Morning Star: Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites welcome

September 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm (anti-semitism, apologists and collaborators, Civil liberties, conspiracy theories, Cross-post, fascism, genocide, Human rights, Racism, Russia, stalinism)

By Andrew Coates. Cross-posted from Tendance Coatsey

The Morning Star, Britain’s ‘Communist’ paper publishes in its print-edition today a page written by Holocaust denier, Israel Shamir.

Above: Israel Shamir

It begins,

Who’s behind Pussy Riot? An unholy alliance of big business and media barons…” Shamir observes,

Pussy Riot’s two-year sentence is quite in line with prevailing European practice. For much milder anti-Jewish hate talk, European countries customarily sentence offenders to two to five years of prison for a first offence.

We have already blogged on this.

Isreal Shamir’s concern about sentencing for anti-Jewish actions is far from a co-incidence.

In his many articles on the Holocaust ‘revisionist’ site Entre la plume et l’enclume he has shown great interest in the ‘Jewish question’. Recently Shamir cast doubt on the innocence of Captain Dreyfus.

This is a sample of his opinions (Wikipedia):

“In an essay published on his website discussing Holocaust denier David Irving, Shamir wrote that “the Jews” now “rule over the minds and souls of Europeans””

David Irving was sentenced for denial of Jewish superiority. His doom seals the reign of (albeit limited) freedom that began with the fall of Bastille. European history went full circle: from rejecting the rule of Church and embracing free thought, to the new Jewish mind-control on a world scale. Not only is Western Christian civilisation dead, but even its successor, secular European civilisation, has met its demise only a few days after its proud and last celebration by the Danish scribes. It was short-lived: about two hundred years from beginning to the end, the Europeans may once have had the illusion that they can live without an ideological supremacy. Now this illusion is over; and the Jews came in the stead of the old and tired See of St Peter to rule over the minds and souls of Europeans.[34]

Shamir claims his concern with the Holocaust is with the use of the narrative of the Holocaust by Jews to promote Jewish “superiority and exclusivity”,

It has everything to do with the Jewish claim of superiority and exclusivity. There is a Jewish prayer saying: “Bless you, Lord, that you created me a Jew, that you separated between Jews and the earth folks, like you separated between the Holy and Profane, that our fate is not like their fate”. The Holocaust concept is just another form of this prayer. They say that even their death is not like the death of anybody else.[42]

This is how the Guardian described Shamir last year,

an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier

And,

His latest book, in Russian, is called is called How to Break the Conspiracy of the Elders of Zion.

The Morning Star, a place where Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites are welcome.

34 Comments

  1. Sarah AB said,

    Terrible – the article no longer seems to be available on the Morning Star website by the way.

  2. Andrew Coates said,

    Richard Bagley the Editor of the Morning Star has posted an explanation of how they came to print this article – not far off your suggestion Rosie – on Tendance Coatesy. I imagine that they’ve realised how serious this is, and that’s why it’s been removed.

  3. rosie said,

    Glad that they removed it. As Jim says on your site, that really is crossing a line.

  4. Jim Denham said,

    Good that the article has been removed from their website, and all credit to you, Andrew, for raising the issue. But the article still appeared in today’s print edition so I think we should press for a formal, public statement and apology from the Star.

  5. Andrew Coates said,

    I am also still concerned.

    I bought the Morning Star in Moseley this afternoon (after visiting Moseley Bog) and the full implications are only just sinking in. They give Shamir’s Web address, so somebody must have seen what he’s like.

    His Blog even has a section attacking the ‘Double Loyalty of Jewish Marxists’ notably, and at length, Tony Greenstein!

    Yes, this should not be dropped.

  6. Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    So can someone post an image of the page?

    The editor’s response is utterly inadequate and I think there should be serious effort to ask trade unions why they are funding a publication which can print an article by one of the world’s better known anti-semites.

  7. Nick Wright said,

    In my view it was an error to have reproduced the Shamir material.
    But it was clearly an error conditioned by a lack of vigilance in the highly pressurised working environment of producing daily paper with limited resources.
    What is highly revealing is the way in which the Star’s critics – from quarters that are notoriously tolerant of islamaphobia and zionism – interpret this as malign intent and symptomatic of anti-Semitism.
    I am absolutely sure that the AWL’s cheerleaders will be able to find any number of Labour Friends of Israel to sign an open letter designed to weaken the Star’s links with trade unions.

    • Monsuer Jelly More Bounce to the Ounce said,

      please fuck the fuck off. and die.

  8. Steve Silver said,

    My Morning Star turned into an Evening Star yesterday and I didn’t read my copy until early evening when I was contacted by someone asking me if I had read the Shamir piece. I think it was a good thing that Andrew raised this.

