No. 517 11-25 Iyar 5764 / 2-16 May 2004
THE COLD-WAR ORIGINS OF
CONTEMPORARY ANTI-SEMITIC TERMINOLOGY
Joel S. Fishman
- Several important manifestations of anti-Semitism originate in the ideology and political culture of the former Soviet Union, whose legacy has survived its demise. A special type of political language which it devised has served as the bridge which links the earlier Soviet-styled anti-Semitism to that of the present.
By defining the terminology of political discourse about Israel and the Jewish people in general, the Soviets set in place the cultural foundations for a new type of political anti-Semitism that has penetrated mainstream culture.
In 1907, Lenin explained his use of language as a weapon: "The wording is calculated to provoke in the reader, hatred, disgust, contempt. The phrasing must be calculated not to convince but to destroy, not to correct the adversary's mistake, but to annihilate his organization and wipe it off the face of the earth."
Certain basic terms have penetrated the popular mainstream idiom and have made a profound impression upon largely uncritical mass audiences. They include racism, fascism, genocide, occupation, peace camp, and their permutations.
Political anti-Semitism offers common ground to such disparate groups as militant Islamists, leftists, members of the European right with a compromised past, not to mention some who never have met a Jew.
In this environment, Israel must wage a just war of defense. It must respond to the challenge of language conditioning and prevent others from defining its reality through the use of ideologically embedded language.
Definition of the Problem and its Historical Context
Anti-Semitism in recent historical memory has generally been associated with the European ultra-nationalist movements which did not accept Jews as equal citizens or recognize them as belonging to their respective nations. Notably, Nazi Germany combined anti-Semitism with a racist totalitarian ideology and implemented a plan which resulted in the destruction of European Jewry. Today the present surge in anti-Semitism comes from the other end of the political spectrum. Its contemporary manifestations are rooted in the ideology and political culture of the former Soviet Union, whose legacy has survived its demise. A special type of political language which it devised has served as the bridge which links the earlier Soviet-styled anti-Semitism to that of the present. By defining the terminology of political discourse about Israel and the Jewish people in general, the Soviets set in place the cultural foundations for a new type of political anti-Semitism that has penetrated mainstream culture, particularly in Europe, and impaired the function of international institutions such as the United Nations.
On 12 December 1968, Bertrand Russell addressed an open letter to Polish Prime Minister Wladyslaw Gomulka in which he wrote: "By some twisted logic, all Jews are now Zionists, Zionists are fascists, fascists are Nazis, and Jews, therefore, are to be identified with the very criminals who only recently sought to eliminate Polish Jewry."1 Russell was protesting against the wave of anti-Semitic agitation and propaganda in Poland, which was part of a larger campaign the Soviet Union had launched after Israel defeated its proxies, Egypt and Syria, in the Six-Day War (June 1967). The grouping together of such accusations is an example of "amalgamation," a propaganda technique used to extrapolate "from Jewish self-defense to aggression, from a desire for self-determination to racism, and from a wish for independence to imperialism."2 According to the late Stefan T. Possony, an accomplished American strategist and specialist in Eastern European affairs, Komsomolskaya Pravda published the real message of this propaganda on 4 October 1967: "Zionism is dedicated to 'genocide, racism, treachery, aggression, and annexation...all characteristic attributes of fascists.'"3 Bernard Lewis reported the use of nearly identical language at the World Conference of the International Women's Year held in Mexico City in late June and early July 1975. He observed that "the 'Declaration on the Equality of Women' issued on that occasion repeatedly stresses the share of women in the struggle against neocolonialism, foreign occupation, Zionism, racism, racial discrimination and apartheid."4
The distinguished historians of the Soviet Union, Michael Heller and Aleksandr M. Nekrich, reported that the Six-Day War represented a turning point in the development of anti-Semitism in the USSR:
The Six-Day War in 1967 opened a new chapter in the history of Soviet anti-Semitism. After that, the authorities ceased to be ashamed of anti-Semitism, and it acquired full rights. Zionism became the latest approved and authorized object of hatred, just as Nepmen, wreckers, and kulaks had once been. In books and periodicals, published in millions of copies, and in movies and television broadcasts, Zionism was depicted as a most serious threat to the Soviet state. A Permanent Commission was established under the Social Sciences Section of the USSR Academy of Sciences "to coordinate research dedicated to the exposure and criticism of the history, ideology, and practical activity of Zionism."5
