* This dispatch deals with anti-Semitism and its twin sister anti-Zionism.
1. David Irving and his Jewish counterpart, Norman Finkelstein
2. But the BBC decide to give him more and more airtime
3. Elie Wiesel returns to San Francisco
4. Anti-Semitic attacks in Russia and Ukraine
5. James Bond star Daniel Craig to star in “Defiance”
6. “Holocaust denier Irving expelled from Warsaw book fair” (Reuters, May 19, 2007)
7. “DePaul’s disgrace” (By Marty Peretz, New Republic, May 12, 2007)
8. “Jew stabbed to death in Russia” (Yediot Ahronot, May 12, 2007)
DAVID IRVING AND HIS JEWISH COUNTERPART, NORMAN FINKELSTEIN
Convicted Holocaust denier David Irving was ejected from the Warsaw book fair on Saturday. He had planned to display his books there.
Polish organizers said there was no room at the book fair for a man who denied that the Nazis murdered six million Jews, half of whom were Polish citizens. “We asked him to leave,” said Grzegorz Guzowski, the book fair organizer. “Our employees helped him pack up his things, and our car drove him to the address he specified.” (For more, see the first article below.)
Among previous dispatches on Irving, see David Irving: Auschwitz “was a tourist attraction” (& British Muslims scrap Holocaust Day) (Jan. 31, 2007).
The second article below is by Marty Peretz, who strongly criticizes the decision by DePaul University, the largest private educational institution in Chicago, to consider Norman Finkelstein for tenure. Peretz cites “The wife of the neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier Ernst Zuendel (who) gushed... Finkelstein is a Jewish David Irving.”
For more on Finkelstein and DePaul University, see the twelfth note in the dispatch, Auschwitz death toll was higher, UK government archives reveal (April 16, 2007).
Among others I quote the respected German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which wrote about Finkelstein: His “assertions are pure invention... No facts alleged by Finkelstein should be assumed to be really facts, no quotation in his book should be assumed to be accurate, without taking the time to carefully compare his claims with the sources he cites.”
BUT THE BBC DECIDE TO GIVE HIM MORE AND MORE AIRTIME
Despite (or perhaps because of) Finkelstein’s distortions of the Holocaust, the BBC is increasing the times they invite him on their programs to air his hateful views. For example, earlier this month BBC World TV carried an appearance by Finkelstein at the prestigious Oxford Union at Oxford University where Finkelstein was given plenty of air time to spread disinformation. (The BBC doesn’t usually carry broadcasts from the Oxford Union.)
(The BBC’s coverage of the ongoing violence in Gaza and southern Israel in recent days has also been particularly duplicitous, omitting lots of pertinent facts vital to understanding Israel’s viewpoint, facts which were not omitted by CNN International and France 24, France’s new global 24-hour TV news network.)
Among other recent comments made by Norman Finkelstein, the man DePaul University now wants to give tenure to:
“Israel has embarked, in its own words, on a war of annihilation against the Lebanese people. Not a day passes when the language they use doesn’t escalate... This is pure and simple Nazi language… Right now, and I say it publicly, right now we are all Hizbullah... And every victory of Hizbullah over the vandals and the marauders, the invaders and the murderers; every victory by Hizbullah over Israel is also a victory for liberty and a victory for freedom... the monsters and freaks in the White House and their collaborators in Tel Aviv – so far as I’m concerned they can all drop dead.”
ELIE WIESEL RETURNS TO SAN FRANCISCO
This is an update to Ilan Halimi brought to rest in Jerusalem (& Elie Wiesel assaulted in a San Francisco hotel) (Feb. 11, 2007).
Elie Wiesel, the Nobel laureate and Auschwitz and Buchenwald survivor, has returned to San Francisco and has admitted he was “traumatized” by his visit in February when he was attacked at a hotel there.
Eric Hunt, 22, of Sussex County, New Jersey, was arrested some days later at a New Jersey behavioral health clinic after dragging Wiesel from an elevator at the Argent Hotel. Hunt told Wiesel he was being taken “into his custody” and told him to admit “the Holocaust is a lie.” Hunt faces kidnapping, false imprisonment, battery, elder abuse, stalking and hate crime charges in San Francisco.
Wiesel returned to San Francisco to receive an award for “a lifetime devoted to perpetuating Jewish life.” Guarded by police, Wiesel described the recent attack as a “new element to the equation... I call them not mentally ill but morally ill people.”
In addition, Wiesel spoke of his fear that anti-Semitism was on the rise worldwide. He described Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the “number-one Holocaust denier in the world.”
The location of Wiesel’s appearance was kept secret until reporters called to confirm their attendance, and their credentials were double-checked when they arrived.
ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACKS IN RUSSIA AND UKRAINE
The third and final article below reports that a Russian Jew was stabbed to death in northern St. Petersburg. The attack appears to be similar to other recent lethal assaults carried out by neo-Nazi groups.
Earlier this month an explosive device was detonated in front of a synagogue in the Russian city of Samara. Local Jewish leaders were angered when Russian police classified this attack as “mere hooliganism.”
