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10 May 2008

The Mufti inspects the Muslim Unit in Bosnia, 1946. He met with
Hitler in 1941 to offer his services.


On a pleasant Thursday in December 1948, Emilio Traubner, a correspondent for The Palestine Post, found himself near Abu Kabir, not far from Jaffa. Trenches and expended cartridges were strewn about, reminders of the fighting between units of the Irgun and local Arab forces that had taken place there seven months previously. There was a large Arab villa from where Traubner recovered a diary. It turned out to be the daily record of Yusuf Begovic of Pale, a town near Sarajevo in modern-day Bosnia-Herzegovina. In it Begovic had described his activities as a cook for the “Arab Army of Liberation.” 

Traubner described who Begovic had been serving: “35 Yugoslav Muslims who had a good reason to expect to be among the first to occupy and loot Tel Aviv, were part of a group of some thousands who came to the Middle East to join the jihad against Israel.” 

What were Yugoslav Muslims doing in Jaffa in 1948? How had they managed to get themselves all the way to the Holy Land? What had motivated them? Who had recruited them? What was the Bosnian or Albanian connection to the Palestinians, if there was one? 

There was a Bosnian connection: Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, had been in Bosnia in the 1940s. Had he recruited these men? What had become of them? 

It turned out that in 2005 a Bosnian had given an interview in Lebanon to a Croatian newspaper and claimed to have fought in the 1948 war. The story began to crystallize. 

The Long Shadow of Haj Amin 

In October 1937, Haj Amin al-Husseini, mufti of Jerusalem and leader of the Arab Higher Committee, was hiding from the British authorities in the Haram al-Sharif, the holy sanctuary atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. On October 13, disguised as a Beduin, he fled to Lebanon via Jaffa. In Lebanon he received sanctuary from the French mandatory authorities but he fled again with the outbreak of war in 1939. This time he made his way to Baghdad disguised as a woman. In Baghdad in 1940 and 1941 he increased his contacts with Germany, offering to aid the Nazis in return for their help in gaining independence for the Arab states. The Italians helped him enter Turkey, and then he made his way to Rome on October 11. He met with Mussolini and then with Hitler on November 28. After the failure of various schemes to create an Arab military unit he eventually settled for recruiting Muslim volunteers to aid the Nazis from the Balkans, Bosnia and eventually Kosovo. 

In speaking to potential recruits, Husseini stressed the connections they had to the Muslim nation fighting the British throughout the world: “The hearts of all Muslims must today go out to our Islamic brothers in Bosnia, who are forced to endure a tragic fate. They are being persecuted by the Serbian and communist bandits, who receive support from England and the Soviet Union… They are being murdered, their possessions are robbed and their villages are burned. England and its allies bear a great accountability before history for mishandling and murdering Europe’s Muslims, just as they have done in the Arabic lands and in India.” 

Three divisions of Muslim soldiers were recruited: The Waffen SS 13th Handschar (”Knife”) and the 23rd Kama (”Dagger”) and the 21st Skenderbeg. The Skenderbeg was an Albanian unit of around 4,000 men, and the Kama was composed of Muslims from Bosnia, containing 3,793 men at its peak. The Handschar was the largest unit, around 20,000 Bosnian Muslim volunteers. According to the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, “These Muslim volunteer units, called Handschar, were put in Waffen SS units, fought Yugoslav partisans in Bosnia and carried out police and security duties in Hungary. They participated in the massacre of civilians in Bosnia and volunteered to join in the hunt for Jews in Croatia.” Part of the division also escorted Hungarian Jews from the forced labor in mine in Bor on their way back to Hungary. The division was also employed against Serbs, who as Orthodox Christians were seen by the Bosnian Muslims as enemies. 

The Handschar division surrendered to the British army on May 8, 1945. As many as 70,000 Bosnian Muslim POWs and their families were moved by the British army to Taranto in Italy. The creation of Marshal Tito’s Yugoslavia at the end of the war meant that former Bosnian Muslim volunteers in the German SS units could not return home for fear of prosecution or internment. George Lepre, a scholar on the history of the Handschar and author of Himmler’s Bosnian Division: The Waffen-SS Handschar Division 1943-1945 describes their fate: “Those Bosnians who elected to remain in the camps eventually found asylum in countries throughout the Western and Arab worlds. Many of those who settled in the Middle East later fought in Palestine against the new Israeli state.” 

But first they had to get to the Middle East. 

The formation of the Bosnian unit in 1947 

The Bosnian Muslims, usually referred to as “Yugoslavs” in period newspaper accounts as well as in intelligence reports, remained in DP camps in Italy until 1947, when it was reported in The Palestine Post on April 18 that there was a “request from the Syrian government for the transfer of 8,000 Bosnian Moslem refugees at present in Italy. Yugoslav quarters here say that the Arab League has written to all Arab states, urging them to assist these Moslem DPs, and that some financial help has already been received. Yugoslav officials say that they too want these 8,000 Moslems back, as they are the Handschar Division of the German Wehrmacht which surrendered to the British… The Yugoslavs state that they view with the gravest concern the possibility of the transfer of this group to the Middle East.” 

By December 1947 a nucleus of former Handschar officers had made their way to Syria and were beginning to reconstitute their unit in Damascus. A report by Israel Baer in the Post noted that “the latest recruits to the Syrian army are members of the Bosnian Waffen SS… It is reported that they are directing a school for commando tactics for the Syrian Army.” 

No doubt the fledgling Syrian army which had been born in 1946 was in need of officers and trainers with experience. Emilio Traubner, writing on December 3, 1947, noted that the International Refugee Organization (IRO) was even convinced to fund the travel of Bosnian Muslims from Italy to the Middle East so that they could find homes since they refused to be repatriated to Yugoslavia. 