"Zionism is Racism"
On 10 November 1975, the Soviet Union and its Arab supporters succeeded in passing UN General Assembly Resolution no. 3379, "Zionism is Racism," thereby converting an anti-Semitic slogan into an internationally accepted "truth."6 Heller and Nekrich analyzed the textual significance of the UN resolution within the context of the Soviet Communist tradition:
Within the USSR anti-Zionism is used to mobilize the country's peoples against a common enemy: the Jews. One of the greatest victories of Soviet ideology during the 1970s was the United Nations resolution pronouncing Zionism to be a form of racism. In the repertoire of Soviet propaganda, "racism" used to be one of the rare terms that had but a single meaning. Following the resolution, its meaning became manifold, like the terms "formal democracy," "real freedom," "bourgeois democracy," "social democracy," "pseudo-humanism," and "proletarian-humanism." Soviet ideologues managed to complete Hitler's work: anti-Zionism (equated with anti-Semitism) ceased to be the property of reactionaries and fascists. It became a Marxist, i.e. scientifically justified form of the national liberation struggle. "Anti-Zionism" has become the proletarian internationalism of the epoch of "real socialism."7
Although the UN resolution equating Zionism with racism was finally overturned on 16 December 1991,8 and the Soviet Union ceased to exist shortly after (26 December 1991), the damage to Israel's cause was considerable. This resolution has obscured the historical facts behind the issues and created a condition that has prevented rational discussion of the real problems of the Middle East. In an era of mass media when the study of the past has gone out of fashion, slogans, such as "Zionism is racism," have penetrated the popular mainstream idiom and the consciousness of largely uncritical mass audiences.
The Uses of Language as a Tool of Incitement and Political Control: Background
At the close of the nineteenth century, Arkady Kremer, a member of the Jewish Bund who had been exiled to Vilna, presented a new approach to politicizing workers in a brochure entitled, "On Agitation." His idea was to subordinate propaganda to agitation, using political propaganda to politicize the masses who were incapable of understanding ideological arguments and manipulate them through the use of slogans. Lenin later developed Kremer's doctrine of sloganeering in his famous essay, What is to be Done? (March 1902).9 The new slogans of the early revolutionary era (July 1917) had a simple appeal:
"Land for the Peasants!"
"Factories for the Workers!"
"Bread for the Hungry!"
"Peace with Germany!"
"All power to the Soviets!"10
One purpose of slogans as a tool of political agitation was to "designate visible and accessible hate-targets within the community," namely the enemies of the class struggle.11 In a statement of 1907, Lenin explained his use of language as a weapon with chilling frankness:
The wording [of our press campaign against our foes] is calculated to provoke in the reader, hatred, disgust, contempt. The phrasing must be calculated not to convince but to destroy, not to correct the adversary's mistake, but to annihilate his organization and wipe it off the face of the earth [author's emphasis].12
If at the outset, one is determined to annihilate the adversary's organization verbally, one may have fewer inhibitions about taking the next step: literally annihilating one's enemies physically and on a massive scale.13
Soviet use of language should also be understood as a means of totalitarian control. During the late forties and early fifties, the population of the Soviet Union began to show clear signs of passive resistance. Rather than ameliorate their conditions, Stalin initiated the Pavlovian revival that devised new ways to control human behavior.14 "The basic premise of the new Pavlovian model of personality was that there was nothing in man that transcends in principle the conditioned salivary responses of Pavlov's dog."15 On Stalin's instructions, Soviet science devoted great attention to language conditioning, using language as an instrument of social control. "For this purpose it was imperative that words should always be signals that touch off responses appropriate with their meanings. Here was the needed link between semantics and politics....To take a familiar example from the Soviet context, on hearing the signal "warmonger," a properly Pavlovianized Russian should respond with a shudder of fury....Of all the monopolies enjoyed by the Soviet State, none would be so crucial as its monopoly on the definition of words. The ultimate weapon of political control would be the dictionary."16 It is in the above context that the purpose and function of Soviet anti-Zionist terminology must be grasped and the danger it represents to civilized society.
