What sort of Truth is it that crushes the freedom to seek the truth?
Note that Zionists during WW1 also claimed the sacred number of 6 million Jews had been killed during that conflict.
Ahmadinejad's Holocaust Problems are My Holocaust Problems
The Holocaust consists of three basic elements: 1. Approximately six million Jews were deliberately killed. 2. These killings were part of a state sponsored program on the part of the Third Reich whose ultimate goal was the total eradication of the Jewish people. 3. The bulk of these murders took place in special death camps where the principal mechanism of execution was the homicidal gas chamber that utilized Zyclon B, a commercial pesticide whose active ingredient was hydrogen cyanide.
That the Third Reich possessed the technological and administrative means to carry out such a vast amount of killing there is little doubt. The Soviet Union with significantly inferior assets in these areas was able to kill far greater numbers of human beings. Furthermore, the armies of the Third Reich succeeded in killing at least ten million of its heavily armed military opponents in the course of World War II. Hence the killing of six million unarmed civilians should not have presented any unique problems to such an industrially advanced and bureaucratically efficient state as Nazi Germany, on the contrary, it would have been far easier.
My doubts about the Holocaust are not centered on whether it could have happened but whether it did happen. In fact many of the doubts that I have are a direct consequence of the fact that I have no doubt that it actually could have happened...but certainly not in the ways that have been described thus far in the ''official'' literature.
It is part of the Western tradition in legal, scientific and intellectual matters that those asserting something have the burden of proof and that those who disagree are not required to provide evidence. This tradition however has been turned on its head regarding the Holocaust since the ''historical truth'' of the Holocaust has been posited in advance. Furthermore, even to express doubts can result in criminal penalties in at least 11 so-called democratic countries and the ruining of lives and careers in numerous others.
Listed below are some of the ''problems '' I have with the Holocaust. Should these be cleared up it would go a long way toward my accepting it …they are in no particular order.
1. Why did Elie Wiesel and countless other Jews survive the Holocaust if it was the intention of the Third Reich to eliminate every Jew they got there hands on? Elie was a prisoner for several years; other Jews survived even longer. Most of these ''survivors' ' were ordinary people who did not have any unique expertise that the Germans could have exploited for their war effort. There was no logical reason for them to be kept alive. The very existence of more than a million survivors even today, some sixty years later, contradicts one of the basic components of the Holocaust i.e. that the Germans had a policy to eliminate every Jew they got their hands on.
2. Why is their no mention of the Holocaust in Churchill's six volume History of the Second World War or the wartime memoirs of either De Gaulle or Eisenhower or any of the other lesser luminaries who wrote about the Second World War. Keep in mind all these were written years after the war ended and thus after the Holocaust had been allegedly proven by the Nuremberg Trials? With regard to the Holocaust, the silence of these " cognoscenti " is deafening!
3. What was an inmate infirmary (and a brothel) doing in Auschwitz if in fact it was a death camp?
4. Why would the Germans round up Jews from their far flung empire, thereby tying up large numbers of personnel and rolling stock, while fighting a world war on two fronts to deliver people to ''death camps'' hundreds of miles away who were then executed upon arrival…wouldn't a bullet on the spot have appealed to legendary German sense of efficiency?
5. Why after sixty years have historians been unable to come up with a single German document that points to a Holocaust? Should we believe the likes of Raul Hilberg that in the place of written orders there was an "incredible meeting of the minds" by the literally tens of thousands of people who would have had to coordinate their actions in order to carry out an undertaking of this magnitude.
Prof. Hilberg's exact quote:
"But what began in 1941 was a process of destruction not planned in advance, not organized centrally by any agency. There was no blueprint and there was no budget for destructive measures. They [these measures] were taken step by step, one step at a time. Thus came about not so much a plan being carried out, but an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus -- mind reading by a far-flung bureaucracy. "
Let us note again those final words: "an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus -- mind reading by a far-flung bureaucracy. "
6. How come it is still insisted upon that six million Jews were killed when the official Jewish death toll at Auschwitz, the flagship of the Holocaust gulag, has been reduced from an immediate post war figure of 3 million, to a figure of somewhat less than one million? Why do many respond to this observation by saying, “what’s the difference whether it's six million or one million''. The answer is that the difference is five million. Another difference is that saying so can get you three years in an Austrian jail...just ask British historian David Irving!
7. All of Germany's wartime codes were compromised including the one used to send daily reports from Auschwitz to Berlin. The transcripts of these messages make no mention of mass executions or even remotely suggest a genocidal program in progress. Furthermore it has been insisted that the Germans used a kind of euphemistic code when discussing their extermination program of the Jews e.g. final solution, special treatment, resettlement, etc. Why was it necessary for them to use such coded euphemisms when talking to one another unless they thought their codes had been cracked by the Allies?
8. The water table at Auschwitz lies a mere 18 inches below the surface which makes claims of huge burning pits for the disposal of tens of thousands of victims untenable.
9. Initially claims were made that mass executions in homicidal gas chambers had taken place in camps located within the boundaries of the old Reich e.g. Dachau, Bergen-Belsen. ''Evidence'' to that effect was every bit as compelling as what was offered for other camps, located in occupied Poland, yet without explanation in the early sixties we were told that this was not the case and that all the ''death camps'' were located in the East i.e. Poland outside (some would say conveniently) of the probing eyes of western scholars.