In January 1948 Arab agents were working to recruit Bosnians for the fight in Palestine. On February 2, it was reported that 25 Bosnian Muslims had arrived in Beirut and were moving to Damascus to join 40 other Bosnians already there. A report by Jon Kimche on February 4 further noted that up to 3,500 were being transferred to Syria to fight alongside Fawzi Kaukji’s Arab Liberation Army (ALA) in its invasion of Palestine. On March 14 a party of 67 Albanians, 20 Yugoslavs and 21 Croats led by an Albanian named Derwish Bashaco arrived by boat in Beirut from Italy. They were hosted by the Palestine Arab Bureau and made their way to Damascus to join the ALA. In the first week of April another 200 Bosnians arrived in Beirut. 

A lengthy report by Claire Neikind on March 2 described the procedure by which Arab agents were recruiting volunteers among the DPs in Italy. Men between 22 and 32 were sought and in return they would receive free passage to Beirut and their families would receive maintenance. According to Neikind, 300 men had already arrived and 90 Croatian Ustashi were also making there way. Fifty-seven were sent to Amman. Between December 1 and February 20 a total of 106 were sent to Syria. Neikind noted that “as soon as their families are settled, they enter Arab military service.” 

If one accepts merely the low totals from newspaper accounts it appears that there were at least 520 Bosnians, 67 Albanians and 111 Croatians in Syria or Beirut, as well as 135 Bosnians on their way to Egypt and 57 Bosnians in Jordan. Thus 890 volunteers from Yugoslavia and Albania were in the Middle East by April 1948, before Israel’s declaration of independence on May 15, 1948. 

Upon arrival the volunteers found their way to a camp at Katana, a military base west of Damascus that the Syrian army had provided for use by the Arab Liberation Army being assembled to invade Palestine. Here they met their commander, Fawzi Kaukji for the first time. Kaukji, 58, was a former Ottoman soldier who had fought in the Arab Revolt. Hagana intelligence estimated as many as 4,000 volunteers had joined his army. 

In December of 2005, Hassan Haidar Diab, a journalist in Bosnia, was able to locate Kemal Rustomovic, a Bosnian who had served with the Yugoslav volunteers. He claimed to have been a member of the Arab Salvation Army where 150 of his fellow Bosnians served under a Bosnian officer named Fuad Sefkobegovic. 

The Role of the Bosnians in the War of Independence 

Since the fall of 1947 Arab forces under Abdel Khader Husseini and other locals had harassed Jewish traffic and supplies moving from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. A mixed Bosnian-Arab unit of the ALA had been dispatched to aid in the siege of Jerusalem and this unit found itself embroiled in the battle for Castel between April 3 and 8, 1948. This battle was part of the Hagana’s Operation Nahshon which was intended to relieve the siege of Jerusalem. It is not clear what became of the Bosnians who fought at Castel. Some may have retired to Ramallah, where it was reported on April 16 that Muslim foreigners including Yugoslavs had taken over the best hotels and “molested” the local population. 

The next battle that the Bosnian units participated in was at Jaffa between April 25 and May 5. Jaffa had been allotted to the Arab state in the UN partition plan, but it was surrounded by territory allotted to the Jewish state. The battle began when the Irgun launched an attack on the city. According to the Hagana, there were 400 “Yugoslavs” and 200 Iraqis defending Jaffa. On April 28, Michel Issa, the Christian Arab commander of the Ajnadin Battalion, received orders from Kaukji to move from the Jerusalem foothills to relieve the siege of Jaffa. On the same day, Hagana intelligence noted that there were 60 “Yugoslavs” among the defenders of Jaffa. Issa arrived in Jaffa on April 29 ; the commander of Jaffa, Maj. Adil Najmuddin, deserted the city on May 1, leaving Issa and his Yugoslavs. According to Issa’s telegram to Kaukji, “Adil left [the] city by sea with all [the] Iraqis and Yugoslavs.” Prior to their departure the Yugoslavs had been billeted at local homes and their unit even included a cook. 

Kemal Rustomovic recalled in his interview that he had first been at Nablus, then Jaffa and finally at Jenin. Between the evacuation of the Yugoslavs by sea from Jaffa and their reunion with the ALA, the State of Israel was born on May 15, 1948. On the same day five Arab armies invaded Israel and the war became much wider. 

The ALA became a disorganized and largely spent force by the time it saw fighting again around Nazareth again in July. During the fighting in the North, Kaukji’s army of 2,500 men was reduced to only 800 and it was driven from Nazareth into northern Galilee. Rustomovic was one of these men according to his interview. The Post reported that the ALA still included “Yugoslavs.” On July 18 the Post reported that the British government’s intelligence had acted to “systematically sabotage [the] Palestine partition scheme” and provided as evidence the fact that England was aware of the presence of Bosnian volunteers in Syria. 

During the fighting in October the IDF conquered the entire Galilee and parts of Southern Lebanon. A report on November 1, detailing the capture of the Galilee, noted that some “Yugoslavs” had been captured during the fighting that had driven the ALA and the Lebanese army from Palestine and actually found the IDF in Lebanon. 

The Bosnians and the 1948 war, strange bedfellows? 

It is not known what became of the Bosnians who served with the Arab forces in the 1948 war. Rustomovic, who was born in the village of Kuti in central Bosnia in 1928, joined the Lebanese army in 1950. He served his adopted country for 30 years, married a local woman and had seven daughters and five sons with her. He was granted Lebanese citizenship, unlike the Palestine refugees who fled to Lebanon, and retired from the army in 1980. According to him, none of the Bosnians who had served in the SS ever returned to Yugoslavia. Some ended up in the US, Australia and Canada. It is assumed that some also settled in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East. Today many would be in their 80s and 90s and it is doubtful that many of them survive. 

In the 1990s during the Balkan wars, Arabs would journey to the Balkans to participate in war between Bosnians and Serbs. In a strange twist they would be repaying the debt incurred when 900 or more Bosnian Muslims gave up their homes and past to come to the Middle East to serve the Muslim Arab cause. The involvement of these Bosnians may be seen as an early version of the linkage of Muslim conflicts throughout the world. This has gained increased exposure lately due to the involvement of foreign Muslim volunteers in the Algerian, Lebanese, Kashmiri, Sudanese and Afghani conflicts among others. 