    Since then I’ve been in contact with the editor, Richard Bagley and this is the statement that is going in tomorrow’s paper:

    “A NUMBER of you have raised concerns over the decision to reprint an article by Israel Shamir on the Russian band Pussy Riot that appeared in the weekend’s Morning Star.
    The paper would like to reassure readers that the piece was syndicated from Counterpunch in good faith without knowledge of the author’s background.
    We would like to reiterate the paper’s commitment to publishing writers who reflect and remain steadfastly committed to the values of anti-racism, anti-fascism, international solidarity and social justice that the paper has campaigned for ever since its establishment.
    It remains guided by those goals and will seek in future, wherever possible, to establish the full biography of writers before publishing their work.
    In the meantime the Morning Star would like to distance itself from the opinions of the author of the piece, which do not reflect our position or those of the wider movement.
    We apologise wholeheartedly for any distress caused.”

    • Monsuer Jelly More Bounce to the Ounce said,

      pathetic. utterly pathetic.

  9. SteveH said,

    So here we have another limit to free speech, this time the left restricts itself only to those with the correct track record. (which is reasonable).

    But contrast this this with your positive support of free speech where it offends and incites Muslims.

    • sackcloth and ashes said,

      And normal service has been resumed.

      If you’re going to openly a Strasserite, then say so. I can see your kind having a lot in common with that scumbag and KGB toady Shamir.

  10. Rob said,

    Amazed a so called Socialist newspaper cannot see anti semitic new nazi

    Morning Star will be smug with its insights into politics & others shortcomings

    how ironic

  11. Jim Denham said,

    SteveH: this has nothing to do with seeking to “limit free speech.” Who’s called for the Morning Star to shut down or prosecuted? Who’s threatened the editor or staff? Who’s even sayng that the views expressed in Shamir’s article should be suppressed?

    All we’re saying is that it’s a disgrace that a supposedly “left wing” (indeed “Communist”) paper should republish such an article (which has in any case already appeared elsewhere), and we’re suggesting that the genuine left should protest about it.

    Do you *really* not understand such an elementary distinction?

    Frankly, I find it difficult to believe that even you are quite such an idiot.

    • Andrew Coates said,

      Jim says it all: we are protesting at the fact that the Morning Star, a socialist newspaper (we might disagree about its ideas on socialism), funded by unions (including our own), has published Shamir, a man with a record of anti-Jewish views as bad as a you could get.

      How anybody could see this as an attack on ‘free speech’ when the man has numerous vehicles for his opinions, from the openly fascist Entre le plume et l’enclume to the formerly left-wing Counterpunch, is beyond me.

  12. Jim Denham said,

    Roger: here’s a link to the now-deleted electronic version (thanks to Google cache):

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:63sR0air5BwJ:www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/124190+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    And here’s the what the article says:
    **************************************************************

    There’s a method to this madness

    Friday 21 September 2012 (electronic edition)

    Israel Shamir

    Who’s behind Pussy Riot? An unholy alliance of big business and media barons, says

    They may be universally admired, and even promoted as superstars, but how exactly to describe Pussy Riot?

    A rock or punk group they are not. As one British journalist has marvelled, they produce no music, songs or paintings. How then can they be described as “artists?”

    This has been a severe test for their supporters but they’ve passed it with flying honours.

    That famous lover of the arts, the US State Department, paid for their first ever single and which has been edited by The Guardian newspaper into a montage of Pussy Riot members and their supporters.

    As a great admirer of Notre Dame des Fleurs by Jean Genet, who combined both, I can stomach obscenity and blasphemy. But Pussy Riot never wrote, composed or painted anything of value at all.

    Hell-bent on publicity, but artistically challenged, the group filmed themselves using a frozen chicken as a dildo, called it “art” and uploaded it online. Their other “artistic achievements” include filming an orgy in a museum and a crude representation of an erect prick.

    Even in these dubious pieces, their role was that of technical crew – the glory went to Russian-Israeli artist Alexei Plutser-Sarno, who claimed the idea, design and copyright for himself and collected a major Russian prize along the way.

    The future Pussy Riot members got nothing and were described by the artist as “ambitious provincials on the make” or worse.

    More recently Pussy Riot have tried to ride on the bandwagon of political struggle and that was another flop.

    They mouthed a torrent of obscenities against President Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s Red Square and in underground stations, with zero effect.

    They weren’t arrested or fined, just chased away as a nuisance. And their activities attracted no attention.

    It’s important to remember that Putin is an avowed enemy of Russian oligarchs, owners of the major bulk of Russian media and bankrollers of the Moscow literati and they print so much anti-Putin invective on a daily basis that it’s lost its shock value.

