Antisemitism as it emerged in the early nineteenth century was nationalist, and right wing-populist in inspiration. This was the age of nationalism and of the Volk. The Jews, as the antisemites saw it, didn't just belong to another religion; their character and mentality were essentially different, alien to the values and traditions of the French, Germans, Poles, Russians, and other European peoples. In particular the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, were the main text and the basis of modem anti semitic propaganda and have remained so with countless modifications to this day. Thus antisemites claimed that the Jews wanted to conspire and dominate, and constituted a major, perhaps mortal, danger to the normal development of other nations.
The Protocols and kindred literature belong to the species of conspiracy theory of history, a genre of political philosophy and literature There are many divergent versions of the Protocols; sometimes the Jesuits are brought in, very often masonic lodges as well as various others. That the forgeries were primitive and unconvincing did not really matter. As one contemporary observer wrote, "The ignorant believed them because they were ignorant and the semi-intelligent because it was for the good of the reactionary cause."
But while anti-Semitism had a history in Russia with waves of anti-Jewish pogroms in 1881 and 1905 following the publication of the Protocols the pogroms of 1918-19 became increasingly violent, for example just in Proskurov alone, a small town in the Ukraine, 1,700 Jews were killed and thousands injured. Pogroms were carried out not only by the Whites but by Ukrainian nationalist groups, by quasi anarchists, and also by the Bolsheviks for whom the Jews were capitalists, the class enemy. The high tide of the pogroms came during the second half of 1919; it is estimated that about 10 percent of Ukrainian Jewry, between 150,000 and 200,000 people, perished.
Originally there had been few if any sympathies for Bolshevism in the Jewish street; the percentage of Jews among the political emigres from Russia after 1917, far exceeded their numbers in the general population. But for those who remained, Soviet power, however unfriendly to specific Jewish concerns, constituted the best hope in a hostile world. Young Jews were attracted by the most radical groups in Russia because of traditional Russian oppression of Jews.
The liberals attracted the Jewish middle class, but the Jewish middle class was weak since most Jews in the czarist empire had been poor. And although many Jews later were represented in the Communist leadership, from Trotsky on down, these Jews had emphatically dissociated themselves from their Jewish communities, yet nevertheless the Jews now became widely equated with Bolshevism.
While the supreme leadership of the White armies did not specifically call for pogroms nor did they oppose them; as General Anton Denikin once said, if he had done so he would be accused of having sold out to the Jews.
If the Protocols were widely read and partly believed in the countries that had emerged victorious from WWI, their success in the camp of the defeated, from the White Russian emigres to Weimar Germany, is all the more understandable. Who had brought about the downfall of the czarist empire? Who had stabbed in the back the German armies previously undefeated on the field of battle? A scapegoat had to be found. Russian and German right-wingers discovered that they did not have to blame themselves and their own shortcomings for these traumatic defeats. The explanation of an outside enemy had psychologically much to recommend.
But the Protocols offered more than an explanation; they were also a political slogan, a battle cry. Whether Hitler truly believed in the Protocols is doubtful, but he was shrewd enough to realize the enormous propagandistic potential of the basic idea of the Protocols. Some observers have gone further and argued that Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia with their dictatorships, propaganda, terror, and ideas of a totalitarian welfare state owed more than a little to the Protocols. But whether Hitler was indeed a pupil of the Elders of Zion is a moot point; he had no need for the Protocols in his struggle against the Jews or as a blueprint for Europe's future.
Their origins were
intentionally wrapped in ambiguity, and Julius Evola
translator of the Protocols in Italian, undertook to split hairs between
"authenticity" and "truthfulness," arriving in effect at a
tautology. The PSM were "truthful" over and above their
"authenticity," because they mirrored the true nature of Judaism and
its ends which, Protocols or no Protocols, were truly what was shown in the
This was the time when Julius Evola (who dreamed of starting his own SS) was friends with an admirer of Iron Guard founder Corneliu Zelea Codreanu.
