Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Friday 17 December 2010

The Beauty, the Beasts, and Birobidjan

General Sir John Monash (1865-1931), the son of German-born parents and a civil engineer by profession, commanded Australia’s Expeditionary Forces during the First World War. The grandson of a well-known printer/publisher in Krotoszyn, Baer Loebel Monasch, and nephew by marriage to the great historian Heinrich Graetz, he was not a religious Jew – he famously joked that on Yom Kippur he fasted from breakfast until lunch – but he was a proud one, accepting the honorary presidency of the Australian Zionist Federation when the latter was formed in 1927.

So esteemed was he by his fellow-countrymen and women that during the Great Depression, when there was widespread anxiety over the leftist direction of New South Wales Premier Jack Lang and other politicians, Monash was approached to, in effect lead, a rightwing coup, and his state funeral cortège in 1931 (some months after this photo was taken, showing him at the annual Anzac Day parade) attracted the densest crowds – about 250,000 people – seen in Australia up to that time. He’s still commemorated in a variety of ways, with his name that of a university in his native Melbourne and his face on the $A100 banknote. There’s little doubt that his very presence on the national scene – in fact, his consensual status among his contemporaries as the greatest living Australian – helped to keep antisemitism disreputable and marginal.

Not that antisemitism has been very prevalent in Australia at any time. The fact that Jews arrived in Australia on the first day of European settlement in 1788 meant that they could not easily be depicted as strangers or aliens. Nineteenth-century Australia epitomised what the American historian Frederick Jackson Turner defined as a "frontier society", and Jews have done well in such societies, helping to pioneer them alongside non-Jews.

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries antisemitism in Australia consisted largely of stereotypical depictions, especially cartoons, in certain populist periodicals – Jews as flashy, hook-nosed, money-grubbers, and there were scurrilous allegations of Jewish "money-power" during the Boer War. During the Nazi era, the German consul in South Australia, where a number of pro-Nazi Germans lived, drew up a list of Jews in Australia in the event of a Nazi invasion, and after the war there was some resentment against the arrival of Holocaust survivors, who were portrayed in some populist circles as taking jobs away from Australians still to be demobbed. (This cartoon, of Jews arriving under the approving gaze of immigration minister Arthur Calwell, is from a 1946  issue of the Sydney Bulletin, long an offender in carrying that sort of thing.)  Post-Second World War, antisemitism – sometimes including Holocaust denial – surfaced in the ravings of the far-right League of Rights, and among some formerly pro-Nazi elements within such immigrant groups such as Croatians and Hungarians, while anti-Zionism (not always devoid of antisemitic utterances) has been a feature of the far left, and of some sections of the Muslim community.

Nevertheless, in the scheme of things, antisemitism in Australia is and always has been relatively insignificant – after all, two native-born Jews, Sir Isaac Isaacs and Sir Zelman Cowen, reached the highest office in the land, the governor-generalship – and so it’s easy to forget and startling to be reminded that the laid-back "Lucky Country" produced the woman whom Efraim Zuroff, of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Jerusalem, has described as "especially dangerous, because she is so attractive and can put a pretty face on a very ugly movement".

Born in 1946, Michèle Mainwaring was a beauty queen – Miss Newcastle [NSW], 1968 – who went on to marry, in 1970, an Australian psychiatrist of Russian background, she controversially styling herself Countess Griaznoff on the basis of a disputed title in his family, before making a brief marriage in 1991 to the Australian financier Sir Frank Renouf, nearly thirty years her senior, with whom she set up home in London, where she continues to be based.

As Lady Renouf, she has become notorious for her support of and personal friendship with some of the big beasts of the Holocaust denial movement including Germar Rudolf and Ernst Zündel – here she is (at right) with the Frenchman Robert Faurisson at his 80th birthday party in Paris – and here she is (below) with the Australian Holocaust denier Frederick Toben – as well as Bishop Richard Williamson and the Holocaust minimiser – he denies that he’s a denier altogether – David Irving. When Irving brought his unsuccessful civil libel action in 2001 against American historian Deborah Lipstadt, Lady Renouf approached her friend, Saudi Prince Fahd bin Salman, for funds for Irving, but the prince died before anything was finalised.

That same year she wrote a letter to the London Evening Standard newspaper complaining of biased BBC coverage of the Irving-Lipstadt trial, giving her address as the Reform Club in Pall Mall, where she had already taken Irving as her guest, and from which she was later expelled in consequence.

