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Giving Israel a Pass

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Posted on Feb 1, 2008

By Barry Lando

As I was reading through several news items last week on the Internet about the appalling situation in Gaza, I received an e-mail alert from my wife. It had been forwarded to her by a Parisian friend who is an expert in Orientalist art; she had received it from a well-known French television actress.

According to the alert, courses in England about the Shoah had just been withdrawn from British schools because they “shocked the Muslim population which denies the existence of the Holocaust.”

The e-mail continued, “This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it.

“Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be ‘a myth,’ it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets. This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!

“Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world.”

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My attention was now torn from the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza and shifted to the charge that British schools had just stopped teaching the Holocaust.

My curiosity piqued—I hadn’t heard that news about Britain—I went to Snopes.com, a Web site that examines such charges. The story, it turned out, first appeared in April 2007, not last week; according to the site, the report was also wildly inaccurate.

The truth was that “One history department in a northern UK city stopped teaching about the Holocaust because it wished to avoid confronting anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils.”

That fact was originally disseminated in a government-sponsored study—a study which was then grossly misreported by a British newspaper to indicate that, rather than in just one history department in the northern UK, Holocaust studies had been terminated across the country. 

That error was further magnified by a British group which launched a worldwide alarm on the Internet with the headline: “Recently, this week, UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum. ... “

The group made an urgent plea for a global “chain of memory”—the same plea that my wife had just forwarded to me. In other words, nine months later it was still careening around the Internet.

In the process the message had become further distorted. In September 2007, someone surmised that the “UK” as in “UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum” referred not to a country but to the University of Kentucky. A slight “fix” was made in the message, and a new storm of outrage zapped across the Internet, now targeting a hapless American university.

On Nov. 8, 2007, UK Assistant Provost Richard B. Geissman issued a press release categorically denying that the university had cut Holocaust studies from its curriculum. “The academic administration of the University of Kentucky,” he declared, “would never permit such a grotesque lapse in its commitment to the principle of academic freedom.”

I found that Snopes.com had also investigated another similar flurry: “Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country’s Jews and Christians to wear colored badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims,” began that e-mail.

The e-mail quoted Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, as saying, “This is reminiscent of the Holocaust. Iran is moving closer and closer to the ideology of the Nazis.

“Iran’s roughly 25,000 Jews would have to sew a yellow strip of cloth on the front of their clothes, while Christians would wear red badges and Zoroastrians would be forced to wear blue cloth. ...

“The world should not ignore this,” said Rabbi Hier. “The world ignored Hitler for many years—he was dismissed as a demagogue, they said he’d never come to power—and we were all wrong.”

That story also turned out to be false.

Which is not to say anti-Semitism is no longer a problem in the world. Of course it is. But surely it is not the major threat to humanity that this planet confronts.

The question I raise is this:

Why is it that so many of my fellow Jews have a hair-trigger response to the slightest suggestion that anti-Semites may once again be on the prowl in England or France or Iran—that another Hitler lurks just over the horizon? 

Why are they so quick to demand that academics who suggest that Jews wield considerable political influence be banned from speaking, or, better yet, fired? Why so ready to dismiss criticism of Israel from Desmond Tutu or Jimmy Carter as anti-Semitic garbage? Why so swift to call meetings, launch petitions, take to the streets, bombard their congressmen, demand embargoes, sanctions, pre-emptive strikes, targeted bombings, invasions—whatever it takes to destroy any perceived menace to Jews or the state of Israel, even if it later turns out the threat was a fabrication of someone’s inflamed imagination?

“Well, why not?” comes the reply. “Better to act than to remain silent. Are you saying we have no enemies? That there was no Holocaust? We know how the world stood by as our people were slaughtered by Hitler. If history has taught us anything, it’s that we Jews have to defend ourselves. Never Again!”

But never again what? Never again massacres of Jews as the world looks on? Or never again should we Jews, who suffered so horrifically in the Holocaust, never again should we stand silent as innocents are slaughtered or driven from their homes by ethnic cleansing, or entire populations are punished for the actions of a few.

To get to the point, what causes so many Jews to turn ethically deaf and morally blind when the state of Israel itself is concerned? 

As Sara Roy, a senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, asked in an essay, “Why is it virtually mandatory among Jewish intellectuals to oppose racism, repression and injustice almost anywhere in the world and unacceptable—indeed, for some, an act of heresy—to oppose it when Israel is the oppressor, choosing concealment over exposure?”

I continue: Why the refusal to recognize that in 1947 and 1948 Jewish fighters embarked upon a policy of ethnic cleansing that succeeded in driving tens of thousands of Palestinians from their fields and villages?

This is not a charge made by hate-filled Iranian or Syrian propagandists but one that has been meticulously researched and documented by Israeli historians themselves.

Why the reluctance to speak out when Israeli forces wreaked appalling death and destruction among civilians after they invaded Lebanon in 1982 and again last summer? 

Hundreds of Jewish soldiers in Israel refused to take part in the campaigns. Tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets in protest. Why were major Jewish organizations in the rest of the world so silent?

Why no horrified response to Israeli leaders who measure success these days in body counts and order so-called targeted assassinations with rockets in densely populated civilian areas, knowing that many innocents may be blown apart for every terrorist who is hit? Are the 27 decorated Israeli pilots who refused to take part in such attacks to be considered anti-Semitic by their American cousins? 

