Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

April 21, 2006

Militant Islam and the Extreme Right

Filed under: Islam,zionism — louisproyect @ 5:10 pm

Posted to www.marxmail.org on April 21, 2006

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an article by U. of Virginia professor George Michael (not the gay British rocker, I don't believe) titled "Strange Bedfellows" that makes an amalgam between the far right and political Islam. It is based on Michael's new book "The Enemy of My Enemy: The Alarming Convergence of Militant Islam and the Extreme Right."

South Africa's prime minister John Vorster (second from right) is feted by Israel's prime minister Yitzhak Rabin (right) and Menachem Begin (left) and Moshe Dayan during his 1976 visit to Jerusalem.

It is based on a cherry picking of facts about political Islam that carefully omits the far more real and far more dangerous convergence taking place, namely between that of Western governments with democratic pretensions and the skinhead right against Muslim immigrants. The most graphic example of that is the Danish cartoon incident which brought together a newspaper that urged that Denmark follow the Nazi model during the 1930s, a government which sent troops to occupy Iraq and the Danish People's Party–a first cousin to France's Le Pen, the BNP in Great Britain, etc.

Michael's article points out correctly that Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has begun to repeat some of the arguments found in the world of "holocaust denial", a calling card of the ultraright globally. He points out that after Ahmadinjad began to make revisionist arguments, David Duke, the former Klan leader came to his defense.

There are, of course, some problems with dragging in David Duke, who not only campaigned for the House of Republican as a Republican in Louisiana in 1999 but was never criticized once by the Republican governor at the time. As long as we are in the business of making amalgams, why not make one between the Republican Party, David Duke and all of the Democrats who have caved in to Bush for the past 6 years?

Professor Michael also feels that the ultraright and the Islamists are bent on creating "utopian versions of homogeneous societies." Of course, this pretty well sums up the Zionist project in the Middle East as well. In 1923, Vladimir Jabotinsky–the ideological forefather of the Likud Party–wrote an article titled "The Iron Wall: We and the Arabs" that contained the following observation:

"The vast areas of the U.S. never contained more than one or two million Indians. The inhabitants fought the white settlers not out of fear that they might be expropriated, but simply because there has never been an indigenous inhabitant anywhere or at any time who has ever accepted the settlement of others in his country. Any native people – its all the same whether they are civilized or savage – views their country as their national home, of which they will always be the complete masters. They will not voluntarily allow, not only a new master, but even a new partner. And so it is for the Arabs."

Full: http://www.marxists.de/middleast/ironwall/ironwall.htm

Thus we see that the founding myths of the state of Israel were rooted to some degree in the racist extermination of the American Indian. Even today, these myths endure in a 2004 Ha'aretz interview with Israeli historian Benny Morris (an erstwhile 'progressive') who openly endorsed the concept of an "iron wall" and reminded Israelis that "Even the great American democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians."

While this should not be interpreted as an apology for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it would appear that with such an identification with an exterminationist policy by the likes of Jabotinsky and Morris, there will be a tendency in the Muslim world to give tit-for-tat–at least verbally.

Dipping into the barrel of Zionist apologetics, Michael makes a big deal out of the fact that "Adolf Hitler maintained a cordial relationship with the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who spent several of the World War II years in Berlin, where he was received as a foreign dignitary after fleeing British-occupied Palestine." What this neglects to point out, however, is that the Grand Mufti was appointed to this post by the freedom-loving British in the 1920s who actually created the office to begin with. As was almost always the case in the British Empire, local flunkies were selected on the basis of a willingness to accommodate to the outside powers. Furthermore, al-Husseini was not the only denizen of the Middle East who flirted with fascism. Remember that Jabotinsky found inspiration in Italian fascism, to such an extent that even Mussolini was forced to concede to David Prato, who would later become the chief rabbi of Rome, that: “For Zionism to succeed you need to have a Jewish state, with a Jewish flag and a Jewish language. The person who really understands that is your fascist, Jabotinsky.”

Full: http://www.marxists.de/middleast/brenner/ch10.htm

For Michael, Arab support for Hitler's war against the British and French is further proof of some deeper affinity with fascism. He writes, "In Egypt a protofascist organization, Young Egypt, also known as the Green Shirts, attracted many army officers, including a young lieutenant colonel, Anwar el-Sadat, who was involved in a failed scheme to provide Rommel's Afrika Korps with secret information on British strategy and troop movements."

