ANDREW GRAY - ERRORS, LIES AND NONSENSE ABOUT WAGNER
[Delivered at Adelaide Institute’s International Revisionist Symposium, 9 August 1998. Andrew Gray's translation of Richard Wagner's autobiography Mein Leben, is still in print. From No 84, Adelaide Institute Online, December 1998]
Nobody blames Lenin on Tolstoi - and they were contemporaries. I think Lenin was 40 years old when Tolstoy died in 1910, and Tolstoy's later ruminations on collectivism in the latter stages of his life were useful to Lenin, who adored him when putting together those doctrines, or whatever one wants to call them, which resulted in Stalin’s Leninism. But an entire world industry blames Hitler on Richard Wagner, and Wagner died six years before Hitler was born.
It’s very difficult to characterise the fatuity of such a debate, discussion, ‘Geplapper’, or whatever. The Germans have also the term ‘Geschwafel’. The German language has wonderful words for this kind of thing, but whatever it is, it is world-wide. It goes on and on and on, and as we speak here another symposium is taking place. And it’s taking place in Bayreuth under the Schirmherrschaft des Bundespräsidenten, Dr Roman Herzog, and it’s called "Wagner und die Juden". It’s taking place over a series of five days, from the 6th to the 11th. We Revisionists are much more modest.
I’ll just read you this from the fourth day of this interminable stream of guff, I’ll read you some of the titles of the lectures. Professors have turned up from all over the world but the two main ones are from Tel Aviv University and the University of Heidelberg. And here are some of the titles that they are discussing right now:
Professor David S Katz is discussing "Wagner, the Jews and the Occult Tradition". I mean, you may just as well be discussing his dogs, for that matter. Professor Rudolf Behrenbach is discussing "Anti-Semitismus als aesthetisches Program" — anti–Semitism as aesthetic doctrine. Professor David Lange is lecturing on "A mirror of the Master. The Racial Theories of Houston Stewart Chamberlain". Professor Paul L. Rose is lecturing—this is on the final day now—"Wagner and Hitler after the Holocaust". Dr Dina Porac of Tel Aviv University is lecturing on "The Impact of Wagner’s Concepts on the Nazi Movement". This is on the fifth day. By this time they must be glassy eyed. Even a friend of mine is lecturing. They’ve given him the time of 8.45 in the evening. He’s lecturing on "Thomas Mann, Wagner and the Jews". If anybody at 8.45 pm is either sober or awake, it will absolutely be amazing. And the last one, the final word, will be by Dr Lana Sheshik, who is going to lecture on "Wagner-Israel, from the ban to the creation of a symbol, 1938 to 1997".
Well, there seems to be almost no end to it, but the one subject they fail to touch upon is Wagner himself. They deny it. I mean, that is what’s completely lost in this unthinking and this monumental detour around the subject which they make.
There was in circulation in the 1920s an old League of Nations anecdote. It’s partly apocryphal but it’s apropos. Elephants were an endangered species in the 1920s. There was a League of Nations commission founded to look into it. It was a multi-national committee, and it had each member looking at some specific aspect of the elephant problem. The Frenchman supposedly took the elephant and the reproductive cycle. The Englishman took the ivory trade and its implications. But the longest of all disquisitions was by a Pole who reported on ‘The Elephant and the Polish Question’.
You can always take a subject and get it by the tail. One can always indulge in some kind of subject completely self-referentially, and of course that is what has happened here. It is true that you can say Wagner was concerned in his life about virtually every conceivable problematic aspect of the civilization. Any kind of problem - vivisection was such a general problem. He didn’t like cruelty to animals. Any single aspect of civilisation was a problem and captured his attention.
He certainly didn’t like newspapers and he saw horrible dangers in journalism. I mean his genius was anticipatory in so many respects but I think he saw the age of the mass media coming, and he found the German newspapers of his time completely and totally irresponsible with respect to his own art, which they in fact were. But one of the things that Wagner research does now is to go back and look at the evidence. That at least is something - go back and see what actually was written…
From the time he got back to Germany from Paris in 1842, and from the minute he set foot in Dresden and began to announce himself, with what Bülow later called Meyerbeer’s best opera - Rienzi - from this new beginning, he encountered a kind of massive distortion, hostility and really gratuitous insults in the public press.
It was bound to upset him sooner or later. I mean, this sort of thing is bound to upset anybody and it seemed to be from his standpoint the one thing the critics would not do was address themselves to the works of art themselves.
Then, you know, came Tannhäuser. ‘Oh, it’s Catholic propaganda’, unbelievable nonsense from day one. He looked at the mass media, at these papers, and he saw great danger in this. And by the 1850s it occurred to him that there was a Jewish presence among the music journalism of the time - and there is no question that there was.
In going into Wagner’s biography it is of course terribly dangerous to say anything in public categorically because the likelihood of error is enormous. In his life we have it year by year for the first 25 years, but then we have it month by month. By the time he gets to Dresden, we’ve got it week by week and by the time he gets to Zürich in his years of Swiss exile, we’ve got it pretty much day by day. That’s the kind of scholarship that’s gone into this and by the time Cosima starts keeping her diary it is hour by hour.
So the manner in which people write casually on the subject never ceases to amaze me because of the primary documents are all there. 5,000 letters, and there is now under way a publication of every letter he ever wrote. They’re now at Volume 9 which takes you to the year 1857. There will be 30 volumes that will not be completed during my life-time. That’s the kind of dimension of scholarship that goes on - and all this editing, every last letter is still annotated. So if you talk about Wagner casually there is trouble, you’ll be in the soup very quickly.
Nevertheless, I will make a guess concerning the first real stage of his resentment which then took form in this polemic for which he was never forgiven - Das Judentum in der Musik. It came from his inability to get Tannhäuser performed in Berlin.
