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Professor Mearsheimer responds to Goldberg's smear

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About Maurice Ostroff

The professors and the Israel Lobby

By Maurice Ostroff
 
In view of the great deal of space FP recently devoted to articles by Professors Mearsheimer and Walt defending their controversial views on the Israel Lobby, I would appreciate adequate space for the right of reply. The re-emergence of this subject should lead to earnest thinking about their serious allegations.

 

Considering that Professor Mearsheimer blames the lobby not only for the Iraq war but also for 9/11 (NY Sun September 29, 2006), many consider the concerted attack by the two professors on the Israel Lobby as nothing more than another conspiracy theory, though elegantly wrapped in an academic cover especially since the first edition of their working paper enjoyed the prestige of Harvard University's imprimatur.

 

However, Harvard decided to remove its logo in March 2006, at the same time appending a more strongly worded disclaimer stating that it reflected the views of its authors only, whereas the former disclaimer merely stated that the study did not necessarily reflect the university's views. While some praised the work, others described its academic quality as poor and as a political polemic rather than genuine academic research.

Recently Mearsheimer achieved new prominence for endorsing a book "The Wandering Who" by Gilad Atzmon, well-known for his controversial views on the Holocaust and Zionism.


The, 3,000 word article, "Mearsheimer responds to Goldberg's latest smear", (FP January 26, originally posted Sept 2011), was in response to an article in the Atlantic by Jeffrey Goldberg. I suggest that if a link had been provided to Goldberg's article, many readers would have concluded that far from being a smear, it offered cogent observations.  
 
Indeed a brief examination of Goldberg's article indicates that much of Professor Mearsheimer's wrath is misdirected. He refers angrily to the title "John Mearsheimer Endorses a Hitler Apologist and Holocaust Revisionist" claiming that this charge is ridiculous because in his view, Atzmon is neither a Holocaust denier nor an apologist for Hitler.  But Goldberg's article contains more than sufficient direct quotations of Atzmon's revisionist views of the Holocaust and Hitler to justify the description "Hitler Apologist and Holocaust Revisionist".
 
Most importantly, as Professor Mearsheimer complains that attacks on "The Israel Lobby" rarely addressed the substance of what he and Professor Walt wrote, I remind him of queries I raised in my
open letter dated May 7, 2006 directly addressing the substance of their arguments. Although the professors replied that they would soon respond in detail they have not yet done so and in June 2008 when both visited Israel, I wrote a further open letter to them, drawing attention to the unanswered queries I had raised directly relating to the substance of their arguments. These included:
 
1. The Iraq war

I asked why they continue to ignore reliable reports that Israeli officials including  then PM Sharon had warned the Bush administration against invading Iraq as confirmed by Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, disproving the professors' unsubstantiated allegation that were it not for the Jewish lobby, the US would not have gone to war against Iraq in 2003,(NY Sun Sept. 29, 2006)  .

 

2. Sponsors of Terror.
Regarding their claim that US policy towards Israel contributes to America's terrorism problem, I referred to concrete evidence to the contrary, including a statement by Alex Alexiev, vice president for research at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., who revealed that Riyadh, flush with oil money, had become the paymaster of most of the militant Islamic movements, which advocated terror.
 
3. Ehud Barak's purportedly generous offer.
The authors referred to then PM Ehud Barak's "purportedly" generous offer at Camp David, and I suggested that the loaded word "purportedly" was inappropriate. Rather, they owed it to their readers to present the facts and allow them to form their own opinions as to whether the offer was generous or "purportedly" generous.
 
4. Campus Watch
The authors wrote about Campus Watch, "Pipes does not deny that his organization, Campus Watch, was created in order to monitor what academics say, write and teach, so as to discourage them from engaging in open discourse about the Middle East".
 
As Campus Watch is known to encourage open discourse, I asked the authors to please explain their allegation that it attempts to discourage academics from doing just that. I also asked them to substantiate their claim that Pipes admitted he discouraged open discourse.
 
5. Apparent bias
I raised the suspicion of bias evident from their writing about relations between "Tel Aviv" and Washington, rather than Jerusalem (Israel's seat of government), and Washington.
 
6. Lobbies in context and the Arab Lobby
The professors failed to respond to my contention that their concentrated focus on the Israel Lobby creates the completely misleading impression it is the only influence on Congress, whereas in reality, the Israel Lobby is one of very many stronger, wealthier and more influential interest groups. Based on data from the Senate Office of public records, opensecrets.org reports that in 2011, 12,592 lobbyists spent $3.27 billion on lobbying.

 

For example,  U.S.A.-Engage is one of the largest lobbying groups, uniting 640 giants of the American economy, a tenth of the leading banks, as well as associations of industrialists and farmers. The most prominent and influential members of U.S.A.-Engage are almost permanently to be found in Congressional circles. They have great influence over the mass media (partly because of their advertising expenditure).
 

The professors avoided my question as to how, in the face of extensive evidence to the contrary, they concluded in the unpublished paper sent to me, that there is no well-organized and politically potent Arab Lobby. They ignored my reference to various examples such as Prince Bandar Bin Sultan who participated in clandestine negotiations and billion-dollar deals affecting US interests in the Middle East. Craig Unger tells of Saudis investing as much as $800 billion into American Equities, not only in blue chip companies but also in companies not doing so well, but linked to powerful politicians. Over the last 30 years, the Saudis spent $70 billion on propaganda, the largest propaganda campaign in the history of the world. The Israel Lobby's expenditure is less than puny by contrast.
 
Nor can the stranglehold of OPEC be ignored. This blatantly monopolistic cartel threatens not only the US, but indeed the world economy. It is mind-boggling to consider that production costs average only about $6 per barrel for non-OPEC producers; and $1.50 per barrel for OPEC producers according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists May/June 2005.
 
I suggested that in light of such overwhelming evidence to the contrary they cannot in all conscience continue to claim that there is no well-organized, politically potent Arab Lobby.
 
The authors repeated complaints that their critics fail to address the substance of their allegations is refuted by their failure, since 2006, to reply to the substantive issues I raised,  as summarized above. My detailed letter of May 2006 contains detailed  supporting information relating to these queries.

 


 
 

 

 

FP  Foreign Policy

 

Mearsheimer responds to Goldberg's latest smear FP

 

    JANUARY 26, 2012

 

Posted By Stephen M. Walt Monday, September 26, 2011 - 10:54 AM Share

 

Ever since John Mearsheimer and I began writing about the Israel lobby, some of our critics have leveled various personal charges against us. These attacks rarely addressed the substance of what we wrote -- a tacit concession that both facts and logic were on our side -- but instead accused us of being anti-Semites and conspiracy theorists. They used these false charges to try to discredit and/or marginalize us, and to distract people from the important issues of U.S. Middle East policy that we had raised.

 

The latest example of this tactic is a recent blog post from Jeffrey Goldberg, where he accused my co-author of endorsing a book by an alleged Holocaust denier and Nazi sympathizer. Goldberg has well-established record of making things up about us, and this latest episode is consistent with his usual approach. I asked Professor Mearsheimer if he wanted to respond to Goldberg's sally, and he sent the following reply.

