Recently, Abby Martin, the host of “Breaking the Set” on the Putin-funded Russia Today network, released two segments on the subjects of the Nazis and the “holocaust,” an event which she described as “a horrific genocide that forever changed the world.”
One wonders why Martin – like her compatriots in the Zionist-dominated Hollywood establishment — places exceptional status on the “holocaust” when in fact a far greater number of non-Jews — particularly Germans, Russians and Chinese — perished during the Second World War than even the highest exaggerations of the sacred Shoah.
Why have the Western media and academia placed such an importance and focus on Jewish deaths in World War II? Are Jewish deaths more tragic than non-Jewish deaths? Are Jewish lives worth more than those of non-Jews? Does Jewish suffering trump that of non-Jewish peoples? The supremacist and racist disposition of Jewish eminence in this regard must necessarily be the viewpoint of those who promote the “holocaust” as a seminal event in history, elevating it to sacrosanct status. Whether they realize it or not, commentators who advance the primacy of Jewish suffering are enabling the Zionists’ continued genocidal subjugation of the Palestinians.
Most people, including Martin, are blinded by decades of intense Zionist propaganda on the subject and cannot bring themselves to overcome their brainwashing. Or they are just too proud to admit they were wrong. If such people took the time and effort to do a little research, they would quickly discover that millions of “holocaust victims” have been excised from the official death total. For 45 years, the standard histories told us four million people died at Auschwitz. When the communist iron curtain disintegrated in 1990, the figure was revised downwards to 1.5 million, but the real death total still remains a mystery. Some historians estimate less than 100,000 people died in that camp, primarily from disease and starvation caused by Allied bombing. Death totals at other major German camps have likewise been significantly reduced by official sources. The Majdanek and Mauthausen camps were at one time claimed to be the resting places of 3.5 million Jews and others. Establishment sources now contend that around 74,000 Jews died in those two facilities combined.
Deborah Lipstadt, a leading holocaust industry figure, pointed out in a review of Tom Segev’s biography of the famed “Nazi hunter” Simon Wiesenthal, that Wiesenthal invented the figure of five million non-Jewish victims of Hitler in order to stimulate interest in the holocaust among non-Jews. “He chose five million because it was almost, but not quite, as large as six million,” she writes, but the figure, according to Lipstadt, “had no basis in historical reality.”
The most infamous German camp, Auschwitz, is the Rosetta Stone of the holocaust story. The camp’s true purpose bears little resemblance to the picture painted in Hollywood movies and mainstream history books. It is an irrefutable fact that Auschwitz had facilities one would never expect to find in a bona fide “death factory,” such as a swimming pool, a soccer pitch, a theater, a library, a post office, a hospital, dental facilities, kitchens and so on. Inmates were encouraged to participate in orchestras, theater productions, soccer matches and other cultural and leisure activities.
“We also had an orchestra where some of the musicians played together,” said one former Jewish inmate. Another former inmate noted some of the cultural activities in Auschwitz: “We had a piano. Not just a piano, a grand piano was brought into Block One,” she said. “Once that new block was built, the downstairs room was assigned for theater. I had a big table where I could work and lay out all the paper. That was very peaceful and relaxing,” she added. “I went out to pick the leaves, which would be used to make tea for the whole camp.”
“At the beginning of those days there was a library where people could get books to read,” said a former Buchenwald inmate. “There were newspapers that we could get … and later on … [the German authorities] made a movie theater in the camp.” “Once I came to the main camp we were allowed twice a month to write home,” he said. Other former inmates recounted memories of soccer matches in various German camps, including Auschwitz, Theresienstadt and Gross-Rosen. “On the weekends we got a group of us together and made a soccer team, we played soccer,” said one former inmate. Another explained, “In 1944 we had soccer games. We organized very well. Each nationality organized a … team. [German SS officers] even played soccer with us.”
In his article “Auschwitz: Myths and Facts,” historian Mark Weber noted that around 200,000 inmates were transferred from Auschwitz to other camps and 8,000 prisoners were found alive and well when the Soviets arrived in January of 1945. Many of the self-styled “holocaust survivors” claim to have survived internment in multiple “death camps,” which makes little sense. Weber also pointed out that about 1,500 inmates who had served their sentences were released from Auschwitz and returned home before the war’s end. “If Auschwitz had actually been a top secret extermination center,” Weber observed, “it is difficult to believe that the German authorities would have released inmates who ‘knew’ what was happening there.”
In reality, Auschwitz was a labour camp. “Arbeit macht frei (Work makes you free),” read the sign over the camp’s gated entrance. Inmates worked in the nearby factories to produce armaments, synthetic rubber and other materials for the German war effort. It makes no practical sense why the German government would waste so much time and resources to kill off their own labour force, especially when they were fighting a war on two fronts against formidable enemies. It goes without saying that labour camps are reprehensible, but when put into context, the practice was not particularly unusual. The Soviets established a vast network of forced labour camps (known as the Gulag) long before the Germans set up their labour facilities during the war, but there is far less criticism or condemnation of the Soviets for this, even though their camps were far more inhumane than those of their German counterparts.
In the 1990s, the Jewish revisionist researcher David Cole produced a film where he explored the various facilities at Auschwitz. He was taken on the traditional tour of the camp and asked the tour guide some probing questions. One of his queries related to the alleged “gas chamber” room shown to tourists in Auschwitz’s main camp. For decades Auschwitz guides had been telling naïve tourists that the room was a “homicidal gas chamber” that was in “original state.” Cole later confirmed in an interview with Auschwitz’s senior curator, Dr. Franciszek Piper, that the room was not in original state, but was a reconstruction built several years after the war by the Polish communist authorities. Revisionist historians had long held that the room was a fraudulent post-war contrivance of the communists and that it had never functioned as a gas chamber, but was actually a morgue that was later converted into an air raid shelter.
Some of the glaring problems with the structure include: the chimney, which was essential for evacuating the gas, is not connected to the building; the plain wooden doors at either end of the room are not air-tight; there are clear marks on the walls and floors showing where walls had once stood and toilets had once been; and multiple holes had been crudely smashed into the ceiling to give the appearance of openings for Zyklon B gas pellets to be dropped from. The location of the chamber was also conspicuous, situated extremely close to the hospital and other buildings. The poison gas would have infected the whole area, creating an environmental disaster.
The gassing stories form the foundational myths of the holocaust, but experts have challenged these claims. Experts contend that gassing is the most inefficient and dangerous method for executions. In 1988, researcher Ernst Zundel commissioned an expert to examine the rooms in Auschwitz and Majdanek which were claimed to have functioned as gas chambers for killing mass amounts of people. Fred Leuchter, a specialist who designed execution equipment including gas chambers for American prisons, did a forensic examination of these facilities. Going into the endeavor, Leuchter fully believed the official story about gassings, but was quickly amazed at how implausible it would have been for these rooms to function as mass execution gas chambers. He was bewildered as to why the National Socialists would have chosen such a risky method. He took brick samples of the walls of the alleged gas chambers and sent them to a chemical laboratory in Massachusetts. The test results revealed the brick samples contained negligible traces of cyanide residue. These results were contrasted with other samples taken from walls of delousing chambers — rooms where Zyklon B was sprayed on clothing and mattresses to kill lice – and these samples contained high traces of cyanide residue. “It is the best engineering opinion of this author that the alleged gas chambers at the inspected sites could not have [been] utilized or seriously considered to function as execution gas chambers,” writes Leuchter in his 1988 report entitled The Leuchter Report.
Another problem with the gassing story is the issue of blue staining caused by Zyklon B. “[T]he walls within the buildings in which Zyklon B is proved to have been used to delouse inmate clothing exhibit massive, blotchy, bluish discoloration,” writes chemist Germar Rudolf in his 1993 study The Rudolf Report. Massive blue staining is visibly present in rooms used for delousing, but no such stains are visible in any of the rooms claimed to have been “homicidal gas chambers.” “For chemical-physical reasons,” Rudolf concludes in his report, “the claimed mass gassings with hydrocyanic acid in the alleged ‘gas chambers’ in Auschwitz did not take place.” Contrary to eyewitness claims, Rudolf explains, “The supposed facilities for mass killing in Auschwitz and Birkenau were not suitable for this purpose… The supposed gas chambers in Auschwitz and Birkenau did not come into contact with Zyklon B. In legal language: the weapon was not loaded.”
A notable point which undermines the homicidal gassing story is that in April 1944 German authorities ordered the exact same amount of Zyklon B (195 kg) to be delivered to two camps: Auschwitz and Oranienburg. No historian contends that anyone was killed by gassing at the latter camp, yet the same amount of Zyklon gas was delivered there to be used for disinfection purposes. This begs another question: Why did the German authorities go out of their way to disinfect inmates’ clothing and bedding from lice (which spread the typhus disease) if their intention all along was to exterminate them? Wouldn’t they just let them get sick and die? In contravention of the extermination hypothesis, the Germans’ delousing policy was designed to save lives, not take them.
Additionally, a December 1942 directive authored by the head of the SS camp administration office criticized the high death rates in Germany’s labour camps due to disease, and issued an order to take measures to combat the trend. The directive ordered camp physicians to “use all means at their disposal to significantly reduce the death rate in the various camps.” It further called on camp doctors to supervise the nutrition of the prisoners more closely and commanded them “to see to it that the working conditions at the various labor places are improved as much as possible.” The directive stresses the seriousness of the order to reduce deaths in the camps, stating that it originated from SS chief Heinrich Himmler himself.
Interestingly, the German SS commandant of Buchenwald, Karl Koch, was charged and convicted by a Third Reich court of abuses in the camp and was sentenced to death for his transgressions. There are many other examples of German officers being punished for committing excesses against inmates and Jews. If the official state policy of the Third Reich was to systematically murder the inmates of these camps, then why would the SS punish their own officers for excesses and abuses in the camps as they did with Koch?
Not only have we been misled about the true nature of Germany’s wartime concentration camps, we have also been deceived about the real culprits behind the Second World War itself and their motivations. Official Western propaganda places all of the blame for the war squarely on Hitler, but renowned historian David Irving revealed a clue into the hidden forces behind the escalation of tensions between the Western Allies and Germany. Irving unearthed a letter written by the Jewish-Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann, who became the first president of Israel in 1948, which contained a pledge as well as a stunning admission. In exchange for helping to build a Jewish fighting force for the future Zionist conquest of Palestine, Wiezmann assured British leader Winston Churchill that American Jewry would use their collective power to drag the United States into the war on Britain’s side. “There is only one big ethnic group which is willing to stand, to a man, for Great Britain, and a policy of ‘all-out-aid’ for her: the five million American Jews,” wrote Wiezmann in the letter dated Sept. 10, 1941. “From Secretary Morgenthau, Governor Lehman, Justice Frankfurter, down to the simplest Jewish workman or trader, they are conscious of all that this struggle against Hitler implies.” “It has been repeatedly acknowledged by British Statesmen,” Wiezmann continued, “that it was the Jews who, in the last [world] war, effectively helped to tip the scales in America in favour of Great Britain. They are keen to do it – and may do it – again.” Weizmann emphasized that American Jewry “waits for a word – a call – from His Majesty’s Government. The formation of a Jewish fighting force would be that signal.”
Secret Polish documents captured by the Germans in Warsaw in 1939 confirm Weizmann’s boastful assertion that American Jewry was a primary factor responsible for America’s entry into the war against Germany and that they indeed had the power to bring the US into wars that are not in the country’s national interest. In February 1938, Count Jerzy Potocki, the Polish Ambassador in Washington, divulged to the foreign minister in Warsaw the leading role of Jewish elites in guiding then US President Franklin Roosevelt’s foreign policy and shaping public opinion to favour a war with Germany.
“The pressure of the Jews on President Roosevelt and on the State Department is becoming ever more powerful,” Potocki warned. “The Jews are right now the leaders in creating a war psychosis which would plunge the entire world into war.” Potocki explained that the American media was largely in the hands of Zionist Jews and that they were feverishly inciting for war with Germany. “The American public is subject to an ever more alarming propaganda which is under Jewish influence,” he opined, adding, “Propaganda is mostly in the hands of the Jews who control almost 100 percent radio, film, daily and periodical press.” “In conversations with Jewish press representatives,” Potocki continued, “I have repeatedly come up against the inexorable and convinced view that war is inevitable. This international Jewry exploits every means of propaganda to oppose any tendency towards any kind of consolidation and understanding between nations.” Potocki asserted that President Roosevelt’s foreign policy was not his own, but rather was predicated on the desires of influential Jewish policymakers surrounding him such as Bernard Baruch, Felix Frankfurter and Henry Morgenthau, Jr. “Roosevelt has been given the foundation for activating American foreign policy, and simultaneously has been procuring enormous military stocks for the coming war, for which the Jews are striving very consciously,” he wrote.
The underlying motivation of all this deception and subterfuge on the part of the Jewish-Zionist elite was outlined in 1900 by an influential American rabbi and Zionist leader named Stephen S. Wise. “There are 6,000,000 living, bleeding, suffering arguments in favor of Zionism,” he announced at a meeting of the Federation of American Zionists. The notion of “six million” Jews either being persecuted or on the precipice of a “holocaust” was forwarded more than 250 times between the years 1900 and 1945. In his book The First Holocaust, researcher Don Heddesheimer documented that the primary aim of these reckless propaganda campaigns was to promote sympathy for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine as well as to raise funds for Jewish settlement there. The Soviet-Jewish war propagandist Ilya Ehrenburg disseminated the erroneous claim that precisely “six million Jews” had been killed by Germany several months before the end of World War II, long before any accurate statistical data on war deaths would become available, and thus unveiled the pre-meditated and altogether fraudulent nature of the story.
In October 1940, Arthur Greenwood, a British politician and member of the war cabinet, publicly pledged a “new world order” to World Jewry. He announced that once Germany was defeated in the war and Nazism was crushed, Jews everywhere would be given an opportunity to make a “distinctive and constructive contribution in the rebuilding of the world.” Fifty-one years later, in November 1991, an official of the Zionist society of B’nai B’rith announced that memorializing ‘the holocaust’ was a central component of Zionist plans for a “new world order.” Pacifying the Gentile world with guilt constitutes a major portion of the global Zionist agenda. In his book The Holocaust Industry, the Jewish scholar Norman Finkelstein observed that “The holocaust has proven to be an indispensable ideological weapon” and that invoking it “is a ploy to delegitimize all criticism of Jews. By conferring total blamelessness on Jews, the Holocaust dogma immunizes Israel and American Jewry from legitimate censure.”
In a comment on her Facebook page in response to this author, Abby Martin denounced “holocaust denial,” decrying those who question certain aspects of the victors’ version of the Second World War. That prompted this author to pose the question, “If I disbelieve the official story of 9/11, does that make me a ‘9/11 denier?’” When Galileo contradicted the established dogma of the Catholic Church, which erroneously held that the earth is at the center of this solar system, he was assailed as a “heretic” and forced to recant his “heretical theories.” Today, Galileo’s enlightened expositions are accepted fact. Similar witch-hunts to the one that victimized Galileo have been aimed at revisionist historians who challenge Zionist fictions about what life was like in Germany’s wartime concentration camps.
In the second segment of her show dealing with this subject, Martin did a report about how “Nazis” infiltrated America via Operation Paperclip, a CIA covert program to bring German scientists to the US to serve the American war machine during the Cold War. She denounces these mere scientists (who had no power to make political or military decisions during the war) as defacto “Nazi war criminals” and cites the Nuremberg trials as if they were legitimate justice. This is the same trial where Stalin’s handpicked Soviet judges submitted forged documents and coerced witnesses to blame Germany for the Katyn forest massacre of tens of thousands of Poles which took place in 1940, a heinous crime that was committed by the Soviets themselves. This is the same show trial, presided over by the victorious powers, that accused the Germans of such patently absurd things as killing people by means of steam and electricity, manufacturing soap and lampshades out of human tissue, the production of shrunken heads from inmates, and of having bicycle races in the gas chamber of Birkenau. Those are but a few of the sensationalist war propaganda stories that are no longer contended to be true by anyone, not even the staunchest holocaust promoters.
Conveniently, Martin forgets to mention that her own nation of America – a country founded upon ethnic cleansing and genocide — committed egregious war crimes against Germany and Japan during the Second World War, starving to death more than 1.5 million German POWs in concentration camps after the end of the war, and dropping two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not to mention the Allied carpet-bombing of German cities during the war, killing hundreds of thousands of German civilians in a matter of hours. The Allied Powers fully aided and abetted Stalin’s crimes against humanity, and took part in the massive ethnic cleansing of Germans after the war from territory stripped from Germany and given to surrounding countries. According to historian James Baque, more than nine million Germans died between the years 1944 and 1950 as a result of deliberate Allied-Soviet expulsion and starvation tactics. More than two million German women ware mass raped and tortured by invading hordes of Soviet Red Army troops.
Absent from all of Martin’s exposés of elite corruption is any coverage of the predominant Jewish role in Bolshevism and the unmitigated evil that it spawned. “The Communist movement and ideology played an important part in Jewish life, particularly in the 1920s, 1930s, and during and after World War II,” explained the Encyclopaedia Judaica (a Jewish publication) in its article on Communism. “Individual Jews,” the article continued, “played an important role in the early stages of Bolshevism and the Soviet Regime.” The Judaica revealed that “the bulk of Russian Jewish youth” joined the ranks of the Bolsheviks in 1917. The article further observed that “Jews became the leading element in the legal and illegal Communist parties and in some cases were even instructed by the Communist International to change their Jewish-sounding names and pose as non-Jews.” It adds that Jews occupied “many responsible positions in all branches of the party and state machinery at the central and local seats of power.” It goes on to produce a sizable list of top Jewish Bolshevik functionaries in the Soviet state, which included: Maxim Litvinov (Wallach), M. Liadov (Mandelshtam), Grigori Shklovsky, A. Soltz, Grigori Zinoviev (Radomyslsky), Lev Kamenev (Rosenfeld), Rozaliya Zemliachka (Zalkind), Helena Rozmirovich, Jacob Sverdlov, Y. Yaklovlev (Epstein), Lazar Kaganovich, D. Shvartsman, Simon Dimanstein, Leon Trotsky (Bronstein), M. Uritsky, M. Volodarsky, J. Steklov, Adolf Joffe, David Riazanov (Goldendach), Yuri Larin, Karl Radek (Sobelsohn) and many others.
Without the Jewish element, the communist victory in Russia would not have succeeded. The Wall Street Jewish banker Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. heavily subsidized the Bolshevik effort to depose the Czar. “Mr. Schiff has always used his wealth and his influence in the best interests of his people,” noted the Jewish Communal Register of New York City (1917-1918). “He financed the enemies of the autocratic Russia and used his financial influence to keep Russia away from the money market of the United States.” In 1917 Schiff publicly declared, “Thanks are due to the Jew that the Russian revolution succeeded.”
Eliminating opponents of Jewish intrigue was evidently crucial to the success of Bolshevism. In 1918, Vladimir Lenin instructed all Bolshevik deputies to “take uncompromising measures to tear the anti-Semitic movement out by the roots. Pogromists and pogrom agitators are to be placed outside of the law.” Lenin declared that expressions and actions against Jews “are fatal to the interests of the … revolution” and called upon everyone sympathetic to Bolshevism to “fight this evil with all the means at their disposal.” Leon Trotsky (real name: Bronstein), Lenin’s right-hand man who founded the murderous Red Army, boasted in a newspaper interview that the very first order of the Bolshevik regime led by Lenin was to immediately execute anti-Semites “on the spot without trial.” Stalin upheld Lenin’s homicidal decree, explaining, “anti-Semitism is punishable with the utmost severity of the law as a phenomenon deeply hostile to the Soviet system. Under U.S.S.R. law active anti-Semites are liable to the death penalty.” In a 1936 speech before the eighth All-Union Congress of Soviets, then Soviet foreign minister Molotov proudly acknowledged that “in the Soviet Union actual anti-Semites are shot.”
The genocidal policies of the Soviet Bolsheviks, a large portion of whom were Jewish, led to the deaths of at least 40 million people, a number that far exceeds even the greatest myths about the holocaust. In 1932 alone, the Soviet secret police (the Cheka) orchestrated the demise of more than seven million Ukrainians in what is now known as the Holodomor, an artificial famine-genocide sponsored by Moscow. In 2009, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Ukraine’s security service “is pressing the case against a list of former Soviet officials accused of committing the Holodomor, which caused the deaths of millions in Ukraine in 1932-33.” “Most of the names on the list,” the article noted, “were Jewish.” In 2010, the Israeli president and veritable war criminal Shimon Peres visited Ukraine and gave a speech. “If I were asked what advice Ukraine, I would say: forget history. History in general is not important at all,” said Peres in a vile display of hubris and contempt for Ukrainian victims of the Holodomor.
The Israeli writer Sever Plocker put it succinctly in an op-ed for the Israeli publication Ynet News. “We mustn’t forget that some of greatest murderers of modern times were Jewish,” he writes in the sub-head of the article, acknowledging the predominant Jewish role in Bolshevist bloodletting. Plocker observed that Genrikh Yagoda, the fearsome NKVD chieftain for many years, was “the greatest Jewish murderer of the 20th Century.” “Yagoda diligently implemented Stalin’s collectivization orders,” writes Plocker, “and is responsible for the deaths of at least 10 million people. His Jewish deputies established and managed the Gulag system.” He also drew attention to the activities of the Jewish official Lazar Kaganovich, Stalin’s right-hand man, whose leading role in communist crimes against humanity has been swept under the rug of history. “Many Jews sold their soul to the devil of the Communist revolution and have blood on their hands for eternity,” writes Plocker, concluding: “Even if we deny it, we cannot escape the Jewishness of ‘our hangmen,’ who served the Red Terror with loyalty and dedication from its establishment. After all, others will always remind us of their origin.”
