In issue 24 of Outlaw History newsletter you write:
"As I have observed before, it is the concept of the unique monstrosity of the Germans that played such a large role in morally justifying the creation of a Jewish state on Palestinian land. An island of Jews in a sea of Arabs. Now there's a good idea, eh?"
I always read an inference into such statements. It suggests very simply that the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine was not a good idea at the time. But it also infers that it is still not a good idea. Even further, it implies that something should be done about it. The obvious question is "What?" It is this line of questioning and argumentation that scares Jews and others regarding revisionism in general.
For me, Revisionism is a historical methodology which, when truly applied, objectively results in sound history and valid argumentation. Revisionism has always been tied, however, to moral questions regarding the start of international conflicts and the actions of the combative forces in such conflicts. The classic revisionist work that addresses such issues is FJP Veale's "Advance to Barbarism." The moral question of course is trickier. We leave the territory of 'what happened' and move into 'what was right' or 'what should have happened.'
Several years ago I had a discussion with a French revisionist while we dined in New York City. It was clear that this revisionist was very pro-Palestinian. When I inquired what he thought should happen to the Jews in Israel should Palestine become an Arab State, he replied, "Send them to New York." Herein lies the issue.
It is rightly an area of historical revisionism to discuss whether the Holocaust was partly responsible for the agreement to establish Israel in what was once Palestine. The issue comes when it is suggested that the Holocaust is not fully what most believe it was. If the Holocaust is less than "whole," it undermines the legitimacy of the establishment of Israel – or so the argument goes. From a moral position this then suggests that, if established illegitimately, the land rightfully belongs to the Palestinians. This argument is clear to many Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians. It is no small wonder that they embrace revisionist arguments such as these.
The issue is clearly a complex one. Modern Israel has now existed for more than 50 years. It is safe to say that most Israelis were not even born when Israel fought its first war for independence. Today it is their home. They are no more willing to give up their land than anyone else.
To address the issues and conflicts which plague the Middle East, I think one can only move forward successfully if we recognize that Israel exists and as such has a right to exist. Consider the "moral" justification for the establishment of the USA or even much of Europe. Although the far-right wing might argue that "might makes right," that is clearly not what the general public or even revisionist thought accepts when considering the legitimacy of Israel. Israel is not going to go away. Holocaust or no Holocaust, we have what we have. The question now is how can the people of these various nations, religions and ethnic backgrounds live peacefully together? My experience is that there is no political solution to this question.
Your article was entitled "A Tsunami of Filth and Lies." Imagine the different world we would live in if all sides in the Middle East conflicts joined together to aid the victims of the Tsunami that struck South East Asia this past week. The plan to establish Israel on the heels of the Holocaust may or may not have been a good idea. The issue at hand today, however, is how can we move forward in peace and in love and put an end to the senseless killing of innocents.
I think I agree with every observation you make here, particularly:
"The issue at hand today, however, is how can we move forward in peace and in love and put an end to the senseless killing of innocents."
For myself, the short answer is: "I don't know how we can do that." But to continue, as we feel we must.
I argue, and I risk being a bore about it, that nothing much can be done about any of the Middle East issues you mention without intellectual freedom, without a cultural environment that encourages an open debate on such matters as the "unique monstrosity of the Germans," and the value to Americans of the U.S. alliance with Israel. Neither of these issues can be discussed freely on campus or in the press, and certainly not in the U.S. Congress.
An open debate on the U.S. alliance with Israel – and this is the great beauty of the ideal of free and open debate – might convince those of us who now doubt it, that the alliance benefits the American people, and people in the Middle East generally. At the moment, many of us feel that the alliance is precisely what fuels the savagery on all sides – fuels it with tens, hundreds, of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. Such debate is simply taboo. No taboo ever serves anyone other than the guy who dreams it up, and those who find a way to exploit it for their own purposes.
I'm not an "expert." I'm a simple writer (see "Smith Exposed" on breakhisbones.org). I have a couple very simple ideas. They are not original with me. I do not have any original ideas. I argue that intellectual freedom for all is preferable to a taboo controlled by the few who benefit from it – as with the gas chamber fraud. And I argue that we should be free to have an open debate about the value to Americans of the U.S. alliance with Israel.
There is no guarantee that intellectual freedom and an open debate on anything whatever will serve any good whatever. Nevertheless, as I look back on the taboo against an open debate on the Holocaust, and the taboo against an open debate on the U.S./Israeli alliance, I don't see that any good has come from either one. I do not believe that 9/11 was the end of it. Or even close.
We cannot act, then, in "peace and love," if only some of us have the right to say what we think, while the rest of us have to conform to the taboos created by those who benefit from them.
"THE COMMITTEE FOR OPEN DEBATE ON THE HOLOCAUST"
First documents are uploaded on to new CODOH page. The first two are by Samuel Crowell.
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Additional information about this document
|Title:||Outlaw History #24, Israel Is Not Going to Go Away. Holocaust or No Holocaust, We Have What We Have.|
|First posted on CODOH:||July 7, 2012, 7 p.m.|