How Jeremy Corbyn unleashed my inner Zionist, and can do the same for you!

Nathaniel Tapley


The left prides itself on listening to people. We’re quick to notice men telling women that their experiences aren’t what they say they are. We’re attuned to the Islamophobic conflations that crop up in the media. We’re the first to concede that history often elides the testimonies of witnesses who fall outside the mainstream discourse. We’ve got a vocabulary of victim-blaming, slut-shaming, gaslighting to employ when we see rhetoric and privilege being used to elide people’s experiences.

We pride ourselves on hearing when someone is trying to tell us something.

Except when it comes to Jeremy Corbyn.

When an embattled minority tell us (on the whole) that they feel threatened not only by the people he associates with, but that they fear his leadership might pose an actual threat to their safety, we’re pretty quick to issue a “Calm down, dear,” and move on.

Why? And let’s whisper this: MIght…

View original post 1,451 more words


Should Jews reclaim the words ‘Palestine’ and ‘Palestinian’?

MAGIC_1_PPPABy Richard Mather…

In a pair of recent articles for the Jewish Media Agency I explored the nature of Arab immigration in historic Palestine (i.e. before 1948) and also the way in which the names ‘Palestinian’ and ‘Palestine’ have been appropriated by Israel’s enemies for ideological purposes. I’m glad to say that both articles struck a chord with many readers and I was subsequently asked to write something that would combine both pieces of writing.

According to the most reliable statistics, most non-Jewish immigration to Palestine occurred in the 1800s and early 1900s (which explains why in the late 17th century not a single settlement had a name that was of Arabic origin). Demographer Roberto Bachi believes there were around 151,000 non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine in 1540. By 1800, the Muslim and Christian populations had risen to 268,000, rising to 489,000 by 1890, 589,000 in 1922, and swelling to just over 1.3 million in 1948.

Many of the non-Jewish migrants to Palestine came for several reasons. The Ottoman authorities, for instance, transferred a great many people to Palestine to put them to work on infrastructure projects and to outflank Jewish immigration. Furthermore, the  Zionist project was very attractive to Arabs who were drawn to Palestine by the good wages and healthcare offered by the Jews.  Indeed, the Arab population of Palestine increased the most in cities where there were large numbers of Jews. Between 1922 and 1947, the Arab population grew by 290 per cent in Haifa, 158 per cent in Jaffa and 131 per cent in Jerusalem. By contrast, the growth in Arab-majority towns was less dramatic: 37 per cent in Bethlehem, 42 per cent in Nablus and 78 per cent in Jenin.

During the British civil administration in Palestine (1920 to 1948), restrictions were placed on Jewish immigration in order to appease Arab troublemakers. However, there was significant illegal Arab immigration from Egypt, Transjordan and the Hauran region of Syria. The Peel Commission reported in 1937 that a “shortfall of land” was “due less to the amount of land acquired by Jews than to the increase in the Arab population.”

Arab immigration continued at a pace until the Jews declared independence in 1948. By the time the Jews declared autonomy,  the Muslim and Christian population had risen substantially. The fact that non-Jewish immigration continued right up until Israeli independence is borne out by the United Nations stipulation that any Arab refugee who had lived in Palestine for a mere two years prior to Jewish independence was entitled to refugee status.

So while it would be silly to argue that there were few Arabs living in Palestine in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries, the figures do show that the Arab population of Palestine largely comprised recent migrants from the Arab world and/or the Ottoman empire. This is important because it tells us that the postmodern notion of a deep-rooted Arab Palestinian culture is a sham. All the evidence points to the conspicuous absence of Arab culture. This explains why, historically, Arabs never talked about Palestinian identity – because there wasn’t one. They were Egyptian, Syrian, Moroccan, Iraqi, Yemeni, Balkan, Sudanese and Ottoman Arabs, and many of them expressed allegiance to a Greater Syria or a supranational caliphate. (Many others, to their credit, became steadfast citizens of Israel.)

So the erroneous (but commonly-held) belief that colonialist Jews invaded a country called Palestine and displaced its native inhabitants is completely false. For a start, the people of Palestine who have the deepest roots in the land are the Jews whose relatives and ancestors have lived there  (to varying degrees) for several thousand years. Secondly, most of the Arabs who fled Palestine between 1947-49 did so because they were sure their Arab compatriots from Egypt, Iraq et al would be victorious in making Palestine Judenrein.

It wasn’t until the mid-1960s that a semi-coherent Arab Palestinian identity came into being. Until then, the Arabs had refused to call themselves the Palestinian people because it was a epithet reserved for the Jews. When people talk of a Arabic Palestinian culture or history, they are being disingenuous: the only Palestinian culture or history of any note is Jewish. Arabic-speaking Palestinianism started in the 1960s and even this was couched in fervently anti-Zionist and Judeophobic terms – hardly a stable platform on which to build a nation.

Despite their successful efforts in deceiving the world, many Arab Palestinian leaders know the truth about the origins of their people. Egyptian-born Yasser Arafat made this very clear when he said, “The Palestinian people have no national identity. I, Yasser Arafat, man of destiny, will give them that identity through conflict with Israel.” And in a conversation with Dutch newspaper Trouw in March 1977, the leader of the pro-Syria as-Sa’iqa faction of the PLO, Zuheir Mohsen, remarked: “It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity […] yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel.”

Why else do the people who claim to be Palestinians regularly turn down the possibility of an independent state alongside Israel? It’s because the Arabs themselves don’t really believe in a State of Palestine. Their only interest is abolishing the ample Jewish presence between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Jewish self-determination is anathema to many Muslims who, since the time of Muhammed, have tried to keep the Jews in a state of subjugation and dhimmitude. When Arab and/or BDS protestors call for Palestine to be free “from the river to the sea,” what they are really calling for is the genocide (or at best the suppression) of the Jews.

Many of the problems experienced by Israel stem from something very simple but profound –  the change of name. While it is totally understandable that the leaders of the Yishuv chose the name Israel for their state (Judea was another option), it has had unfortunate consequences. By rejecting the labels Palestine and Palestinian, the Jews circumvented their own local history and identity, and bequeathed both the name and heritage of Palestine to modern-day Arabs who have only a tenuous connection to the land. So we are now in a perverse situation where Palestinian Jews call themselves Israelis and the Ottoman/Arab peoples call themselves Palestinians. What’s worse is the fact that the latter now claim to have been the indigenous people of Palestine all along (since before the dinosaurs?) – and the world (which has always been a sucker for conspiracy theories) believes it.

Isn’t it time to remind the Arabs and the international community that the Jews are the true Palestinians? Why else would there be a Palestinian Talmud or a Jewish newspaper called The Palestine Post. Why, until the creation of Israel, were the Jews known as Palestinians? Why did Immanuel Kant refer to Jews in Europe as “the Palestinians among us”? Why does the 1939 flag of Palestine have a Star of David on it? Why was the journal of the Zionist Organisation of America called New Palestine? Why was the Israel Electric Company’s originally called the Palestine Electric Company? Why was the major funding arm of the World Zionist Organization called the Palestine Foundation Fund?

The answer: Because the word Palestine is a descriptive for the land that, for thousands of years, was the incubator for Judean identity.

(I am not proposing for a minute that Israel changes its name back to Palestine. After all, Palestine was a name foisted upon the Jews by Roman imperial aggressors. But I am saying that Jews should not let the Arabs and their Israelophobic supporters hijack the names ‘Palestine’ and ‘Palestinian’ as part of their delegitimisation campaign. Palestine was Jewish; it was never Arab. Language is everything. By relinquishing the proper use of words and removing them from their historical context, the truth of the matter is either degraded or lost altogether.)