Tannhäuser had its premiere in September in Dresden in 1845. I’m sure most people know this work. It’s one of the great gifts to German opera. It’s to the Germans what La Traviata is to the Italians. I mean, he gave them the most German of his works. You could not give a greater gift than what he gave, and what he did for mediaeval Germany. If you go to the Wartburg today, you can see the second act of Tannhäuser, right there physically to look at. And it’s difficult to understand why he could not get this opera accepted, really…
Why was Berlin so important? The reason was that it was the only German theatre that paid royalties. The German system prior to 1870 was tilted against independent artists and composers because what the court theatres would do would give you a lump sum payment for all rights permanently. The lump sum payment that Wagner would get for say Tannhäuser from the Royal Court Theatre in Hannover was 2,000 florins, let’s say. It would be equivalent to $4,000 but nothing on which you could base an existence. Nothing on which you could buy or build a house of any kind. You know, Wagner did not have a roof to call his own over his head until he was nearly 60 years old. These are just facts, and if after creating works that have been the centre of the lyric stage ever since, and he managed to become a little bitter about money - think of the system. Verdi was a wealthy man by the time he was 50. The rules were different. He was blocked. He did blame Meyerbeer, the Berlin court theatre. Meyerbeer controlled the northern European stage. The Paris Opera was in Meyerbeer’s hands. These operas were the central money makers , the central core of the repertoire of the time. They have more or less vanished from the theatre of today. It’s hard for us to remember how dominant they were. And Meyerbeer - Wagner concluded it was Meyerbeer who was blocking the path intentionally. Well, the evidence for this is very mixed because Meyerbeer was terribly careful where Wagner was concerned and there is no smoking-gun tape in which Meyerbeer said, "I don’t want that bastard’s operas performed here". Nothing of that kind, nothing.
Nonetheless, he ran up against a stone wall in the Berliner Intendantz , year after year in 1846, 1847. I mean, he did manage to get Rienzi performed there - by that time he regarded it a ‘Jugendsünde’ - a sin of my youth. It was one of the reasons for his own money troubles and his own desperation which led him to participate in the Dresden uprising of 1849.
In the autobiography he was wonderfully candid, almost across the board. It’s a very accurate work. It’s often termed as ‘here’s Wagner spinning tales’, this and that. No, no. It is an extremely accurate work, except for two matters in which he is less than candid. One is the extent of his participation in the Dresden uprising. I mean, he makes it appear in his autobiography as if he were a bystander and a cheer leader, sort of saying ‘Go to it, I hope you win’, and that sort of thing. But, oh no, no, he was the number 3 man. He was right behind Heubner and Bakunin. Three men led that: Heubner, Bakunin and Richard Wagner. The argument is about the charges against him - if caught he would have been sent to death. He certainly would have been sent to prison and he escaped while Heubner and Bakunin were sent to jail for many years.
There is a biographical question: Did he personally participate in the loading of handgrenades? It’s an open question whether he was actually there, filling these projectiles with powder. That’s the kind of thing that’s disputed. It’s very possible he was. I mean, he was not a half-way person. Once he did something, he did it all the way, which is, of course, what got him into trouble with the pamphlet that he tossed off in a couple of days of anger in 1850 having landed in Zürich, penniless and in exile, and looking back at the German musical establishment from which he was then banned. He did write the brochure Das Judentum in der Musik. It’s often translated as Judaism in Music. That’s incorrect. ‘Das Judentum’ is not ‘Judaism’ - we don’t have an English equivalent for ‘Das Judentum’.
If you read it, it isn’t that bad. What he is not forgiven for is saying by implication that neither Meyerbeer nor Mendelssohn - Mendelssohn, whom he names - would love to write German opera but they can’t. Why can’t they? Well, because as Jews they don’t have the right relationship to the two great roots of music - the liturgical music (the church music), and the folksong. The dual root to a nation’s music was folksong and liturgical music. I think he’s completely right on that. And he asserted wrongly, as we found, Jews would not be able to compose authentic German music. Occasionally he was wrong. He was wrong on that.
He went on to say, for which he was not forgiven, because it was gratuitous that Jewish liturgical music is without any musical value at all, and added that whatever you hear in a synagogue is a form of gargling. He did write that and again when he got started he was not the kind of man that pulled his punches. The difficulty was, when he came to publish a new edition of his collected prose works in 1869, he insisted, against the advice of Liszt, against the advice of several friends, many of whom were Jewish - Heinrich Porges was Jewish, Karl Tausig was Jewish. Two of his pallbearers were Jewish, for heavens sake! He was not the kind of man who was going to withdraw it. Instead he plunked it into his Gesammelte Schriften - and he has not been forgiven for that either. It was a conscious decision. He even equipped it with another preface, a rather self-serving preface and an accompanying letter to Marie Muchanoff. That was typical of him. He was not the kind of man who would back down.
If one were to grab the whole subject by the tail, when you interpret works of art of this kind by stating that they reflect the personal prejudices of the creator, I often felt how grateful we should be there was nobody to take down words from Shakespeare’s last years. We know so little of what Shakespeare said and did, what the man, if indeed he is the man who did write the plays - what kind of casual comments he might have made. I’m sure he excoriated the French.
In his later years, it has to be remembered, Wagner was in very fragile health. He had a very, very severe heart condition and his survival was really Cosima’s doing, his wife’s doing, who watched him like a hawk. I mean, just to make certain that he wouldn’t be upset, he was very irascible anyway. The slightest thing was likely to upset him. She was always there to calm him down. That’s why we have Parsifal. That’s why we have the Bayreuth Theatre, because she was there in those later years when he was frequently close to death. It would be in the diary: "Richard has a narrow escape today". It was that kind of thing, on many occasions he would be close to death. So some of his writings in his later years and some of the statements that are quoted, are the product of temporary outbursts of irascibility. Which one of us has not at some time said things of this sort about anybody which are either irresponsible or boundlessly exasperated with different things? But these things were then excerpted and taken down and written, ‘Wagner says this. This is what Wagner says. Wagner said this about so-and-so’. Not just Jews, on anything. It is entirely ludicrous to excerpt from a gigantic body of documents one line. I’ll give you an example of the kind of thing that is excerpted. There was a fire in the Theater an der Wien, a very bad theatre fire, I think about 100 people were burnt to death in the fire - and they were performing Orpheus in die Unterwelt. When this was reported to Wagner, he burst out, "Serves them right for going to hear Offenbach".
You know, he didn’t mean that, but this is the kind of thing that went hotly over the wires: "Wagner says they got what they deserve". This kind of thing has been going on for more than a hundred years and I don’t know how long it is going to go on. But I think it’s got to be said , the Jewish issue is just part of it. It’s only a small part of it. I tell you what I think is at stake. Resentment and envy basically is at fault here because the gods did this only once. They’ll never again combine that kind of supreme talent of the composer and the supreme talent as a dramatist under one brow, apart from a few other things that he could do. For instance, he was a first class architect. His supreme gift as a dramatist has baffled academia ever since. I’ll bet you at the University of Adelaide they’ll have a course of the history of western drama but they won’t have Wagner as a dramatist. They don’t know where to put him. But he is the legatee of Aeschylus. He, as the dramatist, is the legatee. He is impossible to categorize. The size of his genius - Liszt had a wonderful term: "Richard Wagner ist ein Schädelspaltendes Genie" - "a skull-splitting genius" was what Liszt called him. He was certainly ‘Das Jahrhundertgenie’. He certainly was that. We fellow Wagnerians feel he was ‘das Jahrtausendgenie’.
