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The Two Elie Wiesels

The Two Elie Wiesels

Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, Romanian-born Holocaust survivor and author of the classic novel, “Night.”

Elie Wiesel spoke out eloquently against violence and injustice… except when he endorsed them.

By Kathryn Shihadah | If Americans Knew | November 6, 2017

Elie Wiesel was born in 1928 to a prominent Jewish family in Romania. By the age of 15, he found himself in Auschwitz concentration camp, where his parents and one of his three siblings died. After the liberation of the camp, he spent time in France.

After a short time, Wiesel went to work  as a translator for Irgun, a terrorist group that had a reputation for bombing and shooting innocent Arab Palestinians. It was during Wiesel’s Irgun days that the group participated in the 1948 Deir Yassin massacre, in which over 250 unarmed Palestinian civilians were brutally murdered.

For ten years after the war, Wiesel says he would not speak or write about his experiences. Eventually he wrote a memoir, which was later abridged and translated into English as Night. Despite questions about its truthfulness (“in its central, most crucial scene, Night isn’t historically true, and at least two other important episodes are almost certainly fiction”), It has become a classic.

Eventually, Wiesel became a prominent advocate for peace and justice around the world.

His activism included speaking out for Soviet, Ethiopian, Romanian, and Ukranian Jews, as well as Vietnamese boat people, victims of South African apartheid, genocide in Bosnia, Darfur, and Armenia, and other at-risk groups around the world.

In 1986, Elie Wiesel received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end violence, oppression, and racism. The Nobel Committee stated: “Wiesel’s commitment, which originated in the sufferings of the Jewish people, has been widened to embrace all repressed peoples and races.” His profound experiences, and his profound response, birthed in him the words of his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech:

… When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant… that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe… There is much to be done, there is much that can be done. One person… one person of integrity, can make a difference, a difference of life and death.

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.

In The Watchtower (June 15, 1995), he declared,

The duty of the survivor is to bear testimony to what happened . . . You have to warn people that these things can happen, that evil can be unleashed. Race hatred, violence, idolatries—they still flourish.

Mr. Wiesel must have forgotten his own advice, because in the ensuing years, he missed many opportunities to speak out, to bear testimony – opportunities that were literally right under his nose.

For example, in 1999 he endorsed NATO bombs that were blowing up civilians and journalists in Yugoslavia; in 2003 he advocated for war against Iraq, declaring it a necessary moral act because the situation was “a moral crisis similar to 1938.”

And Wiesel was consistently unmoved when the victims under his nose were Palestinian.

The phenomenon of ignoring Palestinian victims, known in activist circles as PEP—Progressive Except Palestine—is a primary enabler of the ad nauseum occupation of the West Bank, the siege of Gaza, and the systemic oppression of Palestinians within Israel itself. Many groups and individuals that are devoted to justice stop short of defending the oppressed people of the Holy Land.

Mr. Elie Wiesel, the “messenger to mankind,” ought to have been above that kind of limited thinking, but he was not.

Like many, he viewed Israel through rose-colored glasses, despite his first hand knowledge. Wiesel could have, should have spoken out against the oppression of Palestinians, but instead sided with the oppressors. It has become the task of others to correct a Nobel Laureate.

Exhibit A, the Goldstone Report, 2009

Richard Goldstone

Elie Wiesel chose the wrong side when it came to the Goldstone Report, commissioned by the United Nations. The independent fact-finding team, which began its work in April 2009, was headed by Jewish (and Zionist) South African Richard Goldstone. Its task was to investigate alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during Operation Cast Lead. Although the scope of work was originally to examine Israeli actions only, Goldstone insisted on probing the Palestinian side as well.

The 3-week conflict, also known as the Gaza War and the Gaza Massacre, was Israel’s attempt to stop rocket fire and weapon smuggling by Palestinians. Casualties included over 1,400 Palestinians dead and 13 Israelis – 4 from friendly fire.

Prime Minister Netanyahu called the whole investigation a “kangaroo court,” and Israel refused to cooperate with the team or to grant visas for the investigation.

The report, presented in September 2009, concluded that both the Israeli Defense Forces and Palestinian militants had committed war crimes, charging that Israel’s military campaign was “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate, and terrorize… and to force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability.” It also accused Israel of collective punishment in the years-long economic blockade of Gaza.

The report described “an overall policy aimed at punishing the Gaza population… possibly with the intent of forcing a change [in its support for Hamas].”

(As an aside, the use of violence against civilians to force a political change is the definition of terrorism.)

The report continued:

[T]here appears also to have been an assault on the dignity of the people… in the use of human shields and unlawful detentions… vandalizing of houses… obscenities and often racist slogans, all constituted an overall image of humiliation and dehumanization of the Palestinian population.

The mission further considers that the series of acts that deprive Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedom of movement and their right to leave and enter their own country, that limit their rights to access a court of law and an effective remedy, could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, has been committed.

Israel rejected the report, while Hamas reluctantly accepted it.

Ian Kelly of the US State Department complained that the report (which, keep in mind, addressed a conflict in which Palestinian deaths were 100 times higher than Israeli deaths), “focuses overwhelmingly on Israel’s actions.” Nobel Peace laureate and former prime minister Shimon Pares considered the report a “mockery of history” and accused the team of failing to “distinguish between the aggressor and a state exercising its right to self-defense.”

Israel’s use of white phosphorus in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead was a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. “While the international community might be horrified by the use of phosphorous, this is overlooking the issue that hundreds of half-ton bombs are being dropped on Gaza on civilian targets on a daily basis,” said Raji Sourani, head of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza.

Elie Wiesel joined in the criticism of the Goldstone Report:

One thing is clear to me, that document was unnecessary.

Without explaining his first statement, he added, significantly,

I can’t believe that Israeli soldiers murdered people or shot children. It just can’t be.

(No doubt the families of the 1,400 dead Palestinians – half of them civilians, 252 of them children – would dispute this statement.)

American Jewish journalist Peter Beinart took Wiesel to task for these statements:

Wiesel takes refuge in the Israel of his imagination, using it to block out the painful reckoning that might come from scrutinizing Israel as it actually is… “We are making the lives of millions unbearable,” declares one former Shin Bet head, Carmi Gillon, in the film “The Gatekeepers.” In the West Bank, Israel has become “a brutal occupation force,” notes another, Avraham Shalom. A third, Yuval Diskin, calls the occupation a “colonial regime.”

These men don’t hate Israel; they have dedicated their lives to protecting it. But unlike Wiesel, they are discussing the real Israel, not the one they have constructed in their minds. Why is Elie Wiesel, one of the world’s great champions of human rights, denying the human rights abuses to which even Israel’s own former Shin Bet chiefs have testified?

Rabbi Brant Rosen concurred:

As far as I’m concerned, Justice Richard Goldstone is precisely the kind of courageous Jewish moral hero that Wiesel himself purports to be: someone committed to advocating for universal human rights even when doing so might mean holding our own community painfully to account. As for Wiesel, I’m finding his words and actions increasingly craven. No one begrudges him his opinions – but it’s time he dropped the pretense that he’s somehow beyond the political fray.

Under great pressure from the Jewish community in his home of South Africa, Goldstone eventually backpedaled somewhat on one of the charges. However, he failed to address new evidence that actually reinforced his original findings, as well as a report on Israel’s failure to investigate its violations of the laws of war.

Wiesel declined to acknowledge Israel’s need for censure, expressing that

[Richard Goldstone] has a good name, and I’ve known him for years… He should have refused to head the committee, because of the anti-Israel mandate under which it was established.

This refusal to stand up for the oppressed contradicts the vow he made in his commencement speech at Washington University, St. Louis:

In fact it is the otherness of the other that makes me who I am. I am always to learn from the other. And the other is, to me, not an enemy, but a companion, an ally, and of course, in some cases of grace, a friend. So the other is never to be rejected, and surely not humiliated.

and the words of his Nobel acceptance speech:

None of us is in a position to eliminate war, but it is our obligation to denounce it and expose it in all its hideousness. War leaves no victors, only victims. War dehumanizes, war diminishes, war debases all those who wage it. The Talmud says, “Talmidei hukhamim marbin shalom baolam” (It is the wise men who will bring about peace).

One might expect Mr. Wiesel to lay low for a good, long time after such blatant duplicity. One would be mistaken.

Exhibits B and C: Visit to the White House and public/open letter to Obama, 2010

In May of 2010, Elie Wiesel was invited to the White House for lunch with Israel’s greatest benefactor, the President of the United States. Wiesel, master of persuasion and nuance, decorated for his efforts to end violence, oppression, and racism, had the ear of the leader of the free world.

Wiesel once said,

Mankind needs peace more than ever… Mankind must remember that peace is not God’s gift to his creatures, it is our gift to each other.

According to a recent study, almost 80 percent of IDF forces in the West Bank are there to protect settlements, with the remainder scattered along the Green Line. “[Netanyahu] has been kidnapped by the settler lobby and is pursuing a policy that harms the security of every Israeli,” said Knesset member Erel Margalit in June 2017.

But instead of speaking of peace, he chose as his topic of conversation, “don’t pressure Israel to cease settlement activity in Jerusalem.”

President Obama, who strongly opposed settlements, simply listened politely.

For good measure, Wiesel also undertook a PR campaign in the form of a public letter, which appeared in The International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. He painted an idyllic picture of his homeland of Israel:

“[F]or the first time in history, Jews, Christians and Muslims all may freely worship at their shrines. And, contrary to certain media reports, Jews, Christians and Muslims ARE allowed to build their homes anywhere in the city.”

It didn’t take long for the record to be set straight—by prominent Jewish Jerusalemites—who published a letter of their own in the New York Review of Books, correcting Wiesel’s false statements:

We write to you from Jerusalem to convey our frustration, even outrage… We cannot recognize our city in the sentimental abstraction you call by its name.

We invite you to our city to [see that] Arabs are not allowed to build their homes anywhere in Jerusalem. You will see the gross inequality in allocation of municipal resources and services… Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinian families are being evicted from their homes to make room for a new Jewish neighborhood… Silwan, where dozens of houses face demolition because of the Jerusalem Municipality’s refusal to issue building permits to Palestinians.

Another Israeli who weighed in on the housing issue was former Israeli Cabinet Minister Yossi Sarid, who addressed Wiesel in Ha’aretz,

Someone has deceived you, my dear friend. Not only may an Arab not build “anywhere,” but he may thank his god if he is not evicted from his home and thrown out onto the street with his family and property. 

Israeli Daniel Seidemann, a “one-man early-warning system” for changes in Jerusalem that undermine the peace process, called Wiesel’s words “factually inaccurate” and “morally specious.” He gave specific examples:

So while Wiesel may purchase a home in anywhere in East or West Jerusalem, a Palestinian cannot.

Due to Israeli restrictions, today it is easier for a Palestinian Christian living just south of Jerusalem in Bethlehem to worship in Washington’s National Cathedral than to pray in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Today a Muslim living in Turkey has a better chance of getting to Jerusalem to pray at the Old City’s al-Aqsa mosque than a Muslim living a few miles away in Ramallah.

