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The Grand masters of Moral Inversion: another case history
The following full-page advertisement appeared on page 42 of the May 14, 1947 edition of the New York Post. It was penned by prominent playwright Ben Hecht, co-chairman of the American League for a Free Palestine. This ad led to a formal complaint from the British government to the Truman administration, objecting to shameless U.S. public campaigns to support certain Jewish criminal undergrounds in Palestine. To British eyes, the line "We are out to raise millions for you" was particularly incriminating. Truman took action on these complaints, whereupon the criminals began attacking US targets as well!
A Disputation with a Disputer -
A Disputation with a Disputer - "Mikey" responds to Steve Cohen
Added by David Hirsh on October 25, 2006 09:49:04 PM.
I very much enjoyed Steve Cohen's "That's Funny You Don't Look Anti-Semitic", but I cannot say the same for his latest piece. Cohen writes writes
Use Lenni Brennerâ€™s â€œZionism in the age of dictatorsâ€ as your bible. Iâ€™m not going to advocate burning it. Iâ€™m prepared to believe every dot and comma.
Well sadly it says a lot that he is prepared to believe â€œevery dot and commaâ€ as many people arenâ€™t. The book has been thoroughly discredited. Bryan Cheyette wrote in Patterns of Prejudice when the book came out:
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) in the 1930s is accused of refusing to incorporate the American Communist Party into its anti-Nazi activities â€“ in Brennerâ€™s world this becomes â€˜another tragic sacrifice to Zionismâ€™â€¦ (In fact, at the time, the WJC in America only consisted of the American Jewish Congress, an individual membership organisation â€“ so the question of admitting affiliated organisations never arose.) Albert Einstein is stereotyped as a â€˜classical Zionistâ€™ who â€˜subscribed to Zionist race conceptionsâ€™â€¦ The Board of Deputies of British Jews is characterized erroneously in the 1930â€™s as â€˜Zionistâ€™ which, for Brenner, accounts for their â€˜ignoringâ€™ the British Union of Fascistsâ€¦ Professor Bernard Wasserstein of the Tauber Institute at Brandeis becomes a â€˜later-day apologist for the Holocaust Jewish Establishmentâ€™... These are just a few examples; they could be multiplied ad nauseam.
Cheyette was right - they could be. There are numerous errors and distortions in that book, Steve Cohenâ€™s own book on antisemitism was published by a small publishing collective that also published Gill Seidelâ€™s â€œThe Holocaust Denial, Antisemitism, Racism & the New rightâ€. Seidel had a section about Brenner and she was not that impressed. She said at one point:
Brenner does not deny the Holocaust, or seek to minimise itâ€¦. Rather, on the basis of skewed and irresponsible interpretations of particular documentsâ€¦ he claims that the Zionist movement in general not only collaborated with the Nazis, as if that allegation were not disturbing enough, but that Zionism and Nazism are entirely congruent; and that Zionism, by implication, bears responsibility for the Holocaust.
Brennerâ€™s work has been so discredited that even some of the ant-Zionist left are stepping away from it. Even the Socialist Workers Party activist and self declared â€œTrotsky supporting, anti-Zionist veteranâ€, John Rose in his book â€œThe Myths of Zionismâ€ criticized Brenner. He commented that â€œit is very foolish to draw the conclusion that â€˜Zionist collaboration with the Nazisâ€™ was typical or somehow automatically built into the Zionist project, an interpretation that which could be put on the subtitle of Brennerâ€™s 51 Documents bookâ€. Rose went on to admit â€œZionism was perfectly capable of inspiring resistance to the Nazis, as â€˜Antekâ€™ Zuckermann, makes clear in his massive autobiography, A Surplus of Memoryâ€.
Cohen might be better off re-reading Seidelâ€™s book before believing â€œevery dot and commaâ€ from Brenner.