The envy, I think, at the tap root of this general uproar - this endless, endless backbiting, this gratuitous malevolence, envy and discomfort is really at the base of it. Resentment, too. He said once to his wife - this comes from the diaries - every two pages there are little asides, she is very good at jotting down his casual remarks. She’s a smart woman. She knows when he’s said something memorable. On one occasion he said, "I robbed music of its innocence". What did he mean? What he means is what he’s never been forgiven for, of course. He sees that human sexuality pervades music, all the way up to the most sublime realm. In this case he certainly anticipated all of psychiatry, all of Freud, effortlessly.
And second, the works themselves. He’s the grand master of the sublime, but into the music is composed, decisively and inextricably a sense that the entire bid for transcendence may be in vain. You see, that’s where Der Ring is. I hope you’re going to get a good production of it. In an authentic production of the Ring, the fundamental question will be posed right away, and the fundamental question is: is there any transcendental meaning at all, or are we entirely subject to natural law?
What do you see? At the opening of Das Rheingold, you see the natural world in its most innocent stage, the three Rhinemaidens representing the natural world. Subaquarus, they represent the unconscious itself. That’s the world before it was penetrated by human reflection and conscious intelligence. There they are, swimming around and notice the first line of Der Ring. This is by a man who is always accused of being much too verbose and going on and on forever, taking up time on things. The whole work begins:
Woge, du Welle!
Walle zur Wiege!
Those are playful sounds the two nouns have crept in - ‘Welle’ and ‘Wiege’. What has happened to the world? Yes, language has entered it. What does it mean? Reflective consciousness has entered it. And guess what? The symbol of reflective consciousness turns up. What is the symbol? Well, it’s an ugly dwarf. It’s not a very attractive character in its early days. Why is it ugly and why not very attractive? The process by which reflective intelligence came into the world, so far as we know, was not a very clean one. All of this is understood by Wagner long before Darwin published The Origin of the Species. Rheingold was written in 1852.
Now, pay attention to the text, which unfortunately very few stage directors these days do. Take a look at what is said between Alberich and the Rhinemaidens who tease him, of course.
The first thing the Rhinemaidens see is he’s clumsy. You see the stage directions - he has problems climbing on the rocks. He’s not very agile. He doesn’t move very well. What he says to the Rhinemaidens is that it’s easy for you - they do it by pure instinct. He’s got to learn everything. That’s what consciousness does. It compels you to learn to do things that other creatures do instinctively.
But he’s turned down by the first of the Rhinemaidens, who represent the natural world and are indifferent to him, just as they are indifferent to Siegfried. The natural world doesn’t care about us as individuals. Listen to the music in Götterdämmerung, Act III. That is one of the reasons why it has such enormous emotional force. The stream of time, the river, is entirely indifferent to the hero. Heroes come and go. The river and time remain - it’s in the music. Only Wagner could do that!
What else does Alberich say? The first Rhinemaiden turns him down, and Alberich says "I’m glad there’s more than one of you because if there was only one of you I wouldn’t have much of a chance". What’s the meaning of that line? He’s accepted the law of probability as governing the world, the natural world, which it does. Probability governs our lives.
It is only when all three Rhinemaidens reject him that it occurs to him, well, the Rhein may move on but its not necessarily going to help him individually - one of nature’s horrible truths. And it’s only then that the ray of sunlight pierces the flowing water, a musically sensational moment among so many - and illuminates the gold at the base - a large block of raw gold.
And please, directors, please, do what Wagner says. Let the ray of sunlight illuminate the raw gold. Please don’t turn it into a municipal water works or something else. Please don’t try to have some artificial symbolism of 19th century capitalism. Please do what Wagner asked.
I assume what you’re going to get is a very spare, lean production here in Adelaide. But maybe you’ll be lucky enough. Maybe they’ll pay attention to his stage directions.
And Alberich stops transfixed, as does everybody, transfixed by the music. And what does that stand for? Guess what? Reflective intelligence itself is represented by this ray of light on the gold.
The gold is a symbol of many other things besides, and I’m not saying that the anti-capitalist interpretation of Der Ring is wrong. You can take Der Ring as class warfare, but that’s not a central part. Reflective consciousness has penetrated - there it is, and what is to be done with it? Well, it occurs to Alberich, ‘I can do something with reflective consciousness. Instead of chasing these women who won’t pay attention to me, maybe something can be done with the brain itself’. And he steals the gold, and takes the gold and brings it up above the surface. Above the surface, that is a symbol of bringing it into consciousness. He takes it up to his factory in the mountain and forges a ring. It’s been said that if a symbol is easily defined verbally, it’s not a hell of a good symbol. The ‘ring’ has so many aspects as a symbol, we’d be here all day. But it certainly does stand for the essence of reflective consciousness.
It’s Alberich who puts it to work. It’s Alberich’s ring. It’s Alberich who finds out what you can do with reflective consciousness. What you can do is all kinds of things. You can put your brother to work forging the Tarnhelm, for example. Don’t forget that Rheingold was written three years after wire telegraphy had been invented. The electronic age had begun and again Wagner catches this - he knows this. The electronic age is implicit and the Tarnhelm stands for that, doesn’t it? Wagner gets the point - it stands for instant transferability - ‘Er entführt flugs dich dahin’. He catches all that. The difference is that Mime who can make it, doesn’t own it. He can’t control it. It is the one who made the ring who controls it.
Well, that’s the first scene of Rheingold. We are off to the races for the rest of Der Ring. It just beggars belief that I have to read from people whom I know personally in New York or London, to say nothing of some others that Alberich is a specific Jewish caricature. If you want to believe that you can say "Very like a whale". If that’s the way you want to interpret this scene, there’s not much point in arguing, is there?
I said that I’d talk about errors, lies and nonsense. Since the errors, lies and nonsense are oceanic, we would certainly be here far too long even to get under the surface, much less to any great depth. I suppose this nonsense will be with us permanently because Wagner raises all the hard questions. No other composer raises as insistently as he does the basic fundamental philosophical questions?
