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Mark Weber: Anti-Holocaust Intifada

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      Mark Weber: Anti-Holocaust Intifada ummyakoub
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      An Anti-Holocaust Intifada Grows among the Arabs
      Mark Weber
      Journal of Historical Review
      Institute for Historical Review
      http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v20/v20n3p-3_Weber.html


      At a time when Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation is
      stiffening and the brutality of Zionist oppression is becoming ever
      more obvious, Holocaust revisionism is catching fire across the Arab
      world. "The trend among public opinion in the Arab world today," one
      prominent Arab journalist recently wrote, "whether we like it or not
      -- is to question the veracity of the accepted wisdom about the extent
      of the killing of Jews by the Nazis."[see note]

      An influential Israeli-American journalist, Yossi Klein Halevi, while
      predictably misrepresenting Arab attitudes toward the Holocaust, and
      exaggerating Arab sympathies for Hitler, agrees on the rise of
      revisionism among Arabs:

      The Arab world has become obsessed with the Holocaust, and two camps
      have emerged. One camp, which includes the government-controlled
      newspapers of Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, argues
      that the Holocaust never happened; the other camp, which includes at
      least one government newspaper in Egypt, acknowledges that the
      Holocaust did happen and is grateful to Hitler for implementing it.

      Indeed, nowhere except in the Arab world is both Holocaust denial and
      admiration for the Final Solution as mainstream, including among
      intellectuals.... Hiri Manzour [Khairi Mansur], columnist for the
      Palestinian Authority-controlled newspaper Al Hayat al Jadida, April
      13: "The figure of six million Jews cremated in the Nazi Auschwitz
      camps is a lie for propaganda." [see note]

      Elli Wohlgelernter, writing in the Jerusalem Post, similarly lamented
      the growing acceptance of Holocaust revisionism. In an article
      littered with factual errors, Elli dismissed revisionist scholars as
      "deniers" who claim "that Chelmno, Dachau and Auschwitz were merely
      disinfection sites."[see note] Referring to Deborah Lipstadt, the
      well-known Jewish critic of Holocaust revisionism, he wrote:

      Her fear for the future are [sic] Arab students walking around saying
      they know there was no Holocaust, because they learned it in their
      textbooks. "A colleague of mine said: 'The bombs last a minute, and
      they can do terrible damage. But this stuff is an incendiary device
      that lasts generations.'"

      Contributing significantly to this trend was the publicity surrounding
      preparations earlier this year for a four-day conference on Holocaust
      revisionism and Zionism in Beirut, Lebanon, which the Institute for
      Historical Review helped to organize and promote. Three influential
      Jewish groups -- the World Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation
      League, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center -- publicly demanded that
      Lebanese authorities ban the meeting, and the U.S. government brought
      covert pressure on Lebanon to ban it.

      Shortly before the conference was to begin on March 31, Lebanon's
      prime minister announced that it would not be permitted. (See the
      January-February 2001 Journal.)

      The worldwide media attention paid the Beirut conference, and its
      cancellation under Zionist and official U.S. pressure, greatly boosted
      Arab awareness of Holocaust revisionism, including the work and impact
      of the Institute for Historical Review.
      Activism in Jordan

      Nowhere has recent support for revisionism been more open and ardent
      than in Jordan, where the Jordanian Writers Association (JWA) and
      numerous scholars and journalists have done much to promote awareness
      of Holocaust deceit. Prominent in this effort has been Dr. Ibrahim
      Alloush, who is active in the JWA and the Association against Zionism
      and Racism (AZAR). Dr. Alloush writes a regular column for the popular
      Jordanian weekly Assabeel, and is editor of the Free Arab Voice web
      site (www.fav.net).

      During a packed, standing-room-only AZAR meeting on April 7 in Amman,
      the Jordanian capital, which had been called to show solidarity with
      the Palestinian resistance to Zionist occupation, speaker after
      speaker rose to express support for revisionist historians, and to
      condemn Arab intellectuals who had called for the banning of the
      Beirut conference.

      The JWA succeeded in holding a meeting devoted to Holocaust
      revisionism in Amman on May 13. About two hundred persons packed JWA
      headquarters for the gathering, entitled "What Happened to the
      Revisionist Historians Conference in Beirut?" This much-anticipated
      meeting had been postponed twice: once in April after Jordanian
      authorities expressed concern that it might harm relations with the
      United States while the country's monarch, King Abdullah, was visiting
      Washington, and again earlier in May.

