To understand Iran’s real stance toward the issue of the Holocaust, it is worth reviewing President Mahmoud Ahmadienjad’s remarks.
In an interview with NBC NEWS’s Brian Williams on Sept 19, 2006, Ahmadinejad raised three questions about the Holocaust:
1) In the Second World War, over 60 million people (at least 50 million civilians) lost their lives. They were all human beings. Why is it that only a select group of those who were killed have become so prominent and important?
2) If this event (Holocaust) happened, and if it is a historical event, then we should allow everyone to research it and study it. The more research and studies are done, the more we can become aware of the realities that happened. We still leave open to further studies absolute knowledge of science or math. Historical events are always subject to revisions, and reviews and studies…Why is it that those who ask questions are persecuted? Why is every word so sensitivity or such prohibition on further studies on the subject? Where as we can openly question God, the prophet, concepts such as freedom and democracy?
3) If this happened, where did it happen? Did the Palestinian people have anything to do with it? Why should the Palestinians pay for it now? Five million displaced Palestinian people is what I’m talking about. Over 60 years of living under threat. Losing the lives of thousands of dear ones. And homes that are destroyed on a daily basis over people’s heads. You might argue that the Jews have the right to have a government. We’re not against that. But where? At a place where their people were — several people will vote for them, and where they can govern. Not at the cost of displacing a whole nation. And occupying the whole territory.
The Israeli – Palestinian confrontation is one of the longest lasting world crises in recent times and many believe an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would also be the key to solving the other issues and conflicts in the region.
As Iran’s President has frequently asserted, if the Holocaust happened in Europe, what is the fault of the Palestinian people? The Palestinian people’s lives are being destroyed today in the pretext of the Holocaust. Lands have been occupied, usurped. But what is their fault? What role did they play in the Holocaust?
“Well, assuming that the Holocaust happened, then, what does it have to do with the Palestinian people?”
So, What Are Iran doubts?
Let’s review some major points Iran has raised about the Holocaust:
1. The evidence of the honoured history of each nation is always open to study; you have never heard of a ban on studying war crimes; for instance Iran has always presented evidence and proof to the world of what Iraq did to Iran’s people, as most countries do; but the Holocaust is the only part of history, which is kept out of questioning!
2. Let’s consider that the Holocaust is true, and as they say, “six million Jews during World War II, were murdered by Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, throughout German-occupied territory.” Still we need to ask: Why Palestinians should pay the price?
Though the solution to this dispute is not very complicated! (Churchill once said: “Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.”) Iran suggests that the Holocaust events should be further investigated by independent and impartial parties;
Iran is against using the Holocaust to justify the behaviour of Israel in the region, and this is a merely a political and humanitarian argument, nothing to do with Jews and cannot be interpreted as anti – Semitic.
Jews, like other minorities are living peacefully in Iran. Jews are protected in the Iranian constitution and a seat is reserved for a Jew in the Majlis (Iran’s Parliament). Iran hosts the largest Jewish population of any Muslim-majority country. And it is home to the second-largest Jewish population in the Middle East.
Zionist narrative expects Israeli children to be imbued with a false sense of nationalism which is instrumental to the preservation of its illegally-acquired land. This abstract narrative, incorporating the unification of Jewish identity contrasted with the orientalist image of Palestinians, forms the basis of a culture based upon indoctrination and violence. The misrepresentation stems from the exclusion of the discourse of peace discourse to divert attention from any possible discussion of Israel’s colonial occupation.
Racist discourse is an essential component of Zionist education, creating a dissonance in the social, biological, cultural and demographic representation of Palestinians. The concept of exclusion is ingrained within Israeli collective memory at an early age in order to ascertain a smooth transition into a military philosophy which deems Palestinians as “issues” rather than a population massacred by apartheid laws.
Visually, the enforced elimination of Palestinians from their own history has resulted in a cultural and social vacuum, degenerating into the stereotype of violent, submissive and primitive Arabs. This projection has been expounded upon by the West, whose caricatures, especially within the corporate media, have become a kind of warped justification for ignoring the fundamental problem Palestinians have faced for many decades. Palestinian violence is thus isolated from the narrative of occupation and necessity of resistance. Israeli war crimes, meanwhile, are justified within Zionist discourse as a means of “security” which its citizens and Western governments and international organisations, including the UN, hail as legitimate intervention against a people deemed invisible by Zionism prior to the onset of Israel’s neo-colonialism.
Nurit Peled Elhanan, Professor of Language and Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem insists that “the orientalising imagery of the Arab citizen of Israel” fails to correspond to any immediate reality, “except in the imagination of the 19th century painter”. Israeli children fail to associate “the Arab” with Arab citizens of Israel, let alone a collective identity of Palestinians under occupation. In their formative years, children are bequeathed with an imaginary Jewish homeland in order to uphold the Palestinians’ dispossession. The notion of a suffering people is gleaned through Biblical references allowing for an interpretation of nationhood beyond the existence of the Palestinian state. The impediment to full recognition of Palestinians is restricted further by the imagery of Jews enduring trials and tribulations across many centuries, the recent history of the Holocaust and the “Jewish state” defending itself against Palestinian “terrorism”. Palestinians become ephemeral in Zionist narrative; they are either obliterated to suit Israel’s public sphere, or else are a tangible threat to security. The concept of Palestinians dispersed by the occupation and rendered as refugees in their own land are “issues” serving the permanent division of society. Furthermore, it reinforces a false projection of misery pertaining to Jewish identity with regard to its hold upon the fictitious homeland.
Elhanan declares the visual dramatisation of history without a concrete foundation as vital to sustaining the Zionist ideological stereotype. Since the education system is based upon the imparting of superiority, racism “functions as part of the ideological and the repressive apparatus of the state”. Failure to recognise that racism is actually far more deeply embedded than its manifestation in human rights violations suggests can only strengthen the racist indoctrination of the younger generations of Israelis.
In his upcoming Israel visit, US President Barack Obama will spend just a few hours in Palestinian Ramallah and the rest of the 3-day tour visiting grave of Zionism founder Theodor Herzl, a Holocaust memorial and an anti-missile system, among other Israeli sites.
During the visit that begins on Wednesday, Obama will spend “just a few hours” in the Palestinian Authority base of Ramallah, and the rest of his three-day stay in al-Quds (Jerusalem), where he plans to visit an “official” so-called Holocaust memorial, a partially US-built Israeli Iron Dome anti-missile site and Herzl’s grave, The Los Angele Times reports on Friday.
In visiting the grave site of the Zionism founder and the Holocaust spot, Obama intends to highlight the point he made during his widely publicized Cairo speech in 2009, when he urged his Egyptian audience to accept the Zionist regime’s right to exist while denouncing efforts to deny the increasingly suspicious Holocaust story, the report states, citing US and Israeli officials. … Full article
Forbidden words, taboo topics, witch hunts, smear campaigns, excommunications, thought-policing and book banning are no longer the trademark of fascists and right wing extremists, the profession is shared now by Jewish “anti-Zionists,” alleged “friends of Palestine.” We are left watching in astonishment and disbelief as some “anti-Zionists” are doing the work of hyper-Zionists the likes of ADL and BoDoBJ.