All forms of exceptionalism and supremacism are equally detestable, but it seems that only one particular form of ethnic supremacism has been placed outside the bounds of legitimate rebuke: Jewish supremacy. Is it wrong or ‘racist’ for one to point out that leading Jewish religious figures steep their followers in the principles of Jewish supremacy quite openly? “Non-Jews only exist to serve Jews as slaves,” declared Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of Shas, a major Israeli political party. “Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel,” he said. More than 800,000 Israeli Jews attended Yosef’s funeral when he died in October 2013, including Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Another prominent Israeli rabbi once said, “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.”
Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of the extremist Chabad movement, advanced the view that non-Jews have evil souls “with no redeeming qualities whatsoever… All Jews are innately good, all Gentiles are innately evil.” A revered Jewish religious leader named Rabbi Kook the Elder explained that the difference between the souls of Jews and non-Jews “is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle.” “[T]he Jews are the highest and most cultured people on earth,” writes Rabbi Harry Waton in his 1938 text A Program for the Jews. Because of their self-professed superiority, Waton believed that “The Jews have a right to subordinate to themselves the rest of mankind and to be the masters over the whole earth.” Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion said, “There have been only two great peoples: the Greeks and the Jews.” Such supremacist opinions are not the ravings of fringe lunatics, but rather constitute mainstream Zionist thought and belief.
In conclusion, the media’s obsession with the holocaust is part and parcel of the Zionist campaign to cast a spell over the collective consciousness of the Western world in order to desensitize the public to the suffering of the Palestinians and shield Israel from criticism. The Orwellian attempt to stifle unfettered debate about questionable aspects of the holocaust story and censor skeptics by enshrining laws that punish dissenting opinions only fortifies the revisionist position.
By Robin Davis | Countercurrents | June 6, 2009
It has always been those few who can see through the political correctness and hypocrisy of popular attitudes who are considered dangerous.
“Holocaust denial laws” are now in place in about a dozen countries. Defenders of these laws claim that the expression of unconventional views about the Jewish genocide is “hate speech” and “incitement to violence” and therefore must be suppressed.
But history shows the greatest purveyors of lies, hatred and incitement to violence are those with the power to spread their poison by manipulating popular opinion via the control or complicity of the mass media. Through a purposefully constructed lens of political correctness the despicable becomes normal. It is by this insidious process that tyrants make it normal and acceptable to murder those whom they consider threatening or inferior. We have only to turn on the television to see that process at work.
It is not the unpopular views we should fear but the popular.
When the suppression of free speech serves no purpose other than to silence unconventional opinions we should be alarmed. We should be even more alarmed when to question oppressive laws is to risk vilification, in this case by the smear of “Holocaust denier” and “anti-Semite”.
Appropriation of the term “The Holocaust” to the Nazi extermination of the Jews minimises the significance of other genocides, including those that are happening right now. Should these crimes also be closed to opinions that question the accuracy of the official “truth”?
Stifling open discussion and debate also does an injustice to the other millions of victims of the Nazi concentration camps: the Roma, Blacks, Polish and Russian prisoners, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals and the mentally and physically disabled. It sidelines the slave labourers starved, beaten and worked to death in German war industries and the horrors suffered by anyone expressing anti-Nazi views.
It is likely that most people regard the real deniers of the Jewish genocide – the ones who say the extermination crimes never happened at all – in the same light as those who espouse any number of other oddball ideas. Do we need laws to protect us from those who make obviously unsupportable claims?
The real threat posed by “deniers” is that others might be influenced to undertake serious study and uncover embarrassing facts that would refute Israel’s “victim” status. This would threaten Israel’s moral legitimacy, underpinned by the world’s collective shame for looking the other way. All it takes to invoke that shame is the term anti-Semite, either stated or implied.
But opinions that question the widely accepted WWII Jewish genocide history are not anti-Semitic any more than opinions that question the accepted history of the Ukraine genocide (1) are anti-Russian. That we are led to label any deviation from the official history as “Holocaust denial” and “Holocaust denial” as anti-Semitism is no accident. It has come about by the same semantic sleight of hand that would have us believe anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are one and the same. They are not.
Many Christians are Zionists while many Jews throughout the world, perhaps even the majority, are anti-Zionist. Anti-Zionism has nothing to do with persecution of the Jews. It is simply anti-racism and anti-colonialism as applied to the occupation of Palestine and the subjugation of its indigenous population. (2)
When anyone goes to great lengths to stifle open inquiry and debate on any subject, alarm bells should ring. Invariably the motivation is suppression of uncomfortable truths. The uncomfortable truth of the Jewish genocide is that millions of lives would certainly have been saved had it been the priority of the Zionist leadership to save them. Their priority instead was establishment of the state of Israel. And then, as now, the suffering of Europe’s Jews and the world’s collective guilt was exploited to that end. (3)
Ironically, when millions of refugees were trying to escape from Europe before the war, and even while the genocide was in progress, prominent leaders of the Zionist movement were “Holocaust deniers”. When the truth could no longer remain hidden, the Zionist leadership opposed attempts to save the European Jews through financial and humanitarian aid and emigration. The exception was migration to Palestine, and even the relative few who were saved were selected not according to their plight but according to their perceived value to the future state of Israel.
One proposal by 270 members of the British Parliament, as a part of diplomatic negotiations with Germany during the height of the killings, was to evacuate 500,000 Jews from Europe and resettle them in British colonies. This offer was rejected by the Zionist leaders with the observation, “Only to Palestine!” (3)
It is clear from the statements and actions of the Zionist leadership that they considered the suffering of the European Jews advantageous in securing future international support for the establishment of the Zionist state.
Shocking? That uncomfortable truth is well documented for those who care or dare to study the subject.
Throughout history Jews, like many other minorities, have indeed been persecuted, but the modern state of Israel never was the victim. Since its inception it has been the coloniser, aggressor, tormentor and oppressor. Exploiting the memory of Hitler’s victims to perpetuate the myth of “victim Israel” is cynical. To do so while attacking its neighbours and inflicting Nazi-style state terrorism, apartheid and genocide on the Palestinians is cynical in the extreme.
While “deniers” are jailed for expressing unacceptable views, the real criminals – those responsible for the agony and death of millions – manipulate popular opinion to make crimes against humanity, war crimes, contempt for international law and indifference to human suffering seem normal and acceptable. And they do so with impunity.
Robin Davis lives in Victoria, Australia. He is a freelance writer and graphic designer. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
How low can you go?
When the hand you hold is a loser. The holocaust card can always be played.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has called on Russia to use its influence with the Syrian regime to help get humanitarian aid to the besieged city of Homs.
Tense negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition entered their fifth day Tuesday, focusing on the transfer of power and helping besieged parts of Homs.
The emphasis on Homs and release of detainees are meant as confidence-building measures. A tentative agreement was reached in Geneva over the weekend for the evacuation of women and children trapped in Homs before aid convoys go in. Central Homs has been under siege for nearly two years.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, in a speech during international Holocaust commemoration day on Monday, said that just as Russian soldiers liberated Auschwitz in 1945, “the world again needs Russia to use its influence, this time to ensure that food reaches the desperate and starving people imprisoned in besieged Homs, Yarmouk, the Damascus suburbs and elsewhere.”
“The horrors of the Holocaust have no parallel but the world continues to confront crimes that shock the conscience,” Power said during an event where film director Steven Spielberg gave a keynote address and a survivor of the Nazi genocide also spoke. “In October, the Security Council spoke with a united voice about the need for action to address the humanitarian devastation in Syria. There are people who are imprisoned in their own neighborhoods.” “They need food desperately and yet food cannot reach them because the regime will not allow it.”
Oh, I can think of plenty of parallels, but, let’s pretend the Holocaust (TM) is the only one that counts.
So valued for so many reasons:
Crushing free speech
Playing the victim card
And let’s not forget- Used to traumatize young Israeli’s- I saved this one knowing the time would be right to use it!
Think of the value in traumatizing the populace. Fear and trauma allows for mass manipulation and ease of control.
Back to the invocation of the high holy holocaust meme
Russia’s mission to the UN criticized Power for bringing the Holocaust into the Syria issue.
“We regard such analogies as entirely inappropriate,” said Alexei Zaitsev, a spokesman for the mission, in an e-mail.
And these are inappropriate analogies. But, Samantha Power has always shown herself to be willing to stoop to the way down low level.
Sick. Considering the US and Israeli involvement in the ruin of Syria. Absolutely sick!
The Shoah as State Religion?
Paris – The campaign by the French government, mass media and influential organizations to silence the Franco-Cameroonese humorist Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala continues to expose a radical split in perception within the French population. The official “mobilization” against the standup comedian, first called for by Interior Minister Manuel Valls at a ruling Socialist Party gathering last summer, portrays the entertainer as a dangerous anti-Semitic rabble rouser, whose “quenelle”* gesture is interpreted as a “Nazi salute in reverse”.
For his fans and supporters, those accusations are false and absurd.
The most significant result of the Dieudonné uproar so far is probably the dawning realization, among more and more people, that the “Shoah”, or Holocaust, functions as the semi-official State Religion of France.
On RTL television last January 10, the well-known nonconformist commentator Eric Zemmour (who happens to be Jewish) observed that it was “grotesque and ridiculous” to associate Dieudonné with the Third Reich. Zemmour described Dieudonné as a product of the French left’s multiculturalism. “It’s the left that has taught us since May ’68 that it is prohibited to prohibit, that we must shock the bourgeois. It is the left that has turned the Shoah into the supreme religion of the Republic…”
Zemmour suggested that Dieudonné was provoking “the respectable left-wing bourgeoisie” and that he “reproaches Jews for wanting to conserve the monopoly of suffering and steal primacy in suffering from descendants of slavery”.
There is more than that at stake. Reminders of the Shoah serve indirectly to justify France’s increasingly pro-Israel foreign policy in the Middle East. Dieudonné opposed the war against Libya enough to go there to show his solidarity with the country being bombed by NATO.
Dieudonné began his career as a militant anti-racist. Instead of apologizing for his 2003 sketch mocking an “extreme Zionist settler”, Dieudonné retorted by gradually extending his sphere of humor to cover the Shoah. The campaign against him can be seen as an effort to restore the sacred character of the Shoah by enforcing repression of a contemporary form of blasphemy.
To confirm this impression, on January 9 an “historic” agreement was reached between the Paris Prosecutor’s Office and the French Shoah Memorial that any teenager found guilty of anti-Semitism may be sentenced to undergo a course of “sensitivity to the extermination of the Jews”. Studying genocide is supposed to teach them “republican values of tolerance and respect for others”.
This is perhaps exactly what they don’t need. The Prosecutor’s Office may be unaware of all the young people who are saying that they have had too much, rather than not enough, Shoah education.
