Open letter to the
President of the Italian Republic
By Mauro Manno
From what I can read on Rai’s teletext
service, you are supposed to have stated:
“No to anti-Semitism even when it is
disguised as anti-Zionism” .
“Anti-Zionism entails the rejection of
the inspiring source of the Jewish state, of the reasons of
its birth, yesterday, and of its security today, beyond the
governments taking turns at Israel’s guide”.
If this is what you really thinks , and
obviously I hope that is not the case, let me tell that
these are wrong and serious statements and I hope that they
may arouse a calm and reasoned but firm reaction by many
let me disagree with the first remark you
pronounced. You argue that the opposition to Zionism is a
disguised form of anti-Semitism. Nor can one think that you
meant to say that only some anti-Semites conceal their real
anti-Semitism behind an alleged or false anti-Zionism.
You have formulated your thought in an
unequivocal way: to you, he who is anti-Zionist is an
anti-Semite sic et simpliciter. I agree with you that
anti-Zionism is the “rejection of the inspiring source of
the Jewish state and of the reasons of its birth” but I
firmly believe that the denial of the reasons of the Jewish
state’s birth and its replacement with a sole democratic
state for Jews and Palestinians over the whole Palestine
might bring nothing but good to the Jews, the Palestinians,
the middle-eastern and world peoples. I hold, and I am not
the only one ,given that many anti-Zionists Jews have the
same opinion, that the Zionist state for Jews only is as
racist , colonialist and expansionist as it was the
South-African racist state for whites only .
The Zionist nature of Israel is a menace
to world peace and to Jews themselves.
I am not a Holocaust-denier and I do not
nourish anti-Jewish feelings. I only want the Jews living in
Palestine not to deny the Palestinians a right they claim
for themselves . The Palestinians, both refugees and
residents in Israel or in the occupied territories, have the
right to live peacefully and in harmony in Palestine,
enjoying the democratic freedoms that all the peoples of the
world deserve. This principle we do not refuse to the Jews
from Palestine, is denied by Israel to the Palestinians.
Maybe are you in favour of the states
grounded on ethnicity ? I thought I had understood that you
and the party you come from were in favour of the democratic
states in which all the citizens are equal regardless of the
religion , the ethnicity , the culture and more besides they
belong to .
Maybe I was wrong. I cannot understand :
why have Italy and EU first committed themselves for the
equality of the rights between whites and blacks in South
Africa, between Macedonians and Albanians in Macedonia,
between Muslims and Orthodox Christians in Bosnia, between
Sunni , Shiites and Christians in Lebanon, and then they
support the exclusively Jewish character of Israel ?
Maybe has Olmert asked you too, as he has
done with Mr Prodi, to defend Israel as exclusively Jewish
and Zionist state ?
If this is your opinion, I want to ask
- should Israel decide to deport
non-Jewish Israeli citizens, just as the racist Minister
Avigdor Liebermann has been demanding for some time, would
you endorse this policy in the name of the support of the
Jewish character of the Israeli state ?
- do you ignore perhaps the fact
that the non-Jewish citizens of Israel do not have the same
rights of the Jewish ones ? Do you not know that a
non-Jewish Israeli citizen is not allowed by law to purchase
landed estate from a Jew ? Do you ignore perhaps that there
are roads connecting Israel to the settlements in the
occupied territories on which it is not allowed (not to the
Palestinians from the occupied territories, this is a fact
well known by everyone) to Arab citizens of Israel to move
around ? I want also to remind you, inter alia, that the
rejoining is denied to the consort to an Arab citizen of
Israel if this consort comes from the occupied territories.
I hope you are informed about the law proposal at the
Knesset that provides for removing the Israeli nationality
from an Israeli Arab citizen in case he is not willing to
profess his loyalty to Zionism. You might realize that this
corresponds to accepting the historical injustice the
Zionism has done the Palestinians by the same victims of the
- Do you not believe that
bringing those Jews supporting Israel (fortunately enough it
is not about all the Jews) to get rid of a form of state
which discriminates the non-Jewish citizens, which installs
settlements over territories located beyond its borders,
which is leading a war against an occupied and defenceless
population , which owns nuclear weapons and has not signed
IAEA’s non-proliferation of nuclear weapons treaty, which
has been sanctioned thousand times by UN, may come in
helpful for them and the Palestinians ?
