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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why a blog on Jewish Denial?

26 December, 2007

History does not repeat itself. But it does serve as precedent.

Early in the Enlightenment, the revolution which transformed Europe from theocratic to secular, Jews were viewed as different from Christian Europeans, and that difference was assumed based on their geographic-linguistic origins. Jews, although residing in Europe for more than two thousand years, were considered “Semites,” arrivals from the Middle East, while European Christians were presumed to have their origins in a mythic people migrating from Eurasia, the “Aryans.” Eventually the scientific search for difference turned to biology, and the notion of a Jewish "race" was born. Antisemitism as a political movement arrived with the 19th Century.

But why the Jews, how do so small, generally impoverished and defenseless a minority become so prominent, deserve so much thought and animus from some of the greatest minds of modern European science, arts and politics?

Antisemitism was not an invention of modern society, but the secular adaptation of a long established precedent, Christian anti-Judaism. With the gospel charge of deicide, the accusation the "the Jews" murdered Christ, they became the pariah people, enemies of Christ, Christianity and Christians. Crusaders on their way to liberate the Holy Land from the Moslems attacked first the Jewish enemy living in their midst. Later the Inquisition, intent on ridding Christendom of heretics tortured Jews until they agreed to accept Jesus, tortured and burned alive those who refused. One respected population study estimates that, had Jews been free of persecution since the fall of Jerusalem their numbers today would equal that of the entire British Isles.

Which is the backdrop against which we are compelled to understand Europe’s Holocaust, Christendom’s most recent and nearly successful attempt to solve its Jewish Problem. With all the talent and intelligence dedicated to planning and executing the Final Solution there was little that was really new or innovative. Armbands, ghettoes, all medieval in origin. What did make the effort so successful was the introduction of 20th Century technology. IBM provided primitive but effective computers to trace third generation Christians back to their single Jewish grandparent; Hitler’s idol, Henry Ford, provided the Holocaust the assembly line needed to efficiently transport, turn Jews into corpses, dispose of their remains; and bureaucracy made the entire process impersonal and free of guilt. But for all intents and purposes the Holocaust was only the next, not the last, logical step in a process begun 2000 years earlier. And 21st Century technology is far more efficient than that available in the 1940’s.

For those among us who prefer to believe the Holocaust a unique event in history foisted by a half-crazed if charismatic leader upon his hapless and otherwise innocent countrymen, were the residents of the Polish village of Jawabne Nazis, were they under the spell of Hitler when they rounded up their 1600 Jewish friends and neighbors, herded them into that barn and burned it to the ground? Were the Ukrainians captured on film beating to death with clubs their long-time Jewish friends and neighbors; were the French police who rounded up the Jews of Paris for deportation to death in Auschwitz; were all these Nazis also? Was all Europe under the evil influence of the madman from Germany?

And what of the non-continental countries, particularly the United States and Britain who, in full knowledge of the unfolding horror, closed their eyes and borders to our refugees, passively stood by for two years allowing the machinery of murder to run its course unhindered? How justify Roosevelt allowing the SS St. Louis to steam up and back the American shoreline, the captain pleading for permission to offload his cargo of 900 Jews fleeing Germany, forcing them back to their fate. How justify Roosevelt’s excuse not to bomb Auschwitz (it would kill innocent Jewish inmates; it would distract from winning the war was the excuse given) when allied bombers regularly over flew the camps and rail lines carrying Europe’s Jews to what the president knew was their certain end? Is not passive and silent acquiescence also complicity?

For centuries past Jews had few options but to suffer the wrath of our neighbors. Since Shoah we have another option, to join our destiny with that of the Jewish state. That we choose to disregard the clear warning of recent history, that we know but interpret it other all the time subjecting our children and theirs to a risk bordering on eventual certainty; such rationalizing and self-deception is, by definition, Denial.

Of course Israel-as-refuge presumes that the Jewish state acknowledges and accepts its Zionist responsibility towards the Diaspora. This commitment is not always obvious and will be one of the questions, along with those raised above, that will be the focus of this forum.

5 comments:

Bitin said...

Hi David, at last, I finally found a place where I can respond, comment. Let me begin with a question. Do you believe or consider that Jews or their actions are in any way causative of antisemitism? Dawg..

michael santomauro said...

Dear David Turner:

Just to let you know I am being BLOCKED at the Tablet. Here is my latest response to you.

