The Left’s Historical Obsession With Jews and Israel

by Paul Austin Murphy (November 2018)

Father and Child, Yosi Bergner, 1943



First, let’s get some old chestnuts out of the way.

  • I don’t believe that the terms “antisemitism” and “anti-Zionism” are synonyms.
  • I don’t believe that anti-Zionism is the same as Jew-hatred.
  • I don’t believe that every single anti-Zionist is a Jew-hater
  • And I don’t believe that every single criticism of Israel is inspired by Jew-hatred.

This is what I do believe:


Very many (though not all) anti-Zionists and critics of Israel are indeed Jew-haters; though there’s no necessary political or conceptual link between anti-Zionism (or the criticism of Israel) and Jew-hatred. What often happens is that very many people who have a problem with Jews are drawn to anti-Zionism and become obsessed with Israel.


Thus, anti-Zionism and the obsession with Israel are examples of Jew-hatred by proxy. So there are, indeed, very strong historical, theoretical, and political links (all contingent, sure) between anti-Zionism (or the criticism of Israel) and Jew-hatred. One of those links I will discuss here: the history of Far Left Jew-hatred.




Far Left (or, more specifically, Marxist) Jew-Hatred dates back to 1844 when Karl Marx first expressed his hatred of Jews in print. Marx (like Gilad Atzmon, Noam Chomsky, Tony Cliff, Ilan Pappé, Norman Finkelstein, Shlomo Sand, etc.) was only Jewish by blood: not by religion or by culture. In fact not even Marx’s father was a Jew by religion. So, Jew-hatred came easy to Marx.


Let’s take a couple of the lesser-known names in that parenthetical list above.


Shlomo Sand is an Israeli Marxist who believes that the Jews are an “invention.” Mr Sand began his political life in the 1960s/70s as a member of the Maoist group, Matzpen; as did fellow anti-Zionist, Sylvain Cypel, who went on to establish the Workers’ League.


Today, Professor Shlomo Sand believes that (to use Ayatollah Khamenei’s words) “Israel must be uprooted from the region.”


It’s a bizarre fact that National Socialist (i.e., Nazi) Jew-Hatred only dates back to the early 1920s—some 70 years after Marx’s diatribe against Jews. (This isn’t to say, of course, that Jew-hatred didn’t predate the Nazis and Marx; it did.)

Far Left/Marxist Jew-hatred continued with the Bolsheviks. (This is ironic because Nazis made—and still make—much of the Bolsheviks who were Jews.) Then we had Soviet “Zionology” and Stalin’s Doctors’ plot. After that, the “ultra-Leftist” Holocaust-denying tradition of the 1960s/70s (e.g., Pierre Guillaume). And today we have the Far Left boycott-Israel movement and the Corbyn Cult.


As for the last link in that chain: what would you expect from the contemporary Far Left? After all, Israel is both “a state for Jews” and what Marxists call (in scare quotes) a “capitalist democracy!” (Incidentally, David Duke thinks that Israel is a “Stalinist state” and many Leftists think that Israel is “Nazi state.”)


In terms of detail, what usually happens is that International Socialists pick out the “neo-cons,” “neo-Liberals,” “Zionists,” “capitalists,” Republicans, etc. who are Jewish for extra-special attention or obsession; as well as, of course, Israel itself. National Socialists (Nazis) pick out Marxist and also—strangely enough—“capitalist” Jews for extra-special attention or obsession; as well as, of course, Israel itself. In other words, many on the Far Left think that nearly all Jews are right-wing neo-cons, capitalists, Zionists, etc. There are, of course, exceptions. The exceptions to the bad Jews are those honorable Leftist/Marxist Jews who’ve actually cleansed themselves of all their Jewishness (something that Gilad Atzmon has been explicit about)—save their blood (e.g., Marx, Chomsky, Ilan Pappé, Tony Cliff, Shlomo Sand, Norman Finkelstein, etc.).


When a non-Jewish white person is a Marxist, “neo-con”, etc., the Nazis and Inter-Nazis don’t notice. He is ignored. However, when a Jew is a Marxist, the Nazis think that’s because “Marxism is essentially Jewish.” On the other hand, when a Jew is, say, neo-con or Republican, many Far Leftists believe that’s because “neo-conservatism is essentially Zionist.” Again, when a non-Jewish white person is a Marxist, or a neo-con, in favor of or against mass immigration, etc., his being non-Jewish is completely ignored or deemed to be irrelevant.


Why then are both International Socialism and National Socialism the locus of Jew-hatred?