 

John Mearsheimer writes:

 

In a certain sense, it is hard not to be impressed by the energy and imagination that Jeffrey Goldberg devotes to smearing Steve Walt and me. Although he clearly disagrees with our views about U.S.-Israel relations and the role of the Israel lobby, he does not bother to engage what we actually wrote in any meaningful way. Indeed, given what he writes about us, I am not even sure he has read our book or related articles. Instead of challenging the arguments and evidence that we presented, his modus operandi is to misrepresent and distort our views, in a transparent attempt to portray us as rabid anti-Semites.

 

His latest effort along these lines comes in a recent blog post, where he seizes on a dust jacket blurb I wrote for a new book by Gilad Atzmon titled The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics. Here is what I said in my blurb:

 

    Gilad Atzmon has written a fascinating and provocative book on Jewish identity in the modern world. He shows how assimilation and liberalism are making it increasingly difficult for Jews in the Diaspora to maintain a powerful sense of their 'Jewishness.' Panicked Jewish leaders, he argues, have turned to Zionism (blind loyalty to Israel) and scaremongering (the threat of another Holocaust) to keep the tribe united and distinct from the surrounding goyim. As Atzmon's own case demonstrates, this strategy is not working and is causing many Jews great anguish. The Wandering Who? should be widely read by Jews and non-Jews alike.

 

The book, as my blurb makes clear, is an extended meditation on Jewish identity in the Diaspora and how it relates to the Holocaust, Israel, and Zionism. There is no question that the book is provocative, both in terms of its central argument and the overly hot language that Atzmon sometimes uses. But it is also filled with interesting insights that make the reader think long and hard about an important subject. Of course, I do not agree with everything that he says in the book -- what blurber does? -- but I found it thought provoking and likely to be of considerable interest to Jews and non-Jews, which is what I said in my brief comment.

 

Goldberg maintains that Atzmon is a categorically reprehensible person, and accuses him of being a Holocaust denier and an apologist for Hitler. These are two of the most devastating charges that can be leveled against anyone. According to Goldberg, the mere fact that I blurbed Atzmon's book is decisive evidence that I share Atzmon's supposedly odious views. This indictment of me is captured in the title of Goldberg's piece: "John Mearsheimer Endorses a Hitler Apologist and Holocaust Revisionist."

 

This charge is so ludicrous that it is hard to know where to start my response. But let me begin by noting that I have taught countless University of Chicago students over the years about the Holocaust and about Hitler's role in it. Nobody who has been in my classes would ever accuse me of being sympathetic to Holocaust deniers or making excuses for what Hitler did to European Jews. Not surprisingly, those loathsome charges have never been leveled against me until Goldberg did so last week.

 

Equally important, Gilad Atzmon is neither a Holocaust denier nor an apologist for Hitler. Consider the following excerpt from The Wandering Who?

 

    As much as I was a sceptic youngster, I was also horrified by the Holocaust. In the 1970s Holocaust survivors were part of our social landscape. They were our neighbours, we met them in our family gatherings, in the classroom, in politics, in the corner shop. The dark numbers tattooed on their white arms never faded away. It always had a chilling effect. . . . It was actually the internalization of the meaning of the Holocaust that transformed me into a strong opponent of Israel and Jewish-ness. It is the Holocaust that eventually made me a devoted supporter of Palestinian rights, resistance and the Palestinian right of return" (pp. 185-186).

 

It seems unequivocally clear to me from those sentences that Atzmon firmly believes that the Holocaust occurred and was a horrific tragedy. I cannot find evidence in his book or in his other writings that indicate he "traffics in Holocaust denial."

 

The real issue for Atzmon -- and this is reflected in the excerpt from his blog post that Goldberg quotes from -- is how the Holocaust is interpreted and used by the Jewish establishment. Atzmon has three complaints. He believes that it is used to justify Israel's brutal treatment of the Palestinians and to fend off criticism of Israel. This is an argument made by many other writers, including former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg, historian Peter Novick, and political scientist Norman Finkelstein. Atzmon also rejects the claim that the Holocaust is exceptional, which is a position that other respected scholars have held. There have been other genocides in world history, after all, and this whole issue was actively debated in the negotiations that led to the building of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. Whatever one thinks of Atzmon's position on this subject, it is hardly beyond the pale.

 

Finally, Atzmon is angry about the fact that it is difficult to raise certain questions about the causes and the conduct of the Holocaust without being personally attacked. These are all defensible if controversial positions to hold, which is not to say one has to agree with any of them. But in no way is he questioning that the Holocaust happened or denying its importance. In fact, his view is clear from one of Atzmon's sentences that Goldberg quotes: "We should strip the holocaust of its Judeo-centric exceptional status and treat it as an historical chapter that belongs to a certain time and place." Note that Atzmon is talking about "the holocaust" in a way that makes it clear he has no doubts about its occurrence, and the passage from The Wandering Who? cited above makes it clear that he has no doubts about its importance or its tragic dimensions; he merely believes it should be seen in a different way. Again, one need not agree with Atzmon to recognize that Goldberg has badly misrepresented his position.

 

There is also no evidence that I could find in The Wandering Who? to support Goldberg's claim that Atzmon is an apologist for Hitler or that he believes "Jews persecuted Hitler" and in so doing helped trigger the Holocaust. There is actually little discussion of Hitler in Atzmon's book, and the only discussion of interactions between Hitler and the Jews concerns the efforts of German Zionists to work out a modus vivendi with the Nazis. (pp. 162-165) This is why Goldberg is forced to go to one of Atzmon's blog posts to make the case that he is an apologist for Hitler.

 

Before I examine the substance of that charge, there is an important issue that needs to be addressed directly. Goldberg's indictment of Atzmon does not rely on anything that he wrote in The Wandering Who? Indeed, Goldberg's blog post is silent on whether he has actually read the book. If he did read it, he apparently could not find any evidence to support his indictment of Atzmon. Instead, he relied exclusively on evidence culled from Atzmon's own blog postings. That is why Goldberg's assault on me steers clear of criticizing Atzmon's book, which is what I blurbed. In short, he falsely accuses me of lending support to a Holocaust denier and defender of Hitler on the basis of writings that I did not read and did not comment upon.

 

This tactic puts me in a difficult position. I was asked to review Atzmon's book and see whether I would be willing to blurb it. This is something I do frequently, and in every case I focus on the book at hand and not on the personality of the author or their other writings. In other words, I did not read any of Atzmon's blog postings before I wrote my blurb. And just for the record, I have not met him and did not communicate with him before I was asked to review The Wandering Who? I read only the book and wrote a blurb that deals with it alone.

 

Goldberg, however, has shifted the focus onto what Atzmon has written on his blog. I discuss a couple of examples below, but I will not defend his blog output in detail for two reasons. First, I do not know what Atzmon may have said in all of his past blog posts and other writings or in the various talks that he has given over the years. Second, what he says in those places is not relevant to what I did, which was simply to read and react to his book.

 

Let me now turn to the specific claim that Atzmon is an "apologist for Hitler." Again, I am somewhat reluctant to do this, because this charge forces me to defend what Atzmon said in one of his blog posts. But given the prominence of the charge in Goldberg's indictment of Atzmon (and me), I cannot let it pass.

