Paul Eisen

Paul Eisen

Saturday, 7 January 2006

We Will Remember...

We Will Remember…

Daniel McGowan & Paul Eisen

 L- R: Rabbi John Rayner, Sheikh Dr. Zaki Badawi and Rev. Michael Prior at DYD 2001
 Zaki Badawi has died.  An outstanding Muslim, a cleric and a scholar, Dr. Badawi was a tireless voice of reason and peace and his death follows swiftly that of Fr. Michael Prior and Rabbi John Rayner.

They had a lot in common, these three.  All were religious leaders and all were rebels struggling on the radical/progressive margins of their respective traditions.  But they had something else in common:  in April 2001 these three men appeared together on the stage of a London theatre to remember the massacre of Palestinians at Deir Yassin, “the terror it caused, the flight it precipitated, the tragedy of dispossession and exile that has resulted from it.”  
It happened during the closing moments of the largest Deir Yassin Remembered commemoration that year.  It happened before a packed audience of 1,000 Palestinians, Jews, and others, including nine Arab ambassadors, seven Members of Parliament, four rabbis, and guests of honor, including Tony Benn and our good friend, Afif Safieh, who is now the Palestinian ambassador to the United States.

Ten days before curtain-up, tickets had begun to sell fast and five days after that the event was sold out.  Three hours before the theatre opened, a queue started to form of those hoping to find tickets - most telling were the Palestinian families who came to the theatre hoping for tickets.  These folk were on no-one’s mailing list; they had received no appeals and no emails.  In traditional attire, many speaking little or no English, having heard of the event by word of mouth, they came in the hope of joining the commemoration and remembering this piece of their history.

It was a creative evening of readings, poems, songs and drama with many famous British and international performers taking part and with Reem Kelani giving voice to Palestinian experience and memory. There were two dramatic pieces by Razanne Carmey: “Friday Morning” set in Deir Yassin on that Friday morning in April 1948 when a father is taken outside to be shot while his wife and children sing to drown out the sounds of his execution, and “Exodus” in which Palestinians told their stories of exile and dispossession.

There was weeping in the audience that night as members of the London Palestinian community saw, for the first time ever, their story so portrayed.  And Jews were moved too.  Firstly, as they, many also for the first time, encountered Palestinian history and experience, secondly as they witnessed the Palestinian response to what was being enacted on stage, and finally, as they saw and heard images from a history so reminiscent of their own.  That father dragged from his home in Deir Yassin could so easily have been a surrendered ghetto fighter in Warsaw in 1941, and that bourgeois Madame, in her now-bedraggled fur coat trudging the road out of Jaffa and into exile, was nothing if not a Berliner boarding a train for Riga in 1942.    

As Reem finished her last song, an affirmation of Palestinian longing to return, John, Michael and Zaki – a scholarly Jewish Rabbi, a rebellious Irish priest, and a gentle Muslim cleric - took the stage for the final moment of commemoration.  Each in turn moved forward to remember Deir Yassin.  As Rabbi Rayner affirmed, “having looked into the tragic past, we wish to look forward to a better future, and resolve to do what we can to bring it about.”

As Zaki concluded his remarks, they left the stage.  A few seconds passed, and the lights went up to Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony.  Sober but uplifting, it pointed to a better future as the audience made their way in silence to the exits.  There were no curtain calls, no bows, no bouquets.  On that night at least, all eyes were on Deir Yassin and the Palestinian people. 

Five years on and there has been no better future - but much has changed.  That night’s hope for reconciliation has long gone - there have been too many disappointments and too many deaths and all that seems left is resistance and defiance.  Those three men are also gone - Michael in July 2004, John in September 2005 and Zaki in January 2006.  But they are not forgotten.  We at DYR will remember Michael Prior, John Rayner and Zaki Badawi.  We will remember that night in April 2001 and the words they spoke, but most of all, we will remember Deir Yassin.

Daniel McGowan and Paul Eisen are directors of Deir Yassin Remembered

January 2006

Sunday, 1 January 2006

My Life as a Holocaust Denier

My Life as a Holocaust Denier
January 2006

In December 2004 I completed my essay "The Holocaust Wars.”. Nearly 17000 words long, the essay was the result of six months’ dedicated reading and the final piece of a trilogy beginning with “Speaking the Truth to Jews” and followed by “Jewish Power” . The manuscript sat on my desk for four months while I wondered what to do with it and in May 2005 it was posted at my request, on Israel Shamir's website. There was hardly any response other than from the revisionist community which was, as expected, positive.

