Colin Tatz is a stereotypical Jewish intellectual activist whose mindset is characterized by an intense ethnocentrism and an equally intense hostility to the traditional people and culture of the West. He reflexively subjects White people and Western societies to radical critique while exempting Jews from any equivalent evaluation. Identifying with, and taking great pride in the Jewish penchant for critiquing Western societies, Tatz claims that “Whatever else, I am a ‘product’ of Lasswell, of Cecil Roth and his notion that Jews (or some Jews) are the eternal protest-ants, of the doctrine of the Jewish Sages about tikkun olam. It is a synonym for social action, a conscious manipulating of skills to be proactive rather than reflective or contemplative.”
Cecil Roth, a Jewish historian, had argued “Jewish intellectualism” was primarily about “protesting at the insufficiency of the status quo.” Tatz agrees, and points to “a Jewish existential value which asserts that history has taught us that whatever is, no matter what it is, it is not good enough—hence the moral dictate of tikkun olam, that one is compelled to try to repair a flawed world.” Of course, for “fiercely argumentative” Jews like Tatz, a “flawed world” is any world where Jewish interests are not forever prioritized. Tatz claims that “My activism is motivated by both personal and societal alienation,” and the “inner dynamic of my life, the foremost factor, is my version and interpretation of my Jewishness.” He notes that a “related if not conjoined propulsion” is “a lifelong devotion to matters of race and racism.”
Tatz makes no pretense of Jewishness being anything but an essentially biological phenomenon. Despite being an avowed atheist he remains a proud Jew, declaring his “unshakeable admiration, even a veneration for what I call Jewishness,” observing how “I remain within even while lacking faith, ritual, observance or any sense of Covenant.” For Tatz, Jews comprise an easily identifiable ethnic type characterized by “body mannerisms, the shrugs, distains, the ever-present deprecatory and interrogative tenses of body and voice.”
Tatz is a descendent of the Litvaks, the Jews from Lithuania who, prior to their recent mass exodus from post-Apartheid South Africa to countries like Britain and Australia, made up ninety per cent of that country’s 120,000 Jews. According to Tatz, Lithuanian Jews were “economically forlorn and politically intimidated” and left Lithuania in “hordes” in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the majority landing in England, the United States and South Africa. He notes that “In South Africa I learned to live in a Lithuanian communitas, a transposed shtetl world of like-minded, like-speaking, like-behaving people. It was a society in transition from Tsarist oppression to a semi-welcomed ethnic minority moving into modernity.” The hyper-ethnocentric mentality of South Africa’s Lithuanian Jews was encapsulated in “daily pontification about the Jewish-goyishe divide” and his grandfather’s refrain that “The worst of ours are better than the best of theirs.”
During World War II the South African government officially supported the Allies, with Prime Minister Jan Smuts appointed to Britain’s war cabinet. Despite this, most Afrikaners backed the Germans, and Tatz claims his childhood in South Africa in the 1940s was dominated by awareness of “a raging world war, civil strife between the pro- and anti-war forces, between English- and Afrikaans-speakers for political power, violent anti-Semitism in a country rife with fascist movements, the seeming calamity for Jews when the Nationalist Party came to power in the late 1940s, the fear of rising racial tensions of the 1940s, 1950s and beyond.” Tatz claims to still be haunted by “domains that are oppressively black and cruelly white; and me, not quite a crowd—Jewish, alienated, migratory, and deeply troubled by food.”
Tatz’s obsession with the inveterate “anti-Semitism” of White people took deep root early in 1945 when, attending a cinema, “a loud but hidden voice hushed the cinema audience, urging children under twelve to leave the cinema for ten minutes or to place hands over their eyes. We stayed and peeked through fingers—at the first Bergen-Belsen footage. This was incomprehensible: how could people be so skeletal? Were they human? Were they us?” It was under the strength of such early influences that his “morbid obsession with genocide had begun.” This ultimately led to his “studying, teaching, writing and talking a great deal about genocide and Holocaust especially.” Tatz is one of those Jews, who, as he expresses it, bases “their quintessential beings—their political and psychological souls and psyches—on their genocidal victimhood.”