Another Israeli who called Wiesel out for inaccuracies was Ha’aretz writer Gideon Levy:

If I were Elie Wiesel, such a famous Holocaust survivor, a Nobel Prize laureate whose voice is heard in high places, I would ask my friend in the White House, for the sake of peace, Israel’s future and world peace: Please, Mr. President, be forceful. Israel depends on you as never before. Isolated as never before, it’s as good as dead without American support. Therefore, Mr. President, I would say to Obama over the kosher meal that was served, be a true friend of Israel and extricate it from its misfortune…

Instead… Wiesel haggled for wholesale postponement… To postpone. Postpone and postpone, like Netanyahu, who sent him, asked him to do.

And finally, both European and American Jewish leaders—some of whom had lived in Israel—circulated petitions garnering thousands of signatories,

The European petition, “A Call To Reason,” signed by over 5,000, stated that

the occupation and the continuing pursuit of settlements in the West Bank and in the Arab districts of Jerusalem . . . are morally and politically wrong and feed the unacceptable de-legitimation process that Israel currently faces abroad.

The American petition, “For the Sake of Zion,” echoed the European document, adding,

[W]e abhor the continuing occupation that has persisted for far too long; it cannot and should not be sustained. [W]e call upon Israel immediately to cease construction of housing in the disputed territories.”

Wiesel was apparently unconvinced, rendering hollow his earlier pronouncement that

the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference. Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies. To be in the window and watch people being sent to concentration camps or being attacked in the street and do nothing, that’s being dead. (US News & World Reportt, 27 October 1986)

Exhibit D: Ha’aretz ad congratulating settlers in East Jerusalem, 2014

Due to his global fame, Elie Wiesel was offered positions on boards of directors all over Israel. The one he chose to accept was the chair of the board of Elad.

Elad is a right-wing NGO which operates in East (Arab) Jerusalem. The organization has two objectives: to settle Jews in the primarily Arab neighborhood of Silwan, and to operate tourist and excavation sites. The settlement aspect of the project involves expelling Palestinians. Richard Silverstein dubbed Elad’s aggressive settler movement “Jewish jihad, literally a Jewish struggle for dominance of the Holy City.” (For details, read this.)

Israeli police oversee the demolition of a Palestinian home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. Settler organizations Elad and others have worked to take over and demolish Palestinian homes in order to move Jewish families in. (More information here.)

In early October, 2014, Ha’aretz had reported that Elad was in the market for Israeli Jews to temporarily live in 25 recently-purchased apartments in Silwan, guarding them until the new Jewish settlers moved in. The job description: “In principle, you’re supposed to be quiet and simply occupy the compound… As far as we’re concerned, you live in the house, but it’s better if you have a weapon.”

Silwan’s Palestinian residents have, in the last two decades, been subject to eviction, home demolition, and aggressive buy-outs, transforming their neighborhood a Jewish-Israeli controlled enclave. According to Ha’aretz, “Life in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan has become unbearable, both for the Jewish settlers who would like to be able to leave home without being stoned and the Palestinians who suffer the heavy hand of the police and the settlers’ security guards.”

Wiesel and the organization he headed, Elad, placed the following announcement in Ha’aretz on October 10, 2014:

On the eve of Sukkot, we are happy to congratulate the dozens of Jewish families that are joining the Israeli settlement of Ir David [the settlers’ name for Silwan]. We salute the Zionist work of those who take part in this mission. Strengthening Jewish presence in Jerusalem is the challenge for all of us, and by your act of settlement you make us all stand taller.

Ha’aretz once again put the matter in perspective:

We must reckon with Wiesel’s erasure of others’ suffering as seriously as we embrace the remembrance of our own… The memory of our collective suffering, articulated by Wiesel and others, grants us the ability to see and to understand the collective pain of others… What are we to do with the fact that… Wiesel was head of the board of Elad, an organization at the forefront of expelling Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem? That he worked to further a violent religious nationalist agenda?

In fact, Wiesel’s work with Elad was at odds with not only social justice, but even with his own words. In 2011 he had declared at the commencement of Washington University in St. Louis,

The greatest commandment, to me, in the Bible is not the Ten Commandments… My commandment is, “Thou shall not stand idly by.” Which means when you witness an injustice, don’t stand idly by. When you hear of a person or a group being persecuted, do not stand idly by… You must intervene. You must interfere. And that is actually the motto of human rights… And therefore wherever something happens, I try to be there as a witness.

(Except, of course, when the persecuted are Palestinian.)

Exhibit E: Open letter regarding Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, 2015

Early in 2015, as President Obama was hammering out a nuclear agreement with Iran, PM Benjamin Netanyahu wished to bend Congress’ ear to halt the negotiations. Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell essentially arranged the speech behind Obama’s back, to “make sure that there was no interference.”

Once word got out, President Obama declined to attend the speech. Elie Wiesel then went into action, publishing – with the help of pro-Israel Rabbi Shmuley Boteach – an open letter:

Many centuries ago a wicked man in Persia named Haman advised, “There exists a nation… It is not in our interest to tolerate them.” And the order went out to all the provinces to “annihilate, murder, and destroy the Jews. Now Iran, modern Persia, has produced a new enemy…

Should we not show our support for what might be the last clear warning before a terrible deal is struck [between the US and Iran]?… As one who has seen the enemies of the Jewish people make good on threats to exterminate us, how can I remain silent?… Will you join me in hearing the case for keeping weapons from those who preach death to Israel and America?

Ha’aretz stepped up to challenge Wiesel’s assumptions, pointing out that he

makes two assertions, neither of which he makes any effort to prove. The first is that the United States and Iran are on the verge of “a terrible deal.” What makes the deal, which has not even been struck, “terrible?” Wiesel doesn’t say. The second is that a nuclear Iran would likely mean “‘the annihilation and destruction’ of Israel.” This, too, requires evidence that Wiesel does not provide.

The Ha’aretz authors also point out that Wiesel’s appeal to the biblical story of Esther is flawed because it is incomplete. The account states that after Haman fell from power, Persia’s Jews

“with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction… slew of their foes seventy and five thousand.”

If the Book of Esther offers a haunting warning of the violence Jews can suffer, why does it not also warn us of the violence Jews can inflict? And if Wiesel is so alarmed by threats of nuclear annihilation, why does he keep embracing his former patron Sheldon Adelson, who in 2013 urged the United States to drop an “atomic weapon” in the Iranian desert, and then, if the Iranians don’t halt their nuclear program, drop one “in the middle of Tehran” so the Iranians are “wiped out.”

Progressive Jewish American organization J Street reacted strongly to the scheduled speech behind which Wiesel stood so firmly. Responding to Netanyahu’s claim that he would be speaking as a representative of all Jewish people everywhere, the group created a petition entitled “I’m a Jew. Bibi does NOT speak for me.” 20,000 signatures indicated that not all Jews favored his Iran policies or his relationship with the White House.

Wiesel wanted to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of Iran, ignoring the irony of Israel’s own nukes at the ready, and the incongruity of Israel’s de facto “it is not in our interest to tolerate” position toward Palestinians.

But again, Wiesel’s own words were even more haunting than the witness of thousands of other Jews.

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. The Talmud tells us that by saving a single human being, man can save the world.

Conclusion 

We ask, over and over, how a people who have suffered so much could inflict so much suffering on another people. We wonder how a man who has so precisely described evil could not recognize it in front of him, how he could speak so eloquently about compassion but fail to have a morsel of it for his neighbors.

Hussein Ibish, writing for Foreign Policy, makes sense of the moral quagmire of Elie Wiesel’s mind:

[T]he underlying assumption is irredeemably flawed.  It presumes that people, whether individuals or collectivities, somehow learn from their negative experiences not to repeat them.

Of course, that is not the case. “Hurt people hurt people.” Maybe Elie Wiesel was too broken by his experiences to see clearly what his Israel was doing. Maybe he deserves a pass.

In that case, it behooves the new generation of Israelis and pro-Israel individuals and groups to do what Wiesel could not: take off the rose-colored glasses; do the hard work of acknowledging past and present wrongs. Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly. As Wiesel once said,

I have to be self-conscious of what I’m trying to do with my life.


Kathryn Shihadah is a staff writer for If Americans Knew.

November 6, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 4 Comments

The Rise of MEK/NCRI in Washington: Pay Off The Right People and You Are No Longer A Terrorist

Maryam Rajavi- Rudy Giuliani and Senator Joe Lieberman at the free Iran Gathering – 1 July 2017. Image credit: Maryam Rajavi/ flickr)
By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | October 30, 2017

If you want to change a group of terrorists who have killed Americans overseas into something that appears to be much more benign, all you have to do is pay off the right people in Washington. With enough money, you can even open a nice plush lobbying office on Pennsylvania Avenue in the District of Columbia, not too far from the White House and Capitol Hill.

One-time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been rightly blamed for the ill-conceived and badly bungled “regime change” in Libya in 2011 that eventually led to her mishandling of the resulting blowback in Benghazi, but one of her greatest failings just might have involved the piece of paper she signed when she removed the Mujaheddin e Khalq (MEK) group from the State Department list of “designated terrorist organizations” in September 2012.

How is it possible that the bad judgment demonstrated in the Libyan fiasco that created a failed state, a humanitarian disaster, a migrant crisis, armed terrorists and ultimately produced the murder of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans compares with a signature on a piece of paper? It is because that signature put in place one of the elements that will most likely in the near future lead to a far more disastrous war for the United States than was Libya. MEK, now labeled the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has become a principal voice of the war party that is now seeking to attack Iran, a role similar to that played by Ahmad Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress in his disseminating of lies in the lead up to the catastrophic invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The tale of the rehabilitation and rise of MEK/NCRI is a subset of the ongoing corruption of America’s political culture, best illustrated by the fact that even national security is now up for sale, enabling a terrorist group to transform itself into a “resistance movement” and eventually be labeled “freedom fighters.”

How did this happen as MEK was on the State Department roster of foreign terrorist organizations since the list was established in 1997? Its inclusion derived from its having killed six Americans in the 1970s, its participation in the U.S. Embassy hostage-taking and from its record of extreme violence both inside and outside Iran since that time. When I was a CIA trainee our course included a simulation of the horrific attack on U.S. Air Force Officers in Tehran in 1973 that killed two colonels.

MEK is widely regarded as a terrorist cult headed by a bizarre husband and wife team Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. Its members are required to be celibate and are subjected to extensive brainwashing, physical torture, severe beatings even unto death, and prolonged solitary confinement if they question the leadership. One scholar who has studied them describes their beliefs as a “weird combination of Marxism and Islamic fundamentalism.”

With the sharp turn of the Trump Administration against Iran, NCRI is now finding an audience, telling the American public that Iran is “cheating” on the nuclear deal.  It also tells us that “Iran’s nuclear weapons program has far from halted” and has claimed to identify four major sites that “with a high degree of certainty” have been involved in various aspects of the allegedly ongoing nuclear weapons project. This has led Jillian Mele of Fox News to declare, falsely, that “It appears [Iran’s nuclear] weapons program is fully operational.”