Why no outcry when Israel launches a brutal blockade—a collective punishment of 1.5 million Palestinian men, women and children—threatening their supplies of fuel, food and medicines?


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By sk, February 2, 2008 at 4:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

FYI, a very worthwhile talk by Joel Kovel on ‘Zionism and its Discontents’:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnVltpdSpZo

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By Tony Wicher, February 2, 2008 at 4:15 am Link to this comment

Hi, Fadel - haven’t heard from you for a while.

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By cyrena, February 2, 2008 at 1:10 am Link to this comment

jdogg333

Did Brewerstroupe clear up any of this understandable confusion for you?

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s confusing, which is why I had to go to the trouble of researching it myself, to figure it out.

And, I’ve noticed that between Tony Wincher, and Brewerstroupe, and a few others, some of the myth of the alleged ‘Holocaust Denial’ is now coming to light.

Still, look how long the myth has been allowed to prevail? Logically speaking, no educated person, (Arab or otherwise) has ever DENIED that the Jewish Holocaust, (at the hands of Hitler’s Nazis) ever took place. We KNOW that, though some have pointed out here, that it isn’t necessarily all that ‘well known’ across parts of the Middle East or the Arab community, any more than Americans are all that ‘in the know’ about the genocide of the Albanians, or the
Armenians, or more specifically, the NATIVE AMERICANS.

Now, go figure on that. American’s don’t necessarily ‘deny’ the Native American Holocaust, but the majority of us don’t KNOW about it either. And, 300 hundred years of that history, basically swept under the rug, and out of the public conscious/awareness, is the same or worse than DENIAL.

Such as it is with the Jewish Holocaust. It’s not a question of Arab denial of it, the question is…WHAT DID THE PALESTINIANS HAVE TO DO WITH IT?

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By cyrena, February 2, 2008 at 12:54 am Link to this comment

Thanks so much for these links Bubba. (what’s up with that name…gives me symptoms of PTSD wink )

Anyway, thanks. I will in fact make it a point to get to Berkeley for Dr. Finkelstein’s talk. Maybe we could even get him to come a little further south in our State, and talk with us here as well. So, that’s something I’ll look into.

And, KPFA is super…definitely a must have in the age of Corporate consolidation of our media.

Because it’s true…understanding does breed empathy, just as knowledge breeds tolerance and understanding. Without a firm grasp on the truth, (which brewerstroupe puts forth so excellently regarding in his own search for it), how can anybody know what the hell it is that they are ‘judging”? We cannot judge until we know what the hell the facts are.

So, thanks to all of you, for all of these links, and the excellent commentary. I’ve saved that by the way, as well as the links for Tony Wincher’s blog and I’ll link these to my own.

Peace to all….

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By Fadel Abdallah, February 2, 2008 at 12:32 am Link to this comment

Another excellent piece by a decent conscientious Jew who realizes that what Jews need most is a movement to save Israel and its Jewish population from the destructive irrational policies of the Israeli political-military establishment and their merchants of death counterparts in the warmonger American military-industrial complex. Thank you Lando for being a good and enlightened cousin!

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By Tony Wicher, February 1, 2008 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

Paranoid schizophrenic, perhaps? Tourette’s syndrome? Both?

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By Tony Wicher, February 1, 2008 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

Maybe “racist asshole” would be more descriptive.

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By Tony Wicher, February 1, 2008 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment

To everybody on Truthdig: ignore this idiot.

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By Tony Wicher, February 1, 2008 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment

Then I guess he’s my kind of Jesus freak, like Lerner’s my kind of Jew.

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By brewerstroupe, February 1, 2008 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

jdogg333

There are in fact very few true Holocaust Deniers. Agencies such as the ADL have over-used the term and smear many critics of Israel with it.

In most muslim societies the Holocaust is as little-known as genocides in Albania and the former Soviet Union are in the West. It simply doesn’t blip the radar as the enormous publicity it has had is a particularly Western phenomenon. Thus if you ask many Arabs about it they reply “what holocaust?” This in Jewish eyes is tantamount to denial.
The brouhaha over Ahmadinejad’s remarks is misconstrued. He actually said, “During that war, some 60 million people died. Yet one small group has gained prominence as victims as if other lives don’t matter…..In the end, after all, if these things happened, they happened in Europe. They did not happen in Palestine. So therefore, why did the Palestinians have to pay the price? There are five million displaced Palestinians in the world today.”
This earned him the World Heavyweight “denier” crown.
Norman Finklestein is dubbed “denier” for his deconstruction of what he calls “the Holocaust Industry” yet his parents were interned in Nazi concentration camps.

None of the well known “deniers” in the West are true to label. They accept that Jews were subjected to brutal and inhuman treatment and that many died. The argument usually centres on (a) whether there was a deliberate campaign of mass killings in gas chambers and (b) how many died.

David Irving was a well respected historian until his research caused him to question the accepted narrative. From that moment he was demonised and even imprisoned despite the fact that many of his conclusions (I don’t say all) have been verified. In some countries it is a criminal offence to state that the “gas chamber” at Auschwitz is a post-war reproduction and that the commemoration stone that once proclaimed 4 million deaths has been replaced with one that states 1.5 million. This despite the fact that all historians (including the late Raul Hilberg before his death last year) accept these truths.

