Thursday, 18 September 2008

A Classic Greenstein Lie!

In the thread I made the following statement (comment 49):

Mary McCarthy famously said that “every word Lillian Hellman writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’” I would say the same about Tony Greenstein.

Here is a classic example:

In comment 62, I stated the following:

The Nazis for example were virulently anti-Semitic and also anti-Zionist. I suggest Greenstein reads Francis R. Nicosia’s new book published this year by Cambridge University Press Zionism and Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany. This should set him right on the point.

Tony Greenstein responded in comment 64:

I have incidentally read Francis Nicosia’s book and it is very good in terms of source material, but not so good in terms of analysis. It produces further evidence of the close symbiosis between the Nazi Party and Zionism. Far from the Nazi Party being anti-Zionist, ludicrous, it specifically differentiated between the ‘good’ Jews – the Zionists and the bad ones.

Oh really? I responded (comment 75) as follows:

This really is Greenstein’s favourite accusation. He tries to make out that the Nazi party was a Zionist party. Incredible as it sounds Greenstein not only says it, he claims he has read Francis R. Nicosia’s recently published book, Zionism and Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and he claims that the evidence presented in it supports his thesis. Specifically Greenstein states

“It produces further evidence of the close symbiosis between the Nazi Party and Zionism. Far from the Nazi Party being anti-Zionist, ludicrous, it specifically differentiated between the ‘good’ Jews – the Zionists and the bad ones.”

Well let us consider some of the passages in that book:

“lest the reader imagine that the purpose of study such as this to somehow equate Zionism with National Socialism, Zionists with Nazis, or to portray their relationship as a willing and collaborative one between moral and political equals. The research, analysis and conclusions, do not in any way support such notions. The existence of certain common assumptions on the part of Zionists on the one hand, and nationalist and anti-Semitic Germans on the other, does not in any way connote moral and/or political equivalency.” (pp. 2-3)

Nicosia continues:

“The dominant Zionist approach, like that of most non-Jews at the time, shared a reliance on the idea of an ethno-nationalist state, an idea that was the societal norm in Central Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Their embrace of that norm does not make the Zionists the moral equivalent of the Nazis. Nor does the willingness of the Zionist or any other Jewish organisation in the Third Reich to cooperate with the state make them willing collaborators in the Nazi destruction of Jewish life in Germany; to suppose that any Jewish organisation in Hitler’s Germany prior to the ‘final solution’ had the option of refusing to work on some level with the state is fantasy.” (p. 3)

Nicosia specifically states that it is a-historical and simplistic to “dismiss Zionism as yet another of racism, the substance of which has not been very different from German National Socialism.” (P. 8)

“Most anti-Semites could never embrace Zionism and its institutions as partners in a common quest because Zionists were, after all, still part of what they believed to be a monolithic world Jewry.” (P. 9)

“For most anti-Semites in Germany, therefore, including the Nazis prior to 1941, their willingness to use Zionism and the Zionist movement was never based on an acceptance of the Zionist view itself.” (p. 10)

“the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Zionist movement in general recognized the critical link between its own survival and the survival and well-being of all Jews in the Diaspora. Even on a practical level, the Zionist view was that if the Nazis succeeded in murdering the great majority of Jews in Europe, a Jewish majority and state in Palestine might never be achieved.” (pp.8-9n15)

I trust I have made my point. I do not believe it is necessary for me to go further, but I cannot fail but to add one final quote from that book: “Of Course, the Nazis opposed a Jewish state, in any form, in any part of Palestine or anywhere else in the world.” (P. 197)

In all likelihood, despite his claim, Greenstein has not read Nicosia’s latest book, but if he had, it is simply another example of one Greenstein’s lies, in this instance, about its contents.

Finally, in comment 77 Greenstein admits:

The book of Francis Nicosia which I have read is ‘The Third Reich and the Palestine Question’ which makes the pro-Zionist orientation of the Nazi Party quite clear.

So now Greenstein admits he has not read the book that he claimed to have read but suggests a different book by the same author “makes the pro-Zionist orientation of the Nazi Party quite clear.” I have not yet responded to this lunacy claim, but it just so happens that I also own Nicosia’s The Third Reich and the Palestine Question (I.B. Tauris & Co, 1985). Nicosia states quite clearly (pp. 24-25) that there was:

a fundamental ideological hostility between National Socialism and a Zionist movement that was considered to be merely an instrument of a monolithic Jewish world conspiracy.

It can be seen that Greenstein claims that he read one book and he had not, he claims he knew what was in it and he did not - he then claims he has read another book that claimed something where it did not! This is the sort of thing that one has to deal with if they are to respond to Tony Greenstein.

My advice to anyone reading his comments on the Internet is ALWAYS check his sources. You cannot believe a word of what he says.

No comments: