The anniversary of 9/11 is a good time to reflect on one of the growing alliances in modern times; the far-right in Europe and beyond and hardline Zionism. Its most extreme form was expressed by the Norway killer Anders Breivik. He “loved” Israel because the Zionist state is constantly fighting, killing and demeaning Arabs and Muslims.
Jeff Sparrow writes that fascist groups are increasingly hitching on the anti-BDS bandwagon, expressing devotion to Israel and hatred of Muslims. Where is the Jewish establishment, political mainstream and Zionist community? Perhaps being a “friend of Israel” trumps all else:
As Michael Brull noted here a few weeks ago, the anti-Max Brenner protesters have been widely denounced as Nazis.
Paul Howes, Michael Danby, Andrew Bolt, Gerard Henderson: have all joined in a very public campaign that draws a line between the Brenner protests and Fascist anti-semitism.
It’s certainly true that, throughout Australia, fascists are increasingly taking an interest in the Max Brenner rallies. But here’s the thing: they’re not supporting the protests.
They’re supporting the stores.
The newest face of what’s euphemistically-called the ‘nationalist community’ is an outfit called the Australian Protectionist Party. The APP was formed by Mark Wilson, a former organiser of the fascist British National Party, who emigrated to Australia in the 1980s. One of the APP’s most active members is Nicholas Hunter-Folkes. He was formerly the administrator of a charming Facebook group called ‘F**k off, we’re full’. More recently, however, he launched a new Facebook event entitled ‘Protest Against the Mad Marxists': essentially, a counter-rally in support of the Sydney Max Brenner shop.
“The hardline left, radical Muslim and student groups have been campaigning for the closure of any business with links to Israel,” he explains, “[…] The left totally ignore the aggression and agenda of the Islamists in the Middle East and also in Australia.”
Another prominent APP leader is Darrin Hodges, a long-time racist activist. Joe Hildebrand once identified Hodges as the semi-anonymous poster on the Nazi Stormfront site explaining that: “I’m more interested in the purer form of fascism… and while I don’t subscribe to the whole ‘worship Hitler’ thing, his comments on multiculturalism and politics in general are still just as relevant today as they were 70-odd years ago.”
Not so long ago, Hodges distinguished himself on the ABC’s Q&A show complaining about Camden being invaded by Muslims.
On Stormfront, the poster identified by Hildebrand as Hodges argued that Hitler’s writings “still have much relevance …” Now, Hodges too, has created a Facebook event urging protests in support of Max Brenner counter protests.
Hodges’s page is in the name of the Australian Defence League. The ADL is another far-right grouplet that, like the APP, draws its inspiration from Britain. Over there, the English Defence League, a group with well-documented fascist connections, has become notorious for sending shaven-headed boot boys into areas with large Muslim populations, while, a few days ago, photos leaked of EDL members posing, military-style, with all kinds of weapons.
In Melbourne, the ADL has tried holding EDL-style marches but fortunately without much success.
Now, it has also made support for Max Brenner a priority.
The right in Israel might have its own reasons for welcoming fundamentalist Christian Zionists and German racial populists and the rest of the crackpot crew who have decided that they can surf the Islamophobic wave into respectability. But it’s a hop, skip and a jump from the tropes of the new Islamophobic bigotry to those of old-style anti-Semitism, and what’s good for Israel might very well have disastrous consequences elsewhere.