AP apologizes for claiming “Zionists exaggerated the Holocaust” (& BBC bias as usual)

January 09, 2007

* Leaked BBC email shows anti-Israel bias as usual
* Associated Press apologizes for claiming “Zionists exaggerated the number of Jews killed by the Nazis”
* Mohammad Ali Ramin, advisor to Iranian President Ahmadinejad: “Hitler was Jewish”

 

CONTENTS

1. BBC, biased as usual
2. “It’s a false objective to be objective” – Jeremy Bowen
3. AP apologizes for Holocaust lie
4. “Adolf Hitler developed an aversion to Judaism because his mother was a Jewish whore”
5. Reformist Iranian politicians criticize Holocaust conference
6. BBC email: Mini briefing on the Israelis and Palestinians (By Jeremy Bowen, Jan. 5, 2007)
7. “Correction: Iran – Holocaust – Conference” (AP, Jan. 9, 2007)
8. “Mohammad Ali Ramin, advisor to Iranian President Ahmadinejad: ‘Hitler was Jewish’” (MEMRI, Jan. 3, 2007)



[Note by Tom Gross]

BBC, BIASED AS USUAL

Below is an email analysis sent to senior BBC staff by the supposedly impartial BBC Middle East Editor, Jeremy Bowen, on what lies ahead this year.

As my colleague Stephen Pollard points out: “It’s all too predictable. The ‘fragmentation’ of Palestinian society has, in Mr Bowen’s view, nothing to do with the Palestinians and everything to do with Israel (‘the death of hope, caused by a cocktail of Israel’s military activities, land expropriation and settlement building – and the financial sanctions imposed on the Hamas led government’). Indeed, Israel is to blame for almost everything. The Palestinians are not responsible for anything; Israel is the culpable party.

“He has contempt for every Israeli politician he mentions; Ehud Barak, for instance, is described as having killed ‘various Palestinians’, written as if he did so for the sake of it.”

Tom Gross adds: This is, apparently, what passes for high-level analysis at the BBC. To remind readers, the BBC is the world’s most lavishly publicly-funded news organization. In return for this license-payers funding, the BBC is under a legal obligation to be even-handed. When it comes to America and even more so to Israel, it is nothing of the sort.

The BBC’s Charter and its Producers Guidelines state: “Due impartiality lies at the heart of the BBC. All programs and services should be open minded, fair and show a respect for truth… [BBC reports should] contain comprehensive, authoritative and impartial coverage of news and current affairs in the United Kingdom and throughout the world…”

For more, see Living in a Bubble: The BBC’s very own Mideast foreign policy.

“IT’S A FALSE OBJECTIVE TO BE OBJECTIVE” -- JEREMY BOWEN

In his analysis, Bowen has nothing to say about the squandered billions in foreign aid (the Palestinians are the biggest per capita recipients of aid in history – by way of comparison, they have received five times more than Europeans received in the Marshall plan, once adjusted for today’s figures.) There is nothing from Bowen about the Palestinian rocket attacks into Israel from Gaza, which continue on a daily basis even while Israel holds strictly to a ceasefire. Apparently, according to Bowen, Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza has been “the death of hope.”

This is what Bowen had to say in a recent article in the Independent (December 11, 2006):

“For the BBC’s Middle East Editor, steering a neutral path can sometimes seems impossible. Jeremy Bowen tells Ian Burrell how he deals with the challenge of ‘objectivity.’”

“Not only must he demystify the Middle East, but he must do so in language that does not, through an inappropriate phrase or image, inflame suspicions that the BBC is biased. Bowen, who is a contributor to the BBC’s new College of Journalism, is honest enough to say that objectivity is beyond him. “We all come from somewhere; we all have a prism through which we see the world; we all have an education, and views and experiences. It’s a false objective to be objective.’”

“Some regard us as being actively anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic. I think it’s unfortunate because it is not true.” -- Jeremy Bowen

“I’m not a cheerleader for any side.” -- Jeremy Bowen

Among previous dispatches on this list citing Bowen, please see:

* The French love bombing (but not by Israel) (July 18, 2006)
* BBC’s former Mideast correspondent: BBC is much too pro-Israel (June 22, 2004)
* Hatred in the air: The BBC, Israel and anti-Semitism (Aug. 20, 2003)

AP APOLOGIZES FOR HOLOCAUST LIE

After Bowen’s email, I attach “Correction: Iran – Holocaust – Conference.”

