Tuesday 16 September 2008

The Deleted Post - Tony Greenstein : The Man, The Distortions, The Omissions and The Lies.

In my previous post to this blog it may seen that the moderator of Socialist Unity deleted post number 75 as they claimed it was libellous, without specifying what part was libellous. In actual fact, I have full references for all the claims I made in that long post and I copy it below for anyone interested.

(NB if there is anything wrong - I said that Tony Greenstein "sends friendly emails" to Atzmon when, to my knowledge there was only one email. I hardly think that in the grand scheme of things a judge will get hugely worked up about this minor matter.)

Tony Greenstein : The Man, The Distortions, The Omissions and The Lies.

1. Perfidy

Zeev is completely correct to attack Tony Greenstein for the use of Ben Hecht's Perfidy.This is the same Ben Hecht who in 1931 wrote the novel A Jew in Love. Within four lines of the first page of that novel he states, “The Jews now and then hatch a face which for Jewishness surpasses the caricatures of the entire anti-Semitic press. These Jew faces in which race leers and burns like some biologic disease are rather shocking to a mongrelized world." Hecht continues on his first page “People dislike being reminded of their origins. They shudder a bit mystically at the sight of anyone who looks too much like a fish, a lizard, a chimpanzee or a Jew.” [1] Hecht continues in this vain but I think I have made my point and it is not necessary for me to quote further from that book.

At the very beginning of his 1961 polemic, Perfidy, Hecht admits that he is not objective: “For though I write a history I am not a historian; that is if an historian is a man full of facts and with an objective attitude. Facts I have, but I am not objective” [2] As Zeev states, the case presented by Hecht is that of Tamir. If anyone is any doubt of this, Hecht dedicated Perfidy to Tamir.

To get an idea of how distorted Perfidy is without going into specific examples – we can see some of the major reviews of the book:

A. The most authoritative destruction was published by The American Section of the Executive of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency in 1962 and reproduced as an appendix in later editions of Perfidy by Juian Messner Inc, the original publishers of the book. The review states that “The method used by Hecht would not put to shame the most notorious falsifiers of history, past or present.” Before providing examples to back up the case the, review accuses Hecht of

i. “the invention of Big Lies, of such scope and nature that they defy any brief denial”
ii. “the distortion of facts, sometimes subtle, sometimes not-so-subtle”
iii. “the ‘selective’ quotations – out of context – of sentences and half-sentences, giving them a meaning quite opposite to the statement as a whole”
iv. “the invention of small lies, of minor importance but intended to give an impression of detailed documentation and veracity to the major lies, distortions and misquotations.” [3]

B. Chaim Lieberman, a member of the editorial staff of the Jewish Daily Forward, went so far as to write a 103 page booklet, both ridiculing Ben Hecht and commenting on the distortions of history that Hecht published in Perfidy. Lieberman states that Perfidy was “Written with spittle and venom, it is a book in which the great Jewish tragedy is turned into a cheap shocker.” Lieberman goes on to say that “Hecht really has no conception of the true significance either of Zionism of the holocaust [sic]. He is woefully unqualified, morally and spiritually, to penetrate their meaning and mystery.” [4]

C. A review of Perfidy in the New York Times said that Hecht “indulges in some crude distortions of history.” [5]

D. Lucy Dawidowicz reviewed Hecht’s polemic for Commentary: “Hecht is neither a historian nor a chronicler, he has little respect for the accuracy of a date, a name, or a quotation: it is too much to expect that he should have placed Kasztner in historical context.” Dawidowicz was scathing in her attack: “He [Hecht] has converted ideological differences into savage personal defamation, and equated Zionist mistakes and expediency with German murder.” [6]

E. In Jewish Frontier Marie Syrkin slated the “unsavory” book. She accused Hecht of “Falsification of facts,” of using material “out of context,” of “sleight-of-hand,” “omission,” “confusion,” “venom” and of “the revolting aspect” of exploiting “the martyrdom of European Jewry for his partisan ends.” [7]

F. A review in Midstream referred to Perfidy as “a fistful of pages concocted of half truths, outright falsehoods, misrepresentations, quotations out of context, surmises and innuendos, name calling, flight of fancy dressed up to sound like fact and huge glaring omissions of crucial facts and events which can be ascribed either to abysmal ignorance or to equally abysmal cynical disregard of truth.” Shlomo Katz who wrote the review said “It is an evil book in every sense of the word …. The first reaction to reading Perfidy is one of loathing. ‘Trash!’ one is inclined to exclaim and to fling Ben Hecht’s opus into the nearest garbage can.” Katz concluded “Ben Hecht’s Perfidy … is unique – when one reads it, one feels soiled.” [8]

This is the book that Tony Greenstein relies upon – One that is completely and utterly discredited.

