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23 November 2019


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yes indeed, as your actual words in this comment were longer than the ones in the prior, the rest being an extensive quotation from some academics.

Richard Ong

I very much doubt that Prof. MacDonald is unaware of divisions or distinctions between Jews or that he believes they respond like schools of minnows on all issues. Too, I'm sure he would agree that "very many" or "quite a few" Jews engage in the behaviors he is trying to illuminate. One can note the behavior and attitudes of Barbara Lerner, Sheldon Adelson, David Gelbaum, Sandra Bernard, Emanuel Celler, AIPAC, the HIAS, the SPLC, BB, the ADL, and the Board of British Deputies without embracing the stupidity of "all Jews."

Babak Makkinejad

The word that irks is "irrelevan".

If our views are so irrelevant, then why are you here?

"Soukof the Jewery"? So you are Zionist, and do't like what you hear? Tough!

David Habakkuk

Barbara Ann,

There is a lot here around which I am still trying to get my head.

To illustrate the fact that it is nonsense to see Jews as monolithic, it may be helpful to hark back to two pieces by Benjamin Schwarz which I have found helpful.

In May 1995, he published a piece in the ‘Atlantic’ headlined ‘The Diversity Myth’; the sub-heading read: ‘The hortatory version of our history, in which America has long been a land of ethnic tolerance and multicultural harmony, leaves us with nothing useful to say to the failed states and riven polities of the post-Cold War world.’

(See https://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/politics/foreign/divers.htm )

A central claim he was making, I think it was fair to say, was that, historically, the unity of the United States had come from the imposition of an ‘Anglo’ culture by a self-confident élite.

He argued, in essence, that resistance to confronting the difficulties of ‘multiculturalism’ at home led to an inability to psychological resistance to confronting the realities of ethnic and religious conflict abroad.

In January 2016, Schwarz published an article about Britain in ‘The American Conservative’, headlined ‘Unmaking England: Will immigration demolish in decades a nation built over centuries?’, which had useful things to say about the backlash against ‘multiculturalism’ and so the background to the ‘Brexit’ vote that June.

Unfortunately, the version available on the website leaves out both the second part of the headline, and all the discussion it provoked, so one needs to go back to that on the ‘Wayback Machine.’

(See https://web.archive.org/web/20160115052926/https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/unmaking-england/">https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/unmaking-england/">https://web.archive.org/web/20160115052926/https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/unmaking-england/ .)

As I pointed out in my comments, the article was excessively ‘Marxist’, in its discussion of the background to the ‘New Labour’ enthusiasm for unrestricted immigration, but and I also wanted to qualify his – in general rather good – portrayal of the late Enoch Powell, who I actually met a couple of times.

This also brings up a rather important difference, in you have always been a ‘settler’ society, while we historically have not. (This is not said to approve our condemn, in either case.)

In a ‘settler’ culture, a ‘second identity’ is natural, in a way that, historically, it simply was not here.

To cut a long story short, the outcome, over here, is a bizarre polarisation

On the one hand, we have a very active, not to say strident, ‘Jewish community’, partly I think modelling itself on its American counterpart, which is trying to hold on to two patently contradictory positions.

It insists that to be a be a Jew is to belong to a ‘people’, whose central history is of ‘exile’ from, and return to, their ‘homeland’ in Palestine, while also claiming that it is ‘anti-Semitic’ to suggest that ‘dual loyalty’ may be an issue.

But, on the other, there is an extensive body of people, wholly or partly of Jewish ethnic origin, whose lives are inextricably intertwined with those of non-Jews, and who have an extraordinary variety of attitudes to their own Jewish roots, the countries from which their forbears came, the complexities of the culture of the host country, Israel, etc etc.

Where, as often, such people have no desire at all to identify with the version of Jewish identity put forward by the likes of Rabbi Sacks, a common response is not to attempt to assert an alternative version of that identity, but simple to move further away from it.

Diana C

Very funny! Thanks!

Babak Makkinejad

"Neo-cons" again? What about the Balfour Declaration? What about the relious ideas that causes a Welshman to change his surname to a Hebrew prophet rather than a Percy-Jones?

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

I think this illustrates the difficulty of making generalisations about Jews in different places,

It is certainly not true here that all people of Jewish origin and ethnicity are enthusiastic Zionists.

See my response to Barbara Ann, above.

Diana C

Thank you for this. I will read it as I find time.

I pronounced the O.E. as I heard my Volga German grandparents pronounce German. My professor liked my pronunciation better than that of the other students' pronunciation since they had little foreign language experience.

Even in Middle English there were Germanic influences--despite the Normans' influence. One I recall is from Canterbury Tales when Chaucer described some people were were not very delicate in their eating habits as "fressen" rather than "essen." She turned to me to enlighten the rest of the class about the difference.