All things considered, the Arabs since the 1960s claim to be Palestinians have done rather well. Having been on the losing side in various wars and skirmishes, and having sided with the Nazis during the 1930s and 1940s, the Arabic-speaking people of Palestine have managed to appropriate centuries of Judeo-Palestinian heritage, have turned their dirty terror war into a bogus human rights struggle, have received billions of dollars in aid, are able to make huge demands on foreign policymakers, have been offered a state of their own on several occasions, and are a cause celebre on the Left and in the liberal media.

A critic of mine recently said, “Well, all this may be true,  but the people who claim to be Palestinians are Palestinians because they say  they are and, as such, they deserve our sympathy.” The trouble is, how can I trust these self-proclaimed Palestinians who lie about their history and who are engaged in a long culture war against the Jewish people? By perpetuating the ridiculous myth that they are the indigenous people of Palestine who were kicked out by the wicked  Zionists, they do themselves a great disservice. (Historians will no doubt look back on this period and wonder how on earth the world was so deceived by the Arabs.) If the Palestinians do want a viable state (and there is little evidence that they do) then they must start acting like grown-ups.

And this means being open and honest about their identity and admitting that they are, in fact, an invention of Arafat’s Third World nationalism. There’s nothing necessarily wrong in that, but why can’t they be honest about it? It also means accepting the existence of a Judeo- Palestinian country called Israel; it means apologising for their role in the massacres of Jews in 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936 and 1947; it means apologising for the complicity of their leaders during the Holocaust; it means taking responsibility for the mistakes of the past and saying sorry for the countless deaths of Israeli civilians; and it means putting an end to the abhorrent anti-Zionist/pro-BDS propaganda that is fuelling anti-Semitism across the globe.

Only then will I consider the reality and destiny of an Arab-Palestinian people. Until then, they’ll get no sympathy from me.

Is Pears Institute fit for purpose?

London-based Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism claims its founding principle is that the study of anti-Semitism is vital to understanding all forms of racism, prejudice and xenophobia. Strange then that both the institute and its partners have misunderstood the nature of contemporary anti-Semitism (i.e. anti-Zionism) and aligned themselves with organisations and academics that are hostile to the State of Israel.

In 2013, Pears Institute organised a conference on boycotts. According to the organisers, the conference was “an academic forum to better comprehend the causes and content of boycott movements and to advance understanding of whether and how BDS [boycotts, divestments and sanctions] sits within the debate on contemporary anti-Semitism.” Instead, the conference was an opportunity for professional Israel haters to air their views, namely London School of Economics’ Dr John Chalcraft, who refers to Israel as an apartheid state, and Philip Marfleet, of University of East London, who characterises Zionism as imperialism.

Moreover, as Jonathan Hoffman, writing in The Jewish Chronicle, has pointed out, Pears Institute “sees nothing wrong with hosting Israel traducers such as Jacqueline Rose who makes anti-Semitic comparisons between Jews and Nazis.”

“It seems to me,” says Rose, “that the suffering of a woman on the edge of the pit with her child during the Nazi era, and a Palestinian woman refused access to a hospital through a checkpoint and whose unborn baby dies as a result, is the same.”

What is staggering is the fact that David Feldman, director of the Pears Institute, refuses to criticise Rose. Rather, he bemoans her critics’ “vicious attacks.” So much for understanding why anti-Semitism is a problem in the 21st century. But should we be surprised? After all, in a recent interview with David Semple for the Jewish Media Agency, Feldman denied that BDS is inherently anti-Semitic:

“The BDS movement is a presence among people who feel that they want to protest against Israel’s policies. I think the BDS movement is a broad church. It attracts support from some people who would like to see a one-state solution, but I think many people are attracted to BDS because they strongly oppose Israel’s conduct in the occupied territories […] I haven’t seen the evidence to suggest that movement as a whole should be characterised as anti-Semitic” [emphasis added].

Now, it seems to me that Feldman is either in denial or has not experienced BDS first hand. I have, however. During the summer of 2014, shops, banks, universities, theatres and entire towns in the UK were targeted by a contingent of BDS bullies comprising Islamic fundamentalists, anarchists, hardcore leftists, self-styled peace activists and Pakistani gangsters. In Manchester, where I am based, the Jewish community witnessed an unprecedented wave of anti-Semitism. In the city centre, BDS protestors enjoyed making anti-Jewish slurs such as “Jews killed Jesus,” “dirty Jewish pigs,” and “Zio-Nazis.” Some BDS campaigners spoke fondly of Hitler and made Nazi salutes. There were several obscene comments about the Holocaust. Jews were physically attacked, threatened and intimidated. Stores with connections to Israel were barricaded, raided and vandalised.

The situation in London was just as bad. On several occasions, tens of thousands of BDS campaigners bullied their way through London’s streets, intimidating passers-by and verbally abusing Jews and anyone else who got in their way. Indeed, Douglas Murray, writing for The Spectator, described these rallies as “disgusting” and “anti-Semitic.” These protestors, he says, are nowhere to be seen when Isis ravages Iraq or Boko Haram commits atrocities in Africa.

The fact that Pears Institute and its director are unable to see the connection between BDS and anti-Semitism is not just worrying, it is a undoubtedly a betrayal of their mission to understand anti-Semitism in all its forms.

There are other problems that need addressing too. Pears Institute was established by the Pears Foundation, which proudly states that it is a “core funder of the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI), which works with students to promote conflict analysis and resolution through experiential education.” In fact, OTI is a crypto-Palestinian movement in which students are introduced to anti-Semites such as Aziz Duwaik, the Hamas Speaker in the Palestinian Legislative Council, and George Rishmawi, co-founder of the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement.

Some Jewish students have expressed concern that OTI’s “experiential education” is tantamount to brainwashing and anti-Israel incitement. As one student explained, OTI is advancing anti-Israel views “under the 
exploration.” Moreover, “its veneer of academic legitimacy” is “hampering 
 of hard self‐reflection

Pears Foundation also finances Crisis Action, an organisation that bewails the blockade on Gaza and wants an EU boycott of goods from Judea and Samaria. Indeed, Crisis Action cites Jewish housing projects in Judea and Samaria as “one of the key obstacles to peace and a source of large-scale violations of international law and human rights.” No mention is made of why the Gaza blockade is in place or why the real obstacle to peace is the decades-old Palestinian Arab refusal to negotiate with or recognise Israel.

It is perhaps worth mentioning that Pears Foundation supports the core costs of the New Israel Fund (NIF) office in the UK and projects in Israel. NIF claims it is opposed to the BDS campaign but will “engage in dialogue with an important organisation that signs one letter supporting divestment rather than summarily dismissing them.” Or as it states on the NIF website, it will not fund BDS activities but will support organisations that “conform to our grant requirements if their support for BDS is incidental or subsidiary to their significant programs.” In the view of Jeffrey Goldberg, in an article for The Atlantic, these are “weasel words” that suggest NIF is not wholly committed to Israel’s existence. NIF, he points out, continues to fund groups that support BDS “so long as they don’t support BDS too much.” In my view, NIF’s approach to BDS is not only disingenuous, it is likely to provoke mistrust among those who would otherwise support NIF.

Taken together, there are real concerns about the Pears Institute and the Pears Foundation. On one hand, both organisations talk down the role BDS and pro-Palestinian activism play in the production and dissemination of anti-Semitism; yet at the same time, they actively support or provide a forum for Israelophobia and anti-Semitism. Their role in public policy making and in the education of students should be questioned by anyone who is concerned about anti-Zionism and the resurgence of Jew-hatred in the 21st century.