 

Plus, I see that Walter Russell Mead, who is also fond of smearing Steve Walt and me, has put this charge up in bright lights on his own blog. Picking up on Goldberg's original post, Mead describes Atzmon's argument this way: "poor Adolf Hitler's actions against German Jews only came after US Jews called a boycott on German goods following Hitler's appointment as German Chancellor. Gosh -- if it weren't for those pushy, aggressive Jews and their annoying boycotts, the Holocaust might not have happened!"

 

It is hard to imagine any sane person making such an argument, and Atzmon never does. Goldberg refers to a blog post that Atzmon wrote on March 25, 2010, written in response to news at the time that AIPAC had "decided to mount pressure" on President Obama. After describing what was happening with Obama, Atzmon notes that this kind of behavior is hardly unprecedented. In his words, "Jewish lobbies certainly do not hold back when it comes to pressuring states, world leaders and even superpowers." There is no question that this statement is accurate and not even all that controversial; Tom Friedman said as much in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago.

 

In the second half of this post, Atzmon says that AIPAC's behavior reminds him of the March 1933 Jewish boycott of German goods, which preceded Hitler's decision on March 28, 1933 to boycott Jewish stores and goods. His basic point is that the Jewish boycott had negative consequences, which it did. In Atzmon's narrative -- and this is a very important theme in his book -- Jews are not simply passive victims of other people's actions. On the contrary, he believes Jews have considerable agency and their actions are not always wise. One can agree or disagree with his views about the wisdom of the Jewish boycott -- and I happen to think he's wrong about it -- but he is not arguing that the Jews were "persecuting Hitler" and that this alleged "persecution" led to the Holocaust. In fact, he says nothing about the Holocaust in his post and he certainly does not justify in any way the murder of six million Jews.

 

Let me make one additional point about Goldberg's mining of Atzmon's blog posts. Goldberg ends his attack on me with the following quotation from a Feb. 19 blog post by Atzmon: "I believe that from [a] certain ideological perspective, Israel is actually far worse than Nazi Germany." That quotation certainly makes Atzmon look like he has lost his mind and that nothing he has written could be trusted. But Goldberg has misrepresented what Atzmon really said, which is one of his standard tactics. Specifically, he quotes only part of a sentence from Atzmon's blog post; but when you look at the entire sentence, you see that Atzmon is making a different, and far more nuanced point. The entire sentence reads: "Indeed, I believe that from [a] certain ideological perspective, Israel is actually far worse than Nazi Germany, for unlike Nazi Germany, Israel is a democracy and that implies that Israeli citizens are complicit in Israeli atrocities." This is not an argument I would make, but what Atzmon is saying is quite different from the way Goldberg portrays it.

 

Finally, let me address the charge that Atzmon himself is an anti-Semite and a self-hating Jew. The implication of this accusation, of course, is that I must be an anti-Semite too (I can't be a self-hating Jew) because I agreed to blurb Atzmon's book. I do not believe that Atzmon is an anti-Semite, although that charge is thrown around so carelessly these days that it has regrettably lost much of its meaning. If one believes that anyone who criticizes Israel is an anti-Semite, then Atzmon clearly fits in that category. But that definition is foolish -- no country is perfect or above criticism-and not worth taking seriously.

 

The more important and interesting issue is whether Atzmon is a self-hating Jew. Here the answer is unequivocally yes. He openly describes himself in this way and he sees himself as part of a long dissident tradition that includes famous figures such as Marx and Spinoza. What is going on here?

 

The key to understanding Atzmon is that he rejects the claim that Jews are the "Chosen People." His main target, as he makes clear at the start of the book, is not with Judaism per se or with people who "happen to be of Jewish origin." Rather, his problem is with "those who put their Jewish-ness over and above all of their other traits." Or to use other words of his: "I will present a harsh criticism of Jewish politics and identity ... This book doesn't deal with Jews as a people or ethnicity." (pp. 15-16)

 

In other words, Atzmon is a universalist who does not like the particularism that characterizes Zionism and which has a rich tradition among Jews and any number of other groups. He is the kind of person who intensely dislikes nationalism of any sort. Princeton professor Richard Falk captures this point nicely in his own blurb for the book, where he writes: "Atzmon has written an absorbing and moving account of his journey from hard-core Israeli nationalist to a de-Zionized patriot of humanity."

 

Atzmon's basic point is that Jews often talk in universalistic terms, but many of them think and act in particularistic terms. One might say they talk like liberals but act like nationalists. Atzmon will have none of this, which is why he labels himself a self-hating Jew. He fervently believes that Jews are not the "Chosen People" and that they should not privilege their "Jewish-ness" over their other human traits. Moreover, he believes that one must choose between Athens and Jerusalem, as they "can never be blended together into a lucid and coherent worldview." (p. 86) One can argue that his perspective is dead wrong, or maintain that it is a lovely idea in principle but just not the way the real world works. But it is hardly an illegitimate or ignoble way of thinking about humanity.

 

To take this matter a step further, Atzmon's book is really all about Jewish identity. He notes that "the disappearance of the ghetto and its maternal qualities" in the wake of the French Revolution caused "an identity crisis within the largely assimilated Jewish society." (p. 104) He believes that this crisis, about which there is an extensive literature, is still at the center of Jewish life today. In effect, Atzmon is telling the story of how he wrestled with his own identity over time and what he thinks is wrong with how most Jews self-identify today. It is in this context that he discusses what he calls the "Holocaust religion," Zionism, and Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. Again, to be perfectly clear, he has no animus toward Judaism as a religion or with individuals who are Jewish by birth. Rather, his target is the tribalism that he believes is common to most Jews, and I might add, to most other peoples as well. Atzmon focuses on Jews for the obvious reason that he is Jewish and is trying to make sense of his own identity.

 

In sum, Goldberg's charge that Atzman is a Holocaust denier or an apologist for Hitler is baseless. Nor is Atzmon an anti-Semite. He has controversial views for sure and he sometimes employs overly provocative language. But there is no question in my mind that he has written a fascinating book that, as I said in my blurb, "should be widely read by Jews and non-Jews alike." Regarding Goldberg's insinuation that I have any sympathy for Holocaust denial and am an anti-Semite, it is just another attempt in his longstanding effort to smear Steve Walt and me.

 

 

COMMENTS

 

AVILLA

 

3:40 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

Enough of this.

 

Can we stop with this nonsense? Really. None of you are fooling anyone. Everyone knows you two are anti-Semites and, more importantly, no one cares. Those who enjoy your deluded views are anti-Semites themselves, and those of us who do not don't take anything you say seriously in the first place.

 

Gilad Atzmon is a Holocaust denier or at the very least a Holocaust minimizer. It's nice that you try to defend one of your own, but let's take a look at the evidence:

 

"It took me years to accept that the Holocaust narrative, in its current form, doesn’t make any historical sense.... (I)f the Nazis ran a death factory in Auschwitz-Birkenau, why would the Jewish prisoners join them at the end of the war? Why didn’t the Jews wait for their Red liberators?"

 

from his official website, http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/truth-history-and-integrity-by-gilad-atzmon.html

 

His charming views on anti-Semitism:

 

"I do not regard anti-Jewish activity as a form of anti-Semitism or racial hatred because Jews are neither Semites nor do they form a racial continuum whatsoever. The rise of hatred towards any form of Jewish politics and Jewish lobbies is a reaction towards a tribal, chauvinist and supremacist ideology."

 

(from his review of the movie Defamation, 1/15/2010)

 

Oh, by the way, did you know that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was real? Gilad Atzmon does!

 

"American Jewry makes any debate on whether the 'Protocols of the elder of Zion' are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews do try to control the world, by proxy."

 

again from his official site, http://www.gilad.co.uk/html%20files/politics.html

 

Entirely by the way, "We have heard the comparison between Israel and Nazi Germany. I don't like this comparison because I really think that Israel is far worse than Nazi Germany." is not any less ridiculous with the "...because Israel is a democracy" addendum. Do you truly believe that Israel can, in any way, be compared to Nazi Germany? Do you truly believe that German citizens were completely overruled by Hitler and did not participate in the Holocaust in any way?

 

But of course it doesn't matter, because all of these quotations were put into Gilad's mouth by The Zionist Entity, and he never actually said them, and he's totally not an anti-Semite, and you're totally justified in supporting him.

 

Yawn.

 

 

WIDGET

 

4:53 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

Define anti - semite

 

Your post starts by saying " Everyone knows you two are anti-Semites and, more importantly, no one cares. "

 

Would you mind expanding what strange course of events leads you to think that.

 

Whilst your at it please define anti-semite else pretty much any response will be meaningless.

 

 

BKAPLOVITZ

 

4:55 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

Mearsheimer’s Vanishing Veneer of Respectability (Contentions)

 

From Commentary Magazine's "Contentions" Weblog

September 25, 2011

 

Mearsheimer’s Vanishing Veneer of Respectability

 

By Jonathan S. Tobin

 

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have spent much of the last few years since the publication of their infamous screed The Israel Lobby posing as victims of vicious smears. They have claimed their careers were hurt by their willingness to denounce Israel and its supporters and cried bloody murder over the fact many commentators saw a clear connection between their absurd arguments that a vast conspiracy of allies of Zionism was manipulating American policy.

 

But it’s going to be just a little harder for one of this duo to assert his innocence when it comes to charges of Jew-hatred. Mearsheimer is rightly being called to account for his endorsement of a new book by a Holocaust denier. As Jeffrey Goldberg noted in The Atlantic, after years of pretending he is no anti-Semite, Mearsheimer isn’t even “bothering to make believe anymore.”

 

The author of the book Mearsheimer admires is Gilad Atzmon, an ex-Israeli who not only doubts the truth of the Holocaust but also thinks the Jews persecuted Hitler and Nazi persecution of the Jews was justified. For Atzmon, any expression of Jewish identity is tantamount to racism. He believes Israel is worse than Nazi Germany. His hatred of his own people has even motivated him to claim medieval blood libels might have been true, and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion provides historical insights about the Jews.

 

When blogger Adam Holland contacted Mearsheimer about his praise of Atzmon, the University of Chicago professor didn’t back down from writing his blurb: “I have no reason to amend it or embellish it, as it accurately reflects my view of the book.”

 

The Israel Lobby was itself a typical example of anti-Semitic invective in the way it sought to delegitimize Israel’s American supporters and to single them out as sinister forces undermining democracy. But because its authors were two distinguished academics, they were able to cloak their prejudice in more respectable garb. One can only hope Mearsheimer’s endorsement of Atzmon helps to strip away that unjustified veneer of respectability that continues to attach to the authors’ work.

 

--Posted By By Jonathan S. Tobin, 09.25.2011 - 10:30 AM

 

Copyright Commentary Magazine 1997-2011 All Rights Reserved

 

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/09/25/mearsheimer-anti-semitism-atzmon/

 

 

WIDGET

 

5:20 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

@BKAPLOVITZ

 

Was that an attempt to address my points? If so posting another post saying the same thing as the goldberg piece (guilty by association basically) without defining anti-semite or providing any other reasons doesn't address my core question.

 

 

GOODWIN SANDS

 

8:33 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

The Trap Meirsheimer Fell Into

 

Meirsheimer apparently believes that Holocaust deniers are people who go around saying 'there was no Holocaust.' But that's quite naive of him.

 

David Irving doesn't say that, Ernst Zündel doesn't say that, Frederick Töbin doesn't say that, Paul Eisen doesn't say that.

 

Instead, they all say, 'sure, there was a Holocaust - as long as you don't mean gas chambers, and six million dead Jews, and an order from Hitler, and a genocidal program across Europe. *That* kind of Holocaust is right out. But there was a guy named Max who shot a guy named Chaim, so don't call me a Holocaust denier!'

 

I ask Meirsheimer to perform a simple experiment. Ask Gilad Atzmon, in public: 'Do you accept the fact of the homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, yes or no?'

 

He won't get a yes. Maybe a long dithyramb about everything under the sun, but - just as if he'd asked the question of Irving, Zündel, and the rest - he won't get a yes.

 

 

NEOLEFT

 

3:16 AM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

Can you stop with your idioocy AVILLA?

 

Trolls like you have been throwing everything, including the kitchen sink at W&M for 5 years and you've failed miserably. In fact, not only have you served to prove their thesis, but a growing number of their former critics, like Thom Freedman, have come to accept their thesis and obvious.

 

Gilad Atzmon has neve3r denied the Holocaust, nor has he minimized it. He has argued against the Holocaust being sancrosanct.

 

>> American Jews do try to control the world, by proxy.

 

The same could be said of many groups, including bankers. So what?

 

Like Goldberg, you are an ignorant troll. You really shuold read their book if you want to be taken seriously.

 

 

NEOLEFT

 

3:18 AM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

Talkt about desperation - BKAPLOVITZ a rabid Zionist rag

 

Jonathan S. Tobin has been exposed as a blatnt proagandaist and liar.

 

He has no crediblility as a reoprter, so citing him as a moral compas of credibility is like citing David Duke about racism.

 

 

NEOLEFT

 

3:20 AM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

Why the obsession with gas chanmbers GOODWIN SANDS?

 

Does it matter how the genocide was carried out against the Jews in WWII?

 

 

GOODWIN SANDS

 

12:41 PM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

Simple Answer

 

The simple answer is, if you believe telling the truth is good and lying is bad, yes, it matters. The gas chambers are well-documented historical fact. To claim they didn't exist is to lie about history, and in particular to join people like Ernst Zündel, David Irving, and other anti-Semitic liars.

 

 

JACOB BLUES

 

2:03 PM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

Oh joy, Nick is back, and threatening to beat Jews again

 

Nice work Nick. Always knew that when it comes to defending Jew haters you're ready to stand beside them. Scarred hands and all.

 

 

TUKADOODLE

 

6:14 PM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

Very well stated

 

It's ill liberal self hating Jews that are the enemies of the Jews and the world. These scumballs are the example of ill liberal cowards and appeasement to war. Just hope they are drafted to fight the wars they create. As a Jewish American these folks are traitors to both the US and Israel and should be shot. Typical ill liberals slamming the Jews yet directly aid and abet Sharia laws they deny as usual. Just some quick buck ill liberals that better watch their backs!