An Examination of Some Basic Terms
This essay will examine several recurring specific terms and document their usage. After locating the original definitions of several basic terms, such as "fascism," "genocide," "occupation," and the "peace camp," one may add examples of their current usage. (Since the term, "racism," became current in the seventies, we must consult more recent literature.) This language generally contains accusations and embodies a propaganda technique known as the "reversal of culpability," which imposes a false historical analogy on the present. Thus, Goliath becomes David, and David becomes Goliath. The most widespread use of this technique applies to the accusation of "genocide," which carries the fraudulent assertion that "Israel is doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to the Jews." Beyond the fact that this libel is untrue, it is a form of Holocaust denial that trivializes the enormity of the Holocaust, its memory, and its uniqueness. Over time, several of the original terms have developed families of synonyms. In the next section, we shall provide some historical background for each term and the meaning that each has acquired over time.
Racism (variations: Apartheid, Discrimination, Bantustanization)
The term "racism" was generally used in the context of black/white relations in the United States, but during the 1960s it received a new twist. Bernard Lewis explained how this assumed a fresh impetus in the Arab world:
In article 19 of the Palestine National Covenant of 1964, racist is added to the list of pejorative adjectives applied to Zionism, while in 1965 a publication of the PLO, significantly in English, classifies Zionism as a form of racism. Before long, Jewish racism was traced back to antiquity, and its sources were found in the Bible and Talmud. The reasons for this change are obvious enough. For one thing, racism can be identified with imperialism, with alien domination. For another, the fashionable enemy in the West in our day is the racist; just as a few years back he was the communist.17
Current examples: 1) The following passage is found in Yasir Arafat's address in Durban (2001): "Condemnation of the Israeli occupation and its racist practices and laws, which are based on racism and superiority, is considered today an urgent demand by our people." [Third World Conference against Racism and Racial Discrimination, Durban, South Africa, 31 August - 7 September 2001].18
2) Another product of Durban was the declaration of the NGOs: "We declare Israel as a racist, apartheid state in which Israel's brand of apartheid as a crime against humanity has been characterized by separation and segregation, dispossession, restricted land access, denationalization, 'bantustanization' and inhumane acts." [Article 162, WCAR NGO Declaration, 3 September 2001].19
3) Writing in The Guardian of September 15, 2003, former Speaker of the Knesset Avraham Burg used similar language: "The prime minister should present the choices forthrightly: Jewish racism or democracy. Settlements, or hope for both peoples."20
Fascism (variation: Nazism)
During the twenties and thirties, the Bolsheviks applied the term "fascist" to the Social Democrats of Germany. One of the decisions of the Sixth Comintern Congress, held in the summer of 1928, was that the main enemy was "the social fascists." "This phrase, first put into circulation by Zinoviev in 1922, referred to the Social Democrats [of Germany] and implied not only that they were the main enemies of the working class but also that the real fascists [the Nazis] were not a great danger."21 In fact, in 1931 Stalin ordered the Communist Party of Germany to undermine the Social Democrats and to collaborate with the Nazis in order to destroy the democratic Weimar Republic.22
Current examples: 1) "Throughout the 1980s, long before it was employed against the right wing as a term of abuse, the word "Nazi" was often used by the far left to describe the settlers and the Likud government that backed them. Perhaps the most egregious case was that of the late Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz, a well-known theologian and political polemicist, who invented the term "Judeo-Nazi."23
2) "Moshe Zimmermann, Professor of German history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, passed judgment on the Settlers' younger generation: '[They are] like the Hitlerjugend [Hitler Youth].'"24 (November 1995).