The Palestinian Arabs never miss an opportunity to refer to the Israelis as Nazis. This anti-Semitic trope has gone around the world, with Israeli flags regularly mutilated with swastikas and Jews dubbed Zio-Nazis. But the Palestinian Arabs’ greatest triumph is their success in concealing their role in the Holocaust. Indeed, it was the Palestinian Arab leadership in the 1930s and 1940s that colluded and collaborated with Hitler. And it wasn’t just their leaders who admired the Nazis. The Arab people and the Arab media were enthusiastic supporters of Hitler and his virulent brand of anti-Semitism.

In 1938, French magazine Marianne published an article revealing the Palestinian Arabs’ incredible enthusiasm for Hitler. The magazine reported that in the town of Nablus, the Arab population “received British troops with shouts of ‘Heil Hitler’.” Marianne also revealed to the French public that a number of Arab journals were regularly publishing racist editorials but also large portraits of Third Reich leaders. According to the magazine, the Arab newspapers “do not even try to conceal the fact that they have become pupils of the Ministry of Propaganda in Berlin.”

This wasn’t the first display of Palestinian affection for the Fuhrer. When Hitler proclaimed the Nuremberg Race Laws in 1935, a number of Palestinian Arabs sent telegrams congratulating him. Two years later, on the occasion of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, photographs of Hitler and Mussolini, as well as Nazi flags, were carried by Arab demonstrators in Palestine.

The man who did most to bring Nazism to British Palestine and the Middle East was Haj Muhammad Amin el-Husseini, the exiled Mufti of Jerusalem and spiritual leader of the Palestinians. Nicknamed the Arab fuehrer, Husseini collaborated with the Nazis to an astonishing extent during the 1930s and 1940s, and met Hitler on several occasions. His alliance was so successful that the Nazis declared their readiness to eradicate the Yishuv, the Jewish National Home in Palestine.

Husseini was behind the anti-Jewish riots in 1920-21 and the Hebron massacre a few years later. He believed it was a religious impossibility for Muslims to share the land with Jews. Even areas where Jews formed a majority were considered to be a defilement. In 1929, Husseini distributed pamphlets saying: “O Arabs, do not forget that the Jew is your worst enemy and has been the enemy of your forefathers.” He also announced that the Jews had “violated the honour of Islam.” This led to a pogrom in Jerusalem and a massacre in Hebron, where 60 Jews were killed and the town ethnically cleansed. The British attributed the attacks to “racial animosity on the part of the Arabs.”

This wasn’t the first time the British had encountered Muslim animosity towards the Jews. Following the demise of the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled over Palestine for centuries but had lost the First World War, international law recognised that the Jews in Palestine were there “by right.” The British took control of Palestine in 1917 and some years later established the first Palestinian state of Transjordan. The Jews living in this part of Palestine were told to leave. It soon became clear that any Jewish presence in any part of Palestine was not favoured by the Muslims. Aref Pasha Dajani, the mayor of Jerusalem, declared that it was “impossible” to live alongside the Jews because they “suck the blood of everybody.”

It was as early as 1933 that Husseini was in contact with the new regime in Germany. Within weeks of Hitler’s rise to power, the German consul-general in Palestine sent a telegram to Berlin reporting Husseini’s enthusiasm for Nazism and for the spread of fascism in the Middle East. When Husseini and several Arab sheiks met with the consul-general a few weeks later, he expressed his approval of the anti-Jewish boycott in Germany.

Very soon, the Husseini family had set up the Palestinian Arab Party, which was nicknamed the “Nazi Scouts.” Husseini’s brother, Jamal, was chairman of the Palestine Arab Party and a delegate to his brother’s Arab Higher Committee. It was this committee that led a led a campaign of boycotts and terror against Jews, and the bombings of British offices between 1936 and 1939.

In 1937, Husseini visited the Jerusalem German Consul, where he met with Eichmann to discuss “the Jewish question.” This meeting resulted in the Nazis agreeing to finance Husseini’s pogroms against the Jews in Palestine. Hitler publicly expressed his support for the Palestinian Arabs. This support was motivated by anti-Semitism and a suspicion of Britain’s colonial rule in the Middle East. In a speech made before the Reichstag in 1939, Hitler opined that Palestine is “occupied not by German troops but by the English,” and he accused British troops of oppressing the Arabs for “the benefit of Jewish interlopers.”

Not surprisingly, Husseini was keen to capitalise on the Fuehrer’s sympathy. Under the Mufti’s influence, the Nazi regime gave the go-ahead for the conversion to Islam of 25,000 Nazis in 1939. The newly-formed Jamait-e-Muslimin (“Muslim group”) were sent to Cairo to assist Nazi operations in Egypt, Palestine, Sudan and Transjordan. In the spirit of cultural exchange, a number of young Arabs were given training in Germany and Italy.

Husseini used his influence to promote Arab nationalism in Iraq. Pro-Nazi Muslims, at the behest of Husseini, slaughtered dozens of Jews in Baghdad in 1941. The Farhud or “violent dispossession” was led by the Hitler youth-modeled Iraqi-Arab Futuwwa paramilitary group under the pro-Nazi Iraqi minister of education, Saib Shawkat. The massacre was the beginning of the end of the Jewish community in Iraq, a community that had existed for 2,600 years.

The Mufti travelled to Berlin in November 1941 to meet Hitler and his foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop. Hitler, apparently impressed by Husseini’s blond hair and blue eyes, believed that “in more than one case the Mufti’s ancestors must have been Aryan.” In his meeting with the Fuehrer, the Mufti stressed that “the Arab peoples are Germany’s natural friends fighting common enemies.” Husseini pressed for a solution regarding the elimination of Jews in Palestine. Hitler, in response, stated “that Germany is committed to the uncompromising struggle against the Jews.”

During the war Al-Husseini spent most of his time in Berlin. The Nazis paid him huge amounts of money, some of which was used to fund the Arab war against the Jews in 1948. He also petitioned the Nazis leadership on several occasions to prevent thousands of Jewish children leaving for Palestine.

In 1941 Husseini began recruiting Bosnian Muslims to the Nazi cause. In a visit to Bosnia, he convinced Muslim leaders that a Muslim S.S. division would be advantageous to Islam. The Bosnian Muslims were organised into several divisions of the Waffen SS and other units. The largest was the 13th Hanzar division, which had more than 21,000 members. Declaring himself the “protector of Islam,” Husseini and his recruits were responsible for the deaths of thousands of Serbian Christians and Jews.

In a speech to his Bosnian Muslim Waffen-SS Division in 1944, Husseini declared that his Bosnian division was an “example for Muslims in all countries”. He continued:

“Many common interests exist between the Islamic world and Greater Germany, and those make cooperation a matter of course […] Further, National Socialist Germany is fighting against world Jewry […] There are also considerable similarities between Islamic principles and those of National Socialism, namely in the affirmation of struggle and fellowship, in stressing leadership, in the ideas of order, in the high valuation of work. All this brings our ideologies close together and facilitates cooperation.”

Muslim soldiers not only helped the Nazis deport Jews in east Europe, they were also involved in the liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto in 1943. On another occasion, Husseini dispatched his soldiers to Palestine in order to fight the Jews.

The Palestinian Arabs were willing recipients of Nazi funding and propaganda. On July 7th, 1942, the Voice of Free Arabism aired a program titled, “Kill the Jews Before They Kill You.” Husseini was allowed to broadcast from Berlin. One on occasion in 1944 he urged Arabs to “kill Jews wherever you find them for the love of God, history and religion.”

Operation Atlas was eerily prescient of contemporary fears of terrorists obtaining biological weapons. In 1944, at the behest of Husseini, Hitler ordered a five-man team to dump a lethal toxin in the water supply of Tel Aviv. Luckily, the unit, which comprised three Germans and two Arabs, was caught by police in Jericho before they had chance to execute their plan. It is estimated that a quarter of million people would have died if the plot had succeeded.