10. No one has been able to reconcile the eyewitness accounts that personnel entered the gas chambers after twenty minutes without any protective gear and the fact that Zyclon B was a "time release" fumigant that would have had a lethal capability for at least another twenty-four hours. And that even after twenty-four hours the corpses would have themselves remained sufficiently contaminated by the hydrogen cyanide gas that they would have had the capacity to kill anyone who touched them who were not wearing protective gear.
11. Why do we no longer hear claims that the Germans manufactured soap, lamp shades and riding britches from the bodies of dead Jews…could it be that in the light of modern forensics and DNA knowledge these claims are totally untenable?
12. Why do we no longer hear claims that huge numbers of Jews were exterminated in massive steam chambers or electrocuted on special grids…''evidence' ' of this was presented at Nuremberg…evidence that sent men to the gallows.
14. Elie Wiesel has been described as "the Apostle of Remembrance" yet in his memoir, ''Night'' which deals with his stay at Auschwitz he makes no mention of the now infamous homicidal gas chambers. Isn't this a bit like one of the Gospels making no mention of the Cross?
15. Virtually every survivor who was examined at Auschwitz says that he or she was examined by the infamous Dr. Mengele. 16. According to survivor testimony, hundreds of thousands of Jews were executed at Treblinka and then buried in mass graves in the surrounding area. Why is it that extensive sonar probing of these burial grounds reveals that this alleged final resting place for Holocaust victims has remained undisturbed since at least the last ice age?
17. ''Proof'' of the Holocaust rest primarily on survivor testimony; there's little if any hard evidence. The best of this has been described by Jean Claude Pressac as merely ''criminal traces''. Even Judge Grey who presided at the Irving-Lipstadt Trial commented that he was surprised the evidence pointing to the Holocaust was ''extremely thin''. To paraphrase Prof. Arthur Butz of Northwestern University, ''a crime of this magnitude would have left a mountain of evidence''…where is it? There was more hard evidence against OJ Simpson at his trial and he was FOUND INNOCENT!
18. Why has Holocaust Revisionism been criminalized in at least eleven countries…what other historic truth needs the threat of prison or the destruction of one's career to maintain itself. Should someone be sent to prison for expressing skepticism about the official Chinese claim that they suffered thirty-five million dead in World War II.
19. Why do the court historians insist that "denying the Holocaust" is like denying slavery or saying the earth is flat when it is nothing of the sort. The leading Revisionists are first rate scholars who hold advanced degrees from the world's leading universities. Is there anyone comparable among those who say the world is flat or that slavery never existed?
20. Promoters of the Holocaust have expressed concerns about the remembering the Holocaust once the last survivors die. Why haven't Civil War historians expressed similar concerns since the last survivor of that conflict died in 1959?
21. Survivors of the Holocaust have testified that smoke billowed from the crematoriums as they consumed the bodies of murdered victims…some eyewitnesses even claimed they could detect national origins by the color of the smoke. How can this be reconciled with the fact that properly operating crematoriums do not produce smoke of any color?
22. According to the official version of the Holocaust hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were rounded up in mid 1944 and sent to Auschwitz where most were gassed immediately upon arrival and their bodies were disposed of by burning in huge open air pits using railroad ties and gasoline. Why is that there is no evidence of these huge funerary pyres in the high resolution surveillance photos taken by Allied aircraft who were over flying the camp on a daily basis during this time period. Furthermore, why have no remains been found, since open pit burning, even when gasoline is used, generates insufficient heat to totally consume a body?
23. All of the liberated camps were littered with corpses; is there a single autopsy report or any other forensic evidence that shows that even a single one of these deaths was a consequence of poison gas?
24. The death toll for the Holocaust relies exclusively on population statistics provided by Jewish sources; has any independent demographic study been produced that shows that approximately six million Jews were "missing" at the end of the war? ANSWER: Yes and No! WHY? You can go to jail in Israel and 11 European nations if you do such research and have a different answer. I am not kidding! Ask the Max Planck scientist Germar Rudolf. (Do Google search for imprisoned THOUGHT CRIMINAL Germar Rudolf).
25. Why do the wartime inspection reports of camps made by the International Red Cross contain no references to mass executions…it strains credulity that such monumental crimes could be hidden. The only explanations are that either these crimes were not occurring or that the Red Cross was complicit in a cover up.
26. Why has there been no effort to respond to the Leuchter Report?
27. "The Holocaust was technologically possible because it happened ". Why is this intellectually bankrupt argument, which turns scholarship on its head, considered by the promoters of the Holocaust as historical truth, considered a sufficient response to the mounting Revisionist evidence to the contrary?
Note for item 27: "34 reputable historians" in 1979 paid and published an advertisement in Le Monde one of the most monumental pieces of nonsense of French academic life:
"It is not necessary to ask oneself how, technically, such a mass murder was possible. It was technically possible because it happened."
28. What other historical truths rely to the extent that the Holocaust does on so-called "eye witness" testimony…and why have none of these witnesses ever been cross examined?