I have recently witnessed the ostracizing and excommunication of two activists, Paul Eisen and Gilad Atzmon, by my local group affiliated to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) using the Zionist method of character assassination of using the labels “racist” “anti-Semitic” as a method of muffling truth.
Yet, among the numerous intellectuals and political activists that have publicly defended Atzmon are many Jews for whom I have only high praise and have expressed much admiration.
It seems that those who wish to stifle discourse are acting as controlled opposition. They attempt to block intellectual discussion, suppress academic freedom, obstruct rational and scholarly debate, filter vital information and smother serious research that examines three main identifiable problems:
The problem of the ideology of Jewish supremacy
The problem of global Jewish-Zionist networking and lobbying
The problem of idolizing the holocaust (which is used as a tool to further Zionist aims)
In 2009, soon after the Gaza massacres, by sheer coincidence I came across the word Neshama. Curious, I googled the word, and lo and behold a Pandora’s Box opened before my eyes; a new learning curve began; I learned about a group called Chabad Lubavitch. I was horrified to discover the supremacist ideology at the core of this group and the level of influence accomplished by the Rebbe and his followers.
Horror-struck, I started investigating, studying then writing about two main issues; the supremacist ideology and the high influence of this prominent organization, attempting to alert our Jewish PSC allies to the danger of such ideology and influence… only to be faced with utter silence.
The problem of the ideology of Jewish supremacy
First; if we accept that Zionism is defined by the crime of genocide and the ethnic cleansing of a nation and has caused the wiping out of a country, then investigating the motivation behind such crime is essential to fight it and hopefully to defeat it. Without unfiltered scrutiny, we would never know who we are dealing with and how to stop them.
Second; supremacism in Jewish ideology is not above criticism; like every other ideology, it should be transparent, accessible and not kept secretive. Without unfiltered scrutiny we would never know what animates Zionists to act with such aggravated cruelty and sadism.
Third; to accuse of “anti-Semitism” and “racism” those who expose Jewish supremacy, is the equivalent of covering up the ideology behind the crime and dissuading people from learning about it, hence challenging and fighting this form of racism.
Dismissing such supremacist beliefs as irrelevant and obsolete would be a huge mistake because these views are the very motor that charges, motivates and energizes the Jewish settlers in Palestine, and gives them the sense of entitlement to do what they do without feeling any guilt or remorse.
For us Palestinians and for our supporters in the solidarity movement, it is a matter of extreme importance to inspect and scrutinize the ideology that motivates and animates the Jewish settlers in our occupied Palestine in order to better understand it, hence combat it. Restricting our understanding of the occupiers, their ideology and mindset cripples our ability to fight back against them knowledgeably and effectively. Furthermore, in our day and age, racism has become outlawed, when people learn about the extent of the ideological racism in the Zionist entity, it will enable us to fight them in their weakest point, thus, bring the day of our liberation closer.
The problem of global Jewish-Zionist networking and lobbying
First; when we look at Zionism as a crime, again, then logically we must identify and investigate the modus operandi. Failure to do so would leave us unable to understand how our oppressors operate and succeed.
Second; with regards to the Jewish-Zionist lobby: investigative work that examines information, no matter how well concealed, and attempts to identify at least some of the culprits and the real criminals behind the fearmongering, the endless wars and the catastrophic conditions that our world suffers is neither racist nor anti Semitic.
Third; devoid of proof or evidence for their false accusations the controlled opposition gate-keepers insidiously filter information through intimidation and by labeling anyone who dares to divulge vital facts. They disable Friends of Palestine (FoP) members from understanding the animus and the methods used to install and to perpetuate the criminal Zionist project, in particular the global network of collaborators who organize and effectively manipulate world policies by coercing world governments into continuous support of the Zionist project in spite of its growing inhumanity.
Expecting to become myself sooner or later a victim of such smear and filtering activity, I always utilize extensive links to primary sources I quote, mostly Jewish organizations. The network formed by these organizations involves large sections of Jewish communities worldwide, and its ultimate role is generally to support the Zionist entity, by inserting themselves in influential positions.
Suppression of inquiry amounts to a dynamic protection system (by peripheral concealment) of the global Zionist network.
Lite-Zionist critics of Israel are attempting to impose on FoP their restrictive dogma, i.e. that a majority of Jews worldwide, whether Zionist “diaspora” or “Israelis”, are not the manipulators of international policy with regards to “Israel”, but the complacent, docile instrument of U.S. imperialism.
To persist, such dogma imperatively needs, again, to filter out glaring facts such as the over-representation of Jewish-Zionist dual citizens in vital areas of UK-US policy making, or the cross-pollination of racist and supremacist ideology between many Talmudic Rabbis and many Secular Jewish-Zionist Organizations supporting the Zionist project.
The persistence of this dogma also requires strict and repressive censorship and gagging of whomever tries to scrutinize, analyze and discuss the facts, let alone expose them to an audience concerned by matters of equality and humanism, such as FoP and the Palestine solidarity movement in general was supposed to be. That is how and why smear campaigns with killer words such as “anti-Semitism” or “racism” are launched.
At best, such activity on part of alleged “friends of Palestine” is irresponsible. The logical implication of such nonsense, would be that Jewish Israelis, almost all of them serving at least 2 full years in the Israeli army, are just naïve and innocent victims. Thereby, this nonsensical dogma exculpates the notoriously perverted cruelty and psychopathy of the Israeli military’s crimes, up and down the command ladder.
The problem of idolizing the holocaust
First; “Facts” do NOT need laws to enforce or defend them, what they require is research to examine their narrative and correct it for better accuracy and understanding. The denial of these principles will invariably lead to the eradication of the Science of History, and thus cause the blind repetition of more genocides, as we already see in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan… Much like what we see with the cover up and suppression of information about The Truth about 9/11, who benefited and how the event was used to create a climate of hatred and fear which enables the power elite to continue waging wars of aggression and extermination.
Second; without understanding how the holocaust has been used by Zionists, from its onset til this very day, we would continue to succumb to intimidation and give allowances that legitimize and justify the existence of a criminal entity. By insisting on keeping an aura of holiness, uniqueness and exceptionality around the holocaust which would continue to put it above any historical event, preventing researchers from examining how this event has been used, and how it enables our occupier to continue to use it as justification for what they do in Palestine.
The holocaust ought to be studied as a historical event with a historical narrative that has NO sacred or exceptional dimension. The emotional, dogmatic and sacred luggage that has been attached to it has been systematically used and is still used by Zionists to justify and minimize their ongoing heinous crimes in Palestine, as well as the claim of special status with special benefits in their respective countries.
Third; there is absolutely no link -strictly none- between the so-called Holocaust and Palestinians. Nowhere can Palestinians be incriminated in the abhorrent oppression committed by central Europeans against Jews during World War II.
I, as a Palestinian, am not prepared to live in guilt, nor to pay for crimes my people haven’t committed. We refuse to accept and will reject forcibly if necessary, pathologically violent and racist Jewish occupiers.
