Zionism During the Holocaust: The Weaponisation of Memory in the Service of State and Nation by Tony Greenstein, self-published (2022)

Tony Greenstein’s new book opens on a personal note: “from an early age, I had my doubts about Zionism.”

The son of an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, Greenstein has for decades been a tireless Palestine solidarity activist and an uncompromising anti-Zionist.

Greenstein explains cogently how he came to reject the ideology on which Israel was founded.

“I found it difficult to reconcile Marxism, a universalist political ideology that believes in the unity of the oppressed and the working class, with Zionism, an exclusivist ideology.”

In a school debate he played “devil’s advocate and in the process became convinced of the case against Zionism.” He has never looked back since.

His early doubts were shored up after learning that American Zionist leaders had opposed the entry of Jewish refugees from Europe during World War II. So began a life-long project: researching the Zionist movement’s collaboration with fascism.

Greenstein has been writing about this topic for years on his valuable and prolific blog. He’s also an occasional contributor to The Electronic Intifada and we had him on our podcast not long ago.

It speaks volumes about the sorry state of British publishing that Greenstein has had to resort to self-publishing.

Back in the 1980s, Lenni Brenner’s important book on the same topic, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, was put into print by independently minded Scottish publisher Christopher Helm.

So Zionism During the Holocaust is breaking a long silence in print. Brenner’s book is both cited and critiqued by Greenstein.

As well as bringing the story up to date, Greenstein’s book is more comprehensive than Brenner’s. He gives chapter and verse on the history of Zionism’s ideological affinity for European fascism.

He explains how “the Nazi leadership quoted Zionist sources to validate their claims that Jews could not be assimilated.” Quoting pro-Israel historian Edwin Black, Greenstein writes, “It was difficult for German Jews to refute Nazi claims ‘when a loud and visible group of their own continually published identical indictments … Zionism had become a tool for anti-Semites.’”

Zionism is at its heart a racially exclusive ideology for the promotion of white supremacy – but it also wants a specifically Jewish supremacy in Palestine.