This has a lot to do with that last word: socialism. Marx’s neat fusion of Jewishness and capitalism predates the rise of German National Socialism by around 70 years. This is what Marx wrote in his On the Jewish Question in 1844:


What is the profane basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the world cult of the Jews? Huckstering. What is his worldly god? Money . . . It is from its own entrails that civil society ceaselessly engenders the Jew.


And when, slightly later, Marx wrote about “niggerlike Jews”, he offered us two racisms for the price of one However, some on the Far Left have defended Marx’s positions on Jews, slavs and black people with a self-contradictory stance.


For example, a Marxist professor by the name of Robert Fine, wanted to “explode the myth” of Marx’s antisemitism. He said that the believers in this “myth” have an “inability” to comprehend Marx’s “ironic style” of writing.


As for Marx’s many references to “niggers”, the Soviet English-language edition of Marx’s Selected Correspondence had this to say:


With reference to the use of the word ‘nigger’ which occurs in this book: Marx used the word while living in England, in the last century. The word does not have the same connotation as it has now in the U.S. and should be read as ‘Negro’ whenever it occurs in the text.


Yet Marxists, evidently, apply everything else Marx wrote to virtually all contemporary political and social situations. Such Far Leftists also fail to recognise the fact that Marx began a Far Left tradition of Jew-hatred which has continued unbroken until this very day.


Let’s examine a final example from around 40 years after Marx’s death; as well as being in tandem with the rise of National Socialism in Germany. Here we have the well-known (at the time) Jewish communist, Ruth Fischer, writing the following:


Whoever cries out against Jewish capitalists is already a class warrior . . . Kick down the Jewish capitalists, hang them from the lampposts, and stamp upon them.


The Nazis own version of revolutionary socialism partly—or even largely—grew out of revolutionary Marxism. Yet many people believe that there’s a contradiction here simply because the Marxists and the Nazis were always at war with each other. Yes; they were always enemies in terms of being two opposing political gangs. Nonetheless, they were never ideological opposites. (Check out the Nazi’s socialist Twenty-Five Point Programme of 1924 and their socialist policies after gaining power.)


Throughout the 20th century and still today, both International Socialists and National Socialists believed and still believe that Zionists/Jews/Israelis have superhuman powers. That they control the thought-processes of the rest of us (i.e, the “sheeple”). Yes, both International Socialists and National Socialists believe in what Marxists call “false consciousness.” And part of the false-consciousness deal is the very widespread belief that the platonic Media stops all non-Leftists/non-Nazis from realising the true nature of political reality (specifically about Jews or Zionists). That is, we’re all failing to accept or even acknowledge the uncorrupted truths offered to us by either the Far Left or by Nazis/fascists.


Of course some Jews are Marxists. Some Jews are anti-Marxists. Some Jews are Zionists. Some Jews are anti-Zionists. Come to think of it, some Jews are businessmen, too. Others are artists, philosophers, scientists, actors, market tradesmen, physicists . . .


However, there’s one thing that most—though not all—Jewish Europeans and Americans share: a high level of education. That high level of education has led in all sorts of directions (as education always does): toward Zionism and anti-Zionism, Marxism and anti-Marxism, apoliticism, business, philosophy, physics, acting, etc.


Despite all the above, International Socialists and National Socialists fuse on far more than Jews. They also fuse on:

  1. totalitarianism
  2. collectivism
  3. a reliance on conspiracy theories (often the very same ones!)
  4. a reliance on the strong belief that all political enemies have false consciousness and are victims of the “Zionist” (or “Jewish”) Mainstream Media
  5. Manichean world-views in which the Good (Nazis/Leftists) battle against Evil (Jews, capitalists, neo-cons, the Rich, etc.)
  6. simple and crude black-and-white theories and analyses which are of necessity simple and crude in order to inspire rage and action
  7. street violence followed (after the revolution) by state violence
  8. a strong belief in the need for all-encompassing change (i.e., Year Zero)
  9. sect/cult-like organisations
  10. charismatic and sainted leaders
  11. socialism (national and international)

. . . and so on.


International Socialists and National Socialists have always fed off each other. Their relationship is almost entirely symbiotic. That’s no surprise: under the skin, Nazis and Inter-Nazis are nothing less than estranged brothers fighting over the same political bones.


Paul Austin Murphy writes about politics and philosophy. He’s been published in The Conservative Online, Philosophy Now, American Thinker, Human Events, Intellectual Conservative, and Brenner Brief (Broadside News). Murphy also runs the blogs Paul Austin Murphy on Politics and Paul Austin Murphy’s Philosophy. His Twitter account can be found here.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast







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