A couple of weeks later, again at my request, it was circulated by Gilad Atzmon on his private e-list. Now controversy broke out centering on the proposed appearance by Gilad at two Socialist Workers Party events. Two Jewish Marxists , Roland Rance and Tony Greenstein and others were outraged that a declared anti-racist organization like the SWP give a platform to someone who defended and circulated the writings of, if not an actual Holocaust denier, then certainly an apologist for the same.

Gilad denied the charge of Holocaust denial, but not only defended my right to think, speak and write as I liked, but also the quality of my thinking and my writing. The SWP stayed committed to hosting Gilad who, despite picketing largely by anti-Zionist Jews, successfully appeared at both events. At the first of these - a book-signing at Bookmarks, the SWP bookshop - I, a Holocaust denier, was refused entry.

The controversy raged over the internet for some weeks until June 26th when an article by Jewish, ex-SWP Trotskyite now Neo-Con journalist David Aaronovitch, appeared in The Times entitled "How the Far Left Got into Bed with the Jew-Hating Right."

The article was largely an attack on Gilad and Israel Shamir with me in a non-speaking walk-on part as "Eisen the Holocaust denier." Like Adolf Hitler's infamous portrayal of the Jew as “a maggot in a rotting body…” I had metamorphised into that lowest of animal life forms, the maggot at the bottom of the food chain - a Holocaust denier.

Until now the attacks had been from Jewish activists, mainly Marxist, anti-Zionist Jews; but now they spread. Colleagues, associates and even friends slowly but surely began to distance themselves - some in genuine horror and shock - others with shrewd, maybe wise, calculation at the effects on their solidarity careers. Even those closest in opinion hurried to find opportunities to state again and again that they, categorically, absolutely and completely did not deny the Holocaust.

Stalwarts of the Christian solidarity community with whom I had worked closely for years, began to distance themselves. Prominent members of Christian organisations with whom I had had close and friendly relations, now expressed ‘concern’. There were moves to cancel the appearance of Sabeel's Naim Ateek at the forthcoming Green Belt solidarity event if I remained on the Executive Committee of Friends of Sabeel UK. In response to a request by Roland Rance, the Executive Committee of the U.K Palestine Solidarity Campaign began to discuss my possible expulsion and also whether the PSC should continue to work with Deir Yassin Remembered.

Over the next weeks and months high-profile and well-regarded Jewish activists moved to either denounce me, distance themselves from me or work quietly behind the scenes to ensure my marginalization. These included Uri Davis, Jeff Halper, Jeff Blankfort, Michael Rosen, and Uri Avnery.

All this was initiated and guided by Jewish activists, largely Marxist and self-declared anti-Zionists. A petition damning me and my writing was begun by Joel Finkel and endorsed by Sue Blackwell who, after consulting ‘Jewish colleagues’, promoted the petition and denounced me. Overwhelmingly but not exclusively Jewish , the list included Jeff Halper, Uri Davis and Uri Avnery

Most Palestinians held their silence except for a handful - Nur Masalha and Aref Nammari signed the petition and Reem Kelani took the opportunity to publicly denounce Gilad as an anti-Semite.

While I had, been prepared for attacks by Jewish activists and their supporters, nothing could have prepared me for the effects on my family. These people who I love and who love me, and who, despite many disagreements, had taken pride in my Palestinian solidarity activism, now before their eyes, saw their kind, gentle and loving son, brother, husband and father, turn into that most loathsome of life forms - a "Holocaust Denier." Their anger I could bear - harder to bear were their tears.

The Holocaust Wars
The Holocaust Wars was written in three sections. The first called “Scum" (It was Joel Finkel's calling Ernst and Ingrid ‘scum’ which prompted me to write The Holocaust Wars) describes the struggle of Ernst Zundel, currently in jail in Germany for Holocaust denial. This section attempts to contextualize and re-humanize Ernst Zundel and Holocaust revisionism. It also attempts to contextualize and re-humanize the person of Adolf Hitler, the National Socialist regime, and, indeed, the German people. It was this section, provocatively placed at the very front of the essay, which most outraged Jewish activists and their supporters.