Finally today, the world’s biggest news agency, the Associated Press, has apologized for having “erroneously attributed a claim that Zionists have exaggerated the number of Jews killed by the Nazis.”

The Associated Press made the claim in a Dec. 12 story about an Iranian-sponsored conference on the Holocaust.

“ADOLF HITLER DEVELOPED AN AVERSION TO JUDAISM BECAUSE HIS MOTHER WAS A JEWISH WHORE”

In a December 28, 2006 interview with the Iranian website Baztab, which is affiliated with Iranian Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezai, Iranian Presidential Advisor Mohammad Ali Ramin said that Hitler was Jewish, and that Hitler’s policies were aimed at helping Zionists. Ramin added that Hitler acted under the influence of his powerful Jewish associates and in cooperation with Britain, since the latter shared his desire to force the Jews out of Europe.

Ramin was recently appointed secretary-general of the new “world foundation for Holocaust Studies” established at the Iranian Holocaust denial conference in December.

The full item is translated below, courtesy of MEMRI.

REFORMIST IRANIAN POLITICIANS CRITICIZE HOLOCAUST CONFERENCE

Reformists in the Iranian Parliament have condemned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration for the convening of the controversial Holocaust denial conference. The reformers, who represent a 42-member faction, blamed the current regime for Iran’s deepening diplomatic isolation. “The only way to pass this crisis is to build confidence… but holding a Holocaust conference and financing the Hamas government creates mistrust and tension,” said Noureddin Pirmoazzen, spokesman for the reformist faction.

Meanwhile, the Simon Wiesenthal Center (the directors of which are, like the directors of MEMRI, long-time subscribers to this email list) has posted a Persian translation of its “36 Questions about the Holocaust” online at www.wiesenthal.com/36questionsinfarsi.

-- Tom Gross



FULL ITEMS

BBC EMAIL: MINI BRIEFING ON THE ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Bowen
To: Editorial Board; Newsg World-Bureaux-Eds; Newsg World Asseds; News Leadership Group; Mark Byford & PA; Simon Wilson-NEWS; Jerusalem Bureau;
Newsg World-Affairs-Unit
Sent: Fri Jan 05 15:16:16 2007
Subject: Mini briefing on the Israeli and Palestinians

2007 has started as unpromisingly as 2006 ended. The outlook is bleak because of fundamental instabilities and weaknesses on both sides.

Israel’s major military incursion into Ramallah on Thursday, killing four Palestinians after a botched arrest operation, was a reminder of the non stop pressures of the Israeli occupation.

What is new in the last year, and will be one of the big stories in the coming twelve months, is the way that Palestinian society, which used to draw strength from resistance to the occupation, is now fragmenting.

The reason is the death of hope, caused by a cocktail of Israel’s military activities, land expropriation and settlement building – and the financial sanctions imposed on the Hamas led government which are destroying Palestinian institutions that were anyway flawed and fragile.

The result is that internecine violence between Hamas and Fatah is getting worse. On Thursday six people were killed in clashes between them in Gaza. The death of a major figure on either side would spark something much more serious.

In Israel the political turmoil that followed the inconclusive war with Hezbollah last summer continues unabated.

There are signs that PM Ehud Olmert is trying to set up his coalition partner Amir Peretz as a scapegoat for Israel’s problems during the war and since, by ousting him from the defence ministry. Olmert may be hoping he’ll get away with it because Peretz’s position as Labour leader is already under attack from within his own party. Peretz’s people say that if Olmert tries it, the government will fall.

Even if does manage to demote Peretz, he probably won’t improve his parlous position in the polls. It is exactly a year since Ariel Sharon’s stroke, so Israelis are comparing their lost leader with the one they have now, and finding him wanting. An air of incompetence hangs around Olmert when it comes to military matters. Typical was the timing of the raid in Ramallah, which ruined yesterday’s summit with Mubarak which was supposed to bring closer the release of the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Olmert wants to replace Peretz at the defence ministry with Ehud Barak, the former Prime Minister. Barak is a retired general, former head of the Israeli army and its most decorated soldier. (Among his many exploits was disguising himself as a woman during a raid in Beirut to kill various Palestinians). The feeling in Israel is that 2007 will be a year of wars, so aside from coalition politics Olmert wants to have a warrior next to him when they make the tough decisions. The intray could include whether or not to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Another serious problem for Olmert is that yet another corruption scandal is lapping close to him. This time the head of the PM’s office in Jerusalem is under house arrest for her alleged role in corruption in Israel’s tax authority. Olmert is not yet implicated, though he’s already been under investigation over separate allegations.

