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By David Levy


The Montréal Review, January 2018


Image from Claude Lanzmann's movie "Shoah"



“Go where you belong from now on - into the dustbin of history!”

--Leon Trotsky’s 1917 message to the Mensheviks.

     THE Bolshevik specter that haunted the 20th century has joined Menshevism in the dustbin of history.

     The Soviet embassy in Havana, designed by “People’s Architect”, Aleksandr Rochegov, has been described as a  “constructivist pile so unremittingly ugly and out of place it has been compared to a syringe.” All the better, went the joke, to inject Communism.

     Béla Tarr’s dystopian Hungarian landscapes deliver a comparable message.


    The anger and regret at the lost moral order of Soviet communism may run deep. Russia’s current head of state, Vladimir Putin, hero of Euro-conservatives, is not a man of the left but an anti-Marxian believer in passionarnost, the notion that the nation’s victories in war were won not by ideology but by tribal grit.

     Desperate to pump a little life into an ideological corpse diehard leftists, in an informal alliance with Jew hating Islam, have gone after the State of Israel, disregarding historical realities, as Marxian polemicists are inclined to do, casting the Jewish state as a white man’s imperialism in the brown Middle East. Jews ever suspect and available as scapegoats, compensating for the deficiency in logic. 

      Israel Apartheid Week(IAW) and the Boycott, Divest and Sanction(BDS) movements both emerged on the left in 2005, in the early years of the war on terror. Rising out of the shadows of that war a resumption of the war against the Jews.


      Among the nations joining the anti-Israel vote at the UN Security Council 23 December 2016 was left-leaning Venezuela. It is difficult to comprehend that a nation in the grip of absolute and devastating socialist turmoil, a nation in which starvation has become reality for so many of its citizens would regard an attack on Israel as a priority. There is this from a 2016 Boxing Day story in The New York Times:  " MATURÍN, Venezuela — His name was Kevin Lara Lugo, and he died on his 16th birthday. He spent the day before foraging for food in an empty lot, because there was nothing to eat at home. Then in a hospital because what he found made him gravely ill. Hours later, he was dead on a gurney, which doctors rolled by his mother as she watched helplessly. She said the hospital had lacked the simplest supplies needed to save him on that July day.”

      The Venezuelan vote was cast by Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño. An engineerpolitician, and diplomat, Ramírez was the longest-serving cabinet member under President Hugo Chávez.  If it can be said that one man near single-handedly destroyed Venezuela with fantastical socio-economic schemes while encouraging a plague of anti-Semitism, that man was Hugo Chávez.  Absolutely fitting that one of his high-profile stooges would be among the well-fed cabrón eager to plunge a dagger into the back of the Jewish state. Senior Ramírez might have used his Security Council time to plead the case for his desperate nation, for Kevin and the others, but the government of Venezuela had other priorities.

     On 21 December 2017 Venezuela’s new UN representative, Samuel Moncada Acosta, claimed the US declaration asserting that Jerusalem was Israel's capital "imperiled global peace.” Venezuela is today a nation beset by violence in the streets, a collapsed economy,  general malnutrition, dying children, hungry families joining street gangs to scrounge for food.


Charles Clover, “Brother Russia,” The Financial Times, 14 October, 2017.  

"Lev Gumilev: Passion, Putin and Power," The  Financial Times, 11 March 2016.


     It was about a month after 9/11 that Jacques Derrida declared the Cold War finally over. For the reason, he said, that: “…there can no longer be a balance of terror, for there is no longer a duel or standoff between two powerful states (U.S.A., USSR)… From now on, the nuclear threat, the “total” threat, no longer comes from a state but from anonymous forces that are absolutely unforeseeable and incalculable.”

    The menace of global terrorism 9/11 projected  into the future was, Derrida believed, a heritage of the Cold War, an effect of the Cold War before its end, the 9/11 al-Qaeda hijackers "who turned against the United States trained by the United States during the era of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan."

     Derrida understood that the tracks leading from the Cold War to the war on terror ran through Afghanistan. Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 11, 2001 (2004) reveals in much depressing detail how Ronald Reagan’s determination to beat up on the USSR in Afghanistan, perhaps extract payback for Vietnam by aiding the Mujahideen in their fight against the Russians, lay the groundwork for the rise of al-Qaeda and 9/11.


       It was the considered opinion of Sasha, a banker from Grozny I ran into, that the Americans by “their stupidity and obsession with Vietnam” had brought 9/11 on themselves, that if American president Ronald Reagan had joined the Russians in their war against the mooj,  they could have defeated al-Qaeda and the Taliban and spared themselves the loss of an ocean of blood and treasure.