The writer is in a doctoral program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his MA thesis was on the Christian Arabs in the 1948 war.


Nothing expresses the sheer desperation in the plight of the Jews at this particular moment than this article by Marissa Brostoff on The Tablet

The real situation is this:

Israel is in danger as never before of being eliminated from the stage of the world.

That would mean the beginning of the end for the world’s Jewish people who have existed as a people and nation for longer by far than any other people on earth.

Leave aside the weird Zealots who say that it can never happen, their God will protect them etc, and staying in the real world with our feet firmly planted on terra firma look at it mathematically

This time at a go 5 million Jews can be wiped out by a Nuclear Bomb delivered by a combination of Iran Turkey, Hamas, Syria and Hizbullah

That is for starters. Could Jews survive that following just some decades after the Holocaust. The psychological effect as well as the physical would destroy them, destroy anybody not just Jews. The human spirit can indeed be killed.

Meanwhile the Jews of America were indoctrinated by American Imperialism over the decades, since 1945 in particular.

This indoctrination I read every day on the website Israpundit and on many others

Bound in by this repressive ideology the young Jews of America see no future whatsoever in this kind of Zionism, the kind of Zionism espoused by Ted Belman, Laura and yamit82, a bankrupt and essentially tribally empty entity

The latter cannot even write under his correct Jewish name…What a fraud!

Anyway the young Jews in America are left completely at sea.

The worst of it is in the absence of any kind of revolutionary leadership and in the absence of a revolutionary party to take up the Jews case against the Jihad and against western antisemitism they the young Jews are exhibiting signs of total confusion. Little wonder!

The analysis below is refreshing in its directness. The most poignant paragraph deals with how these young Jews are too rejecting of Zionism (for the Zionists) and too Jewish (for the Left Fascist Zionist haters)

Expertly written but Brostoff as is usual in these circles mistakenly calls these Left Fascists of the SWP et al as “The Left”. Brostoff just shows her ignorance of revolutionary socialist history and principles there.

Read what the writer Brostoff says:

(Starts here)

The 2010 U.S. Assembly of Jews, a national conference held in Detroit in late June, began at an unusual hour for a Jewish conclave: late on a Saturday afternoon. It wasn’t the most accommodating move for participants who observe the Sabbath, but then, the conference’s organizers may not have expected any: This was the first major gathering of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. Given that the term “anti-Zionist” is an epithet to many in the organized American Jewish community, one might assume that any American Jew who’d schlep to Michigan to discuss strategies for “decolonizing Palestine” would fall outside that community’s religious and cultural margins as well.

So, it came as a surprise when, at 11:30 on that first Saturday night, after an exhausting opening session, about a quarter of the 200 conference-goers, overwhelmingly under 30, gathered to celebrate havdalah, the ceremony that ushers out the Sabbath. As they swayed in a circle singing “Lo Yisa Goy,” a Hebrew folksong—“and into plowshares beat their swords, nations shall learn war no more”—the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network felt for a moment like Jewish summer camp. Many Jewish community leaders would not have been enthusiastic about the scene. And, in echoes that reverberated throughout the conference, neither were some leaders of the Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.

A growing cohort of young Jews actively involved in Jewish life—often in alternative realms like independent minyans, the Yiddish-revival movement, and social-justice organizations—are taking left-wing positions on Israel that leave them feeling marginalized even in the Jewish communities they call home. Ideologically, they range from those who couch their politics in the language of international law and ultimately favor a two-state solution to those who use the more radical language of anti-imperialism and insist that true democracy can never happen within a Jewish state—with countless shades in between. By flirting with the labels “non-Zionist” and “anti-Zionist” without abandoning other traditional affiliations, they have crossed a line into territory where there exists no well-marked space on the American Jewish ideological map.

Into this vacuum came the first conference of the two-year-old International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, a still-obscure organization (though one now on the watch list of some mainstream Jewish organizations) with a moniker echoing those of long-defunct groups, like the Jewish Communist Labor Bund, that tethered Jewish specificity to the international left. For many of the young Jews who turned out in Detroit—most en route to the U.S. Social Forum, a major activist expo that was held in the city later that week—the Assembly seemed to promise a distinctly Jewish space in which to engage in or try on the ideas that Zionism does in fact equal racism and that only a one-state solution can mean justice for Palestinians—regardless of whether they take such a hard line in their day-to-day lives.

But then they encountered a new problem: Their elders on the radical left didn’t know what to do with them either. They were too Jewish.

“Folks like us get it from both sides,” said a 27-year-old Jewish religious professional at the conference who requested anonymity because, she said, she feared repercussions if her views became known. “We’re not loyal enough to the Jews and we’re not pure enough for the anti-Zionists.”

The existence of non- and anti-Zionist Jews is in itself nothing novel; from socialist Jewish movements in prewar Eastern Europe to the ultra-Orthodox sect Neturei Karta, they have been around as long as Zionism itself. What may be new is the emergence of a group of Jews whose leftism does not automatically equal secularism, as it did for generations of Marxists, and who, at the same time, grew up in or were welcomed into a liberal sector of the religious landscape that has grown exponentially over the past few decades. It’s not hard these days, at least in most American cities with large Jewish communities, to find synagogues or minyans that explicitly welcome feminists, gay Jews, and those suspicious of religious hierarchies—as well as spaces next door for those more interested in Yiddish culture or social action.

“For the past 10 years, and particularly from the Second Lebanon War up to the present, there’s been a resurgence of Jewish anti-Zionism where Zionism had once been strongest: among secular liberal Jews,” said Sam Freedman, a Columbia University journalism professor who has covered the American Jewish community for decades. In a recent New York Times column, he discussed the revival of the American Council for Judaism, a non-Zionist spinoff of the Reform movement. “It’s gone from being a totally peripheral part of the Jewish scene to some growing minority of the Jewish scene.” (According to Hebrew Union College sociologist Steven M. Cohen, no numbers yet exist on the size of the trend.)