It is all very confusing due to the lack of hard evidence by way of documents etc and personally I think it is something of a waste of time.
What seems to drive the interest of many towards Historical Revisionism is the shock of discovering that the history of Palestine since 1948 has been spun by Israel into a web of deceit. When someone becomes aware that 700,000 Palestinians were being terrorised off their land by the Irgun, Stern Gang etc. while he/she was happily absorbing the “Land without a people for a people without a land” mantra, a natural reaction is to question other icons of Israel’s credo. Apologists for Israel add fuel to the fire of revisionism by thrusting the Holocaust under the nose of anyone who dares to suggest that Israel might not be as Kosher as it’s Hasbara (PR) might suggest.

Likudniks are on the back foot just now. The attack on Lebanon last year exposed many former sympathisers to the ugly side of Zionism, myself for one. Thus one hears a great deal more of “anti-semitism”, “holocaust denial”, “self-hating Jew”. These labels still have the power to neutralise criticism but it is waning. You will probably see lefty come out of his lair and wave them around after I post this.

If you click on my user name you will link to my blog which, if read from the bottom up, gives an account of my journey from supporter of Israel to critic.

Good luck.

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By Popi, February 1, 2008 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

BS. this is nuts.

Consider this statement he made.
“Why is it that so many of my fellow Jews have a hair-trigger response”....

He assumes that those emails all come from Jews. I have received them but not one from a Jew.

Get real. And yes, you do read like a racist!

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By Expat, February 1, 2008 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

^ I have 1dree5 calling me an undercover Jew.  As a Buddhist, I am very amused by that comment.  Oh well, I’m with you jackpine savage; I’m outta here.

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By Gustav, February 1, 2008 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well done Mr. Lando.  The piece deserves to be and ought to be read by all Jews of goodwill decency.  The voices are growing louder.  Just look at books like The Israel Lobby [by Mearsheimer & Walt]  My Israel Question [published in Australia by MUP] and that by Pres, Jimmy Carter.  The genie is out of the bottle and no constant accusations of anti-semitism or anti-Zionism will stop those speaking out.  Do not be deflected by any brickbats Mr. Lando.

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By PatrickHenry, February 1, 2008 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

Lets keep our money, munitions and outsourced contracts here in the U.S. where they will do our economy some good.

I have no problem sending food and blankets, tractors and seed to the truely needy but to give a gun to be put to the head of ones neighbor doesn’t sit well with me as it pisses off the neighborhood against me.

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By Bubba, February 1, 2008 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

You’re welcome for the links, and I agree with you regarding empathy.

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By writeon, February 1, 2008 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As an individual who according to Nazi racial propaganda could have been labelled a Jew, I feel proud of my ‘Jewish’ heritage, and I would have, hopefully, worn my yellow star of David with pride, just to spite the evil bastards. Luckily, I didn’t have to make the choice or face the consequences. It’s an intellectual conceit.

But we Jews are so very different from each other, aren’t we? Hitler said we were different, outside the common blood of Germany, special, not to be trusted, a deadly threat, a cancer growing around the heart. Yet we were Germans, we were Europeans. We were part of the culture. We were home, and are home was Europe. Hitler was wrong, we did belong in Berlin and Munich and Vienna.

What’s so strange is to see so many on the Right in Israel agree with Hitler and his crazed ideas about the purity and importance of blood and culture. Are we really the chosen people, chosen by God and chosen by Hitler? Why have we chosen this ultra-nationalist course, which could lead anywhere, which could lead us into damnation?

Jews and Israelis are not all the same, we don’t have a Jewish character like the Nazis said, they were lying, they were using us to achieve power for themselves. They created a terrible and lying myth about us, lies piled on lies, and eventually bodies piled on bodies. Jews the racial parody Hitler created, we’re individuals. We hate and we love, we work, create and we bleed like everyone else. We’re not really Jews, we are human beings, with the same hopes and desires, follies and stupidities that other people have.

Nationalism mixed with religion is a potent and dangerous mix. Not only for the Palestinians, but for us too. We’ve created a powerful nationalist myth that may lead us to destruction, morally and physically. We were never the treacherous sub-humans they said we were, we should never strive to be the master race, with all that implies.

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By Tony Wicher, February 1, 2008 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

One of the most important strategies to accomplish this is joining with the progressive Jewish community in opposing colonialist Zionism. I suggest you visit http://www.tikkun.org for resources.

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By Thomas Billis, February 1, 2008 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

The sad truth is that those of us who have real critcisms of Israel policy immediately get lumped in with the the truly moronic anti semtiic comments of the morons.It will take more Barry Landos to clear the way for those of us who do not have anti semitic bone in our bodies to join the conversation.To add the different voices that in the long run may lead to peace.The voice that has controlled the stiuation for 60 years has obviously not accomplished that objective.So right on Barry Lando.

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By Tony Wicher, February 1, 2008 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

Unfortunately there is a lot of anti-Semitism in Muslim countries ever since the Zionist invasion. Before that, anti-Semitism was a Western phenomenon that began with the original split in the Jewish religion which led to the New Testament and Christianity and the Pauline Catholic Church. Encouraged by the Nazis in the 30’s and 40’s, many Muslims opposed to the Zionist invasion adopted anti-Semitism from them, and it continues to be widespread to this day.