Military conquest, terrorism, robbery, torture, ethnic cleansing and slow genocide ongoing since the arrival of the first Zionists in Palestine almost one century ago (i.e. before the holocaust) does NOT make someone the rightful “owners” or “co-owners” of my homeland, it makes them abject and violent occupiers.
I and with me my People are not accepting any more to keep having to listen to this narrative shoved down our throat with the repetition of tragedies about legendary love stories, human-fat soap or human-skin lamp shades in order that the Zionists continue to deceive, to trade with and reap the profit by deception and theft of a historical crime that has already been dealt with, and while they continue to use it to justify the ongoing theft of Palestine and extermination of Palestinians.
When someone claims to be in the solidarity movement with Palestine, but then at a crucial time when the Palestinian struggle for Liberation gains momentum, engages in such blatant cover up and concealment of vital information and analysis that would enable people to better understand the core problematic issues and how to effectively deal with them, I and with me every member of the FoP and the Palestine solidarity movement, have the right to question the dubious intentions and motivations of such acts, and to evaluate the damage such people are causing to the movement, hence to Palestinians.
I would like to add a thought about the accusation of racism and anti-Semitism used as a method to silence debate. Anti-Semitism is nothing but one form of racism. Jewish supremacy is yet another form of racism. All forms of racism are vile and ought to be rejected.
An aggravating factor makes the accuser’s motives appear to be even more dubious. Indeed the false accusations of racism is inconsistent with their deafening silence about the mountain of evidence of the wide-spread existence of the ominously racist Jewish supremacist ideologies. This utter silence is a glaring attempt to deflect from the real racism about which I happen to have done extensive research during the past 2 years.
Also, I perceive the attacks as an attempt to block intellectual debate about the problem of global Jewish-Zionist networking and lobbying, which to me is very worrisome, to say the least, when coming from self proclaimed “Friends of Palestine.”
What I find really mind-boggling and hard to fathom in all this is the inconsistency with regards to racism.
On the one hand they do not hesitate to throw such a label against many honorable activists, scholars and intellectuals, in fact they label as “racist” and “fools” anyone who exposes the revolting yet well concealed Jewish supremacy, anyone who notices the effect of Jewish-Zionist networking or who objects to their disproportionate over-representation in key positions with all what it entails of conflict of interest and promotion of the interest of a foreign entity at the detriment of the interest of their national constituency. Yet, on the other hand, mystifyingly, the same people, who without hesitation accuse us of racism, stay utterly mute about the massive, revolting and offensive racism that fills thousands of pages in the Talmud, and major Jewish religious books! And I am not talking about some fringe lunatic fundamentalists who use these always mutating texts as tools, what I am talking about is the inter-connective network of people deeply entrenched in the main centers of government, power and capital, and who are veritably driving policies, war-mongering and hate-mongering!
This sharp contrast between the fervent reaction of those disloyal activists to alleged “racism” on one hand, and on the other, their apathetic deflated reaction or lack thereof, to the sickening anti-human racism emanating from Jewish sources with its correlation with Zionists’ activities, leaves me speechless, beyond words.
Since I started exposing this racism, and over the past two years, I heard NOT ONE WORD about their outrage, opposition or willingness to expose or fight Jewish supremacist ideology, such as seen in the writing of one of the most respected, most reputable Jewish philosophers Moses Ben Maimon (also known as Maimonides).
“Maimonides’s Mishneh Torah is considered by traditionalist Jews even today as one of the chief authoritative codifications of Jewish law and ethics.” Moses Ben Maimon sees no problem with subjugating and enslaving gentiles:
“They shall be your subjects and serve you.”
“The subjugation they must accept consists of being on a lower level, scorned and humble.
They must never raise their heads against Israel, but must remain subjugated under their rule. They may never be appointed over a Jew in any matter whatsoever.”
He also talks about the right of the Jewish king to:
“wage a milchemet hareshut, (war of aggression) i.e. a war fought with other nations in order to expand the borders of Israel or magnify its greatness and reputation.“
These “chief authoritative codifications of Jewish law and ethics” do not see any ethical predicament with “Jewish wars” of extermination and annihilation either.
Since this notorious ideology is the unequivocal underlying animus and root cause of the Zionist aggression and occupation, and since the “facts on the ground” prove the cross-pollination between this degradation and the secular Zionist aims, including the irrefutably slow-genocidal Zionist military policies, scrutiny and criticism of this racist supremacist filth is not a matter of fringe theology, but a vital matter of totalitarian politics.
Now, where is their outrage against such blatant Jewish racism and supremacy and terrifying nihilistic ideology? Don’t they claim to be against racism wherever it comes from? Why don’t they have the guts to condemn and campaign against such racism?
Is it not ludicrous to hear them condemn instead, those who expose and vehemently oppose such racism?
Without using any commonsense they jump into the ADL bandwagon and rub shoulders with Zionists!
If someone obstinately objects to the massive control and unwelcome influence and the robbing of others rights and property, under the pretext of divine entitlement, does that person become the unreasonable “bigot” !
What kind of skewed logic is that?
This inconsistency is incomprehensible to me.
Why are they entitled to classify people and to dictate to people what they should read and what they should avoid?
Why this condescending attitude that appears to be claiming to know what is best for people and selecting their intellectual diet for them?
Why deprive people of the right to read a wide range of opinions, including my own writing, and allow them to make up their analysis, and conclusions without manipulation, repression or restraint?
In my writing I vehemently criticize racist Jewish ideology, but I never accuse all Jews of being racist, never put them -or anyone else for that matter, in one basket. Ever.
In my writing I quoted the poll that 95% of USA Jewry support Israel as a Jewish state and 90% of British Jewry believe that Israel is the ‘ancestral homeland’ of the Jewish people, and concluded that most world Jewry are supportive of the theft of Palestine.
Truth is that the majority of world Jewry insist that Jews have a right and claim to the land. Including some of our Jewish “anti-Zionist” friends under whatever pretext. Their claims are not acceptable and unjustifiable!
I have pointed out the influence of organized Jewish networks, such information is available for any serious researcher, it can be easily verified, yes it is troublesome to find such a tiny group extremely overrepresented in so many vital areas of public affairs, such as finance, media, security and policy making, more so when the interests of such a group are in conspicuous conflict with the interest of the larger group, and when this minority supports a genocidal entity that has not evolved in six decades.
Over-representation is as unfair as under-representation, and if anti-racists take it upon themselves to defend the rights of the under-represented minorities, it is of equal importance to do the same with over-representation.
Perhaps such questions of over-representation might have not surfaced had the behavior of those in question been shrouded with morality and humanity. Had they been working to establish social justice, building homes, schools and hospitals instead of destroying and polluting the planet for generations to come, and instead of law of the jungle where the super-rich eat the poor to the last bone, had they chosen cooperation instead never-ending conflict, and promoted peace and justice instead of fomenting perpetual wars.
No one should be slandered for observing and objecting to such blatant mockery of morality, equality and justice.
I do not need to focus on Christian Zionists because their ideology is almost entirely sourced from the Old-Testament which is none other than the Jewish Torah! Most authentic Christians consider the Christian Zionists as worshipers of “Israel” and of the “Jewish people” rather than God, and in that sense they share the same ideology as Jewish-Zionist supremacists, in terms of their reverence and idolization of the Jewish people as the “Chosen”, they are one and the same. Furthermore, those who occupy my land, those who drove me out of my homeland, and those who are still depriving me from going home are the Jewish Zionists.
