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Separated at birth: The movements for Jewish self-determination and Russian Communism were inextricably linked 

In Weimar Germany, riddled with resentment after defeat in World War I and the national catastrophe of the Treaty of Versailles, demagogues knew that they could win the attention of the mob by palming the race card from the bottom of the deck.

"You cry out against Jewish capital, gentlemen?" cried one. "You are against Jewish capital and want to eliminate the stock manipulators. Rightly so. Trample the Jewish capitalists under foot, hang them from the street lamps, stamp them out."

Ruth Fischer sounded like a Nazi. She used the same hate-filled language. She wanted to murder Jews. But Hitler would never have accepted her. Fischer was a leader of the German Communist Party. She made her small differences of opinion with the Nazis clear when she went on to say that her audience should not just trample Jewish capitalists to death, but all capitalists.

Unconcerned by the contradiction, Hitler said the Jews were at once a "Judaeo-Bolshevik" conspiracy and a capitalist conspiracy. In Fischer's case, he was half right. The rabble-rouser who wanted to hang Jewish capitalists was a Jewish Communist, the sister of Hanns Eisler, who wrote music for some of Brecht's early plays. Eisler and Brecht fled the Nazis in 1933. A sense of self-preservation triumphed over ideology, and they found permanent sanctuary in America rather than in Stalin's Soviet Union. Hanns could not have been surprised when the House Committee on Un-American Activities demanded his deportation. He was a prominent Communist composer who worked for Hollywood, which the American Right considered a nest of reds. Eisler was perhaps more surprised to discover that his own sister Ruth was a witness for the prosecution when the McCarthyites arraigned him in 1947. Supporters of Stalin had denounced her as a "Left oppositionist" Trotskyist. She responded by not only going over to the "capitalist camp" but by providing evidence against Hanns, and against a second brother, Gerhart, who was a leading agent in the Comintern. 

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August 5th, 2012
6:08 PM
Nick, 95% of your article is totally correct and i am in full agreement with it. As far as the "difficulties", between the two sides which will go down as the understatement of the 20th and 21st century there is, and for some reason i cannot find it now, where you speak about a Jewish and Palistinian state. Ordinarily i would say that even to think like that after so many years is rubbish, but because i have too much respect for you just let me say in no uncertain terms fuhgeddaboudit. Israel would never trust the Palestinians to arm themselves and no self-respecting Palestinian nation would agree to anything less. This little item has more potential conflict about it than if they were talking about 100 JERUSALEMS. Naturally neither side ever got that far because they argue about RELATIVELY minor issues, but just wait, this one will eclipse all of the others including JERUSALEM. A 2 state solution concept never had a chance in the past. NOTHING HAS CHANGED. IT IS STILL THE SAME. Manny

June 29th, 2012
11:06 AM
Ed Walker knows very little history. About 750,000 Arabs left or were driven out when they started a war against Israel. Yet about 850,000 Jews were driven out of Iraq and Arab countries. It is like the massive transfers of population that occurred when British India was divided into India and Pakistan, yet so much trendy opinion falsely thinks population movement only went one way.

Ganpat Ram
June 3rd, 2012
2:06 AM
It is worth noting that George Orwell whom Cohen presumably respects was a stern critic of the Jewish claim to Palestine.

June 1st, 2012
2:06 AM
I would like to know how Mr Cohen can state, apparently without fear of contradiction, that the book was "meticulously researched". Was he there at the time the researched was performed? Or is it just that Mr Cohen is making the irrational jump in believing that quantity of data supplied demonstrates quality of research of data.

AnonymousGanpat Ram
May 31st, 2012
11:05 PM
Why cannot we have some elementary honesty in this debate? I am a Hindu who has plenty to be critical about regarding Islam. But since when has it been a crime to be critical of the Zionist project? If Cohen is even a little informed on this topic he must know that it was not until the Holocaust and the founding of Israel that the majority of Jews world-wide became favourable to the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine. Until then Zionists were never more than a significant minority even among Jews. What would Cohen feel if the entity he calls the Left, as if it were a single undifferentiated bloc - if the Left actually did what he wants and ceased to question the idea of Zionism? Would even Cohen be happy? Would he not find it strange that a political project that involved depriving a native population of Arabs of the right to control their own land in favour of people coming from Europe and America on the flimsy pretex that their ancestors had been the majority there a few thousand years ago......Would a Left which refused to question this claim not be considered a little unbalanced? The truth is that one can accept Israel as a reality due to the Holocaust and the events of the 1940s but that does not mean one denies that an injustice was done to the Arabs. Even Ben-Gurion forthrightly admitted it. He declared that had he been as Arab he would never have accepted the claims of the Zionists. He was an honest man.

