“These are friends we don’t need” : A Jewish response to the far right

September 9, 2011 – News & Politics

Liam Getreu

On this, Jeff Sparrow is correct. A coalition with the far-right is a very dangerous one not worth pursuing.

Max Brenner

Photo: Flickr / roboppy

It’s certainly true that, throughout Australia, fascists are increasingly taking an interest in the Max Brenner rallies. But here’s the thing: they’re not supporting the protests.They’re supporting the stores.

The newest face of what’s euphemistically-called the ‘nationalist community’ is an outfit called the Australian Protectionist Party. The APP was formed by Mark Wilson, a former organiser of the fascist British National Party, who emigrated to Australia in the 1980s. One of the APP’s most active members is Nicholas Hunter-Folkes. He was formerly the administrator of a charming Facebook group called ‘F**k off, we’re full’. More recently, however, he launched a new Facebook event entitled ‘Protest Against the Mad Marxists’: essentially, a counter-rally in support of the Sydney Max Brenner shop.

“The hardline left, radical Muslim and student groups have been campaigning for the closure of any business with links to Israel,” he explains, “[…] The left totally ignore the aggression and agenda of the Islamists in the Middle East and also in Australia.”

Another prominent APP leader is Darrin Hodges, a long-time racist activist. Joe Hildebrand once identified Hodges as the semi-anonymous poster on the Nazi Stormfront site explaining that: “I’m more interested in the purer form of fascism… and while I don’t subscribe to the whole ‘worship Hitler’ thing, his comments on multiculturalism and politics in general are still just as relevant today as they were 70-odd years ago.”

In the UK, the link between Jewish groups and the far-right has become even closer:

Take the British National Party, the parent group inspiring the Australian Protectionist Party.

Its head, Nick Griffin, is a long-time fascist, who calls the Holocaust “the hoax of the century” and has named two of the pigs on his farm ‘Anne and Frank’. Yet the BNP under his leadership has positioned itself as one of Israel’s staunchest supporters.

As Ruth Smeed of the Board of Deputies of British Jews says: “The BNP website is now one of the most Zionist on the web – it goes further than any of the mainstream parties in its support of Israel.”

Why? Griffin explains that the real opportunity for his party comes from attacking Muslims. “We should,” he says, “be positioning ourselves to take advantage for our own political ends of the growing wave of public hostility to Islam currently being whipped up by the mass media.”

This isn’t good. I abhor BDS as much as the next guy, and the protestors on that side are joined by some truly disgusting and virulently antisemitic, anti-Western individuals (though not all of them are like that). But that doesn’t excuse the alliances on our side. We need to be careful that, when sharing our platform with others, and when seeking out coalitions (as we should), that we don’t partner with the wrong crowd. There are friends who truly share our goals and our values. But there are others whose own ideologies are so full of hate and bigotry that we need to stay well clear.

The Australian Defence League and Q Society types, and the Geert Wilders politicos they inspire and are aligned with, are only in partnership with us because they see us as a legitimisation tool and another way to spread their messages of hate. Ultimately, they don’t like Jews either, it’s just that, for now, they hate Muslims a whole lot more. Don’t think they won’t turn against us eventually, if or when they get the chance.

We need to find coalitions and friends to oppose BDS, but not at any cost. Fascists, true fascists, should not be first on our call sheets.

(Via Dikla)


15 thoughts on ““These are friends we don’t need” : A Jewish response to the far right

  1. But…

    By supporting Israel, aren’t they supporting the cause of all the war and strife in the Middle East?

    And as such they are supporting the reason a great number of people are forced to immigrate to Australia in the first place.

    • The irony of their hypocrisy is as usual lost on the alphabet soup far right.

      And in flailing around to give themselves credibility the far right have also endeavoured to enlist not only Zionist Jews but other groups they hate in reality, such as Middle Eastern Christians and other religious minorities.