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By Ira Chernus, February 1, 2008 at 10:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Lando asks very important questions, but unfortunately he offers no answers.  There are plenty of good answers already in print.  All you have to do is look for them.  For starters, may I suggest my own recent piece on Foreign Policy in Focus, about Jewish fear, which is largely irrational yet still has very real and tragic effects: http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/4877.

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By Tony Wicher, February 1, 2008 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

Barack Obama has been declared a “spiritual progressive” by Rabbi Michael Lerner, thus expressing the support of the progressive Jewish community for Obama and against right-wing Zionists who are afraid he might be more committed to human rights than to Israel and continued support of the Zionist project. This is critical to Obama’s success in the general election. I will post the beginning of the article here. The rest can be read in “Tony Wicher’s Blog for Peace” at
http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/blog/tonywicher

Obama’s Jewish Problem
  by Rabbi Michael Lerner

  In the days leading up to the Super Tuesday presidential primary sweepstakes, the Obama campaign has been making a special effort to reach out to Jewish voters.  Representatives of the campaign have been visiting Jewish retirement homes, synagogues, and wherever else they can find a willing audience.  Faced with Clinton campaigners making charges that he is not sufficiently pro-Israel,  Obama himself wrote a letter to U.S.  Ambassador to the U.N. Khalizad last week urging that the U.S. reject any resolution critiquing Israel’s cut off of fuel and food to a million residents of Gaza “that does not fully condemn the rocket assaults Hamas has been conducting on civilians in southern Israel.”

  It’s a problem that won’t go away. Jewish voters are only 2% of the U.S. population, but they are mostly concentrated in the states with the highest number of delegate and electoral votes (New York, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois), they contribute financially to politicians disproportionately to their percentage of the voters, and they are often in key roles as opinion shapers in the communities in which they work or live.

  Democratic Party appeals to the Jewish vote are not much different than the appeals that happens to other constituencies like the labor movement, the women’s movement,  Latino voters, African Americans, farmers, seniors or children, or Republican pandering to the anti-immigrants, Southern whites, or Catholic and Evangelical anti-abortion voters. They are as American as apple pie, even at the times when “appealing” slides into “pandering.”

  What puts Obama into difficulty is that his actual beliefs make this attempt to appeal to Jews difficult when it comes to Israel.

  Obama is a spiritual progressive. He believes that human beings are equally valuable whether they are white or black, American or Asian or African or European. Apply that to the Middle East and you get policy inclinations very different from those which have been insisted upon by the Israel Lobby, supported by most of the establishment Jewish institutions, and through the power of their organized pressure, have become the dominant policy supported by both parties in rare unanimity.

  So while spiritual progressives like us at Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives have been insisting that the best path to Israeli security is a peace treaty with the Palestinian people and an approach that seeks mutual open-hearted repentance for the way each side has treated each other, the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that is both politically and economically viable, reparations for Palestinians refugees, and a South-Africa model of “truth and reconciliation” in both Israel and Palestine, the Democratic Party and Republican Party have traditionally vied during the election period for which could appear more militant in its support for Israeli power and less sympathetic to the Palestinian people.  While spiritual progressives support a Middle Path that is both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine, the extreme partisans on both sides see us as abandoning their interests and covertly siding with the other.

Read the rest of this fascinating article at

http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/blog/tonywicher

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By jackpine savage, February 1, 2008 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

That was an excellent, even handed, articulate, well reasoned article.  Too bad the comments on it simply and immediately descended to the good Jew, bad Jew routine.

Now i’m getting out of here before someone smashes their soapbox over my head…

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By jdogg333, February 1, 2008 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

Thanks for the links. I’m learning more all the time. Understanding breeds empathy in my opinion.

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By Bubba, February 1, 2008 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

Excellent article. Thank you.

There are a number of things I would correct, but I’ll mention only the following:

Barry Lando: “I continue: Why the refusal to recognize that in 1947 and 1948 Jewish fighters embarked upon a policy of ethnic cleansing that succeeded in driving tens of thousands of Palestinians from their fields and villages?”

The figures I have from the most respected Israeli “revisionist historians”—they’re revisiting and, therefore, revising decades-old Zionist propaganda of “a country (Palestine) without a people (no Palestinians) for a people (Jews) without a country (Israel)”—is in the vicinity of 700,000.  And over 400 of the villages ethnically cleansed were totally destroyed to dissuade the villagers from ever returning.

http://tinyurl.com/yrd4ge

Barry Lando: “There are signs, however, that the situation could be changing, that more Jewish individuals and groups in the United States—as well as in Europe—are willing to criticize Israel’s policies. Groups like Peace Now, ...”