The second section, "The War for the Truth," examined the Revisionist community, its scholarship and its struggle. Although I stopped short of coming out in definite agreement with them, I did (and do) acknowledge that I found their case compelling. This section also contained what was, for me, one of the most interesting aspects of these enquiries – under the heading “How Could This Be So?” - a discussion how, if the Holocaust narrative were to be proven false, it may have come about and how it came to be so widely accepted.

The last section was called "The War for the Spirit" and was concerned with the ideological, spiritual and religious meaning of the Holocaust narrative and the use to which it has been put to enforce Jewish power. For me, this was the most important section of the essay but I doubt whether many critics got that far. I suspect most skimmed the first couple of pages, categorized both it and me and then acted accordingly. (Norman Finkelstein replied a full ten minutes after I sent him a draft with the instruction not to bother him with such nonsense.)

Holocaust Denier
The process of marginalization is a curious one. Slowly and cumulatively it takes place and in no time at all acquires a momentum all of its own. My own needed no help from me. Within weeks I had ceased to be an individual and had become the brand – “Eisen the Holocaust denier”. As sure as “Beanz Meanz Heinz” I was a Holocaust denier and, once branded, no more need be said. It sufficed that, whenever my name was mentioned some anti-Zionist Jewish activist would jump up and remind the company of what I was - the rest would take care of itself.

Did I protest? Not one bit. Did I fight back? Not at all. I told myself that to protest my innocence was to grant legitimacy to the accusation but also I rather relished my Christ-like posture - hanging there for the whole world to see. But the real reason for my failure to fight back was, quite simply, that I was terrified out of my wits. Nothing in my life up till then had prepared me for the hatred I experienced.

Racist! Nazi! Holocaust denier!
Now the net is just full it - "Eisen the Holocaust denier", "Eisen the racist", "Eisen the Nazi", "Eisen the anti-Semite" and all apparently disseminated by people who have neither met nor spoken to me. And, I'm sure in most cases, have not read anything I have written except for selected quotes presented out-of-context to them by others. As I came wearily to say; if someone would tell me what a Holocaust denier, an anti-Semite and a racist is, then I would gladly say whether I am one.

They call me a racist. But what do they mean? Am I the elderly couple in the inner city neighborhood who, in the privacy of their own home, confess to each other their bewilderment at the changes caused by the influx of people who look, speak and even behave, so differently to them? am I the hooded Klansman who lynches a black man and douses with petrol and sets light to his still living body? Or am I one of the perfectly ordinary racists who gathered round to watch?

They call me a Nazi. But the Nazis are dead and gone so I can’t be that kind of Nazi. I could have been the medium-grade office clerk who joined the party because his boss did, or I could perhaps be a Fuhrer-besotted housewife at a party rally. I could be an old Nazi who, like any old Bolshevik dreaming of revolutions past, sits and dreams of past glories. But I don’t think so. National Socialists, like any number of other ‘-ists’ are usually folk who know for sure how the world should or should not be and so often are not afraid to use force to make their point – and I’m not like that at all.

They call me a Holocaust denier. But “Holocaust denier” is just an abusive term for a Holocaust revisionist - the slur being that Holocaust revisionists are like flat-earthers - people who have lost all touch with reality and deny that anything unpleasant at all happened to Jews at the hands of the National Socialists. They do not. ‘Holocaust denier’ along with ‘racist’ ‘neo-Nazi’, anti-Semite and all the rest is just one more non-definable term of abuse used rather like ‘witch’ in the Middle Ages - a curse to silence those with whom one does not agree.

But let's set the record straight about my racism, Nazism and ‘Holocaust denial". Do I believe that ethnicity is important to many people? Yes I do. Do I find notions of physical, cultural, emotional and spiritual differences between people interesting and worthy of consideration? Yes I do. Do I see any group of people inherently superior to any other? No I do not (though there may well be certain areas where one group is better than others). Am I sympathetic to National Socialist ideology and do I want to reinvent that ideology in the present day? Of course not. But do I think that National Socialism has been unequally demonised when compared to other equally violent and destructive ideologies? Yes I do.

