General Antisemitism

Fidel Castro to Ahmadinejad: “Stop Slandering the Jews” (Radical anti-Zionist heads begin to spin!)


Ahmadinajad apparently distraught over Castro's recent criticism

Jeffrey Goldberg interviewed Castro in Havana, and while you should read the whole thing (linked below), here are some surprising nuggets:

[Castro] began this discussion by describing his own, first encounters with anti-Semitism, as a small boy. “I remember when I was a boy – a long time ago – when I was five or six years old and I lived in the countryside,” he said, “and I remember Good Friday. What was the atmosphere a child breathed? `Be quiet, God is dead.’ God died every year between Thursday and Saturday of Holy Week, and it made a profound impression on everyone. What happened? They would say, `The Jews killed God.’ They blamed the Jews for killing God! Do you realize this?”

He went on, “Well, I didn’t know what a Jew was. I knew of a bird that was a called a ‘Jew,’ and so for me the Jews were those birds.  These birds had big noses. I don’t even know why they were called that. That’s what I remember. This is how ignorant the entire population was.”

“He said the Iranian government should understand the consequences of theological anti-Semitism. “This went on for maybe two thousand years,” he said. “I don’t think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews. I would say much more than the Muslims. They have been slandered much more than the Muslims because they are blamed and slandered for everything. No one blames the Muslims for anything.” The Iranian government should understand that the Jews “were expelled from their land, persecuted and mistreated all over the world, as the ones who killed God. In my judgment here’s what happened to them: Reverse selection. What’s reverse selection? Over 2,000 years they were subjected to terrible persecution and then to the pogroms. One might have assumed that they would have disappeared; I think their culture and religion kept them together as a nation.” He continued: “The Jews have lived an existence that is much harder than ours. There is nothing that compares to the Holocaust.” I asked him if he would tell Ahmadinejad what he was telling me. “I am saying this so you can communicate it,” he answered.”

As Goldberg noted, one should remember that “Castro is the grandfather of global anti-Americanism”, and he has been a severe critic of Israel.  He has, also, denied his own populace even the most rudimentary civil and political rights.

However, its hard not to take at least some pleasure in the fact that his comments to Goldberg will no doubt pose a dilemma for Iran’s apologists and radical lefties the world over.

Gosh, given Castro’s statements about the Holocaust denying Iranian President – and this seeming new feud between such respectable “revolutionaries” – what are decent, respectable anti-American, anti-Zionist, anti-Imperialists to do?!

h/t ModernityBlog

Read Goldberg’s full essay, here.

5 replies »

  1. At first I thought this was a spoof. Cuba is among the more antisemitic of countries.

    Well, you live and learn as they say.

    Thanks modernity.

  2. Cuba is among the more antisemitic of countries.

    That’s part of the Spanish-Catholic heritage of which Castro speaks here, so maybe his country is anti-Semitic, the point is that Castro is not and wants everyone to know it.

  3. Castro is old. Maybe he has done some growing-up and come to some honest conclusions.

    These things are rare, but they happen.

  4. Judging from what I have been able to glean over the past few hours, it appears Castro had a very pro-Israel foreign policy until after the 1967 War and then switched to the anti-Israel (which apparently allowed Cuba to receive Arab investment and buoyed him to prominence amongst non-allied countries.)

    However, during all this time, Castro generally frowned upon any expressions of antisemitism.

    I am sure we will come to no consensus on what deeper meaning to this.

  5. Prepare for Castro to go from hero to zero in the eyes of the British left.

    They had no problem abandoning their cherished principles to make common cause with Islamic racists and fundamentalists, in pursuit of their anti-Israel campaign.

    They betrayed their leftist comrades in Iraq, they betrayed the Iranian resistance, and they will have no problem in betraying Castro.