As well as petitioning the Nazis to halt the emigration of Jewish children to Palestine, Husseini was also complicit in the mass killings of Jews in Europe. According to Klaus Gensicke, who has studied the relationship between the Mufti and the Nazis, Husseini must have known the full extent of the Holocaust. He cites a radio broadcast made on September 20th, 1944. In this broadcast, Husseini urged the Arabs to give up 11 million Jews. The total number of Jews at the beginning of the war was 17 million. Therefore, Husseini must have known that 6 million Jews had already perished at the hands of the Nazis. Gensicke also points out that Husseini used very similar language when referring to the mass murder of Jews. While the Nazis spoke of a “Final Solution,” Husseini referred to a “Definitive Solution.”

Indeed, Husseini made several visits to the camps. He is known to have visited Auschwitz at least once, as well as Sachsenhausen and Majdanek. Husseini was apparently impressed by what he saw and gloated over the deaths of the Jews. He deliberated the possibility of building a concentration camp in the Palestinian town of Nablus.

It could be argued that it was Husseini’s fanatical hatred of Jews that encouraged the Nazis to press on with their plan to make Europe Judenrein (“Jew free”). According to testimony given at Nuremberg by Dieter Wisliceny, Adolf Eichmann’s deputy, the Mufti “was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and adviser of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan […] He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures.”

There is no doubt that had the war gone Hitler’s way, Husseini would have been able to execute his ‘Definitive Solution’ in Palestine, probably starting with a concentration camp in Nablus. The fact that his first task in Europe was to press Mussolini, and then Hitler, for their support in his vision of a Jew-free Palestine strongly suggests that the Holocaust would not have ended in Europe in 1945 but would have continued for several more years across the Middle East and North Africa. It goes without saying that a world run by Hitler and Husseini would not be a world in which the State of Israel exists. (Following the Second World War, Egypt’s King Farouk I attempted to build an anti-Israel army comprising German spies, SS generals and Nazi propagandists. Meanwhile, Syria hired around fifty Nazis between 1948-9, including many former SS soldiers and Holocaust functionaries.)

In his memoirs, Husseini wrote: “Our fundamental position for cooperating with Germany was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world. I asked Hitler for an explicit undertaking to allow us to solve the Jewish problem in a befitting our national and racial aspirations, and according to the scientific methods innovated by Germany in the handling of its Jews. The answer I got was: ‘The Jews are yours’.”

Husseini’s legacy is considerable. Having escaped to Egypt, Husseini used his influence to persuade the Arabs to reject the UN’s partition plan, the source of today’s Israeli-Palestinian crisis. He also encouraged the participation of Egypt in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Hassan Al-Banna, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood (which went on to form Hamas in 1987), hoped that Husseini would continue Hitler’s war on the Jews. He wasn’t disappointed. The Arab League, co-founded by Husseini, was involved in all major wars against Israel, as well as the two Intifadas.

Husseini also had disciples who would continue his work. Husseini’s nephew, Yasser Arafat, began working for the Mufti when he was 16. Arafat was involved in the Mufti’s covert terrorist network and assisted in the smuggling of weapons to attack Jewish settlers in Palestine. Arafat, who went on to become the chairman of the PLO and president of the Palestinian Authority, considered Husseini to be a hero of the Palestinians.

Another of Husseini’s disciples was Albert Huber, a Swiss-German journalist who converted to Islam in 1962 and became increasingly sympathetic to both Arab nationalism and Nazism. Like Husseini, Huber believed Nazism and Islam shared the same ideologies and he spent much of his life advancing the Nazi-Islam axis. Huber not only admired Osama bin Laden, he also met with bin Laden sympathizers in Lebanon before 9/11. Two months after the attack on New York, Huber was accused by the US government of funding Al Qaeda.

Husseini was the Middle East’s answer to Hitler. He had the support of fellow Muslim leaders and the backing of the Palestinians, who were very amenable to Nazism. Palestinian scholar Edward Said, who is no friend of Israel, has conceded that Husseini “represented the Palestinian Arab national consensus.” He had “the backing of political parties that functioned in Palestine,” and was “recognised in some form by Arab governments as the voice of the Palestinian people.”

There is no doubt that Husseini’s pathological hatred for Jews and Zionism, as well as his admiration for Nazism, left a deep impression on his followers. His influence can be detected in the rejectionist policies of the PLO and Hamas, the violent uprisings of 1987 and 2000, and the anti-Semitic hate speech of radical clerics that permeates the airwaves in the Palestinian territories.

For decades, the Palestinian Arabs have been in a state of war with the Israeli people. The widespread desire to see Israel wiped off the face of the map is a continuation of Hitler’s vision of a world without Jews. The Palestinians’ unwillingness to admit their Nazi past is perhaps not surprising as it would destroy their credibility as victims, a status they have been honing for several decades. (Bizarrely, the Nazis also claimed they were the victims of the Jews.) Due to the malevolent influence of Husseini and other Nazi sympathisers in the Middle East, the spirit of Hitler lives on.

Palestinian nationalism is not only historically intertwined with the Nazis, it is Nazism’s immediate successor.


downloadFor several years a number of conservative Christian evangelicals have warned of a new (and heretical) doctrine dubbed Chrislam which, as the name suggests, is a hybrid of Christianity and Islam. At first glance, the idea seems preposterous and alarmist. But there is growing evidence that some kind of pernicious cooperation between some Christians and Muslims is really happening. And it’s not good news for the Jews.

Strictly speaking, Chrislam is a syncretistic religion of Nigerian origin that combines Islam and Christianity. Established in the 1970s, the followers of Chrislam recognise both the Bible and the Quran as holy texts. In its strictest sense, the religion is very local and only commands around 1,500 members. But in recent years, the merger of Christianity and Islam is happening on a wide scale in the West, particularly in the United States where several bridge-building exercises between the two religions have been implemented.

Christians and Muslims for Peace (CAMP) is an organisation that devotes itself to discovering common ground between the two religions through an exploration of the Quran and the Bible. Based in California, CAMP is led by Dr William Baker, the former chairman of the neo-Nazi Populist Party. In 2002, Baker was fired from Crystal Cathedral Ministries when his anti-Semitic inclinations and ties to the Far Right were exposed by the media. Obviously, CAMP is not committed to peaceful cooperation with the Jewish people.

In 2007, an open letter entitled “A Common Word Between Us and You” was published by a group of Muslim leaders. It opens with the lines, “Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world.” A large number of Christians responded positively to the statement. The most highly publicised response, called “Loving God and Neighbor Together,” was written by four academics from the University of Yale. The response included the lines: “Before we ‘shake your hand’ in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world.”

In 2009, Rick Warren, the well-known evangelical author and pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, addressed 8,000 Muslims at a national convention in Washington D.C. The convention was organised by Islamic Society of North America, which champions terrorist organisations and disseminates extremist literature. Since then, Warren has been involved in an initiative called the King’s Way, a partnership with a number of California mosques, which involves the establishment of a set of principles outlining the shared principles of Islam and Christianity, including the declaration that both faiths worship the same God.

The year 2009 also saw the publication of the notorious Kairos Palestine Document, which was subtitled “A moment of truth: A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering.” The Kairos document, which can be found on the World Council of Churches website, speaks on behalf of Christian and Muslim Arabs, who apparently share a “deeply rooted” history and a “natural right” to the land. In contrast, Israel is deemed an alien entity that only exists because of Western guilt over the Holocaust. The document praises the first intifada, referring to it as a “peaceful struggle.” Terrorism, while not exactly sanctioned, is excused on the grounds that Israel is ultimately responsible for Palestinian acts of violence against Jewish civilians.