I criticize the deafening silence of anti-Zionist Jews with regard to the racism that thrives amidst many Jewish communities. A silence which I believe will backfire one day, as they would be seen as not only complaisant but also complacent by deflecting away and concealing horrendous truths.
My criticism is motivated by concern and genuine care for good Jewish individuals that I have known and those whom I don’t know, because of what I perceive as the danger that would befall all of them if they continue to ignore the supremacist ideology, the growing influence of the adherents of this ideology and if they continue to ignore all the warning signs that point to accumulating bottled rage against such villainy, which no doubt would one day manifest itself violently as an inevitable backlash to much unsaid, yet felt, oppression and unspoken, but lived, subjugation.
I find it rather pathetic that the only defense mechanism that the accusers come up with is the smear, slander and the accusation of being a “racist” against anyone who pokes the boil exposing the pus infesting inside one of the most vile racist and supremacist ideologies thriving at the heart of some Jewish teachings as per Mishna Torah, Zohar, Tanya, and Talmud. By insisting on dismissing Jewish supremacy and Jewish-Zionist networks they only promote the most cruel and degenerative racism to be found on the planet by means of concealment and shifting attention away from the real racism that I vehemently fight and deplore.
The persons who resort to accusation, suppression, character assassination and smear campaigns very cunningly and dishonestly omit to mention that those who expose and condemn the racist concepts of “chosen-ness”, “exceptionality”, “superior morality”, “superior intelligence”, and “Jewish entitlement of world leadership” do not invent these concepts. It is not racist to expose or quote such abomination, it is not a crime to bring such Jewish-claims to the public awareness. Any honest criticism should be directed against those who believe such filth and make such revolting claims.
To those individuals who take part in such ADL style smear campaigns of accusation of racism, I say:
I accuse you of acting as a smoke screen to cover up real racism as manifested by Jewish supremacists
I accuse you of acting as protectors and gatekeepers of the global Jewish Zionist networks and lobby groups by denying their existence and effectiveness.
I accuse you of complicity by insisting to conceal planned crimes against humanity as manifested in the supremacist nihilistic Chabad ideology.
Any Solidarity Movement with Palestine should take the opinions, the interests, and the future well being of Palestinians at heart, otherwise, it speaks only for itself, not for Palestinians.
Palestinians have the right to fight for the full liberation of their country, those who are willing to march with us all the way are welcome, those who are not, may look for other more convenient and less controversial campaigns to support.
I denounce any person or group who pretends to speak in my name as a Palestinian, yet behind closed doors, they plot and whisper about how to mute Palestinian voices and curtail the spread and impact of daring Palestinian opinions.
I denounce any person or group who claims to work for Palestine, yet their actions are contrary to the legitimate interest and aspirations of Palestinian people. Allowing themselves to be used as a vehicle to secure the future of the Jewish-Zionist invaders by facilitating the permanent takeover of Palestine with the pretext of “two peoples, one future” blather or “equal rights to both sides” nonsense.
I denounce any person or group who turns a blind eye and reacts with a deafening silence to the unimaginable repulsive racism that oozes from some Jewish supremacist groups, yet instead, hysterically and shamelessly react to someone who accidentally came to discover such horrors.
Finally, I fully trust the Palestine solidarity movement to have the intellectual integrity and capacity to see through the fog of manipulation, and to have the assertiveness, the respect for their own intellect and enough open-mindedness to look at many sources of information, and that they have the courage to read for themselves and evaluate what they read independently, without having some gurus spoon-feeding them with filtered, processed, misrepresented or manipulated information.
Nahida Izzat is a Jerusalem-born Palestinian refugee who has lived in exile for over forty five years, after being forced to leave her homeland at the tender age of seven in 1967, during the six-day war. She has a degree in mathematics, but art is one of her favorite pastimes. She loves hand-made things and so makes dolls, cards, and most of her own clothing. She also writes poetry, participates in written dialogues and believes in building bridges, not walls.
October 26, 2009
Antonio Caracciolo is a scholar of philosophy of law who works at the Faculty of Political Sciences of Rome University.
Politically, he is a liberal in the Italian sense of the word: a believer in the separation of Church and state, constitutional democracy, the rule of law and a free market; however he keeps his opinions strictly out of his work, reserving them for his blog Civium Libertas.
Recently, his blog has dedicated much attention to the politics of Israel and the methods used by Zionist organizations in Italy to silence criticism of Israel in the Italian media and political sphere.
The Zionist discourse, in recent years, has focused increasingly on the extermination of the European Jews during the Second World War, and this has led Antonio Caracciolo to touch another topic. As a liberal and legal scholar, he considers the attempt to introduce prison sentences http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_against_Holocaust_denial against “Holocaust deniers” or “revisionists” incompatible with Articles 21 and 33 of the Italian constitution, which protect freedom of expression and of research. In this context, however, Antonio Caracciolo has refused to get involved in historical discussions, or to support any “revisionist” thesis.
His blog – one of hundreds of thousands on the net in Italy – passed unnoticed for over two years, until a few days ago Italy’s leading daily, La Republica, decided to make its existence front page news, under the more-than-misleading title:
Gianni Alemanno, mayor of Rome, immediately demanded that the President of Rome’s University, Luigi Frati, take steps against Antonio Caracciolo. It is ironical to remember that Alemanno is not only the first neo-Fascist to become mayor of the Italian capital, he has also been the historic leader of the mystic current in the Alleanza Nazionale (former MSI) party, and is the son-in-law of Pino Rauti, who introduced the esoteric ideas of Julius Evola into the neo-Fascist movement.
In Europe, even in the Middle Ages, mayors had no right to tell universities whom to hire or fire. However, the President of the University Luigi Frati, thanked Gianni Alemmano for his prompt action and promised to “look into taking disciplinary steps against Caracciolo”, which could include his being fired from his job.
The right-wing president of the Rome town Council, Marco Pomarici, declared that
“one cannot tolerate certain statements circulating freely around Europe’s largest university, especially in a course on Philosophy of Law. Such theories can generate a return of anti-Semitism and it is quite clear that Caracciolo is not suited to teach and must be dismissed.”
Irony again, since Marco Pomarici a short time before had declared publicly that “there were also many positive elements in Fascism.”
Riccardo Pacifici, the very Zionist president of the Jewish community elected by a first-time right wing majority (on a ticket explicitly called “For Israel”) and well known in Italy for an “aid to Gaza” hoax, calls directly for imprisoning Antonio Caracciolo:
“Such “gentlemen” in some European countries – alas, not in Italy yet – are punished by the law for the ideas they uphold.”
The next day, Riccardo Pacifici launched an appeal (directly from Israel) to the academic world, announcing that he would take legal action against Caracciolo’s blog, and calling on university professors to take steps to “prevent allowing certain people having contact with students” (La Repubblica, October 23, 2009). Specifically, he calls upon the professors to “help us so that Italy makes laws declaring holocaust denial a crime.”