If you’re near Berkeley: Norman Finkelstein, Feb 13, 2008, Berkeley, “A Farewell to Israel: The Coming Break-up of American Zionism” 

“MECA once again proudly presents DR. NORMAN FINKELSTEIN, Author of Beyond Chutzpah, The Holocaust Industry, and more… MECA will present Finkelstein with our first DARE TO SPEAK OUT award Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 7pm
King Middle School, 1781 Rose Street, Berkeley.”

http://www.mecaforpeace.org/article.php?id=284

To hear a most recent interview by Khalil Bendib on KPFA radio with Dr. Norman Finkelstein, the author of Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, about his tenure case at DePaul University, go to

http://www.kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=24572

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By jdogg333, February 1, 2008 at 6:55 am Link to this comment

My question was less of an accusation against muslims as confusion on statements I’ve heard that some supposedly deny the holocaust. I have little knowledge in these matters but I’m trying my best to understand it all. I will do some of my own homework as well. Thanks again.

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By omop, February 1, 2008 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

The only issue that really matters in the US : is that the media is DEFINITELY biased in its content. Most of the commentaries deride Muslims/arabs as living in the past while the Israelis are in the present and future.

Ironic that a state that came into being in the 20th Century [1948] rationalized its creation and existance directly from religious beliefs over 4000 years old. 

[Wo]man is destined, given reported history, to exist in the context of the “new” kid on the block has to comply with whats already in the block and not the other way around.

The other way around is the bully’s way and who really likes a bully no matter how much the bully claims to have suffered at the hands of other bullies or what the bully’s religious beliefs are or are not.

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 1, 2008 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

Fuck Israel!!!

#By Expat, February 1: “As one who has grown up with many Jewish friends… it has never occurred to me to blame the “Jews” for anything…..... The world doesn’t need an imperialist America and it certainly doesn’t need a Zionist Israel…”

#By jdogg333, February 1: “Why do some muslims deny the holocaust? I don’t understand that at all…”

Not only is it “grossly horrific”  for Arabs (and Persians and Turks) to have to live alongside the state of Israel which has been built upon the blood and suffering of their Arab brothers and sisters, they are well aware of the reasons behind what the West has done with Israel and why.

The fact is that it is a Christian “crudase”  by another name. The ones who are really denying this are not the Arabs or even the dishonest Zionists but the supposedly good Christians in Europe and in the USA in particular. It is not a matter of Arabs ” gain(ing) from denying it” but utterly repudiating the callousness that has been meted out to them by the West and by the invasion of European Jews.

One of my uncles was in a regiment in WW2 which liberated some of the Nazi concentration camps in Europe. As a young person, I always took the trouble to learn about what had happened and why. Sadly, though, in my own personal experiences, I soon found out what the new crop of Zionists were really like.

In the end, I found Arab Palestinians and Lebanese the most friendly and likeable people and became friends with many. They never spoke about their problems despite the problems of their homelands. Theirs is a culture far more sophisticated and just as ancient as that of any Jew. They do not need to see themselves as exclusive or superior.

Insisting on maintaining a 1,000-year crusade against the non-Jewish peoples of the Middle East is as ludicrous an example of blatant Western stupidity as it is possible to imagine. Despising some 500 million people who you have no understanding of for the sake of a biased view of 7 million who you also have little real understanding of is simply a measure of European and American ignorance.

But the real issue is rooted in the Western view of Christianity, itself not a Western religion. Like the Neocon agenda of the USA, historically it was ruthlessly used as an excuse to grab power over all of the kingdom states in Europe. Thus, the real crusade was originally against the peoples of Europe by the Roman church as a new kind of empire-building.

The fact is that now the foolish people who call themselves Christians have been utterly seduced by the hypocritical garbage based on a bloodthirsty history of the ancient Jewish peoples (the Biblical “old testament”) which has little or nothing to do with religion anyway. Insisting that Jesus was a Jew and that they were “God’s chosen ones”  beggars belief yet that is still how people see it.

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By nrobi, February 1, 2008 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

Mr. Lando, there are many more Jewish Non-Zionist men and women out there.  This article is a stark contrast to the Main Stream Media, which trumpets the Zionist state as the only democracy in the region and therefore we, the people of Amerikka, must forgive them if they bomb Lebanon, with ammunition that has been outlawed by convention, ie: cluster bombs, we must forgive the Israelis for the creation of the worst apartheid, since the foundation of South Africa as a colonial empire, and more than that we must forgive the Imperialist Amerikkan government, because of the policy of not holding Israel accountable for the very wrong-headed and absolutely inane policy of not engaging Hamas, even when the leadership of Hamas offers hudna.  How are we to take the Amerikkan government seriously, when, they refuse to acknowledge their own and worse atrocities, Iraq and hopefully not Iran? Can we, the people of America, stand by and allow the government to continue this laissez-faire policy towards an oppressive and repressive regime, that of Israel. I, for one, am quite ashamed, that a nation that was founded on the principle of fairness and equality, has now become one of the major factors in the race to genocide of the Palestinian people. I, found out, in the year 1998, that my grandfather was an orthodox Jewish man, who married for love and was declared dead by his relatives. This does in no way, influence my reasoning for the words I speak, I would by any account speak out for the oppressed and down-trodden. Israel is creating its own terrorist network with every generation that is born, by treating the Palestinians with the disregard and contempt that is shown to poor and misbegotten people. This policy, shows the regard that the government of Israel has for their own “holy book,” we must again point the way to those who by dint of birth, and religion, are persecuted and reviled, not the Jews, but the Palestinians.  Must we the people of the world, stand for the genocide of another race of people because of their heritage? I, do hope, that the next president of the US, takes a hard look at the policies of the hard right wing of the Christian Zionist block of the republican party and say unequivocally, “No More.”