29. According to the official version of the Holocaust, the Jews remained ignorant of their fate until the very end so skillful were their Nazis murderers in deceiving their victims. How can this ignorance be reconciled with the fact that the Jews have historically been as a group, the most literate and highly informed people on the planet with legendary access to the highest echelons of government.
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GrassRoots TV balks at Holocaust denial film
Charles Agar - firstname.lastname@example.org
Aspen, CO Colorado - October 6, 2007
ASPEN — A controversial Holocaust denial film is raising questions about free speech at GrassRoots TV, the Aspen community-access station. Steve Campbell, founder of Citizens for 9/11 Truth, asked the station to air “Judea Declares War on Germany: A Critical Look at World War II” on Monday, but GrassRoots TV board members stopped the screening.
The one-hour program features Dr. Frederick Töben, an Australian national and member of the Adelaide Institute, an organization that denies that the Holocaust ever happened.
“This film is offensive not only to Jews in the world, but to any sensible person,” said GrassRoots TV Executive Director John Masters. But the question of airing the film he called “like an homage to [Joseph] Goebbels” has stirred a “healthy debate” at the station, Masters said.
“Judea Declares War on Germany” will be pre-empted by an Aspen High School football game, and delayed until after an upcoming GrassRoots TV board meeting.
Questioning historical assumptions about the Holocaust brands anyone a “hater,” according to Campbell. “I think there’s a lot of preconceived ideas that have been indoctrinated into people’s minds as to what the Holocaust is all about,” Campbell said. Showing the film would give people an opportunity to decide for themselves, he said.
In the film, Töben says “alleged” concentration camp gas chambers were used to save lives by disinfecting prisoners and that the Holocaust was a fabrication. “You are not supposed to learn these historical facts, which are contained in this video,” Töben said in the film. According to the Adelaide Institute website, Töben has faced litigation and is under a federal gag order in Australia.
Campbell delivered the DVD to GrassRoots TV on Thursday, and sent board members copies of letters to local newspapers announcing the screening.
In the past, Campbell has aired controversial films on GrassRoots TV trying to debunk facts about the 9/11 attack. He said he has not run into this problem before. “John was very defending of GrassRoots programming and being able to air just about anything except pornography and obscenity,” Campbell said. “I’d think the board members would look at the GrassRoots policies and say that [the film] doesn’t fall into the realm of something that deserves censorship.”
“I believe the First Amendment is the cornerstone of our democracy and you can’t start to chip away at it,” Masters said. “What that means is that I need to allow offensive, hateful, racist programming as something that is protected by the First Amendment.”
Begun in 1971 as one of the first community-access television channels in the nation, GrassRoots airs community programs twice for free and charges for additional screenings or special placement, Masters said. “We’re not restricted in any way by the [Federal Communications Commission], nor do we get any government funding,” Masters said. Material on GrassRoots is governed by people’s desires and the discretion of the board, which represents the community, Masters said. Masters has not had to deny any program before, he said. “I’ve personally always felt that if you don’t want to watch something, then turn it off.”
Alan Feldman, president of the board of directors at GrassRoots, called the film “bigoted” and “historically inaccurate.”
“What’s objectionable about the film from my personal point of view is that it is a Holocaust denial film,” Feldman said.
Feldman said the board is not skirting the issue or denying Campbell’s right to air the film, but is giving the issue “tremendous attention. Certainly I think this world would be a much better place if we didn’t have to address issues of bigotry and anti-Semitism,” Feldman said. “But I also welcome the opportunity to address them from an intellectual standpoint.”
Feldman stressed the board is not going to argue with Campbell on his Holocaust thesis, but will focus on station policy.
“We’re not here in my opinion as a platform for racial bigotry. We’re here to promote our fantastic community and to bring the community together,” Feldman said.
He invited anyone in the community to get involved in the open meeting to decide policy on the matter. The board has a tentative meeting time scheduled at the Red Brick Building on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.
Holocaust Compensation Totals $8 Billion
By WILLIAM C. MANN 4 October 2007
WASHINGTON (AP) The U.S. diplomat seeking compensation and restitution for Holocaust survivors and descendants of victims said Wednesday that cash payments have reached $8 billion, and negotiations are under way for more.
It is "imperfect justice," Ambassador Christian Kennedy told a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee, but far better than might have been available had the United States not intervened in class action lawsuits against foreign banks and insurance companies in the 1990s.
Holocaust survivors who testified after Kennedy complained about life insurance and other policies held by Holocaust victims that have been ignored by European insurance companies and the lack of compensation for property seized by the Nazis or the communist governments that followed them in Eastern and Central Europe.
"With so much loss of life and the horrors of the Holocaust, there can never be adequate compensation to the victims, particularly at this late date," Kennedy said. "Our work surely embodies an effort to obtain `imperfect justice.' But I am confident the results we achieved could not have been approached, let alone achieved, had the victims and heirs been left to contend with the uncertainties and costs of litigation." He said the $8 billion came from funds established in Germany, Austria, France and Switzerland in settlement of class action lawsuits. In addition, he said the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims paid out $300 million.