Meanwhile, a number of Christians including the anti-Semitic Anglican vicar Stephen Sizer, Presbyterian writer Gary Burge (who has criticised Judaism’s “territorial world view”) and Professor Donald Wagner, have participated in events sponsored by the Bridges of Faith (an evangelical Christian-Muslim dialogue group) and the Muslim World Islamic Call Society, which until recently was funded by the now-defunct Gaddafi regime in Libya. On the Bridges of Faith website, the dialogue group states that it “looks forward to a day when we can make our deliberations public through the publication of papers, open meetings and media outreach in order to spread the message of tolerance and commonality of values to a wider community of grass-roots groups, as well as a wider community of inter-religious dialogue.” It is highly unlikely that “the message of tolerance” will extend to the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

Of course, the background to Chrislam is the removal of the Bible from its Judaic matrix. By stripping the Bible of its Jewishness, Chrislamists neutralise the prophetic significance of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. The theological underpinning of Chrislamism is a rebranded version of replacement theology in which the Jews have no prophetic relevance.


When Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat made his first Christmas appearance in Bethlehem in 1995, he invoked the Christian nativity by crying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill towards men.” To which the crowd responded, “In spirit and blood we will redeem thee, O Palestine!”

Bethlehem obviously held a special place in Arafat’s heart. Not because he had any special love for Jesus and Christianity but because it was a political rallying point. Bethlehem, according to Arafat, was the “birthplace of the first Palestinian Christian, Jesus Christ.”

Arafat’s reference to the nativity is obviously a ploy to unite Muslims and Christian Arabs against Israel. In and of itself, this is unspectacular, but when placed in the wider context of Islamic replacement theology, the (mis)use of Jesus is sinister. Arafat not only proclaimed that Jesus was a Palestinian but is “our Lord the Messiah,” which is an astonishing statement for a Muslim to make. Referring to Jesus as Lord is to detract from the strict monotheism of the faith, a grave sin known as shirk.

The appropriation of the crucifixion by Muslim Palestinians in their war on Israel is puzzling. The image of the crucified Palestinian/Jesus is a common propaganda motif. And yet the Quran says that Jesus wasn’t put on the cross but was raised up to heaven. So not only are Muslims committing an act of apostasy by referring to Jesus as “our Lord” they are even refuting their own sacred scripture by claiming Jesus was a crucified Palestinian.

Other times, Jesus is referred to as a Shahid, a holy martyr of Islam. Arafat often referred to Jesus as the first Palestinian martyr, which is historically incorrect and is at odds with Islamic tradition. There are no references to Jesus as a Shahid in Islamic works, and it is impossible for Jesus to be a martyr if he did not die on the cross, which is the view of the Quran.


As well as being a heretical version of both Christianity and Islam, Chrislam presents a danger to the Jewish people.

Of all the anti-Israel discourses that exist today, Chrislam is perhaps one of the most disturbing. Disturbing because it wants to de-Judaize both Jesus and the Bible, and because it wants to neutralise Jewish identity and history. Moreover, the remarkable post-Holocaust reconciliation of Jews and Christians is being undermined by the emerging cooperation between left-wing evangelicals and jihadi Muslims, both of whom hold unsavoury attitudes towards Jews and Israel.

Ironically, Chrislam is entirely self-defeating. If God no longer honours his covenant with the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, then the foundations of both Christianity and Islam collapse. A God who changes his mind about the people of the covenant, i.e. the Jews, is no longer the God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus or even Mohammed.


images_news_2012_04_26_freedom-center-poster_300_01There is to be a debate in Manchester town hall about flying the Palestinian flag following a 2,500-strong petition. The idea was put forward at the height of 2014 conflict in Israel/Gaza but critics say it would harm community relations. The move is bound to anger Communities Secretary Eric Pickles who recently claimed that councils which invent their own “municipal foreign policy” by flying the Palestinian flag are behaving “irresponsibly.”

Meanwhile, anti-Semitic incidents have soared by 80 per cent in Manchester over the past year. Incidents have included verbal abuse, physical attacks, vandalism, desecration of cemeteries and the boycotting of Kedem, a Jewish cosmetics shop. In 2014, 269 anti-Semitic hate crimes were recorded in Manchester – up from 131 in 2013 and 127 in 2012. Together Manchester and London represent three-quarters of all anti-Semitic hate crime in Britain.

According to Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan, anti-Semitic reactions to tensions in the Middle East are the single biggest contributing factor. “We know from our figures that international events – such as the escalation of hostilities in Gaza – have had a significant impact within our communities and has motivated a large number of these hate crimes,” he stated.

Manchester has a good record when it comes to tackling hate crime. According to police, a hate crime is a crime committed against someone because of their disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation and transgender identity. For the first time in the UK, police in Greater Manchester will officially record if a person who belongs to an alternative sub-culture has been a victim of hate crime.

This begs the question, should Greater Manchester Police lead the way once again by categorising anti-Zionist rhetoric and imagery as a hate crime? After all, the fifty-day protest outside Kedem in Manchester last year was clearly designed to incite racial hatred. When an individual or group threatened to harass a person or a group of people because of their pro-Israel attitudes, that is incitement to hatred. In the case of the Kedem protests, incitement took the form of words, pictures and videos. It also included information posted on YouTube and other social media.

In other words, much of the violence committed against Jews in Manchester during 2014 can probably be attributed to anti-Zionism. Of course, anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism, but it also something more. It is a hatred of the State of Israel and her supporters – both Jew and gentile. Because many anti-Zionists like to claim they’re not anti-Semitic, we also have to make a distinction. Without defining what it is we are trying to combat, how can we ever hope to defeat it? Anti-Zionism must be exposed as a particular kind of hatred if it is to contested.

Moreover, because a tiny minority of Jews are anti-Zionist, the term ‘anti-Semitism’ can be problematic. Anti-Zionism and anti-Zionist, then, are useful epithets that can be directed at both gentiles and Jews who incite hatred against the Jewish State and her supporters. In my view, anti-Zionism should be treated with the same public disgust as homophobia and misogyny. In other words, anti-Zionists should be publicly and legally ostracised.

Under UK law, “incitement to racial hatred” was established as an offence by the provisions of of the Public Order Act 1986, although it was first established as a criminal offence in the Race Relations Act 1976. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 made publication of material that incited racial hatred an arrestable offence. Laws against incitement to hatred against religions were later established under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006. The offense of “incitement to racial hatred” refers to deliberately provoking hatred of a racial group, distributing racist material to the public, inciting inflammatory rumours about an ethnic group, for the purpose of spreading racial discontent, making inflammatory public speeches and creating racist websites. All of this can be applied to the proliferation of anti-Zionist rhetoric and imagery in Manchester and elsewhere.


Let us not forget that Zionism was born out of Europe’s inability to accept Jews into their societies. After crusades, inquisitions, forced conversions, countless pogroms and the industrialised murder of six million Jews, the only option left to the Jewish people was/is to have a homeland. Now after having achieved the goal of Jewish self-determination in the Middle East, along comes anti-Zionism, which essentially denies Jews to a homeland. So where are Jews expected to go? Europe has made it clear that Jews are not welcome. Therefore, with nowhere else to go, the only logical alternative is the disappearance of the Jewish people. That is anti-Zionism and it is a form of racial hatred.

In other words, the core of the anti-Zionist worldview is the irrational and hateful belief that the Jews are not entitled to exist as a people, especially in their historic homeland in the Middle East.