2. Joel Brand : Rather than relying on the discredited Hecht to try and justify his erroneous claim that Brand testified against Kasztner, Greenstein could have read some of the contemporaneously written trial reports. Had he bothered to do so, he would know that Brand testified for the prosecution and against Gruenwald and not the other way round. [9] When Brand was recalled to the witness stand by Benjamin Halevi, Brand denied that he ever had any important differences with Kasztner.[10]

3. It is simply ludicrous for Greenstein to say Kasztner’s committee was a Jewish Agency committee. It was not and Zeev above is correct in his comment on the matter. I have already provided a good source – Martin Gilbert to show that Moshe Krausz’s organization was the representative body in Hungary of the Jewish Agency. For a further source, Randolph Braham also stated categorically that Moshe Krausz, as the Executive Secretary of the Palestine Office, represented the Jewish Agency in Budapest. [11] So Greenstein is completely wrong, Krausz was not a “dissident” Zionist.

Whilst it is true that Kasztner signed in the name of the Jewish Agency, as I pointed out earlier witness Eliahu Dobkin denied that Kasztner had such authorisation. We simply do not know who was telling the truth here, but Greenstein assumes it is Kasztner. It can be noted that Kasztner was prone to exaggeration as Greenstein also points out that Kasztner signed as “Former Chairman of Zionist Organization in Hungary.” This was a lie as that was not his title. Kasztner’s title was in fact executive vice president. [12] Given it is clear that kasztner lied about one part of his title, I do not see how Greenstein can be sure he was not lying about the other!

4. Greenstein tries to make excuses as to why, according to Nigel Savage’s letter, Brian Conn may have left his Jewish Society stall in tears and afraid. Greenstein suggests that it may have been because Conn simply had to listen to an argument different from his own. This stretches credibility too far. People do not normally break down in tears and are afraid simply by listening to an argument they do not agree with. The truth is that Greenstein’s history shows him to have been a nasty piece of work.

Greenstein should explain why he was so heavily involved in the British Anti-Zionist Organisation (BAZ0) – an organization that was even denounced by many left-wing organizations as being anti-Semitic. [13] This was the same BAZO that was backed by the Saddam Hussein supporting National Union of Iraqi Students (NUIS) – an organization, according to a report by the National Union of Students (NUS), that intimidated, spied on, beat up and even stabbed other students. [14] BAZO itself is an organisation whose President George Mitchell, attended a Jewish Society meeting at Strathclyde University, took photographs of those present and threatened to send the pictures to Beirut. [15]

BAZO was also an organisation where such blatantly anti-Semitic points as the following were made. In 1979, trade unionist speaker Joseph Monaghan asked: “Why did the Jews not bomb the ovens at Auschwitz and so stop the killings in the last war? With all the money they have, they could have got an air force. The Holocaust – the killing of six million Jews in Europe – was done by Nazis working with the Jews.” [16] It is instructive to note that the same literature that was distributed by BAZO was also advertised by the neo-Nazi British Movement? [17]

It was therefore no surprise that NUS publicly condemned a BAZO leaflet entitled Against Zionism as antisemitic, and why its conference noted that BAZO literature was not dissimilar to that of the fascist National Front and therefore called upon NUS to ban BAZO activities “from its base in Strathclyde Union and any other campus in the United Kingdom.” [18]

By the Spring 1981 NUS Conference BAZO were advertising that they were selling Alfred Lilienthal’s book – a book by an author who questioned the authenticity of The Diary of Anne Frank, who had signed a petition supporting a known Holocaust denier, and who was promoted by the National Front. The then President of NUS called the book “antisemitic,” warning delegates: “I don’t want to see this book at conference.” The NUS executive put out a statement at that conference, saying that “the actions of BAZO help antisemites in their activities,” and went on to add: “We are not willing to allow BAZO to have stalls at our conferences, or publicise their material through our publications.”[19] Despite all of this, Greenstein specifically referred to Lilienthal as a “reputable historian.” [20] Given Greenstein’s views on Lilienthal, it may be understandable as to why Greenstein spends time denouncing Searchlight, the leading anti-fascist magazine. [21]
The NUS executive put out a statement at that Spring 1981 conference saying that “the actions of Bazo help antisemites in their activities” and went on to add “We are not willing to allow Bazo to have stalls at our conferences, or publicise their material through our publications.” [22]

Tony Greenstein admitted that he was involved in a “physical confrontation”with another student and also admitted that David Aaronovitch, the then President of the National Union of Students, had him banned from attending the NUS conference? [23]
I am not the only one to think that Tony Greenstein is disreputable as in 1986,Vicky Phillips, the then President of the National Union of Students urged people to write to Anti-Fascist Action expressing concern about Greenstein’s involvement in its steering committee because she thought that he being involved “brings the whole organization into disrepute?” [24]

But this was not all, because by the late 1980’s Tony Greenstein was on the founding editorial committee of, and went on to become the editor for, a magazine entitled RETURN. This magazine was banned in 1990 by the National Union of Students by its then President Maeve Sherlock, in a decision actively supported by Steven Twigg, the next President of NUS (Steven Twigg went on to become a Labour Party Member of Parliament.) Other leading NUS members, including its Womens’ Officer also supported the decision of the President. Maeve Sherlock specifically ruled that RETURN was “anti-Semitic.” [25]

Jewish students may join their Jewish Society for all manner of reasons – religious, cultural or social – but why did RETURN magazine hold the Union of Jewish Students in complete contempt, calling them, in an editorial, “a wing of Israel’s propaganda network”? And why did Tony Greenstein argue that UJS “act as paid and unpaid informers for Mossad”? [26]