Jack Rubin, a survivor of Auschwitz who now lives in Florida, said the Italian company Assicurazioni Generali is stonewalling on his father's insurance.
He told the panel he remembers a sign on his father's general store in Vari, Hungary, that said it was insured by "Generali Moldovia," a subsidiary of the Italian company. He also remembers the name of his father's insurance agent, a Jew who died with Rubin's parents at Auschwitz.
Marco Schnabl, a lawyer in New York who represents Generali's U.S. subsidiary, said, "Generali would deny that we have hidden anything that they say we have hidden."
Rubin and other witnesses endorsed a bill, co-sponsored by the panel's chairman, Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., that would establish an insurance registry in the United States and require insurance companies to report all Holocaust-era policies on their records.
Associated Press writer Desmond Butler contributed to this report.
17 years after German reunification, xenophobia renews East-West divide
By Assaf Uni, Haaretz Correspondent, 03/10/2007
BERLIN - Without knowing it, the three Greek citizens who stopped for gas last week in the east Berlin borough of Pankow crossed a virtual line separating the city's safe areas for foreigners and the dangerous ones.
The three - two men and a woman - were attacked in the gas station by a group of skinheads who beat and kicked them, shouting abuses. The men had to be hospitalized.
A week earlier an African youngster was beaten up in Berlin, and a week before that four Czech and Hungarian youngsters were attacked by a neo-Nazi gang in Wismar, a port town in the northeast.
There has been a spate of racist attacks in the former East Germany since the fall of Communism. Wednesday is the 17th anniversary of German reunification, and experts are warning that racism and xenophobia could redraw the old division between east and west.
Some 500 racist attacks were registered in Germany over the past year, a 33 percent increase from the previous year. Most of the incidents took place in former East Germany. Since the reunification, 130 racist murders have been registered, more than a fifth of them in Berlin and the state of Brandenburg. At the same time, radical right-wing and neo-Nazi parties in east Germany have increased their power and entered local parliaments, while opinion polls are reflecting growing xenophobia.
"If you're dark-skinned, you simply can't go into certain areas in east Berlin on weekend nights," says Anetta Kahane, head of the Amadeu-Antonio Foundation, which aims to rein in extreme right-wing violence in Germany. "In the Pankow and Lichtenberg districts in east Berlin, for example, foreigners have a 25-times greater chance of being attacked than in the western part of the city," she says.
The foundation she heads was founded in the late 1990s and named after an immigrant from Angola who was beaten to death by skinheads in Brandenburg in 1990. A series of murders of foreigners in the years after the unification shook Germany, and the problem still exists today.
"We must face facts: Every day there is an attack against foreigners, and most of them occur in the former East," says Kahane.
"It's not easy to explain why east Germany is a hub of xenophobia and violence," says Dr. Gideon Botsch, a political science expert from the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European Jewish Studies in Potsdam.
"Apart from the classic explanations of high unemployment, a bad economic situation, faulty education and high crime rates, it's important to look at the way in which democracy has been introduced in those areas," he says.
"In the first, formative years of the unification, the government's presence was hardly felt, the police did not exist and there were hardly any public services. This period led to the wave of attacks on foreigners. The people in the east felt immune to the implications of these attacks. We believe that people who were born between 1971 and 1979, who were youths in the 1990s, are involved to this day in attacks and neo-Nazi activity."
The reduced government presence in several villages and small towns in the east has allowed this trend to continue and to increase the younger generation's joining in. When the government is weak, the radical right thrives," says Botsch.
Kahane believes that one of the main reasons for this is the way East Germany refused to deal with the German people's responsibility for the Holocaust and World War II. "The starting point of the German Democratic Republic was that everyone is forgiven for what happened in the Third Reich," she says.
"As far as the government is concerned, all East German citizens were victims, a working class abducted by a fascist leadership. Overnight they all became anti-fascist, anti-racist and filled with fraternal comradeship. The whole debate about guilt in the West didn't take place in the East. We see the results today in the rise of the radical right wing there."
"In Brandenburg, for example, there are radical right-wing activists who are 'ticking bombs,'" warns Botsch. "They are dedicated to the neo-Nazi ideology and attracted to violence. It's only a matter of time until they kill someone."
"We're in a race against time," says Kahane. "The question is who will win - the radical right, which is cleverly recruiting more and more youngsters and establishing political support, or the government and civic organizations trying to stop them." http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/909455.html
Hate on tour - By TJ Reporter - Wednesday 3rd October 2007
Community leaders have expressed their dismay over the announcement by convicted Holocaust denier David Irving of a nationwide speaking tour and a new series of books. In an interview with the Guardian this weekend, the discredited historian – who recently spent time in an Austrian jail after being found guilty of denial – announced that after keeping a “low profile”, he was “ready to start again”.The 69-year-old, who a high court judge in 2000 described as ‘anti-semitic and racist’, added that while he accepted that the Nazis had conducted a “clandestine programme for the liquidation of
European Jews”, evidence of gassing at Auschwitz was faked, Hitler had no knowledge of what was going on and that “the Jews are the architects of their own misfortune”.