Joanne Gerber
May 20th, 2012
2:05 AM
Actually, even though totalitarian Communist regimes killed a lot more people than the Nazis (and don't forget, the Communist regimes were around a lot longer), there is one way in which the Nazis were worse. Although the regimes of Stalin, Mao, etc. were tyrannies, at least the ideals of Marxism itself were humanitarian, something good people could believe in, at least early on: worker's solidarity, social justice, equality, etc. Nazi ideology, on the other hand, was evil at its core. Stalinism was a corruption of Marxist socialism. Nazism didn't have to be corrupted; it was putrid from the start.

CS Barnett
May 2nd, 2012
4:05 AM
Please, go research the facts about Israel.There was no ethnic cleansing.That is completely false.As a matter of fact,when the early Zionists arrived to clear the swamps, and make the unyielding earth fertile and productive, the Arab neighbors originally did not mind.The Jews in short order employed the Arabs , who liked the jobs and the food grown. Hadassah came in and provided education, clean clothes, hygienic areas,healthcare, and modern medicine for the Jews and the Arabs.Then, the British Mandate's administrators , who were highly anti-Semitic and opposed to the Balfour Declaration and its provisions, arrived in the early Twenties. They proceeded to instigate the Arabs against the Jews and they used the Arabs to do their dirty work and propagandized releases and reports placing blame on the Arabs. There is an excellent account of this history in a book written many years ago by an eyewitness, a Dutch, Christian, journalist and writer, of exceptional reach, resources, and sources, experience, an observation.His name is Pierre Van Paassen. He was enormously respected and in this book and others provides interviews and accounts featuring almost every leader, politically and religiously, and policymaker in the 20's, '30's, and '40's.The specific book to which I refer is " Forgotten Ally ." There is history recorded by Van Paassen that will astound you, if you are an American, a British citizen, or a Jew, an Arab/Muslim, or Christian. I, also, recommend, " Myths and Facts" by Eli Hertz.

richard landes
April 29th, 2012
5:04 PM
Ed: India and Pakistan were created out of a massive massacre and ethnic cleansing (in the millions of dead, tens of millions of displaced). that doesn't bother you? it doesn't bother you that while 20% of the Israeli population is Arab Muslim, the planned Palestinian state won't allow any Jews to live there? do you object to the czechs ethnically cleansing the germans after WWII?

April 21st, 2012
6:04 AM
Ironic, but the entire topic reminds me of today’s unconventional attitude among Iraqi communists. Traditionally, most Iraqi lefties (and their prominent leaders) were from the South, and as we all know, 90% or more of Iraqi’s Southern inhabitants are Shiite Muslims. Now, despite being one of the oldest communist parties in the region with a history that expands more than seven decades, and seeing that except for a short period (between 1958 and 1963) they’ve hardly ever been in power and were savagely prosecuted since 1963 when The Baath party first came to power, where the surviving majority either flee to hide up north, among the Kurdish freedom fighters, or seek asylum in Western and Eastern capitals. It is rather perplexing and hard to believe that today (and since the fall of Saddam) and after a lifelong struggle and wait, they have thrown themselves in the arms of Shiite religion leaders and their first and foremost loyalty is to their religious and ethnic background, rather than their long held “communist values and aspirations”. Mind you, all despite the paradox in principles and communist’s traditional point of view on religion…!? On that note and on the same token; I can’t help but wonder: Generally speaking and when it came to the crunch; what really came first to a Jewish communist, is it the loyalty to his religion-bound ethnicity, or communist principles and values!? Just a thought

drakool muncher
April 17th, 2012
1:04 PM
Stalins mother was Jewish. 82% of the commie bolshevik leadership were Jews. Stalin suckered Hitler. Stalin started WW2. The Russians were supposed to go into Poland AT THE SAME TIME AS THE GERMANS - AND MEET IN THE MIDDLE. Stalin held back to make the Germans look like the bad guys, the Allies declared war on Germany and then the Russians went into Poland achieving all of their objectives. No one declared war on the Russians. Stalin was about to invade Germany and the West when Hitler realised what he was up to Hitler had no choice but to invade the commie USSR. Stalin outsmarted everyone, including Hitler. Stalin started World War 2.

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