Pacifici claimed the existence of a “true Holocaust denial network” in Internet, hardly surprising if we consider that Internet is a network. Pacifici also told the press that he had presented a black list of websites to the police.
“The problem of the net, emphasizes Pacifici, is that it is uncontrolled. The risk is that one can write anything by simply opening a website in Moscow. We also need to intervene in terms of legislation about this.”
Statements of indignation about Caracciolo’s blog “are not enough,” Pacifici goes on. “Unanimous condemnation is not enough. We need to act in terms of criminal law.”
The Caracciolo case opens a new frontier. Not only would unpopular opinions be banned, but also the right to criticize such bans. Pacifici’s proposal, if applied in Germany, would put Henryk Broder, candidate-president of the German Jewish Community, in gaol, as he has promised to fight for the repeal of Holocaust denial legislation. http://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/henryk-m-broder-publizist-will-knobloch-im-zentralrat-abloesen_aid_446835.html
The following day, October 24, Repubblica itself published an article by Christopher Hitchens which called for a military attack on Iran, no less, but this seems not to have sent any shock waves through the media.
Far more than Holocaust revisionism/denial is at stake. Pacifici is calling for legislation able to outlaw a blog like Antonio Caracciolo, which criticizes a government of the Middle East, analyzes the action of public figures and organizations in Italy and defends freedom of speech.
Such legislation would be possible only if laws were passed forbidding opposition to government policies, or declaring certain foreign states to be above criticism, or forbidding even support for the notion of free speech.
This of course is the basic issue behind “Holocaust denial legislation”, which is actually only part of the general attempt by governments to control the Internet and to make opposition – outside of very limited channels – a crime: one need only think of the Czech Republic, where legislators slipped a few extra words into the the Holocaust denial legislation. In Prague today, one can go to prison for up to eight years for “supporting class hatred” in “print, film, radio, television.” “Hatred” of course is a purely emotional term, and any judge will be free to decide whether the person organizing a strike had such wicked feelings or not.
 The Italian neo-Fascist party, MSI (later Alleanza Nazionale, now dissolved into the governing centre-right party) was a complex coalition, with three main strands: very conservative, largely Catholic anti-Communists; the “left-wing” which saw Mussolini as the “true” Socialist in the progressive and secular nationalist tradition of the 19th century; and a mystic, largely pagan wing with close cultural ties to certain currents of German thought.
Touted on Twitter as a “must-read” by John McCain, Elie Wiesel had an op-ed in yesterday’s Washington Post titled “How to stop the Syria massacre.” Clearly distressed that the United States appears to be finally growing weary of fighting wars in Israel’s increasingly destabilized backyard, the prosperous Holocaust survivor lays on the guilt trip:
Military intervention? No. Why not? Because the American people are tired of waging distant wars. Because American families have lost too many sons and daughters in far-away conflicts. Should Syrian families suffer because of the help we have given others? Because of the sacrifices we have already made?
The warmongering Nobel Peace Prize laureate has another bright idea, however:
I am not sure that armed assistance is the only solution. Economic sanctions have proved to be relatively futile elsewhere. But why not imagine yet another option that might produce a dramatic effect?
Why not warn Assad that, unless he stops the murderous policy he is engaged in, he will be arrested and brought to the international criminal court in the Hague and charged with committing crimes against humanity?
Such a charge would have discouraging aspects. He would lose any support, any sympathy, in the world at large. No honorable person would come to his defense. No nation would offer him shelter. No statute of limitations would apply to his case.
If and when he realizes that, like Egypt’s dictator, Hosni Mubarak, he will end up in disgrace, locked in a prison cell, he might put an end to his senseless criminal struggle for survival.
Why not try it?
As Wiesel most likely knows from the efforts to “stop Gadhafi,” his humanitarian-sounding suggestion is almost guaranteed to have the opposite effect.
But American administrations should also know by now to be wary of his advice. All President Obama needs to do is to learn from the experience of his predecessor, George W. Bush:
In the winter of 2003, I sought opinions on Iraq from a variety of sources…. One of the most fascinating people I met with was Elie Wiesel, the author, Holocaust survivor, and deserving Nobel Prize recipient. Elie is a sober and gentle man. But there was passion in his seventy-four-year-old eyes when he compared Saddam Hussein’s brutality to the Nazi genocide. “Mr. President,” he said, “you have a moral obligation to act against evil.” The force of his conviction affected me deeply. Here was a man who had devoted his life to peace urging me to intervene in Iraq…
- Countering the Israel Lobby’s Dominance (alethonews.wordpress.com)
‘A Problem of Self-Image,’ banned by Facebook
Looks like the folks at Facebook have more to worry about than their plummeting stock price (off 28% since the IPO last week). In recent days, Facebook suspended the account of the Israeli graphic artist, Mysh, about whom I wrote a post a few days ago. It seems that some of the brilliant political graphics I praised in that post must’ve offended the delicate sensibilities of the pro-Israel crowd. I’m guessing there was a movement to complain about the images. And Facebook’s nanny patrol took a look at them and agreed. At least three images have been removed from Facebook and Mysh’s account was suspended for 24 hours as “punishment” for being such a bad boy and saying such mean things (and referencing the Holocuast) about the Israeli pogromists who assaulted African refugees in Tel Aviv a few days ago.
The problem is that Mysh did nothing wrong. In fact, his graphic art is brilliant political satire. It’s the hasbara crowd and their enablers at Facebook who should be ashamed of themselves. I expect that sort of behavior from the Israeli right. But I expect Facebook not to kowtow to such a censorious crowd. Let’s ask a few questions of FB’s censors:
1. Does this mean that you can’t feature a cartoon about the Holocaust on Facebook?
2. Does this mean that cartoons combining Holocaust imagery and criticism of Israel are treif on Facebook?
3. Does this mean that the hasbara crowd gets to determine what can and can’t be seen on Facebook?
4. Does this mean that non-prurient nudity in a cartoon will get it banned?
I’ve looked everywhere for a way to complain to Facebook about this ridiculous decision, but they pretty much avoid telling you how to do so. So I guess we have to make a big enough stink and get the media to call asking questions. Maybe someone can post FB’s corporate headquarters info and phone number and people can call. This is the customer service number I found online: 650-543-4800.
Psst, I’ll tell you a little secret: while Mysh can’t display this image on Facebook, guess who can? You, of course. It’s on my page. If enough of us put it up on all our pages it will hopefully drive the Thought Police crazy and maybe they’ll give up on the censorship. Post it to Twitter too and all the social media. Let’s frustrate the hell out of the censor and make them realize their folly.
The other two censored images are The Green Sabra (a parody of The Hulk, in which the hero/monster is a Sabra) and The Real $uperpower, in which corporate CEO Lex Luther carves an “S” on a naked, cowed Superman (the 99%) in a biting affirmation of the message of the Occupy Wall Street movement. I dare anyone to defend the censoring of these images. Even the most pro-Israel among you. Go ahead, I dare you to try.
Oh and about that falling stock price: Facebook, don’t you have enough troubles without adding this to the bunch? But I guess the nannies are factoring in the possibility of kvetching and moaning from the pro-Israel side as well. It’s a question of which will hurt them more. So far, art, freedom and free expression are the losers.