The CIA has in the past recruited MEK/NCRI agents to enter into Iran and report on nuclear facilities, but Israel’s Mossad is the group’s principal employer. Agents, recruited and trained by Israel, have killed a number of Iranian nuclear scientists and officials. The group appears to have ample financial resources, places full page ads in major US newspapers, and is also known to pay hefty fees to major political figures who are willing to speak publicly on its behalf. The group claims to want regime change in Iran to restore democracy to the country, an odd assertion as it itself has no internal democracy and is loathed by nearly all Iranians.

Because MEK/NCRI is a resource being used by Tel Aviv in its clandestine war against Iran, it is perhaps inevitable that many friends of Israel in the United States actively campaigned to have the group removed from the terrorism list so that it could, ironically, have a free hand to continue to terrorize Iran. Indeed, neocons at their various think tanks and publications as well as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee all recommended delisting the group and continue to support it. Prominent American Jews to include Elie Wiesel and Alan Dershowitz have been advocates for the group in spite of its record of terrorism.

Multi-million dollar contracts with Washington lobbying firms experienced at “working” congress backed up by handsome speaking fees have induced many prominent Americans to join the chorus supporting NCRI. Prior to 2012, speaking fees for the group started at $15,000 and went up from there. Former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell reported more than $150,000 in honoraria. Rudy Giuliani has been paid generously for years at $20,000 per appearance for brief, twenty-minute speeches. Bear in mind that MEK was a listed terrorist group at the time and accepting money from it to promote its interests should have constituted material support of terrorism.

The group’s well-connected friends have included prominent neocons like John Bolton and ex-CIA Directors James Woolsey, Michael Hayden and Porter Goss as well as former Generals Anthony Zinni, Peter Pace, Wesley Clark, and Hugh Shelton. Traditional conservatives close to the Trump Administration like Newt Gingrich, Fran Townsend and Elaine Chao are also fans of NCRI. Townsend in particular, as a national security specialist, has appeared on television to denounce Iran, calling its actions “acts of war” without indicating that she has received money from an opposition group.

The emergence of NCRI at this time is just another fool’s game with the usual Washington crowd queuing up for a bad cause because they are both lining their pockets and thinking they are helping Israel by punishing Iran. In any event it is a poor bargain for the rest of us, but that hardly seems to matter anymore.

October 30, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Castigated by the Southern Poverty Law Center

dyr-e1487635513786

By Deir Yassin Remembered | Dissident Voice | February 24, 2017

The “public” that allegedly “protested” against this billboard in Ann Arbor, as reported by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, were not the only folks watching DYR.

The SPLC has now included DYR on its Hate Map.

Dan McGowan responds:

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently criticized Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR) by including it on the so-called Hate Map, purportedly for the high crime of Holocaust denial.

Apparently if the SPLC disagrees with you, it will label you as a racist or a hatemonger. There is no discussion, no defense, and no chance of winning a defamation suit against it.

The SPLC is the cash cow of the civil rights movement. Last year it took in over $58 million, some of which was added to its bloated endowment of over $328 million held in questionable investments, some in off shore accounts.

Its two chief executives together received over $800,000. Of its nine top executives, none come from minorities.

The SPLC claims to reject hate, embrace diversity, and respect differences. But often the SPLC and the people who believe their fear mongering behave exactly the opposite. The SPLC campaigns to deny free speech and freedom of association to groups of Americans with whom they disagree, often doing so to pander to other groups for more contributions all in the name of promoting “tolerance.” For example, if the British historian David Irving plans a lecture in Syracuse, the SPLC will protest any venue he might select, leaflet cars at his hotel saying, “There is a Nazi staying here,” and photograph and shout at anyone who might try to attend.

SPLC slime is not reserved solely for skinheads and members of the KKK. Dr. Ben Carson got a dose for opposing same sex marriage. SPLC later apologized but the charge never completely goes away, leading Carson to say that fear of being on the SPLC’s list serves to shut people up.

The SPLC makes money out of fear mongering and promoting the idea that Americans are inundated with hateful people, particularly on the radical right. The favorite target is the KKK and white supremacists.

The Baltimore Sun characterizes SPLC operations this way: “Its business is fundraising, and its success at raking in the cash is based on its ability to sell gullible people on the idea that present-day America is awash in white racism and anti-Semitism, which it will fight tooth-and-nail as the public interest law firm it purports to be.”1

It is understandable that the SPLC will run out of rocks under which to look for old KKK members and skinheads, but why criticize Deir Yassin Remembered, a small not-for-profit organization of Jews and non-Jews working to build a memorial for Palestinians murdered in 1948 on the west side of Jerusalem? DYR is certainly not the radical right. DYR practices and preaches tolerance; it has agreed to the advice of none other than the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem that its memorial show the Christian tenet of forgiveness. Its advisory board boasts diversity; it is composed of half men, half women, half Jews, half non-Jews. It has worked continuously since 1994 for Palestinian human rights, including equal rights of citizenship, with no compensation for any executive and with less than $5,000 of reserves.

The answer lies in the writings of some of the DYR members who have questioned the use of the Holocaust as both the sword and shield of Israel. The Holocaust has been used to justify the need for a Jewish state and its expropriation of Palestinian land; the Holocaust is used to monopolize victimhood and defend Israel from criticism of its brutal and unending occupation.

But it is more than that. The Holocaust has morphed from a historical event to a religion, which must not be contradicted for fear of being branded an apostate or a hater or a denier or an anti-Semite. Religious faith is self-validating, impervious to reason, and regards proposals to scientifically validate its claims as profane in all senses of the word.

So, anyone who is skeptical about the number “six million,” about mass extermination in gas chambers, or about Nazi orders for extermination is to be named and shamed and hated. For this topic, there can be no diversity of opinion and no respect for inquiry or debate.

Don’t tell us that the United States government claimed Hitler murdered over 20 million people until the late 1970s when that number was officially revised downwards and carved in stone at 11 million. Don’t tell us that Jewish historians today claim the 5 million number of non-Jewish victims is overstated. Don’t remind us that the lampshade and the soap-from-human-fat stories were simple gruel propaganda and have no historical significance. Don’t remind us that Elie Wiesel took his violin to Auschwitz and that none of his family was gassed. Don’t remind us that Elie chose to retreat with the Nazis rather than be liberated from Auschwitz as was the father of Anne Frank.

Fear mongering and sliming little organizations like DYR is fake news. It is ridiculous disinformation to keep SPLC campaign money coming in. It foments hate and bigotry and intolerance by the very hypocrites who claim the opposite.

  1. The truth about ʻhate crimesʼ and the racial justice racket” by Ron Smith, Baltimore Sun, December 3, 2008.

Deir Yassin Remembered seeks progress on behalf of the over 100 Palestinian men, women, and children who were victims of the Deir Yassin Massacre. Read other articles by Deir Yassin Remembered, or visit Deir Yassin Remembered’s website.

February 24, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Prominent False Witness: Elie Wiesel

By Robert Faurisson

Elie Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. He is generally accepted as a witness to the Jewish “Holocaust,” and, more specifically, as a witness to the legendary Nazi extermination gas chambers. The Paris daily Le Monde emphasized at the time that Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Prize because: [1]

These last years have seen, in the name of so-called “historical revisionism,” the elaboration of theses, especially in France, questioning the existence of the Nazi gas chambers and, perhaps beyond that, of the genocide of the Jews itself.

But in what respect is Elie Wiesel a witness to the alleged gas chambers? By what right does he ask us to believe in that means of extermination? In an autobiographical book that supposedly describes his experiences at Auschwitz and Buchenwald, he nowhere mentions the gas chambers. [2] He does indeed say that the Germans executed Jews, but … by fire; by throwing them alive into flaming ditches, before the very eyes of the deportees! No less than that!

Here Wiesel the false witness had some bad luck. Forced to choose from among several Allied war propaganda lies, he chose to defend the fire lie instead of the boiling water, gassing, or electrocution lies. In 1956, when he published his testimony in Yiddish, the fire lie was still alive in certain circles. This lie is the origin of the term Holocaust. Today there is no longer a single historian who believes that Jews were burned alive. The myths of the boiling water and of electrocution have also disappeared. Only the gas remains.

The gassing lie was spread by the Americans. [3] The lie that Jews were killed by boiling water or steam (specifically at Treblinka) was spread by the Poles. [4] The electrocution lie was spread by the Soviets. [5]

The fire lie is of undetermined origin. It is in a sense as old as war propaganda or hate propaganda. In his memoir, Night, which is a version of his earlier Yiddish testimony, Wiesel reports that at Auschwitz there was one flaming ditch for the adults and another one for babies. He writes: [6]

Not far from us, flames were leaping from a ditch, gigantic flames. They were burning something. A lorry drew up at the pit and delivered its load — little children. Babies! Yes, I saw it — saw it with my own eyes … Those children in the flames. (Is it surprising that I could not sleep after that? Sleep has fled from my eyes.)

A little farther on there was another ditch with gigantic flames where the victims suffered “slow agony in the flames.” Wiesel’s column was led by the Germans to within “three steps” of the ditch, then to “two steps.” “Two steps from the pit we were ordered to turn to the left and made to go into a barracks.”

An exceptional witness himself, Wiesel assures us of his having met other exceptional witnesses. Regarding Babi Yar, a place in Ukraine where the Germans executed Soviet citizens, among them Jews, Wiesel wrote: [7]

Later, I learn from a witness that, for month after month, the ground never stopped trembling; and that, from time to time, geysers of blood spurted from it.

These words did not slip from their author in a moment of frenzy: first, he wrote them, then some unspecified number of times (but at least once) he had to reread them in the proofs; finally, his words were translated into various languages, as is everything this author writes.

That Wiesel personally survived, was, of course, the result of a miracle. He says that: [8]

In Buchenwald they sent 10,000 persons to their deaths each day. I was always in the last hundred near the gate. They stopped. Why?

In 1954 French scholar Germaine Tillion analyzed the “gratuitous lie” with regard to the German concentration camps. She wrote: [9]

Those persons [who gratuitously lie] are, to tell the truth, much more numerous than people generally suppose, and a subject like that of the concentration camp world — well designed, alas, to stimulate sado-masochistic imaginings — offered them an exceptional field of action. We have known numerous mentally damaged persons, half swindlers and half fools, who exploited an imaginary deportation; we have known others of them — authentic deportees — whose sick minds strove to go even beyond the monstrosities that they had seen or that people said had happened to them. There have been publishers to print some of their imaginings, and more or less official compilations to use them, but publishers and compilers are absolutely inexcusable, since the most elementary inquiry would have been enough to reveal the imposture.

Tillion lacked the courage to give examples and names. But that is usually the case. People agree that there are false gas chambers that tourists and pilgrims are encouraged to visit, but they do not tell us where. They agree that there are false “eyewitnesses,” but in general they name only Martin Gray, the well-known swindler, at whose request Max Gallo, with full knowledge of what he was doing, fabricated the bestseller For Those I Loved.

