For One Democratic State
in the whole of Palestine (Israel)


FOR One Man, One Vote



Peace with the Past

Shamir’s Introduction to Mahler Interview


Last year, the German edition of the US Magazine Vanity Fair published an interview with important German radical thinker and revolutionary Horst Mahler. Now we present you with a shortened English translation of the interview rendered by Mahler’s comrade, Markus Haverkamp – on our website . It is exciting reading! A friend of Palestine and anti-zionist, an anti-imperialist freedom fighter, Mahler is considered Public Enemy 1 by the present German regime. He is somewhat akin to Roger Garaudy, Jean Genet and Jean Luc Godard, to Carlos Ilich Sánchez and Che.

 1Mahler and Shamir in Berlin

In the late sixties he was trained in a fedayeen Fatah camp in Jordan (Genet and Godard also went there), and in the seventies he applied his knowledge as an active member of the urban guerrilla group Red Army Fraction (RAF), also known as the Baader-Meinhof group. They fought the imperialist establishment as “the fifth column of the third world”, fighting the war for Vietnam, Palestine, Bolivia. He spent ten years in jail, while his comrades Andreas Baader and Ulrika Meinhof were murdered by the prison guards. He was such a charismatic personality that even his defending lawyer (Schily) became minister of the interior and a chancellor of Germany (Schroeder).


After his release from jail he changed his far left terminology into a far right one. In his view the German and European Left had become as “jewified” as the Galilee [the official term of Israeli internal politics, meaning that Jewish priority is assured], taken over by Zionists. “Antifascism” became the slogan of pro-American and pro-Israel activists in Europe. “Antifascists” today are against Palestinians, and support US intervention in the Middle East, mass immigration and neo-liberalism.


The far right contains a staunchly anti-globalist, anti-imperialist, anti-neoliberal, anti-American and anti-Zionist nucleus. (Only very recently the pro-Zionist far right, Nazis for Israel, was formed to coincide with British National Party overtures to British Jews.) While the Left has been gentrified and has gone upmarket, rebellious working class youth are much more likely to join far right militants than a left-wing group. The leftists’ infatuation with immigrants and gender minorities also undermines their appeal to indigenous underprivileged workers.


As one learns from the interview, despite his apparent rightward swing, Mahler has remained faithful to his anti-imperialist and anti-zionist worldview. “Left” and “Right” are less important labels; it is one’s attitude towards imperialism and Zionism that counts. A denial of yesterday’s views in changing circumstances is the only way of remaining true to oneself. Likewise, Lawrence of Arabia condemned the British order in the Middle East after 1920, though he worked hard to establish it; he remained true to his love to the Arabs. De Gaulle was for the Brits and against the Germans in 1940s, and for the Germans and against the British in the 1960s, but he remained true to the cause of French independence. Thus, for us the north is cold, but the ship in the South Seas has to steer northwards to stay in warm waters.


As a Red freedom fighter, Mahler fought US imperialism, while now he identifies the Judaic Mammonite spirit of rootless capitalism as the main enemy. “Today we can see clearer what US imperialism is, and as such the enemy is the same”. Mahler refers to the larger-than-life role played by the US Jewish Lobby in defining the US policies, and to the exalted place prepared for Jews in the Pax Americana. But he looks well beyond the narrative proposed by Miersheimer and Walt: it is the Judaic Mammonite spirit that moves US imperialism, not a lobby of sorts. This is a Marxist thought: Karl Marx wrote of “Jewish spirit in control of America”. Mahler is closer to Marx’s disciple Werner Sombart who insisted that the spirit was brought over by the Jews. He does not separate the spirit from people. Here he fails to notice that the Judaic spirit may exist without a single Jew, as it was already preinstalled in some Protestant sects even among the earliest Fathers Pilgrims, and I’ve written about at length in Cabbala of Power.


Paradoxically, Mahler’s attitude to Jews fits the traditional Jewish outlook.


(1) He compares Jews with a thumb that opposes the four fingers and allows the hand to grasp things. Jewish Rabbis often offer similar comparisons proposing a special role of Jews opposing the Nations of the Earth.