Cohen argues that the Judenrat (Jewish Council) were â€œbetrayersâ€. As Martin Gilbert States:
Most Jewish Councils were themselves murdered, often before the rest of the community was deported and killed. To give one, alas typical, example of the fate of a Council leader: The head of the Jewish Council of Zamosc was deported with the community, reaching the death camp at Belzec on 15 November 1942. An eye-witness recalled: â€œThey put the leader of the Jewish Council against a wall and started to beat him about the head and face with whips. Those who tortured him were Irrmann â€“ a fat Gestapo man â€“ Schwartz, Schmidt and some of the Ukrainian guards. Their victim was ordered to dance and jump around to music while being beaten. After some hours he was given a quarter a loaf of bread and made to eat it â€“ while still being beaten. He stood there, covered in blood, indifferent, very calm. I did not hear him even groan once. His torment lasted for seven hours. The S.S. men stood there and laughed, â€˜here is a grand personage, the President of the Jewish Council!â€™ They shouted loudly and wickedly. It was six oâ€™clock in the evening when Gestapo man Schmidt pushed him towards a grave, shot him in the head and kicked the body on to the pile of gassed victims...â€
[T]he majority of Jewish Councils were involved in a four-year-long struggle to preserve Jewish communal life, to promote escape, and to gather such strength as was possible for resistance. Many council leaders committed suicide rather than carry out S.S. orders. Many other Council members were murdered by the S.S. for refusing to carry out orders.
Hundreds of acts of defiance and revolt were organised by Jewish Councils. Take, for example, a seven day period in May 1942. On May 1, in Bilgoraj, the Jewish Council was ordered to compile a list of candidates for deportation. The Vice-Chairman of the Council, Hillel Janova, and three other members of the Council refused to do so. All four were shot dead on May 3. Two days later, in Dabrowa, the Chairman of the Jewish Council, Adolf Weinberg, refused to deliver a list of so called â€˜resettlementâ€™ candidates, or to reveal where those threatened with deportation were hiding. He and his entire family were deported to their deaths. At Markusow, on May 7, the Jewish Council warned the Jews of the village of an impending â€˜actionâ€™ and advised the community that â€˜every Jew who is able to save himself should do soâ€™. At Szczebzeszyn, a Council member, Hersh Getzel Hoichbaum, on learning that none of those sent away for â€˜resettlementâ€™ were ever heard of again, told his Council colleagues that he did not wish to be the despatcher [sic] of fellow Jews to their deaths, and hanged himself in his attic. At Iwje, two council members, Shalom Zak and Bezalel Milkowski, were among those selected by the Germans not to be deported. They at once insisted on joining the deportees, and were killed, together with their families and 2,500 other Jews, on May 8.
Cohen makes a specific comment about Adam Czerniakow. He states â€œI can give as yet another grotesque example Adam Czerniakow, President of the Association of Jewish Artisans, who headed the Warsaw Judenratâ€. Cohen does not specifically state what Czerniakow did. Had he bothered, I hope he would have had at least checked a biography, for example this one, and noted that â€œHe [ Czerniakow ] refused to sign the posters announcing the forced deportation of Jews-which in effect meant that they would simply be transported to death camps. The day before the deportation to the Treblinka death camp was to begin, July 23, 1942, he committed suicideâ€. Someone that committed suicide rather than forcing people to their deaths hardly seems like a â€œgrotesqueâ€ person.
Cohen states that Kasztner did a â€œdealâ€ with Eichmann. This is a classic distortion. The matter reached the Supreme Court in Israel and the 4:1 majority decision was that Kasztner did not collaborate. Justice Agranat who wrote the main opinion for the majority explained in a â€œdealâ€ you need some measure of free will between both parties. He commented on the words Eichmann had said to Kasztner: â€œYou seem extremely tense, Kasztner. I am sending you to Teresienstadt for recovery; or would you prefer Auschwitz?â€. Agranat explained that Kasztner was under the control of the Gestapo, who subjected him to abuse and even imprisoned him on occasions and therefore Kasztner could not possibly feel like an equal partner in the negotiations. The final opinion of Agranat in a judgment of 109 pages on Kasztner was â€œone cannot find a moral fault in his behaviour, one cannot discover a casual connection between it and the easing of the concentration and deportation, one cannot see it as becoming a collaboration with the Nazisâ€. It would have been helpful if Cohen had mentioned some of this.
