First, let’s see how they define and identify “political extremism.”
ADL claims that American society has been characterized by an ever expanding “democratic consensus and inclusiveness,” and thus, has gradually grown to be a more tolerant, multicultural, integrated and inclusive society. In their own words, America is based upon the ideal that “anyone, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or other immutable characteristics, can participate in the search for a better social order.”2
Standing in opposition to this march toward an integrated, multicultural society are (according to the ADL) the extremists, those who oppose the “principles of inclusion and social acceptance.” These are “hate groups,” the alleged forces of intolerance: “nativists, haters and ideological extremists.” These groups “have posed threats to both public safety and civic unity because of their willingness to engage in violence and intimidation.” Extremists use “familiar tactics: violence, threats, and intimidation; conspiracy theories, usually involving Jews and big government; Holocaust denial and other falsifications of history; and the derision and scapegoating of minorities.”3
The ADL guide then goes on to list individuals and groups they consider to be the contemporary extremists. Only one such individual and group will concern us here—Bradley Smith and his enterprises, Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH) and The Revisionist.4
Smith and his publications should have never been included on the ADL’s list. Smith has never, in his long career, “posed a threat to both public safety and civic unity because of his willingness to engage in violence and intimidation.” He has never used “violence, threats and intimidation against his opponents.” Bradley Smith is now, and has always been, a free speech advocate and libertarian who uses only peaceful means to attain his ends.
Smith has never been a member of any group that advocates violence against or the forcible deportation of minority groups. He has never campaigned on issues involving race or ethnicity, as the race issue has never been his beat. Just for the record, his present wife is of twenty-five years is Mexican and his ex was Jewish—hardly the “right stuff” for a neo-Nazi “extremist.”
So why was Smith classified as an “extremist?” The answer is quite simple. Smith and his publications advocate open and free debate on the Holocaust controversy, and this is both a sociopolitical and psychological threat to those Zionists who comprise the vast majority of the ADL.
How is he a sociopolitical threat? As the Jewish political scientist Norman Finkelstein has shown, the Holocaust has become an “ideology” in the Marxist sense of the term. It is a distorted--and to a significant extent fictitious--body of ideas which reflect and serve the sociopolitical interests of a power elite, organized Zionism. To be sure, Finkelstein does believe in the traditional view of the tragedy of the Jews during WWII, but he maintains its is distorted and misrepresented for sociopolitical purposes. Regarding the Holocaust ideology, he has written: “Its central dogmas sustain significant political and class interests. The Holocaust has proven to be an indispensable ideological weapon. Through its deployment, one of the world’s most formidable military powers [Israel], with a horrendous human rights record, has cast itself as a ‘victim’ state, and the most successful ethnic group in the United States [the Jews] has likewise acquired victim status. Considerable dividends accrue from this specious victimhood—in particular, immunity to criticism, however justified.”5
Smith and company are a sociopolitical threat because they are forcing society to question an ideology which “justifies,” bolsters and “legitimates” Jewish-Zionist cultural and political influence in America and throughout the Western world today.
How is Smith a psychological threat? As the writer Natasha Walter observed in The Independent (Great Britain), “…the Holocaust seems to loom ever larger. For many non-observant Jews like myself…it has become the touchstone of our identity.”6 Presumably, this observation would apply to many of the activists who comprise the ADL. The Holocaust ideology is a central part to their identity as Jews, and thus, any questioning of it poses a serious psychological threat to that identity.
Smith’s ultimate “sin” in the eyes of the ADL is that he is questioning an ideological belief system that serves Jewish-Zionist sociopolitical and psychological needs. Consequently, he and his publications must be neutralized or done away with. Because of their intolerant dogmatism, ADL refuses to debate him; an open and fair debate would expose to the public how weak and questionable the ADL’s Holocaust ideology really is. (This was demonstrated when revisionist historian Mark Weber publicly debated anti-revisionist historian Michael Shermer. Weber made Holocaust revisionism look too good and the ADL’s version of the Holocaust severely deficient.7)
The only option left open to the ADL with regard to the “Smith threat” is to use it’s immense financial and political resources to marginalize and discredit him by labeling this free-speech activist an “extremist.” So many will now say: “Smith is an anti-Jewish political extremist. Whatever his publications say about the Holocaust must be false and should be rejected.”
It must be emphasized again and again what the policy of Smith’s publications is: open and straightforward debate on the Holocaust and other sociopolitical issues which are connected with it, such as Jewish-Gentile relations, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Zionist political influence. It is only by engaging in open and free dialogue—refusing to obey the taboos of our day—that we can begin to come to grips with the problems which surround the Holocaust issue, and then formulate peaceful and humane solutions.
In a word, Smith and his publications stand for freedom of dialogue and the peaceful resolution of problems. They adhere to the motto of a founder of revisionism, the late Professor Harry Elmer Barnes: “Revisionism—a key to peace.”
To be sure, some of those individuals and groups that are labeled by ADL as “extremist” do in fact advocate violence against their opponents, and they do act with a crass intolerance. But Smith and Company are not to be classified with them. He simply desires open and free debate on the Holocaust controversy, and the peaceful resolution of crises directly or indirectly associated with the Holocaust question.
Which brings us to my next point. Is the ADL claim of being “the world’s leading organization to fight anti-Semitism, prejudice, hatred and bigotry” really sincere?8 Or are they really just an organization of extremists who use talk of love, brotherhood, tolerance, anti-racism and anti-bigotry as an ideological cloak, under which they further Jewish-Zionist interests? The case of Bradley Smith and his publications are most instructive in this regard.
