I wrote recently about the curious case of a Chatham House Associate Fellow, Mrs Rime Allaf, who quotes approvingly the judgements of a notorious antisemite whose nom de plume is Israel Shamir.
I'm most grateful to Karl Pfeifer, a redoubtable anti-racist campaigner in Austria and a contributor to the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight, for writing to me with further details of Shamir, and of those who are susceptible to his message. Mr Pfeifer recently published (in German) a detailed review of Shamir's work, which is available here. He points out that an Austrian left-wing publisher, ProMedia, recently published a book by Shamir entitled Blumen aus Galiläa (Flowers of Galilee). The book is edited by Fritz Edlinger, who is General Secretary of the Austro-Arab Friendship Society and the former representative of the Austrian Social Democrats on the Socialist International’s Middle East Committee. One of the chapters in the book is called ZOG (a term in common use among neo-Nazis to describe the government the United States: it stands for 'Zionist-Occupation Government'); a longer version of the paper, was according to Shamir's web site, "translated into German for Deutsches Kolleg". This is led by Horst Mahler, a founder of the German Red Army Fraction and now a leading figure on the German neo-Nazi Right. In this chapter and another entitled "eine juedische Medine" Shamir advances his claims that the US is ruled by the Jews. In his foreword to the book, Edlinger describes Shamir as "a leftist and a radical democrat".
An additional point that Mr Pfeifer raises is a highly favourable review given to this blatantly antisemitic book in the German weekly Freitag. The reviewer is a German journalist, Ludwig Watzal, whom I have come across before in his advocacy of the work of Noam Chomsky (Watzal interviews Chomsky here on the subject of Israel, in 1997). His latest cause, on this evidence, is to praise a virulent antisemite, Israel Shamir.
Shamir and his associate Gilad Atzmon, the jazz musician and antisemitic polemicist, have been the subject of comments on this site and Harry's Place before (Atzmon in particular, because of the invitations extended to him, and praise lavished upon him, by the Socialist Workers' Party in the UK). Let us therefore turn from such unpleasant characters, and the racist organisations that favour them, to a group of anti-Zionist activists who by their own declarations abjure any such contacts. This declaration of opposition to antisemitism is signed by 142 "individuals who are active in the search for justice and peace between Israelis and Palestinians [and who] state our opposition to the anti-Semitic ideologies that are being articulated within our movement". Among the signatories are Sue Blackwell of Birmingham University, who proposed to the Association of University Teachers the original motion (since rescinded) to boycott certain Israeli universities. And - oh, yes - Ludwig Watzal, who believes that Israel Shamir, the man who exposes Jewish control of the United States, is a writer of moral character who provides a candid depiction of Israel and its politics.
Time for the anti-Zionist movement to police its boundaries, I would suggest - and to do it properly this time.