- A final question in the end: if
Italy (which has already done it in the past) should carry
out a discriminating policy against its Jewish citizens just
as Israel discriminates its non-Jewish citizens and should
start , unfortunately , a colonial policy again, would you
not undertake again the struggle against the regime or the
government that would behave so ?
Now then, why can one not fight a regime,
like the Zionist one, that is discriminating, racist and
colonialist ? No one is suggesting a new Jewish Holocaust;
the anti-Zionists want for Palestine, for Jews and
Palestinians only one state that be not founded on
religion, on ethnicity and racism.
Not differently from what are all the
authentically democratic states in the world.
I just happen to be interested in
studying Zionism. Hence, it is on the ground of my studies
about this political ideology that I am writing you. I will
remind you some facts:
First of all, the cooperation between
Zionists (from both the right and the left) and anti-Semites
and the Nazis. It was about a long and extremely harmful
cooperation to the anti-Zionist Jews (at the time, the great
majority) . As far as it may be incredible, the cooperation
between Zionists, fascists , Nazis and anti-Semites ,
historically proved, was founded on a logic of criminal
exchange to Jews’ detriment. The Zionists backed up the
fascist and anti-Semitic regimes before and during the WWII,
while asking in exchange to be allowed to bring Jews in
Palestine in order to accomplish their colonial project.
Those Jews who did not approve of fleeing
to Palestine were abandoned to their own fate. The
anti-Semites were very pleased with being able to get rid of
Jews in that way. It is not true, as you state, that the
anti-Semites are anti-Zionists; if any, it is the other way
round. I hope you will not doubt the words that were uttered
by the Israeli writer A. B. Yehoshua who declared some year
“The Gentiles have always fostered
Zionism, thus hoping that it would help them dispose of the
Jews living amongst them. Today too, in a perverse way, a
real anti-Semite must be a Zionist”. (1)
The Israeli writer, yet, omits to say
that the Zionists too, in a perverse manner, encouraged the
anti-Semites in order that they might chase away the Jews
from their countries and hand over them to the Zionist
militants who were ready to bring them to Palestine’s
settlements. A true Zionist is a friend to the anti-Semites.
This shameful feature of Zionism’s
history starts with its founder himself, Theodor Herzl.
In August 1903, Herzl went to the Tsarist
Russia for a set of meetings with Count von Plehve, an
anti-Semitic Minister of Tsar Nicholas II, and with Finance
The meetings took place less than 4
months after the heinous pogrom in Kishinev, whose direct
responsibility rested on von Plehve himself. Herzl proposed
an alliance, it being grounded on the common desire to make
most of the Russian Jews leave Russia and , in the shorter
run, to keep away the Russian Jews from the socialist and
At the beginning of the first meeting
(August 8) von Plehve declared that he regarded himself as
“an ardent supporter of Zionism”. When Herzl started
describing Zionism’s purpose, Count von Plehve came in by
stating : “You are preaching to a converted one”.
During a following meeting with Witte,
Zionism’s founder heard the Minister openly tell him: “I
used to tell poor Emperor Alexander III: if it should be
possible to drown six or seven million Jews into the Black
Sea, I would be perfectly pleased with that; but it’s not
possible, so we have to let them live”. When Herzl said he
trusted in some encouragement from the Russian government,
Witte replied: “We do give Jews some encouragements to
leave, for instance kicks in the backside” (2)
The outcome of the meetings was von
Plehve’s and Russian government’s promise of “a moral and
material endorsement to Zionism at a moment when some of its
concrete actions would help decrease the Jewish population
in Russia”. (3)
“If we [Zionists]—Jacob Klatzkin used to
say—don’t acknowledge that the others have the right to be
anti-Semite, then we deny ourselves the right to be
nationalist. If our people is worth of and yearns for living
its own national life, it is natural that it feels like a
foreign body forced to be amongst the nations amidst which
it lives , a foreign body who insists upon having its own
identity and who is therefore compelled to reduce the sphere
of its own existence. It is fair therefore that they [the
anti-Semites] fight us for their national integrity. Instead
of setting up organizations to defend the Jews from the
anti-Semites, who want to restrict our rights, we should
found organizations to protect the Jews from our friends who
wish to defend our rights” (4)
These words , and the consequent attitude
of the Zionists, have certainly given precious arguments to
the Nazis who , exactly , argued that the Jews were a
foreign nation in their country.