The members of this demographic who turned up at the Assembly of Jews voiced a range of complaints about the Jewish institutions in their lives. A 25-year-old environmental activist named Hillary Lehr from Oakland, California, said she no longer wanted to visit the Reform synagogue she’d attended as a child because its pro-Israel stance was casually embedded into ritual life, from prayers for the Jewish state to tzedakah boxes for the Jewish National Fund. “I want to de-Zionize my synagogue because it’s not about being a Zionist, it’s about Judaism,” Lehr said. “There’s a generation that’s ready to go back to those religious and spiritual spaces. I want to say to my rabbi, ‘I want to come back to my spirituality and I want there to be space for all of us because we’re all Jews.’ ”

Avi Grenadier, 27, who runs a progressive Jewish radio show called Radio613 in Kingston, Ontario, voiced similar objections about his religious education at a Conservative synagogue in a small Ontario town: Israel, he said, had taken the place of religious content—which meant that when he became disillusioned with the Jewish state, there was no other iteration of Judaism to fall back on. “I knew more about Mossad agents’ biographies than about the Nevi’im,” said Grenadier, who said he studied Jewish texts for the first time last year at Yeshivat Hadar, an egalitarian yeshiva in Manhattan. He now wears a yarmulke and observes the Sabbath.

Others voiced a complaint specific to institutions at the left-most edge of the mainstream Jewish world: Because opinion on Israel can be expected to vary widely—and explosively—in such congregations and organizations, some, by dictate or custom, have simply made discussion of Israel taboo.

Some non-Zionist Jews say they want what more pro-Israel factions of the community have: spaces where the Jewish state can be freely discussed and, indeed, turned into a political cause. But others questioned whether creating congregations that organize around the Palestinian cause would simply replicate the inextricability of Judaism and Zionism at more traditional places of worship.

“It’s not like I’m trapped in this synagogue where there’s all these Zionist politics on Shabbat and I want to create a Shabbat where there’s all these anti-Zionist politics,” said Aaron Levitt, 40, a former board member at West End Synagogue, a Reconstructionst congregation in Manhattan, who left the shul after several years of trying to unmoor it from allegiance to Israel (and who was not at the conference). “It would be just as bad; it might even be worse.”

Levitt helped start a non-Zionist minyan this year called Page 36 with fellow Jewish pro-Palestinian activists including a young Reconstructionist rabbi, Alissa Wise—not, he said, because he ultimately wants to pray only with political comrades, but as a kind of stopgap measure while truly “Zionist-neutral” congregations remain few and far between. At the same time, he added, the minyan was inspired by frustration with what he sees as a lack of interest among many of his coreligionist political comrades in aspects of spirituality and peoplehood that go beyond Jewish-flavored universalist politics.

“I care about Palestinians as much as anyone else,” said Levitt, “but I’m engaged in all this stuff because I care about Jews and Judaism.”

It was around precisely these questions of priorities—whether anti-Zionist Jewish movements should be motivated at their deepest level by concern about Jews, or about Palestinians—that the Assembly of Jews became to some extent factionalized. At one end of the spectrum were Jewish Anti-Zionist Network leaders who argued that Jewishness was relevant to the group’s mission primarily to the extent to which it could be used strategically in the public-relations battle over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—and that to center their own identities much beyond that would, ironically, become another vehicle for Jewish self-obsession.

“Lots of successful movements have found resources and inspiration in spiritual and cultural work, and none of them have mistaken spiritual and cultural work for the movement itself,” said Sarah Kershnar, one of the Jewish Anti-Zionist Network’s founders. “The reason we pushed back on identity being the central place to act from is it sometimes lacks that connection with what’s really happening in the world.”

That reasoning went down well with some participants, particularly older ones who, in many cases, described themselves as red-diaper babies or as having been alienated from an older and more conservative iteration of the Jewish world for decades over anything from politics to sexuality.

At the other end of the spectrum were those who hewed more closely to Levitt’s view. They got their havdalah service on the Assembly’s program (though everyone else left the conference center before it began) and led workshops on “Jewish Anti-Zionist Spiritual Reclamation” and “Reclaiming Ashkenazi Cultural Spaces From a Zionist Agenda.” But tensions repeatedly surfaced, at public discussions and behind the scenes.

“It’s startling how much easier it is to bring my politics to Jewish spaces than to bring my Jewishness here,” said a participant active in the Boston minyan scene who wanted to remain anonymous because she hopes to apply for Hebrew school teaching jobs. “The organizers kept asking, ‘What is the material benefit this will have? How is this going to end Zionism?’ And it was like, we don’t want to justify why we pray.”

For those who left the Assembly of Jews with mixed feelings, the conference may ultimately have connected them less to the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network than to a nascent, nameless network of similarly minded young people. Interested parties passed around sign-up sheets for non-Zionist Yom Kippur retreats and hatched an idea to participate in the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement to isolate Israel by selling their own, emphatically Diaspora-made, Jewish ritual objects.

A few days after the Assembly ended, some participants who had stayed in town for the Social Forum held a non-Zionist Shabbat dinner along Detroit’s waterfront. And almost immediately, they encountered a challenge: One of the few other Jewish contingents at the Social Forum had come from Hashomer Hatzair, a socialist Zionist youth movement. How to integrate the two groups while giving the anti-Zionists the Shabbat they had been promised? The event’s coordinator crafted a text message that she hoped would address the concerns of Assembly folk while also engaging with their Zionist colleagues.

“As most Jewish spaces marginalize the voices of non- and anti-Zionist Jews, this space will privilege the voices of those Jews,” she wrote. But, she added: “All are welcome.”