Cohen comments that the Kasztner case was â€œcentral to Jim Allenâ€™s play Perditionâ€. He is correct on that point, but fails to mention that the play was widely criticised for inaccuracies and antisemitism and that the Royal Court Theatre that was due to show it in 1987 decided to pull it as they lost confidence in the play. He also comments that people should read â€œPerfidyâ€ by Ben Hecht. This book also was widely criticised for inaccuracies and distortions and is not taken seriously by historians. The book was basically a party political pamphlet for Herut against Mapai in Israel and gives a very one sided view of the Kasztner case. Hecht even mentions that it is one sided in his book â€“ On page 2 of â€œPerfidyâ€ Hecht states â€œFor though I write a history I am not a historian; that is if an historian is a man full of facts and with an objective attitude. Facts I have, but I am not objectiveâ€. If someone does wish to understand Kasztner then I can recommend any of the following books. Randolph Brahamâ€™s detailed account of â€œThe Politics of Genocide - the Holocaust in Hungaryâ€, Yehuda Bauerâ€™s â€œJews for Sale? â€“ Nazi-Jewish Negotiations 1933-1945â€, and Szabolcs Szitaâ€™s â€œTrading in Lives? Operations of the Jewish Relief and Rescue Committee in Budapest, 1944-1945â€. All of these books give a far more scholarly and accurate account of the Kaztner affair than the ideologically motivated travesties of Brenner, Allen and Hecht that Cohen mentions.
Cohen states â€œThe fact that the Revisionists would not have hesitated to have attacked/imprisoned/ murdered those of us taking place in this disputation is irrelevant to the present argument.â€. Personally, I am no fan of the Revisionists, but I have no idea where Cohen gets information to write that sentence from. It is so erroneous that the sentence is farcical. I would be interested to know what possessed Cohen to make such a claim?
Cohen refers to the Board of Deputies of British Jews as â€œself-proclaimedâ€ without mentioning that they are an elected body. Cohen argues their role is to â€œto control and depoliticise the communityâ€. That is news to me. I have yet to see a memorandum come through from the Board of Deputies telling Jews not to get involved in politics. In fact I would guess that the opposite would be the case â€“ they would like Jews to get involved in politics. Greville Janner (now Lord Janner), a past President of the Board of Deputies was even a Member of Parliament for many years, so I fail to see how or why the Board would want to â€œdepoliticise the communityâ€. Where he gets the idea that the Boardâ€™s role is to â€œcontrolâ€ Jews is beyond me. I would be very interested to see a source for this nonsense. However as for Cohen, the Board is comprised of â€œQuislingsâ€ acting in the interests of the British State, I suppose I should not be so surprised.
Cohen informs us that he can â€œno longer see any point in being Jewishâ€. He wants to â€œbecome unJewish - a person of the worldâ€. It is as if for Cohen that being Jewish and being a person of the world are mutually exclusive. He does not explain why that is the case. We are left to guess. I have tried to guess why and have failed miserably. For Cohen being Jewish is something of a burden â€“ He wants to â€œbounce higher and higherâ€ and free himself from the shackles that his Jewish identity beholds him to. He thinks everyone should do it. He wants no religion â€“ The Jewish religion has only been going 5,767 years and still thrives, but Cohen has read Karl Marx, whose words for him are like words spoken directly from God and as a follower of this new religion of Marxism, Cohen comes up with a solution!
And what is the solution to all this for Cohen â€“ â€œa federated Socialist Middle Eastâ€. And how is this to be achieved? Well Cohen calls himself â€œa revolutionary Marxistâ€. So he wants a revolution â€“ Presumably therefore Cohen does not believe in democracy ("There is no parliamentary road to socialismâ€ and all that Marxist/Leninist stuff). But for Cohen he admits that it would require â€œthe unity of Palestinian/Jewish workersâ€. Before we look at places far away in the Middle East â€“ Let us look closer to home â€“ in the UK. Given that the revolutionary Marxists here can not even have â€œpolitical unityâ€ that he so requires â€“ you only have to look at the far left groupings here â€“ The Socialist Workers Party, Workers Power, Workers Fight, Alliance for Workers Liberty, Socialist Action etc etc etc to realize that not even those that call themselves Revolutionary Marxists in the UK can agree on political unity, let alone all the workers in the UK. When the far left in the UK can sort themselves out, agree a common political programme, build a workers' party and take control of the Government via the revolution they hope to have, then maybe they might be in a position to comment on what those in the Middle East should do. And that is my message to Steve Cohen â€“ Come back after the revolution and we will discuss it.
Adina Hay-Nissan, then a teen-age girl who moved easily as an Irgun courier, was given the job of calling inthe warning.