      This article, and the cited Jeff Sparrow one, are wake-up calls not only for Jews but for Copts, Orthodox Christians, Assyrians, Bahais and others, all of whom have been courted by racist groups who would be quite happy to kick them out of Australia.

  2. “:By supporting Israel, aren’t they supporting the cause of all the war and strife in the Middle East?”

    The ’cause of all the war in the middle east’ is not just Israel buddy. The causes include a combination of Israel, PLO/Hamas stupidity, the British and French slicing up of the Ottoman empire not to mention the competing monotheisms.

    I spent some time on the far-left as a teenager and in my early twenties and it proved to me that horse-shoe theory is the best description of them. The Far-Left and Far-Right are not interested in their allies, except as a means to an end.

    Let’s hope that the competing little fascists of BDS and the Australia First/Protectionist Party-etc all burn up in their own hatred very soon.

  3. BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) is a movement for justice and rights for Palestinians.

    “These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

    1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
    2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
    3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”


    BDS is appropriate because (a) Palestinian people who are oppressed by Israel’s racist colonialist hegemony and land theft have called for it, (b) it is a grassroots, global, ethical means to resist a criminal system of oppression when governments have failed to act according to international law to end Israel’s crimes against humanity and war crimes, and (c) IT WORKS!

    As a movement for human rights, BDS opposes all forms of racism, sexism, bigotry, antisemitism, ableism and elitism.

    I’m surprised the subject article is given an airing here.

    • We have aired Liam’s article and through it Jeff Sparrow’s article to emphasise that Jews who think the far right are their friends in this issue are not.

      The far right hate both Muslims and Jews. At the moment it suits them to target Muslims and to hitch a ride on any other group they perceive might help further their white exceptionalist agenda. Which means, unfortunately for the Palestinian cause, that they have also embraced pro-Palestinian organisations.

      It is called “entryism”. Look it up.

      They have also attempted to infiltrate the NSW Branch of the Humanist Society with an aim of availing themselves of the considerable asset the Society’s premises represents. They did the same some years ago with the British Israelites with the same end in mind.

      We can also say that these groups are primarily responsible for vilification and defamation of both Jews and Muslims on social media.

      You may note that Liam Getreu represents a moderate Zionist perspective and Jeff Sparrow a pro-Palestinian leftist position. Both writers are spot on in their analysis.

      If you don’t want any groups supporting Palestine to become a laughing stock and a focus of concern for activists, reject any ties with the ratbag right.

  4. No Sylvia. BDS is a racist organisation. One has to no more than scratch the surface to reveal deep-seated racism and antisemitism.
    Their tactics, particularly those against Max Brenner are no different from the Brownshirts at the start of the Nazi regime of protesting and intimidating members of the public going into Jewish businesses. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_boycott_of_Jewish_businesses )
    What’s more it is questionable whether it is supported by Palestinians, most notably Palestinian consul in Australia, Izzat Abdulhadi condemned the BDS protests in Australia. Fortunately also the NSW Greens have effectively dropped BDS like a hot brick.
    Time to look in the mirror Sylvia – BDS and the racists are two sides of the same smelly penny.

  5. “You may note that Liam Getreu represents a moderate Zionist perspective”.

    Liam Getreu abhors “BDS as much as the next guy”. I am unsure whether this represents a “moderate” Zionist position. Some zionists can appreciate that boycott is a legitimate form of resistance – they have no problem with cottage cheese boycotts or sanctions against Iran – whilst others choose to oppose any form of resistance, even non-violent means like BDS when their racist privilege in the apartheid entity and Israel’s abominable treatment of Palestinian people is challenged.

    Then we have the Davoes, who slur BDS on sight, and who fail to condemn Israel’s manifold , ongoing crimes against humanity.