Of course, criticism of Israeli policies – like criticism of any other country – is part and parcel of rational public discourse. Indeed, Israel’s media and Knesset members are not afraid of critiquing their own society. But drawing comparisons of Israel to that of the Nazis is a form of hate speech. Terms of abuse such as “Zio-Nazi” and “Zionists are the Nazis of the Middle East” should be classed as hate speech. Defacing the Israeli flag with a swastika is incitement to hatred and must be seen as such.

Applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation is incitement to hatred. Denying Israel’s right to exist and/or calling for the State of Israel to be dismantled or destroyed is a form of hate speech. Calling for a war against an entire country and attempting to abolish the Jewish State is incitement to genocide.

Until the police and the authorities understand that anti-Zionism is a particular problem, then no progress will be made. Perhaps one solution is to tackle anti-Zionist on campuses. When he was Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks spoke about the intimidation of Jewish students in Britain as “part of a long, slow, insidious process intended to undermine academic freedom and it must not be tolerated.”

For example, the University and College Union (UCU) has repeatedly called for a boycott of Israeli academics. In May 2011, UCU members voted to disassociate itself from the EU working definition of anti-Semitism. In disgust, four leading Jewish academics in Scotland quit the UCU and the British government called on the Equality and Human Rights Commission to investigate the union. At the same time, the UCU was given notice of the intent of a Jewish UCU member to sue for breach of the UK Equality Act (2010).

According to Lesley Klaff, senior lecturer in law at Sheffield Hallam University, by allowing anti-Zionist expression on campuses, university authorities are in breach of their own equality, diversity and anti-harassment policies in relation to Jewish staff and students. Such policies, she says, “are required by law to promote equality of opportunity for minorities and to protect them from harassment and ethnic hostility.”

Another solution to the problem of anti-Zionism is to demonstrate to students that supporting Israel is liberally progressive. Israel is a world leader in innovating green technology and the advancement of animal welfare. It has a free press, a trade union movement and several co-operatives. Women are guaranteed gender equality, Israeli Arabs have the right to vote and homosexuals enjoy full civil rights. These values, which are in short supply in the Middle East, are exactly the kind of values which progressives and students should champion.

At the same time, Israel advocates must continue to protest against the presence of anti-Zionist guest speakers at university events, and challenge the charities, organisations, NGOS and churches that set up their Israelophobic stalls during Freshers’ week. We also need to educate people. We must explain to students that it was Islam, not Zionism, that colonised Palestine in the seventh century and built a mosque on the Temple Mount. We must explain to people that the Palestinians and the Arab states collaborated with the Nazis and then rejected the UN partition plan because they didn’t want to share the land with Jews. We must point out that on at least six occasions since 1948, the Palestinian Arabs have refused the offer of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

In short, a sustained campaign is needed – a campaign which highlights the progressive nature of Zionism and exposes the reactionary intolerance of those who wish to dismantle the only democracy in the Middle East. Meanwhile, we need a debate in the UK and the wider European Union over whether legislation is needed to to outlaw racist hate speech, which is used to incite violence.


ktma_-_yellowThis year marks the tenth anniversary of the UN resolution which set January 27 as an international day of commemoration to honour the victims of the Holocaust, and the seventieth anniversary of the Soviet liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in 1945.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorates the genocide that resulted in the death of six million Jews, a million Gypsies, 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people and 9,000 homosexuals by the Nazis and their collaborators.

For Jews in particular, the commemoration is especially poignant. Following a delegitimisation campaign during the  1930s when Jews were slandered and persecuted, the Nazis went on to murder two-thirds of European Jewry between 1941 and 1945. By the end of the Second World War, six million Jews had died, with many perishing in the camps set up by the Nazis to systematically annihilate Jewish men, women and children.

Auschwitz-Birkenau has become the defining symbol of the Holocaust. This year’s observance coincides with two other milestone events: the seventieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the founding of the United Nations.

Ten years ago, the UN passed a resolution to mark January 27 as an international day of commemoration to honour the victims of the Holocaust. An initiative of the State of Israel, Resolution 60/7 came after a special session was held in 2005 when the UN General Assembly marked the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Holocaust.

Prior to the resolution, there had been national days of commemoration, such as Germany’s Day of Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism and the UK’s Holocaust Memorial Day observed every January 27 since 2001.

As well as establishing January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Resolution 60/7 urges every member nation of UN to honour the memory of the victims of the Shoah, and encourages the development of educational programs, thereby helping to prevent future acts of genocide. It also urges member nations to preserve sites that served as Nazi death camps, concentration camps, labour camps and prisons.


So has the world learned the lessons of the Holocaust? Seventy years after the liberation of Auschwitz, do we live in a world where the insidious threat of anti-Semitism has been vanquished or is Judeophobia still a problem to be reckoned with?

While it is unlikely that Europe’s Jews face another Holocaust, the problem of anti-Semitism remains. The murder of Jews in France and the rhetoric of Jew-hatred emanating from some mosques and Islamic websites are manifestations of a resurgent anti-Semitism. Moreover, the rise of neo-Nazi groups in Greece and Hungary, Jew-baiting on the radical Left, and the boycotts initiated by the BDS movement, are further problems facing contemporary Jews.

Even before Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014 (when European anti-Semitism reached an unprecedented post-1945 high), a survey found that one in four Jews in Europe had suffered anti-Semitic harassment in 2012-13. According to the study, around half of all Jews living in France, Belgium and Hungary were considering emigrating because they no longer felt safe in their respective countries.

According to the Jewish Agency, 2,254 French Jews moved to Israel during the first five months of 2014, compared with 580 in all of 2013 – an increase of 289 per cent, with many emigrants citing Muslim anti-Semitism as the reason for making Aliyah. Aliyah, of course, is a testament to the success of Zionism, but it is also a sad indication that Europe has still not learnt to cherish its Jewish communities, even after the horrors of the Holocaust.

Until very recently, the rise in anti-Semitism in Europe has received little attention, partly because much of the abuse is carried out by Muslims who hide behind the banner  of Islamophobia. Muslims who attack Jews in Paris and elsewhere claim it is retribution on behalf of their Palestinians. And the liberal elite, which should have learned the lessons of the Holocaust, tacitly agrees.

Indeed, the liberal fashion for the one-sided criticism of Israel – in addition to the growing culture of anti-Zionist hate speech on campuses and mosques – must be addressed or more and more Jews will be targeted by jihadists. For the sake of a healthy body politic, legislators, the media, influential thinkers and Muslim community leaders must say “no” to anti-Semitism in all its forms – and this includes inflammatory anti-Israel rhetoric.

If we have learned one thing from the Holocaust, it is that the defamation of an entire people – whether it be “the Jews” or the State of Israel – usually ends in murder. The slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust, the killing of French Jews in a kosher supermarket and the recent massacre of four rabbis in Jerusalem – all these events had their origins in words –lies, hate speech, deceit and propaganda.

Europe and the wider world must remember this simple lesson – that anti-Jewish rhetoric such as “death to Israel” usually results in the murder of Jews. When influential Muslim leaders call for jihad against Jews, then bloodshed is inevitable. Iran’s genocidal call for Israel to be “wiped off the map” is a clear statement of intent: the extermination of Israeli Jews. For the first time since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel faces an existential threat – the mass murder of of Jews in a nuclear attack.

So, seventy years after the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, we live in a world where anti-Semitism is still a pressing problem for the Jewish people. Another Holocaust in Europe is unlikely but this does not mean that Jews are safe and secure. Far from it. Many Jews are afraid of the violence in Europe and are making Aliyah. Meanwhile, the State of Israel is being pressured by a hostile world to radically compromise its security in order to reach a final solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem.

Will the world ever learn? Probably not.

Do British Jews have a future?