 

 

GOODWIN SANDS

 

7:36 PM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

Well, that's good

 

I was worried that all the swivel-eyed spewers were all going to be on the pro-Adolf side. Now the other side has coughed up someone of equal cailber.

 

 

...

 

6:38 AM ET

 

September 28, 2011

 

GOODWIN SANDS

 

The Trap Meirsheimer Fell Into - catchy title, but you need to follow thru with substance which your post is devoid of..

 

>>I ask Meirsheimer to perform a simple experiment. Ask Gilad Atzmon, in public: 'Do you accept the fact of the homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, yes or no?'<<

 

you are telling us meirsheimer fell into a trap, but now you are asking meirsheimer to ask gilad atzmon a question to verify it!!! you are very funny.... quite the trap he fell into, lol..

 

bore some other message board with your inanity..

 

 

GOODWIN SANDS

 

4:38 PM ET

 

September 28, 2011

 

To spell it out simply

 

David Irving says 'Sure there was a Holocaust, just not the way the Jews tell you it happened.' By which he means, 'probably no gas chambers, probably no order from Hitler, probably no genocidal program, probably no six million dead Jews, probably no Zyklon B, etc. etc., all of which we should treat as Jewish exaggerations.'

 

Robert Faurisson says 'Sure there was a Holocaust, just not the way the Jews tell you it happened.' By which he means the same thing.

 

Arthur Butz says 'Sure there was a Holocaust, just not the way the Judeo-Bolshevists tell you it happened.' By which he means the same thing.

 

Gilad Atzmon says 'Sure there was a Holocaust, just not the way the Zionists tell you it happened.' By which he means the same thing.

 

The trap Mearsheimer fell into is to look at what Gilad Atzmon says, seize on the 'Sure there was a Holocaust' part, and treat it in context-free isolation as proof positive that he's not a Holocaust denier. It's a newbie error.

 

 

JIMBO315

 

5:31 PM ET

 

September 28, 2011

 

To the Persian Advocate

 

Confucius say, Internet tough guy equal real life yellabelly.

 

 

ARVAY

 

10:25 AM ET

 

October 10, 2011

 

just started reading Atzman's book

 

. . . and the blood brotherhood of Zionism and Nazism is clearly demonstrated. They just differ in who should ne the "master race."

 

He quotes Chaim Weizmann: "There are no English, French, German orAmerican Jews, there are only Jews living in England, France,Germany or America."

 

I'll quote Adolph Hitler: "A Jew who speaks French thinks Jewish."

 

Separated at birth.

 

I think this book will turn out to be a seminal resource for understanding what's going on

 

http://www.amazon.com/Wandering-Who-Gilad-Atzmon/dp/1846948754/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318242053&sr=8-1

 

If this guy were just crazy or a garden-variety anti-Semite, hed be ignored. But the hysterical reaction pouring out of Goldberg and other israeli nationalist underlines the fact that Atzman

is revealing the core reality of the Israeli state and its supporters.

 

 

GOODWIN SANDS

 

2:28 PM ET

 

October 11, 2011

 

the distinction

 

'If this guy were just crazy or a garden-variety anti-Semite, hed be ignored.'

 

Unless he were able to convince enough sloppy thinkers like you and Mearsheimer that he wasn't really an anti-Semite after all.

 

The left in the UK know him well, and with exception of the posturing fringe, they know Atzmon to be an anti-Semite who does more damage than good to the Palestinian cause.

 

 

BLONDEMIKE

 

6:50 PM ET

 

October 25, 2011

 

Wrong On Holocaust And Gas Chambers

 

In !960 the Jewish Agency finally admitted that there were no gas chambers in any of the camps in Germany proper. The emphasis switched to Poland and scholars from Paul Rassinier to Arthur Butz to Robert Faurisson to Germar Rudolph to Carlo Mattogno and most recently Thomas Dalton's Debating The Holocaust have refuted the whole six million, gas chambers, planned genocide thesis in documented detail great enough to cause many regimes to enact laws proscribing prison for such revisionist heresy.

As Atzmon notes it is the only historical issue for which one goes to prison.

At Auschwitz-Birkenau the official figure was reduced from four to one million after the Soviets left and no doubt that is way too high.

I have been following this issue for forty one years and have yet to come across any reasonable responses to the revisionists.

Atzmon is not a holocaust revisionist per se but is alarmed at the uses it has been put to

as have Walt, Mearsheimer and a score of others.

Those of us who are revisionists are alarmed at both the tale itself and its uses.

Some of the holocaust tales like Babi Yar appear to be outright fabrications, others like Frank's Diary appear to be a combination of some truth and even more fraud.

Undoubtedly many Jews died in the last year of the war, whether the total figure is half a million or a million we will never absolutely know.

Of course many tens of millions of people were killed by the Communists in Mao's China,

Cambodia, the USSR, Sudenten Germans after the war, Korea, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Angola,

Mozambique, Burma, etc., and millions more by the US in Indochina and at least a million by the US backed Suharto in Indonesia, not to mention the blood-soaked US clients in Latin America. We need to put the whole Shoah business in perspective.

When we have a contemptible Secretary Of State that cackles over Khaddafi's brutal murder in Libya, we have no grounds for any moral posturing in the West.

 

 

DSANZ

 

3:42 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

The Point Mearsheimer Does NOT Address

 

Mearsheimer seems to do a good job of addressing Goldberg's points. But upon a closer reading of Goldberg's piece, I notice quite an important point that Mearsheimer does not address. Goldberg says that Atzmon's book suggests that historians reopen the question of whether or not the Medieval Blood Libels had any basis in fact. In all honesty, I have not read Atzmon's book. However, if the book does call into question the consensus that there is absolutely no factual basis supporting the Blood Libels, then Mearsheimer really has a lot more explaining to do. No respectable university can count among its faculty someone who endorses a book that doubts whether or not Jews used Christian blood in their religious rituals. So, Mersheimer, please set the record straight.

 

 

TUKADOODLE

 

6:24 PM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

No Universities?

 

Get a grip on reality as ill liberals ” teaching” at Universities, none are ” self respecting” with American protesting on campuses shout ” kill and burn all the jews”. These are endorsed by the Universities faculty so don't blow anymore smoke. Just look at Rutgers and too many others you try to deny. Theor teaching the same old ill liberal crap I was indoctrinated in over 35 years ago. They want their ” American Spring” by repeating history they refuse for facts. It's time to get rid of teachers unions amy and all tenure to keep yjem honest. Universities are their breeding grounds and this post os a typicall ill liberal of great omissions and par for the ”course”.

 

 

...

 

6:42 AM ET

 

September 28, 2011

 

DSANZ

 

it is clear that goldberg did not read atzmon's book and yet you think it is of the upmost importance that mearsheimer respond to all of goldbergs assertions... i find it very informative that goldberg gets a pass from you for his inability or unwillingness to actually read atzmons book, but it is crucial that mearsheimer answer all the goldberg allegations.. don't you find your position disingenuous? it is very clear to me that is exactly your position..