Michael Santomauro says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Dec 8, 2010 at 1:47 PM
Dear David Turner,

Re: Posen Speech

LINK for Prof. Butz of Northwestern University on the topic for the “Posen Speech”:

Arthur R. Butz: The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry

http://www.vho.org/cgi-bin/perlfect/search/search.pl?q=posen%20speech&showurl=%2FGB%2FBooks%2Fthottc%2F10.html

Excerpt:

In the cross examination prosecutor Petersen played a phonograph recording of somebody speaking the first lines of the alleged speech, but Berger at first denied that the voice was Himmler’s and then, after a second playing of the same lines, he said that it “might be Heinrich Himmler’s voice.” The records were then offered in evidence and more excerpts, including the one dealing with Jewish evacuation,… were played in court. Berger was not questioned further, however, on the authenticity of the voice and was excused immediately after the playing of the records. It was only with some reluctance that the court accepted these records in evidence:

“Judge Powers, Presiding: Well, I think that there is enough evidence here, prima facie, that the voice is the voice of Himmler to justify receiving the document in evidence. There is no evidence, however, that it was delivered at Poznan or any other particular place. The discs will be received in evidence as an indication of Himmler’s general attitude.”

The only “prima facie” evidence for the authenticity of the voice (at only one point in the speech), as far as I can see, was the Berger statement at one point that the voice “might be Heinrich Himmler’s.”

Read more from Chapter 6 of Prof. Butz’s book, from the LINK above

OR

Prof. ROBERT FAURISSON: The Nuremberg trial (1945-1946) is the crime of crimes:

World-changing stuff if read with an honest mind.

http://robertfaurisson.blogspot.com/2010/11/nuremberg-trial-1945-1946-is-crime-of.html

Peace.

Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
ReporterNotebook@gmail.com
917-974-6367

michael santomauro said...

Dear David Turner:

Just to let you know I am being BLOCKED at the Tablet. Thank you for your time in debating me in an extremely mature manner.


Peace.

Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
ReporterNotebook@gmail.com
Call Anytime: 917-974-6367

David Turner said...

Not certain that your entire comment posted, or perhaps that I have somehow limited the space available for comments. I'll look into that. As to your question regarding our actions somehow causative of antisemitism; the answer depends on two factors, our behavior as a group, and how our group behavior is seen by the observer.

Jews have actually lived outside of Judea for several centuries prior to the fall of Jerusalem in the year 70. And here I am not just referring to the Babylonian exile, but to Jewish communities established along the Rhine River, in Egypt and Greece and Persia and in Rome. The populations they lived among thought them strange by manner and belief, their insistence on an invisible and all powerful single deity set them dramatically apart from their pagan neighbors. That their diet and ritual also set them apart from their neighbors encouraged discrimination, sometimes even violence (as in Alexandria in the first century).

Do we, by our distinguishing beliefs and social identity provoke persecution? This is no more true for Jews in the west, than for Chinese in Southeast Asia. It is a feature of not being part of the mainstream and has been a characteristic of our existence in the Diaspora since the fall of Rome.

Is our uniqueness cause of modern antisemitism? We Jews are unique and so, by the principles above, are Other, in some ways outside the mainstream. But if by being so we provoke our neighbors to violence then, I suspect, the true cause of antisemitism is not to be found in the victim, but in whatever insecurities or demons reside in our persecutors.

I hope this at least begins to serve as a response.

Nemesis said...

Dear David,

I tried sending the post below to your blog on JPost some thirty or forty times. Nothing doing, it's as if I had signed it Anders Breivik. It was originally a letter I sent 20 years ago to a cleric in Italy, where I live. Perhaps now that I have bypassed the theologically correct censors at the Post, you may be able to read it.

The criminal always returns to the scene of his crime. That, in my view, is the true explanation of the Christian obsession with Jews: with their plots, their conversion, their blindness, their eventual salvation. It should be clear from this proposition that I don’t think of the crime of the Christians as the centuries of theological anti-Judaism and auto-da-fès, or even as a moral responsibility for the holocaust, since the obsession I speak of is older, much older.

The crime is in fact the birth of Christianity itself: it is taking a millennium of Judaic struggle for ethical religion over mythological religion, for personal responsibility over the escapist theology of sacrifice, for the power of the word over that of the image, for a direct dialogue between Man and God over mediation of any kind - taking all of that and turning it on its head, as Paul did, just because that way marketing the new creed to pagans would work better.

To comprehend Christianity one must first study Judaism for a long time, but to comprehend Judaism one may ignore the very existence of Christianity. The crime, when all is said and done, is robbing the Jews of their scriptures, their poetry, their ethics, their intuitions, and running around the whole world wearing them as their own. How could such a crime not result, in the tormented conscience of the self-styled ‘Verus Israel’, in the irrepressible urge to eliminate the rightful owners of the stolen traditions?

I feel only suspicion and contempt for the ‘gifts of the Greeks’, that is for the hypocritical, manipulative, media-driven ‘ecumenism’ that Christians suddenly discovered after looking at some pictures of Auschwitz. My message to Christians is: go your own pagan, idolatrous way, and we shall go ours. If the world - alas, so ‘un-Christian’ these days – should no longer allow you to ease your collective conscience by burning Jews at the stake or gassing them, you’ll just have to learn to live without those soothing pastimes. I think it more likely that the world will again, at some point, allow you to scratch your scar, but you’ll have to wait for it to happen. In the meantime, please, don’t come whispering to us that deep down, in your heart of hearts, you really love us.