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Coast of Terror
Mel Gibson, anti-Semitism, Zionism and Mee

By Gavin Gatenby
Possum News Network
1 August 2006

When the Sydney Morning Herald dropped on the bed on Monday morning, Mel Gibson was spread across the top of the front page. The actor and ultra-conservative Catholic some Australians like to call “Our Mel” had levelled a torrent of anti-Semitic abuse at a Malibu traffic cop who'd pulled him over for drunk-driving. The lead story immediately below covered the latest outrages committed by the Zionist armed forces in Lebanon.

The hapless officer, Deputy James Mee, happened to be Jewish and Gibson proceeded to behave like an ignorant drunken Cossack in the lead-up to a Tsarist pogrom.

It was one of those moments when history comes alive.

Deputy Mee has been most gracious about the whole incident and helpfully explained to Associated Press that Gibson’s outburst could be put down to “booze talking”, and added: “… if you are a high-strung person, it's going to amplify that, and all the bad things are going to come out.'' Indeed.

My very own connection with Our Mel is tenuous. Sometime, probably late in 1976, a little cottage across the road from ours was used as a location for the low-budget Aussie thriller Summer City (aka Coast of Terror). Mel was a supporting actor in the movie (his first) and the garden fence he leaned on in one scene remained a minor local landmark until it was pulled down a few weeks ago. I wondered vaguely whether I should save a few of the old palings, but thought better of it. Some history should just be allowed to die quietly.

When Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ was released, many voices warned that the New Testament gore-fest had a serious anti-Semitic resonance. Some of John Howard’s favourite columnists, sensing, no doubt, a threat to the Prime Minister's all-important alliance with reactionary Catholics and Protestants, moved rapidly to Gibson’s defence. And now, mirabile dictu, here was Mel, allegedly fired up by the events in Gaza and Lebanon, proving that the warnings were correct.

Historically, fundamentalist Christianity, in its various murky shades, is the home of anti-Semitism. To these people, Jews eternally remain “the killers of Christ”. Their world outlook is so steeped in irrational mysticism they are incapable of distinguishing between an ancient ethnic group and a recently conceived political philosophy.

Jews who place trust in the recent marriage of convenience between Zionism and Christian fundamentalism are fools – and if they really believe that God ordained they should own a chunk of land on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean in perpetuity, they’re even bigger fools.

Historically, the Zionist movement has drawn its major rationale from a resilient undercurrent of ancient Christian anti-Semitism. Right from its inception it has relied on an intellectual and political symbiosis with Christian nutters.

Zionism got its first big break from the Dreyfus case. Emile Dreyfus was a fiercely loyal Frenchman from a well-off Jewish manufacturing family in German-occupied Alsace. Jews revered the French republic because the secularism established by the French Revolution abolished the link between church and state, at one stroke ending legal discrimination and protecting the right to personal belief.

Dreyfus’ hatred of the German occupation led him to become a French army officer. He studied hard, served in the artillery and was appointed to the general staff. In 1894 he was arrested as a German spy, sentenced to gaol for life in a closed military court and despatched to rot on Devil’s Island.

The French right were delighted by the verdict. The case “proved” their claim that Jews were “the enemy within”, eagerly plotting to betray France to its enemies.

Trouble was, Dreyfus was a French patriot who had been misidentified – thanks to the anti-Semitism of the investigators – as the officer French counter-intelligence knew had been selling military secrets to Germany. In reality, as was later proved, the culprit was Major Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy, a shady wastrel of Hungarian, minor aristocratic, background.

Dreyfus’ conviction and the resulting international campaign to exonerate him, ripped French society apart for years. The right’s fight to bring down every progressive secularist feature of society established since the revolution became a fight to keep Dreyfus “chained to his rock” and in it they mobilised the disparate backward elements of French society with the robust weapon of Catholic anti-Semitism.

Theodore Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement, was inspired by the ghastly Parisian mobs he had seen howling for Dreyfus blood to set course for a separate homeland for Jews. In the first entry in his political diary he wrote:

In Paris … I achieved a freer attitude toward anti-Semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon. Above all, I recognized the emptiness and futility of trying to “combat” anti-Semitism.

And from Herzl onwards, the Zionists rejected any attempt to confront and defeat European anti-Semitism as a political and social phenomena and a pragmatic adaptation to it became their main strategy for obtaining a Jewish state.

Ironically, the progressive elements in French society, including the vast majority of Jews, didn’t support the Zionist “solution”. In the Dreyfus affair they rallied around secularism, fought back against the right, and finally, they won. Catholic and monarchist reaction was defeated. Dreyfus was eventually exonerated and restored to the army in 1906. In the First World War he fought in the artillery, including in the front line.

Tragically, matters didn’t end there. European reactionaries, obsessed with the creation of mono-cultural single-religion states wanted to get rid of their Jewish minorities and the Zionists continued to campaign for a mono-cultural single-religion Jewish state in Palestine. Neither side regarded the Arabs (and Palestinians of other ethnicity) as anything other than an ignorant group of natives whose interests and aspirations were of no importance.

The breakthrough for the Zionists came when the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour (a politician who had opposed Jewish immigration into Britain) signed, in November 1917, a declaration committing Britain to the establishment of a “Jewish National Home” in the Palestine, which British-led armies had wrested from Turkey and over which Britain subsequently gained a League of Nations Mandate.

Even at this point, far-sighted Jews could see where all this was heading. The final wording of the Balfour Declaration was, for example, changed, at the insistence of Edwin Montagu, an anti-Zionist Jew and Britain’s Secretary of State for India, so that it did not commit Britain to giving the whole of Palestine to the Zionists and included a rider insisting that the rights of non-Jewish natives should not be prejudiced. It goes without saying that the Russian Social-Democratic movement, soon to take power in Russia, and which numbered several Jews, especially Leon Trotsky, among its leadership, were, in principle, opposed to the Zionist project. At the same time, Germany’s small minority of Jews remained devoted to that country, in spite of its undercurrent of anti-Semitism, and they served loyally in its armed forces.

In the aftermath of World War I, the ancient Christian madness reasserted itself in Germany through Hitler’s Nazi Party. With Hitler’s accession to power in 1933, the Zionist project speeded up immeasurably and the Nazi government, as part of a carrot-and-stick approach, encouraged and assisted Jewish emigration to Palestine. Most Jews would far rather have gone to another metropolitan country, but the Zionists saw Hitler’s terror as their greatest opportunity and exerted every influence possible to funnel them Palestine.

In the ten year period to 1939, more than a quarter of a million Zionist immigrants arrived in Palestine, bringing the Jewish component of the population of the tiny country to 30 per cent, almost double what it had been in the late 1920s. While Jewish immigration slowed to a trickle during World War II, it surged to higher levels in the aftermath of the war as tens of thousands of displaced Jews and concentration camp survivors poured into the country. From 1945 onwards the Zionists began the ethnic cleansing campaign that, by 1948, drove most native Palestinians from their homeland. In doing so, they inflicted on the Palestinians the injustices they had themselves suffered and created the historic mischief that has now turned the shores of the eastern Mediterranean into the coast of terror and is edging us all towards a third world war.

Without the stimulus provided by Christian bigotry, none of this would have happened.

Mel Gibson will no doubt grovel and make amends, but Deputy Mee was right: in obsessive obscurantists, madness lurks just beneath the surface. All it takes to bring it out is an accident, a whispered rumour, a perceived slight … or a few drinks.

Fundamentalist Christianity, like extremist Judaism and Islam, is fundamentally irrational.


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