This arose in October, 2018 on Facebook, on a post by Gilad Atzmon, linked at the end. The post featured an article by Atzmon about the failure of Holocaust education, arguing that universal lessons about “the Holocaust” need to be drawn. This is praiseworthy and unoriginal, echoing many writers.
But you cannot at the same time, as Atzmon has, deny (excuse me, “question”) whether “the Holocaust” (what historians call “the Judeocide”) took place, whether gas chambers were used in industrial genocide, and then argue that its lessons must be universalized. Nor can you compare the Jewish boycott of Nazi Germany to AIPAC’s influence on the US in support of Israel as two sinister examples of Jewish power, or praise Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism, among other statements.
I pointed this out after Atzmon mentioned me in a comment, saying “I hope the article doesn’t upset Harry Clark too much.” It is absurd that Atzmon thinks questioning whether gas chambers were used, and comparing the Jewish boycott of Germany to AIPAC’s influence in the US, “universalize” the Judeocide.
Here are an excerpt from Gilad’s piece on Paul Eisen, questioning the gas chambers, and the link
Eisen doesn’t dispute the fact that German National Socialism despised the Jewish race, he doesn’t dispute the mass deportation of Jews, he doesn’t condone German National Socialist racism against Jews and others. Eisen doesn’t dispute the fact that many Jews died under the Nazi regime in some horrid and unfortunate circumstances. However, Eisen is sceptical on issues to do with the homicidal nature of the Nazi operation. He is not convinced that the Germans used gas chambers as a death factory.
Eisen could be right or wrong (as he himself admits in his writing), but does such a belief mount to ‘anti Semitism,’ racism or ‘hate crime’? Can the questioning of the past be considered a hateful act under any circumstances?
It’s quite the opposite: the ability to revisit and revise the past is the kernel of ethical, humanist and universal thinking. It is the attempt to grasp ‘what really happened’ which helps us to form the prospect of a better future.
Here is the article. The Kingmaker
The “kernel of ethical, humanist and universal thinking” is not only “the attempt to grasp ‘what really happened’”, it is recognizing that historical questions can be adjudicated, and that the existence of gas chambers and industrial genocide is a historical fact. Such “questioning” isn’t a bold, heterdox stroke to “universalize the Holocaust” it’s just a stupid, self-destructive tangent. Academics and others have been “universalizing the Holocaust” for decades, while Shabtai Gilad Zvi acts as if he is the first to notice the “Judeocentric” nature of the approved interpretation.
Here is Eisen’s own very sympathetic, respectful discussion of Ernst Zuendel and the “Holocaust revisionists.” The Holocaust Wars
I agree the Holo denial laws are outrageous, and that the mere speech of Zuendel and others should not be prosecuted. One can say that, and see the Holo denial laws as an expression of Jewish power and the Israel Lobby, without defending Zuendel et al substantively, as Eisen does
Such qualified judgments are beyond Shabtai Gilad Zvi, anti-Zionist messiah. Here is an “insight” by Shabtai Gilad, comparing the Jewish boycott of Germany in 1933 to the Israel Lobby’s attack on Obama over US policy toward Israel.
AIPAC’s behavior last week reminded me of the Jewish declaration of war against Nazi Germany in 1933.
Not many people are aware that in March 1933, long before Hitler became the undisputed leader of Germany and began restricting the rights of German Jews, the American Jewish Congress announced a massive protest at Madison Square Gardens and called for an American boycott of German goods.
I obviously do not think that Obama has anything in common with Hitler… However, it is hard to turn a blind eye to the similarity between AIPAC’s behaviour last week and the Jewish American Congress’ conduct in 1933.
Here is the article. Judea declares War on Obama
Take “long before Hitler became the undisputed leader of Germany and began restricting the rights of German Jews”. Virulent anti-semitism was a feature of the counterrevolutions in eastern Europe and Germany that followed the revolutions after WW1. Including Germany, where Hitler got his start in Munich in 1919, when an officer recognized his gift for haranguing the troops. It was a signature of Nazi party ideology and literature. Gilad implies that Hitler was some unknown quantity about Jews in early 1933, which is nonsense.