Jean-François Steiner is sometimes named as well. His bestselling novel Treblinka (1966) was presented as a work of which the accuracy of every detail was guaranteed by oral or written testimony. In reality it was a fabrication attributable, at least in part, to the novelist Gilles Perrault. [10] Marek Halter, for his part, published his La Mémoire d’Abraham in 1983; as he often does on radio, he talked there about his experiences in the Warsaw ghetto. However, if we are to believe an article by Nicolas Beau that is quite favorable to Halter, [11] little Marek, about three years old, and his mother left Warsaw not in 1941 but in October of 1939, before the establishment of the ghetto there by the Germans. Halter’s book is supposed to have been actually written by a ghost writer, Jean-Noël Gurgan.

Filip Müller is the author of Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chambers, [12] which won the 1980 prize of the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA). This nauseous best-seller is actually the work of a German ghost writer, Helmut Freitag, who did not hesitate to engage in plagiarism. [13] The source of the plagiarism is Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account, another best-seller made up out of whole cloth and attributed to Miklos Nyiszli. [14]

Thus a whole series of works presented as authentic documents turns out to be merely compilations attributable to various ghost writers: Max Gallo, Gilles Perrault, Jean-Noël Gurgan (?), and Helmut Freitag, among others.

We would like to know what Germaine Tillion thinks about Elie Wiesel today. With him the lie is certainly not gratuitous. Wiesel claims to be full of love for humanity. However, he does not refrain from an appeal to hatred. In his opinion: [15]

Every Jew, somewhere in his being, should set apart a zone of hate — healthy, virile hate — for what the German personifies and for what persists in the German. To do otherwise would be a betrayal of the dead.

At the beginning of 1986, 83 deputies of the German Bundestag took the initiative of proposing Wiesel for the Nobel Peace Prize. This would be, they said, “a great encouragement to all who are active in the process of reconciliation.” [16] That is what might be called “going from National Socialism to national masochism.”

Jimmy Carter needed a historian to preside over the President’s Commission on the Holocaust. As Dr. Arthur Butz said so well, he chose not a historian but a “histrion”: Elie Wiesel. Even the newspaper Le Monde, in the article mentioned above, was obliged to refer to the histrionic trait that certain persons deplore in Wiesel:

Naturally, even among those who approve of the struggle of this American Jewish writer, who was discovered by the Catholic François Mauriac, some reproach him for having too much of a tendency to change the Jewish sadness into “morbidity” or to become the high priest of a “planned management of the Holocaust.”

As Jewish writer Leon A. Jick has written: “The devastating barb, ‘There is no business like SHOAH-business’ is, sad to say, a recognizable truth.” [17]

Elie Wiesel issues alarmed and inflammatory appeals against Revisionist authors. He senses that things are getting out of hand. It is going to become more and more difficult for him to maintain the mad belief that the Jews were exterminated or were subjected to a policy of extermination, especially in so-called gas chambers. Serge Klarsfeld has admitted that real proofs of the existence of the gas chambers have still not yet been published. He promises proofs. [18]

On the scholarly plane, the gas chamber myth is finished. To tell the truth, that myth breathed its last breath several years ago at the Sorbonne colloquium in Paris (June 29-July 2, 1982), at which Raymond Aron and François Furet presided. What remains is to make this news known to the general public. However, for Elie Wiesel it is of the highest importance to conceal that news. Thus all the fuss in the media, which is going to increase: the more the journalists talk, the more the historians keep quiet.

But there are historians who dare to raise their voices against the lies and the hatred. That is the case with Michel de Boüard, wartime member of the Resistance, deportee to Mauthausen, member of the Committee for the History of the Second World War from 1945 to 1981, and a member of the Institut de France. In a poignant interview in 1986, he courageously acknowledged that in 1954 he had vouched for the existence of a gas chamber at Mauthausen where, it finally turns out, there never was one. [19]

The respect owed to the sufferings of all the victims of the Second World War, and, in particular, to the sufferings of the deportees, demands on the part of historians a return to the proven and time-honored methods of historical criticism.

Summary

Elie Wiesel passes for one of the most celebrated eyewitnesses to the alleged Holocaust. Yet in his supposedly autobiographical book Night, he makes no mention of gas chambers. He claims instead to have witnessed Jews being burned alive, a story now dismissed by all historians. Wiesel gives credence to the most absurd stories of other “eyewitnesses.” He spreads fantastic tales of 10,000 persons sent to their deaths each day in Buchenwald.

When Elie Wiesel and his father, as Auschwitz prisoners, had the choice of either leaving with their retreating German “executioners,” or remaining behind in the camp to await the Soviet “liberators,” the two decided to leave with their German captors.

It is time, in the name of truth and out of respect for the genuine sufferings of the victims of the Second World War, that historians return to the proven methods of historical criticism, and that the testimony of the Holocaust “eyewitnesses” be subjected to rigorous scrutiny rather than unquestioning acceptance.

Notes

  1. Le Monde, October 17, 1986. Front page.
  2. There is one single allusion, extremely vague and fleeting, on pages 78-79: Wiesel, who very much likes to have conversations with God, says to Him: “But these men here, whom You have betrayed, whom You have allowed to be tortured, butchered, gassed, burned, what do they do? They pray before you!” (Night, New York, Discus/Avon Books, 1969, p. 79). In his preface to that same book, François Mauriac mentioned “the gas chamber and the crematory” (p. 8). The four crucial pages of “testimony” by Elie Wiesel are reproduced in facsimile in: Pierre Guillaume, Droit et Histoire (La Vieille Taupe, 1986), pp. 147-150. In the German-language edition of Night (Die Nacht zu begraben, Elischa [Ullstein, 1962]), on 14 occasions the word “crematory” or “crematories” has been falsely given as “Gaskammer” (“gas chamber[s]”). In January of 1945, in anticipation of a Russian takeover, the Germans were evacuating Auschwitz. Elie Wiesel, a young teenager at the time, was hospitalized in Birkenau (the “extermination camp”) after surgery on an infected foot. His doctor had recommended two weeks of rest and good food but, before his foot healed, the Russian takeover became imminent. Hospital patients were considered unfit for the long trip to the camps in Germany and Elie thus could have remained at Birkenau to await the Russians. Although his father had permission to stay with him as a hospital patient or orderly, father and son talked it over and decided to move out with the Germans. (See Night, p. 93. See also D. Calder, The Sunday Sun [Toronto, Canada], May 31, 1987, p. C4.)
  3. See the US War Refugee Board Report, German Extermination Camps: Auschwitz and Birkenau (Washington, DC), November 1944.
  4. See Nuremberg document PS-3311 (USA-293). Published in the IMT “blue series,” Vol. 32, pp. 153-158.
  5. See the report in Pravda, Feb. 2, 1945, p. 4, and the UP report in the Washington (DC) Daily News, Feb. 2, 1945, p. 2.
  6. Night (Avon/Discus). See esp. pp. 41, 42, 43, 44, 79, 93.
  7. Paroles d’étranger (Editions du Seuil, 1982), p. 86.
  8. “Author, Teacher, Witness,” Time magazine, March 18, 1985, p. 79.
  9. “Le Système concentrationnaire allemand [1940-1944],” Revue d’histoire de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, July 1954, p. 18, n. 2.
  10. Le Journal du Dimanche, March 30, 1985, p. 5.
  11. Libération, Jan. 24, 1986, p. 19.
  12. Published by Stein and Day (New York). Paperback edition of 1984. (xii + 180 pages.) With a foreword by Yehuda Bauer of the Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  13. Carlo Mattogno, Auschwitz: un caso di plagio, Parma (Italy): 1986. See also: C. Mattogno, “Auschwitz: A Case of Plagiarism,” The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1990, pp. 5-24.
  14. Paperback edition, 1961, and later, published by Fawcett Crest (New York).
  15. Legends of Our Time (chapter 12: “Appointment with Hate”), New York: Schocken Books, 1982, p. 142, or, New York: Avon, 1968, pp. 177-178.
  16. The Week in Germany (published in New York by the German government in Bonn), Jan. 31, 1986, p. 2.
  17. “The Holocaust: Its Use and Abuse Within the American Public,” Yad Vashem Studies (Jerusalem), 1981, p. 316.
  18. VSD, May 29, 1986, p. 37.
  19. Ouest-France, August 2-3, 1986, p. 6.

About the Author

Robert Faurisson, born in 1929, has for years been regarded as Europe’s leading Holocaust revisionist scholar.

He was educated at the Paris Sorbonne, and served as associate professor at the University of Lyon in France from 1974 until 1990. He is a recognized specialist of text and document analysis. After years of private research and study, Dr. Faurisson first made public his skeptical views about the Holocaust extermination story in articles published in 1978 in the French daily Le Monde. His writings on the Holocaust issue have appeared in several books and numerous scholarly articles.


#2002

This item was originally issued, in French, in 1986. The first US publication in English by the Institute for Historical Review was in 1987 or 1988.

June 19, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Timeless or most popular | | 4 Comments

Anti-Assad Warmongers Drag in the Holocaust

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | The Passionate Attachment | October 25, 2014

“The irony is that the Nazi holocaust has now become the main ideological weapon for launching wars of aggression,” Norman Finkelstein tells Yoav Shamir in “Defamation,” the Israeli filmmaker’s award-winning 2009 documentary on how perceptions of anti-Semitism affect Israeli and U.S. politics. “Every time you want to launch a war of aggression, drag in the Nazi holocaust.” If you’re looking for evidence in support of Finkelstein’s thesis today, you need look no further than the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s exhibit of images of emaciated and mutilated bodies from contemporary Syria.

The small exhibit, entitled “Genocide: The Threat Continues,” features a dozen images said to be from an archive of 55,000 pictures allegedly smuggled out of the country by “Caesar,” a mysterious source who claims to have defected from his job as a Syrian military photographer after having been ordered to take photos of more than 10,000 corpses. Emphasizing the threat of an impending genocide, the reportedly conscience-stricken defector warns that a similar fate awaits the 150,000 people he says remain incarcerated by President Bashar Assad’s government.

“They’re powerful images, and viewers are immediately reminded of the Holocaust,” Cameron Hudson, the director of the museum’s Center for the Prevention of Genocide, was cited as saying in an Oct. 15 Associated Press report. Hudson, whose intriguing career in genocide prevention includes a stint as intelligence analyst in the CIA’s Africa Directorate, added, “They show a side of the Syrian regime that hasn’t really been really seen. You might have heard about it, read about it, but when you’re confronted with these images, they’re impossible to ignore.”

The museum’s promotion of these impossible-to-ignore, Holocaust-recalling images dates from a few months earlier, however. In his July visit to Washington that included a series of meetings with U.S. government and congressional officials, Caesar’s first stop was at the Holocaust Museum.

On July 28, Michael Chertoff, a member of the museum’s governing board of trustees, presented the purported defector to a small group of reporters and researchers. According to the Washington Post’s Greg Miller, this event was the first time that Caesar had appeared publicly to answer questions about the photos deemed by some human rights organizations as evidence of war crimes committed by Assad.