The Iron Guard campaign against Romania's Jews culminated in January 1941 with an orgy of anti-Semitic violence during a failed attempt to seize power from the Guard's erstwhile ally General Ion Antonescu. Fighting for Bucharest, the Greenshirts, as the Iron Guard squads were known, sacked and burned synagogues, and began a pogrom. As Jews' homes and businesses burned, their Christian neighbors sought to save their own property by posting signs such as "Christian Property, Romanian House, Romanian Owner," but some of these houses and shops too were destroyed. In perhaps the most infamous scene of slaughter, Romanian fascists killed Jews at a Bucharest slaughterhouse in what Leigh White described as a "fiendish parody of kosher methods of butchering."1
Julius Evola wrote in a 1983 book about Codreanu , that he thought the Iron Guard founder "one of the worthiest and spiritually best orientated figures that I ever met in the nationalist movements of the time."2
This type of approval is nor surprising given Evola’s intend to start his own SS in 1942, however according to Evola when spoke to Henri Hartung asked about violent activities (done in Evola’s name) in 1971, only under the “condition that it was done with proper spiritual preparation” and Evola said he rejected “ activism devoid of any serious doctrinal preparation.”3
So for example early
on in his “Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social
Order in the Kali Yuga” Julius Evola wrote of
manliness, mystical sovereignty and legitimate authority.-The
counterrevolution, he insisted, must happen first in the mind, with the return
of sanity and traditional wisdom.
However it is also within this context that Ahmed Huber lectured since no later than 1992 to sub-groups of the Nouvelle Droite in the form of GRECE.
The Nouvelle Droite as we have seen before was inspired by Julius Evola and his students, starting in May 68 as the rightist students' reaction to the leftist movement named after that month.
Ahmed Huber however did not only drew our interest because his claim in 2001 that: “The new alliance has come. The eleventh of September has brought together [the two sides] because the new right has reacted positively They say, and I agree with them 100 percent, what happened on the eleventh of September, if it is the Muslims who did it, it is not an act of terrorism but an act of counterterrorism.”4
His name also showed up in relation a raid was conducted by Swiss law enforcement at the request of the White House in the initial crackdown on terrorist finances in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. The target of the raid was Youssef Nada, director of the Al-Taqwa Bank of Lugano, who has had active association with the Muslim Brotherhood for more than 50 years and who admitted to being one of the organization’s international leaders. It was this read that yielded the document of 1982, prepared by Islamic researchers associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in Switzerland, presented a flexible, multi-phased, long-term approach to the "cultural invasion" of the West. The 14-page plan dated December 1, 1982, outlined a 12-point strategy to "establish an Islamic government on earth." It was drafted by the Muslim Brotherhood as part of its rechartering process in 1982, a time that marks an upswing in its organizational expansion internationally.
As can be seen in a number of examples throughout Europe, including the political recognition of parallel Islamist government organizations in Sweden, the recent "cartoon" jihad in Denmark, and the Parisian car-burning intifada last November. The following tactics and techniques are among the many recommendations made in the document.
Networking and coordinating actions between likeminded Islamist organizations;
Avoiding open alliances with known terrorist organizations and individuals to maintain the appearance of "moderation";
Infiltrating and taking over existing Muslim organizations to realign them towards the Muslim Brotherhood’s collective goals;
Using deception to mask the intended goals of Islamist actions, as long as it doesn’t conflict with shari’a law;
Avoiding social conflicts with Westerners locally, nationally or globally, that might damage the long-term ability to expand the Islamist powerbase in the West or provoke a lash back against Muslims;
Establishing financial networks to fund the work of conversion of the West, including the support of full-time administrators and workers;
Conducting surveillance, obtaining data, and establishing collection and data storage capabilities;
Putting into place a watchdog system for monitoring Western media to warn Muslims of "international plots fomented against them";
Cultivating an Islamist intellectual community, including the establishment of think-tanks and advocacy groups, and publishing "academic" studies, to legitimize Islamist positions and to chronicle the history of Islamist movements;
Developing a comprehensive 100-year plan to advance Islamist ideology throughout the world;
Balancing international objectives with local flexibility;
Building extensive social networks of schools, hospitals and charitable organizations dedicated to Islamist ideals so that contact with the movement for Muslims in the West is constant;
Involving ideologically committed Muslims in democratically-elected institutions on all levels in the West, including government, NGOs, private organizations and labor unions;
Instrumentally using existing Western institutions until they can be converted and put into service of Islam;
Drafting Islamic constitutions, laws and policies for eventual implementation;
Avoiding conflict within the Islamist movements on all levels, including the development of processes for conflict resolution;
Instituting alliances with Western "progressive" organizations that share similar goals;
Creating autonomous "security forces" to protect Muslims in the West;
