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July 13, 1979 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-07-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

24 Friday, July 13, 1919

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky's Anti-Zionist Role Exposed

(Editor's note: In an ar-
ticle in the current issue
of Midstream magazine,
entitled "Bruno Kreisky
and Simon Wiesenthal,"
in which is outlined the
controversy that resulted
from the Austrian chan-
cellor's prejudice against
the Nazi-hunter and his
Documentation Center,
Robert S. Wistrich, editor
of the Wiener Library
Bulletin, exposes Kreis-
ky's anti-Zionist role and

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his antagonism to Jews
and Judaism. In that ar-
ticle, Wistrich describes
Kreisky the Jew and pre-
sents the following facts:)
The Arab terrorist
onslaught against OPEC
headquarters in Vienna
provided Kreisky with an
opportunity to polish his
somewhat tarnished image
as an international states-
man. The six terrorists, led
by the Venezuelan, Carlos
Martinez, at one point held
hostage all the oil ministers
of the OPFC countries, in-
cluding Sheik Yamani of
Saudi Arabia.
Their action was designed
to strike a blow for the Arab
rejection front by accusing
"friends of Israel" within
the Arab world, like Sadat,
of betraying the "Palesti-
nian" cause.

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Though the terrorists had
murdered three people,
Kreisky gave them free pas-
sage out of Austria. He had,
admittedly, little choice in
the matter, given the im-
portance of the hostages and
the natural insistence of the
OPEC states on saving the
lives of their ministers. But
the speed of his capitulation
(though popular in Austria
where the affair was re-
solved in time for the
Christmas festivities) indi-
cated that, as in the
Schoenau affair two years
earlier, Kreisky was an
easy target for terrorist de-
mands.
Moreover, Kreisky's
reservations about Israel
and his sympathy for the
"Palestinians" were not
lost on the PLO, whose
leader Yasir Arafat, in an
interview broadcast on
Austrian TV and sub-
sequently published in
the Arbeiter Zeitung,
thanked him for "bravely
resisting
Zionist
i
blackmail attempts."
The Arabs and the PLO
correctly assumed that
Kreisky's Jewish origins
might actually work in
their favor. Many Jews on
both the political left and
the right, having risen to
high positions have, in the

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past, tended to distance
themselves from Zionism
and any suspicion of favor-
ing Jewish interests.
In the Austrian Social-
Democratic Party — four of
whose outstanding leaders
in this century, Victor
Adler, Freidrich Adler, Otto
Bauer and Bruno Kreisky,
were all anti-Zionist, "non-
Jewish" Jews — this has
been particularly evident.
Opposition to Zionism has a
long tradition in the
theories of -the Austro-
Marxist school which for the
past 80 years has consis-
tently argued that the con-
cept of a "Jewish people"
was a fiction.
As a socialist, Kreisky
has admittedly sought to
mediate in the Middle East
conflict within the
framework of the Socialist
International. For example,
in the summer of 1975, he
tried to -organize negotia-
tions between Israeli, Egyp-
tian and Tunisian
socialists, but these broke
down after they were wel-
comed in public by the then
Israeli Foreign Minister,
Yigal Allon.
Kreisky blamed Israeli
indiscretions for the fail-
ure of the mediation ef-
fort. As a socialist, his
views on the conflict are
probably no different
from those of his col-
leagues in the Socialist
International, like Willy
Brandt, Olaf Palme, and
Francois Mitterand,
though certainly less
pro-Israeli than those of
the British Labor Party.
Kreisky, however, be-
lieves that the "Palesti-
nian" issue is the heart of
the Middle East problem,
and that Israel was
"founded entirely on land
seized from the Arabs." He
is convinced that it is im-
possible for Israel to live in-
peace until it has with-
drawn from all "occupied
Arab territories."
In more general terms he
thinks that it is up to Israel
to recognize that it is living
in an Arab world, sur-
rounded by Arab peoples,
and until it adjusts to this
reality it cannot expect to be
accepted by its neighbors.
Kreisky, therefore, coun-
sels the Israeli leaders to be
more realistic (this view is
shared by many European
social-democrats); he is
openly critical of certain
trends towards annexation
and "usurpation" of Arab
land; and he supports the
creation of a "Palestinian"
state with its own sover-
eignty alongside Israel.

