The Holocaust Industry

Workers of the World Unite!

Issued by Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC)

The Congress of South African Trade Union is pleased to announce that its members, dock workers belonging to the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) achieved a victory last night when they stood firm by their decision not to offload the Johanna Russ, a ship that was carrying Israeli goods to South Africa. This, despite threats to COSATU members from sections of the pro-Israeli lobby, and despite severe provocation.

The Johanna Russ, flying an Antigua flag, is owned by M. Dizengoff and Co., an established “pioneer of the modern era of shipping business in the Middle East” and shipping agent for the ironically named Zim Israel Navigation Company. (Ironic because, last year, the same SATAWU members refused to offload the Chinese ship An Yue Jiang, which was carrying arms and ammunition destined for Robert Mugabe’s army.)

The worker action last night took place despite attempted subterfuge on the part of the owners of the shipping company. There was an attempt to confound the plan by arriving earlier than originally scheduled, which was 8 February. Dates for the berthing of the Johanna Russ were changed constantly. Yesterday morning, SATAWU members were told that the ship would dock this morning (Friday) at 02:00. Thanks to the vigilance of the dock workers, SATAWU discovered that the ship had docked on Wednesday morning and was due to be offloaded last night at 21:00. But the vigilant workers were on guard and immediately they realised that it had docked, they then refused to handle it, despite pressures from management. SATAWU members maintained their refusal to offload the ship and also attempted to ensure that scab labour would not be used.

A few hours after berthing, at 23:00, the Johanna Russ sneaked out of the Durban Harbour.

From the beginning of this action, COSATU workers remained resolute about their position and were convinced that, following the recent Israeli massacres in Gaza, they will take determined action against Israel. Israel’s terror included flagrant breaches of international law, the bombing of densely populated neighbourhoods, the illegal deployment of chemical white phosphorous, and attacks on schools, ambulances, relief agencies, hospitals, universities and places of worship.

COSATU has now decided to intensify its efforts in support of the struggles of the Palestinian people. The worker victory in Durban yesterday spurs COSATU members on to more determined action in order to isolate the Apartheid state of Israel. Other Cosatu unions are currently in discussion about how they might also give effect to Cosatu resolutions on boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel, including a refusal to handle Israeli goods, and continuing pressure on our government to sever diplomatic and trade relations with Israel.

The momentum against apartheid Israel has become an irresistible force. We are proud to stand with the millions around the world who say ‘Enough is enough’. They are doing what we asked them to do when we faced the apartheid regime in our own country.

COSATU and the PSC call on all people of conscience to join us in boycotting Israeli products and institutions until a just, democratic state, with equal rights for all comes into existence in Palestine. This is just the beginning of a solidarity campaign which will continue until the demands of the Palestinian people have been won.

For more information, call:
Randall Howard (Satawu General Secretary) – 082 564 6298
Patrick Craven (Cosatu) – 082 821 7456
Melissa Hoole (PSC) – 073 906 0017
Bongani Masuku (Cosatu)– 079 499 6419
Salim Vally (PSC) – 082 802 5936
Na’eem Jeenah (PSC) – 084 574 2674

Jews brace for Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Holocaust

By Tom Brown

PALM BEACH, Florida (Reuters) – Israel’s recent war in Gaza has unleashed the worst outbreaks of anti-Semitism in decades, the U.S. head of the Anti-Defamation League said on Friday.

“This is the worst, the most intense, the most global that it’s been in most of our memories. And the effort to get the good people to stand up is not easy,” Abraham Foxman told Jewish community leaders in a speech in this south Florida resort city.

Foxman said Israel’s military offensive against the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which began in the Gaza Strip in late December, had been answered with hatred and attacks against Jews “from Austria to Zimbabwe.”

Most governments were doing too little to stem “an epidemic, a pandemic of anti-Semitism,” he said.

Israel’s military invaded Gaza in a three-week offensive launched in late December, which Israeli leaders said was intended to stop Hamas from launching rocket attacks on Israel from the small territory.

Medical officials said the Israeli offensive killed 1,300 Palestinians, including 700 civilians, prompting widespread international complaints that Israel had used excessive force.

The Anti-Defamation League said recent anti-Jewish attacks triggered by the Gaza conflict ranged from the shooting of two Israelis by a man of Palestinian descent in Denmark to attacks on synagogues in Venezuela, Greece, Chicago and elsewhere.

In Turkey, an Israeli basketball team fled from the court after a crowd turned on them, calling them “killers.” In Toulouse, France, last month an attack on one synagogue involved two cars packed with fire bombs.

Foxman said that in protests around the world, the Star of David had been equated with the Nazi swastika and Jewish leaders were threatened. There had also been calls for boycotts of Jewish businesses in South Africa, Italy, Turkey and France.

“We need to insist that the civilized world stand up and say ‘No’ in every single country in the international arena to condemn this vicious, hideous violence,” said Foxman, whose organization is a global leader in the fight against anti-Jewish crime.

(Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Vicki Allen)

After actively supporting Nazi State assault on the Warsaw Ghetto, Nazi front group leader expresses shock and dismay over damage to German property abroad. While applauding a State which builds German-citizens-only roads in Occupied Poland, the leader calls on other States to uphold Declaration Against Racism.

New York, NY, January 31, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the violent attack on a Caracas synagogue and called on President Hugo Chavez to promptly and publicly denounce this heinous anti-Jewish hate crime and to quickly bring the perpetrators to justice.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

Just days after the international community commemorated the Holocaust in ceremonies of remembrance throughout the world, a synagogue in Caracas was the scene of a modern day Kristallnacht. For five hours, violent anti-Semites profaned and vandalized the most sacred space and objects of Jewish life, leaving behind graffiti that said “Get out,” “Death to All,” and “Damn Israel, Death.” This violent attack occurring on the Jewish Sabbath is reminiscent of the darkest days leading to the Shoah, when Jews were attacked and synagogues and Torahs vandalized and destroyed under the guard of the Nazi regime.

Sadly, this is not a random event in Venezuela; it is directly related to the atmosphere of anti-Jewish intimidation promoted by President Chavez and his government apparatus. The time has come for Mr. Chavez to abandon the official government rhetoric of demonization of Israel and Jews and to publicly denounce this wanton act of anti-Semitic violence. President Chavez must ensure that his government quickly brings the perpetrators to justice.

We call upon President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina to insist that Mr. Chavez live up to the commitments he made in the joint Declaration Against Racism he recently signed with them, which includes an obligation to combat anti-Semitism.

ADL stands with the Confederación de Asociaciones Israelitas de Venezuela (CAIV) in these difficult times and we join in their appeal to the Venezuelan government to guarantee the protection of all of its citizens including the Jewish community of Venezuela.

Simon Wiesenthal Center Demands Berlin, Bonn and Copenhagen in Compensation for Nazi holocaust. (Why Copenhagen? Why not?)


The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned over the weekend a German court ruling that granted significant financial restitution to the son of a Nazi official whose property had been confiscated after WWII.

Karl Krasting joined the Nazi party in 1930, and was a regional party judge from 1931 to 1934. He later served as an official who helped set local policy, a member of the Nazis’ bar association and director of one of the party’s offices for legal affairs.

Yet on Thursday, Judge Dieter Kley of the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled that Krasting did not “actively” support the Nazi regime, paving the way for his son to receive compensation.

“This verdict clearly minimizes the criminal responsibility of those who actively supported the Nazis before and after the takeover of power,” said Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, in a statement issued in Israel and in Germany.