And as for my ‘Holocaust denial’, I wasn’t at Auschwitz, so I don't know exactly what did or did not take place there. Nor am I any scholar, but I’ve had a fair look at the evidence and as far as I can see, the revisionists have got it pretty much right. But I’m not a hundred percent sure and I say so, so technically I suppose I'm not a denier. Whether I say this from conviction, cowardice or simply an inability to sever that final link to whatever, I can’t say. But I have no doubt that Robert Faurisson, the greatest of all living revisionists, would rage at me for such equivocation.

No, Holocaust revisionism or ‘denial’ if you like is confined to three main contentions in the typical Holocaust narrative, namely:

• That there ever was an official plan on the part of Hitler or the National Socialist regime to systematically and physically exterminate every Jew in Europe.

• That there existed homicidal gas-chambers.

• That the number of Jewish victims was around six million.

Having examined all these contentions and found them questionable to say the least, it seems to me that a Holocaust revisionist (denier, if you like) is an entirely honorable thing to be. So why should I rush to deny that I am one?

In his article David Aaronovitch quoted me as writing about the gas-chambers “No one is able to show us, at Auschwitz or anywhere else even one of these chemical slaughterhouses. No one is capable of describing to us their exact appearance or workings. Neither a trace nor a hint of their existence is to be found ...." Aaronovitch got this wrong. I did not write those words. They were written by Robert Faurisson whom I was quoting. I was urged to protest this inaccuracy which I did successfully with the Press Complaints Commission. (It is the amended version that appears in the article accessed by the link above.) But now I’m not so sure about this. Professor Faurisson’s words were honorable and courageous and probably accurate, so even though I didn’t write those words, why should I now rush to disown them?
The same is true with Ernst Zündel. Why should I not support Ernst Zündel? Ernst Zündel
has never committed an act of violence, nor has he ever called on anyone else to commit an
act of violence. Ernst Zündel has never discriminated against anyone, nor has he called on
anyone else to discriminate against anyone. Ernst Zündel has never stifled anyone’s freedom
of expression, nor has he ever called on anyone else to stifle anyone’s freedom of expression.
So why should I not support Ernst Zündel’s right to think, speak and write as he pleases? And why do those who go on and on about these rights fall strangely silent when it comes to Ernst Zündel and the other revisionists? And why is it that so many of these folk, so busy, busy, busy defending free speech, at the same time work so hard to create a climate in which that freedom may be so easily denied? Joel Finkel believes in free speech and he calls Ernst and Ingrid ‘scum’.

But I also support Ernst Zündel and Holocaust revisionists because both Ernst and the revisionists are essentially truthful (though one doesn't have to agree with everything they say). It is true that the Holocaust narrative is gravely flawed and could stand some serious examination. It is true that Adolf Hitler and National Socialism were, respectively both human and the creation of humans and both may well not have been any worse than many other brutal regimes and their leaderships, notably Bolshevism. And regarding Ernst’s alleged ‘racism’ it is also true that ethnicity, to my mind simply a mix of biology and culture, matters a lot to people and it may be that the human individual is moved as much by his or her ethnicity, roots and faith and, yes, genetic makeup, as by his or her class and aspirations.

Anyway, I like Ernst. He is, as in described him ‘a gentle, god-humoureed man, kind and honet and with those qualities often found in the strangest places: a fine mind and a good heart.”. And I like Ingrid Zundel too, a brave, principled woman with a delightful way about her. I also support Ernst Zündel and the revisionists because they, along with the Palestinian people, are amongst the bravest people on the planet. I may not agree with everything Ernst Zündel does or believes, but his flamboyant activism makes me both laugh out loud at his antics while standing in silent awe at his courage.

But above all I support Ernst Zündel and the revisionists because they, along with the Palestinian and other Arab peoples are the ultimate victims of, and resistors to, an abusive Jewish power. (Why else are they dealt with so harshly?). Also, they’re the most feared. As Robert Faurisson said, above all, Zionists fear the weak – those with nothing left to lose. And they fear the weapons of the weak: the stones and martyrdom of the Palestinians and the words of the revisionists. They fear the Palestinian Intifada but they also fear that other Intifada – that of the revisionists.

So to those who say that the subject is irrelevant and ask why I or anyone else should spend any time at all in the distasteful activity of working out precisely how many people died and by what manner, and especially to those who wish to discuss the abuse to which the Holocaust narrative has been put but do not wish to examine the narrative itself, I say this: I am not interested in the hydrogen cyanide traces in brickwork or how long it takes to burn a corpse. But the fact is that there is a probability that a lie of massive proportions is being peddled big-time and savagely enforced. It seems to me that we must know if this is true. So while I will not myself be engaging in this research, I do support those that do.

