Insurgent Politicians and their Unbeliever Friends

Corbyn and Eisen, Trump and Schmitz
Published: 2016-09-13

The situation with political parties in Britain seems to be very similar to that in the United States, the two largest parties having been dominated by a clique that favors globalism and unnecessary Middle-East wars, contrary to the interests of the majority of voters in those countries.

As these impositions have become ever more noxious, voters, becoming ever more impatient, have turned to darkhorse candidates in search of a real alternative. In the UK, leftist parliamentary backbencher Jeremy Corbyn became leader of Britain's Labour Party, while simultaneously in the USA, Donald Trump, beginning as a candidate that few took seriously, became the dominant figure and presidential nominee of the Republican Party.

Both men, Trump and Corbyn, appear to pose a threat to the status quo, especially in regard to foreign policy, and have been attacked, not just for wanting to chart a different course in policy – which is the real chief complaint – but with the more inflammatory and rhetorically effective charge of having anti-Semitic associations. (For different reasons, it is problematic to accuse Trump and Corbyn themselves of anti-Semitism.) Inter alia, hoopla has been generated around what seems to be a fact, that both men have associates who disbelieve the Holocaust.

Jeremy Corbyn and Paul Eisen

About Corbyn, journalist David Cronin observed:

“The prospect of Jeremy Corbyn being elected the UK Labour Party's new leader is something of a nightmarish scenario for its internal pro-Israel lobby. Not only is Corbyn a long-standing defender of Palestinian rights, he stated that Tony Blair should be tried for war crimes....” (D. Cronin, 7 August 2015)

It was Blair of course who, under the foreign-policy guidance of Lord Levy, followed George W. Bush into the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Bush himself having been nudged in that direction by Neoconservative Jews.

In addition to opposing Britain's participation in Zionist wars, Corbyn had a record of criticizing British membership in the European Union on grounds that it was undemocratic (and, consistent with that, was accused in 2016 of making only a halfhearted effort to stop Britain's exit from the EU).

On the same day that Cronin noted that Corbyn would be “nightmarish” for Israel-Firsters, the Daily Mail (7 August 2016) carried an article that generated controversy around Corbyn by calling attention to his connections with a self-identified “Holocaust Denier” named Paul Eisen. (The writer was Jake Wallis Simons, a pro-Israeli journalist of Orthodox Jewish upbringing.) A storm of controvery was begun.

Corbyn's association with Eisen was based on Eisen's prominent role in a pro-Palestinian group called Deir Yassin Remembered, to which Corbyn had donated, and whose functions he had attended. It is hard to dispute that Corbyn had some association with Eisen, since there is a photo of him attending a DYR function in 2013, and Eisen is the director of the UK's branch of the organization.

The mission of Deir Yassin Remembered does not directly involve Holocaust Revisionism, but is about construction of a memorial to the Deir Yassin Massacre, committed on 9 April 1948 by Zionist Jews. The attack on Corbyn was based on blurring the distinction between, on the one hand, association with Deir Yassin Remembered and its director, and on the other hand endorsement of Eisen's personal views on the Holocaust.

Some of Corbyn's defenders, for example Asa Winstanley of Electronic Intifada, instead of responding rationally, by emphasizing the obvious distinction between the mission of DYR and the personal views of its director – or acknowledging the possibility of sincerely questioning the Holocaust, and the utility of such questioning for the pro-Palestinian cause – stampeded in panic from the imputation of guilt by association with a “Holocaust Denier.” They denounced Eisen as an unscrupulous hater – disregarding the fact that Eisen himself, as a Jew, was an unlikely anti-Semite – and took the position that Corbyn could not possibly have known about Eisen's views on the Holocaust.

Corbyn for his part also denied having known that Eisen was a "Holocaust Denier" but stopped short of personally reviling him. 

Realistically, it is difficult to believe that Corbyn did not know that Eisen was a “Holocaust Denier,” since Eisen's views (and what seemed momentarily to be the tolerance of those views by Britain's far left) had been attacked by David Aaronovitch in the Financial Times (28 June 2005). Furthermore, Eisen, far from shrinking from controversy, even published an essay in 2014 titled, “Why I Call Myself a Holocaust Denier."

Despite the storm of negative publicity, Corbyn became Labour's leader in September 2015. As early as November 2015 efforts were initiated to unseat him (Mirror, 27 November 2015), and were revived in 2016 after the success of Brexit, using the same innuendos of anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial.

Donald Trump and Joseph Schmitz

From a different perspective and for different reasons, Donald Trump opposes some of the same activities that Corbyn opposes, and has incurred similar enemies.

As is well known, Trump built his campaign on promises to address the problems of illegal immigration and deindustrialization caused by free trade, thereafter greatly aggravating the displeasure of Jewish organizations by suggesting that there should be a moratorium on Muslim immigration to the United States.

The resonance between Corbyn and Trump is most clear in foreign policy. Trump has called the invasion of Iraq a "big, fat mistake" and stated his opposition to the Zionist agenda of regime-change and (supposed) nation-building (W. Mass, New American 16 August 2016). Trump has even adopted the motto “America First” to describe his foreign policy, which, Trump must know, was the motto of those who opposed intervention by the United States in the Second World War. Although Trump has been vociferously pro-Israel, he has given every indication that he would reject the Zionist war-agenda, and would even cultivate good relations with the current Russian government, which seems to have been targeted for destruction because it thwarted the Zionist plan of regime-change in Syria.

Despite the fact that Trump's daughter Ivanka is married to a Jew and even converted to Judaism, attempts have been made to make Trump's German heritage into a mark against him (M.K. Linge, NY Post, 5 June 2016), and Hitler-comparisons have been appearing since early in the campaign. A one-minute television-spot called Heil Trump, produced by Citizen Super PAC, compares Trump to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels. Retired Jewish newscaster and interviewer Ted Koppel, on the other hand, exemplified moderation by likening Trump to Mussolini.