Diana C

I hope you get this, as I am coming back to the thread late.

The Volga Deutsch and Black Sea Deutsch were not "expelled." They left on their own illegally. As for my family, my great uncle had been taken into the last Czar's army--which was against the agreement that had brought them into Russia under Catherine the Great. He ended up in a Japanese prisoner of war camp for a year until Teddy Roosevelt brokered the peace between Russia and Japan. The army allowed him to return for a while "on leave." By then, the Bolsheviks were already coming down the Volga and causing chaos in the villages. Our German farms were the ones taken over by the communists for their factory farming and communal farming experiments.

The Germans who did not get out in time were sent to Siberia. I helped my Grandmother and Great Aunt write a few letters to her at one time when Russia allowed them through.

There are several very good books available from the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia on the history of my ethnic group--who came to America and gladly became Americans.

Babak Makkinejad

I had qualified my statement by "almost". In US, the non-Zionists are derided as "self-hating Jews". I have never met an Iraian Jews that had not imbibed Zionism: they were soft-Zionists.

Babak Makkinejad

I think Pakistanis are more of a threat to the cultural coherence of the settled English culture than the Zionist Jews with their divided loyalties, as you state. Intermarriage, in my opinion, is the only way forward.


Unfortunately, Zionism has done wonders to create anti-Semites where none previously existed. God help the Jews if American support for the Zionist project ever were to weaken.

For the record: I am NO anti-Semite.

David Habakkuk


As ever, I find your explications of matters to do with Israel extremely illuminating.

A very great many of the most interesting Jews here have always ‘married out.’ Sometimes this was because refugees came from assimilated or assimilating families, and simply did here what in other circumstances they would have done in their native countries. But there were all kinds of other reasons – among other things, people often married spouses they met at work.

The effect though is that there are a great number of people for whom Jewish origins are important, but who do not belong to any kind of ‘Jewish community’ – which tends to become more isolated and out of touch with the surrounding society.

At the same time, the gap between the conditions of life in Israel and those over here, always wide, gets wider.

It may be that there is actually a kind of desperation between Rabbi Sacks injunction to be ‘ambassadors for the State of Israel.’ I think the last thing a lot of young people of Jewish origin want to do is to cast themselves as alien in this way.

David Habakkuk

Diana C, EO:

Similarities between dialect English and German were the subject of one of the poems that Thomas Hardy wrote during the First World War. It opens:

‘I walked in loamy Wessex lanes, afar
From rail-track and from highway, and I heard
In field and farmstead many an ancient word
Of local lineage like “Thu bist,” “Er war,”

“Ich woll”, “Er sholl”, and by-talk similar,
Nigh as they speak who in this month’s moon gird
At England’s very loins, thereunto spurred
By gangs whose glory threats and slaughters are.’

(See https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57339/the-pity-of-it .)


@ BabakM

Actually, as an American, I'd venture that most Americans today probably don't know about those past distinctions. Americans are notoriously unconcerned with history, even quite recent history, except perhaps in parts of the South and Massachusetts. That historical interest may have diminished even in those regions today.

Meanwhile, there is a national mythology of glorious progress, welcoming all comers, which simply overlays the prejudices and resentments of the past.

Mathias Alexander

Yes I am white.
If European civilization (or any civilization) is a matter of ideas and not of genetics then all the white people in Europe could be replaced by black people and the civiliztion would still be the same as long as they had the same ideas.

Babak Makkinejad

That is fine, only a foreigner, evidently, knows US history better than an American. Haing forgotten the more unattractive aspects of the Past is quite common elsewhere in the world too.

Babak Makkinejad

You are wrong.


Of course, those that constitute the British media couldn't care less about British people but they care very much about Israel. In reality Israel is very unpopular in Britain so attacking Corbyn for being anti Israel is a big own goal. If the Israeli embassy were a bit smarter they would highlight the IRA angle.

For the record the Anglican church has always been very pro Palestinian.

David Habakkuk


What I was talking about was one kind of crap producing another. It is absolutely fair comment that the application of modern ‘victim culture’ to Jews, which is actually the responsibility of ‘Anglos’ as well as Jews – the notion that hostility to them is always and invariably a matter of irrational prejudice – is BS.

And the point of my post was quite precisely to argue that the behaviour of large sections of the Jewish élites in both the United States and Britain is destructive for everyone, up to and including themselves, and it is causing a very great deal of extremely unsurprising resentment.

(If I was David Brooks, I would not be keen on sending young American men from ‘flyover country’ to fight unwinnable wars, while having no objections to my own son serving in the Israeli, rather than American, armed forces. That again seems to me a clear case of ‘incitement to anti-Semitism.’)

But then, one of my central objections is to all kinds of ‘totalitarian’ thinking, which treats groups – be they Jews, Germans, Muslims, Americans, Brits, or whoever – as though they were monolithic wholes.