3) At Davos on 28 January 2001, Yasser Arafat declared: "For four months, the present Israeli government has been waging a savage barbarous war and fascist military aggression against our Palestinian people."25
4) After a visit with Arafat in January 2003, Gretta Duisenberg (wife of the Head of the European Central Bank) publicly called Israel's actions "worse than the Nazis."26
Genocide (and variations: Ethnic Cleansing, Holocaust)
In 1948, the UN passed the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This law represented an advance because it made genocide a crime, even if it took place within the boundaries of a sovereign state. Samantha Power, who documented the history of this law, noted that it "suffered then (as it suffers now) from several inherent definitional problems."27 Article II of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of December 9, 1948 defined the term as follows:
Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.28
The imprecise language of this convention made it possible for William L. Patterson, a prominent American communist (with Paul Robeson) to submit a petition to the United Nations in 1951 charging the U. S. government with the crime of genocide against black people.29
For the sake of fairness and accuracy, it is necessary to note the record of the Soviet Union which was so outspoken in accusing Israel of the crimes of genocide and mass murder. R. J. Rummel in his listing of the world's "Megamurderers," placed Stalin first ever with 42,672,000, followed by Mao Tse Tung with 37,828,000, and Adolf Hitler with 20,946,000.30 Rummel coined a new term, "democide," which combined the crimes of mass murder with genocide. He estimated the total figure for Soviet democide from 1917 to the post-Stalin era to be about 61,911,000 and presented statistical information with regard to the Soviet experience.31
Current examples: 1) Joel Kotek wrote: "It is worthwhile noting the words of Simon-Pierre Nothomb...in the daily Brussels-based Le Soir [18 December 2001]: 'How can such a talented and perceptive people as the Jews, who experienced so many atrocities and pain in flesh, blood and spirit, accept today that its government and army inflict upon others who are not guilty of anything, precisely what they suffered themselves?...The landscape of the West Bank is like a hallucination. Like Poland during its dark years; it is dotted with concentration camps....The Gaza Strip is an overpopulated prison. You should visit it, you will revise the history of the Warsaw ghetto....As in 1941 Warsaw, the local authorities are ordered to hand over their subjects forthwith, according to lists compiled by the occupying authorities.'"32
2) A perverse permutation of this libel involves the presumption of Israel's present and future guilt. Even if Israel never committed such a crime against humanity as genocide, it is deemed capable of doing so because it is assumed to have criminal intentions. Alan Dershowitz wrote: "More is certainly expected of a Nobel-Prize winning author such as Jose Saramago, who recently [March 2002] characterized Israeli efforts to defend its citizens against terrorism as 'a crime comparable to Auschwitz.' When Saramago was pressed about 'where...the gas chambers are,' he responded, 'Not here yet.'"33
3) Anat Peri, writing in Ha'aretz of 30 May 2003, warned of this accusation's dangerous effects abroad: The journalist "Gideon Levy has chosen to grapple with Sebastian Haffner's book with the help of the most common current anti-Semitic cliche: Everything the Nazis did to the Jews, the Jews are now doing to the Palestinians, and if they aren't doing this yet, they will in the future [author's emphasis]. The Germans and other anti-Semites are so fond of this cliché not only because, in their opinion, it cancels out the guilt for the Holocaust, but also because it eradicates the unique characteristic of the slaughter of the Jews: Murder for the sake of murder, the only reason for which is an insane ideology."34
4) Professor Lev Grinberg of Ben-Gurion University published an article entitled "Symbolic Genocide" in the Belgian daily newspaper La Libre Belgique of 29 March 2004, accusing Israel of perpetrating "symbolic genocide" against the Palestinian people. He wrote: "The murder of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin is part of a general policy carried out by the government of the State of Israel which could be described as symbolic genocide. Incapable of getting beyond the trauma of the Shoah and the insecurity that it caused, the Jewish people, supreme victim of genocide, is currently inflicting a symbolic genocide on the Palestinian people."35
Yehoshafat Harkabi wrote: "The ambiguity of the first demand [Israel's withdrawal from all occupied territories] stems from the possibility of understanding it to have a broader meaning than withdrawal from the areas occupied in 1967, as 'the occupied territory' has in Arab political language been the conventional name for Israel in its pre-1967 boundaries. Thus the gamut of meanings can range from the old politicidal objective dressed in an elegant formulation to withdrawal from the area conquered in 1967, a more restrictive meaning. For those calling for the demise of Israel, such a formulation is seized upon as a useful verbal stratagem concealing its political meaning, while for the more moderate, the broader meaning can produce some discomfort in public relations."36 In its broadest sense, this term could effectively mean all lands in the region - roughly of the original British Mandate - which are not under the domination of the PA.