In 2005, during his trial in Vienna for Holocaust denial, which she attended, Lady Renouf organised financial support for Irving's family, maintained his website, and called for "so-called Holocaust victims" to be "exhumed to see whether they died from typhoid or gas". Although, at David Duke’s EURO Conference at New Orleans in 2005, she’d shared a platform with the notorious Nick Griffin (who’d once done a little Holocaust denying himself, it seems), in 2006 Griffin’s British National Party (BNP) barred her from addressing its Croydon branch on Irving's situation since "her presence would put the BNP in a bad light".

She’s described Judaism as a "repugnant and hate-filled religion" and travelled to Teheran in 2006 for the "International Conference - Holocaust Review: A Global Vision", where she reportedly declared that Judaism possesses a "dangerously misanthropic tendency" and a "fundamentally anti-gentile narcissism", and that “the anti-gentile nature of Judaism” causes antisemitism. She’s made documentary films called Palestine Scrapbook (featuring interviews with British ex-servicemen who served in Palestine during 1945-8, which was screened twice at the Westminster Parliament) and Israel in Flagrante, which features the meshugge Neturei Karta movement, and was aired in Cairo in 2004. Jailing Opinions, focusing on Holocaust denial, followed in 2006, to be itself followed by Pious Piracy, which casts doubt on the existence of Jesus.

Lady Renouf is obsessed with the bizarre notion that Birobidjan – the Jewish autonomous oblast in the far east of the Soviet Union, that Stalin dreamed up, is the true destination of the Jews; she wants the Israelis to up sticks and relocate there. She has a website dedicated to what she terms "an all round common sense campaign option for the first Jewish homeland" of Birobidjan, and spoke on the subject of Birobidjan in January this year at a conference on the UN Security Council and on 3 June (the day following the Commemoration Conference for Imam Khomeini)at the presidential headquarters in Teheran, when Ahmadinejad and 1000 international guests were on hand to hear her, in Muslim attire, say:
‘ Most Excellent President – unparalleled in our time. Our admirable hosts; and fellow lucky colleagues.

Imam Khomeini is our role model. Indeed he is a role model for the West, and it surely is our duty to make the West aware of why. For Imam Khomeini answers the question of what is Justice, to advise: "Ask your Reason, for Reason is the eye of Justice". Iran and the West share the ancient classical Greek tradition of scientific attitude, which Imam Khomeini has sustained whilst the West has been led astray and fallen prey to what I call predatory "swindle-speak". The Classical Greek tradition is based on the four inseparable virtues, namely temperance, wisdom (with scientific attitude), justice and courage.
In the last two days I have been asked which quality I most admire in Imam Khomeini, yet the reason why he is a role model for both Iran and the West is because he sustains all four virtuous qualities which are useless if separated. For, as he and President Ahmadinejad - himself a role model as exemplified in his Teheran Conference in 2006 - show us, "historical truth goes by evidence not emotion" (to quote the last courageous Christian Bishop, Richard Williamson), and that without historical truth there can be no international justice.
Imam Khomeini was a great champion of Palestine and understood that the League of Nations and later the UN were Zionist initiatives which defied historical truth and thereby created the anti-democratic, pro-Zionist, privileged veto. The very basis of the UN is the self-same specious nature of the Nuremberg Trials of 1945 and 1946. At the time five Supreme Court judges in America denounced the Nuremberg show-trials, conducted by the so-called victorious Allies, as a "judicial farce" by a "lynch mob". These forgotten Judges declared that hearsay evidence and testimony obtained by torture are illegitimate instruments and that parties who act both as judge and jury fly in the face of natural justice.
Imam Khomeini would surely wish us to make known the two fundamental swindles by those who create and control the media and public information narrative. These refer to the fact firstly that the Zionist Entity had no moral right at any time to pirate Palestine, and secondly that European Jewry had no such necessity. Half a century before World War II (and therefore making World War Two irrelevant to the issue) Theodor Herzl’s 1895 blueprint for The Jewish State instituted the genocidal policy towards the indigenous Palestinians, who to use his euphemistic term were to "disappear", to be replaced by Jews.