And to those, who with querulous, bewildered expressions ask if it really matters if there was or was not a decision to kill all the Jews, whether it was done by shooting, gas-chambers or any other method and whether it was one, one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand, one, two, three, four, five or six million Jews? After all, they say self-righteously, is not one death one death too many? And does it matter if it was pre-planned or whether it was by gas, massacre or typhus epidemic? These folks mean to deceive Under cover of feigned sensitivity and mock horror they conceal their own deep Holocaust worship. So to them I say that it does matter. Firstly, it matters because the truth matters. But more than that, it matters because it is those three key areas: that Hitler and the National Socialists determined to physically exterminate every Jew in Europe, that in the main this was done on an industrial scale by use of homicidal gas-chambers and that in the final end, six million Jews perished, It is in these contentions that the Holocaust cult resides. Without these iconic embellishments the very real story of the assault on the Jews of Europe ceases to be the Holocaust and becomes just one more terrible atrocity in a history of terrible atrocities. It is these which turn the Holocaust narrative into a religion and it is those which turn its denial into a heresy.

And to those who tell me that questioning the Holocaust is just a diversion and my time would be better spent marching, leafleting and chanting slogans I say, where have your slogans and marches got you? And to those who say that writing in support of Ernst Zündel and the revisionists serves only to provide weapons for those who would secure the oppression of the Palestinians and others I say: Where has your caution got you? In 2002 in London Marc Ellis called on a largely Jewish audience to “Abandon strategy!” I agree. Abandon strategy. Forget, “if I do this will they do that?” Forget “If we say this will they say that?” And, most of all, forget “If we do this will they call us that?” Those times are over. Resist. Defy. Speak out.

Why bother?
I read recently a letter written by Germar Rudolf from his cell in Stammheim Prison, Stuttgart. The letter examines why Rudolf became a Holocaust revisionist and why he was prepared to pay such a terrible price. The fact is that Germar Rudolf was never much interested in World War II or, for that matter, in the Holocaust. What interested him were the whys and wherefores of lies, delusions and propaganda. Why are they created, how are they propagated, maintained and enforced and why do we believe in them? So for Rudolf, Holocaust propaganda is not an historical issue but an ideological issue. Nor does there seem to be any single motive for Rudolf’s interest, rather a mixture of personal history and personality. From childhood, he tells us, he was blessed or cursed with an insane curiosity and with, what he describes as, “a greatly overdeveloped sense of justice.” We also learn that he was brutalized by his father.

At the age of five he learned of the post-war expulsion of millions of Germans from East Germany and Eastern Europe and it is from then that he dates his interest in history. He became “a very patriotic German - still within the mainstream yet at the right edge of it.” But, never did he touch upon the Holocaust topic. “The usual claims about it seemed indubitable, undeniable to me, truth chiseled in stone, self-evident.”

But in 1989 he came across the writings of Paul Rassinier, the father of Holocaust revisionism and everything changed. On his liberation, Rassinier, A former French communist, partisan fighter and eventual inmate of Buchenwald and Dora concentration camps, began to hear stories of mechanized exterminations in Buchenwald - a claim he knew to be untrue because he had been there - so he wondered what anyone might wonder: If they can lie about that, what else can they lie about? And for the young German patriot Rudolf: “He opened my eyes and allowed doubts. Not more, just doubts.”

Like all post-war Germans Rudolf had been raised not to doubt, which in itself maddened him as did the increasing persecution in Germany of anyone who raised the issue.

“….at once I knew - and a little research confirmed it - that any doubts and a dissenter is relentlessly ostracized, persecuted, and even prosecuted with no chance of defense. So I said to myself: This is outrageous, unacceptable, against all norms and ideals of this society, and the fact that there is no other topic where dissent is more severely suppressed is evidence enough for me that it is also the most important topic. He who is sure of being truthful is relaxed; only liars call for earthly judges.”

"Give me a meaning of life!" Young Germar had demanded and now he had found it. When so many powerful people worked so hard to stop one peaceful dissident, it must be because he has something that can, and will, rock the world. It was that simple.