Current example: The penetration of such terminology into the local political idiom may be found in the declaration of Prime Minister Sharon of 26 May 2003: "You cannot like the word, but what is happening is an occupation - to hold 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation. I believe that is a terrible thing for Israel and for the Palestinians."37
The Two Camp Theory (Peace Camp, Party of Peace)
Although Lenin first developed the "two camp theory" in his later works,38 Stalin became its major proponent.39 According to Soviet expert Robert C. Tucker, "this image dichotomized the globe into two 'worlds' called the 'Soviet camp of peace, socialism, and democracy' and the 'American camp of capitalism, imperialism, and war.'"40 On 30 September 1947, Andrei A. Zhdanov, the Soviet Union's chief ideologist in one of the defining moments of the Cold War, stated the Soviet-Communist position "that the 'peace camp,' representing the community of socialist states, was threatened by 'aggressive American capitalism.'"41
Tucker explained the operative meaning of the Stalinist two-camp ideology when applied to those areas not under direct Soviet domination: "'two forces, two camps, exist in any capitalist country.' The second camp in the black world consisted of all those who belonged - in attitude, in thought, and in deed - to the white world, who regarded themselves as its citizens living in a foreign land, and who, therefore, submitted to Soviet control voluntarily."42
Current examples: 1) In an address of January 30, 1996, to Arab diplomats in Stockholm, Arafat disclosed his plan for the Palestinian takeover of Israel: "We of the PLO will now concentrate all our efforts on splitting Israel psychologically into two camps....You understand," he added, "that we plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion; Jews won't want to live among us Arabs."43
2) The above description of members of the peace camp living in the black world "who regarded themselves as its citizens living in a foreign land" may be identified in the writings of Baruch Kimmerling, Professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University: "The hard-core peace camp was composed of individuals and small groups who believed that the occupation and oppression of another people and the theft of their land were evil in universal humanistic terms, while others in the peace camp believed that the occupation transformed the country into a Herrenvolk [Master Race in Nazi parlance] democracy that corrupted Israeli society itself."44
The Historical-Deterministic Argument: The Idea Behind the Invective
The Soviet origin of this terminology and its anti-Semitic intent is beyond dispute. Although the USSR has passed into history, its legacy of language conditioning and hatred lives on. The Palestinian Authority and its sympathizers both in the Arab world and abroad have taken the terminology of political anti-Semitism and methodically employed it in their relentless efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel. Many had hoped that in the post-Oslo era, there would be a relaxation of this propaganda and agitation. Instead, the Jewish world now faces a rapidly deteriorating condition where such themes have reappeared with dangerous ferocity, particularly at the UN World Conference against Racism, which took place in September 2001 at Durban.
Here, "the NGOs called 'for the reinstatement of the UN resolution equating Zionism with racism' and 'the complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state,' and condemned Israeli crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and genocide."45 Such an assault cannot be addressed on the level of public relations or ameliorated by unreciprocated concessions. This invective is based on the idea that the behavior of the Jewish people is predetermined by who they are, and the Jewish state, by what it is. Thus, no modification of human behavior could ever remedy an alleged grievance short of Israel and the Jews disappearing, which is the real objective of hate-targeting.46 The application of this terminology demonstrates its users' inherently racist and genocidal intentions.
This problem found clear expression in a discussion prior to the Durban Conference of 2001 when Rep. Tom Lantos tried to reason with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson. Lantos warned of the danger of permitting the debate to be defined in ideological (and historically deterministic) terms:
I urged Robinson to consider the implications of appeasing the radical and fundamentalist forces that wanted to turn the entire aim of the conference on its head. In fact the OIC [Organization of the Islamic Conference] language on Israeli settlement policy and other wording twisting the meaning of antisemitism went far beyond the concept that Zionism equals racism - they sought to make Israel itself the focus of hate. The forces promoting the inclusion of this language understood that equating its settlement policy to ethnic cleansing could turn the Middle East Conflict from a regional territorial dispute (which could be resolved through compromise) into an ideological and existential one that could only be resolved by driving Israel into the sea. I also argued that allowing these same forces to appropriate terms like "ethnic cleansing," "genocide," and "crimes against humanity" to describe Israel's behavior would forever debase their meaning, and thereby undercut progress in the global human rights struggle that we had both made our life's work.47
In this situation, Robinson was beyond her depth. By abandoning universal principles and forcing a discussion of the particular case of "Palestinian suffering," she doomed the Durban Conference to failure.