But what can we expect from Tony Greenstein, a person who wrote a pamphlet entitled Zionism: antisemitism’s twin in Jewish garb that he had published by Brighton Labour Briefing? That pamphlet was praised by the far right wing and antisemitic National Front who commented on his “painstaking researches” and referred to it as “a seminal work, as important in its own way as was [Holocaust Denier Richard] Harwood’s ‘Did Six Million Really Die.’” The effusive praise from the National Front continued: “fascinating and vital reading for the student of modern history,” “his booklet is good. Read it and see!” [27]

Some may consider that all these activities in the 1980s and 1990s are in the past, but they can also consider his actions in more recent years, Tony Greenstein opposed Holocaust Memorial Day and went so far as to call it “obscene.”[28]

Asghar Bhukari, a spokesman for the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPACuk) was exposed for financing the Holocaust denier David Irving. [29] Despite this, in 2006, Greenstein went to Bhukari’s web site and sent him a very friendly message praising him for writing “a very excellent” article and for being “honest.” [30] Even more recently, this month, Greenstein has been making excuses for Jenna Delich. Delich is a member of the University and Colleges Union (UCU) and contributes to their activist list. Recently, and in order to attack “Zionists,” she linked to the web site of David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. This disgraceful act was exposed on Harry’s Place, a popular UK based political blog. [31] If Greenstein was a real campaigner against racism and fascism, he would be making a big fuss about Delich and would have congratulated Harry’s Place on their scoop. But no, not only does Greenstein not try and organise a campaign against Delich, he goes out of his way to defend her and at the same time he accuses the posters to Harry’s Place of being “hypocrites.” [32]

Tony Greenstein uses his blog, in part, to attack Gilad Atzmon. He refers to him as an “Open Holocaust Denier.” [33] This is all very well but he does not mention that in June 2006 he sent Atzmon a friendly email saying “I shall be more than happy to hear you play the sax! ” and went on to continue that some of Atzmon’s “remarks re the holocaust were spot on.” [34] This is despite the fact that as this thread shows clearly, Tony Greenstein cannot get the fact right about the Holocaust himself. Not that sending friendly emails to Atzmon should be a surprise given the same Tony Greenstein admits to have consorted with Stephen Brady, a leader of the fascist National Front! [35]

5. The Real Collaborators with Nazis – The Communists

Tony Greenstein is a Marxist and Marxists have a long and not so glorious history of collaborating with Nazis. There was for example, Hermann Remmele, a speaker from the German Communist Party, the KPD who went along to a debate by the Nazi Party. He said, “At the very beginning, I wish to make one thing clear. The National Socialist Party, like all other socialist organisations, has within its ranks a number of convinced and honest people.” He went on to say, “This courage and bravery we honour and respect.” [36] Or there was a different Communist speaker at a political rally in Germany in 1924 who said, “The time is not far off when Völkische and Communists will be able to unite.” [37] Or we can look to Heinz Neumann a young KPD party leader who said, “Young Socialists! Brave fighters for the nation: the Communists do not want to engage in fraternal strife with the National Socialists.” [38] The actions of the KPD were completely shameful. As Conan Fischer points out, In 1932 the KPD proposed United Action and posters appeared in Germany “showing Communist, Nazi and Socialist workers standing shoulder to shoulder in class solidarity against the bourgeoisie.” In fact, the term United Action was used because the Communists did not want to use the term Anti-Fascist Action as it would alienate the Nazis! [39] The KPD backed by Russia ensured that Hitler could finally take power. One former German Communist commented that Zinoviev said to him in 1933, “Apart from the German Social Democrats, Stalin bears the main responsibility to history for Hitler’s victory.” [40]

Of course, in August 1939, the Russian Communists and the German Nazis cemented their friendship with the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Communists such as Sean O’Casey who was on the editorial board of the Daily Worker demanded peace with Hitler. [41]

And it was not just those Communists who supported Stalin that were making pacts with Hitler - those Communists who supported Trotsky did not want “Imperialist” countries such as Britain or America to fight Hitler either. In America, the Trotskyist Labor Action took the position that World War II, like World War I, is “a war between two great imperialist camps ... to decide ... which ... shall dominate the world.” It is “a war of finance capital ... a war for stocks and bonds and profits ... a war conceived and bred by world capitalism.” Labor Action went so far as to attack the trade unions who supported Roosevelt’s decision to go to war. Max Shachtman used the paper to launch an assault on another socialist for jumping “into the War Camp.” [42]

The conclusion of all this is clear: The Stalinists made a pact with the Nazis and the Trotskyists did not want America or Britain fighting the Nazis. None of this was obviously any help to the Jews, Zionist, non-Zionist or anti-Zionist, in Nazi occupied Europe.

6. Contrary to the claim of Greenstein, I do not “disregard” the testimony of Katherine Senesh (Szenes). What I did say was that Mrs. Senesh claimed that she tried to see Kasztner on a number of occasions but was turned away by others who claimed Kasztner was not there or was busy etc. I commented that Kasztner “claimed that he was not aware that Hannah’s mother had tried to see him.” This does not disregard the testimony of Mrs Senesh.