“The fact that Krasting volunteered and worked without a salary for the NSDAP [the Nazi party] is clear proof of his ideological and active support for the Nazis, in direct contradiction of the court’s decision. This verdict sends an absolutely disastrous message in terms of its presentation of the historical events of the Third Reich, which are being severely distorted,” Zuroff said.

In 1948, the Soviet Red Army confiscated two houses belonging to Krasting in Dippoldiswalde, Saxony, 18 km. south of Dresden.

His son Wolf-Achim Krasting subsequently demanded restitution; the city of Dresden and the local administrative court initially rejected his claim.

Thursday’s court decision has significant implications. In Saxony alone, there are some 5,500 similar cases pending.

“If people like Krasting did not ‘actively’ support the Nazi regime, then who did? Were the crimes of the Third Reich committed by ghosts?” Zuroff asked.

Chris Hedges on Holocaust Exploitation

By Chris Hedges

Editor’s Note: The former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times and author of the bestseller “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” takes a hard look at the political capital of suffering.

I sent my New York University journalism students out to write stories based on any one of the themes in the Ten Commandments. A woman of Armenian descent came back with an article about how Armenians she had interviewed were covetous of the Jewish Holocaust. The idea that one people who suffered near decimation could be covetous of another that also suffered near decimation was, to say the least, different. And when the French lower house of parliament approved a bill earlier this month making it a crime to deny the Armenian genocide I began to wonder what it was she, and those she had interviewed, actually coveted.

She was not writing about the Holocaust itself—no one covets the suffering of another—but how it has become a potent political and ideological weapon in the hands of the Israeli government and many in the American Jewish community. While Armenians are still fighting to have the genocide of some 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks accepted as historical fact, many Jews have found in the Nazi Holocaust a useful instrument to deflect criticism of Israel and the dubious actions of the pro-Israeli lobby as well as many Jewish groups in the United States.

Norman Finkelstein, who for his writings has been virtually blacklisted, noted in “The Holocaust Industry” that the Jewish Holocaust has allowed Israel to cast itself and “the most successful ethnic group in the United States” as eternal victims. Finkelstein, the son of Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust, goes on to argue that this status has enabled Israel, which has “a horrendous human rights record,” to play the victim as it oppresses Palestinians or destroys Lebanon. This victim status has permitted U.S. Jewish organizations (the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress and others) to get their hands on billions of dollars in reparations, much of which never finds its way to the dwindling number of Holocaust survivors. Finkelstein’s mother, who was in the Warsaw ghetto, received $3,500, while the World Jewish Congress walked away with roughly $7 billion in compensation moneys. The organization pays lavish salaries to its employees and uses the funds to fuel its own empire. For many the Nazi Holocaust is not used to understand and deal with the past, and more importantly the universal human capacity for evil, but to manipulate the present. Finkelstein correctly writes that the fictitious notion of unique suffering leads to feelings of unique entitlement.

And so what this student, and those she had interviewed, coveted was not the actual experience of the Holocaust, not the suffering of Jews in the death camps, but the political capital that Israel and many of its supporters have successfully gleaned from the Holocaust. And while I sympathize with the Armenians, while I understand their rage toward Turkey, I do not wish to see them, or anyone else, wield their own genocide as a political weapon.

There is a fine and dangerous line between the need for historical truth and public apology, in this case by the Turks, and the gross misuse of human tragedy. French President Jacques Chirac and his interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, said this month that Turkey will have to recognize the genocide before Turkey is allowed to join the European Union. Most European nations turned their backs on the French, with the EU issuing a statement saying that the French bill will “prohibit dialogue.” But the French move is salutary, not only for the Armenians who have been humiliated and defamed by successive waves of Turkish governments but for the Turks as well. Historical amnesia, as anyone who has lived in the Middle East or the Balkans knows, makes reconciliation and healing impossible. It fosters a dangerous sense of grievance and rage. It makes any real dialogue impossible. Nearly 100 years after the murderous rampage by the Turks it can still be a crime to name the Armenian holocaust under Law 301, which prohibits anyone from defaming Turkey. One of the most courageous violators of that law is the writer Orhan Pamuk, who has criticized his country’s refusal to confront its past, and who just won the Nobel Prize for Literature. But he is a solitary figure in Turkey.

Historical black holes also empower those who insist that the Nazi Holocaust is unique, that it is somehow beyond human comprehension and stands apart from other human activity. These silences make it easier to minimize, misunderstand and ignore the reality of other genocides, how they work and how they are carried out. They make it easier to turn tragedy into myth. They make it easier to misread the real lesson of the Holocaust, which, as Christopher Browning illustrated in his book “Ordinary Men,” is that the line between the victim and the victimizer is razor-thin. Most of us, as Browning correctly argues, can be seduced and manipulated into killing our neighbors. Few are immune.

The communists, not the Jews, were the Nazis’ first victims, and the handicapped were the first to be gassed in the German death factories. This is not to minimize the suffering of the Jews, but these victims too deserve attention. And what about Gypsies, homosexuals, prisoners of war and German political dissidents? What, on a wider scale, about the Cambodians, the Rwandans, and the millions more who have been slaughtered by utopian idealists who believe the eradication of other human beings will cleanse the world?

When I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington I looked in vain for these other victims. I did not see explained in detail the awful reality that Jewish officials in the ghettos—Judenrat—worked closely with the Nazis to herd their own off to the death camps. And was the happy resolution of the Holocaust, as we saw in images at the end of the exhibits, the disembarking of European Jews on the shores of Palestine? What about the Palestinians who lived in Palestine and were soon to be pushed off their land? And, as importantly, what about African-Americans and Native Americans? Why is the Nazi genocide, which we did not perpetrate, displayed on the Mall in Washington and the brutal extermination of Native Americans ignored? Why should billions in reparations be paid to Jewish slave laborers and not a dime to those enslaved by our own country?

These questions circle back to the dangerous sanctification of any genocide, the belief that one ethnic group can represent goodness, solely because its members are the victims, and another evil because from its ranks come the thugs who carry out mass slaughter. Once these demented killing machines begin their work the only thing unique is the method of murder. The lesson of any genocide is not that one group of human beings is better than another, but that in the intoxication of the moment, gripped by the mass hypnosis of state propaganda and the lust for violence, we can all become killers. All the victims must be heard. None are unique. And all of us have to be on guard lest we be seduced. We carry within us—German, Jew, Armenian or Christian—dark and dangerous lusts that must be held in check. I applaud the French. I hope the French action pushes the Turks toward contrition and honesty. But I do not wish for the Armenians to covet the Holocaust, to begin the process of sanctifying their own suffering. When we sanctify ourselves we do so at the expense of others.

w/ Transcript: Q&A & end of talk , (Santa Cruz, CA)

Editor’s note: Transcript below video.

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Transcript: Question and Answer section

RUSH transcript

Questioner: …inaudible..(auditorium echo)

Finkelstien: I think there are 2 separate issues on the question of Arafat. Namely, number 1, as a leader of the Palestinian people, and that’s a responsibility for Palestinians to judge and not myself, and the second issue is whether he was an obstacle to resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict. The second issue, it seems to me, we can look at the documentary record and come to a fairly clear conclusion. The PLO, under the leadership of Yasser Arafat, from the mid-1970s supported the two state settlement and supported the international consensus for resolving the conflict. That’s not controvercial at all because they were voting for it and supporting it in many different fora, the United Nations and elsewhere. So on the question of whether Arafat was, as we’re constantly told, the main obstacle to resolving the conflict, that Arafat blocked a resolution in the year 2000 during the Camp David and later Taba negotiations, I think the scholarly, the diplomatic record is very clear there and the answer is a resounding No.