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By An American, February 1, 2008 at 5:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Messy though it may be, free speech lives on the internet. Let the old media die, and good riddance, as they have been derelict of their duty to honestly report what is going on in the world, especially in the middle east. “60 Minutes” and NPR, almost alone among the mass media, have been courageous enough to truthfully report on the realities on the ground in Israel and the occupied territories. Why do you think critics were trying to shut down NPR a few years ago? My respect for journalism on the internet is growing all the time thanks to articles such as Mr. Lando’s. Thank you!!

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By Jaded Prole, February 1, 2008 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

Zionists, like all nationalists, play on fear. The difference is that there is a thousand years of persecution culminating in a holocaust and a long memory of it within the Jewish community so fear is all the more of a reality to manipulate. Yes antisemitism is a real and present phenomenon in the US and even here at Truthdig—at least present in moderated postings. It is a rational response to criticize Zionism as a virulent example of nationalism, colonialism and apartheid. It is another thing to repeat the antisemitic fallacy of Jewish conspiracies and control of the US by such cabals: Aipac, B’Nai Brith or other, and such accusations harken back to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion a racist tract written by the Russian Orthodox church under Tsar Nicholas.

It is vital to understand the thinking of those with whom we disagree if we are serious about influencing them. As a Jew, I am always listening to and working on the attitudes of other Jews toward Israel and pointing out that Zionism not only fails to provide a safe haven for us but in fact makes us much less safe. That Zionism undermines and destroys the ethical base of Judaism and leaves us reduced to “good Germans.” I see progress but Jews remain very defensive about such criticism. Unfortunately all the corporate candidates play to and are subject to the fear pushed by entities like Aipac and I don’t see much hope for progress by our own government—the real puppetmaster. Support for Israel by the US is a liability for all concerned.

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By Expat, February 1, 2008 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

A work in progress.

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By Expat, February 1, 2008 at 4:46 am Link to this comment

Well, I didn’t know about part 3.  Oh well.

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By Expat, February 1, 2008 at 4:43 am Link to this comment

^ post.  And further, I don’t know if it’s because your English is lacking (no problem if you can clarify) or you are in an emotional outburst which has made your post sound irrational or both.  Also, your last paragraph is not clear either or especially.  I thought Barry Lando’s article was particularly revealing and objective.  Refreshingly so, I might add.

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By karim29007, February 1, 2008 at 4:25 am Link to this comment

The “Z” factor.

The host and the parasite Part 3.

The lurid, ruthless and savage attacks on former president Carter, Tony Judt - Professor in European Studies and historian, J. Mearsheimer , S. Wall- they were not able to publish their essay in the US and has to be published in Europe-, S. Zune, all of them are most respected conservative scholars, et al.
All these atrocities and human right violations have been displayed to the watching world despite of ever so tightened grip on media through disinformation, lies, deceits or suffocation of all dissident voices.
Curfews, checkpoints, armoured bulldozers, public humiliations, home destructions, land seizures, shootings, “targeted assassinations,” regular bombing, the separation “fence”,12-meters high, a meter thick reinforced concrete towered-wall, the emblematic persecuted minority, vulnerable, humiliated and stateless.
Everywhere you look, the tanks, the Howitzers’, F16/18 chasing a 12-years old boy stone thrower and the million plus cluster bombs on Lebanese villages and cities.
You could see the Star of David emblazoned upon them all and shining, “Serbia with nukes!”
This blinkered arrogance is patently summed up in an assertion by Shimon Peres on the very eve of the calamitous war that will in retrospect be seen, to have precipitated the onset of America’s alienation from its Zionist puppet-masters:
“The campaign against Saddam Hussein is a must.”
He repeated the same statement about Iran on the 10-20-2007, which was echoed on all Zionists’ controlled papers and media.
the unlimited power of pro-Zionists and anti-Muslim policy-makers with there agents as intelligence officials located at key posts within the National Security Council staff, the Pentagon, the State Department, Treasury Department and within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and everywhere else, with Zionist embassy in Washington as their focal point, makes a mockery of the so called ‘legislative branch’ irrespective of their colours.
After all an honest politician is the one whom once bought stays bought.

And with regime in the White House as an instrument and a proxy of the Zionists, America have been out sourced to the outreaches of Zionists
When a stone is thrown into the water there is a ripple until all the ripples finally reach the shore where they dissipate. The genocide in Palestine also has a ripple effect - this is just one ripple. For whatever reason this ripple shall not die, which will not be forgotten and it will reach its shore of justice, as the times they are indeed a-changing.
There is no such thing as a simple reform.
The reconstruction of the country’s internal and foreign structure is no less task than a revolution.
America has Zionist problem.
The poisonous tentacles and the cancerous cells of Zionists have penetrated every aspects of American’s way of life which threatens its very existence.
The traitors of AIPAC, JINSA, ADL and the rest of consolidated Zionists consortium must be stopped and until then we shall all be heading for abyss and self demise.

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By karim29007, February 1, 2008 at 4:22 am Link to this comment

The “Z” factor part 2

The host and the parasite.