    BDS is a movement from within Palestinian civil society, supported by over 170 non-government organisations. Pseudo-governmental collaborators with the Occupation in Australia are not representative of Palestinian civil society. BDS is supported by the three factions of Palestinian civil society – Palestinians who live in Israeli occupied territory in the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians who are discriminated against by numerous laws (43 laws according to MK Zoabi) privileging Jews in Israel and the Palestinian diaspora who are unable to return to their homeland as guaranteed by international law because Israel wishes to be an ethnosupremacist entity posiing as a ‘democracy’ with a demographic Jewish majority foremost in mind, rather than a true multicultural democracy with equal rights for all.

    I would have a bet that Davoe supports the Syrian people’s uprising against Assad, yet has no sympathy for Indigenous Palestinians under settler colonial land thief Israel’s boot for the past 64 years.

    • The purpose of this blog is to highlight racism, discrimination and the organisations on the far right who promote it. We really do not enter into the Palestinian-Israel debate except insofar as we keep our eye on racist groups who wish to exploit protest organisations.

      This blog is not the place for a debate on Israel-Palestine. Please keep that in mind.

  6. Yawhhn.. the usual racist tripe you expect from the anti-semitic left. Israel is a multi-ethnic state and has accepted people of multiple religions into their territories including Jews expelled from surrounding Arab states (no ethnocentrism there eh Sylvia – would they be allowed to return to their homes??), Druze, Circassians, Armenians, Ethiopians, Russians and various christian populations of Arab nations (you know because they are so nice to Christians in those countries) have all been granted refugee status and are integrated into Israeli society. Not to mention that it has an independent court system (which has ruled against Israeli military actions and has overturned many racist laws – would that happen in the Palestinian territories or surrounding nations?), and a multi-party democracy.
    BTW nice straw-man tactics but they don’t work on me. In my personal opinion the formation of Israel was not a good idea to start with (as was the formation of Pakistan, North and South Korea and North and South Vietnam)- states based on religion or ideology are bound to cause worse problems – but the eggs have been broken and the existence of Israel has to be accepted. I thoroughly condemn Israeli attacks on Palestinians – just as I condemn attacks on freedom of the Press, attacks on freedom of expression and the corrupt judical processes by the Palestinian Authority. Not to mention the shutting down of religious worship, and the destruction of an independent court system by the Hamas statelet in Gaza (bit of a blind spot there eh Sylvia).
    Speaking of Syria, why haven’t the BDS come out and condemned the Syrian state or boycotted businesses with even tenuous links with Syria? There have been massacres there that have surpassed the ‘war crimes’ or ‘genocide’- 7000 killed in the last 12 months alone. The reason is BDS’s racism and anti-semitism.
    The BDS movement making an exception of Israel is anti-semitic. There are plenty of states with laws that ethnically discriminate (do you see them protest Bhutan which denies ethnic Nepali’s citizenship unless they can prove their parents lived in the country before 1963 – No; Russia’s occupation of Chechnya? No; marginalisation of ethnic Serbians in Kosovo-No) -the BDS are nowhere to be seen when human rights abuses happen except in Israel. Many states borders are also based on expansionism – China in Tibet and East Turkestan; Russia’s bits of Poland and Eastern Germany; Australia in the Torres Strait islands – but no word from the BDS crowd and their loony-left hangers-on.
    Fact is – BDS is racist and there is no moral difference between their protests at Max Brenner and the Brownshirts attack on Jewish businesses of the early Nazi regime. Sylvia, this website is about fighting racism – please go and take yours elsewhere!

  7. Political zionism *is* racism – Theodor Herzl promulgated this ideology in the 19th century based on a nauseating antisemitic premise that Jews created antisemitism and took it with them. As he wrote in Der Judenstaat:

    “The Jewish question exists wherever Jews live in perceptible numbers. Where it does not exist, it is carried by Jews in the course of their migrations. We naturally move to those places where we are not persecuted, and there our presence produces persecution. This is the case in every country, and will remain so, even in those highly civilized—for instance, France—until the Jewish question finds a solution on a political basis. The unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of Anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America.”