There is one very special reason why Ireland is a hotbed of antisemitic propaganda against Israel and Jews in general, because let us be quite clear, Israel is SURELY the only Homeland of the Jewish people, which Rob Harris in this otherwise excellent essay does not cover.

This reason is the absence in Ireland of a revolutionary socialist party which is based on true socialism, and based especially on a reading and an understanding of the great Leon Trotsky´s efforts in approximately his last ten years to understand the Jewish issue in the world.

Rob Harris does not cover this at all but it is the key issue, otherwise we are talking about objective conditions and not taking into account the subjective factor.

To put this another way, why are the Palestine Solidarity Campaign able to move at will around Ireland, with their abnoxious system of protest, based essentially on antisemitism, and the answer is that they are never challenged in any way

The website run by Mark Humphries is excellent in its way but there is no concept there of creating a revolutionary socialist party in Ireland, in fact Mark is against such a concept, being for capitalism, and hoping for libertarianism.

As much chance of libertarianism coming out of capitalism in crisis as in the 1930s.

The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign is allowed full freedom to spread its abnoxious message and cast about its deforming brew because when it runs up against characters like Joe Higgins, to name but one, they find he is on the same general platform.

I have always maintained that 2 things have been well and truly hidden, both of which are of enormous importance and relevance

1. That Leon Trotsky, who many will agree was the continuator of the tradition of Lenin against Stalinism, was in the last 10 years of his life making enormous changes in Marxist precedent on the Jewish issue. Leon Trotsky was determining that the Jews were a nation, an ancient nation, and that they deserved to have a Homeland, not in Uganda mark you, but in Zion. So I throw it right into the face of Higgins and these wretched people of the Palestine Solidarity grouping, Leon Trotsky was in fact a Zionist, a Zionist of a very different kind, a Zionist from the standpoing of revolutionary socialism


2. The second major thing that is hidden is the historical fact, very easily proven, already proven by Francisco Gil White, that the founder of the modern fatah and hamas was none other than Hajj Amin el Husseini, the Arab bigot from this Palestine geographical area, who played a HUGE role in the Holocaust.


Both these are absolute dynamite. Rob Harris does not see this nor do others who write from that bourgeois standpoint.

All the same this is wonderful work by Mr Harris and we encourage him to intensify his efforts.

Allied in Anti-Semitism – the Irish Connection

Posted by Rob Harris on Jun 18th, 2010 and filed under FrontPage. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed. 



[Editor’s note: This is the first installment of a four-part series. Click the following to read Part II, Part III, and Part IV.] 

Many may be aware that the pro-Palestinian movement in Ireland played a particularly significant role in the Gaza flotilla incident as well as previous attempts to penetrate the Gaza blockade. After the death of nine on board the Mavi Mariner, there was a very substantial fallout with the Irish Government which prompted my letter to Minister for Foreign Affairs Michael Martin. 

Tensions remained high throughout that week due to the delayed approach of the “Irish” ship, the Rachel Corrie, which was in itself something of an international incident. Martin is continuing to agitate against Israel. He called again at a European Union gathering for an international enquiry into the Gaza flotilla incident. On the June 15th, he requested that the Israeli Embassy remove a member of staff due to suspicions that Irish passports were used by Israel in the killing of Hamas’ Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January. However, he said their investigations had not discovered any links with Israel and the staff member being expelled is not suspected of wrongdoing. He asserted Israel’s involvement was an “inescapable conclusion” as the passports were used by the same group who forged British and Australian passports. 

After the capture of the Rachel Corrie, it was disappointing to hear Israeli representatives state in the media that they considered the members of the ship to be human rights activists in contrast to the crew of the Mavi Mariner. This sentiment was repeated by Benjamin Netanyahu, who took the unusual step of making a statement to the Irish media released via the Israeli Embassy in Ireland on June 7th

Yesterday, the entire world saw the difference between a humanitarian flotilla and a hate flotilla by violent, terrorism-supporting extremists. … Only on one ship, on which dozens of thugs from a terrorist organization – or, to be more precise, an extremist, terrorism-supporting organization – had prepared in advance, armed with axes, knives and other ‘cold’ weapons were our soldiers compelled to defend themselves against a tangible danger to their lives. According to the information currently in our possession, this group boarded separately in a different city, organized separately, equipped itself separately and went on deck under different procedures. In effect, they underwent no checks. The clear intent of this hostile group was to initiate a violent clash with IDF soldiers. … This is a continuous process that enemies of Israel have been orchestrating for years in order to deny Israel’s right to defend itself. It began in 2001, with an attempt to arrest Israeli officers abroad, and continued in 2004 with similar attempts. Then there was the Goldstone report, which was born after Operation Cast Lead.  This process continues today with the attempt to prevent Israel from stopping the smuggling of missiles and rockets into Gaza. 

I agree with Netanyahu’s statement, but with one important exception. The opening line describes the Rachel Corrie as being part of a “humanitarian flotilla.” In the latter part, he seems to be associating the Turkish ship alone with an international movement to prevent Israel from defending itself. While I understand he wants to emphasise the difference between the Rachel Corrie and the Mavi Mariner, this is drawing too much of a distinction. The spirit of the pro-Palestinian movement in Ireland is very far from “humanitarian,” as I will illustrate.I don’t take any pleasure in bashing my fellow countrymen, but I have to say with some regret that Ireland’s impact on Israel has been extremely negative, particularly in recent years. The conduct of the Irish participants of the Gaza flotilla and the behaviour of their allies leads only to this conclusion. This has origins in the history of the Irish state. 



Ireland never had a large Jewish population – at its height, they numbered 5,000, mainly descended from immigrants fleeing the Eastern European pogroms of the late 19th Century. They are just one-fifth that number today. The Irish people inherited the Roman Catholic credo of the “perfidious Jew.” There was a common Catholic fear of Jews, Communism and freemasonry. Anti-Jewish sentiment was also very common in Irish trade unionism and amongst the working classes as in many other parts of the Western world. Jews were seen as economic aliens who exploited the Irish people as moneylenders, and as labourers preventing Irish workers from obtaining employment. 

