FW: Lenni Brenner's Author's blurb and reviews

Craven, Jim jcraven at clark.edu
Wed Jul 9 13:09:33 MDT 2003


Author's Blurb/Bio

Lenni Brenner was born into an Orthodox Jewish family. He became an atheist 
at 10, and a Marxist at 15, in 1952. His involvement with the Black civil 
rights movement began on his first day in the organized left, when he met
James 
Farmer of the Congress of Racial Equality, later the organizer of the
"freedom 
rides" of the early 60s. He was active in the mid 50s with Bayard Rustin,
later 
the organizer of Martin Luther King's 1963 "I had a dream" March on 
Washington. 

He was arrested 3 times during civil rights sit-ins in the San Francisco Bay

Area. He spent 39 months in prison when a court revoked his probation for 
marijuana possession, for his activities during the Berkeley Free Speech
Movement 
at the University of California in 1964. 

Immediately on imprisonment, he spent 4 days in intense discussion with Huey

Newton, later founder of the Black Panther Party, who he encountered in the 
holding tank. Subsequently he worked with Kathy Cleaver. More recently, in
the 
90s, he and Panther do-founder Bobby Seale defended their activities during
the 
60s on Morton Downey's TV show. 

He was an anti-war activist from the 1st days of the Vietnam war, speaking 
frequently at rallies in the Bay Area. In 1963 he organized the Committee
for 
Narcotic Reform in Berkeley. In 1968 he co-founded the National Association
for 
Irish Justice, the American affiliate of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights 
Association. 

In the 90s he and Kwame Ture (aka Stokely Carmichael), the legendary "Black 
Power" leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, co-founded
the 
Committee against Zionism and Racism. They also published The Anti-War 
Activist. 

He is presently organizing the Coalition for Narcotic Law Reform. 

Mr. Brenner is the author of 4 books, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, 
The Iron Wall: Zionist Revisionism from Jabotinsky to Shamir, Jews in
America 
Today, and The Lesser Evil, a study of the Democratic Party. His books have
been 
favorably reviewed in 10 languages by prominent publications, including the 
London Times, The London Review of Books, Moscow's Izvestia and the
Jerusalem 
Post. 

He has written over 100 articles for many publications, including the 
Amsterdam News, the Anderson Valley Advertizer, the Atlanta Constitution, 
CounterPunch, the Jewish Guardian, the Nation, the Washington Report on
Middle East 
Affairs, Middle East Policy, Middle East International, the Journal of
Palestine 
Studies, the New Statesman of London, Al-Fajr in Jerusalem and Dublin's
United 
Irishman. 

In 2002 he edited 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis. It 
contains complete translations of many of the documents quoted in Zionism in
the 
Age of the Dictators and The Iron Wall.

==END - Author's Blurb/Bio

Edward Mortimer, "Contradiction, collusion and controversy," The Times 
(London), 2/11/84.

Zionism in the Age of the Dictators
by Lenni Brenner 

Who told a Berlin audience in March 1912 that "each country can absorb only
a 
limited number of Jews, if she doesn't want disorders in her stomach.
Germany 
already has too many Jews"?

No, not Adolf Hitler but Chaim Weizmann, later president of the World
Zionist 
Organization and later still the first president of the state of Israel.

And where might you find the following assertion, originally composed in
1917 
but republished as late as 1936: "The Jew is a caricature of a normal, 
natural human being, both physically and spiritually. As an individual in
society 
he revolts and throws off the harness of social obligation, knows no order
nor 
discipline"?

Not in Der Stürmer but in the organ of the Zionist youth organization, 
Hashomer Hatzair.

As the above quoted statement reveals, Zionism itself encouraged and 
exploited self-hatred in the Diaspora. It started from the assumption that 
anti-Semitism was inevitable and even in a sense justified so long as Jews 
were outside the land of Israel.

It is true that only an extreme lunatic fringe of Zionism went so far as to 
offer to join the war on Germany's side in 1941, in the hope of establishing

"the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, and bound
by 
a treaty with the German Reich." Unfortunately this was the group which the 
present Prime Minister of Israel chose to join.

That fact gives an extra edge of topicality to what would in any case be a 
highly controversial study of the Zionist record in the heyday of European
fascism 
by Lenni Brenner, an American Trotskyist writer who happens also to be 
Jewish. It is short (250 pages), crisp and carefully documented. Mr Brenner
is 
able to cite numerous cases where Zionists collaborated with anti-Semitic 
regimes, including Hitler's; he is careful also to put on record the
opposition to 
such policies within the Zionist movement.

In retrospect these activities have been defended as a distasteful but 
necessary expedient to save Jewish lives. But Brenner shows that most of the
time 
this aim was secondary. The Zionist leaders wanted to help young, skilled
and 
able-bodied Jews to emigrate to Palestine. They were never in the forefront
of 
the struggle against fascism in Europe.

That in no way absolves the wartime Allies for their callous refusal to make

any serious effort to save European Jewry. As Brenner says, "Britain must be

condemned for abandoning the Jews of Europe"; but, "it is not for the
Zionists 
to do it."