00:27:22, Disk Two

Questioner: [poor audio quality] Another question reads “What is the real hidden agenda that dominates US policy regarding Israel? Why is there supression of information regarding the truth
[on the issue] in this country?

Finkelstien: I think there’s no possibility of resolving that question here and I don’t think there’s been any definite resolution of the question in the scholarly literature. There are basically two camps, everybody in this room is familiar with these two camps. One camp says that Israel serves US strategic interests in the Middle East and is basically a garisson state or a watch dog of US interests in the Middle East and the other claim is [that] there’s a powerful Jewish — sometimes it’s called Jewish, sometimes Zionist, sometimes Israeli — Lobby, which is shaping and determining US policy when it comes to the Middle East. That’s one of those questions where, I think, people can legitimately disagree. It’s a question for which I’ve not seen any definite responses which are absolutely convincing. I think you can find examples where the Israel lobby, or Jewish lobby, or Zionist lobby proved to be very powerful and then there are instances where the US government decided “this is not in our interest” and put Israel in its place. You can find exmaples on both sides and I don’t think there’s a clear cut answer to that question. And some people may argue, and I think there’s some truth to it, the question has become moot nowadays because Israel and the United States have become so interlocked that to speak of Israel on one side and the US on the other, it’s kind of an artificial separation. It’s like asking the question “Does President Bush serve Texan interest or American interests?” Nobody raises that sort of question, some people think it’s Texas, [laughs] ok… but most rational people don’t think it’s a significant question and it may no longer be a significant question between Israel and the US.


Questioner: Next question is “you spoke of the wall Israel is constructing in the West Bank, the majority of Israeli citizens support the wall, doesn’t the Israeli government have the right and the obligation to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks by Palestinians? Proponents of this wall argue that [poor audio quality] [..when...] you reduce terrorism there will be no need for this wall, if Palestinian leaders would reign in Palestinian extremists.”

Finkelstien: Well, let’s be clear about basic matters, Israel has every right to build a wall, as any sovereign state has the right to build a wall. It has a right to build a wall on its property but it doesn’t have the right to build the wall on another people’s property. That’s the only issue. That was the only issue that came up in the World Court decision. It’s not a complicated question for Americans. My parents — we lived in Brooklyn, NY, we owned a house — my parents were difficult people, they didn’t get along with anyone [audience laughter]. Actually, they didn’t even get along with each other [audience laughter]. So, on the other side were the Golds and on the other side were the Kasslers and they did not get along with the Golds and they did not get along with the Kasslers, so they built a fence. And it was within their right to build a fence but, as everybody knows, when you build at fence, at any rate in New York, you first have to hire a surveyor. That’s a fact, I’m not joking. You have to hire a surveyor and you have to make sure that fence is right down the line on your property because if that fence is literally one quarter of an inch on the Golds’ side or on the Kasslers’ side, they have the right to tear it down. Under law, that’s it. Now, let’s take Israel’s wall. What happens if my parents decide to build a fence that’s not only on the Kasslers’ side but goes right around their swimming pool? [audience laughter] Well… some people will begin to wonder “are Mary and Harry Finkelstein trying to protect their property? Or are they trying to steal the Kasslers’ swimming pool?” [audience laughter] Now, it happens…[audience applause] it happens that the Israel fence takes in the most productive water and land resources on the West Bank. So you begin to wonder whether it’s about terrorism or it’s about theft. Now, what happens if my parents’ fence went not only right around the swimming pool but went straight through the living room? Well, then you’ll begin to wonder whether my parents are trying to get rid of the Kasslers. Now, it happens that Israel’s fence is cutting the West Bank in half and making any possibility of a Palestinian State null and void. That’s all the human rights organizations are saying. If you divide the West Bank in half and you annex Jerusalem, which accounts for 1/2 to 2/3′s of the whole Palestinian GNP, there’s no Palestinian State, it’s over. That’s the issue. There’s no question about Israel’s right to build a wall. A wall on its border and that’s the only question [audience applause].


Questioner: The next question touches upon a very interesting…[inaudible] debate… “since a Bantustan is the only type of entity Israel grants the Palestinians, why don’t the Palestinians give up the two state idea and expand it instead to ….[inaudible]

Finkelstien: Well, you know that question constantly comes up and I don’t want to give a glib answer to it because I happen to think that’s another area where honest people can disagree. I’ll just give you my opinion on the topic. The prospects of a one-State solution are very far off in the distant future and people have to be honest about that. It’s not a snap solution. And you have to ask yourself a question — and it’s a serious moral question, it’s about moral responsibility — when you start advocating a one state settlement you’re confining the Palestinians who are not living under a misserable occupation, you’re consigning them to perhaps another century of misery… because that’s what we’re talking about, if we’re arguing for a
one-State settlment. Now some people may argue, “well, there’s no other alternative because the two-State settlement is dead.” I’d say there’s an argument there, I’m not going to dispute it, but I think a morally responsible position is — if there’s even a 5% possibility of a two-State settlement and ending the Israeli occupation within our lifetime, then that’s the position we should be fighting for. As a general rule, I don’t think it’s a complicated question. You know, people say, one State, two States, well, I’m of the old school of thought. I think the world would be a very nice place with no States… so it’s not just, you know, Palestine-Israel, [audience applause] it’s the whole world. But… I don’t have to bear the consequences for making that statement, because I’m very secure in my United States, or at least upto now [audience laughter]… with my American citizenship and my American passport, I’m not living under occupation. But when you start advocating that for Palestinians you have to be very careful about what you’re doing, because you’re in effect saying “from now through a very long period into the future they’re going to have to live with that occupation” and you have to be very morally responsible before you condemn people to that fate.


Questioner: Professor Finkelstein you have been criticized for saying you support Hezbollah. Can you explain your thoughts on this claim, if there’s any basis for it?

Finkelstien: Well, there’s excellent basis for it. At Columbia University [March 9, 2006] they [protesting students] held up signs saying I love Hezbollah, I happen to think that was over stating it, I like it a lot [audience laughter]… I don’t think the Hizbullah question is particularly complicated. We have, with all due respect, we have oldsters in the room. And I think a lot of the oldsters, in particular if they’re of Jewish descent, they were 100% behind the Red Army’s victory over the Fascist occupation. And they were thrilled when the Red Army smashed the Nazi war machine. And I’m sure a lot of the oldsters in this room were thrilled at the communist and socialist resistances in many of the countries of Western Europe to the Nazi occupation. Now, Stalin’s record on human rights was NOT exactly what you would call stellar [audience laughter]… And neither was the record of the Communist Parties… but we all recognize the right of any people to resist a foreign occupation of their land. And the Hezbollah resisted the brutal Israeli occupation of Lebanon and dealt them a swift blow and defeat. I, for one, am very glad about that [audience applause]… I think a foreign occupier should be thrown out of countries [audience applause]… And I personally would be the very worst hypocrite in the world were I to condemn the Hezbollah for it’s defeat of the Israeli occupation, whereas ’till this day I still celebrated the Red Army’s defeat of the Nazi occupation of Europe. I refuse to be a hypocrite. They had a right to expell the foreign occupiers, so does Hezbollah. It was a splendid victory [audience applause]…


Questioner: Considering the cost of [poor audio quality] war/wall, the settlements must be the most expensive [poor audio quality] real estate in the world …[poor audio quality]… [Finkelstein:] why are they investing in the settlements?

