A guest post by Tony Greenstein
In the past week, reports have circulated that Sylvia Stolz, lawyer for Ernst Zundel, a neo-Nazi serving 5 years in a German prison for race hate crimes, had cited a newspaper report claiming that Gilad Atzmon had described the history of the 2nd World War and the Nazi Holocaust as ‘a complete forgery.’
The Adelaide Institute, also a Holocaust Revisionist site, reported that in the trial of Dr Rigolf Hennig, whom Stolz was defending, the lawyer referred to the report thus:
‘A few days ago, on 27 November 2005, Gilad Atzmon introduced the most radical blow that has as yet been struck against the political indoctrination forced on us.
This is to be found in Exhibit No. 1….He describes the historiography of the Second World War and Holocaust, … as a complete falsification invented by Zionists and Americans. He shows that the real enemy was not Hitler but Stalin.’
Atzmon’s supporters, especially Mary Rizzo insist that it is all a question of ‘rabid Zionists (who) have united with the so-called ‘Jewish anti-Zionists protagonists’. This time, they insist upon believing that I am a Holocaust Denier.’ Gilad Atzmon – “Public Lapidation” round one’ 18.1.08 . It is all a question of Atzmon’s critics ‘circulating the news from a site that specialises in what they call Holocaust Denial. It’s a site I don’t read, and won’t even link to..’ This is somewhat strange coming from Mary Rizzo as Atzmon and co. dispute whether there is even such a thing as holocaust denial.
At present it is not possible to determined the truth or falsity of the report, although it is unlikely that there is no smoke without fire, given that the statements attributed to Atzmon are so similar to much of his other writings. In a post to me by an Atzmon supporter, Kristoffer Larson cites a German report that
‘There was a ‘heated debate between the writer and the audience in the course of which several members of the audience left the hall under protest. Atzmon referred to the historiography about the World War II and about the Holocaust such as we know it as a complete forgery initiated by Americans and Zionists. According to him the true enemy was not Hitler but Stalin. According to Atzmon.’
Whether or not Atzmon is correctly quoted is immaterial. Even if he is given the benefit of a very considerable doubt, by his own words it is clear that he has now become a fully fledged holocaust denier.
I first became aware of Gilad Atzmon when he posted an article The Protocols of the Elders Of London . This is posted on a site which lists Atzmon as one of its main contributors. Typical of the articles alongside it entitled ‘David Irving: Excerpt from a Radical’s Diary January 17, 2008’ or ‘Liberation of the Camps’ a full blooded holocaust denial article.
Atzmon’s article, a caricature of the infamous Czarist forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, dubbed myself and other members of Jews Against Zionism as ‘Elders’ and offered ‘a glimpse into the abusive, assertive and violent world of Zionist lobbying’. Why was it written?
In 2005 Jews Against Zionism activists had called for the ostracism of a small group on the fringes of the Palestine solidarity movement, Deir Yassin Remembered [DYR]. DYR had taken onto its Board of Advisors one Israel Shamir. In his Discussion of Anti-Semitism, he argued for an alliance between Palestine solidarity activists and the white supremacist right. ‘For as long as Richard Perle sits in the Pentagon, Elie Wiesel brandishes his Nobel Prize, … we need the voices of Duke, Sobran, Raimondo, Buchanan, Mahler, Griffin and of other anti-bourgeois nationalists.’
Shamir’s appointment prompted long standing Israeli Jewish activists – Lea Tsemel, Michael Warshawski and Jeff Halper – to resign from DYR. Tsemel and Warshawski wrote that ‘There is no room for a racist in an institution aimed to fight for the memory of the Deir Yassin victims of Ethnic cleansing and massacre.’ and likewise Jeff Halper stated that
‘To turn the Deir Yassin tragedy into a discussion of Jewish racial characteristics, to dirty it with racist discourse, to create a situation where the people who were the most committed to honoring its memory… raises serious, fundamental questions…. Has Deir Yassin been hijacked by a cult more intent on pursuing hate campaigns against the fictive “Jews”
Shamir even went so far as to accuse the fascist British National Party of not being anti-Semitic enough! ‘I do not feel at ease accusing you and your comrades of betraying the Britons and joining with the Jews, but if I’d keep mum, stones won’t.’