In March, 1933, Hitler was Reich chancellor, was breaking unions and the left, censoring the press, and otherwise establishing a dictatorship. The only “dispute” about his leadership came from factions on the right, which he soon dealt with.
AIPAC and the rest of the Israel Lobby influence the US to support Israel’s genocide and dispossession in Palestine, and destruction throughout the Middle East. The Jewish boycott of Germany was organized to defend Jews against the threat of Nazism. It wasn’t organized by the American Jewish Committee and the ADL, who opposed it.
The American Jewish Congress wasn’t serious either, but in a struggle for leadership of US Jewry, acted to take control of the boycott movement, and later undercut it, when it became clear that the Zionist movement itself opposed it, struck the “Transfer Agreement” with Nazi Germany to break the boycott and sell German goods thru Palestine. On all this see Edwin Black’s book “The Transfer Agreement”, and chapters 5-6 in Lenni Brenner’s “Zionism in the Age of the Dictators” Zionism in the Age of the Dictators
The main impetus for the boycott came from the Jewish public, and supporters in unions and left/liberal circles, not from the organized Jewish community, the opposite of AIPAC and Israel today.
The comparison of the Jewish boycott of Germany to AIPAC and the Israel Lobby is the loopy belief of Shabtai Gilad Zvi, anti-Zionist messiah.
In response, Shabtai Gilad Zvi compared the Jewish attack on Corbyn to the Jewish boycott of Nazi Germany.
according to the same philosophy Jews have a lot of reason to fear Corbyn whom they regard as a vile antisemite.
I also dug out Richard Falk’s response to charges he had endorsed an anti-Semite, in the following response to Atzmon’s comments.
… As Richard Falk acknowledged in his response to Tony Greenstein’s protest over your anti-Semitism, and request to rescind his endorsement. Falk carefully responded,
I would make clear that I was endorsing the value I experienced in reading the book, not the argument or all of the positions taken. Atzmon may have pushed his basic argument too far, but it seems to me a valid inquiry that can lead to debate and discussion, but is not appropriate to denounce, and to go further, and denounce those who endorsed the reading of the book.
Falk is charitable, and Greenstein’s correspondence with him did not pursue your embrace of “Holocaust revisionism”. In a later article Greenstein shows how you edited the passage in Wandering Who about “revisionism” from the original categorical statement.
Jeff Blankfort and Norton Mezvinsky, Shahak’s co-author, broke off with you over holo-denial. You could at least take Jeff’s name off your list of endorsers. He changed his mind.
That said, I do not at all endorse the crusade against you and the attempts to censor your appearances. People are perfectly capable of deciding themselves, without censorship. People like Greenstein and JVP are, as you say, Zionists, whose identification as “secular Jews” and practice of “Jewish politics” make their protestations hypocritical. Their accusation of anti-Semitism over the Israel Lobby critique shows a belief in eternal anti-Semitism, against which “Jews” must be eternally vigilant. This is the Jewish equivalent of anti-Semitism, with “ewige gentiles”, rather than “ewige Juden.”
Such thoughts may also have informed Falk’s thinking. He is ecumenical and humane, a truly great thinker, wrote a wonderful piece about celebrating Christmas that would make a JVP meeting vomit collectively.
By contrast, Rabbi Alyssa Wise of JVP harangued a Sabeel meeting in Portland a while back about Christian oppression and religious holidays, to set a price tag on “Jewish solidarity”. I wrote about it
So did Gilad
Perhaps there is value in both articles. Perhaps, Gilad, you aren’t the first or only person to think about “Jewish identity”, “universalizing the ‘Holocaust'”, etc. Perhaps you need to consider other approaches, perhaps “Holocaust revisionism”, Henry Ford and Nordau aren’t daring and iconoclastic but wrong and dead ends, and perhaps people who say so aren’t AZZs, JIMs, lame, banal, etc. Perhaps, if you learn that, you will be a better thinker, if not as great as Falk, instead of merely a Great Thinker with a coterie of sycophants.
The whole exchange is on the post at the link below, some of it in threads on my comments.
See also this FB post, about Gilad’s banning.