Responding to his latest assertions, American author Deborah Lipstadt, who successfully defended her claim that Irving was a Holocaust denier in the 2000 libel case, wrote on her website this week: “The fact is that David Irving has made so many twists and turns in his claims that even I, who is pretty familiar with them all, has a hard time keeping track of them all.The only way he gets attention is by swerving in one direction and then the other.
Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “In 2000, a British High Court Judge branded David Irving a ‘falsifier of history’ and a ‘racist’. I can not imagine there is any real interest in Irving’s “speaker tour” and I can not understand why anyone would sympathise with his spurious views.”
Jon Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Board of Deputies, added: “The judgement against Irving in the High Court in April, 2000 and the judge's comments after a lengthy examination of the evidence irreparably damaged any claims he may have had to have been a serious historian. He is free to speak in this country, within the bounds of the law, but can he really be treated as a reputable authority? Any road show would be more of a freak show.”
BOOK REVIEW – Sara Roy: Senior research scholar, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University
Hamas: Politics, Charity and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad – by Matthew Levitt. Yale University Press, in cooperation with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2006. 324 pages, $26.00.
This review, published here in its entirety, was originally commissioned by The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, the official foreign-policy journal at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Between the time I was invited to write the review and the time I was told it would be published, over two months had passed during which I had had several exchanges, some of them difficult, with the editorial staff. However, by the end of the process the editor-in-chief, with whom I had been working, was pleased with the review, and so was I. He sent me an e-PDF of the review as it would appear in the journal (Volume 31:1 Winter 2007). The PDF version of the page proofs revealed that the editor had excerpted two relevant sentences (featured in sidebars) to highlight observations that I had offered in the review:
1. “While there can be no doubt that, since its inception, Hamas has engaged in violence and armed struggle, and has been the primary force behind the horrific suicide bombings inside Israel, Levitt’s presentation reduces this increasingly complex and sophisticated organization to an insular, one-dimensional...entity dedicated solely to violence...and Israel’s destruction.”
2. “The ability of Hamas to reinterpret itself over time through processes of radicalization, de-radicalization, de-militarization, and re-radicalization is a pronounced and common theme in its historical evolution.”
During a subsequent exchange the editor-in-chief wrote, “Thank you for your hard work as well. It’s a good review.” I believed that was the end of the matter. Just a few days later, I received the following e-mail message from the same editor-in-chief:
Dear Ms. Roy:
…After careful review and much consideration of the merits of your piece, we have decided that we are ultimately unable to publish your review for this edition. Your review was evaluated by several of our editors and an external editor for objectivity. Unfortunately, they disagreed with my decision to publish your review for the following reasons: despite their agreement with many of your points, all reviewers found the piece one-sided. This one-sidedness dissuaded readers from reading the piece to the end; ultimately, this last point is the most important. Although I found your arguments valuable, if readers consistently feel this way, I am unable to move forward with a piece. My apologies for the way in which this process was carried out, and for the time that you spent on editing the piece. Thank you once again for your submission and your efforts. If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to e-mail me.
In more than 20 years of writing and publishing I have never experienced such behavior or encountered what to me, at least, is so blatant a case of censorship. I am therefore extremely grateful to Anne Joyce and Stephen Magro for agreeing to publish the review in Middle East Policy.
At the beginning of the first Palestinian uprising, I was living in Gaza and spent much time in the refugee camps interviewing families about the political and socioeconomic changes taking place around them. Despite the harsh living situation, Palestinians were filled with a palpable sense of hope and possibility that has since evaporated. Hamas was then struggling to create a popular constituency, despite overwhelming support among Palestinians for secular nationalism. That was 18 years ago, and neither I nor anyone else ever thought that Hamas would one day emerge as a major political actor: democratically winning legislative elections, defeating the majority Fatah party and heading a Palestinian government.
In his recent book, Matthew Levitt, who is deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and an expert in financial counterterrorism, argues that Hamas is strictly a terrorist organization that is not only a domestic threat but a global one, a part of an international jihad network with links to al-Qaeda that must be met with force. He further argues — and this is the core of his book — that despite the existence of differentiated political, social and military sectors within Hamas, they are all part of the same “apparatus of terror.”
Levitt devotes significant attention to attacking the Islamist social sector (dawa) and Hamas’s charitable institutions. It is the principle aim of his book to show how Hamas uses its extensive social-service network-mosques, schools, kindergartens, orphanages, hospitals, clinics, sports clubs, youth clubs-to further its primary political agenda, which he claims is the destruction of Israel. He argues that through its social support structure and services, “Hamas leverages the appreciation (and indebtedness) it earns through social welfare activities to garner support — both political and logistical — for its terrorist activities.” Levitt summarizes his argument as follows: “The general deprivation of the Palestinian people in the Israeli-occupied territories predisposes them to favor the much-needed social support that Hamas provides.” He continues, “In addition to purchasing goodwill, charities also create a built-in logistical support umbrella underneath which terrorist operations are sheltered and operate.” He explains that the dawa network operationally supports terrorism through recruitment, employment and financing and by providing institutional legitimacy.
