Monday, 13 July 2009

Greenstein to review Nicosia's latest book

In his latest blog post, Tony Greenstein informs his readers that he is to review the following book:

Francis R. Nicosia, Zionism and Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany (Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Greenstein informs us in his blog post that he found the book, "extremely disappointing." This is not surprising because Greenstein regularly tries to link Zionism with Nazism. Aware of such claims, Nicosia is very clear in dispelling any notion of such an absurd linkage. Below I provide some short quotations from the book; no doubt these explain why Greenstein finds the book "disappointing."


"lest the reader imagine that the purpose of study such as this to somehow equate Zionism with National Socialism, Zionists with Nazis, or to portray their relationship as a willing and collaborative one between moral and political equals. The research, analysis and conclusions, do not in any way support such notions. The existence of certain common assumptions on the part of Zionists on the one hand, and nationalist and anti-Semitic Germans on the other, does not in any way connote moral and/or political equivalency." (pp. 2-3)

"The dominant Zionist approach, like that of most non-Jews at the time, shared a reliance on the idea of an ethno-nationalist state, an idea that was the societal norm in Central Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Their embrace of that norm does not make the Zionists the moral equivalent of the Nazis. Nor does the willingness of the Zionist or any other Jewish organisation in the Third Reich to cooperate with the state make them willing collaborators in the Nazi destruction of Jewish life in Germany; to suppose that any Jewish organisation in Hitler's Germany prior to the 'final solution' had the option of refusing to work on some level with the state is fantasy." (p. 3)

Nicosia specifically states that it is a-historical and simplistic to"

dismiss Zionism as yet another of racism, the substance of which has not been very different from German National Socialism." (P. 8)

He adds:

"Most anti-Semites could never embrace Zionism and its institutions as partners in a common quest because Zionists were, after all, still part of what they believed to be a monolithic world Jewry." (P. 9)

"For most anti-Semites in Germany, therefore, including the Nazis prior to 1941, their willingness to use Zionism and the Zionist movement was never based on an acceptance of the Zionist view itself." (p. 10)

"the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Zionist movement in general recognized the critical link between its own survival and the survival and well-being of all Jews in the Diaspora. Even on a practical level, the Zionist view was that if the Nazis succeeded in murdering the great majority of Jews in Europe, a Jewish majority and state in Palestine might never be achieved." (pp.8-9n15)

Finally, I enclose one factually accurate quote from Nicosia

"Of Course, the Nazis opposed a Jewish state, in any form, in any part of Palestine or anywhere else in the world." (P. 197)

These quotes simply refute Greenstein's analogies. Disappointing for him, indeed.