[Marxism] Nazism and the Arabs: a debate

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Wed Nov 25 14:19:04 MST 2009

At 09:14 25/11/09 -0500, Louis Proyect wrote:

Although rather interesting, I didn't see the point of posting this link. 
When I went ahead and read the article (by Jeffrey Herf) I was annoyed and 
about to write a rebuttal. Then I saw that there already was a thorough 
rebuttal (by Richard Wolin, a qualified scholar) in the link underneath it, 
so I won't spend my own energy.

Most reprehensible in the article by Herf (and apparently a primary theme of 
his book, judging by Wolin's rebuttal) is his attempt to provide the 
supposed "link" that justifies the idiotic term "Islamo-fascism":

"But the formulation of Nazi propaganda during World War II and its 
dissemination stand as a decisive episode in the development of radical 

Apparently he thinks that ideas planted by the Nazis needed some 40 or 50 
years to smoulder before sprouting the present Islamic fundamentalists. And 
he further insinuates that anti-semitism is a primary component of Islamic 
fundamentalism, as the Zionists would like us to believe. He further reveals 
his bias in this regard:

"In the first months after the war, as the scope of the Jewish catastrophe 
in Europe was being revealed, Arab and Islamic radicals showed no sign of 
reconsidering their hostility to Zionism."

Right. The Palestinians whose land was being gobbled up by Europeans with 
the purpose of recolonizing that land after the British would leave, were 
supposed to give up that opposition because of the news that in a different 
continent there had been a genocide against members of the same religion.

Finally he goes on to quote (as the Israelis love to) from the Hamas charter 
which indeed includes some very anti-semitic language. Again he conveniently 
ignores that Hamas has, in practice, renounced such positions, written about 
20 years ago I believe, under the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood which 
spawned Hamas (along with covert aid from Israel). And anyway it doesn't 
have anything to do with the struggle of Hamas and the Palestinian nation 
against Israel, again unless you accept Israel's claim that anti-zionism is 
anti-semitism. For a more current position of Hamas regarding the Holocaust, 
see this article written by Bassem Naeem, the minister of health and 
information in Gaza:

Hopefully the points I made are not controversial among the members of this 
list, and I question what's new about the Herf article (and book). Seems 
like just more of the same Islam-bashing that is used to deflect attention 
from the crimes of Israel in the present.
- Jeff

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