An atypical article in Le Monde of January 8 cited opinions anyone can easily hear from French youth, but which are usually ignored. After interviewing ten left-leaning, middle class spectators who denied any anti-Semitism, Soren Seelow quoted Nico, a 22-year-old left-voting law student at the Sorbonne, who adores Dieudonné for “liberating” laughter in what he considers a stuffy conformist society of “good thoughts”. As for the Shoah, Nico complained that “they’ve been telling us about it since elementary school. When I was 12, I saw a film with bulldozers pushing bodies into ditches. We are subjected to a guilt-inducing morality from the earliest age.”
In addition to history courses, teachers organize commemorations of the Shoah and trips to Auschwitz. Media reminders of the Shoah are almost daily. Unique in French history, the so-called Gayssot law provides that any statement denying or minimizing the Shoah can be prosecuted and even lead to prison.
Scores of messages received from French citizens in response to my earlier article as well as private conversations make it clear to me that reminders of the Shoah are widely experienced by people born decades after the defeat of Nazism as invitations to feel guilty or at least uncomfortable for crimes they did not commit. Like many demands for solemnity, the Shoah can be felt as a subject that imposes uneasy silence. Laughter is then felt as liberation.
But for others, such laughter can only be an abomination.
Dieudonné has been fined 8,000 euros for his song “Shoananas”, and further such condemnations are in the offing. Such lawsuits, brought primarily by LICRA (Ligue internationale contre le racisme et l’antisémitisme), also aim to wipe him out financially.
One line in the chorus against Dieudonné is that he is “no longer a comedian” but has turned his shows into “anti-Semitic political meetings” which spread “hatred”. Even the distant New Yorker magazine has accused the humorist of making a career out of peddling “hatred”. This raises images of terrible things happening that are totally remote from a Dieudonné show or its consequences.
There was no atmosphere of hatred among the thousands of fans left holding their tickets when Dieudonné’s January 9 show in Nantes was banned at the last minute by France’s highest administrative authority, the Conseil d’Etat. Nobody was complaining of being deprived of a “Nazi rally”. Nobody thought of causing harm to anyone. All said they had come to enjoy the show. They represented a normal cross-section of French youth, largely well-educated middle class. The show was banned on the grounds of “immaterial disturbance of public order”. The disappointed crowd dispersed peacefully. Dieudonné’s shows have never led to any public disorder.
But there is no mistaking the virulent hatred against Dieudonné.
Philippe Tesson, a prominent editor, announced during a recent radio interview that he would “profoundly rejoice” at seeing Dieudonné executed by a firing squad. “He is a filthy beast, so get rid of him!” he exclaimed.
The internet Rabbi Rav Haim Dynovisz, in the course of a theology lesson, acknowledged that Darwin’s theory of evolution, which he rejects, had been proved by Dieudonné to apply to “certain” people, who must have descended from gorillas.
Two 17-year-olds have been permanently expelled from their high school for having made the quenelle gesture, on grounds of “crimes against humanity”. The Franco-Israeli web magazine JSSNews is busily investigating the identities of persons making the quenelle sign in order to try to get them fired from their jobs, boasting that it will “add to unemployment in France”.
The owners of the small Paris theater, “La Main d’Or”, rented by Dieudonné on a lease running until 2019, recently rushed back from Israel expressing their intention to use a technicality to end his lease and throw him out.
The worst thing Dieudonné has ever said during his performances, so far as I am aware, was a personal insult against the radio announcer Patrick Cohen. Cohen has insistently urged that persons he calls “sick brains” such as Dieudonné or Tariq Ramadan be banned from television appearances. In late December, French television (which otherwise has kept Dieudonné off the airwaves) recorded Dieudonné saying that “when I hear Patrick Cohen talking, I think to myself, you know, the gas chambers… Too bad…”
With the anti-Dieudonné campaign already well underway, this offensive comment was seized upon as if it were typical of Dieudonné’s shows. It was an excessively crude reaction by Dieudonné to virulent personal attacks against himself.
Irreverence is a staple for standup comics, like it or not. And Dieudonné’s references to the Holocaust, or Shoah, all fall into the category of irreverence.
On matters other than the Shoah, there is no shortage of irreverence in France.
Traditional religions, as well as prominent individuals, are regularly caricatured in a manner so scatological as to make the quenelle look prudish. In October, 2011, Paris police intervened against traditional Catholics who sought to interrupt a play which included (the apparent) pouring of excrement over the face of Jesus. The political-media establishment vigorously defended the play, unconcerned that it was perceived by some people as “offensive”.
Recently, France gave a big welcome to the Ukrainian group calling itself “Femen”, young women who seem to have studied Gene Sharp’s doctrines of provocation, and use their bare breasts as (ambiguous) statements. These women were rapidly granted residence papers (so hard to get for many immigrant workers) and allowed to set up shop in the midst of the main Muslim neighborhood in Paris, where they immediately attempted to try (unsuccessfully) to provoke the incredulous residents. The blonde Femen leader was even chosen to portray the symbol of the Republic, Marianne, on the current French postage stamp, although she does not speak French.
Last December 20, these “new feminists” invaded the Church of the Madeleine near the Elysée Palace in Paris, acted out “the abortion of Jesus” and then pissed on the high altar. There were no cries of indignation from the French government. The Catholic Church is complaining, but such complaints have a feeble echo in France today.
Why the Shoah Must Be Sacred
When Dieudonné sings lightly of the Shoah, he is believed by some to be denying the Holocaust and calling for its repetition (a contradictory proposition, upon reflection). The sacred nature of the Shoah is defended by the argument that keeping alive the memory of the Holocaust is essential to prevent it from “happening again”. By suggesting the possibility of repetition, it keeps fear alive.
This argument is generally accepted as a sort of law of nature. We must keep commemorating genocide to prevent it from happening again. But is there really any evidence to support this argument?
Nothing proves that repeated reminders of an immense historic event that happened in the past prevent it from happening again. History doesn’t work that way. As for the Shoah, gas chambers and all, it is quite preposterous to imagine that it could happen again considering all the factors that made it happen in the first place. Hitler had a project to confirm the role of Germans as the master “Aryan” race in Europe, and hated the Jews as a dangerous rival elite. Who now has such a project? Certainly not a Franco-African humorist! Hitler is not coming back, nor is Napoleon Bonaparte, nor is Attila the Hun.
Constantly recalling the Shoah, in articles, movies, news items, as well as at school, far from preventing anything, can create a morbid fascination with “identities”. It fosters “victim rivalries”. This fascination can lead to unanticipated results. Some 330 schools in Paris bear plaques commemorating the Jewish children who were deported to Nazi concentration camps. How do little Jewish children today react to that? Do they find it reassuring?
This may be useful to the State of Israel, which is currently undertaking a three-year program to encourage more of France’s 600,000 Jews to leave France and go to Israel. In 2013, the number of Aliyah from France rose to more than 3,000, a trend attributed by the European Jewish Press to the “French Jewish community’s increasingly Zionistic mentality, particularly among young French Jews, and a manifestation of efforts by the Jewish Agency, the Israel government, and other non-profits to cultivate Jewish identity in France.”
“If this year we have seen Aliyah from France go from under 2,000 to more than 3,000, I look forward to seeing that number grow to 6,000 and beyond in the near future, as we connect ever more young people to Jewish life and to Israel,” declared Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Surely, one way to encourage Aliyah is to scare Jews with the threat of anti-Semitism, and claiming that Dieudonné’s numerous fans are Nazis in disguise is a good way to do this.
But as for Jews who want to live in France, is it really healthy to keep reminding Jewish children that, if they are not wary, their fellow citizens might one day want to herd them onto freight trains and ship them all to Auschwitz? I have heard people saying privately that this permanent reminder is close to child abuse.
Someone who thinks that way is Jonathan Moadab, a 25-year-old independent journalist who was interviewed by Soren Seelow. Moadab is both anti-Zionist and a practicing Jew. As a child he was taken to tour Auschwitz. He told Seelow that that living with that “victim indoctrination” had engendered a sort of “pre-traumatic stress syndrome”.
“Dieudonné’s jokes about the Shoah, like his song Shoananas, are not aimed at the Shoah itself,” he says, “but at the exploitation of the Holocaust described by the American political writer Norman Finkelstein.”
On January 22, on his web site Agence Info Libre, Jonathan Moadab openly called for “separating the State from the Holocaust religion”. Moadab cites professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz as the first to point out the many ways in which the Holocaust has become the new Jewish religion. If that is so, everyone has the right to practice the religion of the Shoah. But should it be the official religion of France?
French politicians never cease celebrating the “laicité”, the secularism, of the French Republic. Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who proclaims his own devotion to Israel, because his wife is Jewish, recently called the Shoah the “sanctuary that cannot be profaned”. Moadab concludes that if the Shoah is a sanctuary, then the Holocaust is a religion, and the Republic is not secular.
Changes are taking place in the attitude of young people in France. This change is not due to Dieudonné. It is due to the passage of time. The Holocaust became the religion of the West at a time when the generation after World War II was in the mood to blame their parents. Now we are with the grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, of those who lived through that period, and they want to look ahead. No law can stop this.
*As described in my earlier article, the “quenelle” is a vulgar gesture roughly meaning “up yours”, with one hand placed at the top of the other arm stretched down to signify “how far up” this is to be. Using the name of a French dumpling, Dieudonné started using this gesture in a wholly different context years ago, as an expression of defiance, incredulity or indifference.
Diana Johnstone can be reached at email@example.com
January 23, 2014
If the quenelle is loosely defined as an anti establishment salute, one may wonder why Jews are offended by it and regard it as an ‘anti-Semitic’ gesture? Is it because many Jews actually identify with ‘the establishment’? And how do we explain the fact that the French government is happy to compromise the most elementary liberties just to appease the French Jewish Lobby (Crif)?
The truth is devastating – Palestine is here and the French people are the Palestinians Du Jour…
France is the middle of a sweeping popular movement sparked by Dieudonné and symbolized by la Quennelle, a movement that has united young and old, white and black, men and women, the middle class and the unemployed, extreme Left, center and Right, many Muslims, Christians and even a couple of Jews.
It is an anti-establishment revolt but also one specifically directed at the Jewish power that rules the French establishment and has destroyed individual freedoms long cherished by the French, like freedom of speech. The French appear to have had enough of forced indoctrination into the worship of the Holocaust (a topic Dieudonné has dared to ridicule in his comedy sketches), of laws throwing historians in prison for daring to question the official Holocaust narrative, of the foreign policy of France being conducted according to the dictates of CRIF (the French equivalent of AIPAC).
It is a peaceful revolt, employing a gesture, not words, in a state muzzled by anti-free speech laws, one that mocks Power and says, “We are no longer afraid of you.” It is precisely that message that has sent the French Israeli Firsters into a hysterical panic: that “they” are no longer afraid and that a single spark was sufficient to unite all segments of society that JP had worked for so long to atomize and set against each other.