Speaking at a service in London to commemorate those killed in the terror attacks in Paris, British Home Secretary Theresa May has said the UK must redouble its efforts to “wipe out anti-Semitism.”

She added: “I never thought I would see the day when members of the Jewish community in the United Kingdom would say they were fearful of remaining here in the United Kingdom.”

So do Jews in Britain have a future? Yes, they do, but only if the British – especially politicians and the media – do something about their Israelophobic bigotry.

The driving force behind contemporary anti-Semitism is anti-Zionism. This prejudice usually involves prejudicial, stupid and vitriolic condemnation of Israel, with absurd characterisations of the Jewish state as an apartheid nation that tortures Arab children.

This is little different from accusing Jews of poisoning wells or using the blood of Christian children to make Passover bread.

Far too often, universities, political institutions, charities, churches and media outlets provide a platform for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists to disseminate their hatred of Zionism and therefore Jews.

If Theresa May is really committed to safeguarding British Jews, then she will speak out against the one-sided criticism of Israel and the culture of incitement before innocent Jews are killed in a kosher supermarket in London or Manchester.

In other words, the anti-Zionist hate speech must be challenged at the highest level.





Zionism is a noble aim. It is the ultimate expression of Jewish identity and sovereignty. But because of Islamic supremacists, Palestinian nationalists and left-wing Jew-haters, the words “Zionism” and “Zionist” are dirty words. People use the word “Zionist” as an insult, in the same way the words “fascist” and “Nazi” are hurled at anyone who dares to disagree with them. In the media and in political discourse, the word “Zionism” has acquired (unfairly) implications of “oppression” and “racism.”

Zionism – both as word and as concept – needs to be reclaimed by those who support Israel. “Zionism” and “Zionist” must be relegitimised so that they can be once again used in public discourse without negative connotations. But first of all, we must understand what Zionism is and grapple with the complexity of the term. After all, it means slightly different things to different people.

So what is Zionism? Zionism derives from the word Zion, which is the Hebrew name for the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and was the seat of the first and second Holy Temple. It is the most holy place in the world for Jews, seen as the connection between God and humanity. At its simplest, Zionism is a nationalist movement of Jews that supports the creation of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the Eretz Israel.

Theodor Herzl, the father of modern political Zionism, formed the World Zionist Organization and promoted Jewish migration to “Palestine” in an effort to form a Jewish state. His vision was to secure international legitimacy for the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own and actually building the national home.

Anti-Semites, however, fail to see the positive connection between Jewish nationalism and Zion. Instead, they derive their definition of Zionism from the notorious anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which purports to describe a Jewish plan for global domination. It is still widely available today, especially in the Middle East. Indeed, many Arab and Muslim regimes and leaders have endorsed the book as authentic. The 1988 charter of Hamas infamously states that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion embodies the global plan of the Zionists.

In order to circumvent the erroneous definition of Zionism found in the The Protocols, we must understand the many different and positive types of Zionism that have inspired and galvanised Jews throughout history.


Ancient Zionism is the name given to the biblical origins of the Jewish people’s connection to the Eretz Israel. The first “Zionist” was God who ordered Abraham to leave his father’s home and to travel to Canaan, where God said, “To your offspring I will give this land” (Genesis 12:3-7) and “I will give to you and to your offspring […] the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession (17:8). The key text of Ancient Zionism is the Tanakh. The yearning for the land of Israel can be found in the Jewish songbook, the Psalms: “If I forget you, O Jerusalem” or “when the Lord brings about our return to Zion, we will be like dreamers.” Jewish benedictions (blessings) also hope for the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

The bond between people and land is expressed through the literature of the Bible (and subsequent Jewish writings) and was strong enough to maintain a sense of national identity following the destruction of Judea and Jerusalem by the Romans in the first century. As a people, the Jews left Israel neither spiritually nor physically. Even after the Roman invasion, a remnant of Jews remained, particularly in Galilee.

Over the centuries individual Jews or Jews in their hundreds returned to the land of Israel. A Jewish community in Hebron was founded in the seventh century. In 1210, several hundred rabbis, known as the Ba’alei Tosefot, re-settled in Israel. In 1263, Rabbi Nachmanides established a Sephardic community in Jerusalem.  Spanish Jews came to Eretz Israel in the 15th and 16th centuries. In the 16th century, large numbers of Jews migrated to the northern city of Safed, which became a major centre of Jewish mysticism known as Kabbalah. and Polish Hassidic Jews arrived in the 18th century. Between 1808 and 1812 disciples of Rabbi Eliyahu Kramer settled in the Galilee before settling in Jerusalem. In the 1830s, Zvi Hirsch Kalischer, an Orthodox German rabbi, was in favour of the Jewish re-settlement of the Land of Israel in order to provide a home for the homeless eastern European Jews that would support itself by agriculture. He also favoured a Jewish military guard for the security of the Jewish colonies. Kalischer spearheaded a movement called the Lovers of Zion, the inspiration for what became known as practical Zionism (see below).

Religious Zionism maintains that Jewish nationality and the establishment of the State of Israel is a religious duty derived from the Torah. As opposed to some ultra-Orthodox Jews who claim the redemption of the Land of Israel will occur after the coming of the messiah, religious Zionists maintain that human acts of redeeming Eretz Israel will bring about the messiah. Religious Zionists form the backbone of the settler movement in Judea and Samaria.

Political Zionism stressed the importance of political action and deemed the attainment of political rights in “Palestine” a prerequisite for the fulfilment of the Zionist enterprise. Political Zionism is linked to the name of Theodor Herzl, who considered the Jewish problem a political one that should be solved by overt action in the international arena. His aim was to obtain a charter, recognised by the world leadership, granting the Jews sovereignty in a territory owned by Jews. The Basle Program, drawn up in accordance with these principles, states that Zionism aims to establish “a secure haven, under public law, for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.” Organisational and economic mechanisms such as the Zionist Organization and the Jewish National Fund were established to carry out this program. Interestingly, Herzl wasn’t particularly interested in reviving Hebrew as a national language. Indeed, some Zionists professed a preference for German.

Practical Zionism emphasised the practical (rather than the political) means of attaining Zionist goals, such as immigration to Eretz Israel, rural and agricultural settlement and educational institutions. This approach originated in the Hibbat Zion or Lovers of Zion movement in the 1880s. This movement, which preceded Herzl’s political Zionism, was established in Eastern European countries in the early 1880s. After Herzl’s death in 1904, practical Zionism gained strength. The champions of this doctrine were the members of the Second Aliyah, who settled in Palestine at this time. They founded rural settlements, some along cooperative principles. They built modern towns and established the first industrial enterprises.

Later on a combination of these two main approaches was produced and is known as Synthetic Zionism. This is a doctrine that coalesced at the eighth Zionist Congress (1907). Chaim Weizmann (who later became the first President of Israel) was its principal champion. This merger advocated political activity coupled with practical endeavour in Eretz Israel. It also stressed Zionist activity in the Diaspora, such as modernised education, collecting money for the Jewish National Fund and active participation in national and local elections.

Cultural Zionism was an ideology espoused by Asher Zvi Hirsch Ginsberg in the late 19th and early 20th century. He believed that the Zionist movement should place its emphasis on the development of a Jewish national culture. Although national independence was important, the majority (or a significant bloc) of Jews would remain outside of the land of Israel.  Therefore, Israel should become a cultural and spiritual centre that is beacon to the world. He promulgated the view that Hebrew should be revived as a spoken language for “Palestinian” and diaspora Jews in order to create a genuine Hebrew literary culture. In this regard, Ginsberg was highly influential, especially since Herzl didn’t have much use for Hebrew.

