Part I Zionists And/As Nazis

Craven, Jim jcraven at clark.edu
Wed Apr 10 11:35:34 MDT 2002


>From Tom Segev, "The Seventh Million: Israelis and the Holocaust" Hill
and Wang, NY, 1993

" On January 31, 1933, the day after Hitler became chancellor, the
independent liberal daily 'Haaretz' decried this 'hugely negative historical
event'. Ten days later it ran a headline that read, 'BLACK
DAYS IN GERMANY.'The paper followed the ongoing 'anti-Semitic horror',
but during those first weeks it, like the British press, generally aimed at
reassuring its readers:

'One must suppose that Hitlerism will now renounce terrorist methods:
government brings responsibility.' the right-wing 'Doar Hayom' agreed:
'There can be no doubt that Hitler the chancellor will be different from the
Hitler of the public rallies.' But from the start, 'Davar'--the left-wing
daily published by the Histadrut (Labor Federation)--was more pessimistic:
'It was a bitter and ill-fated day when the New Vandal came to power',
the newspaper wrote the day after the change of government in Germany. It
described Hitler as a man of hate and demagoguery who would 'tear Jews out
by their roots.' "
(p 17)

"More than anything else, though, the rise of the Nazis was seen as
confirming the historical prognosis of Zionist ideology. 'Hapoel Hatsair'
described the nazi persecution of the Jews as 'punishment for their having
tried to integrate into German society instead of leaving for Palestine
while it was still possible to do so.' Now they would have to run in a panic
'like mice in flight', the paper said. 'The Jews of Germany are being
persecuted now not despite their efforts to be part of their
country but because of those efforts.' The holocaust would later be the
primary argument for the establishment of the State of Israel and for its
wars of survival."
(p. 18)

"Ben-Gurion hoped that the Nazis victory would become 'a fertile force' for
Zionism." (p. 18)

"The 'haavara' ('transfer') agreement--the Hebrew term was used in the Nazi
documents as well--was based on the complementary interests of the German
government and the Zionist movement: the Nazis wanted the Jews out of
Germany; the Zionists wanted them to come to Palestine. But there was no
such mutuality of interests between the Zionists and German Jewry.
Most German Jews would have preferred to stay in their country. The tension
between the interests of the 'yishuv' [Jewish community in Palestine] (and,
in time, the State of Israel) and those of world Jewry was to become a
central motif in the story of the Israelis' attitude to the Holocaust."
(p.20)

"The revisionist right, by contrast, had long been sympathetic to Benito
Mussolini's Fascism and now and then even to Adolf Hitler's Naziism--except,
of course, his anti-Semitism. Betar, Jabotinsky's youth movement, fostered
classic Fascist ideas and forms. In 1928, Abba Ahimeir, a well-known
Revisionist journalist, had a regular column, 'From the Notebook of a
Fascist', in the newspaper 'Doar Hayom'. In anticipation of Jabotinsky's
arrival in Palestine, he wrote an article titled 'On the Arrival of Our
Duce' " (p. 23)

"Four years later, in early 1932, Ahimeir was among those brought to trial
for disrupting a public lecvture at Hebrew University. The incident and the
resulting trial are worthy of note only because of a declaration by defense
attorney Zvi Eliahu Cohen in response to a speech by the prosecutor
comparing the disruption of the lecture with the Nazi disturbances in
Germany. 'The comment on the Nazis', Cohen said, 'went too far. Were it not
for Hitler's anti-Semitism, we would not oppose his ideology. Hitler saved
Germany.' This was not an unconsidered outburst; the Revisionist paper
'Hazit Haam' praised Cohen's 'brilliant speech.' " (p. 23)

"...[from Hazit Haam] 'Social Democrats of all stripes believe that Hitler's
movement is an empty shell.', the newspaper explained, but 'we believe that
there is both a shell and a kernel. The anti-Semitic shell
is to be discarded, but not the anti-Marxist kernel. The Revisionists, the
newspaper wrote, would fight the Nazis only to the extent that they were
anti-Semites." (p. 23)

to be continued...

Jim C.

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