7. Regarding Ruth Smeed of the Board of Deputies and her comments about the BNP, I do not know why she said what she did. If Greenstein is so interested to find out why, maybe he should email or write to her and ask for clarification.

Irrespective of why Ms. Smeed made her comments, it was clearly not in line with the policy of the Board of Deputies. Even the article that Greenstein links to where he read Ms. Smeed’s comments explains: “The Board of Deputies, the London Jewish Forum and the Community Security Trust have launched a campaign with other ethnic minority and cultural groups and the Hope Not Hate campaign to combat the BNP threat.” Moreover, as the article makes very clear, Henry Grunwald, president of the Board of Deputies said “Despite all its attempts to portray itself differently we know [the BNP] is still the same antisemitic, racist party it always was.” He added: “We, in the Jewish community, will not tolerate any form of racism or prejudice ... I would be thoroughly ashamed if any member of the Jewish community voted for them.” [43]

8. Greenstein states, “Mikey believes it is a ‘lie’ that Kastner testified on behalf of Wisliceny. Then presumably he is accusing Barri of lying?” The points made by the poster by the name of “Correction” are completely correct. I am not accusing Barri of lying as Barri does not say anywhere in her article that Kasztner testified on behalf of Wisliceny. What Barri says is that Kasztner appealed on behalf of Wisliceny. Kasztner wanted him transferred to American custody. [44] An appeal is not the same as a testimony but Greenstein clearly does not understand this.

9. Greenstein has harped on this thread about Gilad Atzmon. He has suggested that I am “willing to work” with him and that he is my “friend.” Both of these comments accusations are absurd but Greenstein persists. The basis of this accusation seems to come from a thread on the comments section of PeacePalestine blog that can be seen on the following link: http://www.haloscan.com/comments/thecutter/117192641046077827/

I urge everyone to read all the comments by myself and if they wish also the relevant comments by Tony Greenstein, Gilad Atzmon and Paul Eisen. In my first contribution to the thread, I ridicule the debate that was occurring: “this thread is a farce. We have Tony Greenstein being accused of being a Zionist by Gilad Atzmon and Gilad Atzmon accusing Tony Greenstein of being a Zionist.” I also stated that Paul Eisen “thinks no Jews were killed at Auschwitz.” Eisen decided to enter into a debate with me but all I wanted to know was one thing that I asked him in that thread: “does Paul Eisen believe Jews were killed by gas in gas chambers at Auschwitz. A simple yes/no will do.” Despite earlier trying to evade the question, he finally gave his answer: “I am not sure but the evidence for the use of homicidal gas-chambers is not good at all. The evidence against it is much, much stronger.” I had achieved what I wanted to do: getting Paul Eisen to admit on the Internet in very clear language what his position on the Holocaust actually was.

Away from that matter with Eisen, readers of the thread can see that I had brought up many past activities of Tony Greenstein. I have interest in attacking anti-Zionists of all shades – whether they are those like Atzmon and Eisen, whether they are those like Greenstein and Rance or even like Bhukari or Delich. It just so happens that as Greenstein was a frequent poster in that thread, I decided to take my opportunity to attack him there. (If It did not do it there, I would do it elsewhere – like here for example.) I did not attack Greenstein there because I was asked to, but because I wanted to. I would also attack Roland Rance if he contributed to the comments boxes of blogs I view and can post at. Greenstein and Atzmon are enemies of each other and as I have mentioned earlier they use the worst insult they can each imagine– they accuse each other of being Zionists.

Greenstein claims that Atzmon wanted information on Roland Rance and that I replied on the thread on March 12, 2007 at 8.53pm that I said “‘I have been very busy digging up stuff on Tony Greenstein - Roland Rance will have to wait for another day.” Now, if anyone bothers to click on the link, they will see that no such contribution exists on the thread that Greenstein gave! Despite this detail, it is not the point I wish to make. The point is that I am happy to dig up information on Roland Rance irrespective of Atzmon, but I have no desire to assist Atzmon himself.

It is also true that I have met Atzmon. Over many years I have met many anti-Zionists. I have attended their meetings and heard them speak. Greenstein is aware of this as he has referred to the meeting I attended organised by Jews Against Zionism when Lenni Brenner spoke and I attended his own meeting by Green Left on anti-Zionism to which this thread relates. I have been for a drink, had dinner, visited them at their homes, had short or long conversations in person with or spent hours on the phone with a number of anti-Zionists including some of whom Greenstein would consider his own ideological comrades. I do not do this because I view them as my friends or to assist them , but for my own research into anti-Zionism. I will not mention specific names here but I have referred to in this thread to different examples of articles in various issues of RETURN magazine. If Greenstein does his own research he might find out who provided them to me at a discounted price! Whilst I do not need to mention names – I can assure him that it was one of his own anti-Zionist comrades. Does that make his anti-Zionist comrade, a Zionist collaborator in the eyes of Greenstein?

This is of course very different from Tony Greenstein who sends friendly emails to Atzmon advising him on matters of the Holocaust and Zionism. The fact that Greenstein was very wrong in his analysis in that email to Atzmon is beside the point. [45] The only explanation that I can think of as to why Greenstein continues to suggest that I am a friend of Atzmon and assist Atzmon is because he is embarrassed as to his own assistance to him and this is the way he deals with his own psychological issues.