By reading two prominent nineteenth-century historians, one may find a strong refutation of historical determinism and racism embodied in the terminology described above. As a Christian living in the modern age, Alexis de Tocqueville rejected such interpretations of history. (His hostility to racist theory included a strong revulsion towards slavery.) Corresponding in November 1853 with Joseph Arthur Count de Gobineau, one of the earliest proponents of racist theory, Tocqueville wrote with a logic which remains timely and relevant:
Your doctrine is rather, in fact, a sort of fatalism, or predestination if you like...in that you make a close link between predestination and matter....This kind of predestination seems to me to be closely akin to materialism....Whether predestination can be directly related to certain biological patterns or to the will of God who wished to make several species within the human genus and to impose on certain men by reason of the race to which they belong the inability to feel certain feelings, think certain thoughts, behave in certain ways, or possess certain qualities which they can recognize without being able to acquire - none of this has much bearing on my own concern with the practical consequences of these various philosophical doctrines. Both theories result in a great restriction, if not the complete abolition, of human liberty [author's emphasis]....I believe them to be false and most certainly pernicious....Don't you see from your doctrine inevitably flow all the evils of permanent inborn inequality, pride, violence, contempt of one's fellow men, tyranny and vileness in all their forms?48
Similarly, Lord Acton49 rejected pagan racism as being fundamentally exclusive and explained that Christianity and the innovations which it introduced in Europe provided the true foundations for the tolerance of minorities:
Christianity rejoices at the mixture of races [nationalities], as paganism identifies itself with their differences, because truth is universal, and errors various and particular....In pagan and uncultivated times, nations were distinguished from each other by the widest diversity, not only in religion, but in customs, language, and character. Under the new law they had many things in common; the old barriers which separated them were removed, and the new principle of self-government, which Christianity imposed, enabled them to live together under the same authority, without necessarily losing their cherished habits, their customs, or their laws. The new idea of freedom made room for different races in one State. A nation was no longer what it had been in the ancient world.50
It is noteworthy that as Christians, both Tocqueville and Acton considered the real issue to be freedom and equality and made effective use of religious arguments to refute the pagan foundations of racism, both modern and ancient. By the same logic, the slogans examined in the first section of this essay have, according to theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, "distilled injustice and cruelty out of its original promise of a higher justice."
Two Value Systems in Conflict: Freedom and Equality versus Racism and Historical Determinism
Although the terminology described above represents the toxic waste of a failed totalitarian regime, it remains current. Political anti-Semitism offers common ground to such disparate groups as militant Islamists, leftists, members of the European right with a compromised past, not to mention those in distant places who may never have met a Jew. One may ask what would be the political affiliation of those who use such language. Berkeley sociologist William Patterson proposed that identification is functionally defined by behavior. Describing the American radicals of the 1960s, he observed: "They are defined not by whether they pay dues to a party, but by their actions, their vocabulary, their way of thinking."51
Accordingly, this language defines those who use it as not holding the factual truth in high regard. Further, one may not employ a verbal weapon of limitless violence, based on Pavlovian language conditioning, whose intent is anti-Semitic, and the product of a totalitarian regime that has actually obliterated its adversaries on a massive scale, without becoming compromised. In this context, Deborah Lipstadt has provided a valuable insight:
When one speaks about Israeli soldiers as Nazis, that is a denial of what Israeli soldiers are and what the Nazis were. One may not like Israel, but that is different from lying about history....Much current criticism of Israel is based on anti-Semitism and denial. Some of the exaggerated talk about Israeli power, Israeli strength and Israeli ability is very similar to what one has seen for decades in the writings of holocaust deniers and, before that, in those of Nazis and other anti-Semites.52
The ultimate danger of this systematic verbal aggression with its anti-Semitic intent lies in blurring the distinction between right and wrong and deconstructing the foundations of Judeo-Christian morality. After nearly three decades, the cumulative effects of the Soviet campaign to defame Zionism and the more recent attempts to turn the clock back at Durban have created an environment of moral confusion which has made terror and violence acceptable and justifiable. The resulting condition, known as anomie (literally, lawlessness, in Greek), signifies "a social condition in which the hierarchy of values disintegrates and 'all regulation is lacking.'" In this environment, Israel, a democracy, must wage its just war of defense by fair means against this campaign of defamation launched nearly half a century ago.53 Israel must respond to the challenge of language conditioning and prevent others from defining its reality through the use of ideologically embedded language. It is a confrontation between regression to paganism or moving forward with the basic ideas of equality, freedom, and the rule of law that Judaism first gave the world and, through innovations in Christian political thought of the modern era, have laid the foundations of democracy in our time.
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The author wishes to acknowledge the kind help of Ralph Amelan and Shelly Manor, Reference Librarians of the American Cultural Center, Jerusalem; Johannes Houwink ten Cate, Professor of Genocide Studies, University of Amsterdam; Dr. Eugene Methvin of McLean, Virginia; Professor Shmuel Trigano, Paris, Nanterre; Professor Emeritus Robert C. Tucker, Princeton, New Jersey; Dr. Laurence Weinbaum, World Jewish Congress, Jerusalem; Dr. Justus Weiner, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs; Linda Wheeler and Molly Molloy, Reference Librarians of the Hoover Institution (Stanford, California); and David Waterman of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
* * *
1. Bertrand Russell, "Open Letter to Wladyslaw Gomulka," World Jewry (London) Vol. XI, No. 6 (Nov/Dec 1968): 8, as quoted by Stefan T. Possony in Waking up the Giant (New Rochelle: Arlington House, 1974), p. 473.