In 2001 an article, Serious Concerns About Israel Shamir by Ali Abunimah & Hussein Ibish stated that ‘We do not have any need for some of what Israel Shamir is introducing into the discourse on behalf of Palestinian rights, which increasingly includes elements of traditional European anti-Semitic rhetoric.’
But in an e-mail of 12.6.05. Atzmon’s explained to me that ‘I regard Shamir as a unique and advanced thinker.’ Just how unique and advanced Shamir’s thinking is can be gleaned by his views on Auschwitz: ‘Another go of Zionist propaganda. The camp was an internment facility, attended by the Red Cross… This idea of “bombing Auschwitz” makes sense only if one accepts the vision of “industrial extermination factory”, and it was formed only well after the war.’
When I read Atzmon’s ‘Elder’s of London’ article I wrote to him questioning his support for DYR and Paul Eisen, its British Director, who had written two pamphlets – ‘Jewish Power’ and ‘Holocaust Wars’, a tribute to Zundel. To my query that ‘I understand that you have been distributing Paul Eisen’s most recent The Holocaust Wars which denies, in the course of defending Ernest Zundel, that there ever was a holocaust or extermination of European Jewry by the Nazis.’ Atzmon replied, on 6th June 2005 thus: ‘True I circulated Paul Eisen’s paper…. By the way, my take on the subject is slightly different than Paul’s one and yet, i found Paul very attentive to my criticism. Furthermore, Let me assure you that if I ever see a great text written by yourself I ll be the first to circulate it. This is my way, that is what i believe in.’
This ‘great text’ of Eisen is posted on the Zundel site . According to which:
‘Zundel does not deny that the National Socialist regime targeted Jews or that Jews suffered at their hands, but he does deny specific, albeit key aspects of the Holocaust narrative as we know it. …
o That there ever was an official plan on the part of Hitler or any other part of the Nazi regime systematically and physically to eliminate every Jew in Europe.
o That there ever existed homicidal gas-chambers.
o That the numbers of Jewish victims have been exaggerated.’
‘How do those Germans, now nearing the end of their lives, feel when told that what seemed so right then and perhaps even still seems so right, was in fact so wrong? … How might it feel to be forbidden, alone amongst the peoples of Europe, to recall your recent history with anything but shame?’
For Eisen, it is a terrible thing that the Holocaust cannot be recalled ‘with anything but shame’. And in a passage ‘The Hitler we loved and why’ we are told that ‘Ernst Zundel was once involved in the publication of a book called The Hitler We Loved and Why, but Ernst Zundel was not the only German who loved Hitler and is probably not the only German who still loves Hitler. Millions of Germans loved Hitler, who … still cherish his memory.’
There is no mention of the terror state that the Nazis created. The abolition of the unions, the incarceration and murder of trade unionists in Dachau, still less the extermination of millions of untermenschen. Eisen goes on to state that:
‘Nothing seems to fit about the gassing story. The numbers of victims crammed into the space, the design and construction of the gassing facilities, the lack of protection for the attendants, the implausibility surrounding the rate of cremation, the huge errors, omissions and disparities in eye-witness accounts — all these and more, when added to the near total absence of hard affirmative evidence, makes one wonder why anyone believed such a story in the first place. No-one has yet been able to explain how a gas chamber worked. No-one has been able to explain how pellets of Zyklon B were poured into holes that do not and never have existed. No-one has been able to explain how the Sonderkommando (special detachment) of Jewish prisoner/attendants was able to enter a gas chamber immediately, … In effect, no one has been able to take up the Faurisson challenge: “Show me or draw me a Nazi gas chamber!’
And if there is any doubt, then Eisen makes his views clear in a posting of 26th February 2007. ‘Regarding gas, again I am not sure but the evidence for the use of homicidal gas-chambers is not good at all. The evidence against it is much, much stronger.’
In an e-mail to me of 26.6.05. Eisen states that ‘There is a very strong possibility that the revisionists are substantially correct.’ On DYR’s own site, Eisen has written an article In Clear Sight of Yad Vashem (January 2006) wherein he states that ‘The Holocaust too has come under assault. Over the last fifty years, revisionist scholars have amassed a formidable body of substantial evidence, which runs in direct opposition to the traditional Holocaust narrative. “Where is the evidence,” they say, “for this alleged gargantuan mass-murder? Where are the documents? Where are the traces and remains? Where are the weapons of murder?”
