Perhaps Livingstone was also thinking about the arguably “fascist” – although certainly not Nazi – elements of certain Zionist factions in the years leading up to the formation of the Jewish State in 1948 and beyond. It is interesting to note, for example, that Benito Mussolini, whose own anti-Semitism was born more of political expediency than ideological fervour, praised Vladimir Jabotinsky – the founder of Revisionist Zionism and the father to today’s Likud Party, currently in power in Israel – as a “Jewish fascist”.
You know who also does us no favours? A Brit who employs Albert Einstein to equate Likkud with the Nazis--a false and utterly disgusting equation.Certainly, there was plenty of talk of Jewish sweat and Jewish soil and Jewish exceptionalism in a specifically Jewish state. Indeed, it would have been surprising if a nationalist movement at that time hadn’t, in its most extreme manifestations, taken on some of the characteristics of the fascism so in vogue. In December 1948, a few months after the formation of the Israeli State, Albert Einstein, who knew a thing or two about the terrible effects of right-wing politics, wrote to the New York Times to complain about one of “the most disturbing political phenomena of our times” – the new Israeli Freedom Party (also the precursor to today’s Likud), which he described as “closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist Parties”. There is a genuine debate to be had about the fascist strains in certain – and I stress certain – elements of early Zionist ideology, even if that ideology was born of the desire to escape oppression. But regardless of the context in which Livingstone was speaking, and apart from anything else about this sorry episode, he does us no favours at all by getting history so badly wrong.
And, in its own way, not all that different from Livingstone's views.
Update: As I suspected, Lichtig is a Jew. But he's one of those Jews--the kind who is troubled by the Jewish ritual of circumcision (and who thinks Likkud is "fascist").
As Melanie Phillips has pointed out, it is inaccurate to call these Jews "self-hating" since it is clear that they adore themselves.
It is the state of being Jewish--and the Jewish state--that they hate.
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