Hatred of Daniel Malan
In 1948 the Nationalist Party of Daniel François Malan came to power in South Africa on a platform of greater segregation of the four officially recognized races: Whites (or Europeans), the Cape Colored people (originally descendants of mixed unions between male Dutch East India Company officials, local farmers, soldiers, and settlers with local Hottentot and Bushman women), Indians (originally indentured Tamil laborers), and the Black majority (Bantu-speaking Africans known variously as Kaffirs, Natives, Bantu and Blacks). While Malan coined the term “apartheid,” South Africa’s first laws, regulations, and customs segregating the races date back to the 1770s. Apartheid was subsequently extended and entrenched under the “granite philosophy” of Dr Henrik Verwoerd in the 1950s who regarded it as model for the rest of the world to follow. Tatz claims that:
In early teenage years I began to take notice of the separate racial facilities: red buses and trams for Whites, green ones for Blacks, each with its own stops; separate ambulances; separate elevators in buildings; separate queues in post offices; different hospitals; all-White schools (we didn’t even know where Black children went to school); all-White cinemas, concerts; separate and much smaller stands for blacks at sports events; separate entrances and exits in buildings and businesses; Blanke and nie-Blanke signs on public benches and public toilets. Churches were segregated in the sense that Whites and Blacks attended in separate shifts: Blacks usually at the earliest possible time slots and Whites at the most convenient ones.
Tatz claims to have found all this deeply morally offensive, despite Jewish ethnic segregation having been a normative part of the Lithuanian Jewish subculture he claims to still revere. His real aversion to the South Africa of his youth lay, however, in what he describes as “the virulent anti-Semitism of Afrikaner nationalism and the right-wing movements.” According to Tatz, the atmosphere was such that “I didn’t really belong; on the surface, yes, but more a sense of toleration by virtue of being considered, but only barely, part of the ‘White race.’” The South African state classified Litvaks, who made up 90 per cent of South Africa’s 120,000 Jews, as White, but neither the Afrikaners nor British descendants welcomed these clannish interlopers.
In the mid-1930s South Africa stopped all Jewish immigration. Malan, an Afrikaner nationalist acutely aware of the Jewish Question, declared in 1939 that “We have, moreover, the Jewish problem which hangs like a dark cloud over South Africa. Behind organized Jewry stands the organized Jewry of the world. They have so robbed the population of its heritage that the Afrikaner resides in the land of his fathers but no longer possesses it.” According to Tatz, Malan, whom he regards as demonic figure, “cuddled and coddled” the various pro-German Shirt movements like the Ossewa Brandwag (Ox-Wagon Guard) who “attacked synagogues [and] Jewish shops . . . and printed and distributed Nazi leaflets and propaganda.” Malan, who would go on to lead South Africa as Prime Minister between 1948 and 1954, regarded Jews as an “unabsorbable minority.”
Despite their relative economic success, many South African Jews felt alienated by life under Malan’s rule, and Tatz claims that “Here, indeed, was a special kind of alienation, of belonging but not quite belonging, of Jews hoping, believing, even preaching, that they were mainstream South Africans but somehow sensing that they had no place in this white South Africanism.” Tatz heard that thirteen Jewish families had migrated to Australia in 1948 “on the basis that life under the frightening Dr Malan wasn’t livable.” He was, a decade later, to join them.
As a deeply (and stereotypically) alienated Jew, Tatz assessed that life in apartheid South Africa presented him with five options. He dismissed the first, of identifying with mainstream Afrikaner nationalism, as “impossible.” The second, of identifying with Black nationalist movements, initially attractive, was ultimately not to his taste either. The third option, embraced by many South African Jews, was to join the Communist Party. Tatz claims he rejected this option because he didn’t need the “false camaraderie which accompanied Jews when they joined the Russian Revolution in 1917.” The forth option was “to put on blinkers and pretend that there was nothing amiss around me.” For the intensely political Tatz, this was simply “out of the question.” The fifth option, which he initially adopted, was to stay in South Africa and “write critiques of the system.” He pursued this option while a postgraduate student at the University of Natal, and it led to his first book, Shadow and Substance, written as a moral critique of South Africa’s racial policies. The sixth option, which he ultimately embraced, was “to remove myself from this environment altogether.”
The disingenuous nature of Tatz’s moral opposition to apartheid South Africa is revealed by the fact that, having committed himself to emigration, his first preference was to head to Israel: a nation founded on terrorism, ethnic cleansing, and institutionalized ethnic discrimination and apartheid. Tatz recounts that by 1959 he had decided to leave South Africa with his wife Sandra by the end of 1960. His plans changed when he was informed that an academic job was unlikely to become available in Israel because rich American professors “were free to volunteer their vacation services and they occupied all positions.” Tatz claims that, “Pretty shaken at the rejection of what I believed was young and willing talent, we were at a loss. Part of me still tells me that we should have persisted, and that Israel was the emotionally sensible place to be.”