The measure of their panic is given by the preposterous, Orwellian ways in which they propose to silence and punish Dieudonné. The French Interior Minister, Mon. Valls (the same one who declared that through his wife he is eternally tied to Israel) has instructed (he prefers the word “advised”) the mayors of all French towns to forbid any performances of Dieudonné anywhere, in any venue. “You will never work in this country again!” Another contemplated measure is to form a joint commission of no less than three ministeries: Interior, Justice and Economy, to find modalities of punishing Dieudonné in all possible ways: depriving him of liberty, ruining him finnacially. He already owes close to 100,00 Euros in fines for offending speech.
Now in the middle of all this popular revolt, a progressive voice that despite its French accent sounds so very familiar, speaks out… against Dieudonné! It is Jean-Claude LeFort, President of the Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS):
“Pour quiconque suit objectivement les faits, les gestes et les propos de Dieudonné, la chose ne peut prêter à aucun doute possible : son antisémitisme est patent. Il n’est pas acceptable. Le racisme, redisons-le avec force, n’est pas une opinion mais un délit. Nous le condamnons par principe, absolu et non discutable, mais aussi par nécessité politique : il nuit terriblement à la cause du peuple palestinien dont Dieudonné fait mine de se réclamer.
Ses propos ont été condamnés par la justice à de nombreuses reprises. Et la loi doit s’appliquer sans la moindre mansuétude.”
French is a beautiful language but abject groveling sounds as foul as it does in English.
In free translation, with emphasis added:
“To those who follow events objectively, the gestures and statements of Dieudonné leave no doubt: they are patently anti-semitic. It is unacceptable. Racism, let is restate it strongly, is not an opinion but a felony. We condemn it by principle, absolute and undebatable, but also by political necessity: it harms terribly the cause of the Palestinian people which Dieudonné claims to support.”
His statements have been condemned by judicial authorities many times. And the law must be applied in full force.”
Not making the “fight against anti-semitism” a priority of the Palestinian solidarity, I am sure, would “harm terribly the cause” of AFPS’ funding. Who’s your daddy, Jean-Claude?
AFPS, like their English-speaking brethren, “give no quarter” to “anti-semites,” and they support punishing them “sans la moindre mansuétude!”
AFPS, this quennelle is for you:
Dieudonné répond à Yann Barthès
What Does Holocaust Denial Really Mean?
By Daniel McGowan | February 18, 2009
In April 2007 the European Union agreed to set jail sentences up to three years for those who deny or trivialize the Holocaust.1 More recently, in response to the remarks of Bishop Richard Williamson, the Pope has proclaimed that Holocaust denial is “intolerable and altogether unacceptable.”
But what does Holocaust denial really mean? Begin with the word Holocaust. The Holocaust2 (spelled with a capital H) refers to the killing of six million Jews by the Nazis during World War II. It is supposed to be the German’s “Final Solution” to the Jewish problem. Much of the systematic extermination was to have taken place in concentration camps by shooting, gassing, and burning alive innocent Jewish victims of the Third Reich.
People like Germar Rudolf, Ernst Zundel, and Bishop Williamson who do not believe this account and who dare to say so in public are reviled as bigots, anti-Semites, racists, and worse. Their alternate historical scenarios are not termed simply revisionist, but are demeaned as Holocaust denial. Rudolf and Zundel were shipped to Germany where they were tried, convicted, and sentenced to three and five years, respectively. Williamson may not be far behind.
Politicians deride Holocaust revisionist papers and conferences as “beyond the pale of international discourse and acceptable behavior.”3 Non-Zionist Jews who participate in such revisionism, like Rabbi Dovid Weiss of the Neturei Karta, are denounced as “self-haters” and are shunned and spat upon. Even Professor Norman Finkelstein, whose parents were both Holocaust survivors and who wrote the book, The Holocaust Industry, has been branded a Holocaust denier.
But putting aside the virile hate directed against those who question the veracity of the typical Holocaust narrative, what is it that these people believe and say at the risk of imprisonment and bodily harm? For most Holocaust revisionists or deniers if you prefer, their arguments boil down to three simple contentions:
1. Hitler’s “Final Solution” was intended to be ethnic cleansing, not extermination.
2. There were no homicidal gas chambers used by the Third Reich.
3. There were fewer than 6 million Jews killed of the 55 million who died in WWII.
Are these revisionist contentions so odious as to cause those who believe them to be reviled, beaten, and imprisoned? More importantly, is it possible that revisionist contentions are true, or even partially true, and that they are despised because they contradict the story of the Holocaust, a story which has been elevated to the level of a religion in hundreds of films, memorials, museums, and docu-dramas?
Is it sacrilegious to ask, “If Hitler was intent on extermination, how did Elie Wiesel, his father, and two of his sisters survive the worst period of incarceration at Auschwitz?” Wiesel claims that people were thrown alive into burning pits, yet even the Israeli-trained guides at Auschwitz refute this claim.
Is it really “beyond international discourse” to question the efficacy and the forensic evidence of homicidal gas chambers? If other myths, like making soap from human fat, have been dismissed as Allied war propaganda, why is it “unacceptable behavior” to ask if the gas chamber at Dachau was not reconstructed by the Americans because no other homicidal gas chamber could be found and used as evidence at the Nuremburg trials?
For more than fifty years Jewish scholars have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to document each Jewish victim of the Nazi Holocaust. The Nazis were German, obsessed with paperwork and recordkeeping. Yet only 3 million names have been collected and many of them died of natural causes. So why is it heresy to doubt that fewer than 6 million Jews were murdered in the Second World War?
“Holocaust Denial” might be no more eccentric or no more criminal than claiming the earth is flat, except that the Holocaust itself has been used as the sword and shield in the quest to build a Jewish state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, where even today over half the population is not Jewish.
The Holocaust narrative allows Yad Vashem, the finest Holocaust museum in the world, to repeat the mantra of “Never Forget” while it sits on Arab lands stolen from Ein Karem and overlooking the unmarked graves of Palestinians massacred by Jewish terrorists at Deir Yassin. It allows Elie Wiesel to boast of having worked for these same terrorists (as a journalist, not a fighter) while refusing to acknowledge, let alone apologize for, the war crimes his employer committed. It makes Jews the ultimate victim no matter how they dispossess or dehumanize or ethnically cleanse indigenous Palestinian people.
The Holocaust story eliminates any comparison of Ketziot or Gaza to the concentration camps they indeed are. It memorializes the resistance of Jews in the ghettos of Europe while steadfastly denying any comparison with the resistance of Palestinians in Hebron and throughout the West Bank. It allows claims that this year’s Hanukah Massacre in Gaza, with a kill ratio of 100 to one, was a “proportionate response” to Palestinian resistance to unending occupation.
The Holocaust is used to silence critics of Israel in what the Jewish scholar, Marc Ellis, has called the ecumenical deal: you Christians look the other way while we bludgeon the Palestinians and build our Jewish state and we won’t remind you that Hitler was a good Catholic, a confirmed “soldier of Christ,” long before he was a bad Nazi.
The Holocaust narrative of systematic, industrialized extermination was an important neo-conservative tool to drive the United States into Iraq. The same neo-con ideologues, like Norman Podoretz, routinely compare Ahmadinejad to Hitler and Nazism with Islamofascism with the intent of driving us into Iran. The title of the recent Israeli conference at Yad Vashem made this crystal clear: “Holocaust Denial: Paving the Way to Genocide.”
“Remember the Holocaust” will be the battle cry of the next great clash of good (Judeo/Christian values) and evil (radical Islamic aggression) and those who question it must be demonized if not burned at the stake.
1) Associated Press, “EU approves criminal measures against Holocaust denial,” Haaretz, 19 April 2007.
2) Holocaust. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005.
Daniel McGowan is a Professor Emeritus at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Because of admonishment by the administration, it is hereby stated that the above remarks are solely those of the author. Hobart and William Smith Colleges neither condone nor condemn these opinions. Furthermore, the author has been instructed to use his personal email address of firstname.lastname@example.org and not his college email at email@example.com for those wishing to contact him with comments or criticisms. Read other articles by Daniel.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
By Thomas Dalton, Ph.D
This is a book about the Holocaust, and about two competing views of that event. On the one hand we have the traditional, orthodox view: the six million Jewish casualties, the gas chambers, the cremation ovens and mass graves. Traditional historians have thousands of surviving witnesses and the weight of history on their side. On the other hand there is a small, renegade band of writers and researchers who refuse to accept large parts of this story. These revisionists, as they call themselves, present counter-evidence and ask tough questions. They are beginning to outline a new and different narrative.
Thus there has emerged something of a debate, a debate of historic significance. This is no peripheral clash between two arcane schools of thought, regarding some minutiae of World War II. It is about history, of course, but it also speaks to fundamental issues of our time: freedom of speech and press, the operation of mass media, manipulation of public opinion, political and economic power structures, and the coercive abilities of the State. It is an astonishingly rancorous and controversial debate, with far-reaching implications.
Most of the reading public is only dimly aware of this debate, if at all. Everyone knows that six million Jews were killed by the Nazis, and that gas chambers were used in the killing. But few have any idea about the origins of this story, its rationale, and its justification. Fewer still know that serious questions have been raised against the traditional view; if they have heard of such questions, it is in the context of a few right-wing neo-Nazi anti-Semites who are trying to attack the Jews by questioning the Holocaust. And not more than a handful of people know about the serious issues raised by the revisionists, and the attempts by certain traditionalists to respond.
The fact that so few are aware of what may be called the Great Holocaust Debate is perhaps not surprising. Much has been invested in the conventional story. Textbooks and encyclopedias have been written about it. Historians have staked their personal reputations on it. Politicians have passed laws defending it. And wealthy and powerful interests have good reason to sustain it. In short, very few of those in positions of influence want to acknowledge any kind of legitimate debate. There is no incentive to publicize it, and strong disincentive. Those in the public eye know that, should they broach this subject, they will suffer the consequences. Advertisers will drop out. Financial backers will disappear. They may be sued. They will lose access. They will be shunned. And it will all be legal.
Only a dramatic turn of events can force this debate into the public realm. Such a turn occurred in early 2006, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that there would be a Holocaust conference in Teheran. The purpose would be to examine its scientific and technical basis with an eye to reinterpreting the facts. Reaction was rapid and fierce. Most called it a Holocaust denial conference, dismissing it as so much anti-Semitic raving. But Ahmadinejad followed through, and the conference was held in December of that year. The sky did not fall, and hoards of crazed lunatics did not rise up and slaughter Jews around the world. But the topic broke through the wall of silence; and more people now than ever suspect that all is not well with the traditional story hence the need for a book such as this.
* * * * *
The Great Debate is marked by a striking partisanship. The traditional story is defended primarily by survivors, Jewish writers and researchers, and those who suffered at the hands of Nazi Germany in other words, by people with a self-interest in sustaining the dominant view of a genocidal Nazi regime and an innocent and victimized Jewish people. Of the thousands of books on the subject, the vast majority are by Jewish authors. The revisionist perspective is promoted by a very small number of people, primarily Germans, people of German origins, and those who are ideologically inclined to be pro-German or anti-Jewish again, not an unbiased group.1 Charges of lies, conspiracy, and hoax are frequently launched by both sides. This leaves the vast majority of the public in a quandary: the average person is faced with partisan advocates on both sides, and rarely, if ever, gets a complete and balanced picture.
