien ne vas plus”.(11) To prevent such antisemitism Woody Allens bat is not enough.

The children and grandchildren of Germany’s willing executioners have become willing refusers to fight antisemitism and anti-Zionism; they are oscillating between indifference towards and affirmation of Islamic or Arabic antisemitism/anti-Zionism.

In Germany a predilection for dead Jews is maintained. There is a bad tune to support living Jews in fighting antisemitism and anti-Zionism today.

Thank you very much for your patience


(1) Karl Rohe (1987): Politische Kultur und der kulturelle Aspekt von politischer Wirklichkeit, in: Berg-Schlosser, Dirk/Schissler, Jakob (Hg.), Politische Kultur in Deutschland. Bilanz und Perspektiven der Forschung, Politische Vierteljahresschrift, Sonderheft 18, S. 39-48, p. 42.
(2) Vgl. Lars Rensmann (1998): Kritische Theorie über den Antisemitismus. Studien zu Struktur, Erklärungspotential und Aktualität, Berlin-Hamburg, Argument, (Edition Philosophie und Sozialwissenschaften 42), p. 231f.
(3) Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). tageszeitung (taz), Frankfurter Rundschau (FR), Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ).
(4) Duisburger Institut für Sprach- und Sozialforschung: Die Nahost-Berichterstattung zur Zweiten Intifada in deutschen Printmedien unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Israel-Bildes. Analyse diskursiver Ereignisse im Zeitraum von September 2000 bis August 2001, Duisburg 2002.
(5) Forschungsbereich Öffentlichkeit und Gesellschaft – fög, Universität Zürich: ISRAELI UND PALÄSTINENSER IM SPIEGEL DER MEDIEN ANALYSE DER NAHOST-BERICHTERSTATTUNG IM ZEITRAUM ENDE SEPTEMBER BIS NOVEMBER 2000 fög, CH-8008 Zürich, 5. Januar 2001
(6) Vgl. Roland Schatz (Medien-Tenor, Bonn), translated and edited by Prof Eli Pollak (israel media-watch) “The Image of Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the International Media”, Bonn 2002 (see a german version: Roland Schatz: Der Blick auf Israel und Palästina, in: Tribüne. Zeitschrift zum Verständnis des Judentums, 41. Jg., Heft 162, 2. Quartal 2002, p. 93-113).
(7) See Schatz 2002.
(8) Klaus Thörner: Die Saddam AG. Trotz des Uno-Embargos vertieft die deutsche Industrie die wirtschaftlichen Beziehungen zum Irak, in: jungle world, Nr. 51, 11.12.2002.
(9) Günther Jacob (2002): Israel ist unser Unglück: Anti-Israelismus nach dem 11.September, in Konkret 8/2002 and www.hagalil.com.
(10) To transfer Hannah Arendt‘s notion of the “faschistische Internationale” from 1945, see: Hannah Arendt (1945)/1989: Antisemitismus und faschistische Internationale, in: dies. Nach Auschwitz. Essays & Kommentare 1, Berlin (Edition Tiamat, ciritica diabolis 21), pp. 31–48.
(11) See Theodor W. Adorno (1962)/1998: Zur Bekämpfung des Antisemitismus heute, in: ders. Gesammelte Schriften 20–1, pp. 360–383.

hagalil.com 17-12-2003

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