These negative stereotypes were inherited by many in the Irish republican movement which was as strongly tied to Catholicism as British Unionism was associated with Protestantism. Arthur Griffith, the founder of Sinn Fein, was notoriously anti-Semitic. He supported the most serious episode of violence towards Jews in Irish history, the Limerick Pogrom. This was a two year boycott of Jewish businesses, organised by a priest, Fr. John Creagh, in 1904, although there had been intermittent protests and attacks since 1884. The small Jewish community fled Limerick, never to return. Griffith asserted, “When Catholics – as Catholics – are boycotted, it constitutes undoubtedly an outrageous injustice, and similarly, if Jews – as Jews – were boycotted, it would be outrageously unjust. But the Jew in Limerick has not been boycotted because he is a Jew, but because he is a usurer.” His claim of just boycotting moneylenders is false, since the great majority of the Jews affected were, in fact, tradesmen, shop keepers, and tailors. It clearly echoes the “not because they’re Jews but because they’re Zionists” pro-Palestinian stance of today. 

Some IRA members, such as the high ranking Sean Russell, collaborated with the Nazi’s. Many were interned during the war. Writer and IRA member Francis Stewart assisted the Nazi propaganda machine in Berlin. He was an overt anti-Semite who never regretted his role in the Third Reich. He was elected leader of Aosdána (an elitist government-funded arts group which boycotts Israel) in 1996. There was never any real confrontation with the vicious anti-Semitism of mainland Europe, and so, Ireland remained surprisingly unsympathetic even after the Holocaust. Only a tiny number of Jewish refugees were granted sanctuary in Ireland. By contrast, quite a number of shady individuals connected with the Nazi’s took refuge there. Even Nazi wartime propagandist, Lord Haw Haw, a Unionist who blamed the Jews for the expulsion of the British from Southern Ireland, was welcomed back (then deceased) for reburial in 1976. Sinn Fein still regard Russell as a patriot and commemorated him with a statue in 2004. 

Many in Ireland identified with the Palestinian cause, albeit mistakenly in my view, not just in moral terms but also because Irish history bears significant similarities with that of the Jews. “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland intensified in the late 1960s around the same time the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) became more active. In the 70s, Sinn Fein publicly supported the Palestinian cause and identified the PLO as kindred spirits. The IRA and the PLO became extremely close. They learnt a lot from each other (strategy and terrorist technique) and often trained together. The IRA received substantial funding and military aid from Colonel Gadafi, and also collaborated with Hamas and Hizullah. 

After Sinn Fein gained political acceptance in the 1990s, they remained extreme in their criticism of Israel. They have demanded the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Ireland and advocated boycott. Aengus O’Snodaigh (MP) described Israel as “without doubt one of the most abhorrent and despicable regimes on the planet.” When the Israeli Ambassador explained the cause of Operation Cast Lead in 2009, O’Snodaigh repeatedly compared him to Goebbels. He was one of the politicians who attempted to sail on the flotilla, but was turned away by the Cypriot authorities. 


This happenened on June 10

THE UN Security Council’s vote in favour of further Iran sanctions indicates a “confrontational approach” and Tehran will now consider its response in consultation with partners including Turkey, Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki said during a visit to Dublin yesterday.

Speaking at the Institute for International and European Affairs (IIEA) yesterday evening, Mr Mottaki said: “Unfortunately [the Security Council] has moved to a confrontational approach . . . which is not reasonable.”

Discussing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Mr Mottaki said: “Our principles in this regard are very clear – we are against nuclear weapons and we support strongly the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).”

He argued Iran had sought to have article six of the NPT, concerning disarmament, strengthened. He referred to a disarmament conference in Tehran in April, at which Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had declared nuclear weapons haram (forbidden in Islam). “But we insist on our nuclear energy,” Mr Mottaki added.

Up to 30 people, some of whom carried flags of the Mujaheddin-e Khalq, an armed opposition group designated a terrorist body by Tehran, held a protest outside the IIEA. They chanted slogans including “Death to the dictator” and “Death to Khamenei”. Two male protesters who managed to enter the event, attended mostly by diplomats and academics, interrupted Mr Mottaki’s address with such slogans, including some about execution of Kurds in Iran.

The two were manhandled by Mr Mottaki’s own Iranian security guards before garda? intervened and escorted them out.

Mr Mottaki took questions on a range of issues, including Iran’s human rights record. On the latter, he said that “allegations on human rights should not be politicised . . . there should not be double standards.” On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said: “The main question in the Middle East is why the Palestinians should pay for this crime [the Holocaust].” He said Iran’s proposal to resolve the conflict was to hold a referendum so those in the region “could decide for themselves”.

Mr Mottaki had earlier met T?naiste Mary Coughlan, whose spokesman said the meeting covered “areas of bilateral interest between Ireland and Iran, including trade issues, and had a particular focus on the development of stronger education links between Ireland and Iran”.

Mr Mottaki also met Minister for Foreign Affairs Miche?l Martin. In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said issues discussed included “human rights, Iran’s nuclear programme and the Middle East peace process”.

Colm O’Gorman, director of Amnesty International Ireland, said it was “crucial that Minister Martin uses every opportunity to raise Iran’s appalling human rights record directly with the Iranian government, and urges them to allow the UN to investigate the serious human rights abuses that are taking place”. He noted that in February, Irish representatives at the UN Human Rights Council criticised Iran’s crackdown on peaceful protests, torture of prisoners and high rate of executions.

Protesters outside threw eggs at Mr Mottaki as he left the IIEA.

Who is this Mary Coughlin and what is she talking about, areas of mutual interest between Ireland and the Fascists in Iran being for example education?

In what way can you talk about education with a Minister of Iran which believes in burying women to the waist and stoning them, all according to their basic law of Sharia?