 

 

JOHNBOY4546

 

9:51 AM ET

 

September 28, 2011

 

Untrue, DSANZ

 

"Goldberg says that Atzmon's book suggests that historians reopen the question of whether or not the Medieval Blood Libels had any basis in fact."

 

No, actually, that accusation appears to be completely baseless.

 

Goldberg clearly did not read the book, and THAT particular accusation was culled from a blog called "Harry's Place", where that blogger had himself culled this quote from the book:

 

"It seems I didn’t learn the necessary lesson because when we studied the middle age blood libels, I again wondered out loud how the teacher could know that these accusations of Jews making Matzo out of young Goyim’s blood were indeed empty or groundless. Once again I was sent home for a week. In my teens I spent most of my mornings at home rather than in the classroom."

 

I have teenage kids, DSANZ, and the cry of "Yeah, but how do you KNOW that!!!!" is thrown at me regarding any number of issues.

 

It is not an argument that "you are wrong!".

It is much more along the lines of "Says who?".

 

Or, put another way, it is not so much an attack on the facts as presented, but upon the "authoritativeness" of those who are presenting those facts.

 

Heck, I could tell my kid that the Earth goes round the Sun and I'd get the query:

"But how do they KNOW that?????"

 

 

AVILLA

 

3:47 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

Oh, and one more thing...

 

...you will be pleased to know that Gilad himself has picked up on this! He says that you're totally right, and that Goldberg was a concentration camp guard anyway so what does he know? He's also "Nazi-like", you see, or probably worse than Nazis because he lives in a democracy!!!!

 

http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/goldberg-vs-mearsheimer-by-gilad-atzmon.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

 

 

TOIVOS

 

9:15 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

But Goldberg was a prison camp guard

 

And the prison housed Palestinians who mostly lived in Israeli occupied Palestine and resisted that occupation. These Palestinians were not regular prisoners. They were people fighting for their freedom. It is not a stretch to call them concentration camps (like the camps maintained by the British in 2004 to house rebellious Boors). So yes, it is not a stretch to say "that Goldberg was a concentration camp guard".

 

 

TOIVOS

 

12:52 AM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

biggy oops

 

British concentration camps were in 1904, not 2004. But that the genesis of the term.

 

 

TARQUINIS

 

4:51 PM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

Zionism: Time is nearly up

 

It is not antisemitism to note the obvious. Zionism is racism and unending war.

 

Love it, or leave it. The so called "peace process" has always been a bogus fraud, because it is analogous to a little girl on the ground, with the foot of a 300 lb man on her throat, supposedly negotiating over who gets the lollipop. So it remains. Did anyone note the information in the Washington Post today (9/27/11) that another 1,100 new housing units will be built in East Jerusalem? (for the ultra radical Zionists of course)

 

A new war with Egypt, Turkey, or repeatedly devastating Lebanon, killing more and more Palestinians, dispossessing millions from home and homeland, penning up the remainder like animals in the West Bank and the Gaza ghetto, can never secure Israel. If by those means they could have, they would have. This is NOT an opinion. It is an observation.

 

And where are we today?

 

No two state solution; infeasible now, just look at a map of the "settlements". Annexations and forced colonization of the West Bank continue apace.

 

No one state solution: equal rights with the Palestinians in a unitary democratic and non-sectarian state, are entirely unacceptable. This confronts the formula of an absolute political sovereignty based on race.

 

No enduring Apartheid solution: simply not sustainable in the modern world.

 

No "population transfer” solution: forcible expulsion of millions of Palestinians to Jordan is just not feasible.

 

No military solution: the cancer is internal, political, economic, demographic and growing. All the vast military power and nuclear weapons of Israel are useless to resolve this impasse.

 

When you make your bed, then you must sleep in it.

 

And it is not antisemitic to so note. But, it is a great if disingenuous dodge.

 

 

GOODWIN SANDS

 

5:07 PM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

What is disingenuous, of course

 

... is to pretend that Atzmon is being attacked for being an anti-Zionist when it's actually leading anti-Zionists who are leading the attack on Atzmon's anti-Semitism.

 

 

TUKADOODLE

 

6:37 PM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

Stop the BS and noise

 

Typical ill liberals calling any dissention as Nazis really says it all. They are terrorists not the BS ”freedom fighters you idiots keep trying to claim. If you are am American, then native Indians should attack and butcher you amd your family no problems at all. Stop the BS and noise, so answer one question yes or no. Do you support Sharia Laws or not? Of course you won't answer cos you don't know jack. Pick another country and find the same ” occupation” for many other countries you won't google lest it break your superficial bubble reality born of entitlement and hate.

 

 

ARVAY

 

3:49 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

by endlessly

 

charging anyone who opposes Zionists with anti-Semitism, the Zionists have reduced the charge to a joke and an increasingly ignored accusation, often dismissed out of hand by thinking people.

 

There they go again.

 

In doing so, Zionists have done a great service to actual anti-Semites, who can now feel sheltered by the widespread ridicule they have brought down on this charge by repeating it so often and applying it so inappropriately.

 

Ii's the wages of intellectual dishonesty.

 

 

MATTHEW

 

4:54 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

It's just a noise machine.

 

For the low-information consumer, every charge of "Anti-Semitism" is effective. You charge someone with anti-Semitism. They deny it. You then discuss their denial using all sorts of sloppy logic (guilt-by-association, etc). Then you finally say, in true Faux News Style, "People are talking about possible anti-Semtism....."

 

Mission accomplished.

 

 

CHARYBDIS

 

9:00 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

The charges for "anti-Semitism"

 

Arvay, you are quite right. This point has been explained in detail by dr. Norman Finkelstein. Having read some of his wonderfully researched and detailed books, one can very easy see through the kind of smears and lies that John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt are discussing above.

 

Their own work on "The Israel Lobby" is of course equally important, but refers to U.S. problems in particular.

 

 

NEOLEFT

 

3:26 AM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

Finkelstein works at DePaul university - he ws not removed

 

And his application for a permanent positon was not rejected by his peers.

 

"DePaul’s political science department had voted to award Mr. Finkelstein tenure, but the University Board on Promotion and Tenure rejected his bid. "

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/11/arts/11depa.html

 

Jewish academics were also remioved from universities in WWII. Does that mean they deserved it or lacked credibility?

 

Finkelstein is not an anti semite.

 

You have no cogent argument to made New Dawn, so you run and hide behind the Jewish identity and claim that those who reject your diatribes hate Jews.

 

 

GOODWIN SANDS

 

12:45 PM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

You're way out of date.

 

Finkelstein was removed from DePaul.

 

He was given the traditional one year to leave. He was gone in six months.

 

 

LEEN

 

5:26 PM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

Finkelstein a real humanitarian

 

Bull. Finkelstein just spoke at Univ of Colorado. The room was packed. He has not been removed. Finkelstein is a true hero. Stands on facts not myths. Takes his own painful family history and applies logic, facts and real compassion and applies it to the Palestinians situation. He take his own love of humanity and applies it to the Palestnians.

 

so admire Finkelstein. He has been standing on the front lines of this issue for decades before it has become more acceptable.