    You can’t invent a new diatribe against Putin – it’s already been uttered and published. And Putin practically never interferes with the freedom of the press.

    Foreign journalist friends are usually amazed by the unanimity and ferocity of the anti-Putin campaign in the Russian media. It can be compared with the attacks on George W Bush in the liberal papers in the US, where many conservative papers supported the ex-president.

    But Putin has practically no support in the mainstream media, all of it owned by media barons. A valuable exception is TV, but it is expressly apolitical. So Pussy Riot signally failed to wake up the beast.

    Eventually the young viragos, willing to do anything for their bit of publicity, were mobilised for an attack on the church. That campaign started quite suddenly a few months ago, as if by command. The Russian church, recovering after the communist period, was surprised by the ferocity of the assault.

    After the collapse of the Soviet Union the church remained the only important spiritual pro-solidarity force in Russian life. The Yeltsin and Putin administrations, preaching and practising social Darwinism of the neoliberal kind, were as materialist as the communists.

    But the church offered something beside elusive riches on Earth and Russians who had lost the glue of solidarity previously provided by the communists eagerly flocked to the ecclesiastical alternative.

    Because the church had a strong anti-communist tendency, the government and the oligarchs treated it well – they were still afraid of the Reds leading the dispossessed.

    The church flourished, many beautiful cathedrals were rebuilt and monasteries came back into activity after decades of decay. The newly empowered church became a cohesive force in Russia.

    And as it grew stronger, the church began to speak for the poor and dispossessed. The reformed communists, led by the churchgoing Gennadi Zuganov, discovered a way to speak to the believers.

    The future, it seems, belongs to a new paradigm of Red Christianity, a project which threatens the elites. Besides, the Russian church took a very Russian and anti-globalist position and this probably hastened the attack.

    As Russia entered the World Trade Organisation and adopted Western mores, it had to adopt secularisation too. Thus the Russian church was attacked by forces that do not want Russia to be cohesive – the oligarchs, big business, the media lords, the pro-Western intelligentsia of Moscow and Western interests which naturally prefer Russia divided against itself.

    Anti-religious fervour was high among the liberal opposition that demonstrated against Putin before the elections and needed a new horse to flog.

    A leading anti-Putin activist Viktor Shenderovich said he would understand if Russian Orthodox priests were slain like they were in the 1920s. “Exterminate the vermin,” shrieked Igor Eidman, another prominent liberal figure.

    Pussy Riot’s supposed organiser Marat Gelman, a Russian-Jewish art collector, has been connected with previous anti-Christian art actions which involved icon-smashing and constructing imitation churches out of enemas.

    His – and Pussy Riot’s – problem was that it was difficult to provoke the reaction of the church, even after two attempts to provoke public indignation in Moscow’s Elochovsky Cathedral.

    Both times they were expelled but not arrested. Yet the third time they tried harder. In Saint Saviour Cathedral they engaged in blasphemy of the most obscene kind and still they were allowed to leave in peace.

    Police tried their best to avoid arresting them but they had no choice after Pussy Riot uploaded a video of their appearance in the cathedrals, accompanied by an obscene soundtrack.

    During the trial, the defence and the accused did their worst to antagonise the judge by threatening her with the “wrath of the US” and by defiantly voicing anti-Christian hate speeches. The judge unsurprisingly found them guilty of hooliganism, with religious hate as the motive.

    The prosecution did not charge the accused with a more serious hate crime of intent to cause religious strife, though it probably would have stuck.

    Pussy Riot’s two-year sentence is quite in line with prevailing European practice. For much milder anti-Jewish hate talk, European countries customarily sentence offenders to two to five years of prison for a first offence.

    Though it may be unique that Russia applies hate crime laws to offenders against the Christian faith, that proves that it cares for Christ as much as the French care about Auschwitz and this shocked the Europeans who apparently thought “hate laws” could only be applied to protect Jews and gays.

    The anti-Putin opposition embraced the Pussy Riot cause, trying to turn it into a weapon against the president and the Western media joined in the fray.

    A Guardian editorial called on Putin to resign and President Obama called for clemency for Pussy Riot.

    The government was embarrassed by the affair but it was left with no choice. The invisible organisers behind Pussy Riot needed to have the group jailed – and they succeeded.

    Commercially, they hit the jackpot. With the support of Madonna and the US State Department, they are likely to leave jail ready for a world tour and photo opps at the White House.

    They’ve registered their name as a trade mark and begun to issue franchises. And their competitors, the Femen group – whose art consists of flashing their boobs in unusual places – tried to beat Pussy Riot by chopping down a large wooden cross installed in memory of Stalin’s victims. Now the sky is the limit.