It seems that these Irish bureacrats like Mary Coughlin are both out of their depth and also full of cynicism. Would Mary Coughlin not see herself as a Feminist?

While Coughlin was meeting this piece of human garbage another Irish person was finding the time to tell the Irish people the real score as regards Turkey

Turkey in no position to pass judgment on Gaza

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

SO Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, backed by Foreign Affairs Minister Miche?l Martin, is the new fighting force for human rights.

What a joke.

Turkey wants an international investigation into the Gaza aid flotilla raid by Israel? Turkey should undergo the same scrutiny it demands for other countries, ie, allow an international investigation into that small matter of Armenian genocide (the deaths of between one and 1.5 million people) that they have been avoiding for far too long.

Then we can move on to the thousands of political prisoners in their jails – a number that at times has topped 100,000. An independent investigation could also begin by looking into the torture and murder of political activists such as Engin Ceber. They could meet with representatives of TAYAD, the organisation representing the families of prisoners. They would no doubt be fascinated that there are more than 1,500 children in prisoners on “terrorism” charges like the 12-year-old they arrested in 2008 for singing a Kurdish folk song.

Their regime is a racist illegitimate entity based on the oppression of the Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians and numerous others.

So by all means let the Turkish regime wrap itself in the banner of ‘human rights’ and it will surely turn into a noose to strangle them.

Margaret O’Brien
Ha Noar 26

Read more:


We on 4international believe the answer to the above question is no!

Only if Israel takes independent military action against the Iranian Nuclear Bomb can it be saved. To place the safety of Israel in the hands of the US and of the Saudis is very wrong strategy.

This is how DEBKAfile sees it:

Ex-CIA chief Hayden: Military action against Iran “seems inexorable”
DEBKAfile Special Report July 25, 2010Ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden said Sunday, July 25, that during his tenure (under President George W. Bush), a strike was “way down the list” of options. But now it “seems inexorable” because no matter what the US does diplomatically, Tehran keeps pushing ahead with its suspected nuclear program.
Talking to CNN’s State of the Union, Gen. Hayden predicted Iran would build its program to the point where it’s just below having an actual weapon. In his view, “That would be as destabilizing to the region as the real thing.”
debkafile’s sources take this as affirmation that neither Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf states nor Israel will be willing to live on constant edge with an Iran which can build nuclear bombs or warheads whenever it likes. They note that Hayden has added his voice to a growing number of leading American figures and publications which have indicated in the past fortnight that the military option against Iran has climbed the top of President Barack Obama’s list of priorities.
According to our Washington sources, the US president switched course after hearing Saudi King Abdullah assert explicitly: “We cannot live with a nuclear Iran.”
Abdullah added he no longer believes diplomacy or sanctions will have any effect and made it clear that if the Americans continued to back away from direct action to terminate Iran’s advance on a nuclear bomb, the Saudi and its allies would go their own way on the nuclear issue.
Today, therefore, the White House is no longer willing to countenance Iran’s nuclear development advancing up to the threshold of a weapons capacity and stopping there.  And since Tehran will never cede its prerogative to determine every stage of its nuclear program without outside interference, the only option remaining to the United States is military.
(This radical change in the Obama administration’s outlook was examined in depth in the latest DEBKA-Net-Weekly issue 454 published July 23.)
debkafile’s Washington sources add that the White House was finally brought to the point of seriously considering military action against Iran, as Gen. Hayden noted – not as a result of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s efforts at persuasion – which failed, but because of the Saudi ruler’s ultimatum. 
The Middle East can therefore expect far-reaching military shifts and redeployments in the coming weeks -but Israel is not likely to gain any kudos for this new development because it has lost considerable traction under the incumbent government.


On 4international we believe that it is most unlikely that US intelligence could have been taken in by Amiri. Consider the possibility then that they were not taken in for one moment. What conclusion then has to be drawn. That the US elite and the Iranian Fascists are playing a game, that it is a pretence that they are opposed to each other. the conclusion is that the US will allow Iran to get the Bomb, that it does not worry at all about a strike against Israel because the US elite is antisemitic and is opposed deep down to Israel anyway

Follow this story about this strange character Amiri drom DEBKAfile

US and Israel fear Iranian nuclear test this year
DEBKAfile DEBKA-Net-Weekly July 19, 2010
Shahram Amiri’s heroes’ welcome raised suspicions

Shahram Amiri’s voluntary repatriation to Iran and a second close look at the nuclear data he passed to the CIA are raising grave doubts about its value, debkafile’s intelligence sources report. There is mounting suspicion in Washington and Jerusalem that Tehran employed the scientist to strew red herrings in their path, namely, out-of-date material for concealing and misdirecting their attention from the rapid progress taking place secretly in Iran’s nuclear program.
A high-ranking intelligence source in Washington remarked Monday, July 19, that he would not be surprised “if we woke up one morning to find the Iranians had conducted an underground nuclear test.” This was not to say Iran had a bomb or nuclear warhead ready packed for delivery, he said, “Only that it was a lot closer to this option than the Americans and Israelis had been led to believe.”
Therefore, as of now, their forecast of a nuclear test capability has been brought forward to within the five months remaining of 2010.
Our sources report this revised forecast has emerged from US intelligence analysts’ examination of two new premises regarding Amirir’s input in the years he served as US informant:

1. That he was an Iranian double agent and his apparent defection to the United States just over a year ago was fake, engineered by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).
2.  That Shahram Amiri, the nuclear scientist, was a made-up identity. After he landed to a heroes’ welcome in Tehran last Thursday, July 15, Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi said:  “Shahram Amiri is not a nuclear scientist and we reject it.

Another Iranian official called him a clever spy who had managed to infiltrate US intelligence and deceive them for years.
As DEBKA-Net-Weekly 453 revealed on July 16, Amiri’s work with the CIA did not begin in 2007but three years earlier in 2004.