Finkelstien: That’s a good question — “what is the rational behind the settlements?” — and actually the book that I mentioned earlier in my talk, The Accidental Empire, is supposedly an analysis of that question, “how Israel came to build the settlments in the occupied territories.” I don’t agree with his argument at all. His basic argument is that the religious crazies took over organizations like Gush Emunim and so forth, and the government was unable to reign them in. I don’t think that’s really what happened. Israel from early on had a conception of what the Israeli State should look like. Come 1947 there was a partition of Palestine, they never really accepted those partition borders ’cause they felt that they should have more of Palestine, that they should have really the whole of Palestine, which included for them, depending upon whom you’re talking about, Jordan, parts of Lebanon, the Sinai and so forth. In 1948 during he war they expand beyond the Partition borders and they now have 77-78% of Palestine. 1956 — they invade Egypt along with the French and the Brittish, they conquer Gaza, they conquer Sinai, unfortunately for them, the Americans at that point said to get out, and they always had a fairly large conception of their view of what their State should be. Their main problem, come 1967, is a very basic problem. They want the land but all those Arabs, and they still want a Jewish State. So how do you preserve a Jewish State with all those Arabs? In 1948 they solved that problem by expelling the Arabs. But in 1967, for various reasons, not least of which the war was so short, they only managed to expell about 250,000 – 300,000 Arabs. After the war they have all these ideas, Levi Eshko, who was the Prime Minister, he says “let’s take those Gazan refugees and settle them in Iraq” and they were trying to settle them in Iraq. They got rid of around 100,000 that way but in the end it didn’t pan out. So, they want the land but a problem of the people and the way they tried to resolve that problem is basically the South Africa style, namely create Bastustans, stuff the Arabs in as dense an area as possible and then keep the rest for yourself. There’s an interesting quote I came across, a remark I came across yesterday. Mr. Sharon is still convinced that can work because he said the problem in South Africa was there were many more Blacks than Whites and the ratio was such that the Bantustans couldn’t work. But he remains confident that because of the population, the ratio’s pretty even in Israel-Palestine, the Bantustan policy can work. They’ll have all these little enclaves where they’ll stick the Arabs, sort of like our Native American reservations and they’ll have it encircled by White settlements and they think it can work. It’s an interesting question because it’s one where I think ideology is more significant than rational interest. They remain, at some level, Zionists and they have a conception of what their State should look like. They’re sticking hard and fast to that ideology and then trying to accomodate the reality of all those Arabs and what to do with them.


Questioner: Outside earlier some people were handing out, may be some people’ve see them… I read one of those quotes that was attributed to Finkelstein. It says “Finkelstein accuses Jewish leaders of being ‘…Jew liars who [ ] huckster their dead,’ on p. 127 of his book The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering. When I actually go to that page it says “anti-Semites gleefully mock the ‘Jew liars’ who even ‘huckster’ their dead” [audience laughter]. In fact he Finkelstein was quoting anti-Semites but they attribute this quote to him [audience laughter]… [poor audio quality]… [Finkelstien:] I want to be clear about that…

Finkelstien: I wanna be faithful to the record. I don’t shy away from a laugh and I don’t shy away from undiplomatic language but I’m deadly serious about what I write and I’m very careful about what I say. They are acting like hucksters and they are huckstering the dead. And that’s what’s so godly awful about the whole thing. That they have turned, these people have turned the Nazi holocaust into a racket. It’s not me that originated this brilliant idea. Take the most authoritative scholar on the Nazi holocaust in the world, Raul Hilberg. For any of you who study the subject you know Rual Hilberg’s The Destruction of the European Jews, his three volume study is the standard one on the topic and nobody disputes he is the dean of Nazi holocaust historians. It was Raul Hilberg, not Norman Finkelstein, who in 1999 said that Jews are, I’m quoting him literally, “Jews are, for the first time in history, they’re making use of the blackmail weapon.” They are blackmailing, this is my part now, they are blackmailing the Swiss banks, the German industrialists to extract what they call holocuast compensation for needy holocaust victims. That was all sheer fakery. It was a fraud. It was a disgusting fraud for several reasons. Number 1, it was exploiting the most collosal chapter in Jewish suffering and turning it into a blackmail racket. Number 2, the claims that were being made against the Swiss banks and the German industrialists were simply not true. Number 3, when they got the money, which they extracted in the name of, quote on quote, needy holocaust victims, the needy holocaust victims never saw any of the money. The money went into the pockets of these Jewish organizations and of the settlement class action lawyers. It was, exactly as I say in the book, it was a double shakedown. Now, there are a couple of things that are worth noticing. Number 1, not only were they turning the Nazi holocaust into a shakedown racket, not only were they huckstering the Nazi holocaust, acting exactly like stereotypes straight out of Der Stürmer but what’s worse was — and it’s one of those weird ironies when you study the record — they were turning into the world’s leading holocaust deniers. Well, how can that be? It’s not so complicated. In order to extract the monies from the Swiss and the Germans they had to claim there were all of these needy holocaust [survivor] victims out there. Well, they started to escalate the number of survivors. And each year, if you read the publications, and I document it, each year the numbers of survivors start to increase. So you now had claims, for example, they claim that in the year 2025 “tens of thousands” of Nazi holocaust survivors will still be alive, in the year 2025. 90 years after the end of World War 2 “tens of thousands” of holocaust survivors are going to be alive. Well, if you start increasing the numbers of survivors and you have an absolute number population you end up decreasing the number of victims. As my late mother used to say… and they get so enraged when I quote her. I don’t like to bring in personal biography, it’s relevant now, I will — my late mother, my late father were survivors of the Nazi holocaust, both of them survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto, after the Ghetto my mother was in Maidanek concentration camp and two slave labor camps, my father was in the Auschwitz concentration camp and the Auschwitz death march. And my mother used to go around saying “if everyone who claims to be a holocaust survivor actually is one, who did Hitler kill?!” [audience laughter] Everyone’s a survivor! And that’s what they were doing, they were turning… so, some of you know this fellow, David Irving, the so called holocaust denier. David Irving would go around saying, one of his famous quips was, “an Auschwitz survivor is born every day.” Wel, you know what the problem was? The problem was, according to the Holocaust industry, it was true, an Auschwitz survivor was being born every day because they were increasing the numbers to justify extracting more compensation monies from the Europeans. There was no basis for these numbers. You take the fellow who just passed away a few weeks ago Simon Wiesenthal, some of you know him as the famed Nazi hunter. I don’t particularly go for the fellow BUT he was in the camps. They asked him last year “how many survivors are still around?” His figure — he said ten or fifteen thousands, at most. But you read these people [lawyers and Jewish organizations] and “tens of thousands” would be “alive in 2025 or 2035!” You know what’s funny? I burried my parents in 1995. According to actuarial charts, I won’t be alive in 2035! I won’t but they’re saying “tens of thousands” will still be alive.


Questioner: … why you felt it important enough to write this book?