His evidence, at times interesting, particularly with regard to Hamas’s external sources of financing, is more often than not based on assumption, extrapolation and generalization. For example, as evidence for how religious organizations raise money for Palestinian terrorism, Levitt quotes from a pamphlet produced by a Quranic memorization center that was sponsored by the Ramallah-al Bireh charity committee. The pamphlet listed 30 ways to enter heaven, including “Jihad for the sake of Allah by fighting with one’s soul and money.”
In another example of how hospitals are used to support terrorism, Levitt briefly describes the Dar al-Salam Hospital: “According to information cited by the FBI,” the hospital is considered a Hamas institution because it was founded with “Hamas funds and protection.” But Levitt fails to provide any real evidence of these funds or how and why they are considered “Hamas.” The assumption is that these ties, even if they are shown to exist, are inherently evil and can be nothing else.
In a chapter on how the dawa teaches terror and radicalizes Palestinian society, Levitt writes, “Recipients of Hamas financial aid or social services are less likely to turn down requests from the organization such as allowing their homes to serve as safe houses for Hamas fugitives, ferrying fugitives, couriering funds or weapons, storing and maintaining explosives, and more.” He cites as evidence for this sweeping statement one resident of Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza who fed Hamas militants daily. The possibility that Palestinians receive support from Hamas institutions without preconditions or that popular support requires more than the lure of financial incentives and free social services does not enter Levitt’s argument. Levitt also claims, “When angry, frustrated or humiliated Palestinians regularly listen to sermons in mosques in which Jews, Israelis and even Americans are depicted as enemies of Islam and Palestine, Hamas’s official policy may not restrain individual enthusiasm.” One wonders how Mr. Levitt knows these things, given that he appears never to have stepped inside a Hamas institution in Gaza or the West Bank or to have conducted any fieldwork at all.
While these arguments are oft-repeated in today’s media, Levitt does little to address research that supports a very different conclusion regarding the Hamas dawa. Some of the key findings of this research point to institutional features that demonstrate no preference for religion or politics over other ideologies, particularly in programmatic work; an approach to institutional work that advocates incrementalism, moderation, order and stability; a philosophical and practical desire for productivity and professionalism that shuns radical change and emphasizes community development and civic restoration over political violence; and no evidence of any formal attempt to impose an Islamic model of political, social, legal or religious behavior, or to create an alternative Islamic or Islamist conception of society.
While there can be no doubt that, since its inception, Hamas has engaged in violence and armed struggle and has been the primary force behind the horrific suicide bombings inside Israel, Levitt’s presentation reduces this increasingly complex and sophisticated organization to an insular, one-dimensional and seemingly mindless entity dedicated solely to violence, terrorism and Israel’s destruction. To fully understand the current political stature of Hamas, it is necessary to closely examine the dramatic transitions that have occurred within the organization itself, among Palestinians with respect to their society, and in Palestine’s relationship with Israel.
From the point of view of Hamas, Palestine is an Arab and Islamic land that fell to colonial control with the demise of the Ottoman Empire. The establishment of the State of Israel is viewed as a way to perpetuate colonial authority over the Muslim homeland and is therefore illegitimate. As victims of colonialism, Hamas argues that Palestinians have the right to resist and struggle to regain their homeland and freedom, viewing this as a local and nationalist struggle. Now, almost two decades after its birth, Hamas has grown in size and popularity. While changes have not been made to its frame of reference or objectives, its political discourse has become more refined and streamlined, particularly with regard to its relations with local groups, political factions, other religious communities and other nations.
Unfortunately, Matthew Levitt’s book does not address the critical evolutionary processes — particularly with regard to its organizational structure and political, social and economic role in Palestinian society — that have characterized the Palestinian Islamist movement and Hamas’s rise to power. The ability of Hamas to reinterpret itself over time through processes of radicalization, de-radicalization, de-militarization and re-radicalization is a pronounced and common theme in its historical evolution. Levitt neglects to address the significance behind this commitment to reinterpretation. His analysis aims simply to demonize Hamas, and he discounts the critical connections between changing patterns of protest and structures of society, competing visions of a Palestinian social and political order, and contesting Islamic and secular definitions of meaning and legitimacy. The synergy among these forces has characterized the history and growth of Palestinian Islamism.
Israel’s military occupation, which has long been the defining context for Palestinian life, is almost absent from Levitt’s book. Hamas’s popularity and growing empowerment derive from its role as a resistance organization, fighting against an occupation that is now 40 years old. Israel’s steady expropriation, fragmentation and division of Palestinian lands; settlement construction and expansion; closure restrictions and destruction of the Palestinian economy are not part of Levitt’s discussion, nor is the right of the Palestinians to resist these measures. In those few instances where the occupation is mentioned, it is couched in terms that acknowledge Palestinian hardship — a reality exploited by Hamas — but justified as a response to terrorism. In the absence of any serious examination of Israel’s occupation, Levitt’s portrayal of the rise of Hamas is completely detached from the context within which it was produced and shaped.
