Blackshirts and Skins
Well, I fin'ly started thinkin' straight
When I run outa things to investigate.
Couldn't imagine doin' anything else,
So now I'm sittin' home investigatin' myself!
Hope I don't find out anything . . . hmm, great God! - Bob Dylan
I always get a rush from The Ghosts of Cable Street and the story of London's eastenders beating back the blackshirts. But it's not 1936 anymore (it's not even 1986, I tell myself sometimes, still listening to the Men They Couldn't Hang), and fascists wear all colours these days. They don't make it as easy for us. These days, some days, we even need to check the labels on our own shirts.
Post-war covert history has largely been one of de-legitimizing and destroying leftist and even moderate governments and opposition groups. We've seen the assassinations, the coups and wars; the economic arm-twisting; the corruption and blackmail. Since the murder of Rabin, "Israeli society, despairing of peace, has undergone a rightward radicalization." In the Arab world the process has been compounded by the elimination of even secular options, creating conditions in which the only effective vehicle for change is aligned with individuals, ideologies and finances indebted to international fascism.
This shouldn't be news to anyone here. The Muslim Brotherhood, which has spawned most "Jihadist" groups, was founded by Hassan al-Banna, an admirer of Hitler, and became a wartime Nazi intelligence asset. Post-war, like many such assets, it was rolled into the Western intelligence matrix. Swiss Nazi Ahmed Huber established the Al Taqwa Bank, which dispersed to bin Laden and others CIA monies seeded in the financial proxy of international terror and intelligence, BCCI.
Now where does antisemitism, and legitimate critique of Israel, fit in this complex picture?
There are at least two levels at play here for us. First to consider is politics and activism. The second is conspiracy theory.
Unapologetically I'm on the left, and I expect, to some degree or another and regardless of whether you even acknowledge it, you are as well. Broadly, or perhaps rather, ideally, taking the left implies an identification with the oppressed, the poor and the workers against the concentration of power and capital in the hands of an exploiting few. Israeli politics have taken a sharp right turn in the past 40 years, and the policies and consequences of occupation have been tragic and criminal. Perversely, and I believe intentionally for the right, the perpetuation of misery and exacerbation of tension has driven large numbers of both Palestinians and Israelis to rightward extremes. And it has carried many in the left along with it, unconsciously and uncritically, because the progressive options have already been eliminated by the fascists who play both sides.
Not all on the left lose their way on this. For instance:
The Alliance for Workers' Liberty, a Trotskyite faction in the Stop The War Coalition, objected to working with the Muslim Association of Britain due to its links to the Muslim Brotherhood, and argued that the left should be working with secular, progressive Muslim groups instead. The Weekly Worker newspaper took a similar stand, pointing out in one article that "At the same time as our secularist and Marxist comrades are being murdered by groups allied to the MAB, we are lining ourselves up as co-sponsors of demonstrations. This is like communists lining up with Nazis sympathisers on demonstrations during World War II, because we are both against British imperialism."
Then there's conspiracy theory. It was 9/11 that caused many on the left to immerse themselves in it for the first time. There we found a thriving subculture, welcoming us with literature and semi-familiar jargon, telling us that "left" and "right" were fictions that divided us from together fighting the "real enemy." They too believed 9/11 was an "inside job," so even though we didn't start out from the same place, we were now on the same side - weren't we? We could learn much from them, even from the "former insiders" and veterans of the CIA and MI6 who were happy to help us find our footing, even if we weren't always sure what they meant by "international bankers" and "New World Order" - right?
Think of how warmly David Duke was received by some supposed progressives after his CNN appearance with Wolf Blitzer. Consider what Tom Metzger, founder of White Aryan Resistance, says here: "Recruit radical people. Some of the best are on the left.... in most cases I am closer to the left. Anti-war, Anti Capitalist, pro environment and Nature, hate for the lying super rich or the lumkin proletariat, hatred of all present politicians..."
There is a subtle campaign of co-option within the subculture of conspiracy to lead nearly every issue of suppressed history and high crime back to a Jewish root. This is why the operational Arab element of the international fascist Mafia has, for many, been totally eradicated from the equation of "9/11 Truth," and the "smoking gun" has become a case of "insurance fraud" for a grasping New York Jew. If it's successful, the left option will again have been eliminated, and the only effective opposition to fascist power will be a fascist populism.
Antisemitism is as objectionable as any hate directed towards any people for simply being. But antisemitism has a special pedigree, not because Jews are special, but because they are the historic and still-favoured scapegoats of fascists. (Some of whom, of course, are themselves Jewish, but whose allegiance is rather to criminal power.) And sometimes, when we don't reflect on the pedigree of our own influences, we're unconsciously doing their bidding. And I'd rather do nothing, and it would be better if I did, than do that.