Finkelstien: There are three reasons to write The Holocaust Industry. Number 1, I was involved in the Israel-Palestine conflict and it was quite clear that the Nazi holocaust was being used as a bludgeon to silence criticism of Israel. That was the political motive. And then there was a personal motive. I honestly belive and here I have to again go into the area of personal biography… I was very close to my late parents and I was as sensitive as anyone could be to their suffering and I thought they deserved better. I didn’t think that the Nazi holocaust should be reduced to the moral stature of a Monte Carlo casino and that’s what was being done. Finally, because I think as a historical phenomenon it [the Nazi holocaust] is significant. I’m not saying it’s the most significant and I’m not saying it’s unique but I think there’s an enormous amount you can learn from it. And when I read the memoirs, in particular the ones from right after World War 2, the wonderful one which is very hard to get now by Ella Lingens-Reiner called Prisoners of Fear. Some of you know Alex Cockburn, he was recently writing on the topic and I asked him please please read Ella Lingens-Reiner’s Prisoners of Fear and he wrote me the other and he said “I picked it up and, you know, I couldn’t put it down.” There’s a lot of stuff, a lot’s been written, which really moves, which has depth, which has profundity, and you can learn a lot from it. The problem is you can’t learn anything from the topic now because the Nazi holocaust has been hijacked by a gang of hucksters and that’s a real problem. I thought they need to be exposed and that was the purpose of the book. And I have no appologies for it, in fact, one of the weird things is, things I couldn’t possibly have imagined, you know, I was just skimming the surface when I wrote the book… Who would’ve imagined that Dr. Israel Singer, the head of the World Jewish Congress, who was attacking the Swiss bankers because of those secret Jewish bank accounts, who would’ve imagined that this past year Dr. Israel Singer, it turns out, he took out a secret Swiss bank account where he was throwing in World Jewish Congress money? That’s funny. Or who would’ve imagined the lead council for the holocaust victims, this fellow named Burt Neuborne at New York University, who went around saying “I’m doing it pro bono, I’m doing it pro bono” — and I used to call him the “pro bono holocaust huckster” [audience laughter]… Who would’ve imagined that Burt Neuborne, who was doing it pro bono, he said “I’m doing it for my daughter, she was a Rabinical student, died prematurely from a heart attack, I’m doing it for her…” Who would’ve imagined that Burt Neuborne, the pro bono holocaust huckster, took five million dollars [$4.4 plus expenses] from the German settlement? And then, this past month, he put in the bill for $4.1 million dollars in the Swiss settlement. That’s the pro bono holocaust huckster. “I’m doing it for free” he said. It’s all a bad joke. And, if I could say finally in my own defense, let them say what they want… but the world’s leading authority on the Nazi holocaust bar none is Raul Hilberg and Hilberg wrote, I’ll ask you to just read the back of the book [turns to panelist]… [Questioner:] Raul Hilberg on the first edition of The Holocaust Industry: “When I read Finkelstein’s book, The Holocaust Industry , at the time of its appearance, I was in the middle of my own investigations of these matters, and I came to the conclusion that he was on the right track. I refer now to the part of the book that deals with the claims against the Swiss banks, and the other claims pertaining to forced labor. I would now say in retrospect that he was actually conservative, moderate and that his conclusions are trustworthy. He is a well-trained political scientist, has the ability to do the research, did it carefully, and has come up with the right results. I am by no means the only one who, in the coming months or years, will totally agree with Finkelstein’s breakthrough.” [Finkelstein:] Not bad. [audience laughter & applause]… Just as a matter of the factual record, Hilberg is a Conservative Republican — I’m at the other end of the spectrum, certainly… but we both have one quality in common: we respect facts, we respect truth and it was a meeting ground for us. He told me, I met him subsequently, he said he was getting calls literally every week from Ellie Wiesel and from the Holocaust Museum in Washington, begging him to remove his endorsement from my book… And he said he wouldn’t because what I wrote was true. And I think that’s an insightful episode. It tells you that however much people differ on ideologies, if you’re respectful of facts and truth, there’s a lot more common ground than you would imagine. A month ago I debated Israel’s former Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami on Amy Goodman’s program Democracy Now!. You’d be very surprised, there was no rancor, hardly any disagreement, except at the very end. Why? Because Shlomo Ben-Ami is firstly, professionally, he’s a historian. His field of expertise is the Spanish Civil War. And he’s secondly a diplomat. He respected facts. He respected truth. For those of you who’ve watched the tape… how many of you’ve watched it, just out of curiosity?… Notice, not one time did he say “you’re lying, that’s not true.” He never said it. He never even brought up issues like “anti-Semite,” “Holocaust Denier…” He’s serious. He was serious about facts. And that’s a validation of the main thesis of my remarks this evening: among serious people, among honest people, among peopel who studied the record, whether you’re a conservative Republican or you’re on the far left like myself, there’s very little controversy. There really is very little disagreement. It’s only when you drag in all of this nonsense about “holocaust deniers” and the other one… it’s kind of funny… I’m charged with two things, the same two things all the time… “I’m either exploiting the fact that my parents passed through the Nazi holocaust” or I’m accused of being “a Holocaust Denier.” Now, how can you be both? [audience laughter]. People say “oh Finkelstein always brings up the fact that his family was exterminated by the Nazis,” yes I do. But then they say “Finkelstein, he’s a Holocaust Denier!” How can it be both? Because none of these labels mean anything anymore. They’ve been turned into the verbal equivalent of spittle. [audience laughter] There’s only a matter of time before “Holocaust Denier” enters the Dictionary of American Slang as an equivalent of the F-word. So probably in around ten words people will be saying “Holocaust you!” [audience laughter]… Or “Mother Holocauster…” It doesn’t mean anything! [audience laughter]…

Questioner: [poor audio quality] out of time… thanky you…[audience applause]

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Wiesenthal Centre Works with Frankfurt Book Fair to Identify Exhibitors Who Incite to Hate and Violence

Despite efforts by officials of the Frankfurt Book Fair to eliminate the inclusion of antisemitic books in the 2006 Fair, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has identified hate material at some Arab, Turkish and German vendors.

Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Director for International Relations, who is in Frankfurt monitoring the world’s largest publishers gathering , reported “a significant decrease in antisemitic hate books compared to the 2004 Frankfurt Bookfair, “in comparison with the 2004, when the Frankfurt Book Fair honoured the Arab World, and 2005′s Iranian display of
antisemitic texts.”

Newly appointed Frankfurt Book Fair Director, Jürgen Boos, met with senior Wiesenthal Centre officials last Spring to cooperate in expelling hate from this year’s Fair.

In a letter of 19 September, Boos had assured Dr. Samuels, that Boos had “coordinated in good time with the Public Prosecutor’s office and the Security Commissioner’s Department(Staatschutzkommissariat) in order to ensure that no works identified as containing incitement to violence, or as defamatory, are exhibited at the Frankfurt Book Fair”.

During his two-day monitoring effort at the opening of the event, Samuels presented photgraphs of offensive publications to the Fair’s Director, including:

  • At Stand 5.0.B908 of the General Egyptian Book Organization of Cairo, a book entitled, ‘Jews in Nineteenth Century English Literature’, 2006, the cover depicting a top hat in a Star of David. This seemingly literary study is replete with antisemitic stereotypes, taken from period authors, with the clear intent to demonize the Jews of today.
  • At Stand 5.1E953, The Association of Press and Publicity of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey exhibits three antisemitic conspiracy theory editions based upon the notorious Tsarist forgery, ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’ which historians have labeled ‘a warrant for genocide.’ These are:
  • ‘Buyuk Israil Stratejisi’ (The Greater Israel Strategy) by Hikmet Erdoglu, published by IQ Kulturçanat Yayicçik, Istanbul 2005. Portraying hostile stereotypes, the text is a saga of Jewish plots against Turkey.
  • ‘Israil in Sifresi’ (The Password of Israel) by Hakan Yilmaz Çebi, published by Pegasus Yayinlari, Istanbul 2006. It is argued that the Torah reveals, through the alphabetic code, how the Mossad is preparing a Third World War. The countries that will supposedly be destroyed by Israel include Turkey.
  • ‘JudaSofya: Hidden Intrigues Behind the Aya Sofya and the Patriarch’ also by Hakan Yilmaz Çebi and published by Pegasus Yayinlari, Istanbul 2006. How the Jews are manipulating the return of the Aya Sofya Mosque of Istanbul to Greek control.