She recalled that she had waited for a long time outside the hotel until she got a signal that the charges were planted. Then she telephoned the British command from a pharmacy across the street, she said, and spoke first in English, then in Hebrew: ''This is the Hebrew resistance uprising. We planted bombs in the hotel. Please vacate it immediately. See, we warned you.''
Then, she said, she ran to King George Street and phoned the French Consulate, which was near the hotel. Then she went farther along and phoned The Palestine Post, a newspaper that is now The Jerusalem Post. She walked slowly up Jaffa Road, and as she passed a police station near the market at Mahane Yehuda, she recalled, ''I heard the big explosion.'' When she learned later that the British had ignored her warnings, she said, ''I was baffled; there we were, genuinely trying to save lives, and they took no heed.''
SARAH AGASSI, 77, said she knows the phone calls were made in due time - she and another woman, "Tehiya" (Adina Hay), were the ones assigned the task of calling The Palestine Post, the French Consulate and the hotel dispatcher to warn them of the coming explosion.
"We chose a place ahead of time and made sure that we had change for the telephones. We watched and waited until we saw the last of the fighters come out. I didn't know it until that moment, but one of the last of the fighters was my brother. Then we made the phone calls.
"While we were waiting, a British soldier came up to me and asked me my name. I think he was trying to pick me up. I told him my name was Mary and I thought to myself, 'In a few minutes he'll really know what kind of a Mary I am.'"
WHY DID Shaw not order the evacuation of the hotel?
Twenty-three years after the explosion - when he was interviewed for a Voice of Israel radio program - this was still a mystery to Begin: "...It didn't occur to them that we really had smuggled explosives into the hotel. As I've said before, it was a fortress, and it was hard for them to imagine us succeeding in penetrating the wire fence, evading the mobile patrols and the machine-gun emplacements and all the rest; and then there's the matter of the incendiary bomb outside, the one that preceded the main explosion - maybe they thought that was it, end of story! Perhaps they thought it was all a joke at their expense, meant as a blow to the prestige of the British government and the British empire; the Jews wanted to see the British ruling class running in panic from the hotel...They all should have gotten out, and what would it have mattered if it did turn out to be a false alarm, or just a smoke-bomb or something? If they assumed the warning wasn't serious and the intention was to humiliate them, that could explain why they preferred to stay put. And there's a third possibility: they were simply afraid to come out. Perhaps they thought we wanted to get them out of the fortress and into the open so we could ambush them. But of course these are only speculations. No one will know for certain, so long as Mr. Shaw declines to explain his reasons for not evacuating the hotel, despite the warning that was received."
'Sadness and Mourning'
To which Irgun's Jerusalem-area commander at the time, Yitzhak Avinoam, replied that ''after the action itself there was a feeling of sadness and mourning,'' but that the aim was accomplished.
Yitzhak Tobiana, who guarded a corridor, caught the mixture of emotions. ''I am very proud of the operation militarily,'' he said. ''I felt myself like a soldier of these Jewish forces. But I feel very sorry about the number of victims.'' ''I was sorry a long time afterwards,'' he said, ''but they had a lot of time, more than half an hour, they all had time to get out.''
Amihai Paglin, operations officer of the Irgun Zvai Leumi and the one who planned the King David Hotel action - points to another consideration which could have influenced Shaw's decision: At that time the British decided to plant an informer in the ranks of the IZL in Jerusalem, preferably in a senior combat command role, a position which would guarantee the British advance notice of all operations planned by the Irgun in the Jerusalem area.
"The informer did indeed serve as commander of one of the back-up units in the bombing of the King David Hotel. Beforehand, he tried to get away from the briefing room to make contact with Shaw, but the security rules in Irgun combat units were strict and he wasn't allowed to leave, even though it wasn't yet known he was an enemy agent... Lack of information from the above-mentioned informer was apparently one of Shaw's major considerations in deciding to ignore the warning given him. Absence of information on the one hand and serious miscalculation on the other - an assumption that the docile leadership of the Jewish community would not dare sanction such an extreme action - these, in my opinion, led to Mr. Shaw's fateful decision not to evacuate the building."
And there may be yet another reason why the order to evacuate was not given: This has been suggested by Elimelech Spiegel, in whose workshop, in Fierberg Street in Tel Aviv, the bombs were assembled... Fifty-three years on, Elimelech Spiegel is still convinced the milk-churns exploded prematurely.