“This was not in any way an act of hooliganism,” a community member told the Jewish.ru Web site. “Somebody planned this, somebody built the explosive device, somebody placed it there because someone wanted to kill random Jews. I hope that this case won’t have the brakes applied to it and that the culprits are found.” Anti-Semitic leaflets have also been circulating throughout the city recently.
A synagogue in the western Ukrainian town of Kolomiya (a synagogue famous for where the founder of Chasidic Judaism prayed) was also vandalized last week.
JAMES BOND STAR DANIEL CRAIG TO STAR IN “DEFIANCE”
James Bond star Daniel Craig is to star in the World War II action-drama “Defiance,” about a band of Jewish resistance fighters, reports Variety, the newspaper of the Hollywood film industry. The film will be directed by Edward Zwick, the director of “Blood Diamond.”
News of this movie was revealed at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival. The plot, based on a true story, follows four Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Poland who escape into the forest, where they join up with Russian resistance fighters to battle the Nazis and attempt to save the lives of other Jews. Filming will start in early September, before Craig begins filming the next James Bond installment.
Daniel Craig previously played a Jewish South African-born Mossad agent in “Munich.” For more on the Steven Spielberg directed-movie, see Munich (1): “Spielberg is no friend of Israel” (Dec. 15, 2005).
-- Tom Gross
DAVID IRVING EXPELLED FROM THE WARSAW BOOK FAIR
Holocaust denier David Irving expelled from Warsaw book fair
May 19, 2007
British historian David Irving, a convicted Holocaust denier, was escorted out of an international book fair in Warsaw where he was planning to display his books, Polish organizers said Saturday.
Irving, who was arrested in Austria after his arrival on a visit in November 2005, spent more than a year in an Austrian jail for denying the Nazis organized mass murder of six million Jews during World War Two.
“We asked him to leave,” said Grzegorz Guzowski, the book fair organizer. “Our employees helped him pack up his things, and our car drove him to the address he specified.”
He said Irving’s publishers did not send materials detailing his work to the fair until a few hours before the deadline, giving organizers too little time to prevent the self-taught historian from setting up a table at the exhibition.
Unlike many European countries, Polish law does not expressly forbid Holocaust denial, Warsaw University law professor Piotr Kruszynski told Reuters.
“Polish laws prohibiting the promotion of fascism and defamation of people on racial and religious grounds could conceivably be extended to include Irving’s writings,” he added.
Irving plans to remain in the country for a few more days to visit Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps in Poland.
“It’s ironic that it’s come to a situation like this in Poland, which fought against restrictions on speech for such a long time,” Irving was quoted by daily Zycie Warszawy as saying.
“FINKELSTEIN IS A JEWISH DAVID IRVING”
By Marty Peretz
The New Republic
May 12, 2007
Oh, for sure. At my campus and at your campus, there was usually a nutcase professor who had very odd views, really very odd, about this and that. A professor of engineering would believe that blacks were stupid or that woman should stay home and do the wash… or a professor of chemistry would believe that the Holocaust was a historical invention. It was unpleasant. Maybe even worse than unpleasant. But it somehow didn’t go to very heart of the university which was that teachers should be experts in their fields.
Well, you know about Norman Finkelstein who is truly a nutcase teacher in the field for which DePaul University is now considering him for tenure. Our Leon Wieseltier has called him “poison, he’s a disgusting self-hating Jew, he’s something you find under a rock.” Omer Bartov, the world-renowned scholar of genocide at Brown University, wrote in the New York Times that Finkelstein’s The Holocaust Industry is “an ideological fanatic’s view... by a writer so reckless and ruthless in his attacks... [His theory is] both irrational and insidious... an international Jewish conspiracy verges on paranoia and would serve anti-Semites.” If his these words from critics are not sufficient, how about those from his fans? The wife of the neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier Ernst Zuendel has gushed, “I feel like a kid in a candy store... Finkelstein is a Jewish David Irving.”
OK, don’t take my word. Listen to him on YouTube for yourself. The following is a transcript.
If you can’t stand listening and watching, take the easy route...and just read.
I’m going to try and be brief this afternoon, I know it’s hot, and so many people have already said so many important things. I want to make basically 3 points. Number one, in my view reasonable people can disagree about how the conflict in Lebanon began, but reasonable people cannot disagree about what’s happening now. The conflict is perfectly clear to anyone who looks at it honestly. Israel has embarked, in its own words, on a war of annihilation against the Lebanese people. Not a day passes when the language they use doesn’t escalate. One day they say for each Hizbullah rocket we will destroy 10 Lebanese homes. The next day they say we will flatten southern Lebanon. The next day they say we will cleanse southern Lebanon. The next day they say we will obliterate and pulverize southern Lebanon. We have to be honest about what they are saying. This is pure and simple Nazi language. They’re talking about – and we shouldn’t be afraid to use that analogy. They are waging a war of annihilation against the Lebanese people.