Chertoff, a co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act, hasn’t hesitated to invoke the Nazis either in support of the neoconservative-conceived “global war on terror.” In an April 22, 2007 Washington Post op-ed entitled “Make No Mistake: This Is War,” the then secretary of the Department of Homeland Security wrote, “Al-Qaeda and its ilk have a world vision that is comparable to that of historical totalitarian ideologues but adapted to the 21st-century global network.”

Commenting on the former DHS secretary’s close ties to Israel, Jonathan Cook notes in his book “Israel and the Clash of Civilizations” that Chertoff’s mother was an air hostess for El Al in the 1950s. “There are reports that she was involved in Operation Magic Carpet, which brought Jews to Israel from Yemen,” writes the Nazareth-based British journalist. “It therefore seems possible that Livia Eisen was an Israeli national, and one with possible links to the Mossad.”

Among the other members of the Holocaust Memorial Council noted for their staunch support of Israel and American interventionism are the pardoned Iran-Contra neocon intriguer Elliott Abrams and Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.

Writing in Foreign Policy’s The Cable on April 23, 2012, Josh Rogin drew attention to Wiesel’s pointed introduction of President Barack Obama at a ceremony in the Holocaust Museum. Comparing the Syrian president and then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the perpetrators of the Nazi holocaust, Wiesel implicitly criticized Obama’s supposedly obtuse inaction, “So in this place we may ask: Have we learned anything from it? If so, how is it that Assad is still in power?”

As Rogin, a reliable media conduit for anti-Assad interventionism, pointedly observed, the speech was reminiscent of another one Wiesel gave at the opening of the museum in 1993, when he urged then President Bill Clinton to take military action in Bosnia: “Similarly, that speech came at a time when the Clinton administration was resisting getting entangled in a foreign civil war but was under growing pressure to intervene.”

The Lobby’s Syrian Interpreter

In a revealing interview published on Aug. 11, 2013 by the Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman, Caesar’s interpreter—who presided over a question-and-answer session at the museum—echoed Wiesel’s criticism of President Obama’s resistance to doing the bidding of the neocons and “liberal interventionists” seeking greater American intervention in Syria.

Asked by the Gülen movement-aligned daily if America had forgotten the Syrian war, Mouaz Moustafa replied, “It is the president who is against action in Syria not the whole of the U.S. government. President Barack Obama has been very insular and cautious about Syria. The president does not seem to understand how important Syria is to U.S. national security [….] The president does not feel the need to explain to the American people or the world that the risks with any of the bad options that we have are far outweighed by the risks of inaction.”

It is hardly a coincidence that Moustafa’s rhetoric bears a striking resemblance to that of Israel’s friends like Wiesel. Although one of best known pro-Israel media-promoted faces of the Syrian opposition in Washington has understandably sought to obscure his ties to Tel Aviv, the executive director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force has undeniable links to one of its American lobby’s leading think tanks.

After it emerged that Moustafa’s non-profit had coordinated Senator John McCain’s May 2013 trip to meet with the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels, an examination of the SETF executive director’s background revealed that he was one of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s “experts”; a contributor to WINEP’s Fikra Forum, “an online community that aims to generate ideas to support Arab democrats in their struggle with authoritarians and extremists”; and had addressed the AIPAC-created think tank’s annual Soref symposium entitled “Inside Syria: The Battle Against Assad’s Regime.”

Even more damningly, it was discovered that one of SETF’s web addresses was “syriantaskforce.torahacademybr.org.” The “torahacademybr.org” url belongs to the Torah Academy of Boca Raton, Florida, whose key values notably include promoting “a love for and commitment to Eretz Yisroel.”

When confronted with these embarrassing revelations, Moustafa responded via Twitter, “call me terrorist/Qaeda/nazi as others have but not Zionist Im [sic] denied ever entering palestine but it lives in me..” Dismissing the Syrian opposition group’s intriguing connection to a pro-Israel yeshiva in Florida, @SoccerMouaz claimed that the “url registration was due to dumb error by web designer.”

The Israel lobby-backed Moustafa also interpreted for Caesar, who was wearing dark glasses and a blue rain jacket with the hood pulled over his head, when he testified before a closed-door session of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs this July. At least some of its members would no doubt have recognized the ubiquitous interpreter, however.

As Foreign Policy’s The Cable reported on June 6, 2013, two leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY), dispatched aides to Turkey to meet leading members of the Syrian Free Army between May 27 and June 3. As The Cable had “learned,” the meeting had been coordinated by Moustafa’s Syrian Emergency Task Force.

(This September, staff from SETF and the House Foreign Affairs Committee reportedly facilitated a meeting in Turkey that led to more than 20 Syrian rebel commanders signing “a historic agreement” to unite in the quixotic fight against both ISIS and Assad.)

Interestingly, the FP article noted that “[t]he two lawmakers don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on the question of whether the United States should intervene more aggressively in the protracted civil war,” with Engel having “carved out one of the most hawkish positions in Congress on Syria, being the first to introduce legislation authorizing lethal assistance for the rebels.”

Moreover, as Rep. Engel pointed out in his opening remarks at the Syria briefing, he has “been personally focused on Syria for a long time.” In 2003, he passed the Syria Accountability Act, which imposed sanctions on the government of Hafez Assad.

In a reference to his introduction of the Free Syria Act in March 2013, which authorized the president to provide lethal assistance to those Engel euphemistically described as “carefully vetted members of the moderate Syrian opposition,” the reflexively pro-Israel Democratic congressman from New York said, “If we had taken that approach a year and a half ago, we may have been able to stem the growth of ISIS and weaken the regime of Bashar Assad. But we didn’t, unfortunately, so we’ll never really know what would have happened if we had acted then.”

The Israeli-Qatari Nexus

While Caesar and his Washington-based Palestinian-Syrian interpreter clearly have the enthusiastic support of Israel’s friends in America, the photos presented as evidence of an alleged Syrian “holocaust” by Assad’s forces received their initial boost from one of Tel Aviv’s closest, albeit covert, Arab allies in their mutual war against the Syrian government.

As part of a review of the photos commissioned by the government of Qatar, David Crane, a former war-crimes prosecutor for Sierra Leone, reportedly spent hours interviewing Caesar. An Oct. 13 Yahoo News report by Michael Isikoff—one of the photos’ most tireless promoters whose subsequently retracted, provocative 2005 Newsweek story of an American soldier flushing a Koran down the toilet triggered a wave of anti-American protests by outraged Muslims—quotes Crane as saying that they document “an industrial killing machine not seen since the Holocaust.”

Like the director of the Holocaust Museum’s Center for the Prevention of Genocide, Crane has also worked for the U.S. government in the intelligence field. His former posts include Director of the Office of Intelligence Review, assistant general counsel of the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Waldemar A. Solf Professor of International Law at the U.S. Army Judge Advocate Generals School.

Having ostensibly left the intelligence world behind him for Syracuse University’s College of Law, Crane founded and directs the Syrian Accountability Project (SAP), which describes itself as “a cooperative effort between activists, non-governmental organizations, students, and other interested parties to document war crimes and crimes against humanity in the context of the Syrian Crisis.” According to its website, SAP has “worked closely with the Syrian National Coalition” which is listed as one of its clients.

Founded in Doha, Qatar in November 2012, the Syrian National Coalition represents the Free Syrian Army, which has reportedly collaborated with the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamist Ahrar al-Sham in massacres of Syrian civilians such as the one this March in the village of Kassab, an ancestral home of Syria’s minority ethnic Armenians, on the Turkish border.

Professor Crane is also vice-president of I Am Syria, whose mission statement describes it as “a non-profit media based campaign that seeks to educate the world of the Syrian Conflict.” I Am Syria’s president, Ammar Abdulhamid, has been a fellow at two of the most prominent Washington-based pro-Israel think tanks, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy—which oversees the Qatar-based Brookings Doha Center—and the neocon Foundation for the Defense of Democracies; while one of its education directors, Andrew Beitar, is a regional education coordinator for the Holocaust Museum.

As the case of the mysterious Caesar and his trove of torture photos clearly shows, those who want to launch a war of aggression on Syria—as they have succeeded in doing in Iraq and Libya—have at every opportunity sought, as Finkelstein put it, to drag in the Nazi holocaust. As more and more people become wise to this ruse, they should keep in mind the two words espoused by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum: “Never Again.”

Maidhc Ó Cathail is a widely published writer and political analyst. He is also the creator and editor of The Passionate Attachment blog, which focuses primarily on the US-Israeli relationship.

October 25, 2014 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Anti-Semitism: Why Does It Exist? And Why Does it Persist?

By Mark Weber | December 2013

Over the centuries, rage and hostility against Jews has repeatedly erupted in terrible violence. Again and again, Jews have been driven out of countries where they’d been living. Why does anti-Semitism exist? And why has furious hostility toward Jews broken out, again and again, in the most varied nations, eras and cultures? Closely related to this is the broader issue of relations between Jews and non-Jews – a subject that many writers and scholars have called “the Jewish question.”

All too often, discussions of anti-Semitism and the “Jewish question” have been distorted by prejudice, bigotry and lack of candor. But this important subject deserves careful, informed and honest consideration.

Prominent Jewish leaders claim to be puzzled by the persistence of anti-Jewish sentiment and behavior. Insisting that anti-Semitism is a baseless and unreasonable prejudice, they often compare it to a mysterious virus or disease.

Elie Wiesel is one of the best-known Jewish authors and community figures of our age. His memoir of wartime experiences, entitled Night, has been obligatory reading in many classrooms. He’s a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and for years has been a professor at Boston University. Wiesel is considered to be an authority on anti-Semitism, but he says that he’s puzzled by it. The source and endurance of anti-Semitism in history remains a mystery, he told an audience in Germany in April 2004. /1 In another address he described anti-Semitism as an “irrational disease.” Speaking at a conference in October 2002, Wiesel went on to say: “The world has changed in the last 2,000 years, and only anti-Semitism has remained … The only disease that has not found its cure is anti-Semitism.” /2

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is one of the world’s largest and most influential Jewish-Zionist organizations. It considers itself the foremost center for monitoring and combating anti-Semitism, and educating the public about this dangerous phenomenon. In his 2003 book, Never Again?: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism, ADL national director Abraham Foxman expressed grave concern about what he sees as rising hostility toward Jews: “I am convinced we currently face as great a threat to the safety and security of the Jewish people as the one we faced in the 1930s – if not a greater one.” /3 Remarkably, he too claimed to be perplexed about the reasons for the origin and durability of discord between Jews and non-Jews. “I think of anti-Semitism as a disease,” Foxman writes. “Anti-Semitism also resembles a disease in being fundamentally irrational … It’s a spiritual and psychological illness.” /4

Wiesel and Foxman, along with other prominent Jewish-Zionist leaders, are unable — or unwilling — to provide an explanation for the persistence of anti-Semitism. They believe, or claim to believe, that because it’s an entirely irrational and baseless “disease,” there’s no relation between what Jews do, and what non-Jews think of Jews. In their view, the strife and tension between Jews and non-Jews that has persisted over the centuries is not caused by, or is even related to, Jewish behavior.