“I was sure I was right, and unless I was convinced by rational, scientific arguments that I was wrong, I was not going to give in. They made the mistake to provoke the blood out of me by persecuting me. That's it. No negotiations any more. It's me or them now. My father didn't manage to break me with stick, whip, fists or by using me as a missile, and so they won't break my will with violence either. It only gets stronger with every beating.”

That is Germar Rudolf: a bloody-minded contrarian with enormous will power.

"The only way to take this away from me is by killing me. Period. Anybody who punishes me for merely exercising my human right of being a human, a creature able to doubt and explore, will meet my utmost unbreakable resistance. I won't allow anybody to reduce me to a submissive slave. Nobody."

Germar Rudolf, along with Ernst Zündel, Robert Faurisson, David Irving, Jurgen Graf, Udo Walendy, Carlo Mattogno, Erhard Kempner, Wolfgang Froehlich, Michel Adam, Pedro Varela, Gary Lauck, Gunter Deckert and many, many others have paid, and are paying, a terrible price and none more terrible than the price obviously paid by Rudolf as indicated in the dedication of his “Lectures on the Holocaust.” "For Tamara, Kay and Natalie. Hoping that one day they will understand."

Deny the Holocaust!
That Jews suffered greatly from 1933-1945 is not in question but the notion of a premeditated, planned and industrial extermination of Europe’s Jews with its iconic gas-chambers and magical six million are all used to make the Holocaust not only special but also sacred. We are faced with a new, secular religion, a false God with astonishing power to command worship. And, like the Crucifixion with its Cross, Resurrection etc, the Holocaust has key and sacred elements - the exterminationist imperative, the gas-chambers and the sacred six million. It is these that comprise the holy Holocaust which Jews, Zionists and others worship and which Ernst and the revisionists refuse.

Nor is this a small matter. If it was, why the fuss, why the witch-hunt, why the imprisonment of David Irving, Germar Rudolf and Ernst Zündel? And it’s not just them. What may be a massive lie is being used to oppress pretty much all of humankind. The German and Austrian peoples who, we are told, conceived and perpetrated the slaughter; the Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Rumanian, Hungarian, peoples etc., etc who supposedly hosted, assisted in and cheered on the slaughter ; the Americans, the British, the French, the Dutch, the Belgians, the Italians (but not the Danes and the Bulgarians) etc. who apparently didn’t do enough to stop the slaughter; the Swiss who earned out of the slaughter and the entire Christian world who, it seems, created the faith-traditions and ideologies in which the slaughter could take place - and now the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim peoples who seemingly want to perpetrate a new slaughter - in fact, the Holocaust oppresses the entire non-Jewish world and indeed much of the Jewish world as well. Stand and have done with it. Deny the Holocaust.

Paul Eisen
January 2006

Dear Mary....

Dear Mary...
January 2006
Dear Mary

Thank you once again for your spirited defence of me, my opinions and my right to express them in the face of attacks by the likes of Sue Blackwell and Deborah Maccoby.

You're right.  The article by Sue Blackwell certainly was not, as Deborah claims, “excellent”.  For some reason Sue seems to define her left wing credentials in general, her solidarity with Palestinians in particular and her all-round right-on “goodness” by her willingness to accede to the wishes of Jewish activists and by bowing endlessly to Jewish power.

Mary, I realize that you are sometimes exasperated by my reluctance to answer such attacks. And the reasons you cite for my attitude are quite right.  But there are other reasons too.  Firstly, I don't stand up well to combat. I'm no Gilad Atzmon, who, like Samson amongst the Philistines, seems to be single-handedly knocking out the opposition.  Unless you can do “a Gilad” well (and I really can't) I think arguing with these people is an utter waste of time.  Tony Greenstein, Roland Rance, Charlie Pottins, Deborah Maccoby, Joel Finkel and many others like them will never change because they can never change.

And Mary, I know you don't always like the company I keep, so I approach these next remarks with some trepidation.  You know the story of the scorpion and the frog crossing the river to Paradise.  The scorpion wants to cross the river to Paradise and tries to persuade a frog to take him on its back.  At first the frog hesitates.  "You are a scorpion" says the frog, "If I carry you on my back, you will sting me and kill me."