This case is most troubling in that this is a Turkish government-sponsored display, when Turkey has just been selected to be the 2008 Honouree of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Perhaps more insidious are children’s storybooks ubiquitously depicting Stars of David as the bogey monsters of infant nightmares:

“These are clearly presented on Stand 5.0.D938 of the Palestinian Territories where the Tamar Institute for Community Education, Ramallah,offers a series from 2003 to 2005 of “Stories for Palestinian Children” during the Intifada.

At German book stalls at the Fair’s entrance, there is a semi-hidden array of Nazi memorabilia (books, prints, postcards) and some neo-Nazi pamphlets, such as on the attached photo ‘USA: Traum oder Albtraum?’ (USA: Dream or Nightmare?) by Martin Luther II. It shows President Bush manipulating a terrorist’s puppet in one hand, and an Ariel Sharon wearing a Kippah, waving a Star of David missile.”

Dr. Samuels report to Boos continued, “These publications surely contravene German law on incitement and defamation and, as per your request, we are sharing these findings with the Hessen Public Prosecutor, Jörg Claude.”

Finally, the Wiesenthal Center urged Director Boos “to advise those exhibitors, clearly identified above, that, in view of their abuse of contractual obligations and your good faith, they will be excluded from the 2007 Frankfurt Book Fair.”

“By setting this example, the next Fair may become truly hate-free,” Samuels concluded.

For further information, please contact Shimon Samuels at +33.609.77.01.58.

To view photos, click here…

RNP interview with Finkelstein

by Jill Bolstridge

RNP reporter Jill Bolstridge interviews Professor Norman Finkelstein, author of the controversial book The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering. The son of Holocaust survivors, Finkelstein is a sharp critic of Israel and of US foreign policy.

What compelled you to write The Holocaust Industry?

Basically, there were three reasons. One, I’ve been involved in the Israel/Palestine conflict for a long time. It was obvious to anybody who was involved that the Nazi Holocaust was constantly being evoked and exploited in order to justify Israel’s violations of human rights. And, more currently, from a political point of view, to expose the lies and the misuse and the exploitation of the Nazi Holocaust. That was the political motive; it was the main motive. From a historical point of view, it seemed to me that there were many lessons that could be learned from the Nazi Holocaust, but those lessons were being obscured and distorted by the way that the Nazi Holocaust was being taught and being promoted by the United States. And finally, there was a personal reason. Both my parents survived the Nazi Holocaust, and I felt they deserved better than what it has been reduced to by the Holocaust industry.

Who was responsible for manufacturing this industry, as you put it, and why?

Mainly it’s been the United States and the mainstream Jewish organizations. And there have been individuals and institutions which, for one reason or another, have become apologists for Israel.

It is widely considered that anyone who questions the Holocaust or the actions of Israel in the Middle East is anti-Semitic. Why do you believe this to be the case?

There are separate questions here. Questioning Israel’s policies or actions, it seems to me, has no relationship whatsoever to anti-Semitism, and that is simply an exploitation of the historical suffering of Jews for political purposes. They have been using the anti-Semitism epithet to silence criticism of Israel and to intimidate critics of Israel into silence. The questioning of the Nazi Holocaust is an entirely separate question. To question whether the Nazi Holocaust itself happened is as absurd as to question whether or not in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Of course it happened. That is not a subject for serious debate. There is no rational basis for questioning the fact that it actually happened. But once one establishes the fact that it happened, there are all sorts of unresolved questions about the Nazi Holocaust: factual questions. And then there are all sorts of interpretative questions. And those two sets of questions include when the Nazi Holocaust began, what was the motive behind it, those sorts of things.

Have you received any threats because of your opinion?


How are you treated within the Jewish community as a result of your opinions?

I’m not really part of the Jewish community, per se. I’m obviously Jewish, but I have many friends in life. I have faithful friends, loyal friends, people who share my visions and ideals, and those are not particularly Jewish. I’m sure they have Jewish components, but they are not particularly Jewish. These are a set of ideals which are human.

In regards to the current situation in the Middle East, do you believe the capture of two Israeli soldiers was the real provocation of this war, or is there a hidden agenda?

Oh, it’s clear that you don’t turn the whole country into a parking lot because two soldiers were captured. Especially since the records show numerous skirmishes and cross-border raids and so forth since 2000, when Israeli troops were ejected from Lebanon. That clearly serves as a pretext for much bigger plans which were in the making for a long time by Israel.

Why do you believe the world, in particular the UN, has sat by and done nothing as Lebanon has been destroyed by Israel?

You can’t stop the US now. Because it’s run by a bunch of gang members and hoodlums, and they take out the big stick and break it over the skulls of anyone who stands in their way. And the UN has been paralyzed by the people currently occupying the White House. It’s very tough. And basically, Europe’s attitude is, ‘Let the United States do what it wants, and destroy itself in the process.’ So the Europeans, rather than trying to fight the United States, I think have pretty much decided, ‘If that’s what they want to do, let them do it, because they are going to wind up in a huge mess.’ The problem, of course, is that, in the process of the United States ending up in a huge mess, it kills many, as in the case of Iraq. And hundreds of thousands of people will suffer as well; therefore, European acquiesces to a huge criminal, and that’s been their basic attitude.

What do you believe is pushing the Israeli government to such extreme action?

Basically, there are two reasons. There are local reasons and then there are international reasons. The local reasons are pretty straight-forward. Israel’s attitude has always been that the Arabs have to know that what they say goes. And when the Arab State, or in this case, Movement, asserts itself and claims that it has a right to take initiatives on its own part, that it’s not simply a slave to Israel, then Israel comes in and smashes them. That has always been Israel’s style. It will break the back and crack the skull of anyone who gets in its way. And Hezbollah, to Israel, needs to be taught a lesson. That’s the local reason. And the broader reason is that Israel is pretty much now just an agent of US power in the region. And the United States is egging Israel on, urging it on, in the hopes that, by inflicting the defeat on Hezbollah, it may set back the regional aspiration to power, which is in conflict with the US. So the US not only entirely sees these acts of Syria, Iran, Hezbollah; these are all movements that are unwilling to follow completely what the US dictates. And so, the hope is that Hezbollah is the weakest link in the chain. Well, Hamas is actually the weakest link. But they think the second weakest is Hezbollah, with a militia of maybe just a thousand soldiers. And they think if they can inflict a defeat on Hezbollah, they can set back the goals of the regional aspiration to power. And the United States is leading it. Israel has its own agenda, but it is serving the US agenda as well.

What will be the wider repercussions for the Middle East?

It’s really hard to guess that. I really can’t make predictions. Basically, on the Arab side, Hezbollah demonstrates that Arabs have a learning curve and some groups have learned from some of the errors of the past. Hezbollah is well organized and very well-disciplined. It knows the state-of-the-art technology. And, above all else, they are wholly committed to the cause. They are not dissolute, they are not degenerate, they are not corrupt; this is a serious organization. And it may anticipate the beginning of serious organization among the Arabs to finally defeat the colonial imperialist forces which have dominated their part of the world for a century now. And that may not be a positive thing for Israel. It harbours pretty terrible prospects. Ultimately, Israel can not exist in its current form if it is going to be simply a vandal state, a rampaging state, which periodically goes into neighbouring countries and just flattens them, annihilates them, obliterates them, and pulverizes them. If that’s what its existence is going to come down to, then it’s going to be destroyed.

Are Israel’s actions in any way connected to the US military presence in the Middle East?

Yeah, I think there is a connection. The connection basically is that the United States sees all the opposition forces as being joined together in this ‘Axis of Evil,’ and they are hoping that the weaker link in the chain, Hezbollah, if it’s defeated, will then defeat the forces of Iraq and others. So they are hoping that a defeat for one will be defeat for all.