Inter-war Birobidjan propaganda poster
Herzl’s 1895 genocidal policy means that the Jews were the culprits not the victims, and thus had no moral right at any time to Palestine. Indeed after 1928 European Jews had no need to pirate Palestine, and to this day a Jewish Autonomous Region called Birobidjan exists peacefully and available on Russia’s south-east border with China, having never displaced an indigenous people for its creation. Today some Jews try to claim that it was an act of anti-semitism when Stalin gave this region of 30,000 sq. km (the size of Switzerland) to Jews. The truth is that Stalin was providing every ethnic group comprising the Soviet Union with its own autonomous region, and nothing "antisemitic" has ever endangered Birobidjan. Furthermore in 1945 when European Jews were crying "We have no homeland, we need and deserve Palestine" – again they lied, for in 1945 there was no political impediment to prevent European Jewry heading for the welcome arms of their vast and long-established Jewish Autonomous Region in Birobidjan.
The same is true today, yet in our mainstream media we hear not a word of Birobidjan. Only rarely does the Jewish Telegraphic Agency mention Birobidjan, and when it does it refers to it disingenuously as a "district". Which district in the world is the size of Switzerland? The fact is that since the dissolution of the Soviet Union its ethnically autonomous regions have been entitled to republic status, yet the JTA lets us know that due to so-called "sensitivity" to Israel, Birobidjan has declined, due to fear of raising gentile public awareness of its existence, to acknowledge this first Jewish homeland, and all but state and republic.
My hope is that our President Ahmadinejad, who speaks the whole truth bravely, will promote awareness of the first Jewish homeland and that there is no need for European Jews to go back to Germany, Poland or Austria when they have their own state whose first language is Yiddish. Please view my first homeland option website at for, in the spirit of Imam Khomeini, there you will find a campaign for moral and morale rearmament. The Palestinians whose Nakba constitutes the greatest tragedy of the 20th century – those brave voters who democratically elected the long heroic Hamas - deserve the return of every inch of their tormented land, and not any part in the specious "one-state two-state" farce. The immediate vacation of European Jews from all of Palestine and compensation to the indigenous Arab people is more than overdue to those who, for more than a century, continue to fight for Reason at the front line of historical truth and international justice for all of us.'  [My emphasis]
Below is an agency report that appeared in a Sydney Jewish newspaper in the 1950s. It made the not unreasonable assumption that the Holocaust, by revealing the horrors of where Jew-hatred can lead, had put paid to antisemitism. But as we’ve since found, the Holocaust only made the utterance of anti-semitism shocking – and unacceptable in polite society.

As Conor Cruise O’Brien remarked, the monstrous old beast is “a very light sleeper”. And as we have seen in recent years, the monstrous old beast is fully awake once again. The Hebrew Standard’s headline was just another case of "famous last words".


  1. Hi, Juniper! Oh, yes, Jews arrived in Oz as convicts, but the community really began to take shape in the 1820s, with the arrival of "free settlers". Today there are about 100,000 Jews in Oz - the community consists of many Holocaust survivors and their descendants, and is very Zionist, the Melbourne community (strongly Eastern European in background) especially so.
    Yes - I couldn't believe what I was reading when I read that speech - I wonder whether even the Iranians thought it was going too far!

  2. Amazing post. Daphne you are an extraordinary resource. What I find so fascinating is the number of women who hate Israel with such feverish intensity. What's it all about?

  3. Good post, Daphne. I'd forgotten about Renouf until I read your post, but I now remember reading a long interview with her in which the interviewer concluded, or strongly implied, that she is basically delusional, in the clinical sense of the word. Frankly, loathsome as her views are, I think there are more dangerous people out there.

  4. Bella, yes, it never fails to intrigue and disgust me how so many women hate Israel and love the misogynists. I wrote a post a few weeks ago on that topic - "Here Come the Girls!" - and Caroline Glick on her eponymous blog addresses the same topic this week.

    Rob, yes, she's easy to forget - I posted about her just for the record, but agree that there are more dangerous people out there.

  5. Glick is a marvel, isn't she? I sometimes think she's a bit shrill, but I can never escape the uncomfortable feeling that she's dead right.

  6. I greatly admire her - and enjoyed seeing her on the "We Con the World" video.
    I also admire Melanie P, but have stooped reading her blogs just before bedtime (they are sometimes the stuff of nightmares!)

  7. Oh dear, should proof my replies - meant "stopped", of course.

  8. Mel's 'The World Turned Upside Down' is about three-quarters right ('right' as in 'correct'), IMHO.

  9. I find myself agreeing with most of what she writes - but am bemused by her views on global warming.
    A very courageous lady, I must say!

  10. Talking of women who hate Israel, don't forget Kaufmann,I know, I know, you all think he's a male, we know him in Leeds, where do you think all that self hating comes from. There ain't no Lady Kaufmann.


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