In an essay published in Ha'aretz (22 July 2016), Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie declared that Jews were “panicking” and “terrified” at the prospect of a Trump presidency, and that 90% of U.S. Jews would be voting against him.

It was in this climate that Joseph E. Schmitz, a former Inspector General of the Department of Defense (April 2002 to September 2005) was chosen by Donald Trump in March 2016 as a foreign-policy advisor. Joseph E. Schmitz is said to be proud of his German heritage, and to speak German, and to be very anti-Communist, having implied in a 2015 speech at Southern Methodist University that Obama is a Communist (M. Taylor & W. Douglas, McClatchy News Service, 18 August 2016). But there is more.

Joseph E. Schmitz is a son of the late John G. Schmitz, a controversial U.S. congressman and California senator. Because of John G. Schmitz's reputation of defiance toward organized Jewry, Yassir Arafat, in 1982 during his exile in Beirut, invited Schmitz to visit and to speak on his behalf. Arafat and Schmitz together suffered the "common affliction" of being misrepresented by mass-media (UPI, 9 April 1982). Schmitz' defiance included support for Holocaust Revisionism. Upon his death in 2000, John G. Schmitz was eulogized by the director of the Institute for Historical Review as “a good friend of the Institute” who “attended at least two IHR Conferences, and was a subscriber for many years to the IHR's Journal of Historical Review,” and used his connections to assist the IHR in various ways (M. Weber, Journal of Historical Review, November/December 2000). Joseph E. Schmitz is thus the son of a prominent unbeliever.

Having been named as an advisor to Donald Trump, Schmitz has now been accused of having insights similar to those of his famous father.

Those accusations are said to appear in legal complaints by John Crane, a former Assistant Inspector General of the Defense Department who complains of anti-LGBT bias and retaliation against whistleblowers in the Pentagon, and David Tenenbaum, an Orthodox Jewish civilian employee of the Army who was investigated on suspicion of spying for Israel, and complains of anti-Semitism in the department.

The story has been rendered murky by misreporting. The initial report by Marisa Taylor and William Douglas for McClatchy News Service (18 August 2016) is clearly biased and inaccurate. It lapses into a general smear against Schmitz, quoting hostile and derisive opinions about Schmitz that have no bearing on the specific accusations of disbelieving the Holocaust and disliking Jews. The article misidentifies a Defense official named Daniel Meyer as the main source of the complaint against Schmitz, when in fact Meyer has no grievance against Schmitz and is a friend of his (A. Feldman, Forward, 23 August 2016). The report also seems to imply that the two complaints are mainly about Schmitz when that cannot be the case. One suspects that this is not the limit of the misreporting.

In a letter to the Pentagon's acting Inspector General, Tenenbaum's lawyer states:

“The anti-Semitic environment began under … Joseph Schmitz.”

It is hard to see how this could be true, if anti-Semitism is supposed to be the reason why Tenenbaum came under suspicion in the first place. Tenenbaum was investigated in 1996 (L. Savino, Knight-Ridder, 13 October 2000) and 1997 (AP, 20 February 1997), and retaliated with a civil suit in 1998 (AP, 17 October 1998), all during the Clinton Administration: Schmitz, as a Republican, did not become Inspector General until after Clinton's successor took office.

It is true that Tenenbaum continued pursuing his grievance during and after Schmitz's period in Defense (2002-2005). However, if suspicion toward Jews became more noticeable during that time, it need not be blamed on Schmitz, since agitation by certain Jews for the unnecessary and highly destructive invasion of Iraq in 2003 was quite widely noted, even by the Jewish agitators themselves.

Crane's complaint, like Tenenbaum's, cannot be mainly about Schmitz. Crane complains that he was terminated in 2013 as DoD's Assistant Inspector General in retaliation for his support of whistleblowing – eight years after Joseph Schmitz had left the department.

Crane's complaint attributes to Schmitz a familiar revisionist argument, albeit somewhat garbled, about the capacity of crematoria compared to numbers allegedly killed:

“In his final days, he allegedly lectured Mr. Crane on the details of concentration camps and how the ovens were too small to kill 6 million Jews.” (M. Taylor & W. Douglas, McClatchy News Service , 18 August 2016)

It is hard to see what this could have to do with Crane's specific complaint that he was wrongfully terminated, or subjected to anti-LGBT discrimination, by the Department of Defense.

Schmitz, according to Crane, is also supposed to have said:

“I fired the Jews.”

Which Jews on what occasion, and for what reason? There is clearly some missing context here.

Schmitz for his part says that all the accusations are false. He points to his 38-year marriage with a woman of partly Jewish ancestry, as evidence that he could not be anti-Semitic.

But whether one is or could be anti-Semitic is a different question from whether one believes in the Holocaust, or has criticisms of Jews. Paul Eisen, for example, is a Jew who even supports the existence of the State of Israel, but thinks that criticisms of Jews by non-Jews should be taken seriously, and of course does not believe in the Holocaust.

Those who dismiss Holocaust Revisionism out of hand will more easily believe that Joseph Schmitz does not share his father's views, than will those who are familiar with the Revisionist arguments and their inexorable persuasiveness – since truth once seen cannot be unseen. It should not surprise anyone that public figures like Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump, who oppose important parts of the agenda of organized Jewry, would turn out to have friends who see the function, within that agenda, of the Holocaust, and recognize its falsity.

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Hadding Scott
Title: Insurgent Politicians and their Unbeliever Friends, Corbyn and Eisen, Trump and Schmitz
Published: 2016-09-13
First posted on CODOH: Sept. 13, 2016, 2:47 a.m.
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