2. Waking up the Giant, p. 473.
3. Ibid., as quoted by Possony.
4. Bernard Lewis, "The Anti-Zionist Resolution," Foreign Affairs (October 1976): 54.
5. Michael Heller and Aleksandr M. Nekrich, Utopia in Power; The History of the Soviet Union from 1917 to the Present, tr. Phyllis B. Carlos (New York: Summit Books, 1986), p. 670.
6. For the diplomatic history of this affair, see particularly Yohanan Manor, To Right a Wrong; The Revocation of the UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 Defaming Zionism (New York: Shengold, 1996).
7. Utopia in Power, pp. 670-671.
8. Ibid., p. xii.
9. Eugene H. Methvin, The Riot Makers; The Technology of Social Demolition (New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House, 1970), pp. 279-281.
10. Ibid., p. 293.
11. Ibid., pp. 283-284.
12. Ibid., p. 130.
13. Bertrand Russell interviewed Lenin, probably in 1920, for his book on Bolshevism [Bolshevism: Practice and Theory (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1920)] and seized the opportunity to ask about the fate of the kulaks, the richer peasants. Years later, he gave his impression of this encounter: "I think he [Lenin] was the most evil man…I ever met. He had steady black eyes that never flickered. I hoped to make them flicker at one point by asking him why it was thought necessary to murder hundreds of thousands of kulaks. He quite calmly ignored the word 'murder.' He smiled and said they were a nuisance that stood in the way of his agricultural plans." Alistair Cooke, Six Men (New York: Knopf, 1977), p. 166. The author wishes to thank David Aikman for this reference.
14. Robert C. Tucker, The Soviet Political Mind; Stalinism and Post-Stalin Change (London: Allen & Unwin, rev. ed. 1972), p. 153.
15. Ibid., p. 160.
16. Ibid., p. 165.
17. Lewis, p. 59.
19. http://www.racism.org.za/index.html, as cited by Anne Bayefsky, "The UN World Conference against Racism: A Racist anti-Racism Conference," Proceedings of the American Society of International Law (2002): 67.
20. Avraham Burg, "The end of Zionism; Israel must shed its illusions and choose between racist oppression and democracy," The Guardian, September 15, 2003.
21. Utopia in Power, pp. 252-253.
22. Jan Valtin [pseud. R.J.H. Krebs], Out of the Night (London: Fortress, 1988, reprint of 1941 edition), pp. 179, 301-302.
23. Hillel Halkin, "The Rabin Assassination: A Reckoning," in Neal Kozodoy, ed., The Mideast Peace Process; An Autopsy (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2002), p. 53.
24. "Ein Treibhaus fuer Moerder," Der Spiegel, 46/1995 (13 November 1995), http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/0,1518,druck-110699,00.html.
25. Charles Enderlin, Shattered Dreams; The Failure of the Peace Process in the Middle East, 1995-2002, trans. Susan Fairfield (New York: Other Press, 2002), p. 358.
26. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/01/14/wduis 14.xml, as quoted by Gerald M. Steinberg, "Learning the Lessons of the European Union's Failed Middle East Policies," Jerusalem Viewpoints, no. 510 (1 January 2004).
27. Samantha Power, "A Problem from Hell," America and the Age of Genocide (New York: Basic Books, 2002), p. 65. See particularly chapters 4 and 5 for the history of this law.
28. Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Approved by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 260A (III) of 9 December 1948; entry into force 12 January 1951 in accordance with article XII.
29. It was entitled We Charge Genocide (1951, 1970). Encyclopedia of Black America.
30. R.J. Rummel, Death by Government (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books, 1994), Table 1.4, p. 8. Statistics of this subject are by nature based on information which may not be complete or be verified. Nevertheless, Rummel's scholarship in this field is highly respected.
31. In the context of cold-blooded mass murder and genocide, one must remember the Soviet massacre at the beginning of the Second World War of more than twenty thousand Polish prisoners of war which they captured in 1939 and then executed in 1940. The Nazis discovered the most prominent of their mass graves in the Katyn Forest near Smolensk. "They were the backbone of Polish civil society - businessmen, midlevel government officials, lawyers, engineers, doctors, teachers, and professionals of all sorts." For a recent examination of the state of this historical question and recent archival discoveries on the subject, see particularly, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, In Denial; Historians, Communism & Espionage (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2003), pp. 19-22.
