Hitchens and the anti-Zionists

December 20th, 2011 by Dave Rich

I never met Christopher Hitchens, but I’m guessing he would be amused to discover that even in death he has various conspiracy theorists’ heads spinning.

First up is Craig Murray, with the approval of Inayat Bunglawala, claiming that Hitchens was a “zionist propagandist”:

The Iraq War killed hundreds of thousands and maimed millions. Dead or wounded included over a million children. Those who planned the Iraq war, including those who used media positions to propagandise for it, have lost entitlement to the signs of society’s respect.

The world will undoubtedly be a duller place without Christopher Hitchens. Oh, and a better one too.

British journalism is full of people of the same generationwho have lurched from the Trotskyist far left to a crazed neo-con agenda with no intervening period of sanity. I suspect the available riches for zionist propagandists are a major factor. Hitchens, Aaronovitch, Phillips, Cohen. You can probably think of others. A strange and extremely unpleasant manifestation of intellectual prostitution.

Putting to one side the vile misanthropy of welcoming the death of a writer with whose views Murray and Bunglawala disagreed, the glaring problem with Murray’s argument is that Christopher Hitchens was famously anti-Zionist. Even after discovering that he was Jewish, Hitchens remained typically true to his intellectual principles and did not change his negative view of Zionism (although also typical of the man was his ability to balance anti-Zionism with genuine opposition to antisemitism, an increasingly rare feat nowadays).

Murray’s argument only makes sense if your definition of ‘Zionism’ encompasses the decision by Britain and America to go to war in Iraq; which takes Zionism away from its actual meaning and gives it a hefty shove in the direction of a global conspiracy.

Unlike Murray and Bunglawala, LondonBDS – “A grassroots coalition of human-rights activists who proactively campaign for a free and independent Palestine” – chose to promote Hitchens’ anti-Zionism rather than accuse him of being a Zionist, and they tweeted a link to a video in which he explains his views. Except that where Hitchens called Zionism a:

Silly messianic superstitious nationalist idea and a waste of Judaism.

LondonBDS’s tweet somehow inserted the Zionist-Freemasonry conspiracy theory which appears in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Hamas charter and animates antisemites the world over:

An unfortunate typo – or a Freudian slip?