For the last 60-years America has been driven by the ” Creative genociders” like: David Ben Gurim, Benyamin Begin, Kissinger , Arial Sharon, Peres to the Nucons god-fathers of the Podhoretzs, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Baker, Albright John Bolton, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Joe Lieberman, Pipes, Douglas Faith, William Kristol et al, just like the bloody Zionists’ wedding list.
For how long Americans must carry the burden of Zionists?
For how long the Americas’ blood must be sacrificed to satisfy the cold-blooded greedy Zionists?
Subsidizing the Zionists by paying for their non-ending construction of houses and bungalows on occupied lands while tens of thousands of Americans are homeless and sleeping under the bridges?

For the last sixty years the American tax payer have been black-mailed to fork out more than $180.000.000.000 in cash payment to top-up the Zionists’ pocket-money alone while 40.000.000. Americans have no means of obtaining primary health care or insurance.
Just a glance at the budget deficit and it is crystal clear that the America and Americans have been mortgaged and pawned to feed the gluttonous Zionists for generations to come.
Zionists often emphasizes the Jewishness of many of its founding members and adherents, with their dual nationalities, where implicitly implying that they care more about the interests of Zionist entity than those of the United States.
The charge that criticism of Zionist entity is implicitly anti-Semitic - is regarded in the Zionists-occupied land and in the United States as the Zionist’s trump card and it has been played more insistently and aggressively in recent years than ever before.
This tactic not only does it inhibit their own criticisms of the Zionists for fear of appearing to associate with ’bad’ company, but it encourages others to look upon Jews everywhere as de facto collaborators in the Zionist’s genocidal established and implemented policy towards its neighbours.
When the Zionists breaks international law in the occupied territories, when the Zionists publicly humiliates the subjugated populations whose land it has seized, their infra-structures been destroyed, their water has been taken away “making the desert bloom”, deliberately destroying the water-treatment facilities and the sewage system to spread cholera, their meagre agriculture have been eradicated and poisoned routinely- more than 38.000 olive trees have been up-rooted alone-, cutting of the fuel and electricity in Gaza, the cowardly army incursions and air strikes, targeted daily assassinations, turning the strip to the biggest prison world has seen with 1.5 million Arab in-mates, left to die by fully pre-planed and prepared programs according to David Ben Gurim right up to Likud and Kadima of now.
And nothing would have been possible—or permanent—without the full cooperation and direct participation of Zionist’s army, legal system, and government bureaucracy, and the political leadership of all mainstream parties.

The implementation of “decapitation and extermination” process is truly underway.

In conjunction with occupation of Golan height, the most recent pre-arranged attack on Lebanon’s towns and villages-with more than a 1000 civilians being murdered and estimated $100 billions of destroyed homes but then responds to its critics with screeching loud cries of “anti-Semitism and Jew-haters” - it is in effect saying that these acts are not the Zionist acts, they are Jewish acts: The occupation is not an Zionist occupation, it is a Jewish occupation, and if you don’t like these things it is because you don’t like Jews!

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By karim29007, February 1, 2008 at 4:19 am Link to this comment

The” Z” factor part 1
==========

The Host and the Parasite

It has been a very long disturbing and disastrous seven years with catastrophic consequences and yet nothing new and it is fundamentally a continuation of 60- years strategic policy which has been planned and implemented meticulously to achieve its final objectives.
Why the Americans have to face the tragedy of a manipulated great power politics and its far reaching consequences?
Why the “self-selected leaders” have conducted the business of a nation whom put their trust in the hand of pure sickening, sadistic, characters and down right massively organized criminals that have substituted the delegated faith and confidence of a nation with their very own specific ‘given-agenda’ and ulterior motives with full conflict of interest as far as America and Americans are concerned?
who are they and acting on behalf of whom?
You keep asking yourself, searching and looking for clues and answers.
Again and again more questions than answers have been the outcome.
What is happing at home and abroad?
We used to be respected, counted upon, being invited and welcomed.
What has changed so drastically that the same rest of the world being so hateful to us?
Why is that we have been chased and despised everywhere?
Why is that we must pretend that “I am Canadian” when travelling overseas?
Why is that we are shooting at everyone and being targeted by the rest of the world?
Why is that we kill millions and get killed by thousands?
Why that is the mighty green back no longer worth much?
Why is that slightest and the most modest attempts to have a public debate or examining such magnitude and important issues are being savagely attacked, trivialised or simply excluded to the extent that one has to go abroad to get a book published?

It used to be the general policy of ‘United States should act only according to its self-interests’.
Slowly but surely it was changing to the unilateral and militaristic turns that gave us such concepts and its implementations as “pre-emptive wars” ,“benevolent hegemony” , “tailor-made regime change” etc.

But is it not identical to the same principle as ”the Zionists’ strategic policy for Middle-East” that has been very precisely published by JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs), along with Center for Security Policy, that “underwritten by far-right American Zionists”?
“regime change’’ by any means necessary in Iraq , Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority is an urgent imperative. Anyone who dissents—be it Colin Powell’s State Department, the CIA or career military officers—is committing heresy against articles of faith that effectively hold there is no difference between US and Israeli national security interests, and that the only way to assure continued safety and prosperity for both countries is through hegemony in the Middle East—a hegemony achieved with the traditional cold war recipe of feints, force, clientism and covert action. The military and strategic alliance between the United States and Israel is of paramount necessity as the cause of Israel is the cause of America”.