Tatz sees no irony in his desire to leave a supposedly morally-objectionable South Africa for the Jewish ethno-state of Israel. One searches in vain through his voluminous writings on “genocide” and “racism” for even passing acknowledgement that Israel was founded on ethnic cleansing (where ninety per cent of the Indigenous Palestinian population have been killed or expelled). The Zionist project has created some eight million Palestinian refugees, and the highly abusive, violent and indefinite confinement of presently five million Palestinians: two million in the Gaza Strip and three million in the West Bank. Israeli Palestinians live as third-class citizens under a two-tier political and legal system. None of this is ever mentioned, let alone condemned, by the sanctimonious Tatz, nor the fact that Israel’s immigration policy openly discriminates against non-Jews, and bans marriage between Jews and non-Jews.
Instead he remains a fervent Zionist, and recounts how arriving in Israel in 1976, thanks to a state-sponsored three-week visit, “was an emotional turmoil evoking pangs about why I wasn’t there as a resident.” While in Israel, Tatz was given access to figures like General Moshe Dayan, Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin, the Eichmann Prosecutor Gideon Hausner and Foreign Minister Abba Eban. He recalls that “I hardly needed such a visit to make me Israel-aware, but the visit evoked an emotional reaction. I couldn’t wait to go there again and again.”
The rank (but entirely characteristic) hypocrisy of this Jewish intellectual activist is also evident in his having written several books about the “racism” supposedly endemic in Australian sport while participating in the Maccabi Games in Israel—a strictly Jews-only sporting festival. In his 2011 book One-Eyed: A View of Australian Sport, he contended that Australia’s traditional preoccupation with sport was evidence of the deep-seated racism and misogyny that undergirded White Australian society, and touted his book is a “strong and provocative piece of social and political criticism” that explores themes of “militarism, or Empire-ism, Britain’s motherhood, sport and war, sport as moral education, anti-femininity, racism” amongst others.
Since the end of apartheid, over 15,000 South African Jews have migrated to this incurably “racist” Australia. Tatz claims these Jews “are the world’s most educated émigrés, 70.8 per cent at tertiary level, the most well-heeled, the most cosmopolitan in the way they travel, the only migrant group capable of spending time and money coming on visits before selecting their relocation spots.” Even he has been taken aback by the insularity of these newcomers, observing how “socially, spatially, culturally, religiously, they huddle in enclaves of their own creation.” “Marrying out” for these intensely parochial Jews means marrying a non-South African Jewish spouse.
Tatz ascribes this hyper-ethnocentrism to the fact that “the shtetl remains engraved in their immigrant souls.” From the time of the mass Jewish exodus from Lithuania to South Africa in the early twentieth century, these Jews were, he notes, “saturated” with the notion of separateness. Ever-willing to wallow in the soothing psychological balm of lachrymose Jewish victimhood narratives, he also attributes their extreme ingroup preference to “the specter of antisemitism, the dark shadow of rejection by an anti-Semitic and intolerant world.” It is only among themselves, he maintains, that they can “relax at least for a while—laugh, cry, be brash, busy, creative, funny and not worry about what the goyim think.” The reputation of South African Jews in Australia took a significant hit in 2009 when the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Barry Tannenbaum, a South African Jewish immigrant, had scammed investors out of $1.5 billion in a Ponzi scheme that was likened to Bernie Madoff’s crime in the United States.
Tatz evinces no embarrassment at the state of the post-Apartheid South Africa that he and countless other Jews strived to bring about (Jews made up all six of the “whites” indicted in the Rivonia Trial of 1963 when several leaders of ANC, including Mandela, were given life sentences for plotting terrorism against the government). “I have taught many courses on South African racial history” he observes, “and still find the energy to read of events in the ‘rainbow country’—even with a doom-laden sense of watching a failed state or one looking perilously like one.” Ignoring the ongoing mass murder of White South African farmers, he notes with anguish how Cape Coloreds, now ten percent of the population, “are increasingly converts to militant Islam, filled with Jihadist hate and violence, especially towards Cape Town’s remnant Jewish population.”