For example, Parsifal, a work that I adore, I do not take as an assertion of the Christian faith at all. I take it as a farewell to transcendence, and the bid for transcendence. I believe that if you look closely and listen, you can see that Wagner leaves the ultimates open. He’s much too modest and sensible to say categorically this is the way existence is and this is the way philosophical truth is. It’s all open. Finally, everything is speculative, that’s the way art is. You can’t possibly know what Shakespeare really thought about anything.
You can take Parsifal as a farewell to transcendence, and that we have to consecrate, we have to bless the existence we’ve got because it’s the only one. But you can use it as an affirmation of a divine realm, a realm of being other than the one we have. I don’t think the case for this is terribly good, and I think if you listen to the music you will hear he has managed to smuggle into the music the agonizing doubt. What do you think the wound of Amfortes represents?
And the music represents the fatal doubt. It is a question. The question is posed, but I don’t think it has any doctrinal interest. Wagner asked all these impossible questions - what is music? What is the relationship of music to society? What is the relationship of music to the other arts? What is the relationship between words and music? - just a simple aesthetic question like that. He posed them, he poses them all. Since his works pose them all, I assume that the controversy is going to go on and on, and I suppose it should. One would hope that sooner or later we’ll get away from ‘the elephant and the Polish question’.
Richard Hornung: You very enthusiastically affirm Wagner, do you think that Nietzsche is a bit of an aberration when he clearly had a split with Wagner?
AG: Nietzsche certainly adored the man and his own life was one of the great tragedies of the time. Nietzsche had a failed love affair with music which was not successful and he never quite gave up as a composer. The products show, as Wagner said, a modest gift, but nothing that he could place much money upon, and certainly Wagner said, stick to your knitting. Nietzsche was a very self-obsessed person who certainly used Wagner as a foil to define himself. What really happened between them and what Nietzsche said happened is just a day and night difference. The answer is the meeting with Wagner was absolutely crucial for Nietzsche, absolutely fundamentally crucial.
Arthur Butz: I think it was about 10 years ago, English philosopher, Brian McGee, published a little book in which he claims that Wagner was right in his booklet Das Judentum in der Musik
AG: Who would it be? I should know, many people have suggested he’s not entirely off base in stating what Meyerbeer represented - Meyerbeer is the Andrew Lloyd Webber of his time. Wagner was vindicated in the artistic ideals he opposed to Meyerbeer’s. He won across the board. Again, part of the resentment is that those who criticised him took such a beating. Those who fought on the barricades against him took a horrible beating, and still do. I’m sure there’s been a public protest that Das Judentum in der Musik is not the kind of brochure other people say. It has nothing to do with a political program of any kind. It has nothing whatever to do with National Socialism, nothing, nothing.
Original Message ----- Saturday, October 02, 2004 From: Eric May email@example.com
Congratulations for publishing this fine, provocative essay, and for the upcoming presentation of the Wagnerian classical cycle of The Ring. I have been a Wagnerian since my boy-soldier days, back in the 1970s, when I used to listen to the orchestral music from his operas in the old Army post library. They weren't scratchy discs; they were sublime discoveries!
The Wagnerian myth, which he stylized from the Germanic root myths, stands as one of the great accomplishments of 19th Century Romanticism -- and perhaps the last great accomplishment, the conclusion, of 19 Century Romanticism. I believe Wagner and Nietzsche should be taken together, by the by -- with kind tolerance for the characteristics of each that make them difficult for us, and made them, ultimately, difficult for each other.
I think that North America has become the foundry of the Modern Nibelungs, and that they work all their mischief, especially their deceits and seductions of honor, from here, and I think the time has come to begin to inoculate the public against their pernicious influence. They have appealed to the pity of a tolerant public for too long; their treachery in cheerleading us into a ruinous Middle Eastern war for their own dark purposes has exposed them to the public's ridicule and contempt -- and, they fear above all else -- to the public's just retribution.
Apropos of Wagner, in the opera Die Meistersinger, I believe the same that I encapsulated in the paragraph above comes true: the false, insidious opponent is defeated in the end, and derided. That seems to be cosmic irony and poetic justice, since these people use contempt and ridicule as their weapons of choice to abuse those who can think without or against them.
Thanks again for the compliment -- now is clearly the time to be made of stern stuff. Like Siegfried himself, we must try to be above fear. Remember the Nietzschean levels: There is the camel/man who bears the burden of common opinion/morality; there is the lion/man who roars in the face of common opinion/morality; and there is the child/man who laughs at it all …, like Siegfried did.
With respectful regards, Capt. Eric May.
PS: I was most gratified to find a bit of my February. 2004 correspondence on the web, courtesy of the Adelaide Institute. The inspiration for my infowar against King George and his Nibelungs came from a Dr. Peter Guenther, professor emeritus of the University of Houston, my former Art History teacher and mentor, and a former captain from the German Wehrmacht - Eastern Front, 1939-45. On of my letters to him, from early in my process of discovery, as I rode to Ft. Stewart to get confirmation of my surmise that they were covering up the deaths of my comrades, is in the Adelaide Institute publication. Thinking of matters cultural always puts me in mind of "Dr. G" as he came to be called among Ghost Troop, to which he never belonged but of which he was aware and approving.
Not Happy, John! Defending our democracy
Penguin Books, 2004 www.nothappyjohn.com
Chapter 13, p. 233 – 259: Taking Back the Power: Hanan Ashrawi, by Antony Loewenstein.
Introduction by Margo Kingston [with interspersed commentary by Fredrick Töben]
I had coffee with George Brandis, after his ‘Greens are Nazis’ speech to parliament, and said a number of my Jewish friends were very upset by his remarks. He looked startled. He said that after he’s made it he’d rung Colin Rubenstein, head of the privately – and secretly – funded think tank the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC), who’d endorsed it. On Lateline the next night Brandis said Rubenstein had contacted him to say ‘he supported it and he was pleased it had been given’.
‘Coling Rubenstein doesn’t represent mainstream Jewish opinion,’ I replied, appalled, ‘and many Jewish people vote Greens.’ George Brandis’s mouth fell open.
I’ve avoided participating in debaters on the Israel-Palestine question for the same reason that most journalists and politicians in Australia and the United States have. History professor, Juan Cole of Michigan University puts the reason succinctly: ‘Most people in public life have frankly been intimidated into just being quiet about it (including every single sitting member of the US Congress, not one of whom ever criticises any action of the Sharon government and supervises the next election); this is an incredible degree of political intimidation. ’This intimidation, and the internal pressure on those in the Jewish community who do not support Zionism or the Sharon government in Israel to shut up about it outside the community, means people such as Colin Rubenstein and AIJAC Chairman Mark Leibler dominate the media and politics on the matter, purporting to speak for the Jewish community. There are, however, elected community groups in each state, which join together in the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, established in 1944.