Yet in an e-mail that Atzmon sent me on 23.6.05: he wrote:
‘how dare you classify innocent and honest people as H deniers. Can’t you see that this is a crime. Mr Eisen whom you despise his learning the H for 3 years, he is an expert. I myself working on WW2 for over ten years.’
And there is no doubting that Eisen has become an ‘expert’ holocaust denier. Atzmon continues:
‘I do not have any doubt that our notion of the H will change radically in the near future. Too many discrepancies. and as I said, the only active scholarship is in the hands of the revisionists. The funny bit is that only left Jews are defending the Zio-Anglo-American’s H narrative. Ask yourself why. I think that it is simple. You are not religious, you killed god….’
This was in reply to my comment that ‘at best. What they [DYR] are doing is playing into the Zionists’ hands.’ To which Atzmon replied: ‘Nonsense, you maintain the zio narrative while blaming us for playing to their hands?…. Paul’s H scholarship is not going to interfere with his DYR activity. Paul is a humanist, whether you like it or not, and so is everyone who is involved with DYR.’
And in his The Embarrassing Case of Tony Greenstein Atzmon expresses his anger that ‘my friend, activist Paul Eisen the most peaceful person I have ever come across’ has been called a racist.’
On June 17th 2005 Jews Against Zionism, together with many others, picketed a talk by Atzmon at the Socialist Workers’ Party bookshop Bookmarks. We protested that an organisation that calls itself socialist should sully itself by association with Atzmon. Atzmon himself had, at the SWP’s instigation put out a statement denying that he was a holocaust denier. It was clearly a damage limitation exercise but given that Atzmon had denied he was a holocaust denier we were prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Today it is clear that Atzmon has not changed. In recent months he has posted a number of articles and made a number of comments that make it clear that Atzmon is a fully-fledged holocaust denier. He may be confused but his deep anti-Semitism has led him along the path of holocaust denial.
A Jewish Conspiracy Theorist
Atzmon has always believed in Jewish conspiracies. On the leaflet which we gave out at the picket, we quoted his ‘On anti-Semitism’ as stating that:
“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… I would suggest that perhaps we should face it once and for all: the Jews were responsible for the killing of Jesus who, by the way, was himself a Palestinian Jew.”
Atzmon has subsequently changed ‘Jewish people’ to ‘Zionists’ and added (in fact Zionists) after ‘American Jews’ but the meaning remains the same.
Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf that ‘They are based on a forgery, the Frankfurter Zeitung moans and screams once every week: the best proof that they are authentic.’ The only difference on this question between Atzmon and Hitler is that for Hitler the ‘fact’ that what the Protocols said was true meant they were authentic whereas for Atzmon it is irrelevant if they are a forgery, because clearly they are true! A distinction without a difference.
Atzmon is quoted in the Guardian (12.5.05) ‘I’m not going to say whether it is right or not to burn down a synagogue, I can see that it is a rational act’. Which is substantially the same as what he writes in his essay ‘‘on anti-Semitism’.
Instead of seeing the Israeli state as an outpost of US imperialism, he reverses the relationship. ‘it looks as if Zionist lobbies control American foreign politics. After so many years of independence, the United States of America is becoming a remote colony of an apparently far greater state, the Jewish state.’ The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion (Verse 2) But then for Atzmon ‘The J’s are the ultimate chameleons, they can be whatever they like as long as it serves as some expedient.’
In Dialectic of the Negation Atzmon demonstrates that an anti-Semite must also be a Zionist. ‘Early Zionists were critical enough to expose the non-ethical characteristics amongst their fellow brothers. Zionism was there to erect a new ethical Jew, a genuine moral being….’ And goes on to hold that the reason that the Palestine solidarity movement hasn’t succeeded is because of the number of Jews in it! ‘Though this may explain why Jews are so involved in Palestinian solidarity, it may additionally explain why the Palestinian solidarity movement has never made it into a global mass movement. Apparently, not many people around are that keen to join a liberal synagogue.’
