Monday, December 18, 2006

The Nazi Roots of Uri Avnery

Alon Dahan is a graduate student at the Hebrew University in "Jewish Thought" (not to be confused with a B-film actor in Israel with the same name). He also may well be the very best columnist in the Hebrew media. His features appear on the web site of Maariv, Israel's second daily, regularly. While he writes on a number of subjects, he specializes in exposing the anti-Semitic foundations of Israel's radical Left. Unfortunately his articles are not available in English as far as I know.

What may well be his very best piece yet came out Dec 13, 06 at

I am trying to find someone to translate the entire piece but let me give you a synopsis here:

Against the outrage everyone is feeling about the Iranian Holocaust Denial and the growth of neo-nazism around the world, Dahan writes, one must be aware of the nazi roots of Post-Zionism and Israeli leftist anti-Semitism. Such roots go back as far as the 1940s, and then "Canaanite" movement in Israel in the 1950s. The Canaanite movement was a movement of "Post-Judaism" that argued that the new emerging "Israeli" would be a new nationality altogether, composed of ex-Jews and ex-Arabs, with no ties to the Jewish Diaspora, practicing no religion, Hebrew-speaking gentiles of pure Semitic "blood". The movement was popular in the 50s among many clueless Israeli "intellectuals." It never managed to recruit any Arab members.

The leading survivor of the early "Canaanite" movement today is Uri Avnery, a fanatic anti-Zionist and anti-Semite, whose Bash-Israel pro-Hamas articles appear everywhere one can find anti-Semitism, on the Right and the Left. Avnery is a regular on the neo-Stalinist pro-terror Counterpunch web magazine.

What is not well known is that:
Uri Avnery's original name was Helmut Osterman (Dahan at first writes Joseph Osterman but then corrects himself in the talkbacks), born in Germany, and among the two leading figures in the "Canaanites"; and
Avnery/Osterman was an admirer of Nazism.

In 1941, Avnery wrote a pro-Nazi article in the Paris journal "Shem", whose contents were later revealed by the Hebrew University Orientalist Prof. Yehoshua Porat in his book "Shelach V'At B'yado", page 182. Herr Avnery was also fond of using the concept of "Hebrew Blood" in a racial sense, in the same way as Hitler spoke of German Aryan Blood. In those days he was anti-Marxist, although today has no problem with associating himself with Stalinists. Back then he repeatedly expressed admiration for the great job Hitler was doing in remolding and renewing the German nation. Avnery was an open admirer of Nazi propagandist Alfred Rosenberg, adopted the latter's rhetoric, and repeatedly declared that he saw himself as the Hebrew Alfred Rosenberg (which, in a sense, he is). Avnery ran a tiny "journal" called the Struggle, an obvious imitation of the name "Mein Kampf". He ran his own one-man party, whose official salute was a Nazi raised hand.

Avnery in those days advocated creation of a Semitic "race" that would lead the Middle East to greatness when combined with a new Hebraic non-Jewish culture. As such, he advocated the end of the Jewish people as a national entity and expansion of the new race into its "Semitic Lebensraum" (yes, he used that Nazi concept!). He later wrote of his dream for a new and better Hitler emerging, an anti-Nazi Hitler who will lead the struggle for peace and will promote the Palestinian cause (well, at least he got THAT part right!).

Avnery then left for Israel/Palestine. In the 60s he ran a semi-pornographic magazine called "Haolam Hazeh," as the Israeli Larry Flynt. The magazine also did some scandal mongering. Avnery later ran for parliament and got elected by a sort of protest vote, the same sorts of people who otherwise might vote for Homer Simpson or Cher.

[In the 1960s Avnery wrote "Israel without Zionists", the Bible of Israeli self-hating leftism. Ever since, he has been the Reverend Moon of Israel's far-leftist "Post-Zionists" and he runs the small and violently anti-Israel "Gush Shalom" organization. He is friends with Mikey Lerner and appears in Tikkun. When his own mother died, she disinherited him and declared in her will that her son is a traitor.]

Dahan then goes on and discusses how Avnerism has become entrenched among the Hate-Israel far Leftists in Israeli academia, among the "New Historians." Among those he specifically names are Ilan Pappe (Haifa U), Moshe Zimmerman (Hebrew U, and Uri Ram (Ben Gurion U). He cites Prof. Shlomo Aharonson in describing the anti-Semitic ideological foundations of these pseudo-scholars and their need to trivialize and erase all memory of the Holocaust. He describes Ilan Pappe as a Jewish Holocaust Denier (his words), as are, by implication, all those with similar points of view.

The full article is far more detailed. As I say, if I can obtain an English translation, I will post it.

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