    It is perfectly legitimate to highlight Israel’s apartheid, its despicable racism toward Indigenous Palestinian people, its colonialism and collective punishment. These are all crimes against humanity. To not identify Israel for its vile practices, as was apartheid South Africa, would be to make an exception for it.

    It may have escaped the attention of ‘mindmadeup’ that Israel is governed by an ethnic cleansing, house-demolishing, land-thieving rightwing racist government.

    After he acquaints himself with the content of Israel’s 43 racist laws which he wants us to make an exception for because ‘the eggs have been broken and the existence of Israel has to be accepted’, Davoe might read the BDS call which I linked to above, which makes it clear that the call to boycott is from oppressed Palestinians themselves. To omit criticism of Israel’s vile crimes in this would be to make an exception for Israel. Rather, he disingenuously attempts to equivocate between the oppressed and their oppressor.

    Of course people with a conscience support human rights everywhere – including in Australia where Max Brenner, a business which donates to some of the worst IDF occupation forces is a legitimate target for boycott. If Max Brenner doesn’t wish to have attention drawn to its practices of supporting Israel’s illegal occupation of Indigenous Palestinians, then it should cease indulging in these.

    It’s unsurprising that other ethnosupremacists are attracted to the inherent racism in political zionism and are prepared to make an exception for Israel’s crimes.

  8. “This isn’t good. I abhor BDS as much as the next guy, and the protestors on that side are joined by some truly disgusting and virulently antisemitic, anti-Western individuals (though not all of them are like that). ”

    How do you justify the hypocrisy of this? Using your own words, you describe BDS as abhorrent (although the “next guy”is mysterious, who is he?) while in the same breath, you acknowledge that ‘not all of them are like that.’ If something is abhorrent to someone, that says anything surrounding is automatically just as repulsive. So which is it? You’re actually admitting some are okay? So perhaps BDS isn’t as abhorrent as you seem to claim. And furthermore, your claims have no basis in fact. And no evidence to support it.

    • The author is being a bit too generous to BDS. The only difference between BDS (and its constituents) and the far right is that BDS occasionally accuse others of racism. Both are appalling bigoted racists. Interestingly both Peter Boyle of the Socialist Alliance (and BDS) and Nick Griffin of the British National Party (a hero of Darrin Hodges) – have both been guests of the fascist regime of the unlamented anti-semite Colonel Gadaffi.

  9. I think thats funny: you stand and defend BDS, and say its not a racist group………..PFFFT!!!!!! perhaps I should contribute to your blog and you can see how “racist” they ACTUALLY ARE!!!!!!!! OR WILL THEY CLAIM ITS NOT A “RACE” THEY OPPOSE, BUT A “RELIGION”?????

    • Where in this blog is BDS actually defended? The article is actually by a guy who states he hates BDS, but thinks the anti-BDS rallies should not be forming alliances with extremist right groups that, ultimately, hate Jews too, but see more mileage in hating Muslims for now.

      And they’re right. The far right protesters I’ve spoken to at the anti-BDS rallies have had little idea what they were talking about-one told me I was listening too much to the “Jew run media” when I disagreed with him, and clearly was there to beat up whomever he deemed as a leftie. Another protester from the APP I saw was instructed to not take an Israeli flag for some reason (The only flag allowed, he was told, was an Australian flag).

      There was an article going around by a very left wign journalist where she, as a BDS supporter actually goes to discuss the issues with the anti-BDS protesters. And when she spoke to the Jewish groups she found insightful discussions, intelligent topics-they definately didn’t agree, but they were talking and listening to each other, trying to understand and challenge its other’s opinions.

      When she spoke to the APP they waved soap powder in her face.

      Which people support the cause, and which weaken it? It’s not too hard to see. Read it at: http://www.kateausburn.com/2011/09/13/conversations-with-bds-counter-protesters-in-newtown/

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