The media has a very clear bias towards Israel; would you agree and, if so, why?

Well, there are two reasons. One, the media has a clear bias toward the United States, and since Israel is a connection to US power, it would be surprising if it weren’t biased toward Israel. So part of the reason is that Israel is as integral to the United States, at this point, as California or Texas. So, if you say the media has a bias toward California up against Papa New Guinea, it’s going to have a bias toward Israel against Papa New Guinea. So that’s one reason. The other reason is that Jews have a huge presence in the media, and the bias comes, in part, from that.

Do you believe “The War on Terror” is real?

There is a problem with groups and how big they are. It’s hard to say, but there are groups who are committed to acts of terrorism against the United States and other powers. That’s a given. The real questions are altogether different. The rational questions are, first of all, how big is the threat? And secondly, much more important, how you deal with the threat? How many allegedly being accused as a threat really present a threat? And that brings us to another question: if they actually do present a threat, are the people in power irrational, or are they using the threat to exploit it for other reasons, which actually have nothing to do with the threat?

Confusions abound as to who is the major player in Israeli/US relations; who do you believe calls the shots?

The United States calls the shots ultimately, that’s for sure. But it’s not true to say that everything Israel does has an American agenda. Broadly, in the Middle East, it is correct to say that the agendas of the United States and Israel overlap. But on local issues, for example, the actual Israel/Palestine conflict, the settlements, have very little to do with the United States. The United States has no stake in the occupation of the territories. It has no stake in the settlements and so forth. Those are Israeli initiatives.

Do you believe the world is going through a new phase of neo-colonialism?

I’m not confident to speak in such global terms. What’s obvious is that there are conflicting forces in the world today, toward freeing the world of US/European domination. As you can see, those tendencies are working themselves out, primarily in regions where the United States is currently unable to act, such as South America. And the other aspect is that, especially since the destruction of the Soviet Union, there has been no formidable power in any way blocking US efforts to impose its agenda on the world. And you have those two tendencies. I think it is accurate to say that there is a new phase, a continuation of long-term trends, and the struggle continues between those trends.

Many feel that demonstrations are quite frustrating in that you march, go home, lobby your friends in action, and then wait for the next demonstration. What sort of action do you believe will best force the politicians into action?

Demonstrations ought to be a culmination of activity, not the be-all-and-end-all. Demonstrations are the climax after organizing, after speaking, after writing, after doing a lot of hard labour of trying to convince people then you have a demonstration. And then, hopefully, in the course of the demonstration, you convince people to become activists. But the demonstrations are clearly not, in and of themselves, the goal. The demonstration registers the kind of support that is needed to mobilize people over time.

What do you believe is the cause of anger and so-called terrorism, particularly from the Muslim world?

I don’t think you need great powers of perception to figure that out. Look at the degradations of the United States and Israel throughout the Arab world. Since the Bush Administration came to power, they have demolished Afghanistan, they have demolished Iraq, they have demolished Palestine, they have demolished Lebanon. These are vandals, straight out of the thirteenth century, like Genghis Khan. And to wonder why, is just a level of blindness, which really is very difficult to comprehend. I was listening to David Grossman yesterday and he said, “We have been here 60 years in the Middle East, and they still don’t accept us.” Well that’s a really big surprise, ya know? It’s like, the United States’ black people. They were slaves from 1619 to 1865, and they still didn’t accept white people! If you keep stomping on people, if you treat them like slaves, if you wreck, destroy, rampage their society, if you flatten them, just like in Lebanon, four times since 1978! Operation Litani in ‘78, the destruction of Lebanon in ‘82, Operation Accountability in ‘93, Operation Grapes of Wrath in ‘96, each time sending hundreds of thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians fleeing from the south, and then you sit there and you wonder why they don’t love us after sixty years? You’re lucky they don’t want to strangle you! Even though most of them do, and rightfully so. The level of self-absorption of these people is just mind-boggling! Why don’t they love us? You know what? Maybe the Arabs should send Valentines to support us.

Do you believe the world is really facing a threat from radical Islamists?

The issue is not whether the world is facing threats of radical Islamists. You have radical militias in the United States. The question is, how big is the threat? And how significant is it? And, most importantly, how do you diminish it? And all the policies which have been implemented to date plainly do not have it as their main goal to diminish the threat. It’s only exacerbating the threat. The same thing with Israel. Israel, in my opinion, is only two wars away from complete destruction. This war, the red line was Haifa. It’s clear that, in the next war, Tel Aviv will be targeted and then, the war after that, it will be destroyed. But who’s causing it? Who’s creating it? Let’s be honest about that.

Why are most of the western world’s conflicts and disputes with Islamic nations?

I don’t think it has anything to do with Islam. They could be Buddhists. It’s oil. They don’t care that they’re Islamic. They don’t care about religion. Once the oil’s been depleted, then they will go to central Africa. They will let everybody starve, steal whatever minerals and wealth they have, and just let them die. They don’t care about democracy anymore. All they’re interested in is democratizing the oil, until they get their fair share of it, or, in their minds, their fair share of it.

Why does the United Nations not take a stronger stance against the United States for its disregard of international law?

The UN can’t do anything against the US. It’s impossible. This is a gang of hoodlums. What are they supposed to do? If they were really, as they say in Yiddish, mensch, then of course they could stop them. But these people are out to protect their own interests, and their own interests would come to serious conflict with the US. And they don’t want to come to serious conflict with the US. The US controls too much: the World Bank, the IMF. It has too much power.

Is the United Nations redundant?

No. The UN does a lot. One shouldn’t kid oneself about that. So many peace-keeping operations, so many health concerns, environmental concerns, refugee concerns. They do a lot. No question about that. It’s a huge organization. There is no doubt of bureaucracy, corruption, no doubt about it. But one shouldn’t gainsay the amount of good they do in the world. So it’s not like it’s become redundant. That’s not true at all.

Do you think many have lost faith in the UN and its founding principles?

No. Not at all. There is no evidence of that at all. The world doesn’t hold the United Nations to blame for the paralysis of the United States. They hold the United States to blame. If you were to take a poll of the world’s population and ask whether people want to strengthen or weaken the UN, my guess is that the result would be that 95%, or even more, would say to strengthen the UN. If they were asked if they want to strengthen or weaken the US presence in the UN, I am most certain the result would be 99.5% percent would say weaken the US presence. So everybody knows who the real problem is.

On what the UN’s actually up to, beyond the rhetoric of John Bolton types:

Gaza is hungry – and not because of Ramadan

09.26.2006 | Ha’aretz
By Avi Issacharoff

“GAZA – It’s Ramadan and everyone’s fasting. Maybe it’s the heat, the hunger and the thirst that generate the feeling that the Gaza Strip is liable to blow up at any minute. It seems that with every passing week, the distress deepens and the poverty becomes more tangible.

…We’ve reached the point where even the dogs of the Jews live better, and since Hamas won, the situation has become still worse. Only UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] is helping people now – the PA can’t do anything.

Dawas said he and his family are going hungry, and break their daily Ramadan fast on nothing but rice and vegetables. “I don’t have money anymore for meat and chicken,” he said….”

KKK Designs Public School Curriculum on Slavery

City council approves curriculum on Israel initiated by Israeli Consulate in New York; curriculum to be integrated into training program for educators teaching in 1,400 public high schools

by Yaniv Halili

NEW YORK – The New York City Council’s education committee approved a curriculum on Israel initiated by the public relations department of the Israeli Consulate in New York.

The curriculum will be integrated into the training program for educators teaching in 1,400 public high schools in New York City. The teachers will be able to register to a 30-hour course dealing with the history of the State of Israel, its economy, the high-tech industry, Israeli art and Ethiopian Jews.

