The Elephant(s) in the Room
By Bradley R. Smith
Most of us understand that it is unwise to draw a connection between the Israeli/Palestinian tragedy, 9/11, Afghanistan, and the U.S. administration's war against Iraq. The common understanding is that to suggest such a connection publicly, and in many contexts privately, is to risk being condemned as an anti-Semite. This fear is perfectly well founded. You will be. No one wants to be accused of stupidity, or of committing a thought crime either one.
"It is the proverbial elephant in the room. Everybody sees it, no one mentions it," as Michael Kingsley has it in Slate. The elephant in the room is Israel, and the influence that Israeli and American Zionists represent in the Bush administration. Mr. Bush is the fellow who said on national television that yes, he believes Sharon, the butcher of Beirut-not to go on about it-is a "man of peace." The way that Saddam is "evil," I would suppose. Whatever works.
While Kinsley and a few other journalists are willing to mention the fact that there is, indeed, an Elephant in the War Room, it doesn't occur to them-let's give them the benefit of the doubt that it doesn't occur to them-that the paternity of the beast in question might be of some interest to their readers. Who sired it, for example? Who suckled it until it found its present immensity? Who among us is dedicated to cleaning and feeding this unwieldy and dangerous pet? How has it grown to become the unlikely creature upon which even the values of American culture rest?
That fact is, there is more than one Elephant in the War Room. Behind the one that is visible yet goes unnoticed, is the Mother of all Elephants-in-the-Room-the mother that protects her calf, encourages him, assures him that no one will ever question what he is doing, and will go on feeding and nurturing him forever until the final catastrophe reveals itself-the flood of war, retaliation, blood, and weapons of mass destruction. Who is she?
Her name is Holocaust. She is the living heart of memory and sentimentality upon which all acts by her overgrown calf are given moral legitimacy. On that very rare occasion when the calf is questioned about his contempt for Arabs, his brutality, or his greed for Palestinian land, he raises his great flop of an ear for his mother's counsel. Without moving from the shadows, she extends her sinuous trunk and through it whispers to her son: "Take the conversation back to the ovens of Auschwitz, my darling. Take it back to Auschwitz, my darling boy."
It isn't that the big lug had forgotten what had always worked so well in the past. Like every bull calf with a powerful parent, he wanted to be reassured. When you have on your conscience what this beast has on its conscience, reassurance is always in order. Of course, he would never forget Auschwitz. Auschwitz was never out of his thoughts. Auschwitz was beautiful. Auschwitz was like a wonderful dream. Rolling logs, taking people for rides to Yad Vashem, grabbing Palestinian land, trampling whoever got in his way, or cheerfully switching his short, ferocious tale among the glasses at cocktail parties in Tel Aviv and Washington, Auschwitz was always there, the perfect cover. Auschwitz was like a magic blanket, thrown over his huge haunch, assuring him that while he would continue to be seen by everyone, he would continue to be ignored by everyone.
Like the Michael Kinsleys. □
Mel Gibson is producing a movie about what we know about the crucifixion of Christ. What we believe we know about it. Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center is worried. He appears to be afraid that Gibson, a traditionalist Catholic, might portray with some accuracy the role that Jews played in the execution of Jesus. Further, Hier is worried that Gibson might imply that all Jews everywhere are responsible for the death of Jesus. Still, the rabbi exhibits a civilized restraint.
"Obviously, no one has seen The Passion and I certainly have no problem with Mel Gibson's right to believe as he sees fit or make any movie he wants to."
But then there is the matter of Mel's father, Hutton Gibson. The old man (he's 84) is a radical conspiracy theorist who argues that there is a growing tradition of "anti-popes" in the Vatican, that it could be a Masonic plot backed by "the Jews," and rejects the assertion that Al Qaeda hijackers had anything to do with the attacks on the World Trade towers.
I have nothing to say about any of that. However...
In the interview published in the New York Times Magazine, Hutton dismissed "historical accounts that six million Jews were exterminated. 'Go ask any undertaker or the guy who operates the crematorium what it takes to get rid of a dead body,' he said. 'It takes one liter of petrol and 20 minutes. Now, six million?'" He went on to assert that "...there were more [Jews] after the war than before."
And "'The entire catastrophe was manufactured,' said Hutton, 'as part of an arrangement between Hitler and 'financiers' to move Jews out of Germany. Hitler 'had this deal where he was supposed to make it rough on them so they would all get out and migrate to Israel because they needed people there to fight the Arabs,' he said."
It's clear than that Mel Gibson has a handful with his father. I'm not saying that the old man is right or wrong about any of it, except that he is in the ballpark about the "six million" nonsense and the cremations. No cigar, but it's a start, especially when you're eighty-four.
When it comes to the old man, Rabbi Marvin Hier has a sudden change of heart about people having "the right to believe as they see fit." When asked about the remarks of Hutton Gibson in the NYT Magazine article Rabbi Hier said: "To bigots and anti-Semites, no amount of evidence or scientific proof is ever enough. In their world only hate matters."