My goal is to remedy this shortcoming. I intend to present an objective, impartial look at this debate. I will discuss the latest and strongest arguments on both sides, examine the replies, and offer an unbiased assessment. This is a challenging task, to say the least, but I believe that I am reasonably well suited for it. Unlike the vast majority of writers on the Holocaust, I am not Jewish either by religion or ethnicity; nor are any of my family members. I am not of German descent. No one in my immediate family suffered or died in World War II. I am neither Muslim nor fundamentalist Christian, so I have no religious bias. My background is as a scholar and academic, having taught humanities at a prominent American university for several years now. I have a long-standing interest in World War II, and in the present conflict in the Middle East. In the end, whether I have succeeded in offering an objective analysis of this debate will be for the reader to judge.
This book is targeted at the general educated reader, but holds to a high standard of scholarship. Hence it is as suited for university use as for general readership. In examining the writings of the two opponents, I have taken nothing for granted. To the extent possible, I have verified all quotations, checked all calculations, and noted errors though I must say that the level of scholarship on both sides has been laudably high. I have attempted to use commonly available sources, should the reader wish to confirm any statements or quotations I offer here.2 I have concentrated on English language sources; this has its drawbacks, but fortunately most of the important sources are in English, so the problem is not too great. Where relevant, I have cited essential non-English writings as well.
I have also shown a preference for hard-copy publications books and journal articles over Internet publications. Web-based material is always questionable. It can change from one day to another, and disappear the next. Such sources are typically less well researched, and often rely on other, equally unreliable, Web-based sources for their arguments. On the other hand, much controversial material can be published only on the Web, and this point must be noted. It is very convenient, for example, that several of the key revisionist texts complete books are available free online. (This very fact should mitigate the notion of a profit motive of the revisionists.) And the rise of YouTube and online video services allows access to audio-visual material that can have a greater impact than printed works. Thus, as appropriate, I have included relevant Web page information.
Finally, I use terminology indicating the provisional nature of claims about the Holocaust. My use of alleged, so-called, scare quotes, and similar devices simply is meant to indicate that I am withholding assent until the case is fully examined. I tend to be skeptical of most things told to me by those in positions of power and influence, and this subject is no different. I recommend that the reader do the same. As for my occasional quips, jabs, and weak attempts at humor, I can only say that this is not intended as insult or dismissal. I aim to take a sometimes plodding and tedious debate and make it interesting and readable. But when one makes outrageous claims, or puts forth obvious nonsense, and then expects to be taken seriously then a sarcastic jab may be entirely appropriate.
* * * * *
Some might question the relevance of this whole topic. They might point out that the event under discussion happened over sixty years ago, that most who experienced it are dead, and that the enmities of the war are long gone. America and the European nations are friends, and at peace (with each other, at least!). Japan is an important trading partner, and poses no military threat. So why bother with the Holocaust? What’s the big deal? Yes, the Jews suffered, some may say. So just leave them alone. Let them have their ol’ Holocaust.
I think it does matter, and not only to those who have a vested interest. First, there is the straightforward question of history. Regardless of what one may think, the Holocaust was an event of major historical importance. As with any historical event, it is important to get the facts straight, and to develop consistent and coherent views about what happened. To understand what did, or did not, happen is important for understanding the world of the twentieth century, and by extension, the world of today.
Second, we are not allowed to forget about it, even if we wanted to. Coverage of the Holocaust is standard fare in every school curriculum.3 Children the world over read The Diary of Anne Frank, Number the Stars, Waiting for Anya, and Butterfly. Students learn about the gas chambers and the six million, about the Nazi atrocities.4 We watch Holocaust miniseries on television, Schindlers List, and documentaries like Night and Fog. We celebrate Holocaust Education Week, and we acknowledge January 27 each year as the International Day of Commemoration of Holocaust victims, as declared by the UN in 2005. School children collect six million pencils, or six million paperclips.5 We visit Holocaust museums. We take college courses from endowed chairs in Holocaust studies. This is not by accident. It is a deliberate plan, to make sure we never forget. And if we can never forget, then we should at least get the story straight.
Third, there is the drama of the debate itself. It is unlike anything else the name-calling, the suppression of ideas, the jailing of dissenters, the burning of books. It is a debate that can scarcely be mentioned in polite company. It is, in a real sense, one of the last taboos in Western civilization. But as we know, taboos never last. They are the product of a given era, of specific social and political forces. When those forces shift, as they inevitably do, the taboo is lifted. Now is perhaps such a time.
Fourth, we have the underlying issue of free speech. I take a position in support of radical free speech. Speech is an (almost) absolute right. There is virtually no topic that should be out of bounds. Barring only such obscure cases as an immediate threat to human life (one thinks of the contrived example of crying fire in a crowded theater ), no words or ideas should be beyond discussion. I support vigorous and open debate on every conceivable topic, the Holocaust included. Suppressing speech only drives it underground, and can only lead to unethical and reprehensible manipulation of the public’s ability to think for itself. Those in power always have reason to fear free speech all the more reason to defend it.
Fifth is the monetary angle. Billions of dollars have been given as restitution, to Israel, to individual survivors, and to Jewish organizations. These are tax dollars, provided by the workers of the affected nations primarily Germany and Switzerland (to date). Restitution claims have not ended, and will likely not end in the foreseeable future; as recently as March 2008, the Belgian government agreed to pay $170 million to survivors, their families, and the Jewish community. This is rather astonishing, given that Belgium was a victim of the war, not an aggressor! (The official reason: Belgium failed to resist hard enough against Nazi deportation of Jews.) Compensation money, arising directly from the conventional Holocaust story, in turn flows back to sustain it. Restitution money buys political clout, where in the U.S. at least it ends up as campaign contributions and issue ads. It encourages lawmakers to legislate in support of Israel and against revisionism and they do.
Sixth, there are the far-reaching conflicts in the Middle East that stem, in large part, from the Holocaust in a number of important ways. First, the state of Israel itself is due largely to the persecution of Jews in the war (Israel was created in 1948).6 Its creation sparked the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Arabs, which led to several wars and ultimately to the present Israeli occupation of the West Bank and other Palestinian lands. This occupation in turn is a crucial factor in the global war on terror, and in the present bloody conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Second, it is a crucial factor in the United States giving $6 billion per year, every year, to Israel in the form of military, economic, and indirect aid. Third, if there is a future conflict with Iran, it too will stem in part from conflicting views of the Holocaust;7 Ahmadinejad knows this, hence his willingness to challenge the traditional account. And finally, the influential group of people who promote and defend the Holocaust are by and large the same people who supported the wars in the Middle East. The same ideology “militant right-wing Zionism” is a major factor in both. Thus by better understanding their thinking and actions we may perhaps head off future wars.
Seventh: If we can be misled or fooled, or deceived, or lied to about the Holocaust, what other events might we be misled about? The same social forces that could give rise to, and sustain, a deficient Holocaust story could produce countless other stories that might be exaggerated, embellished, distorted, or falsified.
Finally, the Great Debate tells us something important about the power structure of Western nations. Revisionists challenge not only orthodoxy; they challenge the power of the State. Advocates for the conventional view are in positions of great influence. They are wealthy. They have many supporters, and virtually unlimited resources. They are able to turn the power of the State, and public opinion, against revisionism. The revisionists, few in number and poor in means, have only ideas. But, as the masked man once said, ideas are bulletproof. They have a power of their own, unmatched by money, military, or government. Ideas can penetrate to the heart of truth. This is the promise of revisionism. Whether it succeeds, time shall tell.
* * * * *
To repeat, I attempt here to take an impartial look at this clash of views. Arguably this is doomed to failure. I can be sure that both sides will accuse me of biased thinking, of disregarding important points, of undervaluing critical issues. Trying to remain neutral in this cantankerous debate is rather like taking a stroll through no-mans-land amidst trench warfare. I am guaranteed to be shot at by both sides.
Nevertheless, I am not concerned with befriending either camp. The hardcore partisans of both sides are few in number, even if one side wields disproportionate power. My concern is the vast middle ground of people, neither Jew nor Muslim nor German, who are directly and indirectly affected by the Holocaust, and who deserve to hear all perspectives on the matter. I stand with that group.
I am not a revisionist, and I do not endorse their claims. I am a bystander in this debate, observing and commenting on a collision of ideas. This book is not a book of revisionism. It is a book about revisionism, and about two competing views of the truth. It addresses the ability of each side to marshal evidence, and to create a clear and consistent picture of the past.
The revisionist view of events is so shocking, so far from what we have been told, that we have a hard time comprehending its possibility. A colleague once told me that he would be no more shocked to find no Eiffel Tower in Paris than he would to learn that the revisionists were right. Yet we can scarcely avoid asking ourselves this question: Is it really possible that the traditional Holocaust story is wrong? And not merely a little wrong, but significantly and fundamentally flawed? This is for each reader to decide. My objective is not to impose an overall conclusion, but rather to illuminate and articulate the main points, and to comment on their validity. The reader must decide.
I sense a turning point in the debate. It seems to be moving out of the shadows and into the realm of serious and legitimate discourse. Revisionists have strong arguments in their favor, and, despite book burnings and jail terms, they are not going away. Traditionalists seem of late to have lost their momentum. Perhaps they have no more counterarguments. Perhaps they have tired of defending the conflicting stories of survivors and witnesses. Perhaps they have reached the limit of their ability to fashion a comprehensible picture of those tragic events of sixty years ago. The debate will reach a new resolution, and I suspect that the result will be something different than we presume today.
1. Of course there are other revisionists not among these groups. Prominent revisionist Germar Rudolf has argued that, proportionately, the French are the most represented group.
2. Wherever possible, quotations include in-text citations. For example, (Hilberg 2003: 29) refers to page 29 of Hilbergs 2003 publication (The Destruction of the European Jews), which can be found in the bibliography at the rear. Such citations both let the reader know the time frame of the quotation, and avoid an excessive multiplication of footnotes. (Recent scholarship, especially by the revisionists, is footnote-crazy. This is useful from a scholarly perspective, but can make for awkward reading.) The end objective, after all, is to clearly cite reliable and verifiable sources, and I think I have achieved this goal. And, unlike most books on the subject (of either side), I have included a full and complete index and bibliography.
3. One example: On November 7, 2008, the British Times Online reported that every secondary school [in the UK] is to get a Holocaust specialist to ensure that the subject is taught comprehensively and sensitively. Ten percent of these specialists will receive a masters degree in Holocaust education. The scheme is part of a wider Holocaust education project funded by the Government and a national charity. The project will also send two sixth-formers [ages 16 and 17] from every school to Auschwitz each year.