"I'm the one who fitted the chemical and mechanical clocks to the churns that were smuggled into the basement of the King David Hotel," he says, "and the warning period was set at 45 minutes, not 35. I'd stake my life on it. Someone tried to dismantle the bombs and that's why they exploded prematurely. I reckon that's why the Brits were in no hurry to evacuate: they thought they could neutralize the explosives and when that didn't work, they had to do something to clear themselves of the charge of homicide, so they made up that story about getting no advance warning."
The suspicion that the British tried to defuse the bombs was not confined to Spiegel alone. It was also a topic of great interest to the intelligence branch of the Hagana. Intelligence documents from this period are crammed with information pointing in that direction.
The British went out of their way to try and prove there had been no warning. They clung to this lie as if it were an article of faith, and hitched to it all the official propaganda machinery available to them in this country and abroad.
They carried on with this even after the British Forces newspaper in the Middle East, the Middle East Post, reported in its 23 July issue (the day after the explosion): "Fifteen minutes before the explosion, the telephonist of the King David Hotel received an anonymous tip-off, warning that the hotel was about to go up and she should run for her life."
British accounts were kept confidential for 30 years, and to date some relevant documents remain closed in the British Foreign Office.
According to Neil Cobbett, of the British Public Record Office, certain documents pertaining to the bombing are kept closed because they may "cause distress to former members of the government, or personnel, or to public opinion."
http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/0/9ad7 ... endocument
344. The movement was repressed swiftly and savagely. Some of the persons involved could be considered as important figures in the liberal progressive movement; it was believed that their positions would secure pardons for them notwithstanding the gravity of the political charges laid against them as from the start of the first judicial investigations. The best-known of all of them was Lic. EfraÃn Aguilar Fuentes. Some citizens, such as Jorge GarcÃa Granados, were brave enough to address petitions to the President begging him to spare the accused from the death penalty. The result was that GarcÃa Granados was taken to the central prison to witness the executions, following which he was sent into exile. It is believed that he owed his life to the fact that the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the birth of General Justo Rufino Barrios, whose name was to be celebrated together with that of Miguel GarcÃa Granados, was approaching. In this context the centenary of Barrios was celebrated on 19 July 1935. Prior to this event, major urban development works had been undertaken in the southern part of the city. These included the extension of 7th Avenue as far as Los Arcos, the erection of the Tower of the Reformer, the reconstruction of the Charles III fountain and the rebuilding of the old central airport on the La Aurora Estate. The equestrian statue of Barrios was moved to a small square near the railway station, whence it was moved again to decorate the Avenida de las AmÃ©ricas (instead of the Paseo de la Reforma, where it originally stood). These achievements permitted the further expansion of the city southwards which had begun when President Reyna Barrios ordered the construction of the Bulevar de la Reforma.
284. Telegram From the CIA Station in Guatemala to the Central Intelligence Agency/1/
Guatemala City, August 24, 1954, 0337Z.
/1/Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79-01025A, Box 11, Folder 7. Secret; Priority; RYBAT; PBSUCCESS.
185. 1. Since returning to Station, have held conversations with ESQUIRE, Calligeris, ESCOBILLA, [name not declassified], ZPSEMANTIC, [name not declassified], ZPSECANT and other contacts this Station. Following conclusions have been reached which believe represents true picture although some details lacking.
A. Political situation tends worsen because Calligeris shows little political sense.
B. Calligeris apparently putting to one side tried collaborators of previous days and now surrounded by highly suspicious opportunistic elements including Jorge Garcia Granados, former secretary of Vicente Lombardo Toledano, former Ambassador to Washington, well known for Communist tendencies. Calligeris denies he has anything do with Garcia Granados, blamed latter's presence in palace and closeness to govt on [name not declassified]. However known that Calligeris has dined with him and consulted him on important matters.
These chapters of Jorge Garcia Granados' memoirs, written in 1951, are a retrospective look at how his life intersected with the history of Guatemala. It includes his recollections of the Estrada Cabrera dictatorship, his participation in the formation of the Unionist Party, of being embassador in Washington, and his involvement in the 1944 revolution.
Cuaderno de Memorias (Historia)
Jorge GarcÃa Granados
Artemis Edinter, 2000 - 259 pages
National & Regional Politics