From Karl Pfeifer in Vienna
(London) August 2003
An Austrian ultra-left "anti-imperialist" group has published an
article expressing solidarity with an economics and statistics professor
in Jordan who, it claims, was "fired for his solidarity with
Palestinians and Iraq". The so-called Antiimperialistische Koordination
(AIK) goes on to describe Dr. Ibrahim Alloush, as "one of the most
important persons in the progressive Pan-Arabic movement".
Alloush's name, however, is not entirely unfamiliar to anti-fascists,
because he is an official of the Jordanian "Association against Zionism
and Racism", a member of the editorial board of the online "Free Arab
Voice" and a member of Jordanian Writers Association which presents
itself as the Jordanian mouthpiece of the Intifada.
In numerous articles, published in the Arab media, Alloush has
assiduously represented the "revisionist", Holocaust denial viewpoint.
He has also published several articles in the Journal for Historical
Review, the mouthpiece of the US-based antisemitic Institute for
Historical Review (IHR). In its May-June 2001 edition, for example, he
wrote an article titled "Between public relations and self-alienation:
Arab intellectuals and the 'Holocaust'". The same issue also carried an
interview with him.
In one of his contributions to the IHR rag, Alloush offers advice to
the crew of nazis and white supremacists who publish it: "What I am
suggesting here," he says, "is that efforts be made to reach people from
different continents, races, and ideological affiliations. For example,
in the Arab world, many supporters of revisionism are leftists. For
them, the myths of the 'Holocaust' are associated with rationalising
Zionist and imperialist hegemony in the Arab world."
The day after Alloush‘s links with the IHR were exposed, the AIK
published a disclaimer asking "victims of the annihilation machine" to
pardon its "mistake".
This approach follows the well-worn tradition established by right-wing
extremist leader Jörg Haider, who, after voicing his "Austronazi" views
often asks the victims of Nazism to pardon him, thus implying that all
other Austrians share his views. On 1 July the AIK again published a
letter of solidarity with Alloush and the Islamists, claiming, that they
are - despite "their reactionary views" allies of the antiimperialist.
Of course, it is no mere "error" that the AIK promotes Holocaust denier
Alloush because its knows full well that hatred of the state of Israel
unifies nazis, Islamic extremists and so-called leftists like themselves
who are only ready to make common cause with Holocaust deniers. The AIK,
even if it is an obscure ultra-leftist sect, is also not an unknown
quantity in Austria. Earlier this year, the AIK was the subject of a
dossier on left-wing antisemitism masquerading as "Anti-Zionism"
published by the internationally respected Documentation Centre of
Austrian Resistance (DÖW).
When the DÖW published the exposé of the AIK on its website, it
produced a very strange reaction from John Bunzl, a "Middle East
expert", university lecturer and staff member of the Austrian Institute
for International Affairs. Without saying a single word about the
concrete facts contained in the dossier, Bunzl suggested that the DÖW
brands every criticism of Israel as antisemitism.
Significantly, however, Bunzl did not in any way distance himself from
the antisemitic statements of the AIK. His vicious attack on the DÖW
which was founded in 1963 by former resistance fighters, victims of Nazi
persecution and committed academics to combat those who wanted to write
fascism out of Austrian (and German) history and memory says more
about him than it does about the DÖW.