Nasser’s Anti-Semitic War against Israel

Examining the origins of the Six-Day War, Matthias Küntzel points to the anti-Semitic—and pro-Nazi—influences in Gamal Abdel Nasser’s formative years and the Egyptian president’s deeply held beliefs about the Jews. He also points to the role that contacts with Islamists played in shaping this secular leader’s politics:

Nasser was born in 1918. In 1935 or 1936 he became a member of the Young Egypt Society led by Ahmad Hussein—a radical nationalist movement that was pro-Nazi in several respects. . . . In 1937, Nasser entered the [Egyptian] Military Academy. In 1938, the core of the Free Officers movement that would take power in 1952 [under Nasser’s leadership] was formed. When, in 1942, “the Germans were close to Egypt,” recalled [one member of the group], we “thought it our duty to do something against the British. We formed a secret organization in the air force to disrupt and impede the British withdrawal from the Western Desert by sabotaging their lines of communication and supply.”

In 1943, Nasser and some of his military colleagues began holding weekly meetings with Mahmud Labib, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, [which], in the 1930s, . . . had received financial aid from Nazi Germany because of its anti-Semitic orientation. . . . In 1948, the Brotherhood was by far the largest political organization in Egypt, with at least one-million members. . . .

It was not by chance that Egypt [after 1952] became the El Dorado of former Nazi war criminals and [current] anti-Semites. One example is . . . [the] neo-Nazi publisher Helmuth Kramer, [who] received political asylum in Egypt in 1965 after a German court had found him guilty of “spreading Nazi ideas.” According to Kramer, Nasser personally dealt with his asylum request and gave permission for him to continue publishing his books.

Though Nasser denied being . . . “anti-Semitic on a personal level,” he emphasized the great relevance of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion for an understanding of world affairs and claimed publicly that “300 Zionists . . . govern the fate of the European continent.” . . . Nasser also denied [the Holocaust] both directly (“No one . . . takes seriously the lie about six-million Jews who were murdered”) and indirectly, by claiming that “Ben-Gurion . . . has killed as many Arabs as Hitler killed Jews.” . . . Nasser’s obsession with the Jewish state was a constant theme of his time in power.

Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, Arab anti-Semitism, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Muslim Brotherhood, Nazism, Six-Day War

 

The ICJ’s Vice-President Explains What’s Wrong with Its Recent Ruling against Israel

It should be obvious to anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of the Gaza war that Israel is not committing genocide there, or anything even remotely akin to it. In response to such spurious accusations, it’s often best to focus on the mockery they make of international law itself, or on how Israel can most effectively combat them. Still, it is also worth stopping to consider the legal case on its own terms. No one has done this quite so effectively, to my knowledge, as the Ugandan jurist Julia Sebutinde, who is the vice-president of the ICJ and the only one of its judges to rule unequivocally in Israel’s favor both in this case and in the previous one where it found accusations of genocide “plausible.”

Sebutinde begins by questioning the appropriateness of the court ruling on this issue at all:

Once again, South Africa has invited the Court to micromanage the conduct of hostilities between Israel and Hamas. Such hostilities are exclusively governed by the laws of war (international humanitarian law) and international human-rights law, areas where the Court lacks jurisdiction in this case.

The Court should also avoid trying to enforce its own orders. . . . Is the Court going to reaffirm its earlier provisional measures every time a party runs to it with allegations of a breach of its provisional measures? I should think not.

Sebutinde also emphasizes the absurdity of hearing this case after Israel has taken “multiple concrete actions” to alleviate the suffering of Gazan civilians since the ICJ’s last ruling. In fact, she points out, “the evidence actually shows a gradual improvement in the humanitarian situation in Gaza since the Court’s order.” She brings much evidence in support of these points.

She concludes her dissent by highlighting the procedural irregularities of the case, including a complete failure to respect the basic rights of the accused:

I find it necessary to note my serious concerns regarding the manner in which South Africa’s request and incidental oral hearings were managed by the Court, resulting in Israel not having sufficient time to file its written observations on the request. In my view, the Court should have consented to Israel’s request to postpone the oral hearings to the following week to allow for Israel to have sufficient time to fully respond to South Africa’s request and engage counsel. Regrettably, as a result of the exceptionally abbreviated timeframe for the hearings, Israel could not be represented by its chosen counsel, who were unavailable on the dates scheduled by the Court.

It is also regrettable that Israel was required to respond to a question posed by a member of the Court over the Jewish Sabbath. The Court’s decisions in this respect bear upon the procedural equality between the parties and the good administration of justice by the Court.

Read more at International Court of Justice

More about: Gaza War 2023, ICC, International Law