The Jewish spokesman for the Council had condemned Brandis’s comparison of the Greens with the Nazis.At the time, debate was raging about the powerful behind-the-scenes lobbying led by the Rubenstein-Leibler crowd to force NSW Premier Bob Carr not to present the Sydney Peace Prize to Palestinian Dr Hanan Ashrawi. A Jewish friend cried out in conversation with me, ‘I feel ashamed to be Jewish!’
‘No. Please don’t be ashamed, please,’ I said. ‘One of my heroes is Ron Castan [who before his death ran the Mabo care for Aboriginal land rights in the High Court]. His is the true Jewish way – to struggle for human rights for all. Don’t be ashamed - get involved!’
So I gulped three times and asked the only Jewish member of the NSW Parliament, the Green’s Ian Cohen, to write a piece for Webdiary on how he felt about the Brandis attack and the Ashrawi furore. I published it and one by my colleague Antony Loewenstein supporting Ashrawi, to find that a Jewish reader called my editor demanding immediate removal of the whole entry from the website.
However, once attempts to censor two Jewish Australians were out of the way, the door opened to a fantastic Webdiary dialogue that included Jewish, Muslim and other Australians on both sides of the debate anxious, even relieved, to participate.
The night Kerry O’Brien interviewed Hanan Ashrawi on the 7.30 Report, I suggested to the Sydney Morning Herald’s Canberra intern that she have a look. She was mesmerised.
‘I’ve never heard the Palestinian view before, ‘she said. ‘I never knew there was another side to the story.’
[So, too, it is with the gas chamber libel against the Germans called the ‘Holocaust! – FT]
I then commissioned Antony Loewenstein to research the Ashrawi saga for this book.
By the way, I sought Colin Rubenstein’s comment on George Brandis’s claim that he’d endorsed the Greens and Nazi speech. He repeatedly refused to answer my question during a lengthy email exchange. And I copped this in an article on AIJAC’s website:
‘Probably the worst accusation came from Margo Kingston, web diarist for the Sydney Morning Herald. She claimed on Nov. 14 that Jewish backers of Sharon “seem to have the power, money and clout to dominate public debate and wield enormous political and financial power behind the scenes. The Ashrawi debacle has exposed this secret power.” A more clearly stated racist conspiracy theory I have never seen in the mainstream media in Australia.’
Taking Back the Power: Hanan Ashrawi. By Antony Loewenstein
This whole debate has been invaluable in opening up the ability of people in or around the Jewish community to have a view that was only tolerated before: Ian Cohen, NSW Greens MP
The Hanan Ashrawi affair left me fiercely proud of my Judaism.
[I am fiercely proud of my Germanism, and that is why I oppose the homicidal gas chamber libel! – FT]
My maternal grandparents arrived in Melbourne from Vienna in 1938, and my paternal grandparents in Perth from Dresden in 1939. All four had fled Nazi persecution; all four were regarded in Australia as enemy aliens. My grandparents lived in the general community, but were not allowed radios and had to report weekly to the police during the war.
[Thousands of individuals, born in Australia, but of German, Italian, Japanese background, were placed in concentration camps in Australia for up to five-six years! – FT]
It was a bizarre war for Antipodean Germans. Some males, not even naturalised, were placed in the Australian Army for the duration. Others, including a number of family friends, were transported to Australian internment camps – Tatura in Victoria and Hay in NSW – although conditions were markedly superior to those of refugees today.
Some things never change, though. Here’s the President of the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1939 referring to my grandparents and others – the tiresome ‘Jewish reffos’ - as ‘slinking rat-faced men, under five feet in height, with chest of 20 inches, willing to work for a few shillings pocket money plus keep … it is horrible to think such people would marry Australian girls or bring their under-nourished women here’. Most of my extended family were unable to leave Europe and were killed in the death camps of Poland.
[Someone put it in a funny way: of the three million German Jews, six million were gassed, four million received compensation from the German government, five million settled in Israel! – FT]
I was brought up in a Jewish home that was progressive but observant; all the festivals were celebrated and I regularly attended synagogue. Then one day I brought home a girlfriend who was Polish and non-Jewish – an unacceptable combination. My parents rejected her. They couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel uncomfortable about Polish ‘involvement’ in murdering family members. I was nineteen.
I began moving away from observance as I sensed Jewish intolerance, and began questioning the underpinnings of my belief. Then I started fighting my religion’s assumptions about Israel and Zionism.
[ … not yet at the Holocaust level! - FT]
I had been taught from a young age at Sunday school that Zionism was the right of the Jewish people to their own homeland and sovereignty over the land of Israel. Despite centuries of attempted assimilation, early Zionists believed that Jews throughout the world were continually persecuted, making a Jewish homeland essential. The formation of Israel in 1948, partly due to the world’s guilt over the Holocaust’s devastation, was a victory for Zionism; the British and American power brokers had little interest in Palestinian self-determination. Today the state of democracy in Israel is far removed from the tolerant, socialist utopia that was the dream of Theodore Herzl, the father of Zionism.
[Hamas spiritual leader] Sheik Yassin is marked for death and he had better dig deep underground, where he won’t be able to tell the difference between day and night. We will find him in his tunnels and liquidate him.
Zeev Boim, Israel’s Deputy Defence Minister, on Army Radio, 17 January 2004 (Yassin was assassinated on 22 March 2004)
For many who suffered in the Holocaust ‘Never again’ is an overarching mantra. In an Israel stricken with suicide murderers that sentiment is an urgent imperative and a daily silent plea. But can there ever be a hierarchy of suffering? And what of Palestinian nationalist ambitions?
I am no longer an observant Jew. If I had to label myself I would choose culturally Jewish’, to try to capture that sensibility that merges a deep knowledge of Judaic history and tradition with a secular embrace of humanism and compassion. Am I therefore still ‘truly’ Jewish? I would hardly be as interested as I am in Israel, Palestine and twenty-first-century Zionism if I’d been born atheist. And religiously lapsed or not, I have absorbed the values of my parents, who brought me up to believe in testing, questioning and challenging established power.
Seeking out the truth.
If ever Jews needed such intellectual tools it was during the Hannan Ashrawi affair.
The Ashrawi story is both very simple and very complicated. The simple version: Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian and human rights activist, campaigner for women’s rights and Christian, was chosen as the 2003 recipient of the hitherto uncontroversial Sydney Peace Prize. Manufacturing both ‘Jewish’ outrage and sickening slanders, a small number of powerful, self-declared Jewish ‘community leaders’ set out to intimidate, threaten and bully the award committee into changing its mind.