All this sounds rather
moderate and reason-
able, even if its premises
are one-sided and al-
together ignore Arab re-
spcinsibilities in p6r-
petuating the conflict.
When he speaks as a
socialist, there is actually
nothing overtly anti-
Zionist (in the sense of
denying Israel's right to
exist) in his attitude.
It is as a Jew that Kreisky
becomes an ostentatious
non-Zionist, who uncon-

sciously exhibits his own
prejudices with regard to Is-
rael. Indeed he tends to
mention his own Jewish
background only in order to
defend an anti-Israeli view-
point, which in a non-Jew
might lead to the suspicion
of anti-Semitiim.
This was precisely the
tactic - he adopted' in the
Wiesenthal Affair in order
to destroy his opponent's
influence. In an interview
published in the Beirut
daily Al Anwar (Nov. 20,
1975) Kreisky was reported
as saying: "I am the only one
who can stand up to him be-
cause of my Jewish origin.
Anybody else trying to
stand up to him would im-
mediately be accused of
being anti-Semitic and
against the Jews."
Naturally such state-
ments are grist for the Arab
propaganda mill, which
sees in Kreisky one of its
most valuable Jewish allies.
In the Arab version of the
Wiesenthal Affair, Kreisky
was, for example, depicted
asstriking" a blow for all
Austrians against "Zionist"
political pressures, intimi-
dation, and attempts at de-
famation.
According to the
Arabs, the Zionists attack
Kreisky because he - has
seen through their efforts
to use anti-Nazi witch-
hunts as a diversion from
their own "fascist"
crimes in Palestine
against the indigenous
population. The Zionists,_
they say, will try to dis-
credit any politician who
favors "non-racist" and
"non-sectarian" co-
existence in Palestine.
Free Palestine in its De-
cember 1975 issue saw the
whole Wiesenthal Affair as
a Zionist conspiracy to re-
move Kreisky from office. It
quoted him as follows:
"I don't submit to
Zionism. I reject it. It is true
I am of Jewish origin and
that my family is Jewish,
but this does not mean I
have a special commitment
to the Zionist state and the
Israelis. I reject that com-
pletely."
Kreisky added: "When
the Zionists ask those of
Jewish faith outside Israel
to be bound by a special
commitment to the state of
Israel and to work for it as
though they were Israeli
citizens, they are adopting a
wrong political line which
leads to the isolation of
these Jewish citizens from
their national motherland
and leaves them forever iso-
lated in their communities."
Kreisky concluded:
"My family has lived in
Austria for hundreds of
years. There is nothing
which binds me to Israel
or to what is called the
Je -Tish 'people' or to
Zi( nism."
It is now over three years
since the Wiesenthal Affair
was swept under the carpet;
one might ask what purpose
is served by raking up a
seemingly forgotten con-
troversy. Yet in the light of
more recent events, the af-
fair assumes a paradigma-

tic dimension that with the
passage of time can be seen
in sharper -focus.
In part Kreisky himsslf
has contributed to this by
his impetuous statements
on the Mideast conflict. In a
notorious interview in a
Dutch newspaper in Sep-
tember 1979, he attacked
the Israeli Prime Minister
Menahem Begin, in what
can only be described as
anti-Semitic terms. Accord-
ing to the Austrian Chan-
cellor, Begin was a "politi-
cal grocer," a "little Polish
lawyer from Warsaw,"
whose irresponsibility
epitomized the "warped"
mentality of Ostjuden.
For good measure
Kreisky went on to denig-
rate Israel as a "police
state," and its military
capability as a "police
state," and its military
capability as "only a refined
form of banditry." Predicta-
bly condemning the "fascist
mentality" of the Israeli
right, Kreisky also made in-
sinuations about creeping
"apartheid" in Israel.
At the same time he has
consistently underlined,
the "moderate" creden-
tials of the PLO and
found every conceivable
excuse for Arab ter-
rorism. When innocent
Israeli civilians were
massacred by a PLO
death squad on the Tel
Aviv highway in March
_1978, Kreisky chose to
blame Israel's "short-
signed policy."
While energetically de-
fending the cause of Pales-
tinian nationalism, he has
not failed to point out that
Zionism is an artificial,
reactionary movement and
that the Jews, in his opin-
ion, do not constitute a na-
tion. The fact that some Is-
raeli doves misguidedly
sympathize with Kreisky's
stance does not make his
position any more palata-
ble.
In short, anti-Zionism has
become a popular substitute
for the politically unfash-
ionable and discredited
anti-Semitism -of the fascist
eta: Thus, irrespective of his
underlying motives, Kreis-
ky's attitude can only
encourage those who seek to
inflame anti-Jewish feel-
ing.
The Austrian chancellor's
emotional antagohism to
the Jewish state has helped
lend an air of cultured re-
spectability to the ravings
of those groups whose polit-
ical objective is the liquida-
tion of Israel. Kreisky may
be poles apart from the
Soviet Black Hundreds, the
pseudo-socialists of the
Arab and–Third Worlds,
from the Trotskyists, new
Leftists, - PLO extremists,
Pan-Islamic fanatics, and
neo-Nazi fringe-groups on
most international issues.
But in his militant anti-
Zionism, this last surviving
representative of _ the
Austro-Marxist tradition
belongs squarely with the
motley crusaders against
the - national-liberation
movement of the Jewish
people.

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