There we have it: The American government’s internal and foreign policy with the enclosed instruction manual written and printed in the Zionist entity, and any deviation or dissention will face the Zionists’ wrath and elimination.

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By jdogg333, February 1, 2008 at 3:58 am Link to this comment

Why do some muslims deny the holocaust? I don’t understand that at all. Not only is it grossly horrific to deny it but what would they possibly gain from denying it? Pardon my ignorance on this subject. It just doesn’t make sense.

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By Richard Silverstein, February 1, 2008 at 3:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It surely deserves that.  The essay has also been anthologized in a book about the Lebanon war.  Thanks as well for linking to my own post about the essay.  Together we’re trying to fight the good fight against AIPAC, the ADL and others who wish to reduce Jewish identity to a single horrible historical event.  As horrible as this event was, being Jewish is about more than the Holocaust.  And it’s about more than the existence of Israel, as important as that is for many of us.

Israel today plays an abnormal role in Jewish identity because it is in constant crisis.  Israel needs peace to become a normal country.  And Jews need Israel at peace to explore the full range of what it means to be a Jew.

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By cyrena, February 1, 2008 at 3:17 am Link to this comment

Holy Schmoly!!

Words cannot describe the excellence here. And, it couldn’t be more needed, since it’s all true, INCLUDING the parts about those Jews for whom AIPAC does NOT speak,  which I suspect is the majority of American Jews.

Actually, I was raised in a community heavily populated by middle class Jews, and that was a long time ago. With few exceptions, they were in fact the same liberal Jews described here. Little has changed. My academic community also has a high population of Jews, and the same thing…they don’t approve of the Israeli Holocaust against the Palestinians. It doesn’t help them, and it doesn’t help their cause.

So again we have to ask, (because it’s not only Jews or AIPAC that have been able to advance this terror and intimidation, both in the Middle East as well as here in the US)..why has it been successful? How does ANY minority, control and/or otherwise intimidate the larger population?

It would appear to be more than one thing, beginning with the propaganda, and the brainwashing, and the cover-ups. It’s not new, but it’s dangerous. And, only an exposé of the truth, such as this article, and more of them, will bring that truth to the fore.

It’s helpful to have the history on the e-mail as well. I’ve been receiving this propaganda type email for years. I call it propaganda chain mail, and it’s a plague that we’ve had to deal with since the coming of the Internet, along with the fall of responsible main-stream journalism, which has somehow seemed to occur simultaneously. Here again, it’s a way to maintain chaos and instability among the masses. Propaganda has been used by fascists and totalitarian regimes since the beginning of time. The Internet has put new teeth to it, with both positive and negative results. On the one hand, it can (and does) put more information and knowledge at our fingertips, and break open so many myths and cover-ups. On the other hand, it can also be used by the evil doers, to perpetrate other myths and cover-ups, and lies. So, the same struggle between the truth and the lies continues.

Still, this truthful information has an equal chance of making it to the surface…maybe even a better chance than the lies, which after a while, become so distorted, that even the less than curious observer will begin to figure it out.

This might be a good time to add that the whole ‘denial of the Jewish Holocaust’ by Muslims isn’t exactly the truth either. I’ve been mentioning that for a while, once Ahmadinejad’s actual words (and the meaning of them) were properly translated, (but never printed in the U.S. media). In reality, neither Ahmadinejad or any other person has claimed that the Holocaust NEVER HAPPENED. Really, that would be very stupid. We ALL know that it did, just because (unlike the Holocaust of the Native Americans) the Jewish Holocaust is taught EVERYWHERE. (I learned about it in grammar school in California, but never about the Native American Holocaust, part of which occurred right here IN California).
No, what so many Muslims believe about the Holocaust, is that is has been used as an EXCUSE, to perpetrate the SAME crimes against the Arabs of the Middle East, even though there were certainly not any Arabs involved in the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis, that victimized so many Jews.

And, THAT is the only point that any Muslims have attempted to make. Here again, the words and the meanings have been twisted.

Thanks Mr. Lando.

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By weather, February 1, 2008 at 2:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I grew up thinking Israel was kinda cool, a refuge, a place of solace. Today Israel is a Global disgrace, a black-box of betrayal - betrayal because w/precision Israel has repeatedly exploited the goodwill of American’s.

Had Israel conducted its affairs as an honorable and esteemable player they would have easily earned the World’s consideration, instead they now command their contempt.

Until Israel confronts their own dark truths and heals themselves w/out manipulating blame unto others, they will find no Peace and they’ll have absolutely no one to thank but themselves.

For all that Israel has and is, they remain spiritually impoverished. Humility eludes them, denial becomes them and trouble follows them.

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By Expat, February 1, 2008 at 2:31 am Link to this comment

Barry M. Lando,
Thanks for a startlingly frank article.  I have had many of the same questions.  Speaking only for myself:  As one who has grown up with many Jewish friends (one of whom I have known for 45 years) it has never occurred to me to blame the “Jews” for anything.  I have however had a very big problem with all of the things you have mentioned regarding Israel.  The world doesn’t need an imperialist America and it certainly doesn’t need a Zionist Israel.  My fervent hope is that Imperialists and Zionists will be taken down by saner citizens and we can get on with healing a very sick planet with her very hurting populations.

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