Among what I find particularly insufferable about Rabbi Sacks is quite precisely the fact that he has had the infernal arrogance to imply that, for instance, Marc Bloch or Osip Mandelstam were not Jews. Rather more serious consideration might have told him that the positions of Jews, and their relations with non-Jews, have been very different in different places at different times.

What counts is ‘local knowledge.’

You write:

‘A couple of war heroes and a personal anecdote prove nothing.’

Do you know any Jews from Britain? As it happens, my SWMBO and I have quite a lot of relevant ‘local knowledge’. So, I was mentioning a tiny fraction of a very large sample we have known, some very well, over a rather long time, ranging from erstwhile members of the German and Czech ‘haut bourgeoisie’, to people from the East End of London (many of them.)

The sample includes some of the admirable people we have known, some of the most contemptible, and a lot in between.

As it happens, the last thing which Peter Stern suggested was that he was some kind of ‘war hero.’

As to Peter Ganz, in the light of your somewhat roseate view of what happened on the Eastern Front in 1941-5, I suggest you might usefully dip into the 2011 study ‘Soldaten: On Fighting, Killing and Dying – The Secret Second World War Tapes of German POWs’ by Söhnke Neitzel and Harald Welzer’. It is based on the tapes that Ganz and others like him recorded, at Trent Park and elsewhere.

Having done so, what strikes me as interesting is that he was not anti-German – and nor indeed was Peter Stern.

This brings me to your suggestion that:

‘Here DH (hereafter You) have misrepresented the ideas he has spent the last quarter century developing.’

As I have already made clear, I think that a good deal of Macdonald wrote he wrote in response to a silly triumphalist account by Sletzkine is cogent.

However, the piece to which I linked made it absolutely clear that Macdonald is every bit as much in the grip of ‘totalitarian’ thinking as Rabbi Sacks.

What I learnt from Peter Ganz and Peter Stern is that there were always many different Germanies.

Unfortunately, it is clear that this is not something Macdonald is prepared to concede – or rather, he denies the legitimacy of any but the rather grim ones he likes.

So the sentence which I quoted reads:

‘Slezkine cites Heinrich Heine as a prime example of a Jewish intellectual with sincere and tender love for German culture, but the Germans, from Wagner to von Treitschke to Chamberlain and Hitler, didn’t see it that way.’

As it happens, Houston Stewart Chamberlain was not German at all, but a self-hating Englishman, who wanted to be German, of a certain kind – the Wagner/Treitschke kind. And then becomes material that, while I have only qualified belief in the self-evident virtues of ‘Anglo’ culture, it just happens to be my own culture.

So, you must understand, I am not very keen on Chamberlain. (In ill-tempered moments, I might indeed say ‘traitor.’)

Let us then see who else is given the same treatment that Rabbi Sacks gives to Bloch and Mandelstam.

Obviously, the gentle genius of Robert Schumann, some of whose greatest songs are settings of Heine, is excommunicated.

And what can one say about Friedrich Nietzsche? This deplorable human being – clearly a traitor to the ‘Volk’ – started out as an acolyte of Wagner. Later, he changed his mind, declaring Offenbach (a Jewish refugee from Germany to France, who converted to Roman Catholicism!!!???!!!) the appropriate antidote. Also, you might read Nietzsche’s tribute to Heine in ‘Ecce Homo.’

And then, Macdonald suggests that Hitler should also be seen as the representative of the ‘true’, ‘real’, ‘authentic’, Germany.

As you may, or may not, be aware, there was this entity known as the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I had a rather complicated history, and the relations of Germans, and Jews, as well as other peoples, from its territories, with people elsewhere are not exactly a simple story of black and white.

This brings me on to another figure whom Macdonald has, implicitly, excommunicated, the novelist Thomas Mann. Among other things, he was the author of a classic German statement of what many in the country felt they were fighting for in the First World War, the ‘Reflections of an Unpolitical Man.’

He also had a Jewish wife. However, his radical change of view, towards support for the Weimar Republic, was decisively shaped by a concrete event: the assassination of Walter Rathenau in June 1922.

It was actually the Jewish industrialist Rathenau who had kept the German military-industrial machine functioning, in the face of the British naval blockade. After the war, he had taken on the ultimate poisoned challenge, the role of Foreign Minister.

Unfortunately, the last thing the German High Command wanted to do was to accept their – quite large – share of responsibility for their country’s defeat. So, they enthusiastically embraced the ‘stab in the back’ myth.

And one of the ‘StratCom’ experts the ‘Reichwehr’ hired to disseminate it was a – somewhat traumatised – veteran called Adolf Hitler. And he enthusiastically embraced the notion that the German defeat was really the responsibility of ‘the Jews.’