Labor Zionism was the belief that a Jewish state would not be created simply by appealing to the international community or to Britain, but rather that a Jewish state could only be created through the efforts of the Jewish working class settling in Eretz Israel and constructing a state through the creation of a progressive Jewish society with rural kibbutzim, cooperative agricultural communities and an urban Jewish proletariat. Originally proponents of socialism and a Greater Israel, modern Labor Zionists, such as the Labor Party, tend to be favourable towards capitalism and the two-state solution.

Revisionist Zionism was initially led by Ze’ev Jabotinsky. His foremost political objective was to maintain the territorial integrity of the historical land of Israel and to establish a Jewish state with a Jewish majority on both sides of the River Jordan. The idea of partitioning the land was anathema and so Jabotinsky and his followers rejected proposals to divide “Palestine” into an Arab state and a Jewish state. Revisionist Zionism supported firm military action against the Arab gangs that attacked the Yishuv in Palestine. This hardline position led to split in the movement and some members established the Irgun, a paramilitary group. Predominantly secular in outlook, revisionist Zionists supported economic liberalism and opposed Labor Zionism. Revisionism is the precursor of the Likud Party.

Revolutionary Zionism views Zionism as a revolutionary struggle to ingather the Jewish exiles from the Diaspora, revive the Hebrew language as a spoken language and re-establish a Jewish kingdom in the Land of Israel. As members of Lehi (a militant Zionist group) during the 1940s, many adherents of Revolutionary Zionism engaged in guerrilla warfare against the British administration in an effort to end the British Mandate of Palestine and pave the way for Jewish political independence. Many revolutionary Zionists envisaged a kingdom of Israel rather than a state, with a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. Revolutionary Zionists generally espouse anti-imperialist political views, thereby defying left/right categorization.

Christian Zionism (formerly known as Restorationism) is a belief among some (especially conservative evangelical) Christians that the return of the Jews to the land of Israel is in accordance with Biblical prophecy. Some Christian Zionists believe that the “ingathering” of Jews in Israel is a prerequisite for the Second Coming of Jesus.

Muslim Zionism is very rare but growing. Pro-Israel advocacy groups such as Arabs for Israel and British Muslims for Israel have been formed within the past ten years. Individual Muslims who dare to publicly support Zionism are former radical Islamist Ed Husain and the Bangladeshi journalist Salah Choudhury. And there are a number of Muslim clerics (such as Britain’s Imam Dr Muhammad Al-Hussaini) who believe that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land is in accordance with the teachings of Islam (see Qur’an 5:21). Kurds, Berbers and Circassians (all of whom are non-Arab Muslims) have voiced support for Israel. The Arab Druze population in Israel is highly supportive of Zionism. Many Druze have attained top positions in Israeli politics and serve in the Israel Defense Forces. There is also a growing number of Arab Christians in Israel who recognize the Jewish character of Israel and want to enlist in the IDF.


What does Zionism mean today? Is it still relevant? In my mind, the importance of Zionism is demonstrated by the growing number of Jews leaving France for Israel.

Indeed, the persistent stain of anti-Semitism in the fabric of European society demonstrates the importance of the Zionist project. Following the attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris in which four Jews were killed, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “Israel is not just the place in whose direction you pray, the state of Israel is your home.” He has a point.

Is Israel any safer than France? Perhaps not. After all, terror attacks in Jerusalem and rockets from Gaza are occasional hazards. But at least Israel is home. And it’s a home where Jews have the right to govern themselves, to practice their religion and maintain their identity. Isn’t this what Zionism is about?

Of course, America is always an option for those who wish to leave Europe. But America has its own problems with anti-Semitism, anti-Israel boycotters and Islamic terrorism. Put simply, Israel is the only place in the world where the Jewish people are free to live as Jews. The importance of this cannot be underestimated, especially at a time when Islamic terrorism is plaguing the West.

Some may argue that leaving Europe is an admission of defeat. I would argue that it is an opportunity to live in a society where Jewishness is the norm, not the exception. I would also add that returning to Israel would greatly help the Jewish state gain the upper hand in the demographic stakes.

Zionism has nothing do with global domination or oppression of the Palestinians. It is about one thing and one thing only: the survival of a Jewish homeland in a world where anti-Semitism refuses to go away.


10846452_1602915079930448_6721934932410331278_nBy JMA editor Richard Mather

The fifty days of Operation Protective Edge in 2014 was a bad time for Jews. It was bad for Israelis for obvious reasons. But Jews in places as far apart as Britain and Australia were also under attack – from Israelophobes, anti-Semites and a hostile media as well as politicians. Jewish homes, business and places of worship were attacked. Individuals were physically assaulted. The international boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) movement was in full swing,  calling for an end to arms exports to Israel and an economic and cultural blockade on all things Israeli (including Israeli people).

But despite the attacks and the abuse, Jews in Israel, Britain, Europe and from around the world, stood firm. Facebook and other forms of social media became essential tools in the fight against anti-Semitism. Many decided to take action by staging counter-demonstrations or setting up grassroots organisations. One such grassroots organisation to be established during the summer of 2014 was the Jewish Media Agency (JMA), founded by Lara Kroll.

JMA is a social media operation, an online hub if you like, set up to tackle and provide a voice against the media’s complicity in anti-Semitism. Israel is notoriously bad at defending its best interests in the face of a powerful propaganda machine run by the Palestinians and their supporters.

One of the aims of JMA is to provide a counterweight to the negative news coverage of Israel whilst also highlighting instances of anti-Semitism and Israelophobia in rival news organisations, as well as from politicians, governments, NGOs, charities, etc.

Lara Kroll, founder of JMA, comments:

“No one was collating the fast and furious news developments against Israel, against our race, our people. By harnessing social media, we could respond quickly to breaking news, developing news stories and also write our own opinion features. The team at JMA all share a vision and passion to promote global Jewish news, to advocate for Israel and to stand up to the bias of the global media giants such as BBC and CNN.”

Our team of pro-bono volunteers gathers and distributes opinion and news relating to Israel and Jewish issues. We are distinctive in the sense that we use Facebook and Twitter as our main medium, although we do have a website

Relevant news stories from around the world are collected by our team of volunteers and published as rolling news on our Facebook site and tweeted out. We also produce original content in the form of op-eds and features. The writing team is diverse, with voluntary writers and reporters in Britain, Israel, Canada, Australia and South Africa.

We live in a world where The New York Times is seven times more likely to publish pieces that are primarily critical of Israel than those primarily critical of the Palestinians. CNN and the BBC do not report that Arab terrorists are stabbing and running over Israelis, only that Israelis are victims of knife attacks and rogue drivers. During Operation Protective Edge, broadcasters were unwilling to show images of rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. JMA refuses to let the media industry get away with such shocking lapses of judgement.

We are interested in one thing and one thing only: exposing those who undermine and demonise Israel and the Jewish people. This is not to say we are uncritical of Israel. As with any other country in the world, Israel has its faults and problems. No country is perfect. Not everyone at JMA is a supporter of Benjamin Netanyahu. The problem lies in the fact that Israel is held up to an impossibly high standard by a world that apparently wants the Jewish state to fail.

We are six months old, learning and growing. We don’t purport to be perfect and perhaps we have misjudged things on occasion. But we are doing our very utmost to rebalance the perspective on Israel and to act as an alternative source of news for those who have grown sick of a diet of lies and deceit.

So if you’re already a follower of JMA, then thank you. We appreciate your support. If you’re new to JMA, please join us. We’d love to have you on board.

Richard Mather, Editor-in-Chief,

Lara Tiger Kroll, Founder of JMA,

JMA team, UK, Israel, South Africa, France, Australia, USA