      Robert Bergland who was US president Jimmy Carter's Secretary of Agriculture told me that that very notion was “debated in the Carter White House. They were aware that the Soviets were trying to get the Americans on their side. But the geo-politics wouldn't have allowed it."

     I put the proposition to the American military strategist Edward Luttwak: “It is a sort of geopolitical fantasy. The United States was fighting the Soviet Union and everything that happened in Afghanistan was nothing compared to the defeat of the Soviet Union. That was worth a million and everything bad that happened was worth a hundred.”

     For a time brain-dead America did look upon Islam as a Cold War ally. The mooj saw it the other way round.

     With American help they succeeded in pushing the USSR over the edge, the Afghan debacle accelerating the decline underway in the status and influence of the Soviet agenda.  On 25 December, 1991 the USSR was no more, for some an anti-climax after the collapse of the Berlin Wall in November 1989.


     Perhaps not the end but the beginning of the end of the Cold War might have occurred on 16 January 1979, the day Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, boarded a plane bound for Egypt.  A couple of weeks later the Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini was back in Tehran. Iranians voted by national referendum to become an Islamic Republic with Khomeini as Supreme Leader.

    The Ayatollah owed his remarkable political success to the US State Department. State’s unremitting hostility to the Shah apparently dated from the tenure of Henry Kissinger in the mid-1970s. Said Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor: "…the power echelons at State, notably the head of the Iran Desk, were motivated by doctrine dislike of the Shah and simply wanted him out of power altogether." This despite the fact that the Shah was a strong opponent of Soviet ambitions in the region. Was the Shah’s friendly attitude to Israel the problem?  It was said that James Earl “Jimmy“ Carter was pretty sure that if one made nice with the Grand Ayatollah he would respond with good will and tolerance and, as someone put it, become Jimmy’s best pal.

     How to explain? There are hypotheses having to do with oil and opium.

     A US court has ruled that there were Iranian links to 9/11. There is little doubt about Iran’s role in the July 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association building in Buenos Aires that left 85 dead and hundreds injured.

    Days after prosecutor Alberto Nisman accused former Argentine president Cristina Fernandez of covering up Iran’s role in the bombing he was found dead at his home of a gunshot wound to the head. A 656-page report ruled out the hypothesis of suicide.


     One has the impression that former US president Barack Obama had been and may still be inclined to regard himself an attendee of the Bandung Conference, more Kwame Nkrumah or U Nu or Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein than POTUS. He at one time had taken to claiming that the  upheavals Egypt, Syria, and Libya were experiencing in 2011 meant that those societies were “transitioning to democracy”. That was  never what it was. Surely Obama understood that. He continued however to stick it to the Jewish state, the only democracy in the region, while pursuing a nuclear deal with Iran.

   The Obama White House characterized Linda Sarsour as a “champion community activist.“ No mention of her claim that “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” her praise for high-profile Jew hater Louis Farrakhan, her support for BDS, her defense of the terrorist killer of Jews Rasmea Odeh.

     With the Iran nego in mind, Obama refused to throw American support behind Iran’s 2009 Green Revolution.

     In December 2017 Politico reported that the Obama people ordered Project Cassandra, the DEA task force looking into Iran surrogate Hezbollah's billion-dollar illegal drug operation, to back off so as not to ruin the deal’s chances.

    The larger, unspoken intent of the nego was the strengthening of the position of Iran in the region with its stated commitment of wiping the Jewish state off the face of the earth.

     Taking a lesson from Syria's Bashar Hafez al-Assad The New York Times blamed the Iran regime's violent response to popular protest dating from late December 2017 on the protesters. "The American media," said Lee Smith in Tablet, " is incapable of covering the story, because its resources and available story lines for Iran reporting and expertise were shaped by two powerful official forces - the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Obama White House."

   Despite all that American help the Iranian regime, a dictatorship ruled by an army of priestly parasites, appears to be without much of a  future.


Svetlana Alexievich, Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War. Translated by Julia and Robin Whitby. W.E.W. Norton  & Company, 1990.

“Argentina judge says death of prosecutor Nisman was murder in Iran cover up bombing,”  Behind the News. 27 December, 2017.