Number two, I heard a few days ago a member or several members of the House of Representatives say, “We are all Israelis now.” Now, I beg to differ. Right now, and I say it publicly, right now we are all Hizbullah. All of us. You can have differences, disagreements with their ideology, with their values, with their organization. But right now at this moment that is totally and utterly irrelevant; just as, for those of you who are older in this meeting, in the 1940s you can disagree with Stalin and Stalinism and the Soviet Union on this and on that. And there were excellent reasons for disagreeing. But every victory of the Red Army over the Nazi invaders was a victory for liberty and a victory for freedom. And every victory of Hizbullah over the vandals and the marauders, the invaders and the murderers; every victory by Hizbullah over Israel is also a victory for liberty and a victory for freedom.
One last point, and that is the question of Israel. I personally remain committed to the belief that ordinary people, Jewish and Muslim, Jewish and Arab, if left to their own devices, they can live together in peace, freedom, mutual dignity and mutual respect. But if Israel proves itself unable to live in mutual dignity and mutual respect with its Arab neighbors; if it chooses to become the garrison state for the United States whose only purpose and being is to enslave the Arab people; if it chooses, I am not saying it is, I am saying but if it chooses then it’s losing its right to be there in the Middle East. It’s no different than Da Nang airbase during the Vietnam War if your only purpose is to wreak murder, wreak havoc, destroy, level, pulverize, flatten, cleanse. If that’s your purpose, if that’s your raison d’etre, then you’ve lost your right to be there.
One last point. For those of you who are indifferent to moral arguments, there remains a, the fancy word is a realpolitik argument, a real world argument. And the real world is, Israel is courting its own disaster. Maybe the blind, the arrogant, those who are drunk with power, intoxicated with their weapons, they don’t see it; but rational people, reasonable people see what’s going on. Hizbullah is not, thank goodness, the PLO. They’re serious, they’re committed, they’re determined. Hopefully, and I mean hopefully, reasonable, sane people will see that, and will recognize that even if they don’t like the Arabs, and even if they don’t like Muslims, it’s a wiser strategy, it’s a more prudent strategy just from the vantage point of self interest. It’s wiser and more prudent to learn to live with your neighbors rather than try to destroy them, because sooner or later before you destroy them they will destroy you; which means at the end of the day we all have a common purpose, though maybe we don’t see it. And the common purpose is we are all fighting, resisting, struggling to make this world a decent place, a fair place, a place where dignity and mutual respect is allowed for; and where everyone can live, everyone to live who wants to live in mutual respect and mutual dignity. Those who do not – the monsters and freaks in the White House and their collaborators in Tel Aviv – so far as I’m concerned they can all drop dead. But let’s the rest of us struggle, work hard, reach out to everybody. Make it a common struggle for a common goal – truth and justice. Thank you.
ANOTHER JEW MURDERED IN ST. PETERSBURG
Jew stabbed to death in Russia
22 year-old St. Petersburg man found dead by mother minutes after stabbing; friends say murder ‘was anti-Semitic’
By Yaakov Lappin
May 12, 2007
A Russian Jew has been stabbed to death in northern St. Petersburg. Dimitri Nikoulinsky, 22, was found dead with knife wounds to his throat by his mother minutes after the assault, his friends said.
Two members of the Jewish community said the attack was “exactly” like other lethal assaults carried out by neo-Nazi groups against foreign students and an anti-fascist activist, and are convinced that the attack was a hate-crime.
The sources said the large number of stabbings by neo-Nazis caused them to feel unsafe, adding that they were too terrified to give their names.
“Today at ten in the morning, our friend and member of the Jewish community was assaulted by an unknown number of men. They left him with many throat knife wounds,” a male friend of Nikoulinsky told Ynetnews by phone.
“His mother found him dead minutes later on the stairs to his apartment,” the source added.
Nikoulinsky was a student at St. Petersburg State University, and was in his final year of studying for an MA. He also taught in a local Beit Chabad Yeshiva.
Although he did not wear a kippa, Nikoulinsky did “not look Russian at all, and had a very Jewish look,” a female employee of a Russian Jewish organization said.
“We are sure this was a hate crime because we have had a series of hate crimes of the same nature. The men who assaulted Dimitri took nothing from him,” Nikoulinsky’s friend said.
“I think this was a neo-Nazi crimes,” he added.
The female source said Nikoulinsky was “very shy, and from a good Jewish family. There was no personal reason that anyone could have to kill him.”
“Two years ago a man was killed in the same way in a central avenue of St. Petersburg,” Nikoulinsky’s friend said. “The reason he was killed was because he was an anti-fascist activist. After that, two foreign students from Vietnam were murdered, also in the same way. In addition, a girl from Tajikistan, who was 5 years-old, was murdered in an identical manner,” the source added.
Both sources said police had been informed, but added that they had lost trust in the police. “They are always working on these cases and nothing ever happens,” one source said, adding: “We don’t trust them at all.”
Nikoulinsky was described by his friend as a “very intelligent and open-minded person. He has never done any harm to anyone. He wasn’t political. His only passion was teaching young children, which he did on a full-time basis.”