Scientific evidence? There we go! That's more like the Rabbi Hier I'm familiar with. This is about the Holocaust! The Gibson's have their true beliefs, and the rabbi has his. No more civilized chat about the elder Gibson's "right to believe as he sees fit." If he doubts what Rabbi Hier believes is true about gas chambers and cremations, the old man is going down. He's a "hater." To hell with the right to disagree! This is the Holocaust!
For those curious about "scientific" evidence, or lack of it, for gas chambers see: Samuel Crowell, "Technique and Operation of German Anti-Gas Shelters in WWII: A Refutation of J.C. Pressac's Criminal Traces."
That's one problem with believing the sacred stories-any of them. The Holocaust story is merely the sacred story of religious and secular Jews alike, among others. That's why you can't question it-it's sacred. There's no wriggle room inside a sacred story. Inside there, there is only room for the certainty of true belief, and the pleasure that that certainty brings to the true believer. Anything that breaks into that sacred place is a danger to that pleasure. The danger is that what is believed to be certain might be exposed as doubtful, even false. That's where certainty ends, that's where pleasure ends, and where pain and anger begin.
The threat, the fear that true belief has failed him and might fail him again, is the source of the Rabbi's anguish, his anger, and his desperation. Like all modern philo-Semites in America, he has put aside the jawbone of the ass (no pun intended) to wield slander as a destroyer of reputations, create thought criminals, and make taboo any kind of open debate on his own sacred story.
Okay. In the interests of full disclosure-the pun was intended.
For myself, I have no problem with issues of certainty and true belief. I'm uncertain about everything, while I believe in nothing. I do have prejudices. I desire many things. Looking for pleasure in all the wrong places. ¨
Regime Change. War can be a distraction, even when you are not a part of it. The immense drama of the events, the life and death issues for hundreds of thousands, questions of tyranny and liberty. This morning I hear our people beginning to emphasize "liberating the Iraqi people" rather than regime change. I like the change of emphasis. It doesn't take much to make me happy. Regime change can lead to the liberation of a people, or it can lead to something else. In 1948 there was a regime change in Palestine in favor of the Jews of Europe. Who did it liberate?
Regime change in Palestine led to war, the mass transfer of land from Palestinians to Jews, the confiscation of Palestinian real property in favor of Jews, and the creation of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees. It led to successive wars, the movement to found Jewish settlements on Arab land that does not belong to Jews, the creation of armed Palestinian guerilla groups to fight the "invader", and a growing hostility to Israel, Jews, and the Americans who pay for everything, all over the Arab and then the Muslim worlds.
So there is regime change, and there is regime change. Imagine if there had been a rhetoric about "liberating the Palestinian people" in 1948 rather than the cant about the coming regime change from an Arab one to one organized by Jews. Everything in that part of the world today would be different. We do not know what would have gone on without the Israeli state squatting in the middle of an Arab world, but it would be different. Jews would be living under Arab administrations, where Jews had lived comfortably for centuries, and the U.S. administration might well have had to look elsewhere to find someone to liberate.
Rh etoric about liberating the Palestinian people was not on the table. All the rhetoric was about how the European Jews had been exterminated in gas chambers by Nazis and thus had the right to initiate regime change in Palestine. No matter that that charge of unique monstrosity against the Germans was never proven, but simply taken judicial notice of by the Nuremberg court, on the evidence of "eyewitnesses," many of whom have since been shown to have been fools or liars. You are not supposed to say this. It's taboo. Truth has no role in the world of taboo. Truth is no defense against breaking a taboo.
When the Americans finish with Iraq, or begin the process of being finished with Iraq, the issue of the victimization of Palestinian Arabs by Israeli Jews will still be there, festering. Israeli contempt for the Palestinians, U.S. funding for whatever Israelis want, or want to do, the anger of Arab and Muslim radicals in response, it will all be there then, just as it is now. Can't talk about it. After the Germans exterminated the European Jews, they swarmed (forgetting for the moment that they had just been "exterminated") into Palestine and grabbed the biggest part it for themselves. The violence they precipitated has never ended. There is no reason to think that it is going to end any time soon. They had the right take what they wanted. They had been exterminated.
Can't talk about it. ¨
Since 1980, Bradley R. Smith was fascinated by the taboo surrounding the 'Holocaust,' which is protecting this historical issue from a free exchange of ideas even in "open societies." Between 1986 and 1991, Smith developed the Media Project for Institute for Historical Review. In 1987, he self-published his Confessions of a Holocaust Revisionist and co-founded the Committee For Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH). In 1991, Smith launched his "Campus Project," that is, running advertisements in student papers at colleges and universities around the USA calling for open debate on specific issues regarding the Holocaust story. In 1996, CODOH.com went online, which was the biggest revisionist website for many years. In 1999, Smith founded The Revisionist, which was taken over by Castle Hill Publishers end of 2002. In 2003, he self-published his second book Break His Bones. Smith writes editorials similar to those published here, which he posts on his website BreakHisBones.com.
Source: The Revisionist 1(2) (2003), pp. 122f.
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