4. In February 2008, French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed strengthening an existing mandate to teach the Holocaust; his idea was that every fifth grader will have to learn the life story of one of the 11,000 [Jewish] French children killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust. (New York Times, February 16) The proposal was rejected by the Education Ministry five months later. Yet we should ask what might have compelled Sarkozy to attempt this. One factor could be his family background; his grandfather was Jewish, and he clearly views himself as a friend of Israel. Another might be the strong Jewish minority in France; the country has the third-highest percentage of Jews outside Israel (though small”just under one percent”it is nonetheless very influential; see Chapter 12).
Furthermore, we should consider the numbers involved. The standard definition of a child victim is anyone under age sixteen. Most traditionalists claim that children represented about one third of all victims. So 11,000 child deaths implies about 30,000 French Jews in total. (Of course, we dont know if Sarkozy is using a different definition of child “perhaps only those of middle-school age.) But a figure of 30,000 is far less than that mentioned by, for example, Gilbert (1988: 244), who claims 83,000 French Jewish deaths. As so often happens in the Debate, ill-defined numbers are thrown around that are rife with contradiction.
If the total was 30,000, French Jews accounted for just 0.5 percent of the six million victims”virtually insignificant in the overall picture. (If 83,000, then 1.4 percent.) And they would represent only 6 percent of all 500,000 French war casualties.
5. On September 20, 2004, the AP reported on a middle school in Tennessee, where, back in 1998, students hoped to collect 6 million paper clips”one to remember each person killed in the Holocaust. Thanks to global publicity, they had collected 30 million clips by 2004. In that same year Paper Clips, an award-winning Miramax documentary, was released. Regarding the pencils, a Texas junior high school issued a press release on May 15, 2007: Six million pencils for Holocaust project. They hope to get 167,000 per month, achieving their total by 2010.
6. It is true, however, that the Zionist push for a Jewish homeland had begun in earnest as early as 1900; the Balfour Declaration of 1917 declared British support for the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. The process was thus in motion several decades before the end of World War II, but it was the Holocaust that was the last straw, inducing the UN to create the state of Israel in 1948.
7. The Holocaust is often invoked in the Iranian conflict, both in reference to Ahmadinejad’s denial of it, and to a future attack on Israel. The threat of military action comes from both the United States and Israel (but from nowhere else). A recent example: On August 7, 2008, Time magazine reported the story Israel Preparing for Iran Strike. The Israeli Deputy Prime Minister is quoted as saying, Israel takes Mahmoud Ahmadinejads statements regarding its destruction seriously. Israel cannot risk another Holocaust.
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CNN reports on Israeli PM Netanyahu’s reception at the Vatican and plans for the Pope to visit Israel in May.
Recalling the shabby treatment of religious leaders on previous visits to the Holy Land, let us hope Pope Francis takes a firmer line than his predecessor and insists on seeing Gaza and ministering to his terrorised flock there.
In May 2009, when Benedict was Pope, the Vatican told the Israeli press that the Holy Father would refrain from visiting Gaza. The word ‘refrain’ was a peculiar one in the circumstances. “The Pope will refrain from visiting Gaza….” smacks of abstinence, as in refraining from sexual intercourse. Setting foot in Gaza was as sinful as sneaking into a brothel, it seems. Israel’s hoodlums of course were keen to prevent him seeing how the tiny, overcrowded enclave had been devastated 16 months earlier by their murderous blitzkrieg codenamed Cast Lead. And the Pope went along with it.
Gaza’s isolated and besieged Catholic community were none too happy with the Pope’s attitude, judging by the reaction of their redoubtable old priest Fr Manuel Mussallam. “We will ask him why he came, what he intends saying to the Christians, the Jews, the Muslims and why he isn’t coming to Gaza,” said Fr Manuel. “We’ll tell him that this is not the right moment to come and visit the holy places, while Jerusalem is occupied.”
Time for the Pope to join BDS?
Having decided to go to Palestine (via Israel) it was imperative for the Pope to include Gaza or it would look like he didn’t give a damn about the appalling persecution in the very land where Christianity was born. He might as well hammer one more nail into Christendom’s coffin. Then again, should he be going to Israel at all while Jerusalem, Bethlehem and many other places dear to Christian and Muslim religious belief are under the jackboot?
Indeed, has it finally come to the point where the Pope ought to do the decent thing and boycott Israel… join the BDS movement? Admittedly, it’s a tough call given the Catholic Church’s considerable interests out there.
But we have seen enough wimpish conduct by Christian leaders while Israel defiles the Holy Land. The previous November, while the regime was planning its vicious assault, codename Operation Cast Lead, on Gaza’s Muslims and Christians after softening them up with two years of blockade and starvation, we were treated to the spectacle of the Archbishop of Canterbury joining the Chief Rabbi on a visit to Auschwitz to show joint solidarity against extreme hostility and genocide. The Archbishop called it “a place of utter profanity” and spoke of the collective corruption and moral sickness that made the Holocaust possible.
Would the pair show the same spirit of righteous solidarity by visiting Gaza? The scale of horror might be different but the moral sickness is just as obscene. And this being the Holy Land the profanity is many times worse.
The Pope too had been to Auschwitz to pray for the people murdered there. “I had to come here as a duty to truth and to those that suffered,” he said and spoke of the Nazis’ mania for destruction and domination.
Very commendable. But he wasn’t so keen to come and pray for those suffering in Gaza, victims of much the same kind of criminal insanity. Nevertheless, he turned up at Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and the Western (Wailing) Wall, and hobnobbed with the chief rabbis… but not with his brave priest and the shattered congregation in Gaza. What had happened to his ‘duty to truth’?
After my visit to Gaza in late 2007, 18 months after Israel’s merciless squeeze began, I wrote:
Fuel is running out, so are basics like washing powder. Shattered infrastructure and food shortages mean serious public health problems. Power cuts disrupt hospitals and vital drugs cannot be kept refrigerated. Thousands look death in the face as medicare collapses.
A friend emailed:
“Today in Gaza we have no cement to build graves for those who die.”
The subjugation and dispossession of Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land continues. It remains a mystery to me why our largely Christian democracy in Britain slavishly supports the Middle East ethnocracy that’s doing this…
The last six years have seen things go from bad to worse – much worse. Palestinians in the Holy Land, and especially Gaza, need to be shown that the Christian Church cares about them even if nobody else does. So where are these extravagantly robed and mitred Men of God when needed?
No repetition of the Benedict debâcle, please
Archbishop Rowan Williams, visiting in 2010, did manage to get into Gaza. But as far as I could discover he made no public statement about the wretched conditions there, nor did he reveal his findings to the House of Lords where he had the support of a large gaggle of bishops. This despite his claim to be “in a unique position to bring the needs and voices of those fighting poverty, disease and the effects of conflict, to the attention of national and international policy makers”.
And despite his declaration that “Christians need to witness boldly and clearly”.
And despite his urging greater awareness of the humanitarian crisis to ensure that the people of Gaza were not forgotten.
The Israelis, I heard, refused him access to Gaza from the start and only at the last minute allowed the Archbishop an hour or so, just enough for a quick visit to the Ahli Hospital and nowhere else. For that concession one wonders if he had to sign a gagging order.
His website, however, described how he, like the Pope, hobnobbed with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and paid respects to Yad Vashem and the Holocaust. He also talked with the President of Israel, who no doubt enjoyed his guest’s frustration at being prevented from seeing the horrors that had been inflicted on Gaza.
And news of any get-together with senior Islamic figures on the ground was conspicuously absent, leaving a question-mark over his commitment to inter-faith engagement.
Why on earth did he agree to fraternise with Jewish political and religious dignitaries when it was clear that his wish to carry out his Christian duty in Gaza would be obstructed? Does Lambeth Palace not realise that meekly accepting such insults only serves to legitimise the Israelis’ illegal occupation and gives a stamp of approval to the brutal siege of Gaza, the daily death-dealing air strikes against civilians, the persecution of Muslim and Christian communities and the regime’s utter contempt for international law and human rights?
One can only hope the Vatican realises it too and avoids a repetition of the Benedict debâcle.
The Israelis walk all over fawning sycophants masquerading as Western political leaders. Our spiritual leaders, however, are supposed to be made of sterner stuff and to have the moral backbone to face down evil.
Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, a new book by writer/professor Sarah Schulman, tells the story of Schulman’s transformation from a “Jewish, lesbian New Yorker” into a “Cosmopolitan queer and avid BDS advocate.” Her book is a must read—and not because it offers original ideological or political outlook, not at all. Schulman actually provides us with a unique and invaluable window into Jewish secular progressive thought. It unveils the structure of LGBT politics and its operation within the Palestinian solidarity movement. Schulman also provides the reader some crucial and juicy references to the direct involvement of George Soros’ network in promoting a gay rights revolution in the Arab world in general, and in Iran and Egypt in particular.
Schulman is a fluent writer, her narration is smooth and flowing. But more than anything, she is astonishingly honest in her attempt to describe her journey. Indeed, her genuine openness is almost suicidal at times. This fact alone may explain why, despite its sensational title, her book has received little attention from the usually loud Jewish progressive network.
In the very beginning of the book, Schulman provides us with an amazing confession most Jews would prefer to shove far under the carpet.
“We were raised with two Yiddish concepts about Christians: kopf and punim. Yiddishe kopf and Goyishe kopf. To say that someone had a Yiddishe kopf (A Jewish mind) was to say admiringly that he was a genius, that he was analytical and conceptual and an original thinker. To say that someone had a goyishe kopf was to say that he was dull-witted, conformist and slow” (p. 2).
One must admit that only rarely do Jews volunteer such intimate information that confirms the depth of racism and supremacy embedded within Jewish culture.
A few pages later Schulman is honest enough to admit that she also is immersed in some deep biological determinist thinking.
“Of course, like many Jews, I do think of myself in biological terms, despite how convenient that is for anti-Semitism. There is after all, a genetic component, since Jewish Identity—from the Jewish point of view is biologically essentialist, dependent on having a Jewish mother” (p. 10).
It goes without saying that evolutionary psychologist Prof. Kevin MacDonald and Right Wing author David Duke are hounded relentlessly by the ADL and the progressive Jewish network for basically agreeing with Schulman.
Interestingly enough, despite her honesty, Schulman rarely thinks for herself on her path toward universal justice. Instead she always consults with such progressive luminaries as Judith Butler, who is ‘on the top’ of her “list of credible LGBT people.” As an activist and campaigner, Schulman always builds fronts and forms leagues. She always seeks advice, she always consults with someone who knows better. These facts are actually very significant: Schulman is telling us a story about someone who thinks and operates “as a Jew,” “as a lesbian,” “as a Queer International,” “as a progressive,” etc. The truth of the matter is that people who “think” and “act” “as a something” hardly think for themselves. Instead they operate within the parameters set by an imaginary political and ideological collective (the gay, the Jew, the progressive, the Queer International’ the Black, the Muslim) instead of thinking authentically and operating autonomously.
To a certain extent Schulman’s extended monologue helps us grasp marginal politics as a powerful attempt to reduce the individual to a mere “pile of signifiers.”
