The Livingstone Formulation is as old as Stalinist antisemitic anti-Zionism

Rudolph Slansky was the Stalinist leader of post war Czechosolovakia who ended up being deposed in an antisemitic purge and accused of Zionism and bourgeois Jewish nationalism in 1952.  Slansky’s confession was written by the antisemites and beaten into him:

 “I deliberately shielded Zionism by publicly speaking out against the people who pointed to the hostile activities of Zionists and by describing these people as anti-Semites so that these people were in the end prosecuted and persecuted. I thus created an atmosphere in which people were afraid to oppose Zionism.”

 From pp.145-6 of Colin Shindler’s new book “Israel and the European Left”.  The source Shindler gives is the Jewish Chronicle, 28 November 1952.

some background on the Slansky trial from Stan Crooke.

More on the Livingstone Formulation.

NB some more examples of the Livingstone Formulation and some interesting discussion in the comments box here

NB an article about the Livingstone Formulation from z-word is here

[from Dave R]

5 Responses to “The Livingstone Formulation is as old as Stalinist antisemitic anti-Zionism”

  1. Janine Says:

    I recently read ‘The Confession’, by Artur London, survivor of the Slansky trial. I’d recommend it – not just as an insight into Stalinist anti-semitism, but as a reminder as to why it is as important to be anti-Stalinist now as it was then.

  2. NIMN Says:

    It is a sad fact that if one were to explore the origin of alleged ‘criticisms’ of Israel that cross the barrier between criticism of Israeli policies and politics and antisemitism (such as the one above), one will find their existence in the ideologies of both of the main totalitarian movements of the 20th century (and before).
    One need only see the resemblance to many comments about Israel today that were an integral part of the antisemitism in Poland in the late 1960’s. Likewise, the re-emergence in the US of threats to US Jews (as ‘aliens’, as ‘fifth columnists’ who are ‘dragging (someone else’s) country into war’ (see Tonge’s recent comments)) is to be found in the history of the far-right (as well as some elements of the ‘anti-war movements’ of the past (ranging from the Crimea and Boer wars to Vietnam).
    If it is ever true that there is nothing new under the sun, it would seem that antisemitism (and strands of anti-zionism) fits that maxim in all respects.

  3. Misc « Poumista Says:

    [...] anti-Zionism, antisemitism: Rudolph Slansky and the Livingstone formulation. The fall of Communism and the rise of [...]

  4. hasan prishtina Says:

    It would be interesting to examine the arguments made by Soviet (and Soviet satellite) antisemites under the guise of anti-zionism and their pedigree in the West. I suspect that Livingstone was just the broadcaster of a canard well-established in the British far left.

    As far as I am aware, the Sejm and the Volkskammer apologized for the antisemitism of the anti-zionist campaigns. There are some respects in which Western legislators are found morally wanting.

  5. Ricky Says:

    In 1945 Franz Stangl – the Commandant of Sobibor & Treblinka found a safe haven in Syria. Other senior Nazis found refuge in Iraq, Eqypt, Iran & Yemen. Through the War, the spiritual leader of the Palestinian people – the Mufti – was a welcome guest of Hitler in Berlin.

    Today, their influence is alive and well in the culture of brutality, judeophobia and doctrinaire anti Zionism perpetuated by these regimes. Subsequently, these regimes (including Saudi Arabia) have financed a wave a antisemitic propaganda that has infected the mainstream European left (and not just the Hard Left SWP etc) so that it is now a common position amongst left wing intellectuals, universities and the chatterati to loathe “Zionism” and attack all Jews who do not comply with this object of hatred. Whilst Palestinian nationalism is ok, Jewish self-determination is not.

    Racists function best by dehumanising the hate object. Where the Nazis stripped their victims of a sense of self – by cropping their hair, dressing them in crude uniforms, name calling, removing all sense of identity – so the contemporary left wing Jew hater – refers to Zionism as a “hate” term, associating a Jewish state as “racist”, an “apartheid”, even as a “Nazi” regime that employs “genocidal policies” – deploying the same technique to dehumanise all Jews.

    It’s designed to delegitimize the Israeli state, preparing for it’s demise. It’s a trick that has infected left wing politics to the extent that it’s leadership can promote a man like Livingstone to run for Mayor in a great, culturally diverse city like London and where British trade unions can shamefully boycott Jewish/Israeli organisations in moves redolent of 1933 in Germany. It’s no wonder Jews worldwide look to Israel as a place of sanctuary.


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