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Nazis 'R Us
by Michael K. Smith
January 7, 2005

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We all owe a great debt of gratitude to Mr. Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, for pointing out that anti-Semitism is actually worse today than it was during the Nazi era. It’s awfully easy to overlook a thing like that, but nothing gets past Honest Abe, who announced three months after 911 that “we are facing a threat as great, if not greater, to the safety and security of the Jewish people than we faced in the thirties. Greater, because forty percent of the Jewish people are centered in one geographic tiny location.…”

Of course, anti-Semites are the first to claim that it was Zionist fear-mongering designed to “in-gather” Jews from lands they had lived in for centuries that put so many Jews in such a vulnerable spot in the first place -- and this in order to make them permanently safe from anti-Semitism. Equally predictably, these bigots can’t resist leaping to the conclusion that driving out the indigenous Palestinians and abusing, torturing, and murdering those that remained, somehow had something to do with producing the rising anti-Israel sentiment we see all around us. Fortunately, rational people recognize that anger at so-called Israeli injustice is really ancient Jew hatred in disguise.

As Foxman rightly emphasizes, Arab anti-Semitism is an especially virulent strain. Rumors that thousands of Jews were given advance warning of the 911 attacks spread rapidly through the Arab world, inflicting more suffering than Auschwitz ever could. Meanwhile, deranged fantasies of ritual Jewish murder of children circulate to this day, based on nothing more substantial than corpses of Palestinian children piling up at morgues. Many Arabs are so warped by hate teaching that they make no distinction between the Israeli pilot who buries Palestinian families in rubble, the journalist who reports the killings as self-defense, and the Diasporan Jews who underwrite both efforts with a tax-deductible financial contribution. How hate-filled can you get?

Instead of reporting the fact that Jews are on the verge of annihilation in a second Holocaust, Arab media outlets fan the flames of extreme anti-Semitism, presenting live footage of Israeli soldiers caving in Palestinian skulls, shooting at ambulances, and gunning down worshippers. Naturally, they never bother to explain why this is all for the best in a viciously anti-Semitic world. American viewers, of course, are spared such overtly biased coverage, being accustomed to accurate, fair-minded news, especially about Arabs and Muslims.

Critics of Israel, that is, savage anti-Semites, invariably operate by a double standard. Always quick to condemn Israel for F-16s and Apache helicopters blasting Palestinians into eternity, they never criticize 12-year-old terrorists for throwing rocks at defenseless tanks. Such blatant unfairness is the clearest evidence of a resurgent Nazism poised to make Hitler look like the merest juvenile delinquent.

The latest round of Jew hatred began cranking up in the days before 911 when participants in a forum at the U.N. World Conference Against Racism meeting in Durban, South Africa tried to de-legitimize the Jewish state on the basis of the old Arab canard that Zionism is racism. Just how it is racist to defend a system of legal apartheid by torture, preventive detention, assassination, air bombardment, territorial annexation, deportation, massacre, humiliation, collective punishment, house demolitions, destruction of agricultural land, expropriation of water, illegal settlement, economic pauperization, attacks on hospitals, and denial of free passage, education, and medical treatment, no one bothered to explain. At the same time, and hardly coincidentally, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was being subjected to legal action for alleged war crimes, though he had done nothing more serious than practice mass murder against civilians for half a century. Clearly, we are dealing here with an especially insidious brand of Jew hatred that absolutely refuses to see things as they are.

Naturally, Arab leaders deny they are anti-Semitic in objecting to all of this, preferring to describe their noxious views with the euphemism “anti-Israel”. But this is a distinction without a difference, for the Israeli Supreme Court has defined Israel as the state not just of the Jews who reside there but of Jews wherever they happen to reside. In short, since Jews everywhere are legally implicated in the acts of the Israeli government, anyone who hates those acts is ipso facto an anti-Semite. It is worth recalling that former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban saw through all the Jew haters years ago. Eban, a great enthusiast of Israel’s self-defense operations in demolishing Lebanon, understood that smearing critics of Israel was all part of maintaining peace through Jewish supremacy. So he dismissed Gentile critics of Israel as racists and Jewish critics as nutcases. As a result, opponents of Jewish statehood are forever subject to the delightful query: Are you an anti-Semite or just a self-hating Jew?

Answer honestly, and no equivocating please.

Holocaust Denial

As enjoyable as being accused of anti-Semitism is, it pales in comparison to the delights of being branded a Holocaust denier. Thank God apologists for Israel wield this smear with such enthusiasm! If this were not the case those that think less than six million Jews perished in Hitler’s death camps, or question the ubiquity of Nazi gas chambers, or think that Jews are not history’s only victims of genocide, would be evaluated on the basis of the strength or weakness of their arguments.  We can't allow that.

The prolific self-hating Jew Alfred Lilienthal, author of the scandalously thorough The Zionist Connection, said years ago that the more Israel felt pressured to surrender the occupied territories, the more the Holocaust got shoved in the face of the U.S. public. Of course, it is pure paranoia to suggest that this has something to do with the fact that for four decades now Americans have been virtually Holocaustified. We have had the Holocaust for breakfast with the morning newspaper, eaten it for lunch by radio, and once again for dinner via the TV. On weekends we snack on it at the movies. By now, more Americans know about the gassing of the Jews than know where Mexico is.

Something else happened to the Jews in their proud 5000-plus years on earth. But for some reason I can't remember a thing about it.

Michael K. Smith is the author of Portraits of Empire, The Madness of King George, and Rise To Empire (forthcoming), all from Common Courage Press.