“US Court ruling suggests Iranian ties to 9/11 attacks,” Arutz Sheva, 20 March, 2016

Giovanna Borradori, Philosophy in a Time of Terror: Dialogues with Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida, The University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Toby Dershowitz, "Argentina is still helping Iran cover up its role in the bombing of a Jewish community center 21 years ago," Business Insider, 18 July 2015.

Gil Hoffman, “Oren: Obama Has Selective Memory on Middle East,” The Jerusalem Post, 13 March, 2016.

“Michael Oren: Obama Rejected Iran Green Revolution for Nuclear Deal,” Jerusalem Post, 1 January, 2018.

Edward N. Luttwak,”The Ayatollah Empire is Rotting away: Regime clerics steal everything, including the pistachio nuts,” Tablet, 3 January 2018.

Josh Meyer,"The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook," Politico, December 2017. 

James Perloff, “Iran and the Shah: What Really Happened,” The New American, 12 May, 2009.

Ira Stoll, “New York Times Coverage of Iran Protests Faulted as ‘Shameful,’ ‘Propaganda,’ Algemeiner, 3 January, 2018.


     With the end of the Cold War the larger awareness of the full dimensions of the Holocaust, that seemed to peak with the release Claude Lanzmann’s nine-and-a half-hour documentary Shoah(1985), began to fade.  After Lanzmann’s unsparing revelation of the terrible detailsone might have thought denial had lost all credibility, even among Jew haters. But that’s not what happened. We seem now to be witnessing an innovation in Holocaust denial, commemoration decried as the "prioritizing of some lives over others" instituted by the “Zionist media".  Six-million murders happened but that was "white on white crime" and as such "undeserving of recognition."

     Professor David Patterson, University of Texas at Dallas, told me he has little doubt that we are experiencing a revival of Jew hatred from both the right and especially the left:   "In Europe there is a current resurgence of far right parties; on the left, there are clear indications of anti-Semitism in Jeremy Corbyn’s British Labour Party. The BDS movement, which is driven by left-wing intellectuals, is very active on American and European college campuses. Let us recall that the college campuses of Nazi Germany played a similar role in the book burning campaigns. Of the 14 men at the 20 January 1942 Wannsee conference called by Reinhard Heydrich  to discuss the logistics of exterminating the Jews, eight had doctoral degrees. The commanders of the four Nazi killing units that followed the Nazi army East all had doctoral degrees. The people who committed these terrible acts listened to Mozart. The discourse of the Nazis and the jihadists is quite similar. Both believe, based on a theological argument, that  Jews need to be gotten rid of. The Nazis talked about the extermination of the Jews as the annihilation of the god of Abraham. They didn’t promise the SS 72 virgins in paradise. The jihadists appropriate God. They take control of the soul as they say in this world and in the next. Hezbollah describes itself as a clearing-house for humanity. They determine who’s to be saved and who is damned. The Hamas charter, the charter of Allah, says Hamas is Allah. They are both dedicated to the notion that in order to get rid of God or appropriate God, speak for God, you have to get rid of the Jews, as the millennial witnesses of the Divine Revelation rooted in the commandment do not murder."

     The Algerian author Kamel Daoud has pointed out that the messianic true believers of ISIS seek to “negate and destroy any evidence of the passing of time, such as monuments and ruins, in Palmyra and elsewhere…to extend the desert’s domain: to replace walls with sand, to flatten out landscape, to return to a vacuum so as to start history all over again.”


     A study released in May 2015 found that the most serious crimes against Jews in Europe were the work of European Muslims, a pattern that had persisted over a fifteen year period. The author of the study, Gunther Jikeli, observed that on the one hand  “the level of anti-Semitism increased with the level of religiosity and with fundamentalist interpretations of Islam.” On the other, “the level of anti-Semitism among less religious Muslims was still higher than in the general population.”

      The Holocaust, an Arab migrant in Germany told a researcher in 2017, “ is why I love Hitler.” Nothing to say the fellow does not understand that the phenomenon he is so pleased with involved the torture and murder of millions of men, women and children. There are now  many thousands like him in 21st century Europe, very few the Euro-fans of Hitler are crazy about.


Kamel Daoud, “ISIS’ War on Christmas.” Translated from the French by John Cullen. The New York Times, 1 January, 2016.

James Kirchick, “The Holocaust Without Jews: Attempts to Universalize the specific suffering of Jews in the Shoah go hand in hand with efforts to de-legitimize the Jewish State,” Tablet, 4 May 2016.