Fortunately, a reasonable explanation for this enduring phenomenon has been provided by one of the most prominent and influential Jewish figures of modern history: Theodor Herzl, the founder of the modern Zionist movement. He laid out his views in a book, written in German, entitled The Jewish State (Der Judenstaat). Published in 1896, this work is the basic manifesto of the Zionist movement. A year and a half later he convened the first international Zionist conference.

In his book Herzl explained that regardless of where they live, or their citizenship, Jews constitute not merely a religious community, but a nationality, a people. He used the German word, Volk. Wherever large numbers of Jews live among non-Jews, he said, conflict is not only likely, it’s inevitable. “The Jewish question exists wherever Jews live in noticeable numbers,” he wrote. “Where it does not exist, it is brought in by arriving Jews … I believe I understand anti-Semitism, which is a very complex phenomenon. I consider this development as a Jew, without hate or fear.” /5

In his public and private writings, Herzl explained that anti-Semitism is not an aberration, but rather a natural response by non-Jews to alien Jewish behavior and attitudes. Anti-Jewish sentiment, he said, is not due to ignorance or bigotry, as so many have claimed. Instead, he concluded, the ancient and seemingly intractable conflict between Jews and non-Jews is entirely understandable, because Jews are a distinct and separate people, with interests that are different from, and which often conflict with, the interests of the people among whom they live.

Anti-Jewish sentiment in the modern era, Herzl believed, arose from the “emancipation” of Jews in the 18th and 19th centuries, which freed them from the confined life of the ghetto and brought them into modern urban society and direct economic dealings with middle class non-Jews. Anti-Semitism, Herzl wrote, is “an understandable reaction to Jewish defects.” In his diary he wrote: “I find the anti-Semites are fully within their rights.” /6

Herzl maintained that Jews must stop pretending — both to themselves and to non-Jews — that they are like everyone else, and instead must frankly acknowledge that they are a distinct and separate people, with distinct and separate goals and interests. The only workable long-term solution, he said, is for Jews to recognize reality and live, finally, as a “normal” people in a separate state of their own. In a memo to the Tsar of Russia, Herzl wrote that Zionism is the “final solution of the Jewish question.” /7

Israel’s first president, Chaim Weizmann, expressed a similar view. In his memoirs, he wrote: “Whenever the quantity of Jews in any country reaches the saturation point, that country reacts against them … [This] reaction … cannot be looked upon as anti-Semitism in the ordinary or vulgar sense of that word; it is a universal social and economic concomitant of Jewish immigration, and we cannot shake it off.” /8

Such candor is rare. Only occasionally do Jewish leaders today explain anti-Semitism as a reaction to the behavior of Jews. One of the wealthiest and most influential figures in today’s world is George Soros, the Hungarian-born billionaire financier. Generally he avoids highlighting his ties to the Jewish community, and only rarely attends purely Jewish gatherings. But in November 2003 he addressed a meeting in New York City of the “Jewish Funders Network.” When he was asked about anti-Semitism in Europe, Soros did not respond by saying that it is an irrational “disease.” Instead, he said that it is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States. “There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that,” he said. “If we change that direction, then anti-Semitism also will diminish,” he went on. “I can’t see how one could confront it directly.” /9

Jewish community leaders reacted angrily to Soros’ remarks. Elan Steinberg, senior adviser at the World Jewish Congress (and former executive director of that influential organization), said: “Let’s understand things clearly: Anti-Semitism is not caused by Jews; it’s caused by anti-Semites.” Abraham Foxman called Soros’ comments “absolutely obscene.” The ADL director went on to say: “He buys into the stereotype. It’s a simplistic, counterproductive, biased and bigoted perception of what’s out there. It’s blaming the victim for all of Israel’s and the Jewish people’s ills.” /10

Most people readily accept that positive feelings by non-Jews toward Jews have some basis in Jewish behavior. But Jewish leaders such as Foxman, Wiesel and Steinberg seem unwilling to accept that negative feelings toward Jews might similarly have a basis in Jewish behavior.

Along with all other social behavior over time, conflict between Jews and non-Jews has an evident and understandable basis in history and human nature. The historical record suggests that the persistence of anti-Semitism over the centuries is rooted in the unusual way that Jews relate to non-Jews.

Israeli and Jewish- Zionist leaders affirm that Jews constitute a “people” or a “nation” – that is, a distinct nationality group to which Jews everywhere are supposed to feel and express a primary loyalty. /11 Some American Jewish leaders have been explicit about this. Louis Brandeis, a US Supreme Court justice and a leading American Zionist, said: “Let us all recognize that we Jews are a distinctive nationality of which every Jew, whatever his country, his station or shade of belief, is necessarily a member.” /10 Stephen S. Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress and of the World Jewish Congress, told a rally in New York in June 1938: “I am not an American citizen of the Jewish faith. I am a Jew … Hitler was right in one thing. He calls the Jewish people a race, and we are a race.” /13 In keeping with this outlook, Israeli leaders also say that the Zionist state represents not just its own Jewish citizens, but Jews everywhere. /14

While affirming — usually only among themselves – that Jews are members of a separate nationality to which they should feel and express a prime loyalty, Zionists simultaneously insist that Jews must be welcomed as full and equal citizens in whatever country they may wish to live. While Zionist Jews in the US such as Abraham Foxman speak of the “Jewish people” as a distinct nationality, they also claim that Jews are Americans like everyone else, and insist that Jews, including Zionist Jews, must be granted all the rights of US citizens, with no social, legal or institutional obstacles to Jewish power and influence in American life. In short, Jewish-Zionist leaders and organizations (such as the World Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Committee) demand full citizen rights for Zionist Jews not only in “their country,” Israel, but everywhere.

Major Jewish-Zionist organizations, and, more broadly, the organized Jewish community, also promote “pluralism,” “tolerance” and “diversity” in the United States and other countries. They believe this is useful for Jews. “America’s pluralistic society is at the heart of Jewish security,” wrote Abraham Foxmam. “In the long run,” the ADL director went to explain, “what has made American Jewish life a uniquely positive experience in Diaspora history and which has enabled us to be such important allies for the State of Israel, is the health of a pluralistic, tolerant and inclusive American society.” /15

For some time, the ADL has promoted the slogan “Diversity is Our Strength.” In keeping with this motto, which it claims to have invented, the ADL has devoted effort and resources to persuading Americans –especially younger Americans — to welcome and embrace ever more social, cultural and racial “diversity.” /16

This campaign has been very successful. American politicians and educators, and virtually the entire US mass media, promote “diversity,” “multiculturalism” and “pluralism,” and portray those who do not embrace these objectives as hateful and ignorant. At the same time, influential Jewish-Zionist organizations such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) insist that the US must recognize and defend Israel as a specifically Jewish ethnic-religious state. /17 Pluralism and diversity, it seems, are only for non-Jews. What’s good for Jews in their own homeland, Jewish-Zionist leaders seem to say, is not pluralism and diversity, but a tribalistic nationalism.

What Jews think is important because the Jewish community has the power to realize its goals. In a remarkable address in May 2013, Vice President Joe Biden said that the “immense” and “outsized” Jewish role in the US mass media and cultural life has been the single most important factor in shaping American attitudes over the past century, and in driving major cultural- political changes. “I bet you 85 percent of those [social- political] changes, whether it’s in Hollywood or social media, are a consequence of Jewish leaders in the industry. The influence is immense,” he said. “Jewish heritage has shaped who we are – all of us, us, me – as much or more than any other factor in the last 223 years. And that’s a fact,” he added. /18

Biden is not alone in acknowledging this clout. “It makes no sense at all to try to deny the reality of Jewish power and prominence in popular culture,” wrote Michael Medved, a well-known Jewish author and film critic in 1996. /19 Joel Stein, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, wrote in 2008: “As a proud Jew, I want America to know about our accomplishment. Yes, we control Hollywood … I don’t care if Americans think we’re running the news media, Hollywood, Wall Street or the government. I just care that we get to keep running them.” /20

Even though Jews have more influence and power in US political and cultural life than any other ethnic or religious group, Jewish groups are uncomfortable when non- Jews point this out. In fact, says Foxman and the ADL, one sure sign that someone is an anti-Semite is if he agrees with the statement that “Jews have too much power in our country today.” /21 For Foxman, apparently, there can never be “too much” Jewish influence and power.

Anti-Semitism is not a mysterious “disease.” As Herzl and Weizmann suggested, and as history shows, what is often called anti-Semitism is the natural and understandable attitude of people toward a minority with particularist loyalties that wields greatly disproportionate power for its own interests, rather than for the common good.
Source Notes

1. “Wiesel Calls for ‘Manifesto’ on Anti-Semitism.” The Jewish Federations of North America. April 30, 2004.
( http://www.jewishfederations.org/page.aspx?id=64683 )
2. “A Call to Conscience: Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel Opens ADL Conference on Global Anti-Semitism.” Anti-Defamation League. October 31, 2002
( http://archive.adl.org/Anti_semitism/conference/as_conf.asp )
3. Abraham H. Foxman. Never Again?: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism. (HarperCollins, 2003), p. 4.
4. Abraham H. Foxman. Never Again? (2003), pp. 42, 43.
5. Th. Herzl, Der Judenstaat. ( http://de.wikisource.org/wiki/Der_Judenstaat ; http://www.zionismus.info/judenstaat/02.htm )
6. Kevin MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents (Praeger,1998), pp. 45, 48. Ref. cited: R. Kornberg, Theodore Herzl (1993), p. 183.
7. Memo of Nov. 22, 1899. R. Patai, ed., The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl (New York: 1960), Vol. 3, p. 888. Also cited in: M. Weber, “Zionism and the Third Reich,” The Journal of Historical Review, July-August 1993, p. 29. ( http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v13/v13n4p29_Weber.html )
8. Chaim Weizmann, Trial and Error (1949), p. 90. Quoted in: Albert S. Lindemann, The Jew Accused (Cambridge University Press, 1991), p. 277.
9. Uriel Heilman, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). “In Rare Jewish Appearance, George Soros Says Jews and Israel Cause Anti- Semitism.” Nov. 10, 2003
( http://www.jta.org/2003/11/10/archive/in-rare-jewish-appearance-george-soros-says-jews-and-israel-cause-anti-semitism )
10. U. Heilman, JTA. “In Rare Jewish Appearance, George Soros Says Jews and Israel Cause Anti-Semitism.” Nov. 10, 2003.
11. Abraham H. Foxman. Never Again? (2003), pp. 18, 4.
12. Louis D. Brandeis, “The Jewish Problem and How to Solve It.” Speech of April 25, 1915. ( http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/personality/sources_document11.html / http://www.law.louisville.edu/library/collections/brandeis/node/234 )
13. “Dr. Wise Urges Jews to Declare Selves as Such,” New York Herald Tribune, June 13, 1938, p. 12.
14. Israel even claims to speak on behalf of Jews who lived and died before the state was established. “Holocaust Victims Given Posthumous Citizenship by Israel,” The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, May 9, 1985.
( http://articles.latimes.com/1985-05-09/news/mn-6754_1_posthumous-citizenship )
See also: M. Weber , “West Germany’s Holocaust Payoff to Israel and World Jewry,” Summer 1988.
( http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v08/v08p243_Weber.html )
15. Foxman letter of Nov. 11, 2005. Published in The Jerusalem Post, Nov. 18, 2005.
( http://archive.adl.org/media_watch/newspapers/20051111-JPost.htm )
16. ADL On the Frontline (New York), Summer 1997, p. 8. This issue of the ADL bulletin also noted with some pride that President Clinton, in his Feb. 1997 “State of the Union” address, had given an unexpected boost to what it called the “ADL tag line.” In that address, Clinton said: “My fellow Americans, we must never, ever believe that our diversity is a weakness. It is our greatest strength.”
17. Note the address by US ambassador Daniel B. Shapiro, Sept. 6, 2011. See also: M. Weber, “Behind the Campaign For War Against Iran.” April 2013.
( http://www.ihr.org/other/behindwarcampaign )
18. Jennifer Epstein, “Biden: ‘Jewish heritage is American heritage’,” Politico, May 21, 2013.
( http://www.politico.com/politico44/2013/05/biden-jewish-heritage-is-american-heritage-164525.html ); Daniel Halper, “Biden Talks of ‘Outsized Influence’ of Jews: ‘The Influence Is Immense’,” The Weekly Standard, May 22, 2013.
( http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/biden-talks-outsized-influence-jews-influence-immense_728765.html )
19. M. Medved, “Is Hollywood Too Jewish?,” Moment, Vol. 21, No. 4 (1996), p. 37.
20. J. Stein, “How Jewish Is Hollywood?,” Los Angeles Times, Dec. 19, 2008.
( http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-stein19-2008dec19,0,4676183.column ).
21. Abraham H. Foxman. Never Again? (2003), p. 14.