Arriving in Australia
Having been generously allowed to migrate to Australia in 1960 to pursue postgraduate studies at the Australian National University in Canberra, Tatz repaid the hospitality of his new host by plunging into what he describes as the “unexpectedly depressing realm of Australia’s race relations.” Arriving in Canberra he quickly plugged into Jewish ethnic networks.
On my first day I walked to the nearest payphone, looked up J for Jewish, found a number and spoke to a public servant, David Smith, later official secretary to five Governors-General and knighted. Stay where you are, he said, and 20 minutes later we were under his family’s friendly wing. The very small Jewish community met for a few services at the Riverside Huts and for the high holy days in a hired trade union hall, and although we couldn’t contribute financially we were accepted as fully-fledged members of that small society.
Tatz speaks with contempt of the Anglo-Australian society of the 1960s and 1970s that he and his family “endured.” A move from Canberra to Melbourne was prompted by his appointment as a lecturer in politics and sociology at Monash University. Life in a prosperous, safe and orderly White middleclass suburb of Melbourne was purgatory for Tatz, who recalls how “We lived in Mount Waverley—then a social and cultural disaster zone but reasonably close to Monash—and endured that suburban wasteland from 1964 to the end of 1970. The American Jewish comic Allan Sherman once said he lived in 10 Sparrowfart Lane; our house was definitely number 8.”
Further ethnic networking led to his wife landing “a useful and attractive job at Jewish Welfare in [the suburb of] South Yarra, as assistant to Walter Lippmann, an outstanding figure in Jewish multicultural and migration affairs.” Walter Lippmann was, as I have previously discussed, the driving force behind getting “multiculturalism” embedded at the heart of state and federal government social policy. Lippmann also successfully lobbied for the creation of Australia’s first dedicated refugee policy and, then, its expansion in numbers and countries of origin.
Distaining to send his three children to a local school “heavily populated by a Christian Science congregation,” Tatz approached
Bialik College, a Zionist-oriented Jewish Day School in [the inner Melbourne suburb of] Hawthorn. Despite our inability to meet the fees, the Israeli principal wanted the three children. It was arranged that we could make desultory payments until our fortunes improved. The school was good for the children. They rode to school in a taxi subsidized by Bialik but even with that trip taken care of, Sandra drove something like 80km daily.
Tatz’s willingness to go to extreme lengths to avoid sending his children to a local goyish school is noteworthy given his claims to have first become aware of “social injustice,” and that “something was particularly amiss for Jews” in South Africa, in noticing the separation of Jewish and non-Jewish students at his school in South Africa, the King Edward VII High School, where “We were kept truly apart . . . with no explanation or justification.” For Tatz, this “embryonic awareness launched a lifelong journey into the study of politics and race.”
Tatz left Monash University in 1971 after being appointed the chair of politics at the University of New England in New South Wales where he established courses “on comparative race politics, racism and nationalism, and on Aboriginal studies for teacher trainees in particular.” In 1982 he took up the chair of politics at Macquarie University in Sydney. After studying at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Center in Jerusalem in 1986, he founded the Centre for Comparative Genocide Studies and introduced a genocide studies course at Macquarie. It was during repeated visits to Yad Vashem in the 1980s that he claims his “experiences, observations and analyses of racism merged into a stream of Holocaust consciousness.” Yad Vashem provided him with a new “analytical toolbox” in which the Holocaust connected seemingly disparate cases of racism, such as those experienced by Aboriginal Australians and Native Americans, that at first glance “have little in common with processes in the Third Reich.” Dissatisfied with funding, Tatz relocated the center to the University of New South Wales in 1999.
Kevin MacDonald has written extensively about the Jewish guru phenomenon, of Jewish intellectual leaders who take on a semi-divine status in the minds of their adoring acolytes. Tatz’s guru is the “great Holocaust scholar” Yehuda Bauer who he describes as his “mentor and inspiration.” Tatz first met his idol at Yad Vashem during the first Gulf War in 1991, and claims hearing or reading Bauer always left him awestruck by his “intensity, passion, and dedication to both detail and to the broader sweeps of that history.” The lessons that Tatz internalized from his guru are that White people are inveterate and incorrigible “anti-Semites” and that the hopes of Jewish activist organizations of eventually eliminating “anti-Semitism” are illusory:
Yehuda Bauer once said that of the death of 50 million people worldwide because of Hitler’s war against the Jews doesn’t deter people from hating, baiting and harming Jews, then nothing will. A sobering thought as I have come to accept his dictum that anti-Semitism is part of the Western world’s intellectual and populist baggage. It has always been there and always will be despite some valiant efforts by Jewish organizations to combat it. … If one believes that anti-Semitism is a “disease,” a “mental disorder,” one can understand the efforts at therapy. If one accepts it as “normal,” one can stop chasing down badly or insultingly worded crossword clues, offbeat comments on talkback radio, criticism of Israel and its military and [golf club] Royal Sydney’s membership policy. I believe that sanction is the only plausible remedy, one that can halt overt action against people and property; some Australian jurisdictions are halfway there with the criminalization of hate speech and incitement to racial hatred. Although you can do something to stop anti-Semitic behavior, you can’t stop the mindsets.