But it is in his essay ‘From Esther to AIPAC’ that Atzmon reveals his true feelings:
‘The Scholars who are engaged in the study of the Holocaust religion … are engaged with a list of events that happened between 1933-1945. Most of the scholars are themselves orthodox observants. Though they may be critical of different aspects of the exploitation of the Holocaust, they all accept the validity of the Nazi Judeocide and its mainstream interpretations and implications. Most of the scholars, if not all of them, do not challenge the Zionist narrative, namely Nazi Judeocide, yet, more than a few are critical of the way Jewish and Zionist institutes employ the Holocaust…. no one goes as far as revisionism, not a single Holocaust religion scholar dares engage in a dialogue with the so-called ‘deniers’ to discuss their vision of the events or any other revisionist scholarship.’
Atzmon berates the fact that Lenni Brenner, Shraga Elam, Marc Ellis and Norman Finkelstein ‘dare’ not engage with Holocaust deniers. Atzmon has difficulty understanding that astronomers for example have long ceased arguing with the followers of Aristotle and Ptolemy about whether Sun is the centre of the solar system.
In Hunters of Goliath Atzmon justifies the Holocaust he is now denying, arguing that ‘the Jewish state and the sons of Israel are at least as unpopular in the Middle East as their grandparents were in Europe just six decades ago.’ Hence they are prevented from ‘internalising the real meaning’ of the Nazi holocaust. Maybe the Gypsy, gay, Polish victims of the Nazis should recognise that it was their ‘unpopularity’ which caused their murder?
But Atzmon, via Knuckles or Edna Spennato, who acts as his pseudonym and post-box, has recently decided to junk any pretence. Below is an interesting debate on the Socialist Unity web site re Knuckles/Atzmon’s views and responses:
Asked whether there might be ‘the slightest ethical problem’ in distributing Eisen’s Holocaust denial essay Knuckle’s response is that ‘I regard Paul as an ethical man whose work deserves to be very well distributed,… Once again, try providing the evidence that Paul promotes holocaust denial.’ Asked whether Knuckles has any problems when Atzmon embraces Jews as Christ-killers theme, Knuckles asks ‘Who do you imagine killed Christ, the Germans? the Palestinians?’ to which the obvious retort comes back ‘Try the Roman occupiers.’ (10.1.08)
Asked by goodwin sands as to how he defends Eisen’s holocaust denial, Knuckles/Atzmon replies that ‘Eisen is not a Holocaust denier’.
Sands then puts to Knuckles the passage in Holocaust Wars which begins ‘Nothing seems to fit about the gassing story’ to which Knuckles first tries to avoid the subject then merely repeats that ‘you haven’t proved Paul is a holocaust denier.’ Stephen Marks then repeats the Eisen quote that ‘The evidence against (gas chambers) is far greater than that for’ and substitutes the Palestinian Naqba and other acts of genocide to see whether Knuckles agrees that that is a form of denial.
Sands then explains to Knuckles that this was all debunked in the David Irving trial to which Knuckles retorts that ‘Not one single thing was ‘de-bunked’… Now YOU explain to all of us just how they managed to do it. Answer the questions Eisen is asking!’ Finally Knuckles/Atzmon comes out.
‘Eisen asks some very pertinent questions about the so-called Holocaust, [notice the ‘so-called Holocaust’] particularly the official Zionist narrative, [a favourite phrase of Atzmon] which is full of holes….’ And he asks ‘how the nazis managed to pull off the greatest disappearing trick in history,’ and he goes through each of Eisen’s points asking each time ‘Please explain’. ‘These are all very legitimate questions which you are not able to answer. ….. Referring me to some trial notes won’t do…’
Knuckles/Atzmon then makes his own views crystal clear: ‘The implausibility surrounding the rate of cremation (*), the huge errors, omissions and disparities in eye-witness accounts (*) — all these and more, when added to the near total absence of hard affirmative evidence, makes one wonder why anyone believed such a story in the first place.’ (11.1.08, @ 12:46 am). ‘Knuckles’ concludes: ‘Now tell us how they got rid of 6 million bodies, was it all made into soap and lampshades…’
And ‘Knuckles/Atzmon’ concludes that ‘your problem with Paul is not the content of his essay, as you cannot argue with it, you have a problem with the fact that he QUESTIONS the official Zionist narrative of the Holocaust, which is FULL OF HOLES.’ Note the use of ‘Zionist narrative of the Holocaust’ a favourite Atzmonism, as if it were a changing story line.