The political crises in Israel – and violent political disintegration among the Palestinians – are not just internal matters. They make it impossible for the Israelis and the Palestinians to engage in a meaningful political dialogue, assuming that their protestations that they want one are true. (The one meeting that Olmert has had with Mahmoud Abbas can hardly be called a process.)

Only strong Israeli and Palestinian leaders would be able to make the tough choices necessary to relieve the serious pressures that are building up in the holy land. To persuade their people to make the necessary concessions, they would need a strong political base, which neither Olmert nor Abbas possess.

Because they are weak – many would say lame ducks – don’t expect any progress. And since an uneasy status quo cannot hold, no political progress will equal more violence.

 

CORRECTION: IRAN – HOLOCAUST – CONFERENCE

Correction: Iran – Holocaust – Conference
The Associated Press
January 9, 2007

In a Dec. 12 story about an Iranian-sponsored conference on the Holocaust, The Associated Press erroneously attributed a claim that Zionists have exaggerated the number of Jews killed by the Nazis.

Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, who attended the conference with members of the group Neturei Karta, denied making such a statement. He said the claim, reported by Iran’s state news agency and television, does not reflect his group’s position. He opposes the state of Israel, and believes Israelis have used the Holocaust to gain sympathy and advantage but doesn’t believe the Holocaust toll is exaggerated.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran’s hard-line president said Tuesday that Israel will one day be “wiped out” as the Soviet Union was, drawing applause from participants in a conference casting doubt on the Holocaust.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comments were likely to further fuel the outcry prompted by the two-day gathering, which has gathered some of Europe’s and the United States’ best-known Holocaust deniers.

Anger over the conference could further isolate Iran as the West considers sanctions in the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program.

But Ahmadinejad appeared to revel in his meeting Tuesday with conference delegates, shaking hands with American participants and sitting near six anti-Israel Jewish participants, dressed in black ultra-Orthodox coats and hats.

“The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom,” Ahmadinejad said during Tuesday’s meeting in his offices, according to the official IRNA news agency.

He called for elections among “Jews, Christians and Muslims so the population of Palestine can select their government and destiny for themselves in a democratic manner.”

Ahmadinejad has used anti-Israeli rhetoric and cast doubt on the Holocaust to rally anti-Western supporters at home and abroad, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. Several times he has referred to the Holocaust as a “myth” used to impose the state of Israel on the Arab world.

“The Holocaust is the device used as the pillar of Zionist imperialism, Zionist aggression, Zionist terror and Zionist murder,” David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader and former state representative in Louisiana, told The Associated Press.

Ahmadinejad announced the conference would set up a “fact-finding commission” to determine whether the Holocaust happened or not. The commission will “help end a 60-year-old dispute,” he said.

The Tehran conference was touted by participants and organizers as an exercise in academic freedom and a chance to openly consider whether 6 million Jews really died in the Holocaust, away from Western taboos and the restrictions imposed on scholars in Europe, where some countries have made it a crime to deny the Nazi genocide during World War II.

It gathered 67 writers and researchers from 30 countries, most of whom argue that either the Holocaust did not happen or that it was vastly exaggerated. Many have been jailed or fined in France, Germany or Austria, where it is illegal to deny the Holocaust.

Participants milled around a model of the Auschwitz concentration camp brought by one speaker, Australian Frederick Toben, who uses the mock-up in lectures contending that the camp was too small to kill mass numbers of Jews. More than 1 million people are estimated to have been killed there.

Rabbi Moshe David Weiss, one of six members attending from the group Jews United Against Zionism, said he opposes the state of Israel, and believes Israelis have used the Holocaust to gain sympathy and advantage; but he doesn’t believe the Holocaust toll is exaggerated. He and his group reject the creation of Israel on the grounds that it violates Jewish religious law, but he said he doesn’t believe the Holocaust toll is exaggerated.

“They have used the Holocaust as a device to justify their oppression,” he said.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Tuesday that the conference was “shocking beyond belief” and “a symbol of sectarianism and hatred.”

In Washington, the White House condemned Iran for convening a conference it called “an affront to the entire civilized world.”

