Friday, January 11, 2013

We Present Pictures of Two Kibbutzim Built in the 1920s & 30s,
But How Did a Rabid American Anti-Semite Sneak In?

Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim (1939)
The kibbutzim of Ma'aleh Hachamisha and Kiryat Anavim are situated on the highway from Israel's coast to Jerusalem. During Israel's 1948 War of Independence they served as headquarters and bases for the Jewish forces seeking to lift the siege of Jerusalem, protect the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and block the advance of Jordanian armored units.

A decade prior to the war the photographers of the American Colony photographed the young settlements, their members, industries and children.  The photographers had been chronicling the Jews of Palestine's new and old "Yishuv" since the 1890s.

The dairy in Ma'aleh Hachamisha (1939)
Young citizens of Kiryat Anavim (1939)
The Kiryat Anavim ("City of Grapes") kibbutz was founded in 1920 on land purchased from the neighboring Arab village of Abu Ghosh six years earlier by Zionist leader Arthur Ruppin.  The first settlers were immigrants from the Ukraine.

The view of the Abu Ghosh village from
Ma'aleh Hachamisha (1939)
Police post in Ma'aleh Hachmisha
Ma'aleh Hachmisha ("Ascent of the Five" -- named for five Jews killed nearby by Arab marauders) was founded by Polish settlers near Kiryat Anavim in 1938 as a "tower and stockade" settlement -- an overnight Jewish building project established in some 57 locations around Palestine to circumvent British settlement restrictions.  Ma'aleh Hachamisha also served as a base during the 1948 War of Independence.  Both communities were located near the 1949 Armistice Line, or "Green Line," between Israel and the occupying Jordanian forces until Israel captured the West Bank of the Jordan River in 1967.

One picture in the American Colony's collection at the Library of Congress, presented and explained below, is very curious and even troubling. 

New settlers at Ma'aleh Hachamisha.
Note the tents behind them.

A troubling picture: The original caption reads: "Mr. & Mrs.
A.W. Dilling being shown Hachamisha." Who are the Dillings?
 Click on pictures to enlarge.

Click on captions to view the originl photographs.

Why Were the Dillings Visiting this Kibbutz in 1939?

In the history of anti-Semitism in America in the 20th Century, several names stand out as master-haters of Jews, mass rabble-rousers, and Nazi sympathizers: Catholic Father Charles Coughlin whose venomous radio shows reached tens of millions; Henry Ford who republished the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and propagated screeds against the International Jews, the World's Foremost Problem; and  Elizabeth Dilling, a Midwest housewife who emerged as the leader of the pre-World War II "Mother's Movement" opposed to war with Germany and author of malicious books attacking Jews.

A common belief of all the anti-Semitic racists was that the Jews were behind an international Communist conspiracy to take over America and the world's economy.  Christianity was under an existential threat. "The person who does not know that Jewry and Marxism are synonymous is uninformed," Elizabeth Dilling wrote.

Enlargement of picture of visit to a kibbutz. Elizabeth Dilling
 in the center, her husband Albert on the right.
Dilling visited the Communist Soviet Union in 1931 and returned home a crusader against Communism.  She published a massive catalogue of threats to America, The Red Network -- A Who's Who of Radicalism for Patriots, in which thousands of names appeared, including Albert Einstein and leaders of the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and National Council of Jewish Women. 

She wrote The Octopus under a pseudonym to warn of the threat of the "pro-Red, Anti-Christian" B'nai Brith Anti-Defamation League -- "The most colossally financed, coercive spy and propaganda machine in the United States."   In 1964 she co-authored The Plot Against Christianity, later titled The Jewish Religion, Its Influence Today, in which she (mis)quotes extensively from the Jewish Talmud.

Here are two excerpts from her toxic writing:
There is no moral, philosophical or ethical conflict whatsoever between Judaism and Marxist collectivism as they exist in actual practice. Marxism, to which all branches of Socialism necessarily adhere, was originated by a Jew, Karl Marx, himself of Rabbinical descent. Every Jewish source today boasts of his rabbinical ancestry. Marx did not actually originate anything, but merely “streamlined” Talmudism for Gentile consumption.

Dilling, Nazi sympathizer
No one who treasures American freedom wants fascism or Hitlerism for America, but it is only fair to note that Germany had 6,000,000 Communists bent on Red terrorist revolution and that Russian Jews had made themselves prominent in the Red movement, and that Nazism has directed its attacks more against conspiring, revolutionary Communist Jews, than against nationalist German Jews who aided Germany during the war.
So why did the Dillings visit the Ma'aleh Hachamisha kibbutz?

Prof. Glen Jeansonne, author of Women of the Far Right: The Mothers' Movement and World War II, offers a hint:
"Dilling's travels in 1938 also took her to Palestine, where, she said, she filmed Jewish immigrants ruining the Holy Land. England had betrayed the Arabs by permitting Jewish immigrants to steal Arab land, she said, but the Arabs blamed the American government, which, they said, was Jewish-controlled."
We theorize that Dilling went to Palestine, and specifically kibbutzim, to document the eastern European settlers and their socialist, Communist-like, non-Christian lifestyle in which the traditional family structure was revolutionized with children sleeping away from their parents.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Elizabeth Dilling was indicted with 28 others for sedition.  The trial ended with a mistrial in 1944 when the presiding judge died. 

Dilling died in 1966, but her writings are still quoted by rightwing anti-Semites like David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

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