This is in line with the general thesis of his book that Arabs have adopted a policy of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". If this is the case, then a much longer book could be written about the United States, which went much further than any Arab state after WWII in making bedfellows out of Nazi war criminals.

The most infamous example was Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo officer recruited by the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) in 1947. But there are many other examples as well. We should also acknowledge "Operation Paperclip" which brought Nazi scientists, many guilty of war crimes, into the U.S. where they were put to work doing pretty much what they were doing under the Swastika, namely preparing war against the Russian menace.

Whatever the Arabs did in comparison to this was small potatoes indeed.

Michael makes much of the fact that "After the war, several former German military officers and Nazi party officials, such as Otto Skorzeny, Johann von Leers, and Otto Remer, were granted sanctuary in Arab countries, most notably Egypt." He neglects to mention, however, that "According to several published accounts, including one by former U.S. intelligence agent Miles Copeland, Skorzeny, who died in 1975, helped the CIA train the Egyptian security services in the 1950s."

Full: http://archive.salon.com/news/feature/2000/05/03/nazi/index.html

So, if you are going to make amalgams between the Arabs and the Nazis, you'd better throw the U.S. into the hopper as well.

Continuing along in his merry but error-prone fashion, Michael concludes that "The rise of Palestinian terrorism in the early 1970s caused some elements of the extreme right in Europe to once again take interest in the Middle East. Members of a small German neo-Nazi group, Hoffmann-Wehrsportgruppe, for example, sought to develop an operational alliance with Middle Eastern terrorist groups."

But this was not the only alliance between Middle Eastern political actors and the ultraright. Although it might have slipped from Professor Michael's memory, others of us less intoxicated on ideology must recall that the government of Israel was building alliances throughout the world with groups just as unseemly as Wehrsportgruppe but far more powerful.

During WWII the future South African Prime Minister John Vorster was interned as a Nazi sympathizer, but three decades later he got the red carpet treatment in Jerusalem. On the occasion of that state visit, an official South African government publication stated that "Israel and South Africa have one thing above all else in common: they are both situated in a predominantly hostile world inhabited by dark peoples." Meanwhile Yitzhak Rabin completely ignored Voster's Nazi-loving past and toasted "the ideals shared by Israel and South Africa: the hopes for justice and peaceful coexistence". Both countries supposedly faced "foreign-inspired instability and recklessness".

This only covers half of Michael's prolix article. I could go on refuting it, but that would be like using a grenade launcher to kill a catepillar. The article serves the same purpose as much Zionist or "war on terrorism" propaganda today. It is meant not to win any new adherents to a totally bankrupt cause but to harden the ranks of the True Believers. Lord knows that they need all the help that they can get.


  1. Nice site. Thank to work…

    Comment by thawain — June 13, 2006 @ 11:32 pm

  2. “Thus we see that the founding myths of the state of Israel were rooted to some degree in the racist extermination of the American Indian.”

    Such statements verify the proverb “Cavil will enter at any hole.” How ludicrous and absurd. Such mental flatulence is the meandering hubris of the self-aggrandized, “noetic” types who love to meddle in any contention, whether it concerns them or not.

    “prolix article”?? Give me a break. Politics and fidelity to certain causes often proliferate contradictory alliances. Ask any of your Marxist friends about Stalin’s friendship with Adolf Hitler, or perhaps Roosevelt’s friendship with the Mafia. The list is long.

    “a totally bankrupt cause” ?? You’re a Marxist, you should know about bankrupt causes.

    Comment by Michael Devolin — June 28, 2007 @ 4:13 am

  3. “local flunkies were selected on the basis of a willingness to accommodate to the outside powers.”

    This statement is only partially true, which proves that you are either a shameless liar or a sciolist. I suspect the latter is true. Hussein was no local flunky. His cousin was the previous “mufti” of Jerusalem, both were members of the influencial al-Hussein family. Hussein’s appointment as mufti was challenged by another influencial Muslim family, the al-Nashashibi family, who also had a contender for the title of mufti.

    It was true then as it is now, that Muslim autocrats accomodate outside powers, specifically to milk them for their dollars. Think Arafat. Think Abbas.

    As for his powers of influence, they were not bequeathed to him from the British, but, as the Mufti’s biographer Maurice Pearlman pointed out, “He [Hussein]quickly achieved a place in Arab public life through family connections…”

    I hope this rebuttal is not too “prolix” for you.

    Comment by Michael Devolin — June 28, 2007 @ 4:39 am

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