[ - don’t blame the Jews, blame those that bend to their pressure because of their moral and intellectual bankruptcy! – FT]
Along the way some non-Jewish politicians buckled under the pressure, a few others stood firm and, thanks to a small number of courageous public figures and journalists, the Jewish and non-Jewish community got a rare glimpse of how unseen power is wielded in Australia.The controversy also exposed to a wider Australian public the mechanics of the global information war over how to get peace in the Middle East, the core issue in the intensifying confrontation between the Islamic world and the West.
[In whose interest is it to have such a confrontation? Israel-Jewish interest! – FT]
It also showed how fundamentalists seek to hijack the debate in an escalating war of ideas between Zionist absolutism, whose template is the Likudian touchstone of a holy land given to the Jews alone by God, and Jewish humanism, with its belief that the land must be fairly shared with the Palestinians, who have equal rights.
[Imagine, stealing land, then offering to share it with its original inhabitants! – FT]
Baruch Kimmerling, a professor of sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, believes ‘politicide’ is at work, which ‘has, as its ultimate goal, the dissolution of the Palestinians’ existence as a legitimate social, political and economic entity’. Israel continues to build settlements on Palestinian land in defiance of international law and numerous UN resolutions, and in April 2004 George Bush unilaterally declared the West Bank settlements permanent.
In the power struggle to prevent her voice being heard and any legitimacy bestowed on Palestinian claims, a number of individuals found themselves caught up in manoeuvring behind the scenes.
In a stunning illustration of how politicised the Australian Defence Force has become since Tampa and September 11, Colonel Mike Kelly, an Australian Army officer serving in Baghdad, emailed Carr in early October demanding he abandon his support for Ashrawi: ‘It would be hard to explain to a soldier here who has just lost both legs in a terrorist attack why an Australian State Premier (supposedly an ally in this war) has been in effect comforting the enemy.’ His email naturally found its way onto the front page of the Australian.
Like Carr, the corporate sponsors of the peace prize – the City of Sydney, Gilbert & Tobin, PBL, Rio Tinto and Citi-group – were pressured by elements of the Zionist lobby to withdraw their financial support. Carr said he heard of ‘one company’ which received pressure from New York, or a request from New York head office that they shouldn’t be part of this’. … Representatives from all five sponsors have now said that various degrees of pressure were exserted on them to withdraw, with one senior executive revealing that ‘people contacted all corporate sponsors to withdraw support and withdraw publicly’.
[The pattern of behaviour is so transparent for Revisionists dealing with the Jewish lobby. How reminiscent what ECAJ President Jeremy Jones demanded of Mrs Olga Scully and Fredrick Töben – a public apology because they were doing what they were doing because Jeremy Jones is what he is – a Jew - not because of his behaviour, nor for the sake of truth because lies cripple the mind!]
Dor some, inevitably, such pressure was too much. The then Sydney mayor Lucy Turnbull withdrew the City of Sydney’s support for the peace prize just weeks after endorsing Asgrawi as the winner. ‘I would be failing in my duty if I were not to take those hard decisions in the light of my conscience,’ Turnbull said, before retreating into silence. The impression of surrender was overwhelming, although the mainstream media’s pursuit of the story behind this development was almost non-existent. Many people saw a direct link to her husband’s preselection battle in the federal seat of Wentworth, with its high proportion of Jewish voters.
Initially the Sydney Morning Herald’s Alan Ramsey was the only mainstream journalist who shrugged off Zionist lobby intimidation. With the cold cynical eyes of the veteran political reporter, he wrote that ‘almost always, in politics, money is at the root of the great grovelling’. The Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation, Professor Stuart Rees, gave Ramsey the transcript of a stunning conversation between himself and former Foundation chairwoman Kathryn Greiner. ‘I won’t be subject to bullying and intimidation,’ he had told Greiner. ‘We are being threatened by members of a powerful group who think they have an entitlement to tell others what to do. This opposition is orchestrated.’ Greiner responded with the brutal realities of the pressure being placed by Zionist forces on Sydney University, the Peace Foundation, the corporate sponsors of the prize and Bob Carr: ‘They’ll destroy what you’ve worked for. They are determined to show we made a bad choice. I think it’s [businessman] Frank Lowy’s money … The foundation will be destroyed.’
Frank Lowy, the billionaire owner of Westfield shopping centres, called Carr direct to question the Premier’s motives. ‘He is the only person from the Jewish community who rang me directly,’ says Carr: ‘It was a courteous and respectful call. It wasn’t lobbying, unless you argue that the mere fact that he made a call can be said to represent pressure. He simply said he’d been asked to sign a petition criticising me on this, and he wanted to pay the courtesy. I explained my position.’ Ramsay had blown the story wide open, yet mainstream media outlets barely responded to his initial column. A senior ABC journalist told me he thought Ramsey was shocked by this failure, because ‘if he hadn’t been, he wouldn’t have come back and written that ’second article’.Sydney University had refused the use of its Great Hall for the ceremony, and Ramsey’s follow-up column revealed the reason: a senior member of the Jewish community had pressured Chancellor Kim Santow, who was anxious about future donations and financial support. A university staffer commented, ‘The whole affair stinks like a dead rat under the floorboards.’
Ramsey’s piece also challenged the Zionist lobby’s reading of Israel-Palestine and took to task AIJAC’s national Chairman Mark Leibler for his comments to ABC radio’s Linda Mottram about Ashrawi’s language. Asked about Ashrawi’s insistence that all violence against civilians, ‘whether [by] suicide bombers or Apache helicopters’, be condemned, he had loftily asserted, ‘What [she’s] doing is equating those who blow up innocent civilians, women and children, with actions by a country to deal with terrorists. That’s not good enough, because the Israeli violence [is] not violence. The Israeli action is there simply to protect the civilian population.’
Rees says that Ramsey’s contribution to the debate was crucial: [Ramsey’s columns] exposed the business of the pressure [and] he linked into the international pressure that came from Israel and the Jewish community.’ Even so, the ensuing media focus concentrated on various personality conflicts within the Jewish community rather than seriously investigating the depth and intricacy of Zionist influence on political power.
Most of the lobbying came out of Melbourne, home of the Australian/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, and increasingly jarred with the more conciliatory tone emanating from Sydney. Yet Michael Gawenda – Editor-in-Chief of The Age, a Fairfax stablemate of the Sydney Morning Herald – didn’t think the issue worth exploring.