      Out in the streets of Europe and in the academies of the new world, migrants and students bred in cultures that dispute the historical reality of the Holocaust, arriving in Europe, Canada and America in increasing numbers, don’t forget to pack their undisguised hostility to Jews, fronting as politically-correct anti-Israelism.

     For the anti-Israel BDS movement, a kind of extra-mural beer pong prominent on American and Canadian college campuses, Israel is the nominal target, the actual one Jews. Oddly, BDS includes among its numbers many campus Jews and is supported by the pro-boycott Jewish Voice for Peace, backers of the annualIsrael Apartheid Week.

     The goal of BDS is not, as some of its advocates maintain, step one in an Israel-Palestine two-state peace deal. It is a scheme intended, in tandem with organizations dedicated to the implementation of  terrorist violence, to terminate the Jewish state because it is a Jewish state. A point even a high-profile detractor of Israel like Norman Finkelstein has recognized.

     The oft-repeated claim of Abu Mazen that all Israel is occupied Palestine, hardly a camouflaged endgame, is greeted with a shrug.

    The chochems of the Jewish left, Noam Chomsky et al, have persuaded themselves and others that they are engaged in a post-colonial skirmish. 

      They want little to do with the fact that Jews have been a target of Islam for fourteen centuries. In August 1922, twenty-six years before 1948 and forty-five years before 1967, the Fifth Palestine-Arab Congress met in Shechem(Nablus) to declare a boycott against Jews and Jewish businesses in mandate Palestine, a boycott that remains in effect.

     BDS, an internationalization of that longstanding  boycott, was conceived at the 2001 World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa. The global community was called upon "to impose a policy of complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state." Western intellectuals and left-wing activists, Jews among them, wasted little time heeding the call.

     Durban signaled the public migration of anti-Israel Jew hatred from the extremist margins into the politically correct millennial centre.  Negative stories about the Jewish state steadily seep into the larger public consciousness less from Palestinian media than from CNN, BBC, CBC, The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Guardian, etc. When an Imam mounts a mosque minbar and, making no distinction between Jews and the Jewish state, calls for the death of Jews it may not make the evening news.

    It didn’t seem to matter that in parallel with the Durban proceedings, 31 August - 8 September 2001, Israel was being battered by Intifada 2 (2000-2005) a.k.a. the Al-Aksa Intifada in which 1,137 Israelis were killed, 887 civilians.

     Didn’t matter that three days later, 11 September 2001, al Qaeda terrorists struck Manhattan.

     With the end of the Cold War, the far-left and Islamic groups came to perceive shared goals, the left having decided that political Islam was the sole organized force able to confront American hegemony and its Israeli godchild. Noam  Chomsky meets with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut in 2006 and offers his support for Hezbollah’s determination to remain fully armed.

     For the left, anti-Semitism was never much of an obstacle. As for common Muslim practices including female genital mutilation, honour killings, public whippings, amputation for theft, one simply held one's nose. For political Islam, the "useful idiots" of the left might initially be tolerated, as they were in Iran, till no longer of use.


Dan Diker,"Unmasking BDS: Radical Roots, Extremist Ends," Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, December, 2014.

Abigail R. Esman, ”Study Exposes Depth of Muslim Antisemitism in Europe,” Algemeiner, 13 May, 2015.

Bruce Thornton, “The Left’s Reticence on Islam,” Frontpage Magazine, 16 August 2016.


     The Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry based at Tel Aviv University found that the “targeting of Jews is no longer the sole domain of the far-Right. The far-Left are now using the same messages, tactics and agenda as the far-Right. Indeed some who describe themselves as liberal and progressive are in league with the most regressive movements, ideologies and regimes.”

    In November 2017 Duke University Press published Rutgers professor Jasbir Puar's The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability. Among the book’s claims, that the “Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have shown a demonstrable pattern over decades of sparing life, of shooting to maim rather than to kill,” part of a “logic long present in Israeli tactical calculations of settler colonial rule—that of creating injury and maintaining Palestinian populations as perpetually debilitated, and yet alive, in order to control them,” that the bodies of “young Palestinian men … were mined for organs for scientific research.”

     More troubling perhaps than the book is that the press of a leading American university would consider it worthy of publication.

     If I can add a personal note I at one point attempted to contact Prof. Puar to see if we might talk about her allegations. Never got an answer.

     Not all that long ago a professor at Connecticut College warned colleagues of the prevailing antagonism toward Jews, of the intimidation and “harassment of Jews in the name of fighting for social justice” that flowed from the school’s Global Islamic Studies program.