Inflaming violence and keeping Muslims living in the West "in a jihad frame of mind";
Supporting jihad movements across the Muslim world through preaching, propaganda, personnel, funding, and technical and operational support;
Making the Palestinian cause a global wedge issue for Muslims;
Adopting the total liberation of Palestine from Israel and the creation of an Islamic state as a keystone in the plan for global Islamic domination;
Instigating a constant campaign to incite hatred by Muslims against Jews and rejecting any discussions of conciliation or coexistence with them;
Actively creating jihad terror cells within Palestine;
Linking the terrorist activities in Palestine with the global terror movement;
Collecting sufficient funds to indefinitely perpetuate and support jihad around the world. (*)
The left, on the other hand, was the heir of the Enlightenment and its ideals were those of the French Revolution, not only of liberty and were no leading Jewish cadres left to be purged. Nevertheless, the anti-Jewish propaganda machine continued its work. Soviet foreign policy, which had initially been neutral in the Arab-Israeli conflict, sharply turned against Israel after 1967, and Russia broke off diplomatic relations. But as far as Jews in the Soviet bloc were concerned, the propaganda campaign was preoccupied only to a limited extent with the misdeeds of the state of Israel; it followed classical antisemitic lines. According to the books and pamphlets by various official writers, issued by the propaganda department of the Communist party or Soviet army intelligence (there was no certainty about the identity of the sponsors), the teachings of Judaism inspired inhuman deeds, provided the chauvinistic idea of the Jews as the chosen people, and led to their notion of ruling over other people of the world. These teachings were an unsurpassed textbook of bloodthirstiness and hypocrisy, treason, perfidy, and vile licentiousness. Jews had been Hitler's fifth column, the propagandists claimed; they had financed the Nazis and they were instrumental in trying to overthrow the Soviet order. These antisemitic texts were accompanied by cartoons that resembled and in some cases reproduced Nazi propaganda.
The crudeness of these publications caused negative reactions and embarrassment among Communist party members outside the Soviet Union. From time to time this propaganda was tuned down, but it basically continued up to the last years of the Soviet Union. After the fall of the Soviet Union, it was taken up and intensified by both former Communists and the extreme right, and also by sections of the Russian Orthodox church, which could now claim that their dire prophecies about the Jewish cabal had come true.
There were certain differences in the attitudes toward Jews in the People's Democracies. In East Germany for the obvious historical reasons-recollections of Nazi ideology and propaganda-there were fewer instances of openly antisemitic attacks, and few if any attacks against the Old Testament and the teachings of Judaism. Jews were denounced as the "class enemy" and the term Zionist was usually preferred when denouncing Jews. Unlike in the Soviet Union, positions in the state and party leadership, except for the brief period noted above, were not barred to Communists of Jewish origin. Furthermore, as East Germany tried to normalize relations with the United States in the 198os, the anti-Jewish attacks became far more infrequent. The same is true, to a lesser extent, with regard to the other Eastern European countries. The decline in openly anti semitic incidents had more to do with the lessening of the intensity of the Cold War rather than with any profound ideological change.
Seen in retrospect, there were, of course, other significant differences between Nazi-style antisemitism and Communist antisemitism. Above all, Communism would emphatically deny that its repression of Jews as communities or individuals or its anti-Jewish political indoctrination had anything to do with antisemitism. It would argue that the Communist system treated all ethnic groups equally and that ethnic belonging was of no significance-if individuals were attacked or repressed, this was because they were enemies of peace, or agents of capitalism or of imperialism, not because they were Jews.
In view of its ideological tenets, Marxism-Leninism, even in its Stalinist phase, could not be openly racialist; the Soviet Union, furthermore, was a multinational empire and a few Jews were always left unmolested even at the worst of times. Marxism, after all, was the heir of the Enlightenment and the ideals of the French Revolution, and the concept of a superior master race was unthinkable-even though Soviet ideology had gone a long way from the early internationalist days to something akin to National Socialism. Marx had been born a Jew and many other Jews of an earlier period had been Communists this history could not be rewritten.
Even in the days of Marx and Engels, however, not all people had been considered equal-Poles and Hungarians, for instance, were considered progressive whereas Russians were a reactionary force in world history, and the South Slavs, unimportant. Later, there was an official Marxist-Leninist doctrine of absolute equality, but there was an unwritten party line according to which some groups were more progressive than others and Jews were considered reactionary. The very least that was demanded of Jews in order to be accepted as equals was to dissociate themselves totally from Judaism, not only from the Jewish religion or sympathies with Zionism but from any identification with other Jews, and to actively struggle against all national Jewish feelings. Only on these conditions could these non-Jewish Jews-to use the expression coined by one of them, Isaac Deutscher-hope to be treated as comrades in the fight for justice and progress. Even in these circumstances, a residue of suspicion and hostility remained.