Jewish Victimhood and Homo-centrism
Two years ago Jewish pro-Palestinian blogger Philip Weiss was brave enough to admit to me in an interview that it is Jewish self-interest that motivates his pro-Palestinian activism. For Weiss it wasn’t an “altruistic” concern for the oppressed—he actually believed that his activism was ‘good for the Jews.’ Schulman reminds me of Weiss. Like Weiss she is brave and honest to say it all. But she is also interested in promoting her ‘queer political agenda’. For Schulman, Palestinians are simply a means toward her sacred progressive end. “If people like me are going to turn our backs on [Israeli] queer events in support of the boycott [BDS], then we must be assured that the boycott both recognizes queer support and acknowledges Palestinian LGBT organizing,” she writes.
In short, it is the primacy of “queer and LGBT interests” that determines Schulman’s commitment to a battle for “universal justice.” As one would expect, Schulman’s solidarity has a clear price tag—one attuned primarily to the benefit of the LGBT movement. To my mind the meaning of this is simple: Schulman has managed to successfully transfer her Jewish tribalism into a form of sexually oriented political affinity.
Schulman isn’t just a “boring gay” activist. She is also an Ashkenazi (European) Jew, with all the necessary victim paraphernalia which she waves proudly in the very beginning of her book. “I was born in 1958, 13 years after the end of the Holocaust” begins the third paragraph. “I was born only three years after my maternal grandmother finally confirmed that her two brothers and two sisters had been exterminated by the Nazis and their collaborators 10 to 15 years before,” she continues (p. 1). Her choice of words leaves no room for speculation: Schulman is a traumatized Ashkenazi Jew. She is an adherent and follower of what Israeli philosopher Adi Ophir defines as the Holocaust religion. Her entire universe is codified in reference to the “primacy of Jewish suffering.” Needless to say, this amalgam of Jewish suffering and gay victimhood translates in Schulman’s case into a solipsistic political argument.
I guess at this point I should admit that I have never been convinced that “the personal is political,” as many marginal ideologists insist. I’ve always been certain that the personal is actually personal—and, as such, consider an individual’s sexual orientation to be his or her own business—and that when it becomes political it stops being personal. But for Schulman, as for so many other political activists within her milieu, the ‘personal’ certainly is ‘political.’ She celebrates each of her symptoms publicly and politically and, if this is not enough, she is kind enough to share it all with us.
Homonationalism, the Queer International and Joseph Massad
Schulman’s political universe is divided into binary oppositions: Homonationalism vs. the Queer International is one example.
Homonationalism describes a contemporary phenomenon most prevalent in some liberal Western countries where “white gays, lesbians and bisexuals won a full range of rights…they become accepted and realigned with patriotic or nationalistic ideologies of their countries” (p. 104).
The notion of Homonationalism is particularly relevant to Israel, for the Zionist state has been very successful in mobilizing its patriotic gay community. It has managed to recruit the vast majority of its gay population in order to convey the perception that it is way ahead of its neighbors as far as gay rights are concerned. Being a “progressive Jew” and committed to the notion of “Tikkun Olam” (fixing the world), Schulman is very upset by Homonationalism in general and Israeli Homonationalism in particular. She would prefer that gays and lesbians be primarily committed to a universal political discourse defined by their sexual orientation. This is precisely where the notion of “Queer International” comes in. Schulman is aiming at a “worldwide movement that brings queer liberation and feminism to the principle of international autonomy from occupation, colonialism, and globalized capital.”
And yet, one question remains: How is it possible that so many gays prefer to identify with their national and patriotic environment rather than with a ‘universal’ sexually oriented ideology? Apparently most people, including gays and lesbians, accept a clear dichotomy between their sexual orientation and their political identification. It also seems natural to me that a country’s LGBT citizens would be thankful to a society or culture that liberates them and respects their needs and rights.
From a heterosexual perspective (as if that exists), the above observation seems very natural. Since the vast majority of healthy people spend most of their time out of bed, it only makes sense that one’s sexual orientation is not a primary focus of one’s civil and political life. Furthermore, Schulman’s so-called ‘progressive’ expectation of homosexuals that they be devoted primarily to queer ‘universal’ issues is in itself a form of oppression that borders on abuse, since it imposes on the individual an ideological collectivism and epistemological mantra.
As an enthusiastic advocate of Queer International, Schulman is up against Palestinian academic Joseph Massad. According to Massad, the heterosexual/homosexual binary opposition is itself foreign to the Orient – it is basically “a Western apparatus imposing concepts of homosexuality on Palestinian sex between men” (p. 66). For Massad gays and lesbians are not universal categories, and the attempt to universalize them is the direct outcome of human rights activists who project their own symptom at the expense of their ‘solidarity subject.’
I am far from being an admirer of Massad, yet his argument here is coherent and deserves attention. Like Heidegger and other developed minds, Massad considers the human subject to be a product of his/her culture, language, rituals, geography and so on. Schulman’s approach, on the other hand, is the outcome of the most simplistic phenomenological anthropocentric and Judeo-centric school of thought. Like many others, she naively believes that people are actually the authors of their own biography, and that this biography is somehow universal, transferable and translatable.
This ideological clash obviously is crucial, for if Massad is correct then the “universalization” of the queer condition suggested by Schulman and the Queer International is obviously a form of interventionism. It imposes Western liberal categories on the oppressed. As we will soon see, this exact agenda is far from being kept secret; to be precise, it is actually funded largely by the liberal Zionist George Soros and his Open Society Institute.
Schulman clearly views Massad as a threat, referring to him and his criticism at least twice in her book. Yet, she doesn’t make a single theoretical effort to counter Massad’s argument. Instead she informs us that Massad had never met with the “new wave of young queer Palestinian activists.” Schulman may well be correct here, yet this is far from being an argument. It is merely an anecdote. In other words, the fact that a few young Palestinian gays adopt some Western liberal ideas delivered to the region by an Israeli gay ideologist, an American Jewish lesbian activist, or even George Soros’ Open Society only proves that Massad is actually correct—the ‘universalization’ of marginal thought is in itself a form of crude cultural intervention.
Queer International and George Soros
A year ago I was shocked to discover that the BDS National Committee in Ramallah had made a crucial change to its goal statement. It changed the wording of its original (June 2005) mission statement from “demanding that Israel end its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” to demanding that Israel end “its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967.”
The BDS National Committee thus basically abandoned the most precious Palestinian right—it drifted away from the commitment to 1948 and limited its struggle to the liberation of lands occupied in 1967. An attempt to clarify who exactly made the change and what process was involved revealed that this significant change was made in a clandestine manner—it appeared only in English. It has never appeared in Arabic or any other language. It didn’t take long before it became evident that the change took place behind the back of the Palestinian people. Despite BDS’ claim to be a ‘civil society’ representing more than 170 Palestinian organizations, Palestinians are still unaware of the BDS National Committee’s compromise on their behalf.
Being an expert on Jewish marginal politics, it was clear to me that the radical change in the BDS goal statement and the non-democratic way in which it was introduced was meant to appease BDS’ Jewish adherents. Further investigation revealed that BDS—like most Palestinian NGOs—is funded by George Soros’ Open Society Institute. Yet, for obvious reasons, BDS National Committee (BNC) remained silent on the topic. It has never revealed its finances or the identity of its funders. The only reference to Soros’ links with BDS was made available by the Israeli right-wing NGO Monitor.
Now, however, thanks to Schulman’s book, this issue has been resolved. In her search for funding for a young Palestinian Queer USA tour in support of BDS, Schulman writes that she was advised to approach George Soros’ Open Society institute. The following account may leave you flabbergasted, as it did me:
“A former ACT UP staffer who worked for the Open Society Institute, George Soros’ foundation, suggested that I file an application there for funding for the tour. When I did so it turned out that the person on the other end had known me from when we both attended Hunter [College] High School in New York in the 1970s. He forwarded the application to the institutes’s office in Amman, Jordan, and I had an amazing one-hour conversation with Hanan Rabani, its director of the Women’s and Gender program for the Middle East region. Hanan told me that this tour would give great visibility to autonomous queer organizations in the region. That it would inspire queer Arabs—especially in Egypt and Iran…for that reason, she said, funding for the tour should come from the Amman office” (p. 108).
What we see here is clear and embarrassing evidence of a blunt intervention made by George Soros’ institute in an attempt to shape Arab culture and political life. We also learn about the manner in which Soros’ Open Society Institute introduces gay and queer politics to the region. Apparently money for a tour promoting Palestine and BDS is traveling from Soros’ Open Society to Jordan and then back to the USA with the hope that such a maneuver would “inspire” gays in Iran. At least now we know who stands behind the Arab gay revolution.
The moral is very clear: BDS had a very “good reason” to remain silent regarding its funding sources. After all, being funded directly or indirectly by a liberal Zionist philanthropy, a man who also funds the openly Zionist JStreet, is indeed slightly embarrassing. Furthermore, it seems as if this new evidence of Western intervention presented as a “Jordanian queer initiative” proves that Joseph Massed was more than correct— Queer International is a farce. In practice it is a network of proxy operations attempting to introduce liberal ideas to Arabs and Muslims in an attempt to undermine their culture.
Intellectual Integrity vs. Materialism
Since she is not a philosopher, Schulman is not interested in arguments or any kind of theoretical depth. Instead she specializes in marginal campaigns and Queer International activism. She is obviously very good at forming alliances and making things happen. When Schulman realizes, for instance, that Frameline, the San Francisco LGBT film festival, is funded by the Israeli Consulate, she offers to “fund-raise to replace the (Israeli) money.” This isn’t exactly an intellectual approach, yet it provides us with precious and intimate information about marginal politics and the way in which it operates behind the scenes. We are dealing here with a little solidarity industry. Sometimes it is Israel and Zionists who pay the bill, other times it is Soros and other liberal Zionists who fund the “opposition.”
Schulman’s personal journey toward BDS and Justice throws light on the path taken by the BDS in Ramallah toward the Jewish crowd, the queer movement and especially liberal Zionist money.
While during the early stage of Schulman’s campaign BDS leader Omar Barghouti was clearly reluctant to openly support or integrate queer politics into BDS, by the time the book ends Schulman is convinced by Barghouti’s “liberal credentials.” “Omar and I,” she says, “had both been motivated by love and need for justice to transform ourselves so that we were now reaching each other.” And, she continues, “now I know that there is a significant Palestinian ‘civil society’ that supports a nonviolent strategy for change and is feminist and now pro-gay.”
Mazal Tov is probably the most appropriate way to congratulate Barghouti, BDS, Soros—and Sarah Schulman, of course.
I am very impressed with this revelation about a leading Palestinian civil society becoming ‘pro-gay’ and ‘feminist. I guess that Soros and his institutions indeed have reason to be optimistic about their chance to change the face of the Arab society.
However, I would really like to know whether the Palestinians are aware of all this. For some reason I have a feeling that, as in the case of BDS surreptitiously changing its goals statement, the same Palestinian civil society now has become ‘pro-gay’ and ‘feminist’ without anyone in Palestine knowing about it. I can only say that I hope I am wrong.