    The Pussy Riot trial may have provided entertainment in August, the silly season for news, and hopefully it will now drop from the agenda.

    But do not bet on it.

    This article first appeared in Counterpunch. Israel Shamir blogs at http://www.israelshamir.net

  13. Jim Denham said,

    Well worth following the comments over at Tendance Coatsey, including the Morning Star editor’s totally inadequate “apology” and an attempt by a M Star supporter (one Nick Wright; see also comment #7 above)) to deflect criticism by going on about “Zionists” and supposed conspiracies by the AWL and Labour Friends of Israel… desperate stuff.

    This guy even criticises Andrew Coates for lacking the standards of “political literacy” that would be required of a Morning Star sub-editor. This from a supporter of a paper that’s just published the Shamir article, and apparently had no idea who he is until it was drawn to their attention!

    Our Rosie gives the obvious, but necessary riposte.

    http://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/morning-star-publishes-holocaust-denier-israel-shamir-on-pussy-riot/#comments

  14. Monsuer Jelly More Bounce to the Ounce said,

    V. I. Lenin, ‘Political Agitation and “The Class Point of View”’ [Iskra, No. 16, February 1, 1902], in Lenin Collected Works, Vol. 5 (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1961), pp. 337-343.

    Here is a sample:

    “What does our ’intellectual’, frivolous crowd that instigates and applauds the Stakhoviches care for the affairs of our sacred orthodox faith and our time-honoured attitude towards it?”… Once again, so much the worse for you, gentlemen, champions of the autocracy, the orthodox faith, and the national essence. A fine system indeed our police ridden autocracy must be, if it has permeated even religion with the spirit of the prison-cell, so that the “Stakhoviches” (who have no firm convictions in matters of religion, but who are interested, as we shall see, in preserving a stable religion) become utterly indifferent (if not actually hostile) to this notorious “national” faith. “… They call our faith a delusion!! They mock at us because, thanks to this ’delusion’, we fear and try to avoid sin and we carry out our obligations uncomplainingly, no matter how severe they may be; because we find the strength and courage to bear sorrow and privations and forbear pride in times of success and good fortune….” So! The orthodox faith is dear to them because it teaches people to bear misery “uncomplainingly”. What a profitable faith it is indeed for the governing classes! In a society so organised that an insignificant minority enjoys wealth and power, while the masses constantly suffer “privations” and bear “severe obligations”, it is quite natural for the exploiters to sympathise with a religion that teaches people to bear “uncomplainingly” the hell on earth for the sake of an alleged celestial paradise. But in its zeal Moskovskiye Vedomosti became too garrulous. So garrulous, in fact, that unwittingly it spoke the truth. We read on: “… They do not suspect that if they, the Stakhoviches, eat well, sleep peacefully, and live merrily, it is thanks to this ’delusion’.”

    The sacred truth! This is precisely the case. It is because religious “delusions” are so widespread among the masses that the Stakhoviches and the Oblomovs,” and all our capitalists who live by the labour of the masses, and even Moskovskiye Vedomosti itself, “sleep peacefully”. And the more education spreads among the people, the more will religious prejudices give way to socialist consciousness, the nearer will be the day of victory for the proletariat —the victory that will emancipate all oppressed classes from the slavery they endure in modern society.

  15. Monsuer Jelly More Bounce to the Ounce said,

  16. Andrew Coates said,

    The ‘clarification’ published in today’s Morning Star is in a small box and is the same text as already cited. A reply: http://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/morning-star-clarification-over-shamir-article/

  17. Chris Brennan said,

    Jesus Christ, I am a massive Shamir fan, but I can’t help thinking that anybody who looks so much like a Nazi propaganda Jew should keep their head down

  18. SteveH said,

    On free speech, the limit here is that only those with the appropriate message can deliver it within any movement. So the corporate media can pretty much exclude anti capitalists, Marxists etc but give voice to the Littlejohns of this world and various business leaders. Communists can refuse to give a platform to anyone it considers outside its acceptable limits, in case the faithful become offended. These are all limits to free speech. Just allowing free speech doesn’t get round the problem that some have more free speech than others. To paraphrase the old attack on the USSR, everyone is free just some are freer than others.

    I am not really against any of this (though I would imagine free speech to have a different character under a classless society) I am just arguing why it is yet another limit to free speech, which shouldn’t be idealised but brought back to Earth, where it can be judged for what it is and not what it is in theory.

