General Antisemitism

Guardian publishes letter by Tony Greenstein suggesting comparison between anti-Israel protests & those against Nazis


The Guardian published three letters on the protesters who disrupted the Prom by the Israel Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta in London recently (Report, 2 September), including one by leading anti-Zionist Jew, and previous CiF contributor, Tony Greenstein. (See Richard Millett’s post on the incident, here)

Greenstein is a founding member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, a member of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods and styles himself as a “Socialist, anti-Zionist”.

Here’s what Greenstein wrote in his Guardian letter.

“As someone who is Jewish, I was proud to take part in the protests at the Royal Albert Hall against the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. Those who proclaim that politics and culture don’t mix, when they keep silent as the Freedom Theatre in Jenin is under constant attack by the Israeli military, its premises ransacked and two workers detained without trial, are a prime example of western hypocrisy. Culture, art and sport cannot be divorced from their social context. When I took part in demonstrations in 1970 against the Springbok rugby tour, this same argument was used. The BBC’s attitude to broadcasting the all-white South African cricket team then was exactly the same as it is today towards Israel’s cultural ambassadors. However, the Guardian and Daily Telegraph’s cricket correspondents, John Arlott and Jim Swanton, took a principled stance, refusing to commentate for the BBC. The reason why Israel funds and subsidises artists, musicians and writers to travel abroad is stated in the contract that they sign. The artist agrees they will “promote the policy interests of the State of Israel via culture and art”. Who would now say that it would have been wrong to mix politics and culture and disrupt the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the performances of their famous conductor, Wilhelm Furtwangler, when they toured in the 1930s?”
Tony Greenstein
Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods

Indeed, Greenstein’s previous anti-Zionist writings have similarly espoused views which equate Nazism to Zionism.

In a CiF essay in 2007, he wrote:

“It is argued that “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is in itself anti-semitic. Now, it might arguably be offensive, but why anti-semitic? In her book The War Against the Jews, Lucy Dawidowicz reports that it was the position of the SS that “the Zionists adhere to a strict racial position, and by emigrating to Palestine they are helping to build their own Jewish state”. Is it anti-semitic to point out that “ethnic cleansing” and the transfer or forced migration of civilian populations was also Nazi policy; or that only in Israel and Nazi Germany were Jews barred from marrying non-Jews?”

Further, according to Greenstein, a comment he posted in the CiF comments section in response to Anthony Lerman’s article “Antisemitic, or just offensive” argued that Israelis possess a “Nazi mentality”.

As with the Guardian’s recent sympathetic profile of far left extremist Carlos Latuff – who, as we noted, repeatedly publishes political cartoons with the explicit narrative that Israeli Jews are the new Nazis – their decision to publish Greenstein’s invective suggests that, for Guardian editors, this odious moral comparison is, at the very least, debatable.

Such an argument is morally and intellectually unserious, hateful, antisemitic, extraordinarily cruel, and (it would certainly seem) represents the complete antithesis of anything even resembling genuine liberal thought. 

30 replies »

  1. Again, I find myself wishing that the Jews could still employ cherem excommunication or shunning against twisted people like Greenstein and Silverstein who bring their fellow Jews into disrepute, or there was a way in which decent Jewish people could make public declarations distancing themselves from such low pond life. I doubt that it would work for either however – it’d probably feed their monstrous egos.

    You are right, AKUS, that Greenstein is a BS-er and a thorough-going poisonous and lying little lowlife to boot. (I know many Israelis who are married to non-Jews and living in Israel).

    Which is, of course, why the Guardian is rushing to print his letters.

  2. Tony Greenstein is really pathetic.He is still bragging about a demonstration back in 1970.He probably still wears his tie dyed Che Guevera T shirts.He must bore everyone unfortunate enough to sit near him as he relives his youth.He is a typical Guardian source-boring,biased, and bigoted.

  3. “the Freedom Theatre in Jenin is under constant attack by the Israeli military, its premises ransacked and two workers detained without trial, are a prime example of western hypocrisy.”

    I heard a similar charge to this one elsewhere. One of the BDSers claimed that Palestinian musicians are prevented by Israel from performing abroad. Can anyone tell me what evidence there is to back these claims up, or on what grounds they are made?

  4. In every civilised country the Albert Hall action of these thugs is a criminal offense. I can’t understand the lack of prosecution and a reaction of the UK law enforcement authorities. Did violent anti-Jewish behaviour become legal in the UK?

    • “Did violent anti-Jewish behaviour become legal in the UK?”

      It did, back when a British judge excused anti-Israel activists’ vandalism of Ahava stores in the U.K., some months ago.

      • Once again I have to second to this opinion.
        I wrote to my Labour MP which tried to sway away from the topic…

  5. Greenstein is probably smarting because the audience jeered the protesters, and applauded the dignity of the Israeli musicians.

    His tawdry little protest backfired, and his shrill self-serving letter illustrates how petty this little twerp actually is.