January 2, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 7 Comments

Is holocaust orthodoxy paving the way to genocide in Palestine?

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.

3) Statements of Senator Hillary Clinton.

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 mcgowandaniel@yahoo.com and not his college email at mcgowan@hws.edu for those wishing to contact him with comments or criticisms. Read other articles by Daniel.

Source

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 19.
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.

December 22, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

How not to stop the violence in Syria — Elie Wiesel’s latest bright idea

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | The Passionate Attachment | June 9, 2012

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…

June 9, 2012 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Countering the Israel Lobby’s Dominance

Can Jewish Liberals Transcend the Wiesel Doctrine?

By ALAN NASSER | May 29, 2012

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant.”

Elie Wiesel, From the Kingdom of Memory: Reminiscences

“My loyalty to my people, to our people, and to Israel comes first and prevents me from saying anything critical of Israel outside Israel… As a Jew I see my role as a melitz yosher, a defender of Israel: I defend even her mistakes… I must identify with whatever Israel does – even with her errors.”

Elie Wiesel, Against Silence (AS)

In the end, whether Israel’s penchant for serial atrocities encounters an effective obstacle will hinge on two types of resistance, elicited not from the fictitious “international community”, but from the active opponents of Israel’s ongoing projects, and from the withdrawal of moral and financial support for the ongoing reproduction of Israel as an apartheid Zionist State.

Among the first type of response are the increasingly visible efforts, which gained momentum in the wake of the May 2010 flotilla murders, to promote sanctions, boycott and divestiture. A broad range of individuals and groups  -rock stars Elvis Costello and The Pixies, the actor Meg Ryan, Britain’s largest union, Unite, the United Methodist Church, the cosmetics firm Lush, the University of London Union, Deutsche Bahn, the German railway operator, large supermarket chains in Italy, dockworkers in many cities around the world refusing to unload Israli cargo-  has either actively called for or effectively engaged in actions in support of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel’s occupation and in support of Palestinian resistance. (For an up to date list of such actions see http://www.bdsmovement.net.)

The second kind of response includes refusals to any longer make excuses for Israeli abominations, willingness finally to speak out in public protest, and the cessation of financial support for the rogue State. An especially powerful development would be the readiness of American Jews to announce loud and clear that Israel does not speak for them, to distance themselves from the agenda of the politically powerful Israel lobby, and to cross over into solidarity with the Palestinian people. None of this, I will suggest below, is as far-fetched as it might have seemed fifteen years ago.

Among the key habits of thought, feeling and action that must be defeated is what we might call the Wiesel Doctrine, as expressed in the second passage at the head of this article, which pledges to “defend even [Israel’s] mistakes… [to] identify with whatever Israel does – even with her errors.” The Doctrine saturates the political consciousness of too many older (an important qualifier)  liberal American Jews. These are the Jews most likely to contribute to AIPAC and for whom their perception of a given Senate, House or presidential candidate’s friendliness to Israeli policy is sufficient to determine support.

The Doctrine’s stalwarts have been marinating in a political-ethnic milieu largely formed since the early 1950s by the self-promotional and political-marketing zeal of Elie Wiesel, the world’s leading holocaust entrepreneur. The man has been adroit in milking Western guilt over the holocaust in the service of making it virtually impossible for soi disant humanitarians to dissent from Israeli propaganda. He has also helped to create an atmosphere in which the likes of Alan Dershowitz can thrive, and the jobs and reputations of both politicians and university professors who challenge the Israeli line can be jeopardized on the spurious grounds that they peddle anti-Semitism. Wiesel has contributed hugely to the mystified ideological settlement that invites a well heeled and ardently motivated entity like AIPAC to win enviable gains for Israel on Capitol Hill and to prevent critical issues from being raised in the US media, even as these same issues are put forward and contested in the more democratic Israeli press.

Wiesel and his Doctrine are to the typical American Jewish apologist for Israel as the standard meter is to the meter stick in your workshop. Wiesel is the Platonic Form made flesh in every Zionist apologist. Listen to the arguments of your Zionist friends. They channel the teachings of St. Elie.

It behooves us, then, to review what Wiesel is about.

Wiesel as Archetype of the Soul of Zionism 

Elie Wiesel is in a class by himself. Take his word for it. The man promotes himself with unflagging persistence as the living embodiment of Jewish humanitarianism. This makes him, he’d have us believe, the  -not ‘a’, but ‘the’- humble representative and wounded spokesman of the community of holocaust survivors, the preeminent guardian of Jewish memory and witness to Jewish suffering. What this comes to is granting Israel carte blanche to treat Palestinians as it chooses and to habitually lie about its political intentions.

In Wiesel’s stance we find a paradigmatic expression of the apologetics that has become the party line for so many older American Jews for whom nothing  Israel does warrants open opposition.

Wiesel pulls no punches. In the second citation at the head of this article he announces that facts and evidence are irrelevant to his assessment of Israel’s behavior. Thus, Wiesel misled when he remarked, regarding his assessment of Israel’s May 2010 flotilla raid, “I don’t know enough. … For me to say anything now would be irresponsible.” (June 2, 2010) We are to believe that Wiesel is open to evidence of Israeli wrongdoing. But he has made it clear that he is not. When pushed to the wall on Israeli misbehavior, Wiesel’s tactic is patented: he changes the subject to the holocaust. Moments after the above remark Wiesel whimpered “Holocaust denial today – what it does to the children of survivors,” he said. “I believe Holocaust denial should be illegal.” There followed a philosophical debate on freedom of thought and the limits of censorship. Mission accomplished: the original issue, the assessment of Israel’s murders of noncombatants in international waters, has been forgotten.

It is essential to Wiesel’s agenda that he depict his categorical refusal to criticize Israel as more than a merely individual decision. He is merely acknowledging a moral obligation binding everyone, everywhere, to eternal silence regarding Israel’s abominations. That’s the Wiesel Doctrine: “The nations that kept silent during the Holocaust ought to keep silent now as well. The world that then condemned itself by its silence has lost all rights to judge Israel now.” (AS, 2, 191.)

The holocaust is made into political plastic carrying an unlimited line of exculpatory credit.

In his speech to the United Nations last September Benjamin Netanyahu began by conflating Nazi Germany, contemporary Iran, al Qaeda (a Sunni tendency foreign to Shiite Iran), and global terrorism. The word ‘Nazi’ appeared five times in the first thirty paragraphs. This kind of nonsense is made possible and certified by the Wiesel Doctrine.

The Doctrine also rules out solidarity with the Palestinian people. As a holocaust survivor, Wiesel must accept whatever claims Israel makes about its relation to Palestinians: “Do not ask me, a traumatized Jew, to be pro-Palestinian. I totally identify with Israel and cannot go along with leftist intellectuals who reject it.” ( AS, 1, 223) These two sentences are packed with Israel-serving dogma: the fact of the holocaust permits open season on Palestinians, speaking the truth about Israel is an inherently “leftist” prejudice, and criticizing Israeli policy is the same as “reject”ing Israel, whatever that may mean.

Wiesel As Terrorist and The Requirement of Hypocrisy 

In his essay “To a Young Palestinian Arab” (1979) Wiesel intones “I feel responsible for your sorrow, but not for the way you use it, for in its name you have massacred innocent children, slaughtered children.” (‘sorrow’ is a favorite word of Wiesel’s, which he deploys almost as frequently as you and I use ‘the’) Wiesel’s claim to feel “responsible” for Palestinian “sorrow” (Why not refer to Palestinian deaths? Why not indeed.) is disingenuous. He refuses to acknowledge the death and destruction visited upon Palestinians by Israel except in the context of blaming Palestinians. He acknowledges no responsibility to do anything as an expression of his professed responsibility, nor does he acknowledge that this responsibility stems from wrongdoing by Israel. And he has repeatedly refused to acknowledge the occupation as a political matter, preferring “sorrow” as the required non-political “moral” attitude.

Wiesel goes on to anticipate the young Palestinian’s response that these acts were performed by “extremists”, not typical Palestinians. He rejoins that “they acted on your behalf, with your approval, since you did not raise your voice to reason with them. You will tell me that it is your tragedy which incited them to murder. By murdering, they debased that tragedy, they betrayed it.” Wiesel goes on to contrast Palestinians’ insidious political response to their suffering to holocaust survivors’ humanistic “moral” response to their brutalization. Here we have a typical case of the hypocrisy that is a leitmotif in Wiesel’s repertoire.

Wiesel is surely not ignorant of European Zionists’ response to persecution by pioneering innovations in the art of terrorism. Zionists crusading in Palestine prior to the establishment of Israel created a range of modern terrorist tactics. In 1938 the Zionist terror outfit Irgun executed attacks against Arab civilians, including placing bombs in milk cans in a Haifa market, killing twenty three Arab shoppers.  In 1947 the Zionist group the Stern Gang was the first to use letter bombs, mailed to British Cabinet members. The Gang assassinated high-level British diplomats and the chief UN mediator attempting to negotiate a two-state solution for Palestine. Irgun, then under the leadership of Menachim Begin, planted bombs in Arab East Jerusalem, killing civilians in an effort to drive Palestinians out. As the British mandate was coming to an end in April 1948 and a civil war between Arabs and Zionists was beginning, Irgun and the Stern Gang attacked the village of Deir Yassin, killing over a hundred unarmed villagers, including women and children. The villagers had not been involved in any violence prior to the attack. In 1954 Israel became the first country to hijack an airplane for political purposes, seizing a Syrian civilian plane in a botched effort to trade hostages for Mossad intelligence agents captured by the Syrians.