The incentive offered to teachers who will take the course: Credit points for an academic degree.

The teachers responded so positively to the course, that by the third day of registration all seats were taken. Following the teachers’ request, the consulate decided to add more seats.

Israeli Consul General in New York Aryeh Mekel said that “through the teachers a generation of leaders will be educated to maintain the special relations between the United States and Israel.”

We are not bringing politics, but are exposing them to Israel as we know it and as we would like people to know it,” he added.

Warning! Alert! Jewish students insufficiently Nazified

Editor’s note: For more on the Israel lobby’s organizing activities see The Real Threat of “The Lobby”?, Behind the campaign to rescind divestment and Democracy at Work.

By Gary Rosenblatt – Editor And Publisher

In the first salvo of what promises to be a turbulent season of anti-Israel activities at American colleges, a group of students and others at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh protested on July 26 against “Israeli terrorism” in Lebanon.

A counter protest was held by Jewish students.

While most campuses have been quiet because of the summer recess, “This year will be the most challenging in memory,” warned Jonathan Kessler, the leadership development director at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which organizes pro-Israel activities at universities around the country.

He and a number of other American Jewish leaders and educators said they are bracing for a surge of rallies, protests and campaigns against Israel’s military conduct in Lebanon when the fall semester begins later this month. They know Israel will be portrayed by critics as a powerful and murderous war machine against innocent citizens. And they plan to counter such propaganda with a message emphasizing Hezbollah’s responsibility not only for Israeli deaths with missiles aimed at civilians but Lebanese casualties as well, since the terror group positions itself among the populace.

In addition to concern about stepped-up activities by anti-Israel students and faculty, the officials acknowledge they are worried about the reactions of many Jewish students who have witnessed on television and the Internet the images of Lebanese civilians killed, wounded or made homeless in the current conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.

“I don’t think we should underestimate the importance” of the war’s impact on “a younger generation of diaspora Jews” who either “unjustifiably blame Israel or become more alienated” from Israel, noted Stephen P. Cohen, a Mideast scholar at the Israel Policy Forum.

The Hillel director of a major university said his impression was that Jewish students “are in agony, they feel they can’t defend Israel. They’re embarrassed.”

But Wayne Firestone, Hillel International’s incoming president, noted that with so many Jewish college students having experienced Israel through birthright israel trips, most of them have a greater affinity for and connection to the country and its plight. He said such students could be effective in speaking to peers this fall about what Israel is really like, beneath the headlines.

But Firestone acknowledged that “a lot of Jewish students will come with questions, based on their instincts for seeking peace. Maybe they will be requesting a cease-fire. Others will be disturbed and uncertain” about how to understand the suffering of the Lebanese they have witnessed in the media.

“The most difficult challenge is the collateral damage to civilians in Lebanon,” he said. “We’ll lose points on that, it’s a very difficult story to tell, one that requires context and history, and students will be very sympathetic” to the suffering.

But Firestone and other Jewish officials working with college students noted that the community and its organizations are more prepared than they were in 2002, when the Palestinian intifada sparked a number of large and bitter protests against Israel on a variety of campuses.

Indeed, the sense that Jewish college students were caught unaware of how to respond effectively to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a few years ago led to the creation of the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC), made up some 30 Jewish organizations, with sophisticated infrastructure, communication and educational tools.

Still, Jewish campus organizers had to scramble to re-frame the focus of their attention from the Palestinian conflict to the war with Hezbollah over the last several weeks. AIPAC’s long-planned four-day training seminar for 350 student activists from around the country, held July 23-26 in Washington, was “recalibrated” only days before, according to an organizer, so as to reflect the current conflict.

One attendee, Miri Cypers, 20, an incoming junior at Columbia University, said the focus shifted to include Israel’s right to defend itself against Hezbollah, Syria and Iran, and the need to help students understand that this war is not just about Israel and Arabs. “We have to show that this situation has a much larger context and much larger repercussions for the region,” she said, and that it deals with state-sponsored terrorism.

The main goal of the conference, she said, was “to deliver the college campus as an asset to the pro-Israel community, primarily by engaging in political activity.”

Cypers, who volunteered for the campaign of Sen. Joseph Lieberman in Connecticut this summer, noted that the conference participants lobbied members of Congress on behalf of Israel, and that LionPac, Colombia’s largest pro-Israel group, of which she is vice president, is already organizing a similar mission to Congress when school resumes.

“I anticipate a pretty hostile environment” on campus, she said, “but also a chance to unite the pro-Israel community and to educate the campus about the issues,” by speaking to student government leaders, faculty and peers.

She said the “toughest challenge” facing pro-Israel activists on her campus will be “to push ahead with our own agenda that is positive and achieves results, and not be distracted by media attention and Israel detractors trying to muddle our message.”

Such discipline may be difficult on many U.S. campuses, though, where, according to one Jewish official, reactions against Israel are “four times tougher” than among the American population in general. And while polls show Americans are still strongly supportive of Israel, there is concern that the longer the war goes on, the greater the chance for that support to wane.

As Firestone of Hillel noted, the painful and visceral images of suffering and death among Lebanese civilians are difficult to counter with more nuanced reasoning about historical perspective and moral culpability.

“We may have to get into issues of morality in warfare,” said Firestone, noting that in the past, “targeted assassinations,” as Israel has employed in countering Palestinian terrorists, “is a tough sell on campus.”

But he and others emphasized that Hezbollah is responsible for the casualties on both sides and stress that it attacked Israel in violation of United Nations resolutions and internationally accepted boundaries, underscoring that the terror group’s motivation is not land or borders but destroying the Jewish state.

Some prefer to emphasize that Israel is merely the willing proxy for the U.S. in a struggle against Islamic militancy that seeks to widen its reach.

Daniel Gordis, vice president of the Mandel Foundation in Israel, an educational institution, believes that “the point has to be made that what Israel is doing now is what the U.S. did in Afghanistan and Iraq. There is a worldwide assault on the West — its democracy values, its openness, etc. Either we fight back, or we, our children, or our grandchildren, will live under that form of Islam… We’re willing to exact a huge, if tragic, price to save civilization. It sounds hyperbolic,” he told The Jewish Week, “but to me, it’s not.

“The tragedy is real,” he added, “but so is the lack of choices.”

Others, though, question whether it is wise to compare Israel’s fight against Hezbollah with the U.S. conflict in Iraq, since that war is extremely unpopular among many college students.

Even the fact that the Bush administration has been so supportive of Israel is not necessarily a plus for Israel, according to Firestone, because of the strong dislike many students have of the president. But other Jewish officials note that the administration’s backing of Israel has had a strong positive impact on the media.

The Israel Campus Coalition is planning a special conference in Washington in early September to further plan and coordinate an approach for pro-Israel activists. Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said that while supporters of Israel have been successful on campus in recent years — defeating divestment efforts, marginalizing anti-Israel groups and making inroads with peers — “of course we’re worried about the campus mood,” noting that “the campus is disproportionately affected” by the current war.

“We have to make the case for Israel to Jewish students before they hear from others.”

Rachel Klapper, 20, a sophomore at Baruch College in New York, where she is a leader of the pro-Israel community, said she and other activists are worried that the “gruesome” photos of dead Lebanese children will be difficult to counter.

“We have to put Israel in a different context than as victim, as was done when children were being blown up on buses,” said Klapper, a graduate of the Write On For Israel advocacy program for high school students, sponsored by The Jewish Week. “We need to explain that this is about Iran and a global threat.”

She said that with the semester starting Aug. 30, she is already working on opinion pieces for the school newspaper.