Communist anti-Judaism is also of interest because of the interchangeable use of the terms "Zionism" and "Judaism." The Bolsheviks had opposed Zionism even before the revolution of 1917 (as had leading Social Democrats such as Kautsky), but the use of the term "Zionism" as a synonym for Judaism and Jew had been unthinkable. Among the Jews left in the Soviet empire after the Second World War were no more than perhaps a handful of Zionists, because the true Zionists had used the opportunities at the end of the war to emigrate to Palestine. Those attacked as Zionists under Stalin and his successors were anything but Zionists; most of them knew little and cared less about the Jewish state that had come into being in 1948. Hence, it is legitimate to define the Communist attitude toward Jews during much of the postwar period as anti-Jewish even though this antisemitism differed in character from previous religious or racialist manifestations.
The influence of the
Communist parties and of Communism greatly declined with the disintegration of
the Soviet Union, but the New Left remained an influential player on the
political scene in many countries. It was among these groups and especially
among the most radical of them that antisemitic views emerged. Again, as in the
case of the Communists, there were emphatic denials on the part of those
charged with antisernitism: this was a base calumny
spread by right-wing nationalist.
*Al-Taqwa was created by four people on July 21, 1988; Yousef Nada, Ali Ghaleb Himmat, Mohammed Mansour, and Ahmed Huber. And leading al-Taqwa shareholder was Alessandro Ghe, who belonged to the Ordine Nuovo (New Order) organization, which as we have seen began to reach out to Muslim radicals in the 1970’s.
After al-Taqwa was forced to shut down in Switzerland in 2001, elements of the Wahhabi lobby shifted operations to its backup institutions in the United States. Thus on March 20, 2002, a U.S. Treasury task force raided connected and the assets of 192 individuals and organizations connected with al-Taqwa, where frozen. Reportedly, their financing was significant.5
A socialist early in life, Huber fell under the sway of the Muslim Brotherhood, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, that shaped his views, not only on Islam but also on the Third Reich, and ‘traditionalist’ Johan von Leers. See also:
Von Leers converted to Islam after his contact with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood when he became "Omar Amin" and nominated by Nasser, as responsible for anti-Jewish propaganda in Cairo. It is in his memory that one of the actual ringleaders of the new pro-Islamist European right, the Italian Claudio Mutti, has chosen for his name of conversion to Islam that of “Omar Amin."6
By the early 1980s, however Huber found a new mentor in the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran. In fact he is the only European Muslim to have given a speech before the tomb of the late Iranian cleric.7 But no doubt Claudio Mutti was one of Huber ‘s early contacts that gave the latter access to ‘new right’ avenues like CERCLE where Koenraad Elst reported to have heard Huber speak in 1992.
It should be stressed however that Groups belonging to the ‘New Right’ in Belgium, Holland, and Germany, have gone out of their way to stress that they had nothing to do with the ‘far right’, old or new. Thus France's Alain de Benoist, or Belgium's Jean Francois Thiriart, show no pronounced interest in anti-Semitism. Some of them express ecological concerns, others favor a third way, combining ideological elements of the far right with those of the extreme left. Above all, there is anti-globalism and anti-Americanism as the doctrinal glue; according to de Benoist, "America is the most evil rogue state and thus our greatest enemy."
Of course like Nazi propaganda during WWII has shown, one could argue it is only one step from de Benoist passionate antiAmericanism, to the allegation that everything in America belongs to (is run by) the Jews. Ant racialist legislation concerning both incitement and discrimination in France, Germany, and other European countries has compelled anti-Semites to use circumlocutions to describe their purposes. The laws are not too difficult to circumvent by using coded terms for Jewish people ("East Coast" or "New York"). And where de Benoist thus may be too cautious to make this step, other leading sectarians such as Horst Mahler, once a leading left-wing terrorist, had no such hesitations. Horst Mahler, one of the cofounders of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist gang, over the years thus has become a leading ideologist of the German neo-Nazis and their fellow travelers.