When the Deir Yassin massacre occurred Wiesel was on the payroll of Irgun’s newspaper Zion in Kampf, having offered his services as a translator in Paris. This makes Wiesel, by his own standards, a terrorist. Accordingly, he has never denounced these massacres. Might not a Deir Yassin survivor charge Wiesel with his own words: “they acted on your behalf, with your approval, since you did not raise your voice to reason with them. You will tell me that it is your tragedy which incited them to murder. By murdering, they debased that tragedy, they betrayed it.”

Zionist terrorist attacks against Palestinians and others, which intensified between 1945 and 1949, including the kidnappings and hanging of British soldiers in 1947, were accomplished for political purposes. But the Wiesel Doctrine requires that Palestine never be understood in political terms. In 2003 Pope John Paul II proposed that “what the Middle East needs is bridges, not walls.” Wiesel’s attack immediately followed: “From the leader of one of the largest and most important religions in the world, I expected something very different, namely a statement condemning terror and the killing of innocents, without mixing in political considerations and above all comparing these things to a work of pure self-defense. To politicize terrorism like that is wrong.” (The New York Times, 11/17/2003) Wiesel no doubt associates the political in this context with the culpable exercise of power by the powerful against the powerless. This kind of thing, Wiesel seems to concur, would require action in resistance, including the exercise of counter-power by the oppressed. But for Wiesel, Israel must never be blamed, nor must any actions, such as boycott, sanctions and divestment, much less forceful resistance by Palestinians, be taken against Israeli power. Hence, Israeli policy must not be seen as political. At most, Wiesel permits a moral response, typically expressed as “sorrow” and never requiring one to get off his political ass. Consistency was never this gasbag’s forte.

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall, Who is the Zionest of Them All? Wiesel As Co-Recipient of Requited Self Love 

Wiesel moved to New York in 1955, where he continued to work as a correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ah’ronot. It was then that he set upon the task of establishing himself as the self-appointed spokesperson for all holocaust victims and survivors (the latter group treated erroneously by Wiesel as monolithic and homogenous). In 1956 he was struck by a taxi near Times Square. Given to grandiose self-description by nature, he later claimed: “I flew an entire block. I was hit at 45th Street and the ambulance picked me up at 44th. It sounds crazy. But I was totally messed up.”  (NYT, March 5, 1997) The story is preposterous, but Wiesel has covered himself: “Some events do take place but are not true; others are true although they never occurred.” (Legends of Our Time, viii.) Telling a “true lie” in the name of making a legend of oneself is, as one says nowadays, “no problem” for Wiesel.

In this story Wiesel appears to possess superhuman powers, much like a cartoon Superhero. He’s hit by a taxi and bo-o-o-oing! he flies through the air, landing a city block away. Wiesel’s megalomania takes many forms. He has criticized every notable holocaust survivor/commentator, notably the Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, as less authentic and profound than he. His case is characteristically self serving. Rival commentators are rejected on the grounds that they are among “the intellectuals”. What’s wrong with that? Intellectuals analyze, they bring intellectual discourse to bear on our comprehension of the holocaust. But Wiesel insists that the holocaust is a sacred and spiritual phenomenon, and hence a mystery. As such it transcends mundane, normal boundaries of language and conceptualization. It’s like A Kantian noumenon – it’s “out there” but none of our human categories are remotely adequate to capturing its reality. The best we can do is to exhibit the kind of doleful, agonized visage Wiesel sports 24/7. If someone points to our countenance and asks “What’s that?”, we just say “sorrow”.

Note that this puts Wiesel beyond challenge. Critical analysis is expressed in language, and is analytical in form. But language and analysis are foreign to the mystical nature of Jewish suffering. As Wittgenstein once remarked, “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” That suits Wiesel just fine. Like Israel, Wiesel is unassailable.

The fact is that many Jewish liberals have ingested and digested this political serving. Little wonder that they cannot be counted on to call a Zionist spade a spade. But strong evidence indicates that this may be changing. As Israeli Jews are moving ever rightward, young American Jews are moving in the opposite direction. Let’s have a look at this.

Decline of Nationalist Zionism Among Young American Jews 

There is ample evidence that younger American Jews are decreasingly identifying with the Zionist State. A number of independent studies indicate that younger Jews are less likely to experience criticism of Israel as an assault on their identity. Peter Beinart has recently discussed a number of important studies confirming younger Jews’ indifference to criticism of Israel. His essay and book (2) also issue a call to moral arms to American Jews.

Several surveys have revealed, as Steven Cohen of Hebrew Union College and and Ari Kelman of the University of California at Davis report, that “non-Orthodox younger Jews, on the whole, feel much less attached to Israel than their elders,” with many professing “a near-total absence of positive feelings.” Although the majority of American Jews of all ages continue to identify as “pro-Israel,” those under 35 are less likely to identify as “Zionist.” Over 40% of American Jews under 35 believe that “Israel occupies land belonging to someone else,” and over 30% report sometimes feeling “ashamed” of Israel’s actions. A paradigm case is the 2008 rejection by the student senate at Brandeis University  -the only nonsectarian Jewish sponsored university in America-  of a resolution commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the Jewish State. (3)

This development has been troubling prominent members of the Jewish establishment since the mid-1990s. In 2003 several of them  commissioned the pollster Frank Luntz to find out what younger Jews thought about Israel. The underlying aim of the poll was to explain why Jewish college students are not on the whole inclined to defend Israel against campus critics.

Luntz’s findings were distressing to his employers. “Six times we have brought Jewish youth together as a group to talk about their Jewishness and connection to Israel,” he reported, and “Six times the topic of Israel did not come up until it was prompted. Six times these Jewish youth used the word ‘they’ rather than ‘us’ to describe the situation.”

The attitudes Luntz found most consistently expressed were a resistance to the kind of “group-think” the young Jews saw as suppressing “open and frank” discussion of Israel, a “desperate” desire for peace and, in some cases, empathy with the plight of the Palestinians. The students come across as broadly “liberal” in the sense in which American Jews have always been perceived as liberal. The “trouble” with these students was that their liberalism is traditionally Jewish, and consistent: if Israeli policy contravenes basic canons of liberalism, then so much the worse for Israeli policy.

Among American Jews there are plenty of liberals and plenty of Zionists. What these studies indicate is that these two groups share fewer and fewer members. Younger Jewish  Zionists are decreasingly likely to be liberal, and younger Jewish liberals decreasingly likely to be Zionists. This portends the American Jewish establishment’s further movement to the right. As Beinart observes, “As secular Jews drift away from America’s Zionist institutions, their orthodox counterparts will likely step into the breach.” Thus, the distance between largely secular American Jews and the Zionist establishment is likely to widen. But this will weaken the political power of the Israel lobby  -inextricably linked, of course, to the Jewish establishment-   only if American Jews as a whole are prepared to announce unambiguously their antipathy to their soi disant representatives. The political and moral responsibility this places on American Jewish liberals cannot be overestimated.

Intensification of Zionist Nationalism in Israel

American Jewish liberals and Zionism in Israel are moving in opposite directions. While the studies mentioned above indicate that a decreasing percentage of American Jews will feel sympathetic attachment to Israeli Zionism, some of the most unsavory forms of Zionism are growing in Israel.

A 2008 survey reported in the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ah’ronot found that 40 percent of Jewish Israelis would deny the vote to Arab Israelis. More recent surveys found 56 percent of Jewish Israeli high school students sharing this sentiment. A survey conducted by Professor Camil Fuchs from the Statistics Department of Tel Aviv University found that half of Israeli teens don’t want Arab students in their class. Most Israeli teens aged fifteen to eighteen don’t think Arabs enjoy equal rights in Israel, and most of those don’t think Arabs deserve equal rights. The survey also revealed that 96 percent of the respondents want Israel to be a Jewish and democratic state, but 27 percent believe that those who object should be tried in court, and 41 percent support stripping them of their citizenship. In answer to a question whether they would be willing to learn in a classroom with one or more students with special needs, 32 percent answered in the negative. When the question was asked regarding Arab students, 50 percent of respondents answered in the negative. In addition, 23 percent said that they wouldn’t want gays or lesbians in their class.

These findings are disturbingly consistent with the Netanyahu coalition government’s reflection of the worst elements among contemporary Israelis: the growing extreme-Orthodox population, the increasingly radical settler movement, which has come to occupy an increasing percentage of both the Israeli political establishment and the army, and the conspicuously anti-Arab Russian immigrant community.

Netanyahu himself is a Palestinian-State denier. In his 1993 book A Place Among the Nations he explicitly repudiates the notion of a Palestinian State. Like Golda Meier he denies that there are Palestinians, and he argues that to support Palestinian statehood is equivalent to endorsing…. you guessed it, Nazism! His Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman would revoke the citizenship of Israeli Arabs who refuse to swear loyalty to the Jewish State, deny citizenship to Arab nationals of other countries who marry Arab citizens of Israel, execute Arab Knesset members who meet with Hamas representatives and imprison Arabs who dare to publicly mourn on Israeli Independence Day. Holy Moses.

Beinart’s reflections on these abominations are a lamentation of the refusal of the “leading institutions of American Jewry” to openly challenge Israel’s treatment of its Arab citizens. (The NYR essay was written three weeks before, and published two weeks after, the May 31 attack on the Mavi Marmara.) And Beinart is no one-stater. “Saving liberal Zionism in the United States,” he writes, “so that American Jews can help save liberal Zionism in Israel, is the great American Jewish challenge of our age.”

Bienart sees that as an American Jew he bears a special responsibility to act on the words, hypocritically penned by Elie Wiesel, cited at the head of this article: “We must always take sides…. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.” I say he’s right.

Alan Nasser is professor emeritus of Political Economy at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. His book  The “New Normal”: Persistent Austerity, Declining Democracy and the Globalization of Resistance is forthcoming in 2013. His website/blogsite is www.alannasser.wordpress.com. He can be reached at nassera@evergreen.edu.

(1) AS is a three-volume collection of the most representative of Wiesel’s lectures, articles, op-eds, letters, etc.)

(2) See “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment”, The New York Review, June 10, 2010, further developed in his book The Crisis of Zionism, Henry Holt, 2012.

(3) See Cohen and Kelman’s “Beyond Distancing: Young Adult American Jews and Their Alienation from Israel” at http://www.acbp.net/About/PDF/Beyond%20Distancing.pdf.

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May 29, 2012 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Holocaust, Sacred Ground and Obama’s Selective View of the Struggle for Human Dignity

By Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America | April 23, 2012

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.

April 25, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | 1 Comment