====END - London Times

Politica Internazionale, (Italy), Spring 1985

The Iron Wall, Zionist Revisionism from Jabotinsky to Shamir Lenni Brenner

This book is a historical document of Zionist revisionism seen in the light 
also of the personal vicissitudes of its inventor and major interpreter. The

author, a Jewish-American historian, does not conceal his dislike for 
revisionism. Yet he tries to understand and explain its internal dynamics.
The result 
is, undoubtedly, satisfactory. The inclusion in the book, at the side of 
Jabotinsky and Begin, of Shamir, whose historical role is decidedly
secondary is 
perplexing. Obviously the author felt the need to find a representative and
a 
leader for today's (and yesterday's) revisionism. Particularly interesting
and 
penetrating appears the first part, that devoted to Jabotinsky. The
biographical 
data, apart from facilitating reading, are warranted by the historic 
importance which is attributed to the character of the personage. In this
sense, the 
socio-cultural humus of his childhood is of basic importance. But his
personal 
vicissitudes, including his family misfortunes, are also useful. 

Revisionism ends up by being presented almost as an outcome of Jabotinsky's 
anti-communism. And it is precisely from his anti-communism that one has to 
start to understand the contradictions of his practical action and of his 
ideology. One thinks, for instance, of his open-mindedness in the choice of 
alliances, which brought Herzl's noted attitude to paroxysm. Jabotinsky
searched, in 
the early twenties, alliances with the white Ukrainians, led by Slavinsky, 
namely the slaughterers of tens of thousands of Jews. As to the ideology, it
is 
remarked that revisionism did not presuppose the expulsion of the Arabs. If 
anything, being deeply reactionary, he intended the relations between Arabs
and 
Jews to be according to the colonial scheme, with the former, the natives,
in the 
role of the colonized (more or less to be civilized) and the latter in the 
role of civilizers. 

The iron wall, which appears in the title, is, in fact, a metaphor to 
indicate the need to use arms (a wall of bayonets) against the local
population. 


Nissim Rejwan, "A Civil Religion," Jerusalem Post, 12/31/88

Jews in America Today
by Lenni Brenner

Lenni Brenner cannot be accused of mixing themes or mincing words. A 
self-styled Trotskyist at odds with practically everything and everybody,
his style is 
as racy as it is pithy and iconoclastic. This makes Jews in America Today 
great fun to read, although I fear very few readers of this paper can be
expected 
to agree with any part of his general thesis. 

In writing on American Jewry today, Brenner takes up - and on! - a 
considerable number of issues and persons that do not always seem germane to
his 
specific subject. A sampling of chapter headings: "Six million Skeletons in
the 
Closet;" "Blacks and Jews: Maids and Muggers, Landlords and Lawyers;" "Hath
Not a 
Jew Credit Cards? Ph.D? Uzi Machine Gun?," "the Intelligentsia, Israel and 
the Jews."

Brenner spares no one. On the attitude of American Zionists to Israeli 
emigrants, he writes: "The yordim trouble American Jews, particularly those
with 
Zionist sympathies... Israel is a settlers' laager and can survive only if
the 
wagons circle together to face the Indians... Many American Zionists see the

yordim as little more than traitors, but have ambiguous feelings because
they 
themselves have no intention of moving to Israel."

Again, in speaking of the Eichmann trial, he has this to say about Hannah 
Arendt and her sharply critical stance: "Arendt was no lawyer; but a
graduate of 
Mittle Europa's genius factories feels called upon to fault everything, and 
she quibbled with the terminology of the indictment, the prosecutor's
arguments, 
the court's opinions and procedures, and those of the later appellate court 
as well; but in the end her caveats and cavils amounted to nothing and she 
ultimately upheld the court's jurisdiction and, of course, its verdict." 

Well, to paraphrase a famous American advertisement, You don't have to agree

with Brenner to enjoy reading Jews in America Today!


American Library Association Booklist, 9/1/1988

Lenni Brenner, The Lesser Evil

Muckraking is alive, kicking, red-faced with indignation, and unputdownably 
readable in this exposé of the Democratic Party. Brenner shows that despite 
initially progressive leadership by Founding Fathers Jefferson, Madison and 
Monroe, the aggregation's base of support in the slave-holding South soon
dragged 
it into immoral reaction and corruption under Jackson, the patron deity of
the 
spoils system and, in his last years, a rabid advocate of slavery. And so it

has been ever since, by Brenner's accounting, and he documents his case 
impressively. He reminds us that the Republicans began as the progressive
alternative 
party; that up until FDR, progressives came more often from the GOP's ranks,

despite its own post-Reconstruction depravity; that the programs that
brought 
Roosevelt liberal support were balanced by his virulent racism against
Blacks, 
Jews, and Japanese-Americans; and that the record of every major Democrat 
since reeks of legal and moral turpitude. Brenner's intent is to finally
drive 
liberals from the party, to make them see that supporting the Democrats any 
longer is futile and stupid. If enough of them read him, he just might
succeed. A 
brilliant polemic, and is it ever sarcastic!





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