32. "L'ordre va-t-il regner a Gaza?" Le Soir, 18 December 2001, as quoted by Joel Kotek, "Anti-Semitic Motifs in Belgian Anti-Israel Propaganda," in Antisemitism Worldwide 2001/2, http://www.tau.ac.il/Anti-Semitism/asw2001-2/kotek.htm.
33. Alan Dershowitz, The Case for Israel (Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2003), p. 153.
34. Anat Peri, "Motivated by Venom," Letter to the Editor, Ha'aretz, 30 May 2003.
35. See Joel Fishman, "Lev Grinberg and the Accusation of Symbolic Genocide," http://www.makorrishon.co.il/article.php?id=1911.
36. Yehoshafat Harkabi, Arab Strategies and Israel's Response (New York: Free Press, 1977), p. 27-28.
37. Kelly Wallace, "Sharon: 'Occupation' Terrible for Israel, Palestinians," 27 May 2003, CNN.com/world. See also Dore Gold, "From 'Occupied Territories' to 'Disputed Territories,'" http://www.jcpa.org/jl/vp470.htm.
38. Tucker, p. 267.
39. Stalin first articulated the theory in Izvestia on 22 February 1919; James D. Atkinson, The Edge of War (Chicago: Regnery, 1960), p. 58.
40. Tucker, p. 229.
41. http://www.dhm.de/magazine/heft7/chronicle1.htm, and Tucker, p. 228. The occasion was the founding of the COMINFORM, the Information Bureau of Communist Workers' Parties.
42. Ibid., p. 232.
44. Baruch Kimmerling, Politicide; Ariel Sharon's War against the Palestinians (London: Verso, 2003), p. 168. It may be closer to the truth that Oslo corrupted Israel more than the so-called "Occupation." Recent revelations of Israeli corruption have been associated with business dealings between former security officials in Israel and members of Arafat's entourage. The most dramatic case has been the disclosures reported in the Israeli press about the late Yossi Ginnosar and his business dealings with the Palestinian Authority, which was one case of many. See MEMRI: "The Ginnosar File - Investigative Report in Israeli Media on Corruption Affair Involving High Ranking Israeli (and Palestinian) Officials," December 27, 2002, http://www.memri.org/bin/opener.cgi?Page=archives&ID=SP45302.
45. http://www.racism.org.za/index.html, as cited by Anne Bayefsky, "The UN World Conference against Racism: A Racist anti-Racism Conference," p. 67.
46. For example, writing about the false assumptions upon which the peace process was based, Norman Podhoretz remarked: "In this instance, the unbearable reality being evaded [by Israel's leaders] was that Israel's yearning for peace was shared neither by the Arab world in general nor by the Palestinians in particular - that their objection was not to anything Israel had done or failed to do, but to the very fact that it existed at all." in "Intifada II: Death of an Illusion?" The Mideast Peace Process, pp. 87-88.
47. Tom Lantos, The Durban Debacle: An Insider's View of the UN World Conference Against Racism (Jerusalem: Institute of the World Jewish Congress, 2002), p. 15.
48. John Stone and Stephen Mennell, Alexis de Tocqueville on Democracy, Revolution, and Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), pp. 320-322.
49. John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton. Baron Acton (1834-1902) was Professor of Modern History at Cambridge, 1895-1902.
50. John Neville Figgis and Reginald Vere Laurence, eds., The History of Freedom (London: Macmillan, 1919), p. 291.
51. Riot Makers, p. 223. Methvin cited Berkeley professor of sociology William Paterson. Perhaps the term, "post-Communist revolutionaries," borrowed from the American context of the 1960s, might also be helpful.
52. Deborah Lipstadt, "Denial of the Holocaust and Immoral Equivalence," in Manfred Gerstenfeld, ed., Europe's Crumbling Myths; The Post-Holocaust Origins of Today's Anti-Semitism (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2003), p. 121.
53. This is a reformulation of the objective of the Coalition in the Gulf War. Philip M. Taylor, War and the Media; Propaganda and Persuasion in the Gulf War (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1992), p. 29.
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Dr. Joel Fishman is an Associate of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. This essay contains some findings from his project, Democracy in Israel, carried out under its auspices.
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