  6. Tony Greenstein should be sat down, tied to a chair with eye clips and made to watch footage of Nazi thugs at work in Berlin and Jewish ghettos across Eastern Europe. Are Israeli arabs refused licences to do business in Israel, are they refused to practice their religion, are they being made to wear a green cresent on their sleeves, are they refused permission to public baths or restaurants on the grounds that they’re not of the pure Jewish blood?

    I can go on and on.. but I think I’ve proved that Tony Greenstein is an ignorant fool.

    • It wouldn’t do any good Rural. Greenstein belongs to the breed who become fixated. Rationality is unheard of and they become completely obsessive.

      Very much a feature of extremists of all political and religious persuasions.

      The extreme delusional infantile left in the UK are constantly quoting and promoting each other. They seem to have far too much weight in the UK media too.

      Almost as though they have conspired to ‘control’ the UK MSM. ‘They’ do control the BBC.

  7. Greenstein regularly lies and defames pro-Israel people (eg Jonathan Hoffman) in his blog. He is contemptible.

    • And obsessed apparently.

      Heaven only knows what must have happened to him in childhood to turn him into such a twisted excuse of a man.

  8. As pointed out by the author of the G. article: concertgoers potentially sympathetic to the protesters’ “cause” turned against them.

    All Greenstein is interested in is getting his name in the papers.

    And the Nazi reference is a fucking disgrace – although in Greenstein’s case sadly no surprise.

  9. He is an idiot and shoots himself in the foot by disrupting masters like Zubin Mehta.

    http://www.haaretz.com/culture/arts-leisure/soundbox-a-baton-that-unites-bankers-and-music-lovers-1.263141

    I may disagree with Mr. Mehta on how to tackle Hamas but his work and his attitudes shows maturity while Greenstein’s attitude are childish and frankly stink!

    http://londonbds.org/tag/royal-albert-hall/

    He should be ashamed of himself for still declairing himself a Jew as he clearly forgotten what Jews do best.
    Discuss and analyze things from all possible angles.
    Greenstein just chatters like a narcistic Potz.

  10. Israelinurse can I ask you, is this the same objectionable idiot who was on a Sunday morning BBC TV programme with you a little while back?

  11. I suggest to everyone to google this string “Tony Greenstein + creditcard + shoplifting”. The results tell a lot of interesting stuff about him and his moral.

    • They do indeed Peter. They show him to be utterly conscienceless and a malignant narcissist who believes that social and legal mores don’t apply to him.

      He’s at the lowest rung of the moral ladder for his slavering support for the SmashEDO wreckers, who pleaded guilty in Hove Crown Court in the UK to causing (he says) £300,000 worth of damage to a factory which they thought manufactured parts for Israeli planes and other military devices. The idiots actually pleaded guilty but said that they’d caused the damage for the greater good and the buffoon Judge Bathurst-Norman’s distinctly partial summing up at the trial led to their acquittal and a rather embarrassing verbal bashing for him from the Lord Chancellor as a result of the ensuing outcry.

      There can be no rehabilitation for the Greensteins of this world which would turn them into the sort of productive human beings that society needs, so hate-filled and disturbed are they, and they are so convinced of their own rectitude that any attempt to challenge their view of themselves, as would happen in good psychotherapy, would see them rapidly departing.

      Itsik, I honestly believe that he declares himself to be a Jew – I think he comes from an orthodox background and most of his narcissism comes out of Oedipal rage – to give Jewish people a bad name. I have even heard that he accuses people who disagree with him, and they are legion, of antisemitism!

      In such a case, I agree with Serendipity above, about the reintroduction of cherem – time limited or permanent excommunication/shunning, against such a poisonous and vitriolic specimen

  12. ‘or that only in Israel and Nazi Germany were Jews barred from marrying non-Jews?”’

    And pretty much every Arab, Islamic country, unless you’re a Jewish woman, permitted to be the legitimate spoils of jihad for a Muslim man.

  13. Why give him the oxygen of publicity he craves . He is a narcissist pure and simple . For all his fulminating over Israel he achieves virtually nothing . Apparently he almost met his maker in a recent car crash . Rest assured that when he does his only legacy will be hatred and lies . Not much of a recommendation . The IPO, the beauty of their music and the pleasure they give to audiences around the world will i suspect outlast anything this pathetic man achieves in his squalid life .

  14. Surely the best treatment for the attention-seeking Mr Greenstein is to ignore him. It seems clear that his views have no validity or support outside his group of like-minded cronies, including the editorial staff at the Guardian.

    In Judaism, a true Herem involves making it very difficult for a Jew to attend religious services at the synagogue, refusing him Aliyah to the Torah and all the other courtesies extended to members of a congregation. In the light of Greenstein’s Marxist views, it is doubtful if he goes near a synagogue, let alone attend a service there, so a Herem is unlikely to have any effect.