 

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/

 

 

TUKADOODLE

 

6:43 PM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

Wow the NYT

 

What an ” authority” you tried to cite! Typical ” lies” from failure to goggle any facts at all. Typocal of ill liberals always talking out of their asses. Folks like you are the gift that keeps on giving everytime you open your mouths.

 

 

ROBERT WERDINE

 

2:06 PM ET

 

October 8, 2011

 

Zionism

 

A right of return to Israel of the 1948 refugees and their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren would number 4.7–7.5 million, depending on who's counting. Such a return would mean that the territory of pre-1967 Israel would swiftly or gradually acquire an Arab majority. Meaning, no more Jewish state. As I said in a previous post:

 

There would be instant pandemonium, as Arab and Jewish communities would vie for dominance and try to settle old scores, and as millions of refugees from 1948 and their descendants, now resident in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon would attempt to repossess lost houses and lands in pre-1967 Israel creating an Arab majority in the bi-national state. If that state were democratic (and that’s a very, very, big if), the majority would determine its character, and in fairly short order it would become an Arab state with a gradually declining Jewish minority.

 

The PA and, needless to say, Hamas, who have shown precious little concern for either democracy, freedom, rule of law, or human rights where the Palestinian people are concerned, would doubtfully confer any of these on Jews under their domain. I have little doubt that the Arab majority would soon pass legislation blocking further Jewish immigration into the country, making life for them increasingly untenable to the complete indifference of the EU and the UN, and soon enough, Jews would begin to leave. Palestine would become just another unstable, failed state in the region, just like Gaza is now. As long as the Hamas terrorist infrastructure remains intact, no Palestinian state, whatever it consists of, will ever know freedom or prosperity.

 

Both the Peel and UN Commissions of 1937 and 1947 understood that peaceful co-existence in a bi-national state was a non-starter. That was why they both recommended partition. Then the Arabs rejected both partitions, and the rejection of the latter led to the 1948 War, and, well, we all know where things went from there.

 

The Palestinian people then paid a horrible price for their leaders' maximalist rejectionism and folly, and they still do.

 

 

SIN NOMBRE

 

4:18 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

He who says 1+1 means 2 must also mean 2+1=3

 

I always thought that the charge of being a "self-hating jew" was sort of odd given that one never seems to really see it explained, and it could I suppose mean different things.

 

With Goldberg and Atzmon here though it's clear: What, after all, is Atzmon's defining, sinning idea that Goldberg is so titanically enraged over so causing his response and making of that charge?

 

Hardly obscure here, it's obviously Atzmon's thesis that jews are just not somehow special, superior, or "Chosen."

 

So what, seemingly incontrovertibly, are we to take Goldberg to mean? Indeed, is there any way to take what he says other *than* the obvious?

 

 

COMPRAVENTA1

 

11:54 PM ET

 

October 3, 2011

 

I fully

 

I fully agree with you. Indeed it's just people over reading what he said. Regards, from Argentina.

 

 

RINALDO

 

4:47 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

There is a whole lot more you need to know about Atzmon

 

I am prepared to believe that you knew nothing about Atzmon before being sent his book, and were tricked into this endorsement.

 

But instead of continuing to defend him, don't you think you should read around?

 

Here's some choice Atzmon quotes. Go read them in context, and then tell us how we're misunderstanding them!

 

On the Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

 

    We must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously.... American Jewry makes any debate on whether the 'Protocols of the elder of Zion' are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews do try to control the world, by proxy. So far they are doing pretty well for themselves at least.

 

http://www.rense.com/general58/ONANTI.HTM

 

On the power of Jewish Bankers and the Credit Crunch

 

    How is that America let its foreign policy be shaped by some ruthless Zionists? How come alleged American ‘free media’ failed to warn the American people of the enemy within? Money is probably the answer, it indeed makes the world go round, or at least the ‘American housing market’. Throughout the centuries, Jewish bankers bought for themselves some real reputations of backers and financers of wars and even one communist revolution].

 

    ...

 

    You may wonder at this stage whether I regard the credit crunch as a Zionist plot. In fact it is the opposite. It is actually a Zionist accident. The patient didn’t make it to the end. This Zionist accident is a glimpse into Political Zionism’s sinister agenda. This Zionist accident provides us with an opportunity to see that as far as misery is concerned, we are together with the Palestinians, the Iraqis and the Afghans. We share one enemy.

 

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m47635&s1=h1

 

How about this, from the book you've read and reviewed. Is this your view as well, John?

 

    Fagin is the ultimate plunderer, a child exploiter and usurer. Shylock is the blood-thirsty merchant. With Fagin and Shylock in mind Israeli barbarism and organ trafficking seem to be just other events in an endless hellish continuum.

 

Or this, from an interview with the Holocaust denier, Dennis Fetcho:

 

    “The only thing that can save the Jews from themselves is if we the goyim, find within ourselves the powers to contain this sinister ideological collective.”

 

at 57 minutes:

 

http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/the-wandering-who-gilad-atzmon-on-inside-the-eye-2-hours-liv.html#entry12937117

 

I also recommend you read the following essay by the Holocaust "revisionist", Paul Eisen. Paul Eisen explains that he doubts the following:

 

    - 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.

 

http://www.righteousjews.org/article27a.html

 

He supports Robert Faurisson, David Irving, Germar Rudolf and Ernst Zündel.

 

Atzmon circulated Paul Eisen's Holocaust denial material. Many of Atzmon's views are lifted directly from Paul Eisen's other writing, including his theories about Jewish Power.

 

When Paul Eisen was unmasked as a Holocaust denier by prominent British anti Zionists, Gilad Atzmon was outspoken in his defence and is thanked by Paul Eisen as one of those who:

 

    openly and repeatedly demonstrated their solidarity

 

There is an article in today's Guardian Newspaper, by Andy Newman the former National Council member of George Galloway's RESPECT party. Andy Newman opposes the continued existence of Israel, and supports groups like Hamas.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/25/gilad-atzmon-antisemitism-the-left?commentpage=all#start-of-comments

 

Andy Newman is, however, an anti-Nazi, and that is why he says:

 

    It is incumbent upon the left and the Palestinian solidarity movement to both be aware of the conscious effort of far-right antisemites to infiltrate the movement, and to vigorously oppose and exclude antisemites. We would not hesitate to condemn racists, homophobes or sexists, and must be equally robust in opposing anti-Jewish hate-speech.

 

John

 

You've been led up the garden path on this one. You may genuinely not have known about Atzmon's politics. But it isn't good enough to say:

 

    I will not defend his blog output in detail for two reasons. First, I do not know what Atzmon may have said in all of his past blog posts and other writings or in the various talks that he has given over the years. Second, what he says in those places is not relevant to what I did, which was simply to read and react to his book.

 

That's because, if somebody had come to you and said "Will you write a flattering foreword to a book by a man who believes that Jewish bankers control the world, that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion accurately describe Jewish power, and that the fictional Shylock and Fagin are part of a "hellish continuum" with Israel", you'd have said "no".

 

Wouldn't you?

 

Surely?

 

 

MATTHEW

 

5:00 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

Angry Arab doesn't trust this guy.....

