Now Available: ZIONISM IN THE AGE OF THE DICTATORS by Lenni Brenner

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On Our Own Authority! is excited to announce the release of our new updated edition of Lenni Brenner’s Zionism in the Age of the Dictators.

Lenni Brenner has been an anti-war and anti-racist Left activist since the early 1950s. Originally published in 1983, his famous historical study documents the interactions between the Zionist movement and the rise of Fascism in Europe during the first half of the 20th century. The new 2014 edition of Zionism in the Age of the Dictators features a new Afterword by the author.

“Short, crisp, and carefully documented. Mr Brenner is able to cite numerous cases where Zionists collaborated with anti-Semitic regimes, including Hitler’s.”
– Edward Mortimer, The Times (London)

“Brenner reviews the efforts of the Jewish establishment of the war years to play down, even to conceal, reports of the camps in Europe for fear of inciting anti-semitism at home.”
– David Lan, London Review of Books

In 1933 the German Zionist Federation sought Hitler’s patronage: “Zionism hopes to be able to win the collaboration even of a government fundamentally hostile to Jews. . . . Boycott propaganda . . . currently being carried on against Germany . . . is in essence un-Zionist.” Zionism became the only other legal political movement in the Nazi Reich. That same year, the World Zionist Organization (WZO) made the Ha’avara (Transfer) Agreement, undermining the boycott against Nazi Germany. German Jewish emigrants to Palestine had to buy Nazi goods that the WZO sold in the Middle East.

In 1937 the Haganah (later the Israeli army) sent an agent to Berlin. They would provide spy intelligence if the Nazis further eased the monetary regulations for emigrants to Palestine. The Zionist-Revisionist movement (today the ruling Likud Party) set up a detachment at Mussolini’s naval academy. He personally reviewed them in 1936. They wanted him to replace Britain as Zionism’s patron.

In 1941, the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel (later Likudniks) told the Nazis that they wanted a “Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, bound by a treaty with the German Reich,” and offered “to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.”

“Brenner thoroughly documents collusion between the established Zionist organizations and fascists of all stripes . . . . The ‘scientific’ racism of the 19th century with its ‘white man’s burden’ and Jew-hating, the ‘master race’ anti-communism of the fascists, the Biblical mythologization of a people chosen to colonize—all of this has been cut from the same cloth, the products of imperialism.”
– Hilton Obenzinger, Journal of Palestine Studies.

165771_106412409434333_7798985_nLENNI BRENNER was born into an Orthodox Jewish family. He became an atheist at age 10, and a left political activist at age 15. His involvement with the Black Civil Rights movement began on his first day in the organized left, when he met James Farmer of the Congress of Racial Equality, later the organizer of the “freedom rides” of the early 1960s. He was active in the mid 1950s with Bayard Rustin, later the organizer of Martin Luther King’s 1963 “I have a dream” March on Washington.

He was arrested 3 times during civil rights sit-ins in the San Francisco Bay Area. He spent 39 months in prison when a court revoked his probation for marijuana possession, because of his activities during the 1964 Berkeley Free Speech Movement at the University of California. Immediately on imprisonment, he spent four days in intense discussion with Huey Newton, later the founder of the Black Panther Party, who he encountered in the court holding tank. Subsequently, upon his release in 1968, he worked with Kathy Cleaver and other Panthers.

Brenner was an antiwar activist from the first days of the Vietnam war, speaking frequently at rallies in the Bay Area. In 1963 he organized the Committee for Narcotic Reform in Berkeley. In 1968 he co-founded the National Association for Irish Justice, the American affiliate of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association.He worked with Kwame Ture (AKA Stokely Carmichael), the legendary “Black Power” leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, in the Committee against Zionism and Racism, from 1985 until Ture’s death in 1998.

“Lenni Brenner cannot be accused of mixing themes or mincing words. A self-styled Trotskyist at odds with practically everything and everybody, his style is as racy as it is pithy and iconoclastic.”
– Nissim Rejwan, Jerusalem Post.

BLPS1Brenner is the author of four books: Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, The Iron Wall: Zionist Revisionism from Jabotinsky to Shamir, Jews in America Today, and The Lesser Evil, a study of the Democratic Party. In 2002 he edited 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis, which contains complete translations of many of the documents quoted in Zionism in the Age of the Dictators and The Iron Wall. In 2004 he edited Jefferson & Madison On Separation of Church and State: Writings on Religion and Secularism. His books have been favorably reviewed in 11 languages by prominent publications, including the London Times, The London Review of Books, Moscow’s Izvestia and the Jerusalem Post.

Brenner has written over 100 articles for many publications, including New York’s Amsterdam News, the Anderson Valley Advertiser, The Atlanta Constitution, CounterPunch, The Jewish Guardian, The Nation, The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Middle East Policy, Middle East International, The Journal of Palestine Studies, The New Statesman of London, Al-Fajr in Jerusalem and Dublin’s United Irishman. In 2013 Lenni Brenner co-authored Black Liberation and Palestine Solidarity with Matthew Quest.

Cover design for Zionism in the Age of the Dictators by Allison Specketer.

A note about the cover image:

When Hitler came to power, the German Zionist Federation (ZVfD) believed that its doctrine—that Germany wasn’t the homeland of its Jews—would lead to Nazi support for Zionism. The ZVfD organized a six-month visit to Palestine for SS officer Leopold von Mildenstein. DER ANGRIFF (The Assault), the leading Nazi propaganda organ, ran von Mildenstein’s pro-Zionist report in 1934. To commemorate the Baron’s expedition, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels had a medal struck: on one side the the Zionist star, on the other the Nazi swastika.

100_1249Front of medal inscription translation:
“EIN NAZI FÄHRT NACH PALÄSTINA” (“A Nazi Travels to Palestine”).

Back of medal inscription translation:
“UND ERZÄHLT DAVON IM Angriff” (“And tells about it in Angriff“).

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