- Israeli students to get $2,000 to spread state propaganda on Facebook (theuglytruth.wordpress.com)
- Israeli military to keep tabs on Facebook, Twitter (rt.com)
In a speech at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C., flanked by such Zionist luminaries as Elie Wiesel and Michael Oren, President Barack Obama referred to “those sacred grounds at Yad Vashem,” the vast Holocaust memorial complex in Jerusalem. But considering the horrors of the Holocaust didn’t occur anywhere near the grounds of Yad Vashem, one has to wonder what makes those grounds so hallowed. After all, Auschwitz is over 1,500 miles away from Jerusalem; Treblinka is nearly 1,600 miles away; Dachau is almost 1,700 miles away; Buchenwald is over 1,800 miles away. Do all Holocaust Museums stand on “sacred ground” just because of the subject matter they commemorate? If so, wasn’t Obama himself standing on sacred ground at 100 15th Street SW in the District of Columbia? Will the ground upon which the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of (In)Tolerance is being built be sacred because of the museum, or because of the ancient Muslim cemetery it has uprooted and destroyed?
Perhaps the grounds of Yad Vashem are sacred, though. Only a short distance away, within eyesight, is where Deir Yassin used to be before Zionist militias wiped it and its inhabitants off the face of the Earth.
Obama spoke of atrocities committed upon countless innocents, “just for being different, just for being Jewish” and warned against “the bigotry that says another person is less than my equal, less than human.” One wonders what he would say if confronted with the fact that the indigenous people of Palestine are deliberately, systematically and institutionally discriminated against, imprisoned without charge or trial, occupied and colonized, bombed and burned, shot at and under siege because they are not Jewish and because they refuse to forget who they are and where they come from, they refuse to acquiesce to the six and a half decades of ethnic cleansing, aided and abetted, funded, immunized and ignored by the nation Barack Obama now represents.
Obama said that “‘Never again’ is a challenge to defend the fundamental right of free people and free nations to exist in peace and security — and that includes the State of Israel.” He mentioned Israel by name six additional times in his speech. Never once did the words Palestine or Palestinians cross his lips. He then proceeded to conflate Zionism with Judaism, present international law as anti-Semitic, and pulled a Netanyahu by warning of the looming specter of a caricatured Iran, one that exists only in the warped minds of fear merchants and warmongers.
Said Obama, “When faced with a regime that threatens global security and denies the Holocaust and threatens to destroy Israel, the United States will do everything in our power to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”
Obama also spoke of civilians “subjected to unspeakable violence, simply for demanding their universal rights,” he spoke of “all the tanks and all the snipers, all the torture and brutality unleashed against them,” and vowed to “sustain a legal effort to document atrocities so killers face justice, and a humanitarian effort to get relief and medicine” to those desperately in need. Obama praised those who “still brave the streets,” who “still demand to be heard” and “still seek their dignity.” He praised the “people [who] have not given up.”
He was referring to Syria, of course, and not to Bil’in, Ni’lin, or Budrus. He didn’t mean tanks in Gaza, IDF snipers who open fire on unarmed protesters and murder schoolchildren or the torture and abuse of Palestinians- including children – in Israeli jails. When he spoke of “unspeakable violence,” the “humanitarian effort” and the “legal effort to document atrocities so killers face justice,” Obama obviously didn’t mean the devastation of Gaza by the Israeli military, the ongoing humanitarian crisis there or the recommendations of the Goldstone Report.
Obama patted himself on the back for “sign[ing] an executive order that authorizes new sanctions against the Syrian government and Iran and those that abet them for using technologies to monitor and track and target citizens for violence.” Of course, these sanctions were not extended to U.S. chums Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, or South Korea – all places where internet censorship is rampant and pervasive.
Obama concluded by stating, “To stare into the abyss, to face the darkness and insist there is a future — to not give up, to say yes to life, to believe in the possibility of justice” and declared, “If you can continue to strive and speak, then we can speak and strive for a future where there’s a place for dignity for every human being.”
He was speaking, rightfully, to the survivors of the Holocaust. But he was also, unwittingly and unwillingly, speaking for those who continue to struggle for equal rights, for universal rights, for dignity, freedom, sovereignty and self-determination, for justice long deferred in their own historic and ancestral homeland. He was speaking for Palestine.
But don’t tell Elie Wiesel.
A review of The Wandering Who, by Gilad Atzmon
Caution! Do not enter this book unless you are prepared for serious self-examination, self-dialogue, and a dialectic with an astute listener, challenger, provocateur and wit. Leave notions, assumptions, biases—positive and negative—at the doors of your perception—which are about to be vigorously cleansed! Be prepared for topic sentences like this: “My grandfather was a charismatic, poetic, veteran Zionist terrorist.”
The author of such disarming prose, the grandson of that “veteran Zionist,” is internationally-acclaimed musician and composer, Gilad Atzmon. Born and raised in Israel–a Sabra—Atzmon, like his peers, “didn’t see the Palestinians” around him. “Supremacy,” he writes, “was brewed into our souls.”
And then a strange thing happened. “On a very late-night jazz programme, I heard Bird (Charlie Parker) with Strings. I was knocked down. The music was more organic, poetic, sentimental and wilder than anything I had ever heard. …” And the most extraordinary thing about Atzmon’s first encounter with the iconic American saxophonist? “I realized that Parker was actually a black man. … In my world, it was only Jews who were associated with anyting good. Bird was the beginning of a journey.”
Now in his 50s, with a luminous musical career of his own, Atzmon has published two novels, and numerous essays and articles at websites and periodicals worldwide. The Wandering Who is a collection of 22 essays that serve as a baedeker for those who want to accompany him on his extraordinary “journey” of self-discovery and self-actualization. The book’s sectional titles include, “Identity vs. Identifying”; “Unconsciousness Is the Discourse of the Goyim”; “Historicity & Factuality vs. Fantasy and Phantasm”; and “Connecting the Dots.” Accompany Atzmon and one finds oneself sharpening one’s own tools for self-interrogation and reflection, wandering with him to discover our own elusive “who.”
His broad range of subjects include: identity; history; myths; perceptions and misperceptions; and the way “pre-traumatic stress” has shaped the nation of Israel, and, indeed, shaped much of our world these past 60-odd years. That first encounter with “Bird” opened Atzmon to the world of possibilities beyond Israel’s self-imposed, exclusionary borders: “Through music… I learned to listen. Rather than looking at history or analysing its evolution in material terms, it is listening that stands at the core of deep comprehension. Ethical behaviour comes into play when the eyes are shut and the echoes of conscience can form a tune within one’s soul. To empathise is to accept the primacy of the ear.”