This discussion continued on Mary Rizzo’s, anti-Semitic Peace Palestine site. Here Atzmon and Knuckles appear to be separate people, but then Atzmon has a fascination with his alter ego, Artie Fishel.
Knuckles writes, baiting Goodwin Sands: ‘Sands, remember you have not been able to answer one single question posed in Eisen’s essay.’ (11.1.08.) and Atzmon reinforces this:
‘Mary i have seen this Goodwin on Socialist Jewnity… if he manages to come with answers we should publish them. Just for the laugh… It is pretty funny, all those socialist crypto Zios are as well H scholars… they know what, how when and how many… But they never come up with an answer…their Job is to maintain the Zio H narrative in the left… somehow, it doesn’t work anymore.’ 11.1.08.
Mary Rizzo, a devoted fan of Atzmon, asks ‘who’s an anti-semite, dude? Do you see anti semitic posts on my blog?’ which demonstrates that irony is lost on Rizzo.
Atzmon responds, 12.1.08., that
‘Goodwin you are not a leftist, you are a self loving joker like Greenslime and the others…, Now go back to your cyber shtetle and give us a break… I am happy i circulated Eisen and he is indeed a friend of mine. Knuckles … is right, is another friend of mine and she says that the only H that is relevant for us is the one in Pls and in Iraq!!! … if you cannot see it, then f**k off. you have nothing to do here…’
And then Paul Eisen intervenes.
‘True enough Mary, but I’m beginning to see other outcomes looming. What I call ‘the Ukrainian option’ is one of them.
The Ukrainian peasant listens (for a couple of hundred years) about why the Jewish tavern keeper, tax farmer, landlord or whatever is doing what he’s doing…. But the time comes when he’s just had enough. He lifts his axe and splits the Jews head – it’s what they call a pogrom. Jewish power needs to be confronted. – peacefully and intelligently – and the sooner the better for everyone’
A ‘peaceful’ pogrom to accompany a non-existent Holocaust. Mary Rizzo, who only a few hours previously has denied there have ever been anti-Semitic posts to her blog, warns that ‘Paul, you realise that statement of yours is going to me misquoted, out of any context and interpreted as your approval of pogroms. The second part of your statement is going to be completely disregarded.’
Atzmon intervenes again. ‘Gaswind Sound, we do not give a toss about your gas obsession. if symptoms keep coming back either change your diet a see a doctor, and now bounce back to your social Jewnity shetetle…’ Gilad Atzmon | 01.15.08 – 1:50 am
On a separate blog, Duncan Money notes that ‘you let the openly anti-Semitic Holocaust denier ‘knuckles’ post here without criticism.’ (12.1.08.) and Atzmon responds that ‘Mr Money… we do not take the labels: anti Semite and H denier very seriously. Every visitor who comes with this crap identifies himself as a Zionist or a crypto one..’ And therein lies the rub. He continues:
However, it is very possible that Knuckles doesn’t love Jews in particular and I wonder, is it a crime? Don’t you think that loving Jews in particular is a form of discrimination (of others) i.e. racism?… I must admit that I have never seen her engaged in any form of H denial. I have seen her saying that she doesn’t care that much about people who died 60 years ago. … I ve seen her as well questioning the Zionist H narrative, is this a denial? Just let us know so we learn more about the emerging Zio discourse.’
So there we have it. Holocaust denial is merely an ‘emerging Zio discourse.’ It had no reality.
One can but hope that the SWP, will learn from the Dubai businessman’s debacle that the money that Atzmon raises for the party will never compensate for the damage to one’s political reputation.
The postings of Knuckles and Atzmon are almost certainly by the same person. They use the same modes of expression and turn of phrase. But whether Atzmon merely uses Knuckles to repost his own words, with a view to deniability, or whether Knuckles is a clone, it is clear that Atzmon has now crossed the red line. ‘Jewish Power’ leads inexorably to holocaust denial. Jews possess certain traits, ‘Jewishness’ according to Atzmon which make them conspire together. Support for the Palestinians is a battle against Jews. If anti-Semitism used to be the socialism of fools, today it is the anti-Zionism of idiots.