According to Mahler, the hatred of Jews is natural, and the Auschwitz lie was invented by the Jews to keep the German people in perpetual servitude. In France, Roger Garaudy, former member of the Politburo of the Communist party, has gone through a similar shift from extreme left to extreme right views. For these two men and they are by no means the only ones-anti-Semitism was certainly a basic ingredient of their new ideology. Jacques Verges, a well-known lawyer, had been a prominent Maoist sympathizer, but he moved on to defend Klaus Barbie, one of the leading figures in the execution of the final solution in wartime France. "Carlos the Jackal," the infamous terrorist of the 1970’s and 1980’s and the most radical left-winger of them all, converted to Islamism and his political opinions developed accordingly.
Thus the issue of contemporary Left-Wing anti-Semitism continues to be a major bone of contention. Just as Arabs have argued for a long time that they cannot possibly be anti-Jewish (in contradistinction to being anti-Zionist) because they too are Semites, left-wing spokesmen and spokesmen of the former ‘nouvelles droites’ have maintained that allegations of this kind are base calumnies.
But this is only part of the story, for both the left and anti-Semitism have changed their character over time. Nor is it true that anti-Jewish attacks emanating from the extreme left are invariably connected with the policies of the state of Israel and its close alliance with imperialist America. One group of the German terrorist left, headed by Dieter Kunzelmann, planned to blow up a meeting of the leadership of the Berlin Jewish community in 1969, killing as many as possible. This was a meeting to commemorate Kristallnacht 1938, the largest Nazi prewar pogrom; it had nothing to do with the state of Israel and Zionism.
It is one of the fundamental tenets of belief of the extreme left that while other nations have the right to have their own state, the Jews have not. They did live after all for two millennia without a state, and any attempt to turn back the wheels of history is essentially reactionary. It is bound to conflict with the vital interests of other people and dispossess them. Hence, the extreme left concludes that Arab and Muslim enemies of Israel are progressive because they are anti-American and anticapitalist, however illiberal their ideology in other respects; that they should be supported, whereas Israel and those affirming its right of existence are a priori enemies of progress and peace.
The case of the extreme left against Israel and the collaboration of the extreme left with antisemitic groups can be more easily justified on pragmatic than doctrinal grounds. It has provoked ideological differences among the left in Europe as well as in America. However, the turn of the extreme left against the Jews is by no means limited to the misdeeds of the state of Israel and its close collaboration with the United States. Historically, it goes back to well before the American-Israeli alliance came into being in the I970’s and it extends to a great variety of issues. Antiglobalists regard the Jews as an enemy because of their alleged support of international capitalism; radical feminists are very critical of the Jews because five thousand years ago they were instrumental in replacing the matriarchy with the patriarchy. In Europe, left-wing internationalists regard Jews-a-conflict-causing element-at a time when national borders are disappearing in Europe, why do the Jews need a state of their own? (According to a public opinion poll in 2003, 59 percent of Europeans believed that Israel was the country most dangerous to the preservation of world peace.) It seemed to follow that but for these nationalist, indeed atavistic, aspirations, there would be peace and harmony between the third world and Europe, and the danger of terrorism as well as other such threats would be much reduced.
Mikis Theodorakis, famed Greek musician and composer and a hero of the European left, said in an interview that the Jews were the root of all evil, that they controlled not only world finance but all orchestras that would not perform his works. He also noted that there was really no anti-Semitism and that Jews were simply masochists who liked the role of victims.
When the British Labor party launched antisemitic attacks against two Conservative leaders (Michael Howard and Oliver Lettwin) who were of Jewish extraction, this had nothing to do with Zionism and Israel since these political figures were in no way involved in pro Israel activities, but simply with the fact that they are Jews. (About half of the British electorate indicated that it would not want a Jew as prime minister.) It could well be that those who launched these attacks were motivated merely by "practical" considerations. The influence of Muslim communities in Western Europe is growing and they might well be decisive in dozens of electoral constituencies.
1. Leigh White, The Long Balkan Night, 1944, p. 95.
2. Evola, Chemin du cinabre, 1983, p. 137.
3. Quoted in M. Sedgwick, Against The Modern World, 2004, p.185.
4. Quoted in Peter Finn, "Unlikely Allies Bound by a Common Hatred," Washington Post, April 29, 2002, page A13.
5. Stephen Schwarz, "Wahhabis in the Old Dominion: What the Federal Raids in Northern Virginia Uncovered," Weekly Standard 7, no. 29, April 8, 2002.
6. See Claudio Mutti: Gotteskampf di Johann von Leers.
7. Kevin Coogan, The
Mysterious Achmed Huber: Friend to Hitler, Allah and
Ibn. Laden?, HITLIST