‘It was a very Sydney story,’ he told me, ‘which received little coverage in The Age, perhaps too little coverage.’ Gawenda was being disingenuous; The Age’s fence-sitting editorial on Ashrawi indicated it would not pick up a story that was beginning to make Melbourne heavies Rubenstein and Leibler look out of touch with the emerging mood. ‘[The Age] said there has been a distortion of her [Ashrawi’s] track record,’ Gawenda advised me. ‘We also said that Jews, like any other group, have a right to lobby and forcefully put their position. We were disturbed how quickly people reached for images of Jewish financial power and secret influence. ’Yet such ‘images’ were exactly what had been exposed in Sydney as all too real.
Billionaire US financier George Soros and Sydney Morning Herald literary editor Michael Visontay are just two among the many who are forging a new way forward.
[Quickly, get your Prof Kevin MacDonald trilogy on Judaism, and your impaired vision will be fixed about Jewish evolutionary group dynamics. - FT]
In November 2003 Hungarian Holocaust survivor Soros told the Jewish Funders Networking New York, ‘There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush Administration and the Sharon Administration contribute to that. If we change that direction, then anti-Semitism will diminish. I can’t see how one could confront it directly.’ Soros is contributing millions of dollars in 2004 to the Democratic Party and affiliated organisations to unseat Bush in the November presidential election.
A typical AIJAC response would be reactionary outrage, an escalation of the same old shouting wars: Jewish ‘Never again’ versus Jewish ‘self-blame’.
Australian author and broadcaster Phillip Adams and his unbalanced search for truth in history.
Fredrick Töben’s Right of Reply – thanks to the Internet!
At one of South Australia’s Press Club luncheons Phillip Adams was guest speaker, and as it was just after the Federal Court of Australia had imposed a gag-order on me, I asked Adams what I should do. His advice was that I should switch-off Adelaide Institute’s website, then commit voluntary euthanasia.
Why would my work be such a threat to this well-known libertarian that he feels threatened by it? In the following article Adams’ mindset reveals itself.
On the one hand he champions the search for truth as an imperative, for example his engagement with the Armenian community that seeks to have its Turkish-perpetrated genocide acknowledged. Likewise with the Australian Aboriginal claims that the British committed genocide as they arrived on Australia’s shores.
He then takes issue with British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s exaggerated claim that mass graves were found wherein the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, had allegedly dispatched his opponents. He couples this to the WMDs that were never found, and to the failed 9/11–Saddam Hussein connection. One of his columns last year that dealt with the US invasion of Iraq attracted the wrath of a reader who took Adams’ column to the Press Council of Australia for adjudication. It cleared Adams of any wrongdoing.
[Little that was in America's favour was stated. The article piled condemnation upon condemnation. Some examples:
"The US fails to see that it has always been among the most violent nations on earth" ... "the so-called war against drugs which encourages white police to brutalise black citizens" ... "The US aided and abetted the political terrorism that killed Salvadore Allende and turned Chile into a charnel house" ... "3 million Vietnamese killed in a war that was none of the US's business". And ... "If Australia is to be a true friend of the American people, we must try to rein them in, not urge them on. The US has to learn that its worst enemy is the US."
Mr Littrell set out what he considered to be breaches of Press Council principles, including
• Mr Adams's comments about America were neither honest nor fair; and
• the article breached a Press Council principle relating to "lapses of taste so repugnant as to be extremely offensive to its readership". It was in the poorest possible taste, said Mr Littrell, to accuse the US (and by implication its citizens) in the same week as America was burying its victims of terrorism.
The Press Council is aware that, in this heated and internationally important clash of opinions, many American commentators have made strong criticisms of their own country's conduct, rather like the comments of Mr Adams.
The Press Council does not accept that it has a role to deny Australian newspapers the right to put such comments to Australian readers. The Council champions open comment in publications. The fact that such commentary may offend some readers, even a majority of readers, will not of itself bring a Press Council censure.It finds publication of the Adams article did not breach Press Council principles and that there was an over-riding public interest in the issues and comment upon them.
Interestingly, we go even further than Adams on this 9/11 matter and declare that WMDs and 9/11 are an outright scam. Does this make us ultra-left-wing conspiracy nutters? Remember that anyone who uses the conspiracy label to silence an opponent is actually being intellectually dishonest. This is because we have law enforcers who almost on a daily basis charge individuals with “conspiring to…”.
Hence, why should political entities, driven by ideas and volition of individuals, not include the conspiratorial factor? That is what the battle of the wills is all about! It is naïve to suggest that political actions cannot be conspiratorial. The 9/11 tragedy teaches us otherwise.
Adams wants to “get the facts right” but he cannot come to terms with the Revisionist Historians who specifically challenge the ‘Holocaust’. He simplifies and claims Revisionists sheet home the blame for the lies and exaggerations alone to the Jews. I have gone to great lengths to indicate that Jews alone could never uphold the ‘Holocaust’ mythology, but rather that it is perpetuated and legally held together by individuals who hate Germans and anything good that the 12-year period of National Socialism generated. This fear and hatred of Germans operates at all levels of world society. It is only those who seek the truth in a balanced way that cannot participate in this German-bashing exercise. I always come back to the Faurisson challenge: “Show me or draw me the homicidal gas chamber, the murder weapon of Auschwitz!”. I have passed this challenge on to Adams but to date he has failed to respond to it. And as I am legally not permitted to doubt the matter and write about it, I can only cry out: “Why must I believe in the things that I believe did not happen!”
Why does Adams not point out that the first thing the Jewish-Bolsheviks did in the Soviet Union when they grabbed power there was to enact laws that made it a capital offence to be labeled an ‘antisemite’, and a ‘revisionist’. Such labeled individuals were either shot or taken to the Gulags where they wasted away.
We are well on the way to this kind of legal nightmare, where slowly, ever so slowly our intellectual freedoms are switched-off. Under the guise of combating racism, there are now laws in most European countries that protect the ‘Holocaust’ from open debate. In Australia, it appears to me, Adams is in the forefront of this movement. And then, in order to clarify the matter some more, we need to ask that vital question: In whose interest is all this censoring an open debate on the ‘Holocaust’?