“To the Zionists—Harry Sacher, a British
Zionist, shamelessly claimed—the enemy is represented by
Liberalism; it is also enemy to Nazism; ergo, Zionism is
supposed to cherish sympathy and comprehension for Nazism,
whose anti-Semitism is likely to be only a temporary
feature” . (5)
It is not about only political
short-sightedness , it is also a criminal cooperation with
the Jews’ enemy. And, Mr. President, are you willing to
close your eyes before this aspect of Zionism’s history ?
Moreover, I remind you that the Nazis reacted very
positively to the Zionists’ offers , as proved by this
excerpt from one of their circulars:
“The members from the Zionist
organizations do not have to be treated , given their
activities aimed at the emigration to Palestine, as severely
as instead it’s necessary towards the members from the
German-Jewish organizations (i.e. , the assimilationists)
Further, Reinhardt Heyndrich, SS’s secret
services’ chief declared:
“ It can not take too long time to
Palestine to be able to welcome again its sons it had lost
for over one thousand years. May our good wishes and our
official benevolence accompany them” (7).
Settling Palestine was highly esteemed
by the Nazis. You know, colonialists get along well each
other. That is just to remind you that the Nazis, with the
aware help by the Zionists, have struck only those Jews who
proposed to live in the countries they had been born and did
not want to become responsible for Palestine’s occupation
and the consequent and inevitable expulsion of the
These Jewish victims were not Zionist ,
if any they were either assimilationist or anti-Zionist.
After the Holocaust , the West did
nothing but reward the Zionists by allotting them the
Palestinians’ land and making those ones who had no guilt
pay for the high price of the Jews’ annihilation that
happened due to the direct responsibility of some European
nations and to other ones’ sloth , as well as to the Zionist
The cooperation between Zionists and
Nazis was also possible, beyond the concrete aspect of the
common will to bring the Jews to Palestine, because the
Zionist ideology and the Nazi one shared one point, as
admitted by the Zionist Jew Prinz:
“A state founded on the tenet of nation’s
and race’s purity (that’s the Nazi Germany) can have respect
only for those Jews who regard themselves in the same way”
The figure himself was aware of the
paradoxical situation that was emerging and acknowledged :
“Taking actions was very awkward to the
Zionists. It was morally embarrassing to look like being
considered as the dearest sons of the Nazi government,
particularly at a moment when it was dissolving the Jewish
juvenile anti-Zionist groups and it seemed to prefer the
Zionists. The Nazis were demanding a «more consistently
Zionist behaviour»”. (9)
Notwithstanding, the cooperation went on.
It was a multiform cooperation that I have reconstructed in
my essay “Zionism’s nature” (10). I want to remind you, in
the end, the exhortation of Dov Joseph, one of the heads
from the Jewish Agency, who , at the end of 1944 ,when
hundred thousand Jews were being killed in the concentration
camps, while speaking in Palestine to Zionist journalists
who were concerned about the news of the slaughters, warned
them about the risk of:
“publishing data that exaggerate the
number of the Jewish victims, since if we announce that
million Jews have been slain by the Nazis, then, after the
end of the war, we will be rightly being asked where the
million Jews for which we are claiming a homeland have ended
All this may be enough, but , Mr.
President, I dare suggest you to read up the topic.
Zionism’s history is a criminal one,
therefore no wonder that the Zionists and the Zionist state
are keeping on handling the Palestinians so savagely. But my
concern goes beyond the Palestinian people’s very sad
situation that everyone seems to be forgetting.
