Tuesday 16 September 2008

Jews and Jew Haters II: From Cranks to Clowns

This post originally appeared on Harry's Place

Jews and Jew Haters II: From Cranks to Clowns

(This is a guest post by Mikey)

Six months ago, I posted Jews and Jew Haters: The Anti-Zionist Jewish Squabble. It was about the nasty feud between Tony Greenstein, an anti-Zionist British Jew, and Gilad Atzmon, an anti-Zionist Israeli. Greenstein wants “the state of Israel to be destroyed” and claims that Hamas and Hizbollah are not antisemitic. Atzmon says that burning down a synagogue is a “rational act.” I wasn’t sure if a sane person could support either side, but I concluded: “this argument is set to run and run.”
And so it has turned out. The Tony Greenstein camp has established its own blog, Anti-Zionists against Anti-Semitism, to “opppose [sic] that small current around Israel Shamir and Gilad Atzmon who wish to introduce the ideas of racism and anti-Semitism into the Palestine solidarity movement.” A large proportion of the posts are attacks on Atzmon, described as “a holocaust denier” who is “fundamentally racist and reactionary.”
The blog is very dull and only masochists will enjoy it. Apparently even Greenstein finds it boring, which may explain why he is anxious for the excitement of a court case. He has initiated legal proceedings against Atzmon in respect of:

False allegations of serious criminal conduct and fraud. concerning alleged offences over 20 years ago, contrary to s.8 of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
False allegations of violent crimes, in particular against Jewish people
False allegations of race hate crimes against Jewish people
False allegations of vandalising church property

In full litigation mode, Greenstein has also threatened to sue Google for hosting the website of Atzmon’s main defender.
In the Nazi mind, the ultimate evil is being a Jew. In Atzmon’s mind, the ultimate evil is being a Zionist. This is worse than being a Nazi:

there is no room for comparison between Israel and the Nazis. If a comparison is to be made, then it is the Israelis who win the championship of ruthlessness… Israel and Zionism endanger our world… We have to admit that Israel is the ultimate evil rather than Nazi Germany… We should never compare Israel to Nazi Germany. As far as evilness is concerned, we should now let Israel take the lead.

Since it is the worst insult he can imagine, Atzmon has taken to calling the Greenstein camp crypto-Zionists. Since it is the worst insult he can imagine, Greenstein throws the same accusation against the Atzmon camp, whose ideas “can only lead in one direction – to the strengthening of Zionism.” But Greenstein is more promiscuous with his abuse. Not long after the BNP’s legal adviser attacked the Board of Deputies as “a clique of self serving Zionist racists” and a “Zionist-Nazi organisation” and the Jewish Chronicle as “the mouthpiece of the same clique of Zionist parasites and crooks,” Greenstein wrote that the BNP is “pro-Zionist.” Perhaps he was trying to enliven his blog by making it hard for his readers to keep a straight face.

It may become a double-act. Both Gilad Atzmon and Tony Greenstein despise Anthony Julius for his criticisms of anti-Zionism. Greenstein recently dismissed Julius as “quite a simple fellow” under a headline that screamed, “Gilad Atzmon Joins with Anthony Julius to Attack Jewish Anti-Zionists.” That was shortly after Atzmon attacked Julius for his role in “the destruction of history revisionist David Irving’s career.”

Meanwhile the Trotskyist Alliance for Workers’ Liberty has rallied to Greenstein defence. This is in spite of Greenstein’s boast on the very same webpage that he

would lose no sleep if they [AIPAC], the Bush White House, the leadership of the Republican Party, New Labour’s cabinet and any other warmongers I can think of, were vaporised.

As Paul Bogdanor commented:

Previously I exposed Greenstein’s thoughts on vapourising as many as 100,000 American Jews in AIPAC, along with the inhabitants of the White House, as well as his endorsement of the IRA atrocity at the Brighton hotel. Greenstein now extends the list to the leadership of the Republican Party, New Labour’s cabinet “and any other warmongers I can think of.” Thus Greenstein’s “anarchist wishful thinking” encompasses the mass murder of the entire democratically elected leadership of America and Britain, and, apparently, anyone at all who supported the Iraq war. That would presumably include everyone from Iraqi voters who support Coalition forces to those he has elsewhere described as “the racist warmongers of Harry’s Place”!

Greenstein’s troubles go beyond allegations of serious criminal conduct and the exposure of his “wishful thinking” about terrorism. While coping with the tedium of his own blog, he faces the humiliation of a spoof blog by a supporter of Atzmon. The unidentified blogger has even started posting videos mocking a certain “Mony Gripstein” and his comrade, the irreplaceable Roland Rance.
Watching the farce of the Jewish anti-Zionists, you may think that the lunatics have taken over the asylum. I prefer to say that the clowns are now running the circus.

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