Kim Philby’s last straw

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Here’s a great story about the cultural/political influence of Zionists in the west, showing that Zionism and anti-Zionism are ancient ideological rivals, pitted historically like Communists and anti-Communists.

You all know the name Kim Philby. He was the “third man” in the legendary Soviet spying ring inside England’s intelligence service that was discovered in the 50s and 60s. Philby met Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean when they were all young Communists at Cambridge University, but Philby was able to maintain his cover longer than the other two. He was the last of the group to flee, in 1962, to Moscow, the city where all three men died.

Guy Burgess
Guy Burgess

A recent book on the case explains that Philby was done in in the end by… his criticism of Israel as a journalist, which angered an English supporter of Israel who informed authorities that he was a spy. So Philby is in a tradition of writers hurt by taking on Zionism. And, surprise, American reviews of the book by leading writers leave out the Zionist angle entirely.

Pat, a regular reader, lately picked up a copy of that book, Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal, by Ben Macintyre, and he relates the story.

Philby (1912-1988), Burgess (1911-1963), and Maclean (1913-1983) were all from the best English background, had high-status government jobs, and were secretly Communists. Pat writes:

Donald Maclean
Donald Maclean


In the spring of 1951, Philby is 39 and working for MI6 in Washington, DC, when he learns that the Americans have discovered that Maclean, 38, who also works for the British intelligence, is a Soviet spy. Philby alerts Burgess.

Philby only wanted Maclean to flee. But Burgess joined Maclean in flight to Russia. This cast a huge shadow on Philby because Burgess and he were tight; Burgess stayed with Philby in his DC house for months while Burgess was stationed in DC. Maclean was Philby’s friend from college, but they were not that close later.

Philby resigned from MI6 during July of 1951. He was interrogated many times but was able to defend himself with his wit and his Eton and Cambridge connections.

He was given severance pay worth today’s $34k and he went to work as a journalist.

Philby was not named publicly as the “Third man” until October of 1955, when the story came out in the United States. This was world-wide headlines, but the story was not aired in England because of libel laws. Philby gave a presser at that time and denied all allegations once again and the matter was settled.

Philby went to Beirut for the “Observer” and Economist” during August of 1956.

Now here comes the Zionist angle. It seems that back in 1935 Kim Philby had tried to recruit a leftwing heiress who had been born in Russia: Flora Solomon (1895-1984).

Flora Solomon
Flora Solomon

Here is an excerpt of Macintyre’s A Spy Among Friends, Chapter 17, pages 244 and 245:

There was finally a witness in Solomon. A new investigation was started, and Philby confessed in Beirut to his friend and fellow MI6 man Nick Elliot. The interrogation went on in Beirut for a few days and Philby was allowed to go back to his house to sleep every night.

Philby fled to Russia January, 1963. Many believe that the Brits preferred Philby in Moscow than a long public trial in London. The escape was pretty easy.

And here’s the bottom line: Flora Solomon may well have known about the Philby suspicions in 1951, and certainly could have gone to the authorities after Philby’s public outing in October 1955. She didn’t. No, Kim Philby’s last straw was criticizing Israel.

Macintyre has written that Flora Solomon is a hero to him. As she changed British history.

I mentioned the American reviews that have nothing to say about the Zionism.

Walter Isaacson’s review of Macintyre in the New York Times is all about the tribal loyalties of the inbred social class, on the fraying fringe of Britain’s aristocracy, whose members held, Macintyre writes, “a shared set of assumptions about the world and their privileged place in it.” Here’s how Isaacson describes Philby’s discovery:

Philby’s mooring began to slip after his father’s death and, inevitably, his past caught up with him again. By 1962, enough evidence had accumulated that even Elliott became convinced his friend was a mole. He insisted that he be the one allowed to confront Philby and try to extract a confession. “Inside he was crushed,” Macintyre writes. “He wanted to look Philby in the eye one last time. He wanted to understand.”

Macintyre’s book climaxes with a psychological duel over tea, cloaked by a veneer of gentility, which led to some subsequent meetings and a partial confession from Philby. But instead of arranging an arrest or abduction or assassination, Elliott told his erstwhile friend that he was going to Africa for a few days before the process of interrogation resumed. On his own in Beirut, Philby immediately contacted his Russian handlers, who whisked him on a freighter to Moscow, where he lived the rest of his life in exile.

No Zionism in the picture.
And here’s Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker:
He moved to Beirut to work as a correspondent for the Observer and The Economist, only to have M.I.5 launch a second investigation, in the early nineteen-sixties. Before it could be completed, Philby slipped away. In January of 1963, a car with diplomatic plates picked him up from a bar in downtown Beirut and took him to a Soviet freighter bound for Odessa.
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“it’s why Jim Clancy, Helen Thomas, Steven Salaita, and a lot of other writers lost their jobs after Philby” Not just their jobs but some lost their LIVES. Think JFK. The arm of zionists is very long and very deceitful and very hidden. zionists are snakes. In our culture, snake… Read more »

Thanks Phil, that is truly a revelation. I suspect it will insert a number of missing pieces into the puzzle. Wright’s book raised more questions than it answered but few, if any considered the Zionist angle which may be the clue to the roles of many of the actors in… Read more »

Nobody influential cares, although it impacted many lives in its day; so, here’s something funny for you, the Hagee folks sent their bible to the Knesset & the latter wiped their asses with it: http://falastinews.com/2015/05/23/israeli-mp-publicly-tears-christian-new-testament-to-pieces/

The anti-fascist alliances of the 1930s created many strange bedfellows, I think.

The greatest ideological opposition of our times? C’mon, man. Are you really that obsessed with Israel? It’s one country. There are 193 on the Earth. Zionism is the ideology of 1. It is not that important an ideology unless you believe in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.