His journey takes him to London in his 20s, where he hones his abilities to “listen” and “empathize” and establishes himself as a jazz musician who has been uniquely influenced by Arab music! And his mind is as agile as his fingering on his sax or clarinet: “In London, in what I often define as my ‘self-imposed exile,’ I grasped that Israel and Zionism were just parts of the wider Jewish problem.” We’re 15 pages into the book and Atzmon is broaching subject matter that could break a career in the U.S. or land him in jail in some parts of Europe! He is acutely aware of the thin ice he’s treading on, but he’s a born investigator and thinker, and he won’t be deterred: “… hardly any commentator is courageous enough to wonder what the word ‘Jew’ stands for. This question… is still taboo within Western discourse.” Our cicerone wants his readers and “listeners” to know that the road ahead will be arduous and even perilous:
“I deal with Jewish Ideology, Jewish identity politics, and the Jewish political discourse. I ask what being a Jew entails. I am searching for the metaphysical, spiritual and socio-political connotations.”
- He divides “those who call themselves Jews” into three main categories:
- 1. Those who follow Judaism.
2. Those who regard themselves as human beings that happen to be of Jewish origin.
3. Those who put their Jewish-ness over and above all of their other traits.
Throughout this book, it is the third category that Atzmon considers “problematic,” and which he probes with magnifying glass and scalpel. It is a category that includes Zionists and anti-Zionists, religious and non-religious Jews. He quotes Chaim Weizmann: “There are no English, French, German or American Jews, but only Jews living in England, France, Germany or America.” But, again, what exactly is “Jewish-ness”?
We travel down labyrinths of history, myths, power politics, enfranchisement and disenfranchisement to ferret meanings. Judaism, we find, is an amalgamation of stories, legends, poems composed during “the Babylonian exile”—and a sense of exile and alienation are categorical indicators of “Jewish-ness.” Important clues come in the Bible’s Book of Esther.
(Parenthetically, I’ll note here that during his recent visit to the US, reportedly to discuss what must be done about Iran’s purported nuclear weapons program, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu handed the President of the world’s remaining super-power a copy of the Book of Esther. Whether or not the Prime Minister accompanied the gift with an order to “Read it!”—has not been reported!)
“In the Book of Esther,” Atzmon writes, “the Jews rescue themselves, and even get to mete out revenge.” To wit: Haman, the Persian King’s Prime Minister, “plots to have all the Jews in the Persian empire killed in revenge for a refusal by Esther’s cousin Mordechai to bow to him in respect.” Esther, “a brave and beautiful Jewish queen,” has never revealed her “Jewish” identity to her husband, the King! But, now she warns him of Haman’s murderous plot. The King has Haman and his 10 sons–innocent bystanders, really–hanged on gallows originally intended for Mordechai and allows the Jews to take up arms and slay their enemies.
“The moral,” writes Atzmon, is clear: “If Jews want to survive, they had better infiltrate the corridors of power.” And this imperative to bond with power is an essential characteristic of “Jewishness”—notable in Esther’s time and in our contemporary world of AIPAC, think-tanks, media mesmerism and “message” control.
If the roots of “Jewishness”—separateness and “exceptionalism,” non-assimilation, exilic indoctrination—are discernable in the old-time religion of the Book of Esther, they ramify into something remarkably different—yet genetically akin—in what Atzmon and others call “the Holocaust religion.” “Jewishness,” he writes, “is the materialisation of fear politics into a pragmatic agenda.” In the modern Holocaust religion, vengeful, omnipotent Yahweh has been replaced by the unchallengeable “truths” of the Holocaust—past suffering cited to justify Israel’s ethnic cleansing and expansionism, its formidable arsenal of nukes and other weapons, its threats and wars of aggression.
“It took me many years,” Atzmon writes, “to understand that the Holocaust, the core belief of the contemporary Jewish faith, was not at all an historical narrative, freely debated by historians, intellectuals and ordinary people. … historical narratives do not need the protection of the law and political lobbies. … The fate of my great-grandmother was not so different from hundreds of thousands of German civilians who died in deliberate, indiscriminate bombing, just because they were Germans. Similarly, the people in Hiroshima, who died just because they were Japanese. Three million Vietnamese died just because they were Vietnamese and 1.3 million Iraqis died because they were Iraqis.”
In many ways, Atzmon’s book is a cri de couer addressed to Jews, specifically, but to humanity, generally, to grow up! To reach beyond tribalism and the politics of fear and vengeance. His style is dialectical, positing thesis and antithesis, arguing with himself and anticipating his readers’ (or opponents’) arguments to arrive at a plausible synthesis.
The book is also a House of Mirrors—distorted and non-so—and Atzmon is our guide as he meditates on the various reflected aspects of himself and others while searching for the true notes and the high notes.
Gary Corseri can be reached at: email@example.com.
- Obama, Netanyahu & Esther (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Why Hate Gilad Atzmon Pt. 2: “He’s WRONG!” (Or Is He?) (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Cynthia McKinney Interviews Gilad Atzmon about Israel, Zionism, and Jewish Identity Politics (alethonews.wordpress.com)
The Biblical Book of Esther that was given to President Obama by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday was far from being a cryptic message. The Book of Esther is a genocidal recipe. It is there to educate Jews how to infiltrate into foreign administrations. In my latest book The Wandering Who I explore the role of The Biblical text in shaping contemporary Jewish political Lobbying and its open attempt to dominate American and British foreign policies. In contemporary American politics we detect the following.
- Esther’s and Mordechai’s role is played by AIPAC and American Jewish Committee (AJC) – Both openly push for a war against Iran.
- President Obama is the Persian king Ahasuerus. Like the Persian king, Obama is asked to kill the ‘enemies of the Jews’
- Haman, the ‘murderous Antisemite’ is clearly Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian people. In the Biblical tale, both Haman and his sons end up massacred.
- And sadly enough repudiated queen Vashti, is played by the American people and humanity. seemingly, our prayer for peace and harmony is clearly ignored.
The Book of Esther (The Wandering Who? by Gilad Atzmon, Chapter 19)
‘Haman said to King Achashvairosh, “There is a nation scattered and separated among the nations [the Jews] throughout your empire. Their laws are different than everyone else’s, they do not obey the king’s laws, and it does not pay for the king to tolerate their existence. If it pleases the king, let a law be written that they be destroyed, and I will pay to the executors ten thousand silver Kikar-coins for the king’s treasury.”’ (The Book Of Esther, Chapter 3)
The Book of Esther is a biblical story that forms the basis for the celebration of Purim, probably the most joyously celebrated Jewish festival. The book tells of an attempted Judeocide, but also of Jews who manage to change their fate. In the Book of Esther, the Jews rescue themselves, and even get to mete out revenge.
It is set in the third year of the reign of the Persian king Ahasuerus (commonly identified with Xerxes I). It is a story of a palace, a conspiracy, the aforementioned attempted Judeocide and a brave and beautiful Jewish queen – Esther – who manages to save her people at the very last minute.
Ahasuerus is married to Vashti, whom he repudiates after she rejects his command to show herself off to his assembled guests during a feast. Esther is selected from amongst many candidates to be Ahasuerus’s new bride. As the story progresses, Ahasuerus’s prime minister, Haman, plots to have all the Jews in the Persian empire killed in revenge for a refusal by Esther’s cousin Mordechai to bow to him in respect. Esther, now queen, plots with Mordechai to save the day for the Persian Jews. At the risk of endangering her own safety, Esther warns Ahasuerus of Haman’s murderous anti-Jewish plot. (As she had not disclosed her Jewish origins beforehand, the king had been unaware of them.) Haman and his sons are hanged on the fifty-cubit-high gallows he had originally built for Mordecai. As it happens, Mordecai takes Haman’s place as prime minister. Ahasuerus’s edict decreeing the murder of the Jews cannot be rescinded, so he issues another one allowing the Jews to take up arms and kill their enemies – which they do.