     The day after American president Donald Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel a man waving a Palestine flag and yelling ‘God is great’ smashed the windows of a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam. Unclear whether anyone explained to him that it might have made a little more sense if he’d gone after a KFC or a Pizza Hut.

    The conflict has expanded into the domain of nourishment. James Zogby, founder of the Arab American Institute, objected to food writer and celebrity chef Rachel Ray calling hummus an Israeli edible. This, tweeted Zogby, is cultural genocide.


      The public schools of Paris have become no-go zones for Jews. Francis Kalifat, president of the CRIF - Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France: “In the Paris region, there are virtually no more Jewish pupils attending public schools.”

      Muslim perpetrators of violence against Jews are routinely labeled “mentally ill” loners.

     French President Emmanuel Macron has set up a tax department specifically to investigate Jews.


     Alas, what begins with Jews may not end with Jews.

    As far as we know Jews were not the specifically designated victims of 9/11.  The pressure-cooker bombs detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April 2013 by the Tsarnaev brothers killed three people and injured several hundred. The brothers probably understood that the marathon was not a Jewish event.  How many of the men and women killed in the October 2017 New York City vehicle assault perpetrated by Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov were Jews? The intended victims of Akayed Ullah, the Bangladeshi Manhattan subway tunnel bomber, were random December morning rush hour commuters on their way to work.

     Those deeds and others like them were, without exception, planned and carried out by members of the Islamic faith in non-Muslim nations in which such deeds tend to be  inadequately discouraged, officialdom apparently fearing  the charge of islamophobia more than the violence. 

      The family of Akayed Ullah thought it was okay to make it known that they were “outraged” by the behavior of investigating law enforcement officials.


      The class struggle has been refurbished, economic exploitation off the agenda, at least for now. The left, the campus left and beyond, has discovered intersectionalty, the notion that oppressions – sexist, racist, ableist, etc. - are linked and may not be considered in isolation. The citizens of Ferguson are alleged to share a consciousness with the citizens of Ramallah and in turn with members of LGBTQ communities and the wheelchair-bound, a consciousness seriously at odds with white folk, Israeli Jews, strait folk, the able, etc. who are collectively locked in an oppressor episteme.  The Black Lives Matter movement, leaning anti-Semitic and looking beyond America has, supported by The Jewish Voice for Peace, charged Israel with genocide.

     Some intersectionals have gravitated to antifa, an amorphous cabal claiming to be fighting fascism of every stripe and committed to brown-shirt street action involving violence, intimidation, and public vandalism. No coincidence that the term rhymes with intifada, the antifa model. The Jewish left, disregarding the anti-Semitism observed within antifa ranks, has helped sanitize itsimage. Many of these same souls might at one time have joined the short-lived Occupy Wall Street(OWS) movement, despite the anti-Israel slogans and the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories voiced at rallies. Anti-Israel academics backing BDS are among the most vocal antifa supporters.

       There are different views as to when the concept emerged. For some it seemed to date from the election of Donald Trump. The term was apparently heard at a demonstration against the far-Right in Montreal in 2015. 

     Populist far-Right parties in Germany, France, Austria, and Hungary have been gaining ground at the polls. Their numbers include one-time neo-Nazis and Holocaust revisionists. Some heading for the streets to confront antifa militants, many having absorbed the lesson of Adolf that one might achieve at the ballot box what one might not achieve in the streets.

    Jew hatred may be on the brink of crisis, the haters finding it increasingly difficult to choose sides.


Eric Alterman, “The B.D.S. Movement and anti-Semitism on Campus,” The New York Times, 29 March, 2016.

Matthew M. Hausman, "Antifa and Anti-Semitism," Arutz Sheva, 6 November, 2017. 

Shula Kopf, “Jewish Faculty on US campuses paying a heavy price for standing up for Israel, “ The Jerusalem Post, 14, April, 2016.

Walter Laqueur, "Have 'Left' and 'Right' Outlived Their Meaning?" Tablet, 4 January, 2018

Isi Leibler, “Discretion in dealing with Europe’s populist parties,” Word from Jerusalem, 26 December, 2017.

Jeremy Rosen, "Intersectionality: The New False God," Algemeiner, 15 September, 2017.

Marc Weitzmann, "How the 'Deranged Ones' Are Reshaping France,"Tablet, 24 April, 2017.


David Levy has worked in film, television and radio, and lectured on cinema history in Canada, the US and Europe. He is author of "Stalin's Man in Canada: Fred Rose and Soviet Espionage"(Enigma Books, 2011).



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