NB: For more on Tony Greenstein, see here. For other examples of his willingness to engage in respectful discussion with Nazi apologists, see his contributions here.

Tony Greenstein and the Nazi Apologists

By Paul Bogdanor

Tony Greenstein is a British communist activist who supports numerous terrorist and totalitarian murderers. He has justified an IRA massacre intended to kill Britain’s Prime Minister and he admits to visiting Baathist Syria with PLO funding.

Greenstein openly campaigns for the destruction of Israel. He defends communist collaboration with the Nazis but denounces Zionists as joint perpetrators of the Holocaust. A typical Greenstein outburst can be found in the newspaper of the Communist Party of Great Britain:-

Yes, I deliberately described Israel’s actions as a blitzkrieg. Those who use starvation, thirst and hunger as reprisals against civilians, who destroy water and electricity plants, are, in the words of the late Yehashayu [sic] Leibowitz, a distinguished religious philosopher and winner of the Israel Prize, Judaeo-Nazis...

Yes, I want the state of Israel to be destroyed...

[The] attempt to justify Zionist collaboration with the Nazis and assorted fascists by reference to the German Communist Party’s attempt to win over plebeian members of the National Socialists is ludicrous. The KPD’s appeasement of the Nazis flowed from their third position politics - eg, the fact that none of its Reichstag members were Jewish from 1930 onwards or its attacks on ‘Jewish’ capitalists. But Hitler wasn’t fooled for a moment and KPD activists were put in Dachau from the moment the Nazis took power.

The Zionist emissaries swanned around Nazi-occupied Europe organising kibbutzim and facilitating the emigration of their own cadre and no one else. The KPD, for all its sins, was part of the labour movement. Zionism was a movement of the most reactionary section of the Jewish bourgeoisie.

Thus Greenstein acknowledges and justifies discrimination and incitement against Jews by his fellow communists who were trying to win Nazi votes. Needless to say, he offers no evidence of the existence of Zionist kibbutzim in Nazi-occupied Europe.

While Tony Greenstein purports to oppose antisemitism wherever he finds it, his principles seem to be rather flexible. For months he publicly deplored the celebration of Gilad Atzmon by Britain’s Socialist Workers Party. Yet in a private message he offered nothing but praise:

I shall be more than happy to hear you play the sax...

Dare I say it, some of your remarks re the holocaust were spot on re the Zionist collaboration with the Nazis. And that is the point anti-Zionists should make rather than flirting with holocaust denial...

Greenstein’s private encomium to Atzmon should occasion little surprise, since their antisemitic positions have much in common.

In fact, Greenstein is happy to applaud anti-Zionists who are guilty of “flirting with holocaust denial.” Consider his attitude to Asghar Bukhari of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK, who was exposed as an ally of the Nazi propagandist David Irving. According to press reports:

In one email Bukhari tells Irving: “You may feel like you are on your own but rest assured many people are with you in your fight for the Truth.” Bukhari pledges to make a donation of £60 to Irving’s fighting fund and says that he has asked “a few of my colleagues to send some in too.” He also offers to send Irving a book, They Dare to Speak Out, by Paul Findley, a former US Senator, who has attacked his country’s close relationship with Israel. Bukhari says Findley “has suffered like you in trying to expose certain falsehoods perpetrated by the Jews.”

In a follow-up letter, Bukhari writes: “Here is the cheque I promised. Good luck, if there is any other way I can help please don’t hestitate to call me. I have also asked many Muslim websites to create links to your own and ask for donations.”

In a rambling online essay, Bukhari admitted that MPACUK had repeatedly posted images from neo-Nazi websites but nevertheless complained that he was the victim of a Zionist smear campaign:

The machine plotted and worked it seemed almost day and night to smear us... A picture of a monster with horns on his head under an American flag was deemed “anti-Semitic.” It was obtained after typing words like “Zionist power” into a Google image search. I can’t believe MPACUK pulled the picture due to the pro-Israeli lobby complaining about it. How can a monster with a flag be anti-Semitic? The Zionists are monsters (they kill kids), and they have influence in America (AIPAC), what’s the problem?

I realise that maybe 60 years ago some German may have used monsters to depict Jews, did that mean we could no longer use monsters to depict Zionists?

Greenstein then contributed the following comment:

I write as someone who is Jewish, but not a Zionist.

This is a very excellent and painfully aware article.

Asghar Bukhari made a mistake and has been honest about that. The one’s who attack their opponents as anti-Semitic, when their movement is the most guilty of all of working with anti-Semites (hence why they’re once again trying to ban Perdition in Scotland which details what they did) are the ones who have problems with anti-Semtism.

Zionism is a Jewish variant of anti-Semitism. After all,even today, if someone tells me I don’t belong in England they are either a Zionist or a fascist and anti-Semite.

The real lesson from this affair is that like the boy who cried wolf, Zionist attacks on people who are not anti-Jewish have one effect, to legitimise anti-Semitism.

I’m glad that Asghar has been so honest and defied those whose stock in trade is guilt and blackmail.

Greenstein once wrote: “there is nothing the Zionists love more than ‘proof’ that anti-Zionists really are anti-semites.” Does he now expect his readers to blame the Zionists every time he makes excuses for Nazi apologists?