Phillip Adams - The Weekend Australian Magazine / September 4-5 2004
At times of unprecedented disaster, human societies have had to coin new words, or apply old words to the experiences. When the citizens of Pompeii were being suffocated by the gases from Vesuvius, the Romans had no word for volcano. When the French stormed the Bastille, there was no appropriate term for the scale of the upheaval and so for the first time the word “revolution” was appropriated for the purpose. [Adams forgets to mention that only a handful of prisoners were then in the Bastille thereby making the Revolution claim rather suspect, much the same as that Bolshevik Revolution claim is suspect, but it can be called a Jewish-Bolshevik Revolution for obvious reasons. But again Adams will shrink from such formulations because it illuminates a Jewish factor, something that in itself is a taboo topic! – FT].
In the 20th century when, by some estimates, 140 million people died in wars and genocides, the latter term was in few lexicons. We’d had wars forever, but genocide? Yes, there’d been attempts to wipe out this or that group, but not a specific word to describe the carnage. Nor had “holocaust” become The Holocaust.
A few months ago, I gave the annual Oration on the Armenian Genocide. Though still denied by the Turks, that terrible event set the stage for so many more attempts to wipe out groups, races and communities in the 20th century, from Europe’s Jews and gypsies to Rwanda’s Tutsis. And what happened in the Balkans introduced another unprecedented term, a particularly loathsome one: ethnic cleansing. [Again Adams does not mention the fact of ethnic cleansing of Germans at the end of World War Two, something ethnic Germans have been writing about for 60 years. Why not? – FT.]
That, at the very least, is what’s been happening in Sudan and Darfor. So I asked Foreign Minister Alexander Downer why he hadn’t agreed with the US Senate to label that ongoing massacre of Africans by Arabs as genocide. Downer pooh-poohed the question, saying that “words don’t matter”. But, of course, they do. “Genocide” has powerful legal ramifications – it kicks in an escalation clause in international law.
Correctly used, genocide doesn’t have to involve slaughter. An orchestrated attack on people’s culture and religion can be defined as genocidal under United Nations law. Which is why it has sometimes been used in regard to Australia’s treatment of Aborigines. It’s not just the massacres and the arsenic in the flour, but also the destruction of Aboriginal languages and beliefs. The driving of indigenous populations from their ancestral lands or the kidnapping of Aboriginal children from their parents can be deemed genocidal.
When that word is applied in the Australian context, the conservatives are enraged. Which is why, recently, Geoffrey Blainey lost his crown as the Right’s favourite historian. That’s now worn by Keith Windschuttle, impeccably connected to Paddy McGuinnes and Quadrant – where the stolen generation is regarded as a misnomer. If anything, Aboriginal parents should be grateful – with McGuinness calling their children the ‘saved generation”. [The so-called Right in Australia considers me with trepidation. At one conference I was asked not to identify myself to the present media for fear it would leak out that I was in attendance. McGuinness became irritable with my questioning him on so-called ‘right-wing’ matters. The right-wing/left-wing divide has become useless as an intellectual construct. – FT].
Windschuttle has gone further, insisting that what has been described for generations as genocide in Tasmania was a fabrication of history and of left-wing historians. He insists that the only dead Aborigine is one with an official toe tag, listed on a documented body count. We must ignore anecdotal evidence, particularly that provided by Aborigines. (Apart from not inventing the wheel, they failed to invent handwriting and filing cabinets, and their oral histories mean nothing.) When one protests to Windschuttle that official body counts had to be understated, not everyone went around demanding that their acts of murder be notated. Even then there was a remote possibility of punishment. [At the 19 May Federal Court of Australia Appeal, my counsel compared my ‘Holocaust’ with that of Keith Windschuttle’s work, something the judges did not accept. Why not?
But Windschuttle’s efforts at revising history are nothing compared with the serious work of the revisionist historians. Now, there’s another 20th century coinage. These ultra right-wing ranters with Nazi sympathies or neo-Nazi connections say that either the Holocaust didn’t happen or, if it did, the death toll has been immensely exaggerated. By whom? By Jews, of course. Britain’s David Irving and Fredrick Töben, of the Adelaide Institute, insist that the Holocaust is a guilt industry run by Jews manipulating sympathy and greedy for reparations. [Certainly that is the case, but not only by Jews – FT].
This issue has renewed urgency for me as a consequence of a recent column wherein I disputed a claim of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s, twice repeated, that 400,000 corpses had been found in mass graves since the invasion of Iraq. As The Observer and The Guardian both pointed out, at last count 395,000 fewer bodies had been unearthed and Number Ten was forced to issue a retraction. But the story has a life of its own – and was bounding and rebounding around the world on official US Web sites. [Just like the ‘Holocaust’ six millions, but I am not allowed to discuss and dispute this in public because it is legally protected, thereby giving those that perpetrate this story time to mobilize resources with which to saturate the gullible, so that ultimately it becomes common knowledge, i.e beyond dispute. Professor Robert Faurisson made a pertinent comment about the Iraq WMDs story not even lasting a year, while “the ‘Holocaust’ lie” has lasted for decades, and is now legally protected from factual scrutiny, thereby making it a religious dogma.]
It’s odd that the same conservatives who want the names and addresses and fingerprints of every Australian killed since the First Fleet have written letters to the editor, or to me, protesting that I am quibbling.
We were misled about Iraq. About Saddam Hussein’s personal responsibility for 9/11. About his connections with Osama bin Laden. About the mountains of WMDs. So if the world is to believe that Saddam’s trial is ethical, a publicity stunt, let’s get the facts right. Let it be as forensic as Adolf Eichmann’s trial in Israel. [Oh, Adams you fool! You call that show-trial forensic and just? – FT].
Simply declaring the former dictator of Iraq as guilty as hell, and hanging him ten times, won’t convince many in the Arab world, and will leave the door open for all sorts of revisionist historians in the months and years ahead. [Indeed, Adams, but your foolish belief system cannot even get around the show-trial nature of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, so how could you now seek justice out of a situation where an invading force writes the codes of justice! Poor Phillip, I think you need to do some hard praying for your soul before you begin to clarify for yourself historical matters. By the way, Phillip, when are you going to return to their rightful owners your personal multi-million dollar Egyptian art collection? Just asking, no offence, please. – FT]
"My conversion to Christianity was in Sydney, Australia, in 1986, it was before this case. So when I find myself in prison I decided my Christianity is going to be my way to freedom, my boundary, my defence against Israel's power organisation, brainwash or psychologic warfare. So in some way, in many ways it helped me very much...They don't like it, and also, the Israel Government and state have teached all the world, especially the west, Europe, United States, Australia, Canada, they teach them to fear and now to be under blackmail by Israel propaganda of Holocaust and all this propaganda."
The World Today, ABC Radio, 29 September 2004. More at Mordechai Vanunu speaks
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