In 1991, Smith—then the media representative of the Institute for Historical Review and director of CODOH—placed advertisements in student newspapers calling for open debate on the Holocaust issue. At about the same time, Rabbi Avhram Toledano, head of the Jewish-supremacist “Kach” movement founded by the late Meir Kahane, conducted a lecture tour of the US and Canada. Toledano advocates the forcible mass expulsion of Arabs from “greater Israel.”9 He told a Cleveland, Ohio Jewish institution meeting on November 14, 1991, that Arabs would be forced out of Israel. In response to the question, “What would the nations of the world say to Israel’s expulsion of Arabs?,” Toledano said: “I don’t know and I don’t care. We are proud to be Jews and have a Jewish State.”10
In spite of his intolerant views, Toledano was given a respectful public forum in prominent Jewish synagogues throughout North America. In Cleveland, for example, his lecture was announced beforehand in the city’s main Jewish community paper.11 This was nothing new. While he was still alive, this same paper also routinely announced the lecture appearances of the Jewish extremist, Rabbi Meir Kahane.
ADL, which is so alert to every public expression of real and imagined racism, intolerance and bigotry, never (to this writer’s knowledge) publicly protested against the advertisements in Cleveland Jewish News announcing the appearances of Toledano and Kahane. Nor did the Zionist group publicly label Rabbi Toledano an “extremist” and attempt to deny him a public forum.
At the same time though, the ADL was “urging college newspapers to reject ads by individuals or groups denying the reality of the Holocaust.”12 To show that it meant business, an ADL official was sent to the University of Texas to make sure that the student paper there did not publish Smith’s ad.13
While the ADL insists the Holocaust issue is “not debatable,”14 and works to deny Holocaust revisionists a public forum, this same organization seemingly has no problem with advertisements in Jewish community papers by militant Zionists who demand the brutal forcible expulsion of Arabs from what only a few years ago was their homeland.
On July 2, 2001, the Associated Press reported that Israel’s minister of tourism, Rehavam Zeevi, made these statements about certain Palestinians living in Israel: “They arrived here and are trying to become citizens because they want social security and welfare payments… We should get rid of the ones who are not Israeli citizens the same way you get rid of lice. We have to stop this cancer from spreading within us.”15
Zeevi heads the far-right National Union party that advocates the expulsion of Arabs living under Israeli rule.16 According to the ADL’s moral criteria, this is clearly an example of racist hate. I sent two email messages to the ADL suggesting they publicly condemn his comments and demand that he resign.17 After all, they advertise themselves as “the world leading organization fighting hate, prejudice and bigotry.”
Here is the message I received in return to both e-mails. “We received your e-mail message and want to thank you for sharing your thoughts. Even though the volume of e-mail to us is high, every message is reviewed and forwarded to the appropriate ADL professional when a response is required. We try our best to be responsive quickly, but sometimes that isn’t always possible, so we ask for your patience and understanding. Please check our web site, www.adl.org, for current ADL concerns, reports, news releases, educational materials and a wide variety of other useful informational items. You can also search our online library. Thanks again for your comments. We welcome your interest.”18
They never did issue any public condemnation of this Zionist extremist, Rehavam Zeevi, who expressed intolerance and hate toward Arabs. Yet, they label Bradley Smith—a man who never referred to any ethnic group as “lice” and a “cancer” and has never advocated the forcible expulsion of any ethnic groups from anywhere—an “extremist.”
That ADL “moral judgments” vis-à-vis political extremism are riddled with a hypocritical double standard should be readily apparent. They believe that it is “evil and immoral” to contest the Holocaust ideology. Apparently, however, it is somehow “morally excusable” for Jewish-Zionists to spew forth intolerance and hate about non-Jews. <
Two experts on political extremism, John George and Laird Wilcox, have noted that one characteristic of an extremist is that he/she promotes double standards and feels no guilt for so doing.19 As we have shown here, the ADL applies a hypocritical double standard in regard to Jews and non-Jews when they employ the label of extremist. They appear to have no guilt for so doing. Thus, the charge of “extremism” hurls right back at them.
In a spirit of fair play, the ADL was given the opportunity to review this essay prior to publication. They were informed that any errors or false statements that they point out would be corrected.20 They did not respond.
NOTES1. See “Extremism in America: Introduction,” online: www.adl.org/learn/Ext_US/default.asp
5. Norman G. Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (Verso, 2000), p.3.
6. See Richard J. Evans, Lying about Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial(Basic Books, 2001), p.262.
7. "The Holocaust Story in the Crossfire: The Weber-Shermer Holocaust Debate," quality VHS color video, $21.95 postpaid (CA sales tax $1.55), add $1.00 for foreign shipping, available from INSTITUTE FOR HISTORICAL REVIEW, P.O. Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659.
8. This motto in on the ADL homepage. Online: www.adl.org
9. See Cleveland Jewish News, November 22, 1991.
11. Cleveland Jewish News, November 8, 1991, p.12.
12. Religious News Service dispatch of November 27, 1991, published in Christian News, December 9, 1991, p.16.
13. Houston Chronicle, December 19, 1991.
14. Christian News, December 9, 1991, p.16.
15. “Israel Minister Makes Palestinian Slur,” Associated Press report, July 2, 2001. Online: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010702/wl/israel_slur_l.html
17. Two e-mails were sent to the ADL at email@example.com. Printouts in possession Paul Grubach.
18. E-mail from ADL. Printout in possession of Paul Grubach.
19. See Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman, Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It? (University of California Press, 2000), p.88.
20. E-mail from Paul Grubach to firstname.lastname@example.org. Printout in possession of Paul Grubach.
© Copyright 2001, Paul Grubach