      The attendees called on colleagues in other countries to join in
      supporting the work of revisionist historians in uncovering lies and
      exaggerations in the Holocaust extermination story. Historical
      revisionism, explained journalist Hayat Atiyeh in her address to the
      meeting, is not an ideology but a position, supported by facts and
      meticulous analyses, about a historical event -- "the Holocaust."
      Revisionists include Muslims, leftists, Jews, and Christians, she
      said, and many revisionists have been fined, fired from their jobs,
      socially ostracized, and even assassinated for their dissident views
      on the Holocaust. During the 1980s, Atiyeh continued, experts carried
      out scientific examinations of the alleged gas chambers in which Jews
      were reportedly killed during the Second World War, and found that
      they could not have operated as described in the extermination myth.

      Another journalist, Arafat Hijazi, noted that Israel's first prime
      minister, David Ben Gurion, had used the Holocaust to justify the
      creation of the "Zionist entity." Hijazi also told the meeting that
      Jews had exaggerated the number of their people killed in the Second
      World War, and misrepresented how they perished.

      In his address to the meeting, Ibrahim Alloush quoted at length from a
      detailed statement by French revisionist Robert Faurisson, that
      Faurisson had prepared for delivery at the cancelled Beirut
      conference. (See pages 13-22 in this issue of the Journal.)

      Zionists, Alloush told the meeting, have succeeded in portraying
      themselves in Western public opinion as a people who were so
      victimized in the Holocaust that they practically deserve free license
      from the West to act with impunity against anyone at any time. The
      myths of the Holocaust are extremely important to the Zionist
      movement, Alloush continued, explaining that Jewish claims about
      unique persecution and systematic extermination during the war are
      used to justify a need for their own safe haven in Israel. This myth
      basically provides a justification for the rape of Palestine, he said.

      "In human history, the argument of the uniqueness of Jewish deaths
      provides a justification for Israel and the Zionist movement to
      violate every ethical and legal code in the book, and to persecute
      opponents, like the revisionist historians and the Arabs, without any
      reprimand, even with sympathy, from the West," said Alloush.

      Revisionists do not deny that Jews died in the Second World War,
      Alloush stressed. On the contrary, revisionists affirm "that hundreds
      of thousands of Jews died, along with the forty-five million who
      perished in that war." Revisionist scholars apply science to prove
      that gas chambers were not used to exterminate Jews systematically, he
      continued. Crematories, on the other hand, were used to "dispose of
      the corpses of people of different nationalities to circumvent plagues."

      News reports and commentary on the May 13 JWA meeting appeared in many
      newspapers, and Zionist groups, including the influential Simon
      Wiesenthal Center and the Anti-Defamation League, were quick to
      denounce the conference. Extensive videotaped portions of the JWA
      meeting were broadcast on June 30 and again on July 2 on Lebanon's
      Hezbollah satellite television channel "Al Manar."

      On June 20 the Free Arab Voice distributed by e-mail an editorial
      essay, "The Modern Relevance of Nazi-Zionist Cooperation," along with
      "Zionism and the Third Reich," an article by Mark Weber reprinted from
      the July-August 1993 Journal of Historical Review.
      IHR Open Letter

      In a statement issued in mid-March, fourteen prominent Arab writers
      called on authorities in Lebanon to ban the "Revisionism and Zionism"
      conference in Beirut. But the widely publicized declaration soon
      proved something of an embarrassment for at least two of its backers.
      Edward Said, a prominent Palestine-born scholar who [taught] at
      Columbia University in New York City, repudiated the statement two
      weeks later, saying that he had been deceived about its content. In a
      semi-public letter, he explained that he had never, in fact, approved
      any call to ban the conference. Another signer, Elias Khoury,
      expressed embarrassment that Israel's ambassador to France publicly
      praised the Arab intellectuals' statement. A third signer, Mahmoud
      Darwish, publicly repudiated the statement on July 15.

      The IHR responded to the statement with an "Open Letter to 14 Arab
      Intellectuals" (see pages 6-7 in this issue of the Journal). Written
      by IHR director Mark Weber, and headed "No to Censorship!, No to
      Bigotry!," it has been widely published in the Arab world. It appeared
      in the Saudi Arabian daily paper Al Watan, April 25, in Al Arab Al
      Yowm, one of Jordan's three major daily newspapers, May 8, and in the
      influential Beirut daily paper An Nahar, May 9. It was also published
      in Arabic in the Jordanian weekly Assabeel, April 25-30, one of the
      country's largest-circulation magazines, and in the Kuwaiti weekly
      magazine Al-Mujtamaa, May 26. The IHR Open Letter also appeared in at
      least two on-line Arab periodicals, Aljareeda and Al Shaab. (The IHR's
      Open Letter is posted on the "Beirut 2001" section of the IHR web
      site, along with numerous press reports on the on-going Middle East
      struggle for revisionism.)
      Television Breakthrough

      On the evening of May 15, coincidentally the fifty-third anniversary
      of the founding of Israel, Holocaust revisionism was the subject of
      the popular current affairs show, Opposite Directions, broadcast on
      the Arabic-language satellite television channel "Al Jazeera." Free of
      government control or censorship, this independent channel is well
      regarded across the Arab world, reaching some thirty million viewers
      from Morocco to Bahrain.