A proponent of the full criminalization of “anti-Semitism,” Tatz is generally skeptical of attempts by Jewish activist organizations to fight criticism of Jews through re-education programs like “Click against Hate,” an “early intervention” program run by Australia’s Anti-Defamation Commission for schoolchildren from Years 5 to 10 that is funded by billionaire Jewish property developer (and ardent Zionist) John Gandel. Tatz maintains that:
Race relations education programs the world over have shown that trying to educate people out of their racism doesn’t work. Founded in 1913, the reputable Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in the United States is dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry. It has had a few wins and a few interventions, but essentially one has to say that its campaigns on anti-Jewish sentiment and behavior has had little, if any, success in broad terms. (Much of the anti-defamation activity the world over treats racism as some form of illness and in need of a therapeutic approach. For reasons difficult to comprehend, making racism illegal is rarely considered an option.)
Despite his skepticism regarding the effectiveness of Jewish re-education programs, Tatz remains a staunch advocate for the introduction of courses about Aborigines, anti-Semitism, and “the Holocaust” in schools and universities. Despite the ubiquity of “the Holocaust” in Western culture, with its constant solicitations to White guilt, Tatz finds “disturbing” the “reluctance of curriculum-setting people, in schools and universities, to take the subject on board.” In 2012 the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies succeeded, after intense lobbying, in having study of “the Holocaust” mandated for all New South Wales school students. Tatz recommends that all students should make a pilgrimage to the Holocaust shrine of Auschwitz. His massage is “to go and see it, feel it, cry, gasp, take very deep breaths, and then recognize, in this very place, the stark reality that Jews will never be liked, let alone loved; that despite European Jewry enriching the world, much of the European world wanted to be rid of Jews and assisted the Nazis in their mission.”
 Colin Tatz, Human Rights and Human Wrongs: A Life Confronting Racism (Clayton, Victoria; Monash University Publishing, 2015), 347.
 Ibid., 345.
 Ibid., 5.
 Ibid., 345.
 Ibid., 346.
 Ibid., 348.
 Ibid., 16.
 Ibid., 15.
 Ibid., 35; 36.
 Ibid., 5.
 Colin Tatz, Australia’s Unthinkable Genocide (Xlibris; 2017), 2181.
 Tatz, Human Rights and Human Wrongs, 58.
 Ibid., 55.
 Ibid., 52.
 Colin Tatz, With Intent to Destroy: Reflecting on Genocide (London; Verso, 2003), 4.
 Tatz, Human Rights and Human Wrongs, 107.
 Tatz, With Intent to Destroy, 7.
 Tatz, Human Rights and Human Wrongs, 101.
 Tatz, Australia’s Unthinkable Genocide, 108.
 Tatz, Human Rights and Human Wrongs, 217.
 Ibid., 219.
 Ibid., 306.
 Ibid., 350.
 Ibid., 349.
 Ibid., 56.
 Ibid., 113.
 Ibid., 116.
 Ibid., 154.
 Ibid., 154-5
 Tatz, Australia’s Unthinkable Genocide, 490.
 Douglas Booth “Colin Tatz: Compelled to Repair a Flawed World” In: Genocide Perspectives: A Global Crime, Australian Voices, Ed. Nikki Marczak & Kirril Shields (Sydney: UTS ePress, 2017), 7.
 Colin Tatz & Winton Higgins, The Magnitude of Genocide, (Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2016), xii.
 Tatz, Human Rights and Human Wrongs, 22.
 Ibid., 359.
 Ibid., 305
 Tatz, Australia’s Unthinkable Genocide, 3210-3211.
 Tatz, With Intent to Destroy: Reflecting on Genocide, xvii.
 Tatz, Human Rights and Human Wrongs, 340-41.