The following is a short excerpt from that issue:
Many moves made by the administrations under George W. Bush and, since January 2009, Barack Obama, were based on the information and documents that Amiri provided.
If Amiri was a double agent planted by the MOIS, then Tehran had been able to manipulate these policies and anticipate their course.

Even if real nuggets were mixed in with the false data – a common ruse for making false intelligence appear credible – it still meant that Iran’s leaders controlled the flow of factual information to the West and were in a position to change it in good time – so that when Amiri was asked by his US handlers to amplify on a piece of real information, it was no longer valid; Iran had moved on and created a new set of facts, unbeknownst to the Americans.

A striking example of this tactic was the secret enrichment plant in a mountain near Qom, which became the subject of a dramatic joint appearance on Sept. 25, 2009 in Pittsburgh by President Obama, French president Nicolas Sarkozy and George Brown, then British prime minister.
The US president’s knowledge was based on data Amiri had relayed to the United States.
Throwing down the gauntlet, the US president gave Iran a two-week ultimatum to come clean on its hidden facility.
In fact, the Qom facilities had been dismantled six months earlier and relocated to a spot never revealed to this day. When the IAEA inspectors turned up, they found empty tunnels.
That is why nothing more was ever heard of the US president’s ultimatum.

Only in recent months, have US and allied agencies begun to appreciate that this technique of misdirection allowed Iran to pursue its nuclear and missile programs out of sight of spies and monitors. While the West and Israel relied on Amiri to keep them abreast of Iran’s activities, nuclear development work went forward at still unknown locations and may have progressed a lot further than is suspected in the West.


The position of Mr Ken Timmerman on a Spanish radio show (Talk Radio Europe, Stephen Gilmour show 8 to 11 pm) just last Friday was that the US should get behind the protest in Iran against Ahmadinejad.

We on 4international are 100 per cent behind the protests and the movement against Ahmadinejad and we wish to do everything in our power to help.

But that is not the point made by Ken Timmerman. He was taking the line that in order to stop Ahmadinejad getting and using Nuclear Bombs it is necessary to have a revolution against the Mullahs of Ahmadinejad


Of course a revolution would be good but YOU CANNOT ASK JEWS TO WAIT AND HOPE FOR THE SUCCESS OF THAT. To my mind saying that adds up to me using a very strong word indeed. That word begins with a and contains s.

There is only ONE WAY! That is for Israel to be prepared to use all of the force that it has and to attack with all of its power, regardless of all consequences, because these consequences are NOT the concern or responsibility of Israel.




But then a reader may ask? Can Israel do this on its own without America? The answer is two fold

1. Yes it can. Israel can strike Iran with full force without America

2. Turn the question around: Israel can not do this with America because America is holding Israel back

This was the peculair thing in the game that was being played out in the interview I heard between Steven Gilmour and Ken Timmerman on last Friday night.

At no time was it even mentioned that the US Government under Bush, and now a thousand times more, under Obama has been holding Israel back, even by threats



What are these kinds of people actually playing at? What IS their game?

I mean this really is not rocket science. If I type these words into google:

“US holding israel back from striking iran”

The first 4 entries on google, usually the most important, indicates that the US is holding Israel back.

Why does Gilmour and Timmerman not raise this as a vital point? I repeat FOR THE THIRD TIME what is their game?

The entry from respected Asia News has this on the google blurb, in other words it is sitting there without even clicking on the article itself:

18 Feb 2010 It seems clear that the administration of US President Barack Obama never will use force against Iran, At best, Israeli efforts could set the program back a year or so. …. See Israel should heed Obama’s warning not to strike Iran

Repeat for Timmerman and Gilmour taken from above google inquiry


A year ago I spoke to Gilmour on air and I raised issues of the wish of Iran to make chaos in the world as part of their weird religious belief that some figure was going to emerge to lead them to world Islamic power

Gilmour did not laugh in my face but he did laugh at me in his own way when I hung up. He said he had been giving me enough rope to let me hang myself

That turned me completely against Gilmour and his ways. Why was he not straight to my face when I was on air and speaking in a reasoned manner with him. And argue the issues out openly to my face.

What is this business about “enough rope to hang myself”?

That is so absurd! We were discussing Iran getting the Nuclear Bomb and their threats made against Israel, and hence the danger of another Shoah (or Holocaust) 

After that in many discussions over many months with Peter Eyre of Palestine Telegraph (courtesy by the way of the owner of the radio station, a prominent Dublin jewish man called Maurice Boland) Gilmour fought on an opposite tack completely, that Iran was no threat. That it was all empty propaganda.

But Timmerman, who despite what I say above does understand the Iranian nuclear intentions, pointed out ON FRIDAY LAST that Iran will be able to hit all of Europe, including Spain, with Nuclear weapons

In the meantime Gilmour found time to issue a libel writ against me which I was not prepared to fight because of my knowledge of the reactionary British Libel Laws, and most importantly I do not have the time, because I firmly believe that the lives of 5 or 6 million Jews are in danger, and I wish to devote my life to trying to stop that.

Back to the present although these issues are connected:

It is so wrong for Timmerman to talk about Israel holding off and seeing if the opposition in Iran can help Israel. Israel and Jews can save their own skins only by acting independently. If they wait for anybody else to help them they are sunk. Is that not the history of the Jewish people over 3000 years?

We live in a world which is dominated by antisemitism and by nations looking after their own self interest.

It is just very unfortunate, very sad, that human society in this cut throat imperialist capitalist world is set up in this way.

But if Israel does not stop BY FORCE Iran, its minions in Hamas and Hizbullah, now backed openly by Syria and Turkey, with all of the Arab World still full of Jew Hatred, then Israel will be destroyed.

The worst of all enemies lie on the fascist left…that is those who call themselves “socialist”, what a joke that is!

Look back over the articles posted here on 4international. We have repeatedly said that Iran was preparing rapidly the Nuclear Bomb and that the lives of millions of Jews were threatened.