The moral of the story is clear. If Jews want to survive, they had better infiltrate the corridors of power. In light of The Book of Esther, Mordechai and Purim, AIPAC and the notion of ‘Jewish power’ appears to be an embodiment of a deep Biblical and cultural ideology.
However, here is the interesting twist. Though the story is presented as a record of actual events, the historical accuracy of the Book of Esther is in fact largely disputed by most modern Bible scholars. The lack of clear corroboration for any of the book’s details with what is known of Persian history from classical sources has led scholars to conclude that the story is mostly or even totally fictional. In other words, the moral notwithstanding, the attempted genocide is fictional. Seemingly, the Book of Esther encourages its (Jewish) followers into collective Pre-TSS, making a fantasy of ‘destruction’ into an ‘ideology of survival’. Indeed, some read the story as an allegory of quintessentially assimilated Jews, who discover that they are targets of anti-Semitism, but who are also in a position to save themselves and their fellow Jews.
Reading the Haman quotes above, while keeping Bowman in mind, the Book of Esther shapes an exilic identity. It sews existential stress and is a prelude to the Holocaust religion, setting the conditions that turn the Holocaust into reality. Interestingly a very similar, threatening narrative is explored in the beginning of Exodus. Again, in order to set an atmosphere of a ‘Shoah to come’ and a liberation to follow, an existential fear is established:
‘Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, “Behold, the people of the children of Israel are too many and too mighty for us; come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there befalleth us any war, they also join themselves unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the land.” Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh store-cities, Pithom and Raamses.’ Exodus 8-11
Both in Exodus and The Book of Esther, the author of the text manages to predict the kind of accusations that would be leveled against Jews for centuries to come, such as power-seeking, tribalism and treachery. Shockingly, the text in Exodus evokes a prophesy of the Nazi Holocaust. It depicts a reality of ethnic cleansing, economic oppressive measures that eventually lead to slave labour camps (Pithom and Raamses). Yet, in both Exodus and the Book of Esther it is the Jews who eventually kill.
Interestingly, the Book of Esther (in the Hebrew version of the Bible; six chapters were added to the Greek translation) is one of only two books of the Bible that do not directly mention God (the other is Song of Songs). As in the Holocaust religion, in the Book of Esther it is the Jews who believe in themselves, in their own power, in their uniqueness, sophistication, ability to conspire, ability to take over kingdoms, ability to save themselves. The Book of Esther is all about empowerment. It conveys the essence and metaphysics of Jewish power.
From Purim to Washington
In an article titled ‘A Purim Lesson: Lobbying Against Genocide, Then and Now’, Dr Rafael Medoff expounds on what he regards as the lesson bequeathed to the Jews by Esther and Mordechai: the art of lobbying. ‘The holiday of Purim,’ Medoff says, ‘celebrates the successful effort by prominent Jews in the capitol [sic] of ancient Persia to prevent genocide against the Jewish people.’ This specific exercise of what some call ‘Jewish power’ (though Medoff does not use this phrase) has been carried forward, and is performed by modern emancipated Jews: ‘What is not well known is that a comparable lobbying effort took place in modern times – in Washington, D.C., at the peak of the Holocaust.’
Medoff explores the similarities between Esther’s lobbying in Persia and her modern counterparts lobbying inside FDR’s administration at the height of the Second World War: ‘The Esther in 1940s Washington was Henry Morgenthau Jr., a wealthy, assimilated Jew of German descent who (as his son later put it) was anxious to be regarded as ‘one hundred percent American.’ Downplaying his Jewish-ness, Morgenthau gradually rose from being FDR’s friend and adviser to his Treasury Secretary.’
Clearly, Medoff also spotted a modern Mordechai: ‘a young Zionist emissary from Jerusalem, Peter Bergson (real name: Hillel Kook) who led a series of protest campaigns to bring about U.S. rescue of Jews from Hitler. The Bergson group’s newspaper ads and public rallies roused public awareness of the Holocaust – particularly when it organized over 400 rabbis to march to the front gate of the White House just before Yom Kippur in 1943.’
Medoff’s reading of the Book of Esther provides a glaring insight into the internal codes of Jewish collective survival dynamics, in which the assimilated (Esther) and the observant (Mordechai) join forces with Jewish interests on their minds. According to Medoff, the parallels to modern times are striking: ‘Mordechai’s pressure finally convinced Esther to go to the king; the pressure of Morgenthau’s aides finally convinced him to go to the president, armed with a stinging 18-page report that they titled “Report to the Secretary on the Acquiescence of This Government in the Murder of the Jews.” Esther’s lobbying succeeded. [Ahasuerus] cancelled the genocide decree and executed Haman and his henchmen. Morgenthau’s lobbying also succeeded. A Bergson-initiated Congressional resolution calling for U.S. rescue action quickly passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – enabling Morgenthau to tell FDR that “you have either got to move very fast, or the Congress of the United States will do it for you.” Ten months before election day, the last thing FDR wanted was an embarrassing public scandal over the refugee issue. Within days, Roosevelt did what the Congressional resolution sought – he issued an executive order creating the War Refugee Board, a U.S. government agency to rescue refugees from Hitler.’
Doubtless Medoff sees the Book of Esther as a general guideline for a healthy Jewish conduct: ‘The claim that nothing could be done to help Europe’s Jews had been demolished by Jews who shook off their fears and spoke up for their people – in ancient Persia and in modern Washington.’ In other words, Jews can and should do for themselves. This is indeed the moral of the Book of Esther as well as of the Holocaust religion.
What Jews should do for themselves is indeed an open question. Different Jews have different ideas. The neoconservatives believe in dragging the US and the West into an endless war against Islam. Some Jews believe that Jews should actually position themselves at the forefront of the struggle against oppression and injustice. Indeed, Jewish empowerment is just one answer among many. Yet it is a very powerful one, and dangerous when the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and AIPAC act as modern-day Mordechais and publicly engage in an extensive lobbying efforts for war against Iran.
Both AIPAC and the AJC are inherently in line with the Hebrew Biblical school of thought. They follow their Biblical mentor, Mordechai. However, while the Mordechais are relatively easy to spot, the Esthers – those who act for Israel behind the scenes – are slightly more difficult to track.
Once we learn to consider Israeli lobbying within the parameters drawn by the Book of Esther and the Holocaust religion, we are then entitled to regard Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the current Haman/Hitler figure. In addition to the AJC and AIPAC, President Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Lord Levy are also Mordechais, Obama is obviously Ahasuerus, yet Esther can be almost anyone, from the last Neocon to Dick Cheney and beyond.
 Medoff, Rafael, ‘A Purim Lesson: Lobbying Against Genocide, Then and Now’; see http://www.wymaninstitute.org/articles/2004-03-purim.php