 

ADVISOR TO AHMADINEJAD: “HITLER WAS JEWISH”

Mohammad Ali Ramin, advisor to Iranian President Ahmadinejad: “Hitler was Jewish”
MEMRI
January 3, 2007

www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SD140807

In a December 28, 2006 interview with the Iranian website Baztab, which is affiliated with Iranian Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezai, Iranian Presidential Advisor Mohammad Ali Ramin said that Hitler was Jewish, and that Hitler’s policies were aimed at bringing about the establishment of a Jewish state. Ramin added that Hitler acted under the influence of his powerful Jewish associates and in cooperation with Britain, since the latter shared his desire to force the Jews out of Europe. [1]

Ramin was recently appointed secretary-general of the new “world foundation for Holocaust Studies” established at the Iranian Holocaust Denial Conference in December. [2]

The following are excerpts from the interview: [3]

Adolf Hitler... Developed an Aversion to Judaism Because His Mother Was a Jewish Whore

“The Bolshevik Soviet government in Lenin’s time, and later, in Stalin’s – both of whom were Jewish, though they presented themselves as Marxists and atheists... – was one of the forces that, until the Second World War, cooperated with Hitler in promoting the idea of establishing the State of Israel. A book that was published about this... – titled Adolf Hitler, Founder of Israel by Hennecke Kardel, a German born in 1922 – proves that Hitler was Jewish, and that his grandmother was a Jewish prostitute. [Hitler’s] father went by his mother’s Jewish name until he was 40, and later changed his surname to Hitler.

“Adolf Hitler himself developed an aversion to Judaism because his mother was a Jewish whore. He first received [negative] information about the Jews in an Austrian monastery, (the book presents details and pictures of it), and from then on, he [tried] to escape his Judaism.

“Thus... Hitler simultaneously developed both feelings of solidarity with Judaism and feelings of hatred towards it, and this emotional ambivalence shaped his behavior towards the Jews. On the one hand, his entire family, the people who shared his views, and his associates who brought him into power and stood by him to the last – including his lovers and his personal doctor – were [all] Jewish. On the other hand, he welcomed the policy of expelling the Jews from Central Europe for two other reasons: Firstly, the establishment of a Jewish government in Palestine was an aspiration of the rich and influential Jews who surrounded him. Secondly, exiling the Jews from Europe and Germany was a general and historical demand of the Western Christian nations. With the full support of the British, and in coordination with them, Hitler addressed this general demand and [thereby] managed to gain widespread popularity in Europe. Obviously, publishing writings and information of this sort is forbidden in Germany and in the West...

“The Zionists recently... destroyed many documents and papers pertaining to the period before the war, which contained authentic statistics and figures regarding the Jews, such as how many Jews there were, where they [lived] and how they operated. One of the places that was destroyed completely and burned [to the ground] – and which... contained the most valuable documents pertaining to this matter – was the [building of] the newspaper Pravda, which had been published in Moscow for 80 years. On February 10, 2006, the building was set ablaze, and its entire archive, with all its back issues and photographs, was burned and destroyed, and not a trace of it was left. Nobody - not a single news agency anywhere in the world – investigated this historical crime or discussed it extensively...”

My Suggestion Was to Establish an NGO, in Iran or Elsewhere, [To] Reexamine [the Holocaust]... with the Help of International Forums

“My suggestion was to establish an NGO, in Iran or elsewhere, that would reexamine this issue and investigate it with the help of international forums. But after making enquiries, we saw that nobody in the [entire] world had the courage to raise this issue and investigate it. Anyone who speaks or publishes anything about it is silenced immediately, before [the issue] can be examined. [That is why] we got the idea of organizing a non-governmental conference with the support of the Iranian government, but we [subsequently] discovered that nobody in the world would respond to it, and that it was totally ignored in the news.

“Naturally, I do not want us to take a one-sided view of the Holocaust, and to deny it out of hand, since we do not have sufficient and complete information about it. The purpose of the conference was to question the order that the West has imposed upon us in this manner...”

[1] For more Holocaust denial by Mohammad Ali Ramin, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1186, “Iranian Presidential Advisor Mohammad Ali Ramin: ‘The Resolution of the Holocaust Issue Will End in the Destruction of Israel,’” June 15, 2006, http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP118606; for more on Iran’s use of Holocaust denial, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 307, “The Role of Holocaust Denial in the Ideology and Strategy of The Iranian Regime,” December 15, 2006, http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=ia&ID=IA30706.

[2] MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1397, “Iran Holocaust Denial Conference Announces Plan to Establish World Foundation for Holocaust Studies,” December 15, 2006, http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP139706.

[3] Baztab, December 28, 2006


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.