Despite evidence to the contrary, the organization is also described as a movement incapable of transformation, ignoring the improvements in Hamas’s political discourse regarding political compromise with the State of Israel and resolution of the conflict. During the period of the Oslo peace process, for example, some dramatic changes occurred within Hamas. The organization was moving away from the extreme and a position of confrontation towards one that was more centrist and moderate. This shift was characterized by a reorientation in policy and strategic emphasis from political/military action to social works and community development. Accompanying this shift was a redefinition of the nature of the Palestinian struggle, which was no longer for political or military power per se but for defining new social arrangements and appropriate cultural and institutional models that would meet social needs without resort to violence. Similarly, the Islamist movement was not advancing a policy of isolation but was calling for greater accommodation and cooperation with both domestic and international actors.
Since Hamas’s victory in the January 2006 legislative elections, there has been a further evolution in its political thinking — as evidenced in some of its key political documents — characterized by a strong emphasis on state-building and programmatic work, greater refinement with regard to its position on a two-state solution and the role of resistance, and a progressive de-emphasis on religion. (See Khaled Hroub, “A ‘New Hamas’ Through Its New Documents,” Journal of Palestine Studies, 34 (4) (Summer 2006)). These are absent from Levitt’s discussion. Levitt also overlooks questions that are vital to any analysis of Hamas, especially at present. To name just a few, what were Hamas’s ideological, philosophical and structural boundaries? How and why were they reset and expanded? What is the role of religion as opposed to politics in Islamist thought and practice, particularly in the public sphere? Are religion and politics truly unified? Can Hamas reconcile faith and ideology with a demand for a place in the political system?
Levitt’s book has many serious flaws and merits a detailed critique that extends well beyond the scope of this review. His is not a work of analysis or scholarship, to say the least, and despite certain points that are interesting and accurate, anyone wishing to gain a substantive, reasoned and critical understanding of Hamas would do well to look elsewhere.
Prepare for another Mein Kampf - 11 September 2007 By Irwin Cotler
As I write these words, it is the month of Ellul, a time of reflection in the days before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the High Holy Days of Awe and Remembrance. As it happens this year, Rosh Hashanah fell the day after the sixth anniversary of 9/11, of which it was said, at the time, that “the whole world changed”. I do not know if the whole world was changed — or that what was revealed was a darker side of evil that had always been there — but it is clear that 9/11 has had a transformative impact on our psyche as well as on our politics. But if 9/11 was a transformative event, the same holds true for another event that ended on the eve of 9/11. I am referring to the UN’s World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa, which ended on September 8 2001, and which became the tipping point for the emergence of a new wave of antisemitism which masquerades as anti-racism. Unfortunately, the “Durban” anniversaries have gone largely unremarked, though they also bear remembrance and reminder. Indeed, if 9/11 overshadowed Durban, Durban may be said to have foreshadowed 9/11. As one of my colleagues put it at the time, if 9/11 was the Kristallnacht of terror, Durban was the Mein Kampf. Those of us who witnessed the “Durban-speak” festival of hate, with its antisemitic declarations, incantations, pamphlets and marches, have forever been transformed by this experience.
When the World Conference against Racism was first proposed some 10 years ago, I was among those who greeted it with anticipation, if not excitement. This was to be the first world conference on human rights in the 21st century. Anti-racism was finally going to be a priority on the international human-rights agenda. The under-represented human-rights cases and causes would now have a platform and presence. Durban, as host city, was to commemorate the dismantling of South Africa as an apartheid state, a watershed event in the international struggle against racism.
But what happened at Durban was truly Orwellian. A World Conference against Racism turned into a conference of racism against Israel and the Jewish people. A conference intended to commemorate the dismantling of South Africa as an apartheid state resonated with the call for the dismantling of Israel as an apartheid state. A conference dedicated to the promotion of human rights as the new secular religion of our time increasingly singled out Israel as the meta-human-rights violator of our day, indeed as the new anti-Christ of our time.
At Durban, there crystalised a new, virulent, globalising and even lethal anti-Jewishness reminiscent of the atmospherics of the ’30s. In its benign (if it can be called benign) yet sophisticated form, it finds particular expression in “legalised” antisemitism — the singling-out of Israel and the Jewish people for discriminatory treatment in the international arena. In its lethal form, it finds expression as state-sanctioned genocidal antisemitism.
So it should not be surprising, given the experience of “Durban I”, that the advent of the Preparatory Commission for “Durban II”, scheduled for 2009, was awaited with a certain degree of concern, if not apprehension. The committee meeting which concluded at the end of last month did not “disappoint”. Regrettably, there were initial echoes — both in its organisation and content — that were disconcerting, if not somewhat reminiscent of the preparatory road to Durban I.
1. The PrepCom elected Gaddafi’s Libya, which gave its highest human-rights award in 2002 to convicted Holocaust-denier Roger Garaudy, as chair of the UN organising committee for Durban II.
2. The PrepCom elected Ahmadinejad’s Iran as vice-chair of the 20-member planning bureau, notwithstanding that Iran constitutes a clear and present danger to international peace and security, as well as a massive violator of the rights of its own citizens. Meanwhile Cuba, yet another oppressive regime, was elected as vice-chair and rapporteur.
3. The United Nations Human Rights Council, which has made a fetish of condemning Israel while providing the major human-rights violators with exculpatory immunity, will have superintending authority over the PrepComs on the way to Durban II.