 

I chalk this endorsement up to naivete. Angry Arab, a stalwart Anti-Zionist, has been very critical of Atzmon.

 

I'm surprised that Professor Measheimer reviewed a book without checking out the author.

 

I've heard that John Galliano is a famous fashion designer, but.....

 

 

RINALDO

 

5:39 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

How outrageous you should attack Galliano!

 

You point to my review of Galliano's Spring 2011 collection,

 

Yes, I did praise Galliano's bold use of the hook nosed Fagins and Swastikas motif. But, as I wrote at the time, this was merely "a playful take on the strained relations between the so-called Chosen People and the Goyim that they so despise".

 

As Galliano believes he is partly Jewish, I cannot see how anybody could suggest that he was racist.

 

You point to his conviction in a French court for drunken antisemitic abuse. In reply, I say the following.

 

1. I cannot be expected to know about this!!!

 

2. As the women Galliano shouted antisemitic abuse at weren't Jewish, I fail to understand how this could be viewed as an antisemitic attack.

 

Ah, but such is the power of the Jews. They twist everything you say and use it against you!

 

etc.

 

 

GOODWIN SANDS

 

8:12 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

excellent summary

 

Will neither Walt nor Mearsheimer discuss Gilad Atzmon's circulation of Holocaust denial propaganda from Paul Eisen?

 

The question is plainly on the table. Their failure to address it is becoming more obvious by the day.

 

 

MATTHEW

 

9:36 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

Professor Walt said nothing.

 

Why should Professor Walt say something about a book he didn't review? Your obvious agenda to tar him for penning "The Israel Lobby" by tying him to Atzmon is sickening.

 

 

GOODWIN SANDS

 

9:58 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

That's lovely.

 

"I've just praised a book by a Holocaust denier - but keep it under your hat."

 

Yes, that will certainly win plenty of accolades for intellectual honesty.

 

I think we will be hearing more from M+W on their embrace of the anti-Semite and Holocaust denier Atzmon, and it will take the form of an apology for (a) having praised the little swastikoid in the first place and (b) having tried to bulldoze away the wave of condemnation their praise for a Holocaust denier has quite rightly rained down upon them.

 

 

TOIVOS

 

10:05 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

goodwin sands

 

What an idiotic comment. The question is clearly out there and demands an answer by the day. No the question is not clearly out there and this story is barely a day old.

 

What is a fact is that Atzmon distributed an essay by Paul Eisen to his mailing list and then defended doing so a month later in 2008. Eisen's essay repeated claims made by some of the more notorious holocaust deniers. For this act alone, Atzmon deserved to be shunned. It was an act of incredible stupidity if in fact he did not subscribe to Eisen's thesis.

 

However, he never picked up this issue again nor does he indulge in that nonsense in the book that Mearsheimer endorsed. It seems the 2008 controversy has also subsided despite Jews Sans Frontiers's effort to keep it alive.

 

In any case, Mearsheimer stumbled into the big pile on this one.

 

 

GOODWIN SANDS

 

10:36 PM ET

 

September 26, 2011

 

Simply Wrong

 

It is quite simply wrong to imply that Atzmon's sole interaction with the Holocaust denial movement was his gleeful distribution of the Eisen essay - something which, incidentally, he defends even to this day.

 

This is exactly what I mean about the material about Atzmon that is still waiting to become part of the discussion.

 

Did you know that Atzmon still performs at fundraisers for the organization the Holocaust denier Paul Eisen is the Executive Director of? And Atzmon still calls Holocaust denier Paul Eisen his 'good friend'?

 

But Atzmon's association with the Holocaust denial movement doesn't merely revolve around Paul Eisen. Earlier this year, for example, he posted an essay on his site about David Irving and Deborah Lipstadt. The essay makes it quite clear that his sympathies are with Irving over Lipstadt.

 

And only last year Atzmon was on the public access channel at Aspen Colorado, asking questions of the form 'If there really was a Holocaust, then how come...?'

 

And then there is the business of his recent talk in Germany, where he argued that Germans only support Israel because their laws against Holocaust denial have prevented them from honestly assessing the history of WWII, and therefore their historical perspective is skewed.

 

It would be nice to say that Atzmon has only had one temporary aberration with the Eisen essay, but his record - as will become even clearer - can't support that position.

 

 

TOIVOS

 

1:33 AM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

Nice try goodwin sands but

 

Paul Eisen is not a voice in the discussion and Gilad Atzmon was not much of a voice either.

 

There is really no need for anyone to take these them seriously. I think David Gehrig has been warning for some time that the debate over Israeli oppression of the Palestinians and the abuse of the antisemitism accusation will open a door for holocaust denial to enter rational discussion. Fool Atzmon, has opened that door a little bit. Mearsheimer really does not need to apologize. If he had been more aware of the more obscure anti-Zionist factions he would have avoided this mess. But it does look like he has inadvertently stepped into a big one.

 

One positive outcome of this is that fool Atzmon will once and for all time be erased from this discussion.

 

 

NEOLEFT

 

3:29 AM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

Will GOODWIN SANDS cite an evidence that Atzimon

 

denied the Holocaust?

 

>> Will neither Walt nor Mearsheimer discuss Gilad Atzmon's circulation of Holocaust denial propaganda from Paul Eisen?

 

Gilad Atzmon is not a publisher, therefore he can't circulate anything.

 

 

NEOLEFT

 

3:42 AM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

Impressiove effort Rinaldo - pitty it's all irrelevant

 

This is nothgin more than a litany of unnuendo and guilt by association.

 

For example, please provide the quote from Andy Newman that Israel should not exist or that he supports Hamas?

 

>> Paul Eisen explains that he doubts the following:

 

I just read through Paul Eisen's piece and nowhere does he cast doubt as to wheteher:

 

- 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.

- there existed homicidal gas-chambers.

- the number of Jewish victims was around six million.

 

The question he poses, is whther it matters given that Jews were persectuted. His argument is that the sanctitity fo the Holocaust focuses entierly on the above, as though these issues alone define the Holocaust.

 

John Meareshimer is 100% correct. What he said wa sa response to Atzimon's book and nothing else. He is not endoring Aztimon's web site or Aztimon's views that have not been expressed in the book.

 

So all your effort comes to....nada.

 

 

GOODWIN SANDS

 

12:53 PM ET

 

September 27, 2011

 

Atzmon and Eisen

 

Mearsheimer praises Atzmon for his views on the Jewish character. Atzmon's views on the Jewish character are packed to overflowing with a rather raw anti-Semitism. There are two dots here to connect, and many people have connected them.

 

When someone circulates a grotesquely anti-Semitic essay promulgating the lies of Holocaust denial and celebrating its liars, calls the text 'great', calls the author a 'good friend', and raises money for the Holocaust denier's organization, then no, that inconvenient fact cannot simply be waved away as irrelevant.

 

As more and more of Atzmon's anti-Semitic ravings are brought to light - and there are buckets and buckets of them - the more obvious it will become to anyone with an IQ over that of the average coffee bean that Mearsheimer backed the wrong horse, and there is an obvious moral problem with his continuing to back that horse.

 

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Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.

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