In the event, he also radicalised the ‘geopolitical’ thinking which had shaped the war aims defined by figures like Ludendorff in the later period of the war.

If you want, I can supply more references for this.

A key point, however, is that Hitler had spent his war fighting forces from the British Empire. Unsurprisingly, he had been impressed by the fact that Germany had ended up fighting a coherent ‘Anglosphere’ – which came to include the decisive presence of the United States.

What Hitler concluded – see the ‘Zweites Buch’ of 1928 – was that Germany needed to conquer ‘Lebensraum’ in the East.

One key presumption being that the Slavs could be treated as the Americans had the ‘Red Indians.’ Supposedly, it was only the diabolically clever Jews who could prevent the – slavish – Slavs receiving their just deserts, so creating a situation where Germans could face Americans on equal terms.

(I do not much like Timothy Snyder, any more than Rabbi Sachs or Kevin Macdonald, but a 2017 piece entitled ‘Hitler’s American Dream: The dictator modeled his racial campaign after another conquest of land and people – America’s Manifest Destiny’ – is I think to the point.

See https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2017/03/nazi-germanys-american-dream-hitler-modeled-his-concept-of-racial-struggle-and-global-campaign-after-americas-conquest-of-native-americans.html .)

However, precisely as Peter Ganz and Peter Stern taught me, the fact that, at a time of great crisis, Germans did come to see Hitler as their ‘representative individual’ did not mean that ‘Anglo’ Germanophobes were right in seeing this as representing a fundamental truth about German culture, a direction in which it had been heading for centuries.

Likewise, the stupid abuse of the ‘cult of the Shoah’, to use Babak Makkinejad’s term, does not justify turning it on its head, and inverting a kind of silly – ‘Disneyland’ one might say – drama of Jews as eternal victims so it reverts to something close to Hitler’s vision, which destroyed Germany.


That's what the Satmar Rebbe has been saying that Zionism and the creation of the Zionist Israeli state is an affront to Heaven and to the Nations, and because of it, endangers Jews world wide with hatred against them that did not exist before. The Zionist State of Israel is doing to the Palestinians exactly what the Nazi SS did to Jewish old men, old women, and children. Herd them like cattle and use their rifle stocks to knock them down into the dirt, and if they rise and show independence, the IDF shoots them down like dogs, and there is little to no legal action taken against them. It was just a Palestinian, who cares is their attitude and actions. Thing is that Heaven is watching, and they're going to pay a heavy price for it, when Heaven decides enough is enough and takes action.

English Outsider

Babak - the reason I don't buy your civilisational clash is simply because I don't see it. I do see an ideological clash getting under way but I see it as being within the West. There's always the possibility on that that you are the wise man and I the fool.

On the points you touch on above -

1. I don't know how much it's permissible to stretch the term neocon from its specifically American meaning to cover those loosely referred to as such outside the States. Not much, to judge from Wiki -

"Historically speaking, the term "neoconservative" refers to those who made the ideological journey from the anti-Stalinist left to the camp of American conservatism during the 1960s and 1970s.[4] The movement had its intellectual roots in the Jewish monthly review magazine Commentary, edited by Norman Podhoretz and published by the American Jewish Committee.[5][6] They spoke out against the New Left and in that way helped define the movement.

Well, that's not a definition that'll serve for Johnson or Mogherini even though their actions, as far as their more limited capacities allow, are potentially as vicious as those of the American neocons. But words have a habit of running free from their original or specialist meanings so it's not too much of a stretch. "Mini-neocons", perhaps?

And Macron and his mates don't want to be that mini either -


But if we need another word the concept itself is not limited to a specific area or time. The settlement of large numbers of Jews in the Holy Land, were it done today, would certainly be regarded as a neocon venture now whatever the right term was then. Vice-President Biden in 2013 -


2. As for names, they've been taken out of the Old Testament here since the conversion of England. Not my fault. I put forward powerful arguments for Outsider infants to be given such names as Hereward or Aethelstan or Ethelfrida, but they were firmly and repeatedly ruled out of court by SWMBO. Such is fate.

Hereward would have been good though, given what May and Johnson did with Brexit. Looks like the freedom fighters of today are in for the long haul too.

Don't mention any of this last to the Colonel. His forefathers beat up Hereward & Co. something cruel and he still refuses to discuss reparations.



And then they took the heiresses. So I have both Norman and Saxon blood.

Babak Makkinejad

You are raised not to see this religious clash across civilizational boundaries.

The war over Palestine, which even the United States with all her powers cannot bring to an end, has lasted long enough to make it clear that the Balfour Declaration was the equivalent of Urban II call for a Crusade, but this time by Protestants.

Babak Makkinejad

Very valiant effort at untangling all of these threads of historical process. But Chamberlain was only articulating a very common attitude towards Jews in Europe. Thete once was a magical country called Germany that Prussian Germans destroyed.

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