Thursday, January 27, 2005


I found a Baruch Kimmerling piece in The Nation and, after dealing with him in the Jerusalem Post, I figured I'd continue the whacking.

Baruch Kimmerling's review, "Israel's Culture of Martyrdom", contains several errors which need correction, I wrote.

In discussing the Kastner affair, he claims that Malkiel Greenwald, Shmuel Tamir and Binyamin Halevi were all members of the Lehi underground. In fact, only Tamir was an anti-British resistance fighter and he belonged to the Irgun. Media professor Elihu Katz's term "medurat hashevet" he puts as "tribal campfire". Kimmerling mistranslates here. The word "shevet" does mean "tribe" but it refers to the basic unit of a youth movement, especially the Scouts. There is nothing sinister in the phrase.

And despite his downplaying of the Arab Mufti's role during the Holocaust and his sympathies for Nazi ideology, not only to he launch a Muslim unit in the Balkans to fight alongside German troops but he had two of his lieutenants parachute into mandated Palestine to poison water sources in 1944 and during the 1936-39 revolt, the Mufti extensively exploited Nazi symbols and anti-Semitic frameworks.


Ofer Neiman said...

Without supporting the Mufti...
why not whack Itzhak Shamir ?
Is brenner a liar?
He's not the only one to describe the following :
"The Ankara document called itself a Proposal of the National Military Organisation (Irgun Zvai Leumi) Concerning the Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe and the Participation of the NMO in the War on the side of Germany. (The Ankara document is dated 11 January 1941. At that point the Sternists still thought of themselves as the “real” Irgun, and it was only later that they adopted the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel – Lohamei Herut Yisrael – appellation.) In it the Stern group told the Nazis:

The evacuation of the Jewish masses from Europe is a precondition for solving the Jewish question; but this can only be made possible and complete through the settlement of these masses in the home of the Jewish people, Palestine, and through the establishment of a Jewish state in its historical boundaries ...

The NMO, which is well-acquainted with the goodwill of the German Reich government and its authorities towards Zionist activity inside Germany and towards Zionist emigration plans, is of the opinion that:

Common interests could exist between the establishment of a New Order in Europe in conformity with the German concept, and the true national aspirations of the Jewish people as they are embodied by the NMO.
Cooperation between the new Germany and a renewed volkish-national Hebrium would be possible and
The establishment of the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, and bound by a treaty with the German Reich, would be in the interest of a maintained and strengthened future German position of power in the Near East.
Proceeding from these considerations, the NMO in Palestine, under the condition the above-mentioned national aspirations of the Israeli freedom movement are recognised on the side of the German Reich, offers to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.

This offer by the NMO ... would be connected to the military training and organising of Jewish manpower in Europe, under the leadership and command of the NMO. These military units would take part in the fight to conquer Palestine, should such a front be decided upon.

The indirect participation of the Israeli freedom movement in the New Order in Europe, already in the preparatory stage, would be linked with a positive-radical solution of the European Jewish problem in conformity with the above-mentioned national aspirations of the Jewish people. This would extraordinarily strengthen the moral basis of the New Order in the eyes of all humanity.

The Sternists again emphasised: “The NMO is closely related to the totalitarian movements of Europe in its ideology and structure.”

Lenni Brenner

"Zionism in the Age of the Dictators"

YMedad said...

As for the document, it is true that Yair Stern made an appeal to gain support for a Jewish State from Nazi Germany, and he erred, but not out of ideological identification with that regime rather based on a misreading of what Germany was really all about.

He wanted to save Jews - not kill them. He wanted to break through the barriers Gt. Britain set up to immigration - not leave them behind in camps, even if he was unaware of the mass killings.

Yes, both the Mufti and Stern "developed" contacts with Germany but for totally different reasons and goals.

How can you compare the two? The Mufti achieved political goals through the three year terror campaign, the 1939 White Paper - and then moved off to get more from Hitler. Has any Arab condemned the Mufti's course of action then, as almost all Jews, including me, do vis a vis Stern?

Ofer Neiman said...

Amazing difference between the two? Hmmm..., well, no. Shamir was not happy about the Jews being killed by the Nazis, but was more than willing to make an alliance with fellow totalitarian regimes, as long as they were murdering others. By the 1940's, everyone knew what the regime in berlin was all about. The trail of blood was clear. And the Mufti too was willing to make an alliance with the Nazis as long as other people, not Palestinians (or muslims in General) were the victims.

Your whole argument was Judeo-centric, as if the treatment of Jews is the only criterion to a regime's human rights record...

This Nazi sympathizer was Israel's prime minister, and is the Yesha"s beloved hero. We know what the Yesh"a folks, and the right wing in general would say if the Palestinians elected a leader that had written to the Nazis letters praising them, or a leader that had killed a well meaning Swedish diplomat.
If you condemn him for this dark chapter, your condemnation, along with others' , has been very very quiet...