(2) Mahler speaks of Jewish negativity, as opposed to the constructive role of non-Jews. Iliya Ehrenburg, a great Russian Jewish writer, expressed this sentiment in his Julio Jurenito. In this fantastic novel, published in 1923, Europe is visited by the Spirit of Destruction, embodied in the unlikely form of a Mexican itinerant philosopher. He calls the Jews ‘his best weapon’. “Aren’t Jews the same people as we are?” asked a disciple, and Julio the Destroyer replies: ‘Dynamite is not the same as cement’. Julio asks his disciples to choose one word, yes or no, and all of them – a Russian Tolstoy follower, an Italian anarchist, a French bourgeois, an American millionaire, an African savage, a German order-addict – prefer yes. Only Iliya the Jew chooses no. Nobody has yet to call Ehrenburg an antisemitic writer.


(3) Mahler speaks of eternal enmity between Jews and non-Jews. This is an axiom of the Jewish worldview: Mount Sinai is so called so because of sina [enmity, hatred] between Jews and goyim; if it is good for Jews, it’s got to be bad for goyim, and vice versa, say the Rabbis.


Thus, Mahler agrees with the Jewish worldview but from a diametrically opposing departure point. A mouse can agree with a cat that Cats and Mice are enemies, but their understanding of the reasons for their animosity may be quite different.


Nowadays, these ideas (right or wrong) are permitted to Jews but forbidden to non-Jews by ‘hate laws’. Similarly, a Jew (Deborah Lipstadt) may campaign against Jew-Gentile marriages, but a goy (her opponent David Irving) may not do so, under threat of imprisonment. Indeed Mahler is a frequent visitor in German jails. A proud man, he accepted the Judaic narrative but inverted it.


Mahler’s attitude to Jews is a violent reaction to the philosemitic indoctrination that persists in Germany, from the servile words of Frau Merkel to the Israeli parliament, to the supply of nuclear-capable submarines to Israel, to relentless Holocaust propaganda. He exaggerates when he proposes that Germany is occupied by Jews. In reality, Germany is occupied by the US troops, and this special treatment of Jews is imposed on the Germans as a sign of their integration into the New World Order.


Indeed, Mahler’s adulatory attitude towards the Third Reich and to Adolf Hitler is an embarrassment and calls for explanation. One possible explanation was provided by President Bush, who declared that “Saddam is the new Hitler”. This is affirmed by many Jewish and Christian Zionist pundits, like this. Formal logic says that this identity claim works both ways. If Saddam is the new Hitler, Hitler is a Saddam of old. If Gamal Abdel Nasser was a Hitler on the Nile, Hitler was a Nasser on the Rhine. These rebellious rulers had all challenged the Anglo-American Empire.


Iranians, Kurds or Iraqi Communists could not possibly say a single positive word for Saddam, and with a good reason. But for the Iraqi resistance fighters the name of Saddam means ‘Down with the US occupation of Iraq and down with the US-installed regime’ as I previously wrote. Mahler’s ‘Heil Hitler” means “Down with the US occupation of Germany and with the US-dependent regime”, though the Russians or Jews or German Communists would never agree with any adulation of Hitler. And indeed for many annoyed and unemployed youths it means just “Fuck you!”


Hitler was similar to Saddam even in his mistakes: both leaders sought the friendship of the Anglo-American empire and rejected bids for friendship from the Empire’s enemies, Stalin’s Soviet Russia and respectively, Khomeini’s revolutionary Iran. These mistakes turned out to be fatal for both. Apparently, Mahler did not look that far, but this is an important lesson for today’s rulers.


We may, however, understand Mahler’s words as a sign of his love for Germany and his desire for a resurrection of the German national spirit and national pride, for German independence and resistance to Anglo-American imperialism. Germans once had an excess of national hubris, but not anymore; now they probably could use a bit more of the old poison, to counterbalance the all-eroding influence of globalization. After all, the Mongols placed a statue of Genghis Khan in their capital Ulan Bator after winning independence, the French still adore Napoleon, and the Russians love Stalin. Israelis named their airport after David Ben Gurion, the Father of al-Nakba. It is obvious that these leaders are loved for what they signify today, not for their evil deeds.


We condemn the German practice of punishing positive references to Hitler by jail sentences. Germans may learn from their eastern neighbour: in Russia, one may refer to Josef Stalin approvingly and admiringly without being prosecuted. Sooner or later, nations should come to peace with their past.