      Representing the anti-revisionist view on the live, two-hour show was
      a Tunisian intellectual who lives in Paris, Al Afif Lakhdar, who
      defended the March statement by the fourteen Arab intellectuals. The
      show's main revisionist speaker was Hayat Atiyeh, who had addressed
      the May 13 JWA meeting in Amman. She spoke effectively, making her
      points with lucid arguments and convincing references. Displaying
      photographs of Palestinian victims of Zionist oppression, she told
      viewers: "This is the real holocaust. The other one is a fake." Atiyeh
      also showed a photograph of Robert Faurisson after a nearly fatal
      attack against him by Jewish thugs, as well as photos of an attack
      against a book store in Paris that sold revisionist books.

      Ibrahim Alloush participated by telephone, explaining the importance
      of revisionism to Arabs. Also joining the discussion by telephone,
      Robert Faurisson deftly rebutted Lakhdar's argument that Arabs would
      lose support in the United States and Europe if they embraced
      Holocaust revisionism. "If you want to avoid any trouble with
      Zionists," said Faurisson, "surely it is better to forget about
      discussing the Holocaust."

      During the broadcast, viewers were invited to respond to an on-line
      poll on the "Al Jazeera" web site. Viewers could respond affirmatively
      to one of three questions:

      1. Do you think that Zionism is worse than Nazism?
      2. Do you think that Zionism is the same as Nazism?
      3. Do you think that Zionism is better than Nazism (not as bad)?

      The results, made public at the conclusion of the broadcast, showed
      that more than 84 percent thought that Zionism is worse than Nazism,
      over 11 percent think that Zionism is the same as Nazism, and only 2.7
      percent think that Zionism is better, or not as bad, as Nazism.

      As even the show's moderator declared, the broadcast was a resounding
      victory for the revisionists.
      A Legacy of Skepticism

      In spite of the worldwide, decades-long Holocaust campaign, enforced
      in several European countries with laws that criminalize "Holocaust
      denial," millions of people around the world have never accepted the
      claim of six million Jewish wartime victims. Thirty-seven years ago,
      for example, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser said in an
      interview that "No one, not even the simplest man in our country,
      takes seriously the lie about six million murdered Jews."[see note]

      In 1996-1998 this skepticism was manifest in an outpouring of support,
      especially from Arab and Muslim countries, for French scholar Roger
      Garaudy when he was indicted and then punished for daring to challenge
      Holocaust claims in his book on The Founding Myths of Modern Israel.
      Mohamed Heikal, for decades perhaps the most influential journalist in
      the Arab world, endorsed the revisionist view of the Holocaust issue
      in his foreword to the Arabic edition of Garaudy's controversial
      book.[see note]

      As the growing trend among the Arabs suggests, popularly and scholarly
      revisionist rejection of the Holocaust is going to play an increasing
      role in the moral and intellectual struggle against Zionism, Israel,
      and their founding myths.
      Notes

      1. Rami Khouri, a Palestinian journalist based in Amman and former
      editor of the Jordan Times, in "A View from the Arab World," Toronto
      Globe and Mail, May 22, 2001, p. A15.
      2. Yossi Klein Halevi, "Dance of Death Overtakes the Arab World,"
      Los Angeles Times, May 15, 2001.
      3. Elli Wohlgelernter, "In a State of Denial," Jerusalem Post, June
      12, 2001.
      4. Nasser interview with the Deutsche (Soldaten und-)
      National-Zeitung (Munich), May 1, 1964, p. 3. Quoted in: Robert S.
      Wistrich, Hitler's Apocalypse (London: 1985), p. 188.
      5. "Heikal's Foreword to the Arabic Edition of Garaudy's Founding
      Myths," Journal of Historical Review, November-December 2000, pp. 30-35.

      ===

      Certain liberal-left groups and personages that threaten to remove
      solidarity with Palestine or the Arab cause against Zionism, because
      of questioning the hollowcause or having strategic alliances that
      violate the outdated right-left divide are either dogmatically
      confused or aren't really friends of the cause anyway. If we can
      persuade them thats great. Look at how crappy Leftists are about
      admitting how Zionist-controlled they are and how responsible they are
      for the creation of the Zionist entity, to be whining about who
      anti-Zionists make their alliances with! (contributor's comment)

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