To be earnest, Mr. President, do we want
to end up like the US in Iraq ? Today, outstanding
personalities in the US, as former President Jimmy Carter or
professors Mersheimer and Walt, are trying hard to make
their fellow countrymen open their own eyes before the
aftermath of the blind foreign policy that has been devised
in Tel Aviv and in Washington’s neo-con Zionist circles and
that is carried out by the US in Middle-East.
Do you believe that the war in Iraq has
been made because of the Saddam’s weapons of mass
destruction ? Because of the threat that Iraq embodied for
the West ? For exporting democracy ? For the Americans’ oil
interests ? Many support this last hypothesis (having the
other ones miserably fallen down ) . I wonder: can one not
buy oil on the market ? Moreover: how much would the price
of oil be if we should wage war on every producer country ?
Mr. President, the war has been made in
order to weed out a possible rival to Israel and to
strengthen the Zionist rule over Middle-East .
Now Tel Aviv is urging the West to
destroy Iran and is blackmailing everyone by dropping the
hint that if we do not do the job, it will be Israel to do
it. In which way ? By invading Iran ? No , Mr. President, we
all know that Israel would resort to its nuclear weaponry.
The Americans are beginning to get aware,
at their own expenses, of what means to have let themselves
be dragged into an absurd war in Iraq for Israel’s
interests. And we will not be aware of that. Do we really
want to be dragged into a nuclear war against Iran ? Into a
world war against Islam ?
Please, follow former President Carter’s
example and make a public statement against Israel’s
Apartheid. If you do not want to do that, let someone else ,
for the sake of the humanity, of the Jews and of the
Palestinians, go on blaming Zionism and fighting for a
single, democratic and pacific state for all the inhabitants
of Palestine, nobody excluded.
You are likely not to remember me, yet
we met and spoke to each other. It happened on a very sad
circumstance. Some year ago, at Rome-Fiumicino airport, you
, as representative of your party, came to express
solidarity to my sister, Marisa, who , after taking part in
a pacifist demonstration in Jerusalem, lost one of her eyes
after an Israeli fire engine had shot a so violent water
sprinkling as to shatter the window glass and to drive a
splinter in her eye, just because she was looking through
the window at the Israeli policemen who were beating up a
Palestinian youngster in the street.
At the time, you came to offer your
regards to my sister who had paid for upholding the rights
and the dignity of the Palestinians. Today, by your
unacceptable declaration you are accusing the anti-Zionists,
many of which are Jews, who strive for a democratic state in
Palestine, putting them into the same filthy place of the
I believe, Mr President, that the
Zionists have managed to do to you something worse than to
my sister. They have managed to make her blind from one eye,
but you from both them !
Chronicle, 22 January 1982.
(2) Maxime Rodinson, Peuple juif ou
problème juif? Parigi, Petite
collection Maspero, 1981, pp. 174-75.
(3)Maxime Rodinson, Peuple juif ou
problème juif? cit. p. 174.
(4) Jacob Klatzkin, (1925), quoted in
Jacob Agus, The Meaning of Jewish History, in Jewish
Encyclopedia, vol II, p. 425.
Sacher, Jewish Review, September 1932, p. 104,
(6)Circular from the Bavarian Gestapo
addressed to the Bavarian police, 23 January, 1935,
published in Kurt Grossman’s Zionists and Non-Zionists
under Nazi Rule in the 1930's, Herzl Yearbook, vol VI,
(7)Reinhardt Heyndrich, SS secret
services’ chief, The Visible Enemy, article issued in
Das Schwarze Korps, SS’s official organ, May 1935.
Prinz, (1936), quoted in Benyamin Matuvo’s The Zionist
Wish and the Nazi Deed, Issues, (1966/67), p. 12.
(9)Joachim Prinz, Zionism under the
Nazi Government, in Young Zionist, London, November
1937, p. 18.
(10)Zionism’s nature , supplement to the
issue 56, November 2006, by Aginform.
(11)Yoav Gelber, Zionist Policy and
the Fate of European Jewry, p. 195.