    The problem I have is that you lot really pay lip service to free speech. The only time you stand up for free speech is when it coincides with your beliefs, eg attacking Muslims. You never bring up the defend free speech argument when someone you don’t like is attacked. The only conclusion I draw from this is that when you defend the film makers who made the anti Islamic film you were actually supporting the message and not just free speech. I just don’t believe you really believe in free speach if I am honest.

    And free speech will always have limits, due to it being a result of long historical development and consultation and negotiation. As Engels said in his attacks on Bakunin,

    “[According to Bakunin], every individual and every community is autonomous, but as to how a society, even of only two people, is possible unless each gives up some of his autonomy, Bakunin again remains silent.”

  19. Jim Denham said,

    Gibberish.

  20. SteveH said,

    My gran says that algebra is gibberish, I ask her to be patient and try and learn, as I ask you.

    I will just repeat the pertinent bit so not to muddle your head,

    The problem I have is that you lot really pay lip service to free speech. The only time you stand up for free speech is when it coincides with your beliefs, eg attacking Muslims. You never bring up the defend free speech argument when someone you don’t like is attacked. The only conclusion I draw from this is that when you defend the film makers who made the anti Islamic film you were actually supporting the message and not just free speech. I just don’t believe you really believe in free speach if I am honest.

    • sackcloth and ashes said,

      Fuck off Steve, you Swanker twat.

  21. Sarah AB said,

    “The only time you stand up for free speech is when it coincides with your beliefs, eg attacking Muslims.”

    Steve – you are being daft. This isn’t about free speech. Here is a link to me (in comments) defending the right to deny the Holocaust.

    http://hurryupharry.org/2012/09/22/a-man-for-all-seasons-but-especialy-this-one/

    Here is a link to a piece I wrote against anti-Muslim stuff in the Mail.

    http://hurryupharry.org/2012/03/29/it-must-be-true-i-read-it-in-the-daily-mail/

    For me – and I assume most other commenters – my threshold of what is acceptable is much lower WRT mainstream media than internet/blog stuff where I think you ought to be able to say pretty much what you want. And if it’s a paper or whatever aligned with your own politics – you are going to be still more touchy.

    • Monsuer Jelly More Bounce to the Ounce said,

      smearing links from extreme right -wing webshites does not make a good case for anything

      • sackcloth and ashes said,

        ‘One forty nine’.

  22. Jim Denham said,

    SteveH: all contributors and (as far as I can judge) most commenters at Shiraz are consistently in favour of free speech, and I have repeatedly made the point that it only counts for anything when it’s applied to those you disagree with. Therefore I’m against state bans (for instance) on holocaust denial.

    That does not mean, of course, that I think it’s OK for a supposedly left-wing publication to publish the work of a holocaust denier.

    That clear enough for you?

  23. Israel shamir said,

    Why should holocaust deniers, or Christ deniers, or even the Prophet deniers be silenced? What sort of freedom deniers are you?

    • Monsuer Jelly More Bounce to the Ounce said,

      fuck off nazi idiottic cuernt and well weirdo with it. probably a peedo as well.

  24. paul maleski said,

    The illusion of free speech is a centuries old jewish con-trick.
    If you want to know where real power in Western Democratic Society sic. is to be found: Think about who and what you cannot criticize? If the degenerate, talentless, caterwauling wannabees ‘Pussy Riot’ performed in a Russian Synagogue, (almost all of them survived the Bolshevik Revolution, unlike Christian churches and the priesthood); mocking diablolical Khazar jewish Rabbis, ridiculing get rich quick murdering, thieving Oligarchs, deviant Dual-Citizen infested Hollywood etc.; you can bet your last bent shekel: Radio Judeo 4 would have had a collective nervous breakdown, Spielberg would be head-butting the Wailing Wall yelping no more Zyclon B, whilst the Free Press would have come down on them like a ton of bricks. I am sure that Saatchi, Yentob and their ilk will offer these God fearing Freedom Fighters lucrative, noisome employment.

  25. Triangulating Nigel Kennedy | Engage said,

    […] ones, homes, futures to the Nazis. Because Yaron Stavi is chummy with all of them. And because the Morning Star hasn’t resembled a genuine communist paper for […]

  26. josephinebacon said,

    Why do you say that the blatant antisemitism does not make the Morning Star a true communist newspaper? Communism was all about antisemitism, Stalin was a rabid antisemite and it was quite normal, when my daughter lived in Russia in the 1980s, to insult anyone who looked Jewish quite openly, it happened to her. Antisemitism was all-pervasive under Communism and nothing has changed. Why shouldn’t they deny the Holocaust, with the Slansky Trial and the Doctors Trials, the purges of Jewish intellectuals, the Russians conducted their own Holocaust in miniature.

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