"Of course I won't sting you." answers the scorpion, "If I were to sting you, you would drown and cause me to drown as well, so what would be the good of that?"  Finally the frog agrees and they set off.  Halfway across the river, surprise, surprise, the scorpion stings the frog.  As both frog and scorpion sink beneath the waves, the frog, in its death throes, looks first to heaven and then to the scorpion and  asks, "Why?” 

The scorpion, also dying, replies, "Why?  The answer is simple; I couldn’t help myself. I'm a scorpion."

This old tale was recounted to me in a moment of exasperation by Ingrid when we were discussing what her opponents like to call "race" (Actually "identity" would probably be a better description.)  For Ingrid, just as a scorpion will never change, so Tony Greenstein, Roland Rance, Charlie Pottins, Deborah Maccoby, Joel Finkel and many, many more will never change simply because they can never change.  Dare I say it?  In some ways - complicated, human, subtle ways - a Jew will always be a Jew.  Or perhaps, more obviously and less controversially, a deeply ideological Jewish activist will always be a deeply-ideological Jewish activist.

I remember that when Ingrid first suggested this, I was a bit put out. I asked, “Are you saying that a Jew is a kind of human, like a scorpion is a kind of insect?”

She answered, “Come on, Paul.  Did I say that Gentiles are like frogs?  Fables are shortcuts to facets of human nature.”

And later, when I asked, “Are you saying that I can never rid myself of my compulsive and destructive tendencies?” she answered, “No, I am not saying "Paul" is like that, and you know I am not saying that.  I am not saying Shamir is like that.  And I am not saying Israel Shahak or Uri Avnery or any number of responsible human beings that we know under the label "Jew" are like that.  But I am saying and you yourself have alluded to that, that there is an abundance of what you call a corrosive tendency in "Jewishness" that hurts and destroys when there is no need for it.”

Now, a lot of people are now going to start jumping up and down yelling "Racist!" and "Nazi!"  But, as so often with this kind of thing, whilst neither I (nor Ingrid) would agree literally that a Jew will always act in a certain way, figuratively and allegorically, there's a lot in that tale.  (One of the troubles with our opponents is that they have no imagination whatsoever and therefore, no sense of humour.  In fact, I'm coming to think that the secret weapon in the Jewish Marxist arsenal is the simple ability to bore us all to death)

Another reason that I don't join some of these internet battles is that for me, to do so is to bow to unjust power.  Sue calls me a Holocaust denier.  But Holocaust denier is just an abusive term for a Holocaust Revisionist - the slur being that Holocaust revisionists have somehow lost touch with all reality and deny that anything unpleasant at all happened to Jews at the hands of the National Socialists and that Auschwitz was just an early-forties holiday camp.  

To me, a Holocaust revisionist (denier, if they like) is an entirely honourable thing to be.  So why should I rush to deny that I am one?  By no means do I agree with everything Ernst Zundel believes, but his flamboyant activism makes me both laugh out loud at his antics while standing in silent awe at his courage.  Similarly with Professor Robert Faurisson, whose courage and quest for exactitude puts the likes of Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein to complete and utter shame. Revisionists seem to me to be, along with the Palestinian people, amongst the bravest people on the planet.

But let's set the record straight about my own "Holocaust denial".  I, wasn't at Auschwitz so I don't know for sure exactly what did or did not happen there.  But I have had a fair look at the evidence and it looks to me that the revisionists are more right than they are wrong. Now, I'm not 100% sure, so technically I suppose I'm not a denier, but what the hell?

One last reason why I don’t respond to such attacks is that to do so would be to obscure their message and I don’t want to do that.  I want the world to hear these people loud and clear and for that, they need no help from me.

In a widely circulated Arab publication Sue told the entire Islamic world to bow down to the Holocaust.  I judge this to be not the smartest move from someone who professes to be in tune with the suffering of Palestinians.  No-one is asking Sue to change her views but, in my opinion, silence would have been a more thoughtful option.

And Deborah is equally misguided.  She says I’m attempting to spread Holocaust denial within the Palestinian solidarity movement. I can only tell her, “Deborah, you're too late.  I don't need to do a thing.  The game’s up, the cat’s out the bag, the Emperor is stark naked and, in the words of that great Jewish master of mimicry, Robert Allen Zimmerman, (a.k.a. Bob Dylan) ‘The whole wide world is watching.’"

Take care Mary,


January 2006