So much for the organised leadership. The content of this initial PrepCom was no less disturbing. On the first day of the meeting, Pakistan, for the Islamic group, and Egypt, for the African group, called for the conference to focus on the plight of the Palestinians. The balance of the PrepCom discussion was dominated by the demand of the Organisation of Islamist Countries (OIC) to convert Durban II — when it was not dealing with the plight of the Palestinians — into new accusations against the West for allegedly defaming Islam and discriminating against Muslims.
None of this is intended to suggest that Israel is somehow above the law, or that Israel is not accountable before the law like any other state. On the contrary, Israel, like any other state, must be held accountable for any violations of international humanitarian law, and Israel and the Jewish people are not entitled to any privilege or preference because of the horror of Holocaust or the threat of antisemitism.
Yet the problem is not that Israel be held out as being above the law, but that Israel is being systematically denied equality before the law in the international arena. Not that human-rights standards should not be applied to Israel, which they must be, but that these same standards must be applied equally to everyone else. Not that Israel should be required to respect human rights, but that the rights of Israel deserve equal respect in the international arena, including, in particular, the right to live in peace and security.
Antisemitism — the old and the new — is the canary in the contemporary pantheon of evil. As history has taught us only too well, while it begins with Jews, it does not end with Jews. Combating racism and antisemitism is everyone’s responsibility.
The question then is this: Will those that gave us Durban I be part of the problem or become part of the resolution for an authentic Durban II Antiracism Conference?
Irwin Cotler is a Member of the Canadian Parliament and is former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. He is a professor of law (on leave) at McGill University and was a member of the Canadian delegation to the Durban Conference.
The Result of the Iraq-War
The US-British-Zionists may have lost the military-action in Iraq, but they have won the political-economical war for hegemony in this region.
Iraq will disappear and split. The people there will depend on the latest technology of the Wall-Street - & City of London Manufacturing Companies, to clean up the destruction of Depleted Uranium in the next 25 to 50 years. The people sick from Depleted Uranium will be depend on the Wall-Street – and City of London Pharmaceutical Companies.
The Zionist State of Israel will administer the region on behalf of those Wall-Street - & City of London Companies.
Thus the US-British-Zionists will do to Iraq & Afghanistan that what they have done to Palestine. What is left of Palestine? Will you still be a dreamer and believe in the Co Existence of Arabs & Jewish Zionists in Palestine? The Friends of Palestine-People in the World still believe in this none-sense. Do not kid yourself and discover how you can stop the US-British-Zionist, by exposing their propaganda – weapon No. 1 to dominate the Palestinian People and the Middle-East! Learn all about their propaganda-weapon on:
You will see how the US-British-Zionists will lose their Power, when the People of the World will realize what Hoaxers they are.
New Zealand pizza chain scraps Hitler ads
23 Aug 2007 22:12:07 GMT, DPA
Wellington - New Zealand's Hell pizza chain, which is known for its wacky advertising campaigns, has scrapped billboards showing Hitler saluting with a slice of pizza after complaints from the Jewish community, a newspaper reported on Friday. The Nazi leader was shown giving a Heil Hitler salute with pizza in his hand and the quote: "It is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell."
Kirk MacGibbon, of the Cinderella advertising agency that devised the billboard, told The Press newspaper, "We hoped we could get away with people seeing Hitler with a piece of pizza would be funny."
MacGibbon said the Hell chain had a fun and controversial style and did not set out to offend with its advertising, but added, "What I would say is meek and mild does not get you media."
10 clues pointing to Diana murder
Daily Telegraph October 03, 2007 12:00am
MOHAMED Al-Fayed has set out a ten-point argument over why he believes his son Dodi and Princess Diana were murdered on orders from Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, a judge said today.
High Court Lord Justice Scott Baker outlined Fayed's arguments at the opening in London of the inquests into their deaths on August 31, 1997 in a Paris road tunnel on August 31, 1997.
Baker says Fayed makes the following claims:
1. Driver Henri Paul was a paid informer working for both the Secret Intelligence Service MI6 and the French secret services. Paul met with the secret services on the night of the crash and received cash from them.
2. Paul was sober, despite separate probes by the French and British police which concluded he was drunk that night.
3. MI6, the US Central Intelligence Agency and the US National Security Agency would have known Diana planned to announce her engagement to Dodi on September 1, 2007 because they were monitoring her phone calls.
4. MI6 is known to carry out assassinations, based partly on evidence from former spy Richard Tomlinson who said Diana's car crash resembled a plot to kill former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.
5. Two senior MI6 agents were in Paris that fateful night at the British Embassy.
6. Even though it was illegal in France, Diana's body was embalmed to conceal that she was pregnant with Dodi's child.
7. The post-mortem examination on Henri Paul was fabricated and blood samples supposedly taken from his body were not his.
8. Closed-circuit television cameras between the area near the Ritz and the Alma tunnel, where the crash occurred, were not working that night because they had been tampered with.
9. The crash was caused by a blinding flash from a stun gun and a collision with a white Fiat Uno driven by James Andanson, a French photographer whose body was found in a burned-out car in the south of France seven years ago.
10. There is no convincing explanation for Paul's decision to drive through the Alma tunnel rather than take a quicker route.
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