“If we want to stay really human beings, we must get up and call the Zionists what they are: Nazi criminals. The hate of the Jews by the Germans was less deeply rooted than the hate of the Palestinians by the Israeli Jews. The brainwashing of the Jewish Israeli populations is going on for over sixty years. They cannot see a Palestinian as a human being.”
I’m reading the words of a jewish man, a Holocaust survivor who dedicated the better half of his life to anti zionist activism and is now the center of a controversy involving the Corbyn Labour party dealings with accusations of antisemitism.
A new article by Tom D. Rogers for Evolve Politics is making the rounds on Twitter by the usual suspects. The article condemns right wing outlets for calling Hajo Meyer an antisemite and detail a 2010 conference headed by Corbyn with Meyer as a key speaker. My aversion to criticizing a holocaust survivor reaches its outmost limits when it comes to Meyer. His voice matters, his experience- valuable, yet his expression could easily be replaced by some of the most vile antisemitic voices we hear from the right.
The Labour party has been mired in accusations of antisemitism which have taken a turn for the worst in recent months. If you’re inclined to know of some, please see this thread:
The main justification given by anti zionist Labour and their supporters when comparing Israel to the Nazi regime, is Mr. Meyer a Jewish Holocaust survivor. That gets repeated yet his actual statements glossed over as we suddenly discover the respect and honor Jewish voices get around the globe when they echo anti zionist sentiments.
Who is Mr. Meyer? Outside of his work of a theoretic physicist, Meyer was an anti zionist activist. A man who survived the Holocaust and has not lived a day in his life in Israel, offers us his theories on both the government as well as its citizens and Jews around the world.
Meyer was the director of A Different Jewish Voice. He wrote Het einde van het Jodendom(The End of Judaism) in 2003, which accuses Israel of abusing the Holocaust to justify crimes against the Palestinians.
He was a member of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. He participated in the 2011 “Never Again — For Anyone” tour. This specific article, referes to a talk organized and hosted by Jeremy Corbyn in 2010. At the event Mr Meyer said that Elie Wiesel, the Jewish author and Nobel peace prizewinner, was the “high priest” of the Holocaust religion: “Judaism in Israel has been substituted by the Holocaust religion, whose high priest is Elie Wiesel.” According to The Guardian, Meyer’s argument is that there are parallels between the Nazi treatment of Jews prior to the Holocaust, and Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. This may be an important point as Meyer does make the claim that the comparison stops prior to the expulsion, ghettoing, and genocide of the Jews. A claim perhaps slightly more nuanced than his activist counterparts. In an article of that period he explicitly stated:’I am pained by the parallels I observe between my experiences in Germany prior to 1939 and those suffered by Palestinians today.’
I wonder what good is that comparison as the Nazi claim to fame truly is the Holocaust. It certainly isn’t their tax system, nor their education system. It is the genocide of 6 million Jews, yet we know exactly what anti zionist mean when they say Israel has turned into Nazi Germany.
Meyer, However, has an especially negative outlook on the entire concept of zionism. Meyer claimed Zionism predates fascism, that Zionists and fascists had a history of cooperation charging, among other things, that Israel wants to foment anti-Semitism in the world to encourage more Jews to migrate to Israel. To differ between those statements and the current alt-right, would be a hell of a task.
Meyer spoke in favor of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. In his last recorded interview, coinciding with the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, Meyer lambasted Zionists as Nazi criminals, asserted that German hatred of Jews was less deeply grounded than Israeli-Jewish hatred of Palestinians. He speaks of Gaza as if it was still under occupation of the Israeli Government. No mention of Israel’s disengagement from Gaza in 2005 and removal of every last jewish settlement. No talk of Hamas killing their opposition, dragging their naked bodies tied to bikes in the streets of Gaza, nor a word of the iron fist with which they rule their population while diverting any and all finances from the population to their eternal jihad on the state of Israel. Corbyn was later reported, in 2018, as having repeatedly likened Israel’s actions against the people of the Gaza Strip to the mass killing of Jews in the Holocaust.
He developed a theory based on the work of Hans Keilson regarding “sequential traumatizing,”. The mere act of remembering, documenting, and teaching Israeli children the events of the holocaust, is likened to indoctrination for the sole purpose of a national identity and a fear based society. Wondering what other well documented genocides throughout history, get the the special treatment.
The need to tout a Jewish voice to justify the overwhelming evidence of pure and unadulterated antisemitism is nothing but transparent. How many black voices can one find to counter accusations of racism? Imagine an article laying a full recount of black crime stats in the US to justify racism elsewhere? Better yet, imagine documenting the actions of Muslim leaders, in their ethno Muslim states, to justify anti muslim hate in the west?
No amount of history detailing the countless pogroms, persecution, theft, murder, and oppression of Jewish people, will ever bring an anti zionist to admit Jews need/deserve their own state. It has become overwhelmingly acceptable to decry antisemitism of the far right kind, yet the left only needs to point at Bibi and scream nazis and all’s forgiven. In what world has the actions, words, posts, and vile behavior of members of the Labour party become justified even with admitted crimes of the state of Israel? Under what circumstances is it ok to vilify British Jews or any jew for their support for a nation that will always be the safest place for them as Jews? I certainly have not seen anything close to this treatment with Muslim, Asian, and African nations.
Mr. Meyer, may he rest in peace, had a story to tell. His past marked by hate, violence, and loss simply due to his ethnicity. Meyer operated from what he felt was most just and right but he was too, a victim. He identified with what he saw as victims and blamed what he saw as perpetrator. Allow him his words as every victims should but do not make the case that his words are correct, justified, or in any way a path forward. Meyer has remained in a black and white world of good and evil. We don’t have to.