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Jan 2004 Journal

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New year, new challenges (editorial)

In the December 2003 issue we featured a letter about Lady Diana Mosley from her nephew Patrick Guinness which shows the breadth of our readership. What it also demonstrates is the inability of liberal-minded Westerners to grasp the full extent of evil. The writer is a sensitive person capable of empathising with his refugee father-in-law's pain. However, his comment that his aunt did not personally kill anyone hardly chimes with Lord Moyne's (and others') testimony - as revealed in Public Record Office documents - that she outdid even her husband in blind fanaticism. Alas, 60 years on, evil - and its driving forces, blind dogma and lust for power - are still abroad in the world.

Nowadays the CDU deputy Martin Hohmann peddles antisemitic poison evoking Germany's bloodsoaked past. The Jews, he demands, should stop bleating about the Holocaust because 'they' instigated massacres during the Russian Revolution - which made them Täter (perpetrators) with the same degree of culpability as Second World War Germans.

Hohmann's argument is thoroughly mendacious. Of course, individual Jews (Trotsky, Zinoviev) cannot be absolved of guilt for post-revolutionary bloodshed, but they were not acting under the instructions of a Jewish government - because no such institution existed! In fact, in Bolshevik Russia the Communist Party's Yevsektsia (Jewish section) comprised Jewish zealots who closed down synagogues, seminaries and Hebrew printing presses with inquisitorial zeal. One would have to accept the veracity of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to conceive of a secret Jewish government issuing directives to its subjects throughout the world.

Sad to relate, an updated version of the Protocols recently appeared in the New Statesman: an early November 2003 issue fingered the United States as the power behind the Russian oligarchs on whom President Putin was currently cracking down. Richard Perle allegedly used the oligarchs as instruments for America - and Israel (!) - gaining power in Russia by proxy.

The inclusion of Israel in this demonology shows the extent to which right-wing antisemitism and left-wing anti-Americanism currently overlap and interpenetrate one another. Truly, les extremes se touchent!

A similar perverse reciprocity operates in France, where the arsonists who destroyed a Jewish school near Paris could equally well have been Le Pen supporters or Muslim extremists (though the almost simultaneous outrages against Istanbul synagogues tilt the balance of probability in the Islamist direction). In France another paradox operates too. Although the Gaullist Chirac has taken a consistent stand against antisemitism, Gaullist foreign policy has for decades worked to the detriment of Israel. In the mid-1960s France stopped supplying Israel with arms in its hour of dire need; in the early 1980s she built the Ozirak nuclear reactor for Saddam (which the Israeli air force, on Begin's orders, destroyed), etc.

In the long run (or as the Romans put it, sub specie aeternetatis), fine distinctions between extreme Leftism, Neo-Nazism and Islamo-Fascism will blur - with all hate-imbued 'isms' being subsumed within the one all-embracing category of pure evil.

Just as the fictitious Protocols of the Elders of Zion emanated from nineteenth-century Russia, so did the first literary depiction of evil incarnated in a political personage: 150 years ago the extreme anti-Tsarist revolutionary Sergei Nechayev murdered one of his own supporters for wanting to forswear violence - a grisly event which prompted Dostoevsky to write his great anti-revolutionary philippic The Possessed (or The Demons).

Since then, the spirit of Nechayev has taken demonic possession of countless individuals. Pol Pot murdered a million Cambodians he considered insufficiently radical. Algerian Islamists caused the deaths of thousands of Muslim fellow countrymen helplessly caught up in the struggle between themselves and the army. Similarly, last November's attacks on Istanbul synagogues killed more Muslims than Jews.

Western Liberals who cannot fathom the degree of evil motivating certain small sections of society should look around carefully. Close examination will reveal such latter-day Nechayevs as George Galloway, who called the collapse of the Gulag-sustained Soviet regime 'the saddest day of my life,' and the anti-Iraq War organiser Andy Murray, who habitually refers to North Korea (the closest approximation on earth to Orwell's 1984) as 'People's Korea'.

With peace-lovers like these around, Mars looks an attractive proposition.

next article:Under Nelson's blind eye