10. Randolph Braham on Kasztner

Greenstein uses Lenni Brenner’s discredited 1983 book, Zionism in the Age of Dictators: A Reappraisal [46] for Braham’s view as opposed to looking at the source itself. Greenstein writes the following:

“’History and historians have not been kind to the leaders of Hungarian Jewry in the Holocaust era.’ [Randolph Braham, The Official Jewish Leadership of Wartime Hungary, (unpublished manuscript), p.1.] As Braham admits, many ‘tried to obtain special protection and favours for their families’. [Randolph Braham, The Role of the Jewish Council in Hungary: A Tentative Assessment, Yad Vashem Studies, vol.X, p.78.]”

The first example is an unpublished manuscript and hence we cannot check it to see how out of context Brenner has taken that quote but knowing how Brenner distorts information . Given Brenner quoted it in his book published by 1983, Braham must have written that sentence prior to that time. The title of the first essay suggests that Braham was writing about the Jewish Council and in the second essay (which I have) Braham was certainly writing about the Jewish Council. A discussion about the role of the Jewish Council in Hungary would be a separate exercise but Greenstein has no real interest attacking that body as it was not a Zionist body. All Greenstein wants to do is attack Kasztner. Rather than quoting Braham on the Hungarian Jewish Council, if Greenstein wants Braham’s view on Kasztner he should look it up. If he did so, he would see that Braham says the following:

“An ardent Zionist by conviction, and an idealistic but opportunist politician by inclination….A man of unbounded political ambitions with some inclinations toward a bohemian lifestyle, Kasztner had a large number of faithful friends, as well as many bitter enemies who conspired against him. Dictatorial and jealous by nature (he could not gracefully acknowledge the success of others) Kasztner unwisely monopolized the negotiations with the SS. He may have been guided by an SS-imposed directive for secrecy ‘in order not to jeopardize the success of the deal,’ and therefore contacted the traditional leaders of Hungarian Jewry only when he needed their financial assistance. It is likely that, motivated by a strong subconscious drive for grandeur, he hoped to emerge as virtually the sole rescuer of close to one million Jews…. He had a sharp analytic mind but gifted as he was, he did not possess the strength of character which ultimately distinguishes the great from the average man. Nevertheless, in his dealings with the SS…he often displayed great skill and courage in championing the cause of rescue.” [47]

11. On Public Debates

Greenstein suggests that I am a coward because I did not raise any points either at the Lenni Brenner talk or at his own talk. The truth is that I did not do so, not because I am a coward and am afraid to debate Greenstein but because in the normal course at such “debates” contributors from the floor in the question time are not given an equal amount of time to the main speakers. Let us say that the meeting is 1 hour and a half – with speakers for 50 minutes, questions and points from the floor for 20 minutes and responses by the panel for 20 minutes. (I Just use these figures as an example). Given there may be a number of different contributors from the floor, any individual contributor is not given much time. Moreover, that contributor does not have the ability to come back to the speakers retorts. i.e the format is massively loaded in favour of the speaker. I am prepared to debate in a fair debate and that is why I proposed an internet debate on a forum acceptable to both of us. (Personally, I have no objection to Socialist Unity hosting it assuming we were given equal space for our points.) Greenstein turned the idea down. It is him that is chicken – not me.

12. I am pleased that Greenstein will accept my contributions to the comments boxes of his own blog. I assume this one will also be published.

13. Zionists and Fighting Nazis

Greenstein uses his post to try and imply that the Zionists never fought the Nazis or if individual Zionists did, they did not do so because they were Zionists. This is a long running theme of Greenstein’s poisonous writings and it is of course, like most of what he writes about Zionism, Zionists or the Holocaust complete hogwash.

Let us consider some facts. On July 28, 1942, the Jewish Fighting Organisation (Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa or ZOB) was founded. This was founded by three Zionist youth movements, Hashomer Hatzair, Dror and Akiva. Initially the Socialist Bund opposed creating a Jewish fighting force because it believed in an alliance between Poles of the same class rather than an alliance between Jews with different political convictions. Mordecai Anielewicz, an activist in Hashomer Hatzair, was one of the founders of the ZOB. The organisation that was set up on 24th October 1942 and was the organisation that Mordecai Anielewicz, a Zionist, was elected the Chief Commander. The ZOB contained 22 combat units, each with between twelve and twenty members. Fourteen of those units contained Zionist pioneers who were preparing for eventual emigration to Palestine. Away from the ZOB was the Jewish Military Organisation, (Zydowski Zwiazek Wojskowy or ZZW) led primarily by Revisionist Zionists and those from the Betar, the Revisionist youth movement, who had political sympathies with the Irgun. ZZW members also put up a very courageous fight against the Nazis in Warsaw. It therefore can be seen, far from Zionist organisations either not fighting, or Zionists only acting as individuals, the Zionist organisations were central in the Warsaw ghetto uprising one of the major acts of resistance during the Holocaust. [48]

The above was in Europe, we can now consider the view from the Yishuv (Jewish community in Palestine). Y. Tabenkin had said at a meeting of the Histradut Council in December 1942, “It is impossible to understand why these Jews…do not raise up their spades against their enemies.” It should be understand that at this time, there was a lack of information in Palestine about what exactly was occurring and the possibilities of resistance. An editorial in Davur in October 1942 headlined “The Zionist Underground” mentioned “There is also quiet bravery…the defense of honour….There is dedication to the people fighting.” [49] The uprising in the Warsaw changed much of the poor perception. In April 1943 an editorial in one paper commented on the Jewish resistance “An eternal symbol of a people which refuses to be destroyed by the Gentile – the symbol of life. The honour and the glory of this heroism, enacted on the front line of the war against Nazism, has perhaps no parallel.”[50] A further note of pride of the Warsaw ghetto uprising was expressed in Hapoel Hatzair in an article entitled “Defence Filled With Glory.” As far as the editor, who wrote the article, was concerned it proved “Jews are not always led like sheep to the slaughter.” [51]

It can therefore be seen that not only did Zionists in Nazi occupied Europe fight and try and resist the Nazis, but in Palestine the Zionists were immensely proud of the ghetto fighters.

In any event, Greenstein knew he was lying with his claim about Zionists not fighting Nazis as he himself quotes Dawidowicz as saying, “the socialist Zionist youth movements succeeded in transforming their pre-war apparatus into functioning underground organisations.”

14. Zionism and Nazism

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.

Despite the fact that Greenstein contends that the Nazis thought the Zionists were “good” Jews, here is what Hitler thought about Zionists: "For while the Zionists try to make the rest of the world believe that the national consciousness of the Jew finds its satisfaction in the creation of a Palestinian state, the Jews again slyly dupe the dumb goyim. It doesn’t even enter their heads to build up a Jewish state in Palestine for the purpose of living there; all they want is a central organization for their international world swindle, endowed with its own sovereign rights and removed from the intervention of other states: a haven for convicted scoundrels and a university for budding crooks." [52]

Adolf Hitler delivered his first major speech on the Jewish question on August 1920, stating: “the whole notion of the Zionist state and its establishment is nothing more than a comedy.” The following year Alfred Rosenberg, who influenced Hitler, published an essay with the title "Zionism Hostile to the State” which called Zionism “the powerless effort of an incapable people to engage in productive activity… a means for ambitious speculators to establish a new area for receiving usurious interests on a global scale.” This was reissued by the main Nazi publishing house in 1938. A year after that the Nazi Propaganda Ministry distributed a book with the title Palestine: Jewish State? which exposed “the real line of Jewish politics, namely the striving for a new, perhaps decisive base for Jewish world power” in a Jewish state. They also issued a book entitled The English, Jews and Arabs in Palestine, warning that the Zionist goal in Palestine was the “establishment of a Vatican of world Jewry. A firm base is to be built, on which, in later years, Jewish world policy can rest.” During the war the Nazis published a book protesting “the exploitation of the Arabs by the Jews” and “the clear bond between the English government and the Zionists.” The Nazis were aware that Weizmann was aligning himself with the British and as such they saw an “English-Jewish alliance” against Germany. [53]

The German Foreign Minister and leading Nazi, Joachim von Ribbentrop sent a letter to the Arab leader, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in 1942 where he had said “Germany is …ready to give all her support …for the destruction of the Jewish National Home in Palestine.” [54] Far From being Zionist, the Nazis were anti-Zionist. Below is the full text of a letter sent in 1943 from Heinrich Himmler to the Grand Mufti:

“To the Grand Mufti: The National Socialist Movement of Greater Germany has, since its beginning, inscribed upon its flag the fight against world Jewry. It has, therefore, followed with particular sympathy the struggle of the freedom-loving Arabians, especially in Palestine, against the Jewish interlopers. It is in the recognition of this enemy and of the common struggle against him that lies the firm foundation of the natural alliance that exists between National-Socialist-Greater Germany and the freedom-loving Muslims of the whole world. In this spirit I am sending you on the anniversary of the infamous Balfour Declaration my hearty greetings and wishes for the successful pursuit of your struggle until the certain final victory.”[55]

And so on and so on. As Jeffrey Herf makes perfectly clear, for the Nazis, there was a convergence between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. [56]



[1] Ben Hecht, A Jew in Love (Fortune Press, n.d.) p. 5
[2] Ben Hecht Perfidy (Milah Press/Gefen Books, 1999) p. 2
[3] “Ben Hecht’s Perfidy: An Analysis of His Rewriting of History,” (The American Section of the Executive of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency, 1962) and reproduced on line at http://www.paulbogdanor.com/hecht.html
[4] Chaim Lieberman, The Man and His “Perfidy”: A Rejoinder to Ben Hecht’s Vitriolic Attack Upon the Government and Leaders of Israel (Bloch Publishing, 1964) pp. 99-101
[5] Homer Bigart, “A Matter of Personalities” New York Times Book Review January 28, 1962 P. 20
[6] Lucy S. Dawidowicz, “Ben Hecht’s ‘Perfidy’” Commentary, Vol. 33. No. 3 (March 1962) pp. 260-264
[7] Marie Syrkin, “Perfidy and Stale Venom,” Jewish Frontier January 1962 pp. 13-17
[8] Shlomo Katz, “Ben Hecht’s Kampf,” Midstream Winter 1962 pp. 92-101
[9] “The Strange Case of Yoel Brandt: As told in Jerusalem District Court,” Jewish Observer and Middle East Review April 9, 1954 pp. 3-4
[10] “’Blood For Goods’ Trial: The Drama of Kastner and Brandt,” Jewish Observer and Middle East Review, June 18, 1954 pp. 11-12
[11] . Randolph L. Braham The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary (Columbia University Press, Revised and Enlarged edition 1994), Vol. 2. pp. 1,070-1,071
[12] Ibid. Vol. 1 pp. 108-109
[13] Anne Sofer, “The South Bank shows its bias,” The Times October 1, 1984 p. 12
[14] Tim Jones, “Iraqi role in clashes questioned,” The Times July 28, 1983 p. 3
[15] “BAZO Leader to Appeal,” Jewish Chronicle, August 24, 1979
[16] “Little Southern Comfort,” Jewish Chronicle, March 23, 1979
[17] “Stuermer’ British style,” Jewish Chronicle, April 3, 1981
[18] Jenni Frazer, “UJS Learns to Push and Pull,” Jewish Chronicle, January 2, 1981
[19] “Students Ban BAZO,” Jewish Chronicle, April 10, 1981. The diary of Anne Frank was questioned by Alfred Lilienthal is his book, The Zionist Connection II: What Price Peace (North American Inc, 1982). The pages references are P. 481 and P. 849n71 The known Holocaust Denier that Lilienthal gave support to was Robert Faurisson. In 1980 Lilienthal had was one of the first signatories to a petition supporting him. Source: Werner Cohn “Chomsky and Holocaust Denial” in Peter Hollier and David Horowitz eds. The Anti-Chomsky Reader (Encounter Books, 2004) P 125 and P. 154n17
[20] Tony Greenstein “Antisemitism Through the Looking Glass: The UJS Thought Police,” RETURN No. 3 June 1990 pp. 21-25

[21] Ibid.
[22] “Students ban BAZO,” Jewish Chronicle April 10, 1981
[23] “Letters,” Jewish Chronicle, July 24, 1981.
[24] Simon Rocker “Phillips waves the flag,” Jewish Chronicle December 26 1986
[25] See Unsigned Editorial, “NUS Attack on Freedom of Speech,” RETURN, No. 2, March 1990, pp. 4-5; Unsigned Editorial, “More Hypocrisy,” RETURN, No. 4, September 1990.
[26] Editorial, “Lies, Damn Lies and the UJS,” RETURN, No. 3, June 1990; Tony Greenstein, “The Fossilisation of Identity,” RETURN, No. 4, September, 1990.
[27] Philip Drax, “Book Review,” Sussex Front January 1983 p. 9
[28] “Letters,” The Observer, February 6, 2000
[29] Jamie Doward, “Muslim leader sent funds to Irving,” The Observer November 19, 2006
[30] http://www.mpacuk.org/content/view/3047/1/
[31] http://www.hurryupharry.org/2008/08/22/ucu-and-the-david-duke-fan/
[32] http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2008/09/witch-hunt-of-jenna-delich-pro-boycott.html
[33] http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2008/01/gilad-atzmon-now-open-holocaust-denier.html
[34] http://www.gilad.co.uk/html%20files/tony%27semail.htm
[35] http://www.engageonline.org.uk/blog/comment.php?id=934
[36]Abraham Ascher and Guenter Lewy, “National Bolshevism in Weimer Germany: Alliance of Political Extremes Against Democracy,” Social Research 23:1/4 (1956) p. 468
[37] Ibid.
[38] Ibid. pp. 477-478
[39] Conan Fischer, “Class Enemies or Class Brothers? Communist Nazi Relations in Germany 1929-33,” European History Quarterly, Vol. 15, No. 3, July 1985 p. 271
[40] Robert C. Tucker, “The Emergence of Stalin’s Foreign Policy,” Slavic Review Vol. 36. No. 4. (December 1977) p.584
[41] George Watson, “The Eye-Opener of 1939 or How the World Saw the Nazi-Soviet Pact,” History Today Vol 54. No. 8. August 2004, pp. 48-53
[42] Edward Alexander, Irving Howe: Socialist, Critic, Jew (Indiana University Press, 1998) p. 13
[43] Matthew Taylor, “BNP seeks to bury antisemitism and gain Jewish votes in Islamophobic campaign,” The Guardian April 10, 2008 p. 17 available on line at http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/apr/10/thefarright.race
[44] Shoshana Barri (Ishoni), “The Question of Kasztner’s Testimonies on behalf of Nazi War Criminals,” The Journal of Israeli History, Vol 18, nos. 2 and 3 1997 pp. 139-165.
The full text of the email from Greenstein to Atzmon was as follows:
“Sent: Saturday, June 10, 2006 9:52 PM
Subject: Re: Gilad Atzmon @ The Vortex for 3 Nights

“I shall be more than happy to hear you play the sax! Was going to drop you a line re your spat with Shamir. He referred you to Beit Zvi's book and argued that the Zionists couldn't foresee the Holocaust. He is wrong on that. Both Ben Gurion and Weizmann did exactly that, with Weizmann at the 20th Zionist Congress in 1937 saying, as you may be aware, that the old and feeble will pass, 'economic and moral dust' if my memory serves right.

“Dare I say it, some of your remarks re the holocaust were spot on re the Zionist collaboration with the Nazis. And that is the point anti-Zionists should make rather than flirting with holocaust denial, or in Shamir's case being a full blooded exponent.


Tony Greenstein”
The actual speech by Weizmann that Greenstein was referring to in his email to Atzmon was the one Weizmann gave to the Zionist Congress in 1937. The part of the speech that Greenstein was referring to was quoted by Ben Hecht in Perfidy pp. 19-20
“I told the British Royal Commission that the hopes of Europe’s six million Jews were centered on emigration. I was asked, ‘Can you bring the six million to Palestine?’ I replied, ‘No.’ … The old ones will pass. They will bear their fate or they will not. They are dust, economic and moral dust in a cruel world…. Only a branch will survive.”
Both Hecht and Greenstein make the same mistake with this speech. As The American Section of the Executive of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency make clear in text approved by Moshe Sharett who, during the period involved, was head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency and subsequently Israel’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs and later Prime Minister:
“The implication is that Weizmann, foreseeing the murder of Europe’s six million Jews, decided that they were expendable. If it were not self-evident that this was not the case, it could be easily proved by a further passage in the same speech, so selectively quoted by Hecht, in which Weizmann expounds his plan of accelerating the rate of immigration to Palestine by some 150 percent, so as to make it possible for two million Jews to come to Palestine. Obviously, what Weizmann meant when he said ‘the old ones will pass,’ was that they would live out their lives in the places of their abode in Europe.” (The American Section of the Executive of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency, “Ben Hecht’s Perfidy: An Analysis of His Rewriting of History,” Op. Cit.)
[46] For examples of where it can be seen that Brenner’s work is discredited, see the following:
Louis Harap, “’Zionist-Nazi collaboration’ Refuted – Lenni Brenner’s Trickery Exposed,” Jewish Currents May 1984 pp. 4-9, pp. 28-30 available on line at http://www.paulbogdanor.com/brenner/harap.pdf
C.C. Aronsfeld, “Zionism in the Age of the Dictators: A Reappraisal,” International Affairs Vol. 60. No.1 (Winter 1983-1984) pp. 138-139 available on line at http://www.paulbogdanor.com/brenner/aronsfeld.pdf
Bryan Cheyette, “Pathological anti-Zionism and the ‘revisionism’ of the left,” Patterns of Prejudice Vol. 17 No. 3 (July 1983) pp. 49-51
Walter Laqueur, “The Anti-Zionism of Fools” New Republic November 2, 1987 pp 33-39
[47] Randolph L. Braham The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary (Columbia University Press, Revised and Enlarged edition 1994), Vol. 2. pp. 1,071-1,072
[48] Moshe Arens, “ The Jewish Military Organisation (ZZW) in the Warsaw Ghetto,” Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Vol 19. No. 2 (Fall 2005) pp. 201-225, Martin Gilbert The Holocaust – The Jewish Tragedy op. cit., P565, See also following on-line sites http://warsawghetto.epixtech.co.uk/HistVI.htm , http://warsawghetto.epixtech.co.uk/HistV.htm , http://warsawghetto.epixtech.co.uk/Anielwcz.htm , http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Anielevich.html

[49] Yechiam Weitz, “The Yishuv’s Response to the Destruction of European Jewry, 1942-1943,” Studies in Zionism, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Autumn 1987) P. 216. Weitz cites Davar October 5, 1942

[50] Yoav Gelber, “Zionist Policy and the Fate of European Jewry, 1943-1944” Studies in Zionism, Vol. 7 (Spring 1983) p. 141. Gelber quotes Y Tabenkin at the meeting of the Histradut Council on December 3, 1942 and the editorial (Hebrew) in Zror Michtavim No. 135, April 30, 1943

[51] Yechiam Weitz, “The Yishuv’s Response to the Destruction of European Jewry, 1942-1943,” op.cit., P. 214
Weitz cites Yitzhak Laufbahn, “Defence Filled With Glory” (Hebrew) Hapoel Hatzair March 25, 1943

[52] Jeffrey Herf, Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust (Harvard University Press, 2006) p. 75

[53] Jeffrey Herf, “Convergence: The Classic Case: Nazi Germany, Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism during World War II,” Journal of Israeli History, Vol. 25, No. 1 (March 2006) pp. 63-83
[54] Letter from Ribbentrop to Grand Mufti of Jerusalem April 28, 1942 quoted by, A Backgrounder of the Nazi Activities in North Africa and the Middle East During the Era of the Holocaust; Including an Overview of the Arab World Leader, Amin Al-Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and his Connection with the Third Reich. (New York: International Sephardic leadership Council, April 2006) P. 20
[55] Message from Heinrich Himmler to an anti-Balfour Declaration meeting November, 2 1943 quoted by ibid. p. 22
[56] Jeffrey Herf, “Convergence: The Classic Case: Nazi